Rock & Roll,
Tina Turner succumbs
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—The music and entertainment world is mourning the loss of dynamic singer/dancer/ actress Tina Turner, the undisputed Queen of Rock 'n Roll who died in Switzerland at age 83 following a long
and protracted illness.
"I'm so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner," Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger wrote on his Twitter page. "She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her."
Jagger was said to have developed his energetic stage presence by watching Turner's high-octane, gyrating performances.
Gloria Gaynor called Turner an "iconic legend who paved the way many women in rock music, Black and White."
"She did with great dignity and success what very few would even have dared to do in her time and in that genre of music," Gaynor said.
Turner was a two-time inductee into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, first as part of a duo with husband Ike Turner then later as a solo artist.
"Two-time inductee Tina Turner worked hard to reimagine the role of a Black woman in rock & roll — one that was firmly placed front and center," according to a statement from The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. "During her time in the duo Ike and Tina Turner (inducted in 1991), her electric onstage presence forever raised the bar for live performance.
"Their hits 'River Deep-Mountain High' and 'Proud Mary' endure to this day. But this Queen of Rock & Roll went on to make music history again with her solo career (for which she was inducted again in 2021) and with her bravery in sharing her life story as a book, film, and Broadway musical. There was nothing her deep, robust voice couldn't do, as displayed on her solo hits like 'What's Love Got to Do with It' and 'Private Dancer.'"
Musician Bryan Adams wrote on Twitter, "I'll be forever grateful for the time we spent together on tour, in the studio and as friends. Thank you for being the inspira- tion to millions of people around the world for speak- ing your truth and giving us the gift of your voice."
Singer Ciara wrote, "Heaven has gained an angel. Rest in Paradise, Tina Turner. Thank you for the inspiration you gave us all."
Laker legend Magic Johnson posted a photo with Turner on his Twitter page, noting that she gave "one of the best live shows I've ever seen."
"Tina [had] so much energy during her performances and was a true entertainer," Johnson said. "She created the blueprint for other great entertainers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé, and her legacy will continue on through all high-energy performing artists. Cookie and I are praying for her husband, friends and family."
Flowers will be placed on Turner's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She received the star in front of the Capitol Records building in 1986.
In addition to her singing career, Turner occasionally showed up on the big screen, most notably portraying The Acid Queen in the 1975 film version of The Who's rock musical "Tommy." She also appeared in the Beatles musical "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," played a mayor in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Last Action Hero," and portrayed the leader of a post-apocalyptic wasteland city in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."
"The world lost a legend [...]," the SAG-AFTRA union said in a statement, noting that Turner was a member of the union since 1961. "Tina Turner was a genre-defying powerhouse singer, dancer, actress and author who rightfully earned the title of rock 'n roll queen. She broke down barriers for generations of artists to come."
Actor Thomas 'Tiny' Lister
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Film star Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for roles as lovable tough guys in films like “Friday,” died Dec. 10 from compli- cations of Covid-19, according to his manager.
Lister had been experiencing COVID symptoms in the days leading up to his death, Cowan told CNN. “Tiny began feeling sick a week ago, but he got worse quickly — couldn’t breathe and felt very weak,” she said.
Cowan added he was supposed to work on a movie set last weekend but had to cancel due to his breathing difficulties, and he also canceled a Zoom appearance for a TV festival, according to TMZ. Cowan said calls to check on him went unanswered.
According to TMZ, LA County sheriff’s performed a welfare check on the actor where they made their way into his apartment and found him deceased.
Most people knew Lister as the character Deebo from the “Friday” films featuring rapper/actor, Ice Cube. Down through the years,
Lister had engaged in numerous "intimidating tough guy" roles
that endeared many all over the globe.
At press time, funeral and burial arrangements were pending.
Actor, comedian Scoey Mitchlll
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Comedian, actor, writer and television director Scoey Mitchlll has died, one week after his 92nd birthday, his family announced March 21.
Born Roscoe Mitchell Jr. on March 12, 1930, Mitchlll appeared on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Joey Bishop Show," such game shows as "Match Game," "Tattletales" and "The Hollywood Squares."
Mitchlll had a recurring role on the CBS comedy "Rhoda" from 1974-76 and portrayed the father of Richard Pryor's character in the 1986 film,"
Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling."
Mitchlll starred on ABC's short-lived adaptation of the Neil Simon play, "Barefoot in the Park," the first series to have a predominantly Black cast since "Amos 'n' Andy" ended its run in the mid-1950s.
According to his brother, jazz pianist Billy Mitchell, Mitchlll "was fired due to `differences of opinion' with the series' producers. What is rarely mentioned is that these differences were rooted in Scoey's attempt to get more Blacks in jobs behind the camera and as script writers."
Rather than recast the role, ABC canceled the low-rated series after 12 episodes.
Mitchlll's other television acting credits included the original "The Odd Couple," "The Six Million Dollar Ma" and "Baretta." Mitchlll was also a writer and director for the 1986-87 NBC comedy, "Me & Mrs. C." and directed episodes of the 1989-90 NBC comedy "13 East."
In addition to his brother, Mitchlll, who died March 19, is survived by his sister Mary Warren.
Cicely Tyson, groundbreaking icon, cinematic star
Film, theatre, television icon lauded for work spanning seven decades
LOS ANGELES—Groundbreaking actress Cicely Tyson, who cinematic career spanned more than seven decades, and which opened the doors for many Black women and men in Hollywood to follow, died Jan. 28, 2021. She was 96. Tyson was the recipient of three Primetime Emmy Awards, four Black Reel Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Tony Award, an honorary Academy Award, and a Peabody Award.
Having appeared in minor film and television roles early in her career, Tyson garnered widespread attention and critical acclaim for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder (1972); she was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in the film. Tyson's portrayal of the title role in the 1974 television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won her further acclaim; among other accolades, the role won her two Emmy Awards and a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Tyson continued to act in film and on television in the 21st century. In 2011, she played the role of Constantine Jefferson in the award-winning film The Help. She also played the role of Ophelia Harkness in American Broadcasting Company’s legal drama How to Get Away With Murder since the show's inception in 2014, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, five times.
In addition to her screen career, Tyson appeared in various theater productions. She received a Drama Desk Award in 1962 for her Off-Broadway performance in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. Tyson also starred as Carrie Watts in the Broadway play The Trip to Bountiful, winning the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Award, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2013. Tyson was named a Kennedy Center honoree in 2015. In November 2016, Tyson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the United States. In 2020, she was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
Tyson was born in Harlem on Dec. 19, 1924, the daughter of Frederica Tyson, a domestic worker, and William Augustine Tyson, who worked as a carpenter, painter, and at any other jobs he could find. Her parents were immigrants from Nevis in the West Indies.
Prolific home run hitter, MLB great Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron
By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR.
One of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, Henry "Hammerin’ Hank" Aaron, the fabled slugger and second most prolific home run hitter of all time, died Jan. 22, 2021. He was 86 years old.
Aaron eclipsed the all-time homerun record of 714 by Babe Ruth that had stood for 33 years. The homer record was Aaron’s most notable achievement and broke what had been considered the most cherished accolade in American sports history—the MLB all-time homerun record by Ruth, among the most idolized of American sports icons.
Aaron, who was born Feb. 5, 1934 in Mobile, Ala., broke into the Major Leagues on April 13, 1954, at age 20,
was widely known by the nickname, Hank, who himself was surpassed in round-trippers by Barry Bonds with 762 homers. Aaron was a member of a prolific generation of power hitters of his era in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, that included Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Mike Schmidt, Carl Yastremski, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, and Eddie Matthews.
A newer generation—Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Jim Thome, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz comprised a younger fraternity of sluggers.
Aaron played 23 seasons—all of them for the Milwaukee Braves/Brewers, later renamed the Atlanta Braves, when the team moved south to Atlanta, Ga.
Homerun record’s herculean consequences
Hank never once went on the then-disabled list after his rookie season ended three weeks early because of a broken ankle. In the latter years of his career when he closed on Ruth’s all-time record, the FBI informed him his daughter was the target of a kidnapping plot. For nearly three years he required a police escort and an FBI detail for himself and his family.
He finished the 1973 season with 713 home runs—one shy of tying Ruth’s record—and believed he would be assassinated in the offseason. He had received enough letters to convince him so. He received death threats from 1972 to 1974—all for being a hero of the American pastime and electrifying hitter.
His all-time stats include 755 homeruns, 3, 771 hits, 2,297 RBIs, 240 stolen bases a .305 career batting average, and 2,174 runs scored. His homerun prowess included 20 homers for 20 straight seasons. Additionally, Aaron was a 25x All Star
Major League Baseball has suffered a grievous loss in recent years. The list includes Hall of Famers Joe Morgan, Jimmy Wynn, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, and Al Kaline.
Hank Aaron is survived by his wife, Billye; two sons, Larry and Henry Jr.; and three daughters, Dorinda, Gaile, and Ceci.