The Emancipation of Mimi (album cover)
Did Real Housewives Of Atlanta (RHOA) castmember Sheree Whitfield get canned? Reports are flying fast and furious that the woman who turned the phrase Who Gonna Check Me Boo into an international piece of verbiage won’t be asked back for season 11. Despite the reports, the official camps seem to be keeping mum, at least until after part two of the RHOA Reunion show with Andy Cohen airs. Check out part 2 with the cast, including Sheree Whitfield, this Sunday at 8pm on Bravo.
Tracy Morgan got his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Jordan Peele, an executive producer on Morgan’s the new show The Last OG, and Martin Lawrence, who gave Morgan a break on his Martin show as “Hustleman,” were both on hand. Morgan thanked all who were in attendance plus his former 30 Rock co-stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Morgan’s new series, The Last OG co-starring Tiffany Haddish, airs on TBS, Tuesdays at 10:30pm.
Mariah Carey reveals she suffers from bi-polar disorder on her People magazine cover issue available now. Carey has since gotten therapy, medication and was inspired to go public by others who’ve come forward with their battles. Carey was nervous about what the revelation would do to her career if she revealed her mental illness. Back in 2001, Carey was hospitalized after her first marriage to Record Executive Tommy Mottola, who was in charge of her career at Sony, broke up and she left Sony Music. That’s when the singer was first diagnosed and says she went into denial about having the illness. Carey says she’ll not be controlled by her disorder and is even working on a new album. Currently, Carey shares the record (With Diana Ross) for having 18 number one songs. The 48-year old singer/songwriter says she also finds spending time with her children, by ex-hubby number two Nick Cannon, therapeutic as well.
Speaking of battles, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also opened up earlier about his battle with depression. Despite all the success he has now, the 45-year old ex-wrestler wanted people to know that mental illness doesn’t discriminate. Johnson shared he’s battled depression many times in life and forcing himself to keep talking to people was a great help. The actor shared this news about himself after a fan wrote him about suffering from depression, and Johnson shared his personal battle as way to encourage the fan. From there, Johnson says the thousands of messages of support he got as a result have been phenomenal. Meanwhile, his career is going great as he and Kevin Hart’s movie reboot, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, just became Sony Pictures’ top grossing U.S. movie in the company’s history (over $400 million in the U.S. alone) and that the sequel is in the works. Plus, Johnson’s latest movie is the sci-fi/thriller Rampage. He and Oscar nominee Naomie Harris play doctors/scientists who must stop a beloved ape saved from poachers only to turn into an aggressive giant when an experiment goes wrong. Rampage opens this Friday, April 13th.
Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial got off to a wild start thanks to a former The Cosby Show actress. Nicolle Rochelle is an actress with an extensive resume including playing “Danielle,” a friend of “Rudy Huxtable” on Cosby’s hit sitcom from 1990 to 1992. Rochelle, 39, is also an activist, and joined a European protest group called Femen, which stages topless protest to bring attention to issues of sexism. Rochelle, who claimed to the press Cosby, 80, was ever inappropriate toward her, says Cosby’s accusers need to be believed. The actress waited outside of the courthouse for Cosby to approach. She then stripped topless and ran in front of Cosby urging people to believe his accusers. Courthouse security tackled and arrested her on site. Cosby’s spokesperson called Rochelle’s protest inappropriate and uncalled for and noted since Cosby’s legally blind, he only heard the disturbance.
The series finale of Scandal will air on ABC Thursday, April 19th at 10pm.
We remember Singer and Manager Yvonne Staples of The Staple Singers. The family singing group began in gospel with father Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his children Cleotha, Pervis and Mavis Staples. Yvonne began singing after military duties pulled Pervis out of the group. Yvonne would eventually replace Pervis permanently. Yvonne also became the group’s manager and later manager for Mavis’ solo career for a time. The two sisters last visited me and Butter at WDAS near 2004. The Staple Singers began in 1948 in gospel introduced in Philly by the Reverend Louise Williams Bishop. The Staples, who were 1999 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, would mix gospel and pop music when they signed to Stax Records. They went gold with the songs Respect Yourself, If You’re Ready, Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom) and, the number one, I’ll Take You There. The group hit gold and number one again on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label and the title track to the Sidney Poitier-Bill Cosby movie Let’s Do It Again. Yvonne Staples was 80-years old.
BET has a new original legal drama. In Contempt is a scripted show that focuses on the underfunded but heavily burdened public defender’s office. The relationships, both professional and personal, find their way into court. In Contempt stars Erica Ash (Real Husbands Of Hollywood; Uncle Drew; Survivors’ Remorse), Christian Keyes (Saints & Sinners; Let’s Stay Together), and Richard Lawson (Scream Blacula Scream; Dynasty; All My Children) and airs Tuesdays at 10pm on BET.
Meanwhile, the BET drama The Quad starring Anika Noni Rose will not be returning. That drama centered on the professional and personal struggles of the first female president of a fictional historically black college was cancelled after two seasons. Rose took to social media and thanked all the fans for their support.
