Kanye West eyes Putin meeting, 'second home' in Russia, plus more news

Kanye reportedly wants to meet with Vladimir Putin, could make Russia his ‘second home’

During his appearance on the “Drink Champs” podcast back in November, Kanye West — who’s legally now just “Ye” — referred to himself as “Young Putin.” Now, the rapper and designer is reportedly planning to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this spring or summer. In fact, Ye plans to make Russia “a second home” and “will be spending a lot of time out there,” according to his “strategic advisor” Ameer Sudan, who recently spoke with Billboard about the rapper’s travel plans. While Ye’s personal spokesperson and label reps declined to comment, Ameer tells the outlet Ye is planning to perform a series of his Sunday Service shows and wants to invite Putin to be a special guest. He’s also working towards a handful of business deals with a billionaire real estate developer named Aras Agalarov and his son Emin Agalarov, who is a musician, according to Ameer. Billboard also points out Aras has been called the Donald “Trump of Russia” because of his real estate development. That could explain Ye’s interest in making the connections, given his previous on-off support of Trump’s presidency.

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Jennifer Lopez wants to be ‘the best partner’ she can be amid Ben Affleck romance

In 2022, Jennifer Lopez wants to be “the best partner” possible as her romance with onetime fiance Ben Affleck continues to heat up. The star shared some of her goals for the new year with followers in a “#MotivationMonday” post on Jan. 10, and maximizing her potential in relationships with her kids, her colleagues and Ben were all at the top of her list. “… Just thinking about being really mindful about what I want my life to be. Knowing that my thoughts create my life, and keeping those really positive, so I can grow and be my best this year,” Jennifer says in the Instagram clip. She goes on to share her desire to become “better than ever mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally” this year so she can “be the best mother I can be, partner I can be … be the best friend I can be, the daughter, sister, boss, person I can be.” In the caption, she encouraged followers to share their own goals for the year, suggesting, “maybe we do them together.” The intentions post comes as Jen is settling back into life in Los Angeles with Ben after the latest COVID-19 wave forced her upcoming film, “The Mother,” to pause production in Spain. She reportedly returned home at some point in the last few days and was spotted out to lunch with Ben in West Hollywood on Jan. 10.

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Demi Lovato wipes Instagram account, debuts new tattoo, piercing after rehab

After wrapping up a stint in rehab in late 2021, Demi Lovato’s kicking off the new year with a new look and a newly wiped Instagram to match. The 29-year-old singer, who uses they/them pronouns, initially posted selfies showing their hair trimmed down to buzz-cut-level on their Instagram Stories. From there, Demi added a “grandmother spider” tattoo to their new, “fresh start” look, as well as an industrial piercing across the top of their ear, which they showed off in a video on Jan. 10. By the next day, Demi had also ditched their whole Instagram account’s worth of posts, save for one pic. “It was Grandmother Spider who taught us many things,” Demi wrote in a post that’s since been deleted. “She taught us about pottery and weaving. She taught us about fire and light and dark. She taught us that we are all connected on the web – each one of us having our place in the world.”

Alia Shawkat says pal Brad Pitt ‘had no awareness’ of rumors they were dating

A few years back, the paparazzi noticed Brad Pitt was spending a lot of time out and about with “Arrested Development” alum, Alia Shawkat. Dating rumors followed and while they didn’t last long — the two have reportedly been friends for years — the chatter apparently affected Alia a lot more than Brad, whose experience being chased by cameras dates back a bit further than her. “It came in hot and left as fast as it came in,” Ali, 32, tells the New Yorker in a new interview of the “weird” buzz around her friendship with Brad, 58. “He had no awareness of it at all. Which is so funny. Because he doesn’t read that s***,” she continues. “I was like, ‘You know everyone thinks we’re dating? And there’s this whole thing, and I’m being followed,’ ” she recalled telling her pal. “And he was, like, ‘I’m sorry. It happens. If you hang out with me, it happens.’ He had no awareness of it at all.” Alia, on the other hand, was all too aware of the gossip — as was her grandma. “The other day I was at my grandmother’s house, my father’s mother. She’s been in this country for over thirty years and still barely speaks English. An Iraqi Muslim woman. She’s sitting there, watching her Turkish soap opera. And next to her is this old gossip magazine with Brad’s face, and my face in a small circle,” Ali recalls. “And it says ‘Brad’s New Girl!’ And then on the inside, it’s old Instagram photos of me and friends at dinner. It was, like, ‘ALL ABOUT ALIA,'” she adds. “This whole made-up story about how we were healing each other by spending time together …,” she continues. “I looked at my grandmother, like, ‘Why do you have this?’ She’s like, ‘It’s you and this movie star! And it’s your face.’ I was embarrassed by it. I told her she had to throw it away. And she laughed.” In the end, Alia, whose long career includes performances in “Being the Ricardos,” “Broad City” and “Transparent,” found the whole thing “ironic,” and maybe a little frustrating. Though she said Brad is “great,” the experience showed her that, “of course, the idea of me being romantically involved with an older white guy is what gets me the most attention. Not a 20-year career. That’s what gets me.”

Angelina Jolie says she’s working with Time’s 2020 Kid of the Year as The Weeknd dating rumors continue

After a busy end-of-the-year batch of “Eternals” promotion (and a new round of rumors she’s dating The Weeknd), Angelina Jolie is back to work as a global advocate for girls’ education. On Jan. 10, she shared on Instagram that she’s partnered with Time magazine’s first-ever “Kid of the Year,” Gitanjali Rao, putting the 16-year-old scientist and tech innovator in touch with students at a school supported by the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in Cambodia. “She is a leading light in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics for children and young people across the world. Most of all for girls, who are under-represented in the sciences, and particularly in ICT, a growth area for employment in the future,” Angelina explained. Based in Colorado, Gitanjali’s December 2020 Time cover featured a Q&A with Angelina focused on her work developing apps to fight issues ranging from cyberbullying to contaminated drinking water to addiction. “In late December 2021,” Angelina shared this week, “students from Samlot High School, a school MJP Foundation supports, connected with Gitanjali on the other side of the world, to inspire and be inspired. They talked about observation, learning, perseverance, courage, and communication.” Adding that in spite of the pandemic’s challenges, students like those at Samlot “are fighting to continue and finish their education,” Angelina wrote, “I love seeing these young people meeting across languages and cultures, to encourage, support and teach each other.” As for Angelina’s rumored relationship with The Weeknd, neither star has confirmed or denied anything — except for maybe The Weeknd, who sings (repeatedly) “my new girl / she a movie star” on his newly released track, “Here We Go…Again.”

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