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Insiders say Janet is in talks with Timberlake's people to appear together in "some sort of big, live show like the Grammys or the Oscars" as the ultimate publicity stunt.
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Janet and Ludacris Go At It, Is a Janet/Timberlake Reunion on Tap?, Open Season Rules, Vanity Fair Goes Country, Irv Gotti Nabs Carlton, Motorola’s Sneak Listen
If it’s October, it must be the Fall Classic, as the Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals, Padres, Yankees, Tigers, Twins and A’s duke it out for the right to play in the World Series as we’re still getting over the Jets’ loss to the Colts and Peyton Manning in yesterday’s Meadowlands barnburner. It’s also time for the record companies to roll out their Q4 product, as it is the film studios to crank out the potential Oscar winners, starting with this Friday’s opening of Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, with Jack Nicholson heading a star-studded cast that includes Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg.

In this week’s album race, which you can monitor on HITS’ building sales chart as it climaxes tomorrow, Janet Jackson’s 20 Y.O. (Virgin) looks headed for a showdown with IDJ's rap renaissance man Ludcaris' aptly named Release Therapy, with both hovering in the 300k range. Columbia’s 80-year-old legendary crooner Tony Bennett returns with a star-studded duets album, a Target TV campaign and a Starbucks push which should be good enough for #3 bow in the 200k range. Sony BMG Nashville’s Alan Jackson makes it four debuts in a row with a first week in the 145-155k area. Last week’s chart-topper, Jive/ZLG’s Justin Timberlake, looks headed for between 135-145k, followed by Columbia’s John Mayer (90-100k), RCA’s Clay Aiken (80-85k), Universal Republic’s Hinder (75-80) and A&M/Interscope’s Fergie (65-70k). Volcano/ZLG’s Weird Al Yankovic appears a good bet to bow in the Top 10 with a total at around 65-70k. Hitting the streets tomorrow are Wind-up’s Evanescence and Island’s The Killers in a rock-off, with MCA Nashville's George Strait, Interscope's Beck, Elektra's Jet, J's Monica and Concord/Starbucks Hear Music's Ray Charles/Count Basie also in stores.

Meanwhile, the N.Y. Post, that bastion of journalism, reports that Janet and Justin Timberlake may be headed for a reunion. Insiders say she is in talks with Timberlake's people to appear together in "some sort of big, live show like the Grammys or the Oscars" as the ultimate publicity stunt. The two have not spoken to each other since the infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction incident in 2004. A reunion "will help re-boost the sales of their albums," according to a source.

Sony Pictures' animated Open Season topped the weekend box office with ticket sales of $23 million at 3,833 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, as the first release from the studio's new animation division, Sony Pictures Animation, marking the record-breaking 11th #1 debut for the studio this year. Disney’s The Guardian finished second with $17.7 million. Last weekend's topper, Paramount Pictures' Jackass: Number Two, slipped 52%, hauling in $14 million to finish #3. Weinstein Co. and MGM’s School for Scoundrels, a comedy with Billy Bob Thornton and Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder, opened #4 with $9.1 million. Jet Li’s Fearless ($4.7m) and Gridiron Gang ($4.5m) were followed by Yari Film Group’s The Illusionist ($2.8m), now up to an impressive $31.5 million after seven weeks. Flyboys ($2.3m), The Black Dahlia ($2.1m) and Little Miss Sunshine ($2.0m) rounded out the Top10. The three-day gross was $100 million, up 13% from last year while year-to-date gross of $7.1 billion is up 6% from last year.

Vanity Fair’s November issue boasts Lisa Robinson’s “Rawhides and Rhinestones” piece, with photos by Mark Seliger featuring Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr., Trisha Yearwood, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam, Roseanne Cash and Dolly Parton, with George Clooney, whose starring appearance in the CoensO Brother Where Art Thou helped spur the bluegrass revival, on the cover.

Fresh from his acquittal last year of drug-laundering charges and his new deal with Universal Music Group, Irv Gotti announced he inked Vanessa Carlton, who he now calls “V,” to his record label, during a party aboard the 150-foot Utopia III docked at Chelsea Piers hosted by rap producer Swizz Beatz. “I want to show people I know about music, not just hip-hop,” Gotti told the N.Y. Daily NewsLloyd Grove. Among the guests: Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Damon Dash, the Mets’ Cliff Floyd and Carlton.

Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon the Chef has officially signed with Aftermath Entertainment and will serve up his new album Only Built for Cuban Linx II for the label founded by West Coast rapper/producer Dr. Dre.

J/Arista Records has entered a deal with Motorola to become the first label to leak albums through the Motorola iRadio digital music service.  The initiative will launch with a leak of Monica’s The Makings of Me via Motorola mobile handsets today. The album hits retail tomorrow.

Ironworks Music’s Rocco DeLuca and the Burden is VH1’s latest “You Oughta Know” artist beginning today. The band will be touring the U.S. with U.K. rockers The Feeling this month and Robert Randolph in November, including a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Nov. 9.  Ironworks is the label started by 24’s Kiefer Sutherland, who co-starred in a documentary about the band’s European tour, I Trust You to Kill Me, also the name of the group’s debut album. The band’s [email protected] performance will debut on VSPOT, the channel’s broadband initiative, today.

Tonight’s TV appearances include John Mayer on NBC’s Jay Leno, Evanescence on NBC’s Conan O’Brien and Amos Lee on CBSCraig Ferguson.

ON THIS DATE:
In 1961: Joan Baez released Volume Two. The album became the 22-year-old singer’s first hit and went to #13.

In 1962: Brian Epstein signed the Beatles to a five-year contract.

In 1967: Police raided the Grateful Dead’s house on 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco and busted the band members for marijuana possession. They were released on bail after six hours in jail and later cleared of charges, as the police had failed to obtain a search warrant.

In 1969: John Lennon dissed his own company in an interview, saying that Apple was like a black hole that sucked up his earnings as an artist.

In 1971: Rod Stewart got a double-whammy when his single “Maggie May” and the album Every Picture Tells a Story both hit #1.

In 1975: Bruce Springsteen retired to the Hotel Phister bar after his show at Milwaukee’s Upton Theatre was delayed due to a bomb scare. Springsteen ended up performing at the bar after getting what he called “a little loose.” He made his way back to the theatre riding on top of a music journalist’s car.

In 1976: Joe Cocker was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. During his rendition of “Feeling Alright,” Cocker impressionist John Belushi came out and did a duet with him. Cocker proclaimed himself “happy as a pig in s***” about the dead-on tribute.

In 1977: Elvis Presley’s body was moved from Memphis Forest Hill Cemetery to Graceland.

In 1977: Gene Simmons picked up a platinum record for his self-titled solo debut.

In 1982: Peter Gabriel performed with Genesis for the first time since leaving the band in 1975. Phil Collins and the gang joined him at a concert to benefit WOMAD. 

In 1982: John Mellencamp enjoyed his first and only #1 single with “Jack & Diane.”

In 1985: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band brought their Born in the USA tour to a close at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

In 1994: Drummer Stan Lynch performed with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for the last time at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert.

In 1994: John Mellencamp suffered a heart attack.

In 1995: Journey announced they had decided to re-form.

In 1999: John Paul Jones, former bass player with Led Zeppelin, played his first solo concert in Galway, Ireland.

In 2000: Willie Nelson, Billy Preston, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur and Ashford & Simpson threw a bash at the House of Blues in West Hollywood to celebrate Ray Charles' 70th birthday.

In 2003: John Mellencamp received the Woody Guthrie Award, given to those who honor the legacy of the late folksinger. Mellencamp's song "To Washington" from his album Trouble No More was inspired by Guthrie.

In 2003: At the Q Awards in London, Radiohead won Best Act in the World, Blur took home best album for Think Tank and cult '60s balladeer Scott Walker received a lifetime achievement honor.

In 2003: Courtney Love was treated for a drug overdose hours after being arrested for attempted burglary in Los Angeles. The Hole singer confessed to breaking windows in her ex-boyfriend Jim Barber’s house

In 2003: Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx sued sneaker maker Vans. He alleged they used his image in an ad without permission. He later won the case.

In 2004: Billy Joel married for the third time, tying the knot with 23-year-old Kate Lee.

In 2005: At least 11 people were killed during a stampede by fans at an oldies concert in Sangju, South Korea.



 

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