Police in Sydney, Australia raided a home on February 14 and seized tapes of Beatles recordings believed to be stolen from the group's Abbey Roads Studios in London in 1969. Police say a preliminary examination of the confiscated tapes and album artwork suggests they are either originals or professionally duplicated. The raid came just weeks after 500 Beatles tapes were recovered in Holland.
The first single from the upcoming Ringo Starr album, Ringo Rama, will be out on February 17. The song, called Never Without You, is a tribute to Ringo's late friend and former bandmate George Harrison. It was co-written by Ringo, Mark Hudson and Gary Nicholson and features a guitar solo by Eric Clapton. Ringo Rama will be released in late March.
February 22, Rock The Vote will holds its 10th annual awards ceremony in New York City. This year's honorees are Peter Gabriel and Alanis Morissette, who will both receive the Patrick Lippert Awards, named for Rock The Vote's late executive director. Public Enemy's leader Chuck D will be given the organization's 2003 Founder's Award. Performers at the event will include Vanessa Carlton, Public Enemy and Robbie Williams.
U2's Bono will receive the 2003 MusiCares Person of the Year award on February 21 in New York. Previous honorees include Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Luciano Pavarotti and Phil Collins. The Recording Academy established MusiCares in 1989. Its programs provide much-needed services and resources to individuals in the music community who are confronted by a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.
February 20, Fox television will air Michael Jackson's "Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You," his two-hour rebuttal to Martin Bashir's recent interview special "Living With Michael Jackson." Jackson claims Bashir misrepresented him by using voiceover questions and other tactics to mislead the viewing audience. Michael will show footage filmed by his own cameramen to prove his case. Fox reportedly paid Jackson $2.5 million for his retaliatory special.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / FEB. 18:
February 20, the 2003 Brit Awards will be held at London's Earl Court. Competing for this year's Best International Male Artist honor are Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Moby, Beck and Nelly. Up for Best International Female Artist are Norah Jones, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne and Pink. Tom Jones has been chosen to receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Performers will include Pink, Justin Timberlake, David Gray, Blue, Avril Lavigne, Coldplay, and others. The Brit Awards is the only UK show that donates all proceeds to charity. Last year's program raised nearly $2 million for The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation's 2003 Pioneer Awards will be presented on February 20 in New York. This year's honorees include The Supremes, Dell-Vikings, the Dixie Cups, KoKo Taylor, Johnny Nash, Clarence "Frog Man" Henry, George Clinton and Maceo Parker. In addition, Dionne Warwick will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award and Jackie Wilson will be posthumously honored with a special legacy tribute.
February 22, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Science will hold its Lifetime Achievement Awards banquet in New York. This year's recipients are Etta James, Johnny Mathis, the late Glenn Miller, Simon & Garfunkel and the late Tito Puente. Portions of the ceremony will be shown during the Grammy Awards telecast on February 23.
Nominations for the 2003 Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammys, were announced last week. Newcomer Avril Lavigne leads the list with six nominations, followed by Country/pop star Shania Twain with five. Shania will host the awards ceremony. Other multiple nominees include Celine Dion, Our Lady Peace, Remy Shand and K-OS, who each received four nods; folk-rock artist Daniel Belanger, with three nominations, and jazz vocalist-pianist Diana Krall, who earned two. During the show, singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane and Nettwerk Music Group CEO Terry McBride will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The Juno Awards will be presented on April 6 in Ottawa.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will hold is 75th awards ceremony on March 23 in Hollywood, California. Chicago leads this year's nominations with 13 mentions. Nominees in the Best Original Score category include Catch Me If You Can (John Williams), Far From Heaven (Elmer Bernstein), Frida (Elliot Goldenthal), The Hours (Philip Glass), and Road To Perdition (Thomas Newman). Up for Best Original Song are Burn It Blue from Frida (Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor), Father and Daughter from The Wild Thornberrys Movie (Paul Simon), The Hands That Built America from Gangs of New York (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen), I Move On from Chicago (John Kander and Fred Ebb), and Lose Yourself from 8 Mile (Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto).
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February 17, the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter will kick off a North American tour in support of his solo debut album Now Or Never. The 17-city outing begins in Pittston, Pennsylvania and wraps up on March 9 in San Francisco, California. Billy Joel and Elton John will begin a 29-date North American concert tour on February 21 in Birmingham, Alabama. Shows are currently booked through May 3. Last year, the pop superstars' tandem arena tour grossed $66 million.