Weekly music agenda: Grammy nominations, 'Avatar' CD release

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Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna all release albums on November 23. Coming in December: Grammy nominations are announced, and the soundtrack for James Cameron's Avatar releases worldwide.

Beyoncé Live Album, Deluxe Edition releases
November 23

On November 23, Beyoncé's DVD I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance At Wynn Las Vegas will be released internationally by Music World Music/Columbia Records. Filmed in August 2009, the package includes more than 30 songs, as well as Beyoncé's biographical storytelling and behind-the-scenes footage. Also due out November 23 is the I Am...Sasha Fierce Deluxe Edition, which features five number-one hits as well as two bonus tracks, including "Video Phone (Extended Remix)" with Lady Gaga.


Britney Spears's The Singles Collection
November 23

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Britney Spears's debut on the music scene, Jive Records will release The Singles Collection on November 24. A standard version includes 17 singles and the new song "3," all on one CD. A box set, selling for $99.98, includes CDs of all 29 of Spears's singles plus "3," each including original artwork and a B-side or remix of the track, as well as a DVD of all Spears's videos. In her ten-year career, Spears has sold more than 63 million albums worldwide.


Lady Gaga The Fame Monster release and tour
November 23, 27
International/North American tour

November 23 will mark the re-release of Lady Gaga's debut album, The Fame. The re-release, titled The Fame Monster, features eight new songs, including the singles "Bad Romance" and "Telephone," a duet with Beyoncé. On November 27, Lady Gaga begins her North American tour The Monster Ball, which continues through late January.


Rihanna Rated R release
November 23

Multi-platinum artist Rihanna is due to release her third album, Rated R, on Def Jam Recordings. The album includes the single "Russian Roulette," which launched worldwide in October. The follow-up to 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad, Rated R arrives in the physical and digital marketplace worldwide on November 23.


Mika tour
November 24-30

Internationally best-selling artist Mika begins a tour of Australia and Southeast Asia on November 24. The Lebanese-American singer-songwriter will perform songs from his album The Boy Who Knew Too Much in Sydney, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. Tickets for the shows are currently on sale. Mika released his first album in 2007; the same year he won four World Music Awards, including those for Best-Selling New Artist and Best-Selling Male Entertainer.


Grammy nominations concert
December 2
Los Angeles, USA

On December 2, the nominations for the 2009 Grammy Awards will be announced at a special concert event in Los Angeles hosted by LL Cool J and featuring Black Eyes Peas, Maxwell, and Sugarland. One of the most prestigious music award shows worldwide, the Grammys are now in their 52nd year. Nominations, which are submitted by the Recording Industry Association of America, cover 31 fields, including pop, rock, classical, and a wide variety of other genres. The Grammy award celebration will take place on January 31. For updates and breaking news from the nominations concert and awards show, visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.


Paul McCartney begins European tour
December 2
Hamburg, Germany/Europe

Paul McCartney is scheduled to begin his first European tour since 2004, beginning with a December 2 show in Hamburg. Dates follow in Arnhem, Paris, Cologne, Dublin, and London - his only UK date of the year. For information about where to buy tickets for each show, visit this link on the Paul McCartney website:


Green Day tour
December 4
Australia, New Zealand, Asia

Green Day will perform in Perth, Australia on December 4, marking the start of a seven-date tour in that country. Two shows in New Zealand follow. In January, the band is back on the road for concerts in Thailand, Singapore, China, Korea, and Japan. On November 5, Green Day was presented with the Best Rock award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Berlin.


The Beatles USB drive on sale
December 7


Following the September 9 debut of The Beatles' digitally remastered catalog on CD, Beatles music label Apple Corp Ltd. and EMI Music will release thirty thousand apple-shaped USB drives, each loaded with the re-mastered audio of The Beatles' 14 stereo albums. Selling for $279.99, the drives will also come loaded with the remastered CDs' visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films, replicated original UK album art, rare photos, and expanded liner notes. Pre-order at the official Beatles Store, accessible from http://www.thebeatles.com. The drive will be available December 7 (December 8 in North America).


Avatar: Music from the Motion Picture
December 14


The score album for Cameron's upcoming film Avatar comes out internationally December 14 (December 15 in the US). The album features music composed and conducted by Titanic composer James Horner, plus the film's title song, "I See You," performed by Leona Lewis. Avatar will be out in theaters worldwide the week of December 16. The soundtrack is available for pre-order at AvatarScore.com.


Alicia Keys: The Element of Freedom
December 15


Twelve-time Grammy Award-winner Alicia Keys will release The Element of Freedom (MBL/J Records), her fourth studio album, on December 1. The Element of Freedom is the follow-up to Keys's multi-platinum-selling 2007 album As I Am, which featured the Grammy Award-winning tune "No One." A video for the album's first single, "Doesn't Mean Anything," is now on the Alicia Keys website.


The Met's Les Contes d'Hoffmann in theaters worldwide
December 19


Now in its fourth season, The Met: Live in HD transmits live performances by the Metropolitan Opera in high definition to theaters around the world. On Saturday, December 19 at 1:00pm EST, the Met will transmit its fourth Live in HD broadcast of the season, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, to hundreds of movie theaters in more than 40 countries worldwide. See a full list of participating theaters.


Looking ahead: SXSW offers reduced registration
Through January 15

Austin, Texas

The annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference & Festival gathers members of the international music, film, and interactive media industries in Austin, Texas, for a weeklong convergence of ideas and talent. Founded in 1987, the music event attracts nearly 12,000 attendees; the film and interactive components, added in 1994, attract approximately 17,000 registrants. SXSW 2010 is scheduled for March 12-21. Through January 15, badges range from $475 to $675 for single festivals (music, film, or interactive). Gold and platinum badges, priced at $675 and $1050, allow entry into multiple events. After January, costs will rise by $25 to $75 per badge.