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#WeAreHere: WWI ‘soldiers’ appear across UK in moving and powerful tribute to the Battle of Somme

Volunteers dressed as World War I soldiers appeared in towns and cities across UK on Friday 1st July as part of Battle of the Somme commemorations, marking 100-years since one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

The soldiers silently handed cards to passers by, each bearing the name of a soldier who died at the Somme on 1st July 1916.

Occasionally the volunteers broke into song, singing “We are here because we are here” to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

The Battle of Somme (1st July - 18th November 1916) was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front - more than one million men were wounded or killed.

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RIP Anton Yelchin (1989-2016) - The great young actor best known for portraying Chekov in the current version of Star Trek (2009/2013/2016) died today at age 27 on a strange car accident. Born in Leningrado, Soviet Union, Yelchin’s career started in 2000, on several minor projects until he got noticed by Scott Hicks who cast him alongisde Anthony Hopkins in Stephen King’s adaptation Hearts in Atlantis (2001). From there, he appeared in more than 60 projects between films and TV shows such House of D (2004), Huff (2004-2006), Fierce People (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Charlie Bartlett (2007), New York, I Love You (2008), Terminator Salvation (2009), Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (2010), Like Crazy (2011), The Beaver (2011), You and I (2011), Fright Night (2011), Odd Thomas (2013), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Dying of the Light (2014), Experimenter (2015), and with five upcoming (already completed) projects, including the 3rd Star Trek installment. A brilliant, funny, and talented man that leaves us so soon and I’m gonna miss him so much.

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The DC Universe // artwork by Darwyn Cooke (2016)

I was saddened by the passing of Darwyn Cooke almost ten days ago and very upset for my inability to pay some respect in here because of personal issues. But I’m posting a great sample of some of his best pin-ups here to remind everyone what a great talent was lost to us in the comic world. Darwyn Cooke did wonderfully something that very few people do these days in the comics medium: he shared optimism in every piece of art he did. He will be missed. 

BET AWARDS 2016, people paid tribute to Prince  - one of the greatest African-American musicians of all times. 

First up was Badu – wearing a black beret, a white fake fur stole, leather pants and what seemed to be a giant purple paper arm corsage – doing a flawless version of “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” from 1987’s classic Sign O’ the Times LP.

Bilal – who goes so far back with the Roots and Prince tributes that he performed with them at one at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1999 – was next with Purple Rain’s “The Beautiful Ones,” which he nailed in a near-flawless falsetto.

The next tribute saw Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly teaming up for the Prince/Apollonia duet fromPurple Rain, “Take Me With U.”

Jennifer Hudson  was singing “Purple Rain” and Roots guitarist Kirk Douglas – yes, the guy whose guitar Prince borrowed and broke on Jimmy Fallon in 2013 – joined her at the front of the stage and shredded the solo as Hudson led the crowd through a singalong.

Maxwell, after performing “Lake by the Ocean,” the single from his forthcoming album BlackSUMMERS'Night, segued suddenly into Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2U,” updating the lyrics to address Prince: “It’s been 7 hours and 66 days since you took your music away,” “I went to the record store, Apple, Spotify too, and they told me ‘Boy you’d better try to make some music, which you can’t do –'cause Prince is the truth!”

Next up was Janelle Monae, whose classic style lent itself well to a medley that started with “Delirious,” from 1999, before segueing into “Kiss.” Keeping the funky vibe alive, a quick tour through “Pop Life” bled into an up-tempo “I Would Die 4 U” with a dance sequence that recalled Prince’s famous rendition from the film Purple Rain. “I love you Prince,” she said at the song’s conclusion, falling to her knees before strutting purposefully off stage.

RIP Prince, you were always here for Black people, for Black pride and for Black culture.

#BlackExcellence