Ringo Starr Releases New Album
On January 12, Hip-O Records will release the new album by former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. Y Not features several guest artists, including Paul McCartney, Joss Stone, Ben Harper and Richard Marx. One week after its release, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will host "American Express Presents Ringo Starr." The live interview and performance will benefit the Grammy Museum. Executive Director Robert Santelli will conduct the interview. Santelli said, "The Grammy Museum is excited to welcome such a musical legend to our stage. The mere mention of the name 'Ringo' conjures up such an unparalleled legacy of music that I'm thrilled to offer fans the opportunity to hear from him in such a personal way." Ringo will discuss the new album, which is described as his most personal work to date.
New 'Idol' Season Features Degeneres
The ninth season of American Idol will premiere on Fox-TV January 12. The first few weeks of the show will feature regional auditions that took place from June through September 2009. This year's guest judges include Katy Perry, Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige and Avril Lavigne, among others. Paula Abdul, who quit the show after judging the first eight seasons, has been replaced by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. She joins Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the judge's panel. Ellen said, "Hopefully I'm the people's point of view because I'm just like you. I sit at home and I watch it. I'm not looking at it in a critical way from the producer's mind. I'm looking at it as a person who is going to buy the music and is going to relate to that person."
Kanye West Reappears
Kanye West has stayed out of the spotlight following the backlash he received for interrupting Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech. Over New Year's weekend, he reappeared by posting a blog that said, "I'm so happy being back in the studio making new music. Let us look past headlines and deal with just a bit of reality in this new decade. We have our own outlets now. We don't have to believe everything anymore. Now I'll figure out a way to make that rhyme."
Destiny's Child's Williams Lands Role in 'Chicago'
Former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams is joining the Broadway cast of Chicago. The 29-year-old singer will begin playing the role of Roxie Hart on February 8. Ashlee Simpson-Wentz currently plays that role. In 2003, Williams made her Broadway debut in Aida. She also was in the national touring production of The Color Purple.
Green Day to Preview 'American Idiot' in March
The Broadway show adaptation of Green Day's American Idiot album begins previews in March. The official opening is scheduled for April 20 at the St. James Theatre in New York. The musical's 2009 run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California was a sell-out.
Kravitz Denies Leaking Jackson Single
A portion of a song the late Michael Jackson recorded shortly before his June 2009 death was recently leaked online. Another Day features Lenny Kravitz, who posted an online video to let fans know he wasn't responsible for the leak. He said, "Mine has been locked up in a vault since we recorded it. The version that's out is a minute and 30 seconds, roughly, of the track - not mixed - but it is the track. The DJ who's speaking over the track, I don't know who that person is. I don't know how he obtained it, but that person has nothing to do with the track." Kravitz produced the song and played all the instruments. He called it "one of the most amazing musical experiences I've ever had."
New Album Releases January 12:
"Ollusion" by Omarion, "July Flame" by Laura Veirs, "For Heaven's Sake" by Carol Channing, "I'll Be There: A Smooth Jazz Tribute to Michael Jackson" by various artists and the original motion picture soundtrack to "Sherlock Holmes."
The 2010 People's Choice Awards, honoring celebrities in film, television and music, were presented on January 6 in Los Angeles. Lady Gaga was a double winner. She took home the Favorite Breakout Artist and Favorite Pop Artist awards. Other winners in the music categories included Taylor Swift, Favorite Female Artist; Keith Urban, Favorite Male Artist; Carrie Underwood, Favorite Country Artist; Eminem, Favorite Hip-Hop Artist; Paramore, Favorite Rock Band; Mariah Carey, Favorite R&B Artist; and Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye West, Favorite Music Collaboration for "Run This Town."
Look Who's Going On Tour!
On January 15, Country group Rascal Flatts will kick off its 2010 concerts in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 23-date tour will be the final leg of Rascal Flatts' "Unstoppable Tour." Darius Rucker will open the shows. Rascal Flatts played to more than one million fans in 2009.