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Cardi B Leads 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards With 10 Nominations



On Oct. 5, the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards will make its triumphant return to Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Center after vacationing in Miami for the last two years. After besting his peers with eight nominations in 2018, this year, Drake slides into third place with seven, allowing Cardi B to lead the pack with double-digit honors.
After notching four wins at last year’s festivities, Cardi looks to clinch more victories this time around with her 10 nominations including MVP of the Year, hot ticket performer, hustler of the year, best collab, single of the year, made-you-look award, and two nods for the best hip-hop video, & sweet 16 categories.
Though Cardi didn’t deliver her sophomore album in 2019, she stayed busy slinging out Hot 100 bangers in “Money,” “Press” and “Please Me.”

There’s a three-way tie for second as DJ Khaled, Travis Scott and J. Cole each nab eight nominations. Despite his passing earlier this year, Nipsey Hussle pulls away with a handful of nods, netting five.

As for newcomers, Megan Thee Stallion snags five, while DaBaby closes shop with four.

Lil Kim is set to receive the 2019 “I Am Hip Hop” award at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards. The Brooklyn MC was a pivotal force in shaping hip-hop music, the culture and the fashion industry. She also paved the way for many female rappers following her significant mark on the music scene, including today’s most notable female rappers like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.

There will also be a new category this year dubbed best international flow that will highlight artists from different countries such as Nigeria, UK, France, South Africa, Ghana and Canada.

The 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards will air Tuesday (Oct. 8) at 8 pm EST on BET.

Check out the full list of the nominations below.
Best Hip-Hop Video
21 Savage – “A Lot” Feat. J. Cole
Cardi B – “Money”
City Girls – “Twerk” Feat. Cardi B
DaBaby – “Suge”
Meek Mill – “Going Bad” Feat. Drake
Travis Scott – “Sicko Mode” Feat. Drake
Hot Ticket Performer
Cardi B
Megan Thee Stallion
The Carters
Travis Scott
Album of the Year
Travis Scott – Astroworld
Meek Mill – Championships
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
DJ Khaled – Father of Asahd
Tyler, The Creator – Igor
Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers 3

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Bruno Mars, Florent Dechard
Dave Meyers
Eif Rivera
Travis Scott

Lyricist of the Year
2 Chainz
J. Cole
Meek Mill
Nipsey Hussle
YBN Cordae

MVP of the Year
Cardi B
DJ Khaled
J. Cole
Megan Thee Stallion
Nipsey Hussle

Producer of the Year
DJ Khaled
London On Da track
Metro Boomin’
Swizz Beatz
Tay Keith

Best Collab, Duo or Group
21 Savage Feat. J. Cole – “A Lot”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars – “Please Me
DJ Khaled Feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher”
Lil Baby & Gunna – “Drip Too Hard”
Lil Nas X Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Travis Scott Feat. Drake – “Sicko Mode”

Single of the Year
“Act Up” – Produced by EarlThePearll (City Girls)
“Big Ole Freak” – Produced by LilJuMadeDaBeat (Megan Thee Stallion)
“Money” – Produced by J. White Did It (Cardi B)
“Old Town Road (Remix)” – Produced by YoungKio (Lil Nas X Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)
“Sicko Mode” – Produced by Rogét Chahayed, CuBeatz, OZ, Hit-Boy & Tay Keith (Travis Scott Feat. Drake)
“Suge” – Produced by Pooh Beatz & JetsonMade (DaBaby)

Best New Hip-Hop Artist
Lil Nas X
Megan Thee Stallion
Roddy Ricch
YBN Cordae

Best Mixtape
Jack Harlow – Loose
Kevin Gates – Luca Brasi 3
Megan Thee Stallion – Fever
Roddy Ricch – Feed Tha Streets II
Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y – 2009
YBN Almighty Jay, YBN Cordae & YBN Nahmir – YBN: The Mixtape

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
21 Savage – “Wish Wish” ( DJ Khaled Feat. Cardi B & 21 Savage)
Cardi B – “Clout” (Offset Feat. Cardi B)
Cardi B – “Twerk” (City Girls Feat. Cardi B)
J. Cole – “A Lot” (21 Savage Feat. J Cole)
Rick Ross – “Money in the Grave” (Drake Feat. Rick Ross)
Rick Ross – “What’s Free” (Meek Mill Feat.Jay-Z & Rick Ross)
Impact Track
21 Savage – “A Lot” Feat. J. Cole
DJ Khaled – “Higher” Feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend
J. Cole – “Middle Child”
Kap G – “A Day Without a Mexican”
Lizzo – “Tempo” Feat. Missy Elliott
Youngboy Never Broke Again – “I Am Who They Say I Am” Feat. Quando Rondo & Kevin Gates

