Drake Withdraws His Two Grammy Nominations

File photo of Drake. PHOTO: AARON M. SPRECHER/AFP

 

Canadian rap superstar Drake asked for his two Grammy nominations to be withdrawn this year and the Recording Academy has honored his request, multiple sources told AFP Monday.

Drake had been up for two rap awards at January’s ceremony, but his mega-hit album “Certified Lover Boy” was conspicuously left out of the general field categories last month, and the artist has clashed with the Academy multiple times.

The singer is also currently facing multiple lawsuits over a rap concert in Texas last month during which ten fans were killed by a lethal crowd surge.

No explanation was provided by Drake’s representatives for his request.

A source close to the artist said the decision had been made by Drake and his management and had been honored by the Grammys.

A Recording Academy source familiar with the request confirmed those details to AFP, and Drake’s nominations have been removed from the official Grammys website, just as final-round ballot voting began.

Drake, one of the world’s top-selling and most influential musicians, has won four Grammys.

In a 2017 interview, he accused the Grammys of pigeonholing him as a rapper because he is Black.

“The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black,” he said on Apple’s Beats 1 radio.

At the 2019 Grammys, Drake again vented his frustration that Black hip-hop artists are not always given their due.

“We play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” Drake said as he accepted his lone award for Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan.”

“This is a business where sometimes it is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say.”

Other top Black artists including The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Jay-Z have all slammed the Grammys as irrelevant in recent years, especially citing its failure to recognize Black artists.

Last month, Drake was sued for having “incited mayhem” after he participated in the closing 15 minutes of Travis Scott’s headline set at the Astroworld festival — well after authorities had declared an emergency.

The 64th Grammy Awards ceremony is due to take place in Los Angeles on January 31.

AFP

Death Toll In Texas Concert Tragedy Rises To Nine

File photo: Houston police chief Troy Finner speaks as Chief of the Houston Fire Department Sam Peña (2r), Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner (L) and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo (R) listen, at a press conference outside of the Wyndham Houston Hotel near NRG Park in Houston, Texas on November 6, 2021, the day after a concert accident killed 8 people. François Picard / AFP

 

A 22-year-old university student caught up in the crowd that rushed the stage at a rap concert in Texas last week has died of her injuries, her family said Thursday, raising the death toll from the incident to nine.

Bharti Shahani, who attended the Travis Scott concert at the Astroworld Festival with a sister and a cousin, had been comatose and on a ventilator since the tragedy on Friday in Houston. Hundreds of people were injured.

“I want my baby back,” her crying mother Karishma Shahani told journalists. “I won’t be able to live without her.”

“I think she lost oxygen for 10 minutes one time and seven minutes at another time,” the cousin, Mohit Bellani, told the local TV station ABC13.

Some 50,000 people jammed into the open-air venue, dancing and singing along with Scott but finding themselves increasingly crushed against barriers, unable to move and breathe as the mass pressed toward the stage.

Some fell and others tumbled on top of them, crushing the bodies beneath, and the density of the crowd closer to the stage made it hard to pick them up and evacuate them, attendees described.

“There were, like, layers of bodies on the ground, like two people thick. We were fighting to come up to the top and breathe to stay alive,” Bellani said.

A nine-year-old boy who was trampled in the crush is in a coma and fighting for his life.

At least 60 lawsuits have been announced singling out Scott and fellow singer Drake, who took to the stage in the final 15 minutes of the concert, well after authorities had declared an emergency.

AFP

Rappers Travis Scott, Drake Sued Over Deadly Texas Concert Crush

This combination of file pictures created on November 6, 2021 shows (L) US rapper Travis Scott arriving for the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, September 12, 2021 and (R) US rapper Drake attending the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series "Euphoria" at the Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood on June 4, 2019. Angela WEISS, Chris DELMAS / AFP
This combination of file pictures created on November 6, 2021 shows (L) US rapper Travis Scott arriving for the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, September 12, 2021 and (R) US rapper Drake attending the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series “Euphoria” at the Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood on June 4, 2019. Angela WEISS, Chris DELMAS / AFP

 

Rappers Travis Scott and Drake have been sued for having “incited mayhem” after eight people were killed and dozens injured in a crush during a Texas concert, a law firm confirmed on Sunday.

Texas firm Thomas J. Henry Law on Sunday tweeted a story published by the Daily Mail on the suit, confirming it had filed “one of the first lawsuits in Travis Scott Astroworld Festival tragedy.”

The plaintiff is 23-year-old concertgoer Kristian Paredes, who was one of those “severely injured” at the concert on the night of November 5.

Around 50,000 people were in the audience at Houston’s NRG Park when the crowd started pushing toward the stage as Scott was performing, triggering chaotic scenes.

READ ALSO: Amy Winehouse’s Last Concert Dress Sells For $243,200

Texas-resident Paredes, who is also suing concert organizers Live Nation and the venue, “felt an immediate push” at the front of the general admission section as Travis Scott got on stage, the complaint said.

“The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began,” it went on.

“Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored.”

The suit, filed in Houston’s Harris County court, claims Scott “had incited mayhem and chaos at prior events” and that “defendants knew or should have known of (Scott’s) prior conduct.”

The suit also accuses Canadian rap superstar Drake, who joined Scott’s headline set, of contributing to causing the surge toward the stage.

“As Drake came onstage alongside of Travis Scott he helped incite the crowd even though he knew of Travis Scott’s prior conduct,” the complaint charges.

He continued to perform even as the “crowd became out of control” and the “crowd mayhem continued,” it added.

Struggle to breathe

High-profile attorney Ben Crump announced Sunday he had also filed suit against Scott and Astroworld.

Crump specializes in civil rights and personal injury, and has represented clients including the families of victims of police violence George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

He and co-counsel Bob Hilliard filed suit Sunday on behalf of 21-year-old concertgoer Noah Gutierrez, who described “a scene of chaos and desperation.”

The lawyers said they expected to file suit on behalf of other concertgoers during the week.

“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced — the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying unsuccessfully to save them,” Crump and Hilliard said in the statement.

“We urge others who suffered physical or emotional injury or witnessed the events of that day to contact us.”

Survivors of the incident described chaotic scenes of people squeezed up against one another, with many struggling to breathe.

Scott, who launched the Astroworld music festival in 2018, reportedly halted his act several times when he saw fans in distress near the stage.

Authorities in Texas have opened a criminal investigation into the tragedy, involving both homicide and narcotics detectives, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters on Saturday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said authorities were looking at video footage and talking to witnesses, concert organizers and people who were hospitalized.

He told reporters on Saturday that the eight people killed were aged from 14 to 27, with one person’s age unknown.

The chaos also resulted in 25 people being transported to the hospital and more than 300 people being treated on the scene for minor injuries.

AFP

Drake Sets New Chart Record As ‘Toosie Slide’ Debuts At No. 1

File photo by AARON M. SPRECHER / AFP.

 

Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake took the top spot from The Weeknd as “Toosie Slide” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, setting a new record in the chart’s history.

The “Toosie Slide” artist is now officially the first male artist — and second overall act — to debut three songs atop the Billboard Hot 100 song chart.

“Toosie Slide” joins “God’s Plan,” which immediately landed at No. 1 when it was released back in February 2018, and “Nice for What,” which actually knocked “God’s Plan” off the top spot when it arrived in April of the same year.

Drake now finds himself in good company, matching Mariah Carey’s achievement of three No. 1 debuts on the Hot 100 between 1995 and 1997.

After knocking The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” from the top spot, Drake’s “Toosie Slide” also becomes the rapper’s seventh total No. 1 on the Hot 100. In addition to “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What,” his other chart-topping singles include “What’s My Name?” with Rihanna, “Work” (also with Rihanna), “One Dance” with WizKid & Kyla, and “In My Feelings.”

Drake also released a quarantine-themed music video for “Toosie Slide” in April in which he responsibly dons a mask.

“Toosie Slide” was released on April 3, 2020, through Republic and OVO. The song is titled after social media influencer Toosie who had previously helped the song go viral.

Spotify Declares Drake Most-Streamed Artist Of Decade

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 04, 2019, Executive Producer US rapper Drake attends the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series “Euphoria” at the Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood. 
Chris Delmas / AFP

 

As the 2010s winds to a close streaming titan Spotify announced Tuesday that poppy rap sensation Drake is the most globally streamed artist of the decade with more than 28 billion streams.

British crooner Ed Sheeran, hip hop warbler Post Malone, pop royalty Ariana Grande and rap iconoclast Eminem rounded out the top five most-streamed artists between 2010 and 2019, Spotify said.

Global hit machine Sheeran’s “Shape of You” won the top spot for the most streamed track of the decade with more than 2.3 billion streams, according to the data on more than 248 million worldwide users’ listening habits.

READ ALSO: Mariah Carey Wins Three Guinness World Records

Post Malone was 2019’s most-streamed artist with more than 6.5 billion, followed by Billie Eilish, whose haunting pop sound saw her win more than 6 billion streams.

Grande, Sheeran, and Latin trap innovator Bad Bunny formed the rest of the most-streamed class of artists of 2019.

“Senorita,” the sultry pop duet from real-life couple Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, was 2019’s most-streamed song, with more than one billion streams, closely trailed by Eilish’s smash “bad guy” that got more than 990 million streams.

Created in 2006, Spotify by 2010 was but a young start-up with less than a million paying subscribers — contrary to today’s 113 million.

The company’s rise to power — today counting 248 million monthly users, including paying and non-paying members — largely came on streaming’s growing dominance in the industry.

Fellow streaming giant YouTube has not published its top streamed videos of the decade — its top-viewed video remains the lilting Latin juggernaut “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, with over 6.5 billion.

AFP

Rapper Drake Launches Cannabis Brand

File photo by AARON M. SPRECHER / AFP shot July 20, 2017.

 

Rapper Drake has partnered with Canopy Growth on a new cannabis venture, the company announced Thursday, expanding the Canadian pot giant’s list of celebrity backers.

He joins Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg in partnering with Canopy Growth.

The new company, More Life Growth Company, will be based in Drake’s hometown of Toronto.

Drake will own 60 percent of the company, while Canopy will retain a 40-percent stake and distribution rights, and run its day-to-day operations.

“Drake’s perspective as a culture leader and entrepreneur combined with Canopy Growth’s breadth of cannabis knowledge will allow our new company to bring an unmatched cannabis experience to global markets,” Canopy chief executive Mark Zekulin said in a statement.

For his part, Drake called the business venture “really exciting.” “The idea of being able to build something special in an industry that is ever growing has been inspiring. More Life and More Blessing,” he said.

Comedians Rogen and Goldberg (“Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “This is the End”) launched Houseplant in March with Canopy Growth.

Rapper Snoop Dogg partnered with the Smith Falls, Ontario company in 2016 to create the brand “Leafs by Snoop” or LBS, while his friend and lifestyle guru Stewart plays an advisory role in the development of its CBD or cannabidiol products.

The World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars (Full List)

Kanye West becomes No. 1 earner for the first time in his career.JAMES DEVANEY/GC IMAGES, NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, JOHN PHILLIPS/GETTY IMAGES, JENNIFER GRAYLOCK/GETTY IMAGES, TAYLOR HILL/WIREIMAGE. DESIGN: NICK DESANTIS/FORBES

 

For the first time in his life, American rapper and fashion designer, Kanye West has been named the highest-paid hip-hop act in the world.

According to the latest Forbes World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars List, Kanye who is also a designer earned 50 million dollars in a year.

Kanye pushed down the ladder, Mogul JAY-Z who earned 81 million dollars and Drake who made 71 million dollars, leaving them in second and third place respectively.

In recent years the top spot have been coveted by JAY-Z who in 2007 got an ode from Kanye when the rapper released a song called “Big Brother”.

Those who made the top ten include Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino. The only female artists who made it into the top 20 are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who came in at number 12 and 13 slots respectively.

Nicki Minaj made 29 million dollars earnings, and Cardi B, the youngest to make the list at 26, raked in 28 million dollars in earnings.

READ ALSO: Tubaba Celebrates His Birthday With Big Brother Housemates

Below is the Full List of the World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars

20. Pitbull ($18 million)

19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)

18. Nas ($19 million)

17. Future ($19.5 million)

16. Birdman ($20 million)

15. Meek Mill ($21 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)

13. Cardi B ($28 million)

12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)

11. J. Cole ($31 million)

10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)

9. Migos ($36 million)

8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)

7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)

6. Eminem ($50 million)

5. Travis Scott ($58 million)

4. Diddy ($70 million)

3. Drake ($75 million)

2. Jay-Z ($81 million)

1. Kanye West ($150 million)

Kizz Daniel Tops Davido, Wizkid In Most Searched Lyrics In Nigeria

The lyrics to ‘One ticket’ by Nigerian Afro-pop rave of the moment, Kizz Daniel, is the most searched lyrics in Nigeria for 2018.

This is according to a 10-man Google Trends list published on Wednesday, December 12.

Google Trends is a report borne from analysis of popular search queries by language and region.

The report for Nigeria showed that ‘One Ticket’ beats the likes of Drake’s multi-award winning song ‘God’s Plan’ to clinch the topmost spot for most searched lyrics.

Kizz Daniel’s One Ticket was the first of a few other Nigerian lyrics that made it to the 2018 Google trends list.

READ ALSO: Google Trends: Top 10 Most Searched People In Nigeria For 2018

Below is the full list of the 2018 most searched lyrics in Nigeria, according to Google Trends.

1. One Ticket ( Kizz Daniel Ft. Davido)

2. God’s Plan (Drake)

3. In my feelings (Drake)

4. Fake Love (Duncan Mighty ft. Wizkid)

5. Assurance (Davido)

6. Nwa Baby (Davido)

7. Man’s Not Hot (Michael Dapaah)

8. Girls like you (Maroon 5)

9. Freaky Friday (Lil Dicky)

10. This is Nigeria (Falz)

The Google Trends list comes in diverse categories including most searched people, movies, news, sports and sporting events.

Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United came up tops in the list of most searched people in Nigeria for 2018, as well as the most searched sportsperson of the year.

In music, Wizkid’s ‘Fever’ came out tops in the most searched song of the year, while Black Panther secured the number one position for most searched movies.

Drake Smashes Streaming Record With New Album

File photo by AARON M. SPRECHER / AFP shot July 20, 2017.

 

Drake has smashed streaming records with his new album “Scorpion,” with Apple Music and Spotify both reporting unprecedented listenership in its first day.

Apple Music said on Instagram that the Canadian hip-hop superstar’s fifth studio album was streamed 170 million times in the 24 hours since its release Friday.

The worldwide figure is the highest ever reported by any streaming service for an album over one day and comes even though Apple Music significantly trails industry leader Spotify in total users.

Drake has a lengthy relationship with Apple, which heavily promoted “Scorpion.” The hotly anticipated album inexplicably appeared two hours late on Spotify.

But “Scorpion” also set a record on Spotify, which heavily featured the album after it went alive.

The site Spotify charts, which tracks listening data, said that Spotify users streamed the album’s 25 songs more than 132 million times over the first day.

The figures smash the previous record for one-day streaming — rapper Post Malone’s album “Beerbongs and Bentleys,” which was streamed just under 79 million times on Spotify on the first day of its release in April.

Streaming records are being frequently broken as growing numbers of listeners embrace Spotify, Apple Music and competitors such as Deezer and Tidal, which allow unlimited on-demand music.

Just days ago, the Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin surpassed Drake as the artist with the most regular monthly listeners on Spotify — but Drake quickly retook the crown with “Scorpion.”

Drake has found massive success releasing sprawling albums and mixtapes of danceable tracks online without consideration to physical formats.

“Scorpion” features a posthumous duet with Michael Jackson, a collaboration with rap great Jay-Z and an admission that Drake secretly had a son with Sophie Brussaux, a French actress in pornographic films.

Drake Announces New Album, Reigns On Singles Chart

FILE PHOTO Superstar Drake                                                                                                Credit: AFP

 

Hip-hop superstar Drake teased a new album Monday, all but certain to prove a major commercial success as he dethroned himself on top of the singles chart.

The Toronto artist posted on Instagram a picture of himself with his back to the camera sporting a jacket that read “Scorpion” and “June 2018.”

Drake, who separately put out a picture of a necklace with a scorpion pendant, did not reveal an exact release date or other details.

He has often played with the traditional album format, instead of putting out sprawling song collections marketed as mixtapes.

But one consistency in his prodigious output has been a commercial achievement.

His song “God’s Plan” topped the US singles chart for 11 weeks — until being dethroned Monday by another of his songs, “Nice for What.”

His latest song was streamed in the United States more than 60 million times and downloaded 88,000 times in the week through Thursday, tracking service Nielsen Music said.

Drake, 31, has roots as a rapper but has increasingly gone in a pop direction and incorporated the infectious beats of Jamaican dancehall, most notably on his hit “One Dance,” which is the second most-streamed song ever on Spotify.

AFP

[Photos] Drake, Naomi Campbell, Others Stun At NBA Awards

NBA star Malcolm Brogdon posing for pictures on red carpet with family

Former and current NBA stars attended the first-ever NBA Awards in New York on Monday night where categories at the evening event included rookie of the year, defensive player of the year and the coveted most valuable player of the year.

Bill Russell, who played in the league 1956-1969 was honored by his friend and fellow legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar while fans were able to vote in six categories; Dunk of the Year, Best Style, Block of the Year, Assist of the Year, Game Winner of the Year and Top Performance of the Year.

Celebrity fans of the game including Jada Pinkett Smith and Nick Cannon served as some of the a-list presenters.

The live show was hosted by rapper and basketball fan, Drake where New York Rapper Nicki Minaj provided the evening’s entertainment.

Basketball analyst Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and rapper Drake posing for pictures on red carpet
Model Naomi Campbell posing for pictures on red carpet
NBA star James Harden on red carpet
NBA star Draymond Green speaking to reporter
NBA star Enes Kanter posing for pictures on red carpet
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith posing for pictures
Entertainer Nick Cannon speaking to reporter
NBA commissioner Adam Silver posing for pictures on red carpet
NBA star Festus Ezeli posing for pictures on red carpet

 

Drake Breaks Adele’s Record At Billboard Awards

The Billboard Music Awards were held in Las Vegas on Sunday (May 21) and Drake topped Adele’s previous record of 12 Billboard wins in a single night, taking home 13 awards. Among his wins were Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Male Artist, and the night’s biggest honor, Top Artist.

Beyonce and Twenty One Pilots each took 5 awards, although they were absent from the ceremony, and The Chainsmokers earned four, including Top Collaboration and Top Song for their song with Halsey, “Closer.”

Blake Shelton took home the award for Top Country Artist, and Top Country Song went to Florida Georgia Line.

Other show highlights included Cher receiving the Icon Award for her life achievement in music.