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Iconic Tupac Ring to Command Spotlight at Sotheby's Hip-Hop Sale

Legendary auction house Sotheby's is preparing to showcase its third dedicated hip-hop sale, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the genre and celebrating its profound impact on art and culture. Among the extraordinary collection of historical treasures, one particular gem stands out—the self-designed gold, diamond and ruby ring of rap icon Tupac Shakur.
Photo Courtesy Sotheby's
Crafted by Tupac himself, the ring bears the inscription 'Pac & Dada 1996,' symbolizing the artist's engagement with Kidada Jones and serving as a powerful symbol of love and creativity. It gained global attention when Tupac proudly displayed it during his appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.

Now, it takes center stage at Sotheby's auction, commanding an estimated value ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.

The ring is presented by Yaasmyn Fula, Tupac's godmother and confidante, who played a pivotal role in supporting his artistic endeavors and achievements.

Accompanying the ring, the auction features a remarkable collection of hip-hop artifacts, including original artwork, historic studio equipment, sneakers, jackets, flyers and rare memorabilia. These items pay homage to influential pioneers such as Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Ice-T and Afrika Islam, showcasing the rich tapestry of hip-hop's cultural impact.

Online bidding for the event will be open from July 18th to July 25th. For those eager to experience these extraordinary artifacts firsthand, a dedicated exhibition will be on display at Sotheby's York Avenue galleries from July 18th to July 24th.

Hennessy and Nas Pour Out a Special Edition for Hip-Hop's 50th

Hennessy and Nas have partnered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. In this unique collaboration, the leading cognac brand will release a limited-edition Hennessy V.S bottle, designed in partnership with the hip-hop legend, paying homage to the enduring relationship between Hennessy and the genre.

The bottle's unveiling is scheduled for July 20 at a digital mapping event, aiming to showcase the global impact of hip-hop culture. Additionally, Hennessy will introduce Hennessy Album Covers, an AI-led experience that transforms selfies into personalized album covers, drawing inspiration from iconic hip-hop eras as part of their Rep Yours campaign. This campaign invites fans to express their connection to hip-hop through an immersive digital experience.

Nas expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with Hennessy, emphasizing the brand's significant influence on hip-hop fans across generations. In a statement announcing the partnership, the Grammy Award-winning rapper said, "It means a lot to me to celebrate this legendary moment in hip-hop history with Hennessy, a brand that has supported me for over 10 years. Hennessy is deeply embedded in our culture and continues to inspire generations of hip-hop fans. I'm extremely proud to share our new limited-edition bottle with the world."

The relationship between Hennessy and hip-hop has been intertwined for years, with the cognac brand prominently featured in countless rap songs, solidifying its position as the most referenced spirit in the industry. Renowned artists such as Nas, Tupac, and Jay-Z have made numerous lyrical references to Hennessy, highlighting its prominence within the genre.

Beyond its presence in lyrics, Hennessy has actively engaged with the hip-hop community through collaborations and partnerships. Working alongside renowned photographer Renell Medrano, Nas has narrated a film as a heartfelt tribute to hip-hop. The film showcases imagery of the Hennessy V.S Bottle and offers a personal reflection on the brand's profound impact on the culture.

To enhance the celebration, Hennessy's expert mixologists have crafted three signature cocktails inspired by flavors synonymous with hip-hop: "The Big Apple," "HenNASsy Honey" and "Incredible Hennessy."

For more information and to participate in toasting this seminal moment in hip-hop history through the Rep Yours campaign, click here.

From 'Bling Bling' to 'Back That Azz Up': Juvenile Rocks NPR's Black Music Month with Timeless Hits

NPR's celebration of Black Music Month culminated not in a bang, but in a symphony of soul, rhythm, blues, and rap, uniquely born in the vibrant streets of New Orleans.

Big Easy native Juvenile took the Tiny Desk stage by storm, supported by a full band that included fellow New Orleans music giants Trombone Shorty and Jon Batiste, along with the wizardry of Mannie Fresh, the legendary producer behind Cash Money Records' hits. Together, they orchestrated a Tiny Desk performance that defied all expectations.

As Juvenile shared insights and reflected on his recording history, he effortlessly traded laughs and verses, delivering his and the label's biggest hits. From "400 Degreez" to "Bling Bling" and even the Hot Boys classic "I Need a Hot Girl," Juvenile playfully reminded the audience of his presence in the iconic music video, despite not being featured on the track itself.

"Y'all don't even know, that's my favorite part right there," Juvenile chuckled, exchanging verses with the animated Mannie Fresh. "I ain't even on the song, but I'm in the video. That part resonates with me so much, especially when Turk jumps in. Now, I know Turk might have a bone to pick with me, but he's still my lil bro. Trust me, that's the absolute pinnacle of the song when he enters."

However, it was the grand finale that truly captivated the audience. With the assistance of a cellist and a violinist from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Juvenile crafted a spellbinding rendition of his timeless anthem to the posterior, "Back That Azz Up."

To experience the full concert, watch the video above.

"Intro (feat. Mannie Fresh)"
"400 Degreez (feat. Mannie Fresh)"
"Bling Bling (feat. Mannie Fresh)"
"Set It Off"
"Slow Motion"
"Rodeo (feat. The Amours)"
"I Need A Hot Girl (feat. Mannie Fresh)"
"Project Bitch (feat. Mannie Fresh)"
"Back That Azz Up (feat. Mannie Fresh)"

Juvenile: vocals
Mannie Fresh: vocals, effects, keys
Alvin Ford: music director/drums
Josh Connelly: guitar
DJ Raymond: bass
Brandon Butler: keys
BK Jackson: saxophone
Trombone Shorty: trombone
Kevin Woods: trumpet
Jon Batiste: melodica
Jakiya Ayanna: vocals
Shaina Aisha: vocals
Hannah Yim: violin
Jake Fowler: cello

From Hot Boys to Icon: Lil Wayne's Remarkable Journey Celebrated With BMI Award

Photo Credit R. Rosales / Courtesy of Republic Records
"He's a beast, he's a dog... he's an icon."

Lil Wayne, a longtime veteran in the rap game at the age of 40, will be honored with the prestigious BMI Icon Award at the upcoming 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on September 6.

The private ceremony, hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O'Neill and BMI Vice President, Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton, will take place at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub, recognizing Lil Wayne's influential career spanning over 20 years.

"As a legend and superstar of Hip-Hop, Lil Wayne is synonymous with the genre. He's been part of the BMI family since 2002, and we're proud to name him a BMI Icon, acknowledging his status as one of the most influential artists of all time," said Brewton in a statement released by BMI, expressing excitement about celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop and its enduring impact on various cultural spheres.

Born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., Lil Wayne emerged from the vibrant New Orleans music scene in the 1990s, rapidly gaining recognition for his exceptional lyrical skills and distinctive voice. After being signed by legendary Louisiana label Cash Money Records at the age of 12, he showcased his potential as a member of the hit-making group, the Hot Boys, before embarking on a remarkable solo career. Throughout his journey, he has amassed five Grammy Awards and exceeded 100 million records sold worldwide.

Beyond music, Lil Wayne's influence extends to fashion, pop culture and entrepreneurship. Through his label, Young Money Entertainment, he has nurtured emerging talent and produced chart-topping hits. Notably, his mentorship and collaborations with industry heavyweights like Drake and Nicki Minaj have propelled their careers to great heights, solidifying Wayne's impact on an entire generation of artists.

The BMI Icon Award, previously bestowed upon esteemed figures such as Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Snoop Dogg, and Busta Rhymes, honors songwriters, composers or producers who have profoundly shaped the music industry.

Throughout his career, Wayne has received 52 BMI Awards and has been recognized multiple times as the R&B/Hip Hop Songwriter of the Year. In 2009, his track "Down" was honored as the College Song of the Year at the BMI London Awards.

Busta Rhymes Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award at 2023 BET Awards

While the show's duration was notably long, lasting for 3 hours and 52 minutes, the 2023 BET Awards, held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night, featured memorable moments and standout performances.

Migos members Quavo and Offset surprised audiences with a reunion performance honoring their late bandmate, Takeoff. Ice Spice captivated viewers with a Bronx-themed set, showcasing her hits in a dazzling production complete with a basketball court and a mock subway platform.

Busta Rhymes, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award, delivered a moving speech reflecting on his career and the importance of mentorship, accompanied by tributes from industry legends.

"A lot of greatness from our people and our culture is by default because it's just the magic that we have," the multiplatinum rapper said. "I am grateful for the blessing that has been bestowed upon me and this gift that I have been given, and this fire that continues to burn as a passion in my soul."

Rhymes, 51, added, "It's just me trying to do my duty to continue to advance the culture and contribute in a significant way. I see so many people in here that I have known and grown with for a long time. You're watching me grow, and I love y'all, and I know y'all love me."

Other notable award winners of the night included Beyoncé and Sza, who tied for Album of the Year with their respective albums, "Renaissance" and "SOS." Latto claimed the title of Best Female Hip Hop Artist, while Kendrick Lamar was recognized as the Best Male Hip Hop Artist. Sza's "Kill Bill" secured the Video of the Year award and Teyana "Spike Tey" Taylor was honored as the Video Director of the Year.

Watch Rhymes' full speech above. Continue reading for a complete list of award winners.

Album of the Year:
"Renaissance" - Beyoncé (TIE)
"SOS" - Sza (TIE)
"Anyways, Life's Great" - GloRilla
"Breezy" - Chris Brown
"God Did" - DJ Khaled
"Her Loss" - Drake & 21 Savage
"Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" - Kendrick Lamar

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist:

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist:
Chris Brown (TIE)
Usher (TIE)

Best Group:
Drake & 21 Savage

Best Collaboration:
"Wait For U" - Future feat. Drake & Tems

Best Female Hip Hop Artist:

Best Male Hip Hop Artist:
Kendrick Lamar

Video of the Year:
"Kill Bill" - Sza

Video Director of the Year:
Teyana "Spike Tey" Taylor

Best New Artist:
Coco Jones

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award:
"Bless Me" - Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin

Viewer's Choice Award:
"Break My Soul" - Beyoncé

Best International Act:
Burna Boy (Nigeria)

BET Her:
"Break My Soul" - Beyoncé

Best Movie:
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

Best Actor:
Damson Idris

Best Actress:
Angela Bassett

YoungStars Award:
Marsai Martin

Sportswoman of the Year Award:
Angel Reese

Sportsman of the Year Award:
Jalen Hurts

Watch: XXL Magazine Unveils 2023 Freshman Class, Defining the Sound of Hip-Hop's Future

XXL has revealed its highly anticipated 2023 freshman class, showcasing 12 emerging stars in the hip-hop genre. The annual list, unveiled on Wednesday, features a diverse group of artists: Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, SleazyWorld Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine and DC The Don.

This year's announcement carries extra significance as it precedes the upcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop in August. Reflecting on the genre's evolution over the past five decades, the hip-hop magazine compares the birth of hip-hop to the formation of a diamond, with artists selected for the 2023 freshman class embodying the current essence of the genre's sound.

These rising stars stand alongside past XXL freshmen such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Travis Scott, Lil Durk, Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion, aiming to make their mark on hip-hop's history. In the coming weeks, XXL will release a series of content, including freestyles, cyphers, and interviews, providing a platform for each freshman to showcase their talent.

Fans eager to dive into the Freshman issue can expect it to hit stands on July 18. In addition to introducing the 2023 class and featuring groundbreaking producer Pi'erre Bourne, who crafted the beats for this year's cyphers, the issue includes interviews with acclaimed artists such as Lil Baby, NLE Choppa, Boosie BadAzz, Toosii, DDG, Saba and others.

Readers will also find insights into the current activities of the 2022 XXL Freshman Class, as well as stories covering hip-hop's affinity for golfing, the emergence of rookie artists and a compilation of the best A.I. hip-hop songs released to date.

Raphael Saadiq Reunites With Tony! Toni! Toné! After Quarter-Century Hiatus

Raphael Saadiq unveiled a momentous revelation on Tuesday. With an absence spanning close to a quarter-century, the revered R&B ensemble Tony! Toni! Toné! is poised for a renaissance.

Saadiq, a sonic maestro, and his cohorts—his brother D'Wayne Wiggins and Timothy Christian Riley—emerged as architects of musical ingenuity, fundamentally shaping the hip-hop and soul soundscape of the 1990s.

Their upcoming "Just Me & You Tour," an auditory odyssey orchestrated by Live Nation Urban, marks an extraordinary resurrection for Tony! Toni! Toné!, a testament to their musical legacy.

The highly-anticipated tour is scheduled to commence on Sept. 21 at the BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham, AL. From there, Tony! Toni! Toné! will embark on a coast-to-coast journey, gracing major markets including New York, Chicago, Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles.

The tour will culminate with two performances in the Bay Area: at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA, on Nov. 14, and The Masonic in San Francisco on Nov. 17.

Tony! Toni! Toné! burst onto the musical landscape of the late 1980s, mesmerizing audiences with an alchemical fusion of R&B, funk and soul. Their audacious and groundbreaking new jack swing compositions served as a transformative force, ushering in the heralded era of neo-soul that would indelibly define the melodious tapestry of the 1990s.

Songs like "Feels Good," "Anniversary," and "It Never Rains (In Southern California)" became popular anthems, captivating a generation and etching the group's name onto the hallowed walls of musical history.

Yet, despite their meteoric ascent, the ensemble eventually disbanded, leaving a void in the hearts of their devout followers, who longed for a reunion.

Now Saadiq is answering that call and fulfilling their wishes.

"I've always wanted to put my family back together," Saadiq said in a statement. "Playing with the Tonys again is a thank you to the fans, the Super Tonians, for supporting all my musical efforts. Without those who were with us from Day One, where would I be? But the main reason is that my father, Charlie Wiggins, would've wanted it this way–to see me, D'Wayne, and Tim playing together again."

Saadiq has crafted an indomitable presence in the vast realm of music since the group's dissolution, ascending to stratospheric heights in his solo career. His collaborations with luminaries such as Beyoncé, D'Angelo and Solange highlight his ability to seamlessly blend timeless sophistication with audacious innovation and have earned him effusive acclaim — accompanied by a slew of coveted awards.

