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The Last Word: Mary J’s Fans Desert Her, Randy Jackson Forms a Dawg Pound, and Beyonce Turns Bollywood

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What’s the deal people? Two weeks away and things continue to remain scandalous. Job security guaranteed, I guess. It’s good to be back as we witnessed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama declaring a truce after all the back and forth racial drama, Mitt Romney bounces back in the Republican presidential nominee race with a win in Michigan, and the Golden Globes Awards being reduced to a press conference in midst of the WGA strike. Congratulations go out to Christina Aguilera and her husband Jordan Bratman, who welcomed their first child Max Liron Bratman on Saturday (Jan. 12). Nicole Richie and her boyfriend Joel Madden for the birth of her baby; former In Living Color cast member David Alan Grier and his wife Christine Y. Kim, who welcomed the arrival of their first child, Luisa Danbi Grier-Kim, and last but not least singer Monica, who gave birth to her second child with her boyfriend Rodney “Rocko” Hill. Is there a celebrity who hasn’t brought a new life into the world lately? Talk about a baby boom! Hollywood won’t have anything to worry about after the writer’s strike. The next generation of actors is already being prepped. But anyway, shout out to Illseed for stepping in to take over with last week’s Word, Hip-Hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari, who received the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Israeli Award in Jerusalem by the Fellowship of Israel and Black America (FIBA), the Smurfs, who celebrated their 50th birthday and the sounding boards for just not giving a damn.Stay tuned next week for a new Last Wordian, who’s going to put her personal stamp on these crazy things I get for you. So with that in mind, let’s cut to the chase…the Last Word for the week ending Jan. 18, 2008.1. Mary J. Blige Speaks on Happy Life and Misery-Loving Fans As the queen of Hip-Hop soul, Mary J. Blige can do no wrong (minus a few steroid allegations) as she continues to drop classic albums and provide the blueprint of what a female singer should be about. But there may be unrest in the royal court as Queen Mary told Vibe magazine about the consequences of having a happy kingdom. “When I took the chance to show people I can be happy, I lost a million of my fans,” the Grammy winner said. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna have to lose y’all in order for us to live, because if I keep going down this dark hole, we’re all gonna die together. I’m gonna slit my wrists or take some pills, and it’s gonna be over.’” While I like the happy songs, nothing can top the classics Mary put down when she burst on the scene. But the question is which would you rather have – a happy Mary J that’s “Just Fine” or the Mary that’s been able to provide a soundtrack to all the drama we’ve got or had going on in our relationships? No matter what vibe Mary is on, I’ll ride with her on whatever. All hail the queen! 2. Cassie Gets her Grown and Sexy on For Next Album Cassie may have been out of the public eye for a minute, but the songbird is out to show everyone that she has a new attitude as she gears up to release her new album. What has changed about her, you ask? Well, to hear Cassie tell it, she has graduated to adulthood.”I guess I grew up a lot but I’m still in essence the same person,” the 21-year-old singer revealed to Billboard.com. “Lots has changed in my life, stuff that has made me think about things differently. I’m more vulnerable and you can hear my vocals better this time around. There’s real emotion and a much realer connection with my fans.” And while “I hate to use the words grown-up,” Cassie admits that “I really, really did since the last time around.”As it stands, the as-yet-untitled album will feature production from Seven, Mario Winans, Bryan Michael Cox, Eric Hudson, Sean C and LV and the man who discovered Cassie, her mentor Ryan Leslie. So I guess being 21 puts her up there with all the other grown folk now. Let’s hope everyone “really, really” likes the new and improved Cassie. Is that what you really really want, what you really really want? (I see you Mel B) Otherwise, it will just be me and you.3. Randy Jackson Recruits Joss Stone and Mariah Carey for the Dawg Club With the new season of American Idol in full swing, we’re once again treated to the best of the best and the truly worst of the worst in singing talent. And right in the middle of it is Randy Jackson, the Dawg himself keepin’ it real. So while we feel his pain listening to those who will never, ever eeeeeever be ready for their close up, Jackson has brought together his own group of singers for his new album, Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol. 1. Those making the cut include Mariah Carey, who joins Bebe Winans, Kim Burrell, Rance Allen and Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir on “I Understand,” and Angie Stone, gets her “Wang Dang Doodle,” on with Sam Moore and Keb Mo. But the strangest collab on the album has to belong to Joss Stone, who hooks up with Three 6 Mafia on the song “Just Walk on By.” And if that don’t make you want to head to the store when the album drops, then maybe hearing Jackson’s fellow Idol judge Paula Abdul on her first song in more than 10 years will do the trick. The “Straight Up” singer is featured on the album’s first single “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” OK Paula singing after a long time, I can take that. That might even sound good. But what is Joss Stone doing with Three Six? That song may have to be heard to be believed. Don’t be surprised if she starts hanging out in Hollyhood with Juicy J and them sometime in the near future.  4. Beyonce Gets Ready for Her Bollywood Close Up Never let it be said that Beyonce’s mindstate isn’t interplanetary. DNAIndia.com reports that the the songstress will star alongside Terminator turned California governator Arnold Schwarzenegger in Bollywood producer’s Sajid Nadiadwala next film Kambakth Ishq. Nadiadwala’s feature, which will be directed by Sabir Khan, will officially get underway in Los Angeles in May, according to an industry source. Sajid has managed a casting coup in Kambakth Ishq, a source told DNA India. “Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to play an interesting cameo in the film. Pop sensation Beyonce is also all set to act in the film.” So there it is. What roles Beyonce and Schwarzenegger will play is anybody’s guess. In the meanwhile, I’ve taken it upon myself to predict that this could lead to the Terminator remix of “Get Me Bodied” – or should I say, “Get Me Bolly’ed.” 5. Chauncey Black Busted for Grand Larceny The long arm of the law has caught up with former Blackstreet member Chauncey Black. According to Virginia Beach police, the singer (born Chauncey Hannibal) was being held without bail in the city jail on charges of grand larceny, failure to pay child or spousal support and failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge. Black was extradited from Los Angeles to Virginia Beach on Monday (Jan. 14). Although no details were provided on Hannibal’s California arrest or the misdemeanor charge, online records show the crooner was scheduled to be sentenced then for contempt of court and violating terms of his probation. Hannibal was also being held on a grand larceny charge, a police spokeswoman told the Associated Press. The 39-year-old singer’s capture concluded a year-long search for him by authorities, who issued an arrest warrant on the grand larceny charge. The charge stemmed from Hannibal allegedly looting a house overlooking the Chesapeake Bay after he was evicted in July 2006. Too sad, man. Too sad. No diggity.  6. Baby-Making Songs Suit Janet Jackson Just Fine Whether you’re getting your dance on or taking in your better half in a romantic or freaky setting, Janet Jackson has always managed to have something for you. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, the 41-year-old songstress is like the title of her new single as she gets “feedback” from fans over the effect her music has had in bringing new life into the world. “You don’t know how many people come up to me and say, ‘This child was conceived listening to you,’”Jackson told Extra from the set of her new music video for “Feedback.” As for the other stuff on the forthcoming album Discipline, Janet has love for all the vibes featured on the project, which is slated to hit stores in February, “I love the dance. I love the mid tempo stuff. I love the slow songs and the baby making songs. It still has that element to it,” she said, adding that the best thing about her music is that “It makes me want to dance and that’s the nice thing.” “I love listening to music that makes me want to get up and move.” So what Janet Jackson song does it for you? Is there one or a few (old or new) that make you want to dance or make a baby? Who credits their existence to Miss Jackson? 7. Rihanna Makes a Little Dough for the New Year While you and yours were out painting the town red and drunk in the new year, Rihanna was getting her hustle on in Moscow. According to thecorporatetakeover.net, the singer was paid $500,000 by Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, for a 40-minute private performance for him and a few of his colleagues on New Year’s Eve. $500K for 40 minutes may seem like a bit much (especially since most clubs and bars charged an arm and a leg to occupy the joining when the ball dropped) but for Deripaska, it wasn’t nothing. His net worth is $13.3 billion, after all. So the moral of the story is hard work and a little sing and dance can buy you plenty of umbrellas (-ellas, -ellas eh eh eh) and a few more items to make 2008 that much more affordable. Gotta love the spirit of American hustle. Just don’t let the money make you.

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