Showing posts with label Popular Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Popular Post. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Beyonce's 'Texas Hold 'Em' Grabs No. 1 on Country Chart

Beyoncé has made a historical debut on Billboard's streaming, airplay, and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart with her latest singles. The chart, dated February 24, showcases Beyoncé's "Texas Hold ‘Em" at No. 1 and "16 Carriages" at No. 9, marking her first entries on this chart.

These songs, released on February 11, made a splash across various charts, including the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, where they debuted at Nos. 2 and 38, respectively. The announcement of their release came during a Verizon commercial aired during CBS’ Super Bowl LVIII broadcast, building anticipation for Beyoncé's upcoming album, expected to be titled "Act II" and slated for release on March 29, following her 2022 "Renaissance" LP.

"Texas Hold ‘Em" garnered significant attention, drawing 19.2 million official streams, 4.8 million in all-format airplay audience, and selling 39,000 units in the U.S. through February 15, according to Luminate. Meanwhile, "16 Carriages" arrived with 10.3 million streams, 90,000 in radio reach, and 14,000 units sold.

Beyoncé's dominance extends beyond the Hot Country Songs chart. Her reign as a solo artist spans across seven of Billboard’s multimetric song charts, including the Hot 100, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Gospel Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot R&B Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. This achievement solidifies her status as the only artist to achieve such a feat.

"Texas Hold ‘Em" is the first song by a solo Black female artist to chart on country radio since Micky Guyton's 2016 hit "Heartbreak Song" reached No. 45.

Bing Worthington, Brother of Snoop Dogg, Passes Away at 44

Photo Credit: Instagram/Snoopdogg
Bing Worthington, the younger brother of iconic rapper Snoop Dogg, passed away at the age of 44 on Friday.

Snoop Dogg, 52, whose birth name is Calvin Broadus Jr., shared the heartbreaking news through a series of Instagram tributes, expressing profound grief and reminiscing on cherished moments with his late brother.

In one post, Snoop Dogg shared a photo featuring himself, Worthington, and their nephew Rollin Carter, with a caption adorned with emotive emojis.

Another tribute showcased a video capturing Snoop and Worthington reminiscing amidst family members at a cemetery, evoking memories of shared laughter and camaraderie. "Always made us laugh 💙🙏🏾😢 u bac with moms," Snoop Dogg captioned the post.

Amidst the somber reflections, Snoop Dogg shared a family portrait brimming with smiles and joy, bidding farewell to his brother with a heartfelt message: "Until we meet again ☹️😔😢🙏🏾🕊️."

While the cause of Worthington’s passing remains undisclosed, authorities from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California, confirmed ongoing investigations awaiting the results of toxicology and autopsy reports.

Worthington played a pivotal role in Snoop Dogg’s professional endeavors, contributing to various aspects of his brother's business ventures. From collaborating on the launch of Snoop's skateboard brand to pivotal roles in documentary productions and label mergers, Bing's entrepreneurial spirit and dedication were indispensable.

Worthington served as his brother's tour manager and managed the Snoop Dogg Skateboards brand. He co-founded Dogg Records, a Canadian record label, and served as the executive producer for the documentary Bigg Snoop Dogg: Raw ‘N Uncut Vol. 1, released in 2003.

He also briefly ventured into music himself, manifesting his passion for music in the release of the album Liquid Cocaine with his rap group, Lifestyle.

The family's mourning unfolds amidst other recent hardships, including health challenges faced by Snoop Dogg’s daughter Cori Broadus, who battles lupus and recently suffered a stroke. These difficulties compound the grief of the passing of their beloved mother, Beverly Tate, in October 2021.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Soul Icon Frankie Beverly Announces 'I Wanna Thank You' Farewell Tour

Courtesy Photo
Frankie Beverly, a renowned figure in soul music alongside his ensemble Maze, has announced the "I Wanna Thank You Farewell Tour," marking the culmination of a five-decade career that significantly impacted the genre.

The tour commences on March 22nd, 2024, at Atlanta's State Farm Arena, a city with deep roots in the band's history. Beverly's musical journey began earlier, with The Butlers and Raw Soul in the 1970s. A pivotal move to San Francisco in 1971, encouraged by the legendary Marvin Gaye, led to the formation of Maze and their subsequent rise to prominence.

Their self-titled debut album in 1976 marked a turning point, paving the way for a string of commercially successful albums that solidified their place in soul music history. Tracks like "Back In Stride," an anthem of perseverance, and the upbeat "Happy Feelin's" became enduring favorites among listeners. Notably, the universally acclaimed "Before I Let Go," with its poignant exploration of love and loss, propelled them to even greater recognition.

Beyond the studio, Maze was celebrated for their electrifying live performances. Beverly's passionate vocals, coupled with the band's tight grooves and energetic stage presence, created a memorable experience for audiences across generations. Their concerts transcended mere entertainment, serving as celebrations of life, love, and community, drawing crowds with their heartfelt messages and undeniable presence.

