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NY Woman’s Billboard Gets Tyler Perry’s Attention in All the Wrong Ways

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Tyler Perry has a message for actors — stop trying to get his attention via giant billboards. 

The film mogul and megastar took to social media Wednesday to plead with aspiring actors after New York actress Racquel Bailey bought out two billboards in Georgia to get Perry’s attention and captured it in all the wrong ways.

Using two months’ worth of rent, 32-year-old Bailey plastered her face across billboards in Atlanta — home to  Tyler Perry — with the following message: “Attention Mr. Perry: Racquel Bailey is your next leading lady.”

The wife and stay-at-home mother of two — an 11-month old and a teenager —put up over $2,000 of the family’s housing funds with the aim of capturing Perry’s attention and scoring an acting job, 11 Alive reported.

Two days after the first billboard went up May 6, a casting agent from Tyler Perry Studios responded to Bailey with an audition opportunity for a TV show pilot, according to the AJC.

However, Perry also posted her billboard on Facebook Wednesday with a clear message: “This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows. Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!! This is the third time that someone has done this. PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose.”

He said he appreciated the effort, but it was not the way to work for him. “I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself. But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways,” he said. He added that he had seen Bailey in the popular HBO series, “The Night Of,” and was already aware of who she was.

Bailey replied to her post thanking Perry and explaining that she took a leap of faith. “Not everyone is going to agree or think it’s a great idea. That’s the chance I took!”

This was Bailey’s second attempt at using advertising to reach the man behind Madea. In 2012, she rented a billboard located nearby Perry’s original studio with the same purpose but did not receive a response. In an interview with the AJC, Bailey said, “I didn’t get the results I wanted the first time so as they say, if you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

According to the article, she got the idea from the HBO biopic “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” which chronicles the early career of one of the most famous black actresses of all time. In the film and in real life, Dandridge was told that the best way the up-and-comer could get an agent’s attention was to put her face on billboards.

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Bailey followed that same advice not only once, but twice.

In between attempts, Bailey kept grinding, honing her craft, auditioning for roles and gaining work experience, including a recurring role on HBO’s 2016 miniseries “The Night Of.”

For her second go-around, she strategically bought ad space located nearby the new Tyler Perry Studios, which is poised to be one of the largest motion picture studios in the U.S. She hoped that while driving to and from work, or sitting stuck in rush hour traffic, Perry might look upon her face and give her a chance. Bailey told 11 Alive’s The A-Scene that the billboards were well worth the investment, and she is glad that she put herself out there.

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TV Personality Jesse James Offers Reward for Return of Dog

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Reality TV star Jesse James is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of one of his beloved dogs.

James in an Instagram post says the 6-year-old French bulldog named Coco went missing in the Newport, Rhode Island area last Tuesday.

In a previous post James had offered a $2,000 reward for the return of his dog “no questions asked.”

He said in that post Coco “only has eyes for me and won’t want to stay with anyone else.”

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James, founder of West Coast Choppers motorcycle customizing business, was the star of “Jesse James is a Dead Man” on Spike TV and “Monster Garage” on the Discovery Channel.

He says there have been reported sightings of the dog but none have panned out.

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Woodstock 50: How the Golden Anniversary Festival Went Off Track

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When the organizers of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary festival put the rock band Hollis Brown on the lineup, lead singer Mike Montali was elated. 

“It’s such an iconic and legendary thing, man,” Montali said, referring to the paisley-printed, mud-splattered 1969 original. “For us, a couple of guys who started our band in a garage in Queens a few years ago, getting on the bill of a Woodstock festival was a huge achievement. It was a dream come true.” 

But now, less than a month before Woodstock 50 is scheduled to begin, the event is in doubt, plagued by a series of behind-the-scenes money headaches and legal setbacks. 

The festival has lost its financial backer, key producing partners and at least one venue, and tickets have not even been put up for sale yet for the Aug. 16-18 concert dates. The parallels to 2017’s calamitous Fyre Festival have not been lost on online skeptics.

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South African Musician Johnny Clegg Dies at 66 After Cancer Battle

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Johnny Clegg, a South African musician who performed in defiance of racial barriers imposed by the apartheid system decades ago and celebrated its new democracy under Nelson Mandela, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.

The British-born singer sometimes called the “White Zulu” died peacefully at home in Johannesburg with his family there, his manager Roddy Quin told the state broadcaster. “He fought it to the last second.”

Clegg’s multi-racial bands during white minority rule attracted an international following. He crafted hits inspired by Zulu and township harmonies, as well as folk and other influences.

One of his best-known songs is “Asimbonanga,” which means “We’ve never seen him” in Zulu. It refers to South Africans during apartheid when images of then-imprisoned Mandela were banned. Mandela was released in 1990 after 27 years in prison and became South Africa’s first black president in all-race elections four years later.

Grammy-nominated Clegg “impacted millions of people around the world,” Quin said. “He played a major role in South Africa getting people to learn about other people’s cultures and bringing people together.”

The singer learned about Zulu music and dancing as a teenager when he hung out with a Zulu cleaner and street musician called Charlie Mzila. Clegg later explored his idea of “crossover” music with the multi-racial bands Juluka and Savuka at a time of bitter conflict in South Africa over white minority rule.

Clegg recorded songs he was arrested for and “never gave in to the pressure of the apartheid rules,” his manager said. The apartheid-era censorship also restricted where he could perform.

The musician was performing as late as in 2017, high-kicking and stomping, with the cancer in remission during one last tour called “The Final Journey.”

At a concert in Johannesburg that year, Clegg said that “all of these entries into traditional culture gave me a way of understanding myself, helping me to shape a kind of African identity for myself, and freed me up to examine another way of looking at the world.”

In December, Clegg told South African news channel eNCA that the “toughest part of my journey will be the next two years” and called himself an “outlier” in an interview that mused about mortality.

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The performer had been diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and the grueling treatment included two six-month sessions of chemotherapy and an operation.

“I don’t have a duodenum and half my stomach. I don’t have a bile duct. I don’t have a gall bladder and half my pancreas. It’s all been reconfigured,” he told reporters in 2017.

In that interview, Clegg recalled how he performed “Asimbonanga” during a tour of Germany in 1997 and experienced a “huge shock” when Mandela, beaming and dancing, unexpectedly came out on stage behind him.

“It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world. And at peace with myself,” Mandela said to the audience. He called on Clegg to resume the song and urged all in the audience to get up and dance. At the end of the song, Mandela and Clegg, holding hands, walked off stage.

“That was the pinnacle moment for me,” Clegg recalled. “It was just a complete and amazing gift from the universe.”

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