December 06, 2012

Special to the NNPA from The St. Louis American

Reuters is reporting that Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson has suffered a stroke.

A family friend told the news outlet that Jackson is doing well resting and recovering in a Las Vegas hospital.

“He was doing well and says he’s feeling OK,” close family friend Brian Oxman told Reuters.

Oxman said the father of late pop icon Michael Jackson started experiencing weakness on Wednesday while walking in a park near his home and was later admitted to a hospital.

Oxman, Michael’s one-time attorney, said Jackson, 83, has a history of strokes.

“He was talking fine,” Oxman added. “He sounded excellent to me.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 29, 2012

Associated Press

Lenny Kravitz has signed on for his first leading film role, playing singer Marvin Gaye in a biopic that will be shot next year.

The rocker’s publicist Carleen Donovan confirmed the news Tuesday November 27. Kravitz has played supporting roles in the past, including a small part in “The Hunger Games.”

Rolling Stone first reported details about the 48-year-old performer’s part in the film, directed by Julien Temple.

The magazine says the “Are You Gonna Go My Way” singer will portray Gaye during the 1980s when he was fighting his addictions and attempting to restart his career. Gaye died in 1984 after being shot by his father.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 29, 2012

Associated Press


Superstorm Sandy won’t stop Alicia Keys from staging her annual Black Ball.

The singer said the New York event will now be held Dec. 6. The fundraising gala for Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive, was originally set for Nov. 1.

Black Ball REDUX will take place at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater. Honorees Oprah Winfrey and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo will attend. Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard will perform. Whoopi Goldberg will be the night’s emcee.

Superstorm Sandy hit the New York area hard last month, killing dozens and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Keep a Child Alive assists people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 29, 2012

By MARK KENNEDY Associated Press


Lock up your ears — Mike Tyson’s coming to a theater near you.

The former champion boxer and convicted rapist will take his one-man show “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” on a three-month tour to more than a dozen cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

The two-hour show, directed by Spike Lee and written by Tyson's wife, Kiki, debuted in Las Vegas and had a limited run on Broadway this summer. The tour starts in Indianapolis in February.

The show traces Iron Mike’s rise from violent street hood in Brooklyn to a fearsome athlete. Then comes the fall — prison inmate, tabloid target, cocaine and Evander Holyfield’s delicious ear. There are stories about first wife Robin Givens, promoter Don King and Brad Pitt.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

November 29, 2012


Associated Press


Broadway superstar Audra McDonald is adding a new chapter to her long history with Lincoln Center.

The singer-actress is the new host of “Live From Lincoln Center,” Lincoln Center said this week.

McDonald will emcee seven broadcasts from December through spring 2013, starting Dec. 13 with “The Richard Tucker Opera Gala” and Dec. 31 with the New York Philharmonic’s New Year's Eve gala.

“It’s a great honor. I'm thrilled that they came to me and trusted me to do it,” said McDonald, 42, whose five Tony Awards include a trophy this year for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”

Her memories of the Lincoln Center performing arts complex in Manhattan run deep.

“I remember watching Beverly Sills broadcasting from the Met (the center’s Metropolitan Opera House) on my PBS channel at my home in Fresno,” McDonald said, adding that she was amazed at the venue’s size and “inspired by the music.”

As a high school student, she had the chance to visit the center and recalled thinking, “This is where I want to be some day.”

That wish was fulfilled when she moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School, which has its campus there.

Stepping in as host of the PBS series “feels like it’s my way of thanking Lincoln Center,” she said.

“We can’t imagine a more perfect match,” said Elizabeth Scott, the center's executive in charge of the TV series. McDonald’s passion for the performing arts is “infectious,” Scott added.

McDonald, who starred in “Private Practice” as Dr. Naomi Bennett, has performed on the long-running PBS showcase several times, including programs with Elvis Costello, Patti Lupone and the New York Philharmonic.

She will be working especially hard New Year's Eve when she hosts and performs in the holiday program, “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch” (check local listings for time).

“We’ll see if I fall down by the end of the evening, or by the middle,” she said, lightly. What she’ll sing is a secret for now, but McDonald said it’s among Hamlisch’s most famous pieces.

The composer, who died in August at age 68, created more than 40 film scores and won a Tony and the Pulitzer for Broadway’s “A Chorus Line.”

“Live From Lincoln Center” is in its 37th broadcast season. In recent years, artists and actors including Yo-Yo Ma and Alec Baldwin have filled the host’s job that previously saw long tenures by famed opera singer Sills and TV personality Hugh Downs.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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