Live Shows Begin on ‘The Voice’

The blind auditions, battle rounds, and knockouts have all been concluded.  It is now time for the fans to have their say in who stays and who goes home as the live performances begin.

Before the performances begin, host Carson Daly reveals the results of the fan vote from the four way knockout battle.  The four artists saved by the coaches went head to head last week for the final spot.

After giving an impressive performance in English and Italian last week, Ryan Gallagher had to leave the competition; leaving only three singers in the battle.

After the first fan vote of the season, Taryn Papa from Team Blake is the final singer in the top 17.  Julia Cooper and Larriah Jackson have been eliminated from the competition.

Seventeen artists will perform but half of them will be eliminated to reveal the final eight after an overnight fan vote.  A ninth singer will be chosen via the instant save.

Team Kelly’s Desz gets the night of music started off with a performance of “What’s Love Got to Do with It”.  John said that Desz was like an assassin out there; adding that she was soulful and magical.  Kelly said that Desz was what every Texas woman wants to be.

Continuing with Team Kelly, Madeline Consoer sings “What if I Never Get Over You”.  Blake noted that Madeline has performed two Country songs in a row; adding that she did a great job.  Kelly said that Madeline did a fantastic job.

Tanner Gomes sang “Loving on You”.  Kelly said that Tanner was so good and misses honky tonk; adding that people are in a good mood after seeing Tanner.

Team Kelly steal Cami Clune sang “Never Tear Us Apart”.  Kelly said that Cami so cool and talented.  She said  that Cami is a one woman show.

Next us is Team Gwen with Payge Turner and her guitar for “It’s Gonna Be Me”.  Carson said that the performance sounded like a James Bond opening film.  Gwen said that Payge did a great job of making it her own.

Team Gwen steal from Blake, Ben Allen sang “There Goes My Life” with just piano accompaniment and brought the coaches to their feet.   Gwen said that she was lucky to have Ben on her team; adding that the performance was beautiful and perfectly in tune.

Hawaiian Joseph Soul performed the Bee Gees hit “How Deep is Your Love”.  Gwen said that Joseph showed a side that they haven’t seen before; adding that it was incredible.

Closing out Team Gwen is the youngest artist in the show this season with 15 year old Carter Rubin singing “Hero”.  Gwen said that she was honoured to know Carter (who just turned 15); adding that he is mind blowingly good.

Next up is Team Blake who has five artists and the only group this season.  Kicking off Team Blake is Jim Ranger with “Rumor”.  An excited Blake called Jim unbelievably talented and will be in the finale.

The trio Worth the Wait perform “Love is Alive” and brought the coaches to their feet.  Blake said that they stepped up to the next level; adding it was the best they have sounded this season. 

Ian Flannigan sang “Make You Feel My Love” and brought the coaches to their feet.  John called the performance stunning.  Blake reminded everyone that the show is called “The Voice”; adding that they should vote for Ian.

Four way Knockout winner Taryn Papa sang “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.   Blake said that Taryn sounded incredible.

Closing out Team Blake is steal Sid Kingsley singing “Beyond”.  Blake said that he can’t understand how Sid ended up on his team after being on two other teams.  Blake noted that Sid is an incredible musician.

Last up is Team Legend…  Tamara Jade gets Team Legend’s performances started off with a performance of “Crazy” and had John and Kelly on their feet dancing.  John called Tamara a superstar who owned the stage; adding that he is so honoured to coach her.

Chloe Hogan performed “The Future” by Billie Eilish and brought the coaches to their feet.  John said that the performance was tasteful and graceful. 

Country singer Bailey Rae sang “Sweet Music Man” by Kenny Rogers.  John said that he loved hearing Bailey’s voice on the song; adding that she sounded so good.

Closing out the night of music and Team Legend is John Holiday with “Fly Me to the Moon” and had John out of his chair dancing along.  John noted that Holiday showed so many sides of himself; adding that he is one of the greatest vocalists ever on the show.

The nine finalists will be revealed on the results show on Tuesday night.

Texans Player Suspended

While the NFL continue to battle with an outbreak of  the Covid-19 virus, some of the teams have other issues to deal with including injuries…and a suspension.

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller has been suspended six games for violating the League’s drug policy.

With five games remaining in the season, Fuller’s year is over.  He will also have to miss the first game of next season.

Announcing his suspension on Instagram, Fuller said that he had taken a medication that he thought was allowed by the league; only to learn later that it was not.

“As a result of this mistake, I have been suspended for six games for taking this prohibited medication.  I want to sincerely apologize to the Texans organization and all of my fans for this mistake. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and returning better than ever in 2021,” Fuller said.

In the eleven games played this season, Fuller had caught 53 passes for 879 yards with eight touchdowns.  He is currently in the last year of his rookie contract.

Ravens/Steelers Moved for Third Time

The NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers seems to be more elusive than a Big Foot sighting.

Originally scheduled to cap off a day of football on Thanksgiving, the Covid-19 virus outbreak in the NFL forced the league to move the game to Sunday afternoon.

Then continued Covid issues forced the game to be moved to a rare Tuesday night game.

As issues with an outbreak of the virus continue, the NFL has again moved the game to Wednesday afternoon.  The game will be played at Heinz Field and is set for a 3:40pm kick off.  NBC will air the game as originally planned.

Once again the moving of one game requires the moving of another.  The game between the Washington Football team and the Steelers that was scheduled for Sunday, will now be played on Monday as a part of a doubleheader Monday night football.  The broadcast network will be announced at a later date.

And the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys has been moved from a Sunday game to a Tuesday December 8 game at 8:05pm.  FOX and the NFL Network will carry the game.

Baltimore Ravens players held a players only meeting where they expressed concerns of playing a game without practice and wishing to have two days of negative tests before playing.  While the team wants to play, they are also concerned over safety issues as the virus continues to ravage the NFL…and the nation.

On November 30 the Ravens removed four players from the Covid-19 reserve list; but placed four more players on the list at the same time.  This season 21 Ravens players have been placed on the Covid list with 19 currently on that list and unable to play until they have tested negative.

‘Star Wars’ Actor David Prowse Dies

Former weightlifting champion turned actor David Prowse died November 28 at the age of 85 after what his agent called a short illness.

Prowse is best known for his role as Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

After seeing his large stature – six foot six inches – “Star Wars” director George Lucas approached Prowse about auditioning either the role villian Darth Vader or Han Solo’s sidekick Chewbacca. Prowse noted that he chose to play Vader because people remember the villain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-djz2Qew8A

Prowse’s stature made him perfect for the role of Vader,, but his lilting accent was seen as a detriment and the voice of Vader was given to James Earl Jones with his deep commanding voice. In “Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi”, the role of Vader in his death scene was given to “starving actor” Sebastian Shaw.

While the costume placed Prowse in the world of anonymity; he was well known to thousands of British children as the traffic crossing superhero Green Cross Code Man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR7_Bz9fIPA

He began his acting career on the London stage in “Don’t Let Summer Come” as Death. Next came television commercials, and finally film and television productions.

Appearing in over 70 productions, Prowse make his acting debut in 1956 in a episode of the daytime drama “The Edge of Night”. From there his appearances included the original “Casino Royale”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “The Saint”, “The Horror of Frankenstein”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “Doctor Who”, “The Tomorrow People”, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Space 1999”, the films in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “The Benny Hill Show”, and his final role in 2016 as Professor Henry Wales in “Mission Backup Earth”.

The former weightlifter also worked to help his fellow actors prepare for roles including “Superman” Christopher Reeve.

He was born David Charles Prowse on July 1, 1935 in Bristol, England. His father died when young David was only five years old.

The Bristol native is a three time weightlifting champion who represented England in the Commonwealth Games in 1962.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented Prowse with the Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to charity and road safety awareness.

He is survived by his wife Norma of 57 years and their children – Steve, James, and Rachel.

feature photo credit: By Xanathon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27631482

Vandy Girl Makes History

It is no longer a sport just for boys…

In recent years, the NFL and collegiate football has seen women joining the officiating crews and coaching staff.  But kicker Sarah Fuller has taken it one step further and has become the first female on one of the Power Five teams to participate in a football game.

After the Covid-19 virus has devasted special teams players on the Vanderbilt football team, the team reached out to Vanderbilt women’s soccer goalkeeper Sarah Fuller to join the team as the kicker.

While she had little opportunity to shine in the 41-0 loss to Missouri, she became the first female player in a Power Five conference – SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 – to play in a game.

Wearing a sticker on her helmet that said, “play like a girl”; Fuller spoke on her opportunity saying, “honestly, it’s just so exciting.  The fact that I can represent the little girls out there who wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport, really, and it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, so it’s awesome.”

A two time champion goalkeeper, Fuller’s football team mates have given her the nickname of “Champ”.

Helping to pave the way for Fuller; April Gross played at Kent State and Katie Hnida played at New Mexico; both FBS – formerly Division II schools.

feature photo credit: Vanderbilt Athletics Facebook page

NFL to Halt Activities for Two Days

In an ongoing effort to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus among the 32 professional football teams, the NFL has banned all person to person contact among the teams on November 30 and December 1.

In recent weeks, several teams including the Ravens, Steelers, Broncos, Rams, Bengals, and Cardinals have all reported players and team members with positive test results.

Fearing an additional spike due to players’ families hosting out of town guests over the Thanksgiving holiday, the NFL limited all team activities to virtual events for two days.

The only exceptions are the two games that are currently scheduled for Monday Night Football where the Seahawks and Eagles and the twice rescheduled game between the Ravens and undefeated Steelers.

Earnhardt Jr Gets Second HOF Nod

Retired NASCAR drivers, Xfinity Series team owner, and NBC Sports broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr is among the newest class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The father of two little girls also finds himself among the members of the newest class to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

Steve Kinser is also among the 2021 class of NMPA Hall of Famers.

Due to the ongoing issues with the Covid-19 pandemic, an official induction ceremony has been postponed until 2022.

A third generation driver, Earnhardt spent 19 years as a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. His 26 career wins include 149 top five finishes with two Daytona 500 wins. As a driver in the Xfinity Series, he has collected 24 checkered flags. A 16 time Most Popular driver, Earnhardt has gone on to win three Xfinity Series championships as a car owner with drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Tyler Reddick – all who have gone on to drive in the NASCAR Cup Series (Elliott is the most recent Cup Series champion).

When not joining fellow retired driver Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letart in the broadcast booth, Earnhardt also has his Dale Jr Download podcast/television series and most recently created the program “Lost Speedways” where he explores and investigates old race tracks.


Steve Kinser is a 20 time World of Outlaws champion with 577 wins. He holds the record for the most wins at the Knoxville Nationals with 12 (the equivalent of winning the Daytona 500 in NASCAR). His Sprint Car wins total 755. He has also made five Cup Series starts.

The NMPA Hall of Fame is located at Darlington Raceway.

feature photo credit: By Mike Fonseca from Mechanicsville, VA, United States – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92323887

Ravens/Steelers Rescheduled Again

The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning to fell like a rubber ball being bounced all over the place.

Due to numerous positive tests for the Covid-19 virus among members of the Baltimore Ravens, the game originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night against the Steelers was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. That game has once again been rescheduled…this time for a Tuesday night event.

This will mark the second time this season that the NFL has had to schedule a game on a Tuesday night due to positive tests among members of a professional football team. In October, Buffalo and Tennessee ended up playing a Tuesday night game after Covid issues among members of the Tennessee Titans.

The game scheduled for 8pm will air on NBC – the original network scheduled to carry the game.

With the rescheduling of the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game on Tuesday, the Baltimore-Dallas game will have to be moved from Thursday (Dec 3) to Monday (Dec 7) at 5pm on FOX and the NFL Network for a Monday doubleheader of Monday Night Football.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh issued a statement on the situation saying, “we appreciate the efforts of the NFL and Pittsburgh Steelers throughout this process, while we all work to create an environment that keeps the health and safety of everyone involved at the forefront of each decision. Our organization has a plan in place, and we will be prepared to play the Steelers. We thank everyone for their adaptability and look forward to the challenge of facing a very good football team at Heinz Field on Tuesday night.”

As of Friday (Nov 27) Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Patrick Ricard, Justin Madubuike, and Morgan Fox have all been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 and are ineligible to play the game on Tuesday.

The Steelers have Stephon Tuitt,Isaiah Buggs, and Jerald Hawkins are also on the list.

The NFL also issued a statement saying, “all decisions were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts.

2021 Grammy Awards Nominees

South African born comedian and host of “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah has been announced as the host for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on January 31, 2021. This will be Noah’s first time hosting the gala music event.

Noah earned his first Grammy Award nomination in the 2020 Grammy Awards when he earned a nomination for his comedic album “Son of Patricia” but lost the award to fellow comedian Dave Chappelle.

Noah spoke on his being the Recording Academy’s choice to host the Grammys saying, “despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the GRAMMYs have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event. I think as a one-time GRAMMY nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award! (This is a metaphorical shoulder, I’m not trying to catch Corona). See you at the 63rd GRAMMYs!”

Beyonce leads the list of this year’s nominations with nine. Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers, Phoebe Bridgers, Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay, Harry Styles, and Megan Thee Stallion also garnered multiple nominations.

This past year has seen several incidents of social injustice; as a result, numerous artists wrote and released protest songs; several of those songs earned the artists a Grammy nomination.

John Prine, Nipsey Hussle, Leonard Cohen, Pop Smoke, Prince, and LaShawn Daniels all garnered posthumous nominations.

As with every year, there are artists who “were snubbed” and failed to earn any nominations. This year those artists include The Weeknd and Luke Combs, the Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks), Morgan Wallen, Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor, Chris Brown, Kehlani, Brandy, and late rapper Juice WRLD.

Looking to add to their already impressive collection of awards; Renee Zellweger, Meryl Streep, Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Cynthia Erivo, and Bill Burr have all earned a nomination; as have Rachel Maddow, Ronan Farrow, Ken Jennings.

An industry award, members of the Recording Academy will determine who will take home the mini gramophone.

And the nominees are…
Record of the Year:
“Black Parade” by Beyonce
“Colors” by Black Pumas
“Rockstar” by DaBaby with Roddy Ricch
“Say So” by Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
“Circles” by Post Malone”
“Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion with Beyonce

Album of the Year:
“Chilombo” by Jhene Aiko
“Black Pumas” – deluxe edition by Black Pumas
“Everyday Life” by Coldplay
“Djesse Vol.3” by Jacob Collier
“Women in Music pt III” by Haim
“Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa
“Hollywood’s Bleeding” by Post Malone
“Folklore” by Taylor Swift

Song of the Year – a songwriter’s award
“Black Parade” written by Denisia Andrews, Beyonce, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk, and Rickie “Caso” Tice for Beyonce
“The Box” written by Sauel Gloade and Rodrick Moore for Roddy Ricch
“Cardigan” written by Aaron Dessner and Taylor Swift for Taylor Swift
“Circles” written by Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kan Gunesberk, Austin Post, and Billy Walsh for Post Malone
“Don’t Start Now” written by Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa, and Emily Warren for Dua Lipa
“Everything I Wanted” written by Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell for Billie Eilish
“I Can’t Breathe” written by Dernst Emile II, H.E.R., and Tiara Thomas for H.E.R.
“If the World was Ending” written by Julia Michaels and JP Saxe for JP Saxe with Julia Michaels

Best New Artist:
Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Three Stallion

Best Pop Solo Performance:
“Yummy” by Justin Bieber
“Say So” by Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
“Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles
“Cardigan” by Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo or Group Performance:
“Un Dia” (One Day) by J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, and Tainy
“Intentions” by Justin Bieber with Quavo
“Dynamite” by BTS
“Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
“Exile” by Taylor Swift with Bon Iver

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
“Blue Umbrella” by Daniel Tashian with Burt Bacharach
“True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter” by Harry Connick Jr
“American Standards” by James Taylor
“Unfollow the Rules” by Rufus Wainwright
“Judy” by Renee Zellweger

Best Pop Vocal Album:
“Changes” by Justin Bieber
“Chromatica” by Lady Gaga
“Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa
“Fine Line” by Harry Styles
“Folklore” by Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording:
“On My Mind” by Diplo and Sidepiece
“My High” by Disclosure with Amine and Slowthai
“The Difference” by Flume with Toro y Moi
“Both of Us” by Jayda G
“10%” by Kaytranada with Kali Uchis

Best Dance/Electronic Album:
“KICK I” by Arca
“Planet’s Mad” by Baauer
“Energy” by Disclosure
“Bubba” by Kaytranada
“Good Faith” by Madeon

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album:
“Axiom” by Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah
“Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard” by Jon Batiste
“Take the Stairs” by Black Violin
“Americana” by Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin, and Bill Frisell
“Live at the Royal Albert Hall” by Snarky Puppy

Best Rock Performance:
“Shameika” by Fiona Apple
“Not” by Big Thief
“Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers
“The Steps” by Haim
“Stay High” by Brittany Howard
“Daylight” by Grace Potter

Best Rock Performance:
“Bum-Rush” by Body Count
“Underneath” by Code Orange
“The In-Between” by In This Moment
“Blood Money” by Poppy
“Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Ax) – Live by Power Trip

Best Rock Song – a songwriter’s award:
“Kyoto” written by Phoebe Briders, Morgan Nagler, and Marshall Vore for Phoebe Bridgers
“Lost in Yesterday” written by Kevin Parker for Tame Impala
“Not” written by Adranne Lenker for Big Thief
“Shameika” written by Fiona Apple for Fiona Apple
“Stay High” written by Brittany Howard for Brittany Howard

Best Rock Album:
“A Hero’s Death” by Fontaines D.C.
“Kiwanuka” by Michael Kiwanuka
“Daylight” by Grace Potter
“Sound & Fury” by Sturgill Simpson
“The New Abnormal” by The Strokes

Best Alternative Music Album:
“Fetch the Bolt Cutters “by Fiona Apple
“Hyperspace” by Beck
“Punisher” by Phoebe Bridgers
“Jaime” by Brittany Howard
“The Slow Rush” by Tame Impala

Best R&B Performance:
“Lightning & Thunder” by Jhene Aiko with John Legend
“Black Parade” by Beyonce
“All I Need” by Jacob Collier with Mahalia and Ty Dolla $ign
“Goat Head” by Brittany Howard
“See Me” by Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
“Sit on Down” by the Baylor Project with Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor
“Wonder Waht She Thinks of Me” by Chloe X Halle
“Let Me Go” by Mykal Kilgore
“Anything for You” by Ledisi
“Distance” by Yebba

Best R&B Song – a songwriter’s award:
“Better than I Imagine” written by Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Gabriella Wilson for Robert Glasper with H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello.
“Black Parade” written by Denisia Andrews, Beyonce, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk, and Rickie “Caso” Tice for Beyonce
“Collide” written by Sam Barsh, Stacey Berthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar, and Benedetto Rotondi for Tiana Major9 and Earthgang
“Do It” written by Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch and Vincent Van Den Ende for Chloe X Halle
“Slow Down” written by Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch, and Vincent Van Den Ende for Skip Marley and H.E.R.

Best Progressive R&B Album:
“Chilombo” by Jhene Aiko
“Ungodly Hour” by Chloe X Halle
“Free Nationals” by the Free Nationals
“F*** Yo Feelings” by Robert Glasper
“It is What it Is” by Thundercat

Best R&B Album:
“Happy 2 Be Here” by Ant Clemons
“Take Time” by Giveon
“To Feel Love/d” by Luke James
“Bigger Love” by John Legend
“All Rise” by Gregory Porter

Best Rap Performance:
“Deep Reverence” by Big Sean woth Nipsey Hussle
“BOP” by DaBaby
“What’s Poppin” by Jack Harlow
“The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby
“Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion with Beyonce
“Dior” by Pop Smoke

Best Melodic Rap Performance:
“Rockstar” by DaBaby with Roddy Ricch
“Laugh Now, Cry Later” by Drake with Lil Durk
“Lockdown” by Anderson. Paak
“The Box” by Roddy Ricch
“Highest in the Room” by Travis Scott

Best Rap Song – a songwriter’s award:
“The Bigger Picture” wirtten by Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew, and Rai’shaun Williams for Lil Baby
“The Box” written by Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore for Roddy Ricch
“Laugh Now, Cry Later” written by Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron LaTour, and Ryan Martinez for Drake with Lil Durk
“Rockstar” written by Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro IV, and Rodrick Moore for Da Baby with Roddy Ricch
“Savage” written by Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe, and Anthony White for Megan Thee Trainor with Beyonce

Best Rap Album:
“Black Habits” by D Smoke
“Alfredo” by Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist
“A Writeen Testimony” by Jay Electronica
“King’s Disease” by Nas
“The Allegory” by Royce Da 5’9”

Best Country Solo Performance:
“Stick that in Your Country Song” by Eric Church
“Who You Thought I Was” by Brandy Clark
“When My Amy Prays” by Vince Gill
“Black Like Me” by Mickey Guyton
“Bluebird” by Miranda Lambert

Best Country Duo or Group Performance:
“All Night” by the Brothers Osborne
“10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber
“Ocean” by Lady A
“Sugar Coat” by Little Big Town
“Some People Do” by Old Dominion

Best Country Song – a songwriter’s award:
“Bluebird” written by Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, and Miranda Lambert for Miranda Lambert
“The Bones” written by Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz for Maren Morris
“Crowded Table” written by Brandi Carlile Natalie Hemby, and Lori McKenna for “The Highwomen
“More Hearts than Mine” written by Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, and Derrick Southerland for Ingrid Andress
“Some People Do” written by Jesse Frasure, Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey, and Thomas Rhett for Old Dominion

Best Country Album:
“Lady Like” by Ingrid Andress
“Your Life is a Record” by Brandy Clark
“Wildcard” by Miranda Lambert
“Nightfall” by Little Big Town
“Never Will” by Ashely McBryde

Best New Age Album:
“Songs from the Bardo” by Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, and Jesse Paris Smith
“Periphery” by Priya Darshini
“Form/less” by Superposition
“More Guitar Stories” by Jim “Kimo” West
“Meditations” by Cory Wong and Jon Batiste

Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
“Guinevere” by Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah as soloist
“Pachamama” by Regina Carter as soloist
“Celia” by Gerald Clayton as soloist
“All Blues” by Chick Corea as soloist
“Moe Honk” by Joshua Redman as soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
“Ona” by Thana Alexa
“Secrets are the Best Stories” by Kurt Elling with Danilo Perez
“Modern Ancestors” by Carmen Lundy
“Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper” by Somi with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band
“What’s the Hurry” by Kenny Washington

Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
“On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment” by Ambrose Akinmusire
“Waiting Game” by Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science
“Happening Live at the Village Vanguard” by Gerald Clayton
“Trilogy 2” by Chick Corea, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade
“Roundagain” by Redman Mehldau McBride Blake

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
“Dialogues on Race” by Gregg August“Monk’estra Plays John Beasley” by John Beasley
“The Intangible Between” by Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band
“Songs You Like a Lot” by John Hollenbeck with Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big Band
“Data Lords” by the Maria Schneider Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz Album:
“Tradiciones” by the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra
“Four Questions” by Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
“City of Dreams” by Chico Pinheiro
“Veinto y Tiempo – Live at the Blue Note Tokyo” by Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola
“Trane’s Delight” by Poncho Sanchez

Best Gospel Performance or Song:
“Wonderful is Your Name” by Melvin Crispell III
“Release” – Live by Ricky Dillard with Tiff Joy
“Come Together” by Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins
“Won’t Let Go” by Travis Greene
“Movin’ On” by Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance or Song:
“The Blessing” – Live by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Worship
“Sunday Morning” by Lecrae with Kirk Franklin
“Holy Water” by We the Kingdom
“Famous for (I Believe)” by Tauren Wells with Jenn Johnson
“There was Jesus” by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton

Best Gospel Album:
“2econd Wind: Ready” by Anthony Brown and group therAPy
“My Tribute” by Myron Butler
“Choirmaster” by Ricky Dillard
“Gospel According to PJ” by PJ Morton
“Kierra” by Kierra Sheard

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
“Run to the Father” by Cody Carnes
“All of My Best Friends” by Hillsong Young and Free
“Holy Water” by We the Kingdom
“Citizen of Heaven” by Tauren Wells
“Jesus is King” by Kanye West

Best Roots Gospel Album:
“Beautiful Day” by Mark Bishop
“20/20” by The Crabb Family
“What Christmas Really Means” by The Erwins
“Celebrating Fisk!” – The 150th Anniversary Album by the FiskJubilee Singers
“Something Beautiful” by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album:
“YHLQMDLG” by Bad Bunny
“Por Primera Vez” by Camilo
“Mesa Para Dos” by Kany Garcia
“Pausa” by Ricky Martin
“3:33” by Debi Nova

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album:
“Aura” by Bajofondo
“Monstruo” by Cami
“Sobrevolando” byCultura Profetica
“La Conquista del Espacio” by Fito Paez
“Miss Colombia” by Lido Pimienta

Best Regional Mexican Music Album:
“Hecho en Mexico” by Alejandro Fernandez
“La Serenata” by Lupita Infante
“Un Canto por Mexico, Vol.1” by Natalia Lafourcade
“Bailando Sones y Huapangos con Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez” by Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez
“Ayayay!” by Christian Nodal

Best Tropical Latin Album:
“Mi Tumbao” by Jose Alberto “El Ruisenor”
“Infinito” by Edwin Bonilla
“Sigo Cantando al Amor” – Deluxe edition by Jorge Celedon and Sergio Luis
“40” by Grupo Niche
“Memorias de Mavidad” by Víctor Manuelle

Best American Roots Performance:
“Colors” by Black Pumas
“Deep in Love” by Bonny Light Horseman
“Short and Sweet” by Brittany Howard
“I’ll be Gone” by Norah Jones and Mavis Staples
“I Remember Everything” by John Prine

Best American Roots Song – a songwriter’s award:
“Cabin” written by Laura and Lydia Rogers
for “The Secret Sisters
“Ceiling to the Floor” written by Sierra Hull and Kai Welch for Sierra Hull
“Hometown” written by Sarah Jarosz for Sarah Jarosz
“I Remember Everything” written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine for John Prine
“Man Without a Soul” written by Tom Overby and Lucinda Williams for Lucinda Williams

Best American Roots Song – a songwriter’s award:
“Cabin” written by Laura and Lydia Rogers
for “The Secret Sisters
“Ceiling to the Floor” written by Sierra Hull and Kai Welch for Sierra Hull
“Hometown” written by Sarah Jarosz for Sarah Jarosz
“I Remember Everything” written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine for John Prine
“Man Without a Soul” written by Tom Overby and Lucinda Williams for Lucinda Williams

Best Americana Album:
“Old Flowers” by Courtney Marie Andrews
“Terms of Surrender” by Hiss Golden Messenger
“World on the Ground” by Sarah Jarosz
“El Dorado” by Marcus King
“Good Souls Better Angels” by Lucinda Williams

Best Bluegrass Album:
“Man on Fire” by Danny Barnes
“To Live in Two Worlds, Vol. 1” by Thomm Jutz
“North Carolina Songbook” by the Steep Canyon Rangers
“Home” by Billy Strings
“The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1” BY Various Artists
Best Traditional Blues Album:
“All My Dues are Paid” by Frank Bey
“You Make Me Feel” by Don Bryant
“That’s What I Heard” by the Robert Cray Band
“Cypress Grove” by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
“Rawer than Raw” by Bobby Rush

Best Contemporary Blues Album:
“Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?” by Fantastic Negrito
“Live at the Paramount” by the Ruthie Foster Big Band
“The Juice” by G. Love
“Blackbirds” by Bettye LaVette
“Up and Rolling” by the North Mississippi Allstars

Best Folk Album:
“Bonny Light Horseman” by Bonny Light Horseman
“Thanks for the Dance” by Leonard Cohen
“Songs for Our Daughter” by Laura Marling
“Saturn Return” by The Secret Sisters
“All the Good Times “by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

Best Regional Roots Music Album:
“My Relatives ‘Nikso Kowalks’” by the Black Lodge Singers
“Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours” by Cameron Dupuy and The Cajun Troubadours
“Lovely Sunrise” by Na Wai Eha
“Atmosphere” by the New Orleans Nightcrawlers
“A Tribute to Al Berard” by Sweet Cecilia

Best Reggae Album:
“Upside Down 2020” by Buju Banton
“Higher Place” by Skip Marley
“It All Comes Back to Love” by Maxi Priest
“Got to Be Tough” by Toots and The Maytals
“One World” by the Wailers

Best Global Music Album:  (formerly World Music)
“Fu Chronicles” by Antibalas
“Twice as Tall” by Burna Boy
“Agora” by Bebel Gilberto
“Love Letters” by Anoushka Shankar
“Amadjar” by Tinariwen

Best Children’s Music Album:
“All the Ladies” by Joanie Leeds
“Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders” by Alastair Moock and Friends
“I’m an Optimist” by Dog on Fleas
“Song for Singin’” by The Okee Dokee Brothers
“Wild Life” by Justin Roberts

Best Spoken World Album: (includes poetry, audio books, and storytelling)
“Acid for the Children: A Memoir” by Flea
“Alex Trebek – The Answer is…” by Ken Jennings
“Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, most Destructive Industry on Earth” by Rachel Maddow
“Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow
“Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)” by Meryl Streep with a full cast

Best Comedy Album:
“Black Mitzvah” by Tiffany Haddish
“I Love Everything” by Patton Oswalt
“The Pale Tourist” by Jim Gaffigan
“Paper Tiger” by Bill Burr
“23 Hours to Kill” by Jerry Seinfeld

Best Musical Theater Album:
Amelie”
“American Utopia on Broadway”
“Jagged Little Pill”
“Little Shop of Horrors”  
“The Prince of Egypt”
“Soft Power”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media:
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” by Various Artists
“Bill & Ted Face the Music” by Various Artists
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” by Various Artists
“Frozen 2” by Various Artists
“Jojo Rabbit” by Various Artists

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media”
“Ad Astra” composed by Max Richter
“Becoming” by composed by Kamasi Washington
“Joker” composed by Hildur Guonadottir
“191” composed by Thomas Newman
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” by composed by John Williams

Best Song Written For Visual Media – a songwriter’s award:
“Beautiful Ghosts” from “Cats” written by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Taylor Swift
“Carried Me with You” from “Onward” written by Brndi Carlile, Phil Hanserouth, and Tim Hanseroth
“Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2” written by risten Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” written by Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas Baird O’Connell
“Stand Up” from “Harriet” written by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Best Instrumental Composition:
“Baby Jack” composed by Arturo O’Farrill
“Be Water II” composed by Christian Sands
“Plumfield” by composed by Alexandre Desplat
“Sputnik” composed by Maria Schneider
“Strata” compsed by Remy Le Boeuf

Best Instrumental or A Cappella Arrangement:
“Bathroom Dance” arranged by Hildur Guonadottir
“Donna Lee” arranged by John Beasley
“Honeymooners” arranged by Remy Le Boeuf
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” arranged by Alvin Chea and Janet Johnson
“Uranus: The Magacian” arranged by Jeremy Levy

Best Instruments and Vocal Arrangement:
“Asas Techadas” arranged by John Beasley and Maria Mendes
“Desert Song” arranged by Erin Bentlage, Sara Gazarek, Johnaye Kendrick, and Amanda Taylor
“From This Place” arranged by Alan Broadbent and Pat Metheny
“He Won’t Hold You” arranged by Jacob Collier
“Slow Burn” arranged by Talia Billig, Nic Hard, and Becca Stevens

Best Recording Package:
“Everyday Life” by Coldplay
“Funeral” by Lil Wayne
“Healer” by Grouplove
“On Circles” by Caspian
“Vols. 11 & 12” by Desert Sessions

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package:
“Laming Pie” – collector’s edition by Paul McCartney
“Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991” by the Grateful Dead
“Mode” by Depeche Mode
“Ode to Joy” by Wilco
“The Story of Ghostly International” by Various Artists

Best Album Notes:
“At the Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routihnes from the Studio, 1894-1926” by Various Artists
“The Bakersfield Sound: Country MusicCapital of the West, 1940-1974” by Various Artists
“Dead Man’s Pop” by The Replacements
“The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us form Joplin to Jazz and Shaped the Music Business” by Various Artists
“Out of a Clear Blue Sky” by Nat Brusiloff

Best Historical Album:
“Celebrated, 1985-1896” by Unique Quartette
“Hittin; the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)” by Nat King Cole
“It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers” by Mister Rogers
“1999 Super Deluxe Edition” by Prince
“Souvenir” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
“Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions” by Bela Fleck

Best Non-Classical Engineered Album:
“Black Hole Rainbow” by Devon Gilfillian
“Expectations” by Katie Pruitt
“Hyperspace” by Beck
“Jaime” by Brittany Howard
“25 Trips” by Sierra Hull

Non-Classical Producer of the Year:
Jack Antonoff
Dan Auerbach
Dave Cobb
Flying Lotus
Andrew Watt

Best Remixed Recording:
“Do You Ever (Rac Mix) by Phil Good
“Imaginary Friends” (Morgan Page Remix) by Deadmau5
“Praying for You (Louie Vega Main remix) by the Jasper Street Co.
“Roses” (Imanbek remix) by SAINt JHN
“Young & Alive” (Bazzi vs Haywyre remix) by Bazzi

Best Classical Engineered Album:
“Daniel Pour: The Passion of Yeshua” by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus
“Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
“Hynes: Fields” by Devonte Hynes and Third Coast Percussion
“Ives: Complete Symphonies” by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic
“Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar’” by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Classical Producer of the Year:
Blanton Alspaugh
David Frost
Jesse Lewis
Dmitriy Lipay
Elaine Martone

Best Orchestral Performance:
“Aspects of America” – Pulitzer Edition by the Oregon Symphony
“Concurrence” by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
“Copeland: Symphony No. 3” by the San Francisco Symphony
“Ives: Complete Symphonies” by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
“Lutosiawski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3” by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Best Opera Recording:
“Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen” by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Odyssey Opera Chorus
“C. Floyd: Prince of Players” by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Florentine Opera Chorus
“Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
“Handel: Agrippina” by Il Pomo D’Oro
“Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg” by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Best Choral Performance:
“Carthage” by The Crossing
“Daniel Pour: The Passion of Yeshua” by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and UCLA Chorus Singers
“Kastalsky: Requiem” by Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestra Of St. Luke’s Cathedral Choral Society, The Clarion Choir, Kansas City Chorale, and The Saint Tikhon Choir
“Moravec: Sanctuary Road” by Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society Of New York Orchestra and Chorus
“Once Upon a Time” by Matthew Guard and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble

Best Chamber Music or Small Ensemble Performance:
“Contemporary Voices” by the Pacifica Quartet
“Healing Modes” by Brooklyn Rider
“T.Hearne: Place” by the Place Orchestra
“Hynes: Fields” by Devonté Hynes and Third Coast Percussion
“The Schulmann Quartets” by the Dover Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo:
“Ades: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” Kiril Gerstein soloist
“Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas” by Igo Levit
“Bohemian Tales: Charles Owen soloist
“Destination Rachmoninov – Arrival” Daniil Trifonov soloist
“Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra” Richard O’Neill soloist

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:
“American Composers at Play – William Bolocom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, and John Musto” by Stephen Powell
“Clairieres – Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger” by Nicholas Phan
“Farinelli” by Cecilia Bartoli
“A Lad’s Love” by Brian Giebler
“Smyth: The Prison” by Sarah Brailey and Dashon Burton

Best Classical Compendium:
“Ades Conducts Ades” by Mark Stone and Christianne Stotijn with Thomas Adès conducting
“Saariaho: Graal Theatre; Circle Map; Neiges; Vers Toi Qui Es Si Loin” conducted by Clément Mao-Takacs
“Serebrier: Symphonic Bach Variations; Laments and Hallelujahs; Flute Concerto” conducted by Jose Serebrier
“M.T. Thomas: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke” conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
“L.P. Woolf: Fire and Flood” conducted by Julian Wachner

Best Contemporary Classical Composition:
“Ades: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” composed by Thomas Ades
Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” composed by Richard Danielpour
“C. Floyd: Prince of Players” composed by Carlisle Floyd
“T. Hearne: Place” composed by Ted Hearne
“Rouse: Symphony No. 5” composed by Christopher Rouse

Best Music Video:
“Brown Skin Girl” by Beyonce
“Life is Good” by Future with Drake
“Lockdown” by Anderson. Paak
“Adore You” by Harry Styles
“Goliath” by Woodkid

Best Music Film:
“Beastie Boys Story” by the Beastie Boys
“Black is King” by Beyonce
“We are Freestyle Love Supreme” by Freestyle Love Supreme
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” byLinda Ronstadt
“That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” by ZZ Top

NFL HOF Names Semifinalists for Hall

On November 24 the NFL Hall of Fame announced the semifinalists who are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame.

A player becomes eligible for nomination into the Hall of Fame five years after they have retired from playing.

Among the nominees are the player who are eligible for the first time – quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, safety Charles Woodson, and defensive end Jared Allen.

Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Cornelius Bennett, and Rodney Harrison are also on the list for the first time.

They will be joined by returning players to the nominee list:
tackle Willie Anderson
cornerback and safety Ronde Barber
tackle Tony Boselli
safety LeRoy Butler – inventor of the Lambeau Leap
guard Alan Faneca
wide receiver Torry Holt
safety John Lynch
linebacker Clay Matthews
linebacker Sam Mills
defensive end and tackle Richard Seymour
wide receiver Steve Tasker
running back Fred Taylor
linebacker Zach Thomas
wide receiver Hines Ward
wide receiver Reggie Wayne
linebacker Patrick Willis
safety Darren Woodson
defensive tackle Bryant Young

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl in February, 15 of the semi finalists will be presented to the Hall of Fame Selection Committee along with senior finalist Drew Pearson, contributor Bill Nunn, and coach finalist Tom Flores.  The Committee will determine which of the players will become the newest members to the Hall of Fame.

Between four and eight of the finalists will be named as the newest Hall of Famers.

Virus protocols permitting, the induction ceremony is scheduled to be held in Canton, Ohio – the site of the Hall of Fame -on August 8; the culmination of a week of Hall of Fame celebrations.

Ryan Truex Gets a Ride

Last season in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series Ryan Truex ran nine races for Niece Motorsports.

When the 2021 Camping World Truck Series starts the seaon at Daytona, Truex will have a full time ride with Niece Motorsports driving the number 40 truck with Marquis Spas as the primary sponsor.

Truex, the younger brother of NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr, spoke on new contract saying, “last season was really a learning year for me with this team.  I feel like we learned a ton every week. We adjusted to working with no track time prior to racing, and I feel like we made our equipment better throughout the course of the year. I am excited about the continuity we will be able to build, competing week in and week out. I’m thankful to Marquis Spas for their support this season and as we move into next season.”

Niece Motorsports General Manager Cody Efaw spoke on Truex joining the team full time saying, “we’re excited to bring Ryan full time next season.  As a team, we are really excited about how our program is shaping up for next season. We are working hard collectively to make our equipment the best it can be. We are thankful for the support of great partners like Marquis and Chevrolet. We look forward to contending for wins next year with Ryan.”

Knockouts Conclude on ‘The Voice’

On part three of the Knockout Rounds on “The Voice”, Kelly is the only singer with a steal remaining.

First up is Kelly with Tanner Gomes and Marisa Corvo.  Marisa chose the Cher hit “If I Could Turn Back Time” and Tanner chose to sing the Tim McGraw song “Real Good Man”.  Blake said that Tanner did some stuff that was very impressive; adding that Marisa nailed the high notes.  John said that he saw another side of Tanner; adding that it took Marisa a bit to hit her spot.  Gwen said that Marisa had everything going for her; adding that Tanner’s confidence is very special.  Kelly said that Marisa showed her pop side; adding that Tanner showed another side of country music.  Kelly chose Tanner as the winner of the battle.

John chose to pair John Holiday and Cami Clune for a battle.  Cami chose to sing the Annie Lennox version of “I Put a Spell on You” and John chose to sing the Eric Carmen composition “All By Myself” but chose the Celine Dion version.  Usher was amazed at how high John’s voice was.  When John began to sing, Kelly got to her feet and had her mouth open in surprise.  Gwen noted that Cami is very different; adding that John was impressive.  Kelly said that John is incredible and she is impressed with Cami.  Blake said that he loves John but hates him as a coach.  Blake said that Cami’s talent is unbelievable.  John said that they are both phenomenal performers and gave flawless performances.  John chose John Holiday as the winner of the battle.  Kelly used her steal on Cami.

In the final battle of the knockout rounds, the four singers that were saved by the coaches go head to head battle for the final spot in the live performances.  The fans will make the final choice with their votes.

Up first is Team Blakes’s Taryn Papa with “Cry”.

Team Legend’s Julia Cooper sang “Wish You Were Gay”.

Team Gwen’s Larriah Jackson sang “One and Only”.

Closing out the performances is Team Kelly’s Ryan Gallagher with “Time to Say Goodbye” in Italian and English.  Ryan’s mother has been battling the Covid-19 virus and during the battle rounds she was in ICU.   Ryan revealed that his mother is out of ICU.

The results of the four way knockout vote will be revealed at the beginning of the live performances next Monday.



Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
Bailey Rae
Chloe Hogan – steal
John Holiday

Team Gwen:
Payge Turner
Ben Allen – steal
Joseph Soul
Carter Rubin

Team Blake:
Worth the Wait
Sid Kingsley – steal
Jim Ranger
Ian Flanigan

Team Kelly:
Desz
Madeline Consoer
Tanner Gomes
Cami Clune

Knockouts pt 2 on ‘The Voice’

The knockout rounds continue on “The Voice” as the coaches continue to build their teams for the live performances.

Last week, John and Blake added their first team members with Gwen getting two singers after using her steal on Ben Allen.

“The Voice” coach and winner Usher serves as the mega mentor for the singers this season.

Kelly has paired Desz and  steal Sid Kingsley for a battle.  Desz chose “Can We Talk” for her performance and Sid sang “Make it Rain”.  Both singers brought Kelly out of her seat and the coaches to their feet.  Blake called Desz unbelievable and Sid was a big surprise; adding that it was some incredible singing.  John is happy that Sid is back; adding that it was his best performance.  John called Desz a tour de force.  Gwen noted that Desz was so in control; adding that Sid has a lot of soul.  Kelly called them two of her favourite artists to work with.  She said that they were the kind of artists she would play and drink wine to every night.  Saying that she hopes someone gets stolen, Kelly chose Desz as the winner of the battle.  John pushed his button to steal Sid back, but Blake made it a steal battle.  Sid chose to go with a new coach and picks Blake to be his new coach.  Sid noted that he should take advantage of as many coaches as possible.

Blake paired up Jim Ranger and Jus Jon for a battle; saying that they may be in different genres but are both soulful singers.  Jus Jon chose the Bruno Mars song “Finese”; a song he performs with his band on every gig.  Jim chose to sing the Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind” – a message he wants to pass on to his children.  John noted that he could see Usher’s influence on Jus Jon; adding that it was a lovely song choice for Jim.  Gwen loved Jon’s performance; adding that she feels that Jim could win the show.  Kelly loved Jon’s energy; adding that Jim’s song choice was great.  Jim got very emotional in explaining why he chose the song.  Blake said that Jim’s performance was great and moving.  Blake noted that with Jus Jon he has a hard time separating himself between coach and fan.  Blake chose Jim Ranger as the winner of the battle. 

John paired Country singer Bailey Rae and steal Lauren Frihauf.  Bailey chose “Let Me Down Easy” and Lauren chose the Janis Joplin song “Cry Baby”.  Gwen said that Bailey has a beautiful voice and is impressed; adding that Lauren is a baby full of talent and a voice.  Kelly noted that she just figured out that the girls were teens; she loved Bailey’s song choice and Lauren embodied the song.  Blake said that it was a dirty trick by “The Voice” god that Bailey is on John’s team; adding that there was something innocent about Lauren.  John noted that Lauren’s version of the song worked and Bailey’s voice sounded like classic country.  John chose Bailey Rae as the winner of the battle.

Blake paired Ian Flanigan and steal James Pyle.  Ian chose to sing the Luke Combs song “Beautiful Crazy” and James chose to sing “In My Blood” by Sean Mendes.  John said that both guys were really fantastic.  Gwen said that James had a cool rhythm – he plays the drums; adding that the music comes through Ian.  Kelly said that James made some nice changes; adding that she liked Ian’s mysterious vibe.  Blake said that it was exciting to see James talent; adding that there is nobody who sounds like Ian.  Blake chose Ian as the winner of the battle.

In a video clip…
Gwen paired Joseph Soul and Van Andrew for a battle with Joseph taking the win.

Kelly paired Kelsie Watts who chose the Alains Morrisette song “You Oughta Know” and Madeline Consoer who chose to sing “Die from a Broken Heart” by Maddie and Tae.  Blake said that Kelsie really made the song work; adding that Madeline nailed it.  John noted that Madeline connected with the song; adding that Kelsie carried herself like an A level pop singer.  Gwen was impressed by both girls, calling them so talented.  Kelly said that Kelsie made the song her own; adding that Madeline was the Country girl she would want to see.  Kelly chose Madeline as the winner of the battle.

Gwen paired 14 year old Carter Rubin and Chloe Hogan.  Carter chose to sing “You Say” for his performance and Chloe chose to sing an “Weak”.  Kelly said that Carter gave a finale performance; adding that Chloe made her fall in love with her.  Blake said that Carter is as skilled as anyone on the show and Chloe’s presence is magical.  John said that Carter nailed it and is talented; adding that the degree of difficulty was higher for Chloe.  Gwen called Chloe awesome; adding that Carter picked a song that he was connected to.  Gwen named Carter as the winner of the battle.  John pushed his button to steal Chloe.

Kelly is the only coach with a steal remaining.


Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
Bailey Rae
Chloe Hogan – steal

Team Gwen:
Payge Turner
Ben Allen – steal
Joseph Soul
Carter Rubin

Team Blake:
Worth the Wait
Sid Kingsley – steal
Jim Ranger
Ian Flanigan

Team Kelly:
Desz
Madeline Consoer

JH Nemechek Gets a New Ride

After spending the 2020 racing season in the NASCAR Cup Series, John Hunter Nemechek returns to the Camping World Truck Series for a full time ride with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Nemechek will be driving the number four truck for Busch; taking over the driving duties from Canadian driver Raphael Lessard.  Lessard’s future in NASCAR is not known at this time.

Nemechek spent the 2020 season – his rookie Cup Series season – driving the number 38 car for Front Row Motorsports.  But on November 16, Nemechek announced to the team that he would not be returning to the car for the 2021 season.

Noting that the decision was not easy, Nemechek spoke on returning to the Truck Series saying, “it definitely was a tougher decision, for sure, trying to weigh out the pros and cons of each one of them.  But when it comes down to it, I’m a competitive guy. I want to show up to the race track every single weekend and have a shot to win.  Definitely, I learned a lot and gained a lot of knowledge. … I’m looking forward to kind of coming back, even though it is somewhat taking a step back, but at the same time you have to look at the positives. We’re here to win races.”

Nemechek added, “honestly, if I mess up, I hope Kyle holds me accountable.  I hope that Kyle tells me how it is, straight to my face. I like that. I like when somebody tells me that I’ve messed up, so that I go back and fix it. As far as him busting on us or anything like that, I’m not super-afraid of that. I want to learn. I want to be better. If you can learn one thing every single day, you can be better that day and the following.”

While he had three top 10 finishes during the 2020 Cup Series season, Nemechek had not yet won any races.  However, he is a six time winner in the Truck Series.  Nemechek also has one win in the Xfinity Series as a part time driver for Chip Ganassi.

MLB Reschedules ‘Field of Dreams’ Game

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was supposed to be a historic year with the first ever game played on the baseball field that is known as “The Field of Dreams”.  But the Covid-19 pandemic caused the game to be cancelled as the MLB struggled to put on some semblance of a “normal” season.

However, MLB has not given up on “The Field of Dreams”.  The game has been rescheduled for the 2021 playing season on August 12.  The Chicago White Sox will play the New York Yankees on the baseball field hidden behind a corn field in Iowa.

Not only will the game mark the first time a major league game will be played on the field; it will also be the first time an MLB game will be played in Iowa.

Like most events in the coming months, the game is contingent on the status of the pandemic and whether or not it is safe to do so.

In the 1989 film, Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, noted, “if you build it, they will come.”  And come they did, the field has become a popular tourist destination.

DWTS Crowns a Season 29 Champion

“Dancing with the Stars” reaches the end of another season with the final four, the freestyle dances, and celebrity performances.

The night of dancing opens with the four finalists and the professional dancers taking the dance floor to the music of “Flashdance”.

Before the couples strut their stuff with the Freestyle dance, they will perform their most memorable dances.

Kaitlyn and Artem kick off round one with an Argentine Tango to the music of Britney Spears.  Derek said that it was a perfect dance to show that Kaitlyn deserved to be there.  Bruno said that they took his breath away; adding that the detail was even better this time around.  Carrie Ann said that she was glad they chose the dance; adding that it is one of her top three favourite dances of all time.  Kaitlyn and Artem scored 30 points for their dance.

Next up was Nelly and Daniella dance a Samba to “Rhythm of the Night”.  Bruno noted that Nelly had everybody up dancing; adding that he was engaging to watch.  Carrie Ann said that Nelly’s journey has been the most fascinating; adding that dance is about the joy of life.  Derek said that the show is about moments and Nelly is a moment maker.  Derek noted that Nelly connects with the people at home.  Nelly revealed that he will be auctioning off all of his dance shoes and will be donating the money earned to a worthy cause.  Nelly and Daniella scored 27 points for their dance.

Nev and Jenna chose to perform their Paso Doble to the music of “Swan Lake”.  Carrie Ann called the performance perfection; adding that watching Nev is a treat.  Derek loved the change with the dance opening with Neve solo.  Bruno asked how do you improve on perfection?  Neve and Jenna earned a perfect score of 30 for their dance.

Closing out round one was Justina and Sasha with a Cha Cha.  It was the first dance Justina performed on the show.  Derek said that Justina explodes with charisma and is sensational to watch.  Bruno said “viva Latina:” adding that she knows how to shake those tail feathers.  Carri Ann said that Justina knows how to bring it; adding that she has fire.  Justina and Sasha scored 30 points for their dance.

Most Memorable dance round:
Nelly and Daniella – 27
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30
Nev and Jenna – 30
Justina and Sasha – 30

Before the couples perform their Freestyle dances, Derek comes out from behind the judge’s table for a dance performance in a celebration of the season; a la Fred Astaire. 

Nelly and Daniella kick off the Freestyle round.  There are no rules when it comes to the Freestyle dance – all lifts and tricks are allowed.  Bruno called Nelly the king of swag and bling; adding that they were in the presence of Hip-Hop royalty.  Carrie Ann said that the dance gave them hope for the future.  Derek called it a Grammy worth performance.  Nelly and Daniella scored 30 points for their dance for their first perfect score.

Kaitlyn and Artem dance their Freestyle to “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”.  Carrie Ann said that the song is one of her favourites; adding that she threw everything in including the kitchen sink.  Derek congratulated Kaitlyn.  Bruno noted that the dance was jam packed with content.  Kaitlyn and Artem scored 30 points for their dance.

Nev and Jenna perform their Freestyle dance to “Singing in the Rain” complete with umbrella props and rain.  Derek called Nev a leading man; adding that you can’t do Fred Astaire type dances without being a leading man.  Bruno called the dance show stopping; adding that he wasn’t expecting it.  Carrie Ann called Nev an incredible performer.  Nev and Jenna scored 30 points for their dance.

In the final dance of the night, Justina and Sasha perform their Freestyle dance to a medley of Latin music songs.  Bruno called the dance a celebration of Latin spirit; adding that it was a tonic for your soul.  Carrie Ann loved the dance; adding that it was a celebration of Justina.  Derek said that he couldn’t think of a better Freestyle to end the season.  Justina and Sasha scored 30 points for their dance.

Freestyle scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 30
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30
Nev and Jenna – 30
Justina and Sasha – 30


Total scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 27 + 30 = 57
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30 + 30 = 60
Nev and Jenna – 30 + 30 = 60
Justina and Sasha – 30 + 30 = 60


While all the votes and scores are being tabulated, Nelly trades in his dancing shoes for a microphone for a performance of some of his greatest hits.

In the final results of the season…
The couple in fourth place is Justina and Sasha.
The couple in third place is Nelly and Jenna

That leaves only Kaitlyn and Artem and Nev and Jenna.

The season 29 DWTS champion is Kaitlyn and Artem!

2020 American Music Awards

Dick Clark created the American Music Awards as the fans answer to the industry voted Grammy Awards.  The fans choose their favourites in a variety of categories.

Film star Taraji P. Henson hosts the gala event from Los Angeles.  There was a live audience in the auditorium wearing masks and socially distanced.

The night of music and awards begins with a world premiere performance by Sean Mendes and Justin Bieber.

Host Taraji P. Henson is joined by a group of dancers on stage for a performance that includes music by Prince.  Henson noted that as the year comes to an end, we need to come together and love each other.

Ciara presented the first award of the night for Favourite Soul or R&B Album to The Weeknd for his album “After Hours”.  He noted that the last time he won the award, Prince presented it to him.  The Weeknd dedicated his award to Prince.

New mom Katy Perry is joined by Darius Rucker for a performance of her song “Only Love”. 

The award for Favourite Pop or Rock Song went to Dua Lipa for her song “Don’t Stop Now”.  Lipa accepted her award from London.

The Weeknd is joined by saxophone player Kenny G is a live performance on the streets of Los Angeles.

Megan Thee Stallion gives a world premiere performance of her song “Body”.

“Dancing with the Stars” judge Derek Hough presented the award for Favourite Country Song to Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber for “10,000 Hours”.

Lewis Capaldi performed his hit “Before You Go”.

Billie Eilish gives a television debut of her song “Therefore I Am”.

The award for Favourite Female Soul or R&B Artist went to Doja Cat.

Nelly takes a break from dance rehearsals for the “DWTS” finale to celebrate 20 years of his album “Country Grammar”.  The album has been certified with the Diamond Award for selling 10 million copies in the United States.

Latin artist Bad Bunny presents the award for Favourite Female Latin Artist to Becky G.  This is the first year for this award.  She dedicated the award to all the immigrant workers.

Jennifer Lopez is joined by Maluma give a world premiere performance of music from JLo’s upcoming album “Marry Me”. 

Laverne Cox presented the award Favourite Rap or Hip-Hop Song to Cardi B with Megan thee Stallion for their hit “WAP”.  Megan accepted the award.

Dua Lipa gives a television premiere from London of her hit “Levitating”.

Music pioneers Bell Biv Devoe give a performance.

AMA winner Becky G presented the award for Favourite Soul or R&B Song to The Weeknd for his song “Heartless”.

AMA winners and Country music artists Dan + Shay give a performance of “I Should Probably Go to Bed”.

Paris Hilton presents the award for New Artist of the Year to Doja Cat.

24K Golden and Iann Dior perform their chart topping song “Mood”.

Shawn Mendes returns to the AMA stage for a performance.

The award for Favourite Pop Rock Duo or Group went to BTS.  The band accepted the award from their homeland of South Korea.

Lil Baby gives a world premiere performance of “Emotionally Scarred”.

The award for Favourite Latin Album went to Bad Bunny for “YHLQMDLG”

The award for Favourite Male Soul or R&B Artist went to The Weeknd.

Bebe Rexha and Doja Cat pair up for a performance.

Machine Gun Kelly is joined by drummer Travis Barker for a performance.

The Award for Favourite Collaboration of the Year went to Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber for “10,000 Hours”.

The award for Artist of the Year went to Taylor Swift.  She beat out Roddy Ricch, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Post Malone for the award. 

Closing out the night of music, BTS gives a performance from South Korea.

Awards not presented during the live television broadcast:
Favourite Social Artist: BTS
Favourite Music Video: Taylor Swift for “cardigan”
Favourite Male Pop Rock Artist: Justin Bieber
Favourite Female Pop Rock Artist: Taylor Swift
Favourite Pop Rock Album: “Fine Line” by Harry Styles
Favourite Male Country Artist: Kane Brown
Favourite Female Country Artist: Maren Morris
Favourite Country Duo or Group: Dan + Shay
Favourite Country Album: “Fully Loaded: God’s Country” by Blake Shelton
Favourite Male Rap or Hip-Hop Artist: Juice WRLD
Favourite Female Rap or Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favourite Rap or Hip-Hop Album: “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”  by Roddy Ricch
Favourite Male Latin Artist: Bad Bunny
Favourite Latin Song: “Tusa” by Karol G and Nicki Minaj
Favourite Alternative Rock Artist: twenty one pilots
Favourite Adult Contemporary Artist: the Jonas Brothers
Favourite Contemporary Inspirational Artist: Lauren Daigle
Favourite Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist: Lady Gaga
Favourite Soundtrack: “Birds of Prey: The Album:”

Luke Laird Visits ‘Music Row’

A Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer, Luke Laird has branched out to release his debut full length album “Music Row”.

Written and produced by Laird, “Music Row” is a musical autobiography of his journey as a young boy in rural Pennsylvania to becoming an award winning songwriter with numerous Grammy, Academy of Country Music, and Country Music Association awards in his trophy case.

On August 18, Laird launched his radio show on Apple Music that helps Country music fans discover or rediscover favourites from days gone by.

Speaking on his debut release; Laird said, “I’ve always been a fan of albums, but I’m not a huge fan of writing songs and randomly throwing them together then calling it an album.  But this made sense. It’s my story as a songwriter who moved to Nashville to write songs for other people.” 

He added, “when I write a song, I enjoy it, and after I finish it, I like playing it, but really, as a songwriter, you want to share your songs with people.  That’s my favorite part of writing songs––sharing them, just seeing people connect to them. It’s such a gift.”

Laird has 24 number one hits, two Grammy Awards, and was named Songwriter of the Year by BMI and the Academy of Country Music.

feature photo credit: By Spencercombs1 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94184669

Larry Keel Has an ‘American Dream’

Award winning songwriter and flatpicker Larry Keel has taken the orders of quarantine and social distancing seriously.

On his new album “American Dream”, Keel wrote, played, and produced every song himself.

An acoustic guitar virtuoso, Keel plays the mandolin, upright bass, electric guitar, and banjo on the new album.  He even ventures beyond his normal Bluegrass playing with some folk rock, pop, and even moody psychedelic tunes on the album.

Keel spoke on the new album saying, “I consider this album to be a culmination of my deepest and most sincere thoughts, up to now. In spite of the turbulent times happening when I wrote most of these songs, I felt really centered and energized to just say exactly what was on my mind through lyrics and music  For me, this was a positive experience in starting a conversation through this recording. Hopefully it resonates with someone out there.”

A prolific songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Keel has been a part of some two dozen albums; whether it be as a producer or performer.  He has worked with numerous Nashville greats including Bill Monroe, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon, Little Feat, the String Cheese Encident, Tyler Childers, Del McCoury and The Infamous Stringdusters, and Billy Strings.

feature photo credit: By Reed George – https://www.flickr.com/photos/creativeobjective/8234389085/in/photolist-dxDoZB-aU4yEz-gtgSJ8-H4kp1B-dsvJNA-dsuZsK-bjRraC-bxLheV-dxDzGZ-bxL8C6-avDdh3-bjRjVC-dsvssT-aUB76i-cZ47Rs-bxLah8-bjRs1J-bjRhnC-bdxnQF-cgXNpA-cjNDBb-bxL83H-djA8dz-byAfEV-byAf3t-bxLeyR-avAy1v-bxL7xF-dPYe57-d3MVtL-cpVU5W-e3oNhq-cjNNwU-bsEUFV-e3icq6-bsENEc-cpVLRN-bsEJpr-cgXYsY-aj7sSx-ddXb2Z-aj6EyP-dxWFFP-cgXVy5-cgXXLG-bdx9fD-aj6FHF-dxWxpZ-nSxQzn-cjNHAS, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76656660

Virus Causes More Cancellations

Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and Lincoln Center have all announced that they will remain dark for the foreseeable future – at least until the summer.

As positive cases of the Covid-19 virus continue to rise, more cultural events announce closures and cancellations.

After re-opening this summer, the Smithsonian Institution has announced that they are again closing all of their museums including the National Zoo until further notice.

The Smithsonian stated that their top priority is the health and safety of all visitors and staff.

The news comes as the holidays approach…and an impending presidential inauguration.


In other news…
The annual Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans draws millions of visitors each year to see the numerous parades in hopes of catching a few strands of the beads thrown from the extravagant floats.  The annual event takes place just before the 40 days of Lent that leads up to Easter each year.

But due to the continued Covid-19 virus and increase in positive cases, the annual raucous event has been cancelled for 2021.  Current outdoor restrictions in New Orleans allow for a maximum of 250 people.

While the rowdy parades that draw very large close quarters crowds, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is asking is asking residents and Mardi Gras party goers for some safe Madri Gras celebration suggestions.


Previously the Kennedy Center had announced cancellation of theatrical events through the end of the year.  Those closures have been extended until April 25, 2021 and include all events including the National Opera and national tours.

A total of 384 ticketed events are included in the new cancellations at a cost of over $24 million in additional losses to The Center.

The Kennedy Center stated that a limited number of in person events may be possible if conditions allow.  They will also be expanding their online programs with the new digital platform Digital Stage+.

To date, the cancellations at the Kennedy Center come at a cost of some $80 million in lost revenue.

feature photo credit: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19786

Raptors Head South for Home Games

Like the MLB Toronto Blue Jays, the NBA Toronto Raptors have been told that due to issues with the border being closed to non-essential traffic, they will not be allowed to play their home games…at home.

After checking out a number of sites, the Raptors will become snow birds as they will make their home away from home in Tampa, Florida at Amalie Arena – home of the Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning.

NBA training camp begins in less than two weeks with the 2020/21 season beginning on December 22.

Raptors President Masai Ujiri spoke on the decision saying, “ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida.”

Like the Baseball playing Blue Jays, the Raptors are the only professional Basketball team in Canada and must make frequent use of their passports during the playing season in order to play games in the United States.

The U.S. is currently experiencing a spike in positive Covid-19 cases, causing more shut downs and mandates; the increase also extends the closure of the four thousand mile plus border.

Professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network Dr. Andrew Morris spoke on the Canadian government’s decision saying, “with the current situation it is almost impossible for the government to reasonably sanction travel back and forth travel outside a bubble.”

The shortened 2020 NBA season was played at Disney World under a “bubble” where all of the teams were quarantined and played games at a single location with no fans in the stands.

The NBA will release the first half of the season schedule on December 1 with the remaining of the schedule being released early next year.  Depending on the health situation at that time, the Raptors may be able to return home to Toronto for their home games.

feature photo credit: By Benson Kua from Toronto, Canada – Toronto RaptorsUploaded by tm, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25887830

Andrew Cuomo Earns an Emmy

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo is a very polarizing person; residents either love him or hate him, there is very little space in between.  But even his detractors have difficulty deriding his daily press briefings on the Covid-19 pandemic that featured updates on cases, lock downs, and measures being taken to aid in “flattening the curve”.

With international flights bringing in thousands of visitors to the United States, New York was one of the hardest hit areas when the global pandemic hit in March.  Eight months later, Governor Cuomo continues to brief residents of the Empire State on the status of events surrounding the pandemic.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – an organization that includes members from over 60 countries – has announced that they are presenting Governor Cuomo with an International Emmy Award for his daily press briefings.

Cuomo is being honoured with the Founder’s Award; International Academy President and CEO Bruce L. Paisner spoke on their decision saying, “the governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure.  People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”  Paisner added that Cuomo used powerpoint slide shows and at times was even emotional during his briefings.

Cuomo joins previous Award winners former Vice President Al Gore, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and film director Steven Spielberg.

After the initial surge in positive cases, New York’s number slowly decreased allowing the governor to open the state back up over the summer; but while the numbers are beginning to rise once again as the temperatures drop, they are still considerably smaller than those of last spring.

feature photo credit: By Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/31192356394/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59179257

2020 Latin Grammy Awards

In a gala event in Miami, Florida; it was the biggest night in music for the Latin community with the Latin Grammy Awards.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no red carpet or live audience; many of the performances had been pre-recorded, with some of the live performers having their faces covered.

Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade was a big winner earning not only three awards, but taking home two of them that has formerly been dominated by male artists.

Fellow female artist Rosalia also garnered multiple awards during the ceremonies.

Residente,  Fito Páez, and Carlos Vives were the only other artists to earn more than a one award.

2020 Latin Grammy Award winners:
Record of the Year: “Contigo” by Alejandro Sanz
Album of the Year: “Un Canto Por Mexico, Vol 1” by Natalia Lafourcade
Song of the Year: “Rene” by Residente
Best New Artist: Mike Bahia
Best Pop Vocal Album: “Pausa” by Ricky Martin
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Compadres” by Andres Cepeda & Fonseca
“Best Pop Song: “Tutu” by Camilo & Pedro Capó
Best Urban Fusion or Performance: “Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi” by Rosalia and Ozuma
Best Reggaeton Performance: “Yo Perreo Sola” by Bad Bunny
Best Urban Music Album: “Colores” by J Balvin
Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song: “Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe” by Residente
Best Urban Song: “Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi” by Rosalia and Ozuma
Best Rock Album: ¿Dónde Jugarán Lxs Niñxs? (Desde El Palacio De Los Deportes) by Molotov
Best Rock Song: “Biutiful” by Mon Laferte
Best Pop or Rock Album: “La Conquista Del Espacio” by Fito Paez
Best Pop or Rock Song: “La Cancion De Las Bestias” by Fito Paez
Best Alternative Music Album: “Sobrevolando” by Cultura Profetica
Best Alternative Song: “En Cantos” by Ille and Natalia Lafourcade
Best Salsa Album: “40” by Grupo Niche
Best Cumbia or Vallenato Album: “Sigo Cantando Al Amor” – the deluxe edition by Jorge Celedon and Sergio Luis Rodriguez
Best Merengue or Bachata Album: “Ahora” by Eddy Herrera and “Larimar” by Daniel Santacruz
Best Traditional Tropical Album: “Icono” by Orquesta Aragon
Best Contemporary or Tropical Fusion Album: “Cumbiana” by Carlos Vives
Best Tropical song: “Cancion Para Ruben” by Carlos Vives and Ruben Blades
Best Singer-Songwriter Album: “Mesa Para Dos” by Kany Garcia
Best Rancero or Mariachi Album: “Hecho En Mexico” by Alejandro Fernandez
Best Banda Album: “Playlist” by Chiquis”
Best Tejano Album: “Live in Mexico” by La MafiaBest Norteno Album: “Los Tigres Del Norte at Folsom Prison” by Los Tigres Del Norte
Best Regional Song: “Mi Religion” by Natalia Lafourcade
Best Instrumental Album: “Terra” by Daniel Minimalia
Best Folk Album: “A Capella” by Susana Baca
Best Tango Album: “Fuelle y Cuerda” by Gustavo Casenave
Best Flamenco Album: “Flamenco Sin Fronteras” by Antonio Rey
Best Latin Jazz or Jazz Album: Puertos: Music From International Waters by the Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra
Best Spanish Language Christian Album: “Soldados” by Alex Campos
Best Portuguese Language Christian Album: “Reino” by Aline Barros
Best Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop Album: “APKA!” by Ceu
Best Portuguese Language Rock or Alternative Album: “AmarElo” by Emicida
Best Samba or Pagode Album: “Samba Jazz de Raiz Claudio Jorge 70” by Claudio Jorge
Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album: “Belo Horizonte” by Toninho Horta & Orquestra Fantasma
Best Sertaneja Music Album: “Origens [Ao Vivo Em Sete Lagoas, Brazil / 2019]” by Paula Fernandes
Best Portuguese Language Roots Album: “Veia Nordestina” by Mariana Aydar
Best Portuguese Language Song: “Abrico-de-Macaco” by Joao Rosco
Best Latin Childen’s Album: “Canta y Juega” by Tina Kids
Best Classical Album: “Eternal Gratitude” by Paulina Leisring & Domingo Pagliuca
Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Sacre” by Carlos Fernando López
Best Arrangement: “La Flor De La Canela” by the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra
Best Recording Package: “Soy Puro Teatro – Homenaje A La Lupe” by Mariaca Semprún
Best Engineered Album: “3:33” by Debi Nova
Producer of the Year: Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo
Best Short form Music Video: “TKN” by Rosalia and Travis Scott
Best Long Form Music Video: “El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana” by Carlos Vives

feature photo credit: Latin Grammys Facebook page

No. 78 to Ride Again

The NASCAR racing paddock will have a much different look when the series returns to racing in February.

There has already been announcements of new racing teams next year; while other have announced shut downs.

On November 20, former driver Matt Tifft and BJ McLeod announced the formation of their new Cup Series racing team Live Fast Motorsports.  The duo has chosen Ford as their car manufacturer with the car number of 78.  Live Fast has also agreed to an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing.

The partnership alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing will give LFM assistance with competition and development.

LFM released a statement saying, “Live Fast Motorsports is excited to be joining an incredible group of owners, as well as the new teams and ownership coming into the sport.  NASCAR’S Next Gen car and model for teams will provide opportunities for new teams to compete at a higher level. Live Fast Motorsports and its partners are ready to take on the challenge to grow and develop as a team.”

A regular owner/driver in the Cup Series, BJ McLeod will drive the number 78 car.  McLeod purchased a charter from Go Fas Racing in October which will guarantee entry into the races.

McLeod spoke on the new team saying, “it’s literally decades of dreaming, decades of work, decades of being focused.  Just a lot of relationships being built to get us to this point. You can’t sum it up in one or two or three words, even. I guess the biggest thing to say is, just really looking forward to continuing to work the way that I have the last couple decades to get to where I’m at now and see what we can make with this deal together. Matt, he’s going to make me stronger. He’s got some really good qualities about him that I’m excited about, helping some of the weaknesses that I might have. Just what we can do together, I just can’t wait to get going.”

Matt Tifft was a regular driver in the Xfinity Series, but suffered a seizure in his Cup Series rookie year that sidelined his driving.

A car owner for many years, BJ McLeod stated that he plans to continue fielding cars in the Xfinity Series with the intention of running three cars next season.  The Xfinity Series cars are separate from the Cup Series Live Fast Motorsports team with Tifft.

Matt Tifft spoke on the partnership with McLeod saying, “I think a lot of people don’t realize the relationship we’ve had over the years.  When I was 12 years old, I went down to a stock car driving school in Florida and (McLeod) was one of the instructors. … I ended up being the best in the class there, so he and my dad started talking. He hadn’t owned a team yet but … lo and behold, the next year we did World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna (with him) and that was his first time owning a late-model team. But basically we started together then and my first Truck Series race was with him at Martinsville (in 2014) and we finished in the top 10 for his first top 10 as an owner there.”

NASCAR 2020 Awards

The 2020 NASCAR season has concluded.  After a chaotic season of no practice and no qualifying runs, the engines are quiet and it is time to hand out the trophies for the annual end of the year ceremonies.

In a scaled down celebration from Nashville, Tennessee NASCAR crowned series champions in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck, Xfinity, and NASCAR Cup Series; along with Rookies of the Year and Most Popular Driver awards.

With NBC Sports broadcaster Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast serving as hosts for the gala event, NASCAR president Steve Phelps and vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy presented the awards to drivers who traded in their colourful fire suits for a suit and tie.

Award winning Country music star Chris Stapleton opened the ceremonies with a debut of his new single “Arkansas”.

While he hasn’t won a race in three years, Jimmie Johnson retires from stock car racing with 83 career Cup Series wins and seven series championships – including five in a row.  NASCAR honoured Johnson with the Bill France Award of Excellence for his contributions and accomplishments to NASCAR and stock car racing.  Actor Matthew McConaughey paid homage to Johnson via a video message.  Johnson joins fellow award winners Richard Childress, Roger Penske, Joe Gibbs, and former team mates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Accepting the award that is not presented every year, Johnson said, “what an honor this is.  I am so grateful and thankful for your contributions and what your future holds for you in our sport. So thankful for the contributions of your family and the vision that your family had to create this premier form of racing in the country, and to play a part of that and to have had the success I’ve had in this sport is so meaningful to me.

Zane Smith earned his first Most Popular Driver award in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series; Justin Allgaier earned his second MPD award with Chase Elliott earning the award for the third time.  His father Bill Elliott was presented with the award 16 times.  Elliott also has two MPD awards from the Xfinity Series.

In his first year in the Truck Series, Zane Smith was also presented with Rookie of the Year honours.  Harrison Burton earned ROY honours in the Xfinity Series; with Cole Custer taking home the trophy in the Cup Series.

Seen as the face of change in NASCAR, Bubba Wallace was presented with the Comcast Community Champion of the Year award for his philanthropic work this year.  The award comes with a $60,000 donation to Wallace’s his Live to Be Different Foundation.

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented to NASCAR fans for their contributions to charities and causes.  This year Charlene Greer won the award for her contributions to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Volusia and Flagler Counties of Florida.  NASCAR also made a $100,000 contribution to Greer’s charity.

NASCAR’s primary sponsors Busch, Coca-Cola, GEICO, and Xfinity were presented with the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award.

Along with the drivers earning a championship, the vehicle manufacturers also compete for a championship title.  In the Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series and the Xfinity Series, Chevrolet won the award; while Ford took the prize in the NASCAR Cup Series.

In the biggest awards of the night Sheldon Creed was crowned champion in the Gander Truck Series, Austin Cindric took top honours in the Xfinity Series; and following his father, who won the award in 1985, Chase Elliott was crowned Cup Series champion.  The Elliotts become just the third father/son duo to win the sport’s championship.

New Class of Black College Football Hall of Famers Revealed

There are colleges and universities scattered all around the country that are known as HBCUs – Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Some of these universities have been in existence for over 100 years.

Some of these universities have produced some stand outs on the grid iron with players moving on to star in the NFL.

On November 19, the Black College Football Hall of Fame named six new members to their Hall of Fame with the 2021 class…
Coy Bacon from Jackson State University
Greg Coleman from Florida A&M
Jimmie Giles from Alcorn State University
Winston Hill form Texas Southern University
Roynell Young from Alcorn State University
and Coach Willard Bailey from Virginia Union Norfolk State University, St. Paul’s College, and Virginia-Lynchburg College

Black College Football Hall of Fame co-founder and member Doug Williams spoke on behalf of the Board of Trustees saying, “congratulations to the Class of 2021.  It is a significant achievement to be considered one of the best to ever play or coach football at a Historically Black College & University.”

Defensive lineman Coy Bacon was a three time Pro Bowler in the NFL; playing for five teams over 15 years.

Greg Coleman spent 12 years as a punter in the NFL.

Jimmie Giles played tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went to four Pro Bowls over a 13 year period.

Roynell Young was a safety and cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles for nine seasons where he made on Pro Bowl appearance.

Offensive tackle Winston Hill made three Pro bowl appearances and

feature photo credit: the Black College Football earned a Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets.  He was also named an All Star for the AFL – American Football League – four times.

As a head coach, Willard Bailey earned a record of 238 wins with 169 losses and seven ties over the course of his 31 year career.  He also led his teams to seven championships.

The new inductees were selected from a list of 25 players and coaches.  The new Hall of Fame members will be officially inducted in a ceremony during the Juneteenth Celebration on June 19, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

feature photo credit: the Black College Football Hall of Fame Facebook page

NASCAR Releases Truck Series Schedule

The 2021 NASCAR schedule is now complete with the release of the Truck Series racing dates for next year.

After two seasons of being called the Gander outdoors Truck Series, the series returns as the Camping World Truck Series.

The Trucks will join the NASCAR and Xfinity Series for a triple header weekend at Daytona to begin the season and will conclude the season with a triple header weekend in Phoenix.  In between the schedule calls for another 14 triple header weekends of exciting racing.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a number of schedule changes during the 2020 season including the Truck Series having to move the annual race on the dirt at Eldora; but the race on the dirt returns for 2021 with two iconic races including a new venue.

The 2021 Camping World Truck Series schedule:
Feb 12 at Daytona International Speedway
Feb 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
March 5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 20 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 27 on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway
April 17 at Richmond Raceway
May 1 at Kansas Speedway
May 7 at Darlington Raceway
May 22 at Circuit of the Americas
May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 12 at Texas Motor Speedway
June 18 at Nashville Speedway
June 26 at Pocono Raceway
July 9 on the dirt at Knoxville Raceway (Iowa)
Aug 7 at Watkins Glen International
Aug 29 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Sept 5 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Sept 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept 24 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct 2 at Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 30 at Matinsville Speedway
Nov 5 at Phoenix Raceway

MLB Suspends Robinson Cano

Major League Baseball has long had policies in place in response to players who violate the League’s substance abuse policies.

On November 18, The League office announced that New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has been suspended for using the Performance Enhancing Drug Stanozolol.  Cano’s gas been suspended 162 games – the entirety of the 2021 playing season, provided a regular season is played.  He must also forfeit his 2021 salary of $24 million.

This is not the first time Cano has faced suspension for violating the League’s drug policies.  He was suspended 80 games during the 2018 playing season while playing for the Seattle Mariners for using the diuretic furosemide.

Mets president Sandy Alderson spoke on the news saying, “we were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano’s statistics could get him into the Hall of Fame once his playing days are over; but despite a career .303 batting average with 2,624 hits, and 334 homers the voting body of the Baseball Writers Association of America have been reluctant to vote anyone into The Hall who has been suspended or even suspected of violating the league’s drug policies.

It is unclear as to whether the Mets, who have recently been bought out and under new management, will retain Cano through his contract in 2023.  The Mets are under a significant financial obligation to Cano – over $40 million.

Should Cano be caught violating the league’s policies for a third time, he will be banned from baseball.

NFL Issues New Pandemic Protocols

This has been a trying year for athletes and entertainers with live appearances put on hold and sporting events cancelled, postponed, or conducted with pretend fans in the stands.

While the NHL and the NBA had a fairly successful season with a minimum of disruptions, the NFL has had a great deal of difficulty with numerous players being sidelined by the Covid-19 pandemic with several games being rescheduled.

Beginning November 21, the NFL will implement some new protocols to help stem the rise in positive cases.

Players and coaches must have a negative test before entering the team facilities; daily testing will continue.

All meetings will go virtual unless pre approved for an indoor meeting or the meeting can be held outdoors.

Team personnel must limit the number of players allowed in the weight room at the same time.

Face coverings must be worn at all times inside team facilities including the practice field.  This includes everyone on the field, not just coaches.

Using the locker room at any time other than on game day is strongly discouraged.

Meals served at facilities and stadiums must be of the grab and go variety with no congregating of personnel.

Teams and players are also forbidden from congregating outside of team facilities; including Thanksgiving festivities.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the new protocols via a memo to all 32 teams saying, “the upcoming holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving next week, will introduce new risks of exposure that we need to address now.  Because we have a highly sophisticated program of daily testing, we know when the virus enters our facilities, which underscores the importance of contact tracing and other steps to minimize close contacts within a facility. Recent experience has highlighted the importance of minimizing high-risk close contacts; on multiple occasions, we have seen individuals identified on that basis test positive within a short time. We have also seen many instances in which effective action by clubs to minimize these close contacts prevented the virus from spreading within the club, and avoided players or coaches being ruled out of practice or games.”

NASCAR Reveals Criteria for Busch Clash

While the tracks are quiet for the next couple of months, NASCAR officials are hard at work preparing for the debut of the 2021 racing season at Daytona International Speedway.

The 2021 season and Speedweeks will kick off on February 9 with a night time running of the 43rd annual Busch Clash.  And for the first time in the race’s history, the 2021 edition of the race will not be run on the tri-oval at Daytona but on the road course that uses the infield and parts of the tri-oval.  The course is the same one used in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona races.

Earning eligibility to run in the annual Busch Clash has long been tied to winning the pole position in a race; however this past season qualifying was suspended as a part of the safety protocols surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.  As a result, NASCAR has altered the criteria for entrance into the race.

In order to be a part of the 2021 Busch Clash drivers must:
won a pole in 2020 prior to the shutdown in March
be a past Busch Pole winner and a full time driver in 2020
a Daytona 500 winner who ran full time in 2020
a previous Busch Clash winner who ran full time in 2020
and Playoff drivers, race winners, and stage winners from the 2020 racing season

Under the new criteria, 24 drivers are eligible to race in the Busch Clash on the road course; however, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson have retired from NASCAR.  Bowyer will be a part of the broadcasting team for FOX Sports.

Eligible drivers for the 2021 Busch Clash are:
Aric Almirola
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Clint Bowyer
Chris Buescher
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Cole Custer
Matt DiBenedetto
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
2020 NASCAR champion Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Erik Jones
Matt Kenseth
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Ryan Newman
Tyler Reddick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr
 

Knockouts Begin on ‘The Voice’

With the conclusion of the Battle Rounds on “The Voice”, it’s time for the knockouts to begin.  Again for this round, the coaches get only one steal.

The knockout rounds is the last time that the coaches have any say in who stays and who will go home.

The mega advisor for this season is “The Voice” alum and winner Usher.

Team Legend kicks off the knockouts with Casme and Tamara Jade in a battle.  Casme chose the Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball” for her performance.  Tamara chose the Stevie Wonder hit “Higher Ground”.  Gwen called the performances incredible.  Kelly loved both singers.  Blake noted that they set the bar high.  John said that they made the song their own; adding the Tamara delivered the message.  John named Tamara as the winner of the battle. 

Gwen paired Payge Turner and Ryan Berg for a battle.  Payge chose to perform “Creep” by Radiohead.  Ryan chose to sing “Makomg Me Look Good Again” and brought the coaches to their feet.  Kelly said that she didn’t know what happened; adding that both singers were incredible.  Blake called the singers “Urban Cowboy” and “Saturday night Fever”.  John was stunned by Payge’s delivery of the song.  Gwen noted that both singers were weird in a good way.  Saying that both singers deserve to be here, Gwen chose Payge as the winner of the battle.

In the final battle of the night, Blake paired Ben Allen and Worth the Wait for a battle.  Ben chose “She Got the Best of Me” by Luke Combs.  Worth the Wait chose to sing “Delta Dawn”.  The mother of the group revealed that both of her parents, who are in their 80’s, have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.  John noted that Ben has been consistently good every round; adding that it was easily the best performance from Worth the Wait.  Gwen said that she was excited for America to hear a family sing together; adding that Ben is really really good.  Blake said that it was classic country.  Blake named Worth the Wait as the winner of the battle.  Gwen used her steal on Ben Allen.

Team Legend:
Tamara Jade

Team Gwen:
Payge Turner
Ben Allen – steal

Team Blake:
Worth the Wait

Battles Conclude on ‘The Voice’

It’s the final night of the battle rounds on “The Voice”.  Blake and Kelly each have four members on their team, John has five, and Gwen has only three members on her team.

John has used both his steal and his save; while Blake still has his steal remaining.  Kelly and Gwen have yet to use their saves.

First up is team Gwen with Larriah Jackson with “Like I’m Gonna Loose You” by Megan Trainor with John Legend.  The performance brought the coaches to their feet.  Kelly said that the performance was so well done.  Blake said that it wasn’t fair because of the age difference; Larriah is 15 and Carter is 14.  John said that both singers were wonderful and he was impressed with the performance.  Gwen who is very undecided, finally chose Carter as the winner of the battle.  Carter was very emotional after the win.  Gwen used her save on Larriah and Carter was very excited.

Blake chose to pair Aaron Scott and Ian Flanigan for a battle of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Credence Clearwater Revival.  John said that the guys did a fantastic job. Gwen said that the performance felt really balanced.  Kelly said that they did an amazing job; adding that she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Ian.  Coach Blake noted that every note made in rehearsals came into play with the performance.  Blake chose Ian Flanigan as the winner of the battle.

John paired Casme and Rio Souma for a battle of “You’re All I Need” and had John up dancing and singing along.  Gwen said that she felt like she was at the Grammys.  Kelly said that Casme was born to be on stage; adding that she loved Rio’s voice.  Blake loved Rio.  John called it the most engrossing performance of the battle rounds.   Saying that it is a tough decision John chose Casme as the winner of the battle. 

Kelly paired Ryan Gallagher and Marisa Corvo for a battle of a Celine Dion song – “I Surrender”.  In rehearsals Ryan revealed that his grandmother and mother both have the Covid-19 virus with his mother being admitted to the hospital.  Blake noted that the right song is everything; noting that Marissa took over the room.  John agreed that Marisa took over the performance.  Gwen noted that Ryan was controlled; adding that both singers are so talented.  Kelly noted that she had never heard a man perform the song; adding that both singers are very gifted.  Saying that it was her hardest battle, Kelly chose Marisa as the winner of the battle.  Kelly used her save on Ryan.

All of the coaches have used their saves; only Blake has a steal remaining.

In a series of video clips…
Kelly paired Emmalee and Kelsie Watts for a battle with Kelsie taking the win.
Blake paired Sam Stacy and Ben Allen for a battle with Ben taking the win.
Gwen paired Tori Miller and Van Andrew for a battle with Van winning the battle.

Gwen paired Liam St. John and Ryan Berg for a battle of “I Need a Dollar” by Aloe Blac.  Kelly called the performance awesome.  Blake noted that both singers are aggressive vocally.  John noted that Liam has an impressive vocal range but likes Ryan’s tone.  Gwen called it her biggest surprise battle; adding that the performance was very energetic.  Gwen chose Ryan as the winner of the battle. 

In the final performance of the night, John paired Cami Clune and James Pyle for a battle of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak.  Gwen called the performance shocking in a good way.  Kelly called the performance really beautiful; adding that it was her favourite battle.  Blake said that somewhere Chris Isaak is asking whether he wrote that song; adding that it was a very inventive cover of the song.  John noted that they had a very creative version of the song.  Saying that it was an impossible decision, John chose Cami as the winner of the battle.  Blake finally uses his steal for James.

Team Blake:
Worth the Wait
Taryn Papa – save
Jus Jon
Jim Ranger
Ian Flanigan
Ben Allen
James Pyle – steal


Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
Lauren Frihauf – steal
Bailey Rae
John Holiday
Julia Cooper – save
Casme
Cami Clune

Team Kelly:
Madeline Consoer
Sid Kingsley – steal
Desz
Tanner Gomes
Marisa Corvo
Ryan Gallagher – save
Kelsie Watts


Team Gwen:
Payge Turner
Joseph Soul – steal
Chloe Hogan
Carter Rubin
Larriah Jackson – save
Van Andrew
Ryan Berg

It’s the Semi Finals on DWTS

“Dancing with the Starts” has reached the semi finals of another season with just six couples remaining…and a double elimination one week before the finals.

The couples must perform two dances this week – a redemption dance – one they have performed before and get a second chance to improve – and a new routine.

In the redemption round, the judges choose which dance the couple are to perform.

First up are Skai and Alan with a Cha Cha.  Bruno said that Skai brought solid gold to the dance; adding that she was hot.  Carrie Ann said that Skai was tight and crisp.  Derek noted that Skai was much more confident and sharp; adding that he loved the costume.   Skai and Alan scored 27 points for their dance.

Justina and Sasha perform a Tango.  Derek noted that dance had attack and passion; adding that her frame was fantastic.  Bruno said that it was what he was waiting for; adding that she was “on top of it”.  Carrie Ann said that Justina was on fire tonight; adding that it was a wonderful dance.  Justina and Sasha scored 28 points for their dance; including Justina’s first 10.

Johnny and Britt dance a Salsa for their redemption dance.  Carrie Ann said that Johnny was so much more in control; adding that she saw what she wanted to see.  Derek noted the difficulty in the dance; adding that it was well done.  Bruno said that Carrie Ann did a good job; adding that Johnny showed great improvement.  Johnny and Britt scored 27 points for their dance.

Nelly and Daniella perform a Paso Doble for their redemption dance.  Bruno said that you could see the artist…and the shapes; adding Nelly showed restrained power.  Carrie Ann said that Nelly danced with power and presence; adding that their was a regelness to what he was doing.  Derek said that there was definitely improvement and focus this time around.  Nelly and Daniella scored 26 points for their dance.

Nev and Jenna dance a Foxtrot.  The dance reminded Derek of his competition days; adding that it was a pure Foxtrot.  Bruno called Nev a class act; adding that he never lost it.  Bruno called the dance brilliant.  Carrie Ann said that Nev has mastered the technique and become an artist.  Nev and Jenna scored 30 points for their dance.

Kaitlyn and Artem danced a Paso Doble.  Carrie Ann called the dance passionate and powerful; adding that Kaitlyn was “in the zone”.  Derek said that Kaitlyn sold him.  Bruno said that he felt like he was in Seville on a hot summer night; adding that it was 100 percent authentic Paso Doble.  Kaitlyn and Artem scored 30 points for their dance.

Redemption dance scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 26
Skai and Alan – 27
Johnny and Britt – 27
Justina and Sasha – 28
Nev and Jenna – 30
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30

Justina and Sasha get round two started when they perform a Contemporary routine.  Derek noted that this is the point of the season where all the emotions come out.  He said that Justina makes everything look effortless.  Bruno noted that Justina has freedom of movement.  Carrie Ann called the dance beautiful, authentic, and magical.  Justina and Sasha scored 30 points for their dance.

Skai and Alan dance a Viennese Waltz.  Bruno said that the dance was beautiful and maintained an emotional connection.  Carrie Ann called Skai and exceptional woman.  Derek said that the dance was beautiful and connected.  Skai and Alan scored 30 points for their dance.

Johnny and Britt perform a Jazz routine to the music of One Republic.  Carrie Ann loved the dance; saying that it looked like Johnny was on cloud nine.  Derek called it a beautiful routine; adding that he felt the genuine connection.  Derek said that he wanted to give the dance an eleven.  Bruno called the dance clean, clear, and with purity of line and form; adding that everything he loved was there.  Johnny and Britt scored 30 points for their dance.

Nev and Jenna dance a Contemporary routine.  Derek said that he forgot to judge; adding that it was wonderful to watch.  Bruno said that Nev had to have done it before; adding that he was totally in it.  Carrie Ann noted that Contemporary is Jenna’s thing; adding that Nev nailed every step.  Nev and Jenna scored 30 points for their dance.

Nelly and Daniella perform a Jive to “Jump, Jive, and Wail” and brought the judges to their feet.  Bruno said that Nelly nailed it.  Carrie Ann said that Nelly was incredible.  Derek agreed that Nelly nailed the routine.  Nelly and Daniella scored 30 points for their dance.

Kaitlyn and Artem close out the night of dancing with a Contemporary routine.  Carrie Ann noted that it has been an incredible night of dancing; adding that she has been waiting for them to do a Contemporary routine.  Derek said that his favourite part of the show is telling stories.  Bruno called the dance powerful and beautiful.  Kaitlyn and Artem scored 30 points for their dance.

Round two scores:
Justina and Sasha – 30
Skai and Alan – 30
Johnny and Britt – 30
Nev and Jenna – 30
Nelly and Daniella – 30
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30

For the first time in the show, every couple earned a perfect score for a semi finals dance.

Total scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 26 + 30 = 56
Skai and Alan – 27 + 30 = 57
Johnny and Britt – 27 + 30 = 57
Justina and Sasha – 28 + 30 = 58
Nev and Jenna – 30 + 30 = 60
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30 + 30 = 60

After all of the votes have been counted and added to the judge’s scores…
Nelly and Daniella
Nev and Jenna
and Kaitlyn and Artem
will all be dancing in the finals.

Skai and Alan, Johnny and Britt, and Justina and Sasha are all in the bottom with two of the couples going home.

The couple that earned the lowest votes and scores are Johnny and Britt and have been eliminated from the competition.

In the final judge’s save…
Derek chose to save Justina and Sasha
Carrie Ann chose to save Justina and Sasha
Bruno chose to save Justina and Sasha

Skai and Alan have been eliminated.

BBWAA Announces Hall of Fame Nominees

Now that the MLB season has concluded the Baseball Writers Association of America has turned their attention to the Hall of Fame and who to nominate for induction to The Hall in Cooperstown.

Once a player is deemed eligible for nomination into the Hall of Fame, he may remain on the ballot for 10 years.  Players must receive at least 75 percent of the total votes in order to become a member of The Hall. 

Players become eligible for nomination five years after they have retired from playing the game.

BBWAA members have until the end of the year to cast their ballots with the newest class of members revealed on January 26.

Eleven players have been named as nominees for the first time – Mark Buehrle, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, and Barry Zito.

Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa return for a ninth appearance on the ballot.

The remaining list of nominees who are making multiple visits on the ballot are Omar Vizquel, Scott Roeln, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield, Todd Helton, Manny Ramirez, Jeff Kent, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, and Bobby Abreu.

Currently the 2021 Class; as well as the 2020 class, of Hall of Famers is scheduled to be inducted in a ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 25.  The 2020 list of nominees – Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller – were originally scheduled to have their induction ceremony earlier this year; but the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many lockdowns and postponements of events.

Globetrotters ‘Draft’ LA Dodgers Star Player

Over the years professional sports has seen players who could easily be stars in more than one sport.

After winning the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles, Charlie Ward made his professional career as a basketball player.  Deion Sanders played professional baseball and football and Michael Jordan played baseball and basketball.

The most recent star to shine in more than one sport is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts who demonstrated his prowess for yanking balls out of the air all season long.

He bowled a perfect game during a PBA World Series of Bowling tournament and has shown his skills at catching footballs.

And now if he chooses, Betts can add another professional sport to his list of accomplishments…that of a basketball player!

In their annual (not so real) draft the Harlem Globetrotters selected Mookie Betts to join the team.

In high school, Mookie Betts was a star at Overton High School in Nashville where he was one of the best passers and ball stealers in the league; as well as, averaging over 14 points per game.  And Betts didn’t let his small size of five foot nine inches hold him back from dunking a ball.

Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson was also drafted to the Globetrotters.

Xfinity’s Driver Jeb Burton Gets a Full Time Ride

During the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series, Jeb Burton was one of several part time drivers for JR Motorsports in the number eight car.

With a number of Xfinity Series drivers moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series next season, some teams are now looking for drivers. 

One such team is Kaulig Racing.  With Ross Chastain vacating the number 10 car, Kaulig Racing has signed Jeb Burton as a full time driver of the number 10 next season.  Nutrien Ag Solutions will serve as the primary sponsor on the number 10 car.

Jeb Burton will join Justin Haley as a Kaulig Racing team mate.

Speaking on his new ride, Burton said via a press release, “it’s an honor to have this opportunity driving full-time for Kaulig Racing and Nutrien Ag Solutions.  I’ve worked so hard, not only behind the wheel, to get an opportunity like this, and it couldn’t be more perfect – representing a brand with the same values and beliefs as my family. This partnership represents everything we are, and I can’t thank Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice and Nutrien Ag Solutions enough.”

Kaulig Racing president Chris Rice spoke on Burton via a team press release saying, “Jeb is a hard worker on and off the track. He’s a great fit for Kaulig Racing and our partners. I’ve known the Burton family and worked with them back in the 1980’s, so it feels like everything has come full circle. We are going to go out and compete for wins and championships. Jeb is a guy we can build a long term, successful program around.”

Jeb Burton is the nephew of former NASCAR Cup driver and current NBC Sports broadcaster Jeff Burton and the son of former NASCAR Cup driver Ward Burton.  Fellow Xfinity Series driver Harrison Burton is Jeb’s cousin.

The 27 year old Virginia native has driven in the NASCAR, Xfinity, and Gander Truck Series, starting in 133 total races; notching a win in the Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013.

BBWAA Names MVPs for 2020

In the final post season award of the Major League Baseball season is for the Most Valuable Player and in this strange 2020 game shortened season, the award went to two players who have earned the award for the first time.

In the National League, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman started the season on the Covid-19 list.  Freeman didn’t just test positive for the virus, he had a full blown case of the illness that threatened his life.  After returning to the game, Freeman helped his Atlanta Braves team mates make it all the way to the post season and just one game shy of making an appearance in the World Series.  Freeman is now also an MVP Award winner.

Freeman earned 28 of the 30 first place votes from the BBWAA – Baseball Writers Association of America.

Once Freeman was back on the playing field, the left handed hitter had 13 homers with 53 RBIs and a battling average of .341.  He also led the Major Leagues with 23 doubles and 51 runs scored.



In the American League, also helping his team to make it to the post season, Chicago White Sox hitter Jose Abreu has earned MVP honours.  AL leading 76 hits and a slugging percentage of .617.  Abreu had a batting average of .317 with a 22 game hitting streak, and 19 homers.

New Music from ATO Records

On November 20, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are releasing a double live album. 

“Live in San Francisco ‘16” was recorded at The Independent shortly before the band became in international success.

The 13 song album comes in two vinyl editions – a Rainbow Foil Deluxe edition in “Golden Gate Sunburt” and “Bay Fog” coloured vinyl.  The album jackets and album packaging have been made from recycled materials.  The album also comes in a randomly coloured eco wax vinyl that has also been packed using recycled materials.


Other new releases from ATO Records are:
“Noon” by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon out on November on 50/50 red and gold vinyl.

“The New OK” by the Drive By Truckers out December 18 on red vinyl.

“Z” – 15th anniversary edition – by My Morning Jacket is out now and available on purple vinyl.

“Destiny Hotel” by the Cordovas is available now on limited edition gold vinyl.

“A Dream in the Dark: Two Decades of Okkervil River Live” is a four vinyl album package is out now and limited to 2,000 copies world wide.



Pre-orders for the albums can be made at ATORecords.com

Hamilton Clinches F1 Title

The world of auto racing has another seven time champion!

After winning the Turkish Grand Prix for career win number 94, Lewis Hamilton clinched his seventh Formula One championship title; tying him with F1 great Michael Schumacher.

When the race started Hamilton needed only to finish in front of team mate Valtteri Bottas.  Bottas finished the race in 14th.

After starting in sixth place, Hamilton went on to win his fourth race in a row and his tenth of the season.

Race car drivers are seen as tough guys that can weather the storm when it comes to surviving crashes…and the finish line.

But they are not afraid to show their emotions either, and Hamilton had the tears flowing as he thanked his team.  An emotional Hamilton spoke at a news conference saying, “all these emotions were running through me and I was trying to stop it.  I was thinking about my whole career, from when I was five when I drove in a go-kart, from when we won the British championship, driving home with my dad and singing ‘We Are The Champions’ and dreaming of being here.”  He added, “it really hit me and I just burst into tears. I couldn’t get out of the car because I just couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t want the visor to come up and people to see tears flowing, because I had always said I would never let you see me cry. I remember watching drivers in the past crying and I was like ‘I’m not going to do that.’ But it was too much.  I’m definitely a bit lost for words,” he said, thanking his family. “I dreamed of this as a kid. This is way, way beyond our dreams.”

In 2013, Hamilton took over the driving duties at Mercedes after the retirement of Schumacher.  Prior to driving for Mercedes, he drove for McLaren where he earned the championship in 2008.

Dreaming of being a champion since he was very small; Hamilton said, “dream the impossible.  You have got to chase it and never give up.  That’s for all the kids out there who dream the impossible. You can do it.  Hamilton continued, “I know I often I say it is beyond wildest dreams but my whole life secretly I have dreamt as high as this.  It felt so far-fetched. I remember watching Michael win those world championships. To get one or two or even three is so hard.  Seven is unimaginable. There is no end to what we can do together, me and this team.”

Kelly Lang Has an ‘Old Soul’

For her album “Old Soul”, Kelly Lang looks back in time for the material for the album.  Opening the time capsule of the 70’s and 80’s, Lang taps into some of the most iconic songs including a little gender flipping of the classic “Me and Mrs. Jones” to “Me and Mr. Jones” and a duet with husband T.G. Sheppard.

Speaking on the album, Lang said, “when I was recording my new album ‘Old Soul,’ I chose songs that brought me back to a simpler time. These songs are woven into the tapestry of our musical lives. My hope is that the listener will also be able to reminisce and be transported back to great memories while enjoying these classics with a new twist. 

Available on all digital download and streaming services, “Old Soul” features 14 songs.

Originally hailing from Oklahoma City, Lang has called the Nashville area home since she was a child.  The daughter of Conway Twitty’s tour manager, Lang was destined to become a part of the world of music.  She has had her songs recorded by a number of artists including Ricky Skaggs, Lorrie Morgan, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, George Jones, B.J. Thomas, Jimmy Fortune, Jerry Lee Lewis, T.G. Sheppard, and Johnny Lee.  During her musical career she has performed or recorded with stars Sir Barry Gibb, Dame Olivia Newton-John, Paul Shaffer, and Lee Greenwood.

“Old Soul” tracklisting:
“Drive”
“Let’s Stay Together”
“Imagination”
“Me and Mr. Jones”
“Your Love is Lifting Me Higher
“Get Here”
“Every Breath You Take”
Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”
“You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”
“Quando, Quando, Quando” – duet with T.G. Sheppard
“Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About
“At This Moment”
“Easy”
“All By Myself”

Clapton Releases ‘Layla’ Album Boxed Set

Since it was first released by Eric Clapton under the name Derek and the Dominos; “Layla” has become an iconic classic.

After 50 years, Clapton and Ume/Polydor are releasing the song as a part of an anniversary boxed set of “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”.

The set will feature four vinyl records; the original double album remastered in “half speed” and two records of bonus material including session recordings, out takes, and live performances.  The collection will also include a book of sleeve notes.

The collection will include some songs on vinyl for the first time.

feature photo credit: By Alex G from Puteaux, France – Eric Clapton, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65965737

Truck Series Driver Suspended for ‘SnapChat’ Post

Another NASCAR driver experiences the no tolerance policy of NASCAR when it comes to violating the behavioural clause of the rule book.

Clause 12.8.1.e states that a driver may not make a “public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”

Camping World Truck Series driver and owner Josh Reaume posted a photo on Snapchat of his “Toaster Strudel” which featured a design Reaume created with the icing…the design was a swastika.

Reaume stated that he, somehow didn’t realize that he had drawn a strudel swastika when he posted the picture to Snapchat.

By way of an explanation Reaume states, “What happened was, I made a toaster strudel, I put icing on it. I put icing on it arbitrarily. I can — now, that this has become such a significant thing in my life, everything is crystal clear now in what I was thinking. I was mindlessly putting icing on a toaster strudel thinking about how I was going to arrange to get my daughter to day care in the morning because that’s my responsibility and I was flying out to Phoenix the next day.

“When I was done, I took a picture, I wrote, ‘Snack time,’ and posted it to my Snapchat, which I had no idea it was even more than my immediate friend group. [The account is] private, it’s not even under my name, to my knowledge. Now, shame on me for maybe not fully understanding SnapChat, and I don’t care to get on social media in the immediate future, but somebody obviously screen-shotted it or did something with it and pushed it to NASCAR. I don’t know what the image looks like.”

Immediately after the post appeared on Tuesday, NASCAR suspended the driver owner indefinitely and will have to attend sensitivity training classes before he can be re-instated.

By way of apology, Reaume said, “there was not a bone in my body that had an intent of doing that.”

Reaume Brother Racing field two teams in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series season that has just concluded.

MLB Gets First Female GM with Kim Ng

Over the past couple of years professional sports teams have seen a rise in female coaches, office personnel, and officiating crews.

The Miami Marlins have become the first professional sports team in America with the naming of Kim Ng (Ang) as their General Manager; making her the highest ranking female in Major League Baseball.

Ng has a 30 plus year career with Major League Baseball working in a variety of jobs including in the front office of the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers.  She has also worked in the front offices for the American League and MLB.

Ng herself spoke on her new position saying, “I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next general manager.  We are building for the long term in South Florida, developing a forward-thinking, collaborative, creative baseball operation made up of incredibly talented and dedicated staff who have, over the last few years, laid a great foundation for success.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on the new hire saying, “all of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins.  Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball. The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the National Pastime led to this outcome, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.”

Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter issued a statement saying, “on behalf of principal owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins.  Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success. Additionally, her extensive work in expanding youth baseball and softball initiatives will enhance our efforts to grow the game among our local youth as we continue to make a positive impact on the South Florida community.”

A native New Yorker, Ng played sports as a child and was a fan of the Yankees despite living in Queens until she was 12 years old.  A graduate of the University of Chicago, she began working with the MLB as an intern for the Chicago White Sox.  She became a full time employee in the White Sox font office in 1991.

Ng is also the youngest person to present a salary arbitration case and the youngest assistant general manager when she was hired in 1998 by the Yankees at the age of 29 – one of four women to hold such a position.

While Kim Ng adds her name to the history books as the League’s first female GM, she is just one of several female trailblazers in baseball.  Back during World War II while the men were overseas fighting, the women had “A League of Their Own” and earned money playing professional baseball.

Other female trailblazers in the MLB:
Lizzie Arlington who played on a men’s baseball team in 1898.
Lizzie Murphy who is also known as the Queen of Baseball and began playing pro baseball at 17.
Pitcher Jackie Mitchell who went on to strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a game after coming in from the bullpen.
Edith Houghton, Amanda Hopkins, and Bessie Largent (who worked with her husband) were the first female scouts.
Pitcher Mamie “Peanut” Johnson pitched in the Negro Leagues where she had a record of 33 and eight.
Toni Stone became the first regular position player in the Negro Leagues, replacing Hank Aaron.
Elaine Weddington Steward was the first assistant general manager in MLB.
Left hand pitcher Ila Borders began pitching with the boys in college and later moved to the pros in the Independent League.
Jean Afterman is an agent and executive who has represented Japanese players arbitrating to join the MLB in the United States.
Effa Manley is the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Famej.  She and her husband owned the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues.
Knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida is the first woman to play professional baseball in Japan.
Not only is Mo’Ne Davis the first girl to pitch in the Little League World Series; she is also the first to throw a shutout in a World Series game.
Female softball player, Olympian, and EPSN broadcaster; Jessica Mendoza is the first woman to be a part of the broadcast crew for a nationally televised MLB game.
Justine Siegal is the first woman to throw batting practice and become a first base coach.
When she became a part of the group that took over baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox last year, Raquel Ferreira became the highest ranking woman in professional baseball operations.
A member of the Minnesota Twins since November 2019, Andrea Hayden is the first female strength and conditioning coach in MLB.
Rachel Balkovec and Rachel Folden are the first hitting coaches in the Major Leagues.
With the title of Major League assistant coach, Alyssa Nakken becomes the first female to be a full time coach on a Major League team – San Francisco Giants – and has spent some time on the field as a first base coach.

Oasis Goes Vinyl for Anniversary Release

The pandemic may have put live concerts and touring on hold but artists are still keeping busy by creating new music or rehashing some old stuff with anniversary releases.

Oasis is celebrating 25 years of “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” with a new vinyl release.

When “Morning Glory” first came out in 1995, it went on to top the charts in over 10 countries and sold more than 22 million copies; including multi platinum status in the United States and the band’s homeland of the United Kingdom.

The band has remastered the songs for this limited edition release that also inlcude the option of a picture disc or a double LP silver vinyl.

A$AP Twelvyy Releases New Music

Harlem rapper A$AP Twelvyy isn’t letting a global pandemic, lock downs, or a lack of performance time slow him down.

He is following up his April release “Before Noon” with “Noon Yung”.

Available on digital download services now, the album features collaborations with Conway the Machine and A$AP Rocky; aw well as producers Cream Wallo, DJ Skidrow, Lunchbox, AR and Zoneout Worldwide.

The 15 track album is a bit of a musical time capsule with old school East coast Hip-Hop, modern day social commentary.

Speaking on the album A$AP Twelvvy said, “I woke up one day and time stood still… A perfect moment to make every second count. Everyday was a new song, with all the chaos in the world, I never felt more creative. This new energy gave me everything I needed to seize the moment, it’s time.”

Check out “Noon Yung” at https://noonyung.com.

NFL Announces Super Bowl LV Haltime Entertainment

Despite numerous challenges involving the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL has made it to the halfway point of the 2020 football season and has begun to look toward the post-season.

In February, Super Bowl LV will be held in the Sunshine state of Florida in Tampa at the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Raymond James Stadium.

On November 12, the NFL announced that the Super Bowl halftime entertainment will be Canadian Hip-Hop and R&B artist The Weeknd.

The Weeknd spoke on his being named as the halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl saying, “we all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position.  I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”

Fellow artist Jay-Z spoke on The Weeknd being selected to perform at the Super Bowl saying, “The Weeknd has ushered in a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry.  This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

With all of his singles reaching at least platinum status, The Weeknd is a three time Grammy and 10 time Juno Award winner.

His most recent album “After Hours” not only debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Album chart; his hit single “Blinding Lights” set a record on the Billboard U.S. radio chart at 46 weeks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NRXx6U8ABQ

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certifies singles and albums gold, platinum, and Diamond based on sales.  Based on those sales, The Weeknd’s single “Earned It” has bee cerified seven times platinum for selling (or equivalent streams) seven million copies.  His singles “Starboy” and “Can’t Feel My Face” have each been certified eight times platinum, and “The Hills” has sold eleven million copies to earn a Diamond Award status for selling at least 10 million copies.

The album “Beauty Behind the Madness” has been certified four times platinum.

Setting records that have been set by long established artists, The Weeknd has been entertaining audiences for the past 10 years.

feature photo credit: By Kayla Johnson from Seattle, United States – The Weeknd at Bumbershoot 2015, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43419652

Cy Young Goes to Ohio

Major League Baseball continues the MLB Awards season with the Cy Young Award winner; an award that is given solely to pitchers.  While voters may have struggled to make choices during this month’s national election, the Baseball Writer’s Association of America members had no difficulty in awarding the state of Ohio with no one but two Cy Young Awards.

In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds can finally say that they have a Cy Young winning pitcher when the BBWAA named Trevor Bauer the winner. 

Twenty seven of the BBWAA members who were eligible to vote for the Cy Young Award, cast their first place vote for Bauer; Yu Darvish received the other three first place votes.

Darvish finished second in the voting with Jacob deGrom coming in third.

With a season severely shortened, the teams only player 60 regular season games.  During his time on the mound, Bauer had a League leading Earned Run Average of just 1.73 – allowing less than two errorless runs per nine inning game.  He threw two complete games, threw 100 strikeouts, and had opposing batters hitting just .159.


When it came to the American League Cy Young winner, the BBWAA had no doubts about who they thought should win the award. 

With an unanimous vote, Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians is the 2020 Cy Young Award winner.

Bieber, the youngest Indian to ever win the award at 25, joins previous Cy Young Award winning Indians Corey Kluber, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, and Gaylord Perry.

With MLB topping stats, Bieber earned the Triple Crown Award for pitchers with eight wins, 122 strikeouts, and an ERA of just 1.63.  He threw at least eight strikeouts in every game starting appearance.

Maren Morris, Luke Combs Big Winners at CMA Awards

The Country Music Awards begins their 54th annual awards ceremony with a tribute to Charlie Daniels who died earlier this year.  Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Ashley McBryde, and Jason Aldean took on the iconic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” all gave performances for the tribute.

While they were scheduled to appear at the live awards show, Lee Brice and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line had to miss the show due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

Award winning Country music legend Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker served as hosts for the biggest night in Country music.  Rucker noted how good it felt to hear applause once again.  McEntire noted that there is nothing like being on the stage again.

Radio personality Bobby Bones presented the first award of the night for Single of the Year to Maren Morris for “The Bones”.  This is Morris’ first Single of the Year award win.

New Artist of the Year nominee Morgan Wallen gives a performance.

The award for “Song of the Year” went to Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz.  This is a songwriter award.

“American Idol” alum Gabby Barrett is joined by Charlie Puth for a performance.

Entertainer and Male Vocalist nominee Eric Church gives a performance.

Co-host Darius Rucker performs his new single “Beers and Sunshine”.

Four time CMA Award nominee, Ashely McBryde gives a performance.

The award for New Artist of the Year went to Morgan Wallen. 

In a performance from the stage of an empty Hollywood Bowl in California Dan + Shay join up with Justin Bieber for a performance of their smash hit “10,000 Hours”.  The performance featured only the voices the guys and the piano.

Six time CMA award nominee Luke Combs performs his single “Cold as You”.

Jon Pardi performs “Pickup Man”.

Carly Pearce is joined by Charles Kelly of Lady A for a performance of her chart topping single “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.  Pearce recorded the song with Lee Brice who was not able to perform the song live.

Dierks Bentley presented the award for Vocal Duo of the Year award to Dan + Shay who accepted their award form the Hollywood Bowl.

CeeCee Wynans introduced CMA Award hosts Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker who performed the Mac Davis song “In the Ghetto”.

Entertainer of the Year award nominee Miranda Lambert performs.

An award not presented every year, Jimmie Allen performs and presents the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award to Charlie Pride – the first man of colour to make it big in Country music.  The Country Music Hall of Fame artist performed “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” with Jimmie Allen.  Pride said that he was as nervous as he could be.  The former baseball player noted that Jack Johnson, Jack Clement, Jerry Bradley, and John Dane have influenced him throughout his career.  Pride thanked his fans.

Ten time CMA award winner Chris Stapleton takes the stage with his wife Morgan for a performance of “Starting Over”.

The award for Vocal Group of the Year went to Old Dominion.

CMA Award nominee Indrid Andress performs her hit song “More Hearts than Mine”.

Thomas Rhett, Chris Tomlin, and Reba McEntire take the stage for a performance of “Be a Light”.

The award for Album of the Year went to Luke Combs for “What You See is What You Get”.  This is Combs first Album of the Year award win.

Little Big Town pays tribute to Kenny Rogers with a performance.

The Brothers Osborne give a performance.

It has been 40 years since “Urban Cowboy” debuted in theatres.  The film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger made it cool to wear a cowboy hat and hang out in the country music bar learning how to line dance.  Old Dominion pays tribute to the film with their performance of “Looking for Love”.

Maren Morris performs her award winning song “The Bones”.

Entertainer of the Year award nominee Keith Urban performs “God Whispered Your Name” from his homeland of Australia.  He dedicated the song to all of the health workers.

The award for Female Vocalist of the Year went to Maren Morris for her first Female Vocalist award…and her third of the night.

The award for Male Vocalist of the Year award went to Luke Combs.  Thanking his fans, Combs said that he is a lucky guy.

Kelsea Ballarini performs the “drinking song” of the night with “Hole in the Bottle”.

Presenting the biggest award of the night, Reba McEntire presented the Entertainer of the Year award to Eric Church!  Church noted that the win was that they were all there together; adding that it was music that brings us out of this, the one thing that brings us all together.  He said that music is about unity.

Awards not presented during the live television broadcast:
Music Event of the Year: “I Hope You’re Happy Now” by Carly Pearce and Charlie Puth
Music Video of the Year: “Bluebird” by Miranda Lambert
Musician of the Year: fiddle player Jenee Fleenor

feature photo credit: CMA Facebook page

Transatlantic Double Dips on New Music

The Progressive supergroup Transatlantic have not only announced that they are releasing a new album; but are releasing two versions of that album.

Set for a February 5 release, “The Absolute Universe: The Breath of Life” and “The Absolute Universe: Forevermore” are more than an abridged and extended version of the same album. 

Mike Portnoy spoke on the albums saying, “we’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD.”  He continued, “they each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD.  Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.”

Band mate Pete Trewavas added, “we did write some new music for the single CD.  What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”

https://youtu.be/g4Ln98PtgZI

Both albums will be offered in vinyl, CD, and digital download formats.

The band will also be offering a special boxed set – “The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition” that will feature both albums in a five LP, three CD, and Blu-Ray collection that will include a behind the scenes documentary.

Transatlantic are Neal Morse, Mike Protnoy, Roine Stolt, and Pete Trewavas.

feature photo credit: By Stéphane Gallay from Onex, Switzerland – Transatlantic au Night of the Prog – 02, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44581632

Battles Continue on ‘The Voice’

On this second night of the Battle Rounds, the coaches will join forces with the chosen mentors for a socially distanced mentoring session with their team members as they continue to build the teams for the next round on “The Voice”.

The battles begin with Team Kelly who pared Desz and Joseph Soul for a performance of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.  Blake said that he feels like he knows both of them now.  John noted that Desz is a force to be reckoned with.  Gwen noted that Desz’ performance is effortless; adding that Joseph is super talented.  Kelly called Joseph an angel that sings R&B; adding that Desz is powerful.  Kelly chose Desz as the winner of the battle.

Gwen pushed her button to steal Joseph Soul; saying that she couldn’t let that voice leave the stage.

Blake pared up John Sullivan and Jim Ranger for a performance of the Kane Brown song “Good as You”.  Advisor Kane Brown said that it is his favourite song to perform live.  John called it a fun rendition of the song.  Gwen called the performance engaging.  Kelly called it a great marriage between Keith Urban and John Mayer.  Blake said hats off to both of the guys; adding that the paring looked good on paper.  Blake chose Jim as the winner of the battle.

In a video clip…
Kelly pared Tanner Gomes and Skylar Alyvia Mayton for a battle with Tanner as the winner of the battle.

Gwen pared Chloe Hogan and Lain Roy for a battle with Chloe winning the battle.

The final battle of the night is Team Legend members Julia Cooper and John Holiday for a performance of “Summer Soft” by Stevie Wonder and brought the coaches to their feet.  Gwen called the performance amazing; adding that both singers have unusual voices.  Gwen said that she doesn’t know how John is even real.  John noted that they were the only singers who could do the song; adding that they knocked it out of the park.  John chose John as the winner of the battle.

John used his save on Julia Cooper.

Host Carson Daly announced that former “The Voice” coach and winner is going to be the mega advisor this season.


Team Blake:
Worth the Wait
Taryn Papa – save
Jus Jon
Jim Ranger

Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
Lauren Frihauf – steal
Bailey Rae
John Holiday
Julia Cooper – save

Team Kelly:
Madeline Consoer
Sid Kingsley – steal
Desz
Tanner Gomes

Team Gwen:
Payge Turner
Joseph Soul – steal
Chloe Hogan

Glasspack Release Free Music

This year has been difficult on everyone, but especially members of the music and entertainment world.  The Covid-19 virus has put a stop to live in person performances of concerts and theatrical productions.

Rockers The Glasspack have soldiered on and are offering fans a free download of their new EP “Candy Apples and Razor Blades”.  The eight song album features cover tunes by the Misfits and Samhaim.

This marks the first time in over 10 years that The Glasspack have created some new music.  They are also planning to release an album of new original music – “Moon Patrol” – some time next year.

The Glaspack frontman “Dirty” Dave Johnson spoke on the new album saying, “I asked the guys if we could record something special this year to give away for free. So, we quickly recorded some punk rock and metal favorites with a dash of Glasspack flavor at DeadBird Recording Studios in Louisville.”

He added, “as a punk rock kid in Louisville, I fell in love with these songs immediately and still carry them with me as an adult. I never outgrew them, or maybe I just didn’t grow up. It doesn’t matter. I will likely sing some of them ’til I am ashes.”  Johnson noted that this time around he only provided the vocals for the album and left the guitar playing to someone else.

The tracklisiting for “Candy Apples and Razor Blades”:
“Eyes”
“Hybrid Moments”
“Devilock”
“In the Doorway”
“We Are”
“Halloween”
“Mother of Mercy”
“The Howl”


Fans can download the album at: https://theglasspack.bandcamp.com/album/candy-apples-razor-blades-ep

MLB Names Rookies of the Year

The shortened Marjor League Baseball season concludes with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the World Series.

Now that the 2020 baseball season has concluded, MLB has begun to present the annual awards.

In the American League, Seattle Mariners center fielder Kyle Lewis took home the Rookie of the Year honours; while relief pitcher Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers took the ROY honours for the National League.

With a yes vote from all 30 voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Lewis becomes the 12th player to voted a Rookie of the Year winner unanimously. He joins such prestigious company as Carlton Fisk, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, and Aaron Judge.

Lewis spoke on the honour saying, “it’s just a great first step for me and being in that category, it’s just really special.”

Lewis’ eleven home runs, 28 RBIs, 37 runs, 90 total bases, and an on-base percentage of 364 helped him to achieve Rookie of the Year honours.Drafted eleventh overall in the 2016 draft out of Mercer University, Lewis made his MLB debut in 2019; playing 18 games with the Mariners.


While he didn’t win the award unanimously, Devin Williams did become the first relief pitcher to win the honour without having a save on his record.

Speaking on his win, Williams said, “I don’t really think that saves are the end-all be-all. “If I come up in the seventh inning and I go through one through five, I think that that can be pretty valuable as well.”

Williams allowed only one earned run in 22 game appearances – a home run by Colin Moran of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The right hand pitcher had an ERA of just 0.33 with 53 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Although he was drafted in 2013, Tommy John surgery sidelined Williams for a time; he also made his MLB debut in 2019.


The Manager of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young Award winners will be announced in the next few days.

Battle Rounds Begin on ‘The Voice’

The blind auditions are over an it is time for the battles to begin on “The Voice”. Each of the coaches have brought in some special artists to help mentor the team members.

John Legend has brought in Miguel
Blake Shelton has brought in Kane Brown
Kelly Clarkson has brought in Leon Bridges
Gwen Stefani has brought in Julia Michaels

“The Voice” is working hard this season to keep everyone safe. The places where the artists work with the singers has them separated. The big boxing ring stage has been changed to two smaller stages to promote social distancing. Because there are no masks, the show is emphasizing the separation for safety.

Kicking off the battle rounds is Team Blake with the family trio Worth the Wait and Taryn Papa for a battle of “Little White Church” by Little Big Town. John noted that it was fun to watch. Gwen is curious to see what happens next with the trio. Gwen said that Taryn held her own; adding that Worth the Wait sounded great together. Kelly noted that Taryn has an incredible range; adding that the trio sounds like one voice. Coach Blake said that Taryn reminds him of Casidee Pope and Mia from Worth the Wait reminds him of Danielle Bradbury – both who went on to win the show on Team Blake. Blake chose Worth the Wait as the winner of the battle.

Blake pushed his button to save Taryn Papa.

Each coach gets one save and one steal in this round.

Team Legend paired up Tamara Jade and Olivia Reyes for a battle of “Hard Place” by H.E.R. Gwen called the performance interesting. Kelly noted that both singers are completely different but were both great. Blake felt that it was an equal battle between the two singers. John said that both of them were fantastic. John chose Tamara as the winner of the battle.

Kelly, sporting a patch on her right eye after an infection, paired Madeline Consoer and Eli Zamora for a battle of “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” by Ricky Martin and Christine Aguelera. Eli helped Madeline with the Spanish in the song. This is Leon Bridges first time appearing on “The Voice”. Both singers performed in English and Spanish. Blake said that they felt like they were going to break up Donnie and Marie; adding that they should form a duo. Kelly noted that they did so well together because they worked as a team; adding that both did an amazing job. Kelly chose Madeline as the winner of the battle.

Gwen chose to pair Lauren Frihauf and Payge Turner for a battle of “If the World was Ending” that features mentor Julia Michaels. Kelly called the performance intense. Blake noted that both singers were great. John said that both girls did an excellent job of portraying what the songwriter wanted to convey. Gwen was impressed by both performances; adding that it will probably be her hardest decision. Gwen chose Payge as the winner of the battle.

John pushed his button to steal Lauren Frihauf. Blake also pushed his button to steal. Lauren chose John to be her new coach.

Blake paired his one chair turns Payton Lamar and Jus Jon for the Sam Smith song “Dancing with a Starnger”. John said that they had great energy together. Gwen loved the performance. Blake noted that they put in the work during rehearsals; adding that he is a super proud grandpa. Blake chose Jus Jon as the winner of the battle.

In the final battle of the night, John paired up Sid Kingsley and Bailey Rae for a performance of “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. Gwen called the performance exciting. John said that they both gave a fantastic performance. Saying that both of them was incredible, John chose Bailey as the winner of the battle.

Kelly pushed her button to steal Sid.

Team Blake:
Worth the Wait
Taryn Papa – save
Jus Jon


Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
Lauren Frihauf – steal
Bailey Rae

Team Kelly:
Madeline Consoer
Sid Kingsley – steal


Team Gwen:
Payge Turner

Icons Week on DWTS

This week on “Dancing with the Stars” it’s Icons Week where the seven remaining couples will dance to the music of their iconic performers. Again this week the couples will be performing two dances.

First up is Justina and Sasha with a Rumba to “Crazy for You” by Madonna. Derek said that it was a beautiful Rumba. Bruno noted that they saw the gentle side of Madonna tonight; adding that the content was there and nice. Carrie Ann noted that Justina looked amazing but wanted to see more dynamics in Justina’s performance. Justina and Sasha scored 24 points for their dance.

