Aretha Franklin dodges parking ticket
It’s good to be the Queen of Soul! According to the New York Post, Aretha Franklin was saved from a parking ticket just for being her.
Reportedly, Aretha and a group of 10 people were getting ready to chow down at Neely’s Barbecue Parlor in New York on Monday night, when she spotted a meter maid getting ready to ticket her car. When the meter maid realized who she was about to fine, she handed Aretha an envelope to autograph instead.
Mary J. Blige releases ‘Living Proof’
Mary J. Blige is showing you "The Living Proof." MJB set her contribution to the soundtrack for The Help to video and released the clip.
Mary chose to keep her performance simple by just singing in the studio while allowing clips from the movie to really shine. We’re definitely feeling the video, which you can watch below.
Michael Jackson’s art donated to Children’s Hospital
Michael Jackson wasn’t just a phenomenal entertainer; it seems he was an artist in every sense of the word. Now his family is showing the world that he knew his way around a canvas, too.
Ten drawings that the King of Pop sketched have been donated to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles by his kids Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket. Michael’s sister, LaToya Jackson, and his mother, Katherine, were also there to help hand over the artwork.
"I know that Michael wouldn’t want his art in a better place than a hospital like this that will help children," LaToya said. Check out the video below to get a peek at Michael’s drawings.
Nicole Ari Parker heads to Broadway
Nicole Ari Parker will be joining Blair Underwood on Broadway! TheYBF.com reports that Nicole will star in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire starting in spring 2012.
There’s no word on which role she’ll be playing, but as long as she’s onstage with Blair, it’s sure to be an amazing show.
Shaq and Hoopz offer PDA
Shaq took to the streets with his girl Hoopz to offer up some public displays of affection.
Although rumors have been floating around that the two have split, they look more than comfy and cozy in these recently snapped photos.
Kid arrested and released
Christopher “Kid” Reid of the ’80s rap group Kid N’ Play was released from jail after spending a few hours in custody.
Kid’s arrest is believed to have been the result of a clerical error, TMZ reports.
Kid was reportedly taken into custody because there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. TMZ.com reported that the arrest had something to do with a 2010 drunk driving charge.
Whatever the reason for the mix-up, Kid doesn’t seem to be tripping over the incident.
"I love L.A. Peace to the Po-Po," he said.
Nelsan Ellis is inspired by his mom
Actor Nelsan Ellis, who’s best known as Lafayette by “True Blood” fans, said the mannerisms of his flamboyant character come from his late mom.
“Lafayette comes from my mother … My mother was a tomboy: she’s masculine, she’s feminine and that’s what Lafayette is,” he said.
Nelsan, who is heterosexual, said he worries about being stereotyped, but he enjoys playing the “big” personality.
“I can’t control all that,” he said in reference to others’ perception of him.
Watch more of his interview with the ladies of “The Talk.”
Whoopi Goldberg warns against loud music
Whoopi Goldberg has a cautionary tale for those who listen to loud music with earphones.
“I attribute my own hearing loss—which, by the way, is suffered by thousands of people in varying degrees—to years and years of listening to music so loudly and so close to the delicate eardrum,” she told the National Enquirer.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation provides Whoopi with hearing aids, and it also distributes the devices free of charge to hearing-impaired kids around the world.
Now Whoopi is an advocate for better hearing, cautioning the public not to overdo it with the ear buds.
Viola Davis talks dreams
Viola Davis, star of The Help, spoke to Gayle King about realizing her dreams and her inspiration.
Viola said seeing Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” a TV movie, motivated her to pursue acting.
“It was a television movie, and she aged from 18 to 105. The opening scene with her hands … the way she moved her mouth and with her high cheekbones, she looked exactly like my mother…,” mused Viola, who said that’s when acting became a craft for her.
Watch more of Viola’s interview with Gayle below.
—Sonya Eskridge and Tracy L. Scott