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Exclusive: Chrisette Michele, Bell Biv DeVoe, Taboo Attend will.i.am’s Trans4m Benefit Concert

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Grammy weekend is full swing and artists from around the world have made their way to Hollywood to celebrate music.

On Thursday night as some of the industries biggest stars attended a number of pre-Grammy celebrations, there was one event that focused on one thing, and one thing only … The kids of Boyle Heights.

A number of stars arrived to Hollywood hot spot Avalon to support Will.i.am and his i.am.angel foundation’s Trans4m benefit concert, an event in efforts to raise money for disadvantage teens.

“It’s important to me because it’s important to the kids that need this program,” the Black Eyed Peas front man shared with HH. “The program is i.am College Track where we get kids on track to go to college and surround them with mentors and skills sets around science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

With the biggest news of the day being Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest, we even asked the producer what his advice would be to the young star, but he simply said, “Justin has the tools, these kids do not.”

While on the red carpet for the big soiree, HipHollywood caught up with Black Eyed Peas member Taboo who expressed his deepest appreciation for Will’s efforts. “… For an event like this where we get to support will.i.am, just be part of something that’s been going on for many years. Peapod started this and Will took it to the next level with i.am.angel,” Taboo said.

Also in attendance, r&b group, Bell Biv DeVoe who provided entertainment for the night and Grammy nominated singer, Chrisette Michele. HH talked with the R&B Divas newcomer to get her reaction on being nominated for Best R&B Album.

“It feels great, this is the third time,” she told us. “So it feels like maybe I’m doing the right thing with my freaking life.”

Be sure to tune in to the Grammys on Sunday night at 8 p.m. on CBS. As for more on the will.i.am and the i.am.angel foundation head over to http://iamangelfoundation.org/

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EXCLUSIVES

Exclusive: Sorry, Folks, Diddy Did NOT Offer H&M Model A Contract

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Last week rumors started circulating that Diddy had offered Liam Mango, the young model featured in the H&M ad a Sean John modeling contract. Unfortunately those reports, as sweet as they sound, aren’t true.

Diddy spoke to reporters backstage before a tapping of his new show The Four  and clarified what really happened.

“I didn’t actually offer a modeling contract to him I told my people to reach out to him so we could use him in the next shoot that we do,” he explained.  “But with that being said, I think that what we’re seeing is just a general insensitivity to how we feel you know. I think that H&M is going to feel the results of that.”

H&M has issued an official apology for featuring Mango on their website in a “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoodie, saying in a statement : “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”

After photos of the young boy hit the web, folks started speaking out against the retailer calling them racist and insensitive. But one person not feeling that way was Mango’s mother. She posted her thoughts Facebook questioning what all the fuss is about. “I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”

She and the boys father Terry Odhiambo have since had a change of heart appearing on ITV on Monday, saying they don’t think that there’s ever an “overreaction when it comes to racism”.

They also said they’ve had to move from their home in Sweden, and haven’t been able to live a normal life since the controversy started.

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