Jamie Foxx is mourning the loss of his sister, Deondra Dixon. Dixon had Down syndrome, but became an inspiration to families everywhere. Foxx would bring her onto the red carpet and to various functions and let the world know how proud he was of her. Dixon had a very outgoing personality and was quick to make friends. The closeness of Dixon and Foxx showed other families how it’s done through love and determination. Dixon actually passed last week, but the family chose to keep things close until the proper time. Foxx released a statement in part saying his heart was shattered in a million pieces, but that his sister is dancing in heaven today. Deondra Dixon was 36 years old.
Tyler Perry is talking Spike Lee and about hiring writers. First, Perry famously told the public he didn’t have a writers’ room because he did all the writing himself. At one point, that mad perfect sense to protect his vision. Now that he’s a mogul running a multifaceted studio, Perry has all kinds of additional responsibilities that don’t allow him the time to write as he use to. It’s like Berry Gordy, who was a full time songwriter in the beginning of his music career. However, by time he founded Motown that had to change with Gordy’s new responsibilities. That’s when Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong, Ashford & Simpson and even for a time, Gamble & Huff, came in to be full time writers/producers/performers so Gordy lead and could protect the company. Well now Perry is bringing in writers and directors for the TV shows and films coming out of his studios.
Now for the Spike Lee conversation that Perry opened up about in an interview with Variety. Perry’s movies and TV shows for the most part are wildly successful, but they’re lightning rods for criticism. Spike Lee was an early critic, particularly of the Madea franchise. Perry said the critique from Lee stung because Perry had so much respect for Lee. Perry said part of what helped them move past words back and forth was Lee came down to Atlanta for a face to face. At one point it was thought Oprah Winfrey helped facilitate that. What began as a contentious meeting ended with both men laying out their views and agreeing to co-exist. Perry named one of the soundstages of his studio after Lee. Perry says that was an honor well earned by Lee.
Are Common and Tiffany Haddish still together? I interviewed Common last week because he was in Philly. Of course, it was all for the election, so I didn’t go off course. Tiffany is out of the country in Budapest filming a movie. Folks are talking that the two broke up. The little hints Tiffany kept dropping in public hinted a real romance. Common has dated his fair share of famous ladies, but it never quite works out. If a break up with Tiffany is true, was it their schedules, different places in their careers or did things just run their course?
New York Undercover is coming back….and this time for real y’all. Remember the original New York Undercover was part of the FOX network’s hit Thursday night lineup that also included Martin and Living Single in the 1990’s. It proved a popular alternative to the less diverse Friends-Seinfeld-Mad About You NBC line up. Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo starred as the undercover cops along with Patti D’Arbanville and Lauren Velez. Well Yoba and Velez will reprise their roles in this reboot. New York Undercover was originally planned about a year earlier for ABC, but that fell through. Now look for New York Undercover on NBC’s Peacock streaming services.
Chaka Khan has been making the media rounds lately and speaking her mind. What’s on Chaka’s mind? She wants a story on her life. Who do you think could bring Chaka’s story to the screen? The one time lead singer for Rufus had tough words for Kanye West and what he did to the sample of Through The Fire. She hated the sped up version. When Rapper Melle Mel did the verse on I Feel For You, Khan did not like that and was against the idea all together. I Feel For You proved out to be one of her all time biggest hits written by Prince and harmonica performance by Stevie Wonder. Chaka has paid her dues and is taking her legend status seriously. That means she has no fear when she starts talking about the industry and its people.
The long awaited memoir of the United States first black president is coming soon. President Barack Obama is currently on the campaign trail, but after the election, he’ll be in author mode. The former POTUS has penned Promised Land, and it’s the first of two volumes. Quick! What was one of the most difficult parts of Obama’s presidency? The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Promised Land will be available November 17th.
Martin Lawrence is teaming up with Steph Curry. The comedian and the NBA champ are working on a movie about a women’s basketball team. At press time no word yet on whom else is involved in this comedy, but it has all the ingredients of a hit.
Coming To America II begins streaming on Amazon December 18th.
Jamie Foxx has a new film coming to Disney Plus. The animated feature is called Soul. It’s about a musician who finds his soul. Foxx provides the voice of the musician. Soul is coming to Disney Plus on Christmas Day.
Essence magazine has launched EssenceGU (Girls United) and Actress/Producer Marsai Martin is on the cover of the first digital issue.
Singer/Songwriter Solange Knowles is on the digital cover of Harper’s Bazaar with a series of essay and poems focused on the whirlwind year that is 2020.
Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris is on the cover of the November issue of Elle magazine.
Congratulations to Singer/Actress Kelly Rowland and her husband Tim Witherspoon. The former Destiny’s Child member now solo artist confirmed her pregnancy with her second child with her cover shoot for Women’s Health magazine.