When you’re a musician, inspiration can strike at any moment. You can be brushing your teeth, sitting on the john, eating a burrito, or doing all those things at once somehow, when suddenly, BAM! Inspiration jumps out and punches you in the face, forcing you to cut your awesome display of multitasking short to go sit at the keyboard and squeeze out a song. It can come from a half-forgotten dream, an incident on the bus the day before, or even the fact that you’re a thieving thief of the type that thieves.
Depending upon whom you ask, this isn’t even necessarily bad — it’s been said that virtually all
musicians indulge in a little light plagiarism from time to time, as the world’s supply of truly original melodies and lyrics are swiftly dwindling. But these are particularly egregious cases, with strangely different outcomes; some of the original artists were awarded songwriting credit, some settled out of court, and yet others sarcastically remarked “nice tune you’ve got there” while flipping the bird, unable to do much else.
The story of how worldwide dance smash “The Power” came to be is as convoluted as it gets, but here are the main beats. In 1989, a pair of German dance music producers known as Snap! put out a “Mega Mix” (a common practice at the time) consisting of the rhythm track from “King of the Beats” by Mantronix, a vocal hook from “Love’s Gonna Get You” by Jocelyn Brown, and two elements (a killer saxophone riff and the entire acapella vocal track) from the single “Let the Words Flow” by Queens rapper Chill Rob G. When Rob and his producer expressed irritation over this, Snap! pulled the vocal and recruited soundalike rapper Durron Butler (Turbo B) to record new verses, and this new version became an international smash hit.
Figuring that turnabout was fair play, Rob proceeded to swipe the entire instrumental track and release his own version of the song on tiny label Wild Pitch. Unfortunately, Snap! had signed a U.S. distribution deal with Arista, so their Frankenstein monster of a track effectively buried Rob’s version. So, just how hard did Rob get screwed? Setting aside the fact that you’ve never heard of him before now, consider that he reaped none of that sweet “The Power” cash, and also this: that instantly recognizable “it’s gettin’ kinda hectic” sample? That’s Rob’s voice, from his original song. Remember also that the Snap! version contains the line, “copywritten lyrics so they can’t be stolen,” which must trigger tiny nuclear explosions inside Rob’s head every time he hears it.
Although “Creep” was Radiohead’s breakout hit, the band has never been particularly fond of the song, even refusing to play it live for years on end . Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t fit very well thematically with the rest of the band’s catalog, or because it’s been covered an insane number of times in agonizingly earnest fashion by the likes of Moby and Korn. Lead singer Thom Yorke has famously referred to the song by the alternate title “Crap,” but perhaps that’s just the shame talking because the song’s composition is a blatant ripoff of an old song by the Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe.”
According to NME , it took Hollies songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood a while to catch on — but once they did, they were quick to haul the band into court for copyright infringement. It presumably wasn’t a lengthy hearing because the two songs’ chord progressions are obviously identical. Hammond and Hazelwood were awarded a cut of the Radiohead song’s royalties, and future pressings of Pablo Honey — the album on which “Creep” appears — credit them as co-songwriters. It was a cut-and-dried case until just recently, when British crooner Sam Smith decided to muddy the waters by ripping off “Creep” for his song “Midnight Train,” presumably in an attempt to get the Hollies’ and Radiohead’s lawyers to fight to the death.
Johnny Cash is a legend, and it’s impossible to overstate his contributions to country music. He famously played one of his signature tunes, “Folsom Prison Blues,” for an audience of inmates at the actual Folsom Prison, because he was just that badass. As immortalized in the biopic Walk the Line, “Folsom Prison Blues” is the tune that saw Cash turning away from traditional, gospel-tinged country, taking the genre into totally new territory with bleak lyrics about the hopelessness of prison life — but the flick conveniently left out the part where he ripped off the bulk of the song from an earlier recording.
That recording was Gordon Jenkins’ “Crescent City Blues,” which was released in 1953. The Los Angeles Times reported that Cash once explained to an interviewer that he wrote the song at a time when he “had no idea I would be a professional recording artist,” and that he “wasn’t trying to rip anybody off.” But even though the compositions are quite different, many of the lyrics — including the opening lines of each verse, among others — are identical. Cash went on to say that he eventually worked it out with Jenkins, and “everything was right” — but the reported $100,000 settlement Cash forked over probably helped a lot.
Guns N’ Roses
Former Australian Crawl lead singer James Reyne really doesn’t want to make a big deal about this, but fans have long been of the opinion that the Aussie band’s 1981 track “Unpublished Critics” was—how to put this most delicately—pilfered, plundered and thieved by Guns N’ Roses for their signature tune, “Sweet Child O Mine.” Reyne has claimed to have not been aware of the controversy until recently — “it just didn’t cross my radar because I was listening to other things,” he reportedly said — and Australian Crawl has never so much as threatened any legal action, which is odd. When you compare the tracks side by side, it sure seems like the similarities would be enough to make any lawyer worth their salt drown in a puddle of anticipatory drool.
As reported by VH-1 News, Reyne told an Australian blog that these similarities include “the same chugging chord progression, a similarly sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus,” which is exactly right, but he later expressed a disinclination to take on the Guns’ presumed army of lawyers, and that was that. At least there’s now a partial answer to the repeated query of “where do we go now?” which closes the Guns N’ Roses tune, and that answer is “not to court, thankfully.”
Everyone’s heard Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and everyone’s heard Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” but unless you’re a musician, it may have escaped you that the two songs’ rhythm sections are … quite similar. Upon the King of Pop’s death and subsequent ascension to Pop Heaven, a gaggle of celebrities told their MJ stories to Rolling Stone, and among the more interesting recollections was one from Daryl Hall, describing an interaction that took place during the recording of the star-studded benefit track “We Are the World.”
“He sort of clung to Diana Ross pretty much,” Hall recalled, “but at one point I was off to the side and he came over to me and said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I stole “Billie Jean” from you.'” Hall has told this story
more than once , and in every version he defers to King, sometimes adding the detail that he played it off by saying he didn’t see the similarity. Like many artists, Hall seems to subscribe to the idea that a certain amount of theft is normal — but at the very least, he’s got to be quietly smug about the fact that a little bass groove he came up with while screwing around in the studio formed the basis for not one, but two monster smash hit songs.
Ray Parker Jr.
If the name Ray Parker Jr. doesn’t immediately ring a bell, then we just have one question for you: Who ya gonna call? That’s right, you’re gonna call the Ghostbusters because Parker told you to in his signature hit from the original 1984 film. But it almost wasn’t to be; according to Rolling Stone, the movie’s producers had originally wanted Huey Lewis and the News to provide the soundtrack’s lead single, but Huey and the boys were already at work on the soundtrack to Back to the Future and had to decline. Fortunately, Parker was on hand to fill the big Huey Lewis-shaped hole in the soundtrack by writing a perfectly catchy tune ripped off nearly wholesale from “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis.
It took Lewis about 10 seconds to file a lawsuit upon hearing Parker’s song, but it took fully 10 years for the case to be resolved. The parties settled out of court in 1995, with a non-disclosure agreement preventing either of them from talking about the case, which Lewis totally ignored. In an episode of Behind the Music , he blabbed, “The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that wants something — they wanted our wave, and they wanted to buy it. … I suppose it was for sale, because, basically, they bought it.” Parker sued, and Lewis probably thought it was totally worth it.
In May 2013, pop songstress Katy Perry tweeted a supportive message to fellow singer Sara Bareilles: “I heart you,” it read (nice!) above a post of Bareilles new video “Brave” (super-nice for a megastar like Perry to give free publicity to a regular star of the non-mega variety). A few months passed, and in August of that year, Perry released the lead single from her new album Prism. You may have heard it — “Roar” ended up being the sixth-highest-selling single of 2013, and it sounds a whole hell of a lot like “Brave” (not so nice).
The Guardian reported that it took fans no time at all to begin mashing up the two songs, which was presumably about as easy as mashing up some mashed potatoes with more mashed potatoes. To add more thievery to the existing thievery, DJ Dillion Francis took to Twitter to complain loudly about the fact that one of the two videos for “Roar” — in which Perry texts the song’s lyrics throughout the day from a sped-up, first person point of view — took its concept from an earlier clip for one of his songs, ” Messages.” Perry never addressed either complaint, but Bareilles was insanely diplomatic when discussing the controversy with CBS News, saying, “I can’t say that I think that they don’t sound similar. … I’ve known Katy a really long time and we’re friends. And at the end of the day, it was really only good for my song.”
Even artists of the highest stature aren’t immune to the thievery bug, and few statures are higher than “ex-Beatle.” A prolific songwriter who was famously allowed only two songs per Beatles album, Harrison poured his backlog into the massive, three-album release All Things Must Pass after the band’s breakup. In November 1970, his single “My Sweet Lord” became the first solo release from a former Beatle to top the Billboard charts, which — in light of that stupid two-song rule — must have been pretty gratifying for Harrison. That is, until people began pointing out how very, obviously similar the song’s vocal line was to the Chiffons’ hit 1963 single “He’s So Fine.”
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, that tune’s publisher successfully sued Harrison in 1971. Harrison admitted that he was familiar with the song, but stated that any plagiarism was unintentional and was done “subconsciously” — and the judge agreed that this was probably true, while still stating flatly that “it is clear that ‘My Sweet Lord’ is the very same song as ‘He’s So Fine’ with different words.” Despite the clear-cut nature of the case, haggling over damages dragged on for an incredibly stupid 27 years, until 1998 — meaning Harrison’s heartfelt plea for a closer relationship with God instead had the effect of earning him a much, much closer relationship with his lawyers.
Coldplay’s breakthrough 2008 single “Viva La Vida” had only been out for a few months when sharp-eared fans began posting videos to YouTube, noting similarities between its melody and that of “If I Could Fly,” a 2004 instrumental by guitar god Joe Satriani. Satriani, who apparently surfs the hell out of YouTube between bouts of massive shredding, quickly took notice and filed suit.
Coldplay employed the “Gee whiz, beats me” defense, as
reported by MTV News. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music,” said the band’s official statement to the press, “they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him.”
Strange, then, that the case was promptly settled out of court with an undisclosed, sealed “stipulation,” which means that money changed hands between the two parties to settle the matter, and it probably wasn’t Satriani doing the paying, according to The Guardian . We’ll probably never know the details unless Satriani pulls a Huey Lewis and blabs about it to somebody, but it appears he might not have gotten that much. In a strange footnote, Yusuf Islam — formerly known as Cat Stevens — had made some noise prior to Satriani’s suit about similarities between “Viva La Vida” and his song “Foreigner Suite.” When asked by Rolling Stone if he was considering a lawsuit of his own, he deadpanned, “It depends on how well Satriani does.” Said lawsuit never materialized, so … apparently not that well.
There was a shameful time in our nation’s history when Rod Stewart strutting around in spandex to a disco beat, asking us all if we thought he was sexy, was considered to be an acceptable form of entertainment. Longtime fans of the musician’s more rocking work with the band Faces and as a solo artist collectively projectile-vomited as “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” roared to #1 in late 1979 — a development which was quickly noted by Brazilian singer Jorge Ben Jor, whose answer to the question was “No, but I think I have a pretty solid lawsuit.”
Indeed, the chorus — which, drummer Carmine Appice told Songfacts, is the only part of the song Stewart actually wrote, with his band handling the rest — contains the exact same melody as Jor’s Spanish-language tune “Taj Mahal,” and it wasn’t long until the lesser-known artist got all sue-y about it. Stewart quickly settled, agreeing to give proceeds from the song to children’s charity UNICEF, and claimed the George Harrison defense in his autobiography , saying, “Clearly the melody had lodged itself in my memory and then resurfaced. Unconscious plagiarism, plain and simple. I handed over the royalties … wondering whether ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ was partly cursed.” At least all that sexiness helped to feed needy children , which is a sentence you will almost certainly never read again.
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It sometimes feels like musicians can get away with anything. Justin Bieber can get arrested and still keep cranking out mediocre music. Ozzy Osbourne can bite the head off a bat and still land a mediocre reality show. Johnny Cash can publicly confess to shooting a man in Reno, just to watch him die , and still get to cut a record in Folsom Prison. Man, what would a musician have to do to get in some real trouble?
Depending on the musician in question, maybe not so much. While some can get away with near-murder, other crooners find themselves looking down the barrel of a ruined career just for having the wrong backup dancers. If you’re struggling with a hyper-successful music career and need to take the pressure off, take note. Any one of these could have you on food stamps faster than you can say “career suicide.” nt That Destroyed These Musicians’ Careers
When you’re a musician, inspiration can strike at any moment. You can be brushing your teeth, sitting on the john, eating a burrito, or doing all those things at once somehow, when suddenly, BAM! Inspiration jumps out and punches you in the face, forcing you to cut your awesome display of multitasking short to go sit at the keyboard and squeeze out a song. It can come from a half-forgotten dream, an incident on the bus the day before, or even the fact that you’re a thieving thief of the type that thieves.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. It’s an engineering philosophy that keeps bicycle horns off helicopters and
The Homer out of our car dealerships.
But what’s good for engineering isn’t necessarily conducive to successfully creating something as subjective as film. There’s a lot that can keep a director’s vision from making it to the big screen. Sometimes it’s studio interference or budgetary restrictions. Sometimes it turns out the director is farther down the eccentric side of the spectrum than the social contract can justify. For receipts on that last one, please see just about everything Orson Welles touched after Citizen Kane.
Luckily for the curious and fans of cinematic completionism, we live in a glorious age. An age when infinite variations of our favorite films can be accessed at the click of a mouse. And honestly, some of them are pretty killer.
Daredevil Director’s Cut
It was August 2013 when Ben Affleck was officially revealed as the new Batman , and the nerds of the world cried out as one. Their beef? Affleck had already had his shot at a beloved superhero franchise, and the results were … less than stellar .
Yes, 2003’s Daredevil came at a time before the worst thing you could say about a Marvel movie was that it was too watchable. It was a mishmash of cartoonishly over-the-top characters and a story without a human element. Oh, and Evanescence. So much Evanescence .
And then along came the director’s cut. It heaps on a pile of new footage. It develops the characters. It fulfills some sort of ancient prophecy by making a film better by adding more Coolio .
Aside from upping the relative grit factor, the unrated cut improves on the original by including a storyline about Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan trying to defend an innocent client in court. Utilizing an everyman character, especially one as charming as Favreau, makes the
movie (conservatively) 80 times better.
T2: Director’s Cut
Who knows why Hollywood took so long to trust James Cameron. Nowadays, he could pitch the heartwarming story of a gentleman pug fighting the kitty cat aristocracy, shoot the whole thing with hand puppets, and still make more money than the island nation of Vanuatu.
Still, there was a time when Cameron wasn’t a sure thing. The first Terminator picture made back five times its budget, but The Abyss underperformed . Combine that with a budget of over $100 million , and you can understand why the studio got skittish when Cameron’s first cut of Terminator 2 came in at over two and a half hours long.
Cameron was (rightly) pretty in love with the scenes he’d shot. He tried a lot of approaches to shorten the film without losing any scenes, at one point even experimenting with cutting one frame per second and hoping audiences wouldn’t notice. In the end, he trimmed half an hour of pretty remarkable stuff. There are sequences that turn the T-1000 into a surprisingly relatable movie monster and one fantastic scene where Sarah Connor performs brain surgery on Schwarzenegger that only gets more impressive when you find out how they did it. Seriously, check out the director’s cut. It’ll knock your socks off. Which is fine, because Arnold needs your clothes (and the keys to your motorcycle) anyway.
Television cut of Superman
The Infinity War memes. The billions in merchandising. The endless pedantic internet debates over whether DC or Marvel has the better cinematic universe. We have 1978’s Superman to thank for all of it.
The granddaddy of modern superhero movies,
Superman was an absolute cinematic milestone. Its special effects were revolutionary, its actors were iconic , and adjust its $55 million budget for inflation , it would be about $210 million today. The picture was epic in scope, especially considering that the comic book genre was relatively untested at the time.
The finished product is an undisputed classic (even with the flying around the world backward scene). But what a lot of fans might not know is just how much of the movie they haven’t actually seen. Back in 1982, ABC aired a three-hour cut of the blockbuster featuring a ton of new footage. It expands on Clark Kent’s upbringing and even shows off a bunch of unused shots of the seriously-you-guys-still-so-cool Krypton sets.
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
You’ve got to hand it to the producers of Superman –
they didn’t just want to make an unprecedented comic book movie. They wanted to make two. When production started on Superman, the plan was to shoot two movies at once: the original and Superman II. More than halfway through shooting the sequel, however, the studio put the film on hiatus, hoping to wrangle the increasingly eye-popping budget and hedge their bets.
Another factor in the decision to halt production? Director Richard Donner’s heated relationship with his producers, who he referred to with a less than polite nickname, according to Empire. They pulled him from the picture and hired Richard Lester to finish work on
The resulting picture was asymmetrical and wonky. Lester’s more comedic sensibilities shone through, detracting from the movie’s dramatic sequences, and fans were left wondering what Donner’s work would have looked like if he’d had the chance to finish.
In 2006, they got their answer: Richard Donner released a DVD cut of his original vision. It used nearly 30-year-old footage that had never seen the outside of the can, plus they used era-specific special effects to recreate action sequences that hadn’t been completed at the time. It’s a killer reexamination of ’80s filmmaking and a way cool look at what could have been.
Highlander 2: Renegade Version
Highlander was about as ’80s as a movie could get without printing its posters in the blood of Ronald Reagan. It had sword fights and an untenable romantic subplot and a soundtrack by Queen and that very specifically cultivated facial stubble that toed the line between style and homelessness. If that was your jam, chances are you were champing at the bit for a sequel.
And then you learned to be careful what you wished for. If Highlander was the cinematic representation of the ’80s, Highlander II: The Quickening was the storytelling equivalent of the hole in the ozone layer. The bad guys are aliens. The story from the first film might as well not have happened. A lot of this could have to do with the fact that production of the film was taken over by the company insuring it . A lot could also be put down to how much more delicious people found cocaine back then.
In 1995, director Richard Mulcahy released the not-at-all broishly named Renegade Cut , editing out some of the lamer aspects of the theatrical release and making
Highlander II (stay with us here) watchable. It’s a lot to try to believe, but give it a shot if you’re jonesing for more of that decapitation-driven storytelling. If you get nothing else out of it, the clip of Sean Connery saying “Just look at my splendid waistcoat!” makes for a solid new ringtone.
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Published from 1986 to 1987, the Watchmen graphic novel was considered by many to be unfilmable . Depending whom you ask about the 2009 adaptation, they may have been right.
Watchmen is one of those properties with such an avid fan base that it would be almost impossible to keep them all happy, but props to Zack Snyder for trying. His movie stays largely faithful to the comics, fitting about as much of a 400-plus page comic as you can into a nearly three-hour film.
But still, the fans cried foul. “More,” they shouted into a thousand comment sections. “Hold your horses,” said Snyder.
And then he put out Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut , a staggering 215-minute compilation of the director’s cut and an animated version of Tales of the Black Freighter, the comic’s famous play-within-a-play sequence. Only then, after countless hours of work and the addition of roughly 30 percent more movie, did Watchmen fans … still have a lot of problems with it . Still, it’s an amazing effort and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Demolition Man: The Pizza Cut
Was it Christopher Marlowe or Sting who first uttered the words “I’m a three-line whip, I’m the sort of thing they ban, I’m a walking disaster, I’m a demolition man”? Either way. Poetry.
Demolition Man is an absurd, beautiful movie that you would be right to go to your grave defending. It’s that perfect combination of surrealist satire and over-the-top action that keeps you off balance the whole time you’re watching it. It’s gold. It’s weird. It’s so weird that it can’t be improved upon.
Except maybe by adding more weird. Fans will remember that a chunk of the bizarre universe’s backstory is devoted to ” The Franchise Wars,” an unseen conflict between fast food chains that only Taco Bell survived. It’s such a good movie.
But when the movie released in Europe, an important point came up: Nobody on the other side of the pond knew what Taco Bell was. The solution? The European cut of the film digitally replaced all mentions of Taco Bell with Pizza Hut. And when the fast food chain was mentioned in dialogue, they redubbed the lines in a sloppy, slapdash fashion. It’s bonkers to watch and it adds +10 to the bananas factor of a movie that’s already stranger than those three seashells.
Waterworld Director’s Cut
Alright, Einstein, you try making Waterworld good. Even harder, try making it good by adding more Waterworld.
Impossible, you say? Yeah, that’s understandable.
Waterworld is pretty objectively unwatchable in its out-of-the-package, vanilla format. Kevin Costner’s dead-eyed performance is a bland totem for the film in general, which is only ever fun when Dennis Hopper shows up to get all outrageous.
And then along comes the extended cut and it rocks your world.
Be as skeptical as you want, but an additional 40 minutes and change of footage makes for a significantly more fun experience. Plot threads are expanded on and fleshed out. Characters have time to become characters. Relationships feel less arbitrary.
Originally broadcast as a two-night ABC television special, the extended version of the movie was released
on DVD in 2008 , and it’s worth checking out if you’ve been holding out hope for a more palatable way to dry land for the last 23 years. It’s not an easy thing to imagine, but it’s true: There’s a good version of
Waterworld. Life’s just crazy like that sometimes.
Nightbreed Director’s Cut
The ’90s weren’t kind to the horror genre, and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is a testament to that fact. It was
advertised poorly and hamstringed by studio mismanagement. What should have been marketed as a creature feature from the mind behind Hellraiser was instead sold to audiences as a run of the mill generic slasher flick, and the studio demanded that nearly an hour of the original cut be removed. And that’s how you get a bad movie, kids.
Luckily for fans of cult practical effects magic, there’s
the Cabal Cut, an extended edition with scenes compiled not only from the director’s cut, but also footage that was previously only seen in festival showings. The fact that some of the shots are still near-VHS quality adds a just-for-connoisseurs aesthetic to a cult classic. It’s the sort of movie that used to be passed around on a dinged-up video cassette to be watched with friends in blacklight-covered basements, and now you can see it without sitting in your buddy Kevin’s petrified Cheeto dust. It’s a great time to be alive.
R-Rated Supersized Anchorman 2
Anyone who’s watched a gag reel from one of the
Anchorman movies knows the scripts were sort of an afterthought. There was abounding goofiness on set, with the overarching philosophy leaning toward “have fun and we’ll figure it out later.”
Giving that sort of free reign to comedic icons like Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate and David Koechner meant a lot of brilliant stuff wound up on the cutting room floor, but a waste-not want-not attitude and a few dozen extra hours of editing brought us the
Supersized R-Rated Anchorman 2 . Featuring a difficult to verify 763 new jokes , this alternate cut is essentially a whole new movie. Some scenes have been altered, some replaced, and it features enough entirely new footage to keep you laughing 60 percent of the time, every time. Of special significance: Check out Champ’s explanation for why he got fired. It’s a symphony.
Blade Runner is the Mt. Everest of movies with more than one cut. Its scope is unimaginable, its reputation doubly so, and if you approach it from the wrong direction you’ll pass out.
Ridley Scott’s cyberpunk masterpiece has a long and storied history of being recut and re-released, with each revisiting adding more to the overall experience. The theatrical cut is pretty universally unbeloved, and for good reason. The studio added a voiceover by Harrison Ford to explain the plot, a move so ridiculous even Ford himself hated it . And that was the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t the Blade Runner we’ve all come to love. It’s
Blade Runner with a happy ending. What kind of a world is that?
Ten years later, the director’s cut became a cult classic, and 2007’s Final Cut is considered a masterpiece. But wait, there’s more.
According to the 2007 documentary Dangerous Days: Making of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott presented a cut of the film to studio executives that was almost four hours long. Tragically, it’s been lost to history here on Earth, but who knows? Maybe there’s a better life waiting for us offworld.
On Nov. 29, 2017, Americans woke up to the shocking news that Matt Lauer, a staple of the Today show for more than 20 years, had suddenly been fired by NBC News after the organization received a ” detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace .” The story has since unfolded in real time, leaving millions stunned and many more to wonder what exactly went down.
Here’s what we know so far. e Appalling Truth Behind Matt Lauer ‘s Firing
NBC News moved swiftly
News of Lauer’s firing broke via a memo written by NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, which was read at the top of the show by Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. In the
statement, Lack said the organization “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” on Nov. 27, 2017. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter said Lauer “was informed of the network’s decision late Tuesday night, before he went to bed.”
It may not have been an isolated incident
Lack noted in his memo that while it was “the first complaint about [Lauer’s] behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” the network was “also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” the statement said. “We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization–and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
The staff at NBC found out about it in real time
NBC staffers, even those who had anchored Today alongside Lauer for years, found out about his firing mere hours before they went on the air without him.
“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning,” a tearful Guthrie revealed after reading Lack’s memo (via Twitter ). “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. I will tell you right now: we don’t know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we’ll be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.”
“I’m still trying to process the news,” Al Roker confessed live on the air while trying to read the day’s weather report (via The New York Times. )
Colleagues were heartbroken by the news
The revelation that Lauer had allegedly committed sexually inappropriate behavior understandably left his former co-horts with mixed emotions.
“We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt–he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here,” Guthrie said after announcing his termination (via Twitter.) “And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Hoda Kotb–who filled in for Lauer at the last minute–also chimed in, saying, “It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day. We were both woken up with the news, kind of pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it–and it’ll take some time for that.”
He was allegedly being investigated
According to CNN, Lauer’s quick firing was likely catalyzed not only by the allegation from the unknown staffer but from rumblings that Lauer was being investigated by The New York Times and Variety. “Lack and other NBC News executives have known for weeks that damaging stories could be coming out soon,” CNN’s Stelter reported, mentioning tweets from Variety’s New York bureau chief, Ramin Setoodeh, that revealed the magazine had been investigating Lauer for months and had identified multiple alleged victims.
The news comes at a major turning point for Hollywood
Lauer is just the latest prominent celebrity to see his career crumble following accusations of sexual misconduct. Indeed, things have kicked into high gear ever since The New York Times reported in October 2017 that Hollywood studio mogul Harvey Weinstein had allegedly sexually harassed multiple women over decades, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and others.
Since then, a mountain of allegations have emerged about other famous Hollywood faces, including Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K. For many of the accused, the allegations have brought their careers to a screeching halt. In fact, about a week prior to Lauer’s firing, CBS News fired journalist Charlie Rose after eight women alleged he “had made crude sexual advances” towards them, according to The New York Times.
Lauer has yet to comment on the allegations or his firing, but don’t expect him to be reporting the news again anytime soon.
Even the president has chimed in
One person who has chimed in on the Lauer scandal: none other than avid tweeter and President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, who took it upon himself to once again accuse NBC of “fake news.”
“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,'” tweeted Trump, who has himself been accused of sexually harassing multiple women. “But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”
Trump then took it upon himself to go after his other perceived enemies in the press in a separate tweet : “So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”
Rumors of his cheating were rampant for years
Lauer has been married to wife Annette Roque for almost 20 years. However, sources told People his infidelity was an open secret in the industry.
“He regularly cheated on his wife,” one source said. “Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.” A
Today show staffer concurred, “Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife. That wasn’t a secret, but sexual [misconduct] is a shock.”
A former producer told Variety , “There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”
He allegedly targeted women during the Olympics
A source told Page Six that Lauer sexually harassed an NBC intern during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, allegedly sending inappropriate messages of a sexual nature, including a particularly incriminating photo. “There’s at least one picture [sent to her by Lauer] which was a major part of the evidence, which is why the firing came so quickly…my understanding was it was so damning that it was unquestionable whether or not he should be fired,” the source claimed.
Variety reported that this was a pattern for Lauer, who allegedly would invite young female staffers to his hotel rooms late at night during Olympic coverage over the years. The magazine also reported that Lauer’s wife may have joined him at the London Olympics because she didn’t trust him to travel without her.
Did he abuse his power on the set of Today?
Lauer’s alleged misconduct reportedly wasn’t limited to Olympic cities. According to a two-month investigation by Variety, he allegedly exposed himself to a female staffer in his office and chided her when she wouldn’t perform a sex act; he was accused of sending a vulgar gift to another staffer with a note describing how he wanted her to use it; and he played “F**k, Marry, Kill” with his colleagues and underlings. Sources accused him of engaging in sexual banter in the office regularly, making employees uncomfortable.
His office was designed for maximum privacy
Variety reported that Lauer was “paranoid” about tabloid reporters tracking his whereabouts and alleged affairs, so he apparently took matters into his own hands: His office within 30 Rockefeller Center was “in a secluded space,” and he had a button under his desk that he could use to lock his office door without having to get up out of his seat. Two women who Lauer allegedly sexually harassed claimed Lauer used these features to ensure that no one could walk in on him if he was up to no good.
Did everyone at NBC fear him?
Lauer had so much clout at NBC that both women and men allegedly feared him.
