New hed: Eddie Murphy to be next Oscar host

It’s official: Eddie Murphy will host the 84th Academy Awards, which ABC will broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 26. Brett Ratner and Don Mischer, who are producing the annual awards show, presented their choice on Tuesday to officials at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, who then signed off on Murphy hosting. Ratner recently directed Murphy in Universal’s upcoming “Tower Heist,” in which Murphy co-stars with Ben Stiller, in theaters Nov. 4.

In a statement, Murphy said: “I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts, from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others. I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

T.I.’s Prision sentence

T.I. is out of prison and will continue his sentence inside a halfway house in Atlanta. He will soon start filming a reality series for VH1 with his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris. The series will follow the rap star as he tries to avoid any further legal trouble, begins recording a new album and more. The untitled series is set to premiere on Dec. 5 at 10 p.m.

Dashing Single Ladies

While insiders insist Stacey Dash’s parting from “Single Ladies” was not by her choice, and she “was often late and didn’t know her lines and wanted more money,” Dash told Global Grind that she left the show because she has to be back in L.A. with her children, and that “Single Ladies” shooting in Atlanta makes that impossible.” Dash’s daughter with her second ex-husband is now 8 and her son, Austin, with Christopher Williams is 20. Dash has been married three times and filed a restraining order against her third ex-husband.

The glitterati who attended Dr. and Mrs. Jessie R. Goodale III’s recent fundraiser, “An Affair to Remember,” at their Hamptons estate, can’t stop talking about the evening’s selected beverage, Adult Chocolate Milk. Even with three cases, the liqueur, which is smooth and delectable, was so popular that the bars ran out before the night’s end. Stay tuned for the Goodales’ annual Movers & Shakers holiday party on Saturday, Jan. 21. Let’s hope they stock up on Adult Chocolate Milk.

Boasting one of today’s most powerful and melodic voices, Natasha C. Coward’s singing sends chills up her fans’ spines. Promoting her latest album, “No Warning Signs,” the sexy, sultry songstress is getting ready for her Sept. 17 performance in one of music entrepreneur Shelley Brooks’ legendary showcases at Iguana in midtown Manhattan. Meanwhile, Coward, who has been the opening act for singing greats like Nancy Wilson, Jon Lucien, Freddie Jackson and Shirley Caesar, says she “wants to continue to bless folks with real music and bring back real R&B.

After leaving her management deal with Matthew Knowles, Kelly Rowland has signed a new deal with a popular worldwide entity. The ex-Destiny’s Child star and X-Factor UK judge has signed a new deal with the Collective, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Even with the new deal, Rowland continues to be co-managed by Tim Weatherspoon, who is rumored to be her boyfriend.