Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
When Alicia Keys makes new music, people listen and, perhaps more importantly, they buy. Such an event is also special for radio programmers who are appreciative of having something “hot” to add to their playlists which is sure to generate major response from listeners.
It has been that way since 2001, the year Keys’ debut album, “Songs in A Minor” was released. It comes as no surprise that she was signed to Arista Records by none other than the legendary Clive Davis who knew right away that Keys (whose real name is Alicia Cook) was “special” and “unique.”
How special? Consider this: Since that year the singer, songwriter, pianist, producer and actress has won 14 Grammy Awards, 10 Billboard Music Awards, 16 NAACP Image Awards, five American Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, and that is just part of the story.
Keys’ latest album is “Girl on Fire” which could possibly outsell the others, based on its consistent performance thus far. The title track, with its catchy and relentless beat, was a huge hit. The newest single is “Tears Always Win.”
“Girl on Fire” was preceded by “The Element of Freedom” (2009), “As I Am” (2007), “The Diary of Alicia Keys” (2003) and “Songs in A Minor” (2001).
Keys was recently named the Michael Jackson Entertainer of the Decade by Black Radio Exclusive magazine.
Alicia Keys is also a believer in giving back. She is the co-founder and global ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, a non-profit organization committed to providing medication for families in Africa with HIV and AIDS.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:52
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
It can happen to anyone, even the biggest celebrities.
Gladys Knight is a music icon, having given the public such classics as “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (the Gladys Knight and the Pips version came out before Marvin Gaye’s) and “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”
But there was a time when the lady with the big, expressive voice was caught in the grip of gambling, specifically blackjack.
Fortunately, that is now relegated to her past.
“I got into gambling when I was playing a casino,” Knight recalled. “One day a friend said, ‘Do you want to play some blackjack?’ So I played and enjoyed it. You think you can win everything but you won’t.”
Knight realized she had a hit a new low one night when, not cognizant of the hours passing, suddenly realized that it was morning — and she should have been at home getting her son ready for school.
This was her wake-up call.
“I just got sick at the table,” she said. “I got up, went to the phone and called Gamblers Anonymous. The lady who answered said, ‘Where are you? We will come get you.’”
They did and that was the start of her recovery, which was completed in record time, due to what she identifies as divine intervention.
“I have a faith that is unbeatable,” she said. “As far as my Lord and Savior is concerned, I try to go the way I’m supposed to, and when I fall short, I ask for help.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:50
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
FOX has ordered 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, a thrilling new tent-pole event series set to restart the clock on the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning drama franchise starring Kiefer Sutherland. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Howard Gordon’s Teakwood Lane Productions, 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY will make its historic debut in the summer of 2014 on FOX.
The announcement was made this morning by Kevin Reilly, Chairman, Fox Broadcasting Company; Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen, Twentieth Century Fox Television; and Brian Grazer, Chairman, Imagine Entertainment.
The high-octane saga will reunite showrunner Howard Gordon with Sutherland and retain thereal-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format with split screens and complex interweaving storylines, with 12 episodes representing 24 hours. The suspenseful event series once again follows the exploits of heroic agent JACK BAUER (Sutherland), who will resume his story several years following the events of the final season.
“It’s great to have Jack back. ‘24’ redefined the drama genre, and as we reimagine the television miniseries, this iconic show will again break new ground for the network,” said Reilly. “The series remains a global sensation, and everyone at FOX is thrilled to be back at work with Kiefer, Howard and the incredibly creative ‘24’ team.”
“When Howard came to us saying he had an idea for a new chapter of ‘24,’ he quite simply had us at ‘hello,’” remarked 20th Century Fox Television Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “’24’ is a signature series for this studio, beloved by critics and audiences worldwide. Howard’s idea to revive the franchise as an event series couldn’t be timelier, and with the brilliant Kiefer Sutherland on board to reprise his iconic role, we can’t wait to get started.”
Added Imagine Television Chairman Brian Grazer, “I'm both excited and proud that Howard, Kiefer, and I, along with ours partners at 20th and Fox, have this new opportunity to give ‘24’ fans what they've been asking for – more Jack Bauer. It's been my experience that people love Jack Bauer because he's a guy who cuts through the red tape and gets the hardest things done. I am certain 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY will again have a huge impact on our culture.”
“The response to ‘24’ is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before,” noted Sutherland. “To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. The story ideas from Howard Gordon are exciting and fresh, and will not disappoint. Great thanks to 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and the FOX network for this opportunity. Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off. See you soon.”
“Jack Bauer has always been an exciting, thrilling character, and I confess that I’ve missed him. I think the audience has too,” said executive producer Howard Gordon who served as showrunner for most of the series’ run and won multiple Emmy Awards for his work.“The character has evolved through the years, and this new and exciting event series format is perfect to tell the next chapter of his story and continue to reflect how the world is changing. Fans can rest assured that the Jack they know and love will be back.”
Originally premiering November 6, 2001, ‘24’ was nominated for a total of 73 Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006. Over eight seasons, Kiefer Sutherland garnered seven Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series. While the series gained global recognition, Sutherland’s portrayal of the legendary character penetrated the American psyche like no other dramatic television character to become part of the cultural lexicon.
24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY is a production of 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions. Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer and Kiefer Sutherland will executive produce, along with an additional team to be announced. The original series, which had its last American broadcast on May 24, 2010, was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran.
Follow Amber L. Bogins on Twitter @AmberLaShaii
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 13:40
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been known for their secrecy with their relationship, marriage and baby news. However with the recent rumors of Beyoncé being pregnant with her second child by husband Jay-Z, we have seven clues on why this rumor may be true. Click through our clues and leave a comment on if you think Beyonce is pregnant for the second time.
1. Hiding Her Baby Bump: Beyoncé attire at MET Gala was Hi-Waisted Givenchy Gown. This outfit is a surefire way to stay Chic and Covered.
2. Mums The Word: Beyoncé’s Rep has not made a comment regarding the pregnancy rumors.
3. Hint, Hint: On a recent one-on-one with ABC News Beyoncé stated that they wanted more kids and that she loved being a big sister and wanted Blue Ivy to have some company.
4. Just Water For Me: At the MET Gala, it’s reported that Beyoncé did not drink any alcohol.
5. Just In the Nick Of Time: Beyoncé’s tour is scheduled to wrap up around August 5th, which would be perfect timing to take a maternity leave.
6. Get Your Refunds Here: Beyoncé just cancelled her Belgium tour date due to supposed “exhaustion and dehydration”.
7. Eating for Two: According to Vanity Fair - Beyoncé spent more than $1,000 on chicken “wing roulettes” at a restaurant in Dublin after performing there earlier this month.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 15:07
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
Courtney B. Vance — the B stands for Bernard — has come a very long way since his days as a student at Detroit Country Day School, a highly regarded university preparatory school.
Today he ranks among the most accomplished and respected actors — Black, White or otherwise — in Hollywood, with a list of movie, television and stage credits that is, to say the least, impressive.
Right now Vance is appearing on Broadway in a Nora Ephron play titled “Lucky Guy” starring Tom Hanks, two-time Academy Award winner (Best Actor). In it Vance portrays newspaperman Hap Hairston, an aggressive editor during what has been described as “the tabloid wars” of 1985-1998. That is, when the New York Post, the New York Daily News and New York Newsday were in intense competition.
Hairston is the editor of Mike McAlary (Hanks) who skyrocketed from columnist to Pulitzer Prize journalist.
“I did the reading for it a year and a half ago and really didn’t know what would happen,” said Vance during a recent Broadway World interview.
He got the part, but there was a stipulation.
“THEY WANTED me to gain 20 pounds,” recalled Vance, noting that it was a challenge, but worth it considering the magnitude of the play, which has been extended through July 3 at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Audience response is not always the same from performance to performance.
“My job is to tell the story,” Vance said. “No one can predict how an audience will respond. Our job is to let the story wash over them. The audiences respond in their own way.”
He received a Tony Award nominations for his work in the stage productions “Fences” and “Six Degrees of Separation.”
COURTNEY B. VANCE, born March 12, 1960 in Detroit, in addition to being a gifted actor who is always working, is also one of the most educated people in Hollywood.
He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts degree. While at Harvard he honed his acting skills as part of the Boston Shakespeare Company. He later earned a fine arts degree at Yale School of Drama.
It was there that he met the woman who would one day become his wife — the immensely talented, Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett.
Interestingly, the two had the opportunity to work together on the popular series “ER,” on which Bassett was a regular. They had often talked about working together in the event that the right vehicle came along.
But even so, Vance was slightly hesitant. Bassett believes that this was due to him feeling that, in a way, this was her territory and that he would be, in a sense, invading her turf. Bassett said nothing could have been further from the truth.
MARRIED SINCE 1997, Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett co-wrote a well-received autobiographical book titled “Friends: A Love Story” in early 2009. They agree that a huge part of why their marriage is solid is that they were friends first and remain so.
Vance, who has described Bassett as “the sweetest woman I’ve ever met,” said, “I’m looking at this woman — the woman I’d been looking for my whole life — and I’m realizing it’s my friend who I’ve known for a long time, and it was absolutely overwhelming.”
The list of films Courtney B. Vance has appeared in is a lengthy one and includes “The Hunt For Red October,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Joyful Noise,” “Panther,” “The Tuskegee Airmen,” “12 Angry Men,” “Hamburger Hill,” “The Adventures of Huck Finn,” “Dangerous Minds” and “The Divide.”
In pre-production are “Book of the Year” (2013) and “The Farm” (2014).
Television appearances include “Law & Order,” “Picket Fences,” “Boston Public,” “State of Mind,” “ER” and “Any Day Now.”
In post production is “Graceland.”
Some people are surprised that Vance can be so intense on the screen and on stage when in real life he is mild-mannered, almost soft-spoken at times.
It is not far-fetched to say that the best is likely still to come from Courtney B. Vance.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 23:40
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