Entertainment Daypop

Legendary TV writer and producer Norman Lear dies at age 101

Television legend Norman Lear, the writer-producer who revolutionized American comedy in the early-‘70s, has died at the age of 101.

A spokesperson for the family confirmed to The New York Times that Lear died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles, with his publicist telling Variety that Lear died of natural causes. The family’s statement read in part: “Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Norman lived a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy. He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. Knowing and loving him has been the greatest of gifts. We ask for your understanding as we mourn privately in celebration of this remarkable human being.”

Lear started his career in film and television in the 1950s, with his earlier work including the TV series The Deputy and the 1967 film Divorce American Style.  It was Lear’s revolutionary series of the 1970s, “All in the Family” that became a breakout, immediate hit. The show – about a conservative, outspokenly bigoted working-class man and his Queens, NY family — addressed the serious political, cultural and social issues of the ’70s – racism, abortion, homosexuality, and the Vietnam war — with no subject off limits.  Lear also created and produced such groundbreaking series such as Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons and Good Times, which all premiered in the 1970s. In recent years, Lear produced Netflix reboots of his series One Day at a Time and Good Times.

Lear is survived by his third wife Lyn Davis, six children and four grandchildren. Lear’s publicists said that a private service for his immediate family will be held in the coming days.

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Entertainment Daypop

Taylor Swift is named Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year

TIME Magazine announced that they have named Taylor Swift their ‘2023 Person of the Year,’ beating out a host of finalists (including Barbie and King Charles III) who over the last 12 months dominated in politics and entertainment

TIME called Swit a person with “singular influence” who has found a way to “transcend borders” and be “a source of light” in the world. TIME said in its profile on Swift: “While her popularity has grown across the decades, this is the year that Swift, 33, achieved a kind of nuclear fusion: shooting art and commerce together to release an energy of historic force.”  The publication added that Swift was selected because she found a way to give people around the world hope in such dark times:  “No one else on the planet today can move so many people so well. Achieving this feat is something we often chalk up to the alignments of planets and fates, but giving too much credit to the stars ignores her skill and her power.”

Swift revealed to TIME: “This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been. Ultimately, we can convolute it all we want, or try to overcomplicate it, but there’s only one question … Are you not entertained?”

Part of Swift’s incredible achievements across 2023 was her “Eras Tour,” which grossed about $2.2 billion in North American ticket sales alone. She has dominated not only arenas, but local movie theaters as well with her concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” which raked in about $96 million in the box office in the United States and Canada, making it the highest-grossing concert film domestically for an opening weekend. The singer/songwriter also has more No. 1 albums than any other woman in history, including three this year; and she broke her own Spotify record by becoming the most-streamed artist in a single day in the streamer’s history, with “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” becoming Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day this year.

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News Daypop

Panera Bread’s ‘Charged Lemonade’ blamed in second lawsuit as alleged cause of death

According to a new lawsuit, Panera Bread’s highly caffeinated ‘Charged Lemonade’ is now being blamed for a second death. The suit, which was filed in Delaware (where Panera is incorporated) alleges that 46-year-old Dennis Brown of Fleming Island, Florida, drank three Charged Lemonades from a local Panera on Oct. 9, and later suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on his way home. The suit, filed on behalf of Brown’s mother, sister and brother, says that Brown had an unspecified chromosomal deficiency disorder, a developmental delay and a mild intellectual disability but lived independently, and frequently ate at Panera after his shifts at a supermarket. According to  wrongful death lawsuit, due to hypertension (high blood pressure), Brown did not consume energy drinks. Brown had consumed Charged Lemonades in the days leading up to his death.

The new lawsuit comes less than two months after Panera was hit with a separate lawsuit regarding Sarah Katz, an Ivy League student with a heart condition who died in September 2022 after she drank a Charged Lemonade. That lawsuit called the beverage a “dangerous energy drink” and argued that Panera failed to appropriately warn consumers about its ingredients, which include the stimulant guarana extract. It is unclear whether Brown knew how much caffeine and other stimulants were in the drink, which at the time of his death was available in self-serve dispensers and “offered side-by-side with all of the store’s non-caffeinated and/or less caffeinated drinks.”

Panera has advertised its Charged Lemonade as “plant-based and Clean with as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.”  However, the 390 milligrams of caffeine in one large, 30-fluid-ounce Charged Lemonade contains more caffeine in total than any size of Panera’s dark roast coffee. One large Charged Lemonade contains more than the caffeine content of standard cans of Red Bull and Monster energy drinks combined, plus the equivalent of nearly 30 teaspoons of sugar, according to the lawsuits.

Panera said that it expressed “our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family” but stood by its products safety: “Based on our investigation we believe his unfortunate passing was not caused by one of the company’s products. We view this lawsuit, which was filed by the same law firm as a previous claim, to be equally without merit. Panera stands firmly by the safety of our products.” Panera put more detailed disclosures in all of its restaurants after the first lawsuit and on its website warning customers to consume the Charged Lemonade in moderation, stating that ‘it is not recommended for children, people sensitive to caffeine or pregnant or nursing women.’

Editorial credit: Jonathan Weiss /

News Daypop

Indictments of 17 Austin police officers dropped over tactics used during 2020 George Floyd protests

A Texas prosecutor dropped most of the indictments against more than 20 Austin police officers over tactics used during the 2020 protests that followed George Floyd’s killing. Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, who was elected months after the protests and said he would hold police accountable for their actions, said he would dismiss indictments against 17 officers but still move forward with prosecuting four others.

The indictments followed nationwide protests in 2020 over racial injustice and police brutality; in Austin, police officers fired beanbag rounds in the crowd, critically injuring one teenager. Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said: “This has been a difficult chapter for Austin. I look forward to turning the page. These announcements will allow police officers, whose lives were upended by the indictments, to return to their services to our community.”

In a statement, Garza did his office “would continue to hold law enforcement who break the law accountable,” and in a letter to the Justice Department, Garza asked prosecutors to review Austin police’s use of force for crowd control during the protests. The City of Austin has paid out more than $18 million to settle lawsuits brought by protesters injured during the protests, including a college student who suffered brain damage after an officer shot him with a beanbag round. Eight other lawsuits are still pending, according to the city.

Austin Police Association President Michael Bullock said prosecutors had yet to prove any case where any officer committed wrongdoing: “Our officers were faced with incredible and unprecedented challenges. In those extremely difficult times they acted within the law and upheld their oath to keep our city safe.”

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Country Daypop

Miranda Lambert announces final shows of her Las Vegas Residency

Miranda Lambert has announced the final dates for her Las Vegas Residency, ‘Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo’ at Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, slated to take place in early 2024. The final nine shows will take place in March and April of 2024. Said Lambert on her socials: “I’m adding 9 FINAL SHOWS to my Las Vegas residency in March/April 2024!!!! Last round. Let’s do this yall 🔥 Fan club presale: Dec 5. Join at the link in my bio for access. Onsale: Dec 8”

Designed exclusively for Bakkt Theater, Lambert’s residency has given fans an up close and personal opportunity to experience Lambert’s stage performances. Lambert kicked off her residency in September 2022, deeming it a “one-of-a-kind” experience. Said Lambert of the residency: “As someone who’s lived on a bus and toured from city to city for more than half my life, having a Vegas residency has been such a fun change of pace creatively. The band and I are excited to keep this party going!”

Lambert will close out 2023 with a few more Velvet Rodeo shows in December, which will then resume in 2024. The final nine performances going on sale include March 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, and 30th; and April 3, 5, and 6th. A limited number of tickets are available for the following previously-announced performances for December 7, 9, 10, 14 and 16 are still available. Tickets may be purchased via Ticketmaster.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong /

Country Daypop

Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson hit No. 1 on country radio with ‘Save Me’

Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson’s duet, “Save Me”, has hit the No.1 spot at country radio, earning 60 first-week adds on stations around the country. Additionally, the song has officially risen to the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay charts, marking Jelly Roll’s third No.1 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart and Wilson’s fourth.

Jelly Roll originally recorded “Save Me,” co-written by Jelly Roll (real name Jason DeFord) alongside David Ray Stevens, as a solo single for his 2020 album, Self Medicated. He re-released it as a duet with Wilson following their surprise performance of the song at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.

The new reimagined version of “Save Me” featuring Wilson appears on Jelly Roll’s latest album, WHITSITT CHAPEL, which dropped on June 2, 2023. WHITSITT CHAPEL, which is named after the church that Jelly Roll grew up attending, features 13 tracks, including his current single “NEED A FAVOR” and the previously released tracks, “SHE” and “Unalive.”

Jelly Roll And Lainey Wilson Score #1 Hit As “Save Me” Tops The Country Radio Charts

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Entertainment Daypop

‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’ to premiere Feb. 25

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, starring ‘TWD’ fan-favorite characters Rick and Michonne (Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira), shared a sneak peek of the upcoming spin-off series.

A series synopsis reads: “Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the ‘walking dead?’”

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live follows the recent spinoffs ‘Daryl Dixon’, starring Norman Reedus, and ‘Dead City’, featuring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprising their roles as frenemies Maggie and Negan.  ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, another companion series, also just wrapped up its eight-season run.

‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’ is set to premiere Feb. 25 on AMC; take a look at the trailer  – here.

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Entertainment Daypop

Jennifer Lopez shares new song, release date for ‘This Is Me… Now’ LP, and companion film

Jennifer Lopez shared the release date for her new album, This Is Me… Now, along with its lead single and a companion film co-written with her husband, Ben Affleck. The 54-year-old’s new single, “Can’t Get Enough,” the first single from the album will be released on Jan. 10, 2024; to pre-save, head here.

This Is Me… Now (the album and the film) will be released on Feb. 16, 2024. Lopez also shared the trailer for the short film, directed by Dave Meyers and co-written by Lopez, Matt Walton, and Affleck, which will stream on Prime Video. The trailer shows JLO tossing a letter into the fire as she says, “When I was a little girl, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always… in love.” The handwritten letter is dated Dec. 24, 2002, seemingly from Affleck back in the early days of their relationship.

According to a press release, This Is Me… Now: The Film offers “the truth behind the headlines surrounding Lopez’s personal life as told through the star’s personal creative vision … Unlike anything you’ve ever seen from Jennifer Lopez, This Is Me…Now: The Film is a narrative-driven, intimate, reflective, sexy, funny, fantastical and highly visual musical reimagining of her publicly scrutinized love life.”

The album This Is Me… Now celebrates the anniversary of its 2002 sister album, This Is Me…Then, completing a 20-year journey. The new LP, Lopez’s ninth studio album and her first in nearly a decade, was written and executive produced by Lopez and Rogét Chayed, along with Angel Lopez, Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, HitBoy, Tay Keith and INK among others.

Take a look at the teaser trailers for ‘This Is Me… Now’: Teaser 1 and Teaser 2.

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News Daypop

Stabbing attack at Philadelphia Macy’s kills 1 security guard, injures one other

Police in Philadelphia have arrested a suspect in a deadly stabbing that left one security guard dead and another injured on Monday morning at the city’s historic Macy’s department store in Philadelphia, located in the 1300 block of Market Street in Center City.

Interim police commissioner John Stanford said on Monday that the incident began around 10:45 a.m. when a man allegedly attempted to steal multiple hats from the store. After the man was stopped by security, there was a  confrontation and the security guards retrieved the stolen merchandis, with the man allowed to leave – only to return about 15 minutes later.  The suspect headed toward one of the security guards, then ran toward a second security guard with a knife out and began to stab him, at which point he suffered several slash/stab wounds. Stanford said one security guard, a 30-year-old male, was stabbed in the neck and died from his injuries. The second security guard, 23, was stabbed in the arm and face and was listed in stable condition.

Philadelphia police said transit law enforcement apprehended the suspect at the SEPTA’s rapid transit train Somerset Station. Authorities have yet to release the identify of the suspect or victims.

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News Daypop

Former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia arrested on charges of spying for Cuba for decades

73-year-old Manuel Rocha, a former American diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, has been arrested in a long-running FBI counterintelligence investigation. Rocha, who is accused of secretly serving as an agent of Cuba’s government, was arrested in Miami on Friday on a criminal complaint.

Rocha’s 25-year diplomatic career was spent under both Democratic and Republican administrations, much of it in Latin America during the Cold War. His roles included a stint at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba during a time when the U.S. lacked full diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro’s communist government.

Born in Colombia, Rocha was the top U.S. diplomat in Argentina between 1997 and 2000. During his time as ambassador to Bolivia, he intervened directly into the 2002 presidential race, warning weeks ahead of the vote that the U.S. would cut off assistance to the poor South American country if it were to elect former coca grower Evo Morales. Rocha also served in Italy, Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and worked as a Latin America expert for the National Security Council.

Following his retirement from the State Department, Rocha began a second career serving as the president of a gold mine in the Dominican Republic partly owned by Canada’s Barrick Gold. He’s also held senior roles at XCoal, a Pennsylvania-based coal exporter; Clover Leaf Capital, a company formed to facilitate mergers in the cannabis industry; law firm Foley & Lardner and Spanish public relations firms Llorente & Cuenca.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday, “This action exposes one of the furthest reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent.” Rocha’s initial appearance in court took place Monday, and he will be arraigned later this month.

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