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Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ after giving birth to first baby

Tennis champion Serena Williams revealed she “almost died after giving birth” to her first child, daughter Olympia, last fall, according to a column by Williams on CNN.com

>> Read more trending news 

Williams had a relatively easy birth Sept. 1, 2017, delivering her daughter by C-section, but two hours later, she was in a fight for her life that lasted six days, she wrote.

“It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So, when I fell short of breath, I didn't wait a second to alert the nurses,” Williams said.

She underwent three surgeries to deal with the health crisis and credited her medical team for her survival.

“When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed,” she wrote on CNN.com.

“I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment. They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events. If it weren't for their professional care, I wouldn't be here today.”

Williams knew about her health condition and was able to alert medical staffers that  something was wrong.

>> Related: That is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Unfortunately, many women don’t know their health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, African-American women are three times more likely than others to die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth.

What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease

>> Read more trending news 

She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,” a show representative told People

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism...A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Learning about the illness for the first time? Here’s what you should know. 

What is Graves’ disease?

It’s an immune system disorder that is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. In healthy adults, the thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. For those with Graves’ disease, a thyrotropin receptor antibody takes on this role, overriding the work of the pituitary gland and causing overproduction of the thyroid hormones. 

What are the symptoms?

Common signs include anxiety, irritability, tremor of the hands, weight loss, heat sensitivity, thyroid gland enlargement and rapid heartbeat. 

Patients also experience Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where inflammation affects the muscles and tissues around eyes. The condition can cause bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision or even vision loss. 

Some also have Graves’ dermopathy, which is the reddening and thickening of the skin, particularly on the shins and tops of the feet. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams cancels talk show for the week due to flu 

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors generally conduct a physical exam to check the size of the thyroid. They also order blood samples to determine the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is usually lower for those with Graves’.

Physicians also administer ultrasounds and imaging tests to view images of the thryroid, eyes, and iodine uptake patterns. Iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones.

How is it treated?

Some have radioactive iodine therapy, where patients take radioactive iodine by mouth. The iodine seeps into the thyroid cells and the radioactivity gradually destoys the overactive ones. 

Patients often are prescribed anti-thyroid medications, which can limit the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. Beta blockers are also available. While they don’t stop the production of thyroid hormones, they do block some of the Graves’ disease symptoms. 

Who is affected?

It affects 1 in 200 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and people younger than age 40 generally develop it. 

>> Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

Rappers Missy Elliott and Rapsody as well as former president George H. W. Bush also have Graves’ disease. 

DirecTV to raise NFL Sunday Ticket prices, angering fans

DirecTV will increase the price of its NFL Sunday Ticket package by about 4 percent for the 2018 season.

The Tuesday announcement comes after DirecTV increased the price of the NFL Sunday Ticket basic package last year by 9.3 percent and the larger package by 5 percent.

>> Read more trending news 

The basic package for 2018 will be priced at $293.94, increasing from $281.94 last year, according to the DirecTV website. The larger package that includes the Red Zone Channel costs $395.94, up 4.5 percent from 2017, according to USA TODAY.

Here’s what NFL fans had to say about the increase:

Franklin Graham writes tribute to his late father, Billy Graham

The Rev. Billy Graham, the Christian evangelist known as “America’s pastor,” died Wednesday after battling various health ailments.

He was 99.

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, posted a tribute to him on Facebook following the news of his father’s death.

>> Read more trending news 

“Where is Heaven?” Franklin Graham recalled his father being asked, to which he then replied, “Heaven is where Jesus is, and I am going to Him soon!”

“He will be missed by our family, his colleagues, faithful ministry partners, and, yes, many around the world,” Franklin Graham wrote. “But what joy he has to be welcomed by God the Father, and be reunited with my mother in the presence of Jesus who speaks peace to eternal souls.”

Related: Anne Graham Lotz on her father Billy Graham’s death: ‘Daddy is home’

Franklin Graham’s mother, Ruth Graham, died in 2007.

