Tagged with "dr"
Andrea the Giant - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time Tags: andrea giant greatest wrestler all time word life production new quality entertainment feature blog

At 7'4" and 500 pounds, Andre the Giant could have been famous for his size alone. His drive, talent and ambition, however, proved to be as big as Andre himself, and the wrestler became legendary for his achievements in and out of the ring.

Andre was born Andre Rene Roussimoff in Grenoble, France on May 19, 1946. His parents, Boris and Marian Roussimoff, and four siblings were of average size. Andre, however, suffered from acromegaly, a disease that results in an over abundance of growth hormones. Also known as Giantism, this disease caused Andre's body to continue growing his whole life, and by the time he was 17 he stood 6'7".

Due to his immense stature it seemed inevitable that Andre would excel in the wrestling world. He had just started to make a name for himself in the ring as "Monster Eiffel Tower" or "Monster Roussimoff" when French-Canadian wrestler Edouard Carpentier first laid eyes on him. Carpentier was impressed with Andre's raw talent and decided to bring him to North America. Andre began wrestling under the name Jean Ferre in Canada for Grand Prix Promotions. In a short time Andre went from the undercard to being a headlining name. Inspired by the movie King Kong he acquired the nickname, "The 8th Wonder of the World," which stayed with him for the rest of his career.

By the time Andre had performed in front of 20,000 wrestling fans in Montreal, his legend had reached Vince McMahon, Sr. at the World Wide Wrestling Federation's (WWWF) headquarters. McMahon would forever alter Andre's life. In 1972, McMahon signed Andre to wrestle for the WWWF and changed his name to capitalize on his colossal size. "Andre the Giant" became one of the most recognizable names in wrestling. Andre performed under his new name at Madison Square Garden, where he easily defeated his opponent Buddy Wolfe without breaking a sweat. Before long, Andre's venues were sold out and wrestlers lined up to perform in his shadow. As Andre's fame grew to stardom, he was featured in Sports Illustrated in the largest feature they had ever published.

In 1987 Andre drew the biggest crowd in WWF (formerly WWWF) history thus far. A record 90,000 fans packed the Pontiac Silver Dome in Detroit, Michigan to watch Andre wrestle fellow legend Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania III. In all, Andre participated at six WrestleManias and faced some of the toughest opponents in the business, including Big John Studd and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. For many years he was known as the "Uncrowned Champion," until he found his place in infamy and held the WWF title for the shortest reign in history. This wasn't the only championship Andre captured - he also won titles in the (NWA), (IWA) and the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Andre's fame also opened the door to Hollywood. He made his acting debut in 1975 as "Big Foot" in The Six Million Dollar Man. Andre enjoyed the experience and went on to appear in television shows including B.J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy and The Greatest American Hero, and movies such as Conan the Destroyer, Micki and Maude, and Trading Mom. His favorite role, and the one for which he is best remembered, was the lovable giant "Fezzik" in Rob Reiner's classic The Princess Bride.

Andre's last television appearance was on a celebration of 20 years of NWA/WCW wrestling on TBS. Sadly, over the years the effects of acromegaly had continued to wear down his body. Eventually his immense size was just too much for his heart, and Andre the Giant died in Paris, France in his hotel room on January 27, 1993. His ashes were later taken home and spread over his North Carolina ranch.

Though professionally Andre will always be remembered as The 8th Wonder of the World, he is known and loved by fans across the globe as The Gentle Giant.

 

Source: Official Website

Jazz Legend - Ethel Waters
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: Black Swan; Broadway; Columbia Records; Cotton Club; His Eye is on the Sparrow; On

Abstract: Born in Chester on October 31 1900, Ethel Waters was an African American singer and actress famous for her style of “blues” as well as for leading the way for black entertainers of her time. Her career peaked during the roaring 1920s and continued throughout the 1930s during which time she completed the majority of her 259 recordings. Waters is best known for her performance of “Stormy Weather” at the Cotton Club in New York City, as well as her role of Hagar in On with the Show. She is also known for writing two critically acclaimed autobiographies, His Eye is on the Sparrow, which focuses on her beginnings and achievements as an entertainer, and To Me It’s Wonderful, which describes her participation in the Billy Graham Crusades that she toured with in her later years. Waters died in 1977 of heart disease.

Biography:

Ethel Waters was born the daughter of Louise Howard, on October 31 1900, at her great-aunt Ida’s home in Chester, Pennsylvania. Waters was a product of rape. At the age of 13, Waters’ mother was raped by John Waters (pianist). Waters said about her childhood, “I never was a child. I never was coddled, or liked, or understood by my family. I never felt I belonged. I was always an outsider.” Waters’ never had a relationship with her mother. Louise Howard moved away when Waters was a child, leaving her to the care of her grandmother, Sally Anderson. However, Waters’ spent most of her time with her aunts, Vi and Ching, because her grandmother worked long hours.

Though both alcoholic with terrible lifestyles, Waters’ aunts loved to sing. Waters wrote in her autobiography, Eye is on the Sparrow: “Vi had a sweet, soft voice. Ching’s was bell-like and resonant…One of the first pieces I remember Vi singing was ‘I Don’t Want to Play in Your Yard.’ Ching’s favorites were ‘There’ll Come a Time’ and ‘Volunteer Organist.’ But in the beginning it was always the story in the song that enchanted me.” These last few words explain Waters’ style of singing more than anything else. Waters was always able to tell a story with her music, though she would not figure this out until later in life.

As a young girl, Waters was exposed to a lot of negative things. She befriended a prostitute and witnessed the sexual relationships of her older sisters (they all shared a room). She grew up fast. Though she was exposed to these things, she didn’t allow them to influence her. Waters’ first steady job was at the Harrod Apartments in Philadelphia. She was a maid—a very humble job compared to what she would soon land. On October 17 1917, Waters’ seventeenth birthday, her friends convinced her to perform at a Halloween party. She sang a blues ballad which the crowd and a black vaudeville team (a group who would perform variety shows), Braxton and Nugent, loved. They approached her after the show and offered her $10 a week to join their team. Waters then began her steady ascent to fame.

Her first performance was in 1917 at the Lincoln Theater in Baltimore. She sang solos and was known as Sweet Mama Stringbean because, “I was so scrawny and tall.” Though the crowd was tough, and often louder than the performances, Waters’ voice would always capture the audience. One night Waters decided to add a new song to her show. She took the song, “St. Louis Blues” and sang it more slowly, with more pathos. She says, “You could have heard a pin drop in that rough, rowdy audience.” Her version of the song is now a classic and known to be the greatest blues song every written.

However, she was not involved with the most honest people. Waters soon found out that Braxton and Nugent were pocketing extra money from her act. At the time two other females were performing with Braxton and Nugent, as the Hill Sisters. After finding out about the scam Waters immediately left and the Hill Sisters followed. They decided to travel together as their own act.

They performed the same songs they did in Baltimore. One of them was Waters’ famous song, “St. Louis Blues.” They moved from theater to theater, performing for a different crowd every time. Though the Hill Sisters had good times, the trio did not last. The original Hill Sisters, Jo and Maggie, were jealous. There was backstage rivalry which stemmed from Waters’ success. Though they were a trio, Waters soon felt singled out and unwanted.

The trio turned into a duo, with just Jo and Ethel Waters. Though they traveled and sang together, Waters often took the spotlight. Once, Waters landed a job at 91 Decauter Street in Atlanta. That same night, Bessie Smith was on the bill. Smith had a lot of say with the managers, and forbid Waters to sing any blues while Smith was there. However, during Waters’ performance, the crowd began to shout, “Blues! Blues! Blues! Come on, Stringbean, we want your blues!” The manager was forced to revoke the ban placed on Waters. Bessie Smith personally gave Waters permission to sing “St. Louis Blues” and said to Waters after the show, “Come here long goody. You ain’t so bad. It’s only that I never dreamed that anyone would be able to do this to me in my own territory and with my own people. And you know damn well that you can’t sing worth a--” Waters had come into her own. She was a one-woman act.

“I still had no feelings of having roots. I was still alone and an outcast,” Waters says about her time with the Hill Sisters. After being injured in a car accident in 1918, Waters went back to Philadelphia. She placed her singing career on hold and began washing dishes at an automat. She did this until Joe Bright, a black actor-producer from New York, persuaded her to go back on stage. Wearily, in 1919, Waters accepted Bright’s offer and performed at Lincoln Theater in Harlem. It was during her second week at Lincoln Theater that her acquaintance, Alice Ramsey—a dancer—invited her to sing at Edmund’s Cellar. Waters began working there for $2 a night.

Her salary came from the audience in the form of tips. There were no set hours for work. Waters said, “There was no set closing time…I used to work from nine until unconscious.” Again, she changed her style of singing. Andrea Barnett writes in All-Night Party, “A pianist, Lou Henley, challenged Ethel to expand her repertoire, urging her to tackle more complex, ‘cultural’ numbers. But to Ethel’s surprise, she found that she could characterize and act out the songs just as she did with her blues. Audiences were enthusiastic.” More and more people would come to Edmond’s Cellar to watch Waters perform and tips became so good that musicians all around Harlem began looking for a chance to perform there. Waters’ finally began making a name for herself. Waters even went to Chicago at the request of Al Capone, who wanted her to sing at his bar. In 1929, with James P. Johnson as her accompanist, Ethel was singing songs like, “Am I Blue?” in On with the Show, where she was now making $1250 per week!

In All-Night Party, Andrea Barnet says, “Ethel’s versatility and inventiveness were beginning to serve her well. She had the sexual swagger of singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, yet her voice was softer. Ethel’s style was crisp and urbane, more northern.” She soon was noticed by Black Swan Records. She began recording with them and released a record with two sides. “Oh Daddy” and “Down Home Blues” were on that record, which sold 500, 000 copies in 6 months. Waters had recorded with pianist, Fletcher Henderson. The duo was so successful that they toured through the South and became the first black musicians to broadcast on the radio. Ethel continued to perform with various artists: female pianist, Pearl Wright, dancer, Ethel Williams (suspected to be her lover). She was living a lavish lifestyle, but her music never reflected her extravagant lifestyle. Instead, they reflected a more negative side of Waters’ adult life.

Ethel Waters held a few rocky relationships in her lifetime. She once dated a drug addict and thief. She married and divorced three times, though she rarely talks about two of her marriages. There are also rumors that Waters was bisexual. Though she tried to keep this private, she was often seen fighting in public with whichever girlfriend she was with at the time. The nature of her relationships was often reflected in her music; her songs are full of heartbreak. There was also another aspect of Waters music that must be noted. According to Barnet, “…besides the sweeter quality of her voice, she was just as likely to take a more droll, comedic view of male-female relations, making mischievous sport of both sexes.” Though singing was a great part of Waters career, she also became an actress.

Waters acted in a number of films and Broadway plays. In Waters’ opinion, her greatest role was that of Hagar in Mamba’s Daughters on Broadway in 1939 where she gave 17 curtain calls on opening night. In Mamba’s Daughters Waters plays a woman sent to exile after committing a minor crime. Consequently, she has to leave her daughter, Lissa, to the care of her mother, Mamba. Years later, Hagar must make one more sacrifice for her daughter, who is on her way to fame and fortune. She felt that Hagar paralleled her own mother’s life, and she put all of the emotion that she had into each performance. She was also the first black woman to ever star in a dramatic play on Broadway. In 1950, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Pinky. In the movie, she plays the grandmother of Pinky, a young light-skinned woman, who passes for white while attending school in the North. In that same year she won the New York Drama Critics Award for her role in the play, The Member of the Wedding. Her co-star was the actress Julie Harris. Waters continued to land a number of roles in films and plays. She performed in Cairo (1942), Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Member of the Wedding (1952) and was even a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1972.

Ethel Waters also wrote two autobiographies. In 1951, His Eye is on the Sparrow was published. Her second autobiography, To Me it’s Wonderful, was published in 1977.

Ethel Waters’ career began to slow as the blues began to fade out of pop culture, but she was able to continue her career largely because of her ability to identify with the characters she played and the songs that she sang. Waters died on September 2, 1977, in Chatsworth, California. She will always be remembered for her incredible vocal and theatrical performances, and for being a woman who broke racial boundaries by playing in black and white vaudeville companies and earning equal praise in both.

Decades after her death, three of Waters’ singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Dinah” in 1998 for Traditional Pop, “Stormy Weather” in 2003 for Jazz, and “Am I Blue?” in 2007 for Traditional Pop.

Works:

  • His Eye Is on the Sparrow. (with Charles Samuels) New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1951.
  • To Me It’s Wonderful. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1972.

Sources:

  • Barnet, Andrea. All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem 1913-1930. New York, New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.
  • Carr, Larry. “Ethel Waters.” Jazzateria.com. 2004. 15 Oct. 2004. .
  • Gourse, Leslie. Sophisticated Ladies. New York, New York: The Penguin Group, 2007.
  • Marks, Peter. “A Familiar Tale of Sacrifice, traversing Today and ’39.” New York Times 25 Feb. 1998 .

This biography was written by Julia J. Spiering, Fall 2004; revised and extended by Joanne A. Gedeon, Spring 2010.

 

A moment in history with - Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche
Category: Black Men Rock!
Tags: dr ralph johnson bunche moment history black men rock word life production new quality

Ralph Johnson Bunche (August 7, 1904-1971) was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Fred Bunche, was a barber in a shop having a clientele of whites only; his mother, Olive (Johnson) Bunche, was an amateur musician; his grandmother, «Nana» Johnson, who lived with the family, had been born into slavery. When Bunche was ten years old, the family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the hope that the poor health of his parents would improve in the dry climate. Both, however, died two years later. His grandmother, an indomitable woman who appeared Caucasian «on the outside» but was «all black fervor inside»1, took Ralph and his two sisters to live in Los Angeles. Here Ralph contributed to the family's hard pressed finances by selling newspapers, serving as house boy for a movie actor, working for a carpet-laying firm, and doing what odd jobs he could find.

His intellectual brilliance appeared early. He won a prize in history and another in English upon completion of his elementary school work and was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where he had been a debater and all-around athlete who competed in football, basketball, baseball, and track. At the University of California at Los Angeles he supported himself with an athletic scholarship, which paid for his collegiate expenses, and with a janitorial job, which paid for his personal expenses. He played varsity basketball on championship teams, was active in debate and campus journalism, and was graduated in 1927, summa cum laude, valedictorian of his class, with a major in international relations.

With a scholarship granted by Harvard University and a fund of a thousand dollars raised by the black community of Los Angeles, Bunche began his graduate studies in political science. He completed his master's degree in 1928 and for the next six years alternated between teaching at Howard University and working toward the doctorate at Harvard. The Rosenwald Fellowship, which he held in 1932-1933, enabled him to conduct research in Africa for a dissertation comparing French rule in Togoland and Dahomey. He completed his dissertation in 1934 with such distinction that he was awarded the Toppan Prize for outstanding research in social studies. From 1936 to 1938, on a Social Science Research Council fellowship, he did postdoctoral research in anthropology at Northwestern University, the London School of Economics, and Capetown University in South Africa.

Throughout his career, Bunche has maintained strong ties with education. He chaired the Department of Political Science at Howard University from 1928 until 1950; taught at Harvard University from 1950 to 1952; served as a member of the New York City Board of Education (1958-1964), as a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University (1960-1965), as a member of the Board of the Institute of International Education, and as a trustee of Oberlin College, Lincoln University, and New Lincoln School.

Bunche has always been active in the civil rights movement. At Howard University he was considered by some as a young radical intellectual who criticized both America's social system and the established Negro organizations, but generally he is thought of as a moderate. From his experience as co-director of the Institute of Race Relations at Swarthmore College in 1936, added to his firsthand research performed earlier, he wrote A World View of Race (1936). He participated in the Carnegie Corporation's well-known survey of the Negro in America, under the direction of the Swedish sociologist, Gunnar Myrdal, which resulted in the publication of Myrdal's An American Dilemma (1944). He was a member of the «Black Cabinet» consulted on minority problems by Roosevelt's administration; declined President Truman's offer of the position of assistant secretary of state because of the segregated housing conditions in Washington, D. C.; helped to lead the civil rights march organized by Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965; supported the action programs of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and of the Urban League. Bunche has not himself formed organizations, nor has he aspired to positions of administrative leadership in existing civil rights organizations. Rather, he has exerted his influence personally in speeches and publications, especially during the twenty-year period from 1945 to 1965. His message has been clear: Racial prejudice is an unreasoned phenomenon without scientific basis in biology or anthropology; «segregation and democracy are incompatible»; blacks should maintain the struggle for equal rights while accepting the responsibilities that come with freedom; whites must demonstrate that «democracy is color-blind»2.

Ralph Bunche's enduring fame arises from his service to the U. S. government and to the UN. An adviser to the Department of State and to the military on Africa and colonial areas of strategic military importance during World War II, Bunche moved from his first position as an analyst in the Office of Strategic Services to the desk of acting chief of the Division of Dependent Area Affairs in the State Department. He also discharged various responsibilities in connection with international conferences of the Institute of Pacific Relations, the UN, the International Labor Organization, and the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.

In 1946, UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie «borrowed» Bunche from the State Department and placed him in charge of the Department of Trusteeship of the UN to handle problems of the world's peoples who had not yet attained self-government. He has been associated with the UN ever since.

From June of 1947 to August of 1949, Bunche worked on the most important assignment of his career - the confrontation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. He was first appointed as assistant to the UN Special Committee on Palestine, then as principal secretary of the UN Palestine Commission, which was charged with carrying out the partition approved by the UN General Assembly. In early 1948 when this plan was dropped and fighting between Arabs and Israelis became especially severe, the UN appointed Count Folke Bernadotte as mediator and Ralph Bunche as his chief aide. Four months later, on September 17, 1948, Count Bernadotte was assassinated, and Bunche was named acting UN mediator on Palestine. After eleven months of virtually ceaseless negotiating, Bunche obtained signatures on armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab States.

Bunche returned home to a hero's welcome. New York gave him a «ticker tape» parade up Broadway; Los Angeles declared a «Ralph Bunche Day ». He was besieged with requests to lecture, was awarded the Spingarn Prize by the NAACP in 1949, was given over thirty honorary degrees in the next three years, and the Nobel Peace Prize for 1950.

Bunche still works for the UN. From 1955 to 1967, he served as undersecretary for Special Political Affairs and since 1968 has been undersecretary-general. During these years he has taken on many special assignments. When war erupted in the Congo in 1960, Dag Hammarskjöld, then secretary-general of the UN, appointed him as his special representative to oversee the UN commitments there. He has shouldered analogous duties in Cyprus, Kashmir, and Yemen.

Replying to an interviewer on the UN's intervention in international crises, Bunche remarked that the «United Nations has had the courage that the League of Nations lacked - to step in and tackle the buzz saw»3. Ralph Bunche has supplied a part of that courage.4

 Selected Bibliography

Bennett, Lerone, Jr., Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America. 4th ed. Chicago, Johnson Publishing Co., 1969.

Bunche, Ralph J., Extended Memorandum on the Programs, Ideologies, Tactics and Achievements of Negro Betterment and Interracial Organizations. A research memorandum for use in the preparation of Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma. Original typescript (1940) deposited in New York Public Library; microfilm copies made in 1968 available in the libraries of the Universities of Illinois, Iowa, and California at Berkeley.

Bunche, Ralph J., French Administration in Togoland and Dahomey. Ph.D.dissertation. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Graduate School, 1934.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Human Relations and World Peace», in Gustavus Adolphus College Bulletin, 17 (1950). An address given at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minn.) Commencement and Bernadotte Memorial Dedication, June 4, 1950.

Bunche, Ralph J., «My Most Unforgettable Character», Reader's Digest, 95 (September, 1969) 45 - 49.

Bunche, Ralph J., Native Morale in The Netherlands East Indies. Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of State for the Library of Congress, 1941.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Peace and Human Progress», in Symposium on World Cooperation and Social Progress. New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1951.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Peace and the United Nations», the Montague Burton Lecture on International Relations. Leeds, England, University of Leeds, 1952.

Bunche, Ralph J., «United Nations Intervention in Palestine», in Colgate Lectures in Human Relations, 1949. Hamilton, N.Y., Colgate University, 1949.

Bunche, Ralph J., «What America Means to Me», as told to Irwin Ross. The American Magazine, 149 (February, 1950) 19, 122-126. Reprinted in Negro Digest (September, 1950).

Bunche, Ralph J., A World View of Race. Washington, D.C., Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936. Reissued, Port Washington, N.Y., Kennikat Press, 1968.

Flynn, James J., «Ralph Johnson Bunche: Statesman», in Negroes of Achievement in Modern America. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1970.

Hughes, Langston, «Ralph Bunche: Statesman and Political Scientist», in Famous American Negroes. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1954.

Italiaander, Rolf, Die Friedensmacher: Drei Neger erhielten den Friedens-Nobelpreis. Kassel, W. Germany, Oncken, 1965. Brief biographies of Bunche, King, and Luthuli.

Kugelmass, J. Alvin, Ralph J. Bunche: Fighter for Peace. New York, Julian Messner, 1952.

Myrdal, Gunnar, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. New York, Harper, 1944.

Phifer, Gregg, «Ralph Bunche: Negro Spokesman», in American Public Address, ed. by Loren Reid. Columbia, Mo., University of Missouri Press, 1961.


1. Bunche pays tribute to this «matriarch» of the family in an autobiographical fragment in Reader's Digest, «My Most Unforgettable Character».

2. See Gregg Phifer, «Ralph Bunche: Negro Spokesman», passim.

3. «Crisis», in The New Yorker, 43 (July 29, 1967) 23.

4. Suffering from heart disease and diabetes, Mr. Bunche resigned as UN undersecretary-general on October 1, 1971. He died on December 9, 1971.

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1926-1950, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

 

Ralph Bunche died on December 9, 1971.

 

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1950

Source: Nobleprize.org

This week's celebrity pick is the fantastic Actor, Idris Elba
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: celebrity pick idris elba fantastic actor word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Idris Elba is an award-winning British actor known for roles in screen projects like The Wire, Luther, Thor and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Synopsis

Born on September 6, 1972, in London, England, actor Idris Elba starred in British productions before making his way to the United States, earning acclaim as a crime boss in The Wire. He turned to film with a mix of lead and supporting roles in fare like Daddy's Little Girls, Thor and Prometheus. Elba won a Golden Globe Award for his role on the television series Luther and played Nelson Mandela in the biopic Long Walk to Freedom.

Background

Idrissa Akuna Elba was born on September 6, 1972, in the Hackney section of East London, England. An only child of Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian descent, Elba eventually attended the National Youth Music Theatre's training programs. He landed a number of British television roles and worked with his father in a car factory before eventually making his way to America. He settled in Brooklyn, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey, working as a doorman at the comedy club Carolines and DJing while struggling to make ends meet.

'Wire' Breakthrough

Idris Elba got his major break starring as crime boss "Stringer" Bell on several seasons of the highly acclaimed HBO drama The Wire. Other parts followed, though Elba later lamented that he was continuing to get lots of offers for gangster roles during this time.

The statuesque Elba transitioned to a big-screen career as well, landing film roles in a variety of genres. He starred as a mechanic in director Tyler Perry's feature Daddy's Little Girls (2007), a general in the zombie-laden 28 Weeks Later (2007) and a devoted husband opposite Beyoncé Knowles in Obsession (2009). Sci-fi/fantasy beckoned to the actor as well, as seen with his roles as Norse god Heimdall in Marvel Comics' Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branagh, and as ship captain Janek in Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012). Other films on Elba's roster from this period include This Christmas (2007) and RocknRolla (2008).

'Luther' and 'Mandela'

Elba also continued his TV work over the years with series like The Office, The Big C and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The actor has received multiple Emmy Award nominations and won a 2012 Golden Globe Award for his lead role on the BBC America series Luther, as a driven yet tortured detective whose conduct brings up ethical issues. Rumors have also circulated that Elba could be the next James Bond, succeeding Daniel Craig.

In the summer of 2013, Elba was seen as Stacker Pentecost in Guillermo del Toro's robotics-and-monsters flick Pacific Rim. That fall, he earned raves for his portrayal of President Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring opposite Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The actor earned Oscar buzz and was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance as the famed South African activist (he lost the Globe to Matthew McConaughey, who won for his lead role in 2013's Dallas Buyers Club). Around this same time, Elba was cast in a role in the thriller No Good Deed (2014), directed by Sam Miller.

Elba has continued to spin as a DJ internationally. He's also performed as a singer and rapper, going by the name (Big) Driis.


Source: Biography.com

Maurette Brown-Clark - The Dream Tags: dream maurette brown clark true worship music word life production new quality music

Maurette Brown-Clark, Gospel’s newly crowned “Princess of Praise & Worship” has been blessing the world with her soul stirring, heart felt alto voice since 1990. The journey that lead this thirty-something year old wife, mother of three, to her third album, The Dream, began while growing up in Long Island, New York.

One of four children (one sister and two brothers), Brown-Clark was raised by two music loving parents in a household steeped in Jesus, the church, love of family, and the power of music as a ministry.

Little did her parents know that having her sing with her siblings in the family group, and making sure Brown-Clark took piano lessons would be the foundation of a recording career and life’s ministry for this singer, songwriter, and producer.

Maurette Brown - Clark was musically influenced by her parents and some of New York’s greatest gospel artists, including one who lived just two towns over, Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Brown-Clark says, “He would come over to our church Little Zion and I would be mesmerized.... just blown away! I was a teenager back then...didn’t know it...couldn’t quite put my finger on it...but it was the anointing. And I knew that’s what I wanted. How Donnie was affecting me, that’s how I want to affect people. Although, I was later influenced by CeCe Winans and my mentor, Richard Smallwood, Donnie affected the way that I wanted to live for Jesus, through my music.”

After graduating from high school, Brown-Clark furthered her studies and graduated from the University of Maryland. At this point she began to question her life and reason for existing. She pondered, “I went to college, I did okay, I’ve got my degree in business, I’m working, got a piece of car, got a piece of an apartment…life is good! And then I thought, ‘This can’t be everything.’ I just started looking at my mortality. I asked myself, ‘What do I want to leave behind? Why am I here now?’ Now, sixteen years later, I truly believe that it is for His glory. I’ve realized that I have one life to live and I’m here to try to win souls for Christ. And the best way that I know how to do that is through my music. Before it was just something to do...now it is a calling and a passion.”

Recognizing the calling God had placed on her life, she remained in the Baltimore area after college singing as a solo artist. Word quickly spread about this petite gifted singer with a unique, strong alto voice, armed with a powerful conviction for Christ. During this time she didn’t have a recording contract, but held that desire in her heart and began honing her craft, singing wherever she could minister, networking and producing a demo tape. She knew that all things happen in God’s own time, not hers.

While singing in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area, she would see international gospel recording artist Richard Smallwood at events. There was talk in gospel circles that Smallwood had a dream about a choir he was inspired by God to put together and they would record with him. Also that he dreamed every individual member of it. A friend told

Maurette Brown-Clark

The Dream pg. 2

Brown-Clark that she was one of the choir members that appeared in Smallwood’s dream and that he was looking for her. She says, “My friend told me, ‘Richard Smallwood is looking for you....here’s his number, call him.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, right...do I owe him money?’ But I nervously dialed the number...And I went to that first rehearsal. He’s been stuck with me ever since!”

After she recorded with Vision (Smallwood’s group) and gained notoriety for her anointed performance as co-lead on their classic song, “Angels,” labels took notice. She soon signed her first major deal with Verity Records and released her debut solo project, How I Feel in 1998. It spawned the hit, “Breaking of Day.” Shortly after, Verity Records released her from its roster; Ironically, She received a Stellar Award for that project. It would be a few years before she signed with Atlanta International Records (AIR Gospel) and recorded another studio album, By His Grace, which was released in 2002. Disappointment loomed again. By His Grace met with critical acclaim, but didn’t reach the heights the label had expected. In her heart she knew it didn’t capture all of her. And for the second time, she was facing the possibility of being released. An executive at AIR Gospel believed so much in her that he went to bat for her with the owner and convinced him to give her another chance to record a CD her way, live, and with some of the best writers and a top producer.

It all came to fruition on September 17, 2004 when she recorded the highly anticipated, The Dream, her third album, at the Empowerment Church, in Baltimore, Maryland. There were technical problems at the live recording which resulted in the air conditioning being turned off in a packed house with over 2,000 people sitting there, sweating and fanning, yet staying glued to the edge of their seats as Brown-Clark fought through the adversities and blessed the crowd with the fire in her soul on anointed song after song. Brown-Clark says, “I just feel like the enemy was allowed to take his best shot the night of the recording...the power went out...and he’s been taking his best shot the entire few years since the recording and I just hope that I’ve been found waiting right.”

Brown-Clark was eagerly anticipating The Dream’s release in 2005 when another major career twist hit her. Atlanta International Records (AIR Gospel) was acquired by the Malaco Music Group & Select-O-Hits. She found herself with yet another label, this time with her most personal and prized project to date in the palms of another set of hands. Brown-Clark says, “I’ve had health challenges, label challenges, my third record with a third record label. So I’ve had to explain to three sets of people who Maurette is, what my vision is...and hoping that they catch my vision.”

Maurette Brown-Clark

The Dream pg. 3

God’s favor is still shining on Brown-Clark and her hopes are high being at her new label home, Malaco. A label that gets her and the vision she has for The Dream.

The Dream is a 13 song powerful CD that was produced by top gospel producer Asaph Ward (Kim Burrell, Men of Standard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Evelyn Turrentine Agee, The Tommies). It features four songs written by Brown-Clark, the Richard Smallwood penned Praise and Worship song, “Lord We Praise Your Name” and a re-make of the Donnie McClurkin & New York Restoration Choir classic, “We Worship You.” Other writers on the project include hit making Stellar Award winning writer Jonathan Nelson (“Healed” by Donald Lawrence), Anthony and Eddie Brown. Brown-Clark says, “I wrote some of the songs and then I went out to other artists and songwriters that I knew, loved, and that wrote my heart. They wrote as if they were up in my house living with me...hanging out with me. And so I feel like I literally wrote all of the songs.”

The Dream’s title track has special meaning to Brown-Clark because it embodies God’s calling, the purpose of her life, and a dream she had in the 1990s that showed her leading others to Christ through her music ministry.

The Dream is myriad of Gospel music styles, crossing denominational lines and is poised to cross the lines of Gospel and Christian radio formats. Its inspiring music ranges from Praise and Worship, Contemporary Gospel, Contemporary Christian , to Jazz infused songs, and of course Traditional Gospel, all purposely recorded to touch a heart, inspire a life and lead a soul to Christ.

Brown-Clark says, “This CD is user friendly, just like the Internet, for whoever listens to it. The songs on The Dream are for everybody. But they are going to hit you differently at different points in your life depending on what you’re going through.”

Whether it’s, the upbeat first single and anthem of praise, “One God,” the moving title track “The Dream”, or the soul stirring song that encourages anyone who ever felt like giving up, “It Ain’t Over,” the rock tinged “Has God Done Anything For You?” the down home church tune, “Sovereign God,” and soon to be Sunday School and Children’s choir favorite, “I Am What God Says I Am” featuring Brown-Clark’s six year old daughter Jada, or her jazzy version of the church classic, “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.” The Dream will uplift you wherever you are.

Written by Lin. Woods

Source: Malaco Records

Next
1 2 3 4
RSS
Spread the word
Search

This website is powered by Spruz