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SIMPLE MINDS, ANNIE LENNOX, QUEEN and EDDY GRANT have all been confirmed for the bill of the forthcoming concert to mark Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday which is scheduled to take place in London's Hyde Park on June 27th.
PET SHOP BOYS teamed up with MADNESS at the weekend for a special performance of the Madness classic 'My Girl' at a special benefit concert organised by the Pet Shop Boys for the family of Dainton Connell, their former friend and assistant, who died in a car accident last year. The concert took place at London's Heaven nightclub.
SQUEEZE have announced August and September dates across the US, see GIGS for details. Meanwhile Squeeze mainman CHRIS DIFFORD's recent solo album, 'The Last Temptation Of Chris', has been reviewed in the REVIEWS section.
PRINCE will publish his first official book '21 Nights' in the autumn. The book, described as 'a photographic essay incorporating images, lyrics and poetry' will celebrate the singer's 21 date residency at London's O2 Arena last year. The book will also come with a CD entitled 'Indigo Nights' which will feature songs from the after show concerts Prince performed at the venue.
TINA TURNER will start her first tour for eight years at the Sprint Centre in Kansas City on October 1st, the first of around forty planned US shows which look likely to be followed by shows in Europe and around the world.
DEACON BLUE will release a CD/DVD package 'Live' on June 9th. The live package was recorded on the band's European tour last year and features the band's best known and most loved tracks including Dignity, Real Gone Kid, Wages Day and Chocolate Girl. The DVD also contains exclusive rehearsal and interview footage. See NEWS for the full album tracklisting.
MIDGE URE has finished recording a collection of cover versions for an album - 'Ten' - to be released later this year. According to Ure the tracklisting consists of 'songs that moulded my sense of melody and atmosphere, which still permeate my own writing today'. Two tracks from the record 'Man Of The World' and 'Alfie' will be released as a promo single for German radio but can also be purchased from the official Midge Ure website.
ANNIE LENNOX is to receive the British Red Cross's Services to Humanity Award in recognition of the 'significant humanitarian role she has played throughout her career'. She will receive the award and perform a short set at a gala evening in aid of the charity which will take place in London on June 12th.
DURAN DURAN are to play a special concert in Paris in collaboration with Mark Ronson. The show will take place at the city's La Cigale venue on July 2nd and will see the two acts perform reworked versions of songs from the Duran Duran catalogue as well as a track from the recent 'Red Carpet Massacre' album. The band have also announced the Italian leg of their 'Red Carpet Massacre' tour with seven shows scheduled in the country in July. See GIGS for all the dates.
KYLIE MINOGUE has been awarded the French 'Chevalier Dans L’ordre Des Arts Et Lettres' award, one of the highest cultural awards possible from the French government, in recognition of her 'contribution to the enrichment of French culture'.
BILLY IDOL - who will release a special CD/DVD hits package later this year - has announced two UK shows for July. See GIGS for all the dates.
THE CURE's new album, their thirteenth, is thought to be called '13' and will be released in September. The double album will be preceded by four singles, released monthly on the 13th of May (entitled 'The Only One'), June (entitled 'Freakshow'), July and August.
UB40 have announced that their new singer will be Duncan Campbell, brother of their former frontman Ali Campbell who left the band recently, who has said that relations with his brother have been strained...