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  Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author Patty Jackson. The contents of this page have not been reviewed and in no way reflects the views of 2DownFront.

PATTY JACKSON'S 4-1-1
WEEK ENDING: April 29th, 2016


Is Beyonce that chick…..that super marketing chick?!!!!!! Her surprise debut of new music and the single Lemonade has wrecked the internet. Seems that in the song, Bey drops a description of a side chick who’s been messing with her man, and that caused her fans to explode.  They took to the internet, targeted Jay-Z’s alleged sidepieces and dragged them (see how I’ve got my internet slang SMILE). Rachel Roy, ex-wife of former Jay-Z partner Dame Dash, had to take to the internet and defend herself as a person who respects marriage and the rumors aren’t true. Unfortunately because of the close spelling, even TV Personality Rachel Ray got caught in the internet storm as well as Rachel Roy. Singers Rihanna and Rita Ora also got linked to the song. So was Beyonce pouring her true heart out in the song, or was this a well–scripted publicity stunt? The Single Ladies singer knows just how to keep her audience’s attention: first with the Superbowl performance taking on social issues, then a surprise tour, followed by a surprise new music drop. After all this controversy, Beyonce did get hit by a few critics who thought the music and actions by her fans was too much. So out came the Boycott Beyonce t-shirts, but guess which ex-Destiny Child lead singer is linked to their sales? Does all this havoc and negative slams to Jay-Z, the alleged cheater in the song, mean that his and Beyonce’s marriage is more business than love?!!!!! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Jennifer Hudson throws her hat into the stage play to live TV performance craze. The Oscar winner will star in Hairspray Live in the role of “Motormouth Mable.” Hairspray is the story of a teenager in 1960’s America whose big dream is to get on the local teen dance show, but shakes up the status quo once she does. Martin Short, Derek Hough and Harvey Fierstein co-star. Hairspray Live debuts on NBC Wednesday, December 7th .

Dr. Bobby Jones set a record with his show Bobby Jones Gospel as cable TV’s longest running program. Jones has decided this will be his farewell season. Along with fresh faces on the music scene, look for many veterans of gospel and the show to come back and give Jones a fitting close. Bobby Jones Gospel airs Sundays at 9am on BET.

Nick Gordon returns to Dr. Phil. Gordon, who was taken in and cared for as a child by the late Whitney Houston, is finally speaking publicly about finding his one-time play sister, turned girlfriend, turned fiancé, turned play wife submerged in a tub of water. Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, died last year after months in a coma as a result of being submerged in water. While suspicious no charges have been filed at this point against anyone. Gordon, who spoke with Dr. Phil last in 2015 and had an emotional breakdown in the process, says he’s clean and sober now after going to rehab. He alleges Bobbi Kris almost drowned before because of substance abuse, specifically Gordon says Bobbi Kris mixed drugs. He also claims Bobbi Kris suffered two miscarriages, and that the couple wanted a child. Gordon describes Bobbi Kris’ death as an accident. A little bit of arguing after partying, but they made up, he goes downstairs in the house and she gets in the bathtub on her own. Sometime the next morning she’s discovered by the friends who were also in the house from that night to the next day. They knocked on the door entered only when getting no answer then holler for Gordon when they found her. Gordon still contends that the death of Whitney Houston is what sent Bobbi Kris on her path.

Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt will headline the new Lee Daniels’ drama on FOX. Daniels, who’s riding high on FOX’s smash hit Empire, is using his deal with the network to produce another series in the fall for the Latifah-Bratt vehicle called Star. Star is a music themed drama about three young singers who must make their way through the cut-throat music industry. Star is slated to premiere this fall on FOX.

Singer Usher returns to the big screen with two-time Oscar Winner Robert DeNiro in Hands Of Stone. Usher plays Sugar Ray Leonard, the legendary boxer and gold medal Olympian. DeNiro will play Boxing Trainer Ray Arcel. Leonard was the first boxer to ear $100 million in purses. Usher has been training for three years and now the movie is ready. Hands Of Stone hits theaters August 26th.

The Philly Sound’s first superstar, Billy Paul, has passed from pancreatic cancer. He developed it at the beginning of the year and passed away in his New Jersey home. Funeral services will take place at Deliverance Evangelistic Church on 21st and Lehigh Avenue this Saturday, April 30th with an 8am to 10am viewing and service beginning at 10am. Born Paul Williams in North Philadelphia, he became “Billy Paul” after a series of performances at the Apollo as the (successful) warm up act. Paul’s unique phrasing and jazz influenced delivery made him a 100% original. He had traveled on the road and studied music for years, including the West Philadelphia Music School. After well earning his stripes on the road, enter Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who initially signed Paul to their Neptune label with limited success in the late 60’s. When Neptune folded, it was Billy Paul who had the distinction of releasing the very first album on Philadelphia International Records (Going East in 1971). And, it was Paul who won the label’s first Grammy and American Music Award by giving Philly International its very first number one POP song, the multi-million selling Me & Mrs. Jones. While Paul didn’t surpass the success of that song or its album, the gold-selling 360 Of Billy Paul, he continued to be an international star. His other Philly songs included I Think I’ll Stay Home Today, Bring The Family Back, You’re My Sweetness, This Is Your Life, Let’s Make A Baby, Thanks For Saving My Life, Let Em’ In and Only The Strong Survive. He also began producing and writing with songs like It’s Critical, Black Wonders Of The World, My Head’s On Straight, and the much rap-sampled Let The Dollar Circulate. He also produced and/or arranged on the albums Feelin’ Good At The Cadillac Club, First Class, and Live In Europe. After completing a nine year run on Philly International, Paul continued to tour, write and even managed artists, including his old friends McFadden & Whitehead. Billy Paul died at the age of 81.

We remember Sam Staten, Sr. The long time labor leader and Democratic supporter has died at the age of 80. Staten moved to Philly from Jacksonville, Florida as a youth. After attending school in Philly, he became a construction laborer and then became a field rep for Local 332, and that position culminated into a 30-year run as Local 332’s business manger from 1978-2008. Mayor James Kenney praised Staten as the man who never forgot his roots as a laborer. Staten fought for and won health benefits, health care improvements, emergency funds for workers who fell on hardships and he raised thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Sam Staten, Sr.’s viewing will be at Laborers Local 332, 1310 Wallace Street from 5pm to 8pm Thursday, April 28th and service: The Janazah (funeral) on Friday, April 29th at 4700 Wyalusing Avenue at 11am.

The shock of the death of Prince at the age of 57 has set off questions: how did he die, and why didn’t he have a will? Social media is going nuts about the Oscar and Grammy-winning musician who died suddenly last week. An autopsy was completed before his body went back to his family for cremation. The results won’t be back for a couple of weeks. Law enforcement has said they will honor Prince’s privacy. Meanwhile, there’s talk of turning his Paisley Park Estate into an Elvis type-Graceland. His sister Tyka Nelson has vowed to see that her brother's estate is shared with their half siblings. With no current wife and no surviving children, the siblings are Prince’s next of kin. Prince never confirmed this himself publicly but he and ex-wife number two, Mayte Garcia, reportedly lost two children during their marriage. Since there was no will, legal experts estimate it could take years to sort out the estate and the significant residuals it earns, placing its current value of upwards of $300 million. Right now, the courts are supervising the lawyers’ temporary maintenance of the estate. Meanwhile, everything from AIDS to opioid overdose to Percocet addiction are being thrown out in social media. The only clues are how Prince was found alone in an elevator unresponsive and the scare his plane had a week earlier where an emergency landing was required for “someone” on his plane.  Shortly after that plane incident, Prince performed at a small local venue and told the crowd not to believe everything they read. That stayed the tabloids for a minute. Then came the news of his death.

Prince will be remembered as an innovative writer/producer/performer who jelled his favorite influences (Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Philly Soul, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, Mavis Staples and Chaka Khan) into his own signature style. His triumphs for himself included Purple Rain, Scandalous, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Raspberry Beret, Diamonds & Pearls and of course, 1999. His hits as either writer, producer or record label head (Paisley Park Records) for others included Glamorous Life & Love Bazaar (Shelia E); Nasty Girl (Vanity & Vanity 6); Jerk Out (The Time); Round & Round (Tevin Campbell); Nothing Compares To You (Sinead O’Connor); Manic Monday (The Bangles); I Feel For You (Chaka Khan); Sugar Walls & U Got The Look (both Sheena Easton). Prince was famous for making his debut on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. The two became friends but at the time, Clark spoke about his frustration with the singer’s one-word and even non-verbal answers during their interview. Prince later attributed it to shyness. He got over that shyness during his famous feud with Warner Bros. Records. That resulted in his name change to “The Artist” and “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” after he wore the words slave on his face. Later as an independent artist, Prince even toured with and helped Chaka Khan and Larry Graham produce and distribute their own records. Both Khan and Graham experienced a profitable situation as a result. Who can forget the movies? Prince acted in Purple Rain, Under The Cherry Moon, Sign O’ The Times and Graffiti Bridge. The last three he also directed. Label head, singer, songwriter, actor: Prince Roger Nelson died April 21st.  

EJ Johnson will be pulling double duty on E!, and he’s had to set the record straight about whether or not he’s transitioning. The son of Basketball Legend Magic Johnson says just because he wears women’s clothes doesn’t mean he wants to become one. He’s told the press, until he does that Diane Sawyer interview and confirms it himself, everyone can have a seat! Meanwhile, EJ Johnson returns to reality TV in the fourth season of Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills on Sunday, May 1st. Johnson, who also shed 180 pounds, will be getting a six-part spinoff of his own that will co-star EJ’s sister Elisa Johnson, LL Cool J’s daughter Samaria Smith and Persian real estate heir Sanaz Panahi and their jet setting lives. EJ And The City debuts June 19th on E!

Kelly Ripa is back and Michael Strahan’s leaving early. Ripa returned to Live with Kelly & Michael and made a statement of support for Michael and the growth of his career. She took an ever so careful swipe at ABC/Disney with a little talk about respect too. This all began when ABC decided to promote Strahan to full time on Good Morning America (GMA) for September, and that means he leaves Live after four years of co-hosting. Ripa was never told and was reportedly livid that not only was Strahan leaving but ABC considered making GMA an extra hour, which could knock out her show Live. Ripa, who returned to the show after being out for a week, made Live the first place to give her thoughts on the matter. During the week she was out, the tabloids had a field day, and even claimed that Ripa and Strahan hadn’t been getting along for years. The botched transition has another consequence too. Instead of leaving at the end of summer, Strahan will leave Friday, May 13th during sweeps. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will be among the guest co-hosts. Actor Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me; The Mysteries Of Laura) is a rumored front runner to replace Strahan. O’Connell’s wife, Supermodel and Actress Rebecca Romijin, even championed him to the press recently. Meanwhile, Strahan will use the extra to rest and then get incorporated into the GMA full time crew. Word has it he was tired and had enough of Live. Strahan is also a FOX NFL sports analyst and is reviving the $100,000 Pyramid game show, originally hosted by the late Dick Clark, for ABC in the summer. Strahan’s full time gig on Good Morning America starts in September.

Denzel Washington will reunite with the man who directed him to an Oscar in The Magnificent Seven. The remake of the 1960 Yul Brynner-Steve McQueen western classic is directed by Antoine Fuqua, who directed Training Day and The Equalizer for Washington. Chris Pratt, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier and Byung-hun Lee also star. The Magnificent Seven opens in theaters September 23rd.

Co-star of FOX TV’s Empire and Philly’s own Bryshere Y. Gray, a.k.a. Yazz The Greatest, has landed a role in the New Edition TV biopic. Gray will play New Edition Founding Member and successful Music Producer Michael Bivins. Filming begins next month and the movie is set to debut on BET in 2017. Meanwhile, you can see even more of Gray, who plays Empire’s “Hakeem Lyon,” when the hit drama begins airing reruns from the first and second seasons this May on TV One. Those airings will begin with a marathon of episodes. Later this summer, Empire, co-created & produced by Oscar nominee and Philly native Lee Daniels, will finish the rest of the summer with weekly airings on TV One.

President Obama returns to the garden state when he speaks at Rutgers University’s 250th anniversary commencement on May 15th. The festivities will take place at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey, and is one of only three commencements the POTUS will give for his final year in office. The others are for the Air Force Academy and the legendary HBCU Howard University.

Morris Chestnut is producing and starring in the new thriller When The Bough Breaks. The actor, currently seen in FOX-TV’s Rosewood on Wednesday nights, has recruited his Best Man co-star Regina Hall to play his big screen wife. Chestnut and Hall are a successful couple trying to have a baby. The problems begin when their perfect surrogate, played by Jaz Sinclair, becomes obsessed with the couple’s life and wants to replace the wife. When The Bough Breaks opens in theaters this September.

Beyonce is on the cover of May’s Elle magazine, and she’s introducing new talent through her new record label Parkwood Entertainment.

Ebony magazine has Quarterback Cam Newton discussing losing the Superbowl, fatherhood and the politics of being a black athlete for the April/May issue.

Singer Andra Day is on the cover of the latest Essence magazine for their June issue which will also contain a tribute to Prince.

Singer/Actress/Disney Star Zendaya and Actress GuGu Mbatha-Raw are among the covergirls for the May edition of Marie Claire.

The U.S. currency pays tribute to a woman who stands shoulders above the rest when it comes to the word Freedom. Harriet Tubman, perhaps the most famous conductor of The Underground Railroad (the route through which black slaves in America escaped to freedom), will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Tubman, a former slave, made her home in Philadelphia for a decade when first escaping to freedom herself. Jackson will now be on the back of the twenty dollar bill. Between her work through the Underground Railroad and her time as a Union spy, scout, nurse and cook during the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was responsible for the freedom of nearly seven hundred slaves. Andrew Jackson, on the other hand, owned slaves and his polices as president ensured the continued massacre of Native Americans throughout the country. The five and ten dollar bills are also getting a makeover, including Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Philadelphia’s own Civil Rights Activist and Opera Singer Marian Anderson on the back of the five dollar bill, and former slave, Civil Rights Activist and Women’s Equality Fighter Sojourner Truth on the ten dollar bill.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author Patty Jackson The contents of this page have not been reviewed and in no way reflects the views of 2DownFront.

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