Is Wendy Williams in rehab? Will she return to her show Monday the 21st? And, is she having her finances protected? I’m hearing that The Queen Of All Media is having lawyers look over all her money. Particularly, as it involves her husband/manager Kevin Hunter, his alleged mistress, their alleged side-jawn pad and alleged pregnancy. Much like Mary J. Blige, Hunter’s involvement in his wife’s career makes it difficult to make a clean break…..if that’s what’s happening. Wendy Williams is slated to return to her daytime talk show this Monday January 21st.
Wendy Williams’ situation of the husband/manager is very similar to the dynamic The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin had with her first husband, who was also her manager. Ted White and Franklin had a tumultuous marriage, and eventually business would go that same way. Now that Franklin has passed, Ted’s back and he’s looking for a share of Franklin’s royalties. The two were married from 1961-69, and share a son. Franklin left no will, so Ted White’s request has gone to the same court that’s dealing with accusations of theft from Franklin’s estate. One of Franklin’s sons is demanding invoices and supporting records to prove how much and where the money is going. Seems that when The Queen Of Soul first passed, plenty of people came through her home and clearly some helped themselves.
Speaking of Aretha Franklin, I’ve got scoop on her CBS tribute special hosted by Tyler Perry. They’ll be appearances by President Barack Obama, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, John Legend, Barbara Streisand, Willie Nelson and Tony Bennett. A very special tribute from her lifelong friend Smokey Robinson will be included as well. Then there are the performances: Sza & Alicia Keys on Daydreaming; Patti LaBelle on Call Me; Andra Day & Fantasia on (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman; and Franklin’s silver screen portrayer Jennifer Hudson (Respect: The Aretha Franklin Story) will open the show with Think. Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul airs on CBS Sunday, March 10th.
Rihanna is taking her father to court. The 30-year old singer/actress/entrepreneur is suing her father Ronald Fenty and his business partner Moses Perkins alleging the two falsely represented their company’s affiliation with her. The men stand accused of trying to book concerts for Rihanna in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and a $15 million deal to tour Latin America. Rihanna had to hit her pops with a cease and desist, and apparently this isn’t a first. The Umbrella singer in this suit accuses Fenty and Perkins of misrepresenting themselves to exploit her name previous including trying to register the Fenty name for a line of boutique casinos. Rihanna, who is officially managed by Roc Nation, and her legal team state they’re trying to stop the exploitation and protect the goodwill of Rihanna’s Fenty Brand.
Atlanta Native Gladys Knight has just signed on to sing the National Anthem at this year’s Superbowl in Atlanta airing Sunday, February 3rd on CBS.
Chicago authorities raided R Kelly’s Chicago studio. The warrant allowing them to inspect the building was granted from complaints there were people living in the studio. Authorities haven’t officially commented yet on who they may have found living there, but the studio contained appliances installed that are not permitted in a commercial building without a proper license. The property owners are looking into whether the violations and back rent issues are enough to get Kelly evicted.
Meanwhile, the embattled Pied Piper Of R&B is going after Lifetime. R Kelly is reported to have hired members of Bill Cosby’s team to investigate and get the dirt on Lifetime executives and the Surviving R Kelly documentary. While Cosby’s team couldn’t help the entertainer avoid a guilty verdict, they did find a lot of damaging information on many of his accusers. Kelly’s team is said to launch a new website. SurvivingLies is set to launch after Facebook cancelled the Surviving Lies page. As for the artists as of late now trying to distance themselves from the embattled entertainer, the talk from Kelly’s camp is they were phony from the front door anyway.
Was Mariah Carey being blackmailed, or did she allow her assistant to be subject to sexual harassment on the job? The singer is suing her former personal assistant Lianna Azarian claiming Azarian had a compromising video of Carey doing very personal and private things and threatened to release it to the public unless she got $8 million. Azarian is countersuing Carey and alleges Carey allowed her former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, to create a hostile working environment. Azarian claims Bulochnikov called her the n-word, a f***ing Armenian w***e, placed objects under her breasts, ridiculed her body right in front of Mariah Carey, the boss, who did nothing about it. Azarian also claims Carey herself submitted Azarian to abuse physically, psychologically and emotionally. At press time, Carey hasn’t responded to Azarian’s suit. Azarian’s lawyers deny all wrongdoing that Carey’s suit alleges.
The Grammys will have its first female host in over a decade as 15-time Winner Alicia Keys has signed on for those duties. The last time a woman hosted was Queen Latifah in 2005, and there have only been five ladies in all of Grammy history to host. Kendrick Lamar’s work on the Black Panther soundtrack garnered eight nominations to lead the pack. One nomination he shares with Sza for their collaboration All The Stars. Meanwhile, five nominations each went to H.E.R., Cardi B, Lady Gaga and Childish Gambino. Plus when the Grammys air, there will be a special tribute to the 60th anniversary of the creation of Motown Records. The Grammys air Sunday, February 10th at 8pm on CBS.
South Philly native Amber Rose just made a big confession: she was a crack dealer. Rose says she didn’t do it long and it was to help make ends meet for her family. This was before she became a stripper. Now, she’s a much sought out TV personality, but what a difference a day makes.
To Catch A Predator Host and honored Journalist Chris Hansen……has been arrested and charged…in connection to bouncing a check. Hansen reportedly racked up a nearly $13,000 bill of marketing material he purchased from Promotional Sales Limited. According to the company, Hansen allegedly delayed payment then tried to pay the whole thing off by check, which bounced. That’s when Connecticut police were called in and Hansen was arrested and charged. He was released without bond and agreed to attend the follow up hearing.
We remember Larry Cunningham of The Floaters. He was one of the group’s founding members. While Cunningham sang with the group up into the 2000’s with only a brief hiatus, he also sang gospel including his project Feels So Good. He and The Floaters are best remembered for their 1977 classic Float On. Remember, Larry was a cancer and likes a woman who loved everything and everybody. The song topped the charts in America and England, was certified gold and that pushed the Floaters’ self-titled album to platinum status. Larry Cunningham died after a long illness at age 67.
Broadway Icon Carol Channing has passed away. She was one of the grand divas of the great white way. Although she won an Oscar nomination for her most famous movie role in Thoroughly Modern Millie opposite Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore, it was her Tony winning title role in Hello Dolly that catapulted Channing to superstardom on Broadway. Studio politics kept her from reprising the role on film and it was given to Barbara Streisand, who paid tribute to Channing. The biggest surprise of all was learning that Carol Channing was black. Her career began in the 1930’s and she was able to pass for white and later admitted it after she stopped performing. Ironically, that may explain the sisterhood she shared with another icon in the form of Singer/Actress/Tony Winner/Philly Native the late Pearl Bailey. Bailey won a Tony for her all-black revival of Hello Dolly, and she and Channing performed together in concerts TV specials and their own Broadway show together. Channing released her autobiography (Just Lucky I Guess) in 2002 and a film documentary on her life (Larger Than Life) in 2012. Carol Channing was 97-years old.
Essence Magazine’s February issue is an homage to the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon. A shared cover features the Luncheon’s 2019 honorees: Jenifer Lewis (Black-ish; Think Like A Man; What’s Love Got To Do With It), Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk; Captive City), Amandla Stenberg (The Hate You Give; The Hunger Games) and Regina Hall (Scary Movie; Girls’ Trip; Little).
Little is a movie coming out this spring, but it’s already going into the record books. A high powered but super mean business executive (Regina Hall from Girls’ Trip) is transformed back into her 13-year old self with her present day mind (Marsai Martin, “Diane” from Black-ish). Her assistant (Issa Rae of Insecure) is the only one who knows the truth, and must keep her boss’ business going until they can make her normal again. Will Packer, Hall and Martin are the executive producers and that makes Martin the youngest executive producer in movie history. Little, co-starring Tone Bell (CBS’ Fam) and Justin Hartley (NBC’s This Is Us) opens in theaters April 12th.
Mary J. Blige is coming to Netflix. The Queen Of Hip Hop Soul is following up her Oscar nominated 2017 role in Mudbound by playing a hired killer. Blige will play an assassin in the Nextflix series The Umbrella Academy. This is a scary series. In fact, think American Horror Story type scary. Umbrella Academy begins streaming February 15th.
Taraji P. Henson is celebrating her latest film What Men Want. The movie is a reboot of the 2000 Mel Gibson box office smash What Women Want. Gibson played a man who accidentally acquires the ability to read women’s minds and learns the power is not all it’s cracked up to be. For the reboot, Henson has Gibson’s role. She plays a woman constantly battling sexism in the business world when she suddenly can read men’s minds. What Men Want, co-starring Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield (CBS’ The Neighborhood) and Richard Roundtree, opens in theaters February 8th.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, January 18th-Taylor Dayne & Color Me Bad in concert at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pa. For tickets and information log onto keswicktheater.com/events/all.
This Sunday, January 20th – The All Stars of Hip Hop starring Naughty By Nature, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and more at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets and information at ticketmaster.com or The Boardwalk Hall box office.
Friday, February 1st – Mike Epps comedy show at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter.
Saturday, February 2nd – Sunday, February 10th – The 2019 Philadelphia Auto Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For tickets and information log onto phillyautoshow.com
Saturday, February 2nd – Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle in concert at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pa. For tickets and information log onto keswicktheater.com/events/all.
Friday, February 8th – Herbie Hancock in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter.
Friday, February 15th –Brian McKnight in concert at Ocean Resort Casino’s Ovation Hall in Atlantic City. For Tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, February 16th – Erykah Badu and Busta Rhymes at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For Tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, February 16th – The Isley Brothers 60th Anniversary Tour at Ocean Resort Casino’s Ovation Hall in Atlantic City. For Tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, February 16th – Boyz II Men celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the album II at The Met Philly, Broad and Poplar. Log onto themetphilly.com/events for tickets and information.
Sunday, February 17th – The Valentine’s Day Soul Jam starring The Stylistics, The Manhattans, Bloodstone and Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Sunday, February 17th – Gladys Knight in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter
Saturday, March 9th – Tony Toni Tone’ & Jody Watley in concert at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pa. For tickets and information log onto keswicktheater.com/events/all.
Saturday, March 16th – Comedian JB Smoove at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter.
Wednesday March 20th – Sunday, March 24th – Madea’s Farewell starring Tyler Perry at The Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, March 30th – Mariah Carey in concert at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto ticketmaster.com for tickets and information.
Friday, April 26th – The New Stylistics featuring Russell Thompkins, Jr., The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and The Delfonics featuring William Hart in concert at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pa. For tickets and information log onto keswicktheater.com/events/all.
Friday, May 3rd – Wayne Brady at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter
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.