Jul 24 2011

Amy Winehouse’s 15-Year-Old Goddaughter’s Soulful Show Must Go On

Two hours after learning that Amy Winehouse’s voice had been forever silenced, her goddaughter and protégé, Dionne Bromfield, took to the stage to perform. Though the 15-year-old made no mention of the tragedy, nor sang any of her godmother’s songs during her abbreviated set, the audience gave the grieving soul songstress warm applause as she exited the stage early and quickly left the Ponty Big Weekend Festival in Pontypridd, Wales.

Spokesman Tim Powell said of the teen’s performance, “It was very, very professional. We would have perfectly understood if she hadn’t wanted to perform, but she very bravely did.”

Just a few days earlier, another of Bromfield ‘s audiences witnessed what we now know was Amy Winehouse’s final onstage appearance. Winehouse sang a few words into the microphone at Bromfield’s prompting, but mostly just danced alongside her goddaughter as the young singer performed “Mama Said,” a single from her debut album, Introducing Dionne Bromfield, released by Winehouse’s Lioness record label in 2009.

Bromfield, the biracial daughter of a Jamaican father and British mother, lists her musical heroes as Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé and Ne-Yo. She has a remarkably mature sound and a collection of expertly produced covers on her album, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “My Boy Lollipop.”

“That’s Amy’s favorite song,” Bromfield once told a reporter. It is one of three songs on which Winehouse sang background vocals.

The unfortunate death of Amy Winehouse likely will result in worldwide attention and a boost in record sales for this talented teen. If she is able to learn the lessons her godmother taught her by her short and tragic life, Bromfield will leave drugs and alcohol alone and focus on trying to fill her mentor’s singing and songwriting shoes — a task that should keep her busy for decades to come.

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com

Jun 2 2011

Lauren London Exclusive Interview: ‘Under My Skin” (Part 2)

After we got most of the serious topics out of the way last week in part one of this interview, the beautiful actress and model Lauren London responded candidly to my barrage of not-quite-so-deep questions:

You are stranded on an island for the weekend. Name three male and three female celebrities you hope are stranded there with you, and why.

Dr. Phil, so he can talk me off the ledge (laughs). Barack Obama, because you better believe Air Force One is coming to get him, and we won’t be stranded too long. And, Bobby Flay, because if we’re going to be stranded we might as well be enjoying some good food.

And the females?

Oprah, because… (pause) she’s Oprah. Barbara Streisand, because I’ve admired her since I was a little girl. And, Khloe (Kardashian) because she’s a real friend and she’s hilarious.

What would you name the street you’d like to build your home on?

Get Away Lane

Is that “Get Away” as in “this is my refuge” or “Get Away” as in “leave me alone?”

(Laughs) It could go either way, right?

You are rear ended at a traffic stoplight. What are you doing in the first ten seconds?


I’m a genie granting you one wish with the stipulation that you have to use it on yourself. What is your wish?

I wish you would give me the ability to get out of my own way.

Name a character in a book that forever changed you.

Dinah in The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. She lived through tough circumstance but she kept overcoming and getting stronger the more difficulties she faced. She knew more than she should have for her age, but it helped her survive and thrive.

If you could spend a day in any man’s skin, who would you want to be for 24 hours?

Will Smith. I think I could learn so much about this business being him.

What are three qualities you don’t want in a husband. Three deal breakers:

Someone who doesn’t believe in God.  A liar.  And, someone who’s been madly in love more than ten times.

You once told an interviewer that O-Dog from Menace to Society was your dream date.  Who’s your dream date now?

Okay, that was my first interview ever and I was being sarcastic. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in print, does it?

So, who’s your dream date now?

I haven’t met him. I’ll tell you what… He’s not a menace to me or society.

My last question is keeping in line with the theme of Skin Deep. How do you feel about being half Black and half Jewish. How has that impacted you?

Whatever your ethnicity is, in this life you are going to be on a journey to discover who you are and how you feel about yourself. I do remember being teased by my cousins on my mom’s side for not being black enough, and  then I’d spend the summer with my dad and be sent to all white summer camps where I was “that black girl.” I struggled for about a minute with that, then I figured it out for myself. What it has done for me is I don’t care what people think about my identity. If someone thinks I’m not black enough that’s their issue. I’m okay with who I am and it is what is. I’m a Black woman like my mother, and I love who my father is, and I love both sides of me.  Nobody makes a big deaI about it anymore because I won’t take that anymore.

This is an exclusive interview. All rights reserved. Excerpts of this article can be published with a link back to http://kathleencross.com. To use the article in its entirety, please contact the author:  email (at) kathleencross (dot com)

Dec 13 2010

Nicole Richie Designs a New Life

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for any story that at it’s heart is about transformation. I think that’s why I love HGTV so much–you know–the creativity and elbow grease and coordinating fabrics of it all.

Watching those funky old fixer-uppers being transformed into stunning new homes just gets me giddy. It’s like a metaphor of sorts for how hopeful we can all be about the caterpillar-to-butterfly potential we humans possess.

So, it’s no wonder Nicole Richie’s very public journey from awkward/wayward teenager to mommy/mogul/author/wife is my kind of true-life fairy tale.

In a town like Hollywood, where so many of the young up-and-coming are sidelined by alcohol and drugs, it was no real shock to anyone when Lionel Richie’s adopted daughter Nicole began her early slide into getwastedness (along with her then best friend Paris Hilton). At age 22 Nicole was arrested for DUI and charged with possession of heroin. By the time she was 25, she had racked up another DUI charge and was sentenced to jail time. She lost so much weight we all diagnosed her with an eating disorder (which she says was never true), and then, to make matters worse she (gasp) went and got herself knocked up by a rock star. Well, damn. Go ahead and throw in the towel on that little privileged chick, right? Not so fast…

Don’t tell Sarah and Bristol Palin I said so, but the best thing that ever happened to Nicole Ritchie was unprotected sex with Good Charlotte  front man Joel Madden. Not that I’m advocating that for the average spoiled, out of control, rich reality television personality. Heavens NO. But I do think that becoming pregnant and being in a loving relationship with a man like Joel turned out to be a perfect storm that blew Nicole out of the fast lane and onto a path towards real maturity.

Nicole sat down with Robin Roberts in September to talk about her new, extremely busy life as the mother of two children, owner of four successful businesses, and author of two novels.

On Saturday, December 11th, Nicole and Joel stood before Reverend Run at her father’s Beverly Hills estate and became husband and wife.

Congratulations to you and your family, Nicole. Your metamorphosis is nothing short of awesome, and I hope you never stop reaching for the sky.

Little known facts about Nicole:

  • She was born Nicole Camille Escovedo
  • She was blessed with two super-talented godfathers: Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.
  • Her clothing lines are named “House of Harlow” and “Winter Kate” after her daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden.
  • In February 2010 her Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation funded the development of a playground in Los Angeles to encourage children to get outside and play
  • She plays cello, piano, and violin.
  • She stands to inherit 200+ million from her father’s estate.