By Roger Friedman, ,
Published May 21, 2015
Jennifer Lopez continues to fascinate and resonate. The tabloids can't get enough of her and neither can we.
But the star of last year's film Enough is apparently not finished yet with her ex-husband, Cris Judd. That's her recent ex, not her first ex. Let's keep that straight.
J-Lo is famously engaged to Ben Affleck, who has lavished pricey gifts on her and her family and turned himself from a happy-go-lucky guy to a Puff Daddy Armani-clad manqué in the last year.
But my sources out West, where Judd recently played in a golf tournament for Bon Appetit magazine, say that Lopez and this ex are still quite friendly.
"It's a game she plays with him," the source reports. "There's still a lot of connection that Ben knows nothing about."
Judd, by the way, is not exactly lacking for companionship. At the golf tourney, he had no handicap in attracting female fans.
"When they see him, they just go Whoosh!" laughed an observer. "They all want to know him."
But none so much as Lopez. Judd confided that their relationship is still in the "active" category even if it's on a "need to meet" basis.
That's the gossip, and after all, this is supposed to be a gossip column -- at least sometimes!
This is pretty amusing: Cher is getting the last laugh at the expense of Warner Music. Her greatest hits album, The Very Best of Cher, rose five notches this week and landed at No. 5 on the charts. The album is on Warner, but they dropped her from the label last December because she was too old.
Cher, as we all know, ain't too old for anything.
Let me tell you, she's going to have another laugh on Warner. She's hard at work in the studio putting together a new album with producer John David Kalodner, the same man who has guided Aerosmith to their classic hits for years.
Kalodner, I am told, will try to make a deal with DreamWorks Records, which, coincidentally, is owned by David Geffen, Cher's longtime friend. Kalodner may even knock on the door of Sony, where he's had a long relationship.
How did Warner miscalculate this whole Cher thing anyway? (Her NBC special was also a huge hit.) It's because the record companies just seem to have blinders on when it comes to talented music stars of the "past" who don't meet their demographics of 8 to 18 years old. Long after Britney, boy bands, and 'rap-tors' are trivia questions, acts like Cher will be standing tall.
Don't forget: The top 10 now includes not only Cher, but Fleetwood Mac and Madonna -- all part of the Warner Music family!
Big news: Mary Wilson, the former "Supreme," is busy recording new songs with the Supremes' former producers/writers.
That's right, famed trio Holland-Dozier-Holland are working with Mary on a new album, which will include a couple of their songs and material from their production house. The yet untitled album may be finished in time for fall release.
I would say Mary stole the show last night at B.B. King's in New York City -- and she did -- but so did the other performers who came together for a historic night of R&B. The Chi-Lites, with original founder and writer Eugene Record, Memphis divas Carla Thomas and Ann Peebles, and Sam Moore were all mesmerizing.
The performers brought fans like Wyclef Jean, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Balaban, Bebe Buell, Ron Silver, One Life to Live star Robert Woods, New York Channel 4's Sue Simmons, and even New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman to their feet with many standing ovations.
It was quite a night. Mary knocked off three Supremes hits -- "Love Child," "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Someday, We'll Be Together" with aplomb, really whipping the capacity crowd into a frenzy. Peebles performed "I Can't Stand the Rain" and "Breaking Up Somebody's Home," two of her gritty Memphis grooves, which Lauper applauded loudly.
And there was Moore -- Sam, that is -- doing Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog," and Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long," both of which he also gorgeously executed last night on Late Night with David Letterman. (The host now likes to think of himself one half of Sam and Dave.)
It was a mind-blowing night for music fans, considering that the back-up band included the fabled Uptown Horns. All this was to celebrate the premiere of Only the Strong Survive, which I produced and which opens in 10 big cities beginning May 9.
This is not a shameless plug for yours truly, or even a charity bid since none was involved. No, this is for the artists in this movie and all the great R&B legends still working in this country and not getting the proper recognition for their extraordinary talents. If the Kennedy Center is looking for honorees this year, they might consider shining a light on the music that has drawn on and influenced 50 years of pop including rock, blues, country, and gossip. Amen.