The Weeknd is getting involved with the military conflict in Ethiopia -- donating a million dollars, which will provide food for people who need it there.
The singer, who is of Ethiopian descent himself, partnered with World Food Program USA -- a UN World Food Programme affiliate -- to send over a million bucks toward relief efforts in the North African country ... which has been mired with bloodshed and chaos for months.
Specifically, Abel's money will provide the equivalent of 2 million meals for citizens there who have been caught in the middle of the feuding factions ... many of whom are running out of resources, like food.
TW says, "My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction." He goes on to encourage others who can to donate as well.
If you haven't heard, Ethiopia has been embroiled in a bitter battle with its own people since November -- when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an attack on the Tigray People's Liberation Front -- the ruling party in the northern part of the region.
The PM accused them of attacking a government military base and attempting to steal weapons and artillery. Keep in mind, this all came to a head after tensions had been brewing between the two groups for quite some time, and as the country had been fully attempting to transition into a democratic system of government. Safe to say ... it's complicated.
Meanwhile, the people of Tigray have suffered immensely -- many have fled the violence, and even more are starving. That's where Abel's donation comes in -- mad props 👏🏽
"Never Have I Ever" star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is raking in the Netflix dough ... she made a cool six figures for the first season, and there's a substantial raise in her future.
The 19-year-old actress is off to a strong start in Hollywood after landing the starring role in Mindy Kaling's Netflix series. According to her minor's contract, obtained by TMZ, Maitreyi banked $20,000 per episode in the first season alone.
Maitreyi really hit the jackpot when Mindy selected her from the 15,000 actors who answered the show's open casting call ... because with 10-episodes in the can for the first season, she earned at least $200k.
"Never Have I Ever" has been picked up for a second season, thanks in part to Maitreyi's breakout performance ... and the contract says she's getting a 5% raise, which works out to $21k per episode.
Netflix says the upcoming second season will again consist of 10 episodes, so Maitreyi should bank at least $210k when the dust settles ... and that's before her cut from any merch deals and other compensation under the deal.
Maitreyi's set to reprise her lead role as high school student Devi Vishwakumar, so it's a good bet she will be in all 10 episodes.
Paul Simon will be a forgotten name in the history books when scholars look back on 20th-century music and see only Bob Dylan and The Beatles standing tall -- that's the polarizing take of one NBC writer, anyway.
Jeff Slate -- a NYC-based songwriter and journalist -- penned a controversial piece for NBC Think ... titled, "Paul Simon sold his catalog to Sony for millions. He'll still end up a historical footnote to Dylan." Indeed ... it is triggering.
Paul Simon sold his catalog to Sony for millions. He'll still end up a historical footnote to Dylan, writes @jeffslate.— NBC News THINK (@NBCNewsTHINK) April 2, 2021 @NBCNewsTHINK
He was a prolific songwriter with a lucrative catalog. But there are only a few names our descendants will ever learn.https://t.co/aig0lCT82S
His subheading reads, "He was a prolific songwriter with a lucrative catalog any corporation would happily monetize. But there are only a few names our descendants will ever learn."
We know, we know ... you're fuming already. That's exactly what the internet is doing as well as it jumps to PS's defense.
You can read Slate's take in full for the big picture -- which is all about how Dylan recently sold his catalog of music and the rights to it to UMG for a reported $400 million, and how Simon followed in his footsteps by doing the same with Sony for his rights -- but the gist here is ... Paul Simon will be an "also-ran" compared to BD when it's all said and done.
In Slate's view, Dylan will perhaps be alone with John, Paul, George and Ringo and as the standout folk/rock acts of the '60s/'70s -- and that artists like Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and others will fall by the wayside, especially among younger, average-Joe listeners.
That seems to be what Slate's getting at -- and of course, A LOT of people disagree ... with some arguing Simon is just as prolific and culturally impactful as Dylan ever was. We don't have to get into a pissing contest ... both guys have scores of songwriting credits and hits under their belts. Of course, you could argue Dylan is perhaps the better-known of the two.
It also seems people are kinda missing Slate's broader point -- while he does believe Simon will ultimately be forgotten, he supports his move to "cash out" on his catalog while he still can, going on to call that troubling truth, as he sees it, an "indictment of our times."
The rapper dropped $15.4 mil for the home in Hidden Hills -- the high-profile gated community that's home to much of the Kardashian crew -- according to sources familiar with the deal.
The 12,135 sq. ft. home looks awesome -- it's a brand new custom estate with 7 beds, 7.5 baths, and a bright, open floor plan with panoramic views.
The interior comes with all the luxurious bells and whistles you can imagine -- chef's kitchen, breakfast room, refrigerated wine display, piano area, entertainer's lounge and a home theater.
Outside there's a pool, a basketball court, multiple patios with seating and a 1-bed guest house ... and it all sits on 3.26 acres.
The place was listed for $15.75 million ... so, Wayne got it at a lil discount too.
Michael Strahan may have been joking about "fixing" his iconic gap tooth, but now lots of folks who actually want the real procedure are flocking to Strahan's doc.
Dr. Lee Gause, Strahan's dentist, tells TMZ ... he's been flooded with calls from people from all over the country who don't care if it was an April Fools' prank ... they feel Dr. Gause made Michael look way better, and they want of piece of that action. In all, more than 100 dentally-challenged people have called.
He says some prospective patients have already booked their flights to get the procedure done at his Smile Design Manhattan clinic in NYC.
The cost ain't cheap -- between $5k and $50k ... depending on how wonky the chompers. Now, it's possible people want something temporary like Mike ... the wax used to stage the joke -- a Prenew Preview -- runs a very reasonable $350.
Now, Dr. Gause says Strahan's a real patient of his, but if he asked to permanently fill the gap, he wouldn't do it because it's his signature trademark. Hmm ... we will take him at his word.
The NBA has finally decided to take action against Kevin Durant for the homophobic and misogynistic insults he used in a private Instagram conversation with Michael Rapaport -- fining the guy $50,000.
"Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been fined $50,000 for using offensive and derogatory language on social media," the NBA announced on Friday.
"Durant has acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate."
As we previously reported, Rapaport posted screenshots of recent DM conversations with Durant which the actor felt crossed a line.
I receive threats and disgusting messages DAILY, but never in my wildest dreams did I think @KDTrey5 would be among them. The 🐍 himself is now threatening me, bringing up my wife and wants to fight. This is supposed to be America’s sweetheart right? #ImDaRealMVP pic.twitter.com/l1VQfGMMRF— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) March 30, 2021 @MichaelRapaport
"I receive threats and disgusting messages DAILY, but never in my wildest dreams did I think [Durant] would be among them," Rap said.
In the messages, Durant used crude homophobic and misogynistic slurs to attack Rapaport.
KD has said the messages were not supposed to see the light of day -- and said he was "sorry that people seen the language that I used."
"That’s not what I want people to see from me. Hopefully I can move past it."
Durant has yet to publicly acknowledge that what he said is offensive -- or apologize specifically for the words he used.
Kansas Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self just signed a "lifetime" contract with the school -- guaranteeing him MILLIONS of dollars and protection from being fired over the current NCAA probe into KU.
Pretty good deal for Self, huh!?
58-year-old Self -- who's been at Kansas since 2003 -- was entering the final year of a 10 year deal with Kansas that guaranteed him more than $50 MILLION. That deal was set to expire at the end of the 2021/22 season.
But, Self has crushed it during his time at Kansas -- racking up a 522–118 record with an NCAA title in 2008 -- so the school decided to make him a "lifetime" offer he just couldn't refuse.
Here's the deal ... Self will make roughly $5.4 million every year with an annual $200,000 raise.
The contract is technically a 5-year deal which will automatically renew a 1-year extension at the end of each season ... for as long as he wants to stay at Kansas.
Kansas is currently being investigated by the NCAA for alleged unauthorized payments to star players. The NCAA has charged the school with a handful of Level 1 violations -- but the org. has not formally punished the University.
But, get this, Self negotiated a clause in which he can not be fired for cause based on the findings or punishment from the current probe -- but he could take a salary hit if he's suspended.
Per the contract, if the NCAA suspends Self -- he'll take a 50% reduction in salary for the time missed.
In other words, if he's out for a month -- he'll make 50% for that month before returning to his full salary.
The school can fire Self for cause if they determine he violates the law or NCAA rules moving forward -- but he's protected in the scope of the current investigation.
Self issued a statement about his new deal thanking KU leadership "for their belief and faith in me to provide this lifetime contract."
"Every day, I am reminded just how fortunate I am to lead this storied program and there truly is no place else I would rather be."
Donald Trump loves him some McDonald's, but ain't so keen on paying for it ... at least according to a former bodyguard who claims he's still $130 in the red, thanks to DT.
Kevin McKay says he worked as Trump's bodyguard for 5 years ... and one time in 2008, after visiting one of his golf courses in Scotland, their convoy of 6 Range Rovers hit up Mickey D's before flying home.
Thing is ... McKay says Trump didn't have any UK currency, "so he asked me if I could front him the cash." McKay says he did, and ordered 20 cheeseburgers and fries and around 10 to 15 Cokes.
McKay told the Daily Mail ... Trump ate his usual fave -- 2 cheeseburgers with fries and a diet coke. McKay says $130 at the time was kind of a big deal to him, especially because he only made around $2,700 a month while working for Trump.
McKay says he should have asked for the money, but kept blowing it off ... and Trump never brought it up either. Trump's McDonald's obsession is widely known. You'll recall he served a McDonald's buffet to Clemson and North Dakota State after they won football national championships.
McKay was fired in 2012, and he claims the stress of working for Trump ultimately cost him his 23-year marriage. And, $130 too ... allegedly.
Bhad Bhabie was clearly lying when she told us she'd already "done it all" by her 18th birthday, because just a week later she claims she's done something new -- shattered an OnlyFans record.
The rapper formerly known as Danielle Bregoli revealed she's earned more than $1 million after starting up her adult-themed, subscription-based account Thursday ... and claims it only took her 6 hours to become an 18-year-old millionaire.
Based on an apparent screenshot she shared of her accomplishment ... she made over $750k on subscriptions, $5k on tips and more than a quarter-million on direct message tips.
Bhabie wrote, "not bad for 6 hours ... we broke the f**k out of that onlyfans record." We reached out to a rep for the site, and they confirm those numbers are REAL -- it's not an April Fools' joke. We're told her subscription price is $23.99 per month.
You might recall Bella Thorne previously set the OnlyFans record last year by earning over $1 mil in 24 hours.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
Before launching her OnlyFans account Thursday, the rapper shared a couple provocative posts on her Instagram teasing it and boasting ... "from now on im gonna do whatever the f*** I want."
We're sure that statement is true ... regardless of her OnlyFans claims. Like we said ... she definitely has not done it all quite yet.
8:34 AM PT -- 4/2 -- Ronaldo's armband officially has a new owner ... with an anonymous buyer shelling out $75,000 for the accessory!!
The auction didn't go off without a hitch, however -- the AP reports there were several large "fake" bids made to throw off the whole process, without success.
Authorities are currently looking for the people responsible for the fake bids and promise to hand down swift punishment.
The $75k winning bid will now go towards 6-month-old baby Gavrilo's treatment.
Wanna own a piece of Cristiano Ronaldo history AND potentially save a child's life???
Good news ... the armband thrown by the soccer legend in a fit of rage last weekend is hitting the auction block, and the cash it nets will go to helping a 6-month-old who's battling a serious illness.
You'll recall ... Ronaldo threw a temper tantrum last Saturday after his apparent game-winning goal in Portugal's World Cup qualifying match with Serbia was disallowed.
The 36-year-old lost his mind ... he stormed off the field before the game had officially been called -- and spiked his captain's armband to the ground in disgust before he hit the showers.
Well, turns out a stadium worker at Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade picked up the piece, gave it to a charity group in Serbia ... and it now can be all yours for the right price.
Bidding on the piece is about $10,000 at the moment ... but the charity group behind the sale is hoping to raise far more than that.
The group says it's trying to come up with $3 million to help a 6-month-old baby get the treatment it needs to battle spinal muscular atrophy.
Here's the caption from the auction site (translated into English)
"The funds are intended for the treatment of a 6-month-old baby Gavrilo Djurdjevic from Kragujevac, Serbia, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and needs 2,500,000 euros for the treatment that can save his life."
With the sports memorabilia market still ON FIRE combined with the fact the item was involved in a high-profile incident, don't rule out a 7-figure haul for the armband!
There are three days left to lock in bids ... good luck!!!
Originally Published -- 3/30 9:23 AM PT
WNBA star Angel McCoughtry is insulted by Draymond Green's claim that female athletes have only "complained" about the pay gap and haven't taken any real meaningful action ... and she's ready to educate him.
The 5-time WNBA All-Star says she's personally been in the trenches trying to get powerful sports leagues, production companies and sponsors to spotlight more women's sports ... but she keeps getting shut down.
The 34-year-old -- 2-time Olympic gold medalist -- even invested in the PlayersTV network with the hopes of bringing more female athlete stories to the masses.
So, when she saw Draymond saying he's "really tired of seeing [female athletes] complain about the lack of pay" and suggesting they take more action ... it really rubbed her the wrong way.
"Draymond, have you done your research?! Have you asked us questions," Angel said Thursday during a USA Basketball training camp news conference.
"Don't you think we've tried to do that kind of stuff?! No, he hasn't done his research! That's my only thing with Draymond!"
Angel continued, "We want to get our stories out. I created a TV show about these kinds of issues, its a dramatic comedy called 'Fair Game.' I've gone to Springhill Entertainment, I've gone to Sony where Steph Curry's people are. We got turned down! 'Oh, we don't want a show about the WNBA.'"
McCoughtry says she's happy Draymond is keeping the women's pay issue in the headlines -- but suggests he "talk more to the women before just thinking he had a bright idea."
And, shout out to Girls Talk Sports TV for teeing Angel up with the question.
Colts fans should probably just abandon all hope of an Andrew Luck comeback -- 'cause the QB is telling T.Y. Hilton he's having a BLAST in retirement.
Hilton -- who just signed a 1-year, $10 million deal with the Colts -- is still pretty close with his old quarterback ... despite the fact Luck hung up his cleats in 2019 at the age of 29.
There have been rumblings that Luck could change his mind and rejoin the Colts in the near future -- but Hilton told the media on Thursday the chances of that happening are slim to none.
"He's just enjoying his vacation," Hilton said with a big ol' smile ... "I probably have to stop calling him for a bit. He might make me want to retire!"
A reporter asked if he thinks Luck's "vacation" will be a permanent one -- to which Hilton responded, "Oh, permanent! He's having the time of his life! He's kinda making me jealous. So we’ll see."
In other words, Luck is wasting away in Margaritaville ... enjoying his family and friends without musclebound killers trying to take his head off every day.
Oh, and also worth mentioning Luck made more than $109 MILLION in contract money during his NFL career ... not including endorsements!
So, it's not like he'll be hurting for cash.
Bottom line ... Andrew Luck is dunzo. Better hope this Carson Wentz move pays off.
Draymond Green says he's "really tired of seeing [female athletes] complain about the lack of pay" -- insisting the time for griping is over, and there needs to be more action.
Maybe not the best choice of words -- but ultimately, Green is arguing that women DESERVE better pay, and need to change their PR strategy in order to achieve their goal.
Draymond explained during a Wednesday interview why he believes female athletes -- specifically WNBA players -- are "doing themselves a disservice by just complaining."
NBC Sports Bay Area reporter Kerith Burke pushed back and told Green "the women are doing more" than voicing their displeasure ... and that's when the Golden State Warriors star explained his position.
"They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change [the pay disparity]," Draymond explained ... "So, it’s coming off as a complaint."
"Because the people that can change it, they’re just going to continue to say, 'Well, the revenue isn’t there. The revenue isn’t there. So, if you don’t bring in the revenue, we can’t up your pay.' They’re going keep using that."
Green argued that female athletes need to band together to hold sports leagues, advertisers and other influential organizations responsible for effectively marketing women's sports -- including putting real time, energy and money into promoting talented superstars like WNBA legend Diana Taurasi.
Bottom line -- Green considers himself an ally to the women's equal pay movement ... and seems pretty passionate about it.
Mother’s Day may not be for another month, but Houston Texans star lineman Laremy Tunsil is already in good shape ... after surprising his mom with a brand new BENTLEY!!
The 26-year-old shared the big surprise Wednesday night ... and his mom's reaction is equally hilarious and adorable.
The new ride pulls into the driveway with a big red bow on the hood ... and Desiree lets out a huge shriek once she realizes what's going on.
But the best part?? Desiree's first concern went to what she was wearing for the special moment.
"I can’t get in there with these things on," she said between laughs and shouts. "I need to be dressed up!"
As for the car, it appears to be a Bentley Continental GT Speed. This model can get to 60 MPH in 3.5 seconds, has a top speed of 208 MPH and reportedly starts around $200k!!!
Of course, that ain't a problem for Tunsil, who recently restructured his 3-year $66 MILLION extension with the Texans after 2 Pro Bowl seasons.
Tunsil famously negotiated his contract himself -- without an agent -- and clearly, he's found a solid way to spend that extra 10% he saved!
Congrats to the whole Tunsil fam -- drive that thing in good health!
Elon Musk's got real estate agents working overtime deep in the heart of Texas, because with just one tweet he's made the yet-to-be-built city of Starbase a hot relocation destination.
You'll recall the SpaceX honcho basically said he's leaving a light on for any and everyone who wants to move to the Brownsville/South Padre area, work for SpaceX and become a resident of the brand new city he's planning to put on the map.
As it turns out ... people took Elon's tweets as marching orders.
We spoke to agents in the area who say there is a direct correlation between Elon's tweets and an increase in real estate customers. In fact, one agent we spoke to called it "the Elon Musk effect" ... and for good reason.
Shortly after Elon's post, one agent tells us he got a call from a man in Boston inquiring about a rental property in Brownsville. Another agent who's worked in the area for nearly 2 decades said 2 years ago he'd never answer calls from outside of his area code.
Now? Not picking up could be the difference between earning or losing a fat commission. Like on Tuesday, when a man from Oregon called offering to pay $200k in cash for a house in Brownsville. The average median house price in the area is around $167k.
One agent who says he's already sold 7 houses to SpaceX employees says calls keep rolling in from all over the country ... from Illinois and North Dakota to California and Utah. And, if you're curious about Elon's reach? The agent says he got a call from someone in Kenya! It's good to be the richest man in the world.
As we reported, officials in the Brownsville area feel Elon's push to start his own city could boost jobs and tourism. Pretty soon real estate there could be exploding faster than SpaceX's own rockets.
6:45 PM PT -- A source close to Ice Cube tells TMZ ... “This is Robinhood exhibiting lack of respect for the law or the people they hurt. Ice Cube did NOT license his image nor his lyrics printed next to his picture, and would never endorse Robinhood. When asked to take it down because he was offended, Robinhood refused. In addition, calling blatant propaganda for Robinhood's trading app and online services merely 'editorial use' shows someone needs to send their lawyer back to school.”
3:08 PM PT -- It might be Ice Cube who needs to check HIMSELF -- because Robinhood is setting the record straight on how they came to use that photo of him in their Snacks newsletter ... telling TMZ, "No, we didn't use his image without permission. The image was licensed and used for non-commercial, editorial purposes in connection with a blog article."
Ice Cube is about to melt -- the dude is heated because he says Robinhood used his face to plug their services without his permission ... so now he's taking them to court over it.
The rapper just filed suit against the financial services company -- which a lot of people use to buy and trade stocks -- for allegedly using a photo of him in an ad featured in their news service, Robinhood Snacks, just this past month.
According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Cube claims Robinhood took an image of him from another project he'd worked on ... and slapped it into a newsletter update talking about stock/market corrections -- and captioned it with a riff on a famous lyric from one of his songs.
The quote ... "Correct yourself, before you wreck yourself" -- which is obviously a play on his famous track "Check Yo Self." Cube says that by the company inserting his image and likeness into their Snacks service, they falsely associated him with their brand ... making it seem like he endorses them, which he makes more than clear here -- he does NOT.
Cube goes so far as to say Robinhood is the "antithesis of everything that Ice Cube stands for" and refers to their products and services as "horrible." He goes on to claim Robinhood has a habit of doing this ... namely, linking celebs and other rappers -- like Jay-Z and Nas -- to endorse its products and services ... but Cube makes it clear he wants no part of that.
IC's also got a theory on why he believes Robinhood roped him in here -- he says his biz partner, Jeff Kwatinetz, has been railing on the company (both in public and in his own lawsuit against them) ... and suggests this is Robinhood's way of sticking it to both of 'em.
Originally Published -- 1:41 PM PT