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L-R: Nick Cannon and Kevin Hart; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- When Kevin Hart stepped down from his Oscar-hosting gig after he refused to apologize for almost decade-old homophobic tweets, Nick Cannon was one of the celebrities who came to Hart's immediate defense.

Now, Cannon tells ABC Radio what prompted him to speak up for Hart, whom he considers a close friend.

"If you know anything about Kevin Hart, you know that he's a great guy," Cannon says. "Not just a good guy, but somebody who has a really great spirit. Somebody that has no hate in his heart for any community or any group of people."

Hart explained his decision to bow out of hosting the Oscars by saying he didn't want to empower "trolls" by apologizing, or "be a distraction" from the night's celebration.  "I've addressed this," Hart said at the time.  "I've said who I am now versus who I was then. I've done it. I've moved on. I'm in a completely different space in my life..."

In Hart's defense, Cannon also brought up past homophobic tweets from other comedians, including Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. The actor says that if the Academy is "bringing up old things" and "requesting apologies, then I feel like everyone needs to apologize." 

Cannon feels that one of those apologizes also should go to Hattie McDaniel, the first black Academy Award winner, for her role in the 1940 film Gone with the Wind.

"She had to sit in the back in a corner by herself," Cannon noted. "She was segregated from the rest of the Gone with the Wind cast. Do we get an apology for that?"

Cannon says his reason for defending Hart is simple.

"What I was trying to say, 'Look we all make mistakes," he said. "'We all grow. We all learn.' And now it's just like, 'Now off with everyone's head.' And like, we're going to be headless soon." 

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Olivia Colman in "The Favorite"; Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation(NEW YORK) -- The Favourite is clearly that with critics.  The comedy-drama set in the 18th century world of the British monarchy scored a leading 14 nominations for the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards.

The Favourite earned nominations in all the major categories including best picture, best director and best original screenplay, as well as acting nominations for stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. 

Not far behind is the superhero blockbuster Black Panther, which earned 12 nominations including best picture, best adapted screenplay, and best supporting actor for Michael B. Jordan.  First Man has ten nominations, while Mary Poppins Returns, A Star Is Born and Vice each have nine and Green Book and Roma have seven.

On the TV side, the FX drama The Americans, which ended its six-season run in May, shares a leading five nominations with another FX drama, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and Showtime's Escape at Dannemora.  Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and HBO's Sharp Objects are the next-most nominated series, with four nods apiece.

Overall, HBO and Netflix have the most nominations among TV outlets, each with 20.  FX is next with 16, while Amazon has 12 and NBC, 11.

The Critics' Choice Awards nominees are selected annually by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association.  Winners will be announced Sunday, January 13 during a live broadcast on The CW beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

For a complete list of nominees, check out CriticsChoice.com.

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Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Start speculating, Stranger Things fans.

Netflix has released a new teaser for the show's third season, which reveals the cryptic titles of all eight episodes, including:

Suzie, Do You Copy?
The Mall Rats
The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
The Sauna Test
The Source
The Birthday
The Bite
The Battle of Starcourt

The teaser concludes with this message: “In the summer of 1985, the adventure continues.”

Season three of Stranger Things – starring Millie Bobbie Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Gaten Matarazzo – will debut in 2019.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

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L-R: Danny Masterson and Sam Elliot; Greg Gayne/Netflix(SPOILERS AHEAD)  In the wake of his departure from The Ranch, actor Danny Masterson is urging fans of the Netflix comedy to keep supporting the show. 

In an Instagram post, Masterson asked fans to keep watching the show, to honor his "family," the crew. "They work 10-14 hour shoot days to make you smile in 30 minute increments," he noted, adding, "Support comedy. Support Art. Support the Iron River ranch and the Bennett Family."

Masterson, who also co-executive-produced The Ranch, was fired from the show a year ago this month after sexual misconduct allegations against him from the early 2000s resurfaced.   Masterson has denied any wrongdoing.

In the part-six finale of The Ranch’s just-released second half of season three, it was revealed that Masterson’s character, Rooster, was apparently killed in a motorcycle accident.

Netflix has already announced that The Ranch -- also starring Debra Winger, Sam Elliot, Elisha Cuthbert and Ashton Kutcher -- will return for a fourth season.

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Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- The domestic weekend was the second lowest grossing of the year so far with the top twelve films earning a combined $77.8 million.

However, overseas it was quite a different story thanks to Jason Momoa and friends. Aquaman opened in China this weekend earning a whopping $93.6 million, and becoming the top film globally from the one market alone. It also marked the biggest start ever in China for any Warner Bros. title. Aquaman will make a splash in North America on December 21st.

As for the domestic box office, Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet took the top spot with $16 million and The Grinch wasn't far behind at $15.2 million. Ralph has now earned a domestic cume of just over $140 million. Meanwhile, the holiday season has been good for The Grinch, which is now approaching $225 million domestically.

In third, Creed II brought in an estimated $10.3 million, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald took in an estimated $6.8 million over the weekend.

Rounding out the top five is Bohemian Rhapsody with an estimated $6 million as the biographical film about the British rock band Queen is now just shy of earning $175 million domestically as it enters its sixth week of release.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. Ralph Breaks the Internet, $16 million
2. The Grinch, $15.2 million
3. Creed II, $10.3 million
4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, $6.8 million
5. Bohemian Rhapsody, $6 million
6. Instant Family, $5.6 million
7. Green Brook, $3.9 million
8. Robin Hood, $3.6 million
9. The Possession of Hannah Grace, $3.2 million
10. Widows, $3.1 million

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NBC//Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- The special counsel paid a special visit to the president's sons on this week's episode of Saturday Night Live.

Eric Trump, played again by Alex Moffat, was being tucked into bed by Mikey Day's Donald Trump Jr. when he started to have some fears about he and his brother's future.

"There's no boogeyman in your closet," Trump Jr. said. "Have you been watching the news again?"

Day's Trump Jr. decided to read his younger brother a bedtime story to help calm him down. Eric struggled a bit with the meaning of words in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas -- starting with the very first word.

But it was a large creaking noise that brought out the real boogeyman.

"That's the cheap steel dad uses to build his towers," Trump Jr. said, walking over to open the closet. "See, nothing in the closet."

Of course, as he opened the door, Robert Mueller -- played as usual by a stammering Robert De Niro -- was standing inside.

"Robert Mueller is in there!" Eric exclaimed.

"Eric, nobody likes a fibber," Trump Jr. said, before leaving to take a phone call from his lawyer.

Mueller sat down with Eric to say, "No matter what happens, America is gonna be just fine," because of the good people in it.

"Good people like my dad?" he asked.

"Let's put a pin in that," Mueller responded.

"Mr. Mueller, people say you're the worst thing that's ever happened to my dad," Eric said.

De Niro, who continues to be befuddled by cue cards, then replied, "No, getting elected president is the worst thing to ever happen to your dad."

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Tommaso Boddi/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Ron Perlman plays a hitman looking to retire in the new film Asher, which hits theaters today. Perlman, a veteran character actor, is best known to some as the hulking figure under the red skin and muscle suit of the demonic comic hero Hellboy.

He played the role in two fan favorite films, both for Oscar winning Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro. However, a long-in-development third Hellboy film with del Toro fell apart and a 2019 reboot took place, with Perlman succeeded by Stranger Things star David Harbour.

Perlman tells ABC Radio, "...I was very much at peace that I wanted nothing to with anything but finishing the trilogy. And that the journey was going to be on that included Guillermo [del Toro] or not at all.  And frankly there’s so many things that are going on in my life right now, that I don’t think about it at all. I don’t miss it. I’m at peace with it. I’m just amazingly grateful to the two movies that we did get to do."

Perlman's peace had a lot to do with meeting up with Harbour, at a dinner hosted by his friend, actor and comic geek Patton Oswalt. "So, we had our little détente. And so I have nothing but good will for what happens with David in this next iteration of Hellboy."

As for Asher, Perlman tells us he found some common ground with the titular trigger-man: "He is searching for some sort of legacy thing. And I know for a fact that you know when a guy hits his mid-sixties…those things come into play...What will they say about me when I can no longer be identified as the fastest gun in town? I think that’s what Asher is going through, I think that that’s what makes our watching him for two hours poignant."

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Ben Blackall/BBC America(NEW YORK) -- Not that there was any official reason to doubt it would happen, but word is Jodie Whittaker will return in the title role for another season of Doctor Who.

"I really can’t wait to step back in and get to work again," Whittaker told The Hollywood Reporter. "It’s such an incredible role. It's been an extraordinary journey so far and I'm not quite ready to hand it over yet."

Whittaker is the 13th person but the first woman to play the role of time-traveling Doctor in the show's more than fifty-year history.  While fan and critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, there's still no official word from the BBC confirming the 36-year-old's return.

Doctor Who airs its season finale this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET, then will return for a New Year's special Tuesday, January 1st, both on BBC America.

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Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Featuring jaw-dropping visuals and an A-list voice cast, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle hits Netflix today. The latest take on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book stars the voice and motion capture talents of Christian Bale, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Black Panther star Serkis, who famously portrayed Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films, and pioneered the development of motion-capture tech he utilized in his performances playing Peter Jackson's King Kong, as well as Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films, brought that experience to the table as the director of Mowgli.

"I wanted to really get inside of the minds of the animals," he tells ABC Radio. "So, actually, a lot of the story is carried in close up with the animals, so you really do read their facial expressions and their emotions. You know, it's a drama which happens to have animals as actors."

Rohan Chand plays the little human hero Mowgli. He tells ABC Radio that in order to get inside the head of a boy raised by wolves, he camped out with wolves: "I went to upstate New York to a wolf conservatory center...and it was really great to see how they interacted with each other you know, between the alpha and within the pack."

The film is both in theaters and on Netflix. But Christian Bale, who plays the panther Bhageera, urges people not watch it on your phone: "I don't think anybody's OK with that. I mean, this is serious artwork. I mean this...is a phenomenal, staggering, jaw-droppingly beautiful film. No, you shouldn't watch this on your phone, at all." He adds with a smile, "You know, but that also must surely be bad for your eyes, no?"

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AEG Presents/TEG-Dainty/Robert Fox(NEW YORK ) -- Tickets go on sale Friday for Hugh Jackman's first-ever world tour, which will include plenty of singing, dancing and storytelling, but not his most famous on-screen character. However, there's a possibility that another Marvel superhero may show up.

"There won't be a Wolverine kick line," Jackman jokes. But, he reveals, "I actually am about to call Ryan Reynolds, because I do think it would be quite cool if Ryan made an appearance somewhere along...as Deadpool! I think that could be kinda cool!"

If Reynolds shows, that'll be just one of many surprise guests Jackman hopes will join him during the tour -- he's planning on asking everyone from Sting to James Corden to Kristin Chenoweth to drop by. It's all part of his plan to make every concert unique and special.

"There's something sacred to me about [performing] live and I want people to feel when they come that something happened that night that ONLY happened that night," he explains. "It's like a little secret that we have. Something between the 13,000 of us, that you can only experience tonight."

One guest who'll definitely be joining Jackman for multiple shows is Keala Settle, who played the Bearded Lady in the hit movie The Greatest Showman. Jackman says thanks to that movie and its soundtrack, his audiences on this tour will likely include a whole new demographic: little kids.

"It excites me. I love the idea that we're gonna have a family audience," says Jackman. "I love the idea that these kids are gonna hear songs from Greatest Showman, they're also gonna hear stuff from Les Mis, they might hear some of the great standards from Irving Berlin or some Fred Astaire...Gene Kelly...."

"There'll be no swearing," he laughs. "I can tell you that!

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Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- (SPOILERS AHEAD) We have a name -- and the first trailer -- for the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War.

Firstly, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War, you may want to look away now, because this being a sequel, everything that happens in the new trailer takes place in the aftermath of Infinity War's extreme bummer of an ending.

The trailer for Avengers: Endgame -- that's the film's name -- opens with Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark adrift in space.  His food and water gone and oxygen nearly gone, he records a final message to his beloved Pepper Potts.

"Don't feel bad about this," he says.  "Part of the journey is the end."

Back on Earth, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow confirms that Thanos wiped out fifty percent of the world's population, as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America -- played by Chris Evans -- listens, a tear painting his cheek.  We get shots of the surviving Avengers, including Thor, Bruce Banner -- and finally Hawkeye, who was absent from Infinity War, promising that we'll learn why.

"This is the fight of our lives," says Rogers, teasing a plan to undo what Thanos did. 

"This is gonna work, Steve," says Black Widow.

"I know it is," answers Rogers.  "'Cause I don't know what I'm gonna do if it doesn't."

Then comes the title reveal, with the letters forming out of the dust that remained after Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War

And then, for a bit of comic relief, we end with Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, shouting at the front gate security camera, asking to be let in.  Captain America and Black Window learn one more superhero than they believed has survived.

Avengers: Endgame opens nationally April 26, according to the trailer, a change from the advertised May 3 debut date.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nominees for the 61st annual Grammy Awards were announced this morning.  Here's the complete list of nominees in key categories for the 61st annual Grammy Awards.  Winners will be revealed on music's biggest night Sunday, February 10, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS.

Album of the Year
Invasion of Privacy -- Cardi B
By the Way I Forgive You -- Brandi Carlile
Scorpion -- Drake
beerbongs & bentleys -- Post Malone
H.E.R. -- H.E.R.
Dirty Computer -- Janelle Monae
Golden Hour -- Kacey Musgraves
Black Panther: The Album -- Kendrick Lamar

Record of the Year
“I Like It” -- Cardi B
“The Joke” -- Brandi Carlile
“This Is America” -- Childish Gambino
“Shallow” -- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All the Stars” -- Kendrick Lamar
“Rock Star” -- Post Malone
“God’s Plan” -- Drake
“The Middle” -- Zedd, Maren Morris

Song of the Year
“All the Stars” -- Kendrick Lamar, SZA
“Boo’d Up” -- Ella Mai
“God’s Plan” -- Drake
“In My Blood” -- Shawn Mendes
“The Joke” -- Brandi Carlile
“The Middle” -- Zedd, Maren Morris
 “Shallow” -- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“This Is America” -- Childish Gambino

Best New Artist
Chloe x Halle
Luke Combs
Greta Van Fleet
H.E.R.
Dua Lipa
Bebe Rexha
Margo Price
Jorja Smith

POP FIELD

Best Pop Solo Performance
“Colors” — Beck
“Havana (Live)” — Camila Cabello
“God Is A Woman” — Ariana Grande
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)” — Lady Gaga
“Better Now” — Post Malone

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Fall In Line” — Christina Aguilera Featuring Demi Lovato
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” — Backstreet Boys
“‘S Wonderful” — Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
“Girls I Like You” — Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B
“Say Something” — Justin Timberlake Featuring Chris Stapleton
“The Middle” — Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Love Is Here to Stay —Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
My Way — Willie Nelson
Nat “King” Cole & Me — Gregory Porter
Standards (DELUXE) —Seal
THE MUSIC…THE MEM’RIES…THE MAGIC! — Barbra Streisand

Best Pop Vocal Album
Camila — Camila Cabello
Meaning of Life — Kelly Clarkson
Sweetener — Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes — Shawn Mendes
Beautiful Trauma — Pink
Reputation — Taylor Swift

DANCE/ELECTRONIC FIELD

Best Dance Recording
“Northern Soul” — Above & Beyond Featuring Richard Bedford
“Ultimatum” — Disclosure (Featuring Fatoumata Diawara)
“Losing It” — Fisher
“Electricity” — Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson
“Ghost Voices” — Virtual Self

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Singularity — Jon Hopkins
Woman Worldwide — Justice
Treehouse — Sofi Tukker
Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides — SOPHIE
Lune Rouge — TOKiMONSTA

ROCK FIELD

Best Rock Performance
“Four Out of Five” —Arctic Monkeys
“When Bad Does Good” — Chris Cornell
“Made An America” — The Fever 333
“Highway Tune” — Greta Van Fleet
“Uncomfortable” — Halestorm

Best Metal Performance
“Condemned to the Gallows “— Between The Buried And Me
“Honeycomb” — Deafheaven
“Electric Messiah” — High On Fire
“Betrayer” — Trivium
“On My Teeth — Underoath

Best Rock Song
“Black Smoke Rising” — Jacob Thomas Kiszka, Joshua Michael Kiszka, Samuel Francis Kiszka & Daniel
Robert Wagner, songwriters (Greta Van Fleet)
“Jumpsuit” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
“MANTRA” — Jordan Fish, Matthew Kean, Lee Malia, Matthew Nicholls & Oliver Sykes, songwriters (Bring Me the Horizon)
“Masseduction” — Jack Antonoff & Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent)
“Rats” — Tom Dalgety & A Ghoul Writer, songwriters (Ghost)

Best Rock Album
Rainier Fog — Alice In Chains
M A N I A — Fall Out Boy
Prequelle — Ghost
From the Fires — Greta Van Fleet
Pacific Daydream — Weezer

ALTERNATIVE FIELD

Best Alternative Music Album
Tranquility Base Hotel Casino —Arctic Monkeys
Colors — Beck
Utopia — Björk
American Utopia — David Byrne
Masseduction — St. Vincent

R&B FIELD

Best R&B Performance
“Long As I Live” — Toni Braxton
“Summer” — The Carters
“Y O Y” — Lalah Hathaway
“Best Part” — H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar
“First Began” — PJ Morton

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” — Leon Bridges
“Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight” — Bettye LaVette
“Honest” — MAJOR.
“How Deep Is Your Love” — PJ Morton Featuring Yebba
“Made for Love” — Charlie Wilson Featuring Lalah Hathaway

Best R&B Song
“Boo’d Up” — Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai)
“Come Through And Chill” — Jermaine Cole, Miguel Pimentel & Salaam Remi, songwriters (Miguel Featuring J. Cole & Salaam Remi)
“Feels Like Summer” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
“Focus” — Darhyl Camper Jr, H.E.R. & Justin Love, songwriters (H.E.R.)
“Long As I Live” — Paul Boutin, Toni Braxton & Antonio Dixon, songwriters (Toni Braxton)

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Everything Is Love — The Carters
The Kids Are Alright— Chloe x Halle
Chris Dave and the Drumhedz — Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
War & Leisure — Miguel
Ventriloquism — Meshell Ndegeocello

Best R&B Album
Sex & Cigarettes — Toni Braxton
Good Thing — Leon Bridges
Honestly — Lalah Hathaway
H.E.R. — H.E.R.
Gumbo Unplugged (Live) — PJ Morton

RAP FIELD

Best Rap Performance
“Be Careful” — Cardi B
“Nice for What” — Drake
“King’s Dead” — Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake
“Bubblin” — Anderson .Paak
“Sicko Mode” — Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee

Best Rap/Sung Performance
“Like I Do” — Christina Aguilera Featuring Goldlink
“Pretty Little Fears” — 6LACK Featuring J. Cole
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino
“All the Stars” — Kendrick Lamar & SZA
“Rockstar” — Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage

Best Rap Song
“God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)
“King’s Dead” — Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny McKinzie, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn & Michael Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future  & James Blake)
“Lucky You” — R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet, songwriters (Eminem Featuring Joyner Lucas)
“Sicko Mode” — Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young, songwriters (Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee)
“Win” — K. Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson, songwriters (Jay Rock)

Best Rap Album
Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B
Swimming — Mac Miller
Victory Lap — Nipsey Hussle
Daytona — Pusha T
Astroworld — Travis Scott

COUNTRY FIELD

Best Country Solo Performance
“Wouldn’t It Be Great?” — Loretta Lynn
“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” — Maren Morris
“Butterflies” — Kacey Musgraves
“Millionaire” — Chris Stapleton
“Parallel Line” — Keith Urban

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Shoot Me Straight” — Brothers Osborne
“Tequila” — Dan Shay
”When Someone Stops Loving You” — Little Big Town
“Dear Hate” — Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill
“Meant to Be” — Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

Best Country Song
“Break Up in the End” — Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite, songwriters (Cole Swindell)
“Dear Hate” — Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill)
“I Lived It” — Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip, songwriters (Blake Shelton)
“Space Cowboy” — Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
“Tequila” — Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers, songwriters (Dan Shay)
“When Someone Stops Loving You” — Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Little Big Town)

Best Country Album
Unapologetically — Kelsea Ballerini
Port Saint Joe — Brothers Osborne
Girl Going Nowhere — Ashley McBryde
Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves
From A Room: Volume 2 — Chris Stapleton

AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC FIELD

Best Americana Album
By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile
Things Have Changed — Bettye LaVette
The Tree of Forgiveness — John Prine
The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone — Lee Ann Womack
One Drop of Truth — The Wood Brothers

Best Bluegrass Album
Portraits in Fiddles — Mike Barnett
Sister Sadie II — Sister Sadie
Rivers and Roads — Special Consensus
The Travelin’ McCourys — The Travelin’ McCourys
North of Despair — Wood & Wire

Best Folk Album
Whistle Down the Wind — Joan Baez
Black Cowboys — Dom Flemons
Rifles & Rosary Beads — Mary Gauthier
Weed Garden — Iron & Wine
All Ashore — Punch Brothers

REGGAE FIELD

Best Reggae Album
As the World Turns — Black Uhuru
Reggae Forever — Etana
Rebellion Rises — Ziggy Marley
A Matter of Time — Protoje
44/876 — Sting & Shaggy

SPOKEN WORD FIELD

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Accessory to War (Neil Degrasse Tyson & Avis Lang)  — Courtney B. Vance
Calypso  — David Sedaris
Creative Quest — Questlove
Faith – A Journey for All — Jimmy Carter
The Last Black Unicorn — Tiffany Haddish

COMEDY FIELD

Best Comedy Album
Annihilation — Patton Oswalt
Equanimity & the Bird Revelation — Dave Chappelle
Noble Ape — Jim Gaffigan
Standup for Drummers — Fred Armisen
Tamborine
— Chris Rock

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Courtesy of HBO(NEW YORK) -- HBO has unveiled a teaser for the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones. Unfortunately for fans, the sneak peek is devoid of any scenes from the final episodes of the epic, Emmy-winning series.

Instead, the coming attraction is a visual call-back to A Song of Ice and Fire, the title of George R.R. Martin's fantasy book series on which the show is based.  We see the massive Dragonstone Table from the show, as frosty fog comes in from one side, and fire the other.

Not surprisingly, both elements clash violently in the middle, foreshadowing the final season's final conflict.

Game of Thrones' eighth and final season kicks off in April of 2019.

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Universal(LOS ANGELES) -- Opening nationwide on Friday:

* Schindler's List -- Universal marks the 25th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's groundbreaking film with a limited engagement, digitally remastered, re-release. The movie, starring Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than one thousand Jewish people during the Holocaust, took home seven Oscars in 1994, including best picture and best director for Spielberg, Also starring Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. Rated R.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

Mary, Queen of Scots -- Lady Bird's Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular character, who attempts to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England -- played by Margot Robbie -- and finds herself condemned to prison, and ultimately executed. Also starring Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant and Guy Pearce. Rated R.

* Ben Is Back -- Julia Roberts stars as a mother who tries to help her addict son -- played by Boy Erased's Lucas Hedges -- after he unexpectedly returns home for Christmas, after rehab. Courtney B. Vance also stars. Rated R.

* Vox Lux -- Natalie Portman stars in this drama about a singer's unexpected rise from talented teen to troubled pop superstar. Jude Law and Willem Dafoe also star. Rated R.




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ABCKevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the upcoming Academy Awards telecast, after nearly 10-year-old homophobic tweets surfaced from the comic and actor.

On Instagram, Hart explained the organization confronted him on Thursday. "I just got a call from the Academy," Hart says to camera. "That call basically said, 'Kevin apologize for your tweets of old, or we're gonna have to move on and find another host.'"

"I chose to pass on the apology," Hart said. "The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times."

Hart continued, "I've addressed this...I've said who I am now versus who I was then. I've done it. I've moved on. I'm in a completely different space in my life..."

He added that apologizing would only empower "trolls" who dug up the old material. "I'm gonna be me. I'm gonna stand my ground." 

Earlier Thursday, Hart seemed more conciliatory on Twitter, posting, "I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's [sic]....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

He added, "I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."

In a now-deleted 2011 tweet, Hart posted, "Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay.'"

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