Kanye West's new album, "The Life Of Pablo," has ignited a new controversy between the rapper and pop superstar Taylor Swift.
Late Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden — after weeks of intrigue, changed plans, adjusted track lists and scrapped album titles — the rapper-slash-designer debuted his third Yeezy collection for Adidas and his defiant seventh solo album simultaneously on the city's biggest stage. The album included a song called, "Famous," in which he called the "Bad Blood" singer a "bitch" and said he made her famous.
On his Twitter account, he said the lyric was not an insult. "I did not diss Taylor Swift and I've never dissed her," he wrote. "I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings."
Tree Paine, Swift's publicist, said in a statement that West did not ask Swift for approval.
"Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single 'Famous' on her Twitter account," the statement said. "She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message."
The show began with a procession in the stands by the extended Kardashian West family — Kim, Kris, Kendall, North, Caitlyn Jenner and so on — that was broadcast on the arena video screen. West himself escorted Lamar Odom, the former NBA player and husband of Khloé Kardashian, to his seat; it was Odom's first public appearance since he was found unconscious last year at a Nevada brothel.
Meanwhile, Martin Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals chief executive whose AIDS drug price hike earned him notoriety and widespread scorn, is offering $10 million to become the sole owner of West's new album.
"I have been a tremendous fan of your music for many years," Shkreli wrote in a letter to West. "Specifically, the album 'The College Dropout' inspired me to succeed at a young age." He asked West to "sell this recording solely to me, for the price of $10,000,000."
Obama recites steamy Valentine's poem
President Obama, who is spending another Valentine's Day apart from his wife, Michelle, did the next best thing short of celebrating the lovers' holiday with her: On Friday's broadcast of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the president recited a love poem he says he had planned to deliver to the first lady in person. "Somebody call the Situation Room because things are about to get hot," said Obama. "Michelle, this Valentine's Day I'm going to treat you right. I'm going to make you some zucchini bread. Then I'll spread out some veggies on a plate just the way you like them," he said. "Then I'll give you a massage while you watch 'Ellen's Design Challenge' on HGTV. Because I love you so much, I Obamacare about you more than you even know."