Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson has posted a message on his web site that thanks his fans for standing by him throughout his recent child molestation trial. He said, "Without God, my children, my family and you, my fans, I could not have made it through. Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible. You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you. Your ever-present love held me, dried my tears, and carried me through. I will treasure your devotion and support forever. You are my inspiration." Michael is reportedly vacationing at a prince's palace in Bahrain with his three children.

An Orange County, California judge has heard the drunk driving case of singer Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. In March, Carter pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. He's been given a $1200 fine, three years of probation and restricted driving privileges for 90 days. The judge also ordered him into a three-month outpatient alcohol treatment program. Carter was stopped by police in Huntington Beach on March 5 and arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level above California's 0.08 limit. A representative for the singer said he was taking a prescription medication and "was unaware of its interaction possibilities." The Backstreet Boys next round of concerts begin on July 22. U.S. dates run through September 2. The group's European tour is scheduled to start on September 28.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Justin Timberlake is in talks to star in Craig Brewer's upcoming motion picture,  Black Snake Moan.  Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci are already signed to the cast. Justin would play Ricci's boyfriend. Filming is set to begin in September in Timberlake's hometown of Memphis, Tennessee and it's due in theaters in 2006. Justin will appear in the upcoming movie  Alpha Dog, which is based on the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest men to be placed on the FBI's most wanted list. Alpha Dog also stars Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis.

On July 5, Monterey Video will release the Grateful Dead DVDs  Truckin' Up To Buffalo and The End of the Road.  That same day, Grateful Dead Records will issue the live, double CD version of  Truckin' Up To Buffalo, which was recorded on July 4, 1989 at Rich Stadium in Buffalo, New York. This year marks the band's 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the death of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia.


New albums scheduled for release on July 5 include:  The Cookbook by Missy Elliott and Savage Life by Webbie on Atlantic Records;  TP3: Reloaded  by R. Kelly on Jive Records; and the original motion picture to  Dark Water on Hollywood Records.




Elton John will headline a HIV/AIDS benefit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4. The Philadelphia Freedom Concert will also include performances by Rufus Wainwright, Bryan Adams, Patti LaBelle and The Philly Pops, conducted by Peter Nero. Proceeds from the event will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for its work with HIV/AIDS organizations in the Philadelphia area.

Willie Nelson will hold his annual 4th of July Picnic in Forth Worth, Texas. Joining him at the day-long event will be Bob Dylan, Los Lonely Boys, Ray Price, the Doobie Brothers, Asleep at the Wheel, Jessi Colter, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and many other artists that were personally invited by Willie Nelson.


The 5th annual Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards were presented on June 28. Kanye West, who skipped the affair, was this year's top winner. He was named Male Hip-Hop Artist of the Year and his clip for "Jesus Walks" earned the Video of the Year honor. Other winners included Remy Martin, named Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year; Destiny's Child, Best Group; Alicia Keys, named BET's Female R&B Artist of the Year; Usher, Male R&B Artist of the Year; John Legend, Best New Artist; and Ciara, whose "1, 2 Step" featuring Missy Elliott won for Best Collaboration. During the ceremony, Gladys Knight was presented with BET's Lifetime Achievement Award. Performance highlights of the show included a surprise appearance by the Fugees. The trio's Lauryn Hill, Pras and Wyclef Jean reunited to open the show with a 12-minute medley of Fugees hits. The Fugees last album,  The Score,  was released in 1996. Since then, the members have pursued solo careers.


On July 3, legendary singer-songwriter Carole King will begin her "Living Room Tour 2005" in Ontario, Canada. The acoustic outing will feature the 63-year-old Brooklyn, New York native performing solo on piano, as well as some songs with two guitarists. North American dates are scheduled to run through August 14. On July 13, she'll perform at Radio City Music Hall, which will mark her first New York City concert in more than 12 years.

Eminem and 50 Cent will co-headline the "Anger Management 3" tour, which begins July 7 in Tinley Park, Illinois. Ludacris will perform the first two dates in place of 50 Cent due to a scheduling conflict. U.S. shows wrap up on August 12 in Detroit, Michigan. The tour heads to Europe on September 1 for a concert in Hamburg, Germany. Eleven more European dates are scheduled through September 17.

On July 9, Destiny's Child will kick off a 35-city North American tour in St. Louis, Missouri. The trek is in support of the trio's latest album Destiny Fulfilled. Members Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams recently announced that after the tour wraps up in September they'll be "retiring as Destiny's Child and moving forward to pursue personal goals and individual careers in music, theater, television and film."