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J-Lo's Engagement Ring Goes on Sale; Artists Prepare for Grammys

  • Mary Morningstar

The six-carat pink diamond engagement ring that Ben Affleck gave Jennifer Lopez is being sold for an undisclosed amount. Jennifer returned the ring to Ben after their January 2004 breakup and Ben has asked Harry Winston to sell it for him. He reportedly paid Winston $1.2 million for the ring in 2002.

Country star LeAnn Rimes is busy promoting her new album This Woman, but she's also found time to work on some other projects. Among them is a Disney campaign. LeAnn recorded the song "Remember When," which will be featured on The Official Album of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. The collection is due out on May 3. "Remember When" will also be heard at Disney's theme parks and in campaign advertisements.

Pop singer-songwriter Billy Joel spent last week in a New York hospital, where he underwent tests for a stomach ailment. According to his publicist, severe stomach pains led the 55-year-old "Piano Man" to check himself into a Long Island medical center. No other details were released.

On February 13, Garth Brooks will perform a benefit concert in Forth Worth, Texas to raise money for a local hospital to buy an intra-operative MRI machine. Also taking part in the "Refuse To Lose" concert are Steve Wariner, songwriter Stephanie Davis and Texas singer-songwriter Dan Roberts, whose 12-year-old daughter, Austin, survived a brain tumor in 2002. They hope to raise $4.5 million for the Cook Children's Medical Center to purchase the brain mapping device that saved Austin Roberts life. Brooks retired from performing in 2000, but says, "This is all about Dan Roberts and the daughter that he thought he would lose."

Elton John will headline the July 4 "Philadelphia Freedom Concert" to raise millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS awareness and research. Organizers expect more than one million people to attend the show, which is scheduled to take place at Philadelphia's Museum of Art. Other musical acts and celebrity guests will be announced in March. Elton released a statement saying, "Philadelphia has long been one of my favorite cities because it has always had an intrinsic spirit of freedom and compassion. Plans are also underway for a gala fundraiser following the Independence Day concert.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS:

Linkin Park's Music for Relief Foundation will host a charity concert on February 18 in Anaheim, California. Proceeds will go to rebuild areas in Southern Asia that were devastated by December's earthquake and tsunami. In addition to Linkin Park, the show will feature performances by Jay-Z, No Doubt, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink 182, and others.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS:

The 47th annual Grammy Awards will be presented on February 13 in Los Angeles. This year's top contenders are Kanye West, who leads the list with ten nominations, followed by Alicia Keys and Usher with eight apiece. In addition, the late Ray Charles received seven mentions for his final release, "Genius Loves Company," which features duets with Elton John, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and James Taylor, among others. 69-year-old Country legend Loretta Lynn earned five nominations to lead the contenders in the Country categories. The total list of the 107 Grammy Award categories is available at www.grammy.com. Among the artists being recognized by the Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards are Led Zeppelin, the late Art Blakey, the Carter Family, Eddy Arnold, the late Morton Gould, the late Janis Joplin, Jerry Lee Lewis, the late Jelly Roll Morton, Pinetop Perkins and the Staple Singers. The awards show promises to be filled with many outstanding performances. Opening the live, three-hour telecast on three separate stages will be Gwen Stefani and Eve, Maroon 5, Franz Ferdinand, Black Eyed Peas and Los Lonely Boys. Melissa Etheridge will make her first appearance since being diagnosed with breast cancer; Bono, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Velvet Revolver, Brian Wilson and Tim McGraw will take part in an all-star performance of the Beatles' "Across the Universe," which will be recorded and sold on the Internet music download site iTunes to benefit tsunami relief; Jennifer Lopez and her new husband Marc Anthony will make their live performance debut with a duet from J-Lo's upcoming album; Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elvin Bishop and Dickey Betts will take part in a tribute to Southern rock; and Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston will pay homage to the late Ray Charles.

New York rock group Scissor Sisters won three trophies at the February 9 Brit Awards. The five-member band earned the Best International Group and International Breakthrough awards, as well as the Best International Album award for their self-titled debut album. The CD was the best-selling collection of 2004 in the United Kingdom. Other winners included Joss Stone, Franz Ferdinand and Keane, all double winners. Two other multiple nominees, Jamelia and Kasabian, were shut out. The Brit Awards Lifetime Achievement honor went to former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof.

LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!

On February 16, pop singer Ashlee Simpson will begin a 37-date tour in Anaheim, California. She says the outing will be "stripped down" with no pyrotechnics and few costume changes. Ashlee will be promoting her debut album Pieces of Me, but she says the set list also includes some cover songs. Concerts are scheduled to run through April 20.

The recently reunited rock group Motley Crue will kick off its "Red, White & Crue Tour" on February 17. Subtitled "Better Live Than Dead," the outing is scheduled to begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. U.S. shows wrap up in Loveland, Colorado on May 1. Motley Crue also has ten European concerts on its itinerary. They begin on June 7 in Helsinki, Finland.

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