Naomi & Essence @ 50; Legendary Farewells; Mrs. Jesse Jackson keeps it real

Congratulations to Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish-Hart because we now know the couple is having a girl. “My Nephew” and his bride decided to do an online gender reveal. Hart’s 15 and 12 year old were there with Hart and Parrish two-year old son. Hart took to social media and proclaimed he was thrilled to announce their family of six, and Parrish wrote God has blessed them this Mother’s Day with a baby girl on the way. Congrats to the Harts!

Pastor Jamal Bryant says he’s a changed man. Despite all the rumors of getting a woman from the church pregnant back in 2016. He’s coming out swinging, and his ex-wife, Gizelle Bryant, is standing by his side. The couple was originally married in 2002, but infidelity issues came up then despite their three children and working in the church together. They divorced in 2009. Now, they’ve gotten back together, but just in time for a babymomma scandal. Will the Bryants make it and is the pastor a changed man?

With the COVID-19 pandemic rolling hard, the FOX network is calling on Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba for an assist. Because the networks have suspended production, many shows that were scheduled film now to debut in the fall are at a standstill. FOX is tapping the Bad Boy movie spinoff called L.A.’s Finest. It premiered more than a year ago, and has already done a full season on the Spectrum cable service. The show is reportedly being renewed by Spectrum and that would give FOX a full season. Union, reprising her role from Bad Boys II as Detective Syd Burnett, and Jessica Alba, new to the franchise as Detective McKenna, team up as cops in L.A. as Syd Burnett was transferred from Bad Boys Miami setting. L.A.’s Finest is scheduled to return to Spectrum for a second season June 8th, and then premiere this fall on FOX.

America’s Next Top Model’s (ANTM) Creator and Star Tyra Banks is apologizing and confessing that yes she was insensitive. During her tenure producing and hosting ANTM, the supermodel was in charge while mentoring aspiring young models. Some 2006 clips leaked out showing everything from blackface, teeth comments, and even making a model do a photo shoot in a casket after the model just left a funeral. Banks fessed up and took the blame. She didn’t try to blame others or come up with excuses. I think Tyra has changed a lot since she became a mom and that’s the difference between then and now.

Another strange turn in the legal wrangling surrounding the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, the pilot and six other passengers. In response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Kobe’s widow Vanessa, publish reports say the pilot’s brother filed paperwork claiming Kobe Bryant knew of the risks and flew anyway. The response documents point to Bryant and the passengers as being the cause. This may be shocking to people who aren’t lawyers, but this isn’t an unusual defense. Remember if there’s no defense at all it could spell millions more in damages for not just the Bryant family, but all the passengers’ families.

I have five children. The Rev has six. That comes from my conversation with Actress/Producer/Philanthropist/Author Marlo Thomas who opened up to be about Jacqueline Jackson, the wife of Reverend Jesse Jackson. We remember the scandal of the early 2000’s when it was revealed Jesse had a baby from an affair outside his marriage. Jacqueline shared with Marlo Thomas she had no intention of leaving The Rev. She calls him The Rev (smile). Jesse takes care of his responsibilities and Jacqueline takes care of staying put! This all comes from Marlo Thomas’ new book with her husband Daytime TV Talk Legend Phil Donahue. Donahue and Thomas have been married almost 40 years, and to celebrate they got 40 celebrity couples to interview for their book What Makes A Marriage Last. The couples also include Viola Davis & Julius Tennon; former President and First Lady Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter; Rodney & Holly Robinson Peete; Elton John & David Furnish; LL Cool J & Simone I. Smith; Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner; and Al Roker & Deborah Roberts. What Makes A Marriage Last by Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue is available now.

We remember Richard Penniman, who died of bone cancer late last week. Penniman is better known as Little Richard, The Architect Of Rock & Roll. The man, who influenced everyone from Michael Jackson to Prince, The Rolling Stones to The Beatles and once employed Jimi Hendrix & Billy Preston and coached James Brown through a demo record, lived and breathed music. Charting hits like Tutti Frutti in 1955 to Great Gosh Almighty in 1986, Little Richard constantly toured and earned every bit of his popularity despite the industry’s racism to outsell him by giving his songs to white singers to cover. Because he wrote most of his music, he was able to successfully sue and settle for quite a sum. While he still never received all the credit he deserved, Little Richard used his flamboyant personality and stage show to forever etch his memory into Rock & Roll. Little Richard was 87.

Singer/Songwriter/Producer Betty Wright has died. Wright is best remembered for the conversational flavor of her music. Songs like Tonight’s The Night; No Pain, No Gain; her Grammy winning Where Is The Love (co-written with Harry Wayne Casey of KC & The Sunshine Band); and her million selling Clean Up Woman were all subjects matters covered in kitchens, barbershops, beauty parlors and schools. Along the way, Wright had an eye for talent and brought acts such as KC & The Sunshine Band and George and (his then wife) Gwen McCrea to the TK record label. When Wright’s charting success began to wane, she took to coaching and studio production such as vocal arrangements for Gloria Estefan’s comeback hit Coming Out Of The Dark in 1999, Stevie Wonder’s Hotter Than July in 1980 and Dimples by Richard “Dimples” Fields. Wright also recently teamed up with DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean and raised her profile with yet another generation of fans this time in hip hop. Singer/Songwriter/Producer Betty Wright died of cancer at age 66.

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.

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.

This 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.

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.

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