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XXXTentacion Public Memorial Draws Big Crowd

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XXXTentacion Public Memorial Gathers Huge Crowd
XXXTentacion image courtesy of Pinterest

Who knew XXXTentacion was so popular?

A public Memorial in Miami on Wednesday drew thousands of grieving fans, friends and family of the dead rapper who was murdered a week ago.

Some were even reported to have driven all night to get into the free admission, six hour ceremony attended by other rap stars and filled with images and music made of, and by, the deceased musician.

Perhaps even more chilling was the fact that XXXTentacion was being viewed in an open casket. Expect plenty of pics to pop up on Twitter in the next coming days.

It’s a bit confusing why there is this public outpouring of sympathy for a troubled young man who easily exploded into violence, allegedly at least once against his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant with his baby.

In fact, he was facing a trial for the beating at the time of his death.

XXXTentacion was undeniably a musical genius and a hit-maker. But it doesn’t excuse his propensity for aggression and, apparently, it only bolstered his public personae. That’s Street Cred for you.

Lots of fans displayed the “X” crossed-arm salute gaining in popularity while XXXTentacion was alive. Now that gesture is solemnized as eulogy in his death and memorial.

But, hey, it’s Hollywood (Florida that is) and anything goes, right? In fact, XXXTentacion has sold more records in the week since his murder than he ever did while he was alive.

Police are still investigating the crime and have already arrested one suspect in the murder. Two others are still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.

It’s tragic that a promising artist was cut down so young. But it should also serve as a lesson that violence can be met with violence. Even unto death.

Perhaps that’s the legacy that XXXTentacion should be remembered for.

Especially if it sells more records…

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Celebrity

Whitney Houston’s family “horrified” over sexual claims

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Whitney Houston’s family are shocked by sexual allegations documented in the new Whitney film.

Director Kevin Macdonald interviewed close family and friends to the late singer, exposing both Whitney Houston and her half brother, Gary Garland, were allegedly molested by their cousin, Dee Dee Warwick, during their childhood.

Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, released a joint statement with niece Dionne Warwick to People, highlighting that the family first heard of such claims two days prior to the film’s release back in May at the Cannes Film Festival.

The statement revealed: “We cannot overstate the shock and horror we feel and the difficulty we have believing that my niece Dee Dee Warwick… molested two of my three children”.

“… The idea that [Dee Dee] would have molested my children is overwhelming and for us unfathomable… Neither I, Dionne, nor my son Michael… has ever heard these allegations; we have never heard anything remotely connected to the crimes charged against Dee Dee in the film. How can that be fair to my daughter, to Dee Dee, or to our family?”

Despite having to live most of her life in the public eye, Cissy Houston defends her daughter stating the public has no right to “know every intimate detail of her life beyond what she herself revealed during her lifetime… if she was molested I do not believe she would have wanted it to be revealed for the first time to thousands, maybe millions of people in a film.”

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Cissy Houston with daughter Whitney Houston

The Whitney director Macdonald, 50, revealed to Vanity Fair, back in May, that he “managed to persuade Mary Jones, who was Whitney’s longtime assistant and probably knew her in her last years more than anybody,” to open up about the molestation claims, as featured in the documentary.

“She talks about what Whitney felt and what effect it had on her. So we changed the whole cut at the very last minute. It was kind of a detective story to get that piece of information, which changed how I felt about Whitney and how I felt about the story”.

People magazine reported revealing the information was a difficult decision for Mary Jones, “she confided in me and I struggled tremendously deciding whether to share this secret or keep to myself”.

Jones goes on further to say, “I deeply love and respect Dionne, Cissy and their entire families, and my intention was never to embarrass anyone in the family, but rather to bring to light that Whitney was subjected to something painful and troubling as a child. And it’s something that happens to other innocent kids and goes unspoken too much… I decided to share the story so that people might understand that throughout her entire life Whitney carried this with her, and the weight of it was immense. Whitney was a wonderful woman, an angel, and she did not drag herself down all alone — there was a cause.”

