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Missy Elliott inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

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Missy Elliott has become the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Fighting back tears, Melissa Elliott — her real name — received the honour Thursday night from Queen Latifah, a rap pioneer from the previous generation.

Earlier, the academy broadcast a video in which former first lady Michelle Obama said she is a fan of Elliott, who is 47.

Singer Lizzo and rapper Da Brat paid tribute to Elliott by performing some of her songs.

Before Elliott, two other rappers had made it into the hall of fame: Jermaine Dupri last year and Jay-Z in 2017.

Elliott first tasted success as a producer and writer for other artists before launching a solo career.

Working with producer Timbaland, who shaped some of Elliott’s hip hop and R&B music in the 1990s, she performed with Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child.

Also with Timbaland, Elliott released her first album, entitled “Supa Dupa Fly” in 1997. Her song “The Rain” made her a rap star.

She had a series of hit albums and songs in the 1990s, such as “Work It,” “Hot Boyz” and “Get Ur Freak On,” often recorded with other big-name artists.

At Thursday’s ceremony, the Songwriters Hall of Fame also honoured five other creators, including singer Yusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens, who penned such classics as “Wild World.”

Justin Timberlake received a special prize, the Contemporary Icon Award, which celebrates giants of contemporary music.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Why Buhari must act now, by comedian Ali Baba

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Foremost Nigerian stand-up comedian and actor, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, widely known as Ali Baba recently charged President Muhammad Buhari and Nigerians to be futuristic in their dreams.

The ace comedian who took to his social media page said the present administration needs to be proactive in creating the future for the next generation.

“Buhari needs to act now. He must start creating the future, developing our infrastructures and prepare them for the next generation,” he posted.

“The Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800s. Today, that structure is the centre of the economy of Paris. The Pyramids built in the days of Moses, still feed Egypt. The Walls of China. The leaning Tower of Pissa. The Ruins of Rome… What structures do we have, to drive economic development and help trigger different dreams. Where can you see those iconic landmarks in Nigeria?  How have their values been maximized? Visit our Museums. Yet we want the artefacts taken away, that are getting the best treatment, to be returned. Laughable.”

The 54 years old comedians, however described the present situation of the country as ‘hand to mouth,” “We live from hand to mouth. We sell the oil. Spend it. Drill for more oil. Spend it. And the fraction we even spend is small. The rest of the money stolen. We have been stolen blind. And the thieves are living large amongst us. And we can see them but can’t make them face the music.”

Ali Baba who after completing his academic degree in 1990, relocated to Lagos to develop his comedic talent said he still think about how people tried to discouraged him when he started doing stand-up comedy in 1988.

“In 1988, when I started doing standup comedy, there were many who told me that much. My father disowned me. His reason? He could not see any future in what I did. Many people are limited by history of things and what they already know. Those who create the future get triggered by things that can be seen in the future.

“I look back now and think about how many people tried to discourage me. Those who thought the ladder to success, was exclusively by climbing as a Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Banker, Architect, Accountant, Civil Servant… Today, there are comedians who are worth 3 billion (more or less) in assets and liquid cash. There are comedians, whose social impact and economic value has empowered many who are in those core walks of life mentioned above.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

US Rapper Nicki Minaj to perform in Saudi Arabia

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US rapper Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudi Arabia this month, organisers said, triggering a storm on social media as the ultra-conservative kingdom loosens decades-old restrictions on entertainment.

Minaj, known for her profanity-laced lyrics and raunchy music videos, will perform in the western city of Jeddah on July 18, organisers of the ongoing Jeddah Season cultural festival announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

The headline act, to be televised on MTV, will also feature British musician Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki, local media reported.

“She (Minaj) is going to be actively on her social media, she’ll be posting right from the stage in Jeddah and at her hotel in Jeddah,” Robert Quirke, an event organiser, was quoted as saying by the Arab News daily.

“Everyone is going to know that Nicki Minaj has landed in Saudi Arabia.”

