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SIMMONS’ VISA RUSH CARD REACHES MILESTONE December 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 10:23 am
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In the midst of a global economic downturn, Russell Simmons’ prepaid Visa RushCard has managed to reach the two billion dollar mark in deposits – an all time high for the five-year-old venture.

 

       The RushCard allows members to track their transactions online while including debt reducing strategies and restrictions to prevent overdrafting or over use. It allows people with bad credit to build up good credit.       

       “I’m personally very happy that RushCard is benefiting and empowering people exactly as it was intended,” said Simmons in a statement. “In America today, no one should be left out or kept out of having access to the American Dream and financial services which a bank account or credit card provides to others. The fact that we have already helped our members manage $2 billion in transactions proves that RushCard is instrumental in providing access to those services that hundreds of thousands of people may not otherwise have.”      

       The online Spend Tracker and the RushPATH to Credit are new programs added by Simmons that make it possible for users to report their regular payment history to participating consumer credit reporting agencies while still easily tracking expenses.      

       Simmons expressed hope for the future saying, “As we celebrate this major accomplishment, we look forward to the day all Americans have the financial access and dignity they deserve.”

 

BEYONCE, BRODY DISCUSS ‘CADILLAC’ KISS December 4, 2008

 

Darnell Martin, the writer/director of “Cadillac Records,” admitted at Monday’s premiere that she took some “dramatic license” in creating a make-out scene between Etta James and the head of her label, Leonard Chess.      

       But, Adrien Brody, who plays Mr. Chess, said he had no problem with the historical inaccuracy of kissing James, who is played in the film by Beyonce Knowles.

 

       “Let’s just say it wasn’t a deal breaker,” the grinning actor told the New York Daily News. “When I met Etta [the real one], she told me, ‘Leonard and I did not do those things!’ So, yes, it was somewhat embellished. But what’s wonderful is the truth Beyonce brings to that moment. That justified it.”      

       Beyonce, who came to the premiere with husband Jay-Z, said she didn’t find the intimacy repellent.      

       “It wasn’t so bad,” she said. “I remember when he kissed Halle Berry. He’s not shy! Not at all.”      

       Meanwhile, Cedric the Entertainer, who plays bluesman Willie Dixon, said he was upset that “they wrote me out of a scene with Beyonce.”      

       Following the premiere, cast members Mos Def, Gabrielle Union and Emmanuelle Chriqui hit the after-party at Marquee with guests Leonardo DiCaprio, Diddy, Ne-Yo, John Legend, Kevin Connolly, Akon and Russell Simmons.

Watch the trailer for “Cadillac Records”:

 

MORE CELEB OBAMA CELEBRATIONS November 7, 2008

 

Michael Jordan, Russell Simmons, Wesley Snipes, Bob Johnson and Butch Lewis were at Diddy’s big birthday bash/Obama watch party Tuesday night at a club in New York when the Illinois democrat was elected president.

 

       According to Page Six, “A huge roar shook the dining room” where they had all gathered to watch the returns. Jordan and Snipes later partied at Tenjune with fellow Chicagoan Larenz Tate, Knicks Jared Jeffries and Jerome James, and “Last Comic Standing” host Bill Bellamy, the surprise emcee for the night who shouted with excitement: “We are officially a country of change.”

 

       Meanwhile, Forrest and Keisha Whitaker, Common, will.i.am, Star Jones, Hill Harper and Kevin Liles (Warner Music VP) celebrated Barack Obama’s victory until 4 a.m. at The Underground in Chicago, Page Six reported.      

       Television cameras captured Oprah Winfrey watching Obama’s victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park, but Brad Pitt – also at Grant Park – managed to escape the night undetected by media, as well as Oprah.      

       “I was looking for you and would have invited you down to sit with the rest of us,” Oprah told the actor during a taping of her talk show that will air later this month.      

       “You mean the non-VIP area?” Brad joked, before assuring his host that he took public transportation to be at the rally “just like everyone else.”      

       The show, on which Brad will promote his movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” alongside co-star Cate Blanchett, is due to air on Nov 17, according to Star magazine.

 

       In Los Angeles, Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Reggie Bush, both Obama supporters, ended up in a heated argument over some of his policies following his announcement as president.       

       “Reggie and I had this two-hour long conversation at the end of the night,” Kardashian told People. “We got so carried away that we had to call his mom. We had to call my mom, it ended up in this huge conference call.”      

       And, even after the outcome was clear, “We were going off on tangents about politics, different theories, the Bible,” Kardashian admitted. “It was pretty intense, but then we passed out.”

 

CELEBS REACT TO OBAMA WIN November 6, 2008

 

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.

 

BLIGE, DIDDY, JAY-Z STUMP FOR OBAMA IN FLA November 4, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 11:39 am
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Jay-Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige and Russell Simmons appeared at a rally for Barack Obama in South Florida on Sunday to underscore the importance of enduring today’s potential long lines at the polls.

 

       “It’s bigger than us,” Diddy told the crowd of about 800 at Florida Memorial University’s Chester Robinson Athletic Center. “We have to do it for our children, we have to do it for the people that died for us to have the right to vote.”      

       Music executive Kevin Liles also joined the entertainers at the “Last Chance for Change” rally for the Democratic nominee.      

       “We stood in line to get the new Lil’ Wayne CD,” Liles said. “We stood in line to get a new pair of Jordans. We stood in line to get in here. So we ain’t afraid of no lines.”      

       None of the artists actually performed, instead using their time to stump for the candidate, according to the Associated Press. A DJ played as the crowd waited for the group to arrive, and a gospel choir and college step teams also performed.      

       “We have been doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result,” Blige said. “Please do something different. Barack Obama is a true example of something different. He’s a true example of something our children can have in the future, what they can look at and say: ‘Wow, we can really, really do something. We can really, really be something.'”

 

RUSSELL SIMMONS LAUNCHES MENSWEAR LINE October 6, 2008

Russell Simmons rolled out his new menswear collection Friday at the Argyle Culture Fashion Show, which was held at the Setai Hotel in South Beach, Fla.       

       The line of sporty suits, pinstriped shorts and argyle V-neck sweaters caters to the 25-and-over urban crowd, according to the Associated Press. The goal is to mix urban aesthetics with traditionally professional and preppy attire.

 

       “I want to create a line to reach out to those guys who are not young men anymore but who want to still be part of that urban lifestyle,” said Simmons, who turned 51 on Saturday.      

       Among other pieces in the show were plaid shorts, free-flowing jackets and classic five-pocket pants created in materials like wool and cotton blends, reports the AP.

 

       Celebs attending the show included “American Idol” stars Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, as well as actress Gabrielle Union.      

       “Russell is so amazing and such an inspiration,” said Union, who sat near the runway. “I am just honored to be here in his support and to celebrate his birthday.”

 

LIL WAYNE GETS 12 BET HIP HOP AWARD NODS September 18, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 8:14 pm
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Lil Wayne pocketed a leading 12 nominations for the third annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, which airs Oct. 23 on the network with returning host Katt Williams.       

       Kanye West received the second-most nominations with seven, while Jay-Z received six.       

       T.I., who was arrested on gun charges hours before he was to headline the show last year, grabbed three nominations.      

       The network will also recognize hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons with the “I Am Hip-Hop” icon award.