‘A’-mazing

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    Monica and_BrandyEvery two years or so, I feel compelled to call attention to something unusual that only applies to this city.

    The overwhelming majority of female vo-calists from Detroit (not necessarily born here) have first names that end with an “A.”

    HEARING that Halle Berry has gotten engaged (again) was somewhat disheartening. The beautiful actress has a long history of failed marriages and disastrous relationships, and it can’t always be the guy’s fault. Maybe she should remain single.

    In any event, we wish Berry and Spanish/French actor Olivier Martinez well. I first saw him in “Unfaithful” with Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Great performance, great movie.

    Congratulations to Boyz II Men on receiving a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    One of the embarrassing aspects of rap music is the frequency with which artists engage in feuds — LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee, Lil’ Kim vs. Foxy Brown, Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent, etc. The latest to exchange insults are Drake and Common. You’d think these people would be more mature  than that.

    IN 1998 Brandy and Monica partnered and landed a smash hit, “The Boy Is Mine,” that remained No. 1 on the national charts for an amazing 13 weeks!  The ladies are back in the studio.

    They are good  friends, but there was a bump in the road the first time around. Brandy wasn’t totally satisfied with how Monica sang some of her lyrics. “I wrote the song so I know it should be sung,” said Brandy.

    Later this year work will begin on the development of Jimi Hendrix Park in the legendary rock guitarist/singer’s Seattle hometown. 

    Love ya, Oprah, but isn’t it kind of vain to have your picture on the cover of your magazine (“O”) every month?

    PRINCE IS a favorite of mine — particularly from 1979 to 1987 — but it is always annoying when people “get religion” (Prince is a Jehovah’s Witness) and then skim over their past.

    For example, Prince now doesn’t allow anyone to use profanity in his recording studio. If they do, they are required to put $20 into a jar.

    That’s interesting considering some of his raunchiest songs, all of which he wrote, including “Jack U Off,” “Sexy M.F.,” “Head,” “Scarlet P—y,” “Horny Toad,” “Sister” (a song about incest), “Erotic City” and “Irresistible Bitch.”

    Which is not to say that Prince’s “X” and  “triple R” songs didn’t sound good. I still listen to “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” and “Dirty Mind” all the time. But he should refrain from getting preachy, as he has done on several recent albums.  

    One profanity user visiting Prince’s studio said jokingly yet seriously, “I learned those words from you!”

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that in 1963 Motown recorded a song, written by Smokey Robinson and performed by the Supremes, which had one of the world’s longest titles: “A Breath Taking, First Sight Soul Shaking, One Night Love Making, Next Day Heart Breaking Guy.” The company wisely released it as “A Breath Taking Guy.”

    MEMORIES:  “Rhythm of  the Night” (DeBarge), “Jam Tonight” (Freddie Jackson), “Love Come Down” (Evelyn “Champagne” King), “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (Daryl Hall & John Oates), “You Give Good Love” (Whitney Houston), “Boogie On Reggae Woman” (Stevie Wonder), “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” (Lou Rawls), “Super Bad” (James Brown), “Hit the Road, Jack” (Ray Charles), “Where Do We Go From Here?” (Stacy Lattisaw and Johnny Gill).

    BLESSINGS to Tyrone Mills, Mary Grace Wilbert, Ericka Alexander, Toya Hankins, Andrew Humphrey, Katherine Adams, Carl Carlton, Valerie Lockhart, Kevin Keegan, Gary L. Craig and Duane Davis.

    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Maya Angelou: “Love life. Give it all you’ve got. Life gives back, many times over, what you put into it.”

    Let the music play!

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

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