J-Lo, Marc Anthony to Sing Duet at Grammys

J-Lo, Marc Anthony | DiCaprio Captivates | Jacko Trial, Day 1 | Jim Capaldi, Phil Friedman

J-Lo, Marc Anthony to Sing Duet at Grammys

Jennifer Lopez and her third husband, singing sensation Marc Anthony, are set to do at duet at the 47th annual Grammy Awards and top last year's Beyoncé/Prince opener, which will be a major coup for exiting executive producer Pierre Cossette.

The show will take place Feb. 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will air on CBS.

After a remarkable 35 consecutive years producing the music awards telecast, the legendary Cossette is turning over the reins to his son, John. Cossette plans to focus on Broadway, again. He produced the six-time Tony winner "The Will Rogers Follies," among other shows.

The married couple will likely sing a duet written by Anthony which appears on J-Lo's upcoming new album, "Rebirth." It's unclear whether Lopez — who is not nominated for a Grammy — will also perform her single "Get Right."

I told you a couple of weeks ago that "Get Right" was really an amalgam of a number of recordings, including a song called "Ride" by hip-hop superstar Usher. Usher is said to be furious that Lopez appropriated the track, which was co-written by him and producer Rich Harrison.

The Lopez/Anthony appearance should also be interesting because the couple has never actually formally announced their marriage. They wed back on June 7, 2004, not long after Lopez broke up with actor Ben Affleck and only four days after Anthony's second marriage to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres was legally dissolved.

But neither of them has ever commented on the union (very smart). I'm sure the tabs will have long lenses trained on the couple's ring fingers for proof positive.

Leo DiCaprio Captivates

When I first interviewed Leonardo DiCaprio, he was 19. He was also hung over, not sure how to eat at a table and looking for free clothes.

A few years later, when "Titanic" hit big, he was known for leading a bratty pack of rogue idiots from one club to another. There were not a lot of high expectations about him.

But whoa!, as Vinnie Barbarino used to say.

Leo has grown up and has become incredibly articulate and poised. He's a Golden Globe winner, for better or worse. And he is again the star of a movie that could very well win the Oscar ("Titanic," 1997; "The Aviator," 2004).

I witnessed this new, mature DiCaprio on Thursday night after a guild screening of "The Aviator" in New York. He and co-star Alan Alda answered questions at a session conducted by the American Museum of the Moving Image.

Leo arrived a few minutes before Alda, dressed in jeans and a black turtleneck. Only his publicist was with him; there was no posse. After spending about two minutes slicking his hair back in a bathroom mirror at the Loews E-Walk on 42nd St., he slipped into the theater and waited until the credits were finished rolling.

He and Alda kibbitzed privately, although I did hear Leo laugh about the endless questions he gets about girlfriend Gisele Bündchen.

"They say, what's it like with Gisele?" Leo laughed and shrugged.

Hearing it that way, you could see why he doesn't want to do press.

David Schwartz of the AMMI did the questioning, but in the end the two actors pretty much interviewed themselves.

This was preceded, however, by a faulty sound system that kept sending thunderous feedback through the theater every time Leo tried to speak into his mike. Finally, all three gave up the mikes.

"Project to the audience," a publicist suggested, and so they did.

Alda, my own choice for best supporting actor this year, spoke articulately about the making of "The Aviator," and how he approaches his craft.

The 69-year-old has had a long career, with accomplishments such as 12 seasons of "M*A*S*H," the Woody Allen film "Crimes and Misdemeanors" — and his own directed hits ("Betsy's Wedding", "Sweet Liberty").

Alda is an expert. It's just a wonder that his performance as the evil and corrupt Senator Ralph O. Brewster reaped his first-ever Oscar nomination.

But, Leo! Look, he's no slouch. He's now worked with Martin Scorsese twice, and his early work — in "The Basketball Diaries", "Total Eclipse", "Marvin's Room", "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", the updated "Romeo + Juliet" — all showed incredible talent at work.

"Titanic" was so "titanic" that it nearly ruined him. "The Beach" was an ambitious misstep.

But here he is, at 30, probably the best male actor of his generation. All good things have converged for him.

Will Leo win the Oscar, though? That's the big question.

The word is that Jamie Foxx still has the inside track, with Don Cheadle close behind. But the Academy Awards are known for upsets and surprise finishes. Tomorrow: more from Leo and Alan.

Jacko Trial Day 1: Weekend Barrage of Barak

Jury selection begins Monday in the Michael Jackson child-molestation trial, and CBS ran a weird one-hour special on Saturday evening as a lead-in.

Imagine that CBS, right off its Dan Rather scandals, paid for an interview with Jackson's parents conducted by "international journalist" Daphne Barak. Is CBS unaware that Barak and Joseph Jackson are in business together? That Barak pays Jackson from the money she gets?

Last year Barak called this reporter and said: "I have Joseph Jackson with me on the other line, and we want to talk to you about a project." I hung up -- no thanks.

All through this "exclusive," I did notice that Katherine Jackson, the pop star's mother, and Joseph Jackson have no body language. They sat apart, and several times she berated him.

To Barak's credit, she didn't edit it. Katherine looked disgusted, and rightly so.

The couple does not live together. I reported about their withdrawn 1972 divorce papers. Katherine Jackson knows how her husband treated her kids. Of course, since Barak's in business with him, Barak was hardly going to ask Jackson if he beat his children, etc.

Finally, CBS used a rerun clip from the Paramount-syndicated "The Insider" showing Pat O'Brien talking about Debbie Rowe. I am told that Barak called Rowe numerous times for comment and was turned down, so CBS resorted to this.

Pat O'Brien, CBS News? Huh?

"Not a bit of what they used on Debbie was new," said a friend of Rowe. "It was just rerun from before."

Rowe can't be too pleased. The interview they used made Jackson so mad he cut off her alimony payments last October.

Jim Capaldi, Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman, no relation to this reporter, died on Thursday. He was 50.

When I wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid-'90s for New York magazine, Phil was a constant presence. He knew everything and everyone in New York politics, and was an invaluable guide through the maze of it all. He was also a lot of fun.

I will never forget the dinner he organized so that I could meet Joy Silverman, who at the time was being harassed by Judge Sol Wachtler. Only Phil could put it all together. I'm just sorry he couldn't do the same in his own life.

May he rest in peace.

Another death in the music world: drummer Jim Capaldi of Traffic, the great blues-rock band that also featured Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Dave Mason.

Memo to self: put on "John Barleycorn Must Die" today, and wonder how it is that popular music devolved from this point.

Capaldi, 60, died from stomach cancer. A big, big loss.