Category Archives: People Who Do Us Proud, America

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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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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Mariah Carey Is Pregnant & Glowing!

Beautiful songbird,Mariah Carey,finally comes clean about her impending motherhood. Yep,she’s pregnant & glowing. She hasn’t confirmed how far along she is or what the baby’s gender is. But, rumor has it that she’s four months along with a baby boy.

She looks lovelier than ever. What a lucky chap Nick Cannon is!

Congratulations,guys!

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Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe Is Reportedly Pregnant!

I first heard of Rachel Zoe when she was styling Lindsay Lohan. There was speculation that she was introducing the young starlet to an unhealthy lifestyle of extreme dieting. A lot of folks believe that Rachel Zoe has an eating disorder. Here’s more on that from CelebWarship:

“Rachel Zoe shocked onlookers at the Cracked Xmas Fundraiser in Los Angeles on Sunday with her protruding ribcage and sunken face. The 37 year old celebrity stylist recently admitted she sometimes thinks she’s too thin, but has no plans to take care of herself.

“We’ve had Audrey Hepburn, we’ve had Twiggy, we’ve had Veruschka, we’ve had Kate Moss,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out why I am to blame for skinniness.

“Truthfully, I’ve never seen myself as being too thin,” she added. “Sometimes I’ll look at photos and be like, ‘Oh, that’s not a good look. ‘But generally speaking, I’m not too thin.” (Read more here.)

Sorry to disagree with you,Rachel. People cannot help but notice just how skeletal you look. It’s beyond being “too thin.” Hopefully, you will get cravings that will force you to eat. Because even though she seems to have an aversion to food,her pregnancy will change that.

At least,I hope it does.No one should try to emulate her body-wise. She is a great fashionista. But,Rachel Zoe is not someone I would take nutritional advice from.

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Greg Giraldo Dies Of An Overdose!

I’ve only seen Greg Giraldo on a Comedy Central Roast once. But,he was pretty funny. It’s too bad that we won’t be privy to his raunchy brand of humor any longer. Giraldo has passed away from an prescription pill overdose. Another celebrity dies from taking too many prescribed pills. Will this scenario ever come to an end?

Here’s more from MTV:

“Comedian Greg Giraldo died Wednesday (September 29) at age 44 from a reportedly accidental prescription-drug overdose. Giraldo had been hospitalized in New Brunswick, New Jersey after he overdosed on prescription pills last weekend. According to TMZ, the overdose was not a suicide attempt.

Giraldo reportedly collapsed Saturday evening in his hotel room in New Jersey, where he was performing at a club. He was discovered by friends after he failed to show up for his scheduled performance. He was rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Jim Norton confirmed the news via Twitter, including a picture with his fellow comedian: “Greg Giraldo passed away today. This is the last photo of us together, taken June 28 at Noam’s wedding. RIP buddy.”

A source close to Giraldo told TMZ: “Greg passed away today at the hospital in New Brunswick as a result of an accidental overdose. His family was by his side.”

The Giraldo family’s plans for a memorial service will reportedly be made public when they become available.

Giraldo was best known for his celebrity roast appearances and was a frequent guest on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brian” and “The Howard Stern Show.” He had also been a judge on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and appeared as a panelist on Jerry Seinfeld’s “The Marriage Ref.” (End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

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Tony Hawk Helps South African Kids Out With Their Skateboarding Skills!!

Skating half pipe

Tony Hawk is a skateboarding phenomenon &  hero to a lot of American kids.But,they are not the only children who admire him. Mr. Hawk is an inspiration to a group of South African kids as well. He just gifted the Indigo Youth Movement with a brand new portable Half-Pipe to practice their skateboarding skills on. Charity is one of the things that makes me like America. It’s really fantastic to see Tony Hawk carry on that great American tradition on an entirely different continent.

Here’s more from Africa News:

“Multi-skateboard world champion Hawk handed over the Half-Pipe, which Laureus has made available to Indigo that will allow more children in the region to access the sport and benefit from the advantages of taking part in the Laureus-supported project.

The new portable, easy to set up Half-Pipe will allow the Indigo project to visit various locations around the region where people currently do not have access to skateboarding.

During his 20-year skateboarding career, Hawk defied gravity with his amazing tricks and became a role model to millions of young people around the world. After seeing the Half-Pipe set up in the Zulu village for youngsters to try out, Hawk said it was a very emotional moment.

He said:

“I first came to Indigo last year and I was amazed what I saw. This is one of the most remarkable skateboard sites in the world. And now I am excited to come back with a new ramp for the kids to enjoy. They are progressing at a rapid rate and I know this new structure will help them push their limits even more. Being able to watch these young people from difficult backgrounds test their skills on this new halfpipe is something that will stay with me forever. I am honored that we are able to provide such a great facility for these kids. It could truly change their lives.” (End of Excerpt) Read the article in its entirety here.

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We Finally Know What Team Lebron James Will Play For!

Lebron James said tonight on ESPN that he wants to play for a winning team. So,he is going to the Miami Heat. A lot of folks said that he will be hated in Cleveland,Ohio.

Lebron said that he knows people from Akron,Ohio might have mixed feelings about his decision. But, Lebron says it was “heartfelt” & ” a tough decision. He also said that “you have to do what’s best for you.” I wholeheartedly agree with that.

Here’s more from CNN:

“NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he will play for the Miami Heat in the most anticipated announcement of the NBA season.

James said he made his final decision Thursday morning, after speaking with his mother.

“Once I had that conversation with her I think I was set,” James told sportscaster Jim Gray.

The six-time NBA all-star and two-time league MVP will join fellow stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. He announced the news from the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut in a prime-time special on ESPN.

Editorial cartoons, billboards and even quips from President Obama have accompanied the courting of “King James.”

Speculation began to intensify last week over where the NBA’s most sought-after free agent would choose to play after he started meeting with six teams vying for him: the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers – the team he has spent his entire career with.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

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