Country star Keith Urban has broken his silence after his recent concert in Massachusetts resulted in dozens of hospitalised fans and an arrest for an alleged rape.
The You'll Think of Me hitmaker brought his Raise 'Em Up Tour to the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on Saturday (26Jul14), but the gig was marred when 46 fans were treated for "alcohol-related" illnesses. More than 20 were sent to local hospitals for further treatment, and an additional 50 revellers were arrested and taken into custody for unspecified reasons.
Also this week (begs28Jul14), an 18-year-old man was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl during the concert.
Now Urban has spoken out about the incidents, sending his sympathies to all those involved. He wrote on his website, "My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected. This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows."
Urban's tour continues throughout the U.S. until mid-September (14).
Country star Brad Paisley has purposefully ignored a plea from label bosses not to leak his upcoming single, just days after allowing fans to preview his whole album online. The Celebrity hitmaker came under fire from Sony Music Nashville executives over the weekend (26-27Jul14) after deciding to post snippets from each track from his next album, Moonshine in the Trunk, on his Twitter.com blog.
Sony chiefs chastised the singer for the unauthorised move and removed the clips from the Internet, but an undeterred Paisley continued to risk their wrath on Wednesday (30Jul14), when he shared snapshots of his email exchange with Sony's Gary Overton, who explicitly begged the star not to leak the title track from the album.
In the message, Overton wrote in part, "I know you're really excited about your fans hearing your new music and that's why you've been leaking it on Twitter. That's cool. Wish you would have told us first. But please don't leak the song 'Moonshine' because we have a big promotion planned for it. We want to release it in a unique, one-of-a-kind way. Thx (thanks). You're the best!"
Paisley then revealed his response to Overton, which read, "Gary- Okay. So promote the song Moonshine in the trunk -Got it!", and proceeded to share a link to the tune's audio on YouTube.com.
In the accompanying caption, the cheeky singer wrote, "So you heard the man. Promote the song Moonshine. Here we go. Buckle up."
However, Sony chiefs were keeping a close eye on Paisley and minutes later the track was pulled.
In follow-up tweets, the star posted, "Did they pull it?... Darn darn darn darn Darny darn darn (sic)!!!!!!!"
Prior to the latest leak, Paisley took to his Twitter blog to make it clear he was not looking to get kicked off Sony, despite filing a $10 million (£5.9 million) lawsuit against them for breach of contract and unpaid royalties earlier this year (14).
He wrote, "Let me say: I love recording at Sony. I love my manager, my publicist, my agent. But yes, I'm doing this largely on my own."
British pop star Lily Allen is battling a nasty bout of flu while on tour in Australia. The Smile singer fell sick after arriving in the country ahead of her shows, and she blames her health woes on her gruelling travel schedule which took her to gigs in three different countries in three days over the weekend (19-20Jul14).
She tells Australia's Fairfax Media, "I played at Latitude Festival (in England) on Friday, Benicassim (in Spain) on Saturday, and a French festival on Sunday and then got on a plane to Australia... I don't know if it's advisable to do that kind of travel."
Allen has since been complaining about her ill health in a series of posts on her Twitter.com page, writing, "Sneezing. A lot... Flu... Might die... My antibiotic tablet has left an awful taste lingering in my mouth."
However, her tour kicked off as scheduled in Melbourne on Thursday night (24Jul14).
Garth Brooks fans in Ireland don't seem to be getting a break this summer (14) - part of a pub festival, staged for devotees who missed out on seeing the country star live when his shows near Dublin were cancelled, has been scrapped. Brooks pulled the plug on all five of his sold-out July (14) shows at Croke Park over a local permit dispute, prompting the managers of Dublin hotspot Doheny Nesbitts to host Garth Brooks tribute concerts scheduled for Sunday (27Jul14) and Monday (28Jul14).
But, in another slap for Brooks' fans, Sunday night's festivities have been cancelled following complaints from local residents.
A post on the pub's Facebook page reads: "You're not going to believe this folks but the big man has cancelled his sixth show in Dublin! Due to complaints by the residents of lower Baggot Street our Garth Brooks tribute this weekend will now only take place on Monday night."
Pop superstar Miley Cyrus has debunked false Internet rumours about her death by posting an Instagram.com photo of herself posing topless in a desert. An advertising scam on Facebook over the weekend (19-20Jul14) encouraged users to click on a headline which read, "(SHOCKING) Miley Cyrus Found Dead in Her Los Angeles Home! Country singer Miley Cyrus found overdosed this afternoon in her Los Angeles home."
