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.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joins the 5 Timers’ Club when he hosts the season finale of Saturday Night Live this week with musical guest Katy Perry. It’s part of the whirlwind publicity for his new big budget movie adaption of the popular 90’s TV series Baywatch, coming out in theaters this month. Johnson’s got the momentum at the box office. The latest Fast & The Furious installment, The Fate Of The Furious with Ludacris, Tyrese and Vin Diesel, crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office. That makes its director, F. Gary Gray, the first African American director to hit the billion dollar mark at the box office. 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.
Stephanie Mills says her manager has mishandled her money. The songstress was just here for a sold out Mother’s Day concert in Atlantic City, but the next day severed her business ties with Manager Hiram Hicks. Hicks was the president of Island Black Music and has been Mills manager for more than three years. According to published reports, Mills says she’s grateful to her own business acumen that sensed something was wrong. The Grammy winner says she’s weighing her legal options when asked if she’s considered suing. Mills says as the single mother of a special needs child, she needed to show strength when she feels wronged. She’s also coming forward to fight the stigma of being embarrassed and to empower other artists to pay attention to their business as well. Meanwhile, an email attributed to Hiram Hicks denies all wrong doing, and the email also claims he still has a business relationship with Mills.
Bill Cosby speaks. The former star of The Cosby Show granted an interview to CNN/Radio Personality Michael Smerconish with just less than a month to go before Cosby’s criminal sexual assault trial. Cosby refused to go into details about the legal aspects or to confirm whether or not his accusers are liars. He did speak that he thought racism is motivating much of what’s happening. Cosby is facing more than 50 accusers and defamation civil lawsuits involving alleged sexual misconduct. Cosby’s daughters Erinn and Ensa also released audio statements to radio and TV in support of their father. Cosby also says he doesn’t expect to testify in his defense. Bill Cosby’s criminal trial in Montgomery County, PA begins Monday, June 5th.
Philly’s own Kevin Hart, a.k.a “My Nephew,” is on a roll! First, congratulations are in order as he and his lovely wife Eniko Parrish are expecting their first child together. Hart has two children, Haven, 12, and Hendrix, 9, with ex-wife Torrei Hart, who issued a public statement wishing the couple congratulations. Hart’s also on the cover of this month’s Essence magazine. It’s their Men’s Issue with a Father’s Day theme. Then get ready for Kevin Hart Day this summer! Philadelphia has declared the native home of the actor/comedian will have a day of appreciation. “My Nephew” has been in his hometown 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. Untouchables is due out in 2018. And, Kevin Hart Day in Philadelphia will happen Thursday, July 6th. Congrats Nephew!!!!
Jay-Z and Beyonce have crossed the billion dollar mark. The Carters, soon to be adding twins to their family, which includes 5-year old daughter Blue Ivy, are entertainment’s hottest couple. When Forbes magazine released their list of America’s Wealthiest Self-Made Women, it ranked Beyonce’s personal fortune at $350 million. Add that to Jay-Z’s personal fortune, reported at $810 million, and that put the power couple at $1.16 billion. Jay-Z having just signed a $200 million touring and events deal with Live Nation and Beyonce’s Formation tour having grossed $250 million, you can expect The Carter/Knowles Empire to just keep growing.
Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes….the saga continues. The two are reportedly off again on another private, romantic excursion in Paris with emphasis on PRIVATE. Is it Foxx that wants to keep things on the low and Holmes who wants the world to know she’s in love again? The two have been bending over backwards to avoid questions or confirming any personal dating info for the public. Complicating things is the fact that Holmes was married to Foxx was a onetime Co-star Tom Cruise. Cruise and Foxx became friends on the set of their 2004 movie Collateral. At first, the secrecy was all to protect Cruise and Holmes’ 10-year old daughter Suri. Foxx has two daughters of his own: Corinne, 23, and seven-year old Annalise. Now, Holmes is tired of hiding, but Foxx may still be gun shy. How would his audience react to this relationship? Meanwhile, Foxx is hosting a musical game called Beat Shazam, based on the popular song identifying app. Contestants take on the app after they advance from a few rounds of naming songs against each other. Foxx's show, Beat Shazam will debut on Thursday, May 25th at 9pm on FOX.
In more couples news, J-Lo and A-Rod: are wedding bells ready to ring? Jennifer Lopez is reportedly so smitten with her new beau, former Baseball Superstar Alex Rodriguez, that she’s ready to walk down the aisle and make him hubby number four. But what about A-Rod? His 2008 divorce from then wife of six-years, Cynthia Scurtis, was sealed, but reported cut deep into his then $250 million baseball contract. Rodriguez’s reputation as a womanizer also follows him around like a shadow. Are Jenny From The Block and A-Rod ready to have a meeting of the minds and try marriage again? Meanwhile, Lopez career is running on all cylinders. The former American Idol judge has a new show, World Of Dance, on NBC. This time the competition is among dancers of all ages and from all around the world. Lopez is a judge and executive producer. Her fellow judges include Singer/Songwriter/Dancer Ne-Yo, Actress/Dancer Jenna Dewan Tatum (Supergirl; Step Up; Melrose Place) and Actor/Dancer Derek Hough (Dancing With The Stars). Plus, Lopez’s NBC cop drama Shades Of Blue, with Ray Liotta, has been renewed for the new season and has a special airing this Sunday at 9pm on NBC. Meanwhile World Of Dance premieres Tuesday May 30th at 10pm on NBC.
Speaking of Tuesday nights, the new America’s Got Talent returns on May 30th. Judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B, despite her divorce drama, all return to the talent competition show. Tyra Banks replaces Nick Cannon as host, and America’s Got Talent premieres Tuesday, May 30th at 8pm on NBC.
Guess who had 100 roses for her first Mother’s Day? Janet Jackson that’s who!!! They came from her estranged hubby. 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. But, Wissam looks like he wants his boo back! The 100 roses follow the public social media statement he made declaring his continuing love and support of Janet. Will Miss Jackson be swayed? 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).
The TV networks have been unveiling their upcoming lineup and there’s big news for our favorites. First, you’ve heard of Shondaland, we’ll get ready for Lee-Land. FOX is giving Producer-Director Lee Daniels their full Wednesday night line up with the returning Daniels produced dramas Star starring Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, and Empire, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Both shows return this fall beginning at 8pm on Wednesdays. Meanwhile, the show that was competing with Empire last season, Black-ish, was renewed by ABC for a fourth season. The sitcom, starring Anthony Anderson and Golden Globe Winner Tracee Ellis Ross, will now be moved to Tuesday nights at 9pm.
Singer Katy Perry has signed on as a judge on the new American Idol, which will be part of the ABC Sunday night lineup when it returns for the 2017-2018 season. The I Kissed A Girl singer confirmed for her fans via social media the great honor she feels to be a part of the legendary show. Other judges have not been confirmed to the public yet. When he was asked, the show’s most popular judge, Simon Cowell, said it’s unlikely he’d return as he’s committed to NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which he also produces. Meanwhile, despite his brand new gig as Kelly Ripa’s co-host of Live with Kelly & Ryan, sources say Ryan Seacrest is very close to sealing the deal to return as host of the new American Idol.
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 this Monday, May 22nd at 9pm on ABC.
The embattled Newsman Roger Ailes has died. His wife Elizabeth announced his death. Ailes was a journalist/news manager for more than 40-years culminating in his appointment as founding chair and chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News. But, Ailes’ legacy was tarnished when his high profile personalities from FOX accused him of sexual harassment. As the accusations piled up and Murdoch and his sons/business executives settled with the accusers, last summer they dismissed Ailes after 20-years at FOX’s helm with a multi-million dollar parachute. Ailes became the face of sexual harassment in the workplace and for companies that tolerate the behavior. As a result, other high profile sexual harassment cases are being settled quickly with official action and strong public statements of zero tolerance being issued. As for Ailes, reportedly he suffered a fall in his Palm Springs home and his death may have been a result of that. Roger Ailes was 77-years old.
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 this Sunday, May 21st at 8pm on ABC.
Get ready for the Tupac Shakur life story on film called 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 new season of The Dell Music Center's Essence Of Entertainment 2017 kicks off Thursday, July 6th with all shows staring at 7pm:
July 6th - Johnny Gill, Jaheim & After 7
July 13th - Dramatics Featuring LJ Reynolds, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, Intruders & Bloodstone
July 20th - KEM, Keke Wyatt & Lalah Hathaway
July 27th - Monica, Joe & Tank
Friday, July 28th - Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra & Philadanco
Saturday, July 29th- Patty Jackson's Party In The Park starring The O'Jays, The Whispers & Force MD's
August 3rd -Fantasia & Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
August 10th - Erykah Badu & Ro James
August 17th - Sheila E, Dave Koz & Larry Graham
August 24th - Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly
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.
The Obamas are on the cover of this week’s People magazine. It’s a look at the former POTUS and FLOTUS’ life after The White House. Their downtime future plans upcoming books and their continued community activism is highlighted.
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 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 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. 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
Saturday, July 8th - Charlie Wilson & Chante Moore at The Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd & Parkside Avenue. For more information log onto manncenter.org.
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.