Oklahoma native and country star Reba McEntire performs June 6 at the first event held at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Associated Press photo)
The Canadian Country Music Association has announced that Oklahoma native Reba McEntire has been added to the line-up of performers at the 2009 CCMA Awards. This year’s celebration, to be broadcast nationally on CBC TV with encore airings on CMT in Canada, will take place Sept. 13 in Vancouver, B.C.
McEntire has amassed the kind of career statistics that ensures legendary status – more than 55 million in U.S. album sales, 33 No. 1 hits, two Grammy Awards, seven Country Music Association awards, 12 Academy of Country Music awards, nine People’s Choice Awards and 15 American Music Awards. She has also found success in television, where her self-titled primetime TV series aired for six seasons; on Broadway, where she received rave reviews for her performance in “Annie Get Your Gun”; and in film.
Her name remains familiar atop the charts, now nestled among a generation of artists who have been strongly influenced by her music and career path.
“Keep On Loving You,” the much-anticipated follow-up to her hit 2007 album “Reba Duets,” will be released on Aug. 18. “Strange” is the sassy debut single and is the fastest-rising solo single and highest solo chart debut of her 33-year career.
In addition to McEntire, the two-hour review of a year in country music will feature performances by George Canyon, Terri Clark, Doc Walker, Jessie Farrell, Martina McBride, Aaron Pritchett, and Johnny Reid.
Today’s featured event:
TULSA – Rock along with Aerosmith and ZZ Top at 7:30 tonight at the BOK Center, 200 S Denver.
For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Oklahoman Rick Bayless made it through the first part of the championship round of “Top Chef Masters” earlier tonight. Chef Bayless performed well in both the challenges he undertook, including one in which he stepped outside of his comfort zone and made something that was not even remotely Mexican food.
Chef Bayless proved that he can cook other types of food extremely well. His final dish was so good he missed winning the round (and another $10,000 for his charity) by only one point. Here’s hoping he continues to do just as well in the next challenge.
Johnny Depp appears on the panel for his upcoming film “Alice in Wonderland” last week at Comic-Con. (Associated Press photo)
Comic-Con International 2009 took place last week in San Diego, Calif., and per usual, the massive pop culture convention was packed with movie stars, fanboys and girls and exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming films.
In this week’s Wednesday Video Spotlight, check out some of the trailers, clips and featurettes from Comic-Con, posted here courtesy TrailerAddict.com, which also has videos from several Comic-Con panels.
“Alice in Wonderland” teaser trailer:
“Tron Legacy” trailer:
“The Princess and the Frog” featurette (no sound):
“Where the Wild Things Are” revised trailer:
“Where the Wild Things Are” Maurice Sendak/Spike Jonze featurette:
“The Book of Eli”:
“How to be a Serial Killer” (strong language and violence, not surprising since it’s a horror-comedy about serial killers):
Toby Keith and Trace Adkins perform a duet of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” at a recent show. (Photo courtesy Shock Ink)
In my live music experiences, some of the most memorable moments come when tourmates cap off a show with a special crossover performance.
Oklahoma superstar Toby Keith and fellow country star Trace Adkins are doing just that on Keith’s “America’s Toughest Tour.”
The big-voiced baritones have been ending their shows with an encore performance of Keith’s huge hit “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry America).” As you can imagine, fans have greeted this duet with loud cheers, according to a news release.
Musically and stylistically, Keith and Adkins seem like a natural fit as tourmates and duet partners.
”We came from the same honky-tonk family,” Keith recently told the Palm Beach Post. “It’s amazing we had to wait this long to work together.”
Keith has been bringing Adkins out for the explosive performance each night of the tour, which started in June and runs through September. The tour has been drawing capacity crowds and solid reviews.
The tour is coming the closest it’s going to get to Oklahoma this weekend, with dates Friday in Kansas City, Mo., and Saturday in Dallas. For more information, go to www.tobykeith.com.
In addition, Keith recently released the single “American Ride,” the title track from his new studio album due Oct. 13. One of the fastest-rising songs of his career, the tune was the Most Added song this week on the Country Aircheck/Mediabase chart, according to the release.
Keith was recently named the No. 4 all-genre album seller of the decade by Yahoo!, and was again listed as one of Forbes’ top-earning musicians in the world. Beyond music, Keith has also starred in two motion pictures, owns a chain of restaurants as well as his own record label, and recently launched his own clothing line.
Vince Gill (Associated Press photo)
Oklahoma native and Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill will be honored in The Recording Academy’s first-ever Grammy Salute to Country Music, according to VinceGill.com.
Presented by MasterCard, the salute will take place Sept. 9 at The Loveless Barn in Nashville, Tenn. The star-studded tribute will feature Gill’s wife Amy Grant, Alison Krauss, Steve Martin, Michael McDonald and Brad Paisley. The event will include a special presentation of The Recording Academy President’s Merit Award to Gill, a 20-time Grammy winner, to honor of his professional achievements and remarkable career.
