By Florence Anthony
While in Los Angeles on March 10 passing out presents to children in the Brotherhood Crusade and Mothers in Action Organization, Ray J couldn’t help but address the recent passing of his girlfriend Whitney Houston. “It’s just such a tough time for me,” Ray J explained to E! Online. “I really miss my friend, you know, I really do. I’m still hurting,” Ray J spoke to the crowd at the Headquarters of the Los Angeles Sentinel. Although Ray J is currently dealing with great sorrow, he decided to attend the event for the children, “to give back, laugh with them, hug them, and give them anything they need.”
It was an action-packed weekend for Oprah Winfrey. On March 9 the television icon was embraced in a hug by longtime friend Diane von Furstenberg as she took the stage to accept a “Lifetime Leadership” honor at the third annual Diane von Furstenberg awards at the United Nations in New York City. Meanwhile, fast affiliate ratings give Lady O’s interview with the late Whitney Houston’s family, including daughter Bobbi Kristina, a whopping 3.5 million viewers over the course of the hour and a half broadcast. By far the network’s most watched telecast ever —- a January “Next Chapter” with Pastor Joel Osteen nabbed 1.6 million viewers, March 11’s broadcast also earned a 3.1 rating in the network’s sought after women 25-54 demographic.
The new Empress of R&B Natasha C. Coward has a lot on her plate this month. The LEJ Records songbird is performing at Entertainment Industry A-lister Keri D. Singleton’s 20 K Night 40th birthday party at Abella in New York City on March 24. Then, the next night, Natasha will return to her gospel roots, when Great Women In Music will take great pride in saluting Reverend D. Theresa Oliver of Mount Zion Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in the Bronx. Natasha will spread her love of God with a special guest gospel performance. This event will be sponsored by Healthfirst which offers free and low-cost health insurance plans to eligible seniors, adults and families. For more information on Great Women In Music call 646-373-3690.
Beyonce’ and Jay-Z had a very busy few days in the Big Apple. The new parents celebrated R&B singer Robin Thicke’s 35th birthday at Meatpacking District restaurant, Catch, along with Thicke’s wife, Paula Patton and Russell Simmons and Andre Harrell. Then, it was Sunday “Fun Day” as the coosome twosome enjoyed a concert by The Dream at downtown Manhattan music spot SOB’s. The Dream thanked the crowd for coming out, saying: “I know some of y’all got kids at home.”
Halle Berry was spotted in Los Angeles wearing a black and turquoise embroidered tunic from Sulu Collection. Shortly after confirming their engagement, Halle and her fiance’ Olivier Martinez were all smiles leaving the dentist’s office.