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Jennifer Hudson has hailed Aretha Franklin as an inspiration

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Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson has hailed Aretha Franklin as an “inspiration” who was a “motherly” figure to her prior to her passing in 2018.

The 39-year-old singer considered the “A Natural Woman” singer a close friend before her death in 2018, and was even named by Aretha as the person she wanted to play her in the biopic of her life – a role she fulfilled in the new movie, ‘Respect’. And now, Jennifer has said Aretha was a “motherly” figure to her, and was always interested in hearing about her life, especially wherever her 12-year-old son David Jr. – whom she has with David Otunga – was concerned.

She said: “Aretha … she had a regal presence. And when we first had our meeting, she said, ‘Are you shy or something?’ And I said, ‘Well, I am sitting with the Queen of Soul! What do you expect?’

“But she was just very still. Full of presence. I noticed she didn’t speak much. She said what she said, and that was that. But eventually it became more, well, motherly. And even in her last days, I would talk to her weekly. She ended up teaching me more about life, while teaching me about her life.
She told The Sunday Times newspaper’s Culture magazine: “Anyone would assume that Aretha Franklin had it made. But, no, everyone has a life. Everyone has a story. Everyone goes through something. And when you see someone like that overcome what she has overcome, it inspires you. It definitely did me.

Meanwhile, Jennifer previously revealed she spoke to Aretha just one week before her death, and said the legendary singer had “sang to [her]” during their call. She said: “She told me what she had eaten. I don’t remember what that meal was, and then she sang to me on that call.

“I can’t remember the song. It was by the Isley Brothers and she said, ‘Jennifer, now that’s the Isley Brothers,’ and I said, ‘Yes, ma’am, I know.’ Because she was so present. She always knew what was going on, even in my life

Source: News365

In other news – NFP leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi has died

Founding president of the National Freedom Party (NFP) and former Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi has passed away.

Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi

The party’s secretary-general Msidazwe Mdletshe confirmed to the publication that she passed on earlier on Monday due to cardiac arrest. 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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