Mariah Carey Makes Concert Appearance
On March 1, Mariah Carey made her first concert appearance since giving birth to twins Moroccan and Monroe last April. The New York show was one of four “Plot Your Escape: Four Concerts, Countless Celebrities, 1 Epic Night” events staged by Caesars Entertainment. The three other concerts took place in Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles. In other news, Mariah’s husband, Nick Cannon, revealed to People magazine more details about his recent health problems. Cannon was hospitalized for a serious kidney infection in January and, a few weeks later, was treated for blood clots in his lungs. The 31-year-old says doctors found an auto-immune disease in his system, which caused the kidney disease. Cannon told People, “I feel blessed to be alive. If it wasn’t discovered, I don’t know (what would have happened).”
Clarkson Tops Hot 100 Chart
10 Finalists Compete for Idol Title
Fans of American Idol have determined Season 11’s Top 10 finalists. They are 21-year-old Phillip Phillips, 22-year-old Heejun Han, 18-year-old Skylar Laine, 18-year-old Hollie Cavanaugh, 20-year-old Colton Dixon, 25-year-old Jermaine Jones, 19-year-old Joshua Ledet, 16-year-old Shannon Magrane, 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez and 28-year-old Elise Testone. In addition, judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler chose three wild card finalists, 19-year-old Jeremy Rosado, 26-year-old Erika Van Pelt and 17-year-old Deandre Brackensick. March 7, the male finalists will perform songs from Stevie Wonder’s catalog and the female singers will pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston.
Thanks to Amazon Boost, Jackson's Thriller Back on Billboard 200 Chart
Michael Jackson’s 1982 Thriller returns to the Billboard 200 chart this week at Number 88. According to Billboard, it experienced a 561 percent increase in download sales on February 26 when Amazon MP3 offered a $3.99 daily deal discount on the album.
Adele's 21 Still Outselling Competition
Nielsen SoundScan reports that Adele’s 21 sold 297,000 copies last week, which keeps it in the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for a 22nd week. New in the Top 10 on that list are Some Nights by fun (Number 3), Careless World: Rise of the Last King by Tyga (Number 4) and Breakfast by Chiddy Bang (Number 8). In other Billboard 200 chart news, this week, Whitney Houston becomes the first female artist to have three albums in the Top 10 simultaneously. At Number 2 is Whitney: The Greatest Hits, The Bodyguard soundtrack is up to Number 6, and at Number 9 is her 1985 self-titled debut album.
Former Monkees Lead Singer Dies
The Monkees’ lead singer Davy Jones died on February 29 after suffering a heart attack. He was 66. Jones, who was the only British-born member of the 1960s pop group, made his home in Indiantown, Florida. The Monkees got their start as a television band on their self-titled NBC comedy series. The show aired for two seasons. The group’s hits included “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Jones’ spokesperson, Helen Kensick, said public memorial services in New York and England are in the planning stages.
New Album Releases / March 6:
“Wrecking Ball” by Bruce Springsteen
“Break It Yourself” by Andrew Bird
“XII” by Neal McCoy
“Blues Traveler: 25” (25th anniversary compilation) by Blues Traveler
“Now” by Fireflight
On March 3, the 19th annual Nine Mile Music Festival will take place in Key Biscayne, Florida. Performing at the all-day reggae event are Stephen, Damian and Julian Marley, Burning Spear, Capleton, Cocoa Tea, Tarrus Riley, and many others. Attendees must donate four cans of food, which will be distributed to shelters in Miami and Jamaica. During the past 18 years, the festival has collected more than two million canned food items.
A centennial tribute to the late blues legend Robert Johnson will take place March 6 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. “Robert Johnson at 100” will feature performances by Macy Gray, Shemekia Copeland, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Bettye LaVette, and many others. Proceeds from the event are going to The Blues Foundation and The Robert Johnson Foundation to provide funding for the construction of The Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tennessee.
Country star George Strait will host his 30th annual George Strait Team Roping Classic on March 9 and 10 in San Antonio, Texas. The competition consists of 500 preliminary teams, with 50 returning the second day to compete in the finals. Strait said, “I can’t believe it has been 30 years…30 great years. It’s amazing. If you want to see team roping at its best, come out and watch. All the World Champions are here.”
Several performers will celebrate their birthday on March 4. Chris Squire, guitarist with the rock group Yes, turns 64; rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Womack celebrates his 68th birthday; and Miami Sound Machine percussionist Emilio Estefan, husband of singer Gloria Estefan, will celebrate his 59th birthday.
On March 7, pop singer Taylor Dayne will celebrate her 49th birthday. The classical trained vocalist was born Leslie Wundermann in Baldwin, New York. In 1988, Taylor recorded her debut album, Tell It To My Heart. Its title track climbed to Number 7 on the pop charts and was followed by a string of hits that included “Prove Your Love” and “Don’t Rush Me.” Taylor’s next CD, 1989’s Can’t Fight Fate, produced the Number One single “Love Will Lead You Back.” In 1998, she recorded Naked Without You, which featured the dance hit, “Unstoppable.” In 2001, Taylor made her Broadway debut in Elton John and Tim Rice’s award-winning musical "Aida.” The following year, she used a surrogate mother to give birth to her twins, daughter Astaria and son Levi. Taylor released her latest album, Satisfied, in 2008. From it came the Number One dance hit, “Beautiful.”
On March 8, singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins will turn 44. The Atlanta, Georgia native attended North Georgia College on an Army ROTC scholarship. Following graduation, he spent some time as an inactive Airborne Infantry officer in the Army Reserves. Shawn abandoned his original plan to serve in the U.S. military to pursue a career in music. His breakthrough hit came in 1998 with “Lullaby.” In 2006, Vanguard Records released 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor. The acoustic-based album was named for the New Orleans home studio where he recorded most of the tracks. Shawn’s friend, songwriter and producer, Mike West, owned the studio. West made it out of the city before Hurricane Katrina struck, but the floods destroyed his studio. Shawn dedicated the album to the people of New Orleans. He described the songs on his 2008 album, Honeydew, as “character sketches of people I’ve come across and place I’ve traveled through.” Shawn’s latest album, Light You Up, was released in 2010.
Singer Jeffrey Osborne will celebrate his 64th birthday on March 9. Beginning in 1971, he performed as lead vocalist of the rhythm-and-blues group L.T.D. Ten years later, he left the band to pursue a solo career. Osborne’s biggest hits include the 1982 Top 20 single “On the Wings of Love” and “Love Power,” a Top 5 duet he recorded with Dionne Warwick in 1987. In 2005, Koch Records issued his latest album, From the Soul.
On March 9, rhythm-and-blues singer and pianist Lloyd Price will turn 79. Price began making his mark on the popularity charts in 1952 with the Number One single “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” Six years later, he recorded the crossover hit “Stagger Lee,” which topped both the pop and rhythm-and-blues charts. Price was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. On his 77th birthday in 2010, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Price currently manages the Southern-style food line, Icon Food Brands.
Country singer Carrie Underwood will turn 29 on March 10. Raised in Checotah, Oklahoma, Carrie came to national attention after winning the 2005 American Idol title. Her debut album, “Some Hearts,” sold seven million copies in the U.S. Its first single, “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” logged six weeks at Number One on the Country chart. Her next two albums, “Carnival Ride” and “Play On,” produced a total of seven chart-topping hits. At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Carrie took home the trophies for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Carrie won the Best Female Country Vocal Performance Grammy again in 2008 for “Before He Cheats” and in 2009 for “Last Name.” In 2010, Carrie married professional hockey player Mike Fisher, who was traded last year by the Ottawa Senators to Carrie’s hometown team, the Nashville Predators. Carrie was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year trophy in 2010 and the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year honor in 2011. She made her film debut in the 2011 film Soul Surfer, which told the story of champion surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm in a shark attack. “Good Girl” is the first single from Carrie’s upcoming fourth album. It enters this week’s Country chart at Number 30 and also sold 108,000 downloads in only three days to debut at Number One on Billboard’s Digital Country Songs chart.
Awards Presentations / Winners:
Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Don Omar leads the contenders for the 2012 Billboard Latin Music Awards. His 16 nominations include Male Songs Artist of the Year, Solo Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year and Social Artist of the Year. Other top nominees include rapper Pitbull, who received 14 nods; Mexican pop/rock group Mana, with 12 mentions; and Shakira, who appears in 10 categories. This year’s Artist of the Year nominees are Mana, Shakira, Prince Royce and Romeo Santos. The Billboard Latin Music Awards will be presented in Miami, Florida on April 26. (Full list of nominees at www.billboardevents.com/latin.)
Look Who's Going On Tour!
On March 8, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw will kick off a North American tour in Lexington, Kentucky. The outing supports Gavin’s new album, Sweeter, which features his million-selling hit, “Not Over You.” In other news, it’s just been announced that Gavin is one of 12 celebrities appearing on the upcoming 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” He’ll compete with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.