The Last Word: Aaliyah Biopic Hits Theaters, Kelly Rowland Splits From Mathew Knowles and Rihanna Is the Next Charlie’s Angel?

What’s cookin’ everybody? Another five gone by and we got a set of octuplets coming into the world, Obama getting a reality check from Republicans while pushing hard for a $825 billion economic stimulus package and the Cardinals and Steelers playing this weekend in the Super Bowl.   Shout out to the sounding boards for […]

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What’s cookin’ everybody? Another five gone by and we got a

set of octuplets coming into the world, Obama getting a reality check from

Republicans while pushing hard for a $825 billion economic stimulus package and

the Cardinals and Steelers playing this weekend in the Super Bowl.


Shout out to the sounding boards for embracing the spirit of



Next on the menu…the Last Word for the week ending Jan. 30,



1. Aaliyah Biopic Heads to the Big Screen


Gone but clearly not forgotten, Aaliyah will reemerge on the

big screen via an upcoming biopic. Media sources report that Canadian

R&B/pop singer Keshia Chante will play the songbird in the film, which will

be helmed by director Bill Condon.


Others appearing in thefeature include Aaliyah’s choreographer

Fatima Robinson, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Ginuwine. Famed music video

director Hype Williams has also been tapped for the project to recreate

Aaliyah’s final video shoot for the hit song “Rock the Boat.”


To insure that his work lives up to fans’ expectations,

Condon is making sure his cast do their homework to become as familiar with

Aaliyah and those in her life as humanly possible.


“We are going to great extremities to make this movie

perfect. We have [Keisha] Chante in extensive training studying, speaking with

family members, watching personal footage and in choreography training with

Aaliyah’s choreographer and dear friend Fatima Robinson,” he told the New

York Post. “This movie will be seamless the

same way it was for Selena fans who enjoyed Jennifer Lopez.”


As one of Babygirl’s many fans, I really do hope they pull

out the stops and make this film a must see. I’ll definitely be in line opening

weekend to support.


2. Michael Jackson Gets Another Thrill With Broadway and

New Lawsuit


Just when you think Michael Jackson has steered clear of a

courtroom near you, they keep calling him back.


Variety reports that film director John Landis for allegedly

failing to pay him royalties from the Grammy-winner’s “Thriller” video for the

last four years is suing Jackson. Landis not only directed the 1983 clip, but

also co-wrote it.


The lawsuit, which was filed last week in Los Angeles

Superior Court through Landis’ company, Levitsky Prods., accuses Jackson of

“fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct” in failing to pay Landis 50

percent of the net proceeds from the video. In addition to the claims, the suit

includes the 1983 agreement between Jackson and Landis covering the video and

an hour-long documentary, which Landis also directed.


News of the suit comes amid word that “Thriller” will be

turned into a Broadway musical. According to reports, the show will feature

songs from two of Jackson’s albums.


3. Tyler Perry Gets Caught Up in Legal Nonpayment Drama


Looks like another court case for Tyler Perry. The Atlanta

Journal-Constitution states the mogul is at the center of a new lawsuit

involving his Atlanta home.


According to the suit, six construction firms claim Perry

has not paid them for work done on his 30,000 square foot residence. The contractors

noted that the mogul refused to pay their final bills either for no apparent

reason or because their work met with his arbitrary disapproval. As a result,

the contractors have put a lien on Perry’s home and new movie studio. They

claim the trouble with the work became apparent before Perry officially opened

his studio in October.


The entertainer argues that the work he did not pay for was

either shoddy or related to undocumented charges. The unpaid bills from the

work, court papers note, total slightly less than $200,000.


Despite, the legal drama, Perry did get some good news as

his hit show Meet the Browns was picked

up by TBS. The network has reportedly ordered 80 episodes of the series to be

produced for viewing.


From the looks of it, Tyler has his own real life House

of Payne. Where are Mr. Brown and Madea

when you need them?


4.  Paula

Abdul, the Blueprint for Beyoncé and Rihanna?


As the nice judge who helps pick out the next music

superstar on American Idol, it seems

like it was a millennium ago when Paula Abdul commanded center stage as a best

selling artist. But don’t worry; Paula wants everyone to know that her

influence carries on in the divas of today.


According to WENN, the TV personality seems to believe that

she paved the way for Rihanna and Beyoncé to do what they do.


“My videos stand the test of time. They are like the almanac

for every performer,” proclaimed Abdul. “Even Rihanna has come up to me and

said ‘I hope you don’t mind.’ And Beyoncé. You can see the influence of what

I’ve done. It’s really fun to see that I’ve left a mark. It was my idea to

create an animated character. It takes a lot of focus, a lot time, and a lot of



A note to Paula: If you want to continue working with Simon,

Kara and Randy, stay off the drugs.


5. Raven-Symone Injects Self-Esteem with New Dove Tour


As a successful entertainer, Raven-Symone is a prime example

of what a child star can truly become while being regarded as a role model for

young women. The That’s So Raven actress

has hooked up with Dove for the soap maker’s Dove Self-Esteem Workshop Tour.


According to Symone, the 90-minute workshops will target

pre-teens age 11 and 12 as Symone and author Jess W##### and go through

worksheets, exercises, role-playing and other tools to talk to girls about

inner beauty. The outing hits home with Raven, who admitted to having her own

self-esteem issues while revealing that 41 percent of African-American teens

feel that they’re not good enough or that they don’t measure up.


 “Just being who

I am in the industry and what I look like, I’ve definitely had negative

language bombarded toward me that I do not fit that specific mold that they

think beauty is,” the actress told EUR’s Lee Bailey. “But I look within myself

and I take that and I say, ‘Let me hear what my friends are telling me, let me

hear what my soul is telling, let me hear what my doctor is telling me’ and fix

what I need to fix then and fix it in a healthy manner.”


“We’re trying to get the girls to question the beauty

stereotypes. And get them to truly open up their minds,” added Symone, who

labeled herself a “thick and fabulous being” who wears a weave herself

sometimes, exercises everyday and is always looking to remain happy and

healthy. “We’re going to tell them that they’re beautiful no matter what they

look like; no matter if their hair doesn’t grow. You don’t need a weave all the



For details on the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty workshops,



6. Kelly Rowland Goes Her Own Way Without Mathew Knowles


The future is shaping up to be an interesting one for Kelly

Rowland as she adjusts to pursuing professional endeavors without her long time

manager Mathew Knowles.


The pair made their parting official on Wednesday (Jan. 28)

as they released a joint statement. And while the business relationship didn’t

work out, Kelly is grateful for working with Knowles as long as she did.


“Mathew Knowles has been a positive influence in my career.

I have had great success under his guidance — both as a member of Destiny’s

Child and with my solo project,” the vocalist said in the statement as she

mentioned the split will have no effect on her personal relationship with her

former manager. “Although we have decided to part ways professionally, the

Knowles family and the entire Music World Entertainment team will always be my



Ever the businessman, Mathew stated the split was amicable

while letting folks know that Music World will continue to manage Kelly’s old

group Destiny’s Child.


“We will always be family first and foremost, and as a dad I

only have love for Kelly,” he stated.


And so Kelly will truly be a solo act. Although she is

thankful for being under Mathew’s wing, you can’t help but wonder if her two

albums (2002’s Simply Deep and 2007’s Ms.

Kelly), would’ve had a longer life on the

charts if someone other than her best friend’s father managed her.


Kelly is a star in her own right, but now’s the real test.

Stay tuned…


7. Rihanna vs. Penelope Cruz for a Potential Charlie’s

Angel Spot


As if two Charlie’s Angels movies weren’t enough. Now, comes

word that a third installment of the franchise might be considered. Head Angel

Drew Barrymore has expressed an interest in bringing back Lucy Liu and Cameron

Diaz, but the real talk concerns whether or not there will be a fourth Angel

for the film.


When asked who would be her dream Angel, Drew put her choice

in as she told, “Oh I’m so in love with Penelope Cruz! She’s



And while an Oscar-nominated actress like Penelope would

definitely be a good look, Barrymore’s production partner Nancy Juvonen has

another entertainer in mind that may make for an interesting choice.


“I’m having a Rihanna fixation myself, Juvonen told Sci-Fi

Wire after selling her motivation for brining in a fourth Angel.  “I’m really into that when the show had

the four Angels on for a while, and Farrah [Fawcett]’s little sister, Cheryl

Ladd, came in. There was something fun with that, I think, that’s very iconic

of the show. So I’m a little on that.”


No question. Both of them could probably pull it off. So is

Rihanna cut out to kick butt on the big screen or would Penelope be the one to

take the Angels to the next level? 

What say you?


In Other Words…


* John Legend has been tapped to perform Feb. 15 at this

year’s NBA All-Star game. The crooner, along with Latin vocalist Juanes, will

sing “If You’re Out There,” a song about leadership. The tune is off Legend’s

latest album, Evolver. Legend and Juanes

were selected to perform by NBA officials, who picked them based on their

dedication to community service.


* Congratulations to Mo’Nique who took home the Special Jury

Prize for Acting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for her work in the film

Push. The actress/comedian received the honor for her portrayal of a welfare-swindling

mother. Push, which also stars Mariah Carey, was voted Best Drama by the

festival and audience members who saw the film.


* In case you’ve been wondering about Melinda Doolittle’s

debut album, the wait is coming to an end. The former American Idol contestant’s release, Coming Back to You, will finally hit stores Tuesday (Feb. 3).


* Ne-Yo is rebounding after rumors of collaboration with

shock rocker Marilyn Manson went south. The crooner is hoping to go in the

studio with pop singer Lady Gaga for his next album. According to WENN, Ne-Yo

is a big fan of GaGa, who is enjoying the success of her hit single “Just



“I really hope GaGa and I can work together. I have never

been so excited about an artist before,” the singer expressed as he admired

GaGa for carving her own niche. “Being yourself is what makes an artist. She

epitomizes to me what artistry is. She is a strange one, but it’s refreshing.

She makes no apologies for being who she is. She takes pride in being an

individual and I made it my business to tell her when we met up on the road.”**To get the latest AllHipHop Alternatives Features, follow us on Twitter @**