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2016's most controversial figures

Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 3:01 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 3:01 PM

Most Controversial People of 2016

It has been an interesting 12 months for 2016. World news in sports, politics and entertainment made for some polarizing people -- and in one case, a polarizing gorilla.

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In no particular order, here are some of 2016's most controversial figures:

Ryan Lochte

The 2016 Summer Olympics probably didn't go the way gold medalist Ryan Lochte planned it to. Controversy began with an August incident in which Lochte and U.S. swim teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen allegedly destroyed a gas station restroom, but video of the swimmers didn't appear to show them near the restrooms. Lochte claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by men claiming to be police, but later said he "over-exaggerated" the story. Lochte lost four endorsement deals in one day after the incident.

Lochte's attempt at an image rehab on "Dancing With the Stars" in September was overshadowed his first night when protesters stormed the stage.The end of 2016 is looking up for the star, though: He's engaged to his girlfriend, a former Playboy model, and they are expecting their first child in 2017.

Stacey Dash

Former "Clueless" actress Stacey Dash makes a name for herself by expressing opinions that are very polarizing. In January, she called for an end to Black History Month during an appearance on "Fox & Friends." Her awkward attempt at self-deprecation at the Oscars in February seemed to make things worse when most of the so-called mainstream media didn't seem to get the joke.

In June, Dash said during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" that being transgender is a lifestyle choice. In response to North Carolina's "bathroom bill," Dash said trans people should "go to the bushes" to use the restroom.

Harambe the gorilla

Harambe alone isn't necessarily controversial, but the May 28 incident in which a 3-year-old boy got into the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla enclosure that led to the gorilla being shot and killed plagued the park. Memes and jokes persisted months after the incident and the zoo's director, Thane Maynard, told The Associated Press the zoo was "not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe." But in the internet age, nothing ever really dies, and even in December, there are still people actively tweeting about Harambe the gorilla.

Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew criticism and applause for sitting during the national anthem at NFL preseason games. The athlete said he did so in protest of police brutality of African-Americans. He later began kneeling, but still drew criticism from Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka; and from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, although Ginsburg has since expressed regret over her remarks.

Kaepernick's decision led him to be named the "most disliked player" in the NFL in one research poll in September, he made the cover of Time magazine that same week. And if kneeling during the anthem was bad to some, Kaepernick then told reporters he wouldn't be voting in the 2016 presidential election. "I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote," Kaepernick told reporters. "I said from the beginning I was against oppression … to me, the oppressor isn't going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression."

Kanye West

The election year brought a lot of opinions out of Kanye West. During multiple stops on his Saint Pablo Tour, West vented about his frustrations with industry friends Jay Z and Beyonce, even claiming that Jay Z did not call him after his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris in October. West also claimed Beyonce would not perform at the MTV VMAs unless she won Video of the Year, and that although he did not vote in the election, he would have voted for Trump if he had.

The rapper was briefly hospitalized in November. In one of his first appearances since his hospitalization, West posed for photos with President-elect Donald Trump, another controversial figure, outside Trump Tower in New York in December.

Hillary Clinton

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was mostly surrounded by controversy once emails began to surface. Leaks plagued her campaign, including emails sent from a private server while she was working as Secretary of State and pieces and full versions of other paid speeches she gave to banks and other organizations.

Clinton was also under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October just before Election Day. And her "basket of deplorables" comment about "half of Trump supporters" in September drew so much criticism, she had to issue a statement to attempt to clear the air.

Donald Trump

The president-elect of the United States didn't run for office without controversy. Donald Trump made headlines when he called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," according to a since-deleted statement on his website. Some other controversies Trump became involved in include his feud with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, a leak of audio before a 2005 "Access Hollywood" interview that Trump later called "locker room banter" and multiple accusations of sexual assault.

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'Everything Is Love': 3 things we learned from Beyoncé and Jay-Z's surprise album

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:29 AM

Jay-Z and Beyonce Through The Years

Just when you thought Beyoncé and Jay-Z were turning their attention to their globe-trotting “On the Run 2” tour, which kicked off earlier this month in Wales, the couple managed to re-direct the conversation with the surprise weekend arrival of “Everything is Love.”

Here are three things we learned from the nine-song release, which is only (currently) available on Tidal, the streaming service partially owned by Jay-Z. Keep an ear out for Migos, Pharrell Williams and Ty Dolla Sign on the album, as well.

>> Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

1. Jay-Z and Beyoncé do not suffer from a lack of self-confidence. “I said no to the Super Bowl / You need me, I don’t need you / Every night we in the end zone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too,” Jay-Z raps in “Ape****,” the first single from the album filmed in an empty Louvre. In the same song, he also admonishes the Grammy Awards; despite his eight nominations in January, he left empty-handed. “Tell the Grammys [expletive] that 0 for 8 [expletive],” he says.

On “Boss,” Beyonce emphasizes the couple’s wealth (as if anyone was questioning that?): “My great-great-grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list.”

2. Clearly, the pair has worked through the issues that resulted in Beyonce’s layered, shade-throwing “Lemonade” and Jay-Z’s response, the stark “4:44” (aka, the album nominated for a bunch of Grammys that didn’t win any). 

On “Ape****,” Beyonce frequently drops a, “I can’t believe we made it,” line and revisits it in the bonus track, “Salud!,” singing, “Celebrate that we made it.” The aptly named “Nice” also finds her proclaiming that she and Jay are “feeling like the best year ever.”

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3. Jay-Z noted in a New York Times story in 2017 that he and his wife used art as a sort of therapy session to make new music.They’ve now made music to directly respond to rumors and slights, standing tall while they sling their arrows.

On “Heard About Us,” Jay-Z makes a final, exasperated comment about his 23-year-old alleged love child: “For the thousandth time the kid ain’t mine / Online they call me Dad kiddingly / You’re not supposed to take this dad thing literally.” In “Friends,” he calls out the fickle ones who can’t maintain an alliance, and also seemingly alludes to Kanye West, who said he was “hurt” when the Carters didn’t attend his 2014 wedding to Kim Kardashian. 

“I ain't going to nobody for nothing when me and my wife beefing / I don't care if the house on fire … / If ya'll don't understand that, we ain't meant to be friends,” Jay-Z claps back.

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Chris Cornell’s daughter releases duet in tribute to late Soundgarden singer

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 4:16 PM

Chris Cornell fronted Soundgarten, a Seattle-based grunge group. He died in May 2017.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Chris Cornell fronted Soundgarten, a Seattle-based grunge group. He died in May 2017.(Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The daughter of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell released a recording of a duet with her late father as a Father’s Day tribute, Rolling Stone reported.

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Toni Cornell, 13, released the duet of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” written by Prince and popularized by Sinead O’Connor in 1990, along with a note on YouTube and Instagram thanking her father.

"You gave me courage when I didn't have any. You believed in me when I didn't. I miss your love everyday," Toni Cornell wrote. "Recording this song with you was a special and amazing experience I wish I could repeat 100 times over and I know you would too."

Chris Cornell debuted an acoustic version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" in September 2015 and cut a studio album after Prince’s death in April 2016, Rolling Stone reported. 

Chris Cornell died May 18, 2017, in Detroit while on tour. He was 52. His death was ruled a suicide, Rolling Stone reported.

Toni Cornell sang a moving rendition of “Hallelujah” as a tribute to her father in August 2017.

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Seth MacFarlane criticizes Fox, network anchor Tucker Carlson

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 1:13 PM

Comedian  Seth MacFarlane said he was embarrassed to work for the Fox network after the comments made Friday by network host Tucker Carlson.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Comedian Seth MacFarlane said he was embarrassed to work for the Fox network after the comments made Friday by network host Tucker Carlson.(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Comedian Seth MacFarlane tweeted that comments made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson made him “embarrassed” to work for the network, The Hill reported Sunday.

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MacFarlane’s science fiction comedy-drama series “The Orville,” is broadcast on Fox. He also created the long-running “Family Guy” animated show that is aired by the network. On Saturday, MacFarlane took issue with Carlson’s comments that urged viewers not to trust news reports from “big stations.”

“If you're looking to understand what's actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they're telling you on the big news stations,” Carlson said in his Friday night telecast.

MacFarlane was responding to CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, who called Carlson’s comments “sad” on Twitter.

“In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News,” MacFarlane tweeted. “It’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”

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Country singer Scotty McCreery marries longtime girlfriend

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

Country singer Scotty McCreery married his longtime girlfriend in the North Carolina mountains on Saturday.
Matt Winkelmeyer
Country singer Scotty McCreery married his longtime girlfriend in the North Carolina mountains on Saturday.(Matt Winkelmeyer)

Country music star Scotty McGreery married his longtime girlfriend, Gabi Dugal, in the North Carolina mountains on Saturday, People reported.

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McCreery, who was the 2011 winner of “American Idol,” wed near Grandfather Mountain, WRAL reported.

Dugal is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and works as a pediatric nurse at Duke University Hospital, WRAL reported.

“We’ve been dating six years and have known each other our whole lives,” McCreery told People. “That kind of story doesn’t happen too often nowadays.

“I support her dreams and she supports mine.”

The couple met as kindergarten students in Garner, North Carolina, WRAL reported.

The couple, both 24, made Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” their first dance, People reported.

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