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WHITNEY HOUSTON: Ready For Business

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Although reports are surfacing that her soon-to-be former hubby wants reality television producers to buy him a car and --even the more absurd story-- that recuperated rocker Courtney Love (of all people) played a part in her extensive rehabilitation endeavor, multiple Grammy Award winning singer Whitney Houston is getting back into the swing of things.

According to published reports, she's preparing a return to the stage next month.

'MTV Radio' reports that music mogul Clive Davis is readying Houston to perform at the annual "Carousel of Hope" charity gala, which raises money for the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. The event will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA on Oct. 28.

A record company source tells The BV Newswire that Houston is not confirmed to perform at the event, as of yet, but she is scheduled to accompany Davi -- the man who discovered her and made her an international success.

Two weeks ago, the pop diva made the scene with the celebrated BMG Chairman (pictured right) during the Fifteenth Annual Ella Awards -- days after filing for legal separation from her husband (of 14 years) Bobby Brown.

CASSIDY: Still Here

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Amid unsubstantiated radio reports this afternoon that he died, a spokesperson for rapper Cassidy said he's still alive and in stable condition.

According to published reports the Philadelphia native (legally known as Barry Reese) was in critical condition, after an accident in New Jersey on Wednesday night.

"While details are sketchy, Cassidy was leaving New Jersey for a recording studio, when a U-Haul truck swerved into oncoming traffic" reported website AllHipHop.com. "The truck crashed into Cassidy's side of the SUV that transported him, critically injuring the rapper. He was the only one that suffered critical injuries."

A representative for Cassidy's label Sony/BMG told the site. "[He suffered] a fractured skull and broken bones on the left side of his face." Four other passengers in the vehicle, reportedly, also suffered injuries.

The spokesperson confirmed that Cassidy is still at an undisclosed New York City area hospital.

Known as the first MC of significance to be supported by Swizz Beatz's J Records-affiliated Full Surface label, Cassidy scored national success with his debut album 'Split Personality' in 2004.

The chart-topping street anthem "I'm A Hustla" was bolstered by a remixed collaboration with Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige -- the ring tone of the track sold nearly one million copies. Sales of the sophomore effort (of the same name) suffered after Cassidy was charged with a murder that took place in his Philadelphia neighborhood, two weeks prior its release the following year. While he did serve time, he was cleared of the more serious manslaughter charges.

"Cass is like my brother, and this has been such arough year for him," Swizz Beatz said in a statement issued to The BV Newswire this afternoon. "We're all praying andstaying positive during this time. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, and please keep Cassidy and his family in your prayers."

CORRINE BAILEY RAE: Can't Stop, Won't Stop

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Get a load of Corrine Bailey Rae.

The latest Bristish soul import to creep into our psyches (and be blared across our video screens) is still going strong -- even after the hype off of her debut album died down.

The "Put Your Records On" songstress will be the musical guest on this week's edition of 'Saturday Night Live.'

But that coveted booking isn't the only mainstream exposure the singer/songwriter will partake in this season: 'Late Nught with Conan O'Brien' (Oct. 18), 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' (Oct. 24) and 'Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson' (Oct. 25) has also been confirmed. In addition to all of that TV exposure, a one-hour concert special will air exclusively on DIRECTV throughout November.

With only 387,173 copies of her self-titled opus sold in the United States (according to the latest Nielsen Soundscan figures), the gal has done good.

The music video for her lead single ("Put Your Records On") became an anthem of sorts this past summer amongst the bohemian, hippy and ethereal music lover. The specialty channel VH1 Soul and (even VH1, itself) hyped the record so much, I threatened to jump out of the window if I heard it again.

The album, itself, was critically hailed.

'O: The Oprah Magazine' referred to Bailey Rae as "a smart soul singer whose music leaves the rest of the R&B pack in the dust.

Ummmmmmmmmmm, I'm not sure about all of that.

'People' magazine gave it four stars, calling it "always captivating."

And the machine continues to churn.

According to her publicist, she will also play a special show at Los Angeles’ John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Oct. 24, and will perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in Oslo December 11.

A Dec. 13 show at New York City’s Town Hall on December 13 has also been confirmed.

And of course Hollywood has called. She appears on a segment of 'Austin City Limits' airing Dec. 16, and her music (just heard on the season opener of 'Girlfriends') will be featured in 'Venus,' an upcoming Miramax/Disney motion picture featuring Peter O’Toole and Vanessa Redgrave.

DA BRAT: 'Reality' Bites

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Although one of my all-time favorite female hip-hop personalities hasn't done much on the music front lately, she's become a reality TV staple.

I'm still wondering whether or not if that's a good thing.

The BV Newswire hears that Chicago-bred lyricist Da Brat reportedly will star on the upcoming season of VH1's wildly popular weight loss competition 'Celebrity Fit Club.'

But VH1 isn't confirming -- as of yet.

"We haven't announced any of the upcoming cast members because they are not confirmed," network publicist Toni Heron told us this afternoon. "So I unfortunately, I cannot confirm this information."

Well alrighty then -- don't call LisaRaye's half sister (legally known as Shawntae Harris) "Da Fat" just yet!!!

It may not be a bad thing, after all: Flavor Flav was on 'Surreal Life.' So was wrestling icon Hulk Hogan. And rehabilitated supermodel Janice Dickinson. They all experienced TV success afterward.

Even 'America's Next Top Model' star Toccara Jones, who appeared on the third season of 'Celebrity Fit Club,' has done well also representing the full figured beauties for BET.

So I hope "Da Brat-ta-tat tat" (who already starred in a previous season of 'The Surreal Life") keeps doing her thing. Her musical mentor, superproducer Jermaine Dupri needs to get at her fo' real. Janet Jackson's 'So Excited'; is scorching HOT!!! A remix with her and Khia would be SICK.


By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Last week, she was fighting off rumors of her name being booed at UK's MOBO Awards.

This week, the bleach blonde-tressed bootylicious diva is claiming a courtroom victory.

Last night, a spokesperson for Beyoncé Knowles' camp (worded carefully) released a statement from the multiple Grammy award winning superstar regarding the Sept. 21 dismissal of the copyright infringement case brought against her and the co-authors of the hit song "Baby Boy."

Judge Nancy Atlas ruled that Beyoncé and the other defendants (including Sean Paul, Jay-Z, Scott Storch, Robert Waller, and their respective record labels and music enterprises) did not infringe the copyright in plaintiff's song.

In response to the court’s decision, Beyoncé said "It’s unfortunate that lawsuits such as this one occur, but I am grateful and relieved to have this behind me and I am eager to move on."

A Minneapolis singer-songwriter named Jennifer Armour asserted in a lawsuit filed in July 2005 that her former manager, Marc McKinney (Theo Forrest), submitted demo recordings of her song “Got a Little Bit of Love for You” to Mathew Knowles (Beyoncé's pappy and President, Music World Entertainment), representatives of Beyoncé’s record label Columbia Records, and Sean Paul's label Atlantic Recording Corporation in early March 2003.

She soon discovered in the litigation, however, that the writing and recording of "Baby Boy" was substantially complete by February 10, 2003, approximately one month before Armour alleged that her demo was submitted.

Oh okay.

By just less than a month.


But let's understand that the basis of the court’s decision, however, was not the fact that "Baby Boy" was in existence before the date on which the plaintiff’s demos were allegedly submitted to various people and entities affiliated with the the song's songwriters, mandated Knowles' spokeswoman Priscilla Clarke. "Beyoncé’s attorney filed a motion for summary judgment in which he asked the court to make a side-by-side comparison of the plaintiff’s song and "Baby Boy." One of the key questions in a copyright infringement case is whether two songs are "substantially similar" to one another. The court made the requested side-by-side comparison and determined that no reasonable person could conclude that "Baby Boy" is "substantially similar" to the plaintiff’s song. In fact, the court wrote that the two songs are "substantially dissimilar" from one another."

Well alrighty then.

SNOOP DOGG: A 'Novel' Approach

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg is taking on the literary world.

The Long Beach California reared lyricist is putting his writing talents to paper -- this time in the form of a novel, written with award-winning urban theater czar David E. Talbert.

On Oct 17, a hardcover book titled 'Love Don't Live Here No More' will be released via Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint. According to a rep, the book is the very first in a series of drama filled novels called Doggie Tales, which takes readers from the rough and tumble streets of South Central, Los Angeles to the gloss and floss of show business.

'Love Don't…' takes place in 1989 and centers on lead character Ulysses Jeffries as he and his family movie from the drug-infested East Side to what they think is the safer North Long Beach area… Instead of moving on up, they've just moved on over.

Talbert, a 5-time NAACP Award-winning playwright is also the best-selling author of 'Baggage Claim' and 'Love On A Dotted Line.' Currently working on his feature film directorial debut for Sony/Screen Gems, the Morgan State University alum wrote and produced Jamie Foxx's NBC special 'Unpredictable: A Musical Journey.'

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I was reading the rumors on allhiphop.com a couple weeks ago and it said that the Bobby/Whitney divorce might be a promotional gimmick since they're both working on new albums and that they really might not divorce after all

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