Janet Jackson's new CD, Damita Jo, sold 381,000 copies its first week of release to debut at Number 2 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. Usher continues his reign in the Number One spot by selling 486,000 copies of Confessions its second week in record stores. First-week sales of Confessions totaled nearly 1.1 million copies. It's too soon to tell how successful Jackson's latest album will be, but some speculate the fallout from her Super Bowl faux pas could effect her popularity. Damito Jo opened on the European Top 100 Albums chart at Number 20.
Singer Pink, 24, her real name is Alecia Moore, will make her motion picture debut playing Janis Joplin. The still-untitled biopic will begin filming this summer. It's been reported that Pink will sing the songs in the movie and Arista Records is working on a soundtrack deal.
2002 American Idol finalist Tamyra Gray has signed a recording deal with J Records. Her debut album, The Dreamer, will be released in June. Its first single is a ballad she wrote called Raindrops Will Fall. Gray performed the song on the April 7 American Idol show. In addition to a career in music, she's doing some television acting. Last year, she appeared on several episodes of the FOX drama Boston Public. On April 15, Gray will make a guest appearance on another FOX drama series, Tru Calling.
On April 11, husband and wife singing stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson appeared in their first television special, The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour. The show featured sketch comedy and musical performances by the couple and appearances by special guests: Babyface, Jewel, Country legend Kenny Rogers and baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.
Two singers are in the news because of drug problems. Singer Kelly Osbourne checked into a Malibu, California treatment center after admitting to an addicion to painkillers. Her parents, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, announced their family's latest ordeal on CNN's Larry King Live. And, Carlene Carter, daughter of the late June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of the late Country legend Johnny Cash, was jailed in Sumner County, Tennessee for allegedly failing a drug test. Carlene's first arrest was in June of 2001 for heroin possession. Her no contest plea led to an 18-month probation sentence. Carlene's boyfriend, Howie Epstein, died of a drug overdose in 2003. Epstein was a former member of Tom Petty's band, the Heartbreakers. In December of 2002, Carlene was charged with stealing the identity of another deceased former boyfriend to obtain prescription drugs. Her court hearing in that case will take place on April 12. The 48-year-old faces 12 years in prison if convicted.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES / APRIL 13:
Celine Dion's April 11 performance in Las Vegas was a charity event to benefit Opportunity Village, a non-profit organization that helps adults with intellectual disabilities. Dion gave Opportunity Village $150,000, plus 3,700 seats to her Easter Sunday show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Country music's International Fan Fair will have a new name this year. The 33rd annual event will now be called CMA Music Festival. "Research we've got tells us that the word 'fair' was a problem because it describes how people feel about something that is more rural, more agricultural, more like a state fair," says Ed Benson, Executive Director of the Country Music Association. Two years ago, the event moved from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds to downtown Nashville. CMA Music Festival is scheduled to take place June 10-13 with hundreds of artists and celebrities and more than 45 hours of music and daily activities planned. For the first time in the event's history, CBS-TV will produce a two-hour special that will air this summer.
Montreal-based singer-songwriter Sam Roberts led the winners at the 2004 Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammy Awards. The ceremony took place on April 4 in Edmonton, Alberta. Roberts was named Artist of the Year and also won the Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year trophies for We Were Born in a Flame. Other winners included rock band Nickelback, named Group of the Year and the recipient of this year's Fan Choice Award; Nelly Furtado, who won the Single of the Year honor for Powerless; Michael Buble, named New Artist of the Year; and Sarah McLachlin, who won the Songwriter of the Year award for World on Fire, Fallen and Stupid, all hits from her latest CD, Afterglow. During the awards show, Alice Cooper inducted producer Bob Ezrin into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!
Just back from a European tour, Country/pop superstar Shania Twain begins another round of North American concerts on April 13 in Pensacola, Florida. She's promoting her latest CD, Up!, which has sold 10 million copies since its release in November of 2002. Shania will wrap up shows in Sunrise, Florida on July 10.
On April 13, classic rock group Yes kick offs a North American tour in Seattle, Washington. The band will promote its new double CD anthology, Ultimate Yes, on the "35th Anniversary Tour." The collection includes a bonus disc with five previously unreleased tracks, plus one new song, called Show Me. Concerts are scheduled to wrap up on May 15 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Yes will begin the tour's European leg on June 2 in Helsinki, Finland.