Nicki Minaj brushes off Nas romance rumours

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

Featuring: Nicki Minaj
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 29 Aug 2016
Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

2016 MTV Video Music Awards – Red Carpet Arrivals Featuring: Nicki Minaj
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 29 Aug 2016
Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Nicki Minaj has played down rumours she is dating fellow rapper Nas after sharing a photo of the pair enjoying dinner at his new Los Angeles restaurant.

The Anaconda hitmaker, real name Onika Maraj, took to Instagram on Tuesday night (09May17) to post a snap of the two sitting side by side at Nas’ fried chicken eatery Sweet Chick.

“Only KINGS recognize QUEENS,” she captioned the image, in which they both pose with their eyes closed, while Nas appears to nuzzle Nicki’s hair as he wraps his arm around her shoulders. They also rocked the same diamond-studded chain.

“@sweetchicklife has the best food,” she added. “congrats @nas”.

The One Mic MC shared the same photo on his Twitter account, and wrote, “Straight Outta Queens!”, giving a shout out to their shared home city of Queens, New York.

Fans immediately began speculating about a possible romance after the cosy picture appeared online, and devotees even coined a new nickname for the rumoured couple, with “#NasNika” becoming a trending topic on Twitter.

However, Nicki, who split from rapper Meek Mill in December (16), seems to be brushing off the new gossip.

One fan grabbed the star’s attention after sending a screenshot of Wednesday’s (10May17) hot topics to Nicki: “Trending # (number) 4 now on the charts @NICKIMINAJ yessss (sic),” wrote the follower, prompting the 34-year-old to repost the image and respond, “y’all so d**n silly (sic)”.

Nas has yet to comment on the dating speculation. He became an investor in chef John Seymour’s Sweet Chick chain in 2015, and helped owners secure funding to expand outside of their two New York City locations. The Los Angeles branch launched last month (Apr17).

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Mary J. Blige won’t trust anyone else with her career

Mary J. Blige	© Brian To/WENN.com

Mary J. Blige © Brian To/WENN.com

Mary J. Blige has learnt not to trust anyone else with her career after receiving public backlash over past decisions.

The singer is back to her best with 13th studio album Strength of a Woman, which she released last month (Apr17), and with a fresh start has come a new perspective on her fame.

Discussing how she overcame various professional problems over the years, such as her 2012 Burger King advert being deemed racist, she told the Los Angeles Times: “You know, it all boils down to me taking responsibility for my own career and not trusting people with it. Or making decisions for me. I didn’t know the Burger King commercial was going to turn into, ‘She’s singing about chicken.’

“I’d never seen so much hatred come from a career mistake. Then right after that it was the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN) fraud and all the (stuff) that went down with that. It had nothing to do with me, but my name is on everything. Taxes, this and that. It was one thing after the next. It was all so negative.”

Mary’s charity, which she set up with businessman Steve Stoute, was hit with several lawsuits in 2012 and accused of various offences such as withholding loan repayments. While it was a difficult period for the Family Affair singer she saw it as a “wake-up call” to look after herself more, especially as her marriage to her manager Martin ‘Kendu’ Isaacs was also in a bad way. Mary filed for divorce in July 2016. Her estranged husband is demanding Mary J. Blige’s estranged husband is demanding $130,000 (£100,542) in monthly spousal support.

“Everybody was scattering, including (my husband/manager), and left me by myself,” she recalled of the events that took place five years ago. “That let me know, ‘OK, I’ve got to really learn how to take care of Mary.’”

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Mary J. Blige: ‘I’ve survived hell’

Mary J. Blige	© Brian To/WENN.com

Mary J. Blige © Brian To/WENN.com

Singer Mary J. Blige has documented her marital “hell” in songs on her new album Strength of a Woman.

The R&B hitmaker filed for divorce from estranged husband Martin ‘Kendu’ Isaacs in July (16), and she admits she came up with the title for the new release while she was fighting to save her 12-year marriage.

“I was a strong woman who had survived a bunch of B.S. (bulls**t), who was fighting for her marriage that was in danger, nobody knew but me, that’s where the title came from,” she tells U.S. news show Extra. “Me living through my trials… I was going through hell, my business was all over the TV… I was just very, very alone in that time.

“I survived that time by learning how to love myself and pulling myself out of everything, so the title, Strength of a Woman, came from me understanding my strength as a woman, not from this divorce, the divorce stuff came later.”

Mary’s nasty split with Kendu has grabbed the headlines again this week (ends05May17), after she accused him of having an affair with her protegee, singer Starshell, during VH1 network documentary The Making Of: Strength Of A Woman, which aired in the U.S. on Tuesday (02May17).

The singer says the cheating drama has been chronicled in a few new tracks, noting, “The songs you hear, like Set Me Free, that’s from the situation.”

Mary admits she is still struggling to come to terms with the pain of divorcing Kendu, but she hopes that by being honest about what she is going through on her new album, she will help others suffering through similar experiences.

“(I don’t feel completely free) because I’m not through this divorce yet… but I feel free as a spirit because I took my life back and I’m moving forward with that,” she shares. “I hope it (my new album) uplifts them (fans). It’s OK to not be OK. Sometimes to get through what you need to get through, but don’t stay there too long – there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Social media reacts to Serena Williams pregnancy

Just 12 weeks after winning her record 23rd Grand Slam, the World number two Tennis star Serena Williams posted a picture of herself captioned “20 weeks” and her publicist Kelly Bush Novak made an official announcement.

“I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall,” the publicist said in a statement.

Image: Anele Mdoda Instagram

Image: Anele Mdoda Instagram

Don Cheadle questions Kendrick Lamar for DNA video

Kendrick Lamar	© WENN.com

Kendrick Lamar © WENN.com

Rapper Kendrick Lamar has recruited actor Don Cheadle to portray a police detective in the video for his new single DNA.

