*Off her Dancing with the Stars run earlier this year, music star Christina Milian praised Beyonce‘s effort on her new album release with no promotion and no hype citing her own personal experiences. She told celebrity interview and newsmaker journalist Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com during a recent interview in Miami:
“I think that’s exactly what I was expressing. You know it’s time to take control, take the reigns and make your own rules. You know what, people get caught up so much in like old traditional ideas of what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to come out and she proved that there are no rules when it comes to this and she doesn’t need any promotion at all. People love Beyonce. She’s on a fierce tour right now, she’s an amazing artist, she sounds fantastic and she’s showing her maturity I think with this album. I think it was actually great how she unveiled it. You know, it’s opposite of everything she’s already done.”
*He’s worked with every major fighter from Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson.
Boxing promoter Don King continues be part of the scene into his 80s. The always controversial boxing personality recently appeared in Miami for the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball.
Don King told celebrity interview journalist Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com that the sport of boxing needs a hero to get back to mainstream relevance in America:
“The state of boxing needs a hero. We need a hero that can relate, identify with the people and when he can do that they get up close and personal and then we can bring back the glory days of boxing when you have those people that they can relate to and identify with and be a part of and that’s what we’re looking for, we’re in search of. So in the meantime we gotta do the best we can with what we have to work with.”
The boxing promoter will be traveling to Germany on December 14th to support a Native American Indian boxer in Marcus Oliveira in his quest for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship:
“I’ll be in Germany on December the 14th. I’m taking a Native Indian, that’s a Native American before Christopher Columbus discovered it and he’s gonna fight for the world title. So I’m getting the aggregate of all the tribes, the Apache, the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Blackfoot, you know and try to put them altogether to cheer this guy to try to bring that back to America.”
You can get more of Don King’s interview with Chris Yandek at CYInterview.
*With her newly reported marriage to Marco Perego, role in the number one grossing movie of all time Avatar and the upcoming role in the Nina Simone Biopic, A-list actress Zoe Saldana‘s life, fans and support is growing day by day.
The Afro-Latina actress of the Dominican Republic has chalked up a new admirer in fellow Dominican, Miss New Jersey USA, Libell Duran. The 22 year old beauty queen told celebrity interview journalist Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com and Eurweb contributor that she looks up to Zoe.
Yandek interviewed Ms. Saldana back in 2011. Though Zoe is an inspiration for her, Libell says her biggest inspiration is her older sister who was born with spina bifida. She wants to create foundations in the USA and Dominican Republic because of her:
“I look up to my sister. I have an older sister. Her name is Ivette. She is 27 years old and has spina bifida. … I look up to her just because she has showed me that you can never take anything in life for granted and always be happy for everything that you have. … I would love to achieve that goal one day, you know, and right now I am working with different organizations, Leap Foundation and also Spina Bifida Association in Maryland. So I am working with kids. I just love working with kids and I just want them to have a voice. You know, they are normal, they could do a lot things just like my sister.”
The reigning Miss New Jersey gives up her crown next month, but she wants people to know people from the Garden State do not fit the Jersey Shore TV show stereotype:
“They should know that we are not like the Jersey Shore. We do not go tanning every single day. We are simple people. We work hard. We’re positive and we’re just great people to be around.”
You can find more of Chris Yandek’s interview with Miss New Jersey USA Libell Duran at CYInterview.
*Retired NFL running back Clinton Portis recently claimed he had more than 10 concussions during his NFL career and he would not be making a return to professional football.
The former Washington Redskin spoke with Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com during Irie Weekend at the Miami Beach Golf Club. He talked about retirement from the game:
“I’m officially retired. You know it was a great run. I enjoy myself. I’m 31. I’m a father. So I’m out here having a good time. … It’s cool man. You know, you get to relax and learn how to play golf. That’s what everybody do. So I’m on the same trail.”
Irie Weekend is a yearly event put on by the Miami Heat’s DJ Irie. Money raised from the three day festivities provides at risk youth with mentoring, cultural and scholarship opportunities. Speaking about his own charitable causes, Clinton said this:
“For myself I support a lot of breast cancer, underdeveloped youth, underprivileged youth and I kinda don’t do it on this scale anymore. Just to be behind the scenes and not require their attention, to be able to get into households and communities and help out is more of my effort.”
Stars at this year’s Irie Weekend included Hill Harper, Omar Benson Miller, Christina Milian, Selita Ebanks, Chris Bosh, Fred Taylor, Jermaine Dupri and numerous others.
You can find more of Clinton Portis’s conversation with Chris Yandek at CYInterview.com.
One of the other prominent people Mr. Yandek also met was celebrity chef to the stars Travis London. See their photo above. He’s cooked for everyone from Rihanna to Justin Timberlake to Nicole Richie. London’s also a contributor to OK Magazine.
Mr. London was one of a handful of celebrities including Brooke Burke, Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars and some of the ladies from Real Housewives of Miami to attend the kickoff event for the fashion activities in Miami last week.
You can find more information about Travis London at Chris Yandek’s CYInterview.com.
*Tuesday morning, interview journalist Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com and EURweb contributor sent his best wishes to Robin Roberts of Good Morning America.
Appearing on the Paul Gallo radio program which is heard across the entire state of Mississippi where Ms. Roberts is from, Chris sent support to Robin to get better soon and shared his experiences with her that are still important to him five years after their 2007 interview.
Ms. Roberts announced yesterday on Good Morning America that she is dealing with her second health challenge in five years called Myloplastic Syndrome. It’s a rare blood disorder that impacts the bone marrow. Robin said she would need a bone marrow transplant which she will receive from her sister. All media repots state she is expected to make a full recovery. Many will recall Robin’s first health battle in 2007 when she overcame breast cancer.
In a statement to EURweb, Chris Yandek said the following:
“To anyone who gets a chance to know this amazing woman even if it is for a short period of time would know how genuine and encouraging she is. I have never forgotten those words of encouragement when she said I would accomplish anything I desired in the media profession. She was more sure of my trajectory at the time than I was. Robin is a wonderful human being and I wish her a speedy recovery”
In 2007, Mr. Yandek did a wide ranging interview with Robin Roberts on her life and her new book at time From The Heart: Seven Rules to Live By. After the interview as Chris revealed this morning on the Paul Gallo show, Robin gave him supportive words that he would accomplish anything he desired in the media profession and those words have always stuck with him.
You can go back in time and listen and read the entire interview with Chris Yandek and Robin Roberts at CYInterview.com.
*With her ongoing appearances across the world to promote her latest album K.I.S.S., Grammy winning singer, song-writer and actress Mya showed off her music talents at Mokai Miami on Miami Beach this past Thursday evening. She entertained the crowd with numerous songs including singing one of her classics, “Ghetto Superstar. ”
The R&B singer has been appearing in various venues to get the word out to the fans about her new album and music.
Mya also hung out that evening with celebrity and newsmaker interview journalist Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com who has been featured here on EURweb in the past. (See photo of Mya and Chris below.) The two have known each other since 2009 when Mr. Yandek did Mya’s first interview after being announced to the cast of “Dancing with the Stars.” Ms. Harrison was the runner up of that season’s cast.
The music star and the interviewer partied the night away with Mya’s stylist Leon Frager, Stephen Brevig of Premium Image Studios, Tatiana Noboa of Capitol Collective and numerous others. Mya’s outfit for the evening was designed by Natalya Toporova.
Regarding Mya and the evening’s performance, Chris Yandek said: “She has all the talent in the world and the crowd really enjoyed her stuff. It’s always a real pleasure to be around such a nice person who has so much to offer the entertainment world.”
*One of music’s rising stars Wynter Gordon tells Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com in a lengthy conversation about the many struggles she went through and overcame to become a singer. The artist with the 2010 number 1 hit “Dirty Talk” and now top 10 dance hit “Buy My Love” talks about overcoming depression and how she slept on friend’s couches before she got her big break.
“Not even till recently was I really like sure of myself. A lot of times I would be like super depressed, like very, very depressed and I felt like giving up. I would cry and sit in my closet by myself and like really like sob and weep and I just felt like giving up… I had to take on a lot of jobs because I wasn’t making money when I first started doing music, pretty much sleeping on my friend’s couches and just really doing whatever it took for someone to notice me.”
Even with all her provocative and sexual messages in her music videos, Wynter wants you to know who she really is:
“I’m pretty much just your cool girl around the way. I’m super passionate about music. Like that’s, pretty much that and my family is the only thing I think about during the day. Kind of give my all. Is this a fun facts thing? I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t know.”
When it comes to her number 1 dance hit from 2010 Dirty Talk, she wants everyone to know that it represents a very small piece of her.
“I’m grateful for Dirty Talk because you know it was obviously a hit and it was that song, but it didn’t really feel like it really represented me in whole. It was just a small tiny piece of me, a little fun side, but I don’t put my career on that song. ”
You can hear or read the entire conversation with Wynter Gordon at Chris Yandek’s CYInterview.com.
“I ran 12 miles today [on Friday]. It’s been painful, but it’s been productive and I love new challenges. So I hope to run next year and actually have a target time because this year you don’t. It’s just about finishing the race.”
Mya’s ultimate dream is still to go into space. The talented singer/dancer further stated she has a bucket list.
“To go to outer space, that’s my ultimate dream … I have a bucket list, so every year I have a new challenge, but every year I do something crazy. Last year, I brought in the New Year by jumping off a cliff in Brazil – going hang gliding, so adventure and taking risks and bringing people together, you know that’s my thing. So I enjoy it to the fullest I have to say.”
You can support R&B singer Mya and help raise money for Team Animal League in the upcoming ING New York City Marathon by going here.
You can listen to the entire interview with Mya at Chris Yandek’s CYInterview.com.
In 'Reel Steel,' now in theatres, Anthony Mackie (left) plays an underground fight promoter living in a time where robots have replaced humans in the ring.
*Actor Anthony Mackie continues to add to his acting accomplishments. His latest role in Real Steel with Hugh Jackman is his second number one movie with 8 Mile alongside his two roles in Oscar winning movies The Hurt Locker and Million Dollar Baby. Mackie revisited with Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com five years later for a new CYInterview. Mackie was Yandek’s first Hollywood conversation.
Mackie first reflects back on his latest number one movie Real Steel and what Hugh Jackman is like.
“The great thing about Real Steel and working on it was just the humility that came along with working with Hugh Jackman. It was a great opportunity and everybody on that movie knew that we were there to make something fun and something that everybody would be able to enjoy. So everybody just took it easy and really just gave 100 percent for it. So it was just the ease of work man. There was no stress or pressure making that movie at all…He’s [Hugh Jackman] actually one of those guys who has no ego or you know, just no ridiculousness when it comes to his work. It’s all about him doing the work and turning out a good project. So it was actually really reassuring and relaxing onset and he’s just a really nice guy.”
There have been numerous articles and discussions recently about the limited roles for black women in Hollywood. What might be overlooked are the still limited roles for black men. Mackie has been part of many big movies and small movies in recent years that have received acclaim including the Oscar winning movie The Hurt Locker and Night Catches US. Mackie explains why he has never stopped working and the keys to success.
“When I got out of Juilliard, I got great representation and one thing my agent, who’s now my manager at the time said when I started in the business was, ‘This business shouldn’t limit you or judge you because of your race. You should be seen for every part that you’re in the right age range for.’ And that’s something we worked towards for the last 10 years…When people see you do theater as well as independent film, as well as major films, hip hop as well as Shakespeare, it’s not so much that they can’t say they won’t cast you because you can’t do it.”
Every actor has a dream role. Mr. Mackie’s dream project is a picture based on Olympic legend Jesse Owens.
“My dream project, that I would like to do, is Jesse Owens. I feel like it’s one of those movies, it’s a movie that deserves to be made and it’s a story that needs to be told. I feel like if you look at what happened at the Olympics in 1936, Jesse Owens saved the world.”
You can read and listen to the entire interview at Chris Yandek’s CYInterview.com.
*As Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes began her reign, there were reports with alleged claims that the African born pageant queen from the Portuguese speaking country of Angola was actually Cuban, she falsified documents to compete in Miss Universe and that she never attended business school in England. In recent weeks, Leila set the record straight noting she is 100 percent Angolan, her parents are not Cuban and she met all Miss Universe Pageant requirements.
In speaking with Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com in an interview that covered everything you’d want to know about the new Miss Universe, Ms. Lopes says has no idea why people would try to discredit her. She also noted she’s been working on her undergraduate business degree in England for two years.
“Oh my God, I don’t know. I really don’t. I know that every year a girl wins a competition, they’re always people talking something bad about it. But I don’t know why the people created stories like this. I don’t know… I’ve lived there [London] for almost four years and I’ve attended business school for two years.”
The new Miss Universe says she was surprised to win. However, Leila has believed in this dream since she was young. The African beauty queen wants everyone to know she’s kind and a normal person.
“You know, like, it’s a dream. Of course when I won I was surprised, but dreams are dreams you know. I’ve dreamed about it. Since I was young I’ve dreamed about it… I’m kind. I’m happy. I care about the others. I have charisma. Like, I’m telling you that, but also people also tell me that. .. I’m just a normal girl who dreams, who fights for what I believe. Yeah. I never give up even when people tell me that I can’t do something. But if I believe I can, I really fight for it.”
Finally, Leila will be involved in many things over the next year traveling across the world. One of her main causes is fighting against HIV/Aids discrimination. When it comes to Angola, she wants people to know the country is growing and she wants to do really big things back home and be part of this growth.
“You should know that the country is growing fast. It’s growing a lot. I think they’re really changing in Angola, which is good for us ‘cause it’s, like, people’s life is improving. It’s getting better. Until about like 10 years ago, we didn’t even have like, universities and now we have more than 10. Yeah, things, education, health, things like that are really changing for the good… I want to go back to my country. It’s developing. I want to be part of this development. I want to have my own business. I want to launch my cosmetics line. Yeah, like, I really want to do big things.”
You can learn many more things and read and listen to the interview with Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes from the country of Angola at Chris Yandek’s CYInterview.com.
*In the new McDonald’s breakfast menu commercial airing across the United States, actress Shavon Kirksey is the attractive young black woman getting her boss breakfast. If you haven’t seen the commercial, you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uKPlgbO5Z8.
For many wondering who this woman was, Ms. Kirksey opens up to Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com noting she has been recognized in her daily life for being the McDonald’s girl since the commercial has been airing continuously over the last few weeks on various TV Channels.
“It’s been kind of crazy. Like I was at California Pizza Kitchen just having dinner with one of my friends and there’s a group of teenage girls that came over to me and they were just like, ‘Oh, you’re the girl in the McDonald’s commercial.’ And I was like ‘Yeah.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re so cute. I always see it. You did a really great job.’ And I’m just like, ‘Aww, thanks.’ Like it’s really nice to have people say really encouraging things and like just that my work is appreciated, what I did in the commercial.”
Shavon is no stranger to the acting world. She’s had recurring and guest star roles on “Lincoln Heights,” “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy” among others. She noted there have been calls from casting directors and for future auditions since the commercial has been airing.
“I have been getting a lot of calls for auditions and just casting directors saying, ‘Oh, I’ve seen your commercial, you did a really good job. ‘ So I’m glad that it’s getting the exposure and I’ve just been testing for different shows and I’ve been on a hold a couple times so I’m just waiting for that next opportunity to come through…I’m just so thank for those [roles in various TV shows] because it really like prepares you to be like a series regular ’cause most of those I was either a guest star or recurring and so it gives me that experience to know like how things run on set so when I do get that series and I’m a regular, then I’ll know how to like handle it.”
As far as what we should know about the McDonald’s girl, Shavon adds this:
“I’m just really grateful because I mean, this is a tough industry. It’s very competitive and I just know that when you work hard and you persevere and you keep going, even if you get told no 100 times, like there is that one yes and when there’s that yes, it’s just everything else is just so worth it to me like go through all of that.”
Ms. Saldana says that just wasn’t the case and there was no near meltdown. TheAvatar actress recaps the entire story telling Chris Yandek of CYInterview.com:
“I made a statement on one of the magazines that I was getting interviewed for and I feel like everybody sort of ran with it. When it comes to like a nervous breakdown, there was no such thing.”
Saldana added that she just needed a break between everything that was involved in Avatar and preparing for her leading role in Columbiana out this weekend:
“It was just after coming out of such a beautiful and emotional rollercoaster that was Avatar. From the moment that we shot it to the moment that we delivered it to the world, through award season, everything, I was on such a beautiful emotional high that by the time that was over, once your body releases so many endorphins you’re left a little dry so that was when I sort of sunk down to my body and my being and my body just told me to, ‘Ok, can I please have a break now? I’m really tired.’ And I jumped immediately into prepping for Cataleya and I remember waking up every morning eager to go train because I’m such a workaholic and so excited to be doing something new.”
Zoe finished on the subject adding that she did have some sadness over the loss of a family member, but that didn’t lead to a breakdown:
“I remember I was in Paris and I was with my niece and my mom and Grandma and they were visiting me in Paris and I was just so happy that they were there while I was training and shooting and we had a loss in our family, a very, very close loss in our family and that I feel was the tool that kind of unleashed and for a weekend I just stayed in bed and I cried because obviously I’m missing the family member that we just lost, but then my body also just needed to kind of expel some emotion. So I was just tired. So I really, it just, it concerns me a lot when things are blown out of proportion.”
Zoe also got into a discussion about interracial relationships and working with numerous white male costars saying:
“I don’t know and I really don’t, try to the best of my abilities to understand with questions like that mean and what they have behind them, you know. And it just doesn’t really exist in my realm. I wasn’t raised to look at people and box them. I was raised to just judge someone by their character and I’ve guided myself and my life accordingly. And when I go for a part or I go for a movie, that’s the last thing on my mind. All that I want is for the director’s to cast the most amazing actors whether they be female, male or whatever. So you know, working opposite Michael Vartan, like working opposite Zachary Quinto or Sam Worthington for that matter, Ashton Kutcher, but that was a different sort of kind of subject, but I’ve never seen as like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be working opposite like a white male.’ I’ve never seen. To me, he’s an actor and he’s so talented and we’re going to play these lovers and God, I hope the story’s believable. I hope we really do the best job that we can. I’ve never thought about that.”