“Everybody at NBC knew about Matt Lauer’s sexually inappropriate behavior—and knew not to talk about it,” a former Today staffer told Page Six. “Women did complain about his behavior, and there were a lot of closed-door meetings before it was all brushed under the carpet.”
A current staffer alleged, “Matt’s sexual conquests were general office fodder. There was constant innuendo in the office about which woman had just had sex with Matt and which one would be next.” Another female staffer added, “They feared Matt. The last few years, as well as the many years before, Matt controlled all of the women on the show and had all the men bowing and scraping to him.”
Though NBC insiders told Page Six that past complaints were ignored, network leaders have gone on the record to deny those claims. “We can say unequivocally, that, prior to [Nov. 27, 2017,] current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct,” a
The Today musical may have dropped hints
In December 2014, a Today show musical ran on the show . Five minutes into the nearly 15-minute segment, an intern spills coffee on Lauer, who then removes and irons his pants. When female staffers walk in, a boxer shorts-clad Lauer tells them to “drink it in, ladies,” while the staffers reply, “Again Matt? That’s the third time this week!”
Of course, that might have just been an innocent joke at the time, but it now feels like no laughing matter.
He may not have treated his co-anchors respectfully
In 2012, Andy Cohen asked Lauer’s former
Today co-host Katie Couric what his most annoying habit was during their 15 years working together, and she quipped , “He pinches me on the a** a lot.”
In October 2006, when Lauer thought cameras weren’t rolling, he told co-anchor Meredith Vieira–who was bending over at the time–”Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.” That rather awkward soundbite was obtained by TMZ on Nov. 29, 2017.
Did he threaten to ruin women’s careers?
A source told Page Six that Lauer threatened to ruin women’s careers if they spoke out against his alleged sexual misconduct.
“For Matt, some women on the show were just a one-time thing, and he never spoke to them again. Other women he had affairs with. And others he just picked up and disposed of when he felt like it,” the insider told Page Six. “The most horrible thing was that he made it clear that if they ever spoke out or crossed him, they would be fired from the show, negative stories leaked about them, and their careers would be destroyed.”
Ann Curry spoke out
Ann Curry was a co-anchor of Today from 2011 to 2012, but bid a tearful farewell to the show, reportedly due to tensions with Lauer. When Lauer’s allegations made headlines, she did not speak specifically about his firing, but she did tell People: “I’m still processing it.”
Curry also talked about the bigger picture. “The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there,” she said. “And the battle lines are now clear. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe. Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves.”
Despite her own rumored issues with Lauer, Curry has maintained a classy composure. An insider told Us Weekly, “She has been very diplomatic when responding to people and isn’t relishing in it as people might think she should be. She has been getting so many phone calls that people can’t even get through.”
Some say his colleagues feigned surprise at his conduct
Some industry insiders claim Lauer’s conduct wasn’t news to anyone who worked with him.
“Our sources say [Lauer’s behavior] wasn’t even considered a secret,” Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh told CNN. “It was known by many employees at the Today show, including some employees that have gone on television and said publicly, ‘We had no idea.'”
A source told Page Six , “All the women on-air knew… Al Roker knew… It is insulting to see the pretend shock on the faces of the people at Today after Lauer was fired. This is just theatrics.”
“I don’t know what everyone is so surprised by,” a high-level industry insider told Vanity Fair. “This has been going on for months and months and everybody knew it and it was just going to be which girl came forward, and who reported it first.”
He didn’t fight his firing
An insider told Page Six that part of why Lauer took his firing so well is because he knew he couldn’t refute the allegations. “The girl had a high-power attorney and so everyone knew if NBC didn’t make a decision and push it out quick, they would have arranged for a sit-down interview with a competitor [and the messages could be made public],” a source said. “Matt took the news well once he realized he was in a corner. He was very apologetic.”
More allegations have surfaced
A former NBC employee, who began working at the network in the late 1990s, told The New York Times that Lauer sexually assaulted her in 2001. The alleged victim claimed Lauer often made inappropriate sexual comments to her, which escalated when he asked her to his office one day. Lauer allegedly told the woman to unbutton her shirt, then proceeded to pull her pants down. The woman claimed she blacked out and that when she woke up, Lauer told his assistant to take her to a nurse. The alleged victim said she didn’t report the incident at the time for fear of losing her job, but that she left NBC on her own a year later.
The New York Times also reported claimed that NBC had received “at least two new complaints” about Lauer since his firing, including the one mentioned above.
He had to be edited out of the Christmas tree lighting
If the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting special that aired on NBC on Nov. 29, 2017, seemed a bit awkward, there’s a reason for that. A source told Page Six that NBC had to edit Lauer out of pre-taped segments of the annual holiday program less than 24 hours before the tree lighting ceremony began.
He spoke out
On Nov. 30, 2017, Lauer released a statement responding to the sexual misconduct allegations that led to his firing.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said (via Variety). “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
He continued, “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
His ex-wife is standing by him
Lauer’s ex-wife, television producer Nancy Alspaugh, to whom he was married from 1981 to 1988, isn’t turning her back on him despite the allegations.
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” Alspaugh told Entertainment Tonight . “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done—that would have been so out of character for him—that would have caused that reaction… I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way.”
Alspaugh said she reached out to Lauer but had not heard back. She also claimed that she contacted him previously when a reporter supposedly contacted her to let her know that a bombshell story about her ex was in the works. “When I called him, he thanked me…and he said of course none of it was true,” she said.
“As time goes on here, people should be aware there’s a family involved here,” Alspaugh said. “There are three children… I think it’s important to be aware that this can destroy a family. Reporting on accusations before they know whether they’re real or not.”
He wants a sweet severance
Lauer, who made $20 million a year hosting
Today, still had a year and a half left on his contract when his was fired. His attorneys are reportedly looking to cash in on that time. Lauer is said to be eyeing a $30 million “golden parachute,” but due to morality clauses in his contract, that may not end well for him.
A source told Page Six , “There is no way Matt is getting paid. There has been an irrevocable breach of Matt’s contract, there is a moral clause that says if he brings the company into disrepute—which he clearly has—NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract.”
Megyn Kelly may be gunning for his job
Now that Lauer is out, sources told Page Six that Megyn Kelly wants his job.
She’s been quick to call him out for his behavior. Kelly told a crowd at the Business Insider Ignition Conference on Nov. 29, 2017 (via Page Six), “Let me tell you, if a woman came to me at NBC News and said this has happened to me… A.) I would advise her on what to do and B.) I would work it behind the scenes, even if I had to go into the boss’ office and say, ‘Here’s a name, go investigate, you have to do some sort of looking. I’m not going to tell you who reported it. I don’t have to.'”
Kelly added, “I think powerful women need to be there for less powerful women so they can grow into powerful women, so they’re not scared out of the workforce or effectively shoved out.”
Craig Melvin may replace him, but it’s anybody’s game
No one is sure who’s in line to replace Lauer, and some sources claim that’s exactly what Lauer wanted during his tenure at NBC. A source told Entertainment Tonight that there have been whispers that MSNBC Live anchor and Saturday Today host Craig Melvin may be in the running, noting that it would be a “clean slate” for the network.
Insiders told Page Six that they aren’t exactly sure what the backup plan is, because Lauer deliberately left NBC without a Plan B for his exit, driving away talent like David Gregory, Josh Elliott, and Willie Geist who may have been in the running.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place,” a source told Page Six . “And now NBC is paying the price.” An insider
also told the site , “The bigger picture is, how do you have a $500 million franchise with no heir? There were always women lined up to replace women, but all the men disappear? You have no possible successor? Comcast allowed Matt to destroy anyone who came close to success there. [There is] not one male successor.”
He wasn’t the only staffer accused of harassment
Lauer may not have been alone in his bad behavior. Insiders told Variety that Lauer’s favorite talent booker at Today , Matt Zimmerman, was accused of sexual misconduct, with sources alleging that he pushed senior male employees out of the show’s ranks and replaced them with younger women. He is also accused of pursuing relationships with multiple female staffers and of sending inappropriate late night texts. Zimmerman was fired from his position this week.
NBC is having an internal review of how it handled the allegations
After Lauer’s firing, Variety reported that NBC and NBC News are launching internal investigations into their handling of sexual harassment claims.
“A team of the most experienced NBCUniversal Legal and Human Resources leaders have begun a thorough and timely review of what happened and what we can do to build a culture of greater transparency, openness and respect for each other,” Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, said in a memo to staffers (obtained by
Variety). “At the conclusion of the review we will share what we’ve learned, no matter how painful, and act on it … we saw that when an employee comes forward to report misconduct, the system works. The complaint is quickly assessed and meaningful action is taken. But we also learned that we must do a much better job of making people feel empowered to take that crucial first step of reporting bad behavior.”
Ratings are up
Despite the drama behind the scenes at
Today, ratings are better post-Lauer firing than they’ve been in a while. Variety reported that in light of the chaos surrounding Lauer’s exit, Today was the No. 1 morning news show for the first time in three months, beating rival
Good Morning America.
He disappeared from social media
Variety reported that almost immediately after Lauer’s firing, NBC wiped their one-time poster boy off almost all of their online media, including NBCNews.com, Today.com, and all of the network’s social media channels. What’s more, Lauer’s own social media presence has also disappeared: Fox News pointed out that Lauer’s own Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts had all been quietly deactivated after his termination from Today .
His colleagues roasted him about his conduct
Though many of Lauer’s colleagues denied any knowledge of his alleged sexual misconduct, many of them had a good chuckle about it at a private roast of the anchor in 2008. Fox News reported that
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough talked about the roast on air in December 2017, telling the audience, “The whole theme [of the roast] was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees. So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”
The Village Voice reported at the time that many of the jokes at the roast revolved around Lauer’s Lothario reputation, while a media executive in the audience at the event told Fox News, “This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes. You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness. They all knew.”
Some of his colleagues refuse to believe the allegations
Not all of the women with whom Lauer has worked believe this misconduct accusations levied against him. An anonymous, female former Today show colleague told People, “He is weak and broken and ashamed by his own admission … He is human, and he is flawed. But is he going to use his power to be a predator on women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I just can’t believe it.” The colleague added, “The reason people are so upset and people are crying on our staff, which is like 80 percent women, is because he was really loved and treated people really well, and it’s shocking to think that there could be this side.”
Another colleague told People, “This is the head of the show, and he was doing good deeds behind the doors. People would say, ‘Go to Matt.’ He would pay off people’s bills. His driver passed, and he paid for all his funeral bills so the family wouldn’t have to.” The source added that when a crew member’s wife had a tumor, “They were trying to get a laptop for her so she could do something during chemo. Matt bought the laptop and told them to keep all the money they raised for medical bills.” The source praised Lauer’s work ethic, gushing, “He never stopped prepping and following up and working hard as hard as he climbed. He treated the security guard the same as he would treat a CEO.”
He may have left NBC soon on his own accord
A source told People that Lauer was contemplating retiring from Today long before he was fired. “I think he’ll retire. He should anyway. He had made his money and said all he wanted to do is be with the kids and golf. He wanted to run away and live with the money he had made and be with his family. This is definitely not the way he wanted to go out, but I don’t think he feels the need to be on air like some people, doing specials. I think he’ll have a quiet life and go golfing a ton.”
His marriage is pretty much over
Page Six reported just after Lauer’s scandal broke that he and wife Annette Roque had been living apart for years — and that Roque only withdrew her 2006 divorce petition because Lauer offered her $5 million to stay in the marriage and preserve his squeaky-clean public profile. “Matt needed to stay in the marriage to keep his reputation as America’s nicest dad,” a source said. “He is in fact a great, and very doting dad to his kids, but he is also a terrible husband.”
What’s more, Roque’s father told The Daily Mail, “I have no words for her husband. What he has done is bad. Everybody feels betrayed … She is not going to stay with him and work it out. They are not together trying to work it out.”
After a more than 20-year hiatus, Roseanne returned to our television screens in March 2018. While we were ecstatic to see the entire Conner family back together again — including matriarch Roseanne ( Roseanne Barr), father Dan (John Goodman), and Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) — many viewers were more fixated on the love story of Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and David (Johnny Galecki ).
After the Season 9 finale aired in 1997, viewers were stunned when Roseanne revealed that Darlene and David’s Season 8 wedding was just a figment of her imagination, and that Darlene was actually married to David’s brother, Mark, while her sister Becky was dating David. But when the
reboot debuted, viewers breathed a sigh of relief when the show’s creator’s ditched the relationship switcheroos and reunited Darlene with her true love.
As gleefully delighted as we were to learn that Darlene and David’s marriage was still chugging along, the revival dropped a bombshell that things were far from picture-perfect for the couple. So what’s really going on between Darlene and David in the new season of Roseanne ? Let’s discuss.
Their romantic backstory
When viewers first met David Healy, he was actually introduced as Kevin , but that’s a story for another day. He was the brother of Mark — Becky’s gritty and rough-around-the-edges boyfriend. David was portrayed as the antithesis of his brother — he was sweet, caring, and had the patience of a saint. Darlene definitely wore the pants in their relationship, thanks to the headstrong and domineering personality she likely acquired from Roseanne. But despite being completely different from one another, Darlene and David’s differences showed that opposites really can attract.
After a few ups and downs in their relationship, including some tough breakups, the couple reconnected and Darlene became pregnant with their daughter, Harris. They decided to solidify their relationship by getting married in a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony that took place in Season 8. The day went off without a hitch — oh, except for Dan keeling over from an apparent heart attack.
Now that we know that their marriage really
did happen and it wasn’t just a chapter in Roseanne’s memoir, how did Darlene go from a blushing bride to a…
Single, unemployed mom
Episode 1 of the Roseanne revival attempts to tie up the loose ends from Season 9 and reintroduce the cast to diehard fans and new viewers. It doesn’t take long to realize that the couple — with two beautiful heads of perfectly untamed hair, might we add — is officially on the outs.
Darlene and her two kids move back into her parents’ home under the guise that she’s there to lend a helping hand, but Roseanne discovers the truth after checking the mail. “Your severance check got forwarded here. You lost your job, right?” Roseanne asks. Darlene is forced to admit she’s unemployed and also divulges some insight about her relationship status. “I got two kids, I’ve got no partner, so I just came home,” she says.
What we love about Roseanne is that it discusses real-life problems that many people can relate to. But Darlene and David’s broken marriage is something we’re having a hard time with and, sadly, there’s a strong possibility a reconciliation won’t be happening in Season 10. We’ll get to that in a bit.
