Dolly Parton On #BLM: ‘Do We Think Our Little White Asses Are The Only Ones That Matter?’

International superstar Dolly Parton (via Instagram)

Sometimes, it’s the divas that lead the way.

In a new interview with Billboard, international music superstar Dolly Parton makes her support for the Black Matters Lives movement clear and unequivocal: “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen. And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”

The Billboard article offers a detailed profile of Parton’s extensive business empire and explores some of the secrets to her success.

Being flexible in business situations is one skill that’s served her well both financially and in showing the world her authentic self.

Years before talk of Confederate flags and statues leaped to the forefront of political discourse, Parton renamed her Dixie Stampede dinner venue Dolly Parton’s Stampede in an effort to be sensitive to the painful history of slavery.

“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton tells Billboard. “When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’”

“As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it,” shares the 74-year-old wise woman. “Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”

(image via Billboard)

Of course, Parton has a long history of supporting and uplifting her LGBTQ fans. She’s often been quoted as saying, “If I hadn’t have been a girl, I’d have been a drag queen.”

In a 2009 interview with Joy Behar, she was asked about her support for same-sex marriage to which replied with a smile, “Why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do.”

She reiterated that stance in 2014 telling HuffPost, “I think everyone should be with who they love.”

“I don’t want to be controversial or stir up a bunch of trouble but people are going to love who they are going to love,” she continued. “I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals, hahahaha.”

And last November, promoting her Netflix series Heartstrings (which featured a gay romance episode “Two Doors Down”), she told Logo, “I’ve always been proud of my gay following. I think they care about me because I care about them.”

And around that same time, the country diva jumped into the dance music world with her terrific collaboration with Galantis, “Faith,” giving us all something to dance about.

Happy Friday, folks! Here’s to celebrating a diva who gives back to all her fans.

Cher Premieres New ‘Here We Go Again’ Concert Tour

Cher launched her Here We Go Again concert tour last night at the Ester Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, and we’ve got the pics to prove it.
Cher debuts new “Here We Go Again” Concert Tour
(all photos: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for LiveNation)

Cher launched her Here We Go Again concert tour last night at the Ester Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, and we’ve got the pics to prove it.

The Grammy Hall of Famer did not disappoint fans with show-stopping renditions of her biggest hits including “Believe,” “Woman’s World,” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

She also reached back to her early hits with video duets of “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe” with then-husband Sonny Bono.

Plus, the setlist included selections from her ABBA cover album Dancing Queen like “Waterloo,” “SOS” and “Fernando.”

And it wouldn’t be a Cher extravaganza without costumes, costumes and more costumes.

Naples News reports that between songs the diva offered personal insights including the fact that she never felt any industry respect until she snagged that Oscar for Moonstruck, telling the audience, “I’ve never been accepted by singers as a singer, and actors don’t think I’m an actor.”

The diva is accompanied on this tour by special guests Nile Rodgers & Chic, who released their first album in 26 years last September titled It’s About Time.

This concert tour follows the 72-year-old’s busy 2018 which included a featured role in the ABBA-tastic movie musical, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, an entire studio album of ABBA cover songs, plus opening The Cher Show on Broadway, a new musical based on her life story.

Check out more pics from opening night below, and click here to complete tour dates.

The Here We Go Again tour continues through May 18.


Music Review: Shoshana Bean “Remember The Day” From Upcoming Album, Spectrum

Stop, drop and scroll down to hear “Remember The Day,” the first single from uber-pop/R&B diva Shoshana Bean’s upcoming album, Spectrum, due out February 9.

Bean’s three independent solo releases have all topped the iTunes R&B and Blues charts in the US and UK in peak positions including #1. Her 2014 release, Shadows to Light, earned her a Hot Shot debut at #10 on the Billboard Blues charts.

Her body of work is as wide-ranging as her voice. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Hairspray on the Great White Way; starred as the first replacement for “Elphaba” in the Broadway mega-hit Wicked. In regional theater, she’s won awards and nominations for starring performances in Funny Girl and the pre-Broadway production of Beaches.

She’s performed sold-out concerts around the world, worked on countless voiceover projects for film and TV, and performed with Ariana Grande, David Foster, Postmodern Jukebox, Brian McKnight, and Michael Jackson.

On her fourth studio album, Spectrum, Bean is living large with her fresh collection of standards and newly-penned songs recorded in the classic tradition of big band.

Drawing inspiration from Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, and Frank Sinatra, Spectrum swings and sways the Shoshana way.

Eighteen – count’em eighteen! – big band musicians kill it on ten tracks arranged by Grammy Award-nominated Alan Ferber.

And then there are the vocals. Lord have mercy.

Bean has long been known for her incredible power and visceral, emotional range. And it’s all on display here.

Every track on Spectrum is a gold, and Bean’s song selection is genius in giving you a little piece of everything in her arsenal of vocal weaponry.

You can trust and believe Aretha would be proud to put her name on Bean’s soulful cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

Totally flipping the script, her Streisand-inspired “If Ever I Would Leave You” is a master class in artful musicianship and restrained passion. Ferber’s subtle, moody arrangement percolates to the perfect boiling point for an evocative emotional meltdown that will leave you breathless.

A soulful “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You;” a swing-a-ding-dinging “I Wanna Be Around;” and an emotionally raw, closing-time take on “How Deep Is The Ocean” all contribute to sonic bliss.

Listen to her Bond-worthy, backbeat-driven “Remember The Day” below. You’re gonna be glad you did.

You can also check out this live music video performance of “Never Loved A Man” below. #Dang

Aretha Franklin Does Not Suffer Bad Interviews Lightly

Aretha Franklin, promoting her new album Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, embarked on a satellite tour of local news broadcasts.

For those not familiar, artists or actors will often sit down for a few hours in a studio and, with a tight schedule, do dozens of interviews from one location as opposed to traveling for the same effect. And, as many know, Aretha does NOT fly on airplanes. So it would seem this would be the perfect way for her to get several interviews out of the way in one fell swoop.

However, with a audio delay, low volume in her earpiece and only four hours of sleep, I’m not so sure this was the most successful round of interviews Ms. Franklin has given.

She had to ask what questions were being put to her, and at one point she had to ask for music to be turned down so she could hear…

The Queen had no time for such shenanigans 🙂

Joan Rivers storms out of CNN interview

Comedienne Joan Rivers sat down with Fredricka Whitfield to discuss her new book, but stormed out before it was over.

Earlier this week, Rivers surprisingly called First Lady Michelle Obama a “tranny” and President Obama our first gay president.

I love me some Joan Rivers, but I’m not sure if this erratic behavior is about some underlying issue or if she’s going for the shock value in these moments to get more publicity for her new book Diary of a Mad Diva, which she’s currently promoting.

Mariah Carey on Nicki Minaj – “I didn’t know she sang”

Well, this clip will go down in “diva diss” history.

In an interview with Mariah Carey (which begins by looking back at her 20+ years as a super recording artist, her multitudinous awards and her 200+ million albums sold), Barbra Walters asks Mariah about the reported tension with co-American Idol judge Nicki Minaj.

Check the simple eye-roll and sassy line delivered with perfection at the 4:30 mark – “I didn’t know she sang, I thought she rapped, or whatever…”