"The Just Me & You Tour" setlist will encompass Tony! Toni! Toné!'s greatest hits, taking audiences on a nostalgic journey through their iconic discography. Additionally, Saadiq will showcase his solo material, including tracks from his highly acclaimed albums and hits he wrote for other notable artists.

Fans eager to secure their spots can take advantage of the artist presale, beginning Wednesday. Live Nation and Spotify will also offer presales on Thursday, with general ticket sales beginning Friday. For more information go to

"The Just Me & You Tour" Dates:
Thu, September 21: Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall
Fri, September 22: Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium
Sun, September 24: Washington, DC - The Theater at MGM National Harbor
Tue, September 26: Baltimore, MD - Lyric Opera House
Thu, September 28: Philadelphia, PA - The Met
Sat, September 30: New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
Sun, October 1: Durham, NC - Durham Performing Arts Center
Thu, October 5: Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
Sun, October 8: Cleveland, OH - State Theatre
Tue, October 10: Louisville, KY - Louisville Palace
Wed, October 11: Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Thu, October 12: Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
Fri, October 13: Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
Thu, October 19: Greensboro, NC - Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Fri, October 20: Columbia, SC - The Township Auditorium
Sat, October 21: Jacksonville, FL - Moran Theater
Sun, October 22: Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
Thu, October 26: Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
Fri, October 27: New Orleans, LA - Orpheum Theatre
Sat, October 28: Dallas, TX - Music Hall at Fair Park
Sun, October 29: Sugar Land, TX - Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Fri, November 10: Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
Sat, November 11: Los Angeles, CA - YouTube Theater
Mon, November 14: Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre
Fri, November 17: San Francisco, CA - The Masonic

Watch: Babyface Mesmerizes in Captivating Performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series

Babyface, the renowned singer, producer, and songwriter, mesmerized audiences with a captivating performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series Friday.

In honor of June's Black Music Month, the legendary artist showcased his massive catalog of hits in a stripped-down setting, delivering a performance that left fans heaping praise on the star on social media.

"Charlie Wilson & Babyface in one week! Tiny Desk is showing out for Black Music Month," one fan Tweeted.

Another added, "This Babyface Tiny Desk is UNREAL."

With the iconic NPR Washington, D.C. studio as his stage, Babyface, also known as Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, took center-mic for a memorable performance that lasted nearly 30 minutes.

The intimate concert featured a collection of the 64-year-old's greatest hits, both self-penned and crafted for other music superstars. From his 1989 love ballad "Whip Appeal" to Whitney Houston's powerful anthem "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" and Tevin Campbell's heartfelt track "Can We Talk," Babyface brought each song to life with his signature smoothness and undeniable talent.

Opening the set with "Two Occasions," a classic he originally performed with his former group The Deele, Babyface set the tone for a concert filled with nostalgia and soulful melodies.

During the performance, he took a moment to pay homage to Whitney Houston, whom he considered "one of the greatest artists ever." Reflecting on their collaboration for the 1995 film "Waiting to Exhale," sharing the story behind "Exhale" and Houston's initial uncertainty about singing on the track.

He revealed, "For the longest time, I hadn't started to write this song because I didn't know whether she was going to sing. And then finally she said she was going to sing, and that kind of explains why on the chorus there's no real lyrics, because I hadn't gotten to that part yet."

The concert featured special guest performances by R&B singers Tank, Chanté Moore and Avery Wilson, adding an extra layer of magic to the proceedings. Babyface's band, comprising music director Erskine Hawkins III on keyboards, Antoine Porter on guitar, Walt Barnes Jr. on bass and Reggie Regg on drums, provided the perfect musical backdrop for the star as he reeled off classic-after-classic.

With each song, Babyface showcased his versatility as an artist, effortlessly transitioning between heartfelt ballads and soul-stirring R&B anthems.

Click on the video above to watch the entire performance.

Watch: Tupac Shakur Honored with Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in Posthumous Tribute

Legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, solidifying his status as an icon whose influence continues to reverberate through the generations.Ana Martinez, the producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, expressed the impact of Shakur's legacy, stating, "Tupac Shakur was a rapper, actor, activist, poet, and revolutionary. This iconic artist has remained part of the zeitgeist for decades after his passing and will continue to be an important cultural figure for many years to come. As one of L.A.'s own, Tupac's star will surely join the list of the most visited stars."

The star unveiling ceremony, hosted by emcee Big Boy, featured filmmaker Allen Hughes, director of the acclaimed docuseries "Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur." Sekyiwa "Set" Shakur, his sister, accepted the star on behalf of the family.Shakur, known internationally for his multifaceted talent, transcended the boundaries of art and activism. In his brief but prolific career, he sold over 75 million records worldwide, solidifying his status as one of hip-hop's most iconic figures. Both his albums, "All Eyez on Me" and "Greatest Hits," achieved Diamond certification, with sales surpassing ten million copies each.

Shakur's legacy extends beyond music, as he made a significant impact in the film industry with memorable performances in movies such as "Juice," "Poetic Justice," and "Above The Rim," showcasing his versatility as an actor.

His cultural impact has been recognized through various museum exhibits, including the Grammy Museum's "All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur" and the thought-provoking museum experience "Tupac Shakur: Wake Me When I'm Free" in Los Angeles.

Watch the video of the star unveiling ceremony below.


Oops, He Did It Again: Nick Cannon's Card Confusion Shakes Up Mother's Day

Courtesy FOX

While many of us may have experienced minor mishaps or hiccups on Mother's Day, Nick Cannon's card mix-up over the holiday weekend stands out as quite the conundrum.

The renowned TV host and even more prolific father found himself in a sticky situation on Sunday when he accidentally mixed up handwritten cards intended for the six mothers of his 12 children.

During an episode of his radio show, aptly titled "The Daily Cannon," Cannon openly confessed his well-intentioned yet muddled gesture to his cohosts.

"I tried my best, I really did," Cannon admitted in a video shared on his Instagram page. "I thought it would be a great way to genuinely express one's feelings by putting them into words. And I was writing heartfelt messages by hand. But then, as I was crafting a handwritten message, I mixed up the cards. So, when one baby mama reads a card intended for another baby mama..."

The situation turned awkward, particularly since one of the show's cohosts, Abby De La Rosa, is among the mothers of Cannon's children. While De La Rosa maintained her composure, another show presenter, Courtney Bee Bledsoe, didn't let Cannon off the hook easily.

When the "Wild N' Out" host commented, "See, if I had just gotten some generic stuff that everyone else got, this wouldn't have happened."

Bledsoe retorted, "No, N—a! If you had just focused, this wouldn't have happened!"

For those curious about Cannon's ever-expanding family, here's a brief overview. The versatile host shares twins Moroccan and Monroe with Mariah Carey.

He also has twin boys Zion and Zillion, who are 19 months old, and a daughter Beautiful Zeppelin with De La Rosa.

Brittany Bell is the mother of his sons Rise Messiah and Golden Sagon, as well as his daughter Powerful Queen.

"Selling Sunset's" Bre Tiesi is the mother of his son Legendary Love, and LaNisha Cole is the mother of his daughter Onyx Ice.

Alyssa Scott recently gave birth to their daughter Halo Marie. She is also the mother of his late son Zen, who tragically passed away at five months due to brain cancer.

Beyoncé Kicks Off First Tour in Over Four Years With a Three-Hour Extravaganza

The iconic cover of Beyoncé's "Renaissance" album.

Beyoncé kicked off her first tour in over four years today at Stockholm's Friends Arena, delivering an unforgettable performance that included live debuts of several tracks from her Grammy-winning album, "Renaissance."The superstar took to the stage without an opening act, allowing fans to get straight to the main event, a three-hour extravaganza filled with high-energy dance routines and breathtaking visuals, as chronicled by the fans and media in attendance on the internet.
The setlist for the evening featured a mix of classics and new tracks, including "Dangerously in Love," "Flaws and All," "7/11," "Run the World (Girls)," "Black Parade" and "Summer Renaissance." Beyoncé also performed for the very first time on stage "Break My Soul," "Virgo's Groove," "Cuff It" and other tracks from the "Renaissance" album.

One of the most memorable moments of the show was the closing performance of "Summer Renaissance," when Beyoncé rode atop a flying disco horse.

The tour continues tomorrow with a second night in Stockholm before heading to North America, with the first stop in Toronto on July 8. It includes stops at more than 50 cities, including London, New York City, Atlanta and Los Angeles.According to Forbes, Beyoncé's latest global trek could out-earn Taylor Swift's ongoing Eras Tour by a whopping $500 million, with an estimated gross of nearly $2.1 billion, which would make it the most successful concert series of all time.

"Renaissance," which was released last July, won Beyoncé a record-breaking four Grammy Awards, including Best Dance/Electronic Recording, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. With these accolades, Beyoncé is now the most decorated artist in Grammys history.

Check out the setlist from her opening night below:

  1. Dangerously in Love
  2. Flaws and All
  3. 1+1 / I'd Rather Go Blind / I'm Going Down
  4. I Care
  5. I'm That Girl
  6. Cozy
  7. Alien Superstar / Sweet Dreams
  8. Lift Off
  9. 7/11
  10. Cuff It
  11. Energy
  12. Break My Soul
  13. Formation
  14. Diva
  15. Run the World (Girls)
  16. My Power
  17. Black Parade
  18. Savage (Remix)
  19. Church Girl
  20. Get Me Bodied
  21. Before I Let Go
  22. Rather Die Young
  23. Love on Top
  24. Crazy in Love
  25. Green Light
  26. Freedom
  27. Plastic Off the Sofa
  28. Virgo's Groove
  29. Naughty Girl / Say My Name / Rocket
  30. Move
  31. Heated
  32. Thique
  33. All Up in Your Mind
  34. Drunk in Love
  35. America Has a Problem
  36. Pure/Honey
  37. Summer Renaissance

Pop Star The Weeknd Shocks Fans with Plan to 'Kill' Famous Alter Ego

Brian Ziff, via Wikimedia Commons
Grammy-winning artist Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, has shocked fans by announcing that he is leaving behind the persona that made him famous.

