L.A.’s Subway Singer Performs at Historic Little Italy Celebration

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L.A. Subway Singer standing at podium with a mic in her hand

A homeless woman, whose video showcasing her singing ability at a Los Angeles Metro station recently went viral, performed for a live audience Saturday, hoping to raise awareness of the homelessness crisis.

Russian-born singer Emily Zamourka appeared onstage during the “Little Italy” celebration in San Pedro, singing the same Italian opera piece that garnered her international attention.

“I’m not a professional singer, but I’m very critical to how I’m going to sound or how I’m going to perform,” she said. “It has to be delivered right. It’s not easy, so that’s why today I will apologize in front of everybody, because they probably thought I’m going to bring a [bigger] repertoire or something. It’s going to be the same song that they know me from the subway [for].”

Zamourka, who has been homeless for the past few years, said that she has been overwhelmed by the worldwide acclaim she has received since the Los Angeles Police Department posted a video of her singing at a Metro Purple Line station on its social media.

The video, which has been retweeted over 6,000 times on Twitter since being posted on Sept. 26, prompted many to applaud her operatic voice. Zamourka didn’t know that her singing had been heard by people around the world until friends called to tell her.

She later thanked the officer who took the video, as shown by another clip posted by the LAPD.

Zamourka previously said that she has no formal training, but would not decline to sing on stage. The opportunity to do so came on Saturday.

After performing at the event and giving interviews to local and international reporters, Zamourka left to rest. LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office, which hosted the “Little Italy” event, said it is working to find housing for the singer.

But though she thanks everyone who has supported her, Zamourka believes a person’s skills shouldn’t determine whether they receive help.

Continue on to NBC Los Angeles to read the complete article.

Forks Up! Dig into this guilt free mac and cheese recipe that’s ready in minutes

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mac and cheese dish on a table

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Regardless of what your dietary needs or preferences might be, everyone can agree that they have a special place in their hearts for it. The creamy, ooey gooey lusciousness surrounds each noodle, keeping us coming for morsel after morsel is sometimes too much to handle (or maybe not enough?).

We love finding new and exciting ways (especially healthy ones) that allow us to enjoy mac and cheese guilt free. And now thanks to Planta South Beach we have just the recipe to help us reach that goal.

Not only is this recipe delicious, delectable and enticing — but it’s also great for you and the environment. Nab the recipe below and get to cooking!

Vegan Mac And Cheese from Planta South Beach

Ingredients:

4 cups croutons

1 cup almond parmesan

4 teaspoons salt

2 yellow onions, diced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 cup confit garlic

3 tablespoons confit garlic oil

2 tablespoons garlic powder

½ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons lemon

1 quart cashews

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup rigatoni

2 tablespoons green peas

3 tablespoons smoked mushrooms

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

BREAD CRUMBS

– Crush croutons by hand until crumbled.

– In a bowl, mix crushed croutons, almond parmesan and salt. Set aside.

GARLIC ALFREDO SAUCE

– Sweat onions and cauliflower in a pot with 3 tablespoons of garlic oil. Cook until translucent, season with salt.

– Use a Vitamix or blender to combine onions, cauliflower, confit garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast and garlic powder until smooth and set aside.

– In a separate Vitamix or blender, mix the cashews and lemon juice until smooth. Start at a low speed and work your way up. Once mixture is smooth and creamy, slowly start to add the puree mixture.

– Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

MAC & CHEESE

– Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, then drain.

– Sauté peas and mushrooms, salt to taste.

– Mix pasta with Garlic Alfredo Sauce until creamy.

– Set oven to broil at 350°F. Transfer mac & cheese to baking pan and top with bread crumbs. Put in oven until golden.

– Garnish with fresh parsley.

Continue on to HOLA! to read the complete article.

Demi Lovato Will Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV

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Demi Lovato on stage singing

Demi Lovato will sing the National Anthem before kickoff at Super Bowl LIV, taking place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2nd.

