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Country Star Evans Quits Dance Competition; Madonna Adopts Baby During Malawi Trip

During their nine-day visit to Malawi, Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie adopted a one-year-old boy named David Banda. David's mother died shortly after giving birth and his father, who approves of the adoption, is not able to support him. David has lived at the Hope Orphan Care Center most of his life. Madonna and Guy left the country on October 13, but the child wasn't able to accompany them because immigration had not yet processed his passport.

The National Endowment for the Arts, NEA, has named its latest Jazz Masters. They are pianist Ramsey Lewis, singer Jimmy Scott, big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, trombonist Curtis Fuller, saxophonists Frank Wess and Phil Woods, and jazz historian Dan Morgenstern. They'll receive their honors on January 21, 2007 during the International Association for Jazz Education Conference in New York. The NEA launched the Jazz Masters program in 1982.

Country star Sara Evans shocked her fans by announcing that she's quitting ABC-TV's Dancing With the Stars competition and divorcing Craig Schelske, her husband of 13 years. A representative at her label, Sony Records, issued a statement that said, "Recent events that shed light on the status of her marriage prompted Ms. Evans to make the [divorce] filing." He added, "Ms. Evans hopes that her fans and TV viewers who've supported her in recent weeks and throughout her music career will respect and understand her need for privacy in the face of these recent events." The Tennessean newspaper obtained a copy of the divorce papers, in which Sara listed irreconcilable differences, inappropriate marital conduct and adultery as the grounds for divorce.

Barbra Streisand's October 4 concert at the Wachovia Center in Philadephia set a new record for highest single event gross. She brought in more than $5,265,000 from 16,510 tickets sold. In other news, Streisand's October 10 show at New York's Madison Square Garden drew controversy after she cursed at a heckler in the audience. It happened during a part of the show when Streisand performs a skit with a George W. Bush impersonator. The audience member's comments prompted Barbra to finally yell, "Shut the [expletive] up! Shut up if you can't take a joke."

Country star Vince Gill's first studio collection since 2003 will be released on October 17. These Days is a four-CD box set that contains 43 new songs with a range of styles, including traditional Country, jazz, rock and bluegrass. Among the more than 20 guests featured on the project are Sheryl Crow, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Diana Krall, Phil Everly, and Vince's daughter Jenny Gill. The first single from These Days is a song Vince co-wrote with Gary Nicholson called "The Reason Why." Gill kicks off a U.S. concert tour in support of the box set on October 16 in New York.

On October 17, Country superstar Tim McGraw will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Three days later, his latest film Flicka will open in theaters nationwide. Its soundtrack, which features McGraw's latest Country hit "My Little Girl," will be released on October 17 on the newly formed StyleSonic Records. McGraw created the label with his producer Byron Gallimore. They also plan to release albums by several new artists.


New albums scheduled for release on October 17 include: The High Road by JoJo, The Return by (second season "American Idol" winner) Ruben Studdard, Long Trip Alone by Dierks Bentley, Press Play by Diddy, Me, Myself & I by Fat Joe, Mountains by Lonestar, Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan (includes her new versions of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas" and Joni Mitchell's "River"), Beautiful Star: A Christmas Collection by Rhonda Vincent, Workbench Songs by Guy Clark, The Cars Unlocked by the Cars (CD/DVD set) and Devil's Got a New Disguise (greatest hits set) by Aerosmith.


Neil Young will host his 20 anniversary Bridge School Benefit concerts on October 21 and 22 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Joining Young at this year's events will be Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band, the Foo Fighters, Brian Wilson and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, among others. Neil and his wife Pegi founded The Bridge School, which is attended by children with severe speech and physical disabilities. is organizing 20 benefit concerts to raise money for relief efforts in Sudan and Chad. The shows will take place on October 21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Seattle and Spokane, Washington, Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento, California; and many other North American cities. MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe released a statement saying, "The crisis in Darfur is a global concern and as a global community we have a responsibility to take action. MySpace's reach gives us an extraordinary opportunity to spread the word and empower individuals to help address the horrors in Darfur."


The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Madonna and Brad Paisley are among the nominees for 2006 Billboard Touring Awards. The awards honor the concert industry's top artists and professionals of the past year. In addition, two special awards, the Legend of Live and Humanitarian Award, will be handed out to individuals who have made a significant impact on the touring industry. The third annual Billboard Touring Awards will be presented on November 9 in New York City.