Vixen Chat: Selita Ebanks on Her Beauty Secrets, Working With Kevin Hart and Philanthropy

Vixen Chat - Selita Ebanks TwitterSelitaEbanks

Selita Ebanks started off as one of Victoria's sexiest little secrets and now she's taking the world  by storm with her philanthropic efforts. The Cayman born bombshell has also been busy making her mark with the charity, Shopify, while modeling and acting. With her crazy busy schedule, it's a mystery how she manages to stay looking flawless through it all. This triple threat revealed some of her beauty and fitness secrets, what it was like to work with Kevin Hart on the Real Husbands of Hollywood and most importantly, how she finds time to give back. —Christal Somar

Photo Credit: Twitter

Selita ebanksEven though you aren't a Victoria's Secret Angel anymore, are you still involved in modeling?

Yes, but right now, I'm focused on acting. Actually, Real Husbands of Hollywood premieres October 15th. I'm in a few episodes and I'm so excited and a little nervous. Kevin Hart was a pleasure to work with; he's the funniest, silliest, goofiest guy in the world. It's so funny because I'm on set working with all of these guys and I kind of just blended right in. Maybe because I have so many brothers, it was so easy to loosen up and be funny. It was like an improv class 101 because these guys are so good. They would literally go off script and come right back. I'm like "Wait, wait, wait! That's not in the script. Then I'm like oh okay, I got it!" You have to be witty and quick. It's going to be a really great season.

So you would really love to pursue acting now?

Absolutely! I'm still auditioning. You know, I'm always trying to evolve. I'm still pushing myself and challenging myself. I love a good challenge. I try to go out for roles that are different from what is expected of me.

You're always so busy between modeling, acting and your philanthropy. How do you manage to stay so fit?

You know what, that's so funny. As a model, I'm definitely not model size. It's really hard. I turned 30 this year and my body is freaking out. There are some days I wake up and I'm five pounds heavier, and the next day I wake up, I have a freaking six pack. It's like what is going on! It's insane! My schedule is crazy so I don't get to work out every singe day. I'm definitely more focused and concerned about the things that I eat. I have small portions. I used to skip breakfast all the time because my call times were always so early, but now, I definitely try to eat breakfast every single day. Even if I don't have time to eat lunch or if I eat dinner late, I try to eat healthier things like a juice or a salad. As much as I love wings, I'm like, "Put the wings down, girl! Put the wings down!"

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Selita-Ebankss-New-Yorkers-for-Children-Fall-GalaWell, it seems like it's working. You looked amazing at the New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala.

Thank you, thank you! To wear that dress took a lot of coaching. I've never worn anything as risqué like that before. It was between my hair, makeup, stylist and best friend; it took them about thirty minutes to get me in that dress because I was just like, "You guys are crazy. There's no way I'm going to wear that!" And honestly, I didn't even realize that it was so revealing until I saw the photos. But you know what, I'm not going to lie, the whole night I didn't breathe. I was definitely in inhale position all night.

What is your must have beauty product?

For me, it has to be moisturizer. As women, we think we don't need it but moisturizing keeps your skin supple and soft, and it also helps prevent those fine lines and open pores. Actually, I buy this product from CVS called Avalon Organics. It is amazing! I have this big ole forehead so I can't be shining all over the place! It absorbs into the skin really easily, quickly and it doesn't leave a shine that you have to put powder on top of because that's not good for your skin either. It leaves your complexion really radiant. And another thing, women don't exfoliate. If you don't exfoliate, wearing moisturizer is going to be pointless because then it's going to sit on top of your skin and not get into your pores. Ladies, please, please exfoliate! At least once a week.

What is your favorite Fall trend?

Oh man, Fall is my favorite season. I like Fall because you get to layer on. I'm really loving the chunky sweaters for Fall. I love mixing prints and fabrics so I love this whole trendy look right now with the chunky sweaters with the wooly skirts and with maybe some boots to mix hard and soft. You know, masculine and feminine at the same time. Throw on a sloppy hat or something. Super chic, easy, ready to go. I'm really loving that.

Speaking of Fall, it's football season and you're a huge Jets fan. How'd you get into football?

My dad. I really honestly didn't have a choice. I remember being five years old and sitting on my dad's lap and him going over plays with me and cheering on the Jets. And green is my favorite color. I'm super proud of the Jets this season, I'm happy we have a new quarterback. Even if they don't make it to the playoffs, it's really great to see them doing so well.

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Vixen Chat - Selita Ebanks BET Blogs

You're super involved and focused on your philanthropy. What are some projects you're working on?

My philanthropy, it never stops. Recently I had the honor of participating in this amazing experience with Cash and Rocket. There were 70 women and 35 cars. We drove through Italy in a red sports car wrapped up in the Cash and Rockets logo, along with our sponsors'. We drove to raise money for three charities: my charity, Shine On Sierra Leone, Orphan Aid and one more. It was just an amazing experience. It was our first time doing it so we didn't raise as much money as we would like to but it was our first year and next year I'm looking forward to it. Just recently, I started working with the New York food banks. Right now I'm in their ads and working with them is just really awesome. There are so many woman and children in need of food in New York City so it's a really great motivation. And of course, New Yorkers for Children, which is so dear to my heart because when I was younger, I was in foster care for a very short period of time. But it definitely stuck with me and I just wanted to give back to that organization.

One of your projects is Shopify's Build a Business competition. Tell us a little about that and how you're involved.

I will be one of the mentors this year. I'm learning as I'm going along and I'm so glad to be working with Shopify. It's really great because it creates a platform for people to start their business. Everyday I get all of these great proposals and ideas thrown at me about starting businesses and I always try to encourage them, especially young people. Don't talk about it, be about it and this is a really great way for them to start it. There's really no excuse when it comes to Shopify, they really do everything for you. All you have to do is focus on the business.

What advice would you give to someone involved in the competition?

I think what my advice would be is to just stick with it. The first year of any business is always the hardest and Shopify really helps eliminate the process of running a business. It really does make it a lot easier so you can focus on perfecting your business. One idea should always evolve in something bigger and better. Case in point, the iPhone. You know, they're always evolving and creating something bigger and faster. That's how you stay on top. Don't become comfortable in your idea, it should continue to grow.

Photo Credit: BET Blogs

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...


— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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