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Rave News Digest: Netflix and Ava DuVernay Settle Defamation Lawsuit, Ayra Starr Becomes African Artist With Most Spotify Listeners, Conte + More

Rave News Digest: Netflix and Ava DuVernay Settle Defamation Lawsuit, Ayra Starr Becomes African Artist With Most Spotify Listeners, Conte + More


Netflix and Ava DuVernay settle defamation lawsuit over series “When They See Us,” Ayra Starr surpasses Tyla to become the African artist with the most Spotify listeners, Napoli appoint Conte as new manager. Stay in the know with our Rave News Digest, which summarizes five of the hottest global news stories you need to catch up on, saving you time and energy. Consider it your daily news fix.

1. Netflix and Ava DuVernay settle defamation lawsuit over series ‘When They See Us’

Netflix and filmmaker Ava DuVernay have reached a settlement with former prosecutor Linda Fairstein in a long-standing defamation lawsuit over the 2019 series “When They See Us.” The series chronicled the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five, a group of five Black and Latino teenagers accused of a brutal assault in 1989. Fairstein, who led the prosecution in the case, had sued Netflix in 2019, arguing that the series portrayed her as a “racist, unethical villain” and attributed actions and viewpoints that weren’t hers. The lawsuit, which was scheduled to go to trial later this month, has now been resolved.

According to a statement released by Fairstein, the decision to settle “was not an easy one.” She expressed confidence that she would have prevailed in court. However, the terms of the settlement do not include any financial compensation for Fairstein. Instead, Netflix has agreed to donate $1 million to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating wrongly convicted individuals. Additionally, the streaming service will add a disclaimer to “When They See Us” stating that while inspired by true events, certain aspects of the story have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Ava DuVernay, the series’ creator, has not yet commented on the settlement.

2. Ayra Starr surpasses Tyla to become the African artist with the most Spotify listeners

Nigerian Afrobeats star Ayra Starr has climbed to the peak of African music streaming, surpassing South Africa’s Tyla to become the continent’s most-streamed artist on Spotify. Starr’s rise to the top comes on the heels of her critically acclaimed album, “The Year I Turned 21,” which shattered records on its release day in Nigeria. This latest achievement further solidifies her position as one of Africa’s hottest musical talents.

Just weeks prior to claiming the continental crown, Starr became the most-streamed Nigerian artist on Spotify, dethroning Rema. Her surging popularity shows no signs of abating, with her music resonating with fans across Africa and beyond. Tyla, the previous record holder, had held the title for some time, but Starr’s consistent growth and captivating sound have propelled her to the forefront of African music.

3. South Africa: Nadia Nakai releases a new single, ‘Umfazi’

South African hip-hop queen Nadia Nakai has released a powerful new single, “Umfazi,” which translates to “woman” in isiZulu. This track marks more than just a new song; it signifies Nakai’s foray into the amapiano sub-genre of three-step. “Umfazi” is more than just a catchy beat. It’s a full-fledged anthem celebrating the strength and unwavering spirit of women. The song draws inspiration from the iconic South African saying “wa thinta umfazi wa thinta imbokodo,” which translates to “if you strike a woman, you strike a rock.”

Nakai’s lyrics echo this sentiment, urging women to stand strong and reclaim their power in the face of adversity. While “Umfazi” is Nakai’s second release of 2024, it’s her first venture into the amapiano sound.

4. The-Dream accused of rape, abuse, and manipulation in lawsuit

Grammy-award-winning producer and songwriter, The-Dream has been accused of rape and sexual assault by a former protege, Chanaaz Mangroe, who performed under the stage name Channii Monroe. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Mangroe, 33, alleges that The-Dream, whose legal name is Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, 47, used his influence in the music industry to coerce her into a manipulative relationship. The lawsuit details a pattern of abuse that allegedly began in 2015, shortly after Mangroe arrived in the U.S. from her native Netherlands to pursue a career in music.

According to the lawsuit, Gesteelde-Diamant subjected Mangroe to violent sexual encounters, forced her to drink alcohol, and strangled her. The lawsuit also alleges that he filmed an intimate encounter without her consent and threatened to make it public. Mangroe is seeking compensation for emotional distress, lost wages, and other damages. Gesteelde-Diamant, known for producing hits for Beyoncé, Rihanna, and others, has denied the allegations through his representatives. The lawsuit is currently ongoing.

5. Napoli appoint Conte as new manager

In a move aimed at reigniting their title challenge, Napoli have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach. The Italian manager, who has been out of work since leaving Tottenham Hotspur in March 2023, has signed a three-year deal with the club. Conte’s arrival marks a new chapter for Napoli following a disappointing season that saw them relinquish their Serie A crown. Napoli’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, expressed his confidence in the new manager, stating, “I am very proud that the new coach of Napoli is Antonio Conte. He is a top coach, a leader, with whom I am sure that the necessary refoundation will start.”

Conte, a proven winner in Italy and England, boasts a trophy cabinet that includes a Premier League title with Chelsea and a Serie A title with Inter Milan. He is known for his demanding style of play and his ability to get the best out of players. In his introductory remarks, the manager displayed his characteristic enthusiasm: “Napoli is a place of global importance. I’m happy and excited to sit on the Azzurri bench. I can certainly promise one thing: I will do my best for the growth of the team and the club. My commitment, together with that of my staff, will be total.”

Featured Image: @ava/Instagram 

Our Weekday News Digest summarizes five of the hottest news topics worldwide–including celebrity news from Hollywood to Nollywood, the latest trending global headlines from American reports to top African news today, and the best sports stories in 2024.

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