All Articles Tagged "Marvin Gaye"
After seeing pics of Keke Palmer, Drew Sidora, and Lil Mama as TLC yesterday and now this image of Jesse L. Martin as Marvin Gaye, my faith is beginning to be restored in biopics. Good acting can definitely make up for what looks don’t — example Angela Basset as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With it” — but it certainly doesn’t hurt when an actor playing someone in a movie actually looks like the subject. Case in point, “Law & Order” actor Jesse Martin.
Shadow and Act just posted this first photo of the actor in wardrobe (basically with a beard) on the set of “Sexual Healing” and the resemblance is rather striking when compared with Marvin’s 1971 album cover, “What’s Going On.” See for yourself.
Looks promising right?
Something else that’s promising is the likelihood of this film seeing the light of day. As you know, Marvin Gaye III is not too thrilled about this biopic, but according to S&A, filming is 70% done and the flick will be taken to Cannes next week to sell to international distributors. A 2014 film festival debut is expected so it won’t be too much longer ’til we see this masterpiece (hopefully).
Are you feeling good about Jesse in this role?
Any time you’re trying to describe an artist, there’s always a temptation to compare them to someone else. It’s easier to say “Keyshia Cole is like Mary J. Blige” than to say “Keyshia Cole makes raw, soul-infused R&B filled with themes of pain and personal transformation.” I get that. But sometimes the comparisons go too far, and we try to place up-and-comers in the same category as legends whose legacies have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape.
The late, great Michael Jackson is probably the most frequent victims of suspect comparisons. It seems that anyone who can dance and sing reasonably well is at some point dubbed the new or next version of The Gloved One. Usher is the new Michael Jackson. Chris Brown is the new Michael Jackson. Beyoncé is the new Michael Jackson. In the name of all that is holy, this must stop. I have seen all three of these “new Michael Jacksons” live, and I can attest that any one of their shows will change your night, if not your life. Usher is a consummate entertainer, Chris Brown is the best dancer I have ever seen anywhere, and Beyoncé
will leave you out of breath just watching her.
That said, to compare these entertainers to the King of Pop, a man who was arguably the most innovative, groundbreaking and important artist of all-time, hurts my feelings in ways I can’t begin to describe. I could possibly tolerate something more specific like “he can sing and dance well, kind of like a young Michael Jackson.” But to compare artists to someone who was incomparable won’t fly.
Another questionable comparison involves Trey Songz. I’ve heard him described as the next R. Kelly and/or D’Angelo. I’m sorry, what did you say? Just because you take your shirt off and sing sex-laced ballads does not make you heir to the throne of Kells or the inimitable D’Angelo. So I’m going to need people to cease and desist equating any crooner with a sexed up catalogue and a six-pack to either of these two very unique and musically-gifted individuals.
And then, there is perhaps the most egregious comparison I’ve heard yet: that Frank Ocean is this generation’s Luther Vandross or Marvin Gaye. For the love of Tyler Perry, we must stop this madness. I think we’ve all heard more than enough Luther and Marvin to know that Frank is neither, so I will kindly ask the people making these comparisons to have a seat for eternity.
Young Frank and his unique brand of R&B has certainly taken the world by storm. But to compare an individual with a mixtape and an album to legends who shaped entire eras, who left us with some of the most memorable music we have, whose musical styles don’t even resemble Ocean’s, is simply ludicrous. In the words of Claudette Wyms, one of my favorite characters on the former FX drama The Shield, “You’re stretching, son. Try yoga.”
These ridiculous comparisons also occur in the rap spectrum. I think we all laughed off the idea that Ja Rule was the new DMX, but among the more outlandish claims I’ve heard is that Kendrick Lamar is the new 2Pac. Girl, bye. I can’t even dignify that with a response.
Sure, there are similarities between artists, and comparisons are inevitable. Nicki Minaj is like Lil Kim or Foxy Brown, female rappers who blend sexuality with serious bars. Justin Bieber is like Justin Timberlake; they’re both white r&b/pop artists who got their start as teen idols. Lady Gaga is like Madonna; they’re fearless females who push the envelope and weave religious imagery and sex into their music.
But no one is the new or next anyone, much as each generation might want to lay claim to their own version of some superstar. Chris Brown is not the new Michael Jackson and Frank Ocean is not the new Luther Vandross. There is one Michael and one Luther and one Marvin and one 2Pac, and there will never be some newfangled knockoff. They’ll come through and create their own lane and legacies. But we lessen the legacies of certain icons by claiming there is some updated version, like they are a line of soft drink or an old computer program. What these people did is unmatched and will remain unmatched. Without taking anything away from these talented young artists — who deserve to be seen in their own light, and not in someone else’s shadow — let’s not pretend a legend who brought us something we’d never seen before and will never see again can somehow be duplicated.
What’s the craziest musical comparison you’ve ever heard? Sound off in the comments.
Word On The Street: Actor Jesse L. Martin Of “Rent” And “Law & Order” Fame To Replace Lenny Kravitz In Marvin Gaye Biopic
For all of those people who were giving the boo boo face side eye to the idea of rocker and eye candy Lenny Kravitz playing Marvin Gaye in an alleged upcoming biopic, this might be good news for you. Kravitz is out, while actor Jesse L. Martin is in.
You’ve seen Martin before. He was the original Tom Collins in the Broadway play and film Rent, and he played Detective Edward Green on Law & Order for nine years, so he’s not a newbie to the big or small screen. Did I mention that he can sing!? According to Deadline, his talent will be shown off in a huge role as he takes over the role of Marvin Gaye in the Julien Temple-directed film, Sexual Healing. Of course, late last year when it was revealed that Kravitz would be taking the role, Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III objected greatly to the choice and threatened legal action towards the filmmakers. According to Shadow And Act, Gaye III was upset that Kravitz, a childhood friend, would sign on to do such a film, which he felt was shameful, seeing as how the movie is supposed to cover a very hard time in the legend’s career. According to Deadline, the movie will focus on Gaye’s time in Europe in the early ’80s as he battled his drug addictions and eventually was able to bounce back with his musical career as he made the Midnight Love album. Kravitz seems to have backed out of the project, but it’s not clear if pressure from Gaye III or critics had anything to do with that.
Despite all that drama, the movie is still in the works according to both sources, even with Marvin Gaye III and the Gaye family trying to find a way to stop the movie from being made. But according to Shadow And Act, EMI, who has all the rights to Gaye’s music, gave those working on Temple’s project permission to use his music in his film. With all that out of the way, we’re not sure how the singer’s family could stop the movie from being made at this point, and it sounds like it could be a good one, especially since they’ve got the very talented Jesse L. Martin in the lead role. This guy doesn’t look too far off from Gaye, and he’s very talented, so I’m willing to give it a chance whenever, if ever, it is released to see the light of day.
What do you think of the change-up?
There was a time when Motown Records owned and ran the music scene. You couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing the collaborative harmonies of The Temptations or the fabulosity of Diana Ross. These artists made you shake your hips and groove before it was even acceptable. You’ll also be surprised that some of these artists weren’t even conceived when the famous record company was at its height. Check out the 15 best artists in Motown’s history!
He had good looks, sex appeal and music that made you think and want to make love all at the same time. With hits like “What’s Going On?” and “Sexual Healing,” Mr. Gaye helped Motown remain at the top.
Tags:15 Greatest Motown Artists, 702, berry gordy, boyz ii men, Diana Ross, erykah badu, gladys knight, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Motown, Motown Records, Ne-Yo, s greatest artists, smokey robinson, stevie wonder, Tami Terrell, The Commodores, The Jackson 5, the supremes, the temptations
It seems as if there is a dichotomy when it comes to the stereotypes of preacher’s kids. Some people think of the goody-goody, almost nauseatingly perfect kids (for example: The Jonas Brothers, who were open about their faith and their purity). While others seem to think of the wildly rebellious kids who would throw wild parties when their parents were gone (example: Katy Perry, kissing girls and liking it and what-not). The reason why I used The Jo-Bros and Katy Perry is because they are indeed preachers’ kids, and seem to fit those stereotypes. After doing some research, I was able to find a few more, let’s see if any of these surprised you.
He was Motown’s beloved songwriter and Miracles frontman, the other was one of Motown’s best and brightest stars and Tammi Terrell’s other half on records. Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye were two of Motown’s biggest acts and with their talent and hits, they were the object of so many young womens’ affections around the country. Just ask my mom! She loved her some Smokey Robinson! Maybe it was the light eyes of Smokey, the dashing good looks of Marvin, and the pull both men had at Motown (plus, any man that can sing “Crusin’” make the “Star Spangled Banner” alluring is a man every woman loves), whatever it was, in their day, both men had it going on. Don’t believe me? Take a look through our vintage slideshow celebrating their good looks and great contributions to music to see what we’re talking about.
Every year there are plenty of odes to some of the world’s most prominent people. This past year it was Abraham Lincoln. It was Alfred Hitchcock. It was Margaret Thatcher. But who should be next to have their life story told on the silver screen? Madame Noire makes its picks for 15 legends who deserve some cinematic recognition.
Whether it’s Trey Songz crooning he’s about to “Dive In” or Chris Brown moaning about how he’s going to make me “Wet The Bed,” I must be getting old and sensitive because love and hip-hop is a little too raw for me. Not even 5 years ago, I was attracted to men who were vulgar and explicit and thought those sweet, sensitive guys singing lullabies about walks in the park and candlelit dinners were clowns. But after years of blatant honesty, I find myself missing the days of middle school when a guy would send me a candy gram in class asking, “Will you go with me?”
A few months ago my colleagues and I decided that we needed some music to break up the monotony of our office days that are otherwise filled with calls from probation officers about parenting classes and random UPS diaper deliveries. With the help of Pandora, soon we had Marvin Gaye and Sade to serenade us through those long eight hours. We chose channels that we thought were “safe” for an office of women ranging from their early twenties to their late fifties. And by “safe” I mean we didn’t want to run the risk of Rihanna exclaiming, “I love it when you eat it,” in the event that a donor walked through the door. By choosing the Toni Braxton channel, I figured we were in the clear.
Nonetheless after a few times haul assing to my phone to change the channel when I heard the first few notes of “Neighbors Know My Name” drop, it hit me: There aren’t too many men singing about love anymore. Even back in the day our parents clearly knew exactly that Ronald Isley wasn’t just talking about a hug when he sang “I feel your love surrounding me” on “In Between the Sheets,” but it was a lot more subtle than, “Girl I like the way it opens up when you throw it back baby,” as Chris Brown sings on 2012. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have my random ratchet moments where a little wine and some Rick Ross “Diced Pineapples” or “She Will” by Lil’ Wayne doesn’t make me feel like the sexiest broad to ever sip Yellowtail on a Saturday. When it comes to raunch and romance, I like Chris Brown and Trey Songz because they “go there.” But sometimes I just want to fall back and hear a man tell me how beautiful I am, not how fat my a** is.
It’s not like thug love didn’t exist when I was a teen. Boys II Men might have been on bended knee begging to make love, but Jodeci didn’t hesitate to hump the stage and let us know that every freakin day they wanted to freak our bodies in every freakin way. A few years later even LL Cool J and Fabolous had their share of public displays of affection through singles like Hey Lover and Baby. There was a balance back then, but recently when I try to think of anyone mainstream that’s actually singing about love the only artist who comes to mind is Ne-yo and recently he seems to making more songs for the club than for couples. It’s no wonder why teens today can’t see anything beyond breaking headboards when it comes to relationships. Women are becoming the worst offenders. When did a man become soft or a sucker for being a gentleman? Any time a man reveals the slightest bit of sensitivity or emotion we are quick to label him as “soft” or “gay,”but don’t let him refer to us as “bitches” and we’re ready to swing on him…unless of course he’s a rapper and he’s telling us to drop down and get our eagle on. There’s nothing like a little fame and money to make the rules of the regular not apply. Even I must admit it’s been me on some occasions looking all silly and doe-eyed when a man tells me how “bad” I am or that I look like a video vixen. But on some level it’s sad that “I can tell that you’ve been practicin’” is seen as the ultimate form of flattery these days.
I think it’s great that people are talking so openly about sex especially when it comes to people not fearing they’ll be judged for what gender they choose to love or young people being able to ask questions without people assuming they are trying to make a pregnancy pact. But sometimes people being so TMI about their sexual intentions kills the mystery which as a result kills the mood. I think that’s why I enjoy Drake so much; he can just as easily hold his own surrounded by bouncing booties on a single like “Pop That” and then turn around and express how vulnerable he actually is on a song like “Hate Sleeping Alone.”
There’s time and place for passion, but as women we can’t wonder where the romance and respect went when any man who isn’t telling us to bend over and look back at him is considered a clown. Ladies if we want romance and candlelight, we have to think more about love than dropping it low and spreading it wide. Fellas, sometimes revealing what you want to stick and lick isn’t nearly as arousing as telling a woman that you just want to hold her. Romance and ratchet don’t mix and we don’t always want baby-making music as much as we want to boo love. The subtle art of flirting and courtship needs to be brought back not only to hip hop, but to relationships every where. That doesn’t have to mean cliched rose petals leading to the bedroom or Barry White and candlelight, but try being a little creative. I like it rough, but take a note from Otis Redding and try a little tenderness.
Can you think of any R&B artists who still sing about love?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
“Oh-Hay, Have You Sheen?” 10 Of The Best, WORST And Most Head-Scratch Worthy National Anthem Performances EVER
It’s not an easy feat to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” for big games and events. For years, the top singers and performers have been trying their best at it, and while many have been amazing, others…? Not so much. And after watching Alicia Keys try something different with her rendition of the national anthem this past Sunday, we thought we’d go through some of the best of the best, the hottest of the messes and the performances that piqued our interest for different unique reasons. And boy was it fun! Check out these 10 takes on the national anthem and decide if you agree with us about who killed it, who should have sat down somewhere, and who made us think a stepper’s jam version of the “Star Spangled Banner” wouldn’t be so bad…
And no, Roseanne Barr is not on this list because she HAD to be joking…
One Of The Best
In 2002, with her long blonde hair and tiny frame, Mimi stepped on the stage and killed the national anthem (in a good way of course). Her notes were on point (especially the very high one she did when she sang “freeeeeeeeee”), and with the dramatic music done in the background by the band, it was just perfect. And it wouldn’t be a Mariah Carey performance without her signature hand movements. It’s one of the few renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” that I can listen to as if it’s an actual top 10 hit on the radio.
It’s Like Nina Simone All Over Again: Marvin Gaye’s Son Shocked Lenny Kravitz Will Participate In ‘Shameful’ Biopic
I’m starting to think biopics are going out of style. While some celebs in Hollywood are practically begging for a movie to be made about their lives (Aretha I’m looking at you), the offspring of other notables are pushing for production on their parent’s stories to be shut down.
In the same vein of Nina Simone’s daughter who is vehemently opposed to the biopic being made about her mother, Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin III, is speaking out against the film being made about his dad. Though the issue isn’t necessarily the person playing the part, there is similar concern over the direction of the biopic, which Marvin, Jr. calls “shameful.”
According to TMZ:
Marvin Gaye’s son wants his childhood friend Lenny Kravitz to walk away from the role of a lifetime — playing the Motown legend in an upcoming biopic — and says he’s shocked Lenny signed on for a project he calls “shameful.”
Kravitz will play Gaye in “Sexual Healing” (working title) — which reportedly focuses on Marvin’s life in the 80s when he battled drug abuse and depression … before his father shot and killed him in 1984.
Marvin Gaye III tells TMZ, “The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful … [They're] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don’t even know the whole story.”
Marvin’s son says he and Kravitz were schoolmates — and remain friends to this day — so he wants to “talk to him about why he would do this.”
Marvin Jr. tells us he and other family members are meeting with lawyers to try to stop production — and added, “I would hope [Lenny] doesn’t have any idea that we are against this film being done.”
TMZ says they reached out to Kravitz for a comment but haven’t heard back from the singer. His close connection to the Gayes does somewhat explain his choice as the actor to take on this part though.
Maybe the issue here is that people don’t quite have a grasp on what a biopic is. If you do a film about someone’s life, you have to tell the whole story — good and bad — plus it’s not like the movie will really be revealing anything that anyone doesn’t already know about the troubled singer. Considering Nina Simone’s biopic is still going forward despite very outspoken opposition, I would think Marvin III’s only hope in this situation is to actually help the directors out and give them the entire story, then hope for the best.
What do you think?