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A History of Beyonce's Relationship With Pepsi

Beyonce and Pepsi have staked their claims as household names as separate entities in their own rights, but something special happens every time they come together. With the news of Beyonce's latest $50 million Pepsi campaign, it is obvious that the two will only get bigger and better. With a decade-long relationship under their belt, the megastar and mega-brand setting their sights on an over-the top year in 2013.

As they gear up for their fifth TV spot and a slew of other power moves, let's take a look back at the history of Pepsi and Beyonce:

1. A New Pepsi Face (2002)
Ten years ago marked the end of a Pepsi era that featured the tycoon's then-most popular spokesperson to date: Britney Spears. Though the end of her deal would not completely remove Spears' affiliation with the brand, it opened the door for Beyonce Knowles' fresh face. In an effort to attract a more diverse audience, Beyonce inked a deal with Pepsi that would lead to her first Pepsi commercial, a musical spinoff of her first movie role in MTV's "Carmen: A Hip Hopera." At just 21 years old, Beyonce's first Pepsi commercial was featured in the Superbowl that year.

"Any artist would be excited to be a part of Pepsi. You see their commercials and they have so much quality," she said on the set. "I remember Michael Jackson’s commercial, I mean who doesn’t know that famous, extraordinary commercial and to think that I’m getting a chance to do this. I know that it’s gonna be perfect."

2. Crazy in Love (2003)
The launch of Bey's solo career was the beginning of what would eventually become the singer's worldwide takeover. Before her debut and first number one single, "Crazy in Love," rocked the top of the Billboard 100 for a whopping eight weeks, it became the soundtrack for her second Pepsi commercial. A visibly more mature Beyonce is featured in the commercial, leaving a gas station employee speechless as she sips a Pepsi can. It debuted during the first episode of Pepsi SMASH.

3. We Will Rock You- 2004
Pepsi and Beyonce have one thing in common: they go hard or go home. The brands 2004 campaign was the personification of this fact, as their lead commercial featured the return of Britney Spears, alongside Beyonce, P!nk and Enrique Iglesias for a "Gladiator" themed rendition of Queen's anthem "We Will Rock You." Sexy and and tough, the ad features the ladies taking on Iglesias from the lion's pit as they belt out the triumphant tune. Finish with a crash landing of a cooler full of Pepsi and what do you have? Solid commercial gold. The song was also featured as a single on the Pepsi Music 2004 CD.

4. Wild Things (2005)
Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez at the same damn time? Yes please. Always an advocate for girl power, Beyonce's 2005 Pepsi campaign took us back to her "Independent Women" video with Destiny's Child as her and J.Lo took on a mob full of men in a Pepsi bar. Complete with skin-tight leather catsuits and attitudes to match, the girls pulled martial arts stunts to a mix of "Wild Thing." And in an effort to include some eye candy for the ladies, the brand inluded British heartthrob David Beckham in the spot. But what happens when he tries to woo the girls with his charm? Swerve.

5. Big Business (2013)
With over ten years under Bey's belt with the brand, it is only right that Pepsi takes on a bigger role in their latest collaboration. A more detailed business deal that includes the singer's artistic freedom and the brand's endorsement of the promo for her next album, Beyonce and Pepsi have created a marketing machine. Along with her fifth commercial and sponsoring her upcoming Superbowl halftime show, the brand will also roll out print ads and a limited edition can featuring the singer's face. They are also gearing up to sponsor her 2013 world tour.

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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl Amid Criticism

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing  the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been on the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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Wendy Williams Postpones Show Return Due To “Complications” From Graves’ Disease

Wendy Williams is promising to get back to The Wendy Williams Show by the end of January, after delaying her return two previous times.

Williams announced another extended hiatus from her talk show as she continues recovering from a shoulder injury and recent “complications” brought on by Graves' disease, according to a statement posted to the show’s Instagram account Friday (Jan. 18).

“Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment,” reads the statement. “Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being.

“Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time.”

The statement included a message of support from Debmar-Mercury, the company that syndicates The Wendy Williams Show. “We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready.”

Williams will return with new episodes the week of Jan. 28.

 

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A Note from The Hunter Family As Wendy Williams Hunter previously shared, she fractured her shoulder and has been on the mend. Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment. Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being. Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time. Statement from Debmar-Mercury For over ten years, Wendy has been a vital part of the Debmar-Mercury family. We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready. The Wendy Williams Show will air repeat episodes the week of January 21st and will produce original episodes with a variety of hosts starting the week of January 28th.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:34am PST

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Former Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Sentenced For Killing Laquan McDonald

Former Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, could end up serving just over three years in prison for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months Friday (Jan. 18), and according to the Chicago Tribune , the former officer is eligible to receive credit for good behavior.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan had to decide between sentencing Van Dyke for second-degree murder or aggravated battery, the latter of which carried a mandatory minimum of six years in prison, the Tribune reports. Gaughan decided that it made more sense to sentence Van Dyke for murder, which makes him eligible for early release.

McDonald was shot to death in 2014. At the time, authorities claimed that the teen was behaving erratically while carrying a small knife. The police department waited 13 months to release video of the shooting. In the footage, McDonald is seen walking away from the cops as Van Dyke opens fire, shooting him 16 times. Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the CPD, was arrested and quickly released on bond the day that the video was made public. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and more than a dozen charges of aggravated battery last October.

Darren O'Brien, Van Dyke’s lawyer, pushed for sentencing “leniency,” due in part to his client’s clean criminal record. Depicting O’Brien as the victim, Van Dyke stated that his client feared for his life when he killed McDonald.

“He didn’t start the confrontation,” O’Brien said. “He reacted to what Mr. McDonald did..Everything that happened was set in motion by Mr. McDonald.”

Gaughan called the court case a tragedy for families from both parties. “It’s just so senseless that these acts occur because you can see the pain on both sides. This is a tragedy for both sides."

Van Dyke's sentence came a day after a Cook County judge acquitted three CPD officers charged with covering up the shooting.

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