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Oscar-winning Writer/Director Oliver Stone (JFK/Midnight Express/Platoon/Born On The Fourth Of July) has dropped out the MLK bio pic project. The movie was supposed to star fellow Oscar Winner Jamie Foxx. Stone left the project over creative differences with the King family. The King family objected to the way Stone wanted to portray the late civil rights leader. Stone said Dr. King was no saint, and he wanted to touch on that in the movie. Well, the King family said no way will they allow a movie to portray Martin Luther King, Jr. as an adulterer. So, Stone dropped out of the project. There is no word yet on who will take over now.
Speaking of bio pics, plans are in the works for a movie based on the life of Whitney Houston. The Houston family wants control of the movie including casting. Cissy would like former American Idol Champion Jordin Sparks to portray her daughter Whitney. Clive Davis, Houston's mentor and former label chief for many years, is heading up the
project, but he is looking at controversial Singer Rihanna or Actress Meagan Good to star in the movie. Bobbi Kris is siding with Clive Davis since she is fighting with her grandmother and family members. Bobbi Kris is due to come into a large inheritance this year from the
Whitney Houston Estate, but she recently married her play brother, Nick Gordon, without making him sign a prenup.
Ride Along, the new action/comedy movie starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, is number one at the box office. Taking in close to $42 million. The movie only cost $25 million. There will be a sequel. Up next for Kevin Hart is the romantic comedy About Last Night opening on Valentine's Day, February 14th co-starring Regina Hall, Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant.
A spoiler alert: Will Smith will be Jimmy Fallon's first guest when Fallon takes over The Tonight Show on February 17th. U2 will be the musical guest. Fallon is staying in New York and that brings The Tonight Show back to the east coast for the first time in over 40 years. Johnny Carson moved The Tonight Show to Hollywood full time back in 1972. Out going Host Jay Leno kept the show there as well. Leno's final guest will be Comedian Billy Crystal on February 6th. Crystal and Singer Shanice Wilson were Leno's first guests on The Tonight Show back in May 1992.
A special congratulations is going out to Sound Of Philly Producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The legendary founders of Philadelphia International Records are going to be honored at the Trumpet Awards. Actress Alfre Woodard and Movie Exec Devon Franklin are also being honored. The night is going to be filled with entertainment featuring Avant, Raheem DeVaughn, Jaheim, Chrisette Michelle, Smokie Norful, Amber Riley, SWV, Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel and Carl Thomas.
The NAACP has a new home and sibling nominees in 2014. Camden, New Jersey
will be representing with Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse) up for Best Actress In A Comedy Series, and her twin sister Sidra Smith is up for Outstanding Documentary as producer of Free Angela And All Political Prisoners. The Image Awards honor achievement in TV, film,
literature and music, to name a few. The Real Husbands Of Hollywood and For Better Or Worse lead in nominations for TV, and 12 Years A Slave, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Fruitvale Station and The Best Man Holiday are all multi-nominees in film. Alicia Keys, “Uncle”
Charlie Wilson, John Legend and Janelle Monae are multiple nominees in the music categories. The 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards will air February 22nd on its new home, TV ONE.
Fresh off partying with First Lady Michelle Obama at her 50th birthday celebration at The White House, Jay-Z and Beyonce will be taking the stage for The 56th
Annual Grammy Awards. Music biggest night is happening this Sunday, January 26th
on CBS, and LL Cool J is returning as host. The highlight of the evening includes a tribute to the Beatles with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr along with performances by Robin Thicke with Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and John Legend.
Erica Campbell's new solo gospel CD, The Help, is due out March 24th. Meanwhile, season three of Mary Mary’s reality show will deal with infidelity, fighting with their manager and Erica's voice problems. The show returns to WE-TV on February 27th at 9pm.
Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt are joining forces for the movie Selma, about the birth of the civil rights movement. Pitt is one of the producers of the 10 time-Oscar nominated movie 12 Years A Slave, and The Mighty O turned in a brilliant performance in the $100 million box office blockbuster Lee Daniels' The Butler.
In 1984, he rescued NBC from their last place standing in the television ratings, and now, 30 years later, NBC is betting on The Cos again. Bill Cosby, 76, is gearing up to return to TV with a new family sitcom. NBC has been struggling in the ratings once again, and
they're hoping Cosby and his former The Cosby Show producing partner, Tom Werner, can give the network the same ratings magic. That show tied a then all-time ratings record by staying number one 5 years in a row from 1985-1990. It also boosted the ratings for the then
struggling sitcoms Family Ties, Cheers and Night Court, which all began to finish 2, 3 and 4 in the ratings when they aired after The Cosby Show. Cosby and Werner also co-produced the number two rated spinoff A Different World. This time out, Cosby will play the head of a
multi-generational family. The series is still in the development stages.
In more NBC news, the network has decided not to do a reboot of the TV classic Murder She Wrote. The original TV drama aired on CBS from 1984-1996 and starred Angela Lansbury. Lansbury publicly expressed not being happy with the idea of a remake. Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer was set to star.
Actor Lance Gross (House Of Payne) is returning to TV. He's co-starring in the drama Crisis. The show debuts March 16th on NBC, and Gross will play a secret service agent.
Ellen DeGeneres will return as host of The 86th Annual Academy Awards set to air Sunday, March 2nd on ABC.
Wayne Brady will host The 2014 BET Honors. The show airs Monday February 24th on BET. Word has it he and Chilli from TLC are now dating, but her spokespeople say they're just friends. Brady, 41, is divorced with a young daughter. Chilli, 42, has a son from a previous relationship with Producer Dallas Austin, and she used to date Usher. Last year, Pebbles made claims that Chilli had an affair with her ex-husband Record Executive L.A. Reid.
Tyler Perry has a new show coming to Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable station. The Single Mom's Club will make its TV debut in the fall. The TV show will be based on the movie Single Mom's Club, which arrives in theatres March 14th. In the movie, Nia Long stars along with Tyler Perry, and they play love interests.
The Best Man Holiday hit movie is coming out on DVD February 11th. Meanwhile, the cast is quite busy with new projects. Morris Chestnut is coming back to TV on the TNT drama Legends. Taye Diggs returns to TV in the TNT drama Murder In The First. Regina Hall has starring roles in About Last Night with Kevin Hart, which opens in theatres February 14th,
and Think Like A Man II, which opens June 20th. Harold Perrineau and Terrence Howard team up with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Sabotage, which comes out April 14th. Finally, Sanaa Lathan will team up with Forest Whitaker and Anthony Mackie for the movie Repentance, which opens in theatres February 28th.
Check out these movies available now on DVD and Blu-Ray: Lee Daniels' The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan and 20 Feet From Stardom featuring famed lead and background singers Lisa Fischer and Darlene Love.
A new season of TV One’s Unsung kicks off January 29th with profiles on The Manhattans, Rapper Too Short and Nile Rodgers & Chic. Speaking of Unsung, the Hollywood edition kicks off February 26th on TV ONE featuring segments on Pam Grier, Flip Wilson, Robin Harris and Dick Gregory.
Oscar Winner Halle Berry’s new CBS drama Extant debuts Wednesday, July 2nd.
In the TV show, Berry is an astronaut who returns home to a different world.
Motown: The Musical is coming to Philly! January 6th-18th 2015. I had a chance to see it on Broadway. What an amazing musical and a great story about the Motown Story!
Jill Scott will be performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra for their 157th
Anniversary this Saturday, January 25th.
Babyface will be producing a new album for The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin,
which is due out next spring. He produced a hit for Lady Soul before with the chart-topper Willing To Forgive.
Speaking of Babyface, he and Toni Braxton have returned to the top of the charts. Their hit duet single, Hurt You, is an R&B number one. Toni's last chart topper, Just Be A Man About It, was in 2000. Babyface last hit number one in 1997 with Every Time I Close My Eyes.
The duo are headed to Broadway next spring in the Wynton Marsalis production After Midnight. The musical is about the Harlem Renaissance and The Cotton Club and includes many top name musicians coming in and out of the production. This will be Babyface's Broadway debut. Toni Braxton has performed on Broadway before in Beauty & The Beast and Aida. Braxton and Babyface will be in the musical March 18-30th for a limited run. Their new duet CD, Love Marriage & Divorce, is coming out February 4th. Toni Braxton is also writing her memoirs in Unbreak My Heart, which is coming out in March. In the book, Toni will talk about her career, going bankrupt, raising an autistic child and battling Lupus.
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall is in talks to join the third hour of The Today show as one of its hosts. Hall, a former WDAS intern, is regularly seen on The Today Show hosting segments and working The Orange Room. She also anchors News Nation weekdays at 2pm on MSNBC.
Iyanla Van Zandt is on a roll. She is getting ready to release her latest book Forgiveness: 21 Days To Forgive Everyone For Everything. Van Zandt also hosts her own cable show on OWN called Iyanla: Fix My Life, Saturdays at 9pm.
Ruben Studdard has a new album coming out. The former American Idol winner is releasing Unconditional Love, his first studio album in two years. David Foster and Eric Benet are helping out as producers, and Stevie Wonder and Layla Hathaway are also helping Big Rub with the project.
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 4th for the return of TV series' The Game and Let’s Stay Together on BET.
Scandal fans get ready as new episodes start up February 27th on ABC.
Ebony magazine is celebrating Black Love with their February issue. Three different covers highlight David & Tamela Mann, Carmelo Anthony & LaLa Vazquez and Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey. Other couples featured inside include Steve & Marjorie Harvey.
Speaking of the WDAS Morning Man, Steve and Marjorie are on the cover of this
month's Essence magazine.
The Essence Festival is happening July 3rd -5th in New Orleans, Prince, Charlie Wilson, Jill Scott, Lionel Richie, Ledisi and Mary J. Blige are all part of the lineup. Tickets are on sale now. Speaking of Mary, she and R Kelly are planning on touring together in the new year. Kelly confirmed The King & Queens Tour will include his performing new material from his latest release Black Panties.
The Gabby Douglas Story is coming to the Lifetime network on Saturday, February 1st. Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris) will play the Olympic darling, and Regina King and S. Epatha Merkerson will also star.
Congratulations to Philadelphia natives & Singers/Songwriters Darryl Hall and John Oates. They're best known as the duo Hall & Oates, and they are going to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame next April. Hall & Oates have been together over 45 years. They had their biggest hits in the late 70’s and 80’s including Sara Smile, I Can’t Go For That, Kiss On My List, Private Eyes, One On One and Rich Girl.
Denzel Washington is returning to Broadway in A Raisin In The Sun running March 8th –June 15th 2014 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where the original play opened. A Raisin In The Sun also stars Diahann Carroll and Anika Noni Rose, and is slated for a 14-week run.
Saturday, February 1st:: The African American Children's Book Fair at Community College of
Philadelphia, 17th and Spring Garden Streets. It’s free from 1pm until 3pm.
WHAT'S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!
This Newlywed got busted high profile when he tried to holla. Not a good look although his team did manage to make a social media leak of the creepin' in question disappear into thin air. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Check out who’s coming to town:
Wednesday, January 29th- Jay-Z at The Wells Fargo Center.
Thursday, February 13th -16th - Priest Tyaire presents Mrs. Independent starring Robin Givens, Christopher Williams, Shirley Murdock at the Merriam Theatre, 250
South Broad Street between Spruce and Locust.
Friday, February 14th- Vanessa Williams in Concert at Caesars in Atlantic City.
Friday, February 14th- Maxwell in concert at Borgota in Atlantic City.
Saturday, February 16th- The Top Shelf Comedy Tour starring Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, Arnez J, Dominique and Gary Owens at the Liacouras Center, Broad and
Tuesday, February 25th – Robin Thicke at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ.
Saturday, March 8th- New Jack Show starring Keith Sweat, Guy, SWV and Dru Hill at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Sunday, March 2nd- Robin Thicke at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.
Friday, March 7th- Jamie Foxx in concert at Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
Saturday, March 15th- Aretha Franklin at Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
Sunday, April 13th- Classic Soulfest starring Bloodstone, Harold Melvin's Bluenotes, Cuba Gooding, Sr. & The Main Ingredient at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Saturday, May 10th- The Mother's Day Music Festival starring Charlie Wilson, Gladys Knight, The Heads of State: Johnny Gill/Ralph Tresvant/Bobby Brown at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
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