Music News: Justin Bieber Album Hits No. 1; American Idol Field Continues to Shrink
Music News: Justin Bieber Album Hits No. 1; American Idol Field Continues to Shrink

On March 15, the 25th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions will take place at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.  This year's class includes ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, the Hollies and The Stooges.  Non-performers being added to the prestigious hall include record company mogul David Geffen and songwriters Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman says, "We are very happy to present this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as they represent a great cross-section of artists that define the broad spectrum and history of rock and roll and people that have contributed immeasurably to our business."

British singer-songwriter Taio Cruz jumps 52 positions to take over the Number One position on Billboard's Hot 100 chart with his debut hit, "Break Your Heart" (week ending March 20).  The song, which features rapper Ludacris, sold 273,000 digital downloads during the past week.  Cruz, 26,  sets a new record for the biggest chart leap with a debut single.  "Rokstarr" will be his first album released in the U.S.  It's expected to be out in May.  The album was released in Europe in 2009.

More details about Placido Domingo's recent health problems have been released.  The 69-year-old opera tenor was admitted to a New York hospital after complaining of abdominal pains while performing in Japan.  New reports say that doctors discovered colon cancer and removed a malignant polyp.  Domingo is out of the hospital, but is under doctors' orders to rest for six weeks.

On March 8, Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne began serving a one-year prison sentence on weapons charges.  Last October, he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and admitted that he had a loaded gun on his tour bus in 2007.  He could be released from the Eric M. Taylor Center in East Elmhurst, New York in eight months with good behavior.  Because he's a celebrity, Lil Wayne has been given a "low level of protective custody."

The Top 12 finalists for "American Idol" Season 9 have been chosen.  They are Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lacey Brown, Lee DeWyze, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Paige Miles, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban.  For their performances March 16-17, the Top 12 will perform songs from the Rolling Stones' catalog.    


New albums scheduled for release on March 16 include: "Under Great White Northern Lights" by The White Stripes, "Venom" by Chamillionaire, "Here I Am" by Marvin Sapp, "Imaginary Television" by Graham Parker, "Next Me" by Jasmine, "Classic Fantastic" by Fun Lovin' Criminals, "The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III" by Kirk Whalum, "Mercury Albums Anthology" (double CD set) by The Runaways and "Sunday In The Country" (country/gospel compilation) by various artists.


The 2010 South By Southwest Music and Media Conference begins on March 17 in Austin, Texas.  The five-day event's daily panel discussion, Music Trade Show and Day Stage Café are held at the Austin Convention Center.  In addition, the South By Southwest Music Festival will showcase more than 1,500 bands from 59 countries at 80 concert venues throughout Austin.  This year's keynote speaker is legendary singer Smokey Robinson.

The 2010 Jazz in the Gardens Festival will take place on March 20-21 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  Songwriter-producer Brian Michael Cox will serve as this year's DJ.  Performers include Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Melanie Fiona, Robin Thicke, Joe Sample, Cassandra Wilson, Eric Roberson, Boyz II Men, David Sanborn, Teena Marie, K'Jon, John Saxx, Kawan DeBose and Rachel Brown.


On March 18, Daughtry will begin the second leg of its North American arena tour in Baltimore, Maryland.  The rock band recently returned to the U.S. after performing throughout Europe and the U.K.  Daughtry's 2009 album, "Leave This Town," includes the current hit, "Life After You."  Lead singer Chris Daughtry co-wrote the track with Nickelback's Chad Kroeger.  Lifehouse and Cavao will open all concerts on Daughtry's tour.

Country star Miranda Lambert will kick off her first official headlining tour on March 18 in Beckley, West Virginia.  Several artists will share the opening slot on her 22-city "Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars" tour.  They include David Nail, James Otto, Randy Houser, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Chris Young and Wade Bowen.  Miranda will be supporting her latest album "Revolution," which features her new hit, "The House That Built Me."