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December 2001
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BLOCKBUSTER AWARDS A BUST

Viacom's Blockbuster division announced that it has canceled the annual Blockbuster Awards show, which first appeared on the scene in 1993. In an interview with the Associated Press, Blockbuster spokeswoman Liz Greene indicated that the company was particularly concerned about how the awards ceremonies might be affected if another terrorist incident should occur, but it may all be for the best anyway, since the show only scored 11th out of the 13 entertainment awards ceremonies televised by the major networks, only outranking ABC's Radio Music Awards and Fox's NAACP Image Awards.


SNOOP SCORES FOR PORNO

Snoop Dogg has signed up with "Hustler" to feature his music in founder Larry Flynt Flynt's porno flicks. "Most artists don't want to be affiliated with pornos," he told Access Hollywood. "But I figured if I play my music on a porno, while you're at home having fun and doing your thing, as soon as you get done, you gotta go to get that Snoop album."


AALIYAH PLANE OWNER MAY HAVE HIDDEN FILES

Reuters reports that the owner of the plane that crashed, killing the singer/actress Aaliyah, is now accused of withholding maintenance logs and other records for the twin-engine plane. Agents have seized the documents, and searched the Ft. Lauderdale home of the owner Gilbert Chacon, taking documents and computer files. Chacon's company owned the overloaded Cessna 402B that crashed Aug. 25 while taking off from Marsh Harbor Airport in the Bahamas, killing the 22-year-old singer and her entourage.


SHOWTIME RENEWAL

Showtime has renewed the series "Soul Food" for at least 15 more episodes. This will be the third season for "Soul Food," which is based on the 1997 hit film of the same name. It stars Malinda Williams, Vanessa Williams, Nicole Parker, Rockmond Dunbar, Darrin DeWitt Henson, Boris Kodjoe, and Aaron Meeks.


HOOTIE SOLO

Darius Rucker, lead singer of the popular rock group Hootie and the Blowfish, is branching out on his own with a solo album and, if you look close, you can catch a glimpse of him in the film "Shallow Hal."


JUSTICE STILL NOT A 'BERRY' GOOD SUBJECT

During a recent interview with Movieline magazine, Halle Berry fired back when writer Lawrence Grobel read to Berry remarks that her former husband David Justice made to People magazine around the time the two split up. "They're all lies," she retorted. "If he said it, it's a lie. I'll tell you right now." Grobel was quoting what Justice told People in 1996 when he read: "I always felt I was walking on eggshells with her." Berry's response was direct, "Bull----!" To find out more about Berry's alleged temper, Grobel also quoted Justice's remark, "She was always suspicious," "I've never known a girl who could throw a tantrum like she does." Berry didn't deny pitching fits, but said Justice caused them. "If your husband cheated on you with prostitutes, strippers, every twinkie walking by with a skirt," she told Grobel, "you'd feel the same way. End of story."


CELEBS DONATE TO DECEMBER CHARITY EVENTS

On December 6 KidsCharities.org will host an event to benefit 24 children's charities and two 911 charities. There is also an online auction on Sothebys.com from Dec. 3-13. Sugar Ray Leonard will be donating boxing lessons with half of the proceeds going to Juvenile Diabetes Research. Others involved include Quincy Jones, who donated a backstage meet and greet, the original Santa Claus suit from Miracle on 34th Street donated by americabilia.com, the 1933 Minnie & Mickey costumes from the Macy's Parade, a Harry Potter minted coin used in the movie, trips, memorabilia and much more. Britney Spears, Beyonce Knowles and Pink are among celebrities whose clothes are up for bid in an online auction benefiting September 11 relief organizations. Also scheduled to be auctioned this month are outfits worn by those singers - along with others worn by Sheryl Crow, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, and the Diane Von Furstenberg dress worn by Destiny's Child's Knowles on a recent cover of "Vanity Fair" magazine. Each outfit was donated by either the celebrity who wore it or the person who designed it.


REPLAY NOT A HIT WITH STUDIOS

20th Century Fox, MGM, and Vivendi Universal, claim that the ReplayTV device enables users to make perfect digital copies of copyrighted programming and then distribute them to friends over the internet, thereby depriving the studios of revenue they might otherwise receive from DVD sales.


LAWRENCE IN CEMENT

Martin Lawrence was honored last month and joined the list of celebs who've been honored with a hand and footprint ceremony, in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.


USHER POPS SHOULDER

Singer/actor Usher has dislocated his shoulder, delaying the start of his nationwide tour from December to April of next year. Usher suffered the injury while rehearsing handstands and backflips for his show - much of which was his own choreography. He had to undergo surgery and will be recuperating for about three months. If you just can't wait till April, his new movie, "Texas Rangers," is currently in theaters.


CAREY SPECIAL FOR KIDS

Mariah Carey will be joined by Destiny's Child, Enrique Iglesias, and others for her "A Home for the Holidays with Mariah Carey" special. The television special was taped November 3rd and will air on December 21st on CBS, and will support foster children. In addition, Dustin Hoffman, Scott Hamilton and others will relay their own real-life adoption stories.



BLACK NATIVE AMERICANS

"Black Indians: An American Story" recently received a 'Nammy' for Best Short and Long Form Video at the Fourth Annual Native American at the Pueblo of Sandia Amphitheater in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Nammy’s, presented by Native American Music Association recognize the best in the Native American entertainment industry. The story is narrated by James Earl Jones with music by The Neville Brothers. The film was directed by Chip Richie and produced by Steven R. Heape. Mr. Heape, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, accepted the NAMMY on behalf of Rich-Heape Films.


DMX UNDER ASTHMA ATTACK

DMX (Earl Simmons) is resting at home after an asthma attack. It has caused a delay in his work on the soundtrack to the upcoming drama "Undisputed," which features Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames and Master P.


RAVEN ON DISNEY

Actress Raven Symone will soon have her own sitcom on Disney. The teen will star in "That's So Raven." The Disney Channel has ordered 21 episodes of the new comedy series. The series is scheduled for debut on The Disney Channel fall line up. Raven will star as an eccentric and offbeat teenager who has the ability to foresee flashes of the future. The series also stars Orlando Brown, Tricha Dixon, Kyle Orlando Massey, T'Keyah Crystal Keymah and Rondell Sheridan.


JACKSON TO START HIS OWN SCHOOL

Pop and film star says his kids will not be able to go into society. According to the Nov. 10 issue of TV Guide, Michael Jackson announced his intention to build The Michael Jackson Computer Learning Center. Jackson is planning a computer school on the grounds of his Neverland Valley Ranch in Los Olivas, Calif., both to educate his own children, four-year-old Prince Michael Jackson and three-year-old Paris Katherine Michael Jackson, as well as other children.


SAM DRAWS A CROWD

Dressed in a kilt that his character wears in the film, Samuel L. Jackson had an impressive following at the world premier of the "51st State," according to British website Empire Online. Jackson was also in the Mayfair to shoot some pick-up shots for "Star Wars: Episode II." Next up for Jackson is a film with "Pulp" co-star John Travolta called "Basic."


ALI SOUNDTRACK

Alicia Keys, Everlast, and R. Kelly are just three of the singers on the soundtrack for the biopic "Ali," starring Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. According to "Rolling Stone.com," Kelly has two songs on the upcoming album, including the lead single, "The World's Greatest." Keys' track is titled "Fight," and Everlast, a former boxer himself, does "The Greatest." The soundtrack will also include classics including Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way" and Al Green's version of the Sam Cooke classic "A Change is Gonna Come." The film will be in theaters Christmas Day.


GLOVER AND GIBSON SHOELESS

Danny Glover and Mel Gibson recently reunited to donate the shoes they wore in "Lethal Weapon." The shoes went up for auction on Zappos.com as part of their third celebrity footwear charity auction.


CFC NEW WEB SITE

If you're going to start filming in California, the CFC (California Film Commission) is hoping its new website will help you. The site -- www.film.ca.gov -- offers filmmakers and production pros information and services for filming in the state. A one-stop shop for filmmakers, the CFC issues permits for filming on state-owned property and administers several incentive programs for filming in California.


BLACK ENTERTAINERS SET GUINNESS RECORDS

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, 2001 has been a record setting year for several Black artists. Lil' Bow Wow earned mention for being the youngest No. 1 solo rapper on the US Charts. Master P was in the book for being the richest music producer. Destiny's Child made it for more time at No. 1 on the US charts than any girl band in history.


AJAKWE HEADS LATINO SHOW

After being picked up for a third season on Nickelodeon, "The Brothers Garcia" has named Michael Ajakwe, Jr. as its head writer and co-executive producer. Jeff Valdez, the show's executive producer made the appointment. Ajakwe's appointment marks the first time in television history that an African-American writer has been hired to run a Latino-themed show. Last season, Ajakwe served as a punch up writer for the SiTV produced sitcom about a Mexican-American family living in San Antonio, Texas. A playwright and published author, Ajakwe has won two NAACP Theater Awards for playwriting and producing. In 1995, he won an Emmy as one of the producers of E! Network's "Talk Soup," hosted by future star Greg Kinnear.


SNOOP SAYS HE'S NOT GUILTY

Snoop Dogg has pled innocent to charges of marijuana possession. One of his tour buses (he has two on his Puff Puff Pass tour), was stopped in Ohio for speeding where traffic cops then found 200 grams of the drug. Snoop says he shouldn't even be charged, since there was nothing found on HIS bus. Snoop's lawyer appeared in court on his behalf and entered the not guilty plea. Snoop and two others were charged with possession. If found guilty, Snoop could face a maximum fine of $200.


DANNY GLOVER HAS SECRET LOVE

Danny Glover recently confessed that he has an enormous crush on his co-star in Wes Anderson's upcoming family comedy "The Royal Tenenbaums." The 54-year-old "Lethal Weapon" star said, "I have a major crush on Anjelica Huston. I'm crazy about her — everything from her intelligence to her unique beauty and her warmth." But Huston isn't the only Hollywood leading lady Glover admits to admiring. "I love Amy Madigan — there's something so raw and unique about her," he bubbles. "And forget all those things I said in The Color Purple — I think Whoopi Goldberg is absolutely beautiful. I'm serious as a heart attack about this." How does his wife of over 25 years, Asake Bomani, feel about his passion for these other women? "She's comfortable with it," he says with a grin. "She thinks Whoopi is beautiful, too!"



TONI BRAXTON HOSTS FOR KIDS

Singer/actress Toni Braxton is expecting her first child, but inthe meantime, she recently helped celebrate children by hosting the Angel Soft Angels in Action Awards. The awards show honors five children who have given back to the community through volunteering or participating in community service projects and organizations.


SPIKE SHARES SEATS

An anonymous bidder won the seat next to Spike Lee for the Wizards-Knicks season opener game, paying more than $101,000 for the courtside spot that was given to twelve-year-old Jessica Derubbio, daughter of New York Firefighter David Derubbio who died in the tragedies of September 11. Proceeds from the ticket sale will go to the Fire department's Widows and Children's Fund. "I knew nothing about this," Jessica said in amazement. "My grandmother told me the news on my way home from school." Spike enjoyed sharing the game with the young girl and said, "The big winner, was the guy who wrote the check."


STARS GOING OVERSEAS

Overseas troops will get a Hollywood surprise from Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Matt Damon as well as director Steven Soderbergh the other stars of the casino caper "Ocean's Eleven." "We wanted them to know how we are behind them ... how we care," said producer Jerry Weintraub, who arranged the visit with the help of former President George Bush.


WHOOPI GETS A STAR

Whoopie Goldberg has been honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame.ALK OF FAME. The star unveiled the honor, November 13th, on her 46th birthday, dedicating it to her fans. She told them, "You don't care if I'm fat or skinny, you still come to see me. This is for you." Goldberg's is the 2,186th star on the street.


WHITNEY HOUSTON FRIENDS WORRIED

Friends of artist Whitney Houston say they're afraid she's dying from years of drug abuse. Friends say the 38-year-old shocked fans with her emaciated appearance at Michael Jackson's tribute concert in September. A close friend says, "Her relatives say she is dying from drugs, but does not have the willpower to admit that her problem is killing her." For the past year, Houston, married to singer Bobby Brown, has been the subject of several reports of excessive cocaine use and erratic behavior.


MUSLIM LEADERS THANK SMITH

Muslim leaders are saluting Will Smith for embracing their religion after completing the Muhammad Ali biopic. Sofian Zakkout, Director of the American Muslim Association of North America, says, "Muhammad Ali is one of the best examples of Muslims in this country. He's been a wonderful spokesperson for the religion and if Will Smith can continue Muhammad Ali's work that would be wonderful. Islam is a peaceful religion and if good people such as Muhammad and Will can carry that message then it would be wonderful. It would be a positive message for peaceful Muslims all over the world."


HOLLYWOOD MEETS WITH WHITE HOUSE EXECS

Top Hollywood executives, following a meeting with White House officials in Beverly Hills, pledged to aid the war against terrorism but stopped short of allowing Washington to influence what kind of movies studios should make. MPAA chief Jack Valenti said that while a variety of ideas were put forth, from creating training films to mounting USO-type tours to entertain troops, but that the content of movies was "off the table" and Bush officials never even tried to influence Hollywood in that regard. Valenti said that a team will be set up with the government to coordinate future plans, with a "point person" being assigned at each of the major studios and networks. Prior to the meeting, many in Hollywood had warned against fostering a climate in Hollywoodthat might favor propoganda over entertainment.


STARS TO APPEAR IN ADS FOR CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING DRUG

Bristol-Myers Squibb has enlisted such stars as Angela Bassett , Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, and Dana Carvey and to appear in a number of ads for their cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol, the New York Times reported. The ads will feature a questionnaire about the risk factors of heart disease and will urge people to visit their doctors.


SNOOPDEVILLE CAR

Snoop Dogg is about to get his own Cadillac. According to reports, Snoop Dogg has signed a deal with General Motors in America to produce a luxury set of wheels named after the singer/actor. Snoop collects cars and his love of them dates back to when he was a kid. GM has taken his sincerity to heart. Snoop says "Snoopdeville - it'll be out next year. It's a limited edition with hydraulics on it. We're just going to do a basic look because we don't want to scare people. It's gonna be sharp."


SMITH SAYS CLEAN IT UP

Will Smith says youths around the globe are getting the wrong impression of black America and he is urging top rappers to clean up their message to help improve the image. A long-time critic of gangsta rap, Smith was appalled to find dead rappers Tupac Shkur and Biggie Smalls as representatives of black youth in America during a recent visit to Africa. He said, "I was in this village in Mozambique filming "Ali" and they had no water, no electricity and they spoke no English but I saw 'Tupac' and 'Biggie Smalls' written on the side of a shack. That's the picture they have of young blacks in America. Girls and guns and cars. It is the picture the world has of us and I'm uncomfortable with that. I'll never diss a brother who is trying to feed his kids but all I say is sprinkle a little bit of the other side of your personality in there. We are a diverse people."


PEOPLES CHOICE NOMS

Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks head the list of favourites to take top honours at the Peoples Choice awards. Hanks and Washington are both nominated for favourite film actor and favourite film actor in a drama.