Who's ready for the Fourth of July holiday? Apparently, Taylor Swift is--the blond superstar has just released an ad for her summery new perfume, Taylor by Taylor Swift, which shows her waving a sparkler, swinging in a sundress, and cruising around on a sunny afternoon in a top-down convertible, all to the strains of her breezy tune "Starlight."Read More »from Taylor Swift Channels Summertime Fun in New Perfume Ad
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Tue, Jul 2, 2013 3:29 PM EDT
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Tue, Jul 2, 2013 2:03 PM EDT
Photo: Christopher PolkLooks like Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" is on cruise control: Once the smash crossover hit made the charts, it's just been steadily chugging along going forward. The song has now spent a total of 17 weeks in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart — making it the longest any song has held that spot in a full 50 years.
The last tune to top the 50-year-period was Leroy Van Dyke’s "Walk On By," which spent 19 weeks on top in 1961-1962. The all-time record is 21 weeks, a feat that's been accomplished by three artists: Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow and Webb Pierce; so if FLAGA hangs on to the top spot for just five more weeks, they'll be the new overall champions.Read More »from Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Cruise’ Cruises Right Over 50-Year Chart Record
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Mon, Jul 1, 2013 12:51 PM EDT
Twitter/Sadie RobertsonWhen you're a teenage girl with one of the most notoriously overprotective fathers on the planet, what boy do you dare invite to your Sweet 16? Well, if you're "Duck Dynasty"'s Sadie Robertson, you just call on squeaky-clean "American Idol" season 10 winner Scotty McCreery!
The Robertson family was happy to welcome McCreery (who took a short break from his current tour) to Louisiana for the special day, not only to play at Sadie's party, but to partake in a full redneck romp — including off-roading with brother John Luke and sampling matriarch Kay's fried shrimp and banana pudding.
The highlight of the day, however, was certainly Sadie's party. After playing "Man of Constant Sorrow" for the crowd ("Willie and John Luke joined us on stage. That was pretty funny," McCreery noted), the 19-year-old singer joined the crowd in a full-on dance party, including a spin with the birthday girl.
As fans of "DD"Read More »from Scotty McCreery Risks ‘Duck Dynasty’ Dad’s Wrath by Dancing With Daughter Sadie
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Fri, Jun 28, 2013 1:12 PM EDT
If ever there were a born entrepreneur, Texas-bred teenager Morgan Frazier would personify it. The industrious singer-songwriter took control of her career very early on, deciding that she wanted to be a musician and coming up with a nose-to-the-grindstone plan to achieve the dream (read on!) before she even turned double digits in age.
Frazier not only began her plan, she saw it all the way through, eschewing a typical childhood to play shows and bring her music across the country, with the help of her supportive parents. By the time the talented kiddo arrived in Music City, she was an unstoppable force, landing a deal with Curb Records at 16 and scoring time with some of the city's top songwriters. She's now put out an EP, Yellow Brick Road, and the future is looking pretty golden as well.Read More »from Morgan Frazier Paves Her Own Yellow Brick Road to Nashville Success
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Thu, Jun 27, 2013 4:14 PM EDT
When you think of mega-rich country stars, which one immediately springs to mind? If you said "Taylor Swift," you'd certainly not be far off the mark. However, there's one country star who not only outearned Swift in recent months, he actually owns a piece of her earnings.
That would be Toby Keith, whom Forbes has just dubbed "Country's $500 Million Man" in reference to his total career fortune. The 51-year-old Oklahoman made more than $65 million in the last 12 months alone, the magazine estimates — putting him ahead of such top earners as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez...and, yes, Swift (who "only" earned an estimated $55 million over the same period).Read More »from This Guy Not Only Outearned Taylor Swift, He Gets Checks From Her!
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Wed, Jun 26, 2013 3:21 PM EDT
Photo: David McClisterAlthough bluegrass is a genre that has its fair share of female artists, it's hard to deny that it's one of those musical arenas that happens to be more of a boy's club. But that didn't bother bluegrass fan Kimber Ludiker, who came up with a funny spin on the genre's masculine leanings.
"It kinda started as a joke," the fiddle player explains. "Where I would just get a bunch of girls together and we'd play high-testosterone bluegrass music and wear power suits." Further tickled by the idea, she termed the music this ensemble would play should be termed mangrass.
What started out all in fun turned into something serious. Although she quickly ditched the idea of suits and the "mangrass" billing, Ludiker did assemble a group of talented female musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds and hometowns for the purpose. After recruiting Celia Woodsmith (vocals), Courtney Hartman (guitar), Shelby Means (bass) and Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolin), "We played a couple of shows and decided it would be something worthwhile to pursue."Read More »from What’s ‘Mangrass’? Bluegrass Gals Della Mae Rock Out With Unique Sound
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Tue, Jun 25, 2013 4:03 PM EDT
Photo: Christopher PolkIf you're a country music fan looking for some great music this month, Nashville isn't the city to be. Say what? Well, that's just because Milwaukee happens to be the lucky town hosting Summerfest 2013--an 11-day extravaganza billed as the "Guinness-certified World's Largest Music Festival" and featuring shows from more than 800 artists, including some of country's hottest acts such as Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean.
Although the music festival is multi-genre, hosting artists from basically all ends of the musical spectrum, it's done an admirable job at booking a healthy percentage of great country acts. In addition to the headliners, fans can also catch Jake Owen, Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Craig Morgan, Kip Moore, the Court Yard Hounds, Phil Vassar, the Mavericks, and Love and Theft.Read More »from Hankering for Live Country Music? Head to Milwaukee for Summerfest!
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Thu, Jun 20, 2013 2:12 PM EDT
When Toby Keith announced he'd be helming up a super-star-studded benefit concert for his tornado-ravaged home state of Oklahoma, country fans all thrilled at the initial bill: fellow Okies Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Ronnie Dunn; as well as Texas neighbor Willie Nelson. However, Keith's just added a new name that will have some seeing "red."
Keith and Hagar (Photo: Rick Diamond)No, it's not Taylor Swift (fooled you)! It's the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar, who hails from the land of earthquakes, not tornadoes — California — but wanted to lend a helping hand to his country friends and the Oklahoma community.Read More »from Latest Addition to Toby Keith’s Oklahoma Benefit Will Have Fans Seeing ‘Red’
For generations, Slim Whitman was more famous for being parodied than for his actual legacy. That was thanks largely to the ubiquitous TV commercials for his mail-order greatest-hits albums in the 1970s and '80s, against which comedy was the only defense. Yet his yodeling-prone voice was such a thing of beauty that the satire almost always felt affectionate, even when it was his falsetto that proved the death of an entire horde of invading aliens in a Tim Burton movie.
Watch Andy Kaufman gaze longingly at Whitman after introducing him on an episode of the late-night music program "Midnight Special" in 1981. Was the comedian and performance artist kidding, with his adoration? No more than with Kaufman's famous Elvis love.Read More »from Slim Whitman’s Greatest Hits…and Greatest Spoofs
- Wendy Geller | Our Country – Mon, Jun 17, 2013 1:33 PM EDT
She's been experimenting with a variety of naughtier looks lately, but perennial good-girl Taylor Swift finally nailed the perfect mix of classy/sexy Sunday when she rocked a striking Herve Leger dress at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto.
Swift, who took home the Favorite International Artist trophy of the night, showed off her toned curves in the tight-fitting gown — resulting in a distinctly mature but still perfectly respectable look. Caged sandals added yet another bit of super-stylish edge to the ensemble.
Donning Herve Leger may be nothing new for most starlets (fellow country babes who've tried the designer's signature bandage gown are Miranda Lambert — who sported one on her Four The Record album cover — and Kellie Pickler). However, it's definitely a new look for Swift, whose overriding aesthetic has always been soft and romantic rather than cutting-edge.Read More »from Taylor Swift Tries the Bandage Dress Look…Nails It!
News for You
- Disney secures rights for future 'Indiana Jones' films
(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co has gained marketing and distribution rights for any future "Indiana Jones" films under an agreement with Paramount Pictures, the studio that released the first four movies in the blockbuster franchise. Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc, will retain distribution rights to the original four films, the companies said in a statement on Friday. The "Indiana Jones" movies were produced by Lucasfilm, which Disney acquired in 2012. Disney has not announced plans for a fifth "Indiana Jones" movie, though the new deal could make it easier to move forward on a new installment.
- Actress Amanda Bynes leaves facility after psychiatric treatment
Troubled former teenage star Amanda Bynes has left a California facility after court-ordered psychiatric treatment and is recovering at her parents' home in Los Angeles, People magazine said on Thursday. The 27-year-old actress was receiving psychiatric care at a Malibu facility after she was alleged to have started a small fire in the front of a home in Thousand Oaks, a Los Angeles suburb, in July. "Amanda has completed her inpatient rehabilitation and she's feeling better every day," lawyer Tamar Arminak said in a statement released to the magazine. "Despite the fact Amanda is no longer in a facility, her outpatient treatment is continuing," he added.
- Kordell Stewart's divorce from his wife is final
- 'Sound of Music' alive for 18.5 million viewers
- Maya Angelou mourns longtime friend Nelson Mandela
- Factbox: Nelson Mandela in his own words
(Reuters) - Following are notable quotations by former South African President Nelson Mandela. I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender.