7 Oklahoma entertainment headlines for the week, featuring Kristin Chenoweth, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, 'The Voice' and more
From top celebrities to everyday folks, Oklahomans and Oklahoma stay in the entertainment headlines. Here are seven times they've made show business news over the past week or so:
1. Reba, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert to perform on CMA Awards
The Country Music Association has announced the first round of performers for the 54th Annual CMA Awards. Oklahoma native Reba McEntire and co-host Darius Rucker will take the stage together for an emotional, groundbreaking tribute performance.
Rucker will also take the stage with Lady A. Additional performances include former Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts (which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher), Gabby Barrett featuring Charlie Puth, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Florida GeorgiaLine, AshleyMcBryde, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett featuring McEntire, HillaryScott and Chris Tomlin.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 54th Annual CMA Awards will mark the first time the biggest names in country music will come together—safely, all in one room—this year, according to a news release. The CMA Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Music City Center from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 11 on ABC.
Two-time CMA Awards nominee this year Barrett will be joined by Puth, making his CMA Awards debut to perform Barrett’s CMA Single of the Year nominated “I Hope.” Two-time nominee this year Rhett performs his CMA Musical Event of the Year nominated “Be A Light” alongside McEntire, Scott and Tomlin.
McEntire will also be joined by Rucker for a show-stopping collaboration, while Rucker enlists nominees Lady A to perform his new single “Beers & Sunshine.”
With two nominations this year, Church will perform “Hell of a View,” while six-time nominated Combs will perform “Cold As You.” Nominees Florida Georgia Line will perform "Long Live," while Lambert, this year’s top nominee with seven nominations, will perform “Settling Down” from her CMA Album of the Year nominated album "Wildcard" (more on that song below).
Reigning CMA New Artist of the Year and three-time nominee this year McBryde will perform “One Night Standards” from her CMA Album of the Year nominated album "Never Will." Morris, a five-time nominee this year, will perform her CMA Single and Song of the Year nominated “The Bones.”
And nominees Rascal Flatts will take the stage to perform their beloved hit "Bless the Broken Road." Additional performers and presenters will be revealed soon.
2. See Miranda Lambert and hubby in sexy video for 'Settling Down'
Miranda Lambert has released the sweet and sexy music video for "Settling Down," the latest single from her acclaimed 2019 album "Wildcard."
The new video co-stars her husband Brendan McLoughlin, his impressive abs and a gorgeous horse.
Lambert and McLoughlin met in fall 2018 when McLoughlin, who was then working as a New City Police officer, was stationed outside "Good Morning America" when Lambert made an appearance on the show. The couple married in January 2019.
As previously reported, Oklahoma native Luke Dick co-wrote five of "Wildcard's" tracks with Lambert, including “Settling Down,” the recent hit “Bluebird,” “Mess with My Head,” “White Trash” and “Pretty Bitchin’.”
That's not the only project Dick and Lambert have collaborated on recently ...
3. Hear Luke Dick's fitting "Polyester," featuring Miranda Lambert
Known for penning hits with country music superstars like Miranda Lambert and Eric Church, Luke Dick, who was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in tiny Cogar, has released his fitting new single "Polyester."
He says the wistful toe-tapper is about "scrapping your way into something you love and keeping your roots about you, no matter how weird or dysfunctional those roots may be. It wasn’t that long ago, I was scrounging for peanut butter money. After riding a string of good luck and work that turned into hits with other artists, it feels good to go to Krogers and buy the good milk, worry-free. Hail, hail to all you trailer park heroes out there."
The single, which features Lambert on vocals, is from Dick's deeply personal and unpredictably poignant 2019 documentary “Red Dog,” which offers a peek beneath the pasties of one of Oklahoma City’s oldest and rowdiest strip clubs, where he spent his early childhood years since his mother worked there.
The full "Red Dog" album will be out Dec. 4. Preorder the album at https://linktr.ee/lukedick.
4. Watch Reba and Miranda Lambert pay tribute to legends during 'Big Night (At the Museum)'
Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum debuted "Big Night (At the Museum)," billed as the most ambitious digital program in the museum’s history and a much-needed fundraiser, Wednesday on its YouTube channel.
Modern country music masters got the rare opportunity to play historic instruments from the museum as part of the program, which included Reba McEntire, who paid tribute to Patsy Cline and sang “Sweet Dreams” a capella, and Miranda Lambert, who paid homage to John Prine with “That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round’” and accompanied herself with Prine’s David Russell Young custom-made guitar.
The full program, along with performances excerpted from the film, are now available, on demand, on the museum’s YouTube channel. It is free to access, and viewers are invited to make donations via YouTube Giving or by texting “Donate” to (833) 977-2643.
