FOX NETWORK BRINGS BACK COOKIE LYON (EMPIRE S4)

Empire_2_lgThe Lyons are coming back for a fourth season of drama and Cookie-isms.

download (21)Empire” has been renewed for Season 4, it was announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour by Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Gary Newman. Alongside Newman, Fox exec David Madden said Season 4 will consist of 18 episodes.

The fourth season will return in the 2017-2018 television season. Currently on hiatus, “Empire” returns with the back-half of its third season this spring on Mar. 22.

 

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The renewal is hardly a surprise, as “Empire” is one of the biggest hits to come to network television in the past decade. In its third season, the primetime family soap ranks as the top broadcast drama among adults 18-49 — a title it has held through its entire run. Though its ratings dipped this year, “Empire” still finished out the first half of its third season with nearly 8 million overnight viewers for the midseason finale. For the 2016-2017 season, the show has averaged almost 16 million total viewers, becoming the show to nab Fox’s largest total multi-platform audience.

images (61)“Empire” has received numerous Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations through its three seasons, including a Golden Globe win for star Taraji P. Henson, who has received back-to-back Emmy nods.

Along with Henson — who plays the breakout character Cookie — “Empire” stars Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, Trai Byers, Grace Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Serayah, Bre-Z, Xzibit and Morocco Omari. The series is known for bringing on notable guest stars, including Mariah Carey, Taye Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Marisa Tomei, Naomi Campbell, Ludacris, Adam Rodriguez, Rosie O’ Donnell and Andre Royo.

Taraji-P-Henson-Terrence-Howard-Fight-Instagram-Video“Empire” was co-created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. Ilene Chaiken serves as showrunner. Executive producers are Daniels, Strong, Chaiken, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Sanaa Hamri. Imagine Television produces with 20th Century Fox Television.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that “Empire” had its fair share of celebrity appearances like Mariah Carey appearing as a guest star and stars like Taye Diggs and Phylicia Rashad had recurring appearances on the series. It has also been speculated that Rumer Willis will show up in multiple episodes of “Empire” season 4.

Watch “Empire” in Australia on Fox8 channel. The show can also be streamed online on Channel Ten.

 

“Empire” has over time proved to a critical hit with multiple Emmy Awards to its name. It is also Fox’s largest total multiplatform traffic magnet with an average of 16 million total viewers for the 2016-17 broadcast session, according to a Deadline report.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Empire” season 4 will consist of 18 episodes, much like the previous two seasons. The show is currently under a three-month pause, as music drama “Star” has taken over the time slot, which prevents “Empire” from returning until March 2017.

The THR further reports that NBC’s debut family drama, “This Is Us” could prove to be a competition for the show. “Empire’s” ratings fell to a 2.5 low during the early phase of the last season before making a rebound in the final episodes.

Congratulations!empire-season-2-cast-2015-billboard-650

Kendrick Lamar Replaces Himself at No. 1 on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks Chart 4/7/2017 by Trevor Anderson

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Kendrick Lamar scores his fifth No. 1 on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks as “Humble” storms in atop the chart dated April 15, knocking his own “The Heart Part 4” from the summit. With the new No. 1, he becomes the fourth act to succeed himself at the top, following Zayn (who completed the feat twice), Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.

In addition to “Heart,” Lamar previously reigned on Top Tracks with “I” (one week in 2014) and his featured turns on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” (three weeks in 2015) and Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” (one week in 2016).

Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks is a weekly ranking of the most shared and/or mentioned songs on Twitter in the U.S., ranked by the volume of shares over a seven-day period (Monday to Sunday).

“Humble” and its accompanying music video premiered on March 30, and the clip has soared to more than 33.1 million global views on YouTube through April 4.

The release of two new tracks within the past two weeks had lead to speculation over an impending new album from the rapper. He ended “Heart” with the prophetic line – “Y’all got ’til April the 7th to get y’all sh*t together,” which some interpreted as a possible release date for his fourth studio set. However, on Apr. 6, an iTunes page for a new Kendrick album — titled, at least tentatively, as ALBUM — appeared, with Apr. 14 listed as the expected release date.

One last note on “Heart”: Though the song departs the Top Tracks peak, dipping 1-16, it arrives on other Billboard surveys, including a No. 11 start on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and a No. 22 debut on the Billboard Hot 100.

Also in the top five on Top Tracks, Cheat Codes makes its chart debut as “No Promises,” featuring Demi Lovato, arrives at No. 4. With the debut, Lovato earns her seventh top 10 hit and the first since “Body Say” last August. Cheat Codes posted the song’s official audio clip to their YouTube channel on March 30; the clip has climbed to 465,000 global clicks.

Joining the above cuts in the top 10 is The Chainsmokers‘ “The One,” which zooms to a No. 10 debut. The duo posted the song — the first track on their first-full length album Memories: Do Not Open, arriving April 7 — on Facebook on March 27. The clip has 1.9 million views on Facebook, and more than 10.5 million global plays on Spotify through April 6.

“The One” is the fifth top 10 hit for the EDM pair on the Top Tracks chart, following “Closer,” featuring Halsey (No. 1 for one week), “All We Know,” featuring Phoebe Ryan (No. 4), “Paris” (No. 5) and “Something Just Like This,” with Coldplay (No. 10).

Just underneath “The One,” Selena Gomez sprints to a No. 11 entrance on Top Tracks with “Only You,” from the soundtrack to the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which she co-executive produced. The tune is a cover of Yaz’s 1982 song, which reached No. 67 on the Hot 100.

Gomez’s official YouTube audio for “You,” released March 30, has clocked more than 4.2 million global plays. “You” continues a busy week on the charts for the pop singer, as her collaboration with Kygo on “It Ain’t Me” jumps 19-14 on Top Tracks and completes an identical five-spot rise (from 20-15) on the Hot 100.

A Year After Prince’s Death, Many Questions Remain: Report 4/7/2017 by Gil Kaufman

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It’s been almost a year since the Apr. 21 opiod-related overdose death of Prince, but despite intense scrutiny, according to a New York Times probe many questions remain about the cause of the Rock Hall of Fame musician’s demise. And, given the series of dead ends investigators have encountered so far, it’s possible the true story may never be known.

The basic facts remain: the 57-year-old musician known for living a clean marijuana- and alcohol-avoiding, vegetarian lifestyle suffered from chronic hip pain for many years. But investigators still don’t know how he came into possession of the powerful opioid fentanyl, which has been the cause of a rash of overdoses and death over the past few years. We also know that six days before his death Prince’s chartered jet had to make an emergency landing after he overdosed on the way home from a concert and he had to be revived.

There have been no arrests to date of anyone who might have supplied Prince with fentanyl, despite sweeps of the usual suspects. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is running point on the probe along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the findings eventually going on to the U.S. attorney’s office, which will determine if any prosecution is warranted.

READ MORE

Mayte Garcia Opens Up About Child She Lost With Prince: ‘I Don’t Think He Ever Got Over It’

In these kinds of joint investigations the agencies typically focus on doctors and pharmacies, according to the Times, to see if painkillers were “improperly or illegally distributed to an individual.” So far, the sheriff’s office has talked to people who were at Paisley Park that day and, as of February, the inquiry was still active. The bad news is that if Prince’s fentanyl came from the black market — which appears to be the case — it will be difficult, if not impossible to track down the source without a paper trail.

The two initial focuses of the probe were Dr. Michael Schulenberg — who treated Prince before his death and was at his home the day he died with some test results — and Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California opioid addiction specialist. Schulenberg had prescribed undisclosed medications to Prince and Kornfeld’s son, Andrew, arrived at Paisley Park after Prince died with a small dose of Suboxone, an anti-addiction agent used to revive overdose victims; he was reportedly not legally authorized to administer that treatment.

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Neither doctor, nor Andrew Kornfeld, appears to be the focus of the ongoing investigation according to the Times. Schulenberg — who left his job at the North Memorial Health Care in the days after Prince’s death — has not said what medication he prescribed for Prince and there’s no indication that investigators think it was an opiate. His lawyer told the paper that Schulenberg has “fully cooperated” with the investigation and has not been questioned further by police since his voluntary interview on Apr. 21, 2016.

Dr. Kornfeld continues to run a treatment center in California and his son is applying to medical schools, according to the paper.

“Prince’s death has raised the profile of the opioid crisis even further,” said Dr. Chris Johnson, chairman of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Opioid Prescribing Work Group. The singer’s demise came after fentanyl — which is as much as 50 times more powerful, and cheaper to produce than heroin and often disguised as more expensive prescription pain pills — had not been seen on the local black market in the Minneapolis area, but experienced a sudden surge around the time of his death.

In the meantime, the questions persist and the answers appear further away than before. To read the full Times story, click here.

Rihanna Receives Harvard University’s Humanitarian Award & Delivers Inspiring Speech: Watch

Souce: Billboards

2/28/2017 by 

As one of the world’s most famous female singers of today, Rihanna‘s contribution to the world has been plenty impactful in itself. But something fans may forget is how philanthropic the “Love on the Brain” singer is as well.

Because of Rihanna’s work in her native island of Barbados and the charities she has founded over the years, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations honored her with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award. In a ceremony held Tuesday (Feb. 28), Rihanna thanked the university for the honor and delivered an inspiring speech — but, of course, had to start off with a little pat on the back for her achievement.

“So I made it to Harvard,” Rihanna began as she jokingly flipped her hair. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”

As she continued, Rihanna explained that she has had a passion for helping people since she was a young girl watching commercials about how a quarter could help save a child’s life. “I would think to myself, ‘I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa.’ And I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up and I get rich, I’m gonna save kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in a position to do that by the time I was a teenager,” she laughed.

After touching on all of the organizations she has since started and helped with, Rihanna encouraged the students at the ceremony and everyone listening to join her in her selfless contributions.

“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.” She added, “What that little girl watching those commercials didn’t know is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian, you don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t have to be famous, you don’t even have to be college educated. But it starts with your neighbor… you just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.”

Watch Rihanna receive her humanitarian award and see her full speech below:

https://youtu.be/hbJvOXdtHLs

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“Salt” (Top Female Rapper )

 

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Cheryl R. James (born March 28, 1966) better known by her stage name “Salt” is an American rapper and actress. She is a member of the rap trio Salt-n-Pepa, which also includes Pepa (Sandra Denton) and Spinderella (Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper). Salt starred in The Salt-n-Pepa Show, a reality TV series focusing on reforming the group.

Career

 

 

Cheryl James and Sandra Denton formed Salt-n-Pepa in 1984, they were joined by Latoya Hanson in 1985 who was replaced by Deidra Roper joined in 1986. They released five studio albums: Hot, Cool & Vicious (1986),A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (1988), Blacks’ Magic (1990), Very Necessary (1993), andBrand New (1997). Salt also co-starred in the 1993 motion picture Who’s the Man? In 1997, she recorded the song “Stomp” with gospel artists Kirk Franklin and God’s Property for their album God’s Property, one of the best-selling albums in gospel music history. They were the first female rap act to have gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums, and the first female rap act to win a Grammy. The group disbanded in 2002 but reformed in 2008.

 

Salt appeared on VH1’s inaugural Hip Hop Honors program in November 2004, along with Pepa, but they did not perform. Salt, Pepa, and Spinderella, however, did perform on the second Hip Hop Honors on September 22, 2005, performing their hit “Whatta Man”. This was the trio’s first performance as Salt-N-Pepa since 1999. On October 23, 2008, Salt-N-Pepa performed “Shoop”, “Push It”, and “Whatta Man” at the 2008 BET Hip Hop Awards. In 2009, Salt was featured in the Generation Gospel Exclusive on 106 & Gospel.

 

Personal

 

Salt married her husband Gavin Wray on Christmas Eve 2000,  She and Wray have two children, a daughter and a son. They currently reside in New York City.   She was referenced in Tupac’s song “Keep Ya Head Up.”

 

In an interview Salt stated she considers herself a feminist “in a way,” emphasizing the need for women to avoid complete emotional and financial dependence on men. Songs like “Tramp” and “Shake Your Thang” by Salt-N-Pepa express these feminist themes of female autonomy.