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Music News: Hill's <i>Cry</i> Debuts at Number One; Minelli to Release Live Album - 2002-10-30

The week ending November 2, Faith Hill's new CD, Cry, debuts at Number One on Billboard's Top 200 and Country Albums charts. The album sold 472,000 copies in its first week, making it the highest debut in Soundscan history for any Warner Brothers Records artist.

First week sales of Cry nearly doubled her 1999 Breathe debut, which also hit the Number One spot on Billboard's Top 200 and Country Albums charts with more than 242,000 copies sold in its first week. It has also been reported that Faith wanted to have Aerosmith's Steven Tyler record a duet with her on Cry title track. "I never called him myself," Hill said. "I didn't want to put him in the position of having to turn me down when I was on the line. When I heard Cryfor the first time, I heard his voice on it. It just sounded like him to me. We tried to make it work out. It didn't work out."

Modern rock band R.E.M. is currently working on its 13th album in a Vancouver studio. Group members Peter Buck and Michael Stipe have mentioned the possibility of a world tour in support of the album, which will be released in 2003.

Following the success of Fox-TV's American Idol talent contest, a nationwide search has begun to find the next Country music star. Auditions for Nashville Star began on October 22 at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Beginning November 1, radio stations across the U.S. will host auditions over a four week period. Local winners will then go on to the regional round of competitions, which will take place in five major cities in January. The 10 finalists will go to Nashville to perform a series of live performances and the grand prize winner will earn a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville. The live competition will air in March on the USA Network.

October 29, J Records will release Liza Minnelli's live album, Liza's Back. The 18-track set includes performances from her summer shows at New York's Beacon Theater. It contains new and old songs, theater tunes and her signature hits Cabaret and New York, New York.



October 29, late Billboard editor-in-chief Timothy White will be posthumously honored with the Creative Coalition's Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award. White's widow will receive the honor at the Seconding the First concert in New York. Performers scheduled to appear at the event include: Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, Shawn Colvin and Chuck D of Public Enemy. Proceeds will go to the Creative Coalition, which works to educate leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically in the areas of First Amendment rights, arts advocacy and public education.

The 2002 Voodoo Music Festival takes place November 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Headliners will include: Macy Gray, Counting Crows, No Doubt, Sum41 and Garbage.


November 1, rock singer-songwriter John Mellencamp will begin a U.S. tour in Evansville, Indiana. John's latest album, Cuttin' Heads, was released in October 2001 and includes his hit duet with India.Arie, Peaceful World. Alice Peacock will open shows on the fall tour.