Eminem's new album, Relapse, sold 608,000 copies its first week of release. That's the best opening week so far this year and enough to give the Detroit rapper his fifth consecutive Number One debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Since 1999, Eminem has sold nearly 34 million albums.
Rihanna May Testify in Upcoming Chris Brown Hearing
Rihanna's lawyer, Donald Etra, has announced that his client will be subpoenaed to testify at Chris Brown's upcoming hearing. The court date to determine if there's enough evidence for a trial is set for June 22. Brown pleaded not guilty to charges that he threatened and beat Rihanna on February 8. In other Chris Brown news, the 20-year-old posted a video on YouTube to let fans know that he's working on a new album. He also addressed the case against him by saying, "Everybody that's haters, they just been haters. All my real fans, I love you all. I ain't a monster."
American Idol Winner Makes Billboard Hot 100 Chart
American Idol winner Kris Allen places five songs on this week's Hot 100 chart (week ending June 6). His coronation song, "No Boundaries," debuts at Number 11, followed by his versions of Kanye West's "Heartless" at Number 16, Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" at Number 37, One Republic's "Apologize" at Number 66, and the Academy Award-winning song "Falling Slowly" at Number 94. Runner-up Adam Lambert debuts on the list with four songs. "Mad World" comes in at Number 19, "A Change Is Gonna Come" at Number 56, "No Boundaries" at Number 72, and "One" at Number 82.
Vanessa Williams Releases New Album
On June 2, Concord Records will release the new album by singer and actress Vanessa Williams. The Real Thing is Vanessa's first album since 2005's Everlasting Love. She describes The Real Thing as "a hybrid of samba, bossa nova, some salsa and also some pop and R&B." Included are songs written by Babyface, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and others.
Strait, McEntire to Headline Opening of New Dallas Cowboys Stadium
Country superstars George Strait and Reba McEntire will headline the opening of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium on June 6. Also on the bill are Blake Shelton and Julianne Hough. Dallas Cowboys Football Club owner Jerry Jones says, "George Strait is one of the most successful and prolific music artists of all time. 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." Strait responded, "I grew up in South Texas and have always been a Dallas Cowboys fan. I have a lot of great memories from playing the many shows we did at Texas Stadium, as well as watching America's team win their share of Super Bowls. I am very excited about having the opportunity to do the first concert ever in the magnificent new Cowboys stadium and share this momentous occasion with all the incredible country music fans in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area."
Eddie Money to Appear in Musical
From June 4 through June 14, 1980s rocker Eddie Money will appear in his autobiographical musical Two Tickets To Paradise. The show will run at Long Island's Dix Hills Performing Arts Center. It features many of Eddie's hits, plus six new songs.
Rhino Records Announces Release of Crosby, Stills & Nash 'Demos'
On June 2, Rhino Records will release a collection of unreleased demos by Crosby, Stills & Nash. "Demos" includes early version of songs that later appeared on their solo and group recordings. The trio will begin a U.S. tour on June 3. They'll be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 18 in New York City. Crosby, Stills & Nash are also working with producer Rick Rubin on a covers album that could be out later this year.
New Album Releases June 2
"Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King" - Dave Matthews Band
"Secret, Profane and Sugarcane" - Elvis Costello
"Uplifter" - 311
"New Again" - Taking Back Sunday
"Let The Dominoes Fall" - Rancid
"Polyrically Uncorrect" - Cledus T. Judd
"My Turn" - Tanya Tucker
"Jaggedland" - Marshall Crenshaw
"Neil Young Archives, Volume 1 (1963-1972)" (8-CD set) - Neil Young.
The 2nd annual BamaJam Music & Arts Festival will take place June 4-6 in Enterprise, Alabama. Among the artists scheduled to perform are Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, the Black Crowes, Charlie Daniels and Gary Allan. In addition to the many concerts, the festival will offer an outdoor food court and a market to buy western wear, jewelry and arts and crafts.
The 17th annual Capital Jazz Festival will be held June 5-7 in Columbia, Maryland. This year's lineup includes Chaka Khan, Fourplay, Regina Belle, Al Jarreau and Peabo Bryson, among many others. Natalie Cole was scheduled to headline the June 5 show, but canceled due to health problems. She was released from a Los Angeles hospital on May 24 after undergoing a kidney transplant six days earlier. Her recuperation is expected to take three to four months. (Capital Jazz Festival schedule is at www.capitaljazz.com )
Buddy Miller leads the nominees for the 8th annual Americana Honors & Awards, which will be presented on September 17 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Miller's five nominations include Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for "Written In Chalk." Steve Earle's son, Justin Townes Earle, follows with three mentions. Double nominees include Alejandro Escovedo, The Flatlanders and Australian husband-and-wife duo Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson.
Look Who's Going on Tour!
On June 5, Country star Brad Paisley will kick off a North American tour in Charlotte, North Carolina. He'll be supporting his upcoming album, American Saturday Night, which drops on June 30. The trek will feature special guests Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne. Paisley is scheduled to perform in 41 cities through October 17.
Rascal Flatts' "American Living Unstoppable Tour" begins on June 5 in St. Louis, Missouri. The outing includes two stadium shows - Chicago's Wrigley Field on July 18 and Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on August 9. The popular Country trio will perform in nearly 120 U.S. cities before wrapping up the tour in 2010.
On June 5, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire will kick off a co-headlining tour in Orange Beach, Alabama. At each stop on the 30-city tour, the groups will each perform a full set, then join together onstage for the third set. Fans who donate three cans of food or three dollars will be given three mp3s, including Chicago's cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's "I Can't Let You Go" and Earth Wind & Fire's version of Chicago's "Wishing You Were Here." The donations will benefit food banks nationwide.