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Music News: Madonna to Publish Children's Books, New Album - 2003-03-08


The 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on March 10 in New York City. Elton John will induct Elvis Costello and the Attractions, No Doubt's Gwen Stefani will induct the Police, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler will induct AC/DC, and Billy Joel will induct the Righteous Brothers. In addition, Neil Young and Paul Simon will induct former Warner Brothers Records president Mo Ostin, who enters the Hall of Fame in the non-performer category. The presenter for the Clash has not been announced. The Clash, which lost its singer and guitarist Joe Strummer to a heart attack in December of 2002, won't perform at the event. Other 2003 inductees include drummer Benny Benjamin, pianist Floyd Cramer and saxophonist Steve Douglas, all entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sidemen category.

Madonna recently signed a five book publishing deal with Calloway Editions. The first in the series of illustrated children's books, The English Roses, will be released in September. The books are aimed toward children six-years-old and younger, and each will feature drawings by a different well-known illustrator. In other news, Madonna's next album, American Life, will hit record stores in April. The title track will ship to radio on March 25.

Bobby "Blue" Bland, 73, will see the release of his latest album on March 11. Blues At Midnight marks his 12th album for Malaco Records. It includes a cover of Z.Z. Hill's I'm A Blues Man and Bland's version of What A Wonderful World, made famous by Louis Armstrong.

The 17th annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference will take place March 12-16 in Austin, Texas. Scheduled to perform at the five day event are Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Jackson, Lucinda Williams, and others. Other highlights include many panel discussions and music industry workshops. Canadian artist/producer Daniel Lanois will give this year's keynote address.



Nominations for the 38th annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards were announced last week. Leading this year's contenders is Oklahoma native Toby Keith, who received eight nominations. Alan Jackson follows with six, Kenny Chesney and Trick Pony each received five, the Dixie Chicks picked up three, and Brooks & Dunn earned two nominations. Lonestar, Wynonna and Brooks & Dunn are up for this year's fan-voted Home Depot Humanitarian Award. Reba McEntire, who won the inaugural Home Depot Humanitarian Award last year, will host the ACM Awards show. It takes place on May 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ashanti, B2K and Musiq each won two trophies at the 17th annual Soul Train Music Awards, held on March 1 in Pasadena, California. Ashanti's self-titled debut won for Best R&B/Soul Album by a Female and her hit Foolish earned her the award for Best R&B/Soul Single by a Female. Musiq won the same honors in the Male categories for his album Juslisen and his single Dontchange. B2K's wins were in the categories of Best R&B/Soul Single by a Group, Band or Duo for Bump, Bump, Bump and Best R&B/Soul Album by a Group, Band or Duo for its self titled collection. Other winners included Nelly, whose CD Nellyville won the R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year trophy; Kirk Franklin, Best Gospel Album for The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin; Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, who received the Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video for Work It; and Amerie, who took home the Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist award for Why Don't We Fall In Love.


The Dixie Chicks have set a new one-day concert sales record by selling 867,000 tickets. 51 of the 59 dates on the Country trio's upcoming tour sold out. The trek will begin on May 1 in Greenville, South Carolina.

The Eagles have announced the itinerary for their Farewell I tour, set to begin on May 9 in Richmond, Virginia. They're expected to perform in 40 North American cities this summer and another 40 later in the year. Also planned for late 2003 is a new studio album. The group has not explained the meaning of the tour's name, but the Launch Music web site reports that it's "not a farewell tour."