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NBA Relocates 2017 All-Star Game Away From Charlotte Over Anti-LGBT Law

A big blow to Charlotte and all their fans. 

On Thursday (July 21), the NBA took a strong stance against the North Carolina's controversial LGBT law, which limits anti-discrimination protections in the state.

In a press release, the multi-million dollar business announced plans to move the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte to another city in a show of support for the LGBT community.

The NBA said in a statement:

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change.  We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league.  These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.

Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans.  While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

The new location for the 2017 All Star game has yet to be determined. ESPN reports New Orleans has emerged as a front-runner to host the game, while several other cities like Chicago and New York/Brooklyn are options as well. As of right now, the league is allowing Charlotte a second chance to host an All-Star game--in 2019. Of course, "provided there is an appropriate resolution to the matter" regarding the North Carolina House Bill 2.

The NBA has shown incredible support for the LGBT community in the past. Commissioner Adam Silver has been praised for his decision by sports critics. 2016 MVP Steph Curry also showed support, but a hint of disappointment that his hometown wouldn't host the All-Star game. "I knew how much that would have meant to the city to be able to host the greatest NBA guys and celebrate the game of basketball,' he said. "I know the league is in a position where they have to make a decision, and Adam Silver has made one, and we support that."

Carmelo Anthony also shared his thoughts on the decision with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. “Believe it or not, we’re always put in tough situations," he said. "Some things you can talk about, some things you can’t talk about. I think the NBA has to decide where that line is and when to cross it.“It’s a big decision for the NBA to pull it away from Charlotte. I guess we’ll see what happens from here now.”

The hit to the city is tremendous. Its usually a great way to enhance a cities' schools, health care, and roads. This was an event Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan worked hard to bring to the city. As necessary as it was, you have to feel for all the Hornets fans out there.

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From left to right, Kennedy Center Honor recipients Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson original members of Earth Wind and Fire photographed at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in Washington, D.C. on November, 16, 2019.
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Earth Wind And Fire Hint Towards Duets Album At Kennedy Center Honors

Earth Wind & Fire's music has stood the test of time and it seems like more tunes might be on the way. On Sunday (Dec 8), the iconic band was officially inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, making them the first African American group to receive the honor. The group's original members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White were in attendance at the 42nd annual event with the exception of the group's founder Maurice White, who died in 2016.

In addition to celebrating White's creation and the group's legacy, the remaining members hinted towards a new project. “We’re making a list, and checking it twice," Bailey told Billboard of a possible duets album. “And you’ll hear about it soon.” We can only imagine many artists would clamor for the opportunity. During the event, the group was treated to reworkings of their biggest hits by Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, the Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. The group has remained mum on the details of the album but were proud to celebrate their rich legacy and how proud White would be of the feat.

“You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it, so he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision,” Johnson told Billboard. “People are still coming together and having fun.” Since the release of their first album in 1971, the group has strongly influenced R&B, disco and soul. The biggest artists in the world have sampled the group including Jay Z, Drake, the late Mac Miller, Missy Elliot and Nas.

Next year will celebrate their 50 years in the industry with many more to go. The 42nd Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 8pm.

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Beyonce, Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo And Eddie Murphy Snag Golden Globes 2020 Nominations

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Entertainer and entrepreneur Beyoncé joins Erivo in the "Best Original Song - Motion Picture" category as their "Spirit" (The Lion King) and "Stand Up" (Harriet) singles go head to head. Speaking of The Lion King, the live-action film has also been nominated for the "Best Motion Picture - Animated" category. Billy Porter has been added to the "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama" ballot for his award-winning role in FX's Pose.

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Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2020 Golden Globes ceremony is set to take place at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, January 5 and air at 8 pm EST on NBC.

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Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, is crowned onstage by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on December 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi Wins Miss Universe Title

Celebrated as the third South African to take home the title, Zozibini Tunzi won 2019's Miss Universe pageant on Sunday evening (Dec. 8), which took place at Tyler Perry's Atlanta-based studio. Tunzi not only represented her country on the international stage, but she also adorned a gown created by Biji - La Maison de Couture. The company states the outfit was inspired by the Xhosa cultural group through its "style pattering in sequins."

On Instagram, the 26-year-old activist shared an inspirational message for girls across the globe to keep that fuel of confidence burning inside of them despite any obstacle they may face. "Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it," she wrote. "May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine."

Part of her platform is to eradicate her country of gender-based violence, E! News reports. Tunzi called for a series of pledges from her country's people to further support the nation's women. "It is my hope that these pledges will start, and continue a conversation around gender-based violence," she said. "We have to start the narration where right-thinking people act as role models for those who think it's okay to mistreat women."

In August, 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped and murdered by Luyanda Botha. The University of Cape Town student went to retrieve a package from a post office when the attack happened. According to BBC, Botha received life in prison.

 

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Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!

A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi) on Dec 8, 2019 at 10:25pm PST

 

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As Promised. South Africa the biggest pride was not only wearing your name across my heart but having a gown so perfectly designed by @biji_la_maison that represented my heritage on the biggest stage in the Universe. You gave me the strength and I felt and continue to feel the love from you...my beloved! Preliminaries ✅ Who’s ready for finals?🇿🇦👑🇿🇦 Ndiyabulela ngenkxaso yenu kwela qonga izolo. Ndiyayazi beninam 🇿🇦👑🇿🇦 #ProudlySouthAfrican #MissUniverse #MissSouthAfrica #xhosa

A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi) on Dec 7, 2019 at 4:23am PST

 

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This woman is just exceptional!!! @zozitunzi for @missuniverse 2019 We custom designed and made this Xhosa inspired gown for Zozi for the preliminary round of Miss Universe. The whole gown and outer layer of the cape is white velvet..... the inside of the cape reveals a typically Xhosa style patterning in sequins. We added some diamanté elements to the white to create a more glamorous vibe to this otherwise fairly classic design...... We just live for and love the drama❤️❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Biji - La Maison de Couture (@biji_la_maison) on Dec 7, 2019 at 5:02am PST

The two runner ups were Miss Mexico and Miss Puerto Rico. Watch Tunzi's achievement below.

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