Tiger Woods is back on top and getting America’s highest civilian honor. This past weekend, the world’s most famous golfer made a comeback at the sport’s most prestigious competition, The Masters. Woods got his fifth green jacket and many of his former fans who became critics became fans again. Nothing like winning right? Woods overcame an infidelity scandal, a (reported) $110 million divorce, a reckless driving plea deal in Florida and, as Teena Marie would say, A Boat Load full of doubters. Well Woods inched another step closer to the record books with this weekend’s victory, and then he got a call from President Donald Trump. Trump announced on twitter he’s giving Woods the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. For now, Woods is enjoying some positive coverage and is gearing up for his next major.
Hoda Kotb is a mom again and engaged to her Financier boyfriend Joel Schiffman. The couple adopted baby girl Hope Catherine Kotb who joins two-year old sister Haley Joy, whom the couple adopted in 2017. The Today Show anchor is now on maternity leave. This whole process was hush hush. With all the changes going on at The Today Show, that worked to Kotb’s advantage. Kathie Lee Gifford said farewell to the 10am hour after a decade and decided to move on to other projects. Jenna Bush Hager made her debut last week on the 10am as its new permanent co-anchor. For now, that completes The Today Show shakeups, which included giving the 9am hour to Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, Dylan Dreyer and Craig Melvin. This all allowed Kotb’s adoption of her new daughter to be kept quiet until she made the announcement by phone on Today. Mother, Father and daughters are all doing well. Congratulations Hoda!
Bill Cosby is at war …….with his insurance company. The legendary comedian, who is currently serving a three to ten year sentence for drugging and sexually abusing former Temple employee Andrea Constand, is seeing his civil suits settle up. So what’s the problem? Cosby didn’t approve of the settlements. Seven Cosby sexual abuse accusers sued him for defamation in Massachusetts after his reps denied their allegations. Then there’s Chloe Goins who sued Cosby for sexual battery from an alleged attack at the Playboy mansion in 2008. Insurance company AIG, which represents Cosby in such manners as part of his homeowners insurance, decided to settle with the seven women in Massachusetts and with Goins in California. Cosby’s reps released a statement that the comedian didn’t approve of these settlements and was informed after the parties agreed. A judge still must sign off on the settlements. Cosby also says he won’t drop his countersuits against any of the women and will not settle. He also accused AIG of trying to destroy him and his family, and stated he hopes all of AIG customers drop the company he called pathetic.
It’s tax season, so who got caught up? Why it’s none other than Ja Rule. He’s currently in Thailand with his wife. Understandable considering published reports say he owes the I.R.S. $2 million, and the government has issued a nearly half a million dollar lien on the entertainer for his income earned in 2016. Ja Rule previously was sentenced to 28 months in prison on a prior charge of tax evasion which he served concurrently with a gun possession charge. Not a good look. Remember the Fyre Festival fiasco? The rapper teamed up Billy McFarland to create their own Coachella on a private island. Those who traveled to the Fyre Festival called it a sham and say they were cheated after having to sleep in tents, having no proper accommodations and a string of broken promises. McFarland was eventually sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with the Fyre Festival. Ja Rule could join him if he doesn’t clear things up with the I.R.S. The government wants its cash!!!
Beyonce' has a new documentary and new surprise album! Homecoming: The Live album was released this week as Queen Bey does it again by keeping the industry on its toes. The album also contains a remake of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s Before I Let Go. Then there’s Homecoming: A Film, which is a documentary now streaming on Netflix. Beyonce’, a.k.a. Mrs. Carter, gets candid that she had a difficult pregnancy. At her pregnancy height, she weighed 218 pounds. How did she shed the weight? The singer/actress/entrepreneur took on a no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, no bread, no meat and no fish diet. In other words: very, very vegan. The 37-year old singer also vowed not push herself that hard again. Meanwhile, Mrs. Carter joins James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre’ and Alfre Woodard for the live action big screen return of The Lion King in theaters Friday, July 19th.
Is Gayle going to leave CBS even though she made the cover of Time? The network and King are still trying to work out a deal, but stalling may not be wise for CBS. King just landed on the cover of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Who else is on the 100? Oscar and Emmy Winner Regina King, Brie Larson, Chrissy Teigen, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali, Oscar Winner Spike Lee, Forever First Lady Michelle Obama, Oscar Winner Lady GaGa and Pat McGrath. McGrath is the British makeup artist whose incredible line is successful even though we don’t always hear about her. Much of that is because some media only wants to talk about Kylie Jenner as a self-made billionaire, but McGrath is the truth and her line is hitting Sephora.
Wendy Williams: what a difference a week makes. The Queen Of All Media has served her husband of almost 22 years, Kevin, with divorce papers on the set of The Wendy Williams Show. Williams returned to her show and her husband Kevin offered a public statement of a kinda sorta apology. Williams says she’s carving out a new life for her and her son. Williams talked about how being in the sober house opened her eyes to other things, and her baby days were over. A swipe at estranged husband Kevin perhaps and the sidechick who, allegedly, just gave birth in a Philly hospital and the press found out. Now Kevin is still in the picture because of co-owning so much of Wendy’s business ventures. Things are getting even crazier. There’s money missing from the now estranged couple’s foundation, and now the F.B.I. is involved. Now there’s a singer Aveon, who was once managed by Kevin Hunter. Aveon claims he engaged in a sexual relationship with Hunter. The singer got quite graphic to the media, and now we’re awaiting Hunter’s reaction.
Issa Rae won’t see a new season of Insecure on HBO until 2020?!!! What’s Lawrence, a.k.a. Actor Jay Ellis, going to do? Well, Ellis is going to be in the new Top Gun II: Maverick movie with Tom Cruise. That’s also due out in 2020. Meanwhile, why is HBO holding up Issa Rae’s return? She’s hotter than ever with scoring her Essence cover story and Women’s Health magazine covers. Plus, her movie, Little, scored a super strong debut last weekend at $15 million. While HBO figures it out, Rae has several projects in the works or close to wrapping. There’s the drama Photograph co-starring Courtney B. Vance, Lil Rel Howery and LaKeith Stanfield due in 2020. Then there’s Empress of Serenity co-starring Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader and finally American Princess is in development. Come on HBO, don’t sleep.
Rihanna brings out the rainbow flavor for her cover of Harper’s Bazaar. It’s the Beauty Issue and Rih Rih is the perfect person at the perfect time. The Wild Thoughts singer has got the new Fenty make up line on its way. The cover puts the eyeliner and lashes on full display, but on social media, Fenty Beauty will only say stay tuned and wouldn’t name the products. While we wait for Rihanna’s big reveal look for her on May’s Harper’s Bazaar.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has been under fire for her office’s handling of Jussie Smollett’s case, and now some text messages to staff have leaked out hinting as to why 16 charges against Smollett were dropped. At one point the Empire actor was charged more than R Kelly (10 counts). The text messages show Foxx called Smollett a washed up actor who lied to the police, which seemed to infer she thought he was overcharged. Foxx also called R Kelly a pedophile which sent Kelly’s lawyers to the media to immediately denounce Foxx’s comments. Meanwhile, Jussie Smollett was auditioning for the Tony-award winning Take Me Out, a play about a gay ball player. Producers chose not to take a chance on Smollett for the Broadway production. Meanwhile, now that a new Mayor of Chicago is about to be sworn in, Smollett may catch a break. After outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration sued Smollett over the police overtime investigating Smollett’s alleged attack, incoming Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Smollett’s case doesn’t rank with much importance.
Russell Wilson is the $140 million man, and how did his wife Ciara help him tell the world? The Wilsons took to the bedroom of course! The power couple went to social media from the boudoir and announced #GoHawks (Seattle Seahawks). Now Wilson is the highest paid player in the NFL thanks to his new four year deal. Ciara, who’s my niece in my head (SMILE), really leveled up since being burned by Future. Mrs. Russell Wilson is on the cover of InStyle magazine’s April edition. CiCi talks about motherhood, finding unconditional love and releasing new music, entitled Greatest Love, for the first time in three years on a new label and being in charge of her album.
We remember Audrey Johnson-Thornton. She began a long and diverse business and social career first as a trailblazing glamour model. Her drive as an entrepreneur led her to work as a seamstress then on to create her own beauty shop. That shop would eventually style the biggest artist in the industry including Diana Ross and Philly’s own Patti LaBelle. Johnson-Thornton, who later in life would become an author, began her service work in World War II. The West Philly native created The American Women’s Heritage Society and saved the Philly landmark Belmont Mansion from extinction, and she was named the mansion’s president emeritus. The social activist and hometown legend will have a viewing at The Belmont Mansion, 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive on Friday, April 19th from 10am to 8pm. Her funeral services will take place Saturday, April 20th at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Avenue with a 9am viewing and services at 10am. Audrey Johnson-Thornton passed in her sleep at age 93.
Michael Ealy and Meagan Good are reunited in a brand new project. The former co-stars from the Think Like A Man comedies are switching it up with a thriller. The Intruder follows a couple whose purchase of their dream home soon turns into a nightmare thanks to the previous owner who can’t let go. Co-starring Dennis Quaid and directed by Deon Taylor, The Intruder is due in theaters Friday, May 3rd.
Made In America 2019 has been announced with Cardi B and Travis Scott headlining. Also on the bill are Freddie Gibbs, Grace Carter, Kodak Black and Anderson .Paak. The festivities take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, August 31st through Sunday, September 1st. Tickets and information can be found at madeinamericafest.com.
Jill Scott, a.k.a. Jilly From Philly, heads up the WDAS Block Party coming to The Mann. Philly’s own Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild, plus Mase and DJ D-Nice are all on the bill at The Mann Center for The Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside Avenue, on Saturday, June 29th. Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com.
Diana Ross is on the cover of Ebony magazine. She’s celebrating her 75th birthday this month and Motown’s 60th anniversary, the legendary music label that started her career.
Smokey Robinson and Cedric The Entertainer (CBS’s The Neighborhood) will host a Grammy special entitled Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration. Performers include Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Boyz II Men, Chloe X Halle, Ne-Yo and Thelma Houston. The 60th Anniversary Motown special airs this Sunday, April 21st at 8pm on CBS.
Tuesday, April 25th and Wednesday, April 26th are the two days in which The Young And The Restless will pay tribute to the late Kristoff St. John. The actor, who set a record as the longest running black character on a daytime soap, won multiple Emmys for his portrayal as Neil Winters. St. John died last month, and many attributed it to alcohol poising. The autopsy results were released and St. John died of heart disease triggered by alcohol poising. Reportedly, the actor had been struggling with his mental health and just got out of rehab. It had been a year since the death of St. John’s son Julian, who died by suicide. The actor had been struggling with that loss ever since.Reports are that St. John’s eldest daughter, Paris, had to file for control of his estate because the actor had no will.Meanwhile as for the CBS tribute, the cast of Y&R, past and present, will be a part of the tribute including Shemar Moore, who got his start playing St. John’s TV brother Malcolm, and Victoria Rowell, who played St. John’s TV wife Drusilla.
Dionne Warwick will release her first album in five years. Produced by her son, Damon Elliot, the album is simply entitled She’s Back. The album consists of remakes and new songs, and Warwick will duet with Kenny Latimore, Musiq Soulchild, and Krayzie Bone from Bone, Thugs & Harmony. YES, Krayzie Bone and Auntie Dionne! It’s a big year for legendary songstress as she’ll receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Grammys in a special celebration in May, and she begins her Las Vegas residency April 4th – 27th at Bally’s. Her album, She’s Back, will be released May 10th.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Friday, April 26th – The New Stylistics featuring Russell Thompkins, Jr., The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and The Delfonics featuring William Hart in concert at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pa. For tickets and information log onto keswicktheater.com/events/all.
Friday, May 3rd – Wayne Brady at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter
Friday, May 10th – The Mother’s Day Music Festival Weekend starring The Whispers & The Force MD’s at Caesar’s Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City. For more information log onto ppshows.com and for tickets log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, May 11th – The Mother’s Day Music Festival Weekend starring Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kem, Al B. Sure and Christopher Williams at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For more information log onto ppshows.com and for tickets log onto ticketmaster.com.
Sunday, May 12th – The Mother’s Day Music Festival Weekend starring After 7 and Dru Hill at Tropicana Showroom Theater in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now. For more information log onto ppshows.com and for tickets log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, June 1st – The 2019 Roots Picnic has a new location at The Mann Music Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside! Celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Roots album Things Fall Apart with special guests H.E.R., Raphael Saadiq, 21 Savage, City Girls and more. Log onto rootspicnic.com for more information.
Thursday, June 6th – One Nation Under A Groove-George Clinton’s Farewell Tour with Parliament-Funkadelic at the Franklin Music Hall, formerly The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street. For more ticket information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, June 29th– Diana Ross in concert at Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto theborgata.com for tickets and information.
Saturday, July 6th– Earth, Wind & Fire in concert at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto ticketmaster.com for tickets and information.
Friday, July 12th and Saturday, July 13th– Lionel Richie 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.