December is going to be a very busy month for pop singer Britney Spears. Her new album, Britney Jean, will be released on December 3 and her “Britney: Piece of Me” engagement at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas kicks off December 27. E! cable television channel is filming Spears as she prepares for the two-year residency. The 90-minute documentary, “I Am Britney Spears,” airs on December 22. E! says the special will give fans “an intimate look at one of the most overexposed yet under-revealed stars of today as she faces one of her biggest challenges ever while finishing her album, shooting videos, doing press -- and being a mom.”
Eminem Dominates Billboard Chart
Rapper Eminem sold 792,000 copies of his new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 its first week of release. That gives him the Number One spot on this week’s Billboard 200 chart and the second-biggest sales week of 2013. Only Justin Timberlake opened with a higher number. His 20/20 Experience sold 968,000 copies. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is Eminem’s seventh Number One album.
In addition to Eminem’s Number One debut, three other albums make Top 10 entries on this week’s Billboard 200 chart. Celine Dion comes in at Number 2 with Loved Me Back To Life, Avril Lavigne’s self-titled fifth album debuts at Number 5, and PTX: Vol. II by Penatonix lands on the list at Number 10.
Pennell, Robichaud Among 'The Voice' Finalists
Fans of the NBC reality show The Voice have chosen their Top 10 finalists. They include Caroline Pennell and Kat Robichaud from Team Cee Lo (Green); Tessanne Chin, Will Champlin and James Wolpert from Team Adam (Levine); Austin Jenckes, Cole Vosbury and Ray Boudreaux from Team Blake (Shelton); and Matthew Schuler and Jacquie Lee from Team Christina (Aguilera). For the first time, fans were given the chance to save one singer who was in the bottom three by casting a vote on Twitter. Kat Robichaud was saved, while Jonny Gray and Josh Logan were sent home.
Mary J. Blige to Headline HSN Concert
Cable channel HSN (Home Shopping Network) will feature R&B singer Mary J. Blige in a holiday concert on November 17. The hour-long special celebrates the recent release of her first holiday album, A Mary Christmas. Blige will be accompanied by a live orchestra and choir directed by Grammy-winning producer and Verve Music Group chairman David Foster.
Carole King Musical to Open on Broadway
On November 21, previews will begin at New York’s Steven Sondheim Theatre for the new Broadway show, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Jessie Mueller plays the lead role of the Grammy-winning singer. "What’s so great about this for me is that musicals were a major influence on my songwriting," Carole King said in a statement."In fact, when Gerry (Goffin) and I first met, we made a bargain that I would write music for the Broadway show he wanted to write if he wrote lyrics for my rock ‘n' roll songs. The songs took off, and the show idea never came to fruition. Now that our songs have merged with a Broadway show, we’ve come full circle.” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” officially opens on January 12, 2014.
Latin Recording Academy to Honor Miguel Bose
On November 20, the Latin Recording Academy will honor Spanish singer, author and actor Miguel Bose as its Person of the Year. He’ll receive the award at a star-studded concert and tribute gala in Las Vegas. Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy said in a statement, “As a truly international organization, The Latin Recording Academy looks to honor individuals who have made an extraordinary global impression on music and culture, and this year we take great pride in honoring a very talented performer and philanthropist whose immense talent and generosity have had a profound impact. We look forward to paying tribute to one of today’s most respected and avant-garde artists as well as a man whose selflessness has benefited many around the world.”
Over the years, Bose has donated his time and money to various charitable organizations, social projects and environmental causes. His Foundation Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) fights for the right to live in peace. Also being recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards are Venezuelan singer-songwriter Oscar D’Leon, Cuban artist Juan Formell and Brazilian composer/guitarist Robert Menescal.
New Album Releases / November 19:
“X” by Chris Brown
“Baptized” by Daughtry
“Surrender to the Fantasy” by Magik Markers
“Don’t Tell the Driver” by Mick Turner
“Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013” by Eric Clapton and various guest artists
“Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’ - Live In Sydney” (DVD) by Cliff Richard
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits
On November 22, Country music stars will be in Nashville to perform at the George Jones tribute concert, “Playin’ Possum! The Final NO Show.” The legendary singer was scheduled to perform the final show of his farewell tour at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on that date and many of his peers planned to share the stage with him. Jones died on April 26, eight days after being hospitalized with a fever and irregular blood pressure. He was 81. The sold-out “Playin’ Possum! The Final NO Show” will feature performances by more than 70 artists. They include Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Jones’ wife, Nancy, said “I am so excited how this show has evolved and I will be forever grateful to the artists that are coming to honor George. The evening might be long, but I don’t think people will be upset as they will witness the best musical tribute Nashville has ever seen with so many artists performing George Jones songs.”
