HONORS First, the People’s Choice, now the American Music Awards. The season of esteemed honors and senseless publicity plugs has only just begun. This time, Faith Hill was the artist of the moment, as she took home three prizes, including favorite album (”Breathe”) and favorite female artist in both the country and the pop/ rock categories. Toni Braxton was the second biggest winner. The diva snagged two awards for favorite female artist and favorite album (”Heat”) in the soul/ R & B category. Meanwhile, Britney Spears — who cohosted the ceremony with LL Cool J–was snubbed entirely, though she had been nominated for two awards. Likewise, Eminem‘s controversy courting lyrics were ignored at the AMAs, though he too had received nods for two prizes. Presumably, he cried himself to sleep last night.
CASTING Hey, whatever happened to Jennifer Aniston‘s so called film career? Apparently, she — and her agent — are ready to put her former cinematic disasters behind them. The ”Friend” is in late talks to star in the next film by indie director sensation Miguel Arteta (”Chuck & Buck”), according to Variety. The film, titled ”The Good Girl,” focuses on a bored, young married woman whose life hits a downward spiral after she takes up with a discount store stock boy who thinks he’s Holden Caulfield, the quirky protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s ”Catcher in the Rye.”… Meanwhile, a slightly more successful crossover babe, Courtney Love, has signed on for a new gig. The rock & roll widow will star opposite Jennifer Esposito, Luis Guzmán, and Isaiah Washington in the heist comedy ”Welcome to Collinwood.” The film, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, will be produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney‘s studio Section Eight.
TOURS Much to the relief of U2 fans who found the massive scale of the ”Pop Mart” tour off putting, the group is toning things down this time. Instead of stadiums, the Irish rockers will play slightly more personal arenas when they hit the road March 24 in Miami to support their Grammy nominated ”All That You Can’t Leave Behind.” Get the complete list of tour dates at U2Tour.com.
TV NEWS Here’s a pernicious combo: MTV and the World Wrestling Federation are teaming up to produce a 13 week prime time reality series, titled ”Tough Enough.” In the show, the WWF will hold casting calls for aspiring wrestling demigods. After narrowing the candidates to 12, they will be put through nine weeks of basic training/ competition until only one male and one female remain. The winners, of course, get WWF contracts. Shortly thereafter, they get nominated for various elected offices throughout the country.
WEB NEWS Dave Matthews Band fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of their next album, ”Everyday,” (slated for a Feb. 27 release) can get their first taste on the group’s website, where a single from the album, ”I Did It,” is available for free download.