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|Tue, August 02, 2011 at 3:47 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
A judge on Monday ordered an alleged stalker who was arrested outside Halle Berry's home to stay at least 100 yards away from the Oscar-winning actress and her daughter for the next three years.
Richard Franco, 27, was arrested last month outside the actress' Hollywood Hills' home after he climbed over a security gate.
On July 12, Berry was granted a temporary restraining order against Franco, and the new order issued by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson extends the original order to August 1, 2014,
Neither Berry or Franco were present during Monday's hearing but in a sworn declaration Berry outlined how Franco had entered her yard on several occasions, and one of which, Franco tried following the actress into her kitchen.
Last month Franco was charged with a criminal count of stalking and one count of first-degree burglary related to his alleged break-in of a guest house on the actress' property.
Berry, 44, became the only black actress to win the Oscar for best actress in 2001 for her role in the movie "Monster's Ball".
By R.T. Watson | Reuters
(Reporting by R.T. Watson; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte
|Mon, August 01, 2011 at 3:52 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
A fistfight that began near a family unity festival headlined by funk musician George Clinton ended in gunfire, killing one and injuring three, Cleveland police said on Sunday.
During the fight in a parking lot near the concert venue on Saturday, one teenager produced a handgun and shot four people. One victim, a 16-year-old male, died from a wound to the head Sunday morning, Cleveland police spokesman Sammy Morris said.
A 20-year-old female wounded in the neck was reported as stable on Sunday, while two males who received gunshot wounds in the leg are expected to be released shortly from hospital, Morris said.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, he said.
The shooting occurred about three quarters of a mile from the Luke Easter Park locale where the annual "Family Unity In the Park" festival headlined by George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic was held. Authorities believe the incident is unrelated to the event.
"George Clinton and the other bands are basically from back in the 80s, that's when they were at the height of their popularity," said Morris, saying that over 75 percent of the crowd was likely over 40. "It's not like it was a Little Wayne concert or something when you have a bunch of 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds."
Initial reports on the incident put the time of the shooting at 9:55 p.m., according to an official of the Cleveland investigative unit for homicide, which is handling the investigation.
George Clinton and his band were due to take the stage at the free family event just after 8 p.m., according to an announcement for the concert.
Luke Easter in eastern Cleveland is the largest urban park in the state of Ohio, according to the Family Unity in the Park website. The park has also hosted political leaders such as Jesse Jackson and John Kerry.
"Bring your family, your blankets, your lawn chairs, your picnic baskets, and your grills for this family celebration. There will be a kiddie park for kids, health screenings, voter registration, information booths and more," the promotional website for Saturday's event stated.
No one has been arrested and investigators are asking for anyone with information about the incident or suspect to contact Cleveland Police.
"It's still ongoing, still an open investigation," Morris said. "It started with a fistfight, that's the one consistency; a fistfight that ended with the discharge of a weapon."
By Molly O'Toole | Reuters
(Writing by Molly O'Toole; Editing by Jerry Norton
|Fri, July 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
By Sabrina Ford
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six weeks have passed since R&B singer Jill Scott hit No. 1 on album charts with "The Light of the Sun," and she still finds herself in shock.
That may sound odd from the Philadelphia native whose debut album, "Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1" was released 11 years ago. Since then, she has recorded more music and become a well-respected actress with roles in films such as "Hounddog" and "Why Did I Get Married," as well as starring in HBO television series "Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency."
But for "Light of the Sun," Scott took a new path in her singing career. She veered into hip hop, and the road that heretofore was less chosen, proved to be a good direction. Scott kicked off her 18-city Summer Block Party tour this week in Boston and stopped in New York on Thursday night.
"I (still) don't believe it...I have a copy (of the Billboard album chart), but I still don't believe it," Scott told Reuters about her success with "Light of the Sun."
"Somebody sent me a text message, 'Congratulations on the No. 1 album,' and I thought they were talking about the R&B chart. I was really happy about that. Then I found out it was the No.1 album in the country. It's overwhelming," said Scott.
"Light of the Sun" marks other significant milestones for Scott. The record was her first project since a split from Hidden Beach Recordings last year, and it is the inaugural project for her Blues Babe imprint in collaboration with Warner Bros. Records.
On the new album, the classic rap songs she listened to growing up and the current hits she keeps in rotation today heavily influenced Scott, she said, whose musical style has typically been a fusion of soul, jazz and R&B.
One of her personal favorites on the new album, "All Cried Out Redux" features Doug E. Fresh, who was a pioneer in rap music and among Scott's early favorites in the genre.
"As a child of hip-hop, having recording anything with Doug E. Fresh is just surreal," said Scott.
Houston rapper Paul Wall, whom Scott calls one of the "nicest guys in hip-hop," joins her on "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" representing the voice of a mesmerizing, but less than chivalrous, lover she can't seem to shake.
How did the transformation to hip hop come about?
Last year, Scott was on a neosoul tour opening for singer Maxwell, singing the songs with which her fans were familiar, such as "Lyzel in E Flat" and "The Way." But Scott said her head, and heart, were in hip-hop.
"I started thinking about what kind of music I needed to hear before I went on stage. I think that was the catalyst. I need to hear Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross and Mobb Deep," she said.
Hip-hop not only influenced the sound of this album but also Scott's recording style, approaching the music from the position of wanting to freestyle the beats, rhythms and lyrics.
"I went in and had fun. I didn't really write much. Some of the songs were recorded in one take. I freestyled pretty much the entire record," Scott said, echoing respected lyricists such as Jay-Z, who famously does not write down his lyrics.
"So Gone," for instance, was almost entirely improvised, Scott said.
In keeping with the old school theme of her album, Scott's Block Party tour is deejayed by acclaimed producer, master of turntables and fellow Philadelphian, DJ Jazzy Jeff.
The tour also reunites Scott with Doug E. Fresh. Vocalist Anthony Hamilton and R&B band Mint Condition open the show.
The tour next visits Detroit and has further stops in Chicago and Cleveland before ending on August 28 in Houston.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte) Follow Yahoo! News on Twitter, become a fan on Faceboo
|Wed, July 20, 2011 at 10:01 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
R&B star R. Kelly has been hospitalized after emergency throat surgery in Chicago, forcing him to give up performing for an unknown period while he recuperates, the singer's spokesman said Wednesday.
Kelly, 44, had complained of throat pain and was rushed on Tuesday to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where surgeons the same day drained an abscess on one of his tonsils, spokesman Allan Mayer said.
The Chicago native will be "laid up indefinitely" as he heals, he said.
Last year, the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B released a critically acclaimed retro-soul album, titled "Love Letter," and recently completed the U.S. leg of a worldwide tour. It isn't clear when Kelly might be well enough to resume doing concerts again, Mayer said.
Kelly alluded to discomfort in his throat last week in a tweet, which was also posted on his official website, saying optimistically, "I feel like my throat is coming back. I've been in bed sweating like crazy."
Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for his gospel-tinged "I Believe I Can Fly," and is also known for his musical melodrama "Trapped in the Closet," a multipart saga about an ever-expanding cast of characters.
The medical issue comes soon after reports that Kelly faces a $2.9 million foreclosure on his suburban Chicago mansion.
Crain's Chicago Business reported that JPMorgan Chase filed a foreclosure lawsuit last month in Cook County Circuit Court. It states Kelly hadn't made monthly mortgage payments since June 2010.
The Olympia Field home's appraised value fell 26 percent in a year, to $3.8 million in 2010, Crain's reported.
Kelly's spokesman has declined to discuss the home but has said the singer is not in financial trouble
|Fri, July 08, 2011 at 8:39 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
After hip-hop was all about blasting the sucka MC's and before it focused on name-checking Louis Vuitton and Cristal, there was A Tribe Called Quest. And while audiences didn't initially know what to make of their kente-cloth ensembles and Dwayne Wayne eyewear, their unique sound made them a huge breakout success in the late '80s and early '90s.
So what happens 20 years later when the public clamors for a reunion tour and two of the group's four members are having a tiff?
That's the spine of "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest," a joyous new documentary that follows the quartet from their childhood friendship to a rancorous series of concert dates in 2008 and beyond.
Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White each brought something different to the table when they first formed the Tribe, and observers like Pharell Williams and the Beastie Boys attest to the impact that ATCQ had on them, with Common going so far as to say that Q-Tip was to hip-hop what Charlie Parker was to bebop.
Under the direction of actor Michael Rapaport ("Prison Break," "The War at Home"), "Beats, Rhymes & Life" plays like the smartest, deepest episode of "Behind the Music" ever, one where all the participants were willing to give in-depth interviews and own up to both their best and worst moments in the spotlight.
And while this first-time director lets both Q-Tip and Phife Dawg have their say regarding their disagreements of recent years -- Phife Dawg hilariously notes that Q-Tip wanted the group to be "Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest, like Diana Ross and the Supremes...I'm Florence Ballard? Get the f*** outta here." -- the movie never takes sides, instead allowing the viewer to decide which of them, if not both, is behaving like a jerk.
But unlike so many movies about the rise and fall of successful bands, this one manages to capture the thrill of discovery that A Tribe Called Quest enjoyed, at least in their early years. To see Q-Tip comb through albums to find just the right drumbeat or a snatch of a Minnie Riperton vocal to turn into a sample, or to watch Phife Dawg bust out with the opening rhymes of "Buggin' Out," is to feel the pleasure of creation.
In addition to celebrating the Tribe, this movie will warm the cockles of anyone who remembers the early '90s, when radio play was still relevant, music required turntables and boom-boxes, the Internet didn't figure into the making of a new band, Queen Latifah was still a princess, and X caps were the rage.
Viewers who aren't already familiar with the work of A Tribe Called Quest will walk out of "Beats, Rhymes & Life" with an understanding of why the group is still considered so influential. But Rapaport's behind-the-scenes interviews with the main players will provide an insider's glimpse that even those well versed in the Tribe's history will enjoy.
By Alonso Duralde | Reuters
|Mon, June 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Five New Orleans police officers indiscriminately shot unarmed residents during the chaos unleashed by Hurricane Katrina and got colleagues to help cover up the crime, prosecutors said Monday.
"Shoot first, and ask questions later," federal prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein said during opening arguments of a high-profile trial of the officers.
"That's how this whole case got started."
Bernstein described a "seemingly endless barrage of gunshots" that left two people dead and four badly wounded and a wide-ranging conspiracy that lasted almost four years.
The deadly 2005 shooting on the Danziger Bridge came to epitomize the city's failure to protect its citizens and exposed deep-rooted corruption in the police department, which critics say remains unaddressed.
"I was a police officer for 23 years," said Anthony Radosti, the vice president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a group that has played an unofficial watchdog role.
"And I'm appalled. We cannot have that in a civilized society."
Fear soon followed the deadly floodwaters which swallowed 80 percent of New Orleans and left thousands stranded on their rooftops after Katrina smashed through the city's poorly maintained levees on August 29, 2005.
Reports of widespread looting and armed gangs roaming the city shifted the government's already botched response from humanitarian aid to a military operation.
In the following days, six people -- almost all of them African American -- were killed under suspicious circumstances in incidents involving police. Scores more were injured.
The Danziger Bridge case is the most notorious of at least nine incidents being investigated by federal agents.
Defense attorneys gave a full-throated defense of their clients, depicting them as hero cops.
"These five had one thing in common -- they stayed," declared Paul Fleming, a lawyer representing Robert Faulcon.
He called the officers "proactive," saying, "They go out and get things done. They go out and get the bad guys."
Frank DeSalvo, the attorney who represents Sergeant Kenneth Bowen and has defended many NOPD officer in the past, called the government's case a work of "fiction" and compared it to a John Grisham novel.
DeSalvo and Flemming said that many of the government's witnesses were liars, singling out Michael Hunter, one of the officers who is set to testify against his former colleagues, and Lance Madison, a 20-year FedEx employee with no criminal record who watched his brother die that day.
Bernstein said ample evidence would be provided in the testimony of those caught in the crossfire, video from a nearby television crew and statements of three officers who have already pleaded guilty,
She described the terror experienced by one family, the Bartholomews, cowering behind a barricade as they "continued to feel more bullets rip through their flesh."
Four of the officers facing trial -- Sergeants Robert Gisevius and Bowen and Officers Anthony Villavaso and Faulcon -- were charged in 2007, by then-district attorney Eddie Jordan.
A judge threw out the case, citing prosecutorial misconduct.
The fifth defendant, Sergeant Arthur Kaufman, was not involved in the shooting, but faces charges for participating in the cover-up.
Much of the public supported the officers when they were first charged in 2007 and a crowd of more than a hundred people -- mostly off-duty office
|Sun, June 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Following is a complete list of winners at the BET Awards, honoring black entertainers and sports stars, held in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Viewers' Choice - "Look at Me Now," Chris Brown, featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes
Male R&B artist - Chris Brown
Female R&B artist - Rihanna
Male hip-hop artist - Kanye West
Female hip-hop artist - Nicki Minaj
Collaboration - "Look at Me Now," Chris Brown, featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes
New artist - Wiz Khalifa
Group - Diddy-Dirty Money
Video of the year - "Look at Me Now," Chris Brown, featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes
Video director the year - Chris Robinson
Young star (tie) - Willow and Jaden Smith
Actor - Idris Elba
Actress - Taraji P. Henson
Movie - "For Colored Girls"
Gospel - Mary Mary
Centric - Marsha Ambrosius
Sportsman - Michael Vick
Sportswoman - Serena Williams
International act (UK) - Tinie Tempah
International act (Africa) (tie) - 2Face Idibia (Nigeria), D'Banj (Nigeria)
(Reporting by Dean Goodman
|Sun, June 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LOS ANGELES – Amid awards for the top artists, actors and athletes, Steve Harvey was recognized for his humanitarian work at the BET Awards.
BET Chairman and Chief Executive Debra Lee called the 54-year-old entertainer "a true gentleman who acts like a comedian but thinks like a citizen of the world" as she presented him with the Humanitarian Award.
Harvey thanked God and his fellow philanthropists as he accepted the honor.
Patti LaBelle also accepted a special honor at Sunday's ceremony; Gladys Knight presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I plan to hold myself up higher because I've gotten this wonderful award," the 67-year-old singer said, and then she grabbed a microphone and sang a pair of hits, including the breakthrough hit "Lady Marmalade."
Harvey and LaBelle were among dozens of artists recognized at the BET Awards, which were presented at the Shrine Auditorium.
The night's leading nominee, Chris Brown, collected four awards in all. The 21-year-old singer won a pair of prizes early in the show and two fan-voted awards at the end of the ceremony.
Brown was named best male R&B artist and won best collaboration for his song "Look At Me Now" with Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes.
Brown accepted the collaboration award after performing a medley that including the winning track.
"Public-speaking is not my strong suit," he said, thanking BET and his fans before passing the microphone to Wayne, who expressed gratitude to Brown for including him on the track. Busta Rhymes rapped his acceptance.
Earlier in the ceremony, Brown also thanked his fans and the network: "I appreciate all the support. I know it's been a long road, so I appreciate every blessing in front of me."
Lil Wayne also came on stage when Nicki Minaj accepted her award for best female hip-hop artist.
"I can't believe for the first time I get to share a moment like this with the person who saw me rapping on a staircase," she said of the rapper and producer, who was incarcerated when she won the same prize last year. "Lil Wayne, I love you."
Minaj was joined by Justin Bieber to present the male hip-hop artist award later in the show. Kanye West won but wasn't on hand to accept the trophy.
Instead of traditional awards-show winners' envelopes, winners were revealed on a tablet device provided by Sprint. But the tablet proved tricky when it was time to announce the winner of the Viewers' Choice award.
A fan was brought on stage to announce the winner, and she initially said Brown won. Then she corrected herself to say Rihanna won, and Drake came on stage to claim the trophy. After a commercial break, host Kevin Hart clarified that "there was a mistake," and Brown had indeed been the viewers' choice.
Other winners included Diddy Dirty Money, named best group, and Jaden Smith and Willow Smith, who tied as winners of the Young Stars award.
But the show was really about the performances, which were plentiful. Mary J. Blige opened the ceremony, performing her hits "All Night Long" and "Real Love" before being joined by Anita Baker. The divas performed a duet of "Caught Up in the Rapture."
Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled and Ace Hood shared the stage for "Hustle Hard." Alicia Keys unveiled a new song, before lapsing i