The Country Music Association Awards almost fully honored and highlighted the women of country music — whose songs have been heavily dismissed on country radio over the years — until they named entertainer of the year: Garth Brooks.
Wednesday night’s show in Nashville kicked off with a performance featuring country female acts across generations, included three female hosts and had Maren Morris as its top nominee. But in the final moments, Brooks won the top prize over Carrie Underwood, who many had hoped would be the first female to win entertainer of the year since 2011.
Brooks did highlight female acts during his acceptance speech. “If they gave this award for this show tonight, I’d have to give it to Reba McEntire’s performance,” Brooks said, while also praising Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs, who won two honors.
Underwood hosted the show with McEntire and Dolly Parton. Morris also marked the big night for female country acts by taking home album of the year for “Girl.” The award also went to her producer Busbee, who died in September at age 43 from brain cancer.
Guardian of the galaxy and pit bulls
A Florida animal shelter sent out a plea after someone handed in two pit bulls. But volunteers never expected the post would catch the attention of “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Dave Bautista. The 6-year-old pit bulls, Maggie and Ollie, were handed over to the county after their owner had a baby. Volunteers from Rescue Me Tampa wrote a post seeking someone who would take both dogs, writing they’d been together their whole life. A week later, the group posted a picture of the star hugging the two pups and announcing he had adopted them.
Sentenced: Florida rapper Kodak Black was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons charges, although he faced up to 10 years. Black, 22, whose legal name is Bill Kapri (although he was born Dieuson Octave), had admitted to lying on background check forms while buying firearms in two different incidents earlier this year. Prosecutors said two of the guns were later found by police at crime scenes, including one — with Black’s fingerprints and a live round in the chamber — that had been used to fire at a “rival rap artist.”
Farewell: Rick Ludwin, who oversaw late-night programming at NBC for many years but is probably best known for backing the sitcom “Seinfeld” when it seemed the network might drop it, died on Sunday at age 71. Ludwin — who at the time was in charge of NBC’s late-night shows, including “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman” — was part of the “Seinfeld” origin story as it evolved from a possible one-time special to a weekly series.