At the movies this week, it’s Tyler Perry as “Madea.” His Halloween sequel for Madea is Boo2! A Madea Halloween. This Madea installment is a take-off on the slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s. Meanwhile, Perry has also authored the inspirational book Higher Is Waiting, which is due out November 14th. Finally, Perry will play General Colin Powell in a movie about former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney served as VP and Powell as Secretary Of State under President George W. Bush. The untitled movie is in production now and also stars Amy Adams, Steve Carrell and Christian Bale as Dick Cheney.
The 2017 American Music Awards will honor a former two-time host and seven –time winner who you can call Miss Ross. The Boss, Diana Ross, will be honored with the AMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Ross released a statement of thanks and remembrance of the many times she appeared on the AMA’s and how her relationship with AMA Creator Dick Clark went back to American Bandstand and the Caravan Of Stars in the early 60’s. Meanwhile Bruno Mars, Drake and The Weeknd are among the top nominees. Fans are asked to go to the AMA’s website to vote for their favorites. The winners will be announced live when the AMA’s take place Sunday, November 19th at 8pm on ABC.
The 2017 Marian Anderson Awards will honor the legendary Dionne Warwick. Saluting the Grammy-winning East Orange, NJ native will be Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, Darlene Love, Alyson Cambridge and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. The festivities will take place at The Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce, on Tuesday, November 14th. For tickets and information log onto kimmelcenter.org
Solange and Bruno Mars lead the nominees for the 2017 Soul Train Awards. Solange leads with 7 and Bruno is right behind her with 6. Other nominees include Beyonce, Charlie Wilson, Khalid, Cardi B, Childish Gambino and Mary J. Blige. Toni Braxton and SWV will both receive The Legend Awards. The 2017 Soul Train Awards will air Sunday, November 26th on BET.
In more Toni Braxton news, she didn’t marry Rapper/Label Head Birdman. Braxton, 50, released a statement denying the rumors that the two were married this week. Birdman, 48, has known Braxton since 1992 when they collaborated musically on the song Baby You Can Do It. They only recently started dating, but have been inseparable. But, Braxton says they haven’t jumped the broom.
Oprah Winfrey has a new book based on the big reveals of life from her show Super Soul Sundays. The inspirational themed work is called Wisdom Of Sundays. Winfrey says the idea is to show the reader how to live a fuller life. Winfrey has interviewed everyone for President Jimmy Carter to Iyanla Van Zandt on Super Soul Sunday. Winfrey repeated that diversity for the book. Super Soul Sundays airs Sunday mornings at 11am, and Wisdom Of Sundays is available in bookstores and online now.
Shonda Rhimes and the original cast (1975-1976) of SNL are going into the TV Hall Of Fame. Writer/Producer/TV Titian Rhimes becomes only the third African American woman to receive this honor. Diahann Carroll and Oprah Winfrey are already inductees. The original cast from Saturday Night Live, including Chevy Chase, Jane Curtain, the late John Belushi & Gilda Radner and, of course, Garrett Morris, will be inducted as well. The Hall Of Fame ceremony will take place on November 15th.
Military Couple Andy and Ashley Williams premiere Flip Or Flop: Fort Worth on HGTV. The twist: they bring their military honed skills of organization and execution to the table. The husband and wife are both veterans and met in the military. Andy and Ashley saw real estate as the best way to usher their army life into civilian life. Flip Or Flop: Fort Worth premieres Tuesday, November 2nd at 9pm on HGTV.
Actress Kim Fields celebrates 40 years of acting with a new book and a new movie. First, her new book, Blessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears and Tales From Harlem To Hollywood chronicles her life and career up to the present. Part of her inspiration was knowing that the audience attributes some of the traits of her TV personas to her directly. Fields starred for nine seasons as “Tootie” in the NBC Diff’rent Strokes sitcom spin-off The Facts Of Life 1979-1988, and then found success again as “Regine” in the FOX hit sitcom Living Single 1993-1998. Fields has also become an accomplished director and a wife and mom. Fields also has a new inspirational movie out called A Question Of Faith. Co-starring Richard T. Jones (Why Did I Get Married; Judging Amy), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders; E.T.; The Amazing Spiderman) and Gregory Alan Williams (Baywatch; The Game), it’s the story of three families’ journey to faith in God after extreme tragedy strikes all of them. A Question Of Faith is in theaters now.
Gabrielle Union has written her memoir, We’re Going To Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated And True. Union is prepping a huge book tour in support, and she holds nothing back. She describes he lows like being raped at gunpoint while working at Payless. She later sued the shoe chain since her assailant, who was sentenced to 33 years, had previously robbed their other outlet. Union has since become an outspoken advocate for sexual assault victims. The 44-year old also describes how despite their recent tragedy of 8 or 9 miscarriages, Union and her 35-year old husband, NBA Champ Dwyane Wade, stand ready to welcome their child into the world if the opportunity should ever present itself. The couple is currently raising Wade’s two sons and his nephew, which convinced Union she wanted to add more children to the family. Wade’s third son lives with the boy’s mother. Meanwhile, Gabrielle Union currently stars and co-produces the BET hit drama Being Mary Jane, and her new book, We’re Going To Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated And True is available October 17, 2017.
Grady Tate has died. Tate was a drummer and singer who specialized in fusing the genres of jazz, pop and soul. Tate served many years as a drummer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Tate also accompanied performers like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Simon & Garfunkel and Quincy Jones. He came into huge prominence when he contributed vocals to ABC’s School House Rock Saturday morning children’s learning series. As well, Tate sang on Grover Washington, Jr.’s hit album Come Morning on the songs Little Black Samba and Be Mine Tonight. Later in life, Tate became an educator and joined the faculty of Howard University. Grady Tate died of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 85.
Jerry Ross has died. The prominent Philadelphia-born record mogul had a knack for spotting talent and songwriting. Ross served as producer and even one time label owner. He found great success as a producer for Bobby Hebb’s Sunny and Shocking Blue’s Venus and as a writer for Jerry Butler and later New Birth on (Hey Mr.) Dream Merchant. He would later mentor Kenny Gamble and was instrumental in Gamble’s teaming up professionally as a songwriting partner Leon Huff. In 1968, Ross, Gamble and Huff wrote the song I’m Gonna Make You Love Me for Dee Dee Warwick on the Mercury label. Nick Ashford (Ashford & Simpson) and Frank Wilson produced its remake for Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations and it was a million-selling, chart topping success for Motown. Jerry Ross continued to stay active as a producer and songwriter and remained closely tied to Philadelphia’s music scene. Ross died of prostate cancer at the age of 84.
Kevin Hart is touring. He’s on the first leg of his Irresponsible tour, but his sex tape buddy says foul. The woman alleged to be on that tape is Montia Sabbag. When the F.B.I. began to investigate Hart’s claims of being blackmailed and extorted over the tape, Sabbag hired high-powered Lawyer Lisa Bloom to clear her name and confirm Sabbag had nothing to do with taping Hart or any extortion attempt. Now Bloom says her client feels exploited because of Hart’s new comedy tour, in which he may talk frankly about this entire incident. Bloom points out that Hart will profit while her client, Sabbag, continues to be ridiculed. Dates for Hart’s “Irresponsible” comedy tour are still being confirmed.
Former Saturday Night Live Cast Member Sasheer Zamata is headed to the big screen. Zamata teams with Brent Morin in The Outdoorsman. Both play two people in the midst of personal and professional upheaval and find themselves and each other in the process. The Outdoorsman is making the film festival rounds and may be released this year.
Mariah Carey’s Christmas Show is coming to the Borgata in Atlantic City on Saturday, November 25th.
Mary J. Blige is the new covergirl for November’s Essence magazine. Blige also stars in the film Mudbone, which is stirring up huge buzz and will be released on Netflix Friday, November 17th.
Acclaimed Theater Writer/Director and Filmmaker David E. Talbert is teaming up with Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer. The duo is bringing the life of pioneering African American entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker to a film that will stream on Netflix. Walker introduced a line of beauty products for African American women and became the first female self-made millionaire. Also on deck for Talbert, he’s just signed a development deal with ABC. First up will be the sitcom White David, which is in the vein of Everybody Loves Chris, but it’s actually based on Talbert’s youth.
Bad news continues for NeNe Leakes. E! Entertainment’s Fashion Police has been cancelled. It appears to have nothing to do with Leakes’ current controversy because the show couldn’t hold the ratings it had with the late Joan Rivers. Is Leakes becoming a one-trick pony? If Housewives goes too, what will Leakes be doing? Last week, Leakes was removed as host of The Great Xscape Tour starring Xscape, Monica and Tamar Braxton. Leaks, who had been hosting the tour and performing stand up, got heckled and told a rape joke at the expense of the heckler. She later issued an apology, but she was still fired.
Cicely Tyson is on Elle: The Women In Hollywood Issue.
Chadwick Boseman is on Ebony’s The October/Men's Issue and, at the movies this week, Boseman, Kate Hudson and Sterling K. Brown star in Marshall. The movie chronicles an early law case of the late Thurgood Marshall before his landmark arguments that led to school desegregation in Brown vs. Board Of Education, and before he was appointed America’s first African American Supreme Court Justice. Marshall is currently in theaters.
Speaking of Chadwick Boseman, his co-star in big screen adaption of Marvel Comics’ Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan, has another comic book project lined up. Jordan will be an executive producer on Raising Dion for Netflix. Based on the comic book story of an African American widow who discovers her young son has superpowers. Jordan will also appear occasionally as the boy’s father and the widower’s late husband. Netflix has given Raising Dion a 10-episode order. At press time, no streaming date has been announced yet. Meanwhile, look for Jordan in Marvel Comics Black Panther on February 16th, 2018.
Attention Men: Can You Cook? It’s that time again for Philly’s Men Are Cooking, and the A.K.A.’s are looking for the men of the Delaware Valley to show the ladies their culinary skills. This is the annual Philly event where the men do all the cooking, and the ladies get to walk around and sample what the men have to offer. It all benefits the A.K.A.’s charitable and community service arm, The Ivy Legacy Foundation. The festivities take place at The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, 6825-31 Norwitch Drive, Philadelphia, Pa. The information for Philly’s Men Are Cooking about tickets and signing up to cook can be found at ivylegacy.org.
Taraji P. Henson is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The Oscar and Emmy nominee and star of Lee Daniel’s Empire will receive her honor in 2018, and will also have her ceremony in the new year with fellow inductees RuPaul, May J. Bilge, Zoe Saldana, Weird Al Yankovic, Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and the late Bernie Mac.
The nominees for The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame for 2018 are Nina Simone, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J and Rufus & Chaka Khan. Until December 5th, The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame is taking the fans’ votes on their website to help guide the final decision.
White Famous is on Showtime. Comedian and ex Saturday Night Live Cast-member Jay Pharoah stars as a rising comedian who is maintaining the thin line of keeping his credibility in the black community while trying tom appeal more and more to the white community. Jamie Foxx, whose life the show is based on, is the co-executive producer and has a recurring role. White Famous airs on Showtime this Sunday at 8pm.
TV One’s UnSung Hollywood returns this month. Two episodes already confirmed is the premiere spotlighting the hit sitcom The Jeffersons, which is TV’s longest running program with a predominately African American cast (1975-1985 on CBS). The next week, Sunday October 29th, will feature Tupac Shakur. UnSung Hollywood’s third season kicks off this Sunday, October 22nd at 10pm on TV One.
Smokey Robinson has teamed up with American Greetings for a new twist on greeting cards. E-cards are the Motown legend’s latest project where his classic songs are being converted into personalized greetings. Robinson used his smash composition for The Temptations, My Girl, for this past weekend’s Father-Daughter Day and coming soon are his Get Ready e-cards. This could be quite a project because aside from the hits Robinson has enjoyed as lead singer of The Miracles and a solo act, he’s had nearly 40 top 40 hits and written or co-written over 4,000 songs.
Denzel has changed his look…..again!! The two-time Oscar winner has a new movie called Roman J. Israel, Esq. He plays a lawyer who’s an advocate for the people, but his throwback style is something between a militant and Don Cornelius on the 1970’s edition of Soul Train. HE EVEN TOOK THE CAPPS OUT!!! When “Israel” wins, he lets others take the credit. Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo co-star. Roman J. Israel, Esq. opens November 3rd.
Bruno Mars has shot his performance at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem for his upcoming TV special. The special will be a mix of performances and interviews. The 31-year old, five-time Grammy winner has already released a picture of his performing on top of the legendary Apollo marquee. Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo will air Wednesday, November 29th on CBS.
Check out who’s coming to town:
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
Saturday, November 11th – Gladys Knight at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For tickets or for more information log onto Tropicana.net
Monday, November 13th – Janet Jackson at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets or for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Tuesday, November 14th – Leela James and Tank: Savage X, The Soul Tour at the TLA, 3rd and South . For tickets or for more information log onto venue.tlaphilly.com.
Sunday, November 19th – The stage play Thugs & The Women Who Love Them starring K Michelle, Sevyn Streeter, Ray J, and Lyfe Jennings at The Tower Theater, Upper Darby, Pa. For tickets and information venue.thetowerphilly.com.
Friday, December 1st – Sinbad comedy show at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Friday, December 1st – Jay-Z at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets or for more information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Saturday, December 9th – Fantasia Christmas Holiday concert at the Fillmore Philly, 29 East Allen Street and for more information log onto thefillmorephilly.com/venue
Sunday, December 17th – Damien Escobar in concert at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for more information log onto keswicktheatre.com
Tuesday, December 19th – The Great Xscape Tour starring Xscape, Monica and Tamar Braxton at The Liacouras Center, Broad & Montgomery. Tix are on sale Friday, October 13th 2017 and for more information log onto Liacourascenter.com/events.
Sunday, January 14th – The All-Stars Of Hip Hop starring Nelly, Ja Rule, KRS1, Redman & Method Man, Fatman Scoop and Three Times Dope at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ppshows.com.
Sunday, February 18th – The Soul Jam At The Tropicana in Atlantic City.
Saturday, February 24th – Katt Williams comedy show at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto boardwalkhall.com/events.
Friday, March 9th – Keith Sweat in concert at The Liacouras Center, Broad & Montgomery. Tix are on sale Friday, October 13th 2017 and for more information log onto Liacourascenter.com/events.
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.