Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson

Making Time To Give Back

Yesterday several blogs and media outlets reported on Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia celebrating the life of her nephew and Julia’s son, Julian D. King. The sisters celebrated what would’ve been Julian’s 10th birthday by donating school supplies to the De La Salle Institute in Chicago for the first Julian D. King Gift Foundation Hatch Day celebration. As much as we complain about the many selfish acts celebrities seem to indulge in these days, it’s nice to see them also taking time to give back to the communities that gave so much to them. But how many of us do the same?

Take a moment to look over the Twitter feeds and Facebook walls of some your friends and family and you’ll see post after post about shoes, food, music, sex and Basketball Wives, but very few posts talking about what they did that day, week or even month, to give back to their community. I don’t know about anyone else but giving back has been apart of my life since I can remember. I clearly remember spending summers delivering my grandmother’s home cooked food to neighbors around corners and over backyard fences because she knew they needed a little extra that month. Because she remembered that time when someone helped her with a little extra. I was always taught to donate what I didn’t need to those that did and both of my grandmothers went to churches that traveled the world, literally, donating to others and spreading a little hope and faith in the process. The saying ‘Blessed are those that bless others’ were more than words spoken during my upbringing, they were a way of life.

As an adult ensconced in the day to day world of social media, relationships, work, dreams and reality television, I know how hard it can be to find time to give back in ways that involve more than pushing a ‘donate’ button on your computer screen. I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in your own needs, but with all the bigger issues going on around me I make giving back a priority in my life. The same way I make time for that hair appointment, that meeting and those happy hour drinks, is the same way I make time to mentor young girls from Girls, Inc., spend time with victims of domestic violence through my women’s organization and feed the less fortunate at my local food pantries. I make time. I have been amazingly blessed and have never had to know a hungry or roofless night, but so many others have known it on more than one occasion, so while my stress over wanting a promotion, missing my favorite show or having my pockets a bit tight this month may seem like the end of the world to me at times, I know life could be much worse.

This is a fact that many of us tend to forget and take for granted after we say our morning prayers and go about our days. We think that saying to God (or whatever higher power you believe in) how grateful we are for another day is enough, however we forget that He also requires us to live a life of service; to pass on the blessings we have been given to someone who may need it more. We get so caught up in our own lives that we forget to make time, real time, to give back. If it sounds like I’m preaching, believe me that is not my intention. My intention is to remind you that as you go through life be sure to take a moment to make time for giving back. Because life’s true blessing doesn’t come from making a difference in your own life, but in the lives of those around you.

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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