Monthly Archives: February 2012

We Have American SuperDivas Like The Late Whitney Houston

 

 

Who were the celebrities that I most wanted to emulate? It was Whitney Houston & Madonna! I wanted the grace, beauty & elegance that Ms. Houston possessed mixed with the raunchy sexiness that still is Madonna. Right before I hit that teenage rebellion stage, I was curious about how I could best tap into my femininity. These ladies helped me delve deeper into my feminine side. I feel like a part of my childhood is gone.

Even though I know that Whitney Houston had become drug-ravaged over the years, I always hoped that she could turn it around & make a comeback. Unfortunately, the death of Whitney Houston means that her career will be revived. People will buy her songs now that she is gone. We won’t be able to witness a Whitney that is alive & well singing spectacularly on stage in front of the world. The voice that wrenched so many hearts & souls will be doing that only through recordings now. What a crying shame!

Rest in peace, Whitney! You will always be the ultimate super-diva.

Here’s more from The LA Times:

“Whitney Houston, who found fame as one of pop’s biggest voices, has died. She was 48.

Houston died Saturday afternoon, a representative for the singer told the Associated Press. Houston’s death comes on the eve of the Grammys and on the night of Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy gala, at which she performed last year and was expected to attend this year.

No cause of death has been announced and law enforcement sources said the singer was found in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton, where emergency medical personnel were called sometime Saturday.

The Hilton is the scene for Davis’ annual gala. On Thursday, Houston dropped by the rehearsals to offer vocal tips for Brandy and Monica, who were slated to be one of the evening’s headliners.

Press, including The Times, were in attendance for a junket with the reunited R&B divas and Davis. Though Houston greeted people her with a warm smile, she appeared disheveled in mismatched clothes and hair that was dripping wet with either sweat or water.

The visibly bloated singer displayed erratic behavior throughout the afternoon — flailing her hands frenetically as she spoke to Brandy and Monica, skipping around the ballroom in a child-like fashion and wandering aimlessly about the lobby. It was mentioned by a Grammy staffer that security personnel received calls of the singer doing handstands by the pool.

After leaving rehearsals, Houston returned to the ballroom — with her teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina in tow — as camera crews set up for interviews. The singer smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. A Grammy staffer said that during the interviews with Brandy, Monica and Clive, Houston was dancing just off camera to make the singers and Davis laugh. Grammy personnel expressed concern that she’d be caught on camera, and that reporters would write about her behavior.

Finally her daughter pulled Houston out of the room, and the singer skipped off. In our post of the event, we called Houston’s behavior “loose and lively.”

“She really loves and supports us both. For me, I went through a lot of very tumultuous moments and she would show up, not just with a phone call but physically when I needed,” Monica said when we asked about Houston coaching them. “That’s something that I’ve carried with me, especially with all that she’s been going through over the years herself. She’s never turned her back on the people she cared about.”(End of Excerpt) Read more here.

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Filed under Celebrities, People Who Do Us Proud, America

American Cultural Icons Like Don Cornelius Who Are No Longer With Us…

Don Cornelius  (September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012)

As a child of the 70’s, I grew up watching two shows. “Soul Train” & “American Bandstand” were the two staples in my weekend TV diet. I loved the interviews that Don Cornelius conducted in that beautiful,baritone voice of his. I was in total awe of this elegant, sophisticated man. Sure, the acts & dancers were absolutely terrific but he was one of the main reasons why folks tuned in every weekend to “Soul Train”. He was a soulful being who seemed to embody the very essence of soul.Folks like Don Cornelius & Billy Dee Williams made it that much cooler to be black. Don Cornelius will remain an American cultural icon. Or,as some have said, an “American treasure.”

Here’s more on this self-made American icon from The Associated Press:

“Soul Train” aired nationally from 1971 to 2006. Asked why it endured, he told The New York Times in 1995: “There is an inner craving among us all, within us all, for television that we can personally connect to.” He stepped down as host in 1993, and sold it to MadVision Entertainment in 2008.

“Don Cornelius was a pioneer & a trailblazer,” Earvin “Magic” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “He was the first African-American to create, produce, host & more importantly OWN his own show.”

Though “Soul Train” became one of the longest-running syndicated shows in TV history, its power began to wane in the 1980s and ’90s as American pop culture began folding in black culture instead of keeping it segregated.

By that time, there were more options for black artists to appear on mainstream shows. And on shows like “American Bandstand,” blacks could be seen dancing along with whites.

But even when Michael Jackson became the King of Pop, there was still a need to highlight the achievements of African-Americans that were still marginalized at mainstream events. So Cornelius created the “Soul Train Awards,” which would become a key honor for musicians. The series also spawned the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards and the Soul Train Christmas Starfest.

Along the way, however, Cornelius became estranged from a changing music scene that clashed with his relatively conservative taste. But while he suggested violently or sexually explicit gangsta rap should be labeled “X-rated,” Cornelius said the focus should be on eliminating poverty and violence from low-income black communities.

DJ Scratch, the DJ from the rap act EPMD, tweeted on Wednesday that Cornelius “100% didn’t like Hip Hop. But he realized that it was what the youth wanted. So again, I thank you Don.”

Cornelius’ world grew dark in recent years as he faced fallout from a divorce and other pressures. In 2009, he was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor spousal battery and, in his divorce case that year, he also mentioned having significant health problems.

He has two children, Anthony and Raymond, with his first wife, Delores Harrison.

Cornelius, who was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, said in 2006 he remained grateful to the musicians who made “Soul Train” the destination for the best and latest in black music.

“As long as the music stayed hot and important and good, that there would always be a reason for ‘Soul Train,'” he said.  (End of Excerpt) Read more here.

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Filed under Media Personalities, People Who Do Us Proud, America