Obama topping the charts; R Kelly: everybody's talkin'; Wendy drama

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Wendy Williams is really going through it. Her husband and manager Kevin Hunter reportedly has an alias….. Kelvin Hunter….real clever huh? Why would he have an alias? For a home her purchased for a side jawn named Sherena maybe? Production on The Wendy Williams Show has shutdown as reports of not just cheating by Hunter, not just a possible second pregnancy by the side jawn, but now a house for sale not far from the married couple’s home that stashed the side jawn. Apparently, a straw is close to breaking the camel’s back because all of a sudden that home is for sale with the price dropping quickly. Sherena reportedly has fled down south to escape the media. Wendy Williams, whose health has been suffering on camera for weeks now, has taken a break. Will she be able to resume her show? Will Kevin…or Kelvin… straighten up and straighten things out? Unfortunately, many who aren’t fans of Williams’ style of celebrity reporting are riding her bad situation for all its worth. Get well soon Wendy!!

Toni Braxton and The Birdman are done. The Love Should Have Brought You Home Last Night singer and the rapper/producer/hip hop entrepreneur will not be marrying. Things started to look bad for the couple after Braxton lost her $10,000 engagement ring. People had plenty to say about their relationship anyway: was it real? Was this all about nothing going on but the rent? Tamar Braxton…..yes Tamar……warned everyone about talking sideways about her sister and this situation.

President Obama starts the new year doing something he’s never done before…..hitting the R&B charts. The former and still extremely popular POTUS has song that’s made it on the upper echelons of the Billboard charts. Former President Barack Obama, a big fan of the Broadway smash Hamilton, has teamed with Hamilton Co-Creator and Star Lin-Manuel Miranda on a gospel remix of a song from the show. BeBe Winans and Christopher Jackson are also featured on the song One Last Time (44 Remix), which has hit number 22 on the Billboard charts. Go POTUS 44!

Tyler Perry will host a tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin on CBS. Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Common and Sza are scheduled to perform. And, Fantasia had made it known not to count her out of the festivities by any means. Clive Davis, who signed Aretha to his Arista label in 1980 for a twenty year gold and platinum selling run, is producing the show with CBS and The Grammy Awards organization The Recording Academy. No broadcast date has been announced as of press time and the show is scheduled to tape in L.A. January 13th.

Congratulations to NBA Champ and Oscar Winner Kobe Bryant who confirms a special delivery is on the way. The now retired L.A. Laker and Philly native took to social media with the message New Year, New Baby, Baby Mamba On The Way 2019. That’s a play on his basketball nickname Black Mamba. Yes Kobe, 40, & Vanessa Bryant, his wife of 18 years, are expecting their fourth daughter. The new baby will join big sisters Natalia, Gianna and Bianka.

Are Blackish co-stars at odds with each other on the set? The multi-Emmy nominated socially conscious sitcom on ABC is in its fifth season, but is trouble brewing between co-stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Jennifer Lewis? The two play in-laws on the show with Lewis’ character always taking shots at her son’s wife played by Ross. Lewis, who authored the book Mother Of Black Hollywood, came forward about her mental illness challenges. Ross, who became a producer on Black-ish, is a darling of ABC as she’s hosted The American Music Awards twice and done various high profile work for the network. Can the two come together and keep peace in the valley for the sake of the show?

Chaka Khan was the Grand Marshall at this New Year’s Day’s Tournament Of Roses Parade, but when she went to perform live, things went left. The singer’s performance was less than her finest moment. She decided to do her 1984 classic I Feel For You. Fans noticed she seemed a step off as she sang live to recorded music. Some criticized her vocals not being as strong as they could be and others just want her to lip sync next time out. The video’s gone viral, so it’ll take a new Chaka performance to eclipse it.

An Oscar winner files for his divorce and has no interest in in spousal support. It’s Forest Whitaker and his wife of 22 years Keisha Nash. 57-year old Whitaker cited irreconcilable differences, which unfortunately always gets the cheating alarm going. Was 46-year old Keisha stepping out, and is Whitaker going for a split without alimony?!!! Hmmmmm! Reps aren’t talking on either side. Whitaker and Nash met on the set of Blown Away (1993) where she played his girlfriend. The couple each have a child from a previous relationship and share two daughters from their marriage. Along with appearances in Black Panther and his Oscar winning performance for The Last King Of Scotland, Whitaker has also directed Waiting To Exhale and Hope Floats.

So the Surviving R Kelly documentary has premiered on the Lifetime channel and they talked to everybody. The three day TV event has interviews with his two brothers Carey and Bruce, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones and others who bring more allegations to the table and place R Kelly’s alleged abusive behavior as far back as the 1970’s. Even prominent members of the #Metoo movement are featured. Of course, the late Singer Aaliyah, who allegedly married the singer when she was 15-years old, is mentioned but the new part is being caught having sex with Kelly on a tour bus. Reports are floating around social media that Aaliyah’s parents dispute this and call the person reporting this into question. Many speculate despite the number of allegations because the women and girls are black, law enforcement is not moving as quickly as when the majority of accusers are white such as in Bill Cosby’s case. Meanwhile, Kelly, 51, having been found not guilty on child pornography charges hasn’t faced any new charges since.

We remember acting Pioneer Charles Weldon. On stage, his credits included the plays Hair, Colored People Time, The Waiting Room and the 50th anniversary revival of A Soldier’s Play. The big screen saw Weldon’s roles in Malcolm X, Stir Crazy and Serpico. But, it was his tenure in the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC), whose alumnus include Phylicia Rashad, Louis Gossett, Jr., Adolph Caesar, Laurence Fishburne and Founding Member Esther Rolle, that saw Weldon thrive. Weldon acted and directed plays for the NEC and held the position as artistic director the past 13 years. Charles Weldon was 78.

The Captain has passed away. Daryl Dragon, the almost silent partner of the hit duo The Captain and Tennille has died. OK, I need to tell you that The Captain and Tennille’s music was among my favorites and they were all over TV in the 70’s and 80’s including Soul Train. Daryl Dragon and Singer Toni Tennille divorced in 2014, and I interviewed Toni Tennille as she embarked on a solo career. Her ex-husband Dragon started as a keyboard player with The Beach Boys, and during the Captain and Tennille’s heyday, he continued to play keyboards with his ship captain’s hat on for every performance. Their hits include Neil Sedaka’s Love Will Keep Us Together, Do That To Me One More Time, Muskrat Love and Smokey Robinson’s Shop Around. Dragon, who suffered from renal failure, died at age 76 with Tennille by his side.

Comedian/Writer/Actor Bob Einstein has died of cancer. He may be best known for his appearances with Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Back in the day, Einstein played Super Dave Osbourne, the accident prone stuntman who made appeared on a variety of comedy shows and cable specials on TV. Einstein got his start as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and was at one time the writing partner of Steve Martin. Bob Einstein, the older brother of Actor/Comedian/Filmmaker Albert Brooks, was 76.

Pro Wrestling Announcer Mean Gene Okerlund has died. Published reports say his family notes the kidney related problems Okerlund had been experiencing, which got worse as time went on. Okerlund was at one time a wrestler. He was also a DJ and never gave up announcing in some form or fashion and filling in for another talent led to his big break announcing for pro-wrestling. Okerlund was best known for his pre and post-match interviews on the WWF, WCW and WWE. Okerlund became as popular as the Wrestlers and Managers he interviewed, including Hulk Hogan, Randy Macho Man Savage, Miss Elizabeth, Jimmy Hart, The Fabulous Moolah, Ric Flair, Andre The Giant and Paul “Triple H” Levesque, to name a few. Mean Gene Okerlund was 76.

Insecure and The Game Actor Jay Ellis is part of the cast of the thriller Escape Room. Ellis plays Jason, one of six people who together find themselves in circumstances beyond their control requiring their wits and team work to escape. Escape Room, co-starring Taylor Russell, Deborah Ann Woll and Tyler Labine, opens in theaters Friday, January 4th.

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.

Taraji P. Henson’s latest film What Men Want opening in theaters February 8th.

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:

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 ticketmaster.com 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 parxcasino.com/xcitecenter

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

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

Sunday, February 17th – The Valentine’s Day Soul Jam starring The Stylistics, The Manhattans, Bloodstone and Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com

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

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

Wednesday March 20th – Sunday, March 24th – Madea’s Farewell starring Tyler Perry at The Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com

Saturday, March 30th – Mariah Carey in concert at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto ticketmaster.com for tickets and information.

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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