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Backtracking: Beyoncé’s ‘Dangerously In Love’ Turns 10

Beyoncé has never been short on ambition or self-belief. By 2003, the future Mrs. Carter had pretty much done it all. Destiny’s Child was a global phenomenon and her position as the unacknowledged-but-obvious centerpiece of the group had brought money, fame and even a budding movie career. But the 21-year-old sensed she had a higher calling and set about making the oft-tried, rarely successful transition to solo stardom. To say Bey achieved her goal is something of an understatement. Dangerously In Love sold 11 million copies worldwide, produced four top 10 hits — including two chart-toppers — and garnered five Grammy Awards. Beyoncé was not just a viable solo star but the new Queen of R&B and arguably the hottest female artist on the planet.

For such an influential and important album, Dangerously In Love was greeted with palpable disdain from many critics upon release. Rolling Stone praised the uptempo songs but dismissed the ballads, declaring: “Beyonce isn’t in a class with the likes of Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey as a singer.” The LA Times described her voice as “tiresome” and lamented her “diva acrobatics”, while The New York Times went a step further — calling Billboard‘s Millennium Award recipient “no Ashanti“. The general consensus was that Bey’s debut tried too hard to please everybody to the project’s overall detriment.

There is an element of truth to that. Dangerously In Love is the triple threat’s least cohesive offering but much of the album’s considerable charm stems from its eclectic nature. In many ways, it lays the blueprint for I Am… Sasha Fierce by dabbling in commercial pop and soulful R&B — the only difference being that the genres aren’t clearly delineated here, which could explain some of the initial confusion. I also believe critics misinterpreted Beyoncé’s ambition as a lack of focus. She wasn’t so much pandering to all-comers as trying to show what she could do. And she can do a lot. Really, really well.

Read the full breakdown here.

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Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Takes Step To Appeal Murder Conviction: Report

Amber Guyger is taking preliminary steps to appeal her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean.

An attorney for the former Dallas police officer filed an intent to appeal her first-degree murder conviction and 10-year prison sentence, nearly two weeks after the verdict was handed down. Though the filing was publicized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Guyger’s lawyer, Michael Mowla, reportedly filed on Oct. 16.

It’s unclear what Guyger will use as grounds for a potential appeal.

Earlier in the month, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guyger shot and killed Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, in his home last year. Guyger maintained that she walked into Jean’s apartment thinking it was her unit, and subsequently killed the unarmed accountant out of fear that he was an introducer.

Her reported notice of appeal comes amid legal strife involving Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, and trial Judge Tammy Kemp. Creuzot, who is facing contempt charges for doing an interview that aired the night before Guyger's trial began, requested that Kemp be removed from  his case. Meanwhile, Kemp has come under fire after she hugged Guyger in court, and handed her a Bible. Kemp defended her actions, noting that Guyger asked for a hug after the sentencing phase was over. Kemp wasn’t alone in embracing Guyger, Jean’s brother hugged her as well.

A hearing in the contempt case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

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Kanye West Will Preview ‘Jesus Is King,’ And IMAX Film At Los Angeles Event

After previewing his album in New York, Detroit, Chicago and taking Sunday Service to Jamaica this past weekend, Kanye West will bring his traveling musical sermon back to Los Angeles for a special listening session and film screening.

West is expected to preview his forthcoming Jesus Is King album and accompanying IMAX film, at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Wednesday (Oct. 23). The Nick Knight-directed documentary, which was shot over the summer, brings the Chicago native’s “famed Sunday Service to life in the Roden Crater,” artist James Turrell's  never-before-seen installation created in Arizona's Painted Desert.

Tickets for the Jesus is King Album & Film Experience are free to the public, and will be released on a first come, first serve basis, at 10 a.m. PST via Ticketmaster. Fans who pre-ordered Jesus Is King scored early access to tickets to the event on Tuesday.

West’s forthcoming release is a follow-up to 2018’s ye album, and marks the Grammy winner’s first LP to be dedicated to gospel music, but apparently not his last. West has reportedly shunned secular rap music, in lieu of gospel.

Jesus Is King is slated to drop on Oct. 25.

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Roy Rochlin

Future To Honor Atlanta Senior Citizens At 8th Annual Golden Wishes Gala

In the coming weeks, Future will use his FreeWishes Foundation to honor senior citizens in his hometown of Atlanta.

The Golden Wishes Gala, now in its eighth year, "celebrates seniors and their impactful lifelong contributions to the community," according to a press release. The event has grown from 45 guests at the YMCA to more than 750 guests at Georgia Aquarium. Seniors aged 62 and up are all welcome with an ID and RSVP.

Future founded FreeWishes along with his mother Stephanie Jester and his sister Tia Wilburn-Anderson to "deliver a message of hope, perseverance and resilience to our community by lending support and making dreams come alive." Along with the annual gala, FreeWishes served more than 700 seniors from Metro Atlanta for the FreeWishes Senior Fitness Day, and presented scholarships at each stop of Future's Legendary Nights Tour earlier this year.

Visit FreeWishes.org to register for the gala, or email [email protected] for sponsorships and donations.

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