News / Arts & Entertainment

Iglesias Denies Spears Tour Plans; Dylan Launches Asia Concert Series

Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. CD
Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. CD
Mary Morningstar

Brown Scores First Chart-Topping Album

This week, Chris Brown scores his first Number One on the Billboard 200 with F.A.M.E. According to Nielsen SoundScan, his fourth album sold 270,000 copies its first week of release.  A total of seven albums enter in the chart’s Top 10.  The others include Jennifer Hudson’s I Remember (Number 2), The Strokes’ Angles (Number 4), Kirk Franklin’s Hello Fear (Number 5), the charity compilation Songs For Japan (Number 6), Vices & Virtues by Panic! At The Disco (Number 7) and Fly On The Wall by Bobby V (Number 9).

Perry Tops Billboard Hot 100

Katy Perry
Katy Perry

In other chart news, Katy Perry tops the Hot 100 this week with “E.T.,” which features rapper Kanye West.  That’s the fourth Number One song from Perry’s album Teenage Dream. Usher was the last artist to have as many chart-toppers from a single album.  He achieved that back in 2004 with his Confessions album.  According to Billboard, only nine albums have produced four Number One hits in the 52-year history of the Hot 100 chart.

Iglesias Denies Spears Tour Plans

Enrique Iglesias (file photo)
Enrique Iglesias (file photo)

Britney Spears made a ‘surprise announcement’ during her recent appearance on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America. The pop star revealed that she’s heading out on tour with Enrique Iglesias in June.  Not so fast… Later that day, Enrique’s representative issued a statement that said, “Enrique has great respect for Britney and is a longtime fan of her work.  He is very sorry for the confusion this might have caused to anyone.”  Enrique also spoke to his fans on Twitter saying, “Hey guys, sorry for the confusion regarding a possible tour in the summer with Britney Spears.  We are on the Euphoria tour and will continue to do so including some soon-to-be-announced dates in U.S. So hope to see all of you soon.”

Bennett Celerates Birthday With New Duets Album

Tony Bennett's "Ultimate Tony" CD
Tony Bennett's "Ultimate Tony" CD

Legendary singer Tony Bennett will celebrate his upcoming 85th birthday with the release of his second duets album. Tony Bennett: Duets II will feature collaborations with Andrea Bocelli, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Cole, Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, John Mayer, Michael Buble, k.d. lang and Alejandro Sanz.  Bennett recorded a similar album in honor of his 80th birthday in 2006.  “Duets: An American Classic” sold more than one-and-half-million copies.

Loveless Among Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless

On April 7, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum will hold its annual induction ceremony.  The Class of 2011 includes Patty Loveless, Steve Wariner, John Michael Montgomery, Larnelle Harris, The Goins Brothers, and the late Country stars Keith Whitley and Molly O’Day.

New Album Releases April 5:

“Capo” by Jim Jones
“Raven In The Grave” by The Raveonettes
“Countrypolitan Duets” by Anna Wilson and Friends
“Above The Noise” by McFly
“Priscilla: Queen of the Desert,” the Original Broadway Cast Recording
“See My Friends” by Ray Davies
“How To Become Clairvoyant” by Robbie Robertson,
“Original Sin” by INXS
“The Best of Leon Russell” by Leon Russell

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Miranda Lambert's "Revolution" CD
Miranda Lambert's "Revolution" CD

The Academy of Country Music will pay tribute to Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Carrie Underwood at “Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country Music.”  The event will be taped on April 4 in Las Vegas and air on CBS-TV at a later date.  Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Academy of Country Music’s charity Lifting Lives, which funds educational programs and organizations that are dedicated to improving lives through music.

On April 7, the “Country Thunder” music festival will take place in Florence, Arizona.  Sawyer Brown will open the four-day event with a kick-off party performance.  This year’s headliners include Toby Keith, Martina McBride and Jason Aldean.  Also making appearances are Eric Church, Steel Magnolia, the JaneDear Girls, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins and Gloriana, among others.

Awards Presentations /Winners:

The 46th annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards were handed out in Las Vegas on April 3.  Miranda Lambert led the contenders with seven nominations, including Top Female Vocalist, Album of the Year for “Revolution,” Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for “The House That Built Me,” Video of the Year for “Only Prettier” and Entertainer of the Year.  Other top nominees included Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band and The Band Perry.  Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton co-hosted the ACM Awards.  

In related news, the Academy of Country Music has announced several special awards to be presented later this year at the ACM Honors.  This year’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Awards will go to Garth Brooks and The Gatlin Brothers.  Taylor Swift will receive the Jim Reeves International Award for spreading the popularity of Country music around the world.  Tom T. Hall and the late Hank Cochran are the recipients of the ACM’s Poet’s Award for their songwriting contributions.  And Reba McEntire will be given a Career Achievement Award.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

On April 3, Bob Dylan kicked off a tour of Asia with his first-ever concert in Taiwan.  Other stops include Beijing, China on April 6; Shanghai, China on April 8; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 10; Hong Kong on April 12; and, Singapore on April 15.  Two days later, he’ll begin a nine-city Australian tour.  European dates follow in June.

Country star Tim McGraw launches his 2011 “Emotional Traffic Tour” on April 8 in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Opening acts include Luke Bryan and The Band Perry.  The 59-date outing will wrap up on August 14 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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The Moody Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Justin Hayward sat down with Border Crossings host Larry London to talk about his career and perform songs from his solo CD, "Spirits from the Western Sky."

The Moody Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Justin Hayward sat down with Border Crossings host Larry London to talk about his career and perform songs from his solo CD, "Spirits from the Western Sky."