Aretha Franklin performing at Radio City Music Hall

Aretha Franklin Taps Andre 3000 For Covers Album

Earlier this year, Aretha Franklin revealed that she would be working with R&B veteran Babyface to produce a new covers album. Now, the Queen of Soul has recruited Andre 3000 for the musical venture.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to be fun working with Andre 3000, just watching his videos and things," Franklin tells Billboard.

3 Stacks' involvement comes after producer Don Was was unable to complete the project due to scheduling. Franklin's forthcoming LP will showcase her take on popular hits, ranging from Donna Summer's "Last Dance" to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep."

"(The originals) are classic versions and we're certainly aware of that, and we're going to do them justice," Franklin said. "You won't be disappointed; we're going to give you exactly what you're expecting and what you're not expecting."

Read the full interview here.

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Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Spending 23 Years In Prison

A Kansas man, who spent more than half of his life in prison for a wrongful conviction, was awarded a $1.5 million settlement on Monday (Feb. 24). Lamonte McIntyre sued the state last year under a newly-implemented wrongful conviction statute.

“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man. That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried,” McIntyre’s lawyer, Cheryl A. Pilate, told CNN on Monday.

The settlement includes counseling, access to state-funded healthcare benefits for 2020 and 2021, and a tuition waiver to cover his post-secondary education up to 130 credit hours.

McIntyre was wrongly convicted in the 1994 murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He was just 17 years old at the time and served 8,583 days in prison before being released in 2017 at age 41.

“We are committed to faithfully administering the state’s mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings. We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.”

McIntyre is the third wrongfully convicted man in Kansas to be awarded a settlement after suing the state under the wrongful conviction law, which was enacted in 2018. Three additional lawsuits remain pending in “various stages of litigation.”

Since his release, the McIntyre has completed barber school and founded Miracle of Innocence, a non-profit organization helping the wrongfully convicted. McIntyre attends Penn Valley Metropolitan Community College where he is pursuing a business degree.

“I feel like a new person, I feel like I’m actually starting my life now,” he told ABC news affiliate KMBC.

See more on McIntyre’s story in the video above.

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Eric Michael Roy

Snoop Dogg Addresses Gayle King Comments On ‘Red Table Talk’

Snoop Dogg visited Red Table Talk to address his comments against Gayle King. In the episode, which aired on Wednesday (Feb. 26), the Doggfather explained his social media fury against King for bringing up Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations in an interview days after the his death.

“I let my emotions get the best of me,” Snoop confessed to hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I was frustrated on top of just venting.”

“I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe, but be respectful of Vanessa [Bryant] and those kids. That’s what the whole intent was, to protect that woman and them babies over there because they are still grieving. Let’s give them some respect.”

Tyler Perry, Diddy, and Van Jones reached out to Uncle Snoop after he posted the blistering video calling King out of her name. “They didn’t bash me, they was just like ‘brother, we got your back if you need ‘anything’, but we think that you shouldn’t have said it.”

Snoop also received a phone call from his mother who checked him for his words about King. After the talk, he reached out to King privately before recording a public apology. Red Table Talk also reached out to King to invite her to appear on the show.

Nothing but love 🙏🏾🌹✨ tune in to @RedTableTalk today https://t.co/Ev7XsZQu7f pic.twitter.com/myEUwMLIO1

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) February 26, 2020

Elsewhere in the interview, Snoop discussed the grief that he endured leading up to the deaths of Kobe and his daughter, Gigi, including the murder of Nipsey Hussle and the sudden death of his newborn grandson.

Click here to watch the full episode of Red Table Talk.

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65 Years After Emmett Till’s Murder, Congress Finally Makes Lynching A Federal Hate Crime

Congress has finally made lynching a federal hate crime punishable by life in prison, 65 years after the lynching murder of Emmett Till, whom the bill was named after. The measure was approved on Wednesday (Feb. 26) in a 410 to 4 vote.

The passing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Bush (D-Ill.), ends more than a century of failed efforts to pass anti-lynching legislation. The bill was first introduced in 1900 by Rep. George Henry White, who was the sole Black member of Congress at the time. The Senate unanimously approved the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act in 2018.

“Today is a historic day for this U.S. House of Representatives, this Congress, and the American people,” Bush said in a statement. “Being from Chicago, the death of Emmet Till sent shockwaves through my community and personally affected me and my family. However, his death would not be in vain, for it was the spark that ignited the long arc of the civil right movement, leading us to this very moment.”

Till was viciously murdered on Aug. 28, 1955. The 14-year-old Chicago native was visiting family in Mississippi when he was abducted and killed by two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, after being accused of flirting with Bryant's wife, Carolyn, who admitted to lying about the story decades after Till's murder. The men tied the teen up, brutality beat him and threw his body in a river. After being acquitted by an all white jury, Roy and Milam admitted to murdering in a 1956 interview.

“With the passage of the bill we correct a historical injustice, based on a lie, that took the life of this young man,” added Bush. “We also bring justice to the over 4000 victims of lynching, most of them African-American, who have had their lives tragically, and horrifically cut short at the hands of racist mobs and hate-filled hordes. After 120 years, and 200 failed attempts, the House finally positions itself on the right side of history, outlawing the heinous act of lynching once and for all.”

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