Janet Jackson released a video confirming she’ll be kicking off her tour this week. Her father, Entertainment Entrepreneur and Management Legend Joe Jackson, passed last week and Janet paid for the funeral. Mom Katherine and her children Marlon, Rebbie, LaToya, Jermaine, Jackie and grandchildren Taj, TJ, Michael’s son Blanket and Janet’s son, to name a few, were all in attendance. Stevie Wonder also attended as well. In Janet’s video to her fans, she acknowledged how tough times have been lately, but she’s looking forward to being on the road. With her young son Eissa heard, but not seen, in the background, Jackson did give a reassuring smile to her fans and to her son before saying goodbye. She’s set to appear at this weekend Essence Fest in New Orleans, and she’s on the cover of Essence magazine’s Sizzling Summer Styles issue for the July/August edition.
Speaking of Janet Jackson, why didn’t her former Good Times Castmate Jimmie “J.J.” Walker ever speak to her? Walker says he doesn’t talk to kids because he has nothing for them. That was part of a very candid interview Comedian Jimmie Walker gave to the Television Academy in their series of interviews done with actors, writers producers, directors and technicians within the TV industry. Walker addressed how he thought the phrase “Dy-no-mite” was too over the top as did Good Times Co-creator Norman Lear. They were talked into it by legendary All In The Family and Dick Van Dyke Show Director John Rich, who directed Good Times’ first episode and insisted “Dy-no-mite” always be in the show. Walker also said he never talked to his on screen parents, The Evans, during the show’s run outside of rehearsal. Walker says they were never friends, and he didn’t even have phone numbers for them. It was well documented that Esther Rolle and John Amos (Florida & James Evans) had many problems with the show content and the emphasis on the “J.J. Evans” character. Walker says if the cast had just accepted the change in focus, they could have had a longer, smoother run. Amos was fired from the show and his character was killed off. Amos’ post Good Times career continues today, including his Emmy nominated role as “Kunta Kinte” in Roots. Amos’ own TV Academy interview is also on line. Rolle, who died in 1998, quit the show in season five, but returned when some of her demands for the show and softening the “J.J.” character were met. Meantime, Walker also confirmed how Jay Leno’s management planted stories about the late Johnny Carson to push him out of The Tonight Show for Leno, and their disrespecting and betraying loyal friend David Letterman. Walker was once a partner with Leno’s management and hired Letterman, Leno and Byron Allen as his writers in the 70’s giving them their big breaks. Walker’s TV Academy interview is online now.
Mo’Nique versus Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels and Netflix ROUND 2. First, Comedienne/Actress/Oscar Winner Mo’Nique recorded a phone conversation she and her husband Sidney Hicks had with Tyler Perry. Perry and Oprah Winfrey were executive producers of Producer/Director Lee Daniels’ Precious, which won Mo’Nique the Oscar for her performance. The conversation between Mo’Nique, Hicks and Perry was about clearing Mo’Nique’s name. The couple challenged Perry to enlist Oprah Winfrey to disavow the many negative stories attributed to Perry, Oprah and Lee Daniels about Mo’Nique’s behavior during and after Precious was filmed. The comedienne and her husband claim she’s been blackballed. Perry was heard on the tape saying he couldn’t speak for Oprah, but was opened to being helpful to Mo’Nique. Then the tape got leaked and went viral. As of presstime, no reaction yet from those on the tape. Criticism went Mo’Nique’s way as the audio has Perry being heard over the phone and Mo’Nique and Hicks being heard in the room….. in person. Meanwhile, Lee Daniels was asked about Mo’Nique charges of being blackballed. Daniels told TMZ said he fought for her to get her role in Precious, and she was paid her money. He also says yes Mo’Nique bared her soul to him to give that performance, but he did the same to get that performance out of her. Daniels says Mo’Nique blackballed herself and to continue to talk about him, Oprah and Tyler Perry, who were all down for the comedienne, is disrespectful. Daniels says as far as he’s concerned the Mo’Nique situation isn’t even worth the conversation, and she needs to shut up. Mo’Nique returned to her social media to address a rumor she signed $10 million deal with Netflix. She called it a hoax just like the rumors of her being difficult and demanding. Mo’Nique also said the truth only goes away if we stop talking, which she won’t. She then told Lee Daniels that he needed to shut up. Stay tuned.
There’s a mural at the Global Leadership Academy Charter School in West Philly of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. Artist Richard Wilson says you’ll see influences of the official presidential portrait of President Obama in his work. Smith joins fellow Philly legends like WDAS and 60 Minutes Alum, the late Ed Bradley, whose recent mural was dedicated at Belmont and Wyalusing, Kevin Hart, whose dedication I attended by Germantown and Erie Avenues and 76ers Champ Julius “Dr. J” Erving. Smith cited Dr. J’s mural as a true inspiration to him every time he saw it growing up in Philly. Officials from the Global Leadership Academy Charter School agreed to have the mural of Smith go up on their school to serve as an inspiration to its young students. Congratulations Fresh Prince!
Lebron James signs a 4-year deal to go out West for $154 million. The 76ers’ loss is the Lakers gain as James makes it official and signs a deal with L.A. Lakers President of Basketball Operations, and former legendary player, Magic Johnson was part of the negotiations. Cleveland is reportedly moving on and diminishing its King James paraphernalia and L.A., of course, is loading up on everything Lebron. Will this be the return of Showtime? Meanwhile, James has been posting his vacation photos on social media as he takes a breather before putting on that Laker uniform.
Prayers for a speedy recovery for Melyssa Ford, who was seriously injured in car accident. The media personality and former video model was in a jeep that flipped three times and landed upside down after its back tire was clipped by an 18-wheeler. Ford’s injuries reportedly included a fractured skull, blood on the brain, a huge cut across her face and head and no memory of the accident. At presstime, Ford remains hospitalized.
Comedian Lil Rel Howery is on a roll in comedy, TV and film. The 39-year old actor/comedian is an alum of NBC’s cancelled but critically acclaimed Carmichael Show and co-starred in Jordan Peele’s Oscar winning box office blockbuster Get Out. Now, Lil Rel is co-starring with Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Weber, Lisa Leslie, Erica Ash and Tiffany Haddish in Uncle Drew, based on Irving’s Pepsi commercial character. Uncle Drew is in theaters now and took in over $15 million in its debut week. This fall, Lil Rel will reunite with Jarod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show). This time with Lil Rel starring and Carmichael producing the new FOX sitcom Rel co-starring Sinbad and scheduled to debut Sunday, September 9th. You’ll be able to see my exclusive interview with Lil Rel on my Patty TV page at wdasfm.com coming soon.
Tina Turner’s eldest son commits suicide. Published reports say Craig Turner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was in the real estate business in California. His biological parents were the legendary singer and Musician Raymond Hill, who played in Ike Turner’s band. Tina gave birth to Craig before she married Ike. Ike, who died in 2007, adopted Craig after marrying Tina. Tina Turner was in France for Paris Fashion Week when the news broke. At press time, no services have been announced yet. Craig Turner was 59-years old.
AJ Calloway is being accused of sexual assault. The former BET 106 & Park host and current correspondent on TV’s Extra has been accused of a 2006 sexual misconduct incident by Author/Activist and ex- Fashion Model Sil Lai Abrams, who also accuses Russell Simmons of rape in 1994. Abrams wrote of her allegations in her book, No More Drama, but didn’t name her alleged assailants then. Abrams filed a police report against Calloway. He was arrested, but the case was dismissed. Calloway’s lawyer says the allegations are false, Calloway cooperated with law enforcement and the case was dismissed and records sealed. Calloway released statement saying in part he’ll defend his reputation and that the allegations are false. Abrams also accused Russell Simmons of rape in 1994 after a night on the town. She confirm previously the two had an intimate relationship but the incident in question that followed was a rape. Abrams also says a conversation with Simmons sometime afterward included his apology for his actions. Simmons denies the Abrams’ account. Meanwhile, Abrams also accused MSNBC and Joy Reid for not airing her story. Reid and NBC News released statements. NBC stressed that they continue to scrutinize stories and corroborate information. Reid’s statement included that meticulous research is done and emphasized getting the facts right before stories air.
Floyd Mayweather, Sr., the father of the world famous boxer, caught two cases. In one, he’s not guilty, and in the other, he is the father. The senior Mayweather was found not guilty by a trial judge of pulling a woman from his vehicle, punching her in the leg and abandoning her. The charges stemmed from a September incident when Mayweather, Sr. drove the woman and her husband home from a boxing event in Las Vegas. Mayweather, Sr.’s lawyers called this an attempted money grab. Meanwhile, Mayweather, Sr. had a different outcome in another case…..a paternity suit. Purisa Farris filed for child support this year and the case included having Mayweather, Sr., who has five other children, take a paternity test. Reportedly, the test came back with a 99.99% probability that the 65-year old is the father of the now one-year old baby girl. At press time, Mayweather, Sr. hasn’t issued a statement on the matter.
Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud versus Ed Townsend’s estate and the co-owner of the song Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye. Singer/Songwriter Sheeran has huge hits songs and is enjoying a career high. But, now he’s being accused of lifting the music of Marvin Gaye’s 1974 platinum selling Motown hit Let’s Get It On for his diamond (10 million copies) selling song Thinking Out Loud. Sheeran is being sued for $100 million by Structured Asset Sales, who owns a third of the Let’s Get It On song publishing and, in a separate suit, by the family of the late Singer-Songwriter Ed Townsend, who co-wrote and produced the song with Marvin Gaye. Since then a video has surfaced of Sheeran preforming Let’s Get It On in concert. The family of the late Singer-Songwriter Ed Townsend, famous for his songs For Your Love and as writer/producer of the Impressions’ #1 hit Finally Got Myself Together, filed their suit in 2016. Sheeran responded to the Townsend family’s suit claiming any similarities were in the public domain and is not protected. No word yet from Marvin Gaye’s family on whether they’ll either join a pre-existing suit or file a separate suit of their own. In 2015, Gaye’s family successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for similarities between Gaye’s hit Got To Give It Up and Thicke and Pharrell’s song Blurred Lines.
First, the Roseanne cast and crew return without Roseanne, and now Roseanne Barr herself maybe back. ABC confirmed they’ve reached a deal with the producers of Roseanne for a spinoff. The Conners is the working title of the series that will debut this fall to replace the cancelled reboot of Roseanne following its star’s racist tweet about a member of President Obama’s administration. Barr was bought out of all interest in the spinoff series as ABC insisted Barr have no participation, including financially, in the new show. Barr, meanwhile, has stepped up her public appearances. The comedienne said in an interview she had no racial references in mind when she made that tweet and denied she is racist. Barr, who was dropped by her agency and saw her old Roseanne show reruns pulled, claims she’s being offered new opportunities on TV and is strongly considering a comeback.
At the movies this week, the Whitney Houston documentary entitled Whitney, which was approved by the late singer’s estate, opens.
The ESPN Body issue is out. Among this year’s most notable models 54-year old NFL Legend Jerry Rice, who says he has more muscle now than when he was playing. Soccer Player Crystal Dunn, Sprinter and three-time Olympic Medalist Tori Bowie, NY Giants Saquon Barkley, Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns and the L.A. Dodgers Yasiel Puig are all featured.
Speaking of ESPN, Professional Race Car Driver Danica Patrick will be the first female host of ESPN’s ESPY Awards. 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.
Creed II starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone will be in theaters this Thanksgiving.
Uncle Drew Co-star Tiffany Haddish has more on the horizon. Up next, Haddish co-stars with fellow Comedian Kevin Hart in Night School coming to theaters September 28th. After that, Haddish joins Tika Sumpter (The Haves & The Have Nots), Amber Riley (Glee), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Whoopi Goldberg for Nobody’s Fool, written and directed by Tyler Perry hitting theaters November 2nd.
The stars return to the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge Avenue, this summer. Tickets are on sale now and check out the lineup:
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 my 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.
Omari Hardwick, the Star of Power, is on the cover of Ebony magazine’s July/August issue. Power airs Sundays at 9pm on Starz, and Hardwick’s new Tyler Perry movie, Nobody’s Fool with Tiffany Haddish, opens November 2nd.
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 this 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.
The Essence Music Festival is happening now through Sunday. 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:
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.