Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Levert Brother Passes Away

Sean Levert, son of O'Jays singer Eddie Levert and brother of the late Gerald Levert, passed away on Sunday after being taken from the Cuyahoga County Jail in Cleveland to the Lutheran Hospital. He was 39. A cause of death is not known at this time. An autopsy will be performed.

Levert was incarcerated last week on a one year and ten month sentence for failing to pay $85,000 in child support. He was taken from the jail at 11 P.M. Sunday and was declared dead at the hospital within the hour.

Reports from the jail say that he had been sick and was under watch with high blood pressure and hallucinations; however, there was nothing to indicate that it was an emergency situation. Toxicology reports could take four to six weeks.

Sean was a member of the group Levert who had number on R&B hits with songs like Casanova and Addicted to You. Brother and group member Gerald Lavert passed away on November 10, 2006 at the age of 40 from an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The only surviving singer from the group and is non-family member Marc Gordon.

U2 Sign 12-Year Deal with Live Nation

U2 has become the newest artist to sign a long-term deal with Live Nation; however, it is not as all-enveloping as Madonna's. Live Nation will handle the groups worldwide touring, merchandising and their website. It does not include publishing or new releases, which remain with Universal.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness said, "There's a certain convergence taking place in the industry, and it's obvious that the biggest part of U2's business now is their live business, even though they're a major, major record-selling act." "For some time now they've [Live Nation] been executing, promoting and producing our tours as partners pretty well perfectly. Since they want to consolidate rights and they have an online vision that I believe in, their Ticketmaster deal is expiring, which is going to change their margin, I'm very happy to go into a partnership with them. And, apart from all the financial stuff, there is a real friendship, a real bond."

Bono added, "We've been dating for over 20 years now, it's about time we tied the knot. With regards to, we feel we've got a great website, but we want to make it a lot better. We want a closer, more direct relationship between the band and its audience and Live Nation has pledged to help us with that."

The financial part of the deal was not disclosed, but it is assumed to be structured like the one for Madonna with an upfront payment and profit sharing down the road.

Short Takes - Madonna, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, more

Madonna has said she is done performing her early hits like Holiday and Like a Virgin, unless someone wants to pay her about $30 million.

This seems to be something that artists periodically go through. David Bowie said back in the 80's that he wouldn't perform any of his 70's music again but he did and, invariably, so will Madonna.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason told the Birmingham Mail that a group reunion show is only a matter of time.

Mason says relations among group members are good. "We're not at each other's throats. I'm pretty sure we'll play together again, we're just waiting for the right cause to come up. The main reason for doing it would be to benefit charity.

"We've proved we can be successful as a band in our own right - there's nothing else to prove."
Rod Stewart is reportedly selling his mansion in the U.K. and moving to Los Angeles because he feels it is a better place to bring up children. He and current wife, Panny Lancaster, have a two-year-old son and would like to have more.

Former Jordanaire Hugh Jarrett has reportedly been in an automobile accident and is not doing well in the hospital. No further information is available. He was a member of the group from 1954 to 1958.

Rapper Mos Def has signed on to play Chuck Berry in the new movie Cadillac Records, all about Chicago's Chess Records. The movie will also star Adrian Brody (as Leonard Chess), Beyonce Knowles (Etta James), Columbus Short (Little Walter), Jeffrey Wright (Muddy Waters), Cedric the Entertainer (Willie Dixon) and Eamonn Walker (Howlin' Wolf).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chart Watch - March 28, 2008

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • The Jacksons continue to rule the roost among veteran artists. Janet's Discipline falls eight to seventeen this week on the top 100 albums while Michael's Thriller 25 remains at number one on the pop catalog chart. If the catalog and current album charts were combined, Michael actually outsold Janet, with Thriller 25 being at number eleven overall while Frequency would be at eighteen.
  • Shirley Bassey's Get the Party Started moves five to three on the club dance play chart. It it keeps going to the top, it will be Bassey's first number one record in the U.S.
  • Candi Staton is also back on the club dance play chart with Groove Armada on Love Sweet Sound. Her last song to crack this chart was 1980's Looking for Love.
  • Three veteran artists premier in the top ten on the British album chart, led by Bryan Adams' 11 at number six. Further down at number nine is Mike Oldfield with Music of the Spheres and at ten is Van Morrison's Keep it Simple.
  • The first single off of Madonna's new album, 4 Minutes, premiers on the British singles chart at number seven.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #50 (50) - I Saw God Today - George Strait

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums

Top 50 R&B Singles

  • None

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Singles
  • #4 (7) - I Saw God Today - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums


Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #11 (12) - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher - Michael McDonald
  • #15 (16) - Busy Being Fabulous - Eagles


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #3 (5) - Get the Party Started - Shirley Bassey
  • #5 (23) - Feedback - Janet Jackson
  • #9 (14) - I'm on Fire - Donna Summer
  • #22 (22) - Love Sweet Soung - Groove Armada featuring Candi Staton


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums


Music Association Top 40 Airplay


Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #7 (New) - 4 Minutes - Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake