The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 22, 2008 · Page I02
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page I02

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Page I02
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Cover Story: Usher to open BET Awards show Tuesday By Jay Bobbin Zap2it Life had been quiet for him professionally, if not personally, for some time. Now it's the summer of Usher. Continuing a media blitz that has taken him everywhere from Dancing With the Stars to Saturday Night Live in service of his latest CD, Here I Stand the music superstar is among the scheduled performers on this year's edition of the BET Awards. The cable channel televises its eighth annual ceremony Tuesday at 8 p.m., from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. "There's a lot of grinding that goes with getting your album out," Usher admits. "You have to get out there and talk about it, but it's been very positive. There's been a lot of good feedback, the reviews have looked very good, and I'm very happy that I can move to the next phase now." The artist born Usher Raymond IV defines that phase as being less promotion and more pure performance, and he's glad the BET Awards '08 coincides. "It's definitely exciting," he says of the plan for him to open the show. "Every time I've had a major hit, it was given a high profile at the BET Awards. Every time I've done it, I've had success." Others seeking similar results from performing at this year's event include Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Nelly, Chris Brown, LiT Wayne and Young Jeezy. T-Pain is the most-nominated talent with five bids, followed by the aforementioned Brown with four. Kanye West and Keyshia Cole have three apiece, and Blige, Flo Rida and Alicia Keys are nominated twice each. The BET Awards, hosted by D.L. Hughley, will also celebrate actors and athletes. Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington are among screen stars up for 2008 honors. Nominated sports figures include Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and siblings Serena and Venus Williams. Here I Stand and its first single, Love in This Club, made their presence known quickly on the music charts upon their late-May debuts. Usher maintains he isn't completely surprised by the impact they've had, "given the fact that the record was 'leaked,' so to speak. It was basically a No. 1 even before we had edited it." Family Sunday Camp Rock Movie: Mitchie (Demi Lovato) desperately wants to attend a camp for aspiring rock-and-rollers, but her parents can't afford it. Her wise and sacrific ing mom (Maria Canals-Barrera) takes a job as the camp cook so Mitchie can attend. There, she pretends to be a rich kid and lies about herself. She also falls for Shane (Joe Jonas), a teen rocker on a star trip who is there to remind himself why he loves rock. The red hot Jonas Brothers perform. Monday Free Willy Movie: A youngster (Jason James Richter) befriends an aquarium-housed killer whale in director Simon Wincer's (Lonesome Dove) 1993 family drama. When the whale fails to perform for audiences, his fate seems to be sealed but the boy and his friends plan and stage a rescue mission. Lori Petty, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside and Mykelti Williamson costar. Babe: Pig in the City Movie: Director George Miller returns for this wildly imaginative 1998 sequel to the hit 1995 film Babe, about a sheep-herding pig. Here, Babe is just home from his triumph, but circumstances cause him and Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) to be stranded in the city (a wholly invented amalgam of many cities), where they meet more animals (both live and animatronic) and have adventures. Voice talent includes E.G. Daily, Glenne Headly and Steven Wright. Tuesday The Mighty B! Bessie becomes concerned that Happy, that flea-bitten mutt she found on the street, is just a tad too fond of treats and lazing around. She worries he will become unhappy and unhealthy, so she puts him on a strict diet-and-exercise regimen. Of course, Bessie does this so wholeheartedly, she drives Happy quite mad, and he leaves her. Friday Go, Diego, Go! Diego is on his motorcycle when he sees a flying squirrel trying to save a pygmy marmoset. Even though the marmoset is not that big, it's too heavy for the squirrel, and it needs Diego's help. In their rescue mission, they use the flying squirrel's super eyesight and super gliding. City Slickers Movie: Three friends (Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby) battle their midlife crises by spending two weeks on a cattle drive out West. Along the way, they learn a little about cowboy life and a lot about life in general. Jack Palance won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Curly, the trail boss, in this warmhearted 1991 comedy. Helen Slater and Patricia Wettig also star. Saturday Handy Manny Poor Mr. Lopart, as if that combover was not bad enough, he thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday. But he forgot how thoughtful Manny always is. Manny and Mr. Lopart's mom throw a surprise party for him. In the second story, Mr. Ayala has a camping weekend all planned out for the tools and their scout troop. When life does not follow his plans, Mr. Ayala learns to live in the moment. Not available in all areas. Comcast Digital Cable subscription required. Call Comcast for details and restrictions. 2 THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER Sunday, June 22, 2008

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