The news comes shortly after she was announced as a performer for the 62nd Grammy Awards on January 26th.

The singer confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “Singing the National Anthem at #SBLIV 🏈 🏈 🏈 See you in Miami 🌴 @NFL.”

The National Anthem will be broadcast around the world as part of the Super Bowl’s pregame show. Past National Anthem performers include Whitney Houston, the Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Mariah Carey, the Backstreet Boys, Pink, Alicia Keys and Idina Menzel.

Christine Sun Kim will sing the National Anthem in American Sign Language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

The NFL and Fox previously announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be the halftime performers for Super Bowl LIV.

Continue on to MSN to read the complete article.

Cynthia Erivo could become the youngest EGOT winner

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Cynthia Erivo on the red carpet at the premiere Of HBO's "The Outsider"

Cynthia Erivo is one step closer to EGOT status with an Oscar nomination for her turn as the iconic freedom fighter and suffragist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ ‘Harriet.’

British actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her first Oscar on Monday morning for her performance as the iconic freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet.”

The stage and screen actress (along with powerhouse singer — she is also nominated in the original song category) also earned Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice nominations for the role.

And while BAFTA controversially snubbed acting nominees of color entirely, the ceremony still asked her to perform (she declined).

Erivo was the only person of color nominated for an acting Oscar this year.

“Harriet,” distributed by Focus Features, exceeded box office forecasts when it opened in November, debuting to $12 million on its way to $43 million to date in global ticket sales. It marks the first feature leading role for Erivo, who stole scenes in 2018’s “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.”

She was first approached about “Harriet” while in the midst of a Tony-winning turn in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” The production is also responsible for her subsequent Grammy (for the cast recording) and Daytime Emmy (for a cast performance on NBC’s “Today”) wins. (For those who don’t want to count Daytime Emmys in EGOT status, Erivo will also headline the upcoming limited series “Genius: Aretha” for National Geographic. And playing music singer Aretha Franklin could put her in Primetime Emmy contention as well.)

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Tiffany Haddish Stars in ‘Like a Boss,’ in Theaters Today

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Like a Boss premiere photo of the cast, including Tiffany Hassish, pose on the pink carpet

Tiffany Haddish is her usual hilarious self in the new film Like a Boss, which recently opened across the nation. In it, Mia (Haddish) and her best friend, Mel (Rose Byrne), are living their best lives running the own cosmetics company they’ve built from the ground up.

Unfortunately, however, they’re in over their heads financially and the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), proves too tempting to pass up, which puts Mel and Mia’s lifelong friendship in jeopardy. The beauty business is about to get ugly.

The Paramount Pictures film, directed by Miguel Arteta and executive produced by Haddish and Nicolas Stern, also stars Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Ari Graynor, Natasha Rothwell, Jessica St. Clair and Karan Soni.

Watch the Trailer!

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

Awkwafina makes Globes’ history with ‘Farewell’ acting win

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Awkwafina holds up her Golden Globe smiling at this year's event in Beverly Hills

Awkwafina said she had a “mind-blowing” experience after learning backstage she made history at the Golden Globes. The rapper and actress on Sunday became the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy film for her starring role in “The Farewell.” She’s best known for her comic role in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Awkwafina believes she has more to prove.

“It’s pretty mind-blowing,” she said. “It feels incredible. There’s also another feeling that you are going to do more. I hope this is just the beginning.”

Awkwafina shifted course to play a young woman in a Chinese family that is keeping their matriarch’s cancer a secret from her in director Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell.” She said she particularly related to the film.

“Immigrants in this country who were raised to feel very American … and when we go back where, you know, we’re told that you don’t belong here and you go back to where you belong,” she said. “You feel like a stranger there and this constant feeling of being lost in translation. And I think that’s what really resonated with me in ‘The Farewell.’”
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The win is part of a breakout two-year run for the 31-year-old actress, who had a breakthrough year in 2018 after appearances in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8.”

Continue on to the Washington Post to read the complete article.

Black girl magic: 4 women are redefining beauty after reigning in major beauty pageants

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Black women beauth pageant winners seated together with their sashes on

When Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the winner of Miss Universe 2019, it wasn’t just a personal victory for the 26-year-old from South Africa — it was history in the making.

For the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America — were won by black women.

“I think it’s such a great move forward as … the world and as a society say, ‘Look, women who were in the past never had opportunities to do things like this are now here,’” Tunzi told ABC News’ Linsey Davis in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

In an exclusive interview with three of the four pageant winners, Tunzi, joined by Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019, and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, spoke about what it means for all of them to represent other black women and pave the way for women of color across the world.

Nia Franklin also won the Miss America pageant last year.

For decades, a moment like this was not possible. In its first 30 years, black women weren’t even allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant.

“I think there are times where I am disappointed, because people will sometimes comment on our social media,” said Kryst. “And they’ll say, ‘Why are we talking about your race? Like, you guys are just four amazing women.’ Like, yes, we’re four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win.”

Continue on to Good Morning America to read the complete article.

The Recording Academy Moves Forward With Diversity & Inclusion Efforts

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Collage of women recording artists

The Recording Academy®, the leading society of music professionals and the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards®, will implement recommendations set forth by the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, including restructuring its Board of Trustees to ensure that music creators from the broadest range of ages, backgrounds, genders, genres, crafts and regions are fully represented within the organization’s leadership.

At the Academy’s invitation, the Task Force convened in March 2018 to examine issues of diversity and inclusion within the Recording Academy and the broader music community. On Dec. 12, 2019, the Task Force issued an official report, which sets forth specific reforms and recommendations for the Recording Academy and outlines issues that continue to affect underrepresented people within the broader music community. Veteran attorney, former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and TIME’S UP CEO Tina Tchen chaired the Task Force.

“The mission of the Recording Academy is to serve and advocate for music creators from all genres and of all genders and generations,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan. “We have recently made tremendous progress and I’m proud to report that our leadership team is currently 50 percent female and that the 2019 Academy membership class is the most diverse in our history. However, there is still work to be done. We are deeply committed to continuing to implement the Task Force’s recommendations and building a community that is truly representative of our diverse and dynamic creators.”

“Over the course of the last year and a half, the Task Force dedicated hundreds of hours of their time to conduct a thorough analysis of how the Recording Academy could do better to create a diverse and inclusive environment for all workers and music creators. We owe a debt of gratitude to the impressive lineup of leaders from throughout the music industry who served on the Task Force for their tireless commitment to changing the Academy, and the industry, for the better,” said Tchen. “We are also so grateful for the full cooperation and participation of the Recording Academy at every step, and are encouraged by the commitment to change they announced today.”

The Task Force report outlines a range of recommendations that touch virtually every part of the Academy’s operations, from internal policies and organizational structure to the GRAMMY® nominations process. The Recording Academy has already made significant progress toward implementing 17 of the 18 reforms set forth by the Task Force, including ensuring gender parity on Awards and Governance committees, publicly reporting on the demographic composition of its workforce across different levels of seniority, and increasing outreach to diverse communities, which include key initiatives for female producers and engineers.

Additionally, in 2020, the Recording Academy will formulate formal diversity and inclusion goals for the Academy’s Board of Trustees and adopt a new Board structure that will prioritize identifying and elevating a diverse range of music creators to positions of leadership on the Board.

The Academy will continue to research the report’s recommendation to change portions of the GRAMMY Award voting process to a ranked-choice system.

The full Recording Academy Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report can be found here.

An overview of the Recording Academy’s progress implementing the recommendations of the Task Force can be found here.

ABOUT THE RECORDING ACADEMY
The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music’s history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards—music’s only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world’s leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit grammy.com.

Jennifer Lopez Scores Golden Globe Nomination For Best Supporting Actress

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NEW YORK, NY: Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City

No one hustled harder than Jennifer Lopez, and it paid off recently when the entertainer scored a Golden Globes nomination for her role as veteran stripper Ramona Vega in “Hustlers.”

The singer and actor was last nominated for the Golden Globes in 1998, when she was up for Best Actress in a Motion Picture ― Musical or Comedy for her performance in “Selena.”

The movie, based on a real-life group of strippers that worked together to scam Wall Street clients, garnered Lopez some of the best reviews of her career and major awards season buzz.

In addition to her Golden Globes nomination for Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture this year, Lopez nabbed a Critics Choice Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she’s up for Best Supporting Female in the Spirit Awards.

On Sunday, she won Best Supporting Actress from the LA Film Critics Association.

In a recent interview with GQ, Lopez talked about what she found compelling about the Lorene Scafaria-directed film.

“The movies that I look for now, I’m looking for not just interesting and multilayered characters, which Ramona really was, but something that tells you about what’s going on in the culture,” Lopez said, revealing that she didn’t get paid for her role upfront.

The singer and actor added: “What it says about that world, and men and women, and gender roles, all of that made me feel that this could be an interesting movie, as opposed to just a character piece.”

Lopez, being Lopez, isn’t about to stop hustling. Pictured l to r; Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

The Punniest Female on Instagram

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military spouse dubbed punniest on Instagram is pictured with the Puns in the background

Military spouse Angelica Hanley is behind the pun-based stationery brand ACouplePuns.

Angelica Hanley is a self-professed entrePUNeur, so when she found herself making up puns to describe the things she saw throughout the day, she decided to turn her love of puns into a shareable art form.

Thus, ACouplePuns was born and is now a rapidly growing online and wholesale greeting card shop connecting people through punny sentiments.

A card for every occasion imaginable, ACouplePuns delivers sweet messages accompanied by disarmingly darling drawings on superb card stock that is scored, folded and packaged by hand.

Her designs are inspired by travel, pop culture, and current trending topics.

She’s a military spouse who used a lifestyle of frequent moves to create a business she could take with her wherever she and her husband end up.

Angelica hold up some of her punniest cards
Via Instagram @ACouplePuns

Seeking a means to connect with people after a cross country move a couple years ago, Angelica launched ACouplePuns on Etsy with ten greeting card designs.

After just two years she has over 100 cards, which have landed on store shelves all over the country.

She has created custom cards for many popular female-founded brands such as Kendra Scott and also coordinated giveaways on Instagram.

Angelica enjoys sharing laughter through her cards and is building a community of fellow pun lovers she refers to on Instagram as “Punny People.”

She encourages you to share the puns you see with her at ACouplePuns to help inspire her latest creations!

Source: ACouplePuns, Instagram @ACouplePuns

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It

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Nancy Parsons posing in front of her book promo poster

New Book Alert! Author of game changing books for women in leadership just released her latest!

Nancy Parsons shares exciting insights based on her firm’s research that reveal the true reasons why the glass ceiling exists and it is not what most people think. That’s why, despite the best intentions and investments in women in leadership programs, today’s solutions are not working.

It has been four decades since the Pregnancy Act went into effect in 1979 that prohibited women from being fired for getting pregnant. Yet, the sad truth is that although the barriers were supposedly lifted so many years ago, the glass ceiling continues to be an impenetrable barrier for most aspiring women leaders. Today, only 6.6 % of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and only 11% of women are top earners at these most profitable companies. Meanwhile, for more than a decade, women have consistently earned more bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. The bottom line is that if we stay on the current trajectory, it will take approximately 400 years to attain just 50% of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Parsons’ book is packed with great insights from women executives, top executive coaches, new global research, and practical solutions that will work to end the glass ceiling. These win-win approaches put an end to pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling and Have the Power to End It provides breakthrough scientific research and fresh, tangible solutions that will work for women, men, and the organizations they serve to end the glass ceiling within a decade.

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It, JUST RELEASED at:  http://bit.ly/KindleEndIt