The family tragedy of one of America's biggest rising stars, Jennifer Hudson, is the subject of both People and Us Weekly magazine's latest issues.
Detailing the horrific events that have occurred in the last week, which took the lives of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason, and 7-year-old nephew Julian King, the magazines highlight Hudson's agony and quest for answers.
Blindie applauds both People and Us Weekly for shedding light on this tragedy and making it a point to tell the story--for once--of a black family's anguish.
The lead singer of legendary Motown group The Four Tops died on Friday at his home in Detroit. Stubbs had suffered numerous health problems including cancer and a stroke.
The baritone singer began his music career while in high school with friends Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton. The quartet originally called themselves The Four Aims and signed onto Chess Records in 1956. It wasn't until the group signed with Berry Gordy's Motown Records in the early sixties did they become chart-toppers with hit songs like " I Can't Help Myself (Suger Pie, Honey Bunch)" and "It's The Same Old Song."
Stubbs' death leaves Abdul "Duke" Fair as the only living member of the original Tops line-up. Lawrence Payton passed away in 1997 and Renaldo Benson died in 2005.
Grammy-winning singer Isaac Hayes died on Sunday after being found unconscious in his Memphis, Tennessee home, according to the AP. He was 65.
The soul singer, who won an Academy Award for his theme song for 1971's Shaft and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will appear in the upcoming comedy Soul Men, with the late comedic actor Bernie Mac (who also died this weekend) and Samuel L. Jackson.
Hayes will also be remembered for his work on South Park, where he voiced ladies' man and school cook James "Chef" McElroy. Hayes, a Scientologist, quit the risqué Comedy Central series due to the show's consistent jokes about religion.
“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” Hayes said in a statement in 2006. “Religious beliefs are sacred to people...As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”
Actor and comedian Bernie Mac died Saturday from complications of pneumonia in his native Chicago. He was 50.
Mac, who was hospitalized last week, recently made headlines for making off-color and misogynistic remarks at a $2,300-a-head fundraiser for Barack Obama.
Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough in Chicago, Mac made his TV debut on BET's Comic View and HBO's Def Comedy Jam in 1992 with a crude, southern-style comedy routine that has been described by the New York Times as "part of an ancient, vaudevillian craft." Others have simply dubbed his style coonery.
Mac found stardom as one of the comics in the 2000 Spike Lee-directed film The Original Kings of Comedy and segued from low-budget black films (Booty Call and How To Be a Player) to A-list fare (the Ocean's Eleven franchise and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle).
His award-winning Fox sitcom The Bernie Mac Show was based on some of his earlier comedy routines (remember milk and cookies) and was applauded for Mac's use of stand-up, in which he talks directly to the audience, as a device that broke the traditional "fourth wall" of sitcoms.
In a 2001 review of the show, Variety said, "The dial is littered with doofus dads and the women who adore them, but Mac reinvents the wheel here, using his warped sense of humor, buggy eyes and massive frame to intimidate and discipline some very bratty young'uns."
While it may be surprising that a crude comedian, who jokingly lauded himself as a pimp, can rise to mainstream status as a TV family dad, no one was more confounded than Mac himself: ''Seven years ago, I was raunchy, I was blue. Now I'm the perfect father. Figure that out."
Harold D. Russell, dubbed "The Divine Mind," died Monday from complications of pneumonia. He was 86.
Believed to be the first black magician to join the prestigious International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians, Russell performed for 20 years, entertaining crowds at the "Breakfast with Santa" event at Dillard's and many nightclubs in the St. Louis area.
In a 2005 interview with the St. Louis Journal, Russell described practicing his early tricks on Bullet, the family dog, saying "If he went to the wrong hand when I tried a disappearing trick, I'd think, 'Hmm, I did it good because I fooled Bullet."
A World War II veteran, Russell took up magic while in his 40s and married with five children. He received the Gold Medal Award from the Society of American Magicians in 2005, one of only seven magicians to receive the honor since its inception.
PHOTO: Wiley Price
Sherman "Jocko" Maxwell, the first African-American sportscaster, died of complications from pneumonia on Wednesday, according to Newark's Star-Ledger. He was 100.
A chronicler of the Negro Leagues, Maxwell began his broadcast career in 1929, reading game scores weekly on the WNJR radio station in Newark. He worked for various stations, all while working as a postal clerk. He retired from radio in 1967.
Tokyo-born restauranteur Hiroaki 'Rocky' Aoki died on Thursday in New York City at the age of 69. The father of model Devon Aoki and DJ Steve Aoki succumbed to pneumonia due to complication from cancer, but had also suffered from diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C--which he contracted from a blood transfusion.
A former wrestler on the Japanese Olympic team, Aoki moved to New York after failing to qualify for the 1960 games in Rome. He went on to open his first teppanyaki-styled restaurant in 1964, with $10,000 he earned selling ice cream from a truck.
Aoki had resigned from the company in 1998 after pleading guilty to an inside trade and had been acting as a consultant to the chain, which included over 85 restaurants worldwide.
A self-proclaimed "risk-taker" Aoki drove in the 1970s Cannonball Run, an underground cross-country race, competed in offshore powerboat racing, and became the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon in the early 1980s, setting a world record.