Jay Z has signed boxing champion Andre Ward to his Roc Nation Sports agency. The middleweight has joined baseball stars C.C. Sabathia and Robinson Cano, basketball superstar Kevin Durant and footballers Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz, Geno Smith and Ndamukong Suh, among others, on the rap mogul's talent roster.
Ward confirmed the news by posting a photo of himself with his new super-agent on Instagram.com on Friday (09Jan15).
Ward is undefeated after 27 professional fights and he's the current World Boxing Association super middleweight champion. He's considered by many experts to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Ward is currently staging a comeback following a dispute with a former promoter.
Toronto Raptors brand ambassador Drake has landed the basketball team's bosses a $25,000 (£14,706) fine after breaking league rules by publicly inviting sports ace Kevin Durant to play in his Canadian hometown. The hip-hop star was onstage at his annual OVO Fest in the city earlier this month (Aug14), when he spotted Durant in the crowd and suggested the Oklahoma City Thunder forward make the move to fellow National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Raptors once he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016.
He told the crowd, "Before we leave, I just want to show one of my brothers something. You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us. I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen."
His comments prompted the audience to launch into a "KD" chant, but the incident has landed Drake in trouble with NBA officials, who have ruled the invite was the equivalent of an open attempt to recruit the player, which violates anti-tampering rules.
Drake was appointed the global ambassador of the Raptors last September (13).
The Game has scored a $20,000 (£12,500) charity donation from basketball star Kevin Durant after the rapper successfully pulled off a three-point shot in a high stakes bet. The Dreams hitmaker, who was offered a basketball scholarship from Washington State University, wanted to prove he still has what it takes on the court during a meet-up with a group of celebrity pals over the weekend (07-08Jun14), and he bet Durant he could score a basket from the three-point line.
The Oklahoma City Thunder ace wasn't convinced and agreed to hand over the cash to The Game's youth team, the California Frog All-Stars, and join the kids for a practise session if he could pull off the feat.
The rapper succeeded and shared video footage of his triumph with fans on Instagram.com.
In the accompanying message, he wrote, "Bet Kevin Durant a.k.a. @EasyMoneySniper $20,000 that he'd have to donate to the @froggallstars & play wit (sic) #LaFamilia in the #DrewLeague if I made an NBA 3 pointer".
The Game's feat was witnessed by fellow rapper Drake, Durant's former Thunder teammate James Harden, and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, who can also be seen in the video clip.
Superstar couple Beyonce and Jay Z are set for a big night at the 2014 BET Awards with four nominations apiece. The Crazy in Love hitmakers will compete against each other in the Best Collaboration category, in which Beyonce's song Drunk in Love, which features her husband, will battle Jay Z and Justin Timberlake's Holy Grail. Drake and Majid Jordan's Hold On (We're Going Home), Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams' Blurred Lines, YG's My Hitta collaboration with Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan and I Luv This by August Alsina and Trinidad Jame$ are also up for the prize.
Meanwhile, rivals Jay Z and Drake will go toe to toe in the Best Male Hip Hop Artist category, alongside Future, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, while Beyonce will battle Janelle Monae, Jhene Aiko, K. Michelle, Rihanna and Tamar Braxton for the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist title. Jay Z and Beyonce will also vie for the coveted Video of the Year award with the videos for Drunk in Love and Partition, respectively. Pharrell Williams' Happy, Chris Brown's Fine China and Drake's Worst Behavior are also nominated.
In the movie categories, Angela Bassett, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong'o and Oprah Winfrey will fight for the Best Actress prize, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Forest Whitaker, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart and Michael B. Jordan are up for the Best Actor trophy. The Best Movie nominees are: 12 Years a Slave, The Best Man Holiday, Fruitvale Station, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Lee Daniels' The Butler.
The 2014 BET Awards will be handed out at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on 29 June (14).
The full list of nominees are:
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Jhene Aiko, K. Michelle, Rihanna, Tamar Braxton
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: August Alsina, Chris Brown, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams
Best Group A$AP Mob Daft Punk Macklemore & Ryan Lewis TGT Young Money
Best Collaboration August Alsina featuring Trinidad Jame$ - I Luv This Beyonce featuring Jay Z - Drunk in Love Drake featuring Majid Jordan - Hold On (We're Going Home) Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake - Holy Grail Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharell Williams - Blurred Lines YG featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan - My Hitta
Best Male Hip Hop Artist Drake Future J. Cole Jay Z Kendrick Lamar
Best Female Hip Hop Artist Angel Haze Charli Baltimore Eve Iggy Azalea Nicki Minaj Video of the Year Beyonce - Partition Beyonce featuring Jay Z - Drunk in Love Chris Brown - Fine China Drake - Worst Behavior Pharrell Williams - Happy
Video Director of the Year Benny Boom Chris Brown Colin Tiley Director X Hype Williams
Best New Artist Ariana Grande August Alsina Mack Wilds Rich Homie Quan ScHoolboy Q
Best Gospel Artist Donnie McClurkin Erica Campbell Hezekiah Walker Tamela Mann Tye Tribbett
Best Actress Angela Bassett Gabrielle Union Kerry Washington Lupita Nyong'o Oprah Winfrey
Best Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor Forest Whitaker Idris Elba Kevin Hart Michael B. Jordan
YoungStars Award Gabrielle Douglas Jacob Latimore Jaden Smith KeKe Palmer Zendaya
Best Movie 12 Years a Slave The Best Man Holiday Fruitvale Station Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Lee Daniels' The Butler
Subway Sportswoman of the Year Brittney Griner Lolo Jones Serena Williams Skylar Diggins Venus Williams
Subway Sportsman of the Year Blake Griffin Carmelo Anthony Floyd Mayweather Jr. Kevin Durant LeBron James
Centric Award Aloe Blacc - The Man Jennifer Hudson featuring T.I. - I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel)" Jhene Aiko - The Worst LiV Warfield - Why Do You Lie? Wale featuring Sam Dew - LoveHate Thing
Best International Act: Africa Davido (Nigeria) Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) Mafikizolo (South Africa) Sarkodie (Ghana) Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Toofan (Togo)
Best International Act: UK Dizzee Rascal Ghetts Krept & Konan Laura Mvula Rita Ora Tinie Tempah
Rapper-turned-sports agent Jay Z has signed baseball superstar Cc Sabathia to his stable of talent. The pitcher joins former New York Yankees teammate Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and basketball star Kevin Durant on the roster at the rap star's Roc Nation Sports.
The 33 year old agreed to a representation deal on Thursday (16Jan14), just weeks after Jay Z hit headlines after helping new signing Cano secure a $240 million (£150 million), 10-year deal with the Seattle Mariners.
Country star Toby Keith has narrated a new documentary which chronicles the players and coaches of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team as they help citizens of his hometown deal with the aftermath of a devastating tornado. The American Soldier hitmaker has added his voice to OKC Thunder: Heart of the City, which will air on TV in America on Friday night (22Nov13).
Keith's hometown of Moore, Oklahoma was ravaged by the storm earlier this year (May13), and he helped raise $2 million (£1.3 million) for the victims during a charity concert in July (13), which featured performances by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Dunn and Sammy Hagar.
In the new TV movie, basketball superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook visit the town to help with relief efforts and staged a training camp practice at a local high school.
U.S. basketball ace Kevin Durant has asked his athlete girlfriend to be his wife. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar reportedly asked Monica Wright, who plays basketball for the Minnesota Lynx, to marry him over the weekend (06-07Jul13).
Local paper The Star Tribune reports point guard Wright confirmed the news she was Durant's new fiancee following the Lynx's victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday (07Jul13), but she refused to offer up further details.
Durant hit the entertainment news headlines last month (Jun13) when he became the first basketball star to sign to Jay-Z's new Roc Nation Sports agency.
Rapper Jay-Z has made his first major signing as a qualified sports agent by picking up basketball superstar Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder all-star has signed to Roc Nation Sports, the new agency the hip-hop icon has launched with bosses at the Creative Artist Agency.
Durant's new rep says, "He has a 90.5 (per cent) free throw shooting rate... (He's) a giving individual and a legend in the making. What more can I say?"
The Thunder star is considered one of the best five players in professional basketball.
Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports also represents New York Yankees all-star second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and female basketball phenomenon Skylar Diggins.
On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the grieving town of Newtown, Conn., and the nation as a whole at a prayer vigil for the 26 innocent children and teachers who lost their lives during Friday's tragedy. “I am very mindful that words cannot match the depths of your sorrow. But whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. … Newtown, you are not alone," Obama began from behind a podium at Newtown High School.
What followed was an 18-minute-long speech that will not soon be forgotten. While Obama touched briefly on the political implications of the tragedy — and necessity for change — he focused mostly on great loss our nation has suffered. To close, Obama read off the names of the 20 children who lost their lives on Friday.
Below is a video of Obama's stirring words:
In the wake of Friday's horrific events, other celebrities and media outlets have shown an outpouring of support for the victims' families, each in their own unique way.
Saturday Night Live's Cherubic Choir
On Saturday night, the sketch comedy show opened with a quiet tribute to the previous day's events: a children's choir softly sang the hymn "Silent Night."
Mister Rogers' Wise Words
While Fred Rogers, the creator and star of PBS' long-running children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood passed away in 2003, Buzzfeed resurrected his words on Saturday to inspire hope. He said:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.The NFL Observes a Moment of Silence
On Sunday, the NFL requested that teams hold a moment of silence before each game. In addition, the New England Patriots sent up 26 flares, one at a time, to represent those who lost their lives.
Kevin Durant's Custom Shoes
The Oklahoma City Thunder's star player Kevin Durant wrote "Newtown, CT" on his shoes for his Saturday game against the Sacramento Kings.
Survivor Pauses to Reflect
Survivor host Jeff Probst asked that everyone present at Sunday's live finale observe a moment of silence before announcing the season's winner.
Michael Ian Black's Personal Perspective
On his blog, comedian Michael Ian Black, who lives in Conn. with his wife and children, recounted his own personal tale of the day's events. He writes: Before she went to bed, my daughter asked my wife if it had been especially windy outside today. “I don’t think so,” my wife said, “Why do you ask?” “Oh, because it looked really nice out but the teachers said there was a storm so we couldn’t have outdoor recess.”
My wife and I held each other for a long time in bed this morning and after a while, our daughter got in bed with us, too.
It’s a bright, sunny day here in the wilds of Connecticut where I live, a perfect December day. That’s what I call it when people ask me where I live - “the wilds of Connecticut” - because Connecticut, while rural, is a manicured wilderness. The gravest danger any of us normally face is hitting a deer while driving.Blossom Star Jenna Von Oy's People Blog Post
Like Black, Von Oy has a personal connection to Newtown — she grew up there and her family still resides there. In a moving essay published on People.com, Von Oy expresses her profound sorrow for Friday's events as well as her confidence that the strong people who live there will be able to rise above this tragedy. She writes, "I know, with absolute certainty, the residents of Newtown will rise up with love and strength in the face of their suffering. When you think of my hometown, I hope you'll think beyond this moment in its history."
Mike Posner Writes a Song
Michigan-born music artist Mike Posner expressed his grief for the tragedy to befall Newtown by penning a soft, touching song titled "Heaven," and the above accompanying note that he posted on Instagram. The 24-year-old R&B singer/songwriter dedicated his song in a brief spoken introduction to the families of the tragedy. Posner's ballad strives to both illustrate the devastating pain undertaken by those who lost loved ones, and to highlight his belief that despite these sorts of horrors, there still is good in the world.
“Heaven” – Mike Posner
Download Mike Posner Heaven
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Getty (2), PBS, CBS, Instagram]
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There's a time and place where people from every corner of the Earth can come together to speak a universal language of unity. And sure, Twitter is great and all, but it's time for the Olympics! Both of these worlds will inevitably collide as not only everyone watching the 2012 Summer Olympics will have something to say about it on the social networking hub, but those actually competing in the games will, too.
Many of the U.S. athletes competing in this year's games have already been tweeting about their journey to London and keeping their followers and fans up to speed on their quest to the podium. Take, for instance, rising tennis star Lisa Raymond, who recently took to her Twitter to share, "On the plane to #london2012 , Carl Lewis sitting in front of me- gotta be a good sign right?!?!!! #Olympics."
From the prank-happy U.S. basketball team to Twitter/Olympic all-stars like Michael Phelps, there's plenty to keep you entertained during those commercial breaks while watching hour upon hour of Olympic greatness. Here now are Hollywood.com's staff's picks for the essential American athletes to follow during the 2012 Summer Olympics. #USA! #USA! #USA!:
Michael Phelps: Who has a better perspective on the thrill of the Olympics than a 14-time gold medalist? The Subway sandwich enthusiast always makes sure to keep his fans up to speed on his whereabouts, from the exciting ("Last workout in France today!! Then finally get to head to #LONDON2012 !!") to the mundane ("I hate hiccups," "Sitting at lunch now…"). Just like in 2008, all eyes will be on Phelps, and this time around, likely all of the tweets, too.
Ryan Lochte: You know that old saying: why follow one incredibly hot U.S. swimmer when you can follow two? Well, Ryan Lochte is now the answer to that question! Sure, not every tweet is as enthralling as watching him race ("Really enjoying this weather in London!") but he's just as loyal to his fan base as they are to him ("I love LOCHTE NATION!!! I'm looking at all the replies...WOW you guys are amazing support!!") Jeah, buddy!
Missy Franklin: Sorry fellas, you can't get all the swimmer glory on Twitter. Especially not when there's awesome female swimmers like Missy Franklin, who send out great, RT-friendly tweets like this: "I saw the Tower of London today! Wish I could spend more time there, but I guess I have to swim soon or something."
Venus Williams: Never mind the fact that you should already be following both Venus and her sister Serena Williams on Twitter (consider it your civic duty) but the tennis superstar shares everything from visiting a Jamba Juice (awesome) to getting passed the Olympic torch (super awesome) to representing our great nation in the games (super, incredibly awesome: see above.) There's a reason why she's 841,989 followers and counting.
Kevin Durant: While the entire U.S. Men's Basketball team is worth following on Twitter (if only for their hilarious ongoing sleeping picture pranks), the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who will be making his Olympic debut this year, is already a champ at keeping us entertained at 140 characters or less. Durant's excitement about his experiences so far ("Headed to Manchester with my USA bball teammates!! So blessed I get this opportunity!! #PGCountyRepresenter!!") not to mention sharing some great photo ops (including this amazing one with his teammates below) has all the makings of a dream Twitter team.
Jordan Burroughs: With a Twitter handle like @alliseeisgold, how could you not follow wrestler Jordan Burroughs during the Olympics? Plus, the guy seems as tech savvy as they get: Burroughs bought a flip cam to document his time in London and got his dad an iPad. And you just can't argue with the fortune cookie of destiny!
Alex Morgan: Gooooooooaaaaaaal! Who says Americans don't care about soccer? With a fierce player like Alex Morgan representing the U.S. it's impossible not to get wrapped up in the other football. Giving insight from both on and off the soccer field (hey, she needs coffee just as much as we do!) she's one to watch during the Olympics and on Twitter.
Misty May-Treanor: A verified volleyball superstar and a verified tweeter, Misty May is a friend of both instagram and promotion (plenty of Nike and Visa shout-outs!) A serial tweeter, you can be sure she'll give us plenty of reading material during the games.
Alexandra Raisman: Every four years, we as a nation become engrossed with the women's gymnastics team and it looks like 2012 will be no different. We're already keeping up with the likes of Kyla Ross (whose Twitter background will make you dizzier than a series of backflips), McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, and Gabrielle Douglas, but our favorite so far has been Alexandra (Aly) Raisman. The 18-year-old not only gives insider perspective ("PODIUM TRAINING TODAY. Aaaaaah too excited. Can't believe it's already here, everything's going by so fast!") but she can rock a mean British accent, too. Or so say says. "My British accent is spot on. Well at least I think it is... ;)"
Tyson Gay: Tyson, as his Twitter profile explains, is "the American record holder at 100m, at 9.69 seconds. Trying to be the fastest man in history. Also is a world champion sprinter and Olympian." But even world class athletes like Gay fall victim to the dreaded pocket tweet, like he did on July 24. Still, his intentional tweets are even better. Case in point: "Happy to win today in London. Things are coming together for the big race here next month #London 2012. Thank to all for your support."
Allyson Felix: A breakout star at the 2008 Olympics, the gold and silver medalist seems poised to be a winner on the track again. And, yep, on Twitter. She's bringing some much-needed California girl flare flare to London, care of Twitter.
Steven Lopez: Like so many other U.S. athletes on this list, Lopez, a Tae Kwon Do gold medal champ, is returning to the games for (hopefully) more glory. A fan-friendly tweet, Lopez might give you a RT if you send him some Olympic-sized loved. Then again, why would you even attempt to say something mean about a guy who tweets about "Working on face kicks"?
Lolo Jones: The athlete with perhaps the single cutest Twitter profile pic (she's hurdling over her pup!) Lolo Jones is the one you'll want to follow if you're big on religion/inspirational-based tweets during the games.
Phil Dalhausser: The charming volleyball champ (he won gold at the 2008 games) is just as much fun to watch on Twitter as he is during a match. Sure, there would be nothing quite like actually being at the games, but Dalhausser certainly makes us feel like we're there, from stunning scenes from his hotel balcony to exciting insight about London's Olympic facilities
John Orozco: Speaking of great Twitter profile pics, male gymnast John Orozco gets a gold medal for his. The Bronx native, who gets Twitter love from the likes of Gym Class Hereos and Ricky Martin, is posing with First Lady Michelle Obama in his profile shot. Talk about a team USA good luck charm.
Who will you be following on Twitter during the 2012 Summer Olympics? Share with us on Twitter @Hollywood_com!
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