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FGL Wife Brittney Cole-Kelley Stands Up For Husband Against Journalist

Whew… things got a little heated on Instagram Wednesday when an article surfaced that was written about Brian Kelley’s hair. The guys of Florida Georgia Line have changed up their style quite a bit over the last few years. Tyler Hubbard use to have long hair, now he has a new style, and Brian Kelley has gone from long to short and back a few times. None of them ever a bad look for the guys! But this time, someone decided to write an article in regards to their styles, specifically Brian Kelley and they took it in a negative direction saying things like “it might be time for Brian to enter another hair phase-one with a hairbrush.” The article was definitely not a supportive one for the artist.

Brian Kelley’s wife did not put up with it either! Brittney Cole (also known as BCole) took to her Instagram story to voice her thoughts on the article. She even said she was going to DM (direct message) the author, but decided to do it publicly where her 149 thousand followers could see. Here’s the audio from her Instagram story…

If we could, we would share some of the article with you so you could know what was said but it has since been taken down by the company and it’s been replaced with an apology. The author starts out by saying “The other day after watching the ACM Awards I did something pretty shallow and stupid…”

Read the full apology here…  AN APOLOGY: Let’s Talk About Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley’s Hair

Atlantic City's Hard Rock casino sets June 28 opening date

Hard Rock will open its Atlantic City casino resort on June 28.

Jim Allen, the global entertainment and hospitality company's CEO, made the announcement Wednesday at Hard Rock's Times Square restaurant.

The former Trump Taj Mahal casino is being rebranded as a Hard Rock property. Guests will drive past a massive electric guitar at its entrance, and will even be given their own electric guitars to play in their hotel rooms.

"This is an entertainment facility, not just a casino," Allen said. "It's not about, 'Come in, hit a buffet, play $50 on slot machines and then go home.' That's not what we're about."

The casino announced it will put 60 concerts on sale Friday, and committed to presenting 300 nights of live music in its first year.

It is one of two shuttered Atlantic City casinos due to reopen this summer, along with the former Revel casino, newly named the Ocean Resort Casino.

Together, the resorts are intended to restore some of the business and luster Atlantic City lost since 2014, when five of its 12 casinos went out of business, even as some worry that expanding a market that has regained stability as a smaller entity could lead to the same problems that forced the business contraction.

Among the musical acts that Allen said will play at the casino were Third Eye Blind, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Stone Temple Pilots and Counting Crows, along with Chris Young, Frankie Valli, Toby Keith, Steely Dan and Kid Rock. The day after it opens, Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg will perform in the Hard Rock Cafe associated with the property.

It will feature a Howie Mandel Comedy Club, and 20 restaurants and bars, 2,000 hotel rooms, 2,100 slot machines and 120 table games.

The company, owned by the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, is pumping $500 million into the resort.

It will display part of the world's largest collection of music memorabilia, including outfits worn by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and an autographed guitar from Jon Bon Jovi.

Hard Rock is staking its future in Atlantic City on the bones of a building built by President Donald Trump, who was a real estate developer and casino owner in 1990.

Fellow billionaire Carl Icahn bought the casino out of bankruptcy in 2016. He shut it down months later, after failing to reach a contract with the city's largest casino workers' union, putting nearly 3,000 people out of work.

Hard Rock bought it from Icahn in March 2017 for $50 million, and planned to invest 10 times that amount on a complete remake. First on the agenda was dismantling the ubiquitous domes and minarets of the Indian-themed casino that Trump loved.

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Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Chris Stapleton’s Wife Posts First Photo Of Twins

Turns out that Chris Stapleton didn’t have his twins the day of the ACM awards like we thought. Reba announced it but according to Chris Stapleton’s wife Morgane, the babies were born a month early and spent a week in the NICU. She has shared the first photo of the couple’s newborn twin boys. “Thank you for all the love! We’re so grateful to finally be home with our sweet family,” Morgane wrote on Tuesday wrote alongside a black-and-white Instagram shot of herself cradling the tiny bundles of joy. “…At more than a month early, we had a week-long stay in the NICU and the incredible people there kept our boys healthy and happy. Words cannot express our gratitude for you all and what you did for our family. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!” Reba McEntire announced the boys’ arrival during Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards when Chris couldn’t be present for his Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year wins.

