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The Curious Case Of Britney Spears: 5 Reasons Why The Princess of Pop Rules

Dissecting the unstoppable force that is Britney Spears is a complex and daunting task. Throughout her nearly 15-year career, there have been superior talents and performers (Christina Aguilera, Pink and Beyonce can easily sing the thin-voiced Spears under the table); cooler trend setters (stylish it-girl Rihanna); and more dynamic artists (The piano-tinkling Lady Gaga and the bubbly Katy Perry frequently write their own material, a skill set that Spears has yet to fully master).

Indeed, despite such modest talent, a litany of scandals, and changing musical tastes, Britney’s fame and influence towers over them all to the tune of over 100 million records sold worldwide.

This makes the eighth best-selling female music artist’s ongoing world-beating success all the more intriguing. If you were a betting individual in 2007, the sure money would have been on Britney becoming a cautionary pop music casualty. During that epic meltdown of a year, America’s Louisiana-born Sweetheart (way before Kanye West transformed future country megastar Taylor Swift into a modern day Joan of Ark) checked into a drug rehabilitation center; shaved her hair completely bald; physically threatened paparazzi with an umbrella; lost physical custody of her children to freeloading ex-husband Kevin Federline due to what was reported as mental instability; and was universally panned following an embarrassing zombie-like performance on the MTV Video Music Awards.

By January of 2008, the wheels had completely fallen off for the former teen-idol who once led the frenzied pop revival a decade earlier with her mammoth 1997 debut …Baby One More Time—an album that went on to amass 25 million copies across the globe. For her troubles, Britney was placed under involuntary psychiatric hold as the courts gave her father James Spears complete conservatorship over his troubled daughter.

Such a devastating freefall would have put a swift end to the careers of most mere music mortals. But just as everyone was scrambling to write her epitaph, the troubled singer was enjoying some of the most jubilant reviews of her roller coaster time in the spotlight with her fifth studio release Blackout. Rolling Stone gave the project a gaudy four-star rating, later calling the set, “Possibly the most influential pop album of the last five years.” The Observer proclaimed, “Britney has delivered the best album of her career.” Other glowing reviews followed as Blackout would go on to push over 3 million units, an astonishing feat for an act who had become a tabloid wet dream.

Following 2008’s acclaimed follow-up Circus and a $131 million grossing tour in 2009, it’s clear that the world’s endearing and somewhat strange love affair with Britney won’t be ending anytime soon. Her latest single, the tongue-wagging techno-pop romp “Hold It Against Me,” has shot to no. 1 on the Billboard charts. And her upcoming release Femme Fatale, due out March 29, is already breaking records, as it recently landed in the all-time top 10 on Twitter’s longest running trending topics. Not to mention the news is still swirling on whether or not blondie will be performing at this year's Grammy Awards come Sunday (Her reps have shot down the idea...but with Brit-Brit, you never know.)

So how does she do it? VIBE rounded up PopEater’s John Mitchell, Newsday’s Risa Dixon, pop and R&B songwriter/artist Keri Hilson and influential celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to find out why the controversial Spears continues to win. It’s Britney, bitches.--Keith Murphy

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Rapper Tay-K 47, whose given name is Taymor McIntyre, is on trial for the capital murder of Ethan Walker during a botched home invasion. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, but not guilty to the capital murder charge.
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Tay-K Facing Up To 99 Years In Prison After Being Found Guilty Of Murder

A Texas jury found Tay-K guilty of murder and three counts of aggravated robbery Friday (July 19) in connection with a 2016 home invasion that left one man dead and another injured. According to The Star-Telegram, jurors deliberated for around four hours before returning a verdict.

The 19-year-old rapper, born Taymor McIntyre, is facing five to 99 years in prison but avoided a capitol murder conviction which would have ended in automatic life in prison. The jury will likely return a sentence Monday (July 22).

During a court hearing earlier in the week, Tay-K pleaded not guilty to the murder of 21-year-old, Ethan Walker, and guilty to aggravated robbery charges in relation to injuring two other victims. “The Race” rapper, who went on the run after the incident, is one of seven people charged in the fatal robbery. Tay-K's lawyers argued that the gun that killed Walker, was fired by his accomplice, Latharian Merritt. Prosecutors argued against the notion that Tay-K had no involvement in the fatal robbery as he was armed at the time.

He also stands accused of robbing and killing a 23-year-old man at a Chick-fil-A, as well a attacking and robbing a 65-year-old man while on the run from authorities in 2017.

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Nicki Minaj Links With DaBaby For “Suge” Remix

Nicki Minaj took over DJ Felly Fell’s show on L.A.’s Power 106 radio station Friday (July 19) where she premiered the remix to DaBaby's “Suge” single.

“Ya’ll already know I’m back on my bull! We got a lot more in the motherf**kin’ chamber,” said Minaj.

The “Megatron” rapper  also sent a shout out to Da Baby. “I just think he’s super dope and he actually spits actual bars.”

Prior to the song premiere, Minaj shared her first public statement on the death of Nipsey Hussle. The Queens native explained that she wasn’t on the internet at the time of Hussle’s murder, but wanted to send condolences to Lauren London, and the rest of his family.

“When he passed I didn’t get a chance to be online at that time,” Minaj told Power 106's DJ Carisma. “Lauren London happens to be somebody that I adore. I felt like my heart ripped out when I heard [that he was killed]. I just wanted to finally send my condolences to his family and his fans.”

Earlier in the interview, Minaj sent love to her fans in Saudi Arabia after canceling her appearance at the Jedah World Festival over the country’s treatment of women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Minaj added that she turned down $1.5 million by pulling out of the performance. She also confirmed that she will be heading out on tour after the release of her upcoming new album.

Listen to Minaj and DaBaby on the “Suge” remix below.

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Ayesha Curry and Stephen Curry are seen at the launch of Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation on July 18, 2019 in Oakland, California.
Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Eat. Learn. Play.

Stephen And Ayesha Curry Launch Eat. Learn. Play Foundation In Oakland

Steph and Ayesha Curry announced their charity foundation, Eat. Learn. Play. this week with a mission to help end childhood hunger, ensure a sustainable way to access quality education and encourage healthy active lifestyles.

Prioritizing its mission in the Oakland and Bay Area communities, the non-profit is rooted in what makes for healthy childhood nutrition, education, and physical activity, as stated in a press release.

"Children are our future and we are deeply dedicated to empowering them and opening doors for their futures," said Stephen and Ayesha Curry. "This organization is all about instilling ongoing tangible change for underprivileged children growing up in the Bay Area and beyond. As parents, we see a multitude of unique opportunities our kids have access to, and our hope is that Eat. Learn. Play. and the critical fundamental development tools it provides will positively impact children in our community to live out their dreams."

A family-friendly inaugural event kicked off the launch of the organization on Thursday (July 18) and invited over 900 children from  Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development's Town Camps, an early major partner of the foundation.

Additional key partnerships included the Golden State Warriors, Kaiser Permanente, Under Armour, Chase, GoDaddy, Rakuten, PGA, REACH, Back to the Roots, Revolution Foods, Google and USTA.

See some tweets and Instagram posts from the event.

Celebrating the launch of @StephenCurry30 & @ayeshacurry’s foundation @eatlearnplay 🗣 pic.twitter.com/uMXfrBWNBx

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 18, 2019

 

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@stephencurry30 and @ayeshacurry jumped in to every station with the kids and tried to keep up! For an entire afternoon the Currys enjoyed healthy activities that brought their vision for @eatlearnplay to life. #eatlearnplay

A post shared by Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation (@eatlearnplay) on Jul 18, 2019 at 5:29pm PDT

Almost 800 kids in Oakland are getting pumped for the kickoff of @StephenCurry30 & @ayeshacurry’s @eatlearnplay kickoff! @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/QGV5cCWcG7

— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) July 18, 2019

 

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@stephencurry30 and @ayeshacurry weren't satisfied with only having a few kids walk away with a special gift, so Ayesha stepped up and said if she could dunk Stephen ALL 966 Oakland campers would receive a brand new pair of @underarmour sneakers for back to school. She brought in some extra help to make it happen! 💦#eatlearnplay⁣ ⁣ 🎥: @dionlimtv

A post shared by Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation (@eatlearnplay) on Jul 18, 2019 at 8:23pm PDT

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