WILLIE NELSON'S FOURTH
SPICEWOOD, Texas (AP) — Tradition will meet technology when Willie Nelson holds his annual Fourth of July Picnic. Like just about event other event that isn't outright canceled these days, his event will be virtual — because of concerns about the coronavirus. This year's 50-year-old music party will be shown on luck.stream and on williepicnic.com. Tickets for the picnic are still available online at williepicnic.com. Other performers expected to play include Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Steve Earle and Nelson’s fellow Texas-based singers Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Kinky Friedman.
ACTORS UNION TELLS MEMBERS NOT TO WORK ON “SONGBIRD"
LOS ANGELES (AP) — File this one under irony. The union that represents actors has told its members not to work on the upcoming movie “Songbird." The reason: SAG/AFTRA says the filmmakers haven't been up front about safety measures needed to keep the cast and crew protected from possible coronavirus contagion. The movie would be among the first to try to resume production after the months-long Hollywood shutdown for the pandemic. The film's description in IMDbPro.com includes the description, “In a post-pandemic world, an even more serious virus continues to mutate.”
KACEY MUSGRAVES, RUSTON KELLY FILE FOR DIVORCE
NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning country singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce. Reps for both singers have confirmed news of the pending split to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly say, “we’ve made this painful decision together.” Musgraves and Kelly were married in 2017. Both are both 31.
CHRISTINA RICCI FILING FOR DIVORCE
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Not only is Christina Ricci looking to get rid of her husband — via divorce — she is also asking that her ex-to-be have little to nothing to do with the child they had together. The actress filed divorce papers yesterday, seeking to dissolve their 7-year-old union. She cites irreconcilable differences for requesting the split from James Heerdegen. The papers also say Ricci wants sole legal and physical custody of their 5-year-old son, Freddie.
VANILLA ICE CANCELS CONCERT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Vanilla Ice couldn't take the heat he was getting for trying to pull off a concert set for today. So, he has canceled his planned lakeside performance in Austin, Texas. The 1990's-era rap star had drawn criticism for his effort to bring hundreds of fans together in a state that remains one of the nation's coronavirus hot spots. In a tweet, Vanilla Ice says because rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, he will move the concert “to a better date.”
WASHINGTON REDSKINS DOING A NAME-CHECK
WASHINGTON (AP) — Will it soon be hail — and farewell — to the Redskins? The Washington NFL team says it has begun what it calls a “thorough review” of its nickname. The move is a first step at signaling that the franchise is at least thinking about changing the name, considered by many to be a Native American slur. The announcement today might be seen as akin to someone in a pouring rain making a “thorough review" of their decision not to carry an umbrella. The move follows yesterday's announcement by FedEx that it was asking the team to change the name. FedEx pays $205 million to the team to put its name and logo on the Washington team's home field. And it comes after Nike appeared to have pulled all the team's products from its website, while leaving in place gear for all other NFL teams.
NFL TO PLAY BLACK ANTHEM BEFORE OPENING WEEK CONTESTS
UNDATED (AP) — Usually the only time you will hear two anthems played at an American sports event — is when there's a team from Canada visiting a U.S.-based team. But during Opening Week of the NFL season, all games will start with two anthems. The league says it will perform or play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” before the opening kickoff of all Week 1 games. The song is considered a Black anthem by many African Americans. The league is also is thinking about adding the names of victims of police brutality on helmet decals or jersey patches. Back in 2015, the anthem controversy caught fire when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner" to protest racism and police brutality. After the following season, Kaepernick couldn't land another gig in the league and Trump was elected president. However, since the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Movement has taken hold, part of a national call for changes in the way America deals with its racial problems.