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Reflections: The Soul Of The Matter

  • Written by The Michigan Chronicle
  • Published in Detroit

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At the time of this writing, Robin Thicke is No. 1 on the national R&B charts with his song “Blurred Lines.” Shortly before that, Jason Timberlake was in the top spot with the album “The 20/20 Experience.” Eminem has been in that position as well.

These and other White artists who have done well on the R&B charts and on urban radio are accepted because they are working in a music genre that comes natural to them, almost second nature.

Therefore it comes across as authentic and is subsequently widely accepted in the Black community.

Among the other White artists who have found their way to high positions on the national R&B charts over the years are Teena Marie, Amy Winehouse, the Righteous Brothers, Daryl Hall & John Oates, George Michael, Gino Vannelli, Lisa Stansfield, Michael McDonald, Simply Red and Bobby Caldwell.

Soul comes from the heart, and if R&B is the genre and the artist is non-Black, so be it.

YOU HAVE probably heard by now that Halle Berry and actor Olivier Martinez got married in France recently, which is where he was born. Well, we hope this marriage is successful.

Martinez, by the way, beat up Berry’s previous boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubrey, who is the father of her daughter. (She and Martinez are expecting a son.)

Berry’s previous relationships and marriages that ended in disaster were with dentist John Ronan, pro-baseball player David Justice and singer Eric Benét. (There were probably others.)

It can’t always be the fault of the men.

JERMAINE JACKSON produced music for Whitney Houston in the early days of her career, and they also recorded as a duo. But according famed songstress Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom, there was more to it than that.

“Jermaine Jackson was trying to step out of the shadow of his superstar brother, Michael,” said Houston. “He turned out to be interested in Nippy (Whitney) for more than just her singing talent.

“Jermaine was a nice enough guy, but he was married, so I wasn’t thrilled when Nippy went out with him a couple of times. She was always a big fan of Michael Jackson, so maybe that had something to do with it.”

Other sources say Jackson and Houston were “secret lovers.”

QUESTLOVE (real name: Ahmir Thompson) is best known as the drummer/bandleader with the Roots, currently the house band on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” and as a record producer.

Now he has written a book titled “Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove.” He talks about his interesting life, and also has much to say about the artists and the records that have greatly affected him throughout life.

But was does “meta” mean? One online definition described it as “a term used to characterize something that is self-referential.”

Hmmm…not sure if I fully understand that.

NO ONE was as good as Luther Vandross when he was with us in the physical realm, and no one has come along who is even half as good since, although there have been and are a lot of good singers.

But Vandross was in a class of his own, and he fully deserved every one of those eight Grammy Awards.

It will be interesting to see if Queen Latifah does well with her talk show, “The Queen Latifah Show,” which debuts this fall. There are so many talk shows on the air already, and so many that were introduced in the past that didn’t make it.

However, Latifah has such a charming personality that it might be enough to enable her to succeed.

Chris Brown’s middle name should be “Trouble,” the latest being rear ending a woman, and then reportedly not having a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance. As had been well publicized, probation from a previous well-known incident was revoked, and he could get jail time.

One of my co-workers said, “He’s misbehaved long enough.”

Rolling Stone magazine recently posted a feature written by Andy Greene titled “The 10 Most Annoying Movie Star Behaviors.” One of them was “Casting Your Real-Life Children,” with a focus on Will and Jada-Pinkett Smith and their kids, Jaden and Willow.

With tongue partly in cheek, Greene said, “You’d think he (Smith) would realize that early fame has destroyed many childhoods. Before his kids were out of middle school, they were recording bubblegum rap songs and appearing alongside him in movies.

“’After Earth’ was created by Smith largely as a vehicle to showcase his teenage son, Jaden. He was so blinded by the desire to turn Jaden into a superstar that he didn’t realize the movie sucked.

“There’s a simple lesson here: Don’t cast your kids. You have no idea how much their presence warps your creative judgment.”

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that six women have been “Peaches” in the history of the famous duo Peaches & Herb.

MEMORIES: “Baby I Need Your Loving” (the Four Tops), “Woman’s Gotta Have It” (Bobby Womack), “Star Love” (Cheryl Lynn), “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” (Marvin Gaye), “Memory Lane” (Minnie Riperton), “Let Me Make Love to You” (the O’Jays), “Tired of Being Alone” (Al Green), “Choosing Up on You” (the Dramatics), “Love or Let Me Be Lonely” (the Friends of Distinction), “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes).

BLESSINGS to Mishelle Yvette Kennedy, Misha Helvey, Erica Alexander, Cheryl Johnson, Duana Watkins, Cor­nelius Fortune, Dorothy West, Aretha Watkins, Deena Dunham, Marcus Amick, Montez Miller and Dina Peace.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from filmmaker Michael Moore: “You don’t exist to be anyone’s personal garbage dump.”

Let the music play!

Steve Holsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

Read more http://www.michronicleonline.com/index.php/entertainment-original/13600-reflections-the-soul-of-the-matter

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