Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp were among the many artists performing at legendary folk artist Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration. The event took place on May 3 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from the concert will go to the environmental organization, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Giraud Eliminated on 'American Idol'
Michigan native Matt Giraud, 23, has been eliminated from the Top 5 on "American Idol." Matt received the lowest number of votes a few weeks ago, but the judges used their newly instated 'save' to keep him on the show. This season, the judges were permitted to save a contestant from elimination once before the Top 5 round. The four remaining contestants are 17-year-old high school student Allison Iraheta, 27-year-old theater actor Adam Lambert, 29-year-old church music director Danny Gokey and 23-year-old evangelist Kris Allen. They'll perform rock songs on the May 5 show.
Cat Stevens Releases New Album
Cat Stevens' (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) first secular album in 28 years will be released on May 5. Roadsinger (To Warm You Through the Night) features several guests, including Michelle Branch, Gunner Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr.'s daughter Holly Williams. Stevens released a statement that said, "I'm back to doing what I do best - painting pictures with music and storytelling on a very human, personal, intuitive level through lyrics and song, so I can help people feel good again."
New Frank Sinatra Collections Released
On May 5, Concord Records will release two Frank Sinatra collections. "My Way 40th Anniversary Edition" is an anthology of Sinatra hits that also includes his covers of the Beatles' "Yesterday," Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" and the Stevie Wonder hit, "For Once In My Life." The second release is Sinatra's previously unreleased live album, "Sinatra at the Meadowlands," which was recorded in 1986.
Country Star Wilson Lobbies Congress on Education Issue
On May 5, Country singer Gretchen Wilson will deliver 10,000 letters to Tennessee Congressmen and Senators in Washington, D.C. urging them to fund adult education programs. Wilson was a high school drop out, who, just last year, earned her G.E.D. at age 34. The hearing on Capitol Hill will discuss the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, Title II, which establishes the structure, services and size of federally funded adult education and literacy programs.
New Album Releases May 5
"Fantasy Ride" - Ciara
"Fight For Love" - Elliott Yamin
"Family Time" - Ziggy Marley
"Lullaby" - Jewel
"Stereo Rodeo" - Rusted Root
"The Smithereens Play Tommy" - The Smithereens
"Keep The Faith" - Tony Childs
"Knighted By The Blues" - Rick Derringer
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. held its Spring Gala on May 3. Among the artists appearing at the event are LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire, Patti LaBelle, k.d. Lang and Dianne Reeves. Proceeds will help fund Kennedy Center performances and education initiatives.
Dolly Parton's new Broadway musical 9 To 5 received a record-breaking 15 Drama Desk nominations. Parton received two nods for writing the show's music and lyrics. 9 To 5 hadn't officially opened on Broadway when the Drama Desk nominations were announced. They were given to the musical based on preview performances. The Drama Desk Awards will be presented on May 17 at New York's Lincoln Center.
Look Who's Going On Tour!
On May 7, Keith Urban will kick off a North American tour in support of his new CD, Defying Gravity. Shows begin in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 55-date trek wraps up on October 3 in Toronto, Ontario. Various acts will open Urban's concerts on select dates. They include Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Glen Campbell, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band.
Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction will begin a co-headlining tour on May 8 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor recently said that this will be the band's final tour. He wrote in a blog, "In NIN world, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I've been thinking for some time now it's time to make NIN disappear for a while. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year."
On May 9, Country star George Strait will kick off a U.S. tour in Hidalgo, Texas. Opening the shows are Blake Shelton and Julianne Hough. They'll be joined by Reba McEntire at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium on June 6. The stadium's inaugural event sold out in less than one hour. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "We wanted one of the greatest entertainers in the world to open what we believe is going to be one of the greatest sports and entertainment venues in the world."