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Faith Hill leads AMA nods

Plus, Joshua Jackson’s set to star in a feature comedy, Bryan Singer may direct ”X-Men” sequel, and more

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Faith Hill
Hill: Steve Granitz/Retna

AWARDS Crossover country singer Faith Hill leads the American Music Award nominations with four nods: favorite female artist in both the pop/ rock AND country categories, favorite adult contemporary artist, and favorite country album. Announced Monday, the AMAs also tapped salsa master Marc Anthony and alternative rock group Creed with three nominations apiece. Eight acts picked up two nods, including Britney Spears, who’ll host the 28th annual awards ceremony on Jan. 8 at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium. Here’s a complete list of the nominees.

POP/ROCK
Favorite Male Artist Marc Anthony, Eminem, Kid Rock
Favorite Female Artist Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Britney Spears
Favorite Band, Duo, Group Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Creed
Favorite Album Creed (”Human Clay”), ‘N Sync (”No Strings Attached”), Britney Spears (”Oops! … I Did It Again”)
Favorite New Artist Macy Gray, Jessica Simpson, 3 Doors Down

SOUL/ R&B
Favorite Male Artist D’Angelo, Brian McKnight, Sisqó
Favorite Female Artist Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Kelly Price
Favorite Band, Duo, Group Destiny’s Child, Jagged Edge, Lucy Pearl
Favorite Album Toni Braxton (”Heat”), Destiny’s Child (”The Writing’s on the Wall”), Sisqó (”Unleash the Dragon”)
Favorite New Artist Donnell Jones, Mary Mary, Pink

COUNTRY
Favorite Male Artist Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, George Strait
Favorite Female Artist Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire
Favorite Band, Duo, Group Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar
Favorite Album Faith Hill (”Breathe”), Alan Jackson (”Under the Influence”), Toby Keith (”How Do You Like Me Now”)
>Favorite New Artist Alecia Elliott, Billy Gilman, Keith Urban

ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Favorite Artist Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, Faith Hill

SOUNDTRACK
Favorite Soundtrack ”Coyote Ugly,” ”Mission: Impossible 2,” ”Nutty Professor II: The Klumps”

RAP/ HIP-HOP
Favorite Artist DMX, Dr. Dre, Eminem

LATIN MUSIC
Favorite Artist Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira

Alternative Music
Favorite Artist Creed, Limp Bizkit, Red Hot Chili Peppers

CASTING Joshua Jackson (”Dawson’s Creek”’s Pacey) will star in the comedy flick ”Lone Star State of Mind” for Sony’s Screen Gems label. Shooting is scheduled to start in late January, with Jackson traveling between his ”Dawson” set in North Carolina to the film’s Texas locale. ”Lone Star” marks former ”Dawson” director Dave Semel’s feature debut. Keep your fingers crossed for Katie Holmes to join their little reunion…. Rupert Everett and Dame Judi Dench have signed on to costar in a Miramax adaptation of yet another Oscar Wilde comedy: ”The Importance of Being Earnest.” Everett will reteam with director Oliver Parker, who helmed the studio’s last Wilde project, 1999’s ”An Ideal Husband.” Dench will play Lady Bracknell, another small but powerful role for the Oscar winning Dame, while Everett is attached as Algernon, one of two male protagonists. ”Earnest,” which was last filmed in 1952, is the tale of mistaken identity among England’s late 19th century upper class…. Jazz crooner Harry Connick Jr. is in advanced talks to star opposite MTV’s ”Jackass” host Johnny Knoxville and Sarah Jessica Parker in the romantic comedy ”Life Without Dick.” Connick will play a hitman hired by Parker’s character to kill her boyfriend (Knoxville). Along the way, of course, Parker’s character falls in love with Connick’s. Sounds like perfect casting. I mean, who doesn’t already want to kill obnoxious Knoxville and swoon over Harry Connick?… Indie writer/ director Jill Sprecher (”Clockwatchers”) has rounded up an impressive list of actors for her upcoming New York drama ”13 Conversations About One Thing.” Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, Amy Irving, and Clea Du Vall (”Girl, Interruputed”) are the key members of Sprecher’s ensemble. Shooting now in New York, the film follows five interconnected stories about karma. Michael Stipe and Sandy Stern’s Single Cell Pictures is producing the drama.

REEL DEAL Bryan Singer, who directed the summer blockbuster ”X-Men,” is in early talks to direct the live action thriller’s sequel for Twentieth Century Fox. The studio has already signed the entire ensemble cast of Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, and Anna Paquin for the second installment of ”X-Men,” but Singer wasn’t part of those earlier deals, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

FAREWELL Renowned children’s television host Fred Rogers will retire his blue cardigan next week when he tapes the final episode of ”Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Rogers, 71, created the kiddie show 33 years ago through Pittsburgh’s PBS station and has produced almost 1,000 episodes of the award winning program. Now Rogers wants to focus on his website, books, and museum projects. Don’t worry, your grandchildren will still be able to enjoy Rogers and his puppet pals — PBS plans to continue airing repeats. And now the grandparents in Florida will be his neighbors.

HONORED R&B singer Rita Coolidge received a lifetime music award at the Native American Music Awards held in Albuquerque, N.M., last Saturday, Nov. 11. Coolidge started as a backup singer for Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills, went on to marry Kris Kristofferson, whom she recorded with, and later launched a solo career that produced more than 20 albums.

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