Members of The Revolution reflect on Prince's death, talk tour

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 5:21 AM

Prince - By the Numbers

Throughout his genre-bending career, Prince worked with a dazzling array of musicians.

His New Power Generation rolled with him through the '90s and the female trio 3rdeyegirl shared his space in the most recent years of his musical creations.

But his 1980s-era crew The Revolution, their star cemented in 1984’s “Purple Rain,” remain the definitive Prince backing band.

>> For more Prince coverage, head to Ruggieri’s Atlanta Music Scene blog on AJC.com

Shortly after Prince’s death last year from an accidental opioid overdose, original band members Bobby Z (drums), “Doctor” Matt Fink (keyboards), Mark “BrownMark” Brown (bass), Lisa Coleman (keyboards) and Wendy Melvoin (guitar) convened in a Minneapolis hotel to share their grief with fans via a heartfelt video.

In September, The Revolution reunited for a trifecta of sold-out shows at the fabled First Avenue club in Minneapolis, and after their planned performance at this weekend’s Celebration 2017 at Prince’s Paisley Park compound, will embark on a tour of about two dozen dates through July.

>> Prince’s estate halts release of new EP, ‘Deliverance,’ report says

Atlanta – the new residence of bassist Brown – isn’t on the itinerary yet, but fans will likely be sated during a second run of shows this fall.

Earlier this week, Brown and Fink – clad in his trademark scrubs – sat inside the band’s rehearsal space near downtown Minneapolis to discuss the loss of their leader, as well as what can be expected on this Revolution return.

Their feelings about the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death

Matt Fink: The sting of that happening has not really left any of us. We still think about it a lot. Almost every day I’ve thought about it. The mourning process for him is still there. Who knows how long that will take before you really start to not think about it as much? But now that we’re doing this (tour), it’s there in your face no matter what you do. We’re just going to do our best to help the fans heal. ... I thought by now I’d be doing better, but it’s still very emotional. It’s like losing a family member, a parent, even.

>> PHOTOS: Prince’s Paisley Park prepares to celebrate a shining star

Mark Brown: We hit this jam the other night, and it was like, he’s not there. Emotionally, when we were finished I was like, (that was just) like the old days. Then you start reminiscing and a sadness comes over you. ... He lives inside of us now. He was our mentor, our leader, our purple funky Yoda. The force was with him.

Fink: He was such a spiritual person to begin with and believed in the afterlife. In our hearts we know that he’s watching over all of this.

On The Revolution’s decision to reunite after Prince’s death

Fink: Let’s go back to 2012 when we did the (American) Heart Association event for Bobby Z. He was working with the heart association (after surviving a heart attack the year before) and asked us to help him out. We hadn’t played together since 2003 with Sheila E. and (before that) show we hadn’t worked together in 17 years. ... When Prince passed, the immediate reaction is, we’ve got to get together. We made the decision to get together in L.A. because Wendy and Lisa were working on soundtrack work. It was at that time that we said maybe we should get out and play again just to keep the legacy alive and give fans something to hold onto as well.

>> PHOTOS: Prince through the years

Brown: When we came out to Minneapolis right after he died, we were in a hotel room and ... you could look in the streets and see the pain. We all just said, ‘We should make a video right now and let the fans know that we feel that pain, too, and we’re gonna play.’ I never felt it was impulsive or the wrong thing to do. Some of us have different opinions. For me, I felt like, I’m there with them, I feel their pain. I was there in the beginning when we created that stuff, (so) let me give some of that back. Then later on we decided at the right time, we need to get back on the road and start the healing process. By playing the music, it helped us. I know it helped me.

Fink: My last meeting with Prince (in fall 2014), he expressed quite a bit of interest in reuniting with the group. Who knows? It might have been coming, anyway. To me, that still made sense; he was wishing that to happen.

On whether they had witnessed Prince in any kind of pain or in the throes of addiction

Fink: No, not at all. During that meeting he seemed just fine. I had not hint of it at that time.

>> Honoring Prince: 6 memorable tributes

Brown: For me, I thought he was a little thin. I even said to him, ‘Losing a little weight there, bro?’ and he said, ‘You getting a little belly, bro?’ (laughs). But it was fun, so I didn’t sense anything. When it all went down, I was like, that just blew me away. But even the piano tour, I was watching some of the clips and I was like, hmmm, as well as we know him, something’s not right there.

On The Revolution playing Atlanta at some point on the tour

Brown: They’ll see us, that’s all I can say. This first leg, it’s set, but the second one is being worked on. We can’t say anything until it’s contracted, but we’re on the move.

>> Prince remembered throughout Minneapolis 1 year after death

Why Brown recently relocated to the Atlanta area

Brown: I got tired of the city life. San Francisco is a beautiful, lovely city, but I’ve always been a country boy. Always lived in the suburbs, I always liked the quietness. Atlanta always seemed like a spot that I’d like to check out. The music scene, it’s like a second Hollywood. I plan to tap big time into the scene once things start to settle. I know a few musicians down there already, but would love to tap into that scene and really be a part of it, like I was in the Minnesota scene.

>> New Prince music appears ahead of anniversary of death

On the Prince that the public didn’t always see

Fink: He was very gregarious. When he wasn’t embroiled in music creation, there were days he’d be very businesslike, but he’d interject funny things and quips. But then there were moments if you were just relaxing, everybody liked to be funny and use their own sense of humor. He had a very infectious laugh as well. He was very good at doing voices, too, and imitating people. Go on YouTube and watch his appearance on ‘Muppets Tonight’ (in 1997) – that’s the real Prince.

>> Purple reign: Remembering how world mourned Prince’s death

On what fans can expect from The Revolution’s live shows

Fink: There are songs from the catalog starting from ‘Dirty Mind’ through ‘Parade’ and a few numbers that they’ve never heard, things that have been sitting in the vault.

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Brown (laughs): We’ve got some junk up in there!

R&B star R. Kelly’s metro Atlanta mansions emptied while singer was touring

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 8:21 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

Georgia authorities are investigating a theft at rapper R. Kelly’s two metro Atlanta homes. Police have identified a suspect they said stole everything inside the two homes and sold it off.

>> Read more trending news

The Grammy Award-winning singer’s homes in Johns Creek were entirely cleaned out during the burglaries in November -- from couches to tables and even the singer’s diamond-encrusted hoodie.

Johns Creek Police Captain Chris Byers said when officers checked both of Kelly’s homes, they found everything missing.

"Many televisions. Furnishings. We're talking about couches, chairs, tables,” Byers said.

Neighbors said they saw suspicious trucks at the homes for about a week. Then last week, neighbor Mark Gibson said another truck showed up, and so did police. 

"They blocked the guy in,” Gibson said. “One of the guys got out with his gun drawn."

"Ultimately led them to an individual that they say hired them that works for Mr. Kelly's organization,” Byers said. “They were told he was moving his organization out of Atlanta back to Chicago and was selling off all of his belongings."

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Byers said Alfonso Walker was, in fact, selling each room of Kelly's homes to the highest bidder.

"They wouldn't sell an individual item for a certain price, but say a bedroom for $6,000,” Byers said.

R. Kelly performs during the Buffet Tour at Allstate Arena on May 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Byers said Walker, 50, is now on the run.

"One of the indications he made was that he was owed some money and this was his way of getting it back,” Byers said.

Gibson said the whole situation is surprising.

"I didn't even know who was living there to be honest,” Gibson said. “We didn't know if there was anything inside there to steal.”

Police said Walker was planning to turn himself into police Tuesday, but that didn't happen.

>> Related: Twitter celebrates Time’s choice of ‘silence breakers’ as Person of the Year

He's facing a number of charges, including burglary and theft by deception.

Kelly’s representative did return requests for comments.

Russell Simmons at center of NYPD investigation after 11 women accuse him of assault

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

WATCH: Russel Simmons Steps Down from Companies After Sexual Assault Allegation

UPDATE: Dec. 14, 2017 6:00 p.m.: The New York Police Department’s special victims unit has opened an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct against music mogul Russell Simmons after allegations from 11 women, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times is reporting that seven of the cases occurred in New York and that police are in the process of contacting women who have accused Simmons of assaulting them in the city.

(Previous story)

Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying he raped at least three women dating back to the late 1980s.

>> Read more trending news

The three women have stepped forward, accusing Simmons, 60, of a “pattern of violent sexual behavior,” including rape, between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the New York Times.

The women all spoke on the record and allowed their names to be revealed.

The Times said it confirmed the allegations through friends and associates of the women at the time the incidents occurred.

The women said they decided to come forward and tell their stories after dozens of victims publicly detailed alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

Simmons said the accusations are false.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all my relations have been consensual,” the Def Jam Records co-founder told the newspaper.

He also said he has “enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”

Simmons stepped down from his business empire last month after sexual misconduct allegations against him first surfaced. 

>> Related: Russell Simmons stepping down from companies after sexual assault allegation

At that time he also denied the allegations, but apologized.

“While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize,” he said.

In 1998, ‘The Simpsons’ predicted Disney would buy Fox

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:18 AM

Bart Simpson, left, and Homer Simpson can be happy in the knowledge that
Bart Simpson, left, and Homer Simpson can be happy in the knowledge that "The SImpsons" made another accurate prediction.(MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)

Doh! Another prediction comes true on the long-running “The Simpsons” animated sitcom.

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In 1998, the sitcom predicted that The Walt Disney Company would buy 21st Century Fox. In other episodes, the show also has forecasted the presidency of Donald Trump and a Super Bowl halftime show featuring Lady Gaga. NBC News reported. 

Here’s a rundown:

Disney buys 21st Century Fox

This prediction came from the episode “When You Dish Upon a Star,” from the fifth episode of Season 10, NBC News reported. In this 1998 show, Homer Simpson pitches a script to Hollywood producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. In one scene, a sign outside a studio lot reads “20th Century Fox, A Division of Walt Disney Co.”

Donald Trump as president 

In “Bart to the Future” from Season 11, Episode 17 in 2000, Lisa Simpson is the new president of the United States. Her task is to dig the country out of a financial mess created by her predecessor , Donald Trump. 

Lady Gaga lands in the Super Bowl

In 2012, "Lisa Goes Gaga" appeared in Episode 22 of Season 23.. Lady Gaga visits the Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield and performs in concert. She descends to the stage from a helicopter in a harness. And that’s what she did this past Feb. 5 at Super Bowl LI at Houston’s NRG Stadium.


After Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, the show featured a flashback to its 2000 prediction, The Huffington Post reported. In the opening credits, Bart Simpson is shown writing on a chalkboard the phrase “Being right sucks.”

Actress Halle Berry ‘done with love’ after latest break-up

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:47 PM

Actress Halle Berry arrives at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Matt Sayles/AP
Actress Halle Berry arrives at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif.(Matt Sayles/AP)

Halle Berry doesn’t need a man and she has the Instagram story to prove it.

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On Wednesday, the actress reportedly shared a photo on her Instagram story of a rope shaped like a heart and the words “done with love” along with three flexing muscle emojis. The post comes just hours after US Weeklyreported that she had split from her music producer boyfriend, Alex Da Kid.

Ahead of the split, Berry took a rather cryptic tone on Instagram. Sharing a photo of the back of her head, Berry wrote, “Grow out got me feelin’ some kinda way every day ain’t perfect…”

Grow out got me feelin' some kinda way 🙃 every day ain't perfect...

A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

The actress has two children from previous relationships, Maceo, 3 and Nahla, 9. She was previously married to David Justice from 1992 to 1997, then wed Eric Benét in 2001 but the two split in 2005. She married Olivier Martinez in 2013 and the two finalized their divorce in 2016.