Big, mostly bad, year for Billys — especially Billys with compound first names — in or from Arkansas. Billy Bob Thornton
acted boorish and was a bust at the box office. A cringe-inducing video of him throwing a passive aggressive temper tantrum in an interview with his band the Boxmasters on Canadian radio went viral and overshadowed the legit artistry of the group, and Forbes ranked him number three in its annual list of Most Overpaid Stars list (for every dollar he was paid, his films only earned $4). Pocahontas native Billy Lee Riley
, one of the great Sun Records innovators, died at 75. Illness forced Billy Joel
to cancel a leg of dates, including one at Verizon Arena, on his co-headlining tour with Elton John. Most of the dates were later made up, but “scheduling conflicts” prevented the duo from rescheduling in North Little Rock, which was especially bitter since the show was to celebrate Verizon/Alltel Arena’s 10th anniversary. Billy Joe Shaver
, the great outlaw country singer/songwriter, almost redeemed his brethren with a concert at Revolution in November. The 70-year-old showed no sign of his age. Instead, he pantomimed wildly (once flapping his arms like a bird), told hilarious stories about his family (his mother, he said, had a rear end “13-axe-handles wide”) and sang in the same gentle country tenor he’s hung his lyrics on since the ’70s.