Christina Milian Christina Milian

Vixen Chat: Christina Milian Talks DWTS Elimination, Business Ventures, and Engagement

Christina Milian3

Christina Milian has transformed her career into a ball of acting, hosting, ballroom dancing, and business ownership. Coming off of an upsetting elimination from Dancing With The Stars, this mom hasn’t missed a beat in her already jam-packed life. Her fear of dancing in a competition is over, and now she's taking advantage of several opportunities—including her lucrative portable hookah company, Platinum Hookah. And did we mention she's the face of Viva Diva wines?

In a recent interview with the songstress, she reminded us to live in the moment and “ relinquish all control and recognize your opportunities." Jump the page to see what else this multifaceted woman is up to.

Photo Credit: Carell Augustus

Christina Milian

Vixen: I know you just got eliminated from Dancing With The Stars, but you’re still steady going in your career.
Christina: It all somehow pans itself out, even being a mommy. I guess I’m so excited about it, I don’t realize how much it is. Like literally when I put it all on my calendar and somebody ask me about doing something, I’m like I can’t do that. I have someone talking to me about going on vacation for free, I literally don’t have the time to do that and I kind of don’t want to because I know something’s going to come up on that day and I don’t want to miss out on anything important. Right now there’s no time to rest, while everything is going well and the ball is rolling.  I just want to make sure I can achieve as much as I can before the new year begins.

How was getting prepared for DWTS?
It was so much fun. It would be 5 hours a day, the challenge would be each week overcoming the hurdle of “I have to learn this, I can’t get this” to it’s stuck in your memory to next thing you know it’s the live show. I had a great time doing it because regardless of me being a performer in my music and film career, I was actually really nervous to do this. That’s exactly why I did it because I wanted to attack that fear of being nervous or being judged. I just had a lot of fun and I got really close to them, I made some good friends with the cast.

Yeah I see that you’re still supporting everybody.
Yeah I really do miss them. The day that I got eliminated I cried because I was having so much fun and on top of that I felt like I was saying bye to my family. It’s weird that we’ve only been working together for two months, but we were all going through the same thing.

How was it flipping sides and becoming a contestant?
On the hosting side I’d get nervous being that it’s live on TV. Being in that place, it’s not too bad. People really started to look out for me, campaign for me, tweet for me, and vote for me. I really started to feel the love. When I got to the moment I wasn’t nervous anymore, I was enjoying the moment.

What’s one thing you’re going to miss and one thing you’re really happy to get back to?
One thing I’ll miss the most is getting in good shape from dancing [laughs]. I lost 9 pounds from doing the show, and I was getting really firm. I’m glad to get back to having time for my household and my daughter.

She is the cutest little thing in the world. How do you manage spending time with her but also continuing your dream?
She’s like my best friend. If I was working or having a meeting, I brought her everywhere with me and still to this day even though I can’t bring her to everything with me I still try to take her to as much stuff as I possibly can. I like to make sure we have our special bonding time. She makes me feel really special. 

Does she know that her mommy’s a celebrity?
Yes she knows and she knows her dad is too. She loves it. When she sees me on television she wants me to play it again and again. She studies it because after that she’ll either take the lines, the dance, or the music, and she’ll repeat it all over again back to me. Violet has a crazy memory and she’s definitely mesmerized with my performances. She knows her mom is an entertainer so it makes it easier for me when I’m going to dance or sing in the studio at least she knows what I’m doing so then it excites her when she gets to see it on television.

How supportive is your fiancé?
Jas is extremely supportive. He and I are like brother and sister. He grew up in a family where his father was in the entertainment business, the music business, so he’s very understanding of my career and he’s also really great with my daughter and we have a really great relationship. It works for me because believe me if it didn’t we would not be in it.

Photo Credit: Ryan/

Christina Milian

It seems that everything in your life is working out perfectly.
I never thought this would be the blueprint in my life. It’s great to be here and see what it’s like when you relinquish all control and recognize your opportunities, what’s in front of you, and kind of live life in the moment. When I was younger I would hear a lot of people comparing and I got sucked into that kind of thinking. You have your own story and your own path and amazing things can happen. [Jas and I] have a really cool relationship, we annoy each other but we also work together, he and I are also co-owners of platinum hookahs. He and I have a business together which is cool because we’re able to oversee something together and have something we can relate to when it comes to business from the beginning.

How do you separate business and your relationship?
Business comes up and we discuss it. At the end of the day, you can’t linger on stuff and we have to come to a solution on things.  We put our minds together and we also have too other partners that we work with. I can’t help it I like to know everything and what’s going on. I handle a lot of the phone calls, the emails, and business and ideas. Luckily all the guys trust me and it hasn’t steered us wrong so far. We stay on each other to make sure everyone’s working equally and we’re all doing our share to make sure that it succeeds because you can’t lose track on something you put so much energy into. There are moments we talk about business but after that we cherish the normal stuff. I learned a lot about that. In the past my mother managed me for a long time and sometimes if its business and everything turns back to business it can be really hard on the relationship so I learned my lesson when it comes to that.

How did the hookah venture come about?
I like regular hookah for years. This past year it became very popular especially right before the summer. At the top of the year I had tried an electronic disposable hookah company because I seen somebody else on Instagram with it. I was puffing on it in the studio but my throat was hurting and I started to get a headache but I didn’t realize. But I felt so cool doing it and everybody kept asking me about it so I kept doing it. I kept going to the store because everybody wanted mine or asked me to pick them up one because instead of them picking it up themselves. I found out on one of the trips I made that the one I was smoking on had nicotine and I know that they have them without nicotine and the difference is 1000% better. My throat wasn’t hurting and I wasn’t getting a headache. Also I was spending a $100 dollars to by 10 of them so I was like why am I giving these out? Why don’t we research this and come up with our own company? So he and I did the research and eventually got together with our partners. God placed us at the right place at right time. 

Are you involved in every part of the process?
Absolutely, including the money. I invested a lot of money into it you know. Some people are afraid to even spend their own money. If you have a passion, don’t stand and wait because it’s bad when you see somebody else do it and you could have been that person.

Photo Credit: Carell Augustus

Christina Milian

How did Viva Diva Wines come about?
I went to this gifting suite that I wasn’t even supposed to go to and ended up meeting Robyn on behalf of Viva Diva. It’s funny because I admire people like Puff Daddy or Bethenney, you see all these different people succeeding in different avenues. So I ended up meeting Robyn and I was drinking [Viva Diva] and it was really good and she was just like “you should represent our line” and I was like “uhh yeah, absolutely”.

How has it been since you’ve become apart of the company?
We’re doing really well. We just got picked up in Wal-Mart, we’re at different states, and everyday we’re making progression, which is awesome. We do these bottle signings where I go to different liquor stores and the fans come out and I get to meet them in person, which is really cool. We’ve gone to places like Delaware, New Orleans, and Philly and I’m actually getting to reach out to the people. It’s really exciting and I love it because I personally love wines.

As far as music, will we be hearing anything soon?
I hope to have a single out before the end of the year.  I actually have to go to my label and play them all the music I’ve been working on. I just wanted to wrap up some of these songs here so I had to make some time to make sure I got it done.

Last question, with all you have going on will there be wedding bells soon?
[Laughs] I need some time. It takes money too and I’m not excited about that part. I’m like “can we just have a party or something?”

Big or small or it doesn’t matter?
He has a really big family and I never got to do it big, so when that happens I’ll probably do it big this time.

Photo Credit: Carell Augustus

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET!

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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