For Ke$ha Fans, Volunteering Brings Benefits
Nashville native Ke$ha is motivating her fans to participate in community service by giving away tickets to an upcoming concert. Those who volunteer their service to a project through Hands On Nashville will receive a free ticket to her July 31 show at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.
American Idol Begins New Round of Auditions
Auditions for the 11th season of American Idol begin on June 28 in St. Louis, Missouri. Other cities holding auditions include Portland, Oregon (July 2); San Diego, California (July 8); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (July 15); Charleston, South Carolina (July 22); Denver, Colorado (July 29); and Houston, Texas (August 26).
New AIDS Benefit Album Features Brazilian, International Indie Artists
On June 28, the HIV/AIDS benefit album, Red Hot + Rio 2, will be released. The compilation features more than 30 collaborations between Brazil’s legendary musicians and today’s international indie artists. The first Red Hot + Rio collection, released in 1996, raised over $1 million for HIV/AIDS awareness programs.
10th Anniversary Edition of Alicia Keys Album to Feature New Extras
J Records will issue the 10th anniversary edition of Alicia Keys’ Grammy-winning album, Songs In A Minor, on June 28. The double CD Deluxe Edition and three-CD Collector’s Edition feature an enhanced booklet with new liner notes written by Alicia. The Collector’s Edition also includes a documentary on the making of Songs In A Minor. The original 2001 release sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and brought her five Grammy Awards. Alicia will commemorate the album’s 10th anniversary by performing a concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre on June 30.
New CD Boasts New Take on Buddy Holly Music
On June 28, Fantasy Records will release Rave On Buddy Holly. The 19-track collection features new interpretations of Holly’s many classics sung by Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, Kid Rock, Cee Lo Green and The Black Keys, among others. Holly died in 1959 at the age of 22. September 7 will mark what would have been his 75th birthday.
Brooks, Jackson, Grant Among Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees
Fifteen songwriters have been nominated for induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The 2011 nominees in the Songwriter/Artist category include Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Townes Van Zandt, Amy Grant and Larry Gatlin. In addition, Gretchen Peters, Thom Schuyler, Allen Shamblin, John Scott Sherrill, Mark James, Dan Penn, Jan Crutchfield, J.J. Cale, Robert Byrne and John Bettis are nominated in the Songwriter category. The Hall of Fame recognizes songwriters’ commercial success and/or artistic achievements that dates back at least 20 years and has “positively impacted and been closely associated with the Nashville Music Community and deemed to be outstanding and significant.” Two nominees in the Songwriter category and one in the Songwriter/Artist category will be added during the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on October 16.
Dolly Parton to Release New Album
On June 28, Country legend Dolly Parton will release her new album Better Day on her own Dolly Records label. Its first single is a remake of her 1974 duet with Porter Wagoner, “Together You and I.” She’ll promote the collection on a world tour, which begins on July 17 in Knoxville, Tennessee. After wrapping up North American dates, Dolly is scheduled to tour throughout Europe and Australia. In other news, Dolly will appear in the upcoming film Joyful Noise. The musical comedy also stars Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer and Courtney B. Vance. It’s expected to be in theaters in January 2012.
Country Music Academy Hosts Music Camp
The Academy of Country Music’s second annual Lifting Lives Music Camp takes place June 26 through July 1 in Nashville. Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Wynonna, Little Big Town and Gary Allan are among the Country stars donating their time to the event. The camp supports the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s mission to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Campers celebrate music by participating in a songwriting workshop, recording session, songwriter's night and a live performance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
New Album Releases June 28:
“4” by Beyonce
“When the Sun Goes Down” by Selena Gomez & The Scene
“This Loud Morning” by David Cook
“I’m American” by Billy Ray Cyrus
“Dedicated To Chaos” by Queensryche
“Horses and High Heels” by Marianne Faithfull
“Harrow & the Harvest” by Gillian Welch
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits:
The 2011 Essence Music Festival will take place July 1-3 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s lineup includes Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Fantasia, Trey Songz and Jennifer Hudson, among many others. Last year’s Essence Music Festival drew more than 400,000 people.
Awards Presentations / Winners:
The 2011 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards were presented on June 26 in Los Angeles. R&B singer Chris Brown led the nominees with six nominations, including Best Male R&B Artist, Best Actor for his role in “Takers” and Video of the Year for “Look at Me Now.” Following close behind with five nods is rapper Lil Wayne. Drake, Kanye West and Rihanna earned three nominations apiece. During the ceremony, Patti LaBelle will receive a BET Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her five decades in music. Steve Harvey will be given the Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic contributions. (Complete list of nominees and winners at www.bet.com.)
Look Who's Going on Tour!
On June 29, Meat Loaf will kick off a North American tour in support of his upcoming album, Hell In A Handbasket. Shows begin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and wrap up on September 1 in Joliet, Illinois. Meat Loaf’s new CD is due out later this year.
Kid Rock is taking Sheryl Crow on the road with him for the second North American leg of his “Born Free” tour. The outing starts on July 2 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sheryl was featured on Kid’s 2002 hit “Picture” and can also be heard on his latest single, “Collide.” Kid Rock told Billboard.com that the shows could lead to a live album release. He said they “have been wanting to do a live record together forever. If we do our hits - ‘Picture’ and, if the clouds align and it becomes [a hit], ‘Collide’ - and we do some fun covers we’ve been doing throughout the years and throw them on an album, that’ll be fun for people to hear.” Their 32-date tour ends on September 3 in Houston, Texas.