Chris Stapleton surprises fans at Madison Square Garden during Pink concert

ABC/Mark Levine Chris Stapleton surprised the crowd at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, showing up to sing his new duet “Love Me Anyway” during Pink’s concert.

The pop star started the intimate ballad onstage in a flood of spotlights with only a piano and a couple string players. Later, the audience erupted in applause as the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year walked on to harmonize with her.

After the song was over, Pink hugged Chris and fell to the floor in mock worship as he exited.

“One of my absolute favorite songwriters, favorite voice, and person. Chris Stapleton,” Pink wrote on Instagram following the performance. “What an absolute honor to share a stage with you my friend.”

You’ll find “Love Me Anyway” on Pink’s new Hurts 2B Human album. You can check out fan video of the Madison Square Garden performance on YouTube now.

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Jimmie Allen gives it his “Best Shot” with a magic wand in new “Make Me Want To” video

Broken BowJimmie Allen’s new video for “Make Me Want To” starts with an elderly woman giving him a magic wand to repay an act of kindness. From there, the unpredictable plot only thickens in the clip designed to show off the singer’s “quirky side.”

“I’m a huge fan of Disney, Harry Potter and The Notebook,” Jimmie tells CMT. “I wanted to create a video that showcased my love for all three.”  

Along the way, the “Best Shot” hitmaker magically changes his living situation and his wheels, and even finds love in a juice bar.

And Jimmie warns there’s more on the way.

“Enjoy Chapter 1!” he teases. “This is the first of a five-part music video collection.”

“Thanks to everyone for going on this journey with me and stay tuned for more!” he adds.

“Make Me Want To” is the second single from Jimmie’s Mercury Lane album. You can check out the new video on YouTube now.

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Check out Carrie Underwood’s mobile gym on the Cry Pretty Tour

Capitol NashvilleCarrie Underwood’s not the only one taking advantage of her tricked-out mobile gym on the Cry Pretty Tour: her husband, former hockey player Mike Fisher is using it to work out, too.

The “Southbound” singer shared a photo of the two getting their fitness on in the gym-on-wheels on Wednesday, adding the caption, “Better together!”

She also included the hashtag #StayThePath, which appears to be written on the trailer’s floor. In the picture, Carrie’s on the ground combining a plank with some arm and back work, while Mike’s standing in the background doing some dumbbell curls.

In addition to plenty of free weights, a treadmill, and an elliptical machine, the mobile gym is also trimmed in pink neon, one of the signature colors of Carrie’s Cry Pretty album and tour.

Right now, Carrie, Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June are in the middle of a run in Mike’s native Canada. They’ll play Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Friday, before heading for Winnipeg, Manitoba on Sunday.

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“This One’s for You” — and it’s about to become the biggest country record of the 21st century for Luke Combs

River House Artists/Columbia NashvilleLuke Combs is on the verge of having the most successful country album of the 21st century, according to Billboard.

So far, his debut record, This One’s for You, has spent 35 non-consecutive weeks at the pinnacle of Billboard’s Top Country Albums ranking. That means he’s tied with the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack from 2000 and Taylor Swift’s Fearless from 2008 for the most weeks at #1 since the turn of the century. One more week, and Luke can claim the title.

If you go back to the beginning of the chart in 1964, Luke, Taylor and the O Brother tunes rank fifth overall for their time at the top. Shania Twain has the most weeks at #1 on this particular tally, logging 50 weeks with 1997’s Come On Over.

Luke’s new EP, The Prequel, comes out June 7 and features his latest hit, “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”

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With “The Voice” behind him, Blake Shelton’s ready for Red Nose Day

Trae Patton/NBCNow that Blake Shelton has wrapped season 16 of The Voice, he’s ready to put on his red nose.

The “God’s Country” hitmaker will perform on NBC’s fifth annual Red Nose Day Special on Thursday, along with his fellow Voice coaches Kelly Clarkson and John LegendStingJosh Grobanand more.

Look for This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia and Chrissy MetzJulia RobertsConnie Britton, and other big names on the fundraiser that works to end childhood poverty.

