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Music News: Dixie Chicks Cheered; Vandross Still Hospitalized - 2003-05-03

Rhythm-and-blues star Luther Vandross remains in the intensive care unit at New York's Weill Cornell Medical College. The 52-year-old singer suffered a stroke on April 16 and has since developed pneumonia. Last week, his doctor performed a tracheotomy to help him breathe. Reports say the procedure did not damage his vocal chords. Vandross has been unconscious since having the stroke. According to neurology experts, unconsciousness occurs in less than 5 percent of stroke victims, which leads them to believe Vandross suffered a massive stroke.

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, 36, has announced that she's leaving the music business in July to pursue another career. She'll first deliver a DVD titled Goodnight, Thank You. You've Been A Lovely Audience, which she describes as "a live show and documentary."

Faith Hill's first live DVD will be released on May 6. When The Lights Go Down features performances from Hill's NBC television special, which aired last November. Also included are three songs that were cut from the broadcast, behind-the-scenes footage, and a narration by Faith about the making of the special.

May 10, pop singer Jessica Simpson, her husband Nick Lachey of pop vocal group 98 Degrees, and Nancy Sinatra will perform a USO concert in Hollywood. The "Salute To The Troops" show is for military troops and their families.

The Dixie Chicks received a warm welcome in Greenville, South Carolina, where they opened their U.S. concert tour on May 1. The Country trio expected some negative reactions for the critical comment lead singer Natalie Maines made about President Bush several weeks ago. During the Greenville concert, she told the sold-out crowd, "If you're here to boo, we welcome that. We're going to give you 15 seconds to do that." She counted to three, and instead of booing, the audience erupted in cheers. This week, the Dixie Chicks will take their "Top of the World" tour to Tampa, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana and Kansas City, Missouri.

Veteran musician Boz Scaggs will release an album of standards on May 6. Issued on his own Gray Cat Records label, But Beautiful-Standards, Volume 1 includes Scaggs' interpretations of Sophisticated Lady, What's New, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, and others. He's backed by a jazz quartet that features pianist and arranger Paul Nagel and saxophonist Eric Crystal. This week, Scaggs kicks off a Japanese concert tour. He'll perform in Nagoya May 5-10, Osaka May 12 - 17, Fukuoka May 19 -24 and Tokyo May 26 - 31. He's also scheduled to play at some North American and European jazz festivals before beginning U.S. shows later in the summer.



The 2003 Billboard Latin Music Awards will take place on May 8 in Miami, Florida. Las Ketchup and Pilar Montengro lead this year's contenders with mentions in seven categories each. Winners are determined by record sales and radio airplay data, which Billboard magazine also uses to compile its weekly charts. The awards show will air on May 11 on the Telemundo network.


Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band begin a two-month European tour on May 6 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The group's itinerary also includes concerts in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria and Italy. On July 7, Springsteen and his band will begin their U.S. tour with the first of ten shows at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On May 7, pop singer Justin Timberlake will kick off a 13-date U.K. tour. The 'N Sync member is promoting his debut solo album Justified. Stops in England include Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and London. He's also scheduled to play concerts in Dublin, Ireland on May 22 and 23. On June 4, Justin will be back in the U.S. to begin a co-headlining tour with Christina Aguilera.

May 7, Fleetwood Mac will launch a U.S. concert tour in Columbus, Ohio. The outing is in support of the band's new album Say You Will. The collection sold 218,000 copies its first week in record stores to debut at Number 3 on Billboard's Top 200 chart. Fleetwood Mac's last tour took place in 1997, when they reunited to record The Dance. The group's current itinerary includes 39 shows through July 26.

Another popular 1970s group hits the road this week. The Eagles begin their "Farewell 1" tour on May 9 in Richmond, Virginia. The band's lineup consists of Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit. They'll play close to 40 shows throughout the U.S. this summer and another forty concerts after their new album is released later this year.

Styx, REO Speedwagon and Journey will kick off their "Classic Rock Main Event" tour on May 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They'll perform in 34 U.S. cities, before wrapping up shows on July 23 in Washington, D.C.