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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Now Hear This!
by Tony Peregrin
2003-01-22

This article shared 2649 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
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'I don't need $2 million worth of studio equipment to sing,' declared an exasperated Toni Braxton, when she discovered a music writer/reviewer had compared her singing to Jennifer Lopez. 'It's such bull——' exclaimed Braxton, according to a 'close family member,' in a news-brief published on Yahoo! entertainment's Web site, Dec 16. 'Jennifer can act and she's one hell of a businesswoman—but she cannot touch [my voice].' 'How could anyone possibly put me and Jennifer Lopez in the same sentence,' said Braxton, a six-time Grammy award winner. (Remember, these are quotes from an 'unnamed family source'—who, after this stunt, probably won't be invited to any family gatherings in the foreseeable future. Braxton is way too savvy and elegant to squeak and squak this openly to the media).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or rather, the Polo mansion—as the Manhattan flagship store is commonly referred to—we have Liza Minnelli wandering around the main floor talking to herself, according to the Intelligencer column (New York Magazine). The column quotes a fellow shopper who saw Minnelli 'stop in her tracks' where she began to give herself a bit of a pep-talk: 'Minnelli, get it together. Minnelli, get it together.' Seems she did just that, after spending $10,000 during her brief shopping spree. You'll see more of Minnelli in 2003: she's reportedly in talks to become a spokesmodel for M.A.C. cosmetics, following in the footsteps of Mary J. Blige, Elton John, RuPaul and others. M.A.C prez John Dempsy recently befriended Liza during her concerts at NYC's Town Hall, according to the column.

Who's the most dedicated, hardworking queen on Broadway? Why, that's Harvey Fierstein, of course, whose currently wowing 'em in the smash hit, musical adaptation of Hairspray. The actor/writer has reportedly never missed a performance of the show, nor did he ever once call in sick during the long run of Torch Song Trilogy. But according to the New York Post, Fierstein is 'not at all happy with the blasé attitude of the youthful Hairspray cast' and has started a 'Wall of Shame' where he posts the name of each and every cast member who misses a performance along with his or her picture. 'An actor should be on stage unless they're in the hospital or the morgue,' bellowed the star.

Madonna fans were all a-twitter when The Mirror (London) reported that record label executives were forcing the singer to re-record tracks off her new album, rolling out this April, due to the fact that she had 'used far too many electronic synthesizers on her voice,' and that she sounded like 'a robot.' Warner Bros issued a quick press release stating that the 're-record' mandate was false, and that they were 'knocked out' by what they had heard so far. Madonna voicebox Liz Rosenberg says that while there are some 'electronic influences' on this new album, they are not as prevalent as they are on Music. Warner Bros describes the still-untitled album as having an 'electro-pop style, with Madonna playing a lot of guitar.' Look for the first single to be 'American Life,' and look for Madonna to be a brunette this time 'round. And what's more: she's reportedly in talks to transform The Girlie Show into a Las Vegas stage review, but will not star in the actual show itself.

Bonus Item: The very first Fireball CD, to benefit Chicago's Hearts Foundation, will be released this year, starring the superstar remixing team of Rosabel (Ralphi Rosario & Abel). In a personal e-mail from Ralphi, he describes the sound and vibe of this highly anticipated release:

'This compilation has a little of everything. Abel and I feel that it reaches a few different areas of dance music. There are so many different styles of dance/tribal/club/circuit music out there, so we put together a great combination of things. Featured on the CD will be original material from myself, a remix of a track done by our great friend DJ Paulo, a new song performed by DEBORAH COOPER, titled 'REAL LOVE' which was originally produced by our friend TONY MORAN.

'Deborah Cooper is well known for her anthem song with C&C Music Factory 'Pride (A Deeper Love),' and she later went on to record with remix artist VICTOR CALDERONE on 'Are you satisfied'' for Tommyboy records. We, Rosabel (Ralphi Rosario & Abel Aguilera), remixed this song especially for the Fireball compilation. Deborah will be performing this new anthem at Fireball as well.

'Along with a great balance of dance stuff on the CD, there is a very special song included as well. The Fireball CD will also feature my very own special remix version of the classic SYLVESTER 'YOU MAKE ME FEEL MIGHTY REAL' (Yes I've remixed the ORIGINAL SONG). This new remix that I've done captures the bump & grind of the new, and the spirit of the original version. It's turned heads every time SYLVESTER starts to sing over my new production....'

Along with these original goodies, featured on the CD are: MURK VS KRISTINE W, PAT HODGES, ROSABEL, ANTIONE CLAMARAN, & DJ SANDY.

'The Fireball CD is sure to be a hit,' says Allen Lungo, president of the Hearts Foundation. 'We couldn't be happier with our partnership with Centaur Records.' Lungo said he is thrilled with the prospect of CD sales benefiting those affected by HIV and AIDS, and wishes to remind everyone that online sales made prior to the retail release of the CD, will see 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Hearts Foundation.'

www.thefireball.com; TheFireball.com or 1-800-965-4827.

Endquote: 'I was trying to get here to rent a video,' said Diana Ross, stopped at an Arizona Blockbuster Video for driving under the influence, the day before New Year's Eve. After someone reported a vehicle was driving south in a northbound lane in northeastern Tucson, Ross was pulled over (she reportedly parked in a handicapped space) and cited for having a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. (Personally, I don't think there's an ad agency on the planet that could have dreamed up a more glamorous endorsement for Blockbuster and the therapeutic effects of renting a video or two!)


This article shared 2649 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
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