Friday, February 26, 2010

See Nelly This Afternoon

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/26/2010 No comments
Rapper and hip-hop mogul Nelly will make an appearance today at the CIAA Ford Fan Experience at the Charlotte Convention Center, according to a recent post on the CIAA Tournament's Facebook fan page. Nelly wasn't originally on today's schedule of events, but is now said to be coming at 5 p.m. to sign autographs. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and admission is free.

Also appearing today at the Fan Experience is everyone's favorite reality TV villain Omarosa (5:30 p.m.), and Laura Izibor (7 p.m.) and Ginuwine (8 p.m.) are performing on the Miller Lite Main Stage.

As previously announced, you can catch Nelly tonight at Suite at the EpiCentre for the party he's hosting.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Side of CIAA Week

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/25/2010 No comments
I know that I--and just about everyone else in Charlotte or who is coming this week--have been talking a lot about all of the parties and events going on surrounding the CIAA Tournament. But it's about much more than that. The CIAA Tournament is about putting on high-caliber basketball games, raising money for scholarships, and generating revenue for both the CIAA and Charlotte economy.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Anthony Lindsey, chair of the CIAA Tournament Local Organizing Committee, for an article in the February issue of Charlotte Hospitality News. Below is one of Lindsey's responses to my questions during our Q&A.

For the city, the tournament represents how Charlotte has elevated itself to a level of accommodation that attracts people from all over the country and all over the world. I think one of the things that is really important for us to keep in mind is that the tournament benefits from being in Charlotte, and Charlotte benefits from having the tournament. It gives Charlotte an event that attracts people, and when they get here they find out that they like what they see. They may have heard or read in the paper about us being the second largest financial center in the country, or seen in Black Enterprise, Essence Magazine, and all these other places that it’s ranked one of the top places for African-Americans to live. You have all of this as a backdrop for people to read about, and then when they get here they find that it’s a really inviting place to be. So the tournament helps draw people in who might not otherwise have come to Charlotte and experience what Charlotte has to offer.

Click here to read the full interview.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrities in Charlotte for CIAA Week

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/23/2010 No comments
When the CIAA Basketball Tournament comes to Charlotte, that means dozens of parties, which also means lots of celebrities. Here's a count (in alphabetical order by first name) of the celebrities--rappers, singers, actors, and professional athletes--who are scheduled to be in Charlotte this week to host parties and/or perform.

9th Wonder • Allen Iverson • Amber Rose • Baby aka Birdman • DJ B-Lord • Biz Markie • Bobby Valentino • Bow Wow • Chrisette Michele • Chuck Brown • DJ Clue • DJ Cut Creator • Daron Jones (of 112) • Diddy • Doug E. Fresh • Drake • Elephant Man • En Vogue • Ginuwine • Greg Oden • Jarvis Holliday ;) • DJ Jazzy Jeff • Jermaine Dupri • Joe • K'Jon • Kandi Burress • Kendra James • DJ Khaled • DJ Kid Capri • DJ Kool • Jadakiss • Lamman Rucker • Laura Izibor • Laurie Ann Gibson • Lorenzo "Ice Tea" Thomas • MC Lyte • Melanie Fiona • Michael Vick • Monica • Natalie Stewart • Nelly • Pooch Hall • DJ Prostyle • Slick Rick • Steve Harvey • Terrence J • Travis Porter • Trey Songz • Trina • Verse Simmonds • Yolanda Adams

To find out which events a lot of these celebrities will appear, click here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Events for CIAA Week: February 22-28

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/21/2010 No comments
The highly anticipated CIAA Week in Charlotte is here. There are more than 100 parties going on this week, and to help you narrow them down I've picked the best ones (in my opinion) and listed them below. Use websites listed for the events to verify information, and you'll be wise to purchase tickets in advance, if they're still available. For a complete list of CIAA parties and events going on this week, click here.

