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Music News: Billy Joel Engaged; Janet Jackson to Release New Album - 2004-01-24


54-year-old Billy Joel has proposed to his 22-year-old girlfriend, West Virginia native Katie Lee. He reportedly gave her a five-carat diamond ring during a recent St. Bart vacation. Joel was married to his former business manager Elizabeth Weber from 1973 to 1982. He was married to model Christie Brinkley from 1985 to 1994.

Former ABBA member Agnetha Faltskog is working on her first album in 17 years. She recently signed a worldwide distribution deal with Warner Music and is currently in the recording studio. The album will be a collection of cover songs and is due out later this year.

Virgin Records has announced that Janet Jackson's new album will be released on March 30. Jackson worked with some of today's top writers and producers, including Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Missy Elliott, Dallas Austin and Rich Harrison. She plans to perform a summer tour in support of the still-untitled CD.

On January 27, Sparrow Records will release the benefit album In The Name Of Love: Artists United For Africa. The 13-track collection will feature songs made famous by Irish rock group U2, sung by popular Christian artists. A portion of the proceeds will go to World Vision for its charity work in the Zambian village of Mwakankomba, which has been devastated by HIV/AIDS, and to The Living Hope Center, an AIDS medical center in Cape Town, South Africa.

Country stars Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins will sail the Caribbean this week on the Grand Ole Opry Cruise. The two newest Opry members will be joined by longtime Opry favorites Little Jimmie Dickens, Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely. The eight-day cruise will depart from New Orleans on January 25 and stop in Montego Bay, Cozumel and Grand Cayman before returning on February 1.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES / JAN. 27:

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS:

The 61st annual Golden Globe Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on January 25. Nominees for Best Original Song are Elton John and Bernie Taupin for The Heart of Every Girl from Mona Lisa Smile, Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox for Into The West from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) for Man of the Hour from Big Fish, Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer for Time Enough for Tears from In America, and Sting for You Will Be My Ain True Love from Cold Mountain. Vying for the Best Original Score award are Alexandre Desplat for Girl With a Pearl Earring, Danny Elfman for Big Fish, Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gabriel Yared for Cold Mountain and Hans Zimmer for The Last Samurai.

LOOK WHO'S GOING ON TOUR!

January 31, Art Garfunkel of the legendary folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, will begin a 19-date solo tour in Boston, Massachusetts. North American concerts are currently scheduled through late May. Last year, Garfunkel performed a reunion tour with Paul Simon. According to Pollstar, the tour, which was the duo's first in more than two decades, brought in nearly $65 million and ranked as the sixth highest-grossing tour of 2003. On January 17, Garfunkel was arrested for possession of marijuana. A police officer stopped his speeding limousine and smelled marijuana inside the car. He faces a $100 fine for the misdemeanor charge. The court date is scheduled for January 28, but since the charge is a misdemeanor, a lawyer can appear for him.

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