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A Swift response to disaster


Country star Taylor Swift is donating $500,000 to flood relief in Nashville.

The city was rocked by deadly storms and flooding that killed 30 people in three states. Cleanup and repair is expected to cost more than $1 billion.

“Being at home during the storm, I honestly could not believe what was happening to the city and the people I love so dearly,” says Swift, 20, who moved to Nashville when she was 14.

“I have always been proud to be a Nashvillian, but especially now, seeing the love that runs through this city when there are people in crisis.”

The announcement was made during Thursday night’s local “Flood Relief with Vince Gill and Friends” telethon. Keith Urban played the show with a borrowed guitar after his gear was destroyed by the flood.

Cable network GAC will air a telethon May 16 featuring Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins and other stars live from the Ryman Auditorium.

Another swift rise?

Newly eliminated “American Idol” contestant Aaron Kelly says he’s ready to focus on a country singing-songwriting career.

Kelly, 17, said he sees country music as a good fit and admires Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

Out-cashing Carrie

Carrie Underwood may have sold more albums than Kelly Clarkson, but the original “American Idol” winner is still most successful, says Billboard.

Pop singer Clarkson has sold 10.6 million albums and 15.9 million tracks and has had 4.2 million radio plays, according to, compared to country star Underwood’s 11.5 million/13.9 million/2.4 million.

The birthday bunch

Comedian Don Rickles is 84. Singer Toni Tennille is 70. Singer Gary Glitter is 66. Actor Stephen Furst is 56. Actor David Keith is 56. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 46. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 35.


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