Gregg Allman, co-founder of the southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, underwent liver transplant surgery on June 23. Allman, 62, has been in need of a new liver since being diagnosed the Hepatitis C in late-2007. The surgery forced the band to suspend its current tour plans and cancel an appearance at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in Chicago on June 26.
Buffet Leads Concert in Support of Oil Spill Victims
Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band performed a free concert on July 1 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The event showed support of residents and businesses affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Other performers joining Buffett for the concert include Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Allen Toussaint and Jesse Winchester.
Tupac Among Library of Congress Inductees
On June 23, the U.S. Library of Congress' National Recording Registry announced this year's inductees. Among the 25 recordings are Tupac Shakur's song "Dear Mama"; Willie Nelson's album "Red Headed Stranger;" and the 1959 original cast album of "Gypsy;" and R.E.M.'s single "Radio Free Europe." Criteria for induction into the Registry are that the work be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and be at least 10 years old. The new inductees bring the total number of recordings in the Registry to 300. The complete list can be found at Billboard.com
Slipknot Bassist Death Ruled 'Accidental'
An autopsy by the Polk County, Iowa, Medical Examiner's Office determined that the death of Paul Gray, bassist for Grammy-winning metal band Slipknot, was the result of an "accidental" overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute. Gray was found dead on May 25 in his hotel room near Des Moines, Iowa. The autopsy also found that Gray, 38, suffered from "significant heart disease." Gray co-founded the band in 1995. Slipknot's trademarks included wearing grotesque masks in public, beating each other up on stage, and calling their fans "maggots."
Lennon's Handwritten Lyrics Fetch Over $1 Million at Auction
John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "A Day In The Life" sold for $1.2 million at Sotheby's auction house in New York on June 18. Sotheby's didn't release the name of the American collector who made the winning bid. "A Day In The Life" appeared on the Beatles' multi-Grammy-winning album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In 2005, an anonymous bidder in the U.K. paid $1.25 million for the lyrics to the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."
Bret Michaels Adds Chapter to Autobiography
Rock singer and reality show star Bret Michaels is adding another chapter to his upcoming autobiography, Roses & Thorns. Bret told Billboard.com, "I don't think Simon & Schuster has ever had a book like this, where every day something else happens to me. This book was supposed to come out June 23 of last summer (2009), and then I had the Tony Awards incident (he was hit in the head by a piece of scenery) happen, so they wanted to put that in there. Then I had the brain hemorrhage and they're like, 'You gotta talk about that.'" Simon & Schuster's release list shows the book will be out on February 1, 2011, but Michaels hopes that will be moved up to November 2010. Bret is currently performing a U.S. tour in support of his upcoming album, Custom Built, which will be released on July 6. The album includes a duet with Miley Cyrus on the single, "Nothing To Lose."
Artists Record Single for Gulf Relief Foundation
Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty and actor Tim Robbins have recorded the single "It Ain't My Fault" to benefit the Gulf Relief Foundation. The foundation aids families in need and supports wetlands preservation. Producer Stephen Rehage says making the charity single "was one of those spontaneous, crazy things that can happen only in New Orleans." The song's audio and video downloads are available on iTunes.
Miller, Chesney Team Up for Country Music TV Special
Classic rock singer Steve Miller and Country star Kenny Chesney recently recorded a CMT (Country Music Television) "Crossroads" special. During the hour-long show, they perform each other's well-known hits and share stories about their lives and careers. CMT will air the special on July 9.
Nashville Songwriters Plan Flood Relief for Tennessee
Some of Nashville's top songwriters are planning a concert to benefit flood relief efforts in Tennessee. "Songwriters Sing For Nashville" will take place on July 17 at Nashville's new outdoor venue The Woods at Fontanel. The concert will feature appearances by Matraca Berg, Kye Fleming, Dallas Frazier, Mark D. Sanders, Mike Reid, Roger Murrah, and others. Murrah says, "What a pleasure it will be to join our efforts and resources to help relieve those who are still trying to recover from the Nashville flood. Our performing Hall of Fame members will be inspired by this great cause and the beautiful grounds surrounding this new venue to sing their classic songs from their hearts."
Etheridge, Go-Go's to be Added to Hollywood Walk of Fame
It's just been announced that nine musical artists will be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. They include Melissa Etheridge, the Go-Go's, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Rascal Flatts, Los Tigres Del Norte, Slash, will.i.am, Buddy Holly and Louis Prima. Also set to earn stars on the Walk of Fame are 21 celebrities from motion pictures, television and live performance theater. (Complete list at www.hollywoodchamber.net.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES June 29:
"Last Train To Paris" - Diddy
"Armando" - Pitbull
"Laws Of Power" - Three 6 Mafia
"Love King" - The-Dream
"Night Work" - Scissor Sisters
"The Dark Side" - Fat Joe, the original motion picture soundtrack to "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (The Score)"
"Staring Down The Brilliant Dream" - the Indigo Girls
"Paradise" - Judy Collins
"Just Across The River" - Jimmy Webb
"Street Songs of Love" - Alejandro Escovedo
"6 String Theory" - Lee Ritenour
"Stones Touring Party Fan Pack" (box set) - The Rolling Stones, "Time Flies?1994-2009" (3-CD/1-DVD box set) - Oasis
"Live At The Forum" (2-CD set) by The Jackson 5.
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits
The 2010 Essence Music Festival was held in New Orleans July 2-4. This year's festival celebrated the 40th anniversary of Essence magazine. Headliners included Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Keri Hilson and Gladys Knight, among others.
London's "Wireless" festival took place at Hyde Park July 2-4. Pink was the opening day headliner. She issued a statement that says, "Hyde Park is such a legendary place to play and I feel so honored that I am going to be the first female to headline the festival." Jay-Z, Lily Allen, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, The Ting Tings, Bowling For Soup and Drake were among the many other artists scheduled to appear at the three-day event.