Jake Owen celebrated his very first Number One hit, "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," with a party at the Country Music Association in Nashville yesterday (Tuesday, November 29th). The song is Jake's first release from his new album of the same name.
Jake has been chasing the dream of having a Number One record for the past several years. He tells us about finally having reached that goal: "It's amazing, really! It just is. After years of working at it to finally have one after six years of putting out songs is a really good feeling, but I think more importantly it's a good feeling collectively with the group of people that I have that have helped me get here. I didn't do it by myself, that's for sure!"
Jake has been tapped to open Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw's co-headlining Brothers of the Sun stadium tour next year.
He recently wrapped up the 2011 Get Closer tour with headliner Keith Urban.
Jake's new single is called "Alone With You."
His Barefoot Blue Jean Night album was released in August and debuted at Number One on theBillboard Top Country Albums chart.
Taylor Swift is gearing up for the holidays. She spent an evening crafting with some friends earlier this week, where they produced an assortment of homemade snow globes. Taylor tweeted a picture of what she called "Christmas in a jar, with glitter," writing, "Home made snow globes with friends. The whole fleet!"
Taylor tells us that this is her favorite time of year. "I'm so excited about a lot of things right now. I'm excited about the holidays. I love Christmas. I love the whole build up to Christmas and like the way that everything is like exciting and winter green-ish and Christmas tree-ish around Christmas."
Taylor Swift's new line of holiday greeting cards, boxed cards, collectible ornaments and 13 customizable eCards are now available.
Edens Edge is enjoying success with their debut single, "Amen." Lead singer Hannah Blaylock had a hand in writing the song, which she tells us is a slice of life from her small-town upbringing in Arkansas.[Kind of what 'Amen' is about is about growing up in a small town and falling in love and it's not just about those two people falling in love. It's about the whole town and their involvment in that process, cause everybody knows everybody else and talks about everybody else's business. You know, it's just that typical small town story. Where we come from in Arkansas there's churches on every corner and it's very much that culture where saying, 'Bless her heart' and 'Give me an Amen, sister' . . . . all those things are said in everyday life and so we kind of incorporated that part of us into the song."
"Amen" is in the Top 25 and climbing on the country charts.
It's included on their self-titled debut album which was released in May.
Edens Edge continues on tour with Lady Antebellum's Own The Night tour.
They wrap up the 2011 leg on December 18th in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Darius Rucker has been tapped to host the fourth installment of Grammy Artists Revealed, which showcases artists' musical journey in an intimate, storytelling setting. The event will be held at the HighLine Ballroom in New York City on December 13th.
Darius said, "The prestige of winning Grammy awards has opened many doors for me, and I look forward to sharing the experiences that have led me to where I am today -- from rock band frontman to country solo artist and the Grammy awards along the way."
Darius hits the road with Lady Antebellum on their 2012 Own The Night tour beginning on January 27th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Darius is climbing the charts with "I Got Nothin'."
It's the third single from his 2010 CD, Charleston, SC 1966.
Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott has added a furry member to her family. She and fiance Chris Tyrellrecently bought a Goldendoodle they named Hobbs. Hillary has been showing off the new addition on Twitter in between shows on Lady A's Own The Night tour.
CHECK IT OUT
Q. What is Taylor Swift's middle name? A. Alison
ON THE TUBE
RANDY TRAVIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY/GAC 10:00AM, 7:00PM (ET) Carrie Underwood
THE COLLECTION: TOBY KEITH/GAC 3:00PM (ET)
SUGARLAND'S INCREDIBLE MACHINE/GAC 4:00PM (ET)
BACKSTORY: VINCE GILL/GAC 8:00PM (ET)
RON WHITE: THEY CALL ME TATER SALAD/CMT 8:00PM, 11:00PM (ET)
DAY JOBS/GAC 9:00PM (ET) Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman, Chris Young, Craig Morgan
LARRY THE CABLE GUY'S STAR STUDDED EXTRAVAGANZA/GAC 9:30PM (ET) Toby Keith, Terry Bradshaw, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Lewis Black, Blake Shelton
NEW 'FRIEND' FOR BRADLEY COOPER: Bradley Cooper has been spotted in Paris with actress Melanie Laurent. Although the two reportedly looked "cozy" together, a source told People magazine that they are simply friends.
HUGH JACKMAN'S WIFE HATES GOSSIP: Australian actress Deborra-Lee Furness told Page Six Magazine that she takes a beating in the press for being married to Hugh Jackman. Furness, who is 13 years old than her husband, said, "The age thing! Truth be known, Hugh is much more mature than me, so we balance each other out. And heaven forbid I have a human experience and carry a little weight." As for rumors that Hugh is gay and their marriage is a sham? She said, "The line I heard was, 'Wolverine? Who would have thought?' Hugh and I don't pay much heed. It's kind of tragic that these people have nothing better to do than gossip about people they don't know."
NICKY HILTON MOVING TO NYC: Nicky Hilton wants to switch coasts. The New York Post reported that Paris Hilton's little sister wants to leave Hollywood and move to NYC. A source told the paper that Nicky "loves LA, but New York is a good place to be because so much of her fashion business centers around Europe."
DID REESE WITHERSPOON BREAK HER FINGER AT DISNEYLAND? Disneyland can be a dangerous place. Reese Witherspoon appears to have broken her finger during a trip to the theme park, as she was spotted wearing a finger cast just days after her family visited. Check it out:http://tinyurl.com/bo2dkoz
SAMANTHA RONSON'S HOUSE BURGLARIZED: Samantha Ronson's house was burglarized earlier this week. TMZ.com reported that 911 was called before the burglars made it into Sam's actual house, but one item was taken from her garage that was worth about $1,000.
MARLEY SHELTON PREGNANT: Marley Shelton is pregnant with her second child. The 37-year-oldScream 4 actress and her husband Beau Flynn already have a two-year-old daughter named West. The second baby is due in the spring.
KRIS JENNER ON 'DWTS'? Another Kardashian might be headed to Dancing With the Stars. PerezHilton.com reported that the show, which has already featured Kim and Rob Kardashian, might be casting their mother, Kris Jenner. A source revealed, "Love them or hate them, the Kardashians bring a huge amount of media and buzz to anything they do and having Kris join the next show would be a smart and controversial move, which is exactly what this show loves to do."
HAS 'PAN AM' BEEN CANCELLED? Contrary to reports, ABC has not cancelled Pan Am. HollywoodLife.com says that the rumor started after one of the show's stars, Karine Vanasse, tweeted that the cast and crew 'received THE call [that] Pan Am is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we'll give it our all.'" However, an ABC source told GossipCop.com, "This is not correct. Nothing has changed. We are not cancelling Pan Am."
'THE SING-OFF' FINALE TANKS: Not many people were interested in the season finale of The Sing-Off. Ratings for the show dropped 37 in the key demo from a year ago and 20 percent in total viewership. It seems people are more interested in getting in the holiday spirit as showings of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls did well on Monday night TV.
Kim Kardashian says that her short-lived marriage has made her more realistic about relationships. The divorcee reflected on the drama in personal life, telling Glamour magazine, "I believe in love and the dream of having a perfect relationship, but my idea of it has changed."
She added, "I think I need to not live in a fairy tale like that. I think I maybe need to just snap out of it and be a little more realistic."
Kim appears to have taken the divorce as a sign that the life plan she'd laid out may have been misguided. The 31-year-old explained, "At first I was like, I want six kids. Then I went down to four, then I was down to three, and now I'm like, maybe I won't have any. Maybe I'll just be a good aunt. At this moment in my life, I feel like maybe I'm not supposed to have kids and all that."
Sister Khloe, who was included in the cover story/photoshoot along with Kourtney, responded to Kim's new outlook, saying, "Oh my God. Don't be dramatic all of a sudden!"
Kim responded, "That's how I feel. Maybe my fairy tale has a different ending than I dreamed it would. But that's OK."
Comedian Patrice O'Neal reportedly passed away yesterday morning (November 29th) as a result of a stroke he suffered back in October. He was 41. According to TMZ.com, Patrice's rep Matt Frost said in a statement, "It is with terrible sadness we must report that Patrice O'Neal has passed away this morning at 7:00 AM due to the complications of the stroke he suffered on October 19. Many of us have lost a close and loved friend; all of us have lost a true comic genius. His mother, who was also his best friend, was at his side. Patrice is survived by his wife, Vondecarlo; his step daughter Aymilyon, sister Zinder, and his mother Georgia."
Frost continued, "The family wishes to thank all of the fans and friends who have expressed an outpouring of love and support for Patrice these past weeks. We ask that you please respect the family's request for privacy at this difficult time."
Comedy Central plans to re-air his stand up special Elephant in the Room tonight -- once at 8pm and again at midnight (uncensored.)
O'Neal most recently performed at the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen back in September and was a staple in the comedy world appearing on Chappelle Show, The Office and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman as well as the Opie and Anthony radio show. He was also known for his Vh1 show Web Junk 2.0 and for his commentary on several talking head shows.
CELEBS REACT TO THE DEATH OF PATRICE O NEAL
Celebs took to Twitter to express their sadness on the passing of Patrice O Neal. Charlie Sheen said in a blog, "The entertainment world as well as the world at large lost a brilliant man today. Patrice had that rare 'light' around him and inside of him. I only knew him for the few days leading up the Roast. Yet I will forever be inspired by his nobility, his grace and his epic talent. My tears today are for the tremendous loss to his true friends and loving family."
Opie from The Opie and Anthony Show tweeted, "Yes it's true that our pal Patrice O'Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I've ever known PERIOD."
Nick Cannon tweeted, "An amazing comedian and an even better person. RIP Patrice O'Neal. Patrice was also known for his famous laugh that could be heard coming from dark corners in the back of comedy rooms when he wasn't performing. The comedy world loved him, we loved him, it is a sad day because it's a day without Patrice. He will be missed. Patrice was 41."
Sarah Silverman wrote, "RIP Patrice O'Neal. You made us laugh til we cried."
