Rae Sremmurd at the Verizon Up Stage During Super Bowl LIVE Rae Sremmurd at the Verizon Up Stage During Super Bowl LIVE
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Verizon Teams Up With Justin Timberlake, Rae Sremmurd And More For Rewards Program

In appreciation of its subscribers, Verizon is now offering new music experience opportunities to its customers.

Verizon Wireless is adding more to Verizon Up, its customer loyalty program. In appreciation of its subscribers, Verizon is now offering new music experience opportunities to customers in partnership with various artists like Justin Timberlake and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd at various U.S. shows throughout the year.

“Our customers do business with Verizon because we continue to provide the nation's most reliable network and the unwavering customer experiences they have come to expect," shared Diego Scotti, Verizon's Chief Marketing Officer. “Now it’s our turn to say thank you to them through experiences that will bring them closer to some of the biggest tours and names in music today. Music is a passion we know our customers share, and makes a great addition to the extensive line up of live sports experiences we also offer.”

Aside from redeeming reward points with brands like Apple Music, JetBlue, the NBA, Starbucks and more, Verizon Up members will now be able to gain early and expedited venue entry access through the Verizon Up Members Lane at various live shows. Members will also have a chance to meet other recording artists like Demi Lovato, Kali Uchis, and Rich The Kid at intimate events ranging from private dinners to closed studio sessions.

“We have so much love for our fans because they give us so much support. They make all of this possible,” said Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd. “Teaming up with Verizon Up is like a big thank you to our fans. Now we can get them closer to our music and bring them the best of SremmLife.”

At select shows, ticket winners will also be seated in the Verizon Up Members section and have the chance to take part in a limited number of VIP meet-and-greet opportunities at select concerts, including Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods Tour, Maroon 5’s Red Pill Blues Tour and Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me Tour.

Verizon customers can join the program at no fee through their My Verizon app. Rewards can also be earned through monthly Verizon Wireless bill payments. For more information on the Verizon Up program, visit Verizonwireless.com/verizonup.

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David Becker

Fans Tweet About Erykah Badu's Defense Of R. Kelly At A Chicago Show

Erykah Badu has remained silent after Lifetime aired the six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. The singer and entertainer who once referred to Kelly as her "brother" while hosting the Soul Train Awards and has kept a low profile during the series.

Badu has finally broken her silence during a show at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom in which attendees say the Grammy-award winning singer defended Kelly and instructed others to "keep their opinions to themselves."

Erykah Badu came to Chicago and told us all she finna love R Kelly anyway & we can keep our opinion to ourselves. Mad disrespectful to our city and a shitty use of her platform. Crusty ass bitch.

— hot headed yam (@tomapapito) January 20, 2019

Another attendee tweeted Badu attempt at trying to bring light to the hypocrisy in the public outcry against Kelly.

“what if one of the people who was assaulted by R Kelly becomes an offender? we gonna crucify them too?” -erykah badu at her chicago concert

— IG: @boydonavin (@boyDonavin) January 20, 2019

Many in attendance were hurt by Badu's actions and left conflicted.

I really want to say how much i loved Erykah Badu’s concert tonight.

But i can’t get over how she tried to justify and defend R. Kelly’s actions and reputation during her set... I’m so disappointed...

— jacque (@jacquemarquez_) January 20, 2019

I really don’t want to believe Erykah Badu is sacrificing her music legacy for R. Kelly. I don’t. everyone has their ignorance and places that deeply disappoint me, including my favorite artists (and myself), but supporting child predators is such a nefarious thing to do.

— Myles E. Johnson (@hausmuva) January 20, 2019

This isn't the first time Badu has come under fire for what many deem to be problematic commentary. In April 2016, Badu agreed with a school district that was making it mandatory for girls to wear longer skirts as a way to not "distract" the boys.

Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly prompted Twitter to dig up old tweets.

erykah badu already told y’all she doesn’t believe GIRLS when it comes to matters of sexual assault, harassment, rape, etc. so why y’all shocked now? pic.twitter.com/Eogzatc9aO

— ALEXIS$ 🧚🏾‍♀️ (@lexxdadon) January 20, 2019

Erykah Badu said she empathizes with Hitler because he was a beautiful painter. Why are y'all surprised?

— Experiment 625 (@Mariah__Cara) January 20, 2019

Writer and director dream hampton said Badu was one of many celebrities she contacted to be in the series but denied her request.

Does Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly make you think twice about the singer? Will you continue to listen to Badu's music, or does the defense of R. Kelly mean she's now an enabler? Sound off in the comments.

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Michael Steele

Drake's "In My Feelings" Received The Kidz Bop Treatment

After the release of Drake's chart-topping Scorpion album, his single "In My Feelings" skyrocketed to number one, so it's no surprise the City Girls assisted track received the Kidz Bop treatment.

Since 2000, the compilation LP has sold about 17 million copies and over the weekend, Kidz Bop released its 39th installment offering the world a G-rated and tween-friendly version of today's biggest hits.

Once Twitter learned Kidz Bop laid its prepubescent hands on Drake's song, there was a mixed bag of feelings. Some went along with it and commented positively, while others were frankly offended.

I just saw a Kidz Bop commercial with the Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings and I feel like a curse has been placed on me

— Jeremy (@TacticalRPG) January 10, 2019

That Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings lets me know that hell is a real place.

— Nappy Head Nietzsche (@AugustCulture) January 19, 2019

This #KidzBop version of "In My Feelings" is SENDING me! 😂 pic.twitter.com/EQzTwdbfb6

— Nicholas D. (@Creat1ve) January 18, 2019

This isn't the first time Drake's music has been Kidz Bopped. For Kidz Bop 31, "Hotline Bling" was also featured. The new 18-track album also features Cardi B's "I Like It" as well as Khalid and Normani's "Love Lies."

The lyrics to the hook received a slight change.

KiKi do you love me/are you with me/say you'll never ever leave from beside me/cause I want ya/and I need ya/and I'm down for ya always

And when it came time for the City Girls portion of the song, they turned that down as well.

all of us kids and we hangin' in the rain/hangin' in rain/I need a black card with the code to the safe/code to the safe.

Hey, kids need love too. Watch the Kidz Bop version of Drake's "In My Feelings" below.

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Sarah Duncan

South Carolina High School Students May Soon Take A Personal Finance Class

High school students in South Carolina may now have to pass a personal finance class in order to receive their diploma.

According to reports, Republican lawmakers Luke Rankin and Horry County Senator have filed a pre-bill that will require high school students to take a class that will aim to help students learn how to better budget their money.

"You can really put yourself in a really bad hole that you're gonna be digging yourself out of the rest of your life," financial planner Dr. Christopher St. John said.

The course will cover insurance, taxes, retirement planning, budgeting, banking, and how to avoid too much debt.

Finance website Make Lemonade reports there are more than 44 million borrowers who owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt within the United States. Student loan debt has become the second highest debt among consumers followed by mortgage debt.

The class of 2016, reportedly has $37,172 in student loan debt.

If the bill is passed, it would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year. The course would be required and student who take a test at the end of the year prior to graduation.

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