ACMS WILL BE IN NASHVILLE FOR THE FIRST TIME
LOS ANGELES (AP) - For the first time in its 55-year history, the Academy of Country Music Awards will be in Nashville. The ACMs will broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Café on Sept. 16. The show was originally supposed to be in Las Vegas in April, but it was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Keith Urban will host the ceremony.
GOSPEL SINGER TROY SNEED DIES OF COVID-19
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gospel singer Troy Sneed has died from complications of the coronavirus. His publicist, Bill Carpenter, says Sneed died early yesterday at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Sneed was 52. Sneed started his career singing with the Georgia Mass Choir. He appeared with them in the 1996 film “The Preacher’s Wife.” Sneed later helped form Youth For Christ, a group of singers ages 12 to 18. He produced the song “The Struggle is Over,” which was Youth For Christ’s number-one gospel song in 2006. He also released seven solo albums and is known for his upbeat gospel song, “Hallelujah.”
“CALL TO UNITE” WILL CELEBRATE SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK
LOS ANGELES (AP) - More than 200 celebrities will take part in an online event aimed at offering support during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the musicians participating are Alanis Morissette, Portugal. The Man, LeAnn Rimes, Questlove, 98 Degrees and Josh Groban. Other participants include Quincy Jones, Peter Yarrow, Steve Aoki, Rodney Atkins, Common, Aloe Blacc, Amy Grant, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Darlene Love and Jewel. The event is described as a celebration of people showing each other love and support during the pandemic. Unite is a collaboration of leaders led by Tim Shriver, the head of the Special Olympics. The 24-hour event begins Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern. It will livestream on unite.us, as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
LIAM PAYNE, GROUPLOVE WILL BE PART OF ONLINE GRADUATION CEREMONY
NEW YORK (AP) - College students who will miss out on graduation ceremonies this year because of the coronavirus pandemic can still get words of wisdom from Liam Payne and Grouplove. They will be part of the “I’m Still Graduating” online ceremony on May 15, sponsored by Her Campus, a website geared to women in college. The ceremony will feature speeches and performances. Saweetie, Jesse McCartney and Austin Mahone also will take part, as will actress Eva Longoria, comedian Margaret Cho, Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin (NAHS'-tee-uh LOO'-kihn) and tennis legend Billie Jean King.
H.E.R., AVA MAX WILL PLAY VIRTUAL PROM
NEW YORK (AP) - H.E.R. (HER), Ava Max, Jojo and CNCO (SINK’-oh) will play a virtual prom for the high schoolers who can’t go to theirs because of the coronavirus outbreak. Teen Vogue is sponsoring the online prom on Zoom on May 16. The site expects more than 5,000 students to attend, with separate rooms for different schools.
BRANDY CLARK ENLISTS RANDY NEWMAN’S HELP FOR NEW ALBUM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - How did Brandy Clark get Randy Newman to sing on her new album, “Your Life Is A Record”? She asked him, even though she didn’t know him. Clark says Newman agreed to sing on it, under one condition: he changed a line of the song because of a curse word. Clark says in the nicest way possible, Newman told her, “I don't want to say that word, and my line's better anyway.” He said he did not want a songwriting credit for that. Clark says part of her wanted to give him a credit so she could say she wrote a song with Randy Newman. “Your Life Is A Record” is out now.
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TRAVIS SCOTT RELEASES “ASTRONOMICAL” ON YOUTUBE
LOS ANGELES (AP) - If you missed Travis Scott’s “Astronomical” event on Fortnite last week, he’s now put it on YouTube. Scott did a performance of “Astronomical” within the game, starting last Thursday. Fortnite creators say more than 27.7 million unique players participated live 45.8 million times across the five times “Astronomical” was performed within the game.
STING, THE STROKES PARTICIPATE IN CHARITY AUCTION
NEW YORK (AP) - Sting and The Strokes are each auctioning off special opportunities as part of a Sotheby’s sale to benefit coronavirus relief efforts. Sting will offer to record a song with you, and The Strokes are offering a virtual hangout session. Sotheby’s will hold the online auction May 1-8 to benefit the International Rescue Committee's efforts to combat COVID-19. Sasha Baron Cohen, Patrick Stewart and the cast and creator of “Downton Abbey” are also offering unique fan opportunities.
TRACE ADKINS, RENEE FLEMING WILL PERFORM ONLINE FOR NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
WASHINGTON (AP) - Trace Adkins, Renee Fleming and Cynthia Erivo will be among the entertainers for the virtual version of the National Memorial Day Concert. Mary McCormack, Kelli O’Hara, Esai Morales, Sam Elliott, Laurence Fishburne and General Colin Powell will be part of the specially produced show that normally would be on the National Mall in Washington. Joe Mantegna (mahn-TAYN'-yuh) and Gary Sinise (suh-NEES') will host the program, which airs May 24 on PBS.
BLUEGRASS MUSEUM GOES VIRTUAL
OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is taking its exhibits online, since the museum itself is closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Executive Director Chris Joslin hosts a series of videos where he goes through the collection at the museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. He even performs songs that are important to different eras of bluegrass. Among the items Joslin highlights are the fiddle from Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen, who inspired Monroe to play bluegrass.
by Margie Szaroleta