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Michael Jackson Announces New Shows; China Cancels Oasis Concert Series

R&B star Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies in connection with the alleged beating of his girlfriend Rihanna on February 8. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office announced that the charges are assault "by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury" and making criminal threats "that would result in death and great bodily injury." A conviction could lead to probation or up to four years and eight months in state prison. Free on $50,000 bail, Brown appeared in court on March 5, but didn't enter a plea. His arraignment was delayed until April 6. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles television station claims to have obtained detectives notes from the scene of the alleged beating. They state that Brown punched Rihanna after an argument that stemmed from her finding a three-page text message on his phone from a woman. He also told Rihanna, "I'm going to beat the s--- out of you when we get home. You wait and see." The notes say Rihanna called her assistant to have police dispatched to the home. At that point, Brown said, "You just did the stupidest thing ever. Now I'm really going to kill you."

Michael Jackson Announces New Shows

Michael Jackson was in London on March 5 to announce his upcoming shows at the city's 02 Arena. He'll kick off the open-ended engagement on July 9. Jackson told the press and hundreds of fans that gathered, "I just wanted to say, these will be my final show performances in London. When I say this is it, it really means this is it. I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear. This is it, this is really it, this is the final curtain call." Concert promoter AEG Live President and CEO Tim Leiweke said, "We'll announce 10 shows. I think you'll see 20, 25 dates at the 02. His production budget is…Wow. The man took a physical for us to go do these concerts. The man is sane, the man is very focused, the man is very healthy."

Rod Stewart Unplugged Album to be Released

On March 10, Rhino Records will release a new Collector's Edition of Rod Stewart's 1993 MTV Unplugged concert. Unplugged…And Seated includes a remastered and expanded version of the original album, plus a previously unreleased DVD of the show. The 17-track CD features two bonus songs, "Gasoline Alley" and "Forever Young," which didn't appear on the original release.

Former 'Idol' Hicks Releases Sophomore Album

2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will release his second album on his own Modern Whomp Records label on March 10. The Distance follows his J Records debut, which sold one million copies its first month of release. J Records dropped Taylor from its roster last year. "With the first record, I was unable to have the time and creative freedom to collaborate with who I wanted to write with. I think that is one dynamic that really sticks on this record. I wanted to showcase the songwriting side of me that I did on my first two records, prior to Idol. I think having the time, being able to pick the writers that I wanted to write with, and thinking about what I created is more apparent on this record," Hicks said. The first single from The Distance is a track called "What's Right Is Right."

Former 'Idol' Clarkson to Promote New Album with TV Appearances

Also new in stores March 10 is the fourth album by 2002 American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. All I Ever Wanted includes her current hit, "My Life Would Suck Without You." The song recently spent two weeks at Number One on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Kelly co-wrote six of the album's tracks and collaborated with many top producers and songwriters, including Max Martin, Katy Perry, Kara DioGuardi and Sam Watters. Kelly's promotions this week include appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, an appearance on American Idol and NBC's Saturday Night Live.

China Cancels Oasis Concert Series

The Chinese government has ordered the cancellation of two upcoming concerts by British rock group Oasis. The band was scheduled to perform in Beijing on April 3 and in Shanghai on April 5. Chinese promoters said the Chinese Ministry of Culture recently found out that group member Noel Gallagher performed at a "Free Tibet" benefit concert in New York back in 1997.

New Album Releases March 10

"Bare Bones" - Madeleine Peyroux
"Speed Of Light" - Corbin Bleu
"Scream" - Chris Cornell
"Not Without A Fight" - New Found Glory
"Modern Art" - The Rippingtons
"Then Sings My Soul" - Ronnie Milsap
"I Believe: The Gospel Masters" - Elvis Presley
"Re: Generations" - Nat King Cole
"Ballas Hough Band" - self-titled debut album (led by professional dancer champions from "Dancing With the Stars" Mark Ballas and Derek Hough)

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

On March 9, the Allman Brothers will begin a 15-night stand at New York's Beacon Theatre. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Southern rock band, which cancelled their annual run at the Beacon Theatre last year due to Gregg Allman's health problems. The Allman Brothers' month-long run will wrap up on March 28.

On March 14, concerts will be held simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne to benefit victims of the recent bushfires and floods. Coldplay will headline the Sydney concert, while Kings of Leon, Jack Johnson and Midnight Oil play in Melbourne. Proceeds from the Melbourne concert will go to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The Sydney show will raise money for both the Bushfire Appeal and the Premier's Disaster Relief Fund Appeal, which is assisting victims of the Queensland floods.

Look Who's Going on Tour!

Pop singer Lady GaGa (real name Stefani Germanotta) will begin her first headlining tour on March 12 in San Diego, California. She'll be supporting her debut album The Fame, which includes the hits "Just Dance" and "Poker Face." Twenty-three North American concerts are scheduled through April 9. In May, Lady GaGa will join The Pussycat Dolls on their Australian tour.

On March 12, the Plain White T's will kick off their "Three Part Harmony: A Show In 3 Acts" tour in Cleveland, Ohio. Act One will be devoted to rock, Act Two will be acoustic performances and Act Three will be a medley of fan favorites. Lead singer Tom Higgenson says, "We wanted to present our music in a way that we've never done before. Our longtime fans know us mostly for our rock songs, and our new fans know us mostly for our acoustic songs, so we wanted to bring everyone together and give all our fans a different way to experience our music live."