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Donnie wahlberg

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So, I was sitting in my office this afternoon – had the place to myself, so I did what I often do when there is no one else in, which is have a little party!!! This entails me plugging in my iPod or clicking onto youtube and playing all my favourite tunes, as I dance and sing along, usually at the top of my voice!!!! Luckily we are the only office on the top floor, which means no one can be subjected to my voice! Although the security man did come in and ask if he could join my little shindig, having walked past and heard me, so I guess it can’t be that bad!

Anyway, I digress… So, I go onto Youtube  and searched for Please Don’t Go Girl, a song by my fave band New Kids On The Block, as ain’t no real party complete without a lil old school NKOTB – obviously. And to my surprise one of the first videos listed wasn’t the Boston five (New Kids) as expected, but a trio of young teenage boys called ToBeOne. Since the video had been posted just two days ago I assumed it was new, and it looked sort of professional so I knew it wasn’t some random guys doing a home video, so curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on it.

ToBeOneSo, apparently ToBeOne are Madison, Mikey and Jason are a new boy band from New Jersey US. The oldest is just 15 years old and they managed by Troy Carter (former manager of Lady GaGa), and they chose to cover (well the chorus any way) the New Kid’s classic hit Please Don’t Go Girl for their third single – nice. The jury is still out on the dance moves for me, even though these boys first came to public recognition after coming second on the sixth season of America’s Best Dance Crew. But as for the song, I quite like what they have done here, not as much as the original though! What do you think? Did they do a good job?

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Wow! Isn’t life a funny thing? Heavy D’s passing, after collapsing from respiratory problems outside his Beverly Hills home on Tuesday night (8 November, 2011), shocked so many. As well as the fact that it was so untimely, being he was only 44, I think it hit even harder as this year, after being out of the spotlight for a while, he has been in the public eye more than in what’s seems like forever. There was the BET Awards just last month (his first televised performance in 15 years!), where he smashed the stage to bits, proving he was still very much the smooth showman we all grooved with back in the day,  by dancing and rapping up a storm! And even became a trending topic worldwide on Twitter for his troubles.

Next he pops up in the latest Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller movie Tower Heist, which came out in the UK  last week. Then there was his trip to London, again last week, for what I am assuming was the first time in a while, where he visited the Tim Westwood Show and gave what would become his last interview, among other things. I remember him tweeting while he was here that he was watching a particular film on UK television and I tweeted back, asking him what he was doing in London, as I was keen to arrange an interview. He never replied, so sadly this didn’t happen.

Also, just two weeks ago I got an email out of the blue about interviewing Andre Harrell, respected music industry trailblazer and former CEO of Uptown Records, where Heavy D and the Boyz got their start in the late 80s, as the first act on the label. They went on to become one of the most popular hip hop acts of the 90s and Heavy went on to enjoy a fruitful solo career, featuring on tracks by the likes of Michael Jackson (Jam) and producing for artists as a varied as Jay-Z and Lenny Kravitz. He also moved into acting and appeared in flicks such as Life (alongside Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence). But not many know how much Heavy contributed to the growth and success of Uptown, and  that it was he that helped a young Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs get his internship there, the one which put him on the road to success. This in particular got me reminiscing about the self-dubbed ‘overweight lover’ and revisiting his videos on Youtube, as Andre had a lot to say about Heavy and how Andre ensured he wasn’t looked at in a stereotypical way in the industry because of his size, which is where the dancing and sharp suits came in. I was trying to pick one video to slot in to the article, but there were too many to choose from so I had to narrow it down to two in the end.

My favourite song of his is probably Got Me Waiting, which I used to rewind to death on my CD player back in the day! The big man, who not only entertained us with his own music, also bought us the group Soul IV Real, who will also be etched in music history just for their Heavy D featured hit single Candy Rain.

The huge sense of  loss felt by fans and celebs (many who were also fans) has been reflected in the number and nature of tributes issued on his behalf since  the news broke. Hip hop website Rapradar.com posted a long list of tweets which came from rap world, which spoke volumes.

Click here for tribute tweets from the rap world

But the fact that tributes also flooded in fast from outside of the rap stable, and from some seemingly unlikely sources, showcases how how far the love of Heavy D spread. For example singer Joey McIntyre, from boyband New Kids On The Block, who to all outside of his core fanbase would not be the first person you would mention when you said the words: ‘Heavy D’.  But following Heavy D’s passing, this dude went past tweeting and wrote a WHOLE blog post on how much Heavy D affected his life, and how much he will miss him as an artist and some one he was lucky enough to have met on a few occasions and have a genuine connection with. That’s serious. The group’s Donnie Wahlberg also gave  his own tribute by sharing a picture of him and Heav back in the day with his Twitter followers.

You would assume that when someone dies, people will automatically have something nice to say about them because it is the ‘right way’ to express things in such circumstances. But with Heavy D you get the impression that these are the same really nice things people thought and said about the guy when he was alive.

R.I.P Dwight Arrington Myers bka ‘Heavy D’! You will always be a true hip hop legend!

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MM - Suit

These days Mark Wahlberg, 38, is known as one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, appearing in films such as The Italian Job, The Perfect Storm, Three Kings,  and The Departed, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2008. His acting career kicked off after making his big screen debut in 1994 with Renaissance Man.

From there he starred in and received critical acclaim for The Basketball Diaries (1995) with Leonardo DiCaprio. But the film that really cemented him as a certified actor was Boogie Nights (1997), when he played young porn star Dirk Digler, alongside Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore. The film picked up rave reviews and Mark’s performance was praised as standout.