The Latest: Man released after arrest at Taylor Swift house

The Latest on the arrest of a man outside a home owned by Taylor Swift (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

A masked man arrested outside a Beverly Hills home owned by Taylor Swift with a knife in his car has been released from custody while the investigation continues.

Los Angeles County jail records show that 38-year-old Julius Sandrock was released Tuesday morning.

He was arrested Saturday on suspicion of felony stalking. Swift wasn't at the home.

Authorities say Sandrock was wearing a mask and rubber gloves, had a knife, rope and ammunition in his car and told police he'd driven from his home in Broomfield, Colorado to see Swift.

The details were contained in a temporary restraining order preventing the man from possessing guns.

Police who requested the restraining order said Sandrock told officers he owned three handguns and is on probation in Colorado for firing one of them.

Another man was arrested on April 8 for trespassing on the same property.

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3:45 p.m.

Authorities say a man arrested outside a Beverly Hills home owned by Taylor Swift was wearing a mask and rubber gloves, had a knife, rope and ammunition, and told police he had driven from his Colorado home to see the singer who was not there at the time.

The details were contained in a temporary restraining order preventing the man, 38-year-old Julius Sandrock of Broomfield, Colorado, from possessing guns.

Police say Sandrock was arrested Saturday on suspicion of felony stalking and is expected to be released Tuesday while the investigation continues.

It isn't clear whether he has an attorney who could comment.

Police who requested the restraining order said Sandrock told officers he owned three handguns and is on probation in Colorado for firing one of the weapons.

Another man was arrested on April 8 for trespassing on the same property.

The 28-year-old Swift, who lives in New York, was not at the home then either.

Police: Man arrested at Taylor Swift house had knife, rope

A Colorado man who was wearing a mask and had a knife in his car when he was arrested outside a Beverly Hills home owned by Taylor Swift was released from custody on Tuesday while police continued their investigation.

Julius Sandrock, 38, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of stalking after officers went to the home. Swift, who lives in New York, wasn't at the home, police said.

Sandrock was freed from jail on Tuesday morning, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department website.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Sandrock had a lawyer.

Meanwhile, police obtained a temporary restraining order preventing Sandrock from possessing guns.

According to the document, Sandrock was wearing a mask and rubber gloves when he was taken into custody and told police he had driven from his home in Broomfield, Colorado, to see Swift.

Sandrock told officers he owned three handguns and was on probation in Colorado for firing one, police said.

A search of his car turned up a knife, rope, ammunition and more masks and gloves, according to the restraining order.

Prescription medications, including oxycodone, were also found and Sandrock told arresting officers that he had depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and manic episodes, according to the document.

The arrest followed the April 8 arrest of a homeless man on suspicion of trespassing after he tried to climb a wall at the same property and ignored warnings by security guards to leave.

Swift was not at the home.

Justin Lilly, 23, was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to three days in jail.

Miranda Lambert says Carrie Underwood can “sing her under the table”

Sunday night, Carrie Underwood was a show stopper, from her voice to her outfit, to her attitude. After her performance and a standing ovation at the ACM Awards, Miranda Lambert admits that her friend “can sing me under the table.” “It makes me proud to be a woman in this industry when I see her sing up there and do that,” Lambert tells Rolling Stone Country. “She’s one of the greatest singers of all time in any genre of music… I say that every time and I will continue to say that, but I’m just proud of her and I know how strong she is and how hard she’s worked.” Underwood’s performance of “Cry Pretty” at the ceremony was her first public gig following a nasty injury in November 2017.

Blake Talks About Marrying Gwen Stefani

We finally got an answer about marriage from the mouth of BLAKE AND GWEN themselves. Not from tabloids or magazines or anywhere else but these two. And it turns out, two divorces hasn’t stopped Blake Shelton from thinking about marrying his girlfriend Gwen Stefani. “I think about it. I don’t think it’s anytime soon or anything,” he tells CMT. “The more time that goes by, I guess, the closer you’d be getting to that.” Stefani previously told  Ellen that she thinks about marrying the country star “all the time” and that both she and her three sons love him. Shelton was previously married to his longtime girlfriend Kaynette Gern for three years and Miranda Lambert for four years. Stefani was married to Gavin Rossdale for 14 years before she found love again with Shelton.

Sam Hunt Explains Why He Missed The ACM Awards

It was brought to the world’s attention that Sam Hunt and his wife were not at the ACM Awards this year when it was announced that he had won Single Record of the Year with “Body Like A Back Road”  and he wasn’t there to accept his award. He had been traveling to other countries with his wife not too long ago so we weren’t sure if he just wasn’t in the country or what was going on. But in a message posted on Instagram Monday (4/16), Hunt said that he was unable to attend the ceremony in person because he was celebrating the marriage of his longtime friend and tour manager, John Worthington. Sam also sent his gratitude to the Academy of Country Music for giving him the Single Record of the Year honor, saying it made his weekend “extra special.”

Best Reaction To ACM Winner Announcement

Last night at the ACM’s when the winner for Best Vocal Group was announced, Old Dominion or someone from their crew was recording the results so they could have that epic moment on camera if they were the winners. Well, when their names were announced, someone in the crowd jumped up out of excitement and made it “rain” in the MGM Grand. She jumped up so quickly and excitedly that she forgot she had a drink in her hand and it flew everywhere. Pretty funny if you ask us!

The Latest: Aldean wins ACM entertainer of the year award

The Latest on the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

Jason Aldean has won his third consecutive entertainer of the year trophy at the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Aldean says "it's been a rough year," referring to the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where a lone gunman killed 58 people at the country music event. Aldean was onstage when the gunfire started.

He thanked to the people who "showed us love and support over the last six months."

Of the victims, Aldean said, "You guys are in our hearts always."

The ACM Awards brought the country music community back to Las Vegas six months after the massive shooting occurred. Aldean closed his speech by telling the audience: "We love Las Vegas. Vegas strong."

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5:30 p.m.

The ACM Awards have opened with a somber tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting, with some of the biggest country stars.

Jason Aldean opened the show, telling the audience they thought about opening the show with a song, but that the moment was too big to capture with just one performance. He was joined onstage by Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. Lambert told the audience that the show would unite people "through the healing power of music."

The mood lightened shortly after when host Reba McEntire opened the show, cracking jokes about several stars and the decision to have her host the show solo after two male stars shared hosting duties the previous two years.

Kenny Chesney delivered the first performance, singing his new song "Get Along."

Morris transitioned from the intro to performing her song "Rich."

Lambert won the first award of the night, taking home the song of the year trophy for her son "Tin Man."

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7:30 a.m.

Country music is making a major return to Las Vegas with the 2018 ACM Awards, six months after a lone gunman killed 58 people at a country music festival in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Sunday's show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will mark an emotional night, though the awards show is known as the genre's biggest party of the year. It will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

Jason Aldean, who was onstage when the shooting started at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Vegas, will perform. Carrie Underwood will give her first television appearance after sustaining an injury to her face and wrist when she sings her new song, "Cry Pretty."

Chris Stapleton, who earned his first entertainer of the year nod, is the top nominee with eight.

Country Music Takes Over Vegas, And Justin Timberlake Concert

The ACM’s are underway and artists have taken over Vegas as they are all in sin city for the big award show. Therefore, you know they are all gambling, drinking, hanging out, and pretty much on one big vacation with all the coolest coworkers. It just so happened that one of Justin Timberlake’s tour dates landed in Vegas the same time as all these artists were there and a handful of them went to the show. Jason Aldean and his wife, Maren Morris with Raelynn and Cassadee Pope… here are some photos!

Stapleton, Lambert, Underwood and Vegas win at ACM Awards

The 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards marked a memorable night for the victims of the massive Las Vegas shooting, comeback queen Carrie Underwood and triple-winners Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert.

Jason Aldean paid tribute to the 58 people who died at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last October when he was named entertainer of the year Sunday for the third consecutive time.

"It's been a rough year," Aldean said, thanking those "that showed us love and support over the last six months."

The ACMs brought the country music community back to Vegas six months after the deadly tragedy. Aldean was performing onstage when the shooting occurred.

"You guys are in our hearts always," Aldean said. "We love Las Vegas. Vegas strong."

Though Aldean beat out Stapleton for the top honor, Stapleton's Sunday was met with many high points: His wife, Morgane, gave birth to twin boys; he celebrated his 40th birthday; and the leading nominee, who didn't attend the show, won male vocalist of the year and album of the year, where he won twice as a singer and producer.

Underwood also had a big night, returning to the stage like an A-List veteran in her first television appearance since injuring her face and wrist last year due to a fall at her home. Her powerhouse vocals shined when she performed her new song, "Cry Pretty," earning a rousing — and long — standing ovation from the audience.

Immediately following the performance, she won vocal event of the year for the dance-infused country song, "The Fighter," with Keith Urban.

"I am still kind of shaking right now," she added, appearing teary-eyed.

"Seeing her stand up there and be so beautiful, she's one of the greatest singers of all-time in any genre of music," Lambert said backstage of Underwood. "I am just proud of her and I know how strong she is and how hard she's worked."

But Lambert's hard work also paid off: She made history when she surpassed Brooks and Dunn as the most decorated act in ACM history with 32 wins on Sunday. Lambert won her ninth consecutive female vocalist of the year trophy and won twice for song of the year — as the performer and co-writer of "Tin Man."

"I cannot believe this. I really can't. ...I love country music. It's my entire life," Lambert said onstage. "I will never ever take it for granted."

Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard wore an all-red ensemble and Brian Kelley was in all-white when they hit the stage with pop singer Bebe Rexha to perform the massive hit "Meant to Be," which is spending its 19th week on top of Billboard's Hot country songs chart. It ties Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk On By" as the third longest-running song of all-time on the chart.

The longest-running No. 1 song of all-time on the country charts, Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road," won single record of the year at the ACMs; Hunt didn't attend the show.

Little Big Town sang Elton John's "Rocket Man" in celebration of the icon's new album, "Restoration," which features country singers covering his songs. Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina were impressive when they sang their duet, "What Ifs." Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Kelsea Ballerini, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley also performed.

McEntire, who performed with Kelly Clarkson, hosted the three-hour show a year after Bryan and Bentley did the job.

"It takes one woman to do the job of two men," she said, earning a rousing applause.

Old Dominion won vocal group of the year, besting Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum.

"This is heavy in a lot of ways," lead singer Matthew Ramsey said, holding the trophy in his hand.

"We're so lucky. Look at us, look at us!" he said about his bandmates, all dressed in trendy suits. "We look good. We feel good. We're friends. And we're having a ball.

"Thank you for letting us make music."

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Associated Press Writer Kristin M. Hall contributed to this report.

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Online:

http://www.acmcountry.com/

The Latest: Past due, Moody Blues inducted into Rock Hall

The Latest on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (all times local):

11:40 p.m.

After a long wait, the Moody Blues have moved into rock's rarest room.

The influential progressive rock group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, ushered in by Heart's Ann Wilson, who said the band "took me from childhood to adulthood as a disciple."

The Moody Blues were ahead of their time, cutting edge. Their concept album "Days of Future Passed" is considered a classic and includes the hit "Nights In White Satin."

Grounded in blues, they blended orchestral sounds into standard songs without missing a beat. Wilson reminded the sellout crowd at the Public Auditorium that the band never strayed far from its roots, saying, "the Moody Blues have always been a kick-ass rock band."

Their die-hard fans pushed for years for them to be nominated, citing their influence on bands like Yes, Genesis and Rush — all Hall of Famers.

Justin Hayward, the band's lead vocalist, guitarist and composer, said the band is honored to be "in the home of our heroes."

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11:05 p.m.

Soul singer Nina Simone, who raised awareness with a dazzling voice during the civil rights movement, is rock and roll royalty.

Simone was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night by R&B superstar Mary J. Blige, who described her as "bold, strong, feisty and fearless and so vulnerable and transparent at the same time."

A classically-trained pianist, Simone is often referred to as "The High Priestess of Soul." She influenced countless musicians, including hip-hop artists Jay-Z, Kanye West and others who first discovered her from a 2015 Oscar-nominated documentary.

Blige feels a deep connection to Simone and said the women share an ability to ease people's pain and "help people heal. We help people get through."

Simone died in 2003. Her brother, Jon Wayman, accepted the enshrinement trophy on her behalf.

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10:25 p.m.

The Cars have pulled into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The pioneering new wave band, which crafted catchy pop songs into Top 40 hits, was inducted Saturday by Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers. Flowers recalled the first time he heard The Cars while growing up in a tiny, "no stoplight" town in Utah, saying "40 years later they still sound like a new band to me."

Founded in Boston, The Cars had a strong connection to Cleveland, the hometown of late bassist Benjamin Orr, who sang lead vocals on some the band's biggest hits like "Just What I Needed," ''Bye Bye Love" and "Drive."

Orr died in 2000, but each of the band members acknowledged his impact, with lead singer Ric Ocasek saying "it feels strange being up here without him."

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9:45 p.m.

