Matt Lauer: The Saga continues. The dismissed former anchor of NBC News’ Today Show is back in the headlines after a new book accuses him of rape. Lauer was fired from NBC in 2017 for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace and was replaced by Hota Kotb. At first, Lauer did apologize for his actions, but cautioned there were things being said about him that weren’t true. He kept a low profile until this week when Journalist Ronan Farrow got Lauer’s accuser, Brooke Nevils, on the record. Nevils claimed the sexual encounter the two had in Russia during NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympics was rape. Nevils claims will reportedly be in Farrow’s new book Catch And Kill. Lauer fired back with a MOST detailed statement of what he says was Nevils and his actual sexual encounter and that it was consensual. Lauer says the two continued to have sex as part of a consensual extramarital affair, but Lauer says he ended the affair badly. Nevils acknowledged she continued seeing Lauer, but their encounters were based on the power he had over her. Lauer has vowed to no longer keep silent and allow false accusations to have shelter. Stay tuned.
TV Journalist Tanika Ray was a long time staffer on air for the magazine show Extra, but now she’s out and she says her jaw hit the floor when Billy Bush joined the show. Bush was fired from NBC’s Today Show after the infamous tape went public of his conversation with now President Donald Trump using coarse language about women, including language categorized as sexual assault. Bush made his return to the revamped Extra after former host Mario Lopez departed for Bush’s old show Access Hollywood. So what about Tanika Ray? She says producers knew for months they’d drop her from the show, but waited to the last minute to confirm. Ray says she kept Extra’s connection to Black Hollywood and maintenance it to the advantage of the show only to be dumped. Ray is also not pleased with the fact that AJ Calloway who was accused of sexual assault isn’t back on the show yet Bush is the new Extra lead. Ray says Only In America because Calloway will probably never work again despite unproven accusations, but Bush is given a second chance.
The Queen Of All Media has turned around a year full of drama into a big comeback. On October 17th, Wendy Williams is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Simone Biles is now the most decorated female gymnast in history. The Olympic darling won her 21st world championship. The honors came about while she was competing in Germany. This just heightens all anticipation for the Olympics in 2020. Good Luck Simone!!!
Stacey Dash got arrested for domestic violence after an alleged altercation with her fourth husband. So what happened? Sources say Dash got into an argument with her husband’s daughter. Dash called cops to get things straighten out, but the cops arrested Dash. That’s what you call a face crackin!!! That was a black wake up moment for the actress turned conservative commentator. The charges have since been dropped, and Dash is back with her husband. Dash says these types flair ups are normal. Huh?
Legendary group Cameo has gotten some drama resolved……sort of. Longtime Lead Singer and Founding Member Larry Blackmon and the original members of the group were fighting each other in court over the rights to the name. A judge ruled they need to share those rights. So does this mean when we hear Cameo’s coming we don’t know which group is showing up?
Elton John vs. Tina Turner….we finally know what happened. John is 72 years old and has been clean and sober for nearly 30 years. John has written a book about this and his career, and he finally tells his side of the story of what happened at 1997’s Divas Live special on VH1 with Tina Turner. Remember, the two had a famous argument in rehearsal and a planned joint tour with John and Turner was cancelled as a result. Well John claims Turner was rude to band and crew members. He also says the First Lady Of Rock & Roll was talking to him like she was his grandmother. This all stemmed from the two rehearsing Turner’s performance of Proud Mary for the Divas special with John on piano and backing vocals. John claims Turner tried to tell him how to play his piano. And even worse, also told him stop wearing clothes that make him look so fat. He told her to stick her songs up her a**. Of course after Turner’s experience with Ike, she was not here for any arguments with performers. Hence the joint tour never happened. Elton John’s autobiography, Me, hits online and bookstores on October 15th.
Tyler Perry is living his best life. He hosted a grand reopening of his $250 million film studio in Atlanta over the past weekend. From Iyanla to Whoopi and Ludacris to Usher, Perry hosted practically all of Black Hollywood in a red carpet extravaganza. Perry also used the occasion to dedicate each soundstage to legendary members of the arts who influenced his career: Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis,Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Della Reese, Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith and Diahann Carroll (more about her later). The unveiling was witnessed by many of the honorees and Samuel L. Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Bishop TD Jakes, Nicole Ari Parker & Boris Kodjoe, T.I. & Tiny, and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith. Beyonce turned heads and got a slew of pregnancy rumors when she walked the red carpet. Mrs. Carter also said she could not stop crying at the incredible event. Turns out Perry’s studio sits on a confederate army base. Now he, an African American, owns the land out right meant to preserve slavery in America. Meanwhile, Perry’s deal with BET and partnership in BET Plus is ready to roll. He has new shows The Oval and Sistas, and both dramas premiere Wednesday, October 23rd on BET beginning at 9pm.
We remember the iconic Diahann Carroll. The trailblazing entertainer lost her battle with cancer, but rewrote the history books several times over in her career. Her earliest roles alongside Harry Belafonte, Philly’s own Pearl Bailey and Dorothy Dandridge in 1954’s Carmen Jones and then with Joanne Woodward, Duke Ellington, Paul Newman and her one time love Sidney Poitier in 1961’s Paris Blues only hinted at what was to come. Singing in recordings, nightclubs and television variety shows led her to her title role in the sitcom Julia (1968-1971). Julia was the first time an African American woman was portrayed in a non-stereotypical role as Carroll’s character was a professional nurse. Carroll was also the first African American to win a Best Actress Emmy nomination for comedy. Carroll used the controversy and criticism for Julia to shock her critics and audiences in the title role of the 1974 feature film Claudine. She played a struggling, single, working mom of six children whose relief from public assistance didn’t even cover the necessities. Playing opposite James Earl Jones, the sanitation worker who falls in love with her, and a Curtis Mayfield/Gladys Knight & The Pips soundtrack, Carroll received a Lead Actress Oscar nomination. In the 1980’s, she walked up to super producer Aaron Spelling and told him he needed a Black B**ch on his top-rated prime time soap Dynasty. Spelling quickly created the role of Dominique Deveraux for Carroll, and she was back on top again (1984-1987). Her final Emmy nominations came for comedy as Marion Gilbert, mother of Whitley in The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World (1989) and drama for Grey’s Anatomy as Jane Burke. In between, Carroll became a top nightclub touring act, an author and the first African American to win a Best Actress Tony for the Broadway musical No Strings. Carroll also turned in another powerful silver screen performance as Eleanor Potter in Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats (1991). Diahann Carroll was 84-years old.
At the movies, Will Smith’s follow up to his most successful film ever, Aladdin, is a return to the scifi genre for Gemini Man. Smith plays a dual role of an assassin with his younger self trying to kill the present day version. Gemini Man opens this Friday.
The Sound of Philadelphia will be well represented this October as the Philadelphia Music Alliance inducts its latest members to the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame. Included in this year’s class are Philly’s own Evelyn “Champagne” King, The Hooters, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Mighty, Mighty O’Jays. The O’Jays and the Philly Orchestra go back a long ways. When The O’Jays were signed to Philadelphia International Records, their music was performed by the Gamble & Huff Orchestra MFSB, most of whom also played for the Philly Orchestra. They also played on many of Evelyn “Champagne” King’s hits as well. The induction ceremony will take place on the Avenue of The Arts in Center City and the gala later that evening at the Bellevue Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 22nd. For Tickets and information log onto https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-philadelphia-music-alliance-gala-tickets-68159249149
The 11th Annual ESPN magazine Body Issue is out with the theme celebrating 21 athletes from different sports and with body types. The Superbowl Champion Eagles Offensive Line (Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai) have one of the shared covers. Gymnast Katelynb Ohsi, WNBA Star Liz Cambage, NFL Players Michael Thomas, Myles Garrett and NBA Star Chris Paul are also featured. This is to be The Body Issue’s final year in print.
Arsenio Hall is coming to Netflix. Smart & Classy is the name of his stand up special and begins streaming Tuesday, October 29th on Netflix.
Essence magazine’s digital issue celebrates three women who made history. In one calendar year Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are all African American women. Nia Franklin, Cheslie Kryst and Kaliegh Garris are all on the cover. Meanwhile, Tracee Ellis Ross graces the cover of the October issue of Essence magazine.It’s the magazine’s hair issue and the perfect time to introduce Ross’ hair care line Pattern Beauty
Rihanna is on the cover of the new November issue of Vogue magazine. The 31-year old talks about being in love, presidential politics and her Fenty Official clothing line. The Umbrella singer also says she didn’t participate in the Superbowl because she didn’t want to be of service to the organization she disagrees with so much and didn’t want to be a sellout. Rihanna’s Vogue issue hits stands October 16th.
Elle magazine celebrates women in Hollywood with multiple covers including Emmy Winner Lena Waithe, Jodie Turner-Smith and Zendaya.
Oscar Winner Regina King is on the cover of November’s Marie Claire. The actress and director talks about her superhero moment.
Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o is on the cover of October’s Vanity Fair magazine. All adorned in green, this issue explores the film and fashion that changed the actress’ life.
Ebony Magazine is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Among its special features, the 2018-2019 HBCU Campus Queens’ photo shoot in Pensacola.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Saturday & Sunday October 12th & 13th - The Atlantic City Comedy Fest starring Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce, George Wallace, Mark Curry, Tommy Davidson, Turae& Sommore and more at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information The Philadelphia Hair Company, OP Productions in Delaware or log onto ticketmaster.com,
Friday, October 18th - The Isley Brothers & The Pointer Sisters at the Mark Etess Arena in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, October 19th - The Tower Of Power & The Average White Band at the Ocean Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, October 26th- The Sketchbook Tour starring Fantasia, Robin Thicke, Tank and Bonfyre at The Liacouras Center. For tickets and information log onto liacourascenter.com.
Friday, November 1st - Smokey Robinson at the Ocean Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Tuesday, November 5th – Erykah Badu at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Friday, November 8th – The O’Jays at the Ocean Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, November 9th – The Gentlemen of Soul starring Jeffrey Osborne & Peabo Bryson at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. Tickets and information at ticketmaster.com
November 14th – December 8th - The UniverSoul Circus returns to Fairmount Park on the grounds ofThe Mann Center for The Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside Avenue. Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, November 30th – Run DMC at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Friday December 6th– Anita Baker: The Farewell Concert Series at The Liacouras Center. For tickets and information log onto liacourascenter.com.
Saturday, December 7th – The All I Want For Christmas show starring Mariah Carey at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Thursday, December 12th – Sinbad in concert at The Parx Casino Xcite Centerin Bensalem, PA City.Log onto tickets.parxcasino.com for tickets and information.
Saturday, December 21st – The WDAS Holiday Jam starring Kem, Kirk Franklin and Brownstone at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, December 28th – Earth, Wind & Fire at the Mark Etess Arena in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Friday, January 3rd – The Femme It Forward Tour starring Monica, Ashanti, Amerie, Lil Mo & Keri Hilson at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Friday, February 14th – Boyz II Men’s Valentine’s Day Concert at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
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.