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DWTSDonald Driver, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, last week became the third NFL player  to win first prize on the much-watched “Dancing With The Stars.” His partner was the very gifted Peta Murgatroyd.

Driver is the third professional football player to take home the coveted mirror ball. The first was Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, dancing with Cheryl Burke, followed by Hines Ward from the Pittsburg Steelers, partnered with Kym Johnson.

You probably wouldn’t expect big, brawny football players to be so agile, and so into dancing. These three can really move, with smoothness and precision. (Basketball players have not fared nearly as well on the show.) 

I must tell you, the couple I was rooting and voting for was the amazing and consistent Mark Ballas and Katherine Jenkins, but Driver and Murgatroyd winning was okay too. (Their freestyle dance that combined country with hip-hop was fantastic.)

Interesting how times have changed. Not all that long ago, the interracial dancing we see on “DWTS” would be frowned on by Whites with racist inclinations (although many are still out there…fuming), and some Blacks don’t like it either. However, this is a new day. 

RAPHAEL SAADIQ (birth name: Charles Wiggins), singer-musician-producer-songwriter, is a big act in the United States, but in France he is a major attraction, almost a superstar if you will. The reason is Saadiq himself, of course, but also because traditional (old school) R&B is very popular in that country. 

Count me in among those who feel that there are now too many music award shows. First there was the Grammy Awards, based on artistic excellence, followed by the American Music Awards, based on sales. 

Now we have the BET Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Essence Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Soul Train Awards and others.

This dilutes the meaning of winning an award.

Famed rock musician Slash, who played the red hot guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” said Jackson had a level of fame that was “scary.” He said no one would ever talk to Michael “like a real person” and that the megastar had “no sense of reality.”

There is a possibility of Arsenio Hall, recent winner on “Celebrity Apprentice,” returning to late night television. Several networks are reportedly interested. “The Arsenio Hall Show” aired from 1989 to 1994 and at one time was the hottest show on late night TV. 

I think its slip in the ratings had much to do with having too many rap/hip-hop artists on the show, thus alienating a substantial block of viewers and potential viewers. 

USHER FANS are looking forward to June 11 because that is when his new album, “Looking 4 Myself,” will be released. 

And speaking of Usher, sorry to hear about the ugly situation that has developed between him and his ex-wife, Tameka Foster. It’s a custody battle. She reportedly attacked him physically and threw food at him, plus spit on his new girlfriend. 

Some people feel the eight-year age difference may have been a problem when they got married in 2007, plus she already had three kids. Usher is now 33 and Tameka is 41.

If you like Adam Lambert, be sure to pick up his new album, “Trespassing.” He has been re-energized and the album hits hard with a number of songs tailored for the dance floor, with generous elements of “power pop,” disco, funk and more.

It was sad to see that cute seven-year-old rapper who calls himself Mir Money after being rejected on “America’s Got Talent.”  But actually he was terrible, and his parents should not have pushed to get him on the show.

Hopefully, Ray J will have completely recovered by the time you read this after being hospitalized for exhaustion.

But maybe part of the exhaustion is from constantly seeking ways to generate publicity (a  sex tape, that “dramatic performance” at the Whitney Houston funeral, etc.), and from battling with the Houston family at the Billboard Music Awards. (They didn’t want him seated next to the family, even though he has said he and Whitney were close friends.)

Fantasia looked and sounded terrible on “American Idol” last week. All of that screaming she and finalist Joshua Ledet did during their duet was entirely uncalled for. Talk about overdoing it! They are both better than that.

Chaka Khan has lost a lot of weight and looks so much better. Good for her!

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that as a child, Diana Ross never even thought of failure as a possibility. It was just a matter of how and when she would make it.  She had no other career options either. It was singing and entertaining, period. A member of another female Motown group said, “I had never seen anyone that ambitious.”

MEMORIES: “I’ll Be Good to You” (the Brothers Johnson), “Fame” (David Bowie), “You Beat Me to the Punch” (Mary Wells), “Misty Blue” (Dorothy Moore), “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” (the S.O.S. Band), “Casanova” (Levert), “All Night Long (All Night)” (Lionel Richie), “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (Thelma Houston), “Are You That Somebody?” (Aaliyah), “Stop Your Weeping” (the Dramatics), “Soldier Boy” (the Shirelles), “Uptown” (Prince).

BLESSINGS to Betty DeRamus, Carl Carlton, Victor Holsey, Douglas Ware, Dina Peace, Margo Williams, Robin Larkin, Milton Larkin, Dorothy West, Yukia Winston, Damon Williams, Scherrie Payne, Dennis Bowles and Betty Davis Stokes. 

WORDS OF THE WEEK: “Courage is fear that said its prayers.”

Let the music play! 

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

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