February 6, Sting will be honored as the 2004 MusiCares Person of the Year. The 14th annual gala will take place during Grammy week in Los Angeles. Performers scheduled to appear at the event include Tony Bennett, Elton John, Dave Matthews, Black Eyed Peas, k.d. lang, John Mayer, Dido, and newlyweds Diana Krall and Elvis Costello. The MusiCares Person of the Year award acknowledges an artist's accomplishments as a musician, humanitarian and environmental activist. MusiCares was established in 1989 to provide assistance to members of the music community in times of need. Proceeds from the February 6 gala, which includes the concert and a silent auction, will go to the MusiCares Foundation.
Soul legend James Brown was jailed on January 28 after being charged with domestic violence. The 70-year-old singer allegedly shoved his 33-year-old wife during a dispute at their South Carolina home. Brown was released from jail the following day. A conviction could lead to a 30-day jail sentence and a $500 fine.
January 27, 30-year-old rhythm-and-blues star Faith Evans was arrested on drug possession charges. Faith and her husband, record executive Todd Russaw, were stopped by Georgia police for an improperly displayed license plate. Police then found small amounts of marijuana and cocaine in the car. Faith and her husband were booked and released on bond. Evans' lawyer called the charges "absolutely ridiculous." The couple's next court date is February 11. Faith's web site reports that she's working on a new album, which is due out later this year.
The numbers are in for last year's best-selling singles and three of the top four titles were by American Idol contestants. Clay Aiken has the Number One spot with This Is The Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water, which sold more than 948,000 copies. Ruben Studdard placed second by selling more than 728,000 copies of Flying Without Wings/Superstar. And, in fourth place, with sales exceeding 309,000 copies, is the American Idol finalists' recording of God Bless The U.S.A. In other American Idol news, second-season finalist Josh Gracin, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, recently recorded his debut album for Nashville's Lyric Street Records while on home leave. He worked with award-winning Country trio Rascal Flatts' producer Marty Williams. Gracin's first single will ship to radio in March and his CD will be released in May.
Some of today's biggest names in music will take part in the Super Bowl XXXVIII festivities on February 1 in Houston, Texas. Beyonce Knowles will sing the National Anthem prior to the game. Pre-game performers include Aerosmith, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith and Josh Groban. The pre-game show will feature a tribute to NASA. February 1marks the one-year anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia accident, which took the lives of all seven astronauts on board. Crew members from an upcoming U.S. space shuttle mission will join Josh Groban during his performance of You Raise Me Up. Cable music channel MTV is producing the half-time show, which will feature Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock. The Super Bowl will air live on CBS-TV.
Latin singer Marc Anthony's wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, has filed for divorce. Married in 2000, the couple was briefly separated in 2002 before renewing their wedding vows in December of that year. They have two sons, 2-year-old Christian and 5-month-old Ryan.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / FEBRUARY 3:
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won in both musical categories at the January 25 Golden Globe Awards. Howard Shore took home the trophy for Best Original Score and he shared the Best Original Song Golden Globe Award with Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh, co-writers of the movie's theme Into The West.
Howard Shore is also nominated in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories for the 76th annual Academy Awards. Other nominees for Best Original Score are Danny Elfman for Big Fish, Gabriel Yared for Cold Mountain, Thomas Newman for Finding Nemo, and James Horner for House of Sand and Fog. And up against Shore, Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh's Into The West in the Best Original Song category are Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole for A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow from A Mighty Wind," Chomet for The Triplets of Belleville from The Triplets of Belleville, and Sting for You Will Be My Ain True Love from Cold Mountain. The Oscars will be presented on February 29 at Hollywood's Kodak Theater.
LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!
February 6, Rod Stewart will kick off his 2004 arena tour in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The tour, billed as "From Maggie May to the Great American Songbook," will include performances of his many classic hits, plus songs from his two recent albums of pop standards. The 44-date North American tour will wrap up in Birmingham, Alabama on April 24.