Week of January 29 - February 4, 2012

1 - Don Cornelius Passes - 75

Personally this announcement rocked me to my core… as it did for most of our community last week. The creator of the iconic TV music and dance show "Soul Train" Don Cornelius was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment at 4 AM Wednesday morning from an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Speculation has it that the motivation behind his suicide were due to his failing health in recent years. His son Tony Cornelius issued a statement thanking "Soul Train" Fans for their support and asking for privacy: "At this time, we respectfully ask that you allow our family and friends the privacy necessary to get through this difficult time. We thank all the well-wishers and the fans who have supported the Soul Train legacy. Love, Peace and Soul." The WBLS Family is deeply saddened by his departure and invite you to send well wishes or share your favorite memories of Soul Train on our Don Cornelius Tribute page: here.



2- BET Bans Nicki Minaj's Video

Well - it is interesting to see that some videos still get banned. Artist Nicki Minaj released her latest video "Stupid H*e" video the week before last and has already garnered a record breaking 22,294,541 views on Vevo (at the time of press). But that isn't stopping Black Entertainment Television from deciding it is entirely too racy for it's audience. Minaj's video antics, directed by the legendary Hype Williams, include gyrating in a cage with little more than thong, strobe framed images of her seemingly bare backside and constant repetition of the phrase "stupid h*e". BET has not released a statement as to why they made the decision not to air the video, but Nicki is not the first artist to have their video not air on the programming station for similar reasons. By the way… did we mention that this video broke records for being th first video to amass 4.8 million views in a 24 hour time span? If you absolutely MUST watch to satisfy your curiousity - here is the video but BE WARNED - it s NOT SAFE FOR WORK AND VERY EXPLICIT:


3- Facebook goes Public?

Facebook continues to emerge as the largest … well… everything. The biggest social network has recently filed papers to become a publicly traded company. Facebook is very close to hitting it's one billion user mark and as predicted will most like get to that number some time during 2012. The company is looking to raise about 5 billion during its initial public offering which has yet to be scheduled but the original founder, Mark Zuckerberg will serve as the company's chairman and chief executive and be the company's largest controlling stock holder. Good luck Mark!

Who remembers the very first social networking platform as being Black Planet? Tell us your memories about BP!!


4- Vanity Fair and Black Hollywood

Vanity Fair showcases Black Hollywood on the cover of their magazine: Giving melanin a little shine in contrast to their 2011 cover, Vanity Fair has included some African American actresses in their March Hollywood Issue - Adepero Oduye of the acclaimed Pariah move and actress Paula Patton who plays kick ass spy Jane Cater opposite Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. See the video behind the photoshoot!


5- Jay-Z to perform at Carnegie Hall

Always making history, new dad Jay-Z is set to headline at the famous Carnegie Hall on February 6th and 7th, making it the first ever hip hop series at the landmark venue.  Tickets for this intimate performance officially went on sale last Monday, January 30th, with prices ranging from $150 to $5,000. Although the price tag on tickets may seem steep, all proceeds from sales will benefit the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, helping to fight poverty and promote continued education for low-income students across the five boroughs.



6- Deion Sanders asks for sex favors from his wife

Apparently not all is fair in love and war. According to UrbanDaily.com, “Pilar Sanders is accusing Deion Sanders of refusing to give her any money unless she grants him sexual favors, dubbing it financial hostage.”

Deion Sanders filed for divorce in December of 2011 and although Pilar signed a prenup she recently filed a motion requesting that Deion give her money to survive, saying, “ Since [Deion] filed for divorce on December 21, 2011, he has given [Pilar] $300.00 and offered her money in exchange for sexual favors.”

Pilar also claimsthat Deion cut off her credit cards and cell phone alleging, “The children and I have lived in survival mode for several months, and the emotional toll on all of us is palpable.”


7- New York City Violence

A Brooklyn man suspected of shooting an NYPD officer in the Head
Brooklyn resident Luiz Ortiz is waiting to be arraigned after being accused of allegedly shooting police officer Kevin Brennan Tuesday night. Luiz, who has an extensive rap sheet is in custody and is also being looked at a suspect in the New Year's Day Murder of Shannon Mc Kinney. On a brighter note officer Brennan is expected to fully recover from his injuries and return home to his wife and 6-week old baby daughter.



Beyonce - the College Course?

Rutgers University is now offering a new course this year about none other than the infamous Beyonce Knowles. The course is titled "Politicizing Beyonce" and will be focused primarily on the singers lyrics and videos in relation to the writings of Alice Walker and Sojourner Truth. The course is being taught through the Women's Studies and Gender department under the instruction of Kevin Allred. Allred says " This isn't a course about Beyonce's political engagement or how many times she's performed during President Obama's inauguration weekend. "She certainly pushed boundaries, while other artists are simply releasing music, she's creating a grand narrative around her life, her career and her persona".  The course will also feature other artists ranging firm Billie Holiday to Lady Gaga. Allred goals for the course are to "shift students away from simply being consumers of media thinking "

source: Rutgers University

In related news... there is a monument of Beyonce being proposed in Texas:

Pair Says City Has Their Back on Beyonce Monument: MyFoxHOUSTON.com


Christina Aguilera’s leaky “Spray Tan” situation at Etta James Funeral

Let’s just say Christina Aguilera’s career is at a leaky start with this story. In honoring the life of R&B Legend Etta James, who died January 20th from being diagnose with leukemia, Ms. Aguilera was asked to sing at Ms. James funeral.

Before the 31-year-old singer began her tribute singing “At Last”, she was already fidgeting on stage wiping off what appears to be…well... who can say really what it was. Ms. Aguilera who is a professional pop star knew that no matter what the show must go on. After a great performance and receiving a standing ovation, Christina quickly hurries off stage… to reapply spray tan?

An embarrassing moment for Christina Aguilera and we can just leave it as that!


Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer received an SAG Award

Everyone is ravening about the 2011 award winning film “The Help”, based off a true story during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Capturing the hardships of African American maid’s view of life working for white families on a daily basis.

This film would not have received such good ratings without the wonderful cast who brought this true story to life.  At the 2012 SAG Awards which aired Sunday, January 29th, the award for “Outstanding Performance By a Female Actor In a Leading Role” went to Viola Davis who captured her character in the award winning movie “The Help”.

Not to mention Ms. Davis out did Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and a few other actresses in that category, according to The Urban Daily.com. Not to brag, but Davis co-star on the movie Octavia Spencer, came in to take the award for Best Supporting Actress.

WBLS congratulates Ms. Davis and Ms. Spencer on their hard work and performance, a great way to start off this year’s Black History Month!

Source: The Urban Daily


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