Los Angeles, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — Mary J. Blige praised God, thanked her mother and spoke about a healed relationship with her father after accepting the Lifetime Achievement award during the BET Awards.
The Grammy winner talked about trying to make history while positively serving others before she performed several of her hits including "My Life," ''No More Drama" and "I'm Going Down" while wearing an all-white trench coat trimmed with white fur and a diamond studded waist belt on Sunday.
Blige peeled off her long coat, sporting mini shorts and high boots as she picked up the tempo. The singer danced across the stage before she brought out Lil Kim to perform "I Can Love You" then "You're All I Need" with Method Man.
Rihanna presented Blige with the award calling her the "queen of hip-hop and R&B." She also applauded Blige for being the first person to compete for both acting and songwriting award in the same year.
Blige was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress and original song for her work on the Netflix film "Mudbound."
In a video, Diddy, Queen Latifah, Nas and Andre Harrell praised the singer for his musical skills.
The men known as the Central Park Five each briefly spoke before introducing a performance by Grammy-winning singer H.E.R. at Sunday's BET Awards.
Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise received a standing ovation as each walked on stage. The men's story was shown in the Netflix series "When They See Us," which dramatized the events surrounding their trial.
The five men were exonerated in 2002 after being charged with the 1989 rape of a white woman in New York's Central Park.
After each spoke, H.E.R. told a socially conscious poem before the Grammy winner performed "Lord Is Coming," which also featured rapper YBN Cordae.
Lil Nas X brought country music flavor to the BET Awards on Sunday.
In a video, the 20-year-old rapper and singer Billy Ray Cyrus rode on horses down the blue carpet then showed up on stage in cowboy attire.
The tandem performed Lil Nas X's cowboy-themed country trap song "Old Town Road" as Cyrus played a guitar and sang. The rapper wore a bright yellow fringe jacket and chap pants, and black cowboy hat as dancer wore denim shorts, leather vests and cowboy hats behind him.
"Old Town Road" has topped the Hot 100 list for weeks, spawned social media memes and dances and prompted numerous think pieces about black cowboy culture and the state of country music.
Cardi B is the winner for the best album at the Sunday's BET Awards.
The Grammy-winning rapper pranced up the stairs to accept her award wearing a lime green dress. She bragged about the success of her multi-hit album "Invasion of Privacy" before she thanked everyone featured on the project.
Cardi B is the leading nominee at the BET Awards with seven, including video of the year, thanks to her hits "Money" and "Please Me," co-starring Bruno Mars.
Cardi B, who won two BET Awards last year, is also competing for viewer's choice award and best female hip-hop artist, where her competition includes Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, Megan Thee Stallion, Kash Doll and Lizzo.
The BET Awards kicked off on Sunday with a two-song performance from hip-hop couple Cardi B and her husband Offset.
Offset of the hip-hop trio Migos stepped onstage first before being accompanied by his wife on his lap performing the song "Clout." Cardi B took to stage on her lonesome to perform "Press" on Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The show's host Regina Hall followed their performance with a video skit imitating Beyoncé's behind-the-scenes moments from her documentary. She then went onstage with a marching band while Sugar Bear from the D.C.-based go-go band E.U. performed the 1998 hit song "Da Butt."
The "Girls Trip" actress twerked onstage before Taraji P. Henson joined her and began doing the same.
Cardi B is the leading nominee with seven.
The late Nipsey Hussle will be honored at the 2019 BET Awards, which will be hosted by Regina Hall and feature performances by Cardi B, Migos and H.E.R.
Cardi B is the leading nominee with seven at Sunday night's show, kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Hussle, who was a respected and beloved activist in South Los Angeles, will receive the Humanitarian Award. The rapper was shot to death on March 31 outside his clothing store in what police said was a personal dispute.
Hussle will compete with Drake, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Meek Mill and 21 Savage for best male hip-hop artist.
Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and media mogul Tyler Perry will earn the Ultimate Icon Award.
Los Angeles, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) — Michael Jackson's depiction as a child molester in the HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland" earlier this year, but the negative publicity hasn't greatly diminished the King of Pop's image.
As Tuesday's 10th anniversary of Jackson's death approaches, experts say his music legacy is still going strong despite the documentary's detailed abuse allegations.
Billboard senior editor Gail Mitchell says she interviewed around 30 music executives who believe Jackson's legacy will withstand the controversy.
Signs of any broad backlash against Jackson are few.
The superstar's music was taken off some radio stations, but is still being played in commercials and his memorabilia is still selling.
Jackson's album and theatrical video of "Thriller" remains in the National Recording Registry, and a pair of museums say they're not removing images or artifacts of him.
Dhaka, June 23 (UNB) - Heartbeat actor William Simons, who charmed Sunday evening viewers for nearly two decades as easygoing veteran PC Alf Ventress, has died aged 79, reports BBC.
Welsh-born Simons played the character in all 18 series of the 1960s-set show.
He also appeared in Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Crown Court and Last of the Summer Wine during his 60-year career.
His agent said: "He was a wonderful, kind, warm, witty, lovely human being and anyone who ever worked with him or knew him will be devastated."
Jason Durr, who appeared alongside Simons in Heartbeat paid tribute to the "lovely man".
Simons, who was born in Swansea, was already 51 when he landed the biggest role of his career, playing Alf Ventress when Heartbeat first landed on TV screens in 1992 as a prime-time vehicle for former EastEnders star and chart-topping singer Nick Berry.
Berry played a young London constable who moved north with his family and encountered Ventress as one of the colleagues who helped him build a new life while fighting crime in a rural setting.
The show, set in the fictional Yorkshire villages of Ashfordly and Aidensfield, attracted more than 13 million viewers and saw guest appearances by Gary Barlow, Charlotte Church, Lulu, and David Dickinson - and Yorkshire's legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird.
Simons was very popular with viewers and his character continued to appear in the show as a civilian even after he retired from the force.
And when ITV launched a spin-off show called The Royal, he was asked to play Ventress in six episodes.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Simons enjoyed his role in Heartbeat so much that he bought a house in the village of Goathland, where much of the show's filming took place.
But he sold it 14 years later, explaining in an interview with the Daily Express that Goathland had become so popular with tourists drawn by the Heartbeat factor that "it was impossible to step outside without being recognised".
As a teenage actor, Simons had suffered so badly from acne that he gave up his acting career for a few years and instead got a job as a stage manager.
So as soon as he became a major star on Heartbeat, he became a patron for the Changing Faces charity, which supports people with facial disfigurements.
Heartbeat was based on the Constable series of novels written by ex-policeman Peter N Walker, under the pseudonym Nicholas Rhea.
In an interview before his death in 2017, Walker said Simons had "created a totally believable character, just as I imagined him".
Dhaka, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) - It remains the most widely used anesthetic in U.S. hospitals, but many patients still remember propofol as the drug that killed Michael Jackson.
Most are no longer afraid of it, doctors say, though many still ask if they will get "the Michael Jackson drug" before an operation. And most of them will.
Jackson died 10 years ago at his Los Angeles home after receiving a lethal dose of the drug intended for use only during surgery and other medical procedures — not for insomnia.
As Jackson rehearsed for his comeback tour, he struggled to sleep. Prosecutors said Jackson's personal doctor Conrad Murray gave the singer propofol, as he had many times before, then left him unattended. Murray, who maintains his innocence, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.
A look at the history and safety of propofol:
MILK OF AMNESIA
Jackson called propofol his "milk." It's a white, oily solution injected into a vein. It acts fast, in about 40 seconds, and wears off quickly too. Patients wake up with no hangover or nausea. They don't remember much, earning the drug its nickname "milk of amnesia."
Propofol was a noteworthy advance when it was launched in the late 1980s, but it almost didn't make it out of the lab. An early version caused allergic reactions.
Discoverer John B. Glen kept at it and found a better formula using soybean oil. Thirteen years after its discovery, propofol rapidly replaced sodium thiopental in most operating rooms. Up to 50 million U.S. patients receive propofol annually.
The World Health Organization deemed it an "essential medicine." Glen, who retired from the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, was honored with the prestigious Lasker medical research award last year.
HOW SAFE IS IT?
Because propofol lowers blood pressure and suppresses breathing, patients need to be monitored.
"It's quite safe in an anesthesiologist's hands," said Dr. Beverly Philip of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
These days, patients aren't as afraid of going under, she said. "Now it's more of a matter of curiosity rather than being afraid for their own safety."
Dr. Steven Shafer of Stanford University, a propofol expert who testified at Murray's trial, endorses the appropriate use of propofol.
"Michael Jackson was killed by a reckless and incompetent physician," he said.
Police rarely encounter the drug. It's not a controlled substance under federal law.
There's little abuse in the general public. Almost all cases involve health care workers. They steal it at work to get a pleasant but dangerous high. At least 18 deaths were reported among medical professionals from 1992 to 2009.
University of Utah psychiatrist Dr. Brian Mickey is studying propofol for depression in people who don't get relief from medications or psychotherapy. Other treatments may include brain stimulation such as electroconvulsive therapy, but that can have side effects such as confusion and memory loss.
Mickey and his colleagues published a preliminary study last year that tested a series of high doses of propofol in 10 patients with moderate to severe depression. Half improved and maintained better moods for three months.
Now the researchers are planning a larger study that will test propofol against a sedative called midazolam.
Mickey doesn't know how propofol may help depression, but said it may be triggering the brain to reorganize itself. It may be "coaxing the brain into getting unstuck from this bad, depressed state that it's in," he said.
The study was done in a hospital with an anesthesiologist giving propofol through an IV.
"Don't do this at home," Mickey said.
Los Angeles, June 22 (AP/UNB) — A look at the status of the major figures in the life and death of Michael Jackson after 10 years, starting with the King of Pop himself:
MICHAEL JACKSON: Jackson, who would be 60 years old were he alive, was rehearsing for a tour intended to rehabilitate his career, finances and image when he died at age 50 of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. His death would be a watershed moment, with an outpouring of public affection expressed in an era of burgeoning social media. There was a public memorial service viewed around the world, and a revival of his music and stardom. Posthumous albums, a film drawn from the rehearsals for his final tour and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows using his music helped him become as profitable a pop star in death as he was in life. Allegations of child molestation that dogged him in his final years and peaked with a 2005 trial that ended in his acquittal on criminal charges were mostly forgotten, at least until a revival of them in a documentary earlier this year . He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, nearly two months after his death.
JOSEPH JACKSON, FATHER: Joe Jackson died on June 27, 2018 , at age 89, becoming the only person in Michael Jackson's immediate family who has passed in the decade since the singer's death. A demanding and fearsome patriarch who guided his son's career through The Jackson 5 and early solo years, Joe Jackson had a difficult relationship with his son. He was omitted from his son's will, and waged a fruitless legal battle seeking compensation. He was buried in the same cemetery as his son.
KATHERINE JACKSON, MOTHER: Now 89, Katherine Jackson became more famous after her son's death than she had ever been. She received roughly half her son's estate in his will, and acted as guardian to his three young children immediately after his death, a role her nephew T.J. Jackson has shared in recent years. She was the lead plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live, alleging that the company's hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician who administered the drugs that killed Jackson, made the company responsible for his death. A jury rejected the claim in 2015.
JANET JACKSON, SISTER: The only one of Michael Jackson's siblings who has remotely approached her brother's success as a solo artist, Janet Jackson, 53, has remained popular in the decade since her brother's death. She appeared in films including 2010's "For Colored Girls," and released a self-help book titled "True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself" in 2011. That same year she went on a 35-city greatest hits concert tour, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. She has also focused on charity work and caring for her son, who was born in January 2017.
JACKIE, TITO, MARLON, JERMAINE AND RANDY JACKSON, BROTHERS: Jackson's brothers have kept the family act alive since his death with tours, recordings and shows in various groupings and as solo artists. Many of the siblings, all of whom were left out of Michael's will, were harshly critical of the administration of Jackson's estate. Youngest brother Randy — who does not tour with his brothers but has co-founded a label with sister Janet — has accused the executors of fraud. The brothers were quick to defend Michael's legacy when the HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland" was released this year. They immediately left a tour of Australia to give interviews. "I thought, 'Oh here we go again,'" Jackson's oldest brother, Jackie, told The Associated Press in February. Tito Jackson added, "He's not here no more. He's passed, and, we're his brothers, we're supposed to do this."
LA TOYA AND REBBIE JACKSON, SISTERS
La Toya Jackson, now 63, was among the first family members to arrive at the Los Angeles hospital where her brother was declared dead, and is listed on his death certificate as the person who officially gave notice of his death. A minor pop star who frequently appeared in tabloids in the 1980s and 1990s, LaToya Jackson's career has been mostly in reality TV in the past decade. She was a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice," and had her own reality show, "Life With La Toya," on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel for two seasons starting in 2013. Maureen "Rebbie" Jackson, at 69 the eldest of the Jackson children, is a singer who has continued recording and touring in the past 10 years.
MICHAEL JOSEPH JACKSON II, SON: Michael Jackson's oldest child, who goes by "Prince," was 12 when his father died and is now 22. He graduated in May from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he got a bachelor's degree in business administration. He shared graduation-day photos of himself with relatives on an Instagram account where he posts often, leading a relatively public life compared to his childhood, when his father often had him and his two siblings wear masks in public. After their father's death, the three kids were raised by their grandmother Katherine Jackson and cousin T.J. Jackson.
PARIS JACKSON, DAUGHTER: Now 21, Paris at 11 years old became the public face of grief for the singer when she took the microphone in tears at her father's public memorial and said, "I just want to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much." She told Rolling Stone in a 2017 interview that she struggled with drugs and depression in the years after her father's death and attempted suicide in 2015 before finding sobriety and stability. She has dabbled in modeling, acting and music and is a sought-after celebrity who is also subject of intense tabloid interest. "Basically, as a person, she is who my dad is," her big brother Prince Jackson told Rolling Stone , "in all of her strengths, and almost all her weaknesses as well. She's very passionate." She told the magazine she has at least nine tattoos devoted to her father. "He brought me nothing but joy," Paris Jackson said. "So why not have constant reminders of joy?"
PRINCE JACKSON II, SON: Confusingly, the Jackson child whose birth name is Prince is not the one who goes by Prince (that's the elder brother). Seventeen-year-old Prince Jackson II, the son of Michael and an unknown surrogate, gained strange fame as a baby when his father jokingly dangled him over a balcony. He was known for most of his life as "Blanket." His father said the nickname was meant to mean being wrapped in blessings, as in being "blanketed" with love. At 17, he now goes by the name "Bigi" (BEE'-gee). He has been the most private of the Jackson siblings. He currently attends the private Buckley School in Los Angeles.
DEBBIE ROWE, SECOND WIFE: Michael Jackson's second wife, a nurse he met when she worked for his dermatologist, Rowe is the mother of his two older children. She was absent from the kids' life when their father was alive, but reached an agreement with Katherine Jackson after his death that led to visits with them, though it's not clear how much of a relationship she has with them.
CONRAD MURRAY, DOCTOR: Murray, now 66, had been hired just a few weeks before he administered what turned out to be a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol to Jackson. Murray, who had no training in the use of the drug, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. After a televised trial that took more than six weeks in 2011, a Los Angeles jury found him guilty. A judge called him "a disgrace to the medical profession" and sentenced him to four years in prison. He was released two years ahead of schedule because of good behavior and California's prison overcrowding. He lost medical licenses in California, Nevada and Texas, and was rejected in 2013 when he tried to regain the Texas license. He has kept a low profile since his release, most recently living alone in a condominium in Florida. He spoke to Inside Edition in 2016, maintaining that he had done nothing wrong. "I lost everything," he told the TV show. "Everything I've amassed has been taken from me as a result of an unjust verdict. I am and I remain an innocent man."
DAVID B. WALGREN AND DEBORAH S. BRAZIL, PROSECUTORS: The two deputy district attorneys who prosecuted Murray for manslaughter in his televised trial are now both Los Angeles Superior Court judges.
EDWARD CHERNOFF AND J. MICHAEL FLANAGAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: The men who defended Murray at his trial remain prominent defense attorneys.
QUINCY JONES, PRODUCER: The 86-year-old who produced Michael's biggest hits was awarded $9.4 million from the Jackson estate by a jury in 2017 that ruled he was owed production fees for "Billie Jean," ''Thriller" and other recordings. Jones had sought $30 million.
WADE ROBSON AND JAMES SAFECHUCK, ACCUSERS: Robson and Safechuck, both of whom spent long stretches with Michael Jackson as boys, told authorities when he was accused of child molestation that he had never inappropriately touched them, with Robson testifying as much in the 2005 criminal trial that ended in the pop star's acquittal. But Robson, who became a popular pop-music choreographer as an adult, filed a lawsuit in 2013 alleging that Jackson had in fact molested him. Safechuck filed his own suit with similar allegations the same year. Both suits were thrown out on technical grounds, and are now on appeal. Earlier this year, they told their stories in graphic detail in the HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland ," reviving public discussion of Jackson as alleged sexual abuser. Jackson's estate and family have denounced the men's stories as full of falsehoods.
JOHN BRANCA, EXECUTOR OF ESTATE — Branca, an entertainment attorney who worked with Michael Jackson at the height of his fame in the 1980s, had just returned to Jackson's fold eight days before the singer's death. He has played a major role since then as the co-executor of Jackson's estate, turning nearly $500 million in debt into assets of over $1 billion.