January 10, 2013

By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. Associated Press


For TLC singer T-Boz, it has been a rocky road since the 2002 death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

She has faced foreclosure, filed twice for bankruptcy and dealt with an abusive marriage that ended in divorce. The 42-year-old has also experienced life-threatening health issues that derailed her singing career.

She’s hoping her struggles — and getting past them — will connect with audiences through her new reality show, “Totally T-Boz,” an hour-long, four-episode series on TLC. The show debuted last week and airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. Eastern).

“This is a real story about a real girl who did real things,” said T-Boz, who was born Tionne Watkins. “This is a show of substance (and) shares more about me that many didn’t know about.”

Along with Left Eye and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, TLC released back-to-back hits, including “Creep,” “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs.” Their Grammy-winning sophomore album, “CrazySexyCool,” sold more than 10 million units.

But since Left Eye’s death, TLC’s music career has fallen off-track. A new member was to be brought on to replace Left Eye, but it didn’t happen.

T-Boz, who has moved from her hometown of Atlanta to Los Angeles, dealt with a brain tumor in 2006, and the surgery left her with partial hearing and sight. She said it took three years of physical therapy to recover, and now she’s hoping to relaunch her music career as a solo artist and tour for TLC’s 20th anniversary.

“I superseded a lot of things. I was told I wouldn’t live past 30,” said T-Boz, who also has chronic sickle cell anemia. “The realistic thing is that I have a child to live here for, and if I was dead, I couldn’t do it.”

T-Boz says she doesn’t want to overwork herself at the expense of her health. She said she’ll take a step back and focus more as a writer and producer if necessary.

“I've never been camera-happy, so I don't mind being behind the scenes,” she said. “Honestly, those are the people who aren’t killing themselves to get a paycheck. ... I don’t want to be 55 years old in a smoky club, singing my old songs. No way, honey.”


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 10, 2013


An unexpected piece of excellent advice comes from an old friend. Heed well what is said. Follow your intuition concerning matters at work. Your gut feelings are wiser than your brain this week. Trust you feelings more than your thoughts. Soul Affirmation: I let my instincts light my way this week.



This is a good time for personal inventory. Dust off old ideas. They will shine brighter than any new ideas this week. You are primed for success in an agreement about a money matter. Soul Affirmation: I find many things about myself that I really love.



Socially your positive vibes can take you a long way this week. Your intuition serves you well in business. A new move is favored. Open yourself up to financial flow. It’s coming. Soul Affirmation: I open myself up to the wealth of the universe.



Your home can be your best profit center this week. Expand your concept of what profit is. Boost your attention to your lover’s personal needs. Invest time in being considerate. Put other people first this week. Soul Affirmation: By rewarding others I reward myself.



Begin working to improve the quality of life in your community. Don’t hang back. Do it. Joy comes from what you give this week. This week your charm will open doors that were previously closed. Soul Affirmation: I look for the good in all that comes to me this week.



Be open and honest in your dealings with a co-worker. Deception will double back on you, if you try it.  This is a bad week for being sly. Your true intentions show on your face. Be thorough don’t cut corners. Soul Affirmation: I let my words reveal the not-so-hidden truth about my being.



The boss is depending on you at work this week. The reward is buried in the gifts you give to whoever crosses your path. Don’t look for payment for the good you do. Time will send it surging out at you.  Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the chance to give.



You’ve always had the ability to take the slow and easy route to getting things done. This week is an excellent week for practicing that method to the maximum. Friends are not going to help you with the problem you face, but go slow and easy and you can handle it alone. Soul Affirmation: Slow and easy is the best way for me to travel this week.



Use your tried and true formula for a successful week. Remember the things that worked for you in the past. Now is not the time to try anything new. Forget about a minor irritation that comes from someone you love. Soul Affirmation: I find comfort in the familiar.



Give yourself a chance to grow, and not by eating more. Eating good is alright but for true growth expand your horizons. Look at life a little bit differently. Take a walk on the other side of the question. Soul Affirmation: I look to distant horizons to find truth this week.



Just start talking. What you need to say next will come to you. You’ve got some explaining to do and silence will get you nowhere. Love can be yours at this time but you’re going to have to use your gift for gab to get it. Soul Affirmation: Charm is my middle name this week.



