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Whitney Houston’s Family Opens Up To Oprah

Oprah Winfrey’s long awaited interview with the family of the late Whitney Houston aired Sunday night on OWN. Winfrey spoke to Houston’s longtime manager and sister-in-law, Patricia Houston; her older brother, Gary; and her daughter, 19 year old Bobbi Kristina Brown. WInfrey was at her best, balancing empathy with tough questions.

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Oprah Winfrey’s long awaited interview with the family of the late Whitney Houston aired Sunday night on OWN. Winfrey spoke to Houston’s longtime manager and sister-in-law, Patricia Houston; her older brother, Gary; and her daughter, 19 year old Bobbi Kristina Brown.

The most insightful aspect of the special was with Pat Houston, who showed remarkable clarity and honesty about Whitney and her demons. When asked about the first warning signs that Whitney was in trouble, Pat pointed out “The end of the 90s.”

Winfrey was in top form, balancing empathy with tough questions, specifically when it came to Whitney’s relationship to ex-husband Bobby, Whitney’s drug abuse, and the specifics of what happened the night she died.

Unlike so many who have leaned towards blaming ex-husband Bobby, Pat said that she herself got along with Bobby quite well, and that she refused to blame Bobby for introducing Whitney to drugs. She said they seemed to get along well, but it was difficult to have a healthy relationship with both of their lives being so publicly scrutinized.

“There was always so much outside interference … You’re talking about two people who started out in the business very, very young,” said Pat.

She also was open about the attempts to get Whitney off drugs, insisting that as her manager, she saw nearly every part of Whitney’s journey, the good and the bad… and during those bad times she often tried to get her help.

“Without a doubt … In 2003, 2004, I had spoken to Bobby’s mother…We were always trying, but the choice was always theirs, and hers.”

Ultimately, she admitted that Whitney losing her life to drug use in some ways seemed inevitable.

“The handwriting was kind of on the wall. I would be kidding myself to say otherwise.”

Pat also spoke about the evening of February 11th, when Whitney died in her Beverly Hill hotel room. Pat was on her way there in the moments that Whitney was found.

“I hear screams. I kept walking very slow. A woman opened her door and said, ‘Is everything all right?’ I said ‘Dial 911.'” But she didn’t know why she said that … I knew something was wrong. I didn’t know what. I was just numb. I walked … I turn the corner, Mary’s at the door and she’s screaming, ‘Oh my god.’ I told her to stop. ‘Calm down, please.'”

Pat got to the room.

“I saw my brother Ray (Whitney’s bodyguard and brother-in-law) trying to revive her to the point of exhaustion. The paramedics were coming in at that point. I said, ‘Ray, let it go.'” … He was so out of breath. I felt so badly for him.”

At that moment, she said that Whitney, who was found face-down in the tub moments earlier, now lay on the floor, and looked peaceful. Her daughter Bobbi Kristina was down the hall, unaware of the events taking place.

Now, Pat says, “I always will stand for her, because that’s what she would have wanted.”

As for Whitney now? Says Pat, “She’s at peace. There are no more struggles. She doesn’t have to struggle with certain decisions. God’s got it. She’s got the ultimate protector – someone that she believed in, I mean truly believed in.”

Daughter Bobbi Kristina appeared in the first initial minutes of the program for an impromptu interview while everyone was still standing – she said that she’s “doing good… doing as good as I possibly can.”

Bobbi Kristina is currently staying at Whitney’s home, with her aunt Pat checking in daily, living nearby.

She also says she feels her mother every day, even in things that happen around the house.

“Lights turn on and off and I’m like, ‘Mom, what are you doing?’ I can still laugh with her and still talk to her.” She says she plans to sing and act and dance, and carry on her mother’s legacy.

Whitney’s brother Ray spoke of Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, saying “It’s hard for her. The gift came through her.”

Oprah said that she had spoken to Cissy as recently as the day before to ask how she was doing, and Cissy told her “sometimes I’m not doing,” but she also referred to the scandal surrounding the leaked photo of Whitney Houston lying in her casket. Cissy says that she is not angry, but Ray and Pat acknowledged their disappointment that the photo was leaked and printed in a tabloid.

Both Pat and Ray sat together to share their reflections on Whitney’s passing. Both of them felt that although they will miss her terribly, they had found some closure, thanks to their many special moments with her.

Both of them, though, shared genuine sadness for Whitney’s mom Cissy, who remains tortured by her passing. Ray acknowledged though, that it seems Cissy had known all along that Whitney’s life may be cut short. He says that Cissy had often told him, “Whitney’s not gonna be with us too long… she’s an angel, she’s a gift.”

Pat felt peace in the many moments they’ve had along Whitney’s legendary career, but again thought back to Cissy: “If I could bring her back just for her mother to have closure, that’s what I would want for her mom… she wanted to see her so badly, and the pain that she’s feeling right now, because she didn’t make it to her.”

For additional music updates and entertainment news, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter.

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Lizzo Is An Icon In The Making – And Here’s Why

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Mirror, mirror on the wall don’t say it ‘cause we know Lizzo cute. And by cute I mean extremely talented, gorgeous and totally inspiring!

A few months ago I was watching The Ellen Degeneres Show when I witnessed one of the most fun, exciting and awe-inspiring performances I’ve ever seen. Lizzo popped onto the screen in a sparkly, pink getup and began singing what would become her big hit song, “Juice,” – I was immediately hooked (more like obsessed). During this performance she also jammed out on her flute alongside her plus-sized backup dancers and suddenly I knew I had been changed forever. I did some more research on the rapper/singer and found out I had been sleeping on this gem! Lizzo has been doing bad all by her damn self for years, having already released two albums in the past. I am suddenly mad at every single person who neglected to tell me to jump on the Lizzo train sooner! If you’re like me and need a bit of catch up, I’m going to break down exactly why you need to know this icon in the making.

You can throw a stone in any direction and hit a triple threat nowadays. Lizzo’s brings talents we have yet to see in the mainstream music industry.

If singing, rapping and dancing make Lizzo a triple threat, what does flute playing making her?!? A STAR THAT’S WHAT! Lizzo has displayed her abilities as a talented flautist, which is not an instrument you would necessarily think of in conjunction with the rap genre making this talent all the more extraordinary. Lizzo even used her flauting skills to compete (and defeat IMO) with Ron Burgundy. Not Will Ferrell, but Ron Burgundy.

Oh, and she can also twerk while playing the flute. 

As if playing the flute wasn’t impressive enough, Lizzo can also twerk while playing. I really hope some high school kid is deciding to take band just so he/she can flutwerk their way around campus like their fav flautist, Lizzo.

Lizzo uses her platform to inspire and raise up everyone around her.

Lizzo uses her voice for more than just creating fire music, ya know. She uses her platform to defend the belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Her Twitter is filled with positivity and strong messages about acceptance.

 

Uhm…she’s straight up gorgeous. 

We cant forget to mention that Lizzo is a straight up beauty queen. She is known to switch up her look but I’ve never seen a bad pic of this queen. To solidify my point, she is now officially the first, plus sized black woman to be featured in Playboy magazine!

Credit: Playboy.com

Move over Avenger’s, Lizzo has been in a comic book too!

Ok indulge the nerd in me on this one…Lizzo was even featured in a comic book!!! That’s right, she has become so influential that even Marvel comics wanted a piece of the Lizzo-pie. Check out this shout-out in Unstoppable Wasp #4!

 

So now that you have become as obsessed as I have, you are probably wondering how you can get even more Lizzo in your life. Well lucky for you, her new album dropped TODAY! Her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, is available anywhere you listen to music and let me tell you, YOU WILL LOVE IT. The album is varied and showcases all of Lizzo’s incredible range with some songs being upbeat and funky, and others being slowed down and heart wrenching. For a taste of what to expect, click below to listen to the title track of the album. If the new album still doesn’t satisfy the hunger for more Lizzo, she’s also on tour! You can click here for more info on tour dates.

Oh Lizzo…you are most definitely 100% that bitch.  

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

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Cher Slapped, Sang And Lip-Synched Her Way Through Her ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover

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If I could turn back time, I would watch Cher take over The Tonight Show again and again.

Give me a rapid vibrato and a strong hair flip and I am just about the happiest man on earth. There isn’t much the iconic Cher can’t do as proven by her lengthy career as an actress, singer and now broadway producer, so it was no surprise when she became one of The Tonight Show‘s most memorable guests in history last night. Cher wasted no time diving into the fun, giving host, Jimmy Fallon, a helping hand with his opening monologue. And by helping hand I mean she slapped him…not once but twice! I am now twice as jealous of Jimmy Fallon. The slap was of course a recreation of Cher’s legendary slap from her Oscar-award winning role in Moonstruck. All these years later and it is still a very effective way of shutting people up.

The Cher-takeover didn’t stop there! Cher hit the couch to answer some burning questions that fans (me) wanted to know about life as a living legend. During her chat she opened up about how painfully shy she was and is despite growing up in show business. She revealed that she was actually so afraid to sing in intimate settings that she lied about disliking “I Got You Babe” when Sonny Bono first introduced it to her just so she wouldn’t have to sing on the spot. It’s hard to imagine the showgirl being so shy but she confirmed that “it was really terrible, I was so shy.” During the chat Cher also confessed that she’s never actually heard a good impression of her! Even though she has to be one of the most impersonated celebrities of all time, she said she struggles to find any inkling of herself in all of the weird facial expressions and “bullish*t”!!! God I love her. The hour then segued to Cher’s new, autobiographical, hit Broadway musical The Cher Show which prompted a performance of “I Got You Babe” by the musical’s Sonny and young Cher, Jarrod Spector and Micaela Diamond. The audience nearly fell out and I audibly gasped when Cher herself joined Spector to finish the performance.

Of course a Tonight Show takeover would not be complete without a little lip-sync battle. This lip-sync battle was different than any other, however, as both Cher and Jimmy lip-synched to drunk bar patron renditions of Cher’s “Believe.” That’s right, Jimmy sent a camera crew to a karaoke bar at 1am and filmed their takes on the classic hit and used those vocals as the source of the lip-sync! Everything about this is hilarious!

The hour seemed to fly by and things only got more exciting as Jimmy brought the three leads from The Cher Show to the couch. Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond cozied up next to Cher and gushed about what an incredible experience it has been working with such an icon. All four ladies closed the hour with an incredibly performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time” and how I wish I could just to be able to relive this hour over and over! I do believe this hour will go down in books as one of the best Tonight Show moments in history.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz in Twitter and Instagram

 

 

 

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Lori Loughlin Shockingly Pleads Not Guilty In College Bribery Case

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After Felicity Huffman pled guilty to her part in the college bribery case, it was assumed Lori Loughlin would do the same.

As if the college bribery case wasn’t already filled with shocking twists and turns, Lori Laughing and husband Mossimo Giannulli have just pled not guilty on all charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The couple face a minimum of 4 years and 9 months in prison for allegedly paying $500k to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. As if things weren’t sticky enough, the Full House actress and her fashion designer husband were indicted by the federal grand jury last week for an additional charge of money laundering. The couple waived their right to appear in court and instead entered their plea via court documents filed by their attorney.

The entire scandal revolves around 13 wealthy parents who used money to bribe college coaches and standardized test administrators to grant their children admission into USC. Prosecutors say that some of the parents went so far as to facilitate cheating on the SATs and ACTs for their children, while others used the money to coax the administrators into smoothing out the children’s paths into college.

Felicity Huffman, the other high-profile actress embroiled in this scandal, entered a guilty plea last week for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT test rigged. After insisting that her daughter had no knowledge of the wrong-doings behind the scenes, Huffman faces a minimum of 4 months in prison.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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