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Jennifer Hudson, Robin Thicke Launch Joint Tour; Dan Seals Dies


Singer Dan Seals, 61, died of cancer on March 25. During the past two years, he had received treatments for mantle cell lymphoma. His longtime manager Tony Gottlieb said, "He was very positive. He participated in several clinical trials to assist with research on this type of lymphoma." Dan enjoyed a four-decade career in both Pop and Country music. As a member of the 1970s band England Dan and John Ford Coley, he recorded such hits as "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight," "Nights Are Forever Without You" and "Love Is The Answer." Later, Dan pursued a solo career in Country music. His 11 Country Number Ones included "Bop," "Love On Arrival," "One Friend" and his 1985 duet with Marie Osmond, "Meet Me In Montana." Dan's older brother Jimmy was a member of the 1970s group Seals & Crofts. Until he fell ill two years ago, Dan and Jimmy were recording an album as Seals & Seals. They had eight songs completed for the upcoming release.

New Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Include Run-DMC, Metallica

The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions will take place on April 4 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Class of '09 includes pioneering rap trio Run-DMC, hard rock group Metallica, doo-wop group Little Anthony and the Imperials, R&B singer Bobby Womack and guitarist Jeff Beck, who was first inducted in 1992 as a member of the Yardbirds. Entering in the early influence category is rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson. Spooner Oldham, D.J. Fontana and Bill Black will be inducted in the sidemen category. Presenters will include rapper Eminem, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smokey Robinson and the Rolling Stones' Jimmy Page and Ron Wood.

American Idol Features Motown Theme

Motown was the theme of the March 25 American Idol sing-off. The Top 10 finalists performed their rendition of songs by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Temptations and Motown great Smokey Robinson, who served as the week's mentor. Motown Records founder Berry Gordy was in the audience with Smokey watching the contestants perform live. The following night, 28-year-old oil rig worker Michael Sarver was voted off the show. He'll join the other Top 10 finalists on the upcoming "Idols Live" concert tour.

Prince to Release Album Exclusively at Target Stores

On March 31, Prince will release a 3-CD set exclusively at Target stores. Included are the new Prince CDs LOtUSFLOW3R and MPLSoUND, plus Elixir, which introduces newcomer Bria Valente. The set will sell in stores for under $12. It's also available for download on Prince's new website www.lotusflow3r.com. To access the site, fans must pay an annual $77 subscription fee. In addition to the CD release, the web site offers advance ticket sales for Prince's concerts, a t-shirt, photographs, videos and concert footage.

Life of Soldier Inspires Concept Album

Atco/Rhino Records will release American Soldier by metal band Queensryche on March 31. The concept album was inspired by stories depicting the life of a soldier and the consequences of war as told by veterans of World War II through the Iraq war. The group's singer and songwriter, Geoff Tate, conducted interviews with the soldiers. Some of their voices are mixed into several songs, and a few soldiers were invited into the studio to sing on a track with Queensryche. The band will support American Soldier with a U.S. tour, which begins on April 16 in Seattle, Washington.

New Album Releases March 31

"R.O.O.T.S. (Route Of Overcoming The Struggle)" - Flo Rida
"Defying Gravity" - Keith Urban
"New Jack City II" - Bow Wow
"Free" - Gavin DeGraw
"Quiet Nights" - Diana Krall
"Back To Tennessee" - Billy Ray Cyrus
"It's America" - Rodney Atkins
"Live In Boston" - Chris Botti
"The Soundstage Sessions" - Stevie Nicks
"Piety Street" - John Scofield
"Slice O Life: Live Solo" - Bruce Cockburn
"Playlist: The Very Best of Clay Aiken" - Clay Aiken
"Seasons" - Marie Osmond
"GK" - Greg Karukas

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

On April 4, a concert to benefit the David Lynch Foundation will take place at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The foundation was established to teach children the techniques of Transcendental Meditation. "In today's world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence - bliss - the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation," David Lynch says. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sheryl Crow, Moby, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, and others will perform at the "Change Begins Within" benefit concert.

The Country Thunder Festival in Florence, Arizona will take place April 1-4. Headliners include Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry and Blake Shelton. Also making appearances are Rodney Atkins, Tracy Lawrence, Heidi Newfield, Jack Ingram, Little Big Town and Neal McCoy, among others. A second Country Thunder Festival will take place in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin in mid-July.

Awards Presentations/Winners

On April 2, Patti LaBelle and songwriter/producer Kenny Gamble will receive the Patriotism Award at the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta, Georgia. They'll be honored for their symphonic work "I Am An American," which they recorded last year with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Choirs.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On March 31, Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke will begin a 24-city co-headlining tour in Albany, New York. Hudson will support her self-titled debut album, which includes the hits "Spotlight" and "If This Isn't Love." Robin will be promoting his 2008 release, Something Else. The tour wraps up on May 9 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Seal will kick off a 21-date North American tour on March 31. The outing begins in Minneapolis, Minnesota and continues through May 6. In late June, he'll perform five shows in the U.K. Seal worked with producer David Foster on his latest album, Soul. The collection includes his versions of 11 soul classics.

On April 1, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will begin a concert tour in San Jose, California. After wrapping up North American dates on May 23, the band will head to Europe for shows in the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the U.K., Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain.

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