DJ of the Year
Chase B
DJ Drama
DJ Envy
DJ Esco
DJ Khaled

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)
Cardi B
DJ Khaled
French Montana
Meek Mill
Rick Ross
Travis Scott
Best Hip-Hop Online Site/App
All Hip-Hop
The Shade Room

Hustler of the Year
Cardi B
DJ Khaled
Nipsey Hussle
Rick Ross
Travis Scott

Best International Flow
Falz (Nigeria)
Ghetts (U.K.)
Kalash (France)
Lil Simz (U.K.)
Nasty C (South Africa)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Tory Lanez (Canada)

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Celebrities Who Started Dating After Years of Friendship: From Shawn and Camila to Kim and Kanye



Written in the stars. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and more celebrities went from just friends to something more over the years. In fact, some of the strongest relationships in Hollywood began on platonic terms.

West and Kardashian did not start dating until 2012, but they first crossed paths nearly a decade earlier. “I met him I think in 2002 or 2003,” the KKW Beauty founder said during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10th anniversary special in 2017. “He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him, and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was.”

The rapper quickly became acquainted with the reality star, leading to a long friendship that saw Kardashian wed to another man. She and Kris Humphries tied the knot in August 2011, but their short-lived marriage did not eliminate her bond with West.

“Right before I got married to Kris Humphries, [Kanye and I] were talking, and I just went a different direction,” she explained. “I think I had to go through that to figure out what I wanted. After my breakup, I was feeling really low and down and he said, ‘Just come to Paris and see my fashion show.’ He jokes that he put on this whole fashion show just to get a date with me. So I went there and I stayed with him, and that’s where we started dating. I swear from the moment I landed, I fell madly in love with him and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, why didn’t I do this sooner?’ Like, this is what real life is like — love and fun and real support.”

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher also had an aha moment years after starring on That ‘70s Show together. The Ranch star and the Bad Moms actress became friends with benefits … until she called it off. “I walked up to him and I was like, ‘You know what? I actually care about you, and I don’t wanna mess anything up, so I’m just going to walk away before it becomes too much,’” she recalled in a 2018 interview with the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast. “And he was like, ‘Got it.’”

However, their feelings for each other won out: “The next day he showed up to my house, and he was like, ‘Move in with me.’”

Scroll to see more celebrity couples who were friends first.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

The musicians went on tour with Austin Mahone in 2014, at which time they struck up a friendship. They collaborated on “I Know What You Did Last Summer” the following year. It was not until they teamed up again for “Señorita” in 2019 that Cabello and Mendes became more than pals. The duo were first linked in July 2019, with Us Weekly confirming at the time that they were an item.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis

Kunis received her first kiss from Kutcher when the pair starred on That ‘70s Show together from 1998 to 2006. The former costars became friends with benefits in 2012 following his divorce from Demi Moore, and things quickly turned serious. They married in July 2015 and welcomed daughter Wyatt in October 2014 and son Dimitri in November 2016.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

The Grammy winner and the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star met in the early 2000s but did not begin dating until 2012. The longtime friends, who now share daughter North, son Saint, daughter Chicago and son Psalm, wed in May 2014.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber

Hailey’s father, Stephen Baldwin, introduced her to the Grammy winner in 2009. The model and Justin dated from 2015 to 2016 before ending things. Us broke the news of their reconciliation in June 2018. They wed in September 2018 and held a second ceremony one year later.

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2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bring cowboys, entertainment, shopping to Las Vegas



The 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is back in Las Vegas Dec. 5 through 14.

NFR is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is widely acknowledged to the world’s premier rodeo. It has been held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas since 1985.

Events include bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The top 15 contestants in each will compete in 10 rounds for 10 days. At the end, there will be 2 champions in each event (4 for team roping).

In addition to the action at T&M, there will a huge shopping experience for cowboy fans, special entertainment at local hotels and casinos, and deals at various bars and restaurants.

Andiamo Steakhouse at the D Las Vegas will be cooking up 100-day, dry-aged Snake River Farms American Wagyu Steaks. The popular Italian eatery will have 200, 36 oz. steaks available, starting at $175. Customers are encouraged to reserve their steak ahead of time by calling Andiamo (702-388-2220) or by reserving online.

Bally’s Las Vegas will show the rodeo live and offer complimentary entertainment as well as autograph signings from riders at Indigo Lounge. For rodeo fans looking to indulge in a robust American meal, BLT Steak offers an acclaimed selection of steaks, fresh seafood, signature warm popovers, creative desserts and more.

At Caesars Palace, Reba, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn will join forces at The Colosseum for their country music residency – REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together in Vegas on Dec. 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13 and 14. For a rodeo pre-party, guests can head to Spanish Steps from Thursday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec.7 from noon to 4 p.m. where there will be complimentary live entertainment, drink specials and lasso throwing contests. Spanish Steps will also host a meet ang greet with the Pendleton Whisky Posse on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. where guests can get free swag, take photos with the ladies and learn about the Pendleton brand. To watch the rodeo, Montecristo Cigar Bar is the place to be with a live feed of the action, drink specials, samplings, cigars and more. For those looking for a hearty meal, Old Homestead Steakhouse offers beloved American favorites, while Mesa Grill serves bold Southwestern fare.

The 4th annual Boots on the Boulevard is happening Dec. 6-15. Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Kip Moore will be joined by critically acclaimed country group, Midland, inside The Chelsea on Dec. 14. The resort will transform into the ultimate rodeo destination with additional events taking place at CliQue Bar & Lounge and The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails throughout the weekend.

Cowboy Christmas is happening Dec. 5-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shopping experience will feature more than 300 exhibitors, the Coors Rodeo Saloon, NFR Central with special guests, a special area for hunters and outdoorsmen and women, Wrangler NFR After Dark, the Great Wall of Rodeo, live entertainment and more.

Crazy Horse 3, located at 3525 W. Russell Rd., will encourage guests to saddle up in celebration of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) with ‘Boobs & Bulls’ parties from Dec. 5 through Dec. 14. The award-winning gentlemen’s club will offer a complimentary beer to any guest with a rodeo ticket stub. Crazy Horse 3 will also offer $3 shots of Jack Daniels whiskey and all the rodeo action on massive 70-inch and 100-inch high-definition televisions in the company of gorgeous, barely-dressed cowgirls.

The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center is offering free watch parties Dec. 5-14. Fans can gather around the watering hole to watch all the rodeo action from the comfort of the venue’s 20,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled tent. The nightly event is free, open to all ages and will run from 6 p.m. to midnight.

To keep the excitement going, fans can expect:

Nightly concerts from Pepie’s One Mand Band
Large viewing screens to catch every second of NFR fun
Delicious food and drink specials

In addition to the evening events, Andiamo Steakhouse at the D Las Vegas will be offering premier 36 oz. dry-aged Snake River Farms American Wagyu steaks in honor of NFR. The luxe Italian eatery will age the cuts in-house for 100 days using a process that amplifies the flavor concentration, palate and tenderness of the meat. Only 200 steaks will be available during the week of the rodeo and guests are highly encouraged to reserve their $175 cuts ahead of time.

Free entertainment inside Marilyn’s Lounge
· Chase & The Pursuit – Dec. 5 & 6 at 9 p.m.
· Ghost Town Riders – Dec. 7-9 at 9 p.m.
· Brett Rigby – Dec. 10-14 at 9 p.m.

The 33rd annual Downtown Hoedown is happening Dec. 4 at the Fremont Street Experience. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., rodeo fans are invited to saddle up and ride down to the six-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas for the official kick-off party featuring rowdy full-length performances by chart-topping country music sensations Rodney Atkins, Dylan Scott, David Lee Murphy, Filmore, Gabby Barrett and Jackson Michelson.

The 33rd Annual Downtown Hoedown lineup includes:
4:30 p.m. – Jackson Michelson on Main Street Stage
5:40 p.m. – Gabby Barrett on 1st Street Stage
6:35 p.m. – David Lee Murphy on 3rd Street Stage
7:30 p.m. – Filmore on Main Street Stage
8:40 p.m. – Dylan Scott on 1st Street Stage
9:50 p.m. – Rodney Atkins on 3rd Street Stage

Bowling, celebrities, food and fun will once again be part of the Bob Tallman’s Wrangler NFR Charity Bowling Event at10 a.m. on Dec. 7 at the Gold Coast Bowling Center. Now in its 12th year, the tournament will benefit the Las Vegas chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. Participants can sign up as a team of four or an individual bowler to meet and bowl with rodeo contestants and celebrities. For more information, contact Paulette Anderson at 702.632.8242.

Some of country’s biggest stars are performing Dec. 5-13 at Golden Nugget. They include Terri Clark on Dec. 5, Clay Walker on Dec. 6, John Michael Montgomery on Dec. 7, Charlie Daniels Band on Dec. 8, Ronnie Milsap on Dec. 9, Tracy Lawrence on Dec. 10, Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan on Dec. 11, Ray Wylie Hubbard on Dec. 12, and Jamey Johnson on Dec. 13. Each concert will begin at 10 p.m. following the rodeo. Tickets are on sale now with select shows starting at $29, plus taxes and fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. Tickets are available here.

