Monday, May 9, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Last night on Celebrity Apprentice, there were supposed to be three firings. There were actually only two, because Nene Leakes quit. She said she couldn't deal with Star anymore. LaToya Jackson and Star Jones got their walking papers, so John Rich is still hanging on. Lil Jon, Marlee Matlin and Meat Loaf are the final four who are competing to be Donald Trump's celebrity apprentice.

Taylor Swift will use a band dress rehearsal as a fund-raiser for the people whose lives were tossed around by tornadoes in the southeast. Her May 21st rehearsal at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville is being called "Speak Now...Help Now." "I was watching the coverage of the tornadoes backstage at rehearsals, and I wanted to do something for the families affected by the damage," Taylor said. "I've never opened a rehearsal to the public before, but I felt that inviting my fans to the last rehearsal for the Speak Now Tour would be a great way to raise money ... We'll probably still be doing some fine-tuning to the show that night, since this will be a true rehearsal ... but I feel like it is so important for me and my fans to help if we can." The on-sale date will be announced today, and about 13,000 tickets will be available for the rehearsal.

Reba and Blake Shelton added a second tornado-relief benefit concert in Durant, Oklahoma. The first one on May 26th sold out in less than two hours last week, so they announced a show on May 25th. The shows will be held at the Choctaw Casino Resort.

Toby Keith is back home after 12 days touring the Middle East on his 9th USO mission. He visited 11 installations, was the honorary catapult "shooter" for an F-18 launch and successfully dodged a mortar attack. He entertained about 18,000 military men and women and was in country when Osama bin Laden was killed. On Monday he said, "It's a great day to be an American. I've been telling you for a decade that the U.S. military would hunt down and kill world enemy No. 1. While traveling abroad I am blown away by the positive coverage by the world media. There is a consensus in the world media I have never seen before. Thanks to our commander in chief for having cojones to finish this job, but the mission is far from over." Here's Toby's visit with the US Navy's Big E - check out what Toby writes on a piece of ordinance at the end...

Zac Brown Band is doing some shows with Kenny Chesney this year, and is enjoying time on the road with one of his musical heroes. “Having some mentoring from folks like Kenny and Buffet and Dave Mathews and Willie…Just a lot of the people that are really iconic. Just to have those people that you can call and say, ‘How did you handle this when it came to this point?’” The "Goin' Coastal" tour stops in Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky this week.

Hank Williams Jr. is set to host a benefit concert for the people affected by the tornadoes, and he's not shy about his motivation for doing it. “That really ticked me off. Who gives a damn about the royal wedding? We’ve got three hundred people, over three hundred people that have died. That made me hot. We won’t be showing the royal wedding on this special! We’ll be showing the royalty of country music.” Joining Hank are Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Alabama, Keith Urban, Sara Evans, Ronnie Dunn and Lady Antebellum. Look for more artists to show up that night, too. The show will air live on CMT and this Thursday night at 9 Eastern.

On May 17th, Shania Twain fans can see her on the cover of Redbook Magazine and read her interview inside. She discusses her new book, her new marriage, raising her son and more.

The Today Show summer concert series has confirmed a few hot country acts. Kenny Chesney will perform on June 17, Blake Shelton on July 8 and Zac Brown Band on August 12.

It was on this day one year ago that Blake Shelton proposed to Miranda Lambert in the woods near her home in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. She said "yes" and this Saturday they seal the deal.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Had a great day.Breakfast in bed, hanging out all day, out for dinner. I was spoiled rotten ! :}"