Drake on course to smash streaming records with 'Scorpion'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Canadian rapper Drake, the world’s best-selling artist of 2016, looked on course to set records tumbling again on Friday with his soul-baring new album “Scorpion,” in which he reveals he is a father.

FILE PHOTO: 2017 Billboard Music Awards – Show – Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., 21/05/2017 – Drake accepts the award for Top Billboard 200 Album. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Spotify said the album was streaming at an average rate of 10 million times an hour on Friday, while Apple Music said “Scorpion” was the No. 1 streamed album in 92 countries.

On the 25-track double album, Drake, 31, confirms long-standing rumors that he has fathered a son, but does not name the mother.

“Single father, I hate when I hear it,” he raps on the final track “March 14.”

The album also features collaborations with Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, and posthumous vocals by Michael Jackson.

“Scorpion” follows Drake’s best-selling 2016 album “Views” and his 2017 release “More Life,” which set a record across all music streaming services of 385 million streams in its first week of release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said on Friday that Drake had become its top digital song artist, with 142 million digital single sales units, ahead of Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Streaming services in 2017 became the recording industry’s biggest single revenue source, overtaking sales of physical albums and digital downloads. Rap officially surpassed rock in 2017 as the biggest music genre in the United States.

“Scorpion” is a joint release on Warner Bros. and Universal Music-owned labels OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dan Grebler

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'Proud to be a Jackson': Paris Jackson thanks grandfather Joe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Michael Jackson’s daughter has paid an emotional tribute to her grandfather Joe, posting a photo showing her holding his hand during his final hours and saying he made her and others “proud to be a Jackson.”

FILE PHOTO: Paris Jackson arrives for the opening ceremony of the 25th Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Paris Jackson, 20, the only daughter of “Thriller” singer Michael, also said on Instagram that, despite previous periods of estrangement, many members of the extended family visited Joe Jackson before his death on Wednesday at age 89.

The patriarch of the musical dynasty that produced the Jackson 5 and solo pop acts Michael, Janet and La Toya Jackson, died almost nine years to the day of Michael Jackson’s June 25, 2009 death from a drug overdose at age 50.

Paris Jackson, a model and actress, who with her two brothers was raised by her grandparents after her father’s death, said she would cherish her time with her grandfather “especially our last moments.”

“being able to hold your hand, lay with you and cuddle you, give you kisses all over your cheeks and forehead, meant more to me than you’ll ever know. quoting advice you gave me when i was a little kid and seeing your eyes light up, sharing stories my dad used to tell me about you, telling a joke and hearing you laugh for the last time,” she wrote on her Instagram account late on Wednesday.

Jackson posted a photo of her holding her grandfather’s hand, wearing a hospital ID bracelet, as well as pictures of Joe Jackson in his younger days.

Father of 11, and with some 30 grandchildren, Joe Jackson was known for verbally and physically abusing his children when training them as singers and dancers. Michael Jackson, who recounted fear and beatings, cut his father out of his will.

Despite a history of feuding and rivalries, Paris suggested many of the family rallied around in Joe’s final days.

“everyone that came to visit you, came with love, respect, and so much pride in their hearts for you. proud of you, proud to be your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, proud to have your strength and share the dynasty you spent your life creating, and proud to be a jackson,” she wrote.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced for Joe Jackson, who died at a hospice in Las Vegas, according to celebrity website TMZ.

Janet Jackson, the most successful of the remaining siblings, has not yet commented publicly on her father’s death.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Tom Brown

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Movie academy invites 928 new members in diversity push

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The group that hands out the Oscars said on Monday that it had invited 928 new members from 59 countries, in its biggest diversity drive after years of criticism of its mostly white and male membership.

Those invited include “Girls Trip” star Tiffany Haddish; “The Big Sick” co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon; and comedian and actor Dave Chappelle, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement.

If all those invited accept, female membership would rise to 31 percent from the current 28 percent, the group said. People of color will increase to 16 percent from 13 percent.

Total membership would stand at more than 7,000 actors, writers, directors, executives and others.

A lack of diversity within the academy has long been cited as a barrier to racial inclusion in Hollywood’s highest honors. In 2016, the Academy responded by pledging to double female and minority membership by 2020.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Richard Chang

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Rod Stewart Clowns Argentina for Pathetic World Cup Run

Rod Stewart Clowns Argetina … For Pathetic World Cup

6/25/2018 6:34 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Wanna see Rod Stewart mock Argentina for sucking in the World Cup and then defend Sweden? 

Great, you’re gonna love this clip! 

The singer — who’s a MASSIVE soccer fan — hit up Delilah for dinner over the weekend, when he stopped to talk World Cup. 

His big beef … he thinks Sweden got screwed out of a penalty kick during the match with Germany on Saturday when Marcus Berg had a breakaway shot. 

Germany’s Jerome Boateng raced in and manhandled Berg — right in the penalty box — but somehow, no penalty was called, which really pissed off Fox Sports analyst Stuart Holden. 

Clearly, Rod Stewart agrees — saying, “I think Sweden were robbed of a penalty.”

Germany ultimately got the victory — and now Stewart thinks they’ve got a real shot. 

But the best part of the clip … we asked Rod what he thought of Argentina and he screamed out, “USELESS!!!!”

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No drugs in U.S. celebrity chef Bourdain's body when he died: prosecutor

(This version of the June 22 story was corrected to show traces of alcohol, medicines were found)

FILE PHOTO: Chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain arrives at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – U.S. celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself in a French hotel room earlier this month, had no narcotics in his body when he died, a local prosecutor said on Friday.

Bourdain, host of CNN’s food-and-travel-focused “Parts Unknown” television series, was 61. Brash and opinionated, he had spoken openly about his use of drugs and addiction to heroin earlier in his life.