Overlooked but never unappreciated, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is finally a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.

An inspiration to musicians from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash, Tharpe was called "the godmother of rock and roll" Saturday night by Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard, who inducted one her biggest influences.

Playing electric guitar and singing gospel songs, Tharpe became a major star in the 1940s. She was the one who put a 14-year-old Little Richard Penniman on stage for the first time, and Little Richard's life was never the same.

Tharpe died in 1973 at the age of 58, but her music lives on and is being appreciated by a new generation just learning of her legacy.

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9:20 p.m.

Dire Straits went into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame without its leader.

Lead singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler skipped Saturday's ceremony and his absence was a major disappointment to fans of the band, which was influenced by blues, country, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.

Founded in London while punk music was exploding, Dire Straits created a unique sound and had a string of radio hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including "Sultans Of Swing" and "Money For Nothing," a song that captured how MTV re-shaped the music industry.

Bassist John Illsley acknowledged the awkwardness of Knopfler not being present and then took a subtle swipe at his bandmate and close friend by saying, "it's more than one person, a collective."

Illsley did compliment Knopfler for writing music that made the band "stand out from the crowd."

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8:45 p.m.

Bon Jovi, one of New Jersey's finest musical exports since Bruce Springsteen, is now a Hall of Fame act.

Emerging as one of the top groups from the "hair band" era of the 1980s, the group led by singer Jon Bon Jovi, was enshrined Saturday before a sellout crowd familiar with all of its iconic anthems.

Radio superstar Howard Stern inducted the band with an irreverent, profanity-laced speech and also led the crowd in singing "Wanted Dead Or Alive," one of Bon Jovi's biggest hits that helped them sell 130 million albums.

During a 20-minute speech, Jon Bon Jovi recounted the band's rise to superstardom from basements to sold-out arenas.

Then, with former guitarist Richie Sambora reuniting for the event, the band ripped into "You Give Love A Bad Name."

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7:45 p.m.

The late Tom Petty was honored with a rousing musical tribute by The Killers to open the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland.

Petty, who was enshrined with his band The Heartbreakers in 2002, died in October of an accidental drug overdose shortly after wrapping up a highly successful North American tour.

As giant photos of Petty were displayed behind the stage, The Killers kicked off Saturday evening's tribute with "American Girl" one of Petty's best-known hits. The band then transitioned into a segment of "Free Fallin' as lead singer Brandon Flowers urged the crowd of 10,000 to "get on your feet for the eternal Tom Petty."

Flowers will deliver the induction speech to welcome The Cars into the Hall.

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6:50 p.m.

The party hasn't started at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony but the atmosphere already is rocking.

Guests are hitting the red carpet Saturday evening for the ceremony, which is back in Cleveland.

New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi, new wave pioneers the Cars and four first-time nominees, including singer Nina Simone, are in this year's eclectic class. Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe also are being enshrined.

Jon Bon Jovi is expected to be joined on stage by former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such to perform some of their arena-friendly anthems like "Livin' On A Prayer."

Desmond Child, who co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits, says he'd "love to see them back together."

Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler isn't attending the event.

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10:36 a.m.

Bon Jovi, the Cars and four first-time nominees, including Nina Simone, will be inducted as the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.

Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who died in 1973, will earn the prestigious honor Saturday night at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is based.

Jon Bon Jovi will be inducted alongside current bandmates David Bryan and Tico Torres, as well as former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such. The band will be inducted by Howard Stern.

Tharpe will be inducted by Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes. Mary J. Blige will induct Simone, who died in 2003.

Brothers Mark and David Knopfler, of English rockers Dire Straits, won't attend the event, according to bassist John Illsley.

Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, Moody Blues make it into Rock Hall

Bon Jovi reunited onstage with former members for a powerful performance celebrating its admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the late icon Nina Simone was welcomed to the prestigious music club with show-stopping performances from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day.

Bon Jovi's portion of the four-hour-plus event ran an hour-long Saturday night, with Jon Boni Jovi giving a lengthy 20-minute speech onstage. He said he had been writing the speech for years.

"Some days I write the 'Thank you' speech, sometimes I write the '(Expletive) you' speech," he said. "In the end, it's all about time. It took a lot of people to get us here tonight."

Richie Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates with a hug after each one spoke onstage to accept the honor. They performed together, too, singing crowd favorites like "Livin' on a Prayer," ''You Give Love a Bad Name" and "It's My Life."

