The Week In Music: The Kids & Boys Tour

NKOTB and the Backstreet Boys join forces for summer 2011 tour
  • Photo: Mark Benema/Hyperphoto/WireImage.com
    Jordan Knight
  • Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images
    Nick Carter
November 19, 2010 -- 4:00 am PST
GRAMMY.com

Backstreet's back, alright, the NKOTB is hangin' tough, and they have a new tour that is sure to prove it. New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys have announced they will team for a concert trek in summer 2011, and recently sat down to discuss the hotly anticipated tour. "The beauty of this show is they can expect Backstreet Boys to sing their hits," said new/old kid Donnie Wahlberg. "They can expect us to sing our hits [and then] the surprises. I can't wait. I can't wait." Whatever the surprises may bring, they will not include original BB Kevin Richardson. "I can't answer for him…that's his decision," said Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. This tour will no doubt be larger than life and have the right stuff. Most of all, it's sure to be full of positivity. And as Donnie has been known to say, "Positivity is not about being soft, it's about being smart, you suckas."

The Beatles made a big splash on Tuesday with their long-anticipated arrival at iTunes. As of this report, the Fab Four inhabit more than 25 percent of the iTunes top 200 song chart, and account for 17 of iTunes' top-selling 100 albums. Reactions have been literally mixed in terms of what the Beatles' digital dive means, evidenced by Billboard.biz's "Five Reasons Why The Beatles' Arrival On iTunes Still Matters" report and the Los Angeles Times' contrasting "Five Reasons It's Not All That Exciting" report. Regardless of what side you're on — and as they say in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" — life goes on brah.

In the latest intersection between pop music and the National Football League, Jessica Simpson announced her engagement to former NFL tight end Eric Johnson. This technically marks the second NFL player sacked by Simpson, who also dated Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The announcement follows ex-husband Nick Lachey's engagement to actress/TV personality Vanessa Minnillo. While looking forward to their upcoming respective nuptials, both Simpson and Lachey shared warm sentiments for each other. "I am extremely, extremely happy for him…I really wish them nothing but the best," said Simpson. "I will say the same thing I always say: I wish her the very best," Lachey told US Weekly.
 
Glitter is certainly in the air for Pink, who (unbeknownst to her father) announced her pregnancy on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday. The singer, who is married to motorcross racer Carey Hart, apparently failed to alert her father that a grandbaby was on the way before going on national television with the news. To make sure she wasn't Missundaztood, Pink took to Twitter to clear up any confusion, tweeting, "Ok tweethearts: here's my own personal official whatever...... Carey Hart knocked me up and i don't know how to tell my dad. what do i say?" We suggest she take a line from Madonna.
 
Let's face it, science is a hit-or-miss subject in school. While learning the periodic table may not be all that exciting, a small explosion in the chemistry lab can be loads of fun. To help promote the merits of careers in science and acknowledge the rockin' work of doctors and researchers everywhere, a group of musicians have teamed with scientists for the 2010 Rock Stars of Science campaign, presented by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back. The campaign features artists such as B.o.B, Deborah Harry, Timbaland, and Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, and Nobel Prize-winning scientists Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Phillip A. Sharp, among others. "Our music is healing, but these doctors are the true rock stars out here," said the Wilson sisters. "They're rocking the world." Hopefully the kids will be blinded by science as a result of the campaign.

Unlike science, some things just aren't meant to remain a mystery. Music fans (and fans of celebrities in general) traveling to Las Vegas will now have the golden opportunity to tour the private estate of Vegas' own Wayne Newton, complete with South African penguins, crystal staircases and a collection of various memorabilia from a Frank Sinatra champagne glass to Steve McQueen's Rolls-Royce and a Johnny Cash guitar. While Newton's neighbors aren't keen on the idea, fearing Newtonites will come out in droves and create traffic along their private community, Newton assures there's nothing to worry about. "The last thing I have ever done is infringe on my neighbors," he said. "I've heard people say that we are building a monument to myself. Get serious. I'm not that important." No word on whether visitors will have to sing "Danke Schoen" to enter the premises.
 
In related edifice news, Dolly Parton's Dollywood was honored with the 2010 Applause Award during a ceremony at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday. Dollywood, which sits just a few miles away from the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., features rides, shows and other attractions inspired by the Tennessee-born songstress herself. Upon receiving the award, Parton didn't fail to mention the theme park employees working "9 To 5" for her. "I know how important these jobs are to people and they're proud to have them," Parton said. "The thing that stands out the most are the people."

A good cover song is an art form. Being able to interpret a songwriter's grand artistic statement and put a unique stamp on it is the hallmark of a talented musician. No strangers to talent, an artist with a heart of gold (or so it would seem) and another who was born to run teamed for a contemplative take on Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" on the "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" show this past week. We've gone back and forth, and we're still not sure what to make of this.

With five weeks of shopping left, here's our holiday music-related gift idea of the week: the "I Listen To Bands That Don't Even Exist" T-shirt, perfect for the indie hipster in your life.

Far East Movement's "Like A G6," featuring the Cataracs and Dev, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the Glee Cast's version of "Forget You," featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, is No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart.

Any news we've missed? Comment below.

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