Beyonce is overjoyed at Houston's response to free COVID tests provided by her foundation and mom
Thanks to Beyonce's BeyGOOD Foundation and her mom, Tina Knowles Lawson, 1,000 Houston residents in underserved neighborhoods got free coronavirus tests over the weekend. "Seeing my hometown do their part and get tested today brought me so much joy," Beyonce posted, sharing a photo of the long line of cars waiting for the tests in her hometown. "H-town I love ya'll," she added. Perhaps in anticipation of the lines, the foundation reportedly set up speakers to play music for people as they waited in their cars for the drive-through tests. Bey's foundation also gave away free household and cleaning supplies, free vitamins and free gift cards to Houston's go-to grocery chain, H-E-B, at the two-day, multi-site event, according to KHOU.com. Bey and Tina are promoting the testing initiative with the hashtag, #IDIDMYPART, which they've asked other celebs to take to their own cities. The campaign aims to spread awareness about the importance of COVID testing in areas occupied predominantly by people of color, since those communities have been hit by COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates. Last month, Beyonce announced BeyGOOD and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey would commit $6 million to grassroots organizations providing mental health and wellness services in pandemic hotspots with large African-American communities. The money is earmarked for relief efforts in Houston, New Orleans, Detroit and New York City.
Keep reading for the scoop on Gwen Stefani's Grand Ole Opry debut …
Gwen Stefani makes her Grand Ole Opry debut with Blake Shelton
From their joint appearances at events like the 2019 ACM Awards to their new, No. 1 hit on Billboard's Country Music Airplay chart, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton's romance has steadily strengthened Gwen's foothold in Blake's country music world. She hit an apex over the weekend, though, when the No Doubt alum made her Grand Ole' Opry debut — albeit a virtual one — performing the chart-topping duet, "Nobody But You" alongside her man for, if not at, the legendary venue. With the Opry shuttered because of social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, Blake and Gwen performed instead from the home studio at his ranch in Oklahoma, where the couple have been during their lockdown. The performance started with Blake singing "Ol Red," solo, according to USA Today. He also took a dig at Trace Adkins, joking that their recent collaboration could have landed Blake in quarantine with Trace instead of Gwen. "As much as I love you, Trace, I'm much happier to be quarantined with Gwen than you," he cracked, adding that with Trace, even "600 miles" doesn't feel like "enough social distancing." Before Gwen joined Blake for their song, he noted that Gwen was "taken aback" when the Opry "sent her the parking place sign they give everybody for their first performance and the Grand Ole Opry microphone stand." When Gwen joined him on camera, dressed in a Western jacket — with jean cutoffs, fishnets and white stiletto cowboy boots — the couple sang into the mic stand the Opry had sent. After the performance, Gwen posted about her gratitude for the experience on Instagram, telling Blake and the Opry, "Thank u for showing me a good time and making me laugh …" The Opry replied in the comments with a heart Emoji.
Khloe Kardashian toilet papered her sister's house as a prank and Twitter is not impressed
Nothing says entitlement amid a pandemic like a frivolous display of wasted toilet paper. Kourtney Kardashian posted a video on her Instagram Story over the weekend showing the TP yard and tree attack her sister Khloe Kardashian had waged on her family. "Thanks @khloekardashian," she captioned the post, seemingly oblivious to the fact that many if not most Americans have struggled to find, let alone pay for, paper products at grocery stores for more than a month, thanks to the panic-shopping brought on by the COVID crisis. "So I haven't had this much excitement in months," Kourtney said in the video post. "This is what I come out to. This is what [my son] Mason and [Aunt] Koko do when they have a sleepover. This is actually genius." Kris Jenner later posted a shot of the TP bombed lawn, as well. It didn't take long for mild outrage to bubble up on Twitter in response. "So in the midst of a global pandemic where people don't have toilet paper, stupid … khloe kardashian is gonna TP her sisters big a– house? WHAT WAS THE REASON," wrote one user highlighted by Elle. "What a waste……..some people don't even have toilet paper to USE and @khloekardashian is throwing it away on a joke. #badtimingkhloe," wrote another. "I'm so glad @khloekardashian has toilet paper to waste like this," wrote a third irked Twitter user. :I've been using stuff that feels like sandpaper because I still can't find anything else and I don't have much of it. Can you pull it off the tree and send it my way? And for @KrisJenner to repost 🤦🏻♀️ #shameful."
Taylor Swift sells her private jet ahead of extended quarantine with Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift made the savvy business decision to sell one of her two private jets just before most of the country went into lockdown mode in mid-March. TMZ reports the singer gave up her Dassault Falcon 50 and kept the jet that's emblazoned with her favorite number, "13." That one, the 900 model, is a slightly larger Dassault plane, according to the outlet. Taylor's remaining plane is likely to be grounded for the foreseeable future, given that she's canceled her upcoming shows and seems to be in quarantine at home with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The price of the plane she sold hasn't been disclosed but TMZ claims similar jets sell for $1 to $6 million — not a bad chunk of change to stow away as a recession looms.
Katy Perry shares hilarious, rude gesture from her unborn daughter on Mother's Day
If this is how Katy Perry's daughter behaves in utero, we can't wait to see this kid as a teenager! On Mother's Day, Katy shared a video clip from a recent ultrasound. It showed the baby she's having with Orlando Bloom swimming around in her belly like any other nice fetus. And then …? "Oh, my God, that's so funny," Katy says in the clip while watching the screen. "She's literally giving me the middle finger." Which … um, yeah. She kinda is. Katy captioned the clip: "When your unborn daughter gives you a middle finger from the womb you know you're in for it," adding the hashtag, "#happymothersdaytome."
