Tracee Ellis Ross wanted to sing like Jennifer Hudson in The High Note

Tracee Ellis Ross originally wanted to sound like Jennifer Hudson when she made her singing debut in The High Note.The Black-ish star plays superstar musician Grace Davis, who hits a midlife crisis when she’s torn between recording a new album and doin…

Tracee Ellis Ross originally wanted to sound like Jennifer Hudson when she made her singing debut in The High Note.

The Black-ish star plays superstar musician Grace Davis, who hits a midlife crisis when she’s torn between recording a new album and doing a Las Vegas residency, in the new movie.

Tracee, who is the daughter of music icon Diana Ross, was nervous to make her singing debut in the film, and thought it would be a good idea to emulate one of her singing heroes while playing Grace.

“I wanted to sound like Jennifer Hudson,” she told musician Tyler the Creator for Interview magazine. “But then I realised how weird it would be if I opened up my mouth and Jennifer Hudson’s voice came out. People would be like, ‘What the f**k?'”

While she insisted that she doesn’t embarrass easily, she was fearful of not living up to her own expectations on stage.

“Part of my fear was I had an idea of what I thought I was supposed to sound like, as opposed to walking into it to discover what I sound like and let that be it,” she explained. “And what I realised is that singing and soul is not about sounding like something, it’s about telling the truth… We do all this pretzeling to try and be who we think the world wants us to be, but the practice, for me, was about getting out of my way.”

Tracee added that realising her potential and accepting she wouldn’t sound like her mother was pivotal to her playing the character truthfully.

“Stop trying to sound like something and let your voice out of your body, which is why it feels like, when you do sing, the truth is coming out of you,” she shared.

The High Note is available on demand now.

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Tracee Ellis Ross unveils second drop of Pattern Beauty haircare line

Tracee Ellis Ross has extended the offerings in her Pattern Beauty haircare line.The Black-ish star launched the brand, which caters to curly hair textures, last year. Following the success of the products, Tracee has announced that phase two of the co…

Tracee Ellis Ross has extended the offerings in her Pattern Beauty haircare line.

The Black-ish star launched the brand, which caters to curly hair textures, last year. Following the success of the products, Tracee has announced that phase two of the collection will be available to buy from Friday.

In addition to expanding the size options of existing formulas in the Pattern Beauty range, the drop also includes a hydrating mist, two curl gel options, a styling cream, and an edge control cream.

“(Phase two) is what you guys have been asking for, it’s an evolution of wash day and it is about strutting and sculpting and being free,” Tracee wrote in a post on Instagram.

The new products also include three styling tools – an edging tool to complement the new edge control cream, a hair pick, and a detangling wide-tooth comb – as well as a clarifying shampoo and jojoba oil hair serum.

Tracee posted a video on Instagram earlier this week, which teased the launch of phase two of Pattern Beauty’s haircare line, and shared her thoughts on the importance of supporting black-owned beauty brands.

“I’m reminded of the importance of being a black-owned business and of why Pattern has been centred around the beauty of blackness from the start,” the 47-year-old stated. “I’m reminded that sharing the beauty of blackness, the power of blackness, the importance of our blackness has always been urgent.”

The collection will launch on 19 June, which is also called Juneteenth in the U.S., as it commemorates the date in 1865 when enslaved people were freed across the 13 Confederate States of America.

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Tracee Ellis Ross feels insecure about her looks when using social media

Tracee Ellis Ross feels insecure about her looks and “unsafe” when she’s using social media.In a wide-ranging interview with Tyler, the Creator for Interview magazine, the actress discussed self-confidence and how she always strives to be herself. Trac…

Tracee Ellis Ross feels insecure about her looks and “unsafe” when she’s using social media.

In a wide-ranging interview with Tyler, the Creator for Interview magazine, the actress discussed self-confidence and how she always strives to be herself.

Tracee also touched upon the use of filtered and edited pictures on Instagram, and admitted that it not only began to affect her creativity, but also had an impact on how she feels about herself offline.

“We’re all so busy trying to make ourselves look like everybody else and talk like everybody else. You’re like, ‘Are there robots around me? What’s happening?'” she shared. “I don’t like it. It makes me feel unsafe, because what it starts to do is make me feel like who I am is wrong.

“I don’t want to look in the mirror and think, ‘I need to change that, make it look more like a filter.’ You spend so much time worrying about those kinds of things that you can’t get lost in your imagination,” she explained.

Elsewhere in the chat, the Black-ish star also said she’s been taking the time to dress up while at home during the Covid-19 pandemic because it makes her “heart sing”.

“People are like, ‘Are you still dressing up in the pandemic?’ I was like, ‘Well, I have a different version of it.’ I haven’t worn pants with zippers or a thing that I have to send to the dry cleaners, but, yeah, I still put on a lip,” the 47-year-old added.

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Nisha Ganatra was dead set on casting Tracee Ellis Ross in The High Note

Director Nisha Ganatra always knew Tracee Ellis Ross would be her leading lady in The High Note.The movie follows the struggles of fictional music icon Grace Davis, who is torn between recording a new album and doing a Las Vegas residency, and the Blac…

Director Nisha Ganatra always knew Tracee Ellis Ross would be her leading lady in The High Note.

The movie follows the struggles of fictional music icon Grace Davis, who is torn between recording a new album and doing a Las Vegas residency, and the Black-ish star was the director’s first pick for the part.

“You know what? It always was Tracee for me. She’s been such a wonderful comedic actress for so long, and I saw her do some really moving work, so I knew she could handle the emotional depth of the character,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

“But also, who else but Tracee could bring us a real – ugh, this overused word – authentic look into the life of a music icon? She grew up with one, with the music icon of all time,” the filmmaker added, referring to the actress’ famous mother, Diana Ross.

However, Ganatra confessed that she had never heard Ross sing, so was worried that they would have to use movie trickery to make her look – and sound – the part.

“The only dilemma was, can she sing? And even that, I was like, ‘Well, I have all the movie tricks we can do to make it look like she can sing.’ But when she came in the studio, (producer) Rodney Jerkins and I were just like, ‘Thank God. She can sing! Now we don’t have to do all that movie magic. We can just record her and let her show the world her voice,'” she laughed. “That was really satisfying.”

The High Note is now available to watch digitally.

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Tracee Ellis Ross uses breathing exercises to help de-stress

Tracee Ellis Ross has demonstrated to her followers how she uses three simple breathing exercises to help her de-stress. The Black-ish actress posted a relaxing six-minute video on Instagram on Tuesday night to show her followers how she has been pract…

Tracee Ellis Ross has demonstrated to her followers how she uses three simple breathing exercises to help her de-stress.

The Black-ish actress posted a relaxing six-minute video on Instagram on Tuesday night to show her followers how she has been practising self-care and mindfulness amid the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles.

“As these necessary tectonic shifts are happening in our world and as we are leaning into difficult, complex, and sharp yet necessary conversations, we must also be active about our self-care,” she wrote in the caption. “I made this video a few days ago when my back was seized up (makes sense). I use breath to connect me to the present moment and to create space in my body. I use sound as a way to release vibrationally and energetically. Sending everyone love and light.”

The High Note star admitted she keeps “feeling so disrupted” and “easily knocked off my centre”. Accordingly, she has been using the techniques to ground herself and she decided to record one of her sessions in order to help others who might be feeling the same.

“I wanted to check in because I had three exercises I wanted to share with you guys that I thought might be helpful for you. They’re simple, they’re gentle, they’re a way to meet and greet yourself, lovingly, gently, with tenderness,” the 47-year-old explained at the start of the video.

Tracee then sat in a chair, closed her eyes, and instructed her viewers to allow their bodies to soften and let go of any tension. For the second part of the exercise, she told them to “allow your body to feel the weight of your body” and let the chair take their weight.

For the final part, Tracee asked her viewers to “let your body fill up with air” and then sigh it out with a big exhale sound.

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Tracee Ellis Ross pushed out of comfort zone with The High Note wardrobe

Tracee Ellis Ross was pushed out of her comfort zone with her wardrobe in The High Note. In the new comedy-drama, the Black-ish star plays world-famous singer Grace Davis, who can usually be seen wearing glamorous high-fashion clothes, complete with st…

Tracee Ellis Ross was pushed out of her comfort zone with her wardrobe in The High Note.

In the new comedy-drama, the Black-ish star plays world-famous singer Grace Davis, who can usually be seen wearing glamorous high-fashion clothes, complete with stilettos, designer bags, and a full face of make-up while out in public.

And while Tracee didn’t find the wardrobe super comfortable, stepping into Grace’s outfits really helped her channel the diva.

“It always starts from the wardrobe. It’s like the shoes up. How is your character touching the ground? Although I do not love wearing stiletto heels at all times, although I do not love wearing eyelashes because they’re so uncomfortable, Grace Davis does!” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I wanted her to be different from Tracee, because she is… I wanted her to be bold, strong, not afraid to be the most powerful and most eye-catching person in a room at any given time.”

Tracee also considered the details of Grace’s look, from her nail colour and eyelashes to her hairstyle changes.

“I really felt like Grace Davis was a woman who changed her nail polish colour with her outfits, which we did,” the 47-year-old continued. “I really felt like Grace Davis was a woman who wore eyelashes, which I don’t, but she did. I felt like Grace’s hair had to always feel iconic. And so even her stage hair was sort of rock and roll and long, and then her other hair was sort of, I don’t know, I called it my ’70s porn hair.”

The High Note, also starring Dakota Johnson and Kelvin Harrison Jr., is now available to watch digitally.

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Tracee Ellis Ross raids Diana Ross’s closet for vintage outfits

Tracee Ellis Ross loves to scour her mother Diana Ross’s wardrobe for amazing vintage outfits.The Black-ish actress, who is the second daughter of the music icon, is known for her eclectic sense of style and ability to pull off designer looks on the re…

Tracee Ellis Ross loves to scour her mother Diana Ross’s wardrobe for amazing vintage outfits.

The Black-ish actress, who is the second daughter of the music icon, is known for her eclectic sense of style and ability to pull off designer looks on the red carpet.

But while Tracee has her own closet full of outstanding pieces, she still enjoys going through her mother’s clothes whenever possible.

“My mom will say, ‘You can’t take that!’ Or, ‘You’re not going to be able to fit into that.’ And I’m like, ‘Watch me try!'” she laughed in an interview with Porter magazine. “My mom was a beanpole; like, the size of my leg, but I figure out how to fit into stuff – alter it!”

Tracee went on to explain that she’s not only inspired by her famous mum’s chic ensembles, but her ability to own every single one of her looks.

“Clothing, hair, and make-up were not part of the male gaze for my mom,” the 47-year-old insisted. “She owned her sensuality and her sexuality in a way I found very empowering because it wasn’t about, ‘Look at me,’ it was about, ‘This is me.'”

Elsewhere in the chat, Tracee spoke about her hair company Pattern, which she launched last September with a shampoo, three targeted conditioners, a leave-in conditioner, and two hair serums – all of which are designed for women with naturally curly hair. And she doesn’t just see Pattern as a beauty brand.

“It’s a space for community. I thought I was alone in looking for self-esteem and not understanding that my physical appearance did not match up with what the world was saying was beautiful,” she added.

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Tracee Ellis Ross shares her ‘old school’ hack for treating dry hands

Tracee Ellis Ross has divulged her favourite “old school” trick for helping to heal dry hands.As the coronavirus crisis continues to sweep the world, the vast majority of us are spending a lot more time on handwashing, with World Health Organization (W…

Tracee Ellis Ross has divulged her favourite “old school” trick for helping to heal dry hands.

As the coronavirus crisis continues to sweep the world, the vast majority of us are spending a lot more time on handwashing, with World Health Organization (WHO) officials recommending people properly cleanse with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly over the course of the day.

However, Tracee has found that so much handwashing has led to her hands becoming dry, so has been covering them in a salve called Vermont’s Original Bag Balm before popping a pair of Nike tube socks over them for at least 10 minutes each evening.

“I wanted to ask how your hands are doing because we’ve all been told to wash our hands and to practice really good hand health… as many times as you think to wash your hands, do it more than that! That’s what we’ve been told and that’s what I’ve been doing, and what most of us have been doing,” she told her followers in an Instagram video. “What I used to do, and what I’ve resorted to again, is covering my hands in Bag Balm, and I’ve been putting the white socks on my hands. C’mon… old high school tricks, come back to help us! A nice clean pair of socks, lather your hands (with) Bag Balm, I like to do it at the end of the night… it’s a little loving, gentle version of self-care to replenish the moisture in your hands.”

While Tracee is using Bag Balm on her hands at the moment, she is also a fan of the multipurpose Egyptian Magic Skin Cream, which is made with olive oil, honey, and beeswax, and used to use Vaseline as a teenager.

“I’ve always had dry skin – I mean, a lot of us have dry skin – and I remember when I was in high school, I would use Vaseline,” the 47-year-old added. “I would cover my hands in Vaseline and sometimes when I felt like my legs were really dry, I would take a shower and cover my body in (it) and put on some sweatpants.”

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Eva Longoria: ‘Directing is a challenge’

Eva Longoria has found directing to be very challenging.The Desperate Housewives actress, who first tried her hand at directing with episodes of TV shows such as Black-ish and Jane the Virgin, is making her feature film directorial debut with the comed…

Eva Longoria has found directing to be very challenging.

The Desperate Housewives actress, who first tried her hand at directing with episodes of TV shows such as Black-ish and Jane the Virgin, is making her feature film directorial debut with the comedy 24-7, which she will follow up with biopic Flamin’ Hot.

Longoria has found directing to be difficult, so to aid the process, she has surrounded herself by the best possible crew.

“Directing is a challenge — period,” Longoria told Yahoo Entertainment. “You have to be prepared no matter who you are, male or female… there are so many obstacles women face — second-guessing and sexism still persists… you just got to hire the right people to surround yourself with. I’ve had amazing experiences with (directors of photography) and crews supporting me. But I know that’s not universal. And I’ve heard those horror stories.”

Flamin’ Hot is a biopic about Richard Montanez, a Mexican immigrant and former janitor at Frito-Lay who invented the spicy Cheetos flavour and worked his way up the business.

The 44-year-old explained that she wanted to direct the project because it is important for her to represent the Latinx community onscreen.

“I got the job because I was prepared and I was authentic with my point of view,” she continued. “Richard Montanez’s story is my story. And it’s many people’s stories. When people say, ‘…you know, people who look like you won’t get the shot,’ that’s when you try harder. I really loved that aspect of it. And I think they respected my point of view and how I wanted to make the movie.”

Longoria is also producing and starring in 24-7 alongside Kerry Washington. It follows a group of accountants who band together to solve a fraud case.

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Tracee Ellis Ross once sought out Naomi Campbell for advice as a young model

Tracee Ellis Ross once sought out Naomi Campbell for advice prior to a major fashion show.The Black-ish actress, who is the daughter of music icon Diana Ross, worked as a model in her late teens before making her big-screen debut in 1996 film Far Harbo…

Tracee Ellis Ross once sought out Naomi Campbell for advice prior to a major fashion show.

The Black-ish actress, who is the daughter of music icon Diana Ross, worked as a model in her late teens before making her big-screen debut in 1996 film Far Harbor.

Reflecting on her modelling career during an interview with Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Tuesday night, Tracee noted that she walked the runway in both of Thierry Mugler’s iconic early 1990s runway presentations during Paris Fashion Week, but was so anxious about one of the skimpy outfits the designer asked her to wear that she raced over to Naomi for her thoughts.

“I did the first year, the Butterfly (collection) year, and then I went back the second year with the motorcycle (corset) and all that,” she remembered. “I was terrified because my boobies were out, I was 19 years old. I was like, ‘My mom’s going to be furious, I can’t do this.’ So, I went to Naomi Campbell, who is a supermodel, and I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do, my mom’s going to get so mad at me because my boobs are out and this is the look that Thierry Mugler gave me. And she said, ‘Are you are model or are you a model? I said, ‘I’m a model.’ She said, ‘You wear what they give you.’ So, I was like, ‘Well, then I’ll wear it.'”

And Naomi’s pep talk worked, as Tracee felt a lot more confident once she hit the runway.

“I got to the end of the runway and I opened it up and I shook my t**s,” the 47-year-old laughed.

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