British singer Amy Winehouse, 24, entered a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility on January 24. A spokesperson from her record label, Universal Music Group, said, "Amy decided to enter the facility after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors. She has come to understand that she requires specialist treatment to continue her ongoing recovery from drug addiction." Ironically, Winehouse achieved international fame with her hit single "Rehab," which deals with her addiction and opposition to treatment. According to her record company, the singer still plans to attend the February 10 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Winehouse is nominated for six Grammys.
Speaking of the Grammy Awards, the striking Writers Guild of America, WGA, announced that it wouldn't picket the awards ceremony. This year's performers include Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige with Aretha Franklin, Beyonce together with Tina Turner, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, and many others.
After being delayed for a year-and-a-half, the new album by R&B singer Mya will finally hit record stores on January 29. The 27-year-old describes Liberation as "a lot more aggressive (than her previous albums), very honest, in your face and cut and dry." Mya's last album, Moodring, was released in 2003.
John Rich of the Country duo Big & Rich is recording a solo album for release later this year. Rich says, "When we decided to take this year off so Kenny could focus on rehabilitation for a pre-existing injury, I asked Kenny if he was cool with me recording a solo project. I would only do this with Kenny's blessing." Big Kenny Alphin has had lingering pain from a car accident he was involved in a few years ago. John Rich says that Big & Rich will be back together in 2009. Rich is currently seen in the CMT Reality show Gone Country, which also features Bobby Brown, former Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick, former Twisted Sister lead vocalist Dee Snider and R&B singer Sisqo.
On January 29, Country star Sara Evans and pop/rock group Maroon 5 will be in Nashville to tape an episode of CMT Crossroads. Evans told cmt.com, "I've been a Maroon 5 fan since their first single. I love Adam's voice so much and am extremely excited to do Crossroads with them." The popular series is currently airing episodes that pair Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Bon Jovi and Sugarland, and Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums scheduled for release on January 29 include: A Moment Of Forever by Willie Nelson, Don't Do Anything by Sam Phillips, Symphony by Sarah Brightman, Hannah Montana 2: Non-Stop Dance Party by various artists, Down In New Orleans by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Day Trip by the Pat Metheny Trio and Rain by Joe Jackson.
On January 29, Musicians On Call will hold its 4th annual benefit concert at New York's Hard Rock Café. British pop singer Seal will headline the event. The new Country group Jypsi will also perform. An online auction at www.musiciansoncall.org will also raise money for the cause. Among the donated items up for bid are a guitar autographed by Bruce Springsteen, a harmonica from Johnny Cash's estate, a VIP Grammy Awards package, a Carrie Underwood concert package, a basketball autographed by Justin Timberlake and studio time with Maroon 5. Musicians On Call was established in 1999 to bring live and recorded music to hospital patients.
Country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will perform a charity concert on January 30 with the Nashville Symphony. The show will take place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. Proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity, which builds affordable homes for low-income families.
The 2008 Academy Award nominations were announced on January 22. Three of the five nominees in the Best Original Song category are from the film Enchanted. They include "Happy Working Song," "So Close" and "That's How You Know," which were all composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Also nominated in that category are Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas for "Raise It Up" from August Rush and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for "Falling Slowly" from Once. Best Original Score nominees are Dario Marianelli for Atonement, Alberto Iglesias for The Kite Runner, James Newton Howard for Michael Clayton, Michael Giacchino for Ratatouille and Marco Beltrami for 3:10 To Yuma. This year's Academy Awards will be presented on February 24 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
On January 31, Country stars Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood will kick off their "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour" in Uncasville, Connecticut. Twenty-six dates are currently scheduled through April 25. Urban will support his latest album, Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing. Carrie second album, Carnival Ride, has sold more than two million copies since its release last October.
Rounder Records recording artist Carrie Newcomer will begin a U.S. tour on January 31 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She recently released her 11th album, The Geography of Light. Newcomer will donate 10 percent of the tour profits to American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which was founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian war victims. Today, AFSC carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world.