Rihanna Shows Her Dedication To The Education of Girls in Malawi

Music artist Rihanna has definitely gained a reputation for being a humanitarian. In her latest partnership with Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo,  the Clara Lionel Foundation, which is named after her grandparents, has created a campaign called 1 Km Action. Through this campaign, they will raise funds that will go towards scholarships to help hundreds of girls attend secondary schools in Malawi.

Qualifying girls will also receive bikes to ensure they have transportation to and from school. Of the approximate 4.6 million students across Malawi,  according to the foundation, only 8% of students complete secondary school due to poor transport links

“I’m so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation’s new partnership with Ofo because it will help so many young people around the world receive a quality education. “It will also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone,” Rihanna said.

Madonna Opens Children’s Hospital in Malawi Named After Her Adopted Daughter

On Tuesday July 11th, music icon  Madonna opened the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at the Queen Central Hospital. in Malawi.

The Hospital, which is named for one of Madonna’s adopted daughters, Mercy James,  was funded by the icon’s Raising Malawi charity, which she founded in 2006. The center is also the first of its kind in the African country. Along with Madonna’s two older children, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco, from previous relationships,  in 2009 she adopted Mercy James and earlier this year added twins Esther and Stella Mwale to her growing family. Madonna was accompanied by her children, who are originally from Malawi, at the event where she spoke about the importance of opening up the center.
Photo Source- Madonna.com
 “The Mercy James Center remains not only a world-class intensive care hospital, but also a superior learning environment to train the next generation of Malawian healthcare workers. This is as much about healing as it is about empowerment,” she stated. She also said in an opening statement prior to the opening ceremony that  “Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined. It’s important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together, humans have the power to change the world for the better.”  We congratulate  Madonna on such a huge accomplishment, and doing her part to make a difference in the world.

Beyoncé’s New Campaign Partnership Will Bring Clean Water to Africa

Image source: Beyoncé.com

Although Beyoncé recently gave birth to her new twins, she is still hard at work making a difference for the world around her. In a new partnership campaign with the UNICEF( United Nation Children’s Fund) , the music moguls Bey Good Foundation  has started the #BeyGood4BurundiCampaign, which is a new initiate to bring clean water to Burundi. Burundi, which is one of the smallest, poorest nations in Africa, has more than 2 million who people spend more than 30 minutes a day doing something that most Americans take for granted everyday, trying to get clean water for bathing and drinking.

Beyoncé.com stated that with the  help of supporters “nearly half a million people will gain access to safe water, as BEYGOOD4BURUNDI and UNICEF will support building water supply systems for healthcare facilities and schools, and the drilling of boreholes, wells and springs to bring safe water to districts.” This partnership will be a continuation of the efforts her family and company Parkwood Entertainment have been making to have an impact on Burundi.

Ivy McGregor, ‎Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, who traveled to Burundi earlier this year stated,  “In Burundi I saw myself, my sisters and my mother in the strength of the women and young sisters traveling miles to carry water for their families. Today young girls in the ‘Heart of Africa’ are given the gift of hope for a brighter tomorrow through our multi-year partnership with UNICEF and commitment to support safe water access solutions.”

Beyoncé’s new partnership initiative just goes to show that no matter how busy or successful you are in life, you can always make time for the things that are valuable to you the most.

NBC’s “Rise” star Damon Gillespie Gives Advice to Rising Stars

Photo Source- Facebook

Interview by Maria Rochelle

I know the last time we did an interview, I asked you “where do you see yourself in a year?” and your response was “Hopefully as principal character on Broadway or feature film or TV.” Now, just this year you have been cast in the show “Rise” as Robbie (less than a year) and here you are seeing this dream come true. How does that make you feel?
I’m ecstatic. Honestly, I’m still trying to process it. It seems like at any minute now, I’m going to wake up and start crying because it was a dream.

Can you tell me about the character, Robbie, that you’ll be playing on “Rise”?
Absolutely. Robbie is a very stoic type of person. I don’t want to give anything away, but he has a lot on his plate and he absolutely won’t let other people see it.

How are you preparing for this role as Robbie?
Well, he’s a football player. I’m not…anymore (lol). I now go to the gym 5-6 times a week, and I have completely changed my diet. Also, Grace and I have been on a “Friday Night Lights” craze just to kind of get a feel for the style of the show.
I also bought the book “Drama High” and although my character isn’t in it, it gives me a little bit of insight as to how the teachers were.

Has the show started filming?
Yes. We filmed the pilot at the end of March into April. Now that we’re picked up, we have to announce the series, and when it will air, to the press.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in being in the entertainment industry?
Don’t give up. Although I’ve had some success, it has been anything but easy. I’ll say this till the day I die, if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.

This next question is totally off the wall. If you were going on a camping trip, who would you take with you and why?
“The circle” …The circle are my brothers by choice. They have been my best friends since high school and some middle school. I didn’t go on my first camping trip until I was in college and it was with them. I would choose them over anybody any day.

Tell me three fun facts about you.
I’m an actual rapper outside of the TV show. Side note (I rap in the show)
I love playing Xbox a little too much.
I hate bananas…A Lot. They are the worst to me.

If there was one thing you could change in the world, what would that be?
Our ears.
Here’s what I mean by that. Not to get political, but I see, hear and read so much on the internet about our society and how messed up it is, but nobody seems to be listening. What I mean by listening is, listening to the other side and compromising as opposed to “it’s my way or the highway”. Growing up in the south and living in the north, I’ve been exposed to the left and the right side. My conclusion is nobody is listening. Nobody is trying to make things better. Everyone is trying to have things their way, which happens to be “the better way”.

Now, you and your girlfriend, Grace, are filming “The Grace Show” where you do a weekly video, you two are hilarious together. What was the inspiration behind this?
Well, we had talked for months about doing it but we needed the right equipment and the right material etc. She didn’t realize that I could actually edit videos, fairly well. Once she discovered that, she started. She said, “Work studio. NOW!!!!”

Now, I know you two are having fun. Do you write scripts before the video or just wing it?
We honestly just have subjects that we want to talk about and we just talk to each other. That’s how we are off screen too. We just get each other. We know how we work. We’ve just always been a great team.

With you being an actor, dancer, and singer, do you think you as an creative guy has a more powerful inner life and if so , why?
Absolutely.
That’s not me trying to sound confident; it’s just that being a creative person requires you to put everything on the table. You have to go to places, emotionally, that people don’t like to go to. We as creative people or “artists” have to be able to say, “Here are my issues, my insecurities, my vulnerability, come and listen to them and try to love me afterward”. To do that, we HAVE to have a powerful inner life.

When you don’t get a part, how do you deal with rejection? Do you see it as that…that you’re rejected?
It depends honestly. In this business, there are certain projects that you audition for where you say, “I’m perfect for this.” and you get super invested and dedicated. Other projects, you read a description and go, “On what planet, do I, a 5′ 8” bi-racial, prepubescent little boy, play Kristoff in Frozen on Broadway?” But you do what you can.

If so, how do you handle rejection?
It’s tough, because for a long time I would put up a facade and say that I was okay, and just “move on”. When you see your friends booking things left and right and you’re working three jobs to pay the rent it can take a toll. I recently stopped focusing so much on, “getting the job” and more about just staying creative. Whether that’s writing music, recording it, learning new songs on the guitar, doing the Grace show, or taking class. Anything I can do to feel like I’m creating, helps me forget about not booking the next gig.

What impact do YOU want to make on the world?
I want to be a mogul for positivity, and a symbol for perseverance. I don’t want to change the world, I just want to be somebody that people look at and say, “That’s a cool dude. He’s always a treat to be around. He’s always a hard worker. I also feel like we would be great friends.”

Nipsey Hussle Opens The World’s First Smart Store in Los Angeles

Photo Source: Facebook- Nipsey Hussle

 

Independent rapper Nipsey Hussle made history this past weekend on June 17th,  with the opening of the worlds first smart store. Friends and fans alike were invited to the star studded grand opening event of his Marathon Store. Hosted by Big Boy of of Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Power 92.3 , this monumental event featured celebrity appearances including his longtime girlfriend Lauren London,  Nav, 21 Savage, Russell Westbrook, Vegas Jones and Demarcus Cousins, Jim Jones and more. The new smart store, which houses his Marathon clothing brand,  comes equipped with programable technology, which gives  customers exclusive access to the rappers music with their purchases. Nipsey also created a downloadable app that gives customers special features for each item they purchase.

Photo Source: Facebook- Nipsey Hussle

In a recent interview with Los Angeles based radio station Power 106, the Mailbox Money rapper discussed the importance of having ownership,  and stated one of his biggest accomplishmnets as being the owner of his full music catalog. Having full ownership of his music catalog  gives the young music artist and entrepreneur  the ablility of creating passive income for himself, with the monthly collection of streaming revenues from all of his work.  The entertainmnet field, with all of its many perks and stipulations, can sometimes bring out the worst in celebrities and cause them to “sell their soul” as the common saying goes, but we applaud Nipsey Hussle for always staying true to his roots, and the legacy he wants to leave with his fans. It is important for the younger generation to realize the importance of investing and have ownership of multiple assets, rather than just racking a laundry list of liabilities.

3 Business Lessons We Can Learn From Sean “Diddy” Combs

Written by Adrena Martin-Tolbert

Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs has recently topped the Forbes list of the 2017 highest paid celebrities. The Harlem, New York native worked hard to achieve the level of success he has reached today, with no plans of backing down any time soon. Through his music production company Bad Boy Entertainment, which he launched in the early 90’s, he has worked with and launched the careers of many artists including the late Biggie Smalls, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and more. Along with being a music mogul, part of his career success can be attributed to his role as a business man, with ventures including his Sean John clothing company,  Revolt TV, and stakes in tequila DeLeon and alkaline water brand Aquahydrate.  No matter where you are in your journey to success, we can all learn these 3 business lessons from Mr. Combs, and use them to propel our own careers forward.

Speak it into existence

“Ten years from now we’ll still be on top.” These are the lyrics from Diddy’s verse on one of his  most iconic songs he featured on with the late Biggie Smalls, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.”. Even during the early stages of his career, Diddy did something that most people fail at doing, speaking things into existence. Along your journey to success, and especially when you are just starting out, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It can be especially hard when we see all the odds stacked against us, and the many reasons why we THINK we can’t be successful. Whether you are trying to get a higher position at your job, or be the owner of a successful  comapny, we have to get get into the habit of seeing what we want our lives to be in the future, and literally speaking it into existence.

 

Focus on Your Strengths

No successful person has ever accomplished anything alone. For the past 10 years, we have seen Diddy be the face of, and represent the Ciroc brand in every aspect of his life. You could easily mistake him for being the sole owner of the company. Back in 2007, he signed a 50-50 marketing  deal with alcoholic beverage company Diageo, owners of Ciroc, to come up with the marketing strategy and push behind the brand. This deal allowed Diddy to focus on one of his major  strengths, which is being a marketing genius. In life, it can be hard for us to trust others with the one thing we love the most. As a new business owner, organization founder, or even manager on your job, it can be hard to loosen the reigns up and give control to other people. It can be especially hard to really find someone that you trust to take care of your “baby” and care for it like you will. In order to reach the next level of success, you have to learn how to delegate the smaller least important task to other people, so that you can focus on what it is that you are truly gifted at and enjoy doing.

Never let Failure Keep You Down

Back in 1991, before the start of his career, Diddy promoted a concert, which featured the late rapper Heavy D. The event venue, which was the Nat Holman Gymnasium at City College, had a capacity of 2730, but event tickets sold totaled at least 3,000. On the night of the concert, because some people who had previously purchased tickets were unable to get inside the venue, a stampede took place, which left 9 people dead. After such a tragic incident, Diddy could have easily taken the lost and given up on his dreams, and understandably so,  but he pulled himself together and kept going to become the mogul he is today. Every successful person has experienced their fair amount of failures in  life. It’s not about how many times you fail, but how quickly you get back up and keep moving with your life.

 

Selena Gomez Supports the LGBTQ Community in a Recent Letter

Billboard recently  reached out to various  pop  stars to write love letters to the community for Gay Pride Month, which happens every June. The music star opened up about her mom’s  gay friends and her experience with her mom’s own gay friends saying  that she had no idea that they were even gay. She just saw them as “kind, fun and loving friends,” and that’s how it should be!

In her letter she wrote: “I remember as a young child going to brunch on Sundays with my mom and her group of friends. I had no idea they were all gay as I didn’t even comprehend what that meant at the time. All I knew is that I loved being surrounded by these kind, fun and loving friends my mother had around her. I definitely give credit to her for raising me in an environment that was incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental. She also surprised me at my 16th birthday party with a performance by the most beautiful drag queen singing my favorite song. I don’t think most 16 year olds can say that!

