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Rap scores Grammy breakthrough while girl power rules awards show

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Rap scores Grammy breakthrough while girl power rules awards show

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “This is America,” Childish Gambino’s searing indictment of police brutality and racism, scored a breakthrough for rap on Sunday at the Grammy awards, where the top prize went to country artist Kacey Musgraves.

61st Grammy Awards – Photo Room – Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 10, 2019 – Kacey Musgraves poses backstage with her four awards, including for Album of the Year for “Golden Hour.” REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

It won both record and song of the year, becoming the first hip hop track to win either of the top Grammy categories in 61 years. “This is America” also took Grammys for best music video and best rap performance.

However, Childish Gambino, the music alter ego of actor Donald Glover, was not around to accept the honor.

Both Glover and leading nominee Kendrick Lamar were Grammy no-shows in what was seen as a snub by the rappers for past disappointments when socially incisive rap material lost out to pop or R&B at the highest honors in the music business.

“I really wish he (Glover) was here right now. All of this was his vision and he deserves this credit,” said songwriter Ludwig Goransson, who worked with Glover on the track.

“It speaks to people, it calls out injustice, celebrates life and reunites us all at the same time,” Goransson said, accepting the award on Glover’s behalf.

The album of the year Grammy went to Musgraves for “Golden Hour,” reflecting a show and a year that was dominated by female performers and winners across multiple genres.

“I would have nothing without songs. It’s all about the songs,” said Musgraves, who also won three other Grammys.

SPRINGING A SURPRISE

Popular rapper Cardi B, who wore a black and silver mesh body suit to perform her song “Money,” won her first Grammy, taking best rap album for “Invasion of Privacy.”

The outspoken New Yorker seemed uncharacteristically overwhelmed by the win.

“Ooh. The nerves are so bad,” she said, accepting her Grammy. “Maybe I need to start smoking weed.”

Lady Gaga won three trophies and British pop singer Dua Lipa was named best new artist. Canadian rapper Drake, who was also not expected to show up, made a surprise appearance to accept the Grammy for best rap song for “God’s Plan.”

Drake, the biggest streaming artist of 2018, told musicians not to worry about winning prizes.

“The point is you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown,” Drake said in his acceptance speech.

“If there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow and spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you,” he said.

Music, old and new, ruled in a live telecast that was largely politics-free, in contrast to U.S. awards shows in the past two years.

Hosted by Alicia Keys, the show featured rousing performances by Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Diana Ross, Camila Cabello, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae and Katy Perry, as well as a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

Slideshow (43 Images)

The Grammys sprang another surprise by bringing on former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama for an opening segment in which she joined Lady Gaga, Keys, Lopez and actress Jada Pinkett Smith to talk about the power of music.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the (Chicago) Southside to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama told the cheering celebrity audience in Los Angeles.

Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Paul Tait

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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by two masked men yelling racist and homophobic epithets, as well as “This is MAGA country,” MSNBC host Al Sharpton came out in support of the star.

“We can’t make people love each other, but we can sure hold them accountable if they harm each other,” Sharpton said at the end of his “Final Thoughts” segment headlined, “We’re with you Jussie.”

But amid multiple reports this weekend that Smollett may have been involved in orchestrating the attack, Sharpton, who made his name in the 1980s as the spokesperson Tawana Brawley in what turned out to be false claims she was raped by four white men, changed his tune on-air on Sunday.

ROBIN ROBERTS SAYS COPS FELT JUSSIE SMOLLETT WAS CREDIBLE AT TIME OF INTERVIEW

Sharpton still thinks someone should be punished, but his tune has changed as these new reports emerged.

“If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did, in some way, perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” Sharpton said referring to the actor and two men linked to him who have been questioned by police. “Let us get to the bottom of it, and let justice be done, no matter who is right or wrong.”

POLITICIANS WHO JUMPED ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT ATTACK CLAIM IN AWKWARD SPOT

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, has claimed he was attacked by two masked men early on Jan. 29 as he walked to his Chicago apartment from a Subway restaurant. Smollett alleged the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him.

Sharpton famously lost a defamation suit when the Brawley attack was eventually found not to have happened. Now, there are reports that Smollett might have also orchestrated an alleged attack — as local reports have cited sources saying the attack was a hoax, though the Chicago Police Department has not confirmed that.

Last week, Chicago police questioned two Nigerian brothers in the reported attack but released them Friday without charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the pair had given officers information that had “shifted the trajectory of the investigation.”

FOX NATION’S ‘SCANDALOUS: THE MYSTERIOUS STORY OF TAWANA BRAWLEY’ GOES IN-DEPTH ON THE LIE THAT MADE AL SHARPTON FAMOUS

“While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident, ” Guglielmi said Sunday.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.
(AP)

Smollett received an outpouring of support from politicians and celebs when he first went public about the alleged attack in January. Smollett reportedly has claimed at least one of the attackers said to him, “this is MAGA country,” in reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan.