They’ve been separated for years
Darlene is going through some major turmoil as the cracks in her marriage begin to show, and it doesn’t help that David is still reeling from the death of his brother Mark – played by actor Glenn Quinn who died from a possible drug overdose in 2002. This sounds like a ton of emotional baggage for a couple who was once insanely in love with each other, right?
Well, as it turns out, Darlene and David’s marriage is even more jacked up than we could’ve ever imagined. During a March 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter , the program’s showrunner, Bruce Helford, said, “Darlene and David have been separated for six years or so.” Um, excuse us. Did you say six years?!
Not only that, but David has been gone with the wind and relatively MIA from Darlene and their kids’ lives. It really pains us to call him a deadbeat, but…
Is David an absentee father?
Darlene gives birth to their daughter, Harris, in Season 9, and during the time the Conners were away from the camera lens, the couple had another child, Mark, who was named after David’s late brother. Naturally, this leads to questions about David’s relationship with his children.
Showrunner Bruce Helford told The Hollywood Reporter, “[David] has only seen the kids a few times when they were living in Chicago… David comes back into that mix and raises a lot of emotional issues for all of them.”
So what the heck has David been up to? Viewers will be left in the dark until the April 17, 2018 episode. “David unexpectedly shows up for Harris’ birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family,” an ABC show synopsis reads (via UPI ).
Those who hope his appearance will lead to a reconciliation shouldn’t hold their breaths. Galecki had prior commitments on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, so he was only able to film one episode for the Roseanne reboot. And considering what we know about the state of David and Darlene’s marriage, it’s going to take more than one 30-minute episode for them to repair their union.
Season 12 of The Big Bang Theory may be its last, and since Roseanne was renewed for its own Season 11, this potentially frees up Galecki to reprise his role and right his wrongs, which is something he’d be up for, he told Deadline.
They have a ‘gender creative’ child
One surprising twist in the iconic series is David and Darlene’s child, Mark (Ames McNamara ), who identifies as “gender creative.”
“Here’s the thing, you are weird. I’m weird, this whole family’s really weird,” Darlene tells Mark. “So you just got to hang in there until people figure out that weird is cool.”
Mark’s character isn’t without controversy, though. The child has received mixed reactions from the rest of the Conner household and with some viewers who’ve bashed the character’s feminine attire and jewelry. “Mark’s just a normal kid,” McNamara told Good Morning America . “He likes to do art, he likes playing basketball and wearing girls’ clothes is just a small part of Mark.”
As one of many shows that addressed LGBT issues during its heyday, is it really a surprise that one of Roseanne’s cast member’s identifies as non-binary? Not at all. However, Darlene has already displayed how much she loves and accepts Mark, but we’re excited to see if David’s one-episode appearance will also explore his thoughts about Mark’s gender identity.
He’s moved on, and her name is Blue
In Season 10 Episode 5, David finally makes his grand debut after being separated from his wife and kids for six years. After climbing up the Conner’s two-story house and slipping through Darlene’s window, he tells his estranged wife that he’s finally moving back to their hometown of Lanford, Ill.
Darlene’s excitement about David getting an apartment of his own to be closer to their children, Harris and Mark, turns into shock when he reveals that he’s also having a fling with a woman named Blue. Yeah, how dare he.
“I’ve learned so much from her. I realized I was in denial,” he says (via USA Today). “I thought Harris and Mark were better off without me, and then I realized how unfair it is to you, not to give you a divorce, so you could have some closure.”
’80s classic rock band Cinderella said it best: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” because as soon as David reveals that he’s moved on, it charges up Darlene’s emotions. She pounces on her childhood sweetheart and surprises him with a tender smooch.
They end up spending the night together in her old bedroom after deciding to give their marriage another shot. When David asks her, “What am I gonna tell Blue?” Darlene responds, “Tell her she has a stupid name.” Yas, queen.
The grief was too much
It’s odd seeing David as the bad guy, especially since we’ve always known him as Darlene’s rock — a sweet and loving person despite his turbulent upbringing. But time hasn’t been kind to David, and one traumatic event apparently pushed him over the edge, according to Vulture .
After popping back into their lives just in time for their daughter Harris’ birthday, David tries to explain his absence to Darlene. He rattles off a bunch of excuses, such as his gig building houses for poor people in “third-world countries” that kept him away from his family. He then briefly touches on the subject of his deceased brother. Although he doesn’t reveal how Mark passed away, he mentions that the grief was so overwhelming, it caused him to bail on his family obligations.
At this point, David isn’t looking like a good match for Darlene at all, but at least he’s open to being present in his kids’ lives, no?
She’d rather co-parent
After re-consummating their marriage in Season 10 Episode 5, David is all gung-ho about showing up to his daughter’s birthday party. Darlene suggests she speak to her parents first and clear the air about their reconciliation. David agrees and leaves, but he promises to return later that night for the birthday festivities.
After chatting with her sister, Becky, and her mom, Roseanne — who surprisingly has kept in contact with David and even knows about Blue — Darlene decides to pump the brakes on the reconciliation, reported Vulture.
When David returns to the house, complete with a gift in hand for Harris, Darlene gives him the bad news. “We’re delusional if we think we can make each other happy,” she tells him. “We’re gonna fight, you’re gonna run, and we’re gonna break the kids’ hearts.”
David pleads with her to give things another chance. “You’re the first person I loved, and I still love you” he says.
“I love you, too. And if was just us, I swear I would keep doing this over and over again, even if it never worked. But it’s not just us,” Darlene replies.
And just like that, David and his scruffy beard are gone again. Will he keep his plans to move back to Lanford? Will Darlene change her mind? Future episodes will hopefully bring us some more clarity about these two and their strained relationship.
Rumors were floating around for months that Khloé Kardashian was expecting a baby with Cleveland Cavaliers pro baller Tristan Thompson. The two finally put the speculation to rest in December 2017, when they posed for a black and white photo that displayed Kardashian’s baby bump in all its glory.
The Instagram caption read: “I know we’ve been keeping this quiet but we wanted to enjoy this between our family and close friends as long as we could privately,” said the Keeping up with the Kardashians star. “Thank you all for understanding. I am so thankful, excited, nervous, eager, overjoyed and scared all in one!”
Kardashian’s fans were ecstatic for her, knowing how much she desperately wanted to become a mother. That dream came true in April 2018, when Kardashian welcomed baby girl True Thompson. Unfortunately, the magical moment was tainted by a firestorm of fresh relationship controversy involving her baby’s daddy.
We wish this family nothing but the best, but we’re still a bit concerned for the bundle of joy. Here’s why we’re worried about Khloé Kardashian’s baby.
Pregnancy health scare
Every pregnancy is different, and each journey to motherhood can face its own set of complications. It was reportedly smooth sailing for the first few months of Kardashian’s pregnancy, and she was also one of the lucky moms-to-be who wasn’t plagued by morning sickness, according to a source for Us Weekly. However, as the weeks passed by, the Good Denim frontwoman dealt with a scary health issue on an episode of
KUWTK (via Us Weekly).
In the episode, Kardashian is lying on a couch, unable to move and in intense pain. “Literally, I like can’t walk,” she tells her sisters. Sister Kourtney Kardashian suggests they contact Khloe’s doctor for advice, and the footage hints at complications.
Khloé apparently bounced back, and instead of taking things easy to prevent future problems, she raised eyebrows during the final weeks of her pregnancy by hopping on a plane to jet set across the globe (more on that in a minute.)
Is she next in line to get dumped?
Relationships don’t always work out, and perhaps it’s best for partners to go their separate ways instead of staying in a bad situation. This is allegedly what happened in Tristan Thompson’s previous relationship with model Jordan Craig , who is the mother of his son, Prince Oliver. He reportedly left her high and dry to hook up with Khloé Kardashian … if you believe the tabloid fodder , of course.
Craig gave birth to Prince in December 2016, but according to E! News, the rumor mill is pointing homewrecker fingers at Kardashian, who supposedly started dating Thompson when Craig was still pregnant. Newsweek speculated that Thompson abandoned Craig and his unborn son to hobnob with the reality star.
Whatever the case may be, Craig’s Instagram shows that she’s committed to raising their child well, and she has never spoken out about the demise of her relationship nor pointed fingers at Kardashian.
Though it’s clear both Craig and Thompson have moved on, that doesn’t negate the fact that Kardashian’s fans wonder if history will repeat itself. Could Kardashian become the the next baby mama Thompson leaves in the dust? It’s not looking good — keep reading.
Did he miss the birth of his first child?
TMZ revealed that Thompson’s name was left off of his son’s birth certificate. According to
TMZ, in the state of California (where Craig gave birth), “the father has to be present at the hospital in order to be named on the initial birth certificate. However, it’s possible to add the name later.” This led many to speculate that the baller wasn’t present for the birth of his first child.
While everyone was up in arms about the possibility of Thompson being MIA on such an important day, X17 Online snapped photos of him and Kardashian exiting a private jet just days before the baby was born. The website claimed Kardashian had chartered the jet from Cleveland to Los Angeles “so [Thompson] could witness the birth of his first child,” although there were no paparazzi photos captured of Thompson at the hospital.
It’s possible that Thompson was on hand for his son’s birth but did not sign the birth certificate for other reasons. However, all the speculation isn’t boding well for Kardashian’s beau. Let’s recap: There are rumors that he abandoned his ex-girlfriend while she was pregnant, and that rumor was followed by questions about whether or not he was present for his son’s birth. We can only hope that raising a child with Kardashian will put discussions about his aptitude for parenting to rest.
Did she put her baby at risk?
The internet threw itself into a tizzy when Khloé Kardashian joined her sisters, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, on an overseas trip to Tokyo, Japan. She was eight months pregnant at the time of their excursion, which totally looked like a leisurely vacation rather than a business trip. It didn’t appear to be a trip she
had to take, but Khloé went, nonetheless.
As photos from their vacation flooded their social media accounts, the Kardashians’ followers couldn’t believe their eyes. Some wondered why the mother-to-be would even risk traveling so far away while in her third trimester.
In response to the backlash, Khloé crafted a
tweet that read: “I’m allowed to travel according to my dr. Of course, before our flight, I took all precautions and got my body checked from my dr and I’m completely healthy. I wouldn’t put my baby at risk in any way.”
We want to believe she took the necessary steps to ensure her trip was safe for her and her unborn child. However, considering her
own show touted some sort of scary pregnancy complication, many folks weren’t convinced that traveling overseas so late in the game was the right decision.
Things are moving really fast. Too fast?
Many of Khloé Kardashian’s failed relationships have played out in the public eye, including her December 2016 divorce from basketball star Lamar Odom. We’re all rooting for Kardashian to finally find her happily ever after with Tristan Thompson, yet we can’t ignore how quickly their relationship developed.
According to a timeline posted by Us Weekly, the couple’s romance began in August 2016, and they made their first public appearance at rapper Flo Rida’s birthday party in September of that year. Judging by that timeline, Kardashian was pregnant months before their one-year anniversary.
We’re not suggesting you need to know someone for X amount of time before you decide to have a baby together. Thompson and Kardashian have likely spent plenty of time bonding. A source close to the star told
People, “She loves spending every day with Tristan.” She also moved into his home in Cleveland so they could spend even more time together, according to her blog . The couple had plans to rent a second home together in Los Angeles, as well.
That said, this relationship appears to have unfold at lightning speed, and we hope they can keep up with the acceleration that comes from raising a child. In August 2017, Kardashian acknowledged as much, telling the Daily Mail , “We’re still in a new relationship and I love us having time together. Once you have kids you can’t get back your non-kid years.”
First comes love, then comes the baby carriage. Marriage can wait.
Even though Khloé Kardashian’s sister, Kim Kardashian, tied the knot with rapper Kanye West not long after the 2013 birth of their daughter, North, fans shouldn’t expect the same for Khloé and Tristan Thompson.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres , Khloé said, “I’m not in a rush for [marriage] … As you know, I’ve rushed quite a few things before, so right now I’m so loving the place I am in my life and I’m just very happy with how things are going.”
We applaud her for taking her time to allow this relationship to develop, but some see her views on marriage as an oxymoron. She isn’t looking to rush into things, but many see parenthood as an even bigger responsibility than becoming husband and wife. Not only that, while she admits to loving the pace of her relationship with Thompson, it contradicts rumors that she’s ready to settle down. So what’s the truth? We may never know.
Do they have ‘explosive’ fights?
In April 2017, Hollywood Life detailed “explosive fights” that have allegedly threatened to tear Thompson and Kardashian apart. A source told the site, “Their relationship is super passionate, so yeah, when they fight, they really fight.” The insider also noted that they usually “make-up again pretty quickly.”
The source claimed uncertainty about the future is usually the catalyst for the couple’s rows. “It drives Khloé crazy that Tristan won’t commit, that’s a real bug bear for her,” the insider said.
As Thompson focuses on his NBA career, Kardashian has reportedly tried to remain supportive, but if these two want different things in the long-term, this could be a tough relationship to maintain. Whether these two live happily ever after or eventually part ways and co-parent, it’s going to be very important that their child grows up in a stable environment with parents who can work out their differences in a healthy manner.
Lastly, this isn’t the first time reports about the couple’s differing views on commitment have made headlines. Where’s there’s smoke, there’s usually fire…
He has a nasty reputation
Kardashian and Thompson gave the appearance of being head-over-heels in love with one another, but the rumor mill long believed there was trouble in paradise.
According to a source for InTouch (via
YourTango), “Khloé is unhappy about the fact that Tristan is still friendly with [his ex,] Jordan Craig.” And Craig isn’t the only woman who’s allegedly catching Thompson’s eye. The insider also claimed Thompson “acts like a single man” and “flirts like crazy.” The source claimed Kardashian “cries all night, doesn’t leave the house and now she’s vowing to raise the baby alone.”
Tabloid reports about their rocky relationship differ from the way Kardashian and Thompson have publicly gushed about their love. “I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in and it doesn’t take a ring for me to feel that way,” she told You (via E! News). Thompson has been less vocal, but he did post a sweet birthday tribute to Kardashian in June 2017. His Instagram caption read: “Let’s continue to build more memories and cherish them with each other. God bless you, I love you.”
Only time will tell if this romance survives after baby makes three, particularly considering the shocking turn of events that erupted in April 2018, just days before Kardashian gave birth…
A cheating scandal just days before giving birth
As Khloé Kardashian enjoyed the last few days of her pregnancy and prepared for the birth of her first child, news spread that Tristan Thompson had been caught cheating on her at a Manhattan, N.Y. hotspot called PH-D. The incident reportedly went down on April 7, 2018, ahead of his team’s matchup against the New York Knicks, the Daily Mail reported.
The salacious photos and videos allegedly shows Thompson and an unidentified woman engaging in a steamy make-out session. The man’s face is obscured by a hooded sweatshirt, so we can’t tell for sure if its him, but it sure looks like him.
With Kardashian reportedly holed up in their Cleveland home in anticipation of the birth of their baby, we hate to think he was misbehaving behind her back. Whether he’s guilty or innocent, Kardashian’s fans have already reached a verdict, leaving countless snake, poop, and middle finger emojis in the comments section of his Instagram account.
Is she ready to duke it out?
Once Thompson’s skeletons came tumbling out of his closet and his history of alleged cheating was exposed, Radar Online reported it was likely he had been hooking up with other women behind Kardashian’s back for “nearly their entire relationship.” Since Kardashian was pregnant at the time the videos and photos of his philandering ways were uncovered, it only made the situation a million times worse.
“She is crying non-stop … he just broke her heart,” an insider told Radar . The unnamed source also claimed Kardashian was so “devastated” about the allegations that she was ready to get “full legal and primary custody of her daughter… Also, she’s made up her mind to leave Cleveland following the birth, which her family and mom Kris is thankful for.”
Even though we would never condone cheating, perhaps Kardashian is letting raw emotion get the best of her. The source stated the reality star “wants nothing to do with him for the rest of her life and, as of right now, she does not want her baby to even know him at all.”
Thompson may be in the dog house, but if he wants to play an active role in his child’s life, is it a wise idea to banish him? We’re hoping things don’t get too messy for the baby’s sake.
Did he lie about their relationship?
After announcing her pregnancy in a December 2017 Instagram post, Kardashian posed for various maternity photo shoots and went on a brief media tour to discuss her love for Thompson and their unborn baby.
“He’s so great just during pregnancy and he makes me more excited too,” she told The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
But while Kardashian was elated, Thompson’s attention may have been elsewhere. TMZ dropped a bombshell in April 2018 when it released dated footage from October of that previous year that showed the basketball player getting hot and heavy with two women at a hookah lounge outside of Washington D.C. In the surveillance video, Thompson is seen kissing one of the women and rubbing his face in another woman’s bosom. Yeah, gross. And according to reports, Kardashian would have been three months pregnant at the time the footage was captured.
One of the women in the video footage told the TMZ “she had no idea he was serious with Khloé Kardashian … much less that she was having his baby.” Say what?
We can understand if the woman was unaware about Kardashian’s unborn baby, especially since the reality star’s pregnancy announcement came two months after Thompson’s Washington D.C. romp, but c’mon, everyone on the planet knew she and Thompson were an item. That begs the question: Did he downplay his relationship status so he could get a little bit of action on the side? We’re not psychic, but all signs point to yes.
Did his alleged cheating push her into early labor?
After facing the disappointing news that her baby daddy was allegedly having a whole lot of fun with other women, TMZ reported that Kardashian began “having early contractions” on April 11, 2018 — her due date was reportedly in late April. Although the Good Denim maven was in her third trimester of pregnancy at the time the news was released, the website pointed out that “it may not be a coincidence [the contractions] happened just hours after videos surfaced of Tristan hooking up with other women.”
The very next day, TMZ reported that Kardashian’s little girl made her debut around 4 a.m. April 12, 2018. Mom Kris Jenner, sisters Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, and bestie Malika Haqq were all in Ohio to support Khloé, the tab reported. Guess who else was supposedly there?
That’s right, Thompson.
Time will tell how this dynamic evolves, but we wish the little one and all those who love her the very best.
Custody could get complicated
Kardashian announced the birth of her baby girl on April 16, 2018 via an Instagram post that read, “Our little girl, True Thompson, has completely stolen our hearts and we are overwhelmed with LOVE. Such a blessing to welcome this angel into the family! Mommy and Daddy loooooove you True!”
Naturally, some of her social media followers couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of the newborn, who Kardashian’s sister, Kim, described as “gorgeous” in a tweet . Others were more concerned about a potential custody tug of war and what that could mean for the allegedly embattled couple.
Hollywood Life did some digging into custody laws in the state of Ohio, which is where Kardashian relocated to live with Thompson and where she gave birth. According to a statement provided by a Cleveland-based attorney, “If a child is born to unmarried parents, then under Ohio law, the mother has sole custody. It is then up to the father to file with the court to establish paternity, custody/shared-parenting, and/or visitation rights.”
Ruh-roh. Things aren’t looking good for Thompson at all.
All of this may sound like a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo to most, but since an innocent baby is involved, we hope a lengthy court battle isn’t on the horizon. We’ll cross our fingers that these two can put their emotions aside and keep True’s best interests in mind.
Baby True is ready for her close-up
Just days after joining the world, baby True also joined Instagram. Bible it!
The Instagram account (which probably has more followers than you, BTW) didn’t have any pictures posted at the time of this writing, but considering how this family operates, it shouldn’t be long before a flood of adorable baby selfies inundate the profile.
This isn’t the first time a celebrity has created a personal account for their baby, but we’re really confuddled by the timing. With various cheating rumors floating around, talk about a custody battle, and the apparent turmoil that’s shrouding Kardashian and Thompson’s relationship, one might think launching an Instagram profile for their new baby would be the last thing on their to-do list.
Then again, this is the Kardashians we’re talking about. Being in the spotlight is basically a requirement for all members of their family, so we can’t say we’re completely shocked that True is already staking her claim online. That said, a newborn’s social media debut definitely could have waited until the dust settled.
Her baby may never meet Caitlyn
Khloé Kardashian’s drama with Tristan Thompson isn’t the only source of internal tension in this new mama’s life. There are also important questions about her relationship with Caitlyn Jenner.
Here’s some background: When Khloé’s father, Robert Kardashian Sr. , passed away in 2013, her mother’s new husband, Bruce Jenner, became a parental figure to the reality star. However, their bond has been strained ever since Jenner announced she would be living life as Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman.
During her pregnancy, Khloé told the UK morning show Lorraine (via Us Weekly) that having a baby would not affect “anything with Caitlyn.” Her statement seems to suggest that Khloé doesn’t anticipate patching things up with Caitlyn, who lobbed some major allegations against members of the family in her 2017 memoir, The Secrets of My Life (via Cosmopolitan ).
While speaking to a crowd in November 2017 (via Us Weekly ), Caitlyn described just how bad things had become among the divided family members. “To be honest, I don’t talk to them anymore … They don’t want me in their lives, they bashed me pretty badly. It’s devastating when your kids do that. It really hurt. I don’t know what the future holds. We will see.”
For the baby’s sake, we’ll cross our fingers that Caitlyn and Khloé can make amends.
How she can turn things around
If motherhood becomes too stressful, Khloé Kardashian has a lot of people she can call on for advice, including her sisters and her mom. Even her brother, Rob Kardashian, could probably step in and offer some pointers. Her big family has plenty of parenthood experience, so we’re sure they’ll be willing to step in and help Khloé with late-night feedings, diaper changes, and babysitting duties.
Even Khloé’s ex-husband seems to think she’ll be a wonderful mom. “I know if she can take care of a grown man for four years — the way she took care of me — yeah, I know she can take care of a baby,” Lamar Odom told Access Hollywood.
So despite our worries, we still have high hopes that things will turn out just fine for Khloé and her wonderful baby girl .
Rock legend Jim Rodford died Jan. 20, 2018. He was 76 years old. Rodford was a founding member of the band Argent and the bassist for The Kinks and The Zombies.
Rodford’s cousin and longtime bandmate, Rod Argent, announced on The Zombies’ Facebook page: “It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning that my dear cousin and lifelong friend, Jim Rodford, died this morning after a fall on the stairs. More details are not yet known about the exact cause of death … When Colin [Blunstone] and I put together our second incarnation in late 1999, our first phone call was to Jim. He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy for eighteen years, and our gratitude is beyond measure.”
The statement continued, “To the end, Jim’s life was dedicated to music. He was unfailingly committed to local music … Colin and I would compare notes a couple of days immediately after a U.S. tour and discuss how long it would take us to recover from an intense, fantastic but exhausting couple of months — only to find out and marvel that Jim had already been out playing with local bands … Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody. When Colin and I, shocked and hardly able to talk, shared the news this morning, Colin said, ‘I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him.’ He will be unbelievably missed.”
Temptations singer Dennis Edwards passed away at age 74 on Feb. 1, 2018, reported Variety.
Edwards replaced original lead singer, David Ruffin, in 1968. Edwards brought his signature gospel style to the lead vocals on some of the group’s most memorable later-career hits, including ” Just My Imagination ,” “Cloud Nine,” ” Shakey Ground,” ” Ball of Confusion,” ” Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Psychedelic Shack,” and ” I Can’t Get Next to You.” He split from the group in 1977, but rejoined a decade later. In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations.
According to the Chicago Tribune , Edwards died from complications from meningitis — and was allegedly abused leading up to his death. Court documents from an adult protective services investigator reportedly show that Edwards’ wife, Brenda, was accused of abusing the singer, leading the crooner to obtain an emergency protective order against her. She denied the claims.
Edwards is survived by Brenda, as well as a daughter from his previous marriage to Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters.
John Mahoney, most famous for playing down-to-earth dad Martin Crane on Frasier, died Feb. 4, 2018, while in hospice care, reported Variety. He was 77 years old.
Mahoney was born in England and came to the United States when he was 19. He taught English at Western Illinois University before joining the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble in his late 30s.
Mahoney’s career began in theater in his native England, then took to film with roles in now-classic films including Moonstruck (1987), Say Anything (1989), In the Line of Fire (1993), and The American President (1995). Before his star turn in Frasier in 1993, Mahoney appeared in the show’s predecessor, Cheers (though not in the same role,) and in 3rd Rock from the Sun . He received a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Emmy nods, and two Golden Globe nominations for his role as Frasier Crane’s blue-collar dad. Mahoney also won a Tony Award in 1986 for his role in The House of Blue Leaves on Broadway.
His most recent roles prior to his passing were as Roy, Betty White’s love interest, on
Hot in Cleveland from 2011 to 2014, and as a tormented CEO seeking therapy in In Treatment in 2009.
Mahoney never married and had no children, but in a touching tribute, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer said in a statement to Variety, “He was my father. I loved him.”
Actor and musician Mickey Jones died Feb. 7, 2018, following a long but unspecified illness, his rep told Variety. He was 76 years old.
Jones’ career as a character actor began in 1971 in the television comedy Rollin’ on the River, which led to a slew of small roles in a ton of movies , including Total Recall (1990) and recurring roles on Hot Rod , Justified , and
Home Improvement , in which he played Tim Allen’s friend, Peter Bilker. Jones’ catchphrase, “That would be me,” became the title of his 2009 autobiography, That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor to Hollywood Actor.
Jones’ most recent work included roles in J.K. Simmons’ Growing up Fisher and
Newsreaders. In addition to his acting career, Jones was also a prolific drummer, playing on albums by Trini Lopez and Johnny Rivers and touring with Bob Dylan and Kenny Rogers.
Reg E. Cathey
Reg E. Cathey passed away Feb. 9, 2018, at 59 years old after a battle with lung cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
Cathey’s biggest roles were on television: He starred as Martin Querns on Oz from 2000 to 2003, as reporter-turned-politician Norman Wilson on The Wire from 2006 to 2008, as Barry K. Word in Lights Out in 2011, as Barry Querns on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2008 to 2013, as Detective Julius Bonner on Banshee in 2014, as Uncle Bobby in The Divide, as Freddy, a restaurant owner who gets a job in the White House in House of Cards from 2013 to 2016, and as Chief Giles on Outcast from 2016 to 2017.
His movie work included roles in the Fantastic Four reboot (2015), St. Vincent (2014),
S.W.A.T. (2003), Pootie Tang (2001),
American Psycho (2000), Se7en (1995),
Airheads (1994), Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Mask (1994), What About Bob? (1991), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
Famous for his rich, deep voice, Cathey told The Guardian in 2016, “What I did notice is that Barack Obama becomes president and suddenly black people who are well-spoken are working more. This new market for the well-spoken black actor is all due to Obama. He got inaugurated, and I started working like a fiend — hired by the same people who would previously ask: ‘Have you always spoken like that?’ It’s like, ‘You know what, motherf**kers? Yes, I have.'”
Actor John Gavin died Feb. 9, 2018 at 86 years old.
Before acting, Gavin graduated from Stanford and served in the Navy in the Korean War before finally giving in to a family friend who urged him to take a screen test. His breakout parts included a sympathetic German soldier in the World War II drama A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) and as Steve Archer in
Imitation of Life (1959). His most famous roles were that of Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho (1960), and as Julius Caesar in Spartacus (1960). He was almost cast as James Bond and even signed a contract for Diamonds are Forever (1971) until producers hired Sean Connery instead.
He soon transitioned to television roles, reported Variety. “When I walked through the gate, Universal quit building actors … Some of those early roles were unactable,” Gavin said. “Even Laurence Olivier couldn’t have done anything with them. The dialogue ran to cardboard passages such as ‘I love you. You can rely on me darling. I’ll wait.’ It was all I could do to keep from adding, ‘with egg on my face.'”
Gavin served on the board of the Screen Actors Guild, including as president from 1971 to 1973. He considered running for Senate as a Republican in 1991.
Comedian Marty Allen died from complications from pneumonia on Feb. 12, 2018, The Associated Press reported. He was 95 years old.
After serving in World War II, Allen’s comedy career began in 1950. He rose to notoriety when he partnered with Steve Allen for the duo Allen & Rossi. The pair performed on The Ed Sullivan Show a whopping 44 times, including the episode during which The Beatles made their U.S. TV debut. He and Allen split in 1968, but would continue to perform together occasionally throughout the 1990s.
Allen made hundreds of television appearances through the 1970s and 1980s, with credits ranging from game shows such as Hollywood Squares to serious roles in daytime dramas such as The Big Valley.
In 1984, Allen married Karon Kate Blackwell, with whom he performed a musical comedy act on tours throughout the United States for more than 30 years — they even had sold out performances as recently as 2015.
David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers, who starred as nobby surgeon Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester II on M*A*S*H , died March 3, 2018. He was 75 years old. According to Variety, Stiers suffered from bladder cancer leading up to his passing.
An Oregon native who studied acting at Juilliard, Stiers earned two Emmy nominations for his most famous role as Winchester, and a third for his performance in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (1984). His Broadway debuts were in three simultaneous plays in 1973.
Stiers served as the narrator and voice of Cogsworth in Disney’s animated smash
Beauty and the Beast (1991), Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas (1995), the archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and Dr. Jumba Jookiba in Lilo & Stitch (2002).
He starred in eight Perry Mason TV movies from 1986 through 1988, and had small roles in Woody Allen films Shadows and Fog (1991), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).
Stiers came out as gay in 2009, admitting he’d waited because his income came from mostly family-friendly fare. The same year, he began stage acting again.
Stiers most recently appeared in The Regular Show from 2011 to 2016.
His M*A*S*H co-star Lorena Swit said in a statement, “He was an extraordinary person, a gifted actor, phenomenal musician, and my sweet, dear shy friend … Working with him was an adventure. He was exceptional. I’m hurting. We all are.”
Rapper Craig Mack died March 12, 2018 at 46 years old, reported the New York Daily News. Mack was one of the first artists signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records and was nominated for a Grammy for his signature track, 1994’s ” Flava in Ya Ear .” Mack reportedly suffered from heart failure.
Fellow Bad Boy artist DJ Scratch claimed on Instagram that he was “the only famous person” at Mack’s memorial, but that may not have been deliberate.
He wrote, “When I left Craig’s memorial service I called @Diddy to thank him for giving Craig the platform for the world to know Craig Mack’s music. I told him I just left the service, he said, ‘They buried Craig already, what service are you talking about?!?’ He didn’t know about the memorial service. @diddy offered to pay for Craig Mack’s funeral, but the religious community Craig was in declined. None of his friends or colleagues were allowed to attend his funeral. Diddy respected their wishes. Craig was immediately buried on the property where he lived. Yesterday’s service was a memorial for Craig’s friends in NY & for fans to attend thrown by Craig’s childhood friend Alvin Toney.”
Legendary stage actor Sammy Williams passed away March 17, 2018 at 69 years old. A family spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams had been battling cancer.
Williams won a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical in 1976 in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line , in which he played Paul San Marco, a Puerto Rican performer coming to terms with his homosexuality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role of San Marco was partially based on Williams’ own real-life experiences as a gay man, combined with elements from the life of author Nicholas Dante. He won an Obie Award for the role in 1975, per Broadway .com .
Apart from A Chorus Line, which was, incredibly, Williams’ first speaking role on a stage, he also had small parts in Applause and The Happy Time. He later became a choreographer and director in Los Angeles, most recently appearing in the Ahmanson’s Theatre production of Follies in 2012.
DuShon Monique Brown
Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown died March 23, 2018 at just 49 years old. The Chicago Tribune reported that her cause of death was not disclosed but was rumored to be from a heart attack.
Brown starred as Connie, the no-nonsense assistant to Chief Boden, on the series. Prior to her work on the NBC hit, Brown had a recurring role as Nurse Katie Welch on Prison Break and guest roles in Shameless and
Empire. Before breaking out in showbiz, Brown was a school counselor and had a background in social work.
“The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own,” executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon’s family and we will all miss her.”
Brown’s co-star, Yuri Sardarov, who plays Otis on the series, launched a GoFundMe account after her passing. “We are shocked, and will miss her immensely. She is survived by her daughter, and fiancé,” the page reads. “Despite her visibility and involvement in a television show, DuShon was not a salaried actor. She had a full time job as a Chicago Public Schools counselor. Please join us in offering DuShon and family support during this very difficult time. Your generosity will help fund the cost of funeral arrangements and other financial burdens that her family must shoulder.”
K-Pop star Seo Minwoo of boyband 100 Percent died March 25, 2018 at only 33 years old, according to The Guardian. The singer was reportedly found unresponsive in his home and pronounced dead by first responders. He suspected cause of death is cardiac arrest.
Minwoo was the lead singer of the group, which originated in 2012. He took a sabbatical from performing in 2014 to perform his government-required military service but returned to the group upon completing his obligations. Minwoo also dabbled in stage acting in productions including The King And I, as well as movie and television roles.
Minwoo’s 100 Percent bandmate, Woo Changbum, paid tribute to Minwoo in an Instagram post after his passing. “May the souls of the deceased refrain,” Changbum wrote ( translated from Korean). “I hope you are comfortable in the sky. I want you to be a bright star and shine this world.”
R. Lee Ermey
R. Lee Ermey, famous for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of drill gunnery sergeant “Gunny” Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket died April 15, 2018, at the age of 74.
Ermey’s manager said in a statement on Twitter that the actor passed away from complications from pneumonia.
According to his biography, Ermey was a Vietnam War veteran, having spent 11 years in the Marines — two of which he spent as a drill instructor. After retiring from the military in 1971, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and studied drama at the University of Manila in the Philippines. Francis Ford Coppola was filming 1979’s Apocalypse Now nearby at the time and cast Ermey as a helicopter pilot.
Ermey’s career went on to span nearly 40 years, with roles in films including Se7en,
Dead Man Walking, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , and as the toy soldiers’ Army Sarge in the Toy Story franchise.
In 2002, Ermey became the first retiree in the history of the Marines to receive an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant.
Steven Bochco, the legendary producer behind television series such as Doogie Howser, M.D. ; NYPD Blue , L.A. Law, and Hill Street Blues, died April 1, 2018. He was 74 years old.
Bochco had been suffering from a relatively rare form of leukemia called blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm for years. Along with chemotherapy, he credited a stem cell transplant he received in 2014 for prolonging his life significantly, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
Throughout Bochco’s career, he was nominated for 30 Emmys, winning 10 of them. He collaborated with the likes of Steven Spielberg, with whom he worked when he wrote for TV series Columbo.
“Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of Columbo in 1971 that he wrote and I directed,” Spielberg told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “We have supported and inspired each other ever since, and through many deep mutual friendships we have stayed connected for 47 years. I will miss Steve terribly.”
Night Court star Harry Anderson passed away in his sleep at 65 years old on April 16, 2018.
TMZ reported that Anderson’s wife, Elizabeth, found him unresponsive in their home. She told emergency personnel that Anderson had suffered from strokes, as well as a battle with the flu, in the months leading up to his death.
In addition to starring as judge Harry Stone on the NBC hit show , Anderson was also an accomplished comedian and magician, and he received numerous tributes from other stars upon their learning of his passing.
Neil Patrick Harris, who practices magic in addition to his work as an actor, revealed on Twitter that Anderson had recently sold him some magic memorabilia, while David Copperfield posted a tribute that included a photo with the three-card Monte that Anderson once used in his performances. Comedian and actor Paul Reiser reminisced on traveling to New Jersey with the former comic for $40 gigs.
Anderson’s Night Court co-star John Larroquette tweeted: “…Out in the cosmos tonight, with his fedora at a rakish angle and a ‘watch this’ wink to us, he’s coaxing whoever might be out there with him: ‘Pick a card. Any card.'”
Swedish DJ and producer Avicii died April 20, 2018 at just 28 years old. The EDM superstar, born Tim Bergling, was most famous for his hits ” Levels ,” ” Wake Me Up ,” ” Hey Brother ,” and ” Fade Into Darkness .”
Bergling suffered from some serious medical issues in the final years of his all-too-short life, including acute pancreatitis, which he told Time magazine in 2013 was caused by excessive drinking. As a result, the DJ reportedly quit drinking entirely, but his health issues continued, and in 2014, he had his gallbladder and appendix removed.
By 2016, Avicii had retired from touring completely, citing not just his physical, but also his mental health as reasons to step back from live performances. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was something I had to do for my health. The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me … I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy.”
TMZ reported that the DJ was found dead in Muscat, Oman, where he’d been staying at a luxury resort. To date, the circumstances surrounding his passing remain unclear.
Verne Troyer passed away April 21, 2018. He was just 49 years old. To date, his exact cause of death is unknown, but it’s suspected that his death be connected to an alleged suicide attempt from earlier that month.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” stated an announcement on the actor’s Facebook page. “Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
Troyer, who stood at 2 feet, 9 inches, was born with achondroplasia dwarfism — a condition in which cartilage won’t properly convert to bones, most often in the long bones in arms and legs, resulting in small limbs.
Troyer was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, though he has more than 50 acting credits from the silver and small screen. Austin Powers star Mike Myers honored Troyer with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter : “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
In 2018, we’ve already bid farewell to screen legends, music icons, and more. From The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, to
House of Cards Emmy-winner Reg E. Cathey, plus rappers Fredo Santana and Craig Mack and legendary stage actor Sammy Williams, blues great Denise LaSalle, and many more. Join us as we take a look at these artists’ early works — Did you know
Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown worked as a school counselor and actor John Gavin servied in the Korean war? We’ll reflect on their history-making performances, discuss the circumstances surrounding their deaths, and hear what their colleagues had to say about their passing.
Here are the stars we sadly said goodbye to this year.
Jon Paul Steuer
Former child actor Jon Paul Steuer, who starred as Quentin Kelly on Grace Under Fire and as Lt. Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko, on Star Trek: The Next Generation , died Jan. 1, 2018 at just 33 years old.
Steuer quit acting after the cancellation of
Grace Under Fire amid controversy surrounding the behavior of co-star Brett Butler, reported Variety. Steuer lived in Portland, Ore. and owned a vegan restaurant in the city called Harvest on the Bindery.
He was the lead singer of a band called P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., who confirmed his untimely passing on Facebook . The band said, “The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did. He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet.”
Jerry Van Dyke
Jerry Van Dyke, younger brother of TV legend Dick Van Dyke, died Jan. 5, 2018 at 86 years old from heart failure, according to The New York Times . Jerry’s wife, Shirley Ann Jones, said Jerry’s health had begun to worsen following a car accident in 2015.
Jerry got his start with guest appearances on
The Dick Van Dyke Show and became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Judy Garland Show as a comedian. Far from riding his big brother’s coattails, Jerry was an Emmy nominated actor in his own right, earning four nods for his role of assistant coach Luther Van Dam on Coach from 1989 to 1997. After Coach ended, Jerry made regular guest appearances on television shows including My Name Is Earl , The Middle,
Yes Dear , and Raising Hope.
Canadian character actor Donnelly Rhodes passed away at 80 years old on Jan. 8, 2018, while in hospice care for a battle with cancer,
Rhodes became an actor after training for the Canadian National Park Service and serving as an airman-mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
His most famous roles were dopey escaped convict Dutch in Soap from 1978 to 1981 and Dr. Cottle in the original Battlestar Galactica. Rhodes also appeared on TV shows Mister Ed, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Cheers, Taxi ,
The Golden Girls, The X-Files , The L Word ,
Smallville, and The Golden Girls, as well as the movie Tron: Legacy (2010). tar Galactica – Laura Asks Cottle For A Favor
Singer Denise LaSalle died Jan. 8, 2018 at 78 years old after suffering health issues for several months, which included the amputation of her right leg after a fall,
LaSalle was born Ora Denise Allen in Sidon, Miss. She began using a stage name when she moved to Chicago to sing R&B as a teenager. She later transitioned to blues and founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues in 1986. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tenn. in 2011.
Jason Wayne Miller
Jason Wayne Miller, famous for playing Salami Sam in Heavyweights (1995), died in his sleep on Jan. 9, 2018, at home in Chicago,
TMZ reported. He was just 36 years old.
Heavyweights (1995) writer and producer Judd Apatow told Page Six that “being around Joe Miller was pure joy. We could not have loved spending time with him more. He made everyone around him so happy. What a terrible loss.”
Co-star Aaron Schwartz, who played Gerald Garner in the film, told the site, “Joe always brought the fun to the set. He was one of those people you always wanted to be around. So sad. So young. Rest In Peace Joe.” Watch out for Salami Sam !
‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke
Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke died Jan. 10, 2018, at age 67. Clarke was the last surviving founding member of the classic metal band.
The band announced his death on its Facebook page: “We are devastated to pass on the news … Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”
Former Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee, who is currently a member of the Scorpions, wrote in a statement, “Oh my f**king God, this is terrible news, the last of the three amigos. I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape, so this is a complete shock. Me and Eddie always hit it off great. I was looking forward to seeing him in the UK this summer when we around with the Scorps.” Dee continued, “Now Lem and Philthy can jam with Eddie again, and if you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear them, so watch out!”
Fellow founding member Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister died from cancer in December 2015, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor passed away that fall.
Bobby Zarin, husband of The Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin, died Jan. 13, 2018. He was 71 years old.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer,” Jill wrote in a statement on her website . “There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone, for all your love and support during this difficult time.”
Bobby was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2009. It returned and spread to his brain in November 2016.
Jill posted a tribute to Bobby the day after his passing, writing on Instagram, “Rest in Peace my love. Words cannot express the hole in my heart. Bobby taught me what true and deep love is. Thank you my love for sharing your life with me … for raising Allyson as if she was your own, being an amazing father and grandfather and teaching me how to be a better person. You inspire those around you to be the best they can be … I will never forget you … your legacy lives on through your beautiful children and grandchildren. I will continue to raise money and awareness for ITOG (International Thyroid Oncology Group) so maybe this won’t happen to the next guy who draws the proverbial short straw. I will continue to honor you and make you proud. You taught me so many lessons.”
Dolores O’Riordan , frontwoman of The Cranberries, died Jan. 15, 2018 at age 46.
Her publicist said O’Riordan was in London for a short recording session, but released no further details, according to Ireland’s The Journal. The U.K. coroner told The Associated Press she was found dead in her hotel room in London and that her passing was “unsuspicious,” meaning there was no foul play.
O’Riordan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after an altercation at an airport in 2014, reported The Telegraph . She later told The Telegraph that her mental health issues (including depression, an eating disorder, and an attempted overdose in 2012) stemmed from sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
O’Riordan’s boyfriend of two years, D.A.R.K. musician Olé Koretsky, wrote in a statement: “My friend, partner, and the love of my life is gone. My heart is broken and it is beyond repair. Dolores is beautiful … The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable. I am lost. I miss her so much.”
Actress Olivia Cole, who won an Emmy for her role as Mathilda George in Roots (1977), died Jan. 19, 2018, at 75 years old, reported Deadline . Aside from her iconic role in Roots (1977), Cole also earned an Emmy nomination as Maggie Rogers in Backstairs at the White House (1979).
Cole’s other notable works included The Women of Brewster Place (1989) opposite Oprah Winfrey, Coming Home (1978), Some Kind of Hero (1982) with Richard Pryor, Go Tell it on the Mountain (1984), First Sunday (2008), Guiding Light , L.A. Law, and Murder, She Wrote .
Comedian Bob Smith died Jan. 20, 2018, after a battle with ALS. He was 59 years old. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Smith was also the first openly gay comic to perform an HBO half-hour special.
In addition to performing stand-up comedy, Smith was also an acclaimed writer, penning several novels, as well as three essay collections, including LAMBDA Book Award winner Openly Bob in 1997 and LAMBDA Book Award nominee Way to Go, Smith in 1999. His final book of essays, Treehab: Tales from My Natural Wild Life, was published in 2016 during his battle with ALS. He penned the entire collection with his one functional hand using an iPad.
Connie Sawyer, Hollywood’s oldest working actress, died at 105 years old on Jan. 22, 2018, Deadline reported. Her entertainment career began when she appeared in Vaudeville at just 8 years old and continued for decades, with movie roles in A Hole in the Head (1959), Ada (1961), The Way West (1967), The Man in the Glass Booth (1975),
When Harry Met Sally (1989), Dumb and Dumber (1994), and Pineapple Express (2008).
Sawyer’s six decades of television credits include roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show,
Hawaii Five-O , Dynasty, Archie Bunker’s Place, Home Improvement , Seinfeld, Will & Grace, ER, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Ray Donovan , and Murder, She Wrote .
Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died Jan. 23, 2018, while aboard a cruise ship, TMZ reported. Taylor was 38 years old.Sources told TMZ that Taylor may have passed away from a drug overdose. A fellow passenger on the ship claimed Taylor passed out on the dance floor during the cruise after using the drug GHB and was taken back to his room by two other guests. He was found dead the following day.
Oscar-winning actress Dorothy Malone died of natural causes on Jan. 19, 2018, at 92 years old, Variety reported. Malone won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role as Marylee Hadley in Written on the Wind (1956), which co-starred Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall.
Malone’s other notable works include
Warlock (1959), Peyton Place, Condominium (1980), and convicted murderer Hazel Dobkins in Basic Instinct (1992).
Former Glee star Mark Salling allegedly committed suicide by hanging on Jan. 30, 2018, reported TMZ. He was 35 years old.
“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” Salling’s attorney, Michael Proctor, told People. “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
At the time of his death, Salling was preparing to commence a life behind bars. According to USA Today , he “admitted to possessing pornographic images of prepubescent children” in a plea agreement in October 2017. Salling was scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2018 and “expected to spend 4 to 7 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release and registry as a sex offender,” reported Deadline .
A source told People that the disgraced actor had become isolated from friends. “This other dark side of him was completely shocking to everyone close to him,” the insider said. “Close people who didn’t talk to him are still sad about it. They loved him because of the person he was before all of this happened. There’s a level of sadness with everyone, but the sadness is from afar.”
World-famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died March 14, 2018. According to the BBC , Hawking — who’d been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was just 21 years old — died peacefully in his home in Cambridge. He lived to be 76 years old, despite being given just two years to live at the time of his diagnosis. He is survived by his children: Lucy, Robert, and Tim.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his kids said in a statement (via E! News). “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” The statement continued, “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss you forever.”
Rapper Fredo Santana died Jan. 19, 2018, at just 27 years old.
The Chicago-based MC (and cousin of controversial and often-incarcerated rapper Chief Keef) suffered from a fatal seizure, reported TMZ. Santana, born Derrick Coleman, had been hospitalized in the months leading up to his death, including a hospitalization for liver and kidney failure in October 2017. Once released from the hospital, Santana reportedly went right back into the studio to make more music, though Rolling Stone reported that he considered going to rehab as well.
The drill rapper was open about his addiction to lean, also commonly known as sizzurp — a combination of prescription cough syrup (usually codeine) and other substances, which may have caused his fatal seizure. His girlfriend reportedly arrived at his home at 11:30 p.m. and found him dead on the floor.
Several rappers paid tribute to Santana,
including Drake and Maxo Kream.
Making the situation even more tragic: Santana had an 8-month-old son.c
Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson is a particularly divisive character in the world of reality television. Rosie O’Donnell loves the
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star, calling her show “really revolutionary TV in a way most people won’t understand.” RuPaul claims she is his “reason for living” and wants to sing a duet with the pint-sized pageant princess. Even Barbara Walters dubbed her one of the most fascinating people of 2012, a stance she defended by saying “she’s sweet and loving with her mother and loving with her sisters.”
On the other side of the spectrum, there are plenty of famous folk who can’t stand the Georgia-born GIF generator. Ever since she sparkled and shined her way into the public’s consciousness in Season 5 of TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras in 2012, Honey Boo Boo has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way — on principal, if nothing else. Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine flies into a red rage at the mere mention of her name. Conan O’Brien strongly suspects Honey Boo Boo is responsible for China “kicking America’s a**.” Meanwhile, The Real Housewives of Atlanta ‘s Kenya Moore thinks Honey Boo Boo looks like a prostitute.
Wherever you stand on the great Honey Boo Boo divide, it’s time to “redneckognize” a simply fact: Some people wish she’d just go away. Let’s reheat last night’s ” sketti ,” hunker down, and deep-dive into this.
We’ll keep the big fenagly words to a minimum.
Adam Levine calls her ‘the decay of Western Civilization’
Let’s start with an easy one. Pop star Adam Levine, Mr. “This Love” himself, allegedly hates Honey Boo Boo with a fiery passion that verges on fanatical. In a 2012
GQ profile , the Voice judge went off on the former Toddlers & Tiaras tyke, and the result is a thing of beauty.
Asked whether he’d rather wake up “not famous” or wake up as one of Honey Boo Boo’s parents , Levine wastes no time completely wigging out: “Seriously, Honey Boo Boo is the DECAY of Western civilization,” he declared.
According to Levine, the fact that the show successfully gathered so many eyeballs “doesn’t mean it’s good.” In fact, he likened the Honey Boo Boo phenomenon to when “people witness atrocities and can’t take their eyes away from them.” And, just in case some readers still aren’t clear on where Levine stands on the issue, he emphasized that “that show is literally The. Worst. Thing. That’s. Ever. Happened.”
And he goes on. And on. And on. “It’s complete f***ing ignorance and the most despicable way to treat your kids. F**k those people.” Later, he apologized for all his frothy vitriol, saying, “I’m so sensitive to that. … it’s upsetting.” And then, just to clarify, he shouted: “F**K THOSE PEOPLE.”
Maybe he’s more of a Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon kinda guy.
Kris Jenner hates HBB and her little mother, too!
Did Kris Jenner try to turn the Kardashian clan against Honey Boo Boo’s family? That’s the story one rabble-rousing source told
Radar Online in 2012. The anonymous tattletale claimed Jenner really had it in for the beauty pageant contestant and Mama June Shannon. Reportedly, Jenner was angry because they were upstaging her own reality show calamity. “She thinks the Thompsons are classless, unlike her family, and can’t understand why America is so fascinated by them,” whispered the source. “The show has become bigger than Keeping up with the Kardashians, and Kris is starting to feel threatened by its success.”
But perhaps this story has a happy ending — which is exactly what we want from this situation, right? None too shadily, Jenner actually responded to the Radar Online story, claiming she wasn’t familiar with all the Honey Hoo-Hoo Whatchamacallit: “I would never criticize her, because I didn’t even really know who Honey Boo Boo is,” she told E! News in 2012, confessing that she strongly suspected Boo Boo was the name of a dog.
By 2013, Jenner had apparently done her homework and learned her Sugar Bears from her Chickadees. Commenting on the Thompson’s Halloween costumes that year — they’d all dressed up as the Kardashians — the “momager” did her best to be a good sport, tweeting , “‘So awesome honeybooboo mamajune_booboo you guys all looked fabulous! #Kardashianlove”
Well played? You decide.
PETA rep Michelle Cho doesn’t like her chicken names
Although we don’t imagine Honey Boo Boo has a walk-in closet brimming with ermine and mink, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) still did its homework and found something to scold the little girl for: the name of her plucky pet chicken, Nugget.
In 2012, Alana Thompson was just minding her own business when an ominous letter arrived from the animal activist organization. The screed urged Honey Boo Boo to “honor” her pet chicken “and protect other chickens just like her.” At the time, Thompson was just 7 years old.
According to E! News, the letter, written by PETA’s former Associate Director of Communications Michelle Cho, alerted Thompson that “chickens are smart, interesting animals with personalities of their own.” In no uncertain terms, the organization asked Thompson to change the name of her feathered friend at once — to “Not A Nugget.” To sweeten this non-deal, PETA even sent the former Toddlers & Tiaras star an “I Am Not a Nugget” T-shirt, plus a sampling of some juicy, protein-packed “faux-chicken tenders” by Gardein.
We’re not sure PETA’s swag bag did the trick. Two years later, Thompson told InTouch all the things she wanted to be when she grows up: “a mama, a beauty queen, working at Walmart [and] working at McDonald’s so I can eat their chicken nuggets.”
She makes no mention of wanting to be a brand ambassador or thought leader at Gardein.
Jimmy Fallon: ‘Never hit your mother!’
As far as bad behavior goes, striking your mom is right up there with carjacking and managing a puppy mill. Through the power of editing, home audiences were spared the sight of Honey Boo Boo getting physical with Mama June during a 2014 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon . Unfortunately, the studio audience wasn’t quite so lucky. The unedited segment was allegedly such a disaster, writer Christy O’Shoney wrote a Salon story calling Honey Boo Boo a “tiny, dimpled monster.” (O’Shoney was in the audience because a friend happened to have a spare ticket.)
O’Shoney suggests the little girl was constantly having her lines fed to her by
Mama June and reportedly possessed none of the storied fizziness that’s turned her into a modern-day meme on legs. In fact, O’Shoney says the whole interview was fraught with an “eerie tension.” She also claims Honey Boo Boo was so annoyed at one point that she abruptly “struck” Mama June, much to the palpable dismay of the host. “Never hit your mother!” Fallon allegedly exclaimed, in an only-slightly-jokey tone. O’Shoney’s bottom line? She found Honey Boo Boo “disrespectful, defiant, entitled.”
In fact, Honey Boo Boo supposedly refused to give Fallon her friendship bracelet (on numerous occasions) and said his muscles weren’t that big. Maybe someone didn’t drink enough Go Go juice that day.
Kenya Moore thinks she looks like a ‘hooker’
Rule of thumb: It’s generally frowned upon to compare a 7-year-old girl to a prostitute. Nevertheless, no one seemed to bat an eye when The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore came for Honey Boo Boo. In 2014, the former Miss USA told InTouch: “Her mother puts her onstage looking like a glorified hooker!” She also thinks that “Honey Boo Boo is not a role model for young women,” which, fair enough.
Thompson also has it in for Mama June. In fact, she doesn’t have many good things to say about pageant moms as a whole. According to Shannon, beauty contests are about so much more than grabbing a trophy. You have to demonstrate that you’re distractingly beautiful inside and out. “Pageants are about having poise and promoting self-esteem and self-worth,” she says. She doesn’t think Honey Boo Boo possesses any of these qualities: “When a little girl wears a lot of makeup, fake teeth, and extensions, like hookers do — that’s just not appropriate.”
Honey Boo Boo would probably respond to these accusations with one of her most famous epigrams: “Pretty comes in all sizes. My size is cute.”
Steve Harvey is gonna have to pass
Poor Steve Harvey. The self-professed King of Comedy probably thinks Honey Boo Boo is a multi-headed monster that occasionally shambles into his life to remind him that Chaos Reigns.
In 2013, the entire family managed to upend his interview while appearing on his talk show, Steve. In fact, all hell quite literally broke loose. As Shannon regaled Harvey with news that Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon “changes boyfriends like she changes underwear,” her equally craven sister, Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell, abruptly let one rip. Harvey’s face contorts into so many varied expressions of disgust that entire articles have been dedicated to dissecting the moment. “Honey Boo Boo meets Steve Harvey and we took over!” cried Mama Shannon, clearly pleased as punch. Meanwhile, Honey Boo Boo lay slug-like and squalid, sprawled on the sofa with limbs awry like an abandoned ventriloquist doll on a sugar low.
This shining beacon of Peak TV isn’t the only time Harvey has had to deal with the Honey Boo Boo crew. That same year, they all appeared on Family Feud, and that experience sounds equally off-putting. During a 2014 visit to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (via Buzzfeed ), Harvey revealed that Pumpkin “shut the show down ’cause she had a request.” Apparently, she wouldn’t let the show go on until she had a big mouthful of yummy corn.
“Who the hell can’t go on without a bowl of corn?” he wondered, aghast. Then, to Fallon: “You don’t … you don’t know nobody like that.”
Harvey probably wishes he didn’t, either.
Conan O’Brien: She’s why China is kicking America’s a**
Et tu, O’Brien? Stars like The Bridge’s Diane Kruger and Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson have both appeared on Conan to discuss their unhealthy obsession with Honey Boo Boo (“It’s like crack to me,” Kruger confessed.) Alas, so far no one’s successfully converted the talk show host into a fan. All in all, he doesn’t seem remotely smitten on the reality star, as you can tell from some of his material: “Sarah Palin visited the White House last night along with Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. All three expressed their regrets that Honey Boo Boo couldn’t make it.”
O’Brien takes it one step further in the above clip, suggesting the real reason China is “kicking America’s a**” is because everyone in the USA is sitting around watching Alana Thompson rock her daisy dukes .
And since three makes a trend, let’s not forget the time Conan’s crew superimposed Honey Boo Boo’s face onto Gollum from The Hobbit . Anybody who does that probably isn’t a big fan.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone can’t abide her
Even by South Park standards, the show’s depiction of Honey Boo Boo (in the show’s 232nd episode) is pretty damn vicious. It even inspired think pieces with headlines such as: “Honey Boo Boo on ‘South Park’: Are Reality Stars Parker and Stone’s Blind Spot?”
Titled “Raising the Bar,” the episode finds Cartman coming to terms with the fact that he’s obese. To combat the problem, he spends most of the episode riding around in a mobility scooter. Soon enough, famous folk such as Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson follow his lead. In a plot twist that’s perhaps not South Park’s most inspired moment, Cartman launches his own reality show called
Fatty Doo Doo. At one point, Cartman and Honey Boo Boo are pitted against one another in a wrestling match (that takes place in a pile of spaghetti, or “sketti,” as the case may be.) For some reason, this all goes down on the South Lawn of the White House.
Well, the Honey Boo Boo clan caught wind of the episode, and it didn’t exactly give it two thumbs up. (Or three, for that matter.) Mama June was asked by the TMZ minions what she thought of the spoof, and she responded, “Me being a big person, I didn’t take offense … That show is just not a show that I would want to be on in the first place.”
Her main complaint? Without putting too fine a point on it, Mama June ultimately thought the South Park episode was “kinda trashy.”
Larry the Cable Guy declared all-out redneck war
Things we’ve learned so far today: Not all rednecks are created equal — at least, not according to Larry the Cable Guy. Inexplicably swarmed by TMZ reporters in 2012 while hanging out in West Hollywood, the stand-up comedian insisted there’s a very distinct line in the sand that separates his kind of redneck from the Honey Boo Boo variety. Yes, apparently there’s a pecking order to these things.
“I’m a redneck,” he huffed. “I’m not a Honey Boo Boo redneck, I’m a Larry the Cable Guy redneck, there’s a big difference between the two rednecks.” He then attempts to break down all the numerous “stages” of redneckiness. Jeff Foxworthy is apparently the gold standard of redneck, while the likes of Honey Boo Boo are decidedly lower class. What’s the difference, exactly? According to Larry the Cable Guy, “The food’s not as greasy” when you’re in the upper echelons of redneckery.
This all echoes a sentiment he expressed in an interview with M Live in 2013: “Honey Boo Boo, in my opinion, is [a] bottom of the barrel redneck.” So there you have it.
Mickie Wood gives her a Bronx cheer
Mickie Wood isn’t necessarily the classiest of class acts. After all, she reportedly
responds to criticism by impersonating flatulence. Nevertheless, Radar Online claims the notorious mother of child pageant star Eden Wood finds Honey Boo Boo to be positively “vomit inducing.” Heather Ryan, Eden Wood’s former manager, wrote a gruesome e-book called Unleashing a Momster that chronicles all the child pageant melodrama that goes on behind the scenes. Turns out there’s a considerably lurid underbelly beneath all that sparkle and shine.
In a chapter entitled “The Honey Boo Boo Boom,” Ryan claims Honey Boo Boo represents everything Mickie “hated about herself” and “hated about ugly, overweight hillbillies.”
If the e-book is to be believed, Mickie would just sort-of sit around and be “disgusted” and “lament for hours about how vomit inducing the Shannon family was.” Allegedly, her jealousy went through the roof when Here Comes Honey Boo Boo premiered in 2012. Ryan writes: “I’m pretty sure I heard a loud, distinctive BOOM from Taylor, Arkansas as Mickie Wood’s head exploded.”
She may have just been blowing raspberries again.
On April 5, 2017, a high school student from Reno, Nev. issued a plea to the Twittersphere: “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS.” This simple caption accompanied a screenshot of an exchange between Carter Wilkerson and fast food giant Wendy’s. “Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets,” Wilkerson asked. “18 million,” the burger chain replied. “Consider it done,” Wilkerson shot back.
With that, Chicken Nuggs Boy was born. Wilkerson woke up the next morning to 50,000 retweets, and the hashtag
#NuggsForCarter trending like crazy. Less than two weeks later he was on Ellen , where the daytime talk show host and then-holder of the record for the most retweeted tweet of all time attempted to bribe him with a big screen TV and a year’s supply of her branded underwear. “If somehow you pass me, Carter, I will come to your house,” Ellen warned the viral superstar.
But pass her he did on May 9, 2017 with a jaw-dropping 3,505,305 retweets. Though Wilkerson was short 13.5 million RTs, Wendy’s made good on its offer, awarding him his precious nuggs in addition to contributing $100,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
So what happens when you become such an internet celebrity that Guinness World Records recognizes your achievement ? Read on the find out what happened to Carter Wilkerson, the Chicken Nuggs Boy.
He’s kind of nugged out
Giving a high school kid an unlimited supply of chicken nuggets for an entire year could go wrong in all kinds of ways — think pranking his friends by filling their cars with nuggs or eating so many that there’s a worldwide shortage of the bite-size meat treats. But Carter Wilkerson showed a surprising level of restraint with his prize.
Speaking with Metro one month ahead of the one-year anniversary of his re-tweet record, Wilkerson revealed that he wasn’t “100% sure,” but he thought he’d “eaten over 400” nuggets by that point. Just doing some rough calculations, that means Wilkerson downed only 8.39 nuggets per week, which is probably more in line with the average nugget enthusiast’s consumption as opposed to a super fan who waged a worldwide, record-breaking social media campaign over them.
So what’s the deal with that? “I still love chicken nuggets of all brands and types,” Wilkerson told Metro, but he added, “If i could choose a different food it would have to be In and Out Double Doubles, or just burgers.”
Burgers? We feel like we don’t even know who you are anymore, Chicken Nuggs Boy!
Did he deserve those nuggs in the first place?
As we previously mentioned, the original arrangement between Chicken Nuggs Boy and Wendy’s was “a year of free nuggets” upon his achievement of 18 million retweets. At the time of this writing, Wilkerson’s epic tweet has leveled off at 3,649,469 , which is, of course, impressive, but falls quite short of his goal. And Wendy’s isn’t letting him forget that.
The burger chain with the unusually hilarious
social media presence tweeted at Wilkerson on April 5, 2018, “Had a whole year and still didn’t get to 18 million? smdh,” along with a smirking emoji. Wilkerson replied, “aye, we cool right.” Wendy’s shot back, “Always.” This savvy exchange between the teen and a major brand is now something of a mainstay on Wilkerson’s timeline.
One day after his back-and-forth with Wendy’s, Wilkerson tweeted at the Denver Nuggets, asking, “Yo @nuggets when you guys gonna bring me out for a game?” The NBA team issued a stinging clap back of with, “When you actually get your retweets.” Woah!
Do you smell that? It’s the distinct odor of Chicken Nuggs Boy getting roasted over an internet fire.
Nuggin’ for a good cause
From the very beginning of his quest for a complimentary nugg-filled year, Wilkerson knew that he was in a unique position to use his viral fame for good. That was the impetus behind his website, aptly named Nuggs for Carter, on which he sells t-shirts and donates all of the proceeds to a worthy cause.
“I’m pretty fortunate,” Wilkerson told the Reno Gazette Journal of his philanthropic endeavor. “I don’t need the money, so I thought it would be really cool to give it to charity.” That charity is The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the eponymous organization started by the Wendy’s founder with a mission “to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from foster care.”
Wilkerson also seeks donations through his website for Mom’s on the Run , a local Reno, Nev. (where Wilkerson is from) organization that raises money for families dealing with a diagnosis of breast or gynecological cancer. Wilkerson told KTVN that he has a personal connection to Mom’s on the Run through his own mother, who battled breast cancer in 2009.
Who knew a teen’s half-hearted Twitter joke could turn into something so positive?
Chicken Nuggs Boy knows how to internet
Katy Perry’s 2017 music video for her song “Swish Swish ” was so jam-packed with viral stars that the CDC probably should have quarantined it. According to PR Week , the video featured not only Doug the Pug, but also “social influencer” Dexter Mayfield, YouTuber Christine Sydelko, and Russell Horning (aka the ” Backpack Kid .”) Chicken Nuggs Boy was there too, albeit in the briefest of cameos, of which he definitely made the most.
In his literal one second of screen time , Wilkerson is seen chomping a nugg, sporting a Nuggs For Carter tee, laughing, pointing, and all while holding Katy Perry’s dog named — wait for it — Nugget on his lap. He celebrated his music video debut by turning his cameo into a GIF and sharing it on Twitter.
What this translates to is a viral celeb starring in an homage to viral celebs creating a meme out of the moment and then recirculating it back onto the web. If that’s not peak internet, we don’t know what is.
All those nuggs haven’t gone to his head
Wilkerson still holds the title of most re-tweeted Twitter user of all time, but he’s still just a normal teenager. Yes, he met Ellen DeGeneres and Katy Perry , and yes, he’s got more than a hundred thousand followers on his verified Twitter account, but he’s also a kid who, as of this writing, hasn’t even graduated from high school.
In a 2017 interview with The New York Times , Wilkerson talked about just how typical his life had been at the time his tweet went viral “as he prepared for AP tests, considered college applications and took his girlfriend to the prom.” The then-11th-grader who previously described himself as “not a huge attention person,” confessed that he was enjoying the newfound notoriety from his classmates. “I think they’re all pretty jealous,” he told The Times , adding, “Who doesn’t want to be the Nugget Kid?”
As for what the football team captain and track runner envisions for his future, he’s now switching gears from his previous goal of following the family business, dentistry, to considering a possible career in marketing. He’s certainly got a nice chunk for the resume already.
He’s an accidental marketing genius
According to Digiday, Wendy’s wasn’t the only brand who wised up to the “viral magic” that could be created by making a celebrity out of an average joe. After all, isn’t the unspoken goal of most social media users to be discovered for their hidden genius and suddenly thrust into money-making fame?
Well, after Wendy’s performed the rare alchemy of making an internet superstar out of 12 words tapped into Twitter by a random high schooler, other brands jumped on the bandwagon. Digiday reported that Universal Studios used fan-made videos to cut together a promo for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Emerald Nuts actually “made a user’s review on Amazon into a tagline for its latest ad campaign;” and Saucony let a sneaker superfan takeover its Instagram page after discovering that he’d “ordered 36 identical pairs of Saucony Jazz shoes because he loved them so much.”
If there was ever a time in existence when brands were paying attention to the value of hardcore fandom, that time is now, and largely thanks to the wild success of Chicken Nuggs Boy.
However, as with any attempt to recreate such a flash-in-the-pan moment, there were always going to be a few epic fails. Which brings us to…
United Airlines’ attempt to lure Chicken Nuggs Boy never took off
In a pretty early attempt to grab the coattails of Wilkerson’s skyrocketing internet fame, United Airlines tweeted him the following just two days after his plea to Wendy’s: “If you get the 18 million RTs, we’ll give you a free flight to take you to any @Wendys in the world in a city we serve. Good luck!”
Unfortunately, United Airlines had a viral moment all to itself the very next day when passenger Dr. David Dao was violently
dragged off of a flight after refusing to give up his seat due to the airline’s policy of overbooking. Twitter users, of course, took the opportunity to hilariously link the airlines PR disaster with its attempt at viral marketing.
User @blader tweeted, “Yo @United how many retweets to not get assaulted by you on my next flight?” Others followed with the similar sentiments, many using the popular “It’s a trap! ” meme. Amazingly, United doubled down a month later when Wilkerson broke the re-tweet record and attempted to recruit him again.
As far as we can tell, Wilkerson never replied to United, however, user @aligulpir basically spoke for the collective internet this time around with the epic reply , “Yes @carterjwm it’s time to decide at which airport you will be dragged off. So many to choose from!!! #excited.” Oof. The silver lining here for United — if there actually is one — is that the airline was not alone in its highly public foible.
Sorry, Fake Free Cruise Kid
This one doesn’t fall on the brand so much as it does another aspiring viral star, but it was a blatant attempt at copycatting Chicken Nuggs Boy’s fame — and he even weighed in on it! — so we’re including it here. On April 3, 2018, Twitter user Dylan Baer posted what appeared to be a screenshot of an agreement between himself and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. “Please help, man needs his boat,” Baer tweeted, to which Royal Caribbean allegedly agreed, “2 million and Oasis of the Seas is all yours.”
As with Wilkerson before him, the tweet gained traction, earning more than 700,000 retweets before folks started questioning the authenticity of the arrangement. Like Wendy’s, Royal Caribbean has a savvy and responsive Twitter account that it uses for everything from promoting trips to sharing funny memes to fielding routine customer service issues such as boarding delays or bad dining experiences. When the questions started rolling in about Baer’s impending free cruise, three different Royal Caribbean reps were quick to shut the whole thing down.
“This isn’t true,” tweeted a rep who identified herself as Candy. “It’s fake, and I’m sorry for any confusion the tweet is causing,” a rep named Lorenzo also tweeted. And finally, Gabbie, yet another Royal Caribbean employee, tweeted, “This is absolutely fake and we didn’t agree to this.”
The jig was up for Baer, who then got predictably roasted himself. Even Wilkerson took a light swipe, tweeting , “where my boat at? @RoyalCaribbean.” Alas, Baer remains among the lowly general populace who still have to fork out cash to cruise, but we wonder: If there was no solidarity between Chicken Nuggs Boy and Fake Free Cruise Kid, is there hope for any of us?
Tiwatope Savage is a top Nigerian singer who was born on the 5th of February, 1980 in Ikeja, Lagos. When she was 11 years old, Tiwa’s parents had to relocate to London and she went along with them. Tiwa also lived in the United States of America at some point.
While she was in the High School, she was a very active member of the school’s Orchestra band, where she played the Trombone. Upon completion of her high school education, Tiwa proceeded to the University of Kent where she studied Business Administration.
Although she didn’t start singing in Nigeria until around 2010, this black beauty is by no means a fresh face in the world of professional music.
Professional music started for Tiwa Savage at the young age of 16 when she did back-up vocals for a number of artistes including Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bucelli, George Michel, Blu Chantell and Chaka Chan. She participated in the X Faxtor, UK in 2006 and made it to the final 24 before she was disappointingly dropped.
Apart from being a great vocalist, Tiwa Savage is also a very good songwriter, having written songs for several A-list artistes including Kat De Luna, Fantasia Barrino, Mya, Jacko and Monica. She also performed background vocals for Whitney Houston’s 2009 album, I Look to You.
She entered the Nigerian entertainment scene with her hit single ‘Kele Kele’ love which became an instant chart topper. She immediately followed with another hit single ‘Love me’ and since then, it has been back to back hits from the pretty singer.
Tiwa Savage is also known for her various collaborations with several top Nigerian artistes. She has a unique way of bringing her unique voice and style into a music to make it an instant hit, a quality that has helped to make her one of the top choices for artistes who need remixes and collaborations.
She has collaborated with several local and international stars including Patoranking, Flavor N’abania, Waje and several others. She is signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin records and also has her own entertainment Company, 323 entertainments.
Tiwa Savage has signed endorsement deals with various companies including Pepsi, Forte Oil, MTN and Maggi. She is also involved in several humanitarian and youth empowerment works.
In February 2013, during her 33rd birthday party, her boyfriend and manager Tunji Balogun, popularly known as Tee Billz proposed to her in front of her friends and family who had come to celebrate with her. The ring, a Yellow and White diamond was rumored to cost around $3,000. An engagement ceremony followed shortly after at The Ark in Lekki Nigeria. It was well attended by several Nigerian celebrities including Banky W, Femi Otedola, Don Jazzy, Davido, Rita Dominic, Lola Okoye, Toke Makinwa, Omawunmi, Iyanya, Agbani Darego, King Sunny Ade, Karen Igho and the Mavin Crew.
Their white wedding followed shortly after at the Armani Hotel, Dubai. It was also well attended with several Nigerian artistes going all the way to Dubai to attend the glamorous ceremony. The couple is currently expecting their artiste first child together