Armed with raw talent and rock-and-roll swagger, Bo Bice changed the way contestants looked and sounded on "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ), as well as paved the way for non-pop artists to compete on the...
Tributes continue to pour in for country music legend George Jones following his death on Friday (26Apr13). Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and Sheryl Crow were among the first country stars to offer their thoughts about the icon's passing, and now Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have added their respects to the He Stopped Loving Her Today singer.
Underwood posted a snapshot of her posing with Jones on a motorbike and wrote, "Happy memory of me and George. You may have left us, but your music and your legacy never will," while her longtime pal and former tour mate Paisley added, "My friend, the greatest singer of all time, has passed.To those who knew him, our lives were full. To those of you who don't: discover him now."
As the music world mourned Jones' death, country stars like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Alan Jackson also remembered the singer, with Jackson tweeting, "Heaven better get ready for George Jones. He will always be the greatest singer of real country music - there’ll never be another."
Meanwhile, Jason Aldean offered, "So sad to hear about the passing of George Jones today. Country music has lost one of our pioneers and legendary icons. You will never be forgotten." And Sugarland star Jennifer Nettles added, "'ll never forget the first time I heard the story in He Stopped Loving Her Today. RIP George Jones. Country Legend. U will be missed."
Other tributes came from Joe Nichols, Bo Bice, Clay Walker and Kings of Leon's Nathan Followill, who tweeted, "Taking my gal dancing tonight. There will be multiple adult beverages drank in Mr Jones honor."
Jones, who died in Nashville, Tennessee, was known as "the greatest voice in country music". He was preparing to bow out of seven decades as an entertainer with a series of final shows at the time of his death.
A final Nashville concert in November (13) was scheduled to feature Keith Richards, Garth Brooks, Kid Rock and Kenny Rogers.
One of the world's greatest and most timeless country legends has passed away. George Jones, best known for his song "He Stopped Loving Her Today," passed away Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn at the age of 81. He had been hospitalized for a fever and high blood pressure, Fox News reports.
This truly is a sad day for the country world. Over the past 20 years, the country community has credited Jones as the greatest living country singer of all time — and many singers even mention him in their own music. Jones will always be remembered for his hard living ways, stormy relationships, distinctive voice, and for his endless list of hits, which includes "White Lightning," "Tender Years," and "We're Gonna Hold On," which he recorded with his then wife Tammy Wynette.
After hearing the devastating news, the country community took to Twitter to remember the late legend.
We lost one of the best voices God created this morning. Our hearts are saddened to hear that George Jones has passed away...
— Faith Hill (@FaithHill) April 26, 2013
nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special relationship. love you nancy. long live the possum. gonna miss my buddy. real sad.
— Dierks Bentley (@DierksBentley) April 26, 2013
Really REALLY bad news. We've lost a country music legend. And I've lost a hero and a friend.Goodbye George Jones...
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) April 26, 2013
So sad we lost "the possum" today. R.I.P George Jones and know we didn't stop loving you today. You will live on forever in our hearts.
— LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (@leannrimes) April 26, 2013
Such a sad day... May you Rest in Peace George Jones. @gjpossum
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) April 26, 2013
George Jones passed away this morning. We will miss ya Possum.There will never be another!! Make them angels weep up there GJ.
— Bo Bice (@OfficialBoBice) April 26, 2013
Gone ...... George Jones .....man he was country music
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) April 26, 2013
If I'm blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!! -KU
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) April 26, 2013
George Jones was my friend, and I loved him. Trace Adkins
— TraceAdkins (@TraceAdkins) April 26, 2013
So saddened to hear of George Jones' passing.He was an idol of mine and a true legend! One of the best voices of a… say.ly/dET5Gsc
— Sara Evans (@saraevansmusic) April 26, 2013
I'll never forget the first time I heard the story in "He Stopped Loving Her Today". RIP George Jones. Country Legend. U will be missed.
