Serena Williams is Half-Naked in 2016 Pirelli Calendar (Pics)

Serena Williams in 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Ava DuVernay, Mellody Hobson and a topless Serena Williams are among the powerful women featured in the new 2016 Pirelli Calendar, shot by famed photographer Annie Liebovitz for its 43rd edition released Monday.

Leibovitz, who was given free rein to cast the calendar, said in a press conference, “Pirelli came to me and told me they wanted to shift this year to something different. I made the suggestion that they do women performance artists or women comedians, almost a takeoff. I just thought of women I admired and I didn’t let anyone in the studio from Pirelli. It became a very strong set of very simple portraits. No one was supposed to look like they tried in these pictures.”


Tennis star Williams is photographed wearing nothing but underwear for the month of April.

Below, set-pics of the photo shoots for Williams, financial mogul Mellody Hobson and director/screenwriter Ava DuVernay:

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Serena Williams in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar
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Serena Williams in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Ava DuVernay in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar



Ava DuVernay in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar
Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Rounding out the calendar are Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson, artist/activist Yoko Ono, writer Fran Lebowitz, musician and author Patti Smith, supermodel Natalia Vodianova, chairperson of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy, Chinese actress Yao Chen, art collector and chairman of MoMA PS1 Agnes Gund with granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund, Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat and comedian Amy Schumer, who also went topless.

Pirelli, an Italian company that mainly manufactures tires, shared a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot:


What Does Future Require In His Concert Dressing Rooms?

Rapper Future appears onstage during the AWXII kick-off concert on September 28, 2015 in New York City.

Another celebrity concert rider has been revealed.

TMZ got its hands on the list of demands from rapper Future based on a show he did last December – a 45 minute gig that put $150,000 in his pocket.

Regarding his dressing room requirements… If donuts are being supplied, he only wants the powdered variety – “fresh white powdered,” to be exact.

The 32-year-old also requires broccoli, chicken fingers and cheddar popcorn, as well as four bottles of Ciroc, Moet and other beverages.

For ambiance, he prefers lemon grass-scented candles.


Female Characters in ‘The Wiz Live!’ Rewritten to be More Empowered

Queen Latifah as The Wiz in NBC's "The Wiz Live!"

The backstories for Dorothy and The Wiz in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Wiz” have been revealed by director Kenny Leon – and don’t expect the duo to resemble any Dorothy or Wiz character we’ve seen before.

“Men are not speaking for them, and that’s the way it should be anyway,” Leon said of the updated roles.

The director swears he wasn’t trying to make a statement when he suggested Queen Latifah play the title role in “The Wiz Live!” The director simply believed she was the best actor — male or female — for the part.

“There’s no reason she can’t be a woman — it’s a dream!” he told The Hollywood Reporter during a New York City press day for the NBC musical. Seizing the opportunity to say something “about the treatment of women,” he and book writer Harvey Fierstein included a new backstory for Latifah’s character.

“She didn’t have the greatest relationship with her husband and that’s how she ended up here. All of the women in this story, they make their own decisions in collaboration with men, but the men are not speaking for them, and that’s the way it should be anyway,” he says.

As for Shanice Williams’ newly-empowered Dorothy, she sets out on a journey driven by her own desires, rather than a victim merely reacting to strong tornadoes and flying houses, or a very helpful friend to the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion in Oz.

“In the movie, her dog gets in trouble by going in the garden, remember? So she wants to go somewhere where there isn’t any trouble. That’s not really a journey, not the kind of journey that the other characters have. I felt, why shouldn’t she have as important a journey?” Fierstein told reporters. “And she’s living with her aunt and uncle, and nobody ever asks why. Where are your parents?”

NBC’s update has Dorothy begrudgingly yanked out of Omaha after her parents suddenly pass away, and having trouble adjusting to a new school, new friends and a new life under her aunt’s roof.

“Her aunt says, ‘Maybe if I could do magic and put your parents back in that house for you, I would do it, but that’s not the way it works,’ ” Fierstein explained. “I have her want to go home, and her aunt says, ‘There’s nothing but an empty house there, baby. This is your home. But there’s a storm coming, and as much as I love you, and as much as I know what’s right for you, I can’t stop you the rest of your life. You’re gonna have to figure this out for yourself.’”

In the end, “when the Wiz offers to take her back to Omaha in the balloon, you remember in the movie, she misses the balloon by accident? Again, she’s just a victim. And I said no. I have her just about to get into the balloon and say, ‘No, my home is in Kansas with my Aunt Em, and I gotta get there,” Fierstein revealed. “She becomes the hero of her own story in this version, which I’m very proud of.”

“The Wiz Live!” airs Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. on NBC.


Keyshia Cole Casually Mentions She’s ‘Engaged’, and Not to Birdman

Recording artists Keyshia Cole poses in the press room during the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Keyshia Cole dropped some major news in a tweet that consisted of just two words.

