HOT DISH: Best Wishes to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

Kidman Serves Beer to Paparazzi During Media Feeding Frenzy

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at

Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip once said, “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” With that said, let me ask: If Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman repeated their marriage vows on Sunday (June 25) in Australia, when does it become legal here in the U.S.A.?

All joking aside, I understand that when Urban and Kidman left Music Town in a private plane, they flew to Alaska to refuel before heading to Shanghai, China, where the movie star made an appearance for a watch company sponsor and attended a film festival. From there, they flew to Sydney, Australia, where the bride owns a house, to prepare for the ceremony.

Reports indicated the couple would wed in a Catholic Church. Kidman dabbled in Scientology when she was married to actor Tom Cruise but has returned to Catholicism, the faith of her childhood.

Urban and Kidman were reportedly all smiles when they arrived in their homeland. However, neither was born in Australia. Kidman was born in Hawaii and Urban in New Zealand. (That brings up another question: Does that make skinny Nicole an American?)

Paparazzi, camped outside her home, sent Kidman flowers to celebrate her 39th birthday on Tuesday (June 19) and sang “Happy Birthday” to her via a gate intercom. Smiling, she emerged and thanked them. A Hollywood gesture, for sure.

Photographers heard the garage door open and aimed their motor-driven cameras. Instead of a bride and groom shot, the 20-plus paparazzi were met by two women carrying a case of beer and bottled water. Written on the case of 24 bottles of Victoria Bitter beer was a note: “Enjoy, Nicole and Keith.”

I am wishing the best for this couple. I can see Keith — working his butt off, singing and playing his guitar. He works as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen. And as good as Keith was, he always had to be better than the rest because he was not a native son. The fans accepted Keith totally when Kenny Chesney hired him to open shows a few years back. Keith’s movie star looks attributed to his success with the ladies, but it was his solid guitar-picking that made him a favorite of the guys.

Yep, I wish them the best, but they’re gonna have to work at it.

Dixie Chicks: There’s Your Trouble
The Dixie Chicks returned to Shepherds Bush Empire in London, the same venue where Natalie Maines piped her infamous one-liner in 2003 about being ashamed the president is from Texas. The first thing fans saw when they walked into the foyer for the June 15 concert was a display of T-shirts bearing the printed message, “The Bush We Trust Is Shepherds Bush.” The T-shirt message appears to me that the three girls are not only looking for trouble, they welcome it.

The Observer newspaper in London ran a concert review with a headline of “Too Lowdown for a Hoedown.” According to the review, Maines told the crowd, “Here’s our new single. You may have heard it. It’s been on the radio here. Not in the States.” The reporter, Lynsey Hanley, wrote, “The three Chicks, seemingly dressed by Madonna’s 1983-era stylist in a random collection of corsets, leggings, wide belts and strappy sandals, strained mirthless laughs. Maines between Robison and Maguire was like an angry child capable of commanding attention through the sheer power of her scowl.” Toward the end of the article, Hanley wrote, “Before 2003 they were thigh-slapping country gals; now they are glum-faced rock artists.”

This is not country radio speaking — nor is it country music fans who play Toby Keith, Reba McEntire and the Chicks on their changer.

One more item I should mention is the song “Lubbock or Leave It” co-written by the three Dixie Chicks and Mike Campbell. Ranting about churches, praying and stuff left in Lubbock, they say you can see Buddy Holly’s face when you’re getting on a plane in the Texas town. The chorus that follows goes: “I hear they hate me now/Just like they hated you/Maybe when I’m dead and gone/I’m gonna get a statue, too.” Holly’s brothers are very upset over these lyrics because Lubbock, Texas, is their family’s hometown, and they know the people who live there do not hate Buddy Holly.

And then Billy W. Briggs III and Katherine E. Briggs have written “Trouble in the Henhouse” as a “hometown rebuttal” to the Chicks. The chorus goes, “Ain’t got time for Dixie Chickens/Lubbock, Texas is live and kickin’….. They go on to write ’Buddy is a legend/And you’re not even second best.”

Ricky Skaggs Deals With Tragedy
Ricky Skaggs’ heart is broken. He and his entire Kentucky Thunder band were wide awake on June 16 when, just one mile away from the gate of the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., a man leaped in front of their tour bus. It was early evening just after their performance at the festival, and they were headed back home to Nashville on Interstate 24 when the lone figure darted out. The bus driver tried but could not stop. Police said he was not at fault.

The victim was identified as 21-year-old Joshua Overall of Hamilton, Ohio, who had walked away from the festival. No charges were filed, but that does not heal the hurt felt by Ricky and his band. They covet your prayers, and remember the victim’s family, too.

News and More News
Reba’s return to production of her sitcom in Los Angeles on Aug. 9 has forced her to cancel three shows at the Las Vegas Hilton in August. Her last Vegas performance is July 30. Her Reba series has been picked up by the new CW network.

Dobro-god Jerry Douglas set to open the Paul Simon’s 2006 summer tour. Among the stops are the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Bluegrass maestro Doyle Lawson will be honored with the 2006 National Heritage Fellowship award, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The ceremony will take place in Washington on Sept. 15.

Twenty-plus acts are set to perform at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas. Besides Willie, expect Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Shooter Jennings, Johnny Bush and David Allan Coe, among others.

Edward and Alex Van Halen joined Kenny Chesney onstage near Los Angeles on June 17 to help him perform the Van Halen hits “Jump” and “You Really Got Me.”

Alan Jackson donated his 2005 Ford GT featured in his video for “The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues” to Franklin Road Academy in Nashville for a nationwide raffle. Tickets are $20 each, and more information is available on Alan’s official Web site.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Sherry Chicken in Sour Cream.