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Rihanna Walked The Red Carpet Dressed Like A Pope 

Photo of Rhinna

The Met Gala formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the MetBall, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.

Each year the event has a theme and includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner. During the cocktail hour, guests arrive to walk on the red carpet, tour the year’s special themed exhibition, and be seated before the dinner party that includes entertainment from the preeminent entertainers of the day. The theme not only sets the tone for the annual exhibit but also for the guests who attempt to dress to uphold the theme of the year, oftentimes causing runs on certain fashion themes among the world’s leading fashion retailers. Sometimes, such as in 2013, the theme is a bit befuddling because it does not provide a clear stylistic directive, while at other times, such as 2014 the theme may be far more challenging to one gender than the other

The theme of the 2018 Met Gala was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” allowing celebs to step for a moment out of the rarefied air they already occupy and into a space of literal deification. Will the honorific of “Queen” Rihanna walked the red carpet dressed like a Pope?

Many celebrities flirted with the Met Gala theme this year — the influence of Catholicism on fashion — but no one took it on as fearlessly as Rihanna, who dressed like the female pope the Vatican’s never had.

She wore a white beaded Margiela corset mini dress under a full skirt, with a beaded bishop’s hat to match. The outfit was accessorized with a pearl anklet and a bejeweled crucifix necklace.

Rihanna’s hat was reminiscent of the papal tiaras worn by popes from the medieval era until the mid-1960s. The last papal tiara — a bejeweled, three-­tiered gold and silver number worth at least $15,000 — was worn in 1963 by Pope Paul VI. He gave his tiara to the world’s poor the following year in a dramatic gesture at the end of a liturgical mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Still, the tiara isn’t banished from Catholicism for good. It can still be worn for ceremonies that call for full papal regalia. It seems only fitting that Rihanna donned the lavish symbol for the most lavish costume party of the year.

Dancehall artist SPICE to Launch “Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation” 

Jamaican dancehall star, Spice, is set to launch her Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation in Jamaica next month.

Spice is taking her mission to help needy Jamaican women to the next level with the launch of the foundation on May 27th at the Eden Gardens in St Andrew, Jamaica.

The “So Mi Like It” deejay has seen a surge in her popularity in dancehall locally and globally over the past few years and now as part of the VH1’s hit reality show, ‘Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta.’

“I heard some horror stories and I think I can provide opportunities or even a platform that can help a lot of young women in today’s society,” she wrote on Instagram recently.

Reggae Stays On Billboard 

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Reggae Artist Jesse Royal

The Billboard Reggae Album Chart which appears weekly in Billboard Magazine, will not be discontinued. That assurance was given by Alex Vitoulis, the publication’s associate director and chart productions manager.

Responding to emailed questions about the chart’s immediate future, Vitoulis denied rumors Billboard was planning to drop it. A rumor circulated on a radio station in South Florida and New York that the publication would scrap its Reggae Album list due to farcical sales returns by leading Jamaican artists. But Vitoulis, without going into detail, said such speculation was unfounded.

The Reggae Album Chart reports on weekly sales in the United States from a combination of physical and digital sales as well as streaming. The first Reggae Album Chart appeared in Billboard on February 5, 1994. The Top 10 albums that week were:

1. Promises & Lies – UB40
2. Cool Runnings Soundtrack – Various Artists
3. Bad Boys – Inner Circle
4. 12 Inches of Snow – Snow
5. Songs of Freedom – Bob Marley
6. Voice of Jamaica – Buju Banton
7. Queen of The Pack – Patra
8. All She Wrote – Chaka Demus & Pliers
9. Pure Pleasure – Shaggy
10. Rough & Ready Vol II – Shabba Ranks

In recent years, the chart has been dominated by American reggae bands like Rebelution and SOJA, who consistently outsell their Jamaican counterparts. Top Jamaican artistes including Romain Virgo, Christopher Martin, and Konshens show modest to poor returns on Billboard.

That is a stark contrast to the 1990s when homegrown acts like Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra, Patra, Super Cat and Dawn Penn made the magazine’s mainstream chart. In 2010, Billboard introduced the Reggae Digital Song Sales Chart which compiles top-selling digital singles. The Billboard Reggae Album Chart is updated on its website on Tuesdays. Beast From The East by American band Bumpin Uglies is the current number one album.

Cardi B Kept Her Pregnancy A Secret, Why? 

Photo: Cardi B 

Cardi B continues to live her best life. The Bronx rapper released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy on Friday and, spoiler alert: it’s a smash. She also got news that she would be the first co-host of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight and she made her Saturday Night Live debut where she finally revealed that she’s pregnant!  

As for the reason why she kept her pregnancy such a secret, Cardi chalked it up to one thing: Haters. According to E! News, in a since-deleted Instagram post, Cardi wrote after presumably seeing negative feedback about the reveal, “This is why I did not [want] to say nothing. People be so thirsty to scrutinize and try to destroy something that [is supposed] to be a blessing.”  

That didn’t stop her from being overjoyed when she left the SNL stage on Saturday night yelling, “I’m free!” backstage.

 

T&T Promoter of Buju Banton Concert Breaks Silence, Expressing Apology to All With Vested Interest in Incarcerated Reggae Icon 

Photo: Buju Banton

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. April 9th, 2018-Trinidad and Tobago promoter, Glenroy Watson expressed his apologies and regrets to organizers of the Love and Harmony Cruise.  There was an erroneous report insinuating that Buju Banton’s first performance, post-prison release, would be in Trinidad and Tobago. Watson said this is incorrect.  

Lamenting that such news, which essentially infuriated many Jamaicans and others on the artiste’s management team, was unfortunately misspoken, Watson, in the same breath assured fans of the ‘Hills and Valleys’ singer in Trinidad and Tobago, that he certainly has secured an April 2019 date, for a concert that will be headlined by Buju. “I am just a bit bothered by the fact that the people of Jamaica and other parties with vested interest in Buju Banton have been uneasy since the initial announcement was made. That of course, was incorrect. There is absolutely no confirmation as of yet, as to where Buju will perform first. We have confirmed our date for the Trinidad and Tobago show in April but that is it. We can say where Buju will perform first," he said.

Watson has been a part of the entertainment landscape in the Caribbean and North America for over a decade. In 2009, he hosted the I Am Legend concert event – the last Trinidad and Tobago had seen and experienced the reggae and dancehall hitmaker. “We are preparing for what will definitely be a mammoth concert event. Right now though, the important thing is for everyone Buju to be reunited with his family, his close friends and the people of his homeland who love, respect and have missed him,” said Watson. 

Mark Myrie Buju Banton will be released from a US Federal prison on December 8th, 2018.

 

 

#WakandaForever: ‘Black Panther To End Saudi Arabia’s 35-Year Cinema Ban 

Black Panther is about to make even more history. 

The soon to be the third highest grossing movie of all-time is going to open in Saudi Arabia on April 18th. The move marks the first time a movie will be shown in a Saudi Arabia movie theater in 35 years. Disney and its Middle East distribution partner Italia Film are set to release the record-breaking film and it will be shown in a new AMC movie theater in Riyadh. 

Saudi Arabia banned movie theaters in the early 1980's after the country passed extremely conservative religious measures in 1979. A successful reform campaign headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman resulted in the ban’s end last year. Salman hopes to revamp and modernize Saudi society and Black Panther looks to be the first dope move.