In a recent interview with W Magazine, Tesfaye explained that his decision was motivated by his desire to embark on a "cathartic path" and to "kill The Weeknd."

However, Tesfaye has stated that he plans to continue making music but under a new persona. "I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn," he said in the interview.

The news comes after Tesfaye played the role of Tedros, the ambitious Svengali in "The Idol," an upcoming HBO series about a pop icon and her relationship with a charismatic club owner. Tesfaye helped the protagonist, portrayed by Lily-Rose Depp, captivate the crowd.

During the final night of filming at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Tesfaye had to switch back and forth between personas, a move that took a toll on him. After the concert, he lost his voice, attributing it to the difficulty of switching between the two characters.

“I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being The Weeknd,” he told W Magazine. “It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before. My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing. I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”

The Weeknd's decision has left fans wondering what's next for the artist, who has been known for his unique sound and distinct visual aesthetic. Many have taken to social media to express their support for Tesfaye, while others are disappointed that they won't be able to see him perform as The Weeknd again.

Missy Elliott Joins Elite Company as First-Year Inductee Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 
Missy Elliott, the trailblazing songwriter and producer crucial in crafting the Virginia Beach sound, along with Pharrell Williams and Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, that dominated airwaves in the late 1990s and 2000s, is at the head of this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class.

Elliott was one of seven musicians announced Wednesday to have been voted into the hall during a one-hour special that was streamed on Apple Music 1, along with Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Sheryl Crow, George Michael and the Spinners.

While freshly-minted nonagenarian Nelson might have the biggest name recognition, the two-time Grammy Award winner — who was also the first woman rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame — accomplished something the country music legend could not by being the only artist in this crop to be inducted in her first year of eligibility, 25 years after her first commercial recording.

These seven performers were voted in via general balloting, while six more inductees were selected by a select Hall of Fame committee, including Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, Bernie Taupin, Link Wray, DJ Kool Herc, and Don Cornelius.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's chairman, John Sykes, stated that "we're on the road to recognizing all the artists of all genders and races that have impacted rock 'n' roll." With these inductees, the Hall of Fame is continuing its mission to honor artists who have made significant contributions to the world of music.

The 13 honorees will be celebrated in an induction ceremony and concert on November 3, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Kool Keith's Highly Anticipated 'Black Elvis 2' Drops in June

Elvis may have left the building, but "Black Elvis" is poised to make a comeback.

Independent rap legend Kool Keith, also known as Dr. Octagon, is preparing to release his highly anticipated album "Black Elvis 2" on June 16 via Mello Music Group. The album is the sequel to his 1999 cult classic "Black Elvis/Lost in Space."

A rapper and producer hailing from The Bronx, he is known for his multiple music aliases and obscure, abstract lyrics. The New York Times has dubbed him "one of the great non sequitur rappers of all time." Additionally, Kool Keith is also a co-founding member of Ultramagnetic MCs, whose debut album "Critical Beatdown" was released in 1988.

"Black Elvis 2" marks a reunion with Marc Live, who worked on the original's production. It features a star-studded lineup of guest appearances, including Ice-T, Raaddrr Van, Dynamite, L’Orange, J. Stylez and Agallah.

After the success of "Black Elvis/Lost in Space," his only major-label release, Kool Keith returned to independently releasing music. He has produced further efforts as a solo artist and collaborated with groups such as Jurassic 5, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Analog Brothers, Masters of Illusion and Peeping Tom.

The Prodigy's hit "Smack My Bitch Up" was based on a sample of Kool Keith's voice saying "Change my pitch up. Smack my bitch up" on Ultramagnetic MC's "Give The Drummer Some."

Fans can get a sneak peek of the album below.

"Black Elvis 2" is available for pre-order here.

Jay-Z's Rare Paris Performance to Celebrate Art Icons Basquiat and Warhol

Rap mogul Jay-Z will return to the stage this week for a rare live performance. On Tuesday, his label, Roc Nation, announced that he would perform at the Louis Vuitton Foundation's Auditorium in Paris on Friday to celebrate the cultural impact of two of the most influential artists of the 20th century: Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent who rose to fame in the 1980s as a neo-expressionist painter and graffiti artist. His works are known for their intense colors, bold brushstrokes and incorporation of symbols and text.Warhol, on the other hand, was an American artist, filmmaker and pioneer of the Pop Art movement, best known for his vividly colored silkscreen prints of celebrities, everyday objects and iconic American symbols such as the Campbell's soup can.

