Taylor Hicks came home this weekend, playing two shows at the Alabama theater in his hometown of Birmingham, AL. The recent tornadoes in Enterprise, AL prompted Taylor to invite the Red Cross to his performances to educate and fundraise at both of his sold-out Birmingham shows.
Next month, Taylor rides his tour bus into New York City to play the Beacon Theater. His April 20th concert will be part of the world’s largest Earth Day celebration. From the press release, “The Green Apple Music & Arts Festival will put the Earth Day message into practice by “greening” all of the participating venues…each venue will have an informational table featuring educational and volunteer information relating to prominent environmental issues and organizations.”
Look for my big re-cap after I attend Taylor Hicks’ concerts in Chicago and Boston in the coming weeks…
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is everywhere. Chicago threw a big Jennifer Hudson Day for their hometown gal last week. Avon products recently hired Jennifer to to represent its best-selling Imari fragrance brand. Under the agreement, Jennifer will “serve as the ‘face of Imari, ‘ including appearing in the company’s brochures for both the Imari fragrance and its newest scent Imari Seduction.”
Saturday night, Jennifer was given the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train awards. Neo-soul singer John Legend has plans to write some tunes with her. And finally, Jennifer has a message for Simon Cowell, who has been taking swipes at her lately, “If I’d been any better at my job when I was at Burger King in my middle teens I wouldn’t be here either, so should I thank them, too?” Oh. SNAP.
The 42nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 15. Carrie Underwood is nominated for 5 awards: Top Female Vocalist, Album of the Year (Some Hearts), Single Record of the Year (“Before He Cheats”), Song of the Year (“Before He Cheats”) and Video of the Year (“Before He Cheats”). Kellie Pickler is nominated for Top New Female Vocalist.
Elliott Yamin’s debut album drops March 20. Elliott is revving up a promotional tour that will include in-store appearances and performances on Live with Regis and Kelly, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Ellen Degeneres Show. Read about Elliott’s 50/50 independent record deal and his life in LA in this Richmond-Times Dispatch article.
Wrapping up with some short bits: Bucky Covington made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Friday night. His debut CD is set to be released on 04/17. Season 5’s Kevin Covais will make his movie debut in the Lionsgate youth comedy “College.” He’ll be joined in the film by Drake Bell, Andrew Caldwell, Haley Bennett, Gary Owens and Ryan Pinkston. A Paula Abdul greatest hits album, “Straight Up!” will hit stores May 8. Animal lover Simon Cowell stars in a PETA public service announcement informing viewers of the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. Watch it here. Finally, Rosie O’Donnell calls American Idol racist. Nigel Lythgoe tells her to STFU.