Toby Keith has topped a Forbes list of highest-paid country singers for the second year in a row. The Red Solo Cup hitmaker has raked in $65 million (£38 million) since June, 2013, according to editors at the magazine.
The sum includes profits from his own record label, Show Dog - Universal, as well as his endorsement deal with Ford, his I Love This Bar and Grill restaurant franchise, and his liquor range, Wild Shot.
Over the past six years, Keith has earned more than $335 million (£197 million), according to the magazine.
Taylor Swift stays put at number two from last year's list, having earned $64 million (£37 million) in the past 12 months, while Kenny Chesney is at three with $44 million (£26 million), and Jason Aldean ($37 million/£22 million) and Luke Bryan ($34 million/£20 million) round out the new top five.
Country music superstar Kenny Chesney has stepped in to help find a solution to a ticketing mix up caused by a technical error on his official website for his only live show of 2014. Fans of the singer/songwriter logged on to the site on 17 July (14) in the hope of landing tickets for his free Flora-Bama-Jama beach concert in Florida next month (Aug14), but the traffic surge prompted a crash.
A number of devotees received notices revealing they had succeeded in securing wristbands for the show, only to later discover the message had been sent by mistake due to a technical issue, and they were only on a waiting list for tickets.
The ticketing mess prompted Chesney to step in to help sort out the problem, and he subsequently managed to work out a deal with promoters to allow everyone caught up in the controversy access to the big gig.
A statement issued by the singer on his Facebook.com page reads: "I never want to let my fans down. When I heard what happened, I told my team: there's got to be a solution. Let's find one. They've been on the phone all day, and into tonight. Working with the city, so we wouldn't have to tell people 'You can't come.'
"I'm lucky: I have an awesome team. They get my passion for what we do, but they really get my passion for you guys. Safety has to come first... and that was the biggest piece of resolving this situation. Making sure there was a way to accommodate everyone and keep it safe.
"The city, the incredible staff at the Flora-Bama and a host of others helped us find a way to allow everyone who received an RSVP notification saying they could pick up wristbands at Will Call to be accommodated. We want to get this right. We need to take a little more time to have everything absolutely together. But I didn't want people feeling uncertain, uncared for or left in the dark any longer."
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
To a large extent, blockbuster movie soundtracks are all the same. There's probably some Kanye, a few dubstep tracks to keep things upbeat, maybe a classic rock song or two, and then some kind of instrumental score meant to add some tension or sentiment at the appropriate moments. And it makes sense — you're not paying for perfectly-scored moments of emotion, you're paying to watch people punch each other and blow things up. So when a blockbuster film manages to match the perfect song to the perfect scene, something special happens. Suddenly, it's not just about the effects. It's about the experience. And even though we've yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy, we can tell that it's going to be that kind of film, thanks to the cheesy classic rock featured in the trailer and the presence of the founding member of Mouserat. In honor of its August 1 release, we've rounded up some of the most iconic blockbuster movie moments in cinema history. After all, what's the point in saving the world if Kenny Loggins isn't singing about it?
“Trouble Man” by Marvin Gaye, Captain America: The Winter Soldier At the start of the film, Sam Wilson makes a tentative attempt at friendship with ol' Steve Rogers by recommending he check out Marvin Gaye’s classic 1972 album; at the end of the film, Steve wakes up in a hospital bed with Sam by his side and the title track playing over the speakers. Because even if you’re unconscious, Sam Wilson is going to ensure that your musical education is complete.
"Non Je ne Rigrette Rien” by Edith Piaf, Inception Primarily used as a way to signal to the people in-dream that the kick is coming, “Non Je ne Rigreete Rien” also warned of a much more dangerous shock headed towards the team: Mal. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose for the recurring dream-ghost of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dead French ex-wife, but finding the perfect movie music moment isn’t necessarily about being clever – it’s about creating a mood. And besides, Christopher Nolan’s not the subtle type.
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, Rocky III It doesn’t matter that Rocky didn’t start training to the sweet, sweet sounds of ‘80s rock until the third installment of the franchise. When you think Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger” automatically starts playing in your head. It might not have been the original music moment of the series, but it’s the most enduring; even the Broadway production couldn’t resist working it into the score. You should hear it in five-part harmony.
“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, Top Gun The love scene scored to Berlin might be a bit more iconic, thanks to its awesomely cheesy use of backlighting, but the best musical moment in Top Gun is, without a doubt, the montage of fighter pilots taking off, scored to what is perhaps Kenny Loggins’ most ridiculous hit of all. Did Berlin give us one of the best running jokes of all time? No. No they did not.
Rogue Pictures via Everett Collection
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy is filled with hilarious gags and perfectly-timed music cues but none are more elaborate, ridiculous or more pitch-perfect than the gang’s choreographed attacks on the zombies in the bar, using an assortment of pool cues, a fire extinguisher and a last-minute rifle. The fact that everyone in the film acknowledges the insanity of the situation – and even dance along! – makes it unforgettable.
“Where Is My Mind” by Pixies, Fight Club Fight Club is a weird, twisted psychological thriller that leaves you questioning what was real and what was hallucinated. Therefore, the only appropriate song to end it with is one that asks the core question of the film: “Where Is My Mind?” Just melancholy enough to fit the tone, and just obvious enough to help even the slowest members of the audience make the connection.
“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, Back to the Future When you’re tasked with reviving the party at your parents prom, you could go the safe route and play something everyone would be familiar with, or you could invent rock and roll by busting out some Chuck Berry… before he’s even heard it. And then you can make everything awkward by extending a guitar solo for far too long and freaking everyone out, but hey, Marty McFly was ahead of his time. It’s not his fault they didn’t get it.
“You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid In the ‘80s, wimpy kids everywhere were inspired to stand up for themselves and find their inner Karate Kid thanks to Mr. Miyagi. But his “wax on, wax off” philosophy would be nothing without the encouraging synth-pop of Joe Esposito telling them that nothing could ever bring them down. How else were they supposed to get pumped up for the biggest karate competition of their life? Or you know, the playground. Both are intimidating.
“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, Easy Rider Since its release in 1968, “Born to Be Wild” has been the second favorite song of music supervisors looking to indicate someone as a “bad boy” without actually forcing the other characters to say it. (The first, of course, is “Bad to the Bone.”) It might be cliché now, but it all dates back to 1969, when Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda set off on a road trip and ensuring that any time someone bought a motorcycle, a Steppenwolf reference would be made.
Country music icon Alan Jackson is lending some of his most personal artefacts to the Country Music Hall of Fame for a special exhibit celebrating his 25-year career. The Grammy winner's most notable items will be featured in Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin' It Country at the country music Mecca in Nashville, Tennessee.
Beginning 29 August (14), fans will be able to visit the exhibition chronicling his rise to fame, and view items such as his handwritten lyrics to hits Livin' on Love and Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning), and various awards he's won throughout the years.
Also on display will be the Harley-Davidson motorcycle featured on the cover of Jackson's A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love) album, the water ski from the Chattahoochee music video, and his childhood bicycle.
In addition, Jackson was also named the Country Music Hall of Fame's Artist-in-Residence for 2014. With the honour, he will perform a number of intimate concerts for fans this autumn (14).
Musicians such as Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill and Kris Kristofferson have previously been named the Hall of Fame's Artist-in-Residence.
This will mark the first time an Artist-in-Residence has a corresponding special exhibition at the museum.
The real-life inspiration for Michael Richards' Seinfeld character Cosmo Kramer has lost a $1 million (£588,235) defamation lawsuit against comedian Fred Stoller. Funnyman Kenny Kramer, a former neighbour of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, accused Stoller of portraying him as a homophobe in his recent memoir after describing how guides on Kramer's New York bus tour allegedly shouted one of the show's famous lines, "Not that there's anything wrong with that", at community members whenever they took tourists through the historically gay-friendly neighbourhood of Greenwich Village.
However, the suit was thrown out of a Manhattan court on Monday (14Jul14) after Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled there was nothing offensive about the mention in Stoller's 2013 release, Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star.
She noted, "The phrase expressly conveys the notion that there is nothing wrong with being gay. In that respect, it cannot be considered homophobic."
Stoller served as a comedy writer on Seinfeld for one season and also appeared onscreen as annoying character Fred.
Irish parliamentary officials have waded into the abrupt cancellation of Garth Brooks' five sold-out shows at Dublin's Croke Park in a bid to settle the highly-publicised permit dispute. The Friends in Low Places hitmaker pulled out of the concerts, which were due to take place at the end of this month (Jul14), on Tuesday (08Jul14) after Dublin City Council members rejected promoters' application to extend the original three-night run to five.
They had decided that three performances at Croke Park, a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)-owned venue in a residential area, would cause enough disruption for local neighbours and businesses, but Brooks insisted he would play all five or none at all.
The head of the Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, refused to bow to the pressure and as a result, the string of gigs were axed.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny even stepped in to set up mediation talks between Keegan and the Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke on Thursday (10Jul14) in a bid to salvage the mini-residency and put a stop to the negative press, but the meeting was cancelled for unknown reasons, reports the BBC.
Now council officials, GAA venue executives and concert organisers at Aiken Promotions are due to appear at a parliamentary hearing to establish how the Brooks comeback run had turned into such a debacle and find any possible solution.
Local politician and council member John O'Mahony says, "Everything that can be done will be done by the government in the next few days."
Brooks has also vowed not to give up his fight and has promised Aiken Promotions chief Peter Aiken he will "go to the last second".
In a letter addressed to Aiken, the singer writes: "I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now (over the axed shows).
"If there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged... then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin... If you think for any reason that the 'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second."
The shows had been billed as Brooks' Irish comeback after a 17-year absence.
Psychic to the stars Kenny Kingston has died at the age of 87 after a long battle with a cardiovascular disease. The beloved seer, who boasted Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Lucille Ball, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and John Wayne among his celebrity clients, passed away on Monday (30Jun14).
He was the first psychic to appear on primetime television in the U.S., on programmes such as The Flip Wilson Show, and he was a regular on variety hits hosted by Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen.
Kingston went on to front his own online radio show, which ran until 2011, and he also found success with the Kenny Kingston Psychic Hotline, which fans looking for career and romantic advice would seek out.
He also penned five books on the spiritual world and was often approached by media outlets for insights from dead stars, like Monroe, who became one of his spirit companions from beyond the grave.
Kingston is survived by his partner of 35 years, Valerie Porter.
The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is calling on concert promoters at Live Nation to share the costs of the clean-up following country star Luke Bryan's record-setting concert on Saturday night (21Jun14). The Drunk on You hitmaker brought his That's My Kinda Night tour to the city's Heinz Field and surpassed both Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift by selling 50,000 tickets - the most ever sold for a concert at the stadium.
However, eager fans tailgating prior to the event left behind massive amounts of trash, and according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper, city officials have had to pay an additional $2,000 (£1,174) to have public areas cleaned.
A statement from Mayor Bill Peduto reads: "We've worked too hard to build the quality of life in Pittsburgh to let others get away with destroying it.
"My administration will investigate further ways to hold promoters more accountable for these costs and impacts while recognizing the economic benefits such large events bring to our publicly owned facilities."
In addition to the cleanup costs, more than 300 incidents were reported to police during the concert and led to seven arrests, 10 citations for public urination, six citations for disorderly conduct and 34 transports to area hospitals.
Prior to taking the stage, Bryan even took to Twitter.com to remind his fans to clean up after themselves, stating, "Be mindful of your tailgate (party) area. Clean up please. We wanna come back many more times."
Last year (13), fans attending Chesney's No Shoes Nation Tour left behind an even bigger amount of rubbish, as more than 45,000 pounds of trash had to be removed.
Veteran Scottish actor Kenny Ireland has been diagnosed with cancer. The 68 year old's character has been written out of hit U.K. TV comedy Benidorm so he can undergo treatment for the disease, reports Britain's The Sun.
A source tells the newspaper, "The diagnosis was crushing for Kenny and his family. This is obviously a very difficult time for them and they are coping as best they can.
"The priority is Kenny's health. As soon as he was given the news he pulled out of the latest series of Benidorm which, of course, everyone understood."
Ireland has been a part of the cast since the show debuted in 2007. He has also appeared in TV series such as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and the original U.K. version of House of Cards.
A new Broadway musical based on the songs of late rap icon Tupac Shakur has drawn mixed reviews following its official opening on Thursday (19Jun14). Acclaimed director Kenny Leon, who won a Tony Award earlier this month (Jun14) for his revival of A Raisin In the Sun, put together Holler If Ya Hear Me, a non-biographical show featuring a love story set to the hip-hop star's tracks.
The production, which was staged with the blessing of the California Love hitmaker's mother and estate executor Afeni Shakur, launched at New York's Palace Theatre on Thursday, but the musical has split critics.
The New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz praises lead actor Saul Williams' portrayal of John, a self-taught artist who attempts to stay out of trouble after being released from prison, branding his performance "magnetic".
However, Dziemianowicz laments the "predictability" of the show's storyline, despite a "vibrant, raw and rousing" production - sentiments echoed by critics for both Variety and The New York Times.
The Times' Charles Isherwood insists the "beats are sweet, and the words often have an electric charge", but claims the "ambitious" show feels "heavy-handed", while The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney was less than impressed, dismissing the show as "misconceived" and "destined to fall on deaf ears".