Read Franklin Graham’s Facebook post below:

Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves’ disease

Wendy Williams is taking three weeks off from her talk show.

The former radio personality turned daytime TV show host was candid with her live audience Wednesday as she made the announcement. The 53-year-old has Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which she has spoken about in the past. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” a show representative told People. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

“My doctor has prescribed -- are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” she said.

Williams then described the symptoms that come with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

“Along with hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease, it promotes nervousness,” Williams said. “No, I’m not nervous. Anxiety, please. I’m over 30 years in this game.”

Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

The wife and mother to a teenage son did admit she has some symptoms, including a rapid heartbeat.

“Now, I can cop to irritability, but I’m just thinking it’s me micromanaging,” she said. 

Ever the workhorse, Williams said she would be back in less than three weeks.

“I’ll be back in two (weeks). I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class,” she said.

Williams said she blamed her symptoms on the stresses of being a working wife and mother, encouraging women to put their health first.

“What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said. 

Williams took three days off last week after she said she was “feeling flu-ish.” It was the first time she was out sick from the show since it started in 2009. In October, Williams fainted on-air while introducing a segment.

Related: Wendy Williams addresses fainting on live Halloween show

“That was not a stunt,” Williams said at the end of that episode. “I overheated in my costume, and I did pass out. But you know what? I’m a champ and I’m back.”

CNN reported that there will not be a fill-in host for the show. Repeat episodes will air during the hiatus.

Watch Williams’ message to viewers below.

Anne Graham Lotz on her father Billy Graham’s death: ‘Daddy is home’

Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, posted a statement about her father's death Wednesday morning. 

The famed American Christian evangelist died at his home in Montreat, North Carolina. He was 99 years old.

>> Read more trending news 

Lotz is one of Graham’s five children with his wife Ruth Bell Graham, who died June 14, 2007.

“For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me. Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven,” Lotz  said in a statement posted on her Facebook page.

Read Lotz’s full statement below:

“My Father’s legacy is one that encompasses the world…and engulfs my own life. When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great. Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling. “But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else. “For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me. Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors, and is now enjoying real Life. “I have often stated that I was raised by a single parent because ministry took my father away from our family—for weeks and months at a time. Daddy estimated that he was gone from home approximately 60 percent of his children’s growing-up years. Now, he has left again. This time, he will not be coming back. At least, not until Jesus does, too. “While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father’s House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those with whom they come in contact. Because Daddy’s message is God’s message. And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past. “It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven’s door. “It was this message, which Daddy carried to the world, that penetrated my own heart as a young girl and has created in me a personal, passionate resolve to communicate it myself to as many people as possible. And so, even as my tears seem to be unending, I silently rededicate my life to picking up and passing on the baton. Would you do the same?”

Celebrities, politicians react to Billy Graham’s death

Celebrities and politicians are reacting to the news of the death of Rev. Bill Graham.

>> Read more trending news 

Known around the world, the evangelist preached to millions of people into his mid-90s. He died at his Montreat, North Carolina, home Wednesday at 99 years old. He had been battling cancer, pneumonia and a number of other health aliments.

>> Live coverage at WSOCTV.com

Graham was frequently seen among U.S. presidents -- a dozen of whom he worked with as a spiritual counselor.

Related: Photos: Billy Graham was counselor to presidents

Public figures responded to the news of Graham’s death on Twitter.

Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.

>> See the full rankings here

The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016. 

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.

>> Click here or scroll down to see which other beaches made the lists

Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'

Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted a shoutout Monday to the new Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther.”

>> See the tweet here

“Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team!” she tweeted. “Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.”

>> ‘Black Panther’ raking in the dough; here’s the records the blockbuster has smashed

The film has earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike, receiving a 97 percent "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregate site.

>> On Rare.us: After the Obamas’ official portraits were unveiled, people had a lot to say

The movie grossed $201 million at the box office over the weekend, according to The Washington Post.

>> Read more trending news 

Other high-profile Democrats to send shoutouts to the film include Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who both posted tweets about the movie.

>> On Rare.us: Barack Obama issues statement on Florida school shooting: 'We are not powerless'

“Outside City of Refuge with @HollywoodLadyj from the film 'Black Panther'! Congratulations Janeshia!” Waters posted along with a picture of herself and the film’s stuntwoman, Janeshia Adams-Ginyard.

>> See the tweet here

Warren posted a picture of her and her family attending the film, captioning it, “#BlackPanther Rocks!”

>> See the tweet here

Queen Elizabeth surrounded by fashion royalty at her first London runway show

This year’s London Fashion Week ended with the biggest name in fashion meeting the biggest name in London.

>> Read more trending news 

Queen Elizabeth II made quite the splash Tuesday as she sat next to Vogue’s infamous editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in the queen’s historic appearance at a fashion show.

Her Majesty came dressed to impress in a pastel blue coat and jacket designed by Angela Kelly — her personal assistant and designer — and accessorizing with crisp black gloves, pearl earrings and a matching broach.

The Queen, 91, made the shocking appearance — her first-ever at the event in 65 years on the throne — to bestow the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design upon designer Richard Quinn. In the speech she gave while presenting the award to the designer who’s runway show she’d come to watch, she described the award as “a tribute to the industry and my legacy and all those who have contributed to British fashion.”

>> Related: Internet shows no mercy when Duchess Catherine stepped out wearing this over the weekend

The British Fashion Council helped choose Quinn, who started his own label only in 2016, for the prize — also designed by Angela Kelly. The show was full of bright and bold looks that obviously drew the eye of the fashion elite, regardless of their eccentricity.

Spry as ever even at 91, she took a tour around several showrooms at the event before addressing the audience about Britain’s fashion history.

“From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting edge, practical designs,” she said.

Since this was the queen’s first time at London Fashion Week, social media swooned at her appearance.

>> Related: Prince William rides a motorcycle and melts a million hearts

Considering this is the first year the award is being presented, it stands to reason that the Queen may make another return next year. Only time will tell!

The Queen’s fashionable showing comes just days after her Duchess Catherine’s fashion choices were criticized by the public. Attendees of the BAFTA awards — equivalent to the Oscars — were encouraged to wear all black in support of the #MeToo and #TimesUp initiatives at this year’s BAFTAs, but the pregnant royal’s choice of a green cap-sleeved gown rubbed people the wrong way.

The Sun reports that people on the red carpet were just as disgruntled about the Duchess’s fashion statement as social media users.

“She shouldn’t have bothered turning up if she couldn’t wear black,” one guest said, according to the paper.

Another reportedly added, “How is supporting equality for women political?”

>> Related: Photos: Kate Middleton wears dark green, not black at BAFTAs

Being a member of the royal family, Catherine is supposed to stay away from making any public political statements, which may have been one reason she opted for another color.

These are the records 'Black Panther' has smashed so far

“Black Panther” has taken theaters by storm, breaking box office goals. 

Over the Presidents Day weekend, the Marvel flick made a whopping $242 million, much more than the $150 million predicted

>> Read more trending news 

That wasn’t the only success the film saw. It also made history for Marvel, on social media and beyond.

Here’s a list of records the flick has broken. 

Biggest February opening weekend

“Deadpool” previously held the record, raking in $132 million over a Friday to Sunday weekend, according to The Numbers, a site that keeps data on films. “Black Panther” scored a $202-million weekend for its Friday-Sunday opening.

>> Related: ‘Black Panther’: Five things to know about the movie’s ties to metro Atlanta

Biggest long holiday opening weekend

“Black Panther” brought in $242 million over the four-day weekend. That’s ahead of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which made $200 million during it’s Wednesday to Sunday debut, the Numbers said. It also surpasses “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Spider-Man 2,” which both had $180 million six-day Independence Day weekend premieres.

Biggest domestic opening for a black director

This is Ryan Coogler’s third film, behind “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station.” He’s inching closer to F. Gary Gray top selling film “Fate of the Furious,” which earned more than $1 billion worldwideThe Numbers recorded. 

