August 24, 2002

A 'FOOLISH' AWARD: Here's one

A 'FOOLISH' AWARD: Here's one of the year's most humorous stories: R&B singer Ashanti is scheduled to receive the Lady of Soul Entertainer of the Year Award at the upcoming Soul Train Music Awards- and over 20,000 people have signed a petition decrying the decision.
A 15-year-old Californian named Rommel Zamora started the drive because he feels that Ashanti lacks "the singing ability and the stage presence" of other candidates, and especially pales in comparison with Aretha Franklin (whom the award is named after). It's hard to argue with that logic; while I'm certainly not the world's foremost authority on commercial R&B, anyone with ears and even a minimal amount of taste in music can tell you that Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, or even Tweet are considerably more talented than Ashanti (I do give Ashanti the advantage over Khia, however).
But the funniest part of all this is Soul Train's response, posted on and since retracted from their website, which managed to invoke slavery, rip "white-owned" Black Entertainment Television and question how Zamora could have a valid opinion, considering that his name "doesn't sound African-American." Kind of harsh when you're talking to a 15-year-old kid, but then Ashanti herself was 15 only six years ago. And yes, I will indeed resist the urge to make an R. Kelly joke right now...

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