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January 23, 2011

Britney Makes Billboard History; Lionel Richie Goes Country

by Mary Morningstar

Britney Makes Billboard History

According to Billboard.com, Britney Spears has become the second artist in the 52-year history of the Hot 100 chart to have more than one song debut at Number One.  This week, Britney enters the list in the top spot with her new hit, “Hold It Against Me.”  Her first Number One debut was with “3” in 2009.  Mariah Carey is the only other artist to have multiple chart-topping entries on the Hot 100.  They were “Fantasy” and “One Sweet Day” in 1995 and “Honey” in 1997.  Britney’s “Hold It Against Me” also debuts at Number One on the Digital Songs chart with 411,000 downloads sold.

Etheridge to Make Broadway Appearance

Melissa Etheridge will appear on Broadway next month.  From February 1-6, the rock singer will play the role of drug dealer St. Jimmy in the popular musical “American Idiot.”  She’s temporarily replacing Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.  Melissa made her Broadway debut in June 2010, when she joined the cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” for one night.

Lionel Richie Goes Country

Pop singer Lionel Richie is working on a duets album with some of today’s biggest Country stars.  Lionel is remaking many of his hits, including “Stuck On You” with Darius Rucker, “Lady” with Kenny Rogers, “Sail On” with Tim McGraw, “Easy” with Willie Nelson and “Deep River Woman” with Little Big Town.  The album is expected to be released this summer.

CD Box Set to Honor Aretha Franklin

Columbia Records plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Aretha Franklin’s career with a 12-CD box set.  The “Queen of Soul” signed with the label in 1960 and released her first album in 1961.  Due out on March 22, the collection is the first compilation of Aretha’s entire Columbia Records catalog.  The set will feature the previously-unreleased album, “A Bit of Soul;” the bonus DVD, “Aretha ’64! Live on The Steve Allen Show;” and a 60-page booklet with newly published photographs.

Johnny Cash Among GMA Inductees

On January 24, the Gospel Music Association (GMA) will hold its annual Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  This year’s inductees include Johnny Cash, DeGarmo & Key, the Golden Gate Quartet and Bill “Hoss” Allen.”  GMA Foundation Chairman Ed Harper says, “The impact this group of individuals has made on gospel music is immeasurable.  It’s an honor to recognize these inductees for their contributions.”  Since 1971, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame has inducted 150 members.  Previous inductees include Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Pat Boone and the Statler Brothers.


New Album Releases January 25:

“The Best of the Great American Songbook” by Rod Stewart
“One More Love” by David Guetta
“Planet Pit” by Pitbull
“2011 Grammy Nominees” by various artists
“Love” by Corrine Bailey Rae
“Greatest Hits” by Joe Nichols
“Sound Advice” by Patti Austin
“Early In The Morning” by James Vincent McMorrow

Look Who's Going On Tour!


On January 24, 12-year-old newcomer Greyson Chance and Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove will begin a month-long U.S. tour in Kansas City, Missouri.  Greyson was discovered by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who saw a video of him playing Lady Gaga’s “Papparazzi” at a school function.  Ellen invited him to perform on her show, which inspired her to form a record label.  Greyson’s debut album will be released this summer.

Country singer Craig Morgan and his band will head overseas on January 27 as part of the “Stars for Stripes” tour.  They’ll entertain U.S. military troops in Iraq and Kuwait through February 3.  This marks Craig’s ninth trip overseas to visit troops.  Morgan says, “In addition to showing our support for the service men and women deployed, I find a growing sense of pride in the good our country does while on these visits.  We are not just fighting a war and helping people gain democracy and human rights in their own country, but our military is over there building hospitals and schools…modern structures and plumbing that didn’t exist before 9/11.”

On January 28, Country star Blake Shelton will launch his first headlining tour in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Blake has a busy year planned.  He recently announced that he’ll co-host the April 3 Academy of Country Music Awards with Reba McEntire.  And, in the coming months, he’ll marry his girlfriend of five years, Country singer Miranda Lambert.