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2008: Shapeshifters of the Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A partial look at those that made the year what it was, for better or for worse: Part 2 is tomorrow.

Rihanna: Best Singer Pon De Stage?

RiRi came hard in 2008: Not only did she emerge in a relationship with the youngest in charge but she showed up on the year's clear megahit "Live Your Life" with self-proclaimed "King of the South" T.I. Rihanna's magic has finally worn us down, despite the absence of a killer voice or other attribute that would make her heir to the throne. Until Jazmine Sullivan finds her legs, we'll all be hearing alot more from Rihanna.

Jonelle Monae: Sister from another MothaPlanet

Breathe-of-fresh-air-singer Jonelle Monae was supposed to blow in '08. With tutelage from no other than Bad Boy impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs, she was supposed to have a breakout year. And, well, she blew. "The Metropolis" franchise has yet to resonate with mass fans but people heard about Janelle Monae. She toured excessively and made a nice setup for a 2009 grand redebut.

Taraji P. Henson: Got Next? No, Now

The history flows from actress and D.C. native Taraji P. Henson. A distant cousin,Matthew Henson, is credited with helping discover the North Pole. Not one to rest on her laurels, Taraji paid her own way through school (Howard University) by working as a waitress on a cruise ship and as a secretary at the Pentagon. After majoring in theater her big break came with "Hustle and Flow" where she played a girlfriend/prostitute to the movie's protagonist. But she followed it up with a killer performance as Queenie in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" starring Brad Pitt. Can a case be made for Best Actress? I really think so.

Kathleen Battle: Songbird. Period. Point Blank

When your 2008 includes singing the Lord's Prayer at the arrival ceremony in honor of Pope Benedict XVI on the South Lawn of the White House, you kind of know it's your year. The 60-year-old opera singer has been at it a long time but 2008 was historical by any account. Not only did her audience include an American president, a pope, but sherocked out at the AMAs with two of music's modern-day stars.

Erykah Badu: Revolution ain't easy, but it is funky

Erykah Badu took the music world by storm in 2008 with "Amerikkka: Fourth World War pt. 2". The only political-global album in hip-hop in the past 5 years, "Amerikkka" was a rekindling of Badu's many talents. She showed the world that she can still come with the conscious - perfect for a recession-minded public that is watching the elite heist the riches right in front of us all.

>Condi Rice: Queen of the Damned

Could you pick a worse star to attach herself to than George Bush? Yet that is the unenviable position that Condoleezza Rice finds herself in. Will Obama find a spot for her somewhere in his administration? Bettors are playing this one close to the vest. Still, her star probably has more shine left, but not now.

tomorrow we continue:

>Tom Cruise: Mission Just May be Impossible

Was there a single actor whose stock sunk more than Tom Cruise? Sure there was, but they didn't have to battle religious persecution and scorn, scoff and scuttle like he did. The Risky One still makes our list because he has managed to stay married, if not bankable in Hollyweird, which is more than we can say for most.



2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB