The Latest: Aldean wins ACM entertainer of the year award

Published: Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 8:37 PM
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 8:37 PM


            Jason Aldean performs
Jason Aldean performs "You Make It Easy" at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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.

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Dwayne Johnson answers girl's prom request, rents out theater for her

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:59 AM

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Answers Girl’s Prom Request

An 18-year-old Minnesota student isn’t going to the prom with “The Rock,” but the actor and former wrestling star gave her the next best thing.

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Katie Kelzenberg of Stillwater Area High School had tweeted a video to Johnson, asking him to be her date for her school’s senior prom on May 5.

Friday during the school’s morning announcements, Kelzenberg and her fellow classmates were startled to hear Johnson’s voice over the intercom, ABC News reported.

“All right, let’s start this Friday morning announcement off with a little bit of fun and a little bit of excitement ... You're probably thinking 'What is 'The Rock' doing on our intercom system!?” Johnson said. “Well, I'm sending a message to very special young lady.”

While acknowledging that Kelzenberg might have been embarrassed -- in the video, her face reddens as Johnson continues to speak -- he thanked her for being “cool and awesome” for the prom invitation. He told the students that he was unable to make the prom because he would be in Hawaii filming his new movie, “Jungle Cruise.”

Then Johnson dug into his wrestling repertoire and dropped the People’s Elbow on the unsuspecting class.

Johnson told Kelzenberg that he was renting out a local theater for her friends and family to see a screening of Johnson’s movie, “Rampage,” with drinks and popcorn on him, ABC News reported.

"I want you to go and have the greatest time! I rented out 232 seats!" he said. "Katie, have the best time. Thank you for being awesome!"

SURPRISE KATIE KELZENBERG! About a week ago, I come across a video on my Twitter feed, from a student at Stillwater Area High School (oldest high school in Minnesota) asking me if I would be her date to her prom. Unfortunately, I’ll be shooting during that time in Hawaii, BUT I was so impressed by this young lady’s charm and confidence to even ask me (ladies always get shy in front of me) that I had to do something special. I decided to rent out an entire theater (capacity 232 seats) in her town so Katie and her closest 232 friends and family can enjoy a special screening of RAMPAGE. And all the free popcorn, candy and soda high school kids can consume! You’re money’s no good Katie... everything is on Uncle DJ. 🤙🏾🍿 🍭🥤!! And I also taped a special morning message surprising Katie and her high school that will play across the school’s intercom system... literally...RIGHT NOW, Katie should be turning red hearing me surprise her in front of her entire school. I wish I was there in person Katie, to see your reaction to all this, but I’ll hear about for sure and most importantly - you and all your friends have fun at the theater and ENJOY RAMPAGE! Thanks for being an AWESOME FAN and I’m a lucky dude to have fans like you. Uncle DJ 🤟🏾❤️ Ps - the gorilla in Rampage is way smarter (and better looking) than I am, but don’t tell him that because he has a HUGE ego 🦍

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'Smallville' actress Allison Mack indicted for alleged role in sex trafficking case

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:34 AM

Actress Allison Mack was indicted Friday in New York.
Mark Davis/Getty Images
Actress Allison Mack was indicted Friday in New York.(Mark Davis/Getty Images)

Actress Allison Mack, who starred as Chloe Sullivan in the television series “Smallville,” was indicted Friday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, the Justice Department said in a statement.

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Mack, 35, who starred in the series from 2001 to 2011, allegedly was involved with an organization called Nxivm that claimed to be a female mentorship but instead was a scheme in which some recruits “were exploited both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants' benefit," U.S attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in the statement.

Nxivm's founder, Keith Raniere, known as Vanguard, was also indicted Friday, CNN reported.

According to court filings, Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves, identified as Jane Does 1 and 2, to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere. 

“Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” Donoghue said. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”

Raniere, 57, was arrested in March in Mexico by federal officials on sex-trafficking charges, The New York Times reported.

Mack was arraigned Friday afternoon and a plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf, the Times reported. She was held without bail, with a bail hearing set for Monday.

In addition to her role on “Smallville,” Mack was featured in the movies “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves” in 1997 and “The Ant Bully” in 2006.

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'Scarface' stars, fans reunite to say hello to their little friends

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:18 AM

Steven Bauer, left, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino attended the
Steven Bauer, left, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino attended the "Scarface" 35th Anniversary cast reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York,(Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Fans of “Scarface” were more than happy to say hello to their little friends Thursday.

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Members from the 1983 movie -- known for its violence and profanity, and a cult classic -- had a reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Daily News reported. Al Pacino, who played Cuban immigrant-turned-drug-lord Tony Montana, appeared with co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer and director Brian De Palma to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the film.

The role of Montana is one of the iconic acting leads for Pacino, 77, who starred in “The Godfather,” “The Godfather: Part II,” “Serpico,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” His signature line before spraying bullets at men attempting to break into his office -- “Say hello to my little friend” -- is a pop culture staple.

Pacino told the audience that the line — written by screenwriter Oliver Stone — never gets old.

“What you mean, ‘Say hello to my little friend?’” he repeated to the audience when asked about how the quote still resonates.

Pfeiffer, 59, was coming off her first leading role from 1982’s “Grease 2” when she took the role of Montana’s wife, Elvira Hancock, in “Scarface.” She said Thursday that she learned a great deal from Pacino and still protects her characters “at all costs,” the Daily News reported.

“I have always tried to emulate that, and I tried to be polite about it, but I think that that's what really makes great acting,” Pfeiffer said.

During a question-and-answer session, Pfeiffer was asked what her weight was when she played the Elvira character. During the movie, her drug-addict character gets thinner as the plot deepens. The question was received with boos from the audience, the Daily News reported.

"Well, OK, I don’t know (what my weight was)," Pfeiffer said. "I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels, because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros,.”

Pacino told the audience that the movie was his own idea, inspired by watching the 1932 movie of the same name, the Daily News reported.

"Bombast was part of what we were trying to say with the movie," Pacino said. "It was bigger than life."

De Palma said the acting from “Scarface” still blows him away.

"The amazing thing about is seeing this movie again and again is the amazing performances," he said.

Pacino said he had a hunch the movie -- and his role -- would be special.

"I did have a feeling, I must say it's true, because there are certain roles you feel that can challenge you ... there was something about the preparation, there was something about the text and Brian,” Pacino told the crowd.

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Swedish musician Avicii dead at 28

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

Avicii Dead at 28

Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead Friday in Oman, his publicist confirmed. He was 28.

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