— Jennifer Nettles (@JenniferNettles) April 26, 2013
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
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Over the course of its 11 seasons, American Idol has produced a healthy supply of classic Idols. I’m not talking about the Carrie Underwoods or Jennifer Hudsons, superstars who, during their tenure on the show, only teased their future abilities, making us unsure as to whether they actually did have a shot to become an A-lister after the glitz of reality TV wore off. I’m talking about the classic Idols who not only accumulated an overzealous fanbase, but also managed to make an already addictive Idol even more intriguing, no matter their success level following the show. I’m referring Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Bo Bice, David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Haley Reinhart, and, yes, I’d even say Blake Lewis, who revolutionized the series in ways no one gave him credit for. (No one truly made any song, as Randy would say, his or her own until Blake beat-boxed his way into our hearts, and then into obscurity, during Season 6.)
These Idols might not have been the most successful to grace the stage (Kelly withstanding), but they certainly were the most entertaining. They blew us away with their passion and talent, and drew us in even further with intriguing personalities. If we brought this to a rank, they might very well make up my Top 10, if we’re solely counting entertainment value on the Idol stage. So it’s surprising to hear the judges’ panel rank Joshua Ledet as one of the two best Idols of all time, when I’d be hard pressed to find him a spot in the Top 20.
Don’t get me wrong: Dude is talented and he might transform into an industry superstar, which is good since his “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” suit made it clear he has no future as a botanist. But, unlike the judges, I can’t see what’s unique and exciting about the singer, who’s failed to garner enough criticism to encourage him to show us anything unique and exciting. Instead, week in and week out, our judges give him standing ovations for churning out performances more fit for season 3 than a post-David Cook season 11. Not only that, but they named him one of the best singers to ever exist in 50 years. So, sorry, Aretha Franklin, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Joshua, a star of a reality show on a network that made a name for itself airing a show about bored police officers that bust drunk idiots, has got you had.
Look, I understand hyperbole. It’s likely the judges don’t actually feel Joshua could be stacked against those greats, no matter how many times the ejector button shoots them out of their seats. But Joshua’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” was a faithful cover of The Temptations hit that was only slightly better than George Huff’s rendition in Season 3. And, while Joshua ended “To Love Somebody” on many a high note, the performance was just as listenable as Clay Aiken’s version in Season 2, but no more. But perhaps nothing shows the judges’ unfair favoritism towards Joshua than their high praise of Joshua and Phillip’s duet of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” a performance not only horrendous because of its pitchiness, but also because of the fact that Joshua and Phillip failed to play sweaty shirtless volleyball after the performance. Steven, in fact, labeled it “perfect,” despite the contestants’ inability to keep a straight face during the entire performance — they broke so often during the song, all it was missing was Jimmy Fallon.
NEXT: Phillip's Self-Sabotage?
One could even say the judges also harbor favoritism for our favorite pawn shop worker, Phillip, who brought us self-sabotage of Jason Castro levels last night. There was the aforementioned “Lovin’ Feeling,” the worst duet to hit the Idol stage since James Durbin’s and Jacob Lusk’s “I’m Into Something Good.” There was his take on The Zombies’ “Time of the Season,” which saw him struggling on high notes he should have never attempted to hit. (The judges might have been surprised with his straight-forward take, saying, “He can really sing the melody!” but they failed to take into account that he couldn’t sing it well.) Then there was the biggest Idol no-no of all: The heartthrob brought his girlfriend to CBS Television City. Phillip had to have known that would send a flurry of his fans straight to their Lisa Frank diaries, where they bitterly write down Joshua’s phone number, sniffling away the tears as they realized that maybe Phillip wasn’t singing right at them every Wednesday night after all. Sniff.
