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The Last Word: Mario Reveals Drug Dealer Past, Bobby Brown and Kells Are Back in Court, and Janet Jackson Reveals the Pleasure Principle and Enters the Dictionary

What’s real, good people? Another

week, another 25 cents made as the world spins with Florida feeling the effects

of tropical storm Fay, anticipation running high over who Obama and McCain will

pick as their running mates and world record breaking Jamaican sprinter Usain

Bolt catching flack from IOC president Jacques Rogge for displaying a lack of

respect for other competitors after becoming the first man since Carl Lewis to

win gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters at a single Olympics.

 

Condolences go out to the families

of actor Julius Carey III, who was best known for playing Sho’Nuff in the

classic film The Last Dragon and Dave

Matthews Band saxophonist Leroi Moore. Both men died Tuesday (Aug. 19).

 

Congratulations to Gwen Stefani,

who gave birth to her second child, Zuma, on Thursday (Aug. 21). Shout out to

Michael Phelps, for winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics, Dara

Torres, for proving you’re never too old to do big things on an Olympic stage,

South Africa’s Natalie du Toit, who made history as the first amputee swimmer

to compete in an Olympic Games on Wednesday (Aug. 20) and the sounding boards

for taking the gold in real talk.

 

Check it out…the Last Word for

the week ending Aug. 22, 2008

 

1. Janet Jackson Enters the

World of Lingerie; Wardrobe Malfunction Makes Dictionary

 

Leave it to Janet Jackson to find

a way to bring her sexiness to the masses. The singer has made good use of her

time away from music by designing a new line of lingerie called, what else, The

Pleasure Principle.

 

USA Today reports the 14-design line, which is scheduled to debut in

stores in November, will hit the US before arriving in Australia, Japan and

Europe. The intimate clothing will be priced under $40 and include a variety of

bra styles that range in size from 32A to 44G.

 

And like many women who shop for

lingerie, Jackson placed high importance on comfort while mentioning that there

was something for every woman. “I’ve always hated when lingerie is

uncomfortable, so the fit and comfort was key,” said the hitmaker, who

added that she was hands-on during designing and sometimes worked on the line

at 4 a.m.

 

News of Janet’s latest venture

comes as her term describing that infamous Super Bowl halftime blunder makes

the dictionary. Media sources stated that “wardrobe malfunction,” has been entered into the latest Chambers English

Dictionary. It is defined as “the exposure of an intimate part or parts of

the body due to a defect in an article.”

 

I guess if the ladies want to

avoid an involuntary wardrobe malfunction with their lingerie, it’s all about

“control.”

 

2. Mario Reveals Former Drug

Dealing Life

It’s no secret that things weren’t

always good with Mario before he hit it big. Anyone who saw his MTV documentary

Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom knows that life became more of a challenge for Mario as he

witnessed the effect of his mom’s heroin addiction. So much so that the former Dancing

With the Stars contestant traded his

singing dreams in for a brief stint as a drug dealer.

 

“In junior high school, I

even sold drugs for a short period of time,” Mario revealed in the new

issue of Seventeen magazine. And while

that life offered a few perks, it was the reality behind his new gig that made

the singer think of going in a different direction.

 

“…after making mistakes and

having friends die or end up in jail, I realized that I needed to start Mario’s

Do Right Foundation,” Mario explained. “It’s a program that gives

kids and adults a way to talk about their problems in a group without feeling

ashamed or alienated like I used to. And the foundation isn’t just about drugs

– It’s about teaching kids that anything is possible.”

 

3. Mariah, Miley and Beyonce

Stand Up to Cancer

 

Those waiting for a Mariah Carey

and Miley Cyrus collaboration will get their wish and then some. The singers

are among the 15 female artists lined up for “Just Stand Up,” new

song produced by Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface”

Edmonds.

 

Others contributing vocals include

Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge,

Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole,Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie

Underwood. “Just Stand Up” marks the first time Reid and Edmonds have

worked together in nearly 20 years.

 

The tune, which was conceived by

Reid, will be available for purchase exclusively on iTunes on Sept. 2. Fans

will get the chance to see the vocalists perform “Just Stand Up” live

when they take the stage on Sept. 5 for the Stand Up to Cancer TV special. The show is slated to air simultaneously and

commercial-free on CBS, ABC and NBC. Proceeds from the track will go to the Stand

Up for Cancer campaign for cancer

research.

 

The Stand Up to Cancer show will also feature reports on potentially life-saving

research and interviews with cancer patients and scientists from network news

anchors Charles Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Williams.

 

4. Ne-Yo Gets Animated for

Cartoon Network Close Up

 

As if being a successful

singer/songwriter and actor wasn’t enough. Now Ne-Yo is adding animator to his

list of job titles with the creation of a new animated series for Cartoon

Network. According to reports, the crooner is in talks to bring the show over

to the channel.

 

“It’s a cartoon for adults,

like Family Guy. I’ve been busy

developing it,” Ne-Yo said about the show, titled What The Bear. “I created the characters and the world they live

in. And I did the original drawings and wrote the story.”

 

What the Bear will center around a rude bear that has been in jail in

another dimension. In addition to helming the project, Ne-Yo will work on music

for the series.

 

“It will all be

original,” the singer added as he admitted to choosing a job as an

illustrator if he wasn’t singing or writing tunes. “I used to draw

portraits and caricatures of people and get 10 or 20 dollars a time,” he

told Singersroom.com. “It was handy because, that way, I never needed to

ask my mom for money.”

 

5. Bobby Brown and R. Kelly

Make Courtroom Encores

 

Sitting in on a courtroom case can

be boring at times, but with entertainers like Bobby Brown and R. Kelly, it’s

always something to see. As if we don’t get enough of them outside the courts,

it looks like the Kings of R&B and New Jack Swing will once again be the

headliners in front of an honorable judge…but for different reasons.

 

E! Online reports that Brown’s

former divorce attorneys are suing him for allegedly failing to pay a $90,217

legal tab. The bill reportedly covers expenses related to the crooner’s divorce

from ex-wife Whitney Houston.

 

The complaint, which was filed

Aug. 15 in Los Angeles Superior Court by the law firm Phillips, Lerner, Lauzon

& Jamra, alleges that Brown was notified several times by the lawyers that

he was past due in paying the balance plus interest on legal services rendered

during the dissolution of his marriage. The singer did not respond to any of

the requests, according to the suit, which wants a court order to force Brown

to enter into binding arbitration with either the Beverly Hills or Los Angeles

bar association to settle the bill.

 

As for Kells, his legal drama

doesn’t involve any doing on his part (imagine that). The Grammy-winner is

reportedly heated at two nightclub promoters for using his name and face

without his permission. According to TMZ, a lawsuit filed last Friday alleges

that promoters for the Sugar nightclub featured Kelly’s name and face on fliers

“falsely advertising” that the vocalist would host one of their

parties. The event was news to Kells, who says he didn’t know anything about

it.

 

Although no specific amount is

listed in the suit, the vocalist is seeking what he deems to be enough relief (cash)

to “stop defendants’…disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.”

 

With these court episodes, maybe

Bobby and Kelly can earn a buck or two by hitting studio to record their first

collaboration, titled “Best of Both Cases.” Look for it to hit stores

before the holidays with a special discount for anyone else slated to appear

before a jury of their peers.

 

6. Berry Gordy Helps New

Yorkers Celebrate Michael Jackson

 

Within his first 50 years, Michael

Jackson has achieved a lifetime of notoriety. From having the best-selling

album of all time to groundbreaking music videos and performances to multiple

Grammys and tabloid controversy, it will be interesting to see what the next 50

holds for the King of Pop.

 

And as fans around the world

celebrate Jackson’s upcoming 50th birthday, New Yorkers will get an added treat

when Motown Records founder Berry Gordy makes an appearance at the Michael

Jackson 50th birthday and Thriller 25th anniversary celebration in New York.

 

The event will take place from 8

p.m. to midnight Saturday (Aug. 23) at New York University in the Franklin H.

Williams Caribbean Cultural Center, 408 W. 58th Street. Performers, Michael

Jackson karaoke and an MJ impersonator are among the things partygoers will see

and experience at the celebration, in addition to rare MJ music and videos,

food, dancing and memorabilia. Fans will also acknowledge the Thriller anniversary with a special sing and dance along to the

video for the title track.

 

Gordy will be on hand to celebrate

his most famous discovery as well as be honored for his contribution to

Jackson’s career and to music. The event comes as Motown celebrates 50 years of

existence in the music world. Other celebrity guests include Debarge member

Bunny Debarge, best-selling author and Fox reporter Aphrodite Jones and world-class

sprinter and Michael Walton Foundation founder Michael Walton. Michael Jackson

himself is also an invited guest.

 

Admission to the celebration is

$25. Visit http://www.paypal.com to order tickets.

 

7. Solange Enforces Her Grown

Woman Status; Parties for Tracks

 

Being on top of the music game is

a constant challenge for anyone willing to go all out to get that stardom. And

while I’ve heard talk of people “f**king for tracks,” I was surprised

to find a twist on that with Solange Knowles.

 

It seems like the singer snagged

contributions on her forthcoming album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St Dreams, from producers Mark Ronson and Cee-Lo Green, by showing

them how much of a party girl she is. According to NME, Solange convinced the guys to produce tracks off the

project after cornering them earlier this year at an after show for this year’s

Grammy awards.

 

Despite Ronson agreeing to help

her, Solange initially thought he was trying to get rid of her as they talked

at the party. “He said, ‘Just because I’ve won this Grammy it doesn’t mean

I won’t work on your record’. I had to party with Cee-Lo too to get him to work

on the record.”

 

Sounds like Solange is stepping up

to play like the grown folks. At least that’s how it may come across on “ChampagneChronicNightcap,”

a Lil Wayne assisted Sol-Angel track that finds the vocalist talking about

marijuana and making love. According to her, all the album’s tracks are written

from personal experience.

 

“I am unapologetic; I don’t

write about things unless they’re true. I’m a grown-ass woman and I’ve

experienced grown-ass things.”

 

Well go on, with your grown-ass.

 

In Other Words…

 

* R&B collective Full Force is

making a return to music with its forthcoming greatest hits album Legendary.

The release will include classic hits “Ain’t My Type of Hype” and

“All Cried Out” as well as several brand new tracks. The group will

also release an online album with classics and more new songs titled Full

Force of Course.

 

* The new album from Brandy, Human, is slated to hit stores on Nov. 11. Among the tracks

featured will be the recently leaked first single “Right Here

(Departed).”

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