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Music News: Celine Dion Extends Caesars Palace Extravaganza; Britney Gets Married - 2004-09-29

Pop singer Celine Dion has added one more year to her "A New Day" extravaganza at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Celine has sold more than one million tickets to the show since opening the run in March 2003. In other news, Epic Records will release her next album, Miracle, on October 12.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. has announced this year's recipients of its Kennedy Center Honors. They are pop singer-songwriter Elton John, opera soprano Joan Sutherland, composer-conductor John Williams, and actors Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The annual Kennedy Center Honors recognize lifetime contributions to American culture. A gala will take place at the Kennedy Center on December 5. CBS-TV will broadcast the event later that month.

On September 28, Motown Records will release Lionel Richie's first live album in North America. Encore! Live At Wembley Arena was released internationally in 2002. This week, Richie kicks off a European tour in support of his latest CD Just For You. Concerts begin on September 27 in Bonn, Germany. 31 shows are currently scheduled through mid-November.

September 30 and October 1, Tim McGraw will perform two shows in Green Bay, Wisconsin that will be taped for an upcoming NBC television special. His 2002 NBC concert, Sing Me Home, attracted more than 10 million viewers to become one of the highest rated specials that year. McGraw is currently performing a U.S. tour in support of his new album Live Like You Were Dying.

On September 18, 22-year-old pop star Britney Spears married 26-year-old dancer Kevin Federline. The marriage took place at the home of a friend in Studio City, California and was attended by about 20 family members and friends. The couple surprised the guests, who thought they were at the private residence to attend an engagement party. When they arrived, they were given a card that read, "Surprise! It is with much love that we invite you to our wedding ceremony." After the media learned that their marriage license had not been filed in a Los Angeles court, rumors began circulating that the couple faked the marriage to throw paparazzi off their track. Britney told People magazine, which reportedly paid $2 million for rights to the wedding pictures, "I'm really upset that somebody someplace decides to write a false headline about a special day that I've dreamed about since I was a little girl. I know we're not completely legal until we file the license, which we'll do next week, but in a real sense, a spiritual sense, we're married."


On September 29, actor-comedian Bill Cosby will host a Ray Charles tribute concert in Los Angeles. Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Travis Tritt, Michael McDonald, James Ingram and Gerald Levert will perform at the benefit. Proceeds will go to Atlanta's Morehouse College, which is raising funds to build the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. Charles died of liver disease on June 10 at age 73.


Rhythm and blues star Usher leads the nominees for the 32nd annual American Music Awards, set to take place on November 14 in Los Angeles. He earned mentions in the categories of Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist and Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist. In addition, Usher's latest album, Confessions, is nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. OutKast and Kanye West received three nominations each. Double nominees include Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Jay-Z, Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys, Prince, Sheryl Crow and Norah Jones.


On September 29, R. Kelly and Jay-Z will kick off their "Best of Both Worlds" tour in Chicago, Illinois. More than 40 dates are scheduled through November 28. The R&B superstars collaborated on an album of the same name in 2002, but were forced to cancel their tour plans due to R. Kelly's arrest on child pornography charges. On October 26, Jive Records will release an expanded version of their Best of Both Worlds album. Best of Both Worlds: Unfinished Business will feature 11 previously unreleased tracks, including the new songs "Big Chips" and "Don't Let Me Die."

Barry Manilow will begin a U.S. arena tour on September 30 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. "One Night Live, One Last Time!" will be Manilow's last major concert tour. He says, however, that he'll continue to record and perform special engagements.

On October 1, the first in a weeklong series of "Vote For Change" concerts will take place in Pennsylvania. The outing will feature various groupings of artists, who will perform in 34 cities. The tour came about after Bruce Springsteen told his manager, Jon Landau, that he "wanted to do something this election season." Landau contacted other artists' managers. Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty will play in Philadelphia on the first night of the "Vote For Change" tour, while the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor take a Pittsburgh concert stage. That same night, John Mellencamp and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds perform in Reading and Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo' will appear in Williamsport. They'll swing through eight other states before wrapping up shows in Florida on October 8.

Rascal Flatts will begin a 30-city U.S. tour on October 2 in Annapolis, Maryland. The Country trio will be supporting its third album, Feels Like Today, which hit record stores on September 28. The CD's title track reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Country Singles chart. The week ending October 2, it falls two spots to Number 12. Rascal Flatts will wrap up its "Here's To You" tour in Wichita, Kansas on December 11.