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Stevie Wonder, NBA Among Highlighted Onsales This Week

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Onsales This Week

What events have onsales this week? See below for a selection of them. Click the images for more information.

Stevie WonderThe soul singer-songwriter is getting ready for his "Songs in the Key of Life Performance" tour. It begins November 6 and runs until December 5. After having initial onsales earlier this week, tickets for four more Stevie Wonder shows are up for grabs next Monday. The cities include D.C., Atlanta, Vegas, and Oakland.

NBAThe NBA is one of those sports that you never feel like you leave for long, given its championship games are in early to mid-June. This year was no different, and that feeling of basketball all year was only extended as LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland. The league has its initial onsales next week, with dozens of games between the Hawks, Bulls, Grizzlies, Bucks, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, and Spurs.

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Yusuf/Cat Stevens Returns to the U.S. for the First Time Since 1976

Concert News image

Yusuf, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, is returning to the U.S. for a tour for the first time since 1976. The five date "Peace Train... Late Again" tour will begin December 4 at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, MA, and end December 14 at Nokia Theatre Live in Los Angeles, CA. Yusuf is promoting his upcoming album, Tell 'Em I'm Gone, which will be released in October.

As Stevens, Yusuf was a popular artist in the early-mid 1970s, releasing albums such as Tea for the Tillerman and singles such as "Peace Train." In 1977, Yusuf converted to Islam and left the music industry for nearly 20 years. He re-emerged in 1995 with a series of spoken-word albums, and in 2006 released An Other Cup, his first since 1978.

See below for tour dates and visit the Cat Stevens page for more information on tickets.

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August's Top 10 Events

If you guessed that Ringling Bros. would still hold strong in August, you'd be exactly right. So like last month, we'll skip right to the juicy stuff: Garth Brooks. Last month I noted that despite the slow, drip drip way Garth Brooks has announced his tour dates, he wasn't doing so bad. Now that we're a month later, it's time to take a look at how things are going overall.

How has the tour done so far? Well, in order to compare, let's take a look at the other hugely amped tour from this year: Jay-Z & Beyonce. So far, the number of Garth Brooks tickets sold TicketNetwork.com is 71% of the number of tickets sold for the entirety of the On The Run Tour*. That's for a tour that had almost the same number of dates that Brooks' tour currently has released. When you take that into account, it doesn't look so good at first. However, when you remember that he's only released dates for two cities, it starts to look a little better. 71% of the other biggest tour of the year for two cities? I think that's not bad.

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Chuck Berry Wins Nobel-Like Music Award

According to The Guardian, rock pioneer Chuck Berry, whose contributions to music set the scene for an entire generation of the art form, was made a laureate of the Polar Music Prize, the Swedish award founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, who managed ABBA.

Up until now, I had never heard of this award, but I really like the idea. Like the Nobel, it is awarded for overall contributions, but this one fills a gap in recognition that other music organizations don't consider. For example, the big music academies tend to award for specific songs, albums, or artist/band achievement. There are also several lifetime achievement awards out there. Then there's the Germany-based Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, which is similar in nature but seems to focus more on orchestral and symphonic music and not modern popular music, though composers and conductors of these forms have been among Polar Music Award recipients.

Berry was joined this year by opera director Peter Sellars. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Yo-Yo Ma, and Elton John.

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Music's Australasian Invasion Is Here. Are You Ready?

Australasia

Everybody's heard of the British Invasion, the period in the mid-1960s when a bunch of artists and bands, led by The Beatles, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to perform in front of audiences in America for the first time. That two year span of time brought us now-household names like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbrids, The Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, and many more. The period had a large influence on popular music and culture in the United States, and British artists have been a major part of the American music scene ever since.

Is the same thing that happened in the 1960s now happening with artists from Australia and New Zealand? Are we seeing an Australasian Invasion? I believe so.

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