You can also expect the mini-sequel to 1994’s Four Weddings and a Funeral during the two-hour show, which starts at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC. Titled One Red Nose Day and a Wedding, it features Hugh GrantAndie McDowell, and Kristin Scott Thomas from the original cast, as well as a cameo by pop superstar Sam Smith.

Kelly Clarkson will also be on a special Red Nose Day edition of Hollywood Game Night, which follows at 10 p.m. ET. Jennifer GarnerSean Hayes, and more will also join in the fun with host Jane Lynch.

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Michael Ray explores the built-in mystery of “Her World or Mine”

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Michael Ray‘s follow-up to his chart-topping “One That Got Away” is the classic country heartbreak ballad “Her World or Mine.”

“It’s been my favorite song on the album since it was a demo…” the Florida native tells ABC Radio. “I always knew that song was gonna be on the record…”

“It spoke to me,” Michael reveals. “It’s what I love about country music. It’s the real honesty of ‘we’ve all been there.’ And we’ve been on both sides of that.”

“And what I love, too, is the fans are bringing me their stories,” he adds.

In “Her World or Mine,” one of the parties from the relationship is heartbroken. But the song is written so it’s impossible to know which it is.

“The reason the song is written the way that it is,” Michael explains, “is so you can put yourself into whichever category.”

“Because a great country song, I feel like, allows you to make it your story, which makes you connect to it,” he continues, “and helps you [when you’re] going through something like that.”

Right now, Michael is going through preparations for a wedding. He’s engaged to fellow hitmaker Carly Pearce, with the two rumored to be tying the knot sometime this fall.

“Her World of Mine” is the third single from Michael’s Amos album.

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FIFA scraps plans for 48-team World Cup in 2022

artisteer/iStock(NEW YORK) — The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will now only include 32 teams after FIFA gave up its efforts to expand the field to 48 teams.

Soccer’s international governing body had been exploring the possible ways it could expand the field, either by involving neighboring countries or lowering certain FIFA requirements. A statement released Wednesday made clear that neither option was feasible on such short notice.

In order to accommodate the 16 additional matches that the expanded field would require, FIFA had explored whether a nearby nation could host those matches. An internal report had already concluded that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia would not be able to join as co-hosts unless they restored economic and travel ties with Qatar which had been severed two years ago. While Kuwait and Oman were considered viable options, the latter has said it wasn’t interested in hosting matches.

FIFA has now decided that there isn’t enough time to prepare an additional country for its games.

Two of the largest stadiums in Kuwait would have required upgrades to be used in the World Cup, and with concerns already abound over working conditions and labor rights in Qatar, such work is not considered possible.

Kuwait also has a full ban on alcohol, which could have been problematic for FIFA, which includes Budweiser as a major sponsor.

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ESPN: Michigan in talks with former star Juwan Howard to become next men’s basketball coach

Moses Kinnah/iStock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Former basketball star Juwan Howard is in talks to become the next head coach of his alma mater’s men’s basketball team, ESPN reports.

Howard, a member of the University of Michigan’s Fab Five recruiting class in 1991, helped the team reach two national championship games an an Elite Eight appearance. He played 19 seasons in the NBA and has spent the last six years as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat.

Howard interviewed for NBA coaching jobs with at least three teams this spring.

While no contract has been finalized, Howard reportedly became the frontrunner for the job after Providence College head coach Ed Cooley withdrew his name from consideration this week.

Michigan is looking to replace former head coach John Beilein, who left last week to become the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Beilein led the program to two national title games in 12 seasons as head coach.

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Star pitcher David Cone discusses new book, New York Yankees

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Former MLB pitcher David Cone was known as one of the most impassioned and intelligent players of his era. The architect of one of the greatest games ever pitched, Cone’s reputation as a pitcher has followed him into the broadcast booth, where he serves as a television analyst for Yankee games.

Cone and fellow YES Network baseball analyst Jack Curry have teamed up write a new book, Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher. In a conversation with ABC News, Cone and Curry discuss their book and offer their thoughts on the current state of the New York Yankees.
 
“Not only did he end up taking me on a pitching journey–he gets personal in this book… a lot of emotion,” Curry says, as he reflects on their decision to write the book together. “I was always fascinated by how fascinated David was with pitching… I loved his creativity on the mound.”

For Cone, he wanted “someone you really trust [to tell these stories], and Jack was that guy for me.”

