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Dave Chappelle, John Mayer Pay Tribute to Bob Saget at Scleroderma Research Foundation Benefit



Bob Saget’s longtime friends John Mayer, Jeff Ross, Jimmy Kimmel and Dave Chappelle came together to honor the late comedian Wednesday in support of a cause he had been a part of for 30 years.

Mayer, Ross and Kimmel hosted the Scleroderma Research Foundation’s annual fundraising event “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine” in Beverly Hills, which also served as a night of tribute to Saget, who died in January at age 65 after an accidental blow to the head.

The Full House actor had passionately championed the Scleroderma Research Foundation since losing his sister Gay to the disease — a rare and often life-threatening autoimmune condition that can cause fibrosis in the skin and other vital organs — in 1994. Saget joined the Scleroderma Research Foundation board of directors in 2003, but he began his involvement in 1991 through “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine” —as an attendee, a performer and eventually as a key figure in organizing and producing the event.

This year, in his place, Kimmel kicked off the night of sentimentality and dark humor, teasing that “these bookings have really improved vastly since Bob passed away,” with Bill Burr, Rosie O’Donnell and Kathy Griffin among the stand-ups on hand. Kimmel brought Ross and Mayer out to follow him; Mayer noted how “this is the first time I’ve come to a Scleroderma benefit where Bob hasn’t, as Jimmy said, asked me to do this event but then profusely apologized while asking me to do this event.”

He continued, “What’s so fun about tonight, the only thing that’s fun about it, is we get to show Bob we wanted to do this, we always wanted to do this.” Added Ross, “I’m going to try to keep this as festive as possible. Everyone should have a friend like Bob Saget; tonight’s a tribute but it’s also a celebration that we all got to know that guy, that he got to have this influence on our lives. You didn’t really know Bob until you saw him host a Scleroderma Research dinner — that was the true Bob Saget. He was emotional, he was the most sincere I’ve ever seen him on stage other than when he was acting on Broadway or something.”

Saget’s wife Kelly Rizzo also served as co-chair for the evening, with his children and extended family in the crowd alongside SRF board members Regina Hall and chef Susan Feniger, Norman Lear, Joel McHale, Kevin Nealon, Seth Green and Howie Mandel. Saget’s Full House castmates John Stamos, Lori Loughlin and Jodie Sweetin were also in attendance.

Feniger took care of the “Hot Cuisine” part of the evening, which transitioned into an auction that raised over $1 million for the foundation (and included two of Mayer’s personal guitars). Stamos took the stage to introduce a tribute video for Saget, after a series of jokes telling the crowd, “I’ve spoken so much about him, written so much about him, and I just love him so dearly I would give anything to have him back.”

A common theme throughout the event was also Saget’s filthy sense of humor, with McHale declaring “Bob was the most empathetic and dirtiest person on the planet…. There was no successful dirty person who was more beloved,” and shared some of the R-rated texts that Saget had sent him throughout the years.

For the comedy portion of the night, Nealon and Mandel performed brief sets before a special guest appearance by Chappelle, another longtime friend of Saget’s. Chappelle — who took the stage after all the audience’s phones had been locked away — admitted, “Tonight I got drunk because I love Bob so much. Bob, I can feel you in this room tonight.”

After going through his current stand-up material — which included documenting his on-stage attack at the Hollywood Bowl in May — Chappelle convinced Burr to join him on stage as the two riffed on each other’s jokes. Chappelle had a drink on stage in honor of Saget and played a video message for the crowd that he had sent Chappelle just months before his death, where Saget expressed his love and appreciation for his friend.

“What a fantastic human being,” Chappelle said, also noting how Saget had mentioned the Scleroderma benefit to him throughout the years and when Chappelle finally came one year, Saget cried. The comedian said he would now continue to do Saget favors forever, and though he had joked throughout his set about how he felt he was bombing, noted it was an honor to be there.

Mayer closed out the night with an emotional and story-laden performance, commenting how nine months after Saget’s death it’s still impossible for him to understand the star is actually gone, since his memories of him are so clear. Mayer revealed that he was playing the guitar Saget had played during his last show in Florida — Rizzo had tracked it down and bought it, then gifted it to Mayer, who said it was one of his most prized possessions. He then played, as he said, “Bob’s favorite songs.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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Michelle Pfeiffer Remembers Coolio: ‘Nothing But Gracious’



Michelle Pfeiffer, the prolific screen star of the ‘80s and ‘90s, has paid tribute to Coolio as a “gracious man” whose mega-hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” powered the success of one of her own films, Dangerous Minds.

Coolio was found dead on the bathroom floor at his friend’s house on Wednesday (Sept. 28), at the age of 59. Paramedics initially suspect that he suffered cardiac arrest, reports claim, though an official cause of death has yet to be announced.

Pfeiffer joined the chorus of tributes to Coolio, whose career briefly intersected with hers and created dynamite at the box office and on sales charts around the globe.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio. A life cut entirely too short,” she writes on social media.

“As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack – which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song.”

She’s not the only one still touched by the song. In July of this year, the official music video for “Gangsta’s Paradise” passed the one billion streams milestone on YouTube.

That clip featured Pfeiffer in her Dangerous Minds character Louanne Johnson, and went on to win best rap video category at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.

The track, one of Coolio’s six hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, would go on to win the Billboard Music Award for single of the year, and a Grammy for best rap solo performance.

The single interpoles Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise,” and was deemed the best-selling single on Billboard‘s year-end Billboard Hot 100 chart after spending 12 weeks in the top two positions; it logged a total of 62 weeks on the chart, including 3 at No. 1 and 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs survey.

Dangerous Minds
, which observes the day-to-day of Johnson, an ex-Marine now teaching at a tough inner-city school, grossed more than $179 million worldwide on a budget of about $22 million, according to IMDB.

“Sending love and light to his family,” Pfeiffer signs off. “Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”

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5 Takeaways From Ivy Queen’s Empowering Q&A at 2022 Billboard Latin Music Week



At Billboard Latin Music Week on Wednesday (Sept. 28), Ivy Queen candidly discussed her career, her songwriting and her struggles as the only woman in a genre dominated by men and her new music.

Moderated by Leila Cobo, vp/Latin industry lead, Billboard, see the best takeaways from the Icon Q&A with the Queen of Reggaeton.

On Fashion: “It’s always been important for me. When I started in the industry, everyone criticized my long nails, they called me Freddy Krueger, Edward Scissorhands. Now everyone has them long and I have them short. It was hard to find my identity. I dressed very tomboyish, to feel comfortable in a male-dominated industry. When we grow older, we appreciate our curves more. It was a very drastic change. 

On Finding Her Sound: “My own style is made to defend women. It took me time to define my sound. I’ve always loved the reggae movement and everything that was being done in Panama but then I fell in love with rap music because it’s poetry. I can express what I feel.” 

On “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado”: “I’ve always been very open and I’ve always sang to love. This song touched my life and the ones of who have deeply fallen in love. It was an overcoming process. Instead of doing something physical to my ex, I grabbed a pen and wrote the song. Music has showed me how to ventilate my feelings and go to bank to get my royalties.”  

On Her Empowering Lyrics: “I get inspired by real things and tragedies that women can’t voice. It’s for those women who are going through a crisis in a toxic relationship and can’t see it. My music is based on the reality of many women.”

On Authenticity: “Feel comfortable with who you are, your punchlines, your lyrics. Whoever tells you differently, it’s because they can’t comprehend it. People in the industry said my look and voice were very masculine. But in the end, it was my biggest blessing. I asked for advice in the wrong but you have to give it your all.”

Coinciding with National Hispanic Heritage Month, Billboard Latin Music Week includes workshops and panels featuring artists such as Christina Aguilera, Romeo Santos, Camilo, Nicky Jam, Wisin y Yandel, Maluma, Chayanne, Ivy Queen, Grupo Firme, Bizarrap, Blessd, Grupo Firme and many more.

The event also includes superstar concerts, intimate showcases, and new music premieres by Bizarrap, Elena Rose, Justin Quiles, Mariah Angeliq, and BRESH, who will throw the ultimate closing party at Oasis, in Miami’s Wynwood. 

For 30 years, Billboard Latin Music Week has been the longest-running and biggest Latin music industry gathering in the world. It will also dovetail with the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Sept. 29, in Miami.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards will broadcast live on Telemundo, and will also broadcast simultaneously on the Spanish entertainment cable network, Universo, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.

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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, LL Cool J, MC Hammer, Questlove Pay Tribute to Coolio: ‘Peaceful Journey Brother’



Fellow musicians and other entertainers are paying tribute to rapper Coolio, whose songs “Gangsta’s Paradise” was used in “Dangerous Minds” and “Aw, Here It Goes!” in the opening sequence of Nickelodeon’s “Kenan & Kel,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59.

Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., also had hits with “Fantastic Voyage” and “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “It’s All the Way Live (Now).”

Among those who remembered Coolio on social media were “Weird Al” Yankovic, who was involved in a feud with the rapper when he released the song “Amish Paradise.” They later mended fences. Ice Cube, Questlove, Debbie Harry, Martin Lawrence and M.C. Hammer also paid tribute to the Compton-raised musician.

“One of the nicest dudes I’ve known,” wrote M.C. Hammer. See more tributes below:

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