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Chris Brown, Rihanna Record Romantic Duet

Underwood Tune Will Serve as American Idol Farewell Theme

On March 10, the first two American Idol finalists were voted off the show. The night before, the 13 contestants sang their favorite Michael Jackson song. 17-year-old Jasmine Sullivan and Puerto Rico native Jorge Nunez were sent home for receiving the lowest number of votes from viewers.

In other American Idol news, season four winner Carrie Underwood recorded her version of Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home," which will be used as this year's American Idol farewell theme. The song is available as a digital download. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Humane Society.

U2 Scores Another Hit Album

U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon, debuts at Number One on this week's Billboard 200 chart (week ending March 21). The band's seventh album sold 484,000 copies its first week of release in the United States. On June 30, U2 will kick off a world tour in support of No Line on the Horizon in Barcelona, Spain. North American shows begin in September.

Jackson Extends London Engagement

As expected, Michael Jackson's engagement at London's O2 Arena has been extended. Forty more shows have been added to the run for a total of 50. The first 45 dates will take place between July 8 and September 29. Jackson will perform five additional concerts January 7 through February 12, 2010.

Chris Brown, Rihanna Record Romantic Duet

Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna continue to be in the news. People magazine reports that the couple has recorded a song together that is "sweet and sentimental" and "expresses the challenges of a love relationship." Chris was scheduled to perform at the Kids Choice Awards on March 28. He not only canceled that appearance, but withdrew his nominations from two of this year's categories. An online petition had been circulated to remove his name from the ballot. Brown's representatives released a statement saying, "Chris very much appreciates the support of his fans and the honor they have paid him in the way of nominations for Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the incident last month has shifted the focus from the music to whether he should be allowed to be among those nominated. While Chris would like to speak to his fans directly about this and other issues, pending legal proceedings preclude his doing so at this time. Once the matter before him has been resolved, he intends to do so." Children's cable channel Nickelodeon, which broadcasts the awards show, also released a statement that said, in part, "We agree with and respect his decision."

New Album Releases

"The Script" - The Script
"Just Go" - Lionel Richie
"Lessons To Be Learned" - Gabriella Cilmi
"The Quiet Hype" - Jupiter Rising
"Naked Willie" - Willie Nelson
"BoA" - BoA
"Easy Come, Easy Go" - Marianne Faithfull
"Going My Way" - Randy Weeks
"I Told You So: Ultimate Hits" and "Three Wooden Crosses: Inspirational Hits" - Randy Travis
"Quiet Please: The New Best of Nick Lowe" - Nick Lowe
"Blue Again" (live album) - the Mick Fleetwood Band

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

The 2009 South By Southwest Music Festival will take place March 18-22 in Austin, Texas. Thousands of local, national and international artists will perform at various venues during the five-day event. On March 19, Quincy Jones will deliver the keynote address. Satellite television provider DirecTV will broadcast live performances from South By Southwest in high definition on its 101 Network on March 20 and 21.

Awards Presentations/Winners

Winners in the Top New Artist categories for the upcoming Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards have been announced. Julianne Hough will receive the Top New Female Vocalist honor, Jake Owen earned the Top New Male Vocalist award and The Zac Brown Band will take home the Top New Vocal Duo or Group trophy. This year, fans voted for the winners in those three categories. They'll receive their ACM Awards on March 19 during a Great American Country (GAC) television special hosted by Country star Sara Evans.

Tour Dates And Information

On March 15, former American Idol finalists Phil Stacey, Melinda Doolittle, Gina Glocksen and Chikezie Eze will kick off their "American Stars in Concert: Spring Break Tour." Shows begin in Fort Pierce, Florida. The 14-city tour will wrap up on May 1 in Ivins, Utah.