The Brawley rape allegations in the late 1980s left an entire community on the brink of “civil war” – and a recent Fox Nation documentary took a closer look at one of the most racially-charged legal sagas in American history.

The New York teen’s claims — in which she said she was allegedly raped in the woods by multiple white men in Wappingers Falls, New York, and then left wrapped in a feces-covered plastic bag with racial slurs written on her body — helped springboard the careers of activists including Sharpton. But after an extensive investigation filled with twists and turns, a grand jury found the allegations to be an elaborate hoax.

Smollett’s lawyer has denied his client had anything to do with his alleged attack in Chicago.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Greg Norman and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

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Pregnant Meghan Markle arrives in New York City for royal baby shower

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Pregnant Meghan Markle arrives in New York City for royal baby shower

Meghan Markle will celebrate her baby shower in the Big Apple.

MEGHAN MARKLE’S FAMILY DRAMA LIKELY TO WORSEN AFTER ROYAL BABY IS BORN

The pregnant Duchess of Sussex reportedly touched down in New York City on Monday with the party scheduled for Tuesday.

The 37-year-old former “Suits” star’s stylist and best friend Jessica Mulroney is in charge of the shower, Page Six reported.

The shower is said to be taking place at an Upper East Side hotel.

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It’s unclear who else is on the guest list or whether Markle will also have a baby shower across the pond.

Markle and husband Prince Harry announced in October that they’re expecting their first child.

5 UNUSUAL TRADITIONS MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINCE HARRY’S ROYAL BABY WILL HAVE TO FOLLOW

The baby is due in the spring, likely in April.

MEGHAN MARKLE’S BABY BUMP CRADLING SPARKS BACKLASH

Markle and Harry will reportedly have a working “babymoon” in Morocco starting Saturday.

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Worship leader began fostering because ‘the Lord started to speak to us’

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Worship leader began fostering because 'the Lord started to speak to us'

Worship leader Lindy Conant-Cofer, 30, went into missions right out of high school with her sight set on traveling the world to preach the gospel. But while her beliefs haven’t changed, her perspective has.

“So often we think if we’re not in Africa or India, we can’t do something great in missions, but the paradigm shift we’re in is it’s not just nations, it’s your neighbor,” Conant-Cofer told Fox News. “It’s like God is saying, ‘I want you to go next door and share the love with them.'”

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN ARTISTS SEE ‘THIRD GREAT AWAKENING’ COMING

Conant-Cofer and her husband, Chase, started seeing a lot of their friends fostering and adopting kids, but they didn’t think it was for them, especially given that they travel a good portion of the year with the “Carry the Love” campaign, a ministry to reach college students with the love of Jesus. She was also busy writing songs for her debut album with Bethel Music‘s imprint, Heritage Music, as a follow up to her first album, Every Nation, with her band Lindy & The Circuit Riders.

‘WHEN GOD BECOMES REAL’: BETHEL PASTOR OPENS UP AFTER BEING HOSPITALIZED FOR NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

“But the Lord started to speak to us,” she said. “If we won’t take in these kids, I actually don’t know who is?” Just one day, I felt like the Lord said in His still small voice ‘Lindy, you have to value life over your schedule.'”

Lindy Conant-Cofer leads worship ahead of her new album, "Driven By Love," releasing on Feb. 22.

Lindy Conant-Cofer leads worship ahead of her new album, “Driven By Love,” releasing on Feb. 22.
(Lindy Conant-Cofer)

In December, the Huntington Beach, Calif. couple decided to take that step of faith.

They drove to the hospital Dec. 21 to pick up their first newborn as foster parents, playing her new album, “Driven By Love,” on the way, as the songs gave them the courage and faith they needed.

“We were prophesying our new season,” she added.

Now the couple is joining an “adoption and foster care movement” that kicks off Feb. 23 around “The Send,” a gathering expected to bring around 60,000 Christians at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Lindy & The Circuit Riders will be leading worship during the big event.

ARKANSAS COUPLE ADOPTS SEVEN SIBLINGS AT ONCE, GIVING THEM A ‘FOREVER FAMILY’ 

One of the initiatives is pushing for 1,000 days of adoption and foster care leading up to World Children’s Day 2020.

She said it’s not about getting mad at the culture, amid debates on abortion and infanticide or bleak statistics on kids who don’t have permanent families. Instead, Christians should have a “joyful response.”

TEXAS COUPLE: GOD ‘PURPOSEFULLY CONNECTED’ US TO KIDS FOUND CHAINED IN HORRIFIC ABUSE CASE

“I want my hands to be connected to my heart. I want my life to be a testimony,” she said. “The light is going to shine so bright and help people see there is something birthing forth. We are in a move of God.”

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