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Rave News Digest: Serena Williams To Host ESPYs, Ayra Starr Is Spotify’s Global Artist For May, Kante + More

Rave News Digest: Serena Williams To Host ESPYs, Ayra Starr Is Spotify’s Global Artist For May, Kante + More


Serena Williams to become the fourth woman to host ESPYs in July, Nigerian superstar Ayra Starr is Spotify’s Global Artist for May, and Kante returns to France’s national team after a two-year absence. 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. Serena Williams to become fourth woman to host ESPYs in July

As announced on Tuesday, May 14, tennis legend Serena Williams will take center stage as the host of the 2024 ESPY Awards, adding another impressive achievement to her already decorated career. The ESPYs, presented by ESPN, recognize excellence in sports across various categories, from individual athletes to teams and charitable contributions. The ceremony, which will be held on July 11 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, promises to be a night of celebration for the year’s most outstanding sports figures.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is no stranger to the ESPYs herself. Throughout her phenomenal career, she has won a dozen ESPY Awards, including ten for “Best Female Tennis Player” and two for “Best Female Athlete.” This 2024 edition also marks a significant moment for Williams, as she’ll be the fourth woman to host the prestigious awards show.

2. Nigerian superstar Ayra Starr is Spotify’s Global Artist for May

Nigerian Afrobeats princess, Ayra Starr is shining bright as Spotify’s EQUAL program celebrates her talent on both the continental and global stage this May. Following in the footsteps of fellow Nigerian superstar Tiwa Savage, Ayra Starr becomes only the second African artist to receive this prestigious recognition from Spotify’s equality initiative. Known for her infectious hits like “Rush,” “Sability,” and “Rhythm & Blues,” the “Sabi Girl” brings her captivating energy and undeniable talent to the forefront.

This recognition by Spotify is a testament to Ayra Starr’s rising global profile and the impact she’s making in the Afrobeats scene. Spotify’s EQUAL program empowers female artists by providing a global platform to amplify their voices. As an EQUAL ambassador, the songstress will be featured on key playlists and receive promotional support, giving her music an even wider reach.

3. Kehlani announces release date for new album ‘Crash’

Kehlani is back with a new album, and it’s set to “crash-land” this summer. The singer recently revealed the release date for their fourth studio album, titled “Crash,” via social media. “Crash” marks Kehlani’s first full-length project since 2022’s “Blue Water Road.” The upcoming album follows the release of the groovy single “After Hours” in April, which many anticipate will be included on the tracklist.

The announcement was accompanied by a striking album cover featuring Kehlani perched atop a wrecked car, surrounded by shattered glass. This visual hint has fans speculating on the possible themes explored in “Crash.” The new project is scheduled to drop on June 21, via Atlantic Records.

4. Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Asake, Seyi Vibez, and Tems nominated for 2024 BET Awards

The 2024 BET Awards nominations are out, and Nigerian music is having a moment! Afrobeats giants Burna Boy and Tems, and rising stars like Ayra Starr, Asake, and Seyi Vibez all landed nominations, solidifying the genre’s global impact. This is a huge year for Burna Boy, who scored nominations in two categories: Best Male R&B/Pop Artist and Best Male Hip-Hop Artist. But Ayra Starr leads the Nigerian contingent with three nominations for Best New Artist, Best African Act, and BET HER for her single “Comma.”

Meanwhile, Davido and Lojay earn a nomination for the Viewers Choice Award courtesy of their appearance on Chris Brown’s “Sensational.” Asake earned a nomination for Best International Act, while Seyi Vibez earned the nod for Viewers Choice Best International New Act.

5. Kante returns to France’s national team after a two-year absence

French football fans were left surprised after N’Golo Kante received a call-up to the national team’s preliminary squad for Euro 2024. The 33-year-old midfielder has been absent from the international scene for two years, but his return to form seems to have convinced manager Didier Deschamps. Kante’s last appearance for Les Bleus came in 2022, and since then, injuries and a stint playing in Saudi Arabia cast doubt on his international future. However, his recent impressive displays have not gone unnoticed.

Deschamps, known for his loyalty to a proven core, has clearly been impressed by Kante’s resurgence. The midfielder’s tireless work ethic and ability to win the ball back in midfield are qualities that have been sorely missed by the French squad. Whether Kante makes the final cut for the Euros remains to be seen. This is a preliminary squad, and Deschamps will have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.

Featured Image: @serenawilliams/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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