They were inducted by Howard Stern, who provided many laughs to the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is based.

Stern joked about Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner, questioning why he was qualified to vote on who enters the prominent organization. Stern said the Rolling Stone magazine founder doesn't play any instruments "but he did start a great magazine ... and now it's the size of a pamphlet."

Simone, who died in 2003, was welcomed into the Rock Hall in a groundbreaking way from performers who she has deeply inspired, from Hill to Mary J. Blige.

Hill was exceptional, stretching her voice as wide as possible, and singing in French, in honor of Simone's music. Hill earned a standing ovation from the audience.

Day, a Grammy-nominated R&B singer, was also extraordinary, hitting high notes that also earned her applause. Blige inducted Simone, calling the singer "bold, strong, feisty and fearless."

"Her voice was so distinctive and powerful and I never heard anything like it," the R&B superstar said.

Simone was a leader in pushing for civil rights and influenced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys. Her brother, Sam Waymon, accepted the honor on his sister's behalf.

"They said I had three minutes, I said, 'No, I don't.' I'm going to take the time necessary to say what I got to say," Waymon said.

Waymon said sharp words during his speech, including lines like, "To all the brothers out there, protect your sisters." He said he always protected Simone, and continues to do so.

He also told the crowd, "If you're sampling (Nina's) music, you better pay for it!"

The 33rd annual Rock Hall ceremony kicked off with a tribute to Tom Petty, who died in October at age 66. The Killers earned a loud applause from the audience when they started performing "American Girl," then transitioning to "Free Fallin'."

"Pay some rock 'n' roll respect ... to the eternal Tom Petty," frontman Brandon Flowers said, as photos of Petty were displayed in the background.

Later in the event, Ann Wilson of Heart and Jerry Cantrell honored Chris Cornell with a commanding rendition of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun." Cornell hanged himself in a Detroit hotel hours after a Soundgarden concert there last May.

The Cars and four first-time nominees, including Simone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, make up the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.

Rock Hall voters have recently opened their hearts to progressive rockers, which benefited "Nights in White Satin" singers The Moody Blues, the last act to be inducted Saturday.

Wilson of Heart said the English rockers "are and have always been a kick ass rock band."

Another English band, Dire Straits, was inducted at the event, but it was without its leader Mark Knopfler, or his brother David Knopfler. Onstage, Illsley said of Mark's absence: "I'll assure you it's a personal thing. Let's just leave it at that."

Illsley thanked the entire band and described the group as "a collective, a brotherhood." The band did not perform after speaking.

A flawless Brittany Howard, of the critically acclaimed rock act Alabama Shakes, gave an extraordinary Tharpe impression onstage, winning over the audience with her rousing live performance in honor of the godmother of rock 'n' roll. Howard was backed by an equally appealing Questlove of The Roots on the drums. Felicia Collins, best known has a member of the band on "Late Show with David Letterman," also wowed the audience when she performed a tribute to Tharpe.

Tharpe died in 1973 and was a pioneering guitarist who performed gospel music. A video package featuring past interviews from Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin and others praising Tharpe's musicality aired at the event. Tharpe earned the "Award for Early Influence," while the other five acts were inducted as performers.

Flowers of the Killers, who has covered The Cars' songs at his live shows, was ecstatic and energetic as he inducted the band into the Rock Hall, even getting on his knee to hand the members their award as they walked onstage.

The Cars, founded in Boston in 1976 and known for combining New Wave and classic rock sounds, were inducted this year after being nominated twice before. Ric Ocasek paid tribute to bandmate Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.

"It's quite strange to be here without him," Ocasek said.

Elliot Easton also was emotional at the end of his speech when he thanked his mom, who he said was watching from above.

"We did it mom!," he said, earning cheers from the audience.

Ocasek also earned applause when he namedropped Cleveland: "I lived in Cleveland for a while. It was actually the first place I played music in front of people."

The event will air May 5 on HBO.

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Online:

https://www.rockhall.com/

Luke Covers Huge Luke Bryan Hit Back In 2011

Who knew back in 2011 that this guy would be where he is today! Luke Combs, had his own headlining tour already, has opened for some of the biggest artists in country music, and now has a number one song or two under his belt. And it’s just the beginning…

#FlashBackFriday pic.twitter.com/qBSf0ibGKm — Luke Combs Updates (@LukeCombsOnTour) March 31, 2018

Thomas Rhett Hires Justin Timberlake’s Choreographer For New Tour

Thomas Rhett is the reigning ACM Top Male Vocalist, and he’s up for that award again on Sunday.  Who wouldn’t love for him to win that award again, BUT he’s got bigger things in sight… he is up for Entertainer of the Year!

