Karen Grigsby Bates http://wrti.org en Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic http://wrti.org/post/controversial-casting-nina-simone-biopic The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."<p>Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.<p>Originally, hip-hop diva Mary J. Blige was slated to star in the film, called <em>Nina</em>, but she dropped out last year after shooting was delayed. Tue, 20 Nov 2012 14:07:00 +0000 Karen Grigsby Bates 4761 at http://wrti.org Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic Whitney Houston, A 'Perfect Instrument,' Dies http://wrti.org/post/whitney-houston-perfect-instrument-dies On the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the conversation was all about Whitney Houston. The 48-year-old pop diva was discovered dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Saturday afternoon. The cause of her death was under investigation.<p>Houston died alone in the same hotel that was the venue for a party she had often entered in triumph: the annual pre-Grammy Awards bash given by her mentor, recording impresario Clive Davis.<p>It was at Davis' A-list party that a teenaged Houston was introduced to the recording industry. Sun, 12 Feb 2012 13:09:00 +0000 Karen Grigsby Bates 257 at http://wrti.org Whitney Houston, A 'Perfect Instrument,' Dies