Kathie lee gifford now

Kathie Lee Gifford felt ‘crippling’ loneliness and here’s what she did to fix it — it could work for you, too

Today is a new day for Kathie Lee Gifford.

From the outside, the former “Today” show host — she left the long-running NBC CMCSA, -2.15% morning program in 2019 — seemed to be living a life that many would covet, including a successful career and two children who’d recently gotten engaged. But in recent years, she’s endured her share of losses: Her husband, the former NFL halfback and sportscaster Frank Gifford, died in 2015 in their home in Connecticut; her mom died; and her adult children had left home.
That empty house “came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone,” Gifford told the “Today” show this week. “The loneliness was crippling.” So she recently moved to Franklin, Tenn. — a city about 20 miles south of Nashville.

“I moved here because I was dying of loneliness,” Gifford told the Tennessean in an interview. “Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester. I’ve got all the time to spend my days writing. I’m having the life I could’ve only ever dreamed of.”

She’s not alone in loneliness. One in three older adults feels lonely, according to a survey released this year of 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80 by the University of Michigan. Specifically, 34% said they felt a lack of companionship (26% sometimes and 8% often), and 27% said they felt isolated from others (22% sometimes and 5% often).

For older adults, a number of factors contribute to these high rates of loneliness: “Their loved ones may no longer be with them. Some may move, some may pass. What’s more, ways they interacted with others (work, parents of their children’s friends) may not be a part of their life anymore,” says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, author of “Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love.”

And for some people, a move may be just what the doctor ordered. Indeed, experts say a move can help curb loneliness — if done right.

“Moving to a new town can help with this by proactive with meeting new people,” says Lombardo, who recommends you join a new club or organization or volunteer to meet new people in town. “Many people are feeling lonely. Don’t wait for others to approach you. Be proactive. Ask a new neighbor out to lunch or someone you meet at the gym to grab a smoothie after class.”

It also may be that moving to a new town puts you in close contact with more people with similar interests to you than those who live in your current location. So if politics are important to you, you may want to move to a location with more liberals or conservatives (this map can help). And you can use MarketWatch’s interactive retirement tool to select things that are important to your lifestyle, and it will show you places where you might like to live.

Gifford hints that people with similar interests helped her love Tennessee. In the Tennessean interview, she said that she wanted to pursue more songwriting, directing, acting and other things. “Even if you’re just having a dinner party there, invariably people end up at your piano or taking your guitar off the wall, and next thing you know, you’ve written a song and you’re in the studio the next week doing a demo,” she told People magazine. (Meanwhile, of the Northeast, she told People magazine earlier this year: “There’s nothing really keeping me in this part of the country anymore except for my job.”)

Moving may also alleviate financial stresses, so you have more money to go out and do things that might help you meet people. The list cities where your Social Security check alone can likely fund your lifestyle suggests the TV personality was on to something with her move to Tennessee — though for her the relocation probably wasn’t financially driven.

Of course, moving is not a panacea. Some people move and end up feeling just as lonely — or more. So do it strategically if you want to do it.

“When moving to alleviate loneliness, search out options where there are community events: group travel, meals, activities. And make sure those are of interest to you,” says Lombardo. “A great idea is to ‘test drive’ the community. Spend a season or a few months in a rental situation to see if the community and people are a good fit for you.”

Whatever you decide, moving is worth a consideration — it could change your life. As Gifford’s “Today” co-host Hoda Kotb said of Gifford’s move: “Kathie Lee is proof to everybody that it’s not too late.”

Catey Hill

Catey Hill is MarketWatch’s senior content strategist. She writes about how to upgrade your life, and helps readers find great deals on products and services. Follow her on Twitter @CateyHill.

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In our interview with Donovan Woods, he gave us his take on Nashville, which informed how he wrote this song. “You know how Times Square, there’s something about it that’s totally revolting? It’s just consumerism at its complete and total right there, but at the same time, there’s something electric and alive and super compelling about it. You feel like, Wow, I’m happy to be here, even though it’s a nightmare .
I think that there are a lot of those places in America. Toronto is like that to some people in Canada. A place like Las Vegas or a place like Los Angeles and certainly Nashville – those places where you’re drawn to them because there’s that weird hope that you could make something out of yourself and become something really wonderful because there’s so much opportunity in them, but, at the same time, you’re repulsed by it. I was trying to communicate that feeling of dichotomy in a place like that where it’s obvious you love it. I’m never leaving, but it’s really nothing but heartache.
So that was the idea and you can’t ever talk about things that are that big. So to talk about a big idea like that, you have to use little tiny things like getting a call from an old friend to hint at those big huge ideas. I always find the best way to do it is to use little tiny, tiny, tiny things that are as small as possible.”

