Friday, May 27, 2011
AS A CHILD GROWING UP IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND THESE ARE THE IMAGES OF OPRAH THAT I SAW. SHE WAS AN ANCHORWOMAN IN HER EARLY 20'S AND CO-HOST WITH RICHARD SCHER OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING WHICH RAN FOR 5 YEARS. MORE THAN 25 YEARS AGO IN BALTIMORE MARYLAND OPRAH WINFREY, GAYLE KING AND MARIA SHRIVER WERE YOUNG WOMEN GETTING THIER START IN BROADCASTING. I REMEMBER OPRAH'S AFRO AND SHE HAD THESE FALSE EYELASHES AS WELL. HER POPULARITY GREW WITH HER CO-HOSTING PEOPLE ARE TALKING BEFORE GETTING HER OWN TALK SHOW AND MOVING TO CHICAGO. MANY PEOPLE KNOW GAYLE KING AS OPRAH'S BEST FRIEND BUT FEW KNOW THAT THEY MET IN THIER 20'S IN BALTIMORE WHEN OPRAH WAS AN ANCHOR WOMAN AND GAYLE JUST GRADUATING FROM UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK WAS A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT WHICH IN COMPARISON HER JOB DUTIES WERE MUCH LOWER THAN OPRAH'S BUT THEY WERE TO BLACK SINGLE WOMEN WORKING AT A TV STATION AND DIDN'T LET JOB DIFFERENCES DETER THEM FROM BECOMING FRIENDS WHEN A SNOWSTORM FORCED GAYLE WHO LIVED 40 MILES AWAY IN TAKOMA PARK, MD TO CRASH AT OPRAH'S PLACE. THERE IS A NEW CHAPTER EVERYDAY AND OPRAH HAS ALREADY STARTED HER OWN NETWORK TO FURTHER PLANT HER SEEDS AND TELL MORE STORIES THAT WILL CONTINUE TO ENRICH MORE PEOPLES LIVES.
Friday, May 20, 2011
When Crystal Johnson sings, we can feel her soul stirring ours in every note she hits. Her voice is laced with the nuances of a woman who has been there and done that. Grown, sexy, seductive and serious, Crystal Johnson is no newcomer to the game. And we get that. We feel that. We can hear it! With her debut CD "The Day Before Heaven"Crystal is releasing her testimony about life, about nurturing, about giving and getting. Fierce, yet feminine, it is music that fills you, served straight up, no chaser!
"The Day Before Heaven" on Egyptian Fusion Music is a momentous accomplishment for a woman whose life journey has been one long continuous song. Having first recorded at the age of seven with Pink Floyd and the award winning Institutional Children's Choir, this debut release has been a long time coming and is indeed a celebration.
May 10 will mark not only her CD release date but also a listening party and performance produced by Egyptian Fusion Music in association withUbiquita Worldwide at Drom in New York, her native home. Drom is located at 85 Avenue A and showtime is 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Crystal's incomparable vocals have complimented numerous projects over the years. In fact, her entire life can be viewed as a movement toward this day. At age 11, she landed the original lead role of "Doris Winter" in the smash hit and gospel classic, "Mama I Want To Sing." Soon after she performed in the widely acclaimed opera, "Porgy and Bess", a Shakespeare In The Park Production with the Lincoln Philharmonic Orchestra, starringTheresa Merritt. Crystal then made her debut on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in the original production of "Gospel at Colonus" starring Morgan Freeman.
A warrior of personal achievement, Crystal's musical career as a singer, songwriter, producer, vocal coach and entrepreneur has consistently propelled her. She has musically collaborated with Usher Raymond, Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton. She also appeared on the soundtrack for "Who's The Man" performing the self written/produced song, "Lovin You". Other collaborations include Mobb Deep's classic, "Temperature's Rising," Heavy D's "Got Me Waiting" and also Pete Rock and CL Smooth's "I'll Take You There". Crystal can also boast working with Dr. Dre on his multi-platinum "Chronic 2001" co-writing "The Message," which featured Mary J. Blige and Rell.
With "The Day Before Heaven" the New York transplant, now living in Atlanta, brings the journey to fruition. Fourteen tracks sway with the fire of a woman who has come full circle and stands rooted in her vocal ability and power. Blending R&B, jazz and hip hop with elements of house and world music, "The Day Before Heaven" rocks to the core. Her "Summer Nights" is a jazzy escapade into the mind of a woman who has traded romance for marital security. Her voice rides a breezy, uptempo cadence in "Feeling Out" and with "Who Am I" she magically whirls us with a breezy spin of melodious rhythms. Crystal slows the pace with the melodious revelation "Butterfly," while the self-produced title track "The Day Before Heaven" sways as a mantra of serenity and affirmation.
"I am the first generation of hip hop, now evolved. My music is from my soul...a story of my triumphs and pains. A song has the ability to take you places within your spirit and with "The Day Before Heaven" it is my wish that we can travel together within those spaces. The women will know what I'm talking about when they hear the music and the men will feel it and be happy they were invited along for the ride!" reveals Crystal.
Journey with Crystal Johnson and preview what "A Day Before Heaven" feels like athttp://www.CrystalJohnson.com.
I’m so excited,” she tells E! News of her engagement to Adam Housley, a Fox News correspondent. “It is going to be a big wedding, probably 400 people with seven bridesmaids and groomsmen.”
Twin sister Tia Mowry is her maid of honor, her brother Taj is a groomsman, the dress is by Vera Wang and the wedding location has already been secured.
“Adam’s family owns a winery in Napa, Calif., but the wedding will take place at a nearby estate,” the former star of “Sister, Sister” says. “We want this wedding to respect us. I was courted in Napa and fell in love with the city. Wine has become a big part of our life together.”
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DESIGNER JANICE PALMER
May 8th concluded the Atlanta Symphony Associates' 41st Annual Decorators' Show House and Gardens. Each year, the creme de la creme of the Atlanta design community create gorgeous spaces to inspire visitors and to raise funds for the Education and Community Engagement Initiatives of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This year was especially significant to me because it was the first time a Black interior designer was showcased as a lead designer. Before the final curtain call I was fortunate enough to interview the designer everyone was buzzing about, Janice Palmer of Y Design International.
Her assignment, The Young Lady's Room, was one of the most talked about spaces on this year's tour and for good reason. Palmer's design cleverly encompassed multicultural influences mixed with the love of travel, fashion, and music.
"The inspiration behind this design is a a fictitious 20-year old renaissance woman named Malina. She is a music student at Juilliard," as Palmer tells the story. "....And her love for fashion is a close second to her passion for the cello. If she [Malina] could have a dual career it would be as a top notch cellist who designs one-of-a-kind clothing with the flair of Marc Jacobs and Rachel Roy combined."