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The Year in Music 2017: Controversies in the headlines


Tamar Braxton; ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua2017 was an explosive year for scandals in the music industry. 

Stars from Chrisette Michele, to Tina Campbell and Tamar Braxton, found themselves smack-dab in the center of controversy throughout the year. 

Here are the highlights: 

— R&B/soul singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele began 2017 with one of the most controversial appearances of the year: she performed for Donald Trump during his presidential inauguration in January. 

Her appearance was first kept a big secret because her team anticipated the backlash that would come as a result of Chrisette’s involvement in the ceremony — and they were right, with fans and celebrities like Spike Lee and Questlove criticizing her. 

Chrisette penned an open letter to defend her decision, then months later, in November, she admitted on Roland Martin‘s News One Now show that performing for Trump’s inauguration “was the wrong decision.” 

— Another artist who found herself fielding backlash because of President Trump was Mary Mary singer Tina Campbell

At the top of the year, Tina came under scrutiny from fans because of an open letter she wrote on Facebook that detailed her support for President Donald Trump. 

Her sister and Mary Mary band mate Erica Campbell even came to her defense. 

Tina later appeared on The Real with Erica to clarify her thoughts about the letter she wrote and her reasons for voting for President Trump. 

She also admitted she was upset with some of the decisions he’d made in office. 

— Tamar Braxton‘s alleged volatile marriage to record executive Vincent Herbert made numerous headlines, beginning in March when the singer responded to a woman who claimed Herbert was the father of their child. 

In the months that followed, Vincent was sued by Sony Music for allegedly not paying back the money the music label fronted him as part of a 2013 artist development deal, and Tamar revealed that she’d suffered a miscarriage. 

Tamar also posted cryptic messages on social media that fans believed pointed to her strained relationship with Vincent.   

In October, season five of Tamar and Vince premiered, which put even more of a spotlight on the celebrity couple’s marriage. 

That same month, Tamar filed for divorce. 

In November, there was speculation that Tamar and her mother, Evelyn Braxton, were on the outs. 

Evelyn told several media outlets that Vince was abusive towards Tamar and that she feared for Tamar’s life. 

— Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige also saw themselves at the center of marriage woes. 

Mary filed for divorce from former husband Kendu Isaacs in 2016.   

The two soon became involved in a battle for temporary spousal support, with Mary reportedly ordered to pay Kendu $30,000 a month.  

In November, Jennifer split from her fiance of 10 years, WWE commentator David Otunga

They had been engaged since late 2008 and shared a son, eight-year-old David Daniel Otunga Jr.  

She was granted an order of protection after she claimed Otunga abused and harassed her. 

However, Otunga’s attorney denied Hudson’s allegations. 

— In November, Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in state prison in Pennsylvania for violating his probation, after he was arrested twice in 2017. 

Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley accused Meek of thumbing his nose at her after she had given him multiple chances over the years to stay out of jail, including in February of last year, when she placed him under 90-day house arrest for another probation violation.  

Many celebrities, such as T.IYGRick RossDrake, and Kevin Hart, voiced their support for Meek on social media after the court verdict.  

JAY-Z also penned an essay for the New York Times titled “The Criminal Justice System Stalks Black People Like Meek Mill.” 

In the op-ed, Jay argued that what’s happening to Meek “is just one example of how or criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.” 

Rev. Al Sharpton also visited Meek in prison. 

Judge Brinkley denied Meek’s request for bail in December, claiming Meek was a danger to the community and a flight risk. 

Meek’s lawyers took their appeal to a higher court, alleging Judge Brinkley was unfair and biased against him. 

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