Tagged with "silence"
This month let us celebrate the life and legacy of Eddie Guerrero Tags: moment silence eduardo gory eddie guerrero word life production new quality entertainment

Eduardo Gory "Eddie" Guerrero Llanes (October 9, 1967 – November 13, 2005), was a Mexican-American professional wrestler and a member of the Guerrero wrestling family. He performed in Mexico and Japan for several major professional wrestling promotions, and in the United States, performed for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Guerrero's gimmick was that of "Latino Heat," a crafty, resourceful wrestler who would do anything to win a match. His catchphrase became "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal! But at least I'm honest about it!" and was used in one of his entrance themes; he partly used this phrase in the title of his 2005 autobiography, "Cheating Death, Stealing Life."

Guerrero is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. At the time of his death, industry veterans Kurt Angle and William Regal both described him as "the best wrestler in the business" with Angle adding Guerrero "might have even been the best ever", while CM Punk and Sasha Banks have since regarded him as the greatest professional wrestler of all time. Others such as Gerald Brisco, Dusty Rhodes and Paul "Triple H" Levesque have all labeled him as one of the greatest talents of all time.

Despite being a villain for most of his career, he was popular in and out of the ring. He experienced various substance abuse problems, including alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers; these real-life issues were sometimes incorporated into his storylines.

Guerrero won 23 titles during his career, including 16 between WWE, WCW, ECW, and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), encompassing the WWE Grand Slam Championship. He was also a posthumous inductee into the WWE, AAA, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Hardcore halls of fame.

Guerrero was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School (La Jeff) in 1985. He attended the University of New Mexico as New Mexico Highlands University on an athletic scholarship. It was there that Guerrero entered collegiate wrestling before moving to Mexico to train as a professional wrestler. He followed in the footsteps of his brothers and father, who also wrestled in Mexico. As a boy, he would attend the wrestling promotions held by his father Gory Guerrero at the El Paso County Coliseum. Guerrero's father allowed him and his nephew Chavo to wrestle each other during intermissions.

Guerrero began wrestling as the original Mascara Magica in CMLL until his departure in 1992. He then left the company to pursue a career with AAA. Although the Mascara Magica gimmick was popular, CMLL owned the rights to the character. Guerrero then appeared on a televised AAA show as Mascara Magica, only to then unmask himself along with the aide of his tag team partner that night, Octagón. He was the first luchador to voluntarily unmask and was also immediately physically attacked by the opposing tag team for doing so.

Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (1992–1994)

In Mexico, he wrestled mainly for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), teaming with El Hijo del Santo as the new version of La Pareja Atómica (The Atomic Pair), the tag team of Gory Guerrero and El Santo.

After Guerrero turned on Santo and allied with Art Barr as La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror), the duo became arguably the most hated tag team in lucha libre history. Along with Barr, Konnan, Chicano Power, and Madonna’s Boyfriend, Guerrero formed Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans), a villainous stable. Guerrero later said that no matter how many people joined Los Gringos Locos, the stable was all about Art. Locos feuded mostly with El Hijo del Santo and his partner Octagón, eventually ending in a Hair vs. Mask match at the first lucha pay-per-view in America, When Worlds Collide, which they lost.

Guerrero and Barr's first break would come when they were noticed in late 1994 by the owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Paul Heyman, and were approached about wrestling for him in 1995. Barr, however, died before he could join ECW with Guerrero.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1993–1996)

In 1993, Guerrero began wrestling in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he was known as the second incarnation of Black Tiger. He became more successful upon his return when he won the Best of the Super Juniors 1996 tournament of junior heavyweights. He received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion The Great Sasuke at Skydiving J, but lost the match.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)

Guerrero won the ECW World Television Championship from 2 Cold Scorpio in his debut match for Extreme Championship Wrestling, and went on to have a series of acclaimed matches with Dean Malenko before they both signed with World Championship Wrestling later that year. Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship to Malenko on July 21 of that year, but Guerrero regained the title on July 28. Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship back to 2 Cold Scorpio on August 25.The next day, they had their last match which ended in a draw in a two out of three falls match at the ECW Arena. After the match, the locker room emptied and the two were carried around the ring by their fellow wrestlers while the crowd chanted "please don't go".

World Championship Wrestling

Early years (1989–1995)

Guerrero debuted in WCW in 1989 as a jobber, most notably wrestling Terry Funk. In 1991, he would return for Wrestle War, wrestling a dark match, teaming with Ultraman to defeat Huichol and Rudy Boy Gonzalez.

Guerrero returned to WCW in late 1995 along with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit with whom he had worked with in NJPW and ECW.  During his first few pay-per-view events, he competed in dark matches against Alex Wright. His first televised pay-per-view appearance was at World War 3 where he competed in the 3-ring, 60-man World War 3 battle royal for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Guerrero was one of the final nine men in the battle royal until he was tossed out of the ring by Four Horsemen members. At Starrcade 1995, Guerrero represented WCW in a WCW vs. NJPW World Cup tournament. He lost to Shinjiro Otani in the match, but WCW went on to win the series.

United States and Cruiserweight Champion (1996–1997)

In 1996, Guerrero received several shots at the United States Heavyweight Championship against Konnan at Uncensored and Ric Flair at Hog Wild. He feuded with Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen during 1996 after Guerrero's partner Arn Anderson turned on him during a tag team match against Ric Flair and Randy Savage. In late 1996, he feuded with Diamond Dallas Page after defeating him in a match at Clash of the Champions XXXIII. He started feuding with DDP to steal his nickname of "Lord of the Ring" but lost. Guerrero participated in a tournament for the vacant WCW United States Heavyweight Championship and defeated DDP in the final round at Starrcade 1996 to win the United States title.

In 1997, Guerrero defended the United States Heavyweight Championship against Scott Norton at Clash of the Champions XXXIV, Syxx in a ladder match at Souled Out, and Chris Jericho at SuperBrawl VII. His reign came to an end at Uncensored when Dean Malenko defeated him for the title.

After losing the United States Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero feuded with Jericho focusing on Jericho's Cruiserweight Championship. He challenged Jericho for the title at Clash of the Champions XXXV but lost. Guerrero demanded a rematch for the title. In the opening match of Fall Brawl 1997, Guerrero defeated Jericho to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship. He dropped the Cruiserweight title to Rey Mysterio Jr. at Halloween Havoc in a Title vs. Mask match where Mysterio's mask was also on the line. On the November 10 episode of Monday Nitro, he regained the Cruiserweight title from Mysterio, and made a successful title defense against Mysterio at World War 3. After retaining the title against Dean Malenko in the opening bout of Starrcade 1997, Guerrero dropped the title to Último Dragón the following day on the December 29 episode of Nitro.

Feud with Chavo and latino world order (1998)

Main article: Latino World Order

On the March 9, 1998 episode of Nitro, Guerrero's nephew Chavo Guerrero lost to Booker T in a match. After the match, Guerrero suplexed Chavo to teach him a lesson. On the March 12 episode of Thunder, he defeated his nephew Chavo in a match and forced him to become his "slave". At Uncensored, Chavo was forced to support Guerrero when he faced Booker T for Booker's WCW World Television Championship. Guerrero lost the match after receiving a missile dropkick. Guerrero and Chavo feuded with Último Dragón. Chavo lost to Dragón at Spring Stampede. At Slamboree, Guerrero defeated Dragón despite interference from Chavo. After the match, Chavo kissed Eddie and began to display insane behavior. At The Great American Bash, Chavo got an upset victory over Guerrero. They faced each other in a Hair vs. Hair match at Bash at the Beach which Guerrero won. Continuing to show his crazy behavior Chavo would shave his own head while Guerrero looked on in disbelief. Guerrero saved Chavo from beatings by Stevie Ray, seeming that he would align with Chavo but he wanted his release.

Despite his success and popularity, Guerrero had been one of many wrestlers who were frustrated at never being given a chance to be main event stars in WCW. These frustrations came to a head when Guerrero requested that WCW President Eric Bischoff either push his character or give him a raise for family reasons. Bischoff responded by allegedly throwing coffee at Guerrero (however, in his autobiography, Guerrero states that Bischoff accidentally knocked his coffee off the table and that it was a complete accident that he was hit). Furious, Guerrero demanded Bischoff release him from his contract on a live episode of Nitro. Guerrero then left the company for a period of months, angry at Bischoff for what he had done. Guerrero later returned to WCW, leading to the belief that maybe Guerrero's angry speeches against Bischoff were actually a work (Guerrero later confirmed it to be a worked shoot). Guerrero would later contradict himself on WWE's DVD Monday Night War claiming that he tried to put personal differences aside for the good of the company, yet found himself angry and outraged once more because of Bischoff's supposed continued refusal to elevate Guerrero and other similar wrestlers. He let Brian Adams pin him and get an upset victory in a match.

On-screen, Guerrero responded to Bischoff's actions by forming the Latino World Order (LWO), which was a take-off of Bischoff's New World Order. The group was an answer to Bischoff's "refusal" to push Latino wrestlers in ways they felt they deserved. The LWO was formed in October when Guerrero returned to WCW, with Héctor Garza and Damien.The group eventually grew to encompass almost all the Mexican wrestlers working for WCW at the time. They mainly feuded with Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman because they wanted Mysterio to join the group. He faced Kidman in a match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship but Mysterio interfered and helped Kidman win the match and keep the title. However, Guerrero was involved in a serious car accident on New Year's Day, 1999 that cut short the LWO storyline. Guerrero survived the accident and returned to wrestling in a matter of months.

The Filthy Animals (1999–2000)

Main article: The Filthy Animals

After his return on the May 31, 1999 episode of Monday Nitro, Guerrero became a founding member of The Filthy Animals alongside Rey Mysterio Jr. and Konnan. They feuded with the Dead Pool (Insane Clown Posse and Vampiro). They received two straight victories over the Dead Pool at Road Wild and Fall Brawl. They next feuded with The Revolution (Shane Douglas, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn). Guerrero was victorious over Saturn by disqualification in a singles match at Halloween Havoc. At Mayhem, the Animals lost to Revolution in a mixed tag team elimination match. When Vince Russo was fired as WCW booker and replaced by Kevin Sullivan, Guerrero asked for and received a release from his contract on January 19. He signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 2000 along with fellow WCW stars Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn.

World Wrestling Federation

The Radicalz (2000)

Main article: The Radicalz

Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn debuted in the WWF on the January 31, 2000 episode of Raw is War as The Radicalz, interfering in a match involving the New Age Outlaws. During his first match with the WWF, a tag team match with the Radicalz against the Outlaws, Guerrero performed a Frog Splash off the top rope and severely injured his elbow on the landing. As a result, he was sidelined for several weeks.

Latino Heat (2000)

Guerrero as European Champion with Chyna at the 2000 King of the Ring

In March 2000, Guerrero, who was wrestling as a villain, began pursuing the affections of Chyna, who he referred to as his "Mamacita". At the time, Chyna was allies with Chris Jericho and initially rejected his advances. The night after WrestleMania 2000, on the April 3, 2000 episode of Raw Is War, Guerrero faced off against Jericho for the European Championship. During the match, Chyna turned on Jericho and helped Guerrero win, and later explained her actions by declaring that she could not resist his "Latino Heat". After Chyna abandoned Lita to be attacked by The Dudley Boyz, he and Chyna began a feud with Essa Rios and Lita, ending in a European title defense at Backlash, which was also billed as the night of Guerrero's prom (he was said to have just earned a GED). Guerrero defeated Rios after arriving at ringside in a 1957 Chevrolet, even wrestling in his tuxedo pants and a bow tie. Guerrero successfully retained the title against former Radicalz friends Saturn and Malenko in a Triple Threat match at Judgment Day, before losing the title to Saturn at Fully Loaded. The two slowly began to become popular with the fans but over the next few months, friction began to build between Guerrero and Chyna.

Chyna was upset when Guerrero pinned her to advance in the King of the Ring tournament. Then at SummerSlam that August, Guerrero and Chyna wrestled a mixed tag team match against Trish Stratus and Val Venis, who at the time was the reigning Intercontinental Champion. The Intercontinental Championship was on the line in the match, and whoever scored the pin would win the title. Guerrero's team won the match, but Chyna scored the pin on Trish and became a two-time Intercontinental Champion. Although Guerrero said he didn't mind that his partner was the champion, on the September 4 episode of Raw Is War he went to WWF Commissioner Mick Foley and asked to be inserted into Chyna's title defense against Kurt Angle claiming that he did not want Angle to hurt his "mamacita". During the course of the match, Angle knocked down Chyna with the title belt and Guerrero laid on top of her to try to revive her. However, this resulted in Guerrero "accidentally" pinning Chyna as her shoulders were still on the mat, and thus Guerrero won the match and his first Intercontinental Championship. Chyna became visibly uncomfortable as Guerrero began to cheat in order to retain his title, while Guerrero was upset that Chyna was posing for Playboy magazine, even trying to invade the Playboy Mansion to stop the photo shoot. Just when it appeared that Chyna would leave Guerrero, he proposed to her and she accepted. At Unforgiven, Chyna helped Guerrero in retaining his title against Rikishi. The engagement was called off when Guerrero was caught showering with two of The Godfather's hos (one was Victoria) claiming that "two Mamacitas are better than one".

The Radicalz reunion (2000–2001)

 

Guerrero turned into a villain as a result of the incident. Then, the Radicalz reunited and feuded with the reformed D-Generation X (Chyna, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and K-Kwik). They defeated DX at Survivor Series in an elimination tag team match and assisted Triple H in his match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Guerrero was later defeated by Gunn for the Intercontinental Championship on the Thanksgiving edition of SmackDown. At Rebellion, Guerrero and Malenko lost to Gunn and Chyna. Benoit left the group to focus on a singles career while the rest of the Radicalz feuded with Lita and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). At Armageddon, the Radicalz defeated the Hardyz and Lita in an elimination tag team match.

In early 2001, Guerrero feuded with Chris Jericho, Benoit, and X-Pac over Jericho's Intercontinental Championship. At No Way Out, the four men faced each other in a Fatal Four-Way match, which Jericho won. Guerrero focused on the European Championship, feuding with the champion Test defeating him at WrestleMania X-Seven to win his second European Championship with help from Saturn and Malenko. In April, Radicalz feuded with Test and his partners. Guerrero eventually left the Radicalz, siding with the Hardy Boyz and Lita. At this point, Guerrero developed an addiction to pain medication stemming from his 1999 car accident and in May 2001 was sent to rehab. To explain his absence, a storyline was created where Guerrero was "injured" by Albert in a match. On November 9, 2001, he was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently released by the WWF three days later.

Independent circuit (2001–2002)

Guerrero started wrestling on the independent circuit after his release from WWF. On February 23, 2002 he faced Super Crazy on the debut show of Ring of Honor known as The Era of Honor Begins to crown the first-ever IWA Intercontinental Champion. Guerrero lost the match. On February 24, he debuted in the Australian promotion World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA) at The Revolution beating the champion Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis in a Triple Threat match for the WWA International Cruiserweight Championship. On March 1, he defeated the champion CM Punk and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat match for the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship. He dropped the title back to Punk one day later on March 2. He vacated the WWA Cruiserweight title in April 2002 after returning to WWF.

Guerrero returned to the WWE on the April 1, 2002 episode of Raw, attacking Rob Van Dam. He feuded with Van Dam, defeating him for his second WWE Intercontinental Championship at Backlash. After retaining the title against Van Dam at Insurrextion and Judgment Day, he finally lost the belt to Van Dam on the May 27 episode of Raw in a ladder match. Guerrero then feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin, but Austin left the WWE before a match could take place. Chris Benoit returned to WWE the night Guerrero lost the title and reunited with him. Guerrero and Benoit feuded with Ric Flair for a while and Guerrero lost a match to Flair at King of the Ring.

Guerrero lies on a corner, one of his characteristic traits

On August 1, 2002, Guerrero and Benoit began to wrestle exclusively for WWE's SmackDown! brand. Guerrero feuded with Edge, to whom he lost at SummerSlam. Guerrero continued his feud with Edge, whom he defeated at Unforgiven; they then had a No Disqualification match two weeks after Unforgiven on SmackDown which Edge won thus ending the rivalry. With Benoit focusing on Kurt Angle, Guerrero aligned himself with his nephew Chavo, forming the tag team Los Guerreros. In contrast to a previous WCW storyline with his nephew, Chavo fully agreed with his uncle as their slogan stated "We lie, we cheat, and we steal, but at least we're honest about it." In order to push the new tag team, vignettes were produced, which included things such as the two finagling their way into a rich lady's house and throwing a pool party. These segments marked the beginning of the rise of popularity for the team, especially Eddie, who continued to use the mannerisms.

The duo entered the eight-team tournament for the new WWE Tag Team Championship, sneaking past Rikishi and Mark Henry in the opening round, before starting a feud with the newly formed tag team of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. In one of the team's definitive moments, Chavo told Benoit that his former friend Guerrero was assaulted by his tag team partner Angle. Benoit ran to make the save, only to have himself locked inside a room. Guerrero then appeared in the room and assaulted Benoit with a steel chair. Benoit and Angle managed to overcome their differences and eventually defeated Los Guerreros in the tournament semi-finals. Later on, Benoit and Angle won the title. Benoit and Angle then fought for a trophy for being the first WWE Tag Team Champion. Much to Benoit's surprise, Los Guerreros helped him win the match.

At Survivor Series, Los Guerreros faced the new champions Edge and Rey Mysterio and the team of Angle and Benoit for the title. Guerrero made Mysterio submit to The Lasso From El Paso to win their first WWE Tag Team Championship. They were defeated by Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) on the February 6, 2003 episode of SmackDown!. Los Guerreros and Team Angle began feuding with each other. Los Guerreros participated at WrestleMania XIX as contenders for the Tag Team Title, along with the team of Benoit and Rhyno. Both teams lost to Haas and Benjamin in a Triple Threat match. At Backlash, Los Guerreros lost to Team Angle in a rematch.

Teaming with Tajiri and United States Champion (2003–2004)

Five days prior to Judgment Day, Chavo tore his biceps, forcing Guerrero to look for another partner. He chose Tajiri. They won the WWE Tag Team Championship, Guerrero's second and Tajiri's first at Judgment Day by defeating Team Angle in a ladder match. The following week, Guerrero and Tajiri managed to retain their title by cheating. In addition, they also defeated Roddy Piper and his protégé Sean O'Haire in Madison Square Garden. After Guerrero and Tajiri lost the titles to Team Angle on the July 3 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero turned on Tajiri, slamming his partner through the windshield of his low-rider truck. The next Smackdown! Guerrero said he did it because during the match Tajiri had accidentally hit his low-rider. Despite being portrayed as the heel, when Guerrero asked the audience if they blamed him for doing it, the audience responded by yelling "No!"

Guerrero in 2004

In July 2003, Guerrero competed in a tournament for the United States Championship. He managed to advance to the final round, defeating Último Dragón and Billy Gunn in the process, where he would meet Chris Benoit. At Vengeance, Guerrero turned to his cheating tactics, hitting Benoit with the belt at one point in the match. Guerrero tried to get Benoit in trouble by placing the title belt on top of the unconscious Benoit. It did not work, however, since he knocked out the referee earlier with a belt shot to the kidneys. The match ended with interference and a Gore from Rhyno, Benoit's own partner, who was furious at the team's failure. Guerrero himself said that this was a major point in the character of Latino Heat, since he himself realized that the fans wanted to see him lie, cheat, and steal. Guerrero pinned Benoit and won the United States Championship.

At SummerSlam, Guerrero retained his title by defeating Rhyno, Benoit, and Tajiri in a Fatal Four-Way match. He turned face again by engaging in a rivalry with John Cena. On the September 11 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero challenged Cena to a "Latino Heat" Parking Lot Brawl match for the United States Championship, which Guerrero won with help from his returning nephew, Chavo. The next week, Los Guerreros defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team (previously Team Angle) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, making Guerrero a double champion.

Guerrero engaged in a feud with Big Show, which involved Guerrero giving Big Show some laxative laced burritos and then later spraying Show from a sewage truck. The feud ended when Guerrero dropped the United States title to Big Show at No Mercy. Four days later, Los Guerreros lost the Tag Team Championship to the Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny). They began feuding with the Basham Brothers, but failed to regain the titles at Survivor Series. As Los Guerreros attempted to regain the tag team title, things began to go downhill between Chavo and Guerrero and animosity began to build. Chavo then attacked and turned on Guerrero after he suffered a beating from The Bashams. Guerrero feuded with Chavo and defeated him at the Royal Rumble to settle their feud.

WWE Champion (2004–2005)

Guerrero, with best friend Chris Benoit celebrating as reigning World Champions at WrestleMania XX

When Chris Benoit jumped to Raw after winning the Royal Rumble, using his title shot to go for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero won a 15-man Royal Rumble style match on the January 29, 2004 episode of SmackDown! to earn a shot at the WWE Championship. After becoming the number one contender, Guerrero elevated himself to main event status and began feuding with the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. At No Way Out, Guerrero defeated Lesnar in the main event to win the WWE Championship. The victory made him a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in the process. His next feud was with Kurt Angle, whom he defeated at WrestleMania XX to retain his title in his first big defense. At the end of this event, Guerrero celebrated in the ring with longtime friend Chris Benoit, who had just won the World Heavyweight Championship.

In March, he started a feud with fellow Texan John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) after JBL interrupted Guerrero's match with Booker T. The rivalry would soon turn personal when at a non-televised live event, JBL caused Guerrero's mother to suffer a (kayfabe) heart attack. At Judgment Day, Guerrero defended his WWE title against JBL and retained the title after getting himself disqualified, hitting JBL with the championship belt. The match witnessed Guerrero bleed heavily mid-way in the match, and later cause him to go into shock after the event had ended. A few days after Judgement Day, Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam faced JBL and The Dudley Boyz in a tag-team match. During the match, Guerrero suffered an illness collapsing to the ring. JBL, smart and worried in that situation, pinned Guerrero forcing the referee count to allow reliefs. WWE, within fan's incertitude and concern, formalized what happened as a way to emphasize Guerrero's bladejob at Judgement Day. At The Great American Bash, Guerrero defended the title against JBL in a Texas Bullrope match. JBL won after Angle (who was General Manager of SmackDown! at the time) reversed the decision after Guerrero appeared to have retained the title. On the July 8 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero pulled a switcharoo with Shannon Moore, who was wrestling as "El Gran Luchadore" and wore the costume. The next week on SmackDown!, Guerrero faced JBL in a steel cage match for the WWE title where El Gran Luchadore appeared again and cost Guerrero the match; he later revealed himself as Kurt Angle. Guerrero continued his feud with Angle again. At SummerSlam, Guerrero lost to Angle after submitting to his ankle lock. Guerrero then allied himself with the Big Show. Each week Angle and his new allies Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak began targeting Guerrero and Big Show. Guerrero defeated Reigns in a singles match at No Mercy. General Manager Theodore Long booked a Survivor Series Elimination match between a team led by Guerrero and a team led by Angle. Guerrero's team consisted of himself, Big Show, John Cena (replacing the originally chosen Rey Mysterio), and Rob Van Dam. At Survivor Series, Guerrero's team defeated Angle's team. Guerrero, along with Booker T and The Undertaker, then challenged JBL for a WWE Championship rematch. Along the way, Guerrero found a partner in Booker T. At Armageddon, Guerrero and Booker's initial teamwork broke away, and the match ended with JBL pinning Booker following the Clothesline From Hell. Afterwards, Guerrero and Booker briefly and unsuccessfully attempted to win the Tag Team Championship.

Last feuds (2005)

At the Royal Rumble, Guerrero entered at #1 and lasted 28:11 before being eliminated. In a humorous skit before the Rumble, he drew his number the same time Ric Flair drew his. In an attempt to get a better draw, Guerrero switched his number with Flair's (and stole Flair's wallet in the process). Theodore Long made him return both items before the match. Flair would enter at #30. At No Way Out, Guerrero teamed up with longtime friend and sometimes rival, Rey Mysterio and defeated The Basham Brothers to win his final title, the WWE Tag Team Championship for a fourth time, with it being Mysterio's third reign. Many expected the new champions to defend their title at WrestleMania 21, but after encouragement from Chavo, Guerrero challenged Mysterio to a one-on-one match instead so they could "bring the house down". The two wrestled a match at WrestleMania with Mysterio getting the win. Although visibly frustrated, Guerrero congratulated his partner. After several mishaps in the weeks following WrestleMania, the growing tension between Guerrero and Mysterio finally erupted when they lost their tag team championship to the new team MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury) on the April 21 episode of SmackDown!. Although the next week they received a rematch to regain the title, Guerrero slowly began turning heel again by abandoning his partner, whom he had considered "his family" earlier in the show.

Guerrero and Mysterio with the WWE Tag Team Championship belts

At the end of the May 5, 2005 episode of SmackDown!, he attacked his former tag team partner, Mysterio, leaving him bruised and bloody after suplexing him onto a set of steel steps thus completing his brief heel turn. Guerrero, having turned heel, then adopted a new, somewhat sociopathic gimmick. During this time, he also stopped driving his low-riders down the ring and walked to the ring slowly with a frown on his face, gained a new theme which was a darker remix of "Lie, Cheat, And Steal" and started using his other finishing move, the Lasso from El Paso, more often. At Judgment Day, Guerrero lost to Mysterio by disqualification after hitting Mysterio with a chair.

On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero threatened to reveal a secret about Mysterio and his son Dominick. The storyline grew to involve the families of both men, with both sides pleading for Guerrero not to reveal the secret. Mysterio defeated Guerrero again at The Great American Bash, a match with a stipulation that if Guerrero lost, he would not tell the secret. Yet Guerrero revealed the secret anyway on the following episode of SmackDown! – telling Dominick and the audience that Guerrero was his real father. In the following weeks, Guerrero revealed the details of the secret in a series of what he called "Eddie's Bedtime Stories". During that time he now had a dark comical gimmick. He claimed that he had a child out of wedlock (Dominick) while his marriage was going through hard times. He claimed he then allowed Mysterio and his wife, who were "having trouble conceiving", to adopt the child as their own. At SummerSlam, Guerrero lost a ladder match over Dominick's custody to Mysterio. Their feud ended when Guerrero gained a victory over Mysterio in a steel cage match.

Following his feud with Rey Mysterio, Guerrero was named number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship and given a title match with Batista. Despite this, Guerrero quickly proclaimed himself to be Batista's friend. Batista was well aware of Guerrero's sneaky reputation, and despite eventually accepting his friendship (initially to keep an eye on him), Batista would continually play mind games with Guerrero to expose his true intentions. A series of matches with MNM only supported Batista's suspicions that Guerrero was up to no good, as Guerrero appeared to have reverted to his cheating ways. In response to Batista's suspicions, Guerrero helped Batista win a match against his tag team partners, John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Christian. Batista defeated Guerrero at No Mercy to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in what would be Guerrero's last pay-per-view match. During the match, Guerrero struggled with a decision about whether or not to use a steel chair to secure the victory, eventually opting not to use it and losing as a result. Though the two demonstrated mutual respect after the match, Guerrero seemed displeased by the loss. Guerrero told Batista that he realized how low he had sunk since losing the WWE Championship in 2004, having attacked his best friend Rey Mysterio. Guerrero told Batista that shaking his hand at No Mercy had returned his respect to him. After the match, Batista called Guerrero back out and sang "Happy Birthday" and, along with the crowd, celebrated Guerrero's 38th birthday. He would make his entrance the following SmackDown! using his signature low rider and old entrance theme with Batista, turning face again for the last time. He wrestled his last match on SmackDown!, airing November 11, defeating Mr. Kennedy using his signature lie, cheat, and steal tactics, which allowed him to advance to the Survivor Series team. On the date of his death, a triple threat match between himself, Batista, and Randy Orton was supposed to take place to air on the following episode of SmackDown! for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Guerrero had been booked to win the title so Batista could take time off to heal from an injured back. Orton was given Guerrero's spot in the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match between Raw and SmackDown!, which SmackDown! would win, with Orton being the sole survivor.

Other media

Guerrero, as Black Tiger, in Toukon Retsuden 3

 

On March 13, 2004, Guerrero (WWE Champion), along with Big Show, Trish Stratus and Chris Jericho, made a guest appearance on MADtv as he and the other wrestlers "beat up" Frank Caliendo (portraying Jay Leno) while Aries Spears (portraying The Tonight Show Band leader Kevin Eubanks) watched on. There have also been several DVDs and books released about his life and career, including Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story (DVD, 2004), Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story (book, 2005), and Viva La Raza: The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero (DVD 2008). In addition, the song "We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal" that he performed with Chavo was released on the WWE Originals CD.

Guerrero's catchphrase during the later part of his career with WWE was "Viva La Raza" (which is Spanish for "Long Live the Race"). In the mid parts of his career, Guerrero took the title of "Latino Heat", which was also his theme song in the early 2000s. He has also been featured in WWE's Best Smackdown matches video of its 15-year Friday Night span, upon the show being moved to Thursday nights on Thursday January 15, 2015, he features in 5 of the top 15 matches including the number 1 spot where his No Disqualification bout with Edge topped the list of best Smackdown matches.

Guerrero appears in the video games Virtual Pro Wrestling 64, Toukon Retsuden 3, WCW Vs. The World, WCW/NWO Revenge, WWF No Mercy, WWF Smackdown 2, WWF Smackdown!: Just Bring It, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, Legends of Wrestling II, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain, Showdown: Legends of Wrestling, WWE Day of Reckoning, WWE SmackDown! vs Raw, WWE Day of Reckoning 2, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, the PSP version of WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008, WWE All-Stars, WWE '12, WWE '13, and WWE 2K14.

Personal life

Guerrero is survived by his widow Vickie Guerrero. They were married on April 24, 1990, and had two daughters: Shaul Marie Guerrero and Sherilyn Amber Guerrero. Guerrero also has a third daughter named Kaylie Marie Guerrero. During his two-year separation from Vickie, he had a relationship with a woman named Tara Mahoney. After the two broke up, he reconciled with Vickie. Eddie and Tara remained close friends until his death in 2005. Guerrero was close friends with fellow wrestlers Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, and Batista.

Guerrero was a born-again Christian.

Death

On November 13, 2005, Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room at The Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by his nephew, Chavo, who attempted CPR. However, Guerrero was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. He was 38 years old. An autopsy revealed that Guerrero died as a result of acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Guerrero's wife Vickie Guerrero claimed that he had been unwell in the week preceding his death. On the November 30 episode of WWE Byte This!, Chavo said that Guerrero had been working hard and was at peak physical fitness as a result, doing cardio and weight training exercises every day.

The episodes of Raw on November 14, 2005 and SmackDown! on November 18, 2005 each aired as tributes to Guerrero similar in format to the tribute show held for the late Owen Hart who died in 1999 after an entrance stunt went wrong and fell to his death. All storylines were put on hold, and no WWE employees were forced to perform, although several matches took place, including one featuring Chavo, who finished the match with his uncle's frog splash. Raw started off with all the superstars and several personnel on stage, as Vince McMahon addressed the live crowd before finishing with a ten-bell salute. In addition to the Raw and SmackDown tribute shows, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling dedicated the pay-per-view TNA Genesis (which aired the evening of his death) to Guerrero, while Ring of Honor named their next show "Night of Tribute". Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), WWE's former developmental territory, also paid tribute to Guerrero on their television taping following his death. Many of the wrestlers there wore arm bands with "E.G." on them. Eventually, other wrestlers, primarily his nephew Chavo and friends Mysterio and Christian, paid tribute to him in their matches by using the Frog Splash, Guerrero's finisher. Combat Zone Wrestling also paid tribute to Guerrero with a ten-bell salute during one of their cards. Wrestlers CM Punk and Rey Mysterio dedicated some of their matches to Guerrero. The 3 Doors Down song "Here Without You" was used as a tribute song for Guerrero, as was Johnny Cash's cover of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt".

On March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted on its website an article in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. This article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Guerrero, who was alleged to have obtained hCG and the steroid stanozolol in early 2005. At the time of the alleged steroid usage, the WWE had not yet instituted its Wellness Policy in which wrestlers are tested for substances, which was stated by WWE.com on the day the article was released.

Hall of Fame and legacy

Guerrero was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1, 2006, by Rey Mysterio, his nephew Chavo Guerrero, and Chris Benoit in Chicago, Illinois, on the night before WrestleMania 22. His widow, Vickie Guerrero, accepted the honor. The next night at WrestleMania, Rey Mysterio won the World Heavyweight Championship, and dedicated the victory and the title to Guerrero.

There have been several tributes made to honor Guerrero since his induction into the Hall of Fame, including a package that featured not only his time on SmackDown!, but expanded to his life outside the ring; a special titantron feature of WWE Hall of Famers who had competed in the Royal Rumble, which aired before the 2011 event, included Guerrero; and a place on the WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time DVD, as voted by fellow superstars, who placed him 11th.

Guerrero has also been featured in the game WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, which was completed during mid-2005 and Guerrero provides his own voice. The game attracted some minor controversy due to an in-game story where Guerrero is placed into a coffin by The Undertaker. The coincidence was more resounding in the United Kingdom, where the game was released during the week of Guerrero's death. He also appeared as a legend in the games WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008 (PSP only), WWE '12, WWE '13 and WWE 2K14 and is included on the WWE Legends roster in the THQ video game WWE All Stars.

Guerrero's family members within the business have also made numerous references to Guerrero, ranging from simple gestures and anecdotes to the adaptation of his signature moves and mannerisms in the ring. When his brother Hector signed with TNA, Hector looked up to the sky and mentioned how his father and brother have inspired him and he thanked them. On the October 2, 2009 episode of SmackDown!, a special episode celebrating the show's ten-year anniversary, a video tribute to Guerrero was played on the TitanTron, set to the song "Hear Me Now" by Boyce Avenue. At WrestleMania XXVI, Vickie Guerrero competed in a ten-Diva tag team match, in which her team was victorious after she climbed the turnbuckle, pointed to the sky and performed a frog splash to secure the victory. On the November 15, 2010 episode of Raw, WWE Legend and Guerrero's older brother Chavo Guerrero Sr. gestured to the sky and shouted "Eddie!" as he was introduced. On the 10th anniversary of his death, Lilian Garcia released a tribute song to Eddie called 'Live On'. At WrestleMania 32, Sasha Banks wore a similar ring attire to Eddie's as a tribute to him. She has stated that the reason why she decided to become a wrestler was watching Eddie win the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004.

Source: Wikipedia

Let us celebrate the life of the late great Robin Harris Tags: celebrate life robin harris please moment silence word life production new qulaity entertainment feature

Robin Hughes Harris (August 30, 1953 – March 18, 1990) was an American comedian and actor, known for his recurring comic sketch about Bébé's Kids.

Robin Harris was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Earl, was a welder, and his mother, Mattie, was a factory seamstress. In 1961, the family moved to Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School and attended Ottawa University in Kansas. During this time, he began to hone his craft of comedy. He worked for Hughes Aircraft, a rental car company, and Security Pacific Bank to pay his bills. In 1980, he debuted at Los Angeles’ Comedy Store.

During the mid '80s Robin worked as the master of ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater. His “old school” brand of humor began to gain him a mainstream following. Harris made a promising feature debut playing a no-nonsense bartender in the feature film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988). Harris performed in director Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). As "Sweet Dick Willie," Harris served as part of the neighborhood "Greek chorus" that commented on the events of an increasingly tense day. Harris was Pop, the no-nonsense, quick-witted father of Kid in House Party (1990). He followed up later that year with a small turn as a jazz club MC in Mo' Better Blues. He also had a role in Eddie Murphy's Harlem Nights (1989). Fellow comedian and actor Raymond "The RayVolution" Baxter credits Harris with him becoming a stand up, "I saw Mr. Harris at home in Chicago at a club my aunt worked for and he was nice enough to see me after a set and joke around with me. He said I was funny enough to get on the circuit at 11! So that day I went to work on my material..."

Bébé's Kids

In Harris' "Bébé's Kids" routines, Harris' girlfriend Jamika would insist that he take her son and friend Bébé's three children with them on a date, as she continually agreed to babysit them. The children would regularly make a fool out of and/or annoy Harris. "We Bébé's kids," they would proclaim, "we don't die...we multiply."

The Hudlin Brothers had intended to make a feature film based upon the "Bébé's Kids" sketches, but Harris died while the film was in pre-production. Bébé's Kids instead became an animated feature—the first ever to feature an all-black main cast—directed by Bruce W. Smith and featuring the voices of Faizon Love (as Harris), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, and Tone Lōc.

In the early hours of March 18, 1990, Harris died in his sleep of a heart attack in his Chicago hotel room after performing for a sold out crowd at the Regal Theater. Harris was transported back to California, and interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery, near Los Angeles. House Party 2 and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues (which was released five months after his death) were dedicated to his memory. Through archive footage, in House Party 2, a photo of Harris comes to life and tells Kid "Keep your mind on them books and off them 'gals!", which was actually taken from a scene in the original House Party. In House Party 3, when uncle Vester (played by Bernie Mac) looks at a photograph of Harris, he tells Kid how he misses his father and wishes he was alive, and that he "owes him" $150.

At the time of Harris' death, his wife was pregnant with their son, Robin Harris, Jr .

In 2006, a posthumous DVD entitled We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (2006), was released. The film features never before seen performances by Harris and accolades from his contemporaries Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Robert Townsend, and Joe Torry. The film also features a rap performed and dedicated to Harris by his son, Robin Harris, Jr.

Source: Wikipedia

Let's celebrate the life of the late great Barry White Tags: barry white late great word life production new quality entertainment featured blog moment silence

Say the name Barry White and you'd be hard pressed to follow it with the name of any other recording artist with such a huge, cross-sectional following. He was at home appearing on Soul Train, guesting with a full band on The Today Show, and appearing in cartoon form in various episodes of The Simpsons. During the '70s, Dinah Shore devoted a full hour of her daily syndicated Dinah! show to White. While there was a period where Barry White wasn't releasing records or making the pop charts, he did stay active touring and appearing on other artists' records including Quincy Jones' "The Secret Garden (The Seduction Suite)," Regina Belle, and rap star Big Daddy Kane's "All of Me." It's surprising to find out that such an illustrious career almost didn't happen because White wasn't interested in being a recording artist.

Born in Galveston, TX, Barry White grew up singing gospel songs with his mother and taught himself to play piano. Shortly after moving from Texas to South Central Los Angeles, White made his recording debut at the tender age of 11, playing piano on Jesse Belvin's "Goodnight My Love." He made his first record when he was 16 with a group called the Upfronts. The song was called "Little Girl" on a local L.A. label called Lummtone Records. Later he worked for various independent labels around Los Angeles, landing an A&R position with Bob Keane, the man responsible for the first pop recordings by Sam Cooke. One of his labels, Mustang, was hot at the time with a group called the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. White was hired for 40 dollars a week to do A&R for Keane's family of labels: Del-Fi, Mustang and Bronco. During this time, White flirted with the idea of being a recording artist, making a record for Bronco called "All in the Run of a Day." But he chose to stick with his A&R duties. One of the first groups he worked with was the Versatiles who later changed their name to the 5th Dimension. White's first big hit came from an artist familiar to dancefloor denizens -- Viola Wills, whose "Lost Without the Love of My Guy" went Top 20 R&B. His salary went up to 60 dollars a week. White started working with the Bobby Fuller Four. Bob Keene and Larry Nunes -- who later became White's spiritual advisor and true friend -- wanted to cut a female act. White had heard about a singer named Felice Taylor. They had three hit records, "It May Be Winter Outside," "I'm Under the Influence of Love," and "I Feel Love Coming On." They were huge hits in England. White started making 400 dollars a week.

When Bronco went out of business, White began doing independent production. Those were some lean times for White. Veteran arranger Gene Page, who would later arrange or co-arrange White's hits, helped him out, giving him work and non-repayable loans. Then three years later, Paul Politti, who also worked at Bronco, contacted him to tell him that Larry Nunes was interested in starting a business with him. Nunes had started cutting tracks for a concept album he was working on. Meanwhile, White had started working with this girl group who hadn't done any singing professionally. They rehearsed for almost a year. White wrote "Walkin' in the Rain (With the One I Love)" with lyrics that were inspired by conversations with one of the singers, Glodean James (who would later become White's second wife). White christened the group Love Unlimited.

 

I've Got So Much to Give

Larry Nunes took the record to Russ Regan, who was the head of the Uni label owned by MCA. Love Unlimited's From a Girl's Point of View became a million-seller. Soon after, Regan left Uni for 20th Century Records. Without Regan, White's relationship with Uni soured. With his relationship with Uni in chaos and Love Unlimited contract-bound with the label, White decided he needed to work with another act. He wanted to work with a male artist. He made three song demos of himself singing and playing the piano. Nunes heard them and insisted that he re-record and release them as a recording artist. They argued for days about it. Then he somehow convinced White to do it. White was still hesitating up to the time the label copy was made. He was going to use the name "White Heat," but the record became the first Barry White album. That first album was 1973's I've Got So Much to Give on 20th Century Records. It included the title track and "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby."

White got a release from Uni for Love Unlimited and they joined him over at 20th Century Records. Then he had a brainstorm for another concept album. He told Regan he wanted to do an instrumental album. Regan thought he had lost it. White wanted to call it the Love Unlimited Orchestra. The single, "Love's Theme," went to number one pop, was a million-seller, and was a smash all over the world. The song earned him a BMI award for over three million covers.

Stone Gon'

For the next five years, from 1974 to 1979, there was no stopping the Barry White Hit Train -- his own Stone Gon, Barry White Sings Love Songs for the One You Love ("It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me," "Playing Your Game Baby"), Let the Music Play (title track, "You See the Trouble with Me"), Just Another Way to Say I Love You ("I'll Do for You Anything You Want Me To," "Love Serenade"), The Man ("Your Sweetness Is My Weakness," "Sha La La Means I Love You," "September When We Met," a splendid cover of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"), and Love Unlimited's In Heat ("I Belong to You," "Move Me No Mountain," "Share a Little Love in Your Heart," and "Love's Theme," with lyrics). He also scored a soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox film The Together Brothers, enjoying a resurgence on home video.

His studio band included such luminaries as guitarists Ray Parker, Jr. (pre-Raydio, co-writer with White on "You See the Trouble With Me"), bassist Nathan East, Wah Wah Watson, David T. Walker, Dean Parks, Don Peake, bassist Wilton Felder of the Crusaders, Lee Ritenour, drummer Ed Greene, percussionist Gary Coleman, and later keyboardist Rahn Coleman. His hit streak seemed, well, unlimited. Then it all derailed. Russ Regan and another ally, Hosea Wilson, left 20th Century Records and White was left with management that he thought of in less than glowing terms.

I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing

White left after fulfilling his contract with two more album releases, Love Unlimited Orchestra's My Musical Bouquet and his own I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing. White signed a custom label deal with CBS Records. At the time it was touted as one of the biggest deals ever. He started a label called Unlimited Gold. The roster included White, Love Unlimited, the Love Unlimited Orchestra, Jack Perry, and a teenaged singer named Danny Pearson who charted with a song called "What's Your Sign Girl." He also did a duet album with Glodean James called Barry & Glodean. Aside from the gold album The Message Is Love, most of the albums weren't huge sellers. After eight Barry White albums, four Love Unlimited albums, four Love Unlimited Orchestra albums, constant touring, and dealing with the rigors of the music industry, White decided to take a break.

The Man Is Back!

Then in 1992, White signed with A&M, releasing the albums The Man Is Back, The Right Night & Barry White, and Put Me in Your Mix (which contains a duet with Issac Hayes, "Dark and Lovely"). The Icon Is Love became his biggest-selling album since the '70s releases, going multi-platinum. It includes the platinum single "Practice What You Preach." The production lineup includes Gerald Levert and Tony Nicholas, his godson Chuckii Booker, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and White and his longtime friend Jack Perry. While some later efforts buried his vocals in whiz-bang electronic effects, on The Icon Is Love, White's deep steam engine baritone pipes are upfront in the mix. Staying Power followed in 1999, showcased in the best tradition of soul music where the focus is the singer and the song. The album earned White two Grammys. White's career took him from the ghetto to international success with 106 gold and 41 platinum albums, 20 gold and ten platinum singles, with worldwide sales in excess of 100 million.

White, who suffered from hypertension and chronic high blood pressure, was hospitalized for kidney failure in September of 2002. He was undergoing dialysis treatment, but the combination of illnesses proved too much and he died July 4, 2003 at a West Hollywood hospital. By the time of his death, Barry White had achieved a near-universal acclaim and popularity that few artists achieve and even fewer within their own lifetime.

Source: AllMusic

Celebrating the life and legacy of Arthur Ashe Tags: life legacy arthur ash moment silence word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

On July 10, 1943 Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. was born to parents Arthur Sr. and Mattie C. Ashe in Richmond, Virginia. Arthur began learning tennis from an early age, in part because his father took a post at Brook Field in 1947. The position came with a house that was located in the middle of the blacks-only playground at Brook Field, which was an 18-acre park that included tennis courts. At the same time as he was playing tennis, he was an avid reader and straight A student. In 1950, a few months before Arthur's 7th birthday, his mother died of complications from surgery. In 1950 Arthur met Ronald Charity, one of the best black tennis players in the nation and a part-time tennis coach, who took an interest in Arthur. He began working with him regularly, teaching him strokes and proper form. By 1953 it was apparent that Arthur had a talent for tennis but needed a proper coach in order to keep improving. At this point Charity introduced him to Dr. Walter Johnson, who would become his lifelong coach and mentor. Dr. Johnson was also the coach of the only African-American competing in world tennis at that time, Althea Gibson.

Teen Years
Arthur continued with his tennis under Johnson's instruction and in 1958 became the first African-American to play in the Maryland boys' championships. This was also his first integrated tennis competition. During the summer Arthur could travel and participate in competitive tournaments around the country; during the school year his competition was much more limited because he was limited to black opponents from Richmond and there were only outdoor tennis courts for blacks. In order for him to continue his tennis, he was sent away before beginning his senior year in high school to St. Louis, Missouri. He stayed with a friend of Johnson, Richard Hudlin and enjoyed a number of strong tennis opponents. At this time he was also making a name for himself, having won multiple junior tennis tournaments around the nation and being featured in the December 12, 1960 issue of Sports Illustrated as a Face in the Crowd. It was at this time that the University of California, Los Angeles offered him a full scholarship to attend college there.

College Years
Upon graduating from high school first in his class, Arthur went to UCLA, which had one of the best college tennis programs. Playing there brought him more recognition amongst tennis enthusiasts. That year he was also named to the U.S. Davis Cup team as its first African-American player. He continued to play on the team until 1970, and then again in 1975, 1976 and 1978. As a sophomore at UCLA, Arthur was featured again in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd as an up and coming athlete of some note. During his time in college he maintained good grades while pursuing tennis. He was active in other things, joining the Upsilon chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity on campus. In 1966 Arthur graduated with a degree in business administration, the first member on the paternal side of his family to graduate college. In addition to finishing his studies Arthur had in 1965 won the individual NCAA championship and had significantly contributed to UCLA's winning the team NCAA tennis championship.

Military Service
Following school Arthur served his country, joining the U.S. Army from 1966-68. While stationed at West Point in New York, he eventually reached the rank of second lieutenant. During his time in the army he continued to play tennis, participating in the Davis Cup and other tournaments.

Still an amateur, Arthur triumphed over Tom Okker of the Netherlands on September 9, 1968 to win the first U.S. Open. Unfortunately, because of his amateur status he could not accept the prize money, which was given to Okker despite his loss. He is the only African-American man to ever win the title.

Upon returning to West Point, Arthur entered the dining hall that evening where, unexpectedly, everyone gave him a enthusiastic standing ovation. Soon thereafter in 1969 Arthur co-founded the National Junior Tennis League with Charlie Pasarell, a tennis player who later went on to be a tournament director and commentator, and Sheridan Snyder, a tennis enthusiast. 

The program was designed to expose children to tennis who might not otherwise have opportunities to play while fostering a sense of discipline and attention to academics.

This was the first of many programs with which Arthur would become involved, many of them focusing on youths, minorities, education, tennis, or some intersection thereof. For Arthur, however, the tennis programs he was involved with were not oriented toward producing professional athletes but instead used tennis as a vehicle for teaching life skills.

Professional Years
In 1969 Arthur first applied for a visa to travel to South Africa and compete in the South African Open. At the time the country's government enforced a strict policy of racial segregation called Apartheid. Because of this they denied him a South African visa despite his number 1 U.S. ranking.

He continued to keep applying for visas, and the country continued to deny him. In protest he used this example of discrimination to campaign for the expulsion of the nation from the International Lawn Tennis Federation. This was the beginning of his activism against Apartheid, which would become a central issue to him for the next two decades.

In January of 1970 Arthur won the Australian open, the second of his three career grand Slam singles titles. By the early 70s he had become one of the most famous tennis players. Along with Arthur's growing celebrity status, the sport of tennis was becoming more and more popular. However, the earnings of tennis players did not reflect the increased interest and therefore revenue. In response to this he partnered in creating the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in 1972 with Jack Kramer and others. The ATP was formed to represent the interests of male tennis pros. Prior to its formation players had less control over their earnings or their tournament schedule. Two years later he was elected as the President of ATP.

South Africa eventually granted Arthur a visa in 1973. He was the first black pro to play in the national championships there where he reached the singles finals and won the doubles title with Tom Okker.

1975 would prove a banner year for Arthur. On July 5, 1975 he defeated the heavily favored Jimmy Connors in four sets to win the Wimbledon singles title. He was the first and only black man to win the most prestigious grass-court tournament. This year he also attained the #1 men's ranking in the world.

Family Life
In 1976 Arthur met Jeanne Moutoussamy, a photographer, who he married on February 20, 1977. The ceremony was held at the United Nations chapel in New York and was presided over by Andrew Young, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. In 1979 Arthur suffered a heart attack while holding a tennis clinic in New York. He was hospitalized for ten days afterwards and later that year underwent quadruple-bypass surgery. He continued to suffer chest pains though and in 1980 decided to retire from tennis with a career record of 818 wins, 260 losses and 51 titles.

Arthur's retirement from tennis in no way meant slowing down. He took on many new tasks: writing for Time Magazine, the Washington Post and Tennis Magazine; commentating for ABC Sports; and continuing his activism against the South African Apartheid regime. That same year, in fact, he was appointed captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Under his leadership—including members such as John McEnroe, Peter Fleming and Jimmy Connors over his period as captain—the U.S. won the Davis Cup in 1981 and 1982. In 1981 he also served as national chairman of the American Heart Association.

In 1983 Arthur went through a second bypass surgery. After the operation, in order to accelerate his recovery, he received a blood transfusion. It was this transfusion that resulted in him contracting human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. Also in 1983, along with Harry Belafonte, he founded Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid, which worked toward raising awareness of Apartheid policies and lobbying for sanctions and embargoes against the South African government. Two years later the immense courage of his convictions were displayed when he was arrested outside the South African embassy in Washington during an anti-apartheid protest on January 11, 1985. That same year his career was officially commemorated by his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.

The next year marked another very important milestone for Arthur Ashe. On December 21, 1986 his daughter, Camera, was born. Around this time he also agreed to teach a course at Florida Memorial College, "The Black Athlete in Contemporary Society." In preparation for this, he searched libraries for a book detailing history of Black Americans in sports up through the present. The most up-to-date and comprehensive text available was from 20 years before. This was the inspiration for him to begin work on his 3-volume book "A Hard Road To Glory," which was published in 1988. During this period he also founded the ABC Cities Tennis Program, the Athlete-Career Connection, and the Safe Passage Foundation.

After feeling numbness in his right hand, Arthur was hospitalized again in 1988. Tests showed that he had a bacterial infection called toxoplasmosis, most often present in people with HIV. After further testing it was revealed that he had HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. This information was kept private at the time.

Continuing to work he returned to South Africa again in 1991 to witness the change to which his tireless work had contributed. As part of a 31-member delegation, he got to observe the political changes in the country as it began repealing apartheid legislation and moving toward integration. His commitment and efforts toward this cause were such that when Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner of the South African government for 27 years, was first set free and was asked whom in the U.S. he wished to have visit, he said, "How about Arthur Ashe?"

In 1992 the newspaper USA Today contacted him about reports of his illness, which had hitherto been secret. Arthur decided to preempt the paper and go public on his own terms holding a press conference with his wife on April 8, 1992 to announce that he had contracted AIDS. This incited a whirlwind of publicity and attention, which Arthur used to raise awareness about AIDS and its victims. In his memoir "Days of Grace" he wrote, "I do not like being the personification of a problem, much less a problem involving a killer disease, but I know I must seize these opportunities to spread the word." In the last year of his life he founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, which raised money for research into treating, curing and preventing AIDS, the end goal being the eradication of the disease. He also spoke before the U.N. General Assembly on World AIDS day imploring the delegates to increase funding for AIDS research and discussing the need to address AIDS as a world issue, anticipating the global spread of the disease in the coming years. He also continued his activism in other sectors. He was arrested during a protest against U.S. policy toward Haitian refugees outside the White House. That year Arthur Ashe was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, an honor bestowed upon "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement," undoubtedly due to his incessant work and indefatigable spirit.

Two months before his death he founded the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, to help address issues of inadequate health care delivery to urban minority populations. He also dedicated time in his last few months to writing "Days of Grace," his memoir that he finished only days before his death.

On February 6, 1993 Arthur Ashe died of AIDS-related pneumonia in New York at the age of 49. His body was laid in state at the Governor's Mansion in his hometown of Richmond, VA. He was the first person to lie in state at the mansion since the Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in 1863. More than 5,000 people lined up to walk past the casket. His funeral was attended by nearly 6,000 people including New York City mayor David Dinkins, Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and Rainbow Coalition chairman Jesse Jackson. Andrew Young, the former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta mayor who had married Arthur, delivered the eulogy.

On what would have been Arthur's 53rd birthday, July 10, 1996, a statue of him was dedicated on Richmond's Monument Avenue. Before this, Monument Avenue had commemorated Confederate war heroes; in fact, as a child Arthur would not even have been able to visit Monument Avenue because of the color of his skin. Arthur is depicted carrying books in one hand and a tennis racket in the other, symbolizing his love of knowledge and tennis. In 1997 the USTA announced that the new center stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center would be named Arthur Ashe Stadium, commemorating the life of the first U.S. Open men's champion in the place where all future U.S. Open champions will be determined.

Source: Arthur Ash Learning Center

Let's celebrate the life and achievements of Whitney Houston Tags: whitney houston please moment silence word life production new qulaity entertainment feature blog

As the daughter of gospel and soul singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston was better connected than most young vocalists when she embarked on a recording career in the mid-1980s. Nothing, however, could have prepared the model-turned-singer from East Orange, N.J., for the superstardom which greeted her. Thanks to MTV ubiquity an incredibly commanding voice, Houston became one of the most successful female recording artists of all time, redefining the image of a female soul icon and inspiring singers ranging from Mariah Carey to Rihanna. Several years into her career, however, releases became more infrequent as her personal life became more troubled, and though she appeared to have gotten back on track by the end of the 2000s, she was no longer a trend-setter.

Born in 1963, as a child, Houston sang in her family's church choir. At 15 she began performing in her mother's nightclub act. While attending a Catholic high school, the lithe beauty signed with a modeling agency and posed for magazines including Glamour and Vogue. After graduating, she continued to model and sing, backing up Lou Rawls and Chaka Khan before Arista president Clive Davis spotted her at a Manhattan showcase. Having previously steered the careers of Warwick and Houston family friend Aretha Franklin, Davis signed the 19-year-old and started choosing songs for her self-titled debut album, which featured duets with established stars Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass and her first hit, "Hold Me" (Number 46 pop, Number 5 R&B, 1984). Arista budgeted the disc at $250,000, an extraordinarily hefty sum for an unproven artist.

Released in 1985, Whitney Houston proved a worthwhile investment. It shot to Number One and generated the smash singles "You Give Good Love" (Number Three pop, 1985), her first Number One "Saving All My Love for You" (1985), "How Will I Know" (Number One, 1985), and a new version of the George Benson hit "Greatest Love of All" (Number One, 1986). In 1987, the pop-oriented Whitney solidified Houston's success, reaching Number One and spawning the peppy "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (Number One, 1987), "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (Number One, 1987), "So Emotional" (Number One, 1987), "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (Number One, 1988), and "Love Will Save the Day" (Number Nine, 1988). Houston also recorded "One Moment in Time," NBC-TV's theme song for the Summer Olympics (Number Five, 1988). In 1989 she teamed up with Aretha Franklin on the R&B hit "It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be." All of a sudden, Whitney Houston owned pop.

The new superstar went to work with songwriters L.A. & Babyface, singing alongside Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder on her third album, which displayed a slick R&B edge. In 1990 the title track to I'm Your Baby Tonight's topped the pop and R&B charts, as did "All the Man That I Need." There were more hits in 1991 — "Miracle" (Number Nine), "My Name Is Not Susan" (Number 20), and "I Belong to You" (Number 10 R&B) — but, peaking at Number Three, Baby proved disappointing after its predecessors. Houston bounced back in a big way with the 1992 film The Bodyguard, in which she made her acting debut opposite Kevin Costner to mixed reviews and huge box office success. The movie's soundtrack proved even more successful, hitting Number One and producing a monster single. Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" (1992) remained at the top of the chart for an unprecedented 14 weeks. She also released a cover of Chaka Khan's 1978 hit "I'm Every Woman" (Number Four pop) as well as "I Have Nothing" (Number Four pop, 1993). In 1992 Houston married singer Bobby Brown; their first child, Bobbi Kristina, was born the next year, and Houston sang alongside Brown on his single „Something in Common.

Houston's next move was to attempt to duplicate the success of The Bodyguard‚s movie/soundtrack twofer with 1995's Waiting to Exhale. The melodrama was popular with female audiences, and resulted in a few more hit singles, most notably "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (Number One, 1995) and a duet with CeCe Winans, "Count on Me" (Number Eight pop, 1996). In 1996 Houston starred with Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance in the comedy The Preacher's Wife, a box-office disappointment whose soundtrack nevertheless gave her another charting ballad, a cover of The Four Tops‚ "I Believe in You and Me" (Number Four).

Houston moved to the small screen in 1997, producing and playing the Fairy Godmother to Brandy's Cinderella in a Wonderful World of Disney remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. In 1998, she released her first studio album since 1990. My Love Is Your Love (Number 13) was an uncharacteristic move. Aside from a handful of ballads, including her Oscar-winning duet with fellow diva Mariah Carey, "When You Believe" (Number 15, 1998), from The Prince of Egypt, and the Diane Warrenˆpenned torch song "I Learned From the Best" (Number 13 R&B, 1999), the album showcased a new, savvy street savvy that had previously come through only in her later interviews and her private life with Brown. Hip-hop personalities and producers such as Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Rodney Jerkins, Missy Elliott, and Faith Evans collaborated with the vocalist on various tracks. The public loved the new Whitney, giving her hits with the sultry "Heartbreak Hotel" (Number Two, 1999), the kick-him-out anthem "It's Not Right But It's Okay" (Number Four, 1999), and the reggae-inflected title track (Number Four, 1999).

While Houston was back in the spotlight, reports of her diva behavior became more prevalent in 1999 and 2000: She was often hours late for interviews, photo shoots, and rehearsals; concerts and talk-show appearances were cancelled. In what would be the start of a string of tabloid stories questioning her state of mind, Houston dodged arrest for marijuana possession at a Hawaii airport in January 2000 (charges were later dismissed). In the months that followed that incident, Houston was a surprising no-show at her mentor Clive Davis' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was allegedly booted out of Academy Awards rehearsals for an all-star tribute to Burt Bacharach. Rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Brown resurfaced, particularly when he was briefly imprisoned in mid-2000 for a parole violation. Yet Houston delivered a powerful performance at an Arista Records anniversary party that also served as a tribute to Davis, and the release of a two-disc collection Whitney: The Greatest Hits equally highlighted her ballads and dance-club remixes. Whitney featured four new songs, three of which were duets with Deborah Cox, Enrique Iglesias, and George Michael. But after renewing her Arista contract with the biggest record deal in history ($100 million for a promise of six new albums), she performed on Michael Jackson's Thirtieth Anniversary television special looking thin and frail.

It turned out Houston had been struggling with a drug problem. The following year, she spoke frankly about her involvement with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in a special edition of ABC's Primetime with Diane Sawyer that coincided with the release of her comeback album, Just Whitney (Number Nine, 2002). The album —which included production work by Missy Elliott and Babyface and a second duet with Brown— was Houston's first work without the involvement of Davis. Just Whitney was not well received: critics bashed it, the singles failed to reach the Top Forty and sales of the album were lower than any of her previous works. She followed up with a holiday disc, One Wish: The Holiday Album (Number 49, 2002), which sold even fewer copies.

In spring of 2004 Houston entered rehab for the first time; later that year, she toured as part of the Soul Divas along with her cousin Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole. That September, Houston received a standing ovation when she sang a tribute to Davis at the World Music Awards. She and Davis subsequently announced they would be working together on a new album. Houston returned to rehab in 2005 and the following year filed for divorce from Brown (after some of the couple's trails and travails were aired on the MTV reality show "Being Bobby Brown" in 2005). Houston's divorce from Brown was finalized in April 2007 with her winning sole custody of the couple's daughter. In December 2007 an apparently sober Houston performed an entire show before a crowd of 10,000 at the Live and Loud Festival in Malaysia.

Houston released her seventh album I Look to You (Number One, 2009), executive produced by Clive Davis, in August 2009. The disc had been nearly half-a-decade in the making. The R. Kelly–penned title track and lead single (Number 70) was very much in the vein of her previous triumphant ballads, and contributions from Alicia Keys and Akon gave the album‚s mature moments a contemporary R&B kick. Houston embarked on a rigorous promotional tour that included closely-scrutinized performances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the U.K.‚s X-Factor, and she announced a tour in support of the album that is due to kick off in London in April 2010.

Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Jim Macnie contributed to this article.

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