Blake Shelton Too Controversial for
In 140 characters or less, Blake Shelton has managed to offend an impressive amount of people with his official Twitter account, along with causing a bit of anxiety at his record label. The ‘Honey Bee’ singer reveals that execs at Warner Music Nashville once contemplated deleting his account, claiming his tweets were too racy.
“There was a point where Warner was like, ‘We’ve got to get Blake off Twitter, because he can’t say these type of things,'” Blake tells the New York Times.
Despite igniting flame wars with animal rights organization PETA and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the outspoken singer adamantly defends his comments, ultimately keeping his title as the most beloved … and hated tweeter on Twitter.
“I hope that people learn from me, it’s OK to be yourself,” Blake declares. “It’s OK to offend somebody, and, as a matter of fact, please be polarizing. If you’re not polarizing, you failed, in my opinion. If you don’t stand for something, how can anyone respect what you do?”
Crass or comedic? What do you think? Here’s a sampling of some of the funny man’s most controversial tweets:
“Sooo….. Chely Wright just came out. Guess this opens the door… I Blake Shelton am a lesbian.”
“Awake…Vomit…Bleeding… Tylenal [sic] PM … Visine … Youporn.com … Sleep …”
“Re-writing my fav Shania Twain song.. Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy… ”
“I asked Miranda if I could do @chelseahandler while I was in L.A. tonight. She said ok … YES!! She completely misunderstood what I meant!!”
(@Peta): “Animal testing breaks hearts”
(@blakeshelton): “@peta Yeah, and bow hunting breaks their lungs!”
Blake’s new album, ‘Red River Blue,’ hit stores this week. Billboard predicts it will top the all-genre albums chart next week, marking a career first for the Oklahoma native. The CD’s first single, ‘Honey Bee,’ is the fastest-rising song of his career, jetting to No. 1 and staying there four straight weeks. Its follow-up, ‘God Gave Me You,’ will likely have similar success.
Bill Anderson Celebrates
50 Years at the Grand Ole
Bill Anderson has been a Grand Ole Opry member for a half-century, and will mark his golden anniversary as part of the venerable institution this Saturday, July 16. The singer-songwriter got his first taste of success in 1958 when Ray Price recorded a song he had written, ‘City Lights.’ He was 19 years old, and he never looked back. Bill moved to Nashville, landed a recording contract with Decca Records, and went on to have hit after hit, among them ‘Po’ Folks,’ ‘Still,’ ‘Mama Sang a Song’ and ‘I Get the Fever.’ He also had duets with Jan Howard and Mary Lou Turner. He is credited with bringing Connie Smith to Nashville, “Something she’s never forgiven me for,” he deadpans during a recent conversation with The Boot.
Bill’s success as a songwriter is equal to that of his recording career, as he wrote many of Connie’s hits, including ‘Once a Day’ and ‘Cincinnati, Ohio.’ He received a Grammy nomination for the Steve Wariner song ‘Two Teardrops,’ and won CMA Vocal Event of the Year in 2001 with his song ‘Too Country,’ which was recorded by Brad Paisley, Buck Owens and George Jones. The next year Kenny Chesney cut ‘A Lot of Things Different,’ which Bill wrote with Dean Dillon.
In 2004, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss recorded a song he penned with Jon Randall, ‘Whiskey Lullaby.’ ‘Give It Away,’ recorded by George Strait and co-written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson, won both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association Song of the Year honors in 2006 and 2007, respectively. In November 2002, BMI honored Bill as its first country songwriting Icon.
What do you remember about the first time you stepped on the Opry stage?
I was on the Opry several times before they made me a member, but you never forget the first time you sing there. It was at the Ryman, in January 1959. I was on the 10:45 show — they put me on real late at night — and Porter Wagoner introduced me. I sang ‘That’s What It’s Like to be Lonesome,’ which was my first Decca record that came out the preceding fall. The reason I remember the date is that when I was doing some research for the new Bear Family set that they are getting ready to release on me, I found a copy of the first check I ever got from the Opry, for $12. It was dated January 1959.
