9/19/18 O&A NYC MILESTONES: Arthur Mitchell Dance Trailblazer Died at 84

By Walter Rutledge

Arthur Mitchell, dancer, teacher, choreographer, social activist and founding director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem passed on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at age 84 from complications of heart failure. Mitchell’s career can only be described as trailblazing. In 1956 he crossed what E.B. Debois referred to as the “color line” to become the first ballet dancer of African decent to join the international renowned New York City Ballet.

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8/16/18 O&A NYC MILESTONES: Aretha Franklin- Queen of Soul Dies (Video)

Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul who sang with matchless style on such classics as Think, I Say a Little Prayer and her signature song, Respect, and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advance pancreatic cancer. Continue reading

6/5/18 O&A NYC MILESTONE: Kate Spade Commits Suicide

Kate Spade, the American designer, died on Tuesday of an apparent suicide. The police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at her Park Avenue apartment, where she had hanged herself. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.

A housekeeper found Ms. Spade in her bedroom hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob, the police said. She was unconscious and the housekeeper called 911. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said.

Ms. Spade’s husband was at the scene. A police spokesman did not know the whereabouts of Ms. Spade’s daughter.

Kate Spade, one of the first of a powerful wave of female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile. Her cheerful non-restraint struck a chord with consumers, as did her bright prints. She herself was the embodiment of her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses, and kooky grin, which masked a business mind that saw the opportunities in becoming a lifestyle brand, almost before the term officially existed.

5/15/17 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez SPORTS: NewYork Yankees Retires Derek Jeter Jersey Number (2)

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

On May 14,2017 the NewYork Yankees will graciously retire Derek Jeter‘s No. 2 to Monument Park; to commemorate Jeter day.  Continue reading

2/12/17 O&A NYC MILESTONE: Al Jarreau- Jazz Legend Dead at 76

Just days after announcing that he was retiring from touring after being hospitalized for exhaustion, legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau passed away Sunday morning in Los Angeles.The singer’s manager, Joe Gordon, released a statement:

Dear friends, family and colleagues,

Al Jarreau passed away this morning, at about 5:30am LA time. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by Ryan, Susan, and a few of his family and friends. Ryan and Susan will hold a small, private service at home, for immediate family only. No public service is planned yet, but I will inform you if that changes. 

Ryan asks that no flowers or gifts are send to their home or office. Instead, if you are motivated to do so, please make a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. A donation page is here.

Even if you do not plan to contribute, please list that page and give yourself a few minutes to watch a beautiful tribute video that Wisconsin Public Television produced to honor Al when he received his lifetime achievement award in October.

Dubbed “the voice of versatility” by the Chicago Tribune, Jarreau released 16 studio albums, a host of live albums, and several compilations. The consummate performer, Jarreau constantly toured the world, dazzling audiences with his magical voice. Jarreau passed away at a Los Angeles hospital early Sunday morning. The singer leaves behind his wife, Susan, and his son, Ryan. He was 76.

Al Jarreau 1940 – 2017

 

 

 

1/15/17 O&A NYC MILESTONE: Eddie Long Dies at 63

Controversial religious leader Bishop Eddie Long has died at age 63. Rumors that the pastor and founder New Birth Missionary Baptist Church had passed began circulate and were confirmed through an instagram post on Long’s account. 

“My heart is heavy, but God is in control. See you in the rapture Bishop Eddie Long. It was my honor to serve New Birth for 12 years,” tweets Byron Cage. Cage is the former minister of music at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church founded and led by Long.

On New Birth’s website, Long is described as:
Bishop Eddie L. Long is known worldwide as a pioneering leader, revolutionary mind changer, a family man, and a caring and loving pastor. As a pioneering leader, Bishop Long is highly regarded for his vision, boldness, and unapologetic courage to walk in the supernatural. As a pastor, he is well respected and loved for his passion to bring souls into the body of Christ and join them to a local church body, and for preaching and teaching messages that change mindsets and encourage hearts. At home, he is a doting husband to his beautiful wife, First Lady Vanessa Long and loving father to his 4 children and 3 grandchildren. At New Birth, Bishop Long is most loved for being the ‘father of many’ – a pastor who loves God, God’s people, and who speaks life and declares, You shall NOT die but live to proclaim the goodness of the Lord!

Kevin Bond, another former minister of music at New Birth, writes on Facebook: “My sincere prayers go out to the Family of Bishop Eddie Long & the entire New Birth Church Family in the passing of Bishop Eddie Long. RIP”

In October 2016, Long told his congregation during a service earlier this month that God had healed him. “I’ve been on a journey and just recalibrating myself.”

The ‘recalibrating’ is likely in part the raw food diet that he adopted. An emaciated Long professed in a video that shocked the world in August 2016. He shared in the video posted on Facebook: “I’m on the medicine that God gave you to feed your immune system to build you up,” he says in the clip. “You know what, if you really want to move through this world and have influence, you gotta be spiritual and you have to walk by his commandments and you have to be healthy.”

There is no word on the cause of death.