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Grammys 2019: Alicia Keys Finds the Humor in Hosting

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Unlike the Academy Awards, which is set to hold this year’s ceremony without a host for only the second time in its history, the Grammy Awards have done without a dedicated emcee on 16 past occasions.

But, not in 2019.

Taking the hosting reins at the Grammys—in contrast to what has seemingly become a thankless gig hosting the Oscars following Kevin Hart stepping down and no replacement being named—is 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys. “I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy,” Keys said in a statement Tuesday.

Keys will join a diverse list of previous Grammy hosts that includes John Stewart, Garry Shandling, Queen Latifah, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Andy Williams, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Paul Simon, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Paul Reiser, Ellen DeGeneres, Kelsey Grammer, Rosie O’Donnell, LL Cool J and most recently James Corden.

Julie Cordeiro Photography/Getty Images

Of the two ceremonies the Grammys is perhaps best suited to go without a host. More freewheeling than the Oscars but not as shock-worthy as the MTV Video Music Awards, the Grammys are as much about the performances as the winners. Notable performers deliver their biggest hits­—many of which are nominated—to a worldwide audience eager to see such songs showcased in a live environment.

Yes, the Oscars also has performances, but only a handful. The usually obscure songs nominated in the original song category are hardly a big audience draw. And though Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are set to perform the nominated song “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” during the Feb. 22 Oscar telecast, such star power pales in comparison to Sunday’s Grammy lineup which will features performances by Diana Ross, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa, Kacey Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town, Ricky Martin, Yolanda Adams, Young Thug, Janelle Monae, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Lady Gaga, among others.

In the lead up to Sunday, Keys has already shown she understands the importance of having fun in the host role. Something the Academy Awards should note is a huge audience pleaser, like the time DeGeneres descended into the audience and created perhaps the most famous selfie of all time.

In an almost 10-minute announcement video uploaded to YouTube three weeks ago, Keys let fans come along for the ride as she discovered she got the Grammy gig, excitedly broke the news to her mom over the phone, woke husband Swizz Beats to tell him, received a suitably underwhelming reaction from her two small children, and then took us along to a Grammy promo shoot where she perused a few questionable outfits behind the scenes. All while sporting a beaming smile and a knowing wink at the camera.

Further proof Keys—only the fifth woman to host the Grammys and the first to do so in 14 years following Queen Latifah in 2005—knows how to have a good time in the role arrived Wednesday when she appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and asked the former host for a few tips on how to navigate the big night. Rather than sit and chat, the pair performed a parody cover version of Gaga and Cooper’s ballad “Shallow,” which is nominated for song and record of the year.

Standing by an upright piano with Keys providing musical accompaniment, Corden sang of the importance of wearing “comfy shoes” and warned that after four hours “you’ll find yourself drinking cheap booze / Stealing from gift bags, a candle for free.” Other advice from Corden included, “Try not to be scared,” and “act like you’ve been there,” to which Keys belted back: “You know I’ve won 15 times!”

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All of which signifies that the safest gamble concerning Sunday’s ceremony would be to bet on Keys. Not to win an actual award, she isn’t nominated, but to deliver an entertaining show buoyed by humor and respect for the craft being honored. Such expertise she has already shown in abundance.

The 2019 Grammy Awards are set to air live Feb. 10 on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Top nominees are Kendrick Lamar and Drake with eight and seven nominations respectively.

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‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Pled Guilty To DUI, Providing False Information To Law Enforcement in 2007

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As the police investigation into the alleged attack against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett continues, it was revealed Tuesday that in 2007 Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement, the L.A. City Attorney’s office confirmed to NBC News.

Smollett, now 36, was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail in the 2007 case, an LA City Attorney’s spokesman told NBC News.

The case is coming to light as Chicago Police investigate whether Smollett made up a story about being the victim of a racially, motivated hate crime. Chicago Police have requested LAPD provide them information about the 2007 arrest, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar the investigation.

Chicago Police officials say they have shifted their focus from a hate crime investigation to one of filing a false report.

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At this point Chicago police have said Smollett is neither considered a victim nor a suspect and are waiting to hear from him.

Police sources tell NBC News that the LAPD made the initial arrest. The case was handled by prosecutors with the LA City Attorney’s office in the Van Nuys branch.

On Tuesday Chicago police were investigating a tip that on the night Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe.

Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the person who lives in the building or was visiting someone there reported seeing the three together the night last month that Smollett says two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck.

Guglielmi says police haven’t confirmed the person’s account. Detectives plan to interview the person on Tuesday.

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‘I Can No Longer Sit Silent’: Kim Kardashian West Slams Knock-Off Clothing Websites

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Kim Kardashian West took to Twitter to call out websites that advertise knock-off versions of the outfits she wears.

“Only two days ago, I was privileged enough to wear a one-of-a-kind vintage Mugler dress and in less than 24 hours it was knocked off and thrown up on a site,” Kardashian West wrote. “But it’s not for sale. You have to sign up for a waitlist because the dress hasn’t even been made to sell yet.”

The 38-year-old entrepreneur and reality star said she could “no longer sit silent” as companies create reject versions of her husband Kayne West’s Yeezy clothing brand and the designs she flaunts at public events.

Kardashian West said these websites often deceive people into signing up for their mailing lists by making it seem like she has partnered with them when she has not.

“So, as always, don’t believe everything you read and see online,” Kardashian West warned her followers. “I don’t have any relationships with these sites. I’m not leaking my looks to anyone, and I don’t support what these companies are doing.”

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Goodbye Madea: Tyler Perry Says ‘Family Funeral’ Right Time to Walk Away From Signature Role

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Get your hankies out America… and get ready to say goodbye to everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed, wisecracking grandma.

After 11 plays and 12 films that have grossed $496 million and counting, Tyler Perry is putting Madea out to pasture following the forthcoming “A Madea Family Funeral.”

Perry, who’s acting roles also include parts in 2014’s Ben Affleck thriller “Gone Girl” and the current Oscar-nominated “Vice” where he plays Colin Powell opposite Christian Bale, admits to being a bit nostalgic about walking away from his signature character, but believes it’s the right time.

“I’m so, so grateful for everything Madea has brought to my life, but, you know, I’m turning 50 and I certainly don’t want to be her age playing her,” he says. “I feel she’s had a great run and I’m full of gratitude for it.”

Perry believes Madea has etched out a place in cinematic history that, much like the character, might not be entirely expected but has meant a lot to audiences. “I think lots of people found a voice through Madea and the thing that makes me happiest is that Madea has given people some really good, fun times and given entire families a way to laugh together,” he says.

“A Madea Family Funeral” hits theaters Feb. 28.

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1:30 am 1st Annual JouvertRadio Caribbea... @ In The Maryland Area
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#EATCARIBBEAN J’Ou,VertRadio’s 1st ANNUAL CARIBBEAN COOK OFF!! ONLY CARIBBEAN DISHES The Caribbean Cook off is a celebration and a contest of the DMV’s number one consumed food. The most talented chefs, mom & pop cooks[...]

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