Rascal Flatts announce 2020 farewell tour
Some bittersweet news for country music fans: After 20 years together, Rascal Flatts announced on Jan. 7 that they will be embarking on a goodbye tour dubbed "Rascal Flatts Farewell: Life Is a Highway." "We make music and that's what we do," Jay DeMarcus said during the band's visit to "CBS This Morning." "We may do it again someday collectively. We're not going to sign some pact that says we're never going to tour again … we all still do love each other, but we do make music and we will probably make some music individually, collectively." Country music fans shouldn't be too heartbroken as the band confirmed that they will be releasing new music this year. The tour kicks off in June in Indianapolis and runs through October.
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Lady Gaga opens up about being raped, developing PTSD
Lady Gaga opened up about her difficult history and how she can use her story to help people going forward. On Jan. 4, Gaga sat down with Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's "Life in Focus" tour. During their discussion, the Grammy and Oscar winner talked about seeing a connection between her fibromyalgia and the fact that she was sexually assaulted at 19. "What's interesting about it is that I've found through neuropsych research and my relationship with my doctors that fibromyalgia can be treated through mental health therapy. And mental health is a medical condition, it should be treated as a medical condition. It should not be ignored," Gaga said. She also said that being raped is a large part of her need for mental health services. "I all of a sudden became a star and was traveling the world going from hotel room to garage to limo to stage and I never dealt with it, and then all of a sudden I started to experience this incredible intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped," she explained. Gaga hopes that by being so open and honest about her mental and physical pain, others who are suffering can find a way to seek help.
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R. Kelly's girlfriend charged after fight at singer's condo
There's more drama for R. Kelly and his two girlfriends! On Jan. 9, police were called to the jailed R&B singer's Chicago Trump Tower condo to deal with a domestic disturbance. Joycelyn Savage, the music star's main girlfriend, was taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after allegedly punching a 22-year-old woman in the face. She fled the scene once cops arrived but turned herself hours later. The unidentified woman was taken to a local hospital. According to the Chicago Fire Department, "It was a battery; it was a fight, but I don't know what condition she's in." A series of videos posted to Instagram show the woman angrily confronting Jocelyn before a fight broke out between them. In one video, the woman tells officers she was in the unit with a few other people when Jocelyn and another woman — a "handler" for R. Kelly — arrived to pick up his "awards and his Grammys and stuff." The singer, who's been accused of multiple sexual assault crimes, is currently being held without bond in Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Billie Eilish, Lizzo and more nominated for iHeartRadio Awards
The Seventh annual iHeartRadio Music Awards nominees were announced n Jan. 8 with Billie Eilish, Lizzo and others leading the charge. Billie's "bad guy," Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello 's "Señorita," the Jonas Brothers' "Sucker" and Lizzo 's "Truth Hurts" are all nominated for song of the year. The public will be able to vote in several categories including best fan army, best lyrics, best cover song, best music video, best remix, the social star award, favorite tour photographer and the first-ever favorite music video choreography award. The 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards air on March 29 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Rapper Lexii Alijai dead at 21
On Jan. 2, up-and-coming rapper Lexii Alijai passed away. The musician, best known for her collaboration "Jealous" with Kehlani in 2015, was 21. Her family confirmed the sad news via Facebook; at this time a cause of death is not known. The Saint Paul, Minnesota, native has worked with several stars including Drake, Nas and DeJ Loaf. Celebrities paid their respects to the singer on social media, with Kehlani posting a long tribute to her "sis." "I'm so sick. I'm so angry. I'm confused and my heart is broken. I don't know why this happened. I don't know what you've ever done but be brilliant, kind, strong, gentle, compassionate…" she wrote.
GLAAD Media Awards to honor Taylor Swift
GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, announced on Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift will be receiving the Vanguard Award. The prize honors allies who have made a difference in promoting acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The organization released a statement saying, "From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance. In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change." In June, Taylor wrote a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee asking him to support the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and other public accommodations. She also released the song "You Need to Calm Down" and its anti-hate-themed video. Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award include Beyonce and JAY-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Cher, Janet Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor. Trans activist Janet Mock will also be honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who's made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Congrats to the honorees!
Cardi B applying for Nigerian citizenship
Cardi B has almost had it with the political tensions in America! The rapper announced on Jan. 8 that she was "filing for my Nigerian citizenship." The news came after President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iran's top military official. Cardi has been a vocal opponent of the president and an active supporter of presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a top Nigerian government official, tweeted, "As one in charge of the Diaspora for [Nigeria], we can't wait to receive you again. Our doors are open, sister."
Fans react to Nicki Minaj's wax figure
On Jan. 7, Madame Tussauds Berlin unveiled a wax figure of rapper Nicki Minaj and many were less than impressed with the finished product. Nicki's fans, who are known as Barbz, took to social media to vent their frustrations. One wrote on Twitter, "There is no way that is supposed to be Nicki Minaj!?! It's not even her shade of brown!!! Just like all brown people don't look alike, all kinda sorta almost random brown people wax figures don't pass for any 'fill in the blank' celebrity of color." Others thought the waxwork looked more like Kourtney Kardashian than Nicki.