All Articles Tagged "Fame"
I wasn’t the only one surprised that Reese Witherspoon ended up in jail this past weekend. And not so much that she ended up in jail, but how she landed there. After her husband, Jim Toth, was arrested for drunk driving, Reese started popping off at one of the officers. Understandable. Though her husband was clearly in the wrong, we all know that the police can be a bit obnoxious and even go so far as abusing their power in making legit arrests. I can understand watching your husband being handcuffed is stressful and unpleasant. But what surprised me about Reese’s encounter with the officers was not that she had something to say to them, it was that she tried–and failed– to pull the fame card.
According to TMZ, she low-key used her status to threaten the officer:
”You’re about to find out who I am.”
And then, “Do you know my name?”
Ugh. I just figured Reese was more down to earth than that. The one thing us regular folk can’t stand about celebrities and the wealthy is not so much that they have more than many of us can even imagine, it’s the fact that they feel like the rules don’t apply to them. Now, don’t get me wrong I’ve received quite a bit of preferential treatment in my lifetime. (I learned at a very early age that well-behaved students could get away with a lot of minor indiscretions because teachers knew their ”acting out” was a rare occurrence.) I’m a fan of “the hook-up” because you just so happen to ”know” the right person. We all deserve to feel special sometimes and it’s human nature to help your friends.
But when celebrities expect to get a pass after they break rules or laws that are set in place to protect them and others, it’s a little disgusting. Like, is anyone going to care that you were in Legally Blonde if your intoxicated husband injures or kills someone? Definitely not.
I don’t want to be too hard on Reese though because she’s since apologized for her actions, saying she’s “deeply embarrassed.” Maybe she was just caught up in the moment. The thing is though, she’s not the only celebrity to fall back on this “famous” card.
Rihanna tried it. She was dancing on tables throwing glass all around when management asked her to leave. Instead of calming down, or leaving the place where she was no longer wanted, she said: “Do they know who I am?” And in her case, it worked. Not only did Rih Rih not have to leave, the club sent free drinks to her table. If somebody’s face had gotten cut up during her shenanigans, the club would have certainly regretted that decision.
I remember back in high school, a group of girls I knew were arrested for stealing from Victoria’s Secret. One of these girls just so happened to be the daughter of the community college’s head football coach. I guess she had taken one too many sips of the “fame” kool-aid. Because as she was being arrested she said to the cops, Do you know who my father is? Gurl boo. Not only did he most likely not know who your father was; even if he had known, it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference. We didn’t live in a po-dunk town in the middle of no where and her father wasn’t coaching a Division 4 team. Those handcuffs were going to stay on. That line became the running joke at school for at least a month. What were you thinking?!
When celebrities attempt to throw their fame around one minute and then claim they’re just like the rest of us in the next, they’re going to have to get the severe side eye.
The whole thing reminds me of a Jay-Z lyric from his song “Lost Ones”:
Except that fame is
The worst drug known to man
It’s stronger than, heroin
When you could look in the mirror like, “There I am”
And still not see, what you’ve become
I know I’m guilty of it too but not like them.
Reese apologized and we can’t really judge her for her actions knowing that if the tables were turned we just might have behaved similarly.
Does gospel get a bad rap?
If you grew up in a “praying house,” as some call it, chances are you were required to go to church all the time – probably three times during the week and all day on Sunday. At home, the Bible may have been centrally located and the gospel music playing was a constant. Your parents and grandparents played all the goodies like Shirley Caesar, Mississippi Mass Choir, Mahalia Jackson (if you really want to take it back) and James Cleveland – they were the real music stars. So it was church and gospel music. That’s all there was back in the day. That’s it.
But that was then.
Today, gospel is a booming business that goes way beyond praising God in song. Many artists are doing reality shows, making songs that sound really close to secular music and other becoming involved in other business ventures that some may consider attempts to be more mainstream. It’s almost become a gift and a curse.
