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J-Lo Welcomes Twins; Janet Jackson Releases New Album


Janet Jackson's first album for Island Def Jam Records was released on February 26. Discipline features tracks written by Ne-Yo, Rodney Jerkins and Janet's boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, among others. Janet was in New York on the album's release date to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" and MTV's "TRL" (Total Request Live). She also did an in-store signing.

38-year-old pop singer Jennifer Lopez and her 39-year-old Latin pop star husband Marc Anthony welcomed twins on February 22. Jennifer gave birth to a girl who weighed 5 pounds 7 ounces at 12:12 a.m. Her twin brother made his arrival at 12:23 a.m. He weighed 6 pounds. The twins are Jennifer's first children. Marc has three other children from previous relationships. Lopez's manager, Simon Fields, told People magazine, "Jennifer and Marc are delighted, thrilled and over the moon."

20-year-old pop singer Aaron Carter is in trouble with the law. The younger brother of the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter was arrested for speeding in Texas. During a search of his vehicle, police found marijuana. Aaron has reportedly been spending time in the recording studio working on some new songs.


The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is urging celebrities who attended Ashton Kutcher's February 7 birthday party at New York's Socialista club to get a Hepatitis A vaccination. A bartender at the establishment has been diagnosed with the disease. Ashton's 30th birthday party guest list included wife Demi Moore, Madonna, and actors Bruce Willis, Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Zac Hanson, drummer of the pop trio Hanson, and his wife, Kate, will be parents for the first time in May. Also expecting are Zac's older brother Isaac Hanson and his wife Nikki. The new baby will join Isaac and Nikki's 10-month-old son Everett. Next month, Hanson is scheduled to play two concerts at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. A tour in support of the band's latest album, The Walk, is set to begin in early April.


Billboard.com reports that Beyonce has signed on as executive producer of Darnell Martin's upcoming film Cadillac Records. The 10-time Grammy winner will also star in the motion picture and record four songs for its soundtrack. She'll play Etta James in the film, which tells the story of Chess Records, its founder Leonard Chess and some of the label's legendary artists.

Justin Timberlake will play the role of a minor league baseball player in the upcoming film The Open Road. Jeff Bridges will play his father in the movie, which recently began filming in Louisiana. Justin's web site reveals that The Open Road tells the story of a young man who tries to reconnect with his father, as he struggles to get home to his ailing mother's bedside.

Singer Pink (real name Alecia Moore) and her motocross racecar driver husband Carey Hart have separated after two years of marriage. Pink posted a message to fans on her web site, which said in part, "The most important thing for you all to know is that Carey and I love each other so so much. This breakup is not about cheating, anger or fighting…we are best friends, and we will continue to be."

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on February 26 include: "Backwoods Barbie" by Dolly Parton, "New AmErykah, Pt. One: 4th World War" by Erykah Badu, "Broken In" by Trent Willmon, "On A Clear Night" by Missy Higgins, "In and Out of Love" by Cheri Dennis, "Trinity Revisited" by the Cowboy Junkies, "Kingdom" by CeCe Winans, "Another Country" by Tift Merritt, "The Prodigal Comes Home" by Michael English, "Some Other Time" by Diane Schuur, "9 Lives" by Steve Winwood and the Original Broadway Cast Recording to "The Little Mermaid."

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

Country stars Dierks Bentley, Kellie Pickler, Gretchen Wilson, Randy Owen of Alabama and John Rich of Big & Rich will perform at the Phoenix Rising concert in Providence, Rhode Island. Several rock artists will also be featured in an acoustic performance. They include Staind's lead singer Aaron Lewis, Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl of Boston, Twisted Sister, and others. The show will benefit The Station Family Fund, which continues to raise money for survivors of The Station nightclub fire that took the lives of 100 people in 2003. More than 200 others were injured in the fire.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

The 2008 Academy Award nominations were presented on February 24 in Los Angeles. Three of the five nominees in the Best Original Song category were from the film "Enchanted." They included "Happy Working Song," "So Close" and "That's How You Know," which were all composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Also nominated in that category were Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas for "Raise It Up" from "August Rush" and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who won the Oscar for "Falling Slowly" from "Once." Best Original Score nominees were Dario Marianelli who won the Oscar for "Atonement," Alberto Iglesias for "The Kite Runner," James Newton Howard for "Michael Clayton," Michael Giacchino, for "Ratatouille" and Marco Beltrami for "3:10 To Yuma."

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On February 28, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will begin another round of North American concerts in support of their latest album, Magic. Shows begin in Hartford, Connecticut and wrap up in Charlottesville, Virginia on April 30. The group will begin a European tour on May 22.

Blind Melon will kick off a North American tour on February 28 in Riverdale, New Jersey. The rock band will be supporting its upcoming album For My Friends, which is due out in April. Blind Melon's original lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died of a drug overdose in 1995. The group disbanded in 1999, but reformed with new lead singer Travis Warren in 2006.

On February 29, Brooks & Dunn will begin their first Australian concert tour. Shows are scheduled in Brisbane on February 29 and March 1, Melbourne on March 5 and Sydney on March 10. The duo told Country Music Television, "We were kind of nervous about going. We were afraid nobody 'down under' had heard of us. But once the first show sold out, we said, 'Bring it on!'"

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