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When it comes to economic empowerment, Al Bell has walked the walk.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, the North Little Rock resident led Stax Records, a soul music record label second only to Motown in sales and influence. The Memphis-based label signed and promoted musical titans like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers. In later decades, after Stax closed, Bell worked with Prince to release the smash single, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” and created a label which produced hits like Tag Team’s “Whoomp! There It Is.” Adapting business lessons gleaned from his godfather, former Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller, Bell has reached pinnacles of success in his 78 years most Americans will never see.


Al Bell the Maverick: Courtesy of Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Yet the goal of a more equitable society has long weighed on Bell’s mind — even more so when he thinks of his relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr. King was assassinated 50 years ago on April 4 in Memphis while denouncing America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and advocating for better pay and working conditions for Memphis sanitation workers — part of a “Poor People’s Campaign” for Americans of all colors. In 1967, King had said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Bell knew King for nearly a decade, he told more than 100 people last week in a panel at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. As a teenager in the late 1950s, he was working as a teenage disc jockey in Little Rock. One of his Scipio Jones High English teachers, Virginia Robinson, directed his attention to Rev. King who was then leading civil rights protests focused on uplifting African Americans. Mrs. Robinson urged Bell to join the activist Southern Christian Leadership Conference King had helped found.

So, in 1959, Bell moved to Georgia to attend SCLC leadership workshops and become a student teacher. “I learned more about what Dr. King was about, which at that time was more passive resistance seeking equal rights. But what was at the core of Dr. King’s [ideology] was economic development and economic empowerment.” Those core goals resonated with Bell, the budding entrepreneur.

Watch the Crystal Bridges talk with Al Bell and Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, a professor at Duke University:

 

The nonviolence stuff, though, was more of a challenge. Especially during the time Bell was on the front lines of a march in Savannah, singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.” He recalled an especially virulent white man in the crowd “calling me all the kinds of names you could think of.” Then, as he got within four feet, the man spat on him. “Before I knew it, I was out of my pocket with my switchblade knife, going through all these people after this man,” Bell recalled, chuckling. “Hosea Williams and Ralph Abernathy came after me, but I lost complete control and broke up the march,” Bell said in 2005.

That night, King reemphasized to Bell what passive resistance meant. King said: “Many of us are gonna be killed, they’re gonna hang us, dogs are gonna bite us and we’re gonna have to take all of that,” Bell recalled at a recent Rhodes College panel. “What’s important about it, is that they’re gonna carry it on television… People will realize outside of America that we even exist in America as a people, and they will see how America is treating us. Then, after that’s done, you can go about the business of talking about economic development and economic empowerment — which is what got him killed.”


Dr. Mark Anthony Neal on left and Bell on right at Crystal Bridges

Bell graduated from Philander Smith College in 1961 and moved to Memphis, where he starred as a radio DJ for WLOK. He honed his flair for promotion with sign-offs like this: “This is your 6 feet 4 bundle of joy, 212 pounds of Mrs. Bell’s baby boy, soft as medicated cotton, rich as double-X cream, the women’s pet, the men’s threat, the baby boy Al” — and then he rang a bell — “Bell.”

He joined Stax in 1965 and quickly ascended the ranks, working on the business and production sides. He continued to cultivate regional talents who elevated the label into the world’s foremost exporter of soulful sounds with a raw, gritty edge. Meanwhile, the nation grew more polarized as American casualties in Vietnam skyrocketed. That war’s economic costs had stifled some of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s earlier efforts to alleviate poverty, so Martin Luther King and the SCLC began planning a massive, multi-racial march on Washington D.C. to ignite mass support for an economic bill of rights. “It didn’t cost the nation one penny to integrate lunch counters,” King said in February 1968. “But now we are dealing with issues that cannot be solved without the nation spending billions of dollars and undergoing a radical redistribution of economic power.”

Specifically, the Poor People’s Campaign sought:

[jwplayer mediaid=”19808″][jwplayer mediaid=”19808″]

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March 12, 2018

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Bettye Thomas-Gilkey, Associate Editor

Courtesy Photo – Andreana Beard – A T-Rose Entertainment Product

This thirteen-year-old playwright, actress, director and producer wrote her first play, “Christmas Love” at the age of nine.

It’s about a little girl who “wanted something very special for Christmas but asked Jesus for it instead of Santa Claus.” What she wanted was a father and she had the faith that she would receive it. The plot of the play goes something like this, “her mother reconnected with a guy she dated in college, but he didn’t know that she’d had a baby that she kept secret from him.” Upon learning of the child, “they resumed the relationship and around her 12th Christmas” her dream came true. The couple married and God “blessed her with a father.”