He describes how both his journey through the minor leagues and his upbringing made him a better Major League pitcher, highlighting his father’s impact:

“He was tough on me, and I was headstrong and stubborn, and it did make me tougher. He’d kick me out of practice and I’d stomp off, throw a fit, and he’d have a talk with me later on. It took a while for me to realize how I was coming off… A lot of [those] insecurities I went through and anxiety I went through as a pitcher was something that was taboo to talk about, but it’s also something that drives you.”

Curry and Cone reveal exactly what Cone was thinking during the most intense moments of his professional career, as well as others of which he is not as proud.

Cone says he sees that same passion he pitched with on the current New York Yankees team, who have competed in the American League East all season despite a slew of early injuries.

“Youth energizes the fan base,” Cone says, referring to some of the Yankees young, unexpected heroes like Domingo German and Gio Urshela. “As each day goes by and they keep producing, you get more excited about it.”

Curry says the team’s success is completely shocking, and with their start, believes they should be able to compete for a postseason berth. He does concede, however, “Some of those young contributors may be sent down [to the minor leagues]” once injured stars like Aaron Judge return.

The authors say they hope Full Count teaches readers about David Cone’s approach to pitching and how the five-time World Champion pitched with passion and intensity in every start he made.

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Family member tried to extort NFL star for $5 million, court documents show

Bob Levey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A relative of NFL star Tyrann Mathieu allegedly tried to extort him for $5 million, according to federal court documents unsealed on Tuesday.

Mathieu, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs after stints with Houston and Arizona, was allegedly blackmailed over private information, with the relative saying he would send private information to gossip outlet TMZ if he wasn’t paid.

Geourvon Keinell Sears, 20, is described in the criminal complaint as “a family member and heretofore a close associate of Victim #1.”

While the victim is unnamed in the criminal complaint — only referred to as a professional athlete with the initials “TM” — Mathieu’s lawyer, Denise White of EAG Sports, confirmed to Kansas City ABC affiliate KMBC-TV that Mathieu was the victim.

White said Mathieu is dealing with a “private and personal family issue,” and offered no further comment.

Sears allegedly spoke to Mathieu on the phone in late April and demanded the NFL star deposit $1.5 million in the suspect’s bank account by the end of the week, according to the complaint. Mathieu refused and blocked Sears from being able to contact him by phone.

But a day after being blocked, the suspect allegedly contacted a friend of Mathieu and said in a text, “5 MILLION BY FRIDAY IM DONE TALKING EMAILING TMZ NOW.” He also provided his bank account information so Mathieu, or his associates, could deposit the money, according to court documents.

Sears then allegedly went as far as to send Mathieu’s friends a voice message saying, “I want 1.5 million by Friday or I am going to kill all you all.”

Mathieu told police he feared for his and his family’s safety and believed Sears was capable of violence, according to the document.

The suspect then spoke to Mathieu’s agent by telephone and said he would “injure TM’s reputation by alleging sexual misconduct” if he didn’t receive the money.

Sears was initially expected to make a first court appearance in Louisiana, where he lives, on Thursday, but his lawyer successfully petitioned for 30 more days to review evidence in the case.

He will appear in court on June 21.

Sears was released on $25,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with Mathieu or his associates, in person or via social media, cellphone or computer. He is being held on home incarceration and with a monitoring device, according to the court order.

Mathieu struggled with disciplinary issues while at Louisiana State University, but his play on the field was electric as both a freshman and sophomore. As a sophomore he was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best college player in the nation each year.

But following the 2011-12 season, the star was dismissed from the team by head coach Les Miles. While the reason was never released by the school, ESPN reported that he had failed multiple drug tests. Mathieu enrolled back in LSU that fall as only a student, but was arrested for drug possession in October 2012 and declared for the NFL draft a month later.

Mathieu was drafted in the third round due to concerns about his behavior, but quickly became one of the best safeties in the league paired with his former college teammate Patrick Peterson. He made the All-Rookie team in 2013 and was a first-team All Pro in 2015. He signed a five-year, $62 million deal following that season, but was injured in 2016 and released by Arizona in 2018.

He played one season with the Houston Texans before signing with the Chiefs this offseason for three years and $42 million.

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