Beyonce encourages fans to vote in every upcoming election
This year, the BET Awards' most prestigious honor, its Humanitarian Award, went to Beyonce, who's been working tirelessly during the pandemic to support hard-hit Black communities through her BeyGOOD initiative, while making time to speak out against police brutality and systemic racism in America. For those efforts and more, Michelle Obama presented Bey with her award during the virtual event on Sunday, June 2. After the former First Lady commended Beyonce for "always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bigger, better, a little more fierce," Bey used her acceptance speech to urge listeners to "continue to dismantle a racist and unequal system" — and to remind them the most clear path towards doing that is to vote. "I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change," Beyonce said via video, while accepting the award (via CBS News). "Your voices are being heard and you're proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote. … I'm encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together," she said. "Continue to fight for each other and lift each other up, because there are people banking on us staying at home during the local elections and primaries happening in states across the country. We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does." Since April, Beyonce and her BeyGOOD initiative have set up free testing sites in Houston and teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's Start Small to funnel $6 million in aid to organizations providing mental health, general health and food bank services to underserved neighborhoods in four cities. Bey has also spoken out against racism and police brutality, both online and through music, with proceeds from her new surprise track "Black Parade" benefiting small, Black-owned businesses.
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Reese Witherspoon and Carrie Underwood couldn't be happier about being mistaken for one another by a fan
One woman mistook Reese Witherspoon for Carrie Underwood in a parking lot over the weekend, and by doing so, inadvertently complimenting both stars. On Sunday, Reese tweeted a friendly correction to the fan, posting, "To the woman in the parking lot who just asked me if I was Carrie Underwood. You officially made my day!" E! News soon noticed that Underwood was one of the commenters on Witherspoon's tweet — and she was equally flattered by the confusion. "YOUR day?!?!?!?! That lady just made my whole life!" Underwood wrote. Meanwhile, the fan, Noha Hamid, explained what happened on TikTok, recounting how she and her husband were out for a bite when they spotted Witherspoon with her son. "I'm like, that looks just like a celebrity and I'm trying to think who… and I'm like, 'Who? Carrie Underwood?'" she shared, noting that the celeb in question had a cowboy hat and mask on. "So I wait until she goes back to her car so I can ask her, not in front of everyone, to blow her cover. And then she goes, 'Hey, no I'm not Carrie Underwood but have a great day,'" Hamid said in the clip. She weighed in on Witherspoon and Underwood's Twitter exchange, too. "OMGGGG! That was ME" she replied to the actress' post. "Haha, I swear when I walked away I was like wait, that was totally Reese Witherspoon! I could barley see your face cause the mask and hat but I knew you looked so familiar haha. I LOVE YOU @ReeseW."'
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Andy Cohen officiates an LGBTQ+ wedding for Pride
Andy Cohen made sure it a happy Pride month, indeed, for one couple, Justin and Robert, whose wedding Cohen officiated and showed on Sunday's edition of "Watch What Happens Live." The wedding was staged in honor of Pride — and of Justin and Robert's Bravo superfandom, according to People. It also featured a performance by Patti LaBelle and appearances by "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Erika Jayne and Kandi Burruss, of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." "Dearly beloved 'Watch What Happens Live' fans, and people at home who haven't worn pants in three months," Cohen joked during the ceremony. "We are gathered here tonight in front of Patti LaBelle … to join this man, Justin, and this man, Robert, in virtual internet matrimony — unless their WiFi craps out first." He continued: "So Justin, do you take Robert to be your lawfully wedded husband, to support him as fiercely as a woman who supports other women?" Justin said, "I do," and Cohen moved on to ask Robert if he took "Justin to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and honor him morning, noon and Kandi Koated Nights." He did. They then exchanged vows they'd written for one another as well as rings. "By the powers vested in me, for some ungodly reason," Cohen joked, "I now pronounce you husbands. You may kiss each other!" Congrats!
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Ava DuVernay announces new Netflix series based on Colin Kaepernick's high school days
Colin Kaepernick's high school years are getting the Ava DuVernay treatment. On Monday, Netflix announced the award-winning director has signed on for a scripted drama about the former NFL star's experience as a young teen, according to CNN. "Colin in Black & White," a limited series of six episodes, will reportedly feature and be partly guided by Kaepernick, who became an icon for civil rights when he refused to stand at during the National Anthem before a game in 2016, in protest of police brutality and other racially charged social injustices. That act, DuVernay tweeted this week, "… ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally." Announcing the series, she added: "Colin's story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn't be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix."
Duchess Meghan reaches out to victim of an alleged hate crime
Now that they've stepped away from the royal family and settled down in the U.S., Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are joining in the national conversation about racism. That's according to Vanity Fair, which reported Monday that over the weekend, Meghan contacted Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old paramedic who suffered severe burns on her face and neck recently during an alleged hate crime in Madison, Wisconsin. Meghan, who's working with Harry to launch a new non-profit, was reportedly on a call with Michale Johnson, the president of the Dade County Boys and Girls Club. when he shared how Bernstein was allegedly attacked by a group of men who were shouting racial slurs at her. "[Meghan] applauded [Bernstein] for the way that she responded," Johnson told Madison outlet Channel3000 news over the weekend. "[Meghan] pretty much said, 'Hey, Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin.'" Johnson revealed Bernstein spoke with the duchess about being biracial, as well as topics like faith an self-care. "[Bernstein]'s struggling. It's a challenge for her, it's very, very emotional," Johnson said. "I talked to her three or four times today, and I'll tell you Meghan lifted her spirits." Meghan and Harry are also reportedly working with the #stophateforprofit campaign, which has been encouraging advertisers not to spend money on Facebook because of the company's controversial allowance of hateb speech.
The Rolling Stones enlist BMI to help them stop Trump from using their music at rallies
After years of trying to stop Donald Trump from using "You Can't Always Get What You Want" as his walk-off music at events, the Rolling Stones are trying a new route. Over the weekend, the band announced it's working with BMI to protect their right to nix the use of their music for partisan politics. "This could be the last time President Donald Trump uses Stones songs," the band said in a statement (via Variety). "Despite cease & desist directives to Donald Trump in the past, the Rolling Stones are taking further steps to exclude him using their songs at any of his future political campaigning. The Stones' legal team [is] working with BMI… BMI [has] notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed." While a venue's music license generally allows the use of songs by any performer at the venue, BMI is arguing that the president's campaign rallies fall under a licence that's specific to political scenarios. Under that license, an artist may opt their music out of politically tinged events.
Miley Cyrus performs before an empty Rose Bowl: 'I can't wait to be together again'
The same day country singer Chase Rice sparked controversy by playing to a packed house full of mostly mask-free audience members over the weekend, Miley Cyrus took the stage at Pasadena's Rose Bowl, where she performed The Beatles' "Help!" for an arena full of empty seats as part of Global Citizen's two-hour, live-streamed concert special, "Global Goal: Unite for Our Future." The event, which also featured performances by Jenifer Hudson, Coldplay, J Balvin and more, served as a successful fundraiser, earning $6.9 billion in pledges, according to Rolling Stone. "I dedicated this performance to everyone who is working tirelessly for testing, treatments and vaccines so all of us can come together in places like this empty stadium…. I can't wait to be together again," Miley tweeted on Saturday. She also spoke with Global Citizen about the need for the world to support vulnerable populations as the pandemic rages on, and touched on the anti-racism demonstrations that have continued in the U.S. since George Floyd's death in May. "I've just been a student, over the last few months and especially over the few weeks in my home country," Miley said. "I've been a student of these organizers and being able to learn and educate myself. That's kind of what my time is filled with at this moment, even through Global Citizen, just educating myself. I think that's the first step to making change."
Katharine McPhee and David Foster celebrate their first wedding anniversary
Both Katharine McPhee and her husband David Foster got nostalgic on Instagram on Sunday as they marked the first anniversary of their wedding day. "A year ago today I married the love of my life," McPhee, 36, wrote alongside pics from the ceremony. "Thank you for always loving me and inspiring me in all aspects of my life. I love you. Here's to the future!" She also added a shout-out to the designer responsible for her gown. "(Oh and happy anniversary to the other love of my life – this dreamy dress! … thank you @zacposen," she joked. Foster, 70, marked the anniversary with another wedding photo and a tribute to his wife. "Happy anniversary to the love of my life!! Last summer at the beautiful Miramar!!" he captioned the shot. The singer and producer met in 2006 on "American Idol," where Foster mentored McPhee, then a contestant.
Kanye West's former bodyguard threatens to sue after receiving cease-and-desist letter from West's lawyers
Last month, Steve Stanulis, a former bodyguard for Kanye West, slammed the rapper as "the neediest, moodiest" client he's ever had in a podcast interview. West's lawyers responded with a cease and desist letter, citing a confidentiality agreement Stanulis allegedly signed in 2016 and threatening to sue for $10 million if he continued talking smack about West. According to a new report from Page Six, Stanulis has responded to the letter with some legal threats of his own. In the response, Stanulis' lawyer reportedly claims Stanulis never signed a confidentiality agreement. "As such," the document continues, "any efforts undertaken by your clients to enforce any purported 'confidentiality agreement' will be met with counterclaims, that will seek significant damages, along with court costs and legal fees." Speaking to the Post, Stanulis vowed not to let West and his wife "push me around just because they are rich and famous." He also told the outlet he's "developing a new movie around my experiences as a bodyguard to the stars." Reps for West have not commented.
Kim Kardashian West is poised to become the first actual billionaire in her family
Move over, Kylie Jenner — your sister could be coming for your youngest billionaire crown. In the wake of controversy over Forbes' decision to retract its claim Jenner is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world, her sib, Kim Kardashian West, 39, appears to be close to billionaire status herself. According to Page Six, West recently signed a $200 million deal with beauty giant Coty, giving the massive company a 20 percent stake in her KKW business. TMZ is reporting Coty valued KKW at $1 billion when it closed the deal. (Last year, Jenner, 22, sold a majority share in her Kylie Cosmetics brand to Coty.) Now, Forbes' wealth tracker has determined Kardashian West is "worth about $900 million," which means she could technically surpass the billionaire echelon before her younger sister. In May, Forbes accused Jenner of misleading the magazine on the size and profitability of her company. Kylie strongly denied the claims.