Serena Williams uses near-death experience to advocate for health care

Serena Williams uses near-death experience to advocate for health care

Serena Williams nearly lost her life giving birth to daughter Olympia last fall, but in the wake of her near-death experience, the tennis champion is using her platform for the greater good.

“Around the world, thousands of women struggle to give birth in the poorest countries. When they have complications like mine, there are often no drugs, health facilities or doctors to save them,” Williams, 36, detailed Tuesday in an op-ed for CNN. “Before they even bring a new life into this world, the cards are already stacked against them.”

Williams, who welcomed her first child with husband Alexis Ohanian, 34, in September, recalled the traumatic birth, which resulted in an emergency C-section after Olympia’s heart rate dropped during contractions.

“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 recounted. “This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived.”

After spending the first six weeks of motherhood in bed, Williams is back on her feet and sharing her baby’s first moments with the masses. But as she explained, not every parent experiences a similar joy after childbirth.

“Here’s the reality of one woman, as documented by UNICEF. In Malawi, Mary James walked hours to reach the closest health center while she was in labor. Exhausted, she made it to the facility and gave birth, only to lose her child later that day,” Williams shared. “That same day, approximately 2,600 babies died on their first day of life.”

Williams also noted 2.6 million newborns die each year, over 80 percent from preventable causes. The new mom later urged the time to act is now.

“Across the globe, organizations like UNICEF are committed to delivering simple solutions on behalf of every mother and newborn,” Williams explained. “These solutions include recruiting and training more doctors and midwives, guaranteeing clean and functional health facilities, making the top 10 lifesaving drugs and equipment available, and most importantly, empowering adolescent girls to demand quality care.”

She continued, “You can demand governments, businesses and healthcare providers do more to save these precious lives. You can donate to UNICEF and other organizations around the world working to make a difference for mothers and babies in need.”

This isn’t the first time Williams has opened up about her dramatic labor, as she previously described the experience in the February edition of Vogue.

“We’re not spending a day apart until she’s 18,” she told the magazine.

Michael Jackson’s family is furious with Quincy Jones

Michael Jackson’s family is furious with Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones has a history of dropping hits — having produced Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Thriller” and countless other iconic songs. But the music legend dropped a bomb when he recently spoke to

“Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer’s] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come . . . Greedy, man. Greedy.”

Michael’s family isn’t taking the comments of his mentor and longtime collaborator sitting down.

“He must have the first stages of dementia,” a family member said of the 84-year-old Jones.

Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, has a different take. He told Page Six that he believed Jones was “quite jealous of Michael because he’s never worked with someone with all of that talent.”

(Aside from Jackson, Jones has produced and worked with Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and many others.)

He added that if there is a similarity between Michael and Summer’s songs, Jones himself is to blame.

“He says my son stole it, but he was the producer on both [‘Billie Jean’ and ‘State of Independence’], so if anybody is wrong, it would be Quincy,” Jackson said, reiterating that he believed that no part of “Billie Jean”was lifted.

Another relative believes Jones has “quietly carried a vendetta” against Michael, who died in 2009, for a while.

“It goes way back, and [Jones] recently got money from Michael’s estate,” the relative said, alluding to the producer’s recent $9.4 million court victory against the late singer’s estate, recovering past unpaid royalties.

But the fallout between Michael and Jones really began more than 30 years ago, the relative said. Back then, the musical pair disagreed on whether Jones deserved a shot at a Grammy for having produced the 1982 smash-hit album “Thriller.”

“Michael did all of the work. It’s his music and everyone knows Michael’s sound — and ‘Thriller’ was all Michael Jackson,” the family source said.

So Michael allegedly went directly to Grammys officials and requested that any producer award go directly to him and not Jones — who, of course, was credited in the liner notes as the album’s producer along with Michael.

Bob Jones, Michael’s late spokesman, wrote in his 2005 memoir that “The King lobbied hard against Quincy getting that Grammy. He didn’t want to share the spotlight at all with Quincy Jones or anyone else.”

Jones ultimately received the award but he and Michael “fell out for good,” according to the family member, in 1987 after Jones arranged for Prince to duet with Michael on the song “Bad.”

“Michael kind of looked up to Quincy almost like he looked at [Motown founder] Berry Gordy,” the family member said of the once-close relationship.

“So when Quincy got Prince to agree to the song, Michael felt that it would be good only because that’s what Quincy promised. But he didn’t know that Quincy had agreed to give Prince top billing on Michael’s own song.”

The duet was then killed, although it’s unclear who did so. But the family member said that Michael “absolutely lost it” when Prince went public about the almost collaboration.

Asked in an interview why the song didn’t happen, Prince said: “The first line of that song is ‘Your butt is mine.’

“I said [to Michael], ‘Who’s gonna sing that to whom? Cause you ain’t singing that to me and I ain’t singing that to you, so right there we’ve got a problem.’ ”

The incident caused irreparable damage to Michael and Jones’ relationship. The singer’s 1991 album, “Dangerous,” would be produced by Michael with help from Teddy Riley and Bill Bottrell.

Jones did not return calls for comment.

When asked if the producer could be forgiven for his attack on Michael’s legacy, the family member didn’t hedge.

“Forgive? S–t. Michael is not here to defend himself. The world knows that Michael was the No. 1 artist in the world, and he didn’t need to steal from anyone.”

Kim Zolciak buys her kids bulletproof backpacks after Florida massacre

Kim Zolciak buys her kids bulletproof backpacks after Florida massacre

The safety of her six children remains Kim Zolciak‘s No. 1 priority in the wake of Wednesday’s tragic school shooting in Florida.

“I just asked Kroy what can we do as parents to protect our children every day in this crazy sad world,” the “Don’t Be Tardy” star posted Friday on social media. “He said, ‘best thing we could do for now is get bullet proof book bags’ you know, I just did! It’s better than not having anything at all.”

Zolciak, 39, shared a screenshot of the book bag, which she found on Amazon for $114.

Her post comes after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The suspect confessed Thursday to the slaughter of 17 people.

Zolciak and husband Kroy Biermann, 32, have four children together: sons KJ, 6, and Kash, 5, and 4-year-old twins Kaia and Kane. Zolciak also has two daughters, 20-year-old Brielle and 16-year-old Ariana, from previous relationships.

Steve Harvey’s ex-wife’s $60M lawsuit thrown out

Steve Harvey’s ex-wife’s $60M lawsuit thrown out

Steve Harvey has secured a major legal victory against his ex-wife.

TMZ reported that a judge threw out Mary L. Vaughn’s $60 million lawsuit against her ex-husband, in which she claims to have suffered from “prolonged torture with the infliction of severe mental pain and suffering” during their relationship. She also said the alleged emotional abuse caused her to attempt suicide.

The Los Angeles judge tossed the case because he said it should be handled by a judge in Texas, where the divorce took place.

Harvey, 61, wed Vaughn in 1996, two years after splitting from his wife of 14 years, Marcia Harvey. Harvey and Vaughn endured a nasty divorce in 2005, two years before he tied the knot with his third — and current — wife Marjorie Bridges.

Kylie Jenner breaks Instagram record with baby announcement

Kylie Jenner breaks Instagram record with baby announcement

Kylie Jenner’s baby announcement post on Instagram officially became the most-liked photo on the platform on Wednesday — surpassing the previously record holder, Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.

Jenner revealed the baby’s name, Stormi, on Instagram in a post Tuesday afternoon with a picture of the newborn. As of noon ET on Wednesday, the post has more than 13.6 million likes. Beyonce’s February 2017 post has 11.2 million likes.

The reality TV and cosmetics entrepreneur had previously announced on Instagram that she had given birth to her first child on Feb. 1. Jenner, a member of the Kardashian clan, is in a relationship with rapper Travis Scott.

Jenner has 103 million followers on Instagram, making her one of the most-followed celebs on the Facebook-owned service.

“My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world,” the 20-year-old wrote in a Feb. 4 post on Instagram and other social networks. “There was no gotcha moment, no big paid reveal I had planned.” Now that her baby has arrived, Jenner has changed her tune in opting to share the news.

“More and more, we’re seeing the world’s most influential public figures turn to Instagram to share their most intimate and personal moments, and in turn, bring Instagram’s global community in on the joy and celebration,” an Instagram rep said in a statement about Jenner’s record-breaking post.

Bruno Mars wants NFL to book hip-hop artists for next Super Bowl

Bruno Mars wants NFL to book hip-hop artists for next Super Bowl

The dust on this year’s super bowl performer controversy hasn’t settled and there’s already talk about who will take the stage in 2019.

Bruno Mars, who performed at halftime in 2014 and 2016, wants the NFL to choose Atlanta-bred rappers for the gig.

“@NFL you have the opportunity to celebrate incredible hip-hop artists from Atlanta next year,” Mars tweeted Monday. “@NFL Outkast. TI. Gucci. Lil Jon, Jeezy, Jermaine Dupri just to name a few. It would be the best party TV has ever seen.”

While Mars, 32, rattled off names, he offered up his services to assemble the show. “I’ll only charge like a billion,” he quipped. “@NFL all jokes aside please lets make that happen.”

While minds are bubbling over with excitement for next year, folks are still discussing Justin Timberlake, who featured Prince in his performance.

The former boy-bander was ready to use a Prince hologram in his show but backed out at the last minute due to backlash from social media.

Nick Foles’ wife and baby girl help celebrate Super Bowl win

Nick Foles’ wife and baby girl help celebrate Super Bowl win

Nick Foles and his adorable family are heading to Disney World.

After leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, the 29-year-old quarterback proudly proclaimed he was Florida-bound, while on the field with wife Tori Moore and 7-month-old daughter Lily James.

“I’m going to Disney World,” an elated Foles shouted at the camera.

Selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Foles spent three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love before being traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2015. As the Rams shifted direction, both at the quarterback position and time zone, he requested a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Foles married fellow University of Arizona alum Moore in 2014.

“She was the first person I actually ever saw at the University of Arizona,” Foles previously told the Press of Atlantic City. “I was going to my [football] physical. I remember walking down the stairs and thinking, ‘Wow, this might be the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen.’ But when you’re at the University of Arizona, everybody’s always talking about the women there. We didn’t date in college, but we were in the same group of friends and we became really good friends.

“It was one of those things where at some point the good Lord took the shades off both our eyes, and we just started talking and it grew into something that was always there, but we never knew it. It’s crazy. I couldn’t be more happy,” he gushed.

Foles and Moore’s road to a happily ever after wasn’t without speed bumps. A year before their wedding, Moore, also a college athlete, was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which can result in feelings of lightheadedness. She was hospitalized for a month, and Foles ultimately proposed at the Mayo Clinic.

Foles celebrates Philadelphia’s Super Bowl
victory with wife Tori Moore and
their baby girl.Getty Images

Amid Moore’s ongoing health struggles, which also included Lyme disease, their lives shifted for the better in 2017. After re-signing with Philadelphia in March, Foles and Moore welcomed their first child, Lily James, together three months later.

“When I think about this journey and everything, I get home … and I get to see her. I get to see my wife,” Foles told reporters ahead of Super Bowl LII. “I see her and my wife, just in her face and in her mannerisms, that’s what it’s about. I know that every time I step on the field, every single thing I do, there’s going to be some days she looks and wants to know who her daddy was and what he did.”

As the Eagles’ backup quarterback, Foles rose to the occasion in December after second-year starter Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. As Foles helped the Eagles soar to the Super Bowl, Wentz became one of his biggest cheerleaders.

“So excited to see him & this team go out and compete tonight. Been through it all this year as a team, & yet, here we are! WE ALL WE GOT. WE ALL WE NEED. God’s writing an unbelievable story and he’s getting all the glory! #AO1 #flyeaglesfly,” Wentz tweetedSunday.

Named Super Bowl MVP for the first time in his career, Foles and his family will likely take some time to soak in the moment before contemplating the future. With Wentz expected to return as the Eagles starter next season, Foles is still under contract for another year in Philadelphia.

“You never really know what it’s going to be like when you’re going into a Super Bowl,’’ Foles said. “I felt good. I felt calm. The big thing that helped me was knowing I didn’t have to be Superman.”

To the city of Philadelphia, however, he is.

Moore and FolesGetty Images
Temptations singer Dennis Edwards dies at 74

Temptations singer Dennis Edwards dies at 74

Dennis Edwards, who joined the top Motown act the Temptations to take lead vocals on some of the group’s most memorable latter-day hits such as “Just My Imagination,” died Friday in Chicago of undisclosed causes. He was 74.

In 1968, Edwards stepped in to replace founding lead singer David Ruffin in “the Temps.” While Ruffin had specialized largely in smoother romantic balladry, the gospel-trained Edwards sported a grittier style, and he left a distinctive mark on the unit’s work as both lead vocalist and in the ensemble harmonies.

His arrival in the Temptations coincided with the increasingly expansive and experimental “psychedelic soul” productions helmed by Norman Whitfield, who also co-wrote many of their biggest chart hits, many of which featured pointed social or political content.

With Edwards, the retooled quintet struck gold with 1968’s “Cloud Nine” (No. 6 pop, No. 2 R&B). That stylistic breakthrough was followed by such other dynamic Whitfield-produced numbers as 1969’s “Runaway Child, Running Wild” (No. 6 pop, No. 1 R&B) and “I Can’t Get Next to You” (No. 1 pop and R&B), 1970’s “Psychedelic Shack” (No. 7 pop, No. 2 R&B) and “Ball of Confusion” (No. 3 pop, No. 2 R&B), 1971’s “Just My Imagination” (No. 1 pop and R&B) and 1972’s “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”

Edwards essayed a solo career, and his 1984 Motown single “Don’t Look Any Further,” a duet with Siedah Garrett, reached No. 2 on the R&B charts in 1984. But he remained best known as a member of the Temptations; after a split with the act in 1977, he returned for a short second tour of duty in 1987.

After a wrangle with founding member Otis Williams, he toured during the ‘90s under the rubric the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards.

In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Temptations.

Edwards was born Feb. 3, 1943 in Fairfield, Ala. His father was a minister, and he grew up singing in the church. He moved with his family to Detroit in the early ‘50s.

As a teen, Edwards sang gospel, but, like Sam Cooke and many other prominent gospel performers, he turned to rhythm & blues. He briefly led his own group, Dennis Edwards and the Fireballs.

Modal Trigger
Aretha Franklin sings with Dennis Edwards in 2011AP

In 1966, after a stint in the military, he joined Motown on retainer in a utility role, and worked briefly with the Contours.

David Ruffin’s escalating drug problems and egomania created tension within the Temptations, and in 1968 Williams and Eddie Kendricks brought Edwards into the act, while Ruffin exited for a solo career.

Edwards’ presence toughened the group’s vocal sound, and his presence helped loft Whitfield’s ingenious, densely produced records – which reflected the influence of Sly & the Family Stone and other rock-leaning soul acts of the day – to the pinnacle of both the pop and R&B charts.

His years of prominence with the group coincided with the Temps’ biggest pop albums: “Cloud Nine” (No. 4, 1969), “Puzzle People” (No. 5, 1969), “Psychedelic Shack” (No. 9, 1970), “All Directions” (No. 2, 1972) and “Masterpiece” (No. 7, 1973). All of those titles hit No. 1 on the R&B albums charts.

Increasingly poor inter-group relations led Williams to fire Edwards, but, after a decade of solo work, he returned to the unit in 1987 after his replacement Ali Woodson’s departure. A second termination came within a year. Edwards’ plans to record with former Temps members Ruffin and Kendricks crashed after Ruffin’s death from a drug overdose in 1991.

Edwards is survived by a daughter from his brief marriage to Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

Steph and Ayesha Curry expecting third child

Steph and Ayesha Curry expecting third child

Steph and Ayesha Curry‘s starting lineup will soon be complete.

On Friday, the couple of six years confirmed they are expecting their third child together.

“Heyyyy how did this happen?!🤷🏽‍♀️. Curry party of 5. Feeling very blessed… and very sick. Yippie! #curryfor3,” Ayesha, 28, revealed on Instagram.

Ayesha and Steph CurryGetty Images

As Steph, 29, and the Golden State Warriors chase another NBA championship, he’ll soon have another pint-size cheerleader on the sideline. The point guard and Ayesha are already proud parents to daughters Riley, 5, and Ryan, 2.

Ayesha previously shared Steph’s desire to expand their family back in 2016.

“[Steph] would have three more kids right now if he could,” Ayesha told Parents magazine at the time.

The “Seasoned Life” cookbook author also gushed about doting dad Steph.

“The thing I love about him is that he’s not too cool for school. He’ll get down on the floor and play with the girls. He’ll put on dress-up clothes if he has to, and he’s very patient, which is something I’m not. We balance each other out,” she said.

Where the stars are partying for Super Bowl weekend

Where the stars are partying for Super Bowl weekend

Justin Timberlake will play the Super Bowl’s halftime extravaganza on Sunday — but an endless array of starry parties leading up to the game is making for some cutthroat social competition off the field.

On Friday, hot rapper Cardi B will play a show at Minneapolis nightclub Myth with Future — while at the same time her fiancé, Offset, and his group Migos headlines the annual Rolling Stone Live blowout with 21 Savage and T-Pain.

Also on Friday, Flo Rida will play the venerable Leather & Laces party hosted by Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg, and Jamie Foxx will appear at a Foxx & Friends dinner with DJ Diesel — aka Shaquille O’Neal — as part of the h.wood Group’s Big Game Experience. The “experience” also includes two more events on Friday: The worthy “Inside the Game: Insider Hall of Fame” luncheon plus a nighttime Bootsy Bellows Big Game Pop Up, where 21 Savage will also perform.

Busy Foxx and O’Neal will team up again later in the night at TAO Group and Barstool Sports’ VIP bash where Kaskade, RL Grime and DJ Vice will also take over the turntables.

On Saturday, Cardi B’s back to play Maxim’s annual celebration with Post Malone and masked DJ Marshmello.

Snoop Dogg — who else? — will headline Playboy’s annual pigskin bacchanal on Saturday. Snoop’s also debuting a new Nextflix project, “Coach Snoop,” while in town.

Also on Saturday, hot duo the Chainsmokers will play one of the most exclusive parties of the weekend — Michael Rubin’s Fanatics event. Expected guests include Odell Beckham Jr., Robert Kraft, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, CC Sabathia and Todd Gurley. J-Rod’s also expected to stop by a Tru Fusion hot yoga pop-up at the Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate Party. And Lopez will then go on to headline Nomadic Live! and DirecTV Now’s Super Saturday Night concert, where we assume A-Rod will be cheering her on.

Meantime, legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg is hosting no less than three big events this year — including his 31st Super Bowl Party with Chris Cabott. And the top TAO team has partnered on Saturday night with Palms Casino Resort to put on a Bowl bash with DJ sets by Nick Cannon, Afrojack, Mix Master Mike and G-Eazy.

On Sunday, Nomadic Live’s Players Ball after the game will feature acts including hard-working Cardi B (again!), Diddy, DJ Khaled, French Montana and Busta Rhymes.

And if that’s not enough, also playing concerts over the weekend will be Pink, Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Gucci Mane, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson.