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The Last Word: James Brown’s Estate Gets Robbed, Usher Has a New Scent, and Mary J. Blige Is Back!

What’s up everyone? The end of another week that saw your favorite TV shows come back with new episodes, protests concerning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the US, and Isaiah Thomas battling sexual harassment charges in court. Shout out to Jena Six member Mychal Bell, who was finally released Thursday (Sept. 27) on $45,000 bail, and the US Women’s National Soccer team, who are still winners despite losing to Brazil at this year’s World Cup semi-finals. With a 51-straight game unbeaten streak, they still get my vote as the best team you’ve never heard of. Congratulations to Salma Hayek, who gave birth to a baby girl and Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans, who will join the Broadway cast of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple on Jan. 9. And to the sounding boards…thanks for the feedback. So here we go…the Last Word for the week ending Sept. 28, 2007.  1. Wesley Snipes Appeals $1.7 Million JudgmentWhile he may be on the IRS’ list of most wanted non taxpayers, Wesley Snipes is putting his energy towards another legal battle, as he appeals a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge’s recent order to pay $1.7 million in fees to United Talent Agency (UTA). UTA is the company responsible for helping Snipes secure roles in Blade 3,” “Chaos,” “Middle Man” and “The Shooter.” According to reports, representatives for Snipes said the default judgment was entered without the 45-year-old actor’s knowledge “as UTA did not provide legal notice to Mr. Snipes or his known legal representatives.” “Mr. Snipes intends to vigorously contest this matter on its merits once the improperly taken default judgment is set aside,” a spokesman said. “Mr. Snipes has and will continue to honor valid contractual responsibilities. Consistent with that commitment, Mr. Snipes had been in discussions with UTA about the underlying dispute and was shocked to learn that UTA abruptly abandoned discussions and chose to take legal action.”Let’s hope that Wesley can get this worked out and regain his status on the big screen. After all, Nino, CMB is all we got! Are we our brother’s keeper? 2. A Little Swagger Advice from Fonzworth Bentley To all the sagging trendsetters out there, Fonzworth Bentley has a few words of encouragement. “Brothers, pick up your pants! No one, and I mean no one, wants to look at your butt,” the former Diddy assistant says in his new book, Advance Your Swagger. “It’s not cool, and it can’t be comfortable…that’s why the belt was invented, man.” With his thing for umbrellas and stylish clothes, I guess Bentley could know a thing or two about swagger. After all, the man seemingly takes credit for helping Diddy get over his sagging phase and become “a role model for the entire Hip-Hop community.”  So what do you think? Does a sagging wardrobe make the man, or does it justify a more fitted makeover?  3. Gloria Estefan Goes on the Denzel Diet It’s a known fact that women love Denzel Washington. Whether he’s channeling the spirit of Malcolm X for Spike Lee or collecting an Oscar after proclaiming that “King Kong ain’t got s**t on me!” Washington gets a reaction from the ladies.  Especially Gloria Estefan, who shed a few pounds after discovering that Denzel was staying near her Miami home on Star Island. “I almost lost ten pounds in a day because Denzel was staying on our island and I was running and jogging, waiting for him to come out… I just missed him,” the singer told WENN. Although acting pays the bills, Denzel may want to consider adding a side hustle as a weight loss motivator. All he would have to do is call or stop by and the pounds will fall off. If nothing else, he could inspire a surge of females at the gym.  4. James Brown Trustee Robs Singer’s Estate Is it hard to rest in peace after living a long life? Apparently so if you’re James Brown. Months after finally being buried, drama continues to invade the afterlife of the Godfather of Soul, as a former trustee is under the microscope for misappropriating $7 million of the singer’s money.  The discovery was made after special administrators to the estate informed a Judge Monday (Sept. 24) of the trustee’s misappropriation. As a result, state circuit Judge Jack Early ordered David Cannon, the ex-trustee to pay $370,000 back to the estate, on top of $350,000 he repaid last month.The Associated Press reports that Early gave Cannon 10 days to repay the additional $370,000 and 20 days to pay $30,000 for attorney fees and to produce other documents.  Louis Levenson, an attorney for several of Brown’s adult children and grandchildren, mentioned that other trustees for the Brown estate also mishandled late singer’s money, and that his clients are trying to remove all three trustees and have special administrators appointed to handle the estate.In the meantime, James is rolling over and doing splits in his grave from not being able to pimp slap the people who are supposed to be handling his business.   5. Usher Works on New Album, Debuts New Fragrance LineIt’s been a busy week for Usher. Not only did he confirm that he and his wife Tameka Foster are expected a baby boy, but the singer also took time out to launch two new fragrances, Usher: He and Usher: She.”I wanted to do something for my female fans as well as my male fans,” Usher told MTV. “I want to leave everybody feeling right. I wanted to shut it all the way down. I felt the only way to get acclimated into this business is to take into account there are two directions you can go into: male or female. As for the new bundle of joy, the crooner revealed to People magazine that he would like for the child to “fully be coherent and to be healthy, first and foremost. I’ve found that it is a step-by-step process. You can wish for a million and one things. But I hope that my son has the same energy I had as a child. Hopefully, he won’t be as bad as me. I hope that he’s just a healthy son.” And if all that wasn’t enough for Usher, there’s still that album he’s working on. “I’m not doing the Dr. Dre to y’all. I’m not doing the Detox,” said the singer, who referenced Dr. Dre’s highly anticipated album. “I’m on my way. I’m actually just about finished. I’ve been working on it all this year amongst all the other things I’ve been doing. It’s been a somewhat tumultuous year for me. But you go through something to get to something. I’m a married man with a baby on the way, you gotta love that. That’s the next major step. A lot of what I plan to offer with this album is kinda standing in this spot. The king’s back; I ain’t gonna say ‘back,’ I never left.” Ooookaaay. Whatever you say Ursh. But you’re going to have to step it up a notch since Justin Timberlake has filled in for you. Just saying.  6. UNCF Honors Smokey RobinsonVeteran singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson became the newest recipient of the United Negro College Fund’s award of excellence on Sept. 22, during the organization’s 29th annual “Evening of Stars” concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The Associated Press reports that the 67-year-old entertainer was honored “not only for his five-decade career as a creative artist, but also for the contribution he has made to helping students get the college education they need and deserve,” said Michael L. Lomax, the group’s president and CEO.Robinson joins a distinguished group of previous winners, which include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and the late Lou Rawls. The award of excellence is the latest achievement for the singer, who shot to fame as a member of the Miracles and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  The UNCF Evening of Stars concert is set to broadcast in January.  7. Mary J. Experiences Growing Pains with New Single With all the drama she’s experienced throughout her career, it’s safe to say that Mary J. Blige deserves the happiness she receives. And with that comes the title of the Hip-Hop soul queen’s forthcoming album Growing Pains. The first single from the project, titled “Just Fine,” was released to radio on Thursday.  If you’re searching for any hint of the pain expressed on past Mary J. classics, look elsewhere. Blige is clearly in another element on the Jazze Pha and Tricky Stewart track, as she revels in having high self-esteem.  “No time for moping around/Are you kidding?” the vocalist sings on the song, which is described as an up-tempo party record with a dance/disco sound. “And no time for negative vibes, ’cause I’m winning/Got my head on straight, got my vibe right, ain’t gonna let you kill it/ See, I wouldn’t change, my life’s just fine.”  Look for Growing Pains to arrive earlier than expected in music stores, as it comes out on Nov. 20, week earlier than its original release date of Nov. 27.  8. Vivica A. Fox Enters Not Guilty Plea For DUI Six months after her arrest for drunken driving, actress Vivica A. Fox pleaded innocent to the charges on Thursday (Sept. 27).  The charges stem from the former Dancing With the Stars contestant’s run in with police, who pulled her over on March 20 after allegedly going 80 mph and weaving on the Ventura Freeway. According to police reports, Fox, who was in a Cadillac Escalade, started berating the officers after she failed a series of sobriety tests.  Although the actress was not in court on Thursday, her attorney was there to enter her plea. If convicted, Fox could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  9. Marc Anthony Professes Love of KFCSex and fame may be normal addictions for music artists, but Marc Anthony is content with a tastier option. The singer/actor, who will kick off his North American tour on Saturday (Sept. 29) in Atlantic City, New Jersey with wife and fellow entertainer Jennifer Lopez, came clean about his love for Kentucky Fried Chicken to Access Hollywood, as he told Shaun Robinson that KFC is the one thing he can’t live without when on the tour bus. “I can’t eat anything else after a concert,” said Anthony, whose confession caught the ear of KFC president Gregg Dedrick. “We would like to offer you, your entourage, and a few VIP guests an ‘all access’ pass to the KFC location of your choice,” the self-professed J. Lo fan wrote in an open letter to the couple. “You have a bucketful of choices for ‘after party’ locations, because KFC has more than 5,500 restaurants across the country. Hearing about your fondness for KFC was music to our ears, so just name the time and the place and we’ll open our doors to you for a post-concert feast.” And if you’re wondering if Lopez shares her husband’s finger lickin’ addiction, guess again. “Nah, I can’t eat like that,” the singer laughed. “I mean every single freakin’ night with the Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Although J. Lo isn’t a fan of the Colonel, her husband is making sure he gets his 11 herbs and spices whenever he can fit it in. And that, ladies in gentlemen, is the key to a successful singing career.  One original recipe drumstick a day equals an all you can eat selection of the Colonel’s best. 

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