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18 Years Ago: Brad Paisley Makes His Grand Ole Opry Debut

On May 28, 1999, Brad Paisley made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

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Barbra Streisand's dog dies, was her companion for 14 years

Barbra Streisand is mourning the loss of her beloved dog, Sammie.

The 75-year-old star announced the news on her social media accounts Saturday, saying "we cherish every moment of the 14 years we had with her."

On her Instagram page, Streisand has posted numerous photos of herself doting on the fluffy white Coton de Tulear, also known as the "Royal Dog of Madagascar."

Streisand is fond of the breed and has had several Coton de Tulear in the past.

Streisand once told British newspaper The Independent Sammie is "like the daughter I never had."

Rocker Gregg Allman dies at age 69; sang and lived the blues

Gregg Allman, a survivor of tragedy, knew the blues musically and in a painfully personal way.

Raised by a single mother after his father was shot to death, he idolized his guitar-slinging older brother, Duane, and became his musical partner. They formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band, which helped define the Southern rock sound of the 1970s.

Their songs such as "Whipping Post," ''Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider" laid the foundation for the genre and opened the doors for groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom, died Saturday. He was 69.

Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman's death.

"It's a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago," Lehman said in an interview. "He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn't."

Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced Aug. 5 that he was "under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic" due to "serious health issues." Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida.

In his 2012 memoir, "My Cross to Bear," Allman described how his older brother was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ.

They spent years in bands together, but failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. It featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman.

Based in Macon, Georgia, the group also had drummers Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They reached the pinnacle of the burgeoning music scene, partying to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album "At Fillmore East" in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom. Considered one of the greatest live albums ever made, the two LP record opened with their version of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues," with Duane Allman on slide guitar. The album introduced fans to their fusion of blues, rock and jazz.

Duane Allman had quickly ascended to the pantheon of guitar heroes, not just from his contributions to the Allman band, but from his session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and with Eric Clapton on the classic "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" album. But he was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley's life.

Keyboard player Chuck Leavell joined the band following Duane Allman's death and the band continued to soar. Their follow-up to the Fillmore album, "Eat a Peach," became their first top 10 album and featured some of their most popular recordings, including "Melissa" and "Blue Sky."

Gregg Allman said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press that he and Betts mourned his brother's death in music.

"We used to write songs in a graveyard in Macon," Allman said. "One thing everybody thought was Duane would come back to haunt us if we did not keep going. He had the most passion for music of any man I've ever seen."

In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, he said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence.

"I can tell when he's there, man," Allman said. "I'm not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he's there."

The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards.

In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later.

Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name "Allman and Woman." They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977. Allman said in an interview with Viva magazine in 1977 that he regretted marrying Cher and said that they probably could have fallen in love if it hadn't been for his drug abuse.

The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes.

Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for "Jessica" the following year.

In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn't played with the band since.

Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home.

In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt "brand new" at the age of 50.

"I never believed in God until this," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. "I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism."

However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

After the surgery, he turned music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years "Low Country Blues" in 2011.

"I think it's because you're doing something you love," Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. "I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed."

The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.

____

Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee. Associated Press Writer Hillel Italie in New York City contributed to this report.

Keith Urban, Wynonna Judd and More Mourn Gregg Allman

Country stars are remembering Gregg Allman following his death at the age of 69.

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Review: Eric Church Breaks Record, Rules in Nashville With Relentless Three-Hour Concert

Eric Church didn't play a hit song until nearly 30 minutes into a record-setting set in Nashville on Friday night, and nobody cared.

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Gregg Allman Dies: Country Stars React

Country stars were among the many music lovers who turned to social media on Saturday (May 27) to share their feelings about the death of Gregg Allman.

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Jet owned by Elvis auctioned after sitting 35 years

A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years.

The plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia, GWS Auctions Inc. said.

The buyer was not disclosed in the sold note posted on the firm's website, and auctioneer Brigitte Kruse said she could not immediately release information about the buyer or the buyer's plans for the plane.

The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit.

The jet was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley, Liveauctioneers.com says.

It has been privately owned for 35 years and sitting on a tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico.

Photos of the plane show the exterior in need of restoration and seats of the cockpit torn.

A previous owner disputed the auction house's claim the king of rock 'n' roll designed its red velvet interior.

Roy McKay told KOB-TV in Albuquerque (https://goo.gl/GpE3zV) he designed the interior himself. McKay said that when he purchased the jet, it had a two-toned gray interior and "kind of looked like a casket."

But then-GWS spokesman Carl Carter told The Associated Press the auction house is confident Elvis designed the interior, which photos show has red velvet seats and red shag carpet.

Federal Aviation Administration records show no interior changes were ever made to the jet, Carter said.

Presley was born in Tupelo on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis with his parents at age 13. He became a leading figure in the fledgling rockabilly scene by covering songs originally performed by African-American artists like Big Mama Thornton ("Hound Dog") and Arthur Crudup ("That's All Right").

His provocative dancing and hit records turned him into one of the 20th century's most recognizable icons. Historians say his music also helped usher in the fall of racial segregation.

Elvis was 42 when he died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis.

Kip Moore Announces 2017 Overseas Fall Tour Dates

The country singer/songwriter will make several stops throughout the UK for his headlining tour.

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Southern rock founding father Gregg Allman dies at age 69

Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69.

Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman's death.

"It's a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago," Lehman said in an interview. "He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn't."

Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced on Aug. 5 that he was "under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic" due to "serious health issues." Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017.

Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Saturday. But Lehman said Allman would be buried alongside his late brother, founding Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where the band got its start nearly five decades ago.

"He'll be laid next to his brother, Duane," Lehman said. "That's in his wishes."

Southern rock and country musician Charlie Daniels said via Twitter, "Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever."

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida by a single mother. Allman idolized his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him. Together they formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band.

The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues-inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as "Whipping Post," ''Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider" helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

In his 2012 memoir, "My Cross to Bear," Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ.

They failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album "At Fillmore East" in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom.

Duane Allman had quickly ascended to the pantheon of guitar heroes, not just from his contributions to the Allman band, but from his session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and with Eric Clapton on the classic "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" album. But he was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley's life. .

In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence.

"I can tell when he's there, man," Allman said. "I'm not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he's there."

The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards.

In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later.

Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name "Allman and Woman." They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977.

Cher said via Twitter on Saturday, "IVE TRIED.WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE."

The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes.

Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for "Jessica" the following year.

In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn't played with the band since.

Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home.

Lehman said Allman had recently finished what would be his final album, titled Southern Blood and scheduled for release in September.

"He actually just listened to a few tracks of it last night and was really passionate and excited for that record to be complete," Lehman said.

In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt "brand new" at the age of 50.

"I never believed in God until this," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. "I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism."

However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

The statement on Allman's website says that as he faced health problems, "Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."

After the surgery, he turned music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years "Low Country Blues" in 2011.

"I think it's because you're doing something you love," Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. "I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed."

The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.

___

Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee.

Gregg Allman Dead at 69

Rock and Southern music legend Gregg Allman has died at the age of 69, Billboard has confirmed.

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