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Music News: Branigan Dies; Eminem to Publish New Album - 2004-09-11

On September 8, New York's Radio City Music Hall hosted the "Fashion Rocks" concert to kick off the city's Fashion Week. An all-star list of artists performed at the show, including Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Usher, Faith Hill, Rod Stewart and Avril Lavigne. Later this year, the concert will air as a two-hour special on FOX-TV.

Elton John, Mary J. Blige, Toby Keith and Lenny Kravitz headlined the National Football League's "Opening Kickoff Concert" on September 9. The event took place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. ABC-TV aired the concert live prior to the football season opener between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.

Pop singer Laura Branigan died in her sleep of a brain aneurysm on August 26. The 47-year-old was best known for her 1980s hits "Gloria," "Solitaire," "Self Control" and "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You." Branigan took several years off from her music career following the 1996 death of her husband. Her web site reports that she had recently been working on a new album.

Interscope Records plans to release the fourth album by rapper Eminem on November 16. The Detroit native's last solo CD, The Eminem Show, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart in 2002 and has sold more than nine million copies since its release. His group D12 released an album earlier this year. D12 World produced the chart singles "How Come" and "My Band."

Country superstar Tim McGraw debuts at Number One on this week's Top Country and Billboard 200 Albums charts. His new CD, Live Like You Were Dying, sold 766,000 copies its first week in record stores. That marks McGraw's third Number One album debut and it's the fifth biggest debut for a Country album in Soundscan's 13-year history. The title track from Live Like You Were Dying spent eight weeks at Number One on the Country Singles chart, but lost its hold this week to Canadian singer Terri Clark's hit "Girls Lie Too."

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and her soccer star husband David Beckham are expecting their third child. Due next March, the baby will join brothers Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 2. Earlier this year, David's former personal assistant, Rebecca Loos, went public with claims of having a 10-day affair with him. He denied the accusation.


Alan Jackson earned seven nominations to lead the contenders for the 38th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. This year's honors will be handed out on November 9 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. Other top nominees include Toby Keith, who received six mentions, and Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Kenny Chesney and newcomer Gretchen Wilson with five apiece. The Entertainer of the Year category includes Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. The Country Music Association also announced that Brooks & Dunn will take over as host of its awards show this year. Vince Gill has hosted the event for the past 12 years. The 38th annual CMA Awards will air live on CBS-TV.

Hip-hop duo OutKast and rapper Jay-Z led the winners at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. Each took home four trophies at the August 29 ceremony in Miami, Florida. OutKast's "Hey Ya!" clip won in the categories of Best Video of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Special Effects in a Video and Best Art Direction in a Video. Jay-Z's "99 Problems" won for Best Rap Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography in a Video. Other multiple winners included No Doubt, which earned the Best Pop Video and Best Group Video awards for "It's My Life" and Usher, who took home the Best Male Video and Best Dance Video awards for "Yeah!" In addition, the Female Video of the Year went to Beyonce for "Naughty Girl," Alicia Keys won the Best R&B Video trophy for "If I Ain't Got You," and Linkin Park earned the Viewer's Choice Award for its video to "Breaking The Habit."

The 5th annual Latin Grammy Awards took place on September 1 in Los Angeles. Leading this year's winners was 35-year-old Spanish crooner Alejandro Sanz, who's currently on tour and couldn't attend the ceremony. Sanz earned four Latin Grammys, including Album of the Year and Male Pop Vocal Album of the Year for "No Es Lo Mismo." He also won the Song and Record of the Year categories for the CD's title track. Brazilian jazz singer Maria Rita took home two awards. She was named Best New Artist and won the Best Brazilian Pop Album award for her self-titled debut collection. Other winners included Skank's "Cosmotron," which won in the category of Brazilian Rock Album of the Year; classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Obrigado Brazil: Live in Concert, Instrumental Album of the Year; the late Celia Cruz, whose Regalo Del Alma won the Salsa Album of the Year honor; Robi Draco Rosa, Music Video of the Year for "Mas y Mas;" and Rosario's Del Mel Colores, which won for Female Vocal Album of the Year. (Full list of winners at


Canadian classic rock band Rush will kick off the European leg of its 30th anniversary tour this week. Concerts begin on September 8 in London. Rush will perform in 13 cities throughout the U.K., Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and Sweden, before wrapping up dates in the Netherlands on October 1.