Former President George W. Bush’s memoir “Decision Points” sold at least 220,000 copies through its first day of release, with more than 20% generated by e-book purchases.
Random House Inc. said Wednesday that opening-day sales, which include preorders and represent 95% of accounts reporting, was the publisher’s highest for nonfiction since former President Bill Clinton’s “My Life” debuted with 400,000 sales in 2004. Bush’s book came out Tuesday with an announced first printing of 1.5 million copies.
Random House said that e-sales were 50,000 so far, a number unthinkable when Clinton’s book came out.
Tony Awards find a new home
Thanks to a new Cirque du Soleil production that will be taking over Radio City Music Hall this summer, the organizers of the Tony Awards have spent the last several months braving the New York real estate market in search of a home for its 2011 ceremony. After much speculation, the American Theatre Wing announced Wednesday that the June 12 ceremony will take place at the Beacon Theatre, one of the city’s most beautiful theatrical venues but much smaller than Radio City.
Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, at the corner of Broadway and 74th Street, the Beacon is a popular venue for rock events but also has served as a venue for theatrical and other stage productions. It has close to 2,900 seats; Radio City’s capacity is more than 5,900.
Met to return Egyptian art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has agreed to repatriate a collection of ancient Egyptian objects, including a lapis-lazuli sphinx that once adorned a bracelet worn by King Tutankhamen, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
Curators at the museum have established that all 19 antiquities, which also include a three-quarter-inch-high bronze dog, come from the tomb of the boy-pharaoh, which was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings, the council said in a statement. They are among a number of objects that were acquired by the Met after the deaths of Carter and Lord Carnarvon, the English earl who sponsored the expedition.
“The objects will go on display with the Tutankhamen exhibition at Times Square, where they will stay until January,” said Zahi Hawass, head of the council. After a further six months on show in New York, they will return to Egypt, to be housed in a new museum being built on the Giza plateau.
Riley vouches for Jackson song
Some of Michael Jackson’s family members are unhappy with the release of the posthumous single “Breaking News.” But the late legend’s longtime producer and manager say it is indeed Jackson’s voice on the newly released track.
“When I heard these songs, my heart cried hearing Michael again in good spirits. The vocals sounded very polished, very on key and processed. I have no doubts that these are Michael’s vocals,” Jackson’s longtime producer, Teddy Riley, said Wednesday.
“Breaking News” is the first song off “MICHAEL,” due out Dec. 14. It’s the first album of unreleased Jackson material since Jackson’s death.
Representatives for Epic Records, Jackson’s label, say Jackson not only co-wrote the song in 2007 but also co-produced it with Eddie Cascio and James Porte. It made its debut on michaeljackson.com on Monday.
Frank Dileo, who had been Jackson’s manager years ago and reentered his career shortly before his death, also vouched for the song’s authenticity.
The album is being released in conjunction with Jackson’s estate, which is managed by John McClain and John Branca, who had been Jackson’s attorney for years.
McQueen exhibit planned
The Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will honor the memory and vision of the late designer Alexander McQueen through a retrospective exhibit next year.
The 100-piece exhibit, slated to open May 4, will examine McQueen’s career from his postgraduate student styles through his tenure at Givenchy and to the collection presented posthumously after he committed suicide in February.
Signature items, including the bumster trouser and the kimono jacket, will be included with items from the McQueen and Givenchy corporate archives and his private collection.
Grammys: Pop stars Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, country singer Miranda Lambert and rapper B.o.B. will perform on the Grammy Awards nomination special on Dec. 1, the Recording Academy said. The show will air on CBS.