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Hoda Kotb Replaces Matt Lauer, Becomes Co-Anchor Of 'Today'

Congrats, Hoda! 

After Matt Lauer’s controversial exit from NBC due to allegations of sexual misconduct, the network has decided to name longtime fellow anchor, Hoda Kotb, as "co-anchor" of Today, alongside Savannah Guthrie, Deadline reports.  In addition to her new duties, Kotb will remain at her 10 a.m. hour-long program with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Because of Kotb’s lengthy experience in news, executives at the network feel she’s the perfect fit for the role, especially with how she handled Lauer’s departure and quickly took on his position.

“Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running. They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today,” NBC News Group Chairman Andy Lack told Deadline.

Kotb started her career at NBC in 1998 as a correspondent for Dateline and has been hosting the fourth hour of the Today show with Gifford since 2008. She also leads The Hoda Show on Sirius XM.

.@SavannahGuthrie announces @HodaKotb will be co-anchor of TODAY. #SavannahHodaTODAY pic.twitter.com/B64n2FmCwq

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Pop Smoke Dies At 20 After Home Invasion

On Wednesday morning (Feb. 19), it was reported that rising rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot during a home invasion, TMZ reports. The incident occurred around 4:30 a.m. in Hollywood Hills, California.

Local law enforcement has launched a search for two male suspects who were seen fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. According to ABC Los Angeles, the residence where the murder occurred is located on the 2000 block of Hercules Drive. Pop Smoke was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Born Bashar Barakah Jackson, the 20-year-old was on the rise in the music world, breaking onto the scene with 2019's anthem "Welcome To The Party." The Brooklyn native received acclaim for his Meet The Woo project, having recently followed it up with Meet The Woo Vol. 2 mixtape, that debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. The "Dior" rapper also announced a "Meet The Woo Tour" that was slated to kick-off on March 2, beginning the ascent of a fulfilling career.

This story will be updated as more information is made public.

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Young Thug Tweets Message For Dwyane Wade’s 12-Year-Old Trans Daughter

Dwyane Wade supporting his 12-year-old child’s gender transition is apparently sending a few ripples through the rap world. Young Thug took to Twitter on Tuesday (Feb. 18) with a message for 12-year-old Zaya, whom he referred to as Wade’s “son.”

“All I wanna say to dwade son is ‘GOD DON’T MAKE MISTAKES’ but hey live your true self,” he wrote. Many people online were quick to check Thugger for his comments and for misgendering the child. He eventually deleted the post and tweeted, “You’re gods [sic] best creation.”

“The London” rapper has been known to proudly sport gender-bending fashions, which includes wearing a dress on the cover of his album No My Name Is Jeffery, but he’s not alone in his comments about Zaya. Boosie Badazz recorded a viral Instagram rant about Zaya’s transition that was mostly met with backlash.

Zaya who was born Zion, came out as trans to Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union. The NBA star and father of five opened up about the tween’s gender identity in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. “Me and my wife Gabrielle [Union] we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and proud allies as well,” said Wade.

“We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously so when our child comes home with a question, an issue, or anything, it’s our jobs as parents to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved.”

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‘Boyz N The Hood’ And ‘You Got Served’ Actress Esther Scott Dies At Age 66

Esther Scott, the actress who appeared in Boyz n the Hood, Beverly Hills 90210, Full House, You Got Served and more, has passed away at age 66.

Scott died last Friday (Feb. 14), days after suffering an apparent heart attack. Her death was first reported on Tuesday (Feb. 18) by TMZ.

According to the site, Scott was found unconscious in her Santa Monica, Calif. home last Tuesday (Feb. 11) and remained hospitalized for several days before passing away on Valentine's Day surrounded by friends and family.

"She loved what she did. She would get stopped on the street often and people would recognize her -- but they didn't know her name," Scott's sister told the website. "Hopefully now people will remember her name, her work and the contributions she gave to the entertainment industry."

The Queens native began her career as a voice actress in the ‘80s series StarWars: Ewoks. Scott’s first credited feature film role was as grandmother to the character Tisha (played by Leonette Scott) in Boyz n the Hood.

Scott worked steadily throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, following up her appearance in Boyz n the Hood with roles in Encino Man, Don Juan DeMarco, Illegal Blue, Species, The Craft, and Out to Sea.

Scott found success in both TV and film appearing as a judge in Austin Powers in Goldmember, a grandmother in You Got Served, as well as roles in Dreamgirls, Transformers, Gangster Squad, and The Birth of a Nation, The Steve Harvey Show, Party of Five, Ellen, Hart of Dixie, and Sister, Sister.

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