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.
Attention Gladiators, it’s a wrap in 2018 for Scandal. The Shonda Rhimes produced drama starring Kerry Washington is going to end in season seven. The show placed Washington and her cast in the lexicon of TV popularity, and Scandal spawned real life political comparisons, finale and premiere watch parties and never ending social media hash tags. No word yet from Rhimes or Washington on how the end will come.
Speaking of Kerry Washington, she’s caught up in a real life scandal. Comedian Chris Rock, who is newly divorced, is on a comedy tour prepping material for his Netflix special. He’s been talking about how he cheated on his wife with various women, including with a celebrity. The media is piling on report after report that nameless sources site Kerry Washington as that sidejawn. Rock and Washington co-starred in the comedy I Think I Love My Wife, which was all about the temptation to cheat in a marriage. Years later, Washington married and had two children with former NFL Star and ex-Philadelphia Eagle Nnamdi Asomugha. Their daughter is Isabelle and son is Caleb. Washington is not commenting, and Rock won’t name names.
The ABC Network has made history by introducing a face of color to the Bachelor/Bachelorette reality show franchise. Texas Lawyer Rachel Lindsay will be the first African American Bachelorette beginning in May. Lindsay is already on The Bachelor earlier this season, which tells us obviously she didn’t win that contest. The Bachelorette has been around 14 years with at least two different seasons a year. The new President Of The ABC Entertainment Group is Channing Dungey, and she’s the first African American in history to hold the head of programming title on any of the major broadcast networks. Dungey has made it known she wants more diversity on the network, and has given The Bachelorette her blessing. The Bachelorette with Rachel Lindsay will have its season premiere Monday, May 22nd at 9pm on ABC.
Morris Chestnut’s series Rosewood is coming to an end. FOX cancelled the drama, which followed a Miami coroner who often teamed up with a female police to play detective and solve homicides. Rosewood’s ratings suffered when it was moved to Fridays from its original slot before Empire on Wednesday nights.
Speaking of Empire, its ratings continue to slide. Despite huge guest stars like Phylicia Rashad, Leslie Uggams, Taye Diggs and Nia Long, the show has not regained its appointment viewing footing. There are a couple of weeks left until the finale. Can we expect changes when the show returns next season? Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and the entire Empire cast still remains popular. Can they regain the ratings magic that took them to the top?
Kelly Ripa has been blindsided again, and this time by American Idol. The long time singing reality show/competition was cancelled by its long time network FOX. But, the ABC Network has stepped up. ABC/Disney want Kelly’s newly named Live Co-host, Ryan Seacrest, to return to the show. Once again ABC/Disney, which owns and produces Live, has made the move without informing Kelly, who hoped she’d finally have a co-host focused on Live and its success. ABC did the same thing when they hired Kelly’s former Live Co-host Michael Strahan for Good Morning America without telling her. That caused all kinds of friction and resulted in Strahan leaving Live all together for GMA. As for the new American Idol, it will definitely return on ABC and sources say Seacrest will be the host. He already is tied to the network with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest and, of course, Live with Kelly & Ryan. Meanwhile, ABC believes there’s plenty of life left in the Idol franchise, and they’re moving forward full steam ahead.
Meanwhile, NBC’s singing reality show is seeing some changes of its own that involves Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. First, Keys will be stepping away from The Voice next season. It’s all on good terms though. Keys wants to work on her brand new album. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson is joining The Voice as a coach. The Oscar winner knows a thing or two about competing before an audience as she was a past American Idol winner. The Voice will be back for season 13 on NBC.
An ex-Destiny’s Child singer will bring the legendary life story of Dionne Warwick to the big screen. LaToya Luckett has used her time since splitting from the Beyonce fronted group as a multi-platinum singer, a songwriter and an actress (TV’s: Greenleaf; Rosewood; Single Ladies; Here We Go Again; movies: Preacher’s Kid; Where Is The Love; Note To Self). Luckett’s brand new album is entitled Back 2 Life, and we’re playing the title track on WDAS-FM. Now Luckett is in the studio with the legendary Dionne Warwick recording her classic songs for the upcoming bio-pic Dionne. Luckett says she and Warwick get along so well, they call each other out of the blue just to share a conversation. Meanwhile, Luckett’s brand new the album Back 2 Life will be released this week.
The Billboard Music Awards air on May 21st, and the nominees include Rihanna with 14 nods, The Weeknd with 13 and Beyonce has 8. That night’s performers will include Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, Drake, John Legend and Cher will receive the ICON Award. The Billboard Music Awards will air Sunday, May 21st at 8pm on ABC.
Get ready for plenty of tributes to the late Tupac Shakur. The legendary rapper/actor/poet, who was murdered in 1996, has three projects on his life in the works or ready to come out. First, there’s a documentary from Filmmaker Steve McQueen, who is the first black filmmaker to win a Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years A Slave. McQueen has teamed up with Shakur’s aunt, Gloria Cox, who will also serve as producer. Then there’s Actor Johnny Depp. He’s making a film called “Labyrinth,” and he’ll play L.A.P.D. Detective Russell Poole. Poole, who died in 2015, was the real life officer who investigated the deaths of Shakur and Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.
Finally, there’s the Tupac film All Eyez On Me. After the blockbuster $200 million box office success of the N.W.A. bio-pic Straight Outta Compton, it was only a matter of time before one of the most iconic legends of West Coast hip hop would be covered. All Eyez On Me, taking its title from Shakur’s last studio album released before his death, has been filming for close to two years. The movie stars Raven Symone, Hill Harper, Annie Ilonzeh, Danai Gurira, Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett Smith, Jamal Woolard reprising his role as The Notorious BIG and Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as Tupac Shakur. All Eyez On Me opens June 16th, which would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday.
The Essence Of Entertainment returns to The Dell Music Center, 33rd & Ridge Avenue, for the summer of 2017. There'll be two movie nights featuring the films Sing and Moana with big screens and music by DJ Gary O. And, the lineup this summer is incredible. The Dell will welcome Kem, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Fantasia, The Whispers, Johnny Gill, Monica, Joe, Lalah Hathaway, Sheila E, Erykah Badu, Jaheim, Larry Graham, The O'Jays, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and more to come. Plus, Singing Under The Stars returns with our local talent being featured on the Dell stage. The new season of The Dell Music Center's Essence Of Entertainment 2017 kicks off Thursday, July 6th.
The newly separated Ms. Janet Jackson is preparing to resume the tour she interrupted to have her son. The 50-year old singer/actress/dancer separated from her husband of three years, 42-year old Wissam Al Mana, months after welcoming their first child, son Eissa. Apparently, Brother Randy has turned into Mr. Nanny as he’s helping out with Eissa. Mom Katherine has been busy with some family business, including court cases involving the nephew she charged took advantage of her for money. Meanwhile, could the divorce waters get a little rougher for Janet and Wissam? So far all is smooth, but cases change once a dollar figure goes before the court. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Meanwhile, Janet’s The State Of The World tour will kick off in September with stops in Atlantic City (November 10th), Bethlehem, PA (November 11th) and Philly (November 13th).
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ….for President?!!!! More on that in a second. Johnson has a new big budget movie adaption of the popular 90’s TV series Baywatch coming out in theaters this month. He also is on the cover of the latest issue of G.Q. magazine. Inside, the ex-wrestler talks about translating Baywatch to the big screen. Johnson also talks about a possible career change ….to politics. There has been a strong current of talk from those who know him about his savvy in political circles. Not to mention how popular he is at home and abroad. Could the man once known as The Rock run for the Presidency of The United States in 2020? Johnson won’t confirm or deny, but says he loves his country and is committed to seeing it win. Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?!!!!! The G.Q. magazine with Johnson on the cover is out now, and Baywatch opens Thursday, May 25th going into The Memorial Day Weekend.
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 $200 million, and it’s scheduled to make its DVD and Blue Ray debut on May 23rd. The release will include an alternative ending. There’s talk of Peele looking at a follow up to Get Out.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, September 3rd – Diana Ross’ In The Name Of Love Tour at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center. For tickets or for more information log onto sandsbethlehememovementseventcenter.ticketoffics.com
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.