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Bocelli Treats New Yorkers to Free Concert; Lil Wayne Could Outsell Lady Gaga

Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" CD

Bocelli Treats New Yorkers to Free Concert

On September 15, Andrea Bocelli will perform a free concert with the New York Philharmonic at New York’s Central Park. His special guests include Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, trumpeter Chris Botti and pianist David Foster. The concert will be broadcast on PBS later this year and also released on CD and DVD in November.

Lil Wayne's New Album Could Outsell Lady Gaga

Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" CD
Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" CD

Lil Wayne captures the second highest debut sales week of 2011 with his new album, Tha Carter IV. The set sold 964,000 copies its first week of release. Lady Gaga is the only artist who topped that number this year. First-week sales of her Born This Way album reached 1.1 million copies. Tha Carter IV is Lil Wayne’s third consecutive album to debut at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.

Three other albums debut in this week’s Top 10. The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s I’m With You enters at Number 2, David Guetta’s Nothing But the Beat comes in at Number 5 and Country singer Jake Owen lands on the list at Number 6 with Barefoot Blue Jean Night.

Aerosmith Plans New Album

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler

Aerosmith producer Jack Douglas recently announced that the legendary band plans to begin work on a new album in January. Douglas told, “The new album should be out around May 2012.…This album will be raw, nasty, tough rock with a good deal of the old Aerosmith ‘tongue in cheek.’” Aerosmith’s last studio album, Honkin’ On Bobo, was released in 2004.

Meryl Streep, Neil Diamond among Kennedy Center Honorees

FILE - In this March 7, 2010 file photo, actress Meryl Streep arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
FILE - In this March 7, 2010 file photo, actress Meryl Streep arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

Four musicians and one actress will receive the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors. They are saxophonist Sonny Rollins, cellist Yo Yo Ma, pop singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, soprano Barbara Cook and Meryl Streep. The honors will be presented on December 4. CBS-TV will air the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors Gala on December 27.

Aspiring Jazz Artists Converge on Washington

The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition will take place on September 11 and 12 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington, D.C. The winner receives a scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Music Group. This year’s 25th anniversary event will honor legendary singer Aretha Franklin with the Institute’s Founder’s Award.

Monterey Jazz Festival to Honor Blanchard

Terrence Blanchard's "Get Lost" CD
Terrence Blanchard's "Get Lost" CD

The Monterey Jazz Festival will hold its annual Jazz Legends Gala on September 15 in Monterey, California. Grammy-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard will receive the fourth Jazz Legends Award for his contributions to the world of jazz. Previous recipients include pianist Dave Brubeck, bandleader Gerald Wilson and jazz impresario George Wein. The 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival will take place September 16-18. More than 500 artists are scheduled to perform.

New Album Releases / September 13:

“Own the Night” by Lady Antebellum, “Love Don’t Run” by Steve Holy, “Feels Like the First Time” (CD/DVD set) by Foreigner, “Staind” by Staind, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper, “Minnesota” by Mason Jennings, “Katy on a Mission” by Katy B, “The Old Magic” by Nick Lowe, “Live Bullet” and “Nine Tonight” (remastered concert albums with bonus tracks) by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band and “Island in the Sun” by Shwayze & Cisco Adler.

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

The 2011 Austin City Limits Festival takes place September 16-18. Headliners include Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Kanye West and Alison Krauss & Union Station. More than 130 artists will perform at the three-day event, which also features activities for people of all ages.

Willie Nelson, Robert Cray, The Flaming Lips and Big Head Todd and the Monsters are among the many acts appearing at this year’s Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The 18th annual three-day festival begins on September 16 in Telluride, Colorado. Telluride Festival founder Steve Gumble says, “This year is one of the most eclectic and exciting line-ups in the history of the festival. This weekend will see new acts never to have graced the stage here in Telluride - from blues to rock, with some big surprises.”

Awards Presentations/Winners:

British singer PJ Harvey won her second Mercury Music Prize for her eighth album, Let England Shake. She beat out Adele, Tinie Tempah, James Blake and Katy B, among others. Harvey has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize more times than any other artist. Her first win came for “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” on September 11, 2001. She said on that date she was “watching the Pentagon burn from her hotel room in Washington.”

Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift lead this year’s Country Music Association (CMA) Award nominees. They each received five nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. Keith Urban is also nominated for the CMA’s top honor. The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band follow with four nominations apiece. Zac Brown Band members Zac Brown and Coy Boyles also picked up solo nominations in the Songwriter of the Year category. The 45th annual CMA Music Awards will be presented on November 9th in Nashville.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

PJ Harvey's "Stories From The City Stories From The Sea" CD
PJ Harvey's "Stories From The City Stories From The Sea" CD
On September 12, R&B star Chris Brown will launch the North American leg of his “F.A.M.E.” tour in Toronto, Canada. Joining him on the outing are T-Pain, Kelly Rowland and Tyga. They’ll perform in 28 cities through October 30.

The Who’s Roger Daltrey is taking his “Tommy” tour to 28 North American cities. Dates begin in Hollywood, Florida on September 13. This marks the first time since 1989 that the Who’s classic rock opera will be performed in its entirety in North America.

On September 15, the 2011 “CMT (Country Music Television) On Tour” will kick off in Huntington, West Virginia. This year’s lineup features headliner Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Josh Thompson and CMT’s “Next Superstar” winner Matt Mason. The tour will stop in 22 U.S. cities through November 19.