News on Christina Aguilera, Michelle Branch, George Jones

AguileraPop star Christina Aguilera has signed on as the international spokesperson for Skechers women's footwear. The campaign, which will feature print ads and store displays, will launch in October to coincide with the European leg of her co-headlining Justified & Stripped tour with Justin Timberlake.

"I agreed to be a part of Skechers' international marketing team because I like its image -- youthful but edgy," Aguilera says in a statement. "They have attitude and are willing to try new ideas -- refreshing."

The U.S. leg of the Justified & Stripped tour has four dates remaining, beginning with tonight's (Aug. 25) show in Washington, D.C.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







ACMichelle Branch will perform a concert Wednesday (Aug. 27) for broadcast exclusively to AOL Broadband subscribers. The invitation-only show at New York's intimate Bowery Ballroom will begin at 9 p.m. ET; the BroadBAND Rocks! concert will be available on demand for seven days.

"AOL's members have been with me practically since the beginning, and I'm thankful to AOL for the dedication they've shown, and the opportunities they've given me," Branch says in a statement. "I'm honored to have this chance to perform live, just for them." Recent exclusive AOL concerts have featured the Foo Fighters, Staind, Lou Reed and Limp Bizkit.

Branch's latest Maverick album, "Hotel Paper," is No. 26 in its eighth week on The Billboard 200.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







GeorgeIn the grand tradition of Jimmy Dean, country legend George Jones has ventured into the world of sausage products. "George Jones Country Sausage," which contains "pure pork, no possum," according to a statement, is now available in nearly 2,000 supermarkets across the U.S.

"Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day," Jones continues. "My wife Nancy sets the table and it's my job to fry up the sausage and make sure it's just right." The new product is available with biscuits or in chub and patty form, with mild or hot flavor.

Beyond this new foray, Jones has also lent his name to a line of marinades, including "George Jones Country Style Ole' Fashion Steak Marinade," "Good On Anything Sauce," "Old Smokey Barbeque Sauce" and "George's Choice Barbeque Marinade."

Jones continues his heavy touring schedule Aug. 29 in Catlettsburg, Ky. According to a spokesperson, he will begin work on a new country album in the coming months with producer Keith Stegall.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.