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Viola Davis makes history with her third Oscar nod. We might be in for an epic speech.
Bethonie Butler Jan-28-2017 100 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.

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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.

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Peter Sblendorio Feb-22-2017 10 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.
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Feb-22-2017 29 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.







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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.
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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.”
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A Dallas jury reached a verdict in favor of Steve Harvey in a trial held in Dallas, Texas. More news to follow
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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.”
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The Grio Jan-19-2017 228 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.
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ITAY HOD Jan-14-2017 173 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"
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