September 13, 2012

By LYNN ELBER

Associated Press

 

Just call CeeLo Green music’s newest Santa Claus.

The 38-year-old singer-rapper is working on a Christmas album that he promises is “the real deal.”

Green said in a recent interview that the album, “CeeLo’s Magic Moment,” is a “soulful take on a host of Christmas classics.”

Among the tunes to be included on the Elektra Records album are “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song,” “This Christmas,” “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “White Christmas.”

Rod Stewart, B.o.B. and Straight No Chaser are among the featured artists.

Green’s Christmas album will be released Oct. 30. The “Forget You!” singer was back this week as a coach on NBC’s “The Voice,” which begins its new season.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 13, 2012

Associated Press

 

Kanye West hasn’t released a solo album since 2010, but the rapper has kept relevant with another strong year.

Now, BET is taking notice.

West received the most nominations with 17 for the seventh annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, which will air Oct. 9. The rapper has had a big year as a producer, performer and director. He also collaborated with Jay-Z on the hit album, “Watch the Throne.”

Rapper 2 Chainz scored 13 nominations and Drake earned 11 nods, respectively.

The nominations were announced September 12.

The ceremony will be taped Sept. 29 at Atlanta's Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. Actor and comedian Mike Epps will return as host for the fourth straight year.

Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty, who committed suicide earlier this month, will be honored during the show.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 06, 2012

ARIES

 

Do not travel in the company of those who work against you. Move towards people with words of encouragement and an extended hand. Release the grudge that you have for someone who betrayed you. You will find liberation and lightheartedness in forgiving. Follow your heart when it comes to a love interest. Soul Affirmation: Intelligent information does not have to come from intelligent sources

 

 

 

TAURUS

 

Stay adaptable, and all will be fine. Flexibility is easy for you when you want it to be. The situation you’ll face this week will require that you alter your way of thinking about someone with whom you’re involved in business or friendship. Soul Affirmation: Facing down challenges makes me feel good about myself.

 

 

 

GEMINI

 

Modesty doesn’t mean cowardly. It can mean gracious. Let a friend have the credit for something that you did. Be cool. It’s good exercise. Tooting your own horn doesn’t get you the biggest notice. The people you want to impress this week will be more impressed by your graciousness. Soul Affirmation: I am willing to do more than my part to get the job done this week.

 

 

 

CANCER

 

Give birth to some new impulses about love. The ones you’ve been using have led you to a place you do not wish to be. Give yourself a break. Change. Be less critical. Accept love even from those you do not completely agree with. Soul Affirmation: I keep in mind the practical side of life this week.

 

 

 

LEO

 

Be modest! Don’t just be smug and cool about your greatness. This week get in touch with your limitations and acknowledge them. You’re not doing it in order to fix anything. You’re just enlarging your capacity for self-acceptance. Soul Affirmation: I am a giver of good words this week.

 

 

 

VIRGO

 

This could turn out to be the most argument-filled week you’ve had for a while. Your feelings could be deeply hurt if you try to force your sense of rightness off on anyone else. Chill. Remember that in the past when people were cantankerous you could find pleasure in nature, or animals. Soul Affirmation: I put my charm to work for me this week.

 

 

 

LIBRA

 

Your good will and intentions towards others will reap you an inheritance of abundance and wealth. You will be blessed with many good wishes and enjoy them in the company of family and friends.  Soul Affirmation: I appear to others what I know myself to be.

 

 

 

SCORPIO

 

Your dignity and composure is a sure asset this week. Be Mr. or Ms. Cool Breeze. In touchy situations you have the ability to maintain a high level of emotional balance and a calm disposition. Use these qualities to the fullest this week. You have the know-how to re-direct negative feelings into a positive solution. Soul Affirmation: Superficiality is often the best route to clarity.

 

 

 

SAGITTARIUS

 

Start this week to make a difference for tomorrow. You can determine the prosperity of your future by making difficult decisions in the present. Rearrange your priorities and decide what are the important things to you. Make a list. Write them down and act on it now!  Soul Affirmation: As chances come around again. I take advantage of them.

 

 

 

CAPRICORN

 

You are often superb at exercising good judgment and rational decision-making. Yet sometimes you are rash. Flip to the observant side of your mentality this week. You will soon find yourself in a situation where there will be strife if you are not careful.  Soul Affirmation: A cheerful soul should be wrapped in a cheerful package.

 

 

 

AQUARIUS

 

Just to prove to yourself once again how lucky you are you should fly into the face of bad predictions. Gamble this week in business, relationships, love -something. Remain truly confident that things will come out in a way that will satisfy you. Soul Affirmation: Change is my middle name.

 

 

 

PISCES

 

Move through your social environments and festive occasions this week without stopping even for a little while to listen to rumors. Rumors are often untrue. And for goodness sake believe only good things about friends and your lover.  Soul Affirmation: I keep my eyes open for business opportunities this week.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 06, 2012

By KAREN MATTHEWS  Associated Press

 

Hip-hop royalty including LL Cool J and Sean “Diddy” Combs packed a standing-room-only funeral chapel this Wednesday to pay their respects to music-industry mogul Chris Lighty.

Mourners at the Manhattan funeral home also included Missy Elliott, Q-Tip, Russell Simmons, Busta Rymes, 50 Cent and Grandmaster Flash.

The 44-year-old Lighty was found dead in his Bronx apartment last week with a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner ruled it a suicide, but his family has asked for a second autopsy.

Speakers at the funeral, who included family members as well as LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes, didn't allude to the circumstances of Lighty’s death. Instead they stressed his legacy in the music world and his life as a family man.

Mourners filed past the flower-bedecked coffin where Lighty was laid out in a dark suit. A slideshow depicting his life appeared on a screen. By the time the service started, the chapel had become as crowded as a hot nightspot, with security guards only letting people in if someone else left.

Lighty had been a part of the hip-hop scene for decades, working with pioneers like LL Cool J before starting his own management company, Violator. But he was in the midst of a divorce and had been having recent financial and personal troubles.

A player in the hip-hop game since he was a child disc jockey, Lighty rose through the ranks at Rush Management, Simmons' first company, before eventually founding Violator Management in the late 1990s.

His roster ranged from Academy Award-winners Three 6 Mafia to Elliott to up-and-comer Papoose and perpetual star Mariah Carey. He made it his mission not so much to make musical superstars but rather to create multifaceted entertainers who could be marketed in an array of ways: a sneaker deal here, a soft drink partnership there, a movie role down the road.

In a 2007 interview with The Associated Press, Lighty talked about creating opportunities for his stars — a Chapstick deal for LL Cool J, known for licking his lips, and a vitamin supplement deal for 50 Cent.

“As music sales go down because kids are stealing it off the Internet and trading it and iPod sales continue to rise, you can’t rely on just the income that you would make off of being an artist,” he said at the time.

Survivors include his two children. He and his wife, Veronica, had been in the process of divorcing. The case was still listed as active, but electronic records show an agreement to end it was filed in June.

Lighty’s brother Dave has said he wants a full investigation of his brother's death, which he isn’t sure was a suicide.

Forensic pathologist Michael Baden, the former head of the city medical examiner’s office, said Wednesday that he performed a second autopsy at the request of the family and was awaiting test results.

Baden is paid to give independent opinions on deaths and has testified in several high-profile cases including the O.J. Simpson trial.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the department is still investigating and will wait until the full toxicology report is back, but he reiterated that the medical examiner's office has said it’s a suicide.

Grandmaster Flash referred to medical examiner’s findings outside the chapel.

“Whatever the pressure was that made him take his life had to be tremendous pressure,” he said. “I just wish that Chris would have reached out and said, ‘Flash, I need some help, man.’ ... He didn’t reach out. It's really sad.”

Simmons posted an online appeal to the music industry Wednesday to fill the void left by Lighty by mentoring young hip-hop artists.

“Chris was a shining example of playing the game, while always keeping it real,” he wrote.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 06, 2012

Associated Press

 

Hundreds of people waited in line for an hour or more on Tuesday September 4 to pay their respects to the late Lucimarian Roberts, a leader on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast for more than 40 years and the mother of ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home employees tell the Sun-Herald that at least 700 people came to the wake.

A private funeral was scheduled Wednesday, with burial at the Biloxi National Cemetery next to her husband, Col. Lawrence Roberts, who died in 2004.

Lucimarian Roberts was the first black to serve as chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education.

She died on August 30 at her home in Pass Christian at age 88.

Her children also include New Orleans anchor Sally-Ann Roberts of WWL-TV.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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