According to billboard.com, DoSomething.org’s annual Celebs Gone Good list for 2017 is topped by Chicago artist and philanthropist Chance The Rapper. Chano is s followed by Arianna Grande, Rihanna, and Colin Kaepernick. Nicki Minaj and Ava DuVernay also appear, making their debuts on the list. The list recognizes celebrities who used their impact to affect social change in the world, as they helped raise awareness for causes such as mental health, education, gun violence, LGBTQ, sexual assault, hurricane/disaster relief and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
The organization also selected eight Celebs to Watch in 2018, featuring young talent who give back. Teen actress Skai Jackson and Beyonce’s protégé Chloe X Halle made the cut, by inspiring young women and speaking out about women’s rights and bullying. Halima Aden also made the list for promoting diversity in the fashion industry, becoming the first hijab-wearing fashion model.
Nicki Minaj is quite the giver. A week after paying off college loans and tuition for some of her fans, Minaj revealed more of her philanthropic efforts, via social media. Apparently, the Queens native has been quietly sending money to an impoverished village in India for the last couple of years. And her kindness is already paying off.
Thanks to the “No Frauds” rapper’s generosity, villagers now have access to a computer center, a reading program, two water wells, and more.“This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud,” Minaj wrote on Instagram Saturday (May 20).“The money I’ve sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program and two water wells.“
“We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some [people] don’t even have clean water,” she continued. “Blessings to India. Our work is far from done.”Minaj added that she’ll be dropping more details about her charity work in the “near future,” in case fans want to get involved.
Minaj responded to tweets from fans late Saturday evening and into the early morning. The series of tweets came after Minaj promoted a contest for a fan to join her at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas later this month.
The contest had fans tweeting at her with #NickiBBMAs, and eventually escalated into pleas to the multiplatinum artist for help with college tuition fees and student loans.
The requests went beyond tuition and student loans, with some fans asking for less than $1,000 for books and other supplies for school. Minaj appeared to grant those requests, asking for the contact and bank info for some of her fans.
By the end of the evening, Minaj said she would pay for about 30 fans’ college tuition, student loans or other education-related fees. The fees ranged from $500 to books to $6,000 for tuition.
She said she’d make these payments Sunday, “then see if I have any money left.” She also promised to respond to more requests from fans to help pay college fees in a month or two.
Ok u guys. It's been fun. Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left😂. I'll do some more in a month or 2. 😘😘😘💋💋💋💕💕🎀🎀🎀
Who you gonna call? I know it’s early to get geeked about summer movies seeing as winter just officially started last week, but when I saw this new image from the upcoming all-female version of GHOSTBUSTERS, I got more than a little hyped, especially since SNL’s Leslie Jones looks like such a b-o-s-s in the photo!
Jones, alongside fellow comedic beasts Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig, is making GHOSTBUSTERS look like it will be the comedy-action event movie of 2016. And truth be told, I also can’t wait to see who’s going to cover the Ray Parker, Jr. title song.
I’m personally hoping for a fresh take from a female artist like Rihanna, Beyoncé or Mary J. Blige – or even a way-out hip-hop version from Nicki Minaj.
Is there any movie or event you’re excited about that’s coming in 2016? If so, sound off below!
The Recording Academy announced the Grammy Award nominations this morning. Kendrick Lamar leads the field with 11 nods. The Weeknd and Taylor Swift both received seven Grammy nominations. Other top nominees include Drake, John Legend, and Kanye West.
The Academy is committed to celebrating a diverse blend of talented entertainers, musicians, and producers, and this commitment is evident in the nominees for the Album of the Year category. According to Grammy.com. Lamar has been nominated for his “jazz-infused rap,” Alabama Shakes for their “alternative and soulful rock,” Swift for her pop, Chris Stapleton for his “classic country sounds,” and The Weeknd for his “genre-bending R&B style.”
D’Angelo and The Vanguard are nominated for Record of the Year, along with Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, and Swift.
A+E Networks and iHeartMedia are simultaneously airing “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” on Friday, November 20 at 8PM ET/PT. The sold-out concert was recorded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 18th, and the two-hour special event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio in more than 130 territories globally, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on more than 130 iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform. Additionally, AOL has joined in the simulcast making the historic special event available to anyone with internet access across the globe on AOL.com.
Artists Aloe Blacc, Andra Day, Nick Jonas, Tom Morello, Smokey Robinson and Big Sean join the previously announced performers including Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Pharrell Williams. LL Cool J, Marshall Faulk, Morgan Freeman, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Kurt Warner and Nick Young are among the presenters joining the telecast.
Alicia Keys has joined John Legend and Pharrell on extraordinary journeys to Baltimore, Ferguson and Charleston, where they met with a diverse group of residents in communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence. Joined by NPR’s Michele Norris with John Legend in Ferguson, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien with Pharrell Williams in Charleston and ABC News’ Byron Pitts in Baltimore, these visits included intimate discussions and special private performances by each for those most effected. These incredibly moving, heart wrenching and eye-opening moments will be featured throughout the two-hour concert, as well as in the one-hour special, “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” airing immediately following the concert on A&E Network and AOL.com at 10pm ET/PT.
To see Alicia Keys perform Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We Will All Be Free”, watch below:
The concert will kick off A+E Networks’ campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country.
The concert and the ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide (ShiningALightConcert.com). The fund will provide grant funding to individuals and organizations fostering understanding, eliminating bias, as well as provide support to Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the broader A.M.E. denomination. The fund will support efforts to address racism and bias through public policy change, individual innovation, and community mobilization.
Tickets for the concert on November 18 sold out within 3 hours of the on-sale date raising more than $150,000 to benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by The United Way Worldwide.
To see a clip of John Legend’s performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” from the event, watch below:
Nicki Minaj is set to executive produce and appear in a scripted comedy series for ABC Family based on the rap star’s life growing up in Queens, New York. The project, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, will film a pilot episode in Minaj’s hometown this winter, with the intention to continue to series.
Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Minaj moved to the U.S. as a child. Written by Kate Angelo (Sex Tape), the untitled series will
focus on Minaj’s growing up in Queens in the 1990s with her vibrant immigrant family and the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual rise to stardom.
“Nicki Minaj is a force to be reckoned with at everything she touches,” said ABC Family’s EVP Programming and Development Karey Burke. “Nicki is an international superstar, yet not everyone knows how inspiring and hilarious her true story is, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Minaj, Kaplan and Angelo executive produce with Stella Bulochnikov and Brian Sher (Boss), as well as Gee Roberson.
“This is one of the more unique adventures I’ve ever embarked on,” said Minaj. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to team up with an amazing group of people to give the world something really special.”
Minaj studied acting at Manhattan’s prestigious LaGuardia High School and originally pursued acting before launching a successful music career. Minaj, who is in the midst of her worldwide “Pinkprint” tour, is the first solo female artist to have seven singles charting simultaneously on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her third full-length album, The Pinkprint, became the second highest-selling female debut of 2014 and arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.
Additionally, Minaj’s double-platinum Anaconda set the record for most Vevo views in 24 hours. Minaj also achieved the highest digital sales for any female artist in history with over 50 million track sales between solo and feature performances. She and Adele are the only two artists in history to sell 1 million copies of five different songs in one year.
Minaj made her acting debut with a voice role in Ice Ace: Continental Drift and a co-starring role in the feature comedy The Other Woman. She recently wrapped her first starring movie role in MGM’s Barbershop 3. On TV, Minaj drew attention with her appearance on Saturday Night Live last year where she was a musical guest but did a couple of skits and portrayed Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.
This would mark Kapital Entertainment’s third series for ABC Family, along with drama Chasing Life and comedy Kevin From Work. The six-and-a-half-year old production company has seven on-air series — Secrets & Lies on ABC, The Mysteries Of Laura on NBC, Life In Pieces on CBS, Instant Mom on Nick as well as Chasing Life and Kevin From Work, and the upcoming comedy Divorce on HBO. Kapital also has a pilot at Showtime that is in pre-production.
