Beyoncé Kicks Off Kobe Bryant Memorial with Special Performance of ‘XO’ and ‘Halo’ (Watch)

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Beyonce kicked off Monday’s public memorial for Kobe Bryant with a special performance of her songs “XO” and “Halo.”

“I’m here because I love Kobe, and this is one of his favorite songs,” she said before launching into a special rendition of “XO.” She was accompanied by singers and a string quartet, and wore a gold pantsuit.

“I want to start that over,” Beyonce continued. “But I want us to do it all together, and I want you to sing it so loud that he hears your love.”

After the performance, the announcer at Staples Center praised Beyonce for “expressing her love [for Bryant] so beautifully.”

The two songs are similar in feel and theme — and indeed, both were cowritten by Beyonce and Onerepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. “XO” is featured on Beyonce’s self-titled 2013 album and was cowritten by the pair with Terius “The-Dream” Nash, while “Halo” comes from her 2009 album “I Am… Sasha Fierce” and was written by Beyonce and Tedder with Evan Bogart. “Halo” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on that chart for 30 weeks in 2009. While “XO” was not as big of a radio hit — reaching No. 45 on the Hot 100 — it did well on other charts, reaching Silver status in the U.K. (for 200,000 sales) and No. 12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart in the U.S.

Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.

The ceremony, called “A Celebration of Life,” is live streaming below:

Fuente: Variety

Blue Ivy Carter Won Her First Major Award For Her Beyoncé Collaboration And Her Family Is Thrilled

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Blue Ivy Carter is following in her mom and dad’s footsteps, as the young artist has already won her first big award — and her famous family couldn’t be happier for her.

On Friday night (Feb. 21), it was announced that Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 8-year-old daughter had won her first official honor at the 51st NAACP Image Awards in the category of Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration for «Brown Skin Girl,» her collaboration with Beyoncé, SAINt JHN and WizKiD off the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift.

The Lion King: The Gift features songs inspired by the recent update of the Disney classic (in which Beyoncé voiced the part of Nala), and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. «Brown Skin Girl» gave Blue Ivy her very first song on the Billboard Hot 100 when it debuted at No. 76 on the chart in July.

Blue Ivy’s grandmother, Tina Lawson, shared her pride on Instagram following the news on Saturday (Feb. 22). «Grandma is soo proud of you,» she wrote alongside a photo of Blue Ivy. «You are giving all the beautiful little brown girls a voice.»

Check out Lawson’s supportive note below.

Rihanna Gets Standing Ovation For Inspiring Speech at 2020 NAACP Image Awards

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Rihanna may have been the recipient of one of the biggest honors at the 51st annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night (Feb. 22), but she humbly turned the focus towards a powerful and crucial message.

The pop star, actress and beauty and fashion mogul received the President’s Award at the ceremony for her extraordinary philanthropic efforts across the globe: she’s raised millions of dollars for disaster relief, education abroad and awareness for issues affecting communities all over the world, and she stressed that she didn’t make this impact by working on her own.

«Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right?» she said upon accepting her award. «It’s not bigger than us together, but it’s bigger than me, because my part is a very small part of the work that is being done in this world and the work that is yet to be done.»

«I’m lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012,» she continued, referring to the nonprofit organization she launched in her grandmother’s memory.

«If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I can’t emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in — the ‘If it’s your problem, it’s not mine.’ ‘It’s a woman’s problem.’ ‘It’s a black people problem.’ ‘It’s a poor people problem.’ How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem, too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown, Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.»

She closed her remarks with another call for unity: «Imagine what we could do together. Thank you for this honor.»

Pharrell is Making Music on Miami’s Restaurant Scene

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Grammy award-winning singer Pharrell may have been fired from three different McDonald’s as a teen, but that didn’t stop him from opening what has become one of the hottest restaurants in Miami.

The singer hosted a soul food brunch Saturday (Feb. 22) along with his dad Pharaoh, a self-taught chef, known for his sweet and spicy Nono Sauce, as part of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Growing up, family meals were the heart of the Williams home, a place to “hear what’s exciting at your parent’s job.”

“Cooking is a reflection of your parents, the energy, the love. Food is a connector and it’s a meeting place,” Pharrell told The Associated Press during an interview before the brunch. Back home, Pharaoh Williams was always in the kitchen and so were his grandmothers. Favorite dishes included his dad’s chicken and pork and fried catfish with a special sauce that Pharrell says was more savory than spicy.

“His seasoning was what was always so distinctive with my dad’s cooking and both my grandmothers cooked like that,” he said. At Saturday’s sold-out $150 per ticket brunch at the upscale Swan restaurant in Miami’s design district, they served platters of cornmeal-crusted catfish with chow chow, juicy BBQ chicken and ribs, cheddar grits and French toast with candied oranges and amaretto whipped cream.

Back in the kitchen, a team of chefs hustled to carry out Pharaoh Williams’ menu, pulling mini sweet potato biscuits out of the oven and crusting copious plates of catfish. Fellow Grammy winner DJ Khaled, and former Breaking Bad co-stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were among the guests savoring the food on a tropical jungle style patio.

Happy to leave behind his fast food days, Pharrell opened Swan restaurant and its swanky upstairs Moroccan-themed Bar Bevy in 2018 with South Beach nightlife guru and LIV club owner David Grutman. The restaurant has been a hotbed for celebrities, especially during the Super Bowl and recent Art Basel weeks, where everyone from Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West to Leonardo DiCaprio and Bono have indulged.

Grutman and Pharrell partnered with Top Chef Europe champion executive chef Jean Imbert for their restaurant, while Pharrell works on the side with a line of food products for his father. But the “Happy” singer is clear about his role in the restaurant business — he happily stays out of the kitchen.

“I didn’t cook then. I don’t cook now,” he laughed, adding “I love food.” He has a deep appreciation for the culinary arts, comparing it to “the same way I work in music. You’re adding different sounds and things together,” he said.

“Ingredients are like instruments. It’s how you use them and it’s who’s using them. That’s what makes one song different from the next, one style different from the next.”