Lil Dicky reveals epic “Earth” video featuring Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, more: Watch

Lil Dicky's video for "Earth"

Lil Dicky’s video for “Earth”

The charity single and video benefits The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and its mission to combat climate change

Comedic rapper Lil Dicky previously spent a whopping $70,000 on his visual for “Pillow Talking”. His latest visual is equally ambitious, and it’s also for a great cause.

Today, Lil Dicky has unveiled his new song “Earth”, a charity single benefiting The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and its mission to educate people about climate change and raise money for environmental causes.

“Earth” is told from the perspective of various animals affected by climate change, each of which is voiced by a different A-list celebrity. Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Leonardo DiCaprio appear in the clip, as do Ed Sheeran, Kevin Hart, and Miley Cyrus. Also making cameos are Halsey, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Whiz Khalifa, Miguel, Lil Yachty, Sia, Backstreet Boys, and even Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

Lil Dicky has high expectations for “Earth”, calling it possibly the “song of the decade” on his Instagram. Check it out below and judge it for yourself.

Here’s the full list of “Earth” guest appearances:

Baboon—Justin Bieber
Zebra—Ariana Grande
Lion cub—Halsey
Cow—Zac Brown
Pig—Brendon Urie
Common fungus—Hailee Steinfeld
Skunk—Wiz Khalifa
Marijuana—Snoop Dogg
Kanye West—Kevin Hart
Vultures—Adam Levine
Rhinos—Shawn Mendes
Giraffe—Charlie Puth
Elephant—Miley Cyrus
Clam—Lil Jon
Wolf—Rita Ora
Pony—Katy Perry
HPV—Lil Yachty
Koala—Ed Sheeran
India—Meghan Trainor
Africa—Joel Embiid
China—Tory Lanez
We Love the Earth—John Legend, Psy, Bad Bunny, Kris Wu
Mankind—Lil Dicky
Credits—Backstreet Boys
Leonardo DiCaprio

Nipsey Hussle “Celebration of Life” memorial service

Nipsey Hussle’s family and friends honored the late rapper by hosting a “Celebration of Life” memorial service Thursday at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Multiple speakers and performers had a hand in memorializing the Grammy-nominated musician, who was killed in March at age 33.

Funeral procession ends

The funeral procession ended at Angelus Funeral Home after a 25-mile procession through the city. Tens of thousands took to the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession, the Associated Press reported.

The hearse earlier paused at his clothing store, The Marathon. Onlookers threw flowers on the roof of the hearse and it moved through the crowd.

​Master P calls Nipsey Hussle a “real soldier”

Master P spoke with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, calling Nipsey Hussle a “real soldier.”

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“[He was] somebody whose light is gonna spread around the world forever,” Master P said. “He touched so many people coming from hip-hop. I mean, he should have got this [recognition] when he was alive, with all the work that he’s done.”

Master P, who Nipsey considered an idol, said the late rapper is the community’s angel now.

“It seems like God really has a glow over this guy. People are not mourning, people are like, ‘You know what? It’s time for a new beginning.’ You be watching the gangs coming together for this guy. It’s peace,” he said.

“Bloods, Crips, coming together and walking around Crenshaw. We never expected to see something like that. That’s how much love this man is loved around the world and in his own community.”

​25.5-mile funeral procession begins

The 25.5-mile funeral procession will begin at Staples Center and end at the Forest Lawn Cemetery. The procession will run through Inglewood, South Los Angeles and Watts, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation said in a statement.

“Expect delays and congestion in and around the event area,” the department said.

Nipsey Hussle procession
The hearse carrying the remains of rapper Nipsey Hussle on April 11, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif.GETTY

Memorial service concludes

The three hour “Celebration of Life” memorial service for Nipsey Hussle has ended. The Los Angeles Police Department posted a message on Twitter stating they will assist crowds and traffic to ensure “everyone heads home safely.”

Stevie Wonder calls for stronger gun laws

Legendary singer Stevie Wonder took the stage to sing “Rocket Love” before performing a rendition of “Tears in Heaven.”

“It is a heartbreak to again lose a member of our family. It’s a heartbreak because it’s so unnecessary,” he told the crowd, before condemning America’s gun laws.

“We, to be a civilized nation, civilized world, we are still living in a time where ego, anger, jealousy, is controlling our lives. It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that say, ‘Listen, we must have stronger gun laws.’ It’s unacceptable.”

Embedded video

Snoop Dogg: “We had the same spirit”

Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg honored Nipsey Hussle by speaking directly to his girlfriend, mother and father in attendance.

“Every time I saw Nip and Lauren out, they reminded of me and my wife. It was black excellence. You love to see it,” he said.

When he spoke to Nipsey’s father, he said, “You may have lost a son, but you picked up another son with me.”

He then spoke to Nipsey’s mother, “You gave us what we need, you gave us the sense and the purpose to let us know that it was all right. We want to thank you, mother, for making us strong and giving us our strength.”

When he spoke of his late-friend, Snoop told the crowd, “We created a bond. We created something that was special.”

“When met each other it was like a magnet coming together,” he said. “We had the same spirit.”

Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle were shown in a photo during Hussle’s memorial service in Los Angeles on Thu., April 11, 2019.CBS NEWS

Lauren London shares text message to Nipsey: “You have inspired me to reach higher”

Lauren London, Nipsey Hussle’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of one of his children, shared a text message that she wrote him while he was sleeping from earlier this year.

“Never was I prepared for anything like this so bear with me,” she told the crowd as she reached the microphone. London then shared the text she wrote and sent to Nipsey while he was sleeping. She said she wanted him to wake up to it and that it was dated January 21, 2019.

“Ermias, I want you to know that I feel real joy in my heart when I’m around you. I feel safe around you, protected, like a forcefield around me when you’re around. I’m totally myself when I’m around you.”

“You’ve made me into more of a woman and given me the opportunity to really love a man,” she continued reading. “You have inspired me to reach higher and I wouldn’t want to go through this journey with anyone but you.”

“You’ve been the greatest boyfriend to me. You’re not perfect but I’d never ask you to be. You’re the coolest guy in the world to me still. I love you so much, unconditionally. My truth to you is this: I’m never going to give up on you. My love and my devotion is to you.”

After reading the text, London said, “My pain is for my two-year-old, who probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him.”

Nipsey Hussle’s mother: “I’m very proud of my son”

Nipsey Hussle’s mother, Angelique Smith, spoke at his memorial service on Thursday. Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, stood behind her as she spoke movingly about her son.

“Ermias was so close to me spiritually, I could feel him coming,” she said. “I knew that I was going to get pregnant on my birthday and Ermias came.”

“I felt spiritually within my soul as if Ermias was going to leave and I think that Ermias knew too,” she said.

“I’m very proud of my son,” she concluded toward the end of her speech “My son, Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was a great man.”

During her speech, she also spoke of her spirituality to calm the crowd of thousands and give peace to their grief.

“I want to tell you that I stand a witness that everything is in perfect and divine order,” she said. “I want to encourage you to choose a Vegan lifestyle. I want to encourage you to limit your use of alcoholic beverages and narcotic substances. I want to tell you that we come from royalty and regality,” she added.

“I want to tell you that we are a very loving and kind and spiritual race of people. I want to tell you that we are very traumatized and we are very pressurized people.”

Barack Obama’s letter about Nipsey Hussle

A letter written by former President Barack Obama was read to the audience during Nipsey Hussle’s memorial. Obama was not in attendance at the service but offered a tribute.

“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music with my daughters,” Mr. Obama wrote. “And after his passing, I’ve had a chance to learn about his community work.”

“Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that even through its flaws taught him to always keep going.” Mr. Obama’s letter concluded by saying Nipsey Hussle “set an example for young people to follow and his is a legacy of celebration.”

After the letter was read, Louis Farrakhan, the 85-year-old leader of the Nation of Islam, gave an address to the audience. Read the full letter below.

View image on Twitter

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” plays during video tribute

A collection of photographs of Nipsey Hussle’s life, from childhood to adulthood, were shared with the crowd at L.A.’s Staples Center as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played to begin the memorial service. Thousands of fans have gathered inside the downtown Los Angeles arena to honor the late rapper.

The images included photographs of Nipsey Hussle — born Ermias Asghedom — as a little boy, as a teenager, as a young man with friends, as an up-and-coming rapper, and as a celebrity with famous athletes.

The service got underway about an hour later than scheduled, with a two scripture readings and an instrument prelude.

Nipsey Hussle memorial Order of Service

The Order of Service shows the scheduled speakers and performances. Nipsey Hussle’s girlfriend Lauren London is listed among the family tributes, along with Isaiah Thomas, Snoop Dogg and LA radio DJ Big Boy.

  • Prelude – Victory Lap
  • Scripture – Minister Reid Rich
  • Scripture -Pastor Shep Crawford
  • Selection – Frank Sinatra – My Way
  • Performance – Marsha Ambrosius – Fly Like A Bird
  • Acknowledgements and Resolutions – Karen Civil
  • Performances – Anthony Hamilton – Do You Feel Me
  • Kids Tributes – Emani Asghedom, Kameron Oarter, Khalil Kimble, Kross Asgehdom
  • Performance – Jhene Aiko – Eternal Sunshine


  • Obituary – Adam Anderbrhan
  • Eulogy – Pastor Shep Crawford
  • Parting View – Nipsey Hussle – Real Big Tribute Video

Family Tributes

  • Angelique Smith
  • Samuel Asghedom
  • Lauren London
  • Samantha Smith
  • Dawit Asghedom
  • Aenon Bowie
  • Jorge Peniche
  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Steven Carless
  • Keenon Jackson
  • Jade Lesley
  • Shanae Franklin
  • Margaret Boutte
  • James Simpson
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Big Boy

Sold-out crowd at Staples Center

Hussle’s Instagram account announced the event in conjunction with the Staples Center earlier this week. The stadium has a capacity of more than 20,000 seats. Free tickets were made available on the Staples Center website, but all tickets for the event were quickly snapped up.

Service will be followed by a 25 mile funeral procession

Following the memorial, a 25.5 mile funeral procession will travel from Staples Center through the South Central Los Angeles neighborhoods of Inglewood and Watts, before ending at Angelus Funeral Home in the Crenshaw district. Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn cemetery.

The rapper’s community impact

Rapper Nipsey Hussle memorialized in Los Angeles murals@MISTERALEK / INSTAGRAM

An outpouring of grief over Nipsey Hussle’s killing spread through the Los Angeles community. Fans gathered around his clothing store for a vigil and artistic murals have appeared around L.A. to commemorate his life.

Aside from being a Grammy-nominated rapper and musician, Hussle was a fixture in the South Los Angeles community where he was born and raised. Last year, he opened a STEM center and co-working space called Vector 90 where young people could attend classes. He hoped to help bridge the gap between disadvantaged kids and Silicon Valley.

Prior to his death, the 33-year-old had written a letter to the police commissioner expressing a willingness to hold a meeting about ways to reduce gang violence.

Murder suspect arrested

Hussle was shot and killed outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles on March 31. Police have arrested 29-year-old Eric Holder and charged him with murder.

Holder pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance Thursday in Los Angeles Thursday, two days after his arrest after a nearly 48-hour manhunt.

Authorities say Holder and Hussle, who knew each other, has several conversations Sunday outside the rapper’s South L.A. clothing store. They say Holder eventually returned with a handgun and shot Hussle, who was declared dead at a hospital. He also wounded two other men during the attack, authorities said.

Warner Bros takes legal action against Trump over Batman music

President’s campaign video featured Hans Zimmer music from The Dark Knight Rises

Donald Trump at the White House
 Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. Photograph: Greg E Mathieson Sr/MAI/Rex/Shutterstock

Warner Bros has launched legal action against Donald Trump after he used music from The Dark Knight Rises in a tweet.

The US president posted a two-minute video for his 2020 re-election campaign that featured Hans Zimmer’s Why Do We Fall? from the 2012 film. It also featured the film’s title cards.

The tweet was still available following Warner Bros’ decision to take legal action, but the video had been replaced by a message stating: “This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”

Trump had captioned it: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

In a statement, Warner Bros said: “The use of Warner Bros’ score from The Dark Knight Rises in the campaign video was unauthorised. We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”

Trump has previously used pop culture references to promote his presidency. During heightened tensions with Iran, he used a Game Of Thrones-style poster bearing the slogan “sanctions are coming”, a reference to the phrase “winter is coming” from the series.

The wall is coming: Trump becomes world’s worst Game of Thrones fan

The president is also no stranger to artists asking him to stop using their music. Prince, Pharrell Williams and the Rolling Stones have all taken issue with the president playing their songs at campaign rallies.

Big Boy Imposes “Neighborhood” Ban On Kodak Black’s Music

“Hip Hop has been very disrespectful lately.”

In the wake of Kodak Black’s disrespectful words toward Lauren London, many have mobilized against the outspoken young rapper. The latest to speak out is esteemed radio personality Big Boy, who took to Instagram to write an extensive statement. “I won’t disrespect my timeline posting a pic of Kodak Black,” writes Big Boy, at the onset of an eloquently penned and passionate message. “However, I will say this, I’m not here for the blatant disrespect and fake ass apologies. To disrespect the King Nipsey and The Queen Lauren, is where I draw the line. Hip Hop has been very disrespectful lately. Not only is this disrespectful to Hip Hop, but this is disrespectful to a beautiful human being, spirit and a legacy.”

