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Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:32 am
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When country star Tim McGraw and R&B singer T-Pain appeared together in a “Saturday Night Live” skit last month, little did they know it would lead to a real musical collaboration.      

       “We talked about getting in the studio together, so that’s probably going to happen soon,” T-Pain tells E! Online. “I definitely think we could do something cool and different.”      

       The pairing wouldn’t be McGraw’s first with an urban artist. In 2004, he recorded the song “Over and Over” with rapper Nelly; and earlier this month McGraw reportedly recorded a new single, “Human,” for Chris Brown’s upcoming album.      

       T-Pain says his collaboration with McGraw will be different from Nelly’s approach on “Over and Over.”      

       “The hip-hop has been done with Tim and Nelly, so we gotta be more country than hip-hop,” he says.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:26 am
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While Keyshia Cole elbowed her way into the crowded R&B field several years ago with heartbreak songs such as “Love” and “I Remember,” the singer says she can’t stand to listen to them anymore – which explains the title of her new album, “A Different Me.”


       Currently on tour with Lil Wayne and Gym Class Heroes, the 27-year-old diva — who is also a big reality star thanks to her successful BET show “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” — recently sat down with the Associated Press to discuss just how different her life has become since releasing her debut album in June 2005.       

AP: On the opening track of the new CD, you introduce your “sexier” side. What does that mean exactly?

Cole: Just the mood of some of the music, and also the pictures that I took for the album packaging were a little bit sexier than normal. It’s a lot lighter and sexier, you can listen to it and it’s not so heartbroken and painful.

AP: Do you feel sexier now than before?

Cole: I just think that sexier is, I guess, the clothes that you’re wearing. I’ve always been a young lady but I just chose to do certain things or look a certain way before. I really did like the fact that I work really hard to make it here. It’s just a sexier or softer side of myself that I chose to put forth and show the world. I think it’s always been there, it’s just the point of bringing it out and being comfortable with yourself.

AP: Talk about the songwriting process when recording the new CD.

Cole: With “Love,” after I wrote that song, I couldn’t listen to it, I still can’t listen to “Love,” I just can’t. Like I don’t even listen to my own albums, which is bad because I really need to do that because I perform them all the time. It’s just that after I write it, and I felt that way and I remember that way, it’s hard for me to go back and really listen to it because I hate feeling that way. But I perform those songs almost every night so it’s something that I have to take myself back to and remember that feeling and project that feeling to the world. But that’s why I went with the “A Different Me” title because I am a traveling performer and a growing entertainer and I wanted to switch up the music and change it up and give it a different vibe because I don’t want to be on the same vibe every night singing the same type of song.

AP: Is it going to be easier to perform the new songs because the material is lighter?

Cole: I’ll see. Hopefully it brings a wider base of a crowd for me to perform in front of. To get that arena audience, I felt like I had to switch it up just a little tiny bit, and touch (on) different (subject) matters in relationships, just on a worldwide basis.

AP: What else are you doing differently?

Cole: I definitely changed choreographers, I switched by band up, I revamped my whole staging and just rehearsing and working at that because I never really incorporated a bunch of dance moves or choreography on the stage, but now I’m trying new things. I just want to live up to the title “A Different Me.” I just want to become a headlining entertainer at arenas and do it that big.




Tavis Smiley kicks off the sixth season of his late night PBS talk show on Monday, January 5, with two-time Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.


       Other guests booked during the first two weeks include founder Berry Gordy (Jan. 9), Notorious B.I.G.s mother Voletta Wallace with actor Jamal Woolard (Jan. 14) and Lionel Richie (Jan. 16).      

       On Jan. 20, Smiley will broadcast an Inauguration-Day special featuring highlights from President-Elect Barack Obama’s six appearances on the “Tavis Smiley” show, including his first in March 2004 – four months prior to the rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention that catapulted Obama to the national stage, and only three months into the first season of “Tavis Smiley” on PBS.      

       “We are living through exciting and challenging times,” says Smiley.  “I am so grateful for the continuing opportunity to help advance those conversations that help us stay enlightened, encouraged and empowered.”         

       Additional guests during the first two weeks of the sixth season include Marisa Tomei (Jan. 6), “24’s” Carlos Bernard (Jan. 7), “Frost/Nixon” director  Ron Howard with actor Frank Langella (Jan. 8), “The Mentalist” star Simon Baker, actress Emma Thompson and actor Eric Braeden (Jan. 13), job training expert and author Bill Strickland, author Ben Barber and country star Glen Campbell (Jan. 15).      

       “This is a terrific all-star line up,” says executive producer Neal Kendall. “We’ve challenged ourselves and our viewers. The message is clear: ‘Expect More.’ Our goal is to make our sixth season on PBS the best ever. The range of issues discussed, the wide cross-section of political viewpoints, the in-depth conversations with people we rarely get to hear from – all of these factors contribute to our ability to provide an unmatched viewer experience in the late night TV talk genre.”       

       Additional plans during season six include special remote broadcasts that will be announced early next year.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:20 am
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Wayne Brady, Corbin Bleu, Audra McDonald and others will appear at a press conference next month to announce the nominees, honorees and other details for the 40th NAACP Image Awards.       

      Winners will be revealed on Feb. 12 during a live telecast on Fox, The ceremony coincides with the NAACP’s 100th anniversary.


       As reported earlier, Halle Berry and Tyler Perry will co-host the awards show.  Previously announced honorees include former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, who will be presented with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.


       Tickets for the show – ranging from $50 to $500 – will be available through Ticketmaster beginning in early January.




Nearly two decades after KRS-One assembled several of the hottest rap acts to  record the anti-violence anthem “Self-Destruction,” the song has been updated by Chicago-area artists in an attempt to keep the message going.


       The new version, released Dec 19, also features KRS-One, along with Syleena Johnson, Twista, Crucial Conflict, Phil G, Kenny Bogus, Straw and Pugs.      

       “Self Destruction 2009” is the brainchild of CoalMine Music executive Joanne Coalman, once an active member of the Chicago division of KRS-One’s Stop The Violence movement, according to Allhiphop.com.    




Jamie Foxx, Keyshia Cole and Faith Hill will share their personal experiences with adoption on the CBS special “A Home for the Holidays,” which airs tonight from 8 to 9 p.m.      

       Speaking to the Associated Press backstage last month after filming their appearances, the artists explained how they coped with being adopted and why they performed for the special, which offers a mix of musical entertainment and information about child adoption.      

       “I was lucky,” said the Oscar-winning Foxx (“Ray”). “I was adopted at 7 months, but the lady who adopted me also adopted my mother, so I had a relationship with my biological parents, also.”


       R&B star Keyshia Cole said, “My personal story was my mother was on drugs all my life and she didn’t get a little bit better until I became ‘Keyshia Cole the Celebrity.’ Maybe it was a good way for her to see herself — that your daughter has become so much and she’s become so big.”      

       The special is the brainchild of Dave Thomas, the Wendy’s restaurant founder. Thomas, who was adopted, created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992.      

       The show will feature musical performances by Hill’s husband Tim McGraw, as well as Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Rossdale and Melissa Etheridge.




New York’s Ujamaa Black Theater is planning a special tribute show to honor the late Bernie Mac, who died of pneumonia last August at age 50.       

       The company has placed an ad in Back Stage – an entertainment-industry magazine with a special focus on casting – seeking black actors, singers, and comedians, as well as look-alikes for Mac, Isaac Hayes and James Brown, according to the New York Post.       

       In the meantime, fans of the comic can look forward to one more blast of Bernie in the movies with Disney’s “Old Dogs,” in which he co-stars with John Travolta and Robin Williams.