January 30, 2014
By Brandon I. Brooks
As the 2014, 56th Annual Grammy Awards came to a close in downtown Los Angeles last Sunday the night, it left me with mixed reactions – some great moments, some snubs of legends and the public’s gasping reaction to the multiple same sex marriage ceremony that seemed to overshadow the ultimate purpose of the awards.
Twitter feeds and social sites of polarizing subjects pushed the Grammys to limits like never before.
Trending on the social landscape was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for their performance of “Same Love”.
Then the jaw dropping wedding ceremony of same sex couples by Queen Latifah sent shock waves to millions of viewers and the live audience at Staples Center when she joined Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on stage during the Grammys final performance.
Viewers across the country and around the world had no idea if Latifah was going to rap or sing. She shocked us all by doing neither and instead married 33 couples as they stood in the aisles of Staples Center and held hands.
Madonna joined in on the performance serenading the audience and newlyweds.
It’s important to note the newlyweds were not just same-sex couples; they were mixed with heterosexual and different nationalities. But clearly the undertone of the performance was same sex marriage and gay rights as the song “Same Love,” discusses bullying and gay hatred.
After the Grammys, Latifah shared with writers that she was deputized to be a commissioner of civil marriages prior to the award show.
The Isley Brothers won a Lifetime Achievement Award but unfortunately the award was not televised. The award was given to the brothers a day before the live telecast. What was that about? It doesn’t seem fair for our legends to be treated this way. That was the biggest shocker and upsetting moment of the 2014 Grammy experience. To see Ernie Isley stroll the red carpet with his award and for no one to really know who he was or to not pay proper homage to him was an unsettling moment for me. If any award should have been televised, it should have been the Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute to the Isley Brothers.
The biggest elephant in the room at the Grammys was the lack of Black participation in front and behind the scenes. So to see that the Isley Brothers didn’t get their moment on national television tears me up inside. The Grammys deprived millions of viewers the opportunity to showcase this family that is still making music and touring today. This could have introduced the Isley Brothers to a new generation of fans and helped their legacy live that much longer. They did it for Paul McCartney; why not the Isleys?
I caught up with two of the brothers Ernie and Ronald Isley and got a chance to ask them how they felt about receiving the award.
“You have to wait for it, so its kind of like dessert, but its all chocolate so its really sweetening and much appreciated,” said Ernie Isley.
Ronald Isley said he felt “fantastic” about the award and sang the hook to his hit song “Shout” on the red carpet, which launched the success for the Isley Brothers back in 1959. “You know you make me wanna shout.”
Kendrick Lamar was the big talk on the red carpet as many anticipated the young star from Compton would be the big winner being that he was nominated in multiple categories. Shockingly Lamar did not win a single Grammy.
As far as rap music goes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cleaned house winning three Grammys for the album “The Heist.” Macklemore beat Lamar in just about every category, Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. The only rap category that didn’t award Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was “Best rap/sung collaboration,” which went to Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake for the song “Holy Grail.”
Macklemore sent Lamar a message after the show saying, “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech. Then the music started playing during my speech and I froze. Anyway, you know what it is. Congrats on this year and your music. Appreciate you as an artist and as a friend. Much Love.”
Twitter and social sites have been flooded with postings wondering if Kendrick Lamar was blatantly overlooked by the academy. To add fuel to fire, Lamar gave arguably the best performance of the night when he collaborated with Imagine Dragons to blend their smash hit “Radioactive,” with Lamar’s popular song “m.A.A.d. city. ” The combination proved to be the nights best overall performance blending genre’s and cultures. Taylor Swift was seen in the front row bouncing to the beat as if she was Lamar’s biggest fan.
Beyonce and Jay Z opened the show performing their latest hit collaboration “Drunk In Love.” Many people felt they performed too early in the show because they are a hard act to follow.
Jay Z thanked God “a little bit” for the Grammy he won but mostly for giving him Beyonce who he thanked for being there.
“I want to thank God, I mean, a little bit for this award, but also all the universe for conspiring and for putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life,” the rapper declared.
He also shouted out his daughter Blue Ivy saying that he would bring home a new “Sippy Cup,” referring to the Grammy award.
Stevie Wonder joined Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams on stage to perform “Get Lucky” which won the Grammy for Record of the year. Daft Punk won Album of the year and Best pop duo/group performance. Pharrell Williams won Producer of the year, nonclassical.
Williams was the fashion talk of the night sporting a mountain hat that looked three sizes too big for his head and body. But I guess that’s the style according to Pharrell.
John Legend performed his new smash record “All of Me,” and sounded fantastic live in front of the live audience. Not to mention his wife Christine Teigen looked gorgeous.
Gary Clark Jr. won the Grammy for Best traditional R&B performance. He showcased his guitar ability as he joined Keith Urban on stage to perform “Cop Car.”
Rihanna won Best urban contemporary album for “Unapologetic” and was unapologetic about not showing up.
Alicia Keys won Best R&B album for “Girl on Fire.”
For the full list of 2014 Grammy winners and to comment on the Grammys visit www.lasentinel.net.
Also, check out the Family Section to see African American fashion on the Grammy red carpet.
January 23, 2014
By Edward Rice, III
LAWT Contributing Writer
It’s been more than 20 years since the theatrical release of Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats. Townsend’s beloved film about the rise and fall of a 60’s singing group has remained popular with audiences over the years and has become a cult classic. Now to the delight of many fans on January 21st Fox Home Entertainment finally released The Five Heartbeats on a new remastered blu-ray disc.
In honor of the blu-ray release, Fox hosted a special panel and screening of the film Thursday, January 16 in Beverly Hills that included many of the original actors from the movie. Duck (Robert Townsend), J.T. (Leon), Choir Boy (Tico Wells) and many others were all on hand to reminisce and discuss the impact and importance of the film. Several of the actors shared anecdotes about the camaraderie that developed amongst the cast during the filming of the Five Heartbeats and that still continues today. Most notably the entire panel shared experiences with devout fans they encountered over the years, which has steadily increased their love and appreciation for the film.
After the panel concluded, the screening began and the audience was captivated once again with the tale of the small town singers who make it big. Audience members could be heard quoting their favorite lines from the film and singing along to fan favorites, “Nothing But Love,” “Nights Like This” and “A Heart Is A House for Love.”
The Five Heartbeats is an American classic that will keep movie and music lovers entertained for many years to come.
LAWT Wire Services
Rapper Pitbull bailed on a famous Egyptian singer’s music video after the singer spent hundreds of thousands to produce it — and the singer is blaming Akon, according to a new lawsuit.
Singer Tamer Hosny filed the suit against Akon claiming he paid the Senegalese crooner $300,000 for both him and Pitbull to sing on Tamer’s new song “Arabian Knight,” reports TMZ.
Akon delivered the track, and in return for the $300,000, Akon and Pitbull were supposed to appear in the “Arabian Knight” music video. But Pitbull was a no show, according to the lawsuit.
Tamer claims Akon promised to deliver Pitbull for the shoot, so it’s his fault and he’s on the hook. The Egyptian artist also says it’s double the disaster because he had to pay $100,000 for cameras and crew the day of the shoot … all for nothing.
For some reason … Pitbull was not sued.
At work, some matters have been on hold but now you will get the green light. Continue to work as diligently as you have been in the pass to ensure success. Have faith that your plans are on target. Soul Affirmation: Anticipation of a beautiful immediate future lights up my week. Lucky Numbers: 18, 53, 54
A message this week may necessitate travel on your part, and you may feel obligated to do something you don’t want to. Let the energy flow past you and do what you think is best. Who you are is who you are—be glad about it! Soul Affirmation: People love me when I love them. Lucky Numbers: 9, 22, 41
Use better judgment with regard to financial matters. Stop rationalizing. Money is important. Do something about the fact that you might find yourself broke more often than you wish. Continuing to deny it will delay doing something about it. Soul Affirmation: I find comfort in the familiar. Lucky Numbers: 1, 22, 51
This week make your spiritual interest pay off in cash. Enough of goodness for goodness sake. You’ve got bills to pay. People expect generosity from a big hearted person like you. Ask them for something in return or they’ll drain you. Soul Affirmation: I call on my creative talents to pay my bills. Lucky Numbers: 1, 3, 8
Compromise to get what you want this week. You’ll want to meet others half-way, and in the long run, you’ll get what you want anyway. You can afford to be gracious and giving. Do it with all your heart and soul. Soul Affirmation: My emotions provide me a pathway into the sunshine of my being. Lucky Numbers: 6, 17, 43
Money matters may seem a little unstable this week; postpone a shopping trip. On the plus side, however, your friends are unusually supportive and wonderful. You’ll enjoy conversations and being with another, especially after dark! Soul Affirmation: I enjoy working with others this week. Lucky Numbers: 19, 30, 50
Personal goals are important to you this week, and you’ll want to budget some time to spend on formulating plans for your brilliant future. Something that happens without your knowledge is going to prove to be a huge benefit. Enjoy your lucky streak! Soul Affirmation: My life itself is my greatest creation. Lucky Numbers: 7, 40, 43
Your straight-up attitude is going to come in handy this week. Plain talk is favored; keep it simple so others will understand where you’re coming from. You’ll get a lot done if you stick to a plan this week. Soul Affirmation: I forgive, forget and keep on moving towards my good fortune. Lucky Numbers: 1, 29, 31
This is a good week to think about long-term plans. Your mind is clear and your vision of things to come will be lighted by your razor-sharp instincts. All week long be careful not to sound too sarcastic when you tell people stuff that you know and they don’t. Soul Affirmation: I keep my eyes open for the love that is everywhere. Lucky Numbers: 17, 18, 20
The clever way you think could expose you to an experience for you unlike any you’ve had recently. Move forward. Get into it. Don’t doubt your ability to handle it. Don’t let your mind get crowded with too much useless information. Love is simpler than you think. Soul Affirmation: I allow good feelings to flow into my life with ease Lucky Numbers: 6, 21, 34
If someone has told you that you are more mental than emotional, believe them. This week especially your mind will be working a mile a minute to make sure that what you feel is good for you to feel. Cover the mental processes with an emotional facade, but keep thinking about what is best. Soul Affirmation: I give special attention to special friends Lucky Numbers: 3, 45, 51
Usually you’re not much for gambling. You like to investigate and make sure before you make your move. This week you are lucky. Move on impulse. Follow your heart. Pay close attention to the love needs of your mate this week. The needs of children call. Soul Affirmation: I can be whoever I am conscious of being. Lucky Numbers: 12, 32, 53
The 74-year-old diva is releasing a new compilation album titled “Love Songs.” Due Feb. 4 on Parlophone Records – just in time for Valentine’s Day – the 18-track collection boasts familiar favorites like “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “The Best,” “Private Dancer” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight.”
The bad news? There are no new songs or previously unreleased tunes on the album.
Also, it’s unlikely Turner will make any promotional appearances in support of the album, as she is “happily retired” from the music business — according to her spokesperson.
Turner’s last studio album, “Twenty Four Seven,” reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release in 1999, and has sold 517,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. She has since issued two greatest hits albums (“All the Best” in 2005 and “Tina!” in 2008) and a live set in 2009 (“Tina Live”) based on her 2008-2009 tour.
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee — and eight-time Grammy Award winner — has charted 17 solo hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first solo hit, a cover of “Let’s Stay Together,” debuted on the chart 30 years ago this year (on Jan. 21, 1984). Before that, as part of the duo Ike & Tina Turner, she notched 20 hits from 1960 through 1975.
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