Reflections: Admiration well placed

Will Smith

Four entertainers that I admire greatly are Will Smith, Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and Justin Timberlake. Each started in one field — the first three in rap, the fourth in a “boy band” — and branched out with an astonishing degree of success.
    Smith is a bona fide, Oscar nominated movie star who has starred in some of the most successful movies of all time.  
Latifah, an established actress and spokesmodel, is frequently called on to serve as a presenter or cohost on TV specials and at other major events because she is so polished.
Cool J, an admirer of Smith, is firmly entrenched as a TV and film actor. His latest series, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” is a ratings hit. He has also written books.
Timberlake has demonstrated his acting skills repeatedly, and has proven to be equally adept at serious roles and comedy. He has also shown musical growth.
Each star parlayed their God-given talents into something bigger and better.
  MADONNA obviously has no problem with older woman, younger man relationships. She is 53 and her boyfriend, Brahim Zaibat, a French dancer, is 24. He is also Black, or at least “of color.”
Why is it that the media and everyone else, or so it seems, is speculating, gossiping and accusing regarding  the nearly 14-year-old marriage of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith? No one knows anything for certain. Even Joan Rivers is making jokes.
Eddie Murphy is expected to do a good job as host of the 2012 Academy Awards, providing equal amounts of seriousness, comedy and spontaneity.
 MOS DEF, a man of many talents, says he is going to retire the name “Mos Def” by the first of the year. He will thereafter be known as Yasiin, which is an Arabic name. Mos, whose birth name is Dante Terrell Smith, said, “I feel I’ve done quite a bit with that name and it’s time to expand and move on.”
The Collective, a Los Angeles based entertainment and production company, has signed Toni Braxton. Another recent signing is Kelly Rowland.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that the Brothers Johnson used to play in Billy Preston’s band although the brothers did not like the name Preston had chosen, the God Squad.
MEMORIES: “Just One Look” (Doris Troy), “The Jam” (Graham Central Station), “She’s Got Papers On Me” (Richard “Dimples” Fields),  “And I Love Him” (Esther Phillips), “Rapper’s Delight” (the Sugarhill Gang), “Show and Tell (Al Wilson), “Silly Wasn’t I” (Valerie Simpson), “On the Wings of Love” (Jeffrey Osborne).
BLESSINGS to McArthur Mickens, Fay Mickens, Kevin McCord, Bess White, Henry White, Gena Johnson, Leroy Hyter, Lamar Horton, Wanda Horton, Damon Williams, Al Hudson and Clarence Rome (Foody).
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Alan Cohen: “Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery.”
    Let the music play!
    Steve Holsey can be reached at and PO Box 02843, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


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