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The Last Word: Halle’s Expecting, J-Lo Gets Paid, and R. Kelly’s Judgment Day Is Not Until ’08!

Hello folks! Another week gone by, another 15 cents made. Nevertheless, it’s been a good one, to say the least. Whether it was Fred Thompson formally throwing his hat in the presidential race, another toy recall from Mattel, the biggest upset in college football during the Labor Day weekend or the search for missing adventurer Steve Fossett, no one can say it was dull.  Shout out to Sherri Sheperd, who is expected to join Barbara Walters and company next week as the newest cast member of The View, R.I.P. to Italian opera legend Luciano Pavarotti and the usual waddup to the sounding boards for doing what they do. So here we go…the Last Word for the week ending Sept. 7, 2007.  1. The Stork Prepares For Long-Awaited Halle Berry Visit Congratulations go out to Gabriel Aubrey for doing something Eric Benet and David Justice were unable to accomplish. In case you’re wondering who Aubrey is, he’s the guy that managed to give actress Halle Berry something she’s been wanting – a child.  The 41-year-old actress confirmed Tuesday (Sept. 4) that she does have a bun in the oven in an e-mail to Access Hollywood.  “Yes, I am three months pregnant!” said Berry, who has been attached to Aubrey for almost two years. “Gabriel and I are beyond excited, and I’ve waited a long time for this moment in life. Now the next seven months will be the longest of my life!”  The announcement comes after months of rumors pertaining to Berry’s pregnant status. As a result, production on the Oscar winner’s next film, the John Singleton-directed Tulia, has been put on hold.  And in case you were wondering, don’t look for Berry to jump the broom with Aubrey because of her pending arrival. The actress, who was married to Justice and Benet, is still maintaining her vow to never get hitched again.  “Actually it’s just that now I’ve come to a place where I think two people can share their lives without the ring, without the piece of paper,” said Berry, who revealed what kind of mother she would like to be in the April issue of In Style magazine. “I want my kids to realize it’s only through hard work that any success or real joy comes. It’s not about money; it’s the intangible rewards – having integrity and doing what you say you’re going to do.”  Congratulations again. This time to Halle for entering motherhood.  2. Lead Prosecutor Helps Push Back R. Kelly Trial to ‘08R. Kelly has got to be the luckiest man in music. Just when it looked like the singer’s child pornography trial was going to start, he gets an unexpected assist from the lead prosecutor in the cause.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a Cook County judge Vincent Gaughan has postponed Kelly’s trial because the prosecutor, Shauna Boliker, had a baby last week.  Although Gaughan’s media liaison, Terry Sullivan, sent an e-mail to reporters that said Boliker “is not able to proceed at this time” because of “doctor’s orders,” other sources believe the trial’s delay is due to lawyers’ wrangling over expert witnesses the prosecutors want to call. Add to that another case set to go to trial in February, and we now have a law enforcement source telling the Sun-Times that Kelly may not go to trial until the spring of 2008. According to the paper, Gaughan will reportedly announce a new trial date for the hit-maker on Sept 10. So where does that leave the case? I’m predicting (and taking bets) that it will be another five years before this case will finally be heard. If this continues, Kells will have more than enough money to pay for his defense from all the hits he keeps churning out, while some of us (as well as Kelly himself) will be too old to bump and grind.  In short, just let me know when the verdict is reached. They might as well let him go for lack of a good reason to get this hearing over with. Will somebody please reinforce this man’s right to a speedy trial? I’m just saying. 3. Rare and Unreleased Luther Vandross Songs Arrive with New Boxed SetFans of Luther Vandross will be able to hear rare and unreleased material from the late singer when a new four-disc boxed set is released on Oct. 16.  According to Billboard.com, the release titled Love, Luther will include the rare and unreleased songs as well as Vandross’ hits such as “Never Too Much,””If this World Were Mine,” and “Take You Out.” Other featured tracks include the crooner’s 1981 demos for “Ready for Love” and “If You Can’t Dance,” as well as versions of “There’s Only You,” “So Amazing” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart” recorded during a rehearsal at a Montserrat Studio in June 1986. Look for “There’s Only You” to be shipped to Urban Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz radio stations in the coming weeks. The track is Vandross’ first new single since the singer’s death in 2005. As for the boxed set, fans can hear Vandross classics like “Here and Now,” “Stop To Love,” and “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” on the second disc, while disc three features songs ranging from the balladeer’s work with the groups Luther and Charme to his hits “Power of Love/Love Power,” “Don’t Want To Be a Fool” and the Mariah Carey-assisted duet “Endless Love. And if that wasn’t enough, you can hear Vandross live on the last disc as it contains a series of live recordings in addition to his collaboration with Frank Sinatra, “The Lady Is a Tramp.” With all of this Luther music in one package, there should be no reason for you not having enough motivation to get your romance on with whoever you have eyes for. R.I.P. Mr. Vandross. 4. Boyz II Men Return With Motown SoundIt’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyz II Men, but the R&B collective is on the way back with a new album. Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA is set to hit stores on Nov. 13. The project, produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson, will feature Boyz II Men covering various Motown classics such as Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing” and “Mercy Mercy Me,” the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination,” Michael Jackson’s “Got To Be There” and Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears.”  In addition, the album will feature a collaboration with Brian McKnight as well as a cappella versions of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” and Boyz II Men’s hit single “End of the Road.” While it’s good to see the Boyz coming back, when are they going to release some original songs? The Motown stuff is nice, but let’s make time for some brand new tracks that are done by them. Hopefully, this will be around the corner.  5. J. Lo Receives $545,000 Legal Payday Plans for a tell-all book about Jennifer Lopez were canceled as the 39-year-old singer/actress was awarded $545,00 from a judge in her lawsuit against ex-husband Ojani Noa.  Noa was preparing to publish a tell-all book that claimed Lopez had several affairs. In the lawsuit, the entertainer accused her former husband of violating a previous lawsuit settlement that prevented him from revealing private information about their relationship.  Lopez, who stars in El Cantante with her current husband Marc Anthony, divorced Noa 11 months after she married him in February 1997.  In addition to approving the hefty settlement, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael S. Solner issued a permanent injunction barring Noa from publishing negative, denigrating or disparaging details about Lopez.  Well I guess that eliminates one person. If only the judgment covered the other million plus critics who frequently share the same negative, denigrating and disparaging details about J. Lo to whatever tabloid or person who listens. Spread it out judge. Equal justice for everyone! 6. Macy Gray Puts Her Humps On Display After all the fashion statements she’s made at award shows, it was only a matter of time before Macy Gray bought her sense of style to a clothing store near you.  According to reports, the 40-year-old singer is gearing up to release her new plus-sized clothing line Humps. “It’s actually for voluptuous, curvaceous girls, girls with thighs and hips,” Gray told the World Entertainment News Network (WENN).  Shoppers can look for Humps to hit stores early next year. The idea for the line, according to Gray, came from unsuccessful attempts at finding suitable clothing to wear. “I go shopping and I can never find anything. I wanted to do something affordable for the target audience,” Gray recently told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  Don’t get me wrong. Macy Gray is a talented vocalist, but her voice doesn’t translate well into the world of fashion. This is the same person that became a human billboard promoting her album at an awards show, isn’t it? But if you enjoy looking very colorful and have a knack for making the worst fashion mistake look cool, then have a go at it. I tried.

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