Singer Jill Scott to Walk Down the Aisle Again
FARAI CHIDEYA, host:
I'm Farai Chideya, and this is News & Notes. There are so many televised award shows these days, but BET knows how to wrangle the talent, and there are plenty of parties where you get the real scoop. We went to some, so did our entertainment guru Allison Samuels. Hey, Allison.
Ms. ALLISON SAMUELS (Newsweek Entertainment): Hi.
CHIDEYA: So, the BET Awards were this week. They taped, aired, and there were a whole bunch of this-that and the others. Tell us about some of the highlights.
Ms. SAMUELS: The highlight, I think, of the BET Awards is, like they said, the BET Awards are great because they have all the celebrities. It's not like the other shows where you sort of go on, who is that? You sort of know who everyone is. But I think, for the BET Awards this year, Al Green was the best person. I mean, he really just, you know, he made you realize, you know, there's nobody out there like him anymore, and...
CHIDEYA: It was fabulous.
Ms. SAMUELS: He was amazing. And then, Alicia Keys, when she brought, you know TLC and En Vogue and those girls back on stage, it may be felt old, but nonetheless, they were really good, you know, and they sort of was singing these songs that you know, you used to remember when I think music - all generations say this but when music was really good. You know, and who thought I'd say that about TLC, but I was like oh, I miss TLC.
CHIDEYA: They did "Waterfalls" with Alicia Keys.
Ms. SAMUELS: Right.
CHIDEYA: It was, it's poignant because of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez having passed away.
Ms. SAMUELS: Definitely. And SWV and En Vogue, it was just yeah, that I thought, that was really good. I mean, where else could you see that but the BET Awards?
CHIDEYA: Yeah, it was, I mean I thought the staging was pretty amazing.
Ms. SAMUELS: Definitely. Definitely.
CHIDEYA: So, Barack Obama was not at the awards ceremony. He was in the state doing the, you know, his presidential candidate thing, but there was so much love for Obama. And I posted on our blog about this. It's, you know, usually it's like God gets the most shout-outs, but I think Obama actually did this time. So how did that unfold from your perspective?
Ms. SAMUELS: You know, it is amazing what he's able to do and it's interesting, one aspect of entertainment journalism right now, a lot of those news magazines like Us and everything are, don't have the same popularity, so that's why they put Obama on the cover this past week, and it's so great for them. It's like people don't want to hear about Britney. They want to talk about Obama. And I think it just shows the shift I think in the news and what people are interested in, but now I think he's brought so much excitement to everybody that, yes, it's like OK, this is going to change the landscape. And I think everybody sort of realizes that.
CHIDEYA: Now, let's talk parties. I went to a couple, but there were also ones with Usher and Jermaine Dupri. Where did you go to and did it live up to hype?
Ms. SAMUELS: Well, the main one - not much that I went to but the main one, Mr. Chow which is the one that I regret that I didn't go to, which was Interscope Records, gave one at, had a party at Mr. Chow. And supposedly, it was just the place to be, just, you know, with Lisa Raye, people getting really drunk, you know, just really a lot of sort of little mishaps here and there and it was like, you'll regret it, it was always the party you don't go to where all the fun happens. That's the part that what makes me sort of upset about it.
Ms. SAMUELS: But next year, I know which one to go to, when I get that invite.
Ms. SAMUELS: And I won't turn that one down.
CHIDEYA: I'm not morally evolved enough not to laugh at people occasionally. So, this is what I thought was part of the big fun. And I was like...
Ms. SAMUELS: That is true.
CHIDEYA: She really should not be wearing that.
Ms. SAMUELS: I saw a lot of that, though. Oh, my gosh. The whole, I just saw...
CHIDEYA: I saw poofy hot pants. They were like, they were kind of like a poof skirt but done in a hot pants style.
Ms. SAMUELS: So many regrettable...
CHIDEYA: Regrettable, regrettable fashion sense.
Ms. SAMUELS: Just unfortunate that you just sort of go, OK, all right. Just X, you know, that X thing they have with Glamour? Yeah, a lot of that.
CHIDEYA: Yeah. We saw that. Big girls and small dresses.
Ms. SAMUELS: Oh, my God.
CHIDEYA: I love the big girl with a big girl, but you know, you can't get away with everything when you're a big girl.
Ms. SAMUELS: As they say, just because they make it in your size, that doesn't mean you should purchase it.
Ms. SAMUELS: And that's very key.
CHIDEYA: Speaking of big girls, Jill Scott.
Ms. SAMUELS: Yes.
CHIDEYA: Who works her curves fabulously.
Ms. SAMUELS: She does.
CHIDEYA: Who actually has designed a big girl bra for Ashley Stewart, she got divorced from Lyzel who, of the song "Lyzel in E Flat", which is one of my favorites. But she's announced she's getting hitched again. Who's the lucky man?
Ms. SAMUELS: A drummer in her band, like called Little John, but is not Little John. That Little John is...
CHIDEYA: Not that
Ms. SAMUELS: Thank God. But you know, I'm happy for her. I mean, you sort of wonder because the divorce just came last year so you sort of wonder if she's not moving a little fast for that, but I think Jill is one of those people, and particularly in that industry, where it's really hard to be alone. You need that support, you need that constant companionship, and this guy's on the road with her all the time, touring. So I think it's sort of a, you know, sort of an obvious thing for her to sort of do right now. But just in dealing with Jill over the years, I think she really performs better and has a better, when she writes. She writes better when she's in love and in a relationship. And I think a lot of people are like that, but she really is like that. So I think for her, you know, this may be, you know, second marriage, or she may have a third or fourth, but right now, she seems to be totally in love with him, announced the engagement on Sunday, was totally beaming, you know, as only Jill Scott can do because she's really a pretty girl.
CHIDEYA: She is. She is amazing.
Ms. SAMUELS: I really think she's beautiful. And she - now, like you said, she knows how to dress for her size. And I love that. You know, she always looks fabulous. And she knows what looks good and what doesn't'. But it will be interesting to see how long this, you know, marriage, and what, how the album will turn out.
CHIDEYA: God bless them. God bless them both.
Ms. SAMUELS: The next album. Yes, definitely. I'm very happy for her.
CHIDEYA: Halle Berry, I guess. Speaking of families, and, you know, issues like that, she won the best actress award at the BET Awards this week, but a lot of people are asking why aren't we seeing more of your baby?
Ms. SAMUELS: Right.
CHIDEYA: You know, she's got a right to her private life.
Ms. SAMUELS: Right.
CHIDEYA: What do you think about, you know, the whole idea that she hasn't kind of shown off her bambino to the public?
Ms. SAMUELS: It's so weird because we're in the day in time where you had you wonder, this time you wonder, OK did they did not offer her enough money, because everybody does it. You they're going to figure now for Angelina Jolie and her twins and like, you know, 15 million dollars per picture. So, you're just wonder, you know like why hasn't Halle done it, have they offered her? And I saw her, I guess it was African-Americans, I'm not sure that they get the kind of money or the offers that white celebrities do. And I don't know if that has played a factor in it or is she just a celebrity that decided, you know, I'm not going to put my child out.
This is my kid. I'm not going to sell her to the highest bidder. I'm hoping is that one, but I think that, you know, that is how you get publicity now. You know, not that she needs it, but it does sort of fuel the fire for people being interested in you and you being, you know, sort of the talk of the town so people actually want to go see your next film. So, I don't know it's sort of weird that we haven't seen the baby and I look at it, you know, Tori Spelling. I mean, at this point they had the baby one day and then they cover the next day.
CHIDEYA: Oh my gosh.
Ms. SAMUELS: It's amazing the way it works.
CHIDEYA: I agree. Now, Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday is looming, and there have been all this celebrations now. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who I guess according to court records will hit anyone on the head with her cell phone, was supposed to be a presenter at this big concert but was removed from the list. Give us a quick sense of why.
Ms. SAMUELS: Well, Mandela was a little upset that when she got arrested the last time she had on a hat with the numbers - his prison cell number or his inmate number from prison, and he was a little disturbed about that. But she didn't present, but she did attend an event last night. So, I mean, you know I think he was - you know people was sort of worried about you know what it would like if she was on stage, but she was there because they're very close, she and Mandela so.
CHIDEYA: Ah, close enough to get hit with the cell phone?
Ms. SAMUELS: No way she wouldn't hit Mandela with a cell phone.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. SAMUELS: That is just wouldn't happen.
CHIDEYA: He can still fight back. All right, Allison, thanks so much.
Ms. SAMUELS: Thank you.
CHIDEYA: Allison Samuels is an award winning entertainment journalist for Newsweek Magazine, and she joined us from our NPR Studios in Culver City. Do not forget, you can watch our BET red carpet coverage on our blog nprnewandviews.org. We've got interviews with Nelly, Jill Scott, Debra Lee, Holly Robinson Peete, Ashanti, and many more.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.