Nashville, Sep 13 (AP/UNB) — Folk singer-songwriter John Prine won artist of the year for the second time in a row at the Americana Music Honors and Awards on Wednesday, while Jason Isbell took home three awards, including album of the year.
Considered a leader of the Americana genre, Prine released "Tree of Forgiveness" this year, his first collection of new material in 13 years. He owns his own record label in Nashville and mails his records straight to fans.
"I want to thank all of you, all of you that bought the record, and all of you that didn't buy the record," Prine, 71, said. "We'll get you sooner or later."
Isbell, the leading nominee, won for song of the year for "If We Were Vampires," and as a duo/group for his band, the 400 Unit.
He was considered a favorite to win most of the categories he was nominated in thanks to his Grammy-winning record, "The Nashville Sound." In his acceptance speeches, he credited his bandmates and his wife, Amanda Shires, who plays fiddle in the band and sings with him.
Isbell joked that Shires was chastising him for wasting his time watching TV before he went to write "If We Were Vampires," a song about their relationship. "This song almost did not happen for me," he said. "I have to thank my wife Amanda. Beyond being the inspiration for the song as she often is, she was also the motivation for the song."
The band also performed "White Man's World," a song he wrote after Donald Trump's election. Isbell was the sole male nominee going up against Brandi Carlile, Mary Gauthier and Margo Price for album of the year, and also faced Carlile, Price and Lee Ann Womack in the song of the year category.
Despite the wealth of female nominees this year, the only woman to win an award was bluegrass banjo player Molly Tuttle for instrumentalist of the year.
Tyler Childers was named emerging artist of the year, but the Kentucky-bred singer, whose debut album was called "Purgatory," said he preferred to be called a country singer rather than an Americana artist.
"As a man who identifies as country music singer, I feel Americana ... is a distraction of the issues that we are facing on a bigger level as country music singers," Childers said. "It kind of feels like purgatory."
Soul singer Irma Thomas, bluesman Buddy Guy and k.d. lang all received lifetime achievement honors, while while Rosanne Cash received the "Spirit of Americana" Free Speech award.
Cash, daughter of country icon Johnny Cash, earned several standing ovations during her speech and performance in which she called for equal pay for women and stronger gun control.
"I believe that a single child's life is greater, more precious and more deserving of the protection of this nation and the adults in this room than the right to own a personal arsenal of military style weapons," Cash said.
Celebrating the 25-year anniversary of her album "Ingenue" lang talked about her love of country singers like Patsy Cline as she accepted the award on the stage of the famed Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium.
"I am so honored to be in this temple of great music," lang said. "The trailblazers have really left their sweat on this stage."
Thomas sang her classic, "Time Is On My Side," and joked that she felt too young to be receiving a lifetime achievement award. "And at 77, I am only 14," Thomas said.
Guy accepted his lifetime achievement award, while acknowledging the blues is rarely played on radio anymore. But he said while watching the performers during the show, he was inspired.
"If you think you're too old to learn, you better stay at home," Guy said.
Also honored with lifetime achievement honors were Judy Dlugacz and Cris Williamson, founders behind Olivia Records, an all-female record label that started in the 1970s.
New York, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Ann Sui opened a grand bazaar as she dreamt of an unspoiled paradise at New York Fashion Week.
She was inspired, in part, by the 1955 Vincente Minnelli film "Kismet."
"One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when she went shopping and she was walking through this beautiful marketplace and that is my favorite thing on earth to do," Sui told The Associated Press of Monday's show. "In every city I travel to, I want to find out where's the flea market."
The vibe, she said, was wanderlust, an escapist fantasy. Set designer Jerry Schwartz created her shopping experience for guests, including filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, his filmmaker daughter Sofia Coppola and Naomi Campbell.
For her spring collection, Sui chose bright colors and bold patterns in silk dresses, shorts and loose-fitting pantsuits. Many looks had matching turbans or floppy hats. Models walked in bright colored sneakers and sandals with lace socks. The final look, worn by Gigi Hadid, was a gold glittery V-neck dress that was sheer from the waist to ankle.
"I was inspired by the way Tony Duquette did the sets in 'Kismet,' where he kept everything very neutral and gold, which is what we did with our set. And what popped were the color clothing and what people were wearing or objects they were finding in the market," Sui said.
Shapes were sporty in luxe metallic brocades. Glittery party dresses were paired with the aforementioned anklets and sneakers. She made use of Jacquard fisherman vests, oversized embellished biker jackets, pinup girl bathing suits, satin cowboy shirts and Polynesian jumpsuits.
Lots of looks were trimmed in fish scale sequins and ombre fringe.
"I just love the idea of first being artisanal, but also creating a fantasy," Sui said. "So that's what I was trying to do tonight, was to create this fantasy of idyllic shopping, of a dream world of shopping."
Sofia Coppola made a purchase, to be picked up after the show with other buyers.
"I love to see Anna's shows," she said. "She's a good friend of mine and I always love to see what she does. And this one is unique."
Atlantic City, Sep 10 (AP/UNB) — The first woman to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit says she's glad she didn't have to.
Nia Imani Franklin, who won the title Sunday night in Atlantic City while competing as Miss New York, said the changes in the 98-year-old are a welcome modernization.
Meeting reporters soon after winning the crown, Franklin said she's glad there was no swimsuit competition because it enabled her to eat a little more.
