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Britney Spears Tops Billboard Chart; Janet Jackson Resumes Tour

Madonna and her director husband Guy Ritchie are divorcing after less than eight years of marriage. Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, issued a statement from the couple that asked the media to "maintain respect for their family at this difficult time." The couple has two children, 8-year-old Rocco and 3-year-old David Banda, their adopted son from Malawi. Madonna's 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, is from her relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.

Britney Tops Billboard Hot 100 Chart

Britney Spears jumps 95 positions to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week (week ending October 25) with "Womanizer," the first single from her upcoming album Circus. That's the biggest one-week gain in the chart's history. And, it's been announced that in 2009 Britney will perform his first tour in five years to support her new album.

Janet Jackson Returns to Stage

Janet Jackson resumed her "Rock Witchu Tour" October 15 in Washington, D.C. The 42-year-old singer had canceled shows since September 29 due to health problems. Her publicist said Jackson was suffering from vestibular migraines, a condition that can cause severe dizziness.

Country Star McGraw Unhappy About New Album

Tim McGraw's label, Curb Records, just released the Country star's third greatest hits album, but not everyone is happy about it - namely Tim McGraw. He has spent the past year working on a new album and hoped it would be out later this year. Tim released a statement that said, "I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music. I've only had one studio album since my last hits package. It has to be just as confusing to the fans as it is to me. I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record." He added, "In the spirit of an election year, I would simply say to my fans, 'I'm Tim McGraw and I don't approve their message.'" Curb Records reportedly released the Greatest Hits 3 compilation to extend Tim's recording contract term. In other news, Tim's first children's book, My Little Girl, will be released on October 21. Two days later, he'll be in New York for a book signing at the Fifth Avenue Barnes & Noble.

LaBelle Releases New Album

On October 21, LaBelle's first album in 32 years will be released. Patti BaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash reunited this year to record Back To Now, which was produced by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Lenny Kravitz and Wyclef Jean. In a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun, Labelle said, "The song selection was very spontaneous. Like Wyclef, he's very unorganized, wouldn't have anything ready, you know. He'd bring in tracks and tracks for us to listen to, and we'd pick one and put our lyrics on it. He'd let us work out the song. He's a very open producer." LaBelle is best known for its 1975 Number One hit, "Lady Marmalade."

New CD Set Features 'Sound of Philadelphia

Sony Legacy will release the four-CD, 71-track box set Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia on October 21. The songs span three-and-a-half-decades of "The Philly Sound" beginning in 1967 up through 1983. Legendary artists represented on the collection include The Delfonics, Wilson Pickett, The O'Jays, Billy Paul, The Stylistics, The Manhattans, Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle, among many others. In December, PBS will air the first of two specials on the making of the box set with performances by Jerry Butler, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, the O'Jays, Bunny Sigler, The Delfonics, and others.

New Album Releases

"Call Me Crazy" - Lee Ann Womack
"Black Ice" - AC/DC
"That's Why" - Craig Morgan
"Waylon Forever" - Waylon Jennings
"Damn Right, Rebel Proud" - Hank Williams III
"Genesis 1970-1975" (7-CD box set) - Genesis
"High School Musical 3: Senior Year" - the original motion picture soundtrack
"On The Air" - Rosemary Clooney

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

The 10th annual Voodoo Experience music festival will take place in New Orleans October 24-26. Performers include Lil Wayne, Joss Stone, R.E.M., Stone Temple Pilots, Wyclef Jean and Nine Inch Nails, among others. In addition to the many concerts, an area dubbed The Village will offer Louisiana cuisine, arts, crafts and games.

On October 25, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and James Otto will be in Fairfax, Virginia to perform at the 5th Annual American Freedom Festival benefit concert. The event will take place at George Mason University's Patriot Center. Proceeds will go to the American Freedom Foundation, Inc., which honors veterans of America's armed forces and raises money and awareness for various veterans' organizations.

Neil Young's 2008 Bridge School benefit will be held on October 25 and 26 in Mountain View, California. Joining him on the bill are Norah Jones, ZZ Top, Smashing Pumpkins, Josh Groban, Jack Johnson, and others. The Bridge School works with children who have severe physical and speech impediments.

Awards Presentations/Winners

Alicia Keys leads this year's American Music Award nominees with five mentions, including Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Artist of the Year. In addition, her latest studio project, As I Am, is nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. Following close behind with four nominations each are the Eagles and Coldplay. Other multiple nominees include Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Daughtry, Flo Rida, Kanye West, Usher and Rihanna. The 36th annual American Music Awards will be presented on November 23 in Los Angeles.

Look Who's Going on Tour

Metallica will kick off its first North American in four years on October 21. Dates begin in Glendale, Arizona. The rock band will be supporting its new album, Death Magnetic. The tour runs through February 2009.