The hip-hop hitmaker debuted the promo online on Tuesday (18Apr17), two days after performing the material live for the first time at California’s Coachella festival, and in the footage, the two stars go at one another as Kendrick is held in a police interrogation room, handcuffed to the table.

“Kendrick Lamar,” Don states, in character, as he walks into the room. “Two first names. What the f**k is up with that?”

“You know what DNA stands for? Dead N**ga Association!” he quips, before taking a seat at the table to put Kendrick through a lie detector test.

However, Don is electrocuted when he moves to turn the machine on, and he soon begins spitting Kendrick’s lyrics, trading verses with the MC, who celebrates his black heritage and culture on the track.

The song and accompanying video was directed by Nabil and Little Homies, the alias Kendrick uses for his work with collaborator Dave Free.

It also features snippets of criticism from conservative news broadcaster Geraldo Rivera, who blasted Lamar’s performance of Alright at the 2015 BET Awards, where he stood on top of a vandalised cop car to highlight the struggles of his fellow African-Americans in light of a string of police brutality cases across the U.S. at the time of the prizegiving.

Fox News anchor Rivera claimed the set sent the “wrong message” to young fans about authorities, remarks Kendrick took issue with, subsequently questioning Rivera’s logic, telling TMZ, “How can you take a song that’s about hope and turn it into hatred? The overall message is ‘We gonna be alright…’ Hip-hop is not the problem…”

DNA isn’t the only track on Kendrick’s new album DAMN. to feature Rivera’s on air criticism – the news clip also featured at the end of the opening track BLOOD, while the Poetic Justice rapper addresses U.S. network bosses and Geraldo directly on the third tune, YAH.

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Rapper T.I.: ‘Marriage is a distraction’

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

Rapper T.I. has silenced reconciliation rumours with his estranged wife Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle after declaring marriage a distraction.

The Live Your Life hitmaker and his spouse of six years separated in December (16), when she filed for divorce. The former couple has spent ample time together since the break-up, prompting rumours the divorce was on hold, but the hip hop star has denied they’re looking to get back together.

“There is no beef, we good, we straight,” he explained during an interview with New York radio station Power 105 on Tuesday (11Apr17). “Everybody else (is) the one that got the problem. We see each other. We speak, we talk. We spend time together. We good. She’s still one of the best friends I have in the world. I can just be a better best friend than a husband.”

T.I., real name Clifford Harris, admitted his focus on work made him forget about the romance at home, and in light of his split, he’s not sure he’ll ever wed again.

“Ultimately man, I’m on a mission,” the hip hop heavyweight declared. “I’m striving to take my family, its name and our legacy as far and high as it can possibly go. And in my life there will be two different things. There will be people, places and things that help me get there. And there will be people, places and things that distract and deter me from getting there.

“It seems to me that marriage and what marriage means and what marriage does – it’s just one of those things that’s going to distract and deter me. I just have a purpose and I don’t always have the time to do the thoughtful, considerate things that a husband should do.”

T.I. and Tiny, who first began dating in 2001, share three biological children together and he is also stepfather to his estranged wife’s eldest daughter Zonnique Pullins from a prior romance. The rapper is also dad to three other kids from previous relationships.

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Mariah Carey putting ‘heart and soul’ into new album after renewing partnership with Epic

Mariah Carey seen flashing off ample cleavage as she steps out in London to perform at a wedding at the Landmark Hotel. Mariah was seen wearing a very low cut top showing off her cleavage as she was pictured arriving back to her hotel.

Featuring: Mariah Carey
Where: London, United Kingdom
When: 15 Jan 2017
Credit: WENN.com

Mariah Carey seen flashing off ample cleavage as she steps out in London to perform at a wedding at the Landmark Hotel. Mariah was seen wearing a very low cut top showing off her cleavage as she was pictured arriving back to her hotel. Featuring: Mariah Carey
Where: London, United Kingdom
When: 15 Jan 2017
Credit: WENN.com

Mariah Carey has promised to drop a new album in 2017 after committing to a new deal with Epic Records.

Mariah’s Butterfly MC Records first inked a deal with the Sony Music Entertainment label run by L.A. Reid in 2015, but rumours began to swirl earlier this year (17) that the partnership was in trouble.

The superstar has now put gossip she was on the verge of being dropped to bed, by forging ahead with a fresh contract with Epic, which includes a new album due out before the year end.

“I am putting my heart and soul into making more new music. I am so thrilled for this next chapter and to continue working with, and for, everyone that I love,” Mariah said in a statement, reports Variety.

Reid also shared his joy at the renewed partnership. The music mogul had previously worked with the singer on her 2005 hit album The Emancipation of Mimi, when they were both at Universal.

“To continue working with Mariah Carey at Epic has been another rewarding chapter of my career.” he stated. “Mariah’s incomparable talents as a singer, with her vocal range that is nothing short of legendary, are matched by her brilliance as a songwriter, producer, and performer par excellence. Mariah’s chart records have established her enduring place in music history, a position that is cherished and supported by her loyal fans worldwide. I look forward to building upon all of Mariah’s success for years to come.”

Mariah’s most recent album, 2014’s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, only managed to hit the top spot in America’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, but failed to repeat her previous chart success elsewhere.

She’s also had a string of well-publicised difficulties in recent months, including a failed engagement to billionaire businessman James Packer, a widely-ridiculed reality TV series and a disastrous performance when her appearance at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was hit with technical troubles.

On Monday (10Apr17) it was reported by several news outlets that she’d split with her toy boy lover Bryan Tanaka.

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