Black Lightning has been renewed for a second season. The superhero Tuesday night drama on the CW has been a hit and fit right into the other comic book turned action series on the network. It’s produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the husband-wife writing/producing/directing team behind the movie Jumping The Broom and the TV shows Being Mary Jane, Girlfriends and The Game. Black Lightning stars Cress Williams (Living Single), China Anne McClain (Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne) and Philly’s own Nafessa Williams. And, Nafessa Williams returned to the WDAS studios, and she’ll be on my WDAS Sunday morning show Rewind. Plus, the season finale of Black Lightning airs this Tuesday night at 9pm on The CW.
WDAS presents our Second Annual Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk taking place Saturday, June 16th 2018 at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, 201 North 17th Street. All the registration info and details are on the wdasfm.com page.
After powerful profiles of Shirley Caesar, Avant, Deborah Cox, Philly’s own Blue Magic, Silk, Trick Daddy and The Boys, UnSung is on this Sunday, April 15th at 9pm with Brand Nubian.
Michael B. Jordan is in the midst of filming Creed II in the city of Philadelphia, but he’s also on the cover of the May issue of Men’s Health magazine. Jordan also reveals he doesn’t want to meet his name counterpart, the legendary Michael Jordan, yet. Jordan says he’s motivated by things like not wanting to meet the basketball legend until they both know who the other is and the meeting is on a more equal footing. The actor also says the career he’d prefer to emulate is that of Philly’s own Will Smith, whom he says is killing the game. For now, you can catch Jordan in North America’s all time box office champion Black Panther, in theaters now.
Issa Rae (Insecure) & Yara Shahidi (Black-ish alum and Grownish) split the cover Marie Claire magazine for the May 2018 edition, and Shahidi is also on the cover of Essence magazine’s April issue.
Gabrielle Union is on the cover of Ebony magazine talking career, marriage and her new Mother's Day themed thriller coming to the big screen for Ebony's April/May 2018 Travel edition.
Essence magazine released the Essence Music Festival schedule and lineup for 2018. The festivities return to New Orleans July 5th through the 8th. Performers include Janet Jackson, Jilly from Philly Jill Scott, Philly’s own The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Experience (Wreckx-N-Effect, Blackstreet and Guy), Idris Elba, Fantasia, Miguel and Mary J. Blige with more acts to be announced. All the details are on Essence.com
Emmy winning Writer/Actress Lena Waithe is co-starring in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which is in theaters now, and Waithe is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s April 2018 edition as a game changer.
Halle Berry and Daniel Craig will team up on the big screen for Kings. The movie is based on the L.A. riots of 1992 following the not guilty verdict for the officers caught on videotape beating the late motorist Rodney King. Berry will play a mom of eight children. Kings will be in theaters April 27th.
The hit Power has gotten some good news from its cable network Starz. The award winning drama starring Omari Hardwick, Joseph Sikora, Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren and, the show’s co-executive producer, Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, was renewed for a six season. 50 Cent is set to direct in that season, but first comes the faith season. And, the fifth season premiere of Power will be Sunday, July 1st at 9pm on Starz.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This 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.
Saturday, April 28th – Ruben Studdard in concert: Always & Forever, An Evening Of Luther Vandross. The concert will be at The Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa. and for tickets and information log onto keswicktheatre.com/events/all
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/ L.J. Reynolds & The Dramatics/ The Intruders at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For Ticket information log onto ppshows.com.
Saturday, May 26th – Philly’s own Hall & Oates present The 2nd Annual HoagieNation Festival with Train/ Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers/ Fitz & The Tantrums/ Down North/ Beano French and more. It all takes place at Festival Pier on Penns Landing in Philly. For tickets and information visit hoagienation.com
Saturday, May 26th – The Irresponsible Tour starring Kevin Hart at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Saturday, May 26th - It’s The Sounds Of Philadelphia starring Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, The Delfonics & Harold Melvin's Blue Notes at the Xcite Center inside Parx Casino. For tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com
Saturday, June 2nd - The 11th Annual Roots Picnic with host Dave Chappelle. Scheduled to perform with The Roots are 2 Chainz, DVSN, Fabalous, Jadakiss, Rapsody and Brandy, just to name a few. It all takes place at Festival Pier on Penns Landing in Philly. For passes and information log onto rootspicnic.com/philly.
Saturday, July 21st Cedric The Entertainer comedy show at The Sugar House Casino. For tickets and information log onto sugarhouseentertainment.com
Monday, July 30th – Jay-Z & Beyoncé: 2018 On The Run 2 Tour at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, August 25th – Smokey Robinson in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd Street & Parkside Avenue. For more information log on to manncenter.org
Wednesday & Thursday, September 19th and 20th – Bruno Mars and Cardi B on Thee 24K Magic North American Concert Tour at the Wells Fargo Center. For tickets and information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.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.