“Black Panther” is also the biggest global debut for a predominantly black cast. “Straight Outta Compton” previously held the record with $66.3 million, according to BuzzFeed.

>> Related: Atlanta airport nonstop flights to Wakanda from Black Panther

5th biggest Friday to Sunday opening weekend of all time

Here’s a quick overview of the top five, according to The Numbers:

  1. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” - $284 million 
  2. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” - $220 million
  3. “Jurassic World” - $208 million
  4. “The Avengers” - $207 million
  5. “Black Panther” - $202 million

Most tweeted about film in 2018

It’s garnered more than five million tweets, according to Variety, and inspired several hashtags, including #BlackPantherChallenge#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe and #WakandaForever. And if you type “#BlackPanther” a Black Panther mask appears. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” took second and third place. 

Disney’s ‘Elsa’ helps to make birthday magical when girls’ guests are no-shows

Leyana had planned her birthday to a T. She even picked the right outfit. Then, the waiting began. Despite handing out invitations to everyone in Leyana’s class, no one showed up for the first-grader’s party, except for the actress who was hired to portray Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.”

>> Read more trending news 

Now, Lindsay Robert, who has been dressing up as Elsa and appearing at birthday parties, has reached out on Facebook to tell Leyana’s story.

"It was soul crushing. When I open the door, I’m used to all the kids running up to me. But she was just all by herself. Just looking down. Just so sad and she just launched herself into my arms,” Robert told KDVR.

During the time  she was scheduled to arrive, there was supposed to be a house-full of kids. But it was only Leyana so she and Robert danced, sang and formed a friendship, KDVR reported.

“I wasn’t kidding when I told you that every princess is smart and brave and kind, and you are all those things,” Robert told Leyana while KDVR videotaped the pair’s reunion.

Robert took to Facebook to tell Leyana’s heartbreaking story. Not only is she sending a fairy garden to the little girl, “Because Elsa will never let you down,” she also visited Leyana with her “sister,” an actress playing Anna, and is planning another surprise for the 7-year-old.

George, Amal Clooney donate $500,000 to Parkland shooting survivors, Oprah Winfrey matches amount

Nearly a week after the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, George and Amal Clooney have announced they will participate in The March For Our Lives on March 24 and have donated $500,000 to the group.

>> Read more trending news 

The celebrity couple made the announcement in a statement from George Clooney. People reported the donation was made in the name of the couple’s 8-month-old twins Ella and Alexander.

“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School,” Clooney said in a statement. “Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it.”

Related: Gabrielle Union, Kim Kardashian, more celebs call for gun control after Florida school shooting

On Tuesday afternoon, Oprah Winfrey said she would match the Clooney’s donation.

“George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more,” Winfrey tweeted. “I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.”

The March for Our Lives event was announced by Students David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky, Jacqueline Coren and Emma Gonzalez, five survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. On Feb. 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school, killing 17 people.

Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The March For Our Lives march will be in Washington, D.C. According to the group’s website, “the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end this epidemic of mass school shootings.”

Tahirah Lamont Brown, FedEx’s first African-American woman pilot, reflects on making history

Tahirah Lamont Brown made history in 2002 as the first African American woman hired by FedEx to be a pilot. Brown works with the company as an Airbus captain and line check airman.

According to a Feb. 2 post on the FedEx blog, Brown first stepped into a cockpit in 1992.

>> Read more trending news 

“I still remember it vividly as it was exhilarating. I was 20 years old. My first flight was in a Cessna 172, a four-seat single-engine prop plane,” Brown said. “My instructor in college was with me, along with my supportive, yet reluctant father in the backseat. We took off out of Long Island and flew to Greenwich, Connecticut. I was on top of the world. I could not believe that my view was the sky.”

To make her dream a reality, she had to work two jobs to pay for college and for flight training. She even asked her family for money at one point, promising she would pay them back after.

Brown credits another history maker for helping her on her career path.

