Demi Lovato reflects on two years of self-work and progress
It's been a major couple of days for Demi Lovato. On Friday, July 24, after announcing her engagement to Max Ehrich, the singer celebrated what she called her "miracle day." "Feeling so grateful so I wrote something… (swipe left) ," she captioned a black and white picture of herself in a car on Instagram. Swiping left revealed a note she'd written on her phone. "Today is my miracle day. I'm so blessed to have one. It represents how the Dr's at Cedar's Sinai saved my life," the note read, referencing the two-year anniversary of a drug overdose that nearly killed her in 2018. The star has since gotten sober and kickstarted her music comeback with a series of critically acclaimed performances. "How my life has become something beyond my wildest dreams," the note continued. "Only two years after that day, I'm engaged to the love of my life and can genuinely say I feel free of my demons. Each and every one. I never thought this feeling was possible." Looking back on the previous two years, she said the changes came because in that time, she did "more work on myself than I have in my entire life." Now, Demi explained, "Things that used to keep me down for weeks or even months, pass like tropical storms…" She went on to point out how important it's been for her to learn to love herself, writing, "Long before I had an engagement ring on my finger, I had the word 'me' to remind myself that no matter what, I vow to love myself. You can't fully love another without loving yourself first."
Keep reading for the latest on Britney Spears' conservatorship and more …
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Britney Spears' brother sounds off on his sister's conservatorship
Britney Spears' older brother Bryan, 43, spoke publicly about his sister's conservatorship this week in a rare interview. According to Bryan, the 38-year-old singer wants the conservatorship, which started in 2008, to end, despite some serious concerns her family has about giving up the reins to her financial and legal existence. "She's been in this thing for quite some time now. Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning," Bryan said (via People). "Now they've made some changes and all we can do is hope for the best … [it's] been a great thing for our family, to this point, and [we] keep hoping for the best." Britney's dad, Jamie Spears, stepped down from his permanent conservator role last fall for health reasons. That apparently left the rest of the family making individual contributions to the maintenance of the conservatorship, which was extended to Aug. 22 earlier this year. "She's always wanted to get out of it," said Bryan, who also told listeners he and his sister "speak constantly." "Whether someone's coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating," he acknowledged. At the same time, he said, Britney has been "surrounded by a team of people since she was 15," making it hard to know how to safely change the setup all these years later. "I know what she wants but at the end of the day, what is the reality of that? What is the practicality of that?" He went on to reference concern about "everyday task stuff," from making reservations to driving.
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Ciara and Russell Wilson welcome a baby boy
Ciara and Russell Wilson are celebrating a new birthday in their family after the couple welcomed their second child together. "Happy Birthday WIN!!! Mommy & Daddy Love You!" Russell wrote alongside a group selfie from the hospital with Ciara and their new son, Win Harrison Wilson, on Friday. People reports Win's middle name was chosen in honor of Russell's late father, Harrison Wilson. The pair's tiny new addition was born Thursday, July 23, weighing in at 8 lbs., 1 oz, according to Russell's post. Ciara also posted about Win's arrival, sharing a video of herself in a mask, singing "Happy Birthday" to the little guy in the hospital. Back in April, she posted about the strange experience of being pregnant during COVID-19, telling followers Russell couldn't join her in the doctor's office to see an ultrasound of their baby. Win joins siblings Sienna, 3, and Future, Ciara's 6-year-old son from her previous relationship with rapper Future.
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Leah Remini praises Thandie Newton for sharing her 'nightmare' Tom Cruise experience
Leah Remini is applauding Thandie Newton for her "brave" revelations about working with Tom Cruise on "Mission: Impossible 2." Speaking to New York Magazine earlier this month, Thandie said Tom seemed to be actively recruiting cast and crew to join the Church of Scientology, calling the experience a "nightmare" that left her "scared" of the star. In an interview with the Daily Beast this week, Leah, a former member of the church turned vocal critic, praised Thandie for her courage in speaking so candidly about a major power player in their industry. "Tom has gotten away with being this 'nice guy,' because that's what Scientology policy says — to create good PR in the world and make those 'good actions' known. But if you actually look at his actions, they're not consistent," she explained. Leah went on to recount how she "got in trouble" for questioning Tom's high-profile position in the church when she was still a member of the Scientology organization. She ticked off reasons the church might not want him to be its "poster child," including his failed marriages, his infamous couch jumping episode and things he's said about postpartum depression. According to Leah, she was reprimanded by the church for questioning Tom's role "because Tom Cruise is considered a messiah in Scientology." She added, "This is a man who has not even seen his own daughter in years. That this guy can be running around and having people think he's this super-nice guy, I don't get it." In June, after Scientologist Danny Masterson was charged with raping three women, Leah, who had interviewed two of Danny's accusers on her docu-series, "Scientology and the Aftermath," warned that the stories that had come out were "just the beginning." Danny has denied the rape allegations. The Daily Beast noted that neither Tom nor the Church of Scientology responded to requests for comment.