Nelly and Daniella dance a Jazz routine to the music of Tupac Shakar. Along with dance rehearsals, Nelly was in the studio to record his cover of “California Love”…the song he is dancing to. Bruno said that Nelly was cool and confident in his element. Carrie Ann said that Nelly did a great job; adding that he looked like he was entertaining them. Derek loved all the elements in the dance; adding that the dance was celebratory. Nelly’s track was used for the dance. Nelly and Daniella scored 24 points for their dance.

AJ and Cheryl dance a Viennese Waltz to “Somebody to Love” by Freddie Mercury and Queen. Carrie Ann said that AJ started out strong but lost it later. Derek said that AJ was beautiful in frame. Bruno noted that AJ danced to rock royalty. AJ and Cheryl scored 23 points for their dance.

Kaitlyn and Artem pay tribute to Brittney Spears with an Argentine Tango to “Toxic”. Derek stood and clapped for Kaitlyn; adding that it was an exquisite performance. Bruno said, “Hit me Kaitlyn one more time”; adding it was a star performance. Carrie Ann also stood and clapped saying that everything was amazing. Kaitlyn and Artem scored a perfect score of 30 for their dance.

Johnny and Britt pay tribute to Amy Winehouse with a Quickstep to “Valarie” with Johnny dressed as Amy. Bruno said that Amy would have loved it; adding that he did it very well with an excellent Quickstep. Carrie Ann noted that they have never seen a Quickstep like that; adding that he delivered every move and used the floor like an ice rink. Derek said that he dance was clean. Johnny and Britt scored also earned a perfect score of 30 for their dance.

After being saved last week, Skai and Alan dance a Paso Doble to the music of Janet Jackson. Carrie Ann thanked Skai for sharing her story; adding that the Paso was fierce and amazing. Derek noted that Skai is strong and powerful. Bruno noted that the Paso is one of the most grownup dances they have and Skai lived up to the dance. Skai and Alan scored 27 points for their dance.

With the final dance in round one, Nev and Jenna channel their inner Sir Elton with a Jive to “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting”. Derek noted that has seen Nev grow through the competition; adding that he did a great job. Bruno loved the structure and theatricality of the dance. Carrie Ann noted that Nev is a pleasure to watch. Nev and Jenna scored 27 points for their dance.

Round one scores:
AJ and Cheryl – 23
Justina and Sasha – 24
Nelly and Daniella – 24
Skai and Alan – 27
Nev and Jenna – 27
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30
Johnny and Britt – 30

In round two six of the couples will participate in a dance off. With the highest cumulative scores Nev and Jenna are immune from the dance off and will earn two bonus points.

First on the floor are Justina and Sasha and Kaitlyn and Artem with a Cha Cha to “Telephone” by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. After the side by side performance, Justina and Sasha won the dance off and earn two bonus points.

Next up were Skai and Alan battle Nelly and Danielle dance a Salsa to the music of Ricky Martin. Skai and Alan won the dance off despite Nelly taking off his shirt. Skai and Alan get two bonus points added to their score.

In the final dance off, AJ and Cheryl and Johnny and Britt pair off with a Jive to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham. AJ and Cheryl won the dance off and earn the extra points.

Dance off scores:

Nev and Jenna – 2
Justina and Sasha – 2
Skai and Alan – 2
AJ and Cheryl – 2

Total scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 24
AJ and Cheryl – 23 + 2 = 25
Justina and Sasha – 24 + 2 = 26
Skai and Alan – 27 + 2 = 29
Nev and Jenna – 27 + 2 = 29
Kaitlyn and Artem – 30
Johnny and Britt – 30

After all the scores and votes have been tabulated…
Kaitlyn and Artem
Skai and Alan
Nev and Jenna
Justina and Sasha
and Nelly and Daniella
are all moving on to the semi finals next week.

AJ and Cheryl and Johnny and Britt are in the bottom two and in danger of going honme.

Bruno chose to save Johnny and Britt
Derek chose to save AJ and Cheryl
Carrie Ann chose to save Johnny and Britt

AJ and Cheryl have been eliminated from the competition.

Next week it’s the semi finals and a double elimination.


‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek Dies

Long time host of the game show “Jeopardy” Alex Trebek died November 8 at his Los Angeles home at the age of 80 as a result of pancreatic cancer. Representative of the Culver City studio where “Jeopardy” was filmed noted that Trebek spent time on a beloved swing in his back yard and was surrounded by family at the time of his death.

The cancer diagnosis was just the latest in a number of health issues that did little slow down Trebek and his schedule of taping a week’s worth of shows in just one day. He had a mild heart attack in 2007 and brain surgery for blood clots after a fall.

Trebek took over the hosting duties of the show in 1984. Original “Jeopardy” host Art Fleming also died of pancreatic cancer in 1995.

He announced to fans in March of 2019 that he had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease; adding that he hoped a cure would soon be found.

Hosting “Jeopardy” for over 35 years, Trebek noted that he did not expect to retire as host of the quiz game show where contestants must respond with a question.

With weeks of shows taped together, fans of the game show will see Trebek hosting the show until December 25. The studio has not made any decisions on how they will continue…if at all…after the death of the long time host. Trekbek joked that the 98 year old Betty White should replace him; but the rumour mill speculates that “Jeopardy” GOAT Ken Jennings will take over the position.

Before coming the “Jeopardy” in 1984, Trebek served as host on “The Wizard of Odds”, “Reach for the Top”, and “Music Hop”.

While best known for his hosting duties on “Jeopardy”, Trebek is also credited as an actor in some two dozen productions including “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”, “Orange is the New Black”, “The Simpsons”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Seinfeld”, “The X-Files”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Rugrats”, and “Cheers”.

As himself, he appeared in nearly 200 productions including over 8,000 episodes of “Jeopardy”, talk shows, award shows, game shows, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival”, documentaries, and host of the “National Geographic Bee”.

During his career, Trebek won five Emmy Awards as host of the game show; he also has a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a star on the Walk of Fame in his native Canada.

He was born George Alexander Trebek on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario; the son of a Ukrainian father and a French-Canadian mother. He began his broadcasting career as a staff announcer after graduating from the University of Ottawa in philosophy. He later became a readio and TV reporter before moving to the United States where he became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

Outside of “Jeopardy”, Trebek owned a vineyard and a horse farm.

Trebek is survived by his second wife of 30 years Jean and their children Emily, Matthew, and stepdaughter Nicky.

Feature photo credit: By &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; class=&quot;external text&quot; href=&quot;https://www.flickr.com/photos/79493961@N00/&quot;&gt;marabuchi&lt;/a&gt; – This file was derived from:&amp;nbsp; &lt;a href=&quot;//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alex_Trebek_2009.jpg&quot; title=&quot;File:Alex Trebek 2009.jpg&quot;&gt;Alex Trebek 2009.jpg&lt;/a&gt;, <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0&#8243; title=”Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0″>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>, <a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52920074&#8243;>Link</a>

Rock Hall Inducts 2020 Class

The Covid-19 pandemic may have temporarily halted live in person music performances; but it cannot stop the music. And for these eight artists and music industry essentials were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame via avideo taped ceremony – Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T. Rex, Jon Landau, and Irving Azoff.

Along with inducting Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys gave a performance. Before her death in 2012 at age 48, Houston earned numerous awards including having three of her albums certified with the Diamond Award for selling at least 10 million copies in the United Sates by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America. Houston’s mother Cissy and aunt Pat Houston accepted the award in Houston’s honour.


Also in a posthumous induction, Sean “Diddy” Combs inducted rapper the Notorious B.I.G. who died in 1997 at age 24. During his short career B.I.G. became one of the top rap music artists and helped to pave the way for future generations. Biggie’s children C.J. And T’yanna accepted the award in his honour.

T. Rex creator Mark Bolan died in 1977 at age 29; his son Rolan spoke on his father; but it was Sir Ringo Starr that inducted the British rock band into the Hall of Fame.

Inducted on their first year of eligibility, The Doobie Brothers celebrate 50 years of making music this year. The rockers had planned a tour that would feature Michael McDonald; but had to postpone events due to the pandemic.


Hard rockers Nine Inch Nails features two Emmy Award winning artists in the group with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; who are also Oscar and Grammy Award winners. An induction into the Hall of Fame is icing on the award winning cake for the band.

Actress Charlize Theron inducted the British synth pop band Depeche Mode to finish out this year’s musical inductees.


Completing the class of 2020 inductees are music managers Irving Azoff and Jon Landau being honoured with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Billy Gibbons, Dave Grohl, Don Henley, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Adam Levine, Chris Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brad Paisley, Bruce Springsteen, St. Vincent, Gwen Stafani, and Ann Wilson were also among those paying tribute to the 2020 class of Rock Hall inductees.

Next month the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will reveal a new class of inductees.

First Time Champion in NASCAR Cup

It all comes down to one final race when the NASCAR Cup Series closes out the 2020 racing season with the Season Finale 500 from Phoenix Raceway.

After winning the race in Martinsville to earn his spot in the final four and the pole for the start of the final race of the season, Chase Elliott and his number nine Hemdrick Motorsports car find themselves starting the race from the back of the field after failing the pre-race inspection process twice.

Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer are starting their final NASCAR Cup Series races as Johnson moves to IndyCar and Bowyer into the broadcast booth

The starting lineup for the Season Finale 500 (km):
Chase Elliott – moved to the back of the field for failing inspection
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Clint Bowyer
Aric Almirola
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Martin Truex Jr
Erik Jones
Cole Custer
Matt Kenseth
Christopher Bell
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Tyler Reddick
Ty Dillon
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Preece
William Byron
Jimmie Johnson
John Hunter Nemechek
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
Daniel Suarez
Chris Buescher
JJ Yeley
Timmy Hill
Quin Houff
Brennan Poole
James Davison
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap four, Joey Logano leads the race with Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin battling for second.

Lap six, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly a second on second place driver Brad Keselowski with Denny Hmlin in third. Chase Elliott has moved up to 25th place.

Lap nine, Joey Logano leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second and Denny Hamlin in third and challenging for second.

Lap eleven the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Kurt Busch. Chase Elliott has moved up to 20th place.

Lap 19, Joey Logano has pulledo ut to a two second lead on Brad Keselowski with Denny Hamlin in third; Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch round out the top five. Chase Elliott is now in 13th place. There are 33 cars on the lead lap.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 30.

Lap 23, Joey Logano holds on to his two second lead on Brad Keselowski with Denny Hamlin in third. After Starting the race from the back of the field, Chase Elliott has moved up to 12th place.

Lap 26, Joey Logano has a second and a hlaf lead on Brad Keselowski; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Kurt Busch round out the top five. Chase Elliott has now entered the top 10.

At the end of lap 30, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution. Joey Logano has led every lap so far.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Joey Logano winning the race off of pit road. After a messy pit stop, Brad Keselowski lost six spots on the track.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 37 and takes the lead as drivers get four and ifve wide across the track.

Lap 39, Joey Logano leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second; Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, and Kyle Busch round out the top five. Chase Elliot is now in sixth place.

Lapa 42, Chase Elliott is now in fourth place after starting the race from the back of the field. While he came off of pit road in 10th place, he restarted the race in 12th place.

Lap 44, the top five are Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski.

Chase Elliott gets around Alex Bowman to take third place.

Lap 54, Joey Logano continues to lead the race; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with 30 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 59, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin with Chase Elliott in third over three seconds back and Brad Keselowski over five seconds back.

Lap 62, the top five are Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap 69, Joey Logano has a lead of less than half a second on Denny Hamlin; Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

The final race of the season, stage points are not awarded for this race.

Joey Logano wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Blanehy
Kyle Busch
Alex Bowman
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Matt DiBenedetto

Drivers come down pit road for service with Joey Logano winning the race off of pit road; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski followed.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 84 and jumps out in front for the lead as drivers get four and five wide across the track. Driving below the yellow line is not out of bounds for the drivers.

Lap 85, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin battle for second place. Hamlin holds him off…for now.

Lap 87, Denny Hamlin challenges Joey logano for the lead, but Logano holds on to the lead.

Lap 91, Joey Logano holds on to the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; Chase Elliott Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Joey Logano has some debris on his grille.

Lap 99, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin in second; Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five. There are 30 cars on the lead lap.

Joey Logano uses some lapped traffic to get the debris off of his front grille.

Lap 105, after starting the race in 26th place, Jimmie Johnson has entered the top 10 in seventh place in his final Cup Series race.

Lap 108, the final four are running 1,2,3,4 with Joey Logano in the lead; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski follow.

Joey Logano is reporting a vibration in the car. He plans to hold on until they reach their pit window to come down pit road. The drivers cannot complete the stage on a single load of fuel.

Chase Elliot gets around Denny Hamlin for second and now challenging Joey Logano for the lead on lap 117.

Lap 119, Chase Elliott is on Joey Logano’s bumper and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 120, Chase Elliott passes Joey Logano for the lead. There are 27 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 122, the top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney.

Denny Hamlin passes Joey Logano for second.

Brad Keselowski brings his car down pit road to begin the cycle of green flag pit stops.

Lap 131,, Chase Elliott leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second and Joey Logano in third. Brad Keselowski is now a lpa down…until the cycle of pit stops cycle through.

Lap 137, more drivers come down pit road for fuel and fresh tires.

Lap 139, leader Chase Elliott makes his green flag pit stop and hand the lead over to Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 143, leader Jimmie Johnson comes down pit road for his pit stop and hands the lead over to Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 145, Aric Almirola is the new leader.

Lap 148, the top five are Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 151, Chase Elliott passes Aric Almirola for the lead .

The Final Four are 1,2, 3, 4 with Chase Elliott leading the way; Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano. Ryan Blaney is in fifth place.

Lap 161, the caution flag comes out for an incident involving Josh Bilicki and James Davison.

Even though they were on pit road less than 30 laps ago, the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires. Taking only two tires, Kurt Busch wins the race off of pit road with Chase Elliott in second. Austin Dillon comes out in third place after taking only two tires.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 168 wind edges out in front for the lead before Chase Elliott retakes the lead.

Drivers are getting three wide in a battle for position.

Lap 170, Chase Elliott leads the way with a lead of nearly half a second on Brad Keselowski; Joey Logano is in third and Denny Hamlin in fifth.

Lap 175, Brad Keselowski gets around Chase Elliott for the lead; Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 162, Chase Elliott is on Brad Keselowski’s bumper and is challenging for the lead. On lap 183, Elliott passes Keselowski for the lead.

The final four are Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney round out to top five.

With four laps remaining in stage two, Brad Keselowski challenges Chase Elliott for the lead as they encounter lapped traffic.

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski battle for the lead with Keselowski wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Jimmie Johnson
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Matt DiBenedetto

Ryan Preece loses power in his car and needs a push to get to the garage.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road by a nose over Joey Logano.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap k

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 201 and gets out in front for the lead with Joey Logano in second, Denny Hamlin in third, and Brad Keselowski in fourth.

Lap 203, the top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap 207, Quin Houff is the only driver out of the race with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 211, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 214, Joey Logano has closed the gap on leader Chase Elliott to under a quarter of a second.

Lap 222, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with Joey Logano in second; Denny Hamlin is in third, and Brad Keselowski in fourth, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.

Lap 225, Brad Keselowski passes Denny Hamlin for third.

Lap 228, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 233, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race by over a half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 248, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five

Denny Hamlin is reporting a tight issue in his car and some possible brake issues.

Only 60 laps remain in the race, Chase Elliott leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five with just 18 cars on the lead lap as green flag pit stops have begun.

Lap 258, Joey Logano has closed the gap on leader Chase Elliott to under half a second.

Joey Logano is the furst of the final four to come down pit road. Denny Hamlin also comes down pit road for service.

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski make their green flag pit stops and gives the lead over to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

With 51 laps to go, leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr makes his pit stop and gives the lead to Joey Logano with Chase Elliott a second and a half back.

After another slow pit stop, Brad Keselowski returns to the track in fourth place.

Just 45 laps to go, Chase Elliott has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano and is challenging for the lead among lapped traffic.

Chase Elliott battles Joey Logano for the lead and passes Logano on the inside to retake the lead.

With just 18 cars on the lead lap, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a half second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Thirty seven to go, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Joey Logano with 17 cars on the lead lap.

Garrett Smithley and Corey LaJoie are off the track.

Thirty four to go, Chase Elliott holds on to his one second lead on Joey Logano with just 16 cars on the lead lap. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin battle for third.

With 32 to go, Chase Elliott is slowly increasing his lead on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Thirty to go, Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Joey Logano.

Denny Hamlin reports a tight condition.

Twenty five to go, Chase Elliott now has a two second lead on Joey Logano with just 14 cars on the lead lap.

With 23 laps to go, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. There are 14 cars on the lead lap.

Garrett Smithley is out of the race.

Nineteen to go, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a three second lead on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Thirteen to go, Chase Elliott holds on to his three second lead on Joey Logano with 14 cars on the lead lap.

The top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson.

Two of the final four playoff drivers have previously won a championship; while Denny Hamlin has yet to win the title but has been a part of the final four before. Chase Elliott is competing in his final four playoff.

Nine to go, Chase Elliott has a lead of over three seconds on Joey Logano.

Only six laps remain in the 2020 NASCAR season, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of nearly three and a half seconds on Brad Keselowski with just 12 cars on the lead lap.

Four to go, Chase Elliott has a lead of over three seconds on Brad Keselowski.

Chase Elliott takes the white flag with a lead of over three seconds on Brad Keselowski.

Chase Elliott wins the race…and the 2020 NASCAR Cup Championship!!!

With his first championship, Chase Elliott joins his father Bill as the champion and the sport’s most popular driver. The last time that feat was accomplished was 1988 with Bill Elliott. The Elliotts become just the third father/son champions in NASCAR; joining the Petty’s – Richard and Lee – and the Jarretts – Ned and Dale.

Seven time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson goes side by side with Chase Elliott arund the track.

All of the drivers have stopped on the track to wait for Chase to driver by.

Jimmie Johnson makes one final lap around Phoenix Raceway with the driver’s side facing the crowd.

Chase Elliott takes the championship flag and burns it down with plenty of smoke.

Chase Elliott exits the car to rousing cheers from the crowd and lots of hugs from his crew.

Twenty days shy of his 25th birthday, Chase Elliott gave himself an early birthday present with the win…and the championship.

All he could say in the post race interview is, “we did it!;” adding “this is unreal”.

The unofficial results of the Seasn Finale 500:
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Bubba Wallace
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
Ty Dillon
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell
Ryan Newman
Matt Kenseth
John Hunter Nemechek
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Cole Custer
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Daniel Suarez
Joey Gase
James Davison
Ryan Preece
Josh Bilicki
Timmy Hill
Garrett Smithley
Corey LaJoie
Quin Houff


Xfinity Series Crowns a Champion

The Xfinity Series takes to the track for one final race with the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 from Phoenix Raceway.

Justin Allgaier sits on the pole with Chase Briscoe alongside on the front row.

By the end of the race either Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, or Justin Haley will be crowned the champion for the 2020 season.  The champion does not have to win the race; only finish in front of his three final four competitors.

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 200 laps around the one mile track.

After helping Sheldon Creed win the Truck Series Championship on Friday night, the number 43 team pit crew will serve as the pit crew for playoff driver Justin Haley after a member of the pit crew tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution around lap 20.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag start of the raceand jumps out in front for the lead as the field gets three wide across the track.

With no out of bounds on the track, the drivers are taking advantage of every spot they can.

Jeffrey Earnhardt brings out the first caution flag of the race on lap three.  Earnhardt reports that the car just died.  He spun out and hit the wall causing significant damage to the car.

The wind is gusting around the track; as much as 25mpg and blowing sand everywhere.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart .  The drivers gets three and four wide across the track.  Justin Allgiaer gets out in front first but gets passed by Austin Cindric before Chase Briscoe takes the lead.

Lap eight; Chase Briscoe leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second and Justin Haley in third.  The fourth playoff driver, Justin Haley is in seventh place.

Lap 10, Chase Briscoe has a quarter of a second lead on Austin Cindric with Justin Allgaier in third.  Jesse Little and Jeffrey Earnhardt are the only cars not on the lead lap, four laps down.

Lap 13, Chase Briscoe holds on to a narrow lead on Austin Cindric with Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, a d Ross Chastain rounding out the top five.

Lap 15 Austin Cindric challenges Chase Briscoe for the lead with Chase Briscoe holding Cindric off to hold on to the lead.

There are 35 cars on the lead lap.

At the end of lap 20, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution with Chase Briscoe in the lead.

Chase Briscoe is reporting a very loose condition.

Pole sitter Justin Allgaier reported that he is just getting out motored.

In his first Xfinity Series race, Stan Mullis is the “lucky dog”.

The teams were given only four sets of tires for today’s race…not counting the ones on the car at race start.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane on lap 27 and edges out in front for the lead.

Lap 28, the caution flag comes out for a wreck involving CJ McLaughlin, Donald Theetge, JJ Yeley, and Matt Mills.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 34 from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier alongside.  Briscoe gets out in front for the lead with Justin Allgaier in second: Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

The final race of the season, points don’t matter…it’s win for the title.

Lap 38, Chase Briscoe holds on to the lead of the race; Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Ross Chastain round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 41, Austin Cindric passes Justin Allgaier for the lead, but Allgiaer comes back to battle for the spot.

On the final lap of stage one, Austin Cindric challenges Chase Briscoe for the lead but Briscoe holds him off to win his 13th stage win of the season. 

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Chase Briscoe
Austin Cindric
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Ross Chastain
Michael Annett
Justin Haley
Harrison Burton
Riley Herbst
Brandon Jones

Drivers come down pit road for service with Justin Allgaier winning the race off of pit road with Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, and Austin Cindric all coming out together.

After staying out on the track, Tommy Joe Martins brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 54.  Justin Allgaier gets out in front for the lead but has to battle with Chase Briscoe to keep that lead.

Lap 55, Justin Allgaier leads the race with Chase Briscoe in second and Noah Gragsn in third.  There are 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 59, Austin Cindric takes second from Chase Briscoe; Justin Allgaier has pulled out to a lead of over a second.

Lap 62, Justin Allgaier has pulled out to a second and a half lead on Austin Cindric with Chase Briscoe in third.

Lap 65, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, and Michael Annett.

Ross Chastain makes an unscheduled trip down pit road for a vibration.

Lap 68, Austin Cindric has closed the gap on leader Justin Allgaier to under half a second.  Chase Briscoe passes Noah Gragson for third.

Lap 70, Austin Cindric has caught up to leader Justin Allgaier and begins to challenge for the lead.  There are just 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 72, Austin Cindric battles Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Tommy Joe Martins brings the caution flag out on lap 75 with a smoking car.  The crew chief tells Martins to take the car straight to the garage with a blown engine.

Daniel Hemric is six laps down after the crew had to replace the carburetor.

Pit reporter Brad Daugherty reports that the temperatures are dropping as the sun is not too long from dropping below the grandstands.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane on lap 81 with Noah Gragson on the inside lane.  Allgaier holds on to the lead as the drivers gets three wide across the track.

Justin Allgaier leads the race with Austin Cindric in second and Chase Briscoe in third.

Lap 83, Austin Cindric again battles leader Justin Allgaier for the lead and after several battles, he finally takes the  spot.

Lap 84, the top five are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton.

Ryan Sieg makes an unscheduled trip down pit road.

Five laps remain in stage two; Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of nearly half a second on Justin Allgaier.  There are 23 cars on the lead lap with four drivers out of the race.

With a lead of nearly a second, Austin Cindric wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Austin Cindric
Justin Allgaier
Chase Briscoe
Brandon Jones
Noah Gragson,
Michael Annett
Justin Haley
Harrison Burton
Jeremy Clements
Myatt Snider

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service with Brandon Jones winning the race off of pit roead and Chase Briscoe coming out second.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 99 with Justin Allgaier alongside.  Justin Allgaier takes the lead of the race with Chase Briscoe in second and Austin Cindric in thrid.

Lap 101, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Justin Haley.

The drivers cannot complete the final stage of the race on a single lead of fuel and must make a pit stop some time during the stage.

The sun is beginning to be a factor in the race, causing some blind spots on the track.

Lap 104, Justin Allgaier has a lead of over a second on Austin Cindric with Chase Briscoe in third.

Lap 108, Justin Allgaier has a lead of a second on Brandon Jones with Austin Cindric in third.

Lap 109, Austin Cindric passes Brandon Jones for second.

Lap 110, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe, and Noah Gragson.

Lap 116, Justin Allgaier’s .ead is down under half a second on Austin Cindric; Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.  There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 119, Austin Cindric has caught up to leader Justin Allgaier and again begins to challenge for the lead.

Lap 123, Justin Allgaier has a lead of under half a second on Austin Cindric; Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe, and Noah Gragson round out toe top five.

Lpa 126, Austin Cindric begins his battle with Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Lap 131,, Austin Cindric passes Justin Allgaier for the lead.  Chase Briscoe brushes the wall.

Lap 135, the top five are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe, and Just Haley.

Lap 140, Brandon Jones passes Justin Allgaier for second place.

Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of two secnds on Brandon Jones; Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe reports a very loose condition in his car.  The crew has not been able to tighten up the car.

Lap 143, Brandon Jones has closed the gap on leader Austin Cindric to just a second.

Lap 147, Justin Allgaier reports that he thinks one of his tires is going bad but stays out on the track.

Lap 148, Brandon Jones has caught up to leader Austin Cindric and is challenging for the lead.  There are only 14 cars on the lead laps.

Lap 153, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Brandon Jones; Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

There are only 12 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 160, Austin Cindric has a lead of nearly a second on Brandon Jones with Chase Briscoe in third nearly five seconds back; Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, Justin Haley Harrison Burton, and Jeremy Clements begin the cycle of green flag pit stops.

Lap 163, leader Austin Cindric makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Ross Chastain.

Lap 170, Joe Graf Jr brings out the caution flag after hitting the wall.  There are only six cars on the lead lap with Ross Chastain leading the race.

Some of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for fresh tires and service; including playoff driver Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe.  Austin Cindric stays out on the track.

With just 23 laps remaining in the race, Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart with Ross Chastain alongside.  Drivers spread four wide across the track.  Ross Chastain battles with Austin Cindric for the lead.  Coming from third place, Justin Allgaier battle Austin Cindric for the lead.

Twenty to go, Austin Cindric is in the lead with Justin Allgaier in second; Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones, and Michael Annett round out the top five with 10 crs on the lead lap.

With the sun going down and the lights up, there are 15 laps to go with Austin Cindric in the lead by over half a second on Justin Allgaier; Ross Chastain, Michael Annett, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Ten to go, Austin Cindric has a once second lead on Justin Allgaier.  The 22 year old driver is running his 100th career race.  At age nine, a young Austin declared to his family that he wanted to be a race car driver.  His father is the president of Team Penske.

Six to go, Austin Cindric holds on to a one second lead on Justin Allgaier.

The caution flag comes out with just three laps to go when playoff driver Chase Briscoe spins out.

The race will go into overtime.

Several drivers come down pit road for service including leader Austin Cindric.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green/white/checker overtime start from the outside lane and edges out in front for the lead as drivers gets four and five wide across the track.

Coming to the white flag, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, and Austin Cindric are three wide with Austin Cindric getting out in front for the lead.

Austin Cindric wins the race and the Xfinity Series championship!  This is Cindric’s sixth win of the season

Austin Cindric does a big burnout at the start/finish line holding the championship flag.
 
The unofficial results of the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200:
Austin Cindric
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Michael Annett
Justin Allgaier
Harrison Burton
Ross Chastain
Justin Haley
Chase Briscoe
Jeremy Clements
Riley Herbst
Brandon Brown
Josh Williams
BJ McLeod
Bayley Currey
David Starr
Kyle Weatherman
Myatt Snider
Brett Moffitt
Colby Howard
Alex Labbe
Kody Vanderwal
Timmy Hill
Mason Diaz
Daniel Hemric
JJ Yeley
Joe Graf Jr
Stan Mullis
Jesse Little
Jesse Iwuji
Ryan Sieg
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Ryan Vargas
Tommy Joe Martins
Matt Mills
Donald Theetge
CJ McLaughlin

Wild Overtime Finish for the Truck Series Championship

It all comes down to one final race for the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series with the Lucas Oil 150 from Phoenix Raceway.

It’s the final race of the season with 33 drivers competing for the final win of the 2020 season; but only four of them are competing for the championship – Enfinger, Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, and Brett Moffitt. The final four do not have to win the race to win the championship, just finish in front of the other three playoff drivers.

After winning the race in Martinsville to race his way into the final four, Grant Enfinger sits on the pole and will bring the field to green with Zane Smith alongside on the front row.

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 60 laps for a total of 150 laps around the one mile track.

Grant Enfinger brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane. The drivers quickly get three and four wide across the track battling for position early.

Zane Smith takes the lead of the race.

Lap three, the top five are Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Christian Eckes.

Lap four, Zane Smith has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Sheldon Creed with Brett Moffitt over a second and a half back in third.

Lap six, Zane Smith has increased his lead over a second on Sheldon Creed.; Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.

Grant Enfinger is reporting some tight handling conditions in his truck.

Lap eight, Zane Smith continues to increase his lead on Sheldon Creed; which is now over a second and a half.

Lap 10, Zane Smith has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Sheldon Creed; Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.

Lap 14, Zane Smith has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Sheldon Creed; Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.

Lap 18, there are 31 trucks on the lead lap with Jennifer Jo Cobb one lap down and Josh Reaume five laps down.

Lap 19, Sheldon Creed has closed the gap on leader Zane Smith to under a second and a half with Brett Moffitt challenging for the second spot.

Lap 21, Zane Smith has just a one second lead on Sheldon Creed with Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Craftn rounding out the top five.

Lap 22, Josh Reaume is off the track; there are 27 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 25, Zane Smith has led every lap so far and has a one second lead on Sheldon Creed; Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five. With 26 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 29, there are five seconds between leader Zane Smith and fifth place driver Matt Crafton.

Lap 30, Zane Smith now has a second and a half lead on Sheldon Creed; Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.

Lap 36, Zane Smith continues to lead the race but has a lead of only half a second on Sheldon Creed with just 20 trucks on the lead lap.

Just five laps remain in stage one; Zane Smith continues to dominate the stage by leadeing every lap so far. He has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Sheldon Creed.

With a lead of two and a half seconds, Zane Smith wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Zane Smith
Sheldon Creed
Brett Miffitt
Grant Enginger
Matt Crafton
Ben Rhodes
Tyler Ankrum
Stewart Friesen
Christian Eckes
Derek Kraus

Drivers come down pit road for service and adjustments with Sheldon Creed winning the race off of pit road.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 54 with Brett Moffitt alongside. Creed takes the lead from the inside lane with Brett Moffitt in second; Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen a,dn Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 56, Sheldon Creed is in the lead with Brett Moffitt on his bumper in second; Zne Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 59, team mates Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt battle for the lead with Sheldon Creed holding Moffitt off…for the moment.

And the battle continues, with Creed and Moffitt battling to take the lead.

Lap 67, Sheldon Creed holds on to the lead with Brett Moffitt just a quarter of a second back; Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 73, Sheldon Creed is still in the lead and battling Brett Moffitt for the lead; Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five with 20 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 75, with the help of some slower traffic, Brett Moffitt takes the lead and pulls out to a lead of half a second on Sheldon Creed.

Lap 78, Brett Moffitt has a half second lead on Zane Smith; Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

With just five laps remaining in stage two, Brett Moffitt has a lead of over half a second on Zane Smith; Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five with 19 trucks on the lead lap.

Brett Moffitt wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brett Moffitt
Zane Smith
Sheldon Creed
Ben Rhodes
Grant Enfinger
Stewart Friesen
Tyler Ankrum
Raphael Lessard
Christian Eckes
Same Mayer

Drivers come down pit road for service with Brett Moffitt winning the race off of pit road with Zane Smith coming out in second.

Brett Moffitt brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 99. The drivers spread four and five wide across the track with Brett Moffitt holding on to the lead.

Lap 100, the top five are Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger.

With 48 laps to go, Sheldon Creed is returning the favour and is giving Brett Moffitt a battle for the lead; Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

The first caution flag of the race for an on track incident comes out on lap 104 when Carson Hocevar gets into the wall hard with a possible flat tire.

Brett Moffitt brings the field down for the green flag restart with 38 laps remaining in the race. Brett Moffitt edges out Sheldon Creed for the lead as drivers get three and four wide across the track.

Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt continue their battle for the lead with Moffitt out in front.

Lap 114, Brett Moffit has a narrow lead on Sheldon Creed; Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap 115, Brett Moffitt has pulled out to a lead of nearly half a second on Sheldon Creed with 19 trucks on the lead lap.

Thirty to go, Brett Moffitt has a half second lead on Sheldon Creed; Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Carson Hocevar and Josh Reaume are the only drivers out of the race.

With 29 laps remaining in the race, Brett Moffitt has increased his lead to over a second on Sheldon Creed.

Lap 125, Brett Moffitt has pulled out to a second and a half lead on Sheldon Creed; Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Brett Moffitt has pulled out to a lead of over two secnds on Sheldon Creed; Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith and Grant Enfinger round out the top five with 19 trucks on the lead lap.

Grant Enfinger gets around Zane Smith to take fourth place.

Lap 231, Brett Moffitt has increased his lead to two and a half seconds on Sheldon Creed; fifth place driver Zane Smith is three and a half seconds back.

Lap 133, Brett Moffitt now has a lead of over three seconds on Sheldon Creed; Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

After having some handling issues, Grant Enfinger’s team pulled a spring rubber out of the truck and he has begun moving through the field.

With 14 laps to go, Brett Moffitt has a lead of over three and a half seconds while Sheldon Creed and Grant Enfinger battle for second.

Twelve to go, Brett Moffitt is running away from the field with a lead of four and a half seconds on Grant Enfinger; Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Nine laps remain in the race; Brett Moffitt has a four second lead on Grant Enfinger; Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Back in March, Brett Moffitt broke both of his legs in a dirt biking accident and due to the Covid-19 shutdown, he was able to recover and never miss a race.

Five to go, Brett Moffitt has a three second lead on Grant Enfinger; Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Three to go and the caution flag comes out when Dawson Cram makes contact with another truck and spins out. The caution flag erased a lead of over two seconds for leader Brett Moffitt.

The race goes into overtime.

Some of the drivers come down pit road including playoff drivers Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith.

Brett Moffitt brings the field down for the overtime restart of the race with Grant Enfinger alongside. Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith restart the race in ninth and Twelfth place.

With the drivers five wide, Chandler Smith gets out in front for the lead with Ben Rhodes in second.

Sheldon Creed takes the white flag as the leader.

Sheldon Creed wins the race…and the 2020 Truck Series championship!

The unofficial results of the Lucas Oil 150:
Sheldon Creed
Zane Smith
Chandler Smith
Christian Eckes
Raphael Lessard
Stewart Friesen
Ben Rhodes
Tyler Ankrum
Todd Gilliland
Brett Moffitt
Johnny Sauter
Austin Hill
Grant Enfinger
Matt Crafton
Tanner Gray
Dylan Lupton
Sam Mayer
Trevor Bayne
Tate Fogleman
Austin Wayne Self
Ryan Truex
Jordan Anderson
Spencer Davis
Derek Kraus
Tyler Hill
Danny Bohn
Spencer Boyd
Dawson Cram
Robby Lyons
Akinori Ogata
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Carson Hocevar
Josh Reaume


Second place driver Zane Smith won the Rookie of the Year honours.

New Class of Toy Hall of Fame Announced

On November 5 The Strong Museum and the National Toy Hall of Fame announced the newest class for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Twelve finalists were chosen with Sidewalk chalk, the building game Jenga, and the baby doll Baby Nancy will join the over 100 toys already housed in the Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.

The 12 finalists – bingo, Breyer Horses, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, Sorry!, Tamagotchi, Baby Nancy, Jenga, sidewalk chalk, and Yahtzee – were selected for their longevity, cultural influence, and ability to inspire.

Along with the numerous interactive exhibits and the National Toy Hall of Fame; The Strong Museum of Play also offers the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, World Video Game Hall of Fame, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, Woodbury School, and the “American Journal of Play”.


Meet the newest inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame…

A product of Shindana Toys, a company dedicated to promoting equality and pride, Baby Nancy is a dark skinned doll and textured hair was introduced in 1968 and went on to become the best selling toy across the United States by Christmas. Subsequent productions featured Nancy sporting an Afro and the first doll to feature authentic Black hair. Shindana Toys went out of business in 1983, but as a cultural breakthrough, Baby Nancy has endured.

Chalk in one form or another has been a part of human culture since the early cavemen drew on the walls. The colourful toy that adorns sidewalks the world over has sparked a multitude of creativity from the classic tic-tac-toe and hopscotch boards to artistic masterpieces.

A game made from small blocks, Jenga sprouted from the inspiration of Leslie Scott and the blocks she played with in Africa as a child. The name Jenga stems from the Swahili word kujenga – to build. A game for all ages, players are challenged to use strategy and skill in removing pieces from the tower of blocks without toppling the structure.

The National Toy Hall of Fame has been a part of The Strong Museum of Play since 1998. Housed on the secnd floor of the museum, the Toy Hall of Fame features all manner of toys of inspiration from the wooden stick or twig found in the yard to challenging games like “Battleship”.

photo credits: Courtesy of The Strong in Rochester, New York

NASCAR Foundation Names Humanitarian Award Winner

For the past 10 years, NASCAR has presented the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award represents the philanthropic ideals and vision of The Foundation’s founder and original chairperson.

This year the NASCAR Foundation selected a life long NASCAR fan and daughter of a racing mechanic to receive the award on its 10th anniversary.

Charlene Greer was chosen from four finalist to receive the honour. Greer has been a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties where she volunteers some 120 hours each month. Along with Greer receiving the award, the Foundation is donating $100,000 to the organization which will be used to aid in transporting the more than 1,400 children the Boys and Girls Club serves to the eight facilitates in the two counties.

Green spoke on receiving the award saying, “being a finalist for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award has been overwhelmingly humbling. I cannot thank The NASCAR Foundation enough for giving us the platform to talk about the life-changing works that our staff and volunteers at The Boys and Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties facilitates every day. Being able to represent the incredible team of people that stand beside me serving the mission and the passion for our kids has been an honor. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!”


Like NASCAR, Greer calls Daytona Beach home and grew up at the track, watching races and her father working on the cars. She has seen “Awesome Bill form Dawsonville” win the race that earned him a million dollars at Darlington in 1985.


With a live group ceremony not possible, the NASCAR Foundation chose to honour each of the finalists in a separate local ceremony. The other three finalists were Daryl Farler with the Amputee Blade Runners, Larry Jordan with the Angel Fight Soars, Inc., and Rich Langley with the Rock Solid Foundation. The Foundation made a $25,000 donation to each of the non winning finalists charity organizations.

Chairman of The NASCAR Foundation Mike Helton spoke on the ceremonies saying, “this year’s finalists are all stand outs. Their NASCAR spirit is behind the incredible work they do to improve the lives of children in our communities each and every day. What a year this has been and our fans rallied around this award like never before. We are very proud of all the finalists and particularly proud to present the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to Charlene Greer, a very deserving recipient, to honor the work she’s doing in NASCAR’s hometown of Daytona Beach.”

MLB Releases Gold Glove Winners & Award Finalists

Now that the 2020 Major League Baseball season has concluded with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the World Series, MLB has turned to presenting the annual awards.

On November 3, the MLB presented the Gold Glove Awards to players who have shown outstanding prowess on the field in their defensive play.


In his final year in the league, left fielder for the Kansas City Royals Alex Gordon has earned his eighth Gold Glove and fourth in a row.

Catcher for the Cleveland Indians Roberto Perez; along with Gordon, were the only players in the American League to repeat as winners.

First time Americal League Gold Glove winners are:
Cleveland Indians second baseman Cesar Hernandez
Seattle Mariners first baseman Evan White
Seattle Mariners shortstop JP Crawford
Texas Rangers third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Texas Rangers right fielder Joey Gallo
Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning.

In the National League…
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo
St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong
Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado
St Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill
San Diego Padres center fielder Trent Grisham
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart
Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried


The finalists for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Manager of the Year awards have also been revealed. Winners of these awards are decidedby the Baseball Writhers Association of America.

In the Most Valuable Player category the finalists are Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, and Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres from the National League. The American League finalists are Jose Abreu of the ChicagoWhite Sox, DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees, and Jose Ramierz of the Cleveland Indians.

In the battle for the Cy Young Award for the best pitcher, the finalists are Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians, Kenta Maeda of the Minnisota Twins, and Hyun Jin Ryu of the Toronto Blue Jays. The National League finalists are Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds, Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs, and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

Finalists for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award are Alec Bohm of the Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Cronenworth of the San Diego Padres, and Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League and Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros, Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners, and Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox.

The Manager of the Year Award finalists are KevinCash of the Tampa Bay Rays, Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Rick Renteria of the Chicago White Sox in the American League. The National League Manager of the Year finalists are Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins, David Ross of the Chicago Cubs, and Jayce Tingler of the San Diego Padres.

NFL Expands Safety Protocols

This has been a very challenging year for us all, but the National Football League has especially had some serious challenges while they attempt to put on as normal a season as possible.

Bubbles, masks, and social distancing have not been completely successful when it comes to keeping the Covid-19 virus at bay. Several times this season teams have had to cancel practices and even postpone games due to positive test results.

Not a week goes by that there are not reports of more players testing positive for the Covid-19 virus and are ineligible to play. To date, there have been over 130 players and personnel who have tested positive for the virus.

As a result the NFL has decided to expand the sidelines to aid teams when it comes to social distancing players, coaches, and sideline staff. The teams may now use the area between the 20 yard lines – that gives them 60 yards of space to aid in social distancing.

Mask wearing on the sideline…especially among the head coaches…has been an issue this season as well. The league has mandated that must wear masks before and after games; as well as, during halftime. While the players are not mandated to mask up; the league is “strongly encouraging” them to wear a mask when not on the field of play.


NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Stills said, “what we are trying to convey is masks can prevent you from becoming a high-risk contact, which is our goal, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to wear a mask for their protection and again to reduce exposure. We believe that the mask use whether it’s in the locker room, on the sideline, it just reduces your chance of becoming a high-risk contact should someone turn positive.” He added, “we’re trying to double down on high-risk, close contacts during game day so we’re asking our clubs to have their players wear masks on the sideline, in the locker room and we’re mandating it for the post-game interactions that might occur between teams because we think these are all vulnerable areas where we see contact occurring that could be high-risk contact.”

Recording Academy Makes Category Change

A number of years ago, the Recording Academy made some major changes in how they listed the categories in the Grammy Awards and dropped the list from 110 to 79 categories. After some controversy surrounding the new listings, the Academy made some more changes and added five more for a total of 84.

In recent months The Academy has been seeking to give more modern and inclusive names to some of its categories in the urban music genre.

The Recording Academy is once again making some changes but this time it isn’t to add or subtract categories; but to rename one of them to create a more inclusive environment for the music.

What has been known as the category for Best World Music Album will now be known as the Best Global Album. The Recording Academy noted that the change would reflect “a more relevant, modern, and inclusive term”. Adding that the name, “symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk and ‘non-American’ that the former term embodied. As we continue to embrace a truly global mindset, we update our language to reflect a more appropriate categorization that seeks to engage and celebrate the current scope of music from around the world.”

Previous winners in the World/Global music category include Angelique Kidjo, the Soweto Gospel Choir, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Drake Makes Chart History…Again

Canadian R&B and Hip-Hop artist Drake has just earned his 21st chart topping single on the SongsChart..and set a new record in the process.

When Drake’s song with Lil Durk “Laugh Now Cry Later” topped the songs chart, he beat out a record previously held by Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin – who each had 20.

On 12 of those 21 hits, Drake was either a solo artist or in the leading role of a collaboration. In the remaining nine, Drake has paired up with numerous artists including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, JamieFoxx, and Trey Songz.

Throughout his career, Drake has been breaking chart records; earlier this year, he set a record for the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart – a chart that features all genres.

NASCAR Issues Martinsville Penalties…and Not

Over the past weekend at Martinsville Speedway, several teams had issues with lug nuts and loose tires during the race. During the post race inspection process two teams – one Cup and one Xfinity – were found to have an improperly secured lug nut and was fined by NASCAR for the infraction.

In the NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Adam Stevens for the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 car driven by Kyle Busch was fined $10,000.

In the Xfinity Series crew chief Jason Burdett for the JR Motorsports number seven car driven by Justin Allgaier was fined $5,000.


There were also some issues during the race under review by NASCAR…

During the race, eventual race winner Chase Elliott made a pit stop that could have spelled potential disaster for the young driver when his jack man came over the wall too soon for a pit stop but the crew members “reset” himself and went back on the wall before coming back to jack up the car. NASCAR determined that there would be no penalty issued since the jack man jumped back on the wall.


However, there are two other issues under review from the Cup series race.

On the final lap of the race, needing just one point to make it into the final four, Kevin Harvick hit and spun out Kyle Busch in order to move up one spot to make it to the championship round.

Harvick spoke on his actions saying, “it was just a move I had to try knowing that I needed one point. I needed to hit (Busch) square in the door, but at that point I was too late and wound up hitting him in the back. It was just a Hail Mary that didn’t work out.”


Erik Jones, driver of the number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car was reportedly told not to pass team mate Denny Hamlin who was also racing for a spot in the final four.

After reviewing the situation, NASCAR has decided not to issue any penalties to the number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team. Denny Hamlin finished the race in eleventh place with Erik Jones coming in twelfth. Jones will not be returning to JGR next season.

JGR director of competition Wally Brown noted that had Jones tried to make a pass on Hamlin, Hamlin and Jones would more than likely gotten into a wreck taking both drivers out of the race. Brown also said that there were no team orders issued; they don’t race that way.

Blind Auditions Conclude on ‘The Voice’

It’s the final night of the blind auditions on “The Voice”. The coaches will fill their teams of 10 singers.

Blake, Gwen, and Kelly all have eight singers on their teams; while John has seven artists.

First up is Julia Cooper who has been singing since she was five years old. It didn’t take long for John to turn his chair; Gwen and Kelly quickly joined him in turning their chairs. Noting that he is also from Ohio, John said that he feels that they were meant to be together; adding that she had a super cool tone. Kelly said that she is a big fan of Julia’s voice; adding that she doesn’t sound like anybody else. Gwen noted that she knows how to connect with people through her story. Julia chose John to be her coach.

Saying music is life, Apropos has been around music all of his life. He had Sir Elton John introduce his song on a radio program. He chose “I Heard it Through the Grapvine” for his audition but failed to turn any chairs. John liked his tone but felt he didn’t show off his range. Blake and Gwen told him that he has to come back.

John Sullivan grew up playing the piano but waited until he outgrew baseball before turning to music. Playing the guitar, John sang “Operator” by Jim Croce for his audition and got Blake to turn his chair. Gwen also turned her chair. John said that they were all impressed with his tone. Blake loved the song choice; adding that he had perfect pitch and was a storyteller. Gwen said that he had an honest voice. John chose Blake to be his coach.

Fifteen year old Skylar Alivia Mayton got Kelly’s attention early for a one chair turn. Skylar was hpoing that Kelly would be her coach. Kelly said that she was stoked to learn that Skylar was that young and that talented.

John and Gwen were quick to turn their chairs for Lain Roy. Lain said that he was freaking out. Gwen said that Lain was a really good singer. Lain noted that his mother was a touring singer; adding that he sang a John Legengd song in 10th grade. Saying that she has been doing this (music) for so long, Gwen feels that she has something to offer. Blake said that Gwen is good at selling a ton of albums. Lain chose Gwen to be his coach.

Jared Ming calls Hawaii home where he tended bar and performed Country music but failed to turn any chairs. Gwen noted that he has a great range but was pitchy. John noted that he has a voice for the radio. Blake noted that Jared sounds more like a Country crooner. John told Jared he should come back.

For the first time on “The Voice” the female trio Worth the Wait – a mom and daughter group – comes to the show. It only took three notes for Bwen to turn her chair; Blake, John, and Kelly quickly followed for a four chair turn. Gwen was shocked when she turned around and saw three of them. Kelly loved the harmonies. Blake thought it was the perfect name, noting that he has one spot on his team…and he was waiting. Blake said that he would be proud to have them on his team. John noted that he isn’t an expert on Country, but he does know about harmony and working with family. The group chose Blake to be their coach.

Blake becomes the first coach to fill his team.

Emmalee said that she always knew she wanted to be a singer. She had one of her songs appear on “The Young and the Restless”. She chose a stripped down version of the Whitney Houston song “How Will I Know” for her audition and had John and Kelly turning their chairs after only a few notes. Blake said that it was a really cool version of the song. John said that Emmalee executed the song beautifully. Gwen said that she had never heard the song done that way before. Kelly also thought that Emmalee has a beautiful tone; adding that she has air for days. Emmalee chose Kelly to be her coach.

Kelly’s team is now full.

Bailey Rae has been clogging since she was five and singing in the church since she was seven and has been performing every since…including one of Blake Shelton’s venues. John didn’t wait long to turn his chair and finally got himself a Country music singer. Blake made his pitch to steal Bailey during the battle rounds. John noted that music is universal.

Labour delivery nurse Neci loves what she does but singing is something she wants to do. She sang “God Bless the Child” for her audition but failed to turn any chairs. Blake noted that Neci is a gifted singer; John agreed but heard some pitch issues. Gwen noted that she was very close to turning her chair.

Tori Miller was raised on classic Country and grew up on the stage performing those songs. Singing “When You Say Nothing at All”, Tori got Gwen to turn her chair. Now Gwen also has a Country singer on her team. Gwen said that she loves Tori’s voice.

Gwen’s team is now filled.

In the final audition, John finds his perfect person in drummer James Pyle. After performing only three times in public, James wows John with his performance. Kelly said that she wanted to push her button; adding that James is super fantastic. Gwen said that James’ voice is unreal; adding that he is one of the best singers she’s heard. Gwen said that if James is available for a steal, she will do it. John called it a masterful performance. Blake called James an incredible singer.

And with that John fills his team and the blind auditions are over.

