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Chance the Rapper defends Kanye West, says ‘black people don’t have to be democrats’

Chance the Rapper is in hot water for a tweet that seems to defend his fellow rapper and friend Kanye West.

>> Read more trending news 

The Chicago Tribune reported that West started a series of tweets Wednesday that  appeared to criticize former President Barack Obama and support President Donald Trump. West tweeted a photo of himself in a Make America Great Again hat and another of a MAGA hat signed by Trump. He also said that although he loves Trump, he doesn’t agree with everything he does.

The rapper, who in the past supported Democratic President Obama, said that he is not political. 

“I love when people have their own ideas,” he tweeted. “You don't have to be allowed anymore. Just be. Love who you want to love. That’s free thought. I’m not even political. I’m not a democrat or a republican.”

Regardless of his political affiliation, Chance appeared to support his friend’s tweets.

“Talked to him two days ago. He’s in a great space and not affected by folk tryna question his mental or physical health,” Chance tweeted, according to The Washington Post. “Black people don’t have to be democrats.”

Chance’s tweet was met with more criticism from fans who had a problem with West, a black rapper, supporting Trump, who has put in place policies that many argue disproportionately affect people of color and the LGBTQ community. Both are groups West has expressed support for in the past. 

Trump, for his part, was appreciative of West’s tweets.

West may clarify his support for Trump and his other tweets in an upcoming interview with radio personality Charlamagne tha God. The date for the interview has not been announced.

'Avengers' stars raised $500,000 in charity while filming in Atlanta

“Avengers: Infinity War,” in wide release Friday, was filmed largely in Atlanta. While the Marvel stars were in town, they put their talents to use in a very special performance to raise $500,000 for a very worthy cause: hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

Proceeds from the November event at the Fox Theatre benefited the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund at the Center for Popular Democracy.

MORE: What Puerto Rico was like more than a month after Hurricane Maria struck

How much did “Avengers: Infinity War” spend in Georgia?

Scarlett Johansson came up with the idea to pull together a benefit event. Her colleagues Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. eagerly joined the effort. Atlanta’s Tony-winning director Kenny Leon served as director.

“Thank you for letting me call Atlanta home,” Leon said at the event, before turning the microphone over to Johansson.

“I knew I could count on you, Atlanta,” she said. “We love to shoot here. It’s a very inspiring city, an incredibly inspiring community.”

Leon joked early on that the audience should expect a live reading – not a full theatrical performance – saying “We had one rehearsal!”

Johansson was determined to take action after seeing the harrowing reports out of Puerto Rico, where electricity has yet to be restored on much of the island and where access to clean drinking water remains a challenge for many. When she called Leon, they kicked around some ideas before deciding a live reading of Thornton Wilder’s classic 1930s play “Our Town” was the perfect fit.

“‘Our Town’ is this kind of warrior cry to remind us of the fragility of life,” she said. “It reminds us to be present and live moment by moment. It’s really about people and connectivity.”

She was thrilled to report how successful the evening had been.

“Thank you for reaching into your wallets, into your hearts,” Johansson said.

Leon noted that none of the A-listers taking the stage took a paycheck.

“As artists we’re always looking in the mirror. It’s incumbent upon us to make our world the way we want to make it,” he said. “Most artists I work with are in it for a deeper reason. They want to make a difference in the world.”

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Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ character ties the knot with co-star in her final episode

Before American actress Meghan Markle marries British royal Prince Harry next month in real life she married her co-star as lawyer Rachel Zane in her final episode of the television drama “Suits.”

>> Read more trending news 

The last episode featuring Markle aired Wednesday night on USA Network and it also marked the last appearance on the show for her co-star and love interest on the series Patrick J. Adams, who played Mike.

The pair tied the knot in a subdued and last-minute ceremony in the finale and have moved to Seattle to run a law firm. The eighth season of “Suits” is now in production.

>> Related: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle release more wedding details

Markle, who met her prince while working on “Suits” and living in Toronto where the series is produced, is scheduled to wed Prince Harry on May 19 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

 

Kim Kardashian defends Kanye West, accuses Twitter users of ‘demonizing’ him 

Musician Kanye West made his return to Twitter earlier this month to chat about a number of topics from new music to politics. However, some of his tweets have fallen flat and have not been well received, so his wife Kim Kardashian West is now coming to his defense. 

>> Read more trending news 

Many on social media have expressed concern over West’s mental health, but Kardashian West said he’s only expressing himself. 

“To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary,” she wrote. “So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair.”

She also accused the media of interpreting his separation from his management as a mental health issue rather than a business decision. In fact, the reality star called her hubby a “free thinker” and celebrated him for sharing his opinions even if she didn’t agree with them, including those about President Donald Trump. 

Related: Kanye West announces new albums, release dates on Twitter

She ended her rant by declaring “Kanye is years ahead of his time” and urged the media stop using the term “mental health” so loosely.

Related: Kanye West’s embrace of a black Trump supporter not well-received 

For the last several weeks, West has been busy on Twitter after taking a nearly year-long hiatus from the platform. He’s revealed information about his clothing line, new albums and has even alluded to running for president in 2024.

He’s also used the site to share his thoughts about creativity, fake news and a few images of his daughter North. Take a look at more of his posts here

Hypnobirthing delivery technique reportedly used by Kate Middleton but what is it?

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday.

>> Read more trending news 

This is the third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who welcomed their new son into the world in the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

According to reports, Middleton endured a five-hour labor without pain relief as a part of a delivery method called hypnobirthing. This isn’t the first time she’s tried it. Middleton has used the practice for all three of her babies. 

What is hypnobirthing?

It’s a type of therapy that helps parents seek a natural birthing experience with more patient control and less pain, according to Hypnobirthing.com. It involves special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice and attention to nutrition and body. The method can be practiced at home, in a hospital or birth center.

>> Related: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to baby boy

How exactly does it work?

Hypnobirthing is an effort at removing the anxiety associated with the birthing experience. Experts believe fear activates stress hormones that cause slow digestion and an increased heart rate. Blood is also forced to the arms and legs, which depletes blood to the uterus. This is what contributes to uterine pain. 

>> Related: What will Kate and Wills name new royal baby?

Parents can take hypnobirthing classes to learn specific breathing and visualization techniques, according to WebMD. For example, many courses teach mothers to self-hypnotize with their open eyes. Instructors may also encourage expectant moms to envision an easy birth and recite affirmations, such as “I relax and my baby relaxes.” Phrases that reference the difficulty of childbirth are rejected. Instead of using the words “pain” or “contraction,” patients are encouraged to say “sensation” or “surge” instead. 

Do you still feel pain?

A 2006 review of five previous studies found that women who chose hypnobirthing were almost half as likely to use painkillers and about one-third less likely to use an epidural during labor.

Who else has used this practice?

Celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba, have also reportedly tried hypnobirthing. During an appearance on Ellen, Alba said “it’s not a weird thing.” 

>> Related: 4 fast facts about Kate Middleton

“It's not like the clock in front of your face and you go out and you wake up and you got a baby,” she joked. “My husband takes me through sort of a meditation. He'll say, 'you're relaxed, and you're floating on clouds while you're going through labor and your contractions. I'm just concentrating on breathing and staying relaxed...when you get tense that makes the whole labor worse and more painful.”

Photos: Jennifer Lopez, other honorees walk Time 100 Gala red carpet

Jennifer Lopez and other stars attended the Time 100 Gala celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018, in New York.

Rapper Ralo flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented, police say

An Atlanta rapper, accused of running a cross-country drug operation, was denied bond Tuesday, according to WSB-TV. 

>> Read more trending news    

Terrell Davis, known by his stage name Ralo, faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute. Authorities allege Davis sold drugs from several apartment units he rents in Atlanta dubbed “Ralo’s Hood,” WSB reported. Davis and eight of his associates, believed to be part of his purported gang Famerica, are named in an 11-page criminal complaint. 

The complaint states Davis and his acquaintances traveled to California twice to retrieve 964 pounds of marijuana — worth nearly $2 million — with the intention of selling it in Atlanta. Davis was arrested April 15 at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport after he initially refused to leave the aircraft, authorities said. 

Related: Feds: Famous rapper Terrell “Ralo” Davis caught flying into Atlanta with nearly $1M worth of pot

Following Davis’ arrest, federal authorities raided three separate locations in southwest Atlanta allegedly connected to the case. 

According to the affidavit, Davis and roughly 10 people boarded a Dec. 18 chartered jet from the Fulton County Airport to Sacramento, Calif. Four days later, the group returned to the Fulton airport, where federal and local surveillance teams saw Davis and the other passengers transfer 37 packages wrapped in white holiday paper from the jet to an Econoline van, which was registered to Davis’ southwest Atlanta address. 

An employee with the charter company offered to help unload, but the passengers declined, the affidavit said. 

Shortly after the van was loaded, the Georgia State Patrol arrested three men wearing “RaloFamgoon” attire inside the vehicle, which was spotted driving in the dark without lights on, according to the complaint. Authorities said they found 520 pounds of marijuana worth $1 million in the van. 

Related: Federal raid at Atlanta apartment tied to rapper’s arrest, officials say

A day after those arrests, Davis posted a picture of himself by a swimming pool with the caption: “I’ve lost more than a man have gained in a lifetime ... have you ever lost a million dollars at one time???” A week after the post, authorities said they received a passenger list from the flight and connected Davis to the men

Four months after the shipment, federal officials were notified Davis and eight others traveled to Northern California again. This time they allegedly transported 17 packages containing marijuana weighing 444 pounds back to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, according to the affidavit. 

The packages, worth $880,000, were loaded onto a Chrysler 300. Not long after the car left the airport, the GSP stopped it and federal authorities took eight people into custody. 

Davis, who remained on the plane, initially refused to comply with authorities’ commands. He later exited the aircraft, which allegedly smelled of marijuana, when police dogs were brought in to assist. 

One of Davis’ supporters, Kalya Freeman, told WSB that despite the allegations, Davis often gave back to the community: “He’s a good person. He supports what we do. He supports everybody.”

Prince’s family sues Illinois hospital, Walgreens in singer’s overdose death

Members of Prince’s family have filed a lawsuit against an Illinois hospital and the Walgreens pharmacy chain, contending both could have done more to prevent the legendary entertainer’s opioid overdose death in April 2016, according to news reports.

>> Read more trending news 

The suit follows a decision made last week by the Carver County Attorney Mark Metz against filing charges in the superstar singer’s death. Following a two-year investigation, Metz, of Carver County, Minnesota, announced Thursday that “Prince died from taking a counterfeit Vicodin pill that contained fentanyl, a dangerously powerful opioid,” but that investigators could not determine who sold the “Purple Rain” singer the pill. Authorities fined the doctor who prescribed Prince painkillers in a friend’s name.

A week before Prince died, he was treated at Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island, Illinois for an overdose. His plane made an emergency landing in Moline after he had played a show in Atlanta, and he was briefly hospitalized after overdosing on the plane.

>> Related: Music legend Prince dead at 57

The suit by the six heirs to Prince’s fortune accuses the doctor who examined the entertainer of misidentifying the pain pill the singer took before his overdose as a Vicodin, when it was instead a counterfeit laced with fentanyl, the Minneapolis Tribune reported. The suit also accuses the hospital of failing to appropriately identify and treat the overdose.

In addition, the suit names Walgreens because it gave prescriptions meant for Prince to his longtime friend and manager Kirk Johnson. 

“We will have much to say when the time is right,” the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the family, John Goetz, told the Star Tribune

“We have client interests to protect at the moment, including our theory of the case. What happened to Prince is happening to families across America. Prince’s family wishes, through its investigation, to shed additional light on what happened to Prince,” Goetz said.

>> Related: Prince’s doctor fined for drug violations in singer’s death

Prince was 57 when he died on April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park home of an accidental overdose, six days after the overdose on the plane. 

 

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

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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