Aziz Ansari simply wrote, "RIP Patrice O'Neal," alongside a YouTube link to one of O'Neal's comedy bits.
Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino wrote, "RIP Patrice O'neal..You were one of the best."
Patrice O'Neal was born Patrice Lumumba Malcolm O'Neal on December 7, 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a stand up comedian, radio personality and actor. Patrice began is comedy career in 1992 when he attended an open mic comedy night at Estelle's Bar and Girl in Boston. He later moved to NYC in the late 90's to future pursue his dream. He then relocated to Los Angeles.
He appeared on The Apollo Comedy Hour, Showtime at the Apollo, Friday Night Videos and had a brief stint as a writer for the WWE. He also had a string of TV guest star appearances on MTV's Apt 2F, Assy McGee, Ed, Z Rock, Yes Dear, Arrested Development, Chappelle Show and The Office. O'Neal was a regular on the FOX series The Jury, and he starred in the Comedy Central animated program Shorties Watching Shorties, along with Nick DiPaolo. He supplied the voice of "Harold Jenkins" on Noggin's animated program O'Grady High and was featured as Jesus in Denis Leary's Contest Searchlight.
Patrice made his Def Comedy Jam debut in 2007, but had 3 prior half hour comedy specials withShowtime, Comedy Central, and HBO. He's had many appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote his ground breaking VH1 series Web Junk 2.0.
Patrice's movie appearances include Head of State, In the Cut, 25th Hour, Furry Vengeance, Scary Movie 4 and When in Rome.
He was also a frequent guest on the Opie and Anthony radio show and even had his own hit weekly relationship advice program entitled The Black Phillip Show.
In February 2011, Patrice started The Patrice O Neal Show Coming Soon web series and continued to travel the world performing stand up.
Katherine Heigl claims that she only lobbies for animal spaying and neutering because she hates testicles. In a PSA for the new site, IHateBalls.com, the 33-year-old goes on and on about her hatred of balls.
She says in the video, "Unfortunately I can't cut the nuts off human men -- yet. So I've dedicated my time to the neutering of dogs because that's legal."
Heigl partnered with Funny or Die for the video, which is raising funds for the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which seeks to eliminate the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference and ignorance. The charity is named for Heigl's late brother who passed away at age 15 in 1986.
Demi Moore is moving on from Ashton Kutcher. The New York Post reported that the newly-single star was spotted on a dinner date with a mystery man last weekend.
A witness told the paper, "Demi looked good, and like she was ready to be seen out. She was in deep conversation with her male companion, but it didn't look like a romantic date."
Despite the recent divorce announcement, Demi is still tweeting under the handle "@mrskutcher." An insider told E! that she hasn't switched her name because "she is technically still married and it isn't a priority at the moment."
BRITAIN PULLING EMBASSY STAFF FROM IRAN AFTER TUESDAY'S ATTACK: Britain said Wednesday (November 30th) that it's pulling out some staff and dependents from its embassy in Iran after it and an associated residential complex were stormed by protesters a day earlier in scenes reminiscent of the 1979 attack on the American embassy in which hostages were taken and held for 444 days. The protesters threw gasoline bombs at the embassy in Tehran, tore down the British flag and set fire to an embassy vehicle in what apparently began as a state-approved show of anger over the latest Western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. British Prime Minister David Cameron called the hours-long attack "outrageous and indefensible" and said Iran's failure to defend the embassy and its staff was a disgrace and would have serious consequences.
AMERICAN AIRLINES FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY: American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization yesterday (November 29th) to cut labor costs as it deals with high fuel prices and reduced travel demand. AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, also filed for bankruptcy. The company has been mired in union negotiations for years, despite massive concessions from unionized workers in 2003, saying it has higher labor costs than its rivals that have already restructured in bankruptcy. The filing could deal a blow to the pensions of some 130,000 workers and retirees. American plans to operate normally while in bankruptcy.
NORWEGIAN MASS KILLER FOUND LEGALLY INSANE: The confessed Norwegian mass killer who murdered 77 people in a shooting and bomb rampage this past July has been declared legally insane after a court-ordered mental evaluation. Norwegian prosecutors said Tuesday (November 29th) that Anders Behring Breivik belongs in psychiatric care instead of prison. The assessment found that the 32-year-old Breivik is a paranoid schizophrenic who was psychotic during the attacks, which would make him mentally unfit to be convicted and imprisoned for the massacre. Breivik has confessed to setting off a bomb in Oslo's government district that killed eight people, and then opening fire at the summer camp of the governing Labor Party's youth wing, killing another 69 people, many of them children. He's claimed to be commander of a resistance movement that wants to overthrow European governments and replace them with regimes that will deport Muslims. However, investigators say Breivik most likely plotted and carried out the attacks on his own.
CYBER MONDAY SETS RECORD AS BIGGEST ONLINE SHOPPING DAY EVER: A successful Black Friday weekend was followed by a successful Cyber Monday, with research firm comScore Inc. reporting Tuesday (November 29th) that online sales rose 22 percent to $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the biggest online shopping day ever. One year ago, Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion for the first time. IBM Benchmark, which also tracks online sales, reported an even bigger 33 percent increase, saying the average order rose by 2.6 percent to $193.24. Online content-delivery firm Akamai said that Internet traffic was up 28 percent on Monday, reaching a peak at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AT HIGHEST LEVEL IN MONTHS: The Conference Board reported Tuesday (November 29th) that consumer confidence had risen to its highest level in November since July, a sign that Americans may be more willing to spend during the holiday season. But confidence is still well below where it usually is in a healthy economy, and could easily fall after the holiday season or if the European debt crisis gets worse and stirs fears of another recession. Some good recent economic news supports the greater optimism, including unemployment ticking down to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent, and the country adding 80,000 jobs last month for the 13th straight month of gains. However, there are negative signs as well, including that home prices are falling again after posting small gains over the spring and summer, and that prices in general have risen steadily this year.
RECENT MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER SUING FORMER EMPLOYER:Sergeant Dakota Meyer, a former U.S. Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor in September for his heroism in Afghanistan, is suing his former employer, charging he blocked Meyer's attempts to get another job by claiming the veteran had mental problems and drank too much and also mocked Meyer's military service. During his brief employment earlier this year for defense contractor BAE Systems OASYS, Meyer objected to its plans to sell advanced optic scopes to Pakistan. Meyer charges that after that, manager Bobby McCreight, quote, "began berating and belittling [him] for ridiculous things," and mocked his then-nomination for the Medal of Honor, derisively referring to what he called Meyer's "pending star status." When Meyer applied for a job at another defense contractor, McCreight told that company that he was mentally unstable and had a problem with drinking in a social setting. The lawsuit calls McCreight's statements "false, defamatory and malicious," and says the defense contractor didn't hire Meyer because of what McCreight told them. BAE Systems disputes Meyer's claims and says that McCreight, who is himself a decorated former Marine, remains an employee.
JOHN WAYNE GACY VICTIM IDENTIFIED AFTER 35 Y EARS: One of serial killer John Wayne Gacy's victims has been identified after 35 years through the use of new DNA technology. Authorities announced Tuesday (November 29th) that the remains of one of eight previously unidentified bodies had been found to be those of William George Bundy, who was 19 when he vanished in October 1976 on his way to a party. Bundy's family had long suspected that he'd been one of Gacy's victims. Gacy, who killed 33 men and boys in the 1970s and hid their remains in and around his Chicago-area home, was executed in 1994.
VAN DER SLOOT SUING MURDER VICTIM'S FATHER:Joran Van der Sloot, the 24-year-old Netherlands native who's accused of killing a woman in Peru and has long been suspected in the Natalee Holloway disappearance, has filed a $10 million lawsuit targeting the Peruvian murder victim's father, among others. Van der Sloot claims that his rights were violated when he was apprehended on the run in Chile and then taken to Peru. In addition to the father of Stephany Flores, the lawsuit also names former Peruvian President Alan Garcia, Chile's former interior minister and several police generals. The suit accuses Garcia of using pressure to force Chile to extradite Van der Sloot, and charges Chilean officials denied him the right to contact his family and that he wasn't provided a defense attorney. It's unclear why Flores' father is being sued. Van der Sloot, who is currently jailed in Peru awaiting trial, faces 30 years in prison if convicted of killing the 21-year-old Flores at a Lima hotel last year.
REPORTS: RED SOX TO HIRE BOBBY VALENTINE AS MANAGER: The Associated Press and several Boston media outlets were reporting last night (November 29th) that the Boston Red Sox have chosen Bobby Valentine to be the team's new manager. The two sides were said to be working to complete a contract. Valentine has managed the Texas Rangers and New York Mets, which was his last major league managerial job ending in 2002, and managed in Japan from 2004 to 2009. He'd been working as a baseball analyst for ESPN. Valentine would succeed Terry Francona, who left as manager after eight seasons and two World Series championships, in 2004 and 2007, following Boston's record collapse in September.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA - The Muppet gang inadvertantly misdirect three letters intended for Santa, so they decide to deliver them personally.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL - The final four contestants are asked to write a fashion blog for Vogue Italia Editor in Chief Franca Sozzani.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY - One of history's most famous murder victims visits the house; Constance discovers more of Tate's bad behavior.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Stevie Wonder, Kristin Chenoweth, Kym Douglas THE VIEW - Jeremy Piven, Dane Cook
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - (repeat) THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) - Bill Cosby, Raini Rodriguez, Iron & Wine JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, My Morning Jacket THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - David Sedaris, Needtobreathe, Jeff Cesario, Tom Lenoon as the voice of Geoff LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Jeremy Piven, T.I., Hot Chelle Rae LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - (repeat) THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Bono THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Stephen Sondheim CONAN - Claire Danes, Nick Kroll
POO TATTOO STORY IS A HOAX: The viral story about a woman getting a 'poo' tattoo from a jilted ex is apparently a hoax. A story spread around the internet claiming a woman filed a $100,000 civil lawsuit against her ex, who supposedly tricked her into drinking a bottle of "cheap wine" and tequila shots -- and then tattooed a pile of steaming poo on her back instead of the Narnia scene she'd asked for. The Smoking Gun investigated and found that no such civil complaint has ever been filed.
SANTA ALREADY? A Texas man was rescued by firefighters this week after getting stuck in his chimney. Officials say the 22-year-old locked his keys in his home and attempted to enter through the chimney while his wife and child waited outside. His wife called 911 and firefighters lowered a rope down the chimney and pulled the man back up to the roof. (Fark)
WOMAN ROBS STORE WITH PENGUIN: A woman accused of holding up an Arizona service station while carrying a bomb was actually holding a toy penguin underneath her shirt as she threatened a clerk. The 26-year-old woman fled the scene when the clerk refused to cooperate, but police identified her through security footage and arrested her at her home. Although she admitted to the holdup -- she revealed that the object used in the stick up was a toy penguin. (UPI)
FEMALE GAMERS HAVE A LOT OF SEX: According to a recent study, more than half of online gamers are in fact female. Most surprisingly, the study also revealed that these women have more sex than their non-gaming counterparts. Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, female gamers were reported to be having sex up to 5% more than women offline. The study showed that they were at it more regularly too; 38% had sex at least once a week, whereas 4% less of non-players agreed. An overwhelming 64% of female gamers also described themselves as in a 'serious relationship' -- either married or living with a partner -- and 7 out of 10 said they were happy with their relationship. On top of having more sex and being in happier relationships, female players also socialized more -- whereas less than a third of non-gamers said they went out more than once a day. (Daily Mail)
MEN TAKE LONGER THAN WOMEN TO GET READY: A new study has found that men take longer than women to get ready: 81 minutes compared with womens' 75 minutes. Men are said to spend 23 minutes in the shower, 10 minutes cleansing and toning, and 13 minutes selecting an outfit. Men then take 18 minutes on their shaving regime, compared to 14 minutes for women despite them having to trim legs, armpits and bikini line. (The Frisky)
SHCOKING! MEN THINK ABOUT SEX MORE THAN WOMEN: Men think about sex more often than women, but men also think about eating and sleeping more than women do. Lead author Terri Fisher of the Ohio State University Mansfield campus said the study discredits the persistent stereotype that men think about sex every 7 seconds, which would amount to more than 8,000 thoughts about sex in 16 waking hours. The study, scheduled to be published in the January print issue of the Journal of Sex Research, found the median number of young men's thought about sex stood at almost 19 times per day, while young women reported a median of nearly 10 thoughts about sex per day. As a group, men thought about food almost 18 times per day and sleep almost 11 times per day, compared to women's median number of thoughts -- about 15 for eating and 8.5 for sleep -- the study said.
HOW TO BE THE BEST GIFT-GIVER EVER (TresSugar.com)
Do online research: Does she have any wish lists on Amazon, ShopStyle, or elsewhere? If not, consider her favorite shops and start there. A little Internet stalking in the name of gift giving never hurt anyone. Probably. What life changes happened in 2010? Graduation, move, marriage, baby? These all create new wants and needs, so consider what's going on in her life and how you can help.
Think about what she loves: Cooking, the ocean, owls, France, the color yellow, her dog. It could be anything, a full-on hobby or a little-known fetish, but if it's an inspired find then it will be fitting.
Upgrade: Consider life's edible luxuries -- chocolate, wine, gin -- and buy the finest your budget can handle.
Think every day drudgery: Maybe she travels for her job, cooks for one, or makes a long commute. Noise-canceling headphones, homemade food, or an iPod car adapter may not be the most exciting gifts but when needed are beloved.
Get experiential: Check calendars for upcoming events. Get concert tickets, visit a museum, go to a restaurant, or do anything out of the ordinary. The memorable pretty much always bests the material.
Go to the best gift shops around: A good gift shop has things people didn't know they wanted. Some items are just so cute, clever, or convenient, they cannot not be loved, like puppies.
HOW TO GET A BOYFRIEND BY THE HOLIDAYS (Cosmopolitan)
1. Go day-hiking and marvel at the amazing autumn colors on a woodsy trail. You'll both feel alive and connected to nature...and to each other.
2. Surprise him with an unexpected date that will blow his mind: a shooting range, boxing match, or beer and chocolate tasting. He'll love your creativity.
3. Instead of meeting for a beer at a local pub, sample some hard cider, or try a wine bar. Sharing something new together triggers a brain chemical rush that mimics the rush of attraction.
4. So what if Halloween is over? Go ahead and Netflix a cheesy-horror film, like Shaun of the Dead, and laugh/cringe at the scary/silly parts.
5. Invite him over for homemade s'mores you make on your stove-top. It's a sweet gesture that's not as loaded (or time-consuming) as cooking an entire fancy dinner.
6. Meet up at a local college football game; guys love anything that has to do with competition.
7. Novelty is exciting, so pick a town you've never visited before within a few hours of your house, Google-map it, get in the car, and drive there on a day road-trip.
