Category Archives: Entertainment News

Coi Leray opens up about the success of her single, “No More Panties”

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImageRepublic Records signee Coi Leray is taking over TikTok and social media with her single, “No More Panties.” After dropping a remix featuring Lil Durk last month, the Atlanta rapper says its overwhelming watching her song climb up the Billboard Hot 100 chart week by week. 

“My label is happy, my fans are happy and the world is starting to know me for me and who I am as an artist,” Coi tells ESSENCE. “It feels like I’m getting closer to being a major, major superstar.”

“No More Parties” was released at the end of January and was recently certified Gold by the RIAA this week. The track currently sits at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which in part helped earn Coi the title of Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Rookie of the Month.

Coi Leray followed that up with her single “BIG PURR (Prdd),” featuring Memphis rapper Pooh Shiesty. Earlier this week, she played the leading lady in Mooski‘s “Track Star” video.

Up next, Coi is preparing to release her debut project in May to follow up her 2020 EP, Now or Never.

“That’s what we’re aiming for. I’ve been working with so [many] people and been making so much new music,” Coi says, enthusiastically. “This is my first debut project. I’ve been saving all my platinum songs for my project. So I just can’t wait.”

She continues, “The world just needs to get ready for me to stay here and not go nowhere. The world just needs to get used to this little butt because I’m not going to stop shaking it.”

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hip-hop artists and celebrities react to the death of Ruff Ryders legend DMX

Credit: ShotByJacquesThe world is left mourning yet another great loss to the hip-hop community Friday. Rapper and actor DMX has died at age 50 after being hospitalized for a heart attack.

Following news of his passing, celebrities in the realms of music and entertainment took to social media to pay tribute to the hip-hop legend. 

In a statement obtained by ABC News, rapper Chingy described DMX as”a true legend to the hip-hop community” and explained how he inspired one of his biggest hits.

“I was individually inspired by him from his unique style. I remember touring and being on a lot of shows with him. “One day I was coming out of my hotel and DMX saw me and asked, ‘Was his child’s mother pulling me back?'” says Chingy.

“‘Pulling Me Back’ was my latest record at that time for the ladies…He always showed me love and we always talked when we ran into each other,” he continues. “I’m saddened to hear about his passing and he will forever be missed by me and the hip-hop community for his legacy.”

Here’s what others had to say about DMX and his legacy:

Swizz Beatz“I’m truly beyond devastated! But I’m so happy my brother is no longer in pain. I watched him take everyone’s pain and make it his own. I send my love and support to his entire family. My brother we will never let them forget your name and you will lie forever. F.A.M.E. Long live King DMX The Great aka my brother for life. Earl Simmons.”

Chance The Rapper: “Rest in Heaven DMX.”

Viola Davis: “RIP DMX. I pray for the comfort of your children and loved ones.”

Jeezy: “Damn X.”

Nas: “God’s Poet. I Love you.”

DJ Khaled: “Bless up the icon DMX.”

Shaggy: “R.I.P. to the G.O.A.T. @DMX. Rest well my brother! Condolences to the family.”

Gabrielle Union“No words right now. Nothing but fierce love, prayers and protection for X’s family, friends and fans. This loss is devastating. #RIPDMX.”

Eve: #mydog I know that you are in the place of peace you deserve. I will be forever grateful to have known you. You are one of the most special people I have ever met. Full of humor, Talan, wisdom, and love and most of all loyalty. This world has lost a real one but the heavens have gained an angel. May you rest.” 

Fat Joe: “The DOG. I tired to downplay it and remain positive. We’ve been in this fame for a while. you’ve always wore your heard on your sleeve, it hasn’t been an easy journey for you but that’s what makes you X. We love you my brother. I’m so sorry for the family’s lost. This is one of the most saddest days in hip hip. God bless you X, your music will live forever and we’ll never forget you or the impact you’ve had in the game. New York, ‘let’s stand…up for DMX.”

Kehlani: “Too young, too early, Leaving endless trails of inspiration behind him. Rest easy legend.”

Missy Elliot: “Even though you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT! This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & your SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING.”

Sharing Instagram footage from their record-breaking Verzuz battle last July, Snoop Doggwrote, “Love You brother. See you when I get there.”

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chika wins first-ever GLAAD Award: “What can I say? I deserve it”

Leeor-WildChika won her first-ever GLAAD Award Thursday night during the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Ahead of the ceremony, organizers took to Twitter to announce the Industry Games artist won Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist.

“What can I say? I deserve it,” said Chika with a smirk during her acceptance speech. “I work hard. Me and only me, I don’t have a team, I don’t have parents. I was forged under a tree, and then fire.”

“I made it here by the Northern winds, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to sit here and sing these songs and not give anyone credit, especially the people who gave birth to me and my management,” she continued. “So thank you guys, from Chika and Chika only, not Warner, and not the band behind me. Just me.”

The 24-year-old eventually broke out laughing as she gave a shou-tout to “my mom and dad, to my girl, all that stuff,” before adding, “Appreciate it, I deserve it.”

Later during the ceremony, Chika delivered a performance of her singles, “FWB” and “Save You.” Supported by backup singers, a band, lights and production, Chika took the stage wearing a white suit and braided updo hairstyle.

Presented by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the GLAAD Media Awards “honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues,” according to the awards website

 

 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Femme Friday: Here’s new music from Doja Cat, SZA, Gwen Stefani, Saweetie and KIRBY

ABC;Blair CaldwellAs the week comes to a close, here’s a roundup of new female-led collaborations from today’s hottest artists.

Pop star Doja Cat joined forces with R&B singer SZA for her new single, “Kiss Me More.” The disco jam comes with an intergalactic music video starring Grey’s Anatomy star Alex Landi.

Trading in his scrubs for an astronaut suit, Landi crashes his spaceship into a pink-hued planet filled with fantastical embellishments, guarded by goddesses Doja and SZA. 

“Can you kiss me more? / We’re so young, boy, we ain’t got nothin’ to lose, uh-oh / It’s just principle / Baby, hold me ’cause I like the way you groove, uh-oh,” they sing on the chorus.

Meanwhile, Doja’s “Best Friend” Saweetie hopped on Gwen Stefani‘s new single, “Slow Clap.” The two come together in a high school-themed music video from director Sophie Muller, which takes us back to Stefani’s 2004 video for “Hollaback Girl.”

Saweetie reps her favorite title on her braggadocious verse and shouts out her icy gang fanbase. “My favorite position is CEO check the stats/Me and Gwen Stefani snatchin’ wigs on the track /Diamonds dancin’ on me, icy gang where you at?” she raps. 

Saweetie also references supermodel Naomi Campbell and tennis champion Naomi Osaka with the cheeky line, “I walk in like Naomi, servin’ aces like Naomi.” 

And in case you missed it, Memphis newcomer KIRBY has released her funky single, “Boyz II Men.” The track takes its name from one of R&B’s legendary groups and nods to Erykah Badu’s 1997 classic, “Tyrone.”

“Ooh, I’m too grown to be checkin’ through your phone/Baby Badu tried to warn me ’bout these Tyrones, baby,” KIRBY sings.

(Videos contain uncensored profanity.)

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Legendary rapper and Ruff Ryder alum DMX dies at age 50

Jonathan MannionDMX has died at age 50 after suffering a heart attack. His family, who was by his side when he passed, confirmed the news in a statement.

The rapper, born Earl Simmons, had been hospitalized in White Plains, New York in “grave condition,” his attorney Murray Richman confirmed to ABC New York affiliate WABC-TV on April 3. He was placed on life support and never recovered.

“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the family said in a statement. “He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.”

The family asked for privacy at they “grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX,” adding that information about his memorial service will be announced once details are finalized.

DMX had battled substance abuse and legal troubles over the years and spent multiple stints in rehab. He last completed a stay in rehab in 2019, after serving a 12-month sentence for tax evasion.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Yonkers, New York, DMX spent the early years of his childhood in and out of juvenile detention centers and group homes. While he maintained a close relationship with his grandmother and other family members, music was his escape from the troubles of his thoughts and his environment.

The Ruff Ryders emcee launched his career in the ‘90s, releasing his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998 which featured the hit song “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem.” As a Def Jam signee, he was a crucial member of the Ruff Ryders Dynasty, which birthed trailblazing artists such as Swizz Beatz, Eve, The Lox, and more.

A year later in 1999, X released his best-selling album, … And Then There Was X, featuring the hit single “Party Up (Up in Here).” The triple-platinum album received two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album. X’s third Grammy nomination came from his 2001 single, “Who We Be.” 

Other notable singles include “Stop Being Greedy,” “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “What’s My Name,” and “What They Really Want” featuring Sisqo.
 
X released seven albums over the course of his career, including Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, and four others that topped the Billboard 200 Albums chart. He’s also worked with a number of artists including Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, LL Cool J, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Faith Evans, and more.

On the acting side, X appeared in numerous films including Belly, Exit WoundsRomeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour

In July 2020, he faced off with Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, breaking the all-time Apple Music live stream record with over 600,000 concurrent viewers.

A month later, he revealed he was working on a new studio album to follow up the release of 2015’s Redemption Of The Beast under Seven Arts Entertainment. During an episode of N.O.R.E‘s Drink Champs podcast last February, X stated the project would feature current and past generations of artists including Benny The Butcher, Conway the Machine, Usher, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, U2‘sBono, and a posthumous track with the late Pop Smoke.

DMX is remembered by his 15 children and his fiancé Desiree Lindstrom, the mother of his five-year-old son, Exodus.

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘Them’ cast discusses the real-life trauma they faced making the terror-anthology series

Courtesy of Amazon StudiosLittle Marvin‘s Amazon terror-anthology series Them brings to life a supernatural drama which seemingly takes a page out of history.

Set in the 1950s, the series follows the Emory family as they move into an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. However, after moving in, the family becomes the target of racist neighbors and a malevolent entity that haunts their home.

Ashley Thomas, who plays patriarch Henry Emory, tells ABC Audio that the series was very “triggering.” 

“It really affected me on some days,” he reveals. “It was really overwhelming to know that our people were going through these things just because of the color of their skin.”

Noting the Great Migration of Black Americans who left their homes in the South for a better life in the West, Thomas says learning that some ended up in a more “hostile environment… weighed on [him] throughout the whole project.”

Deborah Ayorinde, who plays Henry’s wife Lucky agrees, adding she even sought “therapy” to make sure she “healed properly.”

“I had to make sure that I sat with someone to unpack all of this stuff…,” she says.

Ten-year-old Melody Hurd, who plays Gracie Emory, says the series was especially challenging for her because of racism. 

“There was people being racist and it’s really hard for me because I’ve never been through something like that,” she says. 

Hurd’s on-screen sister Ruby, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph, says her experience was very “similar” in that she “never experienced that type of blatant racism before.”

“It isn’t real, but sometimes your mind can’t separate yourself from the character,” she explains. “So it can be tough at times… [That’s why] it’s really good to have a mental health routine for these kinds of scenes — because it’s very heavy.”

Them is now available on Amazon.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nike settles lawsuit against Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes”

Filip Custic @filipcustic1The “Satan Shoes” saga has come to a close.

Nike has settled its lawsuit against MSCHF, the design company that teamed up with Lil Nas X to create a reimagined devil-inspired Air Max 97.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Nike and MSCHF agreed to a voluntary recall of the “Satan Shoes,” as well as the “Jesus Shoes” MSCHF sold in 2019.

“If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund,” Nike said according to EW. “Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect, or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.”

MSCHF sold 665 pairs of the sneakers for $1,018 each within minutes, but had been saving the 666th pair for a giveaway. The shoes were tied to Lil Nas X’s music video for his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” Lil Nas was not named as a defendant in the March 29 lawsuit.