Country superstars, Old Dominion, kicks off NFR week with two must-see performances on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 at 9 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel. Tickets for Old Dominion start at $29.50 (plus applicable tax and service fees). After incredibly successful performances in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Gary Allan returns to The Joint for two nights on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.50 (plus applicable tax and service fees). Chart topping singer and songwriter, Cody Johnson performs at The Joint on Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $30 (plus applicable tax and service fees). Koe Wetzel, a country group with a signature punk rock-meets-hillbilly sound, rocks The Joint on Dec. 13 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $22 (plus applicable tax and service fees). Tickets can be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office or online at

Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel will also be offering a full slate of free country entertainment. Awarded “Best Vegas Band” two years running by Las Vegas Weekly, winner of Life is Beautiful 2017 Battle of the Bands, The Rhyolite Sound, will rock Vinyl on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. Sundance Head, 2016 winner of “The Voice,” will be wowing crowds for three nights, Dec. 9, 10 and 11 at 10 p.m.

Harrah’s Las Vegas will show a live feed of the rodeo at Harrah’s Race & Sports Book and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. In addition to showing the rodeo, Toby Keith’s will also provide complimentary live entertainment nightly at 9 p.m., offer Jack Daniels drink specials and host autograph signings from riders. Toby Keith’s will keep the party going with extended hours from Friday, Dec. 6 to Saturday, Dec. 14 for this fun-filled weekend. On Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 the restaurant will be open from noon to 1 a.m., on Sunday, Dec. 8 the restaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight, on Monday, Dec. 9 and Tuesday, Dec. 10 the restaurant will be open from noon to midnight and on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14 the restaurant will be open from noon to 1 a.m. The Piano Bar at Harrah’s will also provide complimentary live entertainment nightly and offer Jack Daniels drink specials. Rodeo fans looking for dinner with a view can head to the recently renovated Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to enjoy a selection of steaks, seafood and more. The steakhouse is also offering an NFR Cowboy Special menu, which includes a shot of Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey; the guest’s choice of a harvest salad or lobster bisque for the starter; a 16 oz. Kurobuta pork chop for the entrée; an array of entrée compliments and white chocolate bread pudding for dessert.

FANTASY at the Luxor Hotel and Casino will welcome Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) back to Las Vegas with discounted tickets for NFR attendees from Dec. 5 – 14. FANTASY will offer a 50 percent discount on all tickets for guests who show their 2019 NFR tickets upon purchase at any Luxor box office. Following the show, all guests are invited to mix and mingle with the cast of FANTASY at a meet-and-greet, with the opportunity for autographs and photos.

THE TERRY BRADSHAW SHOW is offering discounted tickets for NFR attendees for performances on Dec. 10 and 17. Tickets will be discounted by 50 percent for all guests who present their 2019 NFR tickets upon purchase at the Luxor box office. In the production, Bradshaw entertains the crowd with his dynamic singing ability, endearing personality and charisma in a 70-minute show that chronicles his life’s journey.

Each night country’s brightest stars will headline “Rodeo Vegas” at The Mirage Race & Sports Book where the party never ends. Live music begins at 9 p.m. nightly and admission is complimentary. The lineup is as follows:

Dec. 5: Mitchell Tenpenny
Dec. 6: Easton Corbin
Dec. 7: Casey Donahew Band
Dec. 8: Riley Green
Dec. 9: Casey Donahew Band
Dec. 10: Chancey Williams Band
Dec. 11: Glen Templeton
Dec. 12: Mark Chesnutt
Dec. 13: LANCO
Dec. 14: Chris Lane

Parlor Lounge will provide live music to rodeo fans looking for a more intimate setting. Admission is complimentary with live music beginning at 9:30 p.m. nightly. The artists scheduled to perform are:

Dec. 3, 5 – 7: Brit Stokes
Dec. 12 – 14: Glen Templeton

As part of the Aces of Comedy series, Ron White, best known as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the “Blue Collar Comedy” tour, will perform his hilarious stand-up comedy inside the Terry Fator Theatre Dec. 6 – 7 and Dec. 13 – 14. Performances start at 10 p.m. nightly. Tickets start at $59.99 (not including applicable service charges) and can be purchased at,, in-person at any MGM Resorts International box office or by calling (800) 963-9634 or (702) 792-7777.

ALL IN BARREL RACE at Orleans Arena
Watch some of the top barrel racing competitors in the country during the action-packed ALL IN BARREL RACE at Orleans Arena, Dec. 6-8 (Race 1), Dec. 10-12 (Race 2) and Dec. 14-16 (Race 3). The 10-day event will welcome contestants from as far away as Canada, Florida and Europe to compete for a guaranteed cash payout of more than $557,000 and over $150,000 in prizes. The event is free and open to the public. Start times for each competition vary and are subject to change.

