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The Last Word: R.Kelly’s New Closet, Mel B’s Lollipops, Jamie Foxx Helps Kids!

Greetings everybody! (I see you Jill). The week has come and gone with the cold weather continuing to smother the East coast with snow, former President Bill Clinton being in good spirits after entering the hospital Thursday for chest pain and all eyes are on Lidnsey Vonn and her bruised right shin as the Winter Olympics kick off tonight in Vancouver.

 

Shout out to the New Orleans Saints for making history with coming out on top after making their first appearance at the Super Bowl and the sounding boards for making sure that Valentine’s Day is everyday for the people they love.

 

Enough of all that. Let’s get to…the Last Word for the week ending Feb. 12, 2010.

 

 

1.       Kelly Price Reveals Fear of Revisiting Homeless Past

 

With a successful solo career that includes collaborations with Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, Whitney Houston, Deborah Cox and Tamia, Kelly Price has done well for herself.

 

And while many stars get big headed from all the accolades and fan adoration, Price remains down to earth by remembering a time where things were much different from the nice lifestyle she currently lives. A time that involved not having a place to live during her childhood.

 

“I remember being homeless and sleeping in my mother’s car when I was four years old, Price shared with Elev8.com. “ I remember my mother would go to family members on my dad’s side and ask can my sisters and I stay with them. I remember my mother bundling us up in coats with tears in her eyes and taking us to sleep in the car.”

 

Fortunately for us, Price’s singing voice provided a way out of her homeless surroundings as she found success with her hit single “Friend of Mine.” But despite being in a better situation and living much better, the fear of being homeless remained present  and prevented her from enjoying the fruits of her labor.

 

“As an adult, I have to be honest and say that there’s not much that I’m afraid of. But I work the way that I do because I have a bit of fear of homelessness.  I have to believe God to deliver me from that,” the songstress said.  “I have such a vivid memory of being homeless.  I remember I would not get my nails or hair done unless I had a show because I felt like it was money that did not need to be spent,” says Price.  “I’m talking about Kelly Price, The Soul of a Woman record.  I would have to give myself a reason to go to the mall and shop.  I don’t splurge shop.  I have too much in my closet to spend money on clothes.”

 

Thank goodness for being able to rise above her plight. Price is currently working with Tamia and Cox on their album, The Queen Project. Look for that project to hit stores this year.

 

 

 

2.       Jamie Foxx Keeps Musical Dreams Alive With Donated Instruments

 

He may  be able to blame things on the alcohol, but let it be said that Jamie Foxx will not let the youth of today blame their lack of musical skill on a lack of instruments.

 

The singer/actor was able to bring a bit of harmony to 16 high schools around the country as he helped presented a  variety of new instruments to students on Tuesday (Feb. 9) at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Valued at $500,000, the instruments included violins, flutes, saxophones, clarinets, French horns, trumpets and drums.

 

The presentation stuck a personal nerve for Foxx, who confessed to students that he started his entertainment career as a classical pianist. The stint ultimately netted the actor/singer a scholarship to study the instrument in college.

 

“That allowed me to come to L.A. and work on my craft,” Foxx said as he retraced his evolution from   acting and comedy to his Oscar winning role as Ray Charles in the critically-acclaimed biopic Ray.

 

According to the Associated Press, the presentation was part of the Fidelity FutureStage program, an effort by the investment firm to enrich arts education in public schools by providing instruments, specialized training by professional musicians, and a chance for aspiring artists to perform with renowned orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Pops.

 

Seeing the impact of Fidelity’s efforts, Foxx hopes other companies will follow the firms lead in keeping the dreams of aspiring musicians alive.

 

“Even if a kid is not going to be the greatest musician in the world, just the fact that you gave him something, the fact that you said, ‘Hey, I care about you,’ that’s what it’s about,” the entertainer said.

 

 

 

3.       Jordin Sparks and Estelle Enter the Jewelry Business

 

Fresh off of sharing studio time with musical all-stars in the “We Are the World” remake, Jordin Sparks is continuing her charitable ways by making a fashion statement in the name of a good cause. Hollyscoop.com reports the former American Idol winner has collaborated with Pennyroyal Silver creator and designer Tim Foster to create her own necklace deign for the company. Included in the jewelry will be the Japanese inscription “Suki Desu,” which means “I love.”

The necklace, which is available on  pennyroyalsilver.com, is priced at $125. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the jewelry will fund mobile medical units in Haiti.

 

“I am so excited to be working with Pennyroyal Silver on this project! Suki Desu means ‘I like’ or the more casual form of ‘I love’ in Japanese. I really like this phrase and it inspired the drawing,” said Sparks, who revealed another message that appears on her creation.  “On the back it says, ‘I’m M.A.D., Are You?’ Just my way of encouraging you to do something positive to help someone else. 30% of the proceeds from the sale of this pendant will go to Sparks Charities to fund mobile medical clinics in Haiti. So technically, by purchasing this pendant you are M.A.D.!”

