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Music News: Madonna Scraps Controversial Video; Soul Artist Edwin Starr Dies - 2003-04-05

Soul singer Edwin Starr died April 2 after suffering a heart attack at his home in England. Starr was best known for his 1970 Number One song War. His other hits included Contact and H.A.P.P.Y. Radio. Starr made a brief comeback in disco during the late 1970s. The following decade, he moved to England, where he continued to perform on oldies and soul tour packages.

April 8, Capitol Records will release the debut album by Lisa Marie Presley. To Whom It May Concern contains tracks written by Glen Ballard, Presley's ex-husband Danny Keough and Billy Corgan. "This record is me. Every song is me," said Lisa Marie. "You're going to see who I really am and not what the tabloids say about me. This is what I'm good at doing. I'm good at putting myself in a song."

Madonna has scrapped plans to release the controversial video for American Life, the first single from her upcoming album of the same name. Madonna issued a statement that said, "Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video." Madonna's new album will be released on April 22.

April 9, an early 70th birthday celebration for Willie Nelson will take place at New York's Beacon Theater. The concert, called "Willie Nelson & Friends: Live & Kickin'" will be taped for a May 26 television broadcast on the USA Network. Among the many artists taking part in the event are Ray Charles, Shania Twain, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sheryl Crow, Toby Keith, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp and Eric Clapton. Willie Nelson will turn 70 on April 30.



The 2003 Juno Awards will be presented on April 6 in Ontario, Canada. Avril Lavigne leads this year's contenders with six nominations, followed by Shania Twain, who earned five. Celine Dion, Remy Shand, Our Lady Peace and K-OS are each up for four awards. Shania Twain will host the Juno Awards and will also perform at the event. Other confirmed performers include Avril Lavigne, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts, and Tom Cochran, who will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the ceremony.

April 7, the CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Toby Keith each received five nods. All of Shania's nominations are for her video to '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 awards show with actress Pamela Anderson. The show will air live on cable channel CMT (Country Music Television).

The Gospel Music Association's 34th annual Dove Awards will take place on April 10 in Nashville. This year's leading nominees include Michael W. Smith and Toby McKeehan of dc Talk. They received nine nominations each. Hosted by Gospel stars CeCe Winans and Steven Curtis Chapman, the ceremony will include the induction of Amy Grant, Pat Boone and the Blind Boys of Alabama into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.


April 9, teen newcomer Avril Lavigne will kick off her first major headlining tour in Toronto, Canada. North American dates will wrap up on May 17 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then, after a 10 day break, she'll head to Japan for shows in Osaka May 27 and Tokyo May 29. Also on Lavigne's itinerary are four concerts in Australia, scheduled for June 1-4.

The 2003 "Honky Tonk Tailgate Party Tour," featuring Country singers Chad Brock, Rhett Akins, Wade Hayes and Daryle Singletary, will begin on April 11 in Charlotte, North Carolina. They'll perform in 47 U.S. cities through late November.