8. Go ice-skating -- and don't be afraid to suck at it. It'll give you something goofy to bond over.
9. During the next full moon, take a long walk. Try not to talk too much; just hold hands under the moonlight.
10. If snow arrives early, pick up a cheap plastic sled and hit a nearby hill. You'll feel free, kid-like, and unguarded.
Facebook Settles FTC Privacy Case, Admits Sharing Users' Personal Info
Facebook has settled privacy violation charges brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, admitting that it shared some users' personal information without getting their permission. Under the deal, Facebook will be required to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings, and will be subjected to 20 years of independent audits. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote on the company's blog yesterday (November 29th), "I'm the first to admit that we've made a bunch of mistakes," and said they'd created two new corporate privacy officer positions to oversee the company's products and policy. Among the FTC's charges against Facebook were that it shared users' personal information with advertisers after promising that it wouldn't, and failed to warn that it was changing its website in December 2009 so that certain information that users had designated as private would be made public.
Bronx Graffiti Artists Upset About Work Appearing in J-Lo Car Commercial
The new Jennifer Lopez car commercial for the Fiat Cabrio has already been criticized for seemingly showing J-Lo driving around her old neighborhood in the Bronx when in fact she never left Los Angeles, where the scenes she was in were shot. A body double was used for the scenes actually shot in the Bronx. Now the ad is being slammed by some Bronx graffiti artists who are angry that their mural was used in it without their permission. The New York Post reports that the "I Love the Bronx" mural was created by the graffiti artists TATS Cru, and that they claim the image is copyrighted. A Fiat spokesperson said the company is investigating.
Poll: Some Americans Dread Having to Be Nice During the Holidays
A recent Consumer Reports poll found that we all may have more of the Grinch in us than we thought, with 16 percent of Americans surveyed saying they dread having to be nice to others during the holidays. Among the other things people said they dread about the holidays were:
68 percent said waiting in lines and crowds
37 percent said putting on weight
37 percent said getting into debt
28 percent said holiday shopping
24 percent said seeing relatives
15 percent said attending holiday parties and events
(Men's Health) Streamline your shopping by asking yourself these four questions first:
"What did we talk about last?" -- "People are always dropping ideas," says Lash Fary, who creates gift baskets for Hollywood events. His train commute sucks? Buy him an iTunes gift card. She just signed up for a yoga class? Buy her a mat for home.
"Can I tie in a personal experience?" -- You know what's better than that iTunes gift card? One to a restaurant you've been to together. "Use nostalgia to your advantage," says Fary. "The thoughtfulness behind it will make a small gift seem bigger."
"What does he or she do regularly?" -- Can't think of anything? Then you're not trying hard enough, says Fary. Think about it: Your wife brews coffee every morning. Your brother hikes every week. Your buddy has two dogs. Your list writes itself.
"What's the purpose of this gift?" -- If you can't answer this question, keep shopping. "Ultimately," says Fary, "gifts should be a reflection of how well you know the needs of the person you're buying them for."
(Cosmopolitan) These little clues hint that your date's more than a charmer with all the right moves he's also a quality guy at heart.
He notices your moods -- Instead of avoiding you or acting attention hungry when you're stressed, a keeper steps in to make things better say by rubbing your shoulders or running interference for you
He picks up on little things -- Asking for details about things you'd forgotten even mentioning to him means he's a great listener. A catch also remembers your schedule and suggests plans when he knows you're free not just when he is.
Your friends approve -- Your buds can bring up specific things he said because a solid prospect makes sure not just to meet but actually to interact with your pals and win them over.
You don't worry if he'll call -- A simple but important piece of the trust puzzle: When he says he'll be in touch, he is. That helps you make the leap that he'll follow through to other things down the line.
Sugarland member Jennifer Nettles snuck in a quiet wedding to boyfriend and entrepeneurJustin Miller over the weekend. The couple tied the knot in a small ceremony at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains on Saturday (November 26th) surrounded by a small group of family and close friends, including Jennifer's musical partner, Kristian Bush. Jennifer and Justin have been dating for over two years.
According to People.com, Jennifer wore an Alexander McQueen gown.
Justin appeared in Sugarland's 2006 video for "Want To."
Jennifer gets back to work on Wednesday (November 30th) with a Sugarland performance during the The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown To Music's Biggest Night. The show airs live from Los Angeles on CBS at 10 p.m. ET. Other performers include Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, and Lady Gaga.
Jennifer also hosts the CMA Country Christmas special airing on ABC on Thursday (December 1st) on ABC.
Sugarland was recently named in a lawsuit by members of survivors and families of the victims of the Indiana State Fair tragedy. They are seeking an undisclosed amount of money.
Lady Antebellum tops the Billboard country singles chart for the sixth time in their career this week with "We Owned The Night." The track has already spent weeks at Number One on the Billboard Canada Country chart.
Charles Kelley said, "This is our tour opener, and every night when we start into it, you can definitely feel the support that country radio has given this song. Everyone is ready for it, and the energy really helps get the night kicked off right and sets the tone. It's crazy to think we've had six No. one hits . . . we want to send out a big thank you to all of our friends at country radio, our record label and our fans! We know these don't come easy . . . it's a big group effort!"
"We Owned the Night" is the second chart-topping single off the group's platinum certified new Own The Night CD.
It's also one of Hillary Scott's favorite tunes on the new album, as she tells us: "I love that song. It's not necessarily with a guy, you know, in a romantic sense, but just nights in college, you know, before I met Charles and Dave and our career took off; like hanging out with my friends and staying out and staying up until four in the morning and laughing and having a great time. It's not so much about a romantic night to me, so much as just those nights that I remember growing up that were just like, you feel like you could just float off the ground, it was so much fun, and there was so much joy in it."
Jason Aldean holds down the Number One position on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart this week with "Tattoos on This Town." The song is Jason's third consecutive Number One hit from his double platinum-selling My Kinda Party CD.
Lady Antebellum will be honored as one of CMT's five Artists of the Year in December.
Fans can catch Lady A on the Fall leg of their headlining tour, which was recently extended into next year as the Own The Night 2012 World tour with Darius Rucker and special guest Thompson Square.
Gretchen Wilson has put her Nashville area home on the market just two months after the death of her beloved Uncle Vern. The late Vernon Huer lived on the property of Gretchen's 360-acre farm with the singer, her young daughter, Grace, and a number of other family members. But his unexpected death of a heart attack at the age of 44 has hit Gretchen so hard that she can't bear to remain on the family compound that he was so much a part of.
Gretchen told The Tennessean, "We just can't be there without him. It's not the same anymore. Everywhere I look, I see him. I miss him. . . It's a great place for a tight family. That was our dream, to live and work together there. The dream will have to live on for someone else now."
Uncle Vern died in September while Gretchen was on the road.
Gretchen launched her own Redneck Records in 2009, where she released her current CD, I Got Your Country Right Here.
Her 2012 plans include several solo dates.
Lauren Alaina had more than the usual problems getting through the crowds on Black Friday. TheAmerican Idol finalist was doing some shopping with friends among the throngs of bargain hunters on Friday (November 25th) when she found herself surrounded by fans. Lauren told a Chattanooga, Tennessee radio station that she was basically trapped inside a Walmart store trying to help her friend get her hands on a $19 printer. She said, "The security at Walmart came and escorted me out and stuff. They were like, 'Come on, we'll get you out.' And I didn't have to stand in line or nothing. I paid for the printer and got to leave."
Lauren also tried her hand at her local mall, but, again, she was quickly spotted despite her dressed-down look of no makeup and jeans. By this time, her friends had had enough and thought it was funny to leave her in a crowd of people seeking autographs and pictures outside a Victoria's Secret store.
Lauren did defend her fans, though, and said she was not angry at all about being mobbed.
She tells us that fame is an adjustment that is harder for friends and family than it is for her. "I mean, the only time that I feel different is when people come up to me and ask me for pictures. That's the only thing that's really different. I feel like I'm still the same person, just a lot more people know my name now, you know? I love meeting my fans, but the only time that it kind of is stressful is when I'm with my friends and family that don't really understand it. It happens to me all the time. I'm used to it. I kind of get it now but when I'm with my friends that don't get it and they get aggrivated, it puts me in a very awkward position, you know? They feel like that they know me because I was on TV and they know everything about me, and I get that because it's me that it's happening to, but friends don't always understand that."
The singer's fans can tune in on Thursday (December 1st) at 9 p.m. ET to catch her on ABC's holiday special, CMA Country Christmas. The show is hosted by Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, and will also feature performances by Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Martina McBrideand Rascal Flatts.
Blake Shelton is almost as famous for his Twitter posts as he is for is music. And as a fan of free speech, Blake has added his name to the Free To Tweet campaign which encourages kids to turn to Twitter to earn money for school.
One for All founder Ken Paulson, who runs the program sponsoring the event, said, "Free speech comes naturally to Blake Shelton. Candor and integrity are hallmarks of his career and we're very pleased to have him join this effort."
Free to Tweet begins on December 15th at midnight and runs through the end of the day. Kids ages 14-22 can enter to win scholarships by using the hashtag "#freetotweet" during that time. A total of 22 $5,000 scholarships are being offered by the program.
Brad Paisley supported the First Amendment earlier this year by joining the One For All campaign. Other stars who have joined the campaign include: LL Cool J, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ellen DeGeneres, John Mellencamp and Ke$ha.
Brandi Glanville was not happy that she had to spend Thanksgiving without her kids and she took to Twitter to express it. Brandi tweeted, "Its always nice to be threatened with jail time & loss of custody for wanting my kids 2B w there only 3 cousins for xmas!bully!"
Reportedly, Brandi's ex, Eddie Cibrian sent Brandi a nasty email after he and his current wife,LeAnn Rimes, had both of Eddie and Brandi's sons for Thanksgiving. Though Brandi reportedly got heated about the issue after LeAnn posted a picture on Twitter of "The Cibrian's" on Thanksgiving -- Brandi still felt the need to clarify that the disagreement was with Eddie and not LeAnn.
Brandi then tweeted, "To clarify the issues I am having r with Eddie. They have nothing to do with LeAnn she isn't involved. Its a custody issue of his&mine."CHECK IT OUT
David Nail, Hunter Hayes, Sunny Sweeney, Thompson Square and Eli Young Band have been announced as the CRS 2012 New Faces of Country Music Show performers. The special event will be held on February 24th at the Nashville Convention Center. It is open to registered Country Radio Seminar attendees.
Dixie Chicks Storytellers DVD is in stores today (Tuesday, November 29th). The latest installment from the VH1 Storytellers series was taped back in 2006.
Lorrie Morgan is set to perform at Christmas Concert For The Troops at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall in Washington, DC on December 6th. She will perform three songs: "My Favorite Things," "America The Beautiful" with Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young, and "In My Room" alongside The Beach Boys. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, and actor John Stamos will host Christmas Concert For The Troops.
Q. What was the title of Keith Urban's first Number One single? A. "But For The Grace Of God"
ON THE TUBE
BACKSTORY: LEANN RIMES/GAC 2:30PM (ET)
RANDY TRAVIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY/GAC 8:00PM (ET) Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, John Anderson, Gene Watson, Connie Smith and Joe Stampley
Anna Faris (actress, Scary Movie, Lost in Translation, The House Bunny, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) (35)
Ringo Garza (drummer, Los Lonely Boys) (30)
Jonathan Knight (singer, New Kids On The Block (43)
Suzy Chaffee (Olympic skier, known for her "Suzy Chapstick" TV ads) (65)
Don Cheadle (Actor, one of the stars of Ocean's 11) (47)
Kim Delaney (Actress, formerly of NYPD Blue) (50)
Andrew McCarthy (actor, St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty In Pink, Mannequin, White Collar, Royal Pains) (49)
Howie Mandel (Comedian and actor) (56)
Vin Scully (Hall Of Fame sportscaster) (84)
Garry Shandling (Comedian and actor) (62)
Gena Lee Nolin (Actress, Baywatch, Sheena) (40)
Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn player, "Feels So Good") (71)
Diane Ladd (actress, Wild At Heart, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, mother of Laura Dern) (76)
Cathy Moriarty (actress, Raging Bull) (51)
Tom Sizemore (actor with substance-abuse problems and legal entanglements, former fiance of Heidi Fleiss) (50, disputed)
Will Downing (jazz/R&B singer-songwriter) (48)
Ronny Jordan (jazz guitarist) (49)
Barry Goudreau (former guitarist, Boston) (60)
The Game (Jayceon Taylor, rapper) (32)
Felix Cavaliere (singer-keyboardist, the Rascals) (67, disputed)
John Mayall (British band leader and blues enthusiast; his groups have featured Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Aynsley Dunbar, and Free's Andy Fraser, among others) (78)
Ellen Cleghorne (actress-comedienne, Saturday Night Live, Coyote Ugly, Little Nicky) (46)
Lucas Black (actor, Friday Night Lights, Sling Blade, Jarhead, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Legion) (29)
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL IS PREGNANT: Maggie Gyllenhaal is pregnant with her second child. Life & Style magazine reported that the actress and her husband Peter Sarsgaard will welcome their new baby early next year. Rumors about the pregnancy began swirling after Gyllenhaal appeared on the red carpet for the premiere of her film Hysteria at the Rome Film Festival in Italy at the end of October sporting what appeared to be a baby bump. The two have a five-year-old daughter named Ramona.
TOBEY MAGUIRE SETTLES GAMBLING LAWSUIT: Tobey Maguire has agreed to pay $80,000 for participating in a high-stakes poker game. The actor settled his part in a lawsuit filed against participants in the game, which was organized by Bradley Ruderman, a hedge fund manager/Ponzi schemer who lost millions in the secret poker get-togethers. Creditors of his bankrupt company were seeking $300,000 from Maguire, arguing that he'd taken money that was never Ruderman's to begin with. In exchange for the $80k payment, Maguire will reportedly be released from the continuing litigation against the people said to have profited from illegal gambling with Ruderman.
EVA LONGORIA TALKS DIVORCE: Eva Longoria is opening up about her love life following her divorce from Tony Parker. Eva told Spanish Vanity Fair that she is in a good place after moving on with Penelope Cruz's little brother Eduardo. She said of Parker, "Love did not work with that person. But it can work with another. The only thing I will say is I was very lucky to find Edu."
SAM MENDES CONFIRMS NEW ROMANCE: Sam Mendes has moved on from Kate Winslet. The director has confirmed that he is dating actress Rebecca Hall -- nearly a year after they were first linked following his divorce from Kate. His rep said in a statement, "They are dating and have been for some time. I can't put an exact date on it, but certainly nothing happened until after Sam's marriage was over." Winslet is now dating Richard Branson's nephew Ned Rocknroll.
NEW ROMANCE FOR SARA GILBERT: Sara Gilbert has apparently found love again in the wake of her split from Allison Adler after a 10-year relationship. PopEater.com spotted The Talk co-host holding hands with musician Linda Perry in West Hollywood. In September, Gilbert got teary while talking about her breakup on the daytime TV show.