Ashley Graham and John Legend Are Dusting Off Shelf Space for More Awards & Pics of Their Best Selfie

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What do Ashley Graham and John Legend have in common? They’ve both topped lists that most folks wouldn’t even dream possible for them. Graham has graced the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine as one of America’s ‘Hottest Full-Figured Women.’ That simply means lots of voluptuous to go around.

For Legend, he was named People Magazine’s 2019 ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ Let’s leave that to the ladies on what that means. It’s not as if he doesn’t already have his hands full. As a singing coach on NBCs The Voice, he can be seen on weeknights giving praise to emerging artists on their melody and high notes.

So, if folks are wondering what it takes to get named on any of these lists, for legend it might start with him being a crooner. He’s known for love-letter type music ballads that crossover music genres. Legend today, is like Sinatra of old. How his words flow does the same thing to fans today as Sinatra did then.

With Graham, it’s about being true to herself. She’s never shied away from her physical features as a plus-sized woman. Her self-acceptance has developed into inner confidence. This has carried over into becoming a pop culture crowd favorite on the runway and in the podcast world.

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Bu there’s one list they might say that everyone gets the chance to top. It’s the ‘Best Self Alive’ list where who you are aligns with your purpose and what you do is developed through strength, courage and wisdom. Even if we don’t make it into People Magazine or Sports Illustrated, we can still pack our:

  1. Handsome

It’s the first things ladies see in Legend. But Graham knows becoming ‘Best Self Alive’ might also mean turning what’s in your ‘hand’ into ‘some’ thing of value. Graham shares how she learned to sew at a young age. Not everybody brings handsome to the table like Legend. But most can hand-some value.

  1. Headband

Legend is known for featuring his wife’s headband creations on social media, especially when they’re on vacation.  It’s how she works creatively with her hand as well as her head. The real power players in the game also know that when creative minds band their heads together it raises the level of fine work.

  1. Heartstring

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Graham might say voluptuous for her was simply a ‘means to an end.’ She didn’t start out hoping to be full-figured. She just owned her package and celebrated her lineage. Even though she’s expecting her second child, Graham is still doing jumping jacks in the gym and stroking the heartstrings of fans.

  1. Home-feel

For Legend and Graham, being in the limelight isn’t something they necessarily crave. It simply comes with the territory. Even with their star power and rave reviews they give fans a kind of at-home, hometown feeling. They also get props for how they’re raising a family and developing success at home.

If Hollywood were to put together its ’40 Under 40’, then they’d likely top the list. He’s already gotten the major performance awards of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony which is why he’s called an EGOT. Their good looks and humble charm make you wanna show them love ‘cause they got juice.

Tip: The ‘Best Self Alive’ list leaves room for packing your handsome, headband, heartstring and home-feel that adds to your success.

Talkback: Is John’s team the one to beat on this season of The Voice?

Tracks: Alicia Keys ft. 21 Savage, Miguel – Show Me Love – https://youtu.be/Qr1kiCDAdxQ

Lizzo – Juice – https://youtu.be/N8ZI1Jlrf-w

Fantasia and DJ Khaled tell Fans How They’re Keeping Their Game Strong and Fame from Going Wrong

The list is in (or out)! As word on the winners are announced, some folks are glad to come out on top. Well it depends on whether you’re looking at the election results or the MTV EMA’s. Candidates in political races usually give their acceptance speeches while award winners get to hold their prized statue.

In the case of the upcoming America Music Awards (AMAs), the list of nominees is out. Word is that Lizzo will be performing on the big stage. She’s been nominated in the Best New Artist category. Also expected to make a showing is Selena Gomez. She’s back in the game with a new attitude and market appeal.

Hot on the charts are two artists among our hit list of music biz players. Fantasia and DJ Khaled give us their take on how they stay relevant. Fantasia who’s best known from her days on American Idol, has released new music and settled into having a family life outside of the glitz and glamour of showbiz.

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For DJ Khaled, it’s always been about sharing ‘major keys’ to his brand identity. He started spinning records for the ‘Miami Vice’ scene and now he’s a top-rated music producer. In recent interviews and posts on social media, they tell fans how they’re keeping their game strong and fame from going wrong.

Her new album recently jumped to the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B list with a concert tour in the rollout. His latest collabs feature artists who have their own standing in the game but who’re ready to produce crossover hits for the charts and movie soundtracks. They keep stirring-up their skills with:

  1. Passion

Think about how television is a way to tell-a-vision. The shows we watch go from vision to script to passion. That may be one way how Fantasia and DJ Khaled keep fans wanting more. Sometimes their music is like soul-vision as they put vision to lyrics and music on a track with a stirring in rhythm & soul.

  1. Path

For them, the paths taken have been different, but the results have been similar. Hot music, awards lists, excited fans. It’s more than just going down some money-making path. It’s also about creating a lit-path. They’re likely to share some life-notes from their journey to bring more light to the passion within.

  1. Purpose

When you see Fantasia on stage, she’s like a next-gen Patti Labelle. When you checkout the music from DJ Khaled he’s like a next-gen Quincy Jones. Similar passions to how they affect the game. But how they affect everyday life itself is more about living with a higher purpose beyond themselves.

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  1. Peace

There are some artists who seem to make news for all the crazy reasons (not calling any names). Maybe they’re still trying to find their peace. For Fantasia and DJ Khaled there’s lots of blessings to go around coming out of their sense of peace. It keeps them in a state of rest when things bring stress.

The AMAs will air on TV during the weekend before Thanksgiving. Lots of artists will be in the building hoping to rub elbows and up their cred. Fantasia and DJ Khaled may have special seats up front. But even if they don’t their passion for music will keep them on a path where they’re thriving and winning.

Tip: The path taken for more exciting times is filled with passion, purpose and peace by how you tell-a-vision your dreams and stir-up your skills.

Talkback: If you’ve seen the nominees for AMA Best New Artist, who’s your pick?

Tracks: Mary J Blige ft. Nas – Thriving – https://youtu.be/98YJEr9NaXc

Jay Rock – Win – https://youtu.be/ZPFnwgsTOWM

Cynthia Erivo & Leslie Odom Jr. Know the Difference in a Career Being Low-Key or Off-Key is in ‘Positive Tracking’

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Is it the Christmas season already? All signs seem to suggest that rush is about to come. A visit to any major box-store these days will have you passing trees and decorations. There’re also the Christmas shows getting ramped up on cable. Even the Rockefeller tree has been picked to travel from upstate NY.

But a story that’s sure to catch some eyes before then is the movie release of Harriet, about famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Her network of ‘safe spaces’ made it possible for blacks to travel the ‘underground railroad’ from slavery to freedom. It was a low-key enterprise that changed the social game.

The movie features two reasonably known actors who some might say have had low-key careers. Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr cut their chops on Broadway. Erivo starred in The Color Purple while Odom might be remembered from Hamilton. Now they’re set to raise their profiles even more primetime.

They’re busy on the PR tour for the movie. Erivo on a recent sitdown with Oprah talked about her showbiz journey as a British singer/actress. When asked whether the Harriet role found her or she found it, her response wasn’t off-key at all. She felt the role found her even though her dream brought her to this point.

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She said, “To dream, to be specific about the things you want in life, and to see them clearly, actually helps to bring them into fruition.” That may be another way of saying the difference in a career, business or social campaign being low-key or off-key is in positive tracking. This has elements of a:

  1. Vessel

Erivo saw herself as a vessel in this Harriet role. In one sense a vessel holds some content. You can pour into it and pour out of it. When a vessel sits in place it appears low-key. Erivo knows that whether this role looks low-key or not, the trick to being at her best was in what she could pour into it and pour out of it.

  1. Vehicle

The ‘underground railroad’ was like a “hometown network.” It wasn’t an actual railroad even though it served as a way for folks to travel from the south to places north. For Odom and Erivo, the vehicle that got their careers to this point is the Broadway stage. That was a ‘network’ to expose their gifts and riffs.

  1. Voice

Their musical background and singing skills come through in their work. Both have used music to blow the roof off with their voice. Finding your voice isn’t simply about having a hip sound. So they’ve used ‘positive tracking’ to keep their voice, goals and dreams hitting the right notes in the key of life.

  1. Vision

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Odom feels the Harriet story is one of vision. It’s where people saw something that seemed impossible and made it real. Erivo feels humbled by the chance to play this role. It’s one where the vision of the movie’s storytellers reflects the reality that the ‘underground railroad’ made possible.

These days Halloween’s getting competition from Christmas. You forget that Thanksgiving is somewhere in between. Whether their career is between being low-key or off-key isn’t something Erivo or Odom are worried about. They’re happy to be a part of a project of turning dreams into reality. Look at them now!

Tip: Dreams get turned into reality as you let it pour into you like a vessel and flow out of you like a vision.

Talkback: What’s going on: late Thanksgiving, early Christmas, Halloween in-Between?

Tracks: Selena Gomez – Look At Her Now – https://youtu.be/8u-_64S7plI

Lizzo – Good as Hell – https://youtu.be/SmbmeOgWsqE