50 Cent Helps Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez Find Bone Marrow Match

sexy old dude Pictures, Images and Photos

Last month, platinum-selling superstar Rihanna lent a helping hand in saving the life of actress Shannon Tavarez, who was diagnosed last April with acute myeloid leukemia. At the time the 11-year-old star of Broadway's hit musical 'The Lion King' was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

Tavarez's diagnosis not only caught the attention of the Cover Girl spokeswoman, she also managed to receive help from hip-hop icon Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, who reached out and assisted in finding her a bone marrow match. Coincidentally, the rapper-turned-actor is a distant cousin of the young actress and made it a priority to not only help his relative but also help leukemia patients across the nation.
Shannon Taverez
Two weeks ago 50 -- alongside fellow G Unit MC, Tony Yayo -- joined the world's largest marrow donor center, DKMS and filmed a PSA (view the PSA below) urging their fans to register to save the lives leukemia patients as part of their "Get Swabbed to Save a Life" initiative.

Continue reading 50 Cent Helps Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez Find Bone Marrow Match

The New Dynamic Duo: Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson in 'Lottery Ticket'

By Wilson Morales

From Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier to Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, comedic duos have paved the way for a crop of new talent to carry on the tradition of providing urban flavor in their films.

Arriving in theaters Aug. 20 is the comedy 'Lottery Ticket,' which stars Bow Wow and Brandon T. Jackson in a film co-produced by Ice Cube.

When Kevin (Bow Wow) wins the lottery during the Fourth of July weekend, he has to find a way to hide from all of the folks who want to cash in on his winnings before he collects his money. Jackson plays his wisecracking best friend, Benny.

After first pairing up in 2005 on Malcolm D. Lee's 'Roll Bounce,' Bow Wow went on do more music and starred in the blockbuster action film 'Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift,' while Brandon starred in 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief' before playing opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the hilarious comedy 'Tropic Thunder' in 2008.

Directed by Erik White, the film also stars Naturi Naughton, Ice Cube, Loretta Devine, Terry Crews, Keith David and Mike Epps.

Lil Wayne Breaks His Silence From Prison, Reveals Jailhouse Routine

lil wayne Pictures, Images and Photos

Although Lil Wayne has been relatively quiet since his March 8 imprisonment, the Grammy Award-winning rapper finally broke his silence this week via a New York radio station interview.

Weezy phoned in to popular DJ Funkmaster Flex's live show on Tuesday evening to dish about life behind bars, as well as all the support he's been receiving from his fans.

"It's been more than amazing, brother," he told the listeners of Hot 97 from New York City's Rikers Island. "I promise, I can't explain the love and support that I've been getting from my fans. I never knew it was like that, the way it is. I've been doing this thing for 16 years now and I never knew it is what it is. I promise it's breathtaking."

Since beginning his eight-month prison stint, the 27-year-old 'Lollipop' rapper faced the music when he was caught concealing "unauthorized music contraband." Correction officials reportedly found a charger and a watch that doubled as an MP3 player in his jail cell.

As expected, the headline has forced the Cash Money Records MC (legally known as Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) to shun all of his listening pleasures.

"I'll be very honest with you, Flex, I don't listen to no music," he revealed. "All I listen to all day, if I am listening to anything, it's sports. But that's because the simple fact. I never listen to any other music except for my own. And since I'm not able to do that up in here, I don't listen to anything. I don't listen to anything but my thoughts."

Outside of collecting his thoughts and catching up on today's latest sports news, Weezy revealed his daily jailhouse activities, which include waking up at noon, reading an abundance of fan mail, and talking to family and friends, including his children. Although the platinum-selling artist enjoys reaching out to loved ones, he's also very self-conscious in doing so while behind bars.

"Everybody get mad at me. They be like, 'Why don't you call or why haven't you called me?,'" he explained. "And I be like, 'because I don't want to bother.' I think when you're put in this position right here where I'm at, I feel like for some reason every time I pick up the phone to dial somebody's number, I feel like I'm bothering them because I'm in jail and I don't have nothing else to do but to talk to you."

"And sometimes that may not be what you want to do at the time," he continued. "I don't know if that's just a conscious thing, but I always feel like I'm bothering whenever I call."

Moving closer toward his Nov. 4 release date, Wayne is also thinking about moving "more carefully" and being more cautious once he resumes his career and personal life.

"I'll take more heed to my situation and my status," he said. "Everybody says that you're here for a reason, so I promise you, Flex, I try to find out that reason every day. And I think when I get out that'll be the only time I'll know the answer."

After numerous delays for emergency dental surgery and courthouse fires, Lil' Wayne turned himself in to authorities on March 8 to begin his prison term stemming from a July 2007 gun-possession charge.

Whitney Houston Turns 47

Whitney Houston Pictures, Images and Photos

Whitney Houston, the six-time Grammy Award-winning chanteuse who burst on the scene in 1985 with her self-titled debut, and within a quarter of a century became one of the best-selling vocalists of all time, is celebrating her 47th birthday.

Throughout the 1990s, the New Jersey native made headlines not only for her tremendous vocal range and Hollywood acting roles, but also for her tumultuous marriage to R&B bad boy Bobby Brown and rumors of drug abuse.

The two divorced in 2007, and Houston returned focus to her music career. The world eagerly anticipated her comeback with the 2009 release of 'I Look to You.' Despite mixed reviews of the album, legions of Houston fans continue to root for the pop diva.
Whitney Houston Pictures, Images and Photos
In celebration of Houston's birthday, BlackVoices.com takes a look at the woman, the myth, the legend -- through the years.

