British singer Leona Lewis has signed with publisher Hodder & Stoughton to write her autobiography. The 23-year-old pop newcomer was discovered in 2006, when she won X Factor, Britain's televised singing competition created by American Idol judge Simon Cowell. Leona's multi-million-selling debut album, Spirit, was released in the U.K. in 2007 and in the U.S. in 2008. According to editor Fenella Bates, "This will be the first time Leona tells her story of how 'The X-Factor' launched her from waitressing in Pizza Hut in Hackney (East London) to stardom on both sides of the Atlantic. It is a real-life fairytale and every girl's dream."
Bon Jovi to Perform at Clinton Fundraiser
Jon Bon Jovi will perform at a fundraising concert at Manhattan's Town Hall on January 15. The show will help New York Senator Hillary Clinton pay off her presidential campaign debt, which reportedly still exceeds $6 million. Clinton is working to clear that debt before being confirmed as the new Secretary of State.
FOX Launches Season 8 of 'American Idol'
The eighth season of American Idol will begin on January 13. The first three weeks of the reality series will be devoted to auditions that took place last July and August in San Francisco, Louisville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Juan, Kansas City, Jacksonville and East Rutherford. Beginning February 3, we'll find out who's made it through to Hollywood. Thirty-six semi-finalists will be announced on February 17 and the final rounds will start on March 10.
Springsteen Releases 'Greatest Hits' Album
On January 13, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Greatest Hits album will be released. The 12-song compilation will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. In other news, The Washington Post reported that Springsteen will perform a free concert on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on January 18 as part of the inauguration festivities. During Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Springsteen performed several benefit shows in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
'Now Music' Releases Motown Compilation
The "Now That's What I Call Music" series adds one more title on January 13. This time, a record label will be honored as Motown Records celebrates its 50th anniversary. Now That's What I Call Motown features 25 Motown classics, including the Miracles' "Shop Around," the Supremes' "You Just Keep Me Hanging On," Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back."
Prince Plans 3 Album Releases in 2009
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Prince revealed that he plans to release three new albums this year. The twist is that he's doing it on his own without a record label. Reports say a new Prince web site will sell them in digital form and he's also working on a deal with a major retailer to release them in CD format. Two of the albums, tentatively titled "MPLSOUND" and "Lotus Flower," will feature Prince songs. The third is a collection by his musical protégé Bria Valente.
New Album Releases - January 13
"Back To Tennessee" - Billy Ray Cyrus
"Varsity Fanclub" - Varsity Fanclub
"The New Generation Of Rock" Crooked X
"Audience Of One" - Heather Headley
"Already Free" - The Derek Trucks Band
Look Who's Going on Tour!
The Eagles were in Hampton, Virginia on January 12 to kick off their 2009 tour. Fans can expect to pay lower ticket prices, thanks to the band's manager Irving Azoff, who's also the new CEO of Ticketmaster. He's eliminating the convenience fees for Eagles concert tickets and also the print-at-home TicketFast delivery and handling fees. After wrapping up North American dates on March 29, the Eagles will take a two-month break before beginning a European tour on May 29 in Malmo, Sweden.
On January 15, Country star Brad Paisley will begin another round of dates on his "Paisley Party" tour. The outing starts in Tupelo, Mississippi. Twenty-four more shows are scheduled through March 14. Dierks Bentley will open the concerts.
Rascal Flatts will kick off the final leg of their "Bob That Head" tour on January 17 in Kansas City, Missouri. The group drew 1.2 million fans to their shows in 2008. Pop-turned-Country singer Jessica Simpson will open concerts through March 14, when the trek wraps up in Irvine, California.