Tears fall as Carrie Underwood pays tribute to Vegas shooting victims, stars lost

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 11:33 PM

2017 CMA Awards: Top Winners

From Glen Campbell and Troy Gentry to the tragic mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the country music world has lost so many in one year.

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During the 51st Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday, there was only one person who could adequately pay tribute to all of those lives that ended too soon: co-host Carrie Underwood.

Related: Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery joins CMAs Troy Gentry tribute performance

Underwood looked and sounded angelic as she performed the hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” while pictures of all those in the country music industry who died flashed on the screen behind her. 

Underwood powered through the performance, but paused as her voice broke once the images of the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting appeared on the screen. Collectively and in groups, black and white images of each of the 58 victims appeared on he screen behind the singer.

Taking a beat to collect herself, Underwood continued on, singing the last note to cheers and applause from the audience.

Watch a clip of the end of the performance below.

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’Schoolhouse Rock’ composer, jazz musician Bob Dorough dead at 94

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 5:46 PM

Bob Dorough performing at Joe's Pub at the Public, March 9, 2014. 
Kevin Yatarola/Getty Images
Bob Dorough performing at Joe's Pub at the Public, March 9, 2014. (Kevin Yatarola/Getty Images)

Gen Xers and millennials may not recognize the name, but they’ll certainly recognize the music and lyrics Bob Dorough wrote for “Schoolhouse Rock.”

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Children who grew up in the 1970s and 80s watching Saturday-morning television invariaby saw and can probably recite Dorough’s “Conjunction Junction,” one of the best-known Grammar Rock cartoons, or maybe “Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Abverbs Here.” 

Dorough died Monday from natural causes at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press. He was 94 years old.

Dorough was the artist behind the “Multiplication Rock” math series, creating all the lyrics and music for the series, which was part of ABC’s educational “Schoolhouse Rock” series, according to USA Today

>> Related: Longtime NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell has died from Alzheimer’s disease at 84

He also wrote the song, “Devil May Care,” which jazz legend Miles Davis recorded, according to Dorough’s biography.

Dorough was born in Arkansas and raised in Texas, where he “immediately fell in love with music upon joining the Planview Texas High School Band,” his biography said.

He gained musical experience after serving in the Special Services Army Band Unit from 1943-1945, playing multiple instruments, including the saxophone, clarinet and piano.

>> Related: Actor comedian Harry Anderson of 'Night Court' fame dead at 65

Dorough, a 1949 graduate of the University of North Texas, studied composition and piano and went on to perform in jazz clubs in Los Angeles and Paris, but it was a commission in 1971 to “set the multiplication tables to music” that led to his most well-known gig. Dorough became the musical director for “Schoolhouse Rock,” and entertained and instructed unsuspecting children from 1973 until 1985.

In 1995, Dorough signed on with jazz label Blue Note Records and recorded three albums for the label.

Dorough’s funeral is scheduled for Monday in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. 

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Meek Mill sentenced to at least 2 years in prison for probation violation 

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 8:49 PM

Rapper Meek Mill arrives at the criminal justice center in Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. A Philadelphia judge has sentenced rapper Mill to two to four years in state prison for violating probation in a nearly decade-old gun and drug case.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke/AP
Rapper Meek Mill arrives at the criminal justice center in Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. A Philadelphia judge has sentenced rapper Mill to two to four years in state prison for violating probation in a nearly decade-old gun and drug case.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke/AP)

Rapper Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in Pennsylvania state prison Monday after violating probation. 

According to KYW, the 30-year-old known legally as Robert Rihmeek Williams, was already under probation for a drug and weapons case and has been arrested twice this year.

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In March, Mill was charged with a misdemeanor for an altercation with two employees at St. Louis International Airport.

In August, he was charged for reckless endangerment for illegally riding his dirt bike in the Inwood section of Manhattan in New York. 

People reported that the charges from the March incident were dropped after Mill agreed to do community service.

Despite his charges being dropped, Judge Genece Brinkley, who had been dealing with Mill since 2008 following a conviction for dealing drugs and gun possession, still sentenced the rapper to prison.

The sentencing also came from other violations of probation. Philly.com reported Brinkley cited Mill and his managers for repeatedly scheduling performances outside of Philadelphia or Montgomery County. At the time, in 2016, Mill was on house arrest for 90 days after violating probation for unapproved travel.

Before being sentenced, Mill said his violations were mistakes and not disrespect of Brinkley or the court.

“I’m human. I’m not perfect,” Mill told Brinkley. “I’m asking for mercy. You gave me the ladder to do what I have to do to prevail in my struggle. I made it this far, I can’t really go back and start over.”

“I gave you break after break and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” Brinkley said.

Brinkley ordered Mill be immediately taken into custody. Philly.com reported Mill removed his personal items and handed them to his lawyer, Brian J. McMonagle, before being escorted from the court.

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Rapper Meek Mill released from prison after 5 months

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 5:23 PM

Pennsylvania’s  Supreme Court has ordered rapper Meek Mill to be freed from prisono on bail. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Fanatics)
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Fanatics
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has ordered rapper Meek Mill to be freed from prisono on bail. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Fanatics)(Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Fanatics)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered the immediate release of rapper Meek Mill.

TMZ reported that the 30-year-old, whose birth name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was denied bail last week by Judge Genece Brinkley. Brinkley had been criticized for having what some considered a bias against Meek.

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In November, Meek was sentenced to two to four years in prison after violating probation for a drug and weapons case when he was 21.

The Associated Press reported that Meek will be on bail while he appeals the gun and drug convictions.

Activists and celebrities, including JAY-Z, T.I. and Kevin Hart, have shown support for Meek. At the time of the sentencing, JAY-Z said Brinkley’s sentence was “unjust and heavy handed.” Hart visited Meek in prison earlier Tuesday with 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin.

Related: Meek Mill sentenced to at least 2 years in prison for probation violation

“We are thrilled that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has directed Judge Brinkley to immediately issue an order releasing Meek on bail,” Meek’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said in a statement. “As we have said all along, Meek was unjustly convicted and should not have spent a single day in jail. We are also pleased that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has noted that Judge Brinkley may opt to remove herself from presiding over any further proceedings in Meek’s case in the interests of justice. Meek is excited to be reunited with his family, and we, along with Meek, intend to continue to shine the light on a justice system in need of reform to prevent any other citizen from being put through what Meek has endured.”

Related: JAY-Z, T.I., and others slam Meek Mill sentence as ‘unjust and heavy-handed’

Meek himself issued a statement that was posted on his Twitter page. He thanked his supporters and advocates while voicing plans to bring attention to people of color in prison and move on with his career.

“I’d like to thank God, my family, and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time,” the statement said. “While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive.

“To the Philly District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice. I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues. In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career.”

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Kevin Hart reckons with cheating scandal in new J. Cole music video

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

Kevin Hart Apologizes To Wife And Kids Amid Cheating Rumors

Kevin Hart is known for starring in box office films, but he took on a smaller role in a J. Cole music video that references his past infidelities

On Friday, the rapper released his fifth studio album, “KOD,” and it includes the song “Kevin’s Heart,” which alludes to the comedian’s public cheating scandals. 

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In the five-minute visual, posted on YouTube Tuesday, the actor makes several public appearances, including at a grocery store and restaurant, where he is watched by people who openly remind him of his previous marital affairs.

Related: Kevin Hart apologizes to wife, kids following cheating rumors

While at least two women attempt to lure him with their beauty, another man encourages the 38-year-old to learn from his mistakes. When Hart finally makes it home without succumbing to temptation, the clouds form the phrase “Choose Wisely” in the sky. 

Last September, the “Night School” star uploaded an Instagram post to apologize to his then-pregnant wife, Eniko Parrish, and children for a video that was allegedly sexually provocative and showed him with another woman. 

He said someone attempted to blackmail him and admitted he made a bad decision. 

“I put myself in an environment where only bad things can happen, and they did,” he said. 

The couple is still married, and they welcomed their first child together, a son named Kenzo Kash, last November. 

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