July 12, 2012
By MESFIN FEKADU | Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The music industry is showing support to R&B singer Frank Ocean after he revealed that his first love was a man.
Ocean announced the news Wednesday on his blog. His record label’s president, Joie Manda, showed support to the rising singer in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday.
“The courage he displayed in his beautiful and eloquent letter was touching on many levels. Frank broke down a wall that should never have been built,” Manda’s statement read. “The overwhelming show of support from his peers was awesome and inspiring. Island Def Jam is so proud to stand beside Frank Ocean — the artist and man — now and always.”
Def Jam founder Russell Simmons wrote in a post that he’s moved by Ocean’s “courage and honesty.”
“Today is a big day for hip-hop,” Simmons wrote on his Global Grind website Wednesday. “Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”
Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers tweeted: “Strong move by frank ocean, makes me happy.”
And others, from Solange Knowles to RuPaul to Rita Ora, also tweeted positive thoughts.
Actor Johnny Knoxville called Ocean's decision a “brave thing to do, and the right thing to do” in a tweet Thursday.
Ocean is best known for the R&B songs “Novacane” and “Thinkin Bout You.” The 24-year-old self-released his debut, “nostalgia, ULTRA,” to critical success last year and will release an official album, “Channel Orange,” on July 17. It features collaborations with John Mayer and Andre 3000 of OutKast.
Ocean has also written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy. He appeared on two songs from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.”
The singer is also a member of the alternative hip-hop group Odd Future. His band mate, Tyler, the Creator, is known for using homophobic words in songs, but he also has showed support for Ocean.
Outside of the celebrity world, some fans have praised Ocean. Others, though, weren’t as supportive, with some saying they could no longer listen to Ocean’s music because he was romantically linked to a man.
Ocean will launch his U.S. tour next week.
Can you take a week off from work? It’s a perfect week to relax with a loved one in one of your favorite ways. Even if you can only spend a few hours decompressing you’ll be surprised at how little it takes to feel bliss this week. Soul Affirmation: I let the outer world and inner world change places this week
Vibrations this week make everyone feel as if the universe has given them another chance. Your fresh start may come in a romantic area. Buy a bouquet of flowers for your partner on your way home from work. See what happens. Soul Affirmation: I celebrate freedom of mind this week.
A short trip for business reasons gives you a little personal space to make some notes to yourself. Remember your best self, and keep a positive outlook. Buy a lottery ticket this week at your destination, or watch for some other type of “found” money. Soul Affirmation: I judge no one, especially myself this week.
Your home may need some of your attention. This is a fine week to check the fire alarm battery, put away gardening equipment, or redecorate your dining area. The results of a shopping trip for new bed linens will please you very much. Soul Affirmation: I keep my smile shining, especially at home.
Spend some time in the company of friends early in the week, then spend your afternoon relaxing. Your ability to tune out and mediate on the goodness that surrounds is comes easy. Let the good vibrations massage you with bliss. Soul Affirmation: I let positive emotions carry me through the week.
An unexpected clash may arise this week from an unlikely area. Try to maintain a position as mediator, rather than joining the fray. Loyalties may be stretched, but they won’t break. What you need is within you. Go there and get it. Soul Affirmation: My spirit will fill me with gladness.
Co-workers or customers may be grumpy this week. Don’t take it personally. Dwell in your peaceful inner space and the space around you will reflect the peaceful vibrations. Soul Affirmation: Jewelry reflects the beauty of my feelings about myself.
You feel centered this week and full of efficient energy. Use this week to accomplish tasks, make plans, and finalize arrangements that need to be made. Face into personal responsibilities with love and pleasure now. Soul Affirmation: I enjoy discovering new territory this week.
You can build a bridge with your imagination to reach the person you want to meet. Build the very best bridge your imagination can afford. Your soulmate will then cross over to you. Your intentions are warm and sincere. Soul Affirmation: Being true to others is the way to be true to myself.
You need to relax. The urge to do everything will take a toll on you this week unless you make a concerted effort to slow your own vibes down. Think peace love and happiness and let them be real values for you. Feed your soul. Soul Affirmation: I calm my emotions by forgetting about the past.
You’ll be efficient and productive this week if you got some rest. Slow down. Sometimes less is more, and you’ll see you’re doing better than most. Use your talents to create some free time for yourself. Soul Affirmation: I go inside myself to find peace and joy this week.
Someone wants to argue, and it’s up to you to walk away. It’s easy to let go of any idea of control if you remember that you are only responsible for your own feelings. Act healthy this week and enjoy your life. Soul Affirmation: As chances come around again. I take advantage of them.
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge ordered an audit of Chris Brown’s community service progress Tuesday after a prosecutor handling his felony assault case cited a possible discrepancy in the amount of work he has performed.
Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray requested the audit because she says the records are not clear on how many hours Brown performed and where the work has been done. Brown had been allowed to perform six months’ worth of community labor in his home state of Virginia, but a judge said probation officials in Los Angeles should review detailed records to ascertain how much work he has actually done.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said Brown had completed a significant number of hours, but did not elaborate.
Brown’s attorney Pat Harris did not object to the audit, and said after the hearing the issue was related to which jurisdiction his client performed his community service in.
The judge said part of the issue was that the court hadn’t received detailed logs of Brown’s community service, which is supposed to comprise of graffiti removal, roadside cleanup and other manual labor. Schnegg said those logs had previously been provided, but not for recent updates.
Brown, 23, remains on probation for beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. He has completed domestic violence and anger management counseling.
Schnegg ordered Brown to appear at the next hearing, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21. It will be the first time Brown has had to appear in court in several months, and the R&B singer has generally received favorable reports from probation officials and Schnegg.
There was no mention of the recent New York City bottle-throwing nightclub brawl that left Brown with a cut on his chin, or a woman’s claim that the singer had snatched her cellphone in Miami after she tried to take a picture of him. The melee occurred members of singer Drake’s entourage stopped Brown and his group from leaving the club W.i.P., though neither entertainer has been arrested. Drake has said he was leaving the club when the fight began.
Brown’s attorney Mark Geragos asked that the singer’s probation be terminated in February. But a judge declined, stating that the Grammy nominee should complete more of his community service obligations.
At the time, officials reported that Brown had completed half of the six months’ worth of roadside cleanup, graffiti removal and other manual labor that he was ordered to do after pleading guilty.
Brown is serving a five year probation sentence.
(AP) — Move over Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez, a veteran singing diva is joining the ranks of judges on reality TV: Gladys Knight.
BET’s sister network Centric announced Wednesday that Knight will work as the “lead judge” on “Apollo Live.” The new series is a singing competition at New York’s famed Apollo Theater and puts a new spin on the venue’s popular “Amateur Night” showcase. It will debut in the fall.
Knight joins previously announced judges Doug E. Fresh and Michael Bivins of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe.
“Apollo Live” is executive produced by Jamie Foxx. Comedian-actor Tony Rock will host the show.
Centric said the series’ winner will take home a cash prize.
NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey is getting a tribute from Alicia Keys.
Keys announced Tuesday that her organization, Keep a Child Alive, will honor Winfrey at its Black Ball event on Nov. 1.
Key says in a statement that the media mogul is “a personal inspiration to me because her philanthropic work truly comes from the heart.”
Winfrey’s humanitarian efforts include building schools in South Africa.
Keep a Child Alive was founded in 2003. It assists those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Keys says this year’s Black Ball will pay “special tribute to the empowerment of women — the heartbeat, soul, and backbone of the AIDS movement.”
The ninth annual event will take place at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Past honorees include former President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson and Bono.
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