Thursday Open Thread: Old Souls Week – Queen Latifah

Today’s Old Soul is Queen Latifah.


Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970),[2] better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, model, television producer, record producer, comedienne, and talk show host. She has long been considered one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists.[3] Her work in music, film, and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination. She currently hosts her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show.

Early life[edit]
Latifah was born in Newark, New Jersey, and lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey.[4] She is the daughter of Rita (née Bray), a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah’s alma mater) and Lancelot Owens, Sr, a police officer.[5][6][7] Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten.[7] Latifah was raised in the Baptist faith[8] and attended Catholic school in Newark.[9][10] Her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة laţīfa), meaning “delicate” and “very kind” in Arabic, she found in an Arabic book of names when she was eight.[7] Always a tall girl, the 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) Latifah was a power forward on her high school girls basketball team.[11][12] She performed the number “Home” from the musical The Wiz in a high school play.[13]


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Wednesday Open Thread: Old Souls Week- Harry Connick, Jr.

Today’s Old Soul is Harry Connick Jr.


Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr.[1] (born September 11, 1967)[1] is an American singer, musician and actor. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide.[2] Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales.[3] He has had seven top 20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in US jazz chart history.[4]

Connick’s best-selling album in the United States is his 1993 Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas, which is also one of the best selling Christmas albums in the United States. His highest-charting album is his 2004 release Only You, which reached No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 6 in Britain. He has won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Grace’s husband, Dr. Leo Markus, on the TV sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006.

Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film Memphis Belle in 1990. He played a serial killer in Copycat in 1995, before being cast as jet fighter pilot in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. Connick’s first role as a leading man was in 1998’s Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock. His first thriller film since Copycat came in 2003 in the film Basic with John Travolta. Additionally, he played the violent ex-husband in Bug, before two romantic comedies, 2007’s P.S. I Love You, and the leading man in New in Town with Renée Zellweger in 2009. In 2011, he appeared in the family film Dolphin Tale as Dr. Clay Haskett and in the 2014 sequel, Dolphin Tale 2.

Early life[edit]
Harry Connick, Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.[5] His mother, Anita Frances (née Levy; later Livingston;[6] May 22, 1926 – July 1981), was a lawyer and judge in New Orleans and, later, a Louisiana Supreme Court justice. His father, Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Sr., was the district attorney of Orleans Parish from 1973–2003.[7][8] His parents also owned a record store. Connick’s father is a Catholic of Irish, English, and German ancestry.[9][10] Connick’s mother, who died from ovarian cancer, was Jewish (her parents had immigrated from Minsk and Vienna, respectively).[11][12][13] Connick has a sister, Suzanna; the siblings were raised in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans.[14] Connick is a first cousin of both Jefferson Parish District Attorney, Paul Connick, and State Representative Patrick Connick (of Harvey, Jefferson Parish).[15]

Connick’s musical talents soon came to the fore when he started learning the keyboards at age three, playing publicly at age five, and recording with a local jazz band at ten.[14] When Connick was nine years old, he performed the Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 of Beethoven with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra (now the Louisiana Philharmonic), and later played a duet with Eubie Blake at the Royal Orleans Esplanade Lounge in New Orleans. The song was “I’m Just Wild About Harry”. This was recorded for a Japanese documentary called Jazz Around the World.[14][16] The clip was also shown in a Bravo special, called Worlds of Harry Connick, Junior. in 1999. His musical talents were developed at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis, Jr. and James Booker.

Connick attended Jesuit High School, Isidore Newman School, Lakeview School, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, all in New Orleans. Following an unsuccessful attempt to study jazz academically, and having given recitals in the classical and jazz piano programs at Loyola University, Connick moved to the 92nd Street YMHA in New York City to study at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music, where a Columbia Records executive Sr. V.P. of A&R, Dr. George Butler, persuaded him to sign with that label. His first record for the label, Harry Connick Junior., was a mainly instrumental album of standards. He soon acquired a reputation in jazz because of extended stays at high-profile New York venues. His next album, 20, featured his vocals and added to this reputation.

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Why are #Ferguson police stock piling weaponry to use against protesters? Protesters are UNARMED

POLICE IN RIOT GEARWhat’s all this stock piling of weaponry to use against protesters for the upcoming Grand Jury decision? Protesters in Ferguson Missouri are UNARMED. They’re not shooting at police. They have no weapons. They’re exercising their constitutional right to protest an injustice.

Missouri authorities are scarying school officials, parents & residents about possible unrest with the indictment decision. They’re doing nothing but creating fear about black people. It’s beyond the pale. Show me where protesters shot at police? Show me where protesters attacked police. Police ATTACKED protesters. Amnesty International has documented evidence of Ferguson police committing human rights abuse on old people & little children fighting the effects of tear gas. With more stock piling of weapons it seems human rights violations doesn’t mean anything to the police in Ferguson Missouri. Police are acting as if protesters are the enemy. In the words of Dr King, the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.  The law is the law.

Posted in Ametia's Rant, Current Events, discrimination, Domestic Terrorism, Gun Violence, Hate Crime, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Justice, Justice for Michael Brown, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Racism, Rikyrah's Rant, SG2's Rant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Tuesday Open Thread: Old Souls Week- Michael Feinstein

More from Michael Feinstein.


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Monday Open Thread: Old Souls Week- Michael Feinstein

This week is Old Souls Week. These are modern musicians that just seem like they really would have been comfortable in another era.

The first Old Soul is Michael Feinstein. Through his work, he has been able to catalogue and bring forth the Gershwins to new generations.

Style: "p25+-Ipro"


Michael Jay Feinstein[1] (born September 7, 1956) is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award for celebrating American musical theatre songs. Feinstein is also a multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist.[2] He currently serves as Artistic Director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.[3]


After graduating from high school, Feinstein worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, in 1977 he was introduced to Ira Gershwin, who hired him to catalogue his extensive collection of phonograph records. The assignment led to six years of researching, cataloguing and preserving the unpublished sheet music and rare recordings in Gershwin’s home, thus securing the legacy of not just Ira but also that of his composer brother George Gershwin, who had died four decades earlier. Feinstein’s extended tenure enabled him to also get to know Gershwin’s next-door neighbor, singer Rosemary Clooney, with whom Feinstein formed an intensely close friendship lasting until Clooney’s death. Feinstein served as musical consultant for the 1983 Broadway show My One and Only, a musical pastiche of Gershwin tunes.

By the mid-1980s, Feinstein was a nationally known cabaret singer-pianist famed for being a dedicated proponent of the Great American Songbook. In 1986, he recorded his first CD, Pure Gershwin (1987), a collection of music by George and Ira Gershwin. He followed this in quick succession with Live at the Algonquin (1986); Remember: Michael Feinstein Sings Irving Berlin (1987); Isn’t It Romantic (1988), a collection of standards and his first album backed by an orchestra; and Over There (1989), featuring the music of America and Europe during the First World War. Feinstein recorded his only children’s album, Pure Imagination, in 1992. In the 1987 episode “But Not For Me” of the TV series thirtysomething he sang But Not For Me, Love Is Here to Stay and Isn’t It Romantic? as parts of dream sequences.

By 1988, Feinstein was starring on Broadway in a series of in-concert shows: Michael Feinstein in Concert (April through June 1988), Michael Feinstein in Concert: “Isn’t It Romantic” (October through November 1988), and Michael Feinstein in Concert: Piano and Voice (October 1990). He returned to Broadway in 2010, in a concert special duo with Dame Edna titled All About Me (March through April 2010).[4]



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An American Horror Story | Open Letter from Ferguson Protestors and Allies (10.17.14)

Posted in Civil Rights, Current Events, discrimination, Domestic Terrorism, Gun Violence, Hate Crime, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Justice, Justice for Michael Brown, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sunday Open Thread

Hello Folks, hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.


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