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Keke Palmer, SZA Featured Prominently on Prestigious TIME100 Next List

Courtesy Time

Time magazine revealed its annual list of the most influential people in the world today, and It Girl Keke Palmer, along with R&B powerhouse SZA, was front-and-center

The dynamic duo was picked — along with actor Sydney Sweeney and conservationist Farwiza Farhan — to be one of the four worldwide cover persons for the TIME100 Next list.

It showcases 100 emerging leaders from around the world, shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership, by having their peers pen a few words on why they deserve the recognition.

Calling her one of the most talented human beings I've ever met, rapper-turned-actor Queen Latifah did the honors for Palmer, writing:

Watching Keke evolve as a young woman has been a joy. She is the epitome of grace, poise, and honesty. To watch her grow as an artist, taking on a range of challenging roles—­including her stunning performances in Akeelah and the Bee, Pimp, and the critically acclaimed 2022 blockbuster Nope—has been inspiring to me as a fellow actor. Not to mention, the girl can sing! But then again, this young champion has been inspiring adults for many, many years. Keke is the future, and I can’t wait to see the things that she will do as she continues on her journey.

Fellow Grammy winner Lizzo feted SZA:

When she dropped CTRL, her debut studio album, it was a cultural f-cking reset. She changed the world! The authenticity in her craft—the way she’s able to tell her story and the way she uses melody—is extraordinary. No one can replicate that. When she’s onstage, she’s timeless. She’s someone who’s the real deal, and I think that she’s well on her way to being regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time. All she needs is that pen and that voice and her story, and she’s going to be with us for a long time.

Other notable names on the list included Jonathan Majors ("The Harder They Fall"), Lashana Lynch ("The Woman King"), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ("Aquaman"), Ncuti Gatwa ("Doctor Who"), TikTok influencer Khaby Lame and NBA star Ja Morant.

"Real change requires urgency and the determination to respond with speed to global challenges such as the climate crisis," Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal wrote of the rising stars and changemakers on the 2022 list. "The leaders featured on this year's TIME100 Next list have demonstrated that spirit. They are shaping our world—and demanding we join them."

To see the complete list click here.

Questlove Executive Producing Documentary on Legendary Detroit Music Producer J Dilla

Photo Courtesy Brian "B+" Cross

After winning an Oscar for his directorial debut earlier this year at the 94th Academy Awards, Questlove is finally ready to dabble in film again.

This time the roots drummer — whose hit Hulu film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival "Summer of Soul" was named Best Documentary Feature — won't be behind the camera.

His production company Two One Five Entertainment announced he will serve as an executive producer on a documentary about legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla.

"Dilla Time," which is based on Dan Charnas' book "Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm," promises to share new insights into one of the art form's most influential and mysterious figureheads.

For Questlove, who once called Dilla “the music god that music gods and music experts and music lovers worship,” it is a labor of love.

“Explaining musical genius is my mission,” he said in a statement. “To be able to tell the world about the musician that had the most influence on me is a dream come true. Not just on me, but on an entire generation of musicians that everyone knows and loves. J Dilla was our teacher. And what he taught us was how to feel rhythm in a way we had never felt before. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing his story to the world through this documentary.”

The documentary will be part biography, part musicology, and part musical meditation, according to the announcement. It will also examine the impact the Detroit native had on modern pop music through his innovative drum machine work.

Dilla collaborated with some of hip-hop's most lauded acts before his death at the age of 32 from a rare blood disease: including Questlove, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Erykah Badu, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few, as well as major producers such as Ye, Dr. Dre and Pharrell.

R&B Singer and Broadway Veteran, Marva Hicks Taha, Dead at 66

Marva Hicks Taha
Broadway veteran, actress and R&B singer Mava Hicks Taha — who duetted with pop music legends Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, and whose credits on the Great White Way include "Motown" and "The Lion King" has died.

A statement released by her husband Akwasi Taha and the rest of the family Sunday revealed that she passed away at the age of 66 on Friday (Sept. 16) in New York City.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our dear Marva Hicks Taha," the declaration read. "Our beloved wife, family member and friend will be greatly missed and remains marvelous in our hearts forever. The love she had for her husband, family, friends and entertainment community knew no bounds."

It continued, "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. Memorial arrangements will be announced in the coming days." –

Taha's career on the screen, stage and behind the microphone spanned four decades.

The Virginia native was a fixture in the theater community. In addition to her work on Broadway in musicals such as "Caroline or Change," and "Lena Horne, The Lady at Her Music," she starred in many off-Broadway and regional theater productions nationwide.

Most recently the three-time Helen Hayes Award winner — which recognizes excellence in professional theater in the Washington, D.C., area — starred in an April 2022 performance of "Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous" at Atlanta's Alliance Theater.

In addition to her theater career, Taha was an accomplished musician.

After signing with Polydor Records in the late eighties she notched a Top 10 Billboard R&B charts single in 1991 with "Never Been in Love Before" off her debut album "Marva Hicks."

While the singles that followed did not fare as well, Taha continued to be an in-demand backup singer, providing vocals for a diverse array of music superstars over the years including Jackson, Wonder, Whitney Houston, James Ingram and Michael McDonald.

Off the stage, her immense talents as an actress translated well to both the small and big screen.

Her film and television credits include "Mad About You," "Star Trek," "One Life to Live," and "LA Law," among many others. Taha also lent her voice and talents to many nonprofit organizations including the Ronald McDonald House.

Watch: First Look at British Actress, Naomi Ackie, as Whitney Houston in ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ Biopic

"The Voice" may be gone but her musical legacy lives on and thanks to Sony a new generation is set to be exposed to the story behind the rise and fall of one of America's most prolific and acclaimed singers.

On Thursday, the studio released the first trailer for its upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

In the two-minute clip from the fully-authorized biographical drama, viewers get their first glimpse at British actress Naomi Ackie's ( "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker") portrayal of the music legend who the movie's synopsis says went "From New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded recording artists of all time."

Only time will tell if the movie, slated for release on Dec. 21, will be a gift to fans of the departed diva, but the outlook is promising considering the film's pedigree.

Anthony McCarten, who wrote the hit 2018 Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," penned the script. While the man who signed and mentored Houston throughout her music career, super-producer Clive Davis, portrayed by master character actor Stanley Tucci in the film, is producing.

Watch the trailer below for a first look at Ackie in the iconic role:

Watch: Halle Bailey as Ariel in First Teaser for Live-Action 'The Little Mermaid' Movie

Over the weekend the world finally got a sneak peek at Disney’s controversial live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” starring Black R&B singer and actress Halle Bailey as Ariel.

A teaser trailer for the adaptation of the animated Disney classic was released Friday at Disney's D23 expo and already has more than 104 million (more than those of any other tease for a live action Disney adaption) views globally according to reporting from Variety.

It has also drawn praise from celebrities, parents and the original voice cast for Bailey —who has faced criticism of "blackwashing" since taking on the iconic role of the fictional red-headed mermaid who dreams of a life above the waves.

Following the premiere, Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the original 1989 animated film praised Bailey on Instagram writing, "Halle, you were absolutely amazing! I'm SO proud of you and your beautiful performance as Ariel."

The 60-year-old actress added that she had a great time celebrating the achievement with Bailey, 22, at D23 and shared some words of adulation for the film's director Rob Marshall as well.

She added, "Thank you for creating such a stunning film!!!"

The clip gives fans a brief look at the underwater world Marshall has created for the film and Bailey in action as Ariel — red hair and all — as she hits the beginning notes to bring to "Part of Your World."

Watch the teaser below:

Will Smith Addresses Oscar's Slap in Emotional Apology Video

Screengrab: Will Smith/YouTube
Less than a week after Chris Rock finally addressed the incident, and four months after delivering the slap that shocked the cinema world, Will Smith posted a video to YouTube Friday to apologize again for striking the comedian during the live TV broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony.

“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened in that moment,” Smith, who earned his first Oscar for "King Richard" moments after striding onto the stage and delivering a backhand to Rock, following a G. I. Jane joke at the expense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith who has been candid over the years about her struggles with the hair-loss triggering condition alopecia.

He continued, “I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect of insults.”

Smith had previously posted an apology on Instagram hours after the incident. The video message, however, strove to answer questions about his motivations for his bad behavior as well as extend apologies to the comedian's family.

"It's been a minute," the opening credits of the video read. "Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer."

Among those answers were two that fans, television talking heads and entertainment rags had been speculating on for some time. Did his wife have anything to do with the attack, and why did he not apologize on stage when he accepted his award?

“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it," Smith said, making it clear that he was to blame for any actions he took that night. As for why he didn't immediately apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech for best actor, the Grammy winner said, "I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy."

Seemingly holding back tears, Smith went on to offer apologies to Rock's mother, Rose, and brother Tony, as well as musician Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who picked up his best documentary Oscar for Summer of Soul in the awkward moments following the slap.

The star also acknowledged that his apology, though sincere, might be too late.

"I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out," he said. "So, I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

Rock has been tight-lipped concerning the subject in public. His first comments came over the weekend while headlining stand-up shows in New York and New Jersey.

“Yeah, that s—t hurt, motherf—ker, but I shook that s—t off and went to work the next day,” Rock said.

He added, “I’m not a victim, motherf—ker. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

Watch the full apology video embedded below.

Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg Join Forces to Slay Vampires in 'Day Shift'

They say religion is the opiate of the masses. That may be true, but if so, entertainment is not far behind, and movies are perhaps its most effective delivery method.

There are likely several reasons "Top Gun: Maverick" clocked a billion dollars at the box office 36 years after the original, but one of them is surely the collective need for a break from reality.

In a world where global warming, class wars, political unrest and a persistent pandemic have made life — less than optimal— sometimes 120 minutes in a fantasy world is the perfect prescription for the new-millennium blues.

With that in mind, the mad doctors at Netflix may have stumbled onto this summer's best remedy for that ailment with their latest offer.

Combining the talents of two of hip-hop and R&Bs finest, "Day Shift" is a modern-day take on the vampire genre that looks better than it has any right to be if the final cut lives up to the action-packed trailer.

Rap legend Snoop Dogg and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, who has also been nominated for eight Grammys for his musical contribution and won one, portray unionized vampire hunters in the tale. It's a twist that Starbucks' corporate is sure to hate but it provides context for the motivation of Foxx's character, who has fallen out of favor with the union and is doing jobs on the side when not cleaning pools to make ends meet. The duo is joined by Dave Franco in a role that plays to his talents as a straight-man and comic relief.

Netflix boasts the film is “from the people who taught John Wick how to kick ass" in the trailer, and the movie does have strong ties to the highly praised action trilogy.

Director JJ Perry was a second unit director and stunt coordinator whose previous credits include the John Wick franchise, and the movie was adapted from an original script by Tyler Tice that has been revised by Shay Hatten ("John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum" and "John Wick: Chapter 4").

Check out the synopsis below and watch the official trailer.

Day Shift tells the story of longtime vampire hunter Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx), a man whose relationship with his wife (Meagan Good) and daughter (Zion Broadnax) is somewhat strained because of his secret line of work. While Bud’s family generally goes with the story that he works as a pool cleaner, in reality, he’s one of the many vampire hunters operating around the world to take out the blood-sucking ghouls for sizable bounties. Unlike Bud, who somehow managed to get himself booted from the union in the past, hunters like Big John Elliott (Snoop Dogg) count on their membership to get paid and stay involved in the larger fight against evil.

Patrick Adams, legendary disco producer, has died at age 72

Photo Credit: Red Bull Music Academy
Prolific music producer Patrick Adams, the driving force behind countless disco hits who helped shape the evolution of hip-hop, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.

Adam's daughter Joi Sanchez announced the composer's death in a social media post.

"My father passed away earlier today at on his sleep at the golden age of 72 after living a life of music," she wrote. "Forever grateful for what I learned from him? Who I became because of who he was. I’m amazing because he was literally legendary."

A musical renaissance man, Adams earned 32 gold and platinum records during a career that began in the 1960s and spanned decades and genres.

Born in 1950, the New York City native got an early start in music. Already an accomplished songwriter, instrumentalist and budding engineer — he joined the Harlem band the Sparks as a 16-year-old. The group was signed to Curb/MGM and played shows with acts like the Commodores and Jerry Butler.

By 1970 Adams had been hired as the vice president of A&R for New York-based Perception/Today Records, after discovering and signing the teenage R&B trio Black Ivory in 1968. The group's first single, powered by the vocals of lead singer Leroy Burgess, peaked at No. 38 on Billboard's R&B chart in 1971.

His success as a manager was quickly eclipsed by his highly coveted work as a producer. Adams eventually started his own production company focused on dance — Patrick Adams Productions Music and went on to produce and arrange music for some of the biggest disco, R&B and hip-hop acts of the 70s and 80s.

Gladys Knight, Candi Staton, Keith Sweat, Salt-N-Pepa, Eric B & Rakim, Loleatta Holloway, Sister Sledge and Eddie Kendricks, are just a few of the artists and icons who the arranger and composer elevated with his work. His songs have been heavily sampled by some of hip-hop's greatest rappers including Kanye West, Nas and Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2017 Red Bull Music Academy honored his work and its impact on the music industry with a celebration in New York that worked to shed more light on his then mostly overlooked legacy.

“You can tell a Nile Rodgers record a million miles away because it has an imprint that emanates from his guitar,” he told Red Bull Music Academy. “In my case I tried to avoid that. I didn’t want my records to sound the same. Whether that was a positive thing or a negative thing, I don’t know. But at the same time there is a signature in my music—sometimes it’s harmonic, and sometimes it’s just in the quirkiness of things. And sometimes you just don’t hear it until somebody points it out to you and asks, ‘Oh, he did that record too?’”