These things, among others, are far worse than Janet Jackson posing for a magazine cover with her arm across her chest. (There are “Girls Gone Wild” TV commercials that should be of greater concern, and let us not forget Jerry Springer’s show.)
Not only that, the things cited in paragraph one are also largely tolerated in real life. But people are ready to tar and feather Janet for something that means almost nothing in the greater scheme of things. The infamous Super Bowl half-time show “wardrobe malfunction” — though it should never have happened — was blown so far out of proportion that it would have been funny had it not been so pathetic and hypocritical.
Most likely, I will receive some — maybe a lot — of negative feedback for running the above picture, but while those people are blasting me, they will be ignoring some things in their own lives or community of far greater importance.
I do not approve or disapprove of Janet Jackson’s Vibe cover.
It’s her life. I have other things to be concerned about.
THERE WAS an interesting article in Billboard magazine pertaining to how hip-hop artists continue to come up short with regard to concert attendance, despite coming on so strong in other respects. The problem, as the article made clear, is a “lack of production values.” The overwhelming majority of rappers do not know how to present a good, eye-catching, attention-holding, worth-the-money show. They could take lessons from Prince, Madonna, Cher, Michael Jackson and others.
“Hip-hop — dominant at radio and retail — remains an also-ran in the concern game,” the article said. “It only had one tour in the Top 25 grosses of 2005.”
Ruben Studdard’s third album, “The Return,” will be released late next month. He hasn’t been seen much lately. Hence, the title. The “American Idol” winner’s first album, “Soulful,” was R&B while the second one, “I Need an Angel,” was gospel. It is regrettable that Studdard has chosen to do “If Only for One Night.” Basically, it’s a good idea to leave Luther Vandross classics alone.
Speaking of “American Idol,” the second album of third season winner Fantasia is slated for Oct. 17 release. She recently commented, “I plan on being in the game a long time so that I can be a diva.”
And while on the subject of follow-up albums, John Legend’s “Once Again” is on its way, though a release date had not been given as of this writing. His “Get Lifted” album was a huge seller.
GLADYS KNIGHT, like so many others, is designing her own line of clothing. It will be loungewear at first, and then develop from there. But the superstar has a reason for this venture that goes beyond the norm. “I hate shopping because I see things I like, try them on, and they don’t work,” she said. “Everyone doesn’t fit the super-thin stereotype.” It is not clear whether her clothes will be sold in certain stores only or will be widely available.)
Smokey Robinson’s business venture, frozen red beans & rice and frozen gumbo, doesn’t seem to be going real well. (I tried the red beans & rice. It was just so-so, and the price was a bit high.) Also, Robinson’s album of standards, “Timeless Love,” is only selling moderately well. He was hoping for a smash, as enjoyed by Rod Stewart with all four of his standards albums.
It came as no real surprise to hear that Prince would be the performer at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show. He has been more high profile lately, even appearing on “American Idol.” This will in all probability be one of the best and most exciting half-time shows.
LAST MONTH I wrote a story titled “Things We Are Not Likely to See.” Reader Ingrid Hatcher came up with some of her own:
Star Jones returning to “The View.” India.Arie singing a raunchy, mindless song. Flava Flav voted one of “The 50 Most Beautiful.” Steve Harvey in everyday clothing. Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan with gray hair. James Brown with a bald head. George Foreman broke. Condoleeza Rice at the BET Awards.
We haven’t heard from disco queen Donna Summer in a while. She will have a new album on the market next year, which might include one or two Marvin Gaye remakes. (Not a good idea — see Ruben Studdard/Luther Vandross item on page D-1.) Summer says that shortly before his 1984 passing, she and Marvin were planning to do some recording together. I can’t quite imagine how that would have sounded, but it would surely have been interesting.
Nicole Richie, Lionel Richie’s adopted daughter, is making an album. How likely do you think it is that she has any significant talent? Not very, right?
If you’re a Spinners fan, be sure to pick up the three-CD box set, “The Chrome Collection.” So much great material, with fine production. The only problem is that disc three features too many latter-day songs with which the group tried too hard to be in step with the disco craze. The Spinners were not a disco group!
Give Mary Wilson points for honesty. “I have not been an angel,” said the former Supreme. “I’ve done a lot of things I wouldn’t want the fans to know I’ve done.”
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW.... that “The Wizard of Oz” is one of Spike Lee’s favorite movies, and that “All About Eve” is Star Jones’ all-time favorite movie.
MEMORIES: “Function at the Junction” (Shorty Long), “(I’m A) Roadrunner” (Jr. Walker & the All Stars), “Message to Michael” (Dionne Warwick), “What’s Easy For Two Is So Hard For One” (Mary Wells), “Silly” (Deniece Williams), “Show and Tell” (Al Wilson), “Ten Commandments of Love” (Harvey & the Moonglows), “Love Hangover” (Diana Ross), “Be My Baby” (the Ronettes), “I Wanna Get Next to You” (Rose Royce).
BLESSINGS to Michael J. Powell, Bess White, Gordon Camp, Henry White, Lois Reeves, Marie Rogers Bryant, Robert Terrell, Harold Searcy and Katherine Schaffner.
WORDS OF THE WEEK (a bit of humor), from Aldous Huxley: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”
Let the music play!
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