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17 Women Of Color Just As Beautiful As Julia Roberts

Keep it real. 

People Magazine just announced that Julia Roberts was dubbed the top spot on their “World’s Most Beautiful Women” list—for the fifth time. However deserving the Pretty Woman is of such a title, is there really that much of a scarcity of beautiful women that it’s necessary to reward the Hollywood veteran the title again?

The popular culture magazine taglines her cover with “how she stays forever young” letting us into her “happy marriage, life with 3 kids - and best beauty tips!” The extent and lack of depth to which People defines beauty is understandable, due to the tabloid nature of the publication. But, being in the year of Trump brought out a lot of racial, intersectional and systemic divide in our nation, one would think an influencer of popular culture might attend to this specific aspect that has been beating in the hearts of our nation’s people since the 45th’s run—especially when the magazine in question has only featured three women of color as their numero unos in its 27 years of history including: Beyonce Knowles-Carter (2013), Halle Berry (2003), and Jennifer Lopez (2011). They represent the only faces for their respective cultures to ever be featured as the number spot. An Asian American woman has never fronted the cover.

We recognize that our country is in a state of hyper-vigilance toward any form of divisiveness and representation – or lack thereof – so we’ve formed an alternative list of powerful women of color who were just as deserving of People’s No. 1 spot as the fifth-timer.

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Aja Naomi King
The young actress has been paving a lane for herself as powerful role model for the younger generation of celebrities from the break of her role as Michaela Pratt on How To Get Away With Murder. She has stood strong in the support of activism on a variety of levels, acts as mentor to Black-ish’s, Yara Shahidi, and landed covers on some of the most beauty- and style-oriented magazines this year including Vanity Fair and Marie Claire.

Gina Rodriguez
Jane The Virgin front runner had one of the most “wow” red carpet moments of this year with her icy, 20s-inspired look at the Golden Globe Awards. But, behind the scenes, the Bourica carries herself as a beautiful person on the inside as well. She orchestrated her own hashtag, #MovementMondays to highlight Latinx artists because of the lack of notoriety and is putting her activism guns to use as often as she can, as she attended the Women’s March in LA in January.

Sandra Oh
The Canadian-born actress was a cast member of Shondaland’s cornerstone televisions series for #TGIThursday, Grey’s Anatomy. Not to mention the Korean-descended actress has flaunted her beauty in the past on the cover of Marie Claire.

Viola Davis
Next up is the iconic Viola Davis. If earning the rare accolade of the acting Triple Crown, starring in another one of Shondaland’s #TGIThursday shows, and being featured in August Wilson’s screen-adaptation of Fences isn’t enough, how about her alluring and inspiring “exhume those bodies” Oscars speech for another way to stay forever young?

Taraji P Henson
What’s more gorgeous than the multi-faceted Taraji, Cookie, Yvette, and Katherine? Henson has been taking roles that represent the multiplicative nature of black women since she’s been in the game. Her most recent and most monumental was her stint as Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures. What’s more beautiful than being in a position to represent the many faces and personalities of the culture that you identify with?

Priyanka Chopra, Quantico
This Bollywood actress also quadruples as a singer, film producer and philanthropist. Oh, and she won the 2000 Miss World Beauty Pageant. I think the super-beauty queen’s resume speaks for itself.

Salma Hayek, Frida
The Mexican-American actress has covered nearly every magazine possible. She’s also developed quite the award collection as well as she took home Glamour’s ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2001, became the Harvard Foundation’s ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2006, was named one of the ‘25 Most Influential Hispanics’ by TIME in 2005, and even became a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour - one of the highest French orders of merit for civil or military merits. Talk about regal beauty.

Lupita Nyong’o
The Mexican-born actress stole everyone’s hearts, just a few years back, with her breakout role in 12 Years A Slave, Nyong’o has been owning every red carpet she steps foot on sense. Not to mention she’s received the Glamour Award for ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2014. She has since covered nearly every beauty and fashion magazine possible including W Magazine, Marie Claire, Vogue, Glamour, and more.

