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Friday, April 30, 2010

KFLAG COUNTRY MUSIC UPDATE

Keith Urban and John Mayer will bring their guitar-playing talents together for one live concert on August 28th at The Gorge in Spokane, Washington. Fans of both Keith and John will have the chance to buy tickets before the general public beginning on Saturday (May 1st) at 10 a.m. PT at KeithUrban.net and JohnMayer.com. CMT.com will offer a pre-sale window from May 3rd at 10 a.m. PT through May 7th at 10 p.m. PT. Tickets will become available to the public on May 8th at 10 a.m. PT.

Keith and John met for the first time in January where they came together in Nashville for a taping of CMT Crossroads. Keith tells us about performing with John for that show: "I had a great time playing with him. There's a certain connection I find with guitar players, and I feel it with Brad Paisley, too. It's a language that you speak with guitar players that is unique to that instrument, and from that I really enjoyed that Crossroads immensely."

  • Crossoads featuring Keith and John is set to air on June 18th at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.
Kid Rock has been tapped to host this year's CMT Music Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 9th. The rocker/rapper broke the news on his website yesterday (Thursday, April 29th), saying, ""All I can promise is I will be awesome."

While some may be left scratching their heads about Kid Rock hosting a country awards show, the singer has made "Music City" a second home. He's also performed on the Awards show in the past thanks to his country hits "Picture" and, most recently, "All Summer Long," which won the Wide Open Country video award at last year's fan-voted CMT Music Awards.

  • Fans can continue to cast their vote for this year's winners online at CMT.com through Monday (May 3rd). Final nominees will be announced exclusively on people.com on May 11th at 9 a.m. ET.
  • So far, the line up of performers includes Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.
  • The CMT Music Awards will air on the cable network at 8 p.m. ET.
Taylor Swift's love life has managed to stay out of the press for a while now, probably because the 20-year-old superstar is basking in her single status. Taylor told Hello! magazine, "There's a lot to distract me from dating. I don't really sit around and wallow in being alone. It's in my comfort zone, being single.

Taylor added that she's doesn't reject the idea of love if it happened to come her way. She said, "I feel that a lot happens to you when you're not looking for it, so I'm not actively looking. I don't have a problem with being single."

  • Taylor has most recently been linked to Glee star Corey Monteith. Sources close to the singer insist that the two are just friends.
  • Taylor continues on her sold-out Fearless tour this weekend with shows tonight (Friday, April 30th) in Columbia, South Carolina and tomorrow night (Saturday, May 1st) in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Alan Jackson will dedicate his show in Charleston, West Virginia on May 22nd to the families who lost loved ones in the Upper Big Branch Mining Disaster in Montcoal, West Virginia. Profits from the show will go to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund administrated by the West Virginia Council of Churches.
  • Tickets to the concert at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum are available at ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices for a portion of the venue have been reduced to $20.00.
  • Josh Turner and Chris Young are also on the bill for that show.
  • Twenty-nine miners lost their lives and two were injured in the tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, on April 5th. It was the country's worst mining disaster in four decades.
Gary Allan is one of the lucky artists tapped to open Brooks & Dunn's The Last Rodeo tour later this summer. It's the second time he's toured with the duo, so Gary says he knows exactly what to expect. "I was on the Neon Circus tour with them, so we've got some history there. Great guys, always a great party. I don't know who else they've got on it, but I'm so looking forward to doing that with them. I've learned so much from them, from not only show stuff, but how to treat people that you're touring with. I know a lot of acts, when you tour with them, there's a ton of rules. You can't walk down on this ramp and you can't step on this speaker and you can't look at this light or whatever their story is. With Brooks and Dunn, it was always just you get out there, rock and have a good time. And usually they're with you, I saw those guys more than I've ever seen anybody on a tour."

Gary's first date on the tour, which is already underway, is on June 18th in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

  • His new single, the title track of his latest album, Get Off On The Pain, is making its way up the country charts.
  • Gary continues on tour in support of the album with a show tonight (Friday, April 30th) in Missoula, Montana.

FAST FACTS

  • Gary was on Brooks & Dunn's Neon Circus tour in 2002.
  • Other acts on the trek that year included Dwight Yoakam, Gary Allan, Trick Pony, and Chris Cagle.
  • Brooks & Dunn headlined the Neon Circus tour from 2001-2004.
Grand Ole Opry members Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner will kick off the Opry's 85th birthday celebration with an all-star guitar jam on May 25th. Brad, Vince, Ricky and Steve will take the stage individually followed by a guitar jam finale featuring the group's take on some of the most popular songs in Opry history.

Other highlights of the birthday celebration are scheduled performances by Lady Antebellum, Oak Ridge Boys, Charley Pride, Josh Turner, and more.

  • A gallery showcasing some of the Opry's most memorable moments captured by the Opry's official photographer for over a decade, Chris Hollo, as well as past staff photographer, Les Leverett, is one of three new exhibits set to open in celebration of the Opry's 85th in the Grand Ole Opry Museum. Other exhibits will spotlight the Opry in the first decade of the new millennium, including artifacts from Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Carrie Underwood, and more. A third salutes late Opry icon Porter Wagoner.
  • A Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction will be held on June 11th, in the midst of CMA Music Fest. Fans can bid on acoustic guitars decorated by the likes of Luke Bryan, The Judds, and Darius Rucker. Proceeds will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which has for more than 40 years assisted members of the country music community in need.
  • The Opry's 85th Birthday Bash weekend featuring Opry Birthday Shows and an Opry Plaza Birthday Party is scheduled for October 8th and 9th.
Trace Adkins fell victim to Martina McBride's practical joke on his last night on the Shine All Night tour on Wednesday (April 28th). He was midway through "Honkytonk Badonkadonk" when Martina and one of her backup singers sauntered out on stage and shook their extra-padded badonkadonks. Click here to see the video: http://tinyurl.com/25mblap

Julianne Hough has been added to the artist lineup for the Nightly Concerts at LP Field during CMA Music Festival in Nashville on Friday, June 11th. Trace Adkins, Josh Aldean, Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Danny Gokey, Randy Houser, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Justin Moore, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band are also scheduled to perform during the four-day festival, which runs from June 10-13.

Emerson Drive's Brad Mates and wife, Jana, welcomed son Tyler Robert into the world on Wednesday (April 28th). He is the couple's first child.

COUNTRY TRIVIA

Q. How did Conway Twitty come up with his stage name?
A. Conway is a city in Arkansas, while Twitty is the name of a Texas town.

COUNTRY ON THE TUBE TODAY!

SOUNDSTAGE/GAC 10:00AM, 4:00PM (ET)
Tim McGraw

CMT TOP 20 COUNTDOWN/CMT 11:00AM (ET)
Jewel

THE BONNIE HUNT SHOW/SYN (check local listings)
Trisha Yearwood

GAC NIGHTS/GAC 12:00PM (ET)
Alan Jackson

TOP 20 COUNTRY COUNTDOWN/GAC 8:00PM (ET)
Easton Corbin

ON THE STREETS/GAC 10:30PM (ET)
Lonestar, Jo Dee Messina, Colt Ford

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS TODAY!

  • Carolyn Dawn Johnson (39)
  • Robert Reynolds (formerly of The Mavericks, Trisha Yearwood's ex-husband) (48)
  • Willie Nelson (77)
  • Jill Clayburgh (actress, Starting Over, An Unmarried Woman) (66)
  • Lisa Dean Ryan (actress, Wanda on TV's Doogie Howser, MD) (38)
  • Kirsten Dunst (actress, the Spiderman movies, The Virgin Suicides) (28)
  • Cloris Leachman (actress, Young Frankenstein, Kiss Me Deadly, The Last Picture Show) (84)
  • Jeff Timmons (pop singer, 98 Degrees) (37)
  • Paul Taylor (jazz saxophonist) (50)
  • Akon (R&B singer) (37)
  • Johnny Galecki (actor, Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, Christmas Vacation, David on Roseanne, I Know What You Did Last Summer) (35, disputed)
  • Adrian Pasdar (actor, Nathan on Heroes, Judging Amy) (45)
  • Bobby Vee (singer, "Rubber Ball") (67)
  • Lloyd Banks (rapper) (28)

ON THIS DAY IN COUNTRY!

  • LeAnn Rimes became the first major star to sing the national anthem prior to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville in 2009.
  • The Dixie Chicks appeared nude on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in 2003, with words such as "boycott," "traitors" and "free speech" superimposed on their bodies, as they discussed the controversy that came from an anti-Bush comment by Natalie Maines.
  • Shania Twain's "You're Still The One" became her sixth Number One country single in 1998.
  • Clint Black signed with RCA Records in 1988.
  • The Highwayman album by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson was released in 1985.
  • Marty Robbins's "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife" went to Number One in 1970.

CELEBRITY GOSSIP!!!

BOMB FOUND NEAR GEORGE CLOONEY'S HOME: Bomb experts were reportedly called to the area near George Clooney's Italian home earlier this week after World War II explosives were discovered just yards from the actor's Lake Como villa. Britain's Daily Telegraph reported that a 500 pound bomb was found underwater close to Clooney's mansion, and police sealed off the surrounding town of Laglio on Wednesday to allow specialist teams to defuse the device. The bomb is thought to have been dropped by a plane during the Second World War.

'GLEE' STAR GOING TO EUROPE WITH HOTTIES: The rumor mill is about to get busy. With Glee star Cory Monteith leaving to film Monte Carlo in Europe with Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy -- it's inevitable that hook-up accusations will soon begin flying. When asked about potential gossip, Monteith said, "Let them talk. That's what I say! Let them talk." Cory will jet to Europe once the Glee tour wraps, and he's excited. He announced to E!, "I'm going to have a damn good summer. I'm going to have a freakin' awesome summer."

SANDRA BULLOCK MOVING TO NEW ORLEANS: Sandra Bullock is relocating to New Orleans. The actress told People magazine of her plans to let son Louis get to know his birth city, and judging from the moving truck that arrived at her Louisiana home Thursday -- she's wasting no time. E! reported that trucks were spotted bringing furniture into the Louisiana home Sandra and Jesse James had purchased before his cheating scandal. Neither Bullock nor Louis were seen on the property. Sandra previously told People of Louis, "New Orleans in his city, and he is going to know it inside and out."

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY DENIES FACE LIFT: Christie Brinkley denied rumors that she had a facelift at the same time her daughter Alexa was in the hospital getting a nose job. Her rep told the New York Post, "Alexa had breathing difficulties due to a deviated septum and decided to correct the appearance of her nose at the same time. As far as Christie is concerned, she was at Lenox Hill to support her daughter, and throughout her career people have speculated that she's done this or that, which she always chooses to take as a compliment."

PARIS HILTON SAID TO OWE $1 MILLION: Investors in Paris Hilton's 2006 box-office bomb "Pledge This!" claim she owes $1 million in restitution for supposedly not promoting the movie enough. The investors asked a Miami federal judge Thursday to force Hilton to repay her salary from the film, claiming she ignored at least nine requests for interviews and other promotion events in violation of her contract. U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno previously rejected the investors' effort to sue Hilton for $8.3 million in damages.

DAVID HASSELHOFF'S EX GOES TO JAIL: David Hasselhoff's ex-wife Pamela Bach showed up at a Los Angeles jail on Thursday to begin a three-month sentence in a driving-under-the-influence case. The 47-year-old was recently convicted of her second DUI and was found in violation of probation. In addition to the jail term, she won't be allowed to drive for two years.

JENNA JAMESON AND TITO ORTIZ MAKE PEACE: Jenna Jameson will not press charges against boyfriend Tito Ortiz despite his arrest for domestic violence earlier this week. She said, "What actually happened has now been dramatically distorted and misinterpreted and remarks that both Tito and I made after the police arrived reflect the state of shock that we were both in."

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

'THE HILLS' PREMIERE GETS SO-SO RATINGS: The Hills is no Jersey Shore. PerezHilton.com reports that the heavily-promoted premiere of the reality show's final season drew 2.7 million viewers -- compared with the 4.8 million people who tuned in for the Jersey Shore finale.

KATE GOSSELIN BOOK SALES SLIDING: Kate Gosselin's dominating media presence has not translated into book sales. Bookscan reports that since its April 13 release, I Just Want You to Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith, and Family has sold just 10,084 copies. The non-fiction title debuted at #11 on the New York Times' non fiction bestseller list, and at #103 on USA Today's bestsellers chart. In contrast, her first two books both reached number five on the Times list -- and Multiple Blessings sold 523,000 copies in 2009.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. CONFIRMS 'IRON MAN 3': Robert Downey Jr. is pretty certain that there will be an Iron Man 3. When asked about a third installment in the popular franchise, Downey replied, "I think it's going to go down. Though "Avengers" is "supposedly first on [Marvel's] docket." He added that he has "some pretty strong ideas" for the next film, but said, "they never seem to be too discordant with what the creative execs at Marvel are thinking anyway." Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7th.

'CLASH OF THE TITANS' SEQUEL IN THE WORKS: A Clash of the Titans sequel is already in the works. PerezHilton.com reported that director Louis Leterrier isn't interested in returning, but Avatar star Sam Worthington will supposedly be back. TV writer Greg Berlanti will develop the story while the studio hunts for a new screenwriter and director. They're aiming for a Spring 2012 release.

CONAN O'BRIEN DISSES JAY LENO

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, Conan O'Brien confirms what we all knew: things between him and NBC didn't end well. CBS released an excerpt from Conan's first post-Tonight Show interview in which the comedian takes aim at Jay Leno and his former network.

Speaking about Leno, Conan said, "He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know-- I know me, I wouldn't have done that. If I had surrendered 'The Tonight Show' and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well -- and then . . . six months later. But that's me, you know. Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things."

  • When asked what he would have done in Leno's shoes, Conan responded, "Done something else, go someplace else. I mean, that's just me."
  • He explained his decision to forego NBC's offer for a midnight show and walk away. Conan said, "I think this relationship is going be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways. That's really how it felt to me . . . and I started to feel that I'm not sure these people even really want me here . . . I can't do it [anymore]."

CONAN O'BRIEN AND ROB PATTINSON AMONG TIME'S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE

Conan O'Brien, Sandra Bullock and Rob Pattinson are among Time magazine's most influential people in the world. The annual list includes political leaders (Obama and Bill Clinton), innovators and entertainers.

Other stars to make the list include Glee's Lea Michele, Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher.

Below are quotes from the essays written about each influential person -- which are penned by equally famous celebs.

  • Robert Pattinson (as written by Chris Weitz): "Perhaps it's just worth pointing out that it'd be fun to have a beer with him even if he weren't Edward Cullen."
  • Lea Michele (as written by Olivia Newton-John): "Lea, 24, is wise, savvy and beautiful, an extremely gifted singer-actress-dancer-comedian with perfect pitch (I love that!)."
  • Neil Patrick Harris (as written by Joss Whedon): "He can get the girl and sing about the boys, and it all works."
  • Lady Gaga (as written by Cyndi Lauper): "She isn't a pop act, she is a performance artist. She herself is the art. She is the sculpture."
  • Sandra Bullock (as written by Betty White): "She's been labeled America's Sweetheart, which sounds soft and sweet. Sandra is both of those things, but she also has a strength of her own."
  • Kathryn Bigelow (as written by Oliver Stone): "With The Hurt Locker, Bigelow unflinchingly stuck her finger in the tragic heart of a national wound -- our inability to face ourselves."
  • Ashton Kutcher (as written by Sean "Diddy" Combs): "Most of us want to make as much money as we can, but Ashton, 32, is out to make the world a better place."
  • Conan O'Brien (as written by George Lopez): "In the world of comedy, his was a Cinderella story in size-15 shoes."
  • Taylor Swift (as written by Stevie Nicks): "This girl writes the songs that make the whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John."
  • Simon Cowell (as written by Nick Cannon): ". . . But watching Simon stay true to himself and never falter has been one of the most inspirational messages of Idol's phenomenal run."

SPEIDI NAMED TIME'S LEAST INFLUENTIAL, PRODUCING REALITY SHOW WITH SNOOKI'S EX

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag have been named to Time's Least Influential list. The magazine took aim at Heidi, noting, "You used to be famous for being famous. Then you were famous for getting lots of plastic surgery and selling only 658 copies of your album in its first week. Now you're not famous. That was fast."

As for Pratt, they said, "Montag fired him as her manager. It's like we need a whole other list of the uninfluential to the uninfluential."

  • Joining them in the unfavorable category are Jon Gosselin, Nadya "Octomom" Suleman, Paula Abdul and former American Idol host Brian Dunkleman.

SPEIDI PRODUCING DATING SHOW WITH SNOOKI'S EX

In other Speidi news, Spencer announced Thursday that he's producing a new dating show -- starring Snooki's ex-boyfriend, Emilio Masella. Fist Pumping for Love will follow 21-year-old Emilio as he travels the country "in search of love."

  • Masella commented on the show saying, "I am tired of these fake Italian girls. I want a real guid-ette who can speak Italian, so we are prepared to take my search from Hollywood, Calif., to the streets of Howard Beach in Queens, N.Y."
  • Heidi is also listed as an executive producer of the show. No word on where it will air.

BRET MICHAELS RETURNING TO TOUR NEXT MONTH

Although he's still in the hospital recovering from a brain hemorrhage -- Bret Michaels is making plans to resume touring next month. A statement posted on his website reads, "While Bret is recovering we obviously have some shows that are being rescheduled. We are working to reschedule dates from now until May 21st."

The announcement continued, "At this time we are planning to resume the tour May 26th in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, provided there are no further complications or setbacks. We will then continue with all scheduled dates throughout the summer and fall, including the June and July tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd."

  • Michaels' condition was upgraded from critical to stable earlier this week, but his rep also confirmed that doctors discovered he's at risk for seizures because of a lack of sodium in his body.

CHELSEA HANDLER EXPLAINS 'SEX TAPE'

It appears as though Chelsea Handler is the latest celeb with a sex tape, but E!'s late night star claims the footage was part of a demo reel she made 10 years ago while trying to break into the comedy business.

RadarOnline.com, the site responsible for "breaking" the sex tape story, reported that during the first part of the tape, Chelsea is fully clothed in her work uniform. She begins by introducing herself by name before going into a stand-up routine before "suddenly cutting to Chelsea and her male partner engaging in an explicit sex act."

  • Chelsea commented on the video during her show Wednesday night, saying, "I would like to say to RadarOnline.com, thanks for ruining my surprise Christmas gift to my staff, and number two, it was made as a joke. I put it on an audition tape for a comedy club, because I'm a comedienne, and I've been showing it at birthday parties for (expletive) years!"
  • A source corroborated Handler's story, telling Radar, "Chelsea gave this demo tape to a bunch of talent agents and managers hoping to book some gigs. It was taken so long ago and distributed on old VHS tapes, that I'm sure most people just threw them out because her stand-up was so bad and they didn't realize she would make it big one day. It's highly possible that many of the recipients of the tape didn't even watch past the first couple of minutes and missed the sex tape part altogether."

NO NUDITY FOR BETTY WHITE ON SNL

Betty White will find out next week what she got herself into by agreeing to host Saturday Night Live -- but she has some control over the content. The 88-year-old told reporters earlier this week, "I have veto power if it's something I really don't want to do." But, she noted, "They promised me I wouldn't have to do any nudity (or dope jokes)."

She talked about the Facebook campaign that led to her May 8th gig, saying, "I couldn't believe it. At first I thought they were putting me on. It came out of left field. I was astounded. I told my agent to please say thank you, I appreciate it but no thank you. He said, 'you have to do it. I'll divorce you if you don't do it.'"

  • The musical guest accompanying White next week is Jay-Z, who the actress called, "the hottest thing since sliced bread."

MOVIE OPENING TODAY!

Opening today (Friday April 30th) is the new family comedy Furry Vengeance starring Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields. The film follows a real estate developer whomoves his family from Chicago to Oregon to take a new job. But when his new project threatens the local forest animals, they seek revenge by turning a peaceful cul-de-sac under construction into a war zone.

  • Furry Vengeance is rated PG and has a running time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It was directed by Roger Kumble.
Opening today (Friday April 30th) is the horror new film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, starring Jackie Earle Haley, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Connie Britton and Kyle Gallner. A re-imagining of the 1980s film of the same name, the film follows a group of suburban teenagers who are all being stalked by Freddie Kruger, who hunts them in their dreams. If they stay awake, they're safe, but once they fall asleep, all bets are off.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It was directed by Samuel Bayer.

HEADLINE NEWS!!


GOVERNMENT RAMPS UP EFFORTS AS OIL SPILL NEARS COAST: The federal government ramped up its efforts yesterday (April 29th) to avoid an environmental disaster as a huge oil slick from a destroyed Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling platform moved near Louisiana, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and other Gulf Coast states. The U.S. military mobilized to help contain the spill, which is pouring out oil from the seabed well at a rate of up to 5,000 barrels a day, five times more than had been previously estimated. President Obama said British-based oil company BP Plc was ultimately responsible for the cost of the clean-up. BP and the Coast Guard have been trying to contain the slick, but BP has been unable to get underwater robots to activate a cutoff valve 5,000 feet underwater on the ocean floor to stop the leak. It has now appealed to the Defense Department for access to military imaging technology and remotely operated vehicles. If the well can't be shut off, BP is looking at a plan to cover the well with a steel cap and capture the leaking oil, which will take four weeks. If that doesn't work, BP will have to drill a relief well, which would take two to three months.

  • The drilling platform leased by BP exploded and sank last week, leading to the oil spill. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead.

FLORIDA GOP GOV. CRIST WILL RUN FOR SENATE AS AN INDEPENDENT: Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced yesterday (April 29th) that he will leave the Republican Party to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, making the move after falling far behind in the polls ahead of the GOP primary to Tea Party-backed conservative Marco Rubio. Just a couple of years ago, Crist was a Republican darling who was seen as a shoo-in to take the Senate seat, but conservatives ripped him as being too moderate, especially savaging him for supporting President Obama's stimulus legislation last year. Crist said politics had become too divisive and that he felt liberated by the decision, explaining, "Because I only belong to the people and that's a wonderful place to be."

