FLOWERS IN AN ARRAY OF COLORS ARE POPPIN’ VIVIDLY ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN LANDSCAPE

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.

PANSIES : Hamlet Act 4. SCENE 5 …..and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.
A beautiful pink Peony in full bloom

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.

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Bruh, what Super Bowl? It was all about Marshmello killin’ it with that Epic Fortnite mini concert

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.

My 11-year old son is a FIFA19, Rocket League, and Fortnite player. PS4 is his console of choice but he also has an XBox. My living room is a gaming haven. It is where he partakes in Fortnite Battle Royales, letting loose with flossing dance moves, partaking in the occasional trash talk through his After Glow AG6 Wired Headset while sitting comfortably in his X Rocker Audio Gaming Chair playing with friends across the globe in Battle Royales

11-year old Kai kicks back in his X-Rocker Audio Gaming Chair with his AG6 PS4 headset

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.

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.

Marshmello ‘Alone ‘ music video

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.

Dance music DJ, Marshmello invaded Fortnite with a mini-concert that rocked the skins.

Marshmello has definitely upped his kiddie fan cred thanks to the virtual mini-concert in Fortnite.

Marshmello gets jiggy with his first ever virtual Fortnite concert and it was EPIC!

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!

The voice of Aretha Franklin shines in full operatic aria in ‘The Upside’ movie with star Kevin Hart

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.”

photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

NYC based Influencer @debrafrombrooklyn rocks stripped pants and purple booties at a screening of ‘The Upside’ movie in Manhattan

 

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 .

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert  and Melissa Gerstein

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert, and Melissa Gerstein …..photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

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

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by Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

I froze my bum off to see the House of Louis Vuitton’s exhibition ‚ÄúVolez, Voguez, Voyagez and it was worth it!

Taking the¬†solo trip in single digit temps to the former New York City location of the American Stock Exchange to see¬† ‚ÄúVolez,¬†Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition, one day before its closing on Jan 7th, was in two words- worth it!

Debra at the NYC ‚ÄúVolez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra at the NYC ‚ÄúVolez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

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.

Debra at  the NYC ‚ÄúVolez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition  photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

The lines kept getting longer and longer as¬† Debra waited her turn to finally¬† get inside¬† of the NYC ‚ÄúVolez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

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.

 

Louis Vuitton subway pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Louis Vuitton NYC subway from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition pic taken by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

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.

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

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

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Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

 

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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.

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrookly

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

More wonderful images from the exhibition that wowed.

 

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Fashion rules everything and the House of  Louis Vuitton have always been a top choice of starlets and socialites through the years.

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Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrookly

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ‚Äď Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

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.

By Debra Lewis-Boothman

Multi-Platinum Artist Fabolous Is All About The Stepping Stones in his hometown of Brooklyn

Ask any Brooklynite what’s the best thing about their borough and they’ll likely say, “EVERYTHING!”

We at  crownheightsmom will have to agree. In fact, no matter the season something fun is always  happening across the borough of Brooklyn.

Annual events from the  Cherry Blossom Sakura Matsuri Festival  at  the Brooklyn Botanic Garden  to the highly in demand monthly Target  First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum of Art   are the most talked about but on any given day there is always  something happening here. In fact, when it comes to putting its culture on display  Brooklyn hands down seems to be doing it best.

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 Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival  at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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A Traditional Geisha at the Sakura Matsuri Festival at BBG in 2016

That’s why ¬†when we found out about ¬†the ¬†second annual ¬†Central Brooklyn Arts ¬†& Culture Weekend ¬†which took place June 10th and 11th along the famed Eastern Parkway we had to go. It was a ¬†fun weekend spent out with the kids and was celebrated with a movie night ¬†happening on Saturday ¬†and an outdoors street festival showcasing the best of the borough’s foods, arts, ¬†crafts, ¬†culture and contributors occurring on Sunday.

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A Flyer of the 2-day event celebrating Central Brooklyn

At the outdoor street festival ¬†on June 11 the festivities kicked off with Borough President, Eric Adams¬† ¬†honoring ¬† two outstanding talents from Brooklyn — multi platinum MC and Hip-Hop artist, John “Fabolous” Jackson and the late, world renowned abstract artist and Neo-Expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat,¬†(whose ¬†family represented for him).

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Rapper Fabolous receives the Key to Brooklyn from Borough President Eric Adams

Both Fab and Basquiat(posthumously) were ¬†awarded ¬† with the “Keys to Brooklyn” and ¬†bestowed with individual stepping ¬†stones inscribed with their names ¬†and placed within the ¬†Brooklyn Botanic Garden‚Äôs famed Celebrity Path. ¬†The two sons of Brooklyn are now counted along the celebrity walkway amongst 160 others famous Brooklynites ¬†past and present including ¬†poets, performers, ¬†artists, and athletes who lived or were born in the borough and ¬†all made outstanding contributions to ¬†the borough.

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Fabolous strikes a pose with Borough President Eric Adams next to his inscribed stepping stone in the Celebrity Path at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

 

The outdoor street festival  saw  locals, families  and visiting tourists  coming out to  rejoice in the arts, foods and culture along Eastern Parkway .

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Brooklyn residents check out the vendors along Eastern Parkway

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Seafood lovers were all about getting their  boxed food at Catch It

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The Brooklyn Museum brought its arts outdoors while a balloon vendor brings smiles to faces

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It was all about the sweet kernels at Kettle Korn

My 9-year old son had a blast checking out the vendors and the performances as well as  tasting some of the delicious food options on sale. He definitely liked the roasted corn which he eagerly covered in butter and a hefty shaking of parmesan cheese. So delicious.

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There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a sweet roasted corn on the cob

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Brooklynites grabbed  Smooth smoothies as they walked the path along Eastern Parkway

The high 80’s temperature definitely led to a beautiful day outdoors with attendees ¬†enjoying and basking in the ¬†music, dance and theatrical plays ¬†happening on the main stage set up at the Soldiers‚Äô and Sailors‚Äô Arch at Grand Army Plaza. The breeze and water spraying from the fountain made for a refreshing feel.

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Those  walking  along the Eastern Parkway corridor beginning at Flatbush Avenue and heading towards  Washington Avenue got to choose from an array of vendors offering food, drink as well as the purchase crafts and fashionable items from jewelry to kids clothing.

 

Lots of activities were  available and  included fun games, bouncy houses  and  arts and crafts for the kids, a  dance party and theatrical performances  courtesy of  the Prospect Park Zoo, the Jewish Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the New York Aquarium

photo by crownheightsmom

A band performs on the main stage at Grand Army Plaza

 

The 2-day cultural arts inspired events were brought together and presented by Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams in partnership with One Brooklyn Fund, Inc.,  All in all it was fun for the entire family.

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The office of Brooklyn’s Borough President, Eric Adams out ¬†on the Parkway

 

With smiles on our faces we left ¬†the festival ¬†eagerly looking forward to next year’s celebration .

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Enjoying the day with my son

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Crownheightsmom Media CEO, Debra Lewis-Boothman’s outdoor street festival fashion included an african head-wrap and ¬†a blush silk romper paired with hightop Converse sneakers.

 

If you also attended  this event please share your thoughts about the  weekend in our comments section below.

GRAMMY NOMINATED SOUL SINGER LEON BRIDGES TALKS ABOUT LOVING YOURSELF, HAVING PATIENCE AND HIS MOM’S YUMMY GUMBO -by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Want to know who inspires newest singing sensation Leon Bridges? CrownHeightsMom¬†did so I¬†sat down to listen to ¬†¬†Coming Home¬† the¬†debut album from the newcomer who’s¬†nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best R&B Album category ¬†alongside ¬†acts like ¬†D’Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day and ¬†legend Charlie Wilson.

Pumping through my¬†beatsbydre pill was that ¬†deep 50s and 60s’ soul ¬†sound harkening back¬†¬†to ¬†the height of the civil rights era when R&B ¬†music had a major significance on the movement and integration across the country. Bridges’ ¬†throwback singing style puts one in mind ¬†of ¬† Otis Redding and ¬†Sam Cooke¬†. I¬†pumped the volume¬†up on high and noted to myself that a chat ¬†with this young ¬†star was in order . I ¬† wanted to meet ¬†him to¬†¬†find out more ¬†about his Grammy nod ¬†and his inspiration for this album.

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A¬†throwback in time.¬†Bridges¬†is this and more and what a year he had in¬†2015 —¬†releasing¬†¬†his debut album ¬†Coming Home, to performing on Saturday Night Live, ¬†touring across the UK and contributing music to¬†¬†the¬†¬†Concussion Movie sound track –these are¬†just a few of the highlights that ¬†kept him busy.

I met the 26-year old  when he  made a stop in New York   just before the Christmas holiday. The newcomer was in town  attending  the Concussion Movie  premiere along with  lead star, Will Smith.   Spotting Bridges  ahead of Smith as they  walked the red carpet  outside  AMC Lincoln Center movie theater I snagged  the opportunity  to get a few questions answered .

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So whom does the humble Bridges look up to musically?¬†“I like a lot of 1950’s and 1960’s gospel and country,” the 26-year old ¬†tells CrownHeightsMom exclusively ¬†as¬†Will Smith, Liam Neeson, Kevin Lyles, Elew ¬†and others ¬†descend the red carpet to¬†the screams and flashes of photographers begging them to “turn this way”. Adds¬†the newcomer ¬†who is quickly¬†¬†becoming a household.¬†“I love Bobby Womack, Townes Van Zandt, Jesse Belvin, and¬†Johnnie Taylor. “All that different type of stuff.”¬†

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The late soul legend Bobby Womack

 

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R&B singer Jesse Belvin died at 27 in a car crash

 

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Taylor was known as the “Philosopher of Soul”

 

I did not think that my album would be worthy enough to be nominated in the R&B category—-Leon Bridges

 

The singer counts ¬†his mother Lisa Sawyer ¬†as his biggest cheerleader.¬†“Even when I was ¬†playing at open mics with five people in the crowd, she was ¬†supportive,” he tells me¬†. The soul and gospel crooner even¬†dedicates the ¬†track ¬†“Lisa Sawyer ” on the album to his dear mom.

I wonder what ¬†mom¬†thinks of his current success. “Says the former dishwasher from Fort Worth Texas, “She said to me, ‘ It is all God ‘ and she ¬†is just¬† totally blown away by the Grammy nomination and ¬†with everything that has been happening,” he adds.

Not just his music reminds one ¬†of the 50s and 60’s. So does his fashion style. He’s a ¬†sharp dresser who loves ¬† 1950’s ¬†style suits and putting together a look that is smart and GQ-ed out to the max.

 

With the ¬†new success ¬†and the new gear ¬†Bridges says he does not forget from ¬†whence he came. As he says¬†¬† to me ¬†he knows a thing or two of living the “struggling artist” life. ¬†Before success hit he ¬†made¬†ends meet being¬†a dishwasher but he never gave up on his music and making it. “You have to be in love with yourself and in love with your art,” Bridges tells ¬†tell ¬†¬†CrownHeightsMom¬†is one of the messages he wants ¬†to share with struggling artists out there.

If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed…………—-Leon Bridges

 

 

 

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Leon Bridges and actor Will Smith at the Concussion Movie NYC premiere.

The main thing, Bridges¬†says artist should remember is, ¬†“If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed and you are going to get impatient .” He says,¬†“It is all about patience, ¬†being in love with yourself and using that time and the small platform for the better.”

 

With ¬†the holidays now over the young artist is preparing for ¬†a busy 2016. He was looking forward seeing¬† him mom over the Christmas holiday ¬†exclaiming, ¬†“I am going home! I am going to see my momma and to eat¬†her gumbo for sure. My momma is from New Orleans.”

 

 

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Leon Bridges performs at SXSW

So how does the ¬†future look ¬†for Leon Bridges ? The blueprint so far looks great for this young recording artist and ¬†¬†Crownheightsmom¬† plans on following his progress . He hits the road in March, heading overseas ¬†on a ¬†tour that will last ¬†through mid-June . This may seem quite a busy schedule so soon for a newcomer, but ¬†Bridges says, he loves performing and this ¬†is a “life long dream.”

 

Dreams do become reality ¬†and¬†Bridges says that he isn’t quite ¬†finished yet on achieving his. One ¬†dream ¬†he has¬†¬†his heart set on achieving ¬†he says is a life ¬†goal of helping others.¬†“I want to provide ways for kids to go to college, ” ¬†he shares, ¬†adding “and ¬†I ¬†also want to provide ways to help out single mothers.”

Way to go Leon Bridges!……Way to go! We ¬†here at Crownheightsmom.com have no doubts ¬†that you will achieve these dreams and more.