Next week the Battle Rounds begin…

Team Legend:
Tamara Jade
John Holiday
Cami Clune
Sid Kingsley
Rio Souma
Casme
Olivia Reyes
Julia Cooper
Bailey Rae
James Pyle

Team Gwen:
Lauren Frihauf
Payge Turner
Liam St. John
Chloe Hogan
Ryan Berg
Carter Rubin
Larriah Jackson
Van Andrew
Lain Roy
Tori Miller

Team Kelly:
Joseph Soul
Eli Zamora
Marisa Corvo
Madeline Consoer
Ryan Gallagher
Kelsie Watts
Deszi
Tanner Gomes
Skylar Alivia Mayton
Emmalee

Team Blake:
Ian Flanigan
Jim Ranger
Taryn Papa
Aaron Scott
Jus Jon
Ben Allen
Sam Stacey
Payton Lamar
John Sullivan
Worth the Wait

And Then There Were 7 on DWTS

With the season already over halfway complete, nine couples remain and will face a doulbe elimination this week.

After narrowly avoiding elimination last week, Jeannie Mai announced that due to health issues, she is withdrawing from the competition. With that announcement, eight couple remain and only one couple will be eliminated this week.

And for the first time this season, the couples will have to perform two dances.

Kaitlyn and Artem get the night of dancing off with a Jive to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. Derek noted again that they always so much content in their dances; adding that Kaitlyn is amazing. Bruno said that Kaitlyn has what it takes but wants more passion and attack in her performances. Carrie Ann said that Kaitlyn came back with grace; adding that it was one of her better dances. Kaitlyn and Artem scored 25 points for their dance.

Nev and Jenna follows up the first perfect score of the season with a Viennese Waltz to the music of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Bruno said that he could see the confidence; adding that he was oozing charm and charisma. Bruno said that Nev was very musical. Carrie Ann said that the dance was beautiful and elegant. Derek said that Nev danced a beautiful and smooth Viennese Waltz. Nev and Jenna scored 27 points for their dance.

Justina and Sasha dance a Samba and Justina dedicates it to Rita Moreno – the person who got her interested in performing. Carrie Ann said that Justina is so fierce; adding that she makes them feel good when she dances. Derek loved the dance; adding that she is so fun to watch. Bruno said that he loves watching Justina; adding that she makes every hour look like happy hour. He noted that all the content needed for a Samba was there. Justina and Sasha scored 27 points for their dance.

Nelly and Daniella dance a Rumba to one of his sister’s favourite songs. His sister Jackie died in 2005 as a result of leukemia. Derek appreciated Nelly sharing his story. Bruno said that in the Rumba the man is the frame for the lady…and Nelly did that. Carrie Ann said that she is proud of Nelly for how far he has come; adding that she wants more from him. Nelly and Daniella scored 21 points for their dance.

Chrishell and Gleb dance a Viennese Waltz to “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. Carrie Ann called the dance graceful and sexy. Derek said that he can see Chrishell improving each week. Bruno said that Chrishell had some very good moments in the dance. Chrishell and Gleb scored 24 points for their dance.

Skai and Alan dance a Salsa to the music of Missy Elliott. Carrie Ann noted that Skai was really aggressive with the dance. Derek noted that Skai was more grounded in this dance. Bruno was screaming during the dance with all of the lifts. Skai and Alan scored 25 points for their dance.

Johnny and Britt dance a Foxtrot to the music of Shawn Mendes. Derek said that Shawn Medes would be proud; adding that he had a great frame. Bruno said that Johnny had a wonderful sweeping movement that covered the stage. Carrie Ann said that Johnny dances with so much artistry. Johnny and Britt scored 27 points for their dance.

From her hospital bed, Jeannie spoke on why she had to leave the show. She had to have emergency surgery for an infected abscess in her throat.

Closing out round one of the dances, AJ and Cheryl dance a Rumba. Bruno said that he was so captivated by the dance; adding that there wasn’t much Rumba content. Agreeing with Bruno, Carrie Ann said that the dance moved them but didn’t have enough content or hip action. Derek appreciated AJ’s story; adding that this was a dance for himself. AJ and Cheryl scored 24 points for their dance.

Round one dances:
Nelly and Daniella – 21
Chrishell and Gleb – 24
AJ and Cheryl – 24
Kaitlyn and Artem – 25
Skai and Alan – 25
Nev and Jenna – 27
Justina and Sasha – 27
Johnny and Britt – 27

For their second dance of the night, the couples will perform a relay dance. Divided into three groups and will dance in a relay for bonus points.

Carrie Ann judges a Cha Cha between Nev and Jenna, Chrishell and Gleb, and Nelly and Daniella. Carrie Ann called the performance fun; saying that Neve started off a little weak, Chrishell and Gleb had more content, and Nelly had the most improvement.

Carrie Ann awarded…
Nev and Jenna – 3 points
Chrishell and Gleb – 2 points
Nelly and Daniella – 2 points

The points will be added to their first round scores.

Next up Derek will judge Justina and Sasha and Johnny and Britt dancing a Viennese Waltz. Jeannie and Brandon were also supposed to be in this group. Derek sent wishes for a speedy recovery to Jeannie, Justina and Sasha performed a beautiful Viennese Waltz but he wanted a little more energy; Johnny and Britt were phenomenal.

Derek awarded two points to Justina and Sasha and three points to Johnny and Britt.

Last up, Bruno will judge AJ and Cheryl, Kaitlyn and Artem, and Skai and Alan in a Samba. Bruno was in a party mood. AJ got into the feel of the dance and was very rhythmical, Kaitlyn was well placed and sexy, Skair and Alan were much improved.

Bruno awarded…
three points to AJ and Cheryl
three points to Kaitlyn and Artem
and two points to Skai and Alan


Total scores:
Nelly and Daniella – 21 + 2 = 23
Chrishell and Gleb – 24 + 2 = 24
AJ and Cheryl – 24 + 3 = 27
Skai and Alan – 25 + 2 = 27
Kaitlyn and Artem – 25 + 3 = 28
Justina and Sasha – 27 +2 = 29
Nev and Jenna – 27 + 3 = 30
Johnny and Britt – 27 + 3 = 30

After all of the votes and scores have been tabulated…
Nelly and Daniella
Justina and Sasha
AJ and Cheryl
Kaitlyn and Artem
Johnny and Britt
and Nev and Jenna
are all safe for another week.

Skai and Alan and Chrishell and Gleb are in the bottom two and in danger of going home.

Carrie Ann chose to save Skai and Alan
Bruno chose to save Skai and Alan
Derek chose to save Skai and Alan

Chrishell and Gleb have been eliminated form the competition.

Next week the remaining seven couples will dance to music by some of the biggest icons in music.

Nashville Songwriters HOF Names New Members

On November 2, 2020 the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame announced the newest class of inductees to the Hall of Fame.

Due to the ongoing issues with the Covid-19 virus, the annual induction ceremonies have been put on hold until next year; along with the 2021 class and join the 219 inducted Hall of Famers. Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham were chosen from a list of 12 nominees.

For the past 50 years the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has been paying tribute to the artists and songwriters who create the music.

The chairperson for the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame spoke on the event saying, “this year marks our 50th year to welcome a new class into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. And although our year has looked different, we couldn’t be more excited to continue our commitment and core mission by announcing the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2020.”

Kentucky native Kent Blazy has been penning songs for Nashville artists since 1982. His music has had his music recorded by numerous artists including Gary Morris, The Forester Sisters, T. Graham Brown, Donna Fargo, Moe Bandy, Danny Gokey, Chris Young, and gave Garth Brooks his first number one single – “If Tomorrow Never Comes”.

Oklahoma City native Brett James traded his stethoscope in for a guitar. James first performed his own music and then began writing songs for other artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Rodney Atkins, Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert, Paulina Rubio, and Carrie Underwood where he earned several awards including a Grammy Award for “Jesus Take the Wheel”. James is a two time ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year award winner.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Dewey Lindon “Spooner” Oldham began as a session keyboard player in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After relocating to Memphis, Tennessee Oldham paired up with Dan Penn and began creating R&B hits. Their music has been recorded by James and Bobby Purify, Percy Sledge, The Box Tops, The Sweet Inspirations, Jimmy Hughes, Solomon Burke, and Laura Lee. As a solo songwriter Spooner composed music for Bob Luman, Steve Wariner, and Freddy Weller. As a musician, he played keyboards for numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Dickey Betts.

Steve Earle has been inducted as an artist songwriter. His resume as a performer include sharing the stage with Guy Clark and his own band The Dukes. Johnny Lee, Patty Loveless, T. Graham Brown, Joe Nichols, The Grascals, Noclette Larson, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, and Miranda have all recorded his songs.

The veteran artist and songwriter Roberta Lee Streeter, better known as Bobbie Gentry, composed her first song at age seven on grandparents farm. She also taught herself how to play several instruments. But it wasn’t until she was in college at UCLA that she began performing. It was the flip side to her debut single “Mississippi Delta” that launched her into stardom with the song “Ode to Billie Joe”. “Fancy” “Mornin’ Glory”, and “But I Can’t Get Back” were all written by and became hits for Gentry,

photo credits: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Facebook page

Final Four Set After Wild Ride in Martinsville for Cup Series

The NASCAR Cup Series caps off a tripleheader weekend at Martinsville Speedway with the Xfinity 500. This is the final race before the race for the championship where the final four will be determined.

The smallest track on the circuit at just half a mile, Martinsville gives out a big prize – a real grandfather clock.

Brad Keselowski will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag with Martin Truex Jr alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Xfinity 500:
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Christopher Bell
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Austin Dillon
Cole Custer
Clint Bowyer
Tyler Reddick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik Jones
Aric Almirola
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
John Hunter Nemechek
Michael McDowell
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Jimmie Johnson
Chris Buescher
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Matt Kenseth
Bubba Wallace
Josh Bilicki
Timmy Hill
James Davison
JJ Yeley
Joey Gase

Of the eight playoff drivers Joey Logano is the only one guaranteed of a spot in the final four after a win at Kansas; Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski are currently above the cut line but Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch are below the cut line. Truex and Busch are in a must win situation if they want to be a part of the final four.

On pit road, Denny Hamlin’s team found something that they didn’t like in a travel packer. If they remove the packer before race start, they will have to start the race from the back of the field. The team decided to hold off until the first pit stop.

Stages one and two of the race are 130 laps each with stage three lasting 240 laps for a total of 500 laps around the half mile track.
Drivers can run between 145 and 150 laps.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 60.

Martin Truex Jr has won the last two races in Martinsville and they even have the exact same pit stall on pit road.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front of Martin Truex Jr for the lead.

Lap two, Brad Keselowski leads the race with Martin Truex Jr in second and Alex Bowman in third.

Lap four Martin Truex Jr passes Brad Keselowski for the lead. Denny Hamlin takes second.

Lap six, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin with Kurt Busch in third.

Brad Keselowski already has some damage to his car after contact on the track.

Lap 10, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman.

Michael McDowell has a heavily smoking car with a tire rub. On the outside lane, McDowell is having trouble getting down to get on pit road. He makes it to pit road and the track stays green.

Lap 16, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly a second on Denny Hamlin; Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 24, Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin over a second back with Kurt Busch in third place.

After making an unscheduled pit stop, Michael McDowell is five laps down in 39th place.

Running in fifth place, Chase Elliott is running some of the fastest laps on the track. Lap 30, he takes fourth from Brad Keselowski.

Lap 32, Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to a second ad a half on Denny Hamlin with Kurt Busch in third.

Lap 34, there are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 35, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski.

Kurt Busch has caught up to Denny Hamlin and is challenging for second. Busch is currently eighth in the playoffs and must win the race if he wants to be a part of the final four.

Lap 47, Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin in second. Chase Elliott has gotten around Kurt Busch to take third.

Lap 49, there are 29 cars on the lead lap with all 39 cars on the track.

Lap 51, Chase Elliott has caught up to Denny Hamlin and takes second place.

Lap 58, Martin Truex Jr has encountered lapped traffic with Chase Elliott on his bumper.

At the end of stage one, NASCAR puts out the yellow flag for the competition caution. Ty Dillon is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Martin Truex Jr winning the race off of pit road with Chase Elliott in second. Denny Hamlin’s team removed the travel packer during his pit stop.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Chase Elliott on the outside. Truex jumps out in front for the lead.

Joey Logano battle Chase Elliott for second; while Denny Hamlin and Alex Bowman batt for fifth.

Lap 71, Martin Treux Jr leads the race with Chase Elliott in second and Joey Logano in third; Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 73 for a wreck involving Austin Dillon and Clint Bowyer.

Kevin Harvick reports that his car is “bad, bad, bad”. The regular season champion is in danger of being eliminated from the final four just six points above the cut line in third place.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 80 and gets out in front of Chase Elliott to hold on to the lead of the race.

Lap 81, Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Chase Elliott in second and Joey Loganao in third.

Lap 84, Martin Truex Jr has a near half second lead on Chase Elliott; Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 87, Chase Elliott has closed the gap on leader Martin Truex Jr to just a tenth of a second and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 89, Chase Elliott is the new leader.

Lap 90, the top five are Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski. There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

With the change in the race leader, so do the points in the playoffs. Chase Elliott is now in second place with Martin Truex Jr falling below the cut line. Kevin Harvick is in fourth just five point above the cut line.

Lap 95, the top five are Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap 102, Chase Ellitt has a quarter of a second lead on Martin Truex Jr, with Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.

The caution flag comes out when Garrett Smithley gets stopped on the track. Daniel Suarez is the “lucky dog”.

Leaders stay out but several of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and adjustments. Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 110 and gets out in front for the lead. Drivers are gettting three and four wide across the track.

Lap 111, Martin Truex Jr challenges Chase Elliott for the lead as Denny Hamlin moves up and takes second place.

Lap 113, on fresh tires, Denny Hamlin passes Chase Elliott for the lead…and shakes up the points once again.

Lap 115, Joey Gase gets turned around on the track and brings out the fourth caution flag. Quin Houff gets into Gase and turns his around.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 121 and gets out in front for the lead with Chase Elliott in second.

With just eight laps remaining in stage one, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr.

Joey Logano and Martin Treux Jr battle for position on the track and make contact but the track stays green.

With Denny Hamlin in the lead, he is in second place in the playoffs; Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are above the cut line; while Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch are below the cut line.

Three laps to go in stage one, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Alex Bowman; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin wins stage one for his eleventh stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Denny Hamlin
Alex Bowman
Brad Keselowski
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Kurt Busch
Jimmie Johnson

Kevin Harvick was the only playoff driver not to earn points by finishing stage one in the top 10.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane after staying out on the track with brother Kurt alongside on the outside on lap 140. The brothers go door to door in a battle for the lead with big brother Kurt getting around Kyle for the lead on lap 143.

Lap 145, Kurt Busch leads the race with Kyle Busch in second and Chase Elliott in third.

The sixth caution flag of the race comes out after Chris Buescher makes contact with Daniel Suarez which results in throwing liquid all over the place and flames coming out from under the car.

Kevin Harvick reports continues handling issues with his car.

With Kurt Busch leading the race, Kevin Harvick is now below the cut line in the playoffs. Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski are currently above the cut line; while Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Martin Truex Jr are below the cut line.

With a lot of fluid on the track, it is taking a while to get the track cleaned up. NBC Sports broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr noted that there was so much speedy dry on the track that it looked like a beach.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with brother Kyle behind him and Chase Elliott on the outside lane on lap 159. Kurt Busch gets out in front for the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin takes third from Kyle Busch.

Chase Elliott challenges Kurt Busch for the lead and takes the lead on lap 163 with Denny Hamlin taking second.

Lap 165, Chase Elliott has pulled out toa lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Aric Almirola challenges Kyle Busch for fourth.

Lap 169, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Martin Treux Jr round out the top five.

Lap 174, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logao round out the top five.

Lap 183, Kevin Harvick had to make an unscheduled pit stop with a flat tire after contact with Matt Kenseth and is now two laps down. He is currently in fifth place below the cut line.

The caution flag comes out on lap 186 when Brennan Poole gets into the wall.

Leaders come down pit road for service. Kevin Harvick takes the wave around and is now only one lap down. Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road.

Erik Jones is charged with leaving pit road with equipment and will have to serve a penalty.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 193 with Martin Truex Jr on the outside.

Lap 193, Chase Elliott takes the lead; Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 195, Kenny Hamlin takes second from Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 196, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 200, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race and has pulled out to a one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick battles John Hunter Nemechek for the “lucky dog” position.

Lap 205, Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 210, Kevin Harvick is currently 15 points below the cut line and in danger of being eliminated.

Lap 212, Chase Elliott has a near two second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out when John Hunter Nemechek spins out. Chase Elliott had passed Timmy Hill which made him the driver in the “lucky dog” spot; Kevin Harvick is still one lap down.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service but many stayed out on the track.

After staying out on the track, Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart with Joey Logano alongside on lap 222. Hamlin takes the lead. With Joey Logano in second and Ryan Blaney in third. There are 30 cars on the lead lap.

With the top four playoff drivers back in the field, Kevin Harvick has edges back above the cut line.

Lap 226, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney with Brad Keselowski in third.

After restarting in 14th place, Chase Elliott has moved up to fifth place on lap 229.

Lap 231, Denny Hamlin has a near half second lead on Ryan Blaney with Chase Elliott in third place. Kevin Harvick is currently in 31st place; one point below the cut line.

Lap 235, Brennan Poole, Chris Buescher, and Garrett Smithley are out of the race.

Lap 236, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney in second; but Chase Elliott with fresh tires is coming on hard.

Lap 238, Denny Hamlin has just a quarter of a second lead on Chase Elliott; Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, and Bread Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 240, Chase Elliott takes the lead.

Lap 247, Chase Elliott has taken the lead and is pulling away from the field; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 250, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Denny Hamlin with Martin Treux Jr in third place.

Lap 252, Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin battle for second with Truex taking the spotLap 255, five to go in stage two, Chase Elliott has a two and a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Chase Elliott wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chase Elliott
Martin Treux Jr
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Ryan Newman

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road and Martin Truex Jr coming out second.

Denny Hamlin lost eight spots on the track after a slow pit stop and has to make a second trip down pit road for loose lug nuts.

Chase Ellitt brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 268 with Martin Truex Jr alongside. Chase Elliott gets out in front for the lead with Truex in second and Kurt Busch in third.

The playoff points as they sit now, Chase Elliott is the leader; Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are above the cut line; while Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch are below the cut line.

Lap 274, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr with Kurt Busch in third; Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 280, Chase Elliott has a near one second lead on Martin Truex Jr with Joey Logano in third.

Lap 285, Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 300, Chase Elliott holds on to his lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch round out the top five with 28 cars on the lead lap.

With 200 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are beginning to get more aggressive; beating and banging for position all through the field.

The teams were given only eight sets of tires for today’s race.

Lap 308, leader Chase Elliott has led over half the laps run so far.

Lap 310, Chae Elliott’s lead on Martin Treux Jr is down to just half a second with Ryan Blaney in third; Joey Logano and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 311, in traffic, Martin Truex Jr has caught up to leader Chase Elliott and is challenging for the spot. Elliott and Truex are both in a must win situation in order to make it into the final four.

Lap 315, Chase Elliott has a quarter of a second lead on Martin Truex Jr with 26 cars on the lead lap.

With the change in time, the sun is already low in the sky and the track is cooling down. The race will end under the lights.

Lap 319, Chase Elliott holds on to the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second and Ryan Blaney in third.

Jimmie Johnson makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a flat tire.

Lap 329, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch round out the top five. Kevin Harvick is in 29th place one lap down and in danger of going a second lap down. There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 333, Chase Elliott has pulled ut to a lead of nearly a seocnd on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 338, Chase Ellitt now has a lead of a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Kurt Busch round out the top five in the midst of slower traffic.

Lap 344, Chase Elliott continues to move through the field with a lead of over a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr with 21 cars on the lead lap. Kevin Harvick is in 28th place the last car one lap down.

Lap 350, Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr.

Timmy Hill brings out the 10th caution flag of the day on lap 352 for a flat tire. Matt Kenseth is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Joey Logano winning the race off of pit road. Chase Elliott had a slow pit stop and lost four spots on the track. His crew was charged with coming over the pit wall too soon. After the team argued the penalty, NASCAR waved the penalty. The jack man jumped too soon but cmae back over the wall.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 359 with Ryan Blaney in second and Martin Truex Jr in third.

Lap 361, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly haof a second on Ryan Blaney with Kurt busch in third. The change in leadership put Kevin Harvick back above the cut line by five points.

Lap 366, Chase Elliott passes Kurt Busch for third while team mates Joey Logano and Rayn Blaney battle for the lead.

There are only 17 cars on the lead lap.

With 133 laps to go, Ryan Blaney takes the lead from Joey Logano with Chase Elliott less than a second back.

Lap 374, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano with Chse Elliot over a second back in third; Brad Keselowski and Kurt Burch round out the top five.

Martin Truex J takes fifth from Kurt Busch.

Lap 378, Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace battle for the “lucky dog” spot.

Lap 380, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano with Chase Elliott over a second back on third.

Lap 389, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano with Chase Elliott in third over two seconds back. Kevin Harvick is in 22nd place one lap down – he is in the “lucky dog” spot. If the caution flag comes out, Harvick will be back on the lead lap.

Lap 395, Ryan Blaney has a second and a half lead on Joey Logano. Chase Elliot and Brad Keselowski battle for third.

James Davison is slowed on the track and stops with no power bringing out the eleventh caution flag of the race on lap 400. Kevin Harvick is back on the lead lap.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service with Joey Logano winning the race off of pit road. Chase Elliott was not in the top 10 after having a slow pit stop for itres.

Brad Keselowski was caught speeding on pit road leaving his pit stall.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 409 with Martin Truex Jr on the outside lane. Martin Treux Jr takes the lead.

Kevin Harvick restarts the race in 21st place with Brad Keselowski behind him.

Lap 411, Martin Truex Jr has the lead with Joey Logano in second; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 416, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five. Chase Elliott is in sixth place.

Lap 421, Martin Truex Jr has a lead over nearly a second and a half on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, and Chase Elliott round out the top five. Kevin Harvick has moved up to 19th place.

Lap 425, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over a second on Ryan Blaney mired in traffic; Joey Logano, Chse Elliott, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Lap 434, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 438, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of a second and a half on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

William Byron brings out the 12th caution of the race with a big crash into the wall. He has fluid running out of the car. William Byron is out of his car unharmed.

Drivers come down pit road for service. Most of the teams have just one set of tires remaining in the pits. Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road; Chase Elliott comes out third.

After staying out on the track, Corey LaJoie brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with 51 laps remaining in the race. LaJoie gets out in front but Truex comes from the outside to take the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Corey LaJoie has been black flagged for restarting before the restart box.

With 46 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott battle Martin Treux Jr for the lead. With 44 laps to go, Chase Elliott takes the lead.

Lap 460, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr who is reporting a bad vibration.

There are 38 laps remaining in the race, Chase elliott has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Only 35 laps to go, drivers are no longer holding their patience, it’s time to go!

Lap 467, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr reports that he has a loose wheel but is trying to hold on a long as possible.

With 29 laps to go, Chase Elliott has a three second lead on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Twenty six to go, Martin Truex Jr has fallen out of the top 10 and brings his car down pit road.

There are only 25 laps to go, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to over four seconds on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Chase Elliott has a lead of over four seconds on Ryan Blaney with 21 cars on the lead lap.

With 18 laps to go, Chase Elliott has led 217 laps so far; he has a lead of over four and a half seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Fifteen to go, Chase Elliott is “driving it like he stole it” and has a five second lead on Ryan Blaney.

Twelve to go, Chase Elliott continues to increase his lead on Ryan Blaney; he is now five and a half seconds out in front.

Ten to go, Chase Elliott has a five and a half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Seven to go, Chase Elliott now has a six second lead on Ryan Blaney!


Six to go, There are 19 cars on the lead lap with Chase Elliott six seconds out in front.

Five to go, while Chase Elliott is running away from the field, there isa three way tie for the final spot in the final four between Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick.

With a lead of over six seconds, Chase Elliott takes the white flag with 17 cars on the lead lap.

Time to ring the sireeeeen! Chase Elliott wins the race and a spot in the final four. Kevin Harvick spins out Kyle Busch on the final lap and spins himself out as well and is out of the final four. This was Elliott’s fourth win of the season.

Chase Elliott does a burtn out that completely buries the car in smoke. This is Elliott’s first trip to the final four…in any series.

Elliott calls it the biggest win ever for them. There are cheers from the crowd and his crew. He called the win unbelievable and was at a loss for words.

With a race win Joey Logano and Chae Elliott make it to the final four with Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin earning their way in on points.

The unofficial results of the Xfinity 500:
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Alex Bowman
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Kyle Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Cole Custer
Matt Kenseth
Christopher Bell
Ty Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Martin Truex Jr
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Corey LaJoie
John Hunter Nemechek
Daniel Suarez
Michael McDowell
Timmy Hill
Jimmie Johnson
JJ Yeley
Josh Bilicki
Quin Houff
Joey Gase
William Byron
James Davison
Brennan Poole
Chris Buescher
Garrett Smithley