The "Basquiat x Warhol. Painting Four Hands" exhibition, which the concert will coincide with, features the two artists' 160 canvas collaborations, showcasing the distinctive styles of both artists and highlighting the artistic dialogue between them.

The event, dubbed the "JAY-Z Celebration Concert," is sponsored by Tiffany & Co. and marks a rare occurrence for Jay-Z, who hasn't been on an official tour since his $44-billion grossing 4:44 Tour in 2017. He was last seen on stage rapping his "God Did" verse at the 2023 Grammy Awards, something he said he did out of respect for hip-hop culture.

"I thought about it, I was in my head, and I just broke down and said, 'You know, it's a four-minute verse.' Again, for the culture, for hip-hop, we gotta do that," he told TIDAL.

Jay-Z's love for Basquiat and Warhol has been evident in his music for decades. In his 2008 song "Ain't I," he rapped, "I got Warhols on my hall's walls, I got Basquiats in the lobby of my spot/I'm so sophisticatedly hood, S. Carter cashmere premium goods." In his 2011 song "Illest Motherf*cker Alive," he rapped, "Basquiat, Warhols serving as my muses/My house like a museum, so I see 'em when I'm peeing, usually, you have this much taste, you European."It's worth noting that the concert will also be supported by Tiffany & Co., with which both Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé have brand deals. Although Basquiat's estate has spoken out against his work being featured in Jay-Z and Beyoncé's Tiffany & Co campaign, Jay-Z emphasizes that he is solely a fan of the artist.

Rihanna Overtakes Katy Perry as Most Followed Woman on Twitter With 108 million Followers

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Rihanna has added yet another accolade to her already impressive résumé, becoming the most followed woman on Twitter, according to the social media analytics tracking platform Social Blade.

With a massive 108,276,354 followers (at the time this story was published), she now sits in fourth place on the platform's global leaderboard, just behind former US President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber. At the top of the list is Elon Musk, who took over ownership of the social media platform in October 2022.

This milestone marks a significant achievement for the multi-talented artist, who has found success in music, fashion, and cosmetics. Rihanna's Twitter feat came just after her recent Super Bowl halftime performance, where she announced her second pregnancy while singing a medley of her hits.

Following the Super Bowl performance, her music saw a massive surge in sales and streams, with her digital album sales jumping by 301%. Among all her songs, "Pour It Up" saw the biggest boost, with a 1,387% increase in digital song sales and a 470% increase in on-demand audio streams.

Rihanna's cosmetics and lingerie brands, Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty, respectively, also experienced a significant surge in attention after her Super Bowl performance. Fenty Beauty alone earned $5.6 million in earned media within the first 12 hours following the game.

Her powerful appearance at the Oscars, which took place exactly one month after her Super Bowl showstopper, may have also contributed to this increase. At the Oscars, she performed her ballad "Lift Me Up" from the nominated movie "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. This performance earned her the first Oscar nomination of her career and marked the release of her first new solo track in six years.

In an interview with British Vogue, Rihanna revealed her plans to release a new album, her first since 2016, adding to her already impressive track record. With all of these accomplishments under her belt, it's no surprise that her fans are flocking to Twitter to see what she has in store for them next.

Watch: Da Brat and Wife Judy Return to TV Screens in Third Season of "Brat Loves Judy" Reality Show

Courtesy We tv
Da Brat, the legendary Chicago rapper born as Shawntae Harris, has made history twice.

First, in 1994, she became the first solo female rapper to go platinum with her debut album "Funkdafied."

Over two decades later, she made history again by publicly coming out as a lesbian, defying the norms of an industry known for misogyny and a lack of tolerance for alternate lifestyles.

"I've always felt like being private is the better way to go because then you don't have so many people in your business," Brat told Variety at the time. "I was fine staying quiet, but my partner is a social media mogul — that's how she became who she is. And when you get with somebody, you have to meet in the middle. So to me, the middle was just letting everybody know: 'Hey, she's the one.'"

Brat's partner is none other than Jesseca "Judy" Dupart, a social media star and entrepreneur. The two tied the knot in 2022 and will continue to share their personal lives with fans on the upcoming third season of "Brat Loves Judy."

This season will focus on the highs and lows of their first year of marriage, including Judy's pregnancy. However, the road to expanding their empire has been far from easy.

The couple has faced unexpected obstacles on their IVF journey, including health issues. As they navigate the complexities of blended family dynamics, Judy's son moving in adds another layer of drama to their relationship, highlighting their contrasting parenting styles and backgrounds.

