Briefs: News From Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire And More
Plus, Dolly Parton Pulls Out Of Planned Nashville Water And Snow Park
• After TMZ.com published pictures of married star Jason Aldean kissing and touching former season 11 “American Idol” contestant Brittany Kerr on the patio of a Los Angeles bar last week, Aldean has taken a proactive stand, issuing a contrite statement Sunday directly to his fans on Twitter.
“Hey guys, I wanted to talk to you directly, so you were hearing the truth from me and not just reading allegations made about my personal life on gossip web sites,” he wrote. “The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar. I left alone, caught the bus to our next show and that’s the end of the story. I ultimately ended up embarrassing my family and myself. I’m not perfect, and I’m sorry for disappointing you guys.
“I really appreciate being able to work through this privately with my family and for all your continued support,” he added. That support was immediate from his fans. In the comments posted following his statement, about 95% were supportive of Aldean, with most saying the incident wouldn’t affect their status as fans of the star.
• CountryWeekly.com broke news last week that Reba McEntire would not be returning next year to her longtime role as host of the spring Academy of Country Music Awards. McEntire has hosted the show consecutively every year since 1999, sharing the stage in the last two years with pal and co-host Blake Shelton. Now, she tells, CountryWeekly.com, “[I’ve] passed the torch to Blake. I’m a huge Blake Shelton fan.”
McEntire’s revelation caused the ACM’s CEO Bob Romeo to issue a statement. “Reba has hosted the ACM Awards a record 14 times since 1986, and we fully understand and support her decision to focus her energies on her new television project,” said Romeo, referring to the star’s new fall sitcom, “Malibu Country.”
“We’ve known about this for a while and have something very special planned with Blake returning—he’s got something big up his sleeve—that we’ll be announcing soon,” added Romeo. “Stay tuned!”
• Dolly Parton has announced that she will no longer be associated with a previously planned water and snow park in Nashville. According to The Tennessean, Parton pulled out of a plan to build the $50 million park over concerns about partner Gaylord Entertainment’s move this week to sell management rights for its Opryland Resort and Convention Center to Marriott International. The park had been a 50/50 joint venture between the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based Dollywood Company and Gaylord.
The park had been set to break ground early next year and open by the summer of 2014 across from the Opryland Hotel. Gaylord Chief Executive Officer Colin Reed said Friday that his company intends to find another partner to carry out the plan.
“Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company,” said Parton in a media statement. “I think everyone knows I love Nashville and I hope the work we’ve already done will spark more family entertainment in Nashville,” Parton added.
• Brantley Gilbert embarked on his first headlining run, the Hell On Wheels Tour, Sept. 27. The 19-city trek will take him across the country through the middle of November.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.