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Lady Gaga Headlining Pre-Super Bowl Concert

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International pop superstar Lady Gaga will get to rock the mic for fans in town this February for Super Bowl 54.

The artist will headline the 10th annual Super Saturday Night event taking place on February 1st from Meridian at Island Gardens, a multilevel event space located at the superyacht marina on Watson Island.

Tickets go on sale next Tuesday at 10 a.m. at this link.

“I’ve had some incredible experiences performing at the Super Bowl and am very excited to join the party again,” Lady Gaga said in a press statement.

Lady Gaga previously was a part of the Super Bowl event calendar when she headlined the halftime show in 2017. This year’s halftime show will feature international superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Super Bowl-eve will also feature the first Gronk Beach music festival on Miami Beach, featuring artist that include Rick Ross and Flo Rida at an event hosted by former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

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McGregor Says ‘Star Wars’ TV Series Still on Despite Reports – NBC4 Washington

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Ewan McGregor says any delay in completing work on in his new Obi-Wan Kenobi “Star Wars” streaming series will be brief and is aimed at making it better.

McGregor addressed trade reports that the Disney Plus series had been placed on hold at an event Thursday promoting his latest film “Birds of Prey.”

“It’s only just slid back a bit,” McGregor told The Associated Press. “But we’re still shooting it. I think it’ll still be aired when it was meant to be and I’m really excited about it.”

The series will focus on Kenobi, a Jedi master, in the years before the events of the first “Star Wars” film. Alec Guinness played Kenobi in the original film, introducing millions to the franchise’s mystical power, The Force.

McGregor played a young Kenobi during his early years a Jedi in three prequel films, beginning with 1999’s “The Phantom Menace.”

“The scripts are excellent and they just want them to be better, and so we just pushed it back,” McGregor said of the new series. “It’ll be fun to play again.”

A return to the role for McGregor has been long rumored, and was announced last year at Disney’s D23 Expo. McGregor has said he felt somewhat tortured by all the secrecy around the project.

The show is scheduled to become the second live-action “Star Wars” series on Disney Plus. “The Mandalorian” has been a hit for the new streaming service, introducing audiences to new Star Wars characters, including the adorable, memeable Baby Yoda.

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Rapper YG Arrested at His San Fernando Valley Home – NBC4 Washington

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Rapper YG was arrested as deputies served a warrant before dawn Friday at his San Fernando Valley home.

Details about the warrant were not immediately available, but authorities said it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Keenon Jackson, was taken into custody at the Chatsworth residence after deputies went to the serve the warrant at about 4 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Bail was set at $250,000, and Jackson was tentatively scheduled to appear in court in Compton on Tuesday.

NBC4 has reached out to his attorney for comment.

TMZ reported that the rapper was booked on suspicion of robbery. Details about the crime were not immediately available.

Refresh this page for updates.

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Wendy Williams Reveals Divorce Finalized – NBC4 Washington

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Wendy Williams is officially single.

The talk show host appeared on Thursday night’s episode of “The Tonight Show” and revealed that she is no longer married.

“After nine months, yes, I am fully divorced. A door has closed. An old life. The new chapter has been so lovely,” she told host Jimmy Fallon.

“Wow, congratulations,” he said while the audience cheered.

Williams had been married to Kevin Hunter since 1997 before filing for divorce last year after learning he fathered a child with another woman. She said she’s happy to talk about her love life and that she has moved on.

“Thank you for asking that. Thank you because people tiptoe around that. I don’t feel like I’m intimidating, but people are so scared, but you and I have known each other for a long time,” she said. “I’m not mad. It was 25 years I don’t regret, but, you know what, sometimes people move on with their lives, and I have to tell you something. I now, I no longer live in Jersey. It is Wendy in the city.”

Williams, 55, is looking for someone special, but says she’s also focused on working.

“I date, but I love my career,” she said. “You know how tough this is with this microphone here, you know what I’m saying. There’s a certain amount of dedication, and I didn’t just land into my career ‘cause of something. I plotted on being with a mic since sixth grade, so I’m actually living my dream, and I thought the rest of it, ‘cause my mom and dad are still alive. They’ve been married for 60 years.

“I really didn’t think that it’d be this way, but it seems so natural. Our son is 19 and he’s off in college, and I wish the other the best, but I date in between handling ‘Wendy’ and I live with my two girls,” she said, referring to her cats.

Williams, who spent part of last year living in a sober house, made no bones about her desire to marry again when Fallon asked her, although she does have a few stipulations if she walks down the aisle.

“Yes!” she said. “With a good ol’ one-page prenup. One paragraph. Maybe two sentences. What’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine. What we earn during this marriage is yours and mine, and I don’t want to live with you. You have your place, I have my place. Look, this is a new thing.”

Those comments are in line with Williams’ previous remarks about marrying again. In September, she said on “The Dr. Oz Show” that she would want a prenuptial agreement if she tied the knot and that she and her husband won’t be cohabitating.

“We will not be living in the same house,” she said. “Oh, no, no, marriage under new circumstance, that’s it. That freedom of turning that key or electing, ‘All right, let’s stay at your place tonight; let’s stay at my place tonight.'”

This story first appeared on Today Digital Originals.

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’Punk’d’ to be Revived With Chance the Rapper Doing Pranks – NBC4 Washington

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Celebrities, beware: “Punk’d” is being revived. And this time Chance the Rapper is the one doing the punk’ing.

MTV Studios and Quibi said Friday they are teaming up to revive the show with Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper pranking unsuspecting A-listers.

No date was announced but the show will be available only on Quibi’s mobile video platform. Quibi is an upcoming short-video streaming service that’s backed by Hollywood studios.

“Punk’d” had an eight-season run on MTV, ending in 2007. The host back then was Ashton Kutcher and he got the better of such celebs as Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and Frankie Muniz.

Chance the Rapper, whose name is Chancelor Bennett, saw his album “Coloring Book” become the first streaming-only album to be named best rap album at the Grammy Awards.

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Why Planters Killed Off Mr. Peanut – NBC4 Washington

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This week, snack brand Planters released a dramatic video showing the apparent death of its animated mascot, Mr. Peanut.

It turns out killing off the iconic 104-year-old nut had to do with the phenomenon of how people mourn the deaths of fictional characters, such as Iron Man, according to a creative leader behind the campaign.

Kraft Heinz’s Planters on Tuesday released a cryptic tweet with a link to a video showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself to save actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh by plunging to his death. On Wednesday, the brand shared the video, which as of Thursday morning had nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube.

The spot, done with VaynerMedia, will appear before Super Bowl kickoff during the pregame show. Then, during the third quarter of the game, the brand promises to “broadcast Mr. Peanut’s funeral, so the world can mourn the loss of the beloved legume together.”

VaynerMedia also handled Planters’ Super Bowl spot last year. Mike Pierantozzi, group creative director at Planters’ agency VaynerMedia, said that put the agency in the position of needing to come up with something that would top last year. He said the agency was looking to see how Planters could really line up with culture in a way that would explode.

“We started talking about how the internet treats when someone dies — specifically, we were thinking about fictional characters, [like when] Iron Man died,” Pierantozzi said, referring to the death of the Marvel character in last year’s “Avengers: Endgame.”

“When Iron Man died, we saw an incredible reaction on Twitter and on social media. It’s such a strange phenomenon,” Pierantozzi said.

Pierantozzi said with Mr. Peanut the shop wondered, “What would happen and how would the world react if he passed away?” He said the idea surfaced last summer.

“We did the unthinkable: we created a program and an idea where Mr. Peanut dies, and dies specifically sacrificing himself for his friends, which has always been a tenet of who he is and what he does — he always puts others first,” Pierantozzi said.

Super Bowl teasers are meant to generate some buzz for a brand’s in-game spot, often starting a story or introducing a theme or characters to get consumers excited before the full commercial airs. But this one seemed to be especially successful. By comparison, Hyundai’s teaser on YouTube had about 73,000 views and Olay’s had nearly 17,000 Thursday afternoon. Doritos, which released its teaser last week with a spoken-word rendition of “Old Town Road,” has racked up nearly 4 million views on YouTube, while a teaser for Cheetos’ spot with MC Hammer from last week has nearly 3 million.

“It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old,” Samantha Hess, Planters brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in a statement. “He will be remembered as the legume who always brought people together for nutty adventures and a good time. We encourage fans to tune in to Mr. Peanut’s funeral during the third quarter of the Super Bowl to celebrate his life.”

Of course, some brands have gone the death route for the Super Bowl and failed, the Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today pointed out Thursday morning. Nationwide’s 2015 ad that showed a boy who had died and could never grow up weirded out viewers. (The company’s CMO left shortly after.) And a spot now known as the “robot suicide ad” from General Motors was later changed after sparking criticism, including from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Pierantozzi said with such a serious subject, creatives have to toe a certain line and approach it with empathy. He said it needs to hit the right note between humor and solemnity.

“You have to strike the perfect tone on this, or you really could end up with a problem,” he said. “So we definitely considered that. We’re very happy with the response we’re getting. We feel like we nailed the tone.”

He said there’s been positive feedback and an “outpouring of emotion” from onlookers.

Mr. Peanut’s social channels have been renamed with “The Estate of Mr. Peanut” with a graphic of a crying monocle, and his Twitter account asked users to “pay respects” with the hashtag, #RIPeanut. Other brands, including Skippy peanut butter, Budweiser, Syfy, Shake Shack and more, did just that. Pierantozzi said other Kraft Heinz brands did know about the effort, but to his knowledge some of the other brands weighing in did so organically.

In terms of the parsing out of information and the phony “leak” of the Super Bowl ad that transpired on Tuesday, Pierantozzi said, “We’re trying to keep this as close to reality as possible. I think we looked at Twitter and how things sometimes find their way onto Twitter, and we kind of tapped into those things.” The brand then sent out a press release confirming the death.

“I think it was written beautifully and struck the right tone,” Pierantozzi said.

Part of the buzz, Pierantozzi said, stems from the fact that Planters has built up Mr. Peanut so much, along with his “Nutmobile.”

“I think they made it really easy for people to get involved with the idea,” he said. “It was in the language of something people already understood in the world of Twitter and in the world of Facebook. It was very simple for people to get involved.”

The specifics of what will happen in Planters’ actual Super Bowl spot aren’t clear, and conspiracy theories on Twitter are abounding. But Pierantozzi says this much is true: “There will be a funeral, and an opportunity for hundreds of millions of people who love Mr. Peanut to pay their respects,” he said.

This story first appeared on CNBC.com More from CNBC:

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Cosby Prosecutors Defend Accusers’ Testimony, Fight Appeal – NBC4 Washington

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Prosecutors who won a conviction in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case defended their work as they fight the imprisoned actor’s latest appeal.

Cosby, 82, has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review trial rulings that let five other accusers testify for the prosecution at the 2018 retrial. The same type of “prior bad act” witnesses are testifying this month in movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial in New York.

An intermediate appeals court rejected Cosby’s initial appeal. The state Supreme Court does not have to hear the case.

Montgomery County prosecutors, in their response Thursday, said the testimony from other accusers showed that Cosby “intentionally isolated and intoxicated young women in a signature fashion, then sexually assaulted them.”

Cosby, long beloved as “America’s Dad” for his role in a top-ranked television sitcom in the 1980s, is serving a three- to 10-year prison term after the jury convicted him of drugging and molesting an acquaintance at his home.

Cosby has also long argued that he an agreement with a former prosecutor that he would never be charged over the 2004 encounter. However, the trial judge found no evidence that any promise made was legally binding, the suburban Philadelphia prosecutors argued in their response.

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