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AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

Wendy Williams To Take Health-Related Break From TV Show

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(Photo by AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wendy Williams is taking an extended break from her TV talk show to deal with health issues related to her immune system disorder, her family said Friday.

The family wrote in a statement that Williams has suffered complications from Graves’ disease in the past few days.

Treatment is necessary and will include “significant time” in the hospital, according to the family statement provided by show producer and distributor Debmar-Mercury.

Williams has a strong desire to return to work but must focus on her “personal and physical well-being,” the family said, adding a request that her privacy be respected.

Williams, 54, is married to Kevin Hunter.

She is on the mend from another health problem, a shoulder fracture she suffered in December, the statement said.

The host revealed the Graves’ disease diagnosis on her show last February, when she announced a three-week hiatus.

Graves’ disease leads to the overproduction of thyroid hormones and can cause wide-ranging symptoms and affect overall health.

In October 2017, Williams fainted on stage during her show, saying later she became overheated while wearing a bulky Halloween costume.

Debmar-Mercury said that it “wholeheartedly” supports Williams’ decision to take the time she needs. She will be welcomed back when she is ready, the company said.

Repeats of “The Wendy Williams Show” will air during the week of Jan. 21, to be followed by original episodes with guest hosts.

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Ex-R. Kelly Manager Surrenders/Arrested On Terrorist Charge

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A former manager for singer R. Kelly, has surrendered to authorities in Georgia on Friday, according to law enforcement officials.

Henry James Mason, 52, was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued over the summer, according to Keith McBrayer, spokesman for the Henry County Sheriff’s office.

Mason is accused of threatening the father of Joycelyn Savage, one of the women featured in the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”

The incident, which allegedly took place in May 2018, was reported by Timothy Savage to Henry County police. Savage claims his daughter is being held against her will by Kelly and Mason threatened him for speaking out about it.

Reached by phone last week, Mason told CNN he had “no comment” and referred additional questions to his attorney.

In an incident report obtained by CNN, Timothy Savage stated that Mason said, “I’m gonna do harm to you and your family, when I see you I’m gonna get you, I’m going to f***ing kill you.”

The case was presented to a Magistrate Judge who issued a warrant in July, citing “terroristic threats and acts.” The warrant is assigned to the sheriff’s office.

Joycelyn Savage’s family has claimed she is having a sexual relationship with Kelly, and that she is being manipulated by him into cutting off contact with the outside world.

Her father says they haven’t heard from her in about two years.

She responded to this claim in a video released in 2017, in which she denied she’s being held and that she had been brainwashed by the Grammy-award winning singer.

“I just want everybody to know — my parents and everybody in the world — that I’m totally fine. I’m happy where I’m at and everything is OK with me,” she said in the video.

Mason was released on a $10,000 bond, according to WSB-TV reporter Mark Winne.

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AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

Issa Rae Lands Lead In ‘Lovebirds’

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Issa Rae has teamed with Kumail Nanjiani to star in “The Lovebirds,” a romantic comedy from Paramount that will be helmed by Michael Showalter, who directed Nanjiani in the surprise hit “The Big Sick.”

According to THR, the script centers on a couple (Nanjiani and Rae) on the brink of a breakup. The pair subsequently become embroiled in a bizarre and hijinks-filled murder mystery, and as they get close to clearing their names and solving the case, the twosome need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.

The project goes into production at the end of January.

Nanjiani is best known for the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.” “The Big Sick” also earned him and his co-writer wife Emily V. Gordon an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. He will next be seen in Fox’s action-comedy “Stuber,” set to open July 12.

Rae is the star and co-creator of the HBO comedy “Insecure.” She next features in the comedy “Little” from Universal set to bow April 12.

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AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

Gladys Knight Issues Statement On Colin Kaepernick And Super Bowl Involvement

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As we reported yesterday, legendary singer and longtime civil rights champion  Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem prior to Super Bowl 53 which is being held in her hometown of Atlanta on Feb 3.

Of course it comes as no surprise that the Knight is being criticized for her move by supporters of quarterback Colin Kaepernick who they feel has been blackballed from the National Football League because of his sideline protests against police abuse of African Americans by “taking a knee.”

In response, Knight has issued this statement:

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”

“No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it.  I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”

In related news, earlier this week – according to Variety – Kaepernick and rapper Travis Scott, who will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime during the Super Bowl, spoke and shared their views before Scott officially announced his performance. Sources close to both men told Variety that the conversation was cordial and respectful, although the two did not necessarily agree.