But, as much as I adore Phillip and the gray, cringe-y way he makes Tommy Hilfiger cringe, self-sabotage is hardly as dumb as pairing with the cowboy during group week. In fact, Phillip would be much better off being sent home Thursday night, a scenario as plausible as the possibility that J. Lo will wear sequins and make me wonder who her very talented doctor is. As we’ve seen over the course of the past 11 seasons, a rock star winner on Idol is faced with a disadvantage. Forced into the music scene as a solo act showered in confetti on reality television, rock winners — see: David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze — have found it difficult to build cred in the industry. On the other hand, an artist like Chris Daughtry — who was just as recording-ready as Phillip during his tenure on Idol in Season 4 — managed to accumulate a group of fans dedicated to making sure he built the acclaim and respect he so deserved on the reality show. Because, at this point, Phillip doesn’t need Idol. He know who he is and what kind of album he needs to record — one that should include lovely and listenable performances like “The Letter.” As guest mentor Steven Van Zandt said, “Leave him alone. He’s good. Badabing, badaboom, parkway, other New Jersey stereotypical phrases.”
It’s hard to believe I’m imagining an Idol world in which Phillip goes home, and Hollie may stay. What is this, opposite night? Am I now supposed to compliment Brian Dunkleman on his hosting skills last night? Where am I? What year is it? How did I get here? Who does No. 2 work for? But not only do I believe Hollie will stay, but I believe she should stay. Granted, Idol set up her underdog storyline perfectly: After being at the receiving end of insults from judges and fans alike, Hollie began her Idol climb last week with, appropriately, “The Climb.” And now, we hand the British lass a British Night theme. Cut to: A tepid performance of Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” that the judges conveniently failed to criticize as much as Jessica Sanchez’s Tina Turner cover, and a version of “Bleeding Love” that allows audiences to compare her with another reality show winner, the U.K. X Factor’s Leona Lewis. (Even though Steven couldn’t, since he managed to avoid all radios and doctor’s offices in 2007, having never heard the song before.) It’s no surprise the show seems to be supporting the contestant: Idol would be better off with Hollie on the show — there’s nothing the reality series’ viewers love more than to bash a contestant that undeservingly outlasted their favorite. (See: Danny Gokey, Sanjaya Malakar, Syesha Mercado, Scott Savol, etc.) To rid Idol of Hollie rids the show of some of some desirable intrigue that could make The Voice-hating ratings fairies at Fox celebrate.
NEXT: Where does Skylar fit in?
So I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollie’s reality-friendly storyline picked up the young female vote. Which means Season 11’s other young girls might also be in jeopardy come Thursday, especially if audiences failed to connect with Jessica’s spirited-but-disturbingly-sexy cover of “Proud Mary,” presumably performed against a backdrop of set items stolen from the set of Chicago. (I’ll take “Potently Inappropriate Dresses For a Teenager” for $600, Alex!) And it doesn’t help her cause that the judges criticized her for taking on the dragon that is Tina Turner, without having doled out the same criticism to supposed slayer Hollie. (Not to mention the fact that J. Lo wondered rhetorically, “How could you let this girl go home?” which pretty much introduces the possibility that Jessica could leave CBS Television City Thursday night.) But I’d find it impossible if anyone in the viewing was unable to connect with Jessica’s fittingly beautiful version of “You Are So Beautiful,” which was so alluring and perfectly executed, it’s despicable to think the young singer has never been gifted Idol’s pimp spot. (Predictably, Joshua scored the spot Wednesday night for the second time.) Come on, Nigel! She’s sitting on the floor! In the name of Fantasia and Katharine McPhee, don’t you know that floor-sitting leads to an automatic Idol moment?!
And then that leaves us with Skylar, the consummate professional who, week in and week out, offers up fun performances so contagious, I hope a trip with CBS Television City comes complete with a CDC vaccine shot. But that’s precisely her problem: Skylar lacks not only the tearful histrionics that garners votes, but the intriguing storyline that sends fans racing to their cell phones. Joshua is the anointed one, Phillip is the rebel, Jessica is the victim, and Hollie is the dark horse. But how do you categorize Skylar? Sure, her “Fortunate Son,” was a perfect song to show off her stage presence, and anyone who didn’t fall for “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” is as weird as that couple on the bench. But the CCR song’s counter-culture theme might not gel with her fanbase, and Skylar’s latter performance is far too perfect a swan song to quell my nerves surrounding her fate Thursday night. And after her bottom three visit last week, perhaps only luck will keep her from riding an ATV right out of CBS Television City. Perhaps she should have performed “Knock on Wood” after all.
Do you get the Joshua hype, readers? Who’s headed home Thursday? Did Jessica, Skylar, and Hollie sing “Higher and Higher,” or was the song performed by a series of American Girl Dolls? Why did Elise Testone get a goodbye montage in the opening credits, but Colton Dixon didn’t last week? And did Steven Van Zandt learn his chair-sitting etiquette from Flashdance?
Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard
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Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley have added a new addition to their family. Heigl's rep confirms that the couple has adopted a second daughter. “Yes they have adopted a baby,” the statement says.
Heigl and Kelley have always been supportive of the adoption process. They actually adopted their first daughter, Naleigh — who is now 3 years old — in September 2009 from South Korea. Since then, they have been open to the idea of adopting again. “We have talked about having biological children as well, but we decided to adopt first," Heigl said recently. "I’d like to adopt again.”
This couldn't be more exciting news for the adorable family. Now, little Naleigh has a playmate!
[People, ET Canada]
Tamera Mowry Is Pregnant
Bo Bice Welcomes a Baby Girl
Bo Bice better get ready to start braiding hair, playing dress-up, and having tea parties. The American Idol star announced on his website that he and his wife Caroline welcomed the birth of a baby girl on Monday.
But mama and papa better keep an eye on their precious little girl as young boys can be rough — Merrin Elizabeth Joy Bice is the couple's first daughter. They already have three sons named Adain, Caleb, and Ean.
Little Merrin weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs., 11 oz., according to the website. And, "both mom and baby are doing great."
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Armed with raw talent and rock-and-roll swagger, Bo Bice changed the way contestants looked and sounded on "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ), as well as paved the way for non-pop artists to compete on the hit show. Harold Elwin Bice III was born on Nov. 1, 1975 in Helena, AL and reportedly received the nickname "Bo" after his grandmother thought the newborn resembled actor Humphrey Bogart. Bice grew up with his mother, a gospel singer who exposed him to music at an early age, after she remarried and moved the family to England when he was 14. The future star dropped out of high school in 1993 and moved back to Alabama to pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. Bice released his first album in 1995 with the band Purge and opened for several bands on tour, including Warrant and Blackfoot. For its fourth season, producers of the hit reality competition series "American Idol" raised the age limit for auditions to 28 years old. Upon the encouragement of his family, Bice tried out for the show that summer and landed in the season's Top 12 finalists. As one of the oldest contestants to ever appear on the show, Bice competed against fellow rocker Constantine Maroulis, R&B singer Vonzell Solomon, and an Oklahoma-born country sweetheart named Carrie Underwood.<p>During his season, Bice proved long-haired rockers had a rightful place on the "American Idol" stage. He consistently wowed the show's judges and millions of fans with his soulful rock renditions of Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be" (2004) and Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" (1974). Yet it was in the Southern rock genre that allowed Bice to command the stage, from covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" (1974), to performing the finale single "Inside Your Heaven" (2005). Bice went head-to-head with Underwood in the finale, only to be voted as the runner-up. After the season wrapped, Bice went on tour with his fellow finalists on the "American Idol" live show and worked on his debut album. Released in December 2005, <i>The Real Thing</i> debuted at No. 4 on the <i>Billboard</i> album chart and featured the type of rock and folk-tinged tracks that had made Bice a fan favorite on the show. Bice toured extensively in support of the album, but the rigorous schedule took its toll on his health. He cancelled his appearance on the 2005 Radio Music Awards after coughing up blood due to a recurring intestinal condition. He was hospitalized for months until an emergency surgery was performed in October 2006. The following year, having regained his health, Bice performed the title track for the comedy feature "Blades of Glory" (2007), which starred Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. He also released his second album, <i>See the Light</i> through his own independent label, StratArt. In 2010, Bice appeared alongside former "Idol" finalists to win money for charity on a special edition of the game show "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" (Fox, 2007- ).