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Bobbi Kris, the 20-year old daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown wants to be a pop star like her mom. Bobbi Kris is being mentored by Mariah Carey and American Idol’s Randy Jackson. Does she have the chops to carry on her mother’s tradition? Houston remains one of the greatest singers of our time, and she was following in the footsteps of her mother, Cissy Houston.
Diahann Carroll has dropped out of the Broadway revival of A Raisin In The Sun. Carroll, 78, was supposed to star opposite Denzel Washington in the legendary production, but she pulled out citing the heavy work load was too much. Carroll is being replaced by Actress LaTanya Richardson, who is married to Samuel L. Jackson. There was a lot of excitement about Carroll returning to Broadway particularly after 80-year old Cicely Tyson won a Tony when she returned to the Great White Way in A Trip To Bountiful. Previews for A Raisin In The Sun with Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson start March 8th.
In more Broadway news, Oprah Winfrey may be headed to the stage in a production of Night Mother with Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald (TV’s Private Practice). If all goes well, the show would open in 2015.
Jill Scott is coming to The Voice. She is going to serve as a mentor for Team Usher. The Voice returns to NBC Monday, February 24th with Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher. This is going to be a busy year for Scott. She is also appearing the new James Brown bio-pic Get On Up.
Speaking of Get On Up, Singer Ralph Tresvant has joined the cast, and will play another music legend in the film, the late Singer Sam Cooke. The movie opens in theatres this August. Tresvant Also in the cast are Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson and Dan Aykroyd. Rolling Stones' Legend Mick Jagger is producing.
Wayne Brady will be hosting this year’s BET Honors. Scheduled honorees include The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin, Motown Founder and Broadway Impresario Berry Gordy and Rapper/Actor Ice Cube. There will be performances by Mariah Carey, Tamar Braxton, Smokey Robinson, Janelle Monae and Jennifer Hudson. The show airs February 24th on BET.
Anthony Anderson will be hosting The 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards airing February 22nd on its new home, TV ONE. Forest Whitaker will be one of the night’s biggest honorees. Some of the presenters include Lupita Nyong, Tyler Perry, Michael Ealy, Arsenio Hall and Gabrielle Union. The Image Awards honor achievement in TV, film, literature and music, to name a few. Some of the nominees include 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 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.
Actress Angela Bassett graces the cover of the latest edition of Ebony magazine.
Meanwhile, Forest Whitaker & Oprah Winfrey (The Butler), Michael B. Jordan and Chiwetel Ejiofor are sharing the cover of the March issue of Essence magazine.
On Vanity Fair’s 20th annual Hollywood issue, it’s Julia Roberts, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Chadwick Boseman (42 & Get On Up) and Lupita Nyong (12 Years A Slave), to name a few. Vanity Fair has come under fire in recent years for the lack of diversity in their previous Hollywood issue covers.
Dancing With The Stars is getting a new bandleader. Ray Chew, formerly of American Idol, will be there when season 18 kicks off March 17th. Chew is known for his work with Idol, Showtime At The Apollo and The BET Awards.
Simon Cowell’s singing reality show, The X-Factor, has been cancelled by FOX. The show never caught on and failed to deliver the next big talent.
Will Smith will not be returning to the movie franchises Independence Day and Men In Black. New up and comer Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) is reported to be replacing Smith in the Independence Day sequel.
The Michael Jackson Estate is in trouble with the government. Did they cheat the I.R.S. by lying about the amount of money the estate has generated since The King Of Pop’s death in 2009? I hear the estate could be getting hit with a $702 million tax bill.
No more reality TV for Ice T and his wife CoCo. The husband and wife duo are teaming up with Ryan Seacrest to host a talk show.
Writer/Director David E. Talbert's latest movie, Baggage Claim with Paula Patton, Derek Luke and Jill Scott, is now available on DVD. Check out these other DVD and Blu-Ray releases: 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.
Kevin Hart and Producer Will Packer are on a roll their movie Ride Along with Ice Cube. The hit film passed the $100 million mark after finishing off a three week reign at number one at the box office. Now, it’s on to Hart and Packer’s latest movie, About Last Night. The romantic comedy opens in theatres Friday, February 14th, and stars Hart & Regina Hall (their chemistry is amazing) and Michael Ealy & Joy Bryant.The movie is funny, insightful and gives you an honest look at modern day relationships. Kevin and Regina are so funny!!!!! Up next for Kevin is a new movie with Will Ferrell called Get Hard. The movie is about a wealthy investment banker who is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. The banker prepares for prison with help from the guy who washes his car. The movie will also star Rapper/Actor T.I.
In more Kevin Hart news, his ex-wife, Torrei Hart, has joined the cast of the TV show Atlanta Exes along with Tameka Raymond, the ex-wife of Singer Usher. The show debuts on VH1 this summer. I wonder what the women have to say about their exes.
First Lady Michelle Obama will be joining Jimmy Fallon for his first week taking the late night reigns permanently from Jay Leno. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon kicks off February 17th with Will Smith and U2.
Former NFL Player Terrell Owens is making headlines again. This time for a short lived marriage. Owens, now known more for his babymommas and financial struggles than his football career, is being accused by his soon to be former wife of using her for her good credit. He married Rachel Snider, a postal worker/waitress a couple of weeks ago. After two weeks, she filed for divorce. Apparently, Snider and Owens had been friends for years. But, when she realized there would be no sex with their marriage, she filed for divorce claiming he betrayed her and she was heartbroken. Friends of Snider claim Owens married her to secure a two million dollar loan for a new home he wanted. I wonder if he still making those child support payments to his four babymommas.
The life story of Darlene Love is coming to the OWN cable station. Love is the famed background singer and actress who got her due later in life. Love's book, My Name Is Love, details her life as a background singer for the stars including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin and others. She was tied contractually to Music Legend Phil Spector, which delayed her career for many years. Love ventured into acting becoming famous for her role Danny Glover's wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. The book also discuses her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers. Love's story is also chronicled in the Academy Award nominated Documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. The Darlene Love movie will air on OWN later this year.
We remember Comedian Sid Caesar. The funny man had appeared on stage and the big screen for more than six decades. It was, however, his legendary TV variety shows that revolutionized comedy. Caesar helped launch the careers of his writers including Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. A seven year run beginning with Your Show Of Shows followed by Caesar's Hour influenced a host of performers and TV shows that followed like Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke and even Saturday Night Live. Caesar hosted SNL in 1983 and was made an honorary SNL member. The legendary television pioneer died at the age of 91.
We also remember Actress and U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple. The famed child actress was at one time the biggest box office star in all of movies from 1935 to 1938. She was even credited for saving Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy and won a special Oscar for her film work. After retiring from movies, Temple became an ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She was a best-selling author and breast cancer advocate after her 1972 diagnosis. She became Shirley Temple Black after marrying her husband (Charles) of 55 years in 1950. Temple died at the age of 85.
Scandal returns to ABC on February 27th.
Congrats to basketball superstar Michael Jordan and his wife Yvette Prieto. They are the proud parents of twin identical girls. The couple married in April. Jordan has three grown children from his first marriage to Juanita Jordan.
The award-winning Steve McQueen movie 12 Years A Slave is coming out on Digital HD on February 18th and DVD and Blu Ray March 4th, two days after the Academy Awards. 12 Years A Slave is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture.
Nick Cannon has signed on for a sequel to the 2002 hit movie Drumline. The original also starred Zoe Saldana. The sequel will be a TV movie and air on VH1. Cannon is also one of the executive producers.
Jamie Foxx will be playing the villain Electro in The Amazing Spider Man III, which opens in theatres May 2nd.
Mark Wahlberg will be hosting the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on March 29th.
R Kelly will be producing some songs for Jennifer Hudson’s new album. The Chicago natives will be joining forces for the first time. Hudson’s album is due in the spring and will show a different side of the Oscar-winning actress/singer.
The Preachers Of L.A. has been renewed for a second season. The controversial reality show will start a new season this fall on the Oxygen network and will be spreading to other cities, including Houston and Atlanta.
Oscar-winning Director Lee Daniels is producing a hip hop drama for FOX called Empire.
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.
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.
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. Perry will also team up with Essence magazine Saluting Black Men In Hollywood during Oscar week.
Haunted House II with Marlon Wayans opens in theatres Friday, April 14th.
Think Like A Man II opens in theatres Friday. June 20th.
The Best Man Holiday hit movie is now available on DVD. 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.
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!
A big congratulations goes out to Singer/Songwriter Babyface, who recently became engaged to his longtime girlfriend Nicole Patenburg. They have a young daughter. Babyface will also 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.
In more Babyface news, 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 is headed to Broadway this 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 out now. 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. Braxton, who settled her tax problems last year, recently purchased a new three million dollar home.
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 4th for the return of TV series' The Game and Let’s Stay Together on BET.
On Saturday, March 1st- The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Pennsylvania Chapter, is hosting its 28th Annual Madam CJ Walker Awards Luncheon at 12 noon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 12th and Market Streets. For tickets and information, you can log onto www.nc100bw-pa.org.
The Meeting is a stage play by Jeff Stetson about an imagined meeting between Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X. The play stars Rev., Dr. Alyn E. Waller and Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, Esq., and is happening Friday, March 21st & Saturday, March 22nd at 3 and 7pm and Sunday, March 23rd at 3pm at the Penn Charter School-Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, 3000 West School House Lane. For more info call 215-276-7200.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!
They always want to come back. This TV Personality divorced her hubby and took up with The Help. Well, it didn’t work out, and now she wants ex-hubby back. He said no cause he’s living it up right now, but can she change his mind?
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, February 14th -17th - Priest Tyaire presents Mrs. Independent starring Robin Givens, Christopher Williams, Shirley Murdock at the Merriam Theatre, 250 South Broad Street between Spruce and Locust.
This Friday, February 14th- Vanessa Williams in Concert at Caesars in Atlantic City.
This Friday, February 14th- Maxwell in concert at Borgota in Atlantic City.
This Friday, February 14th- Damon Wayans & Keenen Ivory Wayans at the House of Blues in Atlantic City.
This Sunday, February 16th- The Top Shelf Comedy Tour starring Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, Arnez J, Dominique and Gary Owens at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
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.
Wednesday, March 19th – Marsha Ambrosius at the Theatre of the Living Art 3rd and South.
Saturday, March 22nd - Monica & Carl Thomas in concert TD Bank Arts Center, 529 Huffville-Cross Keys Road in Sewell, New Jersey.
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, April 26th- Mike Epps comedy show at The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby.
Saturday, May 10th- The Mother's Day Music Festival starring Charlie Wilson, Gladys Knight and The Heads of State: Johnny Gill/Ralph Tresvant/Bobby Brown at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Tuesday, May 20th- John Legend at the Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce.
Saturday, June 7th - Boyz II Men at The Tower Theatre, 69th Street in Upper Darby.
Friday, June 20th – Diana Ross in concert at Caesars in Atlantic City.
If you would like more info please email me at or check me out with my Midday reports at 10:35am, 12:35pm and 2:35pm during the day.