While this marks the end of an era with Beverly at the helm, the music of Maze lives on. "Maze Honoring Frankie Beverly," led by vocalist Tony Lindsay, will carry the torch forward, ensuring the band's legacy of soulful excellence endures. Fans eager to witness this final chapter can find tour details and information on the official website.

Tour Schedule:
March 22, 2024: State Farm Arena, Atlanta GA
April 6, 2024: Mobile County Fairgrounds, Mobile AL
April 13, 2024: Toyota Arena, Houston TX
April 27, 2024: United Center, Chicago IL
May 12, 2024: KIA Forum, Los Angeles CA
July 6, 2024: Dell Center, Philadelphia PA

Swifties vs. Kanye: Battle for Billboard Supremacy Heats Up

Screengrab: YouTube
West and Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
In the ongoing feud between Kanye West and Taylor Swift fans, tensions have reached new heights as West fires back at attempts to thwart his success on the music charts. Swifties, as Taylor Swift's devoted fan base is known, have launched a coordinated effort to boost Beyoncé's new country music in order to block West's latest album, "Vultures 1," from securing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

The discord surfaced following a declaration of a "Swiftie emergency" on social media, urging fellow fans to stream Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" to forestall West's album from chart supremacy. This development transpired subsequent to West's Instagram story containing critical remarks about Swift.

Reacting promptly, the 46-year-old West captured a screenshot of the fan's tweet, casting accusations at Swift's fan base for orchestrating chart manipulation tactics to undercut his artistic endeavors.

"When I said that I’m the new Jesus b—ch, I wasn’t even thinking about Taylor Swift," West clarified on Instagram, seeking to elucidate his prior remarks. "That was a whole line before, but I appreciate the free promo."

His message, tinged with defiance, conveyed a nuanced stance towards Swift's fans: "To all Taylor Swift fans, I am not your enemy uuum I'm not your friend either though lol," he remarked.

In a rare moment of candor, West acknowledged grappling with adversities over the past year, including being ostracized by hotels, corporate affiliations and even eateries. Despite these challenges, he underscored the uplifting and triumphant essence of "Vultures 1."

"This album is actually super positive and fun, it's all about triumphant," he emphasized, spotlighting the resilience embedded within the album's thematic framework.

Moreover, West invoked his previous solidarity with Swift during her public dispute with music manager Scooter Braun.

"Remember I was on Taylor's side when Scooter bought her masters behind her back," he reiterated. "She and Beyoncé are big inspirations to all musicians; we always say how both sell out tours and movies."

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Usher Ties the Knot: R&B Star Marries Longtime Girlfriend Jennifer Goicoechea

Getty Images for The House of Creed and Remy Martin
Usher capped off an epic weekend by marrying longtime partner Jennifer Goicoechea in Las Vegas just hours after his electrifying Super Bowl LVIII halftime show on Sunday.

News of their marriage emerged after the Super Bowl performance and was confirmed by a marriage certificate obtained by CNN.
"We can confirm that Usher and Jennifer Goicoechea took the next step in their relationship and did get married on Sunday night in Las Vegas surrounded by close friends and family," a spokesperson for Usher said in a statement. "The couple look forward to continuing to raise their children together and express their gratitude for the well-wishes received."

Usher and Goicoechea share two children: daughter Sovereign Bo, born in 2020, and son Sire Castrello, born in 2021. Usher also has two sons, Usher V and Naviyd Ely, from his previous marriage to Tameka Foster.

The intimate ceremony took place at Vegas Weddings' Terrace Gazebo following Usher's thirteen-minute-long Super Bowl performance, where he delivered a crowd-pleasing medley of his greatest hits.

Usher's mother, Jonetta Patton, served as their witness during the ceremony, with a select group of close friends and family members in attendance.

Later that night, the newlyweds celebrated at Usher's album release party for "Coming Home." Jennifer wore a chic all-white pantsuit, while Usher sported a white floor-length fur coat over a black tuxedo, with a gold band now adorning his left ring finger.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Lee & Washington Reunite for Kurosawa Remake: 'High and Low' Gets American Treatment

Courtesy Photo: Universal Pictures 
Acclaimed director Spike Lee and iconic actor Denzel Washington are once again joining forces, this time to remake Akira Kurosawa's classic 1963 crime thriller "High and Low," Apple Original Films announced on Thursday.

Apple will co-finance the project, which will be theatrically released by independent film studio A24 before streaming on Apple TV+. This marks Lee and Washington's fifth collaboration, following their critically acclaimed work on films such as "Mo' Better Blues," "Malcolm X," "He Got Game" and "Inside Man" (2006).
Kurosawa's "High and Low" is a suspenseful crime thriller with social commentary woven into its narrative. Based on Ed McBain's novel "King's Ransom," the film follows a wealthy industrialist whose life is thrown into chaos when his chauffeur's son is mistakenly kidnapped for ransom. As the tension mounts, Kurosawa explores themes of class disparity and human resilience.
Lee, known for his bold storytelling and unflinching social commentary, has directed numerous critically acclaimed films throughout his career. His diverse body of work includes groundbreaking titles like "Do the Right Thing" and the Denzel Washington-led biopic "Malcolm X."

Washington will once again take the lead in Lee's adaptation, which features a screenplay co-written by Lee and Alan Fox. Washington and producer Todd Black have previously collaborated on films like "Fences," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "The Equalizer" franchise. Production is set to begin in March.

A24, a film studio known for its independent and acclaimed productions, will handle the theatrical distribution of the film before its global debut on Apple TV+. "High and Low" is being developed and produced by A24, Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures. Black and Jason Michael Berman are producing, with Lee serving as executive producer through his 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks. Peter Guber, along with others, will also serve as executive producer.

Watch: Super Bowl Trailer Has Ludacris, Lil Jon Hunting for Usher in Vegas

Usher has dropped a star-studded new trailer for his Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show, igniting intrigue with a playful "Where's Usher?" theme. The seven-minute film, reminiscent of "The Hangover," follows a comedic quest through Las Vegas, led by Ludacris, Lil Jon and Taraji P. Henson as they search for the missing R&B icon.

Their journey takes them past iconic landmarks like Caesars Palace, where they encounter celebrities including Anderson .Paak, J Balvin, Wesley Snipes and the Blue Man Group. A surprise appearance by Andre 3000 as "Zoltar 3000" fuels speculation about potential collaborations during the live performance.

The trailer concludes with Usher performing for a bridal party at the Caesars Palace Fountain, showcasing his signature moves and hits like "Climax," "Nice & Slow" and "Bad Girl." The clip ends with Snipes comedically channeling Omarion's iconic dance moves to "Standing Next to You."

Usher's halftime show promises to be a monumental celebration of his 30-year career. With over 80 million records sold and hits like "8701" and "Confessions," his impact on the music industry is significant.

Anticipation is further heightened by the release of his ninth studio album, "Coming Home," two days before the Super Bowl. Presented by Apple Music as part of a multi-year partnership with the NFL and Roc Nation, the halftime show is expected to be a major draw for music fans worldwide. Super Bowl LVIII airs live on CBS February 11th.

Watch the trailer below.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Drake at Center of Online Storm as Explicit Video Sparks Speculation

Speculation continues to swirl online as an explicit video featuring a well-endowed man, captured in a reflective moment before a mirror, sparks viral attention. Many are conjecturing that the figure in the clip could be rap superstar Drake.

On Tuesday, an account named @Campusnightchat on X (formerly known as Twitter) shared footage of a light-skinned man recording himself, sitting in a suggestive pose, holding his penis while his face remains obscured by a cellphone. The video has since been deleted.

The identity of the individual remains unconfirmed, partly due to the obscured face, but the possibility of Drake's involvement has ignited social media. Online personality Adin Ross recently addressed the viral footage during a livestream, playfully acknowledging its potential significance.

"God damn. You’re blessed with your voice. You’re blessed with performing. You’re blessed to be you, you’re blessed to be number one. But you’re also blessed to have a fucking missile!" exclaimed Ross, reflecting on the video's content.

Known for his past interactions with Drake, Ross shared snippets of a text exchange with the artist, revealing Drake's apparent nonchalant response to the commotion. "He just texted me, he put like eight laughing emojis," Ross disclosed, providing insight into Drake's reaction.

Adding to the intrigue, Ross suggested that Drake humorously hinted at incorporating the incident into his artistic endeavors. "He said, ‘This might be my next album intro,'" Ross read aloud, indicating Drake's playful disposition towards the situation.

While the video's authenticity remains in question, speculation mounts that the ambient sounds in the background hint at the scene unfolding aboard Drake's private jet, further fueling speculation.

The footage sparked widespread discussion on social media. Notably, plastic surgeon and internet personality Michael “Dr. Miami” Salzhauer received numerous inquiries about male-centered cosmetic procedures.

“Yes, penis enlargement surgery exists,” Dr. Miami posted on X. Later, he clarified, “It’s not called a DDL but everyone kept tagging me for some reason so I answered did not know what was going on [loudly crying face emoji].”

Dr. Miami emphasized that his response, as a medical professional, was not intended to be “shady” toward anyone. However, many commenters assumed Drake inspired his tweet.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Megan Thee Stallion Makes History, Retains Masters in WMG Distribution Deal

Courtesy Photo: From L-R: Rayna Bass (Co-President, 300 Entertainment), Desiree Perez (CEO, Roc Nation), Megan Thee Stallion and Max Lousada (CEO, Recorded Music, WMG).
In a groundbreaking move announced on Friday, Grammy-winning rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion has forged a pioneering agreement with Warner Music Group. This innovative deal, announced in a joint statement, empowers Megan to maintain her autonomy as an artist under her label, Hot Girl Productions, while tapping into WMG's global resources for distribution, marketing, and promotion.

Setting this arrangement apart is Megan's retention of full ownership of her masters and publishing rights, a rarity in major label agreements. She exercises complete creative control over her music and holds the option to integrate artists from her imprint into the WMG ecosystem, fostering emerging talent.

"I'm really focused on building an empire and growing as an entrepreneur, so I'm proud to take this next step in my journey and work with Max Lousada and the entire Warner Music Group team in this new capacity. I know we're going to create history together," said Megan.

WMG, acknowledging Megan's artistic influence and entrepreneurial acumen, recognizes her as more than just a superstar. "Meg is not just a superstar," emphasized Max Lousada, CEO of WMG Recorded Music. "She's an artistic force and a mogul in the making – authentic and unapologetic in defining her own unique place in the cultural landscape. So many relate to her remarkable story and have witnessed her come into her power on her own terms. At Warner, we're creating an environment where original talents can explore both their creativity and entrepreneurialism, while building long-term careers."

Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation, views this deal as a transformative force. "Megan continues to be a trailblazer. This new chapter with Warner Music Group will shift the landscape in the music industry and empower other independent artists to follow in her footsteps and claim their power. It's also a testament to Max's ability to reimagine the relationships that major music companies can engage in with independent artists."

The announcement comes on the heels of the remarkable success of Megan's latest single, "Hiss," which soared to the top of charts worldwide upon its release. This follows her critically acclaimed solo release, "Cobra," in November 2023, marking her second under Hot Girl Productions.

Monét Crowned Best New Artist, Killer Mike Makes Grammy History

The 66th Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, resonated with the power and innovation of diverse artists across genres. Rising stars like Victoria Monét, crowned Best New Artist, and established icons like Killer Mike, who swept the Rap categories, made history alongside electrifying performances and poignant moments.

Monét's emotional acceptance speech, reflecting on her artistic journey, resonated deeply, embodying the vibrancy of a new generation. Mike's historic Rap sweep, surpassing Lauryn Hill's 1999 record and the first since 2003, cemented his legendary status. Collaboration thrived with J. Cole and Lil Durk's powerful "All My Life" winning Best Rap Collaboration.
Black artists shone across diverse categories, shattering boundaries. Rising star Coco Jones surprised with her Best R&B Performance win for "ICU," while Dave Chappelle triumphed in the Best Spoken Word Album category. History was made with the inaugural Best African Music Performance award presented to South African singer Tyla for her captivating "Water."
In a truly unforgettable moment transcending generations, legendary singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, rarely seen in public, graced the stage to perform her iconic "Fast Car" alongside country star Luke Combs. This first-time duet resonated deeply, reminding everyone of Chapman's enduring influence and the power of music to bridge divides.

Taylor Swift made Grammy history, clinching Album of the Year for Midnights—her unprecedented fourth win. Swift surprised fans with more than just history on Sunday night. While accepting her first award of the evening for the best pop vocal album, she dropped a bombshell: her 11th studio album, titled The Tortured Poets Department, is set to stream on April 19.

A selection of winners can be seen below, for the full list of winners click here.

Album of the Year
Boygenius - The Record
Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure
Jon Batiste - World Music Radio
Lana Del Rey - Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation
Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
WINNER: Taylor Swift - Midnights

Record of the Year
Billie Eilish - What Was I Made For? (From the Motion Picture “Barbie”)
Boygenius - Not Strong Enough
Jon Batiste - Worship
WINNER: Miley Cyrus - Flowers
Olivia Rodrigo - Vampire
SZA - Kill Bill
Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero
Victoria Monét - On My Mama

Best New Artist
Coco Jones
Gracie Abrams
Fred Again..
Ice Spice
Jelly Roll
Noah Kahan
WINNER: Victoria Monét
The War and Treaty

Song of the Year
WINNER: Billie Eilish - What Was I Made For? (From the Motion Picture “Barbie”)
Dua Lipa - Dance the Night (From Barbie the Album)
Jon Batiste - Butterfly
Lana Del Rey - A&W
Miley Cyrus - Flowers
Olivia Rodrigo - Vampire
SZA - Kill Bill
Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero

Best Pop Vocal Album
Ed Sheeran - - (Subtract)
Kelly Clarkson - Chemistry
Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation
Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
WINNER: Taylor Swift - Midnights

Best R&B 
SongCoco Jones - ICU
Halle - Angel
Robert Glasper Featuring Sir & Alex Isley - Back to Love
WINNER: SZA - Snooze
Victoria Monét - On My Mama

Best Country Album
Brothers Osborne - Brothers Osborne
Kelsea Ballerini - Rolling Up the Welcome Mat
WINNER: Lainey Wilson - Bell Bottom Country
Tyler Childers - Rustin’ in the Rain
Zach Bryan - Zach Bryan
Best Música Urbana AlbumWINNER: Karol G - Mañana Será Bonito
Rauw Alejandro - Saturno
Tainy - Data

Best Pop Solo 
PerformanceBillie Eilish - What Was I Made For? (From the Motion Picture “Barbie”)
Doja Cat - Paint the Town Red
WINNER: Miley Cyrus - Flowers
Olivia Rodrigo - Vampire
Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero

Best Progressive R&B Album
Diddy - The Love Album: Off the Grid
Terrace Martin and James Fauntleroy - Nova
Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

Friday, February 2, 2024

Actor and NFL Veteran Carl Weathers Dies at 76

Photo Credit: Luigi Novi, via Wikimedia Commons
Carl Weathers, the renowned actor and former NFL player, died peacefully in his sleep on Monday at the age of 76. His manager, Matt Luber, confirmed the news.

