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    UPTOWN_stacey_dash_2016_oscars

    We’re still scratching our heads wondering why exactly Stacey Dash‘s awkward Oscars moment occurred. Either the 2016 Academy Awards producers expected a laugh at Dash’s expense, since she called for Black History Month to be abolished because she says it’s an example of segregation. Or she allowed herself once again to be used to slight Black people, in general. One thing is true, her joke fell completely flat.

    Here’s how the “joke” went:

    Chris Rock: The Academy has taken steps to fix this problem. And that is why it is my honor to introduce the new director of minority outreach program. Please welcome Ms. Stacey Dash.

    [Audience laughs awkwardly.]

    Stacey Dash: [chuckles] I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month. [squeals] Thank you!

    Watch Stacey Dash’s awkward Oscars moment below:

    Chrissy Teigen‘s cringing reaction to Dash was instantly immortalized as a meme.

    Kevin Hart assessed the Clueless star’s appearance. “That was awkward. I’m not gonna lie and say I didn’t that was awkward. I think everybody did. I didn’t believe she was walking out here, so when she did, I thought, ‘All right, I guess.’ That’s the only thing where I think a lot of people were positively confused,” the Ride Along 2 star said to People during the Oscar Salute after-party in Hollywood.


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    UPTOWN_chris_rock_opening_oscars_monologue

    The following was transcribed from the ABC broadcast of the 88th Academy Awards, and is not an official copy of the speech.

    “Man, I counted at least 15 Black people on that montage. I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.

    You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. So y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.

    But this is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host, because we’ve got all this controversy. No, no Black nominees, you know, and people are like ‘Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit. You should quit.’

    How come there’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something, you know? No one with a job ever tells you to quit.

    So, I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. But, I realized, they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway. They’re not gonna cancel the Oscars because I quit. You know? And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart, OK?

    I don’t need that. Kev right there — Kev makes movies fast. Every month. Porno stars don’t make movies that fast.

    Now the thing is, Why are we protesting? The big question: Why this Oscars? Why this Oscars, you know?

    It’s the 88th Academy Awards. It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no Black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. OK?

    You gotta figure that it happened in the ’50s, in the ’60s — you know, in the ’60s, one of those years Sidney [Poitier] didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no Black nominees some of those years. Say ’62 or ’63, and Black people did not protest.

    Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.

    You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.

    But what happened this year? What happened? People went mad. Spike [Lee] got mad, — got mad, and Jada [Pinkett-Smith] went mad, and Will [Smith] went mad. Everybody went mad, you know?

    Jada got mad? Jada says she not coming, protesting. I’m like, ‘Ain’t she on a TV show?’

    Jada is going to boycott the Oscars — Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.

    Oh, that’s not an invitation I would turn down.

    But I understand, I’m not hating. I understand you mad. Jada’s mad her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it, I get it.

    Tell the truth. I get it, I get it. You get mad — it’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated.

    Yeah, you’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West. OK?

    Thing, you know, this year, the Oscars, things are gonna be a little different. Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be Black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.

    Yes, yes. I said it. Alright?

    Hey, if you want Black nominees every year, you need to just have Black categories. That’s what you need. You need to have Black categories.

    You already do it with men and women. Think about it: There’s no real reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting.

    C’mon. There’s no reason. It’s not track and field.

    You don’t have to separate ’em. You know, Robert De Niro’s never said, ‘I better slow this acting down, so Meryl Streep can catch up.’

    No, not at all, man. If you want Black people every year at the Oscars, just have Black categories like Best Black Friend.

    That’s right. ‘And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. This is Wanda’s 18th Black Oscar.’

    But here’s the real question. The real question everybody wants to know, everybody wants to know in the world is: Is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist?

    You know, that’s a … you gotta go at that at the right way.

    Is it burning-cross racist? No.

    Is it fetch-me-some-lemonade racist? No. No, no, no.

    It’s a different type of racist. Now, I remember one night I was at a fundraiser for President Obama. A lot of you were there. And, you know, it’s me and all of Hollywood.

