Thursday, November 13, 2008


Bee (Nov 13 2008)
Video sent by thebeyoncenetwork


NBC announces stars for Christmas tree telecast

By FRAZIER MOORE – 1 day ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Lots of talent will be present for NBC's annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" telecast.

Hosted by Al Roker, this 76th formal tree lighting ceremony will feature Beyonce, Tony Bennett, the Jonas Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., David Cook and Rosie O'Donnell, the network said Wednesday.

Other scheduled performers include Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, "America's Got Talent" winner Neal E. Boyd and singer-songwriter Solange Knowles, as well as the Broadway Kids, students in a performing arts program founded by O'Donnell.

They will perform from Rockefeller Center's Art Deco plaza in the heart of Manhattan.

The live, hourlong special airs 8 p.m. EST Dec. 3.

The network's 11th telecast of the event, it builds on the tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dating back to the Great Depression.

A tree was first erected on a muddy construction site in 1931 by workers building the Rockefeller Center complex. Then, in 1933, the tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then 8-month-old RCA Building (now the GE Building).

NBC televised its first tree lighting in 1951 on "The Kate Smith Show," and as part of the nationwide "Howdy Doody" kids' show from 1953 to '55


November 14, 2008

Beyonce: shy big sister by day, wild girl by night

Her partner wowed Glastonbury, her music sells millions and her private life keeps everyone guessing. We talk to an unusually demure superstar

On the steps of the Mandarin Hotel in Knightsbridge, Beyoncé Knowles is meeting the paparazzi. From the hotel foyer, looking out into the filthy London rain, hair in a functional ponytail, she is a petite silhouette in the flashbulbs. A couple of young male fans are allowed to step forward for a moment with their heroine. Instinctively, the first places his left arm around the singer. No less instinctively, a vast minder detaches the arm from Beyoncé's sleeveless designer dress and puts it back where it came from.

It's an episode that flags up something unusual about Beyoncé's brand of star quality. Fans of, say, Madonna or Cher would never put an arm around their idol and, although she is only 27, Beyoncé has had plenty of opportunities to finesse their brand of starry untouchability. It is three years since she dissolved Destiny's Child after three albums and a run of award-winning hymns to womanly empowerment such as Survivor and Independent Woman; six since her duet with the Brooklyn rap demigod Jay-Z served notice to the world that America's foremost hip-hop star and its emerging queen of R&B were an item.

In the past year alone, she is said to have earned $80 million (£54 million) from record sales, film appearances and endorsements. Yet in the flesh, it all seems a galaxy away from her disarmingly open body language and megawatt smile.

Two days previously, and it's that lack of celebrity airs that the Strictly Come Dancing warm-up comic picks up on as Beyoncé prepares to perform her new single If I Was A Boy. “You know, Beyoncé,” he leers, “you're the kind of girl I could take to McDonald's and let you go large.” Her vulnerability is compounded when he inquires the whereabouts of Jay-Z, whom she apparently married two months before his momentous Glastonbury performance last June, though they have studiously avoided discussing this with the media. The gleam of her diamond-studded heels finds an echo in her eyes. “He's looking for you,” she replies. For a second, the Amazonian Beyoncé of Destiny's Child is resurrected.

Back at the Mandarin, perched on a sofa, she laughs. “I looked uncomfortable? That's how I usually feel. When I walk into a room and everyone is looking at me it's still embarrassing.”

It has been quite a year for the singer - the rumoured wedding, Glastonbury, then the election. This month the hitherto apolitical Beyoncé travelled between Tampa and Miami in Florida and then to Virginia “to meet thousands of people who have been waiting in the lines to encourage other people to come and wait in the lines. Then, on the night, I was home with my friends and we had ... you know, red white and blue balloons everywhere, and flags. I mean, this is new to me. It was like watching a Martin Luther King speech. He has a light, you know?”

She was supposed to be in Europe promoting herself during the election but, sensing that she was missing history, flew back to be there for the man who listens to her on his iPod and for whom she says she would love to sing at the inauguration.

“I'm there. I feel like all of us, we're ready to do whatever we have to do,” she said after Barack Obama won the presidency.

Yes, it's turning out to be a good year. She glows with pride at mention of Jay-Z's headlining performance at Glastonbury, a billing that, despite offending Noel Gallagher and others who felt that hip-hop had no place at the festival, was widely regarded as one of its highlights.

“I'd never seen so many people. It was something I would definitely love to do myself one day. I knew that everybody would love Glastonbury, you know? But, whenever there's controversy, it's a little like, ‘OK, what's gonna happen?' It was like the election!” She shoots a playful glare to let you know that she is aware of the exaggeration.

It now seems only fitting to ask about the third event of the year. Which was the most nerve-racking - either of the aforementioned, or her wedding? For a nanosecond she looks as if she might let slip inadvertent confirmation of her nuptials. “That's a good question,” she smirks.

Does that mean that the wedding-list question is out, too? She laughs. In the anteroom, ruffling of papers can be heard from her anxious retinue. In all these years, Beyoncé has never allowed her singing persona and her private persona to merge.

Far from attempting to reconcile them, her new double album I Am . . . Sasha Fierce embraces that division. Drop the first disc - the I Am bit - into the CD tray and, according to Beyoncé, you will hear the purest expression of the person she is “underneath the make-up”. Take her at her word and it would seem the “real” Beyoncé of soft-scented power ballads such as Halo and Satellites bears scant resemblance to the 22-year-old who, in 2003, lit the touchpaper on her solo career with Crazy in Love.

But, of course, there is another CD to tell us that it's not that simple. Anyone pining for the formidable Beyoncé of old will find her all over Sasha Fierce. It is just the sort of name that a shy, privately educated daughter of a medical supplies salesman and a hairdresser might come up with to explain the volcanic transformation she undergoes when she performs. Indeed, watching her in a leotard, shaking her superhuman thighs (maybe her wish to be cast as “the first black Wonder Woman” will come true) on the video to her other new single, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), you realise that it's a part she plays astonishingly well.

It was not, she insists, as premeditated as that. “But there's no doubt that in Sasha mode things happen that wouldn't normally. A few years ago I was on stage. I had these earrings on that were designed by Lorraine Schwartz. Now, Lorraine is a good friend of mine, but they were expensive and if I wanted them I still had to pay for them. Anyway, in mid-song, one of them fell off. So I threw it out , and afterwards I thought, ‘what did I just do?' So we had my cousin - who is my assistant - going into the audience and saying, ‘London, those are my cousin's earrings. Who has them?' And you know what, she got them back. But after, she's like, ‘You know, we're gon' have to tame Sasha'.”

The more she talks about Sasha, the more the alter ego sounds like a coping mechanism in a life that hasn't been terribly normal since she was 10. That's when she formed Girl's Tyme with the future Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland.

She resents a lingering perception that she was groomed for success in the way that Michael Jackson or Britney Spears might have been; that her father was some Svengali-like figure pulling the strings. In fact, two years elapsed between the dance classes that she started as an eight-year-old - to help her to overcome shyness - and the first time he saw her perform (he eventually gave up his job to manage her).

“The singing . . . when that began it was definitely an escape,” she says. An escape from what? The answer, she thinks, has something to do with the birth of her sister Solange when Beyoncé was 5. “When she was born, I became the protector, and . . .”

The responsible one? She nods. “So, as an introverted kid, the stage was my place where I could do whatever I wanted.”

She is a very different creature to her diva-esque singer sister. Solange Knowles, a divorced mother, is far more feisty - if I'd asked about her marriage to the American football player Daniel Smith, I'd have been thrown out by now. And whatever Beyoncé chooses to call herself, it's hard to imagine her penning the title ChampagneChroniKnightCap, the paean to self-medication that graced Solange's recent album. “My sister . . .” says Beyoncé, struggling to stifle an almighty grin, “she was born Sasha Fierce!”

In a story that she seems to enjoy telling, the only time Beyoncé got close to delusions of diva-dom she was publicly upbraided in a Houston record shop by her mother. After pointedly carrying on singing while her mother was asking her a question, the singer was slapped in the face and made to sit in the car. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this story is that Beyoncé was 19 when it happened, and the Destiny's Child album The Writing's on the Wall was well on its way to selling 16 million copies.

She says that the challenge of keeping her feet on the ground has come down to taking none of it too seriously. But acting has made different demands of her. Immersing herself in the character of Deena Jones - based loosely on Diana Ross - for the Oscar-winning Dreamgirls, Beyoncé admitted that “I had to be moody and angry to make this role work. I was creating drama in my life so I had something to feed off. I was mad at everyone.”

At whom, exactly? “Well, like my dad. I would have fake conflicts that weren't really going on. So now my dad is like, ‘When you're doing a movie, I'm staying far away'.”

This year she completed work alongside Adrien Brody on Cadillac, in which she plays the blues singer Etta James. This time she found herself able to demarcate between life and work: “When you're playing someone addicted to heroin and every other word is a profanity . . . it was just so different from me.”

All the same, if no film character is entirely a work of fiction, you wonder if the same can be said of characters created to make music. Much of the fun to be had from listening to the second part of I Am ... Sasha Fierce is spotting where the façade cracks. Graceful, demure, shy Beyoncé would surely never flaunt her man's USPs as boldly as Sasha does on Ego: “Let's get lost/ Who needs to call into work/ Cos you're the boss . . . I love his big ego, too much/ He walk like this/ Cos he can back it up.”

It's hard not to see Jay-Z in those words. “I am attracted to someone who is strong and confident,” she says. So would I be right to assume that the song is about her new husband? Beyoncé laughs. “You're waiting for me to answer! Hahaha! I'm not saying anything. I'm just a smile!”

This time, no minder's intervention is necessary. Between them, Beyoncé Knowles and Sasha Fierce have it covered.

I Am... Sacha Fierce is out on Monday (BMG);

the single If I Were A Boy is out now

SNL Commercial: Beyonce musical guest

1 comment:

As is implied and emphatically stated, this blog is in regards to the lack of talent and all that is the boring cloned puppet rihanna. If it upsets you...... TOUGH...... jaw juggle some ballz bitchez. :-) feel free to comment