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Los Angeles Gears Up for American Music Awards; Kenny Chesney to Star in TV Special

On November 22, Columbia Records will release Billy Joel's four-CD/DVD box set My Lives. The collection spans his entire career, which began in the 1960s with the bands Attila and the Hassles. Included are many previously unreleased and rare tracks. The DVD, "Frankfurt: A Voyage On The River of Dreams - Live From The River of Dreams Tour," contains performances from a 1994 concert in Germany. In other news, "The Piano Man" has announced that he'll soon kick off his first solo headlining tour in more than seven years. Concerts begin on January 10, 2006 in Jacksonville, Florida. The outing is currently scheduled to run through April 2006.

MCA Records will release Country star Reba McEntire's 2-CD greatest hits set on November 22. Reba #1s includes 33 of the Oklahoma native's hits, plus two new tracks, "Love Needs A Holiday" and her current single "You're Gonna Be (Always Loved By Me)." Reba earned her first Number One hit in January of 1983 with "Can't Even Get the Blues."

Country star Kenny Chesney will star in his first television special on November 23. "Kenny Chesney: Somewhere In The Sun" was taped at his July 30 concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to the live performances, the show will feature behind-the-scenes footage from the road and his home in the Caribbean. The program will air on ABC-TV.

The first four seasons of American Idol will be released on DVD on November 22. Three versions of the DVD will be sold. The Best of American Idol features auditions and performances by the most talented contestants, including American Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Carrie Underwood. The Worst of American Idol relives the show's funniest and most embarrassing auditions. The third package is a limited edition gift set that includes both DVDs.

On November 22, Concord Records will release the multi-artist benefit compilation "Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now." More than 80 artists appear on the 35-track album, including Elton John, Faith Hill, Kanye West, Josh Groban, B.B. King, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer, Norah Jones and Harry Connick, Jr. All of the proceeds from royalties and sales will be split between the American Red Cross, Habitat For Humanity and the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund.


The 9th annual Christmas For Kids benefit concert was held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on November 21. Headlined by Charlie Daniels, the charity event also featured performances by Country stars Lonestar, Phil Vassar, Trace Adkins and Rodney Atkins. Proceeds will go to Christmas For Kids, which helps less fortunate families buy toys for their children.


On November 22, the 33rd annual American Music Awards (AMAs) will be presented in Los Angeles. This year's top contender is Mariah Carey, who received four nominations, including Favorite Female Pop Singer and Favorite Female Soul Singer. Kelly Clarkson, Green Day and 50 Cent earned three mentions each. The list of artists scheduled to appear on the show includes Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Mariah Carey, Kenny Chesney, the Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, Rob Thomas and the Eurythmics, who will mark their first public performance in five years. The AMA show will air live on ABC-TV.

Lee Ann Womack and Keith Urban led the winners at the 39th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. The event took place at New York's Madison Square Garden on November 15. Womack won the Single of the Year award for "I May Hate Myself In The Morning" and Album of the Year for "There's More Where That Came From." She also shared the Musical Event of the Year honor with George Strait for their duet "Good News, Bad News." Urban also took home three trophies, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year and the CMA's International Achievement Award for his contributions toward the awareness and development of Country music throughout the world. Other winners included Dierks Bentley (Horizon Award), Bill Anderson and Jon Randall (Song of the Year for writing the Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss duet "Whiskey Lullaby"), Gretchen Wilson (Female Vocalist of the Year), Toby Keith (Music Video of the Year for "As Good As I Once Was"), Rascal Flatts (Vocal Group of the Year), Brooks & Dunn - Vocal Duo of the Year and Jerry Douglas -Musician of the Year.


On November 22, Pearl Jam kicks off its first tour of South America. The rock group will be promoting its upcoming J Records album. Dates begin in Santiago, Chile. Also on Pearl Jam's 2005 itinerary are shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Rio De Janiero, Brazil; and Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico.

Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds will begin a 13-city tour on November 23 in Oakland, California. It's been reported that his set will include not only his own hits, but also songs he wrote or produced for other artists. The shows will support his latest album Grown & Sexy.