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Jennifer Hudson Plans Private Funeral for Slain Family Members; Jacksons Working on Reunion Tour


Jacksons Plan Reunion Tour

On October 29, Jermaine Jackson told the Australian Associated Press that a Jackson 5 reunion tour is in the works for 2009. He said both Michael and Janet Jackson would take part in the outing. Michael corrected that statement the following day by saying, "My brothers and sisters have my full love and support, and we've certainly shared many great experiences, but at this time I have no plans to record or tour with them. I am now in the studio developing new and exciting projects that I look forward to sharing with my fans in concert soon."

AC/DC Top Billboard Album Chart

AC/DC's first album in eight years, Black Ice, sold 784,000 copies its first week of release in the U.S. to give the rock band its first Number One debut on the Billboard 200 chart. "It's overwhelming and quite hard to take in," lead singer Brian Johnson said. "Even an old dog like me has a few more surprises in life, I guess." Black Ice has topped charts in 29 countries. Only one other album has had better first-week sales this year. Rapper Lil Wayne sold a little over one million copies of his latest release, Tha Carter III.

Queen Albums to Be Re-Released on Vinyl


Hollywood Records is re-releasing Queen's entire studio album catalog on vinyl records. The first group, which includes A Night At The Opera, A Day At The Races, Sheer Heart Attack and Queen II were issued on October 28. That same day, the label released the vinyl version of Queen and Paul Rodgers' new album, The Cosmos Rocks. Five more albums will be out in early 2009, followed by additional releases approximately every six months.

Hudson Family Members Buried in Private Ceremony

A private memorial service for Jennifer Hudson's three slain family members will take place on November 3 in Chicago, Illinois. Police are calling Jennifer's former brother-in-law, William Balfour, "a person of interest" in the shooting deaths of her mom Darnell, brother Jason and seven-year-old nephew Julian. Jennifer and her sister Julia have created the Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims. Their statement says, "The specific purpose of the Foundation is to care for the needs of families who have lost relatives to a violent crime. This encompasses their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter as well as grief counseling."

Diamond Named MusiCares 'Person Of The Year'

The MusiCares Foundation has chosen pop icon Neil Diamond as its 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year. Diamond will be honored February 6, 2009 at the 19th Annual Gala Benefiting the MusiCares Foundation. Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy says, "As we enter the next 50 years for The Recording Academy and the Grammy Awards, and approach the 20th anniversary of our MusiCares Foundation, it is fitting that we honor a most enduring artist and songwriter whose musical influence is truly unmatched - the extraordinary Neil Diamond. Neil's exceptionally versatile and rich body of work, combined with his magnetic performances, are a hallmark of his artistic career. And we look forward to paying tribute to him during Grammy Week."

Led Zepplin Releases 10-CD Anthology

On November 4, Rhino Records will release Led Zeppelin's 10-CD anthology. The box set includes the legendary rock band's nine studio collections and its album of rare tracks, "Coda." The CD's sleeves feature artwork from the original U.K. vinyl releases.

Other New Album Releases November 4

"Play" - Brad Paisley
"Take It To The Limit" - Hinder
"The Black Wall Street, Volume One" - The Game
"Gunslinger" - Keni Thomas
"The Renaissance" - Q-Tip
"Incanto" - Andrea Bocelli
"Ode To J. Smith" - Travis
"What A Night! A Christmas Album" - Harry Connick Jr.
"A Winter Symphony" - Sarah Brightman
"One On One" - Randy Owen


Awards Presentations/Winners

The Academy of Country Music has chosen George Strait as its fifth Artist Of The Decade in recognition of his 25 years in Country music. For the first time, the Academy will honor Strait during a television special. "Artist Of The Decade Honoring George Strait" will air on CBS sometime after the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards are presented. The ceremony will take place on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On November 2, R&B star Usher began a 14-date club tour in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The "One Night Stand: Ladies Only" outing will support Usher's new album Here I Stand, which has sold more than one million copies in the U.S. Despite being billed as a ladies only tour, men are also welcome at the shows. Usher will wrap up the concerts on November 25 in Dallas, Texas.

On November 4, Maroon 5 will perform the first of three shows in Mexico. From there, the group will head to South America for concerts in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Panama and Colombia. Next month, Maroon 5 will play in Dubai and three South African cities.

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