Hows life, everybody? Five days gone and history made with
Barack Obama capturing the US presidency as the first African-American
Commander-in-Chief. Was there anything bigger than this? Am I the only one that
saw Jesse Jackson cry after Obamas victory speech? Stay tuned for an
interesting four years.
Condolences go out to former Motown Records president and
CEO Jheryl Busby, who died Tuesday (Nov. 4) and Obamas grandmother, Madelyn
Dunham, who passed away the day before her grandson won the election. But not
without putting her vote in for him before leaving this world via an absentee
ballot that will be counted.
Shout out to President-Elect Barack Obama for being living
proof that anything is truly possible, everybody that took time out to make
their voice heard by voting, and the sounding boards for doing their part for
And so with change (Yes we did!) comes the Last Word for
the week ending Nov. 7, 2008.
1. Usher and Beyonce Weigh in On Obama Presidency
With a clear victory over John McCain under his belt and a
predominately-Democratic Senate to work with, life is good for Barack Obama.
World leaders and the general public have made their joy known as they wait for
the President-Elects inauguration on Jan. 20. And celebrities are no different
as Usher reveled in the moment by calling Obamas historical victory
This will go down in history, in Black history for all of
the sacrifices that the great Joseph Lowery and Martin Luther King made; this
actually pays off for their sacrifice. The great Rosa Parks So many people
sacrificed for us to have a voice, the singer told Access Hollywoods Billy Bush. Im proud to be an American right
now, Usher added.
The moment also wasnt lost on Beyonce, who got emotional
over Obama. I fell asleep crying and smiling at the same time. I woke up with
mascara running and a smile on my face! she told The Associated Press as she postponed an Election Night appearance in
Japan to remain stateside for the election results. And with the Presidency,
Obama inherited a willing volunteer in Miss Knowles.
I'm there. I can't wait. I feel like all of us, we're ready
to do whatever we have to do. Whatever they want if they need me to
volunteer, they need me to sing, I'm there, and I'm ready, Beyonce said.
Im cool with all these entertainers being happy for Barack,
but the one person I havent heard from is Obama girl. The work that went into
that I Got a Crush on Obama video just cant be ignored. Im sure many folks
took notice of the Chicago Senator once his player card was revealed.
Where are you Obama girl? Stand up for yourself. Give credit
where credit is due!
2. TLC Members Prepare for their Solo Close-Ups
Although its been a while since weve heard from TLC
members Chili and T-Boz, the women have kept themselves busy with music
projects. Chili is preparing to release her debut solo album. But after the
projects original release date in August was scrapped for an October, Chilis
rep tells Entertainment Weekly Her solo
album project has been moved back.
We should have a second single out before the first of the
year, the rep said without mentioning a solid timeframe for the album to hit
What first single?! Is it me or did that song come and go
While we try to leave a light on for that Chili album, T-Boz
is hard at work on her solo project. But like her groupmate, no date has come
out as far as when that album will be released.
In the meantime, Lisa Left Eye Lopes is coming to the
rescue as the late entertainers family has partnered with Mass Appeal
Entertainment to forge ahead with the release of a compilation of Lopes
unreleased solo material. The album, titled EYE-Legacy, will include collaborations with Tupac Shakur
(Legendary) and Boyz II Mens Wanya Morris (Tampered With).
Look for EYE-Legacy
to hit stores on Jan. 27.
3. Halle Berry Comes Clean About Body Role Model;
Exercises Nudity Demons
As if she needed somebody to look up to in terms of her
body. But Halle Berry does have a role model she admires that fully enjoys what
God has blessed her with.
So who is Halles body image role model? The answer may come
as a bit of a surprise.
Kate Winslet is always naked, sitting on a toilet, running
buck-naked. She's free, Berry told Elle
magazine. I want to be the kind of actress who can really be comfortable with
my body like that.
Winslets influence seems to be working as Halle managed to
work through her real demons about on-screen nudity when she flashed her
breasts at Hugh Jackman in the film Swordfish.
I knew it was the Halle Berry breast scene and I knew it
was gratuitous and I knew what I was getting out of it, recalled the actress,
who credited the experience for setting her up to do Monsters Ball and its infamous sex scene with Billy Bob Thornton.
Usually when Im scared of something, that means I have to
walk right into the flame, Berry shared. For Monsters Ball director Marc Forster, the sex scene triggered a
unique reaction during filming.
It was the only time in my life as a director that I
suddenly got shivers over me, he said. I felt like I was watching these two
people almost like a voyeur, like I was witnessing real life.
4. Akon Hustles With Lionel Richie; Goes Euro for New
Akon is a busy man. Hit albums and collaborations with
everyone thats anyone in music provide a lot of job security for the guy who
was once locked up.
So I guess it shouldnt be surprising that hes working with
80s hitmaker Lionel Richie. According to Billboard, Akon and Ne-Yo are writing songs for Richies
forthcoming album Just Go. Other
people on board for the project include the-Dream, Christopher Tricky
Stewart, Stargate and Johnta Austin.
Just Go, which
includes the just released single Good Morning, arrives in stores on Feb. 17.
And if youre wondering if Akon has time left for himself,
the answer is yes. The crooner is working on his upcoming album Freedom, which is slated for a Dec. 2 release. Those
expecting the usual Konvict sound will be in for a change, Akon revealed as he
alluded to bringing bringing the whole Euro-club sound. That's where we're
headed with it.
Look for Akon to embark on a 10-to-12 city promotional tour
a week prior to the release of Freedom
in addition to an official concert tour in February.
Think thats enough work for Akon? Not quite as the vocalist
prepares to launch his Konvict clothing line in February and an upscale apparel
line called Aliaune, in the fall of 2009. Akon is currently working with a
watchmaker out of Switzerland to design two exclusive watches. The first one
will be called the Marinello while the other watch, which is currently unnamed,
will be a wrist watch/phone combo.
With all these these things, it seem like Akon is trying to
be the 08/09 version of Hustleman. Anything to make a dollar.
Stone Gets Political With New Song; Shares the Real Definition of Beauty
Whether your candidate won the Presidential race or not, you
cant knock seeing folks express a desire to get involved. Case in point: Joss
Stone, who became inspired by all the election talk as she performed her new
song Governmentalist during a sold-out concert for the voter registration
group known as HeadCount.
Media sources report the tune was written in response to
criticism Stone received from a U.K. government official after speaking against
poor medical care of Iraq War veterans. Look for Governmentalist to appear on
the 21-year-old singers upcoming album, which she described as being very,
And while Joss uses her power of celebrity for good, shes
also letting people know what her meaning of beautiful is. The vocalist
recently broke down her definition while talking about, Love Has Made You
Beautiful, a song she donated to the Hard Rock Café Londons Imagine There's
No Hunger campaign. The track,
which Stone wrote when she was 15, is included on a CD promoting the campaign.
I think that as a young girl when you're growing up you
think, I want to look like this and I want to be loved. You read these
magazines and you see these pictures and they're not real And you get upset
with yourself for not looking like that, Stone told People. But [this song] is about the things that you do
with yourself and your life that make you beautiful. If you do something good
for the world, you're a beautiful person. It's not about the hair and the
makeup. That's all bulls---.
6. Samuel Jackson Remembers fellow Soul Man Bernie Mac
It hasnt been too long since Bernie Mac died, but the
comedians presence has been sorely missed. Memories of Mac will once again be
triggered with the release of his last film Soul Men.
Mac stars alongside Samuel L. Jackson as former bandmates
who reunite to travel cross-country to perform at a memorial concert for their
deceased lead singer, who is played by John Legend. News of the comedians
death came as a shock to Jackson, who mentioned how weird it is that Mac
didnt see his latest and final film. Nevertheless, Jackson feels Soul Men
encompasses everything people loved about his friend.
If you had to pick a perfect way to be remembered for an
artist, especially a guy like Bernie the joy that this film has in it,
and the kind of love and adoration that people had for him, and the kind of joy
he brought people is evident in this film, Jackson shared with CNN. [The
audience] will discover that he can do things that they didn't know he could do
like sing, dance and carry this dramatic arc.
Soul Men arrives in
theaters today. Be sure to stick around for a dedication to Mac and the late
Isaac Hayes that appear at the end of the film. Footage from the dedication
includes Mac doing an impromptu stand up routine for movie extras as well as an
interview featuring him talking about his career.
It's a, you know, perfect way to say goodbye to somebody
that we all know and love, Jackson said about his collaboration with Mac.
R.I.P. Bernie. Know that your work will always keep us
laughing and smiling with everything you did on the big and small screen.
In Other Words
* If you are
looking for Keri Hilson to release her debut album this year, think again. The
Zone 4/Mosley Music Group/Interscope release, titled In a Perfect World, was originally scheduled to hit stores this summer,
but got pushed back to the end of the year. Media sources are saying the album
is now slated for an early 2009 release. If it does see the light of day,
expect to find appearances from Lil Wayne and Timbaland, who also doubles as
one of the producers on the project with Polow Da Don, Roy Hamilton, Royal
Court Danja Handz and Tank.Return The Favor - Keri Hilson Feat. Timbaland
* I shouldve known it was too good to be true. Just as soon
as I mentioned that the Jackson 5 would reunite in 2009, Michael backs out.
My brothers and sisters have my full love and support, and
we've certainly shared many great experiences, but at this time I have no plans
to record or tour with them, the King of Pop said in a statement. I am now in
the studio developing new and exciting projects that I look forward to sharing
with my fans in concert soon.
Where is Joe Jackson when you need him to lay the strap
down? You know Randy and Tito can only do so much.