Celebrities At The 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen
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Fergie Apologizes For Butchering The National Anthem At All-Star Game

The self-proclaimed "risk taker" says she tried her best.

By now, you must have heard about Fergie's ill-received take on the national anthem during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The "M.I.L.F. $" musician performed a jazz-inspired spin on "The Star-Spangled Banner," which was met with confusion, negativity, and a helluva lotta laughs from every corner of the Internet.

The former frontwoman of The Black Eyed Peas and current host of The Four issued a statement to TMZ regarding the performance.

"I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” she said. “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”

Basketball players such as LeBron James, Draymond Green and Steph Curry were caught by cameras chuckling during the 42-year-old's performance. Elsewhere, Chris Rock, Jimmy Kimmel and Chance The Rapper's unfavorable reactions were also seen on film.

“Players and celebs seemed surprised by her rendition of the anthem,” a game attendee told PEOPLE. “After the performance she didn’t seem fazed.”

The game also featured a halftime performance by N.E.R.D., who performed a medley of hits including "Lemon" and "1000." Atlanta-based trio Migos made an appearance during the performance to rap along to their Pharrell-produced hit "Stir Fry."

Check out some reactions from players and celebrities during Fergie's performance. If you haven't seen her rendition by now, watch that below as well.

 

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Allen Berezovsky

Lauren London Debuts The Marathon Clothing x Puma Collection

Lauren London and PUMA are teaming up once again for a collaboration honoring the late Nipsey Hussle. London debuted the Marathon Clothing x Puma’s “Hussle and Motivate” collection on social media on Thursday (Jan. 23).

London is featured in the promo shoot with Hussle's close friends, YG, J. Stone, and Pacman Da Gunman.

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:56pm PST

Another image from the clothing collaboration shows London wearing a white sweatshirt with a message that reads, “We (The Marathon Clothing) honor the unwavering faith of those that never quit. Our products represent their testimony. Life is a marathon.”

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:58pm PST

London previously linked with Puma for a viral video campaign paying tribute to her longtime love. Hustle, whose Victory Lap recently went platinum, will be celebrated at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards with a tribute featuring YG, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled and John Legend.

The Grammys air on CBS on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8p.m. ET.

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Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
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Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

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Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

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