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Harold Gater Apr-26-2017 49 0
A Hinds County Sheriff's Department deputy has filed a lawsuit against singer R. Kelly for allegedly having an affair with his wife.

According to reports by WAPT and WLBT, Deputy Kenny Bryant filed the lawsuit against Kelly on April 21 in Hinds County Circuit Court. The lawsuit claims that Bryant's wife, Asia Childress, had a romantic relationship with Kelly prior to their July 15, 2012 wedding. Bryant says he was told that the relationship was at an end. Bryant said the relationship with Kelly rekindled when his wife attended a Kelly concert in October 2012.

Bryant said his wife convinced him to move to Atlanta for her career. Bryant said he quit his job and moved, but believes her underlying motive was to continue the affair with Kelly, according to the lawsuit.

Bryant was unable to find adequate employment in Atlanta, which hurt him financially, the lawsuit states.

Bryant said in the lawsuit that he tried to keep his marriage together, but “could not prevail against R. Kelly’s continued sexual overtures to Childress.”
Childress has filed for divorce.
Ryan Parker Apr-12-2017 58 0
Charlie Murphy, Chappelle Show star and older brother of Eddie Murphy, has died, publicist Domenick Nati told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 57. 

Murphy died from leukemia on Wednesday, Nati said.

Murphy became a household name through Dave Chappelle's Comedy Central skit show thanks to his amazing stories of interactions with other celebrities during the height of his brother's fame in the 1980s. The most popular short turned into a skit about Rick James. 

Murphy's final tweet on Tuesday: "One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible." 

Murphy also appeared in numerous movies, TV shows and even lent his voice to some video games.

Murphy was on record as saying he was a hothead when he worked as a bodyguard for his brother. He said he loved Eddie so much, and thought he was so funny, that he would pick fights with people who did not laugh at his brother's jokes when he performed.

"It was to the point that, if I went to a show and you were the hater in the audience that was like, 'That s--- wasn't funny' POW! I'm jamming you, man," Murphy once said. "Because the s--- was funny. There was 10,000 people laughing, and you that one joker that wanna try and squeeze a lemon. F--- you. I don't even want you to be there. And I took it as a personal crusade, and they were like, 'You know what, you're a little overzealous with your job.' So, that is how I ended up not doing that anymore."

Murphy is also remembered for his amazing tale about the legendary musician, Prince. Made into a skit for Chappelle Show, Murphy said he and friends played basketball against Prince and his entourage one night in the 1980s. Murphy said he was shocked how good Prince was at the game. Afterward, Prince made everyone pancakes. Prince was on record saying the story was true, even the breakfast.

"We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time . Charlie Murphy RIP," Chris Rock wrote on Twitter.

Mogul Russell Simmons tweeted: "Just came out of meditation and learned that one of my friends and my biggest comedy idol passed. Damn I loved Charlie Murphy."
"Terribly saddened ... Charlie," comedian Paul Mooney wrote. 
people Mar-18-2017 176 0
Legendary musician Chuck Berry has died, police confirm. He was 90.

The St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed on Facebook that they responded to a medical emergency on Saturday afternoon where they found an unresponsive man.

“St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18),” the police department said in a statement. “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.”

“The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”

This is a developing story.
NEKESA MUMBI Mar-12-2017 108 0
Joni Sledge, who with her sisters recorded the enduring dance anthem "We Are Family," has died, the band's representative said Saturday.

She was 60.

Sledge was found dead in her home by a friend in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, the band's publicist, Biff Warren, said. A cause of death has not been determined. He said she had not been ill.

"On yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin," read a family statement.

Sledge and her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy formed the Sister Sledge in 1971 in Philadelphia, their hometown, but struggled for years before success came.

"The four of us had been in the music business for eight years and we were frustrated. We were saying: 'Well, maybe we should go to college and just become lawyers or something other than music, because it really is tough,'" Joni told The Guardian in an interview last year.

But then they met Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of the hit group Chic, and their breakout soon came. The pair wrote and produced their album "We Are Family," and soon the women had their first major hit with disco jam "The Greatest Dancer," which became a top 10 hit in May 1979. (It would sampled years later for Will Smith's hit "Getting Jiggy Wit It.")

But their biggest hit would come a month later with the title track, an infectious dance anthem that celebrated their familial connection with the refrain, "We are family, I got all my sisters with me." While it celebrated their sisterhood, the 1979 hit so also became an anthem for female empowerment and unity. It would become their signature hit, and was nominated for a Grammy. Both the song and album sold more than one million copies.

The women also had a hit with a cover of the Mary Wells song "My Guy" in 1982, but would never duplicate the success they had in the 1970s. Still, Sister Sledge continued; while sister Kathy left the group for a solo career, the trio of sisters continued to perform and record, including a performance for Pope Francis in 2015.

Warren said they last performed together in concert in October.

Joni Sledge is survived by an adult son, her sisters and other relatives.
Mark Gray Mar-11-2017 155 0
Witnesses told TMZ that Ciara "was driving a white Mercedes SUV and was making a left turn when a grey Volvo SUV slammed into the front passenger side of the vehicle."

The singer was reportedly seen walking around and speaking on her cell phone, but was clutching her chest and shoulder.

However, a source tells People that Ciara is "fine."

Adds an L.A.P.D. spokesman to the mag, “From what we can gather, it was exchange information only.”

She is reported to be in her third trimester with her second child.

Photos from the scene show both police and paramedics on the scene. One image, posted to TMZ, shows her being assisted as she exited her vehicle.

Ciara hinted last month that she is having a boy with her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson.

"Blue is one of my favorite colors..," she wrote alongside a photo of herself wearing a blue-and-white striped robe atop her otherwise all-black ensemble.

She already has one son, Future, from her marriage to rapper Future.

Around the time of the crash Russell tweeted about a black and white picture of his wife and stepson. "Love Always Wins. #Family," he wrote.
Spencer Dukoff Mar-06-2017 155 0
Chance the Rapper announced Monday that he would donate $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools for arts education.

The Grammy Award-winning artist made the announcement at an impromptu press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chicago.

The rap star, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, was born in Chicago and attended public school in his hometown. Hemet with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner over the weekend after the governor vetoed a bill that would’ve helped the school district pay its pension bill.

Chance said Monday that their conversation had been “unsuccessful” and that Rauner would only propose solutions with “caveats and ultimatums.”

“While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource,” Chance said.

Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster, and independent promoters and venues will work in coordination to donate funds from ticket sales for Chance’s upcoming concerts to Chicago Public Schools.

In addition to his personal donation and the donations from his ticket sales, fans can donate directly through the SocialWorks website. For every $100,000 raised, SocialWorks will donate $10,000 to a specific Chicago public school.

Michelle Obama thanked Chance in a tweet for being a role model.

Chance went on to say that increased funding for the arts in schools would help teach students valuable lessons about perseverance and collaboration.

“This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. This about taking care of the kids,” Chance said.
Kate Feldman Mar-05-2017 140 0
In a Twitter rant Saturday, Don Cheadle accused President Trump of using the N-word during a golf tournament years ago.

Responding to a fan who said he’d hated Trump “way before treason,” Cheadle claimed the former real estate mogul used the racial slur on the golf course.

“Hated him since he asked my friend’s father at a Doral pro-am if he’d ever ‘f--ked a n----r,’ the “House of Lies” star tweeted Saturday. “Did it for me.”

The annual golf tournament was hosted at the resort in Miami until 2016. The PGA Tour will move the event to Mexico City this year.

Cheadle said his friend’s father was playing a foursome with Trump when he used the slur, but refused to identify the friend — he said she was famous — or narrow down a timeframe.
“Many already know this to be in his nature. It's not hidden. And those who can't see it, might never. The story would have changed little,” Cheadle tweeted.

Cheadle said his friend’s father was playing a foursome with Trump when he used the slur, but refused to identify the friend — he said she was famous — or narrow down a timeframe. (Twitter)
“He wasn't the president then. Just a racist, misogynistic, draft dodging, ‘birther’ conspiracist, p---y grabbing, bankruptcy machine.”

Asked why he hadn’t revealed the conversation during the election, the 52-year-old actor said he only just learned the details.

Cheadle has bashed President Trump — who called himself “the least racist person” during a February press conference — previously.

In August, he told the then-candidate to “die in a grease fire” after Trump tweeted about Dwyane Wade’s cousin, who had been shot and killed in Chicago.

Representatives for Cheadle and the White House did not return requests for comment.
AP Feb-22-2017 144 0
Croatian police have filed disorderly conduct charges against two people who allegedly used a racial slur to insult Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx in a restaurant.

Police said they acted after receiving reports Sunday of "particularly arrogant and rude" insults made against restaurant guests, including "one of the guests on racial grounds."

The police statement did not name Foxx as the target, but the actor briefly posted comments about the incident on his Instagram profile before deleting them.

Foxx mentioned an offensive racial term among the examples of the vulgar language used.

Police said they are investigating whether to pursue other charges against the men.

Croatia, like other European countries, has seen a rise in far-right sentiments.


A day after the alleged racial slur, Foxx said on his Instagram profile he has his "mind blown" by the beauty of Dubrovnik.

"I'm out here in Croatia, it's crazy," he said.

Peter Sblendorio Feb-22-2017 116 0
A man suspected of murdering rapper T-Pain's niece last summer has been found dead in Tallahassee, Fla., police say.

Law enforcement officials came across the body of Tavon Jackson, 25, in the woods Tuesday during an unrelated search in the area for a separate case, the Tallahassee Police Department revealed in a statement.

The department's Violent Crimes and Forensic Units have launched an investigation, but police officials say Jackson's death appeared to be a suicide. They noted the investigation remains in the early stages.

Police had been searching for Jackson since August in connection to the killing of 23-year-old Javona Glover, who was stabbed to death outside a West Tallahassee Walgreens store, where she worked.

T-Pain, who was Glover's uncle, urged his followers to help police locate the killer after his niece's untimely death.

"The police are still lookin for the coward ass n----r that just killed my niece at Walgreens in Tallahassee. If you got info pls help out," the rapper, whose real name is Faheem Rashad Najm, tweeted in August.

Authorities released three photos of the suspect inside the Walgreens shortly after Glover's death.

Jackson was Glover’s ex-boyfriend, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Feb-22-2017 128 0
Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran has filed court documents claiming the rapper vowed to kill her, and added that he's beat her up before.

Considering her claims, a court granted her a domestic violence restraining order and now Chris must stay 100 yards away from Karrueche, her mom and her brother, according to a new report in TMZ.

In her legal statements, the model said that Chris "told a few people that he was going to kill me" because they are no longer together. Her documents allege that the singer has told friends that he was going to "take me out" and "threatened to shoot me."

Karrueche's claims, according to the celebrity website, that he "punched me in my stomach twice" and "pushed me down the stairs." These incidents, if true, would have occurred while he was on probation from his assault on Rihanna.

The legal papers also claim Chris has threatened to harm her friends and even recently threw a drink at one of them.

Chris and Karrueche dated off and on from 2011 to 2015. They split for good after it was revealed that Chris fathered a daughter with another woman while he was dating Karrueche.

The way Karrueche sees it, Chris is starting to be less talk and more action, and that is what is scaring her.

In early February, Chris shared a video of him saying he would make women "miserable" and chase them.

In an obscenity-laced tirade, Chris said he stalks woman and said that when he's in love with you, "ain't nobody gonna have you. I'm gonna make you miserable."

The news of the restraining order came as news that his much-discussed fight with rapper Soulja Boy was called off.







Feb-12-2017 95 0
Legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau has passed away at age 76, his representatives said on Sunday. Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner, was known for hits like "Mornin'" and "We're in This Love Together". He was still touring last week when he abruptly cancelled his remaining performances, citing exhaustion. Representatives said he was hospitalized in Los Angeles and "improving slowly". His family told TMZ that Jarreau had sung to nurses during his hospital stay. He would have turned 77 next month.
Jan-28-2017 153 0
Kurtis Blow is the Chairman of the Bronx.

The legendary rapper, born Kurt Walker, says that after four years of hard work, he and his team are on pace to unveil the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx in summer 2018.

The 57-year-old Harlem native, who is credited as the first rapper to sign with a major record label, tells us the state-of-the-art museum on 138th St. will cost $30 million to build and he will remain a major player in the project once it's up and running.

“They just told me they're going to vote me in as chairman at the next trustees meeting,” Blow tells us.

The “If I Ruled the World” rapper describes an interactive museum that utilizes 3-D holograms of rappers past, and a mobile truck that will drive around the city bringing exhibitions to the streets.

“The new technology can bring the history to the public,” said Blow. “We’ve been working with Microsoft diligently, checking out new technologies so that we can get our act together.”

Blow says kids will be able come to the museum and learn to deejay — and there will also be a recording studio where aspiring rappers can lay down tracks.

He acknowledges that the museum might have gotten more foot traffic in Times Square, but that's not where the soul of hip hop resides.

Legendary MC Kurtis Blow hits the stage in Queens tonight
“There are cons, but it happened in the Bronx,” he says. “The genesis was in the South Bronx so we want to keep it true to form. We're hoping we can bring the whole world to the Bronx.”

One thing Blow says isn't true to form is his portrayal as a bully in BET's “New Edition Story,” which sent him into a Friday morning Twitter tirade.

“They have me out as a real hater and someone who wasn't a nice guy to them, which is a contradiction of who I am,” insists Blow, who mentored the band in 1981. “I love New Edition and I'm a little disappointed (the film) treated me like that because we had such a different relationship.”
Bethonie Butler Jan-28-2017 153 0
Viola Davis became the first black woman to receive three Academy Award nominations with her nod for a supporting role in “Fences,” based on August Wilson’s Tony Award-winning play.

Davis is no stranger to making history. In 2015, she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for a lead actress in a drama series for her role as complicated law professor Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away With Murder.” “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there,” she pointedly declared in her acceptance speech, which went viral.

Davis, who already won a Golden Globe for her “Fences” role, is a favorite to win the Oscar — and she’s known for giving awards show speeches that resonate. After her own emotional acceptance speech at the Globes ceremony, Davis got attention for her remarks introducing Meryl Streep, who received the lifetime achievement award and gave a resounding speech of her own.

“You make me proud to be an artist,” Davis told Streep, who also made history Tuesday with her 20th Oscar nomination. “You make me feel that what I have in me — my body, my face, my age — is enough.”

The admiration is mutual. Davis got her first Oscar nod for a brief but scene-stealing appearance (opposite Streep) in the 2008 film “Doubt.” While accepting the Screen Actors Guild Award for best actress, Streep called her co-star “gigantically gifted.” “My God, somebody give her a movie!” Streep said.

Davis got her second Oscar nod in 2012 for her role as a maid in the Southern period drama “The Help,” based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel. In a recent conversation with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the actress revealed that she “had a lot of issues” with the film.

“I knew it was a best-selling book and I knew it would change my career,” Davis said, adding that she “felt it was an important story.”

“I absolutely love the premise,” she continued. “I love the fact that Skeeter [the aspiring writer played by Emma Stone] said I am going to write a story from the maid’s perspective of what it feels like to work with these white women — operative term meaning the maid’s perspective. I don’t feel like it was from our perspective. That’s the problem I had with it. I had it from the very beginning.”

While detailing her frustrations with the book-turned-film, Davis revealed that a line that was cut from a scene featuring Clark and her fellow maid, Minny (Octavia Spencer, who won the best supporting actress Oscar), preparing food for a party. “Minny says, ‘Well, I gotta go out there and serve some food,” Davis recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, you serving crackers to the crackers.’ Cut! And it was cut because they felt it was too mean. But there was no problem with the white characters saying ‘n—, n—, n—.’”

Davis felt it was unrealistic for the black maids, who were subjected to substandard wages and constant derision, to avoid speaking harshly about their employers. “So it was not telling the story,” she added. “It just wasn’t.”

Davis has spoken highly of “Fences,” which is nominated for best picture and best screenplay. After her nomination was announced, Davis thanked the Academy for “recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it.” She also thanked her co-star Denzel Washington, who directed and co-produced the film. Washington is up for best leading actor which, along with the best picture nod, brings his Oscar nomination total to eight, the most of any black actor. He won best supporting actor for the 1990 film “Glory” and best leading actor for “Training Day” in 2002.

In stark contrast with last year’s #OscarsSoWhite protests, black actors are well-represented among this year’s nominees. Davis is nominated alongside two other black women — “Moonlight” star Naomie Harris, and Spencer, who won the best supporting actress in 2012 for “The Help” and is nominated for her role in “Hidden Figures,” the film about black female mathematicians working at NASA in the 1960s.

Even if Davis wins the Oscar, don’t expect a statuette to change her work ethic.

“Every time I start a job, I always have the impostor syndrome — that this is going to be the job where people find out that I’m a hack,” Davis said in her BAFTA retrospective. “You gotta go back to work, man, and you can’t bring the award to work. It’s not going to play Annalise Keating.”

One thing we should expect if Davis finally takes home an Oscar? A really great speech.
BLI Jan-26-2017 290 0
A Dallas jury reached a verdict in favor of Steve Harvey in a trial held in Dallas, Texas. More news to follow
Jan-23-2017 160 0
The company announced this morning that it has purchased a 33% stake in Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal.

According to Billboard, Sprint bought into Tidal for a whopping $200 million.

Under the deal, Sprint’s 45 million retail customers will have access to the streaming service.

Per Billboard:
“Jay saw not only a business need, but a cultural one, and put his heart and grit into building TIDAL into a world-class music streaming platform that is unrivaled in quality and content,” [Sprint CEO Maurice] Claure said in a statement. “The passion and dedication that these artist-owners bring to fans will enable Sprint to offer new and existing customers access to exclusive content and entertainment experiences in a way no other service can.”

Another aspect of the partnership includes the creation of a “dedicated marketing fund,” which a source says will have an annual budget of $75 million solely for the artist initiatives and exclusives. For those who already subscribe to Tidal, estimated to be around one million people, there will be no change in the existing service.

“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” said Jay Z in a statement. “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
The Grio Jan-19-2017 268 0
Chrisette Michele has been facing tremendous backlash over her decision to perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the latest consequence of her decision is that Spike Lee has decided not to use her music in his newest project.

Michele, for her part, has addressed the backlash, writing:

My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us. I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us. Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind “These Stones”, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless.

I am here. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters”. I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.
ITAY HOD Jan-14-2017 218 0
Jennifer Holliday has canceled her appearance at Donald Trump's inauguration event next week, calling her decision to perform a "lapse of judgement."

In an open letter, provided exclusively to TheWrap, the "Dreamgirls" star apologized to the LGBT community, saying she was "uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans."

The Tony and Grammy winner came under fire from some of her fans on Friday after it was announced that she was set to perform at a concert as part of Trump's inauguration festivities.

Holliday, considered a longtime LGBT ally, explained that she changed her mind after reading a Friday Daily Beast story titled, "Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump's Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans."

The article argued that the singer's decision to participate in the inaugural event was "an act that seems to defy everything her most passionate supporters stand for, and even issues she herself has supported throughout her career."

"My only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!"

Holliday ends her letter telling her gay fans: "Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you... You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded."

On Friday, Trump's inauguration team announced that she would perform, along with Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and other entertainers, in a Jan. 19 event at the Lincoln Memorial called the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration."

Many fans were surprised by the inclusion of Holliday, best known as the original Effie White in Broadway's original production of "Dreamgirls."

Holliday told the New York Times that she had been "startled and disheartened" by the "venom that greeted the news of her participation."

According to the Times, Holliday "sounded certain about her choice." But her publicist Bill Carpenter later told TheWrap that she had not yet committed to the event, eventually confirming her participation a few hours later.

Read Holliday's full letter below.

TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY:

Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a "bi-partisan songbird" having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.

I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the "Welcome Concert For The People"- in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase "For The People"... I thought, For America!

I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country... Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!

I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.

Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you... You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.

Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.

Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.

With LOVE & Appreciation,

JENNIFER HOLIDAY

"The Original DreamGirl"
MICHAEL PAULSON Jan-13-2017 183 0
Jennifer Holliday sang for the Reagans. She sang for the Bushes (father and son). And she sang for the Clintons.

So when the planners of this year’s presidential inauguration reached out to the Tony-winning singer this week to ask if she would sing during a welcome concert the day before Donald J. Trump is to be sworn in as president, she said yes.

“I’m singing on the mall for the people,” she said. “I don’t have a dog in this fight — I’m just a singer, and it’s a welcome concert for the people on the mall.”

Ms. Holliday, speaking during a telephone interview Friday afternoon, said she had not supported Mr. Trump’s candidacy — “I voted for Mrs. Clinton, and they knew that.” But, she said, “if someone wants me to sing a national anthem or something, we think about America, and we go.”

Ms. Holliday sounded certain about her choice, but her spokesman, William Carpenter, suggested in a subsequent email that the decision was not set in stone. “I just spoke to her and she still hadn’t made up her mind about doing the event,” he wrote.

Ms. Holliday is a Broadway icon, renowned for her performance as Effie in the original cast of “Dreamgirls,” and she returned to Broadway this year as a replacement Shug Avery in the revival of “The Color Purple.” The final performance of that show was Sunday, and the Clintons were in the audience.

Ms. Holliday said she was asked on Wednesday if she would sing at the concert scheduled for Jan. 19, and she agreed, seeing the request as similar to those she received to sing at the White House during past Republican and Democratic presidencies. “I just thought of the history part of it, and about singing on the mall where Marian Anderson paved the way for me to sing as a black American,” she said, referring to a 1939 concert that Ms. Anderson, a popular singer, performed from the Lincoln Memorial after being denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall because she was black.

Ms. Holliday said she had been startled and disheartened on Friday by the venom that greeted the news of her participation.

“It brought a lot of threats from people already saying I’ll never work again,” she said. “If that’s what America has come to, where we all hate and bully people, there’s no more freedom of speech.”

She added, “I know everybody hates me now, but that shows we are all just hateful people now — we don’t even want to work together.”

And, she said, “If it’s the end of everything for me, then it has to be the end of everything for me. I would hope that’s not how it ends up, but right now I would like to be a part of a welcoming part of America. If we’re only going to let Trump be the face of America, I say let’s not let him be the only face of America — someone else could stand and show a light of love or hope or forgiveness.”

She noted that the Carters and the Clintons, as well as the Obamas, are expected at the inauguration.

“We’ve become such a polarized country — we’re not listening to what the Obamas have said,” she said. “They told us to move forward with hope — they didn’t tell us to stop participating — I didn’t hear that in Obama’s speech.”

Ms. Holliday said she did not see herself, or her singing, as political, a sentiment echoed by Jackie Evancho, the 16-year-old classical-crossover singer who will perform the national anthem at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

“I just kind of thought that this is for my country,” Ms. Evancho said. “So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.”

Ms. Holliday said her goal is to support America: “Are we saying that if there is anything that could be done for America in four or eight years or however long Trump is there, we’re not supposed to participate or help anybody?” she asked. “Shouldn’t we all be praying for the success of America? I would like to sing some hope and have my voice not be associated with some kind of label, but I guess that’s where we are now.”

AP Jan-07-2017 160 0
An inventory of Prince's estate submitted to a probate court in Minnesota shows he had acquired tens of millions of dollars' worth of real estate and other personal property before he died last year.

The Star Tribune reports that much of the value of his estate hasn't been established yet, including unreleased recordings and videos from his vault.

Prince died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. He did not leave a will. His estate has been valued at between $100 million and $300 million, before taxes.

Carver County District Court records show that an asset inventory lists a dozen properties with an estimated value of $25.4 million, as well as about $110,000 in four bank accounts and 67 10-ounce gold bars with a total value of nearly $840,000.
Alexia Fernandez Jan-04-2017 274 0
A fight erupted at the funeral of Everybody Hates Chris actor Ricky Harris on Tuesday, and a shocked Sherri Shepherd witnessed the whole thing.

“I can’t believe they’re fighting at a funeral!” Shepherd, 49, could be heard saying in the background as she filmed from the outside of the funeral home.

According to Shepherd, someone inside the funeral home went after Snoop Dogg (who was a childhood friend of Harris’s) and Snoop’s bodyguard tackled him.

“It’s so disrespectful. So disrespectful to his memory,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd later posted a second video, along with the caption, “Everything is fine.”

Harris died in December at the age of 54. Harris sang in a church choir with Snoop when they were younger — and would go on to collaborate on Snoop’s 1993 Doggystyle, where Harris provided a hilarious and racy commentary on the track “W-Balls.”

Perhaps most memorable was Harris’ recurring role in the hit UPN/CW comedy Everybody Hates Chris. There, he played the neighborhood ne’er-do-well Malvo — an often foe of Chris Rock‘s childhood counterpart.

Harris is survived by his mother, ex-wife and two daughters.
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