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Popular Aquarius Sun Sign People
Ellen Lee Degeneres--1/26/1958—is a standup comedian, actress, and syndicated talk show host. Aquarian women always have beautiful skin, and Ellen is a great example of this; in fact she is the spokesperson for the Olay Regenerist and Cover Girl lines of skin care products for mature women. Ellen is likable in the enthusiastic, yet detached way that Aquarians can be interested in people. She has hosted both the Academy Award and Primetime Emmy shows. Ellen has starred in two sitcoms, Ellen from 1994-1998, and The Ellen Show in 2001-- 2002. Degeneres came out publicly as a lesbian on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 1997, and shortly afterward her character on Ellen, Ellen Morgan, also “came out” to a therapist played by Oprah. The show went on to explore issues in the LGBT community, and to discuss what it is like to come out in this way. Degeneres has won 13 Emmys and awards for her charitable work, and one from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Ellen as Special Envoy for Global Aids Awareness.
Ellen's Other Ventures
Ellen is a vegan animal lover and is currently coordinating a vegan outreach website called “Going Vegan with Ellen.” This is important, because when people make major dietary changes, at first they need to know what healthy foods to substitute for the ones they stop eating, so they don’t gain weight or get sick from eating the wrong foods just to feel full.
Ellen attended the University of New Orleans, where she majored in communication studies, but worked at a broad range of jobs, including waitressing, painting houses, restaurant hostess and a bartender. She finds a lot of comedy material from the experiences she had at these jobs. Aquarians are often vegetarians, and can live with sudden changes, so normally have worked at many jobs.
In a 2011 episode of her show, Ellen was exploring her genealogy, and found that she is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s 15th cousin through their shared ancestor Thomas Fairfax. Ellen started doing standup comedy in clubs and coffeehouses in 1981, and says she was influenced by Woody Allen and Steve Martin at the beginning of her career. She appeared in 1986 on the Johnny Carson show, and people were not used to seeing many women comedians at that time.
She did a TV role in Open House, and was in the movie The Cone Heads. Ellen starred in a series of shows named for Ellen’s Energy Adventure, part of the Universe of Energy Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. In the show Ellen would fall asleep, then awaken to find herself in a souped up version of Jeopardy, playing against Albert Einstein. She hosted a second show, this time with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Degeneres launched her talk show in 2003, at the same time as Sharon Osbourne and Rita Rudner began similar shows, but her show has consistently done well in the ratings and gets widespread critical praise. Ellen loves people, and sings and dances right along with her guests, so she is always fun to watch. Her standup humor is always funny, but she does not swear or rely on saying nasty things to get laughs, probably another reason she is so well liked.
Ellen replaced Paula Abdul in the 9th season of American Idol, but did not “feel it was the right fit for her.” When Ellen hosted the 2001 Emmy Awards everyone was afraid to be too upbeat after the tragedy of 9/11. Ellen said, “What would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?” She also hosted the Emmys 3 weeks after Hurricane Katrina, once again making people laugh with her gentle humor at a time of difficulty.
Ellen Comes Out As A Lesbian
When Ellen came out as a lesbian in 1997, the media was tough on her, and she went through a period of depression, then her partner Anne Heche left her. She then had a 3 yr. relationship with Alexandra Hedison. But she has been with Portia de Rossi (from Ally McBeal) since 2004, and when the ban on gay marriage was overturned in CA, she gave Portia a 3 carat pink diamond ring, and they married in 2008 in their home in Beverly Hills. The two have decided to divorce, but now are giving their marriage another try.
Apparently Ellen’s Mother was stunned when Ellen admitted to being gay, but became one of her biggest supporters, as Moms often do. She wrote a book titled Love, Ellen, and now Betty Degeneres is a spokesperson for the Human Right Campaign’s Coming Out Project. Forbes has predicted Ellen’s wealth at about $65 million dollars. She and Portia are very involved in animal rights and protection causes, and Ellen continues to be very popular.
Author John Grisham
John Grisham, Author of Legal Thrillers
John Grisham—2/8/1955—is an American lawyer who became the well loved author of legal thrillers, beginning with the success of The Firm, his first best seller. He was a graduate of Mississippi State University and then attended the Mississippi State University of Law, practicing criminal law for about ten years. Grisham also served in the MS House of Representatives from 1984—1990. He wrote his first novel, A Time To Kill, in 1984, and it was published five years later.
