Toni Braxton will be among our honorees at this year’s Women Of Excellence on Saturday, April 4th at the Philadelphia 201 Hotel, 18th & Race Streets. The Unbreak My Heart songstress is receiving the WDAS Women Of Excellence Icon Award. Braxton has lot going on including teaming up with Uncle Bud’s. Uncle Bud’s is a line of natural infused hemp products including skin care, personal care and pain relief care. Braxton uses them to relieve her lupus related pains. It worked so well for her, she became the brand partner. Her sons and her mom have even joined her in the media campaign. Braxton says Uncle Bud’s products can be found with 19,000 retailers like the Vitamin Shoppe, Target, GNC, Urban Outfitters and more. Braxton joins us for our WDAS-FM Women Of Excellence with fellow honorees Bumi Fernandez West, CEO of the Odunde Festival; NBC 10 Anchor Tracy Davidson, weekday mornings 4am to 7am; Anita T. Conner, Managing Partner of Anita T. Conner & Associates; Tiffany Tavarez, VP of Community Relations, Wells Fargo; and Catherine Hicks, Publisher of The Philadelphia Sunday Sun. There’ll also be performances from Avery Sunshine, Nicole Bus and Bonfyre. Log onto wdasfm.com for tickets and all the details.
Philly native and Actress Nafessa Williams is coming to town. The Black Lightning TV show and Black & Blue film star is hosting a two-day seminar for older teens and adults covering the exploration and development of acting. The Fundamentals Of Acting With Nafessa Williams takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 7th and 8th . To register and for more information log onto eventbrite.com.
The NAACP Awards took place last weekend and Anthony Anderson returned as host. His show Black-ish swept the TV categories again. As much as I love Black-ish, I was hoping to see some others TV shows get acknowledged too. The film Just Mercy made a surprise sweep with wins for Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and the film itself to name a few acknowledgements. Just Mercy, co-produced by Jordan, follows the true story of Lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s (Jordan) attempts to win the freedom of wrongly convicted death row inmate Walter McMillan (Foxx). There were also wins for Eddie Murphy’s My Name Is Dolemite for independent film. The last season of Power won acting for Omari Hardwick and directing for 50 Cent. Jordan Peele’s Us won screenplay and Actress Lupita Nyong’o. Beyoncé was awarded four times for the Homecoming album and Netflix stream.
NAACP Entertainer of the Year Lizzo wants to team up with Tommy Hilfiger for designer thongs. Lizzo has been the talk of the media because of her weight, but she addresses the backlash with her social media. You’ll see her on beaches and vacationing in bikinis, swimsuits and outfits defying her critics. Now she wants to bring back the thong as a collaboration with the Hilfiger brand.
Disgraced Film Mogul Harvey Weinstein found guilty on two of the five sexual misconduct criminal charges, which included of rape and sexual assault. He walked out of court and was remanded into custody. Remember the walker? He ditched the walker but once he got into the van, the heart palpitations started. At press time, Weinstein is still hospitalized at Bellevue. He’s due to be sent straight to Riker’s Island after he’s released from the hospital. There’s also a concern about Weinstein’s security in prison, including suicide or harm from other inmates. In the aftermath of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein committing suicide in custody as he awaited trial on new charges, the same concerns haunt jail officials with Weinstein. Should harm come to Weinstein before his March 11th sentencing or his trial on sex assault charges in Los Angeles, officials would never be able to justify it.
Steven Spielberg’s daughter is going into porn!!! Mikela Spielberg has reportedly said at first her parents were very supportive of her choice. Now comes word that behind closed doors, Steven is very embarrassed and worried. Mikela will not be doing hardcore at least not now. She apparently has an app where people can pay to watch her do solo acts. Huh?!!! The family is wondering the effect of this on their other children.
In more Steven Spielberg news, the Oscar winning director is reportedly not going to direct the fifth installment of Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford. This would be the first time someone else takes the directing reigns. Indiana Jones is scheduled for a 2021 release. Published reports say Ford, riding high from last weekend’s near $25 million take for his new movie Call Of The Wild, has only said a fifth installment will happen after scheduling and some script issues are worked out, but things are on track. Spielberg, Ford and Writer/Producer George Lucas have been at the helm of the entire Indiana Jones film series since 1981. Reportedly, Spielberg will remain a producer but neither Ford, Lucas, Spielberg or LucasFilms owner, Disney, are confirming this.
Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant’s public memorial was every bit as emotionally charged as expected. Vanessa Bryant herself delivered the eulogy for her late daughter and husband. Jimmy Kimmel essentially hosted the event and got choked up several times. Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera performed songs of tribute. Speakers included colleagues, mentors and mentees of Kobe Bryant before a packed Staples Center of 20,000 people. Several professionals from women’s basketball spoke on behalf of Gianna Bryant’s determination, athleticism and her all around great character for such a young girl. After Vanessa Bryant, the next most emotional moments came from Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan. Both shed tears and got huge laughs. Years ago as teammates, Shaq told Kobe there’s no “I” in team, and Kobe told Shaq but there’s an “ME in that m***a f***er. Jordan, who broke down in tears said now he has to see another crying meme for the next couple of years. The other victims of the crash and their families were also acknowledged as well.
Social media did buzz about Kobe’s parents playing no part in the ceremony and almost no acknowledgements. Joe and Pam Bryant were in attendance at the Staples Center, but that didn’t stop the buzz. Vanessa Bryant also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company, which may go into bankruptcy. This may be the start of many lawsuits to come.
Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett Smith brought Snoop Dogg to the Red Table Talk show to discuss the Gayle King-Kobe Bryant situation. Smith even enlisted Sports Journalist Jemele Hill and Iyanla VanZandt with recorded messages for Snoop. The episode hit Facebook this week. Unfortunately, Jada Pinkett Smith caught some backlash as well, although nothing as bad as Snoop and Gayle King caught. Some accusations of clout chasing and some of watch your own backyard were for Smith. Either way Snoop seemed receptive to Smith’s conversation and all ended on positive note, at least for them.
B Smith has passed away. Do It With Style was her motto because she was a trailblazer. Born Barbara Smith, her career in entertainment began as a model with several high profile Essence covers to her credit, to name a few. She parlayed those achievements into cooking, owning restaurants, fashion and then became a best-selling author and television personality. In 2016, Smith was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She and her husband Dan Gasby wrote a book together called Before I Forget and championed attention to the disease. Unfortunately, as the disease progressed with Smith, Gasby entered into a new, public relationship with another woman and the backlash was incredible. Beyond that controversy, Smith will always be remembered for all of her breakthroughs and the many African American women who today enjoy and thrive in the fields she helped pioneer. B Smith was 70 years old.
NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson has passed away. Johnson spent 35 years as one of the first African American women to work as a NASA scientist. Her calculations led to the successful first U.S. launches into space. Because her role was not acknowledged publicly, that inspired to the movie Hidden Figures many years later. That film was a surprise box office smash taking in almost $240 million at the box office in 2017. Taraji P. Henson portrayed Johnson. Johnson worked alongside her colleagues Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn in a segregated unit of West Area Computers in the early 60’s when they came to NASA. Johnson’s calculations were used to launch John Glenn’s mission to space. Johnson would later work on the space shuttle program and missions to Mars. President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Katherine Johnson was 101 years old.
The Essence Festival has been announced. The legendary magazine is celebrating 50 years in publication. It’s annual New Orleans celebration, which is now Essence’s signature, returns for the Fourth Of July.Patti LaBelle, Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars, Raphael Saadiq, Summer Walker, Jidenna and Tamia will all take to the main stage with more acts to come. The Essence Festival will take place July 1-5th.
The Clark Sisters TV bio pic will premiere Easter weekend. The made for TV movie will focus on the rise of the sisters from their beginnings in Detroit to gospel royalty. The Clark Sisters mother, Mattie Moss Clark, is played by Aunjanue Ellis (Undercover Brother) and the sisters will be played by Christina Bell (Twinkie), Kierra Sheard (Karen), Shelea Frazier (Dorinda), Raven Goodwin (Denise) and Angela Birchett (Jacky). And yes, Gospel Singer Kierra Sheard is playing her mom Karen Clark Sheard in the movie. The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel is produced by Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot and May J. Blige and premieres Saturday, April 11th at 8pm on Lifetime.
Taraji P. Henson is on the cover of Essence talking about finding love and her personal “empire.”
Kerry Washington is on the cover of InStyle magazine for their March fashion issue.
Supermodel Anok Yai graces the March cover of Harper’s Bazzar with Tiffany Haddish’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s style photo shoot inside.
Kevin Hart is on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine.
Tyler Perry is on the cover of Ebony magazine’s Power 100 List for the March 2020 issue.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, February 28th – Tiffany Haddish comedy show at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto theborgata.com
Saturday, March 7th– The Millennium Tour starring Omarion, Bow Wow, Ashanti, Pretty Ricky, Soulja Boy, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins and Sammie at The Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University on Broad Street between Montgomery and Cecil B. Moore Avenues. For tickets and information log onto liacourascenter.com.
Saturday, March 28th – Charlie Wilson in concert at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto theborgata.com
Saturday, April 4th –Martin Lawrence hosts The Lit AF 2020 Comedy Tour starring Michael Blackson, Donnell Rawlings, Benji Brownand more at The Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University on Broad Street between Montgomery and Cecil B. Moore Avenues. For tickets and information log onto liacourascenter.com.
Saturday, April 18th – Marlon Wayans comedy show at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto theborgata.com
Friday, May 1st – Patti LaBelle in concert at Caesars in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, May 9th– The Mother’s Day Music Festival starring Fantasia, Keith Sweat, Tank, Avant and Destinee Maree at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ppshows.com
Sunday, May 10th– Stephanie Mills and After 7 at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ppshows.com
Saturday, May 16th – Sinbad comedy show at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto theborgata.com
Saturday, May 16th – The Temptations and The Four Tops in concert at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto themetphilly.com
Saturday, May 23rd - The Annual Hoagienation Music Festival starring Hall & Oates, Kool & The Gang, The Hooters, Melanie Fiona and The Soul Survivors at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd & Parkside. For tickets and information log onto hoagienation.com.
Saturday, May 30th - The Roots Picnic featuring Meek Mill, Snoh Aalegra, DJ Diamond Kuts, Summer Walker, DaBaby and the Roots Present Soul with Musiq Soulchild, SWV and Brandy at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts , 52nd & Parkside, For tickets and information, log onto rootspicnic.com/philly
Thursday, July 9th – Janet Jackson’s Black Diamond World Tour 2020 with new music and a special performance of Rhythm Nation at The Wells Fargo Center. For tickets and information log onto wellsfargocenterphilly.com
Sunday, August 9th – Alicia Keys in ALICIA: The World Tour concert at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto themetphilly.com
Thursday, August 20th – The Supernatural Tour starring Earth, Wind & Fire and Santana at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ. For tickets and information log onto livenation.com
Thursday, August 27th – John Legend in concert at the Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto themetphilly.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.