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Jermaine Dupri looks back at legacy on eve of latest honor

When Jermaine Dupri gets inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he will be only the second hip-hop creator honored after Jay-Z. It's not something he takes lightly.

"No matter what you want to say about my records that I created, no matter what you want to say about the artists that I've put out, I'm going into the Hall of Fame, and you can't do nothing about it," Dupri said.

Besides his induction on Thursday, Dupri has collected some other accolades this year, including The Music Innovation Award at the 26th Bounce Trumpet Awards, the Breaking Barriers Award at the 2018 Global Spin Awards and the Trailblazer Award at the 2018 Legendary Awards.

Throughout his career, the Grammy-winner has worked with a wide range of artists in different genres. He was one of the songwriters on Mariah Carey's hit, "We Belong Together," which earned a Grammy for best R&B song. As for his proudest moment, he mentions the "Confessions" album with Usher, or more notably the song "Confessions Part II."

"I think that I can catch that magic with all the artists I work with long as I go into the project with the right mindset. And the right mindset is me understanding what my role is, and them understanding what their role is," he said.

Earlier this week, he released a curated playlist commemorating the 25th anniversary of his So So Def Recordings label that features Jay-Z, Xscape, Aaliyah, Bow Wow, Anthony Hamilton, Jagged Edge, Ghost Town DJ, Da Brat and more. It's currently available on Apple Music and Spotify. The digital album will be available on June 29.

Legacy was on his mind on the eve of his induction and he was asked about his thoughts on R. Kelly. Last month Spotify said it would remove from its playlists music from R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse. The music service has since backpedaled but Dupri doesn't agree with the way it was initially handled.

"At this point I believe it's all hearsay, right? It's somebody's word against somebody else's. So, I can't say if this industry is correcting itself. I don't know," he said.

He worries that punishing artists by removing their music from these streaming services can hurt the industry, especially when it's only based on allegations. He wants people to "consider the bigger picture," but that doesn't mean he condones their behavior. "There should be some kind of consequences to doing wrong," Dupri said.

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Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

Drake reunites with 'Degrassi' cast for 'I'm Upset' music video

Drake staged a Degrassi Community School reunion in a new music video for his single, “I’m Upset.”

Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham, played Jimmy Brooks in the Canadian drama, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

>> Read more trending news 

The show premiered in 2001 and ran through Aug. 2, 2015. Drake’s role as Brooks, a basketball star who, after being shot by a classmate, became physically disabled from the waist down, ended in 2009.

The 31-year-old artist’s new music video, directed by Karena Evans, features many of his former cast mates in the halls of the high school.

Catch stars Nina Dobrev, Jake Epstein, Shane Kippel, Stacey Farber, Stefan Brogren and more in the new video on YouTube.

Movie adaptation of true-crime podcast 'S-Town' planned

The popular true-crime podcast "S-Town" is being developed as a movie.

The film production company Participant Media has acquired the feature-film rights to the seven-episode podcast. "Spotlight" director Tom McCarthy is in negotiations to direct.

Made by the creators of the podcast "Serial," ''S-Town" is about an Alabama antique clock restorer from Woodstock, Alabama, named John B. McLemore. In 2012, he sent an email to the makers of "This American Life" asking for help in a murder investigation.

Longtime "This American Life" producer Brian Reed traveled to McLemore's hometown. But Reed uncovered not so much a whodunit procedural as a more mysterious small-town tale.

Deadline first reported the deal.

Tiffany Haddish reveals who bit Beyoncé, says she hit on Leonardo DiCaprio in new interview

Tiffany Haddish has all but confirmed who bit Beyonce at a party earlier this year in her cover interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

When the THR reporter whispers the rumored suspect -- actress Sanaa Lathan, Haddish says, “I'm super good friends with her stepmom and her dad (producer-director Stan Lathan), and they were mad at me," she said. "They were like, 'Why would you do this to the family? You know, black actresses, you guys have to stick together, it's so hard for you guys to get work as it is, why would you try to ruin her career?' But I didn't try to ruin her career. I never said her name! I was just trying to say how Beyonce kept me from goin' to jail that night. I coulda just shut my whole career down.”

>> Read more trending news 

Haddish also shares a story from another party. This time, it’s about hitting on Leonardo DiCaprio, whose children she’s joked about wanting to have.