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

While his comments on Kodak are pointed, his allusion to a greater epidemic of disrespect across hip-hop culture is worth exploring. We’ve long seen legends rudely dismissed, violent altercations transpire, and several other unsavory moments stirring within the fabric of hip-hop culture. At times, the negativity can feel pervasive, despite the reality that many hip-hop artists are responsible for doing genuine good for their communities. Yet the masses tend to flock to the chaos, which ultimately paints a bleaker picture upon the canvas. 

Still, Big Boy’s point stands, and he is not about to let Kodak’s words go unpunished. A man of principle and integrity, Big Boy makes it known that Kodak is no longer welcome in his Neighborhood – which is to say, Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Real 92.3. “I will not stand by and let Kodak Black come between an allegiance I have with dear FRIENDS,” he continues. “Nipsey’s honor can’t be disrespected like this. We must put a shield around @LaurenLondon and his ENTIRE Family. We can’t allow these things to happen.”

Big Boy is not alone in his sentiment. The Los Angeles Leakers have already banned Kodak, and both T.I. and The Game have already issued stern warnings at the young Floridian. As of now, Kodak remains largely unapologetic, and continues to stand his ground for the most part. Look for this one to continue gaining momentum in the coming days. 

Ariana Grande Fans Start #Boycott7Rings Movement

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande fans are determined to give their idol her third No. 1 — by dethroning “7 Rings.”

Arianators have teamed up to #Boycott7Rings and instead turn their streams over to thank u, next‘s latest standout, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.”

In the midst of all the tweets, Ari decided to hop in on the fun. “y’all are so insane and funny and i love u,” she wrote. “nothings funnier than ‘boycott seven rings’….. i can’t lmao. whatever’s meant to be will be, babies i ain’t goin nowhere.”

Ariana Grande@ArianaGrande


y’all are so insane and funny and i love u. nothings funnier than ‘boycott seven rings’….. i can’t lmao. whatever’s meant to be will be, babies i ain’t goin nowhere #thankunextalex@greedyforloveReplying to @ArianaGrande and 2 othersbreak up with your rehearsals, we’re bored46.2K8:25 PM – Feb 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy5,188 people are talking about this

Ariana Grande@ArianaGrande


this is a wild time for us lmao do ur thing but also like how is this our problem rn …… what the fuck #thankunextani@getsweIIsoonReplying to @ArianaGrandewe literally have a buwygf, im streaming party to block 7 rings wkdbekwk30.2K8:31 PM – Feb 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy3,268 people are talking about this

Ariana Grande "7 rings"


Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ Spends Third Week Atop Billboard Hot 100, Marshmello Makes Fortnite-Fueled Flight to No. 2

After a bunch of fans begged Grande to use the hashtag herself, the songstress finally caved. “r u happy now,” she asked in a since deleted tweet. “7 Rings” is currently at its third week atop the Billboard Hot 100, her second No. 1 following “Thank U, Next,” which debuted atop the chart dated Nov. 17, and led for seven total weeks.

Ariana Grande@ArianaGrande

r u okmrfatsweatpants666@mrskinnyjeanz3Replying to @ArianaGrandecan u please tweet #BOYCOTT7RINGS to show your solidarity37.6K8:37 PM – Feb 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy4,069 people are talking about this



“Who’s playing tonight?” is not an unusual question to ask when you see a line of people standing outside of a venue. But for the diverse young crowd that amassed outside of Warsaw — a Polish community center by day, punk-adjacent scene by night — on a Sunday evening in Brooklyn late last month, many of whom were armed with light sticks and homemade merch, the answer was obvious: ATEEZ.

For the uneducated, ATEEZ are an eight-member group from South Korea’s KQ Entertainment whose sound can best be described as “turn up in Ibiza” — their own distinct blend of hip-hop and slick EDM, with charismatic rap verses and hooks that hit hard. And people are paying attention.

Courtesy of KQ Entertainment

A concept photo for their latest album, Treasure EP.2 : Zero To One

In the five months since their dynamic debut, ATEEZ have already had an unprecedented amount of success for a rookie K-pop group: Their second mini album bowed at No. 5 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart, and they sold out their first-ever U.S. and European tour after overwhelming demand on concert crowdfunding site MyMusicTaste — with only 10 songs, a few energetic dance videos, and one extremely dramatic intro track under their belts.

