By Florence Anthony
Fantasia Barrino had a baby boy just in time for the holidays. After being ordered on bed rest for the latter part of her pregnancy, the American Idol winner gave birth to a boy on Monday, December 12th. She delivered the bundle of joy in a North Carolina hospital. The baby’s daddy is Fanny’s boyfriend Antwaun Cooke, who may or may not still be married to his wife, who sued Fantasia for alienation of affection. Fantasia has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Last Tuesday night, Aretha Franklin attended a performance of “The Mountaintop” at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in New York City. The play is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. Ms. Franklin, very touched by the play, made her way backstage to meet the cast and to offer her congrats on a job well done. Her late father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, was a close friend, associate and confidant of Dr. King’s and, together, in June of 1963, they lead the historic “Walk To Freedom” march down Detroit’s Woodward Avenue.
Speaking of Broadway shows, a new star has been born on the Great White Way. Phylicia Rashad and Ahmad Rashad’s daughter, Condola, made her Broadway debut last week as Cheryl in “Stick Fly.” She is some kind of magnificent in the role. Both of her proud parents were at the play at the Cort Theater on opening night……Phylicia with an entourage of friends, and Ahmad, with his current wife, Sale Johnson, who is the ex-wife of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. Meanwhile, Mekhi Phifer also made his Broadway debut as Flip. He told me this was his first play. Other celebs in the house included Taraji P. Henson, Jaleel White, who told me he flew in to support cast member Dule Hill, “CSI’s” Omar Benson, who said he flew in to support Mekhi, Spike and Tonya Lee, Gayle King, and, of course, “Stick Fly’s” producer extraordinaire, Alicia Keys and her husband, Swizz Beatz.
The Hip Hop community is all abuzz about Warner Brothers new action movie “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” where Robert Downey, Jr. plays a high stakes game of chess to the death against his arch nemesis Jared Harris. It seems chess is the new weapon of choice in the movie opening on Friday, December 16, and has been hot in the hip hop community for years. Even the Rza just released a virtual game of chess and his pal Adisa Bonjoko of the Hip Hop Chess Federation says “if you’re not playing chess, you’re not on your A-Game.” Checkmate!.
Our condolences go out to former New Edition singer Bobby Brown. His father, Herbert Brown, passed away on Saturday, December 10, after a long bout with cancer. Herbert Brown was 82. He was affectionately known as “Pop” and appeared on the reality show “Being Bobby Brown.”
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