Free entertainment inside Bourbon Street Lounge during the Buckin’ Bash, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
· Felice Garcia – Dec. 5-7
· DJ Peter Radd – Dec. 7 & 13 (between live artists’ sets)
· DJ Riano – Dec. 8-11, also performing between live artists’ sets Dec. 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15
· Vanessa LeGrand – Dec. 12-14

Cherry Boom Boom, the rock’n’roll a go-go showcase at OYO Hotel & Casino, is welcoming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo back to Las Vegas with a discounted ticket special from Thursday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 14th. Attendees who use the ticket code “CHERRYNFR” when buying their tickets online will be able to purchase tickets for $25 each and receive a complimentary drink. Following the show, guests are invited to meet and take photos with the Cherry Boom Boom cast.

The rodeo will also be shown live at the Paris Las Vegas Race & Sports Book, The Book at The LINQ Hotel + Experience and Flamingo Las Vegas’ Bird Bar and Garden Bar.

Rodeo and country music fans can also check out Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, where Shania Twain will open her Las Vegas residency – Shania Twain “Let’s Go!” – on Friday, Dec. 6 and continue with performances on Dec. 7, 11, 13, 14 and 18. Plus, the rodeo will be shown live at Extra Lounge along with complimentary live entertainment and autograph signings from riders.

Cabo Wabo Cantina, located inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, will celebrate the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) with drink specials and hearty breakfast selections from Thursday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 14. Rodeo enthusiasts will wrangle a deal with Cabo Wabo’s beer buckets priced at $23; shot specials starting at $5; and signature cocktails including the spicy El Santo, starring Sammy Hagar’s own Mezquila, freshly crushed jalapenos, orange and pineapple juices and finished with chipotle pepper and agave, priced at $15.

PT’s Gold, located at 10520 S Las Vegas Blvd., is celebrating the annual National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas with a special for all the cowboys and cowgirls. From Thursday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 15, guests who stop by this PT’s location dressed in their cowboy attire can enjoy a quarter-pound burger, fries and a domestic beer for $8.

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will host rodeo viewing parties at iBar featuring drink specials, giveaways, autograph signings and a post-rodeo DJ on the weekends to continue the festivities. Additional drink specials will also be available during iBar’s Cowboy Cocktail Hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily throughout the rodeo. For those looking to satisfy their cowboy-sized appetites, VooDoo Steak will offer a five-course prix-fixe menu featuring the guest’s choice of a 32 oz. tomahawk, 20 oz. bone-in ribeye or a 10 oz. center cut beef filet for the main course. Rio Convention Center will also host the Stetson Country Christmas Show from Thursday, Dec. 5 to Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where shoppers can get gifts needed for their western-style Christmas list. Plus, Red Bull will transform the Masquerade Stage from Thursday Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec.14 into a Cowboy Lounge featuring DJs, a dance floor, party games, drink specials and more.

The Lil’ Buckaroo Bash takes place nightly at Sam’s Town during Rodeo Week and is free and open to families. Starting at 5:30 p.m. inside the Hawthorne Room, PRCA rodeo announcer Jody Carper will host the event with live music from rodeo music director, Nicky Kimm. A kiddie coral will be available for small children while the older kids can enjoy games such as, “Rodeo Pictionary,” a roping dummy, trivia, charades, “Name That Tune,” musical chairs and more. Rodeo-themed prizes include Boyd Gaming rodeo vests, Gold Coast collector edition gaming chips, Resistol Hats and $50 Boot Barn gift cards. Food is available for purchase and adults 21 and older can sit back and enjoy the full cash bar.

Free entertainment at Roxy’s Saloon
· Randy Anderson Band – Dec. 5-14, at 2 p.m.
· SJ & The Ruckus – Dec. 5-7 at 9:30 p.m.
· DooWah Riders – Dec. 8-14 at 9:30 p.m.

At the Orleans Showroom, a family-friendly viewing party will take place nightly, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Now in its 13th year, the award-winning National Finals Tonight Show will return to The Orleans at 10:30 p.m. each night. Happening inside the Honky Tonk Saloon, the show will feature rodeo highlights, interviews, and question and answer sessions with the world’s leading cowboys and cowgirls.

Admission is free and prizes will be given away nightly. The wrap-up of each day’s NFR events will be hosted by eight-time World Champion and Hall of Fame Cowboy Don Gay; World Champion Tie-Down Roper and all-around cowboy Joe Beaver; and TV host Dan Miller. There will be special appearances by legendary Wrangler NFR rodeo announcer and Boyd Gaming Rodeo Ambassador, Bob Tallman, and many others.