Blake Shelton opens up about the 'responsibility' of helping Gwen Stefani raise her sons
After five years with Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton has become part of her kids' lives, and as he said on the Friday edition of "Today," that role isn't something he takes lightly. Referring to Gwen's Father's Day post last month, where she thanked Blake for helping her "raise these boys," Blake explained: "That's a scary moment for me because it's one thing for me to be with the kids all the time and be their buddy, but you do have to consider after awhile that they start to listen to things that you say and there's a lot of responsibility that comes with that." There's also plenty of fun involved for Blake, who's spent the lockdown on his ranch in Oklahoma with Gwen and her sons, Kingston, 14, Zuma, 11, and Apollo, 6. "We've been doing things that I wished I had time to do for the last 20 years I guess," he said, reflecting on the last few months. "That's literally stupid things like pick blackberries. We grew a garden, grew several acres of sweet corn." Gwen and Blake have also been busy recording new music, including their fourth duet, "Happy Anywhere," a song about being so head over heels in love that being confined by a lockdown doesn't matter as long as the other person is by your side.
Michael B. Jordan launches #Change Hollywood, an anti-racism 'road map' for the industry
Since the protests sparked by George Floyd's killing began, organizations around the world have committed to getting pro-active about anti-racism. But what that means or looks like, specifically, can be hard to nail down. Now, Michael B. Jordan, working with Color of Change, has released #ChangeHollywood, a "road map" for action items Hollywood producers and production companies, studios and agencies can take to create and support "anti-racist content, authentic Black stories and Black talent," according to THR. The initiative features information on things like adopting inclusion riders, hiring security firms instead of police for on-set security, conducting "racial justice content audits" and more. "This road map is just the beginning of the journey to racial justice," the actor said in a statement. "We are all accomplices in the fight to transform Hollywood, and we invite content creators and industry leaders to join us in working together to #ChangeHollywood. We look forward to including a variety of voices in doing what we do best: telling authentic stories, bringing people together, partnering with influential artists, and changing the rules of the game."
Jack Antonoff gushes about his favorite songs on Taylor Swift's 'Folklore'
When Taylor Swift announced she was releasing a new studio album, "Folklore," at midnight on Friday, she name-checked some of the "musical heroes" who contributed to the surprise recording. That included her frequent collaborator, Jack Antonoff, whom she called, "basically musical family at this point," given how much they've worked together. Of all those recordings, though, Jack tweeted on Thursday that "August" and "Tears Ricochet," from the new album, are his "favorite things we've done together." He added: "cannot wait for everyone to hear this beautiful work- more soon …..," along with some love for Aaron Dessner, who co-wrote and produced 11 of the 16 new songs, according to Billboard. "I love you and you are so brilliant," Jack gushed. "One day we will be in the same room."
Why Taylor Swift's fans think 'Folklore' reveals Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds' baby's name
In other Taylor Swift "Folklore" news, the singer's surprise album release has her fans working hard to decode what they believe to be Easter eggs in many of the 16 songs. Among the many fan theories about the album is one suggesting track 14 on the album, "betty," is a clue that reveals the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' third child. Blake and Taylor have been friends for some time, so while the couple has opted to keep their baby's name to themselves, fans think Taylor probably knows it. The names of the pair's daughters, James and Inez, appear in the song, as well. "I need to know if Betty is @blakelively and @VancityReynolds 3rd child," tweeted one fan (via E! News). "It can't be a coincidence that James and Inez are lyrics in the same song. I love Blake and I need to know @taylorswift13." Other posts included similarly desperate pleas for confirmation. As of Friday, however, that confirmation had not arrived.
Tamar Braxton's boyfriend shares an update on her health
Tamar Braxton's boyfriend, David Adefeso, has shared an update on the singer's health after he found her unresponsive at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Los Angeles last week. "On behalf of Tamar Braxton, I want to thank her fans and the public for the ongoing thoughts and prayers," he said in a statement to The Blast. "Tamar is a beautifully talented woman, a devoted mother, a loving girlfriend, a dear sister and a special friend to countless people. This is an extremely difficult time for Tamar and her family as she navigates professional and personal struggles including her battle with depression," he continued. "Tamar is currently receiving the best available medical attention to address those struggles and strengthen her mental health, and her family and I will remain by her side throughout her treatment." He went on to cite a statistic about the pervasiveness of mental health issues in America and asked the public to continue sending "prayers and hope as Tamar continues the path to recovery and ultimate happiness," adding a request to "please respect Tamar's privacy, and her family's privacy, during this important time of healing." Over the weekend, Tamar was transferred to a hospital facility where she could get specialized mental health treatment, according to a previous statement from her rep.
Mel Gibson spent a week in the hospital with COVID-19
The list of celebrities who've battled COVID-19 continues to grow. On Friday, Mel Gibson's rep confirmed to the Daily Telegraph Australia that the Oscar winner was hospitalized this spring due to the disease. "He tested positive in April and spent a week in the hospital," Mel's rep said (via the Guradian). "He was treated with the drug Remdesivir, while in the hospital, and has tested negative numerous times since then as well as positive for the antibodies."