The premiere of "Big Night (At the Museum)" raised more than $743,000 for the nonprofit museum’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. Donations help sustain the museum, which has lost nearly $35 million in revenue as a result of COVID-19. The museum’s Coronavirus Relief Fund supports the museum and its work in exhibitions, collections preservation and education.
5. Hear Kristin Chenoweth's poignant collaboration with Ty Herndon
Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning recording artist Ty Herndon has released a poignant duet with Emmy and Tony winner and Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth titled “Orphans of God.” The single, which also features award-winning pianist and composer Paul Cardall on piano will be featured on Herndon’s upcoming Christmas album, "Regifted," set for release Nov. 27.
“I’ve been wanting to record Orphans of God for quite some time, and I’m so honored and humbled that it came together with my friends Kristin Chenoweth and Paul Cardall during this very difficult time in the life of our nation. It’s more important now than it has ever been before to remember that we are all created equally and that God loves us all just the same. I hope this song can be a beacon of hope to anyone who’s feeling lost, overwhelmed, or suffering in any way,” said Herndon in a statement.
"Orphans of God" was written by Joel Lindsey and Twila LaBar and originally recorded by contemporary Christian group Avalon. Former Avalon band members Melissa Greene and Michael Passons provide backing vocals on the updated track, according to a news release.
Chenoweth chatted with me about the touching collaboration in a wide-ranging interview you can look for next week here on BAM's Blog.
6. Tulsa singers Faye Moffett and Tony Mason audition for 'The Voice'
Two Tulsa singers have been featured so far on "The Voice" Season 19 Blind Auditions, with both given strong performances that nonetheless didn't convince one of the celebrity coaches - Tishomingo resident Blake Shelton, his new fiancee Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson - to turn their chairs.
Faye Moffett's audition, which aired last week, offered a mighty rendition of Demi Lovato's emotional "Anyone" that earned high praise from the judges as well as a few key critiques (along with some apologies) as to why they didn't pick her for their respective teams.
As previously reported, Tulsan Tony Mason tried out with a smooth and soulful cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On" that had the judges grooving in their big swivel chairs but didn't get them to push their buttons for him.
Still, as Shelton noted, it was nice to see some Oklahoma singers delivering on "The Voice" stage.
7. Indie film 'Model House' wraps production in Oklahoma
Thunderbird Films and Model House, LLC, in association with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, has announced the completion of principal photography in Oklahoma for the independent feature film “Model House.” The production hired 25 local crew members and filmed throughout the month of September at several sites in Oklahoma City, as well as Turner Falls Park in Davis, according to a news release.
Written and directed by Derek Pike, “Model House” follows five models staying together in a secluded house as they fight to stay alive when intruders break in and extort money from their social media followers. The film stars Chris Zylka (HBO’s “The Leftovers,” “Spiderman”), Scout Taylor-Compton (“Halloween,” “Halloween II”), and Oklahoma natives Randy Wayne (“Honey 2,” “Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning”) and Ryan Merriman (“Final Destination 3,” “The Deep End of the Ocean”).
“When I was first pitched the idea of shooting ‘Model House’ in Oklahoma, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical,” said Pike in a statement. “I had never been to Oklahoma and couldn’t imagine cheating it for California. But after I [visited Oklahoma], met the film commission and found everything I needed here without having to make any sacrifices, I was 100% in."
“Model House” was produced by Wayne and Talia Bella under the banner of their newly formed production company, Thunderbird Films. Founded in 2019, Thunderbird Films is a production company based in Oklahoma City, where Wayne grew up. After spending 18 years working in the Los Angeles film industry - where he met Bella, who worked as a producer - they decided to move back to Wayne’s home state and start a production company that utilizes their industry expertise. The company produces film, television and commercial projects while contributing to the state’s infrastructure through their rental inventory, which was recently updated to include additional trucks, grip and electric supplies, expendables, camera equipment and location services.
"It is so wonderful that Randy has moved back to his home state with his partner Talia," said Oklahoma Film + Music Office Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. "We are excited that those who have moved away are seeing the opportunities in Oklahoma and choosing to come home. As the local film industry continues to break records and expand its infrastructure and crew depth, we are optimistic that more expatriates and companies like Thunderbird Films will proudly choose Oklahoma and make the overall industry even stronger."
"Model House" isn't the only home-state project that Merriman, a Choctaw native who moved back to Oklahoma four years ago, has recently wrapped. As previously reported, Merriman co-stars in the crime thriller "Out of Exile," which wrapped filming Monday in OKC. To read my behind-the-scenes story about "Out of Exile," click here.