2 Divorces 2 Big Payouts 2 Music Men Filmmakers

Mary J Blige video screen grab Today Show NBC

Oscar Nominated Director Ava DuVernay is now a member of the $100 million club. A Wrinkle In Time has become the first movie to be directed by a black woman to hit that mark. The first time any black person hit that mark was in 1980 when the legendary Sidney Poitier chose for his sixth film as a director Stir Crazy with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor and passed the $100 mark. As for DuVernay, next up for her is her TV drama Queen Sugar which has returned to OWN and airs Wednesday at 10pm.

Beyonce and Jay-Z just released a new album but are accused of throwing shade at Nas. The hip hop and R&B powercouple did a surprise release of their new album, Everything Is Love, the day after Nas’ new album came out eclipsing some of the shine and publicity for Nas. Was this a coincidence or a throwback to Nas and Jay-Z’s former feud of the 1990’s? Published reports are that Nas complimented Bey and Jay, and there’s no hard feelings since both albums are doing well. Meanwhile, Jay-Z had been named president of Puma Basketball. That drew criticism immediately if there was a conflict of interests with his Roc Nation, which has a sports management division. Puma released a new statement designating Jay’s correct and actual title as creative director. Jay-Z and Beyonce will be in Philly at the Linc Monday, July 30th.

The King Of Pop on Broadway?!!! Yes! The Michael Jackson estate has approved a Broadway project on the late singer’s life. Look for this project to be up and ready on The Great White Way by 2020.

Dr. Dre is developing a film project on the life of the late Marvin Gaye. The legendary rapper has secured the family’s approval to move forward. However, what’s always stopped Marvin Gaye projects in the past is not getting approval on all his music. We’re waiting to see where Dr. Dre is on that front.

Lionel Richie is also headed into the filmmaking game. The legendary ex-Commodore did win an Oscar for his song Say You Say Me from the soundtrack to the movie White Knights in 1986. Now, Richie has turned to producing. His project is the life of the legendary Singer/Actor/Broadway Star/Dancer/Night Club Legend Sammy Davis, Jr. Besides knowing each from similar circles, Richie and the late Sammy Davis were also both signed to Motown Records not too many years apart from each other. Although Richie’s run with Berry Gordy’s label was far more successful with Lionel as a member of The Commodores and a solo artist.

Dolemite returns! Who could forget the classic blaxploitation movie from 1975 that starred comedian Rudy Ray Moore as the wrongfully convicted man whose lady friends use their kung fu abilities to help Dolemite seek revenge? Well, get ready for Eddie Murphy to play its star Rudy Ray Moore in the Netflix production Dolemite Is My Name. This bio-pic is also going to star Wesley Snipes and Mike Epps. Production has already begun but no word on a streaming release date.

Mary J. Blige and Kendu Isaacs: they’re finally done! Even though a settlement was reached in March, the splitting of assets hadn’t been worked out at that time. Now all is done. The agreement was sealed, but word has it Mary definitely had to pay, but it’s not confirmed if Kendu got the $130,000 a month in spousal support he was seeking. All’s well that ends well. Meanwhile, Mary is returning to acting. The Oscar nominee is entering the horror movie genre when she begins filming Body Cam.

Grey’s Anatomy Star Jesse Williams also has settled up his divorce from wife Ary Drake-Lee. The Woke actor is paying child support and spousal support. Both figures are arrived at separately with different criteria. All together though, Williams is paying a reported $100,000 a month. Keep in mind the People’s Choice nominated actor brings home a reported $500,000 grand a month. It’s also widely reported that Drake-Lee held down Williams until his career took off, and they share two children together.

Is Papa Joe Jackson of the Jackson Entertainment Dynasty in failing health? His son Singer Jermaine Jackson says his 88-year old father is dying and has barred his family from seeing him. So who was keeping them apart? Apparently Joe Jackson himself is heard on a recorder giving a no visitors order, this despite his reportedly suffering from a form of dementia and the affects of multiple strokes. After a standoff with the patriarch’s handlers for a few days, family members, including wife Katherine, were able to visit. Jermaine says in his father’s final days his family’s only wish is to be by his bedside because the last week has been quite dire for Joe.

Creed II starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone will be in theaters this Thanksgiving.

Fresh off her acclaimed debut hosting the MTV Movie Awards this week, Tiffany Haddish premiered the trailer to her new movie Nobody’s Fool, written and directed by Tyler Perry. Tika Sumpter (The Haves & The Have Nots), Amber Riley (Glee), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Whoopi Goldberg also star. Haddish will play a woman recently released from prison and reentering normal life. Her sister’s (Sumpter) online boyfriend may be a scam meaning she’s being catfished. The sisters team up to even the score and find out who is who. Nobody’s Fool hits theaters November 2nd. Haddish is also on the cover of W magazine. She has an incredible photo shoot and interview inside as she is crowned A Star For Our Time by the fashion magazine. Next up, she co-stars with NBA Champ Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Weber, Lisa Leslie and Erica Ash in Uncle Drew, based on Irving’s Pepsi commercial character, hitting theaters June 29th. Then Haddish co-stars with fellow Comedian Kevin Hart in Night School coming to theaters September 28th.

Jamie Foxx returns for the second time to host The BET Awards. DJ Khaled leads with six nominations. Kendrick Lamar is next with five nominations, and SZA and Migos have four each. The BET Awards air this Sunday, June 24th at 8pm.

Professional Race Car Driver Danica Patrick will be the first female host of The ESPY’s. The long running awards show has long spotlighted excellence in the world of sports. This year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be shared by Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Aly Raisman and the dozens of victims of the sexual abuse of U.S. Olympic Doctor Larry Nassar, who essentially received a life sentence for the extreme amount of criminal sexual assault accounts against him. Raisman is among the women leading the charge for reform in the sports world and protection against pedophiles and other sexual abusers. The 26th Annual ESPY Awards will air on Wednesday, July 18th at 8pm on ABC.

More Whitney Houston revelations as we await another documentary on this late singer’s life. First molestation of Whitney accusations laid at the late singer’s cousin and fellow singer the late Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dionne Warwick. Now comes word that Pat Houston, Whitney’s very visible sister-in-law, is participating in the documentary and spilling secrets. Was Bobbi Kristina abandoned by her parents Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston and raised by someone else until she was eight? Did Bobbi Kris hate her life making it easy for the substance abuse which came later along with an allegedly abusive relationship with Nick Gordon to take over? This is all featured in the only documentary to have the approval of The Whitney Houston estate. Whitney opens July 6th.

The stars return to the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge Avenue, this summer. Tickets are going on sale this Saturday and check out the line up so far:

Thurs., July 5th – Kem / Tamar Braxton / Damien Escobar

Thurs., July 12th - Kool & The Gang / En Vogue

Thurs., July 19th - Tamela Mann

Sun., July 22nd – Ne-Yo / Lyfe Jennings

Thurs., July 26th – Charlie Wilson / Avery Sunshine

Thurs., Aug 2nd – Erykah Badu  & Talib Kweli

Thurs., Aug 9th – Monica/After 7/ Tony!Toni! Tone!

Thurs., Aug 16th - Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill & Ralph Tresvant with special guest Major

Sun., August 19th – The Basement Party starring Rakim, MC Lyte, Kurtis Blow, Stetsasonic, Tracey Lee, the Alumni featuring Chubb Rock, Special Ed, Dana Dane, Monie Love and Kwame

Thurs., Aug. 23rd - Patti LaBelle & Gregory Porter

Sunday September 2nd - Patty Jackson’s Annual Party in the Park Celebrating her 35th anniversary starring Maze featuring Frankie Beverly & The Whispers and Blue Magic

For more information log onto mydelleast.org.

Spike Lee and Oscar Winner Jordan Peele have teamed up for the feature film BlacKkKlansman. The movie is based on the life experiences of African American Detective Ron Stallworth, who so successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado that he became the head of the chapter. Fresh off his Oscar winning box office hit, Get Out Writer and Director Jordan Peele teams up with Spike Lee with Lee and Peele both serve as producers and Lee taking on directing and co-writing duties. The film stars John David Washington (son of Denzel and Pauletta Washington), Topher Grace (That 70’s Show), Adam Driver and the legendary Harry Belafonte. BlacKkKlansman opens in theaters August 10th.

Speaking of Acting Icon Denzel Washington, he is set to reprise his role as “Robert McCall” in The Equalizer II coming to the big screen July 20th.

Janet Jackson is on the cover of Essence magazine’s Sizzling Summer Styles issue for the July/August edition.

Black Panther’s Danai Gurira is on the cover of Ebony’s June issue. The actress/playwright/producer/activist has a huge cover shoot inside as Ebony also celebrates Black Music Month.

The hit Power has gotten some good news from its cable network Starz. The award winning drama starring Omari Hardwick, Joseph Sikora, Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren and, the show’s co-executive producer, Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, was renewed for a six season. 50 Cent is set to direct in that season, but first comes the faith season. And, the fifth season premiere of Power will be Sunday, July 1st at 9pm on Starz.

Kevin Hart returns to TV to knock you out….with his new show. TKO: Total Knock Out, hosted by the Philly-born comedian, is an obstacle course challenge reality show. Produced by Hart and The Apprentice Producer Mark Burnett, TKO: Total Knock Out premieres on Wednesday, July 11th at 8pm on CBS.

Actress/Writer/Producer Issa Rae’s hit show Insecure returns to HBO Sunday, August 12th at 10:30pm right after the season premiere of Ballers with Dwayne The Rock Johnson at 10pm.

Essence magazine released the Essence Music Festival schedule and lineup for 2018. The festivities return to New Orleans July 5th through the 8th. Performers include Janet Jackson, Jilly from Philly Jill Scott, Philly’s own The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Experience (Wreckx-N-Effect, Blackstreet and Guy), Idris Elba, Fantasia, Miguel and Mary J. Blige with more acts to be announced. All the details are on Essence.com

Check out who’s coming to town:


Saturday, June 30th – WDAS Summer Block Party starring Jill Scott / Boyz II Men / DJ Jazzy Jeff in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd Street & Parkside Avenue. For more information log on to manncenter.org

Friday, July 13th – Lauryn Hill and the 20th anniversary of The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill tour at Penns Landing’s Festival Pier. Log on to ticketmaster.com for more information

Saturday, July 21st - Cedric The Entertainer comedy show at The Sugar House Casino. For tickets and information log onto sugarhouseentertainment.com

 Monday, July 30th – Jay-Z & Beyoncé: 2018 On The Run 2 Tour at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.

Sunday, August 12th – Gladys Knight and The O’Jays in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd Street & Parkside Avenue. For more information log on to manncenter.org

Saturday, August 25th – Smokey Robinson in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd Street & Parkside Avenue. For more information log on to manncenter.org

Saturday, August 25th & Sunday, August 26th – Stevie Wonder in concert at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For more information log on to theborgata.com

Sunday, September 2nd – Earth, Wind & Fire in concert at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For more information log on to theborgata.com

Saturday, September 15th – The Aubrey and The Three Amigos  Tour starring Drake and Migos at the Wells Fargo Center. Log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com for ticket information.

Wednesday & Thursday, September 19th and 20th – Bruno Mars and Cardi B on Thee 24K Magic North American Concert Tour at the Wells Fargo Center. For tickets and information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.

If you would like more info please email me at PattyJackson@iHeartMedia.com or check me out with my midday reports at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm during the day.

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