Reba McEntire performs in New York’s Central Park last Friday on “Good Morning America.” (Associated Press photos)
Oklahoma country star Reba McEntire performed last Friday on “Good Morning America” in Central Park in New York.
She sang “Consider Me Gone,” “Strange” and “I’m a Survivor” and praised her fans in an interview.
Here are the videos from YouTube, or you can view them at http://abcnews.go.com/gma/summerconcert.
Reba McEntire performs June 6 at Cowboys Stadium in the first event held in the new $1.1 billion stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Associated Press photo)
Superstar Reba McEntire keeps breaking new ground more than three decades into her music career.The Oklahoma native made history this week as her new record, “Keep on Loving You,” her first solo studio album in six years, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Top Country Albums and Top 200 Albums charts.
“Keep on Loving You” is McEntire’s second straight album and first solo effort to top the cross-genre Top 200 chart. Her 2007 album “Reba: Duets,” which paired the songstress with stars such as Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson and fellow Oklahomans Vince Gill and Ronnie Dunn, also reached No. 1 on the Top 200 and Top Country Albums lists.
McEntire’s new album, her first for Valory Music Co., is the highest debut from a female country artist for 2009, according to a news release.
“I have had a blast working with my new Valory Music Co. team, along with my Starstruck (Studios) family, on this record,” McEntire said in the release. “To have this success at this time of my life and career means everything to me.”
With “Keep on Loving You,” McEntire now holds the record as the female artist with the most No. 1 albums on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, which launched in 1964. Eleven of her albums have ascended to the No. 1 spot. McEntire previously shared the record of 10 No. 1 albums with Loretta Lynn.
“Keep on Loving You” also achieved a milestone for the country genre. It marks the third straight country album to hit No. 1 on Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. It is the first time in history that three country albums in a row have topped the chart. New albums from Sugarland and George Strait held the No. 1 spot the previous two weeks.
McEntire, 54, said her willingness to continually reinvent herself is one of her secrets to long-term success.
“Every time, anytime is a good time to reinvent yourself. I mean, you’ve just gotta find new things to do, new ways of doing it. That’s very important,” she told The Oklahoman in a 2007 interview.
McEntire will perform her new single “Consider Me Gone” at 8 tonight on NBC’s reality TV show “America’s Got Talent.”
In anticipation of the second “Twilight” film, “New Moon,” Heckelsville Media is planning to the release a new documentary on Forks, Wash., the remote hamlet in which Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books are set. (Like the novels, the “Twilight” movies are set in Forks but not actually filmed there.)
The documentary “Twilight in Forks – The Saga of the Real Town” is available to pre-order today via Amazon.com. It will be released in online and retail stores on Oct. 15.
Here is a description of the film (slightly edited) from a news release:
Filmed in high definition by three-time Emmy Award-winning Director Jason Brown, “Twilight in Forks – The Saga of the Real Town,” documents the story of the rainiest city in the U.S. – Forks – and the untold tales of its hidden history, culture and mysticism. Since the “Twilight” movies were not filmed in Forks, this is the chance for fans to see where Stephenie Meyer based her epic teen romance novels.
Are there truly vampires and werewolves in and around Forks? Hear from the real people living their lives in the town “Twilight” fans know and love. Fans will meet the chief of police and hear as he recounts the meal he cooked for Stephenie Meyer, the Forks Outfitters’ employee who gets mistaken for Bella, the vampire transplant who plays the real-life role of Alice. Hear the self-described Jacob’s grandfather tell the legend of how the Quileutes descended from wolves. And see many more of the people and places, including the Cullen House, Swan House and police station, that make Forks the perfect setting for the “Twilight” series.
For more information on the film, go to www.twilightinforks.com.
Toby Keith (Associated Press photo)
Oklahoma music superstar Toby Keith will kick off the 82nd National FFA Convention Oct. 21 in Indianapolis with an exclusive concert, the organization announced today.
“I am really happy to be playing at the convention. I have been an FFA member and proud of it. We are going to have a big party at the stadium in Indianapolis,” said Keith in a news release.
More than 55,000 FFA members from all over the country are expected to arrive in Indianapolis for the 2009 National FFA Convention. “Lead Out Loud” is this year’s convention theme.
“Toby Keith is an outright superstar, and certainly the highest profile artist ever to perform at the national FFA convention,” said FFA Convention Director Dale Crabtree in the release. “The official announcement of this concert will generate tons of excitement and anticipation for our members. And we would like to thank Ford Trucks for making it happen.”
Keith will perform at the convention as part of the Ford Motor Company’s continued support of the National FFA Organization; Keith is the spokesman for Ford Trucks. According to the release, Ford has supported the National FFA Foundation since the first F-Series truck was introduced in 1948. The company also has sponsored the Built Ford Tough collegiate scholarship program since 1997.
Last year, Ford celebrated its 60th year of involvement with the FFA and awarded 460 Built Ford Tough scholarships. Each scholarship recipient received $1,000 to continue their agriculture education at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational school. Over the past 13 years, Ford Motor Company and Ford dealers have donated more than $5.5 million to more than 5,500 FFA members.
“Ford recognizes that education in agriculture is as important now as it has ever been and we are proud to continue our partnership with the FFA again in 2009,” said Kevin Schebil, Ford Motor Company in the release. “The addition of Toby Keith on behalf of Ford Trucks at this year’s national FFA convention is the icing on the cake.”
For more information on the 2009 National FFA Convention, visit www.ffa.org.
Hey loyal readers. It’s time for your weekly update on the doings over at Rooster Teeth. There’s a new “RT short” and a new chapter of “Red vs. Blue: Recreation.” Please remember, their videos are for adults, so exercise caution when viewing.
James Spader plays Carbon Black in the family-friendly film “Shorts.”
From Wednesday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
LOS ANGELES – After six years of playing quirky, ethics-challenged attorney Alan Shore on the TV series “The Practice” and “Boston Legal,” James Spader was ready for something equally demented but completely different.
Spader, known for his villainous characters in films like “Pretty in Pink” and “Less Than Zero,” again takes on the role of a baddie in “Shorts,” the latest family film from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
“It just couldn’t be more dichotomous really. It was just such a different world. … It has turned out to be just the most perfect thing to go from that to doing this kid’s film,” he said in a recent interview at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“Shorts” actually is a series of five short films set in the fictional town of Black Falls, corporate headquarters of Black Box Industries. Told out of order, the interconnected mini-movies show the pandemonium that breaks out when a trio of local brothers find a magic wishing rock.
Among the townsfolk contributing to the frenzy of wishes is Spader’s Carbon Black, the domineering leader of Black Box Industries. While the character is obsessed with taking his multitasking handheld device the Black Box to new extremes of functionality, the actor insists Mr. Black isn’t really evil.
“The things he’s doing wrong are because he’s oblivious to him. There’s nothing Machiavellian (about him). Everybody in the picture is caught up in the story of the picture and he is, too,” Spader said with a laugh.
“He’s also not grown up and not learned any of the lessons he’s supposed to have learned. Everybody in the picture, if you notice, is a kid, every single one of them, including all of the adults in it. That’s the fun of it.”
Though he has been a working actor for three decades, Spader said Rodriguez’s do-it-yourself filmmaking technique offered a new experience. In typical fashion, Rodriguez wrote, produced, directed and edited the movie, composed the music, supervised the visual effects and sometimes even operated a camera at his Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.
“He is cutting the picture in his head as he’s shooting it. He’s written the script and therefore the edited version of what has jumped out of his own imagination is already starting to take shape. But then absolutely when he’s on the set, it absolutely taking shape on the set,” Spader said. “(It’s) absolutely unique. There’s nobody else working in the business today like that.”
Spader, 49, said he admires Rodriguez’s efficiency, which allowed him to accept the “Shorts” role in the first place.
“I read this script, and I thought, ‘Well, I can’t do this picture. I’m just finishing up doing ‘Boston Legal,’ I still have more time on that, and it’s going to take a month or month and a half to shoot this role ’cause he’s throughout the picture,’” he said.
But Rodriguez’s people assured Spader they could shoot his part in just five or six days.
“‘I was like, that’s not possible. That’s just not possible. (They said,) ‘Yeah, no, no we could do that.’ And I said, ‘OK, so let’s see.’ And I went down there and they did it.”
Of course, Spader made it back in time to play Alan Shore, a role that won him three Emmys, in the December finale of “Boston Legal.” While the show turned the actor, previously known for critically acclaimed indies like “sex, lies and videotape,” into a household name, Spader said “it’s just work for me.” He still expresses surprise that he made it through six years of series television with his “enormously lazy” work ethic.
But the actor, who will next be on Broadway in David Mamet’s new play “Race,” said he does look back fondly his sleazeball roles from the 1980s. Not only did those jobs pay the bills, he got to work with John Hughes, who wrote and produced “Pretty in Pink.” Hughes died earlier this month of a heart attack.
“It was just such fun. … John was there on the set every day. I was living in New York at the time, and I was out here on my own. And John and I got along really well, and so he’d invite me over to the house a lot on weekends to have lunch with his family,” he said. “I was very lucky on that film.”
Today’s featured event:
Hear Green Sky Bluegrass at 8 tonight at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley.
For more information, go to www.bluedoorokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley share a moment onstage during the 2008 Country Music Association Awards. The CMA announced today that Underwood and Paisley will again co-host the show. (Associated Press photo)
Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, two of country music’s hottest stars, will return as co-hosts of this fall’s Country Music Association Awards.
The CMA announced today that the charming pair will reprise the co-hosting roles they first took on last year, according to the Associated Press.
The three-hour CMA Awards will take place Nov. 11 in Nashville, Tenn. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC.
The CMA said Underwood and Paisley showed last year that they have the sense of humor and timing to host the show.
“We didn’t know what to expect the first time. We had no idea,” Underwood said. “Things are different from year to year, but the overall layout – we’ve got it down.”
The AP notes that the CMA hosting duties have been sort of a revolving door since personable Oklahoma native Vince Gill ended his 12-year run as host in 2003. Brooks & Dunn hosted from 2004-06. In 2007, the CMA experimented with a no-host format in which multiple artists presided over different segments.
Underwood and Paisley said they wrapped last year’s show hoping to host again.
“We trust our instincts a little more now,” Paisley said, sitting beside Underwood. ”When they ask you to host and you’ve never done it before, it could be really bad. We all know of situations in various awards shows where that hosting thing didn’t work very well.
“We’ve all sat through crickets,” Underwood added. “Someone said something that was supposed to be a joke, and it’s like, ‘What are they talking about?’”
In my opinion, the announcement is great news for country music fans. Last year, Underwood showed off her charm and fashion quick-change skills, while Paisley delivered several good-natured zingers.
Along with engaging and entertaining the star-studded crowd and TV audience, they also put in strong performances on the show. You could tell they were having a good time.
Of course, they had reason to have fun: Paisley won male vocalist of the year and Checotah’s favorite daughter was named female vocalist of the year during the ceremony.
Carrie Underwood (Associated Press photo)
Tickets Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s 2009 induction ceremony, which will feature Carrie Underwood’s performance and induction, are on sale now.
The Academy of Country’s reigning Entertainer of the Year, four-time Grammy winner and Oklahoma music icon, Underwood will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Sept. 17, along with Oklahoma artists and performers Rocky Frisco and Ramona Reed. All three will perform at the special concert.
The 2009 Inductees will join other music performers and artists who have been recognized by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame since 1997, including Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson, Hank Thompson, The All-American Rejects and David Gates.
The state hall also will honor longtime music instructor and director at Northeastern State University C.H. Parker with the coveted Governor’s Award for his contribution to music and our culture. The Governor’s Award has only been presented three times in the past.
The 13the annual Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Concert and Induction ceremony will take place at the Muskogee Civic Center, 405 Boston Street.
For more information, call (918) 687-0800.
Country music superstar and Checotah native Carrie Underwood walks the stage to receive her diploma as she attends her graduation ceremony at Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah on May 6, 2006. The Aug. 31 issue of Country Weekly magazine talks to country stars, including Underwood, about what careers they might have if they weren’t in music. (Photo by Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman Archives)
Oklahomans Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith are among 14 country stars featured in the cover story of the Aug. 31 issue of Country Weekly magazine, on sale now.
The cover story is titled “My Secret Life” and details how the stars such as Underwood, Keith, Trace Adkins and Martina McBride might be making their living if they weren’t in music.
Underwood, who received a mass communications degree in 2006 from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, figured she might pursue a career in journalism, which was her degree emphasis, before she won “American Idol.”
A former semi-pro football player, Keith might have gone into a sports career, according to the magazine.