STRING OF ATTACKS ON CHILDREN IN CHINA: A farmer attacked and injured five kindergarten students with a hammer in eastern China before burning himself to death Friday (April 30th) in the latest in a string of horrific assaults on children at Chinese schools. The man used a motorcycle to break down a gate of the school in Shandong province, hit a teacher who tried to block him and then used the hammer to attack the children. He then grabbed two children before pouring gasoline over his body and lighting himself on fire, but teachers were able to pull the children away. This attack came just one day after a 47-year-old man rampaged through a kindergarten in neighboring Jiangsu province, wounding 29 students, and was the third on schoolchildren in three days, and the fifth incident in just over a month. Experts have said the attacks are possible copycat incidents, and come in a country where there's poor care for the mentally ill and growing feelings of social injustice.

TODAY'S FYI:

THOUSANDS MARCH ON WALL STREET TO PROTEST BIG BANKS: Thousands of people marched on Wall Street yesterday (April 29th) to protest big banks and their business practices and the taxpayer-funded bailout they got in a rally organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of community groups. The protesters carried signs with sentiments such as "Financial Terrorists" as they first rallied at City Hall Park and then marched down to the iconic bull statue on Wall Street. Earlier in the day, protesters took over two bank building lobbies, those of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo/Wachovia, on Park Avenue before being escorted outside by police.

FDA APPROVES LANDMARK 'VACCINE' TO TREAT PROSTATE CANCER: The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday (April 29th) approved a first-of-its-kind treatment for prostate cancer that uses the body's own immune system to fight tumors. Although the drug Provenge is called a vaccine, it actually treats disease rather than preventing it. The treatment is intended for prostate cancer that has spread in the body and isn't responding to hormone therapy, and is meant as an alternative to treatments like chemotherapy. Experimental vaccines that also use the body's immune system to treat other cancers are already in late-stage development.

NAVY CHANGES POLICY TO ALLOW WOMEN TO SERVE ON SUBS: The U.S. Navy said yesterday (April 29th) that it had ordered an end to the ban on women serving on submarines, a move that comes 16 years after the Navy began to allow women to serve on all its surface ships. Women will be reporting for duty on subs by 2012. Previously, concerns about the cramped quarters and lack of privacy on submarines had kept them off-limits to women. Defense Secretary Robert Gates notified Congress in February that the Navy intended to lift the ban, and received no objections from lawmakers. The first group of women assigned to submarines will only be officers assigned to guided-missile attack subs and ballistic-missile subs, which have the most living space in the fleet. That puts off for a while the problem of having to modify subs to have separate bunks and bathrooms for enlisted men and women.

IOWA WOMAN HONORED AS TEACHER OF THE YEAR: A high school English teacher from Johnston, Iowa, was honored as the Teacher of the Year in a White House Rose Garden ceremony yesterday (April 29th) by President Obama, who awarded her with the glass apple trophy. Sarah Brown Wessling was chosen for the annual honor by the Council of Chief State School Officers, who cited her passion and innovative approaches, including incorporating Facebook into her classes. Wessling said she was accepting the honor on behalf of her students and other teachers, saying all have a, quote, "collective responsibility to create hope and opportunity for every child in this country."

PALIN'S ONE-TIME PAGEANT RIVAL GETTING INTO POLITICS: The former beauty queen who won the Miss Alaska title in 1984, the year Sarah Palin came in second runner-up, is now also jumping into politics. Democrat Maryline Blackburn is running for the Georgia state House in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, hoping to challenge incumbent GOP Rep. Rich Golick. Blackburn is a recording artist who's been nominated twice for a Grammy Award.

SPORTS:

TIGER WOODS HAS BAD OPENING ROUND AT QUAIL HOLLOW: It was a bad day for Tiger Woods at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, as he shot a two-over-par 74 in the opening round of his second tournament since coming back after his mistresses scandal. His performance put him nine shots behind first round leader Bo Van Pelt, who shot a seven-under-par 65. Tiger finished fourth earlier this month at the Masters in his return to competition.

SUNS, SPURS ADVANCE TO ROUND TWO OF NBA PLAYOFFS: The Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs are winning their first-round series last night (April 29th).

  • The Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-90 to win their series 4-2.
  • The Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 97-87 to win their series 4-2.

NCAA APPROVES MARCH MADNESS EXPANSION: The NCAA's board of directors yesterday (April 29th) approved expansion of men's basketball's March Madness from 65 to 68 teams, and endorsed a proposal to add three more opening-round games to the schedule. It's only the second time in 25 years that the NCAA has increased the number of teams competing for the men's national championship. NCAA officials recommended the 68-team field last week, rejecting a broader expansion to 80 or 96 teams.

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

ON THE TUBE TODAY

CBS

  • GHOST WHISPERER - Aiden is in danger; Melinda investigates the life of an angry murder victim.
  • MEDIUM - After a neighbor is killed, Allison installs a high tech burglar alarm that she thinks may be communicating with Marie.
  • MIAMI MEDICAL - Dr. Proctor must give a speech illustrating how vital his team is in the minutes after a major accident.

NBC

  • WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? - Spike Lee heads to Georgia and Texas to take a deeper look into his family history.
  • DATELINE NBC - Invetigating the murder of college student Michelle O'Keefe.

FOX

  • HOUSE (repeat)

ABC

  • WIFE SWAP - An Indiana mother whose family embraces the Goth culture and picnics in graveyards trades live with a New York hockey mom who makes sure her family dresses stylishly.
  • WIFE SWAP - A woman whose family has 29 pets and no rules trades places with a strict mother with a disciplined and stylish family.
  • 20/20 - Four mothers discuss their alcohol addiction and how they try to cope with it.

CW

  • SMALLVILLE - Tess and Chloe end up trapped inside Watchtower; Oliver decides to confront Zod; Clark learns that Zod's soldiers have superpowers.
  • AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (repeat)

HBO

  • 24/7 MAYWEATHER/MOSLEY - Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley participate in fight week activities.
  • THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW - Karl answers questions; passages from Karl's diary; Karl's thoughts on dopplegangers and the Big Bang.
  • THE LIFE & TIMES OF TIM - Tim loses his job.
  • REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER - TV host Chris Matthews; Rep. Anthony Weiner; Journalist Ross Douthat.

DAY TIME TALK SHOW

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Paris Hilton, Kathy Hilton, American Idol castoff Siobhan Magnus
THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - National No Phone Zone Day
THE VIEW - Patricia Arquette, Gwyneth Paltrow, Melissa Etheridge

LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - David Beckham, Mike Birbiglia, the Hold Steady
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) - Mickey Rourke, Ashley Graham
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat)
THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Lauren Graham, Peter Sagal
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Colin Quinn, Jabbawockeez
LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Nick Offerman, Chiddy Bang, Daniel Merriweather

SATURDAY

NBC

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE - (repeat)

SUNDAY

CBS

  • THE AMAZING RACE 16 - The final teams struggle with the language barrier in Shanghai; the contestants sort through hundreds of golden Buddhas.
  • COLD CASE - The team investigates the 1989 case of a prom queen who may have been intentionally killed in a hit and run; Rush tries to ignore her father's requests to give her sister another chance.
  • COLD CASE - Valens helps Rush search for her abducted sister; Jeffries tries to close a case that has haunted him for 17 years.