Weathers carved his name in cinematic history with his iconic portrayal of Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" series, alongside Sylvester Stallone. His career, spanning decades, showcased remarkable versatility as he seamlessly transitioned between action-packed roles like "Predator" and "Action Jackson" and comedic performances in "Happy Gilmore" and "Arrested Development."

Weathers' impact extended beyond the big screen. He voiced Combat Carl in the "Toy Story" franchise and lent his comedic talent to the popular series "Arrested Development." Despite his fame, he remained grounded, expressing gratitude for his journey.

Before Hollywood, Weathers played football, excelling at San Diego State University and spending a season with the Oakland Raiders before joining the Canadian Football League. He later earned a B.A. in drama, returning to his passion for acting.

In addition to his acting prowess, Weathers harbored a lesser-known love for music. He released a single, "That's Love Calling," in 1981, showcasing his vocal abilities.

Survived by his two sons, Weathers leaves behind a legacy of captivating performances, diverse talent, and an enduring impact on film and television.

'Something Wrong is Going On': Family Members Raise Alarm in Wendy Williams Documentary

A bombshell trailer for Lifetime's "Where is Wendy Williams?" sent shockwaves through fans Friday, raising questions about the former talk show host's well-being. Executive-produced by Williams herself, the two-part documentary promises an unfiltered look at her life, career and recent struggles.

The trailer opens with Williams declaring, "From 6 years old, all I wanted was to be famous." It then charts her journey from aspiring radio personality to becoming the beloved "Queen of Daytime" talk TV, captivating audiences for 12 years with her unfiltered opinions and bold persona.

But the tone shifts abruptly as the trailer declares, "At the peak of her career, she was gone." This leaves viewers wondering about the circumstances surrounding her sudden departure from the spotlight.

Williams' deep desire to return to television is revealed. "All I know how to do is be famous," she says, "I really want to be back on television." However, her son casts doubt, stating, "I feel as though she's worked enough… she has people around who are yes people and allowing this to continue."

The trailer delves into the controversial 2022 court decision granting Wells Fargo financial guardianship over Williams amid concerns of exploitation. Williams herself vehemently opposes the arrangement, demanding, "Did you see a neurologist to find out if I'm crazy? Oh my God, no! I have no money, and I'm going to tell you something, if it happens to me, it could happen to you." This raises questions about the guardianship system and its potential consequences.

Worrying scenes depict Williams using a wheelchair and struggling to walk, fueling concerns about her physical health. The trailer also shows individuals confronting her with an empty bottle and expressing concerns about memory loss. These visuals, while lacking context, create a sense of unease and speculation.

However, the trailer also highlights Williams' enduring spirit and the support of her family. "I miss my family. I'll be here no matter how many times somebody may fall down," she states.

"Where is Wendy Williams?" premieres February 24th and 25th on Lifetime, aiming to spark conversations about guardianship, support systems and the challenges faced by public figures. The documentary promises to offer a glimpse into the complexities of fame, family dynamics, and navigating personal struggles in the public eye.

Watch the trailer above.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Watch: Cardi B Previews NYX Super Bowl Ad in New Teaser

Courtesy Photo

Cardi B will star in NYX Professional Makeup's upcoming Super Bowl commercial, airing during the second half of the February 12th game. The 30-second spot will feature Cardi B alongside other women, showcasing NYX's popular Duck Plump High Pigment Plumping Lip Gloss in a humorous and lighthearted manner.

A 15-second teaser released Thursday offers a glimpse of the commercial, featuring the rapper examining a tube of NYX gloss before applying it and uttering her signature phrase.

In conjunction with the ad, NYX is launching an exclusive "Cherry Spice" shade of the lip gloss, worn by Cardi B in the commercial. Priced at $13, the shade is available only on the cosmetics company's website.

This marks Cardi B's first-ever beauty partnership. The collaboration extends beyond the Super Bowl, with NYX launching the exclusive lip gloss shade and creating interactive social media experiences throughout the campaign.

Watch the teaser below.

From Watching Over to Witnessing Greatness: Usher Recalls Early Encounter with Beyoncé

In a revealing interview on Shannon Sharpe's popular YouTube show "Club Shay Shay" on Thursday, R&B superstar Usher offered a heartwarming anecdote about encountering a young Beyoncé, then part of the group Girls Tyme (later known as Destiny's Child), during their early days in Atlanta.

