It’s interesting how the engagement became news. It seems ‘Face broke the news to his friend and duet partner Toni Braxton.
*For her next album, the Queen of Soul will put her indelible stamp on a collection of songs made famous by other iconic female singers, including Barbra Streisand’s “People” and Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.”
Aretha Franklin tells Billboard that she’ll hit the studio on New Year’s Day near her home town of Detroit to lay vocals atop tracks currently being crafted by producers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Don Was, with Clive Davis serving as executive producer.
“It’s a concept CD,” says Franklin, noting that the 10 tracks she and Davis selected from an “ultimate list.”
“I’m even thinking of (Destiny’s Child’s) ‘Bootylicious’,” Franklin adds with a laugh.
*Mariah Carey sported two festive dresses to perform at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony in New York on Tuesday.
The recorded performance will air tonight on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”special, which also features performances by Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Kelly Clarkson, the Goo Goo Dolls and Jewel.
The tree lighting goes back to when Rockefeller Center opened, during the Depression. The first tree had 700 lights, and this one will feature some 45,000 LED lights.
The 12-ton, 80-foot tall Norway spruce from Shelton, Conn., will take center stage as it is lit up at 8 p.m. It will be topped with a Swarovski crystal adding another 9 1/2 feet to the tree.
“Today” anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales host the special, which airs tonight (Dec. 4) at 8 p.m. ET.
The tree will be on display until Jan. 7.
Watch footage of Carey’s performance below.
*As always, “Oprah’s Next Chapter” is something to look forward to.
This coming Sunday’s edition is no exception because it features Kenneth “Baybyface” Edmonds.
Oprah hangs with “Face” at his Los Angeles home and discusses, among other things, his upcoming duets album with Toni Braxton, Love, Marriage & Divorce (out in February).
In the interview, Babyface reveals the stories behind his biggest hits, his process for creating music, the current state of the industry as well as his fiancé.
He also talks about his very public divorce with ex-wife Tracy Edmonds and the affect it had on his children.
Be sure to watch Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” this Sunday, November 24 at 9pm ET/PT.
In the meantime, check out a couple of clips from the show:
According to sources, fire trucks rushed to the singer’s L.A. mansion after his tinkleroom erupted in flames. Fortunately, Edmonds’ sprinkler system extinguished the fire, preventing major damage.
A rep couldn’t confirm that Babyface was inside when the fire started, but said the house was occupied during the incident. No word on what started the fire. Do you think he’ll write a song about what happened?
*New episodes of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will begin airing this weekend and continue through December 1.
Patti LaBelle is first in the hotseat, followed by filmmaker Spike Lee (November 10), Reverend Al Sharpton (November 17), R&B powerhouse Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (November 24) and basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson (December 1).
Oprah catches up with LaBelle at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to discuss the singer’s 50 years in show business. Patti discusses her rumored feud with Diana Ross and the Legends Ball that brought them together. She also discusses what it’s like to have her son as her business manager, how she’s combating Type 2 Diabetes and shares her hardest life lesson.
Watch a sneak peek below.
SPIKE LEE – Sunday, November 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah meets with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee at the Brooklyn headquarters of his studio “40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks.” Oprah and Spike have a candid conversation about directing acclaimed actors including Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, how far he has come in his career since his film “Do The Right Thing” as well as his thoughts on fatherhood. He also talks about his upcoming film “Oldboy” and the controversial tweet he sent out following the Trayvon Martin verdict.
The following Saturday (Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.), HBO will premiere Lee’s film version of Mike Tyson’s broadway show “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth.” He gives us a preview below.
Also coming up on “Oprah’s Next Chapter”…
REVEREND AL SHARPTON – Sunday, November 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah sits down with Reverend Al Sharpton for an open and revealing conversation about race in America, how his role as a civil rights activist has shifted and the moment that changed his life. They also discuss his new book, “The Rejected Stone,” what drives him to stand up for causes he believes in and his dramatic weight loss. Later, his daughters Ashley and Dominique join the conversation in their first interview together to share their perspective on how their father has shaped their lives and their plans for the future.
KENNY “BABYFACE” EDMONDS – Sunday, November 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah visits R&B powerhouse Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds at his home in Los Angeles to discuss his upcoming album, Love, Marriage & Divorce, a duets album with Toni Braxton (available February 4, 2014 on Motown Records.) The 10-time Grammy Award-winner talks about the stories behind his biggest hits, his process for creating music, the current state of the industry as well as his fiancé. He also talks about his very public divorce and the affect it had on his children.
MAGIC JOHNSON – Sunday, December 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah joins basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson at his Los Angeles home to talk about the retired NBA star’s historic career with the L.A. Lakers, his HIV diagnosis that shook the world and the person who helped him get through one of the most challenging times of his life. He also talks about the business empire he has built and how his 17 schools are giving high school drop outs a second chance. Also, Cookie Johnson, Magic’s wife of 22 years, joins the conversation as they discuss their support for their openly gay son E.J. and Magic’s health today.