It’s rare when an up-and-coming artist can get me to come out of my familiar surroundings into the sometimes hostile environment of the music industry. Canadian R&B singer Melanie Fiona is one of those rare artists. A pretty girl who can sing like an Angel is such a rarity these days!

Last night, I had the pleasure of being in the company of such a great talent! Melanie is destined for greatness and I’m glad I got the chance to meet her before the industry swallows her whole and she forgets where she came from.

Wow, she sings like an angel! Melanie, 26, serenaded the industry elite with her powerful pipes during her invitation-only dinner at the Geisha House in Atlantic Station.

Industry execs included SRC Records CEO Steve Rifkind (pictured above with his artist), who invited me up to his hotel suite after the dinner party to “listen to music.” Imagine that!

Steve also invited a few high powered people like Sister2Sister publisher Jamie Foster Brown (pictured above with Fiona), PR queen Tresa Sanders of TreMedia (pictured below with Fiona) who reps Akon and Keyshia Cole, to come to his suite as well. But I politely declined.

Celebs coming out to show their support included Akon, former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, and choreographer Devyne Stephens.

I was accompanied to the event by good friend, celebrity makeup artist Jai Jai (pictured above with Fiona), who worked her magic on my face earlier in the evening. You may recall Jai Jai was totally disrespected by her ex-boyfriend, rapper Shawty Lo, who has since apologized. I always say the best revenge is to be a success, and Jai Jai has hit the ground running toward her goals. She is a young woman with such poise, wisdom and insight to be only 23!

Fiona’s debut album on SRC/Universal Motown “The Bridge” officially drops on Nov. 10!

Thanks to celebrity photographer Prince Williams for the flicks!

MORE pics after the break!

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LaFace Records held its pre-Soul Train Awards 20 year reunion party at Uptown Restaurant and Lounge on Monday night in Atlanta.

Veteran LaFace Records staff and artists came from far and wide to attend the reunion. Former LaFace execs like Phillana Williams, Ciara’s former manager, (pictured above, center) who was very supportive of me early in my career. And the kind LaFace receptionist (pictured bottom left).

Noticeably absent from the party were founders LA Reid and Babyface, who I hear pulled out of the awards at the last minute because the show was so disorganized. Naturally, everyone wondered why they couldn’t make it to their own reunion party.

The Soul Train Awards was filmed last night at Georgia World Congress Center in downtown. It airs on Nov. 27, I think.

The LaFace staff were not the kindest people in the industry back in those days. So this picture post will be a short one.

Thanks to Thad of for the pics!

Who knew former Hot 107.9 host Rashan Ali used to work for LaFace?

Former LaFace employee Randall Dunn poses with one of his Atlanta Dymes beauties, the lovely and talented Tomika Skanes. Randall founded the wildly popular Atlanta Dymes Calendar, which he was nice enough to send me. Tomika Skanes is featured prominently among the scantily clad models in the calendar.

Celebrity party planner Jamahl King, left (yes, he planned this event too) posed with producer Tony Mercedes who founded Mercedes Records after falling out with LA Reid back in the day.

Singer Usher, left, poses with former LaFace A&R Kawan “KP” Prather, center, and rapper Mike Bigga

MORE reunion pics after the break!

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Sultry singer Toni Braxton and hubby Kerry Lewis. It’s a blessing that they’re still together.

Straits co-owner Ludacris hosted the official Soul Train after party at his restaurant last night in Atlanta. Celebrity photographer Thad of was on the spot.

Sexy singer Mario and Trey Song attended the same party? Hmmm…

Singer Trey Song sporting diamond studded earrings in both lobes. How tre chic.

Sexy rapper Chamillionaire was in the building.

MORE pics after the break!

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A blond, blue eyed Dallas Cowboy cheerleader is in hot water after a photo she posted on her Facebook page showed her dressed up as rapper Lil Wayne, complete with dread locks and platinum, iced out grill.

When are people going to learn that you can’t put everything on the Internet unless you have nothing to lose?

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Whitney Isleib has inadvertently stepped into a Halloween controversy by reportedly dressing up as soon-to-be incarcerated rapper Lil’ Wayne in black-face.

Photos of the blonde-haired cheerleader turned hip-hop impresario were posted to Facebook and eventually made their way to sports blog

Offensive or just plain fun? Dallas fans are split.

“If she wasn’t a Dallas cheerleader would it really matter? It’s Halloween, you know. You get to go how you want to go” Cowboys fan Laura Pyhrr told CBS 11 Dallas at Sunday’s game.

He does have a point there. It was just a Halloween costume.

Here is episode 2 of “Monica, Still Standing,” in case you missed it.

Hopefully, Mo will visit my suite at the Philips Arena during an upcoming Atlanta Hawks home game to meet with my readers. I don’t think we’ll have a problem making that happen. Just the other night, I was out driving and Mo called my cell to say she was having difficulty logging into my blog to chat with my readers.

How many celebrities would arbitrarily log into my blog to chat with my readers without being asked? And did I tell y’all that the whole Live Chat concept was Monica and Mia X’s idea?

After the expected GOP sweep yesterday in former Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Virginia, it seems the Obama magic is gone.

This from the NY Post:

In fact, the elections underscored Obama’s political weakness just one year after his triumphant victory over Republican moderate John McCain.

The Obama invincibility that was so much in evidence then seems to have lost its power. People can argue the reasons why these elections, all in places Obama carried handily, were so close. But if he were the political marvel he was thought to be, these races wouldn’t have been contests, but walkovers. So one consequence of this Election Day is the end of his special political magic.

That’s no surprise — as that magic was a largely substanceless froth whipped up by campaign consultants and compliant big-media cheerleaders. (Source)

Yesterday it seemed that Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood had far outpaced her opponent Kasim Reed in the polls. But this morning Atlantans awoke to the news that the two candidates were once again hitting the campaign trail just hours after vote tallies placed them in a runoff with each other.

According to the AJC: if elected mayor, Reed said he would first focus on “starting to put more police officers on the street to secure our city. We’ve got to turn the tide of violence in Atlanta. We’ve got to recognize that we have an organized gang problem in our city.”

Asked about the prospect of being the first white mayor of Atlanta in a generation, Norwood said, “I have said all along that this is about uniting Atlanta.” But voters I spoke with yesterday aren’t too sure about Norwood or her plans for Atlanta.

Atlanta has always touted itself as the urban entertainment mecca of the South. But all of that is expected to change if Norwood takes office. Urbanites fear that Norwood, who is a Buckhead resident, will lower taxes in her posh Buckhead neighborhood while raising taxes outside of the perimeter where most urban blacks migrated after the Olympics.

According to the AJC, both candidates appeared before daybreak on WSB-TV, with Reed saying that he and Norwood “have run a high-road, high-minded campaign, and it’s going to be left to us to make sure we do not divide this city during this very important election.”

People, please get out and vote for Kasim Reed for Mayor. It is vitally important that we get out the vote! As the legendary Sam Cooke once said, a Change is gonna come. But it might not be the change we want or need after 36 years of black mayorship in Atlanta.

Speaking of promised Change that never quite materialized, we learned yesterday that Barack Obama decided not to bother watching the elections returns. Instead, he watched an NBA basketball game.

We’re not surprised that he wouldn’t be interested in watching the returns after a GOP sweep in NJ and Virginia that shined a harsh spotlight on Obama’s political weakness.

Conspiracy theorists are jumping all over the news about “mix ups” involving the H1N1 vaccines. According to online reports, school children across the country have been vaccinated against the swine flu virus without their parents consent. This is not as innocuous as it sounds.

Every school nurse knows she can’t administer as much as a single Motrin to children without parental consent. So how could this “mistake” happen?

Isn’t it interesting that in July, Obama’s US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, signed a decree granting vaccine makers total immunity from any lawsuits that may arise from “Swine Flu” vaccine “mix ups” such as these incidents?

And why does the CDC suggest only children be vaccinated when adults as well as children are coming down with the flu?

Read more on the web

New York

Another City Student Gets Flu Vaccine By Mistake


Toledo Blade


Fox News

Toledo On The Move