Walter Hawkins Dies

Walter Hawkins Dies
GRAMMY-winning gospel singer/composer Walter Hawkins died Sunday at his home in Ripon, Calif., after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Oakland, Calif., Hawkins earned a degree in divinity from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also recorded his first album, Do Your Best, in 1972. He went on to receive eight GRAMMY Award nominations, and won Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary Or Inspirational in 1980 for "The Lord's Prayer." (7/12)

Best-Selling Albums In First Half Of 2010
GRAMMY winner Lady Antebellum's Need You Now is the best-selling album for the first half of 2010 through the week ending July 4 with 2.4 million units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 placed second (1.4 million), Sade's Soldier Of Love third (1.2 million), Lady Gaga's The Fame fourth (1.2 million), and Eminem's Recovery (1.1 million) was fifth. Only four albums had sold more than 1 million units during the same period last year. The best-selling digital song is Train's "Hey, Soul Sister," with 3.4 million tracks sold, making it the only song to move more than 3 million units this year. Year-to-date album sales have reached 154 million, down 11 percent compared to the same point in 2009 while digital track sales stand at 597.4 million, down 1 percent from last year. (7/12)

BP To Fund Free Beach Concerts
The state of Alabama may use BP's $15 million donation of tourism promotion funds toward hosting additional free concerts this fall, following Sunday's concert by Jimmy Buffett. Officials say future concerts could include performances by GRAMMY winners Zac Brown Band and Faith Hill, and Jack Johnson. The state received the funds from BP in response to the Gulf Coast oil spill earlier this year. The concerts aim to bring visitors to areas where the economy has been affected by the spill. (7/12)

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