*“If anyone ever told me a Shirley Caesar star would be in Hollywood…I said to the Lord, ‘I don’t know if…its your plan but don’t let anything stop me from getting it on the 28th,” said 11-time Grammy winner, Pastor Shirley Caesar when we spoke about the possibility of her getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
God did hear her prayer because on June 28, 2016 the living legend Shirley Caesar received her honor with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony took place outside the Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. Caesar was joined by Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams as her guest speakers. President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Leron Gubler was emcee and he declared June 28 as “Shirley Caesar Day” in Hollywood.
Early in June on the 3rd, Caesar released her newest album “Fill This House” (eOne/Light Records) featuring Anthony Hamilton and Hezekiah Walker. The 18-time Dove Award winner executive produced this project along with Stanley Brown and Phil Thornton.
“No one could have told me that the Lord would give me a brand new beginning,” the Pastor sincerely said about the release of this album, the newest one in a list of projects numbering over 40 in her career. “New things are happening. I am one of the oldest Gospel artists out there yet life is doing a new beginning for me.”
The 14 Stellar Award winner’s new beginning starts with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the release of “Fill This House.” The North Carolina native started singing Gospel professionally at the tender age of 13 as Baby Shirley. As a college student she was brought to the attention of Albertina Walker leader of the Gospel group The Caravans. Caesar left her college studies to tour with them for eight years. In 1966 she went solo releasing a Gospel version of the secular Country hit “No Charge” gaining the attention of mainstream music. Her career since has gained her the title of First Lady of Gospel.
“Hundreds of songs came in,” Shirley said when I asked how she selected the songs for this album. “’Fill This House’ was one of those songs. I said that’s a Caesar song. Let me ‘Caesarize’ that! I really did not know I had it in me. They worked me like a Hebrew slave.”
Though I could listen to the full album and enjoy each selection my favorites on the Pastor Shirley Caesar “Fill This House” project include “It’s Alright, It’s OK” featuring Anthony Hamilton because it takes you way back to a time when real emotions where heard in vocalist which uplifting you; “He Won’t Fail You” because the choir support is perfection when accompanied by the Pastors’ Praise & Worship vocal style; “Survive This” featuring Hezekiah Walker because it is a hand-clapping heart and soul lifting selection, and “Prayer Changes Things” because I say this phase all the time to people and I am not sure they believe me so it’s inspiring to hear it sung, I also love the lead guitar crying in the background at the end making it Rock/Gospel. You can follow Pastor Shirley Caesar on Facebook @Pastor.ShirleyCaesar for more updated information on the project or her live performances.
Their Struggles are Real in Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets, in theatres July 8, 2016
*As an animal lover it “tinkled-me-pink” to see what could be transpiring in the minds of pets with and without owners. In the Universal Pictures presentation of The Secret Life of Pets you get to see that their struggles are real, just like yours and mine. Six-time Emmy winner comedian/actor Louis C. K. (Pootie Tang) is the voice of the star pet of the comedic 3D animation named Max, a terrier owned by Katie – voiced by Elie Kemper (“The Office”). One day Katie comes home from work with a stray dog, Max’s new adopted brother Duke a large and sloppy Newfoundland who is voiced by two-time Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet (“CSI”).
The struggle for dominance over who is the boss of the house begins and it spills over into the streets where both become lost in the city of Brooklyn, NY. Out of necessity they form a bond so they can survive and find their way back home. Their journey’s antagonist is Snowball a crazy rabbit voiced by MTV Movie Award winner Kevin Hart (Ride Along) that was abandoned by his owners so he is out for revenge against all pet owners. Max and Duke fake being ownerless while on the street in order to live long enough to find their way back home. In the mean time Max’s friends in his Manhattan apartment building are lead by Gidget the Pomeranian – voiced by Jenny Slate (“Parks and Recreations”) – in a hunt to find the two lost pets.
The journey is full of laughs, twists and turns that make you wonder, do they make it home, what happens to the pet gang of ownerless rebel animals, will Max and Duke stay together? The Secret Life of Pets was written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. The directors include Chris Renaud and Yarrow Chaney. It is an Illumination Entertainment (Minions) production. It also stars Academy Award nominated Albert Brooks (Finding Dory) as the voice of the grumpy red-tailed hawk Tiberius; Emmy nominated Tara Strong (Rugrats) as the voice of the parakeet Sweet Pea; Lake Bell (Million Dollar Arm) is the voice of the always hungry tabby cat Chloe; Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live”) voices Mel the pug; Australian rugby player Michael Beatties is the voice of the pig Tattoo; Academy Award nominated Chris Renaud (Ice Age) is the voice of Norman a lost guinea pig; Golden Globe nominated Steve Coogan (Around the World in 80 Days) voices Ozone a Brooklyn Sphinx cat gang leader; Dana Carvey (“Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of Pops an elderly basset hound, and Emmy Award winner Hannibal Buress (“Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of Buddy a laid-back Dachshund.
Rated PG The Secret Life of Pets arrives in theaters July 8th. You can log onto their website at www.TheSecretLifeofPets.com for more information or to view the trailer.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: Sat October 22, 2016 (TBC) the “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference arrives at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, CA. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.