Country music's the Dixie Chicks change name to The Chicks
On June 25, country music group the Dixie Chicks announced that they had changed their name to The Chicks, explaining on their website, "We want to meet this moment." The trio has already changed their social media handles and website to reflect their new name and amended the cover of their upcoming album, "Gaslighter," to reflect it. The same day, they released a new song, "March March," as "The Chicks." The move, made in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests around the country, follows a similar decision by fellow country stars Lady A, who were formerly known as Lady Antebellum.
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Rapper Tray Savage shot and killed at 26
Up-and-coming rapper Tray Savage was shot and killed on June 20 in Chicago. According to authorities, the rapper (real name: Kentray Young) — who's known for songs like "I Got the Mac" and "Faces" — was shot in the neck and shoulder reportedly while driving his girlfriend home. The incident is currently under investigation.
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Beyonce and JAY-Z release new song "Black Parade" on Juneteenth weekend
Beyonce continues to support the Black community. On June 19, she dropped "Black Parade" to celebrate Juneteenth. The song, which is about empowerment and resilience, focuses on recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. "Rubber bullets bouncin' off me / Made a picket sign off your picket fence," Beyonce sings on the track that was co-written by her husband, JAY-Z. The singer tweeted earlier that day, "Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power." Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
Carly Pearce and Michael Ray are divorcing after eight months of marriage
On June 19, country music singer Carly Pearce filed to divorce fellow country star Michael Ray after eight months of marriage. "This was a hard decision. It wasn't something she wanted to have to do. This hasn't been a quarantine realization — it was a last resort," a source told People magazine.
Billie Eilish unfollows everyone on Instagram
While singer Billie Eilish might have 64 million Instagram followers, the singer this week decided to stop following everyone. On June 24, fans noticed that Billie had unfollowed all accounts and began to speculate on her move. Right before she deleted everything, Billie shared an Instagram Story that said, "If I am following your abuser DM ME & I will unfollow them. I support you."
Pink mocks President Trump's poor rally attendance
Pop star Pink took a shot at Donald Trump following poor turnout at his June 20 campaign rally at the 19,000-capacity BOK Center arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "I think I sold that same place out in five minutes #donkeyshow," Pink tweeted the same day.
What we know about Nick Cordero's COVID-19 battle
Broadway singer-actor Nick Cordero is still struggling to recover his health amidst a lengthy battle with COVID-19. Wife Amanda Kloots has kept fans informed every step of the way for three months now. The "Waitress" star got sick on March 20 and was initially misdiagnosed with pneumonia. He was soon hospitalized with the coronavirus and placed on a ventilator. Blood clot complications led the the amputation of his right leg on April 18. In the ensuing days, Amanda revealed Nick, who battled multiple fevers and other issues, was fitted with a temporary pacemaker. His lungs, she said, "are severely damaged and look almost like he's been a smoker for 50 years." In May, he awakened from his coma, but he remained too weak to move or talk. Amanda later shared he'd lost 65 pounds. "I've been told a couple times that he won't make it. I've been told to say goodbye. I've been told it would take a miracle," she wrote on Instagram on June 3. "Well, I have faith." Nick has since undergone stem cell treatments and in mid-June, Amanda was finally able to visit him in the hospital. As Nick remained hospitalized, the former Rockette urged followers to "stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance and don't leave your home unless you have to. … You don't want your loved one to get this virus. It's still here and unfortunately increasing again. I never thought Nick or I would get COVID and we both thought if we did we would be able to stay at home and recover. Nick is 41 years old, in shape and had no preexisting health conditions. He is going on day 75 in the ICU. My heart breaks for him everyday. Please be safe."
Tom Petty's family calls out Trump for using his music
On June 21, four members of Tom Petty's family released a statement on Twitter calling out President Donald Trump for using the late rocker's classic "I Won't Back Down" without authorization. The statement read, "Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind. Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together." The family continued, "We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn't stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage. Concurrently, we have issued an official cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign." The POTUS has been called out numerous times by artists for using their music without their authorization.
Ronnie Wood opens up about 10 years of sobriety: "Life's better now"
The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood opened up about his 10-year journey of sobriety this week. The Daily Telegraph reported on June 23 that Ronnie said he's had "a great time" without using drugs and alcohol. The 73-year-old rocker continued, "I got clean! My life's better now." He talked about how he used to party all night then show up at home for breakfast to play Dad. He admitted that in 2010, he was ready for a lifestyle change. "I don't have any bitterness or anger. I'm wiser now. I had a great time and I still do, but in a different way," he explained. Ronnie spoke to how his bandmates have looked out for him, explaining, "Mick [Jagger] asked me if I wanted to help myself, and was there anything he could do to help. I appreciated that, they've been very caring around me." Ronnie has four adult children and 4-year-old twin girls with wife Sally.
Ariana Grande sent snacks to voters in Kentucky
Ariana Grande sent caffeine and food to people waiting in line to vote in the Democratic primary election at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville on June 24. The actress tweeted, "sent some food and coffee trucks for everyone waiting in line ! please pull up, enjoy and use your voice today we need u." The move came after thousands of polling locations in the state were closed down — it went from 3,000 to 200 — citing coronavirus concerns and lack of volunteers, which led to claims of voter suppression. The poll closing time was extended by 30 minutes as a crowd formed outside but traffic still prevented many from voting. The Democratic nominee will face off against Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this fall.
Black Eyed Peas reveal reason Fergie left the group
The Black Eyed Peas have opened up about why Fergie is no longer part of the group. During a June 23 interview with Billboard, the group said that Fergie left to devote herself to being a "great mom." Will.i.Am continued, saying, "We love her, and she's focusing on being a mom. That's a hard job, and that's what she really wants to do and we're here for her… It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we're respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her." With Fergie out, they're excited to introduce fans to singer J. Rey Soul, who semi-officially joined the group in 2018 after winning the Philippines' version of "The Voice." "I really want to give her ultimate praise and respect," Taboo added. "What the fellows said — Ferg, she's doing the mom thing — but we have an amazing artist we're developing."
Former "American Idol" winner tests positive for COVID-19
On June 23, 2019 "American Idol" winner Laine Hardy announced that he'd tested positive for the coronavirus. The 19-year-old singer wrote on Instagram, "This wasn't what I expected on the first day of summer." While he is taking the illness seriously, he said that thankfully, his "symptoms are mild."