The Last Word: Ray J and Brandy Form “R&B,” Don Cheadle Replaces Terrence Howard in Iron Man Sequel, and Mel B Talks Nudity!

Good day folks. The end of another week has arrived and we

got through it in one piece, despite gas prices going down, Obama and McCain

going at each other again in their last debate and the Phillies making it to

the World Series for the first time in 15 years (shout out to them).

 

Congratulations to actress Lisa Bonet, who is expecting her

third child. Shout out to Joe the Plumber for being the real winner in

Thursday’s debate and the sounding boards for making sure I stick around for

another 24.

 

And so we have…The Last Word for the week ending Oct. 17,

2008.

 

1.  Janet

Jackson Solves Mystery Behind Illness

After a gang of cancellations from Janet Jackson’s latest

tour, the mystery illness behind the stoppage has been revealed. According to

People.com, the singer was suffering from vestibular migraines, a condition

that results in imbalance or the illusion of movement. Jackson’s rep released a

statement Wednesday (Oct. 15) saying the condition was unusual in that it

creates the sensation of vertigo.

 

Fortunately, Janet is getting treatment and resumed the tour

on Wednesday with a stop at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

 

“[Janet is] a world-class entertainer and needs to be at the

top of her game to give her fans the show they expect,” manager Kenneth Crear

stated. “She’s feeling much better and is ready to hit the road again.”

 

Those with tickets to Jackson’s Madison Square Garden show,

which was originally scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 16), can now catch the

songstress on Nov. 1. With this, people should hold onto their tickets as new

dates are being worked out and will be announced in the coming days.

 

2. Terrence Howard Turns Iron Man Role Over to Don Cheadle

 

So much for maintaining the same formula in a film. Money

may be the root of all evil, but you can also say that it is the root of not

making more money. Especially with the upcoming Iron Man sequel.

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Terrence Howard’s loss is Don Cheadle’s gain as

Howard’s character, Jim Rhodes, will now be played by Cheadle. The reason for

Howard’s departure stems from failed negotiations between the actor and Marvel

Studios or as the official reason points out, “financial differences” between

both parties.

 

Nevertheless, Marvel is moving forward to “take the role in

another direction” with Cheadle. For those of us who enjoyed Iron Man, this comes as a shock. Especially since Howard was

looking forward to working on the sequel with Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth

Paltrow. The buzz on the flick points towards Rhodes having a bigger role in

the film with the possibility of him putting on his own suit of armor as the

popular hero War Machine.

 

While I do not know the whole story behind Terrence turning

down the sequel, it seems crazy that he would turn down a guaranteed payday and

potential lead role in a spin-off. 

Iron Man is certified box office

gold. Nevertheless, something tells me Cheadle will do more than enough to put

his own stamp on the role and make War Machine and Rhodes a character to watch.

 

With the economy the way it is, it could be very hard out

here for an Oscar-nominated pimp if he doesn’t strike gold again.

 

3. The-Dream Wrestles With Love vs. Money

 

The-Dream is looking to continue riding the wave of hits his

debut album produced by gearing up for the project’s follow-up, Love vs.

Money. Although a first single hasn’t been

picked, the singer looks to give fans something deeper this next go ‘round.

 

“In the beginning I was just having fun. I didn’t want

people thinking too hard, I just wanted them to gravitate toward my lyrics,”

the-Dream told Billboard.com. “But this time my vocals are different. I’ve

definitely grown in my singing.”

 

Fans will be able to hear the growth on the ‘60s inspired

“You Ain’t Sh*t” as well as “Fancy,” “Right Side of My Brain,” “Make Love to

Me,” and “Kelly’s 12 Play,” which was inspired by R. Kelly’s solo debut album.

Guests on the project include Mariah Carey, who appears on “My Love.”

 

In the meanwhile, listeners can look forward to hearing

another chapter to The-Dream’s song “Nikki” which appeared on his first album.

According to the crooner, his third album will continue the saga with a song in

the same vein as he told Billboard that

he hopes to release a full album of the Nikki chronicles at some point.

 

Love vs. Money is

slated to hit stores Dec. 16. In addition, while details were limited,

The-Dream is in talks with MTV to star in his own reality show. According to

reports, the show will feature The-Dream searching for talent. Just what we

need. Another show where ordinary people look extraordinarily foolish as they

become the next big thing. You gotta love it.

