Did Teena Marie have to die? The 54-year old Ivory Queen Of Soul passed away in her sleep the day after Christmas. Over the past few months, Teena Marie had been having health issues in the form of seizures. A couple of months ago, she suffered a seizure that forced her onto medication. Sources say she hated the way the medicine made her feel. She had a few concerts coming up, and she wanted her energy back. Did she stop taking her medicine to try herbal remedies? Marie’s 19-year old daughter, Alia Rose, found her body, and Marie’s death sent the music world in shock. There will never be another Teena Marie. Her voice was amazing, and she was an incredible writer and producer. She was also a great mother to her daughter. Teena always gave her all in concerts. We had so much fun with her last year in Atlantic City and at the Dell East. Marie was looking forward to getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and releasing a new album. She will be missed, but her music will never be forgotten.
The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin is recovering at home after a recent hospital stay. In early December, Franklin had surgery for pancreatic cancer. She lost over 80 pounds as half of her stomach was removed. Franklin, 68, was recovering from that surgery when she collapsed at home from dehydration. So far, it’s been a slow recovery for Franklin. Keep The Queen Of Soul in your prayers.
Fantasia got some good news at the end of the year, a North Carolina judge has ruled that she didn’t break up the marriage of her married boyfriend. Fantasia had quite a year with Antwaun Cook. When they met, he was married and his wife took Fantasia to court. Well, a judge decided from his findings that the Cooks were already separated when Fantasia came into the picture. A lot came out during this court case, including Fantasia having an abortion and attempting suicide. Fantasia is currently on tour, and Mr. Cook is right by her side.
How did Nicole Murphy blow through $15 million? Murphy, the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy, is facing taxes and huge bills, and it’s all due to bad investments. When Nicole divorced Eddie, she got $15 million up front, but the money is gone. She lost much of her money in a failed internet jewelry business. Nicole, who is dating TV Analyst and former NFL Player Michael Strahan, has been forced to cut back on her movie star lifestyle. Eddie reportedly has agreed to give her more money in child support to help her make ends meet. They have five children together.
So how is life for former NBA Star Allen Iverson in Turkey? Iverson now plays basketball overseas, and in a recent interview with Philadelphia Magazine, he talked about his life right now. Iverson says his daughter, who was sick, is doing better. He revealed he is back together with his wife and she and their five kids will be joining him in Turkey. He says he’s not broke, even though he has been selling valuable items on E-Bay. At 34, he says he still has money. He also revealed that he has been blackballed by the NBA saying the talk about him is that he is too much trouble. His life now consists of practice twice a day (remember how he hated practice when he played for the 76ers). Iverson only has two months off out of the year, and the home arena where he plays has less than 4,000 seats.
Congrats to Auntie Viv! Vivica A. Fox is engaged to be married. Fox, 46, recently got an 8-carat ring. She is engaged to Party Promoter Omar ‘Slimm’ White who’s 27.
Sherri Shepherd from The View is also engaged to be married. Shepherd said yes the day after Christmas to TV Writer Lamar Sally. Shepherd says she has found the love she’s been looking for. The 43-year old is also the host of The Newlywed Game on the Game Show Network. An August wedding is being planned in Chicago. Her daytime talker The View returns from hiatus on January 10th, and she’ll be talking about her engagement.
Mo’Nique, who won an Academy Award last year for her role in Precious, will be hand to announce the new nominees for this year’s Oscars. The announcements will be made on January 25th.
Chef Aaron McCargo, the host of Big Daddy’s House on the Food Network, has a new time slot, Friday mornings at 9:30am and Saturday mornings at 8am. McCargo is also getting ready to release his first cookbook. Simple Well Done arrives in bookstores this April.
Montel Williams got busted with drug paraphernalia at a Milwaukee airport. Williams was going through airport security when he was caught with a pipe used for smoking pot. Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, and he is big promoter of medical marijuana. He smokes pot to deal with the chronic pain. After he was arrested, he paid a fine and was released.
Tracy Morgan says he hopes to return to work this month following a successful kidney transplant operation late last year. The 30 Rock star says he is making major changes in his life now that he is sober. He wants to do more movies and find true love.
Singer Morris Day from The Time is also looking to rebound this year with new moves. Day recently underwent hip replacement surgery.
Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker debuts his Criminal Minds TV spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The new series kicks off February 16th.
Who is the young ballerina that has caught the eye of Prince? Misty Copeland is a 26-year old ballet dancer. She is the only African American performer in the American Ballet Theatre. Copeland has appeared on stage with Prince during his Welcome To America Tour, and she is starring in his music video Crimson And Clover. Prince, 52, is known for wooing his talent. He seems quite smitten with Copeland, much to the dismay of his girlfriend Bria Valente.
The hottest comedian out right now is Kevin Hart. The Philly native is wowing audiences across the country with his Seriously Funny Tour. Hart is also making headlines with his love life. He is no longer with his wife Torrie, the mother of his children. Hart has been dating an aspiring model whom sources say is well known………….and by that I don’t mean famous! Hmmmmmmmm!!!
