Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Entertainment Briefs (7-31-08 Edition)
By Sentinel News Service
Published July 31, 2008

Nelly hired as Sean Jean's New Spokesmodel

Often called the sexiest man in Hip Hop, rapper Nelly has become the official spokesmodel for his upcoming fall collection of Sean John underwear. It the past, Diddy has featured such celebrity models as Dwayne Wade, Nas, Snoop, Lil Wayne and Lauren London. Nelly will be the brand's first ever spokesmodel.

Label owner P. Diddy states, “To me, Nelly is the quintessential definition of the Sean John man. He has the attitude, the swagger and most of all the physique that our customers can both aspire and relate to. And let's be honest, all of the ladies out there are going to be thanking us for this campaign.” You got that right!

Wendy Wiliams

Folks are still talking about radio shock jock Wendy Williams being rendered speechless on her own talk show.
It was famous Apprentice show diva Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth who did it.

Williams' mouth was agape as Omarosa made mincemeat of her on her fledgling talk show. Omarosa was there last week to promote her new book, "The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off." Apparently, her switch was set on 10 that day.

The interview started off rocky. Omarosa wouldn't allow Williams to hold her book and even snatched it from her hands. Meow. The two tried to play nice, but it didn't last for long.

Omarosa, with her unapologetically nasty disposition, has not represented black women well, Williams suggested. "I'd rather be an angry black woman than a buffoon," Omarosa replied.

Soon the two were trading insults like mink-clad divas in an Aaron Spelling nighttime soap. "Did you have a nose job?" Omarosa asked as the crowd jeered. Williams only admitted to Botox and suggested her guest get some Restylane to fix her wrinkles. "They say good black doesn't crack; it's cracking," she said.

The crowd cheered. Omarosa, undeterred, said Williams needed to wear better wigs.

Everyone loves a good catfight. The video clip has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and the buzz about the pair's verbal brawl has not abated. I've been forwarded links to their showdown more times than I care to count. Williams and Omarosa both said it wasn't a scripted stunt, but their tussle has generated some much-needed publicity for the pair, who met their match in one another.

Omarosa, through sheer determination, has parlayed a stint on "The Apprentice" in 2004 into a small cottage industry. Since then she's appeared on several reality series. The former pageant queen is now paid to be the angry black woman and, unfortunately, she never disappoints.

For years, Williams has been desperate to parlay her hit radio show into a TV show. Pilots have come and gone. She, however, has remained the same — unapologetically bawdy, gossipy and highly entertaining. Which rapper is gay? Ask Wendy. Which starlet has had plastic surgery? Ask Wendy. What to do about your cheating husband? Ask Wendy.

She has been as quick to dish about her own colorful life: her cheating husband, her breast implants, her miscarriages, her cocaine addictions. As a result, her afternoon show is one of the highest rated in the country and she is, for better or worse, one of the pre-eminent voices on radio.

But it appears as if Williams is tempering her hot-pink personality to play well on television. Would she have allowed Omarosa to be that disrespectful on her radio show? I highly doubt it. If she hopes to make this show stick, she can't afford to water down her Kool-Aid. Wendy must be Wendy.

Amid all the trash talking, Omarosa offered her nemesis a nugget of wisdom. "I'd like to see more of the edge," she said.

Wendy, please take her advice about that — and the wigs.

21st Annual Long Beach Jazz Fest “And The Beat Goes On” For Jazz And R&B Lovers Alike

The smoothly, soulful and classily jazzy singer, KEM kicks off the three day Long Beach Jazz Festival next weekend. Southern California's premiere music festival presenting the best in jazz, rhythm and blues for the 21st year.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival takes place the weekend of August 8-10. Once again, the festival venue is the breath-taking seaside setting of Rainbow Lagoon Park on Shoreline Drive in Long Beach, California, where for two decades now thousands of faithful music fans have made the Long Beach Jazz Festival an annual family affair.

True to its reputation as the most soulful and well-rounded summer music festival in sunny Southern California, the 21st Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival for 2008 is loaded with an extraordinary and exciting array of musical talents for every taste. Not only is it a jazz festival celebrating straight ahead and contemporary jazz, but also this year's weekend of magic includes top-flight star talent from worlds of classic R&B, Neo Soul and Blues-ideal for the more seasoned as well as the newer generations of listeners.

Festival founder, Al Williams and his band Al Williams Jazz Society, featuring incomparable vocalist Barbara Morrison will once again delight jazz lovers with its highly anticipated set on Sunday. “I am really pleased to have such a great variety of artists this year” says Williams, in anticipation of 2008's star-studded festivities.

In addition to KEM, 2008's lineup also includes singer/composer Michael Franks – the master of poetically sensual and witty lyrics – tenor saxophone superstar Kirk Whalum and conga drum master Poncho Sanchez, a torchbearer of jazz and funk with tropical Latin flair. An amazing assemblage of soul-jazz legends will perform under the umbrella title “The Superstars of Jazz Fusion” starring vibraphonist Roy Ayers, keyboard wizard Lonnie Liston Smith, trumpeter Tom Browne, founding Jazz Crusaders trombonist Wayne Henderson and singer extraordinaire Miki Howard.

Female musicians are thoroughly represented by the piano artistry of frequent LBJF participant Keiko Matsui, the versatile spice of saxophonist/singer Mindi Abair, and the sweet, fleet-fingered guitar style of Joyce Cooling.

Old school soul music lovers will swoon for the sounds of West Coast vocal legends The Whispers and the Grammy Award-winning Commodores, while neo soul fans can check out the rousing and righteous sounds of acclaimed singer/songwriter Chrisette Michele, funk-soul-jazz party starter's Down to the Bone, and modern soul-jazz stars Nick Colionne on guitar and Euge Groove on sax.

This year, Linda Morgan from Rainbow Promotions, LLC is coordinating the Long Beach Jazz Talent Search, an event that encourages upcoming, jazz musicians. Two winners will be selected to open the festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Spinners Deliver Timeless Classics At The Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts

It's a full night of R&B and Soul hits as the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) welcomes two of the genres' biggest acts – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Spinners – on Saturday, September 6, 8:00 PM. Tickets are available at the CCPA Ticket Office, by calling (562) 467-8818, or at www.cerritoscenter.com. Ticket prices range from $78-$30.

Plucked from relative obscurity by legendary record producer Berry Gordy, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas quickly became one of Motown's popular acts with chart-topping hits such as Come and Get These Memories. However, it was the Grammy-nominated (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave that made the trio one of Motown's greatest successes. The ensemble's diverse repertoire – which celebrates Pop, Blues, Doo-Wop, Rock, R&B, and Soul – is filled with treasures like the hits Jimmy Mack, Nowhere to Run, and Honey Chile. The group's signature song, the upbeat summertime anthem Dancing in the Street, has been revived numerous times and in many ways by Grateful Dead, Van Halen, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas is credited with inspiring the groups The Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, and Destiny's Child. Rolling Stone honored Martha Reeves & The Vandellas with a spot on its prominent list of “The Immortals: The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Reeves continues to thrill audiences worldwide. Her song It's Easy to Fall in Love (With a Guy Like You) was featured in actor and rapper Will Smith's romantic-comedy blockbuster Hitch. Her rendition of Van Morrison's Wild Night appears on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning movie Thelma & Louise. Reeves' self-produced 2004 album, Home to You, also received critical and popular acclaim.

One of the most popular Soul groups in American history, The Spinners first hit the music charts in 1961 with That's What Girls Are Made For. The band was hailed for its unique formula of rich voices and uplifting lyrics. However, The Spinners' talents were not sufficiently promoted by its Motown record label.

In 1972, at the urging of “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, the ensemble signed with her label – Atlantic Records. When paired with Atlantic's legendary producer Thom Bell, The Spinners became a veritable hit machine almost instantaneously, topping music charts with singles such as “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “It's a Shame,” “Ghetto Child,” and “You're Throwing a Good Love Away.”

The Grammy-nominated ensemble won legions of faithful fans with Gold albums that showcased hits like I'll Be Around, Could It Be I'm Falling in Love, and The Rubberband Man. The Spinners was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. The band's universal and timeless appeal was not lost on Hollywood, which has featured The Spinners' songs in the romantic comedy The Holiday, the family drama “Akeelah and the Bee,” and the mafia thriller “Donnie Brasco.” The ensemble maintains a steady touring schedule, performing in shows that benefit groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP), Urban League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and organizations that help autistic children.

The Spinners' current lineup consists of Frank Washington, Bobbie Smith, Harold “Spike” Bonhart, and original members Henry Fambrough and Pervis Jackson.

Tickets are now on sale to see Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Spinners perform at the CCPA. For tickets or more information, call (562) 467-8818 or go to www.cerritoscenter.com.

Categories: News (Entertainment)

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