Halle Berry has given birth to a baby girl. Halle is “doing great,” her rep said. The 41-year-old Oscar-winning actress gave birth on Sunday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. It is the first child for Halle and her boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry.
Over the years, Halle has made no secret about her desire for a family. In April 2007, she told the syndicated TV show “Access Hollywood” about her plan for kids. “Not that there’s not more to accomplish, but I think I arrived at a point in life that I realized I needed more to get me up in the morning. More than going to a new movie set. Or as much fun as getting the star was yesterday, I need something even more profound than that and that’s family. And that’s children,” Halle said. “I need that like the air to breathe these days and I’m ready. I’m at a point where I’m really, really ready.”
While the couple has no plans to marry, in an October 2007 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Halle said she and Gabriel are fully committed to each other. “I feel more married, in a way, than I ever have in two marriages before,” she told Oprah. “He really understands the spiritual connection is so much more important than the paper and the pomp and circumstance and the ceremony.”
The 2008 Essence Music Festival is back at New Orleans still bringing in the biggest and best to headline the 3-day festivities.
As usual, the festivities will be held during the July 4 weekend, only this year you can see the performances at the Louisiana Superdome. Some of the celebrities you can look forward to seeing: Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Morris Day and the Time, Chris Rock, Kanye West, Frankie Beverly and Maze.
“This past year has been amazing for these talented performers,” commented Michelle Ebanks the President of Essence Communications, Inc. “Our audience will be thrilled to welcome them home for the ultimate Fourth of July weekend party.”
It looks like VH1 has greenlit what they are calling “Celebreality sitcoms” coming soon. Luther Campbell from the rap group “2 Live Crew” will have a show called “Luke’s Parental Advisory,” and Tiffany “New York” Pollard is trying to have Hollywood take her serious as an actress and will have her show called, “New York Goes to Hollywood.” Snoop Dogg will star in an all new “VH1 Storytellers.”
SNOOP A SOAP OPERA FAN?
And while we are on the subject of Snoop he is definitely keeping busy. The 36-year old rapper will makes cameo appearances on the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live.” He will not only perform two songs from his new album to air on May 8 and 9 but will also act in several scenes.
“I’ve been a fan of `One Life to Live’ since I was a baby,” Snoop told the Associated Press. “My momma always had it on the tube in tha crib growing up. The opportunity to change up the theme song and give it some of my flavor will make the show the Life of The Party.”
There is still more Snoop news…he has a development deal with Comedy Central. The project is not titled yet but will be an animated feature which looks at Snoop’s life as a 15-year old in the 1980’s while growing up in Long Beach.
“We’ve been looking to get into business with Snoop, who’s always fantastic on our roasts,” said Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central’s president of original programming and development. “He’s one of those people who truly crosses over between music and comedy.”
Lou Gossett, Jr. has partnered with Los Angeles based Wrapped Productions to secure the exclusive rights from the Negro Baseball Leagues Baseball Museum and will use that information to create the documentary film, “The Untold Truth - The True Stories of the Negro Baseball Leagues.”
Gossett will produce and narrate the film which will focus on the history of baseball for African-Americans from slavery to Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the sport. The documentary will highlight the contributions that African-Americans have made in baseball’s history.
Gossett and Wrapped Productions are pushing to have this documentary used at school’s during Black History Month.
Grammy Award-winning hip hop mogul Dr. Dre will have his story of success told by his mother, Verna Griffin, through memoirs of his rise to fame and how he shared his success with her. The book entitled, “Long Road Outta Compton” talks about Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and his relationship with the founder of the gangster rap group N.W.A., Eric “Easy-E” Wright. Griffin said, “I was worried that Andre would be drawn to the glitter of what drug money could buy. Fast money is not good money.”
Griffin not only talks about what her son in the business but also what he did for her as he gained fame and wealth. She discusses how she went from digging for change in the sofa to living in a multi-million dollar home and receiving a regular income from Young.
Another reality show is coming to MTV, but this time it features the kids of famous singers competing in a singing competition. “Rock the Cradle” will premiere on April 3 and a few of the participants will be A’Keiba Burrell, M.C. Hammer’s daughter; Landon Brown, Bobby Brown’s son and Al B. Sure, yep you guessed it…Al B. Sure’s son.
The celebrities children will compete in a live broadcast each week before celebrity judges. It will be interesting to see how much of their parent’s personality on stage they will bring to their own performances.
Landon Brown said, “I love to compete.” I’ve learned from [my father’s] mistakes. I do me, but I tone myself down a little more, except on stage. I’ll try not to take my shirt off up there. They told me not to.”
A’Keiba Burrell was very excited about being a part of the show after her dad presented it to her. “It sounded like a lot of fun,” A’Keiba commented. “I love performing.”
Other celebrity children include Jesse Money, daughter of Eddie Money; Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Dee Snider; Lara Johnston, daughter of Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers; Crosby Loggins, Kenny Loggin’s son; Chloe Rose Lattanzi, Olivia Newton John’s daughter; and Lucy Walsh, daughter of the Eagles’ Joe Walsh.
Comedian David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) also will be shooting a pilot for Comedy Central. It will be his magazine-show parody “David Alan Grier’s Chocolate News.”
R & B sensation India.Arie is headed to Broadway in the revival of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf.” The Obie-winning drama is scheduled to open late summer.
Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment Group will executive produce the play while Shirley Jo Finney will direct and Tony winner Hinton Battle will choreograph the production.
In music news, look for a new album from Sean Garrett. He was the songwriter/producer involved in 12 #1 hits including Usher’s 2004 hit “Yeah!” as well as other hits from Chris Brown and Fergie.
His debut single “Grippin’” (featuring Ludacris) was released to urban radio on March 4. Garrett’s debut solo album, “Turbo 919,” arrives in stores summer 2008 on his own label Bet I Penned It under Interscope Records.
Look for some of Garrett’s projects this year from Whitney Houston, Raven-Symone, Michelle Williams, and Ashlee Simpson.
While we are talking about Raven-Symone she is doing it big these days as she starred in and executive produced Disney’s movie “College Road Trip” with Martin Lawrence and will launch her “Pajama Party” tour which will span across 55 cities in the U.S.
Those that will attend her concert are encouraged to arrive early wearing their favorite PJ’s which the slumber party is leading up to Raven’s performance. This all will support her new album set for release April 29 with the single “Double Dutch Bus” which was featured on “College Road Trip.”
Also on the tour will be Mitchel Musso who stars as Oliver Oken on “Hannah Montana.” He will be performing original hip-hop and R&B songs from his upcoming album. Teen group B5 as well as the Clique Girlz will also take the stage.
Raven’s “Pajama Party” will be in Los Angeles on July 7 at the Nokia Theatre and in Anaheim at the Honda Center on July 9.
Congratulations go out to Diva songstress and Grammy Award winner Jill Scott who will star in the series “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” which has been taken from the International bestselling book series by Alexander McCall.
The two hour pilot filmed in Botswana was directed by Academy Award winner Anthony Minghella and scripted by Minghella and Academy Award nominee Richard Curtis who also was the executive producer of the project.
Michael Jackson has saved the Neverland Ranch from a scheduled public auction by refinancing his home.
The 2,500 acre property was to be auctioned on March 19 due to a $24.5 million debt. Jackson’s attorney L. Londell McMillan told The Associated Press that Jackson has worked out a “confidential” agreement with Fortress Investment Group, LLC. The deal allows him to retain ownership of the famed property in Los Olivos, Calif. “Neverland and MJ are fine,” McMillan said.