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Jennifer Lopez to Release <i>Rebirth</i>; Michael Jackson Jury Chosen

  • Mary Morningstar

February 23, the jury was selected for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial. Four men and eight women, ranging in age from 20 to 79, were sworn in. Eight alternate jurors, four men and four women, were also chosen from the jury pool. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville gave all the jurors a strict warning against talking about the case during the trial, which is expected to last six months. Melville said, "There's a real danger of jury misconduct in a case of this nature. It is extremely important that you follow the admonitions and not talk to anyone about this case."

25 years after the release of Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb's duets "Guilty" and "What Kind of Fool," the singers are back in the studio. An undisclosed source told Billboard, "They're collaborating and writing. We don't know where it's going to lead yet, but we're hopeful."

On March 1, Epic Records will release Jennifer Lopez's new album Rebirth. The collection is described as "old school meets new school." Guests include Fat Joe, Fabolous and Jennifer's husband, Latin pop star Marc Anthony. The album's first single, "Get Right," recently climbed to Number One on the U.K. charts. In other news, Lopez recently cancelled a trip to London, where she was to attend the European premiere of her latest film "Shall We Dance." She was also scheduled to promote her new album there for several weeks. The cancellation sparked rumors that she's pregnant, but a spokesperson for Lopez said it was simply a case of the flu.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame has added seven more inductees. John Fogerty, David Porter, Steve Cropper, Isaac Hayes, Bill Withers and brothers Richard and Robert Sherman will be honored at a ceremony in New York on June 9.

The third season of the USA Network's "Nashville Star" talent competition will premiere on March 1. Country star LeAnn Rimes will host the series and celebrity judges will include Country singer-songwriter Phil Vassar, talent manager Anastasia Brown and Poison lead singer Bret Michaels, who is reportedly close to signing a solo recording deal with Country label Lofton Creek Records. This year's "Nashville Star" winner will earn a recording contract with Universal South Records.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS:

The 2005 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will begin on March 1. The 20-day event will feature shows by numerous music stars. Brooks & Dunn will open the concert series. Among the many other artists scheduled to appear are Hilary Duff, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS:

The 77th annual Academy Awards will be presented on February 27 at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. Nominees in the Best Score category include Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for "Finding Neverland," John Williams for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," Thomas Newman for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," John Debney for "The Passion of the Christ," and James Newton Howard for "The Village." Contenders for Best Original Song are Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immergluck, Matthew Mallery, David Bryson and Daniel Vickrey for "Accidentally in Love" from "Shrek 2;" Jorge Drexler for "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" from "The Motorcycle Diaries;" Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri for "Believe" from "The Polar Express;" Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart for "Learn To Be Lonely" from "The Phantom of the Opera;" and Bruno Coulais and Christophe Barratier for "Look To Your Path" ("Vois Sur Ton Chernin") from "The Chorus" ("Les Choristes"). During the live ABC broadcast, Beyonce will sing "Believe" with Josh Grobin, the Counting Crows will perform its nominated song "Accidentally In Love" (from "Shrek 2") and Minnie Driver will sing "Learn To Be Lonely" from her latest film "Phantom of the Opera."

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:

On March 5, the Eagles will kick off a 20-date North American tour in Charleston, South Carolina. Late last year, the band performed some new songs at its shows in Australia. They included "No More Cloudy Days" and "One Day at a Time." The Eagles' "Farewell I" tour began in 2002 and since then has grossed more than $100 million. Their latest North American run is scheduled to wrap up on April 11 at New York's Madison Square Garden. On March 15, WSM/Elektra Records will release an Eagles box set. The group's web site reports that The "Eagles Box" will include seven albums released between 1972 and 1980. They include the band's Number One albums One Of These Nights, Hotel California and The Long Run. Each disc will be packaged in a CD replica of the original vinyl album.

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