ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Brad Pitt hilariously wears name tag to Oscars 2020 nominees' luncheon. Brad Pitt made sure everyone knew his name at the Oscars 2020 nominees' luncheon. The Hollywood heavyhitter, who is nominated for his role in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," hilariously chose to wear a name tag on his suit's breast pocket as he mingled with his fellow nominees on Sunday. It doesn't appear that any other A-listers chose to wear the identifying tag. While chatting with fellow nominee Cynthia Erivo, who up for an Oscar for her role for "Harriet," Pitt's white tag stuck out as boldly as Erivo's green coat. Pitt, 56, already has won a SAG Award and Golden Globe Award for his role as Cliff Booth in the Quentin Tarantino-directed film, which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio. (PageSix)

Rapper Lexii Alijai's Cause of Death Revealed. Rapper Lexii Alijai cause of death has been revealed, less than a month after her passing on Jan. 1 at the age of 21. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office confirmed to E! News that the young rapper died as a result of mixed fentanyl and ethanol toxicity. The manner of death is accidental. A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson told E! News at the time that authorities responded to a medical situation at a local hotel, where an adult female was found deceased. The young starlet was on her way to a promising career as a rap artist. She had only released two albums at the time of her death. Joseph's Coat, was released in 2015 when she was just 17, and her second album, Growing Pains, released two years later in 2017. After the shocking news was released, many of her former friends and other artists reached out to express their sadness over the tragic loss of the musician. Her former collaborator and friend Kehlani posted about the devastating loss at the time. "You were so special bro," Kehlani continued. "I seen you fight thru it all i seen u thug it out lex imma miss you so bad. You was about to get everything you always talked about. RIP MY BABY I LOVE YOU LEX 4L." Our thoughts are with her friends and family during this difficult time. (Eonline)

Kate Middleton combined two causes close to her heart -- children and photography -- for a special outing on Tuesday. The royal mom -- in an outfit by Dolce and Gabbana -- joined a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at the Evelina London Children's Hospital to see how the arts support children's health, well-being and happiness. In addition to photography, one of Kate's favorite pastimes, children receiving care at the hospital participated in activities such as illustration and 3D set design. Kate, who has previously dubbed herself an "enthusiastic amateur photographer," is something of an art buff: she studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, where she met Prince William. Photography was also the focus of her thesis in school -- and she recently used her skills to photograph Holocaust survivors with their grandchildren. The mom of three has been patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012 and became patron of Evelina London in 2018. She learned more about the relationship between the two organizations, as they work in close collaboration to deliver art workshops to children of all ages, along with their siblings and parents. The program runs in three other children's hospitals in London -- Great Ormond Street Hospital, Newham University Hospital and The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Over the past 15 years over 20,000 children have benefited from the creative workshops which include photography, animation, sculpture and textiles. This isn't the first time Kate has introduced her passion for photography (her own children are often her subjects!) to the next generation. Over the summer, the royal joined a photography workshop to learn more about how the skill can help young people develop confidence and self-expression. A few months later, Kensington Palace's official Instagram page featured the work of 9-year-old Josh Evans, who participated in the workshop, in honor of World Photography Day. "Today is #WorldPhotographyDay ?? when we celebrate the art, craft, science and history of photography," the office of Kate and William captioned the post. "Photography can provide a universal language ?? for anyone to express themselves and release their thoughts and feelings." (People)

Megxit presented a huge unintended consequence for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ... the loss of one of their beloved titles, Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors. Sources close to the couple tell TMZ ... the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were "shocked" they had to forgo their roles as youth ambassadors to the Commonwealth ... as part of the Megxit deal they struck with Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Charles. As you know ... Harry and Megan were forced to stop using their Royal titles when they spurned the Crown and moved to Canada. We're told the couple didn't expect their ambassadorships to even be on the table during Megxit negotiations -- but the Queen drew a hard line in the sand, and they had to surrender the role. The Commonwealth is a group of 53 nations ... almost all former British territories, such as Canada. In their time as youth ambassadors, Harry and Meghan were tasked with empowering young people in those countries to tackle the problems facing their generations. Meghan joined Harry as a youth ambassador right before their wedding, and we're told the job was very important to them. Meghan even had the flowers of all 53 Commonwealth nations embroidered into her wedding dress. Seems Harry and Meghan are still not ready to let go -- their official website still has an entire section dedicated to their work as youth ambassadors. Time for a site update, STAT!!! TMZ investigated everything leading up to the Sussexes' departure from the Royal Family. Watch "Harry and Meghan: The Royals in Crisis" on Fox network Wednesday, January 29 at 8 PM. (TMZ)

Ellen DeGeneres Urges Kobe Bryant's Fans to "Celebrate Life" in Tearful Speech. Like many of us, Ellen DeGeneres is struggling to imaging a world without Kobe Bryant. The comedian reflected on the late NBA star's legacy in an uplifting speech given during Monday's taping of her talk show. Ellen, who last sat down with Kobe in April 2019, struggled to hold back tears as she urged audience members and fans of the athlete to savor every moment of life. "Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it happened to be my birthday and the Grammy Awards. I was nominated. I didn't win. Not the point," DeGeneres joked. She continued, "Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second. That's what I want to talk about. Life is short and it's fragile. We don't know how many birthdays we have. We don't have to have a birthday to celebrate, just celebrate life." "If you haven't told someone you love them, do it now. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them. Be nice to people at the DMV. They're people!" Ellen remarked between tears. DeGeneres then thanked her wife, Portia De Rossi, as well as fellow Ellen personality, Stephen "tWitch" Boss. "I was backstage before the show started and I was saying to tWitch, because we've both been said today, 'We're gonna go out there and fill the room with love because that's what everyone needs. Then I come out here and fall apart," she shared with a smile. On Sunday, Jan. 27, Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, were flying via helicopter to her team's basketball tournament when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, Calif. The nine people on board, which included two of Gigi's teammates, their families and the pilot, were all killed. Investigators are considering whether dense fog played a factor in the crash, and authorities predict it will take several days for debris and human remains to be recovered from the site. During his last appearance on Ellen, Kobe discussed his excitement around welcoming his fourth child, a baby girl named Capri, with wife Vanessa Bryant. "I'm super excited. I love my princesses," Bryant shared, explaining that Vanessa "was putting the pressure on" him to have a boy. When asked if more children were in their future, Kobe responded, "I would go for a solid starting five. You just have your own internal basketball team." He said at the time, "At home, dealing with my daughters and watching them play sports, I try to teach them life lessons. They kind of look at me like, 'Dad, shut up. You don't know what you're talking about.'" Kobe and Gigi are survived by Vanessa, Natalia Bryant, 17, and Capri, 7 months. (Eonline)

Kobe Bryant's Daughter Gianna Is Honored By the College Basketball Team She Hoped to Play For. Gone but not forgotten. That couldn't ring more-true ahead of the UConn Women's Basketball game against the USA Women's National Basketball team. According to ESPN, the University of Connecticut Huskies honored Kobe Bryant's teenage daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, just one day after news broke that the two were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Photographs of the Monday night sporting event show that the women's basketball team laid out a bouquet of flowers that sat atop one of their courtside chairs. Moreover, a Huskies jersey with the number 2 was also displayed at the game, which was an homage to Gianna, who frequently played basketball with that number for the Mamba Academy. Not only was the late teenager following in her famous father's footsteps, but she had a strong connection to UConn Women's Basketball team and hoped to play for them some day -- which made their tribute even more special. "Kobe and Gianna meant a lot to our program. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family," the team shared on Twitter, alongside an image of the father-daughter duo sitting courtside at one of their games. "Mamba Mentality will live on forever, but they are deeply missed." Recently, an old interview with Bryant resurfaced online of him gushing over his teenage daughter and her love for basketball. In Oct. 2018, the NBA legend made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he opened up about coaching his 13-year-old and her teammates. "They're doing well... they've been playing for like a year and a half," he told Jimmy Kimmel. "They don't have seasons, it's crazy. They just have tournaments like every weekend." "What we try to do is, we try to teach the kids what excellence looks like," the retired Lakers star explained. "Some of them may want to play in the WNBA, some of them may not, but we try to give them a foundation of the amount of work and preparation that it takes to be excellent in whatever it is you choose to do." When asked if Gianna wanted to play for the WNBA, he gushed, "She does for sure." "This kid, man... That best thing that happens is, when we go out, and fans will come out to me and she'll be standing next to me and they'll be like, 'You gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy, man. You gotta have somebody carry on your tradition, the legacy,'" he shared. Adding that his daughter would simply respond to those remarks with, "I got this." At this time, the helicopter crash is still under investigation and not much is known about what exactly happened. During a press conference over the weekend, officials said nine people were on board the aircraft, which included Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan. Sadly, officials confirmed there were no survivors. According to TMZ, Kobe and his daughter were headed to the Mamba Academy for a basketball tournament, which was located near the Thousand Oaks and Calabasas area in Los Angeles. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the tragedy. (Eonline)

Kobe Bryant spent his Saturday night playing with his 3-year-old daughter, Bianka ... just hours before his tragic death, TMZ Sports has learned. We obtained footage of the 41-year-old spending some quality time with Bianka at the Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach the night before the tragedy ... playing at the center's koi pond and walking through the stores. We're told they looked adorable together -- just enjoying each other's company. The Bryants were regulars at the mall and other local spots. In other words, it wasn't unusual to see Kobe around town with his kids. The footage is devastating to watch ... knowing it's the last outing Bianka had with her dad. We broke the story ... the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a devastating helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday morning, which took the lives of 7 others. All 9 passengers of the helicopter have been identified ... including Kobe, GiGi, John Altobelli (56), Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester (13), Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan. Kobe and GiGi were heading to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a round of basketball games. Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mom Vanessa and daughters/sisters Natalia, Bianka and Capri. (TMZ)

The Alchemist Author Says He Deleted Draft of Children's Book He Wrote with Kobe Bryant. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two out of the nine victims who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Kobe Bryant was working on a children's book prior to his tragic death in helicopter crash on Sunday, but that project will never see the light of day, according to The Alchemist author Paulo Coehlo. On Sunday, the Brazilian writer, 72, revealed that he had been working on a book with the athlete and tweeted his plans to delete the draft following news of Bryant's passing. Alongside screenshot of what appeared to be a 2019 direct message conversation with Bryant, Coehlo wrote, "You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason." In the screenshot, a message seemingly from Bryant's Twitter account read: "Let's [write] a book together." Coehlo told the Associated Press on Monday that the two began writing a few months ago, but he destroyed the manuscript after learning that Bryant had passed away. "I deleted the draft because it didn't make any sense to publish without him," Coelho said. "It wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family. "That doesn't stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was," the writer continued. "But the children's book did not make sense anymore." According to Coehlo, the idea behind the book was to inspire underprivileged children to overcome adversity through sports. "Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings," Coelho shared, telling the publication that they were working "little by little" after Bryant reached out about a collaboration. "I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn't all about competition," the author said. "His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport." Bryant ventured into the book world when his multimedia company, Granity Studios, published his autobiography The Mamba Mentality: How I Play in 2018. The former NBA star went on to co-create a young adult fiction book series with Wesley King titled The Wizenard Series, which follows five young basketball players in a Harry Potter-esque story. The Alchemist was one of Bryant's favorite books and the Lakers legend had even once recommended it to basketball player Kyrie Irving, according to The Athletic. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of nine victims who perished in a deadly helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. The basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks with seven others when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames. Sarah Chester and her daughter, eighth-grader Payton, the head basketball coach at Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, girls basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan were also on the aircraft during the incident. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. (People)

Several NBA stars paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on Monday by customizing their sneakers with messages about the Black Mamba ... and it's heartbreaking. Sacramento Kings star Buddy Hield wore Nike Kobe 4s against the Timberwolves -- and used a black pen to write various messages about his friend. "R.I.P. Kobe," Hield wrote ... "Mamba 4 Life. #24." Miami Heat player Goran Dragic marked up his Adidas kicks with "#Mamba" and "#Mambacita" -- a tribute to Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, who also died in Sunday's helicopter crash. Cleveland Cavs player Dante Exum wore UNDFTD X KOBE 4 Protro kicks with the words, "RIP Mamba." San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan wore a special custom pair of UNDFTD X KOBE sneaks with the words, "RIP Bean. Love you Big Bro." Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo wore the purple colorway version of the KOBE Protros with a special message for Kobe too. The league is clearly still reeling and trying to find out the best way to honor Kobe moving forward -- but this is a pretty good start. (TMZ)

Actress Evan Rachel Wood sparked a huge backlash for calling Kobe Bryant a "rapist" just hours after his death -- getting accused of taking the #MeToo movement too far. "He was a sports hero. He was also a rapist," the 32-year-old "Westworld" actress Sunday moments after news of the basketball legend's death in a helicopter accident alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. "And all of these truths can exist simultaneously." Wood's tweet sparked instantaneous outrage, with many pointing out that the 41-year-old hoops legend was never prosecuted in connection to sexual assault accusations made against him almost 17 years earlier by a 19-year-old Colorado hotel employee. "And this is where the Me too movement has gotten out of control... attacking a man who literally just died less than 24 hours ago, with his little girl!" Catherine (Kathleen) Curtin replied in disgust. Another person, Wes Hatton also accused the actress of turning "#MeToo into a joke." "These things need to be taken seriously and your[sic] just looking for attention after him and his daughter JUST died. Wow," he tweeted, calling Wood a "narcissistic disappointment." Fellow actress Kyla Pratt told Wood that she has "admired" her work, both "on camera and off." "But this tweet? How fucking dare you?" she tweeted in disgust. Wood tried to calm the criticism on Monday, asking for "kindness and respect to all." "Beloveds, this was not a condemnation or a celebration. It was a reminder that everyone will have different feelings and there is room for us all to grieve together instead of fighting," she wrote, saying that "everyone has lost." It only managed to spark further outrage, however, such as a Walker telling her, "You don't get to cover that bullshit you did with third rate greeting card platitudes." Amid the attacks, Wood also had messages of support. "She voiced my thoughts when I heard the news," Amy Starkey wrote. "As a survivor who had to watch other people express sorrow when my rapist died, while all I could feel was relief and then guilt for that, Evan spoke for me. And I appreciate it." Twitter user @soillodge also linked to video of the actress giving testimony on Capitol Hill in 2018, where she detailed being raped, tortured and mentally abused by a former boyfriend. "How many people mad at Evan right now know that she helped change a law to help rape victims?" the message read. (Page Six)

AGT Host Terry Crews Tweets About Only Being Loyal to His Wife amid Gabrielle Union Drama. Last week, Gabrielle Union shot back at Terry Crews after he spoke out about her exit from America's Got Talent. Is Terry Crews trying to send Gabrielle Union a message? Crews, 51, posted a series of cryptic tweets on Monday after experiencing a backlash to his comments about Union's controversial departure as a judge on America's Got Talent. "I'm a hog. You're a chicken," the AGT host wrote. "Just 'cuz you gave me eggs -- don't mean I owe you bacon." A few hours later, he also tweeted about remaining loyal to his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, saying she is the only woman he has to "please." "There is only one woman one earth I have to please," he wrote. "Her name is Rebecca. Not my mother, my sister, my daughters or co-workers. I will let their husbands/ boyfriends/ partners take care of them. Rebecca gives me WINGS." His tweets come days after Union seemingly fired back at Crews after he spoke about her exit. During an interview on 3rd Hour of Today, he said he never experienced any of Union's reported allegations of racial insensitivity and a toxic culture at the show. "First of all, I can't speak for sexism because I'm not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments," he said. "That was never my experience ... in fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment." "I have to say this, too. When you look at what the allegations were about, it was given by an unnamed source. My thing is -- it's funny because I believe you should listen to women, you should always believe women, so I asked my wife what I should do," he added. "She was like, first of all, if it's coming from an unnamed source, because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly ... if she hasn't made a statement, why would you?" (The original Variety report about Union's allegations cited multiple unnamed sources, not just one.) When asked if he had spoken to Union since she left AGT, Crews said, "I have not. I haven't reached out, but I have not heard anything." While Union never mentioned Crews by name, she responded to several tweets Friday that seemed to address the situation. After a fan told Union to "keep standing in your truth," she replied: "Thank u! Cuz girlllllll ?? Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn't lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth." She was seemingly alluding to her support of Crews in 2017, after he alleged that a "high level Hollywood executive" had "groped [his] privates" at a party. While many of the actor's colleagues remained silent about his allegation, Union tweeted: "Terry Crews is a stand-up guy. Literally one of the nicest people in our industry. He is honest, kind & true professional. I believe him & stand by him. #MeToo." (People)

Nicki Minaj and her husband got a nasty stare-down by Meek Mill ... and THAT'S what started the epic shouting match. Sources close to the situation tell TMZ ... Nicki and hubby, Kenneth Petty, had barely walked into the high-end clothing store, Maxfield in WeHo, last weekend when Meek immediately gave them a nasty stare-down. Like anyone running into an ex, Nicki and Kenneth took offense to Meek giving them a dirty look and that's what triggered the shouting match. Our sources say Nicki and Kenneth did NOT approach Meek by any means. The couple just happened to cross Meek's path when they walked into the store. This, of course, disputes Meek's side of the story. As we first reported ... the "Championships" rapper said Nicki and Kenneth approached him and started getting loud. As for Meek allegedly requesting the couple for a word in private, our sources call BS on Meek being this cordial ... since he's the one who started the showdown. Our sources are adamant Meek's still obsessed with Nicki ... while Nicki moved on a long, long time ago. Our sources say Meek's so petty ... he seemingly mocked Kenneth, who back in March was shown at a carnival hitting a boxing machine arcade game. Meek followed suit several months later ... even talking smack to the punching bag. And, it's Meek who, back in early March, allowed NBA star James Harden to preview one of his new tracks on Instagram. The track included the lyrics "This s**t beyond me, you was supposed to be my Beyonce, now you this n***a fiance?!" Fans were quick to say Meek was referring to Nicki. He later denied the line's about Nicki. At least Nicki sure seems to think so ... but she's over it. (TMZ)

McDonald's Is Finally Adding Fried Chicken Sandwiches to the Breakfast Menu. Get ready to say hello to the McChicken Biscuit and the Chicken McGriddle. Just when the fried chicken wars were coming to an end, McDonald's decides to take 2020 by storm and introduce two new chicken sandwiches to their breakfast menu. The fast-food chain will start serving the Chicken McGriddle and McChicken Biscuit sandwiches to customers across the country starting Monday. The new menu items both pair their classic crispy McChicken with either a warm biscuit or pancakes -- and they're available only for a limited time. News of the savory sandwiches first spread back in October when leaked documents of McDonald's plans were obtained by Business Insider. In response to an email inquiry at the time, a McDonald's representative only told PEOPLE, "What came first, the chicken or the egg? Set your alarm for more reasons to visit McDonald's for breakfast in 2020." The introduction of these chicken sandwiches comes at a time when breakfast is becoming an increasingly competitive market among fast-food chains. In a call made to investors in October, then-CEO of McDonald's Steve Easterbrook actually explained why McDonald's is looking to explore more options in the breakfast arena. "I mean, we've seen competitors ramp up their activity during this year as well actually," he said. "So, having another entrant in next year will just ensure that the market share fight remains as competitive as ever." Restaurants like IHOP are coming in especially hot -- the pancake chain is opening a brand new fast-casual chain in 2020 called Flip'd that will be completely dedicated to breakfast food. While the new restaurant's menu will include items similar to those found at the famous pancake chain, there will be on-the-go twists like pancake bowls and a DIY pancake bar. Additional menu items include made-to-order breakfast burritos, buttermilk crispy chicken sandwiches, grab-and-go salads, wraps, and freshly-baked goods. The restaurants will have limited seating, new ordering technology, and a focus on to-go menu items. They will also be about half the size of the average IHOP location. On a similar note, Business Insider reports Wendy's is investing $20 million in a push to introduce a new breakfast menu in early 2020, which will include items like a coffee-infused Frosty and a honey butter chicken sandwich. Taco Bell is also beefing up there $1 Cravings Menu offerings with 21 new items, includes options like grilled breakfast burritos with bacon, breakfast soft tacos with sausage, and hash browns. (People)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cave Fest 2020

Born On This Day...

Live Show 2-5pm Today Arizona Time - Music To Grill By