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Ja Rule’s ‘luxury’ island music festival turns into ‘disaster tent city,’ attendees say

Ja Rule’s now-postponed ultra-luxurious Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, is being called a “complete disaster” with headlining bands pulling out of the celebrity-endorsed event.

>> Read more trending news

Some attendees called the event a “disaster tent city” where “mass chaos (reigned).”

The luxury music festival created by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland was supposed to bring an opulent party to the Bahamas April 28-30. Tickets started at $4,000 and went all the way up to 12-person VIP package for $250,000. Supposedly on tap: private beaches and tunes from Blink-182, Major Lazer, the G.O.O.D. Music crew, Migos, Lil Yachty and more.

However, the now-”fully postponed” festival immediately ran into a host of difficulties, according to Fader, with reported non-fun things including:

  • Delayed flights
  • Lost luggage
  • Lack of food
  • Half-built tents
  • Blink-182 pulling out on Thursday night
  • Canceled flights for those not already on the island where the festival was to be held

Attendees took to social media late Thursday disappointed and disgruntled about the lack of organization.

Get to know the new Wonder Woman and Spider-Man

You know the names and you've met them briefly before, but this summer Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and Tom Holland's Spider-Man take center stage in blockbusters all their own. Both face the gargantuan task of revitalizing brands and properties that could use some help: For "Wonder Woman," the thus critically-derided DC Comics films, and for "Spider-Man: Homecoming," Sony hopes its lone comic book property can launch its own extended universe. Good thing they're both superheroes.

Get to know a bit more about the actors who are playing some of summer's biggest superhero roles:

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GAL GADOT AS WONDER WOMAN

The 31-year-old Israeli model and actress teased audiences with a bit of her Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," but on June 2 fans will get to explore the origins of the Amazonian warrior in "Wonder Woman."

The film takes Diana from her home island of Themyscira and into the throes of World War I, along with American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).

Gadot's Diana, she says, is a powerful warrior with high emotional intelligence, although she doesn't quite understand the gender and social norms of WWI-era London. Gadgot calls it a "beautiful naiveté."

"She sees the world in such a healthy way," Gadot says. "Diana Prince basically stands for everything I stand for: love, peace, justice, truth. I keep on saying that if each and every one of us had a little bit of Wonder Woman in us the world would be a better place."

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TOM HOLLAND AS SPIDER-MAN

Like Wonder Woman's brief appearance in "Batman v Superman," Holland made his debut in a small, but memorable, part in "Captain America: Civil War," when Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark enlists the Queens teenager for some help. Unlike Wonder Woman who has never had a big screen movie to herself, audiences have now had three Spider-Mans in the past 15 years: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Holland.

The 20-year-old British actor says that his Peter Parker/Spider-Man is fairly similar to both Maguire's and Garfield's takes, but with one important difference: Holland was actually in the right age range to play a high school student. (Maguire was 27 when his first Spider-Man came out, and Garfield was 29).

To prepare for "Spider-Man: Homecoming," out July 15, Holland even went undercover to a Queens, N.Y. high school to try to understand what American high school life is like. The biggest difference? Girls and no uniforms — quite a departure from the all-boys school he attended in the U.K.

"I really think people will enjoy the Peter Parker side of the story," Holland says. "With superhero movies I feel like you're always looking for more superhero. But in this movie I hope it will be the reverse ... the Spider-Man part is just an added bonus."

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Judge: Cosby jury can hear about quaaludes, not Spanish fly

Jurors at Bill Cosby's sex assault trial can hear his explosive deposition testimony about quaaludes but not his references to the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly, a judge ruled Friday.

The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He calls the encounter consensual.

In the decade-old deposition, Cosby said he got seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s, intending not to take them himself but to give them to women he was pursuing for sex. The powerful sedatives were banned in 1983, and Cosby said he no longer had them when he met Constand 20 years later.

Defense lawyers therefore pushed to exclude his testimony about quaaludes from the trial.

Prosecutors sought to include Cosby's comedic riffs about Spanish fly to show a familiarity with date-rape drugs. The defense called the references, in his 1991 book "Childhood" and a Larry King interview that same year, nothing more than fanciful stories about adolescence.

Spanish fly is made from a green beetle called the Spanish fly, in the family of blister beetles, and has been sold as an aphrodisiac. In the book, Cosby says he and his adolescent friends needed the potion to get girls interested in them.

"They're never in the mood for us," Cosby wrote. "They need chemicals."

Cosby, once known as America's Dad for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and '90s, is charged with felony sexual assault.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill also ruled Friday to exclude from Cosby's trial references to Constand's lawsuit or the settlement. Jury selection is set to start May 22, and opening arguments are set for June 5.

Cosby settled Constand's lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after giving four days of deposition testimony. He has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case, which prosecutors reopened in 2015 after key parts of the deposition were unsealed.

The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they give permission, which Constand has done.

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Associated Press writer Maryclaire Dale contributed to this report.

Gwyneth Paltrow creating Goop magazine with Anna Wintour

Gwyneth Paltrow and former Vogue editor Anna Wintour are teaming up to take the actress' Goop website to print through a partnership with magazine publisher Conde Nast.

Wintour, who is now artistic director at Conde Nast, says that through the Goop brand, Paltrow has built a "thoroughly modern take on how we live today."

The first issue of Goop magazine is slated for a September newsstand release. The magazine will be published quarterly and will revolve around the wellness themes seen on Goop.com.

Paltrow says in a statement that Wintour is "a powerhouse, and one of the most admirable thought-leaders in media."

The Oscar-winning actress launched Goop in 2008 as a weekly newsletter.

At Trump-less correspondents event, focus back on journalism

It's safe to say that the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — traditionally the most-glittery night on the Washington social calendar, where A-list celebrities sprinkle their stardust as coveted guests of media organizations — will have a different vibe this year. With the current president —highly unpopular in Hollywood — staying away, organizers say the focus will not be on the red carpet but on the bedrock principles of the event: the First Amendment and the crucial role of the press in a democracy.

Not that those principles haven't always been central to the mission of an event that began in 1921, notes Jeff Mason, WHCA president. But, he says, "the focus will be entirely on that this year, and I think that's a great thing."

The absence of President Donald Trump, who has called the media "fake" and "dishonest" and even "the enemy of the people," marks the first time a president has declined since Ronald Reagan in 1981 — and he was recovering from an assassination attempt (but phoned in some friendly, humorous remarks nonetheless.) Trump has decided to hold a rally in Pennsylvania instead, and his White House staff will also be absent, in what was described as "solidarity" with their boss.

But even if Trump had decided to come, this year's event would have been different, Mason says, "based on the tension that has existed in the relationship and some of the things he has said about the press. We were preparing for a different dinner either way."

So as opposed to last year, when guests at President Barack Obama's final dinner included Smith, Emma Watson, Kerry Washington, Helen Mirren, the late Carrie Fisher, and, for a Kardashian quotient, model Kendall Jenner, this year's big stars seem to be Woodward and Bernstein — not Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, who played the famous reporting duo, but the men themselves, who'll be presenting journalism awards. Woodward told the Washington Post the two will speak about "the First Amendment and the importance of aggressive but fair reporting."

There will be, as usual, a comedian emceeing the event, which will air on C-SPAN: Hasan Minhaj, of "The Daily Show." But he will have competition: late-night star Samantha Bee will be headlining "Not the White House Correspondent's Dinner," airing at 10 p.m. EDT on TBS (TV stars like Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is The New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation," and Matt Walsh of "Veep" are among those scheduled to attend the party afterward.)

Besides the high-profile after-parties (some of which are canceled this year), the correspondents' dinner has spawned a number of annual events the same weekend, like the fundraiser Friday night for the Creative Arts Coalition, an advocacy group fighting for continued arts funding. Tim Daly of "Madam Secretary" (the group's president), Keegan-Michael Key of "Key & Peele," Walsh of "Veep," and many others are scheduled to attend those festivities.

There's also a traditional garden brunch co-hosted by media consultant Tammy Haddad — who will be attending the correspondents' dinner too, and says she's looking forward to it. "What you're going to see Saturday is more journalists per square inch than ever before, united in showing what they do and how they do it," she says.

"Those celebrity spots will now be taken by journalists," Haddad adds. "There's going to be more interest in what they do. I mean, look at David Fahrenthold," she said of the Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporter, one of the dinner's award recipients. "He's the Bono of journalism. Journalists are heroes now."

