December 05, 2013

R&B star R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” will return to his hip-hopera to IFC cable network with additional installments.

Although a premiere date or number of episodes hasn't been announced, the network is already celebrating with a marathon of the previous 33 chapters of the series set for Dec. 7

The hip-hopera originally began as a five-video series to accompany the melodramatic segment of songs on his 2005 disc, “TP.3 Reloaded.” A bizarre and complex storyline featuring sexual exploits, little people, gossipy drama and Kelly playing multiple characters, “Trapped in the Closet” became a cult hit after it was released.

Fan demand made the singer continue to add chapters and roll out the accompanying videos on DVD. Subsequent installments started airing on IFC and streamed on the network’s website in 2007.

Early last year, Kelly and the network announced that they had reunited to produce even more episodes of the saga. Those episodes premiered in November 2012.

Aside from starring as many of the screwy characters in the absurdly hilarious “Trapped” universe, Kelly serves as the executive producer, writer and co-director of the series.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

December 05, 2013

LAWT Wire Services

 

Singer-songwriter  Usher Raymond is stepping into his role as Sugar Ray Leonard in the biopic, “Hands of Stone.” The movie is based on Roberto Duran, a boxing world champion in four weight divisions in a career that spanned five decades. Duran, whose nickname was “Hands of Stone,” rose from the slums of Panama to defeat an unbeaten Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980.

The film is currently being shot in Panama and will showcase the 30-pounds slimmer 35-year old R&B singer, who had to drop his weight from 180 pounds to Leonard’s typical fighting weight of 146 pounds. This will be his first leading role in a feature film.  Usher doesn’t appear to be intimidated by the pressure to represent Leonard in a role that can establish him as a serious actor.

“I’m up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to it … I think my overall feeling is one of anticipation. It seems like this is a real passion project. It’s a film that everybody is so invested in, and I have the good fortune of having the character I’m playing still around,” he said in an interview prior to the start of production.

Usher also said that he believes he has an advantage in playing Leonard. “I think my dancing will make it easier for me to pick up his moves. I’ve been working on familiarizing myself with the ring, sparring and just understanding how to move.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 28, 2013

ARIES

A humanitarian cause may get you out to a meeting with others of like-mindedness this week. You’ll meet some interesting people, and also get a new view of how you are perceived by others if you go. Enjoy! Soul Affirmation: I spend the week celebrating me.
Lucky Numbers:  19, 27, 44

TAURUS

Everybody’s in a full-moon frenzy regarding relationship issues. Listen to what others are saying, and chart your own course through this week. If you are in a relationship, remember what brought you together with this person in the first place, and be glad for what you’ve had. Soul Affirmation: My smile is a radiant light to those I encounter
Lucky Numbers:  8, 21, 29

GEMINI

Your intuition is trying to tell you something. Be still for a bit and let the message come. You know when to exercise caution, and when to let go and revel in pleasure. There’s much pleasure in your life this week. Soul Affirmation: I keep my eyes open for business opportunities this week.
Lucky Numbers:  5, 12, 28

CANCER

Put one of your new ideas into action this week and see how it feels as you work through your routine. You are in command of how you think this week, so use this beneficial energy to accomplish some of the things you’ve been wanting to do. Soul Affirmation: I paint my world in colors of the rainbow.
Lucky Numbers:  10, 19, 24

LEO

Every positive idea you have is likely to be challenged this week, so you may want to keep your brilliance under wraps until at least tomorrow. Your ideas are sound and good; don’t take others’ rude behavior personally. Soul Affirmation: I let go and let the spirit run my life this week
Lucky Numbers:  19, 30, 42

VIRGO

This week’s the week to communicate those ideas. People will seem to be much more receptive and less grouchy. Make sure that your ideas have some practical actions that can be taken, so that people will know how to respond to you. Soul Affirmation: I love many people this week
Lucky Numbers:  6, 12, 19

LIBRA

You are the messenger of freedom this week, and if you are not careful with your words, you’ll find that some people don’t want to be liberated. Not to worry, just go your merry way and enjoy yourself. Others will learn from what you are doing. Soul Affirmation: I let my instincts light my way this week.
Lucky Numbers:  18, 20, 45

SCORPIO

Your creativity is pulling you in a wonderful direction. Act on your impulse to create beauty in your life. Pay attention when your nearest, dearest friend is trying to tell you something. Your impatience to get to the next project could cause you to miss a valuable signal. Soul Affirmation: Charm is my middle name this week.
Lucky Numbers:  23, 27, 54

SAGITTARIUS

Keep a low profile at a family get-together. Someone wants to scuffle, but won’t be able to if you don’t present yourself as a target. Your checkbook needs looking into; you’ll feel better if it’s balanced. Soul Affirmation: I am patient with all that comes my way this week.
Lucky Numbers:  32, 45, 51

CAPRICORN

Your home life is important to you this week. Get the family together to take care of some fall clean-up chores and make it a party that everyone will remember with joy. Take the lead on bringing happiness to the occasion. Soul Affirmation: I seek connection with the best that is in me.
Lucky Numbers:  23, 43, 46

AQUARIUS

Daydreaming will work wonders for your spirit this week. Let your imagination fly freely and follow up on ideas in a leisurely way. You are able to accomplish some very rewarding and life-affirming tasks. Soul Affirmation: I celebrate those around me.
Lucky Numbers:  9, 50, 52

PISCES

Congratulations on your positive attitude this week! While others may be dragging, your spirit is full of   energy. Enjoy the power-surge of good feelings, and you’ll be lifting others’ spirits just by being you. Soul Affirmation: The true path is mapped out by my impulses.
Lucky Numbers:  14, 17, 19

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 28, 2013

By Blair Adams

Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

 

During the fifth annual Governors Awards in Hollywood recently the Giorgio Armani team—known for their sleek and unusual fashions—couldn’t tell the difference between a well-known female actress—and a male actor in a “they-all-look-alike” gaffe.

On Nov. 18, stars walked the red carpet, which has historically been linked to a time for celebrities to show off their tailor-made apparel. Alfre Woodard was labeled Idris Elba—a male star—in a caption on its Instagram account triggering howls on Twitter.

“Idris Elba posing in a gorgeous Giorgio #Armani dress at the 5th Annual Governors Award,” the luxury fashion house posted on Twitter when Woodard walked the red carpet and posed for cameras—wearing their gown.

Armani quickly deleted the mistake, but not before several cyberspace followers noticed the error, especially #Black Twitter.

Noting that it was a woman gracing the red carpet in a black, cap-sleeve dress, on-line critics said the confusion between the two was offensive.

According to Rolling Out—a Black entertainment website, “the mistake, which was highly offensive considering that Woodard was mistaken not only for another Black entertainer, but for a man.”

On Instagram, followers posted replies suggesting that incorrect name was embarrassing and a fashion line that held in such a high regard, should have known who she was and not messed up somebody’s name.

Therealqueenofengland posted, “this is seriously embarrassing. Of course they can’t tell one Black person from another. Even if one is a man and this is clearly a woman. Help yourself #armani. Google exists for idiots like the person who runs your IG.”

That same evening, the Armani folks, in another caption gaffe, reportedly labeled a picture of Elba with actress Naomie Harris erroneously, indicating that Harris and Elba are a romantic pair, according to The Grio. It is untrue. Harris is Elba’s co-star in a movie about South African icon Nelson Mandela.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 28, 2013

By CHRIS TALBOTT

Associated Press

 

Rihanna and her mother took center stage at the American Music Awards as the singer received the first Icon Award.

Monica Fenty presented her pop star daughter with the award midway through Sunday night’s show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

“Can we talk about how cute Rihanna’s mom is?” Justin Timberlake asked while accepting one of his three awards, before affecting a Caribbean accent. “She’s so proud of the Icon. I am too, Rihanna, I love you.”

Fenty told Rihanna how proud she was of her daughter's success, saying, “I know the journey in your career has not always been an easy one.”

“Just about 20 years ago is when I really started making your life a living hell with my annoying little husky man voice, you would call it,” Rihanna said. “And I mean just disrupting the entire neighborhood. Westbury Road, Barbados, they could tell you that’s the truth. I annoyed every one of my neighbors.”

Rihanna was one of the night’s early competitive winners as well. She took favorite soul/R&B female artist. Timberlake won soul/R&B album, soul/R&B male artist and pop/rock male artist. Taylor Swift, who won favorite country female artist and country album of the year for “Red,” was next with two awards. Both are up for top honor artist of the year.

“‘Red’ is very different than any album I’ve made before and the reason I was able to do that was because of the fans,” Swift said. “I cannot believe what you’ve done in the last year. This album came out almost exactly a year ago and the fact that 6 million of you went out and bought it is crazy.”

Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande was named favorite new artist, Florida Georgia Line won single of the year for “Cruise” with Nelly in something of a surprise, Luke Bryan won favorite male country artist, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis used their rap/hip-hop album acceptance speech to send a message of tolerance.

Ben Haggerty, the rapper known as Macklemore, accepted the award for favorite rap/hip-hop album, then quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in a live satellite feed from the rap group’s latest tour stop.

“Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” he said. “This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”

Florida became a focal point after Martin’s killer was freed under the state’s stand your ground law. It was the first win of the night for Macklemore and Lewis, whose album “The Heist” has been an unexpected hit and made them the AMA’s top nominees with six.

Katy Perry opened the show looking like a princess out of a classic Japanese painting. Dressed in a traditional Japanese dress, Perry’s show-starting performance of “Unconditionally” included dozens of colorfully clad dancers waved fans, shadow danced in front of rice-paper screens and played the drums.

Perry was the early focus of the awards show, held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, arriving on the red carpet in a black strapless dress to screams from hundreds of fans. She said before the show she wanted to up her game, given the chance to open, and the whirling stage production was a wash of colors and movements before Perry disappeared in a puff of smoke.

One Direction was at times drowned out by screams during an understated performance of “Story of My Life.” The decibel level was that way from the moment the British boy band arrived on the carpet, all smiles and dapper suits. Harry Styles stopped to take a picture with three fans.

Timberlake strapped on an acoustic guitar and played a soulfully raucous version of “Drink You Away.” Macklemore crowd surfed on “Can’t Hold Us.” Jennifer Lopez absolutely nailed the elaborate dance numbers during her tribute to Salsa queen Celia Cruz, taking two dozen dancers through their paces while wearing a shimmering silver dress.

She winked at the crowd as she finished the number, the dancers sprawled around her on the floor.

Lady Gaga and R. Kelly put on an elaborate production for their song “Do What U Want,” staging a presidential affair. Kelly played the president and Gaga a Marilyn Monroe-like mistress. Kelly gazed upward as Gaga table-danced on his desk, then stormed off the stage as an actor playing a reporter chased him asking about the affair.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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