“We’ve only ever promoted in Korea after our debut,” leader and rapper Hongjoong told MTV News the day after their Brooklyn show, the last stop on the U.S. leg of their Expedition tour before heading to London. “So we didn’t know we had so many international ATINYs [their fandom name]. It’s amazing.” And aside from the obvious language barrier, dancer Wooyoung said that there’s not really any difference between their Korean fans and their fans abroad. “The love that they give is still the same.”

Though, when asked why they think they’ve had such success internationally, the response isn’t as definitive. In fact, they have no idea. “We are lucky,” Hongjoong said. But even ATEEZ have to admit that it’s more than luck that got them here, to a Tribeca hotel for a full day of press with Western media outlets and to numerous headlines deeming them the Next Big Thing. In their pre-debut days, the group (then known as KQ Fellaz) spent time in Los Angeles training at hip-hop dance studios like Millennium Dance Complex. They also uploaded magnetic dance videos choreographed to Desiigner’s “Outlet,”  Cardi B’s “Lick,”and Famous Dex’s “Pick It Up” (a fan-favorite they also performed at Warsaw to deafening cries of “a bad bitch, Puerto Rican“). “We like hip-hop, and we like American dance styles,” Hongjoong said.

But watching them perform and interact with one another on that stage, it’s easy to see why this group is resonating with fans across oceans and timezones.

Their performances are powerful, not only in the way that every movement is sharp and precise but also in their expressions. They’re extremely charismatic, and their live stages are theatrical without any production value; it’s just them and the stage, and yet, they deliver the drama with smoky eyes, coiffed hair, and crimson red fits. Take, for example, “HALA HALA,” a sinister showstopper in the group’s setlist with high-intensity choreography that borders on unhinged. Vocalist San, who arguably commands the most attention during that particular performance, said he’s often inspired by film and pop culture when determining his expressions. His inspiration for “HALA HALA” was Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight.

Each member has their own performance style that they bring to the group. San feels things deeply, so his movements match his intense emotions. Yunho thinks about the theme of the song first, and then he’ll pull images and gestures to fit the overall mood of the performance. For main dancer Wooyoung, it’s more intuitive; he tries not to think too much. “I just go on stage and bring out whatever is inside,” he said. Meanwhile, for main vocalist Jongho, it’s about powerful moves to match his powerhouse vocals. “It comes more from the inside,” he said, adding that power isn’t just about physicality. “It’s about finding the emotion.”

Rapper Mingi thinks of his persona. “I think about how audiences view me and I’ll put that into my choreography.” When asked how he thinks fans view him, he replies confidently: “Cool.” And although Hongjoong likes to tease Mingi and call him the “cutest boy in the world,” he would like to go on record and say that “all of the members are cuter than me.”

Of course, powerful expressions are only part of the equation. After all, K-pop is known for precision and prismatic performance. But ATEEZ have also spent time establishing their individual identities both on and off stage thanks to their various social media channels and streaming platforms like Korea’s V Live, where fans get to know them more intimately via post-performance live streams and variety content. “Of course our dancing and our music is very important,” San said. “But showing our individual aspect is very important too.”

That was extremely apparent on stage. Since the group have a relatively small catalog of music, they spent roughly 45 minutes of their set answering fan-submitted questions. This playful Q&A portion not only highlighted the members’ individual charms — youngest member Jongho did push ups while San sat on his back; vocalist Seonghwa sang a bit of Baekhyun and Suzy’s “Dream”; each member had to dance sexily to Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” — but it also underscored their chemistry as a group. They are (mostly) controlled chaos when all together; eight individuals who seem to genuinely enjoy making one another laugh, even when self-proclaimed best friends San and Wooyoung are fake-fighting and Hongjoong is forcing Mingi to do aegyo (or, make cute expressions).

“If I could describe my members, I would say we’re a rainbow,” soft-spoken Yeosang said. “Because each member has their own talents.” Hongjoong is quick to add, “A rainbow is seven colors, but we are eight. So one is white.”

When it comes to their music, this concept of a rainbow — or, “eight makes one team” — is especially important. According to Hongjoong, their music speaks to young people today because as a group in their late teens and early 20s, they’re part of that generation, too. (ATEEZ stands for “A TEENager Z.”) “We produce music that they can relate to,” he said. Hongjoong and Mingi are credited as lyricists in all but one of their tracks, and Hongjoong is working on his producing skills with the help of his labelmate/teacher/producer EDEN, who was watching the group from the balcony at Warsaw.

For Hongjoong — who wrote his first song at 16 about wanting to be a good person to honor his late grandmother — it’s important to make music with a message. For their current era, the concept is simple enough: “We want people to know they have their own treasure — dreams, family, friends. We have ATINY [their fans]. So they can find that [treasure] and do something amazing together.” It’s a theme they’ve been exploring since their debut single, aptly-titled “Treasure.”

As ATEEZ look ahead to the rest of 2019 and beyond, they know that they have momentum on their side, so there’s no slowing down. When asked to reveal their personal goals for the year, the members are strictly business. San wants a performance award at one of the end of the year award shows in Korea; Yunho wants a performance award and a Rookie of the Year award; Yeosang wants to grow as a performer; Mingi hopes that when people think of the letter “A,” they’ll think of “ATEEZ”; Wooyoung wants everyone to be healthy and injury-free; and Jongho wants one of their songs on the Billboard charts.

And for Seonghwa, it’s all about perspective. “I’m thankful for all of the attention. We’ll help each other and practice our hardest to fulfill these expectations.”

Still, they do take some time for themselves to relieve stress, especially when they’re touring. There’s the usual — playing games (Yunho), watching dramas and anime (Yeosang), seeking alone time at the sauna (Mingi) — and then there’s San.

“I was searching my name on Twitter,” San said. “I like to read what fans are saying. So I search #ChoiSan, and it’s like, ‘Wow!'”

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Teams With Formula 1 Racing Circuit

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicWill Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures ‘Focus’ at TCL Chinese Theatre on Feb. 24, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.

Westbrook Studios, the production company co-founded by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Apollo World Touring on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative that will bring together A-list celebrities and the Formula 1 racing circuit.

The initiative will see celebrities do pre-filmed stunts and challenges, as well as live performances set around Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends.

The deal came about following an episode of Will Smith’s The Bucket List, a reality show that screens on Facebook Watch and which Westbrook produces, in which Smith and his son Trey competed in a one-on-one race, helped by five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, at the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

For Formula 1, owned by Liberty Media, the collaboration is a bid to attract new fans to the sport, as well as deliver deeper engagement for long-time viewers.

Smith will be executive producer on the project through Westbrook, which he founded last year together with Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Kosaku Yada.

Westbrook Studios will produce the project in association with Apollo World Touring, under license from Formula 1.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Rapper Nipsey Hussle killed in shooting outside his L.A. store

Two other men were in serious condition in the incident at Marathon Clothing in South Los Angeles. A suspect remained at large.

Nipsey Hussle

LOS ANGELES — The Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in a shooting outside his clothing store in Los Angeles, multiple law enforcement sources said. Two other men were in serious condition, and a suspect remained at large.

No further information was immediately available about the shooting at Marathon Clothing on Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles. But just a couple of hours before the shooting, Hussle, 33, whose real name was Ermias Ashgedom, had tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”

Hussle’s debut studio album, “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Hussle had long been associated with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles’ largest street gangs, which he publicly acknowledged in a 2010 interview with Complex magazine.

He and the actor Lauren London were the parents of a 2½-year-old child; Hussle had other children from previous relationships, as well.

As news spread that Hussle had been shot, numerous performers and athletes, including LeBron James, 50 Cent and Steph Curry, quickly tweeted best wishes:

Stephen Curry@StephenCurry30


God please cover and restore @NipseyHussle right now!!! 26.1K7:51 PM – Mar 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy12.1K people are talking about this


Thoughts and prayers for @NipseyHussletrailsofsmoke@trailsofsmokeBreaking: Nipsey Hussle shot outside of his Los Angeles store, TMZ reports …3,5117:55 PM – Mar 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy1,117 people are talking about this

LeBron James@KingJames


@NipseyHussle37K7:36 PM – Mar 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy17.6K people are talking about this

Reggie Bush@ReggieBush


Prayers up for @NipseyHussle speedy recovery! 5417:51 PM – Mar 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy128 people are talking about this

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson is a senior writer for NBC News covering general news, with an emphasis on explanatory journalism, data analysis, technology and religion. He is based in Los Angeles.

The Grammys Early Line: Who Are the 2020 Album of the Year Contenders?

Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock Ariana Grande attends Billboard’s 13th Annual Women in Music Event in New York City on Dec. 6, 2018.

We’re seven months into the Grammy eligibility year — time to see how the field is shaping up.

On Monday, we looked at contenders for record of the year for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. Now, we examine potential candidates for the other top award: album of the year.

How do you even begin trying to predict what the Nominations Review Committee, which selects the final nominees each year, is likely to support? The committee usually favors big hits that also earned a measure of critical respect. Looking at the album of the year field from the 61st Grammys, seven of the eight nominees made the top 10 on the Billboard 200. (The outlier was H.E.R.’s eponymous compilation, which peaked at No. 23.) Five of the eight nominees had a robust rating of 80 or higher at (Post Malone’s beerbongs and bentleys was nominated despite a tepid Metacritic score of 51; Drake’s Scorpion overcame a so-so score of 67.)

So a low Metacritic score isn’t fatal, nor is an inglorious chart number. But, as a general rule, it’s that combination of commercial and critical success that paves the way to a Grammy nom.

Cardi B and Bruno Mars perform onstage during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 28, 2018 in New York City. 

The Grammys Early Line: Who Are the 2020 Record of the Year Contenders?

This will be the 25th year that the final nominations in the Big Four categories — album, record and song of the year and best new artist — have been decided by a Nominations Review Committee. That committee selects the eight entries it likes best from a list of the 20 top vote-getters from rank-and-file voting members. (The committee is not involved in choosing the final winners, according to the Academy.)

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards will be held on Jan. 26, 2020. The eligibility period runs Oct. 1, 2018-Aug. 31, 2019.

Here are some early front-runners for album of the year.

A finished Grammy statue, wrapped in protective foam sits in a cardboard box at Billings Artworks in Ridgway Colorado on Jan. 12, 2019.

Grammy Eligibility Year to Close One Month Early


Ariana Grande, thank u, next: After six years of stardom, Grande has yet to be nominated in a Big Four category. Grande is this year’s hottest artist and her output keeps getting better (the title song to this, her fifth album, is undeniable). Grande won her first Grammy in February with Sweetener, which was voted best pop vocal album. This follow-up spent its first two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Solange, When I Get Home: Solange won a Grammy for best R&B performance with “Cranes in the Sky” from her last album. Her critically acclaimed fourth album could be a contender for an album of the year nom. Solange’s big sister, Beyoncé, is a three-time album of the year finalist. The Knowles sisters would become the first siblings to each be nominated in this marquee category since Michael and Janet Jackson.

Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go: Eilish’s debut studio album, following a pair of EPs, has a chance. Eilish, who will turn 18 on Dec. 18, would be the youngest nominee in this category in Grammy history, topping 20-year old nominees Janet Jackson (Control, 1986), Mariah Carey (Mariah Carey, 1990) and Taylor Swift (Fearless, 2009). Eilish’s album, which is due Friday, is expected to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1.

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born soundtrack: This best-seller has logged four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, longer than any other album so far in this eligibility period. But the album was released in the very first week of the eligibility year. It may be seen as old news late this year, during Grammy voting season — after all, the album’s key song, “Shallow,” has already been performed on, and honored by, both the Grammys and the Oscars. Even so, it will be in the mix of albums from which the Nominations Review Committee selects the final nominees. It would be Gaga’s fourth album of the year nom.


Jenny Lewis, On the Line: Lewis’ fourth solo album is getting great reviews. Lewis has been the subject of glowing profiles in such major publications as Rolling Stoneand the Los Angeles Times. Lewis formerly fronted the indie rock band Rilo Kelly, with which she also recorded four studio albums.

P!nk, Hurts 2B Human: P!nk has received lifetime accolades at the VMAs (in 2017) and the BRITs (in 2019) but has never really gotten her due at the Grammys. She has won three Grammys (from 20 noms) — but just one for for a track from one of her own albums. (The other two were for collabs.) Her only nomination as a lead artist in a Big Four category is a song of the year nom six years ago for “Just Give Me a Reason.” So her eighth studio album, Hurts 2B Humandue April 26, is sure to get a look.

Maren Morris, Girl: Morris’ major-label debut album, Hero, was nominated for best country album three years ago. Pop powerhouses busbee and Greg Kurstin produced her second, which entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4 and Top Country Albums at No. 1.

Thomas Rhett, Center Point Road: Rhett’s last album, Life Changes, was nominated for best country album two years ago. His fourth album, due May 31, could move him up to the Big Four.