This is just the kind of time you like so enjoy it. Family members are not busy. You can get into their heads and see what’s going on. Open up your own head and let someone in. You are at your best, socially, so have some fun. A Romantic bond becomes stronger. Soul Affirmation: I love charming, positive head games.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 10, 2013

By Rych McCain

Special to the NNPA


The Nominees for upcoming 2013 NAACP Image Awards were recently announced at the Paley Center for The Media Arts in Beverly Hills. The nominations were read by Anthony Anderson (Guys with Kids), Niecy Nash (The Soul Man), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Garcelle Beauvais (Flight), Tyler James Williams (Go On) and Zendaya (Shake It Up). The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film, plus, honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced during the two-hour star- studded event, which will air live on Friday, February 1 (8 ET live/PT tape-delayed) on NBC.

The nominees in the TV categories were led by ABC and CBS with 20 and 12 nominations respectively. HBO and Lifetime had 10 noms and NBC had 9. In the recording category, RCA leads with 11 nominations, followed by Atlantic with 10 nominations. The Weinstein Company leads with 4 nominations, along with Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures, with 4 in the motion picture category. “We are proud to celebrate the artists and activists who use their craft to share positive images of our culture.” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “The artistic community is an important ally for social justice, and the NAACP Image Awards provides an excellent venue to recognize those who make a difference through art and activism.”

“We are happy that once again the Image Awards will be aired on NBC,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “For 44 years, the Image Awards have recognized the best that communities of color have to offer, both in the arts and in civil rights. The NAACP is proud to honor all of these achievements.”

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. The organization’s half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. The 44TH NAACP Image Awards are sponsored by: FedEx, AARP, UAW/Chrysler, Wells Fargo, Ford Motor Company, Anheuser Busch, Hyundai Motors, AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Walgreens. For a complete list of nominees go to www. rychmccainhollyhoodnotes.blogspot.com.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 10, 2013

By MESFIN FEKADU Associated Press


When a teenage Nas opted out of street hustling to chase his musical dream, those around him found it amusing.

"When I chose to get in rap, my friends chose to do other things and not all great things. They chose to be in the streets and kind of laughed at me in a way about taking rap so seriously," said the rapper, who hails from the New York City borough of Queens. "I'm glad I stuck with it because I believed in it from day one."

No one laughs about Nas now. Considered one of music's most celebrated lyricists, he's a top contender at next month's Grammy Awards with four nominations. The 39-year-old rap veteran reached new heights last year with the release of his album "Life Is Good," which made several critics' end-of-the-year lists. It is nominated for best rap album, competing with records by Drake, Rick Ross, The Roots, Lupe Fiasco and 2 Chainz.

"The album was just such a piece that really told you about my life, about my divorce without doing too much, without telling too much," said Nas, whose split with singer Kelis was finalized in 2010.

Nas also gets personal on his album about another woman: his daughter. The song "Daughters," about the struggles of parenting a girl, is up for best rap song and best rap performance; his jam with the late Amy Winehouse, "Cherry Wine," is nominated for best rap/sung collaboration.

He talked about his career, the nominations, his recent tour partner Lauryn Hill and more in a recent interview.

AP: "Daughters" isn't a typical contemporary rap song. How's it feel to see that one garner attention at the Grammys?

Nas: I'm really proud of that song. Just writing it, I'm like, "I'm going through something in my life with me and my family," and I don't think about who's going to hear it at that point because it's that personal. ...The fact that it made the final cut of the album; the fact that it became a single was great enough for me. Like, wow. And then to be acknowledged by the Grammys is mind-blowing.

AP: What does your daughter think of the song?

Nas: I don't know. She never really told me. It was just a thing. She's used to me making music and she's used to me doing things, doing songs that are personal. Never (songs) about her that are so personal, but I think part of her just knows that this was something that was weighing heavy on my heart and I think she gave me a pass for that. I don't think she was always too happy about it. It's different. It's not like she's a fan of it. She's my daughter, so it's a different relationship; a little touchy.

AP: You've been releasing albums since 1991. How are you finding new things to write about?

Nas: Rule No. 1 is you can't be fake. If you're fake, you become a gimmick and you're selling a gimmick; a little gimmick is cool, this is entertainment. But when you base your stuff on mostly real stuff, you never run out of it because every day is a different adventure.

AP: You recently toured with Lauryn Hill. What was that like?

Nas: She's almost like someone from a different era. ...She possesses this aura of someone like Roberta Flack, Nina Simone — it's almost like you're with them, on tour with that person. And sometimes it's even more advanced for the audience; the audience is used to dealing with microwave music, so to have someone like Ms. Lauryn Hill onstage, they might not understand, they haven't seen artists like that before, and I feel like I'm with someone that's like, beyond me.


AP: Will you record music together again?

Nas: I don't know. I would love to. It's really about sitting down and really cracking into it. She's a real serious artist.

AP: Which albums are the standouts of 2012?

Nas: No disrespect to nobody else in rap music, but Kendrick Lamar. I'm really happy about his record. I needed that. His record reaches you. It gives you hope. ...Also, Meek Mill. His energy is amazing.

AP: What's it like when you return to your hometown of Queens?

Nas: You get lost out there sometimes. You out there in Hollywood, Sunset (Blvd), Rodeo (Drive), Miami, South Beach, London — when I'm in Queens I realize I can always come back to where it all started, where I was raised at and the place that gave me the first, most exciting times of my life.

AP: Are you working on new music now?

Nas: Yes. It has started. I must tell you. I can't stop now. I'm in a great zone.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 10, 2013

Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper


Anthony Michael Hobbs, a child actor and second grade student at Baltimore’s Our Lady of Victory catholic school, will portray a young Frederick Douglass in the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) special The Abolitionist to premiere Jan. 8. Actor/director Richard Brooks (Law & Order, The Crow) will play the adult Frederick Douglass.


The three-hour documentary airs in three parts on Jan. 8, 15 and 23 as part of PBS’ American Experience Series. Frederick Douglass is one of five abolitionists highlighted who pushed to end slavery. The other four abolitionists included William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimke.


The actor and model who will turn eight in April expressed his desire to act at the age of four, according to Kerri Hobbs, his mother and manager. Confused about how actress Lauren Keyana “Keke” Palmer could be one character on True Jackson, VP he watched on the Nickelodeon Channel and another character in the Tyler Perry movie Madea’s Family Reunion, he was told by his mother that the girl “learned to make pretend to make a story.” Anthony then announced he wanted to do that, too, she said.


Having honed his reading skills with books two age levels ahead of him, he was able to read scripts at the age of five, and soon learned to memorize them in just a few minutes–often with assistance from his actress-mother, he quickly racked up a list of performance credits.


He is an otherwise normal grade-schooler, except that when he is absent for an audition, he has a lot to share at show-and-tell, when he returns to class.


A client of several acting/modeling/voice-over agencies such as Wilhelmina Philadelphia and Prestige Management in New York, he most recently appeared in a new United Way public service announcement that started airing in December and was in a Norwegian Cruise-Line commercial that started airing in October. An extended version of the commercial is airing during the cruise-line voyages.


Hobbs also stars in the PBS Sprout Network mini-segment on the Sunnyside Up Show, to start airing March. On top of that, the talented young actor stars in a PSA spot for the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) that started airing in October, 2012.


Hobbs also stars in the DreamWorks documentary How to Train Your Dragon: Dragons and Dinosaurs. The DreamWorks documentary is also available on DVD.


Hobbs can also be seen in the national classroom program called KinderRhyme. KinderRhyme is a program of Success for All Foundation (SFAF), which appears in over 2600 preschool, elementary, middle and high school programs.


Hobbs is the winner of eight Global Stars Network acting awards., Hobbs can also be seen on two other PBS Sprout Network segments, Claritin Kids Allergy Medicine and Good Night Show.


As a voice over actor Anthony’s voice can be heard on an instructional video for advertising firm TBWA World Wide, the largest advertising holding company in the world.


Other acting projects include the film Waiting for Godot; an industrial commercial for the U.S. National Park Service; a Baltimore County recycling commercial; a Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger commercial, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Healthy Kids 2011 print campaign.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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