A married mom of three, living in Brooklyn, New York. More than 15 years as a fact-checker, writer and reporter for PEOPLE Magazine allowed me to interview and network with A-list celebs and US presidents. Now, giving back by sharing my knowledge with young people as a college professor. A lover of family, travel, fitness, fashion, music, film, tv, technology, nature, animals and peace.
The apple definitely doesn’t fall too far from the Carters tree, as Blue Ivy Carter, daughter to music icons, Beyonce and Jay -Z scored her first Grammy award at the tender age of nine.
Black Girl Magic love is pouring in all over social media for little Blue Ivy Carter who now holds the title of the second youngest artist to win a Grammy in history. For the past 20 years this title was held by Leah Peasall of The Peasall Sisters, who was one of the credited artists on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, which won Album of the Year in 2001. At the time Leah was just eight years old.
Patti LaBelle and Glady’s Knight sure can cook! This we know. But it wasn’t their delicious food or Ms. Belle’s iconic Patti Pies that the singers were serving up when they invited viewers to attend their Sept. 13 Sunday dinner by pulling up virtually at 8pm to watch them on VERZUZTV sing 35 of the most memorable hits from their individual musical catalogs. The legendary multiple Grammy-winning singers did not disappoint.
With 3.7 million viewers tuned in globally from across Instagram and Apple Music, the comments area overflowed with praise and emoji hearts as fans witnessed the two singers serve up a hearty plater of insanely good R&B/soul music that has stood the test of time. Each song was digested like a delicious plate of soul food. Classic banger after classic banger hit the spot. From Knight’s Midnight Train To Georgia, to LaBelle’s Right Kind of Loverand You Are My Friend, led the trip down memory lane and showcased why they are the matriarchs of RnB /Soul.
Seated amongst the millions watching virtually from home and leaving messages and comments for the two stars were some of today’s biggest public figures including Former First Lady Michelle Obama, television and print icon, Oprah Winfrey, to music students of the matriarchs,–Mariah Carey,Missy Elliott, and Brandy. When Tim Cook, CEO of Apple tuned in, Patti sent him a shout out. It was great to see fans and celebs alike witness the love and sisterhood between the two singers and hear them tell their stories of endurance, and of being there for each other over the year, especially in an industry where comparisons and being on top of the charts determines an artists’ worth. Theirs we saw, is a friendship they have shared that has survived many hardships both personally and professionally.
Halfway through the three hour showcase just when viewers thought the evening couldn’t get any better, the two stars surprised fans and brought out friend and fellow musical icon Ms. Dionne Warwick who wowed in an all-white pants suit and joined her friends in singing a few of classics.
Nothing but classy sisterhood from the three DIVAS of MUSIC .Missy Elliott let it be known she appreciated them on her twitter
Thank you verzuzonline 🙏🏾 This platform has allowed us to enjoy the soundtrack to our lives while also showing APPRECIATION to those artist who have put out TIMELESS Music for DECADES! It’s like History in Music hearing the BTS stories is so AMAZING 💜 Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott)
They have been in the music biz for just over 60 years. Patti starting at 16 years old and Gladys sharing that she began at the wee age of 4 years old. The singers shared how they have maintained a very close-knit friendship, saw each other through some of the toughest times in each other lives— from the death of Patti’s sister, the loss of Glady’s son, and the death of their dear and cherished friend, RnB icon Luther Vandross.
This Verzuz will definitely go down as one of the best. it was a wonderful way to spend dinnertime with my family and to join in with Warwick LaBelle and Knight as they belted Karyn White’s female empowerment hit, “Superwoman” .
Want to see the entire VerzuzTV with Ms. Patti, Ms. Gladys, and special surprise guest, 5-time Grammy Award winner, Ms. Dionne Warwick then visit RevoltTV on YouTube. You will NOT be disappointed!
Thanks for coming to my site …..STAY Safe and remember to Wear you MASKS and if you are from the USA please Register to VOTE in order to make your voices count on Election Day, November 3, 2020.
Millie Small the singer most famous for the international hit single, My Boy Lollipop which peaked atop both the UK and US charts in 1964 died on May 6.
The hit single which skyrocketed Small into the spotlight remains one of the best selling ska songs of all time and the first international hit for the ska music genre.
Small, was just a teenager of 16, in 1963 when Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell decided to become her manager and bring her to the UK. With her mother’s permission granted, Blackwell became the teen’s guardian and took her from her the small Caribbean island of Jamaica to London. Small would go on to become the first female recording artist hailing from the Caribbean to score a top international hit for the label.
“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” Blackwell tells they Jamaica Observer .
The singer, born Millicent Small, won a talent contest at aged 12 and by her early teens was recording with the famed Sir Coxsone Dodd at his Studio One label in Kingston, Jamaica.
Blackwell who travelled with Millie around the world recalled his time with the singer.
“Each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it,” says Blackwell .
“She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special,” adds Blackwell.
After the success of My Boy Lollipop, Millie was not able to follow up with another song to rival it’s success. Quitting the music industry in 1970 she relocated to Singapore then New Zealand. Fading from the limelight she reappeared in a 1987 Thames TV news brief alongside her then toddler daughter Jaelee revealing that they were residing in a hostel. That same year Island Records reissued My Boy Lollipop as part of it’s 25th year celebration.
In a August 20, 2016, story titled ‘Where Are They Now’ published in the Daily Mail Express the singer is quoted looking back on her career, leaving the music industry and being a mom.
“I arrived in London in 1963, and it felt like I was coming home, that this was where I was meant to be.
“I made a few songs, which didn’t go anywhere, and then I recorded My Boy Lollipop in 1964, which got to number two over here and number one in many parts of the world. I never had singing lessons, my voice was just something I was born with.”
“I focused on being a mother from 1984, when my daughter was born, and since then I’ve been happy living a quiet life, sleeping and dreaming and meditating.
“I enjoy cooking – anything with chicken, pork and fish with rice – and watching documentaries. I’ve got five beautiful cats, too.
“I don’t miss those 60s days. I enjoyed it while it lasted and it represented a time of pure happiness but I look to the future now that I’m older and wiser.
“I love music – reggae, hip-hop, anything that’s got rhythm. And I still play My Boy Lollipop because it’s a lovely record.
“My daughter and I are very close and I’m proud of her achievements as a writer, singer and musician; it would be nice for us to sing together one day as mother and child.”
Reflection s and praises of Millie poured in on social media and from many globally. Jamaican Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, the Hon. Olivia Grange issued a press release stating, “Millie’s story is one of resilience and the strength of the human spirit. She took the sweet with the bitter as she navigated the music industry at a time when Jamaican music and Jamaican female artistes were still new concepts to the world.”
Grange added , “Jamaica will remain eternally grateful to Millie Small as she paved the way for Ska to explode on the world scene through numerous television appearances around the world, including the BBC’s Top of the Pops. Her unique sound attracted audiences around the world and turned attention on Jamaican music, which allowed other genres to break through internationally.”
New York Knicks fans could no longer hold back their emotions. Sick and tired of loss after loss, they let it be known that they’re no longer here for it. Past years have seen some fan showing their disappointment by donning brown paper bags over their heads in frustration. It most definitely must have been that frustration, mixed with Wednesday evening’s 127-106 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that became the ultimate straw that broke the camels back when all hell broke lose and loud chants of, “SELL THE TEAM!” “SELL THE TEAM!” echoed throughout Madison Square Garden, the most famous arena in the world and home to the NBA Knicks.
The chaos at Wednesday’s game began after a skirmish between Knicks guard Elfrid Payton and Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder .
According to Mike Vorkunov of the Athletic chants of “Sell the team” filled the arena and from his twitter feed the chants were so loud that not even an attempt by the Garden to drown them out by playing the music louder helped. The fans simply had enough of owner James Dolan and enough of their losing home team.
Here is wishing the best of luck to the Knicks team as they prepare for two away games –the first against the Indiana Pacers on Feb 1, then on Feb 3 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The little break from the hometown crowd should hopefully smooth things over with fans. Fingers crossed that they win the away games and no fights erupt.
The Knicks are back at the Garden against the Orlando Magic February 6.
With Cherry Blossom season now over, the peonies and pansies are taking charge and are now on full glorious display across the landscape of Brooklyn’s renowned Botanic Garden. Bold and matte colors of pinks, whites, reds, yellows and purples bloom with pride across the Garden beckoning bees, birds, lizards and humans to take in its array of beauty.
Taking in the wondrous display of mother nature’s beauty amidst the afternoon air laden with sweet scents of petals and blossoms .
I am not one to get lost in a flowerbed, but I will gladly stay hours-on-end at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden walking amongst its blooming spring flowers.
There is no mistaking that Spring 2019 has sprung for Brooklynites like myself . It has also sprung within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The official kick-off party occurred a few weeks ago with thousands enjoying the annual two-day Cherry Blossom Festival and viewing thousands of blooming flowers . With summer beckoning just over the horizon look forward for many more flowers to take bloom and more groovy events occurring throughout the Garden for members and the paying public. One event I will be taking full advantage of will be the late nights offered on Twilight Tuesdays . The Garden will closes at 8pm on Tuesdays through the end of May and at 8:30pm on Tuesdays during the summer months. Also don’t forget that Fridays are always FREE from 8am -Noon.
Valentine’s Day is a few days away and I am in a frenzy trying to find the perfect card for my hubs. Last year found me, at my wits end the day of frantically trying to find a card. It was literally impossible finding a good one remaining on the barren shelves. This year, I promised to hit the greeting card sections early. Cupid is on my side and I intend to be a winner. Take a look at some of the wonders I found and let me know if you can guess which one the hubby will end up with.
So luckily, I have about three go-to greeting card stores I frequent for all my year-round cards. From birthdays to baby showers, births, anniversaries Christmas and of course Valentine’s Day; these are my stores. In my neighborhood, is the 24-Hour Rite Aid. If the choices there are slim I make my way to Walgreens Super Store located in Manhattan’s Times Square and if the variations there aren’t great, then I head to Target located at either City Point or Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn. Without a doubt, I am guaranteed to come out satisfied at any of these stores.
This year as I look around trying to find the perfect card for my husband I see that the variety has definitely changed up a bit. Added to the mix of romantic, heartfelt and funny cards are the newest cards aimed at Millennials. Personally, I am more on the lookout for the romantic cards- you know, the ones that speak to you. The one that as you read them you say to yourself, “This is so us!” I am also one who likes a good funny card. Like the laugh out loud ones that have you screaming OMG!
Here are just a few of the many different Valentine’s Day card offerings I saw out there aimed at the significant others and the love-eers in our lives. I got a kick out of some of these. And as I mentioned earlier, this year the aim seems very Millennials target market heavy. But don’t let that stop my older or younger folks from finding that perfect Valentine’s card that suits the right guy or gal in your life. Heck, grab hold of one of these below. Forever Young I always say. LOL And don’t forget in the comments please let me know which one of these cards you think I grabbed up for my boo………….HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY LUVVIES
and even more below
Also then his one for the Bacon Lovers. Get this and present it paired with a box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne and some crispy bacon…..delishhh …haha
Above all, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Let’s all try to do as Lenny advised and, ‘Let Love Rule!
Reader, raise your hand if you’re a parent with children from age three through seventeen years. You own a video game console. Your kids are avid video game players and Fortnite is the video game most obsessed over in your home. Raise your hand if, in addition, the gaming consoles you have an accompanying Spotify account so your kids can jam to their playlist of lit tunes during their gaming activities. Me? I plead guilty to all of this. But, I will say that thanks to my children, I have discovered new music, as well as new recording artists like Marshmello and even sick dance moves and it is thanks in part to their love of video gaming.
Over the weekend Epic Games, the makers of the Fortnite treated its more than 78 million players to a free concert which had them, literally shedding their skins. For kids, it was like watching their own Halftime Super Bowl show a day early, but instead of football in Atlanta with touchdowns this epic music mash-up occurred in the virtual world of Fortnite and included wicked tunes unleashed by celebrated EDM DJ, Marshmello.
The Philippino DJ is known for hits like “Alone”, “Silence”, “Twinbow” , “Moving On” and more “His music has fast become a favorite of the pre-teens and adolescents.
The DJ’s virtual collaboration with Epic Games was historic. The performance set inside of Fortnite’s Pleasant Park, definitely had everyone moving, flossin’ and flying. Without a doubt, diehard Mellogang fans were there for it and represented alongside Fortnite gamers. Seeing by the numbers who tuned into the virtual performance there is no doubt that Marshmello’s cred with the youth sector was upped. I wonder if even he imagined how crazy good it going to get when he sent out a tweet on Thursday directing all to head to the virtual location on Saturday night.
Talk of Marshmello coming to Fortnight was the top chatter online and with my son and his gaming pals . They were excited. One can definitely say that Epic Games scored a touchdown with the DJ because 78.3 million players logged onto their various video consoles to tune in.
Marshmello has definitely upped his kiddie fan cred thanks to the virtual mini-concert in Fortnite.
I give the DJ and his team props for the collab with Epic Games. They have definitely recognized the marketing importance of tapping into a younger audience whose spending power and purchasing influence makes them the top global consumers. With that being said, Fortnite players can now purchase Marshmello Skins, posters and cosmetics in the Fortnite’s shop.
Want to learn a few Flossin dance moves then check these out below and above all keep on flossin!
Meet the Impossible Burger 2.0. It is the only known burger that can be enjoyed by meat-lovers, vegans and vegetarians. There is no guilt, whatsoever involved.
I recently got to taste this meatless burger just days after it picked up a coveted award as one of the Best of CES 2019. It tastes like meat, looks like meat, but gosh darn, it isn’t meat! And you know, the best thing especially for non-meat eaters is that there is no guilt attached to eating it because it is made entirely from plants.
There’s no guilt thanks to HEME, the magic ingredient that makes up the Impossible Burger, which by the way paired with a glass of red wine is delicious.
Impossible Burger 2.0 was revealed at CES earlier this month. It debuted to raves reviews, thanks in part to an improved recipe of its original Impossible Burger, by burger company Impossible Foods, a Khosia , Horizons and Bill Gates-backed company that develops a new generation of delicious and sustainable meats and cheeses made entirely from plants. Reaching heights at CES 2019 the burger beat many smartphones, television, laptops, and even tablet brands to be named amongst the Best of CES at the 2019 Las Vegas trade show. The little burger won the hearts and taste buds of editors and writers attending the annual event. Even walking away with a “Most Unexpected Product” award from Endgadget .
So what exactly is Heme? Let’s hear from the pros at Impossible Foods.
Heme is an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every single plant and animal. It’s an essential molecular building block of life. Heme gives your blood its ability to carry oxygen. It’s found in all living organisms, and it’s been consumed every day—heck, every second—for hundreds of thousands of years..
Heme is superabundant in animal muscle, and that’s what makes a burger so flavorful. It’s also why meat is a particularly good source of iron. The heme found in animal muscle is carried by a protein called myoglobin.
KNOW THIS: Plants, particularly nitrogen-fixing plants and legumes, also have heme. The heme found in these plants is carried by leghemoglobin, which is closely related to myoglobin. Leghemoglobin in the soy plant is called soy leghemoglobin. The heme molecule in plant-based heme is atom-for-atom identical to the heme molecule found in meat. It’s what makes the Impossible Burger so rich and decadent.
Getting to taste an Impossible Burger at a recent Paley Media Council’s Paley Dialogues, Best of CES 2019 panel discussion was a great experience especially after hearing COO & CFO of Impossible Foods, David Lee talk with CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, David Pogue about the burger, the use of Heme and Impossible Foods.
Without a doubt, all attendees, myself included were excited to see if the much-talked-about Impossible Burger 2.0 lived up to all its meatless hype.
Attendees to the Paley Dialogues panel discussion of the Best of CES, were treated to tasty Impossible Burgers cooked up by the Technical Sales and Culinary Manager, J. Michael Melton
The Impossible Burger is delicious. Presently it is only available in restaurants only. You can find THE nearest restaurant serving them at impossiblefoods.com.
KNOW THIS—–“Animal agriculture occupies almost half the land on earth, consumes a quarter of our freshwater and destroys our ecosystems. So we’re doing something about it: We found a way to make meat using plants, so that we never have to use animals again. That way, we can eat all the meat we want, for as long as we want. And save the best planet in the known universe.”—Impossible Burger
Music travels with us throughout our lives. It makes the world go round. For many, it is a lifesaver, gateway to the soul and makes up the soundtrack of our lives. Like the great reggae artist, Bob Marley so eloquently says, “When the beat hits, you feel no pain.”
This brings me to the recent release of ‘The Upside‘ a comedy-drama starring funny guy Kevin Hart taking a spin at a serious role opposite thespian Bryan Cranston and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. The movie which features the music of late music icon, Aretha Franklin is a remake of the 2011 French movie, ‘The Intouchables’ which starred Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet. In this American remake, the concept is kept pretty much the same but lacks the full-on heartwarming charm and inspiration that the French version exuded thanks in parts to Sy. The movie, based on a true story, tells the story of two men from different backgrounds culturally and financially, who change each other lives for the better. Hart plays Dell, an ex-con out on parole hired as the caretaker of Phillip (Cranston), a billionaire and quadriplegic, the result of a paragliding accident. Kidman plays Phillip’s assistant.
The movie is the first comedy-drama released for 2019. That it includes a soundtrack featuring the music of the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin who passed away in August of 2018 will definitely lend to getting lots of music fans talking and filling theater seats. I had the opportunity to attend a recent screening in New York City, given by the MOMS .
Aretha’s musical chords are woven perfectly into scenes. Hart himself even gives it a go, with a comedic spin, of course, singing on the much beloved “Think”. Four of Franklin’s songs appear on the movie’s soundtrack, each song adding flair to the storyline, like when Dell is overcome with his appreciation of classical music while attending the opera alongside Phillip and hearing Nessun Dorma sung superbly by the Queen of Soul.
Surprisingly, taking the #1 Weekend Box Office opening position away from front runner ‘Aquaman‘ which is holding high with billion dollar sales worldwide, ‘The Upside’ on its Jan 11-13 opening weekend cemented itself to the list of movies featuring Aretha’s music that went on to become memorable.
Like I said music makes everything better. I felt that the music saved the ‘Upside.’ The movie could definitely have been better. If I had to watch the movie again I would probably opt for the French version as Hart and Cranston didn’t fully click like Sy and Cluzet. The movie did showcase that if given more opportunities Kevin Hart should really try dipping into more dramatic roles but without the funny. Finally, I would also ask Hollywood to stop going back to that old drawing board script that depicts black male characters as ex-cons, dead beat dads or not privy to a socially elite lifestyle.
With that being said out of 10 popcorn bowls The Upside gets 5
Want to check out ‘The Upside’ movie soundtrack take a listen here at the website Lyric Soundtrack.
Want to see the 2012 French version ‘The Intouchables’ which starred Omar Sy as the lovable Driss a down and outer from the projects of Paris and Francois Cluzet playing the role of Phillipe. Watch here
Taking the solo trip in single digit temps to the former New York City location of the American Stock Exchange to see “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition, one day before its closing on Jan 7th, was in two words- worth it!
Yes, I went solo and yup, it was a frigid 6 degrees outside in the Big Apple, but your girl survived. I was happy to see that I was amongst hundreds vying to get into the exhibit before it shuttered the next day. The exhibit which opened on October 27 drew a slew of celebs and fashion industry who’s who. With my fingers freezing and my feet going numb I jumped in place to keep warm and gawked at a group of fashionably dressed fashionistas standing in front of me passing out hand warmers amongst themselves. What I would have given for just one of those warmers to place in the bottom of my silver sneakers. I didn’t have to wait much longer for an answer.
Thankfully my hour long wait ended. My line finally reached its way to the front door of the former American Stock Exchange and we entered inside.Major thanks go to curator, Oliver Saillard who brought to life the installation taking attendees on a journey of the Vuitton legacy starting in 1954 to present day. The exhibition was free to the public and stands in my opinion, in a class all by itself.
With my family out of town for the holidays going solo turned out surprisingly to be lots of fun. Meeting new friends to take my pictures and chat about the installation added to the excitement.
Some of my favorite and memorable pieces from the House of Louis Vuitton includ collaborations with other designers and brands like Marc Jacobs, Supreme, Steven Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama
It was wonderful to see many people from all over
Humble beginnings indeed. Louis Vuitton who in 1835 at 14 years old, left the Jura Mountains in eastern France by foot, reaching Paris two years later and working as an apprentice to a box, crates and wardrobe maker to go on nineteen years later to start his own company attracting the likes of socialites and dignitaries including Empress Eugenie is in of itself impressive.
More wonderful images from the exhibition that wowed.
Fashion rules everything and the House of Louis Vuitton have always been a top choice of starlets and socialites through the years.
If you missed this exhibition you definitely missed out. It was an installation definitely worth attending. For more on the House that Louis Vuitton built, please visit the site here for US residents and International here for more.