    And it’s all of us there. And it’s about four Black people there: me, uh, let’s see, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, Questlove. You know, the usual suspects, right? And every Black actor that wasn’t working.

    Needless, to say Kev Hart was not there. OK? So, at some point you get to take a picture with the president, and, you know as they’re setting up the picture you get a little moment with the president.

    I’m like, ‘Mr. President, you see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire Black people, and they’re the nicest, white people on earth! They’re liberals! Cheese!’

    That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to.

    Hollywood is sorority racist.

    It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’

    That’s how Hollywood is.

    But things are changing. Things are changing.

    We got a Black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed. I call it Black Rocky.

    And that’s a big, that’s an unbelievable statement. I mean, cause Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as Black athletes.

    Rocky is a science fiction movie. There’s things that happened in Star Wars that are more believable than things that happened in Rocky, OK?

    But hey, we’re here to honor actors. We’re here to honor actors, we’re here to honor films.

    There’s a lot of snubs, lot of snubs. One of the biggest snubs no one’s talking about: My favorite actor in the world is Paul Giamatti.

    Paul Giamatti, I believe, is the greatest actor in the world. Think about what Paul Giamatti has done the last couple of years.

    Last year, he’s in 12 Years a Slave — hates Black people. This year he’s in Straight Outta Compton — loves Black people.

    Last year, he was whooping Lupita [Nyong’o]; this year, he’s crying at Eazy-E’s funeral.

    Now, that’s range. Ben Affleck can’t do that.

    What I’m trying to say is, you know, it’s not about boycotting anything. It’s just, we want opportunity. We want Black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors.

    That’s it. Not just once. Leo [DiCaprio] gets a great part every year and, you know, everybody, all you guys, get great parts all the time.

    But what about the Black actors?

    Look at Jamie Foxx. Jamie Foxx is one of the best actors in the world, man. Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles. It’s like, “We don’t need two of these!” Nah, man.

    You know, everything’s not about race, man. Another big thing tonight is — somebody told me this — you’re not allowed to ask women what they’re wearing anymore.

    There’s this whole thing, “Ask her more. You have to ask her more.” You know it’s like, you ask the men more.

    Everything’s not sexism, everything’s not racism.

    They ask the men more because the men are all wearing the same outfits, OK? Every guy in there is wearing the exact same thing.

    You know, if George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux on, and a swan coming out his ass, somebody would go, ‘What you wearing, George?’

    Hey, welcome to the 88th Oscars, Academy Awards. Yes, thank you.

    You want diversity? We got diversity.

    Please welcome Emily Blunt and somebody whiter, Charlize Theron.

    — Chris Rock calls out Hollywood for not offering more opportunities to Black actors. Coincidentally, he also fired shots at Jada Pinkett-Smith for calling for a boycott of the Academy Awards and Will Smith for making $20 million for Wild, Wild West.

    RELATED: Stacey Dash’s Awkward Oscars Moment

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    Check out the videos below and learn how you, the loyal Andiamo viewers, can enter the “Winter in Quebec Sweepstakes: The Winner’s Experience.”


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    Although no actors of color were nominated for an Academy Award for the second year in a row, the awards ceremony wasn’t an all-white affair. Here’s how some of your favorite Black entertainers rocked the Oscars red carpet.

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    Kelly Rowland wore LaQuan Smith to Elton John‘s AIDS Foundation’s Oscars viewing party and Kevin Hart‘s post-Oscars party.

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    Ashley North styled Kevin Hart for the 88th Annual Academy Awards.

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    Chris Rock got into a zone with the help of music before hosting the Oscars.

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    Kerry Washington went full-on glam from head to toe for the Academy Awards.

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    The Weeknd cleaned up well for the Oscars.

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    Common showed off his grooming routine pre-Oscars.

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    John Legend and Chrissy Teigen proved their power couple status on the Academy Awards red carpet.

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    Michael B. Jordan wore a Ralph Lauren tuxedo and a Piaget watch to the Oscars.

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    Orlando Jones rocked a mixed-metallics tuxedo jacket to the Oscars.

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    Pharrell Williams and wife Helen were black-tie-ready for the Academy Awards.


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    By Patrick T. Cooper

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    Unorthodox, creative, daring, bold, colorful, sophisticated, opulence, and excellence are all terms to describe the prolific body of work by American designer Stephen Burrows. From star-studded evenings at Studio 54 to designing signature Barbie dolls, Burrow’s vision and eye for detail have carved a special place in the history of fashion. He is truly a living legend. We spoke with Burrows about his iconic brand and his experience dressing celebrities for the Oscars.

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    UPTOWN: We know you have worked with countless celebrities. However, did you have a muse and what artist did you have the most fun with and why?
    Burrows: My muse is Pat Cleveland, who I met in 1970 at a shooting of my clothes for Vogue magazine. Before that my muse was an imaginary one, but when I met Pat it was as if my sketch walked off my sketch pad into reality. She has been my primary muse since then because she is so self-confident and outgoing and one of my closet friends. She has a daughter, Anna Cleveland, who is a model/actress, and an additional muse and inspiration for me now. So i am continuously inspired by both these wonderful invigorating women.

    U: Do you channel any other iconic figures when developing your collection?
    Burrows: Alva Chinn, Bethann Hardison, and Iman … all with their own strong personalities.

    U: Have you ever designed a gown for the Oscars? Can you tell us about that experience?
    Burrows: I dressed Farrah Fawcett for the 1977 Academy Awards. She called and wanted my chainmaille gold two-piece gown (top and long skirt). She came to my showroom on West 57th Street [in NYC] and tried it on. It fit her perfectly (size 6). She was lovely and very warm plus no “divadom” at all. She wore it that night as a presenter.

    U: Where do you find inspiration for each collection?
    Burrows: I just sketch what I am feeling at that moment usually without a theme beyond imagining my muses in the clothes.

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    U: Celebrity capital has become such an impacting resource in the fashion industry. What celebrity personality would you choose to be your brand ambassador today and why?
    Burrows: Anna Cleveland, as she epitomizes today’s attitude and life choices. Plus, [she has] a strong confident sensual attitude and personality for my brand — just what my clothes are all about.

    U: How important is working capital for minority designers?
    Burrows: Working capital is needed by all designers. You are doing two things at once: producing the last collection and developing the next collection. And you have to fund each one at the same time. Plus, the overhead costs for doing the day-to-day business necessities. This becomes a major concern when you are not strongly supported fund-wise, as in any small company.

    U: As an African-American designer and entrepreneur, what words of advice would you give to some one following in your footsteps?
    Burrows: Three words — FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!

    U: What’s next for your brand? Why should we stay tuned?
    Burrows: Some free-standing retail stores and e-commerce and a feature-film project on the Battle of Versailles ’73.

    For more than 15 years Patrick T. Cooper has consistently influenced fashion, art, and entertainment. With an innate creative ability, Cooper curates visual imagery that sets trends. Cooper mindfully manipulates color, texture, and layering to create a lifestyle and his mantra “Live in color,” which is an exercise to be and live freely. This attitude is evident in each uniquely designed piece of the Patrick T Cooper Resort Collection. For more information go to PatrickTCooper.com or follow him on social media @patricktcooper.


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    Two new players gear up to razzle dazzle crowds in Shuffle Along, Broadway’s most anticipated musical of the year.

    By Satchel B. Jester

    They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, but to our delight these days, New York’s Theater District is experiencing a major blackout and we couldn’t be more proud. From Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Award winners like Brandy, Jennifer Hudson and Wayne Brady to legendary performance paramounts like Savion Glover and Billy Porter, the best in class are donning costumes, makeup and wigs nightly to aid in changing the narrative of the genre, but there is also a new class of talents standing boldly and proudly behind these juggernauts to grab the Broadway baton.

    Here, we introduce you to two new triple-threats who own stages like it’s their birthright. Both are currently gearing up for their debut, alongside multiple Tony-winner Audra McDonald, in the highly-anticipated production Shuffle Along that’s bringing jazz, glamour and hotcha to the district. Places, everyone, the show is about to begin. Next and New, Act I starts now.

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    AMBER IMAN
    This may upset the little dreamers practicing curtain call bows behind closed doors, but Amber Iman admits that she never actually set her eyes on Broadway. “All my life I just wanted to be the best at what I did,” says Iman, 29. “I wanted to be a good artist and a skilled craftsman with work that would carry me to places I’d never dreamed of and allow me opportunities that would challenge me. That want ended up being Broadway.” Now, over a dozen shows later, the Atlanta native has grabbed her career by the reins and will ride the wave until it crashes. “I’m black on Broadway. Let’s start there,” she says with pride. “I’m thriving in a field that’s not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of nos, constant rejection and little to no job or financial security. My faith has been my solace and it hasn’t failed me.”

    With her faith and killer vocal ability in tow, the Howard University alumna is using the goods she gathered from playing Nina Simone in Broadway’s Soul Doctor to propel her career. “I’ve learned to acknowledge my ability and live in the moment. I know I’m in the right place, doing the right thing because my natural talent continues to make room for me in an industry that’s nowhere near easy to break in to. I don’t bow down to fear and I don’t set boundaries for my future. Instead, I like to leave room for God to blow my mind. He’ll forever deserve the standing ovation.”

    RELATED: Bold & Black On The Great White Way

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    BRITTON SMITH
    “I used to think of Broadway as this big boom! An arrival. Making it,” Broadway beau Britton Smith says. “True, it is an accomplishment and a blessing to perform at such a level, but it has showed me that it’s only a destination. In short, it’s a place to work hard and express a message that’s in actuality, no greater than any other platform.”

    The 6’1″ baritone has come a long way from Booker T. Washington HSPVA in Dallas, TX. Since matriculating at Pace University, he’s breathed life into characters on stage in works from Seussical The Musical and Hairspray to Ragtime and Lady Be Good. Now, he’s prepared to live an eternal life under the powerful show lights. “Broadway is to theater what the Olympics are to sports—extremely competitive, prestigious and a dream for so many people,” he says. “It takes incredible physical strength, technique, diligence, stamina and energy to perform at this level in eight shows a week. It’s for the brave and I’m never scared!”

    With diversity being a hot-button issue right now in entertainment, Smith feels both purpose and pride in his skin tone, mixed with his God-given ability. “My mother told me when I was just a boy, ‘You have to be ten times better because you are a black,’ and I didn’t understand what she meant until I got older and began noticing that I wasn’t being considered or even looked at for certain opportunities because of the color of my skin. I believe that everyone who is capable should be given the opportunity. Shows like Shuffle Along are not only sharing our stories but sharing to audiences that the value of a black performer is of no lesser value than of a white performer. This is what makes me proud. It’s humbled me greatly to be a part of it.

    RELATED: A Few Good Men: Black Male Playwrights


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    UPTOWN_tyrese_chris_rock

    “I didn’t watch – I didn’t – but online people are talking and someone posted the tasteless joke that Chris Rock did in his opening – Did you really use your STAGE to tear down and diminish one of the strongest most fearless black women IN this town as the world watched??? Jokes are just jokes right???? Not when someone is trying to affect change……… Not when someone is willing to put it ALL on the line to affect change for our daughters and sons of the future…….. Shame on you Chris Rock – Now let me run to YouTube and watch Leo’s acceptance speech………… So fucking proud of you Leo……”

    — Tyrese reacts via Instagram to Chris Rock‘s opening Oscars monologue, in which the comedian joked, “Jada [Pinkett-Smith] boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” In the accompanying video below, the singer says Rock “f*cked my night up talking about my girl Jada, who took the initiative to stand up to make a difference, I’m smiling again because of LEO!” Tyrese was referring to Leonardo DiCaprio taking home his first Oscar.

    Rock’s clap-back will undoubtedly be hilarious, if he stoops low enough to address Tyrese.

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    UPTOWN_zoe_saldana_as_nina_simone
    It’s been more than a year since we last covered the controversy of Zoe Saldana playing blues legend Nina Simone in the biopic NINA. We had hoped that some Hollywood exec would have taken notice of the backlash and decided it wasn’t a good idea for Saldana to appear in dark makeup (essentially blackface) and prosthetics in order to closer “resemble” Simone … but alas we were wrong.

    Just this week, the official trailer and movie poster for NINA was released, proving the film hasn’t been shelved.

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    The Cynthia Mort-directed film focuses on Simone’s rise to fame and her relationship with Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo. Simone’s daughter has said that Henderson was actually gay and refutes the claim her mother had a relationship with him.

    The Twitter account @NinaSimoneMusic has encouraged fans to acknowledge “the authentic Nina Simone” by hosting their own listening or viewing parties on April 22nd, the release date of NINA.

    Of course, more than a few critics also took to Twitter to express their ire in Saldana playing the legendary Nina Simone:

    Viola Davis had less harsh words for Saldana. Read what she had to say here.


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    UPTOWN_jlo_potential_home2
    Some real estate spies hipped TMZ to a house, er, estate that Jennifer Lopez checked out over the weekend.

    Apparently, J. Lo has been shopping for a new home in Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, and she’s willing to plunk down around $20 million for the new crib.

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    The estate the Shades of Blue star recently toured costs $22.9 million and is currently owned by movie producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. The home is nearly 14,000 square feet and sits on 3.5 acres of land. There are six bedrooms and eight bathrooms in the home. A hot tub/spa, pool, fitness center, and spectacular views round out the on-site amenities.

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    If Lopez moves her family, including twins Max and Emme, behind these gates, they will have Channing Tatum, Demi Moore, and Harry Styles as neighbors.

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    J. Lo’s current Hidden Hills home is up for sale for $12.5 million.

    Check out more photos of Jennifer Lopez’s potential new Beverly Hills home.

    RELATED: Inside Beyonce’s Luxe Super Bowl Weekend AirBnB

    RELATED: Inside Cibolo Creek Ranch, Where Scalia Spent His Last Days

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  • 03/02/16--11:52: Boundless In BVI
  • Beautiful and close to home, the British Virgin Islands is the perfect winter getaway.

    By Annika Harris

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    The British Virgin Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, is known for its reef-lined beaches and prime access to the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean, the BVI is comprised of four main islands and several smaller ones. As a yachting and diving destination, it’s a perfect paradise for a landlubber to strengthen their sea legs while hopping between the beautiful Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina and the islands of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Virgin Gorda.

    Getting There

    It takes several modes of transportation to reach the BVI. Fly one of the major international airlines into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Then, hop on a Cape Air Cessna to Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, the main airport of the BVI. From there, Trellis Bay is a five-minute or less taxi ride away. The Trellis Bay ferry whisks guests from Tortola to Scrub Island, which has one of the best vantage points for admiring the beauty of neighboring islands of the BVI.

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    Annika Harris enjoys the Pavillion Pool at Scrub Island Resort

    You’ve Arrived

    Scrub Island Resort (scrubisland.com) opened in 2010 and is a 230-acre private island resort featuring two styles of masterfully-decorated accommodations: secluded luxury villas and rooms/suites closer to the marina and other resort activities. Regardless of the accommodation type, a collage of exotic woods, natural stone flooring, and plush linens surrounds each guests in uncommon luxury, complete with a veranda perfect for watching the sun rise and set.

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    Ixora Spa at Scrub Island Resort

    This resort, an Autograph Collection hotel, boasts three restaurants serving light fare or fine dining under the direction of Chef Juan Morrison and signature cocktails mixed by BVI legend Xtian MacDonald, two pools, including the lagoon-style Pavilion Pool, and three beaches, including Honeymoon Beach, a secluded sanctuary that is accessible only by kayak. Therapists at the Ixora Spa produce thoughtful treatments using Elemis products that are sure to relieve the mind and soul. In fact, a nap on the Ixora veranda, with the Caribbean Sea below and a pristine blue sky above, is irresistible. While lounging in the sun is cathartic, so is getting active. Scrub Island is also home to the Offshore Sailing School (offshoresailing.com), considered the premier sailing school in the world, offers a range of sailing and boating lessons.

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    Delectable treats prepared at Scrub Island Resort

    Beyond the Island

    While Scrub Island offers everything a Caribbean vacation requires—water fun, relaxation, and delectable seafood—the BVI is all about island hopping. A resort representative can assist in chartering a boat for a half-day or full-day excursion or arrange a day trip to the other main islands (rates vary).

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    Annika Harris and friends cheers to their Original Painkiller cocktails from the Soggy Dollar Bar

    The Baths, a natural collection of tidal pools, tunnels, and grottoes formed by a pile of volcanic boulders, is renowned for its uniqueness and can’t be missed (Tip: be sure you’re capable of swimming from boat to shore). After working up an appetite exploring and swimming, your next stop should be the Willy T (willy-t.com), a legendary pirate ship restaurant and bar anchored in The Bight at Norman Island. Then, it’s off to Jost Van Dyke for an Original Painkiller rum-based cocktail at the Soggy Dollar Bar (soggydollar.com). Top off the night at one of the BVI’s Full Moon Parties, which occur during every full moon. The Trellis Bay soiree is family-friendly and features steel drums, Moko Jumbies dancing on stilts, reggae bands, Caribbean fare, and spectacular FireBalls that light up the beach. The Bomba Surfside Shack party, where soft and hardcore photos and large panties and bras function as decor, isn’t for children or the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.


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    It was the above photo of Chrissy Teigen getting ready for the Oscars that inspired us to take a closer look at the model’s maternity style. When she had two women sewing beads and sequins onto her baby bump, we knew her pregnancy wouldn’t stop Teigen from bringing it on the red carpet and streets of NYC and LA. Tapping stylist and designer Monica Rose was definitely a good decision for Teigen.

    Let’s take a closer look Chrissy Teigen’s maternity style.

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    A monochrome look creates a slender frame, but texture-blocking, like Teigen did with her satin coat, suede heels, and sheath dress, adds interest.

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    Not one to follow the pack, Teigen retains her SoCal bohemian vibe on her casual days, thanks to a pair of cut-off shorts — one that needed a “haircut” apparently.

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    Teigen opted for a white gown complete with an embellished cape for an angelic and ethereal look for the 2016 Grammy Awards.

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    Sexy doesn’t stop when you’re a pregnant Chrissy Teigen.

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    Teigen brought ’70s glam to a Tresemme event.

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    When covered up top, Teigen shows leg.

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    As a New Yorker, Teigen knows that your coat always speaks before your outfit, so it better have something intriguing to say.

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    If Teigen looks a little Kardashian-esque here, it’s because Monica Rose is also stylist to the Kardashian-Jenner women.

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    She is sexy, cooks, and is married to John Legend. No wonder this is what she wears to prepare cinnamon rolls.

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    Navy and black are a fabulous color combo even if you’re not with child. Lace keeps Teigen’s look sultry.

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    Chrissy Teigen’s winning maternity equation: body-conscious dress + long trench coat + high heels = fabulosity!

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    Believe it or not, a high-waist pencil skirt can camouflage a growing pregnancy bump.


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    Ciara arrived in Lagos, Nigeria for the Love Like a Movie 3 (#LLAM3) concert on Feb. 28th. While there, she made a surprise visit with recording artist Darey Art Alade to Akande Dahunsi Memorial High School. Ciara also took to the streets of Lagos to get down with several Nigerian dancers and posted several videos of the experience on Instagram. It’s obvious this mother of one can still shake a tail feather!

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    Ciara also made time for beau Russell Wilson after the trip. She wore an H&M Studio dress and a braided crown by hairstylist César DeLeön Ramirêz for a night out with her man in Paris.

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    Love, Peace & Hip-Hop is proud to announce KRS-One, Hip-Hop’s master teacher and international ambassador, as the headliner for the FREE Hip-Hop Family Day in downtown Columbia, SC on April 9, 2016. KRS-One will play a full set of Hip-Hop classics that spans 20 years, live on Main Street.

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    Presented by The City of Columbia and WellCare Healthy Connections, the fourth annual Hip-Hop Family Day will bring the amazingly creative art form of Hip-Hop to Main Street through hands-on art exhibits, educational activities, live music, dance performances, and more. In addition to food, fun, and music, Love Peace & Hip-Hop annually donates all soft drink and water proceeds to two non-profit organizations that offer direct services to the community.

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    Two more concerts to benefit Love, Peace & Hip-Hop will occur in March:

    • March 9th — Love Peace & Hip-Hop Benefit with Mobb Deep
    • March 26th — Love Peace & Hip-Hop Benefit with Scarface

    Visit Love, Peace & Hip-Hop for more information on KRS-One’s FREE Hip-Hop Family Day concert and Mobb Deep’s and Scarface’s fast-approaching performances.


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    URBANWORLD FILM FESTIVAL NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR 2016

    Call for feature films, short films, and screenplays from around the world.
    The early bird deadline is April 1st. However, all submissions are due by June 10th.

    UPTOWN_urbanworld_film_festivalNEW YORK — February 3, 2016 — The 20th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (September 21 – 25, 2016) is now accepting submissions for narrative features, documentary features, short films, and screenplays.

    The Urbanworld Film Festival is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind, hosted in New York City. The five-day festival presents a selection of over 75 films, including spotlight screenings and conversations, live staged screenplay readings, the Urbanworld Digital track focused on digital and social media, and Urbanworld Music, which highlights emerging artists in live performances.

    Since its inception, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Filmmakers from around the world have premiered and screened their work at Urbanworld, with the international presence growing each year.

    In 2016, Urbanworld will include the following juried film categories, with a mix of industry experts selecting the winner and highlighting any deserving honorable mentions:

    • Best Narrative Feature (U.S. Cinema)
    • Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema)
    • Best Documentary Feature (U.S. Cinema)
    • Best Documentary Feature (World Cinema)
    • *Best Narrative Short
    • Best Screenplay

    These juried awards are given for excellence in filmmaking, with a focus on both content and technical execution. Cash prizes are awarded in sponsored film categories.

    Submission Deadlines:

    *Early Bird Deadline – April 1, 2016 (Regular Deadline – April 29, 2016)

    *Late Deadline – May 27, 2016

    *Extended Deadline – June 10, 2016

    For more information and to submit via FilmFreeway, please visit Urbanworld.org.


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    UPDATE: A previous version of this story didn’t include Trai Byers’s statement which he released via Instagram.

    The latest gossip surrounding Empire doesn’t center around the FOX hit TV show’s mid-season return on March 30th. Instead, rumor has it that Trai Byers, who plays Lucious and Cookie Lyon’s son Andre, wants to quit the show.

    A source told Page Six that Byers “wants out” and “He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian’ … The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”

    Although Byers was excited to take on the role of Andre initially, now he’s disappointed with the direction of the show.

    “At first, being on ‘Empire’ was major for him. But he feels his character is not as important this season, and he hates not being the star,” said the insider. “He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji [P. Henson] and Terrence [Howard]. He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”

    Byers reportedly threw a temper tantrum on set, saying, “I don’t get to do enough, I might leave,” said another source. The producers reportedly called his bluff and said the show doesn’t need him. “He’s hardly one of the most popular or dynamic actors on the show,” the source added.

    According to reports, Byers was seeking the role of Muhammad Ali in a new movie, but didn’t get it and fired his team as a result. He wants big movie roles.

    Empire is in its final week of filming and Byers, who hasn’t commented publicly on these rumors, hasn’t quit, nor has he been fired, said a source close to the show.

    One good thing for Byers to come from Empire, besides exposure, has been his engagement to cast member Grace Gealey, who plays Anika.

    Instagram Photo

    [Image: Empire]


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    Bobbi Kristina Brown

    A Fulton County medical examiner revealed in a statement Friday that Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s death was caused by being immersed face-down in water and intoxication from drugs.

    The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office in Atlanta released the statement ahead of making the full autopsy report available to media outlets, following a judge’s ruling Thursday.

    The medical examiner reviewed medical records, investigative files, and other documents to determine the likely cause of Brown’s death.

    The office says marijuana, alcohol, and sedatives and/or anti-anxiety medications contributed to Brown’s death.

    On Jan. 31, 2015, Brown was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her suburban Atlanta townhouse. She later died in a hospice on July 26th.

    Source


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    Rihanna‘s brings her sex appeal to just about everything she does, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her newly-revealed collection with Manolo Blahnik includes a thigh-high pair of denim boots that resemble ass-less chaps.

    The Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik collaboration features the “9 to 5” boot, as the denim footwear has been officially named, as well as five other “Denim Dessert” styles. The sandals, pumps, and boots were inspired by RiRi’s hand tattoos, and range in price from $767 to $3,483.50.

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    Rihanna’s Manolo Blahnik denim boots made their debut in her recent British Vogue fashion spread. But you’ll have to wait until May 5th to slip your feet into a pair.

    RELATED: Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki and ‘Nem: Nipples Are the New Black


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    UPTOWN_jada_pinkett_smith_chris_rock

    “Hey look it comes with the territory, we gotta keep it moving. We got a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving.”

    — Jada Pinkett Smith addresses host Chris Rock‘s joke about her boycotting the Oscars this year, while walking through Los Angeles International Airport. During the Academy Awards, which aired on Sunday, Feb. 28th, Rock said, “Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”

    [Images: Twitter]


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    Find out what happens when Kim Kardashian West can’t find anything to where. Plus, go inside the baby showers of Chrissy Teigen, Tiny Harris, and Draya Michele.

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    T.I. and Tiny celebrated the impending birth of their baby with a royal-themed baby shower, that was attended by Atlanta’s best — Kandi Burruss, Monica Brown, Toya Wright, Rasheeda Frost, Phaedra Parks, and Keke Wyatt.

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    [Images: Freddy O via Instagram]

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    Kim Kardashian West posted a nude image to the ‘Gram because she apparently had nothing to wear. We guess she’s not a fan of Yeezy either …

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    Kelly Rowland made the rounds during Paris Fashion Week, including attending the Haider Ackerman show in a fierce black suit. But she was also dressed by Dolce & Gabbana for its fashion show.

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    Draya Michele and fiance Orlando Scandrick celebrated their little bundle of joy with a baby shower on Sunday. Draya’s son Kniko and Orlando’s twin 6-year-old daughters Taylor and Tatiana, Wale, Heather Sanders and boyfriend King T-Rell, Zena Foster, Angel Brinks, and others attended the festive event.

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    Beyonce shared an image, without any context of course, of her favorite subject.

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    Robert Kardashian denied rumors he and Blac Chyna have broken up by posting a pic of them getting really close.

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    Ciara was style by “Mr. Givenchy” himself, designer Ricardo Tisci, for Paris Fashion Week.

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    Janet Jackson teased her performance at the Dubai World Cup 2016, which will occur at Meydan on March 26th.

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    Just when you thought Gabrielle Union had shed her Clovers cheerleading uniform for good …

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    Kevin Hart shared a flashback photo of him and daughter Heaven.

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    John Legend and Chrissy Teigen also celebrated the upcoming birth of their daughter this weekend with a royal-themed baby shower at Material Good in NYC.

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    RELATED: Star Style: Chrissy Teigen’s Maternity Style Is On Point


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    UPTOWN_colin_powell

    “We have to become more respectful of each other. We have to listen to each other even if we disagree mightily. To stand there and do junior high school tricks on one another is belittling the country and belittling the office to which they are striving. And I hope they start, you know, realizing that as amusing as this might be — and it’s reality television, but even Jerry Springer thinks it’s gone too far. And when Jerry Springer thinks you’ve gone too far, my friends, you have gone too far.”

    — Colin Powell decries the immature tone of the Republican presidential campaign, while being interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered. The former Secretary of State was speaking on the death of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and opined that she would be “disturbed” by the way politicians invoke her husband’s legacy today. And Powell should know because he served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser. Powell also mentioned Reagan’s “civility” and “lack of nastiness” during his time in office.


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