“… Having already achieved its artistic purpose, MSCHF recognized that settlement was the best way to allow it to put this lawsuit behind it so that it could dedicate its time to new artistic and expressive projects,” an attorney for MSCHF told EW.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Rihanna adorably crashes fan’s 32nd birthday party

Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesOne Rihanna was given the shock of a lifetime after the “Umbrella” singer crashed her 32nd birthday party.

According to Entertainment TonightSamirah Abdullah invited a small group of friends to celebrate her big day at a New York City restaurant.  The party just happened to be at Nobu NYC the same time the Grammy winner was having dinner.

One of Samirah’s friends, named Nini, recalled the fateful encounter in a TikTok video she posted Thursday, saying she took it upon herself to approach Rihanna and see if she could help make her friend’s birthday bash a little more special.

“I walked up to her table and was like, ‘Oh, it’s my best friend’s birthday. It would mean the world if you would go over and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her or take a picture with her,” Nini recalled.

Turns out, the Oceans 8 star was down for the surprise and hatched the perfect plan, telling Nini to “go back to the table and say I said ‘no.'”

Rihanna then promised she would wait until the waiter brought out the cake and crash the birthday bash.

“She was so freaking nice about it,” Nini gushed. “As soon as the cake came out, she followed our waitress and took some pictures with us and she was so friendly.”

There was another surprising fact the fan had about the “Work” singer, which was, “She smells SO freaking good!”

When recalling the surprise to ET, birthday girl Samirah said she “froze” when she noticed Rihanna was approaching her table, but managed to keep it together for the meet and greet.

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“It’s the guy that I never get to be,” says Tank of his role in ‘Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Story’

Courtesy of Atlantic RecordsTank stars as Trey Taylor, the tempting best man of Keri Hilson‘s fiancé in Lifetime’s new film, Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Story. Tank tells ABC Audio he enjoyed portraying Trey, who romantically triggers Hilson’s character, Tiffany, like no man has before.

“It’s like an alter-ego in a sense. It’s the guy that I never get to be,” he says. “I’m always the guy that’s like, ‘No take the high road’ and in my core and in my heart I wanna knock him out. But I’m…always taking the high road.”

The “Can’t Let It Show” singer says he enjoyed tapping into another “reservoir of…energy” outside of music.

“When moments come along like this in acting, where I’m allowed to be that guy, it’s almost like a buildup of energy. I have a storage of that energy just waiting to be released,” Tank continues. “When it’s in a movie, I get to do it. So, there’s a reservoir of that energy just waiting for me to tap into it. And this is one of those times where I was able to tap into it.”

Tank admits it was a bit challenging filming some of the romantic scenes with Keri, considering their history as longtime friends in the music industry.

“It’s like acting, but not acting. You’re not not attracted to Keri Hilson. It’s Keri Hilson, she’s beautiful. So it’s like it’s what it is,” says Tanks. “Those things are always going to be challenging…as a man dealing with a beautiful woman in that capacity. So it’s tough but you’ve got to remain professional.”

Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Storyalso starring Letoya Luckett, airs Saturday, April 10th at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ashanti responds after vacation photos with Flo Rida spark dating rumors

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images for SiriusXMAre Ashanti and Flo Rida dating?

On Thursday, the two sparked rumors of a romance after the “Low” singer shared a series of photos of him vacationing with friends to Instagram. Among the photos were snapshots of the pair relaxing together on the front of a yacht. 

To add more fuel to the speculation, Flo Rida left a comment of party hats and celebratory emoji’s on a mirror selfie that Ashanti posted where she rocked a bikini and sheer robe.

While fans seemed to be supportive of the potential union, the “Foolish” singer shut down the rumors in a comment on The Shade Room’s repost of the vacation pics. 

“Aht aht Flo is my brother! We’re family,” Ashanti clarified. “Celebrating my sis @liltuneshi bday!!! Happy Birthday Bink!”

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.