NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 05: Carrie Underwood performs during 2019 CMT Music Awards at The Parthenon in Centennial Park on June 05, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)
Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT
Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT

American Idol notes: Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, David Cook, Danny Gokey, Ryan Seacrest

Originally posted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Carrie Underwood will be hosting the CMA Awards for the 12th time but for the first time, Brad Paisley won’t be with her.

Instead, she will be co-hosting with two country female legends Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire

The CMA’s released this statement to me on the change: 

The magic of Brad and Carrie as co-hosts of the CMA Awards for 11 years will live on as a legacy in the show’s history. For 2019’s show, it is the right time to celebrate the rich musical history that women have had on this format, and we are thrilled we have two of the biggest female icons of all time as guest hosts.

The CMAs are clearly honoring woman during a time when country radio remains super resistant to playing more than a handful of female artists at a time. 

Underwood has been the most consistent female presence on country radio the past 14 years. No other woman has generated as many top 10 hits (25!), including her current song “Southbound” at No. 8.

But even her success has slipped slightly in recent years. She had a string of No. 1 songs from 2005 to 2016. But her recent singles haven’t performed quite as well. Her second single from the “Cry Pretty” album “Love Wins” was the first single she had ever released to country radio that failed to make the top 10 country airplay chart on Billboard magazine, peaking at No. 11. 

In the current Mediabase 24/7 country top 20, she is the only solo female artist. There is an all-female trio Runaway Jane with “Buy My Own Drinks” at No. 10 and a male/female duet “What Happens in a Small Town” with Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell at No. 12. Lady Antebellum, with one female member, is at No. 19 with “What If I Never Get Over You.” 

The CMAs will air November 13 on ABC. 


Fantasia performed on the most recent episode of BET’s “Sunday Best’ singing her latest single “Looking For You.” It’s her second single off her upcoming album “Sketchbook,” her seventh studio release. Her first single “Enough” was a top two hit on urban AC radio. On “Sunday Best,” she also served as a guest judge.

She is embarking on a tour this fall with Robin Thicke. Her Atlanta show will be at the Fox Theatre Friday, October 18. Tickets are not yet on sale so check here for updates. She has performed there many times over the years. 


What is season 17 winner Lane Hardy up to? He is working on music in Nashville and his journey is being chronicled on YouTube:

Season 7 winner David Cook invited season 8 winner Kris Allen on stage during his Nashville show August 16. They put together a lovely cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”


Danny Gokey had his fourth child with his wife Leyicet, a baby boy named Emmanel Daniel Gokey

His other three kids are son Gabriel Daniel , who is almost two, Daniel Emmanuel 6 1/2 and sister Victoria Isabella 4 1/2.


NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Shayna Taylor and Ryan Seacrest attend The Pink Agenda's Annual Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for The Pink Agenda)
Photo: Anna Webber/Getty Images for The Breast Canc

Ryan Seacrest recently was seen vacationing with his ex-girlfriend Shayna Taylor. They dated for three years, broke up in February. People said they are “just friends,” though that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t “friends with benefits.”

I will be attending the Queen + Adam Lambert concert at State Farm Arena Thursday and will write up a review. It should be fun!

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.