The Last Word: Michael Jackson’s BK Spot Gets Immortality! Another Quincy Jones Remake! Sober Morgan!

What’s good everybody? Another week has come, another week has gone.  The Chinese government strongly disapproving of the Dalai Lama’s visit with President Obama, Tiger Woods resurfacing to issue his first public statement three months after news broke of his infidelity, a man in Texas crashing his plane and killing and injuring people over an apparent grudge against the IRS and U.N. speculation that Iran may be secretly developing a nuclear warhead for a missile. Just another week in the world we live in.

Shout out to the sounding boards for always finding ways to live when the war is over.

Here is… the Last Word for the week ending Feb. 19, 2010.  

1.  Jessica Alba Gets Last Laugh Over Bullies; Throws Catholic Shield Over Film Nudity

 

Here’s something you can count on. You know you are a bonafide success in Hollywood when your bank account more than reflects your love for your job.

No one knows that better than Jessica Alba, who has managed to get the last laugh over those who bullied her in high school.  Needless to say being the object of many admirers and attached to many a successful movie (Sin City, current box office champ Valentine’s Day), has literally paid off for Alba, who confessed that “making lots of money has made me happy.”

“No one else helped me – I’ve done this all by myself, on my own terms. My dad’s also turned his real-estate business round and (is) doing really well, and my brother acts, models and does mortgages, so we’ve all come up in the world,” the actress told Scarlet magazine.  “Anyone out there who gets bullied should realize that they can take control of their lives and succeed.”And with success and financial independence comes a bit of power. If you’re looking for Alba to go au natural in front of the camera, think again. It’s not part of the plan, the actress said.

“No, I’ll never do a nude scene. I can act sexy and wear sexy clothes but I can’t go naked,” Alba shared with Scarlet. “I think I was always very uncomfortable about the way my body developed, and I remember my grandmother would freak out and throw a towel over me if she saw me wearing just a bra and panties.”

 Those looking for a target to blame for Alba’s non-nudity stance can put it all on the former Dark Angel star’s Catholic upbringing.

“I come from a very Catholic family so it wasn’t seen as a good thing to flaunt yourself like that,” she said. “I can handle being sexy with clothes on but not with them off.”2. Brooklyn Subway Entrance Honors Michael Jackson The location for Michael Jackson’s classic video to his hit song “Bad” will be immortalized once more, thanks to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

 The New York Post reports that efforts have begun to create an artistic tribute to the King of Pop at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Hoyt-Schermerhorn station. As of right now, the project is in the planning stages. An artist has yet to be chosen by the DBP, which is deciding on the style of artwork for the tribute.

“The art could be the size of a huge mural and possibly rely on lights and projection at nighttime,” said DBP president Joe Chan.

 The subway station, which serves the A, C and G train lines, is best known for being the site of the Martin Scorsese-directed “Bad” video, which came out in 1987. The 16-minute clip featured Jackson and Wesley Snipes in a pre-New Jack City role as one of the friends  the hitmaker  takes to the subway station to show he’s still “Bad” after returning  to his “gangsta” –ridden neighborhood from private school.

According to the Post, all of the music scenes for the short film were shot at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.

The idea of recognizing Jackson at the station was first mentioned by NY City Councilwoman Letitia James, who proposed renaming the stop after the music legend and hanging a plaque in his honor. Despite opposition from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which claimed that subway riders would be confused with a station named or co-named after an individual, James and the DBP triumphed since the tribute will be displayed on private land on the front of a private office building at 45 Hoyt Street.3. Tracy Morgan Credits Son for Sober Mind State

 With his new autobiography, I Am the New Black, and job security with his Emmy-nominated work on 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan has much to be thankful for.

 But the success the comedian/actor has pales in comparison to the one thing he is most grateful for, his son.

 In an interview on PBS’ Tavis Smiley show, Morgan opened up about the role his teenage son played in getting him clean and sober. According to the entertainer, it all came about after a conversation he had with his son in 2007 after a judge ordered him to wear an alcohol bracelet for six months in response to being arrested many times for drunk driving.

“I’m walking around with a bracelet on my ankle and my son looking at me like I’m Kunta Kinte, like, ‘What you doing Dad? What if I start driving and drinking? Would that be cool?’ And that was it for me. That was the end of it,” Morgan told Smiley. “My son said, ‘What if I start driving drunk and kill somebody?’ That right there just made me look into the mirror, like, I got to step up my game.”

 In addition to his son, Morgan cited his father as a source for living life wisely. Prior to dying AIDS when Morgan was 17, Morgan admitted his dad taught that the key to survival was to learn from your mistakes.

 “Rock bottom for some people is death,” the funnyman said. “Some people never learn from their mistakes. They don’t learn from other people’s mistakes.”

 Evidence of Morgan’s new mindstate can be found on the small screen and big screen with his new movie Cop Out with Bruce Willis, which hits theaters this month.

 

4. Usher, Tyrese, Robin Thicke and Trey Songz Visit a New Secret Garden

Let’s face it. Remakes in the world of music are a dime a dozen. It’s almost inevitable that at some point in time a classic song will be reintroduced with a modern day spin on what is near and dear to those who love that tune in all its original glory.

And with that comes the opinion that some songs should not be touched at all. Jay-Z illustrated that view this week when he felt that 1985’s star-studded “We Are the World” was not meant for tampering. With one Quincy Jones song remade, there now comes another reinterpretation of the famed producer’s work via Jermaine Dupri’s new take on Jones’ “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite).”

 If you haven’t heard this tune or used it to create the perfect mood for a night of romance and intimate activity with your significant other, please know that the original version featured baby-making vocals from Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White.

 For the new “Secret Garden,” Dupri has recruited Usher, Robin Thicke, Tyrese and Trey Songz to create the sexual chemistry set by the legendary predecessors.  And while the new line-up is worthy of any composition, JD had to really consider if he wanted to risk messing up something Quincy perfected the first time around.

“It took a minute for me to even think about touching it. It’s a couple of components in that record that you don’t wanna touch — Barry White being one of the main components,” said the beatmaker,  who told MTV how he could not bring himself to eliminate “The Maestro” from his upgrade of the romantic hit.” I had to leave him [on the song]. There’s nobody out there in the world that’s got a voice like his or even sounded the way he sounded. So I had to make sure I could leave that. It’s gonna be interesting for y’all to hear how these young guys sound mixed in with him.”

Look for Dupri’s “Secret Garden” remake to appear on a new album from Jones, the Atlanta hitmaker revealed.  At this time, no release date for the album has been announced.

 With new line-up already set in stone, let’s explore the guys who were close to making the final cut, had JD opted to open up the garden to more vocalists.

“…I wanted to put Anthony Hamilton on there, Maxwell on there. But it’s hard, because it’s only a four- or five-man [song]. That was the hardest part for me,” Dupri shared.

 So what do you think? Will Tyrese, Trey, Thicke and Usher do justice to “The Secret Garden?” Or would it be better set with Maxwell, Hamilton, Prince or even D’Angelo on the mic? Maybe a female version of the song with Sade, Beyonce, Alicia Keys or Mary J. Blige?

What say you on this? Who would be the best to take care of the “Garden?”

 In Other Words…

Simon Cowell’s imminent exit from American Idol, could be Ashanti’s gain. WENN reports the former Murder Inc. princess is seeking talent for new record label by producing and hosting her own version of the hit Fox show. Although specifics  regarding Ashanti’s show are being kept secret, the singer’s mother/manager, Tina Douglas provided a little of what to expect.

“It’s an unscripted television show that is definitely music related. We’ll be revealing more in the coming weeks,” Douglas said. “She has her own record label, called Written Entertainment, and the show is going to revolve around her label… It’s going to be really big.”

Vin Diesel is coming back to the franchise that put him on the map. Variety reports the actor will star and produce the third chapter in the sci-fi saga that began with Pitch Black and carried on with The Chronicles of Riddick.

Although details on the film’s plot are being kept under wraps, insiders say the third movie, titled Riddick, will be closer in tone to Pitch Black and will focus on the Riddick character rather than the universe he inhabits.

At this time, dates are being worked out for Riddick  so it won’t interfere  with Universal’s fifth installment of Fast and Furious. That film, which Diesel is attached to star and produce, is set to shoot sometime this year.

 

Lionel Ritchie and Quincy Jones’ “We Are the Word” remake has spun off into a new effort involving an all-star line up of Latin stars. Perez Hilton reports that Gloria Estefan has gotten permission from Richie to redo “We Are the World.” The Spanish version of the charitable hit, which has been completely translated, will be called “Somos El Mundo.”

Among those lined up for the remake are Ricky Martin, Paulina Rubio, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Enrique Iglesias. Proceeds from “Somos El Mundo” will go towards efforts to help Haiti.

 New music from Leela James as arrived. The songstress is setting the stage for her return with the new single “Tell Me You Love Me.”

 The  Gerrard Baker-produced song, which James co-wrote with Andrea Martin and Gordon Williams, will be featured on the singer’s forthcoming album, My Soul, which is due in stores on May 25.

 

You can now count Jennifer Hudson among the stars sporting a milk mustache.  The Oscar-winning singer/actress, who has joined the Got Milk? campaign, will promote healthy living as well as the benefits of drinking milk in two newly released ads.

 For Hudson, the chance to promote milk strikes a personal chord, considering the drink was “definitely a part of my upbringing for sure.”

 News of Hudson’s Got Milk? Involvement comes as she works on the follow-up to her self-titled debut album, which is expected to hit stores in late Spring/Summer 2010.

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