Country music special featuring stars performing from home to take ACM Awards' April slot
In the era of the coronavirus, the country music world is taking extra precautions and finding new ways to bring entertainment to fans. The Academy of Country Music announced on March 19 that it would present a two-hour special on CBS featuring social-distancing stars performing from their homes. The special will be called "ACM Presents: Our Country" and will air on Sunday, April 5, at 8 p.m. — the time slot previous scheduled for the ACM Awards, which have been postponed until September amid the global health crisis. The event will "feature intimate conversations and at-home acoustic performances with top country artists, along with clips of their favorite moments from the Academy of Country Music Awards' 55-year history," the ACM said. Participating artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Beyonce retweets #HOMEcoming online watch party and the Beyhive freaks out
It was time to get in formation! With everyone advised to stay home amid the COVID-19 crisis, Beyonce's fans found ways to connect with one another this week. Beyhive member Jasmyn suggested a watch party for Bey's Netflix documentary, "Homecoming," on March 16 and was floored when Beyonce herself retweeted it two days later. Fans all over watched "Homecoming" on Wednesday, March 18, at 9 p.m. ET and tweeted their thoughts with the hashtag #HOMEcoming, which started trending.
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Dixie Chicks reflect on getting blacklisted 17 years ago: "Imagine what [we] would say now"
The Dixie Chicks are reflecting on their infamous fallout with the country music world. On the March 16 episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the bandmates sat down and spoke about how they've dealt with all the drama in the years since. "Imagine what she would say now," Martie Maguire joked, referring to what Natalie Maines would say about President Donald Trump instead of President George W. Bush. Natalie added, "I think we were one of the first people to experience that cancel culture, and I think what we said back then — what I said back then — would not even be a thing today because it was really mild compared to what people say today." The new Dixie Chicks album, "Gaslighter," due May 1, is their first studio effort since 2006. When asked about what took so long, Martie explained, "we needed to get mad again and have something to write about."
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Miley Cyrus stopped wearing bikinis after infamous MTV VMA performance
Miley Cyrus is getting real about her most controversial moments. On March 17, the star opened up on her Instagram Liv, telling fans, "I basically went through two or three years where I wouldn't wear shorts. I stopped wearing skirts on stage… because after the [2013 MTV] VMAs and I had on my cute little nude bodysuit, everyone started comparing me to a turkey and putting a turkey in my outfit." She continued, "I was just so skinny and so pasty and they kept putting me next to this turkey, and I was feeling so bad on myself that I did not wear a bikini for like, two years." But Miley also said she thinks there were some positives that came out of the drama. "Not only was culture changed, but my life and career were changed forever. It inspired me to use my platform for something much bigger. If the world is going to focus on me and what I am doing, then what I am doing should be impactful and it should be great," she said.
Kid Rock's Nashville bar initially refused to close despite city order
Despite a city order from Nashville Mayor John Cooper to close all bars amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Kid Rock's Nashville bar initially refused to shut its doors on March 15. The music star's business partner Steve Smith released the following statement: "We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Cooper to combat the COVID-19 virus, but unless there's a statewide mandate that directs all bars and restaurants to be closed, the request made by Mayor Cooper is unconstitutional as he is targeting a select group of businesses." But one day later, the establishment changed course and agreed to close, Variety reported.
Justin Timberlake recalls Alcatraz adventure with one of his *NSYNC bandmates
Justin Timberlake has opened up about some of the more wild times from his *NSYNC days. He appeared on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" on March 18 to discuss the time the boy band had an adventure at Alcatraz, the island prison off the San Francisco coast. The crooner said, "I accidentally broke into Alcatraz one time. I was in a group, *NSYNC… [and] we were shooting a video in the redwoods near San Francisco. We ended up shooting one scene on this pier, directly across from Alcatraz. And at that time, I was watching 'The Untouchables' over and over again. And I was obsessed with the fact that Al Capone… they put him in Alcatraz." So Justin and bandmate Joey Fatone decided to go to the prison with a group of firemen. The duo sneakily joined a tour that was in progress that had just made their way to Capone's cell when they were found out. Justin continued, "We get a tap on the shoulder and they're like, 'Come with me.' And I was like, 'Joe, we are going to go down in history as the dumbest people ever. We got caught breaking into a prison!'" They got off with a warning and just had to pay the price of a ticket.
Katy Perry scores reversal in "Dark Horse" copyright case
Katy Perry just scored a legal win. On March 18, a judge overturned a copyright infringement verdict regarding her hit single "Dark Horse." Last year, Katy and others who worked on the song were ordered to pay $2.8 million to rapper Flame after a jury decided that an eight-note musical segment from the tune had been lifted from the lesser-known song "Joyful Noise." A California federal judge said that the jury's ruling was not supported by the evidence in the case, stating, "a relatively common 8-note combination of unprotected elements that happens to be played in a timbre common to a particular genre of music cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection." Had Katy lost this appeal, she personally would have been on the hook for $550,000 for her share of damages.
Lady Gaga teases "Chromatica" duet with female pop star: It's a "celebration of all the tears"
Will there be some major duets on Lady Gaga's new album, "Chromatica"? According to the Oscar winner, the answer is yes! During an interview with Paper Magazine released on March 16, Gaga confirmed that she's working with a major female pop star, revealing that she recorded a duet with a prominent woman in the music industry on a mammoth dance song that serves as a "celebration of all the tears" both have experienced as public figures grappling with personal trauma. She continued, "I sat with her and we talked about our lives. It's two women having a conversation about how to keep going and how to be grateful for what you do." While no one knows who the artist is yet, some fans believe it's Ariana Grande, as the two have been chatting a lot on social media. "Chromatica" is set for release on April 10.