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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Bio

Nicole Symmonds is Beliefnet’s Prayer editor and also covers Christianity. A New Yorker by birth but a Floridian by tenure, Nicole graduated from Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Public Relations and a minor in Sociology. She moved to NY to pursue a career in journalism which started at In Style magazine. There she learned the ropes of magazine reporting, researching, and writing—and became exponentially more stylish. But what seemed like a deep interest in fashion and entertainment would soon be revealed as merely the vehicle that moved her closer to discovering her purpose, writing and covering matters of the Christian faith. While in her purpose-driven vehicle she can be found traveling between Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens for life, work and worship, respectively. From fashion to faith and the journey isn’t over yet…

‘Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too': A Bad Study in Black Relationships

posted by nsymmonds

Before I started writing this review, I had to go back and read what I wrote for “Why Did I Get Married?” I needed to see what inspired me in the first movie to see if I could cobble together […]

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Do the Right Thing, Spike: Take it Easy on Tyler Perry

posted by nsymmonds

Earlier this year, Spike Lee called Tyler Perry’s work, “coonery and buffoonery”. Lee, a veteran in the industry, believes that we must want more for ourselves in terms of the black entertainment we support and supporting Perry is supporting an […]

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Why a 9/11 Release for ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’?

posted by nsymmonds

This past Wednesday I had an opportunity to interview none other than blockbuster filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, producer, director, and actor Tyler Perry about his latest movie release, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” The movie, starring Perry as Madea–of […]

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Introducing “Pastor Brown”

posted by nsymmonds

Watch out Tyler Perry, there’s a new black church/Christian film in town. Tyler meet “Pastor Brown”, the directorial debut from “Soul Food” series star Rockmond Dunbar. It’s the story of an exotic dancer’s return home to assume the position of pastor of her dying […]

Michael Jackson’s Memorial: All Spirit, No Spectacle

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday, many around the world gathered to watch the Michael Jackson memorial. There were those who were lucky enough to get tickets and then there were those, like myself, who were resigned to watching it on their computer screens. But […]

Beyonce’s ‘Ave Maria': Disrespectful Or Not?

posted by nsymmonds

In typical fashion, this year’s BET Awards were a mishmash of randomness–not enough awards, too many sub-par performances and, even for a night that was to be dedicated to the late great King of Pop, Michael Jackson, it was barely […]

The Speidi Prayer Heard ‘Round the World

posted by nsymmonds

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have struck again. The conflicted couple of “The Hills” fame has taken their sideshow to the reality show about washed up celebrities, “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.” Now I will be honest, […]

The Ministry of T-Shirts

posted by nsymmonds

In a world where promise rings and promiscuity can go hand in hand, it’s often hard for young people to draw the line and set themselves apart from their peers who “don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump and […]

Praying for Chris Brown and Rihanna

posted by nsymmonds

As more information gets released about the alleged domestic violence situation between Chris Brown and Rihanna, we will be in the position to do one of two things, continue to gawk and be fascinated with it, sharing every detail we […]

‘American Idol’ Bikini Girl Edition

posted by nsymmonds

It was the moment millions of households had been waiting for. The moment when every Joe the Plumber and Jane Doe gets to play judge with the lives of people who are strangely certain that they are meant to be […]

Morgan Freeman Hospitalized After Accident

posted by nsymmonds

Everyone’s favorite cinema god, Morgan Freeman, was in a car accident yesterday evening. The “Dark Knight” star and an unnamed female passenger were traveling east down the Mississippi Highway 32 when his 1997 Maxima car veered off the road. Freeman […]

P.O.D.: Pissing People Off, One Song at a Time

posted by nsymmonds

On their new release, “When Angels and Serpents Dance,” P.O.D. is in a tight spot: they’ve got a lot of people to please, and whatever they do is gonna piss somebody off. Having achieved a huge degree of success in […]

Miley Beware

posted by nsymmonds

On February 9th, Disney superstar Miley Cyrus and her “achy breaky” father Billy Ray Cyrus participated in a “relaxed family event” photo shoot for Vanity Fair’s June issue. While Cyrus isn’t on the cover, her scantily clad photo—where she is […]

Is Bynum Just Biding Time?

posted by nsymmonds

Last August, Pentecostal televangelist, author, singer, and actress Juanita Bynum was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her then husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks. The two had been separated since June but were allegedly coming together to reconcile […]

The Dangers of ‘Gossip Girl’

posted by nsymmonds

In just a few days the CW Network’s hottest show “Gossip Girl,” will be back on the air. All “Gossip Girl” fans and closet cases will be able to get their fill of Blair, Serena, Dan, Jenny, Chuck, and Nate—maybe […]

Burning Saints and Mountain Goats

posted by nsymmonds

We at Burn or Burn are always working hard to come up with good fire-related puns to attach to our recommendations (or disses) of today’s faith-minded albums, and we’d like to thank the Mountain Goats for making this one easy: […]

Why I Can’t Listen to Erykah Badu’s Latest Album

posted by nsymmonds

Erykah Badu has always been a mystery. From the 1997 release of “Baduizm,” she blazed the trail for neo-soul as a genre, but she also brought with her a raw spirituality that made her god no particular god. It was […]

“The Great Debaters,” a Showcase of Talented Young Actors

posted by nsymmonds

Many times we run ourselves and our children away from movies that depict segregation and struggle. We cover our eyes, close our ears and refuse to read the books that tell of those who went before us to pave the […]

‘What Would Jesus Buy?': ‘Reverend’ Preaches Conviction for Christmas

posted by nsymmonds

When I was in middle school in 1993, a friend and I made up a Christmas carol to the tune of “Jingle Bells” so that we could win movie tickets from a local radio station. Our song was rife with […]

What Would You Do with Britney’s $737,000 a Month?

posted by nsymmonds

According to court papers released on Thursday, here is what Britney Spears does with her $737K monthly income (with some editorializing by yours truly): $49,267 on mortgages for two homes. Shouldn’t her payments be lower? $16,000 on clothes: All this […]

“Why Did I Get Married?” A Good Study in Relationships

posted by nsymmonds

Ah, the black love story. It is de rigueur for black actors and the bane of existence for black audiences with discriminating taste, but it has become the necessary evil for anyone that wants to see people of color portrayed […]

The Darjeeling Limited: A Most Interesting Journey

posted by nsymmonds

Never one to shy away from films dealing with the complexity of family life, Wes Anderson explores the oddity of sibling relationships in his latest film “The Darjeeling Limited.” The movie follows three brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Jack (Jason Schwartzman) […]

Leave Britney Alone!

posted by nsymmonds

When I heard the news about Britney Spears losing custody of her children, my heart fell. This reaction may seem strange to some, but watching her rise and decline in stardom for the last few years, I felt compelled to […]

In Defense of the VMAs–and Britney Spears

posted by nsymmonds

Should any of us be surprised that the MTV Video Music Awards show was an utter disaster? What do you expect from the network with enough gall to green light a bisexual dating show featuring a relative nobody? But while […]

Common’s ‘Finding Forever': Reaching Across Religions

posted by nsymmonds

Ever since I heard Common‘s “Retrospect for Life,” a track off his 1997 release “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” where he ruminates on the mistakes he made as a premature father, I fell in love. I loved his ability […]

Avoid ‘Hot Ghetto Mess’–Whatever it’s Called

posted by nsymmonds

After weeks of controversy, dropped sponsorship and a last minute name change, BET aired the series premiere of “We Got to Do Better,” formerly known as “Hot Ghetto Mess.” For starters, the show was a hot ghetto mess. The title […]

“Thirsty,” A Real Quencher

posted by nsymmonds

I could tell that “Thirsty,” Marvin Sapp’s seventh album, was going to be a hit from the cover alone. Sapp looked youthful and vibrant, and he had a sparkle in his eyes that hinted at things to come–which I found […]

What is Hell? 20/20 Explores

posted by nsymmonds

I’ve always been fascinated with the dark side. In college I contemplated going Goth–inasmuch as a Hot Topic shirt could take me to the dark side. I once flipped through a copy of the Satanic Bible–not because I was up […]

‘Baldwin Hills’ redeems BET

posted by nsymmonds

After a serious drought, BET–Black Entertainment Television–has redeemed itself with the creation of the reality series, “Baldwin Hills.” It documents the lives of 11—actually make that ten—upper-middle class African-American teens and 1 middle-class outsider. Does the plot sound familiar to […]

More Paris Instead of Real News

posted by nsymmonds

Paris Hilton is out of the clink and millions of men and women are still in. But Hilton’s freedom is much bigger news than the freedom of a man that has been incarcerated for 20-years for a crime that he […]

‘Freedom: Sounds of the New Breed’ Really Delivers

posted by nsymmonds

The music industry is full of egocentric artists, so it is rare that those artists will voluntarily give their backup singers an opportunity to shine in the spotlight. But thank God for gospel music and worship leader Israel Houghton, who […]

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