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Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 10:37 am


Organizers of a military benefit concert in New York’s Times Square say Aretha Franklin missed an award presentation but managed to show up on time for the main event hours later.


       The Queen of Soul was missing in action Sunday when she was to receive the Torch of Freedom Award, given by the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club.      

       A spokesman for the concert organizers says Franklin went on as scheduled later at the Nokia Theatre. She performed “New York, New York,” a medley of military tunes and her classic “Respect.”      

       As of press time, no reason was given for Franklin’s no-show.


Aretha & Diddy hook up; Mariah not happy with Nick; Beyonce learns from parents November 28, 2008


How about this? Lady Soul and Diddy are hooking up! No, not that way, but to launch a new “American Idol” style show. That’s right, according to WENN, Aretha Franklin and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs are combining forces to find talented R&B and hip-hop stars. But, unlike “AI,” the winner of their new venture will be decided by them – not the public. “The country will not vote. It will just be me and Diddy voting for who the next star will be,” says Franklin. Look for the show sometime in 2009.


     *Mariah Carey reportedly is not happy with hubby Nick Cannon’s candid comments about the couple’s no-sex-before-marriage pact. The older Mariah, who wed the younger Cannon in April, feels he went too far when he told the world the pair waited until their wedding night to have sex for the first time, reports Starpulse. She says, “Why did he tell that story? I didn’t want him to let everybody know that.”


     *Talking to Giant magazine, Beyonce said she prepared for the potential challenges in her marriage to Jay-Z after watching her mother Tina and father Matthew struggle and overcome their differences as husband and wife. “My parents are tighter now than ever, but they’ve been through it all,” she said. “There were times when they were together, times when they were apart. I learned that it’s a lot of hard work, that it’s more than a dress.”


Michelle Obama’s backside; ‘American Gangster’ returns; Aretha on AMAs; Julian Bond steps down; Howard flirts; backtracking Baldwin; Sugar Hill lawsuit November 20, 2008


A black, female columnist at Salon.com has written an entire piece praising the derriere of Michelle Obama. “I’m a black woman who never thought I’d see a powerful, beautiful female with a body like mine in the White House. Then I saw Michelle Obama — and her booty!” writes Erin Aubry Kaplan “…Barack’s better half not only has stature but is statuesque. She has coruscating intelligence, beauty, style and — drumroll, please — a butt. (Yes, you read that right: I’m going to talk about the first lady’s butt.)” Continue reading here.   



        *R&B legend Aretha Franklin will present the first award of the night at the “2008 American Music Awards,” producer Larry Klein announced Wednesday. Also, Natasha Bedingfield will join Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, New Kids On The Block, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and many more performers (19 in total) at this year’s celebration. 


      *BET’s “American Gangster” docu-series returns tonight at 10pm (E/P) with the spotlight on the first and most famous director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. Positioned as an avowed and implacable enemy of Communism, Hoover was often at odds with left-leaning Black leaders throughout his reign, including Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson. During the tumultuous ‘60s decade, Hoover went even further, undertaking a virtual counter-revolution against the civil rights movement – with particular venom directed at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – and ultimately enabling the Bureau to create COINTELPRO. 


       *Veteran civil rights activist Julian Bond will not seek another term as chairman of the NAACP’s national board, saying the time is right to “let a new generation of leaders” take over the century-old organization. Bond, 68, has served as chairman since 1998. He announced Tuesday that his current one-year chairman’s term, which expires in February, will be his last, although he plans to remain on the board. “This is a time for renewal. We have dynamic new leadership. The country has a new president in Barack Obama; the organization has a new CEO in Benjamin Jealous, and we’ll soon have a new chairman of the NAACP Board,” Bond said in a statement. “The NAACP and the country are in good hands.”


      *The New York Post is reporting that Terrence Howard couldn’t keep his hands off of French model Noemie Lenoir during Friday night’s opening of the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami. After Mariah Carey performed, the two were spotted at hotel lounge Blade. A source told Page Six: “Terrence saw Noemie in the crowd and started singing to her. He came to see her the next night at the Victoria’s Secret show, and they like each other a lot.”


       *Republican Stephen Baldwin is now backtracking on his threat to leave the United States if Barack Obama wins the presidency. “The liberal Democrats who didn’t get that I was joking need to lighten up,” the born-again Christian told Page Six. “Obama is obviously talented and intelligent, and I have great respect for the man. He’s got my full support, and I’m gonna be praying for him and his administration.”


       *Sugar Hill Gang co-founder Joey Robinson is being sued by ex-bandmates Michael (Wonder Mike) Wright and Guy (Master G) O’Brien on claims that he owes them royalties. Wright and O’Brien, who’ve been touring as the Original Sugar Hill Gang, performed last weekend on CNN’s “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.” Robinson tells the New York Daily News of the touring group:  “It’s really a sham to confuse the public.” He says he’ll sue them for encroaching on his trademarks.




The Queen of Soul has just become the Queen of Rock in a new poll of the rock era’s 100 greatest singers, conducted by Rolling Stone magazine and due on newsstands Friday with four different covers.


       Aretha Franklin, 66, tops a list that includes Ray Charles at No. 2, Elvis Presley at No. 3, Sam Cooke at No. 4 and John Lennon at No. 5, according to the magazine’s survey of 179 musicians, producers, Rolling Stone editors, and other music-industry insiders.      

       The list also comes with testimonials from musicians. R&B singer Mary J. Blige, for example, writes that Franklin is “the reason why women want to sing.” Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, who was No. 15 on the list, describes Presley’s voice as “confident, insinuating and taking no prisoners.”      

       Besides Franklin, the only other living people in the top 10 were Bob Dylan at No. 7 and Stevie Wonder at No. 9. Marvin Gaye was No. 6, Otis Redding No. 8, and James Brown No. 10.      

       Other notables included Paul McCartney at No. 11, one place ahead of his idol, Little Richard; and Mick Jagger at No. 16, also one ahead of a key influence, Tina Turner. Among the top 25, 50-year-old Michael Jackson was the youngest, coming in at No. 25.




Hundreds of mourners gathered at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit Monday for the funeral of Four Tops front man Levi Stubbs, the Motown great who died in his sleep Oct. 17 at his Detroit home. He was 72.


      “He will always be here,” said Smokey Robinson, one of several Motown artists in attendance, according to the Associated Press. “You’re going to turn on the radio and hear him tomorrow. He made his mark on the world. All of the world, you’ll be able to hear Levi Stubbs forever.”


      Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., also on hand, told mourners: “He made us walk in his shoes, felt what he felt and loved what he loved. He not only sang the song, he was the song.”


       The service included two resolutions read by members of the city council, including one that marked June 6 as Levi Stubbs Day. Martha Reeves, a Detroit city councilwoman and former lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas, called Stubbs “my Pavarotti.”


       “He stayed in Detroit,” added Councilwoman JoAnn Watson. “He could have gone anywhere, but he stayed with his wife, stayed with his group, stayed with the Four Tops.”      

       The Rev. Jesse Jackson called the Four Tops “a family story,” remarking on the group’s decades together under Stubbs’ leadership.      

       “You just do not find an Aretha Franklin,” Jackson said. “You don’t find a Marvin Gaye. You don’t find a Smokey Robinson. You don’t find a Levi Stubbs. They don’t come in bunches like grapes. They are rare pearls.”


       Former Temptations singer Dennis Edwards called Stubbs “the greatest lead singer ever.”



Williams supports Lohan; Boosie arrested again; Cosby in MI; Aretha in NY; Chris Brown’s U-DANCE October 27, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:54 pm
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Ugly Betty” actress Vanessa Williams has come out in defense of guest star Lindsay Lohan amid reports that a feud with lead America Ferrera cut her scheduled six-episode visit to four. “That’s what the press does, that’s what gossip’s about, and media is about,” Williams told WENN. “I had a few scenes with Lindsay. She was a hard worker, she showed up on time and in the scenes I had with her, she was completely prepared. In terms of me working with Lindsay, she was professional, she knew her lines and she was great with me.”


       *Lil Boosie was arrested in his hometown of Baton Rouge on Wednesday and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance and resisting an officer. The rapper, born Torrance Hatch, pulled up next to police officers in East Baton Rogue, who allegedly smelled weed coming from his white Dodge Challenger. The 25-year-old refused to get out of the car when asked by officers and attempted to drive away. A search of the vehicle also turned up a firearm as well.

       *Bill Cosby will be the keynote speaker at Michigan’s Wayne County Community College District’s (WCCCD’s) District-Wide Conference Day, an annual one-day professional development event for District staff and faculty. The event will be held tomorrow (Oct. 28) at Cobo Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is “Student Success: Everyone’s Responsibility.” For more information on WCCCD, please visit www.wcccd.edu.       

       *Aretha Franklin will appear at Borders Columbus Circle in New York Wednesday at 7 p.m. to sign copies of her first-ever holiday CD “This Christmas Aretha.” Produced by Tena Clark and Franklin for DMI Records, the 11-track CD features classic and contemporary songs infused with the artist’s trademark gospel, soul, R&B and classical styles. Wrist bands to secure a place in line for the signing will be distributed beginning at the store’s 9 a.m. opening to the first 125 fans who purchase the CD. Franklin is also scheduled to appear this morning on ABC’s “The View.”


       *Chris Brown has teamed with Hasbro, Inc. to Launch the U-DANCE gaming system. Through the use of a patented technology, U-DANCE combines dance with motion sensing technology allowing players’ feet to be the controller and enjoy a wide range of motion. The U-DANCE “Superstar” Sweepstakes runs through Nov. 18 onwww.udancegame.com (Visit site for details and official rules). Visitors to the site can view videos featuring some of Brown’s most exciting dance moves and vote on the move they think is the best.


ARETHA SAYS BERNIE MAC WILL BE ‘TRULY MISSED’: Queen of Soul shares personal story about late comedian August 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 4:01 am

An original comedy “king” is being mourned by the Queen of Soul.  Aretha Franklin released a statement Monday expressing sadness over the passing of her friend, comedian Bernie Mac.


      “It was so stunning and almost unbelievable to hear about Bernie Mac,” she said. “He was at the pinnacle of success and legendary status.  He was such a beautiful and fun guy and loved and appreciated by so many.  He will truly be missed and I watched him at bedtime almost nightly.”


       She continued: “He got on my tour bus once in front of the Trump Hotel in New York and talked to myself and [a] group about the injustices of the world of TV concerning his show, but that he intended to stand firmly in his principles concerning the creative aspects of his script.”


       Mac, 50, died Saturday from what his publicist said were complications from pneumonia. He had the inflammatory lung disease, sarcoidosis, but it had reportedly been in remission since 2005.      

       Franklin suggests that men use Mac’s death as a reminder to pay attention to their own health issues.      

       “Gentlemen of the world, please disband the practice [of not getting] regular check-ups, it’s far better to know sooner than later, because later, many times, is too late,” she says. “If you take care of self, self will take care of you most of the way.  God bless and blessed Bernie Mac.”


       A funeral for Mac is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15, at an undisclosed location. The family requests that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.