Bono celebrates his 60th with fan mail for his favorite artists; see what he wrote to Billie Eilish
Bono turned 60 on Sunday, a milestone he marked by looking back on the music that's most influenced him through the years. The U2 singer's "60 Songs That Saved My Life" playlist, now on Spotify and YouTube, features what he writes are "some of the songs that saved my life … the ones I couldn't have lived without… the ones that got me from there to here, zero to 60… through all the scrapes, all manner of nuisance, from the serious to the silly… and the joy, mostly joy." According to Pitchfork, Bono plans to write to each artist on his list (or their families), which features musicians ranging from David Bowie, the Beatles, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan to Public Enemy, JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar to Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and the Pixies. Plenty of younger artists are included, too. In his missive for Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, from his first batch of letters, Bono writes: "My ears long for such empty spaces to wander… to sneak away from the density of digital surfaces with too much information… I step inside your song and it's a black beauty, achingly awesomely vulnerable and terrifying, fearless and worrisome… but you are not worried by all that. You express it so you can own the feeling that nags. I think of Carole King. I think of Roy Orbison. But just like them, this never existed before you did. Your fan, Bono."
Billie Eilish launches Apple Music show with her dad
Grammy Award magnet Billie Eilish has a new Apple Music show in the works — and this one co-stars her dad, Patrick O'Connell. Dubbed "me & dad radio," the program features "a wide range of handpicked songsand [Billie's] characteristically uncensored thoughts," according to Apple Music. "My dad and I have had this relationship over the years of sharing music with each other," the 18-year-old recently told Zane Lowe (via JustJared). "My dad has shown me some of my favorite songs in the world and I've shown him songs that he loves and adores also." Billie said the show spans six episodes, one of which she hopes will include her mom, while another features her brother and producer, Finneas. "Dad had never done it before," she told Zane of Patrick's on-air hosting debut. "Dad was just hyped all around, she continued. "But it was really fun. I think the best episodes will be later because the first one was our first go at it and I think it'll get better. I think maybe we blabbed a little too much." Billie previously hosted a show for Apple called "groupies have feelings too."
Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Alicia Keys and Yo Gotti pen open letter demanding justice for Ahmaud Arbery
While Beyonce brought much-needed virus tests to vulnerable neighborhoods in Houston over the weekend, her husband JAY-Z was focused on justice for Ahmaud Armery, a 25-year-old black man who was killed while jogging in Georgia in February. A video that appears to show two white men kill Arbery, who was unarmed, surfaced last week, sparking the arrest of father and son suspects Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, on Thursday. But as Jay-Z and his co-signers Alicia Keys, Meek Mill and Yo Gotti told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, state Attorney General Chris Carr and prosecutor Tom Durden in their letter, published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that "positive step on the long road toward justice … only strengthens our resolve to see that justice is eventually served," CNN reports. "As a society we can no longer pretend that the racial inequities, which exist in every facet of our lives, don't invariably lead down the path to poverty, violence and death," the letter states. "To even think about breaking this cycle we need you to protect the process and preserve the fairness of the trial." The letter goes on to demand that officials ensure a fair murder trial, that the man who shot the video be charged as an accomplice and that Durden recuse himself because Gregory McMichael's former work as a police officer represents a conflict of interest, according to CNN. The letter, which was released by Roc Nation's social justice division, asks that a special prosecutor be appointed, instead. "If anybody saw that horrifying video of his killing, it is heartbreaking, unbelievably unacceptable and inhumane," Alicia Keys said in a statement. "No human being should be murdered and not receive justice."
Amanda Seales calls out Justin Timberlake for turning off comments on Ahmaud Arbery solidarity post
As celebrities across the country continue to demand justice for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, "Insecure" actress Amanda Seales is demanding something a little different. In an Instagram post late last week, she called out Justin Timberlake and other white celebs who say they support racial equality but won't engage with their fans on social media about important issues like Arbery's killing. "Dedicated to @justintimberlake and the white artists showing 'solidarity' posting about ahmaudarbery but closing their comments/IG replies," she captioned a video on Instagram on Thursday. "Ain't no half steppin. This is how you ally. You get in the weeds with your fans who are also fans of racist rhetoric. #TURNEMON." In the clip, "The Real" co-host sits before her computer camera, smiles and sings a tongue-in-cheek song about why it's not enough to simply say you believe in something, but refuse to risk losing part of your fan base by having a dialogue with fans who are inevitably "gonna show ya true colors." As of Monday, Justin's original post about the apparent hate crime, which read, "If you're not outraged, you should be. Justice for #AhmaudArbery," still had comments disabled.
Reese Witherspoon opens up about her rise as a producer focused on women's stories
In the past five years, Reese Witherspoon's elevated herself as one of Hollywood's top producers. And despite her work as a producer on Oscar-nominated films like "Gone Girl" and "Wild," it wasn't until "Big Little Lies" that she felt the industry took her seriously as a producer, a fact she relayed in an interview over the weekend for "CBS Sunday Morning." "It was actually the third successful production that started getting people going, 'Oh, I think she's onto something,'" Reese said. From there, the segment delved into Reese's full plate at Hello Sunshine, the production company she launched to tell women's stories like "Big Little Lies," "Little Fires Everywhere" and "The Morning Show," all of which feature Reese as both star and producer. Asked if she ever has days where she thinks, "I can't do one more thing today," the mother of three quickly admitted she does. "Oh my gosh, Rita, I'll lay on the floor and cry," she told the interviewer. "Or I'll sit in my car and cry. … sometimes I'm totally overwhelmed." What keeps her going, she said, is her determination to "change things" in Hollywood. "I see younger women in our industry and I want them to have a better experience. I want to see that they have a beautiful idea of what the future could hold," she mused. "I will put in the hours," Reese added. "And I bet on myself. I'm my own lottery ticket and I always think that. If no one else shows up, I know I will show up, and I know I will do the work."