They call him “The Hag,” but now Merle Haggard can answer to “doctor” as well. Haggard was presented an honorary doctorate Friday by California State University, Bakersfield.
The doctor of fine arts honor was conferred during School of Arts & Humanities commencement ceremonies that also celebrated the late Buck Owens. The university does not bestow honorary doctorates posthumously, so Owens was instead awarded the President’s Medal.
The music of Haggard and Owens exemplifies country music’s “Bakersfield Sound.”
Johnson steps up at Bonnaroo
It’s Jack Johnson to the rescue at Bonnaroo. Johnson has agreed to take tonight’s headlining slot at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., after Mumford & Sons were forced to cancel due to bassist Ted Dwane’s illness.
Mumford & Sons’ decision comes after Dwane received treatment this week for a blood clot on his brain. The band postponed three shows in Dallas and Woodlands, Texas, and New Orleans after the blood clot was discovered but hoped to play Bonnaroo. Dwane has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering from the procedure but is not yet ready to play.
MBE caps Adele’s honor-filled year
Adele is getting a new medal to go alongside her Grammys and Academy Award – an honor from Queen Elizabeth II. The “Rumor Has It” and “Skyfall” singer was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, on Friday in the queen’s annual Birthday Honors list.
Her award, for services to music, caps 12 months in which the 25-year-old singer won an Oscar for her James Bond theme song and gave birth to her first child. The twice-yearly royal honors lists reward hundreds of people for services to their community or national life. Most go to people who are not in the limelight, but there is also a sprinkling of famous faces.
Cyruses headed to divorce court
Billy Ray Cyrus’ wife has filed for divorce from the country singer after 19 years of marriage.
Court records show Tish Finley Cyrus filed Thursday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. She’s seeking custody of their teenage child and spousal support.
The two got married in December 1993 and have three children together, including actress-musician Miley Cyrus.
The birthday bunch
Actor Simon Callow is 64. Rock singer Steve Walsh (Kansas) is 62. Comedian-actor Jim Belushi is 59. Actress Julie Hagerty is 58. Actress Helen Hunt is 50. Actress Courteney Cox is 49. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 44. Actress Leah Remini is 43. Actor Jake Busey is 42. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 40.