Mary's new role/No Oscar Host?/Janet makes the cut

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The WDAS Holiday Jam is back and it’s happening at the newly restored Met Philly at Broad and Poplar. The WDAS Holiday Jam, Starring Uncle Charlie himself, Charlie Wilson and Stokley of Mint Condition, is happening Saturday, December 22nd. Tickets and information can be found on the homepage.

The Oscars may go without a host. After Kevin Hart dropped out, the Academy has been mum on their Plan B. Oscar Winner Whoopi Goldberg said on The View The Oscar show won’t work well without a host, and that she’d be open to hosting again. The comedienne has hosted four times previously, but she said she realizes she’s probably not the first choice. Goldberg then recommended Asian American Comedian/Actor Ken Jeong of the box office smashes Crazy Rich Asians and The Hangover films, which would be a historic first for The Oscars. Within 48 hours of announcing him as host, Philly’s own Kevin Hart decided to step down after the Academy insisted he apologize….again… for homophobic tweets Hart sent out years ago. He did apologize again, but then step down as host anyway. Meanwhile, Hart’s new Philly filmed movie is The Upside, with Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies and Aja Naomi King, and it opens in theaters Friday, January 11th. The 91st Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24th at 8pm on ABC, but who will host now?

The Five Heartbeats is coming out as a documentary DVD in early 2019, and now it’s also coming to Broadway. I recently talked with Co-star/Co-writer/Producer/Director Robert Townsend, the creative force behind the big screen drama which was based loosely on legendary R&B group The Dells. The movie originally bombed at the box office because the studio didn’t know how to market the film. Although, The Dells took a big hit comeback song on the soundtrack in the form of A Heart Is A House for Love. The 1991 film starred Townsend, Leon, Michael Wright, Harry J. Lennix, Tico Wells, Hawthorne James as Big Red and Diahann Carroll as Eleanor Potter. Over the past two and a half decades, The Five Heartbeats has exploded on cable, streaming and DVD purchases. Now, Townsend has released a documentary on the making of the film. It’s been playing in limited release in various cities, but is expected to hit streaming and DVD in 2019. Plus, he and his Co-writer Keenen Ivory Wayans are adapting their original screenplay into a Broadway production. The Five Heartbeats are back!

The Starz series Power is taking an unexpected hiatus due to a tragic death on the set. A production assistant, Pedro Jimenez, was putting out cones at 4:30 in the morning on the location where shooting was to take place. He was hit and killed by an SUV another Power production assistant was driving. Production is now shutdown and not expected to resume well until after the holidays. Stars Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton, Executive Producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Executive Producer/Creator Courtney Kemp all released statements of tribute to and grief for the loss of the show’s longtime colleague.

Kathie Lee Gifford announced she stepping down from her co-hosting gig on the fourth hour of The Today Show, but is she being pushed out? The 65-year old TV veteran announced she’s leaving in April, but is the pressure on to make the show younger? Plus, Kathie Lee takes a lot of time off. She has her music and appearances. Now for her part, Kathie Lee says she was only to be on the show a year, but fell in love with Co-anchor Hoda Kotb and the crew so she stayed 11 years. Look for Jenna Bush Hager to get that position as she has great chemistry with both ladies when she’s filled in for either.

Mary J. Blige is coming to Netflix. The Queen Of Hip Hop Soul is following up her Oscar nominated 2017 role in Mudbound by playing a hired killer. Blige will play an assassin in the Nextflix series The Umbrella Academy. This is a scary series. In fact, think American Horror Story type scary. Umbrella Academy begins streaming February 15th.

Speaking of Netflix, rumors are circulating heavy that the ex-ABC chief is set to hop over to Netflix. Channing Dungey was the first African American broadcast network chief for three years at ABC before she stepped down. But not before Dungey supervised the now Shondaland classics Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, resurrected American Idol from FOX to ABC and had to fire Roseanne.  Netflix might be the right place for Dungey since her former ABC collaborators Shonda Rhimes (TGIT-ABC drama line up) and Kenya Barris (Black-ish) have deals there.

Tamar Braxton says the reality show Braxton Family Values is full of lies. The singer makes this declaration as 2018 comes to a close. That’s because Braxton says she’s going into 2019 a changed woman…not a bitter woman…. but a better woman. She says her new year’s resolution is to stop acting like a plum fool. As for Braxton Family Values, Tamar says the problems of all the over the top behavior on the show came as a result of network executives wanting the show to compete with the Love And Hip Hop ratings. She claims the suits felt the Braxtons were too perfect and wanted dysfunction.

The Spice Girls went to the hospital to see their fellow member and injured friend Mel B. The singer was reportedly hospitalized after breaking two ribs and severing her right hand. The singer and reality star endured a three-hour surgery to repair her hand following an accident. So what happened? Mel B has said yet. That’s interesting considering she’s on a book tour. The singer authored the book Brutally Honest talking about sex, drug use and how she still loves Eddie Murphy. But now she’s mum on how she was so severely injured. For now, her New York promotional stop for her book tour has been put on hold, but no word yet on how this will affect the upcoming Spice Girls reunion tour.

We remember David Fattah, co-founder of The House Of Umoja. The House of Umoja was founded in 1968. The organization developed plans and models to end violence, support education (National Million Father March where dads take their kids to the first day of school), economic security and mentoring boys and teens into adulthood. Fattah also authored the Imani Peace Pact and got Philly Street gang leaders to sign it in 1974. Fattah, the father of former U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, died after a brief illness at age 75.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced their class of 2019 inductees with Janet Jackson making the cut. Along with Miss Jackson, there’s Def Leppard, The Cure, Roxy Music, The Zombies and Stevie Nicks. This is Nicks’ second induction because 20 years ago, she was inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac. Now she goes in again for her solo work. The induction ceremonies are set for March 29th at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center and will air later on HBO.

Blurred Lines is back in the news again! You’ll remember the 2013 chart topping hit by Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. was a summer anthem and a career milestone for the three. That is until Marvin Gaye’s family took songwriters Thicke and Pharrell to court and won a judgment against them. Gaye’s family successfully argued Blurred Lines and Gaye’s 1977 chart topper Got To Give It Up were too much alike and the courts agreed. A jury awarded Gaye’s family $7.3 million, which a judge cut to $5.3 million. Then Thicke and Pharrell tried to get the verdict overturned, but in March of this year, it was upheld in the appeals court. Now a California federal judge handed down a new amended decision in which Thicke, Pharrell and Pharrell’s music publishing company must pay the Gaye Family $4.9 million in damages, interest, respective profits and give them 50% interest in Blurred Lines going forward. OUCH!

Harper’s Bazaar presents their first ever digital issue with Willow Smith, her mother Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris.

At the movies this week, the latest entry in the Spiderman films is Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse. This animated film follows Miles Morales, a teenager of African American and Puerto Rican descent, who comes upon similar powers that Spiderman has. Miles soon finds himself dawning the webslinger’s hero stance. The movie stars the voices of Lily Tomlin, Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, Luna Lauren Velez (New York Undercover), Hailee Steinfeld and Shameik Moore as Miles. Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse opens this Friday.

Actor Jason Momoa is on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, and his new movie Aquaman, co-starring Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, opens Friday, December 21st.  

Taraji P. Henson is on the cover of InStyle magazine celebrating her latest film What Men Want opening in theaters February 8th.

Ciara is hosting the Los Angeles portion of the 47th annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2018 with a performance from Ella Mai. Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy will be live from Times Square airing December 31st on ABC.

Our Forever First Lady Michelle Obama is on the cover of Essence’s December/January issue, Ebony’s December/January Power 100 issue, and her Becoming is the hottest title in the book world.

Check out who’s coming to town:

Saturday, December 22nd  – The WDAS Holiday Jam starring Charlie Wilson and Stokley at The Met Philly, Broad and Poplar. Log onto the homepage for tickets and information.

Friday, December 28th - The Irresponsible Tour starring Kevin Hart at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto for ticket information.

Monday, December 31st – The O’Jays & The Commodores at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto for ticket information.

Sunday, January 20th – The All Stars of Hip Hop starring Naughty By Nature, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and more at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets and information at or The Boardwalk Hall box office.

Friday, February 8th – Herbie Hancock in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto

Saturday, February 16th – Boyz II Men celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the album II at The Met Philly, Broad and Poplar. Log onto for tickets and information.

Saturday, February 16th – Erykah Badu in concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto

Sunday, February 17th – Gladys Knight in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto

Saturday, March 16th – Comedian JB Smoove at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto

Saturday, March 30th – Mariah Carey in concert at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. 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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