The dinner didn't start out as a multi-day celebrity-studded event. Most trace that development to 1987, when then-Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly brought Fawn Hall, the secretary in the center of the Iran-Contra affair. That began a tradition. In 2012, Lindsay Lohan came as the guest of Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, a development that earned scorn from Tom Brokaw. ("Give me a break," he said in an interview with Politico.)

The potentially (to some) uncomfortable glitz factor, not to mention the schmoozing of administration officials and journalists who cover them, led a few news organizations to stop attending in recent years. But other guests have seen it as a good opportunity to get some business done.

"There's always business going down," says Robin Bronk, CEO of Creative Coalition. "In Washington, you'd be hard-pressed to find a party that doesn't have a purpose. It tastes good, but it's good for you."

Bronk says the WHCA dinner, celeb factor aside, "does a fine job of reminding us why a free press is so important. They always do a great job protecting this great amendment that we have."

Mason, of the WHCA, says Trump may be sending a signal with his absence, but that's up to him: "The signal that WE are sending is that we will uphold the principles of the First Amendment and we will celebrate that at this dinner."

Still, it won't be all serious, he says, promising that Minhaj will be using his comedy chops — without "roasting the president in absentia."

"People don't want to come to a dinner and feel bored or preached at. Hopefully neither of those things will happen."

Bee says she, too, will focus on celebrating the press.

"We're intending our show to really focus on honoring the press for all of the work that we vampire from them, all the hard work that people do that go into making a show like ours possible," she told the Associated Press at an event this week.

Trevor Noah, the "Daily Show" host, said he was excited to see what both Bee and Minhaj bring to the weekend's festivities.

"Maybe there's something different that we'll get to see from the correspondents' dinner," he said.

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Associated Press writer John Carucci contributed to this report.

Harry Styles announces fall world tour ahead of solo album

Harry Styles has announced a world tour ahead of the release of his first solo album.

The former One Direction singer opens the fall tour in San Francisco on Sept. 19. The North American leg wraps up in Phoenix on Oct. 14. Styles will visit Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Toronto and other cities.

Styles will also visit Europe, Singapore and Australia before wrapping the tour in Tokyo on Dec. 8.

Styles made the announcement on social media Friday. Styles' self-titled solo debut is set for release May 12.

Brad Paisley wanted fans to listen, so he shot a movie

Brad Paisley will do anything to get fans to listen to an entire album front to back, even shoot an hour-long visual album featuring Mick Jagger, Timbaland, John Fogerty and an unfinished Johnny Cash song.

The Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist spent less than a month shooting sequences for each one of the 15 songs on his new record, "Love and War," to make what he's calling the first visual album in country music. The video is available for streaming on Apple Music on Friday (the album was released last week).

"I am a big fan of this art form called an album," Paisley said during an interview Wednesday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, where he screened the visual album for the first time for fans. "I have a lot to say and I can't say it in 10 songs."

Paisley is not aiming to compete with Beyonce's powerful "Lemonade," which combined songs and videos into a visually stunning and complex musical project, which Paisley said he hasn't even watched in its entirety. After finishing his record, Paisley thought he could create a story line out of his song sequence.

"Basically we used the album as a script," Paisley said. "There's chapters. There's couplets."

Paisley pulled together an army of people to accomplish the task in the short time frame and included scenes shot on an aircraft carrier, in a shopping mall, at a burnt church, at the Grand Ole Opry and in his home town square with hundreds of extras. He included cameos from his actress wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, for a "Stranger Things"-inspired sequence, as well as David Hasselhoff and KITT the car from "Knight Rider."

Jeff Venable, one of the directors on the visual album, said Paisley himself would spend all night helping to finish the editing or shooting scenes in between his gigs.

"There were some days where we shot three videos in a day," Venable said. "The most amazing thing about Brad on camera is I have never seen him miss a note on the solos. And that is crazy to me."

The video highlights Paisley's natural on-camera charisma and his ease at transitioning through multiple topics, such as playing the comedian in a funny segment about our selfie-obsessed culture but also wielding enough gravitas to call out the lack of support for veterans in another section.

"One of those without the other is either too light or too dark," Paisley said of his song choices on the album. "It's a Skywalker balance kind of thing."

Finding common ground is Paisley's specialty. When hit-making producer Timbaland came into the studio with Paisley, they found their middle ground was bluegrass. On the Jagger-Paisley co-written "Drive of Shame," the impact that the Rolling Stones had on country music was the underlying thread.

"They are the greatest rock band in the world and a top five country one," Paisley said. "I didn't have to change at all because I have been ripping them off since I first started."

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Online: www.bradpaisley.com

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Follow Kristin M. Hall at Twitter.com/kmhall

Making new album an emotional rollercoaster for Mary J.

Mary J. Blige may be spitting fireball lyrics about her soon-to-be ex-husband on her new album, but the songs didn't start from a place of anger and hate.

It began with hope.

"This album ... (was) written from the perspective of me fighting for my marriage. And then when it all blew up in August, I had to start rewriting songs," Blige said in an interview this week.

The Grammy-winning icon said she spent months releasing her emotions and heartache on "Strength of a Woman," out Friday, which features a number of details about her very public breakup and ongoing court battle with her former manager and husband, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs.

"There was no moment where I felt like I was going to keep this in because it was way too much for me to handle on my own," said Blige, best known for her sad and painful songs. "These are things I needed to get out. I needed to express myself and so it hurt, but it's good. It's good."

On her 13th studio effort, the New Yorker does not mince words as she details the emotional ending of her nearly 13-year marriage and makes claims of lies and infidelity. Blige filed for divorce from Isaacs last July, citing irreconcilable differences. She also asked a court to deny Isaacs spousal support.

"There is no happy ending right now because we're in the thick of it," said Blige of her divorce settlement. "We're in the midst of all this foolishness and until the divorce is final, this is where we are. But I'm going to smile and have people make me smile and love myself and not give up."

Grammy-nominated singer Jazmine Sullivan, who has written for Blige, Jennifer Hudson and other R&B stars, said writing for Blige's new album was an emotional rollercoaster because as Blige's life changed, so did the songs they were crafting.

"The first single ('Thick of It') was different the first time I wrote it. She called me, she was in a different state and then as things started to change in her life, she had to call me again and kind of fill me in, and we had to make some changes to the song so it could fit where she was at that point," she said. "It actually started as kind of a happy, uplifting song because she was fighting for her marriage and trying to make it work, so it came from that point of view. Some months later she said things had changed, so we had to change the lyrics."

As with most heartache, Blige moves on to the revenge phase with songs like "Glow Up," where she teamed with Missy Elliott, DJ Khaled and Quavo from Migos to fire a warning shot: "You had this one coming," she sings. "You made me cry. Now it's your time."

In the deceptively smooth "Set Me Free," Blige sweetly croons, "There's a special place in hell for you. You gon' pay for what you did to me."

"I needed that moment. You know, I'm angry. I've been had," she said. "My music is therapeutic to me as well."

It's not all darkness and rage. Blige sings about finding love after heartbreak in "Smile" and teams with Kanye West for the empowering anthem "Love Yourself." And as the album title suggests, Blige certainly finds her strength through uplifting tracks like "Indestructible" and "Survivor."

"It's about knowing you're worthy and it's a process," she said. "I haven't come out the end yet. Not yet. Every day you have to remember to love yourself. ... I'm in the like myself (stage) really heavy. But to love yourself is (a) process, but I'm getting there."

Blige, 46, said her harrowing journey through pain and self-discovery has not left her without hope for the future. However, she may think twice before walking down the aisle.

"I haven't given up on love, but I definitely gave up on marriage for a while. I think I'm good on marriage for a while," she said.

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Online:

http://www.maryjblige.com/

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Follow Nicole Evatt on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

'13 Reasons' sparks criticism of teen suicide depiction

It's a scene as painful to watch as it is graphic: A 17-year-old girl climbs into a bathtub with a razor. We see her slice into her skin, we see the blood pour out, hear her cry and struggle to breathe. Then she is still.

The suicide of the heroine in Netflix's new popular series "13 Reasons Why" shouldn't come as a shock, since it's depicted in the final episode of a series built around the character's death. But knowing that it is coming doesn't make it any easier.

That stomach-turning scene has triggered criticism that it romanticizes suicide and prompted many schools across the country to send warning letters to parents and guardians. The show's creators are unapologetic, saying their frank depiction needs to be "unflinching and raw."

"Many people are accusing the show of glamorizing suicide and I feel strongly — and I think everyone who made the show — feel very strongly that we did the exact opposite," said writer Brian Yorkey, who won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for the musical "Next to Normal," which grappled with mental illness. "What we did was portray suicide and we portrayed it as very ugly and very damaging."

The 13-episode drama, co-produced by actress and singer Selena Gomez, is based on Jay Asher's young-adult 2007 bestseller about a high school student who kills herself and leaves behind 13 audiotapes detailing the events that led to her death, including sexual assault, substance abuse and bullying.

Per usual, Netflix released all 13 hours of the series at once — on March 31 — leaving suicide prevention specialists worried teens might binge the entire series without a chance to fully absorb the issues and ask questions. They also say they wish the show would consistently flash the National Suicide Prevention hotline.

"Graphic details about suicide we know historically are not recommended," said Phyllis Alongi, the clinical director of The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide . "I understand what the producers are saying but it could really be unsafe and I think we need to be a little more responsible."

Netflix and the show creators point out that several mental health professionals were consulted and they offer a 30- minute show called "Beyond the Reasons" that delves deeper into the tougher topics portrayed, as well as a site with links to resources.

The show is rated TV-MA, which means is may be unsuitable for children under 17, and three episodes that contain explicit material have "viewer discretion advised" warnings.

But some mental health professionals are going further, with the National Association of School Psychologists declaring, "We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series."

Critics of the show argue that depression and mental illness — keys to understanding suicide — are rarely mentioned and the fact that its heroine, Hannah, gets to tell her story after her death sends a potentially dangerous message. They're also upset that the school guidance counselor depicted on the show seems to blame the victim.

The Jed Foundation and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education joined forces to create 13 talking points for young adults and guardians to discuss while watching the series, including warnings that the way the counselor is portrayed is "not typical" and that "leaving messages from beyond the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood."

School systems across the country are alerting parents, making them aware that their teens may be streaming the series, urging them to watch it with them, and providing information to help them talk about it.

In the upstate New York community of Grand Island, school administrators warned that the series "sensationalizes suicide." Indiana's largest school district warned in an email that the series "does not accurately model what we would want or hope individuals do if they are struggling or in crisis."

In Maryland, principals in the Montgomery County public school system noticed teens talking about the series and wanted to make sure parents had resources to handle tough questions. A warning letter and links to resources eventually went out to all 35,000 middle schoolers.

"There's a lot to take in and digest. If you're a young, growing mind being informed by what you see, this could have an impact," said Derek Turner, spokesman for the district. "So we're giving them tips and tools."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children and young adults ages 10 to 24 in 2014.

Dr. Helen Hsu, a clinical psychologist in Fremont, California, whose work involves suicide prevention in schools, helped shape some of the "13 Reasons Why" scripts. She said not showing Hannah's suicide would be almost "coy and avoidant" and that medical studies aren't definitive about the risks of suicide contagion. Plus, there are already graphic how-to guides online.

"If you think your child can't find this in one second on the internet already in the past 10 years, you are sadly mistaken," she said. "To say this is going to trigger that is sort of naive. What I really emphasized in the script writing was I said. 'It has to focus on that it's not glamorous, that it's ugly, it's painful and I really want you to focus on the pain of her parents and the people left.'"

While suicide has been depicted on TV shows, the youth of the roles in "13 Reasons Why" is pioneering. It has clearly struck a nerve: The show has 340,000 Twitter followers and 2.4 million likes on Facebook.

Gomez, who has talked openly about her own mental-health struggles, said she was braced for a backlash: "It's going to come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about. But I'm very fortunate with how it's doing."

Yorkey said creators wanted to tell a young adult story in "a more honest way that it has ever been told on television."

"I understand it's hard to watch," he said. "It was supposed to be hard to watch because these things are incredibly hard to endure and we wanted to say, 'These things are happening in kids' lives. You can keep quiet about them. You can keep kids from watching shows about them. It's not going to stop them from happening in kids' lives and you should be talking about that.'"

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

'Purple Rain' re-issue to feature unreleased Prince songs

A remastered version of Prince's landmark album "Purple Rain" will be released this summer with several previously unreleased songs.

NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records announced Friday that two remastered versions of the 1984 album will be released June 23. The labels said Prince himself oversaw the remastering process in 2015 and the two-disc "Purple Rain Deluxe" set will include six unreleased tracks.

Among the unreleased tracks are a solo version of the song "Possessed" and a studio version of "Electric Intercourse."

An expanded edition will include a third disc of B-sides and a DVD of a 1985 performance by Prince and the Revolution in Syracuse, New York. Both releases are available for pre-order on Friday.

Prince died a year ago, leaving behind a trove of unreleased music at Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

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Online: https://prince.lnk.to/PurpleRainDeluxe

Jazmine Sullivan to Beyonce: Let's make lemonade together!

R&B singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan wants to turn lemons into lemonade with Beyonce.

Sullivan — who has written four tracks on Mary J. Blige's new album, "Strength of a Woman" — said she's hoping to get in the studio and pen a song for Queen Bey.

"I love the way Bey delivers a song and I would love to get something with her because I really think she's good with delivery," she said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday about the "Lemonade" singer.

Sullivan has had a hand in writing all of her own hits, including "Bust Your Windows," ''Let It Burn" and "Need U Bad," which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart in 2008.

The singer has also written for Jennifer Hudson, Faith Evans, Tamia, Chrisette Michele and Monica, including her 2010 No. 1 hit "Everything to Me." Sullivan also provided vocals to many of the songs on Frank Ocean's 2016 album, "Endless."

Sullivan, 30, said she would also love to write for Lauryn Hill, who recently reached out to wish her a happy birthday.

"She texted me on my birthday. I didn't even know she had my number. I was like, 'Oh my god!'" she recalled. "I was supersurprised to hear from her. But I would love to work and/or write with her."

Sullivan, an 11-time Grammy nominee, last released an album in 2015, which came after a five-year break. She said she wants to release new music, but she isn't rushing herself to make it happen.

"I know people are like, 'When is it coming out? When is it coming out?' And I'm the type of artist that ... can't put work out just to put it out just 'cause it's been a certain amount of time. It's all about authenticity with me and the right time and feeling it," she said. "But creatively, my favorite artist right now is Anderson.Paak, so I'm probably going to be doing a lot of stuff with him."

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Online:

https://www.jazminesullivanmusic.com

Hannity defends Fox News co-president Shine amid report

Sean Hannity is defending Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine following a report that members of the controlling Murdoch family refused to release a statement of support for the executive.

New York magazine cites anonymous sources in reporting that Shine recently asked 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and his brother, Lachlan, who's the company's co-chairman, for a statement of support amid a spate of negative publicity for the network. Spokespeople for Shine and the Murdochs tell the magazine he never asked them directly for a statement.

Hannity referenced the report in tweeting Thursday : "Somebody HIGH UP AND INSIDE FNC is trying to get an innocent person fired." He also said that if Shine is let go, "that's the total end of the FNC as we know it."

Following Bill O'Reilly's ouster from the network earlier this month after an investigation into harassment allegations, Hannity is the last remaining prime-time star of a lineup that dominated cable news for many years.

Shine joined Fox News in 1996 and was a longtime producer for Hannity's programs.

Shine took over as co-president of Fox News Channel with Jack Abernethy last year after longtime chief Roger Ailes stepped down amid claims of sexual harassment.

South African musician Johnny Clegg to go on farewell tour

South African musician Johnny Clegg, who blended Western pop and Zulu rhythms in multi-racial bands during white minority rule, will embark this year on his last tour.

Clegg, who had chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer in 2015, plans four shows in South Africa starting July 1 and will perform in London on Aug. 19 and in Dubai on Sept. 20. More dates will be added later this year.

One of 63-year-old Clegg's best-known songs is "Asimbonanga," which means "We've never seen him" in Zulu.

The song refers to South Africans who grew up under apartheid and had never seen a photograph of Nelson Mandela, the jailed anti-apartheid leader who became the country's first black president in 1994. Images of Mandela were banned in South Africa at the time.

AP PHOTOS: Moscow's grimy trucks inspire street art

The grimy trucks traversing the polluted and dusty streets of Moscow have inspired a new kind of street art in Russia's capital.

When Nikita Golubev sees a dirty white truck or van he uses it as a canvas for his drawings.

With his gloved hand, he draws giant pigeons on the back of a delivery truck.

A face with reptilian eyes appears on the back of a white van covered in enough dirt to make the license plate all but illegible. Surfers skim along the side of a truck.

