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Music News: Nelly Still Tops <i>Billboard</i> Chart; Springsteen Promoting New Album

Nelly continues to hold the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart this week, but he ends his three-week reign at Number One on the Top 200 Albums chart. The Dave Matthews Band's new CD, Busted Stuff, sold more than 620,000 copies its first week out to debut at Number One.

On July 30, Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's new album, The Rising. The set marks Springsteen's first recordings with the E Street Band in more than a decade. His last solo release was 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad. The group will promote the CD with a North American concert tour, scheduled to begin on August 7 in Springsteen's home state of New Jersey.

On July 31, the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor will team to perform an episode of Country Music Television's (CMT) series, Crossroads. The special will air in October. The Dixie Chicks' next album, called Home, will be released on August 27 and James Taylor's new CD, October Road, (his first since 1997's Grammy-winning Hourglass) will hit stores on August 13.

Many venues across the United States will be dark on September 11. Cher, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, George Strait, Santana, the Goo Goo Dolls and the Rolling Stones are just some of the acts that are skipping performances on that date. Larry Vallon, Senior Vice President of House of Blues Concerts spoke for many artists: "The country's attention will be diverted elsewhere. Partying down with rock stars doesn't seem to be the most appropriate thing," he said. However, several musical tributes are in the works for September 11. The Kennedy Center will host "A concert for America 2002," hosted by NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw. And, there are tentative plans for a gospel-oriented show, dubbed "An Evening of Hope and Grace," at New York's Madison Square Garden.



Willie Nelson has announced his plans for this year's Farm Aid concert, set for September 21 in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. "We're glad to bring our first Farm Aid concert in the northeast to Pennsylvania," Nelson said. "The enthusiasm and support for family farms in this part of the country inspires us all to keep working to strengthen family farmers who produce healthy food for all of us."

Joining him at the event will be Farm Aid co-founders John Mellencamp and Neil Young, and Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews. The 15th Farm Aid concert will air live on the Country Music Television (CMT) cable channel, which reaches 60.2 million households in the United States.


Eminem, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, and P.O.D. each nabbed six nominations to lead the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. Other multiple nominees include Ashanti, Linkin Park, 'N Sync, B2K, Nas, Usher, Britney Spears, Pink, Kylie Minogue, Will Smith, Enrique Iglesias and Michelle Branch. Comedian Jimmy Fallon will host the 15th annual MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. Performers already announced include Pink, Eminem, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Springsteen will perform a special segment in honor of the one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The MTV Music Video Awards will be presented on August 29 at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

Nominations for the 8th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Music Awards were announced last week. Leading the contenders is newcomer Ashanti, with five nods. Among the categories she'll compete in are Best Album and Best New Artist. Following close behind is the late R&B star Aaliyah, with four nominations and Alicia Keys with three. Ashanti will be presented with this year's Entertainer of the Year honor and actress Angela Bassett will receive a career achievement award. The show will take place on August 24 in Los Angeles.

Colombian artist Carlos Vives picked up six nominations for the 2002 Latin Grammy Awards. Two-time Latin Grammy winner and salsa legend Celia Cruz earned four. Enrique Fernandez, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Latin Recording Academy said, "This year's Latin Grammy nominations reflect the vitality of the Latin Recording Academy, the international scope of Latin music, and the diversity of the artists who make it." The 3rd annual Latin Grammy Awards will be handed out on September 18 in Hollywood, California.


Santana will kick off a 19-date North American tour on July 31 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The group will wrap up concerts on August 25 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Santana is currently working on its next album, Shaman, which is expected to be out in September.

Aretha Franklin will head out on a 3-month tour, beginning August 2 in Boston, Massachusetts. Opening shows will be Ronald Isley and a yet-to-be-announced special guest. Now 60 years old, Franklin plans to perform a farewell tour in 2003.