When it was first revealed that Mary Mary would be getting their own reality show early last year, I admit to being one of the people staunchly opposed to the entire idea. Like, of course, Mary Mary are really just two women who lead very regular lives outside of music but as they are gospel artists, I was nervous about how much they would show of their lives. I, like many others, were worried they’d be “ungodly” in their personal lives and it would turn me off. Sure, I was prejudging them and as judgment is a part of life (despite what many of us might say), I don’t really apologize for it. As it turns out, the show isn’t that bad (aside from the occasional very “angry” moment from one of the sisters) and I enjoy watching. They’ll be on season three soon so I guess so does everyone else.
The music is becoming a little more “interesting” as well. While many of us who know and sometimes enjoy gospel music may recall it being traditional – mostly slow and literally almost just like church – in its sound, a lot of today’s music is quite…hip. Kirk Franklin led that wave in the late 90s with “Stomp.” Artists like Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett and others are continuing the trend. While these artists are continuing to deliver “the word” in song, some feel they’ve gotten too secular (if you recall, “God In Me sounded a lot like “Blame It On The Alcohol”). New artist Lecrae (who actually won a Grammy earlier this year) is a young gospel rapper – and a great one, at that – who grew up with hip-hop music did not initially “know God.” He surrounded himself with a party lifestyle full of drugs, alcohol and women. He finally had an epiphany of sorts and decided to turn his life over to God. But he raps; should he not be allowed to perform his praise in the way he knows how?
The question becomes: Is today’s Gospel just getting bad rap? Are people too uptight and caught up in what gospel artists “should” be? If you think about it, a lot of these artists grew up in not only a hip hop era, but also a media based one. They’re gospel singers, not blind singers who don’t know what’s happening outside of their genre. Shouldn’t they have a right to express themselves in a way they see fit without being disrespectful to their message? It seems like many people who are familiar with gospel would like to see it stay in this “box” that’s full of choir robes and hymns. Admittedly, I’m a person who likes gospel music in spurts and am fairly conservative in what I like. But as I recently watched an episode of “The Sheards” while wondering why they would even bother with reality television, I thought, “They have a right to show their lives too. Stop being so critical.” It may not stop me in full from being critical but I’ll watch with more openness.
Gospel artists seemingly will never catch a break unless they stick to this mold of only singing and speaking about God, heaven and the like. Perhaps that’s too much responsibility and as we know, you can’t please everyone.
What do you think? Are people too hard on the gospel artists or should some gospel artists be more mindful of the product their releasing?
Oprah’s Master Class will be kicking off its third season Sunday, March 3rd with 14-time Grammy Award-winning singer, Alicia Keys. According to the show’s website, during the special Alicia will be discussing lessons that she has learned over the years about pursuing her passions, motherhood and marriage.
During a 30-second preview of the season premiere, the “Girl On Fire” singer can be heard describing the troubled Harlem neighborhood that she grew up in and her swift rise to fame.
“Literally, I was running from pimps and prostitutes, to boom- I was on the Oprah show.”
It also appears that she will touch on some of the shady dealings of the music industry and her negative experiences with them.
“You’re meeting people who are lying to you to get whatever they want out of you,” said the newly appointed global creative director of Blackberry during the clip.
She seems to be tackling some family demons during the upcoming episode as well.
“I realize that the only person that gets hurt from all of this anger is me,” she says of what appears to be familial drama.
The episode will premiere on the OWN network this Sunday at 10/9 c. While most appear to be completely over hearing about her relationship with Swizz Beatz, viewers may find the story of her childhood and rise to fame particularly interesting.
Watch the preview on the next page. Will you be checking out Alicia on Oprah’s Master Class this Sunday?
Clive Davis’ 2012 Pre-Grammy Party will always be remembered as the event where the world lost a legend. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room in the same venue where the party was to take place just a few hours later. This year, Cissy Houston says there’s no way she’d be able to attend Davis’ annual bash.
The music mogul extended a personal invitation for Houston to attend his affair, to which Houston politely declined.
“I got an invitation to the party, which is the most obscene thing. I don’t know why they would want me to come to the party in which she died, you know? Unheard of,” Houston told Access Hollywood. “I guess maybe he just sent me a copy for remembrance sake.”
Ms. Cissy is a classy woman but holds no punches. You know who did accept the invitation? Gary and Pat Houston. For more check out ESSENCE.
Do you think Clive Davis was just trying to be courteous and respectful by sending them invitations to his annual party?
When you’re looking for a reunion of some sorts, it’s probably never a good idea to put it out in public.
According to the National Enquirer, Jamie Foxx’s father, Shaheed Abdullah (his former name was Darrell Bishop), has been trying to get in touch with the actor for years but Foxx will not return his calls. His father is now very sick and is still looking to speak to his son.
This was all told to the Enquirer by Abdullah’s wife, Hellema. She says that her husband now has scar tissue on his lungs and is on oxygen everyday but is still hoping to end the feud. As she states, “We’ve called Jamie several times over the years and left hundreds of messages. But he has never returned our calls. I just wish Jamie would call.”
Foxx has told the story many times in the past that he was raised by his grandparents (his mother’s adoptive parents) after both of his parents abandoned him. While they continued to live close to him, neither parent had a hand in Foxx’s upbringing. In fact, Foxx credits his grandparents, particularly his grandmother, in making him into the man he is today.
A source said Foxx and his father kept in touch which his father for many years due to his grandmother’s encouragement. However, that ended in 2004 when his grandmother passed away. The source says Jamie is getting revenge on his father for abandoning him when he was young.
During an interview with Oprah last month, Jamie revealed that his mother Louise and her ex-husband live with him so Hellema wonders why he’s helping her but holding a grudge against his dad.
While that may be a valid question, it is irrelevant in trying to repair a relationship. No matter how old a person may be, they may never forget how they were treated as children, especially by their parents.
What do you think? Should Jamie give his father a call and get to the full root of their problems? Should his father just forgive himself for what he’s done and move on?
A battle over money and leaders in turmoil. We’re not talking about an episode of Scandal but the current state of affairs over at Los Angeles’ oldest, and one of its largest, black churches–First AME Church.
The church recently filed a lawsuit against its pastor, who is refusing to relinquish power over the institution and its bank accounts. First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) is suing the pastor and his wife for control of the church and its nonprofit corporations.
The suit accuses the Rev. John J. Hunter and his wife, Denise, as well as other leaders of “holding dictatorial control over [the church] … for their own personal gain — both financially and for self-aggrandizement,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
The plot is thick: According to the LA Times, last October Hunter was transferred to a San Francisco church by the head of AME churches in the western United States. But that church didn’t want any part of Hunter. The San Fran church literally blocked him from delivering a sermon. So back to LA went Hunter, just not as the official pastor. Thus began his fight to regain his position. And says the Times, he still maintains residence in a $2-million home paid for by FAME and has possession of a Mercedes-Benz, also paid for by the church. Meanwhile the church hired a new pastor, the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, who lives in a hotel and is not yet drawing a salary. Hunter received a $239,000-annual salary. His wife took home $147,000 a year for running the church’s nonprofit organizations.
Hunter’s wife, who appointed herself the organizations’ “agent for service” a day after her husband was ousted by the church, is refusing to give up control of the church’s nonprofits, reports the newspaper. The nonprofits have assets worth several million dollars, according to tax documents.
Hunter became the pastor of FAME in 2004. Since then, he’s also involved in a sexual harassment civil claim that was settled for an undisclosed amount. And in 2008, an internal audit discovered Hunter had charged $122,000 in jewelry, family vacations and clothing to the church’s credit card. He agreed to a nine-year repayment plan for that, states the Times.
Now FAME, which has a congregation of 19,000 members, is in debt. “The church owes nearly $500,000 to creditors and some vendors say they have not been paid in more than a year…In addition to the church’s sizable debt, the lawsuit said recorded judgments against the church total an additional $200,000,” writes the Times.
While Hunter’s salary may be a shock to some — even to members of the congregation — most pastors of large churches receive hefty salaries. A study released by the Leadership Network found that “total cash compensation (including allowances for housing) for senior pastors ranged from $85,000 to more than $265,000, though the majority of the salaries cluster around the $100,000 to $140,000 range.” This is for so-called mega churches, where attendance is 2,000 or higher each week. And, says the study each congregation’s annual giving ranged from almost $2 million to more than $30 million, writes the Gospel Coalition Organization blog.
The women in this list are partners to men who’ve found success in a variety of industries: business, music, sports, and politics. Though the source of their men’s money may differ, the reasons for these women’s refusal to give up on their relationships are mostly the same – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s reasonable that someone might think twice about ending a relationship for fear of losing a standard of life, but shouldn’t there be a point at which it gets to be too much, regardless of what stands to be lost?
Here are fifteen women who have ignored the cheating and accepted the reality that their men will never commit – all in favor of keeping their fame, money and lifestyle. Would you stay if you were in their positions?
As the old saying goes, some people are in your life for a reason, season or lifetime. That has never been more true than in the cases of some of our favorite celebrities. You know, you’ll see them as “buddy buddy” as can be for months and then…POOF, they’re no longer friends.
We came up with a list of some besties turned “used to be besties” or “barely besties.” Did you even know some of them were close? Check it out…
Amber Rose’s voice wasn’t that bad, but when the girl starting saying things like she was in the studio getting her Beyonce on, people were like, your Bey who? Well now, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief because the newly engaged fiancée of Wiz Khalifa is giving up the “Fame,” which was the title of her first single, for family.
In an interview with HipHollywood.com, she explained why we haven’t heard anything from her musically since she dropped her track in January.
“I got engaged and I decided not to go through with an album because I just feel like it’s a bit too much. I’m 28 now and me and Wiz are in love and we’re thinking about having kids … to do shows and start a music career is just not on the cards for me.”
OK, mama Rose. The video model did say that just because she’s not pursuing anything full time doesn’t mean she can’t jump on a track here and there.
“I’ll dip and dab and do little cool stuff,” she said. “I’m featured on Wiz’s mixtape with Rick Ross, and I’ll just do little fun stuff like that whenever I feel like it’s cool.”
That’s cool with us too. And hey, if she decides to never step in the studio again or behind a mic, I’m pretty sure no one will be mad at her. They might even be grateful. What do you think about this news?
More on Madame Noire!
- True Life: I REFUSE to Do That in the Bedroom
- He Wrote That? Part II: More Surprising Songwriters Behind Some of Your Favorite Jams
- Strength, Great Skin and 5 Other Black Girl Privileges
- Looking For Trouble: The Day I Hurt Myself By Snooping on My Man…
- My Story: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Law Couldn’t Protect Them From Incest
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: What’s With All the Diva Dudes?
- Noire Naturals, Episode 1: The Natural Twist Out
First things first: THIS IS NOT A WHERE ARE THEY NOW? if you were wondering. Check back at the end of the week.
Anywho, while most actors, singers and more have chosen to let folks in on every single aspect of their lives thanks to their affiliations with social media sites like Twitter, Tumblr pages, reality television shows, and their quest to make errands a chance for a paparazzi photo op, there are a slew of big name artists who would balk at all that exposure. Some of the biggest names in entertainment over the years dropped albums, TV shows, had huge roles in movies and more over the years, only to disappear off of the face of the earth when the press and the people were calling for them. Why? Well, after reading the most recent issue of GQ, which profiled the rise, fall and re-emergence of D’Angelo, folks like Questlove eloquently explained it as “a crazy psychological kind of stoppage that prevents them from following through. A sort of self-saboteur disorder.”
Or maybe they just weren’t feeling folks all up and through their business and wanted to live like normal folks. Whatever motivates these artists to dip in and out of public view only they know, but we’re always happy when they come back. Here are a few, aside from the obvious Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo, who decided to step out of the spotlight when they were huge, but decided to come back later (before disappearing for a bit again).