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Patti LaBelle Reveals Why Luther Vandross Kept His Sexuality Private

LaBelle shared an intimate conversation she had with Vandross on a taping of Bravo's 'Watch What Happens Live.'

Patti LaBelle first met Luther Vandross backstage at the Apollo Theater over 50 years ago when she was part of The Blue Belles. The legendary soul singer remembered Vandross sneaking his way into their dressing room with various lavish dresses pretending to be a designer, but later realized he had a one-of-a-kind voice that would influence future singers.

In 2005, Vandross died of complications from a stroke. Since then, LaBelle has shared memories of her time with the "Always And Forever" artist -- he was LaBelle's first fan-club president - and recently revealed an intimate conversation the "If Only For One Night" vocalist had with her about his sexuality.

During an interview with Andy Cohen on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, LaBelle shared how Sam Smith's presence reminds her of Vandross' legendary artistry. "There are voices in this world and once they sing, it's a stamp on everybody," LaBelle said per Jezebel. "Luther did that and he's done it."

Cohen then asked the "On My Own" singer if Vandross struggled with publicly announcing his sexuality. "We talked about it. Basically, he did not want his mother to be - although she might have known, but he wasn't going to come out and say this to the world," LaBelle revealed. "And he had a lot of lady fans and he told me the he just didn't want to upset the world."

Watch the full interview below.

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Rihanna Calls Donald Glover "A True Gem To The Culture"

Rihanna and Donald Glover's short film, Guava Island debuted at Coachella after Glover's set at the music festival last weekend. It was subsequently released on Amazon Prime to reach the non-attendees of the annual event and now since its premiere, RiRi is speaking out on it.

On Wednesday night (April 17), the "Diamonds" singer took to her Instagram page to express her gratitude to Glover and thanked her fans for their responses. "So happy you guys felt the beauty in this film," she wrote. "@childishgambino you are a true gem to the culture. I'm so proud of you and the work you put into making this film. I felt how close this was to you and your entire team."

Guava Island tells the story of Deni and Kofi, played by Glover and Rihanna, respectively, and how Deni as a musician hopes to liberate the people of the country by holding a festival. Glover and RiRi play love interests in the film that also features Black Panther's Letitia Wright and Nonso Anozie of Game of Thrones.

 

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wow! the response to #GuavaIsland has been quite overwhelming. So happy you guys felt the beauty in this film! @childishgambino you are a true gem to the culture. I’m so proud of you and the work you put into making this film. I felt how close this was to you and your entire team! Thank you for trusting me with this role! It was the greatest experience being in Cuba, phones off, present with life and art! It was humbling! I loved watching every second of it! Go to @amazonprimevideo to watch if you haven’t already! #GuavaIsland

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Apr 17, 2019 at 4:01pm PDT

The short film, written by Glover's brother Stephen Glover, has received a Rotten Tomatoes audience score rating of 87 percent, additionally spawning memes on social media from fans requesting the soundtrack to the movie, to poking fun at the Atlanta actor's dancing.

me hearing die with you and saturday in guava island pic.twitter.com/SBu2ipWzb3

— naked brothers band stan (@sorryimlikealex) April 14, 2019

guava island is 55 minutes of this pic.twitter.com/xoFzdvMY4w

— im baby (@thursdaygirIie) April 15, 2019

childish gambino: rihanna: pic.twitter.com/ULtEqIKGdr

— B7 ✨ (@M_eazyyyy) April 14, 2019

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Idris Elba Is The Black Superman In The New 'Hobbs And Shaw'

The Fast & Furious enterprise is known for gravity-defying stunts, larger-than-life explosives, a few expensive cars going way over the speed limit and fight scenes so intricate and lethal, they look like poetry.

All that and more are on display in the second full-length trailer for the forthcoming Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw. Slated for a summer release, Dwayne Johnson plays Hobbs who must work with his nemesis Shaw (Jason Statham) to take down Brixton Lore, (Idris Elba) a genetically enhanced fighter who fancies himself the black Superman.

Shaw's sister, played by The Crown's Vanessa Kirby, stole a chemical from Lore that can wipe out half the population, and now Lore and his team of ruthless mercenaries are on a vicious hunt to retrieve it.

While Fast & Furious fans are curious to see if Johnson can carry a franchise film on his own, not everyone was supportive of the spinoff.  Tyrese Gibson seemingly took issue when rumors of the film were swirling. Johnson, however, didn't care and reportedly called  Gibson and Vin Diesel a bunch of "candy-asses."

The first Fast & Furious hit theaters on June 18, 2001, and was made with a $38 million budget. The film earned more than $200 million domestically setting it up to be one of Hollywood's most successful franchises. The series went onto have eight films, the last being The Fate of The Furious. It's been dubbed the final film since Paul Walker's 2013 death.

Fast & Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW - Official Trailer #2 Are you ready, we’re back with our SECOND WORLDWIDE @HobbsAndShaw trailer🔥THIS SUMMER AUGUST 2ND👀#HobbsAndShawpic.twitter.com/n8YHfa5SET

— Idris Elba (@idriselba) April 18, 2019

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Ahmed Best's 'Star Wars' Character, Jar Jar Binks, Is George Lucas' Favorite

Actor Ahmed Best is mainly known for his role as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars saga. His role brought unto him a ton of backlash and criticism as many felt his alien character lived up to racist stereotypes. Since his portrayal in the 1999 and 2002 installments of the film, Best struggled to find more roles and dealt with mental health issues as a result of it.

However, the 45-year-old actor now says that he's on a "really strong path to healing" after the franchise's creator, George Lucas, called Jar Jar Binks his "favorite character."

Lucas called into a fan event that marked the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and surprised enthusiasts with his remarks. "Thank you for coming to the celebration. It's one of my favorite movies," Lucas said. "Of course Jar Jar is my favorite character. Ahmed, he did a fantastic job. It was very, very hard."

Lucas' words inspired Best to speak with TMZ and share his thoughts on the filmmaker's comments. "I hope that George saying this, that it was his favorite character will help people look deeper into the work and what we did as filmmakers, and what we did as collaborators and what we did as artists," he said. "And look at how we influence the next generation of not only filmmaking but filmmakers."

Best previously stated that he contemplated suicide due to the character's backlash. We wish him a speedy road back to recovery.

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