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Roots to join ‘Late Night’; UMA brawl; Madonna’s school; Wu-Tang boots; Natalie Cole reschedules November 17, 2008


Hip Hop collective The Roots have been named the new house band for NBC’s “Late Night” when former “Saturday Night Live” actor Jimmy Fallon replaces Conan O’Brien as host in March 2009, reports allhiphop.com. O’Brien will be moved to “The Tonight Show,” where he will replace Jay Leno. Last week, Fallon and The Roots shot a “Late Night” promo clip at the Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section.


       *A man is in critical condition after being stabbed during a brawl at the 6th annual Urban Music Awards, which took place Saturday at London’s O2 Arena.  One other person was treated at a local hospital for minor wounds, reports the Associated Press. Witnesses said chairs and champagne bottles were tossed around during the melee. Estelle, Adele, Leona Lewis, Dizzee Rascal and Duffy were among the performers nominated for awards, but organizers called off the ceremony after the violence.


      *Madonna is following in the footsteps of Oprah Winfrey in attempting to build a school for underprivileged girls in Africa. The pop icon wants fans to donate money for a school in Malawi, where she adopted her son David Banda in May. “There are very few girls in Africa in general who are encouraged or allowed to go to secondary school, so after spending a lot of time there I realized that one of the ways I could help is to build a girls’ school,” Madonna said in a video on her Web site (http://www.madonna.com/raisingmalawi/).  “I would really be grateful if you would get involved and help me in any way that you can, with donations, spreading the word, visiting my Web site, reading about the progress that we’ve made so far.”


       *Fila and The Wu-Tang Brand, Ltd. announce their latest product collaboration: the Wu-Tang Weathertech boot, inspired by the classic Fila boot silhouette. The winter boot features an oiled suede upper, molded rubberized vamp, d-ring lacing system and padded ankle collars. It’s emblazoned with the legendary group’s insignia on both the side and the heel tab as well as with signature Wu-Tang yellow highlights. The Wu-Tang boot retails for $100. For a list of retailers, please visit www.fila.com/wutang. In 2007, Fila and the Wu-Tang Brand, Ltd. released a special edition of Fila’s classic Original Tennis Shoe entitled the “C.R.E.A.M.”


       *Natalie Cole’s scheduled concert at Spotlight 29 Casino has been moved up one week earlier than previously announced. The concert will now be staged on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. Tickets purchased for the previous date will be honored for the new date. Cole is back on the road in support of her September release, “Still Unforgettable.” Tickets are available at www.Spotlight29.com, at the Spotlight 29 Casino Gift Shop or by calling Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737. Show time is 8 p.m.




Stars were aligned for Barack Obama Tuesday night following the announcement of his victory in the presidential election.


      Oprah Winfrey, who has raised money for the Illinois democrat, could not hold back the tears while attending the victory rally in Chicago’s Grant Park.


       “I was so, so, so excited and then just sort of a calm came over me,” she told TV’s The Insider. “It feels like it actually is kind of real, so it feels great.” Asked what this means for the country, she said, “It means democracy at its finest. It’s just the best. We did this. America did this.”      

       Kanye West, whose mother Donda died last November, posted a portrait of the President-elect on his blog with the message: “HI MOM, OBAMA WON!”


       Diddy, who turned 39 on Tuesday, delayed his usual birthday bash with the hopes of having a grand birthday/Obama celebration the next night. He gave this promise for the inauguration: “I will definitely DJ at the party for free.”      

       TLC’s Chili was quoted by E! Online as saying: “This is amazing. …Never thought I’d live to see this.”       

       Rap mogul Russell Simmons told E!: “The vision of the hip-hop generation and its young people is in full and glorious effect tonight. While many older Americans, who marched and struggled so hard so Senator Obama could run for president of the United States never dared to believe in his candidacy’s real potential, young people, particularly the hip-hop community, had faith and their imagination became our reality.”       

       The New York Daily News’ Rush & Malloy column collected quotes from celebs around the Big Apple following Obama’s announcement as president.      

       “I’m so excited right now,” Ethan Hawke told the paper at Comedy Central’s blast at The Park. “I got up at 7:20 this morning, and I voted for Barack. I haven’t had this much optimism in a long time. Tonight is historic!”


       Studio boss Harvey Weinstein, who hosted two election bashes in years past where he left in tears, said: “It’s a great day for America.” The movie mogul had invited the Clintons to his fete at Public House, but they’d stayed home to watch the results in Chappaqua.       

       Actors James Franco, Josh Lucas and Jessica Alba did attend Weinstein’s bash, and when someone put Fox News on the tube, Lucas yelled out, “Change the f—–g channel!” Alba told us, “I was surprised that McCain brought race into his speech. I guess he was trying to bring people together.”       

       Model Veronica Webb, at designer Tracey Reese’s party at her shop, told the Daily News: “We’ve just moved to New York, but we voted in Florida, where it really counted.”      

      Amber Lee Ettinger, aka “Obama Girl,” burst into tears at the barelypolitical.com party at NY hotspot Haven when her “crush” was named the new president. “This is the day I’ve been waiting for,” she said.


       In a video posted on YouTube, Madonna claps her hands and declares, “This is a historical evening! … We are lucky to be sharing it with each other!”


       George Clooney said in a statement: “I congratulate President-elect Obama on his historic victory, and now it’s time to begin unifying the country so we can take on the extraordinary challenges that this generation faces.”      

       Lindsay Lohan, who just wrapped a stint on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” wrote on her MySpace page: “OBAMA IS OUR PRESIDENT!” and said that everyone who voted, “no matter their choice … should be proud for voting in the first place.”      

       Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore responded on his Web site, saying, “Who among us is not at a loss for words? Tears pour out. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.”       

       E! Online reported Courteney Cox and husband David Arquette hosted an Obama victory party Tuesday night at their Beverly Hills home. Sources say that Jennifer Aniston, Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher were among those in attendance.


80 Million Reasons To Love Beyonce September 24, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 4:01 pm
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Struggling folks on Wall Street (and me too!) might try hitting Bey up for a loan. The girl raked in $80 million in a 12-month period, making her music’s second-highest paid performer.

Only The Police, with $115 million, ranked higher than Bey on Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid musicians, based on money earned from June 1, 2007 to June 1, 2008. (Hip-hop stars have been ranked separately.)

Forbes points out that musicians don’t just get rich by making records. Beyonce is where she is because she “built a successful entertainment empire that includes fashion, film and publishing deals. She has found still more time to sell $50 million in tickets on a recent tour, take a lead role as Etta James in the upcoming flick Cadillac Records and shill for a slew of brands, including L’Oréal, American Express and an Armani fragrance.”

Jay-Z married well, I must say.

The top 10:

1. The Police, $115 million

2. Beyonce, $80 million

3. Toby Keith, $48 million

4. Justin Timberlake, $44 million

5. Madonna, $40 million

6. Celine Dion, $40 million

7. Rascal Flatts, $40 million

8. Van Halen, $35 million

9. Genesis, $31 million

10. Gwen Stefani, $27 million


Did Janet Jackson Get Dropped From Def Jam? September 23, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:44 pm
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Producer Rodney Jerkins and Def Jam explains


She just didn’t get her just do as an artist of that magnitude or that level.

In his first Rap-Up vlog, Jerkins is already stirring up shock. The Grammy Award-winning R&B producer has revealed this week that icon Janet Jackson has severed ties with her label Def Jam Records.

In the online rumor mill, Ms. Jackson was said to have been dropped from her label, and her man Jermaine Dupri- the president of Island Def Jam’s Urban Music division- is going to leave as well.

“She’s been released,” Jerkins said casually in the vlog uploaded on Sunday. “She’s been released off of Def Jam. She was asking to be released and got released, and it’s a great thing for her because I think her being a free agent, and doing this tour, it’s going to be great for her. And I’m there for her.”

Jerkins, who produced Jackson’s single “Feedback” for her latest album Discipline, explained that Def Jam wasn’t supportive.

“We felt like we made a great record with the record ‘Feedback.’ We felt like we made a great record with a song called ‘Love’ that was supposed to be the second single. But we just felt like we didn’t get the support from the record company. She felt like [the song] wasn’t pushed, I felt like it wasn’t pushed correctly, and she just didn’t get her just do as an artist of that magnitude or that level.”

Jerkins went on to reveal that he offered to do an album with just Jackson, and her long-time production collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Further detail of the potential collaboration was not revealed.

VIBE.com reached out to Def Jam, and received a statement confirming the split.  “At her request, the record label has agreed to dissolve their working relationship with the popular artist,” the statement read. “Janet will have autonomy over her career, without the restrictions of a label system.”

In June, Jackson aired out her grievances with the label to SOHH.com. The superstar said that Def Jam didn’t promote Discipline, so she wasn’t going to release anymore singles from it.

Jackson is currently still traveling on her nationwide tour ROCK WITCHU.


MCCAIN TRIES TYING OBAMA TO MADONNA MONTAGE: Campaign says celebs supporting Obama have no boundaries August 26, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 2:15 pm
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John McCain’s campaign lashed out against a video montage displayed during Madonna’s UK concert Saturday that showed the Republican presidential candidate grouped with such men as Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe.


      “The comparisons are outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive all at the same time,” McCain’s campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement. “It clearly shows that when it comes to supporting Barack Obama, his fellow worldwide celebrities refuse to consider any smear or attack off limits.”


      The montage [view below] was played on huge video screens during the kickoff to Madonna’s world tour Saturday in Cardiff. During a performance of the song “Get Stupid,” McCain’s face was flashed up alongside images of destruction and global warming as well as Hitler and Mugabe.


       Towards the end of the song, when the lyrics become positive, pictures of Beatles star John Lennon, former vice-president Al Gore, Indian Mahatma Gandhi and McCain’s Democratic rival  Barack Obama appeared.



Madonna’s McCain Flash during Aug. 23 Concert in Cardiff


Isaiah’s auction; dictionary ‘malfunction’; Taylor murder trial delayed; Madonna not adopting; Radio One sales plunge; Undergear model search August 18, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:37 pm
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Isaiah Washington is auctioning off a framed autographed cast photo of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” on eBay to support the Gondobay Manga Foundation’s Reach One Million Campaign, an organization aimed at improving the lives of one million children in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  The auction will run through Aug. 23 on eBay. “This auction is a wonderful chance for people not only to bid on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but to also help save a child’s life in Sierra Leone,” said Washington, a former “Grey’s Anatomy” cast member. Other items up for bid include autographed scripts from “Grey’s Anatomy’s” first, second and third seasons; and other memorabilia from Washington’s personal collection.


       *The term “wardrobe malfunction,” first used in a 2004 statement from Janet Jackson to explain her brief breast-flash during a Super Bowl performance with Justin Timberlake, has been entered into the latest Chambers English Dictionary – with the definition “the exposure of an intimate part or parts of the body due to a defect in an article.” Chambers Editor Mary O’Neill said the phrase was deemed relevant enough to be included because it helps to “paint a vivid picture of current interests and concerns.”


       *The trial of four men accused of murdering Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor has been delayed until next year, reports the Associated Press. A judge on Friday moved the start date from later this month to March 3, 2009. Prosecutors say the suspects shot Taylor in November during a robbery attempt at his Miami-area home. Taylor was unexpectedly home because of a knee injury. Venjah Hunte, 20, pleaded guilty in May under a deal that calls for him to serve 29 years in prison. The remaining four men have pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail. They face possible life in prison if convicted.


      *A rep for Madonna has denied reports that she is planning to adopt another child from Malawi. The pop icon, who adopted her son David Banda from the country in 2006, was rumored to be planning the adoption of a 2-year-old Malawian girl. But Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg tells Usmagazine.com: “Madonna has not made an attempt to adopt this baby earlier this year or now.”


      *The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Radio One Inc. reported a net loss of $11.7 million, or 12 cents per share, for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $5.1 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue was $83.4 million, a 1 percent increase from the same period in 2007.  During the quarter, the company bought online social networking company Community Connect Inc. for $38 million in cash. The company generated more than $3.7 million in revenue from the acquisition, in addition to revenue from other internally launched sites. Radio One owns more than 50 radio stations in 16 urban markets, as well as Silver Spring-based cable network TV One.


       *Undergear, one of the nation’s leading catalog and online providers of men’s underwear, workout wear, swimwear and fashion, teams with Instinct Magazine, the leading independent gay national print publication, to search for the next hottest model to represent the Undergear brand in the “Undergear Model Star” search.  The Undergear and Instinct teams will host open call events for Model Star wannabes in Los Angeles (August 21); Chicago (September 12); and Miami (September 20 or 27).  One winner will be selected in each market and earn the opportunity to attend the New York City finale on Oct. 10.  Contestants can also enter to win online by visiting the Undergear Web site (www.undergear.com) and completing the simple entry form including current photo or video.  An online winner will join the four regional finalists in Manhattan at the finale. 


Chris Brown’s Internet leak; Cheadle in Giant mag; Sammie leaves Rowdy Records; Madonna’s baby’s ‘Mama’ dies; Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame August 13, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 4:14 am
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Jive Records released a statement on behalf of Chris Brown that addresses leaked material from the artist. “Recently, unauthorized Chris Brown material was leaked online.  Most of the unfinished songs were demos and reference tracks Brown and his production team were writing and producing for other artists,” read the statement. “Brown’s record label, Jive Records is doing everything possible to prevent any further illegal distribution of these tracks.”      

      *Don Cheadle graces the cover of the August/September Issue of Giant Magazine, on newsstands today. The actor-activist discusses his multi-faceted career, passion for performing and being one of Hollywood’s leading actors. Meanwhile, a feature on actress Kerry Washington includes talk of her break up with fiancé David Moscow, being single, the Chris Rock rumors and why “if anyone wants to win an Oscar, they should work with her.” Also, Beyonce’s little sister Solange dishes on living in the shadows of her sibling, being a divorced mother and her plans to do things her way with the upcoming release of her sophomore album.


       *R&B artist Sammie has severed ties with Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Records and released his new single, “One Way Street,” via his manager Malcolm Lee’s independent imprint Empire Entertainment. Lee said in a statement: “The release from Rowdy Records wasn’t mutual, but needed! This new start gives Sammie the opportunity to perform in front of his fans again and show that talent is still warranted in this business.”      

       *The woman who helped to raise Madonna’s adopted son David Banda in his native Malawi has died at age 60.  Asineti Mwale, who had looked after David after his birth mother died and was known to the boy as “Mama,” had recently been bedridden with pneumonia, reports People magazine. David’s biological mother, Marita, died a week after he was born in September 2005. So “Mama” helped take care of the baby with the child’s father, Yohane Banda. Meanwhile, the New York Daily News is reporting that Madonna is preparing to adopt a Malawian girl.


       *The African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to honoring black and other ethnic sports legends, will induct track star Frank Budd along with seven others in New York on Saturday (Aug. 16) at The Adam Clayton Powell State Building (163 West 125th St.). The luncheon will begin with a “VIP Reception with the Stars” at 12 p.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 2 p.m.