Zoe Kravitz will be spreading her wings -- literally -- in an upcoming film. The actress/singer was recently cast in "X-Men: First Class."
Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, will play Angel, a mutant with fly-like wings, in the next film from the Marvel Comics franchise based on X-Men comic books. She joins Edi Gathegi ("Twilight: New Moon"), Kevin Bacon and January Jones ("Mad Men").
The spell Erykah Badu usually casts on R&B and rap stars must also work on judges. The neo-soul diva got off with paying a fine and a few months probation for her recent striptease on a Dallas street...
Here's what you had to say:
Sharon commented via Facebook: "Whether stars or not, we have to obey the laws of the land."
Jannell wrote via Facebook: "I think it's ridiculous. She did the video 'guerilla' style."
As the music world continues to mourn the loss of the late, great Teddy Pendergrass,
ESSENCE.com recently spoke with Leon Huff, one-half of Gamble &
Co-founder of Philadelphia International Records--Pendergrass's
label--and a producer responsible for some of his biggest hits,
including "Close The Door" and "Love TKO," Huff talks about the man,
the music and the legend that was Teddy Pendergrass. For more on Teddy Pendergrass, click here.
Comebacks seem to be all the rage this year in music. From Maxwell to Whitney Houston, R&B's biggest stories all seem to involve the triumphant return of seasoned veterans. But there were also a fair share of new acts making noise on the charts--not to mention some perennial favorites like Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. Here we take a look back at the year in music. From the highlights to the lowlights, we remember it all--including the death of a King.
We know you're busy this
holiday season wrapping up all your year-end projects at work, gift shopping, prepping for your Christmas day and New Year's Eve festivities, and you're probably exhausted. So, we've pulled together some of our favorite holiday tunes for you to add to your playlist. Tune out the world and focus on what this holiday's really about...
Holiday Playlist"Hark the Herald Angle Sing" by Mary MaryGospel's sister act brings their soulful take to this classic carol based on a chorus from Classical composer Felix Mendelssohn.
Listen Now:"The Last Month of the Year" by The Staple SingersThe legendary gospel group made this holiday gospel tune by folk group The Kingston Trio their own this rendition.
Listen Now:"Santa Clause is Coming to Town" by The Jackson 5Michael and his brothers brought a youthful spirit to this Christmas classic that has made a staple in homes every holiday season.
Listen Now:"Let It Snow" by Boyz II MenThe Philadelphia foursome brought Motown Philly to the holidays with their remix of "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
Listen Now:"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Faith EvansThe original first lady of Bad Boy really spread her wings with this gospel-tinged Christmas song.
Listen Now:"Merry Christmas" by Silk'90s R&B bad boys showed their softer side by covering this traditional holiday carol.
Listen Now:"Be There for Christmas" by LedisiJazz/R&B chanteuse Ledisi offers this hypnotic, upbeat tune that offers a new take on Christmas music.
Listen Now:"8 Days of Christmas" by Destiny's ChildBeyonce, Kelly and Michelle turned the "12 Days of Christmas" on its ear with an updated, uptempo urban version - complete with new-school gifts.
Listen Now:"Merry Christmas Baby" by B.B. KingWho said Christmas can't be bluesy? Blues legend B.B. King stays true to his sound - and Lucille - while celebrating the holidays right.
Listen Now:"Christmas in Hollis" by Run-DMCWho knew Christmas in Queens could be so much fun? The "kings of rock" had heads nodding in the '80s with this new holiday classic.
Listen Now:This Christmas by Donny HathawayBrother Donny might have made the classic R&B Christmas record. There isn't much more to say other than it's not Christmas until you hear this song!
Listen Now:"Little Drummer Boy" by The TemptationsMotown has turned out many Christmas classics. One of our favorites has to be the Temps take on this tried and true X-Mas tune.
Listen Now:"Someday At Christmas" by Stevie WonderLil' Stevie did his thing in the late '60s with his album Someday At Christmas. The album is filled with great songs, among them the soulful title track about finding peace during the holidays.
Listen Now:"All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah CareyMC landed an instant Christmas classic with this original song from her 1994 Merry Christmas album.
Morgan Freeman captures the spirit and presence of Nelson Mandela in his new film "Invictus." Due out Friday, December 11, the film, which also stars Matt Damon, chronicles how the then newly-elected South African President enlists the all-white national rugby team to help unite the apartheid-torn country. Obviously, this isn't the first film to tell Mandela's story or that of apartheid South Africa. Here are seven other films worth seeing if you want to know more about that man and his country.
R&B stars like Maxwell and Keri Hilson may still be basking in the glow of their recent Grammy nominations but neither is resting on their laurels. The R&B singers as well as other artists at last week's Grammy Nominations Live were happy to talk about new music they are working on.
Atlanta has long been a hot bed of artistic and cultural activity. However, with housewives and hip-hoppers often dominating the headlines, it's easy to forget that there's more going on in the A. Take, for example, music mogul Devyne Stephens.
The ATL native has spent the last decade grooming the careers of artists like Usher, Alicia Keys and Akon. Stephens' Upfront Megatainment serves as one of the city's few one-stop shop for artists, featuring a recording studio, hair and make up wing, photo studio, nutrition and fitness counseling, media training and a choreography studio. Akon, who is currently signed to Upfront/Konvict as a recording artist,
has spawned the likes of T-Pain. Stephens also brokered a label deal
for Akon's KonLive music label with Geffen/Interscope Records and Akon
tapped Stephens to be the Executive Vice President of the label, a
testament to their mutual respect. Lady GaGa is signed to KonLive. Despite all his success in the music industry, the thing that Stephens is most proud of is his recent philanthropic efforts.
Essence.com recently spoke with Stephens about discovering stars, Atlanta and his Devyne Intervention non-profit project.
We had a "feeling" that last night's Grammy nominations special would be big for Beyonce but we had no idea it would be this big. The multi-talented star led all nominees with 10 nominations, including Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year ("Halo") and Song Of the Year ("Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"). Find out which of your other favorite artists may be taking home awards next January here.
UPDATE: We live blogged "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" which announced nominations for the 2010 Grammy Awards. Performances included sexy soul brother Maxwell, the host and hip hop icon LL Cool J, and hip-pop foursome Black Eyed Peas. Here's the buzz: Beyonce leads the pack with 10 nominations (including Album of the Year and Song of the Year). Maxwell, Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas follow with 6 nods each. And Jay-Z and Lady Gaga both get five nominations. Check out our live blog...
Alicia Keys is slated to launch her The Barber's Daughters jewelry collection this Monday, November 23rd in New York City. According
to WWD.com, Keys and design partner GisÃ¨le Theriault have created a
line of sterling silver and gemstone pieces, which range in price from
$85 to $2,500, that feature the poetry and prayers of The Hidden
Messages in Water author Masaru Emoto. Read more...
South Carolina Democrat Mullins McLeod believes that the Confederate
flag must be removed from the State Capitol building if the state is to
attract more jobs. According to South Carolina's The State, McLeod, a Charleston-based
attorney who is running for governor, released a plan on Thursday,
November 19th to create jobs and reopened the age-old debate about the
flag. "We are not going to compete in a 21st century economy by
prolonging 19th century arguments," McLeod wrote in a prepared
statement. "It is time for us to send a clear and unambiguous signal to
the rest of the country, and the entire world, that South Carolina is
better than what people see on the news, and that we are ready to make
progress. "By agreeing to move past this old argument once and for all,
we will be telling the world that South Carolina is ready to lead
again." Fellow Democratic contender, Sen. Vincent Sheheen, said he too has
believed for the past decade the flag should come down.
Idris Elba has been cast in film adaptation of 'Thor,' the popular Marvel comic book. According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog, Elba, best known as Stringer Bell from HBO's 'The Wire,' will play Heimdall, the guardian of Asgard who stands ready to defend the city from intruders. The film, which also stars Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth, tells the tale of the Norse god of Thunder. While Thor is slated to begin shooting early next year, Elba has a few movies due in 2010. First, he will star alongside T.I., Michael Ealy and Chris Brown in the bank heist film 'Takers.' Elba also recently wrapped 'The Losers,' another comic book movie co-starring Zoe Saldana and Columbus Short.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown, the newest stars on the label created by Barry Gordy in 1959, will perform the gems from classic Motown tracks during the halftime show of an NFL game Thanksgiving afternoon. Melanie Fiona and Kem are among the acts scheduled to next Thursday at 12:30pm (Eastern time) during the 2009 United Way Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show: A Motown 50th Anniversary Tribute.