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Britney Spears Leaves Los Angeles Hospital; Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Marks 25th Anniversary


On February 12, Sony BMG will mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller album with the new CD/DVD set, Thriller 25. Last week, Jackson made his first appearance on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in four years with the album's first single, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008." Akon performs with Michael on the track, which entered the chart at Number 81. Other artists featured on Thriller 25 include Fergie, Kanye West and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas."

Britney Spears was released from UCLA Medical Center's psychiatric ward on February 6. People magazine reports that a court representative determined there was "no just cause" to keep the troubled singer detained. Britney's parents released a statement to CNN's Anderson Cooper that said, "As parents of an adult child in the throes of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed this morning to learn that over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, our daughter Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe. We are deeply concerned about our daughter's safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk. There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded. We ask only that the court's orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted." Britney's father and his lawyer were named temporary conservators of her affairs and a restraining order was placed against her friend Sam Lutfi.

Jamaican-American singer Sean Kingston is doing his part to encourage young people to register to vote. The 18-year-old recorded a new version of Alice Cooper's 1971 classic "I'm Eighteen," which is available as a free download on iTunes.

Singer Marie Osmond, who placed third on last season's Dancing With The Stars, will launch an hour-long syndicated television talk show Marie in late 2009. Marie says, "I've always wanted to do a show for women that would offer them a safe place to have some fun and get vital information. 'Marie' will truly reflect my personality - funny, and sometimes serious and never predictable."

On February 2, American Idol's 2006 runner-up Katherine McPhee married her longtime boyfriend, 42-year-old film producer Nick Cokas. The ceremony took place in Beverly Hills, California. The couple honeymooned in Hawaii. Last month, 23-year-old McPhee was dropped from RCA Records. She'll be seen in two upcoming films, the comedy I Know What Boys Like and an independent dark romantic comedy, titled The Last Caller.


NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on February 12 include: "X" by Kylie Minogue, "Still Da Baddest" by Trina, "Free Somehow" by Widespread Panic, "East of Angel Town" by Peter Cicotti, "Relentless" by Natalie Grant and "Roots & Grooves" by Maceo Parker.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

On February 12, Bon Jovi will launch the "Stand Up For A Cure" concert series in New York. The shows will raise money and awareness for lung cancer research at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The band will dedicate their performance to Adam Sambora, the late father of Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. Adam Sambora was a patient at the cancer center before losing his battle with the disease in 2007. Other entertainers taking part in the "Stand Up For A Cure" series throughout 2008 include comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and opera star Andrea Bocelli.

The 2008 Tibet House benefit concert will take place on February 13 at New York's Carnegie Hall. This year's lineup includes Band of Horses, Ray Davies, Tom Verlaine, Philip Glass and Marisa Monte, as well as some surprise guests.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

On February 14, the 39th NAACP Image Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles. The awards recognize accomplishments in music, film, television and literature. During the ceremony, Aretha Franklin will receive the Vanguard Award, which has previously been given to Prince and film directors Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kramer. The Vanguard Award is presented to "a person whose groundbreaking work increases understanding and awareness of racial and social issues." In addition, Stevie Wonder will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. The awards show will air live on FOX-TV.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On February 12, Linkin Park will begin its 2008 North American concert tour in Omaha, Nebraska. The California-based rock group will support its latest album, Minutes To Midnight. Hits from the album include "What I've Done," "Bleed It Out," "Shadow of the Day" and "Given Up."

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