This week, Kelly Clarkson scores the second Number One debut of her career on the Billboard 200.  Her fourth album, All I Ever Wanted, sold close to 255,000 copies its first week of release.  The album's lead single, "My Life Would Suck Without You," recently spent two weeks at Number One on the Hot 100 chart.  Clarkson's first chart-topper on the Billboard 200 was her 2002 debut album, Thankful.

Bad Economy Impacting Ticket Sales

Artists are recognizing the current economy's impact on the touring industry, so many are lowering ticket prices.  Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni told USA Today, "They're creating lower price levels so that everybody will be able to come.  I don't think anybody is looking around and going, 'Boy, I think I can sell out at $150 a ticket.  That's just not today's reality."  The Dave Matthews Band, Keith Urban, U2 and No Doubt are among the acts offering some seats in the $20 and $30 range.  Tickets to Michael Jackson's London concerts will go for between $68 and $103.  The average ticket price for 2008's Top 10 tours was over $151.

Country Artist Rich to Release Solo Album

The first solo album by Country singer John Rich will be released on March 24.  Son Of A Preacher Man includes his current hit "Shuttin' Detroit Down."  Rich says the song "is about the working men and women of America, and how Washington and New York City are slinging billions of dollars over the tops of our heads, while hard working people are going down the drain."  John is half of the popular Country duo Big & Rich.  Last year, his singing partner, Big Kenny, needed some time off to undergo treatment for a pre-existing injury.  Big & Rich will be back together in June, when they kick off a U.S. concert tour that's scheduled to run through the end of August.

Indigo Girls Release New CD on New Label

The Indigo Girls recently formed their own label IG Recordings.  On March 24, they'll release the double CD, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug.  One disc includes full band versions of the tracks, while the second disc is acoustic.  "It's basically like two perspectives of the same song," says group member Amy Ray.

Carlisle Voted Off ' Dancing With The Stars'

Reality show update:  Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle was the first contestant voted off this season's Dancing With The Stars.  And, on March 18, 21-year-old Alexis Grace was voted off American Idol.  The week's theme was songs by members of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.  The single mother from Memphis, Tennessee performed Dolly Parton's "Jolene."  Country star Randy Travis was the week's celebrity mentor.  Left on the show are the final 10, who will go on the "Idols Live" tour later this year.

Madonna Talks to Malawi Newspaper About Adopted Son in Exclusive Online Interview

Madonna recently gave an exclusive online interview to Malawi newspaper The Nation to talk about the Malawian child she adopted.  She answered questions on David's health, how her other children interact with him, his love of music and other activities he enjoys.  Madonna also explained how she's keeping him in touch with his African roots and Raising Malawi, the organization she founded in 2006 to provide support to Malawi's orphans.  When asked if she plans to adopt other children, Madonna said, in part, "Many people, especially our Malawian friends, say that David should have a Malawian brother or sister.  It's something I have been considering, but would only do if I had the support of the Malawian people and government."  (Additional excerpts of interview at - entertainment link.)

New Album Releases March 24

 "Shine" - Martina McBride
 "In A Perfect World" - Keri Hilson
 "Metamorphosis" - Papa Roach
 "Now That's What I Call Music! 30" - various artists
 "Now That's What I Call Power Ballads" - various artists
"Hannah Montana: The Movie"- original motion picture soundtrack
"Pray IV Reign" - Jim Jones
 "Keep Your Soul: A Tribute To Doug Sahm" - various artists
 "Yes" - the Pet Shop Boys
 "He and She" - Wynton Marsalis
 "Carolina" - Eric Church
 "Voices" - Yanni,
 "Shrek The Musical" -  Broadway Cast Recording
 "It's That Girl Again" - Basia

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits

On March 25, the Honors Gala to benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.  Four awards will be given out during the event.  Former BMI (publishing rights organization) President and CEO Frances Preston will be honored with the Lifetime Music Industry Award for her years of service to the music industry and songwriters worldwide.  Academy Award-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones will present former Vice President Al Gore with the Lifetime Humanitarian Award.  Dr. Harold Moses, director emeritus of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will receive the Lifetime Medical Research Award for his dedication to cancer research.  And, Nashville-based Ingram Industries President and CEO Orrin Ingram will receive the Lifetime Philanthropic Award for his dedication to helping the Nashville community and others.  Country singer Lee Ann Womack and pop singer Michael Bolton will perform at the gala.  The T.J. Martell Foundation supports research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.  Created in 1975, the Foundation has raised more than $225 million.

The 11th Ultra Music Festival will take place March 27 and 28 at Bicentennial Park in Miami, Florida.  The Black Eyed Peas, Moby, The Prodigy and Bloc Party are among this year's headliners.  The two-day event is considered to be one of the world's leading electronic music festivals.

Look who's going on tour!

On March 24, Prince will celebrate the launch of his new web site by performing three secret shows at different locations in the Los Angeles area. reports that his musicians don't even know details about the concerts.  On March 25, Prince will play the first of four consecutive nights on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.