Brandy McDonnell
Features Entertainment Reporter

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1 million page views a year for the past two years. Raised on a crop and cattle farm near Lindsay, McDonnell started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school’s 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News and worked for the local weekly through high school. An Oklahoma State University graduate, she will celebrate her 10th anniversary at The Oklahoman in May 2012.


  • Photos: B.J. Thomas inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame during SHINE benefit concert

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 10 hr ago

    NORMAN - Oklahoma native and acclaimed pop balladeer B.J. Thomas was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Thursday during a Norman benefit concert. The "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head” crooner headlined this year's Concert for SHINE, an annual fundraising event, at Riverwind Casino. Created by Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan, SHINE - which stands for Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere - is designed to build communities and serve the public through coordinated community service. Maughan said the show, which also featured Oklahoma Grammy winner Jody Miller, raised about $25,000 for the SHINE program and its nonprofit foundation.

  • Photos: ACM@UCO hosts master classes with Maynard James Keenan and Jim James

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 12 hr ago

    The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma recently hosted master classes for its students with Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist for the bands Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, and Jim James, frontman for the band My Morning Jacket. Keenan, often referred to by his initials MJK, is best known as the lead vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool, which emerged in the early ‘90s and bridged the gap between classic heavy metal and alternative rock music. Though MJK’s fame stems from his successful music career, he is also an actor, comedian, winemaker and philanthropist. His memoir, “A Perfect Union of Contrary Things,” is scheduled to

  • Fundraising concert planned to help erect Merle Haggard monument in Muskogee

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 14 hr ago

    The community of Muskogee is working on creating a monument to the country music icon that made it famous. The Muskogee-based Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is sponsoring efforts to erect a bronze statue of "Okie from Muskogee" singer-songwriter Merle Haggard in front of the Muskogee Civic Center. As previously reported, Haggard, one of the first inductees into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, died April 6, his 79th birthday. Although he wasn't born in Oklahoma - he was born April 6, 1937, near Bakersfield, Calif., where his parents moved from Checotah during the Great Depression three years earlier - you never would've guessed it hearing him sing "Okie from Muskogee.

  • Video: Get a closer look at Earl, Blake Shelton's piggy character from 'The Angry Birds Movie'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 18 hr ago

    Check out the familiar Oklahoma drawl and forearm tattoo in a new clip from "The Angry Birds Movie" featuring Earl, the musical pig voiced by Ada native and country music star Blake Shelton. The clip also features Shelton's new song "Friends," his twangy theme for the upcoming movie based on the popular Rovio Entertainment game franchise. To see the official music video for "Friends," click here. Shelton is not the only Oklahoman getting piggy for "The Angry Birds Movie": As previously reported, Tulsa native Bill Hader lends his voice to Leonard, the king of the egg-stealing pigs. The movie also features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage. The

  • Garth Brooks breaks Saskatchewan ticket sales record, plans July 4 shows in Las Vegas

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 19 hr ago

    Garth Brooks today not only broke his previous ticket sales record in Saskatoon, but he also smashed the record for the whole Canadian province of Saskatchewan.  The Oklahoma country music superstar broke his Saskatoon record in 16 minutes when tickets for his comeback concert went on sale this morning, according to a news release. His previous record was set Aug. 14-15, 1996, at Saskatchewan Place, which is the same building as the SaskTel Centre. He sold 28,144 tickets. Brooks, who was born in Tulsa and grew up in Yukon, also has broken the ticket sales record for the province of Saskatchewan. The previous record of 80,127 tickets sold was held by the Rolling Stones when they

  • Audra Mae wins ASCAP Pop Music Award for Kelly Clarkson's 'Heartbeat Song'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 20 hr ago

    The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers celebrated Wednesday the writers and publishers of the biggest songs of 2015 - including Oklahoma native Audra Mae - at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards. Mae, now based in Los Angeles, earned her award for co-writing Kelly Clarkson's Grammy-nominated hit single "Heartbeat Song." Mae, OMI (“Cheerleader”), Poo Bear (“Where Are Ü Now”) and Dave Bassett (“Ex’s & Oh’s”) performed the songs they took to the top of the charts in 2015 at Wednesday's ceremony. Max Martin broke an all-time ASCAP record by earning his ninth Songwriter of the Year award, presented by his "Love Me Harder" and "Problem" co-writer

  • Interview: New mom Krystal Keith gets back to country music career with hometown show

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 20 hr ago

    A version of this story appears in Friday's Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman. New mom Krystal Keith gets back to country music career with hometown show Krystal Keith has written a lot of cradle songs over the past year. “I told my bandleader, ‘We might be touring on a lullaby album this year,’” she said with a laugh. “You know, it’s not as easy as it used to be to work on music. I’ve gone to Nashville a couple of times with her, and we’re going to go back this week for rehearsals. I write when I can … but it’s a little more difficult having a permanent sidekick.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on April 29, 2016: Hear Brett Eldredge and Thompson Square at Shawnee's Firelake Arena

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 21 hr ago

    Today's featured event: SHAWNEE - Hear rising country star Brett Eldredge and award-winning country duo Thompson Square - which consists of Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson and his wife Shawna - at 8 tonight at Firelake Arena,  18145 Old Rangeline Rd. For more information, go to www.firelakearena.com. For more events, go to newsok.com/events.

  • New mom Krystal Keith gets back to country music career with hometown show in Oklahoma

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Six months after the birth of her first child, Oklahoma singer-songwriter Krystal Keith is easing off the lullabies and back into her country music career, starting with a hometown show Thursday at the Sooner Theatre. It will be the first she’s played her hometown since the 2012 Norman Music Festival.

  • Oklahoma event ticket ticker

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Apr 29, 2016

    Oklahoma event ticket ticker for April 29 includes information on shows featuring Cyndi Lauper and 98 Degrees and the "I Love the ’90s" tour.

  • Video: Vince Gill performs 'Down to My Last Bad Habit' on 'Today' show

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Country Music Hall of Famer and Oklahoma native Vince Gill performed the title track of his new album "Down to My Last Bad Habit" this morning on the "Today" show. As usual, he gave a great performance despite staying up late last night cheering on the Nashville Predator's hockey team to a playoff victory. As previously reported, the country music superstar also will appear Friday on Fox & Friends, which airs from 5 to 8 a.m. on Fox News.

  • Video: Trailer released for Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival Vol. 2

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Oklahoma hip-hop fans rejoice: A trailer has been released for the Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival Vol. 2, with organizers planning for fall dates. As previously reported, Oklahoma City rapper Gregory Jerome founded and organized last year's inaugural Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival as an “educational tutorial of a festival" celebrating the four core elements of hip-hop culture -- MCs, DJs, break dancers and graffiti artists -- with musical performances, breaking battles and showcases, artist demonstrations, poetry readings, children’s performances, youth chess matches and how-to workshops. “All of these are different art forms, and it (hip hop) was created as a positive self-expression.

  • Straight No Chaser to sing at Civic Center Music Hall

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    The popular a cappella group Straight No Chaser will bring its “I’ll Have Another…World Tour" to Oklahoma City Oct. 27 at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker. The vocal group has emerged as a phenomenon with a massive fan base, numerous national TV appearances and proven success with CD releases. The “I’ll Have Another…World Tour" comes to town in celebration of the group’s 20th Anniversary together.  The Atlantic Records recording group formed in 1996 and performed its first show at Indiana University. The North American leg of its world toru begins Oct.14t at the Grand Theatre in Reno, Nev., and continues into 2017 with a Jan. 3 finale at the Maui Arts &

