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Whitney Houston Album Due Out Sept. 1; 'American Idol' Auditions Kick Off 


Arista Records has announced the release date of Whitney Houston's much-anticipated new album. "The Wait Is Over" will arrive on September 1. Since Whitney's 1985 self-titled debut, she has sold more than 170 million records worldwide. Whitney is also in the Guinness Book of World Records as music's "most awarded female artist of all time." To date, her trophies total 411, including six Grammys. "The Wait Is Over" marks her first album of new songs since 2002's "Just Whitney."

Blues legend Koko Taylor died on June 3 of complications from surgery she underwent for gastrointestinal bleeding. She was 80 years old. Born Cora Walton in Tennessee, Koko moved to Chicago in 1952, where she began singing in local blues clubs. She was signed to Chess Records in 1965 and earned her first major hit a year later with "Wang Dang Doodle." A heart attack in 2003 resulted in a 28-day coma. Koko returned to performing in early 2004. Her final performance was on May 7, 2009 at the 30th annual Blues Music Awards. She received the Traditional Blues Female Vocalist of the Year honor. During her long career, Koko won 29 Blues Music Awards, more than any other artist.

Madonna will wrap up her "Sticky and Sweet" tour with a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 1. In 2004, Madonna made a pilgrimage to Israel. The five-day tour included stops at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the tomb of Biblical matriarch Rachel outside of Bethlehem. Madonna's last performance in Israel was in 1993. She wrote on her web site, "I'm very excited about returning to Israel for my last and final show. I know it will be unforgettable."

On June 9, Interscope Records will release the Black Eyed Peas' new album "The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)." Its first single, "Boom Boom Pow," spends its ninth week at Number One on this week's Hot 100 chart (week ending June 13). The track is the group's first ever Number One on that list.

The "American Idol" season 9 auditions will begin on June 14 in Boston, Massachusetts. The show's producers and judges will also stop in Atlanta, Georgia (June 18); Los Angeles, California (June 30); Orlando, Florida (July 9); and Denver, Colorado (July 14). Dates have yet to be determined for auditions in Chicago, Illinois and Dallas, Texas.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES:

New albums scheduled for release on June 9 include: "Battle For the Sun" by Placebo, "Chickenfoot" by Chickenfoot, "The Ecstatic" by Mos Def, "The Eternal" by Sonic Youth, "Bigger Hands" by John Anderson, "The Loving Kind" by Nanci Griffith, "Congo Square" by Teena Marie, "Quincy Jones Explores The Music of Henry Mancini" by Quincy Jones and "Flight 666" by Iron Maiden.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS:

On June 8, New York's Apollo Theater marked its 75th anniversary with an all-star gala. During the benefit tribute, Quincy Jones and Patti LaBelle were inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx and Anita Baker were among the artists who performed and presented the awards. Proceeds will go to the Apollo Theater Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and developing the Apollo Theater and its educational and community outreach programs.

The 2009 CMA Music Festival will take place June 11-14 in Nashville. Formerly known as Fan Fair, the festival draws Country fans from around the world. In addition to attending many concerts, fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite artists. Gretchen Wilson will kick off the festival with a daytime show at Riverfront Park. It was recently announced that Reba McEntire will sign autographs at the event for the first time in 13 years. Performers at the nightly concerts at LP Field will include Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, among others.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Al Green, Snoop Dogg, Nine Inch Nails and Phish are among the 120 bands taking part in the 6th annual Bonnaroo Music Festival. The four-day event begins on June 11 in Manchester, Tennessee. Rolling Stone magazine included the Bonnaroo Festival on its list of "50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll."

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:

On June 10, former Blind Faith bandmates Eric Clapton and Steve Windwood will begin a 14-city tour in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They'll wrap up the outing on June 30 in Los Angeles. Last year, Clapton and Winwood played several shows together at New York's Madison Square Garden. A 2-CD/2-DVD set with performances from the concerts was released on May 19, 2009.

Aerosmith will kick off a North American tour on June 10 in St. Louis, Missouri. Beginning June 16, ZZ Top will join them as special guests. The 41-date trek is scheduled to come to an end in Detroit, Michigan on September 16. Aerosmith has been working on a new album, their first since 2004's "Honkin' On Bobo." Recording was held up due to health issues that included guitarist Joe Perry's knee surgery and lead singer Steven Tyler's bout with pneumonia.

On June 7, Kelly Clarkson performed at the "98.5 Capital FM Summertime Ball" in the U.K. She'll return to the U.S. to begin a North American tour on June 11 in Orem, Utah. Kelly's new album, "All I Ever Wanted," was released in March. It features her recent Number One hit "My Life Would Suck Without You" and her current single, "I Do Not Hook Up."

On June 12, The Fray will kick off a 32-city tour in Atlanta, Georgia. The Denver-based band will be supporting its new self-titled album, which produced the Top 10 hit, "You Found Me." Last month, download sales of the song reached two million copies.

Simon & Garfunkel will begin a series of concerts in New Zealand and Australia on June 13. The duo is scheduled to play two shows in Auckland before heading to Australia for concerts in Boondall, Sydney, Melbourne, Hindmarsh and Perth. Simon & Garfunkel will then head to Japan to perform five dates through July 18.

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