- Created on 13 September 2013
This undated publicity photo released by Sony Pictures Television shows Will Smith, left, with Queen Latifah, on "The Queen Latifah Show," where he also serves as executive producer. The singer-actress’ new daytime talk show debuts Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo / /Sony Pictures Television)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Queen Latifah knows a reliable stress reliever to cope with the pressures of launching a daytime show.
"I have a drum set in my dressing room and I go in there and play for a few minutes to relax. They can forget about it being quiet around here — I'm going to bang my drums," said the singer-songwriter and actress, who's adding the job of host to her resume.
With Monday's debut of the syndicated "The Queen Latifah Show" (check local listings for station, time), she intends to make noise in the competitive realm of daytime TV.
"I'm naturally a bit edgier than typical daytime, but I kind of want to push things a little bit further, as far as I can respectfully, within the daytime space," said Latifah. "I want more out of daytime TV. I want more choices, I want more heart, more humor."
She also wants more music, befitting someone who broke ground as a female rapper before expanding into other genres. Her wish list is varied and includes Coldplay and Kings of Leon, and she's already got Alicia Keys and Plain White T's lead singer Tom Higgenson booked for her first week.
Other inaugural guests include John Travolta, Sharon Stone, Jamie Foxx, Jake Gyllenhaal and Lisa Kudrow. Also invited are "regular people who do amazing things" that are inspirational and who deserve to share the stage with celebrities, Latifah said.
"As much bad news as we see every day, it's good to see people out there doing positive things that give you hope. I'm an optimist," she said.
Monday's show will feature a performance by preteen actress-singer Willow Smith, with dad Will Smith dropping in Tuesday. If the schedule seems a tad Smith family heavy, it's with good reason: Latifah and Smith go way back, and he and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are among the producers of Latifah's new venture.
"She's just fantastic," Pinkett Smith told reporters in August. "I just feel like every (day), you have the opportunity to kick it with your girlfriend, Queen Latifah."
Latifah, 43, would have liked such a team for her first try as a talk-show host. The program had an abbreviated run from 1999-2001 but pointed her in the right direction for her new effort from Sony Pictures Television.
"I learned I really have to be true to myself. ... I want to go out there and do something that feels like me every day and is something I'm comfortable with and excited about," said Latifah.
Oprah Winfrey's 2011 departure from daytime opened the floodgates for new shows, but Latifah said she was glad to hold off on joining the fray and isn't presenting herself as a successor: She wants to have Winfrey on as a guest to demonstrate "that I am the current Latifah and she is the current Oprah," she said, wryly.
She's hopeful fans of her music and her films, including "Chicago" and "The Secret Life of Bees," will be part of her audience. But they have many choices, whether celebrity-driven talk shows or alternatives including "Dr. Phil" and "Dr. Oz."
"She's coming on at a time when it's very competitive, but she brings the name recognition and the support of a major studio to launch her show," said Bill Carroll, a daytime TV expert for Katz Media.
Whether her show can topple reigning queen Ellen DeGeneres or best successful newcomers Katie Couric and Steve Harvey isn't the point: What's key is if it betters the ratings of the program it replaced in each market and at least matches the numbers of the one that precedes it, Carroll said.
"The Queen Latifah Show" will air on CBS owned-and-operated stations in major markets and on different channels elsewhere in the country; timing also will vary. In New York, for instance, it comes on in the morning against a formidable field that includes "Today" and "Live with Kelly and Michael."
While Latifah is eager to connect with viewers, she doesn't think that necessarily includes putting her personal life on display — nearly heretical, since it's common for daytime talk-show hosts to use their off-camera world for fodder.
"I'm not trying to throw myself out there to get ratings. I'm really more interested in building something that's entertaining to people," she said. "I've never had to just share everything about my personal life to entertain people."
Whatever she might discuss on-air "will be a natural thing and depends on how I build the rapport with my audience," Latifah added.
- Created on 13 September 2013
Chief Keef has been ordered back to jail for allegedly skipping out on paying his child support, TMZ reports.
Chicago police have been told to arrest him if spotted, the entertainment news site said. Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, was suppose to appear in court Sept. 5 to explain why he hasn't paid the mother of his child more than $20,000 in child support. When he didn't show, the judged issued an order for his arrest. Keef, 18, will have to be locked up until he pays 1/5th of his child support debt.
As NewsOne previously reported, Keef was sued by the unnamed mother back in January. She was reportedly seeking day care expenses, health insurance, out-of-pocket health expenses, retroactive child support and the payment of legal fees that were incurred by the child's mother. She would have been around 12 or 13-years-old when she conceived the baby. Keef would have been 15 or 16.
The young rapper is not poor and can certainly afford to pony up. He was captured on camera with a fat wad of cash as he waited for a ride outside of Los Angeles International Airport back in June.
It is unclear why he hasn't paid up.
- Created on 12 September 2013
Pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock and musician/songwriter Carlos Santana will be among the chosen few for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Thursday that Hancock and Santana were selected alongside pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and opera singer Martina Arroyo for the 36th annual national celebration of the arts.
In a statement, Hancock said he was "overwhelmed with emotion and, frankly, speechless when I was told that I was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree. This is a most coveted award. To realize that my name will be among those whose outstanding work in the performing arts I most admire is very humbling."
The honorees will be saluted during a star-studded celebration at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 15. The gala will be taped to air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Dec. 29 on CBS.
It's a weekend of festivities that includes a dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and a pre-gala reception at the White House with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Previous honorees include Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Martin, Chita Rivera and Morgan Freeman.
- Created on 12 September 2013
Tami Roman says that she is fed up with being made to look like a bully and will not be returning to Basketball Wives next season.
When asked by a fan on Twitter about coming back to the show for a 7th season, Roman’s answer was simple.
So far during this season, executive director Shaunie O’Neal, her right-hand goon Evelyn Lozada and Suzy Ketcham ,who’s just happy anyone is friends with her at all, have decided that Roman is going to be this season’s outcast.
This has been particularly hurtful for Roman who is grieving the loss of her mother, Nadine Buford, who passed away on July 23.
Tackling the sensitive topic in her video blog, Roman makes it clear that this is not just entertainment for her. She’s sharing a painful journey and she is also clear where O’Neal’s loyalties lie.
One thing is for certain, Roman plans on addressing all of her frenemies during the reunion special.