Country duo Florida Georgia Line have been tapped to host the first ever American Country Countdown Awards. Cruise hitmakers Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard will helm the inaugural prizegiving based on Brooks & Dunn star Kix Brooks' long-running U.S. radio programme American Country Countdown.
The awards replace the now-defunct American Country Awards, which ran from 2010 to 2013. At last year's (13) final ceremony, Florida Georgia Line took home four trophies, including New Artist of the Year.
The American Country Countdown Awards will be aired live from Nashville, Tennessee's Music City Center on 15 December (14).
Florida Georgia Line star Brian Kelley is creating a new clothing line with his wife, Brittney Marie Cole Kelley. The Cruise hitmaker is adding fashion designer to his resume with a venture called Tribe Kelley, which will launch later this year (14).
Details about the collection are scarce, but a post on the brand's official website describes the line as "a way of life", adding, "Being apart of 'the Tribe' encourages uniqueness and individuality in a world of conformity."
Kelley, who married his wife last December (13), also has a clothing line with his bandmate Tyler Hubbard called Can't Afford Not To, which is set to debut in October (14).
The 2014 CMT Music Awards kicked off with a star-studded video intro on Wednesday night (04Jun14), with host Kristen Bell in search of a co-host for the ceremony. She "interviewed" comedian Tom Arnold, Sean Hayes, and her real-life husband Dax Shepard for the job, but with the help of pals Malin Akerman and Cheryl Hines, decided to go solo. The clip also featured a parody of Jay Z's recent elevator brawl with sister-in-law Solange Knowles, as Luke Bryan was forced to break up the duelling members of Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in a lift.
Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan were crowned the kings of the 2014 CMT Music Awards after they each took home two trophies at the TV network's annual prizegiving on Wednesday (05Jun14). Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard earned prizes for Duo Video of the Year as well as Collaborative Video of the Year for This is How We Roll featuring Bryan.
The Drunk On You hitmaker landed a second award, CMT Performance of the Year, for a separate duet with Lionel Richie thanks to their Oh No/All Night Long set from the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year TV special.
The trio dominated the show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee from the start of the ceremony, when they were joined by ZZ Top and R&B star Jason Derulo to sing and dance to a mash-up of his song Talk Dirty and Florida Georgia Line's This is How We Roll to kick off the programme.
It was also a big night for Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, who won the Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, respectively. This is the second year in a row in which the trio has taken the top honours.
The ceremony, which was hosted by three-time emcee Kristen Bell, also included sets from Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.
John Legend sang a special version of his hit All of Me arranged by Hunter Hayes, while Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles joined in with vocals, and Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves took on Alan Jackson's Livin on Love just before Underwood presented him with the first-ever CMT Impact Award.
The top winners are:
Video of the Year - See You Again by Carrie Underwood
Female Video of the Year - Automatic by Miranda Lambert
Male Video of the Year - Doin' What She Likes by Blake Shelton
Group Video of the Year - Done by The Band Perry
Duo Video of the Year - Round Here by Florida Georgia Line
Breakthrough Video of the Year - Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope
Collaborative Video of the Year - This is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
CMT Performance of the Year - Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for Oh No/All Night Long from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
CMT Impact Award - Alan Jackson
Hours before country singer Luke Bryan took the stage to co-host the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, he drew arrows against his fellow country music stars in a friendly archery contest. Unfortunately Bryan's team, which consisted of singers Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line duo Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, lost to a team led by Justin Moore, featuring Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett and Chuck Wicks.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Florida Georgia Line were forced to cancel a concert in Tennessee on Tuesday (18Feb14) after singer Tyler Hubbard was hospitalised following a bicycle accident. The Cruise hitmaker was blowing off some steam after a week of shows on Sunday (16Feb14) by returning to his country roots and dirt biking in some muddy terrain.
His bandmate Brian Kelley tells TasteofCountry.com that Hubbard fell short on a jump and subsequently injured his back.
The singer was left in excruciating pain, which led him to visit two chiropractors and even make a trip to hospital for further treatment.
As a result, the duo had to scrap its gig in Nashville on Tuesday so ailing Hubbard could recuperate.
The band's Night Train tour is expected to continue as planned on Thursday (20Feb14) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Florida Georgia Line star Brian Kelley has wed his girlfriend Brittney Marie Cole. The Cruise hitmaker exchanged vows with Cole in a low-key sunset ceremony at his new property in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (16Dec13) in front of 40 guests, including his fellow Florida Georgia Line singer Tyler Hubbard and their bandmates.
Kelley's secret wedding took place just seven months after he began dating the 23-year-old University of Georgia student.
The groom tells People magazine, "The whole process has been non-traditional. There was no official proposal or exchanging of rings. We had just fallen in love, and I knew I couldn't live without her. It sounds like a terrible cheesy movie, but when you know, you know!
"The first day we hung out, we just knew that it was something real. I'd never wanted to make someone my wife before. I always want her by my side."
The newlyweds are now planning on heading somewhere tropical for their honeymoon, and while they do have plans to start a family in the future, the band's breakout success has put the idea of kids on hold.
Kelley explains, "One day for sure (we'll have children), but it's too crazy with everything going on right now. We're enjoying being with each other. It's a beautiful love story. It really is."
Kelley and Hubbard have had a whirlwind year thanks to their hit song Cruise, and recently took home Single of the Year at both the Country Music Association Awards and the American Music Awards.
Country duo Florida Georgia Line were left stranded in the desert near Las Vegas on Saturday (28Apr13) after their tour bus broke down. The musicians were 70 miles (113 kilometres) away from Sin City when the vehicle they were travelling in came to a halt by a remote casino.
They documented the drama with a string of photos on the band's Facebook.com page, writing alongside one snap, "Broken down 70 miles out of Vegas in the middle of the desert... at least it happened at a casino."
Another showed the singers, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, soaking up the sun and quipping, "Our take on The Hangover" - in reference to the Bradley Cooper comedy about a group of pals' wild adventures in Las Vegas.
The funny thing about Downton Abbey is that it seems to be like every other one of PBS' British imports: a stodgy costume drama that hews closely to a formula that hasn't changed since Charles Dickens was in short pants. While that may be true, there is something magical about the drama that has captivated audiences in the UK and made it PBS' only hit in, well, decades. But can they replicate the magic again? Their certainly hoping to, and this time the Brits' eyes seem set on America. Welcome to Mr. Selfridge.
The newest bet to keep themselves off of government handouts and keep their audience sending away checks to get quality programming and an endless supply of tote bags is this Jeremy Piven drama based on an actual historical figure. Just like Downton, it is imported from ITV. Unlike the previous show, this one seems configured to take the colonies by storm. First of all it stars an America, Jeremy Piven, the sushi-sick actor who we still have to claim as our own no matter how much we want to disavow him (and all those Emmys he won for Entourage), and he's playing an America. Next, it follows the Downton formula so closely that it could be a conjoined twin. Or maybe an America cousin.
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The comparisons start off right from the beginning, with the title sequence, a plinkety, catchy and immediately recognizable theme song plays over the actors names as we see flashes of life in London in 1909. The title character is a huckster from Chicago who comes across the sea to create the greatest department store in the world. Not only do we deal with him, his family, and the high-class London set that he runs with hoping to cultivate investors and customers from the upper echelons, we also get the stories of the shop girls, clerks (which the British still pronounce with a long A), and other functionaries in the store. It's the same upstairs/downstairs effect as another show of which we've grown very fond and has a penchant for killing off its nobles. This one was written by Andrew Davies, who masterminded the critically adored and popular adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair, and House of Cards for British TV.
So, does it live up to its older brother? Well, yes and no. It only has about 7 million viewers in its home country, which is less than the 10.7 million who watched the Season 3 finale of the show and the 11.5 million people that PBS says watched Season 3 of Downton on our shores. Still even half that would be quite a feat for the little channel to pull off.
RELATED: 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Breaks Ratings Records
As for the quality, it just doesn't quite have the same spark. Jeremy Piven is, well, Jeremy Piven, a nimble actor who is nearly impossible to like. As a snake oil salesman with a noble clientele, he has a bit of charm, but there is nothing behind the character. We have no motivation for why he wants to succeed or what the stakes are if he doesn't, other than the obvious. (Also knowing the real Selfridge ended up peniless on the street doesn't bode well for his character.) The female characters are more well drawn and interesting, especially accessories salesgirl Miss Towler (Aisling Loftus), ingenue and spokesmodel Ellen Love (Zoe Tapper), and sultry noblewoman Lady Mae (Katherine Kelley, who has already said she won't be back for Season 2, which ITV has already ordered). Sure the show (and the store) may be named after the man they're all chasing, but they're the ones who are shoplifting it.
Still the American aspect of the show is what is the most interesting. Here is the man who turned shopping from a drudgery into entertainment, and of course it took someone from the good old U.S. of A. to create conspicuous consumption. But is this what our countrymen want to watch necessarily? Well the ones who are already fans of PBS and costume dramas will surely be amused, but for the rest of it, the show is a bit like one of Selfridge's blustering speeches: lots of flash with little sentiment behind it.
Mr. Selfridge debuts with a two-hour episode on PBS on Sunday, March 31. Check your local listings or PBS.org.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: PBS]
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