(The GRAMMY Insider keeps you up to date about news on your favorite GRAMMY winners, including new album releases, tour updates, notable TV appearances, interviews, and more.)
Oklahoma Relief Efforts
Darius Rucker and Usher are the latest artists to join the lineup for Blake Shelton's concert to benefit Oklahoma tornado victims. Airing May 29 on NBC, the concert will also feature performances by GRAMMY winners Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, and Ryan Tedder. … Carrie Underwood has announced a $1 million donation to Red Cross tornado relief efforts for Oklahoma. Underwood grew up in the small town of Checotah, Okla.
Usher will be honored with the ASCAP Golden Note Award in recognition of his extraordinary career milestones during the 26th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 27 in Los Angeles.
Music And Film/TV
Bruce Springsteen is proving he's the Boss of rock and film with the July 22 release of Springsteen And I, a documentary examining the relationship between Springsteen's loyal fans and his music through fan-submitted video captured at Springsteen's concerts. … Jennifer Hudson is reportedly taking a new seat on "American Idol" as the reality series' latest judge. The former "Idol" finalist could be joined by fellow series alum Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert, according to E! News.
Justin Bieber may have a new song on the horizon and it goes something like this: "If you were my best friend …." The teen heartthrob has been spotted on Instagram pictured with someone who seems to be his new best bud, Chris Brown, with the caption, "CB what's up." Let's hope they're not sharing dating advice.
On The Road
Save the date: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will return to Indio Calif., April 11–13 and April 18–20, 2014. Tickets are already on sale. The performers at the 2013 installment included La Roux, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. … Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder has been added to the lineup of Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus tour, which kicks off May 28 in Nashville. The list of guitarists performing on the tour includes GRAMMY winners Robert Cray, Steve Cropper, Dean DeLeo, Vince Gill, and Vernon Reid.
Paul Allen is adding recording artist to his already impressive résumé as the Microsoft co-founder has announced the August release of his debut album, Everything At Once, which will feature a host of celebrity guests, including GRAMMY winners David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Derek Trucks and Joe Walsh, as well as Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson and Chrissie Hynde. … On the heels of their upcoming 3-D film Metallica Through The Never, Metallica's James Hetfield has revealed the band has enough material for a new album. "We just haven't had enough time to really focus on it and dial in and start whittling into these masterpieces hopefully," Hetfield said.
In a new interview with The New York Times, Billy Joel discussed his rift with former tourmate Elton John. In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, John criticized Joel's "laziness" for not writing new music. "He tends to shoot off his mouth — he shoots from the hip," said Joel. "I think his heart is in the right place. Maybe he's trying to motivate me, to get me mad or something. He's kind of like a mom." … Taylor Swift has released a music video for her latest single "22" and Conan O'Brien has something to say about it, namely that it's not an "accurate representation of what it's like to be 22," complaining there weren't any "ramen noodles in that video. That's all you're eating when you're 22." … Paul McCartney wrote an open letter to Russian authorities on behalf of Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, pleading, "I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people — all people — with compassion and kindness."