Angelo started her writing career in TV with stints on Will & Grace and The Bernie Mac Show before segueing to features where she penned The Back-Up Plan and co-wrote Sex Tape. She’s repped by UTA and attorney David Fox.
As if performing for her idol Janet Jackson at the BET Awards and hopping on Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint Tour wasn’t enough, Tinashe is moving way up, starring in Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply fall campaign. Not only is the 22-year-old prepping us for autumn with classic plaid looks paired with vintage jeans, but she also had the opportunity to cover Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Rhythm Band’s iconic 1970’s hit “Express Yourself” beside Cody Simpson. Blessings on blessings on blessings.
Ciara’s 2015 has revolved around love and fashion and after being chosen as the latest celeb to rep Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, CiCi danced her way to Brand Ambassador status for Topshop USA. The mother showed face at the Fashion Retail Academy Awards in London Wednesday night, rocking a trench coat-styled black dress from the retailer with matching open toe heels where owner, Sir Phillip Green made the official announcement.
For those that weren’t in attendance, Ciara took to her Instagram account to share a selfie she snagged with the billionaire CEO and made the public service announcement herself. And of course, in true gentlemen fashion, Ci’s boyfriend Russell Wilson showed love and support via his Twitter saying, “Congrats! @TopShop couldn’t pick a more Dynamic woman!” Cue the aww’s here.
Joan Smalls is still doing big things in the modeling industry, this time showing off her physique in her undies for Calvin Klein. Also landing a fall campaign for a major brand, Smalls’ facial structure in the ad may have actually stole the shine off the intimates collection, itself, with the tagline ‘the original sexy’ fitting for the Afro-Latina model.
Music impresario Jay Z has launched Tidal — positioned as an ad-free, high-quality streaming-music subscription service priced starting at $10 per month — with the participation of numerous big-name artists including Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West and Madonna.
In January, Jay Z acquired Sweden-based Aspiro for $56 million. The artists announced onstage at the New York event Monday were introduced as co-owners of the company, representing the first artist-owned digital-music service — as opposed to companies like Spotify and Pandora.
“Our goal is simple: We want to create a better service and a better experience for both fans and artitsts,” Alicia Keys said at the event. “We believe that it is in everyone’s interests — fans, artists and the industry as a whole — to preserve the value of music, and to ensure a healthy and robust industry for years to come.”
Tidal’s mobile launch partner is Sprint. Other artists participating in the service include Arcade Fire, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, Jack White (formerly of the White Stripes) and Deadmau5. Tidal was launched with the hashtag “#TIDALforALL” — although, obviously, it’s only for those able or willing to pay at least $120 annually for audio and video content.
The Tidal service will compete with other subscription-music services including Spotify and Apple’s forthcoming music-streaming service, based on its acquisition of Beats Music, which is expected to launch this summer.
Tidal will not offer a free version of the service; the standard-audio version (Tidal Premium) will be $9.99 per month and the high-def audio version (Tidal HiFi) will be $19.99 per month. Both tiers are free to try out for 30 days, according to the company.
Tidal says it provides a library of more than 25 million tracks, 75,000 music videos and curated editorial articles. The service is available across iOS and Android devices, as well as in Web browsers and desktop players, available in the U.S. and 30 other countries at launch. Tidal provides streaming quality at more than four times the bit rate of competitive services, according to the startup.
Dr. Dre tops Forbes list of highest-paid hip-hop acts with a total of $620 million earned this year. This is the most money ANY entertainer that has been evaluated by the magazine has earned in one calendar year.
What makes this even more incredible is that Dr. Dre alone made more than all 24 of the people combined on the 2014 list. Two second-place entries, both tied at $60 million, made 10% of what Andre “Dr. Dre” Young did. But, with that total, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs won’t be cashing any unemployment checks any time soon.
Cash Money claims a large stake in the money game as well, with Drake in fourth place at $33 million, Birdman (Co-CEO of Cash Money) at No. 7 with $24 million, Lil Wayne a hair behind him with $23 million and Nicki Minaj, the only female artist on the list, at No. 11, with $14 million.