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Music legend and 'Touched by an Angel' star Della Reese dead at 86

“Touched By An Angel” actress and music legend Della Reese passed away on Sunday, friends said in a statement to PEOPLE. She was 86.

>> Read more trending news

“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” Reese’s “Touched by an Angel” co-star Roma Downey said in a statement to PEOPLE.

“She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on ‘Touched By an Angel.’ I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you.”

Downey posted to Facebook on Friday, requesting that fans pray for Reese.

Before landing the role as Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” Reese was an accomplished singer who rose to national fame in 1957 with her song, “And That Reminds Me.” She had several other hits, including “Not One Minute More,” “And Now,” “Don’t You Know?” and “The Most Beautiful Words.”

When she made the move to television, Reese saw success in parts on series including “The Love Boat,” “MacGyver” and “The Young and the Restless.” She also had her own television variety hour called “Della” and was the first black woman to co-host “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” She went on to play Tess in “Touched by an Angel’s” 1994 debut and continued through the end of the series in 2003.

Reese had a near-death experience in 1979 when she suffered a brain aneurysm. The health scare lead her to found her own church, Understanding Principles for Better Living.

She is survived by her husband Franklin Lett and children James, Franklin and Dominique. Her daughter Deloreese Owens passed away in 2002.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Robin Thicke's girlfriend pregnant with couple's first child

Robin Thicke and his model girlfriend, April Love Geary, announced on Friday the gender of the couple’s baby.

>> Read more trending news

Geary took to Instagram to share her latest sonogram, hinting at the baby’s sex by using female pronouns.

“You guys!!! Look what I’m making!!!! Note her foot that’s over her head. Got long legs like her mama!” she captioned the photo.

Geary first announced her pregnancy on Instagram back in August, writing, “Robin and I are very excited to share with you all that we’re having a baby! The due date is March 1st, Alan (Thicke’s) birthday!”

Their daughter will be the couple’s first child together. Thicke is already dad to 7-year-old Julian, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Paula Patton. During his separation from the actress in 2014, he began dating Geary. His divorce was finalized in 2015, followed by a lengthy custody battle earlier this year. He and Geary first went public with their relationship in 2015 after dating for a year.

Robin Thicke’s father, Alan Thicke, died almost a year ago after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his youngest son. Robin Thicke’s and his model girlfriend are thrilled that their bundle of joy is expected on Alan Thicke’s birthday in March.

Since announcing her pregnancy, Geary has been adamant about keeping fans up-to-date on the process via social media, frequently sharing snaps of her growing baby bump.

Lena Dunham backtracks defense of 'Girls' producer accused of raping teen

Lena Dunham did a major backtrack following backlash from her decision to defend a “Girls” producer who was recently accused of raping a teenage girl.

>> Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Actress Aurora Perrineau filed a police report against producer Murray Miller, saying that he raped her in 2012 when she was 17 and he was 35 years old, according to The Wrap. In a statement filed by the now 23-year-old, Perrineau said she woke up in Murray’s bed after drinking alcohol with him in his hotel room and he was “having sexual intercourse with [her].” Murray “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

Dunham and “Girls” showrunner Jenni Konner released a joint statement in which they did not simply stand by Murray, but accused Perrineau of lying:

>> Read more trending news

"While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue."

Many criticized Dunham for her part in the statement, especially considering she once popularly tweeted, “Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape.”

On Saturday night, Dunham issued an apology on Twitter, saying, “I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months:”

>> See the tweet here

Dunham added that she understood “it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement” and apologized.

Her apology was met with more criticism:

She was also accused of frequently making tone-deaf apologies:

In the initial fallout over Dunham’s statement, actress Asia Argento, who accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, questioned her, writing, “You wrote me an email of support a few weeks ago and now you defend a rapist?"

>> On Rare.us: Lena Dunham responds to backlash after she announced she had to give up her dog, Lamby

Commentator S.E. Cupp tweeted, “Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” with a screenshot of Dunham’s statement and an old assertion that women did not lie about rape.

One commenter accused Dunham of insinuating that women were to be believed unless they accused personal friends of hers, while another accused her of “conveniently” turning a blind eye “while throwing other women under the bus.”

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch sits for U.S. national anthem, stands for Mexico's

Star NFL running back Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders was spotted sitting on the sidelines as the U.S. national anthem played before a Sunday afternoon game in Mexico against the New England Patriots.

>> Read more trending news

Lynch appeared to take his demonstration a step further by standing during the Mexican national anthem, according to reporters at the game:

Some social media users responded, claiming that this was “false news" and that Lynch was sitting because his equipment was being worked on.

According to Sports Illustrated, it’s not the first time Lynch chose to sit during the anthem. In fact, he’s been doing it all season.

 The Bleacher Report said over the summer that Lynch claimed he had been sitting during the anthem for 11 years, and his coach, Jack Del Rio, responded to that by saying, “It’s a non-issue for me.”

“On Marshawn, talked to Marshawn trying to make sure we’re on the same page,” Del Rio said. “He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself.’ I said, ‘So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem. But I’m going to respect you as a man, you do your thing. We’ll do ours.’ It’s a non-issue for me.”

Earlier on Sunday, Rare covered a retired NFL running back who strongly disagrees with the protests occurring during the national anthem.

Former NFL stand-out Herschel Walker blamed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing protests during the national anthem to become routine occurrences during the 2017 season and potentially beyond.

Walker said that he finds the protests “upsetting” and that they should have been stopped when they started.

“I absolutely think the protests are so upsetting, and I blame the commissioner,” he said, according to the New York Post. “I know people are going to be angry when I say it, but he should have stopped the protests at the very beginning.”

Walker said that if people want to protest they should do so in Washington, D.C.

“Our flag is very special, and black lives matter, but what we should do is go to Washington after the season and protest there instead. We have young men and women fighting for the flag. And we have to respect the White House,” he added.

Previously, Walker said that the NFL should make a rule that says players can only protest while “off the job.”

>> On Rare.us: NFL players take a knee on Veterans Day weekend

“I do, I think it means making a league-wide rule that if you want to protest, protest off the job. One of the things I want to say about the protests, where was everyone before the season started?” he asked. “I didn’t see anyone protesting in front of the White House, protesting in front of Congress or protesting in front of police officers. Why did we wait until football season started to start this again?”

‘Cosby Show’ actor Earle Hyman dead at 91

Earle Hyman, the actor best known for playing Russell Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s wise father on “The Cosby Show,” died Friday. He was 91.

>> Read more trending news

Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., his nephew, Rick Ferguson, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hyman played Othello on stage, was a regular on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his performance as Oscar in the 1980 play “The Lady From Dubuque.” He also played the voice of Pantro on the animated series “ThunderCats, according to the Reporter.

From 1984 to 1992, Hyman played the father of obstetrician Cliff Huxtable and offered sage advice to his five grandchildren.

Hyman received an Emmy nomination in 1986 for outstanding guest performance in a comedy series on “The Cosby Show” episode “Happy Anniversary.”

"That's the one episode that was the most loved, most seen. People just loved it. It just shot off the charts,” Hyman said in 2009 on the podcast “Just My Show.” “We just had a ball, and the atmosphere just went over into a kind of reality. We were no longer Clarice and Earle, we were really Anna and Russell Huxtable.”

Born on Oct. 11, 1926, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Hyman was the son of schoolteachers with Native American and African roots. He was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and began his film career with an uncredited appearance in the Oscar best picture winner “The Lost Weekend” (1945), according to the Reporter.

Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses pay tribute to AC/DC’s Malcolm Young

The Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses paid tribute to Malcolm Young, the AC/DC rhythm guitarist who died Saturday at age 64. Both bands dedicated songs during their respective concerts to Young, who died three years after being diagnosed with dementia.

>> Read more trending news

The Foo Fighters opened its concert in Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival with a blistering version of the 1977 A/C song, “Let There Be Rock,” Rolling Stone reported.

“We're going to play some rock ’n’roll for Malcolm tonight,” Dave Grohl told the crowd as a photo of Young was shown behind the band on the festival's large video screen.

>> AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Earlier in the day in a written tribute to Young, Grohl said that AC/DC's 1980 concert film “Let There Be Rock” “changed my life,” Rolling Stone reported.

Guns N' Roses played in Sacramento, California on Saturday. Although Axl Rose did not perform alongside Malcolm while he was the guest lead singer for AC/DC. The singer remains close to Malcolm's younger brother Angus Young, Rolling Stone reported.

“We're gonna dedicate this to Malcolm Young, who will be sorely missed. By none more than his brother Angus,” Rose told the crowd as Slash played a solo rendition of Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed."

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths, 2017

Guns N' Roses then dedicated its covers of both Bob Dylan's “Knockin' on Heaven's Door” and AC/DC's “Whole Lotta Rosie” to the late guitarist.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Slash said "Malcolm Young was one of the best-ever rhythm guitarists in rock ’n’ roll. He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their 'Stiff Upper Lip' tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock ’n’ roll community is heartbroken by his passing.”

Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He was 85.

>> Read more trending news

In his six-decade career, the singer recorded more than 60 albums, had three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics, the Tennessean reported.

During the 1960s, Tillis’ songs charted for several artists, with hits like “Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town),” “Mental Revenge” and “Detroit City,” becoming classics, the Tennessean reported.

As a recording artist, Tillis scored during the 1970s with two dozen Top 10 hits. Five of them topped the charts, including “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1979.

His other No. 1 hits were “I Ain’t Never” in 1972, “Good Woman Blues”  in 1976, “Heart Healer” in 1976, “I Believe in You” in 1978. He also went to No. 1 in 1980 with “Southern Rains.”

The Country Music Association named Tillis Entertainer of the Year in 1976, the Tennessean reported, and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame that same year.

Tillis appeared on several television shows, including “Hee Haw” and “Hollywood Squares.” He also appeared in films such as “Cannonball Run” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” He  did commercials for Whataburger, a fast-food restaurant chain, the Tennessean

reported.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born on Aug. 8, 1932, near Tampa, Fla. He developed a speech impediment after a childhood bout of malaria, the Tennessean reported. But he used the stammer to his advantage as an entertainer.

“After a lot of years and more hurting than I like to remember, I can talk about it lightly — which eases things a bit,” he wrote in “Stutterin' Boy,” his 1984 autobiography. “It's a way of showing people that it hasn't licked me, so it doesn't have to lick others.”

In 2007, Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame by his daughter, singer Pam Tillis. Later that year, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"I'm just so thankful, for everything," he  said when he was inducted.

In 2011, Tillis was named a National Medal of Arts recipient for his contributions to country music, the Tennessean reported. He received his award in February 2012 during a White House ceremony.

Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Carl Spackler is back.

Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment Weekly reported.

>> Read more trending news

The show will stream on Mondays for the next 10 weeks.

The brothers will chronicle their adventures to several baseball parks and will attempt to get rid of animated gophers at the Martha’s Vineyard stadium. Bill Murray dresses in his Spackler outfit, with shredded cargo shorts and a floppy bucket hat, to play “Whack-a-Mole,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

“I have issues with my own personal space,” Murray says as he wanders into the outfield, armed with a watering can. “In an ordinary situation, I need about a meter around me to be comfortable. However, on a baseball field, I need to be far away from any burrowing animal.”

Bill Murray, perhaps the most famous fan of the Chicago Cubs, also sings the new show’s theme song, “The Thing About Baseball,” written by the brothers and Paul Shaffer.

Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports.

>> On Rare.us: Lena Dunham responds to backlash after she announced she had to give up her dog, Lamby

“Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous tweets, which reads, “Things women lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape,” side by side with her defense of Miller.

After actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of raping her when she was 17, Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner responded in a joint statement, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

>> Read more trending news

Dunham continued her thoughts on Twitter, later writing, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”

However, that was also met with the ire and mocking from users:

In her statement, Perinea, now 23, claimed she woke up in Miller’s bed after consuming alcohol with him at a hotel, and he was “having sexual intercourse with me.” On Friday, she filed a police report in regard to the incident. Miller has since “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

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