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Jury Selection Begins for Michael Jackson Trial; Beyonce to Launch Clothing Line


Jury selection for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial began January 31 in Santa Barbara County, California. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and local police department have set up security fences to manage the crowds. Some 800 press credentials have been issued to reporters covering the trial, which will take place at the Santa Maria courthouse. Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent to a minor.

The Associated Press reports that R&B star Beyonce has partnered with Tarrant Apparel Group to create a young women's clothing line. She's naming the collection House of Dereon after her grandmother Agnes Dereon. The line is expected to include casual wear and party dresses. The 23-year-old singer said, "I have pretty broad taste. I've been all over the world - thank God I've had the chance to do that." She says the clothing will be "a mix of vintage things with contemporary things. It'll be fur with denim, classic with street." Beyonce will design the clothes with her mother Tina Knowles, who's made many of the stage outfits worn by Beyonce's group Destiny's Child.

On January 26, former American Bandstand host Dick Clark was released from a hospital in Burbank, California. The 75-year-old television producer was admitted to the hospital on December 6 after suffering a mild stroke. Clark's publicist says he'll continue recuperating at his home in Malibu.

75-year-old opera diva Beverly Sills has announced her resignation from New York's Metropolitan Opera. She released a statement that said, "It's the right time to leave and concentrate on my family. I know that I have achieved what I set out to do." Sills has reportedly been in poor health recently. She retired from singing in 1980, but stayed active in New York's performing arts community. Sills managed the New York City Opera for the next 10 years, and in 1994, she became the first woman to chair the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 2002, she was named chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera.

Grammy-winning Country singer Lynn Anderson is in trouble with the law again. Last month, the 57-year-old was arrested for drunk driving in Denton, Texas. Her latest arrest is for allegedly stealing a Harry Potter DVD from a supermarket in her hometown of Taos, New Mexico. Anderson also allegedly punched the arresting officer as she was led into the police car. Her arraignment was scheduled for January 28.


Country Music Television, CMT, is hosting a Super Bowl Eve concert at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The February 5 show, titled Lynyrd Skynyrd's Super Bowl Saturday Night Special, will feature headliner Lynyrd Skynyrd, plus performances by Jo Dee Messina, 3 Doors Down and Charlie Daniels. Proceeds will go to tsunami relief organizations. CMT will air the concert as a 60-minute live special.


Nominations for the 77th annual Academy Awards were announced on January 25. The Aviator, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Alan Alda, leads this year's nominees with 11 mentions, including Best Motion Picture. Nominees in the Best Score category include Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for Finding Neverland, John Williams for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Thomas Newman for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, John Debney for The Passion of the Christ, and James Newton Howard for The Village.

Contenders for Best Original Song are Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immergluck, Matthew Mallery, David Bryson and Daniel Vickrey for "Accidentally in Love" from Shrek 2; Jorge Drexler for "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" from The Motorcycle Diaries; Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri for "Believe" from The Polar Express; Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart for "Learn To Be Lonely" from The Phantom of the Opera; and Bruno Coulais and Christophe Barratier for "Look To Your Path" ("Vois Sur Ton Chernin") from The Chorus (Les Choristes).


On February 3, Country duo Montgomery Gentry will kick off a co-headlining tour with Trace Adkins. Their "Turn It Up & Bring It On" shows begin in Madison, Wisconsin. They'll stop in 17 other U.S. cities before wrapping up the outing in Dayton, Ohio on April 23. Country comedian Cledus T. Judd will open most of the concerts.