The Last Word: Tom Hanks Sweating Bey, Judge Hatchett, Rihanna, Whitney Houston!

How’s life everybody? Sorry for the lateness. Computer problems are truly a mother at times. Nevertheless, it’s been a newsworthy five days with one year since President Obama was elected Commander in Chief, local politics taking the spotlight with elections all over the country and police searching for answers regarding a shooting rampage in Fort Hood, TX. Thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost someone or were affected in some way from the Texas shooting. Shout out to New York Yankees for winning the World Series and the sounding boards for staying hot in ice-cold surroundings. So now I have … the Last Word for the week ending Nov. 6, 2009. 1. Boyz II Men Member Gets the Swine Flu With the H1N1 virus branching beyond the U.S. to cause international concern, it seems that we all have to stay on top of taking care of ourselves to prevent it from affecting us. Unfortunately, the illness has found its way to a member of Boyz II Men as Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris revealed that fellow vocalist Shawn Stockman has been diagnosed with the swine flu. CNN reports that Stockman was unable to accompany his groupmates to Atlanta on Tuesday (Nov. 3) for a scheduled performance at the 2009 Soul Train Awards. “We tour eight months out of the year, and we are always traveling around. It’s hectic for us always being in airplanes and airports. He got sick, and it hit him pretty hard, said Nathan Morris, who was surprised an H1N1 diagnosis hasn’t come sooner in light of all the touring. Nevertheless, the singer revealed that Stockman “is doing much better” after chatting with him on Tuesday. Stockman is the latest celeb to be hit with the swine flu. Others include Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint.Despite Stockman’s inactive status, the setback hasn’t sidelined Boyz II Men as a whole. The trio’s new album, Love, is slated to hit stores in November.2. Bob Marley Family Officially Puts Singer’s Image Out For the MassesBob Marley’s music will forever be timeless. But even the late great reggae legend is not immune to being commercialized. The Associated Press reports the singer/activist’s name, sound and likeness generated an estimated $600 million a year in sales of unlicensed merchandise.Hence, the Marley family’s hiring of Hilco Consumer Capital, the Toronto-based company tasked to protect the rights to the Bob Marley brand and create legitimate products bearing Marley’s image.”The family managed all the rights before Hilco was brought on board,” said Rohan Marley. “We didn’t have a real good grasp on the international scope prior to Hilco, nor the proper management.”The new line of products will go by the name House of Marley and feature backpacks, stationery, headphones, musical instruments, restaurants, and snowboards with Bob Marley’s image, name or message.The House of Marley line is slated to hit stores in mid-2010. And for all you Californians out there, don’t be surprised if you find a local Bob Marley marijuana store near you. Complete with a free Marley t-shirt for every 10 blunts purchased, in addition to the buy one-get one free easy skanking package.3. Judge Hatchett Makes Kids’ Dreams Come TrueJudge Glenda Hatchett is doing her part for the kids with the Dreampost Campaign, a new movement aimed at motivating parents and others to post the dreams of one million youth while inspiring greatness in America’s children.According to Hatchett, a dream is the key towards jumpstarting a child’s journey towards a successful future.”We have to encourage our children to dream without limits, tell them we believe in them, and tell them often,” she stated.” If one million parents join our campaign to post our children’s dreams, we won’t ever have to worry about posting their bail in the midnight hour.”Those interested in participating can download a free copy of the “handprint of greatness,” at www.parentpowernow.com and ask their child or a child in their circle of influence, “What is your dream for your life?” After writing the dream on a handprint, parents can place the dream on their child’s ceiling above their bed in a posting ceremony so it’s the last thing he or she sees every night, and the first thing they see each and every morning. After, parents can post a dream for every child in their circle and encourage other parents to post their children’s dreams.With “countless negative messages,” around, Hatchett feels the time is now for parents and those who influence kids to “collectively commit to telling our children that we are cheering for them.”The Dreampost Campaign, which launched Nov. 1, sets the stage for the official launch of Parent Power NOW!. The web site, set to launch on Jan. 1, 2010, will provide parents and influencers with the motivation, tools and resources needed to help shape the futures of their children and children in their communities at large.For more details on Parent Power NOW! visit www.parentpowernow.com.4. Beyonce Helps Tom Hanks’ Marriage, Inspires New Lady Gaga NicknameIt’s a safe bet to say that Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” is by far one of the standout hits of 2009. How else can you explain its impact as an anthem among females and those who have put their unique stamp on the routine from the song’s video? In short, a lot of people like it. So would you believe that one of those people is Tom Hanks? The Oscar winning actor professed his love for “Single Ladies” when asked what his favorite song was for 2009.”That is a damn fine song, the Beyoncé song … because it’s infectious,” the actor told the AP while admitting that “Single Ladies’” most famous line was used to win over the woman who would become his wife. “I’m gon’ put a ring on that finger. I’m gon’ take that thing home,” Hanks said about the first time he met his better half. And the rest, they say is history, with Tom enjoying years of wedded bliss. Apparently, Mr. Hanks isn’t the only one with an appreciation for Bey. Lady Gaga is enjoying her time with the former Destiny’s Child member as the pair has been collaborating on songs for their projects.Look for Gaga and Beyonce to join forces on Gaga’s new tune, “Telephone” and appear together in the Hype Williams-directed video for Beyonce’s song, “Video Phone.” “Telephone” is slated to be included on a deluxe version of Gaga’s multi-platinum debut album called The Fame Monster. Although details are slim on what exactly the two will be doing in the “Video Phone” clip, Gaga revealed that she earned a nickname from her time on the set.”I want to do my version of Beyoncé,” the pop diva told MTV. “So the whole time I was learning the choreography they were calling me Gee-yoncé.”Gee-yonce? Not saying that she wouldn’t make a great Bey, but how can an original originate on an original? Isn’t one Bey enough to take in right now?In Other Words…Fresh off of Rihanna’s sit down with ABC’s Good Morning America and and 20/20 comes news that Janet Jackson will appear on the network for what is expected to be her first lengthy interview since the death of her brother Michael. The folks at the Hollywood Reporter reveal that Robin Roberts will chat with Jackson at her home in California for the hour-long special. The interview will mark the first time Janet has allowed TV cameras into her home. On the musical side, Jackson’s greatest hits album will hit stores just in time for the holidays. The songbird’s interview will air on Nov. 18 on ABC.Whitney Houston is taking her comeback overseas with a pair of headlining performances in Russia. The songstress will take the stage at Moscow Olympisky Stadium on Dec. 9 and the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg on Dec. 12.Looks like Rachel Ray is putting her talent for making delicious meals to good use for the people of Wilmington, Ohio. On Sunday (Nov. 8), the Food Network personality/talk show host will offer a free turkey dinner at the Roberts Convention Centre to anyone who lives in Wilmington. News of the dinner comes amid the loss of thousands of jobs in Wilmington from the departure of delivery company DHL Express. “We can’t fix the economy, but we can do our part – and what we know about is food,” stated a message posted on The Rachel Ray Show website. “ So if you’re worried about a Thanksgiving meal, you can relax – we’ve got a plan.”Those who want to attend the dinner can sign up online at www.RachaelRayShow.com/Ohio or call 1-800-972-2579 to register. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the dinner can call the same number. In addition, the Dayton Daily News reports that those who registers must be at least 18 years of age, and must show a government-issued photo ID proving they live in Wilminton’s 45177 zip code.

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