The First Annual Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk will take place Saturday, June 17th at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, 201 North 17th Street. All the registration info and details are on the wdasfm.com page.
Janet Jackson is officially back!!!! The newly separated Ms. Jackson is preparing to resume the tour she interrupted to have her son. Jackson, 50, separated from her husband of three years, 42-year old Wissam Al Mana, months after welcoming their first child, son Eissa. Jackson has gone back to social media to thank her fans, and let us know she’s working hard to get back into shape for touring. The tour will kick off in September with stops in Atlantic City (November 10th), Bethlehem, PA (November 11th) and Philly (November 13th).
Comedian and Emmy Winner Jordan Peele has landed a huge deal in the wake of his blockbuster success with the thriller Get Out. Universal Pictures has signed Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions to an exclusive first look deal. Peele has made history with the horror/thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. He’s the first African American to ever have his directing debut movie gross $100 million. Get Out’s worldwide box office gross so far is over $194 million, and it’s scheduled to make its DVD and Blue Ray debut on May 23rd. The release will include an alternative ending.
We’re keeping legendary Singer Dennis Edwards in our prayers. The longtime former lead singer of The Temptations is reported to be seriously ill and hospitalized in St. Louis after returning from a concert tour in Canada. Edwards first began singing with The Temptations in 1968 replacing David Ruffin. He left the group a few times and returned, but he departed for good in 1989. In between he had a huge solo hit with Don’t Look Any Further, a 1984 duet with Singer/Songwriter Siedah Garrett. Edwards established a new act known as Dennis Edwards And The Temps Review. They sing many of the classic Temptations songs Edwards originally sang lead on like Cloud Nine, Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today), Papa Was A Rolling Stone, I Can’t Get Next To You, Psychedelic Shack and Memories, just to name a few. As of press time, The Edwards Family has not released an official statement confirming Dennis Edwards’ health status. Friends have only asked fans to keep the 74-year old Motown legend in their prayers, which we will certainly do.
With Tyrese riding high at the box office lately, that good fortune may turn into more sequel work. Tyrese and his Fast & Furious co-stars in The Fate Of The Furious are nearing the $200 million mark at the box office. Tyrese’s one time leading lady, Taraji P. Henson, is also riding high on TV’s Empire. Could the time be right for them to reunite? Word has it a sequel is being prepared for Baby Boy. Back in 2001, John Singleton wrote, produced and directed Baby Boy, a coming of age love story that was peppered with much reality of the hard life of a young man and the young woman he loved set in the roughest area of Los Angeles. Baby Boy marked the film debut of both Tyrese and Henson. No word yet from either of the two star or John Singleton on the sequel.
It’s Idris Elba versus Matthew McConaughey!! In the upcoming movie Dark Tower, Elba plays a gunslinger in a futuristic world who must stop his enemy, played by McConaughey, from destroying a mystical tower. That tower keeps the world from being overrun by uncontrollable evil. Along the way, Elba must mentor a young boy who proves helpful in the quest to preserve the tower. Dark Tower opens August 4th.
Hot on the heels of the successful BET New Edition mini-series, Bobby Brown is returning to the network with his own life story. The New Edition Story set a record as the highest rated cable bio-pic of all time by drawing almost 30 million viewers. So now, BET wants to keep the magic going. First, there’ll be a four hour mini-series entitled The Bobby Brown Story. It will focus on Brown’s rise in New Edition and his leaving for a successful solo career. We’re waiting to see how much of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s marriage gets covered. Also there’s Death Row Chronicles, a new, six-part documentary covering the rise and fall of Death Row Records, the onetime leading label of hip hop and gangsta rap. The label boasted artists like Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. The Bobby Brown Story and Death Row Chronicles will premiere this fall on BET.
Speaking of bio-pics, El, Bunny, James and all the DeBarge Family are going to get the TV movie treatment from TV One. After a successful feature on the documentary series UnSung, TV One has decided to go all the way with the upcoming TV bio-pic All This Love: The DeBarge Family Story. The movie will be told from the point of view of DeBarge Family matriarch Etterline Abney. The beginning with Etterline’s taboo interracial marriage to Robert DeBarge, resulting in 10 children, to signing the DeBarge siblings to Motown and all the dangerous trappings of fame that followed.
Queen Bey wants you to turn lemon into lemonade. Beyonce is releasing a How To Make Lemonade box set. This lemonade is priced at $300. It comes with the original Lemonade album on vinyl and a 600 page coffee table book with previously unreleased photos documenting the making of the album. Beyonce superfan Dr. Michael Eric Dyson wrote the foreword, and there’s also a poem by Warsan Shire. The pre-order date is set for this coming summer.
In more Queen Bey news, the former Destiny’s Child singer has also formed a scholarship fund. The Formation Scholarships will be given out beginning for the upcoming fall semester of 2017. Mrs. Carter has arranged for the awards to be given to students attending Berklee College Of Music, Howard University, Parsons School Of Design and Spelman College. Beyonce’s Formation Scholarships are for young women studying creative arts, music, literature or African American studies.
Ryan Seacrest has replaced Michael Strahan. The one time American Idol host has agreed to become Kelly Ripa’s new co-host of Live. After months of guest hosts and speculation, the decision has finally been announced. Michael Strahan left the show after being promoted to a full time gig on Good Morning America by Disney/ABC, which also produces live. No one gave Ripa a heads up over Strahan’s leaving. That caused so much controversy, Strahan had to leave early. Meanwhile. Seacrest, who is still producing Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and daily radio programming, had been pitch-hitting as guest host on occasion for Live with Kelly. With American Idol cancelled by FOX, the timing is perfect for Seacrest to be based out of New York. The show is now officially titled Live With Kelly & Ryan.
Shemar Moore, who left the hit series Criminal Minds, will return to his old stomping grounds this season and then gear up for his own show this fall. Moore will reprise his role as Derek Morgan for the season finale of Criminal Minds. Then, Moore is doing the third reboot of the S.W.A.T. franchise. The 1975 ABC series starred Robert Urich. Then the 2003 film version starred Samuel L. Jackson. Now, it’s Moore turn as he plays S.W.A.T.’s unorthodox leader, Lt. Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, who balances his loyalty to both the law and the streets. S.W.A.T. is slated for CBS this fall, and Moore returns for the Criminal Minds season finale Wednesday, May 10th at 9pm on CBS.
Get ready for Kevin Hart Day this summer! Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, has declared the native home of the actor/comedian will have a day of appreciation. “My nephew” has been in town filming with Emmy Winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) the upcoming movie Untouchables, which follows the relationship of a paralyzed man and the caregiver he hires to help him adjust to his new reality and disability. Hart’s also hit up local comedy clubs, donated $10,000 to the local Ronald McDonald House charity and has been attending local activities like the Sixers’ games. The man is on a roll. His movie Untouchables is due out in 2018. And, Kevin Hart Day in Philadelphia will happen this summer, Thursday, July 6th.
The April/May issue of Ebony magazine features two-time NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) on the cover. It’s the travel issue and also features catching up with En Vogue, who’ll be at the Mann Thursday June 1st, and the Vacations For Mom And Me article.
Essence Magazine’s May issue is themed 100 Woke Women. On the cover features over a dozen women in Stay Woke t-shirts and inside the magazine they speak of their activism and the importance of the work still to be done to reach equality. Among the women on the cover include TV Writer/Producer/Mogul Shonda Rhimes, MSNBC Journalist Joy-Ann Reid, Women’s March co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, Women’s March organizer Janaye Ingram, Political Commentator Angela Rye and Circle Of Mothers Founder and Mother of Trayvon Martin Sybrina Fulton, to name a few. The May issue of Essence, featuring 100 Woke Women, is out now.
The cast of Underground (Aldis Hodge, Alano Miller, Amirah Vann and Aisha Hinds) cover the latest Upscale magazine. The TV series Underground, co-executive produced by Singer/Songwriter John Legend, is currently in its second season on WGN America and airs Wednesdays at 10pm.
Essence Magazine has released a commemorative collector’s book on the former First Family. The Obamas: The White House Years is available now.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama covers a special Ebony magazine collector’s issue. Ladies First: 100 + Of The Most Powerful Women Of All Time is now available and was designed for Women’s History Month. Meanwhile, Former President Barack and the former FLOTUS have closed their first post White House book deal rumored to have a $65 million price tag. Penguin/Random House won the bidding war, but isn't confirming if the books are memoirs or not. As for the hefty pay, The Obamas are choosing to donate a great deal of that money to charity, including The Obama Foundation. Expect new books from both the former POTUS and FLOTUS in 2018.
Essence Magazine is gearing up for its 23rd Annual Essence Fest and The Hip Hop Queen Of Soul, A Legend and The Boss will be in the house! Yes! Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Motown Legend Miss Diana Ross will headline the now legendary festival. Chaka Khan, Philly’s own Jazmine Sullivan, India.Arie, Solange, Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls, Ro James, Tweet, Shaggy, Michel’le, Yuna and Lalah Hathaway will also be performing with more acts to come. The 2017 Essence Fest will be June 29th through July 2nd in New Orleans.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Saturday, May 13th – Mother’s Day Weekend concert starring Frankie Beverly & Maze, Gladys Knight and Kem at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto boardwalkhall.com.
Saturday, May 13th –Brian McKnight at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com.
Sunday, May 14th – Mother’s Day Concert starring Stephanie Mills and Troop at The Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, May 27th - HoagieNation Starring Hall & Oates, Tears For Fears, Philly’s own Vivian Green, Son Little and G. Love & Special Sauce, to name a few, at Penn Landing’s Festival Pier for Memorial Day Weekend. For tickets and information log on to HoagieNation.com.
Sunday, May 28th – Maxwell with Leela James and Ledisi in concert at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and for tickets and information log onto theborgata.com.
Thursday, June 1st – Bell/Biv/DeVoe with special guests SWV and En Vogue at The Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd & Parkside Avenue. Tickets go on sale April 21st and for more information log onto manncenter.org.
Saturday, June 24th – R Kelly in concert at Diana Ross’ In The Name Of Love Tour at The BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto ticketmaster.com
Sunday, July 16th – Jill Scott in concert at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and for tickets and information log onto theborgata.com.
Saturday, July 29th – Diana Ross’ In The Name Of Love Tour at The Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd & Parkside Avenue and for tickets and information log onto manncenter.org.
Tuesday, August 1st – Earth, Wind & Fire and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers at The Wells Fargo Center. Tickets go on sale 10am Saturday, April 29th and for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Sunday, August 13th – Kool & The Gang and The Commodores in concert at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and for tickets and information log onto theborgata.com.
Wednesday, August 16th – The All The Hits Tour Starring Lionel Richie & Special Guest Star Mariah Carey at The Wells Fargo Center. This is the new date from the cancelled March concert. Tickets and information at wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Friday, September 1st - The I Love The 90’s Tour: The Party Continues starring Blackstreet, TLC, Montell Jordan, Naughty By Nature, Biz Markie, Snap and C&C Music Factory at The BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ.
Friday, November 10th – Janet Jackson at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets or for more information log onto boardwalkhall.box-officetickets.com.
Saturday, November 11th – Janet Jackson at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center. For tickets or for more information log onto sandsbethlehememovementseventcenter.ticketoffics.com
Monday, November 13th – Janet Jackson at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets or for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.