Category: Celebrity

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

‘Idol’ Fantasia Starting Salon Chain

Salons To Raise Funds For Home For Single Mothers
CONCORD, N.C.—Fantasia Barrino is getting into the beauty business. 

The “American Idol” winner has teamed up with Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter to open a chain of beauty salons to fund a home to help single mothers.

The driving force behind the project is Minter’s sister, Rosalind Beaty.

Beaty said that she hopes to open franchises that will channel their profits to a faith-based, nonprofit residential home for single mothers.

The first shop is due to open this fall in Concord under the name Imaj Salon and Spa.

Barrino won Season 3 of “American Idol” in 2004.

She recently played herself in the Lifetime cable movie “Life is Not a Fairy Tale.”

The film was inspired by her autobiography about dropping out of high school and becoming an unwed mother at 17.

Posted by loni on 09/05 at 08:15 AM in Celebrity
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Is ‘Vixen’ fixin’ Whitney’s woes?

in other entertainment news...............

Whitney Houston appears to have rid herself of hubby Bobby Brown. Whether he gets back into the house may depend on hip-hop temptress Karrine Steffans.
Houston’s friends have long blamed Brown for her woefully heavy eyelids. So they’re praying she has the strength to change the locks.

Good thing, then, that he’s been distracted by Karrine. You remember Karrine. Back when she was, as she puts it, “a coke whore,” hip-hop playas called her Superhead. But then she sobered up and wrote a best seller, “Confessions of a Video Vixen,” recounting the bedroom (and backseat) quirks of Usher, Diddy, Vin Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal and Ja Rule, among others.

She also wrote about Bobby - their bizarre 2002 encounter when “he told me he was a member of Al Qaeda and that President Bush was looking for him.”

Lately, she’s been seen around L.A. with him. So what’s up with them?

“It’s a really tricky situation,” she told us this week, as she test-drove a Mercedes SLK 280. “He is my dearest friend. But I’m not saying it’s romantic. We won’t know what it is till we’re ready.

“There’s a wife and children involved,” the single mom went on. “I don’t want to wreck any marriages. But if a marriage is already wrecked, that’s not my fault.”

So she and Bobby have been intimate? “It’s none of your business,” she scolded. “I’m still celibate. And if you believe that, I’ll tell you another one.”

“Look,” she said, shifting the Benz into a higher gear, “there are way bigger things in the works than a romance. I’m a businesswoman. Bobby and I are working together on some things.”

Somebody told online gossip Janet Charleton that Karrine is “using Bobby because she wants her own reality show.”

“Please,” she said. “You think I need Bobby Brown to get a reality show? I’ve turned down four reality shows.”

And what about the supposed “love of my life,” Bill Maher? In April, Karrine told us that she was so besotted by the comic that “I will never be with another man.”

“We still talk,” she says. “I’m going to have dinner with Bill next week” to celebrate her 28th birthday.

As for Whitney, she says, “I’ve never met her, but I’m a big fan. I want her to come back and sing her heart out.”

Posted by loni on 09/05 at 08:13 AM in Celebrity
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Ronald Isley gets 3 years in tax evasion

In entertainment news......

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Isley Brothers lead singer Ronald Isley has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for tax evasion.

Isley was also ordered to pay $3.1 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Conte.

He was convicted last year of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return.

During a hearing Friday, defense attorney Anthony Alexander argued that the 65-year-old singer should receive probation instead of prison time because of complications from a stroke and a recent bout with kidney cancer. Isley is expected to be sent to a prison hospital facility.

Alexander also pleaded for leniency because Isley had been attempting to pay down his IRS debt.

But U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson declined to sentence the R&B singer to less time than called for under federal guidelines.

“The term serial tax avoider has been used. I think that’s appropriate,” Pregerson said.

Alexander argued during trial that “unfortunate circumstances,” such as the deaths of two of Isley’s accountants, made him unable to get records together and pay taxes during the years that led to the criminal charges.

Posted by loni on 09/05 at 08:09 AM in Celebrity
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Croc hunter dies…..What aweful news for animals everywhere

BRISBANE, Australia (CNN)—“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, the Australian naturalist killed by a stingray on Monday, was filmed removing a poisonous barb from his chest just before he died, according to news reports.

Irwin’s manager John Stainton, who was among the television crew on the reef, said the accident was caught on videotape, according to The Associated Press.

He described the footage of his friend dying as “terrible,” the AP reported.

“It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he’s gone,” AP reported Stainton as saying.

Posted by rosevine69 on 09/05 at 05:27 AM in Celebrity
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Friday, August 11, 2006

From The Streets To Corporate Suites: How Homeless Man Made Millions

Scotty Ballard
July 31, 2006

No test. No testimony. Meeting affable multimillionaire Chris Gardner is like spending time with a favorite uncle eager to share the secrets of his steely business acumen that made him one of the most successful Black men on Wall Street and allowed him to build a prosperous brokerage firm in the financial district of Chicago.

But this CEO of Gardner Rich & Co. is also the boy who endured a difficult upbringing in 1950s Milwaukee with his siblings and mother, Bettye Jean Gardner.

The 52-year-old author unabashedly cherishes the memories of his late mother whom he believed when she told him, “If you want to, one day you could make a million dollars.” He followed that beacon of belief even when circumstances left him homeless and sleeping in public parks with his son tied to his back.

His memoir, The Pursuit of Happyness (Amistad/HarperCollins $ 25.95) unblinkingly focuses on universal topics like domestic abuse, illiteracy, mental illness, child molestation, alcoholism, poverty and homelessness-while serving as roadside assistance for all the “baby daddies” in need of help on the path of fatherhood.

Actor/rapper/producer Will Smith was so taken by the book he bought the rights to it and is set to star in its movie adaptation this December.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/11 at 03:07 PM in Celebrity
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Comedian Mo’Nique Booted From Plane in Chicago

Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2006
By: Staff

Comedian Mo’Nique was booted off a United Airlines flight in Chicago after a spat with a flight attendant and is calling for a boycott of the airlines.

The entertainer was en route to New York on Sunday to tape two episodes of “The View,” where she reportedly is being considered as a replacement for the departed Star Jones, when the incident occurred.

Mo’Nique, whose full name is Mo’Nique Imes, told the New York Daily News that a flight attendant challenged the star’s stylist when she put a hair dryer in a first-class bin. Mo’Nique was flying in the front of the cabin, but her assistant was in coach.

After an exchange of words, Mo’Nique told the newspaper the attendant told her: “Tell your people that the next time they have an attitude, they are being thrown off. ... Since 9/11, we don’t play around.”

Posted by loni on 07/26 at 03:12 PM in Celebrity
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

R&B Producer Pardoned On Drug Charge

Dallas Austin Sentenced For Cocaine Possession In United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 4, 2006

(AP) Dubai’s ruler pardoned American R&B producer Dallas Austin on Tuesday, hours after he was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of cocaine, two of the producer’s lawyers said.

Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued the pardon but Austin has not yet been released from jail, said the lawyers.

One lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Austin’s release was “a matter of paperwork.” The lawyer said he needed to be careful speaking publicly about the pardon until the Grammy-winning producer was safe on a plane back to his home in Atlanta.

A second member of Austin’s five-attorney legal team confirmed the pardon, but said he had not yet received details. Austin’s release could take a few days, the attorney said.

The court had also ruled that the 34-year-old Atlanta producer, who has created tunes for Madonna, Janet Jackson and Sugababes, should be deported after serving his prison term, said lawyer Qays Hatem al-Zu’bi.

Austin had pleaded guilty to a charge of carrying 1.26 grams of cocaine into Dubai. He told the court on Sunday that he had made an unintentional mistake and did not mean to break the law in the United Arab Emirates.

Similar cases have been pardoned in the past, and the defendant is usually deported.

Local media in Dubai reported that Austin was on his way to supermodel Naomi Campbell’s birthday bash at the glitzy Burj al-Arab Hotel when he was arrested May 19 at Dubai’s airport. Austin’s lawyer disputed the reported nature of his visit, saying the producer was in Dubai to attend concerts.

Since his arrest Austin has been held without bail at Dubai’s al-Rashidiya Police Station.

In 2003, Austin founded the Dallas Austin Foundation, which works to train youth for careers in the music and entertainment industries.

Austin has several hits to his credit, including Pink’s “Just Like a Pill” and TLC’s “Unpretty.” He won a Grammy Award for best R&B album in 1999 for producing TLC’s multiplatinum “Fanmail.”

Posted by loni on 07/05 at 07:48 AM in Celebrity
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Monday, July 03, 2006

The View’s Next Star: Brandy?

Well Well Well.  If this is true we shall see.

Could Star Jones Reynolds’s replacement on The View be Brandy? The singer and actress will fill in on the ABC morning show next Wednesday and Friday, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

The 27-year-old former Moesha star is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent, an NBC reality show produced by American Idol’s Simon Cowell. “America’s Got Talent has really opened a lot of doors for me,” she tells PEOPLE. “I want to do a lot more TV.”

Her View stint could lead to a full-time job. “These tryouts are for consideration for the permanent gig,” a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE. “They plan to have a few people trying out, like what CBS did (before hiring) Craig Ferguson for the Late Late Show.”

On Thursday, One Life to Live actress Renée Goldsberry was the first guest host to fill in for Reynolds. Goldsberry was recruited “almost at the last minute,” according to cohost and show creator Barbara Walters.

Goldsberry will be a guest host again on Monday. Tuesday’s episode will be a repeat of a previous broadcast and All My Children’s Susan Lucci will fill in on Thursday.

Born in McComb, Mississippi, Brandy (full name: Brandy Norwood) has released four albums that together have sold more than 25 million copies. She starred in UPN’s Moesha from 1996-2001, and had leading roles in the movies TV movies Cinderella and Double Platinum.

The View has been the focus of much attention since Reynolds’s surprise on-air announcement Tuesday that she would not be returning for the show’s 10th season. She revealed to PEOPLE that she had been fired.

Posted by loni on 07/03 at 10:07 AM in Celebrity
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Cheers Greet Lil’ Kim’s Prison Release


Well the Queen B is out.

No blue Monday for Lil’ Kim - the rapper received an early release from a federal detention center in Philadelphia that morning after nearly 10 months behind bars. A throng of fans was there to greet her.

Toting a balloon and a bouquet of white roses, the 4’11,” 30-year-old rapper walked out of the jail looking glamorous in sunglasses and an all-white, cleavage-baring outfit, reports the Associated Press.

Waving to dozens of cheering onlookers - some carrying signs reading, “Welcome Home, Queen Bee” - Lil’ Kim climbed into a silver Rolls Royce that ultimately pulled into a nearby parking lot where she re-emerged to greet the crowd.

“I love you,” she said, blowing kisses to her fans.

The rapper (real name Kimberly Jones) will remain under house arrest for 30 days and be under supervised release for three years. “She has accepted responsibility and handled herself in an exemplary manner,” her attorney, L. Londell McMillan, said in a statement released by Lil’ Kim’s publicist.

Lil’ Kim, the first prominent female rapper to serve a prison sentence, was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about a shootout outside a Manhattan radio station and began her sentence on Sept. 19, 2005. McMillan, noted at the time that she could be released early for good behavior.

Her case stemmed from a gun battle between Lil’ Kim’s entourage and rival rap group Capone-N-Noreaga. One man was injured.

Lil’ Kim told a jury that she hadn’t seen two friends - who later pleaded guilty to gun charges - at the scene. But security photos showed one of the friends opening a door for her, and witnesses said they saw her at the station with both of them. 

Posted by loni on 07/03 at 09:57 AM in Celebrity
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Friday, June 30, 2006

Why is everyone so hard on Rush Limbaugh?

Maybe it’s because he is hardon himself! Get it?

Rush Limbaugh’s lawyer said the Viagra was labeled with a doctor’s name to protect Limbaugh’s privacy.

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP)—Rush Limbaugh was detained for about 3 1/2 hours at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.

The 55-year-old radio commentator’s luggage was examined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after his private plane landed at the airport around 2 p.m. from the Dominican Republic, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Customs officials found in Limbaugh’s luggage a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra, a prescription drug that treats erectile disfunction, Miller said.

“The problem was that on the bottle itself was not his name, but the name of two Florida doctors,” Miller said.

The matter was turned over to the sheriff’s office, whose investigators interviewed Limbaugh.

“He said he had the Viagra in his possession for his use and that he did obtain it from his doctors,” Miller said.

Sheriff’s investigators confiscated the drugs, and Limbaugh was released around 5:30 p.m. without being charged.

However, the sheriff’s office plans to file a report with the state attorney’s office.

“We believe there may be a second degree misdemeanor violation, which is possession of certain drugs without a prescription, because the bottle does not have his name on it,” Miller said.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes,” Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney, said in a statement.

Last month, Limbaugh reached a deal with prosecutors who had accused the conservative talk-show host of illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping pain pill prescriptions. Under the deal, a single charge commonly referred to as “doctor shopping” would be dismissed after 18 months if he complies with terms that include submitting to random drug tests and continuing treatment for his acknowledged addiction to painkillers.

Posted by SPN on 06/30 at 10:03 AM in Celebrity
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