 

Sparks isn’t the only singer getting into the jewelry biz.  According to reports, London born singer/songwriter Estelle has aligned with Rachel Roy to create a capsule jewelry collection exclusively for the Rachel Rachel Roy brand, a division of Jones Apparel Group.

 

Look for the limited edition, limited quantity collection to include necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. Price for the items will range from $34 to $195.The collection, which w will be available at Macys.com and Rachelroy.com, will be available for purchase beginning in March.

 

 

4.       Groove Theory Prepares to Get Its Groove Back

 

 

Looks like Sade’s isn’t the only music veteran making a return. The folks at SoulSummer.com state that ‘90s R&B duo Groove Theory is reuniting for another musical run.

 

The group’s return was confirmed by Czar Entertainment executive Jimmy “Henchmen” Rosemond, who revealed that members Amel Larrieux and Bryce Wilson are making their reemergence official with a new album.

 

“It’s going well,” Rosemond said. “They haven’t worked together in so long, and like most groups that break up, they’ve come into their own, so it’s almost like sharing that spotlight again, but it’s coming along. I’m excited.”

 

For those that don’t know, Groove Theory came on the scene in 1995 with their classic hit single, “Tell Me.” The success of the RIAA gold certified song paved the way for the group’s self-titled debut, which included the follow-singles “Keep Trying” and “Baby Luv.” After a couple of soundtrack appearances —“Never Enough” on Love Jones in March of 1996 and “It’s Alright” on Sunset Park that April—the group drifted apart with Larrieux pursuing a solo career and Wilson unsuccessfully replacing the songstress with Makeda Davis.

 

Once Groove Theory officially split in 2001 after its sophomore album was shelved, Wilson continued his work as a producer with collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Amerie and Toni Braxton to his credit as well as a string of acting roles.

 

Now that the original Groove Theory line up is whole again, Rosemond believes new music will arrive fairly soon.

 

 “In about two months, real light promo through the Internet and see how radio and people react to it,” he said.

 

 

 

5.       R. Kelly Confesses to Having More Trapped in the Closet Capers

 

Just when you think everything has been brought to light in R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet series, the pied piper of R&B has more in store

 

In a recently released video, Kells reveals the Trapped series is far from over. In fact, the crooner is just waiting to unleash the next round of chapters in a series that centers around the aftermath of a one night stand and the drama, lies and capers that follow.

 

“I just finished up 15 chapters,” Kelly said in the video. “I need to know if this is what you want from me. Ya’ll let me know because I’m ready…”

 

Although I did enjoy the first round of Trapped in the Closet saga, I have to take a page out of the Saturday Night Live Playbook and ask “Really R. Kelly?!”

 

Is this really artistic creativity or a true case of stuck on stupid progression not regression? Really?  Don’t be fooled, though. I probably will listen and check out the videos to these chapters. But really. I’m just sayin.’

 

 

 

In Other Words…

 

 

Former Chappelle’s Show cast member Charlie Murphy is bringing is stand up comedy act into your home with the release of his first live performance DVD, I Will Not Apologize. The Image Entertainment video is slated to hit stores on Tuesday (Feb. 16).

 

 

Two years after cutting a rug on Dancing With the Stars, Toni Braxton is returning to reality TV with a show of her own. Although details are slim at this time, the series, titled Braxton Family Values, will debut this fall and feature the six-time Grammy winner and her family.

 

Musically, Braxton’s new album, Pulse, will hit stores on May 10.

 

 

Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams has utilized her vocal talents to help a terminally ill youngster. The  singer fulfilled the wish of Sam Campbell by recording a song he wrote, titled “Make It Last.” According to reports, Campbell suffers from a brain defect known as Chiari Malformation.

 

According to Williams, the tune was an impressive display of Campbell’s ability to create something worth singing on. “Sam’s song is really good! I wasn’t writing like that at the age of 15,” she  told OK magazine. “I have to step my game up, for real!”

 

 

No doubt. Melanie Brown has her fair share of admirers who are sweet on her. Now, the former Spice Girl can capitalize on that with lollipops she had a hand in creating. Media sources report Brown designed two new “couture pops” for the online candy store SugarFactory.com. The lollipops, called Purple Passion and Lilac Swirl, feature jeweled sticks

 

With her new lollipops, the entertainer joins fellow SugarFactory pop creators Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and the Pussycat Dolls, who each have their own candy brands.

 

 

As we continue to enjoy the music on Alicia Keys’ latest album, The Element of Freedom, she has already moved on to the next project. WENN reports that Keys has plans to exercise her love of collaborations while voicing a desire to get in the studio with Grammy winning rock group Kings of Leon and “Paper Planes” singer/songwriter M.I.A.

 

“Working with other people is definitely something I want to do more of. I love it a lot. It takes me out of my element into a whole other world,” said Keys.  “I’d love to collaborate with Kings of Leon and M.I.A. I think would be crazy.”

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