Alicia Keys Performs On NBC's "Today"
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Alicia Keys' 'Black Ball' Will Host Performances By Salt-N-Pepa, Chance The Rapper And More

Alicia Keys' annual Black Ball event returns for its thirteenth year

Alicia Keys' annual Black Ball event returns for its thirteenth year, and the performers that'll join in the concert for a cause were recently announced this week.

Patti Smith, Salt-N-Pepa, A$AP Rocky and Chance The Rapper will hit the stage. The ceremony will also honor the legendary Clive Davis, and attendees will experience a performance by A. Keys herself.

The theme of this year's event will seek to "reignite the spirit of the 80's activism to end AIDS," the site reads. The Hammerstein Ballroom will also serve as the space for the charitable event.

In case you can't make it to the Black Ball in person, the festivities will also stream live on Oct. 19 on Tidal.

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TC Carson Reveals He Was Fired From ‘Living Single’ For Voicing Frustrations

T.C. Carson sat down with Comedy Hype for an extensive interview where he revealed that he was fired from Living Single for speaking out on behalf of the cast, and subsequently “blackballed” from Hollywood.

According to Carson, the cast had “various” issues with the show -- from the way that they were treated, to the script, and others things that occurred during the five-season run.

“There were times when we had issues on the show and we would come to them as a cast but I would be the spokesperson for it,” Carson recalled. “That last season before I left, they called me in and they basically said 'All these problems that we’ve been having they [the cast] listen to you…so if you said something else, then they would do that.’

“I said, ‘Well first of all, we’re dealing with five grown people and they have their own minds and their own ideas about what we’re doing,” Carson continued. “Everything we come to you with is a group decision, but if you think I have that much power then I need to have a different job,’ and I don’t think they liked that.”

At the start of the final season, Carson’s character (Kyle Barker) was shipped off to London, raising his suspicions about potentially getting fired, but he was assured that he wouldn’t be let from the show. After the episode aired, Carson says he got a call from his lawyer telling him that he was fired from the show. “It wasn’t that I got fired, it was the way it was done.”

Carson also mentioned the treatment that the cast endured compared to the cast of Friends, which debuted after Living Single and used the same concept, except with white actors. Both sitcoms were filmed on the same lot at Warner Bros.

After getting fired, Carson went on an audition where he learned from a Black casting director that his former Living Single bosses spread false rumors about him. “He said, ‘I heard you were difficult, that you came to work unprepared, and I said ‘You know what? This interview is over. Thank you so much for your time,’ and I got up and walked out because I’m not going to let a Black man berate me in front of these white people.”

The 61-year-old actor described the experience as “devastating,” but despite troubles behind the scenes, he has fond memories of working with Queen Latifah, Erica Alexander, and the rest of the Living Single cast.

Watch clips of his interview below.

 

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Oprah Winfrey Announces $10 Million Donation To COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million to aid in relief efforts to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, the billionaire announced on Thursday (April 2). The donation will help residents in cities around the country, including areas where Winfrey grew up.

In addition to her donation, Winfrey directed fans to a free Apple TV+ episode of Oprah Talks discussing how we can “mindfully move through a crisis while holding onto ourselves and our humanity.”

“I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up,” Winfrey tweeted.

I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up. For more on this Fund and how everyone can be of service, watch this free AppleTV+ conversation here: https://t.co/n7L6drnpcV

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) April 2, 2020

One million dollars of the donation will go to America’s Food Fund, which is a GoFundMe campaign launched by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs in connection with Feeding America. The campaign aides the most vulnerable communities around the country.

In additional tweets, Winfrey added that America’s Food Fund will be “a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors.”

“I hope you all will join me, I know everybody can’t donate a million dollars but I feel like this is the central place to go if you really want to do something,” Winfrey said in a video call with Chef Jose Andres and Feeding America CEO Calir Babineaux-Fonenot.

The campaign has so far raised more than $12 million of its $15 million goal.

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Rapper Tekashi69, real name Daniel Hernandez and also known as 6ix9ine, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Tekashi 69, leaves after his arraignment on assault charges in County Criminal Court #1 at the Harris County Courthouse on August 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
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Tekashi 6ix9ine Released From Prison Early Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

After pleading for an early release due to the threat of coronavirus,  Tekashi 6ix9ine’s request was officially granted. The 23-year-old rapper was freed from custody on Thursday (April 2) and will serve out the remainder of his two-year sentence at home, the New York Times reports.

The Brooklyn native, who was reportedly being housed at the Queens Detention Facility, was expected to be go free in August. In January, Tekashi’s legal team filed for an early release claiming that he feared for his life behind bars, but the request was denied. After the pandemic hit, Tekashi’s lawyers filed a new motion, arguing that his asthma put him further at risk of catching COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness. The motion was initially denied by Judge Paul Engelmayer because of a discrepancy over the proper channels of filing for his release. In the end, Judge Engelmayer approved the request.

“Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his terms in a federal prison would have exposed him to a heightened health risk, the Court would have directed that these four months be served instead in home confinement,” Judge Engelmayer wrote in his decision per the NYT.

New York currently tops the list for COVID-19 in the U.S. with at least 83,948 confirmed cases as of Thursday, 6,142 recoveries and 1,941 deaths.

Tekashi, whose both name is Daniel Hernandez, was sentenced to two years after testifying against members of the Nine Trey Bloods gang of which he was reportedly affiliated. His lawyer, Lance Lazarro, said Thursday that he has “no intentions” of entering witness protection and “hopes to resume his career.”

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