For The Record: Quick News On Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Mary J. Blige, Hall & Oates, Redman, Method Man & More

They don't call him the Boss for nothing. Bruce Springsteen was the touring champion this year, pulling in almost $116 million from 47 shows, concert industry magazine Pollstar reported in its year-end sales data. Springsteen's single-year figures were the second highest of all time; in 1994 the Rolling Stones brought in $121.2 million. This year the veteran rockers took in $38.5 million, earning them a #14 ranking. ...

Don Was, who has produced albums by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Black Crowes and the B-52's, has formed a TV and home video production company called M101. The first project from the company is the high-definition television series "Music Room," which will feature music legends performing with contemporary artists. In the two-hour pilot, "Music 101: The Green Room," Al Green will be joined by Mary J. Blige and Hall & Oates, among others. There is no launch date for the series. ... Fu Manchu will record the theme song for the upcoming Jesse James movie "West Coast Choppers," singer/guitarist Scott Hill wrote on the band's Web site. The track will be called "I'm Gettin' Away (Away From It All)." Five of the band's previously released songs will also be featured on the soundtrack. ...

The Recording Academy will present lifetime achievement awards to a number of musicians at the 2004 Grammys. Classical pianist Van Cliburn, Motown sound architects the Funk Brothers, children's music composer Ella Jenkins, bebop tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, swing band leader Artie Shaw, and folk guitarist and songwriter Doc Watson will all be honored. Also receiving lifetime achievement awards: jazz producer Orrin Keepnews, radio host Marian McPartland, and songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. ... Clearly smitten with Redman and Method Man's thespian skills, FOX has picked up an as-yet-untitled television show starring the two rappers. The sitcom features Red and Meth as themselves, living in a white suburb of New Jersey. The show was based on an idea from Method Man. ...

Tommy Hill, a.k.a. John Wilson, of rap group the RAM Squad was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with drug dealing and possession after his Philadelphia home was raided by police. Authorities believe Wilson sold drugs out of his home and through dealers in the Richard Allen Homes projects, which the RAM Squad got their name from (the Richard Allen Mob). Wilson is also thought to have ties to Philly mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino. ... Factory 81 have broken up following the departure of bassist Kevin Lewis and drummer Andy Cyrulnik. The hardcore metal outfit's only album, Mankind, came out in 2000. ...

12.23.03

Ozzy Osbourne has been taken out of the Wexham Park Hospital intensive-care unit and placed in a private clinic to recuperate from the injuries he sustained in an ATV crash on December 8, according to a statement from the Osbournes. The former wildman of rock fractured his collarbone, eight ribs and a vertebra in his neck in the accident, which occurred on his Buckinghamshire estate in southern England. Last week, Sharon Osbourne said it would probably take Ozzy six months to fully recover. ...

Hip-hop's greatest storyteller, Slick Rick, will headline his own "Welcome Home" concert in Brooklyn, New York, on January 9. The old-school icon was recently freed from an INS detention center after 17 months while he awaited deportation. Several of Slick Rick's legendary peers are expected to perform at the event but none have yet been confirmed. ... Gang Starr's DJ Premier and Guru are sorting through tracks for a greatest-hits collection due next year. In 1999, the seminal hip-hop duo released the double-disc Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr, but this collection would include newer tracks, B-sides, remixes and at least one new track. ...

Perhaps inspired by all those Priceline.com commercials, in which he sang alongside established rockers, William Shatner is working on a new music album, and he's beaming up some talented artists, including Henry Rollins and Joe Jackson, to help him out. Ben Folds will produce the project, which will likely come out next year. The former Starship Enterprise captain has been in Nashville recording the LP and recently weighed in on the project via his Web site: "I am attempting excellence in music. I feel like I'm almost there, but I'll have to wait for all of you to tell me if I have reached excellence or not." ... Singer/guitarist Justin Hawkinsof British hair metal revivalists the Darkness will address England on MTV Europe on Christmas Day at 3 p.m., the same time the queen of England delivers a speech to her subjects on BBC1. Over the past year, the Darkness have become rock icons across Europe; in North America they remain an acquired taste. ...

On the heels of Rob Halford's return to the band, Judas Priest will release a box set called Metalogy on March 9. The box will feature three or four CDs and may include a live DVD. Judas Priest are working on new material with Halford as well. Tim Owens, who sang on the last two Priest records, is now a member of Iced Earth, whose new album, The Glorious Burden, will be released January 13. ... Murderdolls singer Wednesday 13 will launch a line of merchandise next year that will include shirts, bags, stickers and patches. The product line will feature "The Thirteen Dead Kids" logo, cartoon renderings of 13 dead children drawn in red and black. Wednesday 13 came up with the idea during the downtime that followed this year's tours with Iron Maiden and Stone Sour. ...

The Presidents of the United States of America are re-releasing their self-titled debut album (featuring "Lump" and "Peaches") with five bonus tracks (including a new song called "Some Postman") and a DVD. Titled Extra Super Double Bonus Thrill Pack, the collection is due February 16. ...