"Yeah, I met him at a party two, three months ago, and I asked him if he'd let me hit that," she said. "He's like, 'Tiffany, you're so funny.' I'm like, 'I'm serious.' And then he goes, 'I mean, I'd do it, but …' I was like, 'Come on, wasn't you in a squad? The coochie squad or something?’ I told him, 'My only stipulation: I wanna do it with you as your character in What's Eating Gilbert Grape.' He starts bustin' up laughin'. 'Why?' he asks, and I say, 'Cause I feel like that performance deserves a real reward and that reward is this (gestures at her own body).' He starts goin' into how he got into the role, how he worked with these kids and all this stuff, and I'm just listenin' and listenin', like, 'Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm.' I finally go, 'All that's good, I just need to know, When's this gonna happen?'"

Related: Tiffany Haddish says Beyoncé was bitten in the face by an actress at a party

Aside from propositioning DiCaprio, Haddish also sounds off on Roseanne Barr, whose rebooted sitcom was canceled by ABC after she compared former adviser to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Jarrett is a black woman.

"I don't know if you know El Segundo (California), but if you're black and you're driving through El Segundo, you're going to get pulled over. I used to visit my friend Anna there, and it got to a point where I was calling the police officers by name. 

"One day, we were walking around the neighborhood, and Anna says, 'Oh, Roseanne lives there.' Now, I loved Roseanne, and the next day we walked by, and she was in her yard. I say, 'Hi, Roseanne.' She looks at me (makes a disgusted face), and ran in the house. I thought, 'Maybe she don't want to be bothered today.' A week later, we walk by again, and I told Anna — she's Hispanic, but she looks white — she should say hi this time. So she says, 'Hi, Roseanne,' and Roseanne goes, 'Hey!' I thought, 'Maybe she got to know us.' Then I go back, like, a week later, I wave again and say, 'Hi, Roseanne! I love your comedy,' and she (makes the same disgusted face) and turns her head. I think, '(Expletive) that (expletive).' That was 2000, maybe 2001, so it's not new. She been racist, why'd you all give her a TV show?”

For more from Haddish's interview, head to HollywoodReporter.com.

Young The Giant release new single ‘SIMPLIFY’ & announce new tour dates

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Hangout Music Festival)

Today we finally got new music from some of our FAVORITE rockers Young The Giant! The band released ‘SIMPLIFY’ via Elektra Records. This is the first new music from them since 2016’s acclaimed Home of the Strange and it was worth the wait!

The band also announced a slew of new 2018 tour dates. I’m thinking this means more new music is on the way!

Unfortunately there are no Tampa dates as of now BUT they do say ‘more to be announced’ soooo let’s cross our fingers.

TOUR DATES:

SUN June 30 – Seattle, WA – Elysian Search Party +

FRI July 13 – Prior Lake, MN – Lakefront Music Fest +

SAT July 21 – New York, NY – Rumsey Playfield +

SAT September 1 – Boston, MA – Rock the Roots +

September 14-16 – Denver, CO – Grandoozy Festival +

September 14-16 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest +

TUE September 18 – Bethlehem, PA – Yuengling Summer Concert Series +

FRI September 21 – lthaca, NY – Cayuga Sound +

SAT September 22 – Roanoke, VA – Budweiser Summer Series +

SUN September 30 – Dana Point, CA – Ohana +

FRI October 5 – Napa, CA – Silverado Resort &amp; Spa +

THU October 25 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live *

FRI October 26 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room *

SAT October 27 – Atlanta, GA – The Coca Cola Roxy *

TUE October 30 – Nashville, TN – Ryman *

FRI November 2 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore *

SAT November 3 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz *

SUN November 4 – Richmond, VA – The National *

TUE November 6 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues *

THU November 8 – Toronto, ON – Rebel *

FRI November 9 – Montreal, QC – MTELUS

SAT November 10 – Portland, ME – State Theatre *

SUN November 11 – Providence, RI – The Strand *

TUE November 13 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel *

WED November 14 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel *

FRI November 16 – Washington, DC – Anthem *

+ previously announced

* w. LIGHTS as support

The Latest: Murphy places state's first legal sports bets

The Latest on the start of legal sports betting in New Jersey (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

New Jersey has launched sports betting.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy kicked off a new era of gambling in the state, making the first official bets on Thursday morning at Monmouth Park, a racetrack near the Jersey shore.

He placed two $20 bets — one on Germany to win soccer's World Cup and another on the New Jersey Devils to win next year's Stanley Cup.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose.

The Borgata casino planned to start taking bets 30 minutes after Murphy made his.

Other casinos and tracks eventually plan to offer sports betting, but none has announced plans to do so in the next few days.

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12:15 a.m.

Like a fellow New Jersey governor did 40 years earlier, Gov. Phil Murphy is set to kick off a new era of gambling in the state.

The Democrat will make the state's first legal sports bets Thursday morning at Monmouth Park, a racetrack near the Jersey shore in Oceanport.

It will have echoes of 1978, when then-Democratic Gov. Brendan Byrne threw the first dice at an Atlantic City casino with entertainer Steve Lawrence.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose.

The Borgata casino plans to start taking bets 30 minutes after they begin taking bets at Monmouth Park.

Russian film director Stanislav Govorukhin dies at 82

Stanislav Govorukhin, a prominent Russian film director who made some of the nation's most iconic movies, has died. He was 82.

President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences Thursday to Govorukhin's family, praising him as a "bright and extraordinary" talent.

Govorukhin's early work included a 1967 film about romantic mountaineers that reflected the spirit of the 1960s political thaw.

His most famous production was "The Meeting Place Can't Be Changed," a 1979 police saga set in the late 1940s, full of strong characters and dark humor.

Govorukhin also acted, famously playing a crime lord in the 1987 cult film, "Assa."

He had a fruitful political career in the 2000s, serving as a lawmaker and directing Putin's successful presidential campaign in 2012.

Other details about his death were not immediately available.

Longtime Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana has died

D.J. Fontana, a rock 'n' roll pioneer who rose from strip joints in his native Shreveport, Louisiana, to the heights of musical history as Elvis Presley's first and longtime drummer, has died at 87, his wife said Thursday.

Karen Fontana told The Associated Press that her husband died in his sleep in Nashville on Wednesday night. She said he'd been suffering complications from breaking his hip in 2016.

"He was loved by everybody all over the world. He treated everybody like everybody was his friend," she said. Presley's former wife, Priscilla Presley, issued a statement calling Fontana "a tremendously talented musician and a wonderful man."

Fontana, a member of the Rock Hall of Fame, was the last surviving member of Elvis' original core of musicians. He met Presley and the others on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular and influential radio and TV country music program based in Shreveport. Staff drummer Fontana asked to join his group for a session broadcast in October 1954. A regional act at the time, the 19-year-old Presley had been recording and touring since the summer with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, the musicians Sun Records founder Sam Phillips brought in after Elvis turned up at the Memphis, Tennessee-based label's studio.

"The Blue Moon Boys," as they called themselves, had been playing a blend of blues, pop and country that was unique at the time, but it was missing something crucial.

"Elvis and Scotty and Bill were making good music, but it wasn't rock n' roll until D.J. put the backbeat into it," the Band's Levon Helm told The Associated Press in 2004.

Elvis returned often to the Hayride. In 1955 Fontana became a permanent member of the group, working with Presley through much of the 1960s. Influenced by such big-band drummers as Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, Fontana was admired by Helm, Ringo Starr, Max Weinberg and others for his power, speed and steadiness, which he honed during his time with the Hayride.

"He was my hero, and he made me become a drummer," Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen's longtime drummer, told the AP during a telephone interview Thursday. "I was 5 years old when I saw him and Elvis and Scotty and Bill play 'Hound Dog' on television and it just swept me away."

Fontana was there for Presley's first wave of success, from such hit singles as "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" to his increasingly frenzied live shows and hip-shaking appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other TV programs. He played on many soundtracks — and was occasionally seen on camera — for Presley's '50s and '60s movies. He was on the "comeback" Christmas TV special of 1968 that featured Presley and fellow musicians jamming on a tiny stage before a studio audience, with Fontana keeping time on a guitar case. Widely cited for reviving Presley's career, that show was his first live performance in years and the last time Moore and Fontana worked with Elvis, who died in 1977.

"Elvis would always want to go back and talk about the early days when there were four of us in a car, Me, Scotty, Bill and Himself," Fontana told the fan site Elvis Australia.

"He told me one day, he said, 'You know, I wish I wasn't Elvis.' And that struck me funny — even back then. You know he kinda wanted to get away for a while. I think he should have retired for about seven or eight years, and then come back — you know. And then he might still be with us."

Fontana also played on Starr's solo album "Beaucoups of Blues," and worked with country artist Webb Pierce and rockabilly star Gene Vincent, among others. More recently, he and Moore were joined by Helm, Keith Richards and other guests for the 1997 Presley tribute album "All the King's Men."

In 2000, he played on Paul McCartney's cover of an early Presley hit, "That's All Right."

Born in 1931, Dominic Joseph Fontana began playing drums as a teen in his high school marching band and would jam with his cousin while listening to big-band recordings. By his early 20s he performed at strip joints and spent enough time around the Hayride that he was hired full time, although at first he was asked to play behind a curtain because country audiences scorned drums. Presley's Sun Records contract was purchased by RCA Victor late in 1955; he became a sensation around the country, and beyond.

During an interview with Elvis Australia, Fontana recalled a 1957 show at a Canadian football stadium, when Presley did his best to honor the owners' wishes to keep the crowd off the grass and away from the stage.

"So Elvis came on, did a few songs, and said: 'We'd like for you to get back in your seats.' Which they did, very orderly. Until the last song, and here they come again," Fontana said.

"Elvis left the stage, and here we were with 20,000 people! The stage turned over, but we finally got all the equipment in the car, which was right behind the stage. The car was surrounded by kids, and they were shaking the car."

___

Italie contributed from New York.

Kardashian West & woman Trump freed say they won't stop now

Kim Kardashian West and Alice Marie Johnson, the woman President Donald Trump freed from life in federal prison, say they won't stop advocating for other people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

The women appeared together in an interview NBC's "Today" show aired Thursday after they met face to face for the first time in Mississippi.

Johnson says she plans to work for inmates still behind bars.

"I plan on continuing to magnify this issue. I can't stop," she said. "I've lived it, I've walked with them, I've cried with them. My life is completely intertwined forever with those who were left behind."

NBC reports that Kardashian West says she's already brought other cases to the White House, using her status as a reality TV celebrity for the greater good.

Kardashian West says people are asking her if she's getting into politics, "and I say 'no, I'm still doing me.'"

"To me this has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with people," she said. "I hope maybe this inspires more people to talk to the people in power, that you can have an effect over them for the greater good of other people."

Johnson said she didn't know her sentence had been commuted until Kardashian West broke the news to her in a prison phone call.

"She said you can go home, you can go home now. Are you ready to go home? When she said that I went into full-fledged Pentecostal holy dance ... I was dancing. I was jumping. I was screaming. I was doing everything."

She said a simple thank you to Kardashian West isn't enough. She's working on living out her thank you by helping others. She showed a photo of Kardashian West and her husband Kanye that she keeps in her Bible.

After commuting Johnson's life sentence and granting a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone, Trump invited professional athletes with friends behind bars to bring those cases to his attention as well.

The president then insisted that he's also interested in using his near-limitless clemency power on behalf of people who don't have celebrity supporters. But by operating outside the usual Justice Department clemency protocol, he's drawn criticism that he's playing favorites.

Advocates for policy changes, such as the Sentencing Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, are calling on Trump and Congress to focus instead on changing the system. Several measures stuck in Congress would reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

___

The spelling of the dateline has been corrected; it's Southaven, not Southhaven.

UK judge bans singer from social media over anti-Semitism

A folk singer who posted videos on YouTube insulting Jews and mocking the Holocaust has been banned from using social media.

A judge at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court sentenced Alison Chabloz on Thursday to a 20-week suspended prison sentence, a year-long social media ban and community service.

Her songs, partly set to traditional Jewish folk music, included lyrics such as: "Did the Holocaust ever happen? Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes."

Chabloz said the songs were satirical. But the 54-year-old Swiss-British singer was convicted last month of sending offensive, indecent or menacing messages.

Judge John Zani told Chabloz she had shown "no proper remorse" for her actions.

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