A great deal of honesty, maturity and common sense was shown by Usher (Raymond) in a recent interview.

The singer-actor, now 32, is obviously still hurting from the sting of the criticism he received when he married a woman (Tameka Foster) seven years older than himself in 2007. (The couple, who have two kids, divorced last year.)

“I hated that people weren’t accepting of my marriage,” he said.

But there was a worse side — his mother’s open disapproval.

“She didn’t show up at my wedding,” he told Vibe magazine.  “…I guess she had her reasons…(But)  I wouldn’t do that to my child. Me and my mother are very close. I couldn’t think of a (better) time to show support…
“This is my life and I think that parents should have unconditional love for their children and their decisions, regardless of how they feel…I was very disappointed.”

Pretty strong words. However, we are only hearing one side of the story. Perhaps his mother (Jonetta Patton) could add a dimension that would at least help with the understanding of her feelings and decisions.

MARY WILSON has a limited edition DVD titled “…Up Close, Live From San Francisco,” on which she shows a different side. Nearly all 15 songs are standards, plus some jazz touches, recorded in a small, intimate club.

Wilson has matured into a fine interpreter of ballads. The selections include “Here’s to Life,” “Body and Soul,” “I Believe in You and Me,” “New York State of Mind,” “Both Sides Now” and Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.” The one Supremes song is the effectively rearranged and extended “My World Is Empty Without You.”

For more information, you can visit the singer’s official website,

And by the way, it is so hard to believe that Wilson, who still looks great, has eight grandchildren! Wow, talk about a glamorous grandmother!

BORIS KODJOE, the handsome actor who became a celebrity during the run of the “Soul Food” TV series and is currently starring in the “Undercovers” series, just may have the longest name in the history of show business.

It is Boris Frederic Cecil Tay-Natey Ofuatey-Kodjoe!

In case you didn’t know, Kodjoe’s father is African and his mother is German. To add more international flavor, he was born in Vienna, Austria.

When Mary J. Blige performed recently at the Fox Theatre, she was delighted to have Anita Baker sitting in the front row. The audience loved it when the ladies hugged.

EVE HASN’T had a new album in six years, but the rapper/actress’  fans have something to look forward to because in March 2011 she will have a new release titled “Lip Lock.”  (I liked her TV series.)

Kanye West has said publicly that at one time things were so messed up in his life that he “contemplated suicide.”  However, it’s different now. “I will never give up on life again,” he proclaimed.

What’s happening to the English language? It’s going downhill. Even news anchors are saying “gonna” instead of “going to.” And in many vocabularies, “ta” has replaced “to.”  Even President Barack Obama says “ta” all the time.

People should wear whatever they please, but P. Diddy looked silly when he appeared on stage in Glasgow, Scotland, wearing a kilt.

Speaking of overseas, former Supreme Jean Terrell noted, “The thing about being overseas is they never forget. They never allow the music to die. There’s an old saying in the United States that you’re only as popular as your last hit record. But overseas your hit records are still current and that’s what makes it easier for artists to go there and work.”

Some like it so much that they take up permanent residence, such as Jimmy Ruffin, Detroit’s own Harvey Thompson and the late Edwin Starr.


No one could ever accuse Elton John of not expressing how he really feels. He said recently, “Songwriting today is pretty awful, which is why everything sounds the same.”
He was equally blunt regarding the age factor in radio.

“You’re not going to get on the radio when you’re in your sixties,” he said. But he added, “That’s fine by me,” which he can say because his loyal fans still support his releases and come to his concerts.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW …that when Damon Harris joined the Temptations in 1971, he was only 19 years old. (He was the first Eddie Kendricks replacement.)

MEMORIES: “Through the Fire” (Chaka Khan), “Whispers (Gettin’ Louder”) (Jackie Wilson), “Fire” (the Ohio Players), “Love Ballad” (L.T.D.), “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Prince), “Native New Yorker” (Odyssey), “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (the Platters), “Planet Rock” (Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force), “Love Me in a Special Way” (DeBarge), “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)” (the Main Ingredient), “Typical Male” (Tina Turner).
BLESSINGS to Michele Jackson, David Humphries, Tony Braceful, Willy Wilson, Michael “Tiger” Price, Millie Scott, Reuben Yabuku, Bob Thomas, JuJuan Taylor, Frances Nero, Michael Fuqua, Carolyn Crawford and Horace Boyington.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Wynton Marsalis: “Don’t settle for style. Succeed in substance.”

Let the music play!

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

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