Country band Alabama mark 50 years with new tour after founder reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis

Country band Alabama will mark their 50th year together with a new tour in 2019, more than a year after founding member Jeff Cook announced that he has Parkinson's disease. The Grammy-winning trio of Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Cook formed in 1969 in Fort Payne, Alabama, and went on to dominate the sound of country music … Continue reading “Country band Alabama mark 50 years with new tour after founder reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis”

Country band Alabama will mark their 50th year together with a new tour in 2019, more than a year after founding member Jeff Cook announced that he has Parkinson's disease.

The Grammy-winning trio of Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Cook formed in 1969 in Fort Payne, Alabama, and went on to dominate the sound of country music in the 1980s, scoring dozens of No. 1 hits, including classics like "Mountain Music" and "Dixieland Delight."

Guitarist and fiddle player Cook announced in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with the chronic neurological disorder years ago and he would limit his touring with the band. Cook will perform on their new tour, which begins Jan. 10 in Detroit, as much as he's physically able.

Reba McEntire says it’s not her job to talk politics

Country singer Reba McEntire doesn't think it's part of her job to discuss politics.

The 63-year-old was recently asked to share her political views to which she quickly quipped, "That’s not my job."

While Reba's silence on political issues is a rarity in the entertainment industry in general, country music stars have often opted to stick to singing.

In 2017, Martina McBride echoed McEntire's recent remarks.

"I don't feel like [it's] my job to talk politics," McBride said of many performers decision to speak out about their politics in the 2016 presidential election. "My job is to entertain people."

And earlier this year, Brad Paisley revealed that politics would be completely shut out of the Country Music Association Awards in an effort to be more inclusive.

"I'm not gonna touch that. I just don't find politics funny anymore," Paisley told Taste of Country ahead of the CMAs last month, noting those type of jokes are now "off-limits" for him. "There was a time when it was. It's just not funny to me anymore."

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However, not everyone in country music chooses to stick to entertaining — John Rich told us last week that he's a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and encouraged fellow artists who recently made a push for stricter gun laws to engage in a debate with him on the heated topic.

"Successful artists, while they're only one person, or a couple of people, whatever it is, they have millions of fans," the 44-year-old told Fox News exclusively, speaking of artists Dierks Bentley and Tyler Hubbard's call for more gun laws. "So when they speak, those millions of fans hear what they say."

Rich said he knows Bentley and Hubbard personally and has worked with them previously. He stressed that he has nothing but respect for them — but he does want to engage them in a conversation over gun control.

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"The issue with gun control, you look at it and you go, 'These maniacs, these vicious people are taking a weapon and shooting people with it.' And then the flip side of that is, right now, I'm in New York City and back in Nashville is my wife and my two little kids," Rich said. "And if somebody breaks into my house, which rifle would you suggest I tell my wife to grab?

"Which one should she grab? The one that gives her the best chance at protecting her and my kids or the one that doesn't?" Rich asked fellow country music artists. "Those are the types of questions I would like to ask them."

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

Shania Twain reveals she battles with stage fright: ‘I suffer a lot’

Few entertainers command an audience as successfully as Shania Twain, but in a new interview, the country superstar admits she still gets anxious every time she's set to perform.

"I suffer a lot from stage fright," Twain revealed during an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" on Friday (Dec. 7). She says the only for her to combat those nerves is intensive preparations.

"I spend the whole day preparing for the show," she states in the video above. "So it's not just a two-hour show. The whole day is my show."

The 53-year-old singer says she's mindful of everything she does on the day of a concert and is especially careful of what she eats and drinks. "And then I'm okay. It's like preparing for an exam," she notes. "Every show is an exam. I've gotta get out there and do my best."

Twain released her most recent album, "Now," in 2017, after a 15-year break between albums. She hit the road in 2018 for her Now Tour, which ran from May until August, and she says that while she has nerves before each concert, "Once I'm out there, I'm really fine … the anxiety starts morphing into excitement and adrenaline, and I get out there and I'm so hyperactive."

The country icon admits that she forgets her lyrics "all the time" while she's singing live — especially if she pays too much attention to fans who are singing along.

"If I make eye contact with somebody and they mess up where they are in the song, that's it, I'm off," she says.

Twain's current gig shouldn't get her too frazzled. She's judging a new country-themed reality TV singing contest called "Real Country" alongside Jake Owen and Travis Tritt. "Real Country" airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on the USA Network.

Jennifer Aniston, Dolly Parton’s funniest moments, from jaw-dropping threesome comment to ‘Friends’ joke

Jennifer Aniston and Dolly Parton have grown close in recent years, particularly as they traveled across the country to promote the Netflix original movie "Dumplin" which features original music from the country superstar. The movie centers around a former beauty queen whose plus-sized teen daughter — a Parton superfan — decides to compete in the pageant she's organizing.

Though they may seem like an unlikely duo, the pair clearly has a mutual admiration for one another.

"She’s magic," Aniston said of Parton, who served as inspiration for the film, in an interview with InStyle magazine in August 2018. "I remember the first thing she said to me when she walked into my house. I said, 'I don’t know how you do everything you’re still doing.” She said, “Well, I dreamed myself into a corner, and now I gotta live up to it.'

JENNIFER ANISTON RESPONDS TO DOLLY PARTON'S THREESOME COMMENTS: 'MY MOUTH JUST DROPPED'

Parton told E! News in September 2017 she was "excited" to work with Aniston on the soundtrack album for "Dumplin."

“I love her to death,” Parton said of Aniston on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in December.

The stars have shared several hilarious — and occasionally raunchy — jokes with one another as they've gotten more comfortable with each other. Here are some of the highlights.

The threesome fantasy

During a December 2018 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Parton shocked the crowd when she revealed a secret about her husband of more than 50 years, Carl Thomas Dean.

Dean, Parton said, is understandably a huge fan of Aniston's and he couldn't contain his excitement when he discovered his wife would be working alongside her on "Dumplin."

“My husband is crazy about her,” she told late-night host Jimmy Fallon. “He was more excited that I was going to do a movie with her than he was that I got the chance to write all this music. See, I think he kinda fantasizes, like, a threesome with us.”

Obviously, the news quickly got around. Aniston couldn't help but laugh, explaining how the comment is classic Parton.

“My mouth just dropped,” Aniston told USA TODAY. “And then I laughed my (butt) off. That’s Dolly."

Movie screening secret

Aniston and Parton said the once secretly sneaked into a packed theater to watch the audience react to a screening of "Dumplin."

The friends tried to stay under the radar but Parton could hardly contain her excitement.

DOLLY PARTON SHARES SECRET BEHIND HER 52-YEAR MARRIAGE TO HUSBAND CARL THOMAS DEAN

"During one of the funnier parts, she’s stifling her laugh and whispers to me, 'They can’t hear my laugh. They’ll know my laugh.' A couple of minutes later I look over and she’s crying, and she says, 'But they don’t know my tears,'" Aniston shared with InStyle while doing her best Parton impression.

Party crasher

Of course, Sandra Bullock brings the party. The actress crashed an Access Hollywood interview with Aniston and Parton in December 2018, bringing the celebrities a tray full of cocktails — tequila, to be specific.

"Oh my gosh! That's what I was waiting for," Aniston joked as Bullock handed her a glass.

"Are you for real? Is this real? Are we really? I can't do this," Aniston added. "I'll take a sip."

They then each took a glass of tequila and a slice of lime, taking a sip of straight tequila as they exchanged cheers.

"I guess it's always 5 o'clock with Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock!" Parton later joked in a tweet.

Parton’s “Friends” pick

Parton is sticking to girl code when it comes to her new pal Aniston.

While playing the game "Dolly would or Dolly wouldn't" with James Corden on "The Late Late Show," the host asked Parton who which male "Friends" lead she would marry, get intimate with or "spend the rest of your life" with them on a cruise with: Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Ross (David Schwimmer), and Chandler (Matthew Perry).

Aniston's jaw dropped as Corden described each of the three categories.

But Parton was quick to answer Corden's question, noting that Monica (Courtney Cox) was already with Chandler and Ross was with Rachel (Aniston), so those two choices were clearly out when it came to getting intimate.

"Ross was with you," Parton said, pointing at Aniston. "Now we're girlfriends we wouldn't do that."

Aniston gave the crowd a thumbs up and nodded her head.

"Joey though, on the other hand, he was the only one who left the show kinda single, so I think I’d go with him," Parton said, though she added he "probably had clap and syphilis, so [she'd] take him to the doctor.”

In the end, Parton said she'd likely marry Joey, take Ross to Dollywood and sleep with Chandler.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

John Rich asks fellow country artists Dierks Bentley, Tyler Hubbard to offer real ‘solution’ to gun control

NEW YORK – John Rich is challenging his fellow country music stars to a friendly debate over the Second Amendment.

Rich, one half of the country duo Big & Rich, has never been one to shy away from politics. And when the "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" singer heard his friends and fellow artists Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard were part of a new push for gun control, the proud Texan was really interested to hear their side.

"Successful artists, while they're only one person, or a couple of people, whatever it is, they have millions of fans," the 44-year-old told Fox News exclusively. "So when they speak, those millions of fans hear what they say."

Rich said he knows Bentley and Hubbard personally and has worked with them previously. He stressed that he has nothing but respect for them — but he does want to engage them in a conversation over the Second Amendment.

