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Names in the News - May 17, 2007

Staff Report • May 17, 2007 at 12:03 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Life for Kellie Pickler has definitely changed since she competed last year on "American Idol."

The beauty school dropout from Albemarle has moved to Nashville, released an album, gone on tour with Brad Paisley and was nominated for a new female vocalist award Tuesday at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

And those plastic surgery rumors?

"Oh my boobs? I don't care," she told WCNC-TV in Charlotte. "You know what? The most important thing is you're happy with what you see when you look in the mirror."

The 20-year-old said she's happy with herself and believes what's important is on the inside.

"And your real friends are gonna love you no matter what you look like, whether you're a negative A cup or a triple D," she said. "They're gonna love you just because you're you."

Pickler says she's not in a serious relationship, but does have her eyes on an unnamed Nashville hockey player. Nashville has a professional hockey team, the Predators.

"Everyone always says we're the hockey- tonk hook up in Nashville. It's kind of cute," she said. "He has introduced me to so many different types of food. I've been eating raw fish. It's kind of weird. I ate eel the other day."

Pickler said she wants to start a family someday, but she's not planning on settling down anytime soon.

"If it's meant to be then it will happen," she said. "And if not then I'll just be an old hag with a bunch of cats."

HOUSTON - ZZ Top has canceled its European tour so Dusty Hill can undergo treatment for a benign growth in his inner ear that's affecting his hearing.

Dr. Shawn Nasseri, a California otolaryngologist who is treating the 57-year-old bassist/singer, said preliminary plans don't include surgery.

"In the near-term, we plan to stabilize Dusty's hearing and symptoms with medication and a conservative management strategy," he said in a statement.

ZZ Top got its start in Houston in 1969 when local guitarist Billy Gibbons got together with Hill and drummer Frank Beard, from Dallas-based band American Blues.

The band has been touring for much of the spring. Its European tour was to start June 15 in Leipzig, Germany, and run into early July.

More U.S. dates were set for July and August. Those shows, starting July 15 in Dallas, weren't expected to be affected.

"I'm looking forward to dealing with this problem and getting back out there with Billy and Frank," Hill said. "I'm sure we'll put this behind us very shortly."

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