Khalid, Free Spirit: Khalid’s debut album, American Teen, was nominated for best urban contemporary album two years ago. “Better,” the lead single from his sophomore album, out April 5, cracked the top 20 on the Hot 100.

Gary Clark Jr.This Land: The blues rocker’s third major-label studio album has drawn strong reviews. Clark won a Grammy six years ago for “Please Come Home,” which was voted best traditional R&B performance.

Eric Church, Desperate Man: Church is a two-time winner of the CMA Award for album of the year, but he hasn’t gotten much Grammy love over the years. He’s never been nominated in a Big Four category, and he’s never won in any category. That could change, given the strong reviews his sixth album has received. Desperate Man spent its first two weeks on Top Country Albums at No. 1.


The 1975, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships: The English band’s third album has received critical acclaim and won a BRIT Award as British album of the year on Feb. 20. The band’s fourth album, Notes on a Conditional Form, is due later this year.

2 Chainz, Rap or Go to the League: The rapper has received six Grammy noms over the years, including a best rap album nom seven years ago for his debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story. This, his fifth album, entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1.

21 Savage, I Am > I Was: The rapper’s sophomore album drew strong reviews and spent its first two weeks on the Billboard 200 at No. 1. This is 21 Savage’s first release since his record of the year nom as a featured artist on Post Malone’s “Rockstar.” Also, voters may show support after his well-publicized arrest by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for overstaying his visa.

Juice WRLD, Death Race for Love: I was sure Juice WRLD’s classy 2018 smash “Lucid Dreams” would be nominated for record and song of the year. Didn’t happen. In fact, he wasn’t nominated in any categories. His sophomore album has spent its first two weeks on the Billboard 200 at No. 1, which suggests that “Lucid Dreams” was no fluke. Maybe Grammy voters will be more responsive this time around.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Hoodie SZN: The rapper’s sophomore album has spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

-Mumford & Sons are past winners in this category, but their latest album, Delta, drew tepid reviews. So did Imagine Dragons’ Origins and Greta Van Fleet’s Anthem of the Peaceful Army. The Nominations Review Committee may be reluctant to endorse an album that has been critically panned.

-Other albums in the mix include Maggie Rogers’ Heard It in a Past Life, Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby!, Ella Mai’s Ella Mai, Andrea Bocelli’s Si, twenty one pilots’ Trench, Kane Brown’s Experiment, Backstreet Boys’ DNA, Metro Boomin’s Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Meek Mill’s Championships, Kodak Black’s Dying to Live and the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

-Upcoming releases that look promising include BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona EP,due April 12; Swae Lee’s first solo album, Swaecation, due May 4; Kanye West’s long-awaited Yandhi; and untitled albums by Childish Gambino, Rihanna, The Weeknd and Cardi B.

Justin Bieber says taking break from music to focus on his mental health

Justin Bieber says taking break from music to focus on his mental health, marriage to Hailey Baldwin

Bieber, who began his professional career more than a decade ago, said he is “very focused on repairing some of the deep rooted issues” he is dealing with.

Justin and Hailey Bieber talk to Vogue about their marriage

Singer Justin Bieber announced to fans that he is stepping away from making new music in order to work on “deep rooted issues” and his marriage with model Hailey Baldwin.

Bieber, 25, revealed the information on his Instagram account on Monday in response to questions about when he will be making a new album. The pop star, who began his professional career more than a decade ago, said he realized he was emotionally unable to give “a lively energetic fun light concert” at the end of his last tour.

“I have been looking, seeking, trial and error as most of us do, I am now very focused on repairing some of the deep rooted issues that I have as most of us have, so that I don’t fall apart, so that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be,” Bieber said in his post.

Bieber also said in his post Monday that he “will come with a kick ass album ASAP” once he focuses on his health and his family.

Since Bieber first rose to fame in 2009, he has released four studio albums and won one Grammy award. The young singer began posting his music on YouTube when he was 12 and was signed to a label by age 13.

Bieber married supermodel Hailey Baldwin in a courthouse wedding in September last year. The two were featured on the cover of Vogue’s March issue where Bieber spoke openly about his belief in God and his marriage.

Not long after the cover story was revealed in February, Bieber posted on his Instagram to say he was “struggling.”

He told fans he was feeling disconnected and asked for their prayers in a March 10 post.

“I always bounce back so I’m not worried just wanted to reach out and ask for your guys to pray for me,” Bieber said earlier this month. “God is faithful and ur prayers really work thanks.”