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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

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) — Whitney Houston's mother isn't the only person writing a book on the superstar.

Gospel singer BeBe Winans — who sang at Houston's funeral — announced Thursday he has written "The Whitney I Knew," due out July 31.

The book promises what is described as "heart-breaking accounts that led to her ultimate defeat." It will also include photos and personal videos of the singer never released to the public.

Winans and his family knew Houston for years. His announcement comes as he prepares to release a new album, "America America" next week.

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

Earlier this month, it was announced that Houston's mother, Cissy, was writing a book due out next year. 


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

June 14, 2012


Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — A year after the Grammy Awards cut 31 categories, sparking protests and a lawsuit by Latin jazz musicians, the music organization has made more changes by adding three awards, including the reinstatement of best Latin jazz album.

The Recording Academy announced Friday in a statement to The Associated Press that the upcoming Grammys will feature 81 categories. It reduced the number from 109 to 78 last year.

New entries include awards for best urban contemporary album — to honor R&B albums that may include elements of pop and rock — and best classical compendium to highlight albums “involving a mixture of classical subgenres.”

The Academy shook up the music industry when it announced in April 2011 that it would downsize its categories to make the awards more competitive. That meant eliminating categories by sex, so men and women compete in the same vocal categories.

But it also eliminated other niche fields and created broader ones.

Some artists protested the change and others — including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon and Bill Cosby — complained. The group that filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed in April, was led by Bobby Sanabria, the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician who accused the Academy of not following the proper procedures to implement the changes. Part of the class-action lawsuit called for the reinstatement of the best Latin jazz album award.

That award was consolidated, making Latin jazz musicians compete against a larger group of artists in the best jazz instrumental category at the 54th Grammys, which were held in February.

“Every year we want to look at these objectively and make a good musical decision and not be influenced by politics and pressure,” Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said in an interview. “I will say it’s incredibly unfortunate that a very small group chose to voice their discontent with a lawsuit that had no basis.”

He continued: “Not only is it ­distracting from a time standpoint, but it costs a great deal of money to have to defend something that we knew was completely defensible.”

The new decisions were made at the Academy’s annual Board of Trustees meeting last month.

Roger Maldonado, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sanabria and others, said he was elated at the reinstatement of the Latin jazz category.

“I want to thank the academy for having the maturity to make the decision despite a yearlong fight,” he said. While Maldonado had filed notice of appeal for the lawsuit, he expected the legal battle would now end.

“We didn’t sue for money, we sued for reinstatement of the award. That has happened I see no reason for continuing the lawsuit,” he said. “Instead my clients can stop worrying about this and instead focus on preparing and recording music for consideration of the Latin jazz award.”

Other changes include splitting up the best Latin pop, rock or urban album honor into two awards, now known as best Latin pop album and best Latin rock, urban or alternative album. However, the best Banda or Norteno album and best regional Mexican or Tejan album have been combined into one award: best regional Mexican music album.

Portnow says a number of proposals were filed, noting that “the volume was definitely up” this year compared to past ones.

“I don’t hold anything against the Latin jazz community for the passion that they have for their music,” he said. “The (Latin jazz) community put a good proposal together this year, and we see the results of that.”

Maldonado said he hoped that the academy would reconsider the reinstatement at other categories at some point as well. But he called the decisions a victory for his clients.

“For them, it's vindication not of the lawsuit but of their belief in the music, which is wonderful,” he said.

The 55th Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Feb. 10. 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture