Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 7, 2013

AROUND THE TOWN: My thoughts on Beyoncé

By Jan Boston Sellers
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Pop star Beyoncé has been the center of brouhaha over the past couple of weeks. First, she was accused of lip synching at the presidential inauguration and then of blowing out the lights in the Superdome after her half-time performance during the Ravens/49ers matchup. The platinum record selling artist, formerly with Destiny’s Child, later admitted she did use some backup vocals at the inauguration due to the weather and a time delay. Now, Superdome officials are saying her 13-minute half-time performance had absolutely nothing to do with the 34-minute power outage that occurred shortly after the beginning of the third quarter.

Here are my thoughts: Regardless of whether she used backup vocals for her “live” performance or not, it was her voice. It is not like what former Grammy winning artists Milli Vanilli did in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The dance/pop group consisting of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus were Billboard chart toppers and even won a Grammy in February 1990. They enjoyed all the perks and pluses of international stardom until a New York Times reporter discovered they were actually lip synching their songs. The twist? Their lip synching wasn’t to a pre-recorded track like Beyoncé’s was. The voices on their track were not their voices at all. Their Grammy was later revoked, and the one-time pop sensation fell off the radar.

So, I suppose what I am trying to say is if you look like Beyoncé, sing like Beyoncé and have no criminal records, the paparazzi is going to find something to talk about. But I have to tell you, singing to your own musical track or possibly blowing lights out at the Super Bowl sure beats some of the things her colleagues in the music industry have done.

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If you are Coco Bennett, life can not get much better. The Cumberland County High School Senior was the winner of the Dave Kirk car giveaway and now she has been named as the 2013 CCHS valedictorian. Bennett learned of her status during the annual Top Ten Banquet, sponsored by CCHS and held at Forte’s Restaurant. Salutatorian is Robert Uebelacker, a CCHS baseball player who did a summer internship at the TAD Center. Rounding out the top ten in numerical order are Fiona Retzer, Landon Howard, Whitney Hankins, Kelsey Scarbrough, Samantha Howard, Jenna Davis, Tayler Houston, Jeryd Cannon and Kimberly Dunn. There was a three-way tie for ninth place.

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Relay for Life Pageant Director Whitney Sidwell says applications are currently being taken for the 2013 contests. There are six age groups: 2-3 years old; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12; 13-15 and 16-21. This is an open pageant, Sidwell noted, and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Entry forms may be picked up at Mortgage Investors Group, 1307 West Ave. The pageants will be Saturday, March 23, in the Little Theater at Martin Elementary School, starting at 10 a.m. Contact Sidwell at 200-3799 or email her atwhitsidwell@yahoo.com for additional information.