Seventy-three-year-old jazz flutist Herbie Mann died on July 1 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after a six-year battle with prostate cancer. Born Herbert Solomon in Brooklyn, New York, he began his career at the age of 15. Mann first played the saxophone before switching to the flute. His many tours in Brazil and Africa influenced his musical style. Mann once said, "I've played Cuban music, but I'm not Cuban. I've played Brazilian music, but I'm not Brazilian. I've played jazz, but I'm not African-American. What I am is an Eastern European Jew. I love all the music I've played, but I wanted something that is mine." Mann received a five-minute standing ovation following his final performance on May 3 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The solo album by Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles sold 317,000 copies its first week in record stores to debut the week ending July 12, at Number One on Billboard's Top 200 chart. Dangerously In Love features the current Number One single Crazy In Love, Beyonce's duet with rap star Jay-Z.
Legendary rock band Aerosmith has completed recording tracks for its upcoming blues album, which Columbia Records plans to release in early 2004. The collection will include covers of Muddy Waters' I'm Ready, Mississippi Fred McDowell's You Gotta Move and Little Walter's Temperature, as well as some Aerosmith originals. On August 2, the band will kick off a co-headlining tour with Kiss. It will mark the first time the two rock bands have shared the stage in almost 30 years.
On July 12 and 13, rapper Eminem will perform concerts at Ford Field in his hometown of Detroit. The shows will be his only U.S. appearances this year. Joining him on the stage will be rap newcomer 50 Cent and Missy Elliott.
Country/pop star Shania Twain will be in England on July 12 to perform a concert that will partially benefit the Prince's Trust charity. The show, Twain's first U.K. performance in more than four years, will take place at London's Hyde Park. On July 27, she'll perform a free concert at Chicago's Grant Park, which will be taped for a television special to air on NBC later this year. Shania recently announced that she'll launch a world tour in October to promote her latest CD, Up!
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July 6, six Country music acts will kick off their Electric Barnyard Tour in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The outing will feature Marty Stuart, his wife Connie Smith, BR5-49, Merle Haggard, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and the Old Crow Medicine Show. In addition to concerts, the festival tour will offer bungee jumping and mechanical bull rides.
Grammy winner John Mayer will begin a co-headlining tour with the Counting Crows on July 7 in Englewood, Colorado. Dates are scheduled to run through September 2. Mayer won his first Grammy in the category of Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the hit single Your Body Is A Wonderland, which appears on his Columbia Records debut album, Room For Squares. During the tour, he plans to roadtest new songs for his next album.
On July 8, nine finalists from the two seasons of "American Idol" will kick off a 39-city concert tour in St. Paul, Minnesota. The outing will feature Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Kimberly Caldwell, Julia Demato, Charles Grigsby, Kimberley Locke, Carmen Rasmusen, Rickey Smith and Trenyce. One of this year's "American Idol" finalists, Joshua Gracin, who's a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, recently pulled out of the tour due to military commitments.