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Sudden Death and New Life Awe
By Ashonda Bethea-Ruth
During these past few weeks there have been sudden events that have taken the entertainment industry and us at home by surprise; three deaths only weeks apart, someone flips the bird at super bowl half-time show, an upcoming stars face is finally revealed and an awards show performance that leaves peoples jaw agape. This month of February has already taken the world by storm.
Legendary soul singer Etta James was pronounced dead Jan. 20. The singer, who is widely known for her popular hits such as “All I Can Do Was Cry,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and ultimate classic and wedding favorite “At Last”, passed away due to leukemia complications, with her husband and son by her bedside. A memorial service was held where stars and singers paid tribute to the late songstress, such as one Christina Aguilera, who seemed to have had a leaky mishap on the church stage, but I digress. James who, suffered from hepatitis C and dementia, died at a hospital in Riverside. Her birthday was Jan. 25.She would have been 74.
There was also the death of “Soul Train” producer and personality Don Cornelius, who sadly died Feb. 1 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Don died at age 75. The reason behind his suicide has not been answered, but speculators believe it had to deal with his “Soul Train” legacy no longer being on the train track, so to speak.
The most recent passing was by none other than Whitney Houston. On Feb. 11 the beloved singer and actress was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room. She was 48 years old. The cause of death is still unknown; however the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed that she was found in the bathtub; and final results will not be determined until lab tests are completed, which may take days up to weeks; Michael Jacksons lab results took over three months. The coroner’s office officials stated that the singer did not have enough water in her lungs to have drowned. Her daughter, whom Whitney had with singer and dancer Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina, was later hospitalized on Sunday after an apparent breakdown. According to media reports, Bobbi Kristina’s family members fear that she is suicidal over her mother’s sudden death. Hopefully she pulls through.
On Feb. 12 at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, many artists spoke their ‘rest in peace’ wishes singer/actress Jennifer Hudson delivered an elegant and simple tribute, performing Whitney Houston’s’ “I Will Always Love You”; a hit song which Houston made famous in the movie “The Bodyguard”.
But all was not well at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, which was held on Feb. 12. Aside from the Grammys’ blatant commercial appreciation, which interrupted the music fun after what seemed to be every performance, the Grammys were full of things that just left you sitting, and wonder why you’d tuned it. Well, my reason as Nicki. Although I am not a huge Nicki Minaj fan I wanted to see what she would perform and how outrageous, whether good or bad, it would be. Needless to say, it was bad. Now, one can dispute Nicki’s originality and shock factor as a great way to get people talking, but posing as a demon possessed, preacher taunting woman just strikes me as attention seeking, needy, and dull. It may just be me, but I am tired of watching this chicks eyes bulge out of her head because she wants to emphasize her “tough,” “hardcore” and “street” lyrics. Her performance left many speechless and not in any good way.
But Nicki isn’t along in the shock fest. There was uproar by viewers due to the 2012 46th Super Bowl, but it wasn’t because of the New York Giants (21-27) win over the New England Patriots. It was because British music artists M.I.A gave fans and viewers a little hello with her middle finger on live TV. M.I.A made an appearance alongside Nicki Minaj and Madonna, who was the featured headliner of the half-time show. In my opinion, the middle finger alone isn’t something to go crazy about, but when it’s on live TV, well, I guess it’s not OK. It however does give Janet Jackson something to chuckle about. Ms. Jackson if you recalled flashed a little something more revealing than a finger in the 2004 Super Bowl.
Ending on a lighter note, Beyoncé and Sean Carter, aka, Jay Z finally revealed the images of their precious baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter. There has been speculation over Beyoncé’s pregnancy being real or fake. But whether real or fake, there was a child and the child was of the couple biologically. Eyes and nose resembles the mother and the mouth undoubtedly resembles the father. Blue Ivy takes the world by storm and she has yet to take a step. The couple has also trademarked the baby’s name. They got the idea however from other people trying to trademark their own babies name first. Applications from fashion designer Joseph Mbeh to patent "Blue Ivy Carter NYC" and by an unnamed designer to trademark "Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV" for a fragrance line were denied by the Patent Office, which noted in its decision that the name belonged to a "very famous infant" and consumers would wrongly assume that any products bearing the name had been approved by Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Sheesh, must be hard being a celebrity baby. Here the child can’t even speak and people are already trying to make money off of her. The parents, unlike many celebs, released their own photos of the child and opted out of being paid for the first pictures. According to the New York Daily News, the couple has turned down a reported $14 million offer for the first pictures. Must be nice.