AWARDS & BENEFITS NEWS: Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Prince Among 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Jackson Browne, The Dells, George Harrison, Prince, Bob Seger, Traffic and ZZ Top will be inducted into the 19th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, March 15 at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“These inductees represent many influential genres of rock and roll, including pop, funk, soul, boogie and psychedelia,” said Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.. “We expect this year’s show to be unique and exciting with highly anticipated moments.”

Harrison, who died of cancer in November 2001, is former Hall of Famer as a member of the Beatles. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria considered includes the influence and significance of the artist's contribution to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

The Foundation's nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the "artist" category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of about 700 rock experts.

The honoree in the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Non-Performer Category will be announced shortly.—Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

More Names Join 'Jazz Masters' Roster

NEW YORK (AP) — Count Basie. Miles Davis. Ella Fitzgerald. Dizzy Gillespie. Sarah Vaughan. These are some of the names that have been previously honored as America's "Jazz Masters" by the National Endowment for the Arts.

On Wednesday at Manhattan's LaGuardia High School for Music and Art, the title of NEA Jazz Master was expanded to include a jazz advocate — music critic Nat Hentoff.

The others awarded were guitarist Jim Hall, rhythm instrumentalist Chico Hamilton, pianist Herbie Hancock, arranger-composer Luther Henderson and vocalist Nancy Wilson.

"America is filled with underutilized, underemployed artists," NEA Chairman Dana Gioia told an audience that included LaGuardia high school students.

Established in 1982, the NEA Jazz Masters program adds more great jazz names to its roster each year. The goal is to select living artists who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

The winners will be honored at a ceremony and concert to be held in New York on Jan. 23, 2004 and televised nationally. Each "Jazz Master" is to receive $25,000.

The NEA is working with the Verve Music Group on a commemorative double CD set of recordings by 28 "Jazz Masters" to be released in January.

In addition to a nationwide tour that will bring jazz to all 50 states, hour-long audio profiles of the winners will be aired.

Those awarded are chosen through nominations submitted by the public, then reviewed by a panel of jazz experts.

To date, 73 jazz artists have been named "Jazz Masters."

Hall, this year's winner as guitarist, turned professional when he was 13. He has recorded nine CDs in the past decade.

Hamilton, a bandleader, began as a teenage sideman with Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.

Hancock performed as a solo pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he was 11 and by 1998, won three Grammys for his recording "Gershwin's World."

And Henderson composed and arranged music for greats like Ellington.

Wilson began singing at 15, in clubs where talent agents discovered her. Recently, she has served as host of the National Public Radio program "Jazz Profiles."

BMI's 11th Annual Latin Awards To Be Held In Puerto Rico For First Time


(CelebrityAccess News Service) — BMI's 11th annual Latin Awards will be held March 16 at the Ritz Carlton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, marking the first time that awards dinner will be held there.

The awards recognize the songwriters and publishers of the most played Latin songs on US. radio and television from BMI's repertoire of approximately 4.5 million musical works from around the world. The Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Publisher of the Year will be announced during the evening. Winners from previous years have included Estefano, Shakira, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Juanes, Luis Miguel, Juan Luis Guerra and Lupillo Rivera.

"We are very pleased to bring BMI's premiere Latin music event to San Juan," said Diane Almodovar, BMI assistant VP of Latin Music. "When we created the awards 11 years ago, we intended to bring them to each of the major US Latin markets. San Juan is certainly one of the most important."

The awards event has previously been staged in Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio.–Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Britney Spears Gets Star On Walk Of Fame

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Part of Hollywood Boulevard is now "In the Zone" of Britney Spears. The pop star received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday before nearly 2,000 screaming fans.

The event took place one day after her corset-jiggling appearance on the American Music Awards and a day before her latest album, "In the Zone," was set to arrive in stores.

She arrived at the ceremony in jeans, a pink shirt and a furry pink jacket, and immediately began signing posters and magazines for admirers. One young woman, perched on a friend's shoulders, leaned over a barricade and begged Spears to touch her hand — then exploded in tears when the singer complied.

"I'm seriously speechless right now," Spears told the crowd. "This is something that I've dreamt about since I was a little girl. I can't believe I'm actually here with all of you amazing fans. Hello?"

At 21, Spears tied with former "Little House on the Prairie" actress Melissa Gilbert for being the youngest person to accept a Walk of Fame star. Gilbert, now 39 and president of the Screen Actors Guild, received her honor in 1985.

Spears made funny faces at friends and giggled as Johnny Grant, the Walk of Fame master of ceremonies and chairman of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, introduced her by reading the names of her singles and albums.

The performer has gone from posing as a schoolgirl to sing "… Baby, One More Time" and saying sex should be saved for marriage to recording "I'm a Slave 4 U," kissing Madonna during the MTV Video Music Awards and posing nearly nude for magazine covers.

Her latest album, aimed at crafting an edgier image, includes moaning and heavy breathing on tracks such as "Breathe on Me" and "Touch of My Hand."

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On the Net:

www.britneyspears.com

http://www.britneyspears.com

Unexpected Moments Highlight Tucker Gala

NEW YORK (AP) — The unexpected moments were the highlight at the annual Richard Tucker gala.

The roster of singers for Sunday's concert at Avery Fisher Hall was far less star-packed than usual. Even this year's winner, bass-baritone John Relyea, couldn't attend because of rehearsals at London's Royal Opera.

Cancellations by Denyce Graves and Celena Shafer before the performance and by Aprile Millo after her first number forced organizers to scramble.

Lisa Daltirus, a 35-year-old soprano who has sung in regional companies, was plucked from the audience to take over for Millo in the final ensemble, excepts from the Triumphal scene in the second act of Verdi's "Aida." Although the title character didn't have any standout parts during those passages, Daltirus acquitted herself well, especially given the short notice.

Some of the late changes led to the best singing of the night: mezzos Stephanie Blythe and Jennifer Larmore in the barcarolle from Offenbach's "Les contes d' Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann)" and tenor Salvatore Licitra in "Vesti la giubba (Put on your costume)" from Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci."

Blythe, the 1999 Tucker Award winner, was far and away the night's most polished and imposing singer, showing off a powerful dark voice and nuanced acting in all her numbers. She combined with baritone Kim Josephson in a delightful "Ai capricci della sorte ("To the caprices of fortune" from Rossini's "L'Italiana in Algeri ("The Italian girl in Algiers)" and overcame her hefty size for an impassioned account of the "Habanera" from Bizet's "Carmen" — a role she is to sing at the Seattle Opera in January.

Licitra made his New York debut at the Tucker Awards 2001 and had a promising debut at the Metropolitan Opera six months later when he replaced an ill Luciano Pavarotti for a gala performance of Puccini's "Tosca." He began with "Cielo e mar (Sky and sea)" from Ponchielli's "La Gioconda," and was to have sung "Vicino a te (Near to you)" from Giordano's "Andrea Chenier" with Millo.

Licitra, one of the most promising spinto tenors of his generation, has a large lyric sound that with refinement can turn into a great one. As he starts to take on heavier roles, the interpretations have not yet deepened, but that may come later.

Millo's one aria was "Grazie sorelle!" from Refice's "Cecilia," a mannered, over-the-top performance that crossed over into caricature. Every syllable was emoted as if it was her final sentence on her deathbed. Millo then announced she was ill and could not sing anymore.

Other performances were mixed. Ruth Ann Swenson, the 1993 winner, sounded tentative as the Countess in Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro," with a "Dove sono (Where are the beautiful moments?)" that collapsed under the limp conducting of Joseph Coloneri.

Larmore, the 1994 winner, lacked spark in her two arias, from Berlioz's "La damnation de Faust" and Rossini's "Semiramide."

Coloneri and Placido Domingo split the conducting duties, leading the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, which didn't have its usual sharpness.

The Tucker gala, which honors the greatest American tenor, has seen better nights.

