Beyonce Kicks Off LA Memorial For Kobe Bryant And Daughter


Beyonce kicked off a star-studded memorial ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday for basketball great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who died along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

“I’m here because I love Kobe,” said the 70-time Grammy-nominated artist as she launched into one of Bryant’s favorite songs “XO,” dressed in a golden suit — the color of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant’s team for two decades.

The public memorial — dubbed “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” — was being held at Staples Center, the arena where Bryant wowed fans for 17 years.

The 2/24 date for the memorial carries special significance as it coincides with Bryant’s jersey number — “24” — and Gianna’s “2” jersey number.

Fellow NBA legends Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell were among those attending the memorial along with Bryant family members and fans.

“It’s hard in a two-minute, five-minute time to say everything he meant to the world, to the NBA and to basketball fans. He’s bigger than life,” Johnson said on Sunday.

“And it will take years to get over his passing and his daughter and the seven other people who lost their lives as well.”

– ‘He was my everything’ –
Bryant’s widow Vanessa, paid a tearful tribute to her late husband and daughter, saying she could not fathom life without them.

“He was my everything,” she said, recalling meeting Bryant when she was 17 years old. “He was the most amazing husband.”

She spoke of her heartbreak at not being able to watch Gianna grow up and missing important moments of her life.

“I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day,” she said through tears. “I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy.”

A visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel also spoke at the ceremony saying he saw Kobe and Gianna’s faces and jersey numbers everywhere in Los Angeles.

Among other celebrities attending the memorial were filmmaker Spike Lee — who was close friends with Bryant and directed a documentary on his life — and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid Lakers fan.

Many of the fans lucky enough to nab one of the much sought-after 20,000 tickets for the memorial wore the gold and purple colors of the Lakers as they headed for the two-and-a-half hour ceremony being held amid tight security.

“Kobe meant everything for this city, for this team and for me,” said Karen Sanchez, 41, as she waited with friends to enter the arena. “I watched him play from the beginning.”

Marcos Rojas, 23, another ticketholder, said Bryant’s January 26 death near Los Angeles had been devastating to fans like him who worshipped the player.

“For me, it was like losing a friend,” said Rojas who wore a Lakers jersey with Kobe’s number.

“I always watched him playing with my friends,” he told AFP. “I always picked Kobe to play in my video games. I couldn’t leave home the day of his passing.”

Those attending the memorial were given a 24-page program with pictures of Bryant and his family as well as a pin and black T-shirt featuring images of Kobe and his daughter on the back.

‘She Smelled Expensive’, Excited Osaka Says After Meeting Beyonce

Tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan poses for photos after a sightseeing ride in a helicopter at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane on January 2, 2020, ahead of the Brisbane International tennis tournament starting on January 6. SAEED KHAN / AFP


Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka has revealed her excitement at meeting her idol Beyonce, saying the US singer “smelled expensive” and gave her a morale-boosting pep talk at a low point last year.

The two-time Grand Slam champion, who will be defending her Australian Open title this month, bumped into Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z while still “depressed” after losing in the fourth round at the US Open.

“I met Beyonce and Jay-Z during the off-season. She just smelled expensive and beautiful and she was soft and she hugged me,” Osaka told the WTA website. “I was like, this is what heaven is.”

The meeting came in the aftermath of Osaka’s defeat at Flushing Meadow to Belinda Bencic, which ended her first Grand Slam title defence.

“She was talking to me and she said she was proud of me. I thought, wow, that actually was a really important moment,” said the 22-year-old, who stunned Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final.

“I felt really depressed after I lost my match, but I’m thinking about the impact that tennis players — I don’t think we know, I don’t think we’re aware of all the good that we can do.

“That was kind of an eye-opening thing. Even though it was one of my worst points, to lose — I wanted to be a defending champion and I lost early — there’s still something really good that came out of that.

“There are some things that I have to remember are out of my control, especially past events. So I just have to put myself in a position to not regret anything.”

Osaka hired a new coach in the off-season, Wim Fissette, having split with Jermaine Jenkins following the US Open, and said she was raring to go after her 2019 season was abruptly cut short by injury at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

She is set to play her first match of the year at the Brisbane International against Maria Sakkari on Tuesday.

“I just feel like for me having positive energy and having a clean mental slate is really important, so that’s what I did this entire off-season,” she said.

“I mean, I trained, but I wasn’t super pressed on anything. That’s just something I had to learn throughout the entire year.

“I feel like 2019 had so many trials and errors and all in all it felt like a very long year, but now that I’m here it feels very compact. It’s learning about myself more.”


‘Lion King’ Fends Off Tarantino, Maintains Box Office Rule

In this file photo taken on July 9, 2019, US singer/songwriter Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood.


Disney’s “The Lion King” held on to its reign in North American theaters, taking in $75.5 million over the three-day weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday.

The healthy haul for the Disney production brought its total to $350.8 million and put it on top of the box office for the second week in a row, capping a streak of successes for the studio after its “Avengers: Endgame” was last week named the highest-grossing movie of all time and now has global box office earnings of $2.7924 billion.

Directed by Jon Favreau, “The Lion King” is a remake of the 1994 animated film, employing hyper-realistic computer-generated images with a voice cast including Donald Glover as Simba and Beyonce as Nala, together with Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and James Earl Jones.

Despite rave reviews, director Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” came in a distant second place with $40.4 million.

The ninth of the 10 movies Tarantino has said he will make before retiring, “Once Upon a Time” is set in Tinseltown in 1969 and features an ensemble cast typical of the director’s work, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino among the stars.

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” came in third in its fourth week with $12.2 million. Continuing where “Avengers: Endgame” left off, the production by Sony and Disney’s Marvel Studios is the latest installment in the blockbuster franchise, with Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man leading a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal.

“Toy Story 4,” came in fourth, taking in $9.9 million in its sixth week in cinemas, which have brought it more than $395.6 million in total.

The latest installment in the family-friendly Disney/Pixar animation franchise that began in 1995, the movie features the voices of Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear).

The fifth spot went to Paramount’s “Crawl,” with $4 million in its third week. Barry Pepper and Kaya Scodelario play a father and daughter battling hungry gators after a hurricane hits their Florida town.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Yesterday” ($3 million)

“Aladdin” ($2.7 million)

“Stuber” ($1.6 million)

“Annabella Comes Home” ($1.6 million)

“The Farewell” ($1.6 million)

Beyonce Reveals Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Others For New Album

American Singer, Beyonce has released the tracklist of her new album entitled ‘Lion King: The Gift’ with top Nigerian artists on the list.

Nigerian stars including Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy among others are on the tracklist.

Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi on the track Keys to the Kingdom, while Tekno and Yemi Alade are on the track Don’t Jealous Me. Burna Boy is on the track titled Jara E also in the Lion King album.

Other African artists in the album include Ghana’s Shatta Wale, South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly; and Cameroon’s Salatiel.

Meanwhile, Yemi Alade has since shared pictures of her during the premier of the Lion King movie. She also shared a video of her on the Red carpet with Beyonce.



See below the tracklist of the new album. It also features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Childish Gambino, Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy and many others.


The Lion King: The Gift

01 Beyoncé: “Bigger”

02 Beyoncé: “Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)”

03 Tekno / Yemi Alade / Mr. Eazi: “Don’t Jealous Me”

04 Burna Boy: “Ja Ara E”

05 Beyoncé / Kendrick Lamar: “The Nile”

06 Beyoncé / JAY-Z / Childish Gambino: “Mood 4 Eva”

07 Salatiel / Pharrell / Beyoncé: “Water”

08 Blue Ivy Carter / SAINt JHN / WizKid / Beyoncé: “Brown Skin Girl”

09 Tiwa Savage / Mr. Eazi: “Keys to the Kingdom”

10 Beyoncé: “Otherside”

11 Beyoncé / Shatta Wale: “Already”

12 Tierra Whack / Beyoncé / Busiswa / Yemi Alade / Moonchild Sanelly: “My Power”

13 070 Shake / Jessie Reyez: “Scar”

14 Beyoncé: “Spirit”


Beyonce Releases New Album ‘Homecoming’

Beyonce, the queen of surprise and so much else, has again dropped a record with no warning: a live album to go with an upcoming Netflix documentary on her performance at Coachella last year.

The album entitled “Homecoming,” just like the film, was released in the early hours of Wednesday across all major streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play.

It breaks that more than two-hour performance — she actually took to the stage twice last year at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — into 40 tracks.

READ ALSO: Twitter Storm As Omotola Blasts Buhari’s Administration Over Performance

Beyonce was the first black woman to headline the festival.

Her set paid tribute to the musical heritage of historically black American colleges and she was backed up by dozens of dancers and a marching band.

Beyonce first dropped an album without warning in 2013: the record “Beyonce” suddenly appeared in the iTunes music store with no advance notice.

And she has repeated the tactic since then with albums like “Lemonade” and “Everything is Love.”

Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Attend Wedding Of India Billionaire’s Daughter 

This handout photograph released on December 8, 2018 by Reliance Industries shows Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (R) and his wife Nita receiving former US first lady Hillary Clinton (C), who arrived for the pre-wedding function of Mukesh’s daughter Isha Ambani with Anand Piramal, in Udaipur. PHOTO: Handout / Reliance Industries / AFP


Topping anything in the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians”, the only daughter of India’s richest man ties the knot on Wednesday after days of lavish celebrations that included a Beyonce concert in a lakeside palace.

Isha Ambani, whose father is tycoon Mukesh Ambani, was set to wed Anand Piramal, son of Indian billionaire industrialist Ajay Piramal, in the Ambanis’ 27-storey home in Mumbai.

Days of pre-wedding festivities at a sprawling palace in Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan included a concert by Beyonce, purportedly the bride’s favourite singer.

Attendees included Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and dozens of Bollywood stars including Salman Khan and Aamir Khan as well as cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar.

Joining them was a who’s-who of India’s super-rich elite, arriving on dozens of specially chartered flights into Udaipur’s normally sleepy airport and whisked away in expensive cars.

Indian businessman Amil Ambani (C) arrives with the marriage procession of Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani outside their house in Mumbai on December 12, 2018. 


Actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas, who themselves became husband and wife earlier this month, were also guests at Udaipur’s City Palace on the banks of Lake Pichola.

Wednesday evening’s actual wedding was set to be a more private affair with around 600 close friends and family, and some politicians, expected to be on the guest list.

There was a high police presence in the south Mumbai area around the Ambanis’ home, which is called Antilia and reportedly cost over $1 billion when it was completed in 2010.

Indian newspapers have been abuzz with speculation about the total cost of the wedding. Conservative estimates have put it around $15 million while others insist $100 million is closer to the truth.

Ambani, 27 and Piramal, 33 got engaged at Lake Como in Italy in September and the high-profile wedding brings together two of India’s biggest industrialist families.

Mukesh Ambani is the chairman of oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries. He is worth more than $47 billion and recently overtook China’s Jack Ma as Asia’s wealthiest man.

The respective families will hold several other receptions across India’s financial capital in the coming days.

The wedding caps a big month for what social media users have been calling “big fat Indian weddings”. The Chopra-Jonas nuptials came shortly after Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh wed.

Not everyone is happy though.

“Isha Ambani’s wedding is a perfect example of the wealth inequality in India,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Here you have one of the richest families in the nation spending so much while millions still can’t even afford food or shelter,” she added.

“The new standard for lavish Indian wedding is Beyonce. Imagine,” tweeted another.


Beyonce To Lead Mandela Tribute Concert

File photo of Beyonce Knowles performing on onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field. PHOTO: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella /GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP


Beyonce will lead an all-star line-up that includes Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z and Usher in Johannesburg on Sunday when she performs at a concert to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

The concert is the climax of a year of events celebrating the centennial of Mandela’s birth in 1918, and is part of a campaign to tackle poverty, child malnutrition and boost gender equality.

This year’s Global Citizen Festival will be held at Johannesburg’s 94,736-capacity FNB stadium with the concert due to begin at 1200 GMT.

Thousands of music fans, many of whom had been given free tickets in return for activism and campaigning work, began to flock to the stadium hours before the gig was due to kick off.

“I’m quite excited to have Beyonce and a bunch of these top-flight artists coming to South Africa to perform. It’s nice to get this obvious reminder of Mandela’s values,” said concert-goer Ano Shonhiwa, 23, as he made his way into the venue.

Ahead of the concert Oprah Winfrey, who will co-host the event, hailed Mandela’s “goodness and integrity”, describing him as her “favourite mentor”.

Mandela was jailed under South Africa’s apartheid regime. After being released in 1990, he led the country’s transformation into a multi-racial democracy. He died on December 5, 2013 aged 95.

Event organisers paid tribute to a rigger who died following a fall while helping to prepare the stage on Saturday.

“The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Global Citizen said in a statement.


Pop Singer Beyonce Lends Support To Texas Democrat O’Rourke

File photo


Hours before polls closed in one of America’s most closely watched Senate races pop superstar Beyonce lent her support to Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Republican Ted Cruz.

Beyonce, a Houston native, posted a series of self-portraits that showed her sporting a cap with the slogan “Beto for Senate” and the message: “Every vote counts.”

“Every race matters,” the queen of pop wrote. “We can’t voice our frustrations and complain about what’s wrong without voting and exercising our power to make it right.”

“We need you.”

O’Rourke – a charismatic three-time congressman and former punk band member – tweeted his thanks to Beyonce, who in the past has thrown her star power behind Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

The high-profile 11th-hour endorsement came as American voters were pouring into polling stations to wrap a heated midterm campaign seen as a test of Donald Trump’s contentious presidency.

O’Rourke’s battle against Ted Cruz – a 47-year-old who fought Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination – is one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races in the sharply divided United States.

A win from the 46-year-old O’Rourke – whose given names are Robert Francis but who goes by Beto – would post a major win for the embattled Democratic Party.

Beyonce was a last-minute addition to the list of stars backing O’Rourke, who also garnered support from Houston hip-hop artist Travis Scott and NBA royalty LeBron James.

“Sending you all love and positivity on this happy voting day!” Beyonce wrote.

Beyonce Wants Acceptance Of Women With Curvier Bodies


Beyonce has called for a greater acceptance of naturally curvy figures, saying she was listening more to her body after giving birth to twins by Caesarean section last year.

The 36-year-old pop superstar, one of the most photographed women in the world, posed for the latest issue of Vogue magazine without makeup, hair extensions or wigs.

“I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies,” she said in an accompanying essay.

Beyonce, who is married to rap mogul Jay-Z, recalled that she had quickly tried to slim down after giving birth to her first child, Blue Ivy, in January 2012.

But revealing details for the first time about giving birth in June 2017 to twins Rumi and Sir, Beyonce said she had needed a month of bed rest and that her health had been at risk before undergoing an emergency C-section.

After giving birth, Beyonce — who said she weighed 99 kilograms (218 pounds) — felt that she “needed time to heal” from the effects of the surgery.

“During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be,” she said.

Beyonce made a triumphant return to the stage at the Coachella festival in April, dazzling fans with a nearly two-hour set of non-stop choreography with some 100 backup dancers.

The singer said she had prepared for Coachella by going vegan and eliminating alcohol, coffee and fruit drinks from her diet.

But she added: “I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves.”

The feminist-minded singer also reflected on raising a son, Sir, and said that she wanted him “to know that he can be strong and brave but that he can also be sensitive and kind.”

“I want my son to have a high emotional IQ where he is free to be caring, truthful and honest.

“It’s everything a woman wants in a man, and yet we don’t teach it to our boys.”


Beyonce To Lead South Africa Anti-Poverty Festival For Mandela

FILE PHOTO: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES / AFP


Beyonce and Jay-Z will lead an A-list lineup to mark 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth in a Johannesburg festival by the Global Citizen movement to eradicate poverty.

The December 2 event, which will be internationally broadcast, will celebrate the late anti-apartheid icon and draw a number of leaders in an attempt to throw a spotlight on fledging efforts to eradicate the world’s worst poverty, Global Citizen announced Monday.

Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z will headline the music at the FNB Stadium alongside several other stars: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, hit pop producer Pharrell Williams and R&B chart-topper Usher.

The festival will also feature some of the continent’s most popular musicians including South African hip-hop producer Cassper Nyovest and Nigerian artists Wizkid, D’banj and Femi Kuti, who is the son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

Global Citizen said it hoped that the run-up to the festival would raise commitments of $1 billion to help the world’s poorest, with half of the amount aimed at women and girls.

Global Citizen has held festivals since 2012 in New York’s Central Park on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly to rally support, especially among young people, in the fight against poverty. The group has since branched out overseas with seminars and music in India, Germany and elsewhere.

Hugh Evans, the founder and CEO of the movement, said he expected the Johannesburg festival to be the biggest Global Citizen festival ever in terms of reach, symbolism and lineup.

“On every way that we measure outcomes — the number of citizens engaged, the number of policy outcomes that are achieved, the number of lives that are affected as a result of those policy outcomes — we believe it has the potential to be the most significant campaign we’ve ever been part of,” Evans told AFP.

Unlike traditional benefit concerts, Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to supporters who pledge to take actions such as writing their governments to support international development assistance.

For the Johannesburg edition, Global Citizen will also hand out tickets to people who are taking direct action for good including community health workers who conduct HIV tests or who instruct mothers on child nutrition as well as teachers and South Africans who recycle plastics.

Mandela as inspiration

Evans said that Mandela offered a model for the Global Citizen movement through his magnanimous efforts at racial reconciliation and democracy as well as through his focus on tackling poverty and global health.

Beyonce previously performed in South Africa in 2003 at a concert hosted by Mandela to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS. Two years later Mandela delivered a landmark speech in London’s Trafalgar Square urging concerted efforts to “make poverty history.”

But Evans said that the world was falling behind on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include ending hunger and ensuring educational opportunities to all children, regardless of gender, by 2030.

While Britain, Germany and Nordic countries are meeting the UN-backed goal of devoting 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product to international aid, other major countries are lagging behind.

In the United States, President Donald Trump has called for slashing foreign assistance by one-third, although Congress has largely resisted his “America First” push on aid.

“The truth is the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless there is greater political will,” Evans said.

Global Citizen said that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as the leaders of Norway and Ghana, plan to attend the December 2 festival in honour of Mandela, who was born on July 18, 1918.


Beyonce, Jay-Z Celebrate Marriage, Black Identity In Surprise Album

FILE PHOTO: Beyonce (L) and Jay-Z introduce Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) performance in support of her at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski / AFP


Music’s most famous couple Beyonce and Jay-Z pulled a surprise by releasing a joint album, a long-rumoured collaboration that celebrates their marital passion and black identity.

The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album, “Everything is Love,” from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The album came out late Saturday exclusively on Jay-Z’s fledgeling Tidal streaming service and is not available on Spotify — a far larger platform, which Beyonce disses on the album in a string of F-bombs.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for a song off the album, “Apeshit.”

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyonce in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

Driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, “Everything is Love” marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.

The album shatters any lingering innocence from the early days of Beyonce, with the singer of “Say My Name” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” generous in the details of her sex life with Jay-Z.

An even more public marriage

The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyonce-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.

Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swelling. On her very first lyrics, Beyonce beckons to her husband, “Let’s make love in the summertime.”

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyonce sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture, Jay-Z and Beyonce have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyonce fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.

Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighbourhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”

Saying no to Super Bowl

Elsewhere on the album, Jay-Z appears to confirm a report that he turned down an offer by the National Football League to perform at this year’s Super Bowl, the most-watched event on US television, with Justin Timberlake, ultimately playing American football’s title match.

Jay-Z is an outspoken supporter of Colin Kaepernick, the now-unemployed quarterback whose kneeling protest against racial injustice during the national anthem has triggered angry denunciations by President Donald Trump.

“I said no to the Super Bowl / You need me, I don’t need you,” Jay-Z raps.

“Every night we in the endzone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too,” he raps, likely referring to the racial dynamics in American football where almost entirely white owners employ mostly African American players.

The rapper, also known by the nickname Hov, takes aim more directly at Trump on “Salud!”, a song with Beyonce that inexplicably did not make the nine-track album but was released simultaneously.

Making no apologies for his success, Jay-Z raps, “Your president tweeting about Hov like he knows us / My road to the top was to take what you owe us.


Fierce Beyonce, Emotional Weeknd Light Up Coachella

Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018, in Indio, California. PHOTO: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella /GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP


Before a sea of some 100,000 people in the southern California desert, the pop superstar, Beyonce, headlined the premier global music festival to end a year-long hiatus from live music as she gave birth to twins.

She showed no sign of slowing down after her maternity leave, singing and shaking her body with a little break for two hours as she led around 100 backup dancers and musicians.

From her custom to fierce stage performance, many have referred to Beyonce’s performance at the Coachella 2018 Festival as historical.

Her fans on Sunday took to social media to give a review of her performance. See some of the tweets below…



Emotional Weeknd

Meanwhile, the Weeknd brought a raw emotional intimacy as he headlined the first night of the Coachella festival, where electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre lit up the California desert sky with lasers and calls to safeguard the environment.

Packing 125,000 fashionably — or at least scantily — dressed fans onto the sun-baked site in Indio, Coachella has become the titan of music festivals and a global brand with a who’s who of acts who play back-to-back weekends with identical lineups.

Just two weeks after his surprise release of the six-track “My Dear Melancholy,” which became the shortest work to top the US albums chart in nearly a decade, The Weeknd delivered a well-received set of hits and new material.

“My Dear Melancholy,” — the comma deliberate, as if part of a confessional letter — shows a newfound introspection on the part of the 28-year-old R&B sensation, moving beyond the bravado of some of his early hits.

Clasping the microphone before the packed main stage audience, The Weeknd gently cried as he closed his new song “Call Out My Name” to an unadorned guitar, with some fans watching agape as the lights went down.

The song — which begins with “We found each other / I helped you out of a broken place” — has raised speculation that the Canadian singer is reflecting on his short-lived romance with pop star Selena Gomez, with whom he was spotted cuddling a year ago when they attended Coachella as fans.

Appeal for Earth

Fresh from an expansion of the grounds last year, the 2018 edition of Coachella brought in a new artisan food market and original artwork, including strikingly translucent baroque domes by Italian sculptor Edoardo Tresoldi.

As the party entered the evening, few appeared to react to news that Western nations had launched strikes on Syria, with smartphones omnipresent but often patchy in data service.

But Jarre injected some political consciousness as he performed after sundown, his lasers beaming deep into the sky over the festival.

Playing his frenetic, chase-like track “Exit,” Jarre saluted his collaborator Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who fled the United States after revealing the scope of government surveillance.

Walls of light surrounded Jarre, seemingly trapping him on stage, as Snowden appeared on video, delivering his lecture from the song about the importance of privacy — a message all the more timely amid the furor over Facebook’s harvesting of personal data.

Jarre also made an appeal on the environment, saying that “Oxygene” — the French artist’s 1976 album that quickly became a foundational work of electronic music — amounted to a reflection on climate.

“Tonight from the desert of Coachella, let’s have a strong message to every world leader in their right mind — we want them to take care and protect the future of our planet,” Jarre said.

Jarre has led some of the largest concerts in history, including a 1997 light show across Moscow, but had played little in the United States until last year.

Speaking to AFP before his set, Jarre said he was drawn to Coachella in part through his fascination with deserts and water scarcity.

“It’s what I like in life — to try to explain a new thing, and being in a festival like this is a new thing,” he said.

“You can’t compare any festival in the world to Coachella. It’s like a town in the middle of the desert, a town of music.”

Jarre said that Coachella chief Paul Tollett had agreed to all of the artist’s requests for coming to the festival, including extending the size of his stage.

Quirky stage set

Another ambitious performance came from the indie rocker St. Vincent, who designed nearly Dadaist imagery to accompany her band’s set.

During one song, St. Vincent appeared on a video to be staring down a decaying apple and strawberry, while in another, her mouth was drooling a deep green syrup that matched the grasshopper on her hand.

Coachella also marked a return for Jamiroquai, the British group whose trippy brand of funk-pop brought them fame in the 1990s with tracks such as “Cosmic Girl” and “Space Cowboy.”

Playing its first show in the United States since 2005, Jamiroquai found an enthusiastic crowd of dancers who erupted in joy upon seeing someone else on stage — rap great Snoop Dogg, whose most notable connection to Jamiroquai is a shared love of marijuana.

Surprise guests are a hallmark of Coachella. Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar — who headlined the festival last year — made two appearances on Friday, joining both singer SZA and fellow rapper Vince Staples.

Another major figure in rap — Tyler, the Creator — joined Kali Uchis, the Colombian-born singer who put on a well-received set of both English and Spanish pop.