Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Red' sells swiftly; Taylor sets Charlotte date

Taylor Swift's fans have gone crazy for her new album, "Red," and that devotion has translated into an almost unprecedented amount of green.

According to Nielsen SoundScan data released Tuesday night, "Red" sold 1.2 million copies in its first week -- the most since Eminem's "The Eminem Show" sold 1.3 million in just seven days in 2002.

"Red" is only the 18th album to sell a million units in a single week since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, reports. It's also the second-largest sales frame for a female artist; only Britney Spears had a bigger week, when "Oops! . . . I Did It Again" sold 1.319 million in its debut in 2000.

Meanwhile, last week, Swift announced headlining tour dates for 2013 in support of the new album. The North American "Red" tour begins March 13 in Omaha, Neb., and will visit Charlotte on March 22. Stay tuned for on-sale information, or sign up to be notified about pre-sale concert tickets here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

'Banshee' trailer debuts online

Charlotte is hot on premium cable TV this year, thanks to "Homeland," which is primarily filmed in and around the city.

In 2013, we'll find out if we've got another hit on our hands.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that "Banshee" -- Cinemax's forthcoming action-drama series, also shot here -- will debut on the premium TV network on at 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

"Banshee" is being produced by Greg Yaitanes ("House"), Peter Macdissi, and Alan Ball, creator and executive producer of past HBO series "Six Feet Under" and current HBO series "True Blood." The new series follows an ex-convict who assumes the identity of a sheriff in the mythical city of Banshee, Pa., and continues his criminal activities.

Click HERE to check out the exclusive trailer from Entertainment Weekly.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Willie Nelson to play Fillmore Charlotte

Country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson is coming to the Fillmore Charlotte on Dec. 5, with Lukas Nelson.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at, the Fillmore Charlotte box office (opens at noon), all Ticketmaster outlets including select Wal-Mart stores, or charge by phone 800-745-3000.

For more information, go to or

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nicki Minaj curses out Mariah Carey in Charlotte

Ah, co-workers. There are those you love. There are those you tolerate. And there are those you just want to strangle.

There’s evidence that new “American Idol” judge Nicki Minaj wanted to strangle her co-worker, Mariah Carey, in Charlotte this week. And the feeling, apparently, was mutual.

Yes, Tuesday’s “American Idol” auditions at Charlotte Motor Speedway were supposed to focus on unknown singers and big dreams. Instead, the two-day event turned into a bit of a nightmare – at least on the face of it – and it’s possible Fox and the show’s producers would now like to strangle their two female stars.

To catch you up: Tuesday evening, celebrity news website TMZ posted a video of Minaj unleashing a tirade as colorful as her wigs and outfits in a heated dispute with Carey, which reportedly boiled over after one of the contestants had performed.

In the low-quality, 56-second clip, the rapper can be heard saying, “I’m not f------ putting up with her f------ highness over there”; toward the end of the video, Carey calls Minaj “a little crazy b----.” Veteran judge Randy Jackson can be heard saying, “Settle down, settle down,” and country singer Keith Urban – situated between the two divas – seems to be trying to figure out a way to teleport back to his home in Nashville.

Wednesday, then, was damage control day.

Reporters woke up to learn that an afternoon press conference with Minaj, Carey, Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest that had been scheduled at the speedway was canceled overnight, with Fox’s publicity director saying in an e-mail that it was “due to the production schedule” (technically true, as auditions reportedly wrapped prematurely on Tuesday so the two women could cool off).

The host then went on his morning radio show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” and spun it like a Harlem Globetrotter: “It got heated between Nicki and Mariah. It was intense! … These are all very different individuals with different perspectives and different opinions that provide for interesting conversation and dialogue and feedback for the contestants.”

If you’re a superfan of “Idol,” you’re probably aware that rumors of fighting between Minaj and Carey have been circulating for weeks. Although in previous interviews the pair has denied any discord, this video would seem to confirm that they’re not exactly BFFs.

However, the video itself raises questions. From what we understand, security around Fox’s activity at the speedway was extremely tight. Reportedly, many speedway employees didn’t even know “Idol” was coming this week until the trucks showed up; media access was very limited to begin with; the actual judges’ set was treated like the Oval Office.

So … who took this video? How did they get away with taking it? Why would they jeopardize their job by sharing it with TMZ? Certainly there weren’t a ton of people in that room at the time. Surely it wouldn’t take a very sophisticated investigation to ferret out the leak.

Which begs the biggest question: Was this an inside job to create buzz around the show?

Fox isn’t talking about the incident at all. But this is significant, if you’re an “Idol” stakeholder: Even though Season 12 doesn’t start till January, a whole lot of people are.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Charlotte bachelor on Cosmo's 'hottest' list

Emily Maynard was Charlotte's most famous bachelorette ever.

TJ Ford, meanwhile, probably won't rise to her level of stardom. But for now? The 29-year-old Charlottean is the hottest bachelor in North Carolina, according to Cosmopolitan.

The magazine's November issue (on newsstands Tuesday, Oct. 9) today revealed its list of the hottest bachelors from across the country. The group includes professional athletes, a TV news anchor, a lawyer, a set of brothers from Montana, and Ford, who works locally as a NASCAR pit-crew member.

Readers can vote for Ford -- or any of the other single guys -- at A panel of Cosmo editors will choose the Bachelor of the Year out of the top 10 bachelors with the most reader votes, and he will receive $10,000. The announcement will be made Oct. 18.

In the November issue, Ford lists Brooklyn Decker (of Matthews) as his celeb crush, notes that he used to race motocross and has his own furniture business, and says great sex should last 45 minutes.