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The Last Word: Ne-Yo Snubs the Spice Girls For Rihanna and Turns Soap Star, John Legend Retires From Strip Clubs, and Amy Winehouse the Next Bond Girl?

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Happy weekend, brothers and sisters. Five days gone and two to relax. Here’s to another week of events as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright continues to be a thorn in Barack Obama’s side (can’t this guy just shut up and let the controversy die?). The country continues to reel from the acquittal of the officers responsible for the death of Sean Bell, Miley Cyrus gets some negative feedback for her photos in Vanity Fair and gamers rejoice over the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Mya, who had to bow out of her Broadway debut in Chicago after breaking her left foot. Shout out to Phil Collins, who quietly retired from music after providing classic hits to enjoy for more than 30 years and the sounding boards, who continue to make it hard to just take the money and run. And now the lowdown…the Last Word for the week ending May 2, 2008. 1. Ne-Yo Prefers Rihanna over the Spice Girls; Journeys to Pine Valley With a knack for writing hit songs, Ne-Yo is more than just a singer who happens to dance. In fact, the crooner’s side hustle has put him on everyone’s most wanted list. But when you’re this in demand even the most famous entertainer can get snubbed. Just ask the Spice Girls. Apparently Ne-Yo was too busy to lend his songwriting skills to the group’s recently released Greatest Hits album. But the kicker is the singer turned down Mel B and Co. so he could work with Rihanna. The reason? Simply put, Ne-Yo just didn’t have the time. “They wanted something for their comeback album but I never got round to getting it done,” the singer told WENN. “I was recording songs for Rihanna at the time.” So much for international diplomacy. Despite his hectic schedule, Ne-Yo did make time to appear on an upcoming episode of the ABC soap opera All My Children. The singer, who is slated to appear on the show May 21 and 22, will be on hand for the second wedding of recently reunited All My Children couple Jessie and Angie Hubbard.I guess this goes to show you that you can never be too busy to make more money. Maybe the Spice Girls should spice their offer. 2. Lyfe Jennings Sets Up Post Singing Career Options In the world of music, everyone seems to have the required clothing line or perfume to compliment their status as the artist of the moment. But Lyfe Jennings is taking things a step further as he invests in more stable options when the spotlight fades. Media sources report that the singer is currently working on a four-edition children’s book series titled Adventures of Lyfe. The books are set to release by the end of the year. And if that wasn’t enough, Lyfe is branching off into uncharted territory for singers as he prepares to launch a new furniture line next year. But don’t worry about Jennings quitting his day job. Lyfe just released his new album Lyfe Change, a project the singer described as “the greatest album of my career.” I don’t know about that, but the singer, who is known for dealing with “deep subjects” in his music told Billboard that there will be more “happy moments” on this release. Add to all of this some consideration for movie roles after completing acting classes and the sky’s the limit. Look for Lyfe to open a car dealership in Never Never Land and a chain of convenience stores called Lyfe on the Go at a town near you. No telling what the dealership ads will look like, but I’m willing to bet that Jennings will change the game with his dramatic, music video style of advertising. Sounds like the game of Lyfe: choose a career path, retirement or millionaire mansion. 3. Alicia Keys Breaks Down the Origin of Superwoman As the summer gets ready for the movie invasion of super-powered heroes like Iron Man, Batman and the Incredible Hulk, it would be easy to leave the women hanging. But Alicia Keys is coming to the rescue as she considers following up her latest single “Teenage Love Affair,” with “Superwoman.” According to the songstress, the tune is not what people may think when hearing the title. “The beauty of ‘Superwoman’ is that it’s not about being all-powerful and…being perfect, ’cause no one is,” Keys shared with Billboard. “It’s about perfection in our weaknesses and perfection in our imperfection, that we can still keep going and we can still learn and still remain strong. Even when we’re feeling weak, we can still be superwomen – and supermen. I love what that says about all that I’ve learned this year.” Not one to simply enjoy the success of her latest album, As I Am, Alicia is already fast-forwarding to her next full-length as she tries to make time to record the new album while embarking on her world tour. In addition, fans can catch Keys on the big screen with Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning this fall in the movie adaptation of the Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees. In the meantime, maybe “Superwoman” could be an anthem to motivate women to use their super strength to drag their boyfriends or husbands to see the Sex and the City movie. If only I had a chunk of kryptonite…  4. Chrisette Michele Unlocks Hope with Hairdressers Add Chrisette Michele to the list of entertainers stepping up for a good cause. The singer, who is slated to hit the road for an upcoming tour with fellow soul vocalist Raheem DeVaughn, will be on hand to help tour sponsor Mizani raise money for Hairdressers Unlocking Hope, an effort dedicated to building homes with Habitat for Humanity. Michele will also hook up with the hair care brand in June for their New Orleans building project as well as dedicate a new home to a family that was displaced during Hurricane Katrina. The singer’s Mizani tour with DeVaughn will kick off May 22 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Mizani will sponsor Michele during her performances in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Miami, where the songbird will join forces with the brand for Hairdressers Unlocking Hope.5. John Legend is Too Grown for the Strip Club Fame and money can make any singer submit to a lifestyle filled with sex, drugs and more groupies. But don’t put John Legend in that group. Despite leaning towards stripper club style 808 drums instead of live instruments for his forthcoming album, the crooner won’t be making any visits to the local gentleman’s club anytime soon. “I’ve outgrown strip clubs. I’m 29,” Legend told Parlourmagazine.com as he prefers a more intimate experience with the star of his episode. “I just feel like it’s a disappointment because you just leave. I’d rather grab something for real and not just get teased.” Although Legend’s collaboration with Outkast’s Andre 3000 on the album’s lead single “Green Light,” is sure to build anticipation for the project, it’s the sexy tune “Good Morning” that may be the song to watch. According to the crooner the track could be something for the interpretive dancers at the strip club. “’Good Morning’ is a slow stripper song, so it might have to be the lap dance song,” Legend said. “It’s not for the stage, but it could be sexy for the lap dance.” Legend must be “so high” that he’s outgrown the strip clubs and has forgotten that he’s a gentleman. Still, can you picture a John Legend tune at a place like Magic City? That’s like having the Ying Yang Twins starring and performing live on Broadway. Wait ‘til you see that… In Other Words *Rumors of infidelity being let off with a caution following an alleged assault, making the Sunday Times’ annual Rich List of Britain’s wealthiest entertainers and businesspeople has a value of $20 million. Just another week in the life of Amy Winehouse. Musically speaking, there is talk that the embattled diva is working on the theme song to the new James Bond movie Quantum Of Solace. Although producer Mark Ronson confirmed that Winehouse is laying vocals for the track, he didn’t guarantee that it will be used in the film. *Set your Tivos or come home and grab seat for the first and probably last time you will ever see Madonna on BET’s 106 and Park. The Material Girl will be on hand to chat with Terrence J and Rocsi on Friday (May 2) about her new album Hard Candy. With Madge occupying airtime on BET, makes you wonder if 106 is finally ready for that Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne appearance we’ve been hearing about.

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