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nicki minaj anaconda cover

Nicki Minaj Claps Back at Criticism Over ‘Anaconda’ Cover

nicki minaj anaconda cover

*Why another half-naked pic of Nicki Minaj is still newsworthy remains a mystery, but the cover art for her new single “Anaconda,” where she squats in just a G-string, sports bra and Jordans, has made national headlines for being too raunchy – even for Nicki Minaj.

The singer, 31, has been teasing her fans on Twitter about a “special surprise” since Wednesday, and on Thursday all was finally revealed — so to speak. It didn’t take long for the pic to become a trending topic on Twitter, complete with angry tweets and Instagram comments in response to the image.

Minaj, of course, responded.

And retweeted supportive tweets from fans:

And posted a series of Sports Illustrated shots, including the cover for the 2014 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which sees Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge all posing topless and half-bottomless.

“Angelic. Acceptable. LOL,” she wrote of the photo, which was followed by a shot of her own cover art with the caption, “UNACCEPTABLE.”

“Anaconda,” which is set to drop on July 28, is the second single to be released from Minaj’s upcoming album “The Pink Print,” due later in 2014.

audra mcdonald

Audra McDonald Reveals She Attempted Suicide in College

Actress Audra McDonald attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City

Actress Audra McDonald attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City

*In a new interview, multiple Tony winner Audra McDonald reveals there was a time in her life when she wanted to end it all.

The 44-year-old actress-singer spoke about the depression she battled in college, which led to a suicide attempt.

“When I was at Juilliard, I had a suicide attempt. I tried to slit my wrist,” McDonald told ABC’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” adding that she’s incredibly thankful she found help through her school.

“When someone is suicidal, one of the first things you have to do is to protect them from themselves,” she explained. “[Juilliard] had a mental health facilitator there, a therapist there and they checked me into a mental health hospital where I was for a month and got me the help I needed.”

McDonald went on to say that antidepressants helped her in her recovery, as did the professional opportunities that followed after her hospitalization.

obama california

Obama Praised as ‘Boss’ at Shonda Rhimes/Kerry Washington Fundraiser

President Barack Obama waves as he steps to the podium to deliver remarks on the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on July 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The president is wrapping up a three-day fund raising trip to three West Coast cities, which began with a stop at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Seattle, Washington.

President Barack Obama waves as he steps to the podium to deliver remarks on the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on July 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The president is wrapping up a three-day fund raising trip to three West Coast cities, which began with a stop at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Seattle, Washington.

*About 450 supporters of President Barack Obama gathered at the Hancock Park home of Shonda Rhimes Wednesday for a Democratic fundraiser hosted by the creator of “Scandal” and its star Kerry Washington.

According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks, but added a quip about the ABC drama that follows a D.C. fixer and her affair with the President of the United States.

“No offense — ‘Scandal’ is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.”

Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did.

Rhimes also was a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae was also there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor.”

Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”

Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags.

Among the guests were various members of the “Scandal” cast such as Tony Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance.

black-jesus-expanded-trailer-black-jesus-adult-swim-3

Cartoon Network’s ‘Black Jesus’ Targeted by Christian Groups

black-jesus-expanded-trailer-black-jesus-adult-swim-3

*As expected, Cartoon Network is now the target of a Christian group over its new Aaron McGruder-created series “Black Jesus,” which doesn’t debut until Aug. 7.

The American Family Association and its One Million Moms division said in a statement, “The depiction of Jesus swearing and using violent behavior is a new low. The group notes it’s a late-night show that’s part of Adult Swim, but took issue that it portrays Jesus as a “black guy living in the ‘hood.”

“The blasphemous, irreverent and disrespectful show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of the Lord,” the group continued.

In the half-hour live-action scripted comedy, newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson (Grand Theft Auto V) stars as Jesus living in present-day Compton, CA, who’s on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers. The series pickup for “Black Jesus” came on the heels of the Jesus race controversy triggered by Fox News star Megyn Kelley’s recent “Jesus is white” comments, notes Deadline.com.

The AFA commented on footage showed in the show’s trailer, stating its “frequent foul language in the trailer alone is shocking and disgusting. In addition, violence, gunfire, drinking and other inappropriate behavior completely misrepresent Jesus.”

“The garbage that passes for entertainment continues to disturb us,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said. “Even the three-minute trailer was too vile to watch, with multiple uses of the f-word by the actor portraying ‘Black Jesus.’ Christians and anyone who believes in respecting faith must come together to make sure this program never airs.”

On Wednesday, One Million Moms director Monica Cole sent an email alert about Adult Swim’s “plans to blaspheme Jesus on a weekly basis” in which she also noted Adult Swim is obviously not a family network, and the show airs later in the evening “when children should be asleep.”

“But that is no excuse,” she added quickly. “Adult Swim has crossed the line by belittling the Christian religion with foul jokes.”

soledad o'brien

Soledad O’Brien to Play Herself in HBO’s ‘7 Days in Hell’

Journalist Soledad O'Brien attends the SpongeBob SquarePants themed, 41st birthday party for Pharrell Williams at Bikini Bottom at Cipriani Wall Street on April 4, 2014 in New York City

Journalist Soledad O’Brien attends the SpongeBob SquarePants themed, 41st birthday party for Pharrell Williams at Bikini Bottom at Cipriani Wall Street on April 4, 2014 in New York City

*Soledad O’Brien, correspondent on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” will star as herself in the cable channel’s forthcoming sports mocumentary from “SNL” vet Andy Samberg and writer Murray Miller (“Girls”).

Titled “7 Days In Hell,” the original comedy movie stars Samberg and “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington as fierce tennis rivals in an epic, seven-day match at 2004 Wimbledon.

Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Howie Mandel, Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen and June Squibb are also confirmed to co-star.

According to Deadline.com, Williams is tennis’ superstar bad boy, while Harington’s Charles Poole is a tennis prodigy and certified truck driver. Adding to their rivalry is Gillan’s supermodel Lily, Charles’ childhood friend who made a sex tape with Aaron.

Steenburgen plays Charles’ psychotic and controlling mother, while Forte plays a tennis historian. Jake Szymanski (“SNL”) is directing.

The longest tennis match on record was held on Court 18 at Wimbledon during the 2010 championships when John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled it out for 11 hours over three days, with the American ultimately clinching a victory, 70-68 in the fifth set.

wayne brady

Wayne Brady Set for ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ Revival at Pasadena Playhouse

Actor Wayne Brady attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City

Actor Wayne Brady attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City

*“Let’s Make A Deal” host Wayne Brady will star with Merle Dandridge (Spamalot) in the Pasadena Playhouse season opener, a revival of Cole Porter’s 1951 Shakespeare-inspired, Kiss Me, Kate.

Staged by longtime artistic director Sheldon Epps, the production “will view the work through a new lens to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century,” according to a statement from the group.

For this quintessential backstage musical revolving around a production of the Bard of Avon’s The Taming Of The Shrew, Brady will play the dual roles of actor Fred/character Petruchio opposite the actress Lily/character Kate of Dandridge, best known for her Broadway turn as the Lady of the Lake in the Mike Nichols production of Spamalot.

The production will run from Sept. 16 through Oct. 12, with the press opening on Sept. 21.