Pandora To Raise $231 Million With Sale Of 10 Million Shares
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SiriusXM Purchases Pandora For $3.5 Billion

This year has proven to be the year of mergers between streaming services to provide more content and listening opportunities for consumers.

This year has proven to be the year of mergers between streaming services to provide more content and listening opportunities for consumers. At the top of 2018, Google Play Music and YouTube Red became a package deal, Spotify and Hulu revealed a bundle option, and now, SiriusXM and Pandora have joined forces.

According to Billboard, Pandora was acquired by SiriusXM for $3.5 billion. The news site states the merger was rooted in "an all-stock transaction" and plans to ensure users with a "high-quality" and free Internet streaming service.

"Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities," SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said. "Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms."

SiriusXM's interest in Pandora made headlines as far back as summer 2017. The Internet radio conglomerate previously invested $480 million in Pandora, which allowed the latter "to make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its position in the streaming radio business," a joint statement from the brands said.

READ MORE: Pandora Announces Premium Family Plan

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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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Lena Waithe And Wife Alana Mayo Split 2 Months After Announcing Marriage

Lena Waithe and her estranged wife, Alana Mayo, have split two months after announcing that they tied the knot.

“After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways,” the former couple said in a joint statement to People magazine on Tuesday (Jan. 22). “We have nothing but support for one another and ask that you respect our privacy during this time.”

The duo didn’t go into detail about the nature of the split but reports claim the marriage ended over infidelity on Waithe's part. A report from Bossip alleges that the Emmy-winner quietly moved on with Harriet star and Oscar nominee, Cynthia Erivo.

Waithe and Mayo, who heads Michael B. Jordan’s production company Outlier Society, dated for four years before tying the knot in a quiet ceremony at San Francisco’s City Hall where Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay elected official, was gunned down in 1978.

“We went to the courthouse, just she and I and our photographer, and we just did it and kept it going,” Waithe said on The Wendy Williams Show last November. The couple opted for a no frills ceremony out of laziness,  Waithe joked.

“We’re just like lazy, everything is produced in our lives, so we were like ‘let’s just do it together, me and you.’”

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