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  1. Due to a disagreement with Grammy producers over which songs she would perform, Ariana Grande, who has been featured on billboards promoting the show all over Los Angeles, not only won’t be performing at the Feb. 10 show, she will not even be attending it, according to sources close to the situation. An insider tells Variety that Grande felt “insulted” after producers initially refused to allow her to perform “7 Rings,” the latest single from her forthcoming album “Thank U, Next” (which arrives Friday, two days before the Grammys). A comprise was reached whereby “7 Rings” would be part of a medley, but Grande pulled out after producers insisted that the second song be of their choosing. The source added that such stipulations were not imposed on other performers at the show. Reps for the Grammys did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment. The situation is more than a little similar to the impasse the Grammys reached with Lorde last year, whereby they declined to let her perform a song from her “Melodrama” album — one of the five Album of the Year nominees — and instead offered her a spot during the show’s Tom Petty tribute, which she declined. Grande is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance (for “God Is a Woman”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (for 2018’s “Sweetener”). With this development, the Grammys find themselves not only without a twice-nominated artist whom they have been using to promote the show, but also without one of the most vital artists of the moment. In the past two years Grande has experienced two major tragedies — the 2017 bombing outside her concert at the UK’s Manchester Arena in which 22 people died, and the drug-overdose death of her former boyfriend Mac Miller last September. But she has also played triumphant concerts, including the “One Love Manchester” benefit staged just two weeks after the tragedy, and released a triumphant No. 1 album and a string of recent blockbuster singles — with “Thank U, Next,” arriving Friday, just a few months after the release of “Sweetener.” “Sweetener” and the songs “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings” all smashed Spotify records, with “7 Rings” breaking the streaming service’s record for most plays within a 24-hour period with nearly 15 million. https://variety.com/2019/music/news/ariana-grande-not-attending-grammys-after-disagreements-with-producers-1203129734/
  2. Reggaeton star Ozuna confirmed in a statement Wednesday (Jan. 23) that he was the victim of an extortion scam tied to a video filmed of him when he was minor. “At the time, we filed a complaint,” said a statement released by Ozuna’s label management office, Dimelo VI, confirming an interview given Tuesday by Ozuna’s attorney to Puerto Rican press. “Our attorney confirmed yesterday that urban artist Ozuna was extorted through an intimate video filmed when he was a minor. This video was edited with the objective of causing even more harm. At the time [of the extortion plot], we filed a complaint and all the legal measures are being taken, as sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.” Billboard has not seen the video that is alluded to in the statement. As part of the statement, Ozuna also issued an apology. “What happened was a mistake of the past. Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” read the statement. “Today, I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.” Ozuna was the single most successful Latin artist of the past year, with his two studio albums ending 2018 as the No. 1 and No. 2 biggest albums on Billboard’s Latin year-end charts. “We hope this serves as an example and a message to all teenagers and adults,” said Dimelo VI’s statement. Reports published Tuesday in several Puerto Rican media outlets stated the person extorting Ozuna was slain trap singer Kevin Fret. At press time, Ozuna’s office had not confirmed to Billboard that this was the case. Ozuna's manager, Vicente Saavedra, categorically told Billboard that Ozuna is not under any sort of investigation or questioning from authorities. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/8494700/ozuna-confirms-victim-extortion-video the video in question where he was a minor apparently was a video with two other males. ozuna is married to a woman and has 2 children 
  3. From left: Tamar Braxton, Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan and Ryan Lochte The cast of season two of Celebrity Big Brother has arrived. Viewers will soon be given 24/7 access to the cast that includes former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan, Ryan Lochte and Grammy nominee and TV personality Tamar Braxton. For Scaramucci's part, he is now the second former Trump aide to join the CBS reality series and move from the White House to the Big Brother house. Omarosa Manigault Newman starred in the show's first season where she made headlines after revealing details about her time in the White House. After her return to reality TV, she went on to write the explosive tell-all, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House. In a promo airing during CBS football, Scaramucci was pegged as the show's "big surprise." From left: Kato Kaelin, Natalie Eva Marie, Kandi Burruss and Ricky Williams. Also joining the Mooch will be actor Joey Lawrence, Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett, Olympic track athlete and bobsledder Lolo Jones, former NFL running back Ricky Williams, former WWE wrestler Natalie Eva Marie, singer and reality star Kandi Burruss and Kato Kaelin (who is being described as "an infamous houseguest" for his O.J. Simpson fame.) In the show's promo Kaelin quips: "Living with celebrities is nothing new to me." From left: Joey Lawrence, Lolo Jones, Tom Green and Jonathan Bennett The new season kicks off for a two-night premiere event starting Jan. 21. The spinoff of the longtime CBS summer flagship will see its famous cast cut off from the outside world as they live together and compete in a slew of competitions and a social game battle for the $250,000 grand prize. The show will air for 13 episodes leading up to its season finale on Feb. 13. The first season crowned Hairspray actress Marissa Jaret Winokur as its winner beating runner-up Ross Mathews who was voted as "America's Favorite Houseguest." https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/celebrity-big-brother-cast-revealed-ryan-lochte-anthony-scaramucci-dina-lohan-more-1175684
  4. Who died and made Ellen DeGeneres the gay pope? In December, comedian Kevin Hart’s appointment to host the 2019 Academy Awards drew renewed attention to his hateful and damaging comments about gay people. The academy asked Hart to apologize: he refused and bowed out just days after the initial announcement. Many LGBTQ people cheered the withdrawal as the right move. But now, in an interview that aired Friday on her daytime talk show, DeGeneres has absolved Hart of his ugly history. DeGeneres, who is gay, shared during the interview that she’d even interceded to ask the Oscars organizers to reconsider Hart as host. Apparently, they’re amenable: The ultimatum perhaps wasn’t so much of an ultimatum after all, and in the end, “We want him to host,” DeGeneres says she was told. “Whatever we can do we would be thrilled.” Et tu, Ellen? As strange as this spectacle may seem, it’s actually in keeping with DeGeneres’s brand of nice. It’s a value she has sought to spread through the world, long signing off her show by telling her audience, “Be kind to one another.” Kindness means giving second chances, and giving second chances apparently means allowing Hart, who in 2011 tweeted that if his son played with a dollhouse he would “break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay,’ ” to host the most prestigious event in American cinema — one that’s also known as the Gay Super Bowl for its celebration of fashion and drama. On the set of DeGeneres’s show, anyone who thinks otherwise is simply a hater. “Whatever is going on in the Internet, don’t pay attention to them,” DeGeneres said. “That’s a small group of people being very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.” But that loud Internet crowd, which appears much larger than DeGeneres has allowed for, has it right. Niceness doesn’t require people to be pushovers. And kindness doesn’t mean forgiving people who’ve done bad things without being sure they understand what happened and are committed to making things right. DeGeneres’s unilateral dispensation to Hart on behalf of the LGBTQ community (and her kneecapping of Hart’s critics) truncates that process. That’s bad for all the LGBT people she claims to represent. And it’s bad for Hart, who gets to skip over the part of the process where he becomes a better, more empathetic person. Hart made a halfhearted apology when he announced he was stepping down as host. But he hasn’t made any clear amends to LGBTQ people, and he certainly doesn’t seem to have atoned for his words. How can he, so long as he views the criticism of his past words as “slander on my name”? More important, even if Hart had more fully repented, his sins are not DeGeneres’s to forgive. She faced professional danger and personal scorn in her early and courageous trailblazing, but she’s at a place in her life and career where she’s largely protected from the kind of violence Hart described. Hart’s remarks were directed to queer people of color, who are generally much more vulnerable than their white counterparts. A 2017 poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard showed that LGBTQ people of color are twice as likely to have experienced discrimination in hiring and police interactions as white LGBTQ people, and that they are six times as likely to not call the police in a threatening situation so as to avoid reprisal. Really, no single person is qualified to offer the forgiveness of all of queer America. But a white cisgender woman who is widely beloved and obscenely wealthy to boot is particularly ill-suited to try to muster such papal authority. For DeGeneres to think herself licensed to dispense this pass to Hart suggests that the only real indulgence here is her own. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/04/who-died-made-ellen-gay-pope/?__twitter_impression=true&noredirect=on&utm_term=.a498e15e48be
  5. What are your top 20 Kpop songs of 2018? Mine in no particular order: 1. Oh My Girl - Twilight 2. Chungha - Cherry Kisses 3. Fromis_9 - Love Bomb 4. April - The Blue Bird 5. The Boyz - Giddy Up 6. Lovelyz - That Day 7. Aoa - Bingle Bangle 8. Blackpink - forever young 9. Apink - i’m So sick 10. Golden child - genie 11. Laboum - between us 12. Loona - hi high 13. Nature - some (you’ll be mine) 14. Sunmi - heroine 15. Ateez - treasure 16. Iz*one - la Vie en Rose 17. Twice - yes or yes 18. Yubin - Lady 19. WJSN - Dreams Come True 20. Honey popcorn - Bibidi Babidi Boo
  6. Wendy Williams announced today that she recently fractured her shoulder — but an insider claims the daytime TV host has something much more serious going on with her health, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report. “Something bad is going on with Wendy,” the insider very close to the 54-year-old star told Radar exclusively, adding that the December 17 episode was cancelled last minute and replaced with a rerun. The insider insisted Williams has been exhibiting strange behavior “for weeks.” Friends and business associates “have been concerned about her in recent weeks,” the insider claimed. “She can barely stand at times, and has totally checked out. It’s a major problem.” On December 12, days before her latest injury, Williams acknowledged on camera that she frequently sits down during show segments where she used to stand — but offered little explanation for the troubling change. “So it has come to my attention…that you all are noticing that I sit, a lot. I love to have several seats. I don’t just sit here, I’ve been sitting in the audience, I sit to do demo projects as well. You know why? Cause I want to!” she told the audience. “Cause this is my show, and this is how I want to do it. I bust my a** on this show, every single day.” Williams infamously shocked fans by fainting on live TV in 2017, but later said she simply overheated in her Halloween costume. In an interview, she said she was suffering from menopause, which was to blame for the scary incident. Just months later, she took several weeks off from her show to cope with hyperthyroid condition Graves’ Disease. “I had a storm going in my body is the best way I can explain it,” she said in a later interview. https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2018/12/wendy-williams-health-crisis-tv-host-barely-stand-friends-concerned/
  7. Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Oscars. The actor-comedian made the announcement on Twitter late Thursday night, along with an apology to the LGBTQ community, after his past anti-gay comments resurfaced. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” Hart wrote. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” https://variety.com/2018/film/awards/kevin-hart-says-the-film-academy-has-given-him-an-ultimatum-apologize-or-well-find-another-oscars-host-1203083698/
  8. Celebrity Deathmatch back. Well, it will be, thanks to Ice Cube. Many of us remember sitting down in front of the TV and watching stop-motion animated bloody fights between celebrities as part of our wildest fantasies. It gave us the opportunity to see what would happen if celebrity beefs were transported to the ring in Pay-Per-View style. According to Deadline, MTV Studios will be bringing back the popular and bloody animated series, with Ice Cube set to star and executive produce through his company, Cube Vision. Series creator Eric Fogel will return to his baby as executive producer. “Happy to once again be working with Viacom and MTV on a fan favorite like Celebrity Deathmatch and to continue our success together,” Ice Cube said. Ice Cube will host, but will his animated version ever get inside the ring? Has he ever? The legendary gangsta rapper has pivoted over to the family man identity in recent years, so maybe he’s trying to up his street cred again? Who knows, but I know one thing: nostalgia is all up and through this decision. CDM premiered in 1998 and was subsequently canceled in 2002. A revival premiered on MTV2 in 2006 and lasted for two seasons. There was a failed attempt to reboot it for MTV2 in 2015, but Fogel confirmed it actually hadn’t been picked up for a pilot on Twitter. This is a good time to revive the show since social media wasn’t around during Celebrity Deathmatch’s origin. Imagine the celebrity beefs that could literally be squashed with a Claymation clash. Twitter fingers could turn to broken fingers—in the safety of fictional television, of course. A few matchups we’d love to see: Drake vs. Pusha T Kanye West vs. Everybody Black Cardi B vs. Nicki Minaj Azealia Banks vs. Anyone With A Twitter Account Beyoncé vs. Jay-Z (The BeyHive, who still ain’t really here for Jigga, but simply tolerates him for their queen, would live for this; let’s be honest.) Mariah Carey vs. J. Lo The Kardashians vs. Anonymity Kevin Hart vs. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Cardi B vs. Offset Nicki Minaj vs. Remy Ma Will Smith vs. Janet Hubert Michelle Obama vs. Donald Trump (y’all know she secretly wants to knock off that misshapen wig.) T’Challa vs. Killmonger (Editor’s note: Wait ...) 50 Cent (and his strap) vs. Ja Rule Rihanna vs. All The Salty Makeup Brands Issa vs. Lawrence Tariq vs. The Power Audience Mo’Nique vs. Lee Daniels Kevin Hart vs. Unemployment (Just to name a few) Cube and company will be shopping the reimagined series to air on premium and streaming networks in 2019. https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/bloody-beefs-in-the-social-media-age-ice-cube-and-mtv-1830909871
  9. You have to live in America to do that unless you get a visa or something
  10. GLOBAL global phenomenon RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to the UK next year for the show's first ever British version. The series will appear on BBC Three — with producers inviting homegrown drag queens to take part. The flamboyant talent contest has an international audience of millions as it’s broadcast on channels in countries ranging from Hungary to The Philippines. Creator Rupaul Charles said: “I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen’s queens. And before anyone asks, yes, we would be thrilled to have Meghan Markle join us, as we are already preparing a ‘Royal-Mother-To-Be’ runway challenge.” In the US RuPaul’s Drag Race has seen a stellar line-up of stars appear as guests on the show, including Lady Gaga and Khloe Kardashian. The eight-part British series is likely to do the same. Famous fans on this side of the pond include chat show host Jonathan Ross and Sherlock actor Andrew Scott. A TV source said: "This is a massive coup for the Beeb as lots of other UK channels wanted this show. It will follow the exact same format as the American version with British twists and some famous guests. "It will be filmed in London and casting directors will be searching for the best drag artists Britain has to offer - there'll be a huge budget for costumes and production and bosses are hoping that a star is born. It's really exciting for everyone involved and is expected to draw a lot of new fans to the franchise. "RuPaul has a cult following so it's massive news." https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/7899914/uk-version-rupauls-drag-race/
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