Usher is hit with multiple lawsuits by a man and several women accusing the married singer of exposing them to herpes. This all began when details of Usher’s confidential settlement of $1.1 million from years ago got leaked to the media. Quantasia Sharpton claimed that she had a one night stand with the Let It Burn singer and claims he exposed her to the risk of getting herpes. But her credibility took another hit when she did an interview that went viral claiming she has a sex tape to prove she was with Usher. Her lawyer, Celebrity Attorney Lisa Bloom, had to issue a statement that there was a misunderstanding in order to explain that a sex tape doesn’t exist. Then Laura Helm has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the singer. A tape soon surfaced allegedly between an Atlanta publicist and a woman, alleged to be Helm, on the tape is heard saying that she and Usher used a condom every time they had an encounter and she had no plans to sue. Helm has since dropped the suit for now.
The year end with the questions: could Activist and Blackballed Quarterback Colin Kaepernick be back in the NFL with an assist from Diddy?!!! Published reports say Sean P Diddy Combs has expressed an interest in buying the Carolina Panthers and bringing in Kaepernick. Could Kaepernick be both quarterback and co-owner. The two men have had a serious conversation about forming an ownership group and NBA Champ Steph Curry could be the third principal. After Kaepernick spent last season kneeling during the national anthem protesting police brutality during NFL games, he was effectively blackballed and is not currently playing. Ironically, this opportunity came about because current Panthers Majority Owner Jerry Richardson announced selling off the team amid allegations he’s facing for sexual and racial harassment at the workplace.
Beyonce and Sean “P Diddy” Combs are topping the charts again, but this time in pay! Forbes has released its highest paid entertainers list. The Weeknd, who landed at #6 with a $92 million take, is on the cover of that issue. Diddy sold a third of his clothing line recently, and that propelled him to the number one spot this year with a $130 million take. Queen Bey was at #2 with $105 million. Other notables include Philly’s own Kevin Hart #98 with $32.5 million, Tiger Woods #70 with $37.1 million, WDAS Morning Man Steve Harvey came in at #53 with $42.5 million, newly crowned 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant at #25 with $60 million, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson at #22 with $65 million.
ESPN Anchor Jemele Hill went in on Donald Trump, but is her job in danger as a result? Hill took to her social media and criticized the current POTUS. She called him ignorant, offensive and a bigot among other things, and said he relies on white supremacy. ESPN’s PR team released a tweet from their own account apologizing and calling Hill’s comments inappropriate and said they met with her on the issue. The White House responded by suggesting Hill should lose her job. In between embattled NFL player Colin Kaepernick tweeted his support of hill, and Rev. Al Sharpton says he’ll lead a boycott of ESPN if they fire Hill. Hill went back to her twitter but not to apologize. She expressed regret that her tweets from her independent account were associated ESPN. She was suspended but is now back on the air.
The Bill Cosby sexual assault criminal trial ended in a mistrial, and there are no shortage of memorable moments and drama. Keisha Knight Pulliam, Sheila Frazier and her husband, Celebrity Stylist John Atchison, Civil Rights Icon/Educator Mary Frances Berry, Comedians Joe Torry and Lewis Dix all walked with Cosby into court. Meanwhile, Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents dozens of accusers, has been holding press conferences outside the courthouse at the end of each day. Members of the jury did speak to the press and the sticking point was at least one believed there was a relationship. Cosby’s new legal team won a delay for his trial date. Tom Mesereau, who defended Michael Jackson, secured a delay in the retrial that will now see it starting, at the earliest, in March of 2018.
When Bill Cosby's rape and misconduct accusations kicked into full steam in 2014, he lost his touring dates, new TV deal, his old shows and movies were pulled off the air and now he's facing civil suits and a retrial this coming spring on criminal sexual assault charges. But, even Cosby's critics said this type of misconduct didn't start or end with Cosby, if it's true. Now Actors Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, Director Brett Ratner, Studio Chief Harvey Weinstein, former President George H.W. Bush, Dustin Hoffman, Def Jam Legend Russell Simmons, Congressman John Conyers, That 70’s Show Star Danny Masterson, Comedian turned Senator Al Franken, Legendary Journalist and now fired CBS This Morning Anchor Charlie Rose, Fired FOX Anchor Bill O’Reilly, dismissed FOX News Boss the late Roger Ailes, Journalist/Activist Tavis Smiley, Rapper Nelly, Former Eagle/TV Analyst Donovan McNabb, ex C.E.O. of Epic Records Songwriter/Producer L.A. Reid, and maybe the biggest shocker of them all, now fired Today Show Anchor Matt Lauer, have all been accused of sexual misconduct. The hashtag #metoo seems to have been the most viral item in cyberspace in 2018. Actor Terry Crews’ involvement is as victim when he alleged a high powered agent groped him.
The breakups: 51-year old Janet Jackson and hubby number three 42-year old Qatari Billionaire Businessman Wissam Al Mana; Halle Berry and hubby number three, Actor Oliver Martinez; Comedian Mike Epps and Mechelle; Mariah Carey has split with her boyfriend Bryan Tanaka after Carey split from her billionaire boyfriend James Packer. NBA Star Carmelo Anthony, 32, and his wife TV Personality LaLa, 37, have separated. Former Cosby Kid Keisha Knight Pulliam broke up with husband and ex-NFL Star and Real Housewives Of Atlanta Castmember Ed Hartwell; The father and former coach of Tennis Legends Venus and Serena Williams, 75-year old Richard Williams broke up with Lakeisha his 38 –year old wife and mother to his 5-year old son; Black-ish Executive Producer and Actor Lawrence Fishburne and Actress Gina Torres, have separated. Tamar Braxton files for divorce from her husband and manager Vince Herbert. Braxton’s former castmate from The Real Jeannie Mai, is divorcing her husband Freddy Harteis; Jill Scott is divorcing after almost 15 months of marriage to Mike Dobson. Michael Jamar announced divorcing Singer KeKe Wyatt’s, even though she was eight months pregnant.
Woke Activist and Grey’s Anatomy Star Jesse Williams divorced his now ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee have come to terms and it’s going to cost him. Williams was ordered to pay child and spousal support ($100,000) and Drake-Lee’s legal fees ($60,000). Williams and Drake-Lee have two children together. The now spilt couple is still hammering out custody rumored to be complicated because Drake –Lee is concerned about the women in William’s life and all the social media they’re exposed to with Williams. The Actor/Activist has been linked to Actress Minka Kelly.
Speaking of the other woman, is Kendu’s alleged chick on the side a Mary J. Bilge protégée? Singer Starshell is signed to Mary and Kendu Isaacs’ Matriarch Entertainment and she has toured with Blige. Now Starshell is being called the mistress by some of the press. Starshell denies this. Meanwhile, divorce settlement talks are still ongoing. Reportedly she believes her estranged husband and ex-manager Kendu Isaacs is hiding money during their divorce proceedings. Blige’s lawyers filed court papers that state Isaacs hasn’t worked in a year despite the couple owing over a million dollars to the I.R.S. The court documents also accused Isaacs of traveling to Australia, Laguna Beach, CA and Mexico at a cost of over $82,000, and shopping sprees for his alleged girlfriend’s company in Beverly Hills and at Ermenegildo and Chanel totaling over $21,000. Isaacs’ team fired back that those charges should be thrown out since Blige’s lawyers would have no way of knowing those expenses and that paperwork was improperly filed. When Blige and Isaacs split, a judge ordered she had to pay him $30,000 a month in temporary spousal support.
The Talk’s Aisha Tyler will have to cough up some dough. The comedienne has been ordered to pay her ex-husband Jeff Tietjens four years of spousal support. That’s more than $31,000 a month plus an additional $500,000. The couple splits the two cars and Tyler keeps her production/media companies. Tyler and Tietjens were married in 1992 but split in 2016.
Mel B and Stephen Belafonte have finalized their divorce, and are ready for the judge to sign off. Reportedly, the confidential agreement has the two sharing custody of their 6-year old daughter; selling their home after Belafonte gets his personal belongings back; and no child support on either side. Belafonte will get three years of spousal support provided he destroys all compromising videos of Mel B (a.k.a. the alleged sex tapes).
Jennifer Hudson vs. David Otunga: Round 2. The Oscar winner has dropped her order of protection against Otunga and the court has granted him temporary custody. This is because their son David, Jr. is eight, and Hudson is traveling back and forth to England to tape The Voice UK. Otunga, a former WWE pro wrestler, made it clear to the court he’s the boy’s primary caregiver anyway with the travel Hudson already does. Hudson agreed to drop the order only because Otunga is out of her house and no longer a threat to her. Hudson never accused Otunga of threatening their son only her. These rulings are all temporary and will likely come up again once Hudson completes her schedule overseas.
My “nephew” Kevin Hart MAN-ed up, went to the law, apologized and is soldiering on. Hart got caught up in a cheating scandal and was videotaped in a compromising position. The 38-year old actor and comedian took to social media, called out people who are targeting him and apologized to his wife Eniko Parrish and his children. Hart reported to law enforcement that he was the victim of extortion and blackmail over the video. The F.B.I. is apparently close to an arrest, and his pregnant wife Eniko is standing by his side. Hart and Eniko also welcomed their first child together. Kenzo Kash joins Kevin's two children Heaven, 12, and Hendrix, 10 from his previous marriage
Is Wendy Williams going to get any relief? Her husband Kevin Hunter is still being spotted out and about with his side jawn. Hunter and Wendy have been married twenty years and have a teenaged son. Hunter is also Wendy's manager. Meanwhile, after Hunter was busted in the press the first time, to which Wendy had to hit the TV screen and declare her marriage is fine, she's had a couple of scares. Those scares include fainting on the air. People close to the Queen Of All Media claim she's not eating or sleeping. How bad will this get when Wendy sees both she and the side jawn have rings?!!!!!
R Kelly’s 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.
Lionel Richie has been convinced and joined the new American Idol on ABC, but there’s a hitch. Katy Perry was the first to sign on as a judge for a reported $25 million. Then Ryan Seacreast was re-signed as host at a reported pay cut to between $12-15 million. That didn’t leave much for the other two judges. You know I think Lionel Richie is musical royalty. I can’t see how anyone is worth more than he is, but he decided to jump on board anyway. His salary is a reported $10 million while the third judge, Country superstar Luke Bryan, is at $13 million. Huh?!!!Anyway let’s see how long this status quo lasts. ABC has yet to announce the exact date of Idol’s return, but look for it just before spring of 2018 on ABC.
In politics, Steve Harvey, Zoe Saldana and Chrisette Michele all gave Trump some support in the media and were dragged for it. Steve went for a visit at Trump Tower. He says he regrets that. Saldana was quoted as saying she was placing her faith in Trump. And, Michele sang at the inauguration. Live and learn.
Pastor Joel Osteen takes the heat. The mega church pastor, who is seen on television weekly, was dragged mercilessly on social media because his Houston church was inaccessible during Hurricane Harvey. A social media statement claimed the flood waters made the church unavailable as a shelter. But, after people began posting pictures showing the church was fine and accessible, Osteen took a PR hit. He quickly released a statement that the church was never closed, he and wife Victoria care deeply about the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the Lakewood Church is open for a shelter. Osteen had to do a major TV blitz to say the church, a former sports arena that can hold thousands, was not accurately reported upon in the media. He says the church was never actually closed and had even been a drop off spot to sort out food, clothes and supplies from the Hurricane’s beginning.
Al Reynolds is Star Jones ex-husband and he has come out of the closet officially. Reynolds married TV Personality Star Jones in 2004. The two got divorced in 2008, and now Reynolds has finally come out as bi-sexual. Meanwhile Jones is marrying again but keeping mum on all details.
Okay, you know one of my all-time favorites is a legend in POP music, and now Barry Manilow has revealed he’s gay and happily married. Manilow, 73, is celebrating 50-years in show business. For almost 40-years, the Could It Be Magic singer/songwriter has been in a relationship with his manager Garry Kief, and they married in 2014. The third time just might be the charm for Stevie Wonder. The 66-year old Motown Genius is going to jump the broom with girlfriend of five years and the mother of his two of his youngest children, 42-year old Tomeeka Robyn Bracy. Rapper/Actor/Oscar/Emmy Winner Common revealed the new lady in his life, Angela Rye, the young and dynamic political media personality and activist. Ex-Cosby Kid Lisa Bonet has secretly married for the second time to Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones and DC's Justice League movies. The two have been together since 2005 and have two children together: Lola, 10, and Nakoa-Wolf, 8. Bonet was previously married to Lenny Kravitz and they share a 28-year old daughter: Actress Zoe Kravitz.
Newlywed and new mom Serena married Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and they both welcomed a baby girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. place.
The former American Idol Champ Jordan Sparks married Dana Isaiah, an aspiring model. They are also expecting their first child. Congratulations!
After a controversial Showtime TV special, Nick Cannon left the NBC series America’s Got Talent and was replaced by Supermodel Tyra Banks. Cannon and his girlfriend, Brittany Bell, welcomed their first child together, and his third, son Golden “Sagon” Cannon. Congrats to The Today Show’s Hoda Kotb. At age 52, she’s become a first time mom by adopting her infant daughter Haley Jo Kotb. And, Beyonce and husband Jay-Z delivered son and daughter twins Sir and Rumi this year.
Philly’s own Rapper/Actress Eve replaces Actress/Comedienne Aisha Tyler on the CBS daytime talk show, like The Talk.
WDAS Alum/Journalist Tamron Hall left her long time stint at NBC News after the network unceremoniously dumped the 9am hour of The Today show in favor of newly signed Megyn Kelly. Kelly’s ratings are tanking while Hall plots her TV comeback.
We said goodbye to Comedian Ricky Harris Controversial and much accused Bishop Eddie Long TV legend & sweetheart Mary Tyler Moore. 8-time Grammy winning Singer/Songwriter Al Jarreau, Joni Sledge of Philly’s Sister Sledge, Philadelphia Phillies Legendary Baseball Manager Dallas Green, Philly native TV Producer/Host/Reality TV Mogul/Game Show Creator, and possibly secret agent, Chuck Barris, Legendary Songwriter/Singer/Genius Instrumentalist Chuck Berry, Auntie Fee, whose real name is Felicia O’Dell, Singer Brenda Jones of Philly International hit-making group The Jones Girls National and Philadelphia Association Of Black Journalists (NABJ and PABJ) Monique Oliver, Founding Member of both the NABJ and PABJ Claude Lewis , Comedian/Actor Charlie Murphy, legendary Comedian Don Rickles, Singer Cuba Gooding, Sr. , Actress Erin Moran (TV’s Happy Days), Actor Roger Moore (007 James Bond), TV Icon Adam West (Batman), Christopher Wong Won, a.k.a. Fresh Kid Ice of hip hop’s 2 Live Crew, Motown producer/singer/songwriter Bobby Taylor (The Jackson 5 /Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers), Philly native/Journalist/Cheyney University Alum Jim Vance. Vance was an anchor at the NBC affiliate in Washington, DC, Country Singer Glen Campbell. Odunde Co-Founder/Creative the late great Lois Fernandez, Comedian Dick Gregory, Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Comedian Jerry Lewis, the longtime Villanova Men’s Basketball Coach (1973-1992) Rollie Massimino, Athlete/Actor Bernie Casey, Iconic Media Mogul/Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner, Philly Sound Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Arranger Walter “Bunny” Sigler, prominent Philadelphia-born record mogul Jerry Ross, Antoine Dominique Domino, Jr. a.k.a. Fats Domino, Acting Pioneer Robert Guillaume (Benson), Singer Keith Wilder of Heatwave, Singer Robert Knight, Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay, Longtime Radio Personality and WDAS Alum Rod Carson. Actress/Singer/Talk show host/Activist Della Reese, Motown Singer/Songwriter/original member of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles Warren “Pete” Moore, Grandpa Huxtable Actor Earle Hyman (The Cosby Show), Singer/Songwriter/Actor David Cassidy (The Partridge Family), Singer/Songwriter Mel Tillis, Promoter/Businessman/Philadelphia legend Mr. Bruce Webb (Webb’s Department Store), Jazz Singer/Lyricist Jon Hendricks and Gomer Pyle Star/ TV Actor/Singer Jim Nabors.
It Girls: Actress/Comedienne Issa Rae has secured a long term deal with HBO. She got the hit Insecure, and now she has a new romantic series in development.
Tiffany Haddish made history all year long. First her summer blockbuster Girls Trip, with Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith, smashed this year's box office by becoming the first comedy of 2017 to gross over $100 million. Then, by hosting Saturday Night Live, Haddish becomes the first African American comedienne to ever host in the show's almost 43 years on the air. Now she’s an author The Last Black Unicorn.
The New Edition Story has given BET its best premiere in five years. I already told you how incredible this mini-series is following the incredible careers of Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill. The premiere had more than four million viewers, and out did all other cable shows. The cast includes Empire star and Philly’s own Yazz the Greatest (Bryshere Y. Gray), Luke James, Elijah Kelly, Keith Powers, Algee Smith and Woody McClain as the group along with LaLa Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple), Lisa Nicole Carson (Ally McBeal; E.R.), Sandi McCree (who’s great as Bobby Brown’s mom) and Monica Calhoun (The Best Man). Singer/Songwriter Tank, Wood Harris, (The Wire), Faizon Love (Do The Right Thing) and Duane Martin (Real Husbands Of Hollywood) are also turning in top notch performances. The New Edition Story had the original group members serving as producers.
Bobby Brown settles with TV One over the unauthorized Bobbi Kristina bio pic, but now he has his own bio-pic with BET. Brown and the estate of his late daughter, by the late Whitney Houston, fought TV One over the airing of the bio pic and were originally suing for $2 million. It still aired but the parties settled for undisclosed compensation and the suit was dismissed. Now, Brown has moved on and is at the center of the follow up TV movie to BET's smash hit The New Edition Story. Woody McClain will once again play Brown. The two-part TV movie will span Brown's 30-year career. Look for stories revolving around Teddy Riley, L.A. Reid & Babyface, and among the women in Brown’s life, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. The untitled Bobby Brown bio pic will air in the fall of 2018.
MOVIES: Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Actress/Singer Janelle Monae and Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer, grossed $235 million, and that marks the first time a film lead by African American women broke the $100 million mark at the box office. Also, Get Out grossed $254 million at the box office. That’s marks the first time an African American writer-director’s (Jordan Peele, Mad TV and Key & Peele) debut film grossed over $100 million at the box office. Get Out has also launched the viral #GETOUTCHALLENGE based on a running scene in the movie.
J-Lo and Drake are out, and J-Lo and A-Rod are in! Was that whole Jenny From The Block and Drake just fake? Was it all for publicity? Maybe they were just ……..with benefits?!!!! Well, Jennifer Lopez has now moved on to former World Series Champ Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod was the talk of the baseball world, and he’s settled in comfortably as an ambassador to the sport and a FOX Sports announcer. Lopez seems to have her choice of suitors, which at one time also appeared to include ex-husband Marc Anthony. Is there some promise with Lopez and Rodriguez?
Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes have gone public and the photos are everywhere. The super-secret couple has been hiding, not mentioning each other, coming and going separately to outings and making sure not to be photographed publicly together. Now Foxx and Holmes were seen on the beach walking hand in hand, and captured on video at Jamie’s 50th birthday party.
The ABC Network has made history by introducing a face of color to the Bachelor/Bachelorette reality show franchise. Texas Lawyer Rachel Lindsay became the first African American Bachelorette.
Meanwhile, Bachelor In Paradise had to shut down production after allegations of sexual misconduct. DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios had to lawyer up after Olympios charged that she was too drunk to have consented to a sexual encounter with Jackson on the show, particularly because she has a boyfriend. ABC and Warner Brothers shut the entire production down after Olympios, 25, blamed producers, not Jackson, for letting the encounter happen and progress as far as it did. Olympios adds that she’s been violated and hired ex-Cosby lawyer and well known Hollywood insider Marty Singer to defend her. Jackson has also been speaking out through counsel. His reps released a statement that Jackson’s character and family name have been assassinated, and he’ll use all legal means to restore them. Jackson, 30, is also pushing to have the footage released insisting that would help clear his name. Bachelor In Paradise resumed production after Warner Brothers, with the help of a legal team, determined there was no wrong doing on the set after allegations of sexual misconduct. Jackson and Olympios have even been spotted out and about on friendly dates. Go figure?!!!
Quincy Jones and Paul McCartney have taken care of business. First, Jones has nine million reasons to be happy....make that 9.4 million! Jones filed suit against the Michael Jackson estate for $30 million. The Q claimed that he was not properly compensated when he produced Michael Jackson's three most successful albums: Off The Wall 1979, Thriller 1982 and Bad 1987. Meanwhile, The Michael Jackson estate sold their ATV Publishing to their partner Sony Music in full. It includes the Beatles catalog, and Sir Paul McCartney served notice to Sony Music. A 1976 law states certain rights revert back to the songwriters, and because the late John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the vast majority of those songs, the money potential is endless. However, before it could be heard in court, McCartney and Sony agreed to dismiss in favor of a settlement. The details are sealed, but both sides announced their satisfaction with their new agreement.
The Queen Of Soul is retiring. Aretha Franklin’s career has been one for the record books. It includes 20 number one songs, gold and platinum albums and international acclaim. Now, The Queen says she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. Franklin has experienced health challenges in recent years, and confirmed she had a tumor removed a few years ago. She finished a tour this year, but her weight loss has fans talking. She’s had to battle rumors but dismissed them all warned her fans not to believe the hype.
Congratulations to Sloane Stephens, she won the 2017 U.S. Open. She and her fellow finalist and good friend Madison Keys, 22, made history making not only an All-American U.S. Open Final, but an All-African American U.S. Open Final. Stephens was the victor and shocked tennis experts (critics) by defying their odds. The 24-year old is making her victory rounds in the media, including the cover of Sports Illustrated and pictures with Tiger Woods, who attended this year’s open.
Speaking of Tiger Woods, he tried to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his Master’s win at Augusta with a new book. The 1997 Masters: My Story. Then there was his law drama. The golf legend pleaded guilty to reckless driving and avoids jail time under a deal with prosecutors. Woods has already spent time in a rehab facility, completed 20 hours of community service as well as an internet based D.U.I. awareness program. Because there was no alcohol involved, Woods’ attorneys and prosecutors were free, under the law, to work out this deal. This all stemmed from Woods’ arrest on Memorial Day. He was found in his car pulled over the side of the road and asleep. Police gave 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. Also under the plea agreement Woods will have to submit to random drug testing for the next year.
Other viral moments in 2017 included Omarosa Manigault-Newman: did she leave the White House on her own, or was she kicked out? That’s the million dollar question this week after the White House confirmed the one-time reality star was leaving her position as director of communication for The White House Office of Public Liaison officially on January 20th, 2018. Here’s where the story gets wild. Published reports say she was fired and Chief Of Staff General John Kelly made the call. Meanwhile, Robin Roberts, who didn’t interview Omarosa, said She said she has a story to tell? I'm sure she'll be selling that story. Then Roberts used Ice Cube's old diss from the movie Friday, Bye Felicia. Roberts went viral shortly after that. OUCH!
Former President Barack Obama broke the internet this year too. His video and pictures of his vacation with former First Lady Michelle Obama in the British Virgin Islands went viral. Especially the water sports challenges he and friend/billionaire businessman/vacation host Richard Branson decided to take on with each other. Looks like the POTUS won the kite surfing challenge with ease.
Tyrese was another viral sensation this year. The singer, who has been in a nasty child support/custody battle, in a PR crisis because of his social media post and in a showbiz battle with Fast And Furious Co-star Dwayne Johnson, got caught in a whopper. Tyrese had earlier said his new wife was pregnant, he was broke and Will and Jada Smith were sending him $5 million to help. Tyrese went back to social media and blamed it on the medication. The singer/actor says he was advised to take some “psych” meds, and those meds are the cause of his problems. He cleared up his wife’s not pregnant, he’s not broke and Will & Jada aren’t hooking him up with money. Tyrese says he’s a big boy with a thick skin, is off those meds and is now an open book. Tyrese was seen crying on the net over the custody battle with ex-wife Norma and that no one would help him.
Then there was the super publicity stunt by South Philly’s own Amber Rose with her #bringbackthebush challenge. The model and actress took a bottomless picture for social media.
The Oscars made history in more than one way this year. First, Viola Davis is now officially a triple threat. That's because when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fences, she became the first African American to have also won the Tony and Emmy and for acting. Also, O.J. Simpson: Made In America won Best Documentary. Meanwhile, Moonlight cleaned up for Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and Best Screenplay for Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight's director). The wildest moment was Moonlight's Best Picture win. Bonnie and Clyde Co-stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Oscar winning Bonnie And Clyde movie, presented the Best Picture Oscar at first to La La Land. That was because the accountant in charge of the envelopes handed Beatty the wrong one. La La Land's producer had to stop his fellow producers and state for the record that the correct winner was Moonlight, the first movie with an all African American cast to ever win a Best Picture Oscar. The two accountants in charge of the Oscars envelopes after four years in that capacity have both been banished from the ceremony. Actor Warren Beatty got the Academy to release a full and complete explanation. Academy Of Arts And Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American to serve in that role, says the Oscars future relationship with that accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is under review.
Dave Chappelle and Melissa McCarthy both won for Guest Actor and Actress Emmys for hosting Saturday Night Live. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay and Rapper/Actor/Oscar Winner Common also won Emmys for 13th, their documentary on mass incarceration in America. Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won for Comedy Writing (Master Of None), making Waithe the first woman of color to do so. Donald Glover won Actor and Director for Comedy (Atlanta), making him the first African American to win for Directing. Riz Ahmed’s win makes him the first South Asian man to win (HBO’s The Night Of). And, Sterling K. Brown took home his second Emmy, this time for This Is Us, making him the first African American to win Best Actor in a drama in 19 years.
Faizon Love was caught on video letting the fists fly with a valet at a Columbus airport. The comedian and actor best known for his roles in TV’s The Parent ‘Hood and Real Husbands Of Hollywood as well as the movies Friday and The Players Club was arrested and charged with assault. Apparently, the valet charge to the 48-year old comedian is what began a situation that would soon turn violent. Love is seen on video and by witnesses at the valet stand. Two other workers had to separate the comedian and the valet. Love was arrested, held overnight and then released on bond.
Comedian Jay Anthony Brown joined WDAS’ Steve Harvey Morning Show as a regular. It’s a reunion. Steve and Jay have been working together for more than 30 years on the stand-up comedy circuit, and Jay was a writer and frequent guest star on Steve’s first sitcom, ABC’s Me & The Boys. Anthony cut ties with Tom Joyner late last year, and wasn’t given a chance to say goodbye on Joyner’s show after 20 years on it.
So Oprah And Tyler Perry: could constructive criticism be at the heart of the drama? Perry has signed a multi-million dollar deal Viacom, OWN’s competitor, to provide programming. In response, OWN has signed deals with Writer-Producers Mara Brock-Akil, Ava Duvernay and Will Packer. So what happened between Perry and Winfrey? Word of a feud has made the rounds many times, but the animated Christmas project The Star may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Meanwhile, Oprah re-upped in her position as C.E.O., but sold her majority ownership in OWN to the Discovery channel.
Roland Martin’s News One Now has been cancelled. In a stunning move, the network, TV One, released a statement that despite all the talent the telecast had going for it, it struggled to find a large enough audience to sustain airing it daily.
BET shake ups: Longtime BET Head Stephen Hill has left the building. The now ex-President Of Programming got a warm letter of appreciation from his boss, BET CEO Debra Lee. Then Debra Lee stepped down from her day to day responsibilities at BET, but remains Chairman and CEO. Scott M. Mills will step in as President and take over the day to day.