★ A sad day for country music as singer Daryle Singletary died Monday at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee. He was 46.
Singletary died from an apparent blood clot at his home on the morning of February 12, 2018. Singletary was best known for his 90’s hit songs "Too Much Fun," "I Let Her Lie" and "Amen Kind of Love." He is survived by his wife, Holly, and their four children.
★ Random House has announced a series of books, ostensibly “written” by John Cena, about a boisterous family of monster trucks. The first title to publish in the series will be “Elbow Grease”, a picture book that follows the titular monster truck, who is smaller than his four brothers but on a mission to prove that he has the guts, grit, and gumption to do big things. Says Cena in a press release: “With Elbow Grease and the books to follow, I want to offer kids a fun and engaging way to learn about the power of ambition, dedication, and heart. These concepts have been transformative in my life, from my childhood up to now, and it’s so important to me to pass the positivity on and help our youngest generation see that right mindset is key to achievement.”
★ Garth Brooks – surprised a lucky fan with the invitation of a lifetime. During a Facebook Live show, he received a video message from a Swedish fan named Elizabeth. She asked him for advice on where to visit in the U.S. on her honeymoon. Brooks’ reply? “I’m going to get my butt kicked by my wife on this one…why don’t you stop in Nashville, and why don’t you come to our house and have dinner with me and [Trisha Yearwood]? And we’ll just talk her into cooking something.”
★ The man who played the dad on “Frasier” has died. John Mahoney died over the weekend in Chicago after a brief hospital stay. No cause cause of death was provided. He played Martin Crane on Frasier, a disabled ex-police officer who hung out at Frasier’s Seattle home, constantly squabbling with his two sons, played by Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce. More recently, he had a recurring role as Betty White’s love interest on “Hot in Cleveland.” John Mahoney was 77.
★ Reba McEntire is the new Colonel Sanders for the latest KFC ad campaign promoting Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken. “I’ve eaten KFC my whole life. It’s been a favorite. It’s American. It’s wholesome,” says the Oklahoma native, who’s a fan of the chain’s chicken and coleslaw. Reba said the transformation into the Colonel, including the wig and make-up, took hours.
★ Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced amid what’s proving to be an unpredictable and highly political awards season. The fantasy film “The Shape of Water” leads with 13 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. The the other best picture nominees are “Lady Bird, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The Post,” “Get Out, “Dunkirk,” “Darkest Hour” “Call Me By Your Name” and “Phantom Thread.”
Best actor nominees are Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour,” Timothée Chalamet, for “Call Me By Your Name,” Daniel Day-Lewis for “Phantom Thread,” Daniel Kaluuya for “Get Out ” and Denzel Washington for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Best actress nominees are Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Saoirse Ronan for “Lady Bird,” Sally Hawkins for “The Shape of Water,” Meryl Streep for “The Post” and Margot Robbie “I, Tonya.”