Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The DIRT - 1.2.18

KEITH URBAN: Gives Awards to Fans

Keith Urban capped off 2017 by giving four fans each custody of one of his CMT Music Awards for a year. 
The gesture symbolically thanks all his fans for his four-trophy win at the fan-voted awards last June.
He picked up Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for "Blue Ain't Your Color," as well as Collaborative Video of the Year with Carrie Underwood for "The Fighter" and Social Media Superstar of the Year.

RICK HALL: Legendary Producer and Studio Owner Dead

Rick Hall, whose FAME studio in Alabama was home some of rock and R&B's greatest session players, died this morning (Tuesday). He was 85.

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Along with founding and running the studio, Hall was a producer, songwriter and music publisher. He worked with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Roy Orbison, Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman and Brenda Lee, whose success helped make the small Alabama town a musical destination.

But his fiery temper led to trouble -- Hall got into a brawl with Franklin's husband Ted White, which led to Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegun cutting ties with the studio.

The original FAME was in the town of Florence, Alabama; it was later moved to the nearby town of Muscle Shoals. FAME stood for Florence, Alabama Music Enterprises. 

Hall worked extensively with country artists from the 1970s on, producing Alabama, Shenandoah, Jerry Reed, Tim McGraw and Mac Davis.

The subject of a 2013 documentary, Hall published his autobiography The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame in 2015. 

RAELYNN: Searching for Missing Dog

RaeLynn is desperately searching for her Chihuahua, Dolly, who has been missing since New Year's Eve.

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RaeLynn was performing at The Island in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Sunday night when the little dog bolted after getting frightened by fireworks at midnight. 
She's offering a 5000 reward for Dolly's return.

CHARLES KELLEY: Celebration Goes to the "Dawgs"

Charles Kelley fractured his foot a few days before Christmas, but that didn't stop him from chest bumping his buddies after his beloved Georgia Bulldogs' victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in yesterday's (Monday) Rose Bowl.
The Dawgs beat the Sooners 54-48. 

LOOKING AHEAD: Top Tours on Tap for 2018

While some stars plan to continue tours that began in 2017, many new tours will start up in the new year.
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Chris Young’s Losing Sleep tour is set to begin on January 11th in Indianapolis, IN. So far, 20 dates have been announced. Kane Brown, LANCO, Morgan Evans and Dee Jay Silver will be along for the ride.

Miranda Lambert will begin her Livin’ Like Hippies tour on January 18th in Greenville, South Carolina. Jon Pardi and others will open the shows.

Brantley Gilbert’s The Ones That Like Me tour will get going on February 1st in Worcester, MA.  Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips are openers.

Little Big Town’s The Breakers tour kicks off on February 8th in Oklahoma City, OK. Kacey Musgraves and Midland will serve as openers.

Blake Shelton’s Country Music Freaks tour starts its 14-date run on February 15th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The shows will feature Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce and Trace Adkins.

Cole Swindell has plotted his very first arena headlining tour in 2018. The Reason to Drink tour, featuring Chris Janson and Lauren Alaina, kicks off on February 15th in Allentown, PA.

Although Luke Bryan has only announced 10 dates on his What Makes You Country tour, it’s sure to be one of the biggest of the year. With Kip Moore and The Cadillac Three as openers, the tour begins on February 16th in Springfield, MO.

Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes tour will get going on April 5th and hit 30 cities. Brett Young will serve as the main opener, with Russell Dickerson, Jillian Jacqueline and Carly Pearce (joining on the first leg) and Midland (on the second).

After taking a year off from touring, Kenny Chesney will head back on the road in 2018 in the Trip Around the Sun tour. The 18 stadium dates kick off on April 21st in Tampa, Florida, with Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay opening. Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne will also be on hand at the tour's final stop -- Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on August 24th.

Shania Twain has tour plans for 2018, beginning May 3rd in Tacoma, Washington. She'll hit more than 40 U.S. cities before wrapping up in Las Vegas on August 4th. 

BROTHERS OSBORNE: New Year Resolutions

It's officially 2018, and millions of people have kicked off the new year resolved to become healthier. The boys of Brothers Osborne just don't understand that logic.

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Brothers Osborne have a big year lined up. They'll join Luke Bryan for a few stops on his What Makes You Country tour then open the last two shows on Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun tour.

MIDLAND: Believe in Positive Resolutions

The boys of Midland are very strategic about their New Year's resolutions.

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2018 is sure to be a busy year for Midland. They hit the road with Little Big Town to open on The Breakers tour next month.

D.A. Of The Day - 1.2.18

WEIRD NEWS: Breakfast and a Break-In

A New Zealand man could've creamed an intruder who broke in to sleep on his couch -- but instead, he offered the guy a cup of coffee with cream and a plate of toast before sending him on his way. 

Instead of waking the stranger, who had taken a bean bag and used it as a blanket while he slept, Mr Pryor let the young man sleep for a while

Gordon Pryor woke up at the crack of dawn and went downstairs to grab a cup of coffee when he was startled at the sight of a young man snoring away on his couch. He thought about calling cops to rouse the lad, but decided to just let him sleep it off -- then offer him a stern lecture about breaking and entering, along with a breakfast of toast and coffee.

The younger man, whose name was not released, said he'd taken the wrong shuttle bus after leaving a music festival some 15 miles away, and got nervous about finding a place to stay, so he climbed in an open window at Pryor's place. The 60-year-old described his visitor as apologetic and “really humble, a helluva nice kid.”

WEIRD NEWS: A Grave Mistake

A Colombian man missed a family New Year's Eve party because he injured himself trying to loosen up a stiff relative -- by digging up the guy's dead body to join the festivities.

Kevin Rivera apologized to loved ones by offering up the horror story, which no one believed -- until they got a call from the San Jacinto Cemetery, where a worked found that someone had removed Jassir Jose Rivera Gomez’s body from its resting place the night before.

Rivera, who suffered cuts to both hands and arms, told his family that he exhumed the body of his cousin, who'd died in a car accident two years earlier, "because he loved him a lot and wanted him out of his niche so he could see in the New Year with him.”

WEIRD NEWS: Grinch Stole Christmas, Then Returned It

A package thief in California appears to have gotten a conscience for Christmas.

A security camera outside Brittany Hale's home captured the moment on December 21st when a woman tip-toed onto her front porch and walked off with a package. The box contained containing personalized collages of photos from her wedding that were meant to be Christmas gifts for her parents and grandparents.

Hale shared the video with police and on social media in the hopes it would convince the Grinch to return the package, and it worked. On New Year's Eve, the security camera caught the woman sneaking back onto the porch to return the box. Hale shared the video on Facebook and wrote, "Starting 2018 off with the stolen wedding photos returned. Last night the lady that stole them had the heart to return them. I am thankful that this lady did the right thing and returned what was not hers. I can only hope she has learned a lesson from stealing other people’s property.

WEIRD NEWS: Welcome to Drunk Island

A group of New Zealanders came up with a very clever way to get around a local ban on alcohol so they could imbibe on New Year's Eve.
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The government of Tairua, a small town in New Zealand's North Island, bans public drinking every year between December 26th and January 6th in an effort to cut down on illegal behavior. But this year, a group of friends came up with the brilliant idea to create their own private island where the law couldn't be enforced. So one day, during low tide in the Tairua estuary, they marched into the water and shoveled up a large mound of mud big enough to fit all seven of them and a picnic table.

Then, on New Year's Eve, they sat on their man-made island and rang in the new year with drinks. Even local law enforcement was impressed. The police inspector said, "That's creative thinking. If I had known that I probably would have joined them."

WEIRD NEWS: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Both

A Delta flight from Detroit to Atlanta had to make a U-turn and return to Detroit after pilots found a small bird flying around the cockpit. 

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The plane was taxiing to the runway when the pilots noticed the bird inside the cockpit. So they turned the plane around and returned to the gate to remove the bird. But after searching for an hour, they couldn't find it and assumed it had somehow left on its own. The plane then took off, but an hour into the flight the bird reappeared and the pilot announced, "I have an update that the bird is back and it's going a little nuts in here in the cockpit and we do not feel safe continuing on this flight, so we're going to go back to Detroit."

Once the plane arrived at the gate, the door was opened and the bird flew out. After a brief delay, the flight was resumed and took off for Atlanta without any winged hitchhikers.

HOTLIST - 1.2.18


It's been a decade or so since Paris Hilton's been engaged, but she's remedied that. 

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Leftovers star Chris Zylka popped the question over the weekend on an Aspen ski trip. Paris writes on Twitter, "I am so excited to be engaged to the love of my life and my best friend. I have never felt so happy, safe and loved. He is perfect for me in every way and showed me that fairytales really do exist!"

Everyone deserves a little happiness. Congrats, Paris!

Chris has been engaged once, too.
You might recognize Chris from The Amazing Spider-Man or Piranha 3DD.

ALEXA RAY JOEL: Famous Daughter Is Engaged

Alexa Ray Joel, the singer and daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, is heading into the new year with a ring on her finger. 

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The 32-year-old revealed on Instagram that her boyfriend, restaurateur Ryan Gleason, proposed over the weekend. She wrote, "He said to me: ‘Before I met you, my world was in black and white. You colored it in between the lines.’ It was the most beautiful thing anybody’s ever said to me. How could I possibly say no to that?!?!”

Before popping the question, Gleason received the blessing of his famous in-laws-to-be. Brinkley shared her excitement on Instagram, writing, "Under the largest moon on the year, my little Moonbeam got engaged, and I am over the moon with joy for these two! Ryan is the sweetest, kindest, hard-working man who sincerely loves and adores my precious Alexa Ray, so I love him too, and while we have always thought of him as family soon he really will be! What s beautiful way for our family to start the New Year. Celebrating their love."

KIM AND KANYE: Son Hospitalized With Pneumonia

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's son Saint West spent two days in the hospital last week with pneumonia. 

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The two-year-old fell sick after Christmas and was brought to the hospital last Thursday with a bad case of pneumonia. His parents stayed with him at the hospital the entire time until he was finally released on Saturday. TMZ reports that he is now recovering at home and is doing well.

LOGAN PAUL: YouTuber Slammed for Suicide Video

Popular YouTuber Logan Paul has come under fire for a video he shared showing the body of an apparent suicide victim.

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Paul, who has 15 million subscribers, shared the video from a recent trip to Japan in which he and his friends went camping in a forest which is popularly referred to as "suicide forest" because it is the site of approximately 100 suicides each year. While walking through the forest they stumbled upon a dead body and zoomed in to show the body.

Before showing the video, Paul warned viewers of its graphic nature and called it "a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever." He then zoomed in on the body, with the face blurred out, and said, "Suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illnesses are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the 'haunted' aspect of the forest." The video was viewed more than six million times before it was pulled and Paul has received widespread criticism on Twitter from many people including Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner who wrote, "@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your 'apology' is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did."

Paul claims he shared the video to raise awareness to suicide. Others claim he shared the video to raise his number of views.

TODAY SHOW: Hoda Kotb Named Lauer's Replacement

The Today show kicked off the new year this morning by officially naming Hoda Kotb  the permanent replacement for Matt Lauer.

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The 53-year-old moved from the Today show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford to fill in for Lauer after he was fired on November 28th. Her co-host, Savannah Guthrie, shared the news as soon as the show started. As for now, Kotb will continue to co-host the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee.