#CyberMonday: Apparently, today is Cyber Monday 2010. Join in on the consumer frenzy and visit this Twitter list to find tons of online sales in honor of the weekly holiday. The best sale I found included a Flip Cam HD Camcorder, trendy and useful as of late, along with a tripod for only $148. These days, having a 720p video camera handy doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Leslie Nielsen: Aged 84, the well-known Canadian-American actor who appeared in a string of successful spoof films died of complications related to pneumonia on Sunday, November 28. Nielsen was known for his dead-pan delivery of dialogue along with an otherwise serious demeanor that gave the characters he played an oblivion to absurdity. After landing a supporting role in AIRPLANE! (1980), the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams put Nielsen in the lead role of The Naked Gun (1988), a spoof that both critics and audiences loved and which spawned The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994).
#soultrainawards: On Sunday night, the 23rd annual Soul Train Music Awards aired on cable television, though the event originally took place on Thursday, November 11. Main honors were bestowed upon Alicia Keys and Usher. Cee-Lo belted out “Forget You” live and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, apparently an avid hip-hop fan, accepted an award on behalf of Eminem, who won the “Best Hip-Hop Song” award but did not attend the event.
Soul Train: At first, it was a road show that toured high schools throughout Chicago in the late 1960s, featuring a selection of local R&B, Hip-Hop, and Gospel artists. Eventually, television producers caught wind of disc jockey Don Cornelius’ extracurricular activities and hired him to turn his show into the afternoon television program that enjoyed great success for thirty-five seasons and is now enjoying a healthy syndication. In 1987, the show spawned the Soul Train Awards, the latest edition of which, as noted above, aired on Sunday night.
Anita Baker: The female R&B singer-songwriter received a “Legend Award” at this year’s Soul Train Awards. Recipient of 8 Grammy Awards, Baker is known for her adult sophistication that comes from an eclectic blending of R&B and traditional pop. She is probably best known for her 1988 album Giving You The Best That I Got, as well as its title track, which one a Grammy for “Best Female R&B Vocal” and “Best R&B Song.”
Ron Isley: The soul singer and leader and founding member of The Isley Brothers received a “Legend Award” at this year’s Soul Train Awards. Though rumors in 2007 surfaced suggesting that Isley was in ill health, the 69-year old performed at this year’s awards and drops his new album, called Mr. I and featuring a lead-off single with help from Lauryn Hill, on November 30.
Debarge: The R&B/funk family musical group DeBarge was one of the only acts that made money for Motown Records during the 1980s. During its heyday (1982-1985), the band had as its lead singer Eldra “El” Debarge, a now 49-year old R&B recording artist who appeared on Sunday night’s Soul Train Awards telecast and who in September announced his first tour in two decades. He will be opening for R&B singer Mary J. Blige through December.
Nielson: This is Leslie Nielsen’s last name misspelled. See above blurb about Nielsen.
Airplane: In 2000, the American Film Institute named Airplane! (1980) as number ten on its 100 Funniest American Films list. A spoof of the disaster film and a sort of remake of Zero Hour! (1957), the film features Leslie Nielsen, recently tweeted and commented about because of his death on Sunday. In one of Nielsen’s most memorable scenes in the film, a female flight attendant approaches him and asks if he is a doctor. When he earnestly responds that he is, the flight attendant brings him to a middle-aged woman sitting a few aisles up. When Nielsen asks the woman to open her mouth and stick out her tongue, the woman parts her lips and produces an egg. Nielsen removes the egg, only to discover that the woman has another egg in her mouth. After this routine continues for three more eggs, Nielsen cracks one of the eggs on a dining tray. A small live bird impossibly flies out of the cracked egg. Without breaking his straight face, Nielsen pulls the flight attendant aside and very seriously tells her that she must alert the pilot. The egg phenomenon represents an emergency and the plane needs to be landed immediately. It is the confident tone Nielsen takes when delivering these ridiculous lines which won the hearts of audiences everywhere and made him a household name, or at least face.
#mytimenow: An inspiring story is documented by MTV’s My Time Now, a rise-to-stardom one-hour feature about rapper and Trinidad-native Nicki Minaj’s blossoming career in the music business. The film aired Sunday night and includes footage of Minaj’s triumphant, post signing-with-a-major-label return to her home country, as well as a scene in which she presents her mother with keys to a new house, a gift bought with new-found recording contract riches. Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday dropped on November 9 and has quickly become popular. In October, Minaj became the first artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at once.