Tom Joyner

Randy Jackson Leaves 'American Idol' After 13 Years

Randy Jackson
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox and the producers of "American Idol" say Randy Jackson is leaving the show after 13 seasons.

In a statement Tuesday, the network and producers call Jackson a key part of the singing contest and say he'll be welcomed back as a visitor.

Phone and email requests to his publicist seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul made up Idol's original judging panel. Jackson served as a judge for 12 seasons, with "dawg" becoming his trademark word while assessing contestants.

Jackson moved to the role of mentor this year. His departure leaves host Ryan Seacrest as the only original cast member. "American Idol" is set to return in January with judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban.
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Fantasia Shows Off Huge Diamond Ring (Photo Inside)

Fantasia is rocking a big new rock on her finger from her beau Kendall Taylor. The former American Idol gushed about the gift (or engagement ring/wedding band) on Instagram with a photo and a sweet message to her man.

She wrote: "So He said: I want to get you the Ring of Your Dreams.. I want you to Look down and smile knowing your mine and you deserve this.. I'm NOT A material girl and it could have been a ring out the Bubble Gum Machine but Just Continue to give me the Love you give to me Big Daddy… He said: I know but as your King THIS is what I want for my Queen"

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Report: Solange Knowles To Marry This Weekend

Is Beyonce's baby sister getting married? That's what US Weekly is reporting. Solange Knowles, the 28-year-old younger sister of the entertainment dynamo is scheduled to tie the knot with video director boyfriend Alan Ferguson this weekend in New Orleans, where she lives. US Weekly says that the duo will host a movie night on Friday, a rehearsal dinner on Saturday and then the small wedding will take place near her home with a guest list that includes friends and family. Reports say that the two have been dating for about five years.

This won't be Solange's first time at the rodeo – or the altar. She married Daniel Smith and gave birth to a son, Juelz Smith, now 10. The two co-parent and Knowles has since worked as both a recording artist and a deejay, putting out a well respected album Sol-Angel and The Hadley Street Dreams in 2008. Though she's teased a follow up project, nothing has manifested yet. She's become best known in recent years a a fashion icon and celebrity DJ.

In May after the star-studded annual Metropolitan Museum Costume Ball, Solange and brother-in-law Jay-Z got into a physical altercation in an elevator at New York's Standard Hotel, which was acquired by TMZ and went viral. Though the two have apologized for the fight, and speculation has been rampant about what caused it, they've made no further comment. Beyonce, also in the elevator, referenced the fight in the "Flawless" remix with Nicki Minaj saying "Sometimes sh–t goes down when it's a billion dollars in the elevator." Aside from his career as a video director, little detail has surfaced about Ferguson.

Although reports have speculated that he's 5o 0r 51 years old – almost twice Solange's age, no one has confirmed or denied it. Our question: If the reports are true and a wedding is happening – will Jay-Z do a toast?
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If You Don't Vote Tuesday, Then Don't Complain

Dear Black People: This is a critical time in our history. Vote Tuesday or be prepared to face serious consequences. Many polls show that Democrats are in trouble.

President Barack Obama's 40 percent job approval rating in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll is the lowest of his career – and more than half of Americans are viewing Democrats unfavorably for the first time. Democrats are vulnerable in states that include Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Connecticut. If African-Americans ever needed a reason to vote on Tuesday, consider this: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who may run in 2016, was caught on tape discussing the Republican Party's reputation for appealing to mostly white men in a racially-charged recording.

"If I get to be President, white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great," Graham said.

Does this sound familiar? It should. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what" because they are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Graham is speaking for many white men who take Graham at his word: That he will look out for white men specifically if he gets to the White House. Graham didn't say anything about representing African-Americans and other citizens of color because the Republican Party is not a party of inclusion. Days before critical mid-term elections when Republicans could take control the U.S. Senate, I could hear a sense of urgency in Rep. Marcia Fudge's voice. "We depend on government more than any other group,"

Fudge, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said about African-Americans. "We have to vote in November. We can't work against our own self-interests." Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio, is rallying Black folks and urging a strong voter turnout on Tuesday. She is both feisty and frustrated because still, in 2014, Fudge has to give black Americans a reason to vote. Some Black citizens, she said, are still questioning whether their vote will actually count. Fudge knows what's at stake: She says if Republicans take control of the Senate, the GOP plans to cut domestic spending for health care, education and social service programs while also cutting minimum wage and rolling back Social Security.

If they have win a majority in the House and the Senate, Republicans will also spend the next two years blocking Obama's legislative agenda and initiatives that are designed to uplift African Americans. In an effort to boost the black vote in November, the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders announced a national get-out-the-vote campaign that will involve thousands of Black churches and more than 40,000 pastors from coast to coast.

"Because of the lagging economy in Black communities, each candidate's position on issues like jobs with livable wages, equal pay for women, retirement security, and student loan relief is motivating people to vote," said Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, NCBCP and convener, Black Women's Roundtable (BWR).

"But, all politics is local," she said, "so for this countdown period we have neighbors talking to neighbors via personal phone calls, robo calls, door-to-door canvassing, and social media, to remind them they have the power to make change in their community."
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Katt Williams, Suge Knight Arrested In L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suge Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested and charged with robbery Wednesday after a celebrity photographer reported the men stole her camera last month.

Prosecutors say Williams and Knight, who founded Death Row Records, were arrested Wednesday. Knight has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The men are accused of taking a paparazzo’s camera in Beverly Hills, California, on Sept. 5. The incident remains under investigation by Beverly Hills police, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Williams, who was arrested at a Los Angeles-area courthouse when he appeared for an arraignment in a separate assault case, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Knight, 49, was arrested in Las Vegas. Police said he was taken into custody without incident.

A phone message for Anthony Brooklier, an attorney who has represented Knight, was not immediately returned. An email message sent to Williams’ agent, Chris Smith, was not immediately returned.

Williams, 43, has starred in several comedy specials and appeared in films such as “First Sunday” and “Friday After Next.” Knight was shot and wounded in a West Hollywood, California, nightclub about a week and a half before the incident with the photographer. He founded Death Row Records, one of rap’s leading labels in the 1990s, but later declared bankruptcy and the company was auctioned off.
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