celebrity encounters

Living in LA I’ve seen countless celebrities walking down the street, in coffee shops, restaurants, markets, at LAX, even where i used to dance burlesque… (i’m saving those stories for the autobiography)…working at the agency also opened me up to meeting a good deal of celebs. people (especially back home in NC) always ask me “have you met anyone famous?!” and so i thought i’d share a few positive encounters because i’m sure you see enough of the negative encounters on TMZ….and also because i feel like what good is fame unless 1. you earned your fame because of immense talent or that you are some how making the world a better place and 2. you use your fame as a platform to do great things for others…  one encounter was while i was working at the agency and i saw andre benjamin (aka andre 3000) talking on his cell phone while i was walking back from the bathroom… i walked up to him and was going to wait to introduce myself.. but he put the person he was speaking with on hold (and he was talking serious business!) and introduced himself to me….i complimented him on his uniqueness as an artist and he asked my name… when i told him “andree” he looked a bit surprised and then with his slow sexy southern drawl he said “that’s a cool name for a girl,” and smiled sweetly… a very nice encounter… another encounter that was incredible was meeting one of the most talented men in music that’s ever lived: quincy jones! at the south by southwest music festival, dre and i went to see this virtuosic pianist that quincy was presenting in this little jazz club… as quincy was walking back from the bathroom (why is it always near the bathroom!? lol)… i stopped him saying “mr. jones! …” and proceeded to tell him how much i admired him, how dre and i had read his autobiography (i was a total nerd), and i introduced dre (who was struck silent meeting one of his idols!)… mr. jones then said “where are you from” and i told him i’m of puerto rican descent and he said “oh, i love puerto rico, i wrote a little song with a man name tito puente called ‘oye como va’ for carlos santana… (yeah! i’ve heard of them! and the song…lol!)… he kept my hand in his hand and looked me in the eyes the whole time and spoke with such kindness and humbleness… then i fumbled around in my purse (making him wait!- what a dork!) to find our demo to give him… what an absolute sweetheart 🙂 then dre and i saw the most incredible pianist i’ve ever seen in my life become one with the piano! check him out: Alfredo Rodriguez http://www.alfredomusic.com/?page_id=36 he is genius!!!!! another positive celebrity encounter was meeting the beautiful, lovely, super gifted, and humble jennifer hudson! i was a the grey goose rolls-royce party with my old boss where she was performing 3 songs… and i was just a few feet away from this powerful goddess of song! i mean she brought it to church with her vocals! y’all know what i’m talking about!!! my boss being the awesome woman that she is made sure i met her cause she knew i really wanted to sing… and jennifer was happy to talk with me. i asked her what advice she would give up and coming singers and she said “don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.” good advice! what a powerful woman! this was before the travesty with her family and she was so strong even then… and one of the most down to earth and kind super famous people i’ve met to date. the last encounter was a semi-encounter lol! but it was such a magical and random night! a few years ago we were celebrating my pnc’s birthday at the roosevelt hotel and as we were leaving in a drunken haze, i see my friend renato neto (who plays keys for prince) standing on hollywood blvd. smoking a cigarette… renato is welcoming and kind enough to get my pnc, me, and 3 of our other friends into prince’s very exclusive show! (where tickets were going for thousands of dollars!) it was unreal! and then prince was performing 3 feet away from me! he was electric! i was high from the music! and though i didn’t get to meet this god of music, we did make eye contact – so i call it a semi-encounter. 🙂 also, i want to put it in print officially: if i do achieve a massive level of stardom i promise to use it as a platform to enrich the lives of others- to spread love and inspiration in a HUGE way! 

with Jennifer Hudson 1/2007

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