Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sassy Sarah Vaughan: Still Shining 60 Years Later

The year was 1947 when Sarah Vaughan was bestowed the "Best New Star Award" by Esquire magazine. Exactly 60 years later, Sassy or the Divine One, as she was known by fans, has yet to stop shining.

We're likely to hear Sarah's remarkable voice in coffeehouses or as soothing background music in television commercials but rarely do we get to see just what made Sarah divine and kept audiences clamoring for more. So without further ado...

Enjoy this 1955 rendition of "Perdido."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Jordan Richardson is a Covergirl

From The Cocoa Lounge
Jordan Richardson (right) Covers Colures
(Jordan Richardson, pictured right, is one model to watch.)

Cocoa Lounge Fresh Face: Model, Jordan Richardson is the face of Colures Magazine's current issue. Jordan makes our list of Models on the Move and we're sure this cover is the beginning of many.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

'Dem' Darn Debates: Hilary Vs. Obama

It's gonna be a tough choice at the polls for the 2008 Democratic Primaries. Most of us want change. A lot of us want diversity. But with both a woman and black man fitting the bill, it looks like the fight for The Oval Office will be to the finish... and it won't be pretty.

Enter this cute and witty little YouTube video that addresses just about every Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton gripe ever uttered. The vid throws clever political (and personal) jabs at both candidates that'll make you laugh first and think later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Model Liya Kebede Struts Onto Forbes' Earnings List

Model Liya Kebede Struts Onto  Forbes' Earnings List

Liya Kebede was recently named one of Forbes Top Earning Models joining a list of modeling elite which includes Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss and Heidi Klum.

From Forbes:

[Earnings:]$2.5 million

As the first black model in Estée Lauder's history, the 29-year-old Ethiopian beauty is hailed as a ground-breaker. She also models for H&M, the Gap, Anne Taylor and Givenchy.

From the philanthropic work she does in her home country of Ethiopia to a perched spot atop the prestigious Forbes list, Liya Kebede never ceases to be a pioneer.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Soul: Klymaxx, "The Men All Pause"

Shoulder pads. Asymmetrical hair cuts. The infamous drum solo. What ever happened to those days? And what ever happened to Klymaxx? Relive the magic of 80s R&B with this fabulous all-girl band.

Besides rising to the level of legendary clubbanging status,
The Men All Pause contains one of the greatest lines ever recorded onto wax: "Somebody slap me! Cause I know I'm lookin' good..." Wait for it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Bezemymailan

From The Cocoa Lounge

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Bezemymailan

| Arresting & Innovative. Bezemymailan, fashion's ecclectic design duo, have their eyes on the global market, and our eyes glued to their unique creations. |

Combining their creative talent to form the ‘Bezemymailan’ clothing line, Mailan and Bezem are two young designers, who between them represent four different cultures. The Bezemymailan brand is inspired from a rich mix of cultures, including their travels to Russia and various countries in Africa, Asia and South America.

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Bezemymailan
Street style.

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Bezemymailan

Mixing Third World Culture and Couture. We love it.

For more info:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Venus Golden at Wimbledon

Venus Williams wins 4th Wimbledon Title

Planet Venus is back in orbit!

Whoever said 'three's a charm' obviously never snagged a fourth Wimbledon title...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fresh Face [#014]: Wendy Wonder

From The Cocoa Lounge

Cocoa Lounge Fresh Face #14: Wendy Wonder
Danish Reggae chanteuse, Wendy Wonder.

One of the newest voices of Reggae Music is one that can't be found in the Caribbean, Latin America, the US or the UK., though Wendy Wonder (currently a rising star) on the Danish Reggae scene, has a combination of talent and style that could land her on the international stage.

The singer / songwriter's sound--a fusion between traditional Reggae arrangement and Pop vocals--is familiar, yet fresh. And fans of World Music will find themselves looking to add at least one of her tracks to their iTunes library.

For more info:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Celebrating The 4th, Diva Style!

In Celebration of Independence day, here's Whitney Houston (recently
voted one of the 20 People Who Changed Black Music) reinventing the American National Anthem in 1991.

Enjoy your day off this 4th of July! (That is, if you're in the states...)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Coming Soon: Films in Production From ATL to Africa

From The Cocoa Lounge

This summer, Black Star Power is in full effect. Some of our favorite thespians are on location this month shooting films that will have to be seen to be believed:

Angela Bassett to 'Meet The Browns'

Cocoa Lounge Film: In Production: Meet The Browns
Legendary Actress, Angela Bassett has teamed up with Tyler Perry for Browns.

There's no doubt about it: Angela Bassett is black America's most beloved and highly respected actress. The black Meryl Streep; the female Denzel, Angela Bassett's talents go without saying.

We hissed when the Academy failed to recognize her for what she was: The Best Actress of 1994 for her reincarnation of Tina Turner in What's Love Got To Do With It. And it saddens us that this great actress' shortage of roles and acclaim, have more to do with Hollywood's ambivalance towards black womanhood than her lack of talent.

Cocoa Lounge Film: In Production: Meet The BrownsSo when the rumor began that Angela Bassett will star in the film-adaptation of Tyler Perry's farce Meet The Browns, we couldn't stop ourselves from cringing. Though Tyler Perry has established a brand of comedy that has captured the attention-spans of millions the world-over, we find it hard to imagine the Yale-trained actress exchanging sassy banter with the brassy Madea and her clan.

Perhaps Bassett is just what Tyler Perry needs to grow as a multi-faceted filmmaker, and the role that Bassett could transform into another memorable vehicle. Only time will tell.

Meet the Browns began production last month in Atlanta, GA. Jennifer Hudson is also rumored to be attached.

Botswana opens its doors to Jilly from Philly

Cocoa Lounge Film: In Production: The No. 1 Laides' Detectives Agency
Idris Elba, Jill Scott, and Anika Noni Rose will make history in Africa this month.

Jill Scott is a very busy lady these days. The singer-turned actress recently made Cocoa Lounge news, and is now leading the cast of a landmark film set in Africa. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, scheduled to begin filming Monday, is the first major production to shoot entirely in Botswana. And with Hollywood heavyweights The Weinstein Co. producing (with additional funding from The Republic of Botswana) and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley) in the directing chair, it seems that Miss Scott is in very good hands. This film has the word "nomination" written all over it.

Agency, based on Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling book series, follows the exploits of Precious Ramotswe (Jill Soctt), the series' heroine and proprietor of the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana. Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) will play Precious' quirky secretary Mma Makutsi, and Lucian Msamati will play Precious' suitor JLB Matekoni.

The cast also includes David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland), Idris Elba (28 Weeks Later), Colin Salmon (Die Another Day) and Tony Award winners Winston Ntshona and John Kani.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Lena Horne!

The Cocoa Lounge celebrates Lena Horne's 90th Birthday weekend with a clip from 1943's Stormy Weather. Though Lena Horne appeared in over a dozen films over her legendary career, Stormy Weather remains one of her few starring roles.

We wish Ms. Horne a very happy 90th!