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Makers Of CIROC Toast To New Partnership With The NBA

Shots of CÎROC are on deck after its parent company and the world's leading premium drinks business Diageo just announced their blockbuster partnership with the NBA. CÎROC Ultra Premium Vodka and the NBA celebrated their new multiyear marketing agreement and unveiled "The Toast of the NBA" campaign today (Nov. 20).

As part of their agreement, CIROC Ultra Premium, led by Sean "Diddy" Combs, will take the lead in pouring it up for responsible celebrations with NBA fans nationwide.

"I've been a fan of the NBA all my life and am excited to build a greater relationship for CIROC Vodka with this growing entertainment platform," said Sean "Diddy" Combs, who oversees all branding and marketing for CIROC. "Life is filled with moments of celebration and nothing brings people together in celebration quite like sports. With CIROC I hope to elevate these moments and help champion social responsibility among fans."

According to a press release, Combs and CIROC Vodka will work closely with the NBA throughout the season on and off the court to elevate key NBA lifestyle events such as NBA All-Star and the NBA Playoffs equipped with fun and engaging social media programming, consumer sweepstakes and activations that bring to life what Combs calls the 'Art of Celebration.' The NBA will also work with CIROC to produce a series of public service announcements, with videos showcasing NBA talents.

"Our new partnership with Diageo and CIROC Ultra Premium Vodka will elevate celebratory moments around our game and champion responsible decision making," said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships. "We look forward to working with a company like Diageo, which has a long history of finding fun and engaging ways to promote responsibility to adults around the world."

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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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H.E.R. Brings All-Star Medley To Tiny Desk Set

Grammy-nominated singer H.E.R. appeared on NPR's "Tiny Desk" set on Dec. 12, to deliver a 4-piece-medley from her last four projects.

Tucked neatly behind her dark sunglasses, the songstress began her set strapped to a mustard yellow guitar with a host of back-up musicians accompanying the 21-year-old on her first solo journey with "Tiny Desk." She previously appeared on the performance series in June 2018 alongside collaborator Daniel Caesar to bring their single "Best Part" to life.

The singer began with "Going (Interlude)," a low-tempo song ushering a heavy-hearted feel into the 18-minute-performance. Keeping with the melancholy vibes planted by the first single, Gabriella Wilson – best known by her three-letter-moniker –  delivered a stunning rendition of "Feel A Way." With two-final transitions, the singer-songwriter concluded her act with "Focus," a throw back from the 2017 EP that gained her worldwide recognition, H.E.R. Volume 1.

Switching from strings to keys, Wilson sat peacefully before a keyboard playing the melody she crafted for the crowd favorite. Chaperoning the performance to a close, Wilson and her background singers played a vocal game of tag as the band jazzed up the slow beats until the set officially wrapped.

Watch as H.E.R. rocks the "Tiny Desk" set in the video above.

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Frederick M. Brown / Stringer

Grammy-Winning Jazz Singer Nancy Wilson Passes Away

The world has gained another talented angel. Grammy-winning jazz singer and legend Nancy Wilson has sadly passed away. Wilson reportedly died peacefully in her home on Thursday (Dec. 13) after suffering from a long illness, her manager, Devra Hall Levy confirms.

While Wilson originally entered the music industry with a focus on R&B music, she later showcased her talent on jazz ballads. She made her debut in 1961 with the single "Guess Who I Saw Today." Her breakout hit came in 1964 on "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am," which hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also earned her her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. She would later win two more Grammys in 2005 and 2007.

In the 1990s, Wilson was cast as the host of NPR's "Jazz Profiles," a documentary series featuring jazz legends. She later retired in 2011, after nearly six decades in the performing business. She attributed her departure to wanting to spend time with her family. It is unclear what illness Wilson was suffering from at the time of her death.

John Legend was among the many artists who mourned the loss on social media Friday morning (Dec. 14). "So sad to hear about the passing of the great Nancy Wilson. She was a magical performer. I'm so glad I was able to spend time with her and hear her beautiful voice in person," he wrote.

Wilson is survived by her three children and five grandchildren. Per her request, there will be no funeral service. Her family will hold a celebration of life ceremony in Feb. 2019 instead.

So sad to hear about the passing of the great Nancy Wilson. She was a magical performer. I'm so glad I was able to spend time with her and hear her beautiful voice in person.

— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 14, 2018

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