Did Katt Williams get ripped off for $59 million?! The embattled comedian and actor says it was his employees who embezzled the multi-millions from his fortune. Williams made these revelations on former ESPN Anchor Jemele Hill’s podcast. Williams claims when the Department of Justice launched an investigation into his finances that’s when he discovered the malfeasance. He claims he fired the employees who in turn tried to blackmail him. Williams has been on the I.R.S.’ radar for some time and has even reportedly been hit with tax liens going back to 2012 ranging from $280,000 to $4 million. If he ever had a fortune of $59 million, he’ll need it to resolve his string of arrests and legal problems. Good Luck Katt!
2019 is the year of comebacks: first Tiger, then Tyra and now Philly’s own Will Smith. Smith’s latest movie, Aladdin, topped the holiday box office with $91 million. Smith has a long summertime movie streak where he’d top the box office, and it looks like he’s ready to start another one. Meanwhile, this will get fans ready for the fall when Smith returns to the action/sci-fi genre in Gemini Man. He’ll play a dual roles as an assassin looking to get out of the business until he becomes the target of a younger clone of himself. Gemini Man hits theaters October 11th.
Dionne Warwick recently heard from the Bey-hive. After giving an interview to Essence Magazine, she said Beyoncé’ is no icon and doubt she ever will be. Now, remember I’ve had my run-ins with Auntie Dionne, and she read me left to right when I asked her about the Psychic Friends Network. Years later, I apologized and we made up. Soon after that, Warwick showed that same side on the Apprentice when she had to check her fellow contestants for nonsense. Recently, Warwick was quoted saying a proposed plan to use a Whitney Houston hologram in concerts was stupid. Meanwhile after much backlash from Beyoncé’s fans, Warwick explained her words were twisted. She says she loves Beyoncé and what she’s done, but was only saying icon status is a long road. She cited Johnny Mathis, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra as examples. Meanwhile, Auntie Dionne’s new CD, She’s Back, isout now.
Wendy Williams is shopping around a TV Tell-All! Is she ready to talk about Kevin, Sr.’s demands for permanent spousal support, all his legal bills, child support, what about allegations of spousal abuse and the fight between Kevin, Sr. and Kevin, Jr.? NBC, ABC and CBS are all being approached. I see this on an OWN or Lifetime. How much will Wendy want to tell?
Kevin Hart and Alfre Woodard will team up for the movie Fatherhood. Hart plays a widower whose wife dies giving birth to their child, and now Hart’s character is left to raise that daughter. Woodard plays Hart’s mother-in-law.
At the movies this week, Rocketman, which is the bio pic of the life of Elton John. John says as they shopped his story around, some studios wanted to cut back on the drugs and sex to get a PG13 rating. John insisted he didn’t live a PG13 life in the 70’s and 80’s. Since the audience already knows that, John insisted no need in pretending as if he left his concerts to warm milk and reading the bible all night. The 72-year old singing and songwriting legend has plenty of Philly connections. He played keyboards for Patti LaBelle and The Bluebells in the 60’s. He was the first white performer on Soul Train and performed his number one hits Bennie & The Jets and Philadelphia Freedom. Then he cut the million-selling Mama Can’t Buy You Love with Producer Thom Bell at Sigma Sound and Gamble-Huff Studios here in Philly. John is in the Guinness Book Of Worlds Records for the biggest selling single Candle In The Wind. Now Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton, will show us John’s life on and off stage. Rocketman is in theaters this Friday.
Also this week, Godzilla 2, a.k.a. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, with O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness), Bradley Whitford (Get Out) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) hits theaters this Friday.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer enters the horror genre by teaming up with the producer of Get Out for the new film Ma. Spencer is an older loner who gives the local teens a safe place to drink and party as long as her rules are followed, including calling her Ma. When Ma’s rules lead to a more sinister obsession on her part, the young teens slowly fall victim. Ma opens in theaters this Friday.
The 2019 Odunde Festival is coming! This year there are two stages of entertainment including a performance by the legendary Doug E. Fresh. There's food, vendors and lots of fun to be had. The festivities take place in the vicinity of 23rd and South Streets on Sunday, June 9th beginning at 11am.
Lamar Odom had a relationship with Taraji P. Henson?!! Yes! Odom, in his new book, Darkness To Light, says they were in love. Odom says the Oscar nominated actress is the most amazing black woman he ever met. Now that means something because Odom is known for regularly dating outside of his race to the point where he is criticized for it. Anywho, Odom confesses that relationship ended because he couldn’t stop cheating. The two time NBA-L.A. Lakers champion writes he slept with over 2,000 women and paid for plenty of abortions. Odom also accuses the owner of the Brothel where he overdosed and went into a coma, of trying to kill him. Odom, the ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian, says he cheated on Kardashian throughout their marriage, and he’s still a sex addict. 12 seizures, six strokes, a stint on life support, a collapsed lung and a ruptured kidney are all detailed in Odom’s memoir Darkness To Light, which is out now.
Shaft is back, and that includes my friend Richard Roundtree!The 1971 movie,that made Roundtree an international star after he appeared in the role on the big screen three times, was updated with Samuel L. Jackson as the original Shaft’s nephew in 2000. Now, Jackson returns as Shaft in an adventure involving his estranged son, the F.B.I. and taking on drug dealers and money launderers. Regina Hall (Girls Trip), Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men; Straight Outta Compton), Method Man and Richard Roundtree co-star. Netflix is co-producing as part of a worldwide streaming deal after the film’s theater release through New Line. Black-ish Creator Kenya Barris is co-writing and Tim Story (Ride Along, Fantastic Four and Think Like A Man franchises) will direct. Shaft hits theaters June 14th.
This Friday, Netflix begins streaming Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us. The Central Park Five are five then young African Americans who were wrongly convicted in the brutal beating and rape of a white woman who was jogging in New York’s Central Park. The men spent between 6 and 13 years in prison until DNA and the confession of an already captured serial rapist proved their innocence. This Netflix miniseries stars Blair Underwood, Aunjanue Ellis, Niecy Nash, Kylie Bunbury, Felicity Huffman, Joshua Jackson, Suzzanne Douglas and Michael K. Williams. DuVernay directs, co-wrote and co-produced with Oprah Winfrey and Robert De Niro’s production companies. When They See Us begins streaming on Netflix this Friday.
Kanye West doesn’t vote! David Letterman’s Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, is back and Kanye’s up first. When Letterman asked him about his support for Trump and if West voted for Trump, West confessed I’ve never voted in my life. Even Letterman looked at him and said you have no say. This confession came after West said his support of Trump makes him unique. Tiffany Haddish, five-time Formula One Winner/British Race Car Driver Lewis Hamilton, Philanthropist Melinda Gates and Ellen DeGeneres will also be guests on the second season of Letterman’s show. Both Haddish and DeGeneres have both funny and deep interviews, including revealing their individual stories of childhood abuse. Season 2 of David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction begins streaming this Friday on Netflix.
We remember Willie Ford of The Dramatics. Ford sang bass for the Detroit born group and was a founding member. Singer/Songwriter Michael Henderson wrote Be My Girl and both he and the Dramatics had separate hits with the song. Henderson called Ford one of the greatest bass singers of all time ranking him with Melvin Franklin of another classic Detroit group, The Temptations. The Dramatics shot to stardom on the legendary label Stax Records with the hits Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get, Get Up And Get Down, Hey You! Get Off My Mountain and In The Rain. Later they signed to ABC Records and enjoyed the hits You’re The Best Thing In My Life, Me & Mrs. Jones and Be My Girl. Willie Ford was 68 years old.
Lee Daniels is shopping around Star. FOX cancelled the musical based drama, but Daniels isn’t letting the culture be stopped. Will it BET or OWN or another network to pick up the show? Daniels feels there is more life to the ensemble series that’s headed up by Queen Latifah.
Philly’s own Marc Lamont Hill is coming back to the talk show format. After being booted from CNN following a controversial speech at the UN, Hill is rebounding with a show called Black Coffee. It’s a 30 minute digital talk show produced by BET. The talk format is one Hill has done before on Huffington Post and the TV series Black Enterprise. Black Coffee with Marc Lamont Hill will air Monday, June 3rd on YouTube, Facebook Watch, Twitter, BET Now App and BET.com.
Actress/singer Zendaya is on the cover of the June issue of Vogue Magazine. Her new movie Spider-Man: Far From Home with Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei and JB Smoove hits theaters July 2nd.
Alicia Keys graces the cover of the latest edition of Essence magazine. It’s their escape, travel, self-care and style issue.
Speaking of Essence, they’re celebrating the silver anniversary of the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Forever First Lady Michelle Obama makes her Essence debut, and she’ll join Mary J. Bilge, Pharrell Williams, Teddy Riley, Missy Elliott, Brandy, MC Lyte, Musiq Soulchild, Major, Ro James, Queen Naija and El DeBarge and the return of Frankie Beverly & Maze to the Essence Fest. The 25th Annual Essence Festival will run Friday, July 5th through Sunday July, 7th.
The Dell Music Center has announced its 2019 line up for the summer. Everything kicks off Thursday, July 11th with the premiere groups of Philly Soul The O’Jays with special guests Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, The Intruders and Bloodstone and the rest of the lineup:
Thursday, July 18th: Ne-Yo and Tamia
Thursday, August 1st: India.Arie/Raheem DeVaughn/Major
Thursday, August 8th: Anthony Hamilton/Ledisi/Gregory Porter
Thursday, August 15th: Guy featuring Teddy Riley
Saturday, August 17th: Jordan Feliz
Thursday, August 22nd: Jahiem/SWV
Thursday, August 29th: Keith Sweat/Johnny Gill/Stokley
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.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This 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.
Saturday, July 20th– Mary J. Blige & Nas 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.