Reflections: Keepin’ It In The Family

I recall a few years ago when I went to a Detroit church to hear the highly entertaining, energetic and funny motivational speaker Les Brown.

It was interesting that his daughter and son came out before him (separately). It was kind of like “the Les Brown Revue,” with his kids as his “warm-up acts.” (They too were motivational speakers.)

Well, Diana Ross also believes in making her offspring a part of the show.

At her recent concert at the Hollywood Bowl, the iconic megastar had her daughter, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, serve as emcee. And before she made her dramatic entrance there were performances by another daughter, singer Rhonda Ross, and her son, singer/actor Evan Ross.

As for the Diana Ross performance, one reviewer wrote, “The legendary artist still knows how to keep fans wanting more while also reminding them that she put the ‘D’ in diva.”

And count me in among those who were surprised to learn that Evan Ross and actress/singer Ashlee Simpson have been a couple for quite some time.

THE TALENTED Chris Brown, 24, whose hot temper and bad judgment have gotten him into a lot of trouble over the years, has been talking about backing out of show business after the release of his new album in a few weeks.

Well, that’s not likely to happen, as has been proven by others who have said the same thing. But taking a lengthy hiatus might be a good idea. It could be a time for deep introspection.

“Being famous is amazing when it’s for music and talent,” said Brown. “But I’m tired of being famous for a mistake I made when I was 19.”

Point well taken.

Had to chuckle when Donald Fagen, key member of the famed rock/jazz band Steely Dan, who have been making music since 1972, once again unleashed his wry sense of humor.

In noting how time brings about new realities, Fagen quipped, “We’re playing country fairs now, and it’s hard to tell these geriatric people apart from the animals sometimes.”

RAVEN-SYMONE is tired of some people feeling they have a right to get into her personal business, specifically what her sexual orientation (which no one chooses) may or may not be.

“I’m living my personal life the way I’m happiest,” the actress/singer said. “I’m not one in my 25-year career to discuss who I’m dating and I will not start now. My sexual orientation is mine and the person I’m dating to know.”

People have been wondering what the nature of D’Angelo’s “medical emergency” was that has caused the singer to cancel concerts in New York, Maryland, Chicago, San Diego and Minneapolis. Hope he recovers fully and quickly.

Political Notes: Among other things, the results of Detroit’s primary election proved that the status quo has got to go!

Just as a country that is about 80 percent White elected a Black president because the majority believed he was the best man for the job, so it was when an 85 percent Black city made a White candidate the top vote getter because the majority feel he is the right man at the right time. Never mind race.

I respect and like Benny Napoleon, but I voted for Mike Duggan and will again in November. There will be a lot of race card-playing Black people running off at the mouth between now and then, but I believe that what will most benefit the city at the crucial juncture will ultimately prevail.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that the twist, one of the most famous dances of all time, was created in Detroit by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters (actually it was just the Midnighters). They were successful with their recording of “The Twist,” but then Chubby Checker released his version and the song became iconic. But because Ballard wrote the song, he made a lot of money too.

MEMORIES: “Get Down Tonight” (KC & the Sunshine Band), “Boogie Fever” (the Sylvers), “Careless Whisper” (Wham! featuring George Michael), “Shake You Down” (Gregory Abbott), “Didn’I (Blow Your Mind This Time)?” (the Delfonics), “Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson), “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (Deniece Williams), “On My Own” (Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald), “Disco Lady” (Johnnie Taylor), “I Can’t Get Next to You” (the Temptations).

BLESSINGS to Linsey Porter, Yvonne Gullick, Henry White, Bess White, Donna Davis, Anthony Moreland, Marie Teasley, Ron Teasley, Eric Merchant and Andrew Strong.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Whoopi Goldberg: “Normal is in the eye of the beholder.”

Let the music play!

(Steve Holsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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