Posts Tagged ‘Diana Ross’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 22, 2018

It’s officially summer now and that can only mean one thing!

SBSangria

Yes, this Moscato Sangria will work just fine, thank you! 🙂

I appreciate you taking the time to check out my random thoughts.

PRIDE EVERYDAY — ESPECIALLY IN JUNE

As many of you know, June is “Pride Month”.  Yet, Pride festivities happen at different times of the year depending on where you are.

The Duluth Superior GLBTAQI Pride Festival will be held Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 2) this year.

I plan on attending, but I can guarantee it won’t be Chicago! 🙂

Speaking of my “second home”, here are two of my favorite Pride photos that I took in Chicago back in 2010.

Pride3

Pride4

So, cheers queers and to all of our “straight, but not narrow friends”!

pride-martini-collection

THANK YOU BRETT KISSEL

I’m a very liberal thinking person, but there are still things that I learn everyday — even about being more inclusive.

There are good people and bad people in every walk of life — regardless of demographics or whatever group they belong.

Country music is one of those genres that typically gets a bad rap (oh wait, rap is another) for not being very inclusive when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

Yes, there are exceptions:  Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, and others.

Now, add sexy Canadian country music singer Brett Kissel to that growing list!

Brett Kissel Pride.JPG

For years now, since I discovered his “Pick Me Up” album, I’ve written about Kissel and his amazing voice and stage presence.

Yes, he’s sexy, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to drop $10 for a CD!  But, he has what it takes to warrant buying his music — not just good looks!

He’s incredible with a beautiful wife, Cecilia, and two daughters, Mila and Aria.

Kissel Family.jpg

I like him even more knowing he supports all people, including me and my LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and they.

Here’s his latest single, “Guitars & Gasoline”.

Come on America, start playing Kissel!  He’s already had eleven Top Ten hits on the Canadian Country music chart.

“THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY”

If you didn’t catch this amazing FX series during its winter run earlier this year, watch it now!

I’ve written several times about the series and I’m bringing it up again as we near the Emmy nominations in July because it popped up in a recent issue of “Entertainment Weekly”.

Here’s what I wrote on March 30, 2018:

“Sadly, this excellent series is over.  I think when Emmy nominations are announced in July that Darren Criss and Judith Light will get acting nods for their roles of Andrew Cunanan and Marilyn Miglin.”

CrissMiglin

In the new “Entertainment Weekly”, critic Kristen Baldwin chose “The Assassination of Gianni Versace:  American Crime Story” as her #1 best TV show of 2018, so far.

Baldwin adds, “And if Darren Criss (who played Cunanan) and Judith Light (as the wife of one of his victims) do not win big come Emmy season, it will be (ahem) a crime.”

DIANA ROSS “MEMOIRS”

Since moving to Duluth, I haven’t had a chance to read a book and I’m starting to fall behind on magazines.

But, before moving, I read Diana Ross’s “Memoirs:  Secrets of a Sparrow”.

Diana Ross.jpg

It was interesting hearing her version of how she became the face and name of The Supremes and how that and other behind the scene dramas ended the successful trio.

She talked extensively about the racial tensions in the South in the 1950s and 1960s and how it made touring there scary.

Ross also talked about AIDS and her gay fans and friends.

An interesting story she told was going on her second honeymoon.  Since her husband owned the Tahitian island, they ran around naked! 🙂

At times, she sounded a little out there, but she comes across as a genuine woman and entertainer.

It was a little gossipy when she talked about her working relationship with Lionel Richie when they recorded the iconic ballad “Endless Love”.

Ross says, “the working relationship between us was difficult.”  She added, “I am a perfectionist.  I like to be on time always.  Lionel was not always on time.”

LIONEL THEN (?) AND NOW

I don’t doubt Diana Ross’ story of working with Lionel.  He was young and coming off huge success with the Commodores and was launching his solo career.

I know him as a gentle, fun man that I met in Las Vegas last December.  When I went to shake hands with him, he grabbed me and said, “I’m a hugger”.

Capture2

Earlier this week, Lionel turned 69!  To honor that, here’s my favorite Lionel Richie song.

If you want to know what my other 19 favorites are since you know I love countdowns, click here.  It’ll open in a new window!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/my-20-favorite-lionel-richie-songs/

90s NOSTALGIA

Living in Duluth, my television market covers parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and two counties in Upper Michigan.

My part of the state is called the “Northland”, which is not to be confused with the “Northwoods” of northern Wisconsin!

My first Wisconsin experience was in the late-1980s visiting a friend’s family in Merrill.  In the summer of 1990, I moved to Milwaukee for four months before moving back to Kentucky.

In July 1996, I took my first network affiliate television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  I was there for just about five months.

However, moving back to the upper Midwest makes me nostalgic about those times even though they were short.

So, over the new few weeks, I’ll share some of the songs that were impressionable to me during those times!

Remember this one from 1990?

That was Taylor Dayne’s seventh consecutive Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 hit.  It was the third release from the “Can’t Fight Fate” album.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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My 20 Favorite Lionel Richie Songs

I just booked a solo trip to Vegas this December to see one of my favorite cities decked out in its Christmas best.

And, wouldn’t it just be too much fun if there’s snow since I won’t likely see any in Panama City, Florida!

las-vegas-snow

Lionel Richie will be there the same week at The Axis at Planet Hollywood!

Lionel Mariah

I had tickets to see Lionel and Mariah Carey this past May in Nashville, Tennessee, but the tour was postponed and then Nashville wasn’t on the updated tour itinerary when it kicked off.

So, while I search for tickets, enjoy this trip down memory lane as I share with you my 20 favorite Lionel Richie Songs (okay, there are a few Commodores songs on the list and a duet with Diana Ross)!

What are your favorites???

lionel

For the record, narrowing this list down wasn’t easy.   As a solo artist, Lionel has 16 Hot 100 hits with thirteen of them reaching the Top Ten and five reaching #1!

With the Commodores, he also had 16 Hot 100 hits.  Nine reached the Top Ten and two topped the charts.

So, do the math — that’s 32 Top 40 hits with 22 reaching the Top Ten and making it to the top!

20

“THREE TIMES A LADY” (with the Commodores) (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1978)

19

DEEP RIVER WOMAN” (#71 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1987)

 

#18

“LADY (YOU BRING ME UP)” (with the Commodores) (#8 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1981)

#17

“STUCK ON YOU”  (#3 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1984)

16

“TRULY” (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1982) 

15

“LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL” (#9 –Billboard Hot 100 — 1986) 

14

“STILL” (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1979) 

13

“PENNY LOVER” (#8 –Billboard Hot 100 — 1985) 

12

“HELLO” (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1984) 

11

“SAIL ON”  (with the Commodores) (#4 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1979)

#10 MOVIE

“MY LOVE” (#5 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1983) 

9 CD

“DO IT TO ME” (#21 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1992) 

8

“ANGEL” (#70 — Billboard Hot 100 — 2000) 

#7 CD

“OH NO”  (with the Commodores) (#4 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1981) 

#6 CD

“ALL NIGHT LONG (ALL NIGHT)” (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1983) 

5

“RUNNING WITH THE NIGHT” (#7 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1984) 

4

“ENDLESS LOVE” (with Diana Ross) (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1981)

Bonus

“ENDLESS LOVE” (with Shania Twain) (#12 — Billboard Adult Contemporary — 2012)

#3 CD

“DANCING ON THE CEILING” (#2 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1986)

BIRTHDAY-CAKE-2-year-old

“SAY YOU, SAY ME” (#1 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1986)

1

“YOU ARE” (#4 — Billboard Hot 100 — 1983)

By chance, since Vegas is a city of chance, I hope Lionel gets to see this!

Anthony

 

My Fantasies Don’t Involve Football Leagues

I’m not really going to talk about the kind of fantasies that might involve Christian Grey (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) or since I mentioned football, Tom Brady.  Not that those would be bad, but…

Tom-Brady

Okay, minds out of the gutters.

Recently, I was talking about all of the “residencies” in Las Vegas, the ones coming up, and the “rumored” ones in the works.

Back in October 2012, I was fortunate to see the one of the best entertainers in music, Sir Elton John in “The Million Dollar Piano” at Caesars Palace.

Elton LasVegas

And, then last May, I saw Shania Twain at Caesars Palace.

Shania

And the night before I saw Shania, I saw Olivia Newton-John at the Flamingo.

Olivia

In addition to those “residencies”, I saw Madonna on my birthday in October 2012 at the MGM Grand.

Madonna

And, we saw Lady Gaga there on her “Born This Way Ball” Tour in January 2013 just three weeks before an injury, that required surgery, forced the cancellation of the rest of the tour.

Gaga Las Vegas

That was then and this is now.

Britney Spears is now playing a residency at Planet Hollywood and coming this summer at Caesars Palace, Mariah Carey will begin a residency in May and Reba and Brooks & Dunn will start in June.

Reba 2011

I absolutely adore Reba and I’ve seen her in concert twelve (yes, that’s 12) times and I met her ten years ago this April.

While I get lost in her beautiful voice, I would love to see Reba’s concerts in Vegas go back to the glitzy productions of costume changes, dancers, and various sets like when I first saw her in Chicago in 1995 and Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1996.

Every time since those first two shows, it was Reba in a no (or very few) frills concert — just her and her beautiful voice.

Reba’s new show with Brooks & Dunn is already selling out months in advance.

And, recently, it was announced that “The Boss” Diana Ross would be performing a nine-show engagement this spring at The Venetian.

The hotel is trying to become a competitive concert venue for residencies after a successful show with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Also, hushed rumors on “The Strip” say that talks are in the works for residencies for Ricky Martin, Lionel Richie, and the subject of today’s fantasy (see, I’m back to that again).

NO, MY FIRST NAME AIN’T BABY, IT’S JANET, MISS JACKSON, IF YOU’RE NASTY

Just the other day, I was saying that I’d love to see Janet Jackson in a residency in Vegas and then I see an article that she might be close to signing a deal with either The Venetian or Planet Hollywood when Britney’s “Piece of Me” show is on hiatus.

It’s also rumored that Miss Jackson will be dropping a new album in 2015.

I have two of Janet’s concert VHS tapes (no typo there, VHS — not DVD): “The Velvet Rope Tour” and “Live in Hawaii”.

Now, here’s where my ultimate fantasy comes in, as if seeing Janet for the first time in concert wouldn’t be enough.

Janet-Jackson-And-Paula-Abdul

Before Miss Jackson takes the stage, special guest Paula Abdul, Janet’s former choreographer, would come out and do a 20-minute set of her high-energy dance and pop radio hits from the late-1980s and early-1990s.  And, it would have to include “Rush Rush”!

At this point, my imagination runs away from me.  As Paula wraps up her set, either in a special effects hologram or on the concert monitors, Paula and Janet are in a diner in the current day and you hear:

“What’s up girl?
He stood me up again
Again?
Mmhmm
Well what’s up with this guy?
Do you really like him that much?
Yes honey, I love him, he is fine,
he does a lot of nice things for me I know he used to do nice stuff for you,
but what has he done for you lately?

And, then the arena explodes with a fabulous light show and Janet kicking off a magical show with “What Have You Done For Me Lately”!

I can’t remember how many times my friend, Steve, and I did this video routine over the years getting ready to go out for a night of clubbing!

And, one final note about Vegas, concerts, and holograms.

I recently read that a new concert with a “hologram” Liberace is coming to town.

If that’s successful, I have one suggestion Vegas  — get Richard Carpenter on the line and bring the angelic-voiced Karen Carpenter back to life and back to the stage soon!

As you can tell, I’m obsessed with shows in Vegas.  There it isn’t just a concert, it is magic!

Don’t tell Ray, but I’ll be working on convincing him to retire to Las Vegas in a few years.

Anthony

A Night of (Fake) Stars

Now that I’ve been back from Las Vegas for almost two weeks, I’ve blogged about the Madonna and Elton John concerts, the fantastic food I ate, and seeing “Argo” and knowing that it’s going to be big at this year’s Oscars.

This is the final blog entry about that trip.  While some paid hundreds to more than a thousand dollars to see Madonna for her two concerts in Vegas, Ray and I really hit the jackpot on our last night in town.

We saw some of the biggest names in the entertainment business:  Madonna, Gaga, Whitney, Diana, Rihanna, Janet, Katy, Bette, and Dolly, all at the same show for the bargain ticket price of only $56 for the two of us!

Okay, it wasn’t the real stars.  It was part of the longest running show on the Las Vegas Strip, “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino.  But, Frank, who does an incredible Joan Rivers, wasn’t there that night.  However, there was no shortage of star power.

While the real Madonna was entertaining down the Strip at the MGM Garden Arena, the Diva’s “Madonna” held court as she opened the show.

The same entertainer that did Madonna also did Lady Gaga.

And, Dolly Parton!

While she wasn’t in “Thunderdome”, Tina Turner was there.

The late, great Miss Whitney Houston was alive and well on stage.

And, that performer returned later as “The Boss”, Diana Ross.

Katy Perry was on hand for the fun.

Oh, I think I forget to mention that the back-up dancers were hot!

Vegas would not be Vegas without the “Divine Miss M”, Bette Midler.

While Michael is resting in peace, Janet Jackson was definitely in “control”.

And, the performer that did Janet came back later in the show as Rihanna.

 

The emcee of the show filling in for Frank Marino was very funny and entertaining and she had a costume change after each performer!  I would have loved to see her do a number, too.

Sadly, Cher, Britney, and Reba were missing from the show.  Oh, Beyonce, was there.  However, it was more of a comical number that didn’t go over that well with me.  The performer was much better as Tina Turner.

If you’re in Vegas, you have to check out the “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” show.

Oh, did I mention that the Diva performers are female impersonators?

Anthony

Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks

It’s Friday and the traditional weekend is approaching.  I say that because my weekend, and vacation, started Wednesday.  Let’s flashback to the 1980s with three of my favorites.  One, you’ll definitely know, one will jog your memory, and one, you probably missed back then.

“Forever Your Girl” — Paula Abdul

Before she was a reality show loony bird, Paula Abdul was a choreographer for Janet Jackson and chart-topping pop star.  I remember buying her first 12″ dance single in 1988.  “Knocked Out” only made it #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it was a club hit.  The follow-up single only reached #88.  However, she became a household name with her third release from the album, “Forever Your Girl”.

“Straight Up” reached #1 on the Hot 100 and that started a run of eight consecutive Top Ten songs.  Of those eight, six reached #1 (In addition to “Straight Up”, there was “Forever Your Girl”, “Cold Hearted”, “Opposites Attract”, “Rush Rush”, and “The Promise of A New Day”.

Abdul’s last Top 40 hit on the Hot 100 was “My Love Is For Real” in 1995.  It reached #28.  Paula would go one to have 11 Top 40 hits with 8 of those hitting the Top Ten.

My selection today is the title track for her first album that reached the top of the charts in 1989.  It spent two weeks at #1 and the video was directed by David Fincher and starred a very young Elijah Wood and Trevor Wright, who went on to star in one of my favorite movies, “Shelter”.

 

“Ain’t Even Done With The Night” — John Cougar

This Indiana rocker hit the music scene with the name John Cougar and Johnny Cougar, but as he became a star, he changed it to John Cougar Mellencamp, and eventually, in 1991, he took back his real name and dropped the Cougar from his act.

I saw him in concert in the 1980s in Carbondale, Illinois, and he was fantastic.

John, as a I’ll call him today, had a total of 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  His first hit, “I Need A Lover” peaked at #28 in 1979 and he scored his last hit in 1996 with “Key West Intermezzo” and I admit by that time I was only listening to dance and country, so I don’t remember that one.

However, he hit it big in 1982 with his album, “American Fool” and the first two releases, the #2 “Hurts So Good” and the #1 smash, “Jack & Diane”.  That would be his only #1 song.

My selection today is a song that only reached #17 in 1981, but I still love “Ain’t Even Done With the Night” and it helped me transition over to pop music from country.  The album title, “Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did” is awesome!  (And, look at that baby face and he was 28!)

“Chain Reaction”  — Diana Ross

Diana Ross is one of the most successful artists in the history of music.  As a solo artist and as a member of  The Supremes, she hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 a total of 52 times.  Of those hits, 30 hit the Top Ten, and she has a total of 18 #1 songs.

Her first hit with The Supremes was in 1963 and the last #1 was “Someday We’ll Be Together”.  As a solo artist, her first release reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

However, her second solo hit, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” would become the first of six solo #1 songs.  That would be followed by “Touch Me In The Morning”, “Theme from Mahogany”, “Love Hangover”, “Upside Down”, and Endless Love” with Lionel Richie.

As a solo artist, Diana had 27  Top 40 songs and 12 of those reached the Top Ten.

My selection today, “Chain Reaction” is my favorite Diana Ross song.  It was a huge failure in the U.S.  It only reached #66 in two chart tries on the Billboard Hot 100, although it did reach #7 on the Billboard Dance Chart.  Bit, it did top the charts in the U.K. and Australia.

Have a great weekend!

Peeps