Once clicked, the post directed readers to a hoax site about completing surveys for money.
A number of Cyrus' fans fell for the fake rumours, which were given weight by the fact the singer had not reached out to her Twitter.com followers since Friday (18Jul14).
However, the Wrecking Ball hitmaker put the unfounded claims to rest on Monday (21Jul14), when she shared a series of photos on Instagram, including a snap of herself topless, with her back to the camera, wearing just a pair of denim shorts, flashing two peace signs with her raised hands.
Country singer Ashley Monroe is preparing to return to the stage after a kidney infection forced her to scrap a series of dates over the weekend (11-13Jul14). Monroe pulled the plug on shows in New York, Maryland and New Jersey and flew to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee for treatment.
Announcing her return to the road with a show in Ohio on 18 July (14), the Pistol Annies star says, "I'm finally feeling some relief after spending two nights in the hospital. I'm very grateful to everyone for their prayers and understanding during this time."
Pharrell Williams made a blunder onstage at Scotland's T in the Park Festival over the weekend (11-13Jul14) by confusing the country with England.
The Happy hitmaker performed on the main stage on Saturday (12Jul14) but his small talk between songs hit a low note with the audience when he confused Scots with their English rivals south of the border.
Applauding the crowd, Williams made a reference to soccer's 2014 World Cup - which featured an England team but no Scotland side. He thanked the audience for their energy, telling them, "You see it in the World Cup," prompting boos from loyal Scotland soccer fans. A source tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "People weren't impressed and a few jeers rang out. Pharrell was mortified when he came off stage and realised what he'd done."
Rascal Flatts have cancelled a concert in Oklahoma on Thursday night (10Jul14), because frontman Gary Levox has been diagnosed with an undisclosed illness. The country star and his fellow bandmates were slated to play at the OKC Downtown Airpark venue in Oklahoma City, but will not be taking the stage as scheduled.
A statement on the band's official website attributes the axed gig to "an illness affecting Gary's vocals".
Ticketholders have been offered refunds for the scrapped show.
Rascal Flatts, who have been on their U.S. tour with opening acts Sheryl Crow and Gloriana, are still scheduled to play three dates in Texas this weekend (11-13Jul14).
It's not the first time Levox has struggled with vocal problems - he lost his voice days before the group's big gig at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April (14), but decided to press ahead with the show by miming along to the lyrics of Rewind. However, he was caught out by eagle-eyed fans and subsequently had to confess he had been lip-syncing.
British pop star Charlie Simpson is a married man after tying the knot with his fiancee last month (Jun14). The former Busted rocker wed his unidentified sweetheart in an African-themed ceremony in England.
Simpson's bride grew up in Kenya but the couple abandoned plans to hold their wedding in the country because it proved too expensive for guests to travel there.
He tells U.K. TV show This Morning, "I got married two weeks ago in England and it was an amazing weekend. I was quite worried because it is a bit of a gamble getting married in England, with the weather, but it was just the most spectacular day. It was sunny all day... It genuinely was the best day of my life."
He adds, "We thought about having it in Kenya but we thought it was a big ask getting everyone to fly out there."
Billy Ray Cyrus has paid tribute to a Nevada school teacher who was shot dead last year (13), hailing him as a "true American hero" during a special concert on Saturday night (05Jul14). Michael Landsberry, an Afghanistan war veteran, was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest after trying to talk a 12-year-old gunman into handing over his weapon in October (13), and Cyrus paid his respects to the educator at a show in Incline Village, Nevada over the weekend.
The Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker told the crowd, "Tonight we are here to honour a true American hero. Michael Landsberry made the ultimate sacrifice to save his students after serving three terms in Afghanistan."
The singer presented Landsberry's widow Sharon with a memorial plaque and gave her a "financial gift" of an undisclosed amount, and he said Landsberry represented the Vietnam veteran in his song Some Gave All, which he performed with a large picture of Landsberry behind him.
Cyrus and his father Ronald Ray Cyrus have often paid tribute to unsung American heroes in the past, but the country star's words of respect for Landsberry were the first time he has done so since his father's death in 2006.
He tells the Associated Press, "Just about every year, my dad and I would find an unsung hero and present them with a 'Some Gave All' award. I kind of play everything by ear, and I thought sometime when the time is right, I would love to recognise the sacrifice Michael made."