Rihanna Ready to Do Bigger Things, Kyler Murray Ready to Bring His A-Game; Both Looking to Flex What They’ve Got Next

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Whether as a sports fan or music fan, lots of folk got their eyes on the scoreboard. For sport fans it might be the NBA draft lottery or playoffs where Lebron James is out but Kawhi Leonard is in. After an almost magical game-ending shot, The Raptors moved on to play Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.

For music fans it might be the latest release from Ciara or waiting for the next winner on Idol or The Voice to be crowned. But even those primetime events might not be where it’s at. Folks are also watching for how Rihanna is ready to do bigger things and NFL #1 pick Kyler Murray is ready to bring his A-game.

Both are looking to flex what they’ve got next. Rihanna announced a major partnership for her luxury ‘Fenty’ fashion line with LVMH. Word is that she’s the first woman to have an original line with the iconic fashion house. She’s also the first woman of color to head-up her own high-fashion creations there.

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Murray took to the field recently as part of rookie minicamp. He’s got a lot riding on him playing for the Arizona Cardinals. They’ve had a few losing seasons and are hoping to turn things around with Murray at the helm as QB. In the days ahead, all eyes will be on the scoreboard for both Rihanna and Murray.

They didn’t get to this point overnight. Rihanna now 31, won her first Grammy at 19. She’s produced loads of hits and fans are waiting on her next project which is rumored to be reggae-infused. Murray comes from a football family and can’t wait to develop his pro game. They know it’s about working on the:

  1. Talent

At an early age Rihanna figured-out that she had singing chops. Then she was discovered by Jay-Z whose record label gave her the exposure and the resources for developing her talent. Now she’s a multi-award artist and international icon. She’s turned talent into far-reaching fandom and record sales.

  1. Player

The concern some sports commentators have about Murray is he’s got average height. Will he be able to see over the offensive or defensive lines? What he seems to bring is that he’s not so much a pocket-passer as much as he is an open-field scrambler. Maybe as a player he’s more like a Michael Vick.

  1. Star

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One of Rihanna’s big hits came with the words ‘shine bright like a diamond.’ It’s something she’s been able to do on the world stage. Murray’s got his chance in the big leagues. So what’s it going to take for him to be a star? Maybe a winning record or a breakout performance as rookie and starting QB.

  1. Brand

Just imagine, Rihanna started out as a little-known singer from Barbados. She made a name for herself on the music charts. Then she made some moves into fashion with boots, cosmetics and other sexy apparel. Now she’s stepping up her brand-name mojo and market appeal to having a luxury clothing line.

For Rihanna and Murray, it might feel like they’re at another starting point in their careers. Like a lot of recent college grads, they’re getting ready to flex what they’ve got next. If what they’ve done already in sports and music says anything, then they’re ready to do bigger things and bring their A-game.

Tip: Those ready to flex what they’ve got next bring their A-game to do bigger and better things by taking their talent from ‘diamond in the rough’ to brand-name star.

Talkback: Who’s ready to see Murray’s first scrimmage or waiting for Rihanna’s next album drop?

Tracks: Rihanna – Diamonds – https://youtu.be/lWA2pjMjpBs

Shaggy – Money Up – https://youtu.be/VW5ayZX38Jo

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Steve Harvey and Prince Harry Remind Us of What to Do with the Naysayers as You Win, Place or Showout in Your Dreams

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It was the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, and let’s just say things didn’t end well. The horse that originally finished first was DQ’ed because of crossing into the lane of another horse on the final turn. The suspense was high following the race as fans waited to hear the verdict from the review.

The situation was a little different for Prince Harry as he waited for the arrival of his first child. He and Duchess Meghan gave birth to a boy and Harry was almost giddy trying to explain how he felt leading up to the announcement. ‘Prince Jr’ is seventh in-line, so he’s got lots of time to grow into royalty.

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For Harry, getting to this point was a dream come true, considering the tragedy of his mom. As a Royal Family member, he gets to have a dream life with little to no setbacks. As for Steve Harvey, he’ll tell you his story of running low on funds and feeling like he was running out of time to achieve his dreams.

Harvey and Harry remind us of what to do with the naysayers and doubters as you win, place or showout in your dreams. Harvey might say he made it this far with hustle-love. Harry might say he’s made it this far with Meghan’s love. At times it seems like Harvey and Harry wear it on their sleeves.

So, when it comes to giving birth to your dreams what does it take to win, place or showout? Sure there’s a process that gets us there from concept to reality. There’s a gift that grows inside of us the way a baby develops in the womb. But there’re other factors for bringing out the best in our ‘dream lane’ such as:

  1. Faith

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Harvey says he won’t let anyone out-faith him. He’s watched some larger-than-life aspects of his dream come to past because faith is oftentimes seeing what others don’t see, can’t see or choose not to see. It’s like saying faith is the evidence of things not seen by the naked eye but seen through God’s eyes.

  1. Home

Harry and Meghan are looking forward to bringing their new born home. Every baby that comes home gets the chance to grow into a fully-equipped human being. Similarly, every dream can use a homebase, just like every cellphone has a home-button, so that the dream can grow into something fully-lit.

  1. Drive

Harvey tries to turn-up his hustle the way your professional drive can turn up the flow. He knows having the motivation to run your race gives you the hustle and having the drive to up your game gives you the flow. A dream without the drive might startout like a rain shower but end up like a large puddle.

  1. Stretch

Usually, the last few days before giving birth can feel like an eternity. Harry and Meghan went through this phase as well, with paparazzi trying to get a jump on things. Dreams can go through a similar stretch phase where it feels like your skills are being stretched or you’re pushing through on the homestretch.

Which is where the Derby finish got interesting. It was on the homestretch where the original winner veered into the path of other horses in the race. Even when it feels like all hope is lost or things might go off course, there’s no doubt it takes faith, home and drive to win, place and showout in your dreams.

Tip: Even when it feels like all hope is lost or things might go off course, there’s no doubt it takes faith, home and drive to win, place and showout in your dreams.

Talkback: Which one interests you more about celebrity news: doing baby watch or dream watch?

Tracks: Mary J. Blige – Doubt – https://youtu.be/NUE5r4Mzf80

Ledesi – Alright – https://youtu.be/8dAPfhnR92U

Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens Made their Picks and It’s More than Just a First-Round Choice, But Also Passion at Its Best

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Not many job opportunities get live-streamed or broadcast for hours. But such is life for those in professional sports. This year’s NFL Draft is history with some teams still scrambling to finalize their training camp roster. If your fav team picked the player you hoped, then all’s well with your fantasy draft.

That might also be what Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens are thinking after announcing their engagement. In their words, each was the other’s first round pick to spend their lives together. Altidore the soccer star met Stephens the tennis pro many years ago. Now they’re headed to the marriage altar.

A marriage between player and team made in NFL draft picks or one made in life’s travels comes with a similar excitement and joy. Altidore has been doing big things in Major League Soccer and recently re-signed with the Toronto club. He’s also played on the U.S Men’s team as a leading goal scorer.

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Stephens made a name for herself in winning the 2017 U.S. Tennis Open. She’s seen in chocolate milk commercials selling it as an alternative sport drink of choice. Now she’s part of the squad showing U.S. star-power with her performance at the 2019 Fed Cup, which is the World Championship of Tennis.

No matter what’s your passion, hustle or what started out as your first love career-wise, these two give us a sense for passion rollout and work-life balance. Whether it’s being picked in the Draft or getting hired after graduation, sometimes it’s not only about having big stats, it might also be about having:

  1. Game

The top picks in the draft certainly know how to play the game. Altidore and Stephens have been playing their game for a long time. The professional game no matter the career isn’t always about being a high pick. It might also be about bringing something special to the game that could make you a double-threat.

  1. Smarts

Sometimes you’ll hear players described as having a high game IQ. They know the game and things you can’t teach in the game. They’re good at some of the intangibles of the game. They’re good at making-up for any shortfalls by drawing on the strengths of teammates to create windfalls in scoring.

  1. Fun

Altidore and Stephens might approach their games differently. But at the end of the day they know it’s important to have fun doing what you love. When the thrill is gone, fun might follow. Stephens says when she was injured, they were still able to make fun of things or fun of each other to keep the passion strong.

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  1. Soul

After knowing each other and losing touch as kids, they re-connected and began dating. Their roads crossed again and it’s as if their souls were waiting to re-unite. Sometimes that’s how it is professionally. Things might go off-course or dreams might get delayed, but the universe will re-unite passion and soul.

Some fans still wondering about picks made by their fav team. Even before the ink dried, there were player trades and team upgrades. Altidore and Stephens aren’t wondering anymore about their picks. Their hustle-love on the field and forever-love in life bring together heart, drive and soul to hustle hard.

Tip: Whether it’s from hustle-love on the field or forever-love in life, passion gives you an edge by having game-smarts and being a fun-soul.

Talkback: Who were some of the winners and losers at the recent NFL Draft?

Tracks: Johnny Gill – Soul of a Woman – https://youtu.be/qyvZqsRS50s

Ace Hood – Hustle Hard – https://youtu.be/r_dh16HQkqQ

Beyoncé and Kirk Franklin: Two Performers on Opposite Ends of the Game who Know Something About Turning-up the Heat on their Dreams

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It’s been only a few days since Easter and the temperature is already turnt-up. Not so much the air outside but the buzz around town and on social media after Beyoncé pulled another surprise album drop. This time it’s a ‘live’ recording from her recent Coachella Festival concert set, with a remix on a classic.

Her version of the old Frankie Beverly & Maze track ‘Before I let go’ is setting records and exciting fans. She even caused another ‘breaking of the Internet’ with dance challenge videos to the track. Then as if to follow that with even more madness, her Lemonade album is now streaming worldwide on all platforms.

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That’s the story from the R&B/Pop side of the game. And then there’s Kirk Franklin who’s going from the studio to the road with his 13th album along with a U.S. concert tour. He’s already made waves and set records as a gospel artist. He’s even got Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ on the case to help bump his streams.

Beyoncé and Franklin are two performers on opposite ends of the game who know something about turning-up the heat on their dreams. Since Bey had to skip her previous Coachella performance the year before due to the ‘baby bump’ many were looking forward to her bringing a world-class stage show.

She’s the first black female artist to headline the event. Franklin’s the first gospel artist to have a music video on MTV. Their journeys have had bumps in the road where they reinvented themselves a time or two. Their performance side is lit, their biz side is legit, having taken their dreams through the phases of:

  1. Formation

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One takeway from the Homecoming show on Netflix is that Bey handles the details from the creative to the expressive sides of her performances. As an artist, she’s thinking about her craft in the band as much as she’s thinking about herself as a brand in taking her dream from conception to mass distribution.

  1. Resolution

There’re probably three key times in the year when people use the calendar to help propel their dreams or other social agenda. Whether it’s because the ‘new-year rush’ is over or the career thrill is gone, people will use Spring time or early Fall to make a kind of dream resolution for taking things up a notch.

  1. Correction

Most dreams go though an ‘up and up’ phase in building clout. Then something happens that becomes a setback or shift in strategy. Beyoncé and Franklin have had moments where the business caused them to make adjustments or life caused their dreams to make slight course corrections as planes do on autopilot.

  1. Appreciation

It took three years for Beyoncé’s decision on releasing the Lemonade album to all streaming platforms. This will give fans a greater appreciation for her work. Not as if the Beyhive wasn’t already on board with her music archive. But fan appreciation is sort of the best ‘tell’ of the impact of someone’s dream work.

Sometimes a dream takes a while to come into formation or full view. Other times it happens right before our eyes as we’ve seen with these two artists. To fans, Bey is like an angel and they show her major appreciation. While Franklin wants his dream to be like a gospel soldier for the ‘MHG – Most High God.’

Tip: Sometimes a dream takes a while to come into formation or full view. But when it takes off it goes from conception to fan appreciation.

Talkback: What’s the difference between a fan club and the Beyhive?

Tracks: Shaggy ft Rayvon – Angel – https://youtu.be/XWJrPzAUzAs

Destiny’s Child  – Soldier – https://youtu.be/qFJ3VKnwmJw

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union Show How the Grind is More than Just Make a Living Because of What Hustle-Love Can Do

The regular NBA season is about to end. Some fans are getting ready for the game to go to the next level. The playoffs start in a few days and sports commentators are busy ranking a team’s chances to win it all. It’s the first in a long time that Lebron James will be missing and watching from the sidelines.

Another streak that‘s about to end is Dwyane Wade’s NBA career. He’s played for 16 seasons during which he’s won championship trophies, MVP awards and scoring titles. Wade’s been savoring the moment with his ‘One Last Dance’ tour in NBA cities, swapping jerseys with other players along the way.

Wade has become an icon to many for his hustle-love on and off the court. He’s been teaming-up with his wife Gabrielle Union in doing more than just the grind but also encouraging us to be who we were meant to be. They’re parents of a new girl born by surrogate that’s been its own life-giving story.

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As Wade’s career takes a shift, Union is charting new ground in her career as a judge on America’s Got Talent. They’re both seen in TV commercials pushing each other on the treadmill but maybe even more importantly, inspiring us to grow in mind, body and spirit. They’re good examples of life beyond the grind.

Wade’s personal and professional journey is seen in a special video that is a big tear-jerker. He’s thanked by five people with their appreciation for what he’s meant in their lives. In the video we learn how Wade sees the game, the grind and the gift for making a difference. His hustle-love has been driven by:

  1. Pain

The story behind the man is heard from his mom. She remembers falling short in caring for him due to her own substance abuse challenges. But when Wade showed love to her even then, she saw him as more than a son. Hustle-love can turn pain into gain, into something that’s paying or even a payback.

  1. Project

He didn’t go to school to become a fashion designer, but he’s caught the ‘style and fashion’ bug. His line of socks is sold through Amazon. It’s something he began as a side project. His hustle-love on the court is seen in game-winning shots. But hustle-love is also in learning something you didn’t go to school for.

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  1. Passion

Wade’s not sure what’s next after basketball. He’ll likely pitch products beyond his sneaker line. If socks became his passion project, then wine testing is becoming a possible business passion. He says there’s something about the feeling around the ‘wine & dine’ experience with others that gets his juices flowing.

  1. Purpose

He knows things could have gone differently as a child. There were times of lack and lost opportunity. But people gave him a helping hand and he wants to do the same. That came through in the video for how he’s fulfilling his purpose. Hustle-love through purpose means ‘hustle & love’ to serve the people.

During the last week of the season fans came out to show love. Union defended him against those wanting to dim his shine. NBA coach Gregg Popovich said Wade’s hustle-love is bigger than the game of basketball. And President Obama put in a word saying “Wade’s done us proud” grinding all his life.

Tip: Showing up for work is more than just making a living. It’s bringing hustle-love through the pain in a project or where passion can serve a larger purpose.

Talkback: How has Wade changed the game after teaming-up with Lebron and Bosh?

Tracks: Nipsy Hussle – Grinding All My Life – https://youtu.be/nHLKEHnfo9c

Ne-Yo – Champagne Life – https://youtu.be/gqayCgvI_uI

Steph Curry and Tiffany Haddish on Turning Good Breaks into Dance Shakes While Keeping Their Game On High Performance

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The NCAA Final Four teams are set with a few one-seed upsets. The two Carolina teams Duke & UNC are out of the dance. Virginia is still in the mix while Texas Tech beat west coast favorite Gonzaga to reach the Final Four for the first time. For die-hard fans, some of those games were hard to watch.

Another North Carolina boy has his eyes set on a different upcoming series. Steph Curry is gearing up for the big push of the NBA playoffs. He’s been on a run lately that is simply other-worldly. Meantime, Tiffany Haddish is trying to reset her comedy game after a New Year’s Eve show that went off the rails.

They know something about turning good breaks into dance shakes. You see it when Curry runs a fast break or hits a 3-point shot so far out he might as well have taken it from the parking lot. Haddish does her dance shake when she pinches herself and realizes the path taken to becoming a hit in Hollywood.

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Curry says he’s still working on some things in his game. That’s why when he named his top-5 NBA players in the past 20 years, he says his name wasn’t on the list because he’s still a work in progress.  Haddish says she learned the reason why her show bombed. She partied too much the night before.

What drives them is the stuff they’re doing to make their game and life story come alive even more. Curry remembers times when people said he was overrated. He puts in the work to silence the doubters. Haddish says she’s back to doing comedy right. They’re keeping their game on high because of the:

  1. Dream

Your dream is deeply-rooted in some inner vision for your best self or is connected to someone else’s dream for a better product, service or world. Curry’s dream probably came from watching his dad play ball in the NBA. As a kid, he’d be on the court learning the plays of the game and the tricks of the trade.

  1. Flow

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When you watch Haddish she seems like a boundless flow of energy. When you watch Curry, he’s just hitting shots in the flow. Everybody’s got their own flow. But one reason why fans might attend their games or stand-up comedy shows is to experience and enjoy the magic of their flow.

  1. Brand

Curry started his own production company to work on other projects that help fulfill his true calling and broader purpose. What he does in the game is good for scoring points and celebrating championships. What he’s doing off the court is good for building his brand and defining his life’s work.

  1. Destiny

Usually in the professional game folks are driven by something to prove. Maybe Curry felt doubted and had to prove he’s got game. Maybe Haddish felt slighted as a child and had to prove that ‘she ready.’ But even beyond having to prove to others in the game, is their hope to fulfill their destiny.

Once the NCAA tournament is done the NBA playoffs begin. Curry’s looking to do something not done since Kobe Bryant and the Lakers with a three-peat. Haddish is working on her stand-up game for Netflix projects. They keep performance on high, driven by the dream, flow, brand and destiny ‘cause they’ll be around.

Tip: Great achievers keep performance on high, because of the dream, flow, brand and fulfilling their destiny.

Talkback: Who you’ve got for taking the crown at the NCAA Big Dance?

Tracks: Cee-lo ft Timbaland – I’ll be Around – https://youtu.be/TatmBrl8Y28

T.I. ft Chris Brown – Get Back Up – https://youtu.be/B9qZz-m6BL4

Ciara, Oprah, Their First-Name Status and The Big Rollout to Leave a Mark on the Marketplace with a Big Payback

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Seems like the Spring season kicked-off with so many events for us to go all out. The March Madness frenzy is in full effect where fans get to raise the noise as teams raise their level of play. There was also a Michelle Obama sighting as she returned to her book tour to an arena fill with 18,000 guests.

Recording artist Ciara was in the house along with a few other big-time players in sports and showbiz. Not to be outdone, Oprah made a grand appearance at the Apple launch of their latest tech project. She says they’re partnering to leave the world a little bit smarter, kinder and better than they found it.

Ciara and Oprah with their first-name status and the big rollout, are looking to leave their mark on the marketplace. That’s not some new feeling/fad that’s got them pitching a ‘pie in the sky’ idea. It’s really them connecting with folks in ways that excite new ventures in technology along with hopes and dreams.

Outside of those times Ciara gets to shake, bounce and pop in music she’s giving talks to industry/sports groups on the challenges of life-role balance. Beyond those times Oprah gets to share content, impact culture and deliver entertainment, she’s big on spreading ‘aha moments’ to rev-up life.

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What we see with them points back to times they took a chance, made a shift, or set a goal to stretch them from where they were to where they could be. This latest effort with Apple is one Oprah is gushing about. It gives her another way to show that achieving fulfillment in career and life is in how we affect:

  1. The Game

This takes some passion. For Oprah it started with her doing the local news. Her passion was working in journalism. Then she made the shift to hosting her own talk show which changed the game as we knew it. Oprah and Ciara show that passion is in how we master the game and how we level-up the career field.

  1. The People

Most folks remember the Oprah show episode when she said these words: “you get a car, you get a car, err’body gets a car.” That was one of those moments where she did something special for the audience. She’s been doing that not only with financial gifts but also serving in ways guided by a sense of purpose.

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  1. The World

Ciara’s fans love her music and how she celebrates sexy. It sure lights-up the faces of many a guy and girl. Oprah says her calling is as a kind of teaching guru. That’s why she’s revamping her book club. She uses it to bring light to the world and maybe has a big payback by making God look good in the process.

  1. The Times

Along with her professional duties, Ciara is busy being a mom. She’s helping her kids get through their times-table so they can multiply faster. But Oprah chooses to multiply numbers faster with vision, passion and mission to affect millions. That’s how they and other major players affect the times and the ages.

Ciara and Oprah give us inspiring notes on how fulfillment means having our whole-self matter in the best ways possible. Not everybody gets to have first-name status in pop culture. But they do, maybe because they’re loved for what they represent and how they affect the game, the people, the world and the times.

Tip: There’s no greater sense of fulfillment from making a difference than how we bring love to affect the game, the people, the world and the times.

Talkback: Ready to get your game on, excite the people and impact the world for all times?

Tracks: Kirk Franklin – Love Theory – https://youtu.be/3aD8OK07iIY

Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up – https://youtu.be/M_o6axAseak