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Pink Releases New Album; Mexico City to Host <i>Latin American Idol</i> Auditions


April 4, LaFace Records will release pop singer Pink's new album I'm Not Dead. She describes the collection as her most personal to date. Included is a song her father wrote while he was serving in the Vietnam War and a political track called "Dear Mr. President." Its first single, "Stupid Girls," deals with the attention-drawing tactics of some unnamed female celebrities.

April 19 and 20, auditions will take place in Mexico City for the upcoming launch of Latin American Idol. Latin music contestants can be 18 to 30-years-old. Future auditions will be held in Caracas, Venezuela (April 26 and 27); Bogota, Colombia (May 2 and 3); and Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 13 and 14).

Speaking of American Idol, season two winner Ruben Studdard announced he has created an after-school program in Birmingham, Alabama. "The Music Alternative Project" will teach aspects of music production to approximately 100 students from Alabama each year. Studdard hopes the program will help keep young people from getting caught up in gangs and a life of crime.

On April 5, Country legend Lee Greenwood will head overseas to entertain U.S. troops in Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific. Joining him on "The Patriotic World Tour" are Restless Heart, the New England Patriot Cheerleaders, comedian Dick Hardwick and members of the United States Air Force Band and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band. The two-week trip will mark the 17th time Greenwood has traveled overseas to perform for U.S. troops.


Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, Carrie Underwood and Travis Tritt are among the Country stars taking part in the Country Thunder USA music festival April 5 - 8 in Florence, Arizona. The event is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans. Over 50 bands will provide 60 hours of entertainment on two stages.


On April 2, the 2006 Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammy Awards, were held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadian rock group Nickelback led the nominees with six nominations, including Album of the Year for All The Right Reasons. Other top contenders include jazz singer Diana Krall and pop crooner Michael Buble, who each received five nominations. The Canadian Recording Academy announced that this year's Canadian Hall of Fame inductee is multi-million-selling pop/rock star Bryan Adams.

The 37th annual Gospel Music Association, GMA, Music Awards (formerly known as the Dove Awards) will take place April 5 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. The ceremony will be hosted by gospel music stars Kirk Franklin and Rebecca St. James. This year's leading nominee is Chris Tomlin with nine mentions, including Artist of the Year. Group of the Year nominee David Crowder Band follows with six nominations. Other major contenders include Female Vocalist of the Year nominees Natalie Grant and Joy Williams, who each received six nods. Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Crabb Family, Israel Houghton, BarlowGirl and Third Day all earned five nominations.


Former Broadway performer turned R&B star Heather Headley will co-headline a brief U.S. tour with Anthony Hamilton. The outing begins on April 6 in Richmond, Virginia. Headley will be promoting her second album In My Mind and Hamilton will support his 2005 release, "Ain't Nobody Worryin'." Concerts are scheduled to wrap up in Chicago on May 13.

On April 5, Country singer Carrie Underwood will begin her 2006 concerts in Wilmington, North Carolina. She's scheduled to perform in more than 50 U.S. cities through October 1 in support of her double-platinum debut album Some Hearts. Beginning June 1, Carrie will be opening shows for Country star Kenny Chesney.