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Archive for February, 2012

Reports: Tyler Perry arranged for Whitney Houston’s body to be transported to New Jersey by private plane

AP photo

AP photo

Whitney Houston’s body will be flown to her native New Jersey, according to a number of recent bulletins, although numerous earlier reports indicated the singer’s remains would be transported for burial in Atlanta.

TMZ reported earlier today that Tyler Perry made arrangements for her remains to be transported by private plane:

“Sources tell TMZ, Tyler Perry rushed to the L.A. hospital Saturday as soon as he heard about Whitney’s death, and immediately offered up his private plane to the family.”

The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, citing an NBC News report, posted this piece indicating the funeral will take place there. Whigham Funeral Home of Newark, thought to be in charge of arrangements, would not confirm, but the Star-Ledger noted it has handled the memorial services of some of Houston’s relatives, including her father.

A memorial service likely will be held  Friday or Saturday, CNN reported. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a close friend of the Houston family, discussed …

Continue reading Reports: Tyler Perry arranged for Whitney Houston’s body to be transported to New Jersey by private plane »

Whitney Houston was “relaxed and happy” in Atlanta

AP photo

AP photo

Whitney Houston was relaxed and happy and doing what she loved – singing – during a visit to an Atlanta hotel to support a friend.

In November 2010, she and artist Kelly Rowland visited the W hotel in Buckhead where they taped a piece in support of Brandy, who had been a “Dancing With the Stars” hopeful at the time.

Houston drove herself to the W and was in a relaxed, happy mood, sources told us at the time. She arrived behind the wheel of a red Corvette and was dressed in all black with a cute blue beret. We were told at the time that during the visit to the W, Houston was very pleasant and not a “diva” at all.

She had just one request for the hotel staffers: A cup of coffee.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

Continue reading Whitney Houston was “relaxed and happy” in Atlanta »

Whitney Houston “always loved Atlanta”

AP photo

AP photo

Whitney Houston loved Atlanta, her home for many years.  A former hotel social director who worked with Houston and her then-husband Bobby Brown recalled those days fondly.

“When she first started coming to the hotel, probably around 1992 or 1993, she was so beautiful,” said Martha Jo Katz, who served as director of social events for the Swissotel in Buckhead (now the Westin) from 1991 to 2004. “I can remember her telling me how much she loved Atlanta. It was so green. People were nice and friendly here.  She liked being in Atlanta. When I first met her she was fairly quiet and reserved. She was very cordial. You have to understand that a lot of high profile actors and singers are very high maintenance.”

Over time, Houston became something of a high-attention client, too.

“She always had very beautiful suites. There were things they had to have in their suite,” Katz said. “They did some entertaining up there so there were certain foods and beverages that they …

Continue reading Whitney Houston “always loved Atlanta” »

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith: Living separately?

AP photo

AP photo

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith divorce rumors are nothing new.

In Touch Weekly set the celebrity blogosphere on fire last year with this report claiming the famous couple was headed for Splitsville. The story quoted an “insider” saying the marriage was done.

But it was quickly followed by this Radar Online piece refuting the In Touch article.

“No way are they splitting up. They are totally together and are not separating,” an unnamed family member was quoted telling Radar.

US magazine soon joined the media scrum with this article, quoting yet another unnamed source, claiming to have the real deal. That piece quoted said unnamed source saying Jada and Marc Anthony, her co-star on the (since canceled)  TNT medical drama “HawthoRNe,” seemed to be getting a little friendly off-screen. Anthony, of course, was newly split from Jennifer Lopez at the time.

Oh, what a tangled web.

The Smiths sought to stamp out the raging rumors with a statement provided to People: “We …

Continue reading Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith: Living separately? »

Lawrenceville makes “Least Romantic Cities” list

Love is in the air at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse this Valentine's Day. Put *that* in yer pipe and smoke it, Foursquare.

Love is in the air at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse this Valentine's Day.

First, in the interest of fair and balanced reporting, let me tell you that I completely disagree with what I’m about to write.

Lawrenceville has made a national list of “Least Romantic Cities.”

Ow. It near about broke my heart to type that.

But here are the sad facts. Foursquare has rendered this depressing verdict. Foursquare’s Cupid Division, an outfit that does not actually exist but should, assessed data compiled by cities with at least 100,000 check ins (that’s the nifty function where you announce to the world your every move before you get around to tweeting it three seconds later).

Anyway, Foursquare decided that the cities with most check-ins at lovey dovey spots like French restaurants, wine bars, flower shops, lingerie boutiques and jewelers, could safely be declared the most romantic. Topping this smoochy-poo list was Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney World in other words), Napa and Venice, …

Continue reading Lawrenceville makes “Least Romantic Cities” list »

$25K to party with Elton John and Steven Tyler?

Photo courtesy of Wire Image

Photo courtesy of Wire Image

Elton John and Steven Tyler would love to see you the night of the Oscars. It’ll cost you, though.

Tyler is auctioning two spots at his  table at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party dinner on Feb. 26. The event will be hosted by John and partner David Furnish in West Hollywood.

Tyler struck a jovial tone in a statement about the event:

“How would you have to dress if you were sitting next to me at a banquet table at Elton John’s Oscar Party? Sounds like a loaded question, eh? Put your money where your mouth is and arrive as you will and come as you are to help me support the Elton John AIDS Foundation!”

The evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner by “Iron Chef” Cat Cora and a performance by Foster the People following the Oscars telecast.

Over the years the fete has drawn A-listers such as Halle Berry, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington and Catherine Zeta-Jones, while musical entertainment …

Continue reading $25K to party with Elton John and Steven Tyler? »

Report: Jay-Z earned $63 million, gave $6K to his charity in 2010

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NYDT101_1286335lJay-Z earned $63 million in 2010 and donated $6,431 to his own charity that year, according to an examination of tax records for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund by The Daily.

But he is splitting the proceeds from his Carnegie Hall concerts between the charity and the United Way of New York.

A representative said in a statement provided to The Daily that Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) contributes in other ways, and that his mother works at the charity for free:

“Jay, along with his family, provided office support, overhead support, Mrs. Gloria Carter’s 100% effort and time, computers, FedEx expenses, accounting, and treasury function support. This was at no cost to the charity.”

The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, received three donations in 2010, totaling $218,849, The Daily …

Continue reading Report: Jay-Z earned $63 million, gave $6K to his charity in 2010 »

Celebs at the Super Bowl: discuss the highs and lows

AP photo

AP photo

Did you love Madonna’s medley during the Super Bowl halftime? Or .. not?

The performer arrived via a parade of gladiators, decked out in Egyptian garb but managed a number of costume changes. She was joined at various times during the set by Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and the quirky LMFAO.

M.I.A. decided to cap her role by giving fans the one-finger salute, for some reason. While it lacked the shock value of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” it was nonetheless a low-rent move for which officials have hustled to apologize.

“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,”  Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, which produced Madonna’s halftime show, said in a statement released to the Associated Press.

We need this sequined Snuggie. AP photo

We need this sequined Snuggie. AP photo

And what would a football game be without a few fumbles? MTV helpfully posted video clips of Madonna losing her footing at times. Given her …

Continue reading Celebs at the Super Bowl: discuss the highs and lows »

John Travolta making the rounds in north Georgia

421846_2886933885044_1011078506_2896365_1643324169_nJohn Travolta is making the rounds and making new friends in Clayton, up in Rabun County, where he is filming scenes for a movie called “Killing Season.”

We’re told he’s been spotted all around the mountain town, dining out and chatting up the locals.

His co-star Robert De Niro? Not so much. Word is he is keeping to himself for now.

“Killing Season” stars the two as a couple of guys who happen to meet in the Appalachians – hence the north Georgia filming sites. De Niro plays an American military veteran. Travolta’s character is a guy who at first introduction is a European tourist. Turns out he is also a soldier, bent on revenge.

Sounds like the thriller will be an interesting one for sure.

Anyway, here’s a photo of Travolta with some of his new mountain buddies. Like the beard?

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

Continue reading John Travolta making the rounds in north Georgia »

UGA’s buff cheerleader turns heads, turns down modeling contract

anna watsonIt’s news when a University of Georgia student athlete turns down an offer to turn pro.

It’s usually a football player we’re talking about. This time it’s a cheerleader.

Junior Anna Watson has declined a $75,000 modeling contract, concerned about the physical impact of  performance-enhancing substances that could be part of a professional career.

“I don’t serve a modeling agent. I serve the Lord,” Watson, an exercise and sports science major from Fayetteville, told UGA’s independently run student newspaper, the Red & Black. “I’m not going to compromise my morals and my beliefs just to take pictures. I believe that my body is a temple and a beautiful creation, so I don’t want to put anything into it that can harm it.”

Here is the Red & Black’s story about Watson. Here is a photo gallery of her.

Watson discussed her physique and her faith during an appearance on “Good Morning America.”

“I’ve grown up in the church and I’ve been in the Word my entire life and just reading the …

Continue reading UGA’s buff cheerleader turns heads, turns down modeling contract »