"These changes, I think, will be great for our organization," she said. "I've already seen so many young women reaching out to me personally as Miss New York asking how they can get involved because I think they feel more empowered that they don't have to do things such as walk in a swimsuit for a scholarship.
"And I'm happy that I didn't have to do so to win this title tonight because I'm more than just that," Franklin said. "And all these women onstage are more than just that."
Her victory Sunday night resurrected a string of successes the Empire State has had in the pageant in recent years. Mallory Hagan, Nina Davuluri and Kira Kazantsev won the title from 2013 to 2015 competing as Miss New York.
A classical vocalist whose pageant platform is "advocating for the arts," Franklin sang an operatic selection from the opera La Boheme on Sunday night.
She wrote her first song at age 5. It went "Love, love, love, love, is the only thing that matters to me, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey." At the prompting of an Associated Press reporter, she sang the song at her post-victory press conference as audience members snapped their fingers.
Franklin won a $50,000 scholarship along with the crown in the first Miss America pageant to be held without a swimsuit competition.
She said during her onstage interview that she was one of only a small number of minority students in school growing up, but used her love for music and the arts to grow and fit in.
The fourth runner up was Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras; third runner up was Miss Florida Taylor Tyson; second runner up was Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway, and the first runner up was Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei.
The judges narrowed the field of 51 candidates during the pageant Sunday night from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.
The decision to drop the swimsuit competition created a good deal of controversy and criticism of current Miss America leadership. Minutes before the nationally televised broadcast began, a comedian warming up the crowd mentioned that there would be no swimsuit competition this year, and was met with loud boos in the hall.
The swimsuits were replaced by onstage interviews, which have generated attention-grabbing remarks from contestants regarding President Trump, and NFL player protests, among other topics.
Behind the scenes, a revolt is underway among most of the Miss America state organizations who demand that national chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper resign.
The former Miss America, Cara Mund, says the two have bullied and silenced her, claims that the women deny.
Upon taking over at the helm of the Miss America Organization last winter following an email scandal in which former top leaders denigrated the appearance, intellect and sex lives of former Miss Americas, Carlson and Hopper set out to transform the organization, dubbing it "Miss America 2.0."
Unhappy with how the swimsuit decision was reached, as well as with other aspects of Carlson and Hopper's performance, 46 of the 51 state pageant organizations (the District of Columbia is included) have called on the two to resign.
Mund only appeared at the very end of the pageant before the next winner was crowned. She was not allowed to speak live; instead a 30-second taped segment of her speaking was broadcast.
Los Angeles, Sep 9 (AP/UNB) — Tiffany Haddish is continuing her hot streak, winning an Emmy Award in her first try.
Haddish was honored as best guest actress in a comedy series for hosting "Saturday Night Live."
The award was announced at Saturday's creative arts Emmys, a precursor to the Sept. 17 main ceremony airing on NBC.
Since her breakout performance in the movie "Girls Trip," Haddish has been an Oscar presenter and MTV Movie & TV Awards host. She co-stars in the sitcom "The Last O.G."
The award for best guest comedy actor went to Katt Williams for "Atlanta." Neither Williams or Haddish were in attendance.
Ron Cephas Jones of "This Is Us" and Samira Wiley of "The Handmaid's Tale" accepted guest acting honors in the drama series categories.
The "Star Trek" television franchise received the Governors Award. William Shatner, star of the original 1960s series, and Sonequa Martin-Green of 2018's "Star Trek: Discovery" accepted the award, along with other actors with "Star Trek" credentials including Walter Koenig, Jeri Ryan and Levar Burton.
An edited version of the two-part creative arts ceremony, held Saturday and Sunday, will be telecast on FXX at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday, Sept. 15.
Among other awards presented Saturday:
—Character voice-over performance: Alex Borstein, "Family Guy."
— Animated program: "Rick and Morty."
— Short-form animated program: "Robot Chicken."
— Short-form comedy or drama series: "James Corden's Next James Corden."
— Actor in a short-form comedy or drama series: James Corden.
— Actress in a short-form comedy or drama series: Christina Pickles, "Break A Hip."
— Television movie: "USS Callister (Black Mirror)."
— Commercial: "The Talk," P&G.
- Music composition for a series (original dramatic score): Ramin Djawadi, "Game of Thrones: The Dragon and the Wolf."
- Music composition for a limited series, movie or special (original dramatic score): Cyrille Aufort, "March Of The Penguins 2: The Next Step."
New York, Sept 8 (AP/UNB) — Nicki Minaj and Cardi B were involved in an altercation Friday night that got physical at a New York Fashion Week party and left Cardi B with a mark on her head.
A person who witnessed the incident who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said Minaj was finishing up a conversation with someone when Cardi B tried to attack her, but Minaj's security guards intervened.
Video circulating on social media shows Cardi B lunging toward someone and being held back at Harper's Bazaar Icons party Friday night. Cardi B reportedly threw one of her shoes at Minaj. Another video shows the platinum rapper being escorted out of the event by security.
Cardi B, wearing a voluminous red Dolce & Gabanna gown, was seen leaving the party with what appeared to be a bump on her head. She was barefoot.
She and Minaj have been rap rivals since Cardi B began achieving huge success over the last year.
In a post on Instagram Cardi B didn't call out Minaj by name but alluded to the fight and said she was sparked because her mothering skills were being disparaged. She and rapper Offset recently had their first child together, a girl.
Minaj has not yet commented on the incident.