To be in that club you have to tour like crazy, and the show had better be memorable.  That’s why for his Life Changes Tour he hired Justin Timberlake’s set designer and one of his choreographers.

He also went through the grind of rehearsing 10 hours a day for two straight weeks.  He tells “Rolling Stone”, quote, “I think it [shocks] people in Nashville when you tell them you’ve been in rehearsal for two weeks.

“For me, the goal is to win Entertainer of the Year, and the only way to do that is to make your show above and beyond anything else that’s out there.  We’re trying to make the most fun show humanly possible, whatever that looks like.

“I don’t want to give anybody in the arena the chance to get up and go grab a beer.”

The ACM Awards Announce Flashback Collaborations With Old & New Artists

Whoever thought of this idea is GENIUS!! The ACM Awards will celebrate some of the most iconic songs of 1993 with three all-star collaborations. The first-ever “ACM Flashbacks” will feature Toby Keith and Blake Shelton performing Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,”

Alan Jackson and Jon Pardi performing Jackson’s hit “Chattahoochee,”

and Reba and Kelly Clarkson performing Reba’s hit “Does He Love You.”

Additional collaborations include Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina performing their hit “What Ifs” and Keith Urban and Julia Michaels performing Urban’s new single, “Coming Home.” Additionally, Dan + Shay, Darius Rucker and Chris Young have also joined the lineup for solo performances.

Previously announced performers include Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Midland, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Brett Young and Bebe Rexha with Florida Georgia Line.

The 53rd ACM Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (4/15) at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.

Kelsea Ballerini Address Competition Between Women In Country Music

One thing that we have seen recently on social media when it comes to the women of country music, is support. These girls often have parties together, they give each other credit where credit is due, they post to congratulate each other when one has major success in their careers. We have never seen these girls go at each other’s throats or do anything to make it seem like they don’t like each other or they are against each other. Kelsea Ballerini has actually had parties in the past at her house to celebrate the women of the country music industry and to come together to build each other up. One of the bigger parties included Cassadee Pope, Lauren Alaina, Raelynn, Carly Pearce, Lindsay Ell, and more.

Related Story:  Kelsea Ballerini Throws Party To Celebrate Women of Country Music

So obviously these girls are close and are always there to support each other and build each other up. So when Kelsea Ballerini was scrolling on social media the other day and saw a post that included a poll on the ACM performances. The poll stated, “Which female artist are you most looking forward to seeing perform at this year’s #ACMAwards? New Female Vocalist #LaurenAlaina maybe #MarenMorris #KelseaBallerini or The Voice judge #KellyClarkson? Vote here:”

Kelsea screenshotted the poll and decided to share her opinion on the poll by writing “This made me really bummed today. Since I put out my first single over 4 years ago, every interview includes some form of question about the females in country music… or the current lack thereof. so we swim upstream and wear ourselves out trying to be heard and finally see the charts start to mention a few more of our names, the categories recognize a few more of our songs, and even start to cheer each other on. but then there’s something as simple and seemingly harmless as this, that sets us back. it takes the dozens of talented, determined, hard-working, kind women that want to continue the incredible marks on the genre the woman before us have made, and it makes us feel like there’s only one spot available. so then there’s tension. And insecurity. and this magical bond that females have when we truly, actually want each other to win…it gets compromised. It makes me sad because I feel it. Heck, it makes me insecure. It makes me feel tension in a room where there is another girl that is successful. It makes me awkward. It makes me overthink conversations. It makes me assume the worst. Which is actually CRAZY. this is definitely an instavent, because I just don’t want the new females in country music to be misrepresented to the fans or the media as the popular girls in high school that pose for photos like were bffs but secretly despise the one that dates the quarterback. And more than that, I don’t want US to feel like that. This isn’t mean girls, this is country music. Where you actually CAN sit with us.”

World Premier of Carrie Underwood’s New Single “Cry Pretty”

It’s been quite a while since Carrie Underwood has put out new music for radio. Yes, she released “The Champion” in January for the Superbowl and Olympics but this, this is a Carrie Underwood song! This morning at 6am, “Cry Pretty” was released. What do you think?

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