WDAS presents our Fourth Annual Women Of Excellence Luncheon Saturday, March 31st. This year’s honorees include Broadcast Legend Rev. Louise Williams Bishop, City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, TV Icon Lisa Thomas Laury, First Lady of Mother Bethel AME Church Leslie Patterson-Tyler, The Philadelphia Tribune’s own Shonda McClain and our Special Trailblazing Woman of Excellence honor to Hip Hop Legend and Oscar Nominee Queen Latifah! It all takes place Saturday, March 31st from 11am-4pm at The Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, 17th and Race. All the details are at wdasfm.com.
First Neil Diamond and now Elton John: Both men say they’re retiring from touring. Neil Diamond, 76, was on his 50th anniversary tour, but announced his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. He’s cancelled his international dates, but assured fans he’ll continue to record and write songs as he’s always done. Diamond’s legendary song list includes Forever In Blue Jeans, Yesterday’s Songs, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore, Song Sung Blue, Cracklin’ Rosie, America and, of course, Sweet Caroline. Meanwhile, 71-year old Elton John, who played keyboards for LaBelle back in the 60’s, has decided to call it quits for touring. The singer/songwriter has been married to David Furnish for four years and they have two children. John says he rather use that tour time to spend with his family. His last tour is being called Farewell Yellow Brick Road, and will launch its U.S.A. leg in Allentown, PA in September. Patti & LaBelle and Allentown aren’t Elton John’s only connections to this area. In 1977, he recorded an entire album of Philly Soul with Producer/Songwriter/Arranger Thom Bell and Gamble & Huff’s MFSB orchestra at Sigma Sound Studios in Philly. The million selling hit single Mama Can’t Buy You Love brought John a 1979 Grammy nomination.
The Oscar nominations are out and Get Out made a huge showing. The unlikely box office blockbuster, which returns to theaters this weekend, broke all kinds of records when it grossed over $250 million at the box office last year. It took nods for Best Picture (Jordan Peele and his producing partners), Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Screenplay and Directing (both for Peele, his debut in both positions). Also nominated Denzel Washington (Best Actor) for Roman J. Israel, Esq.; Supporting Actress nods for Mary J. Blige in Mudbound and Octavia Spencer in The Shape Of Water. Dee Rees and Virgil Williams are nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Mudbound, and Dee is the first African American woman to ever be nominated in that category. NBA Legend Kobe Bryant has been nominated for Best Animated Short Film (Dear Basketball) as a producer. Mary J. Blige is actually up for two Oscars. She shares her second nomination with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson for Best Original Song (Mighty River from Mudbound). Common is also nominated again this year and is sharing his nomination with Diane Warren for Stand Up For Something taken from the movie Marshall. Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Annual Academy Awards Sunday, March 4th at 8pm on ABC.
It’s the Best of Times. It’s The Worst Of Times for Jill Scott. Her soon to be ex-husband, Mike Dobson, claims in court papers Scott and her attorneys pressured him into signing a prenup. Dobson says he signed because he didn’t have a lawyer, felt coerced but loved Scott. Now, Dobson wants that prenup thrown out and is asking for half a million dollars. Though they were only married a year, Dobson says the other reason the prenup should be thrown out is because Scott violated it when she talked to the media. The $500,000 would also cover the pain, suffering and depression that resulted, Dobson says, from Scott spreading his mugshot around and accusing him of being gay, violent and a con artist. No response from Scott as of press time. On the good news side, Jilly From Philly returns to acting and will join her fellow native Philadelphian Nafessa Williams in the CW’s Black Lightning. Scott will play “Lady Eve,” a member of the criminal underground. Black Lightning airs this Tuesday, January 30th at 9pm on the CW.
Mo’Nique wants you to boycott Netflix. The Oscar winning comedienne says that after offering multi-millions to Dave Chappelle ($20 million), Chris Rock ($20 million) and Amy Schumer ($13 million), Mo’Nique was only offered $500,000. Mo’Nique has in the past gone to battle with studios and producers with mixed results, but this time she’s getting some back up. Fellow Comedienne Wanda Sykes (Black-ish; The Chris Rock Show) says Netflix offered her only half of what they offered Mo’Nique, and is glad Mo’Nique called out Netflix. Wanda Sykes says she was absolutely offended and took her business elsewhere. Mo’Nique says she’s taking a stand for the black women comediennes who will follow her since that seems to be where Netflix pay problem lies. Netflix says it doesn’t comment on contract negotiations.
Despite all the PBS suspension and the sexual misconduct accusations, Tavis Smiley is returning to television. He’ll be on the Word Network. The Upside With Tavis Smiley is billed as a program to celebrate the spirit as it relates to resilience and the power to overcome. The show has been given a debut date, but is expected to launch this spring. Smiley will also host a tour of five cities doing a town-hall on how to make the workplace healthy and safe. Despite the accusations, Smiley has stood firm that he did nothing inappropriate, despite at least one past relationship in the workplace. The town-hall, which will stop in New Orleans, Chicago, L.A., Indianapolis and Washington, DC, will be called The Conversation: Men, Women, and The Workplace.
Bill Cosby has been out and about in his hometown! The Coz has been spotted several places in Philly: café/eateries, barbershops, on the streets wearing his Eagles green and did stand up (sitting down of course) in a jazz club. Some legal experts have called this strategy because his trial begins in April. Jury selection will be coming out of the area as opposed to shipping a jury in from elsewhere like the last trial. This retrial is because Cosby’s first criminal trial ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial. Some legal experts say Cosby’s trying to take control of his image to influence potential jurors. His PR reps say no and that Cosby is simply living his life.
Meanwhile, Singer/Songwriter Erykah Badu mentioned how she can still see the good in Bill Cosby. Unfortunately, she also mentioned how Adolph Hitler was also a good painter. In a pretty strange interview, the reporter tried to link Badu to Louis Farrakhan. Badu says she is a follower of his and would follow anyone with good aspects, but could condemn the bad aspects as well. After being challenged on the Hitler statement, Badu took back the compliment and said Hitler had a terrible childhood. She also said Cosby has done so much good for the world and that’s why she loves him. Badu also said if he’s sick, how can she be angry with him? Cosby has denied all allegations of misconduct.
Nelly has been served or at least a part of him. His rape accuser whose investigation was dropped asked a judge to put a restraining order on him and his member, a.k.a. sex organ, a.k.a. his little Nelly. The woman’s suit claims this: he picks beautiful women of color from the audience. Nelly then takes the woman elsewhere after the concert. Then he becomes more interested if the woman refuses his advances. Finally, the suit says Nelly exposes himself to the women with the idea that she can’t resist him. So the woman, who isn’t black herself, has asked a judge to consider this. She declined to assist police in a criminal investigation of Nelly, but is pursuing him civilly.
UnSung is back. The TV music and Hollywood documentary series will kick off its 12th season after winning the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News and Information Program. UnSung returns Sunday, February 19th at 9pm with music group Silk as the season premiere.
Legendary Trumpeter Hugh Masekela has passed away. The South African born music legend’s career stretches back to the mid 1950’s. Masekela first made a name for himself writing and performing the anti-apartheid songs Soweto Blues and Bring Him Back Home. Masekela was also once married to fellow performer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba from 1964 to 1966. He’d be married three more times after. Masekela’s songs for the movement brought him to the international stage setting him up for his biggest successes. First came a charting song with his remake of The 5th Dimension‘s Up, Up And Away. Then came his original 1967 recording of Grazing In The Grass. It sold 4 million copies, was a number one hit and the 18th biggest song of 1967. Masekela continued to release music through 2016 and perform. Hugh Masekela died of prostate cancer in South Africa at the age of 78.
We remember Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker. The civil rights icon was a chief strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a major contributor to the dismantling of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws in the United States. For 37 years, Walker was the pastor at Harlem’s Canaan Baptist Church Of Christ. He would become the first Chair of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Rev. Walker was a fixture on the lecture circuit in his later years. Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker died at the age of 88.
Emmy-Winning Actress Olivia Cole has passed away. Cole was a classically trained Shakespearian stage actress. With Romeo and Juliet and her Broadway debut The School For Scandal and returning to the theater just two years ago with Having Our Say. Her television work includes The Oprah Winfrey mini-series The Women Of Brewster Place and her Emmy nominated role in Backstairs At The White House. But, it was Cole’s work as “Mathilda,” the wife of Ben Vereen’s “Chicken George” in the acclaimed and ratings record breaking TV production of Roots. Cole won an Emmy for that role in 1977. Olivia Cole died reportedly of a heart attack at the age of 75.
Omarosa Manigault-Newman has been dismissed from the White House, but may be getting 500 grand. The former villainess of Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice has signed with a booking agent and published reports say Omarosa’s new team could seek up to $50,000 a shot for speaking engagements. The strategy is to have the one time Trump Administration member appear over the next two months for Black History Month and Women’s History Month. This may be a challenge since Omarosa appears to have alienated herself from both communities.
Sister, Sister is coming back. Emmy winner Jackee’ Harry (227; Sister, Sister; The Paynes) told WDAS Morning Man Steve Harvey on his daytime talk show that a Sister, Sister reboot is coming. These reboots are the latest TV fad Roseanne returns in March to ABC. Murphy Brown has a 13-episode deal with its return to CBS in 2018-2019 season. Sister Sister starred real life twins Tia and Tamara Mowry playing long lost siblings who reunite and convince the other’s parent (Jackee Harry & Tim Reid) to let them stay together.
Oprah Winfrey says she doesn’t have the DNA to run for President. Winfrey is on the cover of March’s InStyle magazine. After her empowering Golden Globe Awards speech earlier this month, Winfrey received wide acclaim and requests to run for President in 2020. Despite the close friends and connection who could help her make a formidable run, The Mighty O says it’s not for her. She believes what’s right for her is exploring the human condition and conversations or producing TV and movies are the way to do that. Winfrey, Writer/Director Ava DuVernay and Actress Storm Reid are all on the cover of the newly black-owned Essence magazine talking about their new movie A Wrinkle In Time. Oprah calls the movie the new Wizard Of Oz. A Wrinkle In Time hits theaters March 9th.
Gabrielle Union in a mother’s day thriller from Will Packer. Union reunites with Producer Will Packer for the thriller Breaking In. Union plays a woman whose father passes and when she brings her two children to his highly secured home, the horror begins. When a group of criminals break into the home, hold the kids hostage and try to extort Union’s character, her race against time becomes recuing her children. Breaking In opens Mother’s Day, May 13th.
Fly Eagles Fly. The Philadelphia Eagles are returning to the Superbowl. The newly crowned NFC champions will take on the New England Patriots Sunday, February 4th. Broadway Star, Tony Award Winner and Philly’s own Leslie Odom, Jr. will sing America The Beautiful at the game. Also, Justin Timberlake is back for the halftime show, and Doylestown’s own Pink will do the National Anthem. The Superbowl airs on NBC Sunday, February 4th.
Speaking of the big game, Comedienne/Actress Tiffany Haddish will team up with Groupon for a Superbowl ad. Haddish went on Jimmy Kimmel Live and told a hilarious story about using Groupon for a swamp tour with Will and Jada Smith. The story went viral and the team up seemed totally natural. Haddish says she should have already been with Groupon since she’s been talking about them publicly for years. Her ad will air in the fourth quarter of the Superbowl. She’s also signed a two-year first look deal with HBO. Undoubtly, a comedy special will probably be part of the deal. Haddish also has the TBS show The Last OG with Tracy Morgan coming in April, and she has the movie Night School coming in September with Kevin Hart.
BET and TV One are presenting a slew of original programming. Including projects that hit at the criticism of a lack of news programming:
First on BET:
Mancave is from executive producer and WDAS Morning Man Steve Harvey. Starring Jeff Johnson, the host and moderator, Comedian/Actor Gerald Slink Johnson, Grammy nominated Songwriter/Producer Marcos “Kosine” Palacios and Singer/Songwriter Tank. The show is billed as a safe haven for black men to express themselves free and unapologetically. Mancave airs Thursdays at 10:30pm on BET.
Comedian/Actor Tony Rock hosts Black Card Revoked. It’s a game show with celebrities and contestants who battle it out on their community knowledge without losing their black card. Black Card Revoked airs Thursdays at 10pm on BET.
Attorney/Political Pundit/TV Personality and Activist Angela Rye will host and executive produce Angela Rye’s State Of The Union. The show will cover all issues affecting the African American community through the political lens. Angela Rye’s State Of The Union will debut on Wednesday, January 31st on BET, following Donald Trump’s State Of The Union.
On TV One:
Oscar/Emmy Winner Viola Davis narrates and produces Two Sides. This four-part docuseries examines the fatal police encounters that involved Sandra Bland, John Crawford, Ezell Ford and Eric Garner from two different sides of the story. Two Sides airs Mondays at 10pm on TV One.
Uncensored is coming to TV One in February. The series explores the intimate lives and past experiences of some of today’s hottest talent from various media. Tiffany Haddish, Tamar Braxton, Rick Ross, NeNe Leakes and Nia Long are a few of the featured subjects. The biography series Uncensored debuts Sunday, February 18th at 10pm on TV One.
Chadwick Boseman heads up the big screen adaption of Marvel Comics’ Black Panther. Boseman appeared previously as the African superhero in Marvel Comics’ Captain America franchise. The all-star cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Phylicia Rashad and Sterling K. Brown, and is directed by Ryan Coogler. The movie opens in theatres February 16th 2018, and has already set a new record in advanced tickets sales through Fandango. If you can’t wait until February, check out the trailer on my Patty TV page on WDASFM.com.
Taraji P. Henson is currently starring in the action-thriller Proud Mary, which will reunite Color Purple Co-stars Danny Glover and Margaret Avery. Soon will be Henson’s Tyler Perry-psychological-thriller Acrimony, co-starring Tika Sumpter (The Haves & Have Nots; Ride Along), opening March 30th.
Singer/Songwriter/Actor John Legend is coming to TV as…..Jesus Christ. The Oscar winner will star in NBC’s revival of the legendary Broadway smash Jesus Christ Superstar. Legend is no stranger to Broadway works as he won a Tony for producing the revival of August Wilson’s Jitney. This project is the latest in the live revivals of movies and plays by network television. Rock Legend Alice Cooper will also be in the cast. Jesus Christ Superstar will air live on NBC Easter Sunday, April 1st.
The 2018 Grammy nominations have been announced. Sza is among the standouts with nominations for her songs The Weekend and Love Galore and for herself as Best New Artist. Other nominees include Jay-Z with eight, Kendrick Lamar with seven nominations, Bruno Mars with six and Khalid (Location) with five nominations. The Grammys air Sunday, January 28th at 8pm on CBS with Host James Corden (The Late, Late Show).
Larenz Tate (Love Jones; Dead Presidents) and Erica Ash (The Real Husbands Of Hollywood) will host The 2018 Trumpet Awards, the celebration of African American achievement and history in society, airing Sunday, February 11th at 9pm on Bounce TV.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Saturday, January 27th – The O’Jays at The Sugar House Casino, 1001 Delaware Avenue. For tickets or for more information log onto sugarhousecasino.com
February, Friday, the 16th and Saturday, 17th – Mary J. Blige in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Tickets and more information at WWW.THEBORGATA.COM!
Saturday, February 10th – Chris Tucker comedy show at The Sugar House Casino, 1001 Delaware Avenue. For tickets or for more information log onto sugarhousecasino.com
Sunday, February 11th – The Juice Crew Reunion starring Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan, Marley Marl, Tuff Crew, Kool G. Rap and MC Lyte at The Electric Factory on 7th Street between Willow and Spring Garden. Tickets and more information log onto Ticketmaster.com
Saturday, February 17th – Kem/Fantasia/Avant in concert at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Sunday, February 18th – The Soul Jam starring The Stylistics, The Delfonics, Blue Magic and Bloodstone At The Tropicana in Atlantic City. Tickets and more information log onto Tropicana.net
Saturday, February 24th – Katt Williams in concert 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 now and for more information log onto Liacourascenter.com/events.
Thursday, April 5th – Patti LaBelle in concert at The Academy Of Music, 240 South Broad Street, between Locust and Manning Streets. For tickets and information log onto kimmelcenter.org
Friday, April 13th – The Philly Spring Jam starring Ginuwine, Tank, Brandy, Teddy Riley & Guy and 112 at the Liacouras Center and for more information log onto Liacourascenter.com/events.
Friday, May 11th – The 10th Anniversary Of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival begins with the Friday concert starring Singers Joe and Stokley (from Mint Condition) kick things off Friday, May 11th at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City. For Ticket information log onto ppshows.com.
Saturday, May 12th – The 10th Anniversary Of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival with the Saturday concert starring Maxwell, Gladys Knight and Vivian Green at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For Ticket information log onto ppshows.com.
Sunday, May 13th – The 10th Anniversary Of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival concludes with the Sunday concert starring The Whispers and L.J. Reynolds & The Dramatics at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For Ticket information log onto ppshows.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.