Usher may be the reigning King of R&B, but, right now, we’re pretty sure he’s feeling like the King of the World.”
The soulful singer spent October 14, his 37th birthday, recording a taping of PBS’ concert series “In Performance at the White House.” He and his bride Grace were chatting with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama when they surprised him by singing “Happy Birthday” and presented him with a cupcake topped with a single candle.
The former “The Voice” coach seemed humbled — and in total disbelief — by the experience, at one point, turning to the videographer and asking, “Are you getting this?
After the First Couple were done singing to Usher, President Obama said, “That’s a good cupcake, too.”
Along with Usher, Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson, and Esperanza Spalding also performed at the White House for the concert series.
Andrew Young (pictured throughout) has not been in public office since 1990, but his contributions as a politician to the Civil Rights Movement and his service as an elected official have catapulted him to legendary status. Even after a failed gubernatorial bid, Young has gone on to do amazing work as a private citizen. Today, NewsOne celebrates another milestone of Young as he reaches the rich age of 80 today.
Born in 1932 in New Orleans to parents Andrew Sr., a dentist, and Daisy Fuller, a schoolteacher, Young benefited from a middle-class upbringing that was rare for many African Americans during the Great Depression. By Young’s own admission, he didn’t take advantage of his good fortunes and nearly failed out of Howard University but eventually graduated in 1951. It was expected that Young would enter the dentistry field, but he went on to obtain a divinity degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut.
Gordon Parks was a master of many arts: photography, film making, music and fiction. But the world almost missed the opportunity to experience and enjoy his major contributions. Born on Nov. 30, 1912, to a family in Fort Scott, Kansas, that already included 14 other children, Parks was declared stillborn when his doctor couldn’t detect a heartbeat. Thanks to another doctor who thought to immerse him in cold water, which got his heart beating, he survived.
“You going to be famous in this world and walk with kings and queens,” an aunt told twelve year-old Mahalia Jackson. Born on October 26, 1911, in New Orleans, where she shared a shotgun house with thirteen people, the future could only get better.
But before it did, Jackson’s mother died when she was just four and she had to leave school in the fourth grade to help out at home. She had music though — the jazz bands that entertained the city and the gospel that healed souls, with some Bessie Smith in between. On Every Wednesday, Friday and four times on Sunday, when Jackson sang at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, the sound wafted out into the street so that, one imagines, sinners also could enjoy her energetic contralto voice. Continue reading “Born On This Day in 1911: Gospel Powerhouse Mahalia Jackson”→