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Music News: Iraq War, SARS Force Artists to Cancel Upcoming Tours

A new album by the Backstreet Boys was expected to be out later this year. But, a recent statement from the group said, "As a group, we have decided not to record our next album at this time. We are not breaking up, but individually we're currently at different places in our lives and our hearts and minds are focused in other areas. When the timing is right, we will record another Backstreet Boys album."

Several acts cancelled international tours after the crisis in Iraq began. Among them, Matchbox Twenty, which postponed its European outing until September. And Kelly Rowland's spokesperson said the State Department suggested that she postpone her European concert dates. Her cancelled shows have been rescheduled for mid-September. The latest to announce a schedule change is Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. The group was set to kick off a European tour on July 3 in England in support of its latest album, The Last DJ. The outing would have marked Petty's first concerts there in more than 10 years. His web site reports that all dates will be rescheduled.

The Rolling Stones cancelled their March 28-29 shows in Hong Kong due to the pneumonia outbreak spreading throughout parts of Asia. USA Today reports that the World Health Organization "expressed concern that the large gatherings could facilitate the spread of the disease."

On April 1, RCA Records released the first of two Waylon Jennings tribute albums. I've Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings contains 15 of his classic songs covered by such artists as Alison Krauss, Brooks & Dunn, Andy Griggs, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr. Also featured are duets by Phil Vassar and Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas, Deana Carter and Sara Evans, and Kenny Chesney and Kid Rock. Jennings' widow, Jessi Colter, covers Storms Never Last, a Number One hit she originally recorded with Waylon in 1980. Their son, Shooter Jennings, is featured on the album's title track. The collection also includes one of Waylon's final recordings, The Dream. Dualtone Records will release its tribute, Lonesome, On'ry and Mean, on April 15. Guy Clark, Norah Jones, Robert Earl Keen, Radney Foster, Kris Kristofferson, Nanci Griffith and Carlene Carter are among the artists who contributed tracks to that set. Waylon died on February 13, 2002 after a long battle with diabetes.



April 2, the 2nd annual Songs of Hope silent benefit auction takes place at the California home of Kenneth "Babyface" and Tracey Edmonds. To be auctioned are sheet music scores autographed by Elton John, Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, the Dave Matthews Band, B.B. King, and others. Proceeds will go to the City of Hope cancer research and treatment center.


Rapper Eminem's Lose Yourself won the trophy for Best Original Song at this year's Academy Awards, held on March 23 in Los Angeles. The song was featured in Eminem's motion picture 8 Mile.

In the category of Best Original Score, Elliot Goldenthal's Friday beat out works by John Williams (Catch Me If You Can), Elmer Bernstein (Far From Heaven), Philip Glass (The Hours) and Thomas Newman (Road To Perdition).