  • Blink-182 and All-American Rejects to play Chesapeake Energy Arena

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Pop-punk band Blink-182 has announced a North American tour including an Oklahoma City show and featuring Stillwater's own The All-American Rejects. Blink-182's highly anticipated seventh studio album, "California," is set for release July 1 on BMG. The band premiered its new single, "Bored To Death," today on the famous KROQ radio station in Los Angeles, where the group also revealed details behind its big summer tour.  The tour, promoted by Live Nation, will kick off July 22 in San Diego, Calif., at the Viejas Arena and take the band to nearly 50 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and

  • 25th Annual Tumbleweed Calf Fry kicks off tonight with Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson and more

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    STILLWATER – Kip Moore, Eli Young Band, Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson and more will help the Tumbleweed Calf Fry Festival celebrate its 25th anniversary tonight through Saturday at the Tumbleweed Dance Hall, Lakeview and Country Club roads. As previously reported, along with the signature dish, the “testicle festival” will serve up a country music menu including Whiskey Myers, Cody Johnson, Corey Smith, William Clark Green, Sam Riggs, Charlie Robison and Shane Smith and the Saints. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 5:30 p.m. each night. Here is the lineup for the Calf Fry: Tonight: Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson, Corey Smith, Sam Riggs. After party: Chance Anderson.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on April 28, 2016: Hear Tony Bennett at Civic Center Music Hall

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Today's featured event: Tony Bennett, the 18-time Grammy Award-winning crooner whose music career spans six decades, will perform in concert at 7:30 tonight at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker. With worldwide record sales in the millions, and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett, who turns 90 on Aug. 3, is a musician who touches the hearts and souls of audiences with his legendary vocals and charming stage presence. His long list of achievements, spanning over 60 years, includes 18 Grammy Awards, including the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Vince Gill to appear this morning on 'Today' show

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Country Music Hall of Famer and Oklahoma native Vince Gill will appear this morning on the "Today" show, which airs from 7 to 11 a.m. on NBC. He will appear today on HuffPost Live, too. Plus, the country music superstar will appear Friday on Fox & Friends, which airs from 5 to 8 a.m. on Fox News. Gill is promoting his new album "Down To My Last Bad Habit," released in February via MCA Nashville. As previously reported, he also performed his new song "A World Without Haggard" - an original tune written in memory of his friend Merle Haggard, who died April 6 at age 79 - earlier this month on the Grand Ole Opry.

  • Video: Reba McEntire talks about 40 years as a woman in the music business on 'The Talk'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Multi-talented Oklahoma native Reba McEntire got a standing ovation when she appeared today on "The Talk." She discussed how she has sustained her country music career for 40 years, how hard it has been as a woman in the music industry, how her look and style have changed over the years, how she has developed her Reba Beauty line, how she has been remembering the music icons that have died this year, and how her pal and daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson has adapted to motherhood and more on the CBS show. The ladies of "The Talk" also challenged her to a trivia contest about her career and had a carrot cake, her favorite flavor, made to mark her 40 years in music. "I didn't have a No. 1 record for six years, and

  • Tulsa-born country singer Mary Sarah advances to top 10 on 'The Voice'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Although central Oklahoma viewers didn't get to see it because of severe weather coverage, Tulsa-born country singer Mary Sarah advanced to the top 10 on Tuesday night's episode of "The Voice" Season 10. As previously reported, Sarah, who considers Richmond, Texas, her hometown, made a strong impression on Monday night's top 11 performance episode with her impassioned performance of Heidi Newfield's Cash tribute ballad "Johnny & June," and it paid off. According to "The Voice's" official Twitter feed, Sarah, who is on Oklahoma country superstar Blake Shelton's team, and Nick Hagelin, who is on Christina Aguilera's team, were the first two artists sent on to the top 10 on Tuesday night's live results episode.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on April 27, 2016: Hear Oklahoma songwriters play for a good cause at the Bob Childers' Gypsy Cafe in Stillwater

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Today's featured events: STILLWATER - Hear more than 65 Oklahoma songwriters, including John Fullbright, Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue, Brandon Jenkins, Monica Taylor, The Damn Quails, Kierston White, Mike Hosty, Kaitlin Butts and more, who will convene for this year's Bob Childers' Gypsy Cafe from 4:30 to 11:45 p.m. today. More than five dozen Oklahoma musicians of varying genres and geographies will gather to swap songs and stories inspired by the late, great “godfather of red dirt music” at three historic Stillwater venues: the Stonewall Tavern outdoor stage, George’s Stables and the Eskimo Joe’s outdoor stage.




Brandy McDonnell Today at 7:50 AM What to do in Oklahoma on April 30, 2016: See Jewel Box Theatre's 'Light Up the Sky' https://t.co/DzD2FoBYnX
Brandy McDonnell Today at 12:22 AM Photos: B.J. Thomas inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame during SHINE benefit concert https://t.co/bWSHLsBdYe
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 10:14:14 PM CST Photos: ACM@UCO hosts master classes with Maynard James Keenan and Jim James https://t.co/UsH6qCYNxT
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 09:11:13 PM CST B.J. Thomas inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame during SHINE benefit concert https://t.co/YM32or7yBf
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 07:02:05 PM CST Fundraising concert planned to help erect Merle Haggard monument in Muskogee https://t.co/RX2LNOxUAD
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 05:55:28 PM CST .@audramae wins ASCAP Pop Music Award for Kelly Clarkson's 'Heartbeat Song' https://t.co/sv9P9z4qfX
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 04:35:09 PM CST RT @RiversportOKC: Due to the weather, RIVERSPORT programming and events are cancelled for tonight. #okwx
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 04:17:15 PM CST RT @NWSNorman: 415pm - URGENT! If you are driving S on I-35 out of OKC, or N out of Pauls Valley, STOP! Do not drive into this storm. Avoid…
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 03:51:41 PM CST Video: Get a closer look at Earl, Blake Shelton's piggy character from 'The Angry Birds Movie' https://t.co/zooUhEhi80
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 03:47:12 PM CST Video: Get a closer look at Earl, @blakeshelton's piggy character from #AngryBirds Movie https://t.co/P3DwyujJlB
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 02:50:34 PM CST Garth Brooks breaks Saskatchewan ticket sales record, plans July 4 shows in Las Vegas https://t.co/y4NFAMOBCz
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 01:59:30 PM CST That was a hoot, @BillCorbett, @TraceBeaulieu, @kwmurphy, @jonahray - and now I have a new hobby! #mst3kreunion #Decoupage #crafty
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 01:46:05 PM CST @BillCorbett I have this image of you & Crow & sheaves of paper & scissors whiling away hours together ... Think I'll stick with that. :)
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 01:42:23 PM CST @BillCorbett I'm not sure what that is ... #gottagoogleit
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 01:22:09 PM CST having fun on the phone with @RiffTrax & MST3K alums @TraceBeaulieu, @BillCorbett & @kwmurphy, plus @jonahray, about the MST3K reunion show.
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 01:19:35 PM CST RT @RollingStone: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air this weekend on HBO https://t.co/m5QPh0BYov https://t.co/LQY96…
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 12:49:56 PM CST O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master opening May 12 at Oklahoma Hall of Fame https://t.co/Rm7bDkjizU
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 12:48:48 PM CST Interview: New mom @KrystalKeith gets back to country music career with hometown show #okiemusic https://t.co/KKWUdJO5aq
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 12:43:24 PM CST RT @NewsOK: UPDATE: @NWSNorman timeline for possible severe storms Friday https://t.co/oCe31bzWqM #okwx https://t.co/EFeknNKXz6
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Apr. 29 2016 12:41:32 PM CST What to do in Oklahoma on April 29, 2016: Hear Brett Eldredge and Thompson Square at Shawnee's Firelake Arena https://t.co/1974rEpuYl

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