Curb Records will release Tim McGraw's much-anticipated album on August 24. This week, the CD's title track, "Live Like You Were Dying," spends its 6th week at Number One on Billboard's Country Singles chart for the week ending August 28. The collection features Tim's touring band, The Dancehall Doctors. The group also appeared on his 2002 multi-platinum self-titled CD. Tim recently extended his "Out Loud" tour. Dates are now scheduled to run through mid-October. And, it was just announced that his concerts in Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 30 and October 1will be filmed for his second NBC-TV special, which will air later this year.
On August 24, Atlantic/Rhino Records will release the motion picture soundtrack to the upcoming Ray Charles biopic, Ray. The 16-song soundtrack features both studio cuts and live recordings by the late soul legend. The movie was filmed in New Orleans and stars Jamie Foxx in the title role. Ray tells the story of Charles' rise to fame and rocky personal life, which included drug addiction and extramarital affairs. It opens in theaters nationwide on October 29. Charles approved the movie before his death on June 10.
Michael Jackson and his family appeared in a California courtroom August 17 to hear Michael's lawyers argue that his Neverland ranch was illegally searched back in November. Judge Rodney Melville will allow the evidence in Jackson's upcoming trial after concluding that, "There was probable cause to believe Michael Jackson had committed the offenses based on the statements of the minor witness." 45-year-old Jackson is free on $3 million bail. He pleaded not guilty to charges of committing a lewd act upon a child, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jackson's trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Auditions for the fourth season of FOX-TV's American Idol competition is in full swing. Eight thousand singers auditioned in Cleveland, Ohio and 6,000 tried out in St. Louis, Missouri. On August 18, 21,000 hopefuls turned out at Washington, D.C.'s Convention Center, which broke last year's record of 20,000 in New York City. The show's producers choose approximately 350 singers to move on to the second round of auditions. About half of those will go on to the third audition round and sing in front of American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul for the chance to compete in Hollywood against the other finalists from around the country. The fourth season of American Idol will begin airing in January.
Dualtone Records will issue a tribute to the legendary Carter Family on August 24. "The Unbroken Circle The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family" was produced by John Carter Cash, son of the late Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. It features Carter Family classics performed by Sheryl Crow, George Jones, Marty Stuart, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Kris Kristofferson, Shawn Colvin, Ricky Skaggs, and many others.
Two more musicians have been diagnosed with cancer. Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is undergoing treatment at a London hospital for throat cancer. He's expected to make a full recovery and plans to continue work with the Stones later this year. 63-year-old Watts' latest side project, "Watts At Scott's," will be released August 24. Watts and his 10-piece jazz band recorded a Latin-flavored version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for the collection. And, pop singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg cancelled his upcoming acoustic tour after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which has spread into his bones. The Associated Press reported that the 53-year-old has begun experimental treatment at Harvard Medical School.
Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jeffrey Steele and Jamie O'Neal are among the artists lending their support to the August 25 Sweet Relief benefit concert in Nashville. Proceeds will go to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, founded by singer-songwriter Victoria Williams to aid musicians with healthcare needs.
The Del McCoury Band leads the contenders for the 15th annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. The popular bluegrass group and its individual members picked up a total of twelve nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year and Album of the Year for It's Just The Night. Alison Krauss & Union Station follows close behind with nine nods. Next in line is Blue Highway, who received seven nominations. Alison Krauss and Union Station's Dan Tyminski will co-host this year's IBMA Awards ceremony, which takes place on October 7 in Louisville, Kentucky.