Ariana Grande has fired back at rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine after he suggested she and Justin Bieber bought their way to the top of the U.S. charts.
The pop pair's new track, Stuck With U, debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on Monday - two spots above the rap star, whose Gooba bowed at three.
After picking up a copy of the new countdown, Tekashi posted a video from his post-prison home confinement and said, "I want the world to know that Billboard is a lie. You can buy number ones on Billboard."
He added, "They purchased half of those things with six credit cards. When we asked where was those six credit cards linked to, Billboard said, 'We can’t disclose that information' (sic)."
Angry Ariana was quick to dismiss the rapper's claims as she thanked fans for giving her a third number one debut.
"Anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything i do," she wrote on social media. "i’m grateful to sing. grateful to have people who want to listen. grateful to even be here at all. i didn’t have a number one for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. my fans are everything to me. i promise i couldn’t ask for another f***ing thing.
"I would like to address a few things which i don’t usually do (i don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)... my fans bought the song. JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE). they are ride or die motherf**kers and i thank god every day that i have them in my life. Not just when they fight for us to win (even when i ask them not to as i did this week) but because they’re some of the greatest people i know."
And she wasn't done there, adding: "Sales count for more than streams. u can not discredit this as hard as u try. to anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women... i ask u to take a moment to humble yourself. be grateful you’re even here. that people want to listen to u at all. it’s a blessed position to be in (sic)."
She concluded her carefully-worded rant by stating: "Congratulations to all my talented a** peers in the top ten this week. even number 3. And thank u to @billboard for this honor."
Tekashi responded with a new video on Monday, addressing Ariana directly and saying: "I don't want you to think that I'm coming at you. I'm not saying you're not talented, I'm not saying you can't sing. You're a beautiful singer, you just don't understand my pain. My frustration is from Billboard. I speak for the millions of kids that come from nothing, right. Let me show you something..."
He then revealed an old video of himself and shared TV footage of Ariana playing Cat Valentine, before adding that he comes from "a different background", mentioning his mother "used to collect cans on the street" while he used to "be a dishwasher".
He captioned the video, "@arianagrande All I'm saying is I worked super hard to make it out of Brooklyn NY (New York)," adding that he grew up on welfare, without a father.
Tekashi concluded his post with: "YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL GOD BLESS YOU. But you will NEVER UNDERSTAND MY PAIN."
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The ‘9 to 5’ hitmaker has posted a video on Instagram in which she tells her fans to try and not be “too scared” about the ongoing global health crisis, as she used lighthearted comedy to “dissolve the situation”.
At the start of the video, she sings: "Hello it’s Dolly climbing the stairway to heaven because this virus has scared the H-E-double L out of us.”
And she then adds: "I’m not making light of the situation. Well, maybe I am because it’s the light I believe that’s going to dissolve the situation. I think God is in this, I really do. I think he’s holding us to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love.
"I think when this passes, we’re all going to be better people. Just keep the faith, don’t be too scared, we’re gonna be alright, God is with us.”
Dolly, 74, is just one of the stars spreading cheer during a difficult time, as several musicians including John Legend and Chris Martin have been hosting live-streamed concerts from their homes, where they have been playing songs for fans.
Whilst the likes of Lizzo and Camila Cabello have been encouraging meditation to calm the mind, and Harry Styles has urged his fans to use their time in self-isolation to pick up a new hobby.
The ‘Adore You’ singer - who revealed he has been learning Italian - said: "It's a little difficult but it's all right - I'm lucky I'm with friends in our little safe self-isolation pod. It's a very strange time but we're just being careful, listening to music, playing games, doing some face masks - you know, the classic quarantine stuff!
"Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill and try a new hobby or something, right? We have nothing but time. I was learning Italian and doing some sign language classes."
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
wash your hands as soon as you get back home
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Tune into AFRICAN.FM to help you, and help the nation beat this virus.