(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.)
Not only did the incredible Carrie Underwood score Billboard's top country album of the decade with Some Hearts, she up and got herself proposed to and is now engaged to pro hockey player Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators.
The word I got is that Carrie was visiting him at his house with his family and friends when he popped the question and Carrie said, "Yes." No details of when or where the wedding will take place, but the church Carrie's family attends in Checotah, Okla., would be an ideal location.
The beautiful blonde is 26, and the NHL star center is 29. Congratulations to Carrie and her hockey-playing man. He is a lucky man to get a ring on her finger.
Hey, Carrie. Guess what my preacher's name is? Mike Fisher!
Taylor Swift Gives to Schools, Record Label Staff
It must have been a week ago when the news reached me that Taylor Swift had donated $250,000 to the schools in Hendersonville, Tenn., near Nashville, saying they made her what she is today. Keep in mind, Taylor was very young, maybe 14 or 15, when she began touring, so she missed her share of classes. As I recall, she was performing a concert on the night of her high school graduation and had to receive her diploma in the mail. But she realized the importance of what school instilled in her, and she wanted to give back.
Also, Taylor realizes the importance of those involved in her career, and she knows those who work at her record label, Big Machine Records, take good care of her. So the week before Christmas, Taylor showed up at the company's office in Nashville. Before long, everyone in the building noticed a U-Haul truck outside with a lot of big boxes being unloaded. It was quickly determined that those boxes contained 50-inch plasma televisions Taylor was giving to every working male and female employed by Big Machine.
Let's all of us thank Taylor for taking care of the working men and women at the high school in Hendersonville and for giving such a wonderful gift to those hardworking folks who hit the desks early and stay late at Big Machine Records.
Many stars have shined before you, Taylor, but few have ever been so thoughtful and generous. You obviously deserve each and every accolade bestowed upon you in your illustrious career. And, thank God, you are country, so there's no chance of you ever going hog-wild like some of the acts we read about in Hollywood.
LeAnn Rimes' Divorce Moves Forward
While Carrie is getting ready to say, "I do," LeAnn Rimes is getting ready to say, "I don't." Dean Sheremet, Rimes' husband of seven years, has filed for divorce in Los Angeles. The same day those papers were filed, he and Rimes submitted additional documents notifying the court that they've agreed to a confidential divorce settlement. Details of the settlement will not be made public, but Rimes and Sheremet will be officially single when their divorce becomes final on June 19, 2010.
Rumors began flying in March of LeAnn's romantic relationship with actor Eddie Cibrian, her co-star in a Lifetime movie, Northern Lights. In September, LeAnn posted a message on her Web site to announce the end of her marriage to Sheremet, a professional dancer she met at the ACM Awards in 2001.
I have to say, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Sheremet cited "irreconcilable differences" -- and not her rumored affair with Cibrian -- as the reason for their divorce.
Rimes and Sheremet's brand new house in Middle Tennessee was placed on the market earlier this year with an asking price of $7.45 million. That price tag has now been reduced to a mere $6.95 million.
Keith Urban Plays Santa
Keith Urban is used to his role as a country music superstar, but while on the Australian leg of his Escape Together tour, good guy Keith played secret Santa. While visiting the Tym Guitars shop with his band, a young boy in the music store was playing guitar while trying out an effects device known as a fuzz pedal.
Keith settled on a $1,400 Maton guitar and whispered to Tym Brennan, the store's owner, "How much is the pedal the kid's playing?"
"$450," the owner said.
"Put it on my card with the guitar," said Keith.
"Do you want me to tell the kid?" asked Brennan.
"Wait till I leave," Keith told him.
Brennan says, "Keith pays. Then on his way out, he shook hands with the young boy and said 'Merry Christmas.'"
"Was that Keith Urban?" the kid asked after Keith left the store. "He said 'Merry Christmas' to me."
"Yeah," said Brennan. "He just bought you that pedal."
You've gotta love the Christmas spirit being spread Down Under by one of the nicest guys in all of show biz -- the great Keith Urban.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Buffet Potatoes.