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Like many women of her generation Drew Sidora grew up watching Kenya Moore on the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

The young actress dreamed of one day meeting her idol, but those dreams were shattered when the two women finally met in person.

The two personalities clashed right away, as Kenya, 50, was clearly intimidated by the fresh-faced 35-year-old, whom she rudely referred to as a "stray" in a recent confessional.

Drew was introduced to the cast by Kenya's BFF Cynthia Bailey, but Kenya became fast friends with another newbie, LaToya Ali, who was quick to throw shade at Drew.

LaToya, who isn't a full cast member on the show, made fun of Drew's wig one day. She told Kenya she could see glue under Drew's wig.

According to Hollywood Life, Kenya referred to Drew as "sneaky" after she confided in her about taking a private jet with LaToya, while the other woman rode in a Sprinter van.

Kenya had asked Drew to keep her luxurious extravagance a secret from the other women. But Drew innocently shared Kenya's secret with the other ladies.

When asked if she knew Kenya called her "sneaky," Drew said, "No, she never told me. She was smiling in my face."

"As you see she laughs in my face, she seems to treat me really nice, and then she runs back, you know, and she talks behind my back and I don't think that's right," Drew said.

Drew explained that she once admired the former beauty queen and dreamed of meeting her one day. The mom-of-three said she didn't expect Kenya to feel threatened by her and talk about her behind her back.

"When I met her I didn't have any problems with Kenya," Drew said.

"I looked up to her since I was a little girl... and meeting her she was just a different person and I didn't expect that behavior from her, and I was disappointed."

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On Monday, January 18, Americans celebrate the birth of the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King was born Michael King Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Among the luminaries remembering Dr. King today is Star Trek veteran Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Nyota Uhura in the original TV series.

In an interview with Emmy Legends, the iconic actress said Dr. King was a fan of Star Trek and he convinced her to stay on when she considered quitting the series.

Nichols said she'd already turned in her resignation when she had a chance meeting with King at an event.

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"I was to be a celebrity guest at some fundraiser in Beverly Hills," she said. "I believe that it was a NAACP fundraiser, but it might not have been but I think it was. And so, I went to do this on that Saturday night and I had just been taken to the desk and sat down when the organizer came over and said, 'Ms. Nichols, How are you? Listen, there's someone here who says that he's your biggest fan and he's desperate to meet you. He REALLY wants to meet you!' And I said, 'Well thank you!'

"...I turn and instead of a fan, there's this face that the WHOLE world knows with this beautiful smile on and I remember thinking, 'Whoever that fan is, is going to have to wait because Dr. King; Dr. Martin Luther King my leader is walking toward me about 10 feet away with a beautiful smile on his face!' and then this man says, 'Yes Ms. Nichols. I am THAT fan! I am your best fan, your greatest fan. And my family are your greatest fans. As a matter of fact, this is the ONLY show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to watch; to stay up and watch because it's on past their bedtime.' And I said – which is all I was able to say because my mouth was open and closed. He said, 'We admire you greatly you know. The manner in which you create this role has dignity...' and before he said anything else I said, 'Dr. King, thank you so much.'"

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Nichols told King she was leaving the show because her true love was Broadway and the theater.

"And he said, 'What do you mean?' Dead serious. 'What are you talking about?' I said, 'I'm going to leave Star Trek because I have an offer to star in a Broadway.' I never got that far [laughs]... he said, "You cannot!" and I felt like that little boy Arnold like – Whatchu talkin’ about Dr. King? But you know I didn’t say that! I was taken aback and I didn’t say anything. I just looked at him. He said, 'If you leave Nichelle, Gene Roddenberry has opened a door for the world to see us. If you leave, that door can be closed because your role is not a Black role and it's NOT a female role. He can fill it with anything including an alien.'"

Nichols took the weekend to think it over. On Monday, she went to Gene Roddenberry's office to retract her resignation.

"I told him what happened and I said, 'If you still want me to stay, I'll stay. I have to.' And he opened his drawer and her looked up at me and said, 'God Bless Dr. Martin Luther King. Somebody knows where I am coming from!' and I said, 'That's what he said! [in my brain], and he took out my resignation which was torn into a hundred pieces and handed me the pile, and we just stood there looking at each other and I finally said, 'Thank you Gene.' And he said to me, 'Thank you Nichelle.' And my life has never been the same since and I've never looked back..."
 

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Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is recovering from Covid-19 at home after he checked himself out of a Georgia hospital because people around him were dying.

Gossett, 84, spoke by phone to Ryan Cameron, host of WAMJ-Majic 1075/975 in Atlanta, about the reason he left the hospital against medical advice (AMA).

Gossett told Cameron on Monday that he contracted the virus from a nurse who visited his home. He arrived at an emergency room on Dec. 27, but left shortly after seeing the chaos inside the hospital.

The Grammy-winning actor said he left the hospital because the staff was "extremely tired" and they were "losing the battle," he said he called his son and other family members, and they got him out of there.