But none of it lasts.

"Everything is washed away with the first rain," Golubev says. "It goes away and nothing remains."

His creations are preserved only in the photographs he takes and posts on Instagram, where they have acquired a following. He signs his drawings Pro Boy Nick.

Golubev thinks people like his drawings because they are impermanent. "It's art just for fun," he says.

Comedian Bill Cosby reveals he is totally blind

Comedian Bill Cosby said he is completely blind, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending news

In his first interview in two years, Cosby told the National Newspaper Publishers Association news service that he woke up one morning two years ago and told his wife, Camille, “I can't see.”

Cosby was later told by doctors that nothing could be done to restore his vision. That meant the comedian was forced to improvise when he appeared on stage, USA reported.

“When he would perform, we’d draw a wide straight yellow line from backstage to the chair on the stage and he’d rehearse the walk, hours before the show,” his longtime publicist, Andrew Wyatt, told the NNPA.

Cosby’s disclosure comes less than one month before jury selection is scheduled to begin for his June criminal sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania. He is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home more than a decade ago. He has denied the charge, maintaining their encounter was consensual.

 

Beatles’ rare outtake from ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions released

It was 50 years ago today …

Well, almost. As the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album draws near, Capitol Records is sharing an unreleased outtake from the band’s recording sessions.

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The disc, ranked No. 1 in Rolling Stone’s survey of its top 500 albums of all time, was originally released on June 1, 1967. The outtake is part of several bonus tracks that will be part of a four-disc, 50th anniversary edition of the album, outtake is just one of many, many bonus tracks coming out on a four-disc, 50th anniversary edition of the album, NPR reported. The original record has been remixed by Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer, George Martin, and has a May 26 release date. 

The outtake includes some chat by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The clip, which was first premiered by The Guardian, is a bare-bones version of the album’s opening — and title — track. It lacks the overdubbing of the horns, crowd noises and laughter that punctuated the track. Some of the guitar riffs are missing too, NPR reported.

 

About 2:08 into the track, McCartney can be heard repeating the phrase, “I feel it,” while Harrison mentions that “what you can do with the bits” is insert some brass. The horn section inserted during the album’s mixing gave the song a distinctive sound.

 

It’s a just another day in the life of how rock ’n’ roll’s greatest band created its music. 

 

Rebel Wilson sues Australian publisher for defamation

Rebel Wilson is suing an Australian publisher for defamation over a series of magazine articles the actress says cost her movie roles by painting her as a serial liar.

Wilson's lawyer, Renee Enbom, said during a court hearing on Friday that the Australian-born actress would present evidence that the articles published by Bauer Media in 2015 led to her film contracts being terminated.

Wilson's lawsuit, filed last year, accuses Bauer of damaging her reputation by printing articles that alleged she had used a fake name and lied about her age and upbringing in Australia. The articles appeared online and in print in several Australian magazines including Woman's Day and The Australian Women's Weekly.

The lawsuit claims that Wilson was humiliated and lost out on roles because of the stories. On Friday, her lawyer told the Victoria state Supreme Court in Melbourne that the articles tarnished Wilson's reputation in Hollywood as a fair and honest person.

Justice John Dixon ordered Wilson to provide the court with her film contracts and evidence of all her earnings since 2011.

The actress, known for her roles in comedies such as "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids," is seeking unspecified damages from the publisher. She did not appear in court on Friday but is expected to give evidence at the trial, which is scheduled to begin on May 22.

Bauer Media did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Ann Coulter a no-show at raucous but peaceful Berkeley rally

Ann Coulter did not turn up in Berkeley where hundreds held a raucous but largely peaceful demonstration in her absence and lamented what they called the latest blow to free speech in the home of America's free speech movement.

The conservative pundit's canceled appearance at the University of California, Berkeley drew hundreds of her supporters to a downtown park Thursday, many of them dressed in flak jackets, ballistic helmets adorned with pro-Donald Trump stickers and other protective gear in anticipation of violence.

But there were no major confrontations between Coulter's supporters and opponents, largely because of a significant police presence and the fact that members of an extremist left-wing group did not show up to provoke clashes.

Coulter had publicly floated the idea of making a controversial visit to Berkeley despite the cancellation, but did not show.

Her supporters and students on the UC Berkeley campus, many of whom expressed distaste for Coulter's political views, voiced frustration that she didn't get to speak and that the university's reputation as a bastion of tolerance was suffering. Coulter planned to give a speech on illegal immigration.

"I don't like Ann Coulter's views but I don't think in this case the right move was to shut her down," said 24-year-old grad student Yevgeniy Melguy, who held a sign earlier in the day saying "Immigrants Are Welcome Here."

Anthropology major Christina Katkic, 21, worried that the university was getting increasingly stuck in the middle of the country's political divide.

"Berkeley has become a platform and a lot of people want to come here and use it," said Katkic, who had joined other students on campus blowing bubbles near a message scrawled on the ground in chalk that read: "If only bubbles actually made our campus safe."

"I think Ann Coulter has a right to speak here. Berkeley students are interested in political discourse," she said.

University police erected barricades and refused to let any protesters enter the campus. Six people were arrested, including one for obstructing an officer and wearing a mask to evade police, and another for possessing a knife.

Hundreds of Coulter's supporters gathered about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the university's main Sproul Plaza at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley.

"It's a shame that someone can't speak in the home of the free speech movement," said Wilson Grafstrom, an 18-year-old high school student from Menlo Park, California.

He wore a helmet with a "Make America Great Again" sticker across the back, goggles, a gas mask and knee pads. He blamed people opposed to Coulter and President Donald Trump for forcing him to gear up for problems.

Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media and founder of the pro-Trump "Proud Boys," was one of several speakers at the gathering. He delivered the speech Coulter had planned to give on illegal immigration, on her behalf, to the crowd's raucous applause.

"They tried to ban her and we can't allow that. It's unacceptable," McInnes said as he left the gathering surrounded by private security. "Free speech is about uncomfortable speech. Yes, it's often about hate speech and it's about speech that's banned."

On its Facebook page, McInnes' group calls itself a fraternal organization aimed at "reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism."

While the afternoon rally ended without serious conflict, police at one point formed a human wall in the street separating anti-Trump protesters from the park where pro-Trump groups were gathered.

Anti-Coulter and anti-Trump protesters at the park held a banner that read: "It's not about 'free speech,' it's about bigots trying to normalize hate."

Earlier this month, a bloody brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley at a pro-Trump protest that featured speeches by members of the white nationalist right. They clashed with a group of Trump critics who called themselves anti-fascists.

In February, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech by right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who like Coulter was invited by campus Republicans.

Officials at UC Berkeley said they feared renewed violence on campus if Coulter followed through with plans to speak, citing "very specific intelligence" of threats that could endanger Coulter and students, which Coulter said was motivated by a university bias against conservative speakers.

Police had faced criticism after the earlier clashes for failing to stop the violence.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof credited the peacefulness of Thursday's rallies partly to an increased police presence. He declined to specify how many police were deployed but said there were a "wide range" of local and regional agencies present.

"I think it's clear that having a strong visible police presence was important both in terms of deterrence and law enforcement," he said, noting that even in Coulter's absence hundreds descended on Berkeley. "This points to the challenges we face in the climate we're living in."

___

Associated Press writers Janie Har and Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Actor Diane Guerrero meets immigrant taking refuge in church

Actor Diane Guerrero has met with a woman who is seeking refuge from deportation in the basement of a Denver church.

Guerrero, who stars in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, met with Jeanette Vizguerra on Thursday and told the woman and her daughters not to make the same mistake she did as a child by remaining silent.

Guerrero was 14 when her parents and her older brother were deported to their native Colombia. She decided to stay behind and live with friends.

Guerrero was in Denver for a gathering of immigrant rights activists.

Vizquerra has been living in the basement of the First Unitarian Church since February out of fear of being deported. She was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.

Actor Diane Guerrero meets immigrant taking refuge in church

Actor Diane Guerrero has met with a woman who is seeking refuge from deportation in the basement of a Denver church.

Guerrero, who stars in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, met with Jeanette Vizguerra on Thursday and told the woman and her daughters not to make the same mistake she did as a child by remaining silent.

Guerrero was 14 when her parents and her older brother were deported to their native Colombia. She decided to stay behind and live with friends.

Guerrero was in Denver for a gathering of immigrant rights activists.

Vizquerra has been living in the basement of the First Unitarian Church since February out of fear of being deported. She was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.

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