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halftime

Rihanna Reveals She Is Pregnant at Superbowl Half-time Show

Rihanna revealed to fans that she is pregnant with her second baby in an unexpected way. The Grammy award-winning singer performed at the 2023 Superbowl half-time show in Phoenix, where she danced on platforms dressed in a fiery red jumpsuit that accentuated a baby bump.

In the first few moments of her set, the singer rubbed her belly and performed with the zipper of her jumpsuit open. Because of the snugness of the red bodysuit she was wearing underneath, it was visible that she was expecting a child.

People were quick to take to the internet to speculate whether the singer was pregnant again. Shortly after Rihanna’s 13-minute set concluded, her representatives confirmed the news to the media.

Rihanna and her partner, rapper A$AP Rocky, had their first child, a son, in May 2022.

Onlookers saw the rapper filming Rihanna’s performance and dancing enthusiastically throughout the half-time show as he cheered her on from the sidelines.

This is not the first time the couple has shared such a momentous announcement with dramatic flair.

During Rihanna’s first pregnancy, the pair shared photographs of the singer’s growing baby bump to announce that she was pregnant.

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Photographer Miles Diggs took the series of photos as part of a pregnancy photo shoot for the couple. With the buttons of her long pink coat undone, Rihanna flaunted her expanding tummy, and lengthy body chains ornamented her outfit.

Before their first baby was born, Rihanna was interviewed by Vogue magazine, where she revealed how she and Rocky became more than friends after a lot of reluctance. The two had known each other for many years.

“People don’t get out of the friend zone very easily with me, and I certainly took a while to get over how much I know him and how much he knows me because we also know how much trouble we can land each other in.”

Their relationship became more serious when the pandemic took hold and quarantines were implemented. Rihanna said Rocky became her “family in that time.”

The two went on a road trip from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2020.

“I cooked our food on this little janky grill I bought from Walmart. I still have it, too. It works like nobody’s business. I love the simple things but also the grand adventures. There’s no pretentious my-brand-your-brand bullshit; it’s just us living. I just feel like I can do any part of life by his side.”

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She shared that her first pregnancy was not something the pair had planned, but they were both receptive to the idea of carrying it to term.

“It was just there on the test. I didn’t waste any time. I called him inside and showed him. Then I was in the doctor’s office the next morning, and our journey began.”

Rihanna told British Vogue in March 2020 that she wants to have three to four kids within the next 10 years.

After her son was born, she told Entertainment Tonight that he was a “happy baby” and that she had affectionately taken to freestyling songs to sing to him.

“Oh my god, the mornings, like, seeing his morning face! Seeing a baby with, like, little bags and waking up, and they’re just, like, startled. They’re trying to figure out where they’re at. It’s the cutest. It’s my favorite part of the day,”

Rihanna was elated but reluctant to take on new projects so soon after becoming a new mom. She told Entertainment Tonight, “If I’m going to leave my baby, I’m going to leave my baby for something special.”

Recognizing the gravity of performing at the Superbowl half-time show, she said, “It was now or never for me.”

“It was a challenge that I welcomed. It was a stage bigger than anything I’ve ever done.”

red carpet

Selena Gomez Responds to Body Shamers After Golden Globes Appearance

Selena Gomez called out social media users who were body-shaming her after her appearance at the 2023 Golden Globes on Tuesday.

In an Instagram Live, the “Only Murders in the Building” actress talked about body positivity alongside her 9-year-old sister, Gracie Elliott Teefey, who also accompanied her to the event.

“I’m a little bit big right now because I enjoyed myself during the holidays.”

“But we don’t care,” she added, laughing with her little sister.

Gomez walked the red carpet in a black velvet Valentino gown featuring purple sleeves, a plunging neckline, an off-the-shoulder bodice, and a thigh-high slit. She wore a pair of diamond drop earrings by De Beers and pulled her hair into a high ponytail to complement the dress.

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Gracie wore a silver and gold dress with a tiny gold purse. In August 2022, Gomez shared on TaTaTu’s video podcast that the two sisters are very close, and Gracie “puts things in perspective.”

“I have to basically watch this little person grow into a human being. There’s no better feeling in the world. I kind of feel like a parent in a way.”

Gomez has been vocal about online “trolls” before. Back in April 2022, Gomez told her fans on TikTok that being skinny was not worth sacrificing eating her favorite foods since she would get criticism about her weight regardless.