Gossett said he wanted to thank his fans in Atlanta and around the world for the love, prayers and well wishes over the last few days.

"When there was a threat of me leaving the planet -- I didn't know I had that done that positive for so many people and I am grateful to the bottom of my heart. I want to say thank you so much for y'all. The love bounces back to you in a million fold. God is good all the time and I am so grateful that you've been there. It's just what the doctor ordered."

He said four or 5 doctors around the country sent him some medications, including eucalyptus tea and vitamins, to help his recovery.

When asked if he was for or against the vaccine, Gossett said, "I don't know what the vaccines is but I want it. It gives us a head start to go in the direction of taking better care of ourselves and one another. That's all it is. There's no Democrats, there's nothing but making saving mankind."

Gossett also discussed the lack of "purity" in young "girls of 6, 7, 8-years-old with that innocence that I've forgotten to see, I don't see it anymore. I see the young men, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10-years old with deep voices and getting ready to shoot one another. We need to take a chill pill. We all need to be saved."

Gossett had a message for so-called anti-maskers:

"Covid is real. Even it's not real -- just for the hell of it, wear a mask anyway. Cooperate with us. There's no such thing as impossible. Take the word 'impossible' out of your dictionary. We need to be together to take better care of ourselves, our children and one another."

Gossett is best known for his Academy Award-winning role in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman and for portraying the character of Fiddler in the ABC miniseries Roots in 1977, among hundreds of film and TV roles.

Listen to the audio below:
 


 

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King Von's ex-girlfriend Asian Doll is still working through the five stages of grief after the gangbanger was fatally shot during an argument outside an Atlanta nightclub in November.

The Doll and the 26-year-old Chicago rapper had already parted ways by the time of his death. But you wouldn't know that by the grief the Doll has displayed in frequent social media posts and videos.

She even tatted his face on her hand as an example of her undying love for the rapper who probably wasn't thinking about her during his final days above ground.

In an interview with Taraji P. Henson on an upcoming "Peace of Mind with Taraji" Facebook Watch episode, Asian Doll explained how she is coping with the grief of losing an ex.

She claims King Von was her first love and she was "real hard" on her "soulmate" when they broke up "six days" before he died.

"My whole world just crashed," she said. "I never felt a feeling like that. It's like I was just broken.... This is my first love. My first real boyfriend."

She said she learned of his death on social media. She also discussed the relentless mocking and taunting from followers who insist she is just a clout chasing sociopath, since no one ever heard of her before King Von's tragic demise.

Taraji, who is not a therapist, ramps up the emotional factor by handing the Doll some tissue -- and even dabbing her own fake tears.

Your skepticism is justified. This is the same Asian Doll who -- a whole month before King Von died -- tweeted, "Please have at least 3 body's [sic] before you talk to me Boy I like killers."
 

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Toni Braxton believes her fans are still struggling to accept her overt sexuality as the daughter of a fire and brimstone preacher.

The "Do It" singer, who released her 10th album Spell My Name in August, tells Fault magazine that, years after releasing her overtly sexual single "You're Makin' Me High," people still see her as the "girl next door" from her classic debut album.

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"I was 20 and trying all different things, but people still thought of me as the preacher's kid," the 53-year-old says of the growth between her self-titled debut and second album, Secrets. Toni is pictured greeting fans in 1996.

"But even the preacher kid needs to grow up someday," laughs Toni. "I think people are still caught up in that after all these years, but I do understand."

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The "Breathe Again" singer also offered some wisdom on finding confidence as an artist, admitting: "As I've gotten a little older, I've learned to live in the now and just enjoy it.

"I'm really proud of the body of work that I have so I don't really have any regrets on that. Once you're older in your career, you get confidence that allows you to sustain and be okay in your art."

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Shawn Mendes is angry and frustrated with online bullies who insist he is ghey and he should just come on out of the closet.

The 22-year-old Canadian can't go online without being taunted by trolls who insist they know he's on the down low.

No one speaks up when heterosexuals like Shawn are harassed for not being ghey.

The "In My Blood" singer is not ghey but he struggles to find the right words to express his feelings without hurting his homosexual and bisexual friends.


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"It's such a tricky thing," Shawn tells Dax Shepard on the latest episode of his Armchair Expert podcast. "You want to say, 'I'm not ghey but it'd be fine if I was ghey - but also there's nothing wrong with being ghey but I'm not'. You don't really know how to respond to the situation."

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Shawn, who began dating singer Camila Cabello in 2019, says there have been times when he's responded to the ongoing ghey taunts and found himself in hot water with fans and bloggers, but he insists he must be allowed to make huge goofs and then apologize.

"I've realized that we just have to stop having to be experts and politicians about it, especially as a famous musician who's a guy," he adds.

"I need to be really f**king messy and say the wrong things and apologize and say the right thing after I apologize and be confused about how to respond when people say I'm ghey.

"Everyone's been calling me ghey since I was 15 years old. I'm not ghey and I'm like, 'What does that mean?' I had these problems with the way my voice sounded. I'm like, 'How do I sit?' I'm always first to cross my legs and sit with a position of this feminine style and I really suffered with that s**t."

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"I think a lot of guys go through that and even worse than that there are just so many guys who are ghey and in the closet and must be hearing s**t like that and just being like, 'I'm terrified to come out'.

"I didn't grow up wrestling. I grew up getting my hair braided on New Year's Eve. It just completely depends on the way you grew up in your life and your surroundings."

Shawn first gained fame on the YouTube and Vine platforms. His self-titled debut EP hit number one on the iTunes charts 40 minutes after it was released in July 2014.

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Faizon Love doubled down on his criticism of semi-retired rap mogul Jay Z. In a new interview with DJ Vlad, the rotund actor took another jab at his favorite target, calling the father-of-5 a "fake drug dealer" and "a puppet."

Love, 52, implied that Jay Z's drug kingpin pretense throughout his career led to young rappers being killed in the streets today.

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"Jay Z creates this drug dealing lord. I'm a drug dealer, I'm a drug lord. These kids are like, 'We gotta do it, too' to be like Jay Z. Not knowing that this is all made up sh*t," Love said.

The actor said Jay Z's former drug partner, Dehaven, was the real drug kingpin while Jay Z was "eating chips."

"Dehaven knows the truth," said Faizon. "Listen to me. I heard one dude say, 'Jay-Z had so much money, drawers full of money.' If he had so much money why does he have to go to [Kareem] Biggs [Burke] to start a record company? Just go start it yourself. All the money's yours."

Vlad cut to a clip that shows Dehaven stuttering when Vlad asked him about Jay Z's role in the drug organization. Dehaven never mentioned any particular role Jay Z played in the drug game.

"That's why I was like ohh, this n***a is a puppet," said Love. "Can you imagine Jay Z fighting somebody in the streets? Somebody slap him, take his cocaine, what he gon' do?"

Love imitated Jay Z crying into an imaginary phone: "'Hey, they got my cocaine, Dehaven.' No, you gotta go to work!"
 

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Mahershala Ali refused to perform a sex scene with Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for religious reasons.

The Muslim actor agreed to star in director David Fincher's 2008 fantasy romance on the condition he would not have to simulate intercourse in a scene featured in the original script.

"So my old agent called me and said, 'Mahershala, you got the part.' And I said, 'There's just one thing, there is that one sex scene where they kiss. If there's a sex scene, I can't do it. I don't do simulated sex,'" he said during an appearance on rapper Common's Mind Power Mixtape podcast.

"(In the final shoot) Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of the frame. It wasn't clear if (Fincher) was trying to have like some bumping and grinding, which I doubt he was. But for me even, at that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, 'OK, I can only go up to this point,' just because of - just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion."

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The Oakland, California native was born to a Christian family and was named after a Biblical figure. He converted to the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith as an adult. He married Amatus Sami-Karim in 2013 and the couple welcomed a daughter named Bari in 2017.

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Moniece Slaughter says production companies treat Black reality show cast members like "slaves to the machine."

In an interview with The Jasmine Brand, Moniece, 33, said Black reality TV personalities routinely receive lower pay than their white counterparts.

She said Black reality stars are "not being managed by Kris Jenners" who tell them "We know your worth, we're gonna fight for your worth, and we're not gonna let you do anything that is below what you're worth."

Moniece also alleged that producers use a loophole to get out of paying cast members for working over filming schedules. Moniece accused some producers of being "two-faced" backstabbers who tell networks not to work with cast members who are insubordinate or difficult to work with (such as NeNe Leakes and Phaedra Parks).

In 2019 Moniece announced her departure from Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, saying her main focus was to be a good mom to her son Kamron (by former fiancé, Fizz).
 

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Billboard

Pictured clockwise from top left: Singers Teyana Taylor, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani and Summer Walker cover Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue.

All four ladies say the music industry is adapting slowly to their varying talents and, as a result, they don't get the radio airplay that their rap counterparts, such as Cardi B, enjoy.

R&B's marketshare is not as big as hip-hop, but it’s growing -- by 4.64% in market share compared with this time last year.

"Everyone has their own style and thing going on, but it's all the same truth," says Taylor, 29. "We're still women who have experienced love and heartbreak. It's dope to hear everyone express that truth in their different ways."

Aiko, a woman of color, says the biggest obstacle for her genre of pop/hip-hop is getting radio play. "The industry will still pigeonhole [my music], saying, 'Oh, this has to go to urban,'" says Aiko. "I'm like, 'Why?'"

But kehlani, 25, sees opportunity for her style of R&B/hip-hop to grow. "R&B keeps evolving, keeps getting cooler, more personal," she says.

"We'll always be here," says Taylor. "R&B is always going to be the realest bitch in the world."