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Britney Opens MTV's VMAs; Janet Jackson Launches World Tour

On September 13, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Centre will open in the blues legend's hometown of Indianola, Mississippi. According to the museum website, "The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Centre will offer Delta young people hope. Proposed educational, cultural and character development programming will take the form of classes, mentoring, interactive exhibits that B.B. King could not find in the Mississippi of his youth. In addition, the stories of the Delta, from its history to its music, social mores, race relations, literature and legends, adversities and successes will be examined in one interpretive setting. Since all these elements came together to produce the Blues and Bluesmen, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Centre will be a repository for the ingredients that brewed America's root music."

Stevie Wonder to Receive Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress has chosen Motown legend Stevie Wonder as the second recipient of its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He'll be presented with the award on February 23, 2009 at the Library's Great Hall in Washington, D.C. The following night, Wonder will attend an all-star gala concert in his honor. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington say, "The Gershwin Prize was created to honor an artist whose creative output transcends distinctions between musical styles and idioms, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering mutual understanding and appreciation. Stevie Wonder's music epitomizes this ideal." Last year's Gershwin Prize recipient was Paul Simon. Wonder has also been offered a musical commission. "It's an immense privilege to join such a remarkable roster of musicians and composers," Wonder said. "I am touched to receive this honor, and look forward to creating music for the celebration."

Daughtry Re-Releases Debut Album

North Carolina-based rock band Daughtry sold more than four million copies of its 2007 debut album. On September 9, Daughtry was re-released as a double CD with bonus tracks and a DVD of video and live performances. For the project, Daughtry recorded its version of Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" and acoustic renditions of "Home" and "What About Now."

Patti LaBelle to Receive UNCF Award of Excellence

On September 13, singer Patti LaBelle will receive the United Negro College Funds' (UNCF) Award of Excellence. The honor recognizes LaBelle's "distinguished career as an artist and performer and her longstanding support of UNCF," which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The event will be held in Los Angeles and filmed for the two-hour television special "An Evening of Stars," set to air in January 2009. Previous honorees include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Quincy Jones and Lou Rawls.

New Album Releases - September 9

"Do You Know" - Jessica Simpson
"Not 4 Sale" by Kardinal Offishall
"Never Forget" - various Country artists (patriotic tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks)
"Exit 13" - LL Cool J
"Love & Life" - Eric Benet
"Still Unforgettable" - Natalie Cole
"Father Time" by Hal Ketchum
"Day After Tomorrow" - Joan Baez
"The Journey Begins" - Loreena McKennitt
"Little Wild One" - Joan Osborne

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

On September 9, Annie Lennox, Natasha Bedingfield and Bryan Adams will perform a benefit concert at New York's Nokia Theatre. Proceeds from the event will go toward raising awareness of the "Peace One Day" campaign. Director Jeremy Gilley says he founded "Peace One Day" in 1999 "to document my efforts to create an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date." "Peace One Day 2008" will be marked on September 21 with a gala at London's Royal Albert Hall. The gala will include a screening of Gilley's new documentary "The Day After Peace," plus musical performances by John Legend, Annie Lennox and Bryan Adams.

Award Presentations & Winners

The 2008 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) were presented on September 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Performers included Katy Perry, Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, Kid Rock, Pink and Lil Wayne, among others. Britney Spears, who won for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year for "Piece of Me," opened the show. "MTV has long played an important role in my career. How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs?" Spears said. "I'm excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated."

The 2008 Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMAs) were handed out on September 8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Leading this year's contenders was 30-year-old newcomer Jessie Farrell with seven mentions. They included Single of the Year for "Best of Me," Album of the Year for "Nothing Fancy," Songwriter of the Year and Top New Female Talent of the Year. Other multiple CCMA Award nominees included Doc Walker, Paul Brandt, Gord Bamford and George Canyon. Nominated in the Top-Selling Album category were Carrie Underwood for "Carnival Ride," Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for "Raising Sand," Reba McEntire for "Reba Duets," Taylor Swift for her self-titled debut and Garth Brooks for "Ultimate Hits."

Chaka Khan, Teena Marie, Bill Withers, Kool & The Gang, The Whispers, the Funk Brothers and Donny Hathaway were among the artists honored at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's 2008 Pioneer Awards. The ceremony took place on September 9 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Pioneer Awards. R&B Foundation chairman, Kendall Minter, said, "Two decades into the mix, the R&B Foundation has stood alone as a beacon of support to the extraordinary artists who define the legacy of R&B. These artists created the soundtracks of our lives."

Look Who's Going on Tour!

Stevie Wonder began a 17-date European tour on September 8 in Birmingham, England. Also scheduled are shows in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy and France. The outing marks his first European tour in more than 10 years. Wonder will spend the month of October performing shows in Australia and New Zealand.

On September 10, Janet Jackson kicked off her North American "Rock Witchu" tour in Vancouver, British Columbia. Janet's latest album, Discipline, debuted at Number One of the Billboard 200. When she announced the tour earlier this year, Janet told she wanted to promote the album worldwide. "I think I'm going to go back to Australia, back to Africa, obviously go to Asia, go to Europe for sure," Janet said.