Although the upcoming Grammy Awards, which will take place April 3 in Las Vegas, have yet to confirm that Kanye West was set to perform at the ceremony, Kanye’s rep told E! News that a report on March 18 from The Blast was correct when it quoted sources close to Kanye saying that the “Donda” rapper’s team received a phone call that evening informing him he has been pulled from the lineup of performers for the Grammys. According to the website, insiders say the show is “unfortunately” taking this position “due to what they deem to be concerning online behavior.” The Blast also reported that the decision was also made partially because Trevor Noah is hosting the ceremony and there was concern about the men’s interaction during the show. West is nominated for five Grammys this year, including for Album, for “Montero,” Rap Album, for “Donda,” Rap Song for “Jail” and Melodic Rap Performance for “Hurricane.”
Speaking of the Grammys, on Friday, April 1, Black Women in Media (BWIM) will host a pre- Grammys celebration honoring Black women in entertainment and music. The celebration is presented by TV One and hosted by Selena Hill, deputy digital editor at Black Enterprise. The private event will be held at a historic venue in Las Vegas during the weekend of the 64th Grammy Awards. The red carpet celebration includes a star studded awards ceremony with live entertainment. Invited honorees include: H.E.R., Janelle Monet, Jazmine Sullivan, SZA, Fantasia, Saweetie, Ciara, Meg Thee Stallion, and many more.
On March 15, at SXSW, multi-award winning songstress Ashanti announced her historic partnership with EQ Exchange. Founded by tech entrepreneur Janice Taylor, EQ Exchange is the first female-owned tech company in Silicon Valley and is a Web 3 company that’s dedicated to empowering musicians and rewarding their fans, through blockchain technology. She is the first Black female artist to be a co-founder of a Web3 company. “Ashanti is paving the way for the next generation of artists in the new creator economy. EQ Exchange could not have asked for a better partner as we work together to change the game for all artists, particularly women and people of color,” says Taylor. As co-founder, Ashanti will release creative experiences and NFTs exclusively with EQ Exchange.
Tongues are wagging that Will Smith continues to rack up awards for Best Actor for his portrayal of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, Richard Williams, in “King Richard.” Smith received his sixth Best Actor award at the 2022 National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan on March 15. Other attendees included Smith’s “King Richard” co-star Aunjanue Ellis, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Oracene Price, the Williams sisters’ mother, and Zazie Beetz from “The Harder They Fall.”