June 21, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU |

 

Associated Press

 

 

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Whitney Houston’s mother will perform a tribute to her late daughter alongside other female singers at the upcoming BET Awards.

 

Houston will perform a tribute to her late daughter Whitney at the upcoming BET Awards on July 1, which will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Cissy will be joined by “a few top divas,” the source said, though the source could not give their names.

 

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the tribute has not been officially announced.

 

Whitney Houston died at age 48 in February. Authorities called her death an accidental drowning, complicated by heart disease and cocaine use.

 

The BET Awards airs live from The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Kanye West, Beyonce and Jay-Z are the top nominees.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 21, 2012

By DERRIK J. LANG | Associated Press

 

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Guided by a thumping bass line from their backing band, the Jackson brothers strut forward to a row of four microphones, thrusting their pelvises along the way, before launching into “Can’t Let Her Get Away,” a song their superstar sibling released on his “Dangerous” album.

If they had afros and matching powder blue suits, it might feel like 1977 again.

It doesn’t. They’re casually sporting sunglasses, workout gear and a few more pounds than when they, along with the future King of Pop, were simply known as the Jackson 5. (Also, “Can’t Let Her Get Away” was released in 1991 after the group fizzled out.)

Nearly three years since Michael died while preparing for his comeback tour, four of his brothers — Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie — are set for their own return to the stage as The Jacksons. It hasn’t been easy.

“The brothers don’t know this, but I've broken down several times and cried during rehearsals,” said Jermaine during a recent rehearsal break on a soundstage in Burbank, Calif. “I’m so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on. It’s just something we never get used to.”

The brothers are launching their “Unity” tour on Wednesday, five days ahead of the third anniversary of Michael’s death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.

“For me, this cycle that comes around every year — this day, that day — that doesn’t affect me because it affects me every day,” said Marlon. “When that day comes around, it’s the same. You learn to live with it. I still wake up sometimes and go, ‘Jeez. I can’t believe my brother’s not here.’ ”

Following Michael[s death, the four brothers appeared in the A&E reality series “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty,” which chronicled their loss and attempt to stage a comeback before their brother died.

Jermaine said the brothers have wanted to reunite on their own for years, but after Michael’s passing, they needed time to heal — and the tour is another step in that process. They’ve rearranged their classics to suit their voices, and Jermaine said the group plans to pay tribute to Michael during their shows with a slideshow and medley that will conclude with the tune “Gone Too Soon.”

“There’s certain songs that make you feel the sorrow,” said Tito. “Then again, there are other songs that bring so much joy and happiness, such as ‘ABC’ and ‘I Want You Back’ and the up-tempo stuff like ‘This Place Hotel.’ I just imagine how he used to walk and spin and do all these things. You can feel his presence here.”

The Jacksons’ tour kicks off at Rama Casino in Ontario, Canada, and is scheduled to end July 29 at the Snoqualmie Casino Amphitheater in Snoqualmie, Wash. Other stops include Detroit’s Fox Theatre, Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre and Harlem’s sold-out Apollo Theatre, where the Jackson 5 won an amateur night in 1969 before rocketing to fame.

Michael later forged unprecedented success as a solo artist. His superstardom was unrivaled, and his brothers couldn't capture similar acclaim or sales with their solo projects or last studio album, 1989's mostly Michael-less “2300 Jackson Street,” but their legacy as a group has remained unchanged. The Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

While various combinations of the brothers have reunited to perform over the years, including at last year’s “Michael Forever” tribute concert in Wales, “Unity” will mark the first time the brothers have toured together since their final “Victory” outing in 1984. (Marlon said Randy, who officially joined The Jacksons in 1975, elected not to join the tour but noted that the youngest Jackson brother was welcome at any time.)

“We have a certain magic,” said Jackie. “Once we get out here and run it down a couple times, it comes back to you. I’m not (moving) like I used to, but we still got it.”

Will the fans think so — and will they turn out to see The Jacksons, whose ages now range from 55 to 61, perform their hits without Michael?

Last year, Cirque du Soleil launched “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” in Las Vegas. The show featuring dancers and acrobatic acts performing routines set to M.J. tunes has been among the top touring acts this year, and “Immortal” will return to Vegas for a residency at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

However, Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert industry trade publication Pollstar, doesn’t believe The Jacksons will achieve similar success with their smaller endeavor.

“The Jacksons were really all about Michael,” said Bongiovanni. “The Cirque du Soleil show was successful because it was Cirque du Soleil and Michael’s music. I don’t know if that portends much for the remaining brothers and their ability to generate enthusiasm for ticket sales.”

The brothers are undaunted, hoping to release an album of new music then go back out on tour.

“It’s like riding a bike,” said Marlon. “You never forget, but you do need to tweak a few things.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 21, 2012

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Yvette Wilson, a comic who was featured on the 1990s sitcom "Moesha" and its spinoff, "The Parkers," has died.

 

Her manager, Holly Carter, says Wilson died of cervical cancer on Thursday. Wilson was 48 and lived in Hollywood, where Carter said she had managed a music label and worked in real estate in recent years.

 

Wilson portrayed Andell Wilkerson, owner of the popular hangout The Den on "Moesha." The UPN sitcom starred the singer Brandy.

 

Wilson was a standup comic and was featured on "In Living Color." She also appeared in the movies "Poetic Justice" and "House Party III."

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 21, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Arsenio Hall is returning to TV’s late-night scene, where he flourished with a talk show two decades ago.

CBS Television Distribution says it is developing a syndicated nightly talk show with the 57-year-old actor and comedian. The company said Monday that the show is set to premiere in fall 2013.

Hall is best known for hosting the Emmy Award-winning “Arsenio Hall Show,” which ran from 1989 to 1994. That show’s place in pop-culture history was clinched in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton appeared and played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone.

Hall was featured in the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming to America” and was a regular on the CBS series "Martial Law" in the late 1990s.

Recently, he won the latest edition of NBC’s “Celebrity Appren­tice.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 21, 2012

Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

 

Megastar rapper Drake is denying reports that he engaged in a nightclub scuffle with Chris Brown over Rihanna, but both performers have met with police to discuss the incident.

According to the Associated Press, representatives for Drake said that  June 14 he was leaving W.i.P., a New York nightclub, when a brawl broke out between Brown and other revelers.

TMZ reported that Drake, Brown and their respective entourages traded blows June 13 resulting in several injuries and damage to the property. In a statement to the AP, Drake denied the claims.

It is believed the fracas originated when Brown sent a bottle of champagne over to Drake’s table. Drake reportedly sent back a nasty message to Brown’s table before he walked over with his crew and punched Brown in the face. Reportedly, one of Drake’s companions then threw a bottle at Brown, initiating the clash.

Five persons were injured in the fray, according to NYPD officers, who arrived after receiving a call between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Both Drake and Brown were absent when the police arrived.

Later, Brown took to Twitter, posting a photo of his face, which showed a gash on his chin that he said came from a bottle.

He also tweeted several taunts, writing, “How u party wit rich n**** that hate? Lol… Throwing bottles like girls? #shameonya!” and “Ok! N****s stand behind security! Ok! U don’t pay them enough.” Both posts were later removed.

According to MTV, both men have been in communication with the NYPD about the incident, and neither is considered a suspect in the incident.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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