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DJ Avicii’s family issues second statement: ‘He wanted to find peace’

The family of Swedish dance musician Avicii has issued a second statement after his death.

Variety reported that the statement on the artist, who was found dead in Muscatat, Oman, at age 28 April 20, seems to imply that Avicii died by suicide.

“A rep did not immediately reply to Variety’s request for clarification,” Variety reported. “However the statement’s original wording in Swedish makes the implication more overt, one Swedish-speaking source says.”

>> Read more trending news 

The statement is the second issued by the family in three days. The first statement was issued Monday. Avicii’s real name was Tim Bergling.

“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions,” the statement said. “An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress. When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most -- music.

“He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive. We love you.”

Related: DJ Avicii’s family issues statement on his death, thanks supporters

The Associated Press reported Sunday that two autopsies on Bergling showed nothing suspicious in his death. The report cited Sweden’s public broadcaster STV, which cited information from an anonymous police source in Oman. The musician was best known for his single “Wake Me Up.”

Michael Che, Colin Jost of "SNL" to host Emmy Awards

NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" will co-host this year's Emmy Awards.

Che and Jost anchor the "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live" and are head writers on the long-running sketch show.

The Emmy ceremony rotates from the major broadcast networks, allowing them to use the host's job to highlight a show or performers. "SNL" has enjoyed a ratings resurgence with its sharp-edged jabs at President Donald Trump and his administration.

Alumni of the late-night show have hosted the Emmys, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. But the last current "SNL" cast member to serve as host was Eddie Murphy in 1983.

The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17.

Trump praises CNN's Cooper for Comey town hall

President Donald Trump has found something to like about CNN, and it's Anderson Cooper.

The president has been a relentless media critic during his time in office, particularly of CNN. But he said in an interview with "Fox & Friends" on Thursday that he watched Cooper host a town hall meeting with former FBI Director James Comey the night before.

Trump said Cooper was surprisingly tough and did a good job. Cooper declined comment on Thursday.

The president did complain about other CNN shows that featured commentators lined up against him, leading Fox's Brian Kilmeade to suggest he watch less.

Longtime prosecutor takes over Weinstein case in NYC

A longtime Manhattan prosecutor who led the ultimately abandoned sex assault probe against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn has now taken over the rape investigation of Harvey Weinstein, two people familiar with the case said Thursday.

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, who also won a conviction in a notorious decades-old case of a missing child pictured on milk cartons, has been working on the Weinstein investigation since about the beginning of the month. The people had knowledge of the case but were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing probe and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The Manhattan district attorney's office and the NYPD have been looking into allegations made by at least two women who say Weinstein assaulted them. One, actress Paz de La Huerta, said he raped her twice in 2010. A second, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Miramax office in Manhattan in 2004; at the time, Evans was a college student trying to break into acting. Both women detailed their allegations publicly; the AP doesn't usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Weinstein is also under criminal investigation in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London but has not been charged. Since last fall, scores of women including famous actresses have accused him of sexual harassment, assault and rape. He was fired from the production company he started with his brother. The business recently filed for bankruptcy.

Weinstein has not been charged criminally and denies any non-consensual sex. Weinstein's attorney Benjamin Brafman, who also represented Strauss-Kahn when he was accused in 2011 of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, said he welcomed Illuzzi-Orbon to the case.

"In all of my prior professional dealings with her, she has acted as a consummate professional, as have both Marsha Bashford and Maxine Rosenthal," he said, referring to the other prosecutors who had been working on the Weinstein probe.

Illuzzi-Orbon has been with the district attorney's office for nearly 30 years, resigning briefly in 2015 to run for Staten Island District Attorney. When she lost the election, she returned to Manhattan.

The Strauss-Kahn case was ultimately dropped after prosecutors lost faith in the accuser. The hotel maid's attorney Kenneth Thompson, who later became Brooklyn District Attorney before dying in 2016, insisted she was telling the truth, had been wronged by prosecutors and was unfairly maligned.

Illuzzi-Orbon also headed a trial in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz, a touchstone of the national missing-children's movement. The first murder case ended in a jury deadlock. She was added to the re-trial after re-joining the district attorney's office. Suspect Pedro Hernandez was convicted of murder in 2017 and is serving 25 years to life.

Illuzzi-Orbon didn't return a call seeking comment. A spokesman for the District Attorney's office had no comment.

'Oh! Susanna' songwriter's statue removed amid criticism

A 118-year-old statue of the "Oh! Susanna" songwriter was removed from a Pittsburgh park Thursday after criticism that the work is demeaning because it includes a slave sitting at his feet, plucking a banjo.

In October, the Pittsburgh Art Commission voted to take the Stephen Foster sculpture out of Schenley Plaza and find it a new home. For now, it will remain in a storage lot, out of the public view.

On Thursday, workers used straps and construction equipment to lift the 10-foot-bronze statue off its base. It was strapped to a flatbed truck and taken away.

The Giuseppe Moretti statue was completed in 1900 and thousands attended its dedication.

The shoeless banjo player is based on "Uncle Ned," a fictional slave and subject of a song by the same name. Critics have long decried the statue as racist.

"It's the single most offensive display of public art in Pittsburgh, hands down," Paradise Gray, a hip-hop activist, musician and writer, told the Post-Gazette in August . "It permanently depicts the black man at the white man's feet."

Others say it highlights that Foster was inspired by black spirituals. Some historians contend the 1848 song is actually an early, subtle anti-slavery song.

A statue honoring an African-American woman will be put up in its place. Residents can submit nominations.

Foster, a Pittsburgh native, is often called the father of American music and was known for enduring tunes from the 1800s.

His songs include "Camptown Races," ''My Old Kentucky Home," ''Beautiful Dreamer" and "Old Folks at Home" (Swanee Song).

He died penniless in New York City in 1864 at age 37.

Trump says rapper Kanye West has 'good taste' for liking him

President Donald Trump praised Kanye West on Thursday for having "good taste" for supporting the president.

Trump said in an interview with "Fox & Friends" that he knew the rapper "a little bit" and always got along with him, and said that West has noticed the low unemployment rate for black Americans.

"He sees that stuff and he's smart and he says, 'you know what, Trump is doing a much better job than the Democrats did,'" the president said.

West recently offered his support for Trump in a series of tweets, saying they both share "dragon energy." That caused a backlash among other public figures who oppose the president

In a tweet on Thursday, West wrote that while hate is a similar emotion to love, "hate is not the answer."

He also tweeted a link to a story about himself with a headline that described West as "the opposite of erratic." The story noted that West is releasing a new album in the coming months.

West has toyed with running for president himself and on Wednesday tweeted a poster of his face emblazoned with the slogan "Keep America Great" and "#Kanye2024."

He has recorded several best-selling albums and produced a buzzy fashion line and has the undeniable talent for attracting attention. He's also been linked to several previous presidents, including when Obama called him "a jackass" in 2009 for storming the stage at an MTV awards show to interrupt Taylor Swift. And in 2005, during a telethon to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, West criticized the White House's response to the storm by famously charging that "George W. Bush doesn't care about black people."

Cardi B cancels some tour dates due to pregnancy

Cardi B is canceling some tour dates this summer due to her pregnancy.

The rapper, whose major label album “Invasion of Privacy” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chartrevealed her pregnancy on “Saturday Night Live” after reports speculated she was expecting. It is her first child with her fiance, Migos rapper Offset.

>> Read more trending news 

Billboard reported that Cardi is set to perform at the Broccoli City Festival this weekend at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington. She announced on Instagram Wednesday that it would be her last performance before canceling some shows.

Related: Cardi B reveals pregnancy, shows off baby bump in ‘SNL’ performance

“Broccoli Fest will be my last performance for a little while and everything because, you know, shawty keep growin’,” Cardi said about her baby. “I be looking like I be moving and everything but in reality, a (expletive) barely can breathe!”

The canceled dates include stops in Texas, Florida, Ireland and New York.

Related: Photos: Cardi B performs at Coachella

Cardi performed her own set at both weekends of Coachella and made an appearance during Migos’ weekend two performance. She said she would be back on stage for Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” tour, which starts in September.

Twitter says Kanye West lost followers because of technical ‘inconsistency’

After a string of tweets that expressed his support for President Donald Trump, some media outlets have reported that dozens of celebrities have unfollowed Kanye West on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news 

Although the rapper clarified that he does not agree with everything Trump does, he has posted a photo of himself in a Make America Great Again hat and shared one of a MAGA hat signed by Trump.

Related: Chance the Rapper defends Kanye West, says ‘black people don’t have to be democrats’

But according to a report from The Verge, the apparent unfollowing spree isn’t related to the tweets - it’s just a technical issue.

“We can confirm that Kanye’s follower count is currently at approximately 27M followers,” a spokesperson for Twitter told The Verge Wednesday. “Any fluctuation that people might be seeing is an inconsistency and should be resolved soon.”

It appears the inconsistency has been resolved. As of Thursday morning, West’s follower count is at 27.9 million.

Avicii's family releases 2nd statement about late DJ

Avicii's family has released a second statement about their late son this week, saying the famed DJ "could not go on any longer" and that "he wanted to find peace."

The Grammy-nominated electronic dance musician, born Tim Bergling, was found dead last week in Muscat, Oman at age 28. Details about his death were not revealed.

"Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress," read the statement, released Thursday. "When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most — music."

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he canceled a series of shows in attempt to recover.

The Swedish performer retired from performing in 2016 but still produced albums and songs.

"Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight," the statement read. "Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive."

Earlier this week, Avicii's family thanked his fans for their support in the days following the superstar DJ's death. He received a number of tributes from the music community and fans.

Avicii's hits included "Wake Me Up" and "Le7els." He was an international pop star, performing his well-known electronic dance songs around the world for die-hard fans, sometimes hundreds of thousands at music festivals, where he was the headline act.

3 student gun control activists to be honored by PEN

Two survivors of the Parkland school massacre in Florida and the twin sibling of a gun victim from Washington, D.C., will be honored at next month's PEN America gala.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Cameron Kasky and Samantha Fuentes, and Washington, D.C., high school student Zion Kelly will be presented the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award. PEN, a literary and human rights organization, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the three students were being cited as representatives of "an inclusive group of young people" fighting for gun control.

The gala will be held May 22 in New York City. Others receiving awards include Stephen King, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy and imprisoned Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

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