Beyonce and her mother Tina Knowles have a new initiative in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. I Did My Part is the project and is taking place in their hometown of Houston this Friday & Saturday. They’ve arranged giving out 1,000 kits, facemasks, gloves, vitamins, gift coupons and more. They’re covering the costs for the medical staff as well. All folks have to do is pull up and you don’t even have to leave your car to get tested. Beyonce and Tina are encouraging other celebrities to follow suit or something similar. Tyler Perry is developing his initiative in Atlanta.
Insecure’s Issa Rae is one of my favorite interviews, and she’s on the cover of Cosmopolitan’s June issue.Plus, her new romantic comedy Lovebirds will go straight to Netflix because of coronavirus concerns in movie theaters. Lovebirds stars Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as a couple accidentally swept up in a murder mystery while trying to figure out their future as a couple. Lovebirds begins streaming on Netflix May 22nd. Also, Insecure was renewed by HBO for a fifth season.
Tony Rock is a new dad at age 45.The comedian and younger brother of fellow Comedian/Actor Chris Rock took to social media to show off his newborn son. He took a bible scripture relating to the relationship between fathers and sons and placed it under the baby’s photo. At press time, Tony is keeping the names of both the mother and their son anonymous for now. Congratulations Tony!
Congratulations as well to Anderson Cooper! The CNN anchor has become a father via a surrogate. Cooper made the announcement on CNN and said he never thought as a gay man he’d become a father. But at 52, Cooper introduced the world to his son Wyatt Morgan. Published reports say his ex, Businessman Benjamin Maisani, will co-parent with Cooper. Maisani was even in the delivery room with Cooper when Wyatt Morgan was born.
There’s talk of a Janet Jackson bio-pic. Tyler Perry has thrown his name in the ring to bring the project to life. He and Miss Jackson go back a ways to the two installments of Why Did I Get Married and both were big screen hits. If you do a Janet bio-pic, there are certain topics that must get covered. There are the secret marriages to James DeBarge and Rene Elizondo, Jr. There’s the third marriage to and separation from Billionaire Businessman Wissam Al Mana and the birth of their son. What about past her former flame Jermaine Dupri and unconfirmed flames like Q-Tip, Justin Timberlake and Bobby Brown.You must talk about the Superbowl, growing up in the Jackson family and, of course, Michael. Plus, who will play Janet in this movie? No word on any of these details yet. Meanwhile, Jackson’s new album Black Diamond is coming out later this year.
We’ve had the Babyface and Teddy Riley battle and now it’s time for the ladies. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu are the next competitors in the Verzuz IG Live series this Saturday May 9th. Jilly From Philly and The First Lady Of Neo-Soul are participating in the Swizz Beatz produced online series. The friendly battle is the day before Mother’s Day and Beatz said it’s time for the Queens to represent. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu’s Verzuz is set for this Saturday at 7pm on IG Live using the #FemmeItForward hashtag.
Byron Allen took a hit at the Supreme Court against Comcast, but he’s still producing the Feeding America special to air, among others, on Comcast owned NBC. Allen saw the Supreme Court side with Comcast in his $20 billion lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. The court ruled Allen must show race was the determining factor in Comcast not carrying his programming and kicked the case back to California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, that’s not stopping Allen from working with Comcast on this coronavirus benefit. Allen conceived and produced this benefit to fight against the pandemic that’s gripped the world.Allen, before becoming a mogul, was a long time standup comic and writer and was once the youngest comedian to appear on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in the 70’s. Fast forward to 2020 and Allen called on his friends and folks he’s supported along the away to do 3 or 4 minutes of comedy each. Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart, George Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg, Tiffany Haddish, Marlon Wayans, Whitney Cummings, Jack Black, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Sarah Silverman and JB Smoove will all appear in this benefit to feed Americans in need. Feeding America premieres Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10th at 7pm on NBC, The Weather Channel (owned by Allen), Comedy.TV and the app Local Now.
Michelle Obama’s Becoming has begun streaming on Netflix and it features interviews with daughters Sasha and Malia Obama. It’s their first since the famous Access Hollywood interview during the first Obama Presidential campaign more than 10 years ago. There was so much criticism and questioning over it, despite the fact there was nothing wrong with it and Mr. & Mrs. Obama did the interview with the girls, The Obamas stopped having the daughters do interviews during that and their time in the White House. Now, after almost four years out of the White House, Michelle Obama explained there were moments that her daughters deserved to have privately since they didn’t choose this life. Both daughters sit down together for an interview, and we also see and hear them back stage at the Becoming tour.The Forever First Lady’s Becoming has sold over 11.5 million copies worldwide. A highlight of the Netflix documentary is Mrs. Obama’s stop in Philly when she surprised a group of girls at the African American Museum. Becoming is produced by the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground Productions.
It’s Barack and Michelle to the rescue for the Class of 2020. Since COVID-19 has essentially cancelled traditional graduation ceremonies this year, The Obamas are headlining Graduate Together: America Honors The Graduating Class of 2020 this weekend. The Forever First Couple teamed up with The LeBron James Family Foundation for this special virtual ceremony. Black-ish/Grown-ish Actress Yara Shahidi, Singer/Songwriter H.E.R., The Jonas Brothers and Pharrell Williams will also be appearing. Graduate Together: America Honors The Graduating Class of 2020 will air on all the major broadcast networks and streaming this Saturday, May 16th at 8pm
Speaking of The Obamas and graduations, on Saturday, June 6th, YouTube presents Dear Class Of 2020.The Obamas are delivering the commencement address. The lineup for this event includes BTX, Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Kelly Rowland and Kerry Washington.
On Friday, May 15th, Oprah Winfrey giving her own graduation speech for The Class of 2020. Facebook will stream a live event that includes Winfrey and shorter speeches by Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X and Simone Biles. Plus, there’ll be a performance by Miley Cyrus. Clips will also be put on Instagram as well.
Naomi Campbell and Essence magazine mark two golden anniversaries in the new normal. In the month of May 1970, Essence magazine issued its very first edition. That same year and same month, May 22nd, Naomi Campbell was born. To mark both occasions, Essence invited Campbell to once again grace the magazine’s cover for the May/June issue. Unfortunately the coronavirus and the quarantine/lockdowns made a photo shoot with a crew impossible. So, Campbell did it herself. The supermodel/actress/entrepreneur did her own makeup, styling, hair and shot her own photos. It’s the first time in Essence history that’s happened as even the iconic magazine is not immune to the new normal. Campbell stated while it was unusual, it was still special to honor Essence that way. Campbell also noted it was a sad reminder of those who cannot work during this COVID-19 pandemic. The legendary supermodel says we’ll come out of this stronger and wished herself and Essence well as they both hit the half century mark together.
Megan Thee Stallion is on the cover of Marie Claire’s May issue.
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