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Music Concert News and Notes

Music Artist News and Notes

Hilary DuffHilary Duff

It seems as if overnight, teen sensation Hilary Duff invaded television, movie, and radio. The star, who was born on September 28, 1987, has in her sixteen years quite an accomplished resume. By the age of six, Duff was performing on the mini-series, "True Women," with actresses Rachel Leigh cook and Dana Delaney. She also performed on stage with legend Sean Connery in the play, "Playing By Heart" Duff hit it big when she scored the leading role on the Disney channel's original series, "Lizzie Maguire" Duff plays the main character.

Hilary began her professional career at age six, touring with the Columbus Ballet Met dancing "The Nutcracker" In 2003 she overtook the Olsen Twins to become the most popular teenage star. She earned the title Tween Queen and has become a franchise.

Is Dating Tough For Duff? - AccessHollywood.com In case you didn't notice, Hilary Duff brought a date with her to the MTV Video Music Awards, held this past weekend in Miami. So who the lucky man? Um, try again. Hilary actually brought big sis Haylie along for the ride to the VMAs. Access Hollywood caught up with the Duff duo where Hilary gave us the real deal about her dating life. Her first piece of insight: Don't believe everything you read. "I read that I'm dating people all the time but it's not true at all," Hilary told us.

50 Cent - Curtis Jackson

Born into a notorious Queens drug dynasty during the late '70s, 50 Cent lost those closest to him at an early age. Raised without a father, 50 Cent's mother, whose name carried weight in the street, was found dead under mysterious circumstances before he could hit his teens. The orphaned youth was taken in by his grandparents, who provided for 50 Cent. But his desire for things would drive him to the block. Which in his case was the infamous New York Avenue, now known as Guy R. Brewer Blvd. There, 50 Cent stepped up to get his rep up, amassing a small fortune and a lengthy rap sheet. But the birth of his son put things in perspective for the post adolescent, and 50 Cent began to pursue rap seriously. He signed with JMJ, the label of Run DMC DJ Jam Master Jay and began learning his trade. JMJ would teach the young buck to count bars and structure songs. Unfortunately, caught up in industry limbo, there wasn't much JMJ could do for 50 Cent.

The platinum hitmakers Trackmasters took notice of 50 Cent and signed him to Columbia Records in 1999. They shipped 50 Cent to Upstate NY where they locked him up in the studio for 2 1/2 weeks. He turned out 36 songs in this short period, which resulted in "Power Of A Dollar," an unreleased masterpiece that Blaze Magazine judged a classic. 50 Cent's stick up kid anthem "How to Rob" blew through the roof and playfully painted him as a deliriously hungry up-and-comer daydreaming of robbing famous rappers. But 50 Cent and the fans were the only ones laughing. Unable to take a joke, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Sticky Fingaz, and Ghostface Killah all replied to the song. "It wasn't personal. It was comedy based on truth, which made it so funny," says 50 Cent.

In April of '00, 50 Cent was shot 9 times, including a .9mm bullet to the face, in front of his grandmothers house in Queens. He spent the next few months in recovery while Columbia Records dropped him from the label. 50 Cent didn't fold, he flew - right into the zone. He banged out track after track, despite no income or backing, with his new business partner and friend Sha Money XL. The two recorded over 30 songs, strictly for mix-tapes, with the soul purpose of building a buzz. 50 Cent's street value rose and by the end of the spring of 2001 he'd released the new material independently on the makeshift LP, "Guess Who's Back?". Beginning to attract interest, and now backed by his crew, G-Unit, 50 Cent stayed on his grind and made more songs. But it was different this time. Rather than create new songs as they had before, 50 Cent decided to showcase his hit-making ability by retouching first-class beats which had already been used. They released the red, white and blue bootleg, "50 Cent Is the Future," revisiting material by Jay-Z and even Rapheal Saadiq.

That's when the unbelievable happened, and hip-hop history was written. The energetic CD caught the ear of supa MC Eminem, and within a week Eminem was on the radio saying, '50 Cent is my favorite rapper right now.' Eminem looked to mentor Dr. Dre to confirm his belief in the young hitmaker, and the good doctor co-signed. Floored by the appreciation of the greats, 50 Cent didn't hesitate in signing with the dream team. In the wake of his acquisition, 50 Cent has become the most sought after newcomer in almost a decade. Not since the summer of 1994, when radio would play absolutely anything Notorious B.I.G. related, has hip-hop seen buzz like this.

Ever the clever businessman, 50 Cent didn't let the opportunity escape him and quickly released another bootleg of borrowed beats, "No Mercy, No Fear." The CD featured only one new track, "Wanksta," which was certainly not intended for radio, but the streets couldn't wait for the official single and within weeks "Wanksta" became New York's most requested record. Thankfully, the stellar cut has found a home on the multi-platinum soundtrack to Eminem's smash movie, "8 Mile."

With several huge hits already under his belt, 50 Cent is poised to be the artist to beat. He's coming with over ten incredible tracks stashed from last spring and newly recorded winners courtesy of Eminem, who's really cut his production teeth of late, and hip-hop's greatest, highest-selling producer Dr. Dre. "Creatively, what more could I ask for?" he asks jokingly. "You know if me and Em (Eminem) is in the same room then it's gonna be a friendly competition, neither of us wanna let the other one down. And Dre??? C'mon." Promising an LP of the caliber of rap classics like "Illmatic," "Ready to Die," and "Reasonable Doubt," 50 Cent's debut promises to set the pace for hip-hop in coming years. The product of his unrelenting drive, talent and, frankly, his real-ness, 50's official first album promises to do for him just what it says. With his infectious flow and viciously funny personality, there is no doubt that 50 Cent will Get Rich or Die Trying.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Randall Timberlake was born January 31, 1981, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He began to perform at a very young age, whether it was singing, acting or dancing. The world was first granted a glimpse of him as a youngster on Star Search, his first-ever television appearance. Back in those early days, Timberlake sang primarily country music, a direct result of his Music City background.

In 1992, Timberlake received a huge break, unbeknownst to him at the time, when he was offered the chance to become a regular on Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. While in Orlando for two years, Timberlake was able to promote his gifts as a performer with future 'N Sync bandmate Joshua Scott Chasez, and present pop princesses Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears

Although Timberlake returned home after two years, he came back to Orlando to participate in a new boy band, at the urging of Chris Kirkpatrick. There, he joined Kirkpatrick, Chasez, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass to form 'N Sync.

After considerable success abroad in the mid-1990s, 'N Sync exploded on the U.S. charts with blockbuster albums such as No Strings Attached and Celebrity. In direct competition with The Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync branded themselves as a younger, more dynamic group of performers. The strategy worked, as 'N Sync went on to achieve phenomenal chart sales, amassing awards and a huge following in the process. Timberlake in particular, stood out as the leader of the group, even as the youngest member, with undeniable talent as a singer and dancer.

His fame rose as well, amidst his rumored and then confirmed romance with teen queen Britney Spears, whose meteoric rise to fame coincided with Timberlake's. The couple was, for a time, Hollywood royalty and a match seemingly made in pop idol heaven. Although it did not last, the relationship did survive long enough to provide priceless exposure to both Timberlake and Spears.

Now somewhat of a single player, Timberlake is poised to conquer both women and new fans as a chart-topping solo artist with his debut smash, Justified.

Usher Is Keeping His Distance From Chilli - Launch (LAUNCH, 05/03/2004 3:00 PM) - By LAUNCH Radio Networks

R&B singer Usher and Chilli of TLC ended their well-documented relationship earlier this year and, contrary to the rumor mill, it wasn't because Usher impregnated or had a baby with a woman he was allegedly seeing on the side. Although he has the hottest album and record in the country, the R&B star isn't totally over the relationship.

He recently told Rolling Stone magazine that every once in a while he thinks about calling his ex. He said, "Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I did call Rozonda (Chilli). Would it become a good thing or would it become a bad thing? I think it's best that I don't call. She just sort of stays where she is, and I stay where I am, and if it's ever meant for us to speak again, it'll happen."

The couple and Chilli's son lived in Usher's Atlanta home prior to the breakup. The singer explained that even being home can be difficult for him. He said, "It ain't easy to walk through this damn house. To see this room (Chilli's son's former bedroom). There was a warmth here that's gone. There was a lot of love in this house, you know."

Chilli is now reportedly dating football star Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.

Madonna is still style icon - Daily Times When spiritually reborn 'Material Girl' Madonna hits the stage in the world's couture capital, style gurus are likely to be out in force to appraise exactly what she's wearing. Faithful to her reputation as global fashionista icon, Madonna, who recently changed her name to Esther after converting to Kabbalah, has called on the top names in fashion to design the costumes for her current 'Re-Invention' world tour, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Stella McCartney etcetera. In Paris, where she was originally due to play two nights, 15,000 tickets sold out in only 30 minutes for the opening show and organisers added two concerts. Her four concerts are totally sold out, with some holders offering seats on the Internet for sums of 200 euros up. But then Madonna, now 46, has been wowing crowds and setting fashion trends for two decades, from raunchy sex symbol to hippie-style earth mother.

Britney Spears to Launch New Fragrance Line From Billboard.Com

Remembering Ray Charles From Billboard.Com

Vibe Online Magazine Vibe covers the latest news in urban "hip-hop" music. It also has music reviews and artist photos.

MTV.Com MTV.Com is the online match to the successful and popular music video television channel. The website is another good source for news on your favorite artists.

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Tom Petty
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