The ghost of Miles Davis has been haunting Don Cheadle for nearly 20 years. But the actor — who learned to play the trumpet for his starring role in the new biopic "Miles Ahead" and who bears an uncanny resemblance to the pioneering jazz musician — has been running from it most of that time.
It was during the filming of the 1998 TV movie "The Rat Pack," in which Cheadle portrayed dancer, singer, actor and drummer Sammy Davis Jr., that the idea of playing Miles Davis first came up. After asking a musician friend to help set up a practice drum kit, Cheadle was surprised to see Albert "Tootie" Heath at his door. The veteran percussionist, who has backed up everyone from Nina Simone to Herbie Hancock, first played with Davis as a teenager in Philadelphia.
"He comes in, he's tuning my drums and he goes, 'Hey, man, have you ever thought about playing Miles Davis?' I was like, 'No, I never thought about it.' He goes, 'You guys favor [each other].' "
"I didn't want any part of it," Cheadle says of a biopic of Davis, who died in 1991 at 65. But there were many years of rumored interest. Cheadle's name was first publicly mentioned in connection with the role in 2006 at the jazzman's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Whoopi's marijuana venture
Whoopi Goldberg became the latest celebrity to enter the lucrative world of legalized marijuana when she announced plans to launch a line of cannabis-infused products aimed at women. Goldberg, a comedian, actress and talk show host, will offer products designed to alleviate menstrual pain, like cannabis-infused chocolate, tincture, cream and bath salt. "This was all inspired by my own experience," Goldberg said. The brand, "Whoopi & Maya," created with the marijuana entrepreneur Maya Elisabeth, will be available only in California for now.
Reversal: After six weeks of streaming exclusively on Tidal, the Jay-Z-backed music service, Kanye West's latest album, "The Life of Pablo," was released to other streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The wide release came after West tweeted in February that the album "will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale." The tweet was deleted from West's timeline as of Friday, and the album went on sale for $20 on West's website.
Cosby flap: Student leaders at the University of Notre Dame want the administration to revoke an honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby in 1990. Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual abuse. Spokesman Paul Browne said Notre Dame has never revoked an honorary degree and doesn't plan to do so now. At least 26 colleges and universities have revoked honorary degrees awarded to Cosby.