When I read the headline on CNN.com that a man was executed by firing squad toay, I naturally assumed that the execution took place in a foreign country. I was wrong.

According to CNN, the Utah Dept. of Corrections reports that convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by firing squad early this morning. Firing squad? I'm all for capital punishment for ruthless murderers, but how barbaric is that? They don't play in Utah! I'm guessing the crime rate is real low there.

Gardner is the third man killed by firing squad in Utah since capital punishment was reinstated there in 1976.

Gardner was convicted and sentenced to death for gunning down an attorney during a botched escape attempt from a courthouse in 1985. Someone slipped Gardner the gun prior to his court appearance where he was on trial for murdering a man in 1984.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert rejected Gardner's appeals for a commutation of his sentence to life. And the Supreme court sealed his fate by rejecting a stay of execution on Thursday.

Here are the gruesome details of the execution:

A hood was placed over Gardner's head and a paper target pinned to his chest. He was heavily restrained as a five-person firing squad took aim at the target and shot him, witnesses said.

Journalists who witnessed the shooting said it happend quickly. One reporter said she noticed that Gardner moved after he was shot.
"It was over pretty quickly," said Cheryl Worsley, a local radio reporter. "It was cleaner than I expected. It was fast. But he moved. He moved a little bit, and to some degree that bothers me."

I bet rapper Lil Boosie is glad he didn't commit his crimes in Utah. Yesterday, a Louisiana Grand Jury indicted Lil Boosie, real name Torrence Hatch, on a murder charge in connection with the Oct. 21 shooting death of Terry Boyd.

Pseudo-singer Ciara was spotted shopping at Intermix yesterday in West Hollywood, California. She shopped with her dog and they both looked very lonely. That's what happens when you're mean and can't keep any friends.

Singer Omarion, right, and he whose name shall not be spoken, were seen entering the Staples center for thaat boring Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the LA Cry Babies.

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Remember back in the day when little Dondria made a video ordering her Stans to come after me because she didn't like what I wrote about her? The kids were so rude and disruptive that I had to close my registration down. Well, for that reason alone I shouldn't be making this post.

But the Lord moved my heart to forgive Dondria plus the fact that she must now suck up because she needs my exposure. Dondria later removed the video from her YouTube channel. But she has yet to apologize for throwing that tantrum.

So So Def's R&B singer Dondria shot her music video for her second single "Shawty Wus Up" in Atlanta yesterday with rapper Diamond (another disrespectful young'un); singer/songwriter Johnta Austin and music mogul Devyne Stephens.

The low-budget video was directed by G.Visuals and the video's concept is a spin-off of the classic New Edition video "If It Isn't Love." Dondria's long-delayed debut album Dondria vs. Phatfffat hits stores August 3.

Shout out: Saptosa Foster | The 135th Street Agency

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I already know the unfortunate answer to my own question. Some of you will make excuses (the angle of the sun, makeup, etcetera).

But the reality is that she's bleaching. Studies have shown that skin bleaching can be detrimental to our health and can even led to skin disorders including skin cancer.

It really is a shame that Bobbi Kristina feels the media driven pressure to be light skinned with long hair. Any LSLH chick will tell you that life for them is not a bed of roses.

She was such a beautiful little brown skin baby.

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Is too late in the afternoon for some Morning Wood? Yes, I know I spelled 'Sexxy' with two X's. But Sammie looks so good in this video that I thought the double x was appropriate.

Sammie's people sent over this cover for his upcoming project "It's Just a Mixtape" to be released next Tuesday, June 22, 2010. The mixtape will feature all new songs and no remakes to give listeners timeless music from an underrated artist.

But the cover pales in comparison to the video promo for the project. The former child star is seen doing push ups, flexing his biceps and making the ladies feverish!

Peep the video after the break!

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Gawjus rapper Nelly hosted the Key Club industry party at the Gold Room this past Monday. Other celebs in the house included JD, rapper Talib Kweli (LOVE him!), producers Bryan Michael Cox and DJ Toomp, and others

Gawjus singer Kelly Rowland attended a private listening event for her self titled album at Hudson Hall in NYC yesterday. I hope this album finally puts her in the forefront of American music or she might have to go on back to London where she is worshipped.

Star power in the room included Star Jones, left, and Motown Records' president Sylvia Rhone, right.

