Ariana Grande Stumbles in Emotional “Thank U, Next” Performance
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Ariana Grande isn’t perfect—nor does she pretend to be.
In Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show , the 25-year-old pop star performed her new single, ” thank u, next ,” for the first time on TV. The First Wives -inspired number featured Grande and her backup singers, Victoria Monét and Tayla Park , wearing all white at a wedding.
The trio’s choreography mimicked the finale from the 1996 comedy starring Goldie Hawn , Diane Keaton and Bette Midler as three friends who sought revenge on their lousy husbands.
(In an Instagram sneak peek Tuesday, Grande tagged herself as Hawn, Monét as Keaton and Park as Midler. Both Grande and Ellen DeGeneres shared a preview clip via social media, too.)
During the second verse, Grande stood on one of the chairs to sing, “Spend more time with my friends / I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’ / Plus, I met someone else / We havin’ better discussions.” After stepping down, the high-heeled diva stumbled and shouted, “Oh, my God!” But without missing a beat, the pop star managed to recover and laugh at herself. She then resumed the performance, singing, “This one gon’ last / ‘Cause her name is Ari / And I’m so good with that.” Watch
Ariana Grande Continues to Mourn Ex-Boyfriend Mac Miller
Grande could have redone her performance, as it was pre-taped on Tuesday. But why should she? If she’s learned anything from her breakup with Pete Davidson and Mac Miller ‘s untimely death, it’s that a sense of humor will get her through just about anything. Still, Grande fought back tears during the bridge. “One day I’ll walk down the aisle / Holding hands with my mama / I’ll be thanking my dad / ‘Cause she grew from the drama,” she sang. “Only wanna do it once, real bad / Gon’ make that s–t last / God forbid something happens / Least this song is a smash.”
After the performance ended, a proud DeGeneres told Grande, “Thank you for being here. That was amazing! That was awesome. You’ve had a rough year. We all love you. We support you. Most importantly, the name of the CD is Sweetener —and you are all going home with her CD!”
Grande also performed her hit single “Breathin” in Wednesday’s episode. Share
In revealing new memoir, Michelle Obama candidly shares her story
In revealing new memoir, Michelle Obama candidly shares her story 9 Nov, 2018 5:25pm Michelle Obama has blasted President Donald Trump in her new book. Photo / AP Washington Post Share on Reddit reddit As Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir “Becoming” arrives, it’s clear that the former first lady is occupying a space in the culture beyond politics. With an arena book tour featuring A-list special guests, she seems to exist in the middle ground between two icons she calls friends, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Her approach is short of Winfrey’s full-on confessional style but goes further than the guarded intimacy of Knowles-Carter’s art and performances. Her book walks a similar line. It’s revealing, right down to the glossy cover photo in a casual white top – one shoulder exposed, eyes bright. (Spoiler: It’s not the kind of shirt a soon-to-be political candidate wears.) But Obama, who was famously guarded as first lady, still values her privacy – even as she offers frank opinions about Donald Trump and discloses past fertility struggles. President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with First Lady Melania Trump and Michelle Obama. Photo / Getty Images Share on Reddit reddit “I don’t think anybody will be necessarily prepared to read a memoir like this – especially coming from a first lady,” said Shonda Rhimes, the television producer, who read an advance copy of Obama’s book. The first-lady memoir is a rite of passage, but Obama’s is different by virtue of her very identity. “Becoming” takes her historic status as the first black woman to serve as first lady and melds it deftly into the American narrative. She writes of the common aspects of her story and – as the only White House resident to count an enslaved great-great-grandfather as an ancestor – of its singular sweep. Advertisement Advertise with NZME. In the 426-page book, Obama lays out her complicated relationship with the political world that made her famous. But her memoir is not a Washington read full of gossip and political score-settling – though she does lay bare her deep, quaking disdain for Trump, who she believes put her family’s safety at risk with his vehement promotion of the false birther conspiracy theory. “The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks,” she writes. “What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.” It is the most direct and personal language she’s used about Trump. The Washington Post obtained an early copy of Obama’s book, which will be released Tuesday. Even those who have followed Obama’s life closely in the decade and a half since her husband was a relatively unknown Illinois politician will come away with fresh understanding of how she sees the world and the people and experiences that shaped her. She divides the memoir into three parts: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, Becoming More. The first section is a deep, often sociological exploration of Chicago and the people and institutions there. Its textured discussion of gentrification, public education, race and class are reminders that Obama majored in sociology and minored in African-American studies at Princeton University. The second section, Becoming Us, is a romp through her romance with Barack Obama, starting a family with him and her search for work that she loved. It begins with words that have never before been written by a first lady about her man: “As soon as I allowed myself to feel anything for Barack, the feelings came rushing – a toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” Related articles: 7 minutes to read The third section, Becoming More, traverses their life as public figures. It contains her own view of her legacy and accomplishments as first lady and what it felt like to live under the intense scrutiny she faced. As she campaigned for her husband’s reelection in 2012, she writes that she felt “haunted” by the ways she’d been criticized and by people who had made assumptions about her based on the color of her skin. She thought then about what she owed and to whom: “I carried a history with me, and it wasn’t that of presidents or first ladies. I’d never related to the story of John Quincy Adams the way I did to that of Sojourner Truth.” From the preface, Obama promises a story that covers the full contour of her life – growing up in a “cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago” to living in “a place with more stairs that I can count.” From “being held up as the most powerful woman in the world” to being “taken down as an ‘angry black woman.’ ” She returns to a discussion of what she calls the angry black woman “trap” that dogged her: “I was female, black and strong, which to certain people . . . translated only to ‘angry.’ It was another damaging cliche, one that’s been forever used to sweep minority women to the perimeter of every room . . . I was now starting to actually feel a bit angry, which then made me feel worse, as if I were fulfilling some prophecy laid out for me by the haters.” Obama is most revelatory when writing about her 30s; how she continued to grieve the deaths of a dear friend and her beloved father; how she dealt with her own version of the chewed-over “Can I have it all?” dilemma working mothers face. She also shares intimate details for the first time, for instance, that she and her husband had trouble getting pregnant, suffered a miscarriage, and that both daughters were conceived through in vitro fertilization. And that she did a great deal of this while her husband was away serving in the state legislature, leaving her to administer the shots that are a part of that process herself. Inevitably, her memoir will be compared to those of other first ladies. Her focus on owning your own unique story sets her book apart, but it is similar to Laura Bush’s in one respect. Both women most deeply excavate the part of their life before the presidency enters. They’re here! I just got a sneak-preview of the first copies of BECOMING, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. November 13th is almost here—pre-order your copy today at https://t.co/tOEk59nT71 . #IAmBecoming pic.twitter.com/wYw1Do1b8f — Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) October 18, 2018 “I was very surprised, pleasantly surprised, by the level of candor and the level at which she opened herself up,” said Rhimes, who has read memoirs by other first ladies and created a fictional one on her show “Scandal.” “I love the honesty and the humor and the beauty with which she addressed the romance of her marriage and the tribulations of her marriage and motherhood, and all of those things that we as women all can relate to.” Obama, for example, describes a lunchtime bliss familiar to many working women raising small children. There were times she left her desk, picked up a fast-food lunch after running errands and sat in her car alone with the radio playing, “overcome with relief, impressed with my efficiency.” The White House years are the period of time on which Obama has had the least time to reflect. There are moments she speeds through and others where she recites her methodical approach to planning her first-lady programs, intentionally focusing her “Let’s Move” initiative on children so as to avoid being accused of overreach. She contends that the firewall between the Office of the First Lady and West Wing was solid – mentioning that her husband called her to the Oval Office only once. That was after the tragic Newtown shootings. They both mourned, and she links the gun violence there to the urban shootings in her hometown and expresses her disbelief regarding the congressional failure to pass gun-control legislature. As to her influence on Barack Obama’s policies and plans, there’s no indication that she sought to sway decisions or served as any kind of informal adviser. Instead, family time became sacred; world issues pushed aside in favor of tales from middle school. After their family dinners, he had his briefing books, and she had hers. The primary example Obama shares of a clash with the West Wing involved pushing back against her husband’s advisers’ constant concern about optics. Early on in their time at the White House, she plows ahead with a plan to throw a Halloween party for the public and military families despite concern from top West Wing aides – particularly David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs – that it would be perceived as too showy in a time of economic decline. Children flowed onto the White House grounds, a scene that would be repeated throughout Obama’s tenure as first lady, when she also invited schoolchildren into the East Room for workshops and the Girl Scouts for a campout on the lawn, and many other events. “As far as I was concerned, the optics were just right,” she writes of that first party. Throughout the book, Obama makes it clear that she remained wary of the political press and the public “gaze” and felt, at times, bullied, stereotyped and underserved – particularly during her husband’s 2008 campaign. “If I’d learned anything from the ugliness of the campaign, from the myriad of ways people had sought to write me off as angry or unbecoming, it was that public judgment sweeps in to fill any void. . . . I knew that I would never allow myself to get that banged up again.” Well before others in the White House, she and her team made use of pop culture, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to push her initiatives, shape her public brand and own her story. She propelled her own popularity. Obama’s carefulness extends to parts of her memoir. There’s a part of herself that she holds back. She has a sacred circle of sister friends who she says kept her grounded in the White House, but she mentions them only briefly. She talks about her mother’s anchoring influence and how raising her own daughters changed her. But she is careful to keep all but the surface details of their lives in Washington private. Her book, which is being released one week after the midterm elections, will spark conversation as the Democrats look for a standard-bearer for the 2020 general election. She seeks to put an end to calls for her to run for office: “I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that. I continue to be put off by the nastiness.” Of Trump, she adds her “body buzzed with fury” after hearing the hot-mic tape in which he bragged about grabbing women. “It was an expression of hatred that had generally been kept out of polite company, but still lived in the marrow of our supposedly enlightened society – alive and accepted enough that someone like Donald Trump could afford to be cavalier about it.” She tried to block out his election. Obama’s friend and former NPR host Michele Norris, who will soon interview the former first lady at her book tour stop in Boston, says the memoir is about much more than politics; it contains “real-life lessons.” “She is honest about how difficult it is to make a transition. She’s honest about dealing with people who doubted her or underestimated her,” Norris says. “She’s honest about the work that goes into relationships of all kinds.” Herald recommends
The Staying Power of Steve King
The longtime Republican congressman has become notorious for his racist comments. The residents of Northwest Iowa voted for him anyway.
Elaine Godfrey Nov 7, 2018
Justin Hayworth / AP Democrats conquered in the House on Tuesday night, picking up more than enough seats to secure a majority in the chamber. In Iowa alone, two GOP congressmen were unseated by women challengers.
But, at the end of the night, from under all the dust and rubble, emerged Steve King.
King, the Iowa Republican whose nativist rhetoric has brought a lot of unusual attention to the state’s Fourth Congressional District, didn’t exactly soar to victory: His opponent, Democrat J. D. Scholten came closer than any of King’s previous eight Democratic opponents, propelling a 19-point swing toward the Democrats from 2016. But it wasn’t enough.
Read: Steve King’s improbable ascendance
That’s for two reasons: First, it’s a really Republican district, the reddest in the state. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton here by 27 percentage points in 2016. Second, King has been in Congress for 16 years. “People know him,” says the state Republican strategist David Oman. “Iowans love stability.”
King’s history of inflammatory remarks dates back more than a decade , but for most people, it was the “cantaloupes” comment that put him on the map. In 2013, King famously told Newsmax that for every child of undocumented immigrants “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” At the time, House Speaker John Boehner called the comments “deeply offensive and wrong,” but King stood by them .
But since then, King has amped up his incendiary comments. Last year, he tweeted in support of the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, writing that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” (For this, King was praised by the former KKK grand wizard David Duke). In July, he retweeted a British white nationalist and self-described “Nazi sympathizer.” These actions sparked criticism from the GOP leaders House Speaker Paul Ryan and Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, and prompted Scholten, a paralegal and former professional baseball player, to launch a campaign against him.
King was still expected to coast to victory in 2018. But that changed after the mass shooting in Pittsburgh in late October—when 11 Jewish worshippers were killed in an apparent anti-Semitic attack. Many on the left blamed President Donald Trump and other Republicans for stoking tensions with their nativist rhetoric. In the days after the shooting, King, who had just returned from a meeting with a member of a Nazi-linked party in Austria , was questioned about how his own comments could be contributing to violence.
The Republican Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, denounced his rhetoric. “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior,” Stivers wrote in a statement. Three major agriculture businesses subsequently said that they would no longer support King, and Scholten’s campaign received an immediate influx of cash.
For all that, though, King managed to hang on—albeit by his slimmest election margin ever. He beat Scholten 50 to 47 percent last night to win a ninth term in office.
How’d he do it? The residents of Northwest Iowa voted for him in spite of it all.
The district, which covers the northwest and north-central parts of the state, is mostly rural and overwhelmingly white, and King is a good ideological fit. Northwest Iowa, which has been referred to as the state’s “Bible belt,” is highly religious, and its voters are very socially conservative: They support King’s views on abortion and gun control. King also sits on the House Committee on Agriculture—farming is a major industry in the district—and has successfully sold himself as the enemy of big government.
“People know that he will sometimes pop off or say something that’s extreme, or even quite troublesome. But those other reasons cause them to stay with him,” Oman says. Plus, he says, many people point to how King presents himself in person and on the campaign trail. “One-on-one it’s really hard not to like the guy,” he adds. “He’s whip-smart, and he’s got a good sense of humor.”
That’s the sense I got from my interviews this summer with several King supporters. “He represents the morals and ethics of his district, not so much the outspoken voice,” said Bill Tentinger, a 69-year-old farmer and pork producer from outside Sioux City. Like most of King’s supporters, Tentinger wants his congressman to be pro-life, prioritize agriculture, and advocate for strict immigration laws. But still Tentinger sees some daylight between him and his congressman. “I’m not totally in step with Congressman King on his immigration comments,” Tentinger told me, noting that he wouldn’t support King “if we’re going to round up all the immigrants and ship them out of here.”
King may have escaped defeat, but going into 2020, he’ll have to tread carefully. Democrats came within spitting distance of the seat for the first time in years, and Scholten now has a state, and national, platform if he decides to run again. But while other scandal-plagued politicians might consider toning down their rhetoric to bolster their election chances, King probably isn’t one of them.
“There are districts where you can pretty much go out into the middle of the street and shoot someone, and you’ll get reelected,” said Steffen Schmidt, a political-science professor at Iowa State University, explaining King’s staying power. “Oops, I guess somebody else said that .”
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