September 3, Rhino Records will release Ray Charles Sings For America. The album includes his classic version of America The Beautiful. It also features Charles' new track God Bless America Again, which he recorded with Billy Preston and Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash. On September 10, Charles will perform alongside Travis Tritt for the taping of an upcoming Country Music Television (CMT) Crossroads special. CMT will air the special in November.

Epic Records will release Ozzfest 2002: The Live Album on September 3. The set includes tracks by Ozzy Osbourne, System Of A Down, P.O.D., Rob Zombie, Ozzy's daughter Kelly Osbourne, Drowning Pool, and others who performed on this year's festival tour.

New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi and Latin singer Enrique Iglesias will help kick off the National Football League's season with a concert in New York's Time Square. Portions of the September 5 show will air on MTV, VHI, CBS and ESPN. That same day, Bon Jovi will perform during halftime festivities at the New York Giants' season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

On September 7, Country star Tim McGraw will perform a concert in his hometown of Start, Louisiana. The show, dubbed Sing Me Home, will be taped for an upcoming NBC television special. In other news, McGraw's next album for Curb Records will be released on November 26.



Controversial rapper Eminem led the winners at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. In addition to winning the Best Video of the Year honor for Without Me, he took home the trophies for Best Male Video, Best Rap Video and Best Direction. No Doubt and Pink picked up two awards each, and White Stripes went home with three. The New Artist Video award went to 16-year-old Avril Lavigne for her debut single Complicated. 19-year-old Michelle Branch earned the Viewer's Choice Award for her smash hit Everywhere.

Nominations for the 36th annual Country Music Association Awards were announced on August 29. Arista recording artist Alan Jackson earned 10 nominations, which breaks the all-time single-year nomination record of nine, held by Merle Haggard since 1970. Other leading contenders include Toby Keith with six nods; Brad Paisley and George Strait, with four each; Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss, with three apiece; and double nominees Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Nickel Creek and Rascal Flatts. The CMA Awards will be presented on November 6 in Nashville, Tennessee. During the ceremony, singers Bill Carlisle and Porter Wagoner will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

21-year-old R&B newcomer Ashanti was named Entertainer of the Year at this year's Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. The ceremony took place on August 24 in Pasadena, California. Ashanti also took home the Best R&B/Soul New Solo Artist award. Other winners included Alicia Keys, who earned the Solo Artist of the Year award and R&B/Soul Album of the Year honor for Songs In A Minor; Yolanda Adams, Gospel Album of the Year for Believe; the late Aaliyah, Best R&B Solo Single and Song of the Year for Rock The Boat; and Destiny's Child, which won the Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year trophy for Survivor and the Best R&B Single award for Emotion.


The Rolling Stones will kick off their 40th anniversary tour on September 3 in Boston, Massachusetts. Forty North American shows are currently scheduled through February 1, 2003. Among the artists opening shows throughout the Stones "Licks" tour are the Pretenders, No Doubt, Sheryl Crow, Jonny Lang, Shaggy, Elvis Costello, Dr. John and Shemekia Copeland.

September 3, Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias will head out on a North American tour in support of his upcoming album, due out September 17. The as-yet-untitled CD marks his first all-Spanish language release since 1998's Cosas Del Amor. Iglesias will wrap up the first set of tour dates on October 26 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

September 4, Neil Diamond will begin a 16-date North American concert tour in New Orleans, Louisiana. The outing is in support of his 2001 album, Three Chord Opera. He'll wrap up his itinerary on October 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kenny Rogers will perform a month-long series of Canadian concerts, beginning September 5 in Kelowna, British Columbia. Diamond Rio and newcomer Rebecca Lynn Howard will join Kenny on the 12-city outing. U.S. dates will begin on October 4 in Bangor, Maine.