The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin is out and about touring, and she’s lost quite a bit of weight. She’s supposed to be talking about how she shed those pounds. So far, Re Re has kept mum on the how and why. Meanwhile, Franklin’s childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee has now received a plaque in honor of being the birthplace of Lady Soul. Franklin was actually born in the now vacant house in 1942. The Queen continues to tour and celebrate the 50th anniversary of her rendition of Otis Redding’s Respect hitting the top of the charts back in 1967. Franklin will return to the Mann Music Center in West Philly Saturday, August 26th.
Matthew McConaughey has begun the campaign to name his The Dark Tower Co-star, Idris Elba, People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. McConaughey got the honor in 2005. During a joint interview. McConaughey said he believed it was time for Elba to take the title, much to Elba’s amusement. People’s Sexiest Man Alive announcement comes out in November, and Elba will be seen a lot this fall. He’s teaming up with Oscar Winner Kate Winslet (“Titanic”) for the upcoming “The Mountain Between Us.” Elba plays a doctor and Winslet, a journalist. Circumstances have them both taking a private plane that crashes, killing the pilot (Beau Bridges) and leaving the doctor and journalist to battle the elements to get back to civilization. Elba is currently on the cover of the August issue of Essence Magazine. He’s also making his big screen directorial debut with “Yardie,” the story of a Jamaican gangster caught up in the cold cruel world of the cocaine market from London to Kingston. Plus, Elba and McConaughey are in theaters with “The Dark Tower.” Elba plays a gunslinger in a futuristic world who must stop his enemy, played by McConaughey, from destroying a mystical tower. The Dark Tower is in theaters this Friday.
The Philadelphia Music Alliance has just announced its Philadelphia Music Walk Of Fame Class of 2017 inductees. This year’s class members are Labelle (Patti LaBelle, Sarah Dash, and Nona Hendryx), Sister Sledge (Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy), Philly International Legends McFadden & Whitehead, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Soul Survivors, Chris Schwartz of Ruffhouse Records, WDAS alum and Radio Personality Bob Pantano and Jill Scott. The festivities will take place on Wednesday October 4th. An outdoor induction ceremony and a gala at The Fillmore Philadelphia are all planned. Tickets and information can be found HERE https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-philadelphia-music-alliance-gala-dinner-tickets-35947866035 .
Halle Berry is back. She’s shutting down the internet, back in movies and reuniting with “My Nephew!” First, Halle has taken over the internet with very provocative instagram pics that are setting the internet on fire. Part social consciousness and part showing that, at age 50, she’s lost nothing. Check out her beach photos and her “Snacks” pictures. Berry has also confirmed that she had such a good time with Kevin Hart doing that spy-type spoof at the beginning of his concert film What Now, that a spin-off is in the works. Berry says a full length feature is planned for their characters Agent 0054 and Money Berry. Meanwhile, Berry’s latest film is a thriller called Kidnap, and it hits the big screen this week. Berry plays a mom who witnesses her six-year old son’s kidnapping and begins the journey herself of rescuing him from his captors. Berry is also the executive producer. The Oscar winner also has two more movies scheduled for release later this fall. Kings co-stars 007 himself, James Bond’s Daniel Craig, and the film is about Berry and Craig’s characters helping each other through the L.A. Riots of 1992. Finally, the big screen adaption of the comic book series The Secret Service comes alive in the film sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Berry co-stars with Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Elton John. Kings and Kingsman: The Golden Circle are both slated for September releases. Kidnap hits theaters this Friday.
Rap Legend Kidd Creole is charged with murder. As one of the founding members of the legendary rap group Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Creole holds a huge spot in music history. The group’s hits included Freedom; New York, New York; Scorpio; Showdown and The Message. Now Creole, whose real name is Nathan Glover, stands charged with the murder of a homeless man. As of press time, media outlets identified the victim as John Jolly, a 55-year old convicted sex offender who lived in a shelter. Police found Jolly with several stab wounds, which he would ultimately die from in a hospital. Glover was arrested after being spotted near the scene on surveillance cameras. Police aren’t officially confirming yet, but reports are that the two men allegedly were in a verbal altercation and a gay slur was used against Glover. Lately, Glover has been working as a handyman and security guard in a building near the scene of the crime. Glover has also still been performing with The Furious Five. They’re even scheduled to be in Philly at the Dell Music Center August 20th.
Is Beyonce planning to become an NBA mogul? Word on the street is the Lemonade singer is considering buying an interest in the Houston Rockets, her hometown team. NBA Owner Leslie Alexander has made it know that he wants to sell his controlling interest in the team. Could this be the perfect opportunity for Queen Bey? Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, has some experience in this field. He owned a stake in the Brooklyn Nets for nine years beginning in 2004. Jay-Z gave up his ownership because of the conflict of interest with his Roc Nation management company that represents, among other sports, some NBA players. Beyonce wouldn’t have such a conflict. The 35-year old mother of three, she delivered son and daughter twins Sir and Rumi this year, would join other celebrities who invest in sports teams like her good girlfriends Venus and Serena Williams, who are invested in the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
Nia Long is returning to TV this fall as a regular on NCIS after a successful guest starring stint on Empire earlier this year. Long will join the cast, headed by LL Cool J, as former Secret Service Agent Shay Mosley, the NCIS team’s new executive assistant director. Long is best known for her big screen work like Soul Food, Big Momma’s House, The Best Man and Love Jones, but she got her start on TV with Guiding Light, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, Moesha and ER. NCIS returns for its ninth season to CBS Sunday, October 1st.
The Weeknd will be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar for their Icons issue. Inside will feature the 27-year old singer along with Supermodel Joan Smalls and the legendary Dionne Warwick. The Weeknd will be at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday, September 16th at 7pm, and his cover of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands August 22nd.
R Kelly has canceled four shows from his tour as his new crisis management team fights allegations that he’s running a cult. The I Believe I Can Fly singer has been accused of keeping young girls in at least two residents he owns and imposing rules of servitude and sex demands. The singer denies all wrongdoing through his attorneys. Kelly’s crisis management team is rumored to include Bill Cosby’s former Lawyer/Spokesperson Monique Pressley. Kelly cancelled four shows from his current tour, but is still scheduled to resume it and perform through October. What will Kelly’s people advise him to do? Will a tell-all interview do it? Will he sue his accusers? The 50-year old Chicago born singer/songwriter has been dropping a less than subtle denial on social media then gets right back to promoting himself. At press time, Kelly’s not scheduled for a concert in the Delaware Valley area.
Meanwhile for Usher, the show goes on. The also accused singer performed this past weekend at the Cincinnati Music Festival. He taped carpool karaoke with James Corden on CBS’ The Late Late Show before his scandal broke. Usher stands accused of giving a woman the incurable STD herpes. One woman sued him a few years ago and the 38-year old singer settled with a non-disclosure agreement. Once that case leaked, a second unidentified woman filed suit for $20 million claiming she now tested positive for herpes and that Usher didn’t inform her of his alleged sexual status. As of press time, Usher has yet to publicly comment on these suits, the accusations or his own heath status. Usher is not only still performing, but is schedule to join Comedian Dave Chappelle during Chappelle’s residency at Radio City Music Hall in New York this month.
Def Comedy Jam is back. The Russell Simmons produced variety show was a smash on HBO back in the 90’s. It introduced America to Martin Lawrence, Bill Bellamy, Mo’Nique, Adele Givens and Bernie Mac. Now, Simmons is behind the revival series All Def Comedy Jam coming to HBO in December.
This year’s Kennedy Center Honors will be off the hook. It will mark Donald Trump’s first as president, but some of the honorees have spoken out against the new POTUS and his policies. Legendary TV Mogul Norman Lear and Cuban-born Gloria Estefan have been particularly vocal. The now 95-year old Lear, who created the classic sitcoms All In The Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and Good Times, just to name a few, has put out a statement that he will not attend any White House ceremonies associated with the honor though he is glad to be saluted by the Kennedy Center. Estefan took part in the protest song We’re All Mexican, produced by her husband Emilio Estefan. The song was a rebuke of the Trump campaign and administration’s stance and statements referring to Hispanics. This year’s honorees also include Actor/Rapper LL Cool J, Actress/Dancer Carmen de Lavallade and the legendary Lionel Richie. The ceremony will be held and taped December 3rd and broadcast on CBS December 26th.
Michelle Obama is back! The former First Lady of The United States is gearing up to finish her much anticipated book, and then she’ll be in full press mode. For now, Mrs. Obama is testing the waters. This week, she made a much talked about appearance at The ESPY’s to present The Arthur Ashe Courage Award posthumously to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of The Special Olympics. Up next, First Lady Obama will be in Philly as she is the keynote speaker for The Pennsylvania Conference of Women on Tuesday, October 3rd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For tickets and information log onto paconferenceforwomen.org.
The cast of OWN’s Queen Sugar (Rutina Wesley, Kofi Soriboe, and Dawn-Lyen Gardner) graces the cover of the July/August edition of Ebony Magazine. The issue will cover how the Oprah Winfrey-Ava DuVernay production is one way of trying to bridge Hollywood’s diversity gap.
My favorite music series “UnSung” is back in full swing. This summer, the TV One documentary show features the life and career stories of Shanice (August 6th) and Ice-T (August 13th). The Dramatics, Switch, Wyclef Jean, Jagged Edge and Marvin Sapp were previously featured in this season’s previous episodes. “UnSung” airs Sundays at 10pm.
Oprah’s Master Class returns to OWN this summer with all new episodes. This summer’s lineup features Gladys Knight, Tyler Perry, Usher, LL Cool J, Congressman and Civil Rights Hero John Lewis, Shaquille O’Neal, Emmy Winning Actress Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf) and WDAS’ Morning Man Steve Harvey. OWN will announce the August premiere date for Oprah’s Master Class in the coming weeks.
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 is in full swing:
August 10th - Erykah Badu & Ro James
August 17th - Sheila E, Dave Koz & Larry Graham
August 24th - Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly
Check out who’s coming to town:
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, August 25th – Smokey Robinson in concert at The Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and for tickets and information log onto Tropicana.net
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
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.