KOOL & THE GANG CO-FOUNDER DENNIS THOMAS DIES AT 70: According to TMZ, co-founder of Kool & The Gang, Dennis "Dee Tee" Thomas died Saturday (August 7th) in his sleep at his home in Montclair, New Jersey. He was 70. Thomas was the alto sax player, flutist and percussionist. He served as master of ceremonies at the band’s shows. His last appearance with the group was July Fourth at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Thomas was known for his prologue on the band's 1971 hit "Who's Gonna Take The Weight." No cause of death has been determined. Thomas is survived by his wife, Phynjuar Saunders Thomas, daughter Tuesday Rankin and sons David Thomas and Devin Thomas.
BEYONCE RELEASES NEW AD FOR IVY PARK RODEO: Beyonce has a new Ivy Park collection on the way. The new line is called Ivy Park Rodeo, which channels the singer's Souther roots. Beyonce, along with her mom Tina Knowles Lawson, Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe, singer Snoh Aalegra, real-life cowboy Glynn Turman and more are featured in the ad. Beyonce told The Houston Chronicle that the line was inspired by “how much of the Black, brown and Native cowboy stories are missing in American history.” She added, “I am proud to represent Houston culture, my roots and all the people who understand fried Snickers and fried turkey legs." The new collection goes on sale on August 19th.
LAURYN HILL ADDRESSES HER LATENESS IN NEW NAS SONG 'NOBODY': Lauryn Hill has addressed being late to shows in a new song with Nas called "Nobody." She raps on the song, “Now let me give it to you balanced and with clarity. I don’t need to turn myself into a parody. I don’t–I don’t do the sh*t you do for popularity. They clearly didn’t understand when I said “I Get Out” apparently. My awareness like Keanu in The Matrix. I’m savin’ souls and y’all complainin’ ’bout my lateness. Now it’s illegal for someone to walk in greatness.”
USHER SAYS HE AND T-PAIN ARE COOL: Usher says that he and T-Pain are cool after the singer revealed that he was depressed after Usher told him he messed up music forever with his use of Auto-Tune. Usher told Billboard, “I’m happy that T-Pain said something. I’m not sure if it was before or after our actual conversation, after I heard what was said. It was very hurtful to know that he had experienced that kind of hardship in life. I wouldn’t wish that on any person.” He continued, “Private conversations for me have always been intended to uplift. But when or if people get pieces of it, they can always have some other interpretation. But we’ve spoken since and we’re good.”
APRYL JONES WANTS OMARION TO STOP SERVING HER COURT PAPERS OVER THEIR CHILDREN: Apryl Jones took to Instagram to speak on her co-parenting relationship with ex Omarion, saying that he continues to serve her court papers. She said, “He has people that help him with the kids, so I’d rather preferably deal with them, you get what I’m saying? That’s our method… and I’m always getting served. That’s just the truth, that’s just the truth. So it’s like constantly having to deal with that in court.” She continues, “Like I’m tired, and I would preferably like for it to stop, but that’s just kind of what it’s boiled down to. But like I said, we figured out a method. That doesn’t bother me anymore, as far as being served… how is that!?”