1. Dolly Parton invited Willie down to the Smoky Mountains for a big announcement: Dollywood is getting a $300 million upgrade.
In an exclusive interview, Willie asked the legendary singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur when she realized she’d “made it.”
“I feel like I'm just startin',” replied the 67-year-old.
(Isn’t she the best?)
Dollywood to undergo $300M expansion, creating jobsPlay Video
Watch Oscar Pistorius Learn He'll Serve 6 Years for Murder
Oprah's Rule of Empowerment
Garrison Keillor's 'Prairie Home Companion' Run Ends Saturday
Hear What British Actors Have to Say About 'Brexit'
2. TODAY fans don’t like tipping. Instead, according to a TODAY.com survey, they think American restaurants should bundle gratuity in their overall bill. Apparently restaurants agree: Some are introducing policies where service is included – no tipping necessary.
Celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia showed her skepticism of the possible shift this morning on the plaza:
“I grew up spending my summers in Europe, where it’s based on this type of policy that they’re working on,” she told Savannah. “The service is not as good as in America.”
Please don't tip! Restaurants roll out new policyPlay Video
Verizon to cap data usage for customers who use more than 100 gigs
Crime-fighting drone catches would-be boat thieves
TSA, United Airlines to debut automated security lines
Southwest Airlines website glitch grounds hundreds of flights
3. The father of Newtown victim Daniel Barden said the images of Tuesday’s school shooting in Georgia hit home.
“It is frighteningly similar,’’ Mark Barden told Savannah. “I just feel so deeply for those parents and those children that had to endure that horrific scenario, and we’re just so thankful that everybody emerged OK from that.”
Newtown victim dad: Ga. gunman 'frighteningly similar'Play Video
Mom of Autistic Man Whose Caregiver Was Shot Says Son is Traumatized
Police: Cheerleader Peeper Sacked
Living A Lie: Identity Thief Busted After 22 Years
Pulse Bodycams Reveal Dramatic Rescues
4. Jenna Wolfe is due any day now, which means maternity leave is starting on her blog, too.
“My life's going to change this week," she wrote. "A new word will be added to my bio: Mom."
5. Faith Hill is out. Are Al, Matt, Savannah and Natalie in? The anchors “auditioned” for the "Sunday Night Football" open in a new promo for the upcoming NFL season in (faux) four-part harmony. What do you think? Will they get the gig?
TODAY anchors sing to kick off 'Sunday Night Football'Play Video
TODAY's Sheinelle Jones looks back at her family history
Web Extra: TODAY's Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer prank their producer
Web Extra: Watch outtakes from Dylan and Sheinelle's intern experience
TODAY's Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer intern with Rascal Flatts
Tomorrow on TODAY: Fan Appreciation Week continues, Jill Martin has Steals and Deals and more.
And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!