Category Archives: Entertainment

Lillie/Nicole McCloud just wants a comeback. Will she get it?

nicoleWell, she actually did blow me and even the world away with her amazing performace of Cece Winan’s Alabaster box, but the stunning 54 year old mother of three and grandmother of 7, Lillie McLoud, is an old R&B singer and a dance floor diva. Lillie’s daughter actually gave up her mother’s identity on twitter in her reaction to her performance at the X-factor audition.




@Nevergiveup ‏@DjRayneLives……..My Mother Nicole McCloud the biggest inspiration for my creating #TNM Nonprofit #MusicFAM has just performed on #XFactor and I am in tears!

Well, how about that.

A google search on Nicole McCloud turns up a wealth of information on the singer, which explains her beautiful rendition. She was a dance floor diva in the 80′s and 90′s charting a slew of hits, and performing alongside some of the greats. She was signed to Epic records.  Via Wiki

Nicole J. McCloud (born in 1960 in Rochester, New York) is an international singer who has performed with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the group Kool & The Gang, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Timmy Thomas and other artists. She has lived in the United States most of her life where she has recorded four albums. She now lives in Košice, Slovakia.

In the mid 2000s, Nicole moved to Košice, a small village in Slovakia, to live together with her partner, the football trainer Günter Kronsteiner. Her first Slovakian performance took place at the prestigious Košice International Jazz Festival 2006, where she unexpectedly performed with jazz legend Peter Lipa.

In 2010, Nicole provided the title song for the Slovakian version of Britain’s Got Talent, ‘?esko Slovensko má talent’.


There’s more.

Nicole first appeared on the US Billboard charts in 1985 with “Always and Forever,” which ultimately peaked at No. 66. Her breakthrough single “Don’t You Want My Love” reached Top 10 in the US, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Ten of Nicole’s singles landed the US Billboard charts. So far, her biggest hit has been the 1994 single “Runnin’ Away” which peaked at #3. In 2002, Nicole returned to the Top 10 with “Search’n” (#5). That same year she received a nomination for the International Dance Music Awards, along Craig David and Shakira.

“Don’t You Want My Love” reached number 10 on the DANCE chart in 1986. Still. That’s pretty good. It also charted in several European countries. (US R&B #66 Belgium #7 France #18 Germany #20 Netherlands #9 Sweden #8)

Lillie spoke to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks the day after her “X Factor” audition aired to set the record straight.

“I do want to let the public know that I am for sure not hiding who I am,” she insisted. As for why “X Factor” producers didn’t mention anything about her past singing career, she replied, “I really don’t know the answer to that. When I would ask that question, I would be told, ‘This is what’s important, this is how we want to do it.’

“I personally embrace my past, and hopefully with all the controversy, I’ll get a chance to speak out, because people — I would say ‘haters,’ is what I call them — don’t know my story. When you have children, it’s a no-brainer: You can’t go for everything you want to go for, and you let opportunities pass you by. I’m sure that had I not had children, maybe I would have reached my goal. But I’ve got three kids and seven grandkids, so I missed so many opportunities that I could have said yes to, that would have helped launch my career. ‘The X Factor,’ I mean, they know everything about my life, so they made a decision on how they wanted to put me out there. Was it a wrong decision? I don’t think so. I think they wanted to catch on the more intimate side of me, and let me do the talking as far as my career. And you know, if someone’s really interested and they search my name, they can find out anything they want to find out, anyways.”

As for that name, Lillie is in fact the name on her birth certificate, although she never billed herself as such until Simon Cowell (whom Lillie says she never met before, despite the aforementioned “Got Talent” connection) started doing so. “He just started calling me Lillie [the legal name on her documents], and I said, ‘Okay, I guess I’m Lillie, then,'” she recalls. “I didn’t intend to use my real name; the only people who know my real name are the bill collectors! But Simon went on ‘Chelsea Handler,’ and he mentioned ‘Lillie,’ and it just kind of took off from there.”

As for her earlier accomplishments in the dance world, Lillie said, “Yes, I had some success, and it was a great market to be in, but it was just not for my heart. I never could get any of the record labels to take me seriously or let me do what I wanted to do. They were always pushing me in the dance market, and although I appreciate that and I had a really good time doing that, it was never where I wanted to get to in my career. I had some records out and they charted okay, and I had my fanbase and did the little nightclubs in New York or the big cities, and that was about as far as I went. But a long time ago because of one [hit] song, ‘Don’t You Want My Love,’ it allowed me to go overseas and get more corporate on a high scale with dates in Europe and that kind of thing. So the name allowed me to keep working, here and abroad.”

Lillie quit music in 2004 and soon after permanently relocated to Europe (to Slovakia, where she lived with her boyfriend at the time), after years of frustration in the business. “I just walked away from it because it just wasn’t going well. You know, you have a record out there, and to some people it’s like, ‘Oh my God, she’s a superstar!’ But when you look in your bank account, you’re not.”

But Lillie eventually caught the performance bug again and starting gigging around Europe. “When I couldn’t make it in the recording industry, I told myself, ‘I’m going try to become one of the best live performers around,'” she recalled. And all that practice paid off when Lillie moved back to the States (she now resides in Orlando) and decided to pursue a real recording career again…by trying out for “The X Factor.”

“I was following [the show] for the last couple years. It seemed to be the one place that would really reach out and give someone like me an opportunity. It just seemed like it was the place to go. I was so happy that such a show would allow someone my age a chance to be noticed, to really branch into this career properly. My sister was pushing me, and I finally said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it; I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”

Lillie, who found God in recent years and auditioned for “The X Factor” singing CeCe Winans’s “Alabaster Box,” now wants to pursue a less dancey type of gospel-crossover music that she describes as “Mary Mary vs. Bruno Mars….Although I’m in the secular world singing secular music, my objective is to go into gospel, but gospel as it’s never been known before. I’m not going take off my catsuit if I feel like wearing it. I want to show the young kids that you can have a party and really get down with gospel. So the type of music I’m hearing in my head is something that hasn’t been released before. Hopefully I’ll find a producer that can get in and unravel my thoughts, and get it onto tape.”

As for the public debate regarding whether someone as seasoned as Lillie deserves another chance in a forum like “The X Factor,” Lillie points out that there are plenty of singing-show contestants with similar pasts. “There’s so many of us who have had careers before, from ‘American Idol’ to ‘The Voice’ to ‘The X Factor.’ If you search the background on every contestant, you’re going to find quite a few that have experience in this industry. But we’re here on these shows because we didn’t make it.”

Perhaps Lillie will finally “make it” after all, if “X Factor” fans give her a chance — and “X Factor” editors tell her entire story.

At the moment, the producers of X-factor are yet to react on the sudden revelations about Lillie but I think she does deserve another chance at her career, age notwithstanding.

Check out some of her songs on YouTube.


Gospel singer goes from homelessness to top charts -AP Report

(AP) — James Fortune used to watch his children sleep in the bathtub before he lay beside his pregnant wife at night in a motel, wondering how he was going to provide for his family the next day.

For the gospel singer, being homeless for seven months in 2007 was the most strenuous stint of his life. The constant letdown of watching others get hired for jobs while he and his wife Cheryl went overlooked weakened his faith. He asked in a prayer why God seemingly abandoned them during their most stressful time.

But during his prayer, Fortune said he went from being emotionally stifled to at peace. That’s when he was led to write the words to his 2009 hit song, “I Trust You,” which topped the Gospel National Airplay chart for 28 straight weeks

“I questioned God,” he recalled.

“It seemed like God wasn’t even there and had forgotten about us because we saw other people get hired and prospering,” he continued. “It seemed like the lowest point. But in that situation, God gave me the song that changed my life.”

The 32-year-old Fortune and his ensemble called F.I.Y.A (Free In Yahweh’s Abundance) recently released their fourth album “Identity,” which debuted in the top spot on Billboard’s Gospel, Christian and Independent album charts. He is a rising a star in the genre and has opened concerts for some of gospel’s best, including Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond.

Last year, Fortune launched FIYA World Music Group with his wife, who is the vice president of the record label. Life is totally different these days for the Fortunes, who are now have their own home in Houston.

“It’s a beautiful testimony,” Franklin said of the Fortunes. “It’s amazing how God takes people that have had horrible experiences and (they) use it as a tool to write songs and music that will speak to other people who are going through the same things. It’s amazing how God takes lemons and makes them into lemonade.”

Fortune lost his job at a water company and his wife was laid off from an insurance company when their employers decided to downsize five years ago. Even though he and F.I.Y.A. already had an album out three years before, it was not a lucrative project.

The only stream of income the Fortunes had was through the singer’s part-time position as minister of music at Higher Dimension Church in Houston. But they had more bills than money and struggled to pay medical bills since they had no health insurance, they said.

As a result, Fortune along with his pregnant wife and two children — who were 2 and 1 years old at the time — were evicted from their home and couldn’t afford to keep one of their cars. For the first couple of months, they loaded up in their only car until it was repossessed, which prompted them to move from one motel to another.

During the whole time, Fortune and his wife told none of their family members or friends of their circumstances.

“Pride got in the way,” said Cheryl Fortune. “We didn’t want them to know how far we had fallen. It would always seem like something would always come through. We just tried to figure it out by ourselves.”

Cheryl Fortune said she often read the Bible and focused mainly on scripture Jeremiah 29:11 to give her strength each day. She wanted to bring light to the situation for her children and support her husband.

The Fortunes survived off the money they saved from their previous jobs and through several performances.

“For a man to not be able to provide, it almost makes them seem like they’re nothing,” she said. “But I really kept praying. I prayed not to be a nagging wife. … I prayed every day to keep my attitude positive regardless where we were.”

All those days of James and Cheryl Fortune wondering when they would find a job finally ended after seven months. He was promoted to a full-time position at Higher Dimension and his wife found a job with health benefits.

With income flowing in and the family no longer homeless, Fortune threw himself into music, penning “I Trust You” and “I Believe,” which earned him his second ASCAP Writer’s Award in 2010.

Now, James Fortune looks at their situation as a “living testimony.” For those who are struggling to find a job and may have found themselves homeless, he hopes his music and story can help others pull through like the lyrics of “I Trust You” did for him.

“We are an example, a demonstration of God’s power and sovereignty,” he said. “To us, we really didn’t know what God was doing. But the whole time, he was just setting us up for a great blessing.”


90-year-old grandma dances her tribute to Whitney Houston (Video)…

A 90-year-old granny has become an online hit after she was recorded performing a dancing tribute to Whitney Houston… rightfully so.
Jeanne can be seen saying: “”m doing this in honour of the late Whitney Houston. It’s very hard to think of her being gone” before strutting her stuff.

The 90-year-old, who suffers from severe macular degeneration is legally blind and hard of hearing, then shows off her moves to the late singer’s hit song ‘I wanna dance with somebody’.

Since being uploaded by her grandson Adam Forgie, the clip has been viewed more than 300,000 times.
Writing on YouTube Adam said: “I live with, and take care of my grandmother.

“She is legally blind and like many people her age, also very hard of hearing. One of the few things that makes her happy is dancing!

90-year-old grandma dances her tribute to Whitney Houston (Video)….

Adele 6 for 6 at Grammys, Whitney still swept the night

Adele displaying her awards

Soul singer, Adele triumphed in her return to music’s stage on Sunday, scooping up six Grammys and winning every category in which she was nominated including album of the year for “21” and best record with “Rolling In the Deep.”

Late Whitney Houston who just passed on Saturday seemed to have clouded the evening as she was being remembered by fellow artists in acceptance speeches and songs. Jennifer Hudson sang Houston’s signature hit “I Will Always Love You,” and Grammy host LL Cool J offered a prayer for Houston’s family, friends and fans.

But Adele really stole the show.

The 23-year-old, who has taken the music world by storm, underwent surgery on her vocal cords late last year and had been resting her voice on doctor’s orders until music’s biggest night. The British singer took the stage to belt out “Rolling In the Deep,” and finished to a standing ovation.

Adele claimed three of the music industry’s top awards, album, record and song of the year, and added best pop solo performance, pop vocal and short video to her stack of trophies.

“Thank you so much. This is ridiculous,” she said upon accepting the record of the year Grammy. “I want to say thank you to every radio programmer and broadcaster that has been playing ‘Rolling in the Deep’ … because I know it’s not really a pop record.”

She flashed a big smile and a thumbs up. Rockers Foo Fighters were the other big winners, picking up five Grammys including best rock performance for the hit “Walk.”

“This record was a special record for our band, rather than go to the best studio in the world down the street in Hollywood, and rather than use all the fanciest computers that you can buy, we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine,” said Grohl, before he took his speech as a chance to slam music industry trends like autotune and pitch-correction.

Just Whitney

Whitney Houston

“To me, this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of making music is what’s most important, singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument, and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do, it’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, it’s not about what goes on in a computer, it’s about what goes on in here, and it’s about what goes on in here,” says Grohl.

As joyous as the show was for Adele, it was equally as serious with tributes to late pop star Whitney Houston, who died suddenly on Saturday, and was found in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room. The cause is still unknown.

Other winners at the Grammys include Chris Brown, whose album “F.A.M.E.” won best R&B album. The win was a comeback of sorts for Brown, after a four year period of a tarnished public image from fallout for his domestic violence against ex-girlfriend Rihanna, which fell on the weekend of the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Newcomer Bon Iver took home the prize for best new artist, and Lady Antebellum took the award for best country album. Kanye West won for best rap album, for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” West did not attend the ceremony.

List of all the winners at the 2012  Grammy’s

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were a hugh hit and gave an amazing tribute to Whitney Houston’s passing. The winners are announced and some of today’s top musicians walked away with the big award!

Best Country Album:

Own The Night – Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year:

“Rolling in the Deep” – Adele

Best R&B Album:

“F.A.M.E.” – Chris Brown

Best Rock Performance:

“Walk” – Foo Fighters

Best Rap Performance:

“Otis” – Ja-Z & Kanye West

Album of the Year:

“21” – Adele

Best Country Solo Performance:

“Mean” – Taylor Swift

Best Traditional R&B Performance:

“Fool For You” – Cee Lo Green

Comedy Album:

“Hilarious” – Louis C.K.

Spoken Word Album:

“If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)” – Betty White

Historical Album:

“Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition)” – Paul McCartney

Whitney Houston- The Diva bows out with a song!

Whitney Houston Bows out of Life's stage

The world and the entire entertainment industry is today mourning the demise of a diva who once reigned as pop queen, Whitney Houston  who died at the age of 48 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles  where she had been lodging for the past 2 weeks.

The daughter of Grammy-winning gospel singer, Cissy Houston, goddaughter of Aretha Franklin and cousin of 60’s pop star Dionne Warwick, possessed a voice that seemed to possess all who heard it.

With a voice infused with gospel and grace, pop and passion, Whitney Houston climbed to great heights, shattered records, and inspired a generation of fans and artists, but her reign was shortlived as her erratic behaviour and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, took its toll on the singer’s career.

Kristen Foster, her publicist, said that the cause of death was unknown, but a new report by Fox news indicates that prescription drugs were found in the singer’s room, and her family also confirmed she had been taking Xanax for anxiety, but when mixed with alcohol, can cause drowsiness.

Whitney Houston few hours before her demise

Houston was reportedly found in her bathtub — TMZ reported her head was underwater — and could not be revived by paramedics after being removed from the tub.

No alcohol was found in the preliminary sweep of Houston’s room, TMZ reports, but there were multiple reports that Houston had been drinking with friends the night before at the hotel.

Houston had also attended rehearsals for the Grammys on Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica, according to a person who was at the event but was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The person said Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.

Houston’s death on the eve of the Grammy Awards sent shock waves through the music industry, with many stars expressing shock and sadness.

Brown reportedly broke down backstage before a show with his band New Edition in Southhaven, a few miles south of Memphis.

Brown skipped the first song of the concert, but appeared onstage for the second. He shouted, “I love you, Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.” He then blew a kiss to the sky with visibly teary eyes.

Aretha Franklin, her godmother, said in a short statement: “I just can’t talk about it now. It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen.”

Her daughter Bobby Kristna is reportedly in shock and is being hospitalized hours after her mother’s death.

Houston was discovered by music industry impresario, Clive Davis. He became her producer and mentor.

“Whitney Houston, you know, from the ’80s through the ’90s, you know, was the best singer in the world. And we had the biggest hits in the world,” Davis said last year.

Her first album sold millions and launched a meteoric career.

The golden girl with the golden voice – a cross-over sensation – became one of the top selling artists of all time.

Success in music spawned success in movies, like “The Bodyguard.”

But while she was spinning out hits . . . her life was spinning out of control. Her 15-year marriage to R&B star Bobby Brown was tumultuous, sometimes violent. There were rumors, then admissions of heavy drug use.

“Whatever problems we have to work out, we’ll work them out,” Houston said in a 1996 interview.

The couple had a daughter but by the time they divorced in 2007 Houston’s record sales had plummeted, her star had dimmed, her once-pure voice had grown raspy. Attempts at a comeback failed.

She was to appear at Clive Davis’ big pre-Grammy party last night. Instead the big-name guests saluted her.

“Today we did not just lose an artist; we truly lost an angel,” said Sean “Diddy” Combs.

“Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare,” said Clive Davis.

And to think that few days before her demise, she had been considered and approached by the producers of UK music reality TV show, X-Factor to join the team as one of the judges! A move which would have given this generation the privilege of working with one of the best singers the world has ever produced.

The singer seemed to have been in touch with her roots one last time before her demise as Whitney Houston took to the stage to sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” at the Kelly Price & Friends pre-Grammy concert on February 10th.

Video below

Her life was touched by tragedy and triumph . . . her voice touched us all.

Rest in Peace Whitney!

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