March 18, Universal/Motown Records will release Conception: An Interpretation of Stevie Wonder's Songs. The 14-track tribute album features Marc Anthony, John Mellencamp, Mary J. Blige, Eric Clapton, Brian McKnight, Musiq, and others. India.Arie contributed an original song called Wonderful as a personal tribute to Wonder. The first single from the set is a duet version of That Girl by Joe and Mr. Cheeks.
Michael Jackson will have to pay Munich-based promoter Avram $5.3 million for canceling two 1999 concerts in Sydney, Australia and Honolulu, Hawaii. Avram's lawsuit included "reimbursement of production costs and assumed liabilities, as well as damages for lost global television rights." During the trial, Jackson claimed Avram canceled the shows due to concerns they wouldn't be profitable.
Heart is working on its first new studio album in nearly 10 years. The rock duo's Ann and Nancy Wilson also announced they'll tour this summer in support of the CD. The "Alive In America" trek will begin on June 19 in Houston, Texas and wrap up in August in California. During the group's hiatus, Ann and Nancy released three albums as the Lovemongers. In addition, Ann performed in The Vagina Monologues and toured with the Beatles tribute show "A Walk Down Abbey Road." Nancy wrote scores for films made by her husband, director Cameron Crowe, including Vanilla Sky.
March 18, Sanctuary Records will release The Allman Brothers first studio album in eight years. Included on the 11-track Hittin' The Note is a cover of the Rolling Stones' Heart of Stone. In July, The Allman Brothers will kick off a 50-city North American tour in support of the new set.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES/MARCH 18:
Faith Hill, Toby Keith and Shania Twain each received five nominations for the upcoming CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards. All of Shania's nominations are for her video to I'm Gonna Getcha Good, the first single released from her latest album Up! Faith Hill received nominations for the clips to her singles "Cry" and "When The Lights Go Down." The video to Toby's controversial single "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue" earned him three nods, while the clip to his latest single, "Who's Your Daddy," brought him two. Other major contenders include the Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, who each picked up four nominations, and Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts, with three apiece. Toby Keith will co-host the April 7th event with Pamela Anderson at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. The show will air live on cable channel CMT (Country Music Television).
LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!
March 19, Dave Matthews will begin a 12-date acoustic tour with his longtime friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds. Reynolds is a respected guitarist who has played on all of the Dave Matthews Band's albums. He's also performed on several of the group's tours. Dave and Tim will begin their outing in Wallingford, Connecticut. Most of the shows will take place at university theaters.