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Academy of Country Music Awards sober up amid COVID-19

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Event typically billed as country music’s night to party normally features gambling, after-parties

In a pre-pandemic world, the Academy of Country Music Awards advertised itself as country music’s night to party with gambling, after-parties and a Las Vegas-style attitude.

This year the red carpet, crowds and gambling are all replaced with COVID-19 tests, temperature checks and face masks. The awards show was delayed five months due to the pandemic and moved to Nashville, and the tone for Wednesday’s show airing on CBS will be much more serious than in years past.

“We’re celebrating but we’re not partying,” said R.A. Clark, longtime executive producer of the show.

The show will feature performances by Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton with Gwen Stefani and many more, but it’s being rebranded this year as a “night of heart and hits” that will also reflect how hard the pandemic has hit many people this year, including in the music industry.

Trisha Yearwood will perform a memorial tribute performance that will likely include Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie, Charlie Daniels and John Prine, who all died in 2020. Country singer Mickey Guyton’s performance of What Are You Gonna Tell Her? will highlight food insecurity. The ACMs will also showcase their charity contributions to unemployed workers in the music industry.

Entertainer of the year

Leading nominees include Dan + Shay, Old Dominion and Maren Morris, and all eyes will be on the entertainer of the year category. Carrie Underwood, who won the category in 2008 and 2009, seems a likely frontrunner against Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett after many feel she was overdue for an entertainer of the year win at the other major country awards show, the CMA Awards, last November.

Bryan, who has also won entertainer of the year twice, said Underwood has risen to the qualifications.

“I certainly believe that she’s been an entertainer of all entertainers and brought so much grace and class and elegance to country music,” said Bryan.

Swift, who makes her first return to the ACM stage in seven years, was the last female artist to win ACM entertainer of the year in 2011.

Combs, who earned his first entertainer of the year nomination this year after winning new male artist of the year last year, could prove to be an upset after amassing incredible streaming numbers with his first two records and hitting the top of Billboard’s country radio chart for nine consecutive singles. All five entertainer of the year nominees will open the show with a special medley, which Combs is hoping he doesn’t mess up alongside the other seasoned performers.

“I don’t want to be the guy that shows up and is like, ‘Oops! Guess that guy’s not the entertainer of the year,”‘ said Combs with a laugh.

Music nominated is from 2019

The eligibility period for this year’s show was calendar year 2019 and voting ended before the pandemic hit, so the awards being handed out this late in the year may sound a little older than what is currently trending in country music.

Miranda Lambert, already the most awarded artist in ACM history with over 30 wins, looks to extend her five-time win streak in the album of the year category with her record Wildcard. But the crossover success of Maren Morris’s album GIRL is also likely appeal to voters this year.

Grammy winners Dan + Shay have a chance to bring home an ACM award for pop star Justin Bieber in the song of the year category for 10,000 Hours.

Reigning entertainer of the year Keith Urban takes over show hosting duties this year and the show will be broadcast from three music venues, including the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe.


Source: cbc.ca

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Newcomer Iman Vellani To Play Ms. Marvel In New Disney Plus Series

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Marvel Studios has roped in newcomer Iman Vellani to play the character of Ms. Marvel or Pakistani-American Kamala Khan
Ms Marvel poster. Pic/Marvel's Instagram account

Marvel Studios has roped in newcomer Iman Vellani to play the character of Ms. Marvel or Pakistani-American Kamala Khan, in its new Disney Plus series. According to Variety magazine, she will be essaying the character of a 16-year-old Muslim teenager who lives in New Jersey and looks up to superheroes like Captain Marvel.

The Marvel Studios describes the character as having “an inhuman ability to alter… an idealistic attitude… to make the world a better place.”

Less than two weeks ago the series solidified its director line-up. ‘Bad Boys for Life’ duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, as well as Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon have been roped in for various episodes of ‘Ms. Marvel’.

The character first appeared in a comic series in 2012, and the show is being spearheaded by writer Bisha K Ali. ‘Ms. Marvel’ is one of multiple Marvel series in various stages of development and production at Disney Plus.

Variety also reported last week that Samuel L Jackson is set to reprise the iconic role of Nick Fury for a new series.


