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Music News: Jackson, Timberlake to Participate in Sunday's Grammy Ceremony - 2004-02-07

The question remains … will Janet Jackson appear at the February 8 Grammy ceremony? A NARAS spokesperson says, "Janet is still scheduled to be a presenter and Justin Timberlake is still scheduled to be a performer." Other reports indicate she won't attend. Due to the surprise ending of Jackson and Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime performance, CBS has decided to safeguard the Grammy telecast by airing the show with up to a five-minute delay. Jackson issued a videotaped apology for the so-called "wardrobe malfunction" and Timberlake says he was "completely shocked and appalled" by the incident. The Federal Communications Commission immediately launched an investigation into the matter. CBS-TV officials, who received many complaints from viewers, said, "It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime."

Michael Jackson is scheduled to appear in court on February 13. The hearing will determine how and when the molestation case against him will proceed. Jackson showed up late for his first court appearance on January 16 and Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville told the singer, "I want to advise you I will not put up with that. You must be here on time." Jackson pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of child molestation and two counts of giving the child an intoxicating agent.

Elton John will begin the first of 18 concerts at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 13. The shows are part of his 75-date, three-year deal at The Colosseum, the venue built for Celine Dion's multi-year event, "A New Day." Elton will wrap up his first string of dates in Las Vegas on April 4.

Gloria Estefan's recent "Unwrapped" concerts at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas will be released on DVD on February 10. The singer performed a seven-show engagement from October 10-19, 2003. The 90-minute DVD also features music videos, behind-the-scenes footage from The Colosseum and a photo gallery.

The Broadway musical financed by comedian and former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell will close on February 8. Taboo, which starred Culture Club leader Boy George, played only 100 performances. The show debuted in London, where it had a 16-month run before O'Donnell put up $10 million to bring it to the U.S. She issued a statement that said, 'Taboo was by far the most fulfilling experience of my career. Many lessons were learned, and so it goes. For this experience, I am profoundly grateful and have no regrets."

On February 11, Rev. Al Green, Sandi Patty and the late Vestal Goodman will be inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame. BMI president Frances W. Preston will also be inducted in the non-performer category. Goodman died of the flu on December 27, 2003 at age 74.

Virgin Records will release Courtney Love's solo debut album, America's Sweetheart, on February 10. The collection was originally due out last October, but was delayed after Love was arrested on October 2 for illegal possession of the prescription drugs Vicodin and OxyContin. She pleaded not guilty to the felony charge and was released from custody after posting a 25-hundred-dollar bail. Love will appear in court February 11. She plans to tour this year in support of America's Sweetheart. In other news, Love is currently looking for a publisher to release Love Diaries: My Life In Words and Pictures. The 250-page book is described as "an emotional biography in scrapbook form." It will include diary entries, love letters she wrote to her late husband Kurt Cobain, unpublished lyrics, probation reports, sketches and fashion designs drawn by Love, and private pictures of her with Kurt and their daughter Frances Bean.

1980s pop band Tears For Fears has recorded a new album, its first since 1989. Everybody Loves A Happy Ending will be released on Arista Records April 6th. Its first single, Closest Thing To Heaven, ships to radio February 9. A summer concert tour is being planned in support of the new CD.



Country singer Joe Diffie will host the 12th annual First Steps concert on February 8th at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. This year's lineup of talent includes Buddy Jewell, Sherrie Austin and Lila McCann, plus some surprise guests. First Steps is a private, non-profit organization formed for the education and development of children with special needs. Diffie's son Tyler, who was born with Down Syndrome, attended the First Steps school for several years. The singer's annual concerts have raised more than $600,000 for the program.

The 23rd annual Bob Marley Day Festival will begin on February 14 in Long Beach, California. Performers at the two-day event will include the late reggae legend's son Julian Marley, Sean Paul, Burning Spear, Sly & Robbie, Arrested Development, and many others. Festival organizers will also hold celebrations, attended by many of the same artists, in San Diego on February 16 and San Francisco February 20-22.


On February 7, the 11th annual Rock the Vote Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles. This year's honorees include the Dixie Chicks, who will receive the Patrick Lippert Award for their "commitment to preserving and protecting freedom of expression." Sean "P. Diddy" Combs will also receive a Patrick Lippert Award for his "continuous support of Rock the Vote's mission to empower young people to register and vote." Black Eyed Peas, Fountains of Wayne and N*E*R*D are scheduled to perform at the ceremony.

On February 8, the 46th annual Grammy Awards will be presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. OutKast, Beyonce, Jay-Z and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams are this year's most nominated artists with six nods apiece. The three-hour telecast will not have one main host this year. Instead, several actors and musicians will host segments of the show. They include Ellen DeGeneres, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Madonna, Evanescence's Amy Lee and Sarah Jessica Parker. The program will feature performances by Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, OutKast and Martina McBride. Sting, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, Pharrell Williams, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton will perform a tribute to the late Warren Zevon. There will also be a segment to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' first U.S. television appearance. And, Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Richard Marx will salute multi-Grammy nominee Luther Vandross. Luther hoped to attend the event, but his doctors have advised him not to make the trip. The 52-year-old singer suffered a severe stroke in April of last year and is still in a wheelchair.


Latin pop singer Enrique Iglesias will begin his 2004 tour dates on February 7 in Washington, D.C. His itinerary includes 15 North American shows, which will be followed by five concerts in Australia from March 12 through March 26.

On February 12, Country music's top-selling duo Brooks & Dunn will kick off its "Red Dirt Road Tour" in San Antonio, Texas. Shows are currently scheduled to wrap up on September 11 in York, Pennsylvania. For the past three years, Brooks & Dunn have staged their huge, multi-artist "Neon Circus & Wild West Shows." The "Red Dirt Road Tour" is geared toward smaller markets. Group member Kix Brooks says, "When you get a big machine happening, you've got to serve that, but that doesn't mean you lose sight of those other people who maybe aren't in the places you can take a tour the size of the Neon Circus." Joe Nichols will open Brooks & Dunn's 2004 shows.

On February 13, John Mayer will launch his 2004 tour in Kelowna, British Columbia. The singer-songwriter will be promoting his fourth album,Heavier Things, which includes his latest hit Bigger Than My Body. Mayer made his breakthrough last year with the single Your Body Is Wonderland, from his third CD Room For Squares.