Category: Entertainment Published on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 12:54 Written by Steve Holsey
Back in the day, the Supremes had one of many No. 1 hits, “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone.”
Well, 2011 was here and now it’s (almost) gone. And considering the speed with which the months went by, we can carry the Supremes analogy a step further: “Where Did Our Year Go?”
WITHOUT A doubt one of the biggest events of 2011, if not the foremost event, was Oprah Winfrey bringing her groundbreaking talk show to an end after a remarkable 25-year run.
Never in the history of talk shows has any one person had so much influence on so many, providing information on virtually any subject you could think of, and plenty of entertainment as well.
How influential is Oprah Winfrey? Let’s put it this way: If she, for example, liked a book, it would immediately soar into the upper levels of the bestseller lists.
Winfrey’s followers, primarily women of every ethnicity, are so devoted that in some ways it could be likened to a religion.
Another thing: The daytime television icon always went the extra mile to make her show stand apart from the others.
On what other show would the whole audience be gifted with a new car?
IN A COMPLETELY different area, a sad and disturbing one, Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in prison on the charge of involuntary manslaughter. His negligence and horrendously poor judgment led to the death of one of the most famous and loved entertainers of all time, Michael Jackson.
True, the megastar’s dependency on drugs was leading him down the road of destruction, but that in no way lessens Murray’s guilt.
Dr. Conrad Murray may well be the most hated man in the world, certainly in the U.S. If Osama bin Laden were still among the living, Murray would likely rank second.
As wrong as it seems, Dr. Murray may end up serving only two years. But God has ways of setting things right.
FROM THE disturbing to the sweet: After much speculation, superstar singer, actress, performer and spokesmodel Beyoncé Knowles and her husband, top-ranking rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, let it be known that “B” was expecting.
Seconds after Beyoncé made the announcement in the midst of a performance, people were text messaging, tweeting, e-mailing and making calls (mostly by way of cell phones) in record numbers.
Granted, the media coverage and public interest has been excessive, but at least it is focused on two people of substantial talent, unlike the omnipresent Kardashians.
DAMON WAYANS JR., who looks almost identical to his famous father, emerged as one of the most promising stars of the year, thanks to being part of a new hit series, “Happy Endings.”
The Wayans — Keenen Ivory, Damon, Kim, Shawn, Marlon and Damon Jr. — are firmly established as the first family of comedy. And who knows, more members of the family might come forth in 2012. There must have been a lot of laughter in Wayans’ home in New York.
ON THE RELIGION front — yes, to an extent, church is a form of entertainment — Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb County, Georgia, had, in 2010, been accused of sexually taking advantage of four underage males in his congregation, in exchange for buying them things, being a “father figure,” etc.
He settled out of court in 2011.
Long is just the latest in a long string of holier-than-thou ministers who have been brought down. The worst part is the blatant hypocrisy and sense of entitlement.
The pontificating “men of God” should take care of their own business — and mind their own business.
“AMERICAN IDOL” returned to form following the previous season, which was dismal. The resurgence had a lot to do with the addition of new judges Jennifer Lopez (she is gorgeous!) and the funny and often unpredictable and outrageous Steven Tyler.
However, the show, which is now an institution that has produced stars like Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Reuben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson and, most recently, Scotty McCreery, now has competition — the glitzy “X Factor.”
Ironically, two of the “X Factor” judges, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, are former “American Idol” judges.
Early in his career, Detroit’s own Carl Carlton (“Everlasting Love,” “She’s a Bad Mama Jama”) had a hit record titled “Competition Ain’t Nothin’.”
But he was wrong. Competition is somethin’!
Another talent program, the massively popular “Dancing With the Stars,” took a huge chance by having a transgendered person, Chaz Bono, as one of its celebrity contestants.
There was some outrage, but not as much as expected. True, it was awkward, but it proved that society is changing for the better in some ways, though ever so slowly. Every person has the right to be who and what they are without persecution from fearful, judgmental, meanspirited, ignorant people.
SADLY, we had to say farewell to so many people in the world of entertainment.
The long list includes Vesta Williams, Nickolas Ashford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Robinson, Clarence Clemons, Andy Rooney, Heavy D, Charles “Bubba” Smith, Peter Falk, Gil Scott-Heron, Amy Winehouse, Steve Jobs, Loleatta Holloway, Nate Dogg, Phoebe Snow and Clarice Taylor.
Fortunately, they left plenty of their work behind, on records, in movies, on television shows, etc. In that sense, they are still with us in the physical realm.
ARETHA FRANKLIN dispelled all those “Queen is dying” rumors by re-emerging and resuming her career as if nothing had happened. There had even been a prayer vigil in front of the City-County Building.
Franklin has a new album (“A Woman Falling Out of Love”), has been on television frequently, appeared on the cover of Jet magazine, and been honored several times.
By the way, a reporter had previously asked Franklin if she ever got tired of being honored.
She said, “Are you kidding? No!”
MARIAH CAREY and her husband, NICK CANNON, became the proud parents of twins, Monroe and Moroccan.
Charlie Sheen completely unraveled and was subsequently booted from the hugely popular sitcom “Two and a Half Men.”
Chris Brown, who is famous for his hot temper, behaved badly on one occasion this year, because he was offended by a question he was asked on a national television program. He even threw a chair through a window.
Tracy Morgan, a comedian-actor many people believe to be somewhat buffoonish, got in a lot of trouble for making homophobic remarks.
The backlash stunned him and he apologized — as famous people always do when their mouth gets them in trouble and let’s everybody know what they are really about.
The Motown sound came to the White House in the form of a special concert. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama loved every minute of it.
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