Entertainment behind the scenes
Its only been four years since Carrie Underwood won American Idol, but it felt like a long-overdue coronation when she was named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old superstar beati out Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and George Strait, four of country music’s top-selling male artists, all of them at least a decade older, to cement her place as the biggest star of country music’s next generation.
She was also chosen top female vocalist by the academy and became only the seventh woman in 39 years to win entertainer of the year, joining such country icons as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Barbara Mandrell.
“Its indescribable,” Underwood told reporters backstage after an emotional acceptance speech in which she thanked God and her fans.
“Just for the record I do sneak in and grab the Oscars … run around with them … but she never knows I touch them,” he joked at the “G’Day USA” dinner in New York City on Friday where the director was being honoured by his homeland.
This past week, veteran Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein has kicked up a fuss in Hollywood by saying that Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is not a true Hollywood star. By Goldstein’s reckoning — and he wrote about it extensively in this past Saturday’s newspaper — Kidman’s box office appeal is not strong enough to label her a true star.
In fact, while Kidman is hounded by paparazzi around the world and regularly graces the cover of many a celebrity magazine, her movies have stumbled at box offices in recent years. The most recent example is epic “Australia,” which has taken in only $31 million in about two weeks in U.S. movie theaters.
“Can’t stop staring at her in complete awe. Feeling incredibly blessed to have been given this precious little angel. Can’t wait for you to meet her!” Kidman wrote in the email that Smith published in her column.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban peaked the curiosity of their fans when the celebrity couple named their daughter Sunday Rose following her birth on Monday. There was no explanation so it fell to Kidman’s father to explain the name – and it turns out the infant is named after Sunday Reed, an Australian patron of the arts with a tumultuous life story.
“I have read a bit about Sunday Reed and her husband John — she was a key mover and shaker in the arts around the beginning of the century,” Antony Kidman, told The Daily Telegraph of Sydney. “The name Sunday struck me as being a nice name for a woman, so my wife and I mentioned it.”
Kidman, who is seven months pregnant, is an ambassador for the U.N. Development Fund for Women and launched a Web site petition on Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York as part of a campaign to “Say No to Violence against Women.”