Before the film debut, director Macdonald revealed on Good Morning America that Gary Houston “was molested when he was a kid by a woman in the family and he thought also Whitney had been as well.”

In Whitney, Gary Houston, 60, alleges Dee Dee Warwick molested him when he was 7 to 9 years old. He had no prior knowledge of Whitney’s alleged abuse leading up to the film’s release.

Gary further revealed in an interview on Good Morning America, “I was 8 [or] 9 years old and I was being fondled with from time to time. It was a situation I didn’t understand. I knew it was abnormal.”

Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick concluded their joint statement: “After people have seen the film they will draw their own conclusions and we are not trying to change that. We just want people to know there is another side. While the filmmakers certainly had the legal right to make this film, I wonder at the moral right.”

No charges were ever filed against Dee Dee Warwick.

Dee Dee Warwick passed away in 2008. The Grammy-nominated soul singer sang backup vocals for stars including Aretha Franklin. Dee Dee Warwick is the sister of Dionne Warwick, and both are nieces of Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother.

Whitney Houston, who was 18 years younger than Dee Dee Warwick, died in February 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel from drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.

Whitney is now out in theatres.

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Britney Spears

Britney Spears set for return to Las Vegas

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It looks like the pop princess is ready for a residency return to Vegas!

Britney Spears, 36, wrapped up her four-year Piece of Me residency at Planet Hollywood in December 2017.

The singer is reportedly in negotiations for a two-year show, commencing in 2019 at The Park Theatre, in The Monte Carlo.

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Mirror reported that as part of the deal, Spears will earn $500,000 per show – a deal that will make her the “highest-paid woman on the Strip, beating Celine Dion.”

An exceptional deal that is too good to refuse. And it looks like the 36-year-old singer is steering towards taking on the deal.

A Vegas insider revealed: “Britney has pretty much verbally agreed to return for a very significant fee.”

Executives at Caesars Entertainment declined to extend the Toxic singer’s deal at Planet Hollywood, where Spears was previously raking in $400,000 per show.

Another perk to the deal is Spears does not “have to sing all the lyrics” – a skill that Spears is known to be a master at.

A residency come back cannot be at a more better time than in 2019. The show debut will coincide with the 21st anniversary of Spears’ smash hit single, Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Spears previous Las Vegas show, Piece of Me, grossed $138 million.

britney-spears-vegas

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Celebrity

Kendrick Lamar: Pulitzer Prizefighter

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Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Kendrick Lamar is taking his Pulitzer Prize for Music seriously.

You could call him a Pulitzer Prizefighter.

What’s the cause? Rap music being recognized by Old School institutions which had historically paid scant attention since the day Rappers Delight was unleashed on the world.

“It took a long time for people to embrace us,” Lamar said in a recent interview. “People outside of our community, our culture, to see this not just as vocal lyrics, but to see that this is really pain. This is really hurt. This is really true stories of our lives on wax. And now, for it to get the recognition that it deserves as a true art form, that’s not only great for myself, but it makes me feel good about hip-hop in general. Writers like Tupac, Jay-Z, Rakim, Eminem, Q-Tip, Big Daddy Kane, Snoop. It lets me know that people are actually listening further than I expected.”

It’s taken even longer than Kendrick Lamar lets on.

He’s the first commercial artist in history to win the music prize, since it usually goes to mostly classical musicians or an occasional jazz artist like Wynton Marsalis. Special prizes have been awarded in the past to musicians like Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Hank Williams.

But not one of them ever took the championship prize.

Lamar scored the knockout punch with his album D.A.M.N. that the Pulitzer Board called a “virtuosic song collection which captures the modern African American life.”

And, the world is still buzzing about his 2016 Grammy appearance in which he performed in chains, serving out a prison sentence on stage while tethered to the jangling links. The man has clearly earned some kind of prize.

So, what is the championship ring worth to a man who has made millions in music?

$15,000…

Chump change?

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