The Last Word: Omarion Gets New Deal, Serena Serves Up Pads, Ryan’s New Act

How’s everything going, everybody. Five days down and the weekend arrives as world leaders converge on Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit, actress McKenzie Phillips reveals details about her 10- year incestuous relationship with her father, Mamas and Papas frontman John Phillips and revelation of a potential vaccine for the AIDS virus.

Congratulations go out to Nelly Furtado, whose Spanish-language album, Mi Plan, sold nearly 13,000 copies in its first week to become the highest-selling Latin pop album debut this year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Shout out to the sounding boards for always letting me know, good or bad, what’s best. It’s been a slow week, so I apologize in advance if this week’s Word doesn’t hit too hard this time around.

With that said, let the light shine through for…the Last Word for the week ending Sept. 25, 2009.

1. Ryan Leslie and Tamia Lean On SuperFriends to Form R&B Supergroups

As the saying goes, there’s always strength in numbers. If rappers can come together, why not R&B singers?

For Ryan Leslie, this seems to work well as he drifts towards a united front with Ne-Yo and Fabolous.

“We’re talking about a triple-team collaboration that’s really gonna hurt the game,” the crooner told MTV, adding that the trio’s forthcoming project will be a well-thought out endeavor. “It’s about conceptualizing. It’s not gonna be a project that’s thrown together. It’s gonna be a real roundtable, and we’re gonna talk about really putting something in the atmosphere that contributes something that’s never been done before.”

And if one R&B supergroup doesn’t do anything for you, how about a second one? Female vocalists Tamia, Deborah Cox and Kelly Price have followed suit and formed their own collective, which goes by the name of TDK.

Fans can get a taste of the new group via “Queen,” the first single from the TDK’s forthcoming album, The Queen Project. Among those working with TDK is producer Warryn Campbell. The trio, who is slated to work with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, R. Kelly and Raphael Saadiq, will document the album’s development with intentions to share the experience in a reality show.

As “a fan first,” Tamia relished working with her new groupmates as she admitted that “There’s something special here musically and we have a genuine bond.”

Although The Queen Project is slated to be released in early 2010, TDK is currently not affiliated with a record company. In the meantime, fans of Price, Tamia and Cox can catch them on Oct. 10when they perform their first concert together at the Circle of Sisters expo in New York City.

All this talk about supergroups is making me think. Who would make up the best male or female supergroup? Get enough of them together and you could have a singing Justice League out to defend us against the threat of the Legion of Bad Vocalists.

Let the recruiting begin! We need a few heroes that can carry a note.

2. Joss Stone’s Colour Is Finally Freed

Joss Stone’s long-delayed album, Colour Me Free will finally see the light of day. Media sources report the Virgin Records release, will be exclusively available at Target and through iTunes on October 20, and feature appearances from Raphael Saadiq (“Big Ole Game”), Jeff Beck and Sheila E. “Parallel Lines”), Nas (“Governmentalist”) and saxophonist David Sanborn (“I Believe It To My Soul”).

For Stone, her fourth studio album is “very, very raw – basically a bunch of musicians, writers, and myself just jamming.”

“The album was not dictated or forced. It was an organic process where each musician was given the freedom to create their sound,” added the songstress, who labeled the project as a solid representation of where she is currently as an artist. “It’s an honest and accurate representation of where I am as an artist and person right now. I am really proud of the music and excited to have people hear the songs.”

Featuring the lead single, “Free Me,” Colour Me Free is scheduled for a November 2 international release.

3. Serena Williams Serves Up Tampon Ads With Mother Nature

Serena Williams may have generated negative talk with her vocal display at the U.S. Open, but the tennis champ is still golden in the eyes of Proctor & Gamble.

Brandweek.com reports Williams has signed an endorsement deal with the company to promote its Tampax in a series of print ads and videos. The print ads, which will feature the younger Williams sister beating Mother Nature in a game of tennis, arrived in various teen publications last week.

As for the Serena videos, Tampax plans on airing those on its web site. Williams will be teamed up with Mother Nature in the clips again for the clips, which are part of a series and feature pair in various predicaments. According to Tampax brand manager Courtney Schuster, Serena is “unstoppable and prepared, like our Tampax girl. [Williams] doesn’t let Mother Nature get the best of her.

Despite all the coverage and opinions regarding her tirade, experts predict that Williams will not be in danger of losing any sports sponsorships. Couple that with public support from Kraft and Nike and Serena comes out unscathed.

4. Eva Longoria Goes Back to School For Her Masters

Considering how she has a hit TV show and a happy marriage to a star NBA player, it would be easy for Eva Longoria to settle in and enjoy life as it is. But the Desperate Housewives star is pursuing the road to higher education for a deeper purpose, as news comes down that she is headed back to school to learn about her Mexican roots.

According to Hola magazine, Longoria will enroll in a master’s program in Chicano studies and political science. The motivation lies for the actress lies in a desire to “learn more about the history of the country we come from.” No word from Longoria on what university she will attend.

All I can say is just picture Eva walking into your class to sit beside you while the two of you learn something new together. Any volunteers for study hall?

In Other Words…

In the latest episode of Celebrities and Their Money Drama, we have a trust fund issue featuring the children of late comedy icon Richard Pryor.

TMZ.com reports that court documents were filed on Tuesday in L.A. County Superior Court by Steven and Kelsey Pryor against Robert Philpot, the person appointed by Richard Pryor to watch over a trust set up for them. The Pryor kids claim that Philpot hid the existence of the trust from them after their father’s death in 2005.

They go on to say that they were forced to figure out the existence of the trust on their own — and are worried Philpot “wrongfully took, concealed, or disposed of assets” during that time. The Pryors would like the court to terminate Philpot as the trustee of the trust and award them any assets he may have taken from the trust.

The trust was initially created in 1998, the year Richard Pryor divorced the kids’ mom for the first time.

Omarion may have hit a roadblock after his label situation with Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint fell through, but the former B2K member is taking matter in his own hands with the formation of his own label, StarWorld Entertainment.

Under the new imprint, which resulted from Omarion’s newly signed deal with EMI, fans will get a new album from the singer called Ollusion. According to the crooner, his third solo album will be testament to his growth as artist, among other things.

“My style has evolved so much on this album,” Omarion said in a statement. “I was able to express truly who I am from a creative and artistic standpoint, which allowed me to share a personal side of myself with my fans through my music. This is my masterpiece, and I can’t wait for the world to hear my new album.”

Including appearances from Tank, Gucci Mane and Fabolous, Ollusion is slated to hit stores on November 24. The album’s first single,“I Get It In,” will debut on October 5.

The mighty Oprah has struck again as Variety reports that HBO is in the early stages of developing two historical miniseries with the entertainment mogul’s Harpo Films.

The projects will be comprised of The Black Panthers, a miniseries that examines the history of the 1960s movement’s inner circle. The show will utilize source material from the biography of Panther’s leader Huey Newton, Huey: Spirit of the Panther, as well as the Elaine Brown autobiography A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story.

The other miniseries being worked on will be Ida Tarbell, a look at the journalist who exposed the unfair practices of John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil monopoly. Tarbell’s work was noted for helping in the government’s eventual breakup of the company in 1911.

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