College student Kris Allen, 23, won the 2009 American Idol title on May 20. The Arkansas native beat out 27-year-old glam rock singer Adam Lambert. Nearly 100 million votes were cast for the two finalists. Performers during the two-hour finale included Kiss, Queen, Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, Cyndi Lauper, Black Eyed Peas and Carlos Santana. Allen and Lambert both recorded 2009's American Idol coronation song "No Boundaries," which was co-written by American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. They were released to radio stations immediately following the finale.
Jackson Postpones London Shows
Michael Jackson has postponed the first four shows of his upcoming long-term engagement at London's O2 Arena. His "This Is It" tour was set to begin on July 8, but will now start on July 13. Three of the concerts are being moved to 2010. Show director Kenny Ortega said the delay wasn't related to Jackson's rumored health problems. He says, "Michael is ready for this and ready to do it right."
Natalie Cole Recovering from Kidney Transplant
On May 19, 59-year-old singer Natalie Cole received a kidney transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A press release from her publicist said Cole had been receiving kidney dialysis three times a week since September 2008. An upcoming tour in support of her Grammy-winning album, Still Unforgettable, has been postponed. Doctors estimate recovery will take three to four months.
Santana Begins Las Vegas Concert Series
On May 27, Carlos Santana will begin his multi-year engagement at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He'll perform his "Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits" show four nights a week, rotating three weeks on and three weeks off. His set list will span his entire four decade career.
New Album Releases May 26
"Amanda Leigh" - Mandy Moore
"Berkeley Concert" - Nina Simone
"Awake" - Julian Marley
"Anything Goes" - Herb Alpert & Lani Hall
"Varsity Fanclub" - Varsity Fanclub
"Quartet Live" - Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow and Antonio Sanchez
"The High End of Low" - Marilyn Manson
Sugarland leads the 2009 CMT Music Award nominees with five mentions, including two nominations in the Duo Video of the Year category for "All I Want To Do" and "Already Gone." "All I Want To Do" is also a semi-final nominee for Video of the Year. Online and text voting continues in that category until June 15. Other top nominees include Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift with five nods apiece, and Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts with three each. The CMT Music Awards will be presented on June 16 in Nashville.
Look Who's Going On Tour!
On May 27, the Dave Matthews Band will begin the first North American leg of its 59-date tour in New York. U.S. and Canadian shows run through June 20. Five days later, the group will be in Europe for concerts in the U.K., France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. Matthews and his band will perform a second round of U.S. shows July 18 through October 2. Their new album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King will be released on June 2.
This week, Texas-based singer-songwriter Steve Earle will begin promoting his new album, Townes, with a 36-city North American tour. The trek starts on May 28 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and wraps up on September 6 in Westhampton Beach, New York. Townes is a tribute to his late friend and musical influence Townes Van Zandt, who died in 1997.
On May 29, the Eagles will kick off a European tour in Sweden. The legendary pop/rock group also has shows scheduled in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, the U.K., Spain and Portugal.