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Archive for June, 2009

Massell recalls hosting Jackson 5 in the mayor’s office

The passing of pop star Michael Jackson inspired former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell to dig through some of his mayoral mementos to share with Buzz readers.

He dug up a color photo of his meeting with the Jackson 5 from April 7, 1971 when the brothers paid a visit to Atlanta.

Former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell with the Jackson family April 7, 1971. Photo courtesy: Sam Massell

Former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell with the Jackson family April 7, 1971. Photo courtesy: Sam Massell

“It was one of the perks that came with the office,” Massell told us Tuesday from his Buckhead Coalition office. “It was always pleasant to greet the dignitaries who would come through our city.”

Massell’s daughter Melanie (who would also grow up to become a singer) was a major Jackson 5 fan and got to participate in a very special “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” decades before it would become a societal trend.

“Since I didn’t really listen to their music, Melanie had to patiently explain which Jackson was which to her father!” Massell recalled with a chuckle. “They gave her an autographed picture. She was …

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Bazzaar to end its successful run in Midtown Aug. 1

Bazzaar co-owner Bill Kaelin.

Bazzaar co-owner Bill Kaelin.

Atlanta nightclub impresario Bill Kaelin has confirmed to Buzz that he and co-owners Costanzo Astarita and Mario Maccaronne plan to close Midtown’s Bazzaar Lounge on Aug. 1, after a successful five-year run.

The nightspot, adjacent to the Fox Theatre, was a notable exception to the city’s often segregated nightclub scene. The venue consistently attracted a diverse crowd, popular with gay, straight, male and female, black and white, old and young club-goers.

Kaelin tells us that’s the legacy he’s most proud of.

“Everyone was welcome to join the party,” he reflected. Kaelin informed his employees of the closing during a private dinner last week. Some of Bazzaar’s bar and wait staff had been there throughout its entire five-year run.

A new concept, Publik, will debut in the space  in September. Kaelin is planning a goodbye celebration for Bazzaar starting Wednesday July 29 and ending with a grand finale event on Saturday August 1st.

Over the …

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Quote of the day

“A few of us, not all of us but a few of us, need to pull up our damn pants.”

Atlanta filmmaker Tyler Perry at Saturday's Atlanta Urban League luncheon where he was presented with a lifetime achievement award. Photo by: Richard L. Eldredge

Tyler Perry on the red carpet Saturday at the Marriott Marquis downtown.

— Atlanta director Tyler Perry, in reply to a red carpet question at Saturday’s Atlanta Urban League luncheon, inquiring if the writer-producer had any grooming tips to share with African-American males.

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Overscene: T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl

Actors T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl in a scene from "Grey's Anatomy." the actors, friends off-screen as well, have been spotted around Atlanta. Photo: courtesy ABC.

Actors T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl in a scene from "Grey's Anatomy." the actors, friends off-screen as well, have been spotted around Atlanta. Photo: courtesy ABC

“Grey’s Anatomy” fans have been doing double-takes as “Grey’s Anatomy” co-stars and off-screen pals T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl have been spotted dining around town.

As viewers of the hit ABC drama will recall, Knight’s Dr. George O’Malley and Heigl’s Dr. Izzie Stevens’ fates were left hanging on the show’s season finale.

Off screen, things are much less dire for the pair. First, they were spotted dining with friends at Aria in Buckhead.

The duo also lunched at The Flying Biscuit Cafe at the Terminus Building in Buckhead where they happily signed autographs for starstruck “Grey’s” fans.

Heigl has been in town shooting the feature film “Five Killers” with Ashton Kutcher.

We hear that while Heigl has re-signed with the ABC show, Knight has opted to move …

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Celebrity birthdays

June 30: Singer Lena Horne is 92. Actress Nancy Dussault is 73. Singer Glenn Shorrock of the Little River Band is 65. Jazz bassist Stanley Clarke is 58. Actor David Garrison (”Married…with Children”) is 57. Guitarist Hal Lindes of Dire Straits is 56. Actor David Alan Grier is 53. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 50. Actress Deirdre Lovejoy (”The Wire”) is 47. Bassist Tom Drummond of Better Than Ezra is 40. Actress Monica Potter (”Boston Legal”) is 38. Actress Lizzy Caplan (”Mean Girls”) is 27. “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino is 25.

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Watch for those BeltLine signs

WonderRoot co-founder Alex West, 25, of Atlanta paints a plywood sign.

WonderRoot co-founder Alex West, 25, of Atlanta paints a plywood sign.

Sometime Wednesday morning, you might notice a little something different along your commute.

About 60 people gathered at Eyedrum last weekend to paint signs that will mark the 22-mile BeltLine loop around Atlanta. About 100 plywood pieces measuring 1-by-4 feet, 2-by-4 feet and 4-by-4 feet will go up where Atlanta’s neighborhood transit project crosses public rights of way. Here’s a photo gallery of the BeltLine sign painters at work.

This isn’t a project of the Georgia Department of Transportation, or even BeltLine organizers. It’s the idea of “BeltLine cheerleader” Angel Poventud, who cooked up the plan about a year ago when he realized just how much traffic crossed the BeltLine’s path. When the official channels took too long for his taste, he went to WonderRoot, a Reynoldstown-based community arts organization, for help.

WonderRoot leaders spent about $600 on supplies and gathered artists, activists, …

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Celebrity birthdays

June 29: Actor Gary Busey is 65. Comedian Richard Lewis is 62. Drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple is 61. Actor-turned-Congressman-turned-radio host Fred Grandy is 61. Singer Don Dokken of Dokken is 56. Singer Colin Hay of Men At Work is 56. Actress Maria Conchita Alonso is 52. Actress Sharon Lawrence (”Fired Up,” “NYPD Blue”) is 48. Actress Amanda Donohoe is 47. Singer Stedman Pearson of Five Star is 45. Actress Melora Hardin (”The Office”) is 42. Rapper DJ Shadow is 37. Guitarist Todd Sansom of Marshall Dyllon is 31. Singer Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls is 31.

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Janet Jackson’s emotional appearance on BET Awards

Part-time Atlantan Janet Jackson shocked the attendees at Sunday night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles by making a cameo appearance on stage late in the program.

Escorted by host Jamie Foxx, Michael Jackson’s little sister, dressed all in white, was clearly emotional as she addressed the crowd and viewers tuning in.

“My…my entire family wanted to be here tonight,” Jackson said, holding back tears. “But it was too painful. So they elected me to speak. To you, Michael was an icon. To us, Michael is family.”

“On behalf of my family, thank you so much. We miss him so much.”

Foxx and Atlanta singer Ne-Yo, with piano accompaniment, ended the telecast with a heartfelt duet rendition of the classic Jackson 5 hit, “I’ll Be There” as attendees in the audience cried and sang along.

Early Monday morning on the post-awards after party telecast on BET, Foxx conceded of Janet’s surprise appearance: “There were tears in my eyes. That brother-sister connection is a powerful …

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Atlantans continue to clean up at BET Awards

Atlanta R&B singer Ne-Yo scored the Best Male R&B award Sunday night at the Shrine Auditorium. The singer clearly did not expect to win.

“Damn, damn,” Ne-Yo exclaimed. “I want to thank God. Period. Pointblank. I really, really, really did not expect this. I didn’t write a speech or nothing.”

Atlanta singer Keri Hilson continued the evening’s winning streak by scoring Best New Artist.

Looking gorgeous in a slinky dress adorned with blue and red stars, Hilson yelled: “Is Atlanta in the house?! I just feel like that little girl from Decatur, Georgia singing into her hairbrush. I did not expect to win this at all. God does reward the diligent.”

Even Atlanta film director Tyler Perry was humorously referenced in a spoof of a summer film shot by BET Awards host Jamie Foxx and actor/comedian Martin Lawrence. In the bit, Lawrence’s cross-dressing character initially looks a lot like Perry’s trademark Madea matriarch except that “she” is knocking over a bank with Foxx’s “Wanda” …

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Jackson honors continue, Atlantans win big at BET Awards

Wearing a red leather jacket, a single glove and white socks, BET Awards host Jamie Foxx set the tone for the awards show salute to the late Michael Jackson Sunday night.

Foxx hilariously recreated some of the King of Pop’s trademark moves from his classic street gang-meets-”West Side Story” “Beat It”  MTV video.

When the moves inspired the crowd to get on its feet, Foxx chided part-time Atlantan Sean Diddy Combs, saying: “Do not sit down, Diddy. I will moonwalk all over your [posterior!].”

Added Foxx on Jackson’s legacy: “There’s no need to be sad. We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us. We just shared him with everyone else. Mike was Wesley Snipes and Chico Debarge.”

Atlantan Keri Hilson even emerged on stage with her pants rolled up to reveal Jackson-esque white socks while Atlanta singer Ne-Yo arrived on the telecast in a red sweater and classic horn-rimmed glasses (and sans his trademark hat) to perform an emotional rendition of the pop icon’s “The Lady in …

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