 

4. Samuel L. Jackson Gets Two Swords and a Blessing for

New Film

 

Samuel L. Jackson has a good feeling that his plans to

transform the animated TV series Afro Samurai into a live action film will follow the same path has his past movie

successes.

Why, you ask? Because Jackson was blessed by real Samurai

historians during an ancient ceremony, he took part in after meeting with anime

experts in Tokyo to discuss the film. From the looks of it, Sam really got into

the spirit of the occasion as he told WENN:

 

“We had a big ceremony where we blessed the project. We all

dressed as Samurai and went to a traditional wooden structure where even the

nails were wood,” he said. “We went over in rickshaws and it was a big deal.

They had the oldest Geisha women in Japan perform that night. They actually

gave me two swords which I have at home for good luck.”

 

Afro Samurai was

pretty good as an animated film, so I’m sure the live action version will be

better. If not, then I’m not trying to see what Sam will do with those two

swords. He is a bad motherf****r, after all.

 

5. Cash Money Goes R&B Again with UK Indian Singer

Jay Sean

 

Fresh off striking platinum with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter

III, Cash Money Records is adding to its

list of achievements for this year with UK R&B star Jay Sean. The crooner,

who announced his signing to the label Thursday (Oct. 14) at the Music of Black

Origin (MOBO) Awards, has already amassed a large following among fans

overseas.

 

With the signing, Sean is already utilizing his new

resources as he revealed that he is currently in the studio with Lil Wayne and

has tapped the rapper for a remix to his upcoming single, “Tonight.”

 

The song will be featured on a repackaged version of Jay

Sean’s hit album My Own Way, which is

slated to hit stores in the Spring of 2009. In addition to “Tonight,” the album

includes the hits “Ride It” and “Maybe.” News of the Cash Money signing is the

latest in a string of accomplishments for the British Southeast Asian, who has

worked with Timbaland and counts Sean “Diddy” Combs among his fans.

 

The repackaged version of My Own Way, along with future albums from Jay Sean, will be

released on Cash Money.

 

6. Mel B Rejects Playboy; Displays Exhibitionist Side

 

If you’re holding out for Mel B’s Playboy pictorial, think again. The former Spice Girl and

Ultimo lingerie model has turned down an offer to pose nude for the magazine as

she told Access Hollywood that

she would never go au natural for Playboy in light of the fact that she wants to restrict her nakedness just for

the bedroom.

 

 “No, I’m not

going to do it,” said Mel B, who revealed that her husband Stephen Belafonte is

the only person who will enjoy her naked body in the privacy of their home.

“There is (an exhibitionist side to me) – in my bedroom, late at night

for hours on end!”

 

Lucky guy. I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Leave

it all up to our imagination. Damn.

 

In Other Words…

 

* Justin Timberlake loves the game of golf and is not

ashamed to admit it. The singer, who is featured on the cover of the October Golf

Digest, connected golf to music as he

explained that, “The golf swing is very, very rhythmic. There’s a certain tempo

to it, just like in music.” See the connection?

 

* Add Forest Whitaker to the list of entertainers that will

portray a music icon. WENN reports, the Oscar winner has been given the green

light to play the late Louis Armstrong in a new biopic after receiving approval

from the famed jazz musician’s estate.

 

“Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our

culture,” said Whitaker, who will also direct the feature. “He lived an amazing

life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard

after him, not just here in the US but all over the world.”

 

News of the film comes more than 30 years after Armstrong

died of a heart attack in 1971.

 

* While fans wait for Brandy’s album Human to hit stores

Nov. 11, the songbird is already plotting her next project. Media sources state

that Brandy will team with her brother Ray J for a collaborative album called R&B. The project’s title represents Brandy and Ray J’s

initials as well as the type of music they do.

 

* Former After 7 founder/leader singer Kevon Edmonds is

gearing up for the release of his upcoming sophomore album. The singer hopes to

“bridge the gap between good old R&B and R&B of today” with the as-yet

untitled solo project, which hits stores in March 2009.

 

* Actor Columbus Short is reportedly in talks to join the

fifth installment of the Lethal Weapon

film franchise. According to IGN, the actor says he may be signing on to play

the son of Danny Glover’s character Roger Murtaugh. It was reported in August

that screenwriter Shane Black and producer Joel Silver were working on Lethal

Weapon 5, which will see Mel Gibson’s

character, Martin Riggs, on the verge of retirement when he pulls Murtaugh back

into active duty for one final case.

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