“No trace of narcotics. No trace of any toxic products. Trace of medicines in therapeutic dose. Trace of alcohol,” he said, listing the findings of the investigation.

Bourdain, whose career catapulted him from washing dishes at New York restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama, hanged himself in a hotel room near Strasbourg, France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his TV series, according to CNN.

Reporting by Patrick Genthon; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Mark Heinrich/Alexander Smith

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NFL's Anquan Boldin to Trump, Forget Pardon List, Make New Policy!

Anquan Boldin to Trump: Forget Pardon List … Make New Policy!

6/21/2018 6:53 AM PDT

Breaking News

Anquan Boldin says he’s essentially REJECTING Donald Trump‘s challenge for NFL players to come up with a list of people who deserve a Presidential pardon. 

Instead, Boldin says the burden should be on the President to come up with new policies to help non-violent drug offenders who’ve been locked up for way too long. 

The former Super Bowl champ posted a video directed to Trump spelling out his position.

“I saw the challenge that you issued to NFL players about sending you a list of people that they think should be pardoned … people that we know, people like [Alice Johnson] who I think deserved to be pardoned.”

“Here’s the problem with that … there’s a lot of people like Ms. Johnson that should be pardoned that don’t know a celebrity (like Kim Kardashian) or an NFL player.”

“So, instead of us sending you a list, I’ve got a better idea — how about you come up with a policy to pardon all those people, those non-violent dru offenders who’ve already spent a lengthy sentence in jail at this point. Let’s say 10, 15 years.”

“I think that’s a better way to create change that were looking for.”

Boldin also teamed up with players Torrey Smith, Malcolm Jenkins and Ben Watson to write an op-ed for The NY Times spelling out the plan in greater detail.

So far, no word back from Trump. 

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Evander Holyfield Wears a Shirt Quoting Himself

Evander Holyfield Wears Shirt Quoting Himself

6/19/2018 6:54 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Evander Holyfield believes in the wisdom of Evander Holyfield … which is why he wears T-shirts with quotes from Evander Holyfield

We spotted the champ out at Reagan National Airport — and, while our photog wanted to talk about the World Cup, we couldn’t help but notice the Real Deal’s fashion statement. 

“When I was eight years old my coach told me I could be like Muhammad Ali. DREAMS DO COME TRUE — Evander Holyfield.”

The shirt also features a pic of a young Evander. 

Don’t make fun of him — when you become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, you can wear shirts with your face on ’em too!

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Pete Davidson and Cazzie David Were 'On a Break' When Ariana Grande Hookup Started

Pete Davidson 'On a Break' with Cazzie When Ariana Relationship Began

6/17/2018 1:00 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Pete Davidson was technically single when he started dating Ariana Grande … TECHNICALLY, but “Friends” fans might not agree.

Sources close to the newly engaged couple say Pete and his ex-gf, Cazzie David, were “on a break” in early May — but not necessarily broken up for good — when his relationship with Ariana sparked. But they hit if off, and it quickly became clear Pete was serious about moving on with Ariana.

The good news — it seems all parties involved are happy with the end result. As we reported, Cazzie’s not upset or dwelling on her ex’s quick rebound. Hey, if it’s good enough for Ross and Rachel.

As for Ariana and Pete — they’re still in full PDA mode with Davidson posting a pic wrapped up with his fiancee, captioned … “u know what you’d dream it be like ? it’s better than that.”

As we reported … the couple got engaged last week after just over a month of dating, firmly cementing themselves in the Whirlwind Romance Hall of Fame.

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Meek Mill Rocks Eagles Super Bowl Ring Party

Meek Mill Hits Eagles Super Bowl Party 'Best Night In Prison Was When You Won!'

6/15/2018 6:19 AM PDT

Breaking News

The Philadelphia Eagles got their diamond-studded Super Bowl rings at a massive party Thursday night with a very special guest performer … Meek Mill!

The rapper — along with Rick Ross — busted out song after song while the players rocked out in the crowd — a special moment because his “Dreams and Nightmares” song was the team’s anthem.

During the set, Meek grabbed the mic and told the players, “If I ever had to say I had my best night in prison it was the day the Eagles won the f*cking Super Bowl.”

The players loved it — with guys like Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Corey Clement, LeGarrette Blount and Torrey Smith having the time of their lives. Lil Uzi Vert was also there! 

As for the rings, they’re dope — 10-karat white gold with 219 diamonds and 17 rare green sapphires.

The 127 diamonds on the bezel represent the combined jersey numbers of the three players who touched the football during the Philly Special play — Corey Clement (30), Trey Burton (88) and Nick Foles (9).

Cool, right?

There’s also an underdog mask inscribed on the inside of the ring. 

Congrats!!!

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Wiz Khalifa Has 'Zero Chance' to Win Real UFC Fight, Says Sean O'Malley

UFC's Sean O'Malley I Love Wiz Khalifa, But … You'd Get Wrecked In UFC

6/13/2018 6:47 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Some real talk from UFC rising star Sean O’Malley … who tells TMZ Sports he’s a BIG fan of Wiz Khalifa, but knows the dude would get crushed if he took a real UFC fight. 

Remember, Wiz has been training like crazy at Jay Glazer‘s Unbreakable gym — and even UFC champ Tyron Woodley says he’s been very impressed with the rapper’s fighting skills. 

In fact, Wiz told us he believes he could compete in a pro MMA fight — but won’t do it unless someone offers a TON of cash. 

But, O’Malley says when push comes to shove … Wiz has “no chance” in a real UFC fight and gives the hard truth about why Khalifa would get smoked for real. 

It’s not personal, O’Malley’s just being honest … and tells us he still REALLY wants to smoke with Wiz.

There’s more … O’Malley also updates us on his recovery from his foot injury and tells us why he’s become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Fortnite.

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