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Get Ready for This Week's Music News

R&B star Mary J. Blige announces plans for a world tour. The Black Crowes take a break. And "No Doubt" lead singer Gwen Stefani is making wedding plans. Here are the details in this week's music news.

A marriage of rock royalty is in the works. "No Doubt" singer Gwen Stefani started off the new year by accepting "Bush" leader Gavin Rossdale's marriage proposal. The couple has been an item for about six years, managing to cope with the up-and-down careers of their respective bands.

The pair has yet to set a wedding date, nor has either band announced any major touring plans for 2002.

Is the recording of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" on the soundtrack to the film I Am Sam the last we hear from The Black Crowes?"

The Black Crowes are now on "hiatus," according to a statement issued by band management. The brief release states that lead singer Chris Robinson has started to pursue a solo career, while drummer and founding member Steve Gorman has left the band for unspecified personal reasons.

You won't learn much more at The Crowes' official website. It is reporting only that the band is "on vacation," with a more-detailed post promised by the end of this month.

The Black Crowes have not been the most stable of bands, going through one lead guitarist and three bassists in just six years.

Mary J. Blige, the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul", must like to keep busy. The singer is about to set off on a 43-day, around-the-world tour in support of her No More Drama CD.

A 17-day swing through the U.S. and Canada gets things underway in the upstate New York city of Poughkeepsie on February 5. The tour closes with two shows in Los Angeles on March 6 and 7. A 25-date international jaunt follows, opening March 13 in Tokyo, Japan. After five more shows in Japan, Mary heads to Europe.

That leg of the tour starts April First with two nights in Copenhagen, and traveling to 15 other cities including Stockholm, Brussels, Paris, Zurich and London, before a final show, April 25, in Dublin.

But that's not all Mary J. Blige has on the books. She will be singing a duet with Latin pop vocalist Marc Anthony as part of the pre-game festivities before the American football championship game, the Superbowl, is played in New Orleans February 3.

A larger North American tour is planned for mid-year. Mary J. is also in the running for two trophies at the upcoming Grammy Awards. No More Drama has been nominated for a Best R&B Album award, while her hit single, "Family Affair", earned a nomination for Best Female R&B vocal performance.