Danielle Anderson
May 12, 2010 12:00 PM

The Academy of Country Music Awards

April 18, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on CBS!

10 QUESTIONS Reba McEntire

Country’s queen, 55, who returns-for the 12th time!-to host the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18, confesses her secret crush and strangest dreams.

1 The first album I ever bought was…Tapestry by Carole King. Now we’re friends and have written together.

2 I’d like to record with…[Journey’s] Steve Perry. I love his style, his range and his tone.

3 My first celebrity crush was…Joe Namath! I loved watching him play football. He has the bluest eyes!

4 Before a show I always…lock pinkies with my band and crew. I started that when I was doing Annie Get Your Gun.

5 The best birthday gift I ever got was…On my 50th when [my husband] Narvel surprised me with three parties-one in L.A., one in Atoka, Okla., and the last one in Nashville. It was so much fun!

6 I love to read…historical fiction. Especially when there’s a love story involved.

7 My favorite DVD is…Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. I’ve seen it 100 times. Maybe more!

8 The things I love to eat that I shouldn’t are…Mexican food, hamburgers with a strawberry shake and fried potatoes and corn bread! With ketchup!

9 I dream about…weird stuff! It used to be open elevators, but after I rode the Tower of Terror, that went away. Go figure.

10 The last thing I do at night is…talk to the Lord.

THE BEST ADVICE I GOT FROM MY MOM

These country stars share words of wisdom from their No. 1 fans-their moms!

“To make sure I took care of myself. I’m on the road all the time, and she’s like, ‘Don’t forget to relax and take care of yourself.’ I didn’t do that the first couple of years and wore myself pretty thin.”

-JASON ALDEAN

“Honesty is the best asset. If there’s something wrong, I wear it like a coat. I could never play poker.”

-JOE DON ROONEY

“The first time I went on a date, my mom took me out to her rose garden and had me cut two roses-one for my girlfriend and one for my girlfriend’s mama. I thought it was kind of weird at first, but looking back, such a nice gesture. The girl ended up cheating on me. But at least I was the good guy.”

-JOSH TURNER

“Always wash my hands.”

-JIMMY WAYNE

“Pray every day-and I do!”

-MEGHAN LINSEY, STEEL MAGNOLIA

” ‘Don’t act like your father!’ And no, I didn’t take it.”

-JUSTIN MOORE

“Jealousy is a wasted emotion.”

-JOSHUA SCOTT JONES, STEEL MAGNOLIA

“When I told my mom I wanted to go to Nashville, she told me to go. She said, ‘You don’t want to look back and say you didn’t give it a shot!’ ”

-CHARLES KELLEY, LADY ANTEBELLUM

” ‘Don’t be a country singer.’ But she’s come around to the idea!”

-JOE NICHOLS

“Be yourself, know who you are and stand by it, be willing to suffer for it. Make your own choices, and don’t let anybody tell you you’re not right about what you know is right.”

-DOLLY PARTON

” ‘Follow your bliss.’ That’s what she has always said to me, even when she wasn’t real sure about where I was going”

-DIERKS BENTLEY

“Make sure you have on clean underwear before you leave the house. I think it’s in the Mother’s Handbook.”

-TRACE ADKINS

“When I talked about moving to Nashville, people would say, ‘I don’t know if that’s a good idea,’ but Mom said, ‘You have to do it.’ She believed in me.”

-BUCKY COVINGTON

To make sure to have some money put back.”

-BLAKE SHELTON

Country Cousins

You oughta know that singer Jessica Harp’s long locks and megasmile make her an Alanis Morissette lookalike.

FANS WANTED!

BLAINE LARSEN

Blaine Larsen’s new album Not Too Bad hits stores later this summer; here are three reasons to give him a listen now:

1. HE’S MORE THAN A PRETTY VOICE

Larsen also plays electric lead guitar, and he cowrote George Strait’s latest hit, “I Gotta Get to You.” “It’s the biggest honor of my career,” says the singer, 24. “I’m living it up.”

2. HE’S EARNED HIS WINGS

“I’m a pilot,” says Larsen, who’s been flying single-engine planes for nearly five years. “It’s my secret passion.”

3. HE APPRECIATES THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE

The singer’s wife of four years, Sammie, and his 2-year-old daughter Zoe Grace “are my stress-relievers,” he says. “Every time I come home, my daughter gives me a hug-there is nothing like it.”

Free music!

Download his song “Baby You Get Me” at people.com/free

FOR SALE $1,295,000

KIX BROOKS’ FAMILY HOME

After raising their two children in this 5-bedroom house, Brooks and wife Barbara are moving to a new nest

“Kix wrote and recorded his vocals on all his albums for the last 15 years here, so there’s amazing music history in this house,” says listing agent Laura Stroud, of Fridrich & Clark Realty, about the 9,916-sq.-ft. home in Brentwood, Tenn.

Dolly’s Cheap Thrill!

Even as she opens her latest business venture, Dolly gives it to you straight: “It’s all just junk,” she jokes of the items for sale at Trinkets & Treasures, her new souvenir shop in Nashville’s tourist district. “But people love junk-I love junk. And this is inexpensive, fun junk!” The rainbow-hued shop offers everything from CDs and T-shirts to onesies and costume jewelry. “So people can buy all the gaudy stuff I wear!”

Dolly-themed onesies also available at: dollypartonmusic.net

GONE COUNTRY!

Though he’s better known for his acting-including his current gig on the TNT drama Leverage-Christian Kane has been making music for nearly a decade as the lead singer of the country rock band KANE. “It surprises people,” says Kane, 35. “But I’m from Oklahoma. Country music has always been first and foremost in my heart.” Kane’s major label debut hits stores this year. “I write songs for people who want to have a beer,” he says.

Free music!

Download his song “The House Rules” at people.com/free

BRAD PAISLEY

MAKES A SPLASH

“Just another day at the office for Brad and his band,” jokes director Jim Shea about shooting the video for Paisley’s single “Water” at Bluewater Scuba in Franklin, Tenn. The band (and their instruments) spent most of the day submerged in the site’s indoor pool. “Playing underwater was a challenge, but they never complained,” Shea says. “Brad will do anything to get a great shot.”

Passages

Elijah Dylan Westbrook

March 5, 2010

7 lbs. 14 oz.

LITTLE BIG TOWN’S NEW LITTLE ONE

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook welcomed their first child, son Elijah Dylan, March 5 in Nashville. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time and can’t tell you how blessed we both feel,” said Fairchild, adding that her husband of almost four years is already “a natural at fatherhood.” Says Westbrook: “Karen is an incredible mom…she’s done a great job raising me to become a responsible adult!”

BIRTHS

• It’s a girl for Justin Moore and his wife, Kate. The first-time parents welcomed daughter Ella Kole (she shares her middle name with her dad!) on Feb. 11 at 12:29 p.m.

EXPECTING

• Luke Bryan and wife Caroline will welcome their second child in August. The new baby will join big brother Bo, 2. “When you successfully brought one into the world, you are a little more confident in your ability to do it the second time,” Bryan said. “We’re a little more relaxed-you know everything that can come at you.”

• Joe Don Rooney and his wife, Tiffany Fallon, are expecting their second child in September. The baby will join big brother 21-month-old Jagger Donovan. Said Rooney: “There’s such fulfillment in being a father, and it’s going to be twofold now, which is so cool.”

• A baby is also on the way for James Otto and wife Amy; their first child is due in August.

IN COURT

• Sara Evans secured a temporary restraining order against ex-husband Craig Schelske to prevent him from making statements to the media about her or their acrimonious 2007 divorce. Evans, who has three children with Schelske, married radio host Jay Barker in 2008.

DEALS

• Melissa Peterman, host of CMT’s The Singing Bee, has been signed by Big Machine Records. Peterman, who also appeared on the TV series Reba, will release her first comedy album in the spring.

Carrie Underwood and her dog Ace have partnered with the Pedigree brand to launch its annual Adoption Drive. The program helps raise awareness, food and funding for homeless dogs. Dog lovers can go to facebook.com/pedigree, and for each new fan, Pedigree will donate a bowl of food to help feed shelter dogs.

• Jason Michael Carroll has parted ways with his label Arista Nashville. “They called and said that they would be moving on without me!” says Carroll, whose hits include “Alyssa Lies” and “Where I’m From.”

• Larry Gatlin has signed to make weekly guest appearances on Fox Business Network’s America’s Nightly Scoreboard. Gatlin will join the panel on Wednesdays to weigh in on current events. Gatlin called his new gig “one of the highlights of my life.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

TIM McGRAW

TURNS 43 ON MAY 1

JAY DEMARCUS, 39

APRIL 26

WILLIE NELSON, 77

APRIL 30

KIX BROOKS, 55

MAY 12

GEORGE STRAIT, 58

MAY 18

JEWEL, 36

MAY 23

RONNIE DUNN, 57

JUNE 1

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