Asked by a follower if she was married yet, the singer responded. “No. Engaged.”

She didn’t mention a fiancé, but she made it clear who it’s not.

When a fan asked if it was Cash Money CEO Birdman, who Cole dated earlier this year, she replied, “No Mamm.” [sic]

Cole may still be legally married to former Cleveland Cavaliers player Daniel “Booby” Gibson, who has said in recent interviews that he has finally accepted the fact that he is single. Also, both Cole and Gibson have said they are content with being co-parents, and Keyshia hasn’t been romantically linked to anyone of late.

She filed for divorce from Gibson after rumors spread that he was cheating back in early 2014. They have a child together, Daniel, Jr.


Eyrkah Badu to Iggy Azalea: ‘What You’re Doing Is Definitely Not Rap’ (Watch)

Erykah Badu hosts the 2015 Soul Train Music Awards

Erykah Badu found time to come for Iggy Azalea while hosting the Soul Train Awards, which aired Sunday night on Centric and BET.

During her opening monologue, the singer joked about her effect on rappers.

“As you know, I am the queen of neo soul and people say I have this common effect on rappers: that I make them change gods and wear crochet hats, shoulder pads,” said Badu. “So they have banned me from all of the hip-hop awards with a sign saying ‘Erykah Badu, leave our rappers alone.’”

Pretending to receive phone calls, she turns away Andre 3000 and Young Thug. But when she pretended that Iggy Azalea called, she had a different reaction.

“Iggy Azalea?,” she said. “Oh, you can definitely come because what you’re doing is definitely not rap.”

Watch below:

The show was taped Nov. 6 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Weeknd and “Uptown Funk” tied with two awards each to lead the list of winners.

The Weeknd nabbed best R&B/soul male artist and album of the year for Beauty Behind the Madness, while Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars claimed awards for song of the year and video of the year. Among the other winners: Jidenna (“Classic Man”) for best new artist.

The show also included a Jill Scott tribute and a “Soul Cypher” that included Badu, K-Ci Hailey, Chrisette Michelle, Eddie Levert and Lalah Hathaway.


Meet Ice-T and Coco’s New Baby Girl, Chanel Nicole (Pic)

Chanel Nicole

Ice-T and Nicole “Coco” Austin welcomed a new addition to the family Saturday morning (Nov. 28).

The veteran rapper and “Law & Order: SVU” actor’s wife gave birth to their first child together, daughter Chanel Nicole, Coco announced on Instagram.

The pic shows the 18-inch, 5.7 pound newborn mid-yawn and swaddled in a blanket in the hospital room. A pink bow headband completes her look.

“Surprise!!! Look who came early!! Welcome the new arrival of Chanel Nicole,” the new mother captioned the photo of her infant baby girl. “A beautiful healthy 5.7 pound and 18 inch baby girl .Ice and I are so proud! I cried while she was coming out I was so excited to meet her!”

Ice-T also shared his excitement, posting to Twitter, “Ladies and Gentlemen! Please allow me to introduce to the World…. Baby Chanel 5.7 pounds. Love is Love.”

The couple married in January 2002.


Chrissy Teigen’s Planned Parenthood Comments Spark Twitter Beef

chrissy teigenChrissy Teigen’s outspoken nature ended up sparking beef on social media as she aired out her thoughts on the shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs.

According to reports, three people were killed in the incident, which occurred Friday (Nov. 27) and has dominated the news and discussion on various social media outlets. Despite the topic not being brought up by some celebrities, BET notes that Teigen weighed in on in the incident on Twitter.

“Every time s**t like this happens, john and I immediately make another donation to planned parenthood,” tweeted the pregnant “FABLife” co-host who also posted a link to donate to the organization.

From there, the beef came as Teigen was slammed by anti-Planned Parenthood and pro-life Twitter users for having “no brains” and putting her support behind Planned Parenthood instead of Garrett Swasey, the 44-year-old police officer who died in the shoot out.

“@ChrissyTeigen @JohnLegend glad I never bought anything from you, my money not going to planned parenthood,” @RustyRhinehart wrote.

Well, Teigen was clearly in a bring-it-on type of mood. “We have plenty to go around!” a combative Teigen replied. “Will donate $500 in your honor right now. PP thanks you!”

From Teigen’s response it looks like she had no problem bringing it to her critics with as much fire as she’s gotten from those raining down drama on her.

In addition to telling one follower to “f**k off,” Teigen had something to say to another follower who got on her for not making a donation in support of Swasey.

“It would be wonderful if you could promote this as quickly as you promoted donating to PP,” wrote @kobzachipmaker.

“Happy to donate. Anything else?” Teigen fired back, which resulted in the follower telling her, “just want to make sure you remember the people who lost their lives today,”

Putting a wrap on the back and forth, Teigen tweeted back with, “I don’t need you to check where my feelings and mind are. I’m an adult. I’m good. Thank you.”


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