How nervous were you?
I was looking for a wheelbarrow for somebody to put me in to wheel me out there, because I didn’t think I could make it on my own two feet! [Laughs] I still sometimes can’t really believe it. The first time I was on the Opry, it had been less than five years from the first time that my mother took me to the Opry when I was a teenager, to sit in the audience and see it. That was the summer of 1954. The first time I was on the Opry, I would have been 21.
As this anniversary approaches you must have a flood of memories coming back to you?
There are a lot of them. Of course, I remember the first night at the new Opry house, and the last night at the Ryman. I joke all the time about a fly going doing my throat, but that actually did happen to me at the Ryman. I was onstage singing, and it was way before the building was air-conditioned. The windows were open of course, and a bug flew down my throat while I was singing. I was choking and trying to keep on singing and one of Ernest Tubb’s musicians, who was standing behind me, leaned over and said, “Let the bug sing!”
If I had to pick my most favorite moment ever, it would have been at the Ryman. I had my first No. 1 record, ‘Mama Sang a Song,’ and my mother and dad came up from Georgia, and I performed it and got a standing ovation. I cried like a baby. The song was written about my mother, and to have that whole thing coming down at one time, to be there in that building where they had brought me when I was a teenager, meant so much to me.
People speak of the Grand Ole Opry as a family. Do you think that has changed through the years?
It is a family, it always has been. Was it more so back then? I don’t necessarily think so. The membership list was a little smaller. We were closer as a group but that was caused by a lot of things, like traveling in cars instead of buses. You get close under those circumstances. If nothing else it was a support group. You came home, you’ve had a rough week, your check bounced, and there was a group of people at the Opry who understood. You could go backstage and talk about it and they would nod their head and smile and say, “Yep, but let me tell you what happened to me.” Someone could always top your story! There is a certain amount of that feeling there today, because we’re all in this together.
What do you see for the future of the Grand Ole Opry and the role it will play in country music?
I certainly have no reason to think that it won’t be around. I certainly hope it is. I think people have tried to bury it, and it’s always bounced back and kind of reinvented itself. I think as long as there are the Vince Gills, Brad Paisleys, Trace Adkins, people of that era that are devoted to the Opry and love the Opry, it will be here. When they’re through touring or their traveling slows down, they’ll have a home there. We all went through that. Many times I couldn’t be there, but when I slowed down a little bit there was always the comfort of having that home to go to.
You never know in the corporate world what could happen, but if it’s up to the public, the pickers and singers, the Opry will always be there. It’s a one-of-a-kind thing, and you don’t have to like country music to appreciate the Grand Ole Opry. It’s a slice of Americana. I’m not a racing fan, but I got a kick out of going to the Indy 500 one time, because it is one-of-a-kind. That’s part of the charm of the Opry.
Birthdays for Tuesday, 7/19/11
Sue Thompson 85/country singer, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)”
George Hamilton IV 74/Grand Ole Opry star, “Abilene,” “Urge for Going”
Vikki Carr 71/singer, “It Must Be Him”
Commander Cody 67/vocals, Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln”
Alan Gorrie 65/bass-vocals, Average White Band
Bernie Leadon 64/guitar-banjo, ex-Eagles, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Brian May 64/guitarist, Queen
Kevin Haskins 51/drummer, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets
Urs Buhler 40/singer, Il Divo
Jason McGerr 37/drummer, Death Cab For Cutie
And the late:
Allen Collins–1952-1990/guitar, Lynyrd Skynyrd
George McGovern 89/former senator & candidate for president
George Dzundza 66/actor, No Way Out
Beverly Archer 63/actress, TV’s Major Dad
Campbell Scott 50/actor-director, son of the late George C. Scott
Anthony Edwards 49/actor, was Dr. Mark Green on TV’s ER
Clea Lewis 46/actress, TV’s Ellen
Rachel Miner 31/actress, Bully, divorced from Macaulay Culkin
Jared Padalecki 29/actor, TV’s Supernatural, Gilmore Girls