- - Monday, December 19, 2011

New McCartney album to hit stores in February

Paul McCartney is releasing an album of standards - plus two new songs of his own.

According to the Associated Press, the former Beatle announced Monday that his new disc will be out Feb. 7. It doesn’t have a title yet. He’s already streaming one song, “My Valentine,” on his website.

Mr. McCartney said he and John Lennon were inspired in their own writing by some of the standards. Some of them he first heard when his father performed them at home on piano.

Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder make appearances on the disc, which was recorded with Diana Krall and her band.

Mr. McCartney said he’s been thinking about the project for 20 years and, at age 69, figured “if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.”

Jackson house contents sell for nearly $1 million

The contents of the home where Michael Jackson lived with his three children just before his death have sold for nearly $1 million at auction, the Associated Press reports.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, was unable to provide a more specific figure as he continued to tally the totals Saturday after the daylong auction, which brought in nearly triple the company’s pre-auction estimate of $200,000 to $400,000.

Among the highlights: A kitchen chalkboard where Jackson’s children wrote “I love daddy,” which sold for $5,000, and an armoire upon which Jackson wrote a message to himself on the mirror that fetched $25,750.

The auction also included furniture, artwork and other items from the rented mansion at 100 N. Carolwood Drive, where Jackson lived as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts in London before his death in June 2009.

The headboard from the bed where Jackson died at age 50 was removed from the auction at the family’s request, but the rug that was beneath the bed sold for $15,360. The estimate had been $400 to $600.

Julien’s Auctions re-created the mansion inside its Beverly Hills showroom and invited fans to fill the space where the bed would have been with a tribute to the late King of Pop. Mr. Julien promised to deliver all of the tribute items to Jackson’s children and family matriarch Katherine Jackson.

Michael Jackson has the greatest fans in the world. I can see why he lived for them,” Mr. Julien said. “They came out every day this week to bring gifts. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen as it relates to a celebrity and their fans.”

Julien’s Auctions has conducted auctions for dozens of celebrities, including Cher, Barbra Streisand, William Shatner and Slash.

Jackson commissioned the company to sell the contents of his Neverland Ranch before the auction was called off in early 2009. Julien’s also sold Jackson’s famous “Thriller” jacket for $1.8 million earlier this year.

Hollywood veterans sign on to teach NFL players

John Singleton, Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans are among the Hollywood veterans who will lead sessions in a new NFL program for players interested in the movie industry.

The first NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp will run April 2 through 5 at California’s Universal Studios. The league said Monday that 20 current and former NFL players will take part.

The four-day event will offer an overview of creative disciplines in the film industry, including screenwriting, directing, producing and film financing. The players will have the opportunity to shoot and edit a short film.

The program is being run by NFL Player Engagement, which assists players in preparing for their post-football careers, and Film Life Inc., a New York-based film-production company.

More than 700 NFL players have participated in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program since 2005, and 106 players have taken part in the five NFL Broadcast Boot Camps. The Business of Music Boot Camp debuts in February 2012.

On singer Jessie J’s list: Gain weight in 2012

Most New Year’s resolutions include dieting. Not for Jessie J.

According to the Associated Press, the British singer said her goal for 2012 is to gain more weight.

Jessie J said she’s “been working hard this year” and that “it’s important to know when you need to gain weight, or when you need to lose weight and be healthy.”

The 23-year-old is known for her slim figure and skin-tight outfits.

She released her debut CD, “Who We Are,” earlier this year. It’s double platinum in the United Kingdom, where she has four top-10 hits, including the No. 1 tune “Price Tag.” That song has reached the Top 40 in America.

The singer also said she plans to shave her head for charity.

Said Jessie J: “I want to make a difference in the world.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.