54-year-old British rock singer Robert Palmer died of a heart attack on September 26. Palmer's web site reports that he was on a two-day break in Paris, France after recording a television appearance in the United Kingdom. Born in Yorkshire County, England, Palmer was raised in Malta, where his military father was stationed. He began performing professionally in the late-1960s with the group Vinegar Joe. He launched his solo career in 1974 with the album, Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley. Palmer was best-known for his Grammy-winning singles Addicted To Love and Simply Irresistible. In 1985, he teamed with Duran Duran members John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Chic drummer Tony Thompson to form the Power Station. A second Power Station album, Living In Fear, was released in 1997. Palmer's latest solo album, Drive, features 15 blues covers and one self-penned track. Universal Records issued the collection in May of this year.
The Cash family has announced details of a public memorial service planned for Johnny Cash. Set for November 12 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the event will feature performers from many genres of music. Information about how to obtain free tickets will be announced in the coming weeks. A private funeral took place on September 15, three days after the 71-year-old music legend died of complications from diabetes.
22-year-old pop singer Justin Timberlake will be featured in a new McDonald's restaurants ad campaign that's set to launch on September 29. The two-year campaign includes commercials and tie-ins with concerts and charity work. The fast food company will sponsor Timberlake's upcoming 35-city European tour, set to begin in November.
On October 4, many of the artists featured on the new tribute album Remembering Patsy Cline will take part in a concert to honor the late Country legend. The event at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House will include performances by Lee Ann Womack, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Michelle Branch, Amy Grant, and others. Cline would have turned 71 on September 8.
Ozzy Osbourne's daughter, rock singer Kelly Osbourne, recently left Sony Music and signed with Sanctuary Records. The label plans to reissue her debut album, Shut Up, on September 30. They've re-titled the CD Changes and added five new bonus tracks. The title track is a cover of a Black Sabbath song she recorded as a duet with her father.
Bon Jovi's lead singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora are co-owners of the Philadelphia Soul, a new Arena Football League (AFL) expansion team. The partnership also includes real estate developer Craig Spencer. Although the AFL's schedule has not yet been released, they say the Philadelphia Soul's first game will be played the weekend of February 6-8, 2004. Around the same time, Bon Jovi will play a private pep rally for the home opener. Game ticket holders will be admitted to the event free of charge.
The debut single from Britney Spears' upcoming album will be shipped to radio September 30. The track, called Me Against The Music, features Madonna. Britney's new CD, Get In The Zone, will be released on November 18. She co-wrote seven of the 13 tracks on the collection, her fourth for Jive Records. Britney's previous three albums all debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / SEPT. 30:
Celine Dion, Mandy Moore, Mya, Dolly Parton, and Alison Krauss & Union Station among the artists scheduled to perform at the 4th annual "Women Rock!" breast cancer research benefit concert. The event takes place on September 30th in Hollywood, California. The performers will follow this year's theme of "Songs From The Movies." "Women Rock!" will air October 23 on the Lifetime cable channel.
October 4, a dinner, celebrity auction and concert will take place in Los Angeles to benefit victims of domestic violence. Performers will include David Crosby, Graham Nash, Paula Cole and Julia Fordham. Proceeds will go to the Los Angeles-based Grace Center, a non-profit organization formed in 1996 that works to break the cycle of family violence.
On September 19, the late Johnny Cash won Americana Music Awards in all three categories where he was nominated. He was named Artist of the Year, and also earned the Song of the Year honor for "Hurt" and Album of the Year for "American IV: The Man Comes Around." Other winners at the second annual event included dobro player Jerry Douglas, named Instrumentalist of the Year; the Band's Levon Helm, Performer Lifetime Achievement Award; John Prine, Songwriter's Lifetime Achievement Award; the late Gram Parsons, President's Award; Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, Executive's Lifetime Achievement Award; and Kris Kristofferson, recipient of this year's Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award.
The 2003 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards will be handed out on October 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. Alison Krauss & Union Station lead the nominees with thirteen mentions, followed by the Del McCoury Band, with twelve. Other major contenders include Ricky Skaggs, the Lynn Morris Band, legendary guitarist Doc Watson, IIIrd Tyme Out, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Mountain Heart and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Winners are chosen by the professional members of the International Bluegrass Music Association.
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September 29, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Dar Williams will kick off their fall "Songwriter Tour." The 23 date outing begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and wraps up in Portland, Oregon on November 17.
Michelle Branch will begin a month-long series of concerts on October 2 in support of her new album, Hotel Paper. After wrapping up shows on October 29, she'll head to Japan for concerts in Tokyo (November 4, 5 and 12), Fukuoka (November 7), Hiroshima (November 8), Nagoya (November 10) and Osaka (November 11).