My co-writer Justin Tranter couldn’t believe I had never seen the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare and so while we were in Mexico he sat me down to watch it with him. I loved it and was especially struck by how groundbreaking it was for the gay rights movement and how far LGBTQ rights have come in my lifetime. There is still a significant amount of work to do and I look forward to the day when a person is never judged, discriminated or feared for their sexuality.”

This Funny Text Between Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Peaks Inside Their Perfect Relationship

Written by Christina Anderson

Chrissy Teigen showed a glance of a text to her fans on what her love life is like with John Legend. Both have been together for 10 years.
Here is what the text looked like:
Did u have a mouth guard made?
That is on your side of the bathroom?
I can’t find mine but found one on your side that doesn’t fit. Maybe it was pre veneers
Maybe I can just wear one like the boxers wear. I don’t have time to fit another
Ok I’m going to bed goodnight
On the Tweet, it said 10 years in.
It is kind of funny because these mouth guards are floating around the house and that seems to be the worst of their problems in the long span the two have spent together.
Some time back John Legend told everyone that it was the text messages and calls on the phone that made him fall in love with Chrissy.
When they first started dating, their relationship was word based through mainly messages and phone calls. That helped because they were in a distance relationship and spent a lot of time apart.
On Entertainment Tonight he told everyone that Chrissy is wonderful with the keyboard and she can say some of the most heartwarming things. Chrissy’s personality and humor shined through their communication, and it grew into a strong marriage.
His song All of Me was written for his wife as both are welcoming a new baby into their lives. The movie that he promoted in the past was Southside With You, that is based on Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date.
John wrote a song for the film named Start and the bases around the song is that you don’t know how it is going to be with someone and you should give love a try. Life is too short not to take a risk on love, and if you do, you just might have a wonderful relationship like Chrissy and John.

Oprah To Be America’s Next President?

Written by Salina Jivani

She’s an icon, a powerhouse and an idol. A humanitarian who’s both charitable and ambitious, Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of a great woman and a born leader. It’s no wonder she’s an inspiration to women around the world. Plus, her charm and popularity don’t seem to weaken or fizzle with age.

With the culmination of the 2016 Presidential election that began the term of President Donald Trump, Ms. Winfrey has already been thrust under the spotlight multiple times as Americans seek out and speculate about who could take the presidential reign during the country’s next election in 2020 .

And with her achievements tucked firmly under her toes and the respect she’s garnered from people everywhere, it’s no surprise Ms. Winfrey’s name continues to pop up time and time again in a political context. People love her, and they want to see more of her in a role that will impact them as Americans.

So, is Ms. Winfrey a contender for the next campaign? Does she have any political ambitions, and is there a chance we might find ourselves witnessing the country’s first-ever female, African American president in the next election?

Or is it all speculation? High hopes?

For the most part, Ms. Winfrey has steered clear of politics, only stepping in to support former president Barrack Obama when it seemed he might lose to his opponent Hillary Clinton in the 2008 elections, but perhaps that show of support is what has her fans rooting for her to take a larger role in the political arena.

Oprah Winfrey was recently asked point blank her plans to run for presidency in a recent interview where she talked about a woman who confronted her in a public bathroom about not doing enough to show her support toward democrat Hillary Clinton.

The answer? Well, if you’re a big Oprah fan, you’ll be disappointed to know this flamboyant and well-respected icon has politely declined running for office. Her exact response?

“I never considered the question, even a possibility. I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’”

Although we may have missed our opportunity with Ms. Winfrey, she still continues to top the list of possible contenders for 2020. But even if she does stay true to her word, we can look forward to other possible candidates in Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and even former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Although some might argue none will be nearly as real, compassionate or fun as Ms. Winfrey!

Surprise Visit From Beyoncé to Mom Tina’s Mentees at Alvin Ailey Show

Photo taken from Tina Knowles Instagram page

Music mogul Beyoncé, surprised her mom Tina Knowles’ and some of her mentees in her mentorship program this weekend, at an Alvin Ailey Dance Theater company performance this past weekend.

The pregnant superstar dropped by the show on March 11th, just to show the “Tina’s Angels” mentorship group and the dancers some love. “Tina’s Angels,” a mentor group consisting of teen girls, were at the show to check out the Alvin Ailey dancers, and got to hang out with the Queen and the dancers backstage.

Photo taken from Tina Knowles Instagram page

 

This just goes to show that you can never be too busy to make time for the ones you love!