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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 131 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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people Mar-18-2017 125 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.
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NEKESA MUMBI Mar-12-2017 69 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.
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Mark Gray Mar-11-2017 112 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.
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Spencer Dukoff Mar-06-2017 121 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.
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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.
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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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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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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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