Kellie & Kyle: ENGAGED!
Kellie Pickler‘s songwriter boyfriend Kyle Jacobs proposed on a Florida beach June 15. The couple talked wedding plans with PEOPLE Country:
Wedding planning-fun or stressful?
Kellie: If it gets too stressful, I’m going to be like, “Let’s elope!” I’m not all about the frills.
Church or outdoor ceremony?
Kyle: To us it’s such a holy thing, getting married, so it just feels right to be in a church.
Kellie: Outdoor weddings are beautiful-but a risk. You never know about the weather.
Will your multiple pets play a role?
Kellie: [laughing] I’m thinking of having the python be the ringbearer! We’ve been talking about incorporating the dogs-they’re like our kids. But we wouldn’t want an accident to happen down the aisle.
Kyle: Which is very possible.
What will the first dance song be?
Kellie: I don’t want to do the dance-it’s embarrassing! I don’t want everyone staring at me. Kyle cannot dance, and I cannot dance.
Kyle: I know how to dance!
Kellie: He thinks he does, but it’s a disaster. He’s a snapper. He just sways back and forth and snaps his fingers.
ALL ABOUT THE RING
“I was freaking out,” Jacobs says of choosing the ring. The Peter Marco creation “is timeless,” Pickler says. “Kyle did great.”
Stars’ Favorite Barbecue
From smokehouses to rib joints, here’s where famous names get their fix
HARD 8 BBQ
“I take all my out-of-town guests here, and they rave about it. In fact I think they visit me just for the barbecue!”
“My favorite sauce is Salt Lake, but my favorite restaurant is Stubb’s. Stubb’s has better decor and a better vibe.”
“The best brisket and ribs I’ve ever had. And they’ve got traditional country on the jukebox. It just feels like Texas.”
BLUE PIG BBQ
“It’s pork barbecue. The name is kind of a dead giveaway, isn’t it?”
COUSER’S SOUTHERN RESTAURANT
“They have the best barbecue. When I first came to Nashville, I used to fill their salt and pepper shakers [in exchange for free food].”
“It’s great food, and the atmosphere is always awesome in the middle of the honky-tonks.”
JIM ‘N NICK’S BAR-B-Q
“I like Jim ‘N Nicks here in town. I like their pulled pork. I do the mild sauce-I’m a pretty mild guy.”
“It’s like a Sonic because a guy comes out and puts a tray on your window. We’ve gone there since I was a kid.”
SONNY’S REAL PIT BAR-B-Q
“I’m from Florida, and we have a chain of barbecue places called Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q. It started in Gainesville. I grew up eating it and still love it.”
Baton Rouge, La.
“P-o-d-n-u-h-s-like saying partner, you know, in Louisiana you say ‘podnuh?’ Best beans. Nobody can stay in the car with me though.”
The women of Stealing Angels-Jennifer Wayne, Caroline Cutbirth and Tayla Lynn-are making their radio debut with the rockin’ why-hasn’t-he-called song “He Better Be Dead.” Here are three more reasons to give them a listen:
1. THEY HAVE GREAT GENES
Jennifer, 28, is the granddaughter of John Wayne, Caroline is a descendent of Daniel Boone, and Tayla calls Loretta Lynn Grandma. “She’d critique how I sang and teach me to sing better,” Tayla says.
2. ONE BAND, THREE SOUNDS
“I’m a little edgier and gritty. Caroline is very pop-country and positive and happy, and Jen is more bluegrass,” says Tayla, 29.
3. SECRET TALENTS
Jennifer was a nationally ranked tennis player; Caroline is a former gymnast. “If Letterman ever has us on, Jen can whoop him in tennis, I’ll do handsprings and Tayla will buck dance,” says Caroline, 26.
Get their single “He Better Be Dead” at people.com/free
With his blond curls, blue eyes and winning smile, Bentley could be The Mentalist star Baker’s body double.
TIM’S NEW MOVIE!
Married in real life to Faith Hill, Tim McGraw is also one half of a showbiz couple in the drama Country Strong, due Dec. 22. He plays the husband and opportunistic manager of an alcoholic country singer played by Gwyneth Paltrow. “Tim can play these really dark characters and still make them three-dimensional,” says the film’s writer and director Shana Feste. “The interesting thing is that his character is the only one who doesn’t sing in the movie.”
