Friday, December 10, 2010


There were many arts and entertainment stories in 2010 that not only made an impact in the bi-state area but also had headlines buzzin on national, even international level

HONORABLE MENTION. Stan Musial Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom November 2010

10. Nelly's Comeback, September 2010

St. Louis based rap mogul made headlines this year as he made a comeback of sorts as his first Top 10 single in five years, "Just A Dream ," made No.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the biggest selling singles of the year with 2.5 million sold. His CD, "5.0" unfortunately, didnt fare as well as it only debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart selling about 60,000 in its first week. As a result, the Nellster got onto Twitter ranting about his disdain with Universal/Motown, his record company for not promoting his CD properly.

9. Whitey Herzog Inducted in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York July 2010


8. The St. Louis Rams (New ownership/ Sam Bradford/Isaac Bruce retirement comeback season) (FOR DETAILS SEE

7. Gateway to Greatness Boxing Event August 2010


6. The Kings of Leon Concert Pigeon Poop at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater July 2010


5.Kanye West ( Suge Knight lawsuit/Pre-Publicity Tactics for ‘Fantasy’ CD/ Nude Pic of Kanye/‘Fantasy’ film and Controversial CD cover/Bush Comment/Today Show Interview Fiasco)

Chicagoan based rapper Kanye West continued to make headlines in 2010. After his infamous mic-gate on country singer Taylor Swift last November on the MTV Awards (which was the No. 1 Newz Story of 2009 on OUTTOWN), the media episodes continued. Starting off with the nagging 2008 $1 million lawsuit embattled rap label impresario Suge Knight filed against Ye on a shooting incident that occurred at Ye’s MTV party in Miami in ‘05 blaming him for getting shot in the leg. It was eventually thrown out in November due to non-evidence .

He started the year with a controversial photograph (one of three instances this year) taken by photographer David LaChappelle of he and a naked Lady Gaga being carried by a tattered West in a jungle setting. The following months involved his on and off again relationship with bisexual model Amber and rumors of dating reality show star Kim Kardashian (the latest being she’s having his baby).

In June, the focus reset to his music when he began an unorthodox ed pre-buzz campaign to promote his as yet untitled CD that was initially titled “Good Ass Job” since 2008 (it was eventually named , “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” in early October ). He created a Twitter account and used it to update fans about his CD by starting what he called “Good Friday” leaking tracks every Friday up until the release of his CD (which was initially set for September but pushed to mid November)

In July, he began his freestyle publicity tour visiting the headquarters of Twitter, Facebook and Rolling Stone performing new tracks a Capella style to the employees, a first for an artist. In September, he went onto Twitter and sent a PR strategized apology to Taylor Swift regarding the ‘09 VMA Awards upstaging incident (and later in the year recanted on Twitter saying Swift fed on the incident) a week prior to his performing on the much pre buzzed ’10 award show (where he debuted the self effacing, “Runaway” and Swift debuted Kanye influenced single, “Innocent”).

After September, the Kanye Machine went into overdrive. He performed on Saturday Night Live with a remodeled stage set to an all white set (a first for the show), websites leaked a nude pic of Ye he sent via MySpace; MTV, BET and websites broadcast his directed 30 minute avante guard film for “Runway,” he took out his bottom teeth and capped them with diamonds, he cancelled am interview on Oprah's show, he released the artwork for the five album covers for his release with one causing controversy and an eventual ban of a painting showing a sex act between a beast and a nude white girl, President George W commented on the Today Show with Matt Lauer that Ye’s Katrina Telethon comment was one of the lowest points in office; Ye’s outlandish rebuttal backfired on the same show with Lauer, got booed performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade….and after all of that, his CD is released and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Albums chart and named by Time Magazine as the Best Album of 2010.

4.Internet Sensation Antonie Dodson July 2010

This year was the year where Internet based videos on such social networks as YOUTUBE went ‘viral’ (or catch on like a virus). One video in particular was an Auto-tuned remix of Chicago native/former Huntsville, Alabama resident Antoine Dodson’s interview on July 28 by a NBC news affiliate, in now infamous red bandanna covering his unkempt hair, black tank top and jeans, after the alleged attempted rape of his sister by an intruder in her bedroom. The video of the interview caught attention due to Dodson’s flamboyant delivery of what occurred (and creating a catch phrase with “Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wives, Hide Your Husbands….”)

The video soon after went viral on YOUTUBE and grabbing the attention to the Gregory Brothers who auto tune news casts. What followed was “The Bed Intruder Song” initially selling thousands of copies (100, 000 copies as of September) on I Tunes and eventually reached number 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. The popularity of the song inspired many covers and remixes and he becoming a cult hero to the viral generation..

Dodson appeared on the Today Show (and via satellite on European TV and radio stations shows) in August regarding his Internet super stardom and the video was dubbed "one of the most watched online videos ever," of over 16 million times as of that month. Akin to singer Susan Boyle’s 2009 Britain’s Got Talent’s performance video hitting YOUTUBE, he also became an Internet sensation overnight. Thus, he made enough money to move out of the ghetto and buy his family a house in Hollywood (and also has his own hair salon), appeared on BET’s 106 and Park, performed on The BET Awards, licensed Halloween costumes and a greeting card line, endorsed a sex offender tracker smartphone application, and was in talks for a reality show set for 2011.

YOUTUBE reported in December that Dodson’s original news interview and the remixed Autotuned video in total were the most watched videos on the social network (beating out music stars Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga) of 2010 with over 60 million hits.

3.Betty White Makes a Comeback Through Facebook in 2010

The year 2010 was a good year for this Oak Park, Ill. native comedic actress via the social network site, Facebook. In February, her Snickers Commercial with Abe Vigoda that ran during the Super Bowl was voted the Best Ad of the event. As a result, there was a massive campaign on Facebook called "Betty White to Host SNL Please" pleaded for folk to post up on the page to have the 88 year old host Saturday Night Live. Five-hundred -thousand votes later, SNL producer Lonre Michaels saw the immense attention and as result, White hosted the SNL finale--which made her the oldest host in the show's history-- on May 8 which featured SNL female castmates from the past and present (She even joked about the Facebook campaign during her opening monologue saying she didnt have a clue a to who Facebook was) . It was the highest rated SNL in two years. The campaign on Facebook also spawned a trend for everyday people using the social network to demand to see certain personalities on network TV (The campaign now is for Sesame Street's Cookie Monster to host SNL.)

Soon after, The Emmy Awards nominations were announced and the Academy and it was a inevitable of her being nominated and that she did for her performance in the category, Guest Actress on a Comedy Series. She eventually won the award it in September, and became the oldest person ever to win the award (she has won six prior Emmies for her work on shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls). .

After her Emmy win, the career projects ensued. She was cast in the Nick at Nite original sitcom "Hot in Cleveland" to big ratings, setting records first for the network. She also was seen in the film, "You Again" which made the Top 5 at the Box Office. She even received accolades outside the TV industry being named an honorary U.S. Forest Ranger during her visit to Washington DC in November to see SNL castmate Tina Fey receive an award, and came out with her own clothing line and 2011 calendar among other projects involving her love of animals. She also guest starred on the second season of the NBC sitcom, "Community" and in December, she was named one of the most fascinating people of 2010 on Barbara Walters annual special.

2.Oprah's Farewell Season Debuts /Barbara Walters Special Interview Clearing Up Lesbian Rumors)

After announcing her show she was starting her own network OWN in January 2011 and ending her hit daytime talk show after 25 years on a live show last November , there has been nonstop media attention about Chicago based talk show queen Oprah (akin to Kanye's media moments).

Oprah began the year sitting in between talk show hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman in a Super Bowl commercial that aired in February,. But throughout the year she has been the constant target of newz not involving her occupation from her confession of dating former Entertainment Tonight anchor John Tesh back in the 1970s, the unauthorized biography of Oprah written by Kitty Kelley, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojaveich saying on tapes during his infamous corruption trial this summer that he wanted Oprah to fill in Barack Obamas; Senate seat, settling the sexual assault lawsuit against the ex-headmistress at her South African school for girls, and allegations that her contest, The Search for the Next Talk Star to seek a host for her show on her Own network was rigged

Fast forward to Sept 13 and Oprah began her final season journey in the 25th season premiere during her Most Favorite Things segment where members of that particular audience won a eight-day trip to Australia during the country's summer in December (where she taped shows at the Sydney Opera House for January 2011) . Since then, she has had reunion shows of cast members from monumental films (from "The Sounds of Music" to "The Color Purple") interviewed the parents of the late Michael Jackson and re-introduced her National Book Club with Chicago native author Johnathan Frazen's novel, "Freedom" (who guested on Oprah after his media fail dissin' Oprah 10 years ago when he was selected).

Oprah also was mentioned in a hit song "Billionaire " by Bruno ("I want to be on the cover of Fortune Magazine/standing next to Oprah and the Queen")

In November, United Airlines (the official airline that flies her guests that are featured on her daytime talk show) launched a Farewell Season airplane in Chicago where certain passengers were eligible for 1 million frequent flier miles and win round trips. Throughout her giveaways of trips, I-pods and Volkswagen Beetles, she copped a Kennedy Center Honors award along the way traveling to the White House in early December for the award along with Paul McCartney, and Merle Haggard among others.

Also, in December, TV news personality Barbara Walters was given her own hour on her Most Fascinating Special where she asked the talk show mogul about her leaving her daytime talk show, and the headline grabber, about the constant lesbian rumors and that her and BFF Gayle King were lovers. From that interview she has made her response infamous: "I' Never Have Been a Lesbian. I never have been Kinda Lesbian...and Tissue Please." LOL


1.TheBlago Trial in Chicago June- August 2010; Pre and Post Trial Media Tour and Reality Show Star

Since Illinois Congress voted to impeach Governor Rod Blagojaveich in January 2009 for allegations of trying to sell President Barack Obama's Senate Seat in November 2008 and being indicted with 24 charges in a US Court in Chicago in April 2009 facing 415 years in jail and $6 million in fines, he has had a media whirlwind involving his infamous two month criminal corruption trial and his publicity tours before and after it and along the way becoming a TV reality show star.

The year began for Blago when Esquire Magazine printed an exclusive interview with Blago about his pending trial and his infamous comment that the was "blacker than Obama. He shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.""(which he later apologized on). Them in April, his appearance on the NBC reality show competition Celebrity Apprentice aired (that was taped late 2009) becoming this year's most oddest reality show contestants ever.

Meanwhile, after failed attempts in the U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court for a trial delay, the summer long criminal case in U.S. against Blago (a well as his brother Robert and advisor Antoin "Tony" Rezko) on bribery charges started June 3. Thus, a media frenzy went into the zenith and making not only Blago a political pop star but also making even more famous his two attorneys father -son team Sam Adams Sr and Sam Adams Jr (who also was R. kelly's attorney in his child pornography trial in 2008)

Throughout the trial, the infamous tapes planted by the FBI were played of Blago's expletive drenched conversations with colleagues and shot callers involving the propositions to sell Obama's Senate seat (with Senator Jessie Jackson Jr and Oprah's name being thrown as possible candidates) as well as bribing The Chicago Tribune into firing members of the paper who were anti-Blagoans for a kickback to help in their selling Wrigley Field. Witnesses for both sides spoke for and against Blago and the Man Himself was advised not to testify.

The deliberations with the jury began July 28. After two weeks of wondering if proof of bribery took place, on August 17, the decison was a mistrial because the jury could only agree on one of 23 counts (lying to investigators) and one juror couldnt agree with the 11 other gulity voters . Blago told the camped out national media that the verdict wa sproof that he was innocent. Hence, Blago's attorneys filed for acquittal of the one count. (His brother was acquitted of all his charges) and the prosecuting attorneys filed for a retrial. The judge, Judge James Zagel set a court date of August 26 for a retrial hearing.

Soon after the decision, Blago went on several talk shows including The Jon Stewart Show where the talk show host said he promised Blagojevich that he'd hug him if he were cleared on all corruption charges." He also made an appearance at the Wizard world Chicago Comic Con at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosmeont where he signed autographs for $80 a head and posed for pics with fans for $80 a head (sans an appearance fee).

Unfortunately, in the retrial hearing, Zagel denied Blago's acquittal and didnt see any wrongdoing and a retrial was initially set for Jan 4 with conditions (eg scaling down the number of lawyers) . But in November, the judge pushed the date back to April 20, 2011 (and inspiring even more media frenzy on the count) after the defense said it couldn't be prepared by January. Blago faces five years in prison.(Rezko's two -year delayed sentencing was set for Jan 28).

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