A bit of a mystery surfaced shortly before the Academy of Country Music Awards show started on Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden.
After country sensation Jake Owen walked the red carpet with wife Lacey, he was seen entering a limo. It was later announced that he was scratched from the show’s lineup of stars.
Owen, 32, posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday that read, “Dessert tonight. … Rose.Rabbit.Lie Las Vegas. CRAZY PLACE.”
He competed in the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek over the weekend. Also prior to the show, there was grumblings about separating the male and female dressing rooms. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw requested their own.
Not everyone was cool with the confetti blast that showered stars Taylor Swift, George Strait and legend Merle Haggard, who was celebrating his 77th birthday.
“Confetti on @merlehaggard ain’t cool. #respect,” tweeted John Rich of Big and Rich.
TAYLOR HICKS ON HIATUS
Former “American Idol” Taylor Hicks wrapped up his run on Sunday at Paris Las Vegas.
He told me he’s taking a hiatus to complete a single and then will turn his attention to finishing up a full-length “soulful country” album.
A big announcement is coming up, he said, that will include “great TV and film opportunities and touring.”
Cited by Forbes magazine as one of the top-earning “Idol” alumni, Hicks said his goal is to return to Las Vegas but he’s looking forward to a break after a 22-month stay in his hotel room during engagements at Bally’s and sister hotel Paris.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” ran into a kindred spirit at the ACM radio room over the weekend. Country star Billy Currington was a pawnbroker early in his career. Currington, who swung from a chandelier in the music video he did with Shania Twain for their “Party for Two” duet, told Harrison he wants to visit Gold &Silver Pawn Shop, the home of the “Pawn Stars.” Harrison also appeared at the Guitar Pull event at Red Rock Resort with Sheryl Crow, Kellie Pickler, and Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves, country’s breakout star of 2013. …
Josh “Chopper” Towbin will appear on the 2,000th episode of the “Dr. Phil” show on Tuesday (KSNV-TV, Channel 3, 3 p.m.) It will be Towbin’s fourth appearance on the show, all since 2004 when he gave car-buying tips to women. …
Hot tip: If you encountered parking challenges over the weekend because of the popularity of the High Roller at The Linq and the ACM show, the monorail came in handy for many of us.
Among the first celebrities to ride the High Roller: Sharon Osbourne took a spin on Friday, and country artists Chase Bryant, David Fanning and the group Parmalee on Saturday. … Husband-wife country duo Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, dining with friends at Cut (Palazzo) on Friday. … Newly signed Flamingo headliner Olivia Newton-John and country star Hunter Hayes, in separate parties at Celine Dion’s show at Caesars Palace on Saturday. … Jewell and Food Network star Guy Fieri, at the ACM Party for a Cause at The Linq on Saturday. … Jewell and Nick Jonas, with friends at Crush (MGM Grand) on Saturday. Jonas and friends later partied at Beacher’s Madhouse. … Joining Pia Zadora’s show at Piero’s Italian Cuisine on Saturday: Gary Anthony as Frank Sinatra and Peter Pavone as Dino. … At Blvd Cocktail Company (Linq) on Friday: country star Joe Nichols, NFL bad boy Ndamukong Suh and actor Randy Couture, taking in Elvis Monroe, the all-star music group.
THE PUNCH LINE
“The Kremlin announced yesterday that Vladimir Putin and his wife have officially divorced. Over their 30-year marriage, the couple shared two daughters, several homes and one laugh.” — Seth Meyers
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.