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Ari Lennox, GoldLink Share Award Show Frustrations

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While some recipients of Soul Train awards are celebrating their Grammy nominations, others are reeling from being snubbed. Talented emerging rappers like Megan Thee Stallion and established songbirds like Solange were not among The Grammy’s 2020 hopefuls. The absence of groundbreaking ingénues and omission of experimental artists has left those spurned, and their fan bases, questioning the relevance of once esteemed honors.

After pouring her heart out at the disappointment of not receiving a coveted honor from the Soul Train Awards, Ari Lennox has hinted she could be quitting music altogether. Initially conveyed through a series of now-scrubbed tweets, the Shea Butter Baby songstress said “[Every time] I wrap my head around it I just can’t accept it.” Nominated for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Album/Mixtape of the Year, and Best Collaboration Performance, Lennox walked away from the 32nd annual Soul Train Awards empty handed and broken hearted. But she’s vowed “what I will not do is ever be this depressed again.”

Her heart set upon claiming the award for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Ari says her disappointment goes beyond losing the trophy. “It’s not just an award. It wasn’t any award show,” she pined. “It was the soul train awards. As you can see I’m [a] big fan of soul music and a huge fan of soul train history.” Gutted by the lack of recognition, Ari’s response has fans clamoring for understanding. After all, it isn’t often that we see an artist publicly distraught over losing at a Black awards show, but that’s a topic for another day. Despite the critical reception of Shea Butter Baby, Ari says she anticipated the cold shoulder, just not at the Soul Train Awards. Now radio silent across all her social media accounts, it’s implied she could feel the same about the 2020 Grammy nominations. On this subject, GoldLink shares her rage.

Loudly decrying the illustrious award show, GoldLink took to Instagram with a long caption to distance himself from the ceremony. “Honestly, its f**k the Grammys til the day I die,” he started. “I am no longer participating in that wild ass slave ass political ass cheating ass game any longer.” Disappointed in the selection of nominees, GoldLink called out The Grammys for a “lack of relevance”. Believing they are too far removed from the pulse of the music industry, he attacked the nomination review committees for omitting international Black artists and undercutting the value of Black art. With absolutely no female rap nominees on the ticket this year and eclectic compilations like The Gift and When I Get Home miscategorized or ignored, it’s easy to share his sentiments. Demanding The Grammys evolves to recognize the full spectrum of Black artistry, GoldLink offered pointed criticism citing the impact such neglect would have on future generations. Saying “WTF do you think these kids learn when you tell them [their] Black art isn’t good enough? Or isn’t noticed at all?” GoldLink took aim at their dated practices. He added “I’ve just gotten to a point after three years of being silent on this topic, that my value is much beyond what closed door establishments have been giving us.” Alluding to Ari’s snub, he chimed “Even how our peers are voting against us. I cannot partake.”

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R. Kelly Charged AGAIN

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Thursday prosecutors in New York charged embattled singer-songwriter R. Kelly with bribery, alleging the artist and his crew bribed a government official over 20 years ago. 

On August 30, 1994, the day before Kelly married the late Aaliyah, he bribed a public servant to doctor an ID in an effort to obtain a marriage license to the underage girl. That’s one day before the two got married. 

via GIPHY

Reminder: Kelly has always maintained he did not know Aaliyah’s true age at the time, but this new allegation could make him rethink his statement. So far, his attorneys have brushed off the charge calling it “still the same nonsense.”

The charge is being added to an ongoing racketeering case against Kelly which includes child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, and kidnapping indictments. 

Expect to see this all play out in federal court in 2020. Grab your popcorn.

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R. Kelly Girlfriend Denies Creating Patreon Account, Parents Respond

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In a video statement given to TMZ on Wednesday, Joycelyn Savage, 23, fiercely denied setting up a Patreon account in her name or posting a cryptic message to an Instagram account previously linked to her. 

“It has been said that I have left him and he has abused me and all kinds of nonsense. I have said before none of it is true… I also want to say please do not believe what you see and hear on social media. That is not my Instagram. Someone is impersonating me.”

Last week, Patreon, a website that helps creators earn money, shut down an account claiming to be Savage citing an inability to “verify the identity of the account holder.” Many donated to the campaign with the expectation of getting more details of the abuses alleged in the anonymous posts. According to the unauthenticated posts, R. Kelly tormented Savage with everything from physical abuse to frequent golden showers.

In response to their daughter’s scripted video, the parents spoke through their attorney. We’re saddened and disappointed to learn that Joycelyn Savage has said that she was not the person operating the Patreon account… we deeply desired to hear her story and in her own voice…”

Read the full statement below:

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A Complete Timeline of the Gabrielle Union-America’s Got Talent Saga

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In late November it was revealed that actress Gabrielle Union had been fired from her spot as a judge on the NBC show America’s Got Talent, but troubling reports of her exit have caused everyone from Janelle Monae to Howard Stern to weigh in on the controversy. Here’s a complete timeline of everything we know.

November 22, 2019 – Variety Magazine announces NBC will not renew Union’s contract

In addition to Union’s exit, it is revealed fellow judge Julianne Hough will also not be returning to the popular television show. Male judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Terry Crews all expected to remain on the roster.

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Quarter Finals 1” Episode 1412 — Pictured: (l-r) Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

November 24, 2019 – News of ‘toxic culture’ at AGT hits the internet

Sources with direct knowledge of the culture at AGT describe the now-infamous joke that put Union at odds with show producers. During a guest appearance, comedian Jay Leno joked that a picture of Simon Cowell with his dogs reminded him of something “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” The actress learned of the joke and explained to producers this joke would not be well-received particularly by Asian crewmembers and viewers. She reportedly urged producers and an unnamed NBC executive to scrap the offensive joke and report it to the network’s human resources department. The line was ultimately thrown out, but a formal report or complaint was never filed with HR.

SANTA MONICA, CA – JULY 11: Gabrielle Union attends Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Further reports emerged describing Union and Hough receiving “excessive notes” on their appearance, with Union in particular getting regularly coached on her hairstyles being “too black.”

November 26, 2019 – Julianne Hough and NBC deny allegations

Julianne Hough released a statement claiming she “loved working with the cast, crew, and producers and the claims are not “accurate to her experience.” She goes on to say “I am happy continuing my working relationship with NBC.”

The network echoed her statement with a vehement denial of all allegations. 

November 28, 2019 – Celebrities show support for Union

As the news of NBC’s culture made its waves, celebrities voiced their support for Union. Stars like Janelle Monae, Ellen Pompeo, and democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro, among many, voiced their opinions on the matter in favor of the ousted actress.

December 1, 2019 – Jay Leno speaks out, NBC releases new statement 

The comedian at the center of the alleged racist joke spoke of nothing but his fondness of Union. “I love Gabrielle Union, she’s a great girl. I really enjoyed working with her.” When asked whether he uttered the joke on the NBC show, he refused to answer. 

For its part, NBC released a new statement vowing commitment to “ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees.” The network also stated it is working with the actress’ representatives to hear her concerns and address them as necessary.

Credit: Courtesy of NBC

December 2, 2019 – Howard Stern gives his two cents

To add fuel to Union’s fire, Stern made very choice comments on his show seemingly backing up Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough and trashing Simon Cowell. “He sets it up so that the men stay. No matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are… He constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks.”

Phew! That was a lot to keep up with and somehow we have a feeling this drama isn’t over yet. Only time will tell how steep the fallout will be. What do you think about all this? Give us your thoughts below.

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