by Brad Schmitt
Brad Schmitt is a longtime Nashville entertainment journalist, having shared the goods on Music City’s most interesting people in the newspaper, on TV, and online for more than 15 years. Every week, Brad hits country fans with the latest news from Nashville and the lives of their favorite country artists.
Trace is the all-star “Celebrity Apprentice” champ!
For a heavyweight slug-out, this was the kindest battle royale in history.
Trace Adkins took on Las Vegas magician Penn Jillette in the finale of the first all-star season of Donald Trump’s TV series Celebrity Apprentice.
Oh girl, you shoulda heard the smack talk between these two in the middle of the battle!
“There could not be a harder opponent who has dignity, who has respect for other people,” Penn said. “Trace has all those things.”
Do what?? C’mon! Where’s the trash talk? Trace?
“Penn Jillette has dignity and integrity. He’s a gentleman who played a clean game,” Trace said.
There was plenty of tension, though. Each player has to host a fundraiser VIP bash to introduce an ice cream he created for a national pharmacy chain.
However, Penn outsold Trace this past week in pints of those new ice creams sold, giving Penn a $100,000 bonus that moved him past Trace in fundraising for the finale.
No matter: Trump declared Trace the winner, giving him the victory that eluded Trace five years ago when he lost in the finale to British media personality Piers Morgan.
In all, Trace raised more than $150 million this season for the American Red Cross.
But Trace’s biggest victory might’ve come when he performed “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” at that VIP party. With that performance, Trace actually got The Donald to dance a little – or at least sway his billionaire badonkadonk some.
And Taylor Swift is the Billboard Music Awards champ!
Taylor Swift scored eight trophies, one performance and one backstage controversy at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night (May 19).
Those trophies included the top prize, artist of the year, at the all-genre awards show that included lots of wins for pop stars Rihanna and Gotye (“Someone That I Used To Know”).
“Thank you for making my music the soundtrack to your crazy emotions,” Taylor told fans after winning the top trophy.
“You are the longest and best relationship I’ve had.”
And Taylor did her first-ever live performance of her new hit, “22.”
And she got caught backstage making a yuck face when her pop pal Selena Gomez gave her other pop pal Justin Bieber a kiss on the cheek.
Yup, Billboard itself posted the two-second video that has caused an uproar online. During the smooch, Taylor actually scrunched up her face and stuck out her tongue.
Some Justin fans were really upset with Billboard.
“Really?” Justin Bieber Army posted on Twitter. “Out of all outlets, I’m surprised you had to jump in on the drama. Disappointed.”
The episode didn’t seem to dampen Taylor’s spirits.
“Best. Night.” she tweeted afterward.
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland is putting out a solo record
OK, so by now, you’ve heard that Kristian Bush of Sugarland has put out a solo record.
Now his Sugarland partner is doing the same. New mom Jennifer Nettles is working with legendary rock producer Rick Rubin to release her own album.
That album is expected to come out in the fall.
Watch Sugarland perform on the Opry stage.