NBC

  • MINUTE WIN IT - Contestants go head to head in a series of challenges, leaving only one to compete for the million dollar prize.
  • THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE - Each team is asked to create three radio commercials; one celebrity questions another's ability to perform.

FOX

  • THE SIMPSONS - When radiation is released into the city, authorities suspend civil liberties; tired of being blonde, Lisa dyes her hair a darker color.
  • THE CLEVELAND SHOW - Rallo gives Cleveland Jr. tips on how to woo the girl of his dreams; Cleveland Jr. challenges his love interest's boyfriend to a rap battle.
  • FAMILY GUY - (1 hour) Brian and Stewie try to hatch an escape plan after they are locked in a bank vault.

ABC

  • EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION - Comic Bill Engvall helps the team rebuild a house for a Texas family struggling to overcome physical challenges.
  • DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - Angie's ex, Patrick Logan, finally catches up with her; Susan and Gaby plan an elaborate scheme; Lynette sees a different side of Eddie.
  • BROTHERS & SISTERS - Cooper acts out; Luc joins the family; Kevin tries to adjust to being unemployed.

A&E

  • GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS - A potential business deal draws Gene and Tony into a bayou adventure; Gene mises Nick's live performance on the Sunset Strip.
  • KIRSTIE ALLEY'S BIG LIFE - A visitor shakes up the house; Kirstie and Jim's new workout routine yields surprising results.

AMC

  • BREAKING BAD - Hank's volatility forces a confrontation with Jesse; Skylar pressures Walt to make a deal; Gus faces severe consequences.

HBO

  • THE PACIFIC - Basilone convinces the Marines to allow him to train troops headed for combat; Basilone enjoys a whirlwind romance with a female Marine.
  • TREME - Antoine heads to Baton Rouge to visit his sons; Delmond considers a tour offer.

OFF BEAT BRIEFS

MAN BREAKS THROUGH PARKING GARAGE WALL: An Oklahoma man accidentally backed his car through a seventh-floor exterior wall of a parking garage on Wednesday. Ralph Hudson got his foot stuck between the gas and brake pedals of his Mercedes as he was backing up in a parking garage. The car broke through the exterior wall, but stopped just in time. The car's trunk was hanging out of the building, but officials were able to drive it back inside. Hudson was not ticketed and no one was injured. (AP)

MAN SPLASHES BLEACH AT EMPLOYEE: A man from Hempstead, New York, was arrested after hitting a Laundromat employee with an open bottle of bleach. According to police, the man got into a fight with the employee because he believed he was missing some clothing. Bleach splashed the employee's eyes and she was taken to the hospital to be treated. The man was charged with assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. (AP)

MAN WANTS TO GO BAREFOOT IN OHIO STATEHOUSE: A man from Ohio is battling for the right to barefoot in the Statehouse. Bob Neinast says his feet constantly hurt, therefore he goes barefoot everywhere. However, Neinast was recently stopped by an officer for violating the rules in the Ohio capital. Officials have now learned that there is no rule for going barefoot in the Statehouse. A spokesman said the Statehouse is now considering a ban and plans to hold a public hearing. (AP)

PASTOR FINDS DIAMOND IN DIAMOND, MONTANA: A retired minister from Diamond, Montana, recently found a 4.89-carat diamond in Craters of Diamonds State Park. Minister Mack Evans said that the rock did not even look like a diamond and he almost threw it away. The grayish-white diamond, which is called the "Ghost Diamond," is the size of a jelly bean. (AP)

DID YOU KNOW?

14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS ARE TOUGHEST TO PARENT: A new survey found that 14-year-old girls are the toughest to parent. The survey, which involved 2,000 mothers and fathers of children over the age of 18, found daughters at the age of 14 are the most difficult to parent due to their desire to grow up too quickly, their demands for greater freedom and peer pressure to be thin. Overall, 63 percent of parents with a teenage daughter found them most moody, sullen and sulky at age 14, with 78 percent saying the same of boys aged 15. Although parents were frustrated by the "bad" behavior, two thirds of them chalked it up to raging hormones. (Daily Mail)

A YEAR OF LIFE SPENT SEARCH FOR LOST STUFF? According to Snapple.com -- on average, you'll spend a year of your life looking for misplaced objects.

WILL EVERYONE SOON BE WORKING FROM HOME? The social-networking generation will rely on mobile technology, remote working and 'pop up' offices to get their jobs done, according to a new study. The focus of corporate IT departments will shift from supporting dozens of workers in a single office space to facilitating home-based and remote working, and ensuring that staff in temporary, shared offices can get the job done. David Coplin, a national technology officer at Microsoft, said, "Companies will be a bit more aggressive with how much office space they need. The savings in the short term will be around office space. At best 55 percent of office space is used at any one time, leaving 45 percent unused." (Telegraph)

YOUR MALE CAT IS LEFT-HANDED: Cats, dogs, parrots and even fish are right or left-handed, scientists have revealed. The discovery was made by psychologists from Queen's University Belfast, who as part of their research played with 42 pet cats for weeks on end. They found that females are 'right-handed' while males favor the left. Dogs are the same - until they are spayed or neutered, when the difference disappears, suggesting hormones play a role in left or right-handedness. The scientists also reported that parrots will pick up objects with their 'dominant' foot, toads are mostly right-handed and fish will have a preference to left or right when they dodge a predator -- and even humpback whales prefer the right side of their jaws when feeding. And dogs wag their tails to the right when relaxed and to the left when agitated. (New Scientist)

HOW NOT TO BE A NEEDY GIRLFRIEND (AskMen.com)

1. Have your own life. Remember what you were like when you and your boyfriend first met? You had friends, hobbies, and lots of things that were not centered around him. Make sure you're still keeping up with those things. Doing so will make you happier, more interesting to him, and less likely to fixate entirely on your relationship.

2. Schedule things out. Having a weekly date night, a monthly day trip, or regular evening text session on both your schedules can give you the sense that things are less amorphous and provide both of you with something to look forward to.

3. Tame those "what if?" demons. Stop thinking "what if?" every time you're apart (What if he sees a prettier girl while he's at the bar with his friends? What if he's not calling because he's on the phone with his ex? What if, what if, what if). Whenever your anxious thoughts start to spin out of control, remember that "what if?" is a lot less important than WHAT IS. And then remind yourself of what the reality of your relationship is.

4. Remember that you're great. You're beautiful. You're smart. You're fun. If you weren't, then he wouldn't have started dating you in the first place. Remind yourself from time-to-time of just how amazing you are. Regardless of whether you're in a relationship or not, it will make you feel more secure and centered.

5. Tell him outright. If the reason you're acting clingy is because he's treating you like you don't matter, then it's time for a talk. It may be the case that he doesn't realize how he's making you feel. It may be that he's just not into you anymore. Tell him, and if he refuses to work on making things better, get out.

IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION

What is a clowder?

A: A group of cats is called a clowder.

Source: TheFreeDictionary.com

WATER COOLER TALK

Call to Pull Baseball's 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix Over Immigration Law

A New York congressman is calling for Major League Baseball to pull the 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix because of a controversial new immigration law that allows police in the state to stop people they believe could be illegal immigrants and ask them to show documentation proving they are in the U.S. legally. Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling, and that it's un-American to stop people and ask them for their papers. Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano said, "I think Major League Baseball, with 40 percent Latino ballplayers at all levels, should make a statement that it will not hold its All-Star Game in a state that discriminates against 40 percent of their people." The MLB said it had not comment at the time. When Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day two decades ago, the NFL in 1991 pulled the 1993 Super Bowl from Phoenix.

John Edwards' Mistress Talks with Oprah, Denies She's a Homewrecker

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired yesterday (April 29th), her first televised interview since Edwards admitted the affair two years ago and acknowledged in January that they have a two-year-old daughter, after initially denying it. During the interview, Hunter denied she was a homewrecker, saying a third party can't ruin a marriage, and said she believes what she did was right. She also spoke about why she posed for widely-slammed sexy photos to go along with her recent GQ interview, saying it was done in reaction to all the bad supermarket tabloid shots of her, but admitted it was a mistake. Edwards and his wife Elizabeth are now separated, but Hunter wouldn't say whether she and Edwards are together, insisting that it's, quote, "private." Following are soundbites from the interview:

When asked if she was a homewrecker: "Absolutely not. It is not my experience that a third party wrecks a home. I believe the problems exist before a third party comes into the picture." (Oprah) "So you don't think you wrecked his home." (Hunter) "I do not believe I wrecked his home."

Why she thinks people view her negatively:"Because of the affair. And also because a lot of people bought into the myth of the marriage, the Edwards marriage as being a storybook story and it was so perfect and so wonderful and I destroyed it. So it fits into the, you know, the two-dimensional storyline."

How she met Edwards after they'd traded stares in a hotel bar: "We were walking out of the Regency to go get dinner, and then he came around the corner and saw me standing on the street. And he lit up, he was just so excited, I mean, just lit up like a Christmas tree, white lights, just like bright as can be. And I just turned to him and I said, 'You're so hot.' And he practically jumped in my arms. And I said to him, 'I can help you.' And he said, 'I want your help. I need your help.'"

Doesn't regret the relationship: "I followed my heart, and I believe it was the right thing to do, which is weird, I get how weird that is. Because I didn't make a commitment to Elizabeth. I wasn't the one lying to her, and I was supporting him in his process and his intentions never wavered. I knew that he wanted, he just had a really unique way of getting there to live a life of truth."

Says she agreed to let Edwards' aide claim to be her baby's father because of concern for her daughter:"If she at all blamed herself for him-- If he got out of the race because of her, me being pregnant with her, and always had that thing in his head, 'I could've been president,' and some blame towards her at all, and if she somehow flipped it in her head that it was her fault coming into the world... Sorry. That was too hard for me, so that was the only reason I said yes."

Why she did the sexy shots for the GQ interview: "I would like to have one sexy shot where the world can see me as a beautiful woman, as opposed to all those photos that are out there of me looking like some Wicked Witch of the West, the ugliest thing you could ever imagine. So there's definitely ego in that, like, you want to-- look what the ego gets you." (Oprah) "I was going to say, wasn't that a big ego move on your part?" (Hunter) "Big ego move. Big mistake."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

KFLAG COUNTRY MUSIC UPDATE

Miranda Lambert is still riding high on her three big wins at the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this month for Album, Video and Top Female Vocalist of the Year. Many of the dates on her first headlining Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour are sold out, and the singer looks like she is headed to the top of the charts again with her latest hit, "The House That Built Me."

All that said, it's obvious that Miranda's career has taken a giant leap forward. Miranda herself feels the growing momentum these days, she tells us: "I feel it big time. It's the first time I've really ever felt it like this because we've always had this really good, strong foundation and it's been slow and steady, and it's been a great career, but all of a sudden, just us as a family on the road in my camp, we feel it. It's like this rumble under the ground that something's about to happen, and now it's happening."

This kind of success is what every artist dreams of, and while Miranda's no exception, she says it's also a little bit daunting. "It's great, but it's also, like, really scary to me cause I've never had that kind of a jump, a push, and so I'm a little bit afraid. I'm excited, but I'm just apprehensive, like, 'Oh my gosh -- when you shoot up you shoot back down,' so I just hope that we can keep this great steady ride goin' cause I just love what we're doin', and I always have, but it's a lot more fun when everybody's noticing, you know?"

  • Miranda's tour stops this weekend are in Jonesboro, Arkansas tonight (Thursday, April 29th); Bossier City, Louisiana on Friday (April 30th); and Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday (May 1st).
  • The singer will perform for the very first time on the CMT Music Awards on June 9th. The show will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

FAST FACTS

  • Miranda's debut album, Kerosene, was released in 2005.
  • With her 2007 release, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and her latest CD, Revolution, Miranda is only the third female country singer in history to have three records debut at Number One on Billboard Country Albums chart.
Joe Nichols is no longer Broadway-bound. The singer told CMT.com that his plans to play the lead in the musical, Pure Country, have changed due to the economy. He was scheduled to begin rehearsals earlier this year, but the show got delayed by six months, interfering with Joe's upcoming tour schedule. He said, "When they backed up the show, it put us in a difficult situation because we had blocked off about six to eight months of time just for that show. That's without touring, no media, no nothing. So now I just don't see that we could probably take another six-month gap in our schedule, especially with how hot 'Gimmie That Girl' is and the album."

In other Joe news, the singer is the new face of Roper apparel and footwear. He will be featured in print ads beginning in May, in addition to Point-of-Purchase marketing materials in 1,100 retail stores nationwide.

Joe will also participate in a number of autograph signings and in store appearances at Roper Retailers, beginning with the Roper booth at CMA Music Festival in Nashvile in June.

  • Joe tops the charts this week with his latest single, "Gimmie That Girl."

FAST FACTS

  • "Gimmie That Girl" is the fourth chart-topper of Joe's career.
  • The song is featured on Joe's latest CD, Old Things New.
Brad Paisley's upcoming H2O World tour is going to be an adventure for fans who, like Brad, love the water. The singer has all sorts of wet outdoor fun planned for concert-goers, who Brad envisions heading to his show after a day at the beach, lake or pool, he tells us: "I wanna do the kind of thing where these people shouldn't have to change their clothes from what they were just doing to go to this concert, cause they probably were just doing what I'm talking about. If it's a Saturday night and we're in Virginia Beach, where we kick it off, they probably went to the beach or they went to a lake, or they were just out by their pool or someone's pool, or if anything their kids were running through a Slip 'n' Slide. There's something . . . That's the entertainment in the summer. It's a garden hose and you're set."
  • Brad promises more than a garden hose, however. So far, his plans include a Water World Plaza, which will turn every city into a water festival. The Water World Plaza stage will feature newcomers Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson.
  • Fans can also enjoy a Chevy H2O FLW fishing simulator, dunking booth, and a Corvette driving simulator to test out the latest Corvette ZR1 series, as well as their individual driving and racing skills against Brad himself.
  • Brad is also partnering with the Hope Through Healing Hands' campaign for clean, safe water. Donations collected at each tour stop will be earmarked for digging wells and purifying water in America and around the world.
  • The H2O tour begins on May 21st in Virginia Beach, as Brad mentioned.
  • Special guests on the main stage are Darius Rucker and Justin Moore.
Scheduling and routing conflicts have forced Martina McBride to postpone six of her scheduled European tour dates. The shows fall between June 25th and July 2nd in Norway, the UK and Ireland. The singer posted a message to fans on her website, saying, "I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I'm really disappointed and sorry. I was truly looking forward to playing the shows in Norway and the UK. We had a blast last year and it was an amazing experience playing for so many enthusiastic fans. I'm so sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. I know many of you were looking forward to these shows as well, and have already made travel plans, etc. I wish there was some way I could change it, but unfortunately there are a lot of details and people that go into planning a tour overseas, and this is just out of my control. Hopefully we can get this tour back on the schedule sooner than later. Once again, I am sorry. Thanks for your understanding."
  • Martina continues her tour stateside with a show on Friday (April 30th) in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • Her latest hit, "Wrong Baby Wrong," moves closer to the Top 10 this week on the country charts.

