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 honouring mum during Mother’s Day TV special

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Singer Mary J. Blige will pay tribute to her mum during a U.S. Mother’s Day TV special.

The No More Drama hitmaker has joined the Dear Mama: An Event to Honor Moms special, which will air on American network VH1 on 8 May (17) – six days before America celebrates Mother’s Day.

The TV special, which will air from Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California, will also feature actor Anthony Anderson, singer Robin Thicke, DJ Khaled, singer Maxwell, and TV personality and entrepreneur La La Anthony. Thicke will honour his actress mother Gloria Loring, while Khaled will pay tribute to his fiancee Nicole Tuck.

Ludacris and Kelly Rowland will also appear on the special, which is executive-produced by Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit.

Blige’s appearance will follow the release of her Strength of a Woman: An Album Documentary, which chronicles the making of her 13th studio album. The documentary, which airs on VH1 on Tuesday (02May17), will feature her opening up about her split from husband Martin ‘Kendu’ Issacs.

“I’m in the process of helping myself,” she says in a teaser clip for the documentary. “It’s not something that I wanted to do (getting divorced), but I had no choice. I’m not writing an album preaching to anyone about what they should do. I’m literally trying to heal myself through writing, through singing, through some kind of way of getting it out of my system.

“I had to do something other than what I would normally do. I had to get out of my environment, out of my comfort zone, take a long hard look at myself in order to embrace everything that was happening so I can love myself out of the whole thing and that’s how this album was originated.”

Mary filed for divorce in July (16), after 12 years of marriage.

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Mary J. Blige using music as therapy amid bitter divorce battle

Mary_J_Blige

Mary J. Blige has been using music as therapy amid her bitter divorce battle with estranged husband Kendu Isaacs.

The No More Drama hitmaker filed legal papers to end her 12-year marriage in July (16), and the former couple has been fighting over his request for almost $130,000 (£104,000)-a-month in spousal support ever since.

Mary has been regularly performing over the past few months, and will be returning to the stage next month (Apr17) on tour. And the 46-year-old revealed during an interview with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez that she has relished being able to turn to her music in difficult and stressful times.

“I needed to be somewhere other than home thinking about all of this foolishness, these lawyers and this and that,” she explained. “All of the stupidity. I needed to be somewhere that I could vent and express myself and use my music for my own therapy and get some energy back from the fans.”

Despite her battle with Kendu, Mary is determined not to let the situation get her down. Instead, she is attempting to continue reminding herself that she did the right thing by getting out of the marriage.

“I definitely feel empowered because I have to handle my own business now. I have to handle everything myself and I just feel like I escaped something really bad, something that could’ve been worse than what it is,” she sighed.

Mary and Kendu tied the knot in 2003. While Kendu had been married before, with two children from that relationship, it was the first marriage for Mary. And the singer insists it will also be the last, with the current stress having put her off walking down the aisle again in the future.

“Right now no, I would never get married again…It’s not for everybody, you lose yourself in it,” she mused. “You don’t even realise how much you’ve lost yourself. You lose your identity. You start living to please this man and want to be everything that he wants you to be…I was always desperate to be loved by a man that I felt like ‘Oh wow, this is him.’ My desperation got me tricked.”

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