Digest: Robert Plant Plans Tour; Melissa Etheridge in 'American Idiot'

Also: Chic's Nile Rodgers Fights Cancer; Ted Leo Postpones Solo Tour

January 18, 2011 5:40 PM ET
Digest: Robert Plant Plans Tour; Melissa Etheridge in 'American Idiot'
Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty

Robert Plant Hits the Road
Robert Plant has announced that he is taking his Grammy-nominated Band of Joy out on the road for an American tour beginning in April. The band will be playing large theaters mainly in the Midwest and on the West Coast. [RobertPlant.com]

Melissa Etheridge Joins 'American Idiot'
Melissa Etheridge will taking the role of St. Jimmy for one week in the Broadway production of Green Day's American Idiot. The role is currently portrayed by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. Etheridge's run will be in the first week of February, which will give Armstrong a break before reprising the role for the remainder of performances in the month. [NY Times]

Chic's Nile Rodgers Battles Cancer
Chic songwriter and guitarist Nile Rodgers has announced in blog post on his official website that he is fighting an "aggressive cancer." Rodgers has not specified what kind of cancer he is dealing with, but has made it very clear that he was forced to act immediately upon diagnosis. He is presently recovering from  "radical surgery." [Guardian UK]

Ted Leo Postpones Solo Tour
Ted Leo has been forced to postpone the first two weeks of a solo tour that was set to begin this weekend in Boston. The singer has not given a specific reason why, but tweeted that he is "in the midst of a very bad time." He promised that announcements of new dates for the 12 shows will be announced soon on his website. [Pitchfork]

MORE: The Strokes Announce Release Date; Lady Gaga to Debut Song at Paris Fashion Week

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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