Saluting The Queen/Idris in Philly/Omarosa's Tapes

Fair Use Aretha Franklin Lady Soul album cover Atlantic Records

The Queen Of Soul has taken her place with the ancestors. As the world mourns the one and only Aretha Franklin, here at WDAS, we all have very fond memories of her many connections to Philadelphia. Franklin had been singing since childhood. Her longest friendship was with Smokey Robinson, with whom she said she goes all the way back to the sandbox. Robinson says he knew of Aretha singing since she was 4-years old. The daughter of the legendary Pastor C.L. Franklin, Aretha’s singing naturally began in the church. Her recording career began with standards and jazz interpretations with Columbia Records. But, Franklin and the label were at odds and she left. It was WDAS’ Louise Williams Bishop, a long time friend of the entire Franklin family, who intervened. Bishop called legendary Atlantic Records Producer Jerry Wexler and told him Franklin was free and he needed to sign her immediately. That began a 60’s and 70’s collaboration of more than a dozen years. Franklin would set a record at the time for having more million selling singles than any other female artist. She topped the charts with songs written by herself (Ain’t No Way; Dr. Feelgood; Think; Call Me), Stevie Wonder (Until You Come Back To Me), Ashford & Simpson (You’re All I Need To Get By), Otis Redding (Respect), Don Covay (Chain Of Fools), Bobby Womack (I’m In Love; That’s The Way I Feel About Cha), Jerry Butler/Kenny Gamble/Thom Bell (A Brand New Me) and Curtis Mayfield (Giving Him Something He Can Feel). Gold albums followed along with a string of honors. When Franklin left the label for Arista, she became a chart topper all over again in the 80’s and 90’s. Now she was working with George Michael (Knew You Were Waiting For Me); Luther Vandross (Jump To It; Get It Right); LA & Babyface (Willing To Forgive), Narada Michael Walden (Who’s Zoomin' Who; Freeway Of Love) and Lauryn Hill (A Rose Is Still A Rose). 20 Grammys and a pile of lifetime achievement awards later, Franklin still took time for her gospel roots with the two legendary albums Amazing Grace (1972) on Atlantic and One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (1987) on Arista at the height of her tenure on both labels. She fondly recalled Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., and her collaborations with him and others for civil rights and education. Published reports say Franklin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a few years ago, but she wouldn’t confirm and continue to tour and make albums. Franklin’s longtime Arista/Sony label head Clive Davis announced Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson will play Franklin on the big screen with The Queen Of Soul herself approving Hudson after a long search. At press time, funeral services are pending. Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul, was 76 years old.  

While the James Bond talk about Idris Elba is heating up, he’s becoming a new dad…..on the big screen and he’s coming to Philly to do it. Elba is producing and starring in the film Ghetto Cowboy. The movie is based on the novel of the same name about the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club based out of North Philly. Fletcher Street has been active in Philadelphia over 100 years teaching young people horse riding, care and the like based on the historic black cowboys of early America. Elba will play the dad of a teen who comes to live with him and gets schooled the cowboy way. Filming will take place her in Philly.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman: no one believed she was going quietly and this week she proved it. Explosive accusations that total her contending President Donald Trump is a racist. Omarosa’s new book, Unhinged, which hit number two on the Amazon list, paints Trump as someone with bad focus and not fully in charge of The White House. Omarosa also paints Chief Of Staff General John Kelly in a very poor light. She claims he asked her to the Situation Room to fire her. Then locked the doors with other staffers and wouldn’t let her leave, call her lawyer or see her husband. Then there are the tapes! The former reality TV villainess secretly taped several encounters with Donald Trump and his staffers to backup her claims. The tapes are rough and seem to back up Omarosa’s claims. Meanwhile, the White House is going on the defensive calling Omarosa disloyal, untrustworthy and Donald Trump himself tweeted she was a lowlife and a dog. As bad as this is from Trump, Omarosa shouldn’t hold her breathe for her invite to the cookout since the first words she’ll hear are we told you so!

Cardi B is out (on maternity leave), but Ciara, Ella Mai, Boyz II Men and, Uncle Charlie himself, Charlie Wilson are in.  Bruno Mars 24K Magic tour lost Cardi B after she had her baby, so Mars is bringing in the big guns to cover. All four acts aren’t on all the 24K Magic dates, it’s a rotating schedule. When the tour comes to Philly, September 19th and 20th, native sons Boyz II Men will be on the bill.

Queen Latifah has been tapped to host the 2018 Black Girls Rock, which tapes in her hometown, Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The show, which honors women and girls striving for and achieving excellence in all walks of life, will tape Sunday, August 26th and air Sunday, September 9th at 8pm on BET. 

Usher is selling his property....but why? The multiplatinum selling singer has been under fire accused by two women and one man of either exposing them to the risk or actually giving them the STD herpes. Those folks have lawyered up and are looking to get the U Got It Bad singer in court. The singer also has been ordered by a court to turn over his health records. This is a difficult time for Usher as he’s also divorcing his wife Grace Miguel. Now he’s looking at whatever the publicity these lawsuits bring. Could Usher be selling property to protect his fortune or to settle up? No word from the singer’s camp confirming or denying yet.

Get ready the magazine game of the sisters is off the hook this month:

On newsstands August 24th, Naomi Campbell is on the cover of Essence magazine’s Fall Fashion And Beauty issue for the September edition. Essence announced their new issue with the statement This Is Not A Test, Giving Black Women Covers Since 1970.

Emmy nominated Actress/Writer/Producer Issa Rae of HBO’ Insecure covers this month Ebony magazine’s fashion issue. Part of Rae’s personal mantra is behind the cover and accompanying photo shoot inside. The 33-year old says she wants to continue to form platforms where young girls who look, think and feel like she does can see themselves. Meanwhile, Insecure airs on HBO Sundays at 10:30pm right after Ballers with Dwayne The Rock Johnson at 10pm.

Next up is Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of Porter magazine for their desire issue. The 35-year old Oscar winner talks of self acceptance and the success of Black Panther, now only the third movie in history to make $700 million of its 1.3 billion gross in the United States box office alone.

Emmy nominee Tracee Ellis Ross covers Elle’ Canada. The Golden Globe winning actress, who has also directed episodes of her hit show Black-ish this past season, speaks about her social activism and growing up in her mom’s (Entertainment Legend Diana Ross) embrace and not her shadow.


Zendaya covers Marie Claire for their fall fashion issue. The soon to be 22-year old says she’s on a mission to rewrite the Hollywood narrative and show how much beauty there is in the wide spectrum of the African American community.

Queen Bey is on the cover of Vogue magazine. Beyonce speaks candidly about her marriage surviving cheating and the difficult birth of her twins, which resulted in her having a c-section. Bey not only had creative control over the cover and accompanying photo layout, but she had it done by African American photographer, 23-year old Tyler Mitchell. Mitchell shooting a Vogue cover is the first time an African American has ever done this in Vogue’s 126-year history.

Rihanna graces the cover of British Vogue for their September themed the big fashion issue. Rih Rih’s movie Ocean’s 8, the female cast-caper/heist movie, has taken in over $137 million at the summer box office.


Tiffany Haddish graces the cover of the September issue of Glamour magazine. 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.

Sanaa Lathan’s pet project, Nappily Ever After, is coming to Netflix. Lathan, who dons a shaved head for the role, plays Violet Jones, whose accident in a hair salon makes her realize she’s not living her life to the fullest. The romantic comedy also stars Ernie Hudson, Ricky Whittle and Lynn Whitfield. Nappily Ever After, based on the Tina Gordon Chism novel, begins streaming this Friday, September 21st on Netflix.


The MTV Video Music Award nominations are out and brand new mom Cardi B leads all nominees with 10 nods. Beyonce & Jay-Z, The Carters, have eight nominations for A***hit off their album Everything Is Love. Drake and Childish Gambino have 7, and 6 nominations go to Bruno Mars. The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards air this Monday, August 20th at 9pm on MTV.

Only a few shows left for this season at the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge Avenue. Tickets are on sale now and check out the lineup:

This 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

BlacKkKlansman, starring John David Washington (son of Denzel and Pauletta Washington), Topher Grace (That 70’s Show), Adam Driver and the legendary Harry Belafonte, has got huge buzz. The film took in close to $14 million its first full week out marking one of Director Spike Lee’s biggest ever. Because of all the politics and social unrest as it relates to race these days, BlacKkKlansman is touching a cord. Produced by Lee and Oscar Winner Jordan Peele, 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. Some are calling this Spike Lee’s best movie ever.  

Check out who’s coming to town:


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

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

Saturday, September 1st & Sunday September 2nd – Made In America 2018 starring Nicki Minaj, Fat Joe, Janelle Monae’, Miguel and Meek Mill on The Ben Franklin Parkway. For tickets and information log onto

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

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

Wednesday & Thursday, September 19th and 20th – Bruno Mars on The 24K Magic North American Concert Tour at the Wells Fargo Center with Special Guests Boyz II Men. For tickets and information log onto

Saturday, September 22nd  – The LIT AF Tour Hosted by Martin Lawrence featuring Deray Davis/ Deon Cole/ Adele Givens/ Benji Brown at the Liacouras Center, Broad & Montgomery. For more information log onto

Sunday, September 23rd– RBRM, a.k.a. Ricky/Bobby/Ronnie & Mike, a.k.a. Ricky Bell/Bobby Brown/Ronnie DeVoe/Michael Bivins at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto for ticket information.

Saturday, September 29th – Maxwell at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto for ticket information.

Saturday, October 6th & Sunday, October 7th- Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce, Jay Pharoah, Sheryl Underwood, Tony Rock and Gary Owen and more over the two days of The Atlantic City Comedy Festival on Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto

Friday, November 16th – Hall & Oates at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto for ticket information.

Saturday, November 24th - The Irresponsible Tour starring Kevin Hart at the Wells Fargo Center. For tickets and information log onto

Saturday, December 8th  – Maxwell at the Tower Theater on 69th Street in Upper Darby. Log onto for tickets and information.

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


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