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Father and son sentenced to life in prison for federal hate crimes in killing of Ahmaud Arbery

The father and son convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery were both given an additional sentence of life in prison Monday on federal hate crime charges, while their neighbor was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Travis McMichael, 36, was given the additional life sentence plus 10 years; his father, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, was also given an additional life sentence, while their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Lisa Golbey Wood said during the elder McMichael’s sentencing: “A young man is dead. Ahmaud Arbery will forever be 25. And what happened, a jury found, happened because he’s Black.”  Prosecutors had sought life sentences for all three men but Golbey Wood said she believed it was necessary to distinguish Bryan from the McMichaels, because he did not bring a firearm to the scene, but said he was “still deserving of an awfully long sentence.” The McMichaels asked to be sent to a federal prison — citing concerns about rampant inmate violence in state-run prisons — however, the rejected the requests and ordered that all three men serve their sentences in state prison.
Travis McMichael was convicted of federal hate crimes in February along with his father and Bryan, all of whom are White. Each of the men were convicted in state court and sentenced to life in prison for killing Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020. Bryan and the McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison in state court in January for shooting the 25-year-old Black man to death as he jogged through a neighborhood near Brunswick, Ga. The jury in the federal case found the defendants guilty of violating Arbery’s civil rights by targeting and attempting to kidnap him because he was Black. The younger McMichael, who fired the bullets that killed Arbery, was also found guilty of using a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

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News Daypop

Sources say FBI raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home allegedly tied to classified material

Former President Donald Trump said that the FBI “raided” his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, claiming in a written statement that the search — unprecedented in American history — was politically motivated, without providing specifics.

Trump said in a lengthy email statement issued by his Save America political committee: “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. They even broke into my safe!”

Sources say that the search was tied to classified information Trump allegedly took with him from the White House to his Palm Beach resort in January 2021. In mid-January, the National Archives “arranged for the transport from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives of 15 boxes that contained Presidential records, following discussions with President Trump’s representatives in 2021,” the agency said in a statement. When the National Archives discovered the missing documents, it demanded them of the former president, who eventually turned over 15 boxes of the documents in February.  The National Archives and Records Administration asked the Justice Department to examine whether Trump’s handling of White House records violated federal law.

According to a Secret Service official, the FBI notified the Secret Service about the bureau’s plans to execute the warrant just hours before agents searched Trump’s residence on Monday. The Secret Service facilitated access to the property, the official said, but did not participate in any aspect of the search.

Trump is not at Mar-a-Lago, his winter residence. He often spends his summers at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.

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Go Country 105

Tyler Hubbard is fully “committed” to his solo career

Tyler Hubbard knows that being a part of Florida Georgia Line was an important chapter in his expanding story. Now, he’s fully embracing his identity as a solo artist. 

In February, the hit-making duo of Tyler and Brian Kelley announced that they were taking a break, both pursuing their own careers. Tyler views his solo endeavor as a commitment, knowing that his vast experience with FGL helped him get here. 

“I truly feel that Florida Georgia Line was just a chapter in the book, an important chapter, and one I’m forever grateful for. But it’s not my whole story,” Tyler expresses. “I am having fun making my music and this is a win for me. Seeing the response, it’s affirmation for me and it’s validation and it inspires me [that] I can do this on the same level that I’ve done it before.” 

Tyler already has a top-20 hit to his name with his debut solo single, “5 Foot 9,” climbing the charts. The singer says he welcomes the challenge of being a solo act, ready to defy the odds he feels he’s up against as he branched off from the highly successful duo. 

“There’s this extra element of challenge that I love. I think the traditional mindset of people when they hear a band or duo’s breaking up, ‘they’re going to have fun doing their solo stuff for a little while and they’ll go back and do their thing.’ I think that challenge really pushes me to not be the statistic,” he explains. “So I am really excited and committed to giving this all I got.” 

The Georgia native will join Keith Urban‘s The Speed of Now World Tour as an opening act in the fall before releasing his debut album in January. 

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Country Daypop

Brian Kelley announces Florida residency and ‘epic Halloween night concert’

Brian Kelley announced on social media that he is gearing up for a fall residency in Florida, which will include an “Epic Halloween night concert.”  Kelley is holding the residency in the backyard of his surf shop and music studio, Tribe Kelley Surf Post, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Kelley captioned the announcement on Instagram“Hey all 30A Florida lovers, I’m doing a fall residency in the backyard of my surf shop & music studio [Tribe Kelley Surf Post] – 20 intimate shows starting in September – ending October 31st with an Epic Halloween night concert! Snag your tickets at www.officialbriankelley.com – I’m really looking forward to being home this fall recording another album & special project, and playing shows on the weekends at the beach! BK 🤠🌊🇺🇸

Kelley debuted his first solo EP, BK’s Wave Pack, in 2021, calling the project “a snapshot into my world and the life I’m living – whether it’s a little party on the beach, or a little Sunday service in the sand. And you don’t always have to be on the sand or by the water, you can take the vibe with you wherever you go. ‘Beach Cowboy’ is a way of life and state of mind.”

For information on Kelley’s upcoming concert dates, head here.

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Country Daypop

Olivia Newton-John dies at age 73

Singer, songwriter, actress and activist Olivia Newton-John died Monday morning at age 73. Her family wrote in a statement shared on social media: “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).”  Newton-John was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in the ’90s; and was in remission for more than 20 years before it returned in 2013. In 2018, she revealed that the disease returned and metastasized to her spine.

Newton-John’s musical breakthrough came in 1973 with the country  hit “Let Me Be There.” The next year, the singer released one of her signature songs. “I Honestly Love You,” which won Grammys for record of the year and best female pop vocal performance in 1974. Newton-John rose to international fame in 1978, playing Sandy alongside John Travolta’s Danny Zuko in the big-screen adaptation of the musical “Grease.” The two became one of the most beloved couples on film, performing the duets “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” together.  Travolta posted a tribute to her on Instagram, writing: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever!  Your Danny, your John!”

In 1980, Newton-John teamed with the legendary Gene Kelly for the roller-skating fantasy “Xanadu,” and became a music-video pioneer with her single “Physical” which spent 10 weeks at the top of the charts and won the 1982 Grammy for video of the year. Newton-John sold more than 100 million albums and continued to work until the recurrence of her cancer forced her postpone her 2017 tour.

Newton-John and her ex-husband, actor Matt Lattanzi, welcomed their daughter Chloe in 1986 She later helped establish the “Healthy Child, Healthy World” organization after the daughter of Newton-John’s friend died of a rare form of cancer. During her battle with breast cancer, Newton-John worked to raise awareness for the disease and established the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center in her hometown of Melbourne in 2012. In 2020, she launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation to fund research for treatments and therapies to cure cancer.

Newton-John is survived by her husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister Sarah Newton-John, brother Toby Newton-John and her many nieces and nephews.

Olivia Newton-John, Awarded Country Singer and “Grease” Actress Dies At 73

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Pop Daypop

Panic! at the Disco release their new song ‘Local God’

Panic! At The Disco released their new song “Local God”, the follow-up to the singles “Middle of a Breakup” and “Viva Las Vengeance” off the band’s upcoming seventh LP, Viva Las Vengeance, due out August 19th.

To celebrate the release of Viva Las Vengeance, the group will perform at this year’s MTV VMAs on Sunday, August 28th as well as an outdoor performance in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza for the ‘Citi Summer Concert Series’ on NBC’s Today on August 19th.

Panic! At The Disco will also be hitting the road for the The Viva Las Vengeance Tour kicking off September 8th in Austin, TX.  Special guests include Marina and Jake Wesley Rogers with Beach Bunny will join the band on select dates in North America.  For every ticket sold on their upcoming Viva Las Vengeance Tour the band is donating $1 to their Highest Hopes Foundation. In addition, Live Nation will also be matching the donation from the entire tour, dollar for dollar.

Take a listen to Local Godhere.

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Pop Daypop

Beyoncé earns her 7th No. 1 album with ‘Renaissance’

Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance has landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

According to Billboard, its first week Renaissance earned 332,000 equivalent album units and sold 190,000 physical copies. Renaissance is Beyoncé’s seventh solo album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart; she’s the first female artist to have her first seven solo albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. In 2022 thus far, the only album with a bigger debut week on the Billboard 200 charts than Renaissance was Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, which racked up 521,500 total units.

Renaissance, released on July 29, 2022, is billed as “Act I”—the first of a “three act project” that Bey recorded during the pandemic.Ahead of the release, Beyoncé wrote on her website: “My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgement. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking.” 

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Go Country 105

Nashville notes: Garth Brooks sets another record, Kenny Rogers auction & more

Presale tickets for Ernest‘s Sucker For Small Towns Tour are available Tuesday. Tickets for the general public go on sale Friday.  

Garth Brooks‘ record-breaking Talkshoplive episode Sunday night drew more than 1 million viewers who tuned in to watch him screen the 25th anniversary of Garth: Live From Central Park.  

Memorabilia from the late Kenny Rogers‘ estate will be available for sale through the three-day online auction “Property From the Estate of Kenny Rogers,” taking place October 21-23. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Music Health Alliance. 

Jackson Dean and bluegrass band Mountain Heart will open for Carly Pearce at the Ryman Auditorium on October 26 and 27, respectively. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Go Country 105

Despite reports, Luke Bryan asserts that his finger is not broken

Luke Bryan is setting the record straight on his alleged broken finger. 

The country superstar turned to Instagram on Sunday to dispel rumors that he broke his finger while at an amusement park. The rumor started when his wife, Caroline, posted a photo of the family posing in front of the Steel Vengeance roller coaster at Cedar Point in Ohio, claiming in the caption that Luke broke his finger and she twisted her ankle. 

But Luke has since posted a video stating that the reports circulating about his supposed injury are not true.

“I did not break my finger, and I did not break my finger at a roller coaster park,” he says. “My finger’s not broken. Please stop reporting that it’s broken.”

“. you got in Bo's way. Admit it,” Caroline responds in the comments, referencing their 14-year-old son. “Dude I hope your finger is okay after breaking it,” Jake Owen jokes, while Luke’s fellow American Idol judge Katy Perry quips, “show us or we don't believe you.” 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Go Country 105

Singer, activist and 'Grease' star Olivia Newton-John dies at 73

Chart-topping singer, actress and activist Olivia Newton-John has died, according to a post on her Instagram page from her husband, John Easterling. She was 73.

“Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the note reads. “We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.”

Originally diagnosed with breast cancer in the ’90s, Newton-John was in remission for more than 20 years before her cancer returned in 2017. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” continues the post.

“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” it concludes. “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation.”

Newton-John is survived by her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi; Easterling, whom she married in 2008; as well as a sister, a brother, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Born in 1948 in Cambridge, England, Olivia was the granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Born. When she was five, her family relocated to Melbourne, Australia. By her teen years, she’d landed her big break, winning a talent contest on the TV show Sing, Sing, Sing.

By 1966, Olivia had a deal with Decca Records, but her major breakthrough wouldn’t come until 1973, with the country-flavored hit “Let Me Be There.” That same year, the Academy of Country Music named her its Most Promising Female Vocalist. In 1974 the Country Music Association agreed, crowning her its Female Vocalist of the Year in a move that sparked controversy among the genre’s traditionalists.

The next year, Olivia’s career would gravitate more toward the pop side, as she released one of her signature songs: “I Honestly Love You.” It won both Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1974 Grammys.

Generations of fans — particularly young girls — would come to identify with Newton-John as she took on her most iconic film role in 1978, playing Sandy alongside John Travolta‘s Danny Zuko in the big-screen adaptation of the musical Grease. The two would become one of cinema’s most beloved couples, performing the duets “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” together. Olivia also scored a Grease solo hit with “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

In 1980, Newton-John teamed up with the legendary Gene Kelly for the roller skating fantasy Xanadu. Though it failed to be “Magic” at the box office, it was destined to become a cult classic and also gave Olivia another chart-topping hit from its double-Platinum soundtrack.

Newton-John and Travolta rekindled their onscreen romance for Two of a Kind in 1983. While the film wasn’t successful, once again Olivia’s music was. The soundtrack went Platinum and “Twist of Fate” was a top-five hit.

On the small screen, Olivia would become a music video pioneer, turning her super-sexy single “Physical” into a campy romp through saunas, aerobics and workout rooms. The clip propelled the song to 10 weeks at the top of the chart, and “Physical” won the 1982 Grammy for Video of the Year.  

All told, Newton-John charted 10 #1s and sold more than 100 million albums, continuing to work right up until the recurrence of her cancer forced her postpone her 2017 tour. Earlier, she’d staged a well-received Las Vegas residency at the Flamingo for two years, starting in the spring of 2014.

In her eyes, Olivia was certain to see both her family and her humanitarian work as her greatest accomplishments. She gave birth to her daughter, Chloe, in 1986, and later helped establish the Healthy Child, Healthy World organization after Chloe’s childhood friend died of a rare form of cancer.

After going into remission in 1992, Newton-John worked to raise awareness for breast cancer, recording multiple albums that addressed the issue and eventually establishing the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center. It opened in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, in June 2012.

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