Men and Women's Basketball Tournament
February 23-27

Remember, there's a basketball tournament in town this week. Teams from eleven CIAA schools will battle it out as they try to advance to Saturday's championship game. Women's tournament starts Tuesday; men's starts Wednesday. Only tickets remaining for purchase online are the upper level multi-game package, $100. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St.

Monday, February 22

5th Annual CIAA Media Mixer
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) presents this networking event each year during CIAA Week to bring together professionals working in media and communications. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served along with a cash bar. 6-9 p.m. Free, but RSVP is required by emailing Tutto Mondo, 1820 South Blvd.

Tuesday, February 23

CIAA African-American Heritage Segway Tour of Charlotte
Explore Charlotte's African-American history on a Segway. Price includes museum fees and lunch. Tour will be going on all week. Presented by Charlotte NC Tours. $80.

Wednesday, February 24

CIAA Ford Fan Experience
A full day of events for fans, including car displays, video gaming zones, cooking exhibitions, and live performances by slam poets (7:30 p.m.) and R&B singer Joe (9 p.m.). Wednesday is also CIAA Education Day. 4:30-10 p.m. Free. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St.

Pop Life: Tournament Edition
It’s the most popular social and networking event on a Wednesday night and it’s amped up this week with the CIAA Tournament in town. Free food 6-8 p.m., provided by Sadie's. Special appearance by Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder. Music by DJ Skillz. 6 p.m.-until. Free. Luna Lounge, 521 N. College St.

Thursday, February 25

CIAA Ford Fan Experience/Yolanda Adams Morning Show
The syndicated radio host and singer gets the day stared early, followed a full schedule of events for fans, including car displays, video gaming zones, cooking exhibitions, and more. There will also be a career expo (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and live performances by K'Jon (7 p.m.) and Melanie Fiona (9 p.m.). 5:30-11:00 a.m.; reopens 4:30-10 p.m. Free. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St.

Celebrity NBA Day Party
Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden and Power 98's Ms. Ivory host this party at one of the city's trendiest lounges. Music by DJ Tab D'Biassi and DJ Ampz. 2-7 p.m. $20. Crave Dessert Bar, 500 W. Fifth St.

Heaven 3
This popular party returns for a third year. Featuring drink specials, a late-night menu, and valet parking. Music by DJ 06 and D.C.’s Let It Flow Band. Presented by Talk of the Town. 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Free before 8:30 p.m.; $20 in advance. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets).

Pink Groove 5
The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Rho Psi Omega chapter, present this annual party, which usually reaches capacity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Rho Psi Omega Scholarship Fund. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. $35 in advance; $50 at the door. The Forum, 300 N. College St.

Purple Passion
It's a chance for you to party and check out one of Charlotte’s newest venues. And it's Tiffany L. Jones's annual birthday celebration. Presented by Digital Divas and The Queen City Omegas. 10 p.m. $20 and up. The Liberty, 1812 South Blvd.

The Best of Both Worlds 3
The Alphas and Deltas of Charlotte present this annual party. Music by DJ Flemingo. 10 p.m. $25 in advance. Grand Central Events, 1000 Central Ave.

Friday, February 26

CIAA Ford Fan Experience/ Steve Harvey Morning Show
The syndicated radio host and comedian gets the day stared early, followed a full schedule of events for fans, including car displays, video gaming zones, cooking exhibitions, and more. There will also be live performances by Laura Izibor (7 p.m.) and Ginuwine (8 p.m.). 5:30-11 a.m.; reopens 4:30-9 p.m. Free. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St.

JetSet Series: Day Dreams - The CI Edition
They kept the day parties going throughout the summer and are back for CIAA Week. Music by DJ DR. 12-6 p.m. $10 in advance; more at the door. Mez, inside the EpiCentre, 20 E. Trade St.

The Pre-Game Day Party
They're suggesting you party here before you go to any party that night. Featuring live entertainment. Presented by NXL21 Charlotte. 2 p.m. Cost varies. Aquavina, 435 S. Tryon St.

