‘Waiting to Exhale’ sequel still happening
The Waiting to Exhale sequel, Getting to Happy, will move forward.
Reportedly, Whitney Houston’s Exhale co-stars, including Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine, are returning for the sequel. Although it wasn’t confirmed, fans were hoping Whitney would reprise her role as Savannah.
It’s not clear yet whether someone else will be cast in that role or if a new character will be created for the sequel.
“It’s almost in [Whitney’s] honor that we think to soldier on,” Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler told Entertainment Weekly.
Author Terry McMillan, who took to Twitter Saturday to express her grief over Whitney’s death, was too busy mourning to think about the film.
“I am not thinking about the damn movie. So please, don’t ask,” she tweeted. ”I’m sad, hurt and angry. Because I did not want to see her leave us. Period.”
Kobe Bryant gets a kiss from ex-wife
It looks like Kobe Bryant and his estranged wife, Vanessa Bryant, kissed and made up for Valentine’s Day.
TMZ.com reports that Vanessa was there as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks, and she rewarded her hubby with a smooch for his victory.
Although they’re on the verge of divorce (the papers are signed, but it’s not final until this summer), insiders said that this reconciliation should not come as a surprise.
Dawn Richard released from Bad Boy
It’s not Bad Boy for life for Dawn Richard. The Dirty Money crew member revealed to Bossip.com that she has been released from the label in order to pursue a solo career.
“Puff has been really great with being supportive of me starting a solo career, and he’s agreed to let me go from Bad Boy. I’m really grateful to him," Dawn said. "He didn’t have to do that. He could have been what they say that he would be, and he wasn’t at all. He gave me a business decision."
She added, "It was a very amicable decision. Now, it’s just about the music, and I want to make him and them proud of believing in me enough to let me go try it.”
While she’s no longer on the label, Dawn may continue to work with Diddy in the studio. In the meantime, she has just dropped her first independent single, appropriately titled "Change." Listen to it below
Common and Drake grapple at Grammys?
Drake and Common were ready to rumble at the Grammys on Sunday. Celebuzz.com reports that the rappers had to be pulled apart not once, but twice, while backstage at the awards this weekend.
Supposedly the rappers, who have been beefing for months, got into two fights and uniformed police had to break them up.
This is an odd development as Common claimed earlier that very night that he and Drake had agreed to squash their beef.
Ray J saw no warning signs for Whitney Houston
It’s no secret that singer Ray J spent time with Whitney Houston days before the singer was found dead in a tub in the Beverly Hilton on Saturday.
Before Ray could start promoting his new book on “Extra,” he was asked about being seen with Whitney, and reported that the singer seemed to be well.
“She’s doing good,” he told “Extra.”
“We hang. It’s Grammy weekend. She’s in town. We had dinner,” he said, while assuring that the relationship is platonic.
Ray J, who described Whitney as a family friend, wouldn’t admit that he and the icon were ever more than friends.
“They blow this thing out of proportion. That’s my friend. I’ve been knowing her for years and years and years. She’s a friend of the family. That’s my people. That’s my friend,” he told "The Insider."
“I have a lot of love for her, and I have a lot of respect for her. Our friendship is something people don’t understand,” he said. “We hug. We laugh. We go out to dinner. We talk about different things in our lives. She’s a cool person.”
Ray J speaks more on Whitney and his new book below. Watch.
Michelle Obama talks Valentine’s Day
“He always has to plan Valentine’s. That’s his job. I think there may be a date night,” First Lady Michelle Obama told “Access Hollywood.”
“It’s hard for him to pull off a surprise when there’s a motorcade,” said Michelle, who knew her hubby, President Barack Obama, had something planned for the evening, but didn’t know exactly what it was.
It turned out that the first couple dined at Vermilion Restaurant in Alexandria, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night.
The president not only remembered the special day for lovers, but he also made sure others didn’t forget. He told Fox 5 Atlanta earlier in the day, “I’ve gotta take my wife out to dinner, and I would advise anybody watching to make sure they don’t miss out on this.”
He also sent a V-Day message to Michelle, via Twitter.
Watch First Lady Michelle below.
Grammy Awards ratings soar despite Oprah Winfrey
It’s no doubt that many who would have skipped tuning in to Sunday night’s Grammy Awards telecast, tuned in to see the Whitney Houston tribute.
Those additional eyeballs made the 2012 Grammy Awards the second-highest rated ever with 39 million people watching. The only Grammy airing that attracted more viewers was the ’84 show at which Michael Jackson took home eight awards.
Mindful of the massive interest in the awards show, Oprah Winfrey, who was once gifted with the TV Midas Touch, asked her Twitter followers to turn to her OWN network during a Grammy commercial.
She tweeted, “Commercial Grammy people..u can turn to OWN. Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box.”
Obviously, Oprah’s network still isn’t attracting the viewers she’d hoped, but her tweet was apparently in violation of Nielsen’s rules, and Oprah later apologized.
‘Glee’ coincidentally honors Whitney Houston
In what is being deemed a crazy coincidence, actress Amber Riley offered a rendition of “I Will Always Love You” on Tuesday night’s episode of “Glee.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tribute to Whitney was planned before the singer’s untimely death.
“We chose to do the song and [‘Glee’ co-creator] Ryan Murphy chose to do the song to honor one of the great hits of all time," the show’s musical supervisor, P.J. Bloom, told THR. "Obviously, we could not predict the unfortunate circumstances that happened this weekend but at the same time instead of focusing on the dark stuff, it’s nice to have an opportunity to hear her in this way and celebrate the magic that Whitney brought to this industry."
The show creators aren’t yet sure if there will be an entire episode dedicated to Whitney.
"If we don’t celebrate her in one complete episode, I’m sure we’ll continue to acknowledge her music in the show," P.J. said.
Watch Amber’s rendition below.
—Sonya Eskridge and Tracy L. Scott