There has been an incredible outpouring of prayers and sympathy from around the world since deadly and devastating tornadoes ripped through Moore and south Oklahoma City this afternoon, less than a day after Shawnee and Carney were among the Oklahoma towns to be ravaged Sunday by twisters.
Here is just a sampling of the condolences, well-wishes and prayers from notable figures in the sports, music, TV and movie spheres, via Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, #PrayforOklahoma was trending from moments after Moore tornado hit until well into this evening. My excellent colleague Anthony Slater has rounded up more Twitter reactions from the sports world here.
“Growing up in tornado alley, you always know what could happen…it doesn’t change how devastating it is when something does happen. #pray … I’m thinking about and praying for my beautiful home state and the people in it tonight.”
- Checotah native Carrie Underwood @carrieunderwood
“Pray. That’s all we an do. Pray for peace for Oklahoma.”
- Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert @mirandalambert
“All my prayers go out to the folks in Oklahoma dealing with these tornados. Stay safe everyone!!!!”
- Chockie native Reba McEntire @reba
“Hometown got hit for the gazillionth time. Rise again Moore Oklahoma. Godspeed. Prayin – T”
- Norman resident/Moore-bred country superstar Toby Keith @TobyKeithMusic
“The devastation through my home state of Oklahoma is staggering. All of my prayers are w/the victims, especially all those little kids. XOX”
- Oklahoma City-born and bred actress Olivia Munn @oliviamunn
“Thoughts and prayers go out to all our fellow Oklahomans hit by today’s tornados.”
- Tulsa-based band Hanson @hansonmusic
“I think my area of OK is out of the serious danger. Please send prayers thoughts & whatever you can to the hard-hit areas.”
- Tulsa author S.E. Hinton @se4realhinton
“Please everyone, pray for Oklahoma!”
- Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth @KChenoweth
“the loss of life and properly in our little Oklahoma is in fathomable at this time. Get on your knees people there are children missing”
- Shawnee-rooted electro-pop band Shiny Toy Guns @shinytoyguns
“My family and I are safe. Unfortunately, there is a lot of devastation. Please pray for Oklahoma. I’ll let you know how you can help.”
- Oklahoma City Christian recording artist Jami Smith @jamismith
“If you have dollars, give em…. if you have clothes, donate em… if you have heads, bow em…. Looking for bands to help raise some funds for the Moore (and surround areas) tornado disaster. June 9. The Arbuckle Ballroom in Davis, OK has been gracious enough to donate their place. Now just need players and supporters. Please share https://www.facebook.com/bophillipsband/posts/10151471495806824″
- Stillwater-based red dirt band Bo Phillips Band @BoPhillipsBand and Facebook
“Praying for the victims of the Tornadoes in OKC these last few days..Everybody stay safe!”
- Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant @KDTrey5
“Pray for the people and families of the people in OKC. This is a true tragedy.”
- Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook via Facebook
“Again, pray for OKC… Everybody stay safe!”
- Oklahoma City Thunder star @sergeibaka9
“Thoughts and Prayers to all affected by the tornado today.”
- Oklahoma City Thunder star Thabo Sefolosha @ThaboSefolosha
“Thoughts and prayers to my hometown OKC. Luckily my family is safe. I have lived in OK a long time. This one might be the worst!”
- Oklahoma City-born and bred NFL star Wes Welker @WesWelker
“Praying for everyone in Oklahoma City. This is crazy!”
- Former Oklahoma City Thunder player James Harden @JHarden13
“Devastating damage to Moore, Oklahoma due to Tornadoes. Please keep these people in your prayers. Thankfully @MelanieWeeden family is safe.”
- Former Oklahoma State University quarterback and current Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden @bweeden3
“I don’t even know what to say. My thoughts, prayers, concerns, and heartache goes out to my family, friends, and everyone in Oklahoma.”
- OSU Heisman trophy winner and NFL legend Barry Sanders @BarrySanders
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Oklahoma tonight! Follow @RedCross for ways you can help. #TheVoice”
- The Voice @NBCTheVoice official Twitter feed.
“We need and appreciate your votes tonight, but more importantly we need your prayers for our friends and family in Oklahoma. Thanks y’all.”
- Muskogee “The Voice” finalists Zach & Colton Swon @TheSwonBrothers
“If you wish to help those in need in Oklahoma go to: http://www.redcross.org/ok/oklahoma-city … #PrayForOklahoma”
- Actor Cary Elwes @Cary_Elwes
“Shocking images from that Oklahoma tornado. Thoughts with all the people affected. #yikes #prayforoklahoma”
- Actress Elizabeth Banks @ElizabethBanks
“Praying for the Oklahoma families affected by the #tornado…!”
- Actor Levar Burton @levarburton
“#PrayForOklahoma My heart is breaking. So much devastation. Praying for all affected & those still in the wake of this storm be safe!”
- Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott @HillaryScottLA
“Everyone keep OKC and all areas impacted by the tornadoes in your thoughts. #PrayForOklahoma”
- Country singer Tanya Tucker @tanya_tucker
“Please take a moment right now. #PrayForOklahoma”
- Country singer Lee Greenwood @TheLeeGreenwood
“Praying for everyone in Oklahoma tonight.”
- Texas country band Eli Young Band @EliYoungBand
“Sending so much love to all my friends in beautiful Oklahoma. Hoping you and your loved ones are safe.”
- Actress/singer Alicia Witt @aliciawitty
“My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. #prayforoklahoma”
- Talk show host Wendy Williams @WendyWilliams
“Can’t believe what’s happening in Oklahoma. My heart goes out to everyone affected. #prayforOklahoma”
- Actor/model Colton Haynes @ColtonLHaynes
“Keeping OKC and all areas impacted by the tornadoes in my thoughts. #PrayForOklahoma”
- Retired professional boxer Mike Tyson @MikeTyson
“Sending blessings to all the family’s #PrayForOklahoma OKC”
- Hip-hop star/producer Swizz Beatz @THEREALSWIZZZ
Wednesday Video Spotlight: Driving with Serge Ibaka – The Thunder take on Memphis in Game 5 tonight in Oklahoma City
It’s do-or-die Thunder up time tonight at The ‘Peake!
The Oklahoma City Thunder takes on Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of their Western Conference playoffs series. The Grizzlies lead the series 3-1, so our hometown boys in blue must win tonight or end their season.
To help you Thunder up, cruise with power forward Serge Ibaka to Chesapeake Energy Arena. We need Serge in the zone and playing at peak form tonight!
The game tips off at 8:30 tonight at The ‘Peake, 100 W Reno. It will air on TNT.
For extra Thunder pride, check out my excellent colleague Jennifer Palmer’s feature on the making of the complimentary T-shirts the Thunder home crowds have become so famous for during the playoffs by clicking here.
Video: Thunder take on the Grizzlies in Game 4 tonight; Serge Ibaka named NBA All-Defensive first-teamer
The Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka has again been named a first-teamer on the NBA All-Defensive squad, reports The Oklahoman Sports Editor Mike Sherman.
The Serge Protector, who made first team last year, led the NBA with 3.03 blocks per game this season. By leading the league in total blocked shots (242) for a third consecutive season, Ibaka joins Dikembe Mutombo (1994-98) as the only other player to accomplish such a feat in NBA history.
Ibaka is joined in the first team by Miami’s LeBron James, New York’s Tyson Chandler, Chicago’s Joakim Noah, Memphis’ Tony Allen and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis center Marc Gasol last week was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
The Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies continue their Western Conference playoffs series with Game 4 at 8:30 tonight in Memphis. The game will air on TNT.
The Grizzlies lead the series 2-1. Hopefully, this excellent tribute video will get Serge’s offense going as strong as his defense.
Watch the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of their Western Conference Playoffs series at 4 p.m. today. The game will air from Memphis on ESPN. The series is tied up 1-1.
Herb Ritts may not be a household name, but much of the art he created has become ingrained in popular culture.
“Chances are you’ve seen his work and you just don’t know it,” said Sandy Cotton, development director for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, where the special exhibition “Herb Ritts: Beauty and Celebrity” opened this week.
The 80 black-and-white photos in the exhibit depict notable personalities from the worlds of film, fashion, music, art, sports and politics.
“Beauty and Celebrity” includes Ritts’ portraits of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Axl Rose, Christopher Reeve, Matthew McConaughey, Dale Chihuly, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Nelson Mandela, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, among others.
“Herb Ritts became woven immediately into American culture in the 1980s and ‘90s because of so many magazine covers and magazine editorials, fashion advertisements, commercials and also music videos. So he not only created fine art photography, but also had a very successful commercial side to his photography, one that was easily disseminated throughout culture,” said Jennifer Klos, associate curator at the museum.
“(He was) extremely influential. Herb Ritts created and propelled his own style.”
In this NewsOK video, Angi Bruss talks to Klos about the exhibit. To read more about the new show, click here.
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of their Western Conference Playoffs series, with tip-off at 8:30 tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
The Thunder lead the series 1-0.
The game airs on TNT.
It’s time to Thunder up!
NBC has selected six-time Grammy Award-winner and Checotah native Carrie Underwood to perform “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” the opening theme for primetime television’s No. 1 program, “Sunday Night Football.”
The Season 4 “American Idol” winner will make her “Sunday Night Football” debut on Sept. 8 on NBC’s first football broadcast of the 2013 NFL season, according to a news release. “Sunday Night Football” will launch with the heated NFC East rivalry game when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants.
The opening theme will continue to kick off “Sunday Night Football” every Sunday night throughout the NFL season on NBC.
“I am thrilled to be a part of NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ and am so honored they asked me,” said Underwood in the release. “I have always loved football season, and it is so exciting to now become part of it every Sunday night!”
“Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” is set to the tune of the Joan Jett song “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and marks Underwood’s first production with NBC Sports. From 2007-12, fellow country superstar Faith Hill performed the theme, and in 2006, the inaugural season of “Sunday Night Football,” rocker Pink belted the opening.
“Carrie Underwood was our first and only choice to perform the Sunday Night Football opening,” said “Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli in the news release. “She’s one of America’s most popular entertainers and the perfect fit for our show.”
Since winning “American Idol” and releasing her debut album in 2005, Underwood has sold more than 15 million albums, and placed 17 No. 1 singles on the charts. Her recent album, “Blown Away,” made history by debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart, making the Oklahoma native only the second country artist in the 47-year history of the chart to have each of their first four albums debut at No. 1.
The now-platinum-selling “Blown Away” album also debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making Underwood only the second country artist in history to have three consecutive albums debut at No. 1. She is a six-time Grammy winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner, and a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Underwood is currently headlining and selling out arenas across North America on her “Blown Away Tour.” The tour, which launched last June, has played in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and Australia, and will perform a total of 112 dates by the time is wraps on May 23 in Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
“Sunday Night Football,” which averaged 21.8 million viewers in the 2012 season, is primetime television’s No. 1 program.
The Oklahoma Thunder will continue its Western Conference Playoffs run, as Round 2 vs the Memphis Grizzlies begins today.
Game 1 tips off at noon today at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno. It will air on ABC.
For more information, go to www.nba.com/thunder.
To get Thundered up for this game, check out the highlight video posted below. Hopefully, Kendrick Perkins has been doing lots of pushups to pump up for the Memphis series, since it’s expected to be a battle of the big men pitting Perk, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison against the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The Thunder has advanced to Round 2 of the Western Conference playoffs with last night’s huge win over the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder will begin play in Round 2 vs the Memphis Grizzlies with Game 1 on at noon Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The date and time for Game 2 have not yet been determined.
Tickets for Game 1 and 2 will go on sale at 10 a.m. TODAY. To purchase, click here.
The game also will air on ABC-TV.
For more information, go to www.nba.com/thunder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series at 8:30 tonight in Houston. The game is airing on ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma.
The Thunder lead the series 3-2. Hopefully, our boys in blue will close out the series tonight and move on!
Let’s obey the anthemic instructions of Tulsa-based sibling trio/Thunder super-fans Hanson and get “Fired Up!”
And Thunder up!