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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


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Saturday, February 8, 2014

BET Honors to recognize Aretha Franklin and Berry Gordy and Ice Cub and others (See List of Performers)

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ARETHA FRANKLIN, BERRY GORDY, ICE CUBE, KENNETH CHENAULT, AND CARRIE MAE WEEMS TO BE HONORED

MARIAH CAREY, JENNIFER HUDSON, JANELLE MONAE, TAMAR BRAXTON, SMOKEY ROBINSON, KAREN CLARK SHEARD AND WAYNE BRADY ANNOUNCED AS PERFORMERS FOR “BET HONORS”

REV. AL SHARPTON, JOE MORTON, LUDACRIS AND MACK WILDS SCHEDULED TO PRESENT

BET Networks will record one of the highlights of its black History Month programming, the "BET Honors" tonight at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC.  Honors will be presented to  living history makers who have demonstrated excellence in music, art, entertainment, corporate citizenship,  and .
The show premieres on Monday, February  24, 2014 at 9:00 pm* ET.
Aretha Franklin
Berry Gordy
As previously announced the honorees are:  The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin (Musical Arts) who has had a remarkable 4 decades in music and still has fans asking for more, Berry Gordy (Visionary) Motown Records Founder/Producer and creator of Motown The Musical, w Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express (Corporate Citizen), Carrie Mae Weems (Visual Arts) and artist/activist whose provocative art  tackles complex issues of race, gender and class through video and photography and trailblazing rapper Ice Cube (birth name OShea Jackson -Entertainment).


Proceeds from the “BET Honors” will benefit the Women Veterans Interactive (WVI), an organization that helps restore hope as well as provides housing options and support for veterans and their families in need. WVI was created to address the unique, and often unrecognized, challenges facing our nation’s 1.8 million woman veterans as they return to civilian life.

Gabrielle Union relinquished hosting duties this year. That job goes the Wayne Brady who is also slated to perform along with Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monae, Smokey Robinson and Karen Clark Sheard.  Whew!  

LudacrisMack Wilds, Rev. Al Sharpton and ‘Scandal’ actor Joe Morton will present.

Ice Cube

Kenneth Chenault



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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Seahawks coach

buzzz worthy. . .
oday, the President called head coach Pete Carroll to congratulate the Seattle Seahawks on their decisive victory in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night.  On the call, the President commended Coach Carroll and his team for a great game, and expressed how exciting it has been to watch the team play all season.  The President told Coach Carroll that he looks forward to congratulating him and the team at the White House in the coming months.
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2014 Oscar Nominations

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86TH OSCARS® NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED


BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Actor Chris Hemsworth and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards® today (January 16).
Hemsworth and Boone Isaacs announced the nominees at a 5:38 a.m. PT live news conference attended by more than 400 international media representatives.  For a complete list of nominees, visit the official Academy Awards website, www.oscar.com.  
Academy members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc.  In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominees are selected by a vote of multi-branch screening committees.  All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees. 
Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members on Saturday, January 25, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.  Screenings also will be held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all categories.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.



Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
  • Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
  • Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
  • Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  • Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
  • Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
  • Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
  • Judi Dench in “Philomena”
  • Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
  • Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
  • June Squibb in “Nebraska”

Best animated feature film of the year
  • “The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
  • “Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
  • “Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
  • “Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
  • “The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Achievement in cinematography
  • “The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
  • “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
  • “Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

Achievement in costume design
  • “American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
  • “The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
  • “The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
  • “The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
  • “12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris

Achievement in directing
  • “American Hustle” David O. Russell
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
  • “Nebraska” Alexander Payne
  • “12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

Best documentary feature
  • “The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • “Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
  • “Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
  • “The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  • “20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject
  • “CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
  • “Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
  • “Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
  • “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
  • “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Achievement in film editing
  • “American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
  • “Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • “12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Best foreign language film of the year
  • “The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium
  • “The Great Beauty” Italy
  • “The Hunt” Denmark
  • “The Missing Picture” Cambodia
  • “Omar” Palestine

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  • “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
  • “The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • “The Book Thief” John Williams
  • “Gravity” Steven Price
  • “Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
  • “Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • “Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
    Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
  • “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
    Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
  • “Let It Go” from “Frozen”
    Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • “The Moon Song” from “Her”
    Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  • “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
    Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Best motion picture of the year
  • “American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • “Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
  • “Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
  • “Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
  • “Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
  • “12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined

Achievement in production design
  • “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
  • “Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
  • “The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
  • “Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
  • “12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Best animated short film
  • “Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
  • “Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
  • “Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
  • “Possessions” Shuhei Morita
  • “Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best live action short film
  • “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
  • “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
  • “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
  • “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
  • “The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Achievement in sound editing
  • “All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
  • “Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
  • “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
  • “Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing
  • “Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  • “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  • “Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  • “Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Achievement in visual effects
  • “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  • “Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  • “The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  • “Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Adapted screenplay
  • “Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  • “Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray
  • “Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter

Original screenplay
  • “American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  • “Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  • “Her” Written by Spike Jonze
  • “Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson
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PHARRELL WILLIAMS TO PERFORM ON THE OSCARS®

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Pharrell Williams
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar®-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.  
“Happy,” which Williams wrote and produced for “Despicable Me 2,” is nominated for Original Song. The three other nominated songs are "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," "Let It Go" from "Frozen" and "The Moon Song" from "Her."
Pharrell Williams has won seven Grammy Awards®, two (in 2004 and 2014) for Producer of the Year. Named Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, his productions have sold over 100 million copies. Williams collaborated on two of 2013’s most ubiquitous anthems: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” which he co-wrote and produced and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which he co-wrote and also sang.  As a solo producer and as part of the prolific producing team The Neptunes, Williams has played a key role in creating a string of hits over more than two decades, including Jay-Z’s "I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me)," Nelly’s "Hot in Herre," Gwen Stefani’s "Hollaback Girl," Snoop Dogg’s "Drop it Like it's Hot," Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.”
Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Black History Moment: Oulaudah Equiano, the traveling slave

buzzz worthy. . .


Oulaudah Equiano (AKA Gustavus Vassa), a Nigerian born slave, was an assistant world trader whose owner depended heavily upon his knowledge as they traveled the world by ship.  Equiana was eventually sold to a Quaker in America and later purchased his freedom.  He told the story of his adventurous life in the two-volume autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African." Learn more.
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STATEMENT REGARDING “ALONE YET NOT ALONE” SONG DECISION

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The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind the Original Song nomination for “Alone Yet Not Alone,” music by Bruce Broughton, was made thoughtfully and after careful consideration.  The Academy takes very seriously anything that undermines the integrity of the Oscars® voting process. The Board regretfully concluded that Mr. Broughton’s actions did precisely that.
The nominating process for Original Song is intended to be anonymous, with each eligible song listed only by title and the name of the film in which it is used—the idea being to prevent favoritism and promote unbiased voting.  It’s been a long-standing policy and practice of the Academy—as well as a requirement of Rule 5.3 of the 86th Academy Awards® Rules—­­to omit composer and lyricist credits from the DVD of eligible songs that are sent to members of the Music Branch.  The Academy wants members to vote for nominees based solely on the achievement of a particular song in a movie, without regard to who may have written it.
Mr. Broughton sent an email to at least 70 of his fellow Music Branch members—nearly one-third of the branch’s 240 members.  When he identified the song as track #57 as one he had composed, and asked voting branch members to listen to it, he took advantage of information that few other potential nominees are privy to.  As a former Academy Governor and current member of the Music Branch’s executive committee, Mr. Broughton should have been more cautious about acting in a way that made it appear as if he were taking advantage of his position to exert undue influence. At a minimum, his actions called into question whether the process was "fair and equitable," as the Academy's rules require. The Academy is dedicated to doing everything it can to ensure a level playing field for all potential Oscar® contenders—including those who don’t enjoy the access, knowledge, and influence of a long-standing Academy insider.
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Gabrielle Union Launches Napa Valley Chardonnay Brand Vanilla Puddin’ For Valentine’s Day

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Actress Gabrielle Union is proving she is unstoppable both on and off-screen.  The "Being Mary Jane" actress and future wifey of Miami Heat's Dewayne Wade has launched a new wine, a vanilla based Chardonnay called Vanilla Puddin just in time for Valentine's Day.

Union introduced the wine on talk show “Chelsea Lately,” is limited to 3,000 12-bottle cases and will be sold through www.VanillaPuddinWine.com and the retail trade at a suggested retail price of $16.99 per 750ml bottle. The Vanilla Puddin’ is a full-bodied Chardonnay with characteristics of pear, light French oak, white chocolate with dollops of vanilla, it is elegant, stylish and smooth on the palate.

“I’m really excited about my partnership with John Truchard and The Brand Elite,” said Gabrielle Union. “I wanted to find a wine that wasn’t like anything else on the market and I found that and more in Vanilla Puddin’.” Vanilla Puddin’ is produced by JaM Cellars in the Napa Valley. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Gabrielle Union and The Brand Elite for Vanilla Puddin’ -- it’s a perfect entertainment wine and will please any white wine lover,” said Truchard.

The Brand Elite began in 2012 and continues to build relationships with food, entertainment and sports stars who are interested in partnering with successful premium wine producers. “These are not endorsement deals; they are genuine partnerships with wine-loving personalities and vintners who are interested in working together to create amazing wines with prestigious wineries of the world,” president R.C. Mills said. “Along with vintner John Truchard, a star such as Gabrielle Union is the perfect partner in this trio.” In 2012, Union was inspired by her love of wine to create a Chardonnay that wasn’t like anything else on the market. “With the release of Vanilla Puddin’, Gabrielle hopes to share a fun, elegant, yet approachable, wine with a wide audience,” Mills added.

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