Celebrity Fashion Lines

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    Talented and beautiful actress Gabrielle Union is among the latest celebrities to enter the clothing business. Her line is called “Love & Blessings” and is aimed at women of all sizes.

    Her sister, who is plus sized, was the inspiration for making sure the clothes would be inclusive.

    The list of stars selling clothes, fragrances, shoes, jewelry, etc., just keeps growing.


    At this point it includes Sean P. Diddy Combs, Justin Timberlake, Russell Simmons, Iman, LL Cool J, Gwen Stefani, Jill Scott, Nelly, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Paula Abdul, Pharrell and Kanye West.

    There is a lot to be said for diversification.

    JOHNNY GILL is one of the most powerful R&B singers of all time, having major impact as a solo artist (“Rub You the Right Way,” “My, My, My,” etc.), as a member of New Edition, as part of LSG with Keith Sweat and Gerald Levert, and as a duet partner with Stacy Lattisaw.

    But believe it or not, it has been 16 years since his last solo project. He is working on a new album now that will be released in 2011.

    Also hard to believe: Gill turned 44 in May!

    There is a big difference between “sexy” and just “silly.” Singers like Barry White, Ron Isley and Marvin Gaye could pull it off, but Marques Houston, formerly of Immature and IMx, has an album titled “Mattress Music.” That just sounds dumb.

    Tussauds Museum, in Washington, DC, decided to add Rihanna to its collection. But it seems to me that she is too much of a newcomer for something like that. (And by the way, those eerily lifelike wax sculptures give me the creeps.)

    WILL.I.AM certainly attracted a lot of attention and caused a great deal of controversy by appearing with a black face (literally) on the MTV Video Music Awards.  But Will (real name: William James Adams Jr.) says the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It was just an over-the-top “fashion statement” of sorts.

    “Just because I wear all black, including head mask as an expression and to emphasize my outfit, it shouldn’t be looked at as racial,” said Will.i.am. He added that people should be concerned about more important things, such as jobs, education and heath care.

    He has a point.

    Unexpected duo: Lauryn Hill and Ron Isley. They have recorded a new version of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David superhit “(They Long To Be) Close to You,” originally recorded by the Carpenters. It will be featured on his album.

    Interestingly, Isley has recorded the song before, on an album he made with Burt Bacharach in 2003 titled “Here I Am.”
    Why have Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon been so evasive about her expecting?

    This doesn’t seem to be a good era for female rappers. There was a time when they were plentiful on the charts and on the radio, but not now.

    Foremost names included Eve, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim.

    Mary J. Blige says she has no problem with singers becoming stars immediately because of their success on “American Idol,” but in many cases they are in for a disappointment  because the success will be short-lived.
    That is less likely to be the case when the artist has worked their way up — “paid their dues,” so to speak.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that “Billie Jean” was the only non-Motown song performed on the famous 1983 TV special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” Michael Jackson said he would appear only if he could sing it.

    MEMORIES: “Baby Come to Me” (Patti Austin and James Ingram), “Don’t Want To Be A Fool” (Luther Vandross), “I Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor), “There It Is” (Tyrone Davis), “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” (the Righteous Brothers), “Thanks For My Child” (Cheryl Pepsii Riley), “Turn On Your Love Light” (Bobby “Blue” Bland), “It’s No Crime” (Babyface), “Solid” (Ashford & Simpson), “I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love” (Stephanie Mills).

    BLESSINGS to Jay Berry, Larry Davis, Brenda Perryman, Genevieve Johnson, Ernest Maddox, Barbara Maddox, Marvin Gordy, Todd Kelly, Sandra Milhouse, Betty  Yancy and Cornel Clark.

    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Mark Twain: “Explore! Dream! Discover! Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by anything you did.”

    Let the music play!

    (Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)


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