All Articles Tagged "james brown"
While interracial relationships are not nearly as uncommon as they once were, we’d be lying if we said that the dating and marriage histories of some of the nation’s most outspoken black social activists didn’t come as a surprise to us. Let’s take a gander at socially and politically active black men who dated outside of their race.
For anybody who ever tuned in to “Showtime At The Apollo” back in the day, you know brutal it can be for contestants to get booed off the stage. If you’re horrifically bad and don’t realize it, not only will the crowd let you know, but they’ll send the Sandman on you; the tap-dancing man thirsty for his own 15-20 seconds of notoriety during each airing. And while most people who get booed, denied a W and even kicked off the stage at the sound of the loudest horn go on to fade into obscurity, there have been a few celebrities who managed to get through the embarrassment and blow up big by cultivating their talents. Here’s nine comedians and singers who got the last laugh.
There is something about R. Kelly.
Sure, there is the whole sex tape that allegedly shows R. Kelly engaging in sex with an underage girl, thing, which landed him in Chicago court for 14 counts of child pornography, unlawfully videotaping the acts, and producing child pornography. Not to mention, the drama made him the subject of the infamous “Piss on You” skit by Dave Chapelle. And then there was the non-payment of taxes to the tune of $5.8 million dollars. Do you know how many schools districts and garbage men that could fund?
Not to mention his cheesy explanation (not that we needed one so why even bother) as to why he divorced his wife: The Notebook, the love story starring Ryan Gosling. Said Kellz in his new memoirs entitled Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me:
“As the film credits started to roll, I couldn’t move. I burst into tears. People walking past me patted me on the back, trying to console me. ‘The Notebook’ was beautiful, and I was crying because its hero and heroine had died together,” the 45-year-old writes in the memoir. “But I was also crying because I remembered a Valentine’s Day — when a helicopter dropped a rainfall of roses — that had come and gone … My marriage had died. And there was nothing I could do to bring it back.”
Buahahahaha…. Somebody needs to snatch Kellz’s Netflix account before he gets “inspired” by any more touching romances. Also, I’m sure his ex-wife, who has claimed domestic violence and adultery during their marriage might have something different to say about why they parted, and about his interpretation of The Notebook. So you see, there are plenty of reasons to dislike R. Kelly. Even a bunch of dudes calling themselves, Black Men Against the Exploitation of Black Women, have started a petition to rid and protect the community of R. Kelly once and for all.
However, there is something about R. Kelly that keeps him on top. What could that thing be? Oh yeah, he makes great music.
And I mean really damn good music. For instance, last week, I saw R. Kelly’s new video for “Feelin’ Single” for the first time and I have to say that the song and the video are both off the chain. The song is just straight-up soul. Who else but Kellz could make a song about cheating on his cheating girlfriend sound so damn smooth? It’s got that old-school Michael Jackson “Rock with You” vibe to it, where you just want to slide back in your rolling chair from the desk and get up and do a two-step around the office. But you can’t, because you are at work. So instead you head bop and hum it while you are waiting at the Xerox machine for your copies. Oh yeah, I’ve been there. And did I mention that there is a very hot salute to Broadway in the middle of the video? *Squeal* I thought I was the only one who occasionally sings R&B and even hip-hop songs using a Broadway voice? Oh, you say I am? Okay I can live with that.
At any rate, R. Kelly has a strange way of making the most harden anti-Kellz critic into fans again. I know, I have gone off once or twice, or a few times, about the black communities undying support of him – even applauding after his acquittal of those child pornography charges. But best believe songs like “Happy People,” “Step In the Name Of Love” and a lot of his older stuff still gets regular rotation on my mp3 player (for those who don’t know: an mp3 player is for those who can’t afford the cost or the restrictive nature of an iPod). How is that possible?
Well, it was Mohandas Gandhi who once wrote in his autobiography that is was our duty to, “hate the sin and not the sinner.” It is coincidental that this message comes from him, considering that Gandhi, most revered for his non-violence approach to civil rights and freedom across the world, was also really bigoted to people of darker skin. But those character flaws are not how we choose to remember our heroes and artistic geniuses. Instead, we immortalized Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, James Brown and yes, R. Kelly too, even as their personal misgivings at times overshadowed their talent. Some of us even go as far as to make excuses for their transgressions. How many times have we heard someone say, “Well, yeah the girl was too young, but you can’t blame R. Kelly for that. I mean, where were her parents? Surely this girl is no amateur.”
In her book Deals With the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot, Pearl Cleage speaks candidly about her inability to forgive Mile Davis, who had allegedly beat up Cicely Tyson among other women. She writes, “So the question is: How can they hit us and still be our heroes? And the question is: How can they hit us and still be our leaders? Our husbands? Our Lovers? Our geniuses? Our friends? And the answer is…they can’t. Can They?”
Truth is that they can’t. No matter how well they dance or sing or rap or can blow into a trumpet. And it is hard to acknowledge one aspect of someone without it bleeding into the way you feel about them in their totality. While I’m not advocating we hate them and burn their records like Cleage suggest we do, we should be aware that the love for some of our favorites is complex. And more importantly, be able to say, yes, R. Kelly is very talented and on the verge of musical genius–but he is sort of a douchebag too.
More on Madame Noire!
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “The Wiz”
- One Time It Wouldn’t Hurt To Think Like A Man: The Take It Or Leave It Attitude
- Power Couples With Half The Fame: Celebrities With Non-Famous Partners
- Single Black Male: Why Do Men “Settle?”
- Evening Eye Candy: Ryan Reynolds
- No Need To Wonder: 15 Signs You’re Just A Toy To Him
- Where Are They Now? 11 Forgotten, Familiar and Favorite Faces From Some Of Our Favorite Spike Lee Joints
When James Brown was alive, he had several brushes with the law. Now, the music legend’s daughter, Venisha Brown, is proving that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. She is being held in Richmond County jail after being accused of stealing a vehicle in Augusta and injuring her boss outside a bank in Augusta, GA.
Venisha is being charged with theft by taking a motor vehicle in Richmond County and is being held for North Augusta authorities, Richmond County sheriff’s Investigator Billy Dixon said Tuesday.
North Augusta Public Safety has issued warrants against Brown for possession of a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and first-degree assault and battery.
Police were called to the intersection of West and Pine Grove avenues in North Augusta about 9 a.m. Monday, where they found Hope Ellis Campbell, 46, of Grovetown, with injuries.
Campbell told officers she had spotted her employee, Brown, in a Chevrolet Suburban stolen from St. Stephen Ministries on Greene Street on Sunday and was trying to gain control of the vehicle when she was injured.
Campbell told officers that she reached into the sport utility vehicle to take the keys but that Brown accelerated, dragging Campbell into and over the hood of another vehicle parked near the Suburban.
Richmond County deputies recovered the SUV about 1 a.m. Tuesday at 13th Street and Walton Way.
About two hours later, deputies were called to an altercation in the 500 block of Broad Street, where they found Brown arguing with another woman.
The Godfather of Soul died in 2006, and he didn’t leave any money to his six or more children. He was never close to his kids and reportedly was adamant that they wouldn’t benefit from his fortune when he died. Instead, he wanted all of the money to pay for education for poor kids. However, his will was bitterly contested in court and, in 2009, a settlement was reached which reportedly awarded some money to his wives and children. It’s not clear how much Venisha received, if anything. Regardless, times can’t be that tough that she would steal a car from a ministry that serves the low income and homeless HIV/AIDS community. What a shame.
What do you think of this story?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
More on Madame Noire!
- Can An Artist Sell Sex and Still Have Their Music Taken Seriously?
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Are My Male Friends Keeping Me From Finding a Man?
- Thanks But No Thanks: Why I Refused To Be Her Bridesmaid
- How Ya Going? 9 of Our Favorite Celebs Of Trinidadian Descent (There’s Some Surprises!)
- An Open Letter to My Single Sistas: Being Single is Not a Curse, It’s A Gift
- UGH! 10 Things Men Do That Drive Women Nuts
On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, package Clark passed away at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack. Over the course of his storied career, the legendary radio/TV personality entertained millions as he rang in countless New Years Rockin’ Eve specials in New York City’s Times Square and a perpetual game show host. Most notably, Clark was the host of the classic American Bandstand, which broadcast new and popular musicians into the homes of countless viewers. Among the many greats that were featured on the show; Clark also helped break racial barriers by giving many African American artists their first TV appearances.
For the complete story and photo gallery, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
More on Madame Noire!
- It’s So Hard to Say…I’m Sorry
- 10 Things Ladies Should Know About False Lashes
- Oh NO He Didn’t: 7 Things That Annoy Women About Men
- WTH: Couple Held At Gunpoint At New Home When Neighbors Assume They’re Robbers
- All Educated With Nowhere to Go: 1 in 2 College Graduates Jobless Or Underemployed
- Another Unsolicited Tyrese PSA: ‘Some Of Ya’ll Have Wack Sex’
- African Fashion Designers Are Breaking Away From The Traditional
- Do I Stay Single Like Jesus Or Do I Call Tyrone?
Yesterday, when the video of the hologram Tupac performing at Coachella started spreading around the internet, people had one of three reactions. They thought: 1.) This is the so super cool. 2.) This is so super creepy. or 3.) This is so super creepy but still very cool. I was with the first group of people but I will admit when Pac’s hologram disintegrated into dust, I felt myself starting to get a little misty. But once I had gotten over my sadness, I thought, as soon as folks figure out how to manufacture these holograms a less expensively, money will be made.
Tupac certainly won’t be the last artist to be hologramed. And if I have any say in the matter, I’d like to see the following folks be digitally (?) resurrected. Before I enrage anybody with this list, let me preface it by saying that it is not exhaustive and I chose the following people, based on who I would want to see perform, most likely for impeccable dance moves or undeniable stage presence. If your favorite deceased artist is not on this list, please don’t snap. Just add their name to the comments section. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
It’s no surprise that Whitney was not a dancer. She had the type of voice that you could just listen to, no distractions needed. But just because Whitney didn’t break it down on stage, doesn’t mean that she didn’t command it There’s so much passion and conviction in her performances that it would be great to see her, even if she’s just a hologram, again
There is a reason why the This is It became the highest grossing concert movie and documentary in the history of cinema. People, all over wanted to see Michael perform again, even if it was just him rehearsing. Not to mention, the movie was very well made. During it’s theatrical run, the movie grossed $261 million dollars. If you had the opportunity to watch an eerily accurate depiction of Michael singing and dancing the way only he knew how, surely you wouldn’t pass it up.
There would be no Michael, as we know him, if there were no James Brown. As you can clearly see from the picture above, James did not play when it came to his stage performances. The sweat that used to pool on his forehead is enough to let you know that the man truly earned the title of the “hardest working man in show business.” Plus I would have loved to see him fling that cape off his back.
This may seem like a bit of a wildcard but I have some evidence that just might change your mind. Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A.:
That’s a showman right there. Anytime you’ve got blonde, white girls looking like they’ve caught the holy ghost, that’s good stuff.
Eddie Murphy is one of the most animated comedians and actors around so it only makes sense for him to take on the character of James Brown, one of the most animated entertainers of the last century, in a biopic. Eddie thinks so too, which is why he’s in a rush to get the project off the ground. He told BlackTreeTV:
“His story is incredible. Imagine how incredible Ray Charles’ story was. What an incredible job he did, and he’s at the piano. James is doing splits and running and Angel Dust and jumping and shooting up tires. James’ story is bananas. James’ story is sex, drugs, rock and roll and what the f***.”
Eddie is crazy. He said the script for the movie has already been written, but James’ family hasn’t yet given it the green light. Eddie joked that if they don’t hurry up, he’ll be too old to play the part.
“There’s the most incredible script that Spike Lee worked on that’s James Brown. That’s incredible. It has everything in it, but you have to get with the people who have the rights to James’ story.
“I just hope it comes together in the next few years. I’m 50. I ain’t going to be able to do a split in a few years. My split days are coming to an end very shortly.”
It would be nice to see Eddie play a part in something other than a PG comedy for kids (or dressed up like a woman), and he feels the same way.
“That James Brown thing is a great, great piece I wish could come together. It has everything.”
Do you think Eddie Murphy would do a great job playing James Brown?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Celebs Who Rode Their Famous Sibling’s Coattails to Success
- I Get it Now: Parental Wisdom That Took a Minute To Grasp
- No Child Left Behind: Can Having a Big Family Harm Your Children?
- Why I Question The Release of A Posthumous Aaliyah Album
- Getting To Happy: 7 Habits That Can Change Your Life
- Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: 6 Reasons Not to Go Back to Your Ex
- True Life: If I Could Say Anything to My First Love, I’d Say…
- Is The Black Standard of Beauty Giving You Low Self-Esteem?
You know, here at Madame Noire we don’t condone any alleged criminal activity. But in the event that a celebrity is arrested and provides us with a mug shot to laugh at…well, that’s just what we’re going to do! Over the next few pages, you’ll see a few of those mug shots that might make you laugh and at the same time say, “WTF?!” But there are also a couple that make you say, “Still fine.”
Check it out and get a chuckle…
You think of Saturday Night Live back in the early ’80s, and there is no way you can’t think of Eddie Murphy. The comedian with that unmistakable chuckle owned that show, and helped pull out of the depths of…un-funniness. But after he left the show, Murphy said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that they were less than warming and kind to him:
“They were s***** to me on ‘Saturday Night Live’ a couple of times after I’d left the show. They said some s***** things.”
A s***** thing in his opinion included a joke done during a “Weekend Update” segment in the early ’90s, where cast member David Spade showed Murphy’s picture from the movie A Vampire in Brooklyn and said, “Look, children, a falling star.” Ouch. But hey, the movie was on the wack side.
But on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this morning, the legendary comedian revealed that his beef with the show, which has kept him from appearing on the show for 25 long years, is over on his end.
“It was couple….Over the years…they did little S*@#*& stuff where I was like, hey, F*&#$ y’all. I’m not trippin. It was years ago. I don’t have any bad blood with that show. And that show is such a big part of my past. I love being part of it. Yeah, I wanna go back.”
Yikes! I think we get what you’re saying Eddie. If Murphy does return to the show for hosting duties or just simply to pop up as a special guest in a skit, he better be funny! The guy is behind some of the most iconic and crazy characters the show has seen, so the pressure would be on. But we’d love to see him back!
Until then, here’s a quick summary of our top three characters played by Murphy during his successful Saturday Night Live days:
If you were ever wondering what Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood would have been like if the star were black, Murphy answered that question for you. From his hilarious take on the “Wont You Be My Neighbor” song (“I hope I get to move in your neighborhood someday, problem is when I move in, ya’ll move away!”), to the oh-so-polite way he answers the door (“WHO IS IT!?”), Mr. Robinson had problems, and he was a classic character.
OMG. The “Celebrity Hot Tub” party is one of the funniest things ever! His impression of Brown’s voice is so awesome it’s not even funny, and topping it off in his golden skivvies and that wig, it’s a mess that must be seen. And can we talk about his foot shuffling? I know James Brown saw this and had to have a laugh, himself! Classic. “Rub-a-dub in the hot tub!”
But of course. Murphy killed as the grown-up version of the lone-black “Little Rascals” character, homeboy still touting his speech problems, big hair, and charisma. From singing “Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places” like “Lookapunubinawdawongpaces,” Murphy didn’t have to do much to make this character all too funny. The comedian would later get hellas of tired of playing the role and staged the death of the character during an episode of SNL. And as “sad” as it was, it was still funny.
What is your favorite SNL character played by Eddie Murphy?
More on Madame Noire!
- Splitsville: 7 Celeb Couples Who Divorced in Record Time
- Falling in Love with an Ugly Man
- The Truth @bout Natural Hair With Anu: Weekly Q&A
- Top 9 Ways to Impress Your Future Employer
- How to Date Two Men… Without Being a Total Beyotch
- How They Met: Harlem Lovebirds, Quiana and Uka
- Hairstyle Dos and Don’ts for Round Faces: Ashanti
Even though the late, great James Brown has “at least” nine children and was married at the time of his death on Christmas in 2006, he set up his will so that no one in his family inherited his money. Instead, he designated that all his money should go towards a trust to help poor and needy children, according to a report that appeared in Forbes today.
Now, you can imagine what his family had to say about Brown giving away his $100 million fortune, right?
Indeed, since his passing, lawyer and court fees have been steadily eating away at Brown’s fortune as his large family is continuing to contest his wishes on the grounds that he was mentally unfit to make that decision. Unfortunately, Brown’s associate and former producer Jacqueline Hollander is countering the family’s wishes to get a piece of the pie, claiming that his will made it crystal clear what he wanted to do with his fortune and that was clearly not to pass it along to his family. Hollander says she even has Brown on video stating that he wanted his money to go towards poor children. Hollander was to administer that trust.
In any case, it should be noted that Brown had not updated his will in the five years that he was married to Tomi Rae Hynie, to whom he was married at the time of his death. This fact, along with the assumption that it was hard for courts to fully believe Brown’s wishes to deprive his whole family, led to a decision in 2009 by the attorney general of South Carolina, allocating 50% of the estate to Brown’s family, with the rest remaining with the children’s trust.
Well, two of Brown’s former trustees are contesting this decision, on strong ground that his will was very clear. The case is now with the South Carolina Supreme Court.
What’s the lesson here: if you’re wealthy and have a lot of family to handle, make sure you consistently update your will. It’s hard to believe that Brown, at his age and with his wealth and with his ex-wives and with his many children, did not pay more attention to updating his will.