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Music News: Madonna Stars in London Play, Bono Travels to Africa - 2002-05-18

Up For Grabs, a stage production starring pop star Madonna, will open at London's Wyndham Theater on May 23. Madonna plays an art dealer in the comedy, which is scheduled to run for 10 weeks. She won't appear in the matinee performances because of recording commitments. The play's May 9 preview received good reviews.

U2 lead singer Bono heads to Africa on May 20 with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. During the eleven-day trip, they'll travel to Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia to visit schools, AIDS clinics and World Bank development projects.

If You're Gone, written by Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, was named Pop Song of the Year at BMI's 50th anniversary Pop Awards. Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down was named Songwriter of the Year and Lifehouse's Hanging By A Moment received an award for being the most-performed song on college radio. This year's BMI Icon Awards went to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard.

May 25, CBS-TV will air "Rockin' For The U.S.A." The salute to U.S. military personnel was taped aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Featured performers on the special include Celine Dion, Clint Black, Lonestar, Marc Anthony and Jessica Simpson.

Columbia Records will release the second English-language album by Latin pop star Marc Anthony on May 21. Mended includes a track called Tragedy that Anthony wrote with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas. Marc will kick off a concert tour in support of Mended on July 6 in Boston, Massachusetts.



May 20 - Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder and Vanessa Williams will perform at Jazz At Lincoln Center's Spring Benefit Gala Comin' Home To Harlem. Whoopi Goldberg will host the event, which will take place at New York's historic Apollo Theater. In addition to the show, the gala includes a dinner and auction. Proceeds will go to Jazz At Lincoln Center's musical and educational programs.

May 23 - The VH1 Divas Las Vegas concert special will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This year's lineup will feature Shakira, the Dixie Chicks, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion and Cher. Stevie Nicks and Anastacia will make special guest appearances. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will host the show. Proceeds will go to VH1's Save the Music Foundation.


May 20 - singer-songwriter James Taylor will receive the Founders Award at the 19th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards. The honor is given to pioneering songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music. Previous recipients include Stevie Wonder, Stephen Sondheim and Joni Mitchell.

May 22 - The 37th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be presented in Los Angeles. This year's leading nominees are Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith. Each received six nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. Other leading contenders include Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Travis Tritt with three nods apiece. Hosted by Reba McEntire, the awards show will air live on CBS-TV.

May 23 - the 3rd annual Classical Brit Awards will be handed out at London's Royal Albert Hall. Italian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli earned three nominations for her album, Gluck, Italian Arias. During the show, Andrea Bocelli will receive a special award for his outstanding contributions to classical music.

The Blues Foundation will hold its 23rd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards on May 23 in Memphis, Tennessee. Texas singer and pianist Marcia Ball, known as the Queen of Boogie, leads the nominees with five. Ike Turner, Kim Wilson, Otis Taylor and Kid Ramos follow closely behind with four nominations. The awards ceremony kicks off Handy Weekend in Memphis, which includes workshops, a children's festival and other events designed to appeal to Blues musicians, the industry and fans.


May 23 - Modern rock group the Goo Goo Dolls will begin a North American concert tour in Houston, Texas. The outing is in support of the band's album Gutterflower, which debuted at Number 4 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart last month.

May 24 - Britney Spears will kick off her "Dream Within A Dream 2002 Tour" in Las Vegas, Nevada. She'll be promoting her latest album, Britney, which has sold more than four million copies in the U.S. Newcomer Nikka Costa will open shows for Britney through June 16.