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Music News: Decemberists Top Billboard 200 Chart; Dr. Conrad Murray's Trial Date Set

  • Mary Morningstar

Music News: Decemberists Top Billboard 200 Chart; Dr. Conrad Murray's Trial Date Set

Music News: Decemberists Top Billboard 200 Chart; Dr. Conrad Murray's Trial Date Set

The Decemberists debut at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 with “The King Is Dead.” This marks the Oregon-based band’s first chart-topping album. Other Top 10 debuts include “Kidz Bop 9” at Number 2, the Script’s “Science & Faith” at Number 3, Social Distortion’s “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes” at Number 4, and Gregg Allman’s “Low Country Blues” at Number 5.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor has scheduled Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial to begin on March 28. Murray pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Judge Pastor said he would allow television coverage of the trial. Attorneys for both sides will offer their views on that issue at a February 7 hearing.

A remastered version of George Michael’s 1987 “Faith” album will be released on February 1. According to the British singer’s website, the reissue will be available in multiple formats, including a Limited Edition Numbered Collectors Box Set. That version features the remastered CD; his 1987 television special DVD; a 60-page, hard-bound book with an exclusive George Michael interview, rare photos and more; a vinyl album replica of the album; and various memorabilia associated with the original release.

On January 24, rocker Bret Michaels underwent a procedure to fix a hole in his heart. The problem was discovered last April while Bret was being treated for a brain hemorrhage. The 47-year-old singer and reality show star is already home from the Phoenix, Arizona hospital. Doctors expect him to be able to return to his normal activities in a few weeks.

Singer Jimmy Buffett fell off the stage at the end of his January 25 concert in Sydney, Australia. Reports say the 64-year-old suffered a head injury and was unconscious for eight minutes. Buffett was treated and released from St. Vincent’s Hospital, and will continue his recovery at home. He posted an online video to thank his fans for their concern. Disappointed that his January 29 concert in Aukland, New Zealand had to be canceled, Buffett promised to return to make up the show.

Jon Bon Jovi has been added to the all-star cast of the upcoming film “New Year’s Eve.” According to, the plot revolves around the intertwining lives of several couples and singles in New York over the course of New Year's Eve. The movie also features Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara, Zac Efron, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Pfeiffer, among others. Bon Jovi will play the role of a successful rock star who re-connects with his former girlfriend (played by Halle Berry).

The third special in Country Music Television’s Super Bowl Fan Jam series will air this week. “Faith Hill & The Pretenders, Live From the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam” takes place in Grand Prairie, Texas on February 5.


New albums scheduled for release on February 1 include: “Musica + Alma + Sexo” by Ricky Martin, “Best Of…The Great American Songbook” by Rod Stewart, “Songs From A Zulu Farm” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Sound Advice” by Patti Austin, “A Winter Tale” by Bobby Long, “A Night In Monte Carlo” by Marcus Miller, “Let It All Go” by Christina Ashley,” “The Storyteller” by Todd Snider, and “Live Forever” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.


Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have been announced. “The King’s Speech” leads the contenders with a total of 12 nominations. There are two music categories, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. In the Best Original Score category are John Powell for “How to Train Your Dragon,” Hans Zimmer for “Inception,” Alexandre Desplat for “The King’s Speech,” A.R. Rahman for “127 Hours,” and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Social Network.” Vying for the Best Original Song trophy are Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey for “Coming Home” from “Country Strong;” Alan Menken and Glenn Slater for “I See the Light” from “Tangled;” A.R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong for “If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” and Randy Newman for “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3.” The Academy Awards will take place on February 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. Complete list on nominations available at


Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band have announced plans to record a new album and perform a North American tour. A publicist for the band says, “Fans can expect to see and hear Seger’s timeless classics like ‘Night Moves’ and ‘Old Time Rock & Roll’ alongside a preview of new songs from his forthcoming as yet untitled new release.” Dates and cities will be announced soon.