The talented and lovely Alicia Keys has been a consistent top attraction since 2001 when she made her recording debut. But she feels that there is more that the public might want to know about her. And evidently, she is also enjoying a new sense of “liberation.”
Keys’ next album will be provocatively titled “Girl on Fire.”
She explains, “I felt like a a girl misunderstood that no one really knows. I felt like it was time to stop making excuses for any part of my life that I wanted to change. Once I made that choice, I became a girl on fire!”
Speaking of being on fire, of all the songs I have heard by Detroit’s own KEM, the one that has the most impact is “Share My Life,” featured on his top-selling 2010 album “Intimacy.” KEM sings with such conviction and passion that it might make you stop what you are doing to listen.
Brandy is working on her new album, interestingly titled “Two Eleven.” Fans will be interested to know that an October release date has been set.
THE DEBUT of the remake of the 1976 film “Sparkle” has created renewed interest in the original, and inparticular one of its main stars, Detroit’s own Lonette McKee as the talented and beautiful but ultimately doomed Sister Williams. She recently expressed some of her feelings to USA Today.
“I feel it’s an honor that a movie in which I was prominently featured is regarded highly enough that filmmakers thought it was worthy of being remade,” said McKee, someone I have known since she was 14 years old (she was the second person I ever interviewed; Little Carl Carlton was the first). “I’m a longtime Whitney Houston fan (who co-produced the movie) and love Jordin Sparks’ work as well. I’m thrilled about them doing a remake.”
WHICH BRINGS to mind the fact that a new Whitney Houston greatest hits album is slated for fall release. Of course, there was a greatest hits album in 2000, but that one featured the original versions of her ballad hits and remixes of the uptempo ones. The new collection will feature only originals.
That’s fine and dandy, but the bottom line is that this second collection was put together for one reason: to benefit from all the excitement surrounding the release of the “Sparkle” movie. That’s the way it goes in the music business, and elsewhere.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Former mayor Dennis Archer is a big fan of John Legend. You are likely to see him in the audience whenever Legend comes to town.
LIKE WHAT he says or not, you have to give Mike Tyson credit for being brutally honest in his one-man Broadway show, “The Undisputed Truth,” directed by Spike Lee.
Regarding his cocaine addiction, the often-troubled former heavyweight boxing champion has been clean for quite some time but says, “Any moment I could backslide. It’s always a struggle.” Then he added the shocker: “I love me some cocaine!”
Beyoncé Knowles received a very nice compliment from the outrageous and talented Lady Gaga. She said “B” is a friend she greatly respects becase “nothing about her is fake.”
You probably remember Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force’s creative, techo-savvy and highly danceable 1980s hits “Planet Rock” and “Looking for the Perfect Beat.” Well, Bambaataa (real name: Kevin Donovan) has been named visiting scholar at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. Strange but true.
What is on the cover of a magazine affects sales, and one of the most unattractive I have seen in a long time is rapper Rick Ross on the cover of Rolling Stone. This is a prime example of a man who needs to keep his shirt on!
Perhaps inspired by entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson,” basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal will be opening a 12-screen movie theater in Newark, Jersey (his hometown) at the end of next month.
What ever happened to Apollonia? She was in the Prince movie “Purple Rain” and replaced Vanity when Vanity 6 became Apollonia 6 and had one album, featuriing the hit “Sex Shooter.”
Clarification: Last we told you that Berry Gordy’s second wife, Raynoma Gordy Singleton, said he has “the prettiest feet” she has ever seen on a man. She meant, of course, that he has nice looking feet, not that they look like a woman’s, just in case anyone got the wrong idea.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW...that former pro-footall superstar and actor Jim Brown discovered the Friends of Dinstinction, whose major success included the hits “Grazing in the Grass,” “Going in Circles” and “Love or Let Me Be Lonely.”
MEMORIES: “Baby I’m For Real” (the Originals), “Let’s Do It Again” (the Staple Singers), “Keep on Truckin’” (Eddie Kendricks), “See Saw” (Aretha Franklin), “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (the Hollies), “Mighty Love” (the Spinners), “Memory Lane” (Minnie Riperton), “I Gotcha” (Joe Tex), “You’re All I Need to Get By” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell).
BLESSINGS to Carol Smith Dixon, Millie Scott, H. Kim Heron, Mary Grace Wilbert, Cynthia French, Joseph French, Thomas A. Wilson, Karen Dumas, H. Samuel Kemp, Ken Donaldson and Tyrone Mills.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from CNN anchor Don Lemon: “Natural means what’s in your nature.”
Let the music play!
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