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Lupita Nyong'o paid tribute to her "Queen of Katwe" co-star Nikita Pearl Waliga in a touching Instagram post on Sunday, following the announcement of the 15-year-old's tragic death from brain cancer.

The teenager died at TMR International Hospital in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Saturday, according to a Twitter announcement from the school in Uganda where she was a student.

Waliga was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and, after radiation therapy, she was told she was cancer-free a year later. However, another tumor was detected in 2019, WENN.com reports.

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Nikita (right) was best known for her only starring role in Queen of Katwe as Gloria, a friend of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi (played by Madina Nalwanga). The film also starred David Oyelowo and Lupita, who played Mutesi's mother in the Disney film.

Sharing a snap of Nikita from the movie, Lupita wrote:

"It is with great sadness that I post about the passing of Nikita Waligwa, the sweet, warm, talented girl whom I worked with on the film, Queen Of Katwe. She played Gloria with such vibrancy. In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer.

"My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon. May she truly rest in piece [sic]. May it be well with her soul."

 

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Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce are among a long list of minority actors who were snubbed by the Academy Awards. The Academy unveiled their 2020 Oscar nominations on Monday, Jan. 13, WENN.com reported.

Lopez was expected to earn Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as an aging stripper in the film Hustlers (2019). But she was left off the list of nominees, which included British actress Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, Florence Pugh, Kathy Bates, and Laura Dern.

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Jay-Z is reportedly consoling his wife, Beyonce, who was overlooked for an original song nomination for her single "Spirit" off the soundtrack to one of the year's biggest movies, Disney's remake of The Lion King.

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Lupita Nyong'o was snubbed for her role in the comedy/thriller Us, as was actress Awkwafina for her critically acclaimed performance in The Farewell.

The list of Black actors who were bypassed by the Academy also includes Eddie Murphy, who was expected to be recognized for his portrayal of comic Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name.

Not a single female filmmaker earned any recognition in the directing category, according to WENN.com.

Lopez's Hustlers director Lorena Scafaria was ignored, as was Beyonce's music music director Melina Matsoukas.

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Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, held last weekend at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Ms. Tunzi, 26, greeted the media outside AOL Build Studios in New York City on Thursday.
 

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Power couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were seen leaving a graduation party at the University of Miami before heading to a celebratory lunch at the Villagio restaurant in Coral Gables on Thursday.
 

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Lizzo was spotted leaving CBS studios on Thursday morning. She looked comfortable wearing a white Gucci hoodie with a leather trench coat and platform shoes. The 31-year-old Taurus is still celebrating being named Time magazine's Entertainer of the Year.
 

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Lupita Nyong'o Departed 'The View' in New York City on Thursday. Lupita stood out in bright neon colors for a promotional outing.
 

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EJ Johnson arrived for some holiday shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. The fashionista wore a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans with heeled boots and an animal print top.
 

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German-American model Jasmine Sanders, left, enjoys the single life on South Beach with a friend. Jasmine, also known as Golden Barbie, dumped actor Terrence J. after she caught him cheating.
 

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Stylish rapper Ja Rule stepped out to run errands in NYC. He dressed casually in a grey outfit and grey Versace sneakers. After shopping, Ja Rule got in his luxury BMW I8.

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Ciara Wilson drops new music titled "Melanin" featuring Lupita Nyong'o's rap persona "Troublemaker", Ester Dean, City Girls and La La Anthony. The single celebrates dark skinned women and the men who love them.

"This is ultimately an anthem of self-love, which is a journey I've been on since my Beauty Marks album," says Ciara. "It celebrates the beautiful shades of culture that comprise the inner and outer beauty of everyone. Embracing the unique nature of our skin tones threads together the tapestry of humankind."

The project features Lupita's "Troublemaker" rap alter ego, first introduced last month on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

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Actress and socialite La La Anthony adds her Latina swagger to the song. Multiplatinum Miami hip-hop duo City Girls members JT and Yung Miami drop verses on the track.

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The song doubles as JT's first official release since her recent incarceration. "Melanin" was co-written and produced by Ester Dean, who also lent her vocals to the hook.

Purchase / stream "Melanin" HERE.

Stay tuned for the music video via Beauty Marks Entertainment/ADA.
 

Ciara - Melanin, ft. Lupita Nyong'o, La La, City Girls, Ester Dean

SR rated: 3/5 roses

roses
 

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Miley Cyrus and her new boyfriend Cody Simpson were seen leaving Verve Caffe on Melrose after having lunch. The 26-year-old Sagittarius broke up with her longtime boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth, in August.
 

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Cody is 22-year-old Australian pop singer who was discovered on YouTube in 2009. Miley finally stopped pretending to "date" Kaitlynn Carter. Straight people will never understand how offensive it is to pretend being homosexual for PC points.
 

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Justin Bieber was spotted entering a Los Angeles doctor's office wearing a teddy bear shorts set from his Drew brand clothing line on Saturday. It was Justin's third visit to the doctor's office in one week. Word has it that Justin, 25, is undergoing blood facials, aka Vampire facial, to treat his severe acne outbreaks.
 

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Justin's wife, supermodel Hailey Bieber, 22, brought lunch for her husband during his 2-hour visit to the doctor's office last Wednesday, Oct. 16. Blood facials average about $1,000 a pop. The treatment, using the patient's own blood, helps to remove dead skin that clogs pores and contributes to cystic acne.
 

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Toronto Rapper Drake was seen leaving Nice Guy Lounge in West Hollywood, Calif. with a drink in his hand. Here in Atlanta it is illegal to leave a club with an alcoholic beverage in your hand. The club could lose it's liquor license.
 

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Drake was a little unstable on his feet. So his burly bodyguard offered him a helping hand. The 32-year-old rapper has a son with adult film star Sophie Brussaux.
 

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Lupita Nyong'o seen at the signing for her new book Sulwe at Barnes & Noble Union Square in New York on Saturday, October 19.

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Singer Beyonce Knowles hid her face under a grey hoodie as she and daughter Blue Ivy were slipped out a back exit after shopping at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. Blue Ivy sported super long extension braids for the rare outing. The energetic 7-year-old held on to the handrail so as not to fall in her chunky platform sneakers while mom kept a close eye on her.
 

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Nicki Minaj and her fiancé Kenny Petty were mobbed by fans as she arrived to her Fendi launch in Beverly Hills. The rapper's silver fishnet dress struggled to contain her curves. The 36-year-old Sagittarius enthusiastically greeted her screaming fans, waving and blowing kisses before pulling out her cell phone to take selfies and to livestream the event. Nicki revealed she was being sarcastic when she announced she and "Hello" singer Adele had recorded "an epic song" together.
 

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Kim Kardashian joined her sister Khloe Kardashian for lunch on the coast at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe in Malibu, Calif. The wide-hipped mother of four wore a mock turtleneck sweater with brown lambskin leather pants and strappy sandal pumps. The 38-year-old socialite was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2015.
 

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Lupita Nyong'o wore a matching canary yellow skirt set while promoting her new book, Sulwe, in NYC. Lupita, 36, wrote the book to help dark skinned children feel better in their dark skin. "I grew up in Kenya around very many dark people, but I grew up with a lot of light skin on TV and in the books I read and it made me feel uncomfortable with my skin color," she said. "So I wrote this book to help little kids get there a little faster.”
 

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Actress Jennifer Garner sent social media into a frenzy when she recreated a classic 'Friends' episode - with Legos! Garner recreated the episode titled "The One With the Embryos" in which Phoebe finds out she's pregnant. On Tuesday, Garner welcomed fellow Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston to Instagram with her Friends-themed Lego playset. Garner was spotted out and about in Beverly Hills with friend Summer Phoenix, right. Garner, 47, shares 3 children with ex-husband Ben Affleck.
 

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Actor Michael Ealy was seen out & about in Los Angeles spending quality time with his adorable daughter. The actor, 46, rocked a blue "A Tribe Called Quest" tee during the outing. The Think Like A Man actor shares two children with his wife Khatira Rafiqzada, 38.
 

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Heiress Paris Hilton was mobbed by excited fans as she arrived at Mexico City airport from Los Angeles to launch her new perfume Electrify in Mexico City, Mexico.

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Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o has authored a new children's book loosely based on her own battle with colorism and dark skin.

The 12 Years a Slave actress grew up thinking light-skin was better, and now her book, Sulwe, helps dark skinned children to embrace the skin they are in. The 36-year-old Mexico-born beauty still struggles with her dark skin as an adult.

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"When I was younger, I had trouble accepting my skin," she tells Good Morning America. "I grew up in Kenya around very many dark people, but I grew up with a lot of light skin on TV and in the books I read and it made me feel uncomfortable with my skin color.

"I had a younger sister that was born a lot lighter than me and she got cooed... and told how pretty she was, and I realized that it was in the omission of those words when it came to me that made me feel unworthy and so it took a while for me to find my stride and learn to love the skin I'm in.

"So I wrote this book to help little kids get there a little faster."

She adds, "Some of my favorite books when I was growing up were Cinderella and Thumbelina and Beauty & the Beast... and these were all women with light skin and blonde hair and so I thought that in order to make it into the pages of book, you have to be light.

"In fact, one of the first times I drew my family, I drew them with light skin... I wrote this to give dark-skinned kids a chance to live in a world of imagination and magic."

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The Black Panther star previously said she didn't know she was Black until she arrived in America.

She believes race is a "social construct" because, growing up in Kenya, she never thought of herself as "Black".

"As much as I was experiencing colorism in Kenya, I wasn't aware that I belonged to a race called Black," she told BBC Newsnight.

She said she only realized she was Black when she moved to America, "because suddenly the term Black was being ascribed to me and it meant certain things that I was not accustomed to."

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Lupita Nyong'o believes race is a "social construct" because, growing up in Kenya, she never thought of herself as "Black".

The 36-year-old Pisces was born in Mexico but raised in Kenya, which gave her a different perspective on race and racism in Black America.

She tells BBC Newsnight that she still experienced "colorism" prejudice due to having darker skin. But it was only after she arrived in the U.S. that she saw how people were divided by race.

"Race is a very social construct, one that I didn't have to ascribe to on a daily basis growing up," she says. "As much as I was experiencing colorism in Kenya, I wasn't aware that I belonged to a race called Black."

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She said she only realized she was Black when she moved to America, "because suddenly the term Black was being ascribed to me and it meant certain things that I was not accustomed to."

Lupita says she was once told she was "too dark" to appear on TV, and that she was not as pretty as her sister, who had lighter skin.

"I definitely grew up feeling uncomfortable with my skin color because I felt like the world around me awarded lighter skin," the Black Panther star explains.

As a result, she believes Americans favor lighter skin even among those who are Black.

"We still ascribe to these notions of Eurocentric standards of beauty, that then effect how we see ourselves among ourselves," she adds.

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Vanity Fair

Lupita Nyong'o is praising the presence of intimacy coaches on sets during love scenes. The Black Panther star tells Vanity Fair magazine she's glad sexism and abuse are now hot topics in Hollywood, but she believes Hollywood can be "oversensitive" to sexism in the wake of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

That's why she's praising the inclusion of intimacy coaches on movie sets to help actors feel comfortable during sex scenes.

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"I'm quite happy that there is that kind of extreme change, and hopefully we find equilibrium as we move forward," the 36-year-old explained.

Nyong'o says intimacy coaches are now more commonplace on movie sets.

"In the past, when it came to physical combat, there were always consultants on set, but when it came to intimacy there was never, ever somebody present to help actors navigate that," she adds. "Now you have that, which I think is a great inclusion, and ensures that those kinds of abuses don't happen."

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As for her own real life love scenes, the bisexual star closely guards her love life, despite fans speculating over her rumored relationships with actress Tessa Thompson and singer/actress Janelle Monáe (pictured right).

"I feel like there's parts of myself that I care to share and then there are parts that I don't," Lupita explains of her desire to keep her personal life private.

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Photos by JosiahW / BACKGRID

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