The performance in the kingdom, which forbids alcohol and has a strict social code, comes as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues a sweeping liberalisation drive that has led to new cinemas, concerts and sporting extravaganzas.

The news was widely welcomed in a country where two-thirds of the population is under 30, with one Twitter user posting a picture of Minaj and writing: “My dream has come true”.

But it also triggered outrage from conservative quarters.

“She is going to go and shake her backside and all her songs are about sex… and then everyone tells me to wear the abaya. What the hell!” one woman said in a video posted on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia is boosting entertainment that allows citizens to have fun, in what some see as an attempt to blunt public frustration over an economic downturn and high youth unemployment.

The kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority said it plans to pump $64 billion into the sector in the coming decade.

The reform also stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the kingdom has reeled from low oil prices.

Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighbouring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.

While Saudi Arabia is yet to offer tourist visas, the country has fast-tracked electronic permits for international visitors to attend such festivals to further boost revenue.

But such acts have fuelled controversy in a country still steeped in conservatism.

In June last year, Saudi Arabia sacked the head of its entertainment authority, following an online backlash against a circus featuring women wearing skintight leopards.

(AFP)

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TY Bello Recounts Being Sexually Abused As A 7-Year-Old

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Prominent Nigerian photographer and singer, TY Bello has taken to social media to share her personal experience as a rape victim.

Her revelation is coming amid the trending rape allegation trailing the global senior pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. Busola Dakolo, the wife of Nigerian singer, Timi Dakolo made the allegations in a tell-all interview with Chude Jideonwo, for YNaija TV.

In a lengthy post she shared on Instagram, the mother of two revealed she was sexually abused at a younger age and she had struggled to keep silent for so long.“I remember how the silence I had to keep after the abuse slowly killed me. I also remember the relief I found in my relationship God so early.

That really was my rescue ..yet for decades I could never find my voice on the matter .. I was still afraid ..Mostly because I felt it may have been the fault of my seven-year-old self .. somehow… Fast forward .. almost thirty years later ..I knew better .. and was ‘big’ enough.

“I understood the importance of stepping up when it was time to share my story .. and ..I did in my @kemiadetiba ‘s #kingwomen interview .. it surprised me, however, how hard it was to talk about sexual abuse after so many years .. but it was such a relief . But soon after came the resistance.

“In sharing ..I faintly began tasting the shame again .. that same feeling of naked ‘dirtiness ‘’ I had as a child .. it hadn’t completely gone away. It also became clear .. that real stories of sexual abuse still sounded like NOVELTY.  I saw headline after headline even in broken English .. this my ‘confession ‘.that ‘ Dem ‘SPOIL ‘ me when I be small pikin’..

“It didn’t feel good that it was so ‘sensational’ as I was aware of how massive a plague this was ..WE CLEARLY ARE NOT TALKING ENOUGH ..too many children sexually abused .. too many sex crimes ..especially now .. right under our noses.

“I had to push past the inner conflict that talking about it was ‘unnecessary’ … it was too long ago ..too ‘Oyinboish ‘to discuss publicly .. ‘. ‘Then of course ..that talking about it now would make it seem like my family failed me as a child .. but they didn’t .. and could never have known .. I had mastered SILENCE !they were victims too.

“Every abuse story is different but it is a SHAME that makes them complicated.

“Sadly, the shame hardly lies with the perpetrators. So I’ve learned that it’s time to nail shame right where it belongs ..Far away from the wronged .. Bringing them instead to healing, justice, and freedom.

“We must teach every child the power of their voices. Apparently, we must teach adults too … and more importantly we must learn to listen .. understand and know that Sex is not a dirty word .. but DENIAL is …”

It would be recalled that Bello had also shared her experience with Kemi Adetiba on her notable ‘King Woman’ series.

Some other celebrities who have shared their molestation and rape stories include OAP Dotun and author Chika Unigwe

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