72-year-old singer Mary Travers died on September 16 after a long battle with leukemia. In the early 1960's, Travers began performing with Peter Yarrow and Noel "Paul" Stookey in the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. As a champion for human rights, she inspired millions of people to become activists for racial equality, peace, and economic and social justice. The trio's many hits include "If I Had A Hammer," "Lemon Tree," "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and "Puff (The Magic Dragon)."
The week (week ending September 26), Jay-Z tops the Billboard 200 for the 11th time in his career with The Blueprint 3. He now surpasses Elvis Presley's record for most Number One albums by a solo artist in the history of the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan, The Blueprint 3 sold 476,000 copies its first week of release.
On September 26, Barbra Streisand will make a rare concert appearance at New York's Village Vanguard. She first performed at the jazz club in 1961. Streisand will sing songs from her upcoming album, Love Is The Answer. The collection of jazz tunes will be released on September 29th. Pianist Diana Krall and her quartet back Streisand on the album.
On September 24, Leonard Cohen will perform a sold-out, 47,000-seat stadium concert near Tel Aviv, Israel. The show is a fundraiser for Palestinian and Israeli groups working for reconciliation. They include Parents Circle-Family Forum, which is a peace group made up of the parents of victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Also benefiting from the concert are a children's health program run by the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv and a center for special needs children in Ramallah.
Country star Miranda Lambert will perform a sold-out concert at Nashville's historic Ryman Theater on September 24. "Revolution at the Ryman" will feature Miranda and her band performing every track in sequence from her upcoming album Revolution, which will be out on September 29. She'll close the show with hits from her two previous albums, Kerosene and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
"Tomorrow" by Sean Kingston, "Draw The Line" by David Gray, "Your Songs" by Harry Connick, Jr., "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" by Mika, "Love In Time" by Dan Fogelberg (final album he recorded before he died of cancer in December 2007), "Burning The Days" by Vertical Horizon, "Milwaukee At Last!!!" by Rufus Wainwright and "Sometimes The Song Writes You" by Guy Clark.
On September 20, the "Paz Sin Fronteras" ("Peace Without Borders") concert took place in Havana, Cuba. The free show featured Colombian rocker Juanes, Spanish pop singer Miguel Bose and Puerto Rican star Olga Tanon, among other international stars. Many Cuban artists also appeared at the event. Some Cuban exiles recently spoke out against the concert. They reportedly felt it wouldl be perceived as a show of support for the Castro regime.
The Andre Agassi Foundation's 14th annual Grand Slam for Children charity concert will take place on September 26 in Las Vegas. Headliners include Lionel Richie, Daughtry, Tim McGraw, Brian McKnight and comedian Dane Cook. Most of the proceeds will go to the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a public charter school that recently graduated its first class of high school students. To date, the Andre Agassi Foundation has raised $75 million to fund the academy.
Puerto Rican hip-hop duo Calle 13 leads the nominees for the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards. The nods include Album of the Year and Best Urban Music Album for Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo, Record of the Year and Best Alternative Song for "No Hay Nadie Como Tu" and Best Short Form Music Video for "La Perla." Other major contenders include Ivan Lins & The Metropole Orchestra, Jose Lugo, Jorge Luis Piloto, Ivete Sangalo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Caetano Veloso and Wisin y Yandel with three mentions apiece. The 2009 Latin Grammy Awards will be presented on November 5 in Las Vegas.
On September 25, rock band Kiss will kick off its "Kiss Alive 35" North American tour in Detroit, Michigan. Kiss will be supporting its first new album in 11 years, Sonic Boom. The album will be sold exclusively at Walmart, Walmart.com and Sam's Club stores beginning October 6. Lead singer Gene Simmons told Billboard the band has put millions of dollars into a new stage and production, which includes a video screen that will run the entire width of the stage to give everyone in the audience a good view of the show.