On April 20, the Broadway show adaptation of Green Day's "American Idiot" album opens at the St. James Theatre in New York City. The musical's 2009 run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California was a sell-out. Green Day doesn't appear in the production, which features all of the songs from the band's 2004 Grammy-winning "American Idiot" album, plus some tunes from their latest album, "21st Century Breakdown."
Teen pop star Justin Bieber returns to the Number One position on the Billboard 200 this week with "My World 2.0." The album debuted two weeks ago at the top of the chart, but was replaced last week by Usher's "Raymond v. Raymond." Bieber sold an additional 102,000 copies of "My World 2.0" its third week of release.
Two albums make Top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200 this week. Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash enters at Number 3 with his self-titled album. Among the guest vocalists on the collection are Fergie, Kid Rock, Ozzy Osbourne and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl. Madonna lands on the chart at Number 10 with her live set, "Sticky & Sweet Tour." With 19 Top 10 albums, she now ties Bob Dylan for sixth place on the list of most Top 10 albums in the Billboard 200's 54-year history.
On April 7, 24-year-old Andrew Garcia and 17-year-old high school student Katie Stevens were voted off "American Idol." The final seven competitors are Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Casey James, Michael Lynch, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus. For the week of April 13th, the show's theme will be inspirational songs. Alicia Keys will be the celebrity mentor.
All Top 10 "American Idol" finalists will be featured on the upcoming album, "American Idol: Season 9." AmericanIdolMusic.com began taking pre-orders on April 16. Fans who pre-order the album will be given exclusive early access for tickets to the forthcoming "American Idols Live" tour.
Country star George Strait has made chart history for placing songs in the Top 10 for 30 consecutive years. That's the longest span in the history of any Billboard chart. This week, Strait's latest hit, "I Gotta Get To You," jumps three spaces to Number 9 to become his 82nd Top 10 single on the Country chart. The humble Texan says, "It just continues to be one heck of a ride [and] I'm enjoying every minute of it. Time does fly when you're having fun. Thanks to all of my fans for their support. Long live Country music."
NEW ALBUM RELEASES:
New albums scheduled for release on April 20 include: "Country Music" by Willie Nelson, "All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu" by Rufus Wainwright, "Rise Up" by Cypress Hill, "Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna" soundtrack, "Tears, Lies and Alibis" by Shelby Lynne, "Cold Day Memory" by Sevendust, "Infestation" by Ratt, "Live at the Ryman" by Jonny Lang, "Earthglow" by David Benoit, "I Am What I Am" by Merle Haggard and "New Morning" by Alpha Rev.
On April 19, Country duo Brooks & Dunn will be honored with an all-star tribute concert in Las Vegas. "ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn - The Last Rodeo" will feature performances by Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, and others. During the concert, Brooks & Dunn will receive the Academy of Country Music's Milestone Award in recognition of their 20-year career. CBS-TV will air the event at a later date. The duo's Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are ending their Country music career together after their 2010 "Last Rodeo" tour. The outing begins on April 23 in California and wraps up in Nashville on August 10.
The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (a.k.a. Jazz Fest) will take place April 23-25 and April 29-May 2. Hundreds of acts will perform during the two-weekend multi-genre festival. They include Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam, Lionel Richie, Simon & Garfunkel, the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King and the Neville Brothers. Many local musicians will also appear. Last year, more than 400,000 fans attended Jazz Fest.
The 4th annual Stagecoach: California Country Music Festival will be held April 24 and 25 in Indio, California. Headliners include Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Sugarland and Brooks & Dunn. Also scheduled to appear at the event are Gary Allan, Merle Haggard, Phil Vassar, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jamey Johnson and Ray Price, among others.
The 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be handed out on April 18 in Las Vegas. Lady Antebellum leads the nominees with seven nominations. They include Top Vocal Group, Album of the Year for their self-titled debut CD, and Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for "Need You Now." Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert followed with six nods each. Carrie is nominated in the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year category, which also includes Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band. Special awards will go to Keith Urban (Jim Reeves International Award), Mel Tillis and the late Marty Robbins (Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award) and Don Schlitz and the late Cindy Walker (Poet's Award). In addition, Montgomery Gentry will receive the ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award and the hit film "Crazy Heart" will be honored with the Tex Ritter Award, which is given to movies that feature Country music. Reba McEntire will host the Academy of Country Music Awards for the 12th time.
Producer and songwriter Bernie Herms leads the nominees for the 41st annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, which will be presented on April 21 in Nashville. His eight nominations include Producer of the Year, which he won at last year's Dove Awards. Producer-songwriters Wayne Haun and Jason Ingram picked up seven nominations apiece. Following close behind with six nods each are Jars of Clay, Matt Maher, Jason Crabb and Skillet. Complete list of nominees at www.gospelmusic.org and www.doveawards.com.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:
Sacramento, California is the first stop on Brooks & Dunn's farewell tour, which begins April 23. Their 50-city "Last Rodeo" tour wraps up on August 10 in Nashville. Brooks & Dunn will be in Las Vegas for the April 18 Academy of Country Music Awards. They're nominated for Top Vocal Duo and Vocal Event of the Year for "Honky Tonk Stomp," which also features ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
On April 23, Sugarland will launch a 63-date North American tour in Primm, Nevada. Later this year, the Country Music Association's reigning Vocal Duo of the Year plans to release its fourth album, "The Incredible Machine."