During a recent interview Blair Underwood, the talented actor who has long maintained a regular presence on television and the big screen, says he would love to have the opportunity to portray Marvin Gaye.
And he says he could do his own singing! Evidently that is one of his hidden talents.
A Marvin Gaye biopic has been discussed now for two decades, but for whatever reason has never developed. One of the projects has Jesse L. Martin, best known for his work on the TV drama “Law & Order,” in the starring role.
However, there are those who feel that Maxwell is tailor-made for the part.
Still others believe it should be an actor the public is not familiar with.
But will a Marvin Gaye movie ever be made?
MEANWHILE, chances seem fairly good that the film on the life of Miles Davis will get made, with Don Cheadle in the lead role. (That would be good casting.) Such a movie would be largely based on Davis’ brutally honest story told in his own words in “Miles: The Autobiography,” published in 1990.
Some performers make a big deal over when they go on stage when they are sharing the bill with other artists. Most do not want to go on first. But Stephanie Mills says she doesn’t care if she goes on first, last or somewhere in between. It’s all the same to her. And besides, she added with a laugh, “The check is the same!”
You are likely to remember David Ramsey, the actor from Detroit who has many film and television credits including the late ’90s sitcom “The Good News,” also featuring another Detroiter, Roz Ryan. Ramsey is one of the co-stars of a new series, “Outlaws,” that will make its debut on Sept. 24.
Beyoncé has returned to the recording studio.
And speaking of returns, El DeBarge, who hasn’t had a release in 16 years, has an album coming out in November titled “Second Chance.” He says jokingly, yet seriously, “I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!” It’s hard to believe that El DeBarge is now 49 years old.
THERE IS another side to prolific hip-hop producer/rapper Dr. Dre. (Real name: Andre Young.) His hero, that he talks to a lot, is Quincy Jones. He hopes to write movie scores as Jones has done so many times. Also in the name of versatility, he has taken piano lessons from none other than Burt Bacharach.
As for producing, Dre says that outside of Eminem, “I only want to work with new talent and new producers. People who want to learn and I can learn from.”
All this likely has something to do with maturity. Dr. Dre is 45.
Rock ’n’ roll icon Chuck Berry has an interesting policy regarding payment — no checks, cash only, paid in full up front, or there will be no show. Also, Berry travels alone (no band; it is up to the promoter to provide the band) and drives himself rather than ride in limos.
By the way, Berry and wife, Themetta, have been married for 61 years. Now that’s what you call commitment!
Bow-Wow is no fan of the reality TV show “Basketball Wives.” He said bluntly, “They’re all ignorant.”
On Sept. 14 Patti LaBelle is scheduled to join the cast of “Fela!” It’s based on the life and career of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician. You might remember when Patti LaBelle was in “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God,” that made a stop in Detroit. While it was here, Patti regularly cooked for the cast in her hotel room. (She had specifically requested cooking facilities.)
Eminem says there are doctors who “love the celebrity” aspect of having stars as patients — and too many of them make it very easy for the celebrities to get prescription drugs, and he says that is a shame.
Melinda Doolittle, season six “American Idol” finalist, says the highly skilled, helpful and personable Harry Connick Jr. would have been a great addition to the “American Idol” judging panel. (True.)
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that “Let It Be Me,” a classic by Betty Everett and Jerry Butler, was originally recorded by the Everly Brothers.
MEMORIES: “Sweet Thing” (Rufus featuring Chaka Khan), “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” (the Temptations), “Just Coolin’” (Levert featuring Heavy D), “You Should Be Dancing” (the Bee Gees), “Crazy” (the Boys), “Pull Up to the Bumper” (Grace Jones), “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (Thelma Houston), “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” (the Dramatics), “Party Train” (the Gap Band).
BLESSINGS to Mildred Webb, Sandra Milhouse, Ron Lockett, Claudreen Jackson, Ivan Cotman, Stephen Singleton, Rosa Robinson, Eddie Allen, Chris Campbell, Alan C. Young, Theresa Hill, Brian Spears and Van Cephus.
WORDS OF THE WEEK: “Trust is something to be cherished because if it is lost, it can never be fully regained.”
Let the music play!
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