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Cardi B I'm the Pepsi Star For Super Bowl 53!!!

1/17/2019 5:13 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cardi B is about to join a rarefied group of superstars, including Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Britney Spears ... donning Pepsi's red, white and blue for the company's Super Bowl ad campaign ... TMZ has learned.

Production sources tell us Cardi B is officially locked as this year's Pepsi celeb spokesperson. We're told the ad has already been shot and will air during SB 53.

The Pepsi spot is considered the premiere commercial during the big game, which is watched by hundreds of millions and has a long afterlife. 

Cindy Crawford did the honors last year, and her predecessors include Pink, One Direction, Madonna, Mariah Carey and The Spice Girls.

Cardi is also set to put on a show with Bruno Mars in the days leading up to The Super Bowl ... the buzz is that it will be the biggest party of the weekend.   

As we reported ... Cardi was in talks to join Maroon 5 during the halftime show, but negotiations fell apart.

Thing is ... even though she won't be performing on the Super Bowl stage, the Pepsi commercial is a monumental TV moment. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez If Mitch Won't End Shutdown ... Cardi B and I Will!!!

1/17/2019 3:35 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still desperately seeking the one man who can end the government shutdown today ... and says Cardi B's verbal smackdown of President Trump is on point.

We got the freshman congresswoman Thursday on the Hill, and she continued calling out Sen. Mitch McConnell. She says he's nowhere to be found, and places blame on him -- more than Trump -- for the fact government employees still aren't getting paid ... 27 days into the shutdown.

AOC's first speech from the House floor on Wednesday topped 1 million views -- a record for C-Span's Twitter feed -- so, it's clear people are paying attention when she speaks. Still, she admits she can't smoke out McConnell.

She also weighed in on her fellow New Yorker's rant about the gov't shutdown.

If ya missed it, Cardi B blasted Trump, saying "our country is in a hellhole right now, all for a f***ing wall."

Not shockingly, Cortez gives Cardi her stamp of approval, and says they might have to do what Sen. McConnell won't do.

Ray J 38th Bday Wish Comes True $400k of Maybachs & Lincolns, Baby!!!

1/17/2019 2:32 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ray J rang in his 38th birthday with the best gift possible -- a couple of new 4-wheel treats for himself and his wife, Princess Love ... for which he spared no expense. 

Sources close to the R&B singer tell TMZ ... Ray went car shopping Wednesday at one of the best pit stops for the filthy rich -- Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. in Scottsdale, AZ, where he was given the VIP treatment by none other than CEO Craig Jackson.

Jackson guided Ray on a tour of the facility along with his movie producer pal, RD Whittington, where they saw just about every type of classic car you can imagine.

By the end of it, Ray was ready to buy and we're told he went with something a little more modern than a Model T -- like a 2018 Mercedes-Benz Maybach and 2019 Lincoln Navigator! Total cost ... a cool $410,000. Easy money, if you're RJ.

Our sources say the Maybach was the pricier whip of the two, running him $320k, while the Lincoln cost $90k. Of course, he couldn't help but pose with his new prized possessions.

Like they say ... treat yourself.

Megyn Kelly Ready For Jury Duty ... It's Been A While Since I've Had Time For This!!!

1/17/2019 1:54 PM PST

Megyn Kelly is keeping herself busy during her work furlough ... because she just reported for jury duty in New York, the first time in years she's had time to perform her civic duty. 

The former NBC and Fox News host showed up Thursday morning at Manhattan Supreme Court, and she was ready for a long day ... Megyn was packing a couple newspapers, two crossword books, and an iPad with "Crazy Rich Asians" on deck. 

We're guessing she's been hitting the gym in her downtime, too ... sounds like one heavy purse! 

As you know ... Megyn hasn't been on the air since October, when she was ousted from NBC for her blackface remarks

Megyn was in a joking mood even before she showed up to the courthouse. Of course, you can really take advantage of funemployment when you're raking in around $35 million.

Watch ... Megyn says she hasn't served on a jury in forever, and she drops another hint about when she might return to TV.

Morgan Freeman Granddaughter's Killer Gets 20 Years

1/17/2019 1:42 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The man convicted of killing Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter is going away for 20 years ... TMZ has learned.

E'Dena Hines' killer, Lamar Davenport, was sentenced Thursday in NYC ... according to Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

Davenport was convicted of manslaughter last May. As we reported, he killed Hines -- who was his girlfriend at the time -- in August 2015 outside of their NYC apartment. Witnesses said he repeatedly stabbed her as he screamed about religion.

Davenport was acquitted of second-degree murder after his lawyer argued he was messed up on PCP when he attacked E'Dena. However, a judge subsequently found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter.

After he's released from prison, Davenport will be placed under post-release supervision for 5 years.

E'Dena was 33.

Prince Philip Flips SUV in Crash!!! Gets Breathalyzer Test

1/17/2019 12:28 PM PST
Exclusive Details

12:25 PM PT -- Police tell TMZ ... Prince Philip and the driver of the other vehicle were both given breathalyzer tests. Police say that's standard ops, but imagine being the officer asking Queen Elizabeth's husband to blow. 

Both of them passed with flying colors, btw. 

We're told the other driver suffered minor cuts, and her passenger has an arm injury. They were treated and released ... from Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, just dodged a huge bullet, because he survived a car crash in England ... and the 97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was behind the wheel!

Buckingham Palace tells TMZ ... the Duke of Edinburgh was seen by a doctor as a precaution and the doc confirmed Philip was not injured. 

The two-vehicle collision happened Thursday afternoon near the Sandringham Estate, the private home of Queen Elizabeth. Police reportedly responded to the scene just after 3 PM and assisted two people with minor injuries, but miraculously Philip was unharmed.

As you can see, the crash left an SUV on its side ... and that's the one Philip was driving!

Philip, granddad to Prince William and Prince Harry, married Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen. Philip was dubbed Prince of the U.K. back in 1957. 

At 97, Philip is the oldest ever male British Royal. After surviving Thursday's car crash, seems Philip still has his good luck.

Originally Published 11:05 AM PT

Chris Hansen Can't 'Catch' a Break ... Getting Evicted from NYC Apt.

1/17/2019 12:50 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Hansen's appears to be having a rough time, at least financially -- he's getting booted from his home in Manhattan ... TMZ has learned.

According to legal docs ... the former host of "To Catch a Predator" last paid rent in August 2018, but was $400 short, and stopped sending checks altogether after that. So, the owner of the pad went to court in October and filed paperwork to have Chris evicted.

In the eviction docs, the landlord says Chris owes $400 for August, plus $3,600 for September.

Hansen was ordered out of the apartment last week by a judge and given 10 days to vacate. The official eviction day is Friday, and city marshals are set to perform removal services then.

As we reported, Hansen was arrested Monday in Stamford, Connecticut for larceny -- he allegedly bounced a couple checks to cover a $13k tab for a bunch of merch he bought.

We reached out to Chris for comment on the eviction. So far, no word back.

Ex-'L&HH' Star Benzino Pleads Guilty In Felony Drug Case

1/17/2019 12:00 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Former "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star Benzino has copped a plea deal in his felony drug case out of Georgia, and avoided jail time as a result ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for the Cobb County District Attorney's Office tells TMZ ... Raymond Scott (Benzino's real name) pled guilty to all 3 charges he was facing Thursday morning. We're told he was sentenced to 2 years probation and fined $500 ... plus surcharges. 

We broke the story ... the music producer was arrested in January 2017 after cops raided his ATL apartment and found drugs inside. He was charged with felony possession of THC oil gummies (22 grams), felony possession of 6 MDMA pills, and misdemeanor possession of less than an ounce of weed. 

We talked to Benzino about the case last month, and he told us the search warrant cops used to get into his pad was illegal ... even though a judge signed off on it. He was adamant that racist police officers were behind the trumped-up charges, and at the time ... told us he was gonna fight it in court.

If he'd been convicted on all charges during his trial, he would've faced up to 15 years in prison. Looks like he had a change of heart.

Betty White You Bet I'm Celebrating #97 ... It's Poker Night!!!

1/17/2019 10:21 AM PST

Betty White's been on this earth for 97 years, but she'll never stop hustlin' ... especially when it comes to playing cards.

The Hollywood legend's celebrating her 97th birthday today, and sources close to her tell TMZ she's using the special occasion as a reason to hook up with some friends Thursday night and play poker.

We're told Betty's poker pals go way back -- she's been anteing up with them for decades.

As for her health -- we're told Betty's feeling great and happy as ever. She was spotted out on a rainy day in Beverly Hills Wednesday, and as always ... she had nothing but smiles for her fans as she ran errands, accompanied by her driver.

As we told you ... the 'Golden Girls' star worked on her bday a couple years ago, but took it easy at a nice dinner with friends for her 96th.

Cheers to another year, Betty! Happy birthday!!! 

Dave Chappelle R. Kelly & His Goons Threatened Me For 'Piss on You' Skit

1/17/2019 7:48 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dave Chappelle says R. Kelly and his "goons" bum-rushed him over his famous skit mocking the singer's urination video -- but Dave's sense of humor definitely saved the day.

The comic hopped onstage at the WeHo Improv Monday night with his friend and "Chappelle's Show" costar, Donnell Rawlings. Dave revealed Kelly and his crew approached him in Chicago -- during a Common concert -- and made it clear they were, umm ... pissed about his "Piss on You" skit.

Dave says things never got physical, but he says Kelly grilled him about the skit and asked how he could possibly have done such a thing. 

The irony of that question was not lost on Dave, who had the most awesome and hilarious response.  Check out the video ... classic story. 

Chappelle also addressed some of the criticism he's faced in the wake of Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries -- saying he wants comedians to call out things that are wrong with the world, period.

We asked Dave about the criticism this week -- but he opted to let his pal, D.L. Hughley, do most of the talking that night. 

Miley Cyrus Crushes It at Chris Cornell Tribute Show ... With 'Say Hello 2 Heaven'

1/17/2019 8:00 AM PST

On a night filled with musical acts that brought chills, Miley Cyrus stole the show at Chris Cornell's tribute concert ... with a rousing rendition of his famous Temple of the Dog song.

The 'I Am the Highway' tribute concert, organized by Cornell's wife Vicky, went down at The Forum in L.A. Wednesday night, and featured an incredible lineup with 42 songs over 5 hours.

Check it out, though ... Miley REALLY brought it on the vocals for "Say Hello 2 Heaven."

Another standout from the evening was Chris's teenage daughter, Toni, taking the stage with Ziggy Marley to cover his dad Bob's "Redemption Song" ... after an intro by Brad Pitt. As far as her voice goes, it's clear the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Along with all the other famous bands and musicians who took the stage -- like the Foo Fighters, Josh Homme, Ryan Adams, Chris Stapleton and Metallica -- the show was highlighted by performances by Chris's old bands ... Temple of the Dog, Audioslave and for the first time since his death, Soundgarden.

The tribute show brought in a slew of celebs, as well ... like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Courteney Cox, Adam Sandler and many more.

We broke the story ... Cornell was found dead in his hotel room in May 2017 after a show in Detroit. 

Justin & Hailey Bieber Getting Hitched Again ... This Time on the West Coast!!!

1/17/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Justin and Hailey Bieber are tying the knot again -- but this time, they're doing it in the sunshine and inviting a bunch of their friends and family, including another very famous couple ... TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the planning tell us J.B. and H.B.'s wedding is taking place during the weekend of March 1 -- which also happens to be Justin's 25th birthday. This ain't no coincidence -- we're told Justin wanted to be a "married" man by his next bday.

Our sources say the 2nd round of nuptials are taking place somewhere in L.A. While the Biebers' families are primarily located in the East Coast and Canada -- where they initially wanted to have the wedding -- they ultimately changed their minds because the weather sucks.

So wedding #2 has moved out West, and it will be a religious affair since #1 was not performed in the eyes of God.

Two people who've already received a "Save the Date" email -- Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott.

FWIW, this is the third batch of "Save the Date" invites the Biebers have sent, but we're told, this time around, they're sticking to their guns.

Danielle Bregoli I'm Gonna Blow Up The Makeup Game!!! ... Kylie's Got Competition

1/17/2019 9:39 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

1/17 -- Danielle sounds pretty confident about jumping into the world of makeup endorsements at age 15, because she tells us she "f**king hopes" CopyCat Beauty blows up with her on board! 

Danielle knows she faces stiff competition from Kylie Jenner and Rihanna, but she says they ain't gonna stop her from growing her brand. 

Watch ... Danielle has nice things to say about RiRi, but not so much about Kylie!

Danielle Bregoli is expanding her business empire, because we've learned she just landed a huge endorsement deal with a beauty company ... and it's going to line her pockets with fat stacks of cash!!!

Sources close to Danielle tell TMZ ... she just signed a six-month deal with CopyCat Beauty, which will pay her $900,000 to promote their beauty and makeup products. As if $900k off the bat ain't enough, we're told Danielle will also rake in a percentage of the company's sales.

Safe to say, Bhad Bhabie is rolling in the dough!

Don't worry, Danielle won't start blowing up her YouTube page with beauty reviews and "How-To" tutorials. That ain't on brand for DB. Instead, we're told she's going to integrate the beauty products -- makeup palettes, eye glitter, eye essentials, lipstick, lip stain, face masks and brushes -- into her social media posts and music vids.  

If Danielle's endorsements bring in a ton of dough during the next 6 months, we're told she could extend the deal for another 3 years and possibly get her own beauty line! 

Danielle just keeps stacking dollars ... remember, she recently signed a deal to become the new face of Snapchat, pulled in roughly another $1 million on her 25-city tour, and her hit single "Hi Bich" is certified gold!

Yeah, it pays to be Bhad!

Originally Published -- 1/16/2019 12:40 AM PST

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