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“Olivia Pope” is a married woman! Kerry Washington of TV's hottest drama Scandal has secretly gotten married to an NFL baller. San Francisco 49ers' Cornerback (and former Eagle) Nnamdi Asomugha is the lucky man. Published reports say the couple were married a month ago in a hush hush ceremony. The bride's parents served as witnesses, and the groom's sister, a minister, officiated. The two have been quietly dating for a year. 31- year old Asomugha signed with the 49ers in
April. This is a great time for Washington. She's set to start a new season of Scandal, which may finally get some Emmy love this month when the nominations are announced. Washington, 36, is also gracing the cover of the August edition of Vanity Fair, and an African American woman hasn't graced the cover solo since Beyonce in 2005. Mrs. Asomugha is on a roll!
Veteran Actress and Tony Award Winner Cicely Tyson is featured on the cover of Jet magazine. Tyson is currently starring on Broadway in A Trip To Bountiful with Vanessa Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson covers the August issue of Essence magazine for their Baddest Brothers Of 2013 edition.
Ten years ago, Ruben Studdard won American Idol, and now he’s joining another reality show, The Biggest Loser, to lose weight. Studdard, 35, has battled weight issues for years, and at his heaviest, he weighed 455 pounds. With The Biggest Loser, Studdard is hoping to conquer his battle with the bulge.
Rapper 50 Cent is facing charges for assaulting his second babymomma. That's right there's another babymomma. She says 50 kicked down the bedroom door and kicked her after an altercation lead her to lock herself in the bedroom. The L.A. City Attorney also is charging 50, a.k.a. Curtis Jackson, in connection to the damaged caused to the babymomma's condo. The 37-year old rapper and actor is facing up to five years in jail.
Paris Jackson isn’t ready to go home yet. The rehabilitation center she’s in specializes in eating disorders. That’s not her problem. There are plenty of facilities that could try to help her, but they don’t want all the extras that would come with treating the daughter of The King Of Pop Michael Jackson, i.e. paparazzi, security, and endless press. 15-year old Jackson has been in a treatment facility since a suicide attempt almost a month ago.
The official word from the medical examiner is that Kris Kross’ Chris Kelly died May 1st from a drug overdose. The 34-year old, known as Mac Daddy, had a mixture of drugs in his system. The spokesperson for the medical examiner couldn’t identify which drugs, but an earlier police report cites Kelly’s mother telling officials her son used heroin and cocaine the night before. Kelly had a previous history of drug use. Kris Kross, including partner Daddy Mac (Chris Smith), had the hip hop smash hit Jump in 1992.
Good news for Kevin Clash. A judge has thrown out three sexual assault suits against him. Clash, the former voice of the popular children's TV character “Elmo,” had his career ruined after the charges from the three young men alleging underage sex. A judge ruled his accusers waited too long to file their lawsuits and the statue of limitations ran out. Clash denied any wrongdoing, but resigned from Sesame Street as more accusers came forward.
We remember Pastor William H. Gray, III. As a political icon, Gray was a leading democratic voice for the poor and working class, and blazed the trail for African Americans in politics today. Serving in Congress from 1979-1991 representing Pennsylvania's 2nd district, Gray rose to become House Majority Whip, making him the fourth highest ranking member of the House. Gray left Congress in 1991 to become the President and CEO of The United Negro College Fund from 1991 to 2004, raising over $2.3 billion during his tenure for students' education. Throughout that entire time, Gray served at Philadelphia's Bright Hope Baptist Church, where he succeeded his father as Pastor in 1972. Gray, who would commute from his congressional and UNCF offices to deliver Sunday sermons, stepped down as Pastor in 2007. William Gray was attending the Wimbledon tennis matches in London when he died suddenly of natural causes at the age of 71.
We remember Jim Kelly. The actor/tennis pro/martial artist died this week from cancer. Kelly burst on the scene 40 years ago in the film Enter The Dragon, which starred the late Bruce Lee. Dragon was the pinnacle of the successful Kung Fu movies of the 1970's. Kelly was a leading star of both that and the blaxploitation genres. He teamed with Fred Williamson and Jim Brown in Three The Hard Way, and took the lead in Black Samurai, Death Dimension, Tattoo Connection and Black Belt Jones with Bond Girl, Actress Gloria Hendry. In later years, alongside his professional tennis playing, Kelly made cameo's in films like Undercover Brother and teamed up with NBA Champ Lebron James for Nike commercials. Kelly was 67-years old.
More bad news for Paula Deen. The recent racism scandal has cost her numerous endorsements, and now her publisher has dropped her upcoming cookbook. Ballentine Books has decided not to release Deen's book, which was due out in October. The Book Paula Deen's: New Testament 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, was number one on Amazon's bestselling future releases, but the publisher decided her recent racial epithet scandal was to hot to handle.
Now the CBS reality show Big Brother is facing heat as well. Contestants GinaMarie Zimmerman and Aaryn Gries were captured on the show's live feed making racial (and homophobic by Gries) remarks. Zimmerman is being dropped from her job as a beauty contest coordinator, and Gries was dropped from her talent agency. CBS is keeping them as contestants for now, but issued a statement that the network doesn't condone their remarks.
The Bravo cable network will debut I Dream Of NeNe! in September. The show is a reality spinoff for NeNe Leakes of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta. Leakes, who just remarried her ex-husband Gregg, has become one of the most popular
stars of housewives ever. The Leakes’ wedding ceremony was filmed as part of the spinoff.
The movie remake of Annie is opening in theatres Christmas 2014. Oscar Nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) is starring along with Oscar Winner Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. The movie is being produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.
The news is not all good for Jamie Foxx. This past week, his latest film, White House Down with Channing Tatum, only made $25 million in its opening week. The movie cost over $150 million to make.
The movie version of Black Nativity opens in theatres November 27th starring Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson.
If you missed the BET Awards, catch the repeat on Saturday, July 6th at 8pm. Chris Tucker hosted, and the big highlight of the evening was the tribute to “Uncle” Charlie Wilson featuring Jamie Foxx, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, India.Aire and Stevie Wonder. Other top performances include J. Cole, R Kelly and Miguel.
Claudia Jordan fighting Omarosa's mom? Yes! It all took place at this past week's BET Awards. Claudia, model/actress from Deal Or No Deal fame, and Omarosa Manigualt (The Apprentice) have no love lost between them after working together in the confrontation-filled Celebrity Apprentice. Well on the BET Awards red carpet, Claudia and Omarosa got into a heated argument. Claudia says Omarosa's 65-year old mom, Theresa Manigault, heard the argument, walks by and punches Claudia
in the arm. Security arrived before things escalated. Omarosa says Claudia was the aggressor and pushed her mom Theresa. Both ladies took to social media and press releases to accuse the other of everything from faking engagements, tweeting pictures from funerals and even squatting in the home of the late Actor Michael Clark Duncan. Omarosa was reportedly to wed Duncan before he died of a heart attack. Claudia was a friend of Duncan. Each lady accuses the other of exploiting the actor's fame and money to her own advantage and the disadvantage of Duncan's own family. This all lead to the showdown on the BET red carpet.
Gabrielle Union's got TV's newest hit. The premiere of the TV movie Being Mary Jane scored big numbers for the BET network with over 4 million viewers. The show is from the production team behind The Game and Girlfriends: Writer Mara
Brock Akil and her husband, Director Salim Akil. Being Mary Jane is slated to become BET's first scripted drama next year, but it was another drama Union had her eye on earlier. She audition for “Olivia Pope,” the Kerry Washington role in Scandal. Even though she lost out on the role, Union says Washington's winning it opened up more opportunities for African American actresses.
Oprah Winfrey is bringing the soaps to OWN. One Life To Live and All My Children will make their debut on Oprah Winfrey’s cable network Monday, July 15th. The Mighty O wants to continue the ratings roll by bringing these two classics back to daytime. In more news OWN news, Wanda Sykes is bring comedy to the network with Herlarious. The 2 one-hour comedy specials air July 13th and 20th. Iyanla Fix My Life, Raising Whitley and Life With LaToya have all been renewed for a full season each on OWN. Fan favorite Welcome To Sweetie Pie's is returning to the lineup in July on the 27th. The Tyler Perry drama The Have And Have Nots has been renewed for a second season, and Dr. Steve Perry is coming to the OWN. He will be joining Oprah and Iyanla Van Zandt for a special edition of Life Class: Fatherless Sons on July 7th. In other Oprah news, The Mighty O recently gave $12 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum Of African American History And Culture. It's the Smithsonian's 19th museum and is slated to be completed by 2015. The Smithsonian will also name a 350-seat theater after Winfrey.
The PBS network will be airing a new special, The March, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington. It was at that civil rights event where the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his epic I Have A Dream speech. The special airs August 27th on PBS.
Fruitvale Station opens in theatres July 12th. The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan,
Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, is based on a true story about the senseless death of Oscar Grant. Grant was killed by transit cops in 2009, and his death caused an uproar in California's Bay Area. Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker is the executive producer of this project.
Grownup II, with Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph, opens in theatres July 12th. Speaking of Chris Rock, he's joining forces with Gabrielle Union, Sherri Shepherd, JB Smoove and “my nephew” Kevin Hart for his next movie Finally Famous.
“Nephew” is already at the movies this week with his concert comedy film, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. Plus, He’s reuniting with his Think Like A Man Director Tim Story and Ice Cube for Ride Along, hitting theaters January 17th, 2014. Hart and Cube are buddy cops, but Hart wants to marry Cube’s sister played by Tika Sumpter. Sumpter is the new “It Girl.” She’s on a roll as the TV vixen “Candace Young” in Tyler Perry’s hit drama The Haves And Have Nots on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable channel and with Tyler’s A Madea Christmas coming to theatres December 13th.
Marsha Ambrosius will be performing at the Taste Of Philadelphia event on Penns Landing this Saturday, July 6th.
Arsenio Hall returns to late night TV in September. His show will air locally on MYphl17.
Earth, Wind & Fire return with a new CD entitled Now, Then, Forever. The CD comes out September 10th.
The R&B Hall Of Fame induction ceremony takes place October 3rd. This year's honorees include The Temptations, James Brown, The O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Miracles, Jackie Wilson, The Marvelettes and Marvin Gaye.
Mariah Carey’s latest CD, The Art Of Letting Go, has been delayed indefinitely. The CD was supposed to come out next month, but the Ex-American Idol judge is still on the charts with her hit single Beautiful with Singer Miguel.
Martin Lawrence is returning to TV in the FX show Chicago Lawyers. Lawrence is teaming up with Kelsey Grammar (Cheers, Frasier). This is Lawrence's first TV role since his hit show Martin in the 90’s.
Speaking of Martin, his ex-wife Shamika Gibbs-Lawrence is joining the cast of VH1’s Hollywood Exes. Shamika was married to Martin for 15 years, and they have two daughters. Their divorce was recently finalized. Hollywood Exes focuses on women who were married to famous men: Andrea Kelly (who was married to R Kelly), Sherri Fletcher (Will Smith), Nicole Murphy (Eddie Murphy) and Mayte Garcia (Prince). The new season of Hollywood Exes kicks off July 8th on VH1.
Tamar Braxton and hubby Vince Herbert have named their new baby Logan Vincent Herbert. Tamar's new daytime talk show, The Real with co-hosts Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley (Sister, Sister), Singer Adrienne Bailon (The Cheetah Girls) and Comedienne Loni Love, debuts July 15th on FOX29 at 11am.
Kirk Franklin has been named the new host of Gone Gospel on BET. The show is a gospel boot camp. Franklin will also continue Sunday Best, which returns to the cable network on Sunday, July 7th. Franklin is the host joining Judges Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans.
Queen Latifah is getting some help from Rocker Lenny Kravitz for her new TV talk show. Kravitz has a set design firm, and he will be designing the set for the Queen's new talk show. Queen Latifah makes her debut on CBS September 16th.
It's another edition of Motown-Philly as Motown Founder Berry Gordy is being honored with The Marian Anderson Award on November 19th. The festivities, including a performance tribute, will take place at the Kimmel Center at Broad and Spruce Streets.
In November, Idris Elba will be portraying Nelson Mandela in the movie Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. The movie opens in theatres November 29th, and will detail Mandela's early life and his 27 years in prison.
Mark Wahlberg is teaming with Oscar Winner Denzel Washington and Paula Patton for the movie 2 Guns, which opens in theatres August 2nd.
The Lee Daniels film The Butler, with Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, hits theatres August 16th. The movie is about White House Butler Eugene Allen, who served under 8 presidents from 1952 to 1986.
David E. Talbert's Baggage Claim, with Paula Patton, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Trey Songz, Taye Diggs, Dijmon Hounsou and Derek Luke, opens in theatres September 27th.
The Best Man sequel, The Best Man Holiday, with Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa and Sanaa Lathan, opens in theatres November 15th.
The Dell Music Center kicks off a new season July 11th with Chaka Khan and Ledisi followed by:
July 18th - Fantasia and Joe;
July 25th - The Whispers, Stylistics, Chi-Lites & Breakwater for WDAS' celebration of Tony Brown's 40th Anniversary;
August 1st – Israel Houghton & Vicki Yohe;
August 8th - Bell Biv Devoe, SWV and Dru Hill;
August 15th - Stephanie Mills & Jeffrey Osborne;
August 22nd – Dave Koz, Peabo Bryson & Friends featuring Gerald Albright;
August 29th - The Funk Show starring Bloodstone, New Birth, Con Funk Shun, The Dazz Band & Cameo.
The Dell box office is now open for the general public. The Dell Music Center is located at 33rd and Ridge.
Nephew Tommy from The Steve Harvey Morning Show is coming to town. Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th,
at the IMAX Penn Cinema Theatre. It’s comedy on the Riverfront, 401 South Madison Street and for more info call 1-800-479-1065 or go to fandango.com. Join me on Saturday, July 13th for the afterparty with Nephew Tommy, DJ Jamar and DJ KayG at the Delaware Children's Museum, 550 Jutison Street in Wilmington, Delaware.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clothing-gate: This past week's BET Awards presented some scandalous outfits, but is the biggest one may be the cross dressing that went wrong. A red carpet backlash sent one Personality for an unwelcome makeover.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Friday, July 19th – It’s TGT, Tyrese/Ginuwine/Tank, in concert at the House of Blues in Atlantic City.
Friday, August 2nd – Smooth Jazz Summer Nights – Alex Bugnon at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
Saturday, August 3rd- Frankie Beverly & Maze, The Isley Brothers and Kem in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside.
Thursday, August 8th - Bell Biv Devoe & SWV at The Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge.
Friday, August 9th - Smooth Jazz Summer Nights- Najee at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
Friday, August 16th - Smooth Jazz Summer Nights- Peter White at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
Saturday, August 17th- Trenton's African American Pride Festival in Trenton, NJ.
Sunday, August 18th- Ladies Night Out Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat, Christopher Williams and Avant at the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge.
Sunday, August 18th- Diana Ross in concert at the Borgata.
Friday and Saturday, August 23rd and 24th- Kevin Hart comedy show at Caesars in Atlantic City.
Saturday, August 24th- Toni Braxton in concert at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
August 31st -September 1st - The Labor Day Weekend comedy show starring Sommore, Jay Pharoah, Arnez J, DL
Hughley, Mark Curry, Tony Rock and more at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Saturday, September 14th- Sinbad comedy show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.
Saturday, September 21st - Lionel Richie in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City.