Gladys Knight BBC Proms - Proms In The Park 2018
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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl

"The distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been at the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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Justice For Junior: Five Convicted In Brutal Murder Of Bronx Teen

Five men were convicted in the brutal murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. A Bronx jury handed down the verdict on Friday (June 14), nearly a year to the day since the 15-year-old victim was chased down by a group of gang members, dragged out of a local bodega and viciously stabbed to death.

Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, were found guilty on all four charges, according to CBS News. The group faced first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jurors reviewed video of Guzman-Feliz’s murder and reportedly began crying while looking at autopsy photos of the teen, described by his father as a “really good kid” who was doing well in school, and aspired to be an NYPD detective.

The five convicted murderers belonged to the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors said. Guzman-Feliz was killed after he was mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Surveillance footage from the night of the heinous murder showed Guzman-Feliz attempting to run to safety inside a Bronx bodega before being caught by the men.

Guzman-Feliz was stabbed multiple times with knives and machetes, and collapsed on his way to a nearby hospital. His death caused outrage around the globe, and launched the viral #JusticeForJunior campaign. A Go Fund Me account opened to raise money for the high schooler’s family brought in more than $340,000 in donations.

“I want to say thank you, Jesus,” the slain teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict.

“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they won’t be outside killing another kid.”

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Nick Cannon To Host Morning Show On L.A. Hip-Hop Station Power 106

Nick Cannon has signed on to host and produce his own morning show on Los Angeles radio station, Power 106, Billboard reports. Nick Cannon Mornings is set to debut on Monday (June 17), during the coveted 6 to 10 a.m. slot.

“Power 106 is one of the most substantial fixtures in our hip-hop culture that has proven time and time again that they are No. 1 and not going anywhere,” Cannon said in a statement. “Los Angeles is used to star players joining star franchises. I’m just honored for the opportunity to make our community and culture proud.”

 

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A man of the community! ✊🏾 @power_106

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Cannon’s morning show will replace J Cruz’s The Cruz Show. The radio host left the station in April for Power 106 competitor, 92.3 The Beat. The move reunited Cruz with longtime L.A. radio personality, Big Boy, who left Power 106 for 92.3 in 2015.

In addition to radio, Cannon is the creator and host of MTV’s Wild ’N Out, which has been on the air for more than a decade. He also helmed Fox’s The Masked Singer, a singing competition show that crowned T-Pain as its season one winner, and was recently picked up for season two. Last year, it was reported that Cannon signed a development deal to host a late-night talk show on Fox.

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Judge Finds Probable Cause To Charge Lil Durk With Attempted Murder In Atlanta Shooting

Lil Durk is set to face attempted murder and multiple other felonies after a judge found probable cause to charge him over a shooting in Atlanta earlier this year. Durk appeared at a hearing Friday (June 14) where a police detective testified to viewing surveillance footage that allegedly shows the Chicago native firing a weapon from a car in the early morning hours of Feb. 5, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Atlanta Police Department detective Jeffrey Churchill testified to speaking with a “witness”  who was at the scene of the shooting. According to Churchill, the witness was standing outside of The Varsity restaurant where the shooting took place at 5:49 a.m. on Feb. 5.

“Mr. Banks pulled out a weapon. They heard gunfire,” Churchill said.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Durk Banks, faces criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, participation in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

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Durk turned himself in to authorities last month after learning that a warrant was issued for his arrest. He maintains innocence and also denies being gang affiliated. In an interview prior to surrendering, Durk proclaimed that he had “nothing to hide,” but admitted to having a “bad background” as a child. “I had a rough path but moving to Atlanta I thought it would change my thinking,” he said.

Durk and Bennett remain in Fulton County Jail. They are due back in court next month for a bond hearing.

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