It’s official. This Monday,
retired NFL star Michael Strahan became the permanent co-host of Live! With
After the former New York
Giant jogged onto the morning show set, he gave co-host Kelly Ripa a bear
hug, picking her up off her feet. Strahan replaces the show's long-time host
Regis Philbin, who left last November. Strahan won out in a series of on-air tryouts of potential co-hosts
since Philbin left.
Over the past two weeks, the show’s producers have been quiet about
Strahan being hired.
In 2008, when he was a guest
after winning the Super Bowl, the athlete playfully told Philbin he wouldn’t
mind taking his place after retiring from football.
"I was joking," Strahan said on during Tuesday’s show, "and I'm glad the
joke came true."
Stevie Wonder Clears Up Comment About Frank Ocean's Sexuality
Stevie Wonder is
clarifying his statement about Frank Ocean's sexuality after suggesting
the young singer might be "confused" in an interview with the U.K.'s The
Guardian last week. Ocean, who, in a heartfelt
public letter, revealed that he fell in love with a man. Ocean's sexuality
was immediately thrust into the spotlight, becoming fodder for celebrity
commentary. After Wonder was criticized for his initial remarks being
insensitive to LGBT love, he's now speaking out to re-address his comment about
the rising R&B star.
"I'm sorry that my words about
anyone feeling confused about their love were misunderstood," said the music legend to MTV News. "No one has
been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I; both in my
life and in my music. Clearly, love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman
and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man. What I'm not confused about
is the world needing much more love, no hate, no prejudice, no bigotry, and more
unity, peace and understanding. Period."
The 62-year-old songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist has racked up
countless awards and released numerous albums on love and relationships. Some of
his most popular hits include "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and "You Are the
Sunshine of My Life." In 2009, he was named a United Nations Ambassador of
Randy Jackson Officially Out As American Idol Judge
The shakeups keep coming at the
judges table of American Idol. According to reports, Randy
Jackson, the last original judge presiding, has decided to leave the show.
Jackson will reportedly still be involved in Idol's 12th season,
but only as a mentor.
Randy's departure leaves two vacancies, and the
show is said to be looking for a fourth judge as well. It was previously
announced that Mariah Carey would be coming on board as a judge, while
the previous season's judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler,
won't be returning.
A likely replacement for Jackson is Nicki
Minaj, who according to TMZ, is 99 percent done with a deal to join the
series. The New York Post adds that the main holdup delaying the deal is
the Young Money star's obligations to Pepsi, which sponsors her and her tours to
the tune of millions of dollars. Idol, famously, is backed by Coca
Harry Belafonte Puts Black Celebrities on Blast, Again
Belafonte has a strong word or two for Black celebrities.
legendary entertainer who put Jay-Z and Beyoncé on blast last month for their supposed lack of charity (Bey's
camp responded with a list of a few of her
philanthropic endeavors), is now taking issue with Black stars' mediocre
involvement in the "political struggle."
In an editorial for the Daily Beast, Belafonte writes:
"From the highest
pinnacles of Wall Street to the kings and queens of entertainment, to the gods
and goddesses of sports, never before at these levels have we boasted such large
numbers of Black participants. All this at the same time Black America is
condemned to be the harvest of the largest prison population on the face of the
earth, the most destroyed by the diseases of poverty, the most undereducated,
the most diminished for lack of self-worth and the most punished by the
prejudices of an unworthy justice system. The list goes on."
He continues: "I have no animus for those who are touched by such
heights of fame. I was one of them. But as history has evolved, our individual
and collective indifference to the vast suffering of our fellow beings is, for
me, unconscionable. The gift of art is a gift of opportunity to change the
landscape. Artists can do remarkable things."
didn't specifically call out Jay and Bey this time, he has been critical of hip
hop's royal couple in the past, claiming they don't do enough to advance the
cause of Black America.
Meanwhile, the Obamas don't seem to share his
sentiment: Beyoncé has been an active participant in Michelle
Obama's anti-obesity initiative, while President Barack
Obama appeared at Jay-Z's Made in America festival via video message this
Black College Graduates Increasingly Start Their Own Businesses
With jobs harder to find in the current economic conditions, African-American
college graduates are going into business for themselves in growing
Figures compiled by the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics indicate that the number of self-employed African-Americans
rose by nearly 6 percent between 2007 and 2009. By comparison, there was a
decline of 3.4 percent in the number of white Americans who are
The trend toward entrepreneurism among Black graduates is not a surprise. The
jobless rate among African-Americans remains stubbornly high. Last month, the
Black unemployment rate stood at 14.1 percent, compared with an overall jobless
rate of 8.3 percent.
Many African-American graduates say that they have sought to find jobs after
college, only to get one rejection letter after another. As a result, many have
decided that their chances of sustaining themselves financially would be
enhanced by starting their own businesses.
Race, apparently, is a factor in
the unemployment rate of college graduates as well. Figures from the Economic Policy
Institute state that the number of Black college graduates had an
unemployment rate of nearly 11 percent, compared with an overall jobless rate of
8.7 percent for white graduates.