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ANGELA RICCIO

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GirlsNewsDaily Covers Hollywood Parade

Grand Marshall Magic Johnson

December 7, 2004

By ANGELA RICCIO


Most Southern California residents know the Christmas season officially begins with the start of The Hollywood Christmas Parade. It's a tradition that's been going strong since 1928, and usually falls on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The 2004 Hollywood Christmas Parade featured the usual award winning marching bands and Equestrian (Horse) Units along with this year's Grand Marshal, Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Magic will forever be known for his legendary basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, most people are unaware of the fact that he is also a great business man who has provided more than 10,000 jobs to minorities through his many business ventures. Magic is also a great humanitarian who's many charities include managing a $300 million Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund. Everyone knows Magic Johnson is so much more than just a great athlete.

The former basketball superstar stopped by to speak with me at the parade, so I asked him what it feels like to follow such Hollywood icons like Lucille Ball, Bob Hope and Carol Burnette, by being named the Grand Marshall of the big parade.

"This is one of the best experiences of my life! It's such an honor to be here tonight with my family, and all the people of Hollywood who I love," Johnson said. "This is something I'll always remember."

While Johnson is without a doubt a living legend, unfortunately, in recent years, the Hollywood Christmas Parade has lacked big movie stars. But most of the minor stars who do come to the parade seem sincerely happy to participate, and their joy truly transcends the holiday spirit to everyone in attendance.

photo of Magic Johnson
Angie & Magic Johnson

A perfect example of this: William Hung.

Most people remember Hung as the most popular reject from American Idol. I had the chance to speak with him at the post parade party, and it didn't take long to understand how someone with little talent can take advantage of a short window of opportunity like his, and really enjoy every minute of it.

photo of William Hung
Angie & William Hung

At first, Hung was the laughing stock of America for his off-key rendition of She Bangs at the American Idol audition. But he parlayed that audition into a novelty career which includes CD's, Video's and even a William Hung Bobble Head Doll!

I asked Hung how his career was going.

"Just Great! The last CD did better than expected, and now we've just released a new Christmas collection of songs called Hung For The Holidays," he said. "I took the long shot chance of asking Hung to sing his famous rendition of She Bangs for me, and to my surprise he suggested we do it together as a duet! I'm not the best singer in the world, so I think William Hung found his perfect singing partner. I had a blast destroying the song with him.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade has become an annual holiday event that millions of people nationwide look forward to every year, and despite the lack of 'A'-list Hollywood Stars in attendance, I always seem to go away entertained and in a great holiday spirit. I guess it's just that Hollywood Magic!




Angela Riccio is a Hollywood correspondent for GirlsNewsDaily.com, covering music and movies. A lover of the I Love Lucy show from an early age, Angela's interests include learning martial arts, playing musical instruments and other entertainment activities. Artists she has previously interviewed include Jennifer Lopez, Avril Lavigne and Nelly.

e-mail Angela at: StarStruckAngie@aol.com



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