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Monday
Nov012010

Rascal Flatts Surgery Center to Open at Nashville Children's Hospital

Photo Courtesy - RascalFlatts [dot] com/Big Machine Records(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Rascal Flatts has raised more than $3 million in the last few years for the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville.  Now, the hospital is honoring the group in a big way by naming a new facility for the band.

The Rascal Flatts Surgery Center will offer state of the art technology to accommodate the nearly 13,000 operations performed at the hospital each year.

Band members Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus were on hand Friday as the Rascal Flatts Surgery Center sign was unveiled.

Jay says, "There are no words to adequately describe what it feels like to see that sign unveiled."  He adds, "If you leave anything behind, that sure is a wonderful thing, a wonderful legacy to leave behind."

After the sign was unveiled, Rascal Flatts performed a small show for patients at the hospital and also went from room to room passing out Halloween treats for kids who couldn't make it to the performance.  This is the sixth year in a row the guys have visited the hospital.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

Ric Ocasek Confirms New Cars Album 

Photo Courtesy - Elektra Records(NEW YORK) -- Ric Ocasek has confirmed what many websites have been buzzing about -- the release of a new album from The Cars.  Ocasek said to Showbiz411.com that the album "actually sounds like a modern version of the Cars."

A clip from "Blue Tip," one of the songs on the CD,  has already been posted on the band's official Facebook page.  Ocasek also added that he was "amazed at how we clicked when we got back together."

All of the surviving original members -- guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson -- are playing on this new album.  Bassist Benjamin Orr died in 2000.

The last album to come from The Cars was 1987's Door to Door, just before the band broke up in February of 1988.  Ocasek went on to produce albums for bands including Weezer, No Doubt, Bad Brains and Nada Surf.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct312010

No 'Dilemma' Here: Ron Howard Defends Gay Joke

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Filmmaker Ron Howard has come out in defense of his decision to keep a joke that has been deemed offensive by pundits and a gay rights group in his new movie The Dilemma.

Howard, who directed The Dilemma, defended the joke's inclusion in a note released Friday. The derogatory gag's inclusion in the film's trailer caused an uproar when it was released earlier this month. The controversy prompted the studio, Universal, to remove the line from the trailer.

In the trailer, a character portrayed by Vince Vaughn says: "Electric cars are gay. I mean, not 'homosexual' gay but 'my parents are chaperoning the dance gay.'"

"The Dilemma is a comedy for grown-ups, not kids," Howard said in the note. "It's true that the moment took on extra significance in light of some events that surrounded the release of the trailer and the studio made the decision to remove it from advertising, which I think was appropriate. I believe in sensitivity but not censorship.”

CNN's Anderson Cooper and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) spoke out against the film's trailer in the wake of the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after being bullied for being gay. Both Cooper and GLAAD objected to the use of the word "gay," calling it an unnecessary slur against homosexuals.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct302010

Randy Travis & Wife Divorce After 19 Years

Photo Courtesy - Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- Country singer Randy Travis has divorced his wife and manager, Elizabeth "Lib" Travis.  The two married in 1991, but have kept a business relationship for 34 years, ever since a teenage Randy won a talent contest at a bar Lib owned with her first husband. She is expected to continue to serve as Randy's manager.

Randy on Thursday filed a petition for the dissolution of the marriage.  The petition calls for the couple's assets to be split equally. As for why the pair is calling it quits, the papers say only that "a state of incompatibility exists between the parties."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Fergie Named Woman of the Year by 'Billboard'

Photo Courtesy - Interscope Records(NEW YORK) -- Billboard magazine has named Fergie its Woman of the Year.  Fergie will receive her award at the 2010 Billboard Women in Music event, scheduled for Dec. 2 in New York City.

The Woman of the Year award is given to a female recording artist who has "inspired the music business with her success, leadership and new ideas," and acknowledges that artist's achievement over the past 12 months.

In the last 12 months, Fergie's been touring the world with the Black Eyed Peas and has scored numerous hits and won a slew of awards with them.  The singer has also notched three number one hits and a top 10 album with her solo career.

In a statement, Fergie said, "I am humbled and excited to accept the Billboard Woman Of the Year Award...being honored by Billboard is a great career achievement."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Garth Brooks to Play in Flood Relief Concert for Nashville

Photo Courtesy - GarthBrooks [dot] com(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Garth Brooks will play his first Nashville show since 1998 on Dec. 17.  The concert is set for the city's Bridgestone Arena to raise money for victims of the May flood that left the Nashville-area under water.

Unlike his one man show in Las Vegas, Garth promises fans the Music City date will feature all the bells and whistles of his '90s heyday.  "You're gonna see the band you know.  You're gonna see the lighting rig that you know.  You're gonna see the stage that you know," says Garth.

His wife, Trisha Yearwood, will be on hand for the show.  A few surprise guests may show up, too.  Garth explains, "We're gonna use all the help we can get. As you get older, entertaining becomes tougher."

The idea for the concert began as Garth watched footage of the flood from his other home in Oklahoma.  "As doubly painful as it was to watch from outside, you're doubly proud to get to help," he says.

For now, Garth is only announcing the Dec. 17 date, but he is open to doing as many shows as the fans want saying, "If you're interested in coming to see Garth, we're gonna make it happen."

Ticket information will be announced next Wednesday. Tickets are priced at just $25, and all proceeds will go to flood relief.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Stars Dish On How They'll Be Spending Halloween This Year

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Stars love Halloween, but maybe that's because it's a rare chance for them to go out in public without being recognized.  Here's a roundup of how some stars, and their kids, are celebrating Halloween this weekend:

-- If a car approaches you in Los Angeles on Halloween and someone in that car offers you all the candy you want, don't run the other way -- it just might be Janet Jackson.  She tells ABC News Radio, "I like to get those plastic laundry bags, and fill it with candy, and drive around and just give it to kids....we drive around in the car and let them take as much as they want."

-- Jon Bon Jovi has four kids, and he says his two youngest ones have their costumes all planned out -- for the moment.  He says his son Romeo "is some character called Toad," admitting, "I don't know what that is."  And his son Jacob is "some kind of zombie ninja something-or-other, the bloodier the better for him."  But, he adds, "You know as well as I know it, it will change between now and the weekend."

-- Jesse McCartney says he hasn't done much for Halloween in recent years, but he and his buddies have a big plan for a costume this year: they want to go as Blackberry Emoticons.  McCartney says, "We wanna paint our faces yellow, and put on white t-shirts, and then draw...all the faces: happy, sad, embarrassed, sick... one guy will be green...I think it'd be kinda fun."

-- Melissa Etheridge has four kids, and she says her two older ones are still way into Halloween.  She says her son plans to go as a backyard this year -- she explains, "He dresses up all in Astroturf."  Etheridge's friend Crystal Bowersox says her little son Tony has been pretending to be a dog lately, so she might dress him as a puppy.  Alternately, Bowersox says, "Maybe I'll be Snoopy and he's Woodstock or something," adding, " We're gonna do a family Halloween.  It's gonna be really cheesy, horrible and over-the-top."

-- Taio Cruz says that he plans to go as "the most evil thing in the world -- a lawyer."  He'll just wear a suit, he says.  Otherwise, he adds, "I'll be a Jedi or something like that, and go hang out with some friends."

-- Carrying on a joke he's been doing for the past 40 years, Donny Osmond says, "I'm gonna dress up and be somebody really, really scary.  I'm gonna dress up as Marie."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Far East Movement Still #1; Taylor Swift Sets Another Record 

Photo Courtesy - CherryTree Record/Interscope Records(NEW YORK) -- Far East Movement is still flying high on the charts.  Their song "Like A G6" spends a second week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

But the big news is that Taylor Swift has set yet another chart record, as her song "Mean" debuts at number 11.  That makes Swift the only artist in history to score the chart's "Hot Shot Debut" honors -- given each week to the highest-debuting single -- three weeks in a row.

Before "Mean," she had "Speak Now" last week at number eight, and before that, "Back To December," at number six.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

'Saw 3D' Debuts Nationwide Friday

Photo Courtesy- Lionsgate Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- The seventh and final Saw film buzzes into theaters this Friday, just in time for Halloween.  Saw 3D finds survivors of the late Jigsaw's deadly mind games putting themselves in further danger when they reach out to a fellow survivor who's a self-help guru.

Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes and Sean Patrick Flanery star in the R-rated horror flick -- the only movie opening in wide release. 

Tobin Bell, who reprises his role of the villainous Jigsaw, says he admires horror fans because they're passionate about the genre.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

University to Offer Course in Lady Gaga

Photo Courtesy - Streamline Records(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Lady Gaga fans who are in college may want to put in a transfer request to the University of South Carolina -- the school will be offering a course next spring called Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.

According to the school's paper, The Daily Gamecock, the course will be taught by Mathieu Deflem, a USC professor of sociology, and a huge Lady Gaga fan.

Deflem tells the paper that initially he was going to call the class The Sociology of Fame or The Sociology of Celebrity, and use Lady Gaga as an example, but then, he says, "I thought, 'Oh, what the hell?  Let's make the whole freaking course about Lady Gaga and her rise to fame."

The course will be studying Gaga as a social phenomenon -- an entity who has 10 million Facebook fans and six million Twitter followers.  It's not about her music, it's about "mechanisms and conditions" of her rise to popularity.

Deflem says the course won't be hard, but there will be a lot of work, including readings on music, pop culture, sex and gender.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio