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Four Factor: Singing Budgies or Screen Sirens?

2007-11-18 06:13
This week's four factors rated out of ten are:
Finger in every pie factor: Whether it's as ambassadors for cosmetic houses, talk-show hosts and fashion labels or B-grade movie bit parts, once you’re in, you make sure you don’t get out. Who has opened ALL the celebrity envelopes to make sure they stay in the game?
Rags to riches factor: Before the fame what were they up to? How where they discovered? What’s the story?
Longevity factor: Who has enough game to make the leap from being a singing budgie to a silver screen star?
Down-to-earth factor: Let’s not front, bling is bound to change you, but who is blinding everyone with their rocks?

Jennifer Hudson
Finger in every pie factor: Jennifer Hudson is still fresh in the fame game. This Oscar winning Dreamgirl (read our movie review) (read our cd review) diva just wanted to sing but acting seems to be taking the lead for now. She’s already landed a role in the much hyped Sex and the City movie and will release her debut album soon. Her fingers are not itching yet but we’re certain there are some pies she’ll be digging into really soon, especially for the big-girl market. Watch this space! 5
Rags to riches factor:
Humble beginnings for Ms Hudson. Jennifer’s first job was flipping burgers at Burger King when she was sixteen. Earlier this year, Burger King recently gave Hudson an eat-all-you can voucher - for life. Now be careful girl! Entering American Pop Idols 3 was the best decision she ever made. Now Jennifer's living it up in Tinseltown. 8
Longevity factor:
Her story says it all. Jennifer had no formal voice training, her talent was nurtured in church choirs. For this young multi-talented, Oscar and Golden Globe award winner, music and acting was written in the stars. The girl has already made history by being the first ever black singer to grace the cover of Vogue magazine. Jennifer’s natural talent has brought her this far, now it’s up to Ms Hudson to make sure she stays on top of her game. 8
Down-to-earth factor:
Jennifer has fast earned a reputation as a diva in the making. One of her shows at Starbucks had to be cancelled because her demands were just too ridiculous. She pushed it when she demanded baked chicken wings for breakfast. Girl please! On the other hand those who know her say she is a genuine and warm person and hasn’t changed one bit. Well, only time will tell. 6

Queen Latifah
Finger in every pie factor:
Queen Latifah is the spokesperson for Pizza Hut (the girl just loves her food okay) and Cover Girl Cosmetics. She’s also launched her own cosmetic line, Covergirl Queen Collection. When it comes to music she’s hopped from hip to jazz. Latifah’s written a biography, had her own talk show and wrote a children’s book on self-esteem. The Queen has done it all and now she’s on her way to becoming a jazz diva. (Read our review of her latest CD) 10
Rags to riches factor:
Well, well, well, Ms Hudson isn’t the only one who had a stint (and quite a boost) from Burger King, Latifah has been there before. The two clearly have a lot more than the big-girl factor in common. Latifah wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth but she quickly moved on up after being discovered as a teenager. This sister is self-made all the way. 8
Longevity factor:
Latifah has come a long way, from her days as a teen beat-boxer to being a hardcore feminist first lady of hip-hop! Acting only came after she had launched her music career. Her remarkable role in Set it off led to her leap from B-grade movies to award winning roles in movies such as Chicago. Queen just keeps evolving. She’s clearly here to stay. 9
Down-to-earth factor:
Ms Dana Owens is one star that shines without blinding everyone. She’s still down with the peeps. She recently donated $150,000 to a women's charity after being moved by its work rescuing girls from prostitution in South-East Asia. Could this be due to the fact that Latifah once went through a phase where she tried having sex for money as a teenager? Yes, it’s true and she’s not proud, okay. But moving right along, the Queen is involved in many charities and it’s clear that it’s not some publicity gimmick. 10
Finger in every pie factor:
J-Lo really knows how to use her fame and booty (sorry, beauty) to her advantage. Not only is she a songstress, an actress and a choreographer, but she also owns a film and TV production company, Nuyorian Productions. As if that wasn’t enough to put her on the map for life she started a clothing line called SweetFace, opened a Cuban restaurant, launched a string of fragrances and is now the spokesperson for Lux Shampoo in Japan. Haibo sisi, when are you gonna give other Latinos a chance to shine? 9
Rags to riches factor:
Miss Lopez’s rags-to-riches tale is astonishing and an inspiration to all video girls. Who would have thought someone who started as a Manhattan nightclub dancer (paying for her dance and singing lessons) would one day become a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson and start her own music career from there? Well, J-Lo did it and she proved to all of us that anything is possible. 8
Longevity factor:
Yes it’s true she’s the first Latin actress to earn $1 million or more for a film role. And yes, she’s listed in the Guinness World Records as the most powerful actress, but we are all starting to think her movie Selena was a one-hit-wonder. The Latin Diva’s acting ability has become questionable in the past few years. As for her singing, there isn’t much to say. As we all know, she can’t hold a tune to save her life. Maybe it’s a good thing she’s got other businesses to fall back on! 5
Down-to-earth factor:
J-Lo is well-known for her Prima Donna attitude. When she was shooting Enough (2002), she insisted on being followed by a mob of bodyguards everywhere she went. And she also demanded that her ‘every movement be tracked and reported via walkie-talkie’. Who did she think she was? Definitely not Jenny from the block anymore - that’s for sure! Word on the street has it that Sony is also fed up with her extravagant costs and her low record sales, and they will be letting go of her sooner than she thought. 4 (Read our review of her latest cd)

Finger in every pie factor:
Bootylicious Beyoncé is the inspiration behind Tommy Hilfiger women’s fragrance, True Star. She’s signed up with L’Oreal as their cosmetics model, earning $4.7 million for only ten days of work a year and she’s Samsung’s spokesperson. She also has her own clothing label, House of Deréon. It seems like she’s got her retirement plan all worked out. 8
Rags to riches factor:
Beyoncé never had to struggle for anything when she was growing up. Her parents always knew she was destined for great things and so they honed her talents from primary school. When she was seven she was already attending dance school and was a soloist in her church’s choir. She won over 30 dance and singing competitions as a young girl, and has since bulldozed her way into superstardom. 8
Longevity factor:
Let’s not hate. This sister is talented. She has a very powerful voice, she works hard on her music and she sure knows how to shake what her mama gave her! So yes, her songs will be remembered decades from now. But the same can’t be said for her movies. As much as we love her voice, she needs to stop singing in every movie she’s in, maan! Wonder if she’s ever considered going for acting lessons? 7
Down-to-earth factor: Beyoncé raises the "diva" bar. According to the Star Magazine, Miss "I’m-Too-Pretty-To-Be-Looked-At” told backstage staff at one of her performances not to ‘look at her, speak to her or approach her’. The diva also demanded that the backstage area be covered with white linen like a ‘red-carpet’ for her to walk on. But why are we surprised? Nothing less than a ‘holier-than-thou-attitude’ can be expected from a person who claims she has an alter-ego called Sasha for her sexy stage persona! 4

Scores (out of 40)
Jennifer Hudson - 27
Queen Latifah - 37
J-Lo - 26
Beyonce - 27

And the winner is obvious, the majestic Queen Latifah! You deserve it girl.

-Gugu Mkhabela and Tiisetso Tlelima
These sisters are doing it for themselves. They made their names as singers, but now they’re trying to be silver screen sirens. Was it written in the stars? Or is it just a case of a singing budgie being in the right place at the right time?


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