At last, we’re finally putting our completely overexposed “People of the Year” package to bed. In the clip, we count down the final five people on our list, and Stacy-Ann Gooden makes her pitch for Mary J. Blige (raised in Yonkers, first discovered doing karaoke at the White Plains Galleria).
While she didn’t make the cut for 2007, she’s already a strong 2008 candidate. In fact, aside from Nyack rapper Lucky Me, she’s the only other hip-hop star on our radar screen thus far.
She was known as New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“First Lady of Philanthropy,Ã¢â‚¬? a Gilded Age holdover who donated her inherited millions to every worthy organization she could find: museums, libraries, churches, landmarks, and so on. On August 13, at the age of 105, she died at her weekend estate in Briarcliff Manor. Sadly, though, in her final year of life, Astor made headlines not for charity work, but because of accusations that her son, Anthony Marshall, was neglecting her care and leeching her fortune. The matter was settled out of court, but the storyÃ¢â‚¬â€and the image of the abused centenarian, sleeping on a chilly, urine-soaked couchÃ¢â‚¬â€still stuck.
Prediction for 2008: Astor once said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I feel IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve become a public monument.Ã¢â‚¬? And to us she is, in more ways than one.
Adapted from Ã¢â‚¬Å“People of the Year,Ã¢â‚¬? InTown Westchester, December 2007
(Photo: Serge JF Levy/AP)