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Why Country Radio Isn’t Supportive Of Biracial Singer Kane Brown

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Kane Brown is a biracial country star on the rise who says growing up as a sometimes-homeless kid in Georgia helped to prepare him for “being judged.”

“Color does matter, even though people don’t see it,” Brown said.  “I’ve lived it my whole life. It’s just what I know.”

As USA Today reports, the 23-year-old singer is trying to forge his own path in a genre that does not typically embrace artists of color. As such, the skeptical country music industry has been reluctant to warm up to Brown’s self-titled debut album. In stores now, the 11-song collection has songs penned by fellow artists Florida Georgia Line and Young, along with top Nashville songwriters including Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin and Brown himself.

“The coolest part about seeing him have a full album out now is I know how long he’s been writing for this and looking for outside songs,” Young said. “Being able to fit all of that sonically and make it his own on his first album is something that’s hugely important. It’s your first step out as an artist, and I think he’s handled it really, really well.”

Brown’s album tells his story of overcoming childhood poverty, violence, and racism — along with one of forgiveness, growth, fun and unconditional love.

“I just feel like I have a chance to be a role model now,” Brown said.

Brown has amassed more than 3 million followers on Facebook and his amateur performance videos have generated more than 100 million views and shares. His co-penned “Used to Love You Sober” sold more than 500,000 copies without significant country radio support, he spent much of the year on tour with Florida Georgia Line and is currently headlining the Monster Energy Outbreak Presents: Kane Brown Ain’t No Stopping Us Now Tour, per USA Today. 

So why hasn’t country radio been supportive of his efforts?

Country music historian Bob Oermann theorizes it’s because radio frowned on Brown’s social media success — preferring to be the vehicle that breaks artists into the format. He also notes that it’s been decades since an artist of color has had consistent success in the format.

Randy Goodman, chairman and CEO at Sony Music Nashville, signed Brown to his record label in early 2016. He chalks the hesitation at country radio up to not giving “radio the right music.”

“We were trying to move quickly and take advantage of (his social media and touring momentum),” Goodman said. “Maybe we moved too quickly. But the great thing about it is, is that I know we’ve got great music, great songs and we’re going to get this guy (on) radio. Our next bat at radio, we’re going to be loaded.”

“What’s amazing about Kane is his willingness to go there, his willingness to open himself up,” Goodman said. “How many guys in country music would start a song saying, ‘When I was six years old, I kind of wet the bed’? That’s not the gravitas you would expect from a country male.”

Brown is country music’s first star to break out through social media. He has a gold single without ever being on country radio, and his EP landed at No. 3 on Billboard.

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Roc-A-Fella Producer Says Dame Dash Tried To Steal Beyoncé From Jay-Z

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Following the premiere of the jaw-dropping Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” Roc-A-Fella co-founder Dame Dash has come forward to spill even more tea about the R&B hitmaker.

First the claimed late singer Aaliyah thought R. Kelly was a creep and a monster, now the says Jay-Z’s association with the alleged child molester contributed to the downfall of Roc-A-Fella.

However, former producer Choke No Joke says there’s more to the narrative, including Dame’s attempts to seduce Beyonce before she married Jay.

“There was a point at Roc-A-Fella when Dame wasn’t allowed around Beyoncé,” the producer said.

“I mean nothing happened like he kissed or sexed her or something like that. Did he try to holler at her? Yeah,” he said. “That’s the same thing he did with Aaliyah.”

Kelly allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15 and the singer was in his late 20’s. After the annulment, she hooked up with Jay and rumor has it that Dame stole her away from his former business partner.

“Everybody that worked there at that time knew […] because he was a creep […] Beyonce wasn’t going for that shit. And the only reason why Aaliyah might have gone for it was because he wouldn’t be public with her,” Choke continued.

Funkmaster Flex recently made similar claims about Dame’s interest in Beyoncé.

Meanwhile, during an interview with Nick Cannon, Dash was asked about Jay allegedly dating Foxy Brown while she was still underage. The conversation prompted 50 Cent and Funkmaster Flex to weigh in; then Funk and Cannon later had a heated exchange about the issue..see below.

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Janelle Monae, Cardi B Set To Perform At 2019 Grammys

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NEW YORK (AP) — Album of the year nominees Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monae and Post Malone will perform at next month’s Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy announced Thursday that Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Dan + Shay will also hit the stage at the Feb. 10 event. The Grammys will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Others battling Cardi B, Musgraves, Monae and Malone for album of the year are Drake, Brandi Carlile, H.E.R. and the Kendrick Lamar-curated “Black Panther” soundtrack.

Lamar is the top contender with eight nominations, followed by Drake, who is up for seven awards. Carlile and Drake’s frequent collaborator, producer Boi-1Da, earned six nods, while Cardi B, Lady Gaga, H.E.R., Maren Morris and Childish Gambino scored five nominations each.

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Cardi B Slams Trump For Promising ‘Racist Rednecks’ A Border Wall

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More and more Americans are being effected by the partial government shutdown as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are going without pay.

Donald Trump told supporters on Tuesday, “We’re going to stay out for a long time if we have to.”

As reported by CNN, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday called the shutdown a “self-inflicted wound” and “negative” for the economy.

Rapper Cardi B has added her voice to the chorus of critics weighing in on the ongoing shutdown, declaring “our country is a hellhole right now” after Trump reportedly demanded thousands of federal workers to return to work with no pay.

Instagram Photo

Cardi took to Instagram on Wednesday to give her take on the situation… watch the clip above.

“I don’t want to hear y’all motherf*ckers talking about ‘Oh, but Obama shut down the government for 17 days,’” she explained. “Yeah, b*tch, for healthcare so your grandma could check her blood pressure and you bitches can go check your p*ssy at the gynecologist with no motherf*cking problem.

“Now, I know a lot of y’all don’t care because y’all don’t work for the government or y’all probably have a job. This shit is really f*cking serious, bro, this shit is crazy. Our country is in a hellhole right now: all for a f*cking wall.

“We really need to take this serious [sic],” she continued. “I feel like we need to take some kind of action. I don’t know what time of action, b*tch, because this [is] not what I do. But b*tch, I’m scared. This is crazy and I really feel bad for these people who gotta go to f*cking work to not get motherf*cking paid.”

Trump has assured his base that he would convince Mexico to finance his border wall. But the so called master negotiator was unable to deliver on that promise. So now he’s holding the country hostage until Congress approves a $5.7 billion budget to begin construction on the project.

“You promised these f—ing racist rednecks that you was gonna build the wall, but you know that was impossible,” Cardi B said in the Instagram Live broadcast. “But they voted for you and you promised them this s–t so now you have to do it.”

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Gladys Knight To Sing National Anthem At The Super Bowl

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(Photo Credit: PR Photos)

NEW YORK (AP) — Gladys Knight will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at this year’s Super Bowl.

The seven-time Grammy Award-winner says she’s proud to use her voice to “unite and represent our country” in her hometown of Atlanta.

The 74-year-old and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Her hits include “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Maroon 5 will be joined by Big Boi, Atlanta-based rapper from Outkast, and Travis Scott during the halftime performance.

CBS broadcasts this year’s Super Bowl from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

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Soulja Boy Slams Kanye For Supporting Trump, Claims Drake Copied His Flow

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Soulja Boy hit up “The Breakfast Club” this week where he popped off about why Meek Mill is receiving all the praise for having the biggest comeback of the year rather than himself. The conversation became quite amusing when he also accused Drake of ripping him off, claiming he taught the Canadian singer/rapper “everything he knows.”

Watch his hilarious reaction in the clip above.

When Soulja is told Drake is “the biggest rapper in the world”, he jumps up from his chair and rants about how he is responsible for Drake’s success.

“Draaake?” he says in disbelief. “The n**** that got bodied by Pusha T? The n**** that’s hiding his kid from the world, but the world won’t hide from the kid. Aubrey Graham in the wheelchair?

“Drake?! Y’all n****s better stop playing with me in here. Y’all talking about the light-skinned n**** from [Degrassi]?

Soulja Boy added: “Stop playing with me like I didn’t teach Drake everything he know. You didn’t hear Drake on his first song – [singing] ‘Tell me what’s really going on / Drizzy Drake back in this thing / I’m ready / What’s happenin’?

“That’s Soulja! That’s my bar! He copied my whole fcking flow! Word-for-word! Bar-for-bar!”

Host Charlamagne Tha God noted the similarities between Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”, released in 2008, and Drake’s 2010 single “Miss Me”.

The conversation soon turned to Kanye West, with Soulja addressing his political beliefs, saying: “We looking at you like you goofy, bro. You up here supporting Trump and s**t, bro. You supporting Trump, bro?”

He added: “I’m younger than you. I’m flyer than you…You cryin’ every week on Twitter about Drake. You gotta stop that s**t bro! You look lame!”

The rapper, who recently had to pull his range of knock-off games consoles from his online store, is best known for releasing the track “Crank That” over a decade ago.

Shortly after his Breakfast Club interview went viral, Soulja Boy and Famous Dex engaged in a heated online beef over IG live and many fans have dubbed it an “an immediate classic.” You can watch the explicit clip here.

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