Celebrities like Mariah Carey, Charlamagne Tha God and more came together to virtually celebrate Andre Harrell during BET's A Tribute to Andre Harrell Sunday night.
The legendary music executive and founder of Uptown Records, who died May 7 at age 59, launched the careers of Mary J. Blige, Al B. Sure,Heavy D & The Boyz, Monifah, The Lost Boyz and more in the 1990s and is credited for the success of Sean "Diddy" Combs.
Pharrell Williams was among the first to speak during the special, thanking Andre for changing history through sound.
"I would not be here as a musician if it were not for him recognizing what was in Teddy Riley, if it were not for him recognizing what was in Puff [Daddy]," Pharrell said.
"That was his talent," he added. "He could look at you and see how you would inspire the world."
Tyrese Gibson was next up revealing an upcoming movie role as singerTeddy Pendergrass -- a role he claims said Andre predicted he'd win an Oscar for.
The tribute also reminded viewers of Harrell's role in film production working on movies such as Chris Rock's Good Hair, Honey with Jessica Alba, and hit series New York Undercover, followed by a special appearance from Lee Daniels.
Naomi Campbell appeared expressing her gratitude for Andre and being able to experience "a very rare human being with the biggest heart."
Kathy Sledge also paid tribute singing Sister Sledge's "Thinking Of You," while Mariah Carey shared that she had been looking over old photos of them together, remembering Andre's "humor and uniqueness."
After singing Jodeci's "Talk to Me," Robin Thicke played a new song he was able to finish with Andre just one week before his passing. "So this is Andre [Harrell] approved with his final thoughts," he said before playing the track called, "Forever Mine."
Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Quincy Jones, and Maxine Waters were also on hand to share fond memories of Andre and send condolences to Andre's family.
Babyface penned a special song to his dear friend before images of Diddy and Andre began appearing on the screen.
Harrell's son, Gianni, closed out the evening thanking fans and supporters for their love and prayers and celebrating those who contributed to his father's impactful legacy.
T-Pain and Bryson Tiller have sparked a major conversation on social media about being mislabeled as "rappers" in the music industry.
T-Pain is arguably one of the most influential musicians of the last 20 years, whether he’s singing, rapping, or using auto-tune. But he’s been able to shed the title "rapper," even with an album titled Rappa Ternt Sanga.
"I. AM. NOT. A. RAPPER,"T-Pain proclaimed on Twitter. "Do people legit think 'I’m Sprung,' 'Stripper,' 'Buy U A Drank,' 'Bartender,' etc. are RAP songs?!"
"Some of them even have a rapper on [them]!! Do y’all for real think that’s me trying to rap? Have you heard rap?"
Bryson Tiller backed up T-Pain, sharing he’s dealt with the same challenge of being classified as something he’s not.
"We both deal with this bro," the TrapSoul artist responded on Twitter. "We’re just inspired by Rap music (as we should be because what’s life without rap music) but at the core, it’s R&B!! Rapper Turnt Sanga! Sanga Turnt Rapper! perspective."
Bryson made his imprint on the music industry with his 2015 number-one debut album, Trapsoul. He made us fall in love with tracks like "Exchange" and "Been That Way," and his breakout hit, "Don’t."
Check out Bryson's latest freestyle session on rapper Guapdad 4000's quarantine series, Rona Raps, and decide for yourself what he's all about.
Mary J. Blige says this "Can't Be Life" on the new single featured on the soundtrack for her film Body Cam.
Blige tapped a few of her longtime collaborators for the single, including Chucky Thompson, Denis Rich, Bruce Miller, and songwriting vets such as Stacy Barthe, Jimmy Cozier and Aaron Phillips.
She believes the song serves as the perfect ending for the crime thriller, which speaks candidly to the current times.
"And I was like, 'Wow, what a perfect song to end this with, because it can't be life," Mary tells ABC Audio. "This can't be life [when] our people being just killed and murdered... and we don't have a police system that can help us. ...So it's time to move to a higher vibration and try to do something different."
Blige stars in Body Cam as a police office who, after her partner's unexplained death, discovers police corruption in her department, while on a manhunt to find a supernatural killer.
The film also stars Nat Wolff and AnikaNoni Rose, and is directed by Malik Vitthal, whose directorial debut, Imperial Dreams,won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Body Cam is now available for digital purchase from Paramount Pictures..
Teyana Taylor is on a roll, dropping two smashing videos from her upcoming album in 24 hours: "Made It and "Bare Wit Me."
Last night, the crooning singer released "Made It," a dedication video to celebrate this year's graduating class who won’t have the opportunity to attend a formal commencement ceremony due to COVID-19. It's a feeling all too familiar for Taylor, who never had a formal graduation herself.
Teyana was already signed to a recording contract during her high school years, so she finished her studies via home schooling. Ultimately, she received her high school diploma inside of a local Starbucks.
She praised the 2020 graduates on Instagram saying, "YOU MADE IT! Class of 2020 this is for you!"
Taylor also thanked the graduates who participated in the music video while wearing their cap and gowns.
"I truly appreciate you and [I’m] happy to celebrate YOU!!!," she wrote.
In addition, in preparation for her upcoming album titled THE ALBUM, Teyana let us know she will kill for love in the new gangster-themed video for "Bare With Me."
The visual features her husband Iman Shumpert as her love interest, whom she's seen shooting, and then smothering to death later on in a hospital.
Warner Bros. and Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan seem to be banking on movie theaters being open following the COVID-19 shutdowns, based on the just-released trailer for his anticipated action film, Tenet.
The extended preview for the film promises that, unlike other movies have gone to streaming services to avoid the shuttered cinemas, Nolan's movie is "COMING TO THEATERS."
Following last December's teaser for Tenet -- starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and frequent Nolan collaborator Michael Caine -- the new trailer finally reveals what the hush-hush plot is about.
The central conceit apparently has to do with the power to reverse the flow of time. Just as Nolan's imagination saw skyscrapers splitting open like flower petals and physics-bending fight scenes in Inception, Tenet's use of time as a weapon lends itself to some mind-bending visuals, like a gunfight in reverse.
"You're not shooting the bullet, you're catching it," an associate tells Washington's character at a firing range.
Tenet is still officially set for a July 17 release, but it remains to be seen if Nolan and Warner Bros.' wishes will come true.
Efren Landaos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImageBy RACHEL GEORGE, ABC News
Rapper Dave East was arrested in Queens, New York early Friday morning, and received two summonses for disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of marijuana.
ABC News reports East, whose birth name is David Brewster, was riding in the back seat of a vehicle that was pulled over for failure to signal a turn near Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Queens.
East and another passenger in the vehicle both declined to provide identification to the police. Police reportedly found seven bags of marijuana in the vehicle. Officers took East to the precinct, where he provided identification and received two summonses.
After his release, East clapped back at officers in a video of his arrest on Instagram.
In the video, two officers remove East from the vehicle and cuff his hands behind his back, as bystanders shout at to East and some shout that the police are harassing him.
"I'm not fighting with them," East said in the video as he's handcuffed and escorted away by police.
He captioned the video, "Rest in paradise Shooter. [This] don't stop. [Forget] NYPD until I see you again."
East is currently mourning the loss of his best friend, fellow rapperKing Shooter. The 24-year-old died from complications of COVID-19 earlier this month. He was well-loved by Dave, Nas and others in the hip hop community.
The record also mentioned Kylie's sister, model Kendall Jenner, as well as Gigi Hadid.
"It's a song that leaked 3 years ago and got scrapped shortly after. He was going [to] keep in the drake/future [catalog]," the "Toosie Slide" artist explained. "Last thing [I'd] want to do is waking up having any friends of mine feeling disrespected so I just had to say that to start off the day."
Though Drake didn't mention any of his "friends" by name in the apology, the lyrics make it safe to assume that it's probably aimed towards Kylie, Kendall, and Gigi at the very least.
Mary J. Blige is sharing her thoughts on the deeper meaning behind her new crime thriller Body Cam.
In the film, Blige plays Renee, a bereaved police officer who learns of police corruption in her department when she begins to hunt down a supernatural killer. Blige tells ABC Audio that even though she's a big horror movie fan, she was more impressed by the film's gritty storyline.
"The corruption of the cop system and how they cover up the murders of our people being slain and killed every single day," she says. "That's a real topic. And that's one of the things that drew me."
"And the fact that there's so many corrupt cops that the good cops like Renee don't get a chance," Blige adds.
Although having her character uncover police corruption was a stand out moment for the actress-singer, Blige says it was just as important for the film to be relatable.
"Of course, the grieving mother and the mothers that suffer when their children are gunned down, just taking a jog," she says, referring to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in February by a white former police officer while jogging. "Or, just for just walking home."
Still, if the film's storyline isn't enough, Blige has something else to offer: her new single "Can't Be Life" in the end credits.
"And I was like, 'Wow, what a perfect song to end this with, because it can't be life," she says. "This can't be life [when] our people being just killed and murdered... and we don't have a police system that can help us."
"So it's time to move to a higher vibration and try to do something different," she says.
Body Cam is now available for digital purchase from Paramount Pictures.
By MEREDITH DELISO and CHRISTOPHER WATSON, ABC NEWS
A third person has been charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Georgia man who was shot and killed by two white men while jogging in February.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday said it arrested William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., 50, on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan took the viral cellphone footage depicting the chase and murder of Arbery on Feb. 23 in Glynn County.
Bryan will be booked into the Glynn County Jail, according to the GBI. An initial police report noted Bryan tried unsuccessfully to block Arbery, who was jogging in the neighborhood when confronted.
The 28-second video showed Arbery jogging as Travis McMichael, 34, stood outside of a white pickup truck armed with a shotgun and his father, Gregory McMichael, 64, a former police officer, stood in the truck's open flatbed trunk holding a. 357 magnum.
The video shows Arbery and Travis McMichael tussling with the shotgun before three shots are fired. Arbery stumbled and fell to the ground, where he was pronounced dead. On May 7, Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested and charged with Arbery's murder.
The attorneys for Arbery's mother and father said the family was "relieved" to learn of Bryan's arrest.
"We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well," the attorneys, S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart, said in a statement.
"The family of Mr. Arbery is thankful for the diligence of the GBI and the way in which they tirelessly pursued the evidence in this case,' they added. "We want anyone who participated in the murder of Mr. Arbery to be held accountable."
Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, said in a press conference earlier this week that his client was receiving death threats due to the video and feared going to work.
"Without his video there would be no case," Gough said Monday. "Ya’ll have put a target on his back," he added, referring to the media.
On Monday, Gough also said that Bryan was unarmed at the time of the shooting and "was not in communication with Gregory or Travis McMichael, or anyone else, during that time frame."
Mariah Carey, Babyface, and Robin Thicke will honor the late music executive and Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell in a special tribute this Sunday.
The broadcast, titled after Harrell's nickname, "Mr. Champagne and Bubbles," will feature some of the biggest names in music, entertainment and fashion including Naomi Campbell, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Lee Daniels,Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons, to name a few.
Harrell, who died at age 59, launched the careers of Al B. Sure!, Heavy D and the Boyz,Guy, The Lost Boyz, Jodeci, and many other top hip hop and R&B stars of the late '80s and '90s. He is also credited for his mentorship of his former intern, Sean "Diddy" Combs, who went on to launch Bad Boy Records and turn Mary J. Blige into a superstar.
Harrell was also an executive at Combs' Revolt TV, and developed films and TV shows.
The tribute special will be executive-produced by his Harrell's Gianni Credle-Harrell.
"You’re still my superhero, life coach, personal comedian, twin, yoga partner, wingman, and best friend," Gianni wrote on Instagram after his father's passing. "It gives me solace knowing how many lives you touched with your infinite wisdom and smile, boundless energy, and immortal taste."
Courtesy of VH1By RACHEL GEORGE and CANDICE WILLIAMS, ABC NEWS
Tamar Braxton is gearing up for the premiere of her new show, To Catch a Beautician.
Braxton partnered with celebrity hairstylist Johnny Wright on the series that helps clients confront the beauticians who damaged their hair.
Tamar tells ABC Audio one of the most beautiful parts of the show is helping others overcome insecurities about their hair, just as she overcame hers.
"For me, one of the most beautiful things about this series is that I, too, felt captive and felt like my hair was everything to me instead of dealing with the issues I had going on in the inside," Tamar tells ABC Audio. "And that's when I cut my hair."
Soon after, she realized, "I had been covering everything up."
"I was living behind a weave or a wig and not really being in love with my true self," Tamar says. "What I found about the people who come and talk to us, they're actually searching for something or they're actually hiding from something or covering things up."
She adds, "The most beautiful thing about this is it all comes out."
And it all comes out next week: To Catch a Beautician premieres Monday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET on VH1.
Courtesy of Megan Thee StallionBy RACHEL GEORGE, ABC News
Megan Thee Stallion is about to send this summer into the stratosphere with her 3-D video for "Savage."
The Houston Hottie is a one-woman army in the new animated video for her single, as she takes down an evil army of guards in a facility. The visual captures her love for anime and retro aesthetics, which are paired with her authoritative rap lyrics.
The video comes just weeks after her bossy remix of the track with Queen Beyoncé, to support COVID-19 relief in Houston. The "Savage" remix currently holds down the number one spot on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Chart.
"Savage" is Megan's highest-charting solo single to date, and its success is also responsible for her recent debut onBillboard's Top Songwriters chart.
In television news, you can catch Megan Thee Stallion as a celebrity judge on HBO Max's vogue competition show, Legendary, which premieres May 27th.
Oprah Winfrey continues to give back amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The media mogul, who previously donated $10 million to relief efforts, announced through her foundation that she's giving an additional $2 million, bringing the total donation to $12 million.
Winfrey's charitable foundation's donation will assist organizations in places she holds close to her heart: her hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi, plus Chicago, Nashville, Milwaukee and Baltimore.
Some of the beneficiary organizations include NashvilleNurtures, a food relief effort started in part by Winfrey's alma mater, Tennessee State University, as well as Live Healthy Chicago, Living Classrooms Foundation, Center for Urban Families and more.
The relief efforts the donation will assist cover everything from housing support for families in need to mental health services for those affected by the pandemic.
"I’m proud to be able to support the communities I have called home," Winfrey said in a statement. "These organizations are working tirelessly on the ground to help those hit the hardest by the pandemic, meeting people where they are and serving in ways needed most."
Winfrey's donation will also benefit America's Food Fund, which was launched in April by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation.
"While everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help," Winfrey wrote in a post announcing her donation to America's Food Fund last month. "I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need."
Jamaica, this one is for you! The next Verzuz battle goes down this Memorial Day weekend between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.
"Another legendary link up for the CULTURE," Beenie wrote, sharing the battle's announcement on Instagram.
The "King of Dancehall" has an impressive collection of hits, including "Who Am I," "Romie," "Dude," "Girls Dem Sugar," "Bossman," featuring Sean Paul, and more. In 2000, Beenie won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, for Art and Life.
Fans on social media are also looking forward to hearing hits from Bounty Killer, including "Look," "Benz and Bimma," his Grammy-nominated album Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery,and more.
One fan tweeted, "If you don't know who Beenie man or Bounty killer is, unfollow me. We have nothing in common."
Meanwhile others were more concerned about any possible technical issues with the battle.
"What kinda WiFi do Bounty Killa and Beenie Man have? Please let it be impeccable because I need to hear every word of this Verzuz [battle]," a fan tweeted.
The reggae/dancehall mashup between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer begins Saturday, May 23, at 8 p.m. EST.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesBy RACHEL GEORGE, ABC News
Legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan has launched a plant-based hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean from COVID-19.
The "Protect Ya Hands" sanitizer comes from the A Better Tomorrow Collection, created in partnership with the City of Ottawa, Canada, Mayor Jim Watson, and RZA's 36 Chambers company, which supports culture, consciousness, and creativity.
The Wu-Tang member shared the collection's inspiration in a video on Instagram.
"What we're doing today, I think, is an example for other communities, other cities, and may this seed that we plant today, spread and multiply," RZA said. "May we all strive and succeed at making a better tomorrow."
In addition to the hand sanitizer, the A Better Tomorrow collection will also include a reusable food bowl and t-shirt to benefit the Ottawa Food Bank, Ottawa Mission Foundation, and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario during the pandemic.
Alicia Keys is the latest artist to postpone a world tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her trek in support of her album, ALICIA, was supposed to have started in June in Ireland, and was scheduled to wrap up on September 22 in Hollywood, Florida.
In a video message, an Alicia Keys avatar -- complete with braids and freckles -- says, "Yo, you can't believe how bummed out I am that we have to postpone the ALICIA world tour. Look, I know we all feel the same and we've all been waiting patient[ly] to see where the world is going. But right now, our safety and the health of my beautiful fam is the most important."
She adds, "I miss you so much! Until I see you again, I adore you!"
In the video caption, Alicia writes, "To my beloved fam: you know my heart is [broken] because The ALICIA World tour 2020 will have to be rescheduled...Trust me, I cannot WAIT to see you and for all of us to be singing TOGETHER at the top of our lungs, filling the space with our spirits! In the meantime, please be safe, be patient and I’ll be with you as soon as we can all be together again."
She adds that rescheduled dates will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, there's still no release date for the ALICIA album, which has spun off the hit "Underdog," co-written by Ed Sheeran.
Back in March, Alicia was forced to postpone the book tour for her memoir More Myself: A Journey.
To my beloved fam: you know my heart is 💔 because The ALICIA World tour 2020 will have to be rescheduled. We’ve all been waiting patiently to see how the world is going. We held onto the dates as long as we could BUT safety and the good health of my beautiful fam is paramount. pic.twitter.com/TyVOHiH5Zu
Paras Griffin/Getty ImagesThe show must go on. But this year, the BET Awards is going virtual due to COVID-19.
BET shared the news in a teaser video on Wednesday, which states, "Our biggest night is coming!" and noted that night will be Sunday, June 28 at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT.
This year’s celebration honors 40 years of black excellence in entertainment, sports and the arts, and also marks the 20th anniversary of the awards show.
Normally, fans would spend the weekend ahead of the awards show watching their favorite artists perform on various stages and attending events nearby in the city. But fans this year will have to hold on to memories from last year's three-day BET experience in Los Angeles, since that also has been canceled.
"At BET, we place the health and safety of attendees, staff, vendors, and partners first, which is why the biggest night in black entertainment will go on implementing this innovative production direction," a BET spokesperson stated in a press release.
Last year's BET awards show featured performances from Meek Mill,Cardi B, Migos, Lucky Daye and more.
Kandi Burruss, aka the Night Angel, was crowned as the first female winner on The Masked Singer Wednesday night, while hip-hop star Bow Wow is revealed as the dancing Frog.
Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Burruss took us home with her rendition of Tina Turner’s "River Deep, Mountain High," though fans have been anticipating her reveal for weeks, due to her distinctive voice and tone.
Ahead of the episode airing, Kandi announced her new single, “Used to Love Me” featuring Todrick Hall and Precious, on Instagram Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Bow Wow has kept viewers entertained all season as the dancing Frog, performing hip-hop classics. He reminded us of his days as a Bad Boy Records signee in 2015, rapping "Bad Boy for Life" by Diddy, Black Rob, and Mark Curry for his final performance.
Fans are speculating Bow is getting ready to release new music, possibly with Omarion after a few suspicious tweets. Earlier this week, he tweeted "Bow Wow/Omarion 2020," paired with a CD emoji.
Anywho, enjoy new music from Kandi and look out for new music from Bow soon.