Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Black Entertainment, Money, Style and Beauty Blogs - Black Voices

older | 1 | .... | 108 | 109 | (Page 110) | 111 | 112 | .... | 213 | newer

    0 0

    Filed under: , , , , , , ,

    "All of my moments are black history moments," the always stoic Cicely Tyson told BlackVoices.com during the fourth annual 'BET Honors,' which were held at Washington, D.C.'s historic Warner Theater on Jan. 15. "Every single one of them," the legendary actress furthered. "There are no two moments in my life that are not significant because it's all part of my history."

    Tyler Perry BET Honors 2011 Cicely Tyson tributeTyson, with best pal, fashion designer B. Michael in tow, walked the red carpet in all of her diva grandeur. The three-time Emmy Award winning star of films such as 'Roots,' 'Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman' and 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman' said she was most excited about seeing her students from her East Orange, New Jersey Performing Arts School perform alongside gospel superstar Yolanda Adams.

    A few handfuls of celebrity notables and bold-faced names came out to pay homage to Tyson (who was honored with the Theatrical Arts award), actor/musician and comedian Jamie Foxx, fashion icon Iman, Johnson Publishing Co, heiress Linda Johnson Rice, world renowned musician/composer Herbie Hancock and revered historian/educator Lonnie G. Bunch as a well-heeled crowd packed the gilded auditorium.

    Hosted by actress Gabrielle Union, who - in a nod to Diana Ross during her 'American Music Awards' hosting duties in the 1980s - changed into numerous dazzling get-ups throughout the evening, the show featured performances and presentations by Tyler Perry, Anika Noni Rose, B. Smith, Hill Harper, Cedric the Entertainer, Jimmy Jam, Ne-Yo, Lalah Hathaway Yolanda Adams, Keyshia Cole, Guy, Tank, Angelique Kidjo, Naturally 7, Rachel Roy, Chick Corea Quartet, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, among others.

    Former Floetry frontwoman Marsha Ambrosius, in what appeared to be half of her former plus-sized self, was one of the evening's biggest highlights: BET chieftain Debra Lee introduced the Bristih Soul vocalist, who did a one-woman tribute to the late, great "soul sister" Teena Marie. No one - asides from Lauryn Hill (in her Fugees heyday) should dare touch the blue-eyed soul powerhouse's storied repertoire but Ambrosius' take on her signature 'Portuguese Love' did Marie's legacy justice.

    For the legendary supermodel Iman, she said the honor was one of the "the highest" she's received over her 30 year career. "It's nothing higher than something bestowed upon you from your own community," the Somalian beauty - who turned heads on the red carpet with her daughter Zulekha Haywood -- told us. "And to top it all off, it's for the charity work I am beyond touched."

    'BET Honors,' helmed by BET programming executives Stephen Hill and Lynne Harris Taylor, will premiere February 21 at 9:00 p.m. Proceeds from the show's private ticket sales will be given to the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.


    Take a look at some of the scenes from the show below.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , ,

    A Facebook page that appears to be run by the Martin Luther King Center has been vandalized by individuals or a group of people who are determined to populate the page with disturbing racial imagery. Images using the N-word are displayed all over the page, along with other hurtful pictures, including a black man having sex with a bucket of chicken.

    It is not clear who is responsible for maintaining the page or moderating the images, but the KingCenter.org website is listed as the group that owns the page. While it is difficult to make any broad assumptions about American society as a result of the images that have been posted by a few dedicated racists, it does remind us that our nation has a long way to go when it comes to race. It also says that if this is indeed the King Center's Facebook page, they should ensure that the images are monitored carefully. As of my last view of the page, new images are being added with high frequency (I am going to reach out to them tomorrow to ensure that they know what's going on).

    The page also has over 825,000 "likes," meaning that it has a strong following. Greater security of the page is certainly warranted, and the images are incredibly hurtful. The pictures on the page are sobering reminders that we do not live in a post-racial America.


    Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: ,

    NeNe Leakes: Is She Leaving 'Real Housewives of Atlanta?'

    Is 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star NeNe Leakes planning to leave the hit Bravo reality show?

    According to her recent interview with Zap2it.com, the 42-year-old reality TV star is uncertain about her future with the franchise.

    "I'm not really interested in joining the next season," Leakes confessed. "I'm just not really interested right now."

    Leakes went on to tell the web portal that she wants to "focus on being an independent woman."

    The married mother of two said she's currently developing a shoe line, working on a handbag line, appearing on her local Atlanta entertainment segments and plans to go behind-the-scenes producing radio and TV shows.

    In 2009, there was buzz the both Leakes and co-star Kim Zolciak could be leaving the show due to contract negotiations. (Read: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta: Nene Leakes & Kim Zolciak May Not Return for Season 3.') In the end, contract negotiations worked out.

    Cast of 'Real Housewives of  Atlanta' season three

    Attorney Phaedra Parks and model Cynthia Bailey were ultimately added to season three; joining Leakes, Zolciak, Kandi Burruss and Sheree Whitfield.

    BlackVoices.com reached out to Leakes directly about her future with the show. At press time, she had not replied.

    Season three of 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' will wrap on Jan. 23.

    The two-part cast reunion will air on Jan 30 and Feb. 6.

    Leakes will be among the contestants on season four of Donald Trump's 'Celebrity Apprentice' beginning in March.


    Related Articles





    http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=777016&pid=777015&uts=1278611908
    http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swf

    Reality Bites

    Sharisse "Shar" Jackson
    Affiliation: 'Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp' on VH1
    Side note: Though some may remember her as the sidekick Niecy Jackson on the groundbreaking UPN sitcom 'Moesha,' Jackson gained international tabloid attention as the mother of two children with Kevin Federline (who was married to pop superstar Britney Spears for three years). All together, she has four children.

    Reality Bites

    Fantasia Barrino
    Affiliation: 'Fantasia For Real' on VH1
    Side note: The 'American Idol' champion (2005) is a best-selling author ('Life is Not a Fairytale') and garnered critical acclaim as Miss Celie in the Broadway musical 'The Color Purple.'

    Reality Bites

    Nene Leakes
    Affiliation: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' on Bravo
    Side note: The brazen Queens, NY native is a domestic abuse survivor and a former stripper - all revelations she detailed in her 2009 memoir 'Never Make the Same Mistake Twice.'

    Reality Bites

    Terrell Owens
    Affiliation: 'The T.O. Show' on VH1
    Side note: Alabama's very own football star simply known as "T.O." -- literally let it all hang out for the photo shoot promoting his new reality series, in July 2009. The show revolves around his life off the field as he searches for love, repair family relationships and make the move from Dallas to Buffalo.

    Reality Bites

    Ray Cunningham
    Affiliation: 'College Hill: Virginia State University' on BET
    Side note: One of the more memorable characters from the Black Entertainment Television network reality ranks, Cunningham has become an openly gay LGBT advocate, budding actor and busy blogger, who was featured in Adam Bouska's groundbreaking NoH8 Campaign, which assembled California notables responding to the state's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Cunningham was also cast in acclaimed filmmaker Maurice Jamal's new forthcoming TV project 'Friends and Lovers.'

    Reality Bites

    Miss New York
    Affiliation:'Flavor of Love' and 'I Love New York' on VH1
    Side note: The upstate New York drama queen competed for hip-hop hype-man Flavor Flav's love twice and was rejected both times.

    Reality Bites

    MC Hammer
    Affiliation: 'Hammertime' on A&E
    Side note: Stanley Kirk Burrell seems to have done it all: Joined the navy; won Grammy Awards; danced for KFC popcorn chicken; fathered six children; wiggled his manhood in a Speedo bikini on a music video; went bankrupt; became a preacher; and now doing reality TV. 'Hammertime' is a look inside the family life of the man formerly known as one of the riches entertainers of his era.

    Reality Bites

    Keyshia Cole
    Affiliation: 'The Way It Is' on BET
    Side note: In an interview, thuggish ruggish rap icon Young Jeezy claimed that the hip-hop soul songstress asked him to marry her but he turned her down.

    Reality Bites

    Mo'Nique
    Affiliation: 'Charm School' on VH1
    Side note: While promoting the movie 'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,' Mo'Nique told Oprah Winfrey that co-star Martin Lawrence once gave her invaluable advice about show business.

    Reality Bites

    Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth
    Affiliation: 'The Apprentice' on NBC and 'The Surreal Life' on VH1
    Side note:The former White House staffer proudly became the superbitch of reality TV.

    Reality Bites

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , , ,

    Coming out next month is the sci-fi thriller 'The Adjustment Bureau,' which stars Matt Damon, Emily Blount, and Anthony Mackie.

    Loosely based on a Philip K. Dick short story, Damon plays David Norris, a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious ballerina (played by Blount) in his life.

    Mackie plays a member of the 'Adjustment Bureau,' an organization who tries to put David back in his line of fate. Below is a clip.

    The Universal Pictures release, which is set to hit theaters March 4 nationwide, is just another example of Mackie's meticullous selection of acting roles that are well crafted, big league memorable fare, which sets him apart from many others.

    Having starred in last year's Academy Award winninhg Best Picture, 'The Hurt Locker,' and most recently in the independent film, 'Night Catches Us,' opposite Kerry Washington, the 32-year-old New Orleans native seems to be on a trajectory similiar to some of today's leading actors.

    Since his 2002 big screen debut opposite Grammy Award winning rapper Eminem in '8 Mile,' the Julliard trained thespian has racked up quite an impressive list of film credits. To date, Mackie has done nearly 25 films in less than ten years, which puts him in a class all by himself when compared to his peers.

    While he may have been the star of Spike Lee's 'She Hate Me' and 'Sucker Free City,' Mackie's been more associated with smaller roles in films that starred top-notch A-list talent, such as 'The Manchurian Candidate' with Denzel Washington, 'Million Dollar Baby' with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, or independent films that garnered Oscar nominations for his co-stars, like Ryan Gosling in 'Half Nelson' and Jeremy Renner in 'The Hurt Locker.'

    Whether it's 'Baby' or 'Locker,' Mackie's in no hurry to be in a big budget blockbuster film. "The thing about it is that there are ways of doing those movies and those being quality movies," he recently shared with BlackVoices.com. "You just have to be smart about the people that you are working with. You have to have a sort of swagger about your disposition. I feel like I am a talented young man and if I don't feel that you are talented, then I don't want to work with you."

    "Now if you go around working with everybody, then you will do bad stuff," he furthered. "If you look at certain jobs on paper, they look like the best jobs of all time; and something happened from the time you signed that piece of paper to the time the premiere arrives, where it's like 'Whoa! That's not what I signed on for.' That's where communication comes into play. Once you get to the color script pages, then you're in trouble."

    Outside of Hollywood heavyweights Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, and Don Cheadle, there aren't any of Mackie's peers getting roles in mainstream films. Early in his career, I asked Mackie if racism was issue in Hollywood as to why there are less blacks in big budget films.

    He replied, "No. The thing about it is, what do you want to see?"

    "Granted, there's a huge amount of people that want to see a movie like this, but there's a far cry between 'Soul Plane' and 'The Terminal,'" he continued. "There's a far cry between 'Casino' and 'Player's Club,' but the sad thing about is, people still went and saw 'Soul Plane.' The sad thing about it is, it was a minority that directed it, and it was minorities that starred in the film. It's not racism."

    "Now you see this movie (2004's 'She Hate Me') is so relevant at this point in time," he explained. "Our morals as a group of people, as African Americans and Latinos, is at all time low. You've got people selling their souls for a dollar, and I think your choices will shape the scope of your entire career."

    "When I was offered the role in 'The Manchurian Candidate,' which put me on the set for a month watching Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Jonathan Demme, and Jeffrey Wright, I worked on a gritty dense piece of text, for a month, and it gave me two lines, but it wasn't about the lines. I got offered this other job, which offered me loads of money, and I was the lead with some MTV video director. See what I'm saying. Your choices will shape the scope of your career. So it's not about racism. If a white person put it in front of me, that don't mean that I have to take it. Most of the time it's the black people putting it in front of me and that's what bothers me. It's about individual moral issues."

    While films have generated Mackie a bigger audience and more visibilty globally, he also has a passion for the stage, having done numerous plays, including Broadway vehicles 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' with Whoopi Goldberg, actress Regina Taylor's play, 'Drowning Crow' with Alfre Woodard, and last year's 'A Behanding in Spokane' with Christopher Walken.

    In a couple of Off-Broadway production, he starred in Stephen Belber's 'McReele' for the Roundabout Theatre Company, and starred with Taye Diggs in a revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning play 'Soldier's Play' as a character made famous by Denzel Washington 20 years prior.

    While still at Juilliard, Mackie played the famed rapper Tupac Shakur on an Off-Off Broadway 2001 production, 'Up Against the Wind,' and would later play Shakur again in the Fox Searchlight biopic 'Notorious,' the story of slain rapper Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace.

    Talk about coming full circle. And that was just 10 years ago. Today, no other actor -- who debuted at the turn of the century -- can boast such an impressive and diverse portfolio of work.

    Hence, if there's anyone poised for the next slot as Hollywood's Leading Black Man, it has to be Anthony Mackie.



     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , , ,

    Andrae Crouch: Gospel Great Readying New Music & Film DocumentaryGrammy-winning gospel legend Andrae Crouch is readying a new CD and has a documentary in the works.

    During a private luncheon at The Palm restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, the 68-year-old music great confessed that he had not intended to record any new music until he was inspired producer Luther "Maino" Hanes.

    "I was satisfied just writing songs and just putting them in the garage," he laughed. "As long as I got them out, it was fine! But I thank God for Maino."

    Crouch, who is approaching 44 years in the entertainment business, pens nearly 10 songs daily, according to his new collaborator.

    "He writes 10 songs a day and like eight of them should be classics put in hymnals," Hanes shared. "They're just that good! The others are awesome too! I've just never seen anyone write that way."

    Led by a new single titled 'The Promise,' Crouch will release a CD later this year titled 'The Journey' on Vaughn Street Music/Riverphlo Music (Universal). The project is slated to feature collaborations by CeCe Winans and Take 6.

    In addition to the new music, Crouch will be featured in a biographical documentary also called 'The Journey.'

    Andrae Crouch

    "I met the Lord when I was nine-years old and I had this passion for him. When you fall in love with the Lord, things change! I could not tell you what He means to me," Crouch said, reflecting on his journey. "God is so awesome. He has a plan for all of us and there's nothing better than letting God use you. Knowing that he has a plan for us individually, that's an awesome thing."

    Crouch remains the Senior Pastor of the Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California, a ministry founded by his late parents.

    "As a pastor, I make it my duty to lead someone to the Lord every week. God has blessed us to be able to minister to people in 72 countries as well," he expressed.

    Crouch is best known for penning church anthems like 'Take Me Back,' 'I'll Be Thinking Of You,' 'Soon And Very Soon,' 'Through It All,' 'My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)' and 'Jesus Is The Answer,' among countless others.

    In 1985, he was nominated for an Oscar for penning 'Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something' for the film 'The Color Purple.'

    Additionally, he penned the theme song for the sitcom 'Amen;' was the arranger and choral conductor for the film 'The Lion King;' and contributed vocals to songs by Michael Jackson including 'Man in the Mirror,' 'Will You Be There' and 'Earth Song.'

    Andrae Crouch with BMI's Del  Bryant, Catherine Brewton & Wardell Malloy

    In 2004, Crouch became the only living Gospel artist - and just the third in history - to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    "I know that God can use anybody, but I'm glad that he chose to use me," Crouch concluded.


    Related Articles






    Top-Selling Gospel Artists

    CeCe Winans
    The eighth of 10 siblings in the gospel-singing Winans family, CeCe recorded music with brother BeBe. The dynamic duo scored two No. 1 R&B singles, 'Addictive Love' and 'I'll Take You There.' As a soloist, CeCe has won six Grammys and her collection of R&B hits includes 'Count on Me,' her duet with Whitney Houston from the 'Waiting to Exhale' soundtrack.

    (Photo: Getty)

    BeBe Winans
    After years as a duet with sister CeCe, BeBe Winans went solo and released a self-titled album in 1997. Featuring singles 'In Harms' Way,' 'Thank You,' and 'I Wanna Be The Only One,' the album did well on gospel and secular charts. BeBe is a two-time Grammy winner, one as co-producer of the 'Bodyguard' soundtrack.

    (Photo: Pieter M. van Hattem, AOL)

    Kierra "KiKi" Sheard
    KiKi Sheard is a third-generation gospel artist. Her mother is Karen Clark Sheard of the famed Clark Sisters and her grandmother is gospel pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Shortly after graduating high school, Sheard released her second album 'This Is Me,' which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel charts in 2006.

    (Photo: John Shearer, WireImage.com)

    Mahalia Jackson
    Regarded as the "world's greatest gospel singer," Jackson's spirit-filled force produced gospel classics such as 'Move On Up a Little Higher,' 'He's Got the Whole World in His Hands' (a Top 100 pop single) and 'How I Got Over.' She sang for Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy, and for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. immediately before his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    (Photo: Getty Images)

    James Cleveland
    A pianist, singer, composer and producer, Cleveland was revered by the music world as the King of Gospel and even taught a Queen (of soul), Aretha Franklin a few things about gospel. Cleveland is credited with writing and arranging more than 400 gospel songs, including 'Everything Will Be All Right,' 'The Love of God' and 'Peace Be Still.'

    (Photo: Time Life/Getty)

    Kirk Franklin
    Kirk Franklin came up in the church, but often reworks his church messages into a hip-hop mix. Franklin's 1998 hit 'Stomp' propelled him to the best-selling gospel artist of the modern era. Moving beyond music, Franklin has hosted 'Sunday Best,' a music competition on BET, in addition to working the speaker circuit.

    (Photo: Jesse Grant, Getty Images)

    The Winans
    The Winans, comprised of five-time Grammy-winning brothers Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald, put out 10 albums from 1982 to 1995, spawning hits such as 'Let My People Go' and 'It's Time and a Friend.' Their own sons went on to form the third-generation group Winans Phase 2.

    (Photo: AOL)

    Yolanda Adams
    Though initially criticized in the Christian community for embracing R&B and jazz rhythms and "immodest" fashion to accompany her holy music, Adams scored quickly with gospel audiences. Her 1999 album, 'Mountain High...Valley Low' earned Adams her first Grammy for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel.

    (Photo: Lester Cohen, WireImage.com)

    Mary Mary
    Sisters Erica and Tina Atkins formed gospel duo Mary Mary, named after biblical Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Jesus. Their debut album, 'Thankful,' boasting smash single 'Shackles (Praise You),' was a crossover hit earning the duo Grammy and American Music Awards. The single received rotation on mainstream radio and MTV.

    (Photo: WireImage.com)

    Andraé Crouch
    After founding the Disciples in 1965, André Crouch garnered mainstream success, appearing on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and at Carnegie Hall. The Disciples contemporary gospel sound, complete with soothing melodies of pop rather than traditional hymns, helped the group develop a racially diverse audience.

    (Photo: Rick Diamond, WireImage.com)

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under:

    Warren Ballentine is an incredibly dynamic and talented young radio show host and attorney. He has a show on Syndication One that feeds news and information to the community in a special and meaningful way. Given that education and the law are two important factors which affect the lives of African Americans, Warren Ballentine is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:

    What is your name and what do you do?
    Warren Ballentine, and I am a radio show host and attorney.

    What made you become an attorney and what is your professional experience in the law thus far?
    I became an attorney because I was charged with a gun case although the gun was not mine. When I went to court, the judge apologized to me and I got off. The lawyer that represented me did a $7,500 case for $500. I asked him if I could do something to repay him and he looked at me and said "do something with your life, that's how you can repay me." At that point I wanted to be a lawyer so I could help people. Thus far in the law my specialty has been criminal defense, bankruptcy and child support. I know a little about other areas but I am not an expert in them.

    Tell us about your show? How did you get it and what is its purpose?
    My show is "The Warren Ballentine Show," and it's nationally syndicated in over 30 markets and on Sirius XM. On my show we deal with everything!!! Politics, religion, sex, relationships, sports, medical news and the law. The purpose of my show is two fold: To inform and to find solutions.


    How has being an attorney helped with the challenges of being a black man in America?
    Being an attorney has helped in one big way: I can educate my people about this legal system that is designed to incarcerate and tear down the poor in this country.

    Do you have any advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
    Don't do it! LOL, just kidding. Just get into law school -- if it's not Harvard do not worry, just get in and get that JD. It will open up all kinds of doors. Education is the great equalizer in this country.

    What issues do you believe to be most pressing in black America today?
    We have to learn MONEY. We think of money as either BIG MONEY or broke! Well it's a lot in between. Let's take a corner store in the heart of the projects. There are 40,000 people who have access to that store. If just 10,000 of them spend $100 a month, it will make $1 million a month, and $12 million a year. We must also target how we use our money as a community. I have gotten my listeners to deposit over $850,000 in Mechanics and Farmers bank.

    Is there anything else you'd like to share with our AOL Black Voices audience?
    Yes. 2011 will be a year in which we must all pay close attention to the attacks on black leaders. I say that because some people do not want another four years from the current administration. Also, we must learn to love each other and stop dividing ourselves based religion, skin color, education or wealth and understand that we are all in this together. I have a motto I live by: "Push me and I will pull you. If I pull and you push, once I get to the top of the mountain, I am not looking down on you and you are not looking up at me, because we are side by side."


    Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the bookBlack American Money To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. To suggest a subject for a Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight, please click here.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , , ,

    Republican Opposition to Healthcare Diminishes in Wake of Arizona Tragedy


    When President Barack Obama used his oratory gift to transform helplessness to hopefulness at the memorial service in Tucson, Ariz., he did more than "summon the soul of a nation": he summoned the bipartisanship of the Republican Party.

    An Associated Press-GfK poll now finds that the venomous opposition to "Obamacare" has subsided and a solid 40 percent of those surveyed support the law. This stands in stark contrast to the statistics after the Democratic Party's "shellacking" in November's midterm election, when opposition stood at 47 percent.The strident calls for repeal of health care reform have all but evaporated, as only about one in four say they want to do away with the law completely. Republicans support for the repeal has also dropped sharply from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent presently.

    Prior to the fatal rampage in Arizona that killed 6 people and injured 13, including Sen. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AR, the GOP, lead by newly minted Speaker John Boehner, were adamantly proceeding with a vote to repeal health care reform, despite White House threats of a veto.

    Coined "Healthcare vs. Don't Care" by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the nation braced for another round of political boxing, but the loss of a 9-year-old girl who dreamed of a better America stopped the brawl in its tracks.

    "This terrible tragedy requires that congressional leaders act in a responsible, nonpartisan way on behalf of members, staff, the institution and (most of all) the American people," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

    This is not to suggest that everyone is on board with universal healthcare.

    Starting in 2014, individuals will be required to purchase insurance through an employer, government plan or be self-insured. At least 6 out of 10 Republicans are vehemently opposed to being mandated to carry insurance, even though that was originally a GOP concept in the early '90s.

    "I just think that the liberal left is more going for socialized medicine, and I don't think that works well," said Earl Ray Fye, a farmer from Pennsylvania Furnace, Penn., and a conservative Republican. "It just costs too much. This country better get concerned about getting more conservative."

    Joshua Smith of Herndon, Va., is one individual who believes the law should do more to re-engineer the healthcare system, and 43 percent of Americans agree with him:

    "Overall, it didn't go as far as I would have liked," said Smith, 46, a sales consultant to manufacturers who lives in Herndon, Va. "In a perfect world, I'd like to see them change it to make it more encompassing, but judging by how hard it was to get it passed, they had to take whatever they could get."

    Even with consistent differences, these statistics suggest that in the wake of the tragedy in Arizona, a polarized nation is realizing that a house divided cannot stand. We are not a country that shoots our representatives at point blank range. We are not a country that murders innocent children.

    Maybe we are finally realizing that if we're not better than that, we should be.

    Liberals must capitalize on this shifting trend to develop a more effective strategy. Those of us who support universal heathcare must embrace conservatives, drop the combative demeanor and not only balance our passion with skillful persuasion but be willing to listen to opposing suggestions. The "Party of No" is finally saying maybe, and we cannot afford to let this opportunity slip away.

    Speaking before an electric crowd, President Obama revealed to thunderous applause that Senator Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time; this amazing development was made possible in large part due to the exemplary healthcare she is receiving at the University Medical Center in Tucson. That level of quality care should be available to all Americans, and if we can all agree that life shouldn't have a price tag, it will be.

    Hopefully, as the healthcare debate resumes this week, both parties understand that this nation is not expecting a fight, we are expecting solutions.

    With that thought guiding our bipartisan recovery, maybe we can all open our eyes for the first time.

    ****

    The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Jan. 5-10 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,001 adults nationwide and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.


     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , ,

    It was a big night for the cast members of 'Glee,' at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, who won 'Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical.'

    'Glee' cast member, Amber Riley, 24, who plays Mercedes Jones, walked the red carpet donning a gleaming gown by Los Angeles-based couturier Oliver Tolentino. The Philippine-born designer has been creating wedding dresses and red carpet gowns for stars like Kimora Lee Simmons, Niecy Nash and Paula Abdul for the past 18-years.

    "I was approached just days before the Globes to work with Amber because she was still looking for the perfect dress. She liked many of my designs and we settled on one that would make a real statement on the red carpet," says Tolentino, who presented his spring/summer 2011 at the Third Annual Islands of the World Fashion Week held in the Bahamas.

    "She wore a mermaid Venus-cut, silver sequined gown with a black satin, bugle beaded belt. I think she looked fantastic!" When you are looking to create your own cinematic moment, wearing sequin is the way to go because it will definitely get you noticed.

    Riley reviled a choppy blunt bang at the award show and accessorized her gown with a ring by Charles Albert, shoes by Midas, a black feather clutch by Michelle Monroe, and earrings she made herself.

    If you have a voluptuous figure like Riley, Tolentino says the pattern of the dress is key to creating a slimming effect. "I made the pattern for her gown. Amber approved the material but left the design up to me. It's very important to use heavy fabric so it falls nicely on the body."

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under:


    While she may have lost at winning a Golden Globe Award this past Sunday for her role in 'Frankie and Alice,' and has several projects yet be filmed, one project you won't see Oscar winner Halle Berry doing is the biopic of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

    Or at least that's the way it seems.

    Not soon after the 68-year-old Queen of Soul spoke on the Wendy Williams show about wanting the Oscar winner to play her in a biopic, Berry spoke to E! News on the Golden Globes red carpet, killing any rumors, and citing her inability to sing as too big of an obstacle in undertaking the role.

    "If I could carry a tune, I'd consider it," she said. "Someone should tell Aretha that I can't do her justice."

    From the last few biopics involving musicians, every actor who had the lead role had done some training on their vocals cords, including Jamie Foxx, who won an Oscar for playing the legendary singer Ray Charles in 'Ray,' and Joaquin Phoenix, who received an Oscar nomination for his acclaimed performance as Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line.'

    Most recently Gweneth Paltrow, who won an Oscar for 'Shakespeare in Love,' worked on her singing skills as she starred as an alcoholic country singer in 'Country Strong.'

    Before mentioning Berry's name, the "Queen of Soul" Franklin was is in final negotiations in early 2010 with gospel superstar Karen Clark Sheard to star in her production, 'Aretha: From These Roots.' The 'Chain of Fools' singer, who was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, revealed during an interview on the nationally syndicated 'Tom Joyner Morning Show' that The Clark Sisters member had secured the leading role.

    "We're working and finalizing negotiations on that now," Franklin announced back then.

    She may want to re-consider Sheard again.





     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , ,

    Duvalier 'Baby Doc, baby doc duvalier


    Maybe justice will prevail in the return to Haiti of despotic leader Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier (pictured).

    Baby Doc, who had been meeting with associates and waiting in a posh hotel in Haiti since his return Sunday, was arrested on Tuesday for crimes believed to have been committed during his brutal leadership a generation ago.

    While the arrest is welcome news to many, questions still exist:

    1. Is Baby Doc's return a prelude to an attempted return to power?
    2. Will Duvalier face a full trial for atrocities committed when he ran the government?


    Ex-President Jean Bertrand Aristide forced Baby Doc in to exile but then was forced in to exile himself in 2004.

    The Haitian story has all the intrigue of a novel - too bad that the fate of so many lives are in the balance.

    It's not at all surprising that former Haitian leaders are buzzing around the devastated island - looking for a new land to pillage.

    At 19, Baby Doc took power in 1971 from his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who was even a more brutal leader than his son. Duvalier is believed to still have some supporters on the island, so his return to power is not out of the question despite his past crimes.

    Baby Doc could exploit a political vacuum left by the questionable Nov. 28th election held between a candidate selected by President Rene Preval and a popular carnival singer. The candidates tied in the first round of voting and a second ballot was scheduled for Sunday - the day Baby Doc returned.

    The most pressing question I can see, for now, is who worked for Baby Doc's return?

    His butt should have been slapped in handcuffs the second he stepped on to Haitian soil in order to face questioning for the millions of dollars in government funds that left the island when he was exiled to France and the disappearance of many of his political opponents.

    That didn't happen, but the fact that he did get arrested provides a glimmer of hope for the fate of the Haitian people.

     



     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: ,

    Davetta Johnson Mitchell

    Being corrupt and greedy is no way to get through life, and former Atlanta City Councilwoman Davetta Johnson Mitchell (pictured) is learning that lesson.

    On Friday, a judge found Johnson Mitchell guilty of theft charges for ripping off people while she worked at the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority.

    Johnson Mitchell won't serve any prison time for stealing more than $30,000 from the recreation authority from 2000 to 2003. She was sentenced to five years probation and turned over $10,000 in restitution. Another $10,000 will be paid over the next five years.

    Something seems off in the math.

    If Johnson Mitchell stole $30,000, shouldn't she be paying at least $30,000 in restitution?

    And wouldn't a figure of closer to $100,000 truly deliver the message to public officials that crime doesn't pay, especially when you hold the public trust in the your hands?

    Johnson Mitchell, 55, represented east Atlanta as an Atlanta city council member from 1997 to 2003. I hope authorities are going through her paperwork from those years with a fine-tooth comb in search for other acts of thievery.

    Maybe authorities won't let her get away without sufficient punishment once again.

    I understand the overall crime of taking $30,000 from the public isn't exactly murder, but in its own way, stealing of this type by elected officials has a much more corrosive effect on our government than anything else I can think of.

    The sad truth is that many public officials have the opportunity to dip in to public coffers and steal.

    As a rookie reporter covering township council and planning board and zoning board meetings in the late 1980s, I was shocked to learn how easy it is for local officials to make money by misplacing a decimal point on a contract or getting a "donation' from a local builder in exchange for a public contract.

    The amount of oversight on local government transactions is shockingly lax.

    That is why the law has to come down hard on people like Atlanta's Johnson Mitchell -- to show others in their position that you will get hit with serious penalties if caught stealing the people's money.

     



     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , ,



    "Sarah Palin said in a television interview on Monday evening that she agreed with bipartisan calls for civility in the wake of the Arizona shooting rampage, but she vowed to not be deterred from political debates while deciding whether to run for president," the New York Times reports.

    "Peaceful dissent and discussion about ideas -- that is what makes America exceptional," Palin said in a prime-time appearance on the Fox News Channel. "We won't allow that to be stifled by a tragic event in Arizona."

    Palin, a former Alaska governor, said that she had not yet decided what course her political future would take, but declared: "I'm not going to sit down. I'm not going to shut up."

    The AP: Palin, defending herself against criticism following the Tucson, Ariz., shootings, said Monday that she used the term "blood libel" to describe comments made by those who falsely tried to link conservatives to the assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

    Source: MSNBC


    Kevin Eason is a freelance editorial cartoonist and illustrator from New Jersey. His brand of satire covers news events in politics, entertainment, sports and much more. Follow him on Facebook.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: , ,

    20-Year-Old Found Guilty of Murder in Beating Death of Derrion Albert


    The world appeared a little more just for the Albert family, after a Chicago jury found 20-year-old Silvonus Shannon (pictured above left) guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 beating death of Fenger High School honor student Derrion Albert (pictured right).


    Related Articles




    The 16-year-old's death was captured on a graphic viral video that sent shock waves throughout the web. Defense attorneys and prosecutors played the cell phone video repeatedly during the fast-moving two-day trial that began last Monday.

    Both sides argued about whether the video actually portrayed Shannon kicking Albert in the head, but the jury was more decisive about his role, delivering a guilty verdict after three and a half hours of deliberation late last Tuesday.

    Shannon, who faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 14th, is one of four charged in Albert's horrendous death, which occurred in September 2009.

    "We empathize with the families of the gentlemen who have been charged, but we are grieving for our loss still," Norman Golliday said after the verdict, according to the Associated Press. "We're praying to move forward, but realistically, that probably won't happen until justice is served and all responsible are held accountable."

    Shannon apologized while testifying on his own behalf. He maintained that he was a victim and was fretting for his life as a mob, including Albert, descended on him. He denied "kicking or stomping on Albert's head.''

    He said Albert was part of a crew that threatened him days before the beating in an ongoing rivalry between some students. He testified that Albert had punched him in the jaw before the excruciating street fight, according to ABC News.

    But during a police interrogation, Shannon said he kicked Albert three times and then began to cry after apologizing. He lowered his head as he watched the video during trial.

    The videotaped beating was a wake-up call for government officials, parents and educators across the nation. It came at a time of increasing violence among young people on the war-torn streets of Chicago's South Side, a period that claimed the lives of about 20 public school students in six months.

    President Barack Obama was so shaken by the event that he dispatched U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to the city. Mayor Richard M. Daley redeployed police resources and extended manpower hours.

    Albert's death now represents a line of demarcation in Shannon's life: before September 2009 and after September 2009.

    Now, it's just a matter of learning how much time he will serve after that fateful day. The "before" pages already have been written.


     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: ,

    Stellar Awards: Big Winners Include Marvin Sapp, BeBe & CeCe and James Fortune

    The 26th Annual Stellar Awards were held this past Saturday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

    The annual gospel music award show was hosted by Grammy winner Donnie McClurkin and featured comic relief by Jonathan Slocumb throughout the broadcast.

    Special recognition was given to gospel luminaries Kirk Franklin (Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award), Vanessa Bell Armstrong (Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award) and Donald Lawrence (James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award).

    Big winners at the Stellar Awards with four trophies were BeBe & CeCe, who won for Song of the Year; and Marvin Sapp; who landed the coveted the Artist of the YeaKristina Hallowayr award.

    Breakout star James Fortune earned three Stellar Awards, including Group of the Year with his group FIYA.

    Sought-after photographer Derek Blanks, best known for his 'Alter Ego' photo shoots and appearing on 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' won a Stellar Award with Ken Barboza in the Recorded Music Packaging of the Year category for BeBe & CeCe's artwork for 'Still.'

    Unknown singer Kristina Halloway pulled off an upset and won the Best New Artist award. Completely shocked and overwhelmed by her victory, Halloway made the audience gasp as she missed a step while walking onstage and nearly slipped and fell.

    Hollywood stars like Meagan Good ('The Game'), Omari Hardwick ('For Colored Girls'), Yvette Nicole Brown ('Community'), comedienne Beth Payne were among the presenters during the telecast alongside gospel stars like Andrae Crouch, Hezekiah Walker, Lisa Page Brooks, DeWayne Woods, Jessica Reedy, Trin-I-tee 5:7, Byron Cage and Dr. Bobby Jones, among others.

    JJ Hairston & Youthful   Praise

    Performance highlights included the show opening performance by JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, who brought the house down with a dynamic rendition of their powerful praise and worship anthem 'Lord You're Mighty.' Show host McClurkin sang on the reprise of the song, driving the song to another level.

    Vocal dynamo Beverly Crawford Beverly Crawfordalso wowed the auditorium with a show-stopping rendition of her latest single, 'It's About Time For A Miracle.' Crawford's performance had the packed theater eager to shout and praise.

    Other standout performances included family band Forever Jones' endearing rendition of their number one hit, 'He Wants It All;' the quartet collaboration between The Rance Allen Group, The Soul Seekers and The Williams Brothers; and the tribute to Lawrence by the Verizon 'How Sweet the Sound' winners Voices of Destiny Choir of Compton, Calif., Sheri Jones-Moffett, LeJuene Thompson and Shari Addison.

    Addison, the season one runner-up on BET's 'Sunday Best,' broke her arm after falling from the stage into the open crowd pit during rehearsals for her performance. The Chicago-bred singer still performed 'I Am God' during the salute to Lawrence with her arm in a sling.

    LeJuene Thompson, Sheri Jones-Moffett and Shari Addison

    An All-Star ensemble that included Dorinda Clark Cole, J. Moss, Myron Butler, Karen Clark Sheard, Isaac Carree, Vickie Winans, Wes Morgan and others saluted special honoree Franklin with an ambitious rendition of his Haiti relief song, 'Are You Listening.' His award was presented by Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis ('Heroes').

    There were additional performances by Deitrick Haddon, Joshua's Troop, VaShawn Mitchell, The Neville Sisters, and Sapp, who performed a medley of 'He Has His Hands on You' and 'The Best in Me' before being joined by McClurkin on his mega-hit 'Never Would Have Made It.'

    The Stellar Awards will begin airing in syndication on Jan. 22 through March 13. The broadcast will also be show on March 5 on cable channel GMC.

    For more information on the show, visit www.TheStellarAwards.com.

    Jessica Reedy, Dewayne Woods  & Yvette Nicole Brown

    A complete list of Stellar Award categories with highlighted winners is below:

    Artist of the Year
    BeBe & CeCe Winans
    Fred Hammond
    James Fortune & FIYA
    Marvin Sapp (winner)

    Song of the Year
    BeBe Winans, 'Close to You' (winner)
    Fred Hammond, Calvin Rodgers, Phillip Feaster, ErickKirk Franklin & sona Warren, Michael Bethany and Dynna Wells, 'They That Wait'
    James Fortune, C. Fortune and T. Vaughn, 'Encore'
    Marvin Sapp, 'Best In Me'

    Male Vocalist of the Year
    Byron Cage (winner)
    Fred Hammond
    J. Moss
    Marvin Sapp

    Female Vocalist of the Year
    CeCe Winans
    Karen Clark-Sheard (winner)
    Lucinda Moore
    Tamela Mann

    Group/Duo of the Year
    BeBe & CeCe Winans
    Forever Jones
    James Fortune & FIYA (winner)
    The Anointed Pace Sisters

    New Artist of the Year
    Forever Jones
    Kristina Halloway (winner)
    Travis Greene
    Victory Cathedral Choir

    Myron Butler, Lisa Page, Meagan Good & Wes Morgan

    CD of the Year
    Fred Hammond, 'Love Unstoppable'
    J. Moss, 'Just James'
    James Fortune & FIYA, 'Encore'
    Marvin Sapp, 'Here I Am' (winner)

    Choir of the Year
    Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
    James Hall & Voices of Citadel
    Victory Cathedral Choir
    Wilmington Chester Mass Choir (winner)

    Producer of the Year
    Aaron Lindsey, 'Here I Am' (winner)
    Donald Lawrence, 'The Experience'
    Fred Hammond, 'Love Unstoppable'
    James Fortune, Terrance Vaughn and Ayron LewisShirley Caesar & Vickie Winans, 'Encore'

    Praise and Worship CD of the Year
    Darwin Hobbs, 'Darwin Hobbs Live: Champion' (winner)
    James Fortune & FIYA, 'Encore'
    Phil Tarver, 'Place of Worshi'
    The Anointed Pace Sisters, 'Access Granted'

    Quartet of the Year
    Reverend F.C. Barnes & Company
    The Christian Angels (winner)
    The Golden Wings Quartet
    The Mighty Clouds of Joy

    Traditional Group/Duo of the Year
    James Greer & Company
    The Anointed Pace Sisters
    The Christian Angels
    The Mighty Clouds of Joy (winner)

    Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year
    BeBe & CeCe Winans
    Forever Jones (winner)
    James Fortune and FIYA
    Trin-i-tee 5:7

    Urban Inspirational Performance of the Year
    BeBe & CeCe Winans, 'Still' (winner)
    Forever Jones, 'Get Ready'
    James Fortune & FIYA, 'Encore'
    Marvin Sapp, 'Here I Am'

    Music Video of the Year
    BeBe and CeCe Winans, 'Close to You' (winner)
    Kirk Whalum, 'Make Me a Believer'
    Shirley Caesar, 'Playground In Heaven'
    The Anointed Pace Sisters, 'If I Be Lifted Up'

    Omari Hardwick, Beth Payne  & J.Moss

    Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year
    DJ Official, 'Entermission'
    Everyday Process, 'Outtadisworld'
    Sho Baraka, 'Lions and Liars'
    Trip Lee, 'Between Two Worlds' (winner)

    Traditional Choir of the Year
    Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
    James Hall & Voices of Citadel
    Victory Cathedral Choir
    Wilmington Chester Mass Choir (winner)

    Contemporary Choir of the Year
    God's Little Soldiers InternationalVanessa Bell Armstrong
    Myron Butler & Levi (winner)
    Youth for Christ
    Youthful Praise featuring J.J. Hairston

    Contemporary CD of the Year
    BeBe and CeCe Winans, 'Still'
    Fred Hammond, 'Love Unstoppable'
    J.Moss, 'Just James'
    James Fortune and FIYA, 'Encore' (winner)

    Traditional CD of the Year
    James Hall & Voices of Citadel, 'Won't It Be Wonderful'
    Marvin Sapp, 'Here I Am' (winner)
    Shirley Caesar, 'A City Called Heaven'
    Vanessa Bell Armstrong, 'The Experience'

    Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year
    Fredericka Faison
    Lucinda Moore (winner)
    Shirley Caesar
    Vanessa Bell Armstrong

    Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year
    CeCe Winans (winner)
    Karen Clark-Sheard
    Lisa Page Brooks
    Tamela Mann

    Trin-I-Tee 5:7 & Hezekiah Walker

    Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year
    Alvin Darling
    Darrell Hines
    Marvin Sapp (winner)
    Marvin Winans

    Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year
    Byron Cage
    Fred Hammond
    J. Moss (winner)
    James Fortune
    Donald Lawrence
    Special Event CD of the Year
    BeBe and CeCe Winans, 'Still'
    Kirk Franklin, 'Are You Listening'
    Various Artists, 'CoCo Brother Live Presents Stand 2010' (winner)
    Various Artists, 'WOW Gospel 2010'

    Children's Project of the Year
    God's Little Soldiers International, 'Soldier Story'
    Kingdom Kids Worldwide, 'Kingdom Kids Worldwide Volume 1' (winner)
    The Velasquez Family Singers, 'While We Still Have Time'
    Youth for Christ, 'Thanks In Advance'

    Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
    Cameron Hilson and Mark Neubauer, 'Get Ready'
    Denise Trotman, 'Here I Am'
    Derek Blanks and Ken Barboza, 'Still' (winner)
    Jeff Gilligan, 'Love Unstoppable'


    Related Articles






    Top-Selling Gospel Artists

    CeCe Winans
    The eighth of 10 siblings in the gospel-singing Winans family, CeCe recorded music with brother BeBe. The dynamic duo scored two No. 1 R&B singles, 'Addictive Love' and 'I'll Take You There.' As a soloist, CeCe has won six Grammys and her collection of R&B hits includes 'Count on Me,' her duet with Whitney Houston from the 'Waiting to Exhale' soundtrack.

    (Photo: Getty)

    BeBe Winans
    After years as a duet with sister CeCe, BeBe Winans went solo and released a self-titled album in 1997. Featuring singles 'In Harms' Way,' 'Thank You,' and 'I Wanna Be The Only One,' the album did well on gospel and secular charts. BeBe is a two-time Grammy winner, one as co-producer of the 'Bodyguard' soundtrack.

    (Photo: Pieter M. van Hattem, AOL)

    Kierra "KiKi" Sheard
    KiKi Sheard is a third-generation gospel artist. Her mother is Karen Clark Sheard of the famed Clark Sisters and her grandmother is gospel pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Shortly after graduating high school, Sheard released her second album 'This Is Me,' which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel charts in 2006.

    (Photo: John Shearer, WireImage.com)

    Mahalia Jackson
    Regarded as the "world's greatest gospel singer," Jackson's spirit-filled force produced gospel classics such as 'Move On Up a Little Higher,' 'He's Got the Whole World in His Hands' (a Top 100 pop single) and 'How I Got Over.' She sang for Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy, and for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. immediately before his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    (Photo: Getty Images)

    James Cleveland
    A pianist, singer, composer and producer, Cleveland was revered by the music world as the King of Gospel and even taught a Queen (of soul), Aretha Franklin a few things about gospel. Cleveland is credited with writing and arranging more than 400 gospel songs, including 'Everything Will Be All Right,' 'The Love of God' and 'Peace Be Still.'

    (Photo: Time Life/Getty)

    Kirk Franklin
    Kirk Franklin came up in the church, but often reworks his church messages into a hip-hop mix. Franklin's 1998 hit 'Stomp' propelled him to the best-selling gospel artist of the modern era. Moving beyond music, Franklin has hosted 'Sunday Best,' a music competition on BET, in addition to working the speaker circuit.

    (Photo: Jesse Grant, Getty Images)

    The Winans
    The Winans, comprised of five-time Grammy-winning brothers Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald, put out 10 albums from 1982 to 1995, spawning hits such as 'Let My People Go' and 'It's Time and a Friend.' Their own sons went on to form the third-generation group Winans Phase 2.

    (Photo: AOL)

    Yolanda Adams
    Though initially criticized in the Christian community for embracing R&B and jazz rhythms and "immodest" fashion to accompany her holy music, Adams scored quickly with gospel audiences. Her 1999 album, 'Mountain High...Valley Low' earned Adams her first Grammy for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel.

    (Photo: Lester Cohen, WireImage.com)

    Mary Mary
    Sisters Erica and Tina Atkins formed gospel duo Mary Mary, named after biblical Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Jesus. Their debut album, 'Thankful,' boasting smash single 'Shackles (Praise You),' was a crossover hit earning the duo Grammy and American Music Awards. The single received rotation on mainstream radio and MTV.

    (Photo: WireImage.com)

    Andraé Crouch
    After founding the Disciples in 1965, André Crouch garnered mainstream success, appearing on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and at Carnegie Hall. The Disciples contemporary gospel sound, complete with soothing melodies of pop rather than traditional hymns, helped the group develop a racially diverse audience.

    (Photo: Rick Diamond, WireImage.com)

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under:

    Singer Kelis Stiffs Housekeeper


    R&B singer Kelis whose controversial divorce from rapper Nas became fodder for news sources everywhere for months has now reportedly stiffed her housekeeper for a mere $900.

    According to TMZ, the housekeeper was receiving $150 a day from the entertainer, who only worked once a week. The woman is reportedly not only seeking the services of a lawyer but is looking to also file her complaint with the California Labor Commission. The housekeeper is an illegal immigrant but does she have employment rights under the law?

    The woman might have a legal leg to stand on and may be protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). There have been situations where undocumented aliens working in the United States have filed complaints against their bosses and judges have ruled that they had a right to bring action.

    Meanwhile Kelis, whose divorce from Nas was finalized in May, was granted $25,000 a month from her ex in child and spousal support. But it seems that the housekeeper is not the only person seeking a debt owed. Last month, the 31-year-old was hit with a lawsuit for failure to pay a talent agency for "goods and services" for performances on a variety of shows, televised and nontelevised, in the United States and abroad.

    The lawsuit was filed in New York state by a company called Plaintiff Drive Talent Inc., which is claiming that Kelis owes $11, 817. The company is alleging in the suit that record execs at Kelis' label, Interscope, paid the money to her and that she only made partial reimbursements to them for travel, labor and production items purchased for her appearances.

    I guess when it rains, it pours.


     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under:

    Tionna SmallsWhat is your name and what do you do?
    My name is Tionna Smalls and I am an author/entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York. I wrote the soon to be NY Times Best Seller, "Girl, Get Your Mind Right!" (Harper Collins Publishers, Released on January 4, 2011). I am also a youth advocate and a relationship advisor who also appeared on the VH-1 show, "What Chilli Wants."

    What are some of the misconceptions people have about celebrities and their money?
    I guess some of the misconceptions about black celebrities and their money is the fact that all they do is live over their means and buy fancy cars and chains -- but I dont think that is true. Many celebrities are financially responsible and understand what they can or can't afford. Yes, some are crazy with their cash, but some arent. It all individually based. I dont think everyone should be placed within the same stigma.

    What surprised you the most about the financial side of your industry?
    What surprised me most about my industry is the fact that you dont get paid a lot of money for being on television. When I used to watch TV, I thought that they had it made in the shade -- but really, if you want money, you have to be smart with your time while you are on television. Make sure you market yourself so that you can get book deals, production deals and endorsements. That is how you get paid in the end of the day.


    How has Twitter helped you in building your brand and running your business?
    Twitter has helped me tremendously with my business. When the show "What Chilli Wants" aired, I received over 10,000 followers on Twitter. My followers became very loyal to me and then they started to become interested in other things that I had going on. Once the show ended in May, my tweets kept my name circulating, therefore not letting my brand die. Now that I am opening a boutique, my twitter followers let me know on a daily basis that they are here to support me. They have been pre-ordering my book and everything. Twitter is a great tool to use especially if you plan to make money online.

    Do you have any financial and professional advice for aspiring celebs out there?
    Well my first piece of advice is to get you a great lawyer and a great accountant from day one, because you will not be able to understand the verbage of a contract yourself. There is a lot of underlying bullcrap that you will not be able to sort through. Lawyers and accountants should become your best friends in this business.

    I also think you should research things that you don't understand on your own, because you never should get yourself into something you dont know anything about in detail. If you know better, you do better. Don't let people make financial decisions for you without knowing what's going in depth, because there are many people out there that will take advantage and bamboozle you. So don't be a fool! Reading is fundamental.

    Lastly, stack your ends! Sometimes in life when you get a little cash, you get crazy and start spending like tomorrow is never going to come. But the best lesson that I have learned is that you have to save for a rainy and a snowy day. We are in a business with Net 60 and Net 90 payment terms -- meaning you may have to wait 60 or 90 days to get your next check. Therefore, you should save your money so that you can continue living the lifestyle that you want to live. Dont just go out and buy everything because you can. Look at the millionaire who drives a Toyota! Dont fall for the flashy stuff right away. Get your brand up so that they will start sending you those things for free.

    What upcoming projects do you have in store for us?
    Whew! Well I have my new book "Girl, Get Your Mind Right!," which is out now. You can order the book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any other book affiliate. I am very proud of this new book and I am hoping that it makes the New York Times Bestsellers list. Most of all, I am hoping it will help women get themselves together. I will also be back on television in January so that is pretty cool. I still own my own entertainment company, Talk Dat Ish Entertainment, LLC. We are also helping other authors get published and things of that nature. We also have a toy drive event coming up for the underprivledged kids in my neighborhood, East New York, Brooklyn. Also, I am opening an accessories boutique in Brooklyn called Loveys. I am just so excited because I really plan on bringing the fabulosity to Brooklyn. So many things are happening; I am just thanking God for the many blessings that he has given to me.

    Is there anything else you'd like to share with our AOL Black Voices audience?
    Yes I would like to let everyone know that I am getting married and I am so excited to be doing so. God has blessed me with a wonderful man who loves me for me. I am so happy that we are becoming one in a few months. I am proof that true love still exists. I would like to thank you guys for featuring me -- and to my followers, thanks for everything you guys do for me. I appreciate the support!

    Follow me @TionnaSmalls!

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Idris Elba is contributing to the web world by executive producing a web series called 'Milk + Honey.'

    Created by Brown Paper Dolls (Dana Gills, Asha Kamali May, Adia Z. May and Jeanette McDuffie), the cast includes Asha Kamali, Yanni King, Shauntay Hinton, Faune Chambers, Bryce Wilson, Rob Smith, Charles Divins, featuring Debbie Allen, Lance Gross, Amin Joseph, and Emayatzy Corinealdi.

    'Milk + Honey' is a dramedy series created for the web that can live limitlessly within all multi-media channels. It focuses on the spiritual, professional and romantic journeys of four young, ambitious women navigating through the lights, smoke and mirrors of Hollywood.


    Nia, an aspiring actress on a quest to climb the Hollywood social ladder, tries to remain faithful through it all. Harper, the classic Black American Princess, shakes things up in the agency world. Samirah, an Ivy league educated free spirit and DJ, wants nothing to do with "the life." Conversely, Farrah, a socialite wild child siren and heiress, is constantly looking for love and acceptance on the scene. The fifth character is the Los Angeles landscape--its culture, music and fashion.

    milk + honey series trailer from brown paper dolls on Vimeo.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: ,

    John Boehner (R-OH)

    All politicians make promises. When you think about it, that's basically the job. Promise things on the campaign trail, and attempt to implement those things once in office. Of course, following through on promises is often much more difficult than making the promise in the first place, especially in national politics. After all, if you are in Congress, you've got just one vote of the 435 available, and one out of 100 in the Senate. In lots of cases, the president can simply veto anything you do, push come to shove. It's just the nature of the beast.

    That said, the neck-breaking speed with which the GOP is blatantly rolling back much of what they promised their Tea Party and Republican constituents last fall in terms of cutting federal spending is downright comical:

    Republicans are already backpedaling on a number of provisions of their "Pledge to America," including promises to cut spending and reform Congressional rules. The GOP had railed against Democrats' strong-arm legislative tactics, pledging to send all bills through a full committee process and to "let any lawmaker-Democrat or Republican-offer amendments." Yet with its very first act-health care reform repeal-it will break both pledges, Politico reports.

    Republicans also haven't put the constitutional citations they promised on any early bills, though they say they may add them later when the bill hits the floor. The GOP has also ditched a promise to publicly reveal who attends committee meetings, something that could be used against reps who play hooky. Oh, and that pledge to cut $100 billion in spending in the first year? They've admitted that's not actually feasible, the AP reports, thanks to the vagaries of the budget cycle.


    I wish I could say I was shocked by this, but it's simply par for the course. From decrying government waste out one side of their mouths while requesting ear marks with the other, to promising to "change Washington" while hiring lobbyists as chiefs of staff, it's clear the GOP has no intention to even attempt to fulfill their promises. They just wanted to get back in power.

    I wonder if they knew that cutting $100 billion in spending in their first year in power was totally impossible when they promised that to the millions of Americans who gave them power. I don't know which is scarier -- the thought that they blatently lied to get voters excited, or that they didn't know what they were talking about. And their constituents expect them to save money? When they don't even know their own budget cycle?

    Either way, this should be an interesting time of fiscal fails led by the GOP, if they can't even get something as simple as this straight. I hope they also fail to repeal the health care bill, which many authorities confirm will actually save us money.

    Then at least the GOP's inability to master the money management process of Congress will -- even if unintentionally -- lead to real savings.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under: ,

    saving money

    One out of four Americans plan to make New Year's Resolutions about money, according to a new survey from Sallie Mae. According to Sallie Mae, 21% of consumers want to save more cash. If you could stand to bolster your bank account, here are four ways to save more money and help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars in 2011:

    1. Join a membership organization
    Of all my tips to help you save money, joining a membership organization can be incredibly effective and easy. For example, AAA members get discounts on everything from hotel stays to passport photos. People 50 and older can join AARP and receive benefits ranging from reduced rates on health and life insurance to savings on shopping, dining, travel and more. Even professional organizations and civic groups offer various financial perks to their members.

    2. Extend the life of your car
    I know that Beyonce recently reportedly bought Jay-Z a $2 million sports car, but chances are you're not such a high-roller. Still, if you were contemplating buying a new or used car in 2011, that could cost you thousands of dollars in new car payments, more expensive car insurance and more. Instead, save yourself big bucks by extending the life of your current car -- one of the most important ways to save more money.

    With today's technology, it's not uncommon for cars built in the year 2000 or later to be able to log 150,000 to 200,000 miles or so. "Routine vehicle maintenance is the best way to keep your car running," says Jeff Santana, manager of the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield, NJ. "Regular trips to your mechanic can mean the difference between tens of thousands of miles in your car's life."

    Also, review your owner's manual for guidelines and service schedules that will tell you how often you should do routine maintenance, such as changing your car's oil, rotating your tires and replacing things like the water pump or timing belt.


    3. Re-run your numbers
    Everyone should have a good idea about the numbers that are driving his or her household budget, specifically how much money is being spent each month on things like food, utilities, credit cards, insurance, etc.

    Go over each of your major categories of spending early in 2011 and contact each creditor you're paying to ask about discounts. Can you shave 10% off your cable bill? Will your credit card company lower your interest rate? And what about your auto insurance? Have you shopped around lately to make sure you're getting a competitive rate? Comparison shopping to lower your existing bills can save you thousands of dollars on an annual basis, keeping more money in your pocket.

    4. Do it yourself
    Paying other people for services that you can do yourself can get awfully expensive awfully quick. Sometimes it's necessary to pay others for things when you lack the time or expertise to do something -- say babysitting when you have to work, or putting down new tiles in your bathroom. But if you have the ability, by all means, consider tackling certain projects yourself to save cash. Your investment will be spent in time, and not dollars.

    For example, there are a host of areas where we pay for services that we can definitely do on our own such as lawn mowing, shoveling snow, basic hair services, manicures or house cleaning. The key is to identify areas where you're shelling out cash that could be better saved if only you could take on various tasks yourself.

    All of these strategies, if carefully and regularly implemented, can fatten your bank account not just in 2011, but for years to come. Do you have any tips that help you save money? Please share them below.



    Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, an award-winning financial news journalist and former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times, as well as magazines ranging from Essence and Redbook to Black Enterprise and Smart Money. Check out her New York Times best seller 'Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.'

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Filed under:



    The Spark" is back! Fresh for 2011! This week host Amanda Diva shares her predictions of music, politics, and more for this the first year of the new decade! Also, from Topra Shanks to Cuzn Sassy and more, a look at her best in-character interviews so far! Plus a bonus New Year's Eve story that will have you crackin up at your desk! We're back ya'll! Still keeping you current and keeping you laughing!


     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


older | 1 | .... | 108 | 109 | (Page 110) | 111 | 112 | .... | 213 | newer