Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh passes away at 41 after private battle with cancer

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh died Sunday after a private battle with cancer, according to a post shared on his social media. He was 41 years old. Abloh, the founder and CEO of fashion house Off-White, battled a “rare, aggressive form of cancer” known as cardia angiosarcoma, for two years before his death, according to the post shared to his verified Instagram account.  The post read: “He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.” 

Abloh was the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants who became fashion’s highest profile Black designer and the creative mind behind Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections. He also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been men’s artistic director for Vuitton, the world’s biggest luxury brand, since March 2018.  CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement that he was “shocked after this terrible news,” adding, “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”

Abloh was well-respected in the fashion and music worlds, frequently collaborating with celebrities such as Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh and “numerous dear friends and colleagues” the post on his Instagram states.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that newly-discovered Omicron variant may ‘evade immune protection’ from COVID-19

Appearing on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the newly discovered ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19 may evade various forms of immune protection. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was “troublesome” that Omicron features about 32 or more variants in the virus’ spike protein, adding that other mutations could allow it to be more transmissible.  Said Fauci: “The profile of the mutations strongly suggest that it’s going to have an advantage in transmissibility and that it might evade immune protection that you would get, for example, from a monoclonal antibody or from the convalescent serum after a person’s been infected and possibly even against some of the vaccine-induced antibodies.”  Fauci added that it may take two more weeks to have more “definitive information” about the transmissibility, severity and other characteristics of the variant, according to a readout of the conversation.

Fauci, along with Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health Director, agreed it was likely the variant – which was first identified by scientists in South Africa and has since been identified in Europe and Asia – would be detected in the United States.  Collins told CNN’s State of the Union: “We will find out because (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking at tens of thousands of viral isolates every week.”  Collins added that the presence of the Omicron variant should encourage more Americans to get vaccinated or receive a booster dose:  “It’s certainly not good news. We don’t know yet how much of an impact this will have. It ought to redouble our efforts to use the tools that we have, which are vaccinations and boosters, and to be sure we’re getting those to the rest of the world too, which the U.S. is doing more than any other country.” 

 

Texas Rangers and second baseman Marcus Semien agree to 7-year, $175 million contract

The Texas Rangers and All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien have agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract. Semien, 31, hit 45 home runs last season, the most ever for a second baseman. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career, batting .265/.334/.538 while playing in all 162 games. He’s finished third in American League MVP voting twice in the last three years.

Semien primarily played shortstop for the White Sox and A’s prior to last season, before moving to second base with Toronto. The move payed off, and earned Semien his first career Gold Glove award.

The Rangers have been struggling in recent years, with five consecutive losing seasons since their back-to-back AL West division titles in 2015 and 2016.  Texas has not won a postseason series since advancing to the World Series in 2011, where they lost in seven games to the Cardinals.

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QB Tua Tagovailoa leads Miami Dolphins past Carolina Panthers 33-10

QB Tua Tagovailoa led the Miami Dolphins past the Carolina Panthers with a 33-10 victory on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Tagovailoa completed 27 of 31 passes for 230 passing yards and one touchdown to help extended the Dolphins’ win streak to four-consecutive games. Rookie linebacker Jaelan Phillips led the Dolphins defense with three sacks. Xavien Howard, Nik Needham and Jevon Holland each logged interceptions in the win.

Meanwhile, Panthers’ Cam Newton completed just 5 of 21 passes for 92 yards and two interceptions in the loss. His 5.8 passer rating from the performance is a career-low. “We lost footing early,” Newton said. “We just gotta find ways to get back on track. Nothing they did was out of the ordinary. It just comes down to execution.”

Next up:  The Dolphins (5-7) will host the New York Giants (4-7) at 1 p.m. EST Dec. 5 at Hard Rock Stadium. The Panthers (5-7) host the Atlanta Falcons (5-6) at 1 p.m. EST Dec. 12 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C

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Reba McEntire bringing ‘Reba’s Place’ restaurant and live music venue to Oklahoma

Reba McEntire, 66, announced the creation of ‘Reba’s Place,’ her own restaurant, bar, and live entertainment venue in Atoka, Oklahoma. McEntire shared the news during a concert at the Choctaw Grand Theater in Durant, Oklahoma. The singer posted a video of her and Batton’s announcement on Instagram, sharing the moment she and the chief told the audience about Reba’s Place. 

McEntire shared on Instagram that Reba’s Place “is formed in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the City of Atoka” and that the venue features “two stories of dining space,” opening up to a large stage, plus a restaurant. McEntire’s signature touch will be all over the restaurant. “The aesthetics of the venue are heavily influenced by Reba’s western heritage and include a curated collection of memorabilia from Reba’s personal archives that will regularly change,” the Reba’s Place website states.

Along with the announcement, McEntire also unveiled the official social media account for Reba’s Place, offering a glimpse at what the spot will look like when it opens for business in late 2022.

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Brett Young and Boyz II Men team up for ‘This Christmas’ on CMT Christmas Special

Brett Young has teamed up with Boyz II Men for a new rendition of “This Christmas.” In a clip from Young’s upcoming CMT Crossroads Christmas special, Boyz II Men — comprised of Nathan Morris, 50, Shawn Stockman, 49, and Wanya Morris, 48 — harmonize on the holiday classic, while Young, 40, adds a country twist.

The performance of “This Christmas” comes as part of Young’s special, which will air Dec. 8 on CMT, featuring artists including Colbie Caillat, Darius Rucker, Gavin DeGraw and Maddie & Tae.  Brett and Boyz II Men previously collaborated back in 2019 for an episode of CMT Crossroads, where they sang hits like “Motownphilly,” “End of the Road” and “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Young told CMT.com at the time: “Boyz II Men was so present and prevalent in my life when I started writing songs. Every once in a while, when you guys sing your solos I can tell who’s who, but when you’re singing together, it’s like who’s doing what right now? It pushed me as a singer before I even knew it was doing that.”

CMT Crossroads Christmas: Brett Young & Friends will air on Dec. 8 on CMT.

Brett Young And Boyz II Men Join Forces For CMT Crossroads Rendition Of “This Christmas”

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Peacock drops first teaser for ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ dramatic reboot, ‘Bel-Air’

The first teaser for Bel-Air, a dramatic reboot of Will Smith’s iconic 90s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was released by NBC. The network’s online streaming service Peacock will air the new one-hour Bel-Air starting next year.

The minute-long teaser features Smith voicing lyrics from the original show’s opening theme as star Jabari Banks — who plays Smith’s character — sits on the titular throne.

Peacock announced earlier this year it had ordered two seasons of the drama, which will be set in a modern-day America and delve deep into social issues. Bel-Air is being produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television.

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Valerie Bertinelli files for legal separation from husband Tom Vitale after 10 years of marriage

Actress and Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli has filed for legal separation from her husband Tom Vitale after 10 years of marriage. The 61-year-old Bertinelli filed the documents in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE magazine. In the documents, Bertinelli cites “irreconcilable differences” between the pair as the reason for the separation. At this time, she has not filed for a dissolution of marriage. The court records also incidate that Bertinelli and Vitale have a premarital agreement that they will be adhering to.

Bertinelli wed Vitale in January 2011 after several years of dating. The couple was introduced by Bertinelli’s brother, Patrick. Bertinelli was previously married from 1981 to 2007 to Eddie Van Halen, with whom she shares 30-year-old son Wolfgang. Eddie Van Halen died in October 2020 from lung cancer at age 65; following his death, Bertinelli publicly mourned him, and posted about the effect of his loss on her via social media.

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Mother killed in same spot as her 14-year-old son was slain 2 days earlier in Chicago

On Thursday, Chicago police confirmed they were investigating the shooting death of a 31-year-old woman who was slain at the same spot as her 14-year-old son was murdered just days earlier.

The mother, Delisa Tucker, was shot in the chest Wednesday morning near Chicago’s Wentworth Avenue while visiting the location where her 14-year-old son, Kevin Tinker Jr., was slain. Tucker leaves behind five children between the ages of four and 15. Tucker intended to light a candle at the site of her son’s slaying in the early morning hours before being struck by gunfire herself, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan wouldn’t say if they believe the shootings are connected, and indicated no one has been taken into custody as of press time. The 14-year-old victim’s father, Kevin Tinker Sr., described his son as a “good kid” who played basketball and stayed home most of the time with his younger brothers and sisters. But he said that “some violence found him” when he was walking home from a friend’s house.

Police said no witnesses to Delisa Tucker’s slaying had yet been found. Both shootings occurred in the Roseland area of Chicago where police say murders have increased by 48% from last year and 94% from 2019. The area has seen 26 shooting deaths so far in 2021.

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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden share Thanksgiving message honoring those lost during pandemic

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden sent appreciation to service members who lost their lives during the pandemic in a Thanksgiving video message posted on Twitter.  Biden said: “As we give thanks for what we have, we also keep in our hearts those who we lost, and those who have lost so much. And those who have an empty seat at their kitchen table or their dining room table this year because of this virus or another cruel twist of fate or accident. We pray for them.”

First Lady Jill Biden added: “After being apart last year, we have a new appreciation for those little moments we can’t plan or replicate. The music of laughter in a warm, full kitchen, the thump of small feet making big sounds, the circle of faces crowded around our dining room table, glowing in the candlelight.”

The Bidens spent Thanksgiving in Nantucket. After the video was released, the president called into NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and gave a message to Americans. Said Biden: “My message is after two years, we’re back, America’s back.” 

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