“I met Bill Norwood, the first black pilot at United Airlines, while in Tuskegee, Alabama, at Operation Skyhook and he introduced me to OBAP, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals,” Brown said. “That introduction provided me with the guidance I needed, and also helped me with scholarships for flight training.”

“I felt like the world had no limits,” Brown said. 

Read more about Brown’s experience at the FedEx Blog.

Atlanta airport offers nonstop flights to Kingdom of Wakanda

“Black Panther” fans rejoice: The world’s busiest airport is officially offering nonstop flights to the fictional Kingdom of Wakanda. Sort of.

>> Read more trending news 

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport shared a photo of a terminal showing a 7:30 p.m. departure time to the hidden city on Twitter Monday, following a holiday weekend that brought in $235 million for the film.

The person behind the airport’s Twitter account had answers to all the essential questions.

According to the state Department of Economic Development, 3,100 people working in Georgia’s booming film industry were employed during the shoot, which started in August 2016 and wrapped up in November 2017.

“We’re incredibly proud that Atlanta has such an important role in the film industry,” Reese McCranie, Hartsfield-Jackson’s director of policy and communications, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McCranie said the airport’s social media team, which he oversees, came up with the idea during a Monday meeting.

Related: ‘Black Panther’ enjoys record weekend at box office

Since its posting, the playful image shared on the airport’s official Instagram and Twitter accounts has reached hundreds of thousands of people.

“We love keeping our customers engaged,” McCraine said. “And it’s important for us to be part of the cultural conversation.”

Unfortunately, the current flight departing from Gate T3 isn’t headed to the Kingdom of Wakanda. But, McCraine said, “we are certainly looking to explore direct service connection. In the meantime, we hope everyone gets to enjoy the movie.”

As for Wakanda, the beauty and wonder of the fictional country was inspired by Africa itself. Before shooting the film, director Ryan Coogler explored the mountainscape of the tiny nation of Lesotho.

Related: 5 things to know about ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler

According to The Washington Post, Wakanda is actually farther north, along the shores of Lake Victoria. “The country is rendered as a Pan-African pastiche; viewers of Black Panther can point to Ghanaian fabrics and Zulu headdresses, Ethiopian tribal body markings and a prominent Bantu tongue,” the Post reported.

The fictional country was also inspired by several African landmarks, including South Africa’s Three Rondavels (or Three Sisters) and the canyon Orbi Gorge.

JAY-Z leaves $11,000 tip on $80,000 bar tab for friend’s birthday celebration

JAY-Z reportedly spent big at a New York bar over the weekend.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, the rapper and father of three spent a combined $110,000 at three locations in the city while celebrating Roc Nation Sports president Juan “OG” Perez, who is also a close friend of Hov.

>> Read more trending news 

Although his wife, Beyonce, daughter, Blue and in-laws, Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson, were at the NBA All-Star Game, Jay was reportedly at Zuma, a high-end Japanese restaurant, for dinner. He and his friends, other Roc Nation executives, spent about $13,000, according to Page Six.

The tabloid also reported that the group later went to Manhattan’s Made in Mexico Mexican restaurant and spent $9,000 on drinks.

The last stop was Playroom nightclub, where Page Six reported Jay was seen handing out bottles of his own Ace of Spades Champagne to tables. His group paid full price for 40 bottles of the drink.

People reported that a server posted a photo of the tab at Playroom, showing the bottles totaled more than $80,000. The group left an $11,100 tip.

Related video: Jay-Z and Beyonce Through The Years

Toni Braxton confirms engagement to Birdman

After months of speculation, Toni Braxton has confirmed she is engaged to rapper Birdman.

In a trailer for the singer’s upcoming season of “Braxton Family Values,” Braxton tells her sisters, “I have an announcement to make: I’m engaged!”

>> Read more trending news 

The reality TV show looks at Braxton’s life with her sisters, Trina, Towanda, Tamar and their mother, Evelyn.

E! News reported that Birdman and Braxton met in 2002 and were reported as an item in May 2016. They made their public debut as a couple in June of that year at the BET Awards.

On Wednesday, Birdman, born Bryan Williams, told Wendy Williams he was not married to Braxton "yet."

“That's my girl, my friend, my family,” Birdman told Williams. “That’s my love, my soldier, my life… she's my life. I love her to death.”

This is the second marriage for Braxton, who was married to Keri Lewis from 2001-2013. She has two sons from that marriage: Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis, 16, and Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, 14. Birdman has two adult children, Bryan Williams Jr. and Bria Williams, from a previous relationship.

Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain remember Kurt Cobain on his 51st birthday

Courtney Love is remembering Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 51st birthday.

People reported that the 53-year-old singer posted a photo of herself with the late Nirvana frontman on Instagram Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

“Happy birthday baby,” she captioned the post. “God I miss you.”

Cobain died of suicide on April 5, 1994, at the age of 27. He had been struggling with depression and drugs. He was married to Love from 1992 until his death.

Spin reported that Cobain and Love’s 25-year-old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, shared an Instagram post remembering the day as well. She was 1-year-old when her father died.

“I hope they don’t have the internet wherever you are. I feel like that would be counterproductive,” Cobain wrote alongside the post. “Regardless, Happy Birthday to an angel.”

Texas jail guard thanks inmates who aided him during heart attack 

A former Texas jail guard still becomes emotional when he thinks about the day several prisoners helped save his life when he suffered a massive heart attack.

>> Read more trending news

“Instead of overtaking me and taking my gun, and killing me or taking a hostage and escaping, they looked at me as a human being,” Gary Grimm told WFAA

Grimm, 52, was guarding prisoners in a basement holding cell at the Parker County District Courthouse on June 23, 2016, when he suffered the heart attack.

“I just slumped and went out,” Grimm told WFAA. “Next thing I remember is looking up at the ceiling in the ER (emergency room).”

The incident was captured on a courthouse surveillance video.

"They thought I was kidding," Grimm told WFAA. "I wasn't."

Inmates began shouting and banging on the holding cell walls, eventually breaking free from the cell. Their noise was heard by deputies in the courtroom, who called for paramedics after investigating the ruckus.

Grimm, who worked for more than 20 years at Texas prisons and jails, retired in December because of his heart condition. He said he always treated most inmates with respect.

“I don't care if they're a drug user, hot check writer, or child molester. They're still a human being. I don't have to like what they did, but it's not my position to be the judge and jury,” Grimm told WFAA.

Grimm said he will undergo open heart surgery this week and will have a left ventricle assistance device installed.

"I need that for at least six months, and then maybe we can have a transplant," Grimm said. 

He will get the chance for surgery thanks to the inmates that did not take advantage of Grimm’s incapacity.

"I get emotional. If they wished harm for me, all they had to do was sit there and do nothing,” Grimm told WFAA. 

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help the family with extra expenses as Gary Grimm awaits a possible transplant.

Radiohead announces North American summer tour

Radiohead has announced a summer arena tour across North America. The English band will start the 16-date tour July 7 in Chicago and end Aug. 1 in Philadelphia.

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Billboard reported that the tour will include a three-night run at Madison Square Garden in New York on July 10, 11 and 13.

The group’s latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” was released in 2016. Tickets go on sale Feb. 23. More information, including specific dates for ticket sales at select cities, can be found at Radiohead.com.

The dates of the Radiohead 2018 North American summer tour are below.

July 7 -- Chicago at United Center

July 10 -- New York at Madison Square Garden

July 11 -- New York at Madison Square Garden

July 13 -- New York at Madison Square Garden

July 16 -- Montreal at Bell Centre

July 17 -- Montreal at Bell Centre

July 19 -- Toronto at Air Canada Centre

July 20 -- Toronto at Air Canada Centre

July 22 -- Detroit at Little Caesars Arena

July 23 -- Columbus, Ohio, at Schottenstein Center 

July 25 -- Cincinnati at US Bank Arena

July 26 -- Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena

July 28 -- Boston at TD Garden

July 29 -- Boston at TD Garden

July 31 -- Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center

Aug. 1 -- Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center

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