Counting Crows frontman explains how he ended up dating Jennifer Aniston in the ’90s

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If you were around in the ’90s, there were two big questions you probably asked yourself: “How many more times can I see Titanic?” and “How the heck did Adam Duritz of Counting Crows end up dating Jennifer Aniston?”  Well, now we know the answer to the latter question.

Entertainment Tonight got a sneak peek of VICE TV’s new special Dark Side of the ’90s, one part of which focuses on LA’s celebrity hot spot of that time, The Viper Room.  In the special, Adam, who was then at the height of his Counting Crows fame, says he “lived at The Viper Room, night in and night out.” 

“I met Jennifer Aniston there,” he adds. “A bunch of my friends lied to me and told me she had a crush on me. Those same friends lied to her and told her I had a crush on her. I honestly had no idea who she was, I had been on the road during all of Friends. I had never seen it, I don’t think.”

However, Adam recalls that Aniston was “really nice, really funny, really pretty,” adding, “And also, she liked me.”  The two dated in 1995, and Adam says, “It didn’t last very long, but she’s a nice girl.” 

Adam also reportedly dated Aniston’s co-star, Courteney Cox, who appeared in the Counting Crows’ video for “A Long December.”  Asked about this in 2014, Adam said, “They were nice girls and I went out with them and that was that.”

Adam and Counting Crows recently released an EP called Butter Miracle, Suite One.  Aniston, of course, went on to marry and divorce Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux.  Cox married and divorced David Arquette and is now dating Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, whom she met through her pal Ed Sheeran.

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Luke Bryan is bringing the farming life to fans with a new video series this summer

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Fans might know Luke Bryan best as the country superstar onstage at his annual Farm Tour, but there’s another side of the singer that his audience doesn’t see as often: The guy who wakes up at sunrise and heads out to tend to his own plot of Tennessee land.

Now, viewers can get a look at life on Luke’s farm in his new mini-video series, a collection of approximately 25 one-minute long videos that will air twice a week through the summer. The series is a partnership with agriculture equipment maker Fendt, and features Luke’s Fendt 724 Gen6 tractor.

Topics for the videos range from serious to silly. In one, Luke ranks the farming skills of fellow country star Blake Shelton, while another finds him reflecting on the significance of farmers both in a national context and in his personal life.

The series is called Rise Before Sunrise with Luke Bryan, and true to its name, you’ll have to wake up on farming time to catch the clips right when they air: Each one goes up at 6 a.m. ET.

Luke’s video series lasts until September, which is also when his 2021 Farm Tour starts. The trek launches September 9 at Statz Bros. Farm in Wisconsin, followed by stops in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. The Farm Tour wraps at Kubiak Family Farms in Michigan on September 18.

In the meantime, fans can catch Luke on his Proud to Be Right Here tour, which begins in July.

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Naomi Osaka speaks out after French Open mental health controversy: ‘Athletes are humans’

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(NEW YORK) — Tennis star Naomi Osaka is speaking out in-depth for the first time about her withdrawal from this year’s French Open due to mental health concerns, and the unexpected debate and controversy that followed her decision.

“I feel uncomfortable being the spokesperson or face of athlete mental health as it’s still so new to me and I don’t have all the answers,” Osaka wrote in an essay published in Time magazine. “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s O.K. to not be O.K., and it’s O.K. to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”

Osaka, 23, withdrew from the French Open in late May after being fined $15,000 for missing a post-match press conference.

One of the top ranked tennis players in the world, Osaka had announced at the start of the tournament she would not participate in the mandatory post-match news conferences in order to preserve her mental health.

She also did not compete in this year’s Wimbledon due to what she has said are her mental health struggles.

Osaka, who lives in the U.S. but plays for Japan, confirmed in her Time essay that she will compete in the Summer Olympics, scheduled to begin July 23 in Tokyo.

“After taking the past few weeks to recharge and spend time with my loved ones, I have had the time to reflect, but also to look forward. I could not be more excited to play in Tokyo,” she wrote. “An Olympic Games itself is special, but to have the opportunity to play in front of the Japanese fans is a dream come true. I hope I can make them proud.”

After her French Open exit, Osaka took to Twitter to reveal that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” since 2018.

She explained in her new essay that she felt pressured to reveal her mental health struggle because of the stigma surrounding her decision to not do post-match press conferences.

“In my case, I felt under a great amount of pressure to disclose my symptoms — frankly because the press and the tournament did not believe me. I do not wish that on anyone and hope that we can enact measures to protect athletes, especially the fragile ones,” she wrote. “I also do not want to have to engage in a scrutiny of my personal medical history ever again. So I ask the press for some level of privacy and empathy next time we meet.”

“Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions,” she wrote. “In any other line of work, you would be forgiven for taking a personal day here and there, so long as it’s not habitual. You wouldn’t have to divulge your most personal symptoms to your employer; there would likely be HR measures protecting at least some level of privacy.”

Osaka’s choice to exit the French Open sparked a conversation about athletes’ mental health and the ways in which mental health is dealt with in the workplace in general.

The tennis star says she would like to see some change come in the ways tennis players specifically interact with the press, writing, “The intention was never to inspire revolt, but rather to look critically at our workplace and ask if we can do better.”

“In my opinion (and I want to say that this is just my opinion and not that of every tennis player on tour), the press-conference format itself is out of date and in great need of a refresh. I believe that we can make it better, more interesting and more enjoyable for each side. Less subject vs. object; more peer to peer,” she wrote, adding that she would like to see professional tennis players offered, “a small number of “sick days” per year where you are excused from your press commitments without having to disclose your personal reasons. I believe this would bring sport in line with the rest of society.”

While Osaka received backlash from her decision to leave the French Open, she says she also received public support, which she expressed gratitude for in her essay.

“I also want to thank those in the public eye who have supported, encouraged and offered such kind words. Michelle Obama, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, Novak Djokovic, Meghan Markle, to name a few,” she wrote, adding, “Michael Phelps told me that by speaking up I may have saved a life. If that’s true, then it was all worth it.”

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Nick Cannon asserts he’s “having these kids on purpose” following birth of seventh child

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Over the weekend, The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon reportedly welcomed a baby boy named Zen with model Alyssa Scott, who previously appeared on his MTV game show Wild ‘N Out.  The newborn marks the fourth child the 40-year-old has welcomed in under a year.

Speaking on his radio show with City Girls rappers JT and Yung Miami, Cannon reacted to his guest remarking that he needs to “wrap it up and protect yourself,” referring to contraception, by asserting that each of his children were planned.

“I’m having these kids on purpose. I don’t have no accident,” he quipped. “Trust me, there’s a lot of people that I could’ve gotten pregnant that I didn’t. The ones that got pregnant are the ones that were supposed to get pregnant.” 

Besides baby Zen, Cannon also recently welcomed twin boys with Abby De La Rosa and also became the parent of a baby girl with Brittany Bell in December 2020. Cannon and Bell also share a three-year-old son.  Cannon also shares shares 10-year-old twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, with ex-wife Mariah Carey.

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Tremonti announces new album, ‘Marching in Time’

Napalm Records

Tremonti has announced a new album called Marching in Time.

The fifth studio effort from the band, led by Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti, will be released September 24.

Marching in Time follows Tremonti’s 2018 effort A Dying Machine. While A Dying Machine is a narrative-driven sci-fi concept album, a press release describes Marching in Time as a “charging rock/metal offering that takes the listener on 12 individual journeys.”

Tremonti will hit the road in support of Marching in Time on a tour with Sevendust, kicking off in September.

Here’s the Marching in Time track list:

“A World Away”
“Now and Forever”
“If Not for You”
“Thrown Further”
“Let That Be Us”
“The Last One of Us”
“In One Piece”
“Under the Sun”
“Not Afraid to Lose”
“Bleak”
“Would You Kill”
“Marching in Time”

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Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace performing concert at Four Seasons Total Landscaping

Credit: Alexa Viscius

Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace is returning to the scene of one the most bizarre events of a particularly bizarre year.

On August 21, Grace will perform at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the unassuming local business that was vaulted into the global spotlight when Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, held an impromptu press conference there last November to allege widespread voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Prior to the event, Trump had tweeted that it would be held at “Four Seasons,” seemingly referring to the famous hotel group, before clarifying that the site was actually Four Seasons Total Landscaping. The location was unusual for a major political press conference, to say the least — the neighboring businesses, for example, include a crematorium and an adult bookstore.

Grace’s concert will include a full solo set, as well as support from Brendan Kelly of the Chicago punk band The Lawrence Arms.

“This will be the first and last time Brendan and I will play in front of a landscaping company,” Grace says. “We promise it will be better than that MAGA s*** show.”

Tickets go on sale Thursday at noon ET via Eventbrite.

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Heart’s Ann Wilson scheduled brief US tour in August; issues new digital EP, ‘Sawheat 8’

Credit: Criss Cain

After playing a handful of shows in Florida last month, Heart singer Ann Wilson has now lined up a brief U.S. trek dubbed The Howl Tour, which currently features eight East Coast concerts taking place in August.

The outing kicks off with an August 14 performance in Alexandria, Virginia, and winds down with an August 23-24 engagement in New York City at the City Winery.

Ann will be joined by her solo backing band, which now has been dubbed The Amazing Dawgs.

One of the events Wilson is scheduled to play is a star-studded benefit show called the Never Forget Concert that will be held August 21 in Wantagh, New York. The show is being presented by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, pays homage to firefighter Stephen Siller, who died while trying to save others during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and also honors military members and first responders who continue to serve the U.S.

In addition to Wilson, the concert’s lineup also features John Fogerty, Journey, the Steve Miller Band, Jesse Colin Young, Wyclef Jean and others.

In other Wilson news, Ann recently released a digital EP titled Sawheat 8 that gathers together four tracks she issued individually over the last year — “Tender Heart,” “The Hammer,” “Black Wing” and her rendition of country-rocker Steve Earle‘s “The Revolution Starts Now” — as well as a cover of Alice in Chains‘ “Rooster,” which previously was only available as the B-side of a limited-edition vinyl single.

Here are all of Wilson’s upcoming solo shows, according to AnnWilson.com:

8/14 — Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
8/15 — Annapolis, MD, Maryland Hall
8/17 — Albany, NY, Hart Theatre at The Egg
8/18 — Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
8/20 — Atlantic City, NJ, Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel
8/21 — Wantagh, NY, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater – Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Never Forget Concert
8/23 — New York, NY, The City Winery
8/24 — New York, NY, The City Winery

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O-T Fagbenle confirms his ‘Black Widow’ character Rick Mason doesn’t have a “platonic” relationship with Natasha Romanoff

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Black Widow star O-T Fagbenle admits he took a bit of a crash course in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to channel his character of Rick Mason, an ally from Natasha Romanoff’s/Black Widow’s S.H.I.E.L.D. past.

“I didn’t know anything about the dude,” Fagbenle reveals to ABC Audio, before sharing he also had a hand in cultivating his character.

“My Bible for [Rick Mason] was Eric [Pearson]’s script and figuring it out between me, Cate [Shortland], our director, and Scarlett [Johansson] — what our backstory was,” he says.  “That’s really what brought Rick Mason to the screen.”

Fagbenle, who calls Mason “Black Widow’s Q [from 007 lore], or like what Batman is to Alfred,” says his character’s connection to Romanoff is bigger than the “covert operations specialist” figure from the comics.

“[He’s] the person who like hooks up with all the gadgets and stuff — you need a ship, you need a plane, whatever,” Fagbenle says. “But what was interesting to me… is that he’s got a relationship with Natasha Romanoff which isn’t just platonic — isn’t just a work relationship.”

“There’s a deeper dynamic going on there,” he continues. “And I think that’s one of the things that’s interesting about the movie, is you get to see the 3D view of Black Widow.”

While bringing Rick Mason to life could be described as somewhat challenging, Fagbenle says keeping mum on his MCU character for three years, was actually pretty easy.

“It wasn’t that hard for me,” Fagbenle laughs. “Like on Tuesday, I’m spending time with my mom. And then in the evening, I’m talking to my niece and nephew and I’m doing work… I’m doing other stuff. So when people ask me, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can’t talk about that.’ And then I’m getting on with the rest of my day.”

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow hits theaters tomorrow.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Maren Morris stands up against claims that she “deserves to be sexualized”

Maren Morris didn’t take kindly to a so-called fan saying she deserves to be sexualized because of the clothing she wears.

In a fiery exchange on Twitter Wednesday, the “My Church” singer responded directly to a follower who took offense to the silver wrap-around crop top Maren wore for her promotional tour photo.  

“When you dress like that, you’re definitely inviting people to look at you in a sexual way,” the critic allegedly wrote, according to screen shots that have since been set to private. “Don’t complain about being sexualized when you sexualize yourself.”

The user also called Morris’ outfit “disgusting” and remarked, “Imagine if Luke Bryan tried to use sex appeal to win awards by posing with his shirt half off.”

Maren referenced the negative comments when she tweeted her tongue-in-cheek response, which reads, “Daniel’s really gonna hate it when he finds out I did Playboy.”  Morris, 31, even included snaps from her 2019 Playboy photoshoot, which depicted her posing for tastefully done half-naked portraits.  She also linked to the poster’s account, which as of Thursday morning had apparently been deleted.

The country singer later spoke out about the exchange when another user, who also deleted their tweets, appeared to defend her critic.

“He publicly put this sexist garbage online and [directly tagged] me,” Morris remarked in response. “Also, ‘not liking someone’s clothing’ is one thing. Saying I deserve to be sexualized for a *pretty tame* outfit is just a hop, skip to ‘don’t dress like a slut and you won’t get creeped on.'”

“The Bones” singer later retweeted one of her old posts that supported women being able to wear “whatever… they want.” 
 

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New Zealand rocks: Metal mom reportedly names kids Metallica, Pantera & Slayer

Slayer’s Kerry King & Metallica’s Kirk Hammett; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Being the site of Mordor and Mount Doom apparently isn’t the only extremely metal thing about New Zealand.

A Kiwi mother has named her children Metallica, Pantera and Slayer.

That news comes from New Zealand journalist and director David Farrier, who wrote a story on the metal mom for a piece in his newsletter.

“It’s not easy raising three of the heaviest bands,” she told him.

Upon learning that little Metallica also has the phrase “…And Justice for All” in their name — the title of the band’s 1988 album — Farrier thought the whole thing might be a joke, so he reached out to the New Zealand Registrar-General regarding policies on baby names, particular if that name is Metallica and Justice for All.

“There are no restrictions on naming babies after bands or albums as long as the word used is not generally considered to be offensive and does not resemble an official rank or title,” the response read. “This particular baby was registered in 2009 by the previous Registrar-General. A similar application made today is likely to also be approved.”

Farrier shares he’s also seen the birth certificates for each child.

“Clearly this metal mother (and her kids) deserve free metal gigs for life,” he says.

 

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