Lifetime aired its controversial biopic on late R&B icon Aaliyah tonight, and true to the network’s recent trend with celebrity and pop culture tell-alls — need we bring up the cringe-worthy Brittany Murphy and Saved By the Bell films? — it was pretty bad. While there are some positives to Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (it paints the “Try Again” singer as passionate and determined, and lead actress Alexandra Shipp both looks and feels like Aaliyah), most of it is quite insulting.
Fresh from starring in VH1’s Drumline: A New Beat, Alexandra Shipp is taking on another major role. Shipp will play singer Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime biopic and she stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live to tell fans that as a kid, she tried especially hard to rock the R&B star’s style.
So much of Aaliyah‘s story is connected to R. Kelly. Whatever the extent of their romantic relationship, Kelly helped push the young star to the top of the R&B charts, producing her 1994 breakthrough album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number. Lifetime’s upcoming biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (Nov. 15) explores the pair’s history, including the much rumored wedding when Aaliyah was only 15 years old. But before we get into that, let’s hit the booth. Read more…
The “snake scarf” is a ubiquitous staple of celebrity. It’s a mark of decadence and courage, screaming, “Look how rich and brave I am!” as a giant python languishes around ones neck. A trend, like most weird-ish celebrity penchants (see also: chair dancing; pube skimming pants) that was immortalized into the pop culture psyche by Britney Spears, who by now is basically The Pope of all that is wonderfully gaudy and ostentatious about pop music. We bow before you and your serpent king, all powerful Britney.
While we’ve all held a snake at some time or other in our lives, it’s likely said snake wasn’t the reptilian kind we’re talking about here (*chuckle!*). The latest inductee into the snake grabbing celebrity crew is, obviously, Beyoncé, who, for Blue Ivy’s birthday, got up close and personal, stroking a giant snake as it pressed against her tiny body. It’s probably also important to note that the snake was similar to the one Britney brandished at the 2001 MTV Music Awards — or in other words, watch out Brit, Bey is coming for you.
A symbol also of sex and yeah, penises, the snake has found its way into the hands and across the bodies of many of our favorite stars. Most of them are naked, too, with snakes strategically positioned against their breasts and vaginas, raising the stakes on the power of suggestion. From Adam and Eve metaphors to jungle themes and vampires, we’ve got everyone from Salma Hayek to Kate Moss doing the sexy snake thing. Try not to get hissss-tertical as you browse our gallery of sexy babes holding snakes.
It is difficult to describe what Aaliyah meant to us back in 2001, when her life was tragically taken so abruptly on August 22. She was the epitome of understated cool, of raw talent mixed with genuine humility and effortless, chameleon-like style. She was both hard and soft, edgy and adorable, the it girl who wasn’t interested in wearing the crown. She was stunning, always, as evidenced in the red carpet pics below. But most importantly she was a massive musical talent who owned the industry during her short life. On the verge of a movie career, Aaliyah was posed for mega-mega-stardom when her plane crashed after taking of from the Bahamas, following the video shoot for her hit single “Rock the Boat.” There is no doubt that she lives on in legacy of performers — Beyonce, Gaga, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Katy — who have followed in her footsteps, mixing style with serious singing skills.
RIP, baby girl.
Check out 15 of Aaliyah’s most iconic looks, from the red carpet to the stage and everywhere in between, below.
Looks like Madge and her Material husband are no more. After years of rumors as to the unhappiness of the pair, Madge’s “affair of the heart” this summer with Yankee Alex Rodriguez, and the fact that Madonna‘s been everywhere but her adopted home of London using that fake accent of hers, we’ve been pretty sure trouble’s been brewing for a while. But the pair stuck it out for eight years, which is a lot longer than most celebrity couples stay married.
In the gallery below, we’ve put together some of the all-time shortest celebrity marriages. From Britney‘s Vegas quickie to Barrymore’s bar nuptials, these folks have proven they *are* just like us, by making really dumb mistakes. From those that were hitched for hours to months, find out which of your favorite celebs said “I do,” only to have their lawyers tell them they didn’t.
R. Kelly gave his first interview since his sex trial to BET yesterday, and it might be the last time he talks about the years-long adventure in litigation. “It’s time for me to move on,” said the Pied Pisser of R&B. “I can’t keep answering these questions. If you was charged with something and you was found innocent, then you can’t be found guilty for being found innocent.” So true!
Despite the inability to be found guilty of being found innocent, Kelly is still wary of admitting his comfort with underage flesh. When interviewer Toure asked if he liked teenage girls, Kelly responded brusquely, “Nineteen? I have some 19-year-old fans. I don’t like anybody illegal, if that’s what you’re talking about.” It sounds like R. Kelly is the only r&b star who doesn’t remember Aaliyah, the late singer/actor he married in the mid-90s, when she was only 15.
Blessed by this lapse in memory, Kells hopes the trial will have a “positive impact” on his career. “If the 12 people who didn’t know me, after hearing the facts and listening to everything, could find me innocent, [I hope that] people around the world could do the same thing.” Actually, they found him “not guilty.” It’s a slight—but important—difference.
R. Kelly likes ‘em young. The dude married his late protégé, Aaliyah, in 1994, when the singer had barely put away her My Little Pony dolls; he also penned a little ditty for her called “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” However, the Pied Piper of R&B was shocked to discover someone who looked very much like him pissing on a girl who looked very much like a 14-year-old girl in a sex video that surfaced in 2002.
The tape went viral online after it was anonymously mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times and street vendors did a steady business selling bootleg DVDs of the felonious tryst. Kelly was eventually indicted for 21 counts of sex with a minor, but after much legal haggling, the charges were reduced to 14 kiddie-porn-related offenses. The platinum-selling artist went from believing to he could fly to confessing that “Bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I’m going through.”
Despite a seemingly slam-dunk case against him, Kelly, in 2008, was acquitted of all charges. — Charles Bottomley