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    Britney Spears' New Single Reaches No. 3 on Pop Chart; Madonna Among 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nine 2008 nominees. They include Madonna, John Mellencamp, the Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Chic, Afrika Bambaataa, Leonard Cohen, The Dave Clark Five and The Ventures. The list will be shortened to five finalists after being voted on by musicians, industry professionals and journalists. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on March 10, 2008 at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.


    On October 8, rhythm-and-blues singer Brian McKnight will join the Broadway cast of Chicago. He'll play the role of lawyer Billy Flynn through November 18. Before heading to New York, McKnight performed the role September 25 through October 7 in Washington, D.C. as part of Chicago's touring company.


    Country trio Rascal Flatts sold 547,000 copies of its new album Still Feels Good during the first week of release. The album tops this week's Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts (week ending October 13). This is the third consecutive Number One debut for Rascal Flatts. Last year, they sold 772,000 copies of Me and My Gang its first week out.


    On October 9, Country legend Charlie Daniels will release his new duets album. Deuces features collaborations with Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Brooks & Dunn, Dolly Parton, Travis Tritt, Gretchen Wilson, Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker, Brenda Lee, and others.


    Singer-pianist Marc Cohn's first album in nine years will be released on October 9. The songs on Join the Parade were inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 attempt on his life. Cohn was shot in the head by a carjacker in Denver, Colorado. Cohn told Billboard.com, "I've just had my own crisis and now I'm watching all these other people suffering even greater crisis' on television. And then something strange happened. It was like my songwriting receiver got flipped into the on position."


    Proving that any publicity is good publicity, Britney Spears blasts up Billboard's Hot 100 chart from Number 68 to Number 3 with her new single "Gimme More." The song sold 179,000 downloads during the past week. "Gimme More" is the title track from her upcoming album, which is due out November 13. The last time Britney had a Top 10 hit was in 2004 with "Toxic."

    NEW ALBUM RELEASES

    New albums scheduled for release on October 9 include: "Family" by LeAnn Rimes, "Brave" by Jennifer Lopez, "Greatest Hits" by Sara Evans, "Heroes and Thieves" by Vanessa Carlton, "Famous" by Puddle Of Mudd, "Rock and Roll Jesus" by Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, "The Chain" by Deana Carter, "C'Mon" by Keith Anderson, "Miss Patti's Christmas" by Patti LaBelle, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by the Isley Brothers, "Christmas Song" by Mannheim Steamroller, "Noel" by Josh Groban, "Necessary Evil" by Deborah Harry, "My Holiday" by Mindy Smith, "A Diamond Rio Christmas: The Star Still Shines" by Diamond Rio, "My Kind of Country" by Van Zant, "City of Dreams: A Collection of New Orleans Music" (4-CD box set) by various artists and "Medieval Christmas" by various artists.

    MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

    The inaugural "Big State Festival" will take place October 13-14 at the Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. Some of the biggest names in Country music will appear at the event, including Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan, Billy Currington and many others. In addition to concerts, attractions at the festival include stock car races and a barbecue competition.

    AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

    The 2007 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Hip-Hop Awards will be presented on October 13 in Atlanta, Georgia. T.I. leads the contenders with nine nominations, including Best Live Performance, CD of the Year for T.I. vs. T.I.P. and Track of the Year for "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)." Other major nominees include Lil' Wayne, who's up for seven awards, Kanye West with six nominations, Common with five mentions and Jay-Z, who is up for four trophies.

    The Infamous Stringdusters and Tony Trishka led the winners at the 18th annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards (IBMA) on October 4. They each received three trophies. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Bradley Walker and Dale Ann Bradley were among the other winners. For the second year-in-a-row, the Grascals earned the IBMA's Entertainer of the Year honor. Several veteran bluegrass stars, including Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Cherryholmes and Del McCoury, were shut out.

    TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

    On October 8, singer Annie Lennox will kick off a 16-city North American tour in San Diego, California. The trek, dubbed "Annie Lennox Sings," supports her new album Songs Of Mass Destruction.

    Kelly Clarkson will begin a 27-date North American tour on October 10 in Verona, New York. She'll be supporting her latest album My December. The tour was originally scheduled to start in July, but was postponed due to poor ticket sales. Jon McLaughlin will open shows through early December.

    On October 13, rocker Sammy Hagar will kick off a U.S. tour with a performance at his annual "Birthday Bash" in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The 60-date outing will feature special celebrity guests. Shows are scheduled to wrap up on July 12, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri.

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