What is really going on with the Queen Of Soul? Relatives are saying Aretha Franklin is suffering from pancreatic cancer. This is the same cancer that claimed the life of actor Patrick Swayze. Franklin, 68, had surgery a couple of weeks ago and a prayer vigil was held in her hometown of Detroit. There was speculation of her health that her spokespeople wouldn’t confirm at the time. One of Franklin’s most recent performances was a summertime concert with former Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice and surprise guest Ron Isley for a fundraiser at Philadelphia’s Mann Music Center. All tour dates and appearances for most of next year had already been cancelled for Franklin per doctors’ orders. In a statement following last week’s surgery, the soul music legend says God’s still in control and she thanked her fans for all their prayers.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards take place February 13th. Kem, Sade, Fantasia, Jaheim, Usher and El DeBarge are all up for awards.
Speaking of El DeBarge, he’s on the cover of Jet magazine. In a very revealing interview, he talks about his latest CD, Second Chance, and his second chance at his life and career. DeBarge, 52, says his career revitalization is wonderful, but he wants to reconnect with his children. DeBarge is the father of 12 children ranging in ages from 3 to 31. DeBarge says his years of drug abuse and brief prison stint cost him valuable time with his children, and he wants this second chance to develop a better relationship with them.
Singer Will Downing is battling health issues again. Downing has cancelled all tour dates for the rest of the year. Back in 2007, Downing was diagnosed a muscular disorder called polymyositis. Apparently he has suffered a setback, and doctors have ordered him to rest. In September, he released his latest CD Love, Lust And Lies.
Halle Berry is headed to Broadway. She is set to star in the production mountaintop with Samuel L. Jackson. Her new movie about a woman with multiple personality disorder, Frankie And Alice, opens in theatres in February. She also has a new fragrance, Reveal, coming out this winter. Berry’s baby daddy, Model Gabriel Aubry, recently ended his publicity stunt with Reality Star Kim Kardashian. The stunt made Berry very angry, and sources say she ordered Aubry to end it and not have thier daughter around Kardashian. No sweat for Kim K. She has moved on with a new man: 6’9 Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets.
Wesley Snipes says he is not a tax protestor. He says his tax problems are the results of bad advice, and he blamed the media for his tax problems. Snipes has been ordered to prison to start a three-year sentence for tax evasion. Snipes had many of his celebrity friends come to bat for him, but it was not enough to save him. According to published reports, some women who dated Snipes before he married Korean Painter Nikki Snipes are talking. Apparently, Snipes likes barbeque sauce…..as in pouring it on women’s feet … and licking it off!!!!!!!! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Jermaine Jackson had his driver’s license taken away for non-payment of child support. Jackson is being taken to court by his ex-wife Alejandra Jackson. She has two kids by Jermaine, and she also has two older kids by his brother Randy. Alejandra has been ordered out of the Jackson family compound in Encino, California. Alejandra has to fend for herself and her children, and now she is going after the Jackson brothers to survive. Jermaine had no comment. He is currency dating a rich Arabian woman, so I wonder why he won’t give his ex any money.
Steve Harvey’s book, Straight Talk No Chaser is in stores. It’s a follow up to the book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Steve will be in Philly Tuesday, January 18th at the Borders Bookstore on Broad and Chestnut Streets. Also, check him out nightly on the Centric network with The Steve Harvey Project. Steve is also going on tour with Kirk Franklin. It’s a gospel and comedy tour which kicks off next March. Harvey is also on the cover of the new issue of Essence magazine and is doing very well with his latest job as the new host of the game show Family Feud.
Ne-Yo is known for his singing and dancing. Now he’s ready to put his acing hat on. The singer/songwriter is scheduled to appear on CSI: New York as a hit man.
Get well wishes go out to Soul Legend Bobby Womack. The 66-year old singer/songwriter recently revealed he’s battling prostate cancer.
A divorce is coming to The Real Housewives Of Atlanta. NeNe Leakes has filed for divorce from her real estate hubby Greg Leakes. The Leakes have been having problems for a while all stemming from Greg struggling with his real estate business. NeNe is striking out on her own. Next month, she will be appearing on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.
ESPN is detailing how NBA Superstar Allen Iverson blew through his $200 million dollar fortune. Sources say reckless living was the cause of his downfall. A cocktail waitress is being talked about as Iverson’s main jumpoff. She’s been telling friends about the private jets and gambling where he blew thousands of dollars at a time. She also talked about a six bedroom house he brought her along with a Mercedes Benz.
Rapper Doug E. Fresh is the latest celeb in trouble with the I.R.S. Apparently, he owes them over $2 million.
Is Singer Trey Songz dating Actress Lauren London? Hmmmmmmmm!
D.L. Hughley is returning to TV in a new sitcom for the TBS network called Rabbit Factory.
Mike Tyson has been selected for the Boxing Hall Of Fame.
2011 is going to be an amazing year for Actress Angela Bassett. She just signed on for the movie This Means War, which is being produced by Will Smith. Bassett will star alongside Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. Bassett will also be starring in the new ABC cop drama One Police Plaza, and she’s got two other films on the way. The T.D. Jakes’ movie Jumping The Broom with Paula Patton in May and the action movie The Green Lantern in June.
R Kelly was amazing on the Soul Train Awards. His new release, Love Letter, comes out December 14th. Ron Isley is back with the CD called Mr. I.
Natalie Cole is back with a new holiday music entitled The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. The 14-song project is filled with holiday classics and is her first since her life saving kidney transplant in May 2009. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year will also be available on DVD.
Boyz II Men recently signed a deal to deal a four-week series at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.
Thursday, December 9th, Barbara Walters has two prime time specials. The first is all about Oprah as Walters features the queen of talk. The second is her Most Fascinating People Of The Year including Kate Middleton, Sandra Bullock, Justin Bieber and Sarah Palin.
Janet Jackson is planning on a tour for next year, and she wants her fans to help her pick the cities and songs, for more info go to janetjackson.com. Check her out on the new issue of Health magazine. Janet is also teaming up with Barbie to create a Barbie Doll in her likeness called Divinely Barbie.
The new season of American Idol, with new Judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler alongside the returning Randy Jackson, kicks off Wednesday, January 19th. The new nights for American Idol will be Wednesday and Thursday with Thursday being the new elimination night. Congrats to Lopez, she recently joined Denzel Washington as a national spokesperson for The Boys And Girls Club Of America.
Get ready for the return of Jamie Foxx. His new CD, Best Night Of My Life, arrives in stores Dec. 21st. Foxx also has two movies lined up for next year: Horrible Bosses with Jennifer Aniston and Skank Robbers with Martin Lawrence in their female characters "Wanda" and "Sheneneh."
Will Smith is alongside Tommy Lee Jones on the set filming Men In Black III in New York.
Poet/Author Dr. Maya Angelou, former President George H.W. Bush and Basketball Legend Bill Russell will all be honored with the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.
Rapper/Actor Common is ready to tell all. Common, 38, has a new book coming out in June called One Day It’ll All Make Sense.
The movie Takers arrives on DVD January 18th. The movie stars Idris Elba, Rapper/Actor T.I., Paul Walker, Matt Dillon and Chris Brown.
Singer Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge fame is headed to off Broadway next spring in the production Lady Day, based on the life of Singer Billie Holiday.
The King Of Pop’s videos are out on DVD. Michael Jackson’s Visions features over 2 ½ hours worth of classic videos. Also, get ready for the Cirque De Soleil Show coming to the Wells Fargo Center on April 10th, 2012. Michael’s music is also going to be featured in a special episode of the FOX show Glee. Glee has a special after the Superbowl episode on February 6th where the cast will be doing the music from the Thriller album. The Superbowl for 2011 will air on FOX and the special halftime guests will be The Black Eyed Peas.
Jennifer Hudson’s latest movie based on the life of Winnie Mandela hits theatres next year. Hudson will play Winnie and Terrence Howard will play former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Sir Paul McCartney is coming to the world famous Apollo Theatre in December for a benefit show. Also in December, the former Beatle will again be honored by President Obama at the December 28th Kennedy Center Honors. Oprah Winfrey, Choreographer/Dancer Bill T. Jones and Country Legend Merle Haggard will also be honored.
The 4th season of The Game kicks off January 11th on BET.
Mariah Carey is expecting her first child with hubby Nick Cannon, and the baby is due in the spring. Mariah’s latest holiday album, Merry Christmas II You, is out, and on December 13th, she will star in an ABC-TV holiday special. Carey is also promoting her line of jewelry, footwear and fragrance on the Home Shopping Network. She is also working on a new line of maternity clothes, and she has given up wearing heels. Yes! No more high heels for Mariah, at least until after the baby comes. Mariah’s hubby Nick Cannon recently got his wife 20 pairs of flats to wear. After falling once, he doesn’t want that to happen to her again.
Queen Latifah is hosting the People’s Choice Awards on January 5th.
Congrats to Chaka Khan! Khan is being honored at the 32nd Annual UNCF telethon, An Evening Of Stars. The show airs in syndication January 2011.
Whoopi Goldberg is headed to Broadway. The Oscar winner will open the musical version of Sister Act as star and producer on April 20th, 2011. Sister Act was a hit as a musical when Goldberg first reprised her role as Mother Superior during a run in London last year. Producers are looking for the same success on the Great White Way. The musical is based on the hit movie that starred Goldberg in 1992.
Patti LaBelle is on Broadway. She is playing the mother of the lead character in the musical Fela! LaBelle will be in the production through the first of the year.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This female Singer used to sing in a girl group. Her solo career never took off, and now she has taken to dating rich men to survive.
Did this R&B Darling get snubbed by the Grammys because of her affair with a married man? They did eventually get married, but did the affair cost her recognition on music’s biggest night.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, December 10th- Tank at the House of Blues in Atlantic City.
This Saturday, December 11th - Mint Condition & Eric Darius at the Keswick Theatre.
December 16th – Usher in concert at the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center).
December 18th –Comedy Show with Kevin Hart at the Tower Theatre.
December 19th- Brian McKnight at the Keswick Theatre with The WDAS Holiday Show.
Saturday, January 1st - The O’Jays in concert at the Hilton in Atlantic City.
Saturday and Sunday, January 8th and 9th - It’s the Rick Watson stage production There’s A Wright And Wrong Way To Love Somebody starring WDAS’ own Mimi Brown at The Arts Bank Theatre on The Avenue Of The Arts, 601 South Broad Street. The romance comedy/drama is written, produced and directed by Rick Watson. For more info call 215-869-3509.
Saturday, January 29th –Lauryn Hill in concert at The House Of Blues in Atlantic City.
Friday, February 4th-Comedy show with Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Earthquake and Turae at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
February 8th-13th The David E. Talbert stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know at the Merriam Theatre, Broad and Spruce.
Friday, February 12th – Funk Show starring Cameo, War, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Con Funk Shun and The Dazz Band at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Friday, February 18th- Salt N Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Doug E. Fresh,, Kool Moe Dee, and Kurtis Blow at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery
Saturday, February 19th- George Clinton at the Keswick Theatre.
April 10th - Cirque De Soleil Show featuring the music of Michael Jackson at the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center).
Sunday, June 19th – Sade in concert at the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center).
If you would like more info please email me at email@example.com or check me out with my Midday reports at 10:35, 12:35 and 2:35 pm during the day.