Hall of Famer and one-time home run king Atlanta Braves legend Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron passed away at the age of 86. He leaves behind an indelible legacy on and off the baseball diamond.
There are no reports in mainstream media about how the slugger died, but it’s conspicuous that he was given the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. It was highly publicized at the time because he did it on camera as a way to encourage African-Americans to take the vaccine.
Hank Aaron got his COVID vaccine shot on Tuesday — and he did it in front of cameras in the hopes of inspiring other Black Americans to follow his lead. The 86-year-old Hall of Famer masked up and went to the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta along with his wife Billye to receive the first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“[It] makes me feel wonderful,” Aaron told the Associated Press … “I don’t have any qualms about it at all … I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.
An alarming number of people have died within days or weeks after taking the vaccine. The elderly, who are most susceptible to the coronavirus, seem to be most at risk from the vaccine as well. Hank Aaron took the vaccine on January 5th.
Atalanta Braves legend Henry Louis ‘Hank’ Aaron breathed his last on Friday, January 22, 2021. Regarded as one of the finest baseball players of all-time, Aaron had eclipsed Babe Ruth as baseball’s home run king, hitting 755 homers and holding the most celebrated record in sports for more than 30 years. He died at the age of 86.
Hank Aaron cause of death: How did Hank Aaron die?
In a Hank Aaron death official statement, Atlanta Braves revealed that their legend had passed away in his sleep. No details on Hank Aaron health or his cause of death were disclosed. A little over two weeks before his death, the Hall of Famer had got vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia hoping to send a message to Black Americans that the shots are safe.
Aaron, at the time, had told Associated Press that he had no qualms in getting vaccinated and was proud of himself for doing so. Many have alleged that his death could be triggered by the vaccine dosage, but there have been no confirmed reports of the same. Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. called his friendship with Aaron “one of the greatest honors of my life” while paying his respects to the Braves legend.
Hank Aaron death: MLB legend’s career at a glance
Hank Aaron played the majority of his MLB career for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, etching his name in the record books in what was a stellar career. In a time when racism was at the forefront of baseball, Aaron made a name for himself, after being inspired by Jackie Robinson as a young kid. Aaron’s incredible power-hitting achievement came in the face of hate and death threats when he eclipsed Babe Ruth’s home run record, from people who did not want a Black man to claim such an important record. Aaron ended with 755 home runs before retiring in 1976.
The Braves legend held the record for more than 30 years, with San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds surpassed Aaron’s home run record in August 2007 and went on to hit 762 homers. However, Bonds’ record was maligned by suspicions that he had used performance-enhancing drugs in what came to be known as baseball’s steroid era. Post retirement, the Braves legend was elected to Cooperstown on the first ballot in 1982 with 97.8 percent of the vote, at the time the second-highest percentage (behind only Ty Cobb) in history.
The mother of slain Illinois girl Rica Rountree came face to face with her daughter’s killer for the first time on Friday at a court hearing that ended with the suspect’s sentencing hearing being delayed.
Anntionetta Rountree is now calling for charges against her child’s father and demanding accountability from the system she says failed to protect her young daughter.
In November, a jury convicted Cynthia Baker of first-degree murder in the death of her then-boyfriend’s daughter, 8-year-old Rica Rountree. The child died last January after ongoing violence and abuse at the hands of Baker and, allegedly, her own father.
“I’m seeking full justice,” Anntoinetta Rountree told Peoria station WMDB after the hearing. “Everybody that got up on the stand, ’cause I wasn’t there, [but] everybody that got up on that stand and said they saw something, is responsible for my daughter’s death.”
Baker was set to be sentenced Jan. 31, but that hearing was delayed last Friday by trial Judge Casey Costigan to give Baker’s new attorney time to review her case. Last month, the Normal, Illinois, woman hired a new lawyer to take up her case in her efforts to earn a new trail, arguing ineffective counsel from her previous lawyer, Todd Ringel.
Her new counsel, Phil Finegan, requested additional time to gather more information related to the case, and the ask was granted by a judge.
Rountree, who rallied with community members outside the McLean County Law and Justice Center during Baker’s hearing in Bloomington, Illinois, was less than pleased with the decision.
“She’s guilty, she needs to just accept her guilt and just go to prison and start her time,” the grieving mother said.
Clutching her daughter’s ashes in an urn, an emotional Rountree said it was the support of her family and friends that gave her the strength to attend Baker’s hearing. She was incarcerated during Baker’s murder trial but was released from prison last month after a year-long stint for forgery and failure to complete the terms of her probation for an aggravated DUI, WGLT reported.
Rountree, who previously used the surname Simmons prior to her child’s death, lamented the lengthy custody battle that resulted in her daughter’s father and Baker having the girl in their care for two years. She said her concerns for her daughter’s safety fell on deaf ears or were overlooked because she’s a felon.
“They should’ve removed her from that house,” she said. “They should’ve talked to her alone. They should’ve taken her seriously. She got marks on her. People that are mandated to speak on behalf of our kids, they need to either stop working in their jobs, and let somebody come in that’s going to protect our kids or they need to do their jobs because Rica did not need to die.”
Authorities said Baker kicked the child in stomach, causing life-threatening trauma and internal ruptures that eventually killed her. A pathologist also noted more than 60 marks and bruises to the child’s body as evidence of ongoing physical abuse.
At Baker’s trial, the jury was shown disturbing videos in which Rica was made to hold cans in her outstretched arms for extended periods of time while standing naked. In another, an older daughter of Rica’s father, Richard Rountree, was seen participating in the abuse, which included kicking, beatings and other forms of humiliation.
Police also obtained text messages between Baker and Richard, expressing disdain for the young girl. Despite evidence that he condoned Baker’s abuse of his daughter, Richard Rountree remains uncharged in her death.
Anntoinetta Rountree hopes that will soon change.
“Richard, ’cause I won’t call him her dad, Richard needs to face charges,” she told WMDB. “Kelsey, the girl, the daughter, needs to face charges.”
Baker’s sentencing is rescheduled for Feb. 24.
Richard Roundtree, the father of Rica Rountree, was arrested by police Tuesday for circumstances surrounding the death of his daughter, local outlet WEEK-TV has reported.
Normal Police booked Rountree on multiple charges including felonious endangerment of the life or health of a minor. His alleged conduct in relation to his daughter also makes him eligible for an extended-term sentence, authorities said.
By: ANGELO AMANTE & GAVIN JONES & Associated Press
An Ethiopian migrant who became a symbol of integration in Italy, her adopted home, has been killed on her farm where she raised goats for her cheese business, police said.
A Ghanaian employee on her farm in the northern Italian region of Trentino has admitted to killing Agitu Ideo Gudeta, 42, with a hammer and raping her, Italian news agency Ansa reported. The report could not immediately be confirmed.
Gudeta had made her home in the mountains of Trentino’s Valle dei Mocheni, making goat’s cheese and beauty products in her farm La Capra Felice (The Happy Goat), which was built on previously abandoned land.
Her story was reported by numerous international media, as an example of a migrant success story in Italy at a time of rising hostility towards immigrants, fueled by the right-wing League party. League Party Leader Matteo Salvini, In September 2018, said: (I’m paid by citizens to help our young people start having children again the way they did a few years ago, and not to uproot the best of the African youth to replace Europeans who are not having children anymore”.) His political views have been described as on the far-right!
Gudeta escaped from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, in 2010 after her participation in protests against ‘land-grabbing’ angered local authorities. Activists accused the authorities of setting aside large swathes of farmland for foreign investors.
On reaching Italy she was able to use common land in the northern mountains to build her new enterprise, taking advantage of permits that give farmers access to public land to prevent local territory from being reclaimed by wild nature.
Starting off with 15 goats, she had 180 by 2018 when she became a well-known figure.
“I created my space and made myself known, there was no resistance to me.
Meek Mill is convinced we are all living in the midst of an ongoing battle here in the United States.
In an Instagram post the Quarantine Pack rapper unloaded on a screenshot of a rioter receiving preferential house arrest while awaiting trial for his involvement in the violent insurrection and attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol building led by President Trump’s supporters on January 6.
“My whole race in jail for tryna protect themselves or some petty drugs!” Meek started off in the lengthy message. “We living in the middle of a silent war! You can run in the state capitol and get house arrest? just pay attention to that part …ain’t no protest that can fix that! We have no protection in the system as black folks and it’s not no telling what’s next!!!! Didn’t people die in that shit ….we would of had conspiracy to terrorism or something they made up….Y’all people are really on some KKK SHIT!”
In the days following the breach of the Capitol, Meek Mill has expressed his intents to move to Africa while also speculating that America “Might be the most racist country in the world.”
Lil Yachty also recently vented frustrations with the entire situation and inferred the outcome of the siege of the country’s highest statehouse would have been much different had the rioters were African Americans.
“R.I.P X fuck da news, If black people raided the Capitol we would all be dead,” Yachty wrote in a tweet.
Both Meek Mill and Lil Boat join a growing number of Hip Hop artists to condemn the blatant double standard regarding how protesters associated with the Black Lives Matter movement last year were treated in comparison to the Trump sympathizers that stormed the Capitol including Cardi B, 50-Cent, Wale & More.
Pepper, attorney since 1988 for James Earl Ray, the convicted killer of Martin Luther King Jr., believes that his client was a patsy, not the real assassin. He charges that the civil rights leader slain in 1968 was the victim of a conspiracy that involved Hoover’s FBI, the CIA, Army intelligence, the mafia and the Memphis, Tenn., police force, extending to the highest levels of the federal government, which viewed King as a dangerous revolutionary. Pepper has interviewed many new witnesses who remained silent during the last 27 years, and he names names of officials at the local and national levels who, he alleges, participated in the conspiracy. According to Pepper, a team of U.S. Army Special Forces snipers was at the scene, taking aim at King at the same moment as a back-up “civilian” assassin. The Army team, by this account, had orders to kill both King and the Reverend Andrew Young, but the final order to pull the trigger was never given because the “civilian” assassin-tentatively identified here as one Raul Pereira, not Ray-shot King first. Pepper interviewed two former Special Forces members who claim to have been part of the sniper squad. He also cites two failed, government-orchestrated attempts to assassinate King in 1965, as well as a subsequent mafia contract on the civil rights leader’s life by New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello. Pepper wants a trial for Ray, who, he asserts, was coerced into pleading guilty by his lawyer; the defense, he notes, has never even been allowed to test the rifle or bullets in evidence.
Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81.
California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital.
Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkston in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life.
While most sources give Spector’s birth date as 1940, it was listed as 1939 in court documents following his arrest. His lawyer subsequently confirmed that date to The Associated Press.
Clarkson, star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in the hills overlooking Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the edge of Los Angeles.
Until the actress’ death, which Spector maintained was an “accidental suicide,” few residents even knew the mansion belonged to the reclusive producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton.
Decades before, Spector had been hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagnerian ambition into the three-minute song, creating the “Wall of Sound” that merged spirited vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel.”
He was the rare self-conscious artist in rock’s early years and cultivated an image of mystery and power with his dark shades and impassive expression.
Tom Wolfe declared him the “first tycoon of teen.” Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-eyed romanticism, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.”
The secret to his sound: an overdubbed onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop records were recorded. He called the result, “Little symphonies for the kids.”
By his mid-20s his “little symphonies” had resulted in nearly two dozen hit singles and made him a millionaire. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the operatic Righteous Brothers ballad which topped the charts in 1965, has been tabulated as the song most played on radio and television — counting the many cover versions — in the 20th century.
Duke-Bootee, co-writer and rapper on Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s early hip-hop classic “The Message” — has passed away. He died from end-stage congestive heart failure on Wednesday (January 13). Duke Bootee was 69.
Born Edward Fletcher, the artist died at his home in Savannah, GA, as confirmed by his wife Rosita to the Rolling Stone.
Best known for his work as a member of Sugar Hill Records’ house band, Fletcher’s work on the politically charged 1982 song “The Message” (previously titled “The Jungle”) inspired samples by numerous artists over the years, including Canadian vaporware producer Blank Banshee on “Teen Pregnancy” a remix of Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” and the 1997 song “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy The song was also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
“The neighbourhood I was living in, the things I saw — it was like a jungle sometimes in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Even though we lived in a nice area, I’d sit in the living room and watch things happening across the street in the park. The lyrics were sort of cinematic: I tried to hold a message up to society,” Fletcher said of the career-defining track in an interview with The Guardian.
“The Message” would later be the first hip-hop song to be added to the National Registry.
In 1983, Fletcher and Furious Five member Melle Mel reunited to record “Message II (Survival).”
During his music career, Fletcher produced and mixed works from Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Diddy, Dr. John and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.
In his later years, Fletcher would go on to earn his teaching certification and became an educator at Savannah State University in Georgia. He began teaching Critical Thinking and Communication at the school in 2014.
D.J. Premier often uses social media to acknowledge memorable anniversaries and key birthdays in Hip Hop. But Friday (January 15) marked a big anniversary of his own making, with Gang Starr‘s classic 1991 album Step in the Arena being released exactly 30 years ago to the day.
The veteran producer took to Instagram to share the cover art for Gang Starr’s second studio album, celebrating three decades and remembering Guru — his late partner in rhyme.
“30 YEARS… R.I.P. GURU,” he wrote.
Queens rapper Craig G of Marley Marl’s Cold Chillin’ Records group Juice Crew commented on the post thanking Preemo for letting him be involved in the project.
“My voice was all over this album,” he said. “Thanks @djpremier.”
As expected, loyal fans also took to the comments section to pay tribute to the album and its rightful place in Hip Hop history.
“This the true Blueprint,” one fan wrote. “Set the template for all the fly street shit.”
Another Instagram user thanked Preemo for helping them get through early life, saying, “This shit got me through a lot of dark times in my youth man y’all helped me see the power of music thank you.”
“My favorite thing about this cover is Guru in the Saints hat!” wrote another fan. “Great Album!”
Songs from the album have famously been used in video games in more recent years, including “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight” in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV and “Just to Get a Rep” in Thrasher: Skate and Destroy. “Step In the Arena” also appeared in Electronic Arts’ Skate It and Skate 2.
In 2001, D.j. Premier spoke to author Brian Coleman about Guru’s role in his career as a music producer and how Step in the Arena showed them flourishing as a duo.
“[Guru is] the first guy who really gave me a shot to do what I do, and through him, people got to hear the Gang Starr sound,” he said. “The sound I was doing was our sound, for us. He took the challenge of all the types of tracks I gave him and when it comes to the more abstract and experimental stuff, there’s a lot of MCs who wouldn’t have been able to handle it.”
He continued, “He can do thugged-out ghetto records and radio records, whatever you need, and he always takes his subjects and relates them to what’s going on in the world today. He’s just so versatile with his subject matter. And that record [Step In The Arena] was the first time that I think both of us really got our chance to shine for the world.”
Hip Hop pioneer Kurtis Blow— who was the first rapper ever to earn a gold record with 1980’s “The Breaks” — has struggled with cardiac issues for years. But shortly before 2020 came to a close, he underwent heart transplant surgery and has been on the road to healing ever since.
According to a pair of videos from The Roots’ Questlove and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, the 61-year-old MC is in great spirits, dancing his way out of the hospital last week. Blow is masked up and dancing to “The Breaks” as he raps along to the song.
“Mr @KurtisBlow1 thank you Godfather,” Chuck tweeted “out of the hospital after heart transplant.”
Questlove appeared equally as excited about Blow’s release and shared the same video on Instagram, this time with the caption, “Thank God The King Of Rap Is Home! (Brother @KurtisBlow celebrating a successful heart transplant leaving the hospital in fine health.
Blow, an ordained minister and strong believer in the power of God’s healing, was admitted to the hospital early last month, roughly four years after suffering his first heart attack in 2016. While three Los Angeles Police Department officers were on scene to help save Blow’s life that time, he weathered a setback in 2019 when he needed emergency open heart surgery after an aortic artery surgeons had repaired dissected.
He was rushed to UCLA Medical Center and admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After surviving that, Blow’s spleen then ruptured last March and nearly died, but his wife Shirley convinced him to go to the hospital before it was too late.
“The Covid 19 virus is crazy but last week I had another emergency surgery,” he explained in an Instagram post at the time. “My spleen was bleeding into my stomach. I went to the ER just in time because my wife made me go. I wanted to go in the morning. The surgeon said I was lucky to make it in time. They took out my spleen and saved my life. My spleen had splattered and I was bleeding internally.
“I am in recovery now and I thank God for the great physician and Dr. Jamali. The great surgeon Dr. Schriver and all the nurses and assistants at West Hills Hospital. Thanks to my wife and fam for all your prayers. Thank God for still another chance. 7 operations. A Cat with 9 lives – Amen!!”
Blow has truly earned that nickname but as he insinuated in a recent Twitter post, he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
“Yes I have received a healthy heart – my donor was 34 – and God is still in the miracle business,” he tweeted. “thank you everyone for your prayers!!!!”