Kobe Bryant died in a helicoper crash in Calabasas Sunday morning … TMZ Sports has confirmed.
Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
Eyewitnesses also tell us that they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
KB is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters — Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.
Kobe has recently been spotted out at NBA games with his daughter Gianna — a rising star basketball player herself. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was just born in June 2019.
KOBE AND GIANNALAUNCH GALLERY
Kobe is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time — making 18 All-Star teams during his 20 year career with the Lakers. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, winning 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in ’08.
The Lakers famously retired both of Kobe’s jerseys, number 8 and 24 … the only player in team history to receive that honor.
Kobe’s accomplishments stand far outside of the basketball world. He won an Oscar for his short film, “Dear Basketball,” in 2018.
On Saturday, LeBron James passed Kobe as third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He paid tribute to Bron on Instagram — his last post — by saying, “On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next.”
Eminem’s surprise album Music To Be Murdered By is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week and in the process, make Billboard history. According to HITS Daily Double, Shady’s 11th studio effort is projected to move between 300,000 and 325,000 album-equivalent units.
If the project does indeed top the Billboard 200, it will make the Detroit-bred rap god the first artist to earn 10 consecutive No. 1 debuts in U.S. history. Em is currently tied with Kanye West, who earned his ninth consecutive No. 1 debut with 2019’s Jesus Is King.
First week sales of Music To Be Murdered By will likely land between 2018’s Kamikaze (434,000 units) and 2017’s Revival (267,000). The project could do more considering it’s been a heavy topic of conversation on social media.
The song “Unaccommodating” featuring Young M.A sparked controversy for its line about the 2017 Manchester bombing that took place during an Ariana Grande concert. The video for “Darkness” was also a popular topic. The song and subsequent video addresses the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and finds Em advocating for gun control.
Music To Be Murdered By arrived on Friday (January 17) and boasts features from Royce Da 5’9, Black Thought, KXNG Crooked, Q-Tip and more.
Michelle Obama has debuted a new workout playlist on Spotify, sharing a Hip Hop-heavy selection of songs on Sunday (January 19).
The former first lady’s collection includes tracks from The Carters (JAY-Z and Beyoncé), Cardi B, 2 Chainz, Lizzo, Anderson .Paak and the late Nipsey Hussle, among others.
Obama’s picks arrive a few weeks after her husband Barack unveiled his Best of 2019 playlist, which also featured multiple Hip Hop artists. Michelle’s song list features a portion of “cool down tracks” with cuts from Meek Mill, EarthGang and more.
Check out Obama’s Spotify workout playlist stream and tracklist below.
“A God Like You” – Kirk Franklin “V.3005” – Childish Gambino “Soulmate” – Lizzo “My Money, My Baby” – Burna Boy “Tints” – Anderson .Paak f. Kendrick Lamar “Clique” – Kanye West, JAY-Z & Big Sean “Come Down” – Anderson .Paak “Drogba (Joanna)” – Afro B “Feelin’ So Good – Remix” – Jennifer Lopez f. Big Pun & Fat Joe “Press” – Cardi B “APES**T” – The Carters “Chuck Baby” – Chuck Brown “Hussle & Motivate” – Nipsey Hussle “Rule The World” – 2 Chainz f. Ariana Grande “Feels Good” – Tony! Toni! Toné! “Perm” – Bruno Mars “One Kiss” – Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa “Finesse – Remix” – Bruno Mars f. Cardi B “Before I Let Go” – Beyoncé “Tambourine” – Eve “Toast” – Koffee “Slide” – Calvin Harris f. Frank Ocean & Migos “Cross Me” – Ed Sheeran f. Chance The Rapper & PnB Rock “Turnin’ Me Up” – BJ The Chicago Kid “South of the Border” – Ed Sheeran f. Camilla Cabello & Cardi B “I’M DOPE” – Tobe Nwigwe f. David Michael Wyatt
Cool Down tracks “24/7” – Meek Mill f. Ella Mai “Automatic” – The Bonfyre “Show Me Love” – Alicia Keys f. Miguel “I Want You Around”- Snoh Aalegra “Honesty” – Pink Sweat$ “Lay Me Down” – Sam Smith “Blessed” – Daniel Caesar “Godspeed” – Frank Ocean “Collide” – Tiana Major9 f. EarthGang
The induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on May 2nd and will air live on HBO and the SiriusXM Rock and Roll Hall of Fame radio station. Tickets go on sale on February 27th.
Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, and Thin Lizzy were all on the ballot this year, but failed to receive enough votes.
The six acts that did make it in represent a musically diverse class encompassing everything from Nineties industrial, R&B, and hip-hop to Seventies glam and soft rock. “Each of those bands has helped shape the form that rock & roll has taken over the years,” Michael McDonald, who is being inducted for his work in the Doobie Brothers, tells Rolling Stone. “That’s what I like to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do: pick those bands that have sculpted what we see rock & roll as today.”
Flashback: Beavis and Butt-Head Rock Out to Nine Inch Nails
The Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, departed Doobies drummers Michael Hossack and Keith Knudsen, and every T. Rex member besides drummer Bill Legend will be inducted posthumously. If tradition holds, Houston, Biggie, and T. Rex will be honored with tribute performances.
Nine Inch Nails are entering the Hall after appearing on the ballot three different times. “I’m pretty freaked out,” says Trent Reznor. “I’m quite in shock. When I look back at how Nine Inch Nails are received, it always seems like we fall between the cracks. I don’t know if it’s a defense mechanism, but I just assumed we’d stay in that category, so I’m pleasantly surprised to see us acknowledged. It feels pretty good … I’m allowing myself, for a limited period of time, to feel good about this.”
Depeche Mode are equally happy. “We’re incredibly honoured to be included as one of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and to stand alongside the other incredible acts in the Rock Hall and those joining this year,” they said in a group statement. “A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and our music over the years, who have made this possible.”
There are fewer opportunities for band reunions than at previous ceremonies, but it will be a chance for the Doobie Brothers to reunite with former bassist Tiran Porter, former guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, and former drummer John Hartman. “I certainly hope that all those guys will show up and be part of the proceeding,” says Doobies singer/guitarist Patrick Simmons. “They definitely deserve the recognition.” Last November, the band reunited with former frontman Michael McDonald to announce a 2020 North American tour celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary.
It’s also a chance for Depeche Mode to reunite with original keyboardist Vince Clarke and his replacement, Alan Wilder, who left the group in 1995. Wilder returned for a guest appearance in 2010, but Clarke hasn’t played with the group since 1981. (He went on to form Erasure and Yazoo.)
Many Hall of Fame induction ceremonies end with every performer of the night jamming together, but figuring out a way to do that this year might be a challenge. “We’ll come up with something, I’m sure!” says Simmons. “We’ll play the blues!”
The Hall of Fame has a long history of favoring guitar-based bands over ones that utilize synthesizers, but the presence of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails in this class seems to suggest that things are changing. “Rock doesn’t have to be guitar-bass/drums,” says Reznor. “It can be a turntable, a computer, a synthesizer, sequencer. They are all tools and a spirit of expression.”
NEW YORK, NY – Tekashi 6ix9ine has been behind the four walls of a New York City prison for the past 14 months. Now, it appears his patience is running out. According to TMZ, 6ix9ine’s attorney Lance Lazzaro has filed paperwork asking a judge to allow the embattled rapper to finish out his sentence at home.
The Brooklynite claims his safety is “seriously at risk” due to his role as a government witness. During the trial against alleged Nine Trey Gangster Bloods Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison last October, he ratted out several key players of the gang. He says the private jail where he’s currently serving his sentence is full of Bloods.
6ix9ine was finally sentenced in his racketeering case last month. Judge Paul Engelmayer read the 6ix9ine the riot act for nearly an hour but gave him credit for his cooperation. He was ultimately given an additional 24 months in prison with five years supervised release, 300 hours of community service and a $35,000 fine.
With time served, he is expected to be out in November 2020. However, due to the 85 Percent rule, he could be out as early as July 2020. The 85 Percent Rule means after an offender has served at least 85 percent of their sentence and maintained a good institutional record while behind bars, they can be released for a period of post-release supervision.
“We are a little disappointed, we were expecting time served because that is what the parole board recommended, but it was in the judge’s hands,” Lazzaro told Hollywood Life shortly after the hearing. “Daniel [Hernandez] will have to serve another seven months and 12 days because the time he’s already served will count towards his sentence.
“The best thing to come out of today was closure, he knows he’ll be home in July and then he can focus on rebuilding his career and relationships.”
6ix9ine reportedly signed a $10 million record contract for two albums while behind bars. It’s unclear if that offer will still stand following his release.
The Iranian missile strike on American locations in Iraq on Tuesday was a calibrated event intended to cause minimal American casualties, give the Iranians a face-saving measure and provide an opportunity for both sides to step back from the brink of war, according to senior U.S. officials in Washington and the Middle East.
White House officials were bracing as early as Tuesday morning for Iran to respond to the U.S. killing last week of Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
U.S. officials said they knew by Tuesday afternoon that Iran intended to strike at American targets in Iraq, although it was not immediately clear exactly which they would choose.
The early warning came from intelligence sources as well as communications from Iraq that conveyed Iran’s intentions to launch the strike, officials said.
“We knew, and the Iraqis told us, that this was coming many hours in advance,” said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence and diplomatic communications.
“We had intelligence reports several hours in advance that the Iranians were seeking to strike the bases,” the official said.
That gave military commanders time to get U.S. troops into safe, fortified positions at the bases.
According to military officials, before the attacks, troops at bases in Iraq were ordered into bunkers, donned protective gear and were told to “shelter in place.” They remained in their protected positions for hours, including after the strike. One official said at least some troops left al-Asad air base in western Iraq before the attack. That base, which houses some U.S. troops, was ultimately hit, along with a facility in Irbil, in northern Iraq.
In an address from the White House on Wednesday morning, President Trump credited an “early warning system” for helping prevent loss of life, though he did not elaborate on the specific indications the United States had in advance. A defense official later said the president was referring to the radar network the military has searching for potential enemy missiles.
At least two sources of intelligence gave the U.S. time to prepare.
First, there were indications before the launch that Iran was preparing to strike at targets in Iraq, officials said. It was not clear whether that information came from a person or some technical means, such as intercepted communications. A defense official said the U.S. military had “clear indications” of a strike prior to launch, from information “internal to [the] U.S. government.” Military officials had assessed that Iran would attempt some kind of retaliation at the end of the official mourning period for Soleimani.
A second source of warning came from what one official described as technical means. The U.S. military has satellites that can detect a missile shortly after its launch. U.S. officials alerted allies to the launches shortly after they occurred, according to one Western official. Iran launched more than a dozen missiles, officials have said.
U.S. officials began alerting reporters to the possibility of an Iranian strike beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, an hour before the strikes. Vice President Pence was scheduled to conduct a television interview that evening but canceled earlier in the day.
In Iran, the regime had positioned itself for a public messaging campaign. Late Tuesday afternoon, Iran transmitted a letter to the U.N. Security Council with a legal basis for military retaliation, but it was not made public, said a diplomat familiar with the document.
After the attacks, parts of the letter’s legal arguments appeared in a tweet from Iranian Foreign Mohammad Javad Zarif in his defense of the missile strikes.
“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Zarif said. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
After the missiles hit their targets, U.S. military officials began to assess the damage. By 7:30 p.m. Washington time, officials had briefed Trump and were “able to pretty clearly say we don’t think any Americans are going to be killed,” the senior administration official said. “We knew that no Americans were hurt, either.”
The lack of casualties gave administration officials more confidence that the Iranians had intended to make a public show of force largely to save face at home, the senior administration official said. The official added that a consensus is building that Iran could have done more damage.
Defense Secretary Mike T. Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived at the White House around 7 p.m. to be with the president. About an hour later, Trump began calling lawmakers, including allies such as Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.). Trump told them that no Americans had been killed in the missile attacks and that a path to negotiations with Iran had now opened, the senior administration official said.
“The president doesn’t want a war, but he doesn’t want to tolerate provocation against American interests,” Graham said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Graham said he hoped that Iran’s attack was “a show of force for domestic purposes.”
“They want a show of force,” he said, “but they want this to end, because they are scared of the president. I hope that is true.”
Matt Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, told aides in a Roosevelt Room meeting Tuesday afternoon that it would take at least two months to understand whether the U.S. strategy was working.
“Our initial reaction has been, this was a domestic effort from the Iranians to save face, not to go to war, so we have proceeded in that vein,” said another senior administration official with knowledge of the analysis.
Trump had told senior military officials Tuesday evening that he did not want to start a war with Iran and wanted a path to ease tensions, which had been escalating at a frantic pace since the strike on Soleimani, the senior administration official said. When Trump’s military advisers told him there was reason to believe the missile strikes were not designed to kill Americans, a way out appeared, the official said.
Even with the advance notice, U.S. military officials were still scrambling after the attack to assess the damage and determine Iran’s intentions. Some service members in Iraq thought initially that a volley of rockets had landed at al-Asad air base, with the Pentagon later clarifying that Iran had used more-powerful missiles.
U.S. forces in the region remained on high alert after the strikes, but no significant troop movements have been made in Syria or elsewhere, according to military officials.
The Pentagon and State Department sent staffers to the White House on Wednesday morning to write Trump’s speech. He made some last-minute additions, including the decision to start his remarks by declaring, “As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”
“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” Trump said.
Some officials acknowledged that Iran was likely to continue attacks via proxies and other means, and so forces remain are remaining on high alert. But there was a growing sense among administration officials that killing Soleimani had sobered Iran up to Trump’s willingness to act.
“We actually believe this will be de-escalation,” the senior administration official said. “We’re obviously going to be on alert for proxies with one-off attacks. But we think this worked.”
John Hudson and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.
U.S. conflict with Iran: What you need to read
Here’s what you need to know to understand what this moment means in U.S.-Iran relations.
What happened: President Trump ordered a drone strike near the Baghdad airport, killing Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military commander and leader of its special-operations forces abroad.
Who was Soleimani: As the leader of the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, Soleimani was key in supporting and coordinating with Iran’s allies across the region, especially in Iraq. Soleimani’s influence was imprinted on various Shiite militias that fought U.S. troops.
How we got here: Tensions had been escalating between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled out of an Obama-era nuclear deal, and they spiked shortly before the airstrike. The strikes that killed Soleimani were carried out after the death of a U.S. contractor in a rocket attack against a military base in Kirkuk, Iraq, that the United States blamed on Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia.
What happens next: Iran responded to Soleimani’s death by launching missile strikes at two bases hosting U.S. forces in Iraq. No casualties were reported. In an address to the nation, Trump announced that new sanctions will be imposed on Tehran.159 CommentsShane HarrisShane Harris covers intelligence and national security for The Washington Post. He has been a writer at the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Beast and Foreign Policy, among other publications. He has written two books, “The Watchers” and “@War,” and is a national security analyst for CNN. FollowJosh DawseyJosh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the Wall Street Journal.FollowMissy RyanMissy Ryan writes about the Pentagon, military issues and national security for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2014 from Reuters, where she reported on U.S. national security and foreign policy issues. She has reported from Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Chile.FollowDan LamotheDan Lamothe joined The Washington Post in 2014 to cover the U.S. military and the Pentagon. He has written about the Armed Forces for more than a decade, traveling extensively, embedding with each service and covering combat in Afghanistan numerous times.Follow
UPDATED 1/8, 9:15 a.m. ET: TMZ learned the wax statue is the same one Madame Tussauds unveiled in 2015 in Las Vegas—and Nicki approved of it at the time. The site heard the Minaj figure moved to Berlin “because the museum loans statues out frequently to mix up the attractions at its various locations.”
Here’s what she had to say four and a half years ago:
See original story below.
Madame Tussauds is known to create wax figures of our favorite celebrities, but sometimes they miss the mark.
On Tuesday, the chain’s Berlin location unveiled a new figure of Nicki Minaj, and while the museum outfitted it in clothes from Minaj’s 2014 “Anaconda” video, the depiction bears little resemblance to the rapper. Many on Twitter were quick to point this out.
Madame Tussauds has come under fire for its awkward takes on celebrities in the past. In 2017, the museum received criticism for a wax figure tribute to Beyoncé that wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. However, fans were quite pleased after seeing the new figure of Queen B that was added to the flagship London location in September 2019. Drake also received the wax figure treatment at the Las Vegas branch, as has Ariana Grande in the London museum, though, like Minaj, people also thought Grande’s figure looked nothing like her.
On Jan. 5, 2020, news editor M. Hanif Jazayeri posted a tweet stating that Iran had placed an $80 million bounty on the head of U.S. President Donald Trump in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani:
OMG! Iran’s regime just announced an $80 million bounty for anyone who brings the head of @realDonaldTrump for killing Soleimani. PS: Iran’s ppl however are overjoyed at Soleimani’s death. As the #IranProtests have shown, they long for an end to the mullahs’ tyranny #FreeIran2020
The EN24 website similarly reported that the offer had been made on Iranian state television, and the amount of the bounty was based on Iran’s population:
In the propaganda war against the United States and its president, the Iranian mullah regime is now using a particularly perfidious tactic.
The state television announced during the broadcast of a funeral service for the killed terror general Ghassem Soleimani that $80 million bounty would be placed on US President Donald Trump. The one who kills him should receive this amount.
“Iran has 80 million inhabitants. Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80 million, which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump,” it said on state TV. Each Iranian should therefore donate a dollar to pay the amount to the alleged murderer.
The video attached to social media reports of the bounty showed large crowds mourning and/or protesting Soleimani’s death, with a male voice said to be that of a eulogist at Soleimani’s funeral procession seemingly calling for the placement of a bounty on Trump’s head:
The eulogist at the funeral procession of prominent Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iran put an 80-million-dollar prize on US President Donald Trump’s head on live state TV.
“We are 80 million Iranians, if each one of us puts aside one American dollar, we will have 80 million American dollars, and we will reward anyone who brings us [Trump]’s head with that amount,” he said, addressing a large crowd in Iran’s north-eastern city of Mashhad.
The funeral procession was being broadcast live on Iran’s Channel One as the eulogist made his proposal.
A Heavy article on the subject stated it was “a little misleading” to say that Iranian “state television” had announced the bounty, “because it was the eulogist who made that announcement, not state TV. It was, however, being broadcast on state TV.”
Last week, Young Buck was arrested in Cheatham County, Tennessee on a Georgia warrant. Buck, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, was taken into custody on a felony fugitive justice warrant on Dec 20th in Tennessee, but the warrant was issued by Georgia.
Sources say that the extradition warrant was issued by Newton County, Georgia for child abandonment. It was also revealed that Brown is not eligible for bond and his court date is not until May 7, 2020. He will most likely stay behind bars until then.
Brown was reportedly arrested after a police officer pulled over the driver of a Ford F-150 for talking on a cell phone and driving. Buck was a passenger in the vehicle and the cop claimed he smelled marijuana in the car. Buck confessed to having a joint on him and after searching the car, officers found three grams of weed. Even though confessing to possessing marijuana, Buck was not hit with a marijuana charge because he was “very cooperative” and was set to be extradited to Georgia.
However, this is not Brown’s first run-in with the law.
Back in 2016, he was arrested for threatening to burn down his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in a series of text messages.