Tag: “Fame”

R.I.P. Grammy Award-Winning Legend David Bowie, Global Icon and Innovator in Music, Art and Fashion

David Bowie with Supermodel wife Iman (photo via popsugar.com)
David Bowie with Supermodel wife Iman (photo via popsugar.com)

As Stevie Wonder so aptly put it in his 1976 tribute to the 20th-century pioneers of sound, “Sir Duke”: “Music is a world within itself / With a language we all understand / With an equal opportunity / For all to sing, dance and clap their hands.”

Sir David Robert Jones, aka “Ziggy Stardust”, aka “The Thin White Duke”, but most commonly known around the world as David Bowie, fully understood and embodied the language of this universality, and connected with audiences around the world, no matter what genre he chose to explore. Some of his greatest commercial success came from his exploration of R&B music (“Young Americans”, “Fame”, “Golden Years”,  “Under Pressure,” “Let’s Dance”), but his musical life was one of constant change and innovation, which made this unique singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter and actor a prominent, global figure in popular music for over four decades.

According to the New York Times, Bowie’s last album, “Blackstar,” a collaboration with a jazz quartet that was typically enigmatic and exploratory, was released on Friday — his birthday.  He had also collaborated on an Off Broadway musical, “Lazarus,” which was a surreal sequel to the 1976 film that featured his definitive screen role, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Bowie wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut. His music was always a mutable blend — rock, cabaret, jazz and what he called “plastic soul” — but it was suffused with genuine soul.  Bowie, in turn, influenced many of today’s prominent R&B, soul, pop/rock and hip-hop artists, (remember Queen Latifah’s collab on the “Fame ’90” redux?) many of whom are already honoring him:

https://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/686449257767776256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Bowie is to be honored with a concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31 featuring the Roots, Cyndi Lauper and the Mountain Goats.

Bowie lost his 18-month battle with cancer on Sunday night, and is survived by his son, director Duncan Jones, wife Iman and their daughter Alexandria.

To read more about Bowie, his life and career, click here.  To see him perform live in 1974 on “The Dick Cavett Show” with Luther Vandross on background vocals, check out the video below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12

Director/Producer/Actor Debbie Allen (TERENCE PATRICK FOR VARIETY)

Debbie Allen rose to fame with “Fame,” serving as a director, producer and choreographer. She was also the first black woman to be Emmy-nominated in the dramatic lead actress category. More than three decades later, she has a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and is a frequent director — and now executive producer of the show. “It’s a little crazy, but what a great life,” Allen tells Variety. “I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof that somehow landed on all fours.”

What are your new responsibilities on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12, being a director, actor and executive producer?

I’m very involved in every episode, in terms of production design. I’m selecting the directors this season, looking over everything from makeup and hair to the actors’ concerns. I spend a lot of time with the writers, which I love.

How do you balance acting in an episode that you’re also directing and producing?

It’s actually how I started on “Fame.” I trained in acting, literature and theater, so talking to actors is something I’m really used to doing. That gives me a little bit of an edge sometimes. I know how to speak the actor’s language. On “Fame,” I started as Ms. Lydia Grant and I was the choreographer, but I soon became their favorite director because I knew how to shoot the dance and then I understood the acting. Doing it all at the same time is how I came into it.

Have you noticed a big change in your role on “Grey’s,” now that you’re an executive producer?

Very dramatic change. I’ve always been there as a director and somewhat of a den mom — it’s interesting; so many of them grew up on “Fame,” and I’ll never forget the first time I directed, Patrick Dempsey started singing “Fame” and doing jetes, and I’m like, “Stop it already. Stop it!” — so now, there are things that are my responsibility or things that I keep my eye on or things that I can mitigate. I’m responsible for a lot of things, which is a wonderful position to have. I’ve done this once before on “A Different World.” I was the executive producer and director on that show for five years. But this is different. It’s an hour, it’s in its twelfth season, but it feels like it’s brand new.

Speaking of Patrick Dempsey, how is the set different without him?

We had a great relationship. My nickname for him was “Dash” — Dash was the kid in “The Incredibles” that was running fast. He would come through the set like that. He was on the move. Racing cars defines him for real. Patrick is not there so it changes the dynamic of the story for Meredith.

How much will you be featured in this season?

Catherine Avery is still a guest star. She’s not a series regular, but I’m there so when they need me now — last year, they had to go and try to find me — they can take advantage of me, and it’s okay! I’m not mad about it.

Continue reading “FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12″

Happy 47th Birthday, Grammy-Award Winner and Actress Janet Jackson (VIDEO)

Janet JacksonBorn to Joe and Katherine Jackson on May 16, 1966, Janet Damita Jo Jackson is the youngest of nine children of the musically legendary Jackson family.  Although she started her career in entertainment primarily as a television actress (Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, Fame), it was Jackson’s music, produced by Minneapolis duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, that catapulted her to international fame and stardom.  Though Control was her third solo album, it was the first one to go multi-platinum and kick-started a career that has spanned decades and generated over 100 million record sales worldwide.  To celebrate Janet and her musical legacy, above is one of her early, iconic dance videos –  “Pleasure Principle.”  Enjoy!

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson