The Third Annual Women Of Excellence Awards luncheon will take place Saturday, April 1st 11am at the Sheraton Downtown Philadelphia, 201 North 17th Street. Our honorees will be First Lady Of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church Dr. Ellyn Jo Waller; City Councilwoman Janie Blackwell; FOX29 Reporter and Weather Anchor Sue Serio; President& CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Julie Coker Graham; Vice President & Assistant GM, Harrah’s Philadelphia JacquelineGrace and our Trailblazer Award Recipient is Author/Motivational Speaker/Educator and former Essence Magazine Editor-In-Chief Susan Taylor. Our musical performers will be Joe, Leela James, Yuna and Eric Benet. Tickets are available right now from our homepage at WDASFM.com.
Congratsto Singer/Actor Tyrese. Therelationship TV personality and author has tied the knot once again.He married Samantha Lee, a counselor and social worker with amaster's degree. Lee, a New Jersey native, also advocates for sexcrime victims and helps fight that epidemic through her work. But,the couple got dragged on social media when Tyrese, who announcedhis marriage via social media, hash-tagged #blackqueen. Lee'sreported Ecuadorian, Jamaican and African American heritage wasn'timmediately obvious. The word is slowly getting out now. Good luck tothe newlyweds.
Lookslike trouble for the Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey tour. Richiemust have knee surgery, and that puts things on hold. However,promoters are also using this time to re-tool the show becausetickets sales have been slow. Both Carey and Richie played New Year'sEve TV specials to promote the tour. Richie was in fine form andreceived a lot of acclaim. Carey, on the other hand, got caught up inthat debacle where she quit singing and walked off the stage live inTimes Square on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Then she andDick Clark Productions officials were publicly sparring over who wasat fault. All of which caused bad publicity for Carey because her“performance” went viral, and she got dragged on social media.Could this be why the tour's ticket sales are such a problem? Atpress time, we're waiting on word as to what happens to the tour ormake up dates.
QueenBey had to put family first. Beyonce, who is expecting twins, hasdecided to drop out of the summer music festival Coachella. She hadhoped to keep her appearances, but most folks noted performing atthis year's Grammy's seated was a tip off. Beyonce assured fans thatshe'll be back to Coachella in 2018, and the California-based musicfestival confirmed Bey's promise.
TheOscars made history in more than one way this week. First,Viola Davis is now officially a triple threat. That's because whenshe won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fences, she became thefirst African American to have also won the Tony and Emmy and foracting. Also, O.J. Simpson: Made In America won Best Documentary.Meanwhile, Moonlight cleaned up for Best Supporting Actor forMahershala Ali, the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and BestScreenplay for Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins(Moonlight's director). The wildest moment was Moonlight's BestPicture win. Bonnie and Clyde Co-stars Faye Dunaway and WarrenBeatty, celebrating the 50thanniversary of their Oscar winning Bonnie And Clyde movie,presented the Best Picture Oscar at first to La La Land. That wasbecause the accountant in charge of the envelopes handed Beatty thewrong one. La La Land's producer had to stop his fellow producers andstate for the record that the correct winner was Moonlight, the firstmovie with an all African American cast to ever win a Best PictureOscar. The fallout is still going on. At press time, the twoaccountants in charge of the Oscars envelopes after four years inthat capacity have both been banished from the ceremony. Actor WarrenBeatty is calling on the Academy to release a full and completeexplanation. The accounting firm has released a pair of officialapologies to all involved. And now, the Academy Of Arts And SciencesPresident Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American to serve inthat role, says the Oscars future relationship with that accountingfirm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is under review.
An 80's icon and an Olympic darling are part of the season's Dancing With The Stars. The dancing reality show is back and is bringing The A-Team's Mr. T., Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles, LegendarySinger/Musician Charo, Singer Normani Kordei (Fifth Harmony) and theNFL's Rashad Jennings (The NY Jets). Dancing With The Stars premieres Monday, March 20th at 8pm on ABC.
Thefirst African American President and First Lady are once againshattering records.Barack and Michelle Obama are being offered upwards of $65 millionfor their new book deals. Penguin/Random House won the bidding war,but isn't confirming if the books are memoirs or not. As for thehefty pay, The Obamas are choosing to donate a great deal of thatmoney to charity, including The Obama Foundation. Expect new booksfrom both the former POTUS and FLOTUS in 2018.
Inmore political news, former U.S. Vice President and Obama BFF JoeBiden has released a statement giving his full support to his son andhis daughter-in-law and their new romance. Thedaughter-in-law is Hallie Biden, who is the widow of the late BeauBiden. The son is Hunter Biden, Beau's brother, who separated fromhis wife Kathleen. Hmmmmmmmm. VP Joe Biden and his wife Dr. JillBiden released their statement of support to quell the whispers andto get the public to see this relationship as being good for bothHunter and Hallie.
TLCis back! Thesurviving members of the one of the biggest selling female musicgroups of all time, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozanda “Chilli”Thomas, have announced their new album is scheduled to drop thissummer. Chilli and T-Boz went and created a kickstarter page andasked fans to contribute to cover the cost of recording a new album.Well the fans came through and the new album is set to be released atthe end of June. This will be the group's first recording since thedeath of founding member and Philly's own Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez. Chilli and T-Boz thanked the fans for helping kickstarter reach over$430,000, which set a record. Joyride and Haters are the two previewsingles made available last year, but the album has yet to be titledand is still due in June.
Speakingof getting back together, the members of Xscape are doing just that.Tamikaand LaTocha Scott, Kandi Burruss, and Tameka “Tiny” Harris thisweek all jointly announced a new album and a tour. Both the album andtour are currently in the works. It was back in 1992 when JermaineDupri helmed the group's productions and they spawned a string ofhits including Just Kickin' It, Understanding, My Little Secret andWho Can I Run To, just to name a few.
BET'slatest drama series The Quad may have its critics, but it's also ahit.The drama set at a fictional Historically Black College/Universitycampus follows a newly installed President, played by Anika NoniRose, who must deal with her rebellious daughter, a crumblingmarriage, cutthroat office and campus politics and an affair she'strying to end. Some of the officials of real life black colleges havesent letters urging the show be pulled. Looks like that won't behappening soon, and that The Quad is joining Being Mary Jane as partof BET's aggressive and popular original programming. The Quad airsWednesdays at 10pm on BET.
Speakingof BET, hot off the heels of the cable network's phenomenal successwith the New Edition mini-series, sister network VH-1 wants to get inon the act.VH-1 is planning a bio-pic on 90's super-group Jodeci. Group memberMr. Dalvin broke it down on a radio interview. He said the scripthas been approved and casting is next. Then he was surprised byfellow group member JoJo joining him by phone to confirm the details.VH-1 is also planning a mini-series based on the life of Rapper Nascalled Street Dreams. No announcement yet on a specific date foreither mini-series.
ActressKerry Washington isn't just sitting on her Scandal laurels. She'shard at work as producer and star of The Perfect Mother. Thisprojects follows up her Emmy nominated performance in her HBOproduction of Confirmation in 2016, which chronicled Anita Hill'stestifying against the confirmation of now Supreme Court JusticeClarence Thomas. The Perfect Mother is a thriller that follows thelives of a group of mothers and a dad being turned upside down when achild is kidnapped from one of them. When the investigation appearsto draw suspicion to the child's parent, things go from bad to worse.The Perfect Mother is still in development and for now is aimed atthe big screen, but no release date has been set yet.
Comedian/Writer/ActorJordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out hit number 1. Aninterracial couple comes home from college to meet her parents, buthis being uncomfortable has less to do with race and more to do withthe mysterious, unexplained disappearances of black young men in thearea. Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford star.Emmy Winner Jordan Peele, best known from Mad TV and Key & Peele,also wrote the script. Get Out, which grossed $33 million in itsfirst weekend, is in theaters now.
TheOprah Winfrey Network has cancelled the two Tyler Perry sitcoms LoveThy Neighbor and For Better Or For Worse (with Camden’s own TashaSmith).This Saturday, March 4thwill be the farewell season premiere for Love Thy Neighbor at 9pmwith a special back to back episode presentation. For Better Or ForWorse will debut with a special back to back episode presentation buton Saturday, June 10that 9pm. OWN has given Perry another commitment to a second spinofffrom The House Of Payne series that starred LaVan Davis, CassieDavis and Allen Payne. I’m hearing LaVan and Cassie may join upwith Jackee Harry from 227 for the new Payne spinoff, which isscheduled to debut in 2018.
QueenLatifah and Benjamin Bratt’s hit drama will return for a secondseason on FOX. Philly’sown LeeDaniels produces the drama Star, which airs Wednesdays at 9pm, andthe FOX Network is very pleased and released a statement confirmingrenewing the show. Star’s season finale will air March 15th,and the countdown is on with guest stars including Rickey Smiley, BigBoi, Missy Elliot, Paris Jackson and Naomi Campbell.
Speakingof Lee Daniels’ productions, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Hensonwill return to their number one rated TV drama Empireon FOX Wednesday, March 22nd.They’ll have plenty of company as Actress Demi Moore makes herdebut on the series. Moore will play a nurse with a mysterious pastat the end of this season and will return in season four as well.Moore’s daughter, with ex-husband Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis hadalready been cast as well as Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) TayeDiggs (The Best Man); Nia Long (Love Jones) and Phylicia Rashad (TheCosby Show). Empire returns to FOX on Wednesday, March 22ndat 9pm.
Oscar Queen Viola Davis is on the cover of this week's People Magazine.
Actressand Brand new Mom Tika Sumpter (Southside With You; The Haves And TheHave Nots; Ride Along) is on the cover of Upscale magazine.
Oscarnominated Filmmaker Ava DuVernay is on the cover of Essencemagazine’s March 2017 issue.
ActressJurnee Smollett will be on Ebony’s March 2017 issue.
PresidentBarack Obama is featured on a separate special collector’s editionof Ebony magazine themed Hail To The Chief: Saluting Eight Years OfExcellence.
EssenceMagazine has released a commemorative collector’s book on theformer First Family. The Obamas: The White House Years is availablenow.
SerenaWilliams will appear in the 2017 Swimsuit Issue of SportsIllustrated. The soonto be wife of Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian did her shoot in theTurks and Caicos Islands. Williams is joined in the S.I. Swimsuitissue by Danielle Herrington, Chrissy Teigen, Lisa Marie Jaetha,Sumba, Kelly Gale, Las Ribeiro, and Gymnastic Gold Medalist SimoneBiles. Plus, 63-year old Christie Brinkley and her daughters Sailorand Alexa Ray are also featured. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuitissue is on stands now.
LarenzTate (Love Jones; Why Do Fools Fall In Love) and Comedian CharlieMurphy are taking on 50 Cent and Crew.That’s because the actors have joined the cast of the 50 Centproduced Starz drama Power. Still no premiere date announced anddetails on the casting are pretty quiet, but I hear Tate will play acity councilman with ties to the hood. Power stars Omari Harwick,Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren and 50 Cent and will return to Starz thissummer.
Warmdaddy’sis presenting their R&B Rewind Series beginning in February.Upcomingshows will include Alexander O’ Neal & Cherrelle, Miki Howard,Deniece Williams and El DeBarge. For reservations and informationcall 215-462-2000 or log onto warmdaddys.com
Thesleeper hit film Dear White People is now coming to Netflix as aseries. The movie,which co-starred Tessa Thompson, James Tyler Williams, Teyonah Parrisand Dennis Haysbert, was a send up of the racial tensions beingexperienced at a prestigious Ivy League college from the perspectiveof its black students. The independent film was a surprise hit andcritically acclaimed. Now Writer-Director Justin Simien has adaptedhis movie for television and even wrote the first ten episodes. Theshow will star Logan Browning (VH1’s Hit The Floor), Brandon P.Bell and be co-executive produced by Yvette Lee Bowser (A DifferentWorld; Living Single). Dear White People will debut on NetflixFriday, April 28th.
EssenceMagazine is gearing up for its 23rdAnnual Essence Fest and The Hip Hop Queen Of Soul, A Legend and TheBoss will be in the house!Yes! Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Motown Legend Miss Diana Rosswill headline the now legendary festival. Chaka Khan, Philly’s ownJazmine Sullivan, India.Arie, Solange, Shirley Jones of The JonesGirls, Ro James, Tweet, Shaggy, Michel’le, Yuna and Lalah Hathawaywill also be performing with more acts to come. The 2017 Essence Festwill be June 29ththrough July 2ndin New Orleans.
Checkout who’s coming to town:
Saturday,March 18th– The All The Hits Tour Starring Lionel Richie & Special GuestStar Mariah Carey at The Wells Fargo Center. Tickets and informationat wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Friday,March 31st– The In It To Win It Tour starring Charlie Wilson, Fantasia,Johnny Gill and Solero at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.Tickets are on sale now and for more information log ontoboardwalkhall.com.
Friday,March 31st– Back To The Eighties Show starring Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, AlB. Sure, Jalil & Ecstasy of Whodini, Force MD’s, Cherelle,Hi-Five and More at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. Fortickets and information 1-800-298-4200.
Saturday,April 15th– The Philly Spring Jam starring Guy featuring Teddy Riley,Ginuwine, Jagged Edge, Dru Hill and Next at The Liacouras Center,Broad and Montgomery. Tickets go on sale January 17thand for information 1-800-298-4200.
Saturday,May 13th– Mothers Day Weekend concert starring Frankie Beverly & Maze,Gladys Knight and Kem at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Ticketsare on sale now and for more information log onto boardwalkhall.com.
Saturday,May 13th– Mothers Day Weekend concert starring Brian McKnight at TheKeswick Theater in Glenside, PA. Tickets are on sale now and for moreinformation log onto keswicktheatre.com.