The self-proclaimed "King of Pop" was admitted to the hospital after becoming ill while traveling to the courtroom. Doctors diagnosed the flu and Jackson spent one night in the hospital, where he received IV fluids to stabilize his condition. Judge Melville announced that court proceedings resumed on February 22. In related news, Jackson's lawyers have put together a list of more than 350 potential witnesses. Among the numerous celebrities who may be called to the witness stand are Elizabeth Taylor, Kobe Bryant, Larry King, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. Also on the list are two of Jackson's children and his ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
Grammy-winning pop singer Christina Aguilera plans to marry her boyfriend of two years. People magazine reports that 26-year-old music executive Jordan Bratman proposed to 24-year-old Aguilera with a five-carat engagement ring on February 11. According to Aguilera's publicist, a wedding date hasn't been set.
Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen's next album, Devils & Dust, on April 26. The 55-year-old New Jersey rocker plans to tour in support of the collection. But, he says he hasn't decided if he'll perform alone or with a small band. Springsteen's last album was 2002's The Rising. It sold more than two million copies in the U.S.
On February 25, HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Records will release the benefit album Love Rocks. The double CD features tracks by Melissa Etheridge, the Dixie Chicks, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Dido, Pink, and many others. All proceeds will go to the Human Rights Campaign's work toward equality for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
The Elvis Presley-inspired musical All Shook Up will begin its Broadway previews at the Palace Theater on February 20. The show's producer describes the show as "the story of a small town girl who dreams of hitting the open road and the guitar-playing roustabout who brings romance, rebellion and rock and roll into her life." It features 24 Presley classics, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Can't Help Falling In Love," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog." All Shook Up, which stars Jarrod Emick and Jennifer Gambatese, is scheduled to open on March 24.
On February 23, Barry Manilow will begin an 80-date engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel & Casino. The 90-minute Manilow: Music and Passion will feature a cast of singers and dancers, a large band and some new Manilow songs. Last year, the 61-year-old singer announced his retirement from the road while performing his "One Night Live! One Last Time!" tour. His current itinerary wraps up on December 17, but additional shows will be scheduled into 2006.
The late Ray Charles swept the 47th annual Grammy Awards, which were presented in Los Angeles on February 13. The legendary singer and pianist earned eight trophies, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Album for his final release Genius Loves Company. Other multiple winners included Alicia Keys, who took home four trophies, including Best R&B Album for The Diary of Alicia Keys and U2, a triple winner for their hit single "Vertigo." After receiving 14 nominations throughout his long career, Rod Stewart finally won his first Grammy for Stardust…The Great American Songbook, Volume 3. He won in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. 69-year-old Country legend Loretta Lynn waited 34 years for another Grammy Award. Her first Grammy came in 1971 for "After The Fire Is Gone," a duet she recorded with the late Conway Twitty. Lynn's latest CD, Van Lear Rose won this year's Best Country Album honor and she shared a second award with rock singer and producer Jack White of the White Stripes for their duet "Portland, Oregon." (Total list of winners at www.grammy.com)
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:
On February 23, Alicia Keys will kick off her 35-date "Diary Tour" in Columbia, South Carolina. She'll be promoting her latest album The Diary of Alicia Keys, which earned this year's Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. She took home three other trophies at the February 13 Grammy ceremony; Best R&B Song for "You Don't Know My Name," Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for "If I Ain't Got You," and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "My Boo," last year's Number One duet she recorded with Usher. Keys will wrap up her theater tour on April 24 in Newark, New Jersey.