Despite these hurdles, Brat and Judy have also collaborated on a new hair care product line called "Kaleidoscope X Brat," marking their first official joint venture.

Will the couple overcome the family drama and maintain their flourishing careers while merging their empires? Fans can tune in to WE tv on April 27 (9 pm ET), with episodes airing on ALLBLK the following Monday.

Watch the network's recently released supertease of the upcoming season below for a sneak peek of the action:

Watch: Megan Thee Stallion Helps Defending Champs Open MLB Season by Throwing Out First Pitch

Photo Credit: @thestallion Instagram
Houston native Megan Thee Stallion made a special appearance at the Astros' home opener on Thursday, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch for her hometown team.

The Grammy-winning rapper donned a white Astros jersey and a diamond chain with the words "Hot Girl," along with a jersey displaying her last name and "222" on the back.

While her pitch landed a little outside and bounced in the left-handed batter's box, Megan managed to get the ball to the plate, a feat that has eluded many other celebrities attempting the first pitch. Astros' mascot, Orbit, gave her a hug to celebrate the accomplishment.

The pitch was a lighthearted moment in Megan's busy schedule, as she continues to make waves in the entertainment industry.

Megan is in talks to star in a new Netflix movie alongside Adam Sandler, which will be directed and produced by Josh and Benny Safdie, the directors of the hit movie "Uncut Gems." The film, set in the world of sports memorabilia, will begin production this summer, although its title and plot are yet to be revealed.

Megan is also making her feature film debut in the R-rated musical comedy "F***ing Identical Twins," produced by A24 and Chernin Entertainment. She will star opposite Nathan Lane, Bowen Yang and Megan Mullally, although the film's release date is still unknown.

However, Megan has also been involved in a high-profile court case with rapper Tory Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson. Lanez was found guilty of shooting Megan on a California curbside in July 2020.

Lanez's lawyers have filed a motion for a new trial, citing various grounds, including a claim that the judge "erroneously allowed" jurors to view an Instagram post from Lanez's account claiming that Megan's now-estranged best friend Kelsey Harris was the shooter.

During the trial, both Kelsey and Megan denied the allegations that Kelsey fired the shots that wounded Megan. Lanez faces up to 22 years in prison at sentencing, but his new lawyers have successfully lobbied the judge to delay his sentencing until April to prepare for the motion.

Check out Megan's first pitch below:

Watch: Bagpiper Puts Tartan Twist on Snoop Dogg's 'Still D.R.E.'

Hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg received a grand Scottish greeting upon his arrival at Glasgow Airport for his highly anticipated concert at the OVO Hydro on Thursday night.

The 51-year-old rapper was met by the soulful sound of bagpipes as the traditional Scottish musical instrument played his classic 1999 hit, "Still D.R.E.," in collaboration with Dr. Dre, marking a rare moment of cultural fusion.

Upon hearing the iconic tune played with a Scottish twist, Snoop couldn't contain his excitement and exclaimed, "F—ing dope!" before busting a few moves on the tarmac.

To brave the chilly Scottish weather, the "Gin and Juice" hitmaker was wrapped up in a blanket and donned a red beanie.

Bagpiper Ross Ainslie, who was dressed in a kilt for the occasion, shared his thoughts with Glasgow Live, stating that "It was a very cool experience!" He also revealed that he only had a day to learn Snoop's hit song but was pleased with his tartan-flavored rendition.

The heartwarming moment was shared on Ross' Instagram account, garnering over 40,000 views.

Snoop's concert had been rescheduled from August 2021 due to scheduling conflicts.

Watch the video below to see the international act of goodwill.

The Urban Legend is True: Michael Jackson's Vocals Featured on Jay-Z's 'Girls, Girls, Girls (Remix),' According to Just Blaze

Renowned Roc-A-Fella producer Just Blaze has revealed that the late Michael Jackson lent his vocal talents to the once-mythical "Girls, Girls, Girls (Remix)" with Jay-Z.

In an interview with Bloomberg's Idea Generation, Blaze said he discovered rare vocals from the "Thriller" icon on his personal computer during quarantine."I thought it was an urban legend or something that Jay said like in jest one day or just was some kind of a myth," Blaze recalled. "And I realize as I’m listening to it it’s him singing on ‘Girls, Girls, Girls.’ And I’m like … ‘It’s true.’ The last 20 years, I just found it during quarantine. So all these years, I’ve never known it was a real thing. And turns out the files had been sitting downstairs this entire time."

Blaze produced the single, which originally featured on Jay-Z's 2001 masterpiece, "The Blueprint," and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The revelation only adds to the memorable moments between Jackson and Jay-Z during the early 2000s, which included the King of Pop's surprise appearance at Jay-Z's headlining set at Hot 97's Summer Jam concert in 2001 and Jay-Z's cameo on Jackson's "You Rock My World (Remix)."

Watch the entire interview below: