Aretha Franklin, one of the most popular and influential musicians of all time, is “gravely ill,” according to WDIV Local 4 in Detroit, her hometown.
On Monday morning, the outlet reported that the 76-year-old singer was requesting prayers in the face of her unspecified illness.
Veteran journalist Roland S. Martin also took to Twitter on Monday to confirm the Queen of Soul’s illness, saying that he’s known of her failing health for months and reporting that she is currently surrounded by loved ones.
The emotions were running high on “Talking Dead” Sunday night. The episode marked Chris Hardwick’s return to AMC following allegations of abuse, and the host took some time at the start of the show to thank his fans for their support.
“Normally I recap the show we’re about to talk about here, but instead I just wanted to take a minute to say that I am so appreciative to be standing here right now and I want to thank you, the ‘Walking Dead’ community, for all of your support these last couple of months,” a visibly teary Hardwick said as he opened the long-running after-show.
“This show isn’t just a job to me, it is a vital part of my life and has been like a sanctuary these last seven years,” he continued. “It’s been with me through good times and bad and I’m so grateful to the fans, producers and the amazing casts of both of these shows for allowing me to come here and be a part of this community every week.”
Nicki Minaj’s new Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music, Queen Radio, is starting off with a bang this week. On Friday, the rapperannounced to her Barbz fanbase that she’d be releasing her much-anticipated new album, “Queen,” early. As in: right then and there.
The album, Minaj’s fourth studio release, had been delayed several times. It was most recently bumped from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17 because of a sample-clearance issue. That introduced a potential conflict with collaborator Ariana Grande, a fellow Republic Records labelmate, whose new album drops on Aug. 17 as well. The two perform a duet on “Queen,” the single “Bed.”
Music producer Russell Simmons on Friday refuted a report that threw a wrench in his ongoing litigation with a woman who has accused him of rape. And that woman’s attorney agreed that the report was “unsubstantiated.”
E! News’ report cited documents obtained by the outlet saying that Simmons is seeking $35,000 from the woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe, claiming that she filed the lawsuit for publicity.
“The reporting [in the E! News story] is wrong and court records show Mr. Simmons’ attorneys’ motion to dismiss a frivolous and frankly outrageous lawsuit,” a spokeswoman for Simmons told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.
The long-simmering speculation that Idris Elba is the next James Bond reignited on Thursday based on a tabloid report out of the U.K.
The story, from Britain’s Daily Star, cited a chat between filmmaker Antoine Fuqua and longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, who reportedly discussed Elba’s potential takeover of the super-spy role when actor Daniel Craig departs the franchise after “Bond 25.”