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Actor Michael K. Williams has died

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Michael Kenneth Williams, an actor known for his roles in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country, has died. He was 54.

The five-time Emmy Award nominee was found dead Monday afternoon at around 2 p.m. in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, a source from the NYPD tells PEOPLE. Williams’ nephew discovered his body in the living room.

“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” a rep for Williams tells PEOPLE. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.

Although the cause of death has not yet been determined, drug paraphernalia was found in the apartment, according to the New York Post. A separate law enforcement source tells PEOPLE that Williams died of a suspected overdose and that officials believe he may have had heroin laced with fentanyl.

Williams has been open about his struggles with drug dependency in the past. Raised in the Vanderveer Projects of the East Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, he was exposed to crime at an early age and developed a drug addiction in his teens.

He told The New York Times in 2017 that although he’d had treatment for his addiction, he’d relapsed multiple times during his storied career. “Addiction doesn’t go away,” he said. “It’s an everyday struggle for me, but I’m fighting.”

Friends and fans shared tributes to Williams on social media after the news of his death on Monday. “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” his The Wire costar Wendell Pierce wrote on Twitter. “A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth.”

“Michael K Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met,” wrote James Gunn. “This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”

Williams’ breakout role came in 2002, when he portrayed Omar Little in HBO’s The Wire. The role has been lauded over the years for its complex depiction of a gay Black man with a reputation as a ruthless criminal in the streets of Baltimore.

In a statement, HBO says the network is “devastated” to learn of Williams’ death, noting that he has been “a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.” They added, “While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss

Over the years, he’s appeared in such shows as Law & Order, The Sopranos, Alias, Boardwalk Empire, Community and When They See Us. He’s also had roles in movies like Gone Baby Gone, The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Inherent Vice and Ghostbusters (2016).

Most recently, Williams delivered another acclaimed performance in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, which earned him his fifth Emmy nomination in July. (Winners will be announced on Sept. 19.) He spoke to PEOPLE about playing Montrose, a Black man discovering his sexuality in the 1950s, and how that compared to his role on The Wire.

“Montrose was different. He didn’t have the freedom Omar had or the confidence. He comes from such a broken place,” he said in October 2020. “I just had to find my own pain and my own trauma, which was a very painful experience for me. All the generational pain that had been passed down through my own personal experiences, I had to dig deep down in that for Montrose.”

I would hope that after watching Lovecraft, people walk away with this understanding of the beauty and necessity of a father-son relationship in the Black community,” Williams shared. “Black fathers have been ripped away from their sons for so many years, mine included.

That was the main thing that attracted me to this role was the opportunity to play dad to that amazing Jonathan Majors and for us to explore what father and son bonding looks like and how we can rebuild that and treasure it. There’s an absence of the Black male in our community for a lot of reasons and some of it isn’t our fault but the need is there. It’s a beautiful thing to look at. I hope Montrose will remind us how much little Black boys need their fathers.”

“We are so conditioned to mask our pain as Black men in America. We’re not allowed to cry, we’re not allowed to be vulnerable. We’re not allowed to be soft. I hope that Montrose will at least open up a conversation for Black men in America,” he added.

Source: News365

In other news – Suspect bust with 30kg copper cables belonging to City of Cape Town

Cape Town man has been arrested, after being found in possession of copper cables, belonging to the City of Cape Town, during an operation conducted by law enforcement officials.

copper cables

On Monday, members of the Law Enforcement Metal Theft Unit conducted an inspection of random vehicles conveying scrap to a scrap metal dealer, in Wetton. Learn more

Nigerian Celebrities

Ayra Starr doubles up as Spotify EQUAL Africa and Global Artist for Ma

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Ayra Starr

Spotify’s EQUAL program supports female artists, giving them a global platform through playlists, content hubs, and partnerships. Nigerian Afrobeats artist Ayra Starr, known for her hits such as Rush, Sability and Rhythm & Blues, and more, takes the spotlight for Spotify’s EQUAL Africa and EQUAL Global program this May. She joins fellow Nigerian Tiwa Savage, who is the only other African artist to be both the Spotify EQUAL Africa and Global artist.

Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Senior Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa says, “Our commitment at Spotify is to support and empower women in the music industry, helping to create a more level playing field. Seeing artists like Ayra Starr come from the continent to gain global recognition serves as a true testament that Africa is full of talent, all that is needed is a platform. It has been a great journey to witness the growth of female artists who are also inspiring generations to come, which also speaks to our commitment to equally support female artists.”

Spotify hosted 15 EQUAL activations and over 14.8 million artist discoveries stemmed from EQUAL playlists, and EQUAL artists received 11,800 editorial playlist adds, all in 2023, further demonstrating the program’s impact and reach.

Ayra Starr whose February release Commas already has over 35 million streams on Spotify, spoke on her expressive musical style that has helped her craft a niche in the music industry, and what it means to her being selected as Spotify’s EQUAL artist.

“I am grateful to become a Spotify EQUAL Ambassador. It means so much to me to be able to represent women in Afrobeats and African women in general. There are so many women in music right now and the EQUAL program is doing a great job in highlighting their hard work.”

Ayra Starr to delve deeper into her music and creative journey:

How is the Spotify EQUAL program significant, from your perspective?

There are so many women in music today, behind the scenes, in front of the camera, musicians, sound engineers, all these women working hard and Spotify EQUAL is doing a great job in highlighting all their hard work.

What does this mean to you as a person, being Spotify’s EQUAL artist for the month both from an African and Global perspective?

It means everything to me because I am a girl and I have to support my gender and level the playing field.

To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?

I would describe my sound as highly vibrational, eccentric, unique, and beautiful.

Are we expecting any music from you anytime soon?

Yes. I have a new single with Seyi Vibes called ‘Bad Vibes’ and I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. It’s amazing and it’s one of those songs that makes you feel good. The best part about it is that it is not just a regular Afrobeat record, it’s like genres intertwined.

Check out Ayra Starr single Commas on the EQUAL Africa and Global playlists.

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Nollywood

This is why I want to marry Indian man – DJ Cuppy

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Nigerian disc jockey, Florence Otedola, popularly known as DJ Cuppy, is contemplating marrying an Indian. The billionaire heiress disclosed this while sharing photos of an Indian wedding she attended via her Instagram account recently.

DJ Cuppy noted that the traditional wedding would be topnotch with the mixture of Nigerian and Indian cultures if it happens. She wrote, “Maybe I should marry an Indian man. Imagine the traditional wedding.” DJ Cuppy’s most recent relationship was with British boxer, Ryan Taylor.

DJ Cuppy Swindon

The duo, however, parted ways in July 2023, barely seven months after their shocking engagement in November 2022.

Source:  dailypost

In other news – Bad leaders making the life of Nigerians miserable – Pastor Giwa

The senior pastor of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa, on Sunday, lamented that the economic situation in Nigeria has gone from bad to worse under President Bola Tinubu.

Adewale Giwa

 

 

The clergyman noted that bad leaders were intentionally making life miserable for Nigerians. Read more

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Nigerian Celebrities

2024 will be a tough year for Afrobeat singers – Paul Okoye warns

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Paul Okoye

Music executive, Paul Okoye, popularly known as Paul O, has claimed that 2024 will be a tough year for Afrobeats singers. In a post shared via his Insta stories, Paul O stated that, apart from Burna Boy and Davido, other artists are in trouble.

The show promoter also revealed that other artistes are finding it difficult to sell their tickets, which may be a result of high ticket prices.He wrote: “2024 will be a tough year for Afrobeat!!! Apart from 2 artists this year, Burnaboy and Davido, they did a few shows.

“Others are in trouble, either they are overpriced or tickets are not selling. Hmmmm, Let us not do what happened to Reggae musicians. Reduce Your Prices. Just think, how many shows you did this year?

In other news – Nigerian music industry has never been peaceful since I joined – Davido

Famous singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has claimed that the Nigerian music industry has never been peaceful since he joined. Davido stated that he loves the chaos in the music industry.

Davido

 

On his X handle on Sunday, the singer wrote: “Since I came in the game dem never get peace .. I love it ! Make I find somewhere with beach go relax. Read more

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