50 Cent Helps Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez Find Bone Marrow Match

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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:

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"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?"