Whats the word, smart people? I cant even say its been an uninteresting five days. A lot has happened since I last checked in. From hundreds of thousands of people dead or wounded amid that devastating earthquake in Haiti to Mark McGwire finally admitting to using steroids to Simon Cowell leaving American Idol after this season, this week has given us a lot to talk about. Add to that NBC screwing Conan OBrien out of his shot of making his Tonight Show a success as well as Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst dropping out of the fourth Spider-Man movie amid drama over the movies script and there was no shortage of people moving on to bigger and better things. For better or worse. (Note to Sony and NBC: You know you both done f****d up, right?)
Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of those who have lost loved ones in Haiti or are trying to get in touch with those who are over there. Prayers and thoughts also go out to friends and family of legendary R&B pioneer Teddy Pendergrass, who died on Wednesday (Jan. 13) from colon cancer at the age of 59.
Shout out to everybody who has made or will make donations or contributed whatever they are able to (financial or otherwise) to help those living in Haiti, and the sounding boards, who always find a way to stay connected to old friends.
Once again, its time for the Last Word for the week ending January 15, 2010.
1. Kelis Voices Love of Meat and Fur to PETA
Kelis may have split from Nas and signed to a new record label in 2009, but the singer is continuing to make waves as she kicks off the New Year with a written shot fired at PETA.
In a post on her MySpace blog, Kelis blasts the animal rights organization, which wrote a personalized letter criticizing her choice of clothing after seeing a photograph that turned up earlier this week of her wearing a noticeable amount of fur to an event.
As a result, Kelis proudly boasted her love of meat (I eat meat, and in fact my mouth salivates as I type the word meat!) while labeling PETA President Ingrid Newkirk as "completely batty" after doing a very minimal amount of research.
I had a feeling but she far exceeded my expectations, Kelis wrote. I mean certifiably insane! Lol this chicks will is nuts, google it its a riot!
Although she said she believes in the preservation of endangered species, the singer admitted that chinchilla and mink are the exception as she highlighted the upside to sporting fur.
its not just the look of fur. Its warm as hell and feels glorious, ever rubbed faux fur on your body? Nothing luxurious about that, said Kelis. "Quite honestly [chinchilla and mink] are rodents, and if it weren't in the form of a coat, I would demand they be put to death anyway."
As she wrapped up her letter, Kelis suggested that PETA focus its energy on more worthwhile causes such as women being maimed in these Middle Eastern countries. Or female circumcision. Or women's rights here in America, we still get paid less for doing the same jobs as men.
If u want to preach do it about something worthwhile don't waste my time trying to save the dang chipmunk, she said.
2. Jill Scott Plots Musical Return and Movie and TV Takeover for 2010
Jill Scotts 2010 looks to be a busy one. The songstress is set to appear in Tyler Perrys Why Did I Get Married Too, which hits theaters on April 2 as well as the Lifetime movie, Sins of the Mother. The film, which will air Feb. 7 on the channel, finds Scott playing an abusive, alcoholic mother who reunites with her daughter after sobering up.
Lifetime isnt the only network to showcase Miss Jill. The singer/actress will grace BET with voice work for the upcoming Marvel Animation mini-series, TheBlack Panther. Scott, who will provide the voice for X-Men superheroine Storm, stars alongside Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard and Djimon Hounsou on the show. Look for TheBlack Panther to arrive in mid 2010 on BET.
Musically, fans will be happy to know that Scott hasnt forgotten what brought her to the table. The vocalist, who garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding actress in a drama series for her starring role in HBO's The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is gearing up to release her fifth studio album 'Light of the Sun,' in the spring or summer. To coincide with the albums release, Scott will usher in the return of Lilith Fair, by joining the tours founder, Sarah McLachlan, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow and Erykah Badu for the outing.
3. Gary Coleman Upset Over Full-Frontal Exposure in New Film
A full month hasnt even passed and Gary Coleman has managed to start 2010 with a now public private situation.
Just last week, the former Diffrent Strokes star was hospitalized after suffering a seizure during a phone interview. Now, he wants fans to boycott his latest movie, Midgets vs. Mascots, amid claims that the films producers used an ugly body double in a full-frontal nude scene he did.
E! Online reports that Coleman is threatening to sue to prevent further DVD sales of Midgets vs. Mascots. The actor is said to be furious that the scene appears to show him au natural. Coleman claims he never agreed to have his private parts shown in the final cut of the feature. And oh yeah, Gary also made it known that that the guy who stood in for him wasnt up for the job
"I wanted all my fans to protest my penis being in the movie, because I didn't want that. It's a body double, I believe, because I certainly was not gonna do this, the entertainer said. And I heard that the body double is ugly, and is unattractive, and does not make me look good."
Oookaaay. Heres proof that there really are different strokes for different folks. On to the next item.
4. Shirley Murdock Returns to R&B with Something to Say
After a long hiatus, Shirley Murdock is making a return to R&B. The folks at BV Buzz state that Murdock is gearing up to record her first R&B CD in almost 20 years.
Prior to this, the songstress became a fixture on the gospel music scene with her last gospel CD being 2007s SoulFood. The last R&B CD Murdock released was Let There Be Love! in 1991.
While folks may think shes doing a flip-flop between gospel and R&B, Murdock is quick to say that isnt the case.
"I've got something to say again," said the singer, who is best known for her hit As We Lay. "It's still going to have substance and be faith-filled. So I'm not changing who I am, but its just time to encourage a different audience."
Murdocks return to R&B has been steadily building after a positive reception from R&B fans to her single 'I Love Me Better Than That on Urban Adult Contemporary radio formats. In addition, Murdock collaborated with Teen Marie on Soldier, a track off Maries CD Congo Square.
5. Heroes Star Tracks Down Parents in Haiti
Life is a little better now for Jimmy Jean-Louis, now that hes heard from his parents in Haiti.
The actor, who is best known for playing The Haitian on the NBC show Heroes, had been searching for his parents ever since a powerful earthquake struck Haiti. His worries were amplified after he received word that several of his relatives were killed after the house he grew up in collapsed during the disaster.
Jean-Louis mind was put at ease on Thursday (Jan. 14) when he talked to his mom on the phone.
"I got a phone call from my sister who said she was able to reach home," the Haitian native told CNN. "So I picked up the phone and my mom answered. The first reaction from both of us was simply to cry."
Jean-Louis, who returned from Haiti a couple of weeks ago after spending the holidays with his folks, is already set to come back to Haiti to provide relief aid to his fellow Haitians. The actor returned While his parents are safe, the actor still wonders about the relatives and friends he hasnt heard from who are in Haiti. With the current state of his homeland, Jean-Louis has changed the focus of his nonprofit organization Hollywood Unites for Haiti, to help mobilize and offer as much aid as possible for earthquake victims.
"I am very, very happy that there is unity," said the entertainer, who is grateful for all the support Haiti has received from everyone near and far. "Only through unity will we be able to overcome the catastrophe."
In Other Words
Previously unreleased songs by Jimi Hendrix are coming to stores, courtesy of a new album of material. USA Today reports the album, will include the legendary guitarists earliest sessions with bassist Billy Cos, his Experience trios final studio recordings and the long shelved song Mr. Bad Luck. In addition, fans can enjoy a frenzied rendition of Fire, a cover of Cream's Sunshine of Your Love and retooled original tunes such as Lover Man, Red House and Crying Blue Rain.
The new Jimi Hendrix album is slated to hit stores March 9.
The success of Avatar has opened a sweet smelling door for Zoe Saldana.People reports the actress has been named the newest face of the new Avon fragrance, Eternal Magic. In addition to Eternal Magic, Saldana will be featured in Avons brochure as a face of the companys color cosmetics collection.
It means so much to me to be associated with a company that shares my values and believes in empowering women, the actress said about the fragrance, which takes inspiration from the rare Princess Monaco Rose, according to an Avon release. Look for Eternal Magic to debut in April.
A little more than year since Kelly Rowland said goodbye to Matthew Knowles as her manager, Michelle Williams is following in her Destiny Child partners footsteps. Media sources report that Williams has parted ways Knowles and Music World Entertainment Entertainment in an effort to explore a new direction as it pertained to her career.
"I have decided to part ways from my management team, Mathew Knowles and Music World Entertainment, the songbird said via a statement. From my time in Destiny's Child to my solo career, I am grateful for everything Mathew and his team has done for me. We've shared great success together. However, as I move in a new direction in my career, I felt it was time. I wish Mathew Knowles and the Music World Entertainment family all the best,"
Williams split with Knowles comes as she makes her theatrical return as Roxie Hart in the play Chicago. Williams will start her stint in the Broadway musical on Feb. 8.
Three years after the he detailed the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and its affect on New Orleans and its residents, Spike Lee is going back to the Big Easy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the veteran filmmaker with will start shooting a follow-up to his Emmy Award winning 2006 documentary, When the Levees Broke:A Requiem in Four Acts, today (Jan. 15).
The untitled film will offer a look at the progress and (and lack thereof) in education, housing and population relocation in the years since Katrina, both in the city and devastated Gulf Coast region.
The new Spike Lee documentary is set to debut this summer on HBO, the fifth anniversary of Katrina.