The 89th Academy Awards

Billboard Bits: Rose Parade, Janis Ian, Jason Miles

LeAnn Rimes and Toni Braxton in the Rose Parade, Janis Ian and Jason Miles prep new albums.

LeAnn Rimes and Toni Braxton are among those slated to take part in Monday's (Jan. 2) annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The 117th annual event, which carries the theme "It's Magical," will also feature performances by Lance Burton and a Disney youth chorus.

Rimes will kick off the parade with a performance of the single "Something's Gotta Give," from the album "This Woman" (Curb). The parade will be presided over by retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as Grand Marshal.

The parade, portions of which will be broadcast live nationally on NBC and ABC beginning at 8 a.m. PT, is among several Tournament of Roses activities leading up to Wednesday's 92nd Rose Bowl Game, where the University of Southern California Trojans and the University of Texas Longhorns will face off for college football's BCS National Championship crown.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the release of her debut album, Janis Ian will issue her 20th. Due Feb. 11 via Cooking Vinyl US, "Folk Is the New Black" features 15 new songs, all penned by the artist for the first time since her 1981's "Restless Eyes."

"It was important to me, writing it all by myself," she says. "It was a challenge -- could I still do it? Would it be as good? Because to my mind, it all comes down to four words -- I serve the song. If you don't start with great songs, you have nothing."

Ian plans to tour throughout the world in 2006. "We've got to pack it in," she says, "because I'm taking all of 2007 off to write my autobiography."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Following the January release of his acclaimed tribute to Miles Davis, Jason Miles is readying the release of his next tribute set. Due Feb. 7 via Narada Jazz, "What's Going On? Songs of Marvin Gaye" boasts 11 tracks that include guest appearances by the likes of Herb Alpert, Marculs Miller, Jay Beckenstein and Bobby Caldwell.

"I can remember asking three of my favorite musicians -- Miles Davis, Herbie Mann and Gato Barbieri -- on three separate occasions, who their favorite artists were," Miles says. "All of them put Marvin Gaye at or near the top of their list. That really stuck with me."

In addition to his "Miles to Miles" set, which peaked at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart earlier this year, Miles has recorded tributes to such acts as Weather Report, Grover Washington and Ivan Lins.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.