The Aristocrat Lounge
It's a sophisticated party set in Charlotte's newest and most elegant hotel, and it's happening Friday and Saturday night. Hosted by UPTOWN and VIBE magazines CEO Len Burnett, Seattle Seahawks' Deon Grant, actor Lamman Rucker, St. Louis Rams' Leonard Little, and Charlotte Bobcats' D.J. Augustine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the CIAA General Scholarship Fund. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. General admission, $50; VIP, $100. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, 201 E. Trade St.

It's "History in the Making" at this celebration with music by celebrity DJs Shogun and Mars. Presented by Eddietainment. 9 p.m. $20 in advance. BlackFinn, inside the EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.

CIAA Extravaganzas
This party is taking over the 25,000 square-foot ballroom. So big they're doing it Friday and Saturday night. Music by DJ Bro Rabb (Friday) and DJ Kool (Saturday). Hosted by The A List. 9 p.m. Cost varies. The Westin, 601 S. College St.

It's a party set in the city's new African-American cultural center, comprising all three levels and the rooftop patio. Music by Boogie Down Productions' DJ D-Nice. 9 p.m. General admission, $10 in advance; VIP, $30 in advance and includes an open bar and buffet. Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, 551 S. Tryon St.

Swank II
Dress your best and party with an elite crowd. Event will also feature a fashion preview. Hosted by former NFL player Terry Cousin. Presented by Talk of the Town and L.K. and R&R Productions. A portion of the net proceeds will go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 10 p.m. Cost varies; register online to receive complimentary admission before 11 p.m. Chima Brazilian Restaurant, 139 S. Tryon St.

The Brown Eye Geisha Experience
Come party with a mature crowd (25 and up preferred). Hosted by So So Def's own DJ Shakim. Presented by Q and NoGrease. 10 p.m. $30 and up. Nikko's Japanese Restaurant, 1300 South Blvd.

The Signature Event with DJ Khaled
This party sells out every year and returns with another celebrity DJ. Presented by Inner Circle Events. 10 p.m. $30 and up. The Forum, 300 N. College St.

Saturday, February 27

McDonald's Super Saturday
Featuring the Miss CIAA Pageant, a cheerleading exhibition, battle of the bands, dance show by celebrity choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson, and a performance by Bow Wow. 9 a.m. Free. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St.

Uptown Saturday
This day party usually reaches capacity within a couple of hours. Part of Digital Divas' Welcome to Charlotte Weekend. Music by DJ Polo. 12-6 p.m. Cost varies. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets).

The Day Affair Vol. 4
It’s billed as "The Best D#mn Day Party…Period" and returns for another year. Includes an open buffet. Presented by BestFriendz. 12-7 p.m. $25 and up. Whisky River, inside the EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.

C.I. Day Party Headquarters Part 2
It’s one of the largest day parties, spread over two days. Encompassing three levels with 40 TVs, 10 pool tables, and card games. And featuring five DJs as well as live performances by BlacCatt. Presented by Talk of the Town, L.K. and R&R Productions, and Pinkies-Up Productions. 12-7 p.m. $10 in advance; free before 1 p.m. Fox and Hound, 330 N. Tryon St.

Diddy Presents The Event
Hosted and including a performance by the hip-hop music mogul. VIP packages available, including a meet-and-greet with Diddy. Presented by Taylor Massey Entertainment. 9 p.m. $60 and up. Ramada Hotel, 212 W. Woodlawn Rd.

The Colossal Finale
This is night two of Maz Entertainment’s takeover of one of the city’s tallest buildings. Party on marble floors as you gaze at the city’s skyline through a three-story glass ceiling. Plus the escalators will lead you to the large VIP section located on level two. 9 p.m. $30 and up. Bank of America’s Founders Hall, 100 N. Tryon St.

The Tournament Extravaganza
They're giving you the CIAA's first theater party. DJ BroRabb will be spinning in the main room, while DJ Tron will play in the theater with music videos on the big screen. 9 p.m. $20 in advance; more at the door. Presented by Sol Kitchen. Mez and EpiCentre Theaters, 210 East Trade St.

Drake’s CIAA 2010 Grand Finale
He’s the hottest new rapper of the past year, and you can see him in person as he hosts this party. 9 p.m. $40 in advance. Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave.

Sunday, February 28

Panache – It's Just Brunch
Enjoy good food as you say good-bye to the CIAA Tournament during this annual brunch. Presented by Digital Divas. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ruth's Chris, 222 S. Tryon St.

Jazzy Sundays Farewell Party
Get one more party in before the weekend concludes. Hosted by V101.9's Chirl Girl and music by DJ '06. 2-7 p.m. Cost varies. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd.

Friday, February 19, 2010

As you probably know by now, Charlotte native Anthony Hamilton was among the group of 80 star musicians who assembled a couple of weeks ago to record "We Are The World: 25 For Haiti," a remake of the original 1985 classic that was led by Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Quincy Jones. Well, another legendary Jones tune has been remade for Jones's upcoming album. Jermaine Dupri has produced a remake of "The Secret Garden," which when originally released in 1989 featured James Ingram, Al B. Sure, El DeBarge, and Barry White.

As Dupri explains in this MTV News video clip below, the new version, which hasn't been released yet, features Usher, Robin Thicke, Tyrese, Trey Songz, and White's original verse. Said Dupri, "It was hard because I wanted to put Anthony Hamilton on there, I wanted to put Maxwell...but it's only a four or five-guy spot."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

KokoMo's Opens at JCSU

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/18/2010 No comments
KoKoMo’s Coffeehouse is celebrating the grand opening of its new location on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. The budding coffeehouse franchise was started by the late Tiwanna Hagans, who passed away last September. Hagans was a JCSU alum who dreamed of opening the campus's first coffeehouse, and before she died she was working hard to make it happen. The Uptown KoKoMo's location has recently closed, so hopefully this new one will carry on Hagans's legacy.

The celebration is today and tomorrow and features live entertainment and spoken word poetry.

Click on flyer for larger view.

For more details, visit

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today I Ate the Best Burger Ever

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/16/2010 1 comment
I had an appointment in Ballantyne this afternoon and since I missed lunch I was starving by 5 p.m. I turned into Ballantyne Commons where I knew there would be some restaurants to choose from, when I remembered "Oh yeah, there's a Big Daddy's Burger Bar here now." I'd eaten at the Dilworth location before, but not this one since it opened last year. It was just my lucky day, because today I ... wait for it ... ate ... wait for it ... the best burger ever!

I decided to order Nick's Patty Melt, which for $8.50 is described as a "basic burger on rye toast with Swiss cheese, grilled onions, mayo, and Dijon mustard." For my side, I chose sweet potato fries. This was not a basic burger--it blew me away. The bread was flavorful, the patty was juicy, and the combination of onions and sauce--when I usually don't eat onions--had me licking my fingers.

I've eaten my share of burgers over the years, and I've never had one this good. At times on this blog, when I've had a good dining experience I've taken a picture with my camera phone to include in the post. But by the time I thought to take a picture, there was nothing left but one bite, which I finished off after the picture.

Local Ties on Olympic Ice

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/16/2010 No comments
Two young ladies with ties to the Charlotte area are competing today in the women's 500m race at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Heather Richardson, 20, and Lauren Cholewinski, 21, will be racing for their first Olympic medals in this individual sport.

Richardson is from High Point and as a kid her mother would bring her to the ice rink at Eastland Mall to train with a coach (those were the good old days of Eastland that we often hear about, before I, and probably most of you, moved to Charlotte). Cholewinski was born in Pineville and grew up in York and Rock Hill. She now lives in Utah, where she trains.

Heather Richardson, left, and Lauren Cholewinski.

The women's 500m race starts at 4 p.m. (1 p.m. Vancouver time) and will air at 8 p.m. on NBC. Richardson and Cholewinski are among the four Americans who make up the pool of 36 women competing in this event from around the world.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday night I attended the Hope for Haiti Benefit Date Auction, held at Prevue Rhythm Lounge in NoDa. The event was put on by Glam23 Public Relations & Events, with proceeds going to a Haitian orphanage called God's Littlest Angels. It was great to be able to socialize and be entertained, while supporting a good cause.

I don't think I'd been to Prevue since the weekly Pop Life event was being held there more than two years ago, but it was a great venue for this event. The first thing I noticed when my brother and I walked in around 9:30 p.m. (well, the second thing--first I noticed how there were way more women than men) was that the place has been renovated. The bar has been moved to the second room, and the former bar space has been replaced with a stage, complete with stage lights above.

The DJ kept the crowd entertained until the auction began around 10:30. Anthony McPherson of Maz Entertainment was the emcee. The women were auctioned off first. Bids started at $5 and the first four women went for $45, $60, $115, and $65. The fifth, a very curvaceous young lady, went for a whopping $300. I guess the generous bidder really wanted to help the orphans.

My bro and I dipped out after the women's portion. It's not that I didn't want to see the fellas parade around on stage (okay, I didn't), but I had to make another stop to visit a new nightclub for an upcoming magazine article. Props go out to Lauren Grimsley and Karissa Hayden of Glam23 for putting together a great event. And it's great to see that people are continuing to make contributions to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake.

Photos by Neil Nicholson Photography.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm not one of those people who's saying that the Kobes and LeBrons of the NBA need to be competing in the NBA Slam Dunk contest during All-Star weekend. But I will say that this year's group--Gerald Wallace, Nate Robinson, Shannon Brown, and DeMar DeRozan--is the most lackluster bunch I've ever seen compete in the event. I'm rooting for Bobcats forward Wallace since he's the local guy, but I don't think he'll win. I predict that Wallace, who last competed in the Slam Dunk contest in 2001, will finish in second place.

I think Lakers guard Brown (who played for the Bobcats last year before being traded mid-season) will take home the trophy. I've seen some nice dunks from him on SportsCenter. Plus, as part of the Lake Show he's accustomed to being on a big stage--and there's never been a stage bigger than Cowboys Stadium, where the NBA All-Star Game festivities will take place in front of as many as 80,000 people.

Robinson won the Slam Dunk title in 2006 and 2009, and is trying to become the first three-time winner. Even though he won last year, I feel he took it because people were still in awe of the ups he possess to be 5'8". That won't be enough to carry him this year.

I--along with most people--don't know much about DeRozan, who won his way into the Slam Dunk contest by winning the NBA's first-ever Dunk-In preliminary round last night. He's a rookie for the Raptors. I'm sure he's happy to finally get some shine in front of a major crowd and television audience.

Wallace is the oldest and tallest of the bunch. I've enjoyed his high-flying moves over the years while watching Bobcats games. He certainly has the athleticism, but I don't think he has the creativity in his dunking repertoire to run away with the crown. But I think he'll make a good showing and impress a nationwide audience who probably isn't very familiar with him. He's just starting to get the respect he deserves, which is evident by his selection into tomorrow's All-Star Game.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night kicks off at 8 p.m. on TNT and includes the Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Slam Dunk. Visit for more details.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Public Photo Shoot Project Feb. 21

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/11/2010 No comments
Charlotte-based designer Cigi Guz is showing off the latest collection in her The Flock Apparel clothing line by holding the Public Photo Shoot Project on February 21. Anyone from everyday citizens to aspiring models will have the opportunity to model some of the items and be photographed by popular local photographer Jasiatic. There's a $20 fee and that guarantees you a time slot as as well two professional photos. The organizers say this will also be a great networking and social event.

For more details, visit or follow Guz on Twitter at

Monday, February 8, 2010

David Letterman just revealed the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue cover on his show a few minutes ago--on a billboard in New York--and just like I called it, it features Charlotte's (Matthews) own Brooklyn Decker.

Congratulations Brooklyn! She'll appear in person on The Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday night, and begin a whirlwind media tour in support of the country's top-selling magazine issue. Follow the 22-year-old star on Twitter @brooklynddecker, and get the latest from SI at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

News broke a few days ago that Michael Jordan has until the end of this month to get together the funds to buy the Charlotte Bobcats. It's been known for almost a year that majority owner Bob Johnson, who owns a little more than 70 percent of the team, has been trying to sell it. And for the past few months, George Postolos, a businessman and former president of the Houston Rockets, has been the leading contender to buy the team. It's speculated that Postolos and his group of investors have put together an offer that Johnson is ready to accept. But Jordan, who is a minority owner of the Bobcats (I'm guessing about 10 percent) and managing member of basketball operations, reportedly has first right of refusal, which is how the timeline for him to match Postolos's offer came about.

Here are five reasons why Charlotte would be better off having Michael Jordan as the Bobcats' majority owner than George Postolos.

  • Name recognition. I don't care what anyone says, that matters. The average person doesn't know who George Postolos is, while the average person in a Third World country knows Jordan. People in Charlotte would rather brag that Michael Jordan owns their team.
  • All politics is local: One of the biggest gripes since Jordan bought a stake in the Bobcats in 2006 and became their top executive is that he doesn't spend enough time in Charlotte. That was the same complaint about Bob Johnson. Well, not only has Jordan gotten more involved over the past year and a half and is in town more, how much more present do you think the guy from Texas is going to be?
  • If Postolos buys the team, he's said that he will likely replace the top executives. Any new owner who has put up hundreds of millions of dollars would want to put his own people in place, so that's understandable. But the last thing the Bobcats need is another group of executives who have to learn how Charlotte works. Postolos might have a strong history as an NBA executive, but what the Bobcats need is someone who is going to get more people in SouthPark, University, Dilworth, Myers Park, Ballantyne, Uptown, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and Rock Hill to come to more games. Jordan and his group of execs, while not the most successful at it thus far, have a few years of groundwork under their belts.
  • If Postolos comes, then Jordan's out, which means Larry Brown leaves. Brown has said repeatedly that the reason he took the Bobcats head coaching job is because of M.J. He's also at times said that he's asked Jordan to be around more, to which I think Jordan has obliged. The Bobcats can't afford to lose the coach who in his first year led them to a franchise record in wins, and in his second has them headed for the playoffs.
  • Jordan has extreme ties to North Carolina. He grew up in Wilimington, played college ball in Chapel Hill, and for the past four years has been a part-time resident of Charlotte (one of his brothers live here also). When I saw Jordan accept an award from the Charlotte Chamber in the fall of 2008, he talked about his North Carolina roots. It's important that the top guy at one of our important institutions has that. We just lost that at one of the institutions up the street from where the Bobcats play.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Brooklyn's in the House

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/04/2010 No comments
Brooklyn Decker and I go way back. Not really, but I first met the then-rapidly rising model three years ago for an interview and photo shoot for Charlotte magazine. She was 19 and had just appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for the second consecutive year. I've since followed her career and have been happy with how she's represented Charlotte, shouting us out often in interviews. So when the buzz started building for the release of the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, and Decker's name was getting mentioned often as one of the viable candidates to land the coveted cover position, I hit her on the hip and asked if she would grant me an interview. Actually, I sent her an email, she said yes, and she was gracious to speak to me by phone last week for an article for Creative Loafing.

Aside for my bias for Decker because of her local ties and her down-to-earth, non-diva attitude, I think she's a great candidate for the cover. She's tall, beautiful (this is SI so that goes without saying), has built a nice portfolio that includes her fifth appearance in SI and several Victoria's Secret campaigns, and she made cameos on Chuck and Ugly Betty in the past year. Plus, she's married to tennis superstar Andy Roddick. The two wed last April.

You can read about all of that in my Q&A with Decker on Creative Loafing's website. Click here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I've enjoyed watching the first four episodes of Fantasia Barrino's VH1 reality show, Fantasia For Real. I watch it largely to see what scenes in Charlotte they show, but I have to admit that Teeny's antics are hilarious ("You getting on my nerves man!"). If you've been watching, then you've also witnessed Fantasia's battle to find a first single for her upcoming album. Well, she's found it. Today, she released "Even Angels."

I've played the song a few times today, and I liked it after the first listen. It finds Fantasia in her usual storytelling mode, but she uses her voice a lot lighter than she typically does. It's a softer song--and it works. Click here to buy "Even Angels" from iTunes.

You might also get to see Fantasia perform it when she appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow (Feb. 3) in an episode titled "Stars of Reality TV: Fantasia's Comeback and Ruby's Revelations." The episode has already been taped so it's confirmed that Fantasia performs, but I'm not sure what song. She also has to face up to boss lady Oprah, who asks her why she missed so many shows during her first run with The Color Purple musical.

Listen to "Even Angels" below.

The List: 2010 CIAA Events and Parties

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/02/2010 3 comments
UPDATE for CIAA 2011: Go to for the list of 2011 CIAA parties and events I've compiled.

Since the New Year rang in, the excitement has been building in anticipation of CIAA Week in Charlotte. And now that we've reached February, the talks of parties and events--and which ones people will be going to--is just about all I've been hearing from friends. I've also had a few Grown People Talking readers email me asking if I'll be putting together a list of CIAA parties this year.

As I did last year, I'll be including them in my "Events for the Week" and this will be a select list of parties and events I'm recommending. Because there are literally at least 100 events going on that week (most from promoters who capitalize on people's appetite to party, and others are official CIAA-sanctioned events), I'll use this blog to give you a few highly recommended events to choose from each day.

And I still have you covered in what I'm dubbing the master list. I've compiled a list of CIAA events and parties for The first installment is online now (about 40 events), and I'll update the list a couple more times leading up to CIAA Week (I've already received about 10 more events since I put together the first list). Not every event is going to be included--if the promoter or venue seems a little sketchy, their event gets left off. Click here for the master list.

2010 CIAA Parties Events CIAA 2010 Parties Celebrities CIAA Week CIAA Weekend Charlotte
After snow and ice kept many Charlotteans in over the weekend, which was the final weekend of the winter installment of Charlotte Restaurant Week, several restaurants are extending the popular culinary celebration. Originally scheduled for January 22-31, many restaurants are extending the three-course, $30 special through this weekend.

Restaurants offering the special, also known as Queen's Feast, through Saturday, February 6 include: Basil Thai, Mez, Sole, D'Vine Wine, Morton's, 300 East, Mimosa Grill, Zink American Kitchen, Upstream, M5 Modern Mediterranean, Carpe Diem, and many more. Blue Restaurant and Bar is extending it until February 12.

You can keep up with the growing list of restaurants offering the extension by visiting Charlotte Restaurant Week on Facebook ( or Twitter (

Monday, February 1, 2010

My friend and colleague Mary C. Curtis is a regular contributor for and yesterday she posted an article asking, "Can Rielle Hunter and Daughter Find Peace and Privacy in Charlotte?" It's speculated that John Edwards bought or rents a house here for Hunter and their love child. Charlotte could be just the kind of quiet city for Hunter to seek refuge, but I'm not sure that's possible now with her and Edwards's scandal getting renewed media and tabloid attention with the recent reports of a sextape.

Click here to read Mary's article.
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