Sam Smith, Mary J. Blige Donate GRAMMY Memorabilia to Benefit MusiCares Foundation

US-MUSIC-GRAMMY AWARDS-SHOWOther than the video loop of Kanye West bum rushing the stage, but ultimately DID let Beck bask in his Album of the year moment, playing in heavy rotation on Youtube, there are a few other–tangible–takeaways for Grammy’s 57th award ceremony.

Hey, all you super music fans. If you want a lasting reminder of music’s biggest night browse Grammys charity auction that benefits the MusiCares Foundation.

Items include an autographed Sam Smith microphone used to sing his steller “Stay With Me” duet with Mary J. Blige, who also puts her mic up on the auction block.

An autographed copy of Common’s “Nobody’s Smiling.”

An Ariana Grande memorabalia set that includes an autographed copy of her new CD, microphone and its case.

And a Katy Perry autographed and bedazzled guitar.

To peruse all the auctioned items, click here.

Mary J. Blige Donates to Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

Mary is pretty in pink for Breast cancer awareness. Photo Courtesy of: Getty Images

Mary is pretty in pink for Breast cancer awareness.
Photo Courtesy of: Getty Images

Do you ever hear a statistic and just can’t wrap those numbers around your noogin?

Well, if you haven’t here’s one for you: Susan G. Komen estimates that there will be over 27,000 new cases of breast cancer among African-American women this year.

The scary part isn’t just the big number with the triple zeros, it’s the thought that these women across the country will have this illness and not know it. My aunt didn’t discover the lump on her breast a few months ago, her gynecologist did when she went for a mammogram.

I wonder how many woman will be as fortunate with early detection…and sadly how many won’t. I guess we will continue to wonder while we pray/wish/and anxiously wait for a cure.

Queen of R&B Mary J. Blige is doing her part by launching a partnership with Cricket Mobile to donate $10,000 to Susan G. Komen’s for the Cure in San Diego. Mary will also be releasing new songs through Cricket’s music service Muve Music. Downloaded tracks will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure until November 3rd.

Music is powerful and healing in so many ways, and having the right information at the right time is also important. Across the country, African-American and Hispanic women are not getting the care and treatment they need often because they are uninformed,” said Mary J. Blige. “An alarming number of these women are dying, and we can help to improve their chances of survival. I am working with Susan G. Komen and Cricket during October to help inform women about powerful early detection measures, such as getting a mammogram. Please join me in supporting this worthy cause, and let’s find a cure.”

To follow Mary’s movements with Susan G. Komen search hashtag #Muve4theCure. Keep up the good work, MJB.

Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez & Mary J. Blige Chime for Change

justjared.com

justjared.com

‘Tis the season for summer concerts and what better way to kick it off than one related  to a charity that empowers women, which was held in London earlier this week. The Chime for Change headliner was pretty much a no-brainer, considering Mrs. Carter is a co-founder (along with Salma Hayek Pinault and Gucci’s Frida Giannini) of the organization that raises funds for charities supporting “education, health and justice” projects for females in over 70 countries. King Bey set the stage on fire–but didn’t cause a blackout, this time–performing “Girls (Run the world)” and “Grown Women” songs.

Despite over $4 million raised for the charity and a first time ever duet from Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez, what was most buzzed about on Twitter was how inappropriate Beyonce was as a role model because …of her hidden pregnancy…nope….lip syncing during a live performance…not it. Her wardrobe!?!

Okay, do I consider Beyonce a modern day Gloria Steinem? ummm, no. Can’t envision Mrs. Carter burning a bra, however sashaying around the stage with one, yes absolutely, in fact. But, how does that make her voice any more or less significant for addressing young girls global issues, considering millions of tweens, teens, 20 somethings and even the First Lady of the United States continue to “bow down” to the singer no matter what she’s got her perfectly toned body wrapped in.

I’m not so naive to describe Mrs. Carter as a feminist because that would be a major reach and while there have been whispers from her camp and others she may be traveling down that route as of late, I’ve yet to notice the breadcrumbs. But, I find it hard to believe that conquering the stage in a small leotard automatically disqualifies you as a role model for young women. It raises the question, why can’t a woman own her sexuality while still maintaining her intellect and focus?

I believe all women, just like men, do their jobs with a uniform on. It may not be as evident as a cop, firefighter or mailman but it’s appropriate for what they do. Adele, Janelle Monae rock a uniform that doesn’t include sexy skirts and cleavage, but they own it all the same. It’s their identity. Beyonce took the traditional route of sex appeal and putting that on doesn’t make her any more or less an inspiration for others, her uniform just happens to be a leotard.

Lamar Odom & Khloe Kardashian’s Charity Scandal, Plus Other Celebrity Foundations Under Fire

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Odom with Cathy’s Kids participants in 2005.

The first time I volunteered for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity devoted to feeding and delivering meals to infirm people, was in 2010. The company I was working for had charity retreats from time to time and I jumped on the bandwagon. However, I have to admit this go-round was just to get out of work early. Hey, I’m human (what’s that sound?…oh, my Halo hitting the ground.) So, anyway, I had very scant knowledge of the company. But a short orientation, tour of the kitchen and dozens of peeled potatoes later I fell in love with the place. And what my eyes lingered over most–other than the strong green onions that made them water–was the wall tiles that had signatures of stars like Joan Rivers, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. It’s common to have celebs participate in charity work, what was weird to me  it wasn’t advertised, promoted or announced like their latest comedy tour or TV show release.

There is nothing wrong with being recognized for doing charity work; who doesn’t want a pat on their back after a job well done? Hell, I dedicated a whole blog to Black celebrities charity and community service endeavors. But, for me I think nothing beats the quiet gratitude you feel within that’s usually not captured when it’s a prearranged photo op. There are a  slew of celebrities that contribute without sounding a trumpet. See and here is another one you probably haven’t heard about. Others may argue that a celeb association can help increase awareness for the charity, produce followers and most importantly sponsors. Duly Noted. But, it could also be a double-edge sword when said charity isn’t that star’s supposed priority. Yes, I’m looking at you Lamar Odom. At this point, I think everyone has heard that Mr. Khloe Kardashian has had the uncommon task of dodging cameras and questions delivered one succinct quote about his charity, Cathy’s Kids after ESPN reported $2.2 million raised for the foundation never went to cancer-related activities, as promised. His response: “It’s my money.”

The Clippers player launched Cathy’s Kids in 2004 in honor of his mother, who died from cancer. Odom describes the foundation as providing “… a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged children and to generate funds for research, care, clinics for cancer, as well as promote education and awareness about cancer–especially for minorities.”

Well, the mentoring part he got down. ESPN’s report shows that of the $2.2 million raised through Cathy’s Kids $1.3 million went to support two youth basketball teams. But…clinics for cancer is where he may have overstretched. Eight years worth of tax records show that not one red cent went to cancer related causes.

khloe

Khloe–never one to shy away from the spotlight–stood by her man and released a statement through her Celebuzz blog:

The millions of dollars personally contributed by Lamar constituted more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation. All the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy’s Kids were used for one of the foundation’s intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family.

Maybe not a family member. But a close friend. Jerry DeGregorio, who was Odom’s high school basketball coach and best man at his wedding to Khloe, was the only paid executive at the foundation. As secretary of Cathy’s Kids his yearly salary was $72,000. Not bad work if you can get it.

Odom may be in the hot seat this week, but not to long ago–almost a year to be exact– we were wagging our fingers in MJB’s direction. The New York Post revealed the queen of hip hop soul’s charity, Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FAWN) meant to empower women and send them to college, was mishandling funds. Despite Mary J Blige touting fragrances and benefit concerts for the foundation, the donated money was nowhere to be found and failed to file tax returns. At the time Mary said she didn’t have the right people in the right places doing the right things.

A problem most stars are faced with. However, what baffles me is why start a charity at all if you’re clueless about running it? In retrospect, I understand we all want to do our part to help others and as a celebrity it will be even more beneficial for those who are in need. But, run improperly, it’s not just those who are  dependent on the charity that suffer, but also that star’s reputation.

Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, a watchdog for non-profits, says celebrities have a bigger responsibility than ordinary people in getting it right.

It’s critical that when these kind of opportunities are available that the celebrities involved realize the profound responsibility that they have to try to get as much money to support these worthy causes as they can and to make sure they don’t damage the public trust.

Here, Here!!

If you Bl;nked: It may not be throwback Thursday, but how about we label this one flashback Friday. Below is a 2007 interview with Lil’ Kim on Good Day New York where she talks about her charity Lil Kim Cares. Check the 0:39 mark where she can’t even remember her charity’s event. Smh…

Sources: ESPN, Celebuzz, God’s Love We Deliver, New York Post