"The issue with gun control, you look at it and you go, 'These maniacs, these vicious people are taking a weapon and shooting people with it.' And then the flip side of that is, right now, I'm in New York City and back in Nashville is my wife and my two little kids," Rich said. "And if somebody breaks into my house, which rifle would you suggest I tell my wife to grab?

"Which one should she grab? The one that gives her the best chance at protecting her and my kids or the one that doesn't?" Rich asked fellow country music artists. "Those are the types of questions I would like to ask them."

The country music community has faced questions regarding gun control after recent mass shootings affected its fans.

In October 2017, a crazed gunman opened fire at the crowd of festivalgoers at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas, taking the lives of 59 people. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

And in November of this year, a former Marine armed with a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun with an illegal extended magazine opened fire on a packed California country music bar, killing 12 people, including a survivor of the Las Vegas festival shooting.

Several country stars have spoken out since the tragic events – both for and against gun control – notably Erich Chruch, who was one of the headlining acts at the Route 91 Festival. Church told Rolling Stone in a wide-ranging July interview that, while he considers himself a "Second Amendment guy," the National Rifle Association (NRA) is to blame for the mass shooting.

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Rich, who performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival shortly before shots rang out at the show, told Fox News shortly after the tragic event that he gave his weapon to an off-duty police officer who was at his Redneck Riviera bar as they heard news of the shooting.

"I had a Minneapolis police officer off-duty hanging out. He came up to me and he showed me his badge and he says, 'I'm an officer… and I am not armed for the first time ever I can't believe it. Are you armed? I said, 'Yes sir, I am armed.' I have my concealed weapons permit and I said, 'Yes, I am armed.' He said, 'Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this front door?'"

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Bentley and Hubbard's recent push includes asking for universal background checks and an effort to stop the "gun show loophole." They are asking for their fellow country artists to join their efforts.

But Rich is standing firm about his views on guns, telling us it's "only the bad guys [who] break the laws."

"When I go buy a firearm, I register and do everything [by the book]," he stressed. "I have my firearm and my concealed weapons permit to defend myself."

He added, "And so these artists that say that, by the way, I'm friends with all those guys…give us some kind of solution. What do you think we should do?"

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

Pilot error caused crash that killed Troy Gentry, federal investigators say

Pilot error following engine maintenance problems caused the helicopter crash that killed Montgomery Gentry singer Troy Gentry and the pilot at a small airport where he was to perform that night, federal investigators said.

The pilot cut the engine too soon as he tried an emergency landing, leading to an uncontrolled descent, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a final report. Instead of reaching the runway at the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey, the helicopter crashed in woods nearby.

Gentry, 50, who was half of the award-winning country music duo Montgomery Gentry, was taking a pleasure and orientation flight before the concert at the airport's resort. The other half of the duo, Eddie Montgomery, and other band members were at the airport at the time.

Several minutes after takeoff, pilot James Evan Robinson told experts on the ground that he couldn't control the engine. They suggested a shallow, run-on landing, but he instead said he planned to cut the engine and try to glide in, a maneuver he said he had done before, the report said.

The experts stressed the need to wait until he was over the runway to turn off the engine, but investigators found he instead did so a quarter- to half-mile out. The NTSB said the maintenance crew's failure to rig the throttle control assembly before the flight contributed to the crash.

Gentry was born in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met Montgomery.

Montgomery Gentry had success on the country charts and country radio in the 2000s, scoring No. 1 hits that included "Roll With Me" and "Back When I Knew It All." Some of their songs even cracked the Top 40 pop charts.

The band mixed country music with Southern rock. It was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009. It released its debut album, "Tattoos & Scars," in 1999.

Dolly Parton shocks Jimmy Fallon with racy joke about Jennifer Aniston, her husband

Dolly Parton appeared on the “Tonight Show” where she made host Jimmy Fallon blush enough to hide behind his desk.

The 72-year-old singing legend appeared on the late-night show to promote the music she did for the upcoming Netflix original movie “Dumplin’” starring Jennifer Aniston. Parton explained to the host that she was approached by the former “Friends” star to write original music for the movie.

It’s then that she revealed that her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, has a bit of a crush on Aniston and may have been angling for a wild night with the two celebrity women.

“My husband is crazy about her,” she told the host. “He was more excited that I was going to do a movie with her than he was that I got the chance to write all this music. See, I think he kinda fantasizes, like, a threesome with us.”

Fallon stopped her there by throwing his arms up in the air and stammering. Eventually, he pointed right to the camera and joked “go to bed Carl!”

Parton wasn’t done shocking the host there. She continued: “He can’t even get it out to pee, much less get it up for three.”

With that, Fallon fell to the floor and began to crawl behind his desk. He eventually composed himself as the crowd’s thunderous cheers died down.

You can watch the moment in question in the clip below: