Whats good, good people. Its been a crazy five days with
details surfacing regarding an 88-year-old white supremacist shooting up the
U.S. National Holocaust Museum, Fiat officially taking management control over
Chrysler and Donald Trump finally stripping Miss California Carrie Prejean of her title for violating
her contractual obligation
Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of Stephan
Johns, who died during the Holocaust Museum shooting. Shout out to all students
(high school and college) who graduated, Usher and Akon, who took time out last
week to honor young people who are making a difference at the Do Something
Awards in New York and the sounding boards for staying in the fast lane.
And so it begins the Last Word for the week ending June 12,
1. Brian McKnight Tries to Fill Arsenio Halls Shoes
Singer and songwriter are familiar titles for anyone
familiar with Brian McKnight. But the singer will add talk show host to his résumé
with his new late-night talk show. Billboard reports the weekly show will air
during the weekends on 218 affiliates of the CW network.
According to McKnight, the program will be "not unlike
what others are doing but a little closer to what Arsenio used to do. I'm
willing to put people on (that) others won't, and have the other people that
everyone else has, too."
Trying to fill the void Arsenio left will be a challenge,
but Brian has some things up his sleeve as he plans on using his Internet site
as a vehicle for fans to send questions for guests. And if youre worried about
the crooner overdoing it with the humor, don't. McKnight promises that hell
find "ways to be funny" without trying to become a stand-up comedian.
And like Arsenio, McKnight will feature a diverse cadre of
musical guests as he plans to have everyone, across so many different
"It'll be like, 'Come over to my place,' except with a
studio audience," he told Billboard. "And, of course, at some point
of the show I will sing."
Look for Brian McKnights late-night talk show to start
airing on September 26.
As for his day job, the singer says that he is almost done
constructing his first album in three years. The project, which will be McKnights follow-up to his 2006
opus Ten, will feature cameos from Stevie Wonder and Jill Scott. The planned
first single from the forthcoming album that should hit radio soon is
"What I've Been Waiting For."
2. Trey Songz Calls R. Kelly Out on Death of Auto-Tune
Jay-Z done went and started something. Ever since he dropped
his new song, "Death of Auto-Tune," everybody has weighed in with an
opinion on whether the track hits home or misses the mark.
Trey Songz takes it a step further as he remixes the track
to call out the one and only R. Kelly and his use of Auto-Tune on his new
mixtape, The Demo Tape.
Remember Aaron Hall? Where the hell he at?/ Trey Songz
comin, where Kelly at?/Why be indirect/ I think he feelin that. He got the
game sewed so he layin back, Songz says as he labeled Kelly a T-Pain
copycat. Who you got around you, Them people tryin to drown you/ Put that
autotune on, yo homies shoulda clowned you Now let the track breathe, Cut them
braids off, who you tryin to be, me?
Although this may come off as a blatant diss, Songz was
quick to give his take on the song via a recent post on
http://seefurtherthaniam.blogspot.com. The vocalist, who confessed to being a
big R. Kelly fan, was using the song as motivation for Kells to to go harder
in being the trailblazer he was when he arrived on the scent rather than yield
to the popular Auto-Tune trend.
Hence the historical nods to Hall as well as the influence
of Lenny Williams and Ronald Isley, the latter of whom he helped transform into
Mr. Biggs for a new generation of fans.
Since Trey is saying that people have compared him to
R.Kelly, the only question I have after hearing this track is will the real R.
Kelly please stand up? Or more importantly, how long will it be before Kells
hits back with a reply? So much for R&B. I guess its now come down to
3. Amy Winehouse Considered Again for Another James Bond
Could Amy Winehouse be in the running again to do the theme
song for a James Bond movie? That seems to be the talk as the controversial
singer is being considered by producers who are starting to thing about the
soundtrack to the 23rd installment of the long running spy franchise.
The situation mirrors what happened when Winehouse was in
the running to sing the theme for last years Bond adventure Quantum of Solace.
After producer Mark Ronson claimed the diva "wasn't ready" to go into
the studio to work on the song, Amy lost out to Alicia Keys and Jack Black, who
sang the theme as a duet.
And while, Keys may not make the cut this time, Winehouse
does have competition coming from Welsh singer Duffy. According to one of the
producers, Duffy would be a good look for the Bond theme franchise.
"I would love to get Duffy to sing the next tune. I
think she is wonderful, Michael G Wilson said as he added that Amy Winehouse
would be good too."
4. Eddie Murphy Co-Signs Wesley Snipes for James Brown
With a string of memorable characters to his credit, Eddie
Murphy has made a career out of finding ways to make us laugh while keeping us
entertained. And while it seems he has been smart in choosing to play
characters like Axel Foley, Donkey and Prince Akeem, the actor admits he could
have been more successful if he took a chance on roles he was offered in films
such as Rush Hour and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
But it was a particular role that he was offered that Murphy
felt needed to be given to someone more deserving. The role in question was
soul icon James Brown for a big screen biopic on the late music veteran.
According to WENN, Brown himself approached Murphy about
making a biopic after the Godfather of Soul was said to be impressed by Murphys
impersonations of him during his stint on Saturday Night Live during the 80s.
Despite taking a pass on the role, Murphy has no regrets as he feels Wesley
Snipes would be perfect in a feature-length portrayal of Brown.
"Wesley Snipes is a wonderful actor. Before the karate
movies and stuff, when Wesley first got into the movies, he did drama and
comedy. He's got all the talent," the 48-year-old Oscar nominee said.
"He does everything but he turned into the action dude. But James Brown
isn't just singing and splits, you've got to chase the car and the crack heads.
You've got to do the stunts. I'm too old to do the splits. They should make
that movie with Wesley Snipes tomorrow."
I dont know. Wesley could make a decent James Brown, but
Eddie , could still pull it off, in my opinion? What say you? Which actor could
truly do JB some justice. Say it loud, say it proud!
In Other Words
* A broken left
foot may have sidelined him for the NBA playoffs, but Yao Ming is still active
as he expands his acting resume with a role in the upcoming Chinese-language
animated film The Magic Aster. The Houston Rockets center will provide the
voice for the father of the main character in the film, which is described as a
traditional tale of good versus evil. In addition to Ming, The Magic Aster will
feature Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling and Hong Kong singer-actor Leon
Lai. It is set to premiere on June 19.
* Heres another award Alicia Keys can add to her
collection. The singer will be honored with the Golden Note kudo during ASCAP's
22nd annual Rhythm & Soul Awards on June 26. The performing rights
organization presents the award to "songwriters, composers and artists who
have achieved extraordinary career milestones."
* For those who havent been able to check out Raphael
Saadiqs live show, dont worry. The singer/producer will come to you via his
first-ever concert DVD, Raphael Saadiq: Live From the Artists Den. The
performance was filmed during a private show at the Harvard Club of Boston on
December 3. Although parts of the 18-song set were broadcast on the Live at the
Artists Den" Public Television series, Billboard reports the DVD will
feature songs not included in the broadcast plus bonus interview clips. Raphael
Saadiq: Live From the Artists Den is slated to hit stores July 21.
* Looks like Saadiq isnt the only one bringing the live
experience to fans. Jeffrey Osborne will release his first ever concert album,
Greatest Hits Live! on July 7. The 15-track offering will include live versions
of the music veterans solo hits
as well as classics from his days with L.T.D. Among the songs featured are
"Stay With Me Tonight," Only Human, Love Ballad, On the Wings of
Love and You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)
* Terrence Howard is making moves behind the camera as word
comes down that hes developing a new TV series for the small screen. The
actors production company, A Huge Quality Film, is joining forces with Radical
Media to develop the drama, which will called Pigs and Panthers.
Variety reports the
series will be based on the life of Ronald Farwell, an undercover LAPD
detective who infiltrated the Black Panthers. Set in 1960s and early 1970s Los
Angeles, Pigs and Panthers will draw from the story of Farwell and his wife, an
L.A. Sheriff's deputy, as he soon finds himself on the wrong side of the Black
Panther Party, the FBI and the LAPD itself.
* Get the awards ready for Morgan Freeman. The entertainer
is set to hit play South African leader Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwoods
upcoming feature Invictus. The file, which was adapted from John Carlin's tome
"Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, centers
on Mandela's attempt to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup to heal his nation
following his release from prison, the fall of apartheid and his election as
president of South Africa.
According to Variety,
Eastwoods name for the film came from the short poem Invictus. Mandela was
known to recite the poem, which touches on the will to survive in the face of
adversity. In addition to Freeman the Invictus film will feature Matt Damon,
who will play Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team.
Look for Invictus to hit theaters on Dec. 11
* She may not have a bunch of superpowers but Oprah Winfrey
has managed to take center stage in Bluewater Productions Female Force
biography comic book series. According to USA Today, Oprahs rags-to-riches
story will be the focus of the monthly series, which focuses on strong and
influential women who are shaping modern history and culture.
She might not wear a cape, but she is some kind of super
hero to a great many people, artist Joshua Labello said in a release about the
media mogul, who joins past Female Force subjects Hillary Clinton, Michelle
Obama, Sarah Palin, Caroline Kennedy and Princess Diana.