Bernie Wilson of Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes fame passed away late last year. Wilson, who had the baritone voice, was a member of the group throughout their most popular career phase with Philadelphia International Records beginning in 1971. Lloyd Parks is now the sole surviving member of that Sound Of Philly lineup.
Back in the 80’s, Parents Just Don’t Understand launched the career of Will Smith, and now a remake is in the wings featuring his daughter Willow. Willow, 10, had the 2010 smash Whip My Hair, and in a recent interview she says she would like to do her dad’s classic song.
The TBS TV show Are We There Yet? has returned. Ice Cube is back as executive producer. The TV show is based on his hit movie. Are We There Yet? airs Wednesday nights and stars Terry Crews and Essence Atkins.
Tyler Perry’s latest movie For Colored Girls is gearing up for a DVD release of February 8th. The critically acclaimed movie stars Janet Jackson, Kimberly Elise, Whoopi Goldberg, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton.
Flavor Flav is coming out with a memoir this year. The popular reality show star says he’s going to cover it all, from his early career with the rap group Public Enemy to his stints in rehab and jail. The book, Icon, comes out in March.
Paula Abdul says she is excited about her return to TV. Abdul’s new dance reality show, Live To Dance, debuted to high ratings. I loved the dancing. Abdul, 48, says she is moving on from American Idol. She says there are many misconceptions about her. She says she has never had a drinking problem. Paula says she’s not ditzy or clueless but naturally goofy. When Abdul appeared on Idol, she was known for her antics and loopiness. She would appear out of it, and many wondered if this was the reason she was replaced on the show. For sure the show has not been the same without her. Now speaking of American Idol, their new season kicks off on the 19th with new Judges Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez. In addition to new judges, the show is also getting a new musical director. Ray Chew from Showtime At The Apollo is taking the helm as the shows new music director. Chew has done every major awards show and even the President’s Inauguration. Chew has also worked with the legends including Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight.
Russell Simmons, the 53-year old co-founder of Def Jam Records, is back with a new book that’s really good. Super Rich: A Guide To Having It All is a book about leading a better life through an enlightened state of mind. How do we do that? We do that by taking stock of ourselves. Simmons says people must accept that happiness is up to you, just two of the major theories that he discusses.
Poet and Author Dr. Maya Angelou also has a new book out. Great Food All Day Long features recipes and writings from the 82-year old icon. Angelou says it’s stories about food, friends and family.
Check out Queen Latifah in the new movie The Dilemma. The movie, also starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, comes out January 14th.
Oprah Winfrey’s new network, OWN, got off to a rousing start with a million viewers on the first day. The show debuted with small rollout of programming, but you can already tell her network is going to have some fun shows. The full slate of programming will be up by the fall. My favorite show is Ask The Experts with Dr. Phil, Suze Orman and Dr. Oz. I loved the premise of you’re asking them anything. Rosie O’Donnell, Gayle King and Country Superstar Shania Twain are just a few of the stars rolling out with shows.
Who’s watching the kids? This is the question many people are asking about the children of Shaquille O’Neal and his ex-wife Shaunie. The once darling couple have moved on with their lives, but are their children being neglected? Shaq has settled in the Boston area with his latest NBA home as a Boston Celtic. Despite rumors of a breakup, he continues to date Reality Star Hoopz, but they are not engaged. Shaunie has been partying around town with her 26-year old boyfriend Marlon Yates. The O’Neal kids range in age from 2 to 12. Shaunie has made a name with her show Basketball Wives, but close friends are concerned about the O’Neal children. Yes, they have money, but what about their parents’ involvement.
Lauryn Hill is up to her old antics. At a recent show in Brooklyn, she made fans wait four hours before she appeared on stage. Hill, who was carried in from the snow, says it was no big deal because she was worth the wait. Really? I don’t think any performer is worth a four-hour wait.
Jennifer Hudson is proudly showing off her 80-pound weight loss. With recent covers on Weight Watchers and US Weekly, Jennifer says her new nickname is Skinny Jenny. Hudson says keeping it off is not easy. The 29-year old Oscar winner dropped six dress sizes. Later this year, she will be starring in the movie Winnie with Terrence Howard. The movie is based on the life of Winnie Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Has Jasmine Sullivan quit the music business? The Philly native recently took to the social networks to air her complaints about the business. She is a talented songwriter as well as singer. The Philadelphia Creative And Performing Arts grad is best known for the song Bust Your Windows (Out Your Car).
The Reverend Al Sharpton is ready to tell all. Sharpton has led a colorful life from politics to the streets. In his book, Sharpton says he will talk about his failed marriage and the drama that unfolded with the families of James Brown and Michael Jackson following their deaths.
Rapper Tone Loc, an 80’s sensation with his hit Wild Thing, says his recent arrest from drunk driving is a big mistake. Loc says he sufferes from seizures, and he was having an attack when police stopped him. He says he stopped drinking years ago.
Toni Braxton is going nude and coming to reality TV. Toni is posing nude, and it looks like she is going to get a cover and inside spread in Playboy. 2010 was filled with bad news for her: diagnosed with Lupus and filing for bankruptcy for a second time. Braxton is ready to make a new turn with her sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar in Braxton Family Values. The show debuts on the WE network in April.
Denzel’s wife is coming to Broadway. Pauletta Washington is returning to acting in the off Broadway show Love, Loss And What I Wore. The show is playing January 12th through February 13th at the Westin Theatre in New York. The proud mother of four is looking forward to returning to the stage,
This is going to be an amazing year for Actress Angela Bassett. She just signed on for the movie This Means War, which is being produced by Will Smith. Bassett will star alongside Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. Bassett will also be starring in the new ABC cop drama One Police Plaza. Plus, she’s got two other films on the way: the T.D. Jakes’ movie Jumping The Broom with Paula Patton in May and the action movie Green Lantern in June.
Halle Berry and Idris Elba have been nominated for awards at the 68TH Annual Golden Globe Awards. Berry is up for Best Actress for her movie about a woman with multiple personality disorder, Frankie And Alice, and Idris is nominated for his role in the miniseries Luther. The Golden Globe Awards air Sunday, January 16th on NBC. Check out Halle on the new issue of Jet magazine.
Whitney Houston is the surprise guest at the BET Celebration Of Gospel. During the taping, Houston stunned the audience by joining Kim Burrell on stage. The show, hosted by Steve Harvey, airs Sunday, January 30th at 8pm on BET.
Speaking of Steve Harvey, his book, Straight Talk No Chaser is in stores. It’s a follow up to the book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Steve will be in Philly Tuesday, January 18th at the Borders Bookstore on Broad and Chestnut Streets. Also, check him out nightly on the Centric network with The Steve Harvey Project. Steve is also going on tour with Kirk Franklin. It’s a gospel and comedy tour which kicks off next March. Harvey is also on the cover of the new issue of Essence magazine, and he is doing very well with his latest job as the new host of the game show Family Feud.
Congratulations to Chaka Khan she’s going to be honored at Annual UNCF telethon, An Evening Of Stars. The show airs in syndication at the end of the month.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards take place February 13th. Kem, Sade, Fantasia, Jaheim, Usher and El DeBarge are all up for awards.
The movie Takers arrives on DVD January 18th. The movie stars Idris Elba, Rapper/Actor T.I., Paul Walker, Matt Dillon and Chris Brown.
The King Of Pop’s videos are out on DVD. Michael Jackson’s Visions features over 2 ½ hours worth of classic videos. Also, get ready for the Cirque De Soleil Show coming to the Wells Fargo Center on April 10th, 2012. Michael’s music is also going to be featured in a special episode of the FOX show Glee. Glee has a special after the Superbowl episode on February 6th where the cast will be doing the music from the Thriller album. The Superbowl for 2011 will air on FOX and the special halftime guests will be The Black Eyed Peas.
The 4th season of The Game and the new original comedy Let’s Stay Together both kick off January 11th on BET.
Are you a talented singer or musician? Well get ready for the Rising Star Talent search. The winner will get cash and a chance to perform at the West Oak Lane Jazz Festival this summer. Auditions kick off Wednesday, January 12th at Relish, 7152 Ogontz Avenue. WDAS’ own Mimi Brown will be hosting. To register call 215-922-5455.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She’s talented, sexy and the hottest star on the planet……She also likes to drink! Hmmmmmmmmm!!!!
Check out who’s coming to town:
Saturday and Sunday, January 8th and 9th - It’s the Rick Watson stage production There’s A Wright And Wrong Way To Love Somebody starring WDAS’ own Mimi Brown at The Arts Bank Theatre on The Avenue Of The Arts, 601 South Broad Street. The romance comedy/drama is written, produced and directed by Rick Watson. For more info call 215-869-3509.
Friday and Saturday January 14th and 15th It’s comedy and more with Singer Christopher Williams at the Laff House, 221 South Street for more info call 215-440-4242, or go to laffhouse.com.
Saturday, January 29th –Lauryn Hill in concert at The House Of Blues in Atlantic City.
Friday, February 4th-Comedy show with Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Earthquake and Turae at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Friday, February 5th-The Seriously Funny Tour with Kevin Hart at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE.
February 8th-13th The David E. Talbert stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know at the Merriam Theatre, Broad and Spruce. Michelle Williams, Brian White, Ann Nesby and Clifton Davis
Friday, February 12th – Funk Show starring Cameo, War, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Con Funk Shun and The Dazz Band at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Friday, February 18th- Salt N Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Doug E. Fresh,, Kool Moe Dee, and Kurtis Blow at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Saturday, February 19th- George Clinton at the Keswick Theatre.
Friday, February 25th- El DeBarge and Kem in concert at the Tower Theatre, 69th Street in Upper Darby.
Friday and Saturday, March 25th -26th - Janet Jackson in concert at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.
Sunday, June 19th – Sade in concert at the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center).
April 10th, 2012- Cirque De Soleil Show featuring the music of Michael Jackson at the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center).