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The Last Word: Ashanti Wants a Dozen Kids, Beyonce Gets Busted By the Moral Police for “Mature” Kids Clothing Ads, and D’Angelo is Back! (sort of)

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What’s good, everyone? Another five days of poli-tricks, natural disasters and spending an arm and leg at the gas station. That pretty much sums up the week, with John Edwards endorsing Barack Obama, thousands of people missing or dead in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in China, and polar bears being listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as a result of global warming. Shout out to Jimmy Fallon, who will take over Conan O’Brien’s late night show in 2009, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden for stepping up to help raise funds for the children affected by the Myanmar cyclone by appearing in a new UNICEF public service announcement and the sounding boards for keeping it going So let’s roll with it…the Last Word for the week ending May 16, 2008. 1. Ashanti Puts 12 On Motherhood Being a mom is one of, if not the, toughest job on the planet. Raising kids in today’s world is no joke. Which is why Ashanti is making sure she is financially able to support the little ones she hopes to bring in to the world.While one or two kids would be more than enough for most people, thing Ashanti has a  larger number in mind. “I need, like, 12 (kids)… I love kids. I definitely want to get married… I’m so family-oriented,” the songbird told Sister2Sister magazine. “I want the big wedding, I want the long marriage; I want kids. (But) I’ve got to stack my cheese a little bit more… I want to be able to bring my kids into the world nice and comfortable.” That’s cool. Ashanti is already thinking about ways of keeping the dough coming in with her acting and plans to start her own record label called Written Entertainment. No word on whether Nelly is getting used to the possibility of having a dozen mini St. Lunatics running around the house. 2. Jennifer Hudson Gets Musical Advice and Song From India.Arie and Alicia Keys With a definite blockbuster coming out later this month (Sex & the City) as well as a debut album hitting stores in September, there should be no reason for Jennifer Hudson to have any lack of confidence. But the Oscar winner tapped music vet and fellow actress Alicia Keys for some words of encouragement after discovering how much work has gone into crafting an album”Alicia Keys was one of the people who talked to me about it. I wanted to make sure it was OK because it’s taking so long,” said Hudson who had been working on her album for a year. “She told me it took her at least a year to record her album and that’s the process, so don’t worry about it.” While Keys provided the advice, Arie provided the hit Hudson needed in the form of a song called “Greatest Creation.” According to the singer the track is “where I see myself and where I’d like to see myself, in saying that my greatest creation is me.” Let’s hope Jennifer’s album lives up to all the hype. No doubt she’s got the voice. I just hope the label will do their part to make sure it delivers more than we expect. Keep your fingers crossed. 3. The Moral Police Bust Beyonce for Controversial Kid Clothing Ads Life as Mrs. Jay-Z may be just fine, but Beyonce is taking a few shots of criticism over ads for her new House of Dereon kids clothing line, Dereon Girls. The ads apparently show seven-year-old girls wearing feather boas, leopard hats, full make-up and high heels as they pose in front of the camera. In the wake of the Miley Cyrus – Vanity Fair controversy, the ads have raised more than a few eyebrows among those who question the motivation behind making the young models look what appears to be much older than they are. I know you got to make that money B, but having a bunch of mini-yous on display may not be the best way to go. Tone it down and let the girls be girls. Better yet. You could debut a new House of Dereon maternity line to go along with those pregnancy rumors we’ve been hearing about. You might was well make a quick buck from all the “Is she or isn’t she” talk. Play it right and you could blaze a new trail for maternal fashions that are stylish, yet comfortable enough to display that motherly glow. Free enterprise, people. Gotta love it. In Other Words… * Cee-Lo may not be the most physically intimidating person on the block, but the Gnarls Barkley vocalist is teaming up with Jack Black for a remake of Carl Douglas’ 1974 hit song “Kung Fu Fighting”. The track is among the tunes found on the soundtrack for Black’s upcoming animated film Kung Fu Panda, which is slated to hit stores on June 3. * Those waiting for that new Ne-Yo album to drop next month will have to wait a little longer. The singer’s forthcoming project Year of the Gentleman is now scheduled to hit stores on Aug. 5. The pushback stems from Ne-Yo wanting to put more songs on the album, which was originally slated to be released on June 24. According to reports, Ne-Yo is going for a different vibe this go round as he experiments with different sounds on the project, which contains the singer’s latest single “Closer.”* Ciara is giving fans three times the music with her forthcoming album Fantasy Ride. According to reports, the release will comprised of three separately packaged discs that each contain five to six songs addressing a different theme. Disc one, called Groove City, will feature songs like Ciara’s hit “Promise.” The second disc will be called Crunktown as the content harps back to the singer’s first hit “Goodies.” The final disc, called Kingdom of Dance, will include what Billboard called “Ciara’s house-leaning freestyle-tinged cuts.” Look for the album’s first single to come out in June. Ciara’s  Fantasy Ride is slated to hit stores in  September.* He may not be officially be back on the scene, but D’Angelo is making a return to music stores with a new CD/DVD collection titled The Best So Far… The 17-song release will feature hits such as “Brown Sugar,” “Lady” and “Cruisin’” in addition to rare recordings from soundtracks and other compilation. The DVD will include seven previously unreleased music videos. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a 15-song digital album, four video downloads and four “ringtunes” that will come out the same day as The Best So Far… on June 24.Ashanti

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