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May 15, 2014

If you're sick of what has become of America's music, you're not alone. Country music star Collin Raye is speaking out about it on Fox News. Here's an excerpt:

There appears to be not even the slightest attempt to "say" anything other than to repeat the tired, overused mantra of redneck party boy in his truck, partying in said truck, hoping to get lucky in the cab of said truck, and his greatest possible achievement in life is to continue to be physically and emotionally attached to the aforementioned truck as all things in life should and must take place in his, you guessed it... truck.

Like Raye, I'm not inherently opposed to this strain of country music, but it has become dominant and ubiquitous. "I didn't mind the first two or three hundred versions of these gems," said Raye, "but I think we can all agree by now that everything's been said about a redneck and his truck, that can possibly be said."

The beauty of country music is that it is honest and authentic. It tells us stories we can identify with. That doesn't mean it can't sometimes also be fun and silly — and occasionally employ an obvious double entendre, or two. Johnny Cash managed to do it all pretty darn well.

But at some point, modern country became a parody of itself, often reinforcing or overemphasizing country stereotypes. The pendulum has swung too far to the silly "bro" side of things. When it comes to today's country, "They sound tired, but they don't sound Haggard" — or, as my colleague Eric Keefeld lamented, at some point, "modern country became Cheap Trick with trucker hats." Matt K. Lewis

1:00 p.m. ET

Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton, is set to turn 1 on Monday. What would a royal birthday be without some formal photos to celebrate? Kensington Palace shared a few gems of the tyke Sunday:

Nice camera work, Kate.

Could she be any cuter?

Time flies. Julie Kliegman

12:01 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders raised $25.8 million in April, the campaign said Sunday. That's a sharp drop from the $44 million he pulled in in March.

The campaign put a positive spin on the news, noting it surpasses the campaign's monthly average of $17 million.

Hillary Clinton holds a large delegate lead over Sanders in the Democratic presidential race. In April, the struggling Sanders campaign announced layoffs of hundreds of staff members. Julie Kliegman

11:21 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Malia Obama will attend Harvard University in 2017 after taking a gap year, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced Sunday. The decision to take a year off will theoretically lessen the spotlight in college, as her father will be out of office well before she starts classes.

Harvard's acceptance rate this year was just 5.2 percent, the lowest in the institution's history, The New York Times reports. Obama will join a storied club of presidential children that have attended Harvard as undergraduate or graduate students, which includes figures ranging from Robert Lincoln to George W. Bush. Julie Kliegman

10:58 a.m. ET

In April, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) made a seriously uncomfortable joke at a comedy show.

Here's a quick refresher: De Blasio, joking about his chronic lateness, said he was running on "CP Time." Colored People's Time has long been a reference to the racist stereotype that black people are frequently late. Clinton jumped in, jokingly claiming the acronym really means "Cautious Politician Time."

President Obama took Clinton and de Blasio to task Saturday during his speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He apologized for being late and said he was running on CPT, which stands for "Jokes That White People Should Not Make." Watch the zinger below. Julie Kliegman

10:19 a.m. ET

Rev. Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest influential in forming U.S. opposition to the Vietnam War, died Saturday at age 94, The New York Times reports.

In 1968, Berrigan and his brother led other activists in seizing hundreds of local draft records in Catonsville, Maryland, and setting them on fire with homemade napalm. Berrigan was imprisoned. His activism and subsequent arrests continued in his later years.

"The day after I'm embalmed, that's when I'll give it up," he said in 2001. Julie Kliegman

10:05 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential race in Indiana with 49 percent support among likely voters, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll out Sunday.

Ted Cruz sits 15 percentage points behind, with 34 percent support, and John Kasich notched just 13 percent. The margin of error is 3.9 percentage points.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton holds a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders, 50 percent to 46 percent, ahead of Tuesday's primaries. That's smaller than the poll's 4.6-point margin of error. Julie Kliegman

8:11 a.m. ET
Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) picked up about 80 delegates of more than 170 on the table at local and state conventions Saturday, Politico reports.

He snagged a majority of delegates in Arizona and Virginia, two states that strongly backed Donald Trump in primaries. Cruz also made gains in Missouri. Trump fared well in Massachusetts, Alaska, and Arkansas.

Most delegates are obligated to support the winner of their state's nominating contest on the Republican National Convention's first ballot, but can switch allegiances in future rounds of voting. Cruz's strategy banks on Trump not being able to grab the minimum of 1,237 delegates needed to secure the party's nomination outright. Julie Kliegman

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