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Christina Milian On 'Superhuman' Season Finale, Loving Cardi B & Embracing Your Superpower

The singer-songwriter shared what's to come on tonight's finale and new music. 

Dennis Just, Ethan Brown and Tyler Hinman are by no means household names. The east coast natives don’t have social pages dripped in sponsored swag or make headlines for viral memes. They do however, possess a variety of skills like stereoscopic vision, solid numeracy development and abstract memory concepts. The trio and plenty others have found a home for their talents on FOX’s Superhuman, the summer series adapted from Germany’s Super Brain/The Brain.

The series brings together people from all over the country to use their special talents in mind bending competitions for a $50,000 prize. Christina Milian is just a piece of the show’s unique batch of judges which also include Mike Tyson and Dr. Rahul Jandial with host Kal Penn.

My feelings exactly @KalPenn! We have way too much fun on @SuperHumanFox. Mondays at 9/8c on @FoxTV.

A post shared by Christina Milian (@christinamilian) on

Despite the over saturation of game-shows with cliche additives, the series works wonders for the everyman of America and those intrigued by the power of the brain. Speaking with VIBE Vixen, Milian dishes about her time on the show and what’s to come for Monday’s (Jul. 31) season finale.

“Given it's the finale, it's going to be the craziest and the most fun experience [for everyone,]” Milian said. We get so excited with the participants. I'm hoping every one tunes in just to see all the great talent that goes on the show. We're definitely saving the best for last.” Some “superhuman” powers that have taken over the fluorescent-filled stage provide inspiration for viewers and sometimes, the judges themselves. Milian recalled a moment earlier in the season with Mike Byster, whose mental math abilities helped him break down the sticker price of three vintage cars. Milian was taken aback by the nail-biting challenge. The stakes also seemed to be that much higher since Byster’s son was in the crowd as he vied for the $50K award.

“It's always been one of my favorite since he ends up winning and it served as a bonding moment between him and his kid,” she said. “There was this [underlying] feeling that he never really got credit for how amazing his talent is. Hearing the love from his family as all of this was happening was really great to see.”

While so many competitions center on talents like singing and dancing, Milian found the chance to participate in Superhuman as a present to the hidden wunderkinds of the country. The singer-songwriter also lent a word of advice to those hiding their talents from the world.

“Tap into and recognize your talents,” she said. “You never know what your skill can bring about. You have to think of yourself in that higher light so you’re in a better place." But it’s not all brain power. The singer, who has perfected her craft behind the camera, in the booth and in the retail space knows it’s all about fine tuning your talents.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQORpEagshY/

“You have to also be aware of all of your skills. [That way] you’re steering the ship towards your interest,” she said. “On the upside, you can always go on a show and win a lot of money (laughs).” With Superhuman taking a break before season 2, the singer is ready to revamp her own sound. With a background in pop and R&B, the Cuban-American is ready to turn the tables with the help of her Latin roots. The singer is currently working with Pitbull’s longtime producer and DJ IAmChino and is expecting to release new tunes as early as this fall.

“I've been working on music in Miami and New York that has an international sound to it.,” she adds. “IAmChino [and myself] have done some pretty dope tracks.”

As for summer ‘17, Milian has enjoyed Superhuman-feeling singles like Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” and Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.” “I think all of us girls turn up real quick when "Bodak Yellow" comes on,” she said. “Every girl is like, ‘I got me one of those." She also raved about the fellow Latina making waves in the hip-hop game.

“The fact that she's a female rapper and Latina makes [her] relatable,” she added. [Cardi’s] a New York girl and it's so cool to see her success, where she comes from and how she started from just talking to a camera on Instagram. She made a career for herself and has let that translate into fashion, music and more. She wanted something better for herself and she went for it.”

The contestants of Superhuman may wrinkle the brain of viewers, but one thing that doesn’t is Milian’s youthful look, which stems from three essential practices.

“Number one, hydration. It's the key to everything,” she shared. “It keeps your glowing. I feel as though that if you're hydrated, you're in a better mood. When I'm not hydrated, I feel it. I get tired and my skin gets dry. Water is great. It's next to my bed and on my counter, just everywhere!”

Happiness is ______#fillintheblank

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“Number two; laugh. Just living and being happy. Laughter keeps you young. Number three, I'd say sleep but I don't sleep enough. It's supposed to be a major factor. Even though I don't get to do it that often, I still manage to find the time. Naps also help.”

Check out the season finale of Superhuman airing tonight on FOX at 9 p.m. EST.

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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.
KMazur/WireImage

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 pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@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 pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— 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 pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— 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 pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— 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!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— 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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