We remember the late great Lois Fernandez. The South Philly resident was inspired to bring the culture of Africa to America and more specifically Philadelphia. Fernandez’s 1972 trip to Nigeria, West Africa sparked the idea for her and her friend Ruth Arthur to create Odunde. Today, the Odunde organization has revolved into a year round nonprofit based out of South Philly serving the entire Delaware Valley as an educational beacon focused on young people. Fernandez was a former social worker who began Odunde with a $100 grant and about 50 participants. Through many challenges of permits fundraisers and one time political foes, she and her daughter Bumi persevered. As a result, this year Odunde marked its 42nd anniversary as America’s largest African-themed street festival. Lois Fernandez, the bridge from the motherland of civilization to here in America, was 81 years old.
The Mighty O has a new business venture: a food line. Oprah Winfrey has teamed up with Kraft Heinz Company and created a new line of refrigerated comfort foods. The food line will be called O, That’s Good! The line consists of four soups and four sides at $4.99. The theme of the line will reflect Winfrey’s dedication to nutrition and her love of eating fresh, healthy food from the garden. O, That’s Good! will launch and be on supermarket shelves by the end of September.
U stands for Usher, but the Q stands for Quantasia. Quantasia Sharpton is one of three people represented by Celebrity Attorney Lisa Bloom who have filed a lawsuit against Usher for allegedly exposing the three to the incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) herpes through sexual contact. Sharpton, who says she doesn’t have herpes, claimed meeting Usher at his concert on her 19th birthday, and that his security pulled her out of the crowd. She claimed Usher later met her at her hotel room where things eventually became sexual. Social media raked Sharpton over the coals. First, she was dragged for her weight, as she’s pretty heavy, her looks and the fact that she does not have herpes by her own admission. Then, her past social media posts were made public. Those posts included her stating she needed money a week before her suit, and a another post hours before her press conference saying goodbye to regular life has people side-eyeing her. Sharpton’s Attorney Lisa Bloom had to release statements defending Sharpton. The internet also exposed the reported different past alias names Sharpton has used, and her possible involvement in naming another rapper, August Alsina, as the father of her child. Sharpton is reported to have said her name Quantasia is too ghetto and hard to pronounce, so the alias worked better. Meanwhile, we’re awaiting an official reaction from Usher after YouTube videos of the singer pulling heavy women like Sharpton on stage. Reportedly, the Confessions singer let his close circle know Sharpton is not his type, and he never had sex with her. Apparently, pulling up women on stage that don’t just look like supermodels or video vixens is good for his image and an esteem builder for the audience.
Meanwhile, Usher’s insurance company wants no part of having to pay anyone if the singer is found liable. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Usher’s insurer, filed legal documents with the clause in reference to the company not covering bodily injury arising from STD transmission. The insurance company also points out that Usher settled a case from another woman without informing them. That’s the $1.1 million Usher gave to a woman who previously sued the singer. Can the married singer’s career bounce back from this? He faces multiple multimillion dollar lawsuits from three women and one man. They all claim sexual contact with Usher, and at least two claim to have herpes. Reportedly, Usher was to have declared being herpes free and ready to sue his accusers, but as of press time we are still waiting for an official reaction from the 38-year old superstar or his representatives.
So far the year 2017 belongs to current box office phenom and Comedienne Tiffany Haddish. Although her co-starring role on The Carmichael Show came to an end when the sitcom was cancelled by NBC this summer, that hasn’t stopped her career. This fall, she’ll appear opposite fellow Comedians Tracy Morgan and Cedric The Entertainer in the TBS comedy The Last O.G. Haddish plays the remarried mom of twins Morgan’s character fathered but had no idea about before he went to prison. First up for Haddish is her Showtime stand up special, She Ready! From The Hood To Hollywood. Currently, the 37-year old is starring in Girls Trip with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall. Girls Trip has taken in over $85 million, and is on deck to finish its run with even bigger blockbuster numbers. Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From The Hood To Hollywood premieres on Showtime Friday, August 18th at 9pm.
This week, Tiger Woods has pled not guilty to a Driving Under The Influence (D.U.I.) charge stemming from his May 29th arrest. Woods also announced he’ll enroll in a first time offender D.U.I. diversionary program at the end of this year. This all seems to be part of a deal that’s being put together with Florida prosecutors. When Woods was arrested on Memorial Day, he was found pulled over the side of the road and asleep. Police give him a sobriety test and observed Woods walked unsteady and slurred his speech. Woods was found to have had no alcohol in his system, but did take his prescription meds for his back and sleep disorder. Shortly after that arrest, Woods released a statement that he enrolled and completed a separate intensive program to help him deal with his use of prescription medication. As for this new program, smart money says this will be a part of a deal to plead to a much lesser charge during his arraignment. Wood will be arraigned October 25th.
Whoopi Goldberg is staying on The View for its 21st season on ABC. It’s no secret the daytime talker, produced by Barbara Walters, has had many problems both in front and behind the camera. It hasn’t always been easy, but ABC sees Goldberg, who’ll mark her 10th anniversary as moderator, as the steady force the show needed since Barbara Walters retired in 2014. Her View schedule still allows Goldberg time for outside projects like appearances in film (Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls) and TV (Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck), and producing projects through her company One Ho Productions.
This fall Empire is back on the FOX network. The top-rated drama, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and produced by Philly’s own Lee Daniels, has made some significant changes for the upcoming season. There’ll be a tribute to the late Singer/Songwriter Prince. Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker is joining the cast, and he’ll be singing! Yes, Forest Whitaker singing! Producers this time around promise less stunt casting as they get back to basics. Empire will return to FOX Wednesday September 27th.
Empire’s own Taraji P. Henson will host BET’s Black Girls Rock! 2017, a salute to excellence in the community by way of African American women. Performing will be India.Arie, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, Sza, Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Tyrese. This year’s honorees include Singer/Songwriter Roberta Flack, Actress Yara Shahidi (Black-ish), Businesswoman Suzanne Shank, Community Activists Natalie & Derrica Wilson, Writer/Producer/Actress Issa Rae (Insecure) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Black Girls Rock! 2017 airs on BET Tuesday, August 22nd at 8pm.
Speaking of Issa Rae, her HBO show Insecure has become an HBO classic ranking with their past heavy hitters like Sex In The City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire. Insecure just got renewed for a third season. So did Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Emmy nominated show Ballers. Ballers, which chronicles the business adventures of a former pro football player turned financial manager for current players, will be back for a fourth season on HBO.
Dionne Warwick to be honored with Marian Anderson Award. Philadelphia Rep. Sheila Hess recently announced that Warwick would be the recipient of the 2017 Marian Anderson Award. Dionne Warwick will receive the award on November 14th at the Marian Anderson Gala and Concert at the Kimmel Center. Tickets will go on sale August 18th.
Evan Ross, Mike Epps & Luke James Join ‘Star’. According to Deadline, “Ross will play Angel, nephew to Jahil Rivera (Benjamin Bratt) and a DJ with a bad-boy streak who is heavy in the Latin music scene. Mike Epps will appear in the Star/Empire crossover episode as Jay Holland, the girls’ record label president who is willing to cross the line with one of them. Luke James will play Noah Brooks, a top-selling R&B artist at the label. He is charming and a sweet talker with an ambitious streak.” The second season will premiere on September 27th.
We remember Country Singer Glen Campbell. When I got my start in radio, I hosted a country music format. I remember playing many Campbell fan favorites like Wichita Lineman, Gentle On My Mind, Southern Nights, Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, and his signature, Rhinestone Cowboy. Though married four times with eight children, his romance with fellow Country Legend Tanya Tucker was his most famous. They had a tumultuous time, but channeled it into success in their careers as duet partners with the hits Shoulder To Shoulder and Dream Lover. Their personal problems, including cocaine and alcohol addictions, contributed to the relationship’s end. Tucker penned a tribute to Campbell after his death that she’d love him forever. Campbell was such a popular crossover artist, it led to his own weekly series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, a host of other opportunities and a music Oscar nomination in 2015 for the movie I’ll Be Me and the song I’m Not Gonna Miss You. Glen Campbell announced more than six months ago that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and mounted a successful farewell tour. Glen Campbell was 81-years old.
In their 1998 chart toping, Grammy winning hit, it was Brandy versus Monica for The Boy Is Mine. Almost twenty years later, it just may be Déjà vu, except this isn’t in a song. Singer/Actress Brandy has been taking shots at her fellow Singer/Actress Monica. It all began when both ladies marked the late Whitney Houston’s birthday with social media tributes. Houston produced, co-starred and mentored Brandy during the TV movie remake of Cinderella they did together. Meanwhile, Houston and Monica were labelmates together on Clive Davis’ Arista Records. When Monica posted a tribute picture, Brandy posted a photo collage tribute soon after. That caused Monica fans to drag Brandy. Brandy responded by calling them evil and telling Monica she needs to check those Hatin A** Pigeons! You know I love Brandy, and don’t want to see her caught up in mess. She needs a career turnaround. I’m thinking a Broadway role. Vanessa Williams was able to flow straight into a phenomenal career on stage as a follow up to her recording career with incredible success. That would be perfect for Brandy. As for Monica, she’s taking the high road and not responding. Monica continues to tour, and she was excellent when she was at the Dell Music Center in July with Tank and Joe.
OWN presents its new TV docu-series Black Love, showcasing high profile African Americans making their relationships works and the effort to make their achievements as a team come true. The series will feature couples Actress Viola Davis and Actor/Producer Julius Tennon; Actress Meagan Good and Film Executive DeVon Franklin; Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway and Dr. Anthony Calloway; and Actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Actor Cory Hardrict. Black Love premieres Tuesday, August 29th at 10pm on OWN.
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 at PMAWALK.ORG .
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.
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.
Actress Niecy Nash, the star of the series Claws, which has its season finale this Sunday at 9pm on TNT, is on the cover of September’s Essence magazine. September’s Essence with Niecy Nash hits newsstands August 18th.
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.
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.
My favorite music series “UnSung” is back in full swing. This week, the TV One documentary show features the life and career story and Ice-T (August 13th). The Dramatics, Switch, Wyclef Jean, Jagged Edge, Marvin Sapp and Shanice were previously featured in this season’s previous episodes. “UnSung” airs Sundays at 10pm.
The 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.
August 24th - Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly
Check out who’s coming to town:
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.
Sunday, August 27th – Tamar Braxton in concert at The Tower Theater, Upper Darby, Pa. For tickets and information venue.thetowerphilly.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.
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.
Saturday, September 16th – Boz Scaggs in concert at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Tuesday, October 3rd - Michelle Obama is the keynote speaker for The Pennsylvania Conference of Women at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For tickets and information log onto paconferenceforwomen.org.
Saturday, October 7th – The Spinners and Little Anthony & The Imperials in concert at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Sunday, October 8th – Incognito in concert at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Tuesday, October 10th – Bruno Mars in concert at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets or for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Friday, October 13th – Boney James in concert at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Saturday, October 28th – Tracy Morgan comedy show at The Tower Theater, Upper Darby, Pa. For tickets and information venue.thetowerphilly.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
Sunday, December 17th – Damien Escobar in concert 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.