Thursday, April 11, 2024

O.J. Simpson, Controversial Star of Sports, Screen & Music, Dies

O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star whose life was marred by athletic triumph, a sensationalized murder trial, and later imprisonment, has died. He was 76.

Simpson's death was confirmed Thursday by his family. In a statement, they wrote, "Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, passed away today after a battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family. While this is a difficult time, we ask that you respect our privacy."

Simpson rose to prominence as a record-breaking running back at the University of Southern California, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1968. He went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, primarily with the Buffalo Bills, rushing for over 11,000 yards.

His public image shattered in 1994 when he was charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The ensuing televised trial captivated the nation. Simpson was acquitted of the murders but later found liable for their deaths in a civil case.

Simpson also enjoyed a successful acting career, appearing in films such as the "Naked Gun" series. His foray into music included the video "Get Juiced," where he played pranks, including a reference to his infamous white Ford Bronco.

In 2008, Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas and served nine years in prison. He was released on parole in 2017.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

New Orleans Music Icon Clarence 'Frogman' Henry Dead at 87

Clarence "Frogman" Henry, the legendary New Orleans R&B singer known for his distinctive voice and hits like "Ain't Got No Home," has died at the age of 87.

His death on Sunday, was first announced by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation on social media.

The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate later reported that the family confirmed to the publication that he died of complications following back surgery.

Born in New Orleans on March 19, 1937, Clarence Henry Jr. began his musical journey at a young age, drawing inspiration from icons such as Fats Domino and Professor Longhair. His breakthrough came in 1956 with the release of "Ain't Got No Home," featuring his signature croak that earned him the nickname "Frogman." The song became a national hit and propelled Henry to stardom as a teenager.

The song reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become a perennial favorite on movie soundtracks, including those of popular films like “Forrest Gump,” “Diner,” and “Casino."

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Henry continued to enjoy success with hits like "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" and "You Always Hurt the One You Love." He even toured with The Beatles during their first U.S. trip in 1964.

Despite his national fame, Henry remained deeply rooted in New Orleans, performing regularly on Bourbon Street for nearly two decades. He retired from touring in 1981 but continued to make appearances at events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where he was a beloved fixture.

In addition to his contributions to music, Henry's songs found new life in various films, commercials, and covers by other artists, cementing his legacy in the music industry. His induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and recognition by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame further solidified his status as a music icon.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Ciara To Headline Summer Tour

Even a total solar eclipse couldn't outshine the brilliance of Missy Elliott's latest announcement: her first-ever headlining tour, "Out of This World – The Missy Elliott Experience." The tour launches this summer across North America and will feature hip-hop heavyweights Busta Rhymes, Ciara and Timbaland.

“This is an incredible time in my life as I am experiencing so many milestone ‘firsts,’” Elliott said in a statement announcing the tour. “Being the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and now going out on my first headline tour – fans have been asking me to tour forever, but I wanted to wait until I felt the time was right. If I was ever going to do it, I had to do it big, and I had to do it with family! So get ready to be taken out of this world with me, Busta Rhymes, Ciara, and Timbaland!”

The 24-city tour kicks off July 4th at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, with stops in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Brooklyn, and more, before concluding in Rosemont, Illinois, at the Allstate Arena on August 22nd.

News of the tour was shared in a sci-fi-themed video posted hours before Monday's total solar eclipse. The clip features Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and Ciara venturing outside a spaceship after accidentally landing on a strange planet.

The tour announcement follows Elliott's historic 2023 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making her the first female rapper to receive this honor.

"Missy has always been an iconic groundbreaker," Mona Scott-Young, Elliott's longtime manager, added. "This headlining tour is another testament to her enduring impact and a long-awaited gift to her dedicated fans."

Out of This World — The Missy Elliott Experience tour dates
According to Monday's announcement, Elliott's tour will be stopping by the following locations:
Thursday, July 4 — Vancouver, British Columbia — Rogers Arena
Saturday, July 6 — Seattle — Climate Pledge Arena
Tuesday, July 9 — Oakland, California — Oakland Arena
Thursday, July 11 — Los Angeles — Arena
Saturday, July 13 — Las Vegas — T-Mobile Arena
Tuesday, July 16 — Denver — Ball Arena
Thursday, July 18 — Austin, Texas — Moody Center
Saturday, July 20 — Houston — Toyota Center
Sunday, July 21 — Fort Worth, Texas — Dickies Arena
Wednesday, July 24 — Tampa, Florida — Amalie Arena
Thursday, July 25 — Sunrise, Florida — Amerant Bank Arena
Saturday, July 27 — Atlanta — State Farm Arena
Thursday, Aug. 1 — Baltimore — CFG Bank Arena
Friday, Aug. 2 — Hampton, Virginia — Hampton Coliseum
Saturday, Aug. 3 — Belmont Park, New York — UBS Arena
Monday, Aug. 5 — Philadelphia — Wells Fargo Center
Thursday, Aug. 8 — Washington — Capital One Arena
Friday, Aug. 9 — Newark, New Jersey — Prudential Center
Saturday, Aug. 10 — Boston — TD Garden
Monday, Aug. 12 — Brooklyn, New York — Barclays Center
Thursday, Aug. 15 — Detroit — Little Caesars Arena
Saturday, Aug. 17 — Montreal — Bell Centre
Monday, Aug. 19 — Toronto — Scotiabank Arena
Thursday, Aug. 22 — Rosemont, Illinois — Allstate Arena