What inspired this young child to write such a profound play? Andreana enjoys watching Tyler Perry movies and believes “it’s really cool to put something in your mind to act out just as you imagined it.” She enjoys expressing her creativity through music and dance as well, but writing plays is really her forte’.

Andreana not only wrote and produced “Christmas Love” but she also directed it last year at the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, Michigan. The 120-minute production comprised of six scenes, filled the house and made a sizeable profit that allowed her to play all expenses that included a stipend for twelve cast members. Her business venture is Andreanna Beard Productions, LLC.

Currently, she is writing another play for an upcoming production. “Listen” is about children who have experienced sexual molestation, bullying and suicidal ideation, as well as “other things kids struggle with.” She was motivated to write about this topic because of observing peers who have experience these issues.

On Sunday, April 22nd, Andreana will appear as a guest correspondent with the Girl’s Entrepreneur Expo at the Boys & Girls Club, 16500 Tireman Street, Detroit, Michigan, from 2pm to 5pm. It is sponsored by the T-Rose Foundation. She met Theresa Randleman at the Detroit production of “When Men Pray” and they instantly fell in love with each other.

Included in this interview, Andreana gave me a sampling of her melodic, soprano vocals singing her rendition of “This is Me” from the movie “The Greatest Showman.” It’s a song that her Livonia school district Principal personally requested for an upcoming performance.

One thing I learned is that Andreana is quite modest because Mama Beard added key information that takes her talents to an entirely new level. According to Kim Beard, her daughter has “performed this play three times!” She said, “this past December Tony Grant (a leading Tyler Perry actor) had a leading role in “Christmas Love.” Not only is Grant her mentor, but played her father!

She also added that “Andreana works a lot.” Recently, she’s been working as casting director in “several productions.”

Added to her credits, the eighth-grader is an eleven-time beauty pageant winner! She’s been competing since she was 3-1/2 years old when she won her very first pageant.

“I didn’t really want her to do pageants because it’s so labor intensive,” her mother said. “But Andreana is naturally gifted on so many levels that it’s hard to hold her back. Everything she does is a gift from God because she’s never been formally trained.”

“At the age of four, Andreana got involved with the Make-A-Wish List Foundation,” Kim Beard said. “She sold tickets and her plaques raised all the money needed to honor a little girl’s wish for a swimming pool. My daughter received a Congressional Award and the Make-A-Wish flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in her honor. She was six-years old when this took place.”

Another significant accomplishment of the young playwright was her active role in the Motor City Make-Over where she was crowned for helping restructure the City of Detroit.

Andreana stays grounded by spending time with friends who are aware of her talents but “treat her normal; nothing special.” It makes her happy that they attend her plays. Also, she’s involved with Burning Bush International Ministries and leads worship for the youth group at her grandfather’s church in Northville, MI.  The young producer/singer/actress’ favorite gospel singer is Deitrick Haddon. Another vocalist that she enjoys is pop singer, Ed Sheeran. Rap music ranks high on her many interests, “but it can’t have any bad words in it.”

Keep your eyes and ears open for this young lady. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come!

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Ricky Bell

If there’s any couple that is the epitome of love and strength it’s the Bells. We had a chance to talk to Ricky Bell of New Edition and BBD fame, along with his wife, Amy Correa Bell, about their beginning, the making of The New Edition Story and their upcoming joint release titled “Gold”.

The lovely couple shared so much, including some wonderful relationship advice.  Here’s the complete interview with the power couple…

Parlé Mag:  Let’s just jump right into it. I want to know how you guys actually met. I was looking through both of your Instagram profiles and y’all are the cutest couple ever. You definitely portray the epitomé of love goals, so I want to get your backstory on how you met.
Amy Bell: Thank you. Ricky and I were friends. We’re the kind of couple that were friends for a long time and then we started dating later on. So it was definitely a surprise to both of us. But our first initial meeting was at a concert. Not a New Edition concert, [laughing] I think it was like a Superfest concert. And I would run into him in a lot of places. We kind of knew a lot of the same people. I’ll let you take it away Ricky, if there’s something you wanna add.
Ricky Bell: It was a Mary J. Blige concert. I forget, who else was on the show. And we would just run into each other after that whether it was a movie, or at church. We ended up going to the same church. So yeah, that’s basically how we met.


Parlé Mag:  Amy, how did you get your start in the music industry?
Amy Bell: Ricky, he helped me with my first record deal cause I didn’t know much about the music industry. I grew up acting. I was an actress since I was 11. He convinced me to audition for this girl group. I knew how to sing, but at the time I didn’t consider myself a singer. I just could sing, in choirs and things like that. So he talked me into it! But then, I needed his help because I had these crazy contracts. This was back when 360 deals were really popular and so he looked at my contract and was like “Oh my God, this is like the same contract we got ripped off with!” He helped me with that and was pretty instrumental by being a good friend and helping me in the music industry. He gave me pointers, back then as a friend. We never thought we’d end up getting married. And beyond that, we never thought that we’d end up doing music together.Parlé Mag:  That’s incredible. How long have you guys been married?
Amy Bell: It will be 15 years, September 18th.

Parlé Mag:  So, Ricky, the stardom came before you guys met and became a couple right?Ricky Bell: Yes, I’ve been in the business for over 30 years. The stardom for us, started right away in 1983.

Parlé Mag:  Yeah, of course! Amy, what was that like for you, being in a relationship with a superstar?
Amy Bell: Um, well…at that time there was no social media. All we had was MTV and BET and I would watch videos there. I didn’t know Ricky’s history. I knew him from Bell Biv Devoe, when I first met him and I didn’t put two and two together that he was in New Edition also. That’s kind of a funny inside joke. But it didn’t really occur to me how famous he was, until later. The more I knew him, the more I realized everybody knows this guy. He’s a really big deal. But, I just knew he was somebody. I saw him in one of his videos. At the time, because we didn’t have a lot access to the internet and things like that, I wasn’t aware that he was a part of a legendary group, ya know?

Parlé Mag:  [laughing] That’s hilarious.
Amy Bell: I know, I know!

Parlé Mag:  The New Edition story when it aired was absolutely amazing. What was it like seeing that come to life? How hands on were you with that process?
Ricky Bell: It was an amazing process. We started it probably 10 years prior to it going into production. I think it came together at the right time. It was supposed to be through BET and it was supposed to be a 3 night series. Just the fact that we were able to bring families together to watch it, it kind of had this Roots feel to it. We were very hands on. The story that you see, is our personal story.

Parlé Mag:  After it aired, some of the feedback was how shocking it was to see your struggle with drug addiction. How did you get introduced to drugs and how did you get clean?
Ricky Bell: I mean drug usage in this business… it kind of goes hand in hand. Just from hanging out at parties, one person tries it. For me, I had been smoking weed and drinking basically my whole life, since the age of 13 years old. I was able to do it. Have a drink, get drunk, go home and wake up the next day. It was when I started messing with pills and cocaine [the harder drugs] is when it took a toll. It was really at a time in my life when my career was in the down swing. Just as you saw it. At the Home Again-that era, that tour was really like a disaster for us. It was hectic for me. It was probably the most stressful time I ever had, being in the business and having to take on responsibility for my life. Until then, a lot of it had been roses. But at that point in time, the money wasn’t great and I was just sitting with my life in my hands-not knowing what I was gonna do. Not knowing who I was. All of my identity was New Edition, so I didn’t know anything else. Drugs for me, became a coping mechanism. It became that for me. It just seemed to numb the world out and gave me the escape to all my problems. Of course, we all know where that leads to. As far as being introduced to it, just hanging out: with friends, at clubs, at parties, you try a little bit. And being able to handle it, you dip and dab until one day you cross that line where, I’m using even when I don’t want to.

Parlé Mag:  And how did you come into sobriety? Did you do a rehab program, did you quit cold turkey?
Ricky Bell: Nah, I didn’t quit cold turkey. Once I realized I had a real problem with it, I got into rehab, got into AA, NA…the whole twelve steps…all of that, with a sponsor. And it’s a program that I still work to this day.

Parlé Mag:  I definitely commend you on your recovery process, because it doesn’t always end positively for a lot of people. It’s amazing that you were able to turn yourself around. You guys have been together [married] for 15 years and have been able to support each other through everything. Personally, and as a couple, how has that support shaped and motivated you guys?
Ricky Bell: I mean, honestly for me, especially dealing with what I was dealing with, Amy has always been very instrumental in supporting me, in being patient with me and in encouraging me. There was a time in my life when I was in a dark place, very depressed and had no motivation to work. I had no inspiration, I didn’t feel good about life. I didn’t feel good about myself and she was that rock for me. She was stronger and she was the one that saw the gold in me. LITERALLY! She was the one that encouraged me and built me up, like “Don’t you know who you are? Even outside of being, just Ricky Bell [the famous part] you’re an amazing person.” And for me, it was a process of me seeing that in myself because like I said, so much of my identity was what and how other people saw me, I was trying to live up to that. And she was the first one that got to see the raw me, the vulnerable me. The me not on stage, the me not pretending to be anything. The me not having to perform. But just the one that says “I know you, I see the real you and you’re amazing and I will be that rock for you. I’ll be strong when you’re weak.” So, our marriage has been of that. When I don’t have strength, she has it. When I need to lean on her for understanding, as someone that I can be raw with and talk to, to let know what’s really going on; she’s that person.
Amy Bell: Thank you sweetie, aww. [You can literally feel the love and chemistry between these two]. Seriously, that was so sweet. I just want to piggyback off of him. Ricky, is also the same for me. So as much as he gives me credit, for helping him, I’m not perfect either and I have moments. I think what helps us to stay together and be able to work together is that beyond how we feel about each other, we always come at each other as friends and try to understand each other’s viewpoints as a best friend. And then, we support each other no matter how we’re feeling. For me, being in this entertainment industry and acting for so long; I try to quit acting every year, probably around October. I tend to get angry. Just depending on how many jobs I’ve booked and he has been the one person that has talked me back into it; continuing to audition, continuing to work on music, continuing to grow as a producer. So like, Ricky, he has definitely been a big motivator and like a mentor for me to pursue my dreams and not give up. He’s the perfect example of someone that was a kid with a dream and made it happen. For him to encourage me, it definitely really, really helps. Like I said, we’re not perfect but I think what helps us is just having the friendship. And then there’s the respect, and a working relationship, where we respect what one another does. And I think that really helps.

Ricky Bell
Parlé Mag:  It does, for sure. What advice would you guys give to couples about withstanding trials within a relationship-or just advice to couples in general?
Amy Bell: You want to take that one babe, or you want me to? [Told you, they were the cutest couple, ever!]
Ricky Bell: I would say that, we’re individuals but we have so much in common and the same spirit. But when we’re going through challengesI like to call them challenges, we look at it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to work, God’s plan. It’s an opportunity for you to pass the “test” so to speak. We look at each situation like “Ok, that argument or that disagreement or struggle or moment, that’s all it is. A moment. It’s a moment that can be overcome.” Any couple that’s been married, (30, 40 years), they’ve gone through every reason in the book that would give them a reason to break up and leave each other. Those things happen. It’s just a matter of looking at it like: it’s hard, it hurts, it’s frustrating but what can we do? Breaking up can be an option, but we made a decision a long time ago that we’re just gonna take that option right off of the table. When you take that off the table, it’s not an option so whatever we got to do, we do. And let’s use every resource possible that’s available to us to get through this marriageand not just when you’re going through a rough time. We’re in therapy now! We go to counseling, we go to couples’ counseling, we have individual therapists. One thing our Pastor told us when he married us, he said, “Look. You are not gonna be able to do this on your own and you don’t have to. You’re not even supposed to try to do this on your own.” It doesn’t mean that your love is weak. Or that you don’t love each other or you’re not smart enough, but by the grace of God, we stayed and made it a regular practice to treat ourselves and we’re grateful to have that. We’re grateful that we don’t have to figure it out alone. We don’t have to have all the answers. So, when you ask that, I think the best advice I could give is to reach out and not try to depend on your own understanding and knowledge or love that you have for each other. A lot of people, when they first fall in love, you hear, “Our love is so different, and so strong. And it’s not like anyone else’s love in the world! And I don’t care what ya’ll been through, we’re gonna survive this!” That’s just not the case. You have to be able to humble yourself and ask for help. It’s one of the hardest things for men to do, is to put that ego aside and say, “I don’t know what I’m doing, can you help me?”

Parlé Mag:  For sure, that male ego is something else. [laughing]
Amy Bell: Right, amen!

Parlé Mag:  Amy, did you have anything else to add to that?
Amy Bell: Wow, [laughing] that’s pretty hard to follow up there Ricky.

Parlé Mag:  [Laughing] A little bit, yeah!
Amy Bell: I have to agree with Ricky. I think that advice we would give is to ask for help as well as to surround yourself with people that have been married-for a long time. If you’re married but all your friends are single, they’re probably not the people you want to reach out to for advice on staying together because they’re not with someone. As Ricky said, you constantly go through humbling yourself and forgiving. I feel like that’s something you have to accept in the beginning of a relationship, that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and so is your partner. You have to get used to forgiving one another. Forgiveness, comes with the territory of being married. Not only do I commit to being married to you, I commit to forgive you whenever you make a mistake and not judge you for it because I know I’m not perfect either. Just knowing that you have someone that is not going to judge you. Of course, you can sometimes hurt each other without knowing it and even sometimes purposefully, but if you are willing to forgive and reach out for help, you already have a higher percentage of staying together. Most people, that I know, have broken up because they can’t get over something and they never forgave the person. And when they go to their next relationship, it’s the same pattern repeated over and over. You’re never going to meet someone that’s got it all together and is just the perfect person. You have to decide, “Ok, I’m going to deal with all your issues and you’re gonna decide to deal with mine. Are we down to forgive each other for the rest of our lives? Ok, cool, let’s go!”

Parlé Mag:  Exactly! Are we doing this or not? Let’s talk about your first collaboration “Gold”. Set to be released on Valentine’s Day. I’m excited and have been liking the post on Instagram. Amy, I’ve checked out your YouTube channel and videos, I’m all about it. Why did you decide now was the time to do a collaboration, together?
Ricky Bell: Ok, I’ll take it. I’ve watched Amy grow as an artist basically, since the day we met. She was in a girl group, Girl Society. She was in a group with Megan Good and Megan’s sister Lamiya. What was the name of that group Amy?
Amy: Hello Girls.
Ricky: The Hello Girls. And she’s worked with her brother in another band. In all of these situations, it was just the process of her finding herself, musically and as an artist. When she hooked up with Gabe La-
Amy: Bozgo!
Ricky: Bozgo, right. When she hooked up with him, she started working on this project. She was writing more and producing, And I just watched her develop as an artist. So when I listened to that project, that she has now, the EP that’s about to come out-her solo EP, I was like “Wow!” I was blown away, she really discovered herself and who she was as an artist. I was fan! And I wanted to be apart of it. I thought the first song she should put out was a song of us together. What better way to introduce it? So let’s use it. That was the main decision and everything else just fell in place. From there it was, “Ok ,well what type of song should we do? Let’s tell our story.” Let’s talk about that. That should be the song. The song should be inspiring. Why should people care? Is it just another good song? Is it just you trying to be more famous? Or make more money? Why should we care about this? And for us, we just felt like being authentic was the best way to speak of our story as well as introduce Amy as an artist.
Amy: I was just gonna piggyback and say, when I met producer Bozgo, he was also a really incredible musician. Ricky has done so many R&B songs; when he came over, we thought we were just going to get his advice on my project. We weren’t expecting him to say, “Let’s do a song, together.” Bozgo and I were like, “Wow, we got to step our game up! Ricky wants to work with us.” [laughing] Gabe is a really incredible guitar player. And Ricky, some of his favorite artists are James Taylor and Phil Collins-and no one really knows that. They just hear the R&B side of him. I said, “Gabe, you know, my husband listens to James Taylor and these incredible songs that are alternative songs. He has a great voice and we should cater to that style.” He’s been in a group, so he had to cater to the sound of that group. So, we wrote the song provisionally on the guitar because we were going to turn it into the beat after the melody was written. But the guitar sounded so beautiful, and Ricky sounded so great singing, it blew us away! This acoustic song is it’s own song.

Parlé Mag:  So, we have two versions, being released, correct?
Amy Bell: We have “Gold: The Acoustic” which comes out on Valentine’s Day. But then, we also did a remix which is more of a dance and urban-kind of Latina R&B feel. We also wanted to cater to the fact that Ricky is an urban artist and people are gonna want to dance in the club to him, too.

Parlé Mag:  I can’t wait! How did Megan Good get on board?
Amy Bell: We have two versions coming out. And the great thing is, my best friend Megan Good heard the song and she started crying. She’s so sweet, and I told her that we were just trying to find out what we were going to do with the music video and she’s like “I’ll direct it.”are you kidding me? That was incredible. Fast forward and she directed the videos and honestly, they’re so good in my opinion. I’m just really excited to share it with you guys because she brought a very cinematic feel to these videos. It’s nothing like Ricky and I have ever done. And she definitely took the song to a whole ‘nother level.

Parlé Mag:  Wow. how incredible is that? A powerhouse of talent all the way around. What was the significance of releasing “Gold” on Valentine’s Day?
Amy Bell: The reason we decided to put it out on Valentine’s Day is because we felt like, we want to give a gift away. A lot of people on Valentine’s Day are depressed because they’re single or just broke up-or whatever they’ve been through. We thought, what better way than to give them a song that is beyond being with someone as a couple. It’s something you can sing to your mom. Something you can dedicate to your auntie, your best friend.

Parlé Mag:  And what a gift it would be, because you are donating proceeds to a charity.
Amy Bell: What we decided to do was donate the profit from the acoustic song. Because of all the natural disasters and poverty going on in the world, we found a non-profit called Direct Relief that is the number one charity helping in these natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico-all the places that have been hit by hurricanes. So not only are we putting it out, but anyone who purchases will be helping to better our world. We figured with this first acoustic version, we wanted to give it away and share our hearts, be vulnerable with the world. Also, to give everyone an opportunity to give back as well as hearing us share our story. We want everyone to join in on the Gold Movement and share how they found gold in themselves or someone else. We’re trying to bring out the best in everyone and be led by God on how to go about it.

Ricky Bell - Amy Bell
Parlé Mag:  With that being said, is there anything else you want us to know about you guys personally or about your project?
Ricky Bell: Um, wow. Let me see. Just that, one revelation we got from me being in the business and us as a couple, when it comes to your purpose in life: when God gives us desires, he blesses us with all these talents and gifts. Sometimes, you can get caught up and really start thinking it’s about you. There’s been many times that I wanted to give up. Many times when I just wanted to say “Eff it! I don’t want to sing no more. I don’t want to deal with this group stuff. I don’t want to deal with the business.” And I always got some kind of message, some kind of way. Whether it was through somebody else or I heard that voice say, “It’s not yours to give up. It’s never been about you, anyway” Your testimony is your purpose, that’s what it is. It’s about everyone else that’s looking up to you, that needs to be inspired and encouraged. That’s the purpose for us: keeping what we have by giving it away. It’s not about fame and money or attention; it never fills that void because you’ll get to the point where you feel like you don’t have enough of it. You’ll keep chasing that, thinking that’s what it is. But really, the story is and the goal is for us is to give back and help others along the way as much as we can. By sharing our story, we really hope that would inspire and encourage others to do the same whatever your situation may be.
Amy Bell: I would just piggyback off Ricky on that.  We’ve been through a lot together and the best revenge is to do something positive as opposed to complaining about it. The years that we lost going through things, God is redeeming that, in time. So, we just feel like what better way to connect and share what we’re about. What you can expect from Ricky and I, is that we’re going to be sharing a lot more of our story online. We’re going to get a lot more personal-beyond what people saw in the movie. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel, we’re gonna be releasing some stories. Beyond that, you guys are gonna get TWO new singles of Gold! And two music videos within the next six weeks. After that it will be my EP. But, Ricky and I are having fun together and we realized this is not going to be the last thing we do together. We’re excited about just putting ourselves out there and working on our own solo projects and also helping one another out.

Parlé Mag:  You guys are amazingindividually and together, I know that you’re just going to give us sheer magic. I’m looking forward to it all.
Amy Bell: Yay, thank you! Thank you for your support and hearing us out, letting us spread our truth. Lovely meeting you, we’re excited to connect with you.
Ricky Bell: We appreciate it, thank you.

GOLD. The highest form of alchemy and the most precious and valuable resource in the world. The only thing more valuable is the moments we get to share with those that we love. GOLD (the single set to be released on Valentine’s Day) captures this journey of unconditional love and the bittersweet nuances of life’s golden moments.

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Quincy Jones is 84 and quite truly out of f*cks to give.

The music legend dat down for a Q&A with Vulture and revealed some of the most outlandish tidbits about some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.

According to Quincy, Michael Jackson was a song thief, Marlon Brando was out here having sex with James Baldwin, Richard Prior and Marvin Gaye, The Beatles were terrible musicians, the mob killed Kennedy, and Ivanka Trump has great legs.

You might want to sit down for this excerpts.

Quincy on Michael Jackson:

You worked with Michael Jackson more than anyone he wasn’t related to. What’s something people don’t understand about him?

I hate to get into this publicly, but Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer’s] “State of Independence” and “Billie Jean.” The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come.

How so?
Greedy, man. Greedy. “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” — Greg Phillinganes wrote the c section. Michael should’ve given him 10 percent of the song. Wouldn’t do it.

What about outside of music? What’s misunderstood about Michael?
I used to kill him about the plastic surgery, man. He’d always justify it and say it was because of some disease he had. Bullshit.

How much were his problems wrapped up with fame?
You mean with the way he looked? He had a problem with his looks because his father told him he was ugly and abused him. What do you expect?

Quincy on Marlon Brando:

[Marlon] Brando used to go cha-cha dancing with us. He could dance his ass off. He was the most charming motherfucker you ever met. He’d fuck anything. Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.

He slept with them? How do you know that?
[Frowns.] Come on, man. He did not give a fuck! You like Brazilian music?

Quincy on Donald Trump and dating Ivanka

If you could snap your fingers and fix one problem in the country, what would it be?
Racism. I’ve been watching it a long time — the ’30s to now. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go. The South has always been fucked up, but you know where you stand. The racism in the North is disguised. You never know where you stand. That’s why what’s happening now is good, because people are saying they are racists who didn’t used to say it. Now we know.

What’s stirred everything up? Is it all about Trumpism?
It’s Trump and uneducated rednecks. Trump is just telling them what they want to hear. I used to hang out with him. He’s a crazy motherfucker. Limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him. I used to date Ivanka, you know.

Wait, really?
Yes, sir. Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada, said, “Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.” I said, “No problem. She’s a fine motherfucker.” She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.

Quincy on the state of pop music and his accomplishments:

Is there innovation happening in modern pop music?  
Hell no. It’s just loops, beats, rhymes and hooks. What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no fucking songs. The song is the power; the singer is the messenger. The greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song. I learned that 50 years ago, and it’s the single greatest lesson I ever learned as a producer. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.

What was your greatest musical innovation?
Everything I’ve done.

Everything you’ve done was innovative?
Everything was something to be proud of — absolutely. It’s been an amazing contrast of genres. Since I was very young, I’ve played all kinds of music: bar mitzvah music, Sousa marches, strip-club music, jazz, pop. Everything. I didn’t have to learn a thing to do Michael Jackson.

Excuse us while we go grab a few paper towels. Quincy didn’t just spill the tea, but he made a complete mess! You can read the rest of his interview here.

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘

  • Steve Harvey’s ratings for his new talk show Steve have been tanking due to his meeting with Donald Trump in January, sources exclusively told DailyMail.com
  • The comedian’s black supporters criticized the meeting but Harvey failed to properly address the backlash, resulting in poor ratings for his programs
  • The 60-year-old’s new show premiered on September 5 but ratings have already dipped and Harvey is turning on the president in effort to save his show 
  • He said about his meeting: ‘Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there’
  • Harvey launched his new show because he broke off with his former producer after he wanted to move the production to LA and wanted a raise in salary 

Steve Harvey is attempting to save his new talk show by distancing himself from President Trump after his ratings took a hit due to fallout for taking a meeting with Trump in January, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned.

The 60-year-old relaunched his daytime show when his previous program was set to be canceled because the host refused to sign his contract because he wasn’t getting a raise and couldn’t move his show to Los Angeles.

As a result, Harvey’s talent agency decided to launch a new show, simply retitled Steve, for the comic based in Hollywood in an effort to keep the show going.

The retooled show premiered on September 5 after a few months of preparation, and both ratings and reviews for the program have been less than stellar.

Sources close to the production told DailyMail.com they believe the poor numbers reflect a fallout from Harvey’s black audience after he met with Trump in January.

Now Harvey is turning on the president in a desperate bid to save his show, recently proclaiming on his radio show: ‘Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life.’

Steve Harvey is turning on President Trump as a result of his dismal ratings for his new TV show, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned. The poor ratings are continued fallout from Harvey's fans from when the comedian took a meeting with Trump in January, a source said 

Steve Harvey is turning on President Trump as a result of his dismal ratings for his new TV show, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned. The poor ratings are continued fallout from Harvey’s fans from when the comedian took a meeting with Trump in January, a source said

In an effort to save his new  talk show, Harvey has attempted to apologize for the meeting, which did not go over well with his African-American audience. Harvey said: 'Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there'

In an effort to save his new talk show, Harvey has attempted to apologize for the meeting, which did not go over well with his African-American audience. Harvey said: ‘Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there’

A source close to the production told DailyMail.com: ‘People just hate the show. He wanted to do a late-night feel for the show, but he’s on a big stage with a desk and a lot of open space and nothing about the show is engaging or warm. People just aren’t into it at all.’

Harvey’s first daytime talk show, called Steve Harvey, premiered on NBC in 2012, boasting a strong 2.2 in ratings and was a solid performer for at least half of its run.

When the revamped show Steve premiered earlier this fall, the show debuted at a 1.8 but quickly dropped to a 1.4 in the ratings.

For the first time, his once popular talk show was being beat by Wendy Williams in the ratings and he’s neck and neck with Jerry Springer and Rachael Ray.

The source explained: ‘Steve could have continued to survive with the first version of his show with these ratings because the show was produced out of Chicago and was less expensive to produce.

‘But doing a daily talk show out of Los Angeles costs big dollars and with his current ratings, there’s no way in hell WME-IMG can continue to bleed money like this into a sinking ship.’

Harvey faced tremendous backlash from his TV and radio fans when he paid a visit to Trump Tower in New York City to meet with Donald Trump in January.

Video playing bottom right…

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A source said: 'This is the moment his brand took a hit. He had been through a few scandals before - the divorces, the Miss Universe Pageant and the Asian joke gone bad - but he had never faced the wrath of his core audience before, middle-aged African Americans'

A source said: ‘This is the moment his brand took a hit. He had been through a few scandals before – the divorces, the Miss Universe Pageant and the Asian joke gone bad – but he had never faced the wrath of his core audience before, middle-aged African Americans’

Several times over the past few weeks, Harvey has also addressed the Trump meeting while discussing Colin Kaepernick and the NFL controversy on his syndicated radio show

Several times over the past few weeks, Harvey has also addressed the Trump meeting while discussing Colin Kaepernick and the NFL controversy on his syndicated radio show

African-Americans were outraged by the images of Harvey being chummy with the then-President Elect and many called for boycotts against the comic.

Harvey was dismissive and defiant despite the backlash and lashed out at fans for challenging his decision.

The source said: ‘This is the moment his brand took a hit. He had been through a few scandals before – the divorces, the Miss Universe Pageant and the Asian joke gone bad – but he had never faced the wrath of his core audience before, middle-aged African Americans.

‘And unfortunately for Steve, he was too arrogant to realize the weight of his mistake and never made amends to his loyal followers for it.’

Since then, the ratings for Harvey’s game show Family Feud took a dip and the audience for his variety show Little Big Shots dropped almost by half.

But it wasn’t until the ratings for his revamped talk show started suffering did Harvey acknowledge his glaring Trump error.

During interviews to promote the show, he revealed that he regretted taking the meeting.

‘Here’s the crazy thing: I’m supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, “Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You’ll meet with him some other time.” God, I should’ve listened,’ Harvey told The Hollywood Reporter.

After suffering a torrent of criticism, Harvey released a statement explaining why he met with the newly elected President

After suffering a torrent of criticism, Harvey released a statement explaining why he met with the newly elected President

DailyMail.com previously reported that Harvey desperately wanted to move his daytime show to the West Coast because his third wife, Marjorie Harvey, wanted to live in Los Angeles to work on a TV career of her own.

She has branded herself as a fashion expert online and runs a website called TheLadyLovesCouture.com.

Several times over the past few weeks, Harvey has addressed the Trump meeting while discussing Colin Kaepernick and the NFL controversy on his syndicated radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show.

He told his listeners: ‘Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there.’

For many former fans, Harvey’s about-face is falling on deaf ears because many of them feel it’s all self-serving now.

‘The research and the ratings line up, people who were once fans of Steve’s just aren’t anymore. The whole Trump ordeal was a wake up call for many of them and they’ve decided they just aren’t interested in him any longer,’ the source explained.

As a result of his TV talk show moving to Los Angeles, Harvey also had to move his morning radio show there as well.

Harvey (pictured with his wife Marjorie) explained: 'Here's the crazy thing: I'm supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, "Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You'll meet with him some other time." God, I should've listened'

Harvey (pictured with his wife Marjorie) explained: ‘Here’s the crazy thing: I’m supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, “Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You’ll meet with him some other time.” God, I should’ve listened’

His syndicator, Premiere Networks originally balked at the idea of Harvey relocating his radio show from its hub in Atlanta, although Steve broadcast from his TV studio in Chicago.

‘In radio, you syndicate east to west, not west to east. The idea that talent can be fresh and effective at 3am PT for the live audience at 6am ET is a big no-no in radio,’ explained a source with knowledge of the matter.

But Premiere Networks conceded to do the deal with Harvey only if he closed down his company Steve Harvey Radio and allowed them to take ownership of his morning show.

‘Now Steve no longer owns his show and all of the co-hosts and staff checks come directly from Premiere,’ shared the source.

Earlier this year, Harvey hired famed crisis expert Judy Smith to help overhaul his image, but apparently he took very little of her advice and continued to hold a grudge against the people who spoke out against him in a way that continued to anger his followers.

‘Now, Steve apparently realizes that despite his prior successes he’s lost a significant part of his audience and he’s working diligently to win them back over – whether they feel it’s genuine or not,’ the source concluded.

NBC and IMG will likely announce sometime in December whether the revamped version of Steve will return for season two.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5031621/Steve-Harvey-s-ratings-tank-Trump-meeting.html#ixzz4x3AIVWfg
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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“So, how old were you when you first ate a butt?”

That’s a real question Sway asked Gabrielle Union during his radio show in a conversation about sexual reciprocity … a conversation that has everyone grabbing some Scope.

Gabby appeared on “Sway in the Morning” and talked openly about sex — and that’s when tossed salads appeared on the menu.

Dwyane Wade‘s wife says even though men will deny it, they enjoy a little backdoor love from women … and they’re singing a completely different tune in the bedroom.

Butt — it’s what’s for dinner.

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