Madonna has signed Mick Jagger’s daughter, Georgia May, to appear in the latest marketing campaign for Material Girl. Madonna launched the teen clothing line with her daughter Lourdes (a.k.a. Lola) in 2010. “To be handpicked by Madonna and Lola as the new face of Material Girl is truly amazing," Georgia said, responding to the announcement. "I’ve always admired Madonna’s style and I’m thrilled to be working with them.” Previous Material Girl advertising campaigns featured model/actress Taylor Momsen and singer/actress Kelly Osbourne. The Material Girl line is sold exclusively at Macys department stores in the United States and at The Bay in Canada.
McGraw Signs New Record Deal
Big Machine Records has announced the signing of Country star Tim McGraw. The Nashville label is also home to Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and up-and-coming Country trio Edens Edge. “Many people know that I came to Nashville 23 years ago on a Greyhound bus with nothing but a guitar. And 23 years to the day, on May 9, I went back to the bus station and officially signed this deal," McGraw mused. "It was a significant way for me to mark this new beginning. Scott Borchetta has developed a powerhouse at Big Machine, and I’m happy to be a part of what he has built and to call Big Machine Records my new label home. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling about working on a new album for this next chapter in my career. Here’s to the next 20 years!” Scott Borchetta’s father, Mike Borchetta, signed McGraw to Curb Records in 1992. His final album for Curb, Emotional Traffic
, includes the current Top 10 hit, “Better Than I Used To Be.”
Phillips Wins American Idol
On May 23, 21-year-old Georgia native Phillip Phillips was crowned Season 11’s American Idol
. The final two contestants competed for the last time on May 22 singing their favorite song of the series, a song chosen by American Idol
creator Simon Fuller and their individual new single. The upcoming debut single by 16-year-old runner-up Jessica Sanchez will be “Change Nothing.” Phillip Phillips’ “Home” was officially released immediately following the show’s finale. Phillips has been plagued with kidney problems throughout the season. He said he’ll have to skip promotional appearances to undergo surgery to get healthy for the “American Idols Live” tour, which begins on July 6.
New Michael Jackson CD Features Unreleased Songs, Photos
Epic/Legacy Recordings plans to release a box set to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 1987 Number One album Bad.
The three-disc set, due out on September 18, will include a re-mastered version of the original album, a CD of unreleased demos and songs that weren’t released on Bad
, and a DVD of Michael’s July 16, 1988 Wembley Stadium concert in London. Two booklets packaged in the set will contain rare and previously-unreleased photos from the original recording session and tour, a poster and other commemorative items.
Library of Congress Adds Parton, Prince Songs to Recording Registry
Twenty-five sound recordings have been added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. They include Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” Prince and the Revolution’s “Purple Rain,” Leonard Bernstein’s debut performance with the New York Philharmonic and the pioneering hip-hop album “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, “America’s sound heritage is an important part of the nation’s history and culture and this year’s selections reflect the diversity and creativity of the American experience. These songs, words and natural sounds must be preserved for future generations.” The Library’s National Recording Preservation Board selects 25 recordings annually that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” They must be at least 10 years old. The number of recordings in the registry now totals 350.
Swift to Fund Nashville Education Center
Taylor Swift is donating $4 million to fund a new education center at the the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Scheduled to open in 2014, the Taylor Swift Education Center will house three classrooms and a state-of-the-art children’s exhibit gallery.
New Album Releases / May 29:
“The Absence” by Melody Gardot
“Valtari” by Sigur Ros
“What We Saw From the Cheap Seats” by Regina Spektor
Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue
will turn 43 on May 28. During her teenage years, she appeared in an Australian soap opera. In 1988, Kylie launched her music career with a Top 5 remake of Little Eva’s 1962 hit “The Loco-Motion.” Kylie reached the top of the charts in 40 countries with her 2002 hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” The single sold nearly six million-copies worldwide and became her first Top 10 song in the U.S. Two years later, she earned the Best Dance Recording Grammy Award for “Come Into My World.” Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Treatments were successful and she returned to touring. In 2009, Kylie performed her first ever North American tour. Her latest album of pop and dance tunes, called “Aphrodite,” was released in 2010. All four of its singles, “All the Lovers,” “Get Outta My Way” and “Better Than Today,” reached Number One on the U.S. dance chart.
