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Jay-Z, Kanye Kick Off Tour; Bon Jovi Opens Restaurant

  • Mary Morningstar

Singers Jay-Z (R) and Kanye West perform at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011.

Singers Jay-Z (R) and Kanye West perform at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011.

Jay-Z and Kanye West will kick off their North American “Throne Tour” in Atlanta, Georgia on October 28. The trek supports the hip-hop stars’ first collaborative album, Watch the Throne. With sales of 436,000 copies its first week of release, the album debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. Thirty-two shows are scheduled on the “Throne Tour,” which wraps up on December 18 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bon Jovi Opens Restaurant

Jon Bon Jovi (file photo)

Jon Bon Jovi (file photo)

Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation has opened a restaurant in central New Jersey that allows patrons to pay only what they can afford. Those who enjoy gourmet meals at Soul Kitchen free of charge volunteer one hour of their time to the establishment or nearby food pantry. In return, they receive a meal voucher to Soul Kitchen. Bon Jovi told the Associated Press, “When I learned that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of the Foundation’s work.” He added, “This is not a soup kitchen. You can come here with the dignity of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries.”

Evanescence Tops Billboard Chart with New Album

Evanescence's self-titled CD

Evanescence's self-titled CD

Evanescence makes a Number One debut on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with its new self-titled album. The rock band sold 127,000 copies of the collection its opening week. Evanescence also entered in the top spot of the chart with its last album, The Open Door, which was released in 2006.

Paul Simon's Songwriter Chronicles Career

Paul Simon's "Songwriter" CD

Paul Simon's "Songwriter" CD

Legacy Recordings will release Paul Simon’s double-CD anthology Songwriter on October 24. Simon hand-picked the collection’s 32 tracks, which chronicle his five-decade career. Songwriter features Simon’s well-known hits, as well as more obscure material.

DVD Proceeds to Benefit California's Bridge School

The Bridge School 25th Anniversary Concert CD

The Bridge School 25th Anniversary Concert CD

The Bridge School Benefit Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition was released October 24 on a three-DVD set and a two-CD compilation. The collections include performances by Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Who, Tom Petty, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and others who have performed at the annual event. Proceeds from their sales will go to California’s Bridge School, which funds programs for children with severe speech and physical problems.

Brian Wilson Goes Disney

Brian Wilson's "In The Key of Disney" CD

Brian Wilson's "In The Key of Disney" CD

Beach Boy Brian Wilson covers 11 songs from the Disney catalog on his new album, In the Key of Disney. They include selections from “The Lion King,” “Pinocchio,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Toy Story,” and many others. Wilson told Billboard.com, “They’re beautiful songs. We took each one separately and interpreted them…so we could make each one appropriately done.”

Sugarland Treats Indianapolis to Free Concert

Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland

Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland

Country duo Sugarland will perform a free concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 28. The show comes six weeks after the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that claimed the lives of six people and injured many more. Sugarland will collect donations from fans to benefit the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund. The full-band show will be the final stop on Sugarland’s 2011 Incredible Machine Tour.

New Album Releases October 25:

“Mylo Xyloto” by Coldplay
“Clancy’s Tavern” by Toby Keith
“Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
“Christmas” by Michael Buble
“Take Care” by Drake
“Guitar Slinger” by Vince Gill
“Bad As Me” by Tom Waits
“The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life” by Michael Feinstein
“ICON” by Donna Summer

Awards Presentations/Winners:

Zac Bown Band's "The Foundation" CD

Zac Bown Band's "The Foundation" CD

Nominations for the 2011 American Country Awards were recently announced. Jason Aldean and the Zac Brown Band each received eight nominations, including Artist of the Year. Following close behind is the new husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square with seven nods. Taylor Swift and The Band Perry received six mentions apiece. The 2nd Annual American Country Awards will be handed out on December 5 in Nashville.

Look Who's Going on Tour!

The Judds' "The Essential Collection"

The Judds' "The Essential Collection"

On October 29, The Judds will wrap up their “Last Encore” tour with a show in Marksville, Louisiana. Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna launched their final trek together as a duo in November of last year and performed in 30 North American cities. Later this year, Wynonna will play some solo shows before heading into the studio to record her next album in early 2012.

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