HOT DISH: Thanks to Fiancé, Carrie Underwood Becomes a Big Rock Fan

More News About Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers and Others

(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 hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at CMT.com.)

Smiling and looking very thin and happy, Carrie Underwood and her dog appeared on The Early Show on CBS. Carrying her dog and wearing her engagement ring, I could not help but compare the size of the diamond to the size of her dog’s nose. They’re the same size!

She really landed a whopper of a rock from her hockey man fiancé, Mike Fisher. It’s no wonder the smiling singer chirped, “He done good.” All those New York ladies were ogling and admiring the ring. The men were just admiring the merchandise — that being Carrie, of course. She did look darling.

Congratulations to Carrie and her hot record label on her latest No. 1 single, “Temporary Home.” On The Early Show, she talked about her latest hit and her upcoming Play On tour, but she also talked and talked about the thousands of homeless dogs in this country.

“Help,” she pleads. “Donations of dog food would help, but adopting dogs would be greater.”

Brooks & Dunn, Kelly Clarkson, Melissa Peterman Crash Reba’s Knoxville Show
Lucky country music fans in Knoxville, Tenn., got some huge surprises during Reba McEntire’s Friday night (April 2) concert with George Strait and Lee Ann Womack at Thompson-Boling Arena. Joining Reba onstage were longtime friends Brooks & Dunn and sometimes duet partner Kelly Clarkson. On top of that, Melissa Peterman, the former co-star of the Reba TV sitcom and current host of CMT’s The Singing Bee, also showed up in Knoxville and had the crowd in stitches with her stand-up comedy. What a show!

Mindy McCready Reportedly in Unauthorized Sex Video
Mindy McCready is the subject of a sex video that is scheduled to be released April 19. According to news reports, the DVD features video segments of Mindy and a former boyfriend in the bedroom and a Q&A session with her about her previous affairs with baseball player Roger Clemens and actor Dean Cain. Her attorney has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the head of the Vivid Entertainment Group, an adult video distributor, to prevent the promotion and release of the DVD. Mindy was recently featured on the VH1 reality series, Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.

Miranda and Blake Raise Big Bucks in Oklahoma
Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton raised almost $70,000 for local charities during a recent concert in Tishomingo, Okla. Miranda’s MuttNation Foundation hosted the event that included acoustic performances from the cutest couple in country music, as well as a cocktail party, dinner and auction. Animal lovers, don’t forget that Miranda’s third annual Cause for Paws benefit is coming up May 15 in Tyler, Texas.

Stars Lining Up for Kenny Rogers Tribute
It’s really and truly a television special when this many stars are planning to honor Kenny Rogers for his first 50 years in the music business. Scheduled to appear: Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Dolly Parton, Wynonna, Alison Krauss, the Oak Ridge Boys, Smokey Robinson, Chris Isaak, Sheena Easton, Lionel Richie and former members of Kenny’s old band, the First Edition.

The taping will take place April 10 at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Ledyard, Conn. I just hope the swollen rivers and creeks don’t overflow in the Northeast. They’ve got way too much water up there now.

Lady Antebellum’s Success Feels Like Another Decade
Nine weeks after its release, Lady Antebellum‘s new album, Need You Now, has sold more than 1.5 million copies. And while country radio’s movers and shakers are dropping like flies across the nation, this wonderful trio’s album keeps selling like it’s still in the ’90s when nobody fretted over the economy — and none of the radio programmers dreamed their gig would ever be jerked out from under them.

Willie Nelson, Jimmy Dean Are Ailing
I hear that Willie Nelson is bothered with pain — and maybe swelling — in his wrist. And I hear that Jimmy Dean, one of this year’s Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, is not well, but I’m sure his wife, Donna Meade, will take excellent care of him.

Sending love and prayers to Willie and Jimmy. May God take care of these two great men who have given more to us than we’ve ever given back to them. This would be a real lonely business if we didn’t have Willie’s “Crazy” and Jimmy’s “Big Bad John.”

Vince Is the Best of the Best
When the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Nashville’s Belmont University presents its annual Best of the Best award on April 24, I am positive they won’t be second-guessing their choice. I know there is no one more loved than Vince Gill, who will be honored with the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence.

When it comes to humanitarians, Vince is one of our best — participating in charitable events since the early ’90s. Since that time, his celebrity basketball game and concert raised a lot of money for Belmont’s athletics and music business programs. From my heart, I have to say Vince Gill is the best that ever was. The best of the best.

Bill Anderson’s Haunted Bus
On a recent Canadian tour, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson was dealing with haunting sounds coming from the stateroom of his bus during the entire trip. The first few nights, the Country Music Hall of Famer heard voices and moans coming from the empty room. One night, the bus came to a screeching halt after the driver heard a scream. With a slightly scared laugh, Anderson allowed, “Maybe it was Hank Williams wanting to co-write a song or Faron Young just messing with my head!”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there’s not a tractor with a chain strong enough to drag me onto Bill’s bus right now. No use to mess with haunts, haints or ghosts.

More News
Those of you who are proud of Charlie Daniels can get a free ringtone of the fiddle music he plays on Geico’s TV commercial. It’s available on Charlie’s official Web site. The late Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe would be so proud of him.

The incredible Alan Jackson will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during ceremonies on April 16.

Will wonders never cease? Taylor Swift has won two more awards. The latest are from the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for favorite female singer and song (for “You Belong With Me” ). Comes as a huge surprise, huh?

I see where my friend, good guy Darryl Worley, will be doing yet another overseas military entertainment tour for the nonprofit organization, Stars for Stripes. This is his eighth journey to sing for the troops. Thanks, Darryl.

When they aren’t singing, Tim McGraw and Dwight Yoakam are acting. I might add that they do both very well. They’ll be working together in a new film, Dirty Girl, an independent project with William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen and Milla Jovovich. The movie is set in Oklahoma in 1987.

If you want something done right, ask a woman. Now that Reba and Wynonna have joined the American Red Cross’ 2010 national celebrity cabinet, I’d wager there will never be a want for anything. These two are not afraid to get up early and stay up late to get the job done.

Congratulations to Universal Music Group Nashville chairman and CEO Luke Lewis and his wife, Lauren, on the birth of a son, Griffin Wingate, on March 21.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Cabbage Casserole.