FAST FACTS

  • Martina's brother, Steve Schiff, plays in her band.
  • Her current album, Shine, which was released last year, is Martina's 10th studio album.
George Strait has outdone himself -- literally! He once held the record for ticket sales at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, but he just bested that with his show on Saturday (May 1st). George's 1997 Country Music Fest sold 47,000 tickets, but sales of this weekend's show with special guests Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and the Randy Rogers Band have topped 51,000 tickets.

A limited number of additional tickets for the Alamodome show will be released today (Thursday, April 29th) at 10 a.m. CT through Ticketmaster.
  • The tour wraps up on September 11th in Nashville.

FAST FACTS

  • George has the most number one singles of any artist in history, including Elvis, with 57 to date.
  • He has sold more than 68 million records, and with 33 different platinum or multi-platinum albums has the most RIAA platinum certifications in country music and the third in all genres, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are among those on People magazine's Most Beautiful list. The special annual issue hits newsstands on Friday (April 30th).

The Academy of Country Music Awards helped bump up sales of several of country music's top acts. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now jumped 27%; Zac Brown Band up 26%; Miranda Lambert up 105%; Carrie Underwood up 54%; Luke Bryan up 49%; and Brooks & Dunn up 84%. Need You Now remains the Number One country album, followed by the Zac Brown Band and Miranda.

Kid Rock has announced a new partnership with bourbon manufacturer Jim Beam in which an exclusive download of a brand new Rock song, called "Times Like These," will be offered as part of special edition gift cartons of both Jim Beam and the new Red Stag by Jim Beam. Also available will be a compilation of live hits from his two-night, sold-out homecoming concert at Detroit's Comerica Park last summer.
  • Rock said in a statement, "After being one of Jim Beam's best consumers for years, I've gotten to know the people and the product very well, and I'm excited to continue and grow our relationship in such an innovative way."
  • Jim Beam and Rock have partnered before, with the liquor maker sponsoring the singer's 2009 Rock N' Rebels tour.
  • The move is unprecedented for Rock, who so far has not allowed his music to be made available online.
  • More info on the offer, which starts in May, can be found on the special Jim Beam gift cartons and is only good for drinking age customers while supplies last.
  • Rock's new studio album is due out later this year and will follow up 2007's Rock 'N' Roll Jesus.

CHECK IT OUT: More info can be found at www.jimbeam.com.

COUNTRY TRIVIA

Q. What country act was the first to play at Wrigley Field in Chicago?
A. Rascal Flatts last summer

COUNTRY ON THE TUBE TODAY

GAC NIGHTS/GAC 12:00PM (ET)
John Hiatt

ORIGINS: JAKE OWEN/GAC 1:00PM (ET)

GAC NIGHTS/GAC 8:00PM (ET)
Alan Jackson

SOUNDSTAGE/GAC 10:00PM (ET)
Tim McGraw

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO/NBC 11:35PM (ET)
Laura Bell Bundy

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS TODAY!

Duane Allen (Oak Ridge Boys) (67)

  • Andre Agassi (tennis player) (40)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Academy-award winning actor, My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood) (53)
  • Kate Mulgrew (actress, Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager) (55)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (actress, Fabulous Baker Boys, Dangerous Liaisons, Scarface, Frankie And Johnny) (52)
  • Eve Plumb (actress, The Brady Bunch's Jan) (52)
  • Jerry Seinfeld (comedian) (56)
  • Uma Thurman (actress, Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill movies, The Accidental Husband) (40)
  • Carnie Wilson (singer from Wilson Phillips, who's also famous for weight-loss surgery that led her to lose a large amount of weight) (42)
  • Master P (rapper and music mogul) (43)
  • Federico Castelluccio (actor, The Sopranos' Furio) (46)
  • Klaus Voormann (bassist, played with the Beatles, Peter Frampton, and Lou Reed, Manfred Mann, among others) (72)
  • Tommy James (singer, "I Think We're Alone Now") (63)
  • April Stevens (singer, "Deep Purple" with brother Nino Tempo) (74)

ON THIS DAY IN COUNTRY!

  • Jo Dee Messina picked up her first platinum album for I'm Alright in 1999.
  • Clint Black's debut album, Killin' Time, was released in 1989.
  • Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton performed an entire concert together for the first time in more than a decade at Dollywood in 1989.

CELEBRITY GOSSIP

BRET MICHAELS REPORTEDLY IN GOOD SPIRITS: Bret Michaels is reportedly conscious, talking slowly and in good spirits. His rep told the optimistic news to People magazine, but his family is staying mum. The most recent posting on his website reads, "I know that everyone is waiting for some OFFICIAL news, however we just can't give any right now. This is a time for family, a time for healing and a time for love. It is out of respect first and foremost for his precious daughters, their mother and his immediate family that none of us say anything. The press has a way of taking information and doing what they want with it. At a critical time, we who care deepest for him, refuse to offer any information that can be delivered incorrectly."

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST RANDY QUAID: After appearing in court on Wednesday (April 28th) as scheduled, all charges were dropped against Randy Quaid, while his wife Evi copped a misdemeanor guilty plea. This capped several months of legal trouble for the couple, which stemmed from their skipping out on a hotel bill in Texas. Evi was sentenced to three years of probation and 240 hours of community service, which she called a "win win situation" because she feels she can benefit from the experience.

DRUGS INVOLVED IN ALEXANDER MCQUEEN'S SUICIDE: Alexander McQueen took a mixture of cocaine, tranquillizers and sleeping pills before hanging himself earlier this year. An inquest into the British designer's death concluded that there were drugs in his system, and his passing was deemed a suicide. A statement from his company read, "Today is a difficult day for all of those who knew and worked with Lee (McQueen's given first name) as we come to terms with the manner of his tragic and untimely death. Whatever the circumstances of his passing, Lee will be remembered by all of us who had the privilege of calling him a colleague and friend as a rare talent, a true genius and brilliant creative force."

JOSH HARTNETT-ABBIE CORNISH ROMANCE HEATS UP: Josh Hartnett and Abbie Cornish are going public with their new relationship. The New York Post reports that the new couple stepped out together at Channing Tatum's 30th birthday party last weekend. A spy told the paper, "They turned up after midnight . . . they definitely looked like a couple."

JAMIE-LYNN SIGNER FINDS FOOTBALL BEAU? Jamie-Lynn Sigler is reportedly dating New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. A source told Usmagazine.com, "They met Monday night at the LG Infinia premiere of Keep Surfing for the Tribeca Film Festival and really hit it off. They were flirting and talking all night. Who knows where it will go, but it definitely looks like the start or something." Sigler, who is 28, split from Entourage star Jerry Ferrara in December, while 23-year-old Sanchez was last linked to Kristin Cavallari.

