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The Last Word: Chris Brown to Play Elvis, Bobby Brown Talks About Jumping Usher, and Michael Jackson Is Too Scared to Perform on Idol!

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What’s good, good folks? After a little more than week on the left coast, I’m back on the job. Many thanks to Kiko for subbing for me last week. R.I.P. to music pioneer, Bo Diddley, who left a priceless musical legacy. Shout out to Barack Obama, who continues to make history with a confirmed lock on the Democratic presidential nomination. This week is a milestone, as it marks one year since the arrival of The Last Word. So it goes without saying that I give much appreciation to YOU, the people, who regularly check in for this bit of music news and sarcasm each week. Although I have a core group of people that give me feedback before this is posted, you guys are my ultimate sounding boards. Last Word wouldn’t be anything without your support and comments. So thank you. Stay tuned for a more formal anniversary celebration next week. OK, let’s cut to the chase. Here it comes…the Last Word for the week ending June 6, 2008. 1. Leona Lewis Becomes the Anti-Winehouse With Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, and Duffy, it’s clear that the Brits are doing big things musically. But unlike Ms. Rehab, Lewis is not one to walk on the wild side as she shuns smoking and drinking after getting anything but a buzz off a drink called Alcopop when she was 18. “It was gross,” Lewis told Blender magazine. “I’ve tasted champagne, which is gross. And I tasted wine, which I don’t like. I might be quite boring.” And while she’s definitely one of the finest singers out now, it is with regret that I say that we won’t be seeing Leona showing off what God blessed her with. “I don’t wear little miniskirts and low-cut tops,” revealed the songbird, who didn’t have anything against those who choose to go that particular route. “If you want to show your bits off, it’s up to you.” So much for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Leona may be the anti-Winehouse, but it’s turning out to be a good look for her as everyone from Diddy to Rihanna is expressing interest in collaborating with the international singer. There are even reports of a duet with Whitney Houston for Houston’s comeback album, which is slated to come out later this year. Looks like Leona could bleed some serious dough in addition to her chart-topping love…not to mention a new clothing line. Note to Amy: Get in rehab, stay in rehab and come out of rehab so you too can reap the benefits of your amazing voice. Otherwise, the Anti-Winehouses will collect all the change. 2. Michael Jackson Gets Stage Fright…Over American Idol? This one could be a little hard to digest, but according to media sources, Michael Jackson turned down a chance to make a planned cameo on American Idol because of a case of stage fright. “This was his big chance, but he got stage-fright. (He kept saying) ‘I can’t do it. Everyone will hate me.” a source told The Sun. Granted it’s been a minute since Mike has performed live, but I don’t buy him getting nervous to appear on the biggest karaoke stage around. Still, weirder things have happened. And with rumors swirling about Michael playing Las Vegas, it’s never a dull day for the King of Pop. And if Michael decides to do Sin City, he wouldn’t have to look far for an opening act. Sister Janet made an interesting proposition during her appearance on BET’s 106 & Park on Tuesday (June 3) as she entertained the idea of going on before big brother.”I’ve heard that for a while, but I don’t know,” Janet said about the Vegas rumors. “I would love to (open up for him).” Hopefully, Michael will make the trip and perform in Vegas. With Janet opening, it would be a killer show that would definitely take care of all those debts and legal fees he’s built up over the last few years. Maybe they can call it the Scream! I’m Trying to Be Debt Free show. Just a thought. 3. Aretha Franklin Gives Props to Current R&B Hitmakers While many people question whether R&B has seen better days, Aretha Franklin is making it known that she has no problem with the current crop of artists who are keeping the music alive. “At one point, I was very concerned when the Hip-Hoppers came in about the future of R&B,” the Queen of Soul wrote in a recent essay featured on BlackVoices.com. “But now with artists like Usher, Anthony Hamilton, Fantasia, Chris Brown, Raheem DeVaughn, Erykah Badu and artists like that let me know that R&B is in good hands, absolutely alive and well and mega-watt.”The essay is part of BlackVoices celebration of Black Music Month. Although I’m glad Aretha is praising current hitmakers, you have to wonder why Beyonce wasn’t mentioned among the names she tossed out. Surely she’s still not heated over that Queen mix-up that happened at this year’s Grammys. She’s musical royalty after all. I’m so sure that she’s above any pettiness of that sort…ya think? 4. Craig David Patiently Waits for US ShineCraig David may be doing big things overseas, but the British soul singer has been M.I.A. for a while on the US charts. As a result, David is looking to make a return to the States with his new album Trust Me. He’s already hit the road visiting radio stations to promote “Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance)” the David Bowie-sampled first single from the project.Although he became known for his hits “Fill Me In” and “7 Days,” David knows his past fame won’t guarantee him a solid return.”It’s been a good, like, four years or so that I’ve been away from America. To come back in and say, ‘I’m here! Accept me!’ I’d be fooling myself,” the crooner told Billboard.com. “America’s not waiting for me. It’s open with all arms if you’re hungry and you go in and make things happen, so I know I’ve got to work from the grass roots upward.”Hopefully, things will work out for Craig. But with state of today’s music, it could be a minute. Maybe the title of his next song should be “Stay Awhile” with an “I’m Back and Still Here” remix featuring Toni Braxton. Be sure to check for the Back in Stride 2 tour David will soon be on with Whitney Houston. 5. Michelle Williams Relates to Sex and the City With a number one debut at the box office, it was the power of the female that made the Sex and the City movie a hit. The show’s impact resonates with Michelle Williams, who revealed that she would be a combination of Samantha and Carrie if she had the chance to become one of the four leading ladies from the series.”I think that’s a cool balance – strong and in control. That’s what I’m going for!” the singer told People as she added that Sex and the City inspired the video for Destiny Child’s single “Girl.”And like the girls on that show, Williams has had her share of relationship troubles, particularly finding someone to spend time with. The songbird admits that, “It’s been a couple years since I’ve been in a really serious relationship.” As for what she’s looking for in a guy, Michelle keeps it simple.”I need a grown man,” she said. Somebody who is focused. Somebody who is working. Somebody who is loving life. Somebody who is strong. A charmer.”So there you have it, fellas. Step up and see what happens. You never know until you try. After Obama’s victory this week, anything is possible. “Yes We Can.”6. Bobby Brown Accuses Usher of Thievery, Reveals Real Story Behind ScuffleGive Bobby Brown credit. In the ’80s, he was the man. Hit after hit and videos with dance moves everyone was doing to match. So it should come as no surprise that the self-proclaimed “King of Stage” was taken aback a bit when he recently saw Usher perform. “I watched one of Usher’s shows and he basically did my whole show,” Brown wrote in his new tell-all autobiography Being Bobby Brown: The Truth and Nothing But…“It was as if it was me on stage.” Although he could’ve taken offense, Bobby was flattered by the homage, saying “It’s a compliment to me as a performer.” I admit that that was real big of Bobby, who also revealed what really happened in the alleged “scuffle” some years ago at a birthday party. According to the singer, the whole thing was blown out of proportion as something it wasn’t as a drunken Usher put Brown in a playful chokehold and began squeezing after greeting him with a hug.  Needless to say, Brown had trouble breathing and told Usher to let up. But the intoxicated young singer couldn’t hear him with the loud music and continued to put the squeeze on Mr. “Don’t Be Cruel.” When the diplomatic approach, didn’t work because Usher couldn’t hear him over the loud music, Bobby took it to the streets. “I picked him up and held him over the DJ booth which had a nice little drop down below,” the former New Edition member revealed. “When I did this, I guess his body guards felt like I was threatening his life so they came to his rescue. They came and pulled us apart which looked like a scuffle to the people around looking on.” So there you have it. Straight from the source. Shame on us media cats for sensationalizing something as trivial as this. I guess I can officially put that Bobby Brown obit in the shredder. No chance of him biting the dust anytime soon. In other Words… * Count Christina Aguilera as one of those celebrities encouraging people to vote this year. The diva and her son can be seen a new Rock the Vote ad singing a lullaby of “America the Beautiful” to her five- month -old son Max, who is draped in an American flag. * Sean Levert’s widow Angela Lowe has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Cleveland. The suit accuses the county officials who held the singer in jail of showing disregard for the singer’s medical needs. According to the county coroner, Levert died of natural cause. * It may be no secret that Chris Brown channels bits of Michael Jackson in his dance arsenal. But could you picture him as the King of Rock and Roll? It may not be too far fetched as Brown recently expressed a desire to put his own stamp on a remake of an Elvis Pressley movie. “I can’t do Elvis, ‘cause I’m a little different color,” the crooner told Yo on E!’s Michael Yo.”‘ But I could do my own version. I’d love to.” With last year’s performance of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” at Movies Rock, the seeds could be planted for something. Stay tuned…* A broken foot may sideline a lot of artists, but that wasn’t the case for Solange Knowles, who performed Sunday (June 1) in spite of her injury. The singer, who is currently on the Art of Love tour with Raheem DeVaughn and Chrisette Michele, was immediately rushed to the hospital after her performance in Kansas City. The injury was caused when a large piece of metal fell from a doorway onto Knowles’ foot, breaking it. Despite the injury, the vocalist will remain on the tour, as she will perform her set in a cast while setting on a stool. The tour comes in support of Knowles’ forthcoming album, SoL-AngeL and The Hadley St. Dreams. The video for the album’s first single, “I Decided” premiered Tuesday (June 4) on BET’s Access Granted. Look for Solange to personally introduce the video to viewers when she appears on MTV’s TRL and BET’s 106 & Park next week.

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