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Former singer turned DJ Solange Knowles and her man were spotted out & about somewhere this week. Solange is one of those women who should never go without makeup. I see she's still wearing that awful afro wig. I had a contentious email exchange with a woman who was offended that I complimented Kelis' short hair cut but I dissed Solange's short bush. I argued that Kelis' hair was neatly coiffed, while Solange's short hair cut was a complete mess. Wearing our hair 'natural' does not mean keeping it unkempt or never running a comb through it. This is 2010. Why does she look like a cave woman in distress?
Photo source: SJB

After pics of a bloated Whitney Houston hit the net last week, she has kept a low profile. The pics were actually taken last month. Her sudden weight gain may have been the result of powerful steroids to combat a respiratory or autoimmune problem (I'm speculating). Whitney seems to be losing some of that weight in these pics that were taken yesterday as Whitney was leaving her hotel for her Manchester concert in England.

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Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton caused a storm of controversy when he posted an under-the-skirt photo of singer Miley Cyrus, who may or may not have been wearing underwear.

After catching major heat from readers and sponsors alike, Perez issued a semi-apology. Still, ABC pulled ads from his popular blog Perezhilton.com, and law enforcement may be considering child porn charges against the blogger.

Now comes word that Perez might have faked the picture -- which is even worse than if the photo were real. Who fakes photos of teenagers without panties on? And what does this mean for Perez's career as a top celebrity blogger?

Joy Behar discussed the scandal with PopEater's Rob Shuter on her show, where Shuter explained that the photo was indeed faked.

"He made that up?" Behar asked. "He made it up," Shuter replied. They then talked about the implications it may have for Perez's career. Read more...

This Morning Glory post is for the ladies (more on that in a sec). I first met La'Shontae Heckard at Ne-Yo's Midnight breakfast & cocktails party at his studio following the BET Hip Hop Awards back in 2007. At the time, everyone in the room assumed she was his girlfriend -- and Ne-Yo did everything to convince us that she was.

Now that I know that Tae is a confirmed lesbun, I am more convinced than ever that Ne-Yo is How U doin? Why don't these industry men just come out of the closet since the door is wide open anyway?

Tae got her start as a video vixen starring in music videos such as Ne-Yo's "Do U" and "Because of You", as well as Kanye West's "Gold Digger" video. She also had a recurring role on TV's "The Game."

Some pics may not be suitable for work...

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Normally I post my Best Photoshopped Photos at the end of the year. But while browsing through my archives this week, I realized that I missed 2009. I don't know how that happened -- and nobody reminded me.

My Photoshopping of artists together began as a way of illustrating my posts — and because I couldn’t find decent photos of those artists online. Now it has become sort of a game for my readers to guess which photos are fake. Several of my sharp eyes readers guessed that the above pic of Common and Erykah Badu wasn't what it seemed. I made that one easy for you guys.

No one guessed that this pic of R&B crooners Usher and Jimmy Cozier at a party in New York was fake.

Everyone guessed that this pic of pop singer Rihanna and Teh Ghey rapper Drake wasn't the real mccoy. Lol.

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At least a decade late, and long ago forgotten, aging rappers Dr. Dre and Jay Z finally release that "epic" single. I'm going to let my blog brethren Byron Crawford say it since he listened to the track and I didn't:

I guess it makes sense that if Jay-Z can't write good raps for himself anymore, he can't write good raps for anyone else.

The production is crap, too. Jimmy Iovine must have told Dr. Dre that if he wanted to sell any albums in 2K10, he had to make it all teh ghey and futuristic-sounding. Maybe techno-style synthesizers sound especially good in Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.

If only he really had looped up the Queen and David Bowie record.

My old friend and former colleague eskay has it streaming. It's got some dreaded n-word screaming over it, but there wasn't much enjoyment to ruin in the first place.

LISTEN: Dr. Dre feat. Jay-Z - Under Pressure [Nah Right]

The day after US president Barack Obama addressed the nation on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, his approval ratings fell to a new low:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 24% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20...

Overall, 42% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. That’s the lowest level of approval yet recorded for this president. Fifty-seven percent (57%) now disapprove. Those are the lowest ratings yet recorded for this president. Read more...

Could these numbers foreshadow the swiftest public fall from grace of any sitting U.S. president in history?

A friend owes me $1,000! I bet him that Drake's debut CD would not go gold in the first week. Now he won't answer his phone! LOL.

Despite wishful thinking on the part of incarcerated rapper Lil Wayne who predicted Drake would go platinum in the first week, Drake's 'Thanks Me Later' won't even be the third best selling CD in 1st week sales:

You can Thank him now, or Thank him Later, but the record industry should show its gratitude somehow because Drake’s new album is the first blockbuster of the summer, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The half-Jewish Toronto hip-hop star who got his start in the teen TV cult hit Degrassi: The Next Generation, goes to the head of the class this week on his Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown debut, Thank Me Later, with first-week sales in the 450-475k range, making it a lock for #1.

Based on one-day sales reports from those retailers still blowing their own vuvezelas, that would be the third highest-total this year to Sade (501k) and Lady Antebellum (481k). Read more...

Former supermodel Tyson was spotted chatting up a Grade A chickenhead outside a NYC high school yesterday. They were totally oblivious to the paparazzi that Tyson's people called and tipped off.

Moments later they climbed onto his motorcycle and sped off. Hopefully, Tyson checked her driver's license to be sure she was legal.

Music producer Akon, left and music mogul Devyne Stephens attended Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center yesterday. The Boston Celtics let the LA Cry Babies win the game last night. But the Celtics will bring their A game tomorrow. You can bet your mortgage on that.

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A free concert by the pop group Hanson was canceled by police yesterday after an unruly crowd estimated at 20,000 young fans began running amok in the streets.

Canadian rapper Drake was also on the bill. Naturally, the Drake Stans are saying the crowds were there for him, lol.

Drake's street team (and other Stans) lit up the online micro-blogging website Twitter with lies tweets about Drake bringing out huge crowds yesterday. When actually the mixed crowd of mostly white and Hispanic teens were there for Hanson, not Drake.

Police estimated that only 10% of the crowd was there to see Drake.

The show started at about 6 PM with an opening act at Pier 17 on Manhattan's South Street Seaport, a popular summer locale for concerts. Hanson, the Tulsa, Okla., brothers behind the 1997 hit 'Mmmbop,' and headliner Drake, whose album 'Thank Me Later' debuted Tuesday, were to appear on stage soon after.

Organizers were anticipating about 10,000 people but nearly 20,000 showed up, police said. Many people climbed roofs and started throwing bottles, as concertgoers smashed together toward the stage, police said.

Source: PE

Akon's look-a-like brother Bu Thiam is making major moves! First, he was named VP or A&R for Def Jam last year, and now he has a blogging gig with VIBE.com.

Most of you were introduced to Bu right here on Sandrarose.com. And Bu looks out: he has offered to fly me to exclusive parties in Miami, and hard to get concert tickets to Lady GaGa shows (not that I have to be bribed to show love, mind you).

Every week Bu will chronicle his experiences as A&R on VIBE.com. First up, he blogs about Rihanna's new CD, which he describes as another "Michael Jackson’s Thriller."

Rihanna is coming along incredibly. I’m trying to push her to where every song will be a hit from 1 to 12. I’m talking about NO album fillers. Our bar for this album is Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We got smashes from Stargate, Ester Dean, Mel & Mus and Rock City. We’re definitely going in with Ne-Yo, The-Dream and other writers and producers that have always been a part of her creative process since day one. She’s great to work with and very hands on with every song that’s being written and produced. She has visual concepts for just about every song. It’s already giving me the feel of a timeless album, and right now is her time.”

Congrats to Bu on his new gig.

Former celebrity stylist-turned-professional baby mama is on the cover of VIBE.com's online magazine.

In an in-depth interview, Ms. Foster, who is twice divorced, discussed her turbulent marriage and divorce from her baby daddy, singer Usher.

If Usher got his sh*t together, do you think the love could be easily rekindled?
No, I don’t know. I’m not anticipating it. I’m not working toward it. But it’s [also] not a closed chapter. I’m not saying that I’m not open for discussion on it, but it’s not something I’m working on.

If he came back tomorrow, would you take him back?
I don’t know. I’ve closed the chapter of having Usher as my mate. Now am I willing to reopen it? I can’t say. Do I still love him? I love him very much and you marry someone with the intent of sitting in a rocker with the person. I have sons that look just like him, so I have to deal with him pretty much every day.

The thing that I hate about Tameka is her dishonesty. Everybody knows that Tameka stalked Usher for at least a year before she finally bagged him. Of course she would take him back in a heartbeat!

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Loyal reader L.L. sent in a personal account of her painful experiences with the disorder Fibromyalgia. Not much is known about fibromyalgia, and most doctors tend to dismiss the disorder as psychological. But for the 2% of the population who suffer from fibromyalgia (mostly women), the pain they feel is very real.

According to the MayoClinic, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by dull pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons. Fibromyalgia can also cause fatigue (feeling excessively tired), depression, anxiety and sleeplessness (insomnia). The symptoms usually begin after a traumatic event or injury.

Other conditions associated with fibromyalgia include:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Treatment includes pain medications, anti-depressants and anti-seizure meds. Most patients self-medicate with Motrin or Aleve until the pain drives them into the doctor's office. Physical therapy, counseling and lifestyle modification are also treatment options.

This has been your Medical Minute.

Read L.L.'s emotional email after the break (long read).

As always, any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.

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Local rapper Jai Jai has made it no secret that she tragically lost her baby 3 years ago shortly after delivery. The baby's father is local rapper Oowee, who once ran with the notorious BMF family and is now incarcerated on attempted murder charges in Florida.

Jai Jai was also involved in a long term relationship with rapper Shawty Lo, who recently proposed to his baby mama Creia.

According to a loyal reader who asked to remain anonymous, Jai Jai was the victim of medical malpractice by a plastic surgeon who allowed an unlicensed gynecologist to work in his practice.

The medical board took punitive action against the doctor, but he was allowed to keep his license and he continues to practice medicine today. A lawsuit filed by jai Jai was later dismissed.

T.I. and Tiny made a grand entrance at the block party thrown by local businesswoman Tranace Sabb, far right, in Clayton County, Georgia.

The occasion was the birthday party of Tranace Sabb's son, Justin, 9, seen here with T.I., and the grand opening of her restaurant, Creme de la Creme Soul Food Kitchen, which is located inside the same strip mall as her hair salon.

L to R: Bahja (OMG Girlz), T.I.'s daughter Deyjah, Tiny's daughter Zonnique, Tiny and businesswoman Tranace Sabb. If you recall, Qt Jazz, 14, and Zonnique, 13, were the original members of the QT Posse years ago.

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Rapper Bow Wow, who has struggled with DL rumors almost his entire career, was spotted at Maxwell's concert after party at Compound nightclub on Saturday night with a LSLH honey. It seems that Bow Wow wants us to think she's his girl. But the young lady's body language tells a different story. Let's analyze the pictures.

Notice how Bow Wow is basically dragging the chick along behind him? See how her hand is open? Her body language is very clear. It says she's not really "with" him. Her facial expression looks like she's wondering "Where is he taking me?"

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Shawn Marion's publicist reached out to Sandrarose.com yesterday to enlighten us about NBA star Shawn Marion's many generous and charitable contributions.

Danika Berry of the DBAgency PR firm responded quickly yesterday to my blog post about Dallas exotic dancer Zeralyn's assertion that Mr. Marion was a stingy tipper.

Ms. Berry wanted us to know that -- while Mr. Marion may not always feel charitable towards local strippers who work hard for the money -- he does love the kids.

She writes:

Shawn created and established The Shawn Marion Foundation in 2007 in order to help single parent families. Last month Shawn along with his mom and three sisters were featured in the Mother¹s Day issue of Jet Magazine for pampering single moms for their hard work.

She continues:
"I read the blog that was posted by one of your readers regarding Shawn Marion. It¹s obvious that this young lady has misrepresented Mr. Marion."

Read the rest of her email after the break...

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R&B Diva Monica and singer Trey Songz have announced their upcoming tour titled The Passion, Pain, and Pleasure Tour.

In a press release sent out to all the blogs, except for mine, Trey said:

"This has been an amazing year for me... The 'Passion, Pain, & Pleasure Tour' is not just another show; it will be an up close and personal experience for everyone. With the help of one of the best R&B female vocalists out today, my sister Monica, we promise you a night to remember."

Shaking my head at Trey actually believing he is the headliner of the tour and that Mo is touring with him.

I told you about this tour back in April when I spoke with Monica who was doing spot dates with Trey at the time. When she saw my post, she laughed and said, "When did I take that picture with Trey?"

Anyway, before we get into the tour dates, I feel that I must remind you guys once again that when you see a photo credit on my blog that says "Photos," yet there is only one photo in the blog post, it means that the picture is actually two separate images that I Photoshopped together. (See my Best Photoshopped Photos of 2008 post)

I sometimes do this to illustrate my post when I can't find a picture online of two artists together-- and because bloggers frequently swipe pics from my blog without crediting their source. From now on I will indicate Photoshopped pics with the words 'Photo illustration.'

I got a kick out of seeing this photo of Monica and Trey Songz all over the blogosphere, but it is Photoshopped. So please read my photo caption before you gank pictures off my blog.

The Passion, Pain, and Pleasure Tour kicks off in Shreveport, LA on August 6 with a stop at Atlanta's Fox Theater on August 13.

6 Shreveport, LA Municipal Auditorium
7 Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre
8 Kansas City, MO Midland Theatre
12 Savannah, GA Johnny Mercer Theatre
13 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
14 Birmingham, AL BJCC Concert Hall
15 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theater
19 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre
20 St. Louis, MO Fox Theater
21 Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Theater
22 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theater
25 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theater
26 Cleveland, OH State Theatre
27 Baltimore, MD Pier 6
28 Norfolk, VA nTelos Wireless Pavilion
29 Richmond, VA Landmark Theater

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