Source: mid-day.com

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Original Mickey Mouse Club ‘Mouseketeer’ Bonni Lou Kern dead at 79

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Original Mickey Mouse Club

Original Mickey Mouse Club “Mousketeer” Bonni Lou Kern died of natural causes Monday in Wooster, Ohio at age 79, TMZ reported.

Born in 1941, the 50s TV star etched herself into Disney history after her name was used in the very first episode of “The Wonder Mouseketeers!” The installment, entitled “Save Bonni Lou Kern!,” saw her fellow Mouseketeers trying to rescue her from a fishing net.

From there, Kern starred alongside fellow Mouseketeers like Annette Funicello, Judy Harriet and Eileen Diamond and even appeared in the film “Save the Wonder Mouseketeers!”

During her storied Disney career as a child star, Kern was reportedly bestowed with the Mousecar Award — the highest award the House of Mouse gives out — as well as the key to Fantasy Land, according to TMZ.

Later on, Kern worked as a muppeteer on the “The Muppet Club Show,” “The Great Muppet Caper” and “The Muppets: A Celebration Of 30 Years,” among many others.

She changed her name to Bonni Carr after marrying Harold “Bud” Carr in the late 60s in Hawaii and is survived by three daughters, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

On Tuesday, Kern’s daughter Allyson Struzan posted a moving Facebook tribute to the late screen legend, captioned “You will be missed by all.”


Source: nypost.com

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Andy Cohen denies rumors of new cast members joining ‘RHOBH’

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Andy Cohen denies rumors of new cast members joining

Andy Cohen is shutting down rumors that Caitlyn Jenner and Sophia Hutchins are in talks to join the next season of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

The Bravo head honcho shared on his Sirius XM radio show on Thursday that he barely knows who Hutchins is.

“I know that she’s Caitlyn’s girlfriend, right?” he told his co-host John Hill.

“Well, roommate and manager,” Hill, 41, responded.

Cohen, 52, then clarified that any reports of Jenner, 70, or Hutchins, 24, joining “RHOBH” is a classic example in which “the call is coming from inside the house,” implying that Jenner or Hutchins may have started the rumor themselves.

In September, a source told Page Six, Jenner and Hutchins “mutually decided to try the new reality show together, and Caitlyn is pushing for Hutchins to be cast.”

“I know that they have expressed their interest publicly,” Cohen said. “On social media, they’ve tagged me in posts saying, ‘This is a great idea,’ but … we’ve never talked to them formally. That rumor is not true.”

The “WWHL” host appeared hesitant when asked whether he would ever consider having Jenner on the reality show even in a “friend of the Housewives” role, saying, “No, I just don’t see it.”

A rep for Jenner did not immediately return our request for comment.


Source: nypost.com

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‘South Park’ pandemic special goes ham on 2020, mocking Trump, Disney, cops

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No topic has ever been too sensitive for “South Park” to mock — and in the Sept. 30 “Pandemic Special” episode, the long-running animated series had its knives out.

“The Pandemic Special,” which is the show’s 308th episode, is considered a stand-alone and is the first of its kind for the series.

The kickoff to Season 24 sees the police shoot Token (the show’s main Black character) and go on a rampage killing kids who are out after curfew. It also implied that Randy Marsh might be the one who spread COVID-19, since he visited China — a country that banned “South Park” after the Season 23 episode “Band in China.”

The show’s version of President Donald Trump — Mr. Garrison — is also shown refusing to take any actions to stop the virus due to the fact that many of its victims are Latinx, and he says on-screen that he “made a promise to the American people to get rid of all the Mexicans.” He later prevents a cure from being released.

The episode also takes aim at Disney, when it’s revealed that Randy and Mickey Mouse are responsible for the virus’ spread.

“You made a deal with the devil when you sold your ‘Mulan’ s – – t to China!” Randy says.

In an unusual move for the show that relentlessly mocks everything, the episode also features two earnest moments. The first is Mr. Garrison turning to the camera and seriously imploring, “Big election coming up. Don’t forget to get out and vote.”

There’s also a speech from Stan, who says, “I can’t take these shutdowns anymore, and I’m scared what it’s doing to me. I’m looking for who to blame — saying I’m trying to help people to make myself feel better. The truth is I just want to have fun again…I just want my life back.”

“South Park” has been renewed through Season 26 on Comedy Central. An air date for the remainder of Season 24 has not yet been announced. “The Pandemic Special” will also stream on HBO Max 24 hours after airing.


Source: nypost.com

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Netflix reveals heart-wrenching images of Chadwick Boseman in his final role

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Netflix reveals heart-wrenching images of Chadwick Boseman in his final role

Netflix has dropped pictures of Chadwick Boseman’s last role in the streaming giant’s flick “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which premieres Dec. 18.

Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson’s play of the same name, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” explores racial tensions through the lens of the real-life “Mother of Blues,” who died in 1939.

The photos, posted to Netflix’s Twitter account, show Viola Davis as Rainey, with Boseman playing Levee, her trumpeter, in 1920s Chicago. It is directed by George. C. Wolfe and produced by Denzel Washington. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman and Taylour Paige also star in it.

Boseman died of colon cancer in August at age 43. According to the New York Times, the film was shot during the summer of 2019.  “He did a brilliant job, and he’s gone,” Washington told the paper. “I still can’t believe it.”

Like many, Davis was not aware that Boseman was ill while they were filming. “I’m looking back at how tired he always seemed,” she said. “I look at his beautiful, unbelievable team that was meditating over him and massaging him, and I now realize everything they were trying to infuse in him to keep him going and working at his optimal level. And he received it.”


Source: nypost.com

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Celebs rush to support Chrissy Teigen after devastating pregnancy loss

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend received a barrage of support from famous friends including Kim Kardashian and Gabrielle Union following the model’s heartbreaking message announcing her pregnancy loss.

On Wednesday night, Teigen, 34, revealed the news in an Instagram post days after she was hospitalized for bleeding during her pregnancy. The model and Legend, 41, had been expecting their third child, a baby boy they called Jack.

“We’re always here for you and love you guys so much,” Kardashian posted, while Union wrote, “We love you guys so much and we will be here for whatever yall need. Always.”

Channing Tatum told Teigen he is “sending so much love.”

Paris Hilton commented, “My heart breaks for you and John. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you and your family so much love.”

On Twitter, “Top Chef” host Lakshmi replied to Legend, “So very sorry, John & Chrissy. He’s a part of you and will be with you forever.” She also responded to Teigen’s message, writing, “Sending all of my love and comfort your family’s way. Jack will be with you always.”


Kim Kardashian; Chrissy Teigen and John Legend; Gabrielle Union

Kim Kardashian; Chrissy Teigen and John Legend; Gabrielle Union

Teigen confirmed in August that she was expecting. A month later, she had been placed on full bed rest and had recently received two blood transfusions.

In her post announcing the loss, Teigen wrote alongside a series of very personal black-and-white photos from the hospital: “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.”

On Sept. 28, Teigen told fans that she was about halfway into her pregnancy.


Source: nypost.com

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American model-TV personality Chrissy Teigen shares the heartbreaking news of the loss of her baby

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Chrissy Teigen and her singer husband John Legend shared the unfortunate news on social media. The baby couldn’t survive complications during the pregnancy.
Chrissy Teigen shared this photo on Instagram

American model-TV personality Chrissy Teigen and her singer husband John Legend have lost their third baby, a boy, whom they had taken to calling ‘Jack’. The couple shared this heartbreaking news on social media to inform their fans and well-wishers.

Taking to Instagram, Teigen shared a heartrending note along with a few pictures from her time in the hospital. She wrote, “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough…”

 
 
 
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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers. We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) onSep 30, 2020 at 8:58pm PDT

Many of Teigen and Legend’s friends and social media followers expressed their sorrow over the news. One of them wrote, “Sending so much love to you and john and the kids. I wish I could take away your heartbreak”, while actress Selma Blair said, “I am so sorry angel momma. I am so sorry. This grief. This grief. It will hold you and the love will break through. I am so sorry. Your family. You. Love you. My deepest sympathies” and actress Ruby Rose commented, “Thinking of you. I’m so sorry.”

Chrissy Teigen also took to Twitter to express her disbelief over the tragic turn of events. She wrote, “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real.”

This would have been Teigen and John Legend’s third child together. The couple has two kids – daughter Luna Simone Stephens and son Miles Theodore Stephens – born in 2016 and 2018 respectively.


Source: mid-day.com

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My public charter school is one of my greatest passions

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During a normal September, I’m obviously not covering the NBA Finals. I’m in Detroit welcoming students to a new school year at the public charter school that I founded: the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

Just an exit off the Lodge Parkway from where I grew up, the high school is one of my great passions. We converted an abandoned elementary school into JRLA and opened our doors officially in 2011 with 120 students. We graduated our first class in 2015 and now have 420 “scholars” enrolled. It’s been such a thrill to see it grow. Every September, I stand on the sidewalk and greet the kids and parents. This year, because of the pandemic, we’ve gone to a remote learning model, so there is no one to physically greet. The scholars are at home working on the school-provided laptops and home Wi-Fi.


Jalen at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

Jalen at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

The school’s four core values are family, respect, excellence and determination. I know our principal Wendie Lewis, a charter school vet, and our staff are working even harder this year to keep those values and JRLA glue in place.

Here are things that shouldn’t be political: voting and education. I went to a Detroit public school. My kids are fortunate enough to have attended private school. I’ve seen it from all sides, and it’s important for families to have a choice where they send their kids. Especially as many of the inner city kids are overlooked because unfortunately money and ZIP codes dictate so much when it comes to quality of education. JRLA has an open enrollment, and if the number of applicants goes over, we would go to an admission lottery for each grade level. We don’t admit students based on their test scores. We want scholars and families who align with our vision of success and our values.


The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy graduating class.

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy graduating class.

When it came time to create the bones of JRLA, my co-founder, entrepreneur Michael Carter, and I wanted to create something unique in the space. So we went to a 9 to 16 model, which means we not only support our scholars while they are inside our building from grades nine to 12, but we also extend services and backing to them while they’re in college. Many top performing schools say goodbye and good luck to the kids when they leave the building. We stick by them, help get them internships, connect them with mentors and other programs. Most of these kids are first generation college students, and that kind of support helps them cross the finish line.


Jalen Rose and Chanelle Miles.

Jalen Rose and Chanelle Miles.

We have sports such as volleyball, cheerleading, cross-country and, of course, men’s and women’s basketball. When it comes to hoops, we don’t have a huge facility. It’s still a middle school gym, so we don’t play any home games. I like to joke that they are the Harlem Globetrotters, playing all their games on the road. Our kids have gone to tournaments in Las Vegas, and other basketball clinics including Chris Paul’s in North Carolina. We are constantly fund-raising to keep this a reality.

One of my favorite success stories is Chanelle Miles who was in our first graduating class, and she knows the entire journey. Two of her younger cousins have also graduated from JRLA and are now in college. After JRLA, she went to the University of Michigan on the Jalen Rose endowment, which meant she went for free. While there, she studied abroad three times, once in Lima, Peru, and also in Madrid and Seville, Spain. She even did a business program in New York City where she visited me at the ESPN studios. Now, 23, she is a behavioral technician working with autistic children.

“It’s just as much my school as it is Mr. Rose’s,” she said. When she graduated from Michigan in 2019 with a degree in psychology, five of her teachers from JRLA attended the commencement. I’m a little jealous because I didn’t even graduate from the University of Michigan (I ultimately got my degree from the University of Maryland), but I am so proud of her.


Jalen's charter school in Detroit.

Jalen’s charter school in Detroit.

Those relationships are important to me. When I’m in the halls, I like to interact with the kids, high five and dap. Some of them are shy and some are bold. They’ll say things like, “Hey, Mr. Rose, do you know my uncle? He went to school with you,” or “What do you think about the Lions this season?” And while I am not the dean of discipline, sometimes I need to do a little “nurturing” and talk to the kids.

And yes there are some perks. A few years ago, I was at the University of Michigan Midnight Madness with a few alum and introduced them to DJ Khaled, who performed. Rapper Big Sean was at our first graduation and for last year’s remote ceremony, I was able to get Jamie Foxx, Kyle Kuzma and Mike Epps to deliver speeches.

Jalen Rose: Renaissance Man Podcast – Premiere Episode!

I’m not going to lie, I sometimes cry at the graduations. I get emotional when I am out in the community and see my graduates working and contributing. It’s education. It’s not going to be 100 percent perfect. Success is measured in many different ways. But to do this in my hometown has become a calling.

Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the college hoops world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, before transitioning into a media personality. Rose is an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He executive produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the author of the best-selling book “Got to Give the People What They Want,” a fashion tastemaker and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.


Source: nypost.com

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