Monday, May 23, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Well, he did it! Last night, John Rich won Celebrity Apprentice. After a season filled with drama and big-star clashes, John won out by playing it cool. According to John, “You had to keep your head in the game and you had to be thinking forward and not become a victim of that game. You had to make that game work for you.” Asked why he did the show, he pointed to the performance of "For the Kids" that he did last night and replied, “You had to keep your head in the game and you had to be thinking forward and not become a victim of that game. You had to make that game work for you.” On hand to support John during the finale were Trace Adkins, Two Foot Fred and radio talk-show host Dave Ramsey, all friends of the Rich half of Big & Rich. John's goal was to earn over a million dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a feat he more than accomplished when he pocketed the $250,000 prize last night.

While John Rich was busy winning Celebrity Apprentice, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift were busy winning Billboard Music Awards. Taylor won Top Billboard 200 Artist, Tops Country Artist and Top Country Album for "Speak Now." Lady Antebellum won Top Country Song with "Need You Now." Lady Antebellum performed on the show, singing "Just a Kiss" and Keith Urban performed "Long Hot Summer.

Taylor Swift's Saturday night dress-rehearsal-turned-fund-raiser raised over $750,000 for tornado relief. Speak Now, Help Now happened at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, with all tickets sold for $50, and those in attendence got a commemorative t-shirt in addition to the show. The North American leg of Taylor's "Speak Now" tour kicks off Friday night.

Reba was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame yesterday, along with Bobby Braddock and Jean Shepard. On hand to help celebrate were Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Kelly Clarkson and Garth Brooks. The inductees will be honored again during the CMA Awards this fall. What does this honor mean to Reba? According to country music's favorite redhead, “Well, you know I hadn’t been nervous at all until now. We’re walking into the doors of the Country Music Hall of Fame, a place I’ve been to visit. But, to have my bronze plaque up on the wall of all my heroes, people who I’ve learned and studied and admired through all these years. That’s just a dream come true.”

Dierks Bentley raised some dough over the weekend, too, as his Miles and Music for Kids benefit ride and concert hit Columbus, Ohio. Joe Nichols, Uncle Kracker, Troy Gentry, Josh Thompson and Miss Willie Brown were all part of the fun. Over a thousand riders participated in the event, which resulted in an 8-mile-long string of motorcycles on Ohio roads. The ride benefitted Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Carrie Underwood is now officially the top-earning artist spawned by American Idol. She's sold 12.5 million albums and 18.5 million digital tracks since she won AI in 2005. Kelly Clarkson is second on the sales list, followed by Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, David Cook and Kellie Pickler. American Idol creator Simon Fuller will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today and Carrie will be on hand to support him.

Tomorrow night, Sara Evans returns to Dancing With The Stars, performing "A Little Bit Stronger." She was a contestant on the show in 2006, but dropped out before the end of the season due to the instability in her previous marriage.

John Rich's benefit cd, "For the Kids," is available at Dollar General stores as well as at the chain's website. Proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Brad Paisley's "This Is Country Music" is out today, and the video debuted over the weekend at the NASCAR All-Star race.

Rascal Flatts is on the Oprah show today.

Happy birthday to Jewel, Shelly West and Mac Wiseman today.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "Oh god I'm bleeding!!! I'm bleeding!!! Wait. Oh.... It's just ketchup."