Cuban-born salsa star Celia Cruz died on July 16 after slipping into a coma the previous day. Last year, the 78-year-old singer underwent surgery for a brain tumor and had been hospitalized several times during the past six months. Known as the "Queen of Salsa," Cruz was born in Havana and defected to the United States in 1959. She recorded more than 70 albums since the 1950s. In 1988, Cruz received the Hispanic Heritage Awards lifetime achievement honor. One year later, she won her first Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Performance for the album Ritmo En El Corazon. In 1994, President Clinton presented her with a National Medal of Arts. She also won the Best Salsa Album Latin Grammy for La Negra Tiene Tumbao in 2002. Cruz recently completed a new album titled Regalo De Alma, which is scheduled for release in August.
While Celine Dion is on a short break from her three-year engagement at The Coliseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, other artists are performing at the theater, which was specially built for Dion. Tim McGraw was the first entertainer to use the venue. He performed his "One Band Show" there on July 18 and 19. Mariah Carey will be next on July 26, when she kicks off the U.S. leg of her current world tour (see Tours section). And, Gloria Estefan will perform seven concerts at The Coliseum October 10-19. It has also been announced that Elton John is negotiating a multi-year contract to perform there. Reportedly worth $54 million, his run would begin in 2004.
Two congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee are sponsoring a bill that would make it a felony to offer music, movies and other copyrighted material on public computer networks. Even a first-time offender could face five years in prison. The Conyers-Berman bill has won the backing of many Democrats, but a staff member in Rep. Conyers office says Republicans have not yet endorsed it. Online piracy has skyrocketed during the past few years. Record companies claim online song swapping has led to a major decrease in album sales.
On July 22, Columbia Records will release the soundtrack to Bob Dylan's new film Masked and Anonymous. The movie, Dylan's first in 16 years, opens in New York on July 24 and in Los Angeles on July 25. Beginning next month, it will open in many other U.S. cities. In addition to Dylan, who plays a fading troubadour on the comeback trail, the motion picture stars Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Lange and John Goodman. The Masked and Anonymous soundtrack features two new Dylan songs, plus remakes of Down In The Flood and Cold Irons Bound. Also included are tracks by Shirley Caesar, the Grateful Dead, Los Lobos, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and others.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / JULY 22:
Jennifer Lopez received 12 nominations for the 2003 Teen Choice Awards, which will be handed out on August 6. She appears in both acting and music categories. Rapper Eminem was also recognized for his acting and music careers. He earned seven nominations. FOX-TV will air the awards show live from Los Angeles on August 6.
Nominees for the Primetime Emmy Awards were announced last week. The NBC-TV special Cher - The Farewell Tour leads the music-related categories with six nominations. FOX-TV's talent search program American Idol follows with five, HBO's Rolling Stones 40 Licks World Tour, Live From Madison Square Garden received four nominations, and NBC's American Dreams and the CBS special Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band each earned three. The 55th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will take place on September 21 in Los Angeles.
LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!
July 23, jazz/rock duo Steely Dan will kick off its first concert tour in three years. Shows begin in Costa Mesa, California and wrap up on October 4 in Concord, California. The 40-date outing is in support of Steely Dan's new CD, Everything Must Go.
Blues legend B.B. King will begin his 12th annual B.B. King Music Festival Tour on July 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Guitarist Jeff Beck will co-headline the 30-city trek. B.B. King will showcase songs from his new album Reflections, which includes covers made famous by Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, and others.
On July 26, Mariah Carey will kick off the North American leg of her Charmbracelet amphitheater tour at Ceasar's Palace (The Coliseum) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mariah cancelled plans for a tour of larger venues to be closer to her fans. "The intimate venue thing just stemmed from this girl telling me she'd seen me before in concert but she didn't really feel the experience. I wanted to do this so the fans can feel like they've really had the experience of being there with me and had an intimate evening," she explained. U.S. concerts will wrap up on September 23 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Four days later, she'll head to Russia for performances in Moscow September 27 and 29 and St. Petersburg October 2. European dates on the world tour begin on October 5 in Stockholm, Sweden.