John was the 2nd oldest of five brothers and sisters, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas. His Father was a cotton farmer and construction worker, and his Mother was a Homemaker. He wanted to be a baseball player when he was young. Grisham drifted a lot during his college years, first attending Northwest Mississippi Community College, and later Delta State University in Cleveland, OH. He finally graduated from MS State in 1977, with a BS in accounting. Grisham began attending MS State University of Law to be a tax lawyer, but then changed his mind and shifted his interest to civil litigation. He graduated in 1983.
Grisham Changes Careers
Grisham worked a series of miserable jobs in his teenage and college years, watering bushes for $1.00 an hour, working on a fence making crew, and on a highway asphalt crew at the age of 17. He hung out with his fellow workers, as Aquarius people often do, but a fight with a gun broke out one night when they were at a bar. John hitched a ride home and this was the event that got him thinking seriously about college. He went on to sell men’s underwear in a department store, which he describes as “humiliating”, but has had lots of experience doing jobs that are hard and low paying, so can understand the situations of people who do work long hours for little pay.
This was another reason he decided to be a lawyer, to represent those who needed his help, as Aquarius people are true humanitarians. He was a Democrat in the MS House of Representatives, and by his second term, he was vice-chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee. His writing career took off with The Firm, and that was when he gave up practicing law. He did go back to fight one more case of a family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job. Grisham successfully argued the case, and won the family a jury reward of $683,500.00, the biggest of his career. Returning to fight the case to help someone in need is an Aquarian trait too, as they are fair to a fault, and it was important for John to see the family got some justice in this matter.
The case that got Grisham writing about law happened in 1984. He heard a story about a young girl of twelve who was raped and beaten, and was so moved when he saw the jury cry as they listened to the poor child’s testimony. He mused about what would have happened had the girl’s Father murdered her assailants, and A Time to Kill was born. It took him three years to write it, and the book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, took a chance on Grisham. As many who read this are online writers and possibly off line writers as well, you are likely as familiar with rejection slips as this writer is! John went to work on The Firm, about the law firm that looked too good to be true to young lawyer Mitch McDeere, as it certainly was. This writer is an avid reader, and has read most of Grisham’s books, but The Firm remains my personal favorite.
John Grisham Loves Baseball
Grisham has gone on to write books on other topics than lawyers. A Painted House is about a poor family growing up in the Rural south, and he also writes sports and comedy fiction, broadening his focus. The MS State Library proudly has a John Grisham room, which contains archives from when Grisham was in the House of Representatives. He expressed the love of baseball he had all his life in A Painted House, and is a big supporter of Little Leagues in his area. He wrote the original screenplay and produced a 2004 movie called Mickey, dedicated to Mickey Mantle, with Harry Connick Jr. playing Mantle. Grisham admitted on the Charlie Rose Show that it usually takes him about six months to write a book, and that his favorite author is John Le Carre. Good choice.
Jimi Hendrix Was Inspired by Elmore James
Elmore James, Blues Singer
Elmore James—1/27/1918—5/24/1963—was an American blues guitarist, songwriter, singer, and band leader, who is known as “the King of slide guitar.” If you look closely, many guitarists use slides when they play. He had a very unique style, and was noted for his use of amplification and his stirringly emotional voice. He was born Elmore Brooks in Holmes County, MS, but his Father was probably Willie “Frost” James, so Elmore took his name when the man moved in with him and his Mother Leola, who had Elmore at the tender age of 15. Elmore started making instruments at an early age, and created a simple one string instrument called a diddley bow or jitterbug. He was playing at local dances as Cleanhead and Joe Willie James.
Being a well known musician in those days meant he had access to free food, good liquor (this was during prohibition), women, and a way to get away from the hard agricultural work expected of a Black man of his time. He was also introduced to moonshine at an early age. James served in the Navy during WWII, then settled in Canton with his brother Robert, in his electrical shop. It was at this shop that Elmore James devised his unique electrical sound, using parts he found there and the unusual placement of two D’Armond pickups. He began recording with Trumpet Records in 1951, along with Sonny Boy Williamson and their friend Sonny Love. Their song “Dust My Broom” was a surprise hit and turned James into a star. Ike Turner also played along with him, and James had other hits, such as The Sky is Crying and It Hurts Me Too.
Dust My Broom
An Inspiration to Many Music Artists
Elmore James played a variety of blues, similar to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and B.B. King’s work, but his sound was distinguished by his guitar’s tone coming from a hollow, modified, body traditional acoustic guitar, which sounded “amped up” compared to “more modern” solid body guitars. Many electric slide guitar players admit to being influenced by Elmore James. Rolling Stone Brian Jones had such admiration for James he said he wanted to be him. Stevie Ray Vaughn covered much of James’s work in concert. George Thorogood used “Move It On Over”, and Eric Clapton played “There’s One In Every Crowd.” Janis Joplin sang several covers of Elmore James songs.
One of Elmore James’s most famous admirers was Jimi Hendrix, and there is an iconic picture of him wearing an army jacket and holding up the Best of Elmore James Album. Jimi Hendrix performed “Bleeding Heart” at the Royal Albert Hall concert in 1969, and Buddy Miles also sang along with Hendrix while he played “The Sky is Crying.” James is the one being honored by John Lennon in “For You Blue”, as Lennon plays slide guitar and George Harrison is heard in the background saying, “Elmore James got nothing on this, baby.” Other artists influenced by James include The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and Eric Clapton. Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton did a song they named “Tribute to Elmore.” It’s really interesting to realize that many artists we hear today were influenced by this one man. Elmore James’s music and style are still imitated and had an immense influence on blues writers, including The Allman Brothers.
Yoko Ono—2/18/1933—is a Japanese avant-garde artist, musician, author and peace activist, known mainly for her marriage to John Lennon, though she was deeply entrenched in the New York performance art scene before she met him. Yoko Ono became an advocate of feminism in her music, and is involved in many philanthropic causes, among them art, peace, and AIDS outreach programs. Yoko was born in Japan, and her father was a descendant of one of its Emperors. In Japan, Yoko’s servants had to back away from her on their knees when they were done doing their work for her! So the cultural shock must have been great when she came to live in New York in the mid 1950’s.
Ono loved the bohemian freedom in NY, and adored meeting the many artists and poets who live in that great city. Aquarians enjoy all kinds of people and view them as all being the same underneath, as they are very fair-minded. Her parents did not approve of her life in NY, but Aquarians do not really care what others think if it is something they feel is right for them, they do it. Yoko Ono was married twice before she married John Lennon, the public does not hear much about her first marriage, but the second one to Anthony Cox in 1962 produced a daughter, Kyoko, and Yoko and Tony had custody battles for years, with him finally winning it. She does have a relationship with her daughter now.
Yoko met John Lennon at an art exhibition in NY, and he was dazzled by this strong woman artist. He was already married and had son Julien, who lived in England with his mother, Cynthia, but they “had to “ get married at a young age. John and Yoko became an item right away, and John divorced Cyntihia to marry Yoko. It was not so easy though, as the U.S. government was trying to get Lennon out of the country. Any peace activist is normally suspect in this country for some reason. Finally they married in Gibraltar in 1969. The public was angry, and many believed Yoko broke up the Beatles, but they were already working on solo projects by the time Yoko and John married. The public was cruel and racist, and now looking back at documentaries, one can see people pulling her hair and throwing things at her, calling her despicable names. It's really shocking to see how badly she was treated.
Activism Against Fracking
Yoko Before and After John Lennon
Ono and Lennon made many very public protests for peace, one on their Honeymoon “bed-in” in Amsterdam when they had visitors to their suite and discussed how awful war was. This did not end war,of course, but did garner much attention. People did not really understand Ono’s art at the time, performance art was new, but John adored her and insisted she accompany him everywhere. They had a child together, Sean, and John happily played house husband. Sadly, he was shot in front of their apartments in the Dakota in NY, and Yoko still lives there to this day. She is still very outspoken about peace, and has done much to preserve John’s memory.
Yoko Ono did later receive much critical acclaim for her artwork. In 2001, her Yes Yoko Ono 40 year retrospective got the International Association of Art Critics USA award for Best Museum Show in NYC, one of the highest honors in the art world. Her show Between the Sky and My Head in 2008 was popular in Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, Germany and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK. She received a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement in Venice in 2009. Her Wish Tree, in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is very popular, and gets visits from all over the world. Yoko Ono funded and maintains the Strawberry Fields Memorial to John Lennon in NY’s Central Park, across the street from where they lived and where he died. In Oct. of 2007, Yoko dedicated a memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower, which is located outside of Reykjavik in Iceland. Every year between 10-9—12/08 (John’s birthday and the day he was murdered), it projects a vertical light beam high into the sky.
Yoko Ono Is Still an Activist
Ono has been active in peace efforts, fights for gay rights, and performs musically for autism projects. Although she has done many kind works and remained active in the arts and philanthropic worlds, many still feel negatively about her because apparently she did not share much of John’s fortune with his first wife Cynthia and his first son, Julian. She admits her relationship with Paul McCartney has become better. Like most Aquarians, she was ahead of her time in the art world, and will probably always be misunderstood as far as her relationship with John went, although it was apparent he loved her and was likely always looking for a Mother image, after losing his own Mother so young. It is difficult to separate Yoko Ono from John Lennon, even after all this time has passed. In 2012, Paul has patched up his relationship with Ono, and even admits that she inspired much of John’s solo work after the Beatles break up. She seems to keep involved in the art scene and still lives in the same place, so apparently being both in NY and where she was last with John makes her happy.
Bill Maher, Comedian and Political Commentator
Bill Maher—1/20/1956- Is a stand up comedian from New York, talk show host, author, and political commentator on Real Time with Bill Maher, on HBO. Since the 9/11 attacks, American comedians had to pick sides, conservative or liberal, and Maher has been labeled as liberal. But he is very entertaining on Real Time, and is much more serious now. He opens the show with a monologue about the week’s current events, and is normally dressed formally in a gray or black suit, white shirt and dark tie. He looks just like a Capricorn businessman, and I originally thought he was a Capricorn. But in the year he was born, the Sun was already in Aquarius on January 20th. He speaks one on one to an author, filmmaker, or politician via satellite. Then he has a panel of three people and they talk about timely issues. At the end, Bill does a “New Rules” segment where his terrific sense of humor comes through, and then he gives a statement about whatever is troubling him the most in the world of politics that week.
Many will be surprised he does not affiliate with either political party, but considers himself to be “Practical, Libertarian, or Sane,” depending on when he is asked. Maher has been known to be a supporter of the death penalty, he believes racial profiling should be in place at airports after the 9/11 attacks, he thinks the food, lack of exercise, and poisoning by pharmaceutical companies is what makes Americans sick, and is a vegetarian. He is also a supporter of PETA. He favors partial privatization of Social Security, wants to end corporate welfare, and is a big supporter of the legalization of marijuana. Bill is not agnostic, but not a religious person either, so does poke fun at religion at times, making a movie called Religulous. He favors a woman’s right to choose, and believes in doctor assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Since as a comedian all people are fair game, he does joke about many people, but did come out in support of Barack Obama in the 2012 election, donating $1 million to a Super Pac for his campaign. The 2016 Presidential Elections are a treasure trove of material for Bill, so the shows should be entertaining!
Maher Takes a Lot of Political Risks
Maher is a big supporter of taking action about climate change, and often rants about how people can be so “stupid” as to not see the weather changing before our very eyes. So many would be surprised that Bill Maher takes some of the positions he does, if he is as “liberal” as many claim. This writer thinks he is hilarious, and the way he speaks out is great, after all, Free Speech is a right Americans have in our Constitution, but it seems Conservatives do not like it when Liberals use those rights. Maher has never been married and insists he never will, although he seems to have an active dating life. He seems annoyed (but hides it well) when a person comes on Real Time and they are not prepared, he asks serious questions about serious issues, but then switches to say something so funny, it will diffuse any argument that may have been in the works. This annoyance with those who have not done their “homework” to be on the show is an Aquarius trait, they like things to be their way, and he puts the work in. Real Time has been praised by many and has been nominated for Emmy Awards ten times, even Bill’s old show Politically Incorrect was Emmy nominated eleven times. Maher is very talented, so it appears that sour grapes keep certain people from giving Bill the recognition he well deserves. But he is not losing any sleep over the critics, he seems to be having the time of his life, and he has many supporters for his interesting and funny show.