By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  May 20, 2003 at 6:00 PM
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Embattled but back at the top of the charts, the Dixie Chicks will make a major appearance this week via satellite. The producers of the Academy of Country Music Awards say the Chicks will perform on the Wednesday night broadcast, singing "Truth No. 2." Their turn on the stage actually will take place at a venue in Austin, Texas. They will be at the Frank Erwin Center in the city they call their adopted hometown. By the way, the group is nominated for three awards at this year's show. Additionally, says last-minute presenters have agreed to be at the show, including Trace Adkins, Bill Engvall, Cledus T. Judd, Pam Tillis, Mark Wills and Louise Mandrell. The telecast is on CBS.


Former sex symbol Brigitte Bardot loves the past, and according to the New York Post, might still be locked in the '60s. The publication says although the photogenic model might have epitomized the excesses and liberalism of her era, today she seldom watches television and is critical of many modern-day aspects of life. As for television, she tells the publication it does "nothing to elevate the human soul." That could be one reason Bardot has embraced the animal rights cause recently. During her years in the international limelight she insisted she was a girl who never grew up and didn't have the tools to become a mother herself. She has nearly done a 180-degree turn away from the provocative persona of her skimpily clad past.


Saying the music label MCA has become "tarnished" over the years, Billboard reports its stars may abandon ship soon. The result could be the demise of the MCA name, first attached to entertainment in 1924. The publication says David Geffen could become the head man over the MCA staff if current negotiations for the deal come to fruition. An entertainment legend started MCA. Jules Stein started it in Chicago to find new talent. With the addition of Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman some years later, the company started cooking. It eventually bought Decca records. Many people know MCA as the producer and distributor of a huge number of successful television shows. Eventually MCA would buy Universal.


Another former member of a TV "reality" show is rising up the ladder; Kimberley Locke has been named to a planned special. The producers of "100 Greatest Songs of Country Music" say Locke has been invited to participate in the June 4 event. She was one of the "American Idol" finalists. CMT, which will stage the concert, says Locke will join such heavyweights as Glen Campbell, Deana Carter, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, George Jones and Marty Stuart. Named earlier to the roster were LeAnn Rimes and Brad Paisley; they will co-host the telecast. The venue will be the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. The country cable network will begin airing a series based on the show the following week.


Comedienne Joan Rivers, famous for asking "Can we talk?" is now asking "Can we sit down and talk?" Working with the home furnishings chain Ikea, Rivers will be at the opening of the franchise's newest store, in Orange County, Calif., to meet and greet and talk about her career and the new facility. Organizers say Rivers will be at the grand opening of the store in Costa Mesa -- about 90 minutes southeast of downtown Los Angeles -- and will preside over a ceremony aimed at "reinvigorating" the personal lives of married or dating men and women. The couples will get free furniture as an incentive to "lighten up." The first 25 pairs to sign up for the promotion will get furniture and spend time with Rivers during her appearance.


A recent event proves singer-songwriter Lou Reed is not always "stone-faced" and actually can smile. According to gossip columnist Liz Smith, Reed was asked to play the blues for the first time during a scene in the Martin Scorsese production of "The Sound of a Man." That film is the first in a planned seven-part series by the legendary director. It premiered to rave reviews last week at Cannes. Beck, Bonnie Raitt and Nick Cave appeared, interpreting the songs of the late Mississippi jazz artist Skip James. Smith says friends on the set during the filming say not only did Reed smile but it's caught on film. Could ruin his image.


Today we are asking: "During your work career, how many times have you had your job eliminated, either by firing or reductions?" Put UPI-JOB in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked: "Do you play any games on your computer, either from plug-in units or from software or online?" From out usual random dip into the e-mail in box here is what we found. FEOW reports the game most often played "is Roller Coaster Tycoon. I've bought all of the expansion packs as well. I spend way too much time playing this game. I started about three years ago and for the last year I've been trying to complete a level and have been unsuccessful." Carolann Q is very much into games and reports that "I am a long-time gamer, both online and using game software. I met my husband in an early version of AOL known as QLink which was made just for Commodore computers. We got married in an online game known as Dragon's Gate which is made by Mythic (at that time, it was known as AUSI) who is the maker of Dark Age of Camelot. I mainly play MMORPs, RPGs and FRPGs. Some of the online games that I have played include Dragon's Gate, Dragon Realms, Gemstone, Modus Operandi and now Dark Age of Camelot. I have also spent time in Ultima ONline and Everquest." Although some of that is Greek to me, I'm sure dyed-in-the-wool players understand it. Finally, Catherine W says she plays Tetrus and What Word everyday. "They keep my mind sharp," she reports. TOMORROW: More winding down. GBA

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