Forget her sleeve: Carrie Underwood wears her heart on her chest. The avid dog lover encourages pet adoption, stepping out in Obey Clothing’s “Adopt” T-shirt.
GET THE SHIRT!
ALAN JACKSON’S FLORIDA GETAWAY
It’s not on the Chattahoochee, but one of the singer’s waterfront homes is on the market
FOR SALE $1,275,000
The two-story Tequesta home was built in 1966 and has four bedrooms.
The Intra-coastal waterway is your backyard.
There are over 1,000 sq. ft. of wrap-around balcony.
Mike Eli’s Country Wedding
As the sun was setting over the countryside, Eli Young Band’s Mike Eli exchanged vows with his girlfriend of six years, Kacey Herndon. The spring wedding was held on the family ranch of Eli’s bandmate and best man, James Young, in Meridian, Texas. Young’s father, Jeff, became ordained as a minister so he could perform the ceremony.
• Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus and his wife, Allison, a CMT on-air personality, are expecting their first child in January. “Allison and I are thrilled about becoming parents,” he said. “I am confident Ali will be a wonderful mother because she has done an incredible job raising me over the past six years.”
• A baby is also on the way for Emerson Drive’s David Pichette and his wife, Jill, who are expecting their second daughter in October.
• Hank Williams Jr. is ready for some more football. The country legend has signed on to once again sing the opening theme song for the NFL’s Monday Night Football. It will be his 22nd season on the show.
• At an auction featuring items from the closed Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Mo., the preserved remains of Rogers’ famous horse Trigger sold for $266,500, far exceeding expectations. The buyer was a Nebraska cable network, which plans to open its own Western museum. Rogers had his horse preserved in 1965.
• Tim McGraw confirmed he will leave Curb Records following the release of his next album, which is tentatively scheduled for the end of the year. McGraw also chose to record the album with studio musicians instead of his band the Dancehall Doctors, telling Billboard, “It’s time for a fresh sound.”
• The Lost Trailers, best known for their 2008 hit “Holler Back,” have split, singer Ryder Lee announced on his Facebook page. Lee left the group in March but plans to perform with the band through 2010 then pursue a new project with Trailers’ guitarist Manny Medina and drummer Jeff Potter.
• Shania Twain‘s divorce from record producer Robert “Mutt” Lange was finalized in Switzerland in early June. The couple’s separation was announced on May 15, 2008, after Lange developed a relationship with Twain’s best friend. Twain is now dating the ex-husband of that friend, Frederic Thiebaud.
• LeAnn Rimes‘ divorce from Dean Sheremet was finalized June 19. Rimes is currently dating actor Eddie Cibrian, who is also in the process of divorcing his wife, Brandi Glanville. Rimes and Sheremet married in 2002 and separated in July 2009.
• Taylor Swift received the Hal David Starlight Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Award and Induction Ceremony in New York City June 17. The award pays tribute to promising young songwriters. “You could put her in a time machine in any era and she would have a hit,” said John Mayer, who presented the award. “Don’t confuse everybody loving one thing as hype. Sometimes that’s everyone agreeing that it’s fabulous.”
ON THE MEND
• Alabama frontman Randy Owen underwent treatment for prostate cancer earlier this year, he announced at his annual fan club party in Fort Payne, Ala., June 13. A routine checkup led to the diagnosis, and his doctors now say his recovery is almost complete.
Jimmy Wayne’s New Puppy, Ruby
Jimmy Wayne spent the past seven months walking 1,700 miles across the country to raise awareness about homeless teens. It turns out, though, he’s helped more than just kids along the way. While trekking through Texas, a local supporter showed him a litter of puppies that had just been saved from a kill shelter. It was love at first sight when Jimmy spotted the runt of the group, whose littermates were not allowing her to play. “She represents everything about this walk: the foster kids that nobody picks. She desperately needed a home, and I knew I could give her one.”
LEE ANN WOMACK
TURNS 44 ON AUG. 19.
JAKE OWEN, 29
LEANN RIMES, 28
SHANIA TWAIN, 45
JENNIFER NETTLES, 36
JOE DON ROONEY, 35
FAITH HILL, 43