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.
Halle Berry almost broke the internet again, but it’s not a bun in the oven. When the press caught Berry out and about, a small belly bump was noticed particularly with the outfit she was wearing. False alarm, the Oscar winner released a statement and assured everyone she just come from a heavy meal. No baby number three for the recently thrice divorced actress. Berry has son and a daughter from previous relationships.
Comedian Bill Maher is catching a kick or two while he’s down. Maher used the”N” word as a joke during his show Real Time and a conversation with a U.S. Senator. Maher was roundly criticized including by fellow comedians and his friends. Maher released an apology and is slated to return to his show this week at 8pm live! There’s another problem many of Maher’s old girlfriends are insinuating to media outlets that Maher regularly used the “N” word. Maher tends to date interracially and almost exclusively to black women. Did Maher think he had a pass? Despite a social avalanche of critics, including many calling for his cable network to fire him, there’s no change and Maher is expected to be live this week. Real Time with Bill Maher airs Friday nights at 8pm live on HBO.
Singer/Actress Brandy: how’s her health, and are we getting the real deal about her….relationship?!!! First, the 38-year old has been released from the hospital after a health emergency onboard a plane. No official word yet on the symptoms the singer displayed, but the flight crew reported a passenger fell ill and confirmed clearance to return to the runway. The plane was bound from LA to New York, and Brandy boarded it after a very late night in the studio. That on top of the international travel she’d still been doing for appearances turned into exhaustion according to Brandy’s reps. Reports say Brandy passed out on the plane, which then had to be routed back to LA. Brandy has since been resting at home. Meanwhile, her new boyfriend is causing some to cry Déjà vu. Back in 2002, Brandy gave birth to a daughter, but told the press she’d been married to the baby’s father, Robert Smith, for almost a year before. Problem was Smith revealed the marriage was made up to preserve Brandy’s image. Now, those actions are coming back to haunt Brandy and her new boyfriend Singer Sir The Baptist. Is this relationship real? People are talking about something being off in those social media posts of the two of them.
Speaking of relationships, did you know The Bachelorette used to date a Golden State Warrior? Texas Lawyer Rachel Lindsay, the first African American Bachelorette, was in a serious relationship with NBA Champ Kevin Durant. This was during their undergrad days at the University Of Texas. When Lindsay, 31, went to law school, that’s when she and now 28-year old Durant broke up amicably. Both Durant and Lindsay are having a ball on the ABC Network these days. Durant’s Golden State Warriors take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in The NBA Finals this Friday, June 9th at 8pm, and The Bachelorette with Rachel Lindsay airs Mondays at 8pm both on ABC.
Janet Jackson has taken off the baby weight so she can re-launch her world tour. The Escapade singer has reportedly taken off 50 pounds. Janet’s The State Of The World tour has stops in Atlantic City (November 10th), Bethlehem, PA (November 11th) and Philly (November 13th). Miss Jackson is also coming to Netflix in a ten-part docu-series that will cover being single, mounting a world tour and first time motherhood. The 51-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.
First, Tiger Woods and now D.U.I. charges for former NBA Champ Derek Fisher from an accident that involved his reality star girlfriend Gloria Govan. The two were in an early morning car accident that resulted in Fisher’s car flipping with him and Govan inside. Neither was injured but Fisher was promptly arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. This is not the first obstacle for these two as a couple. Flashback to Fisher’s ex- LA Lakers teammate Matt Barnes handing Fisher an almighty beatdown when Barnes discovered Fisher broke the guy code by dating Govan, Barnes ex-wife and mother of his twin sons. Meanwhile, the criminal D.U.I. investigation continues.
Will the legendary Actor Al Pacino play the legendary late Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno? Yes! HBO is making a film about the Jerry Sandusky Child Sex Abuse scandal that broke into the news in 2011. Sandusky, Penn State's long time assistant football coach, was tried and found guilty of over 40 counts of sexual abuse and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Paterno, who died of cancer in 2012, was fired as Penn State Head Coach but not charged criminally. HBO wants to chronicle one of the all-time infamous criminal cases that engulfed a college ranging from student protests to Penn State administrators charged and sentenced for their handling of the case. Oscar Winning Director Barry Levinson is slated to direct.
Director Ryan Coogler and Actor Michael B. Jordan will reunite for a third time. Coogler and Jordan are quickly drawing comparisons to other famous director/actor teams like Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro; Spike Lee and Denzel Washington; Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Coogler and Jordan will make the film Wrong Answer, produced by Brad Pitt. This movie will examine the huge scandal of 2013 involving the Atlanta educators charged criminally for fixing children's test scoring in schools. 11 of those teachers were convicted of racketeering. Jordan will play one of the teachers swept up in the activity. No word on when filming will start, but Jordan and Coogler are still wrapping on Black Panther with Chadwick Boseman.
Underground will not be coming to the OWN network. The TV drama that starred Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Alano Miller, Amirah Vann and Aisha Hinds got cancelled by the WGN America network. When Oprah Winfrey was asked if the show could come to OWN, she confirmed it would not. The show, following slaves who escaped through the underground railroad, co-executive produced by Singer/Songwriter John Legend, is a period price and Winfrey confirmed it’s just too expensive. The Mighty O confirmed she did attempt to rescue the show, but in the end it’s unusually high expense didn’t make sense for OWN.
The Bill Cosby sexual assault criminal trial has begun, and there are no shortage of memorable moments and drama. Everything began this week with Cosby being escorted in by the actress he helped become the youngest person ever nominated for an Emmy. Keisha Knight Pulliam, a.k.a. “Rudy Huxtable” of The Cosby Show, was by her TV dad's side the first day of the trial. Pulliam told the press while she'd never support any type of sexual assault or rape, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the courthouse is where the truth comes out. The former TV Cosby Kid also said she'd want someone to support if she was in Cosby's place. As the week progressed, Cosby's former big screen wife from the 1978 Oscar winning film California Suite, Sheila Frazier and her husband, Celebrity Stylist John Atchison, both escorted Cosby into a third day of court. Frazier, a former pioneering African American fashion model whose breakthrough role came in 1972's Superfly with the late Ron O'Neal, escorted her friend Bill Cosby both in and out of court. Civil Rights Icon/Educator Mary Frances Berry also attended. Berry says she's known Cosby a long time, he's been involved with great causes and he supported her in the past. Thursday, Comedians Joe Torry and Lewis Dix walked Cosby into court. Meanwhile, some Cosby critics and accusers have also attended the trial. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents dozens of accusers, has been holding press conferences outside the courthouse at the end of each day, and some of the accusers who are attending the trial are meeting with press as well.
Inside, the Cosby criminal case has yielded revelations on both sides. The one other accuser allowed to testify in this case is Kelly Johnson. She is the former agent assistant at the William Morris Agency. Andrea Constand is the woman who is the alleged victim Cosby is actually being tried for allegedly assaulting. Both the ladies took the stand this week with emotional testimonies. They both explained in detail very similar assaults consisting of being offered drugs, becoming disoriented then being assaulted to the jury. The defense attacked accuser Johnson by suggesting inaccuracies in her story, past drug use and other inappropriate associations with other William Morris clients like Maxi Priest, with whom Johnson has a child. Constand was also examined on more than 50 calls she made to Cosby after the alleged assault, including Valentine’s Day, and changing answers on being alone with Cosby on other occasions before and after the alleged assault and not telling authorities. Both women's mothers testified as well to support their daughters’ claims. This trial is expected to last another full week. Bill Cosby, 79, could be facing a decade in prison if found guilty.
“My nephew,” a.k.a. Comedian Kevin Hart is on a roll professionally and personally. First, he and his lovely wife Eniko Parrish are expecting a son this fall. This will be the couple’s first child together. The comedian has a son and daughter from his first marriage. The baby is due this fall. Meanwhile, Hart’s new book is called I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons and it’s available now. He’s also on the cover of this month’s Essence magazines. It’s their Men’s Issue with a Father’s Day theme. Finally, Philadelphia has declared that Kevin Hart Day in the city will happen Thursday, July 6th.
Radio Personality Charlamagne Tha God of Power 99’s Breakfast Club, which airs Sunday mornings 8am to 11am, will be in Philly. Charlamagne has written the new book Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It. It’s a self improvement book aimed at the African American community. He’ll have a book signing event at The Barnes & Noble in Center City, 18th & Walnut. It all takes place this Friday, June 9th at 6pm and for information call 215-665-0716.
The 42nd Annual Odunde celebration will take place Sunday, June 11th. This is the largest African American street festival in the country. This year features special honors to state Representative Jordan Harris, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and Mayor Jim Kenney, plus a special musical performance by Jalil and Ecstasy, formerly of Whodini. Odunde will take place on and in the vicinity of 23rd and South Street.
Mary J. Bilge and Boyz II Men hit the Ben Franklin Parkway. The Queen of Hip Hop Soul is headlining The Wawa Welcome America concert for the Fourth Of July. Native sons Boyz II Men will also be honored for the occasion. If you can’t get down there, it will be broadcast on NBC 10 on Tuesday, July 4th.
Patti LaBelle is on a roll with a new album and new book. The album is the Philly-born diva’s first jazz album, Bel Hommage. The album consists of jazz covers and is executive produced by her ex-husband Armstead Edwards and released on the new label she co-owns with her son Zuri Edwards, who is also LaBelle’s manager. LaBelle also just published her new cookbook Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets To Sing About. LaBelle, a diabetic, says she also focuses on foods safe for diabetics in the book. The book and album, Bel Hommage, are available now.
Writer/Comedienne Leslie Jones will make her hosting debut on this summer’s BET Awards. Jones is a writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live. Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Chance The Rapper, Solange, and Migos top the nominees. Special Honors for New Edition with The Lifetime Achievement Award and Chance The Rapper will receive the Humanitarian Award. The BET Awards air on BET Sunday, June 25th.
Issa Rae is set to return to HBO when Insecure’s second season begins July 23rd.
Set It Off Co-stars Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith reunite and are joined by Regina Hall (Scary Movie; Think Like A Man) and Actress/Comedienne Tiffany Haddish (The Carmichael Show; Real Husbands Of Hollywood) in the ultimate summer buddy picture Girls Trip. The four ladies leave their daily routines and their problems behind when they trek to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. The route to the festival is filled more than a few obstacles, but it’s all comedy. Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man; Undercover Brother) is directing and Kenya Barris (Black-ish; Girlfriends; Barbershop) and Tracy Oliver (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) are among the writers. Girls Trip opens Friday, July 21st.
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.
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.
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
Real Housewives Of Atlanta Castmember Cynthia Bailey is on the cover of Upscale magazine’s June issue themed for summertime events and travel.
Dwayne “The Rock” is on the cover of the latest issue of G.Q. magazine, and his new movie Baywatch, based on the 90’s TV hit, is in theaters now.
The June issue of Ebony magazine features Chance The Rapper on the cover. It’s the Black Music Month issue.
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, June 17th – New York Kings Of Comedy concert starring Drew Fraser, Rob Stapleton, Capone, Talent and Mark Viera at The Liacouras Center on Temple University’s campus, Broad & Montgomery and for tickets and information log onto liacourascenter.com.
Saturday, June 24th – R Kelly in concert 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 and for tickets and 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. For tickets and 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.
Saturday, August 26th – Aretha Franklin performing the hits & the great diva classics at The Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd & Parkside Avenue and for tickets and information log onto manncenter.org.
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.
Saturday & Sunday September 2nd & 3rd – J. Cole and The Chainsmokers will headline Jay-Z and Live Nation’s Made In America concert. Solange, Pusha T, 21 Savage, Tiwa Savage, Ari Lennox and DMX are also on the bill. The two day concert festival will take place on the Ben Franklin Parkway Labor Day Weekend. Go to madeinamericafest.com for tickets and information.
Tuesday, October 10th – Bruno Mars in concert at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets or for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.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.
Friday, December 1st – Sinbad comedy show at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com