Zoe Saldana
"Look at me. I'm skinny, I have a big nose, no tits and no ass, but in a room full of beautiful women, I would still leave with the most gorgeous guy." This infamous quote about her confidence that she shared with Latina should be enough to make her the most beautiful woman in the world for at least one of People’s 27 years.

Kerry Washington
Mrs. Washington stands as the third of reigning Shondaland actresses and for viable reasons. She most covered Marie Claire discussing life, love and the pursuit of democracy. What’s more beautiful than a confident, talented woman who uses her platform to reveal the intersectionality between biracial heterosexual marriage and her allies of the GLAAD Awards?

Rihanna
The Barbadian triple threat is probably arguably one of the most uniquely and groundbreakingly beautiful women in the entertainment industry of this era. She’s already been named the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by Esquire in 2011, and has grown into her own definition of sophisticated beauty ever since. Just being honored with Harvard’s ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award this year, she clearly has the heart to match.

Naomi Campbell
Campbell will forever go down as one of the, if not the fiercest supermodels of all time. Her beauty and relevance will forever be evergreen as she’s proven to remain on the top of her game withstanding the harsh criticism of the fashion industry throughout her 3 decades of activity.

Eva Longoria
The Tejano actress and business woman has embodied timeless beauty since the moment she stepped on the scene and was recognized for her role in The Young And The Restless as Isabella Braña. Since then, she has expanded her empire into her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and being honored with The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Philanthropist of the Year’ in 2009. Not to mention, she has quite the catalogue of magazine covers to vouch for her beauty.

Jhene Aiko
The singer and songwriter, who has a father of African American descent and mother of Japanese descent, has generated a calm, but powerful storm for herself in the music industry. Known for being as real as they come and more open than most in her lyrics, the artist has created an intimate fan base that has kick started her longevity. Not to mention, when the Sean Don himself refers to you as a mix of Aaliyah and Sade, what else can you be besides beautiful?

Serena Williams
The tennis all-star has been running the game for awhile now with being donned the player with most grand slam titles in the Open Era with a whopping 23 titles. Not to mention, she flaunted her revenge body in the video for Beyonce’s most recent empowering breakup single, “Sorry” from Lemonade. That should be enough to don her the most beautiful woman, along with the added glow she’ll receive from her recently-announced pregnancy.

Kimora Lee Simmons
Another top supermodel to nearly sum up our list is Kimora Lee Simmons. The fashion mogul is the epitome of beauty as she’s matriculated the school of fashion by excelling from stepping from the runway to becoming a designer herself. Entering the industry at the young age of 14, Simmons has covered many multi-cultural editions of Harper’s Bazaar.

Misty Copeland
Last, but certainly not least is the melanated ballerina herself. She’s broken several barriers for dancers of color. Aside from being the first African American dancer elevated to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater, she’s also graced the list of ESPN’s 2015 ‘Impact 25’ athletes and influencers and earned Glamour’s ‘Woman of the Year’ nod. If that’s not enough, her beauty should exude through the masses of younger girls and women she’s inspired to approach and break barriers in the dancing world.

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CIRCA 1980: Photo of Bill Withers
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Bill Withers' Greatest Hits: Remixed, Sampled And Covered

The recent loss of legends in jazz, soul and classical music have saddened the music industry and reminded us of their touching gifts to music. The passing of Manu Dibango, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ellis Marsalis Jr., Bucky Pizzarelli and Alan Merrill brought endless tributes from peers and fans with the recent loss of soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers doing the same.

With a mirage of hits, the iconic songwriter left his mark on music with the release of his debut album Just As I Am in 1971. "Ain't No Sunshine" put a spotlight on his songwriting while 1977's "Lovely Day" reminded the industry of his signature vocals. Withers released eight studio albums, one live album and garnered three Grammys for his powerful songs that gave hope and love to fans to this day.

Hip-hop and R&B have gained the most from Withers as his music went on to inspire records like "No Diggity" by BLACKStreet, "Roses" by Kanye West and other songs from UGK, Dr. Dre, Jill Scott and more.

Take a look at some of Withers' finest tunes covered, remixed and sampled below.

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8. “Lovely Day” | Menagerie (1977)

Sampled On: T.W.D.Y., “Player’s Holiday” | Derty Werk (1999) LunchMoneyLewis - “It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day” feat. Aminè | Pets 2 Soundtrack (2019) Swizz Beatz - “Take A Picture” |One Man Band (2007)

Standout: T.W.D.Y., “Player’s Holiday” | Derty Werk (1999)

Short for "The Whole Damn Yay," the group used Withers' sample while throwing a splash of The Bay's laid back flavor. With cameos from future legends like E-40 and Ray Luv, the single already embodied the best of R&B and hip-hop with guest verses from Too Short, Mac Mall and Otis & Shug. The mimosas and yacht are also a great touch.

Covered By: Jill Scott, The Original Jill Scott from the Vault Vol. 1 (2011) Alt-J, This Is All Yours (2014) Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2 (2013) Kirk Franklin, The Nu Nation Project (1998)

Standout: Kirk Franklin, The Nu Nation Project (1998)

Who was going to beat a chorus singing to the lordt? Franklin's take on the classic gives us stirring gospel and appreciation for Withers and God. There are plenty of covers that have lifted the same vocals as Withers, but the ones listed have put their unique spin on the track.

7. “Ain't No Sunshine” | Just As I Am (1971)

Sampled On: DMX - “No Sunshine” | Exit Wounds Soundtrack (2001) Lil B - “Up And Down” | Based Jam (2012) 2Pac- "Soulja's Story" |  2Pacalypse Now (1991)

Standout: DMX - “No Sunshine” | Exit Wounds Soundtrack (2001)

"No Sunshine" served as the only single from DMX's film alongside Steven Seagal, which gave everyone the perfect backdrop to the movie and X's intricate storytelling. Both the original and flipped version points out the dark elements of our lives. Withers penned the song after watching the film 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses, he pondered over the toxicity in his life. "Sometimes you miss things that weren't particularly good for you," he said in 2004 to SongFacts. "It's just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I'm not aware of."

Covered By: Soul For Real | Candy Rain (1994) Michael Jackson | Got to Be There (1972) The Boris Gardiner Happening | Is What's Happening (1973) The Temptations | Solid Rock (1972)

Standout: Michael Jackson | Got to Be There (1972)

At 14, the future King of Pop gave a riveting cover of Withers' hit for his debut album, Got To Be There. From his vocal control throughout the track to the instrumentation, his cover takes the song to another level of heartbreak.

6. "Grandma's Hands” | Just As I Am (1971)

Sampled On: BLACKstreet - “No Diggity” feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen | Another Level (1996) Big K.R.I.T. - “I Gotta Stay” | K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (2010) Brother Ali - “Waheedah's Hands” | Champion (2004)

Standout: BLACKstreet - “No Diggity” feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen | Another Level (1996)

R&B heads are well aware of BLACKstreet's neverending ballads and the genius of Teddy Riley. But the pivot of their sound for their sophomore album Another Level was due to Withers and the William “Stylez” Stewart. Speaking to Fact Mag in 2017, the creator of New Jack Swing gave credit to Stylez for bringing him the sample of "Grandma's Hands."

“If he hadn’t played that sample for me, there would never be a ‘No Diggity’ And if he didn’t write it according to the melody I gave him so it would sound that way because I wanted it to sound funky,” he said. “I wanted it to be appealing to everyone, but mostly to women. I wanted every woman to feel like they were the ‘No Diggity’ girl and that song was about them and it came across. And now, still, today, that song plays and people are on that dancefloor.”

Covered By: Gil Scott-Heron, Reflections (1981) Merry Clayton, Merry Clayton (1971) Barbra Streisand, Butterfly (1974)

Standout: Gil Scott-Heron, Reflections (1981)

Gil Scott-Heron's version of the soul classic reminded us of his versatile talents. From spoken word to his vocal abilities, the Godfather of rap music always came through with his own sound and style. Reflections was one of four albums the late artist dropped in the 80s with critics looking to it as one of his finest projects. Other cuts from the album included "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" and "B Love."

5. "Use Me" | Still Bill (1972)

Sampled On: Kendrick Lamar - “Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst"  | Good kid, Maad City (2012) J. Cole- "Dollar And A Dream II" | The Warm-Up (2009) Leela James - “So Good" | Fall For You (2014) UGK - "Use Me Up" | The Southern Way (1992)

Standout: Kendrick Lamar - “Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst"  | Good kid, Maad City (2012)

Lamar's take on "Use Me" blended right into the themes of his debut album, Good kid, Maad City allowing the artist to create another world on the project. To make things even better, Lamar also sampled Al Green's "I'm Glad You're Mine" for the track.

Covered By: Grace Jones, Indigo Nights, Live (2008) Mick Jagger feat. Lenny Kravitz, Wandering Spirit  (2004) Issac Hayes, Dr. Dolittle Soundtrack (1998)

Standout: Mick Jagger feat. Lenny Kravitz, Wandering Spirit (2004)

On his third solo album, Jagger linked with Rick Rubin to test his creative energy, allowing him to work with Lenny Kravitz on their version of "Use Me." Colliding worlds was one thing but to hear Kravitz's vocals come in on the bridge, set the track apart from the rest.

4. “Kissing My Love” | Still Bill (1972)

Sampled On: J. Cole - “The Cut Off" featuring kiLL Edward  | KOD (2018) Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride" featuring Snoop Dogg, RC and Jewell | The Chronic (1992) Masta Ace- "Movin On" | Take A Look Around (1990) Master P- "Bastard Child" | The Ghettos Tryin To Kill Me! | 1994

Standout: Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride" featuring Snoop Dogg, RC and Jewell | The Chronic (1992)

"Kissing My Love" is one of most sampled from Withers catalog, thanks to its feverish drums. It's also why it fits into Dr. Dre's single and the G-funk era.

3. Grover Washington's “Just The Two of Us” featuring Bill Withers | Winelight (1981)

Sampled/Covered On:  Will Smith - “Just The Two of Us” | Big Willie Style (1997) Eminem- "Just The Two of Us" | Slim Shady EP (1997) Keri Hilson- "Pretty Girl Rock" | No Boys Allowed (2010)

Standout: Will Smith - “Just The Two of Us” | Big Willie Style (1997)

Touching and soulful, Smith's dedication to his eldest son Trey is just too cute for words.

2. “Let It Be” | Just As I Am  (1967)

The Original: The Beatles - “Let It Be” | Let It Be (1968)

"Let It Be" is a pretty special record. Aretha Franklin recorded a version a year before the release of The Beatles' version and Withers gave his take on the record in the 70s. Slightly faster, his upbeat take on "Let It Be" just hits different.

1. “Rosie” | Menagerie Re-Issue (1977)

Sampled On: Kanye West - “Roses” |  Late Registration (2005)

As the somber part of Late Registration, "Roses" brings us into Kanye's world where he contemplates the mortality of a loved one. It's a sentimental take on the sample and one of the artist's most underrated songs. It's also a hidden gem for Withers as it isn't featured on Menagerie's LP. It was added as a bonus track on

Enjoy the jams in playlist form below.

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Remain Calm: 5 Ways To Curve Negative Effects Of Coronavirus Isolation

Self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak seems to be best practice in keeping our families and peers safe but it's also a shift in our normal social behavior. As millions of families around the country get adjusted to self-isolation, the state of our mental health and how our bodies react to the practice are changing by the day, especially lower-income and marginalized groups.

Speaking with Wired, John Vincent, a clinical psychologist at the University of Houston, shared how apathetic behavior can rise to the forefront, making space for anxiety and depression.

“People start getting lethargic when they don’t have positive inputs into their small worlds,” Vincent says. “We can expect depression to kick in, and depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.”

But the biggest reason behind the uneasiness isn't the self-isolation but just how long it will last. Details of COVID-19 are changing by the day with the most cases now coming out of New York. Yet, there's still little to no information on what happens next.

“Open, transparent, consistent communication is the most important thing governments and organizations can do: Make sure people understand why they are being quarantined first and foremost, how long it is expected to last,” Samantha Brooks of King’s College London told the outlet. “A huge factor in the negative psychological impact seems to be confusion about what's going on, not having clear guidelines, or getting different messages from different organizations.”

Uncertainty hitting low income and marginalized groups is also a problem within itself. As virtual parties and celebrities opening up on social media happen on a daily, there are people who might not access fun distractions on the web.

“Some people have posited technology as a means of connecting people, but lower-income groups might not even have FaceTime or Skype or minutes on their phone,” Thomas Cudjoe, a geriatrician researching the intersection of social connections and aging at Johns Hopkins University says. “People take that for granted, using their devices can be a strain on people’s incomes.”

To make self-isolation less than a bore or a daunting task, experts suggest creating a schedule to dictate control in your home.

1. Work It Out

Gyms are closed, but your home can be transformed into a personal training center. Use heavy bags for weights and if you can, create a playlist of workouts on YouTube. For those who have memberships for Blink or Peloton, the platforms have streamed their workouts on apps.

2. Mindful Meditation

Meditation isn't about dumping your thoughts, it's about staying aware and mindful. AQUA has developed online that leverages the power of "Mindful Meditation and Mobility Movements" for flexibility and fluidity in the body. Classes are free of charge but feel free to donate.

3. Take It Back To High School

Give your friends a call or indulge in a FaceTime party. Feel free to use the Wifi in your home to reduce the amount of data used on your phone. Lala Anthony held a too-cute FT birthday party for writer Kiyonna Anthony with a 70s theme. You can also find creative ways to hop on the phone with friends and family instead of constantly chatting about 'rona.

 

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We made the best out of our quarantine situation🎉‼️FACETIME 70s Party💃🏽🎉HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY NIECE @kiyonnathewriter ❤️❤️💃🏽💃🏽SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY ARIES ♈️ MAKE THE BEST OF IT!!!😘

A post shared by ℒᎯ ℒᎯ (@lala) on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:14pm PDT

4. Start A Journal

Journals just aren't for kids. The practice not only gives you something to do, but it fuels creativity and a new level of self-awareness. Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently developed Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, with over 150 inspiring questions and quotes that connect to key themes in her memoir. The journal will also help bring readers to terms with the importance of family and personal reflections as well as the goals they'd like to make a reality.

5. Have a Dance Party or Enjoy Lo-Fi Beats To Quarantine To

If you don't have data or battery power to watch a virtual DJ party, make your own. If you have to pull out your record player, do it! You can also hop on your favorite streaming service and create a playlist all your own.

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From Teen Sensation To Vocal Bible: Brandy's 15 Best Songs

September 27, 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the multiplatinum self-titled debut album by one of R&B’s greatest voices, Brandy Rayana Norwood, or simply Brandy. She was already well on her way to stardom prior to her debut as a background vocalist for Immature and one of the stars of the short-lived ABC series, Thea. However, it was the album Brandy that set her on the path to tremendous success.

Since officially bursting onto the scene in 1994 sporting her well-known braided crown of glory, she has been a force to be reckoned with. She was handpicked by her idol, the late Whitney Houston, to portray the role of the first Black Cinderella in the 1997 film Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. Her show Moesha was one of the longest-running black sitcoms. Brandy was also a CoverGirl in 1999 and became a friend of Barbie that same year when Mattel released the Brandy Doll. In music, she’s released six studio albums, sold more than 40 million records worldwide, headlined three world tours, and won more than 30 awards including seven Billboard Music Awards, a Grammy and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Award. Brandy deserves her flowers.

Let’s check out the top 15 songs that helped solidify Brandy as your favorite singer’s favorite singer (just ask Solange) and earned her the title of the “Vocal Bible.”

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