WEEK AHEAD: Gwen Stefani Goes Solo
MONDAY, NOV. 22: The penalty phase of Scott Peterson's murder trial begins, though Peterson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, has requested a new jury to determine the fate of his client. The former fertilizer salesman was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Laci and second-degree murder in the slaying of the couple's unborn son Conner on Nov. 12. First-degree convictions can carry the death penalty or life without parole, while second-degree murder convictions carry sentences of 15 years to life. As for Geragos's request, Judge Alfred Delucchi will review the motion just before the penalty phase of the trial gets under way.
TUESDAY, NOV. 23: No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani strikes out on her own with the release of her debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Though the sista is doing it for herself on the outing, she enlisted a little help from No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal as well as OutKast's Andre 3000 and others. Meanwhile, U2 are back with their new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. To kick things off, the quartet – already enjoying chart success with the single "Vertigo" – will be the musical guests on Saturday Night Live on Nov. 20, their first appearance on the show since 2000.
In other music news, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino is taking flight with her debut album, Free Yourself. "I want the songs I record to show different aspects of what I can do musically," she told Billboard recently. The album will showcase her considerable pipes on tracks produced by heavy-hitters Missy Elliott, Jermaine Dupri and Rodney Jerkins. She'll also team up with fellow AI alum Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard for a FOX special on Nov. 24.
One more artist joining the pre-Thanksgiving rush: Jessica Simpson, who's releasing her holiday CD ReJoyce – The Christmas Album, named after her grandmother (Joyce, what else?). The disc includes some of her seasonal favorites, including a duet of the classic "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with husband Nick Lachey.
THURSDAY, NOV. 25: Finally, what would Turkey Day be without the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? In its 78th year, this year's festivities will feature appearances by Kelsey Grammer, Ryan Cabrera, Gavin DeGraw and Jimmy Smits. And SpongeBob SquarePants makes his first appearance at the parade in giant balloon form. For those who can't make it in person to the traveling party, NBC will air the holiday tradition.
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