This inaugural event joins others in the “Grammy Salute To” series that has featured gospel, jazz and classical music.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating country music in its epicenter of Nashville, and to honor a legendary artist like Vince Gill who has made an indelible mark on the genre,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, in the news release. “Our ‘Salute To’ series pays homage to and celebrates the work of extraordinary people and organizations that continue to ensure that these genres remain a vital part of our culture. This event shows our commitment to recognizing musical excellence all year long, and the impact it has on our lives everyday.”
Born in Norman and raised in Oklahoma City, Gill has garnered 20 GRAMMY Awards and sold more than 26 million albums in his more than 30-year career. Iin 2007, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He has recorded 21 albums, including 2006′s” These Days,” which successfully melded country, pop, bluegrass and rock influences together in a groundbreaking four-CD set.
As an influential force on the country music scene, he has been a coveted duet partner for countless performers including fellow Oklahoman Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Grant. Gill has been active in hundreds of charity events, including his own Pro-Celebrity Golf Tournament (“The Vinny”), which supports junior golf programs in Tennessee.
“Top Chef Masters” fans (and loyal BAM’s Blog readers) will remember that Oklahoman Rick Bayless appeared on that series a few weeks ago. The series, which focuses on established “Master” chefs competing against each other for charity, was divided into six rounds. The winners of those rounds would move on to the championship round to compete against each other.
Since he won his round (by making tongue tacos of all things), Chef Bayless is one of those competing in the championship, the first part of which airs tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Chef Bayless will be competing on behalf of the Frontera Farmers Foundation, which gives grants to small farm families. The grand prize is $100,000 for the winner’s charity, so let’s all wish him luck.
Joe Perry (Associated Press photo)
The Oklahoman’s Gene Triplett recently talked to Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry about a variety of topics, including the rocker’s knee replacement, the effect of video games on the band’s popularity and new music.
Perry, who turns 59 on Sept. 10, had to have an artificial knee put in last year in order to keep on playing and touring with Aerosmith. Along with his knee replacement, a series of injuries and illnesses suffered by his bandmates have delayed the recording of their new studio album to fall.
But Perry, who is one of my personal guitar heroes, told Gene that the band is continuing to reach fans, including a whole new generation of music lovers, with “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.”
“Actually, we’ve sold three times as many games as we did on the last couple of Aerosmith records,” he told Gene. “There are a lot of songs on the game that are studio cuts that don’t get played on the radio, so it’s almost like havin’ a new record out there.”
Perry also has recorded a solo album with his on-the-side band, The Joe Perry Project; that record is due out in September.
Aerosmith and ZZ Top will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the BOK Center in Tulsa. For more information on the show, go to www.bokcenter.com.
And to read Gene’s interesting interview with Perry, click here.
Ben Barnes reprises his role as Prince Caspian in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Filming on the third film in the franchise started earlier this week.
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third in the epic series of films based on the bestselling books by C.S. Lewis, started principal photography this week on location in Queensland, Australia, according to a news release from Business Wire.
The production, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Walden Media, continues the franchise that started with the wonderful, 2005 release, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which won an Oscar for makeup, and its great 2008 follow-up, “Prince Caspian.”
In “Dawn Treader,” Edmund and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes), along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter, Son of Rambow”), find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world. Joining forces once again with their royal friend Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) and the warrior mouse Reepicheep (voice of Eddie Izzard), they are whisked away on a mysterious mission to the Lone Islands, and beyond.
On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, the trio will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Only an entirely uncharted journey to Aslan’s Country – a voyage of destiny and transformation for each of those aboard the Dawn Treader – can save Narnia, and all the astonishing creatures in it, from an unfathomable fate.
Veteran filmmaker Michael Apted (“The World Is Not Enough,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) will direct new Narnia venture. Several of the principals are returning, including Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan the Lion.
According to the release, supporting cast includes several veterans of the Aussie film world, including Gary Sweet (“Stingers”), Bruce Spence (“Road Warrior”), Arthur Angel (“Ghost Rider”) and Kiwi native Shane Rangi, back for his third go-round in Lewis’ fantastical world (donning the guise of a Minotaur, as he did in the two previous films).
While he won’t direct the third chapter, filmmaker Andrew Adamson will return as one of the film’s three producers, reteaming with his colleagues from the first two “Narnia” films, Mark Johnson and Philip Steuer.
Released in 1952, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is the third of Lewis’ seven-book “Chronicles of Narnia” series. Published between 1950-56 and long regarded as one of literature’s most enduring and imaginative classics, Lewis’ books have sold more than 100 million copies in more than 50 different languages, making it the second biggest book series the world over. In addition to the third novel, the Oxford scholar wrote six additional books, including “Prince Caspian” (1951), “The Silver Chair” (1953), “The Horse and His Boy” (1954), “The Magician’s Nephew” (1955), “The Last Battle” (1956) and the story that launched the series in 1950, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
Production on “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” will take place entirely in Queensland, Australia, primarily at the Warner Roadshow Studio facility in Gold Coast, which houses the Southern Hemisphere’s largest water tank facility, crucial to the production’s needs. Filming will conclude in November 2009, with a year-long post-production schedule leading to the film’s global release in December 2010.
I’m happy that shooting is underway for “Dawn Treader,” since the future of the franchise was at one point a big question mark. Though the combined global box-office gross for the first two Narnia films exceeded $1.2 billion, Disney declined to partner with Walden Media on the third film after “Prince Caspian” didn’t meet box-office expectations. Of course, Disney helped create that situation by moving the sequel from December (the time frame that worked so well for the first film) to May, which sandwiched the sequel between the blockbusters “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
I’m a big fan of the Narnia films and hope “Dawn Treader” will be an entertaining cinematic gift for the 2010 holidays.
Bryce Dallas Howard (Associated Press photo)
Rachel Lefevre (AP photo)
In a shocker for “Twilight” fans, Summit Entertainment has announced that Bryce Dallas Howard (“Terminator Salvation,” “Spider-Man 3,” “The Village”) will replace Rachelle Lefevre as the vengeful vampire Victoria in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third film of the popular franchise.
In a news release, Summit attributes the switch to a scheduling conflict with “another commitment” Lefevre has made.
Shooting on “Eclipse” begins in Vancouver on Aug. 17 with director David Slade. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lefevre has taken a role in indie drama “Barney’s Version,” which also starts filming Aug. 17.
Lefevre, 30, played Victoria in “Twilight” and the upcoming sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” The mega-popular “Twilight” franchise has been her highest profile acting gig to date. But “Barney’s Version” boasts an excellent cast – Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver, among others – working from a novel by acclaimed Canadian writer and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Mordecai Richler.
Whatever her reason for departing, Lefevre leaves the “Twilight” franchise just when her villainous character gets a bigger, nastier part in “Eclipse.” In Stephenie Meyer’s third “Twilight” book, Victoria seeks to avenge the death of her mate James (Cam Gigandet) by killing heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).
Based on the Internet buzz, many “Twilight” fans are surprised and upset about the casting change. Lefevre was in San Diego, Calif., last week to promote “New Moon” at Comic-Con, though she didn’t sit in on the film’s official panel. (If “New Moon” is anything like the book, her part in the second film is probably pretty small.) She and her co-stars didn’t mention anything at the huge pop culture convention about her skipping out on “Eclipse”; in fact, according to some Web reports, she said she was looking forward to her fight scenes in the third film.
That has many fans speculating that Lefevre isn’t leaving the franchise because of scheduling problems and wondering if Summit may have forced her out in favor of Dallas Howard.
I’m not sure what happened in this situation but noticed something interesting on Summit’s Web site: Lefevre’s name wasn’t mentioned in the studio’s July 16 release announcing the casting of Xavier Samuel as Riley, Victoria’s vampire sidekick in “Eclipse.”
Here’s the first two paragraphs from that release:
Google might want to brace for a search onslaught: An unknown Australian actor named Xavier Samuel has landed the first new role in “Eclipse,” the third “Twilight” pic.
Summit has hired the actor to play the role of a “newborn vampire” named Riley, a good-looking college student who joins the plot of villain Victoria to murder protagonist Bella (Kristen Stewart). Riley is corrupted by Victoria, for whom he has an inexplicable weakness.
Notice that Stewart, who isn’t going anywhere, is listed as the actress playing Bella, but Victoria doesn’t have anyone after her name. Hmm. This reminds me of similar “New Moon” news releases that went out without Taylor Lautner’s name after Jacob, the first sign of the fight Lautner had to put up to keep the role as Bella’s werewolf BFF.
Dallas Howard, 28, the daughter of Oklahoma native and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, has previous experience taking over a role in a film franchise. In “Terminator Salvation,” she played Kate Connor, the part Claire Danes originated in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”
While most people, myself included, tend to have a negative knee-jerk response to recasting in a franchise, sometimes these change-ups work out. Maggie Gyllenhaal taking the role of Rachel Dawes in “The Dark Knight’ from Katie Holmes, who played the part in “Batman Begins,” was a good move. And though I liked Terrence Howard in “Iron Man,” I’m eager to see Don Cheadle play Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in the upcoming sequel.
“Eclipse” will be released in theaters June 30, 2010, and I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the Dallas Howard fares as the bloodthirsty Victoria.
“New Moon” opens Nov. 20.
After the break, read the news release from Summit Entertainment announcing the cast change.