The Last Word: Kelly Rowland Claims Free Agent, Queen Latifah Talks Black Actors, and Rihanna's Beaten Photo a Work of Art?
Whats cookin', everybody? Its the end of another week and
it couldnt get here any quicker. With the Obamas hobnobbing with the Queen,
Michael Vick planning a post prison life as a construction worker, Dante
Stallworth facing DUI manslaughter charges for striking and killing a
pedestrian while driving drunk in Miami and an online leak of the upcoming X-Men
Origins: Wolverine a month before it hits
theatres, its been an interesting five days.
Congratulations to Taye Diggs and his wife, Idina Menzel,
who will welcome their first baby later this year. Shout out to Lee, who
celebrated his birthday in high style on Wednesday and the sounding boards for
knowing the difference between fact and crap.
So lets take a minute to digest...the Last Word for the
week ending April 3, 2009.
1. Joss Stones Free Spirit Battles Desire for Boyfriend
As with most things in life, success is nothing without
someone to share it with. Despite having fans around the globe, a powerful
voice and a few hit songs and albums, Joss Stone is experiencing the good life
all by herself.
Dont let the tabloids fool you. To hear Joss tell it, its
been awhile since shes enjoyed the company of the opposite sex.
I've had five different boyfriends this year in the press.
But I don't have a boyfriend. I haven't had a boyfriend for four years, Stone
told Parade magazine as she admitted to
falling victim to the paparazzi with a pal who is my partner in crime. A
real long time buddy. We were in my van we weren't snogging (kissing)
or anything. And of course the photos got splashed around.
And while she confesses to wanting a boyfriend, Stone seems
revel in doing her for now. It
would be nice. But not right now, she said. I havent got time for all that.
Its better just being a free spirit.
Im all for finding love. Theres nothing better than having
someone who truly loves the good, bad and ugly of you. But when youre a
singer, it seems the best material comes from being solo and on the hunt for
Maybe its me, but maybe Joss should do the relationship
thing and split over some petty drama. Just ask Taylor Swift or Mary J. Blige how
many accolades come in after pouring your heart into an albums worth of love,
passion and heartache. Breakin' up is hard to do, but damn if it dont generate
a couple of dollars and awards here and there.
2. Terrence Howard Gets Personal With Colon Cancer
Terrence Howard may have missed a big payday with the Iron
Man sequel, but the actor/musician is
putting his time and effort into something deeper as he helps bring the issue
of colon cancer to the forefront in the Black community. Howard recently spoke
on the condition at an event organized by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
It's time we stop being afraid because we're the ones
that's dying from it, said Howard, whose mother died last fall from colon
cancer. This has been one of the worst years of my life and I could not call
my mother once and ask her, Hey mommy, I'm having a hard time right now,
For African-Americans, colon cancer is a major killer. CBS
News reports African-American men are 44 percent more likely to die from colon
cancer than white men, and African-American women, 46 percent more likely to
die than white women. Early detection of the disease through a screening, or
colonoscopy, can help doctors remove polyps before they become deadly cancers,
thereby preventing colon cancer related deaths.
With his mother becoming a colon cancer victim, Howard is
determined to help prevent others from experiencing the same type of loss.
The only way I can find any peace of mind is trying to stop
what killed my mother, says the actor, who has joined forces with the
Entertainment Industry Foundation in a nationwide campaign to encourage people
to get screened.
3. Rihanna Photo Becomes a Work of Art?!
The infamous photo TMZ.com posted of a battered and bruised
Rihanna has been called many things. But a work of art may not be among those
Unless you ask Sham Ibrahim, an L.A.-based artist who
created a new Andy Warhol-like portrait of Rihanna that was based on the photo.
And while you would think that Ibrahim would cite an increased awareness of
domestic violence as the reason behind his latest creation, the artist admits
to having a different kind of motivation.
I thought the bruises in the police photo were interesting
shapes to draw, Ibrahim told E! And it was cool to color them pink and blue.
Those are two of my favorite colors.
Ibrahims 24-inch by 36-inch Rihanna picture, which was made
by transferring custom colorized blow-ups of digital tracings of the police
photo onto canvas, is currently on
display in the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery's new group show, Name That Toon.
Those looking to find something to absorb from the piece
shouldnt waste their time, Ibrahim says.
There is no message to any of my art, the artist
explained. It's meant to look cool hanging on your wall and that's it! I'm not
into deep meanings.
Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder.
4. Queen Latifah Blasts Hollywood Over Acting Roles for
As a rapper, Queen Latifah made her own lane in the all-boys
club of Hip-Hop. As a singer, she garnered new fans and more respect by going
in a whole nother musical direction. But despite finding success on the small
and big screen, Latifahs had it up to here with Hollywood not working to
create strong roles for Black actresses.
So much so that the Oscar nominee made It clear how ticked
she is with Tinseltowns lack of respect during a chat with the UK web site
There aren't enough roles and this invisibility is really
starting to annoy me, said Latifah. You would think that there are no Black
actresses in Hollywood when you look at some of the women's magazines. Not that
I want the paparazzi following me everywhere, but sometimes in the magazines,
it seems that we don't even exist.
As a veteran of the entertainment game, Latifah has seen her
share of differences in how black actresses are treated in comparison to other
I see actors who have barely made a movie getting so much
attention and publicity, whereas black actresses are completely ignored, which
in a way makes the world think that they can ignore us too, she stated. Some
barriers have been broken but people still have an antiquated kind of thinking
Despite the current atmosphere, Latifah says she makes every
effort to incorporate a diverse workplace on her films.
When I am a producer on a film or the star of a movie, I
make sure that the set is multi-cultural, I make sure they hire a multi
cultural, qualified crew, I don't want to look up and see all white men in front
of me all day, she said. I don't have anything against white men, but why
would I be in this position and not make sure that everyone has opportunities?
So what say you, Wordians? Does the Queen have a point? In
my opinion, yes. After President Obamas victory, we must do for ourselves.
Its time for us to write parts for ourselves instead of depending on others to
write them for us. Its also time for us to develop our own studios to tell our
own stories (I see you Tyler Perry). Much respect due to the Queen for her
accomplishments. But I want to hear from you. Are Black actresses given less to
work with than other entertainers?
5. Mr. T Resists the Playboy Lifestyle
You gotta hand it to Mr. T. No matter what he does or what
parts he plays, he always kept it real. Whether it was being the muscle behind
Hannibals A-Team or giving Balboa the
business before going down hard in the third Rocky movie, you always knew where the former pro wrestler
stood. Onscreen and off.
This is probably why you never heard about any scandalous
activities involving T, who never took it upon himself to be a regular on the
Hollywood party scene or constantly be in the spotlight. In fact, the actor
admits that he turned down more than 25 invites to get his mingle on at Hugh
Hefners Playboy mansion, never showing up once.
I'm not caught up in all that Hollywood stuff. I work in
Hollywood, but I'm not a part of Hollywood, Mr. T told The Daily Sport, adding that Hef has nothing to offer him. There's nothing Hugh Hefner can do for
me. If I went to the Playboy mansion, it would be a plus for Hugh Hefner, but a
minus for me.
I aint mad at you T. Im glad youre staying true to you,
but for me. Theres a lot that Hef can do for me. Or rather the playmates. Im
just sayin. I pity that fool.
In Other Words
* Last week, I mentioned that Isaiah Washington was in
danger of being evicted from his home for falling behind on his rent. Although
he ended up moving out, it looks like another door has opened. According to The
Hollywood Reporter, Washington is attached
to play singer Lou Rawls in an upcoming biopic on the late entertainer. The
films script, which is written by the singers son, Lou Rawls Jr., offers an
uncensored take on the elder Rawls as it highlights his poverty-stricken
childhood, intense marital strife and success as a best selling artist.
* Kelly Rowland is officially a free agent. The Destinys
Child member has left her label Columbia Records as she opts to explore new
directions, new challenges, and new freedoms outside my comfort zone as a solo
artist. Rowlands decision to part ways with Columbia comes two months after
she got rid of her longtime manager Mathew Knowles. According to Nielsen
Soundscan, Kellys last album, 2007s Ms. Kelly, sold 219,000 copies in the United States. E! News reports that a
third album for Columbia is supposedly due out sometime this year.
* On a sad note, Wednesday (April 1) marked the 25th
anniversary of the death of Marvin Gaye, who would have turned 70 on Thursday
(April 2). EURWeb reports that the singer is being remembered with Marvin
Gaye: Then & Now, a 14-song digital
Motown/Ume album or rarities. Among the tracks on the project is Soulie"
(pronounced sue-lee), a previously unreleased 1966 recording, two rare late
1950s Chess songs with Harvey and The Moonglows (Mama Loocie, Twelve Months
Of The Year) and a string of Gayes earliest, pre-hit Motown singles (Witchcraft,
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide and more).
Also on deck, is a vinyl-only edition of Gayes classic
debut album with Tammi Terrell, Untitled.
That album is slated to come out on April 14.
* Looks like there is life after acting for Jackie Chan as
the world awaits the entrance of another dragon into the music industry. The
famed action star is making a move into music as he gets set to perform with
various musicians at Descendants of the Dragon: Jackie Chan and Friends, a special concert that will take place at Beijing
National Stadium in Beijing. Although he doesnt have much experience on the
mic, Chan is confident his song stylings will go over well with concertgoers.
I only feel the pressure when I make films, the
entertainer told WENN. I believe the audiences will forgive me if I forget the
lyrics or I can't keep the tempo.
Lets hope Jackie decides to enter the music successfully.
Otherwise, he may have to fall back on his drunken master experience to keep