The Last Word: Kelly Rowland Takes On a New Genre, Amy Winehouse Snubs Quincy Jones, and Sade Returns!
Hows the life? The weekend has approached after a short
work week filled with Sonia Sotomayor potentially becoming the first Hispanic
and third woman to sit on the Supreme Court if her nomination to the bench is
confirmed and North Korea testing the world with launching more nuclear
Thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Tyson for the loss of
his daughter Exodus on Tuesday (May 26). Congratulations to T.I. and Tiny, who
reportedly got married last week and Robert DeNiro, who recently became a grandfather
after his son welcomed a new baby boy last week. Happy Birthday to Dr. Forte,
who is thankful for another one.
Shout out to Smokey Robinson, who will receive the ASCAP
Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award at the organizations 22nd annual kudos gala
on June 26 and the sounding boards for never going into a situation without a
So lets get to it the Last Word for the week ending May 29,
1. Robin Givens Makes IRS Most Wanted List
In yet another case of celebs trying to dodge the long arm
of debt, Robin Givens has gotten the attention of the IRS.
According Forbes.com, the actress is being sued by the US
government over what it says is $292,000 of unpaid federal taxes, interest and
penalties that go as far back as 1996.
In a recently filed lawsuit, the government requested formal
judgment against Givens in a Tampa, Fla. federal court on 39 separate
assessments covering eight of the 12 calendar years through 2007.Through this,
it would be easier for the IRS garnish Givens earnings or levy assets such as
bank accounts in an effort to collect the allegedly unpaid amounts.
The suit stems from Givens failure to pay $222,000 in
federal taxes. The remaining $70,000 demanded by the government pertains to
interest and assorted penalties for failure to pay, underpayment of estimated
tax and late filing. The pleading does not state what her total income or tax
was for the years in question, nor the extent of any partial tax payments,
And to add insult to injury, the magazine lists the actress
1,224 out of 1,400 on his Forbes "star currency" list.
2. Kelly Rowland Dances to a New Beat; Starts New Charity
R&B fans have known and grown with Kelly Rowland through
time with Destinys Child and as a solo artist. Now, the singer is stepping
into new arena as she enjoys the success of "When Love Takes Over,"
her hit collaboration with DJ David Guetta.
The song, which is the first single from Guetta's
forthcoming album, One Love, has become
a hit on the Hot Dance Airplay chart with a recent as well as a wake up call
for Rowland to explore an alternative to R&B. The songbird recalled her
first encounter with Guettas music while taking in one of the French DJs
performances last summer.
I had spent nights dancing in the South of France from12:45
a.m. to 8 in the morning, but I had never thought about recording a dance track
myself. Hearing David's song made me consider taking on this whole new style,
Rowland told Billboard.
Guetta fans can look for Rowland when she appears with the
DJ at various spots on his summer tour. In the meanwhile, Kelly is keeping busy
on other fronts as she co-hosts Bravos new series The Fashion Show with style guru Isaac Mizrahi and gears up to start
a new charity called I Heart My Girlfriend. The program will serve as an
interactive support system for teenage girls.
At this time, there are now solid plans for another Rowland
solo album as she is still between labels. But if When Love Takes Over is any
indication, we could be doing more dancing to Kellys music down the road.
"This has definitely inspired me to put more of a dance
sound on an album of my own," the entertainer said. "I want to try
out that world without straying too far from my urban roots.
3. James Browns Kids Make Peace With Singers Widow
The fight over James Browns estate has come to an end.
E! Online reports that an agreement has been reached between
Browns six adult children and his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie.
Per the terms of the agreement, about half of Brown's assets
will be placed in a charitable trust set up by the Godfather of Soul to pay for
his grandchildren's education and to help needy children in South Carolina and
Georgia; a quarter will go to Hynie and her young son with Brown, James Brown
II. The rest will be split among Brown's older children.
"From the perspective of the charitable beneficiaries,
the risks of not approving the settlement agreement are substantial,"
Judge Jack Early wrote in his decision, while noting that more than $1 million
has been spent in legal fees and other estate-related expenses.
The settlement concludes months of arguing between Hynie and
Brown's grown children. And Tomi is happy for the peace as she expressed a
desire to work with the trustees and other Brown family members to promote
James Brown's legacy.
Now if only the Martin Luther King Jr.s kids could get
along and end their drama, then maybe him and James can truly rest in peace.
4. Amy Winehouse Snubs Quincy Jones; Goes Into the
Just what is going on with Amy Winehouse? As if being a
slave to drugs and taking her sweet time in releasing new music wasnt enough,
shes now missing out on paying homage to the great Quincy Jones.
The Daily Mirror
reports that plans for Winehouse to contribute to an all-star tribute album for
Jones have fallen apart. And the songstress has no one to blame but herself as
a source detailed what it was that caused the latest in a long line of missed
"Basically after Amy's horrendous gig in St Lucia, and
then pulling out of the Island 50th birthday gig, everyone realized she wasn't
going to get it together, the source said. "Quincy Jones is one of the
most respected men in the music industry, so it was a huge honor for Amy to be
asked to record for him. To snub him is a big no-no.
Needless to say, Q isnt thrilled at being snubbed.
Especially after he invited her and producer Mark Ronson to record a song for
the album tribute after meeting them last summer at the Nelson Mandela 90th
According to the Mirror,
Winehouse kept Jones on a string for almost a year after agreeing to do the
tribute. As a result, the track (a new version of Lesley Gore's You Don't Own
Me) has been dropped from the album as well as Qs hopes of having Amy perform
with Michael Jackson at a launch for the CD. Now how cool (or disastrous) would
that have been.
I guess if music doesnt work out for Amy, she has something
to fall back on. The folks at Marie Claire say that the Grammy winner has
joined forces with London-based fashion company PPQ to launch her very own
The collection, which will be inspired Winehouse's retro
style, is in the first stages, according to PPQ designer Amy Molyneaux, who
says the line will be all about high-end statement pieces
For example, maybe a dress or an amazing piece of jewelry
like a bracelet, she added. "It's going to be distributed online, we are
going to be providing all materials and doing the design, but Amy will
definitely be involved in the creative process."
I wonder just how involved Amy will be. Makes you wonder
if the clothing line will reflect Amys style BC (Before Crack). Any
suggestions on what to name the clothing collection?
5. Sade Comes Out of Musical Hibernation for New Album
It may be a little early, but 'tis the season for the return
of vintage R&B. First, it was Guy and Blackstreet. Then Ginuwine, Al B.
Sure! and the Commodores. Now comes the biggest to date with the return of the
one and only Sade!
This is not a rumor. Sades website, www.sade2009.com, confirms
that a new album from the vocalist is coming on November 24, 2009. At this
point, no title for the project has been released.
Normally, an item this brief would occupy In Other Words ,
but this is main item news. I guess its safe to say that 09 is the year
R&B came home.
6. Taraji P. Henson Goes Nude for In Style; Reveals
With an Oscar nomination on her resume, the possibilities
are infinite for Taraji P. Henson. Professionally and personally. And if you
want to get next to the actress, it helps to know what she defines as sexy.
Sexy is a feeling that comes from having an understanding
of yourself, said Henson, who appears nude for In Style magazines annual sexy issue. You can be sexy in
As for what brings out her sexy, the answer lies in jazz
music as Taraji admits, the instruments tease you. I let my mind run away.
For those wondering about Hensons celebrity crush, the
entertainer revealed it is none other than fellow Oscar nominee Salma Hayek. Picture
that, if you will, and let your mind truly run away.
In Other Words
* Not one to let his fame make him untouchable, Usher is
making local moves as the newest member of the Woodruff Arts Centers 79-member
board of trustees. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the entertainer was
among six new Woodruff trustees announced last week. In addition to the board,
Usher also joined Woodruffs education task force as he shared his thoughts on
he was so honored to be invited onto the group.
I first and foremost would like to give more young people,
who wouldnt otherwise have the means, the opportunity to experience art
programming at the Woodruff Arts Center, the crooner shared with the paper via
e-mail. I also hope to share new ideas that can combine art and service as
powerful agents of change in Atlanta.
* Martini has a new spokeswoman, and her name is Thandie
Newton. According to reports, the actress has signed on as the spokeswoman for
the companys Stay Beautiful campaign. Under the new endorsement deal, Newton
will be featured in a series of ads styled by fashion guru Bay Garnett and
photographed by A-list photographer Anders Overgaard in an exclusive London
"She was a natural choice to be our ambassador for 2009
due to her cutting edge style and passion for fashion and beauty, a Martini
spokesperson said about the companys decision to use Newton as the spokeswoman
for a new rose version of the drink. She has an inspirational lifestyle, while
still being a role model that women can relate to."
* The Wayans Brothers are doing more than make people laugh
as the family teams up with the NorthStar Moving Corporation and The Clothes
Off Our Back Foundation to donate their designer shirts, jeans, jackets and
sweaters for an auction to benefit children's charities.
The sale is currently going on at the Foundations web site,
www.clothesoffourback.org and will conclude at 5 p.m. PDT June 9. Proceeds will
go to Feeding America, The Art of Elysium, Hope North and H.E.L.P. Malawi.