“You’re too small,’ ‘you’re too big,’ ‘that doesn’t fit,’ meh-meh-meh. I am perfect the way I am. Moral of the story? Bye!”

The singer has been open about her relationship with social media through the years. In 2019, she deleted several apps off her phone, including Instagram, after comments left her feeling “depressed.”

In a “Good Morning America” interview in April 2022, Gomez said she had been off the internet for four and a half years. She only posted on Instagram and Twitter by sending her assistant photos and text to share.

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Two years prior, in an interview on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Gomez talked about the impact of social media on today’s youth.

I think it’s just become really unhealthy for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all of these comments and letting this stuff in.”

She told “Women’s Wear Daily” in October 2021 that taking a long hiatus from social media significantly improved her mental health.

“I’m completely unaware of actually what’s going on in pop culture, and that makes me really happy. And maybe that doesn’t make everybody else happy, but for me, it’s really saved my life.”

Gomez hinted at her return to Instagram on Tuesday with a series of bathroom selfies.

“Wait, can you tell I’m back on Instagram?” she captioned the post.

Gomez’s performance as Mabel Mora on Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” earned her a nomination for Best Television Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series on Tuesday.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift Makes History by Taking Over Entire Top 10 US Singles Chart

Taylor Swift became the first artist in history to claim every slot in the top 10 US singles chart after releasing her album “Midnights.” She overtakes rapper Drake, who held the previous record of taking over 9 of the top 10 singles in September 2021.

Before Drake, the Beatles scored 8 of the top 10 singles back  in 1964. Midnights also became the fastest-selling album of 2022, and all 13 songs on the album made it to the top 15 chart.

Billboard tweeted about Swift’s historic achievement on Monday.

@taylorswift13 scores one of the most historic weeks in @billboardcharts history, as she becomes the first artist to claim the # Hot100’s entire top 10 in a single week.”

Taylor Swift shared her excitement over the news, retweeting Billboard.

“10 out of 10 of the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I AM IN SHAMBLES”

The song “Anti-Hero” sits at the top of the list, taking over the number one spot. The track has also become a TikTok trend, with colorful lyrics like “I’m the problem, it’s me.”  

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In August, Swift announced the new album during her acceptance speech at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards after winning video of the year for her short film “All Too Well.”

“You guys. I’m just so proud of what we made. I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you– the fans – because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you. You embolden me to do that. So, I had sort of made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand-new album comes out Oct. 21.”

After revealing the record’s release date onstage, she took to Instagram to describe the upcoming tracks in more depth.

“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”

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Midnights is Swift’s tenth studio album and fifth release in just over two years

Part of its success is due to its release in multiple formats, such as “moonstone blue marble” vinyl, CD, cassette and digital download. The four vinyl editions can be combined to make a functioning clock using a unique mount available for purchase on Swift’s website. 

Midnights also topped the US album chart, selling 1.58 million copies. More than half a million of those were on vinyl, which is uncommon in the streaming era. Midnights sold 62,000 copies on vinyl in the UK, becoming the highest weekly sale for a vinyl album in the 21st century. 

The rest of the top 10 singles chart includes album tracks like Lavender Haze, Maroon, Snow On The Beach, Bejeweled and Karma.

According to Billboard, streams of the album alone would have taken over the chart, before even counting sales and radio plays, helping Swift break several records. 

Midnights also became the most streamed single album on Spotify, Apple and Amazon Music in one day. Swift now holds the most top 10 hits among female artists with 40 songs in total, surpassing Madonna’s 38. 

social media

Kanye West To Acquire Right-Wing Social Media Platform Parler

Kanye West is acquiring the conservative social media platform Parler. The purchase comes on the heels of West being locked out of his Twitter account earlier this month after a series of anti-Semitic tweets.

The acquisition was announced on Monday and is slated to finalize in the fourth quarter of 2022. The platform will continue to get cloud support and technical services from Parlement Technologies, the parent business of the company, which was formed to give new internet infrastructure services to businesses that “are in danger” of being forced off the internet.

Parler’s CEO, George Farmer, praised West for making the offer to buy the social media platform.

“This deal will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”

West, who legally changed his name to Ye, is the most recent celebrity to take over a social media network. Former President Donald Trump launched his Truth Social app, which is aimed to primarily serve conservative users, in February this year. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stated earlier this month that he would proceed with his contentious takeover of Twitter. All three men are renowned for using incendiary language online and credit the motivations of their acquisitions as maintaining an arena for “free speech.” Ye issued a statement that echoed these views.

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“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”

As of Monday, Ye’s newly created account on the Parler platform had approximately 526 followers.

Ye recently made headlines for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during his Paris pop-up fashion show. Several models in the runway show also wore shirts with the same slogan. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the statement is often used by white nationalists. The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, told CNN that Parler is a “haven” for hate.

After the show, Adidas, who has a partnership with Ye, said it was reviewing its relationship with the rapper.

Parler was founded in 2018 and quickly grew in popularity in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. According to market research firm Apptopia, the app had an average of 2.9 million daily users at the time thanks to being marketed as a “loosely controlled free-speech refuge.” Since then, the app’s popularity has waned, with Apptopia reporting that the platform’s daily users have dropped to roughly 40,000.

Sarah Mojarad, a professor at the University of Southern California’s engineering school and a misinformation and disinformation research fellow, spoke about why this deal may be attractive to both parties.

“Kanye sees that Elon Musk and Trump are both involved and getting their names out, and he’s looking for some of that attention as well. Parler is also looking for attention and free advertising, and that’s something the platform can gain from this whether or not the deal actually goes through.”

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Following the Jan. 6 insurgency, Parler was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play for failing to effectively filter violent rhetoric on its platform. Documents obtained by the House committee investigating the riots revealed that the Secret Service was aware of posts on Parler urging for violence that day. Parler wrote to Congress in response, stating that the committee’s interest in the app’s role in the insurgency was an attempt to demonize the app.

Parler has been reinstated in both app stores following changes to its moderation policies. As of September, the platform had received $56 million in funding from investors.

Dan Wang, a strategy professor at Columbia Business School, said it is important to note that Parler is an “incredibly niche” player in the social media space.

“Kanye West is a wealthy person and has a lot of resources, but not on the scale of being able to buy actually influential social media platforms.”

fashion

Kanye West Wears ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt at Yeezy Fashion Show

Kanye West donned a shirt bearing “White Lives Matter” on its back at his popup fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. He sent several models, some of whom are Black, with t-shirts sharing the same slogan down the runway at his YZYSZN9 show.

The Anti-Defamation League recognizes the slogan as one that is commonly used by white supremacist groups, including the KKK. The Southern Poverty Law Center also acknowledges the “movement” as an extremist group.

“White Lives Matter, a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, is a neo-Nazi group that is growing into a movement as more and more white supremacist groups take up its slogans and tactics.”

Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, is no stranger to controversy. He made headlines in 2018 after implying slavery was a choice during his interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God.

Selah Marley, Lauryn Hill’s daughter and Bob Marley’s granddaughter, was among the models who modeled the garment. Candace Owens, a conservative political commentator, sat in the audience wearing a shirt with the same slogan.

The rumors of the popup fashion show began a few days before the Balenciaga mud show, where Ye made his runway debut. On Monday, the Avenue de la Grande Armée was packed with fans.

According to the NYTimes, “Anna Wintour came. So did John Galliano. Demna, the Balenciaga designer, and Cédric Charbit, its chief executive. Alexandre Arnault, the chief marketing officer of Tiffany & Company and a son of the LVMH chieftain Bernard Arnault.”

The show featured a live choir with a host of children from Ye’s Donda Academy in California, including  Ye’s daughter North.

Jaden Smith, who was also in the audience, walked out after the shirts came down the runway, later tweeting his support of the BLM movement, stating “I had to dip” and “we demand a more progressive future.”

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Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, the vogue editor, called it “indefensible behavior” on Instagram. In a series of stories, she shared screenshots of her thoughts on what happened.

“I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defense…it didn’t land, and it was deeply offensive, violent and dangerous. The danger is that this very premise, the idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction, is what justifies mass incarceration, murder en masse, indeed even the advent of slavery. The idea that blackness must be snuffed out for it will surely supersede whiteness in power and influence if given the chance, and it’s so hugely irresponsible to furnish the most dangerous extremists with this kind of fiction narrative.”

Kanye responded to the criticism by taking to Instagram and posting screenshots of the writer online.

“This is not a fashion person You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah.”

Model Gigi Hadid came to the writer’s defense, commenting on Ye’s post.

 “You wish u had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea, haha…. If there’s actually a point to any of your s–t. She might be the only person that could save u. As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show should keep someone from giving their opinion? Lol. You’re a bully and a joke.”

She also reposted a statement from José Criales-Unzueta, a Vogue employee, on her Instagram story.

“I was trying very hard not to give that man air time, but publicly bullying someone who criticizes your work on your massive platform is another level of ridiculousness to me. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it. If you can’t take criticism, especially the smart, nuanced, and kind criticism that GKJ provided yesterday’s show, then don’t put work out for public consecution.”

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Ye doubled down on his comments.

“Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over. You’re welcome.”

Ye also accused LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault of killing fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

“SPANK MY HAND WITH THE RULER(S) I’LL GO SIT IN THE ‘PRINCIPAL(S)’ OFFICE. CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? LIKE HOW LATE THE SHOW WAS, OR HOW BERNARD ARNAULT KILLED MY BEST FRIEND.”

Tremaine Emory, the creative director of Supreme, responded, “I gotta draw the line at you using Virgil’s death in your ‘ye’ is the victim campaign in front your sycophant peanut algorithm gallery.”

“This time last year you said Virgil’s designs are a disgrace to the black community in front of all your employees at Yeezy -ASK LUCETTE HOLLAND…I GOT ALL THE ‘RECEIPTS’ ( don’t let me get into the things you said about v after his death)

Ye tell the ppl why you didn’t get invited to Virgil’s actual funeral the one before the public one at the museum( and why you weren’t allowed to speak at the public funeral). You knew Virgil had terminal cancer and you rode on him in group chats, at Yeezy, interviews…YOU ARE SO BROKEN. KEEP VIRGIL NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…KEEP @gabriellak_j NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…Your not a victim your just an insecure narcissist that’s dying for validation from the fashion world…take care…at least we’ll always have ‘UGANDA’.”

mental health

Megan Thee Stallion Launches Mental Health Resource Website for Fans

Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion has launched a mental health resources website named “Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too.” The website lists virtual therapy platforms, external resource directories, nonprofits and crisis helplines.

Many of the resources on the website support marginalized communities, such as linked directories to locate nearby therapists of color and several resources dedicated to serving Black communities. A section titled “LGBTQIA+ Community Helpline” contains eight different crisis hotlines for members of the community. The page also provides resources for addressing substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

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In an interview on Taraji P. Henson’s “Peace of Mind with Taraji” series, Megan spoke about the “cultural stereotypes that often prevent people in the Black community from getting the help they need.”

 “As a Black person and when you think of therapy, you think, ‘oh my gosh, I’m weak.’ Like you think of medication, and you just think the worst. ’Cause that’s kind of what you see on TV too. Therapy wasn’t even presented in the media as something that was good. Now it’s becoming safe to say, ‘All right now, it’s a little too much going on, somebody help me.’”

The website’s name comes from a lyric from her song “Anxiety,” whose video visualizer is embedded into the page. Megan tweeted about the website’s launch to her followers with “Hotties! You know how much mental wellness means to me, so I created a hub with resources that can help when you might need a hand.”

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In the interview with Henson, Megan shared that she started therapy after her mom died from a brain tumor in 2019. Her grandmother died just two weeks later, and her father died when she was a teenager. A year later, in 2020, she was the victim of a shooting, which she described as “the worst experience of my life.” After she named the shooter to be rapper Tory Lanez, people took to the internet to create memes, make jokes at her expense, and call her a liar. Lanez openly denied he ever shot her. Megan eventually posted photos of her feet post-surgery, where she had been shot, to prove her injury.

“I feel like right now mental health is more important to me, more than ever, because I have more pressure on me than I feel like I used to have…when I was Megan, and I wasn’t as criticized and under such a magnifying glass as I am now…now, in this space, I’ve lost both of my parents. So now I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, who do I talk to? What do I do?’ And I just started learning that it’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to want to go get therapy.”

text

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Accused of Cheating on Pregnant Wife

Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine is facing allegations that he cheated on his wife. One woman claims to have dated him for a year, while three others allege Levine privately sent them inappropriate messages.