Flo Rida: Rapper's Musical Vibe Embodies 'Step Up 3D' Flick

By Bridget Bland

FloRida ft Kesha - Right Round Pictures, Images and Photos

The latest installment of the 'Step Up' dance movie franchise, 'Step Up 3D,' takes the popular film to the streets of New York, with the addition of 3-D technology.

And this time around, the music is still the centerpiece of the story.

For the third 'Step Up' movie, director Jon Chu enlists the help of one of today's most popular rap stars -- chart-topping Atlantic Records rapper Flo Rida.

"We heard a couple songs he was throwing at us for the movie, but when we heard 'Club Can't Handle Me,' it was the perfect fit and summer fun song," Chu shared with the BV Newswire earlier this week during press rounds for the movie in Los Angeles.

"I love his energy, and I think he embodies the 'Step Up' franchise through his whole vibe."

Continue reading Flo Rida: Rapper's Musical Vibe Embodies 'Step Up 3D' Flick

Notable/Quotable: Foxy Brown Gives Nicki Minaj Props

nicki manaj Pictures, Images and PhotosFoxy Brown - Chyna Doll Pictures, Images and Photos

What's funny, I actually applaud Nicki for it. I think she's doing an incredible job of branding herself. When you're a boss, you give it up. Send her a Chanel bag or something. If you're winning, you're winning. That's just how I see it."


Diddy Calls Nightline Host Racist For Questioning Son's Maybach

Diddy recently told Vibe magazine that Nightline Host Martin Bashir's question about him giving his son a Maybach for his birthday was racist:

diddy-son Pictures, Images and Photos

"There were times in the interview when I had to give him an ultimatum," Diddy told Vibe. "The questions weren't being handled the right way. In hindsight, when I saw him, I shouldn't had done the interview because I know the style of interview that he does . . .. The whole thing about giving a Maybach to my son, that's really like a racist question."

"You don't ask White people what they buy their kids," he continued. "And they buy 'em Porsches and convertible Bentleys, and it ain't no question. It's really a racist question and put things back in perspective with money and the way that people still look at you. And I'm not saying that consciously he's a racist. But he probably don't even realize that he would not ask Steve Jobs that. He would be like Steve Jobs has that money and that's the gift his kid is supposed to get."

I think Diddy was right about one thing: Most journalists would never question a wealthy white person like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet about a car they may have bought their children.

I think, though, he is missing a critical difference between himself and men like Steve Jobs. Men like Jobs and Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have not made a fortune promoting luxury lifestyles and defining themselves by them.

A tenet of hip-hop is ostentation and glamour and luxury. Diddy's image, probably more than any other entertainer, is built on throwing wealth in the faces of others who look on with a mixture of awe, envy and delight. He brags at every opportunity about his wealth, so why shouldn't it be fair game in an interview? The image of boundless wealth, big mansions and fancy cars is how hip-hop has defined itself, and whether he wants to admit or not, Diddy is one of the main architects.

I bet a reporter wouldn't ask Bob Johnson or Kenneth Chenault about a car they bought for their children.

I believe the question was less about race and more about the fact that he is not taken seriously.

You can't be a media whore and then get mad if someone asks you a question you don't like. If you don't want to be questioned about what you give to your children, don't do it on TV. You can't have it both ways, Diddy. I can't remember the last time Bill Gates bragged to the world about how much money he had.

I also think that the question is more relevant to Diddy than to America's wealthiest business leaders, because of the impact that his lifestyle has on young people.

Many young people want to be like Diddy, because he's rich. Not because he worked hard and built a mega-empire from nothing. Unfortunately, the message of hard work and the story behind Diddy's rise to power is lost on a generation who believe they are entitled to big Sweet Sixteen parties and Maybachs without lifting a finger.

We have collectively failed as a community in this regard. Diddy, along with the rest of us, are culpable in raising a generation who just want to be "rich." They don't want to work hard, they don't want to excel in school. They just want be a baller. And if they can't be rich, at least they can look rich, even if it means begging, borrowing and stealing to accomplish it. Somewhere along the line, we forgot to teach our young people the most important four letter word of all: WORK.

And a small part of that is Diddy's fault. If he spent as much time talking about the hard work it took the get to where he is as he does rattling off the brand names in his closet, perhaps he could be taken more seriously as a business leader and not just some rich hip-hop buffoon. Isn't he the one who said, "It's all about the Benjamins?"

Notable/Quotable: Irv Gotti Compares Nicki Minaj To Lauryn Hill

By Brennan Williams


Irv Gotti: The world has yet to see the best of Nicki Minaj. What she's delivering to the world now is basically what they want. But I know that she's a super talented superstar who can do anything at a high level—rap, sing, act, whatever she wants to do. This is just the beginning of Nicki Minaj. Her best is yet to come. In my opinion she is as talented as my other girl Lauryn Hill. They have completely different styles. But as far as the talent is concerned they both can do it all. Nicki just isn't showing it yet 'cause she doesn't want to. But world be prepared 'cause she's the truth!

Love & Marriage: Our Celebrity Columnist, Bilal, Teaches YOU How to Decode Men!

July 26th, 2010 - By Bilal Oliver

bilal Pictures, Images and Photos

Ok … So I was asked to write this column with the idea of giving you my opinion on love, relationships, spirituality and stuff like that. Every week the beautiful ladies of Madame Noire send me a topic and I just say what I want and then they give it to you. So here it is.

My topic for this week was: ”How to Decode A Brother When He’s Talking All That Jazz” …

So I kicked this one around a little bit and decided to just answer a few questions that my female friends are always asking. What does it mean when he did this or what does it mean when said that?

1. He says he’s going to call and doesn’t …

Now I really don’t understand why anyone would do this but I guess it’s just to be cordial. I’ve never really taken someone’s number and not called. Men probably do it just to be nice or maybe it was a one-night stand and he wants to keep it cool. But if you meet a guy and he takes your number and doesn’t call you, he’s JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!

2. He says “nothing” when you ask him what’s wrong …

If so, it’s because most guys don’t want to be in an exhaustive conversation about their feelings. I’m not having a two- or three-hour long conversation about my feelings. I’m not.

3. He forgets your birthday …

Ohhhh … Don’t take it personal. Guys forget a lot of sh*t. It’s not personal though. Women are a lot more emotional about remembering things. I don’t remember sh*t … Sometimes I don’t remember my own mother’s birthday.

4. He says he wants to take things slow

He either got a chick on the side or … HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU! Ha! Most guys want to take it slow because they’re not really ready to just be with you. They’re still in player mode.

5. Do men ever outgrow player mode?


6. All the way fully?

Look … You’re only good as your last hit. It depends on the dude and it depends on the woman he meets. Most dudes don’t want to cheat. They just don’t’ find the right person that makes them not want to cheat.

7. It’s been a month of dates and he hasn’t tried to get me in bed …

You’re either really intimidating or you’re just a turn-off. Either way, you’re in the friend zone. OR he’s one of those dudes that’s trying to turn you out. He’s trying to wait for you to go crazy and just attack him like “TAKE ME NOW!” There’s always that cat that doesn’t like to make the first move and likes chicks to be on him.

8. He doesn’t try to kiss you on the first date …

Well he could just be a gentleman or he has some more sneaky plans for you. You can do a lot to a woman if you make her wait, because that’s her game.

9. He says he’ll be home at midnight and comes home at 4am …

Smell his nuts.

10. He says he’s not ready for commitment

Believe him. You have an honest one. You should really try to create a friendship with him.

11. He’s taking a weekend trip with the fellas …

Depends on his type of friends. If they look like macks, then you already know. If they look sweet, you already know. If you you’ve never met his friends, it’s either really his girlfriend or he’s probably trying to distance himself from you … Sounds like game.

Detox DOES exist..

Dr. Dre & Jay-Z Pictures, Images and Photos

Ofcourse we’ve all heard these 4 words… “Look Out For Detox” … and still… NOTHING! I even have some homies who say they are on Detox… but I’ve never seen any proof! Well… a song has finally been “leaked” I guess you can say and it features Jay Z. I do have one question though… “Was it worth the wait?”

Kay Tunes (Live In the Studio) With Grammy Producer Rio of SavantSoundz SHE CAN SING WOW!!

***Rising Star Kay.Tunes***WOW Amazing!!! (( Kay.Tunes)) in the Studio with Grammy Producer Rio of SavantSoundz Singing one of her songs"Come Back Home" ***Acapella***This is a pure display of Kay.Tunes Soulfulness UNPLUGGED!! A MUST SEE & Another (Brown Brother Production)

Snoop Dogg Says Daughter's Battle Against Lupus Made His Family Closer

Snoop's "FATHERHOOD" Pictures, Images and Photos

Snoop Dogg really was living the life he described in his rap songs - one punctuated with women and drugs - and it was destroying his marriage to his wife, who is also the Mother of his three children:

"You know, I was caught up with Hollywood, and the girls and the night life," Snoop said in 2008.

Snoop even filed for divorce, but the couple reconciled and renewed their vows to celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2008; they were originally married in June of 1997.

"I thought I was the man and I was willing to give up what I had at home for that, until I realized that what I had at home was irreplaceable, so I gave that up to go back home," Snoop said.

Now Snoop and Shante have revealed to People Magazine that the discovery that their then-6-year-old daughter, Cori (pictured above, third from right), had lupus helped to bring their family closer.

C.Scholar Who AM I (The Future is Near)) A must See Video!

This young aspiring musician from RIchmond, Virginia is showcasing his talent to the world. From singing dancing to rapping the young phenomenon known as C.Scholar has what it takes to become the next BIG Superstar. Follow him on twitter @C_Scholar Check Video Below!

Buzz Exclusive: Alicia Keys Parts With Longtime Manager

By Jawn Murray

Grammy winner Alicia Keys has parted with her longtime manager, Jeff Robinson.

Alicia Keys & Jeff Robinson

The 29-year-old singer, who has been represented by Robinson's MBK Entertainment since the beginning of her career, supposedly ended her business relationship with Robinson earlier this week.

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There are multiple rumors as to why the pair is ending their business relationship, however one rep for Keys – she has two – told BV Buzz that it was "amicable" and sent a joint statement on behalf of the singer and her former manager.

"Jeff Robinson, CEO of MBK Entertainment Inc., and 12 time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys have decided to change the structure of their business relationship. Robinson and Keys will continue to collaborate and produce future albums together through MBK/J Records while Alicia will now oversee all aspects of her own personal career. MBK Entertainment Inc. has been the management firm for Alicia Keys since she was a teenager-guiding every facet of her career, including the international success of her Grammy Award winning, multi-platinum albums, films and branding opportunities. Keys and Robinson have been partners for over a decade and would like opportunities to pursue other endeavors. Their decision is mutually agreed upon and amicable," the statement read.

"This decision will allow Alicia more control over all aspects of her career from singing and songwriting, to leading many business ventures and social causes," the statement to BV Buzz continued. "Keys' company, AK Worldwide, will now have responsibility and oversight for Alicia's touring, endorsements, sponsorships, licensing, new business development, television and film ventures. MBK, a multifaceted entertainment company with a film, television, publishing and independent marketing divisions, will have the opportunity to focus on developing the careers of new, young talented artists. The company will also delve deeper into the gospel music format with their newly formed Glory to Glory Records."
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz having dinner Pictures, Images and Photos

Swizz Beatz & Alicia Keys
Keys' personal life has been a constant in the headlines in recent months after the singer went public with her relationship with hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz.

According to Beatz's ex-wife Mashonda, the 'Karma' singer supposedly began her relationship with the 31-year-old producer in December of 2007 though the couple was still married. Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, apparently made his then-wife aware of his extramarital affair with Keys on Mother's Day in 2008.

Beatz's child with Keys will be his third.

Vonetta McGee: Leading Lady of Blaxploitation Era Dead at 65

Vonetta McGee, an actress who scaled the ranks of black Hollywood during blaxploitation film era of the 1970s, died after experiencing cardiac arrest and being on life support for two days. She was 65, though some have her year of birth listed as 1940.

McGee appeared opposite Fred Williamson in the black action movie 'Hammer' in 1972 and had starring roles in the crime drama 'Melinda' and the popular horror film 'Blacula.'

One Los Angeles Times movie reviewer once considered McGee "one of the busiest and most beautiful black actresses."

The San Francisco native also appeared with Richard Roundtree in 'Shaft in Africa' (1973), and co-starred with her lover, Max Julien, in 'Thomasine & Bushrod' (1974).McGee also appeared alongside Clint Eastwood in the 1975 action-thriller 'The Eiger Sanction,' which was considered a coup for a black actress during that period.

"I was pleased to see her get a role with Clint Eastwood," Williamson told the Los Angeles Times. "Not many black actors had that opportunity to be in a movie where color doesn't matter."
Vonetta McGee Pictures, Images and Photos

"Vonetta McGee was like a lot of actors and actresses at that time, like myself, Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree, Billy Dee Williams and Pam Grier, in that we had more talent than we were allowed to show because everything was perceived as a black project. Once they categorize you, your marketability becomes limited," he added.

Known to be outspoken herself, McGee didn't care too much for the blaxploitation label that was attached to many of the films of her heyday. The label, she said, was used "like racism, so you don't have to think of the individual elements, just the whole. If you study propaganda, you understand how this works."

Vonetta McGee Pictures, Images and Photos

"She was a brilliant actor, with a distinctive style and grace," Pam Grier told BV Newswire upon hearing about McGee's death. "I hope everyone revisits her films and enjoy. I wish peace and love to Carl, her husband, her son and and her family."

Ne-Yo Debuts 'Beautiful Monster,' 'Champagne Life' Videos "The singer takes on superhero powers in two new clips from his upcoming Libra Scale."

By Jayson Rodriguez

Ne-Yo took over BET's "106 & Park" on Wednesday evening (July 14), premiering two story-driven videos, "Beautiful Monster" and "Champagne Life." The singer promised MTV News last month that the clips accompanying his forthcoming album, Libra Scale, would form part of a larger overall visual narrative.

" 'Beautiful Monster' is one piece of a very long and intricate story," Ne-Yo revealed. "When you see the first video, make sure that you're paying attention because all of the videos tell a story. So pay attention — you don't want to miss nothing."

Under Ne-Yo and Wayne Isham's (Madonna, Aaliyah, Adam Lambert) direction, the clips present the singer as a member of a crime-fighting trio called "The Gentlemen." Ne-Yo is granted otherworldly powers by a mysterious figure (Columbus Short), who assures the three blue-collar workers that their new powers will remain active so long as they don't fall in love.

In "Beautiful Monster," Ne-Yo is portrayed as a disheveled superhero, à la Will Smith in "Hancock," who must battle his former flame Princess Sinclair in order to save the world from danger. Fans later learn in the "Champagne Life" video that Ne-Yo's superhero and Sinclair were once romantically involved. As a result, she assumed some of Ne-Yo's powers, but in adverse fashion. The transfer turned Sinclair into Diamond Eye, a "crazy, psycho mass-murderer," as Short's character describes her.

Short's shadowy character revisits Ne-Yo, now four years after first granting him those special powers, and offers the star an ultimatum: Both Sinclair and her alter ego, Diamond Eye, must die to save the world or Ne-Yo must reverse her curse and give up his own life to save the world. The singer then sets off in search of his onetime love and must make the difficult decision.

" 'Beautiful Monster,' in a nutshell, represents the love interest/ archnemesis in the story [of] Libra Scale, which the entire album is based off of," Ne-Yo told MTV News about the theme of the LP, due September 21.

What did you think of the "Beautiful Monster" and "Champagne Life" videos? Let us know in the comments below!

Rihanna: Lending a Helping Hand to Save the Life of 11-Year-Old Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez

rihanna Pictures, Images and Photos

The platinum-selling music superstar is lending her name and using her influence for something other than promoting a product. The 'Pon De Replay' singer is urging her fans to help save the life of Shannon Tavarez, an 11-year-old star of Broadway's hit musical 'The Lion King' who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia.

"Being a performer myself I know what it's like to be given the opportunity of a lifetime at a young age, and I would have been destroyed if that was taken away from me," the Def Jam Records chart topper and CoverGirl spokeswoman said. "Shannon deserves to live and share her beautiful voice with the world."

Rihanna, who Tavarez considers her idol, got wind of her plight and felt she had to do something to help – urging her fans to register with DKMS at WWW.GETSWABBED.ORG to save Shannon's life and the lives of other leukemia patient's life.
i hate the glasses themselves. but on rihanna they work Pictures, Images and Photos

Tavarez, who performed four shows a week as young Nala in 'Lion King,' needs a bone marrow transplant. Her mother is African American, and her father is Dominican. According to a spokesperson, only 8 percent of the 7 million registered donors are African American, which means that only 17 percent of African Americans in need of a transplant will receive one.

"When I found out, it hit me really hard, like someone was throwing a ball at me," said the talented tween, who currently lives at Schneider Children's Hospital in Long Island, where she receives daily chemotherapy treatments. "It was shocking and I thought, why me?"Brought to America in 2004 by Katharina Hart, the organization's mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 20,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. Founded in 1991 by Peter Hart in Germany, DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with more than 2 million registered donors.

"When I listened to Shannon's voice, I got really sad. Her voice is so beautiful. She should be performing on Broadway, but she is confined to her bed, fighting for her life. Shannon needs to find a bone marrow donor to survive. I urge all my fans to register with DKMS," said Rihanna, who has close ties to DKMS.

The cost to DKMS for registering a new potential bone marrow donor is $65. DKMS does not make paying the fee mandatory, but it depends on public donations and appreciate any contribution.

Jay-Z & Rick Ross Backstage: Making Of "Free Mason." [Footage]

A Classic In The Making!! Virginia's Next Super Producer Leigh "Lee Major Kid" Elliot the Hit producer who has already produced "Real As Real As It Get's" on Jay-Z Blue Print 3 album has landed yet ANOTHER Banging Single!! LEE MAJOR KID (HE'S MORE THEN INKREDIBLE)

Usher to Release New Album, 'Versus,' in August

Usher - OMG Pictures, Images and Photos

Usher Pictures, Images and Photos

Following the success of his latest No, 1 album, 'Raymond V. Raymond,' R&B superstar Usher is set to release another project on Aug. 24.

The conceptual sequel, aptly titled 'Versus,' finds the 'Confessions' crooner giving fans eight new tracks, including 'DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love' featuring Pitbull and Hot Tottie.
In addition to the new release, fans will also get a chance to purchase 'Raymond V. Raymond' and 'Versus' together as a deluxe set. Earlier this year, the singer admitted that his sixth album has proven to be his most heartfelt.

"This album means so much to my career," he told 'MTV News' during an interview. "I think this is the one time where I'm able to put it all in, emotionally and the good times -- superfreaky and then also super-\emotional. 'Raymond v. Raymond,' artistically, is one of my greatest pieces of work, not only just because of the content but also the people whom I got involved in it: T.I., Will.I.Am, Puff, Nicki Minaj."

Since its March 30 release, 'Raymond V. Raymond' has topped the charts with hits such as 'There Goes My Baby' and the international hit 'OMG,' which has sold more than 6 million tracks and ringtones to date.

The Will.I.Am-assisted song helped Usher land a number of concerts this month, including shows in Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Beijing beginning July 11.

Whoopi Goldberg Bringing 'Sister Act' Musical To Broadway

Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg will be bringing the hit musical film, 'Sister Act,' to Broadway in the spring of 2011.

Goldberg, who starred as lounge singer Deloris van Cartier in the 1992 blockbuster and its sequel, 'Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,' will be producing the musical along with Stage Entertainment UK. The show originally opened in Los Angeles at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2006 (starring 'A Different World' actress Dawnn Lewis), before starting productions in Atlanta and London.

The New York native is set play the role of Mother Superior in the West End production -- which currently stars Patina Miller as Dolores van Cartier -- for a limited engagement, August 10-31.

According to Broadwayworld.com, the record-breaking production has been seen by over a million people and was recently nominated in seven categories at this year's Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers Choice Awards and for four Olivier Awards.

The show's Original Cast Recording is also a big favorite with fans, recently reaching #1 on the iTunes Soundtrack chart.

A German production will open in Hamburg in December 2010, followed by productions in Australia, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain soon after.

While the Broadway cast has yet to be announced, the behind-the-scenes talent come with several pedigrees; the New York production will be directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, while the music is scored by multi-Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning and celebrated composer Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. The book is written by multi-Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, and choreography by Anthony Van Laast.

Rep: Alicia Keys, Baby 'Fine' After Fall During Essence Music Festival

While video footage of Alicia Keys falling on stage during last weekend's Essence Music Festival have surfaced online this week, it has created cause for concern for her unborn child.


A publicist for the 12-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actress tells Black Voices that no damage has been done.

"Alicia and baby are fine and all is well," Keys representative assured today.

During a July 3 performance at Louisiana's Superdome, Keys slipped and fell (backside up) while singing her song, 'Love is Blind.'

The 16th annual Essence Music Festival began on Friday with a phenomenal performance by Janet Jackson. It lasted for three days and included performances by Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Raphael Saadiq, Melanie Fiona, Trey Songz and Jill Scott.

Keys, 29, was the closing act for a Saturday-night show that featured Monica, LL Cool J and R&B diva Gladys Knight.

While some outlets are reporting that the Essence Music Festival was one of Keys' last gigs before she takes an unofficial maternity leave, the rep said last weekend's event was Keys' last scheduled performance for the summer.

Beautiful Alicia Keys Pictures, Images and Photos
She's expected to deliver the baby in the early fall.

In May, the J Records artist announced her pregnancy and engagement to fiancé Swizz Beatz, who recently divorced his wife, singer Moshonda.

Condoleeza Rice Backing Up Aretha Franklin on Piano for Philadelphia Gig

By Bridget Bland

rice Pictures, Images and Photos ARETHA FRANKLIN Pictures, Images and Photos

A new meaning of R-E-S-P-E-C-T will take form as former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice starts gearing up for her next high-profile gig.

This time, she's out of the political realm and joining forces with the Queen of Soul.

Since serving under President George W. Bush and being succeeded by Hillary Clinton, the Birmingham, Ala., native has returned to Stanford University, where she is a professor and the Thomas and Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institute.

On July 27, Aretha Franklin will perform at Philadelphia's Mann Center for Performing Arts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition to singing classical arias, she will be joined by Rice for two songs.

The classically trained pianist, who previously performed for Queen Elizabeth II and alongside famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will join the internationally renowned soul diva for her staples 'Say a Little Prayer' and 'Natural Woman.'

Franklin, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, previously performed at President Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony but is reportedly eager for the chance to team up with Rice for the bipartisan event.

On working with Rice, the first black woman secretary of the state, Franklin, a 20-time Grammy Award winner said she "is a consummate classical pianist, and since I sing the arias, I thought that we could do something, a bipartisan effort for our favorite charities."

According to the Mann Center's website, the performance will benefit programs that support inner-city children, as well as its own education initiatives.

Grammy Winning Producer Rio Exclusive Interview on Rising Star C.Scholar (riosworldofmusic.com)

*****Exclusive INTERVIEW***** ((((Rios World Of Music))))
Rio of SavantSoundz Grammy Winning Producer/Songwriter EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW on THE RISING STAR (C.Scholar) on THE HOT NEW WEBSITE (www.riosworldofmusic.com)

Notes From New Orleans: Essence Music Festival Ready to Revitalize the Big Easy, Again

The 16th annual Essence Music Festival is in full swing.

Essence! Pictures, Images and Photos

On July 1, Essence Communications, Inc. President Michelle Ebanks joined New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and festival sponsors like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Tide, Coors and Wal-Mart to announce some of this year's festival highlights.

The press conference, held at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in Louis Armstrong Park, gave an insider's perspective on all of the good that the largest gathering of African Americans in the country brings to the Big Easy, especially in light of the continuous rebuilding efforts since Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005.

"It is has grown to be the largest R&B and pop music festival in the country," Ebanks told BV Newswire.

"Last year was our 15th anniversary and over 400,000 people attended the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, and we were equally very excited that our attendees spent $190 million over the four-day weekend. That's a huge boost to the economy and the city of New Orleans, and we are are very proud of that contribution to the city."As previously reported, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige are a few of the headlining acts taking over the Superdome this Fourth of July weekend. But during the day, the Essence Empowerment Seminars are designed to get the people of New Orleans out and about and educated for free.
Rihanna Essence Music Festival Pictures, Images and Photos

"The festival is multifaceted and truly a cultural celebration unlike any other in the United States," Ebanks continued. "During the day, we take over 500,000 square feet and that's where we bring in our national leaders, our ministers, our celebrities and authors to come in and have thought-provoking and inspiring conversations. We have a day committed to love and relationships with Steve Harvey. Saturday is our first-ever education summit featuring Dr. Bill Cosby, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Steven Perry, and Sunday is an all-star gospel celebration honoring Kirk Franklin. And it is all free and open to the public."

With that type of lineup, this year is sure to to be another record-breaking year
for Essence.

Stay abreast of all the Essence Music Festival happenings on Black Voices
By Bridget Bland

You Complete Me? Not Quite

Engagement Portraits Destin FL Pictures, Images and Photos

Logically speaking, love between two people will never be so deep that you actually complete one another. The statement "you complete me" is a misconception that has been a pet peeve of mine since Tom Cruise uttered the silly words in 'Jerry Maguire' back in 1996. Attempting to use the love from another to fill a void within yourself has to be absolutely one of the worst mistakes you can make when getting into a relationship.
Black Love, Forever ever ever Pictures, Images and Photos

Incomplete people create incomplete relationships. There needs to be a sense of oneness with yourself before you begin looking for love. If you don't have that, you end up believing happiness and contentment are gained through a relationship. This leads to disappointment -- nobody is perfect, including your mate.

We are born single, not coupled up, and it makes sense to get used to a solo status first before you learn how to care for another. I often hear men and women say they will get married when they find someone who makes them happy, but that's asking way to much. Learning to love yourself and make yourself happy will always be less draining than depending on someone else to provide that love and attention for you. When you already function as happy person, and you're looking for a happy partner, there is a much better chance in building a love rooted in joy.

Get off the you-complete-me train, and see that self-contentment is the start of finding true, long-lasting love. Begin with some introspection. Look inside and learn to accept the things you hate about yourself and decide whether it would be to your benefit to change. Next, learn how to be self-sufficient. You should have no problems doing things on your own. Want to watch that movie this weekend? Go away on trip this summer? As an adult, you should not only be able not only do it solo, but enjoy it. Lastly, always be on a mission for self-improvement. It allows you to want and expect the best in a partner. Feeling like you need another person to complete you will only leave you more empty than when you started.

By Shirea L. Carroll

Gina Prince-Bythewood: Celebrating 'Love & Basketball' 10 Years Later

By Karu F. Daniels

Believe it or not but it's been 10 years since 'Love & Basketball' opened in theaters.

Love and Basketball Pictures, Images and Photos

Since then, the modern-day black romantic film -- starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps -- has become a classic for many black filmgoers.

Gina Prince-Bythwood is the woman behind the film, and other great works, including 'The Secret Life of Bees' and 'Disappearing Acts.'

Gina Prince-Bythewood: Celebrating 'Love & Basketball' 10 Years Later

(Click Link Above) As seen above during the 14th annual American Black Film Festival, 'The Spark' hostess Amanda Diva caught up with the fierce female filmmaking wonder...

love and baskeball Pictures, Images and Photos

Jennifer Hudson: Opens Up About Family Tragedy on 'Behind the Music'

By Bridget Bland
It's been nearly two years since Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson's family members were tragically murdered in her hometown of Chicago on October 24, 2008.

jennifer hudson an her family Pictures, Images and Photos

Last night, the former 'American Idol' finalist finally shared her thoughts on suffering the great loss on VH1's critically acclaimed 'Behind the Music.'
In Loving Memory Of Darnell Dornerson,Jason Hudson and 7 year Julian King Pictures, Images and Photos

The documentary-styled show included intimate interview with Hudson's sister, Julia Hudson, and several family friends, as well as some of Hudson's big-name Hollywood friends like 'The Secret Life of Bees' co-star Queen Latifah, 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson, record company titan Clive Davis, R&B singer/producer Ne-Yo, iconic entertainer Whitney Houston and her 'Dreamgirls' co-star Jamie Foxx.

But, the most poignant testimony on the horrific murders (of her mom, brother and nephew) came from Hudson, herself.

"It was surreal," the Grammy Award winning vocal powerhouse shared. "It was like I was outside of myself."

"I would pray when I got up in the morning and when I laid down at night," she continued. "It was just two weeks straight with family and friends going in and out, and of course it was like 'Where's Jennifer?'

"I was pretty much secluded," the Arista Records singer said. "I didn't watch any TV. I remember being asked to do a film and I said 'I don't know who I am right now. I can't be another character if I don't know who I am."

Then, she had a breakthrough.

"I can't do this anymore and I knew if I sit down and dwell on it it will be harder," the 'Dreamgirls' star revealed.

The new Weight Watchers spokesperson said that her 2009 Grammy Awards performance of her single 'You Brought Me Through' was another moment which allowed her to get out and get back to her old self.

"I was definitely thinking of my family when I sung that song [and] I could hear my brother in my head like, 'You better kill this.'"

These days, as seen in the opening moments of the show, Hudson is happily raising her toddler son, David, Jr. and gearing up to marry the father of her child, David, Daniel Otunga, Jr., a Harvard-educated attorney who previously appeared on the VH1 reality show 'I Love New York.'

JENNIFER HUDSON Pictures, Images and Photos

And every day she gets a little stronger.

"In a way my brother drives me in my music, my son reminds me of my nephew and being a mother reminds me of my mother and in so many ways I channel her because she was such a great mom," Hudson said.

Alicia Keys & Chris Brown ROCKS 2010 B.E.T. Awards (Winners Listed Below)

By By Bridget Bland

Alicia Keys B.E.T.Awards

BET celebrated it's tenth anniversary of the BET Awards in style on June 27. The show, which took place live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, featured some very special surprise performances.

For 12-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, the night was hers.

The J Records recording artist was honored with the Artist of the Decade Award, and sang some of her biggest hits including 'If It Ain't You,' 'Unthinkable' and 'No One.' The newly pregnant singer/songwriter also took home two awards – one for Best Collaboration with Jay-Z for 'Empire State of Mind,' and another for another for Best Female R&B Artist.

Prince received the Lifetime Achievement Award and hand-picked his favorite female vocalists to perform his classics.

The women included Janelle Monae, who opened the set with 'Let's Go Crazy,' followed by Esperanza Spalding's rendition of 'If I Was Your Girlfriend.' Alicia Keys returned to the stage to play piano and sing 'Adore' and climbed up onto of the piano towards the end of her performance. Closing things out was Patti LaBelle with the seminal hit 'Purple Rain,' where the legendary diva kicked off her shoes and Prince caught one of them. LaBelle and his dear friend Chaka Khan presented him with the award.
B.E.T Awards Chris Brown Micheal Jackson
This might have been Kanye West's first award show performance in over a year, but the night belonged to Chris Brown, who took the stage and gave the award show's most memorable performance – a tribute to the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson.

Brown, who was set to perform last year's tribute to Jackson but was cut front the show at the last minute, danced to Jackson's biggest hits like 'Smooth Criminal,' 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Remember the Time' before bursting in to tears during 'Man in the Mirror.' The crowd gave him a rousing standing ovation.

Brown was honored with the AOL Fandemonium Award, saying, "I didn't prepare a speech but I could never have done any of this without my fans and I just want to say one thing. I let y'all down before but I won't do it again. I promise."

They might be rap newcomers but Drake and Nicki Minaj took home rap honors. Drake, whose debut 'Thank Me Later' just hit stores just over a week ago, took home Best Male Hip-Hop Artist. His label-mate Minaj, who gave props to Jada Pinkett Smith in her speech, took home Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. She also took the stage three times - once with Diddy and Dirty Money for the remix to 'Hello, Good Morning' and later with Ludacris for 'My Chick Bad' and DJ Khaled 'All I Do Is Win.'

Both artists shouted out their Young Money rap crew and thanked their incarcerated mentor Lil' Wayne.

Finally, John Legend was honored with the Humanitarian Award.

Complete List of 'BET Awards '10' Award Winners:

Best Female R&B Artist:
Alicia Keys

Best Male R&B Artist:
Trey Songz

Best Gospel:
Marvin Sapp

Best Female Hip Hop Artist:
Nicki Minaj

Best Male Hip Hop Artist:

Best New Artist:
Nicki Minaj

Best Collaboration:
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"

Video of the Year:
Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga "Video Phone"

Video Director of the Year:
Hype Williams

Best Actress:

Best Actor:
Idris Elba

YoungStars Award:
Keke Palmer

Best Movie:
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Subway Sportwoman of the Year:
Serena Williams

Subway Sportman of the Year:
LeBron James

Centric Award:

Best International Act:
Dizzee Rascal (UK)

Humanitarian Award:
John Legend

Lifetime Achievement Award

Viewers' Choice Award
Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy "Hard"

Fandemonium Award
Chris Brown

When Keri Hilson Was 17.....WOW!

Via Nicole Bitchie.com

Keri Hilson when I was 17

…She played basketball for Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia, according to an upcoming episode of “When I was 17…” The episode will air tomorrow morning at 11am on MTV.

Keri also tells the network “When I was 17, I experienced my first heart break”.

Check out more flicks from her high school days below:

Read more: When Keri Hilson Was 17… | Necole Bitchie.com

Keri Hilson when I was 17

Keri Hilson when I was 17

Sneak Peek of Trey Songz 'My Moment' Documentary to Air During BET Awards

By Hayat Mohamed

Trey Songz Pictures, Images and Photos

There's no denying that R&B sensation Trey Songz has had one exciting year. After the success of his third album, 'Ready,' serving as the opening act for Jay-z's Blueprint 3 tour and preparing for the release of his upcoming album, 'Passion, Pain & Pleasure,' one would think the young crooner couldn't fit anything else into his schedule. But alas, he has.

Trey Songz will be offering his fans a backstage pass to his life with his latest project 'My Moment' -- a documentary chronicling the past year. The 10-part docu-series -- which premiers Tuesday June 29, at 10 p.m. ET on BET-- will give fans a glimpse into the singer's career and personal life behind the music.

Footage will include performances from the Blueprint 3 tour, industry events and parties, interviews from members of his camp, as well as Trey Songz himself. Fans will also get a look into the star's history as with images of milestones from Trey's past.

TREY SONGZ Pictures, Images and Photos

BET will air a sneak peek of 'My Moment' during the 2010 'BET Awards' this Sunday, June 27, at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can also tune in that night to see if their beloved Trey walks away with the AOL Fandemonium Award. The contest, which includes Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Trey Songz and Justin Bieber, has fans competing in daily challenges to gain votes for their favorite artist. Trey is currently in third place, with Chris Brown leading the pack.

Beyonce Statement Necklaces: The Must-Have Summer Accessory

Beyonce jeweled

Summer dresses and statement necklaces go hand-in-hand. Take a basic dress or top and accent it with a novel necklace to up your wow factor. You'll instantly express yourself and mood with your own statement-making neck piece.

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Prince to Receive BET Lifetime Achievement Award, Drake, Beyonce & Nicki Minaj Up For Nods

By Bridget Bland
Princ Pictures, Images and Photos

Prince Pictures, Images and Photos
This year marks the 10th anniversary for the BET Awards. And it seems a fitting time for iconic pop singer Prince to receive a lifetime achievement award.

B.E.T. Awards 2010 Drake,Prinice,Jay-z,Beyonce Alicia Keys,Kay.Tunes Kaytunes Rio savantsoundz

Prince is no stranger to the cable awards show – having performed in tribute to Chaka Khan, with whom he collaborated with on the Rufus singer's 1998 album 'Come to My House' when she was honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2008.

And for the first time in the BET Awards history, voters will decide who wins the AOL Fandemonium Award, which will be presented during the show. Nominees include Nicki Minaj, Trey Songz, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown. Every day on '106 and Park,' BET will issue a new challenge to fans of the four artist. Whoever gets the most votes wins.
The 'Purple Rain' singer, who has garnered 30 Top 40 singles in his 30 years in the music business, will join a who's who of legendary performers to include Whitney Houston, James Brown, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross as a BET Lifetime Achievement recipient.

BET's President of Programming, Music and Specials Stephen G. Hill, who counts Prince as his all-time favorite artist, says big things are in store for his musical tribute.

"We are humbled that Prince will be our lifetime achievement award recipient," Hill said. "We have a different kind of tribute planned for him, as his unique style deserves a unique honor. Prince is dynamic. Prince is genius. Prince is music."

In other BET Awards news, Drake, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj lead the nominees with five nods.

Grammy-nominated rapper Drake, who hails from Toronto, just released his new album, 'Thank Me Later,' on June 15. The former 'Degrassi' star, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, is nominated for best male hip-hop artist and twice for best collaboration for 'Successful' with Trey Songz and 'Forever' featuring Eminem, Lil' Wayne and Kanye West. He's also nominated in three categories as part of Lil' Wayne's rap label and group Young Money. Before he even released his first album, he was chosen to perform at the Grammy Awards alongside Lil' Wayne and Eminem earlier this year.

Jay-Z has had quite a run recently, thanks to his mega-hit 'Empire State of Mind,' featuring Alicia Keys. The song, which the Brooklyn-born MC performed at the 2009 World Series, was nominated for best collaboration. Also in the running for best collaboration is his other single 'Run this Town,' featuring Kanye West and Rihanna. The music mogul, who is a minority owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, is also nominated for best male hip-hop artist, and 'Empire State of Mind' also has nominations for viewers' choice and for video of the year.

She may not have released her solo debut yet, but Nicki Minaj is already getting props for her contribution to the hip-hop game. The New York native, born Onika Maraj, is nominated for five awards this year, including three nods with her Young Money crew and also in the best new artist and best female hip-hop artist categories. This year alone, she's been featured on several top 10 hits, including appearances alongside Mariah Carey, Ludacris and Usher, to name a few.

drake bet awards Pictures, Images and Photos

NIKKI Pictures, Images and Photos

What would an awards show be without Beyonce? The 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' singer is just one award nomination shy of tying her husband, Jay-Z. The 16-time Grammy Award winner holds the record for being one of the two most nominated artists in the history of the BET awards. She has won more BET awards than any other artist. This year, Beyonce, who got her start with Destiny's Child, is up for best female R&B artist, viewer's choice for 'Sweet Dreams,' as well as best collaboration and video of the year for 'Video Phone' with Lady Gaga.

Since bursting on the music scene in 2001 with 'Songs in A Minor,' Alicia Keys has reigned supreme as a pop music star. The classic pianist has had a terrific year with solo hits like 'Unthinkable,' featuring Drake, and 'Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart.' The New York native, who is expecting her first child with producer Swizz Beatz, also appeared on Jay-Z's 'Empire State of Mind' which earned her several nominations.

As previously reported, the BET Awards '10, hosted by Academy Award-nominated actress/rapper/singer Queen Latifah, will air live at 8 p.m. EST on June 27 from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium.