I’ve always wondered if the judges on American Idol get emotional when the cameras aren’t rolling. Now I know they do because Harry Connick Jr. admitted as much Tuesday (Feb. 18) when he was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“Can I tell you something?” Connick asked DeGeneres when they started talking about the reality show’s history-making decision to welcome M.K. Nobilette — an openly gay woman — into the Top 15.
“They didn’t show this on the air,” Connick said of his emotional outburst. “When she came in, and we told her she went through, she told us that she was gay. And I can’t remember who said what, but it was something to the effect of ‘the world is changing and, thank God, the world is changing.’ I lost it. I hope I don’t get emotional now.”
Fellow judge Jennifer Lopez actually made the comment last week after Nobilette told the judges, “I’m very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America and everywhere else who will definitely hate me. But I think that in the last two years, there have been a lot of things that have really changed that and have made it a positive thing.”
Connick acknowledged he doesn’t always like to hear the contestants’ back stories because Idol is supposed to be all about their talent.
“I’m like, ‘If this is what happens when somebody goes through, what’s gonna happen when somebody doesn’t go through?’” he said. However, when Nobilette shared her story, he said he immediately thought, “What a wonderful day in our country.”
McGraw and Hill’s three daughters — Grace (almost 17), Maggie (15) and Audrey (12) — have the very best role model right in their own home.
“I think the best thing, or the greatest thing, my girls have going for them is having their mother as a role model,” he said in a quote from his record label. “I think that all they have to do is watch her and be exposed to how she lives her life and the way she treats people and the way she takes care of her family.”
Taking care of her family is definitely Hill’s priority right now. Even though McGraw has been touring and recording nonstop throughout their 17-year marriage, Hill has kept her music industry commitments to a minimum during the past eight years. She’s done the Las Vegas show at the Venetian with McGraw, but other than that, she’s been staying out of the spotlight and staying close to her family. Hill’s last studio album (not including her Christmas album in 2008) was Fireflies in 2005.
McGraw added there is no better woman who his girls could look up to.
“I think that they’re learning the best lesson that they could possibly learn just having her as someone to look up to and as someone to learn from,” he said.
“Lookin’ for That Girl,” McGraw’s latest single, will be on his new album scheduled for release in May.
- 2000, Garth Brooks signs a contract to join the New York Mets during spring training at Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets will contribute to his Touch ‘Em All Foundation for kids
- 1987, Willie Nelson’s movie “Red Headed Stranger” premieres in Austin. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and football coach Darrell Royal
- 1977, Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard country chart with “Moody Blue”
- 1974, Dolly Parton announces she’s ending her duet partnership with Porter Wagoner
A federal jury in Nashville has declared that the more than $223,000 Garth Brooks provided a business associate for her divorce and child custody expenses was a loan, as Brooks maintained, and not a gift.
As reported in The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper, the jury made its decision within an hour of deliberation Thursday (Feb. 13) at the end of a three-day trial in U.S. District Court.
Lisa Sanderson, who headed the Los Angeles office of Brooks’ Red Strokes Entertainment, a movie and TV production company, was dispensed the money in several payments between 2005 and 2007.
Because it was an unprofitable undertaking for most of its 18-year existence, Brooks decided to close Red Strokes as an active unit in 2010.
The first half of the trial was given over to presenting emails and testimony from Brooks’ business manager, Cheryl Harris, that undergirded the singer’s assertion that the money he provided Sanderson had always and clearly been characterized as a loan.
Various emails spelled out loan repayment schedules, and Harris pointed out that had Brooks given the money as a gift, he would have been obligated to specify it as such on his tax returns.
Sanderson’s lawyer argued that the email documentation and Harris’ testimony were only part of the story and did not take into account all the communications made between the two antagonists.
Questioned by Brooks’ lawyer, Harris testified that Brooks had been generous with Sanderson, from chartering a plane at his own expense for her to visit her ailing father to allowing her and her assistant to keep their computers after the Red Strokes office was closed.
The jury’s decision means that Sanderson is charged with paying the original loan, with interest, as well as court costs and Brooks’ legal expenses for the trial.
Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s to the Good Times has bounced back into first place on Billboard’s country albums chart, and Luke Bryan’s dolorous “Drink a Beer” tops the trade publication’s country airplay chart for the second week.
Eric Paslay’s self-titled CD is the week’s highest debut, breaking into the Top 5 cluster at No. 4 on Nielsen SoundScan-calculated sales of 10,655 copies.
The other album newcomers are Whiskey Myers’ Early Morning Shakes (No. 10), Tim McGraw’s Love Story (No. 19) and Moonshine Bandit’s Calicountry (No. 22). A Walmart exclusive, the McGraw album is a compilation of recordings he made during his tenure on Curb Records. He is now signed to Big Machine Records.
Vince Gill and Paul Franklin’s salute to the music of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Bakersfield, takes a major bounce, springing this cycle from No. 18 to No. 7.
Four songs move onto the chart for the first time: Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic” (No. 26), Parmalee’s “Close Your Eyes” (No. 55), Darius Rucker’s “Miss You” (No. 56) and Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance” (No. 59).
The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 albums this week are Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party, Jennifer Nettles’ That Girl and Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park (last week’s No. 1), in that order.
Trooping in directly behind “Drink a Beer” in the Top 5 songs lineup are Jason Aldean’s “When She Says Baby,” Cole Swindell’s “Chillin’ It,” David Nail’s “Whatever She’s Got” and Paslay’s “Friday Night.”
So are you up for another round of Title Tales, via which we string current chart song titles together to reveal a greater (or infinitely lesser) truth?
How about “Miss You/Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” or “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About/Friday Night” or even “When She Says Baby/I Hold On”?
Try it. No electronic assistance required.
- 2010, Lady Antebellum collects a double-platinum single for “Need You Now”
- 1997, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” brings Deana Carter a double-platinum album
- 1988, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner perform together for the first time since their 1974 breakup, while taping an episode of “Dolly!” at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House
- 1969, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan record “Girl From The North Country” at the Columbia Studio in Nashville for Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album. Among the unreleased performances are “T For Texas,” “That’s All Right” and “You Are My Sunshine”
- 2001, Brad Paisley is inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He wears the yellow jacket that Buck Owens wore the night he recorded his “Live At Carnegie Hall” album. Paisley sings “Two People Fell In Love,” from his upcoming album
- 1996, Joe Diffie’s “Bigger Than The Beatles” is big enough to hit #1 on the Billboard country singles list
- 1993, With his version of “Stand By Your Man” featured in “The Crying Game,” Lyle Lovett sings the song with Tammy Wynette on “The Tonight Show”
- 1974, Bryan White is born in Lawton, Oklahoma. The smooth-voiced singer wins the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1996, honoring such hits as “Someone Else’s Star,” “Look At Me Now” and “I’m Not Supposed To Love You Anymore”
- 2007, Big & Rich and John Anderson perform jointly in Franklin, Tennessee, in a taping of “CMT Cross Country.” Among their collaborations: “Swingin’” and “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)”
- 1997, Garth Brooks greets Melinda and Ricky Huffman at the Charleston Coliseum in West Virginia with a raft of gifts, as his tour pulls in its 2 millionth customer. The couple gets a Chevy Tahoe and a Caribbean vacation
- 1986, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson star in the NBC-TV movie “The Last Days Of Frank & Jesse James.” The cast also includes Ed Bruce, David Allan Coe and June Carter Cash
- 1969, George Jones marries Tammy Wynette in Ringgold, Georgia, six months after they announced the marriage
- 2007, Bucky Covington’s first video, for “A Different World,” has its world premiere on CMT
- 1987, Columbia releases Ricky Van Shelton’s debut album, “Wild-Eyed Dream”
- 1978, Crystal Gayle becomes the first country-based female artist to receive a platinum album, for “We Must Believe In Magic”
- 1975, T.G. Sheppard collects his first #1 country single in Billboard magazine with “Devil In The Bottle”
And the response from Lambert’s followers? Let’s just say their endless retweets were heard ’round the world. And Jennifer Nettles was one of the women who celebrated and echoed Lambert’s words.
“I think that we are so challenged as women to be everything and do everything and make it look easy,” Nettles told Redbook magazine. “Also to speak our minds but not be bitchy. All these things are, quite frankly, impossible to achieve. So knowing what we want — no, it doesn’t make us a bitch. It makes us know what we want, plain and simple.”
Nettles revealed that knowing what she wants can lead to being in the spotlight, which can lead to too much self-critiquing.
“Perfectionism is really a challenge for me, and it causes me to be super-critical of myself in so many ways — about body image constantly, about parenting, about being a mother. For me, that’s still my most important job, ever, and I don’t want to mess it up. And yet, there’s no perfect way to do it!
“You know? It’s important to have an examined life — but it’s a fine line between having an examined life and being hypercritical of oneself. There has to be balance in there somewhere. I haven’t found it yet. When I do, I’ll let you know.”
I follow Nettles on Instagram, and I have to say it looks like she does have balance in her life. She never seems to take herself too seriously. She’ll post pictures of anything and everything. Especially food.
“I have a sweet tooth the size of Connecticut. It’s a problem. I think about it all the time. If only popcorn was what I wanted! I do love a good salt-and-vinegar chip, but I like to follow it with a brownie,” Nettles admitted to the magazine.
The response to That Girl, her solo album, has been simultaneously inspiring, motivating and a relief.
“It makes me feel vulnerable to put myself out there is a new way,” she said. “You hope your fans have evolved with you and that the music will gain new fans, too! You do your best, but you never know.”