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Friday, July 13, 2018

Music

Elton John and Prince Harry Prepare to Launch Global Coalition at International AIDS Conference. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and International AIDS Foundation (IAF) announced Thursday (July 12) that Sir Elton John and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will be launching a new global coalition focused on treating HIV infections in men at the 2018 International AIDS Conference. This coalition will be revealed in Amsterdam at the conference's Opening Plenary on July 24. "Two years ago at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa the Duke of Sussex and I participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth -- the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling," said John in a statement. "Since then, my foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centered design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men's access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services." Not only will EJAF be launching the coalition at the conference, but the foundation will also be holding a press conference in order to announce its new partners in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Key Populations Fund. The first grant awards that will become available under this fund will be revealed during the press event, as well. EJAF will also be celebrating the achievements of its LGBT Fund. EJAF chairman David Furmish said, "The International AIDS Conference offers an opportunity to come together and get smarter in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We're doing our part to focus the fight where it's needed most: breaking down the barriers keeping key populations around the world from lifesaving treatment. Elton and I are proud to be able to join the community of people living with HIV/AIDS, activists, global health specialists, NGOs, and policy makers in Amsterdam for AIDS 2018. With almost a third of those infected with HIV globally still not aware of their status or accessing treatment, we must maintain a real sense of collective urgency to get us to an AIDS-free future." (Billboard)

Ariana Grande Pushes 'God Is A Woman' Release Date Up: 'Surprise'. Ariana Grande took to Twitter to announce that her long-awaited single, "God Is a Woman," will be released Friday (July 13). In a pair of tweets, Grande built up her fans' hopes and thankfully delivered. "i have to tell u sum in a lil bit," the pop star wrote. "surprise. Twenty-four hours til giaw." Grande first announced that "God Is a Woman" would be the next single off her upcoming album Sweetener in June. At the request of a fan on Twitter, the singer explained the themes of the song: "sexual female empowerment & how women are literally everything & the universe is inside of us tbh." Sweetener is due out on Aug. 17. (Billboard)

Kim Zolciak-Biermann Reveals the Inspiration Behind Her New Single "WIG." Kim Zolciak-Biermann's new song is out now! The Don't Be Tardy star dropped her latest single "WIG (Wish I Gave a S--t)" on iTunes Wednesday, and now she's revealing the inspiration behind the song in an exclusive interview with E! News. "Oh it's so fun," Kim told us. "My publicist Jack said to me, 'You're turning 40, you should do a song.' And I'm like, 'Oh my God, I do not want to perform in clubs.' I just don't feel like I'm in that realm anymore and he's like, 'Well you have to do something fun.' You know, so that's kind of where it came from." After being sent the song, Kim couldn't get it out of her head. "I was actually filming season seven and we were all singing it and I was like, 'Oh my God! We have to do this!' So we did it," Kim told us. "Felipe, who wrote the song, flew in from L.A. and we recorded it here in Atlanta. It's just a lot of fun and light-hearted." So will we be seeing a video for the song? "I will be doing a video, yes, my daughter Brielle is like, 'Mom, you have to do a video.' So I have a pretty awesome idea in my head," Kim said. "We're going to shoot it here pretty quickly. I never did one for 'Don't Be Tardy' and I do regret it, so we're definitely going to be doing a video for sure." In addition to working on new music, Kim's also been having a lot of fun with her podcast, Don't Be Tardy. "Housewives was a blessing because I was motivated to share who I am as a person in an unfiltered, unedited format," she told us. "Don't Be Tardy, my life is fun and it's my family and it's raw, and with Housewives it's crazy drama. But with my podcast, I was motivated to share my belief system and who I am. People have really enjoyed it and it's so much fun." Kim recently wrapped filming on Don't Be Tardy season seven. Now the family has a break to spend the summer together before the kids head off to school. "My twins are going to pre-k so I'm like so stressed...they grow up so fast it's crazy," Kim said. "I cannot believe they're going to be five in November." And while Instagram admittedly gives Kim "baby fever," she's leaning towards being done with having more kids. "I like even numbers, so I think I'm kind of leaning towards being done," Kim shared. "I'm kind of at the point where I'm like, you know I'm finally getting a little bit more freedom." Kim's song "WIG" is available now on iTunes! You can also check out her Don't Be Tardy podcast HERE! (Eonline)

Nightclub rebuilding DJ booth so Shaquille O'Neal can fit. Before DJ Diesel -- a?k?a Shaquille O'Neal -- can raise the roof, they'll have to lower the floor. NBA legend Shaq is set to spin on Saturday at Joey Morrissey's HQ2 nightclub at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City. But at 7-foot-1 and weighing 330 pounds, Diesel can't fit in the DJ booth. So a crew of carpenters have been working tirelessly to lower the floor of the booth by 2 feet so that the legendary baller can squeeze behind the decks. We're told that at first, Morrissey wanted to just rip the roof off the booth, but an inspection proved it was made of solid steel -- making that option even more of a production than lowering the floor. We're told that Shaq is due to arrive at the club via helicopter. Shaq was on the winning team of the NBA Finals four times -- and before any of those rings, in 1993, he released his first album, called "Shaq Diesel." Now an "Inside the NBA" commentator, Shaq has been DJing since around 2015, and has performed for crowds of up to 1,000 at events including superstar DJ Diplo's Mad Decent Pool Party and his own Shaq's Fun House event, both in Miami. (PageSix)

Diddy: Music industry still sidelines African-American executives. Sean Combs says that music companies still sideline African-American executives -- even when they make "billions of dollars" for the industry. "You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they're not investing or even believing in us," Combs, a?k?a Diddy, told Variety, adding, "For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them [there's still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions. They'll go and they'll recruit cats from overseas." Combs told the trade that he thinks "a lot about Black Wall Street," a community of black entrepreneurs in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Okla., that was decimated in 1921. "The black people in this community were thriving, and others were having to look at them thriving because they had their own banks and supermarkets. Income was being cultivated, and they were having a lot of success," he said. "And so the white mob burned the town, lynched people to send a psychological message. And it worked. The message was, if y'all come together, if you thrive, this is what's gonna happen." Meanwhile, the Harlem-born mega-mogul called gentrification "heartbreaking." "When I go back to New York, the energy doesn't feel the same -- the nightlife, the excitement, the provocativeness," he said. "In Harlem you still feel that, even though the community has gotten displaced and shrunk. Like, where are the black people at?" (PageSix)

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