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The "fifth Beatle's" legacy

Sir George Martin, Abbey Road Studios, London - Nov 2006 Various (Rex Features via AP Images)

Sir George Martin died "peacefully at home" in England on Tuesday, eliciting a somber yet appreciative remembrance from the artists and fans that knew his work best. Paul McCartney said of Martin, "If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day he gave the Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent, and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know."

While such eulogies are often cause for embellishment, McCartney's views on Martin's importance to the Beatles and other artists as both a producer and as a friend do not seem overstated. The fact that Martin even had a history with the Beatles is testament to that fact. As the late producer told, "When I first met the Beatles in 1962, I didn't think much of their songs at all." Even after agreeing to work with them, in part as a favor to Brian Epstein, the band's manager and Martin's friend, he found that, while the group was open to guidance, they were determined to have final say in the direction of their music.

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Leo wins Oscar: Is climate change the most urgent threat?

Oscars 2016. File photo dated 14/02/16 of Leonardo DiCaprio who has won affection for being both a Hollywood heart-throb and an acclaimed actor. Issue date: Sunday February 28, 2016. But in a career that has spanned more than 20 years, and seen him star in a dazzling list of hit films, an Oscar has eluded him. See PA story SHOWBIZ Oscars DiCaprio. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:25662448 (Press Association via AP Images)He was the self-professed king of the world in 1997, but his kingdom didn't extend to the Oscars. He got into your head and messed with your dreams in 2010, but not enough for him to achieve his dream. But when he wrestled a bear this past year, that was enough for him to achieve noteworthy greatness. After six nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.

On Sunday night, Leo took home the best male actor at the Academy Awards for his role in The Revenant. Taking the stage to give an acceptance speech that was a long time in the making, Leo was equally graceful and gracious. He grateful reflected on the past and those that had impacted him while also graciously sharing the limelight for those that made The Revenant happen.

But in a twist that is not altogether unexpected in our day, Leo directed the final portion of his speech to what he considered that most urgent threat facing our species today – climate change.

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Nation of Islam offers to protect Beyoncé

Beyonce performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers at LeviÕs Stadium in Santa Clara, California on February 7, 2016. (Credit: AP images/Anthony Behar)Beyoncé's Super Bowl halftime show and her "Formation" music video have created controversy for the last several weeks. Most of the backlash has come from her allusion to the Black Panther movement and the portrayal of police officers in the music video. As a result, police departments in several cities where she is scheduled to perform over the coming months have encouraged their officers not to provide security at the concerts. As most on-site security in such venues is filled by off-duty cops looking to make a bit of extra money, these officers don't have an obligation to work at the shows, and a boycott could create problems for Queen Bey's tour.

As one might expect, the issue has generated strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, was the latest to offer his take when he told a group this past Sunday: "She [Beyoncé] started talking that black stuff . . . and white folks (said), 'We don't know how to deal with that.' . . . You gonna picket. You not going to offer her police protection? But the FOI (Fruit of Islam, the Nation of Islam's security branch) will."

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Is Kanye West’s New Album Gospel?

In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, Kanye West gestures to the audience at the unveiling of the Yeezy collection and album release for his latest album, Kanye West released his latest album this past weekend amidst the usual hype and higher than usual intrigue. Fans knew he had changed the album title three times before releasing it as The Life of Pablo.

The first proposed album title, So Help Me God, piqued interest among many due to Kayne's usage of religion in his previous work. This is the same artist that had "everyone in the club screaming 'Jesus Walks.'" But he's also the same one that has compared himself to Jesus and portrayed himself as a crucified Christ on the cover of Rolling Stone.

But what sent a listening world into a characteristic frenzy was Kayne's description of this latest album as gospel. With the succinctness that Twitter requires and Kayne relishes, West tweeted out: "This album is actually a Gospel album."

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Beyonce, Black Lives Matter, and her new song 'Formation'

Beyonce performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers at LeviÕs Stadium in Santa Clara, California on February 7, 2016. (Credit: AP images/Anthony Behar)She was once a child of destiny but now is a fierce woman on a mission. Beyonce did more than make waves this weekend, she brought the rain with her surprising release of a new song entitled "Formation." She performed it during her Super Bowl halftime show. Usually performers play their best hits during the show, but when you are Beyonce, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. And that is exactly what Queen Bey did.

But her release was not the biggest rainmaker of the weekend. Rather it was the lyrics and themes within the song that drenched audiences. "Formation" is a four-minute song about the black experience in America. She offered allusions of the perceived injustices inherent within the land of the free and home of the brave. Strikingly, the song starts with a reference to New Orleans, calling to mind the heinous atrocities that happened during Hurricane Katrina.

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