November 22, 2012

Associated Press

Rhythm and blues singer Billy Scott has died in North Carolina at age 70.

Bill Kopald with the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame said Scott died from pancreatic and liver cancer Saturday at his home in Charlotte.

Born Peter Pendleton in Huntington, W. Va., he sang with various groups while in the Army. After he was discharged in 1964, he changed his name and with his wife, Barbara, in 1966 began recording as The Prophets. Their first gold record was 1968’s “I Got the Fever.” Other hits included “California” and “Seaside Love” as the Georgia Prophets.

The group recorded a number of hits in the 1970s in the beach music genre, a regional variant of R&B. Scott was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 22, 2012

 

ARIES

 You can be discreet and cut down on some of the envious comments you are attracting. Or you can continue to flaunt it since you’ve got it. Your choice this week! Watch for a pleasant change in a romantic partner’s attitude.  Soul Affirmation: The winner is me. I smile for the cameras.

 

TAURUS

 Take advantage of bursts of energy all week. Body and mind are in sync. Don’t take things too personally this week, you might get your feelings hurt. If you do, night time is a great time to make-up. Make the call.  Soul Affirmation: My hunches are right more often than not this week.

 

GEMINI

You are a superstar at work. Efficiency seems to be your middle name. As you go your charming way, don’t forget to delegate tasks with a smile.  Soul Affirmation: I give my mind a holiday again this week.

 

CANCER

A relationship may be heating up. Make sure you know what you want, then go ahead. Minor challenges on the home front are easily dealt with.  Soul Affirmation: The widest outlook comes from the look within.

 

LEO

You make important progress at work this week by seizing the initiative and letting your leadership abilities shine. What you do makes things better for everyone around you, so rock steady. Meetings and conversations go especially well. Soul Affirmation: The word is in me. I bring it forth.

 

VIRGO

Lucky! Your natural ability to shine is magnified this week. You’ll be garnering positive attention on a project you recently completed. Bask in the glow of public admiration! Be daring you’ll find much support for the things you want to do.  Soul Affirmation: This week I forgive myself for everything that has happened.

 

LIBRA

A celebration is in store and you are the guest of honor! You’ve achieved something wonderful and you need to take some time to enjoy it. Let yourself enjoy the applause then move onward and upward. Soul Affirmation: I entertain wild ideas about making money this week.

 

SCORPIO

Let someone else make a few decisions this week. Take a backseat and enjoy the respite from doing all the driving. You’ll enjoy the ride more this week if you just admire the view as it goes by.  Soul Affirmation: I enjoy living in my dream.

 

SAGITTARIUS

Sometimes you imagine that everyone needs to hear your sensible opinions on all matters of significance. And other weeks you know that you are wise and generous enough to listen to others as they share their good ideas. This week is a week for listening. You’ll learn much.  Soul Affirmation: I listen with an open heart.

 

CAPRICORN

Anybody may occasionally have a week when their energy feels low. Your natural good health will see you through a possible down time if you just go with the flow and let yourself relax. Rest if you have the chance and you’ll feel like your wonderful self in no time flat! Soul Affirmation: I calm my emotions by forgetting about the past.

 

AQUARIUS

You are the center of attention this week and while you’ll be very busy you’ll love every moment. Enjoy your time in the spotlight! You may want to indulge yourself with some emotional theatrics this week.  Soul Affirmation: All vibes are good for me this week!

 

PISCES

Stay flexible this week especially where a partner is concerned. While they may be moody there’s no need for you to join them in their attitude unless you really, really want to! Stay positive and go with the good vibrations that surround you. Soul Affirmation: I exercise to lower tension this week.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 22, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU

Associated Press

 

Nicki Minaj, the rapper who has had much success on the pop charts with songs like “Starships” and “Super Bass,” says the rerelease of her sophomore album will be nostalgic for her early fans.

“The feel of the rerelease is kind of like my first sound, like the mixtapes,” she said of “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded — The Re-Up,” out Tuesday.

The rerelease comes seven months after “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. That album features pop, dance, R&B, reggae and rap sounds. It's a far stretch from when Minaj kicked off her career as a sexed-up street rapper, signed by Lil Wayne in 2009 after she released three buzzed-about mixtapes. Her official debut, “Pink Friday,” is near double platinum and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

But the 29-year-old says she’s “back to basics” on her eight-track “Re-Up,” which features Lil Wayne, Tyga and some of Minaj’s proteges.

“It sounds probably more hood in some ways, for a lack of a better word,” she said.

Her pop fans won’t be disappointed, though: There’s also the Dr. Luke-produced, dance-flavored “Va Va Voom.”

In a recent telephone interview, Minaj talked about her new music, artists she is mentoring and working (kind of) with and Mariah Carey on “American Idol.”

The Associated Press: What’s the energy like on the rerelease?

Minaj: I studied a lot of the production side of this particular rerelease. It was just important that the beats sounded a certain way. ... I was really able to step up the writing on it as well.

AP: This album features some of your signed artists, Parker and Thomas Brinx. How’s it feel to pay it forward?

Minaj: It’s exciting because I think that I’m finally in a position to open doors for other people and it’s a great feeling because I feel like they're so, so talented. Parker, he’s actually from London and he’s a writer, producer, singer ... and I'm going to be putting out music with him at the top of the year. ... Brinx was someone that I knew for a long time. I was rapping with him before I even got a deal and his skills have always been so exceptional. ... So I always felt like if I got an opportunity I would bring him along and now I have that opportunity.

AP: You let cameras follow you for a three-part reality special on E! What was that like?

Minaj: It’s been fun because I think that my fans are getting a real kick out of it. I’m happy I did it. ... I don't really have an opinion on it. It was just a decision for me to show more of myself and I never really know how people are going to react to it, so I’ve started stepping back and away, and getting away from just overthinking it.

AP: Were you hesitant about doing it?

Minaj: Of course I was hesitant. I’m a very private person. I definitely thought about it a lot and then I went for it.

AP: What are your favorite albums of the year?

Minaj: I really have been enjoying all of the hip-hop albums that came out because I feel like hip-hop artists have been taking their careers into their own hands and I just want to give a salute to everyone because it’s not easy. ... The music has been sort of changing and adding new sounds to the game and introducing new people to the game, so I would just give a big nod to hip-hop for 2012.

AP: Is working as a judge on “American Idol” what you thought it would be like?

Minaj: No. ... They’re very long days and that’s the biggest thing I didn’t really expect. ... I’m used to being able to handle my business at any time, and when it’s ‘American Idol,’ sometimes we’re in one place for eight hours judging people and I can’t go to my BlackBerry every five minutes like I'm used to. So that kind of slows my business down and that is something that I never could have foreseen. But, as a whole, I love the experience that I’m getting.

AP: How are you and Mariah Carey, another new judge on “Idol,” getting along?

Minaj: (Click.)

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 22, 2012

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY Associated Press

 

Is Broadway ready for Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and “the package”? R. Kelly thinks so — and says he’s working to bring the wacky characters and plotlines in his even wackier “Trapped in the Closet” series to the Great White Way.

The superstar announced Monday night that he’s had an offer to bring the cult classic to the stage, and he may even be in some performances.

“To transform it into a Broadway version, that’s what I’m working on,” he told a packed house at the Sunshine Theater, where he unveiled the latest chapters in “Trapped in the Closet,” which will debut on the IFC channel on Friday.

Kelly gave no other details about a possible Broadway adaptation of the wildly popular video opera. It got its start from a stirring series of songs Kelly debuted in 2005, which ended with a cliffhanger. The songs captured so much attention that Kelly made an over-the-top video series about it that just got crazier and crazier as he added more chapters.

Kelly has often referred to “Trapped” as an alien, and on Monday, he said: “I’m glad to be one of the astronauts to take this thing to the unknown.”

He thanked the enthusiastic crowd for accepting the series, and admitted that he always wanted to act: “Somehow, I landed ‘Trapped in the Closet’ from being silly.”

He also joked about the ridiculous nature of the series.

“I’m just having a lot of fun. I don’t have a job, so I sit in the studio all day and think of stuff to do and this is just something stupid I’ve done that’s been successful for me,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun with it.”

The latest chapters introduce a few new faces, and like the others series, ends with a cliffhanger. While it’s taken Kelly five years to add these latest chapters, Kelly says he won’t take as long to produce more.

“I want everybody to know I’ve got 85 chapters of ‘Trapped in the Closet’ waiting in the studio for y’all,” he said. “The chapters that are coming — the show, we call it — is going to exceed every chapter that you have ever seen.”

Kelly capped off the evening with a rendition of one of his biggest hits, “I Believe I Can Fly,” for the audience.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 22, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU

Associated Press

 

In order to capture his best version of Jimi Hendrix for an upcoming biopic, Andre 3000 said he had to think of him as a regular dude and not a rock star.

“I didn’t look at him as an icon because when you’re in it, you don’t know you’re an icon. You don’t know you’re an icon until other people say you’re an icon,” the 37-year-old said in a recent interview.

“So I had to take it as a person, you know what I mean? And I just tried to say, ‘Well, what would Jimi want people to know that they can't get off of YouTube?’ And that's how I approached it,” he said.

Hendrix died at age 27 in 1970. He was ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone magazine's greatest guitarists of all-time list. His band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, is known for iconic albums such as “Electric Ladyland” and “Are You Experienced.”

“All Is by My Side,” which focuses on the early days of Hendrix’s career, will be released next year. Andre 3000 is excited to see the film, which he’s finished shooting in Ireland. He believes the public “will be pleased.”

Andre 3000, one-half of OutKast with Big Boi, has been out of the music scene in recent years, although he’s been featured on songs by Beyonce, Frank Ocean, Rick Ross, Ke$ha and Young Jeezy.

OutKast’s 2006 platinum-selling album, “Idlewild,” which accompanied a film of the same name starring the duo, was their last album. Their 11-time platinum “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” won the 2004 Grammy Award for album of the year.

Big Boi, who released a solo album two years ago to welcoming reviews, will release a new solo disc, “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors,” next month.

But Andre 3000 isn’t in a rush to record an album.

“Some days I feel like I'll do it, some days I don’t. Some days I feel like I don’t need to, some days I feel like I want to do it before I die. So, I don’t know where to fall. I am just hoping one day I get that inspiration,” he said at an event for Gillette’s eMO’gency Styler Tour, which supports men’s health and prostate cancer programs. The tour kicked off in New York, with stops scheduled in Chicago and Houston.

“It’s a feeling for me. Like, I can’t just throw out an album to be rapping,” he said. “And I don’t even know if it will be rap. I don’t even know what it will be.”

However, he could find the inspiration and complete an album in just a few days: “It could be a rush situation. Like if I feel that feeling and I record an album in three days and I’m like, ‘This is what I want to say right now’ — that can happen, too.”

He also says he’s constantly writing songs.

“I write all the time. ... I actually stopped typing it in my phone because like a cloud is basically reading every thought that I have and I don’t like that,” he said. “So I went back to my paper and started writing.”

He’s not sure fans want a new OutKast album for the right reasons.

“Man, we’ve had a great ride. ... Like when we got into it when we were high school kids and we just wanted to do something fun and push it, and if it’s not that then why do it?” he said.

“I’m not the type that prescribes to nostalgia, and most people say they want an OutKast album because they used to love it. Y’all don’t even know if y’all still love it. You just know you used to love it. But you may not like it now, who knows?”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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