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Thursday, February 12, 2009

LeAnn Rimes Gets ACM Humanitarian Honor


When LeAnn Rimes took part in announcing the nominees Wednesday for the "44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards", she also became the only person to find out that she’d already won a trophy. She’ll receive the eighth Academy of Country Music/Home Depot Humanitarian Award during the show April 5 in Las Vegas.

LeAnn hadn’t expected it, and she certainly didn’t campaign for the recognition.

"I’ve been doing humanitarian work for many years, and you do it out of the goodness of your heart," she says. "I mean, the Humanitarian Award at the ACM’s never really crossed my mind. But it’s a huge honor."

LeAnn receives the award because of her work with such organizations as the Children’s Miracle Network, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Camp C.O.P.E., which helps kids of wounded veterans adjust to their parents’ changed lives. LeAnn’s also been involved in campaigns to bring awareness and comfort to people who suffer from eczema.

"I kind of have done little things here and there all over the place," LeAnn says. "It’s part of what I do. It makes me feel good, you know. It’s part of, I think, my responsibility as a human being — but as also a celebrity — to be able to do good for other people."

Previous winners of the Humanitarian Award include Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Neal McCoy, Reba McEntire, Lonestar and Rascal Flatts.

Craig Morgan Fosters New Charity for Kids

(Gayle Richardson,

Serving ten years in the U.S. Army, as well as a stint working in a sheriff's department, Craig Morgan spent years helping others before becoming a country star. The singer is still dedicated to helping those less fortunate.

Morgan and his wife, Karen, will soon launch Billy's Place -- a temporary home for displaced children until permanent foster care can be arranged, or they can be reunited with their biological family.

"We remember these children being taken to Children's Services," Morgan tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper. "Sometimes it would take Children's Services until in the morning to find the kids a foster home, and the kids would have to stay in the Children's Services office sleeping on a mat or a couch. Karen and I witnessed this a few times, and we always said that if we ever had the chance to prevent that from happening, we would."

"I do it because I've been so blessed, and I feel like every time I give back, the Lord just gives me so much more," Morgan continues. "And it's neat with the kids."

Morgan will also host his annual Craig Morgan Charity Ride later this year, giving participants the opportunity to ride trails with Bucky Covington and several famous motorcross experts. Later that evening, Morgan, Covington and Blake Shelton will perform an acoustic concert, with the proceeds from the event benefiting various children's charities.

Morgan has also been busy as a spokesperson for Bush's Beans. Recently in Florida filming a commercial with pitchman Jeb Bush and his famous dog, Duke, Morgan refuses divulge the famous "secret family recipe," but he did reveal one little known fact: Duke wears make-up!

"They are powdering the dog's nose as we speak," Morgan reported from the set. "They are putting makeup around his eyes and nose!"

Rascal Flatts Accused of Song Stealing

(Linda Laird,

Did Rascal Flatts steal part of a song from Pat Benatar? A veteran pop songwriter thinks so, and he's suing the country superstars for copyright infringement.

D.L. Byron has filed a federal lawsuit against Rascal Flatts, their producers and record label, contending that the first 17 seconds of their song 'No Reins' is too similar to a song he wrote for Benatar, the 1982 hit 'Shadows of the Night.'

"It's just too much, too strikingly similar," Byron tells the New York Post. "They'd have to have a tremendous lapse of memory not to realize what they were doing. It's my contention there's willful infringement."

'No Reins' was written by Rascal Flatts' bassist/keyboard player Jay DeMarcus and veteran Nashville songwriters Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher. Rascal Flatts contend any similarities between the songs were not intentional.

"To the extent that 'No Reins' shares any similarities with the plaintiff's alleged copyrighted work, any such similarities between the two works are the result of coincidence and/or the use of common or trite ideas," report lawyers for guitarist Joe Don Rooney.

'No Reins' is on Rascal Flatts' platinum-selling 'Still Feels Good' album. The band will reveal the cover-art for their upcoming 'Unstoppable' album at New York City's Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

Listen to 'No Reins' and 'Shadows of the Night' below, to see if you think they're too similar. Then tell us what you think.

Rascal Flatts - "No Reins"
Pat Benatar - "Shadows of the Night"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Former Teen Country Star Molly Bee Dies at 69

Beville Darden,

Molly Bee, best known for the 1952 holiday hit 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,' has died from complications following a stroke. She was 69.

Bee was just 10 years old when she started singing professionally, gaining instant fame with her performance of the Hank Williams classic 'Lovesick Blues' on the Rex Allen radio show. The Bell Buckle, Tenn. native was just 13 years old when she released 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.'

Bee had a string of country hits throughout the '50s, including 'Young Romance,' 'Don't Look Back' and '5 Points of a Star.' She was also a regular performer on several television programs, including the popular 'Hometown Jamboree' show.

Bee passed away Saturday at an Osceanside, Calif. hospital. Her manager tells the Associated Press the singer had been ill for several months.

Kenny Chesney Addresses Gay Rumors

Jessica Morgan,

Kenny Chesney is straight as an arrow. Just ask the more than 100 women he's bedded!

The country superstar is opening up about the gay rumors that started after the end of his short marriage to ReneƩ Zellweger. Speculation was partly due to the wording on the actress' annulment papers, which cited "fraud" as a reason for their split.

"What guy who loves girls wouldn't be angry about that? I didn't sign up for that," Chesney tells Playboy magazine of his reaction to the rumors. "I'm pretty confident in the fact that I love girls. [laughs] I've got a long line of girls who could testify that I'm not gay."

A long line indeed.

"There were years when I had a better summer than A-Rod," Chesney boasts, adding that he's been with "over 100" women. "My first five years on the road were intense, because I was the guy in college who never got laid until I started playing guitar."

As for the demise of Chesney's relationship with Zellweger, he says paparazzi are partly to blame. But he doesn't shy away from taking some of the blame himself.

"I panicked, there's no doubt about it," he says of his reaction to the overwhelming media attention that came with his marriage. "I did the only thing I knew to do -- I ran. I pushed her away ... I didn't have any clue as to what true marriage meant. I was so used to committing to one thing -- music -- and then I had to totally commit to a second thing, marriage. I didn't know how to commit to both of them."

Chesney is currently on the road with his Sun City Carnival tour, headlining major festivals and stadium shows ... with, we're guessing, lots of women at each meet-and-greet.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Vote Now - Countryville Great 8 Countdown!

Head on over to our Cup of Country blog and vote for your favorite new country songs in our new voting feature 'Great 8 Countdown'! There are ten songs, and you can vote for as many as you want, but remember, only eight of them will make it in the countdown...which ones? It's up to you!

Go to our blog at and look for the poll on the sidebar at the right of the page, right below the Cup of Country chat room.



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