On May 28, rhythm-and-blues singer Gladys Knight
will turn 68. In 1952, she formed Gladys Knight & The Pips, a group that recorded a string of hits throughout the 1960s and 1970s. They included “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)” and “Midnight Train To Georgia.” Knight has also recorded several solo albums. Her 1994 solo collection, “Just For You,” brought her a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. It was followed by the 1999 gospel CD “Many Different Roads.” She earned another Grammy for her 2001 album, “At Last.” Knight’s latest album, “Before Me,” was released in 2006. It features her versions of songs made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and other legends that inspired her musically. Last year, Knight received a Soul Train Legend Award. She recently released the new single, “I (Who Have Nothing).” Knight was a contestant on the latest season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge
will celebrate her 51st birthday on May 29. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, she began playing guitar when she was only 8 years old. At 10, Melissa wrote her first song. During her high school years, she began performing in local nightclubs. In 1980, she moved to Los Angeles, California. Six years later, Melissa was signed to Island Records and her first album for the label was released in 1989. She achieved international fame with her 1993 album, “Yes I Am.” The CD produced three Top 10 singles and earned her a Grammy Award. Melissa’s next albums were 1995’s “Your Little Secret,” 1999’s “Breakdown” and 2001’s “Skin.” Following the release of her 2004 CD, “Lucky,” Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer. After completing treatment, she made her first public appearance at the 2005 Grammy Awards. She performed a duet version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” with British singer Joss Stone. Melissa’s greatest hits album, “The Road Less Traveled,” was released in 2005. Its track “I Run For Life” was used as the official song at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure walk and run events. In 2006, Melissa’s partner at the time, Tammy Lynn Michaels, gave birth to twins, daughter Johnnie Rose and son Miller Steven. In 2010, Melissa recorded her latest album, “Fearless Love.”
Country singer Wynonna Judd
will turn 48 on May 30. After spending eight years in the mother and daughter duo The Judds, the five-time Grammy winner launched her solo career in 1992. Her first two multi-million-selling albums produced numerous Country hits, including the Number One singles “She Is His Only Need,” “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else On Earth.” Wynonna’s 1996 album, “Revelations,” produced another chart-topping hit, “To Be Loved By You.” Those songs and many others were included on her 1997 anthology, “Collection.” Also released in 1997 was Wynonna’s CD “The Other Side.” In 1999, Wynonna and her mother Naomi announced their reunion as The Judds. They signed a recording deal with Mercury Records and performed a New Year’s Eve concert in Phoenix, Arizona. Wynonna’s 2000 solo release, “New Day Dawning,” included four new tracks by the duo. Her next album, “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” was released in 2003. Wynonna’s autobiography, “Coming Home To Myself,” was published in 2005. That same year, her 20th anniversary greatest hits CD/DVD set, “Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime,” was released. In 2007, Wynonna filed for divorce from her husband of three years, D.R. Roach. Roach was arrested days earlier in Abilene, Texas and charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a minor. In 2009, Wynonna released “Sing: Chapter 1,” her first album in six years. She said the ten cover songs on the album “are a real cross-section of all the different genres I grew up with. It’s all me, it’s all part of the tapestry of who I am.” Also in 2009, Wynonna reunited with her mother to perform as The Judds at Nashville’s CMA Music Festival. In 2010, the duo recorded two new songs for their anthology “I Will Stand By You: The Essential Collection.” Wynonna’s latest solo album, “Love Heals,” is a collection of her hits, plus three previously unreleased songs. The album is available only at Cracker Barrel Country Stores. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. Last year, Wynonna and Naomi appeared in their own reality series “The Judds,” which aired on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. Wynonna recently formed the new band Wynonna & the Big Noise.
On June 1, Ronnie Dunn
of the Country duo Brooks & Dunn will celebrate his 59th birthday. The duo recorded its debut album, “Brand New Man,” in 1991. Since then, Brooks & Dunn have put out ten more collections. The duo’s 2003 CD, “Red Dirt Road,” produced several hits, including the title track, “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” and “That’s What She Gets For Loving Me.” In 2005, they recorded “Hillbilly Deluxe, which spawned such hits as “Play Something Country,” “Believe” and “Building Bridges.” Since 1991, Brooks & Dunn have won 14 Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year awards and 18 Academy of Country Music Vocal Duo honors. In August of 2009, Brooks & Dunn announced they were splitting up after performing their 2010 “Last Rodeo” tour. Ronnie’s self-titled debut solo album was released last year. Hits from the collection include the Top 10 lead single “Bleed Red,” “Cost of Livin’” and Ronnie current single, “Let the Cowboy Rock.”
Canadian singer Alanis Morissette
will turn 38 on June 1. Her 1995 debut album, “Jagged Little Pill,” produced the hits “You Oughta Know,” “Hand In My Pocket,” “Ironic,” “You Learn” and “Head Over Feet.” It also earned Morissette four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. Sales of the CD surpassed 16 million copies in the U.S. In 1998, she acted in the motion picture “Dogma,” which featured “Good Will Hunting” stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Morissette played the role of God. Her much-anticipated follow-up to “Jagged Little Pill” was released in 1998. “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” sold three million copies in the U.S. Morissette’s 2002 release, “Under Rug Swept,” included the hit single “Hands Clean.” She celebrated the 10th anniversary of “Jagged Little Pill” in 2005 by releasing a new, mostly acoustic version of the collection. Also released in 2005 was her greatest hits album, “The Collection.” Morissette’s latest album, “Flavors of Entanglement,” won a Juno Award for Album of the Year. In 2009, she appeared in eight episodes of the cable television series “Weeds.” In 2010, she married rapper Mario “MC Souleye” Treadway. They welcomed their first child, Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway in December of that year. Morissette’s new album, “Havoc and Bright Lights,” will be released in late August.
On June 2, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts
will celebrate his 71st birthday. Also a big band enthusiast, he collaborated with some of England’s top jazz musicians on the 1986 album “Live At Fulham Town Hall.” In 1992, his Charlie Watts Quintet recorded “A Tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings.” Since then, the quintet has recorded two more albums, 1993’s “Warm & Tender” and “Long Ago & Far Away” in 1996. From 2005 to 2007, Watts performed with the Rolling Stones on their “Bigger Bang” tour. In 2007, the group released its four-DVD live box set, “The Biggest Bang.” The 2010 re-release of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album “Exile On Main Street” debuted at Number One on the U.K. chart to become the group’s highest-ranking album on that list since 1994.
Kanye West leads the nominees for the 2012 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards. Kanye shares five of his seven nods with Jay-Z for their collaborative album, “Watch The Throne.” Other multiple nominees include Beyonce who earned six, Drake with four, and Chris Brown, Big Sean, Miguel and Lil Wayne with three each. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will receive this year’s BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, the 2012 BET Awards will take place on July 1 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Look Who's Going On Tour!
Madonna will launch her 2012 world tour on May 29 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The trek supports the pop icon’s latest album, MDNA
. North American shows are set to begin on August 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and wrap on October 10 in Los Angeles. Concerts are also planned in late 2012 and early 2013 in South America and Australia. MDNA
topped albums charts in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The first two singles from the collection, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” and “Girl Gone Wild” reached Number One on the U.S. dance chart.
On June 1, pop legend Neil Diamond will begin a North American tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’ll be performing all of his classic hits on the 35-date outing, which wraps up in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 1. Last month, Neil married his manager Katie McNeil. This is his third marriage and Katie’s first.
Country superstars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw will kick off their co-headlining “Brothers of the Sun” tour on June 2. The trek begins in Tampa, Florida. Special guests include Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Jake Owen. Most of the shows will take place at U.S. stadiums. In anticipation of the tour, Kenny and Tim recorded the duet “Feel Like A Rock Star.” They also have solo hits on the current Country chart. This week, Kenny debuts at Number 24 with “Come Over” and Tim holds at Number 7 with “Better Than I Used To Be.” In each of the tour’s 25 cities, Tim will give a mortgage-free home to military members who were wounded or are facing financial difficulties.