Not long ago Stephanie Mills had an album titled “Born For This.” She was — and so was Fantasia, the season 3 “American Idol” winner whose brand new album, “Side Effects of You,” had an amazingly successful debut and might surpass the sales of her first three albums.
People are still talking about Fantasia’s recent powerhouse performance on “American Idol,” looking good from head to toe, not oversinging (as she is often prone to do) and enthralling the audience with “Lose to Win,” the lead single from the album.
Fantasia has been through perhaps more than her share of well-publicized drama, so a fresh start is deserved.
But know this: “Side Effects of You” comes with a Parental Advisory sticker because Fantasia “takes it there” occasionally (unnecessarily). I guess she figures we’re all adults.
“I think my purpose was just to get out and sing. I want to still be singing at 70,” said Fantasia.
She probably will be.
DESTINY’S CHILD fans, whose numbers are legion, have something to look forward to. On June 4, Sony Music Entertainment will release “Destiny’s Child Video Anthology,” produced by Jermaine Dupri and co-produced by Manuel Seal.
The collection will feature 16 videos, dating from 1998 to 2004. They are being promoted as “short music films” which, in fact, they are.
Featured, in chronological order, are the videos for “No, No, No” (in two parts), “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Bug A Boo,” “Say My Name,” “Jumpin’, Jumpin’,” “Survivor,” “Independent Women,” “Bootylicious” (plus a second remix video), “Emotion,” “Lose My Breath,” “Soldier,” “Girl,” “Stand Up For Love” and “Cater 2 U.”
NATALIE COLE, we hear, sang her heart out for her metro Detroit and Canadian fans during a recent concert at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, and Detroit’s own Monica Morgan (the gold standard of photographers) was there to capture the magic moments.
Cole is special, such a class act, just like her father, the legendary Nat “King” Cole. And when it comes to polished performances and knowing how to please audiences — Black, White, mixed, whatever — a lot of singers could learn a lot from Cole. She is a true entertainer, a total professional.
Also, it is impressive how Cole can switch from standards and jazz to R&B effortlessly.
It is no accident that she is still going strong nearly 40 years after her recording debut.
KUDOS TO Jason Collins for being the first NBA player to publicly acknowledge that he is gay. That took tremendous courage, lifted a heavy weight off his shoulders, and will help many others.
Among those calling Collins to express support was none other than President Barack Obama, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton.
Of course, there is also criticism from bigoted people or people who are just in the dark with regard to other people’s realities, but Collins will survive it. He will also be able to withstand the mean-spirited jokes.
As Bob Dylan said in one of his songs, “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”
Everyone has a God-given right to be whoever and whatever they really are.
CHRIS TUCKER may owe millions of dollars in unpaid taxes (why do these stars allow that to happen?), but he still knows how to cut a business deal. He recently sold his Los Angeles home and made a $1 million profit. The house has five bedrooms, which gives you an idea of its size.
Vanessa Williams says a lot of people find it difficult to understand how she can be on such good terms with her ex-husbands, Ramon Hervey and Rick Fox. But she sees it as really no big thing because there is no animosity among them. In fact, she has even had them both as guests at her home — at the same time.
The remaining members of TLC — Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins — will reunite in late July for a performance at the Mixtape Festival, in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Although she will soon be sentenced for tax evasion, Lauryn Hill has entered into a business arrangement with Sony Music, which includes a starting a new label that her music will be featured on.
Actress Essence Atkins has been quite vocal in criticizing Tyler Perry for putting Kim Kardashian in his latest movie, “Temptation,” when so many Black actresses could use the work. Point understood, but it’s his movie.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that Aretha Franklin made the national R&B charts for the very first time in 1960 with “Today I Sing the Blues,” and the national Pop charts the following year with “Won’t Be Long.”
MEMORIES: “Let’s Get Serious” (Jermaine Jackson), “Natural High” (Bloodstone), “Lookin’ For a Love” (Bobby Womack), “Honey Chile” (Martha Reeves & the Vandellas), “Love T.K.O.” (Teddy Pendergrass), “Baby I’m Yours” (Barbara Lewis), “Private Line” (Gerald Levert), “If You Let Me Stay” (Terence Trent D’Arby), “What’s Easy For Two Is So Hard For One” (Mary Wells), “It’s Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It’s Good to You)” (Betty Wright).
BLESSINGS to Ingrid Hatcher, Annette Helton, Ray Henderson, Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, Cornelius Fortune, Aaron Branford, Betty DeRamus, Melody Moore, Freddy Anderson and everyone in the Myles family.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Fantasia: “You’re going to have supporters and haters. You can’t let that sway you.”
Let the music play!