Setting the record straight on longstanding rumors, Usher clarified he was never Beyoncé's nanny but acknowledged his role as the older presence during their early days. "I guess I watched over them while they were doing something in the house," Usher shared during the interview.

Beyond mere supervision, Usher recognized something extraordinary in the budding superstar. "I think I knew there was something very special about all of them," he admitted, emphasizing Beyoncé's unparalleled talent, brilliance and brightness. He credited choreographer Frank Gatson for echoing his early sentiments, noting Gatson's endorsement of Beyoncé's unique qualities.

As the interview unfolded, Usher expressed pride in witnessing Beyoncé's rise to fame. "It's amazing to see what she's done," he marveled, highlighting her multifaceted success not just in music but across various creative endeavors.

Usher's revelations extended beyond personal anecdotes to encompass his experience dancing with the legendary Michael Jackson. He described the encounter as "nerve-wracking" and shared the praise he received for seamlessly combining singing and dancing.

The conversation also touched upon Atlanta's current dominance in the music industry, with Usher, a proud representative of the city's vibrant scene, underscoring the importance of celebrating the broader cultural movement fueling the music.

Shifting gears to the state of R&B, Usher offered a nuanced perspective, debunking the notion that R&B is dead. He challenged the conventional measure of success based solely on chart positions, asserting that R&B's influence permeates various genres, acknowledging its roots in gospel, blues and modern music.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Megan Thee Stallion Announces Tour and Album Amidst Feud and Doxxing

In a bold move, Megan Thee Stallion has announced a summer tour and album titled "Hot Girl Summer" on Tuesday, reclaiming the term associated with her and fellow rapper Nicki Minaj despite their recent public feud.

The tour and album signal a powerful revival of empowerment and self-love, harking back to the collaboration that Megan and Minaj once celebrated together. This revelation unfolds amidst a contentious back-and-forth between the two artists, turning what was once a celebrated partnership into a clash marked by subliminal disses and online confrontations.

Confidently declaring on "Good Morning America," Megan stated, "The Hot Girl Summer Tour is gonna be 2024 summertime." This announcement goes beyond a mere return to the stage; it's a bold assertion of ownership for Megan, reclaiming a phrase she helped popularize and infusing it with fresh energy after years of navigating industry dynamics and personal battles.

While specific tour details, including dates and locations, remain under wraps, fans can anticipate the ultimate "Megan Thee Stallion experience." Expect sweat-drenched anthems celebrating self-love and female empowerment, interwoven with fire beats to create an electrifying spectacle. Adding to the excitement, Megan teased a new album dropping before the tour, promising fresh bangers to soundtrack the season's liberation.

However, the impending summer's heat is shadowed by a chilling development. Minaj, once a collaborator and friend, has become an antagonist in this unfolding drama. According to TMZ, Paradise South Cemetery, where Megan's mother rests, is now under heightened security after Minaj's fans leaked its location online — an incident that adds another layer to the ongoing battle between the two artists.

Their collaboration began showing cracks in late 2019, coinciding with Megan's work with Cardi B, Minaj's longtime rival. Public appearances together dwindled, and social media interactions became less frequent. In August 2020, Minaj's tweet questioning the narrative surrounding Megan's shooting was interpreted by many as insensitive, sparking accusations of betrayal. Minaj later clarified her tweet as a general message about protecting women, but the damage was done.

Subliminal disses in both artists' music fueled further speculation about a rift, reaching new heights in January 2024 when Minaj made disrespectful comments about Megan's late mother on a streaming platform. This ignited a social media firestorm and led to the doxxing of Megan's mother's gravesite.

Despite the ongoing drama, both Megan and Nicki Minaj continue to be successful solo artists with dedicated fan bases and numerous accolades. As Megan gears up for her "Hot Girl Summer" reclamation tour and album, the unfolding personal conflict will undoubtedly be closely watched by the public eye.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Hollywood Boulevard Sings Wilson's Praise: R&B Legend Receives 2,770th Star in Star-Fueled Ceremony

Screengrab: YouTube
From cold nights spent huddled on the unforgiving streets of Hollywood to a radiant star gleaming on the prestigious Walk of Fame, Charlie Wilson's journey is a testament to resilience and the transformative power of music. On Monday, surrounded by music royalty like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg, Wilson received the 2,770th star, marking a triumphant return to the very boulevard where he once sought refuge in his darkest hour.
The star-studded celebration unfolded on Hollywood Boulevard, where the echoes of Wilson's iconic hits like "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" and "Early In The Morning" must have danced on the wind years ago, unknowingly serenading the future hitmaker who walked amongst them. Now, an ecstatic crowd adorned with birthday balloons pulsated to these familiar rhythms, celebrating not only Wilson's 71st birthday but also his induction into the hallowed halls of the Walk of Fame.

"The Lord has truly blessed me," Wilson declared, his voice brimming with emotion as he gazed upon his star. For him, this wasn't just a career milestone; it was a symbol of redemption. Years ago, this very stretch of asphalt served as his cold, unforgiving bed during a period of homelessness and addiction. But tonight, the deafening cheers of the crowd drowned out the ghosts of his past, replaced by heartfelt tributes and the warmth of a community that had witnessed his struggles and now reveled in his triumph.

"To my Snoop," Wilson proclaimed, his eyes glistening with gratitude as he addressed his fellow music icon, "when some people would say no, you would make them say yes. What did you do to them, man?" His playful quip drew laughter from the crowd, highlighting the deep bond he shared with Snoop Dogg, who not only celebrated his artistic legacy but also acknowledged his unwavering support for their families.

Snoop Dogg, in turn, reflected on Wilson's impact beyond the realm of music, declaring, "Charlie Wilson, this man right here means the world to me, especially in terms of me and my wife." The scene unfolded like a surreal movie, with Kanye West materializing in his signature mask and gloves to pay his respects, and Pharrell Williams sending a pre-recorded message praising Wilson's enduring influence.

Amidst the glitter and glamour, the undercurrent of resilience remained. Wilson's battle with prostate cancer in 2008 served as a stark reminder of life's fragility, but it also fueled his advocacy for early detection and treatment. Today, 16 years cancer-free, he continues to inspire through his music and his autobiography, "I Am Charlie Wilson," a testament to the human spirit's potential for overcoming adversity.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

From Comedy Gold to Classic Soul: 'Abbott Elementary' and 'The Color Purple' Lead Diverse NAACP Image Nominees

Hollywood's streaming giants are poised for a major clash at the 55th NAACP Image Awards, with Netflix leading the pack with 55 nominations. Rival Amazon trails closely behind with 27 nods, setting the stage for a thrilling battle for supremacy across film, television and music.

But beyond the streaming duel, a timeless classic reasserted its cultural relevance. "The Color Purple" garnered a commanding 16 nominations in the Outstanding Motion Picture category, earning acting recognition for powerhouses like Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo and Corey Hawkins.

This year's nominations, unveiled Thursday, showcase the dazzling spectrum of artistic talent within the Black community. On the television front, the critically acclaimed comedy "Abbott Elementary" landed multiple nominations for its star-studded cast, including Quinta Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Music saw Victoria Monét dominate with six nominations, including outstanding new artist, outstanding female artist, and outstanding album for "Jaguar II." Super Bowl LVIII performer Usher also grabbed five nominations, including outstanding male artist and outstanding music video/visual album for "Boyfriend."

"NAACP President Derrick Johnson called this year's nominees 'an inspiration to us all,'" stating, "The Image Awards stand as a tribute to their creativity, talent, and dedication to authentic storytelling, a testament to the richness and diversity of our community."

The public can have their say in select categories through voting, open until February 24 at The 55th NAACP Image Awards air live on March 16 at 8 PM Eastern Time on BET and CBS. A full list of nominees is available here.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Funkenstein's Forever Groovin': George Clinton Earns Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Screengrab: YouTube
George "Dr. Funkenstein" Clinton, the 82-year-old funk pioneer, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday. The ceremony featured speeches from notable figures such as Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, legendary Motown songwriter Janie Bradford and civil rights lawyer Ben Crump.

“This feels good as s***,” exclaimed Clinton during the ceremony. “I’m proud as hell.”

Serving as the creative force behind the iconic bands Parliament/Funkadelic, Clinton played a pivotal role in crafting timeless classics such as “(I Wanna) Testify,” “P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up),” “Star Child (Mothership Connection),” “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk),” “Flash Light,” “Aqua Boogie,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “(Not Just) Knee Deep” and “Atomic Dog.”

Parliament-Funkadelic's musical influence transcends the dance floor, weaving into the very fabric of contemporary genres. Their groundbreaking fusion of psychedelia, funk, rock, and soul ignited a sonic revolution resonating across generations.

Reflecting on his seven-decade music career, Clinton shared insights into the highs and lows, emphasizing the ever-changing nature of fame. “I learned early on in this journey that you are only as big as your latest hit,” he remarked. “So you had to keep things in perspective, to keep from getting a big head. I found out that there would be times when it seemed like everyone knew your name. Then were times when no one knew you. I learned to respect the balance.”

Recounting his early inspirations and challenges, Clinton revealed how rejection by Motown for not looking as cool as the Temptations led him to adopt a new, hippie-inspired look for his groundbreaking groups Funkadelic and Parliament. “About as anti-Motown as you could get!” he quipped.

Before Clinton’s speech, Kiedis took to the podium, sharing his memories of being inspired by the funk icon and living near him during the production of Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1985 album, "Freaky Styley." “We started writing, and George started teaching us,” said Kiedis. “For me personally, George became an instant friend, a teacher, a mentor, a father figure, a co-conspirator, an instigator, and, honestly, a conductor of alien enterprises, truth be told.”

