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Thursday, December 31, 2009

KFLAG COUNTRY MUSIC UPDATE

Carrie Underwood is joining Oprah Winfrey, first lady Michelle Obama and Tyra Banks as part of PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) new "Fur-Free and Fabulous" campaign. The posters are currently hanging in Washington, D.C. Metro stations to promote the city's "Make D.C Fur-Free" campaign.

FAST FACTS

  • Carrie is a vegetarian.
  • She was voted PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian in both 2005 and 2007.


Kenny Chesney picked up a couple of furry friends as Christmas presents for his girlfriend earlier this month. The singer flew to the Bardstown-Nelson County Airport in Kentucky with his galpal, Amy Colley, to buy two puppies -- female teacup MaltiPoos and named them Molly and Dolly. According to The Kentucky Standard, Kenny sat on the couch and let a puppy crawl up on his chest and lick his face, and he laughed and said the puppy loved him.

FAST FACTS:

  • Kenny graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1990 with a degree in marketing.
  • Kenny's middle name is Arnold.
  • One of Kenny's favorite songs is Keith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes."
  • Some of the odd jobs Kenny had were as a telemarketer and a mailroom sorter.

What are some of your favorite stars doing to welcome in the New Year, not to mention a new decade? Many of them are working to help fans celebrate, however several artists have taken the time off around the holidays and will hit it hard when they return to the road in mid-to-late January. Some artists have resolutions and some are very helpful with their own hangover cures for those who imbibe too much on New Year's Eve.

Jack Ingram will be ringing in 2010 while performing at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas.

Diamond Rio takes part in FOX News' All-American New Year's Eve special tonight.

Randy Houser will toast 2010 in Kennesaw, Georgia at Cowboy's Concert Hall.

Eli Young Band will bring in the New Year at the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston, Texas.

If you happen to be in Music City for New Year's Eve, you can catch Jeffrey Steele headlining the spectacular show at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon. His special guest is former Trick Pony member Ira Dean.

Keith Anderson will be hanging around his hometown of Miami, Oklahoma, ringing in the New Year at the Buffalo Run Casino. He tells us he'd rather be on stage on the biggest party night of the year. "New Year's Eve, unless I'm playing, I'd much rather be at home. I used to, before I had my deal and used to travel all the time, we would usually go and try to find something fun to do. But it just gets so long by the time New Year's Eve hits, you're pretty much toast. (laughs)"

Bucky Covington usually likes to be on stage for New Year's Eve. He says, "My favorite spot to celebrate New Year's, hands down, would easily be on a stage, because people love to go out and have a good time on New Year's. So, I would love to be a part of that. Or sitting at home with my brother, family and friends, and just laying back and watching the ball drop in New York. And you can guess the rest."And Bucky will be performing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina .

Justin Moore will be counting down the seconds until 2010 at The Village in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Gloriana is set to play Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington on New Year's Eve.

Billy Dean, along with his Big Band, will perform in Tallahassee, Florida.

Sarah Buxton tells us her favorite New Year's Eve memory is when she played a gig in Nashville. "Probably my favorite New Year's Eve was a show that Jedd Hughes and I did at The Basement here in Nashville. We started playing at nine o'clock and we played until like two in the morning. His band, and they were my band too, and we just rocked out all night. And all of our friends came, and we drank champagne, and it was too much fun."

Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, who are spending the New Year on stage at a resort in Rancho Mirage, California, are just like the rest f us when it comes to New Year's resolutions. Eddie tells us: "My New Year's resolution is the same one as usually everybody's. It's always you want to lose a little weight, you know. I definitely want to spend time with the family. And I definitely want to make great music, brother, and hang with you and have a great time and see all our friends out on the road playing and just have a great time." However, Troy reminds us of one significant difference -- "You know, I'm on the same lines -- everybody wants to lose a little weight. And you know, I want to be a good dad and I want to be a good husband and I want to get out there and win over the hearts of our fans and continue making great music."

Some people use New Year's Eve as an excuse to imbibe many adult beverages, and Dierks Bentley says he doesn't really have a cure for the inevitable hangover that may occur on New Year's Day. "I think January first is universally accepted as a day off. So, I mean a little hair of the dog, I guess. But just water and stay on the couch, I guess. There's no real sure-fire cure for that."
Chuck Wicks disagrees. He has one tip for curing a hangover: ["Sleep. Sleep it off, or drink more. That always works. If you stay drunk you never have a hangover. I'm a genius. I'm a genius. I think I've made a breakthrough. Ladies and gentlemen, if you stay drunk, you'll never be hung over."

Tracy Lawrence agrees, saying the best cure for a hangover is alcohol. "There ain't nothing better than the dog that bit ya. Bloody Marys and mimosas -- trust me. Just get back on it."

Lee Brice, who is in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina "to ring in this exciting new year of my life with my friends," explains what works best for him when he has a hangover. "There's the hair of the dog approach, which is to just stomach whatever you were drinking the night before -- a really stiff one, and you'll feel better immediately. Or my favorite actual hangover cure is the actual process of sleeping in on the couch, watching football, eating like Chinese food or something, or something with cheese and meat and bread and fries and ketchup and ranch dressing. (laughs) That's the cure for me -- just sitting around all day, letting it pass, relaxing."

Newcomers Steel Magnolia says 2009 was a year they'll never forget, especially with winning CMT's Can You Duet and getting signed to a record deal. Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones explains: "Just, I think, definitely winning the show was a huge milestone this year, and getting the deal with Big Machine, obviously. The radio tour. The radio tour was just amazing. Working with Dann Huff . . . I think there's a whole number of things. The Grand Ole Opry debut was a huge thing for us. Yeah, just a lot of big things happened."



Jimmy Wayne has been preparing for his "Meet Me Halfway" walk, which kicks off Friday morning. In fact, he secured a sponsorship from Marmot for his attire and supplies to help keep him warm and comfortable during the nearly 17-hundred mile walk. He tells us, "I have a sponsorship from Marmot. They've provided me with the attire that I'll need to withstand the cold temperature, sleeping bag, tent. And again, I'm just simulating being homeless. I, obviously, have the means to pick up the phone and call if I get stranded or if something happens, if I'm in danger. And I'll have money, unlike these kids. I can stop by and buy food. I'm not gonna be homeless. I'm gonna walk from here to Arizona. I'm gonna sleep outside, but I'm not gonna go hungry. (laughs)"
  • Jimmy wants to not only raise awareness of the plight of homeless teens and children, but also raise funds for organizations that benefit homeless and at-risk youths.
  • Jimmy plans on walking from Monroe Harding in Nashville to Phoenix, Arizona (which is halfway across America) beginning Friday (January 1st) at 10 a.m. CT.

Phil Vassar has a great sense of humor, especially when it comes to making fun of himself. That humor even spills over at his shows, where at his merchandise tables, there are tank tops that read "Future Mrs. Vassar." In an interview with The Boot, he was asked if there will be a future Mrs. Vassar, and if the third time (he's been married, and divorced, twice) will be a charm. First off, Phil jokes the shirt wasn't his idea, but states, "I have no plans for [getting married anytime soon]. I have started to date again. But bringing somebody around my kids again . . . that terrifies me. What if they're nuts? And they usually turn out to be in my experience!" He adds, "But seriously, I've got to do the right thing when it comes to that."
  • Phil's new album, Traveling Circus, is in stores now.
Kris Kristofferson and Rosanne Cash are reportedly on board to star in a new musical created by John Mellencamp and horror book author Stephen King. The show, called Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County, is set to debut in Atlanta in September of 2010.

Other celebs reportedly scheduled to participate in the musical include Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow and boxer Joe Frazier.

  • John and Stephen have been collaborating on Ghost Brothers for the past 10 years.
  • The musical is about a Mississippi family in the 1950s who are struck by tragedy.
  • A special edition package of Ghost Brothers will be available for purchase sometime next year. It will include the show's book, a two-CD cast recording of the entire production and a CD with John Mellencamp's songs by themselves. The package will be produced by T-Bone Burnett.

Taylor Swift's "Love Story" is being played in the background of the trailer for the upcoming feature film, Letters to Juliet.

Taylor Swift's Fearless tops the 2009 country chart in Australia. Lee Kernaghan's Planet Country is Number Two, followed by Keith Urban's Defying Gravity. Also in the Top 10 are Keith's Greatest Hits collection, 18 Kids, Tim McGraw's Southern Voice and Carrie Underwood's Play On.

Brad Paisley says he's not going to add acting to his resume any time soon. He tweeted earlier this week, "An According to Jim I guested on was on tonight. I watched it. I think I, uh, will stick to music."

Shania Twain will carry the Olympic torch through her hometown of Timmins, Ontario in Canada on Friday (New Year's Day). Log onto CTVOlympics.ca/torch at 7 p.m. ET to watch her run. The Winter Olympics are set to begin on February 12th in Vancouver.

Merle Haggard postponed his January 7th show in Mesa, Arizona, due to a scheduling conflict, to May 9th.

Condolences go to country duo The Bellamy Brothers, whose mother Frances passed away on December 24th. A private funeral has already been held. She was 85.

ON THIS DAY IN COUNTRY!

  • Kitty Wells and her husband Johnny Wright give their final public performance in Nashville.
  • Guitarist Eddy Shaver, son of singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, died of a heroin overdose at age 38 in 2000.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame, which had been in the same Nashville location for 33 years, closes its doors. A new museum facility in downtown Nashville opens five months later in 2000.
  • Wynonna and Naomi Judd reunite in Las Vegas for their first full-length concert in eight years. The show also serves as the kickoff of a reunion tour that would extend into June in 1999.
  • Country Music and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame pianist Floyd Cramer dies of cancer at 64 in 1997.
  • Ricky Nelson died in an airplane crash near DeKalb, Texas, at age 45 in 1985.
  • Roy Rogers and Dale Evans married in 1947.

ON THE TUBE TODAY

THE COLLECTION/GAC 3:00 PM (ET)

Rascal Flatts

ORIGINS: JOSH TURNER/GAC 9:30 PM (ET)

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS TODAY!

· Verne Troyer (actor, Austin Powers's Mini-Me) (41)

· Frank Langella (actor, Dracula, Good Night and Good Luck, Superman Returns, Starting Out in the Evening, Frost/Nixon) (70)

· Don Novello (actor-comedian, Saturday Night Live's Father Guido Sarducci) (67)

· J.D. Salinger (author, The Catcher In The Rye) (91)

ON THIS DAY IN COUNTRY!

  • Grand Ole Opry star Del Reeves, who had his biggest hit in 1965 when "Girl on the Billboard" topped the country chart, died on New Year's Day in 2007. He was 74, and had been suffering from an unspecified illness for some time.
  • Jamey Johnson moved to Nashville in 2000.
  • "Wild One" became Faith's Hill's first number one in 1994.
  • Johnny Cash performed at San Quentin prison in 1959, with Merle Haggard in the audience.
  • Sun Records released "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins in 1956.
  • Hank Williams was pronounced dead at Oak Hill General Hospital in West Virginia in 1953, after passing away in the back seat of a Cadillac, en route to a show in Canton, Ohio.

LATEST CELEBRITY GOSSIP:

IT'S SIR PATRICK STEWART NOW: Is this better than being captain of a starship? Patrick Stewart, best known in the United States as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has been knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. His name popped up on the New Year's List of honorees.

ERIK GATES OF MYTHBUSTERS DIES: Erik Gates, the "Amateur Rocket Expert" for the Discovery Channel show MythBusters, has been killed in a freak accident at a work site in California, according to CNN. He was 47. Gates reportedly fell 30 feet from a skylight while doing electrical work on a roof in Newbury Park, California. He was an owner of Gateco Electric, which was employed at the site.

CARLY POPE INJURED IN CARJACKING: Carly Pope was rushed to a Vancouver hospital on Tuesday after a car thief smashed up her BMW, with her still in the passenger seat. TMZ reports that Pope's brother was driving the car when a man jumped onto the hood. When the brother got out to investigate, the carjacker leaped into the driver's seat. Police say that the suspect hit three other cars before finally crashing into a building. The actress, the suspect and a pedestrian were taken to a hospital for treatment. Pope was released the same day, and the suspect was taken into custody. Criminal charges are pending. Pope had a starring role in the WB comedy Popular. She has since appeared in 24, Californication and Dirt.

BROOKE MUELLER'S ARREST HISTORY RELEASED: The wife of Charlie Sheen has her own troubled history, according to Florida documents posted by RadarOnline. Brooke Mueller has been arrested twice, in September 1996, for driving under the influence and again in March 2001 for cocaine possession, a 3rd degree felony. There are conflicting reports on whether the couple is headed for divorce court or marriage counseling in the wake of a Christmas Day incident at their rented home in Aspen, Colorado that ended in Sheen's arrest on domestic violence charges.

  • Sheen's sitcom Two and a Half Men held steady in the ratings this week. The top-rated CBS comedy drew an estimated 11.1 million viewers for a repeat on Monday, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. A year ago, it pulled 11.9 million. Sheen and the rest of the cast are expected to be back at work on Monday after the show's holiday break.

TIGER WOODS IS NOT AS DUMB AS WE FEARED: Earlier reports that Tiger Woods and his Number 1 mistress Rachel Uchitel have been partying all over Palm Beach over the holiday season are not true, according to celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents Uchitel. Allred told RadarOnline: "Ms. Uchitel has had absolutely no contact with Tiger Woods for quite some time, and has not seen him or had any communication with him since she has been in Palm Beach."

  • Oh, and, uh, happy birthday, Tiger. The world's best golfer and possibly the world's biggest public relations nightmare since Saddam Hussein celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday (Wednesday).

CHIEF GETS JAIL TIME IN PARKER-BRODERICK SURROGATE CASE: Former Ohio police chief Barry Carpenter has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for entering the home of the surrogate who bore twins for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. Carpenter was convicted last month on charges of receiving stolen property, theft in office and evidence tampering, but was acquitted of other counts, including burglary. Prosecutors said he stole items related to her surrogacy from Michelle Ross' home in May, and conspired with the police chief of a neighboring town to sell the items to celebrity photographers. Carpenter resigned two weeks ago as police chief in Martins Ferry.

SIGOURNEY WEAVER TO HOST SNL: Sigourney Weaver is way hot again. Hotter than she's been since Aliens and Ghostbuster days. Hot enough to host Saturday Night Live on one of its first new shows of 2010. The star of Avatar will be there on January 16th. You'll recognize her because she really is extremely tall, although she's not usually blue. And speaking of extremely tall, NBC great Charles Barkley opens the SNL season a week earlier, on January 9th.

BRAD PITT AND KIDS DO TIMES SQUARE: Brad Pitt and sons Maddox and Pax acted just like normal tourists on the loose in Times Square on Wednesday, at least if you didn't notice the four giant security guards surrounding them. The star, 46, and his younger brother Doug took the boys to the noisy arcade restaurant Dave & Buster's for a little shoot-'em-up action, UsMagazine.com reports. Pitt and Pax, age 6, won a giant stuffed animal playing The Big One. Then Pax and Maddox, age 8, got to work on the life-size guns of the war game Razing Storm. They have pics--which show that Brad still has that horrible scraggly beard that makes him look like a serial killer.

ROSIE'S GOT A NEW GAL PAL: Rosie O'Donnell has a new girlfriend, named Tracy Kachtick-Anders, her representative has confirmed. Kachtick-Anders is a Texas-based artist and an activist for adoption rights who has six children of her own. Rosie has four, so that's going to make for some loud dinner parties.

PETA'S PEOPLE: The animal rights group PETA has chosen Ellen DeGeneres for its Woman of the Year, and Tim Gunn as its Man of the Year. De Generes is a vegan, and has highlighted vegan recipes on her talk show. Gunn has banned the use of fur from Project Runway and from the company Liz Claiborne, where he is chief creative officer.

JON AND HAILEY MAY BE TALKING: Oh, please, both of you, just shut up! Ex-television reality star Jon Gosselin and his ex-girlfriend Hailey Glassman reportedly are ready to talk to each other long enough to declare a truce in their public yelling-and-spitting match. You'll remember he accuses her of trashing his new apartment and breaking his valuable Ming vase on Christmas, and she says she had nothing to do with it, and anyway, he probably did it himself.

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

THE BIGGEST LITTLE INDEPENDENT MOVIES: Looking for something good to pop into the DVR? The movie news site indieWIRE has a list of the top grossing independent movies of the decade. Here they are:

1. The Passion of the Christ, 2004 (Newmarket) $370,274,604

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2003 (IFC Films) $241,438,208

3. Juno, 2007 (Fox Searchlight) $143,395,265

4. Slumdog Millionaire, 2008 (Fox Searchlight) $141,319,928

5. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000 (Sony Pictures Classics) $128,078,872

6. Traffic, 2000 (USA) $124,115,725

7. Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004 (Lionsgate) $119,194,771

8. Paranormal Activity, 2009 (Paramount) $107,753,000

9. Brokeback Mountain, 2005 (Focus Features) $83,043,761

10. March of the Penguins, 2005 (Warner Independent) $77,437,223

COMIC CONTEST MAY BE BACK: NBC may bring back the show Last Comic Standing, a talent show that ran for six seasons ending in 2008. EW.com reports that the show will be re-launched, with a new host replacing Bill Bellamy. It will air next summer. The show pits comedians against each other in a competition for a development contract with NBC.

WHAT KILLED THE JEFF DUNHAM SHOW?

The fans of Jeff Dunham are intensely loyal. And his detractors are equally intense in their loathing of the comic, who is politically incorrect to put it mildly. So it's big television news that Comedy Central has canceled The Jeff Dunham Show after only a couple of months on the air. They had pretty good reasons: It debuted as the highest-rated premiere ever on Comedy Central. But 55 percent didn't go back for Episode 2, and by December it was averaging less than two million viewers. And the critics, as AOL's TV section notes, were savage. Time magazine called him "politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting and ill tempered." The New York Times said that Dunham might just be "the most offensive person on television." A Web site called Videogum went farther, calling the show the "worst thing in the entire world," and that was just the headline.

THE RETURN OF REGIS PHILBIN!

After a long leave of absence, Regis Philbin returns to Live with Regis and Kelly on January 4th. The veteran television host has been off the air since late November, recovering from hip-replacement surgery. Now 78 years old, Philbin will rejoin co-host Kelly Ripa for some more daytime chat. His guests on his first week back are expected to include Amy Adams, Gabourey Sidibe, Tim Allen and Chris Meloni.

  • Regis got his first national television role in 1967 as the sidekick for Joey Bishop on the short-lived late-night The Joey Bishop Show. He has been on the air, on local or national television programs, ever since. According to Wikipedia, Philbin set a Guinness World Record for "Most Hours on Camera" on his August 20th, 2004 show, topping Hugh Downs. At that time, he had spent a total of 15,188 hours on television.

INTERNET COMMENTS: AGREE OR DISAGREE?
  • From Jamie M on omg.com: "Regis is the man...Kelly and Her "man" make me sick!"
  • From jobena on omg.com: "Don't like him or the show. Won't be watching"
  • From pine nut on omg.com: "he needs to retire"

CHECK IT OUT: Regis Philbin's exhaustive bio is on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regis_Philbin

ANNA KENDRICK IS THE 'IT GIRL' OF 2010

You heard it here first. Anna Kendrick Is The 'It Girl' Of 2010. Well, okay, you could have read it first on Popeater, but still. The site says Hollywood is buzzing about actress Anna Kendrick as a top prospect for female breakout star of 2010. She seems to be as good a choice as anybody. If you're a Twilight fan, you've seen her in every one of the movies in the series in a smallish role, as Bella's BNF (best non-fanged friend). She got a bigger role in Up in the Air, and nominations for a Golden Globe and a SAG award along with it. Although she's only 24, it turns out she's a showbiz veteran. She won a Tony nomination at the age of 12 for her performance in the play High Society, and made her film debut in 2003 in Camp.

CHECK IT OUT: More on Anna Kendrick is available at IMDB.com: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0447695/

BEN AFFLECK IS EVERYBODY'S BABY

What a world we live in. A West Coast sperm bank reportedly offers hopeful moms-to-be the option of picking a celebrity look-a-like as a donor. The California Cryobank lets them choose a donor who looks like their favorite actor, athlete, musician, television star, or at least "anyone famous enough to be found on the web," according to the Hollyscoop site. And the top choice for baby look-a-likes is: Ben Affleck. There's tough competition, too. The Cryobank has a long list of look-a-likes, so you can opt for a baby who looks like Robert Downey Jr. or Robin Williams, Viggo Mortensen or Vin Diesel. There's plenty more information on the California Cryobank site, including vial prices. But it doesn't have a section of tips for explaining to friends and family why your new baby looks just like Ben Affleck.

CHECK IT OUT: California Cryobank has a site: www.cryobank.com

HEADLINE NEWS!!


EIGHT AMERICANS KILLED IN AFGHAN SUICIDE BOMBING: Eight American cilivians and one Afghan were killed Wednesday (December 30th) in a Taliban suicide bombing at a military base in Afghanistan. A Reuters report said CIA employees were among the Americans killed. According to reports, the bomber blew himself up in the gym on the base on Khost province, and the Taliban claimed he was wearing a military uniform. Meanwhile, four Canadian troops and a reporter embedded with their unit died when their armored vehicle hit a bomb while on patrol south of Kandahar. Michelle Lang, a 34-year-old health reporter with the Calgary Herald, was the first Canadian journalist to die in Afghanistan.

YEMEN GOES AFTER AL-QAIDA: Yemeni forces raided an al-Qaida hideout and set off a gun battle Wednesday (December 30th) as the government vowed to eliminate the group that claimed it was behind the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines jet. A government statement said at least one suspected militant was arrested. U.S. investigators said the would-be bomber, 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has told them he got training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, a poor and lawless country. Yemeni forces backed by U.S. intelligence carried out two major strikes against al-Qaida hideouts this month, before the attempted plane attack, reportedly killing more than 60 militants.

  • Meanwhile, AP reported that a man tried to board a commercial jet in Somalia last month carrying powdered chemicals, liquid and a syringe in a case bearing striking similarities to the Detroit airliner plot. The Somali man was arrested by African Union peacekeeping troops before the Daallo Airlines flight took off, headed to Djibouti and Dubai.
  • The Netherlands and Nigeria said yesterday they would begin mandatory use of full-body scanners on U.S.-bound planes. Abdulmuttallab was able to get through security screening in both of their countries while wearing his "underwear bomb."

IRANIAN HARDLINERS RALLY, CALL FOR DEATH OF OPPOSITION LEADERS: Tens of thousands of hardliners took to the streets of several Iranian cities Wednesday (December 30th) in support of the Islamic nation's clerical rulers at state-sponsored rallies, some chanting calls for the execution of opposition leaders. Some of the demonstrators wore white funeral shrouds to symbolize a willingness to die in defense of the current rulers. The government gave all civil servants and employees a day off to attend rallies and organized buses to bring schoolchildren and supporters from rural areas to the protests. The rallies came after opposition demonstrations Sunday (December 27th) that triggered the worst bloodshed since the height of the unrest over the summer after the disputed presidential election.

LIMBAUGH ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL WITH CHEST PAIN: Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was taken to a Honolulu hospital yesterday (December 30th) after suffering chest pains and was resting comfortably last night, his radio program said in a statement. Local TV station KITV reported that paramedics took the 58-year-old Limbaugh to the hospital in serious condition from the Kahala Hotel and Resort, where he was staying while on vacation in Hawaii.

  • Limbaugh revealed in 2001 that he had lost most of his hearing due to an autoimmune inner-ear disease, and had an electronic device implanted in his skull to restore his hearing. Two years later, Limbaugh acknowledged he was addicted to pain medication he'd been taking for back pain, and went into rehab.

TODAY'S FYI:

HIGH SCHOOLERS TO HELP WITH TIMES SQUARE BALL DROP: Twelve high school students from around New York City will help Mayor Mike Bloomberg ring in the new year tonight (December 31st), joining in pushing the button that begins the midnight drop of the crystal ball in Times Square, the New York Daily News reported. The students are high school seniors from city public schools ranked among the 100 best in America by U.S. News and World Report. Principals from the 12 schools that made the list chose who would represent them. Celebrities or famous New Yorkers are often invited to do the honors, and last year Bloomberg was joined by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

SWINE FLU NOT AS CONTAGIOUS AS OTHER PANDEMIC FLUS: A new study found that swine flu is less contagious than other new flus that have caused pandemics in the past. Specialists from Imperial College London and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied infection patterns in 216 people with swine flu in the US. and 600 people living with them. They found that when someone in the home had swine flu, the odds of other family members catching it are about 13 percent, although children are twice as susceptible. That's less than the rate during flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968, when 14 to 20 percent of household members were infected. With ordinary, non-pandemic flu, the spread rate varies widely, from five percent to 40 percent of household members.

RUSSIA MAY SEND SPACECRAFT TO KNOCK ASTEROID OFF COURSE: The head of Russia's space agency said Wednesday (December 30th) that a spacecraft may be sent to knock a large asteroid off course to reduce its chances of hitting the Earth. Anatoly Perminov said the space agency would be meeting soon to consider a mission to the asteroid, called Apophis, and might eventually invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project. News of this possible mission comes despite U.S. scientists saying that it's extremely unlikely that Apophis will hit Earth. When the 885-foot asteroid was first discovered in 2004, its chances of hitting our planet in 2029 was estimated to be 1 in 37. But further studies have ruled out the possibility of an impact that year, and only indicate a small possibility of a hit in 2036 -- 1 in 250,000, and 2068 -- 1 in 330,000. Perminov wouldn't give details of the possible project, saying they still needed to be worked out, but he did say it wouldn't involve nuclear explosions.

MOST RIDICULOUS LAWSUITS OF 2009: The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has announced the top five finishers in its first annual Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Year poll. Nominees were drawn from the winners of a monthly ridiculous lawsuit poll chosen by visitors to the website FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org. The top five are:

  1. Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his property at gunpoint and turned them over to the Border Patrol.
  2. Polish tourist sues Egyptian hotel, claiming daughter got pregnant from swimming pool.
  3. Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains "fantastical tales."
  4. Double murderer sues to claim his victims' classic Chevy pickup.
  5. Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home.

Links to the news stories about these lawsuits are at: http://facesoflawsuitabuse.org/poll/

ABC REPORTER ENGAGED TO WHITE HOUSE BUDGET CHIEF: Romance has blossomed in Washington, as ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga has announced the she's engaged to White House budget director Peter Orszag. According to a story posted on ABC's website, the couple met in May at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Before becoming head of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the 41-year-old Orszag had served as director of the Congressional Budget Office. Golodryga, who's 31, joined Good Morning America in 2007, and has worked the economy and business beat and reported on the housing and credit crisis.

SPORTS:

TEXAS TECH COACH FIRED: Texas Tech fired football coach Mike Leach Wednesday (December 30th), after he took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player. Receiver Adam James has alleged that Leach twice made him stand in small, dark rooms while the team practiced after he was diagnosed with a concussion. News of Leach's firing came as the team is preparing for the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State on Saturday. Leach said later in a statement, "Texas Tech's decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing, includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year's contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action; additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies."

PACQUIAO FILES SUIT AGAINST MAYWEATHER: Manny Pacquiao filed a lawsuit Wednesday (December 30th) alleging that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and others in his camp defamed him by falsely accusing Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs. The suit further complicates efforts to reach an agreement for a proposed blockbuster fight on March 13th between the two welterweight boxers. The fight has been held up by demands by the Mayweather camp that both fighters submit to random blood and urine tests leading up to the bout.

(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)

ON THE TUBE TODAY & New Year's Day

New Year's Eve


CBS
  • MEDIUM (repeat)
  • CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (repeat)
  • THE MENTALIST (repeat)

NBC

  • 30 ROCK (repeat)
  • 30 ROCK (repeat)
  • 30 ROCK (repeat)
  • 30 ROCK (repeat)
  • NBC'S NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH CARSON DALY - The countdown to 2010 begins in Times Square.

FOX

  • BONES (repeat)
  • FRINGE (repeat)

ABC

  • WILD HOGS - A group of middle aged friends looking for adventure, hit the open road and encounter the adventure they were searching for. Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy.
  • DICK CLARK'S PRIMETIME NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2010 - The Black Eyed Peas are slated to perform.

CW

  • THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (repeat)
  • SUPERNATURAL (repeat)

DAY TIME TALK SHOW

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - (repeat)
THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - (repeat)
THE VIEW - (repeat)

LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - (repeat)
THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - (repeat)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - (repeat)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat)
THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - (repeat)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - (repeat)
LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - (repeat)
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat)
THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat)
LOPEZ TONIGHT - (repeat)

NEW YEAR'S DAY
Friday, January 1st, 2010

CBS

  • GHOST WHISPERER (repeat)
  • MEDIUM (repeat)
  • NUMB3RS (repeat)

NBC

  • THE BIGGEST LOSER (repeat)

FOX

  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME - Live.
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Allstate Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida

ABC

  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
  • BETTER OFF TED - A misunderstanding leads Sheila to falsely accuse Ted and Linda of sexual harassment.
  • SCRUBS - Turk tries to find a replacement best friend; Elliot offers some advice to exhausted Lucy.
  • BETTER OFF TED (repeat)
  • 20/20 - Investigative reporting.

CW

  • SMALLVILLE (repeat)
  • SMALLVILLE (repeat)

DAY TIME TALK SHOW

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - (repeat)
THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - (repeat)
THE VIEW - (repeat)

LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - (repeat)
THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - (repeat)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - (repeat)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat)
THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - (repeat)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - (repeat)
LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - (repeat)

SATURDAY

NBC

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE - (repeat)

SUNDAY

CBS

  • NCIS (repeat)
  • COLD CASE (repeat)
  • COLD CASE (repeat)

NBC

  • FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA - NFL Highlights.
  • NFL FOOTBALL - Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets.

FOX

  • THE SIMPSONS - When a columnist begins interviewing Grampa about his life, Homer becomes jealous of his newfound fame.
  • THE CLEVELAND SHOW - Cleveland visits his old high school and discovers ther is no longer a baseball team.
  • FAMILY GUY - Peter gets amnesia after hitting his head; Lois tries to help jog his memory but gets fed up when Peter starts hitting on other women.
  • AMERICAN DAD - Francine wants Stan to get rid of his gas-guzzling SUV; Steve tries to help an old friend.

ABC

  • EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION - Weather man Sam Champion and the Muppets help the team rebuild a home and daycare for a family in St. Paul, Minn.
  • DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - In the aftermath of the plane crash, the residents of Wisteria Lane think about what their lives might have been like had they made different choices.
  • BROTHERS & SISTERS - Kitty's life is in jeopardy as the Walkers frantically search for a bone marrow donor.

E!

  • KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS - Kourt gives Scott an ultimatum after he fails to take her pregnancy seriously; Bruce stands up to Kris after she confiscates his ATM card.


FLORIDA MAN CALLS 911 FOR A RIDE TO A BAR: A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly called 911 claiming he'd been beaten and shot, hoping this story would get him a ride to a bar. Gregory Oras reportedly called 911 three times before his arrest, telling the dispatcher he had a broken nose and bleeding ears and claimed people were shooting at him. The officers said the man was looking for a ride to another bar. The report also shows that Oras kicked an officer in the knee before being Tasered, as a way to subdue him. (AP)

MAN SETS BEER CAN ALARM AND FIGHTS INTRUDER: A North Dakota man set empty beer cans in front of his door to alert him to intruders and reportedly ended up fighting with an alleged burglar. Police were reportedly called to the scene after a report of two elderly men attacking each other. The alleged burglar appeared drunk and police thought it possible that the man assumed he was entering his own home. (AP)

MAN TRIES TO CARJACK TOWTRUCK AFTER CRASHING: A Hartford man crashed his car into a utility pole and then allegedly tried to carjack a towtruck who tried to help him. The man allegedly punched the towtruck driver, who got out of his truck to try to help him, and tried to steal the truck. But the driver called the police and the man ran away. He was found and was arrested. (The Hartford Courant)

MAN GETS HIS 11TH DIVORCE: A 50-year-old Jerusalem man was granted his 11th divorce after claiming his wife told him he did not work and had been living off her income. The man says he gets a divorce about every 2 years. Although he has so many divorces under his belt, the man says he never has trouble finding women. He claimed, "I send out a hook in all directions, and the fish come on their own." (Fox News)

READY TO DO A 'DIGITAL STRIP SEARCH?

The next time you fly, get ready to do a "digital strip search" at the airport. Security experts say that the man who tried to blow up an international flight over Detroit last week might have been stopped at the airport security check, if a full-body imaging machine had been used. The imaging machine shows the contours of the body, and reveals any foreign objects hidden under clothing. Machines are already in use at 19 airports in the United States. Orders are in for 150 more machines, and there are plans to make them the standard screening method at U.S. airports, according to The New York Times. That has privacy advocates in an uproar. A coalition of 24 rights groups protested the decision in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. They say it is too intrusive.

EASIER WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT:

Here's what we've all been looking for. A few tips on losing weight that do not include exercising self-control. They're from Dr. Oz, the TV doc, and he says they work because they're based on biology, not willpower.

  • Eat a 100-calorie snack a half-hour before dinner to take the edge off your appetite. It takes a half hour for your brain to tell your stomach it isn't all that hungry.
  • Drink water instead of a sugary soft drink with meals. Fructose screws up your brain's ability to understand that your stomach is full and you should stop eating already.
  • Eat a high-fiber breakfast. Fiber digests slowly, so it's satisfying longer and you're less likely to crave a late-morning snack.

CHECK IT OUT: More tips from Dr. Oz are on Oprah's site: http://www.oprah.com/article/health/wellnessandprevention/pkgnewyear/201001-omag-dr-oz-weight-loss

LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES:

If you're looking for love in the New Year, here are some excellent resolutions to make, from British relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr, in the London newspaper The Daily Mail. She says there are just three things you must do, and none of them are about losing weight or getting a dose of Botox:

  • First, widen your circle of opportunity. Don't go to the same coffee bar every day, or hang out with just a few best buddies. Go to new places and see new people.
  • Make a good first impression. When you're out and about, be aware of your body language and facial expression. A smile and a confident look makes you more approachable.
  • Get a new attitude. If you've been moping about how unlucky in love you are, you're probably giving off bad vibes. Cheer up and people will be drawn to you.

TAX BENNIES YOU CAN STILL USE IN 2010:

It's no wonder Americans are confused about the various tax credits that were put in place as economic stimulus programs this year. But one thing that is NOT true is that they all expire tonight at midnight. In fact, you can get a home energy tax credit for various energy efficiency upgrades to your home into 2010. Some people are still eligible for the first-time homebuyers credit, too. The details are pretty complicated. But it's all explained in detail at the IRS site, www.irs.gov. Click on the headline: "Tax Benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."

ANOTHER REASON TO TOAST IN THE NEW YEAR:

Since it's New Year's Eve, this is as good a time as any to talk about how good drinking in moderation is for you. Let's put the stress on that word "moderation." Getting sloppy drunk won't do you or anyone else any good. But here's a round-up from MSNBC of major studies that show that just a few drinks a week does a body good:

  • Post-menopausal women who drink up to seven alcoholic drinks a week have a smaller risk of dying from any cause, compared to abstainers. The benefit for white women was greater, 19 percent compared with only six percent for black women.
  • Older people who are light drinkers are 50 percent less likely to develop dementia.
  • Women who drink lightly are less likely to develop hypertension. Bad news for guys, though: It increased their chances of high blood pressure.
  • Still, men who have several drinks a week are more than 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack.
  • A little white wine appears to improve lung function.

SO, BOTTOMS UP, AND HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Listen Tomorrow Morning to the Jessi & Friends Morning Show as I do shots of JD to show the affects of alcohol!

Tomorrow morning I will be drinking shots of Jack Daniels live on the air! Join me on the Flag with CP and the CHP! CHP will be monitoring my alcohol use and doing breathalyzer tests and other sobriety tests on me to show you the affects of alcohol. I am doing this to raise Public awareness of drinking and driving and how quickly alcohol affects all of us. Because I want you to have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR and NOT be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking! ! A big thank you to our Friends Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, Fox Creek Urgent Care, Brake Masters, Valley View Medical Center and Mill Tours for helping me raise drunk driving awareness in the Tri-State area! CYA in the morning!!!

KFLAG COUNTRY MUSIC UPDATE

What are some of your favorite stars doing to welcome in the New Year, not to mention a new decade? Many of them are working to help fans celebrate, however several artists have taken the time off around the holidays and will hit it hard when they return to the road in mid-to-late January. Some artists have resolutions and some are very helpful with their own hangover cures for those who imbibe too much on New Year's Eve.

Jack Ingram will be ringing in 2010 while performing at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas.

Diamond Rio takes part in FOX News' All-American New Year's Eve special tonight.

Randy Houser will toast 2010 in Kennesaw, Georgia at Cowboy's Concert Hall.

Eli Young Band will bring in the New Year at the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston, Texas.

If you happen to be in Music City for New Year's Eve, you can catch Jeffrey Steele headlining the spectacular show at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon. His special guest is former Trick Pony member Ira Dean.

Keith Anderson will be hanging around his hometown of Miami, Oklahoma, ringing in the New Year at the Buffalo Run Casino. He tells us, he'd rather be on stage on the biggest party night of the year. "New Year's Eve, unless I'm playing, I'd much rather be at home. I used to, before I had my deal and used to travel all the time, we would usually go and try to find something fun to do. But it just gets so long by the time New Year's Eve hits, you're pretty much toast. (laughs)"

Bucky Covington usually likes to be on stage for New Year's Eve. He says,"My favorite spot to celebrate New Year's, hands down, would easily be on a stage, because people love to go out and have a good time on New Year's. So, I would love to be a part of that. Or sitting at home with my brother, family and friends, and just laying back and watching the ball drop in New York. And you can guess the rest." And Bucky will be performing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina .

Justin Moore will be counting down the seconds until 2010 at The Village in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Gloriana is set to play Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington on New Year's Eve.

Billy Dean, along with his Big Band, will perform in Tallahassee, Florida.

Sarah Buxton tells us her favorite New Year's Eve memory is when she played a gig in Nashville. "Probably my favorite New Year's Eve was a show that Jedd Hughes and I did at The Basement here in Nashville. We started playing at nine o'clock and we played until like two in the morning. His band, and they were my band too, and we just rocked out all night. And all of our friends came, and we drank champagne, and it was too much fun."

Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, who are spending the New Year on stage at a resort in Rancho Mirage, California, are just like the rest f us when it comes to New Year's resolutions. Eddie tells us, "My New Year's resolution is the same one as usually everybody's. It's always you want to lose a little weight, you know. I definitely want to spend time with the family. And I definitely want to make great music, brother, and hang with y ou and have a great time and see all our friends out on the road playing and just have a great time." However, Troy reminds us of one significant difference --"You know, I'm on the same lines -- everybody wants to lose a little weight. And you know, I want to be a good dad and I want to be a good husband and I want to get out there and win over the hearts of our fans and continue making great music."

Some people use New Year's Eve as an excuse to imbibe many adult beverages, and Dierks Bentley says he doesn't really have a cure for the inevitable hangover that may occur on New Year's Day. "I think January first is universally accepted as a day off. So, I mean a little hair of the dog, I guess. But just water and stay on the couch, I guess. There's no real sure-fire cure for that."
Chuck Wicks disagrees. He says his tips for curing a hangoverr is "Sleep. Sleep it off, or drink more. That always works. If you stay drunk you never have a hangover. I'm a genius. I'm a genius. I think I've made a breakthrough. Ladies and gentlemen, if you stay drunk, you'll never be hung over."

Tracy Lawrence
agrees, sayingg the best cure for a hangover is alcohol. "There ain't nothing better than the dog that bit ya. Bloody Marys and mimosas -- trust me. Just get back on it."

Lee Brice, who is in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina "to ring in this exciting new year of my life with my friends," explains what works best for him when he has a hangover. "There's the hair of the dog approach, which is to just stomach whatever you were drinking the night before -- a really stiff one, and you'll feel better immediately. Or my favorite actual hangover cure is the actual process of sleeping in on the couch, watching football, eating like Chinese food or something, or something with cheese and meat and bread and fries and ketchup and ranch dressing. (laughs) That's the cure for me -- just sitting around all day, letting it pass, relaxing."

Newcomers Steel Magnolia says 2009 was a year they'll never forget, especially with winning CMT's Can You Duet and getting signed to a record deal. Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones explains: "Just, I think, definitely winning the show was a huge milestone this year, and getting the deal with Big Machine, obviously. The radio tour. The radio tour was just amazing. Working with Dann Huff . . . I think there's a whole number of things. The Grand Ole Opry debut was a huge thing for us. Yeah, just a lot of big things happened."

Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner are apparently no longer an item. The two have split, and according to a source who told People magazine, "It was never a big deal to begin with. They went out on a few dates and realized this was just not going anywhere." Citing busy schedules and living far apart (she in Nashville and he in L-A) were a couple of factors in the breakup.
  • The day after Lautner hosted Saturday Night Live, he flew to Nashville to surprise Taylor for her 20th birthday, and sometime after the party, the two decided they'd be better off as friends.
  • The couple met on the set of the new Valentine's Day movie, and had been spending time together since October. The New Moon actor attended a couple of the 20-year-old singer-songwriter's shows; the pair were spotted at an L-A Kings hockey game, different restaurants for dinner and more.
Carrie Underwood will attend next week's People's Choice Awards, where she's vying for Best Female Artist, along with Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Britney Spears and Pink, as well as for Best Country Artist against Taylor, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts.
  • Hugh Jackman, Taylor Lautner, Mariah Carey, Sandra Bullock, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Carrell and LL Cool J are also among the stars expected at the show next week.
  • The People's Choice Awards, hosted by Queen Latifah, will take place live from L-A's Nokia Theater on CBS.
Steel Magnolia are enjoying their recent success with not only winning the second season of the CMT show, Can You Duet?, but also the grand prize of getting a record deal with Big Machine, home to Taylor Swift. Their debut single, "Keep on Lovin' You," is rising up the country charts, and they've been on a continuous radio tour, chatting and performing at stations around the country.

The two are just now able to look back on this year and take stock of what's been happening. The on-and-off stage couple Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey share their thoughts with us: JOSHUA: "It's been more than we probably expected right off the bat, I think, and I think it's kind of like being in the weeds, you're working your butt off and every once in a while, you get a chance to look up and catch a glimpse of what's going on. I think that as of lately, when we cracked the Top 25, it's kinda hitting us now, so." MEGHAN: "I think just about now is when we're starting to realize 'Oh Gosh, we just did all this in about the last four or five months, just working really hard.' And just to have all this happen is cool."

Meghan and Joshua first met when she was a karaoke host at a club in Nashville's Printer's Alley.
  • Meghan is from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and she began her stage career at age 15, opening for such acts as Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Travis Tritt, Blake Shelton and others.
  • Joshua is from Charleston, Illinois, and counts Waylon Jennings among his influences.
Phil Vassar has written songs for himself, as well as for stars such as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson and Jo Dee Messina. Now, he's heading to the Great White Way, by writing music for a new Broadway play, based on the 2007 independent movie Waitress. He's working with Barry Weissler, who's won Tony Awards for Annie Get Your Gun and Chicago.
  • Phil tells The Lynchburg News and Advance, "It's such a great story. We're staying as close as we can to it." He's already written about 10-12 songs for the project, and there's still a handful more to go before its completed.

SIDE NOTES:

  • Phil just released his new studio album, Traveling Circus, which he produced by himself.
  • Phil wrote "I Will Remember You" with Kenny Chesney. The song appears on his album, Traveling Circus.
Justin Moore took a day away from the family to go hunting. He tweeted that he was getting up at 4:00 AM in 20-degree weather. He said the upside was "watchin' the sun come up in a blind will make it all worthwhile. Nothin' better."
  • Justin did have a few issues, however. He forgot his flask, and apparently, a bunch of squirrels were bothering him while he was waiting on the deer to arrive. He tweeted, "Dear squirrel family . . . I'm deer huntin', but I WILL kill a mess of y'all if you don't stop playin' around me! Thanks for your time. Sincerely JM."
  • Last night, Justin tweeted that he didn't get a deer, but that he was going to go squirrel hunting today and figured he wouldn't come home empty-handed, with all the trouble he had with the pesky critters yesterday. He mentioned something about making some "squirrel dumplings."

SIDE NOTES:

  • Justin kicks off his opening gig on the 2010 leg of Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night tour, along with Miranda Lambert, on January 7th in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Justin and his wife are expecting their first child -- daughter Ella Kole near the end of January.
Martina McBride is spending time in Kansas with her parents, and she's having a blast, but she's also learning a few things while she's out there. In fact, she caught a glimpse of this huge ring around the moon. She tweeted to ask if anyone knew what it meant, and the explanation was a lunar halo. She wrote, "It was really awesome to see. Apparently, they are quite common, but it was a first for me!"

LeAnn Rimes invited her parents to join her and actor-boyfriend Eddie Cibrian at her L-A home for Christmas. According to People, Eddie spent part of the day with his son, and then joined the singer later in the day.

Taylor Swift attended the surprise birthday party for Paramore's Hayley Williams, donning roller skates and listening to Hanson.

In other Taylor news, her official website, TaylorSwift.com looks a lot different than it used to, and it now features a lot of new items for fans. The site offers a feed of Taylor's latest Twitter updates, and fans can have their own profile on her site in the Taylor Nation section, which should launch in the coming weeks.

Keith Urban's "Only You Can Love Me This Way" was chosen as the song for the first dance at Kevin Jonas' recent wedding to his wife Danielle. The pair were married December 19th in Huntington, New York.

Jimmy Wayne is gearing up for his nearly 17-hundred mile walk beginning on New Year's Day. He tweeted last night, "All my Marmot clothes are packed in zip lock bags and labeled. Makes search and unpacking, etc. easier, and they stay dry!"

Julianne Hough apparently left her car on, but not running, all day outside the recording studio she was working at. Apparently, most of the musicians, as well as the producer, tried to jumpstart it, but no luck. Not sure how she got her car started finally.

David Nail's new single will be titled "Turning Home," which was written by Kenny Chesney and Scooter Carusoe.

Chuck Wicks has been writing songs for his upcoming album and plans to head back into the studio on January 4th.

ON THIS DAY:

  • 1939 The film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke and Thomas Mitchell, premiered.
  • 1940 Los Angeles opened its first freeway to the public.
  • 1951 The Roy Rogers Show debuted on NBC-TV.
  • 1953 The first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175.
  • 1954 The 24-minute shot clock was used in professional basketball for the first time.
  • 1963 The John F. Kennedy half-dollar was authorized by Congress.
  • 1963 Let's Make A Deal debuted on NBC-TV with host Monty Hall.
  • 1978 Woody Hayes was fired as Ohio State's football coach, after punching a player from Clemson University during the Gator Bowl game.
  • 1980 The Wonderful World of Disney was cancelled by NBC-TV after more than 25 years on TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.
  • 1983 "Dr. J.," Julius Erving, of the Philadelphia 76ers, sank a free throw in the third quarter to become the ninth professional basketball player to score 25,000 points.
  • 1992 The film Lorenzo's Oil, starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon, opened in theaters nationwide.
  • 1993 President George H.W. Bush made his final foreign trip in office. He stopped in Somalia to visit U.S. troops aiding famine victims.
  • 1995 Elton John was awarded the CBE -- Commander of the British Empire. A few years later, he was knighted by the Queen.
  • 1999 Sarah "Sadie" Clark Knauss, listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest person with a verifiable date of birth, died in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at age 119.
  • 1999 Former Beatle George Harrison fought off a knife-wielding intruder who broke into his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest. (Michael Abram was later acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)

TODAY'S CELEBRITY GOSSIP

KOURTNEY AND KIDDY GET A MAGAZINE COVER: Kourtney Kardashian has only been a mom for about a week, but she's already thinking about giving her newborn a sibling. "Right now I'm obsessed with Mason and want to give him all my time. But being with him has definitely made me think about having another one," Kourtney told Life & Style magazine, which got the first photo of Kourtney, 30, with baby Mason Dash Disick for its current cover. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star told the magazine that she and sister Kim Kardashian are only 18 months apart in age. "Growing up, we did everything together. It would be nice for Mason to have a little brother or sister that many months apart too."

A BEVERLY HILLS CHRISTMAS: After years of estrangement and some very public squabbling, actress Tori Spelling and her mom Candy Spelling have made up. At least they were together for a Christmas dinner in the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to US magazine. Candy, 64, and Tori, 36, were there, along with Tori's husband Dean McDermott and their children Liam and Stella, McDermott's son Jack, and Tori's brother Randy Spelling and his girlfriend. Earlier in December, Candy told UsMagazine.com of her patched-up relationship with her daughter: "I'm so happy. That's all I want to say about this topic -- I'm happy."

HELIO CASTRONEVES DANCING FOR JOY: Dancing With the Stars champion Helio Castroneves and his girlfriend Adriana Henao are the parents of a baby girl, born Monday. The 3-time Indy 500 winner, who is 34, announced the news on his Twitter feed. Mikaella weighs in at seven pounds and three ounces. It's their first child.

BRITTANY MURPHY DEATH CERTIFICATE RELEASED: The actress' cause of death is listed on the document as "deferred." As reported earlier, it will take from four to six weeks for test results to determine the precise cause of her death at age 32.

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

JEFF DUNHAM SHOW CANCELED: Comedy Central will not renew The Jeff Dunham Show for a second season, TVGuide.com has confirmed. The show, which features the comedian and his puppets, premiered in October with an audience of 5.3 million, making it the most-watched premiere in Comedy Central history. But ratings dropped steeply. The season finale this month drew only 1.3 million viewers.

BRAD PITT AS PROFESSOR MORIARTY? It could happen. With the box office success of the new Sherlock Holmes, the inevitable sequel may include a part for Brad Pitt as Professor Moriarty, the arch-villain who matches wits with Holmes. That's according to Rob Shuter, columnist for Popeater.com. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are reportedly already committed to the sequel.

THE REAL SNOOKI: In Touch Weekly got "Snooki" of Jersey Shore to pose without makeup. We're startled to report that somebody who's kind of cute is hiding under all that mascara and teased hair. And, in other news from Jersey Shore, the list of those embarrassed by the show now includes: The Jersey Shore! Part of the reality television series was taped in the borough of Seaside Heights, with the borough's permission. Now, the borough government has issued a statement saying that it "did not solicit, promote or participate in the filming of this show."

HAPPY 40TH, ALL MY CHILDREN: Celebrity couple Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, who met on the set of All My Children and later eloped, will return as guests on the ABC daytime soap next month as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Hayley and Mateo, as their characters are called, will guest star on the January 4th and 5th episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

COTILLARD AND TARANTINO GET FILM HONORS: The Palm Springs International Film Festival will present actress Marion Cotillard with its Desert Palm Achievement Award, and will honor director Quentin Tarantino with its Sonny Bono Visionary Award, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cotillard, who received the fest's Breakthrough Performance Award in 2008 for La vie en rose, is currently appearing in the musical Nine, and co-starred in Public Enemies. Tarantino, whose most recent film is Inglourious Basterds, will receive the award named after the festival's founder. The awards gala will be held Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

AVATAR GETS AN HONORABLE MENTION: The movie Avatar is "noteworthy," but that doesn't mean it's one of the finest films of 2009. That's according to the American Film Institute, which chose the sci-fi spectacular as one of the noteworthy events in cinema of the year, citing its technical achievements and their likely impact on futuremoviemaking. But it's not on AFI's list of the best movies of the year. Their "best" list includes Coraline, The Hangover, The Hurt Locker, The Messenger, Precious, A Serious Man, A Single Man, Sugar, Up, and Up in the Air.

  • AFI cited another major cultural trend of 2009 that it doesn't think is quite so favorable. Reality television, the institute said, "crossed a line in 2009 as the cultural craving for celebrity moved in a dangerous new direction." AFI pointed to the balloon boy hoax and the phenomenon of "Octomom."
  • AFI is a non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

TIGER WOODS SCANDAL LEADS TO INVESTOR LOSSES

Tiger Woods' scandalous extra-marital affairs with numerous women, which came to light after a November 27th car accident at his Florida home, has certainly lost him his professional reputation. But according to financial reports, the scandal has also lost money for millions of investors. According to a study by two economics professors from the University of California-Davis, the sex scandal may have lost shareholders of companies endorsed by the golf champion up to $12 billion.

  • The study was released Monday (December 28th) by UC researchers Victor Stango and Christopher Knittel. "We estimate that shareholders of Tiger Woods' sponsors lost $5 to $12 billion after his car accident, relative to shareholders of firms that Mr. Woods does not endorse," the researchers wrote.
  • In a statement, Stango added, "Our analysis makes clear that while having a celebrity of Tiger Woods' stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial, too."
  • Woods is considered to be the wealthiest athlete in sports, and had previously had endorsements worth up to $100,000. Several companies have since severed ties with the golfer, while others say they will keep current campaigns but reconsider their relationships going forward.

CHECK IT OUT:

CHARLIE SHEEN'S CAREER IS DOING JUST FINE

Charlie Sheen's private life may be a mess, but his career is doing just fine. And that's not likely to change, despite his arrest on Christmas Day on allegations of domestic abuse. How can that be, when only weeks ago, Tiger Woods was driven out of golf and into seclusion by his own scandal? Well, it's all about public image, and nobody every thought Charlie Sheen was America's sweetheart. "Charlie Sheen has bounced back from various scandals, and I don't think anyone expects anything more from him," public relations expert Vanessa J. Horwell, of ThinkInk PR, told CNN. "Bad-boy behavior is part of his persona that's been a work in progress since the 1980s. He has bounced back time and time again." In short, Sheen has known scandal before and every arrest, divorce and indiscretion has become part of his bad-boy image, making him essentially scandal-proof.

  • Meanwhile, RadarOnline combed Sheen's arrest report and discovered that he has 10 tattoos, and four more that are in the process of being removed. One reads "Back in 15 Min." Another has a picture of Charlie Brown with "mom" in a word balloon. Others display a burning Marlboro cigarette, a stingray and a baseball. Sheen has four more tattoos that he is having removed, including an open zipper with an eyeball popping out, a Yankees tattoo, a Japanese samurai and angel wings. Already gone: The tattoo of the name Denise Richards, his ex-wife.
INTERNET COMMENTS: AGREE OR DISAGREE?
  • From sillylemur on radaronline: "All the people who feel sorry for "poor ol' Charlie" need to learn more about his past, and educate themselves on the realities of domestic abuse. I suggest reading some Lundy Bancroft."
  • From lenore on radaronline.com: "Leave ol' Charlie alone. I like him - what I know of him - but wouldn't want to be married to him. She was drinking (also?) a lot they said. Give up on gold digging starlets."
  • From bones on radaronline.com: "Charlie has a history of domestic and substance abuse. He needs to be in jail before he really hurts or God forbid kills someone. Thank God this didn't happen at his own home- where he probably access to handguns."

CHECK IT OUT: In the latest episode of Two and a Half Men, Charlie coaches Jake on the art of infidelity! See it at: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/two_and_a_half_men/

LOVE AND HATE AT THE MOVIES

Fans of the Twilight series swamped a poll of the best and worst of the year at the movies on MovieFone's site, giving wins to their favorite and its stars in four categories. New Moon won best movie of the year and "best chick flick." Robert Pattinson got "sexiest male star" and Taylor Lautner got "male breakout star" of the year. But seriously, folks, George Clooney got best actor for Up in the Air, and Sandra Bullock won best actress for The Blind Side. Here are some dishonorable mentions:

  • Worst Movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (but it was also "best action movie)
  • Worst Actor: Jack Black in Year One
  • Worst Actress: Megan Fox in Transformers (but she also got "sexiest female star")
  • Most Disappointing Movie: Bruno
INTERNET COMMENTS: AGREE OR DISAGREE?
  • From kramer at MovieFone.com: "I don't really like Twilight, but I'm in love with Kristen Stewart"
  • From tony at MovieFone.com: "are these people kidding? New moon sucked , its just a dumb chick flick , and transformers 2 made more than any other movie this year."
  • From brandon at MovieFone.com: "Will this effect Razzie selection?"

CHECK IT OUT: See all the MovieFone Poll winners and losers: http://insidemovies.moviefone.com/2009/12/18/year-end-movie-poll/

 
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