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On the Net:

http://richardtucker.org

Vandross Wins Two American Music Awards & Kid Rock, Anderson Play Coy at Music Show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ailing soul veteran Luther Vandross and street-tough rap newcomer 50 Cent led winners at the American Music Awards with two honors each, setting the tone for an eclectic group of honorees that ranged from Kid Rock and Fleetwood Mac to Missy Elliott and Alabama.

Vandross, who is recovering from a debilitating stroke that threatened to end not only his career but his life, was honored Sunday as best male R&B performer and favorite soul-R&B album for his most recent CD, "Dance with My Father," which was completed shortly before he became ill in April.

The 52-year-old singer can speak and walk with assistance, but representatives recently said he remains far from fully recovered. His mother, Mary Vandross, accepted both awards on his behalf.

"I'm so very sorry that Luther cannot be here tonight in person," she told the crowd, after a brief moment of tearful speechlessness. "I'm here to represent him and say thanks to all of you who made this possible."

"The Shield" star Michael Chiklis walked into the audience to present the second award to the elderly woman, who had difficulty climbing the stage steps the first time.

50 Cent, who did not attend the ceremony, also won two awards — best male rap artist and best rap-hip-hop album for "Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" a gritty CD about his many brushes with death on the street.

Britney Spears launched the show by being lowered onstage in a purple corset, black hot pants and thigh-high boots to start the telecast with a pyrotechnic-filled performance of her new song "Me Against the Music."

She was followed by Kid Rock's pounding cover of Bad Company's 1975 anthem "Feel Like Makin' Love," which he screeched under the towering flashing letters L-O-V-E. He claimed the award for favorite male pop-rock artist at the end of the show.

"I'm a rapper, when it comes down to it. That's what I started out as, that's what I'll always be," he said backstage. "I'm just cheating on my girlfriend over there with rock 'n' roll and country and whatnot."

Alabama collected its 23rd American Music Award, this one for favorite country group. The quartet, which is currently on its farewell concert tour, has more AMA wins than any other performer — followed by Michael Jackson with 21 and Kenny Rogers with 19.

The late soul songstress Aaliyah was honored as best female R&B artist, her third American Music Award since she died in a plane crash in 2001.

Elliott was late picking up her trophy for female rap-hip-hop artist. "Somebody stole my limo, but I'm here now," she said, taking the stage to collect her prize later in the show. Backstage she told reporters: "Somebody is riding around drinking my drinks and partying on their way to the clubs. There's going to be a reward for y'all."

Faith Hill won for female country performer, and her household received a second award when husband Tim McGraw was chosen favorite male country artist. They also won separate American Music Awards together in 2001 and 2002.

Toby Keith's "Unleashed" won him his first American Music Award for country album.

Linkin Park won the alternative artist category, while gospel star Steven Curtis Chapman was victorious in the contemporary inspirational class.

Other winners included Ricky Martin for favorite Latin star, and soul veterans The Isley Brothers for best R&B group. Best rap-hip-hop group went to Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, and rock 'n' roll mainstay Fleetwood Mac received the award for favorite rock group.

Justin Timberlake's "Justified" won favorite pop album, Jennifer Lopez claimed best pop-rock female artist and pop diva Celine Dion was picked favorite adult contemporary artist.

The awards were presented during a live ABC telecast from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, with late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel as master of ceremonies.

Nominations were based on sales figures and radio play, and winners were selected by a survey of about 20,000 listeners.

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On the Net:

www.americanmusicawards.com

Kid Rock, Anderson Play Coy at Music Show

Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson played coy when asked if they're back together.

"What? I'm shocked," Anderson said, smiling. "I could have met him on the corner of Hollywood and Vine."

Since calling off their engagement, the 36-year-old actress has been seen with ex-husband Tommy Lee, with whom she has two young sons. Kid Rock, 32, performed on Sunday night's American Music Awards.

Holding a lit cigarette and a beverage in a plastic cup, Kid Rock said he and Anderson were having a post-show bash.

"Good company makes a good party," he said, nodding toward Anderson.

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Daryl Hall and John Oates returned to the American Music Awards as presenters as a favor to old friend and show producer Dick Clark.

The duo won the pop-rock band, duo or group award from 1983-85, but they don't remember much about the decade that included their hits "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," and "Kiss on My List."

"Everything in the '80s was sort of a blur," Hall said.

"I'm a lot more aware now than I was then," Oates added.

Glen Campbell, who won two awards in the mid-'70s, also made the red carpet scene. Another veteran act, Fleetwood Mac, won a trophy for pop-rock band, duo or group.

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Ashanti was on the minds of teenage rapper-turned-actor Bow Wow and "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Ashanti and that's it," Bow Wow said. "I want to see what she's wearing."

She didn't disappoint, performing "Rain On Me" in a super-short V-neck pink dress that was soaked by special effects rain.

Studdard was followed by "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken on the red carpet. Aiken sang his single "Invisible" and Studdard performed "Superstar" before they teamed on "Jesus is Love" with a choir.

"This is my first awards show and I'm pumped about that," Aiken said. "I don't have musical idols. I wasn't going to be a singer. I was going to be a teacher."

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R&B singer Heather Headley was still aglow about her wedding.

Headley, who won a Tony Award for her role in the Broadway musical "Aida," married former New York Jets player Brian Musso in September.

"I didn't know it was going to be this good," she said backstage. "He's a great guy. When I'm not here being cute, I'm at the grocery store trying to figure out the best deals."

She is starting work on her second album, a follow-up to "This Is Who I Am."

"Since the wedding, I'm a little too happy," she said. "I got to go back and find some heartbreaking stories."

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Husband-and-wife singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw each took home a trophy. In McGraw's case, it was his second win in the same category this year.

McGraw also earned country male artist honors at the AMAs in January. The show was moved to November to avoid the crush of awards shows early in 2004.

"I'll put the two trophies together," he said backstage. "They'll make nice bookends."

The couple also won individual trophies in 2001 and 2002.

"It never gets old to be recognized and it's certainly a surprise, especially when it comes from the fans," Hill said.

"I'm never blase about it," McGraw said. "I feel like I still got a lot more ahead of me than I do behind me."

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Rapper Missy Elliott is putting her fondness for designer duds in the closet.

She showed up wearing black Harley-Davidson pants, jacket and cap instead of her usual rhinestones, which are being retired.

"I'm putting them in the back of the closet," she said. "They're resting until the next decade."

Singer-songwriter Macy Gray, known for her funky style, is going upscale with a new clothing line debuting in 2004 that includes her real first name, Natalie.

"It's all glamour, like Halston, Jackie O kind of stuff," she said.

Gray's third album, "The Trouble With Being Myself," came out last summer, but has yet to match the success of her smash debut in 2000. Her second album, "The Id," was considered a flop with barely 500,000 copies sold.

"I'm just doing my thing. The industry doesn't let you do your thing if you want to go off and make a crazy album," she said. "If you do that and it doesn't work out, it's like a failure. As an artist, you want to try different things."

ASCAP to Honor Composer Ned Rorem

NEW YORK (AP) — Composer Ned Rorem will be presented The ASCAP Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award on Dec. 3 in New York.

Rorem turned 80 on Oct. 23, and there have been several performances of his music throughout the world in honor of his birthday-year celebration.

The award ceremony will be held at The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the foundation announced Friday.

Rorem, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award, is also a celebrated essayist and diarist. He won an ASCAP award for special recognition in 2002 for "A Ned Rorem Reader."

James Brown to Get Statue in Hometown


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The city of Augusta feels so good about James Brown that it plans to construct a statue of the Godfather of Soul downtown and rename a music festival in his honor.

Brown, 70, grew up in Augusta and has had offices and a radio station in the city.

"I'll do anything I can to help Augusta," Brown said. "That's where it all started, you see."

Brown said that lending his name to the spring Garden City Music Festival has been something he's been begging the city to do for 15 years.

"I want people … to take advantage of me while I'm still here. Utilize this face. It's not that pretty, but everyone knows it," he said.

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