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

'CELEBRITY REHAB' WANTS STARS: Celebrity Rehab is reportedly trying to land an all-star cast for its next season, but no one on the wish list has signed up yet. TMZ.com reports that the casting department is going after Lindsay Lohan, Heather Locklear, Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller. Lohan and Locklear reportedly both turned down offers because neither of them believe they have a problem. Jenna Jameson and Brooke Mueller have also refused, and supposedly, Charlie Sheen is now a main target. There's not much time left, however, as filming begins May 10th.

KATIE HOLMES TO PLAY JACKIE KENNEDY: Katie Holmes will portray Jackie Kennedy in an eight-hour mini-series based on the Kennedys that will air on the History Channel. This will be the network's first scripted miniseries. Greg Kinnear will play President John F. Kennedy and Barry Pepper will portray Attorney General Robert Kennedy. The series will premiere in 2011.

RICKY GERVAIS HOSTING GOLDEN GLOBES AGAIN: Ricky Gervais will return next year as host of the Golden Globes. He commented on the repeat gig, saying, "I can't believe they invited me back after awful things I said. Let's see how far I can go this time." Ratings for the 2010 ceremony featuring Gervais were up 12 percent from the previous year. The 2011 show will take place on January 16th.

LINDSAY LOHAN AND MOM GIVING INTERVIEW? Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina will reportedly give a joint interview to Entertainment Tonight this evening. PerezHilton.com reports that the exclusive comes on the first day of sweeps. It's unclear if the mother-daughter duo are being paid by the show.

BILL CONDON DIRECTING 'DREAMGIRLS': Confirmed! Dreamgirls Bill Condon will helm Breaking Dawn, the final chapter in the Twilight Saga. Summit Entertainment announced they hired Condon on Wednesday (April 28th), but refused to comment on rumors that the story would be broken down into two movies. Condon said, "I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book -- and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience."

ANOTHER CONTESTANTS LEAVES 'AMERICAN IDOL'

Another contestant was eliminated last night (April 28th) on American Idol. The show started off with a performance from Rascal Flatts. After a sneak peak of Shrek the Third, the contestants were separated into three groups of two. Siobhan Magnus, Michael Lynche and Casey James were last night's bottom three. Sons of Sylvia and Lady Antebellum took the stage with their new singles. After a duet from Shakira and Rascal Flatts, Siobhan Magnus sang her final song on the Idol stage.

TIGER WOODS COMMENTS ON MEDIA SCRUTINY

Tiger Woods has responded to the media backlash he received for going out to a concert last week while his wife Elin was reportedly making plans to divorce him. At a press conference in Charlotte, NC, he said, "Yeah, I went to the concert, had a great time, Nickelback." Tiger added, "A couple of the band members are friends of mine, and that's why I went. I just had a great time. And unfortunately I got criticized for seeing my friends."

  • Tiger also said that despite the public fall out from his sex scandal, his other business endeavors are doing well, including his golf course design business. He said, "We're still getting offers, offers all over the world to design golf courses, it's just a matter of do I have time to do it."

SANDRA BULLOCK FILES FOR DIVORCE, ADOPTS SON

Surprise! Sandra Bullock has filed for divorce -- and she has a son!!

The star revealed to People magazine that she and estranged husband Jesse James began the adoption process four years ago and brought home a baby boy named Louis in January. They decided to keep the news to themselves until after the Oscars -- when of course, Jesse's cheating scandal became headline news instead.

Bullock says she is now finalizing the adoption as a single parent.

  • She said of 3-and-a-half-month-old Louis Bardo Bullock, who was born in New Orleans, "He's just perfect, I can't even describe him any other way. It's like he's always been a part of our lives." Even Sandra was surprised the adoption stayed a secret, telling the magazine, "I don't know how we got away with it."
  • Sandra revealed her feelings on adoption last November while promoting The Blind Side. She told Ellen DeGeneres, ["You know I've always felt like, just because a child didn't come from inside your body, doesn't mean that it's not your child, it just arrived somewhere else."] SOUNDCUE (:08 OC: . . . arrived somewhere else)

SANDRA TALKS DIVORCE

Bullock confirmed that she's filed for divorce, and discussed her husband's infidelities. She told the magazine, "I had no idea about anything until that day when I got the call. It seems like a thousand years ago when this happened. All I remember thinking, 'I need to get Louis out of here before the vultures descend.' But never in a million years did I foresee something like this happening. I wish it hadn't, and it still doesn't seem real."

  • She said of James, "I really don't know how our paths will intersect in the future," adding that their relationship is "a different one. A bittersweet one. One of new understanding. One of support for his recovery. One that changed my life."

DIVORCE DETAILS

Bullock filed for divorce in Austin, Texas on April 23rd using hers and James' initials -- which explains why the media didn't catch on. As for grounds of divorce, the petition says, "The marriage between Petitioner and Respondent has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectations of reconciliation."

According to documents, the parties were married in 2005 "and have ceased to live together as husband and wife."

E! speculated why Bullock chose to file in Texas:

  • No alimony. "Texas doesn't have an alimony statute," Darryl Weinman, an Austin-based family lawyer, told E! News. "So there is no way she would ever have to pay him anything here."
  • Quickie divorces are possible. Weinman said, "If it is going to be done by agreement, it can be final in as little as 60 days in Texas."
  • Jury trial option for divorces. E! noted, "Put it this way, if you were Jesse James, would you want to face a jury of your peers? Particularly when the court of public opinion has already spoken so loud and clear? Didn't think so." Should the divorce take a turn for the acrimonious, it's possible the stars would be forced to plead their cases in front of a jury, as Texas is one of only two states (the other being Georgia) that allows jury trials for divorces.
  • Stepparents' rights are recognized. It's no secret that Bullock is close to James' kids, and filing in Texas could theoretically net her some parental rights at a later date.
  • Texas supported her crafty use of initials. "I've never heard of anyone doing it that way," Weinman said. "I don't know if she may have received some kind of special permission for that. I don't know how she could have gotten permission to do that, but she may have."

JESSE RESPONDS

Jesse said in a statement, "My whole life has been full of hard decisions. The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart."

James, who recently completed a stint in rehab for "personal issues," continued, "Sandy is the love of my life, but considering the pain and devastation I have caused her, it would be selfish to not let her go. Right now it is time for me to beat this addiction that has taken two of the things I love the most in life. "I have always taken great pride in proving people wrong. That time has come once again to show that I am not what everyone says I am. I know in my heart that I can be the best father possible to my four children, and the mate Sandy deserves, and realize that this is an incredible mountain to climb. But I believe that the steps I have taken in the last 30 days are the foundation for making this happen. The lifelong commitment I am making is what being a real husband and father is all about."

JULIA ROBERTS IS PEOPLE'S MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON

Julia Roberts has been named People magazine's Most Beautiful Person. This marks the fourth time she's been given the honor, and the 12th time she's been named to the magazine's 100 Most Beautiful list.

Only Halle Berry, who this year makes her 14th appearance on the list, has been recognized more often.

Pretty Woman director Gary Marshall sang the 42-year-old's praises, telling the magazine, "She's as beautiful as ever. She's much more centered and calm now and not so stressed. She is quite the mom -- very nurturing." Roberts spends most of her time in New Mexico with her husband and three children.

  • Other hotties called out by the magazine include Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Jennifers Aniston, Garner and Lopez, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper.
  • They are also joined by the likes of Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Sofia Vergara, Katy Perry, Amanda Seyfried, Julianna Marguiles, Ryan Reynolds, Johnny Depp, and Justin Bieber.

CHECK IT OUT: See the beauties! http://tinyurl.com/2f7kmjb

 
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