TAYLOR SWIFT took a bit of a victory lap on social media this week, after the leaked audio from her 2016 phone call with KANYE WEST proved that she didn’t know he was going to take a shot at her on “Famous”. KIM KARDASHIAN didn’t like that, even though Kanye was the one who recorded the phone call in the first place, and fired off a series of Tweets at Taylor. Among other things, Kim said, “Taylor has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now – [and] she is actually lying.” Kim is upset that Taylor had her publicist say that Kanye never asked for permission. And that’s why SHE initially leaked the clips from the call . . . to show that Kanye DID call her. But obviously, Kanye didn’t clear EVERYTHING with her, which is what the full audio proves. Kim is now ADMITTING that Kanye took some liberties. She also denied that Kanye kept that from Taylor, she said the song wasn’t fully written at the time. Taylor’s rep responded, poking holes in Kim’s version of the story. But honestly, it’s simple: Kanye took a cheap shot, Taylor tried to capitalize on it, and now everyone is acting like this somehow matters in 2020.
The coronavirus has claimed the life of legendary playwright TERRENCE MCNALLY. His works include “Ragtime”, and “Kiss of the Spider-Woman”. He was 81. McNally was compromised due to more than just his age. He’d been battling cancer since the ’90s, and had parts of his lungs removed. He wrote nearly 40 plays and 10 musicals, and had 25 Broadway productions under his belt, winning 5 Tonys. JACKSON BROWNE has tested positive, after doing a charity show in New York City on March 12th. He says, “There was already a question of being careful, but still, you’re in close quarters and you’re breathing the same air. Now I wish I hadn’t gone to New York and done this benefit.” 17-year-old climate activist GRETA THUNBERG believes she had a mild case that she got during a European trip. She’s already over it. She was never tested – in Sweden you cannot test yourself unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves.
There’s a book out called “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s” – and it claims STEVE CARELL didn’t actually want to leave “The Office” after Season 7 in 2011. Steve wasn’t quoted – but several people connected with the show say that he was asked about his contract in an interview back then, and he said that he thought Season 7 would be his last. Supposedly, it was just an off-the-cuff remark, and he hadn’t actually planned on leaving, but then something strange happened: No one from NBC made an effort to convince him to stay or to renew his contract. So, he figured they didn’t want him back, and he moved on. The book also says JAMES GANDOLFINI almost replaced Steve. Initially, he wasn’t sure if he was right for it, but eventually said yes. Then at the last minute he got cold feet . . . and the show ended up casting JAMES SPADER.
The writers of The Simpsons say that Paul McCartney “always checks” that Lisa is still a vegetarian, after it became a key condition of his guest appearance on the show. He appeared alongside his late wife Linda in 1995’s Lisa The Vegetarian, an episode in which Lisa vows to stop eating meat after meeting the McCartneys.
TIM MCGRAW started a #Deep-Cuts-Challenge on Friday by posting a clip of himself performing John Schneider’s (from Dukes of Hazard) “Take the Long Way Home”. In his caption he challenged Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Brad Paisley to do their favorite deep cuts. Brad picked it up with a version of Steve Wariner’s “What I Didn’t Do”. Then he sent it out to Darius Rucker. Darius went deep with Foster & Lloyd’s “You Can Come Cryin’ to Me”. He challenged Radney Foster, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Charles Kelley. Charles went REALLY deep with the track “Call Me a Dog” from the supergroup Temple of the Dog. He challenged Russell Dickerson who circled back by doing a little bit of Tim’s song “Seventeen”. Other artists that accepted the challenge include Thomas Rhett, Morgan Wallen, and Luke Combs. Brad also face-timed with Tim and they traded verses of George Strait’s “The Fireman”.
STEDMAN is living in Opray’s GUEST HOUSE. Oprah says Stedman was, “late to the party” in understanding just how severe the coronavirus pandemic is. So he was away on business until last Thursday. When he got home, she wouldn’t let him in the main house. She told him, “You ain’t coming and sleeping in my bed. He says, ‘I’m not?’ Oprah says, ‘Oh, no no no no. It doesn’t work that way. Have you not been paying attention to the news?’ Social distancing doesn’t mean you’re going to sleep in the bed with the person when you just got off American Airlines. We cannot play those games. We’re taking it very seriously.” They still talk . . . from a distance . . . and she leaves meals on his doorstep. And he’s not upset about his new living arrangement. Oprah says, “He’s happy to make me safe.”
Robin Roberts began telecommuting today, hosting ABC’s “Good Morning America” from her home as the coronavirus spreads.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger has already set up a fund that’s delivering grocery gift cards and food to families in need. Now, he’s set up a GoFundMe campaign for first responders. It’s called the “Frontline Responders Fund,” and it’ll provide doctors with critical supplies such as masks and gloves. Arnold has donated $1 MILLION to it. He said, “I never believed in sitting on the couch and complaining about how bad things are, I always believed we should all do our part to make things better.” As of last night, the fund had raised more than $3.3 million.
- Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard know the pandemic has left many without jobs, making it hard to pay rent. So since they own a few residential buildings in L.A., they’re waiving their tenants’ rent for April.
- Ryan Reynolds is donating 30% of the online proceeds from sales of his Aviation Gin to out-of-work bartenders. He’s doing it through May 1st.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates players arranged for 400 pizzas to be delivered to the staff at Allegheny General Hospital.
- Anna Wintour and Tom Ford have created a coronavirus relief fund.
- Shawn Mendes has donated $175,000 to the SickKids Foundation for coronavirus preparedness.
KEVIN HART and his wife are expecting their second child.
BLAKE SHELTON posted an update from his front porch on Saturday confirming that all three of his Ole Red locations are closed because of COVID-19. He said he’s “taking care” of the employees, although he didn’t get specific. He’s also hoping to do a benefit to help the artists and musicians who perform there.
If you’re wondering where to make a donation in KENNY ROGERS’ name . . . his family has a suggestion. Send it to the Grammy Cares COVID-19 Relief Fund . . . which is at Grammy.com/MusiCares.
KELSEA BALLERINI got a little boost the other day when Carrie Underwood hit up Twitter to say she was listening to her new album . . . and is liking the track, “Hole In The Bottle”. Kelsea reTweeted it and wrote, “Carrie! Thank you for listening, this makes me so happy.”
Danica Patrick is 38
Lark Voorhies is 46. Lisa on “Saved By The Bell”,
Sarah Jessica Parker is 55.
Elton John is 73.
Paul Michael Glaser is 77. Starsky on “Starsky & Hutch”.
Gene Shalit is 94.