Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka Might Not Have Royalty in their Veins But They Have Star Power in Their Gains

The first big celeb interview of the year is set! As Oprah plans to do a sit-down with Harry and Meghan, word is their royal titles and privileges will no longer go with them. They’ll be on their own in how they’re seen in the eyes of celebrity, aristocracy and world diplomacy. But that’s not slowing them down.

Meanwhile, the comeback stories of Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka have also got folks buzzing. Latifah who’s seen her career go through twists and turns is now back on TV, with 20+ million who watched her debut on The Equalizer. It’s a first to have a woman as the lead for that showbiz franchise.

Not sure how many eyeballs watched the Australian Open in tennis, but Osaka put on a show in winning her fourth grand slam championship. The win moved her up to the #2 spot in the rankings. It also put her in the company of a handful of tennis pros who’ve won at least that many majors.

Latifah’s career has spanned entertainment from music to sitcoms to her talk show to the big screen. She’s gone full circle in now starring in her latest project. Osaka has gone through some circles of her own where she showed signs of being a rising star and then had a few “crash and burn” moments.

They credit bounceback-ability to having folks in their corner who keep them lifted but at the same time grounded. They seem to have a similar fierceness where even while they don’t have royalty in their veins, they have star power in their gains. They wrap their magic on the screen or on the court around their:             

  • First love

Latifah says she gets to do some of the stunts in the show. But when it gets to the really crazy stuff she leaves that to the experts. What she’s excited about is how the role draws on her skillset and experience over the years. She gets to ride a motorcycle which is one of those ‘first loves’ she had in younger days.

  • Comfort zone

Osaka shared how she’s seen able to maintain poise under pressure. At the young age of 23, she’s got a lot in her view and expectations on her shoulder. She’s gotten to a point of being comfortable in what she can do on the court while stepping outside of her comfort zone in how she sheds light on social issues.          

  • Drive lane

In sports, athletes have a way of figuring out their ‘drive lane.’ It’s where they can make a move to change the game or dominate the moment. It’s a special effort or effect that puts their passion on full display. Well, when Osaka can up her game with big serves and powerful groundstrokes, she’s in her drive lane.   

  • Inner Strength

Both can give you that bright smile on the outside with turnt-up firepower on the inside. It’s a kinda yin and yang that they seem to balance in their work, play and around the way. They have an easy-going personality but when the game’s on the line they can turn off the charm and deliver the swarm.

Latifah says one of the things that helps her in those kick-butt scenes is the music playing in the background. She gets into a rhythm and tries to step to the groove as she connects the blows. They’re both enjoying the roles they play in being seen as bad to the bone but like royalty on the throne.           

Tip: How you wrap your magic around your passion and purpose will help determine your rise & shine and your claim to fame.

Talkback: Will Harry and Meghan be able to move on from royalty without a penalty?

Tracks: Protoje Ft Popcaan  – Like Royalty – https://youtu.be/WFxyPB_LcBA

George Thorogood  – Bad to the Bone – https://youtu.be/MAb81olgCNs

Lebron James and Serena Williams Give Us a Preview of 2019, Using a Review of 2018


The College Football National Championship was a shocker! Well, maybe not to Clemson players and fans, but to Alabama coach Nick Saban and the roll-tide squad who fell short at the end. The sports world will re-watch the game highlights and see that they’re some budding stars in the making.

Lebron James and Serena Williams are already big-time stars with lots of winning moments too. They were recently named AP Male/Female Athletes of the Year. James for the third time, Williams for the fifth. So, if you’re wondering what’s next for them, they give us a preview of 2019, using a review of 2018.

James has been recovering from a groin injury suffered during the Christmas Day game. He doesn’t want to return too soon, making sure that he’s fully mended. In 2018 he got no NBA Championship parade or MVP awards. But his ‘game stats’ were just as impressive in social advocacy and community impact.

The same kinda holds true for Serena who didn’t get to win that coveted 24th grand slam championship. But she did something that few have accomplished by returning to the game after a dicey child birth less than a year earlier. The AP selection group says she got the award for showing perseverance.


Serena recently played a tune-up match in a mixed-doubles game. She’s hoping to get back to her usual ‘passion & fire’ form. For James during his absence, the Lakers coach is hoping that the team can find its mojo while he’s out. James and Williams on and off the court help preview 2019 for how to:

  1. Flex your stuff

During her pre-game warm-up and stretch, Serena was seen holding her child close. It seemed her baby was a little fearful and needed some lovin’. So, in the new year we can break the fear. Just take time to warm-up to how you’ll flex your stuff, bring some hustle-love to your game and stretch yourself in 2019.

  1. Up your game

James is probably spending a lot of time with the team trainers doing things to strengthen the injured muscle. How he plays the game might be about shots and rebounds. But how he ups his game might be about hustle and flow. It’s about getting mind, body and soul to work together and put you on a roll.

  1. Earn your keeps

Downtime from the game for Serena allowed her to grow her family. Downtime for James might also be about how he grows his value with pro sports, his Foundation and other biz enterprises. Sometimes the work you do isn’t just about the 9 to 5, but also how you add value personally, professionally and socially.

  1. Rock your best

James recently re-shared a quote from former ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott who once said “Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your convictions to match your destiny.” That might be a good way to describe how they approach their game to amaze at work and rock their best.


The clock is still ticking on James’ return. Fans want to see that magic again. Serena is getting ready for her next grand-slam tournament at the Australian Open. If the review of 2018 serves as a preview of 2019, they’d say you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.  Holla if you with me!

Tip: In order to rock your best and earn your keeps you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.

Talkback: What’s in-store for your new year to make it a “new you, new woo?”

Tracks: Jodeci – Get on Up – https://youtu.be/Sy6gPBix32k

Angie Stone – Do What You Gotta Do – https://youtu.be/4oS-GAy5MUY

Serena & Venus Williams Put on a Show of Class and Grit for Fans Worldwide #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

They say age is just a number, and maybe Serena & Venus Williams got the memo. It was a weekend to remember as they competed in the Australian Open finals. Another old-timer who got props was Roger Federer on the men’s side. But the Williams sisters put on a show of class and grit for fans worldwide.

In her first social media post after the match Serena wrote “The top is never lonely when your best friend (Venus Williams) is there. Here’s to #23. What a night for our family.” The #23 refers to her record-setting majors wins. Here’s a case of what win-win looks like on the career ladder or playing field of stars.

This match brought their careers full circle since playing each other at the same venue in 1998. Over the years they’ve grinded it out by looking past potential distractions and being the ultimate ‘goal diggers’ on the pro tennis circuit. Considering their upstart beginnings it’s great to see them go from then to now.

How things took off for them tells us something about turning your journey into a larger story. It’s why they’re both sports and branding icons. They saw their career rankings jump with a win for Serena and even with the loss for Venus. Serena landed back in the #1 spot while Venus moved up two slots to 11th.

When match money and endorsements are paid out we praise Serena for her dominance and Venus for her elegance. They showed us how a special kind of love for each other and passion for the game keeps them together. Venus responded to her sister on social media by basically say don’t count them out.

Groove-Track: New Edition – Count Me Out – https://youtu.be/7a9uhrhIlBQ

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

They say age is but a number. What a weekend to remember. Williams sisters got the memo. Keep playing past your demo. As they thrilled fans in Aussie match. Serena too and her honey-boo catch. On men’s side old-timer Federer came thru. But Williams sisters put things in full view.

Posting on social media Serena wrote. Top never lonely even as the G.O.A.T. When sista best friend is closely there. Knowing that ‘cause she does care. Here’s to the #23 winning highlight. For their family, what a night. Record-setting win in major rounds. A case of win-win on career ladder is how it sounds.

Match brought their careers back in place. Down-under where each other they’d face. Playing at same venue for us to see. What grinding it out in life can be. Looking past distraction and setbacks. Being ultimate ‘goal diggers’ for comebacks. Upstart beginnings back then. So they smile and remember when.

Things took off for them after a while. Building them into branding style. Says something about turning your journey. Into a market-ready larger story. Saw their career rankings take a jump. With win, loss, still a career bump. Back at #1 for the younger pro. Up two spots for Venus and their glow.

When match money and promos get paid. Going from braids to having hair laid. Much praise to Serena for her dominance. Same to Venus for her elegance. Showed us that special kind of love. Also giving thanks to the One above. Passion keeps them in the flow. Don’t count them out on how far they’ll go.


Tip: Whether win, lose or draw, a passion for the game & push for excellence make us better.

Talkback: How’s it feel seeing the Williams sisters compete and then congratulate?

Groove-Tracks: Missy Elliott – I’m Better – https://youtu.be/TwyPsUd9LAk

Alessia Cara – How Far I’ll Go – https://youtu.be/ZNra8eK0K6k

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

The Business of Sports: Marshawn & Serena Getting Paid for Games Played – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

There were lots of highlights in sports over recent days. The biggest was likely how the Superbowl ended. With less than a minute in the game, the Seahawks decided to pass. We’ve heard the breakdown of the big game and TV commercials. So will Marshawn Lynch get fined and what about Serena’s fat check?

The game was a thriller down to the end. The commercials had their fare share of ‘hits and misses.’ This year’s Superbowl was the most watched TV program in history. Lynch didn’t get the call to run the ball. But his branding success beyond the big game says something about how to ‘coin a phrase.’

His approach to media has put a dent in his wallet. But he’s been able to turn that around into a branding ‘phrase that pays.’ This is also true for ads that are a hit. They appeal with humor or to the heartstring or by being hip. That’s how a favorite song, movie or commercial can empower our days in unique ways.

Some fans were drawn to the Nissan 90-second spot about ‘Daddy love’ while others were drawn to the Budweiser tale about ‘puppy love.’ To empower our days means trying to see something we didn’t see before, or experiencing something in ways we haven’t before. Isn’t that how the pros up their game?

Serena Williams continues to do that on the court. She’s now won 19 grand slams as one of the oldest ever. Her success is less about how she coins a phrase. It’s more about how she empowers her days and picks a next-level trail to blaze. Win, lose or draw, Lynch and Williams are laughing their way to the bank.


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Lots of highlights on the sports page. The Superbowl finish had some in rage. With less than a minute left on the clock. Seahawks coach paused to take stock. Decided to pass instead of run. That’s how they lost and the Patriots won. So will Marshawn Lynch again get fined? Or Serena’s check get nickel & dimed?

A thriller down to the end. Unclear who would rise or bend. Commercials had their share of ‘hits and misses.’ Most watched TV program without the kisses. Eventhough Lynch didn’t get the call. Seahawks could have run the ball. Lynch making waves beyond news wire. Coining a phrase in ‘beast mode’ attire.

Talking to media not his first love. Puts a dent in his wallet not glove. Runs over athletes with his backfield plays. Turns things around with a phrase that pays. True for ads that are a hit and pop. Using humor, heartstring or a little hip-hop. A favorite song to empower our days. Or movie-showing in unique ways.

Some drawn to Nissan’s ‘Daddy love’ spot. Others think Budweiser’s ‘puppy love’ was the shot. To empower our days means seeing things in a new light. Or even experiencing things at a new flight. Isn’t that how the pros keep upping their game? Just like them we can enjoy reaching the same.

Serena doing that on the court for sure. At 19 grand slams she’s ready for more. One of the oldest in the game to do so ever. Less about coining a phrase that’s clever. It’s in how she empowers her days. And picks a next-level trail to blaze. Win, lose or draw in the tank. They’re laughing their way to the bank.


Tip: Upping our game and empowering our days mean seeing and experiencing things in new ways.
Talkback: Will Marshawn Lynch or the Patriots get fined and how might Serena spend that fat check?
Groove-Tracks: Katy Perry ‘Roar’ – http://youtu.be/CevxZvSJLk8 and Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ – http://youtu.be/OPf0YbXqDm0

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST