One day after being released from the hospital, soul diva Aretha Franklin spent her 62nd birthday March 25, at home with family and friends. Franklin was admitted to Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital on March 20 after coughing up blood. Her doctor said it appears that the singer had an allergic reaction to antibiotics, but she responded well to medical treatment. On April 25, Franklin is scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., to perform at the Kennedy Center's "Ellington, Etc." gala, a tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington.
On March 20, Whitney Houston checked out of an undisclosed rehabilitation clinic, where she reportedly received treatment for an addiction to prescription drugs. Although most substance abuse centers follow a 28-day program, Whitney spent just five days at the clinic. Houston's husband Bobby Brown was released from a Georgia prison on March 22. He was serving a 60-day sentence for probation violations related to a drunk driving charge. Two days later, Brown was in a Massachusetts court for a child support hearing. He owes more than $63,000 in back child support for two children he fathered with Kim Ward. Brown will spend 90 days in jail unless he can come up with the money.
On March 30, Virgin Records will release Janet Jackson's new CD, Damita Jo. The album features collaborations with writer/producers Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Austin, newcomer Kanye West, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Its first single, Just A Little While, peaked at only Number 45 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in February. Jackson's last album, 2001's All For You, debuted at Number One and sold more than three million copies in the United States.
Legendary rock band Aerosmith recently kicked off a 40-date concert tour in support of its new blues album Honkin' On Bobo. The CD, which pays tribute to the band's blues influences, hits record stores on March 30. It features eleven covers of blues classics by Big Joe Williams, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, and others. Also included is one new Aerosmith tune, The Grind.
A motion picture on the life of late Country legend Johnny Cash is in the works. Titled I Walk The Line, the film will star Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny and Reese Witherspoon as his late wife, June Carter Cash. It will tell the story of Johnny's early life growing up in Arkansas, his rise to fame and the personal troubles he experienced in the late-1960s. Producers say filming may begin in June.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / MARCH 30:
On March 29, the Who will kick off a week-long series of benefit concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall with a performance of its 1969 rock opera Tommy. Proceeds from the show will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust. In other news, on March 30, Geffen Records will release the Who compilation Then and Now! 1964-2004. The collection features eighteen of the band's classic hits, plus two new songs.
Rap duo OutKast took home two trophies at the 18th annual Soul Train Music Awards, presented in Los Angeles on March 20. The duo's wins were in the categories of R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and Music Video of the Year for Hey Ya! Other winners included this year's leading nominee Beyoncé, who won the Female R&B/Soul Album of the Year honor for Dangerously In Love; R. Kelly, Male R&B/Soul Album of the Year for Chocolate Factory; and Chingy, named Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist. In addition, Luther Vandross received the Male R&B/Soul Single of the Year award for Dance With My Father and Alicia Keys won the same award in the female category for You Don't Know My Name.
Toby Keith leads the nominees for the CMT 2004 Flame Worthy Video Awards. He earned two nominations for the video to his duet with Willie Nelson, Beer For My Horses. Toby also received Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year nominations for the clip to his most recent Number One single, American Soldier. Other multiple nominees include Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Rascal Flatts with three mentions each and Shania Twain and Keith Urban, who received two nominations apiece. Hosted by Dolly Parton, this year's Flame Worthy Video Awards will take place on April 21 in Nashville.
LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!
On March 29, Prince will kick off a world tour in support of his upcoming album, Musicology. The U.S. leg begins in Los Angeles and is scheduled to wrap up in Bossier, Louisiana on June 12. Prince recently signed a deal with Columbia Records, which will release his new CD on April 20. He is also a 2004 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
David Bowie will begin another set of North American concerts on March 29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to promote his 2003 CD, Reality. U.S. and Canadian dates run through June 5, then he'll head to the U.K. for a month-long outing that includes several festival appearances.
On April 2, the Pat McGee Band will kick off a U.S. summer tour in support of its next album, Save Me. The CD will be released on April 6. Forty shows are scheduled through May 22, when the tour wraps up at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.