Music News Digest: Week Of October 28, 2018

November 4, 2018 by Amy Gold

During the week of October 28, 2018, fans bade a final farewell to country star Freddie Hart (December 21, 1926 - October 27, 2018) famous for the 1971 smash hit, "Easy Loving." This song topped the Country charts, made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and earned Hart numerous awards from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

Also that week, the Recording Academy announced that Willie Nelson will receive special honors during the annual Grammy Week celebration leading up the 61st annual Grammy Awards, to air live February 10, 2019 on CBS.

Paul McCartney recently launched a contest for charity in partnership with in which the winner will get the chance to sing a duet with the ex-Beatle onstage at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on December 12, 2018. The winner and a guest will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to McCartney's hometown that will include four-star hotel accommodations and VIP tickets to the show.

KISS announced its first confirmed series of North American show dates for its upcoming farewell tour. This trek kicks off on January 31, 2019 in Vancouver, BC, Canada and is currently set to wrap up on April 13 in Birmingham, AL, covering many states across the U.S. as well as several Canadian provinces. Also, Fleetwood Mac added six show dates in several major cities to its North American tour that begin on January 31 in Denver, CO and end on April 8 in Toronto, with stops in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Diana Ross recently released a new Christmas album titled "Wonderful Christmas Time" that includes such yuletide classics as "Silent Night," "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," "O Holy Night," Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," and John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." Also, a new album titled "Carpenters With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" will be coming out December 7 on CD and February 8, 2019 on vinyl. This archival recording features the original vocals of the late Karen Carpenter with new orchestral arrangements by her brother Richard of the duo's classic hits.

Also, Diana Ross will be among those to take part in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This event will air live November 22, 2018 on NBC and will also be streamed online.

Finally, Eric Clapton topped Billboard's Holiday Albums chart with his first-ever holiday album, "Happy Xmas." This album also made its debut on the Billboard 200 at #168.

(For more information about the above news items, please see below for a list of sources with links.)

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek dresses up as Gene Simmons - ghoulish makeup and all - for Halloween, and his costume gets the KISS frontman's seal of approval.