Archive for December, 2006

12.30
06

Usher To Portray James Brown In Godfather Biopic?

by admin ·

UsherThe Godfather of Soul hasn’t even been buried yet, but the James Brown legacy machine is already in full frenzy. Not only has Spike Lee already been signed on to direct said Godfather’s biopic, Usher has reportedly shown interest in starring as Brown.

Despite Ush’s hit run in the Broadway musical Chicago, we don’t think Lee would allow the sexy crooner to play anything more than a young Brown (our vote’s for a seasoned film actor like Eddie Murphy). However, there’s no denying the bond forged between Ush and Brown.

After all, Brown dubbed him “The Godson Of Soul” after the two did a duet performance at the 2005 Grammys.

“It couldn’t have been more of a pleasure to be recognized by James Brown,” Ush said. “James Brown introduced me to soul. Because of him I was given a clear view of what a real performance is and should be. I learned showmanship from him.”

Recalling how Brown showed up on time for the Grammy rehearsal, something, according to Ush, newschool performers rarely do, the 28 year-old entertainer said “Mr. Brown was in a class by himself.”

“Man, when he called me the ‘Godson of Soul,’ I damn near fell out backstage,” he continued. “Truth be told, I was so excited while on stage that I didn’t even know that he gave me that name. It wasn’t until I was backstage in my dressing room and someone from my staff told me he named me that. Then I actually saw a replay of the awards show.”

The last time the “father” and “son” saw each other was at the latter’s benefit concert for families affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita back in October 2005.

“The last time we spoke was at my Project Restart event at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta,” Usher says. “He was so happy to be a part of my Gulf Coast relief project. His support showed me so much about his character. James Brown was a giver. James Brown earned his name as the hardest working man in show business. ‘Mr. Dynamite.’ ‘The Godfather of Soul.’ I will miss him.”

12.30
06

Chaka Khan Replaces James Brown For New Year’s Gig, Memorial Performance Planned

by admin ·

Chaka KhanA living legend in her own right Chaka Khan will entertain approximately 1,400 fans who bought tickets to see the late James Brown perform at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.

All tickets already purchased will be honored, but most importantly, so will the music icon who changed the face of contemporary music. The night is being called “Chaka Khan – New Year’s Eve – Dedicated To James Brown.”

“There are few artists that have had the profound influence on music and culture as James Brown,” Khan said in a statement. “He is THE Godfather that defines ‘legend.’ His music and the spirit of his soul will be felt for generations to come. On the eve of a new year, I dedicate this show to celebrate his life, spirit and soul. James Brown I love you.”

Show(s) will go on at 8 and 10:30 p.m. and additional tickets are still on sale. Ticket prices start at a mere $85.

Call Ticketmaster at 454-3388 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

12.29
06

James Brown’s Last Apollo Appearance Draws Thousands

by Ife Oshun ·

James BrownA long time friend and colleague of James Brown said the icon loved the lines at the Apollo.

“His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater,” said Al Sharpton. “I felt that James Brown in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people.”

Yesterday that one last line snaked over three city blocks through Harlem as thousands waited to catch one last glimpse of the man who forever changed popular music. Many started lining up at midnight for a viewing scheduled to begin 1:00 p.m. A number of folks eventually did not get in.

Dressed in a “midnight-blue suit, complete with white gloves and silver shoes,” the Godfather Of Soul was a showman even in death.
Besides changing the direction of rock and soul, Brown was the architect of rap, hip-hop, funk, disco and modern R&B. Sharpton, who’d known Mr. Brown since the 70s, said the music god had spoken to him on the phone recently about today’s music.

“Reverend, I want ya’ll to talk about love,” Brown said. “A lot of these kids who have come behind me and have used my music are teaching destruction and saying things that I would never say.”

Brown has left a gargantuan legacy that will inspire and influence generations to come. What will we leave with our lyrics, music, images and words?

James Brown Harlem Wake Video

James Brown on YouTube 

Photo: The Age.com 

12.29
06

Top 10 R&B/Soul And Rap/Hip-hop Deaths In 2006

by Ife Oshun ·

James BrownThis has been a doozy of a year for R&B, soul and rap/hip-hop celebrity deaths. The sheer caliber of talent on this list, compiled December 1, was already awesome as it features seminal names such as Billy Preston, Ruth Brown and Lou Rawls.

Added to the list late in the game was unarguably the most influential groundbreaking music icon of our time, Mr. James Brown. It has been updated to reflect the most recent information.
1. James Brown
2. Billy Preston
3. Ruth Brown
4. Wilson Pickett
5. Lou Rawls
6. Gerald Levert
7. J Dilla 
8. Proof
9. June Pointer

More R&B/Soul And Rap/Hip-hop Deaths

12.29
06

Brian McKnight Shares The Scandalous Truth Behind New Single

by Ife Oshun ·

Brian McKnightBrian McKnight’s latest single, “Used To Be My Girl” tells the story of a guy playing “big dawg” towards a dude seeing his ex-lady friend.

In the song, McKnight tells dude: “Go ‘head, playboy do your thing. Don’t be mad if she calls my name.”

In a recent conversation with me, the sexy, babymaking music maker exposed the real story behind the tune.

“This girl wasn’t necessarily my girlfriend.. had told this guy that she used to be with me… but she never thought we’d all be in the same place at the same time…” Listen

The veteran artist also told us who’s at the top of his list for up-and-coming R&B talent.

“I really don’t listen to a lot of music to be honest with you,” he confessed. “I watch a lot of television and it’s mostly sports. But definitely Ne-Yo and Chris Brown would be at the top of that list.”

Check out the complete audio interview, where McKnight chats candidly about his new album, lovelife, future collaboration plans, and more.

Audio interview with Brian McKnight

12.28
06

Spike Lee To Direct James Brown Movie

by MWord ·

Director Spike Lee has signed on to helm a movie about James Brown, the late “Godfather of Soul.”

According to Daily Variety, the project will be produced through Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures by Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind”).

Production is slated to begin in 2008.

There has been no word yet on who will portray Brown, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie Murphy was in the running after the surprising performance he put in for Dreamgirls.

12.27
06

Dreamgirls Breaks Box Office Records, Inspires Spontaneous Applause

by admin ·

“Dreamgirls” pulled in a whopping one-day gross of over $8.7 million on Christmas Day as it opened to wide release in 852 theaters across the country.

The flick starring Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Beyonce and a seemingly sleepwalking Jamie Foxx ranked as the third-best Christmas Day opener of all time, behind only Will Smith’s “Ali” (2001) and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Catch Me If You Can” (2002). It also broke the record as the best single day box office numbers ever for a musical. With the addition of its sold-out roadshow from the previous weekend, the film has earned a nice total of $9.6 million.

The screening were so popular many theaters added additional midnight showings to accommodate the lines of people. Once inside audiences across the nation have been reportedly shouting and applauding during and after Hudson’s magnificent solos including “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

In related news, Hudson is scheduled to perform at Manhattan’s famed Hammerstein Ballroom on December 30 for the “Dreamgirls (The Underground Clubmix).” The event starts at 10 p.m., and Hudson will hit the stage at 11:15 p.m. For tickets or more information call visit www.saintatlarge.com.

12.27
06

James Brown’s “Wife” Claims They Were Legally Married

by admin ·

Lawyers have shut Tomi Rae Hynie out of the home she shared with late legend James Brown, claiming the two were never legally married. Hynie, however, claims otherwise. According to The Associated Press, Hynie says she has documentation proving she is Brown’s legal wife.

Hynie, 36, found the gates to the Beech Island, South Carolina home padlocked the day of Brown’s death (Christmas) and was denied access.

“This is my home,” said the mother of Brown’s 5-year-old son. “I don’t have any money. I don’t have anywhere to go.”

Hynie has reportedly been forced to stay in a Augusta hotel with no change of clothes and no money. She says “James Brown’s wishes” were for her to live in his home with their child as long as she wanted.

Brown’s lawyer, Buddy Dallas, says the decision to lock Hynie out of the house is not personal.

“It’s not a reflection on her as an individual. I have not even been in the house, nor will I until appropriate protocol is followed.”

He then claimed she had her own house to go to.

“Ms. Hynie has a home a few blocks away from Mr. Brown’s home where she resides periodically when she is not with Mr. Brown,” Dallas continued. “She is not without housing or home.”

Dallas would not go into detail regarding Brown’s final instructions, but he did acknowledge the estate was left in trust for his children.

Hynie’s 2001 marriage to Brown was nullified when it was discovered she was already married to a Pakistani polygamist. She eventually annulled the previous marriage but never remarried Brown.

Hynie claims a judge told her she was legally married to Brown.

She had not seen the iconic performer for several weeks before his death, claiming that he’d sent her away to California to relax on the beach.

“My job, marriage was difficult. So he sent me to the beach. He paid $24,000 for me to go.”

The partnership between Brown and Hynie was peppered with domestic abuse charges and other challenges.

“He was a difficult man to live with, but he was a great man,” she said. “I was the only one who could handle James.”

Mr. James Brown, 73, is survived by at least five children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

12.27
06

New York Power 105 DJ Carl Blaze Passes Away At 30

by admin ·

New York radio DJ Carl Blaze has passed away after spending two weeks in critical condition after being shot by unknown assailants in the Bronx.

Blaze, who worked as a weekend host on Power 105.1, was shot a total of thirteen times in Inwood shortly after dropping off friends after dj’ing a party. Blaze’s $20,000 diamond necklace was stolen, but his wallet and other valuables were left alone. The crime remains unsolved.

New York Newsday 

12.26
06

James Brown To Lie In State At Apollo Theater, Funeral Scheduled For Saturday

by West ·

James BrownThe body of the legendary James Brown will lie in state at the “world famous” Apollo Theater in Harlem for fans to have one last look at the man who forever changed popular music.

The theater was where the music icon made his debut more than forty years ago, and is a fitting place for Brown to make his last appearance.

“His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater,” said Al Sharpton, a long time friend of Brown. “I felt that James Brown in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people.”

Read more…