James Blunt knocks Beyonce out of the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart this week (week ending March 11). It marks the first time since in nine years that a British artist has reached Number One on that list. The last was Elton John's 1997 tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle In The Wind '97."
On March 5, the 14th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscars After-Party will take place in Los Angeles. Grammy-winning singer John Legend will perform at the event. Elton and his husband David Furnish will host a cocktail reception, which will be followed by a dinner and Legend's performance. Some special guests are also expected to perform. During the evening, Elton will play his famous red piano for the last time before autographing it for an eBay auction. All proceeds from the party and auction will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
In 2003, Norah Jones and four of her musician friends formed a band called The Little Willies and they booked New York's Living Room nightclub to play together for only one night. During the past two years, they performed more shows at the venue when they were all in town. Now, The Little Willies have their first album set for release on March 7. The self-titled album was recorded at Jones' home studio and features four original songs, plus nine covers of songs made famous by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt.
If current ticket sales are an indication, Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill's "Soul 2 Soul II" tour could become one of the top-grossing concert tours of 2006. 350,000 tickets have already been sold for shows in 20 U.S. cities. Concerts are sold out in six of those markets. McGraw and Hill will kick off the tour on April 21 in Columbus, Ohio.
Speaking of tours, next month, the Rolling Stones will play in China for the first time. The group came close to performing there in 2003, but cancelled the shows due to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic. The Stones are scheduled to perform at Shanghai's 8,000-seat Grand Stage on April 8 before continuing their "Bigger Bang" tour in Australia and New Zealand.
On March 1, former Jackson 5 drummer Johnny Jackson was stabbed to death at his home in Gary, Indiana. The Associated Press reports that police responded to a disturbance between the 54-year-old drummer and a woman, who authorities are still looking for. Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnny, who is not related to the famous Jackson family, most recently performed in a local band called White Dove.
The Oscar-nominated film Walk The Line was released on DVD February 28 and sold 3 million copies its first day of release. The DVD is available in three versions - widescreen, full-screen, and double disc with extended musical sequences and other bonus features.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
Singer Rob Thomas will begin another round of North American concerts on March 7 in Burlington, Vermont. He'll be promoting his solo debut album …Something To Be, which has sold more than one million copies since its release in April 2005. Dates are scheduled to wrap up on April 6 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
On March 9, R&B star R. Kelly will begin a U.S. tour in Kansas City, Missouri. He plans to change his identity to 'Mr. Show Biz' on the 27-city outing, which he's performing in support of his 2005 album TP3: Reloaded. Shows end on April 29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.