Rump’s Rodeo Party returns for its third year, nightly at 5 p.m. at the Honky Tonk Saloon, located near Bailiwick All American Pub + Eatery. Hosted by 2018 PRCA Barrelman of the Year Justin Rumford, this NFR Viewing Party invites guests to experience the excitement and watch the live feed of the competitions. In addition to a free Wrangler NFR viewing experience, Rump will bring his unique humor and antics along with chances to win prizes.

Each night during Wrangler NFR, following Rump’s Rodeo Party, Justin Rumford two-steps to the Bourbon Street Lounge at The Orleans for the Buckin’ Bash – “Las Vegas’ best rodeo party after dark.” The fun kicks-off at 9 p.m. and Rumford will welcome a different rodeo celebrity for a “Toast of the Night” every evening. The Buckin’ Bash will be complete with live country music, two-step dancing and drink specials. Guests must be 21 years or older and there is no cover charge.

A new exhibit, “John Wayne: Spirit of the West,” opens Dec. 6 at the South Point hotel-casino. The 2,000-square-feet of exclusive experiences will immerse guests into John Wayne’s professional and personal life to learn more about the movie star, world traveler and family man through never-before-seen memorabilia, iconic film props and other interactive elementats that capture the spirit of the west. There is also a 1,000 square-foot retail space, which is the only phusical store that sells the John Wayne Brand. The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 14.

Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que at Treasure Island will offer live entertainment with a $10 cover charge beginning at 9 p.m. Starting Dec. 5, there will be nightly country rock bans, including:

Scotty Alexander: Dec. 5 and 6 at 10 p.m.
Chancey Williams & the Younger Brothers Band: Dec. 7 and 8 at 10 p.m.
Reckless Kelly: Dec. 9 and 10 at 10:30 p.m.
Kevin Fowler: Dec. 11 and 12 at 10:30 p.m.
Rob Staley Band: Dec. 13 and 14 at 10 p.m.

In addition to live entertainment, Gilley’s will stream all the NFR action live starting at 6:45 p.m. nightly.

Drink specials – Until 10 p.m. daily
Cowboys and cowgirls can drink up with NFR specials at Gilley’s.
$6 shots – Includes Crown Royal, Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Crown Royal Vanilla, Crown Royal Apple, Crown Royal Peach, Absolut & Absolut Grapefruit, Patron Silver and Repo and Captain Morgan Spiced
$6 16 oz. Draft Beer – Choice of Bud Light, Shock Top, Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, Alaskan Amber, Alaskan Icy Bay, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Dos Equis or Sam Adams Boston Lager
$8 You-Call-It Cocktails – Includes Crown Royal, Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Crown Royal Vanilla, Crown Royal Apple, Crown Royal Peach, Absolut & Absolut Grapefruit, Patron Silver and Repo and Captain Morgan Spiced
$9 Beer and Shot – Includes Crown Royal, Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Crown Royal Vanilla, Crown Royal Apple and Crown Royal Peach with beer choice of Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra or Hop Knot IPA
$9 Mules – Choice of Crown Royal and select Crown Royal Flavors, Absolut & Absolut Grapefruit or Patro Silver & Repo with ginger beer
4 for $25 Beer Buckets – Choice of Heineken, Heineken Light, Sam Adams Boston Lager or Angry Orchard Hard Cider
5 for $25 Beer Buckets – Choice of Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra or Hop Knot IPA

Bull Riders
NFR bull riders will sign autographs at Gilley’s Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Cowboy Comedians
Blue-collar comedian Bill Engvall will perform at the Treasure Island Theatre Friday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $59.95. In addition, Chad Prather brings The Star Spangled Banter Comedy Tour back to the Treasure Island Theatre Friday, Dec. 13 at 10 p.m., with tickets starting at only $35.95.

Tickets are available now online and at the TI Box Office by calling 702-894-7722. Taxes and service fees apply.

TREVI Italian Restaurant, located in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, will celebrate the return of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo’s (NFR) to Las Vegas with deals on Pendleton® Whisky and a specialty 36-ounce ribeye, available Dec. 5 through Dec. 14. The Italian restaurant will fuel up for NFR with Pendleton® Midnight whisky, which offers the palate a full, well-balanced oak paired with hints of coffee cake, nuts, caramelized bananas and candied figs, priced at $10; and Pendleton® 1910 whisky that delivers a medium dry finish with lingering tart cherry, priced at $12. TREVI will also offer a 36-ounce ribeye, ideal for pairing with either whisky.

Tropicana Las Vegas is hosting a varity of daily and nightly events Dec. 1-14.
65th Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant (Dec. 1-8, 2019)

Tropicana Las Vegas, Legends in Concert Theater
Pull on your cowboy boots and head to Tropicana Las Vegas for the return of the Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant this Dec.. Featuring over 30 contestants, reigning State Rodeo Queens will compete in areas of appearance, horsemanship, and personality for the coveted title of the 65th Miss Rodeo America. The Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant allows young women to make lifelong friendships and offers the opportunity to create the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Tailgate Party (Dec. 5-14, 2019, noon to 2 p.m.)
Tropicana Las Vegas, Bullfighters Only Event Tent
Mingle with other WNFR enthusiasts while enjoying music, food, drinks, games, and giveaways at the Tailgate Party prior to the main Bullfighters Only 2019 Las Vegas Championship.

Bullfighters Only 2019 Las Vegas Championship (Dec. 5-14, 2019, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.)
Tropicana Las Vegas, Bullfighters Only Event Tent
The city’s toughest spot during the Rodeo Week can be found under the Bullfighters Only event tent with the Bullfighters Only (BFO) 2019 Las Vegas Championship. The premier league for freestyle bullfighting, BFO returns with talented athletes challenging their skills and abilities against equally athletic and strongest bulls.

Hooey Jam (Dec. 5-14, 2019, 4 to 6 p.m.)
Tropicana Las Vegas, Robert Irvine’s Public House
Following the exhilaration of the BFO 2019 Las Vegas Championship, guests are invited to meet the bullfighters and listen to popular country recording artists while indulging in delicious comfort food at Hooey Jam inside Robert Irvine’s Public House.

WNFR Closed-Circuit Viewing Party (Dec. 5-14, 2019, 6 to 9 p.m.)
Tropicana Las Vegas, Cohiba Ballroom
Join in on the excitement by watching all events broadcasted live daily with a special closed-circuit complimentary viewing party of the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Guests will have the chance to meet contestants of the 65th Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant, including the 2019 Miss Rodeo America, Taylor McNair before she passes down her crown to the new 2020 Miss Rodeo America. During the viewing party, guests can enjoy drink specials, buckets of beer and specialty food items.

Gary Leffew’s Bucking Ball® (Dec. 5-7 and 12-14, 2019, 9 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.)
Tropicana Las Vegas, Cohiba Ballroom
The signature Wrangler National Finals Rodeo after-party, Gary Leffew’s Bucking Ball®, is back by popular demand and will be hosted by former World Champion Bull Rider and rodeo guru, Gary Leffew. Guests are invited to experience live music and a rodeo arena-style dance floor and treat themselves to drink specials and exclusive giveaways, featuring a one of a kind six-string acoustic guitar autographed by multiple country stars. To top off the night, guests will be given the opportunity to attend a special meet and greet with the 65th Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant contestants and the 2019 Miss Rodeo America, Taylor McNair.

Rodeo fans looking for transportation to and from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) will have the option to utilize the complimentary shuttle bus service – the NFR Express – with routes from the Las Vegas Convention Center and NFR official host hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown to the Thomas & Mack Center.

From Dec. 5 through Dec. 14, shuttle buses will pick up at Cowboy Christmas located at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This one-way route will serve as the Rodeo Express Shuttle and will run from the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall directly to the Thomas & Mack Center.

Also beginning on Dec. 5, the NFR Express will begin complimentary routes to and from the NFR sponsor hotels. There are now fourteen routes, covering 24 hotel properties.

In 2019, all Wrangler NFR performances begin at 6:45 p.m. (PT). NFR Express will begin pick-ups at 5 p.m. (PT) and include return service until 10:30 p.m. (PT). There is no shuttle bus service during the actual rodeo performance.

Rodeo fans are urged to utilize the NFR Express for round-trip transportation. In addition, fans are asked to allow approximately 15 minutes for traffic conditions from each hotel pick-up point.

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Breaking News

Funeral services are set for murdered Lowndes County, Al sheriff, ‘Big John’ Williams



We are sadden to report that Lowndes County, Alabama is mourning the senseless murder of Sheriff “Big John” Williams.

Sheriff “Big John” towered over this rural central Alabama county in more ways than one. He was shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday night in the parking lot of the QV convenience store. The store is on the main drag of this small hamlet, across the town square from the courthouse and down the street from Williams’ home.

“A good man lost his life for nothing, it’s just senseless,” said Steve Webb, a Lowndes County native. “It’s just senseless. The sheriff was a good man. He didn’t play any favorites. He didn’t care if you were black or white. He was a good man, and now he’s gone.”

Williams’ towering height gave him his nickname. A beloved lawman serving in his home county, he was also well-respected by the state’s law enforcement community.

Sheriff “Big John” Williams

He had an easy smile and a deep voice that he hardly ever raised. He didn’t have to.

“He was the sheriff,” said Eddie Lee “Jackpot” Grant, another Lowndes County native. “If he could help you, he would. Every time he would see you, he’d wave and speak. You know that voice he had.”

Hayneville, the county seat, is about 25 miles west of Montgomery, in the heart of the Black Belt. The county has a population of about 11,000. Williams regularly rode through the town and out in the county in his unmarked Chevy Tahoe. He would squawk the siren as he went by.

‘The sheriff is gone over loud music?’ Alabama sheriff shot and killed over loud music, witnesses and police say

“You see Big John, and he’d give you the whoop-whoop,” Grant said, smiling. “He’d never toot the horn, just the whoop-whoop. He let you know he was out doing his job. And now he’s gone.”

Details are sketchy as to what happened Saturday night. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is handling the investigation. ALEA labeled William Chase Johnson, 18, as a suspect in the shooting Saturday night. Williams was shot around 8:15 p.m. Johnson walked up to the crime scene just after midnight, firearm in hand, and gave himself up after a manhunt that went on for hours.

Chase Johnson mug shot

Charles Benson says he was a witness to the shooting of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams.

ALEA hasn’t commented on whether Williams was in uniform or if he was driving a marked or unmarked vehicle. Johnson is housed in the Elmore County Jail, charged with murder, according to jail records. No bond has been set.

Law enforcement sources and witnesses said Williams approached a truck at the QV and asked the person inside why his music was so loud. That’s when Williams was shot once in the head.

Charles Benson said he witnessed it all.

“Right there at Pump 8,” Benson said, standing in front of the store. “Big John comes up and asks the young man about the loud music, just like he has done hundreds of times before. Big John don’t take no foolishness.

“That’s when he got shot. I don’t understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don’t seem right.”

“I just don’t understand it,” Curtis Lee said, filling up Sunday at the QV. “When I heard it last night, I knew it wasn’t anybody from Lowndes County that would do such a thing. It had to be somebody from outside. Nobody in Lowndes County wants to hurt the sheriff. He’s part of the community.”

Across the street and behind the courthouse at the New Salem Christian Church, the Rev. Willie Smith got ready for services.

“It’s praying time,” Smith said. “The sheriff was our sheriff. It’s quite sad. He was a servant to the community, having grown up here and making his work law enforcement. He was spiritual man, a deacon in his church.

Rev. Willie Williams

“It’s praying time,” says the Rev.Smith. He says Sheriff John Williams “was a servant to the community.”

“When we had revival, the sheriff would lead devotions. He was just a good, good man. I don’t understand it. All I know is God is in control, God is in complete control.”

“We came up as deputies together,” said retired Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson. “This is just devastating.”

Autauga County Sheriff Joe Sedinger described Williams as “a big teddy bear.”

“For his size, he was gentle,” Sedinger said. “He was full of compassion. He loved everybody. You just can’t say enough good things about John.”

Williams was always ready to come to the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, said Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin.

“Any time you needed help, John was there,” he said. “He was a friend to everyone.”

Chase Johnson being escorted into court

“I’m proud to say he was my friend,” Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson said. “He didn’t care if you were black or white, rich or poor. He took care of people. He knew everyone in the county. He always had a smile, he was always ready to serve.

“This is just a tragic end to a fine, fine man,” Johnson said. “I just can’t imagine Lowndes County without John Williams.”

Sheriff “Big John” Williams

William Chase Johnson, 18, arrived escorted by four state troopers. He is the son of a sheriff’s deputy in neighboring Montgomery County. He was wearing black- and white-striped jail garb and was restrained in handcuffs and ankle chains. He appeared before Crenshaw County Circle Judge Tom Sport.

The entire process took less than five minutes. After Judge Sport told him of the murder charge against him, Johnson said he understood that charge and told the judge that he had not decided whether he was going to hire an attorney or need to have one appointed. Judge Sport set a no bond in the case. 

Usually, Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson handles first appearances. But Johnson recused himself, citing his close personal relationship with Williams. 

Security was visibly heightened outside of the courthouse and inside in the courtroom itself. Uniformed and plainclothes officers were stationed throughout the courthouse. Several were seen carrying rifles or shotguns. Johnson is being housed in the Elmore County Jail.

Funeral services are officially set for Lowndes County sheriff, ‘Big John’ Williams.

A visitation and funeral will be held at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery on Monday, Dec. 2nd. Visitation will begin at 8 a.m. The funeral will follow the visitation at 11:00 a.m.

His body was being transported from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery to Bell Funeral Home in Hayneville.

A large procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted William’s body back home yesterday.

There was about twenty-four law enforcement vehicles from across the state in the procession to honor ‘Big John’ Williams.

Governor, Kay Ivey, has also ordered flags to be flown at half staff that day.

To our Prestige Family this one hits close to home for us, because we knew Big John. Please continue to keep his family in prayer, as well as the community of Lowndes County.

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