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Kendrick Lamar, JAY-Z, SZA among 2018 Grammy nominees

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @ 8:12 AM

2018 Grammy Nominations

Who will be taking home a gramophone for the 2018 Grammy Awards? The names of the nominees were announced Tuesday morning.

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Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 5:34 AM

Author Philip Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortality, has died at age 85, his literary agent said Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Richard Drew/AP
Author Philip Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortality, has died at age 85, his literary agent said Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)(Richard Drew/AP)

Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85.

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Fellow writers and public figures took to Twitter to share their condolences and reflect on Roth's novels. Here's what they had to say:

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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Spotify removes R. Kelly’s music from playlists under new hateful content policy

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

On the heels of #MuteRKelly, Spotify will no longer have the R&B singer’s music available in playlists. 

Billboard reported Thursday that Kelly’s music has been removed from the streaming service’s editorial and algorithmic playlists under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy put in place. Under the policy, hate content is “content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

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In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said, “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

Kelly has been accused of sexual violence against underage black women for decades. A Dec. 1994 - Jan. 1995 issue of Vibe Magazine exposed Kelly’s secret marriage of Kelly to the late singer Aaliyah, who was allegedly 15 at the time, when he was 27. The marriage was soon annulled. In 2008, he was acquitted of child pornography charges after a six-year ordeal stemming from a videotape that showed a man who looked like Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

In July 2017, BuzzFeed News published a story that claimed the now 51-year-old was running a sex cult out of his Chicago mansion. Since then, more women have come forward to say they were abused by Kelly. Kelly has routinely denied any allegations of sexual misconduct and violence.

On April 30, Women of Color of Time’s Up, a sub group within the Time’s Up organization that works on issues specifically impacting women and girls of color, posted an open letter calling for investigations into allegations made against Kelly. The letter called on RCA Records, Kelly’s label; Ticketmaster; Spotify; Apple Music and Greensboro Coliseum Complex, where Kelly had a May 11 concert scheduled, to cut ties with the singer.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Thursday that, according to a representative for the Coliseum, the Friday concert is still happening. Ticketmaster still has the event listed on its websiteBillboard reported that RCA Records has not dropped Kelly from its label. An Apple Music representative did not immediately respond when reached by Rolling Stone for comment on the open letter.

In response to the letter, Kelly’s manager issued a statement, saying in part, “R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals -- and in this case, it is unjust and off-target.”

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R. Kelly sued by Texas woman for sexual battery, false imprisonment, claims he gave her STD

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

R&B singer R. Kelly is involved in yet another lawsuit in which he is accused of sexual assault.

The New York Times reported that Faith A. Rodgers, a 20-year-old Texas woman, filed a suit in a New York court. Rodgers said she was 19 when she started a relationship with Kelly.

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NYT reported that, according to the filing, Rodgers said she met Kelly in March 2017 after he performed in San Antonio, Texas. She said she was flown to New York by Kelly after months of phone contact. It was in New York that Rodgers alleges Kelly “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room and did not tell Rodgers he was infected with herpes. The suit claims she contracted the disease.

“He turns on all the lights ...And he’s like, ‘Take off your clothes.’ And he says it, you know, with authority in his voice,” Rodgers told CBS News Tuesday. “Not just, you know, he’s demanding me to do this. And I didn’t take off my clothes because why would I? I just wasn’t ready… Sex isn’t something, you know, I’m ready for.”

Rodgers said she ultimately submitted and had sex with Kelly even though she didn’t want to. She claimed Kelly recorded the act on his iPad without her consent.

Rodgers said after the incident, Kelly asked how old she was.  

“I told him and he’s like, ‘You know, if you’re really, you know, 16, that you can tell daddy, right?’ And he was like, ‘You know, you just look about 14, 15 or 16,’” she said.

Rodgers said in the suit that she was in a relationship with Kelly for a year, in which he “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.” The suit alleges Kelly’s actions were “designed to humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her.”

The suit is seeking unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. CBS News reported that Rodgers previously filed a criminal complaint with the Dallas Police Department in April.

In the past, Kelly has routinely denied allegations of sexual abuse. In response to the April criminal complaint, Kelly’s representative said the musician “categorically denies all claims and allegations.”

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R. Kelly loses lawsuit against Georgia venue after attorneys quit

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

R. Kelly’s lawsuit against a Georgia venue was thrown out when he failed to appear in court.

In a May 15 filing, U.S. District Judge John Robert Blake dismissed the singer’s case against Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia. In the suit, Kelly’s management company, RSK Enterprises, claimed Macon Coliseum-operator Comcast Spectacor did not pay him $100,000 for a show he performed. Kelly asked for that amount plus damages.

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The case was thrown out because Kelly failed to appear in a Chicago court. He also did not appear at hearings on April 3 and May 8 and was warned “that any future failures to appear may subject this case to a dismissal for want of prosecution,” according to court documents.

Furthermore, the two attorneys representing RSK Enterprises, Heather Blaise and Travis Life, stepped down from the case in April.

“As a result of ethical obligations, Ms. Blaise and Mr. Life are no longer able to represent plaintiff,” part of the April 25 motion read, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The dismissal comes after a Texas woman, Faith A. Rodgers, filed a suit in a New York court Monday seeking unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. Spotify announced earlier this month that it would no longer promote Kelly’s music by having it in playlists under a new hateful content policy.

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