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Kandi Burruss on Building Self Confidence, Singing Lessons & #Verzuz / EURexclusive

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*When most people think of Kandi Burruss, the first thought is as a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member or award-winning songwriter and singer.

Last week, however, Kandi added another major accomplishment to an already crowded list … the first female winner on Fox’s hit show, “The Masked Singer.”

Kandi as “Night Angel” took home the first-place prize, beating out Bow Wow as the Frog and Jesse McCartney as the turtle.

EURweb’s Jill Munroe spoke with Kandi about gaining her confidence back, if she has thought about taking a break from RHOA and is a #VERZUZ battle in her future.

JILL: What was it like being the first woman to win “The Masked Singer?”

That’s the best part. In my mind there will never be another first. There has never been a woman to go past first place, so my plan was we are changing that. There were more men on the show than women this season, and we were dwindling fast.

JILL: What was your favorite performance? I heard you stayed away from songs that would have you sing in your signature deeper register.

Rise up was one of my favorites. I felt really confident after that song. I don’t know if it was the lyrics, it felt like I was almost singing to myself. That song motivates you. It gives you that extra something that you need.

I also felt good about the Lil Wayne (ironically Wayne was eliminated in the first episode of the season as “The Robot”) song, “How to Love.” In the beginning, I definitely tried to stay away from any song that took me in my lower register because people know. Xscape songs, and I felt that would be a dead giveaway, but after we got far into the season, I said if I win, it’s far enough into the season that it doesn’t matter.

MORE NEWS: Ava DuVernay Reacts to Fan’s Request For a Documentary About White Privilege

kandi-burruss-fox-NightAngel

Kandi Burruss (CR: Michael Becker / FOX Media LLC.)

JILL: I know you didn’t get to see any other performances beforehand. When you watched at home did you know Bow wow was the frog? You guys have such a long history and connection through Jermaine Dupri from the So So Def days.

I found out when we were there. He was the one person I figured out while I was there. What happened was, they tried to keep us separated. When it was time for soundcheck one day, they were walking me to the back. He was still on stage rapping, he was practicing Kriss Kross’ “Jump,” you know the part that goes, “I’m the miggity miggitty mack” I was like, “that’s Bow Wow”

I know him, I know that voice and everybody can’t do that part. So, either you’re Kriss Kross or Bow Wow.

I never said anything, we have our own producers that we deal with on the show we deal with directly. I told them, “I know who frog is.” Sometimes I would be standing next to him, and I know he didn’t know who I was and I wouldn’t say anything. But I was thinking how cool is this that we have So So Def up here.

JILL: How was performing in costume … a confidence booster?

It definitely was. Anytime you see people online, dogging you out – saying you can’t sing, I hate her voice, etc. I’ve seen those types of comments prior to doing the show.

So, it made me have some self-doubt. I thought, maybe I can’t sing anymore or maybe they didn’t like my voice in the 90s. Being in that mask and performing, it helps you because people aren’t judging Kandi. They are judging the Night Angel. And just that performance. There’re no feelings attached to it because of how they feel about me on ‘Real Housewives,’ or from me being in Xscape. Whatever preconceived notion they had of me, they are only judging me based on that moment.

I also loved how positive and loving the judges were each night. It just helped rebuild my confidence.

Jill: Did you learn anything new about yourself through this?

I knew that I was lacking confidence, this helped me reinvent myself. I had shied away from the mic over the last years. Even when I would go places, sometimes out with my friends and they would be doing Karaoke or something. They would say jump on the mic and I would be almost scared to do it. Even if it was a small group of people. And even if I did it, I would hold back. Thinking I don’t want to crack, I don’t want people to drag me on the internet so let me not do too much. I knew that was there. But rebuilding my confidence, I will be forever grateful to this show for that. Plus, everybody knows me … I go hard or go home, but performing in those costumes, it was so hot I was about to pass out. So in order to get used to it, I had to order a ski mask, to practice with so I could feel that same heat and get through it. And looking back at the show, I wish I would have done more. Even now after leaving the show, I’m taking vocal lessons. I’ve never done that before, our group we could just sing, so we would jump up and sing. There was no science or practice to it. After being on the show and working with the coaches on the show, I decided this is something that I want to continue with. I want to improve as a performer and get better and stronger. This is something that I have been missing. I said I was going to add some dance lessons, cause y’all know I can’t dance… so basically, it’s never too late to get on top of your game.

Jill: Speaking of music. With your history as an artist and songwriter, I think you would be perfect for #Verzuz – that’s the IG live music battle that Swizz Beats and Timbaland put together where artists, songwriters and producers put selected hits from their catalog up against another artist. Who would make a good match up for you?

I do not want to do #Verzuz. I feel like I have had a lot of success as a songwriter, but I don’t know if it’s enough to do a battle.

People have reached out about possibly trying to do something. But when you hear “battle” I don’t want to battle anyone over our accomplishments. I can’t say who I would even feel comfortable doing that with.

Jill: Have you ever considered taking time away from “RHOA?”

I would take a hiatus. I am constantly preparing myself for the day that it might happen. They make the decision on who comes back. My contract has run out before and they renewed it. But in my mind, I tell myself the day could be coming soon that I have to do something else. I’m prepared either way. I do so many different things, I’ll just be on to the next… but I have been part of this show for so long. I would feel weird, but everybody takes a break.

Check out Kandi’s new single, “Used to Love Me.”

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Japan Nike Ad on Bullying, Racism Sparks Calls for Boycott [VIDEO]

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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka

*A video ad from Nike Japan against bullying and racism has sparked calls to boycott the company. 

The ad, “Keep Moving: Yourself, the Future,” released on Nov 30, features biracial athletes and minorities of Korean descent. The commercial shows several teen girls bullied in school over their differences, but they ultimately find confidence through their athletics, namely soccer.

The video has been viewed 14.1 million times on Nike Japan’s Twitter feed and has garnered plenty of critical comments. 

Check out the ad below. 

READ MORE: Naomi Osaka Wins 2nd US Open + Displays Social Activism Afterwards / WATCH

As noted by Reuters, Nike Japan noted on its website:  “We have long listened to minority voices, supported and spoken for causes that fit our values. We believe sports have the power to show what a better world looks like, to bring people together and encourage action in their respective communities.”

Meanwhile, successfu mixed-race athletes such as tennis star Naomi Osaka are challenging the country’s racially homogeneous imgae.

Osaka, who was born in Japan, rose to fame after beating Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open.

Earlier this year, she surpassed Williams as the highest paid female athlete, earning $37.4 million in the past 12 months via tournament payouts and endorsement deals.

“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great backstory,” David Carter, a sports business professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business, told Forbes. “Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”

As noted by Yahoo, “Osaka’s $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements is also the highest ever for a female athlete, passing the $29.7 million payday Maria Sharapova earned in 2015,” according to the report. 

“I’m really interested in seeing a young business grow and adding value to that process,” Osaka told Forbes last year. “I tasked my team with finding brands that align with my personality and my interests.”

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The Wallis Presents: The Sorting Room Sessions with Barbara Morrison Dec. 5th

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Barbara Morrison 2020 - Photo by Tony Maddox

Barbara Morrison: Standing On Their Shoulders
ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8:00 PM
Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

Popular Nightclub Series Goes Virtual with Six Entertaining Programs
Produced by The Wallis Available on Demand December 5th 2020 – January 23rd 2021

*(BEVERLY HILLS) — The Sorting Room Sessions, the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts’ popular nightclub series, goes virtual with six entertaining programs, including two holiday-themed shows, featuring an array of captivating magicians and stellar pop, jazz and classical music artists. The programs are presented digitally on Saturday evenings at 8:00pm from December 5, 2020, to January 23, 2021, with single tickets and multi-show ticket packages now available. Purchase of digital concert includes 24-hour viewing access. The programs include:

Barbara Morrison: Standing On Their Shoulders

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8:00 PM

Launching The Wallis’ virtual Sorting Room Sessions, jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison, named by NPR one of the “50 Greatest Jazz Vocalists,” displays her stunning two-and-a-half-octave range and rich, soulful, musical interpretations in Standing On Their Shoulders, a musical tribute to the iconic jazz and blues singers Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald, and the songs they helped popularize. Over the course of her 61-year career, the three-time Grammy Award-nominee has performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the jazz and blues worlds, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Johnny Otis, Nancy Wilson, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Keb’ Mo. In addition, Morrison has guest starred with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and Louie Bellson Band, among others. Click here for tickets.

MORE NEWS: Regina King On Her Directorial Debut, Motherhood and John Singelton’s Influence

L-Simone Turkington Headshot

A Night of Holiday Magic Featuring Magicians Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8:00 PM Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

A Night of Holiday Magic

Featuring Magicians Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8:00 PM

The holiday season promises to be even more magical with this special family-friendly program featuring four LA-based magicians. Musical, funny and enchanting, these elite Magic Castle members, including Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington, will astonish and amaze the entire family with their gift of awe-inspiring holiday-themed magic. Messick, known as “The Siren of Magic,” enchants with her vintage flair. Close-up magician and stand-up comic Awesome weaves humor and mystery into her slight-of-hand performances. French magician Magicia mesmerizes adults and children alike with her uncanny abilities. Turkington infuses the sights and sounds of the 60s into the visual, card and mentalism effects that comprise her repertoire.

Audra Mae: Songs of Joy and Peace

with Dylan Meek and special guests Darren Criss and Tracie Thoms

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 19, 2020, 8:00 PM

Powerhouse vocalist Audra Mae, great grandniece of Judy Garland, and keyboard wizard Dylan Meek infuse the yuletide season with music from the classic holiday films. Joining them are special guests Darren Criss (Glee) and Tracie Thoms (Rent, Cold Case, The Devil Wears Prada).  NPR declares, “Audra Mae has a compelling natural sweetness to her style that simply calls for attention” and Out magazine proclaims, “Singer-songwriter Audra Mae is kicking ass across musical genres.” The show is presented in association with For The Record Live, acclaimed for its a genre-bending form of live entertainment turning the soundtracks of iconic filmmakers into thrilling immersive theatrical concerts. The Wallis has a long and successful history with For The Record Live, including the acclaimed co-productions of FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE American Crime Requiem and the record-breaking hit production of Love Actually Live.

An Evening with Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and Pianist Fabio Bidini

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 9, 2021, 8:00 PM

The Wallis’ Sorting Room Sessions continues on January 9, 2021, with acclaimed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and renowned pianist Fabio Bidini heralding the New Year with a musical journey to France. The program includes Gounod’s Ave Mari, Massanet’s gloriously dramatic Méditation from the opera Thais, a sublime cornerstone of the violin repertoire, and Ravel’s exuberant jazz-inflected Sonata No.2 in G Major. Meyers has been hailed for “playing that flows from the heart” (The New York Times) and her “vigorous mastery, unflinching technical skills and stylish elegance” (Los Angeles Times). Bidini, a finalist in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, has been proclaimed a “keyboard wizard (with) a beautiful tone” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) “capable of an admirable simplicity…truly touching” (The New York Times).

Richard Shelton in Sinatra: RAW

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 16, 8:00 PM

Multi-award winning British actor and singer Richard Shelton presents a cabaret version of his riveting hit show, Sinatra: RAW, a gritty portrayal of Sinatra at his final public performance in Vegas that has attracted sell-out crowds in in the UK, London, Los Angeles and Australia, where he won “Best Solo Performance” at the Adelaide Festival. The Times (London) proclaims, “Richard Shelton’s masterful take on Ol’ Blue Eyes is a must-see.”  Warning: this performance contains strong language.

Sheléa: A Tribute to Alan & Marilyn Bergman

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 23, 8:00 PM

From the White House, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, to the Grammy Museum and the Emmy Awards, singer/songwriter/keyboardist, Sheléa has transcended the boundaries of musical classification with her versatile and distinctive voice. On this special evening at The Wallis, Sheléa will perform songs written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning married couple whose lyrics to songs such as “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” “Pretty World” and “Smile” have earned them induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

San Francisco Classical Voice hails her ability “to leave audiences gobsmacked.”

Single Sorting Room Session on demand shows are $25.00 per household, for viewing on Smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet. Multi-show series are also available at $60 for a choice of three events and $96 for all six performances. Patrons will receive a link and password on December 1, 2020. On Demand purchase includes a 24-hour window of access from 8:00 PM the evening of the performance until 7:59 PM the following day. Tickets cannot be transferred or shared. Tickets may be purchased by visiting TheWallis.org/SR, by email at [email protected] or by calling 310.746.4000 (Tuesday – Friday, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm).

For Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.
Like The Wallis on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

The Wallis Presents: THE SORTING ROOM SESSIONS

On Demand Performances:

Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8 PM – Barbara Morrison: Standing on Their Shoulders

Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8PM –  A Night of Holiday Magic
Saturday, December 19, 2020, 8PM Audra Mae: Songs of Joy and Peace with Dylan Meek
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 8PM – Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and  Pianist Fabio Bidini
Saturday, January 16, 2021, 8PM – Richard Shelton in Sinatra: RAW
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 8PM –  Sheléa: A Tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman

RUN TIMES: Each on demand show runs approximately 45 minutes.

On Demand purchase includes a 24-hour window of access from 8:00 PM the evening of the performance until 7:59 PM the following day. Tickets cannot be transferred or shared.

TheWallis.org/SR 310.746.4000 (Tue.-Fri. 9:30 am – 2:30 pm) [email protected]

 

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Blind Items

BLIND ITEM: The Pyramid

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*The following Blind Item comes Hollywood insider Enty Lawyer. Please address all inquiries and complaints to the original source.

The Pyramid: This foreign born A+/A list mostly movie actor had a pyramid built in his backyard. At first, he said it was because he loved Egyptology. That evolved into Egyptian themed parties that evolved into toga parties which evolved into orgies which evolved into a “volunteer” being mummified at the end of the party after accepting “seed” from one of them men at the party. There would be eye holes and a mouth hole, but otherwise they were unable to move. It used to last an hour and now the “volunteers” are often kept that way until morning so the “seed has time to flower.” Yeah, this evolution is just going to get worse.

Can you guess the foreign born A+/A list mostly movie actor?

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