Grapevine: Young Detroiter dances on 'Ellen'

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Tavaris Jones visited Ellen DeGeneres on Monday.

Young Detroiter returns to ‘Ellen’

Local first-grader Tavaris Jones returned to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday to show off his new moves and to be all-around adorable. The 6-year-old dancer told host Ellen DeGeneres he’s graduated from kindergarten and is getting good grades. DeGeneres asked him what kind of car he wants when he grows up. “L-A-M-B-O, Lambo,” he said, and talked about his dancing,  girlfriend and a recent trip to Australia to be on “Little Big Shots” before dancing to the Migos’ song “Stir Fry.” Afterward, DeGeneres gifted him with a kid-sized motorized car. 

Tavaris Stirs Up Another Amazing Performance on the Dance Floor

Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving Day

Vernita Lee, the 83-year-old mother of Oprah Winfrey, died in her Milwaukee home on Thanksgiving Day.  A Winfrey spokeswoman confirmed the news in a statement and said private funeral services were held. The Associated Press reports Lee was a teenager when she gave birth to Winfrey in Mississippi in 1954. Besides Winfrey, Lee is survived by another daughter, Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, Jeffrey, and by a daughter, Patricia Lee Lloyd.

Musicians join boycott of Marriott International

Musicians Stevie Van Zandt and Jackson Browne have teamed up with the Plastic Pollution Coalition in calling for a boycott of Marriott International-owned hotels because of their use of plastic containers for room service. "The last thing we need right now is more plastic waste," said Van Zandt in a press release. "There is no longer any excuse — if there ever was — for businesses to sacrifice environmental responsibility for profit. The two are no longer mutually exclusive — if they ever were — and any attempt to present the false choice of one over the other is a lie." Browne echoed Van Zandt’s statement, saying he spends so much time in hotel rooms and “it is absolutely my choice not to stay where they serve food in plastic.” 

Tekashi69 pleads not guilty

Troubled rapper Tekashi69 has entered a plea of not guilty in his federal racketeering case. The judge set his trial date for Sept. 4, and TMZ reports that it seems Tekashi (real name Daniel Hernandez) could remain behind bars until then. He was denied bail. The rapper and two former associates were arrested earlier this month by federal agents. 

Meek Mill books Fox Theatre show

Hop-hop artist Meek Mill will bring his “The Motivation Tour” to the Fox Theatre on March 9. The Philadelphia rapper and criminal justice reform advocate is touring to promote his newest album “CHAMPIONSHIPS,” which hits shelves Friday. Tickets for the tour are on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at 313Presents.com, by calling (800) 745-3000 or at the Fox Theatre and Little Caesars box offices. 

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Tuesday's Birthdays

Bill Nye, 63

Robin Givens, 54

Jaleel White, 42