- Canadian pop singer Gordon Lightfoot turned 65. Lightfoot’s biggest hits include “If you Could Read My Mind,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “Sundown.” In 1986, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Last year, Lightfoot entered the National Academy of Popular Music’s Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Guitarist Isaac Hanson of the sibling pop trio Hanson celebrates his 33rd birthday. In 1997, the group recorded its multi-million-selling album, “Middle of Nowhere,” which produced the Number One smash hit “Mmmbop.” This past June, Hanson released its ninth album, “Anthem.” The band wraps up its 2013 “Anthem World Tour” on December 17 in Milan, Italy.
November 18 - Birth date of the late singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer (born 1909). The respected composer wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs. Several won Academy Awards, including “Days of Wine & Rose,” “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” and “Moon River.”
November 20 - Rock guitarist Joe Walsh will celebrate his 66th birthday. Walsh performed with The James Gang from 1969-1971. Four years later, he joined the Eagles. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Last year, Walsh released “Analog Man,” his first solo album in 20 years. The Eagles will wrap up dates on their “History of the Eagles Live In Concert” tour on November 23. They’ll resume the outing January 15, 2014. The band is scheduled to perform in the U.K. and Ireland in May and June 2014.
Country singer Dierks Bentley turns 38. The Arizona native moved to Nashville at age 19 to attend Vanderbilt University. He was signed to Capitol Records in 2003. Bentley has topped the Country chart 10 times. His hits include “Come A Little Closer,” “Feel That Fire” and “5-1-5-0.”
- Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen will celebrate her 28th birthday. In 2007, she placed third on “Canadian Idol.” Jepsen was discovered by Justin Bieber, which led to recording deal with his manager’s label Schoolboy Records and Interscope Records. Last year, Jepsen topped the pop chart with “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time.”
November 22 - Guitarist Steven Van Zandt will turn 63. In 1975, he joined Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Van Zandt left the group in 1986, but returned in 1999. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed a 133-date, 26-country world tour to support their latest album “Wrecking Ball.” From 1999 to 2007, Van Zandt acted in the television series “The Sopranos.” He currently stars in the drama series “Lilyhammer.” Netflix will premiere the show’s second season on December 13.
- Singer and actress Miley Cyrus celebrates her 21st birthday. Cyrus launched her acting career in 2006 in the Disney television series “Hannah Montana.” The following year, she signed a four-album recording deal with Hollywood Records. Last year, she left the label and signed with RCA Records for the release of her new album “Bangerz.” The lead track, “We Can’t Stop,” peaked at Number 2 on the Hot 100 chart. Its second single, “Wrecking Ball,” became Cyrus’ first Number One hit on the U.S. charts.
Awards Presentations / Winners:
On November 21, the Latin Recording Academy will present its 14th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. This year’s top contenders are American sound engineer Javier Garza, Colombian singer Carlos Vives and Argentinian duo Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas. Each received five nominations. Following close behind with four nominations apiece are Alejandro Sanz, Edgar Barrera, Andres Castro, Caetano Veloso and Julio Reyes Copello. (For a complete list of nominees, go to www.latingrammy.com.)
Look Who's Going On Tour!
This week, pop star Justin Bieber will take his “Believe” world tour to Mexico and New Zealand. He’ll play shows in Mexico City on November 18 and 19, then head to Auckland, New Zealand for two performances on November 23 and 24. Also on his itinerary are eight shows in Australia. Stops include Brisbane (November 26 and 27), Sydney (November 29 and 30), Melbourne (December 2 and 3), Hindmarsh (December 5) and Perth (December 8).
Bon Jovi took home the Top Tour trophy at the 2013 Billboard Touring Awards. The New Jersey rock group also won the Top Draw and Eventful Fans’ Choice awards, and Bon Jovi Management was named Top Manager. Other winners include Pink (Top Boxscore), Jeff Dunham (Top Comedy Tour), Taylor Swift’s “Red Tour” featuring Ed Sheeran, Joel Crouse, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line and Casey James (Top Package) and One Direction (Breakthrough).