Category: Entertainment - Original Written by S.V. Holsey
The traditional wedding vows include the words “till death do us part.” Well-intentioned couples, usually in love (or something like it), have been speaking those words for eons. And back in the day, they nearly always meant it.
But with the passage of time things changed. For many reasons, most of them complex, “till death do us part” transitioned into “for as long as we both think it’s a good idea.”
Which goes a long way in explaining why today more marriages fail than succeed, and all the more so in the entertainment industry where egos and insecurities go hand in hand, and frequently clash.
In fact, the terms “show business marriage” and “Hollywood marriage” have long had negative connotations. True, they bring to mind glamour, with all the flashing lights and overly-aggressive reporters. But the terms have also come to be associated with unions of short, and sometimes tumultuous, duration.
But even so, there are exceptions.
FOR EXAMPLE, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., formerly of the 5th Dimension, obviously meant what they were saying during their wedding ceremony. These two, who almost seem to have been born to be together, have been married, amazingly, for 44 years!
The 5th Dimension’s first major hit was “Up, Up and Away.” Maybe that’s what they were thinking when they took their wedding vows.
Bill and Camille Cosby are another long-lasting couple. The legendary comedian/actor/author/producer met future producer Camille Hanks in the early 1960s. At the time she was a student at the University of Maryland and he was in Washington, DC, doing his stand-up comedy act.
Everything seemed right about the relationship, so they married in 1964. The following year Cosby was cast in the landmark TV series “I Spy.”
MEGASTAR actor Denzel Washington met actress Pauletta Pearson on the set of made-for-television movie. They got married in 1983.
In addition to love, commitment, respect, friendship, trust, compromise and all the other things that make for a successful marriage, the Washingtons keep their personal lives and show business separate.
Oh, there is one more thing. Washington joked recently that the real key is, “I do whatever my wife says and keep my mouth shut!”
Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett and Detroit-born actor Courtney B. Vance are a married couple who seem perfect for each other. They married in 1997 but had known each other since 1980.
Vance and Bassett wrote a book about their life together titled “Friends: A Love Story,” published in 2009.
ONE OF THE most unexpected marriages was that of Somalia-born supermodel, entrepreneur and actress Iman and rock icon David Bowie. They were married in 1992 in a most unexpected place, Lausanne, Romandy. (The average person doesn’t even know where that is!)
Another thing that makes their happy marriage out of the ordinary, aside from the obvious, is that Bowie is widely known to be bisexual. (This is not a judgment call, because people are what they are. It is just a statement of fact.)
A hardcore rap superstar and a beautiful superstar diva singer married? That is what happened in 2008 when Beyoncé and Jay-Z took the giant step, but without fanfare. Anyone can see that they each love the ground the other walks on. And talk about being a “power couple”!
Jay-Z began smiling a lot more after he got together with Beyoncé, the lady he has (rightfully) described as “the hardest working woman in show business.”
This marriage is expected to pass the longevity test.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, who just may be the busiest actor in Hollywood, and LaTanya Richardson have been married since 1980. Jackson and actress and sports channel producer Richardson met when they were both students at Morehouse College.
Jackson said, “I’m a good husband. I’ve been married to the same woman for 33 years.”
No brag, just facts.
Some marriages would surely still be intact today were it not for the fact that one partner passed. Indeed, in these cases it was “until death do us part.”
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson married in 1974, but had been together for a decade. They were the ideal couple, loving and working together.
Many of the hit songs they wrote seemed to mirror their relationship, including “You’re All Need to Get By,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “Your Precious Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Solid.”
Nick Ashford died in 2011.
OSSIE DAVIS, actor, director, playwright, author and poet, and Ruby Dee, actress, playwright, screenwriter, poet and journalist, could have been described as the gold standard of marriage.
They were married in 1948 and were still going strong in 2005 when Davis made his transition.
Davis quipped that one reason their marriage endured for so long was that he always let his wife win the argument — “even when she was wrong.”
Nancy Wilson, one of the greatest songstresses of all time, and one of the classiest, married Rev. Wiley Burton in 1973. Wilson and Burton lived a personal life that was in no way connected to show business, and it worked out beautifully for them.
Burton passed in 2008.
Smokey Robinson once wrote a song that said, “What love has joined together...nobody can take apart.” And some married couples — even in show business — can attest to that.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:01
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
(Photo credit: Rae Maxwell)
From Nona Hendrix and Grace Jones, to the Afro punk warrior goddess Tamar Kali, Black women artists are inextricably woven into the fabric of rock and roll. During Women's History Month, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History and the Jess Care Moore Foundation will pay homage to this crucial aspect of history with the fourth annual "Black Women Rock!" (BWR!). The art exhibition, live music concert, and Sunday afternoon workshops and community celebration will take place March 16-18 at the museum.
In 2004, renowned poet and performer Jessica Care Moore created "Black Women Rock! A Tribute to Rock Icon Betty Davis" in conjunction with The National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta to showcase independent women artists of color who made a living as composers, guitarists, vocalists, producers and arts educators in the rock and roll genre.
These contemporary artists defy stereotypes of what a rock and roll artist looks and sounds like and are the spiritual descendants of Betty Davis, Etta James, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Nona Hendrix, and Patti LaBelle. They have
spent their careers breaking down barriers of image, politics and sexuality in the music industry. In honor of Women's History Month, "BWR!" debuted in Detroit in March 2010 to a standing-room-only audience.
The free art exhibition curated by Sabrina Nelson and Jessica Care Moore kicks off this year's event on Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m. The acclaimed "BWR! live rock and roll concert returns to the Wright Museum's General Motors
Theater on Saturday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m., and features performances by Dionne Farris, (Arrested Development), Martha Redbone, Ursula Rucker (The Roots), Kat Dyson (guitar player for Prince), Canadian rocker Saidah Baba Talibah, and Detroit's own Jessica Care Moore and Steffanie Christi'an. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $25.
The events conclude on Sunday, March 17, with a Community Celebration to raise funds to benefit rock icon Betty Davis. An intimate Commnity Conversation/Panel Discussion titled "We Are Not Urban Fiction" with the headliners, plus special guest comedian and WJLB on air personality, Coco is at 12:30 p.m. The suggested donation is $10, but the Sunday activities are all free.
A special book signing with Laina Dawes, author of "What You Doing Here? A Black Woman's Life in Liberation in Heavy Metal," will occur after the talk.
All "BWR!" events will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
The museum is located at 315 East Warren Ave. near Woodward. Tickets for the Saturday, March 16, concert can be purchased at www.thewright.org
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:28
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
For a while there had been talk about the possibility of bringing back “In Living Color,” the groundbreaking, innovative sketch comedy show that ran from 1990 to 1994.
But according to its creator, Keenen Ivory Wayans, that is not going to happen. As he put it, “After a lot of thought and discussions, I realized that the bar is set really high and if you’re not going to pass that, then it’s better to let it alone.”
He is 100 percent correct. A new “In Living Color” would almost surely come up short. The show has its place in history, and you can buy the series on DVD to be enjoyed today, but that is where it should end.
The “In Living Color” performers were fantastic, and the skits and characters were among the best ever and most memorable. The cast included Keenen Ivory Wayans, Tommy Davidson, Kelly Coffield, Kim Wayans, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Kim Coles, Jim Carrey and David Alan Grier, among others.
The fifth season of “In Living Color” was far below par because by then the Wayans had left the show.
NO ONE expected an album from the great Jeffrey Osborne (what a voice!) consisting primarily of standards and pop tunes. But “A Time For Love” is a beautiful, warm, relaxing listening experience, for mature adults.
“This album is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Osborne. “Despite my love for Motown and doo-wop, I grew up listening to the jazz and standards my father and older siblings were playing.”
To get a feeling of intimacy, Osborne recorded live in the studio with the musicians.
Among the most outstanding selections on the set, which was produced by George Duke, are “Teach Me Tonight,” “When I Fall in Love,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “My One and Only Love,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “Nature Boy.”
“A Time For Love” is class.
KELLY ROWLAND expressing herself about the publicity-seeking Keyshia Cole is understandable, but on the other hand, she just gave Cole what she was hoping for — media coverage.
Cole had been highly critical of Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, claiming her performance was lacking during the Super Bowl halftime show, as compared to Rowland and Beyoncé.
“We had a wonderful performance and that’s all I care about,” said Rowland. “I was with my sisters. We matter to a lot of people. I really don’t care what she said.”
Fantasia has a new album titled “The Side Effects of You” that should be released by the time you read this.
It had been announced that Lenny Kravitz would be portraying Marvin Gaye in the long-delayed biopic on the legendary star. But Kravitz has dropped out and been replaced by Jesse L. Martin, who has a lot of TV and film credits but is best known for the years he spent on the long-running TV drama “Law & Order.”
WHEN YOU watch reruns of “Soul Train” (they are shown on WXYZ, Bounce TV, Channel 7-3), it is hard to believe that Don Cornelius is no longer with us in the physical realm, and that he took his own life because of health and personal problems.
But it is not a surprise that the public knew nothing about his issues because as his son, TV producer Tony Cornelius, has pointed out, his father was a very private person, a fact confirmed by Vicki Abercrombie (now Vicki Abercrombie-Walker), one of the regular dancers during the early to mid ’70s golden era of the iconic dance/entertainment show.
“I got along with him, I could easily go up to him,” said Abercrombie-Walker. “But overall, he isolated himself. He definitely drew a line. He didn’t allow people to get too close to him. We knew Don, but then again, we really didn’t know him.”
NOW BACK to Keenen Ivory Wayans. He made a statement recently that has left many people surprised and puzzled.
“What people don’t understand is that comedy is a mask for pain,” he said bluntly during a recent interview. “People who are innately funny are innately disturbed.”
He may be largely correct. I conversed with one of the industry’s most famous funnymen and, offstage, he was not the least bit humorous.
No doubt the great actor Laurence Fishburne is still feeling bad about his daughter’s decision to become a porn actress, something she said she “always wanted to do.”
Yours truly has nothing against adult entertainment, but it is understandable how Fishburne feels. Unlike most porn stars, Montana Fishburne has been known to use her real name; at other times she is “Chippy D.”
Which brings to mind the fact that actor Larenz Tate (“Love Jones,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?,” “Ray,” etc.), if he is aware of it, cannot be pleased with the fact that there is a porn actor who calls himself “Larenz Taste.”
Correction: In a recent column I said Motown once released a single titled “Too Hurt to Cry, Too Much in Love to Say Goodbye” as a Marvelettes record even though the Andantes did not all of the singing. Actually, the lead vocal was done by Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes with the Andantes providing the background harmonies.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW....that Jimmy Ruffin had to practically beg the Motown decision makers to allow him to record “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” which, of course, became a classic. He was going through bad times and knew that he could put genuine emotion into lyrics.
MEMORIES: “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (Stevie Wonder), “Belle” (Al Green), “Bad Luck” (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes), “There It Is” (Tyrone Davis), “Love Rollercoaster” (the Ohio Players), “Do Me Baby” (Meli’sa Morgan), “Key to the World” (L.J. Reynolds), “B-A-B-Y” (Carla Thomas), “How Can I Ease the Pain?” (Lisa Fischer), “Rhythm of the Night” (DeBarge).
BLESSINGS to Michael Walker, Pam Woodside, M.L. Elrick, Chuck Bennett, Freddy Anderson (“Fast Freddy”), Shirleen Fort, Bud McQueen, Anita Baker, Diane Perkins, Ken Donaldson and Horace Boyington.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks: “Never let anyone define your reality.”
Let the music play!
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 09:42
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Yvelette Stines
It is considered a blessing to know what you want to do at a young age. For Tori Nichel it was fashion and she is happy she had the direction early in life. The influence of fashion and style came from her mother’s side of the family.
“My mom, aunt and grandmother were all very stylish. I would always tag along when they went shopping,” she said. Nichel would consistently immerse herself in her mom’s fashion magazines. “I would look at all of the designers’ names and I made up my own fashion stage name. I called myself Toto Gibbitini.”
Attending West Bloomfield High School, Tori Nichel created her own path when it came to expanding her knowledge in fashion. It was her teacher and mentor that sealed the deal.
“I read an article about a woman named Christiane, she was teaching fashion classes. I called her, and she was hesitant to take me as a student because I was 16 years old. I convinced her to give me a chance and she did,” she said. With that chance came a lot of inside information about the business. “She mentally and skillfully prepared me for a career in fashion.”
Nichel studied with Christiane until her junior year in college. With a strong foundation from her mentor, she was ready to take her dream and talents to New York.
After completing her degrees from Michigan State University and Fashion Institute of Technology, Dana Bachman was Nichel’s first job in fashion where she worked in the fabric research department. Her talents led her to Kenneth Cole where she worked on the launch of the women’s spring collection and then she continued honing her craft at Tibi. The experiences led her to acquire the expertise that she needed to start her own line.
In 2006 Tori Nichel, the collection, was born. The brand represented a woman of chic sophistication and confidence. With a successful run, business shifted that led her to take a break in 2008.
“I wanted to come back at the right time with a solid infrastructure,” she said.
Still working in the industry, she put her designs on hold. As she started to think of her relaunch another opportunity came about that was a clear confirmation that she needed to continue along her path: “I received an e-mail from a friend of a friend regarding NBC’s Fashion Star, I was a bit hesitant, but I sent in the video and e-mail and I was invited to the open call and the rest is history,” she said.
The show gives 12 young designers the chance to win a multimillion dollar prize of launching their original collections in three of the nation’s largest fashion retailers. This opportunity came at the right time, as she was going through shifts and challenges in her business and reflecting on her life. She did pull on faith and the strength of her family values.
“My dad and grandfather always told us to be strong. They would remind us that we are resilient and we could get through anything,” she said. She remembered those values as she was designing her new line that will be launching in the summer of 2013.
“The line will be solely a collection of dresses. This is so personal to me because each dress is named after a woman that I know personally that has been through an obstacle and persevered.”
This collection is a reminder to Tori Nichel that she has been blessed. She says, “Regardless of how hard it gets, never give up and stay focused. If you want to live out your dream you must work hard.”
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 09:48
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by R.J. Barnhill
Looking for luck on St. Patrick’s Day? Then TAP at MGM Grand Detroit, a modern sports pub with a classically comfortable feel, is a good place to start.
This newcomer to the social scene is offering $4 pints and $12 pitchers of Guinness brew on St. Patty’s Day. TAP also offers a curated collection of more than 50 draft, bottled and Michigan craft beers for adventurous types with discerning palates.
And of course you can’t do all that sipping without a little something to nosh on. Balancing icy cold beverages with tasty dishes is easy at TAP with its extensive menu of nearly 80 options. We recommend the pub’s Michigan Beer-Battered Fish n’ Chips, a favorite of TAP regulars. Special for St. Patrick’s Day, TAP offers Irish favorites including corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash. The appetizing food specials start at $12.
Have the whole gang in tow? No sweat. Even families with kids will feel welcome at TAP, thanks to its close proximity to the hotel lobby and 40 high-definition flat-screen TVs hanging on almost every wall that offer something for every sports fan to enjoy. And take time to check out the authentic memorabilia displayed on walls, shelves and inside glass cases that spotlight exciting yesteryear moments in Detroit sports history.
After a few brews and a good meal, head to the gaming floor to test the Luck of the Irish. MGM Grand Detroit recently added 300 new slot machines, all with plenty of chances to win on St. Patrick’s Day and take home your own pot of gold!
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 09:35
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