Oh boy! Go into town and buy all of the finest meats and cheeses and lay them out for any of my subjects to feast upon! We have an event for which we should all be very glad indeed. This land’s arbiters of taste in the production of moving pictures have presented us with five nominees in Best Supporting Actress category who actually fit the category! None of these women is a lead character placed in the supporting category for the intent purpose of making their path to the win easier than in the lead category. They all have significant roles, but are either members of an ensemble cast or appeared in a movie in which another actress was clearly the lead. Let a cheer reign throughout the land! There shall be no category fraud here this year!!
Now let’s talk about the women who were nominated, shall we?
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This year’s Oscar nominations were announced this morning, which means that it’s time for everybody to start going to see truly serious cinema for a few weeks before we get back to whatever tent pole event is up next. Here are the films and individual efforts which the Academy would like to draw your attention to.
Four-time Grammy winner Pat Benatar turns 65 today. She dropped out of college to get married, worked for a short time as a bank teller, and then quit to take a job as a singing waitress at a night club. She worked as a club singer for much of the 1970s, in the Richmond, VA, area and then New York, before being signed to a recording contract in 1978. Her first album, In the Heat of the Night, came out a year later, but it was her second album, Crime of Passion, that established her as a star—it included her first top 10 hit and won her her first Grammy.
Today is definitely one of the three or four lightest days for celebrity birthdays since this series began last July.
Known as the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige turns 46 today. As a teenager, she made a tape in a recording booth at a local mall, which her mother’s boyfriend sent to an executive at Uptown Records, and she was signed to a contract. Initially she was used as a backup singer, but she prepared an album under the tutelage of Sean “Puffy” Combs. That album, What’s the 411?, was released in 1992 and made Blige an immediate success.
Blige has remained a successful recording artist for nearly 25 years now, while also branching out to take an occasional acting role, as in the 2012 film Rock of Ages. Over her career, she has displayed a striking ability to reinvent herself. She has won nine Grammys, which have come in four different music categories—Rap, R&B, Pop, and Gospel. She has had four #1 albums and five singles reach #1 on the R&B chart.