Sheik Sues Michael Jackson
Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa is suing Michael Jackson for $7 million. The son of the king of Bahrain claims he gave Jackson millions of dollars, which helped pay for his 2005 child molestation trial, vacations and utility bills at Michael's Neverland ranch. A contract signed by Jackson required a new album, an autobiography and a stage play. Jackson's lawyer, Robert Englehart, says Michael isn't required to fulfill those obligations because the contract was signed as part of 2 Seas Records, his joint venture with the sheik that never got off the ground. Englehart first said that Jackson was too ill to travel to London to testify in the case. It has since been reported that Michael would appear at a London court on November 24.
McCartney Working to Release Beatles' Experimental Work
Paul McCartney would like to release a 14-minute experimental work recorded by The Beatles in 1967. He'll first have to get approval from Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison. Harrison rejected McCartney's idea to include it on their 1995 Anthology album. The Beatles performed "Carnival of Light" only once. That was in early 1967 at the Million Volt Light and Sound Rave music festival in London. In a recent BBC interview, McCartney said, "The time has come for it to get its moment. I like it because it's The Beatles free, going off piste."
Taylor Swift Tops Billboard Country Album Chart
18-year-old Taylor Swift makes a Number One debut on the Country Albums and Billboard 200 charts this week (week ending November 29). Her new CD, Fearless, sold more than 592,000 copies its first week of release. The album includes this week's Number One Country single, "Love Story."
Rosie O'Donnell to Host Live Variety Special
On November 26, NBC-TV will air a live variety special hosted by former talk show personality Rosie O'Donnell. "Rosie Live" will take place at New York's Little Shubert Theatre. Featured performers include Ne-Yo, Alanis Morissette, Liza Minelli, actors Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski and comedienne Kathy Griffin.
Pop, Rock, Country Artists Donate Tracks to Special Album for US Troops
3 Doors Down, Five For Fighting, Daughtry, Josh Groban, Keith Urban, Maroon 5 and Alan Jackson are some of the stars who donated tracks to the November 25 release For the Troops II. Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik was inspired to compile the CD after receiving messages from members of the U.S. military. "I've heard from service members who, before going on missions or upon returning, listen to songs for inspiration, motivation, reflection or simply to be distracted from a reality few of us could ever imagine," he said. "I hope that my song and the other hits from artists who generously contributed to this project stir those same emotions in our service members. We greatly appreciate the sacrifices the military has made for our country." The album is available as a free digital download to active duty service members and veterans worldwide at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service website www.aafes.com.
Barry Manilow Releases New Album
This week, several albums will hit stores one day earlier than the usual Tuesday release schedule. They include Barry Manilow's fourth album in his series of decade driven hits. The Greatest Songs of the 80's features Manilow's interpretations of George Michael's "Careless Whisper," Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's duet "Islands In The Stream", which Manilow recorded with Country star Reba McEntire. Also being released on November 24 are Theater of the Mind by Ludacris, 808s and Heartbreak by Kanye West and Day and Age by the Killers.
Guns 'N Roses Releases Long-Awaited Album
An album Guns 'N Roses has been working on for more than a decade was finally released on November 23. "Chinese Democracy" is being sold exclusively at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com in CD, vinyl LP and digital formats. Guns 'N Roses recorded Chinese Democracy in 14 different studios at a cost of $13 million. The rock band's last album, The Spaghetti Incident, was a collection of cover songs released in 1993.
Ashlee Simpson, Pete Wentz Welcome New Baby
Pop singer Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and her husband Pete Wentz welcomed their first child on November 20. They named the boy Bronx Mowgli Wentz. Pete plays bass guitar in the rock band Fall Out Boy, whose next album, Folie A Deux, will be out on December 16.
Madonna-Guy Ritchie Divorce Finalized
On November 20, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were granted a preliminary divorce by the High Court of London. They reportedly have agreed on a settlement, which specifies that they'll share custody of their two sons, eight-year-old Rocco and three-year-old David. Madonna's 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, whose father is fitness trainer Carlos Leone, will live with her mother in the U.S. The divorce will be final in six weeks if Madonna and Guy don't contest any of the settlement terms.
New Album Releases - November 25
"Road To Revolution - Live at Milton Keynes" - Linkin Park
"The Ecstatic" - Mos Def
"Happy In Galoshes" - Scott Weiland
"X" - Trace Adkins
"24 Hours" - Tom Jones
"The Final Riot!" (live album) - Paramore
The 36th annual American Music Awards were held on November 23 in Los Angeles. Alicia Keys led this year's 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," was nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. Following close behind with four nominations each were the Eagles and Coldplay. Other multiple nominees included Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Daughtry, Flo Rida, Kanye West, Usher and Rihanna.