Bradford, looking back at the '70s heyday of Funkadelic, congratulated Clinton on his continued work at 82. “My kids think I’m cool because I know George Clinton. I think I am blessed that he is my friend and I am his. Congratulations, George!”

Crump emphasized the unifying power of Clinton’s music, stating, “Now more than ever in the world, we need music that brings us all together. And nobody’s music brings us all together quite like this brother’s brings us together — one nation under a groove. This brother got brothers and sisters all across the globe coming together through the Mothership Connection.”

The star, located at 6752 Hollywood Blvd. in front of the Musicians Institute, marks the 2769th addition to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In addition to the Walk of Fame induction, a documentary titled "Mommy, What’s a Funkadelic?" is in the works, delving into Clinton’s life and influence. Written by Ishmael Reed and co-directed by Alan Elliott and Christopher Harris, the documentary promises an absurdist take on Parliament-Funkadelic’s history with unprecedented access to Clinton’s archive.

Watch the trailer below.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Diddy Relinquishes Spirits Empire in Quiet Diageo Deal

Diddy helping launch CirocVodka Spritz in a 2022 campaign.
Sean "Diddy" Combs has reached a settlement with Diageo, the London-based spirits giant, concluding a legal battle that spanned seven months. The agreement, announced on Tuesday, results in Diageo taking sole ownership of Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, brands previously endorsed by Combs.

In a joint statement, both parties declared that "Mr. Combs has withdrawn all of his allegations about Diageo and will voluntarily dismiss his lawsuits against Diageo with prejudice. Diageo and Mr. Combs have no ongoing business relationship, either with respect to Ciroc Vodka or DeLeón Tequila, which Diageo now solely owns."

While the specific financial terms of the settlement remain undisclosed, the resolution follows Combs' accusations against Diageo, including claims of racist tactics and negligence in promoting and investing in his spirits. The Supreme Court of New York had initially rejected Diageo's attempt to dismiss Combs' claims.

Combs, who entered a promotional deal for Ciroc in 2007 and later acquired DeLeon with Diageo in 2013, alleged that the company failed to fulfill promised investments and treated the brands as inferior "urban" products. The neglect reportedly intensified after Diageo acquired competing tequila brands, Don Julio in 2014 and Casamigos in 2017.

In addition to financial grievances, Combs accused Diageo of racism, claiming that the company restricted distribution to racially defined "urban" neighborhoods and harbored resentment for his financial success. Diageo vehemently denied these allegations, dismissing them as "false and reckless."

The legal dispute had broader implications beyond the spirits industry, impacting Combs' public image, which has faced multiple legal challenges in recent months. In November 2023, former girlfriend Cassie Ventura (R&B singer Cassie) filed a $30 million lawsuit accusing Combs of rape, sex trafficking, and abuse, which was settled for an undisclosed sum.

Another lawsuit was filed by Joi Dickerson-Neal, alleging that Combs drugged, sexually assaulted, and filmed her in 1991 when she was a college student. Bad Boy Records and Bad Boy Entertainment are also listed as defendants. Combs denies these allegations.

A third woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of sexual assault and revenge porn in the early 1990s, which he also denies.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Watch: Usher Unleashes 30 Years of Hits in Super Bowl LVIII Trailer Extravaganza

Move aside, confetti cannons; Usher has just raised the halftime bar by weaponizing an oven door. The King of R&B dropped the trailer for his highly anticipated Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show today, delivering a star-studded, genre-bending spectacle that promises to redefine the halftime experience.

Picture LeBron James belting out "Yeah!" from the window of his car, BTS' Jung Kook seamlessly gliding through Usher's signature moves alongside the artist himself, and a Latin twist on the iconic synth riff courtesy of J. Balvin — all ingeniously crafted using a squeaky oven door.

This isn't just a sneak peek; it's a 30-year musical odyssey set to explode on February 11th, showcasing why Usher rightfully claims a spot on the R&B Mount Rushmore.

The electrifying trailer kicks off with a gospel-infused rendition of "Yeah!" sung by an impassioned fan chorus, instantly transporting viewers through Usher's illustrious career. James joins the chorus, belting out the lyrics from his car window. Jung Kook, drawing from their viral TikTok duet, effortlessly glides through Usher's iconic moves alongside the artist himself.

Then comes the unexpected twist: J. Balvin, the Latin sensation, brings the playful spirit of Las Vegas to life by transforming a squeaky oven door into the iconic "Yeah!" synth riff, infusing a Latin flair into the sonic tapestry. But this is no mere nostalgia trip.

The trailer expertly weaves together glimpses of Usher's genre-bending prowess, from the early days of "Climax" to the pulsating beats of "OMG." Marching bands, a lone busker's flute, and a soulful gospel choir flash by, each a testament to the artist's multifaceted musical DNA.

Usher, in declaring earlier this year, "It's an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list," has set the stage for a show that promises to be unlike anything the world has seen from him before.

Witness the spectacle unfold in the trailer below, and decide for yourself if Usher is on the brink of redefining the Super Bowl halftime experience.