Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke Is Ready to ‘Unleash’ Herself with Solo Music: ‘For So Long, I Was in This Box’

Former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke is “Miss Movin On.”

The 25-year-old opened up exclusively to PEOPLE recently about her newest venture as a solo artist after the pop group announced an indefinite hiatus in May. First on Brooke’s list? She’s ready to “unleash Ally.”

“For so long I was in this box and now I’m out of it,” she says. “I’m able to be who I want to be.”

“Even my mom got emotional the other day. She’s like, ‘Ally, you are you again,’” she adds. “And it’s beautiful. It really is.”

Brooke recently signed a solo deal with Atlantic Records’ Latium Entertainment, where she says she is receiving all the support she has ever wanted to make her own music.

“I love being able to have a say in everything that I do,” the singer says. “They’re so open and also very smart and meticulous, and they pay attention to the details which is something that I’m just such a fan of.”

As for the type of work that fans can expect from her, Brooke says that the music “will be different than Fifth Harmony” but will still feature a young vibe that set the girl group apart from other artists.

RELATED VIDEO: Fifth Harmony Announces Hiatus as Members ‘Pursue Solo Endeavors’

“It’ll definitely have some flavor and flair, and I’ll be able to really be a different Ally than I was in Fifth Harmony,” she says.

There is no date set for the release of her new music, but Brooke is excited “about a few records.”

“We’re kind of just going with the flow, but you should definitely stay tuned. Sometime between now and 2022,” she says, laughing. “AB1 is on its way.”

The Latina artist is also excited to pursue Latin-influenced music, and “definitely has plans” to sing in Spanish. In fact, her new label is known for Latin artists like Play-n-Skillz and Messiah, who is featured on the Spanish remix of Cardi B’s smash hit “Bodak Yellow.”

Cardi B is on the list of people Brooke would love to work with, along with Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez, who has been one of her inspirations since she was young.

“She’s such an outstanding performer,” she says. “She’s Latina and she’s paved the way for so many people. For me to even exist, it’s because of her, which is unreal.”

Brooke has been working on a couple songs with songwriters and producers like Yei Gonzalez, who produced “Dinero” by Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled and Cardi B, Grammy winner James Fauntleroy from 1500 or Nothin’ and Diane Warren, who has had nine No. 1 songs on the Hot 100.

Can’t wait till ya hear 🙈 @warren_diane 💖

A post shared by Ally Brooke (@allybrooke) on Jul 6, 2018 at 12:37pm PDT

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“I actually had a dream list of writers to work with and was on there,” the “Perfect” singer says. “I found the list the other day and I scratched her name off which is really such a moment for me. It is very special.”

Hello 🌎

A post shared by Ally Brooke (@allybrooke) on Aug 12, 2018 at 5:34pm PDT

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Recently, Brooke attended the Teen Choice Awards, where she was nominated for Choice Electronic/Dance Song and met up with former Fifth Harmony singer Normani. Aside from interacting through social media, she says she and the girls haven’t seen each other since their last show in May.

“Everyone’s doing their own thing so we haven’t really talked to each other,” she says. “I think everyone’s just in their own lane, in their own element.”

Along with her solo ventures in music, Brooke has been an avid representative of the ASPCA. She recently began fostering two kittens named Ladybelle and Minnie and plans to adopt them soon.

“We need to be their voices. They don’t have voices and we need to protect them,” she says. “They’re pure beings and we just need to take care of them.”

Came into my kittens room and got #InMyFeelings . We love us some Champagne Papi

A post shared by Ally Brooke (@allybrooke) on Jul 19, 2018 at 5:02pm PDT

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Brooke is content with where her life is today and says she is happy to have “the record label of my dreams.”

“I have a team who really believes in me and fights for me and who wants to see my visions come alive,” she says. “It feels like nothing I could ever describe, but I’m just thankful and I feel so blessed.”


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Roseanne Barr Has ‘No Regrets’ About Voting for Trump — but May Run for President Again Herself

Roseanne Barr has never been one to shy away from what’s she’s thinking or what she believes in.

“I’ve learned that there’s a big difference between public and private,” Barr, 65, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, on stands Friday. “I always walked a line between those two things, but I think it’s better to just put everything out there.”

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With 35 years in show business, the comedian has found herself at the center of plenty of controversies, divorces, mental illness woes and family strife. And while she admits that she may have chosen to do things differently, she doesn’t regret a thing.

“I’m smarter now,” she says. “If I was as smart then as I am now … well, that’s not possible. I don’t regret anything. All those good stories, it all brought me here.”

And she’s used to taking the heat (in 1990 George H.W. Bush called her rendition of the national anthem at a baseball game “disgraceful”). “It comes with the territory,” she says of being slammed by opponents. “Like free drinks. It’s worth it.”

Barr, who currently splits her time between Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco, made a name for herself an early age.

From 1988 to 1997, Roseanne — a groundbreaking sitcom about a blue-collar family — made her very famous and exposed her volatility, rocky personal life and political views. Now, with the Roseanne revival in full swing on ABC, Barr is ecstatic that the show will continue to touch on modern-day topics.

“It’s important to talk,” says Barr, whose namesake character voted for President Donald Trump.”Now, it seems like every topic is being discussed, and I’m happy with that.”

A longtime political progressive, Barr campaigned for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2012, but in 2016 she voted for Trump to “shake up the status quo.”

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

“I think we need to converse more, but more than anything we need to get involved and run our government for ourselves instead of sitting back and wanting somebody else to do it,” she says.  “Even voting isn’t enough. You have to be involved. I talk about this with my grandkids – you have to get in there and get your hands dirty if you want things to go the way you want them to go. We’re lucky in this country that we can do that. We can really get our hands dirty and put our big collective shoulders to the wheel and change and fix things. I think that’s what’s exciting about our country right now.”

“People are mad,” she adds. “But just being mad doesn’t do anything. You’re just a toad. But if you’re mad and that propels you to get involved to run for office — that was a lot of the reason I ran, just to show other grandparents. We’re the most educated, rich generation that ever was, so if we can’t do it, nobody can. I like to see that.”

For more on Roseanne, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

And while Barr is currently enjoying her life in Hawaii with her boyfriend of 15 years, Johnny Argent,  and spending time with her five kids and six grandchildren, she says running for president again is “never off the table.”

“I’m going to keep running until I win,” she says.

Roseanne airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


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Vanderpump Rules’ Lala Kent Tones Down Plastic Surgery After Comparing Herself to a ‘Walking Cat-Duck’

The Vanderpump Rules cast rarely holds back. Whether they’re admitting their last hook-up or showing their plastic surgery results on-air, they remain the most candid cast on reality TV. And Lala Kent just opened up about the latter when she revealed why she’s taking a break from getting injections.

Even though she “loves” plastic surgery (and admitted to getting her breasts done) she says she needs to cool off on a few procedures. “I feel there have been times where I completely over-do it,” she told PEOPLE during our “5 Questions” video series, above.

“So I’ve had every part of my face injected,” Kent revealed. “The things I’ve decided to stop doing is the filler in the cheekbones, the Botox above the eyebrow and the lips because I just feel like I’m a walking cat-duck. It looks like a cat and a duck had a baby and that’s me.”

The only places she will get injected now are her jawline, chin and forehead. “But hey, if you like injections and you like plastic surgery I feel like, if you feel comfortable and you feel beautiful, than do you boo.”

All season, Kent has been spreading this strong message of body positivity every time she’s on screen. Whether she’s helping Ariana Madix work through body image issues or pumping up her friends when they were trying on risqué outfits, she’s been spreading good vibes wherever she goes. So how can we channel Kent’s confidence everywhere we go?

“I think just sitting there and going, ‘You know what, this is my body and I love it and I could change it tomorrow or I could leave it the way it is and I just think women are gorgeous,’” she said. “The female body, there’s nothing hotter. So reveal that.”

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In the video, above, she talks about her most extravagant shopping spree at Gucci, the best item her boyfriend, Randall Emmett, ever gave her (you know it includes something about his private jet.) But the one beauty product she can’t live without is surprisingly less extravagant — a lipgloss from her Give Them Lala Beauty makeup line.

(She actually had the $ 16  “Mistress” shade (available for pre-order) with her while filming this interview!)

Vanderpump Rules season 6 premieres Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.


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Kim Kardashian West Defends Herself Against Mommy Shamers Over Son Saint’s Car Seat: He ‘Weighs More Than North’

Kim Kardashian West is fighting back against mommy shamers.

On Thursday, the reality star addressed some of the recent online attacks directed at her about the way she has been parenting son Saint, 20 months, and daughter North, 4, via a video on her website.

The mom of two said that one of the photos she posted on Facebook of her younger child caused a whirlwind on social media because Saint was not rear-facing in his car seat.

“What people didn’t know is that Saint is now the weight and height requirement to sit forward-facing,” Kardashian West, 36, says in the video. “Saint actually weighs more than North, if that is believable.”

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents are advised “to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.” In the state of California, children under 2 must use a rear-facing seat unless they are at least 40 inches tall and weigh at least 40 lbs.

In the same video, Kardashian West also addresses claims that she has “obsessive plans to build empire.”

“I love her experiencing my life and what goes on. But I also love her having such a childhood life,” the mobile mogul tells her viewers of her daughter. “Whatever she wants to do I’ll support that. No matter what it is.”

FROM PEN: Bachelorette Jillian Harris Talks Mom Shaming and Mom Guilt: “We’re All So Hard on Ourselves”

 

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Kardashian West admits that she does have an expensive diaper bag for Saint, though — which cashes in at a staggering $ 23,000.

The large tote is an old Birkin that she’d initially wanted “so badly” for herself, but was too big for her day-to-day, so she decided it would be “perfect” to use for Saint, she explains.

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“It was my first Birkin bag that I ever bought and you would never really buy that huge size,” says Kardashian West. “But that’s all they had and I just wanted one so badly. I’d saved and saved and that’s all they had and I took it and I could never use it.”

She adds, “When I got pregnant I was like, ‘Perfect, I’ll use this as a diaper bag.’ “


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Parents of Alleged Rape Victim Sue U. Alabama After She Kills Herself: ‘Tragic Yet Preventable Situation’

Megan Rondini was a 20-year-old premed student at the University of Alabama in July 2015 when her life changed.

That’s when Rondini, a junior, told friends that she had met a man at a popular bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At some point in the evening, she alleged she was sexually assaulted at his home, possibly after being drugged.

According to her parents, Rondini went into a downward spiral after the alleged assault. They say she suffered depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. She withdrew from the University and returned home to Texas. In February 2016, she hanged herself.

Now Rondini’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several people who they say failed her daughter. In the lawsuit, obtained by PEOPLE, Michael and Cynthia Rondini are suing their daughter’s alleged rapist, two university employees, the Tuscaloosa County sheriff, a sheriff’s deputy, and a sheriff’s office investigator.

The complaint alleges that the university did not give Rondini adequate psychological treatment and support after the incident. The suit says that specific University employees “deliberately and repeatedly denied services and mishandled accommodations with hostility.”

The suit also claims that the sheriff’s office inadequately pursued the investigation, and were sympathetic towards the alleged rapist rather than their daughter. The suit also claims that authorities focused on some of Rondini’s actions, including taking a handgun and cab fare from her alleged attacker’s home.

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The Rondini’s attorney, Leroy Maxwell Jr., did not return PEOPLE’s call for comment, but told AL.com that the family hopes this lawsuit will prevent other families from going through the same thing. “The Rondini family is not in this for the money, they are only interested in shining a bright light on a tragic yet preventable situation,” Maxwell said in a statement. “The court will determine if this case rises to the level of punitive damages.”

Meanwhile, several entities are working together to strengthen their support of sex assault victims. The university is partnering with the nearby hospital, the District Attorney’s office and law enforcement to establish two victim advocacy programs to care for sexual assault victims. The organizations also said in a statement that they are retraining their staffs.

The University of Alabama has defended its actions. “When Megan went to the hospital, a university advocate met her at the hospital to provide support and stayed with her throughout the examination process,” the school said in a statement. “Megan also received information from university representatives regarding services available to her on campus, including counseling through the university’s Women & Gender Resource Center.”

The alleged attacker has not been charged with any crime. He and his lawyer did not return PEOPLE’s calls for comment.


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This Woman Shared A Video Of Herself ‘Jiggling For Joy’ For The Best Reason

Kate Speer wanted to let out a little jiggle ― so she did. 

On May 24, the body positive and mental health advocate posted a video on Instagram which shows herself dancing around ― or as she calls it in the video “jiggling for joy” ― in a bikini and a neon visor.  

“Woooo! It’s hump day and I’m doing a jiggle for joy!” Speer yells as she jumps into frame. “This is your weekly reminder that… you are fabulous.” 

In the caption, Speer wrote: 

I’ve been struggling with my beautiful bod this week (and note, I know I have a thin-privileged, able-privileged, beautiful bod even if I can’t always feel it to be so) and beating it up in my mind and trying to suffocate it with binging.

So, today, I’m posting this even though it is terrifying me to do so (yup, deleted it 7 times).

… My body is MORE than its appearance. My body is NOT my value. My body is simply the vessel for my god damn fabulous self. And no matter what my emotional mind thinks or others say, MY BODY IS PERFECT. MY BODY IS WHOLE. MY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. AND, MY BODY – IN ITS ENTIRETY- IS WORTHY OF LOVE.

According to Speer’s personal website, she survived a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder at age 21 and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals. She’s struggled with self-harm, suicide, PTSD and an eating disorder her entire life. 

“I am here to dance away my PTSD demons, find light in the darkness and celebrate it all no matter if it makes sense or not,” Speer wrote on her website. “Mostly, I am here to love, get silly, find gratitude and spread as much light as I can while still on this planet I have the privilege to call home.”

H/T Refinery29

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Miss USA Says She Actually Does Consider Herself A Feminist

Miss USA is a feminist. 

On Sunday night, Miss District of Columbia Kára McCullough was crowned Miss USA 2017. The 25-year-old government scientist ― dubbed by pageant officials as “one of the most intelligent contestants in recent memory” ― came under fire for some of her comments about health care and feminism during the Q&A portion of the program. 

McCullough referred to health care as a “privilege” not a right in response to one question and, later, told the audience she doesn’t consider herself a feminist when asked if she considered herself one.

“I don’t really want to consider myself ― try not to consider myself like this diehard, you know, like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care about men,’” McCullough said. “But one thing I’m gonna say, though, is women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.”

Watch her full response below.