Photo: Singer/Actress Brandy on the cover of People magazine
There is finally an arrest in connection with the murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay after nearly twenty years. At press time, two suspects, 36-year old Karl Gordon and 56-year old Ronald Washington, have pled not guilty in the execution style murder of Jason Mizell, a.k.a. Jam Master Jay. Washington is already in prison on robbery charges, and Gordon was ordered held without bail. If convicted, both men could face the death penalty for the 2002 murder. Prosecutors maintain that the motive was the late founding member of Run DMC was involved in selling cocaine and was killed for cutting Washington out of a planned sale in Maryland. Jam Master Jay’s family issued a statement in part describing having mixed emotions, but hoping the indictments are a step toward justice. The family didn’t comment on the prosecutors contention Jay was involved with selling drugs.
MC Lyte is calling it quits after three years. The legendary pioneering female MC is definitely in my hip hop top five. When she got married, she surprised her fans. Within a one year window, she met John Wyche on line, became engaged in May 2017 and three months later married him in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Lyte even gave a speech for those looking for love it’s out there and you can find it. What happened? Lyte, whose real name is Lana Michele Moorer, filed the divorce paperwork and cited irreconcilable differences. Lyte’s husband, John Wyche, is an entrepreneur and a veteran of the Marine Corps. Will we get the details? So far things are rolling along quietly and at press time no response from Wyche.
Tavis Smiley already lost a jury trial against PBS back in March, but PBS countered Smiley should pay more than the $1.5 million the jury awarded and a judge agreed. Back in 2017,PBS suspended and then cancelled Smiley’s long running talk show for violating PBS’ workplace conduct policies for dating subordinates. When Smiley countersued, he accused PBS of running a shady investigation and claimed while he did have relationships at work, he did nothing improper. Unfortunately, six women who were called to testify claimed under oath Smiley did act improperly and used his position as a boss for those workplace relationships. The jury awarded PBS $1.5 million for cost and underwriting expenses for two seasons of Smiley’s show. PBS however, argued they deserved more since Smiley violated their morals clause. Judge Yvonne Williams not only denied Smiley’s effort to reduce the jury award, but the judge raised the award to $1.9 million and then slapped on $702,898 from the corporate underwriting fees Smiley got for the show. All in all, Smiley owes PBS $2.6 million. Back in the day, Smiley was the go to political/news/protest guy, and he and his brand were everywhere. Things began to loosen with his early critiques of the Obama Administration and a bitter exