- Created on 30 September 2013
Rapper MC Lyte accepts the "I Am Hip Hop Award" during the BET Hip Hop Awards, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo / David Goldman)
ATLANTA (AP) — MC Lyte said she was initially nervous following a video tribute that honored the veteran rapper for her career achievements at the eighth annual BET Hip-Hop Awards Saturday.
Once MC Lyte gathered herself, she thanked a host of people who helped further her career. She urged the female rappers who have come after her to continue to shine and push the genre forward.
"Please keep the dream alive, I am with you," said MC Lyte, who was given the "I Am Hip-Hop Award" at the taped award show at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. The show airs on Oct. 15.
Rapper Eve handed the award to MC Lyte, who became known in the rap game in the late '80s and '90s. She relied on wit rather than sexuality and rapped with a man's bluster and braggadocio. She delivered hits such as "Cha Cha Cha," ''Lyte as a Rock," ''Poor Georgie" and "I Cram to Understand U."
Actor Will Smith, his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and rapper-actress Queen Latifah took part in the video that paid homage to Lyte.
"She set the precedent for female freestylers," Eve said of MC Lyte. "I'm truly, truly honored. She has meant so much to me in my career."
Drake won the People's Champ award, but Kendrick Lamar captivated attendees with his recorded four-minute freestyle. It earned applause from the audience and others from Rick Ross to MC Lyte.
But shortly afterward, French Montana and Diddy slightly jabbed the Los Angeles-based rapper — who recently called himself the "King of New York" on Big Sean's "Control."
While Montana performed "Ain't Worried About Nothing," he put a crown on Diddy's head as a symbol that the rap mogul is the king of his native New York. When the camera caught Lamar's reaction, he smiled and applauded Montana and Diddy.
Snoop Dogg was his ultra-smooth self in the rapper's first hosting gig, driving onto the stage in a blue 1964 Chevy Impala with hydraulics to start the show. He also used the platform to show off his YouTube network called GGN (Double G News), featuring interviews with rapper 2 Chainz and comedian Luenell.
Kevin Hart provided some comedy, teasing Floyd Mayweather Jr. for wearing cowboy boots. The comedian and his "Real Husbands of Hollywood" cast members also did a spoof of the show's popular freestyle cypher session.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performed "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," ''First of the Month" and "Crossroads." Juvenile made a surprise appearance with 2 Chainz. Rick Ross took the stage with Future, performing "No Games."
- Created on 27 September 2013
This image released by NBC shows, from left, David Brown, Ruben Studdard, and Hap Holmstead on "The Biggest Loser," in Calbasas, Calif. Studdard, the season two winner of "American Idol" is the 15th season’s heaviest contestant at 462 pounds. “The Biggest Loser” returns Oct. 8 at 8 p.m on NBC. (AP Photo/NBC, Trae Patton/NBC)
Ruben Studdard didn't even get one last pig-out session before making his way to "The Biggest Loser" ranch.
"You know, the funny thing is, I was actually working the night before, so I didn't get an opportunity to have a pig-out session, no," Studdard said in a phone call. "I actually flew from a concert to the ranch. ... I'm sure I probably would have had a piece of cake or something before I went up to the ranch for months and months."
The 35-year-old singer became famous winning another reality show — "American Idol" — but had seen his weight climb in the years since. He is the 15th season's heaviest contestant at 462 pounds. "The Biggest Loser" returns Oct. 8 at 8 p.m on NBC.
The Grammy-nominated artist said after the show, he'll record his sixth album, but he will also make sure to "give every day of my life some Ruben time."
"That's what I've been taught, as you know. I have to get up every day and give myself the two hours that I need to keep myself together before I even get into any music stuff, and that's just going to have to be how I do it," he said.
- Created on 26 September 2013
LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson died because of his own bad choices involving the drug that killed him and the doctor who provided it, not because of anything done by AEG Live, a lawyer for the producer of Jackson's comeback concerts told jurors Wednesday.
Delivering his closing argument in the long-running negligence case by Jackson's family, defense attorney Marvin Putnam said the secretive singer never told the producers that he was using the hospital anesthetic propofol to overcome his chronic insomnia.
If AEG Live had known, it would have pulled the plug on the planned tour, the lawyer said.
"AEG would have never agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night," Putnam told jurors.
Putnam also said AEG Live LLC tried to deter Jackson from hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in his death, but Jackson "wouldn't take no for an answer."
Only after Jackson's death, he said, did the company learn about the secret propofol treatments by Murray.
"AEG only learned the truth after Mr. Jackson passed," Putnam said. "They heard for the first time what propofol was."
Putnam stressed that it was Jackson, not AEG, who insisted on hiring Murray, a cardiologist who had befriended the pop star in Las Vegas three years earlier. Jackson, who was using him as a family doctor, told AEG that Murray was to be his physician for the "This Is It" shows in London, according to Putnam.
"He didn't ask AEG," the lawyer said. "He said, `We're using this doctor.' He was a grown man of 50 and as a grown man he is responsible for his own health and his own choices no matter how bad those choices may be."
AEG told Jackson there were great doctors in London but the singer would not be deterred, Putnam said.
"It was his money and he certainly wasn't going to take no for an answer," he said.
Murray was convicted in 2011 after giving Jackson an overdose of propofol on the day he died in 2009. The drug is not meant to be used outside operating rooms.
With Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, a plaintiff in the suit, seated in a front row, Putnam reminded jurors that she said she wanted to know the truth about her son's demise. But she also testified that she closed her ears when she heard bad things about him, he said.
He accused lawyers for the Jackson family of asking jurors to close their ears to facts surrounding the actions of the singer.
"He made some bad choices that resulted in a horrible tragedy. You can't blame someone else for his bad choices," Putnam said.
A day earlier, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson had portrayed AEG Live executives and Murray as mercenaries who sacrificed the pop star's life in a quest to boost their own fortunes.
Attorney Brian Panish said a $150,000-a-month contract to care for Jackson on tour was a lifeline to help Murray climb out of his financial troubles. He blamed AEG executives for failing to realize Murray was unfit for the job.
"Obviously, he was incompetent and unfit," Panish said. "He caused the death of Michael Jackson."
The courtroom atmosphere was starkly changed Wednesday. Panish had brought Hollywood dazzle, showing professionally produced videos of the superstar's life and home movies of him with his children when they were babies.
Putnam, however, focused his argument solely on the law and the evidence jurors had seen during the five-month trial. He showed emails and excerpts from proposed contracts, arguing that there never was a contract between Murray and AEG.
At one point he showed excerpts from "This is It," the documentary about rehearsals for the London concerts. He pointed out that Jackson appeared in control, performing perfectly on a rendition of "Earth Song."
"And 12 hours later, he was dead," Putnam said.
Judging from the footage, AEG could not have known the singer was receiving nightly doses of propofol from Murray, Putnam said.
"AEG Live did not have a crystal ball," he said. "Dr. Murray and Mr. Jackson fooled everyone. They want to blame AEG for something no one saw."
A key issue in the negligence suit is whether AEG Live or Michael Jackson hired Murray.
Putnam said if jurors find AEG didn't do the hiring, their work will be done and they need not decide other questions involving damages.
He ridiculed the plaintiffs for suggesting in documents that AEG should pay $1.5 billion in damages. He said that figure was based on expert witness speculation on how much Jackson could have earned but asserted that damages cannot be based on speculation.
Panish will get a chance Thursday to rebut Putnam's argument before the case is submitted to jurors. A unanimous verdict is not required in the case. Only nine of the 12 jurors must agree.
- Created on 25 September 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z's latest collaboration is with Barneys New York, whose flagship store is creating an "immersive gallery space" with him for the holidays.
The partnership will include limited-edition Jay-Z designs including watches and a humidor, along with products from Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin, Proenza Schouler and other designers, all in a palette of black, white, gold and silver.
A quarter of sales will go to Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation, which helps low-income students cover college costs.
In a statement, Jay-Z said the project takes inspiration from "the slickness, energy, and innovation of New York City."
Artist Joanie Lemercier was brought in to help design the gallery space and the store's famous Madison Avenue windows.
The store previously collaborated with Lady Gaga. The Jay-Z collection will be available beginning Nov. 20.
This product image released by Barneys shows a Hoorsenbuhs ring from a collection of items by Jay-Z. (AP Photo/Barneys)