The Last Word: Rihanna Gets Nominated For Sexiest Stomach, Solange Becomes an Armani Ambassador, and Mary J Blige Is a Thief?

Happy weekend, warriors. Five days down and hopefully two very slow ones to go as we think how census figures show minorities becoming the majority in 10-20 years.Paris Hilton mocked the Presidential candidates with her own political ad and the world’s best athletes will square off against each other with the start of the Olympic Games. R.I.P. to Mr. McDaniel. I never knew you, but you will be missed. Speedy recovery wishes go out to Bernie Mac, who is in the hospital battling pneumonia, and Morgan Freeman, who is expected to pull through after his car flipped over several times this week. And with a divorce coming from his wife, it isn’t hard to figure who didn’t have the best week ever. Shout out to the sounding boards for making power moves when no one is looking. Which brings us to…the Last Word for the week ending Aug. 8, 2008. 1. Usher Trades New Manager In for Mom Out with the new, in with the old. That’s how Usher is thinking nowadays, as rumors of being dissatisfied with his manager Benny Medina were confirmed with Medina’s dismissal. A source close to the hit-making crooner told People that disappointing sales of his latest album Here I Stand were one of the reasons Medina was terminated. But Benny didn’t have anything bad to say on his former client as he took the diplomatic path. “With an artist like Usher, the bar is set really high. Whether it was management, marketing or the music, we achieved a number one single and a number one album,” he said in a statement released Wednesday (Aug. 6). “It is a completely new day and time in music now. In four years, his audience, demographic, and musical direction has changed. Records like Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” are the type of phenomenon that “Yeah” was in 2004. I had a great time and we parted ways amicably.”The firing comes after Usher’s publicist resigned last week. And with that, Ursh went back to the person that knows him best to help him rebound…his mother Jonnetta Patton. “He wanted her to come back on board and she decided to. He had really poor management and wanted her back,” the source said. Makes you wonder if Usher’s wife Tameka will have something to say about this. Although they seem to be getting along lately, it was rumored that the Mrs. was the one who persuaded the crooner to let his moms go last year. Somehow Usher may have to move more than one mountain to get back on mom’s good side. 2. Joss Stone Prepares for Small Screen Close-Up Showtime’s hit show The Tudors will get a touch of soul with an appearance from Joss Stone. E! News reports the songbird will play Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Henry VIII in the period drama’s upcoming third season. In the history books, Anne was a daughter of a German nobleman who entered into a marriage treaty with Henry after the king was shown a portrait of her. The union was soon doomed after Henry became disappointed with how Anne looked when she arrived in England. He annulled the marriage after just six months. The new season of The Tudors, according to Showtime, will center around Henry as the English monarch weds Jane Seymour (Anita Briem) and then Anne of Cleves. Stone’s small screen stint on the show marks the British singer’s first major acting role. 3. Chris Brown Throws His Own Hat Into the Business World Looks like Chris Brown has found something to do with his off time besides downplaying his relationship with Rihanna. Billboard reports that the teen heartthrob will design a line of branded baseball-style caps that will feature six different designs. Among the creations, which go on sale Thursday (Aug. 14) at Lids, New Era stores and newera.com, are an image of a boom box that conjures up memories of the 1980s as well as a cap featuring the initials “CBE,” which stand for Brown’s record label on Interscope, Chris Brown Entertainment. Instead of a flat fee for his services, Brown will receive a royalty based on the number of hats sold. The crooner, who designed 10 hats, will retain ownership rights to the four unused designs. The New Era deal comes as a natural expansion of the singer’s love of the company’s products, which he can be seen sporting in videos for his hit singles “Kiss Kiss,” “Run It!” and “Wall to Wall” as well as David Banner’s “Get Like Me (Stuntin’ Is a Habit).”  Talk about wearing many hats. I guess music and acting aren’t enough. Add businessman and relationship dodger to the resume. 4. Rihanna Collects Another Sexy Body Part In this day and age, many people try to look beyond the surface to appreciate what we manage to accomplish. But every now and then we get a quick flashback of how it used to be (and still is when it comes to entertainment). According to reports, Rihanna has nabbed the honor of having the sexiest stomach. The 22-year-old singer earned the top spot in a poll conducted by the makers of digestive aid supplement AntiBloat. Among those who fell short of the title were actresses Keira Knightley (2), Dame Helen Mirren (3), Sienna Miller and British model/actress Elizabeth Hurley (tied for 4th). The honor is the latest in a string of accolades Rihanna has received for her body. The hitmaker recently captured the best hair in Hollywood honor from In Touch magazine as well as the award for the sexiest celebrity legs. Sexy hair, sexy stomach, sexy legs. Is there a body part that isn’t sexy on this woman? No matter. I like Rihanna as much as the next guy, but she’s got stiff competition in the sexy department from mature heartbreakers like Stacy Dash, LisaRaye, and Vivica Fox, who are gracing magazine covers and continue to keep their sexy well-preserved. But then again, RiRi, Angel Lola Luv, Meagan Good and Kim Kardashian make a good case for the current breed of knockout. So the real question is, can a body part or parts define sexy for somebody? Look for Rihanna to reign supreme in the battle over which star has the sexiest toenails. Coming soon from whatever magazine or company needs a bump in sales or exposure.5. Mary J. Blige Gets Accused of Album ThieveryMary J. Blige is known for creating the best music out of the most trying time periods in her life. Well, she’s about to have some new material to write about, as Mary is being sued for $2 million over debates of stolen music.The New York Daily News reports that the music in question is off her recent chart-topping album Growing Pains. The song “Work That” is listed as produced by a Theron Feemster. However, the song is owned by Dream Family Entertainment. A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, August 5th. Apparently the Feemster made the song’s music while he was still with Dream Family, so they owned it. Blige in turned used the song without permission.The question remains if Mary knew that she wasn’t entitled to the song. I don’t wanna be the one, but it wouldn’t hurt if Mary had a tiny bit of new drama to fuel some good songs. She’s always complaining that people want her to be sad so she can make some better material. This is like entry level sad, so it can’t be that bad, but good enough for better songs. Right?In Other Words… * R&B icon Patti LaBelle will be the newest honoree to receive the all-star treatment at this year’s United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars. Those lined up to honor Miss Pattie are Anita Baker, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Dionne Warwick, Yolanda Adams and Fantasia.* The Jacksons will further add to their musical legacy as they get honored by BMI as the organization’s 2008 Icons. The legendary group will receive the recognition Sept. 4 at the eighth annual BMI Urban Awards, which will take place at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif., * Giorgio Armani is keeping it in the family with its latest partnership. The Knowles family, that is. The company, who aligned with Beyonce Knowles to promote its Emporio Armani Diamonds fragrance, has recruited the singer’s baby sister Solange to be its “ambassador of Armani jeans” through a new deal the 22-year-old songbird recently signed.

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