On the title track to his forthcoming solo LP, Charles Kelley paid tribute to the people who are part of the touring musician’s family and make the “traveling circus” possible. Now he’s released a second song that gives a different music insider perspective.

“Leaving Nashville,” which was written by Abe Stoklasa and Donovan Woods, takes an unflinching look at the often-tough existence of songwriters trying to make it in Nashville. It’s hours and hours of pouring out one’s soul for arbitrary rejections or fleeting success. It’s often living for that next check or praying that someone puts a song on hold. There’s a cyclical nature to it, where “one day you’re the king, the next you’re not,” as Kelley sings in the chorus.

Kelley performed the song as part of Capitol Music Group’s 1 Mic 1 Take series, backed by a skeleton crew of musicians on acoustic instruments. His soulful delivery communicates that grim reality of songwriting as a career path, which he must remember acutely even though his ride with Lady Antebellum has taken him over that financial hump.

The Driver will be released on February 5th and includes appearances by Miranda Lambert and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, who duets with Kelley on a cover of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents.”

Australian Duo, Leaving Lennox Makes Nashville Home

A few months later, we headlined a sold-out ticketed show at Port Macquarie’s “Purple Sanctuary”. Mick and I always say that this was a pinnacle in our career so far, as this was the first time we had experienced a full room of people singing our lyrics back to us.

To support the release of new music, we are excited to announce that we have booked a string of music festivals and songwriting festivals throughout Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky.

We will play our first headlining festival on October 5th, at Princeton Kentucky’s “Annual Artisan Festival”. We are also playing Georgia’s “Big Red Apple Festival” and being selected for the 10 day “Frank Brown International Songwriting Festival”, alongside 200 established songwriters on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida.

The new single, “Old Love” features Aaron Sterling on drums, who is the live touring drummer for John Mayer and session drummer for artists such as Maren Morris, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, James Bay and Keith Urban.

The inspiration for this song actually came from observing friends and family and how they moved on, or didn’t move on, from what they believed was their first love. The song is written from both perspectives of a past relationship and references “the one that got away”. There are tones of regret, peace, solitude or longing, depending on how the listener interprets the lyrics. We wrote the song in hopes it would be relatable to many, as we believe, everyone has a “first love”, whether you end up with them or not.

The female perspective speaks like a true romantic- of her longing for “old love” as a young girl, while the male perspective reminisces on a past-relationship with a sense of regret and is too late to realize that he walked away from his “first love”. Both sides come together for the chorus, where the lyric speaks of reminiscing on all the great times- even though they have ultimately both moved on.

The single, which is being released on July 19th, just recently won the “best pop song”, in the “World Songwriting Awards”. We will be attending the awards show in Gatlinburg Tennessee this September, where we have been nominated for four awards in the 2019 Josie Music Awards. This is the largest award show in the world for independent musicians, with over 23 000 submissions in 2019. The awards include Best Pop/contemporary duo, Best Folk/Americana/ Bluegrass duo, Folk single of the year and a solo submission for Mick as “Musician of the Year”.

The single will be available for purchase and streaming on the 19th of July. and Keep up to date with Leaving Lennox and their tour dates on Facebook and Instagram.

Kathie Lee Gifford: ‘I moved here because I was dying of loneliness’

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The talk show veteran said she has found joy and a new creative energy in Middle Tennessee that is helping her finally pursue her childhood dreams

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Kathie Lee Gifford watched her football star husband, Frank Gifford, die in 2015 in the same Connecticut house their adult children moved out of a few years prior.

“That huge beautiful memory-filled home was like a morgue to me,” said Gifford, whose mom died two years ago.

So she bought a house in Tennessee.

“I moved here because I was dying of loneliness,” the longtime TV talk show host – who left NBC’s Today show in April – said in a 90-minute interview in her opulent brownstone near the Franklin town square.

“Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester. I’ve got all the time to spend my days writing. I’m having the life I could’ve only ever dreamed of.”

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Just like Kathie Lee, we think there’s something special about Franklin. Discuss this story and other topics that matter to your community in the new Franklin Hub.

Since buying a home here, Gifford has connected with songwriters, producers, Christian and country artists and others, unleashing a manic pursuit of creativity.

Among her recent projects:

♦ Four songs she co-wrote and recorded, spiritual tunes around losing her husband, including “He Saw Jesus” and “Love Me to Death” — songs that did very well on iTunes charts;

♦ A romantic comedy, “Love Me to Death,” that she wrote, produced and co-starred in with comedian Craig Ferguson;

♦ A new children’s book, “The Gift I Can Give”;

♦ Two Hallmark Channel movies;

♦ Songwriting with some of Nashville’s biggest songwriters, including Brett James, Kelley Lovelace and Stephanie Bentley; and

♦ Creating oratorios — large-scale religious narrative-music productions like Handel’s Messiah — with Christian artist Nicole C. Mullen and others.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Kathie Lee Gifford was a Hee Haw Honey

Sports commentator Frank Gifford and his wife, Kathie Lee Gifford, relax at the ABC studio in Calgary, Alberta, Friday, Feb. 13, 1988. The couple will host a half-hour show each evening at 11:30 p.m. EST featuring highlights of the XV Winter Olympic Games in Canada. (AP Photo/Jack Smith) JACK SMITH, AP Elizabeth Taylor is flanked by Frank Gifford and his wife, Kathie Lee, during the Fragrance Foundation’s 16th annual “FiFi” awards ceremony at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Wednesday, June 9, 1988 in New York. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani) Mario Suriani, ASSOCIATED PRESS Kathie Lee Gifford is photographed in Franklin Saturday, November 9, 2019. Alan Poizner / For The Tennessean Talk show hostess Kathie Lee Gifford is shown in Oct. 1992. AP / File Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford shown in this August 1992 photo. MALCOM CLARKE, ASSOCIATED PRESS Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford in a 1995 publicity photo for the Miss America Pageant, which they hosted that year NBC A 1996 ABC publicity photo of Pongo the Dalmatian appearing on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee ABC A 1996 publicity photo promoting Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin, right, appearing with Dick Van Dyke on an episode of CBS show Diagnosis Murder CBS Talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford flexes for Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth during a live broadcast of “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” in New York, July 1, 1996. AP / File From left, Kathie Lee Gifford, the Rev. Billy Graham, former President Gerald R. Ford, and former New York Giants’ Frank Gifford sing, “America the Beautiful,” Thursday, Aug. 19, 1999, at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids, Mich., during An Evening to Remember, A Tribute to the Honorable Gerald R. Ford, a 90-minute, revival-flavored tribute commemorating the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Ford’s presidency. AL GOLDIS, ASSOCIATED PRESS Co-hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford share a toast of champagne at the end of her last appearance on their morning talk show, in New York Friday, July 28, 2000. After 15 years of chatter, camaraderie and controversy, Gifford bid farewell to Philbin and their morning talk show, “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew) RICHARD DREW, ASSOCIATED PRESS Kathie Lee Gifford, guest host of the “Late Show With David Letterman,” reacts to actor Tom Arnold during taping Thursday, Feb. 24, 2000, in New York. CBS Television personality Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford attend the Broadway opening of “The Little Mermaid” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 in New York City. Evan Agostini, AP Kathie Lee Gifford, right, is hugged by Hoda Kotb, her co-host on the fourth hour of the NBC “Today” television program, at the end of Gifford’s first broadcast, on New York’s Rockefeller Plaza Monday April 7, 2008. Long married to former NFL star and sports announcer Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford left Regis Philbin and their “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” television show in 2000. RICHARD DREW, AP Kathie Lee Gifford poses on the set of her play,”Under the Bridge,” at the Zipper Theatre in New York on Dec.17, 2004. JIM COOPER, AP Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford arrive at the opening night of “Cyrano De Bergerac” on Broadway at The Richard Rodgers Theatre starring Jennifer Garner, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007 in New York Peter Kramer, ASSOCIATED PRESS Kathie Lee Gifford attends the 2009 Angel Ball benefiting The Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for cancer research, in New York, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. Peter Kramer, ASSOCIATED PRESS Kathie Lee Gifford, as C3PO, from “Star Wars,” appears on the NBC “Today” television program’s annual Halloween show in New York Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. Richard Drew, AP Hoda Kotb, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford, co-hosts of the fourth hour of the NBC “Today” television program, appear on the show in New York Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009. Richard Drew, ASSOCIATED PRESS Tori Spelling, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford, appear on the NBC “Today” television program in New York Monday, July 20, 2009. Spelling is co-hosting the fourth hour of the show with Gifford for three days, filling in for Hoda Kotb. Richard Drew, ASSOCIATED PRESS Attendees, from left, NBC “Today” co-anchors Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford pose with President and CEO of NBC Universal, Jeffrey Zucker at the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. Evan Agostini, AP Kathie Lee Gifford as Lucy Ricardo, left, and Hoda Kotb as Ethel Mertz, recreate a scene from an “I Love Lucy” program during the NBC “Today” television program’s annual Halloween Show, in New York, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. Richard Drew, AP Kathie Lee Gifford dresses as Madonna during the “Today” show Halloween celebration at Rockefeller Plaza Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford and Cassidy Gifford at The World Premiere of DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse” at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts on December 04, 2011 in New York City, NY. Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP Donald Trump, left, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford sit in the audience during Regis’ farewell episode of “Live! with Regis and Kelly”, in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Charles Sykes, AP Joy and Regis Philbin, left, and Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, arrive for the funeral of Marvin Hamlisch, in New York’s Temple Emanu-El, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. Hamlisch composed or arranged hundreds of scores for musicals and movies, including “A Chorus Line” on Broadway and the films “The Sting,” ”Sophie’s Choice,” ”Ordinary People” and “The Way We Were.” He won three Oscars, four Emmys, four Grammys, a Tony, a Pulitzer and three Golden Globes. Hamlisch died Aug. 6 in Los Angeles at age 68. Richard Drew, AP Nashville artist Sydney Clawson’s work became one of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s favorite things this week. Sydney Clawson/Instagram Kathie Lee Gifford arrive at the Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in New York. Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb, from left, Al Roker and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC’s “Today” Halloween show on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford, left, and Hoda Kotb dress as Wayne and Garth from “Wayne’s World” during a Saturday Night Live themed Halloween episode of NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Savannah Guthrie, from left, Matt Lauer, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford dress as characters from “Peanuts” during NBC’s “Today” show Halloween costume episode at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford, from left, Cassidy Gifford, Kris Jenner and Kylie Jenner arrive at the LA Premiere of “The Gallows” at Hollywood High School on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Los Angeles. Rich Fury, Rich Fury/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford arrives at the 41st annual Gracie Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford accepts the award for outstanding on-air talent for “The Today Show” at the 41st annual Gracie Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Pictured on screen are Kathie Lee Gifford and her late husband Frank Gifford. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Natalie Morales, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford arrive at the 41st annual Gracie Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford, left, and Hoda Kotb dress as Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford during NBC’s “Today” show Halloween celebration at Rockefeller Plaza on Monday, Oct.31, 2016, in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford give a toast as they present the award for CMT performance of the year at the CMT Music Awards at Music City Center on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Wade Payne, Wade Payne/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford joke with the audience during the CMT Music Awards at Music City Center on June 7, 2017. Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Kathie Lee Gifford dressed as Miley Cyrus, left, Blake Shelton and Hoda Kotb dressed as Blake Shelton appear on NBC’s “Today” show Halloween special at Rockefeller Plaza on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford walk the red carpet during the CMT Music Awards at Music City Center on June 7, 2017. Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and actor Dean Cain speak during the lighting ceremony for the 2017 National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. Andrew Harnik, AP Kathie Lee Gifford dressed as Miley Cyrus, left, and Billy Ray Cyrus appear on NBC’s “Today” show Halloween special at Rockefeller Plaza on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford joke with the audience during the CMT Music Awards at Music City Center on June 7, 2017. Larry McCormack / The Tennessean In this July 26, 2018 file photo, Kathie Lee Gifford attends Hallmark’s Evening Gala during the TCA Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Hoda Kotb, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford, right, attend the “Kathie Lee & Hoda” tenth anniversary party at the Rainbow Room on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. Andy Kropa/Invision/AP Kathie Lee Gifford stands on stage at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Rabbi Jason Sobel and Kathie Lee Gifford on the red carpet before the 2019 K-Love Fan Awards at Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, June 2, 2019. Anthony Merriweather / The Tennessean Kathie Lee Gifford poses in the press room with the award for outstanding informative talk show host for “Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda” at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Jeff Simmons, lead pastor at Rolling Hills Community Church, and Kathie Lee Gifford lead Sunday service during the second day of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival at The Park at Harlinsdale Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 in Franklin, Tenn. Shelley Mays / Tennessean.com Kathie Lee Gifford is photographed at her home in Franklin Saturday, November 9, 2019. Alan Poizner / For The Tennessean Kathie Lee Gifford is photographed in Franklin Saturday, November 9, 2019. Alan Poizner / For The Tennessean Nicole C. Mullen and Kathie Lee Gifford on the red carpet at the Gospel Music Association 50th Annual Dove Awards Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at Allen Arena at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Jeff Simmons, lead pastor at Rolling Hills Community Church, and Kathie Lee Gifford lead Sunday service during the second day of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival at The Park at Harlinsdale Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 in Franklin, Tenn. Shelley Mays / Tennessean.com Casting Crowns and Kathie Lee Gifford on the red carpet before the 2019 K-Love Fan Awards at Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, June 2, 2019. Anthony Merriweather / The Tennessean Kathie Lee Gifford introduces Michael W. Smith and his wife Debbie during the 35 Years of Friends: Celebrating the Music of Michael W. Smith concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com Kathie Lee Gifford greets the crowd during the 35 Years of Friends: Celebrating the Music of Michael W. Smith concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com

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Mullen and Gifford will debut an oratorio Sunday night at the Ryman as part of the Nashville Pop Orchestra’s 1,000 Voices of Christmas concert.

The night before, Gifford will host a $350-a-person fundraiser gala at the Musicians Hall of Fame. Proceeds will go to the pop orchestra’s student scholarship program.

Gifford said she is thrilled to get back to fulfilling her childhood dreams. She grew up wanting to be Barbra Streisand or Meryl Streep, and now, Gifford is making movies and writing songs.

But don’t look for Gifford to get back into being a recording artist. (Gifford recorded 16 albums through her career.)

► CRACKING UP NASHVILLE CROWD: Kathie Lee entertains as she gets Nashville Pops lifetime achievement award

Gifford stopped singing professionally 15 years ago when scar tissue on her lungs from double pneumonia took away about 25% of her ability to breathe.

Songwriter James convinced her to record a few songs recently, but Gifford said she won’t be releasing full albums or touring.

“No. No. No,” she said, swirling her eponymous chardonnay in a chilled wine glass.

“I’ve done that for 40 years. No more concerts. I don’t have the breath control. I’ve really moved on.”

Creating the music has been invigorating for Gifford, who realized quickly that Nashville songwriters like to collaborate through, well, conversation.

“They sit around and talk and yaw and chaw and, you know, scratch and chew,” Gifford said, laughing. “And an hour’s gone by and I’m going, ‘Have we written something?’”

Still, Gifford has embraced the process and loves to host songwriters at her house.

“They come over here and I’ve got mounds and mounds of lyrics. I write every single day. I let them go through them and see what moves them and touches them. If there’s nothing, we write from scratch, even though that’s been hard for me,” she said.

The songwriters love it too.

“I give them a beautiful lunch and I let them go to the wine cellar and get something for their spouses.”

Gifford seems to have a particular fervor for her oratorios, making Bible stories come to life. But she loves it all.

“I had these these childhood dreams that I never had time to make it happen. Now I do,” Gifford said.

“These are just gifts from God. I’m just trying to keep them growing.”

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Nashville is a great spot to do that, she told the Today show on a return visit this week.

“It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville. They’re authentically kind… and joyful!”

Help inspire Tennessean coverage by joining the conversation in the new Franklin Hub. Reach Brad Schmitt at [email protected] or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.

Double shot of Kathie Lee in Music City

An Evening with Kathie Lee Gifford

What: Kathie Lee Gifford will tell stories about her career as part of a fundraiser gala for the Nashville Pops Orchestra’s student scholarship program, a gala where the orchestra will present its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Gifford

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, 401 Gay St.

Cost: $350 per person, $495 per couple

More info/tix: NashvillePops.org

Nashville Pop Orchestra’s 1,000 Voices of Christmas

What: Nicole C. Mullens and others will join nearly 1,000 voices on stage for Christmas music, and Kathie Lee Gifford will provide some narration for her new oratorio

When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Ryman Auditorium, 116 5th Ave. N.

Cost: $68 to $149

More info/tix: NashvillePops.org

An Evening with The Righteous Brothers and Kathie Lee Gifford

An event not to be missed! An exclusive and intimate evening with The Righteous Brothers and Kathie Lee Gifford, with special guest Nate Sallie, benefiting Hope and Healing at Hillenglade.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo The Righteous Brothers topped the charts in four decades. Now, Bill Medley joins forces with one of the most versatile vocalists in America, Bucky Heard, to bring the Righteous Brothers back to the stage. The Righteous Brother concert experience features a string of their biggest #1 hits, including You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (the most played song in radio history), Soul & Inspiration, Unchained Melody, Rock and Roll Heaven, Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme The Time of My Life, and much, much more!

Kathie Lee Gifford has enjoyed a diverse and successful four-decade career as a television host, actress, singer, playwright, songwriter and author. Though best known for her 15 years on Regis and Kathie Lee (11 Emmy nominations), and currently acting as the three-time Emmy-winning co-host of the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb, Gifford has always pursued projects which inspire and challenge her. Gifford made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Putting it Together’ in 2000. In 2005, her first musical ‘Under the Bridge’ (book and lyrics, contributing composer) opened off Broadway. In November of 2012, her musical, ‘Scandalous’ (book/lyrics) opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater and received a Tony nomination. In 2013, Gifford launched her podcast,” Kathie Lee & Company,” with Podcast One. Each week, Gifford is joined by a friend from the world of TV, film, music, sports and news for a special one-on-one conversation. She is also the NY Times best-selling author of many books, and currently writes a weekly article for the NY Daily News with Hoda Kotb.

Nate Sallie, a prolific singer/songwriter, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and concert performer, found a home with Curb Records in 2001. Since then, he has toured the globe; received an honorary music degree for 10 years of excellence in the music business; released two masterful albums “Inside & Out” and “Ruined for Ordinary”; served as the lead singer for Grammy-nominated band New Song; penned seven top ten radio hits, been nominated for song and record of the year; received numerous songwriting awards; and most recently, penned the anthemic Newsboys song “That’s How You Change the World”, Jamie Slocum’s title track “Safe”, and the Oswald Brothers Band radio hit “All Eyes on You”.

This benefit event will support the extraordinary work of Hope and Healing at Hillenglade, a 501(c)3 organization founded by Jennifer O’Neill, international acclaimed model, actress, film and television star, spokesperson, producer and director, and author of multiple books. Jennifer O’Neill continues to be a constant advocate for many charitable causes. Since 2010, Hope and Healing at Hillenglade is a one-of-a-kind organization in Nashville offering free Equine-Assisted programs, sessions, events, and retreats for all Active Duty Military, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Hope and Healing at Hillenglade has had the honor of serving over 4,000 Heroes and their families since 2010.

Source: Franklin Theatre

Meet Randy Cronk — Kathie Lee Gifford’s New Boyfriend

It’s been four years since Frank died.

It’s been four years since Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford’s husband died. Now, it looks like she’s finally gotten out there again. The former Today show host, 65, was seen out and about at a Journey tribute band concert in Franklin, Tennessee on July 27th. She was dancing and kissing a mystery man and looked like she was having a blast. A source on the scene told the Daily Mail: “She looked a little tipsy. She was having a great time dancing very intimately with a male friend. Kathie and her new male friend later sat side by side on lawn chairs at the outdoor concert. Who is Randy Cronk?

1. He’s Instagram official

Kathie Lee’s new man is on her Insagram in two photos, including one in which his arm is around her waist in a group photo posted on July 20th. It’s good to see Kathie Lee out there living her best life. It’s been four years since her husband Frank Gifford passed away suddently at 84. The couple was married for 29 years. They have two children :29-year-old Cody and 25-year-old Cassidy. Cassidy posts on Instagram often but said in a post that her brother, “detests social media so he will realistically never see this and probably be annoyed at me if he does.”

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Jul 20, 2019 at 8:17pm PDT

2. Who is he?

Kathie Lee’s new man is Randy Cronk, a 56-year old insurance agent living in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Gifford moved to Nashville aftter she left the Today show. Cronk, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a 1986 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. His degree is in computer science. He is the president of RMC Insurance Group, LLC, an affilate of Nationwide Insuracne. There’s no word yet on how they met or how long they’ve been together.

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Jul 13, 2019 at 2:13am PDT

3. Looking for love

In March of this year, Kathie Lee told People that she’d only gone on one date since Frank Gifford died She said: “Do I need a man in my life? Well, I’ve got Cody. I’ve got a man in my life. I’ve got great male friends. Do I need companionship? Yes, I do, and that’s one of the main reasons I moved to Nashville. Not that I’m looking for a man. What I’m looking for is an active, vibrant life.” She went on to say: “Love can happen at any time,” and expressed her optimism at having another great love of her life.

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Jun 29, 2019 at 10:46am PDT

4. She’s open to love

In March, ahead of her departure from the Today show, Kathie Lee Gifford told Us: “I’m open to love, but I don’t think you go out and find love; I think that it finds you. I’m a woman of faith, so I also think that if God wants it, then he’ll bring it. Maybe I have already and just don’t know it. We’ll see.”

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Jun 14, 2019 at 6:29am PDT

5. Her kids are supportive

In May, Kathie Lee said that her kids are supportive of her next move in life. “They want me to be happy just like I want them to be. We don’t know what that looks like in life. If God blesses me again with a new love, I would love it. If he doesn’t, that means he’s gonna satisfy my soul with all kinds of other things. And I don’t know what it looks like,” she told Us. “I’m not telling God to be God. The way I found Frank was him leaning over a sink putting in contact lenses. The way my friend Roma Downey found her husband, she sat down and had a pedicure next to him. God’s just gonna surprise me.”

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on May 6, 2019 at 9:45am PDT

6. New life in Nashville

In April, Kathie Lee Gifford appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and talked about her move to Nashville and her post-Today show career plans. “I have so many things that I’m working on. I co-wrote all the music for the movie Then Came You with a great writer down in Nashville named Brett James. I got a place in Nashville, so I’m going to be there a lot more. I’ve wanted to do these movies. That’s always been that dream in me, to do movies. So, I wrote a movie last year. We want to do four more based on the same characters and I just directed my first short film in Israel two weeks ago.”

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:11am PDT

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Kathie Lee Gifford left the Today show on Friday, April 5.
  • After her last day, KLG moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she bought a new home.
  • Jenna Bush Hager replaced Kathie Lee for Today’s fourth-hour program.
  • Kathie Lee Gifford will appear on Today with Hoda and Jenna on November 12 to give an update on her life.

Today show star Kathie Lee Gifford jumped on a plane and headed south after April 5 — a.k.a. her last day on the NBC morning program.

As reported by The Tennessean this past spring, Kathie Lee purchased a home (through her company, Widow’s Peak Pictures) in Franklin, Tennessee, located about 20 miles south of Nashville. In August, KLG was spotted hanging out in her new town.

“Even if you’re just having a dinner party there, invariably people end up at your piano or taking your guitar off the wall, and next thing you know, you’ve written a song and you’re in the studio the next week doing a demo,” Kathie Lee previously told People about her decision to relocate.

View this post on Instagram

I cannot wait to share with you the wonderful projects I’ve been working on with @sal_oliveri_producer and @nicolecmullenofficial 🎶

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on Mar 12, 2019 at 6:41am PDT

Why did she leave New York? Kathie Lee previously said that her gig co-hosting with Hoda Kotb was the only thing keeping her in the Northeast. Since her husband Frank Gifford’s death in 2015, and her mom’s passing in 2017, Kathie Lee has felt “lonely” over the past few years. Her two kids — Cody, 29, and Cassidy, 25 — currently live in Los Angeles.

“The work that I want to do isn’t here anymore,” Kathie Lee revealed to the outlet about living in New York City and her home in Greenwich, Connecticut. “I am an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, a director now. That’s the stuff that feeds my soul and I know that I’m running out of time to do those things.”

Jenna Bush Hager ended up replacing Kathie Lee on the fourth hour of Today, and the feedback surrounding the decision has been nothing but positive, including from Kathie Lee herself.

“You keep trusting your instincts and you’re going to sit next to the best person in the whole world because she has your back,” Kathie Lee told Jenna in February. “Because she has your heart. It’s going to be fun. You guys are going to have a ball.”

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Kathie Lee Gifford stepping down from ‘Today’


Kathie Lee Gifford will remain on “Today” until April 7, her 11th anniversary of hosting with Hoda Kotb. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) By Elahe IzadiElahe Izadi Pop culture writer December 11, 2018

Kathie Lee Gifford announced Tuesday that she will depart “Today” after co-anchoring the fourth hour of NBC’s flagship morning show since 2008.

In a teary announcement during the 10 a.m. hour, Gifford explained that she had planned to be on the show for only one year, but “something happened — I fell in love” with her co-anchor, Hoda Kotb, and they became fast friends.

“It’s an exciting time for me, and I’m thrilled about all the projects that are coming up, but it’s also hard, because the reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much,” Gifford said on-air.

In a memo sent to staff Tuesday morning, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim wrote that Gifford has been busy with film, music and book projects, and “she’s decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors.”

“When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda & Kathie Lee,” Oppenheim wrote.


Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. (Eric Liebowitz/NBC)

Gifford became a household name during her 15 years on ABC’s “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” before she made the jump to NBC in 2008 to join Kotb in hosting the 10 a.m. block.

Her departure marks the end of an era for the morning show, particularly for its rollicking and boozy fourth hour.

The drinks began after Chelsea Handler came on to promote her show “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” and subsequent guests asked where their drinks were.

“And then all of a sudden, it just happened,” Kotb told Seth Meyers earlier this year. “I thought it was illegal to drink on the air. I thought it was some FCC violation, but no.”

On Tuesday, Gifford and Kotb shared stories of their friendship on air. Kotb — who kept her fourth-hour duties even after she replaced Matt Lauer nearly a year ago as the co-anchor for the rest of “Today” — became very emotional as she described how she met her husband, thanks in part to her role on “Today.”

“The minute you stepped into my life with both feet, everything changed,” Kotb said. “I thought about the day you chose me, and that’s how it started … everything good in my life has happened since you came.”

Gifford had plenty of love to share, too, telling Kotb that “you don’t share that kind of life together and not be changed forever by it.”

The news on Tuesday adds to the other uncertainty “Today” is grappling with, as “Megyn Kelly Today” was canceled in October in the wake of comments she made about blackface. “Today” anchors took over her 9 a.m. slot.

Hold off on your final goodbyes for now, though. Gifford will remain with the show until April 7, her 11th anniversary of hosting with Kotb. Oppenheim wrote to staff that “we will have much more to share” about the future of the fourth hour, which will still include Kotb.

“I know somebody wonderful will be sitting in this seat afterwards,” Gifford said. “I have my idea of who might be absolutely wonderful, but there’s a great pool of talent and beauty and heart right around here, right within our own family. And if they come from outside the family, they will soon become family, because you all treat everybody that way.”

Does Former ‘Today Show’ Co-Host Kathie Lee Gifford Have a New Man in Her Life?

Kathie Lee Gifford, former co-host of Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda, shared some of her plans on her last day on the show in April. Having bought a house in Nashville, the television personality had been spending most of her time there working on various professional projects. Now it seems Gifford may have another reason for staying in the Tennessee town.

Kathie Lee Gifford | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Hall of fame husband

Gifford has been a staple on morning television for decades. Hosting Live with Regis and Kathie Lee from 1985 to 2000 with co-host and close friend Regis Philbin, then joining the Today family to anchor their fourth hour with Hoda Kotb from 2008 to 2019, Gifford is beloved by scores of fans she’s acquired over the years. One of the reasons Gifford is so beloved is her openness on her personal life. She has always shared her joys and challenges on-air, as well as the perseverance she sustains through her strong Christian faith.

While hosting Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Gifford met and married retired Hall of Fame NFL football player Frank Gifford in 1986. It was the second marriage for her, having divorced Paul Johnson in 1983, according to Entertainment Tonight. The Giffords had two children together – son Cody, 29, and daughter Cassidy, 26. Frank Gifford passed away in August 2015, shortly before his 85th birthday.

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They say that a single conversation with a wise man is more valuable than ten years of study… well I was blessed with twenty two years and must say that whoever “they” are, they are right.

A post shared by Cassidy Gifford (@cassidygiff) on Aug 9, 2018 at 10:20am PDT

On being a widow

Gifford shared her feelings with Today back in 2018, three years after her husband’s death, on battling loneliness. “You have a moment where you just accept that you are a widow,” she said to Kotb, according to Today.com. “It looks weird to you for the longest time. You don’t define yourself that way.”

The co-host reflected on her time of loss, saying it was a process of acceptance. “For me, it was on our one year anniversary of his passing,” she said, holding up her right hand. “That was when I took my wedding ring off and put it on this hand … In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in other ways it seems like 15 (years). It’s just weird. You have waves.”

A new romance … maybe?

Gifford has not spoken much about dating since her husband’s death, though she told Us Weekly in March that romance is not off the table. “I’m open to love, but I don’t think you go out and find love; I think that it finds you,” she said. “I’m a woman of faith, so I also think that if God wants it, then he’ll bring it. Maybe I have already and just don’t know it. We’ll see.”

Well, she may have found someone, or been found by someone. Entertainment Tonight reported that Gifford was seen in Franklin, Tennessee dancing and being affectionate with a man at a Journey tribute band concert. Her companion was later identified as Randall Cronk.

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❤️❤️

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on Apr 5, 2019 at 9:42am PDT

Entertainment Tonight stated that Cronk is listed as president of RMC Insurance Group, part of Nationwide Insurance. Not much is known about the mystery man, other than he is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, as per his Facebook account.

On her last day on Today in April, Gifford was looking forward to her next chapter, and was grateful for the time she had working with the morning news crew. “I feel great,” she said. “I have no expectations. You just want to bear it well … You also want to remind people of why this show worked in the beginning — because we have fun. We have a great love and affection and respect for our audience.”

Fans of Gifford are sure to be looking for more clues on her new relationship!