DUET Not only will Eminem perform at the Grammy awards, he’s going to duet with one of the most out and proud singers in the biz, Elton John. According to SonicNet.com, Em will perform ”Stan,” with John singing the chorus. The Slim Shady’s album ”The Marshall Mathers LP” is nominated for four Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which organizes the industry awards, confirmed Saturday that the two would duet. ”We view this moment not only as musically significant, but also as an opportunity to help tear down some unfortunate wall of division that Emimen’s lyrics have built,” said NARAS president Michael Greene in a statement. Take that, GLAAD.
SPLIT Apparently Tom Cruise‘s decision to file for divorce last Wednesday, only two days after he and Nicole Kidman announced their separation, was a ”total and devastating shock.” According to Reuters, Kidman’s reps released a statement to the British press saying : ”This divorce was not her decision. Tom made the move. Nicole is in a state of shock.” The British Sunday newspaper The Mail quoted a friend of Kidman’s complaining about Cruise’s fast action. ”She has spent the last few days crying. She knew there were problems, but she didn’t realize he was about to call it quits,” the anonymous friend said.
MATERIAL MOVIE Madonna is reportedly producing a movie starring former pop princess Deborah Gibson. According to the British news service ananova.com, Madonna’s production company is making ”Teen Queens,” a music movie that will air on VH1. Gibson, who pitched the story of two rival singers who end up fighting onstage, will star and write the score. Maybe Tiffany will read for the other role.
HOSPITALIZED Johnny Cash was treated for pneumonia Monday at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital. He’s in serious but stable condition, according to Reuters. Cash, 68, has battled pneumonia several times since a 1997 diagnosis of Shy-Drager syndrome, an illness that attacks the nervous system. Although Cash announced last year that he’d been misdiagnosed, he has not revealed the source of his recurring health problems. The Man in Black hasn’t toured since 1997.
WEB NEWS Prince will launch a subscribers only music website Wednesday, Feb. 14. For around $100 a year, Prince devotees can sign up for the NPG Music Club, which will provide online access to the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist’s songs, videos, as well as VIP passes to concerts and parties. Less avid fans can join for a monthly fee of $7.77. More than 7,000 people have already registered for the service, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Call it his Valentine’s Day gift to fans.
ALBUM Whether or not Sean ”Puffy” Combs is convicted on gun possession charges, the rap impresario will thank God at the end of his trial. ”Thank You,” a gospel album featuring Combs and Grammy winning singer Rev. Hezekiah Walker, will hit record stores in early March, according to SonicNet. The record will also feature Puff’s pals Faith Evans, Brandy, and Kelly Price.”It’s the whole Bad Boy family — every song is a different artist,” Evans announced Friday in front of the courthouse. If Combs IS convicted, maybe he could convince his friends to stage a jailhouse rock revival.
CASTING Recent Golden Globe winner Renée Zellweger is in talks to play Michelle Pfeiffer‘s daughter in the Warner Bros. adaptation of ”White Oleander.” Based on Jane Finch’s best selling novel, the drama starts shooting this spring. Brit Peter Kosminsky (”Wuthering Heights”) will direct.
Greg Kinnear has signed on to costar opposite Mel Gibson in the Vietnam flick ”We Were Soldiers Once…And Young.” Set in 1965, the drama, which follows a battalion surrounded by enemy fire in the Ia Drang Valley, also features young actors Chris Klein (”American Pie”) and Barry Pepper (”Saving Private Ryan”). The war pic starts production in March.
Bruce Greenwood, who currently stars as J.F.K. in ”Thirteen Days,” will star in the WWII action drama ”Below,” about a haunted submarine. David Twohy (”Pitch Black”) will direct the thriller, which was written by Darren Arnonofsky (”Requiem for a Dream”) and Lucas Sussman.
DÉJÀ VU The guys in O-Town, the boy band whose formation aired on ABC’s ”Making the Band,” will tune in to the WB’s similar series ”Popstars.” ”We’re pretty excited to see how that’s going to turn out, just because we’ve all been through it and it’s going to be weird to see it form the other side,” member Trevor Penick told the Associated Press. Once the women are chosen for their new group, the O-Town men would like to arrange a meeting. ”They could be our soulmates,” O-Towner Dan Miller said. Or at least just their dates.