June 06, 2013

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY

Associated Press

 

The 15-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson is physically fine after being taken to a hospital early Wednesday, an attorney for Jackson’s mother said.

Perry Sanders Jr. wrote in a statement to The Associated Press that Paris Jackson is getting appropriate medical attention and the family is seeking privacy.

“Being a sensitive 15 year old is difficult no matter who you are,” he wrote. “It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you. Paris is physically fine and is getting appropriate medical attention. Please respect her privacy and the family’s privacy.”

Sanders declined further comment on Paris' condition or the circumstances that led to her hospitalization.

Fire and sheriff’s officials confirmed they transported someone from a home in Paris’ suburban Calabasas neighborhood for a possible overdose but did not release any identifying information or additional details.

Paris frequently posts messages about her life on Twitter, where she has more than a million followers.

One of her most recent posts was from the Beatles’ song “Yester­day”: “yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” Another post included the question, “I wonder why tears are salty?”

A 20-minute video of the teen applying makeup was posted to YouTube last week. Paris says on Twitter she doesn’t know how the video, in which she repeatedly asserts, “I am so weird,” ended up on the site.

“I hope you guys liked it tho and didn’t think i’m too crazy,” she wrote. “i get weird when i’m not around people lol.”

Katherine Jackson shares guard­ian­ship of her son’s three children — Paris and her brothers Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11 — with the singer's nephew, TJ Jackson.

Messages left for TJ Jackson’s attorney were not immediately returned.

“We appreciate everyone’s thoughts for Paris at this time and their respect for the family’s privacy,” said a statement from Eric George, an attorney for Debbie Rowe, Paris’ biological mother.

Paris’ uncles Tito, Marlon and Jackie echoed that sentiment in their statement Wednesday: “Thank you for the outpouring of concern and support for Paris — she is safe and doing fine. We truly appreciate you respecting our family’s privacy at this time.”

Michael Jackson kept his children out of the spotlight during his lifetime. After his death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol in June 2009, the children took on a more public life, beginning with their father’s memorial service, which included Paris’ tearful goodbye to her father. She has expressed interest in starting a singing career, has plans to star in a movie, and has been featured in different magazines. Her older brother Prince was a guest correspondent earlier this year for “Entertainment Tonight.”

In recent months, Paris has reconnected with her mother, with whom she has had little contact for most of her life.

The children are listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by their grandmother against concert giant AEG Live LLC, who she claims is responsible for her son’s death. Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit claims AEG failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of causing the singer’s death, and pushed the superstar to rehearse and perform a planned series of 50 comeback shows titled “This Is It.”

Paris and Prince are listed as potential witnesses in the case, which is in its sixth week of trial.

Katherine Jackson's trial attorney, Brian Panish, declined comment Wednesday morning on Paris Jackson's condition. Her hospitalization came hours after AEG Live’s CEO Randy Phillips told a jury that he believed the lawsuit was a shakedown and extortion attempt and that the company should not be held responsible for Michael Jackson’s death.

Sanders said outside court Wednesday there is “no basis that there is anything related to potential testimony for anything that was going on in her (Paris’) life.”

“Paris is a good strong person, but she’s a sensitive person,” Sanders said. “It’s no secret how incredibly close Paris was with her father.”

He said Katherine Jackson is “naturally concerned” about her granddaughter.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 06, 2013

 

ARIES

 

Where are you going in such a hurry? What you want you already have. Stop looking around yourself trying to find out what’s missing. Nothing is missing. The best kind of discovery this week is self-discovery. Soul Affirmation: I get because I give.

 

TAURUS

 

Knowing and accepting your love nature is extremely important. Don’t try to claim that it is as society says it should be. Acknowledge the fact that your love and friendship are often inseparable. You like to be in an adventure with your lover just as you would a partner or a friend. Create this situation by holding the truth of your nature in consciousness.  Soul Affirmation: I enjoy the love that others have for me.

 

GEMINI

 

Dive into it! Don’t be intimated by the unknown. Your adventurous spirit can take you to a new place of celebration this week. If you can, bring someone along who can celebrate in the same manner with you. Harmony and peace is the motto that you should chant when you accomplish what you want to do! Soul Affirmation: Communication is a skeleton key that fits many doors.

 

CANCER

 

This week would be good for getting your house in order so you can spend the extra time outdoors and enjoying the company of others. With an orderly habitat waiting for you, you’ll have a head start for the task you have to accomplish.  Soul Affirmation: I open up to the universe. The universe opens up to me.

 

LEO

 

Don’t spread yourself too thin. But if you’ll need to move around in many different circles this week, your spirit should be high and your vibes are strong for meeting new people. You will be receiving a piece or two of great news. Expect the unexpected. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!  Soul Affirmation: I give love and love gives to me.

 

VIRGO

 

Strong vibrations make for a series of dramatic interactions with others this week. Practice your art with your heart, and let your energy carry you upwards to your best, highest self. Keep emotions calm.  Soul Affirmation: I know where I’m going because I know where I’ve been.

 

LIBRA

 

You’ll be energizing others this week as you speak what’s on your mind regarding spiritual matters and masters. The quality of your thoughts is very pure; write yourself a love letter.  Soul Affirmation: My imagination is the source of my happiness.

 

SCORPIO

 

Surprises are in order this week, and you can roll with everything that comes at you unexpectedly. Healing can happen in a relationship if you just show up. That’s power!  Use it for the good of others.  Soul Affirmation: This week is the week the Lord has made. I rejoice in it.

 

SAGITTARIUS

 

You want a comrade who doesn’t place inordinate expectations or demands on you, and who is creative, intelligent, a good conversationalist, and highly spiritual. Perhaps you should be out looking this week with eyes wide open!  Soul Affirmation: Cooperation with others is the key to success for me this week.

 

CAPRICORN

 

Work calls and you are not completely happy with current divisions of labor. Do your part as a member of the team and you’ll be glad that you did. Others will notice that you are a committed team player.  Soul Affirmation: I master life by mastering myself.

 

AQUARIUS

 

Business looks good this week as you discover a new way of increasing exposure to your product. Let hope and optimism lead you into new beginnings and fresh starts. All vibes are good. Go!  Soul Affirmation: I enjoy flirting with new ideas.

 

PISCES

 

You seem preoccupied this week and it’s because your mind is filled with a vision of love for the entire planet. Use your gifts to assist others in seeing the world as you do, in glorious color. Check the details on paperwork that you have to do, dreamer.  Soul Affirmation: I release internal pressure by enjoying the beauties of the world around me.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 06, 2013

By KATHY MATHESON

Associated Press

 

(AP) — The Roots are officially living large in their hometown.

Members of the house band for NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in New York returned to their roots in Philadelphia on Friday for the dedication of a multistory mural in their honor.

The massive artwork occupies the back wall of a charter school on the street where the Grammy Award-winning band once busked for change after its founding in 1992.

“This is an amazing turnaround that on South Street we’re getting immortalized some 21 years later,” Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson said.

The mural, titled “Legendary,” is a colorful collage of images including portraits, cassette tapes and musical instruments that traces the history of the hip-hop group. It's one of more than 3,600 pieces of art created by the city’s Mural Arts Program.

The project’s unveiling came a day before The Roots Picnic, an annual music festival in the city hosted and curated by the band. In a few weeks, Thompson’s memoir “Mo’ Meta Blues” will be released.

Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden praised the project's paint and design team, which persevered through numerous complications. The original location, about eight blocks away on the same street, fell through.

“What you see behind me right now is beautiful,” Golden said. “We think and we hope that we captured the wonderful spirit of The Roots.”

When plans for the mural were first announced in November 2011, Roots co-founder Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter noted how he once got busted for graffiti as a teenager and a judge ordered him to clean up such vandalism by painting murals. Trotter called the punishment “scrub time.”

On Friday, he said it was great to see his life come full circle.

“It hits close to home for me that this is in south Philadelphia. This is my part of town,” Trotter said. “It’s an honor and a blessing.”

Thompson, too, said he was proud.

“This is one of the greatest moments of our career,” he said. “I’ve forever driven the streets of Philadelphia wondering, when are we getting our mural?”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 06, 2013

By Cora Jackson-Fossett

LAWT Religion Editor

 

The musical genius of recording artist Kirk Franklin headlines the Sunday Best Stage at the BET Experience at L.A. Live on June 30 at 12 noon.

Entitled ‘Kirk Franklin & Friends,’ the concert features Grammy winners Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark-Sheard along with her daughter, Kierra ‘Kiki’ Sheard of The Sheards.

In addition, rising stars Amber Bullock, Joshua Rogers and Le’Andria Johnson will perform.  All three were past gospel competition winners on BET’s Sunday Best TV show and recently released chart-topping albums.

The L.A. Sentinel will also participate in the BET Experience by presenting ‘A Taste of the Taste of Soul’ that will showcase a wide range of vendors.

“I was excited to be a part of this. It will be an inspirational morning of good music and celebration,” said Franklin, who serves as host and co-executive producer of ‘Sunday Best’ and participates in BET’s annual ‘Celebration of Gospel’ program.

“To me, it’s a great concept that they [BET] are doing, to create a weekend of festivities for people to get a whole taste of the culture of Black entertainment,” he said.

Urging the greater Los Angeles community to attend, Franklin noted, “I think that anytime we, as people of color, can get together and do something positive, that uplifts, a genre of a particular art form that we don’t get to see all the time, then we should celebrate and support it because it’s ours, something that belongs to us. 

“When you look at a lot of art forms, they were originated by our people, for our people, to celebrate our people.  Not only does it make sense, but it can also make dollars. 

“It’s something that will continue to show companies, sponsors and just the culture that entertainment from our people is alive and well and it’s something that can be invested in.”

Investing in gospel music has certainly been fruitful for Franklin, who began his professional recording career in 1992.  Over the years, he’s garnered multiple Dove, Stellar, and BET Awards as well as nine Grammys.

Franklin has also sold-out venues during tours with his choirs and with leading gospel artists such as Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans, Trinitee 5:7, TobyMac, Souljahz, and Mary Mary.  Last year, he joined with McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, and Israel Houghton for ‘The King's Men Tour’ that packed concert halls across the country.

Achieving such incredible fame may lead some performers to have elevated opinions of themselves, but Franklin remains humble and focused on Christ. 

“The legacy to the gospel music industry that I hope to leave is that ‘he was a nice guy and he lived what he sang and wrote about. He wasn’t one way in front of the people and another way when nobody was looking.’  I hope that’s what people see,” he said.

Franklin’s legacy will definitely include the tremendous catalog of songs he’s written and performed that are now standards in the Black Church.  Initially, his music was labeled ‘Christian hip hop’ or ‘urban contemporary,’ however Franklin discourages categorizations of his music.

“To be honest, I don’t really try to even describe it.  I just try to do music that talks about my love for Jesus and try to encourage people.  I just do Jesus music and try to show that love and message through the music,” he declared.

In the midst of his prolific songwriting and ongoing business activities, Franklin still maintains a solid relationship with his wife, Tammie, and their children, which he counts as the most impressive aspect of his career.

“What continues to be most memorable for me is how I’m blessed to be able to keep my family together in the midst of 20 years of doing music.  That’s a very major thing to be celebrated.  A lot of marriages don’t survive this business,” observed Franklin, who cites his favorite scripture as Romans 8:28.

“To be able to still have a beautiful wife and kids who still call me ‘Daddy’ and see me as a part of their fabric, that’s the most successful thing I think I’ve ever accomplished.”

For more information and to purchase BET Experience concert tickets, visit BETExperience.com.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

June 06, 2013

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY

Associated Press

 

The head of AEG Live told a jury on Monday that he believes a lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's mother against the concert promotion company was a baseless extortion attempt.

CEO Randy Phillips also said the company bears no responsibility for Jackson's 2009 death, as his mother contends.

Katherine Jackson is suing AEG Live LLC, claiming it failed to properly investigate the doctor who was later convicted of her son's death. AEG denies wrongdoing.

Phillips said he agreed with statements attributed to him and defense attorney Marvin S. Putnam that the case was a shakedown.

“Yes or no, answer? Yes,” Phillips said in response to a question by Katherine Jackson's attorney Brian Panish.

Phillips is the highest-ranking AEG executive to testify in the case, now in its sixth week.

He will likely be asked about numerous emails he sent and received about Jackson’s health in the final weeks of the superstar’s life, as well as any interactions he had with former cardiologist Conrad Murray.

Murray agreed to serve as Jackson’s doctor for $150,000 a month while he performed 50 shows titled “This Is It” in London’s 02 Arena in 2009 and early 2010.

AEG denies hiring Murray and agreeing to pay Murray’s fee as an advance to Jackson.

Phillips’ testimony came after several days of often tense testimony from AEG Live executive Paul Gongaware, who told jurors he did not remember numerous details about Jackson's rehearsals and emails he sent about the singer.

Panish sparred with Gongaware, and pointedly questioned Phillips, whom he called to the stand as a hostile witness.

Panish asked Phillips whether he was eager to tell his side of the story.

“I believe you called me as a witness, so I’m here,” Phillips said flatly.

Panish at one point asked the executive whether he was familiar with the music industry.

“Familiar with the music industry? I was working in it,” Phillips replied.

When the executive appeared to crack a smile, Panish asked if he thought the proceedings were funny.

“No, I think it’s tragic.” Phillips replied.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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