Rapper Nas (real name Nasir Jones) debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200 this week with his ninth CD, Untitled for the week ending August 2. First week sales reached 187,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. This marks the fourth time Nas has entered that chart in the top spot. The first single from Untitled is "Hero," which features R&B singer Keri Hilson.
Fergie to Appear in Musical Film
Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas has signed on to appear in the upcoming film version of the Broadway musical Nine. The motion picture will star Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Daniel Day-Lewis. Nine is scheduled to be in theaters in December 2009.
Scandal Rock Band Reunites
1980s rock band Scandal is reuniting to record a new album. Original members Patty Smyth, Keith Mack and Benjy King have added bassist Tom Welsch and drummer Eran Asias to the group. Scandal's hits included "Goodbye To You," "Love's Got A Line On You" and "The Warrior."
Barenaked Ladies Drop Out of Music Block Party Tour
Following the recent drug arrest of the Barenaked Ladies' singer and guitarist Steven Page, the band has decided to drop out of Disney's "Music Block Party" tour.
The group's manager Terry McBride wrote on the Barenaked Ladies' website, "Members of the band completely support Steven Page, but we don't want to put Disney in an awkward position before issues involving Steven's arrest are resolved." Page was arrested in upstate New York for cocaine possession. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The group's latest album, Snacktime, is a collection of 24 original children's songs.
Mariah Carey to Launch AT&T Summer Concert Series
Mariah Carey will launch the 2nd annual Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert series, which begins on July 31 in Los Angeles. Summer Krush events will also take place on August 7 in Seattle, Washington; August 13 in Dallas, Texas; August 19 in Atlanta, Georgia; and August 27 in New York City. Two additional concerts are planned in Orlando and San Francisco through mid-September. Gavin Rossdale, LeAnn Rimes, Nelly and Nas are among the other performers taking part in this year's series.
Bon Jovi Tops Billboard Concert Ticket Sales List
Billboard Boxscore has released the list of top-grossing tours for the first half of 2008. Bon Jovi leads with $112.4 million in ticket sales. The Spice Girls reunion tour came in second with more than $70 million. Rounding out the Top 5 are the Police, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums scheduled for release on July 29 include: Love On The Inside by Sugarland, Revelation by Third Day, The Recession by Young Jeezy, Steal Hear by Coolio, Along Came A Spider by Alice Cooper, Venus In Overdrive by Rick Springfield and Eddie Loves You So by Eddie Floyd.
The 2008 Lollapalooza Festival will take place August 1-3 at Chicago's Grant Park. This year's lineup includes Radiohead, Gnarles Barkley, Dierks Bentley, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine and Wilco, among others. Last year's three-day Lollapalooza grossed $9.8 million.
Jimmy Buffett, the Black Crowes, Stephen and Damian Marley, Levon Helm and Jakob Dylan are among the artists appearing at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival. The festival, which is in its 50th year, will be held August 1-3 in Newport, Rhode Island.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
Rod Stewart will kick off an 18-city North American tour on July 30. The first show is in Paso Robles, California with Canadian pop-rock singer Bryan Adams in the opening slot. Adams will join Stewart on a total of 11 dates.
On August 1, several popular bands from the 1980s begin their month-long "Regeneration Tour" in Phoenix, Arizona. On the bill are Belinda Carlisle, Human League, Dead or Alive, ABC, A Flock of Seagulls and Naked Eyes. Shows wrap up on August 29 in Atlanta, Georgia.
On August 1, Country legend Dolly Parton will kick off a U.S. tour in support of her latest album, Backwoods Barbie. The collection is the first release on her own Dolly Records label and her first mainstream Country album in 17 years. Last week, she released its third single, "Shinola."