BUZZ FROM THE ACMS

Keith Urban, Sara Evans and Reba McEntire had plenty to share backstage after the 41st Academy of Country Music Awards, May 23, in Las Vegas.

Keith Urban

Keith told reporters that he’s putting the finishing touches on a new CD. “We’re in the studio now about halfway through the new record, which I hope will be out in the fall with a single [around] August,” Keith said. Keith did not directly discuss his engagement to actress Nicole Kidman, but noted that the pressure is off him now that the engagement has been confirmed. “I’ve always been a real private person, so my life hasn’t really changed all that much,” he said.

Martina, Gretchen, Sara and Reba

Sara announced that her new single, “Coalmine,” will help benefit families of recent mining disasters. “Some of the proceeds from record sales and some of the royalties from the songwriters are going to the relief fund for the families,” Sara said. She added that the song was played for the victims’ families before a show in West Virginia, and met with no objections.

Reba

Reba, who hosted the ACM telecast, ruffled a few feathers with her on-air quip about the Dixie Chicks. “I don’t know why I was so nervous about hosting the show this year,” she began. “If the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouths, surely I can host this sucker.” Afterward, Reba told reporters that she was hesitant about the line, and actually took some Dixie Chicks jokes out of the script. But she put the one joke back in after Dixie Chick Martie Maguire took an apparent shot at her in the new issue of Time magazine, saying she didn’t want the group in a “five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith.”

Keith Urban, Mike Dungan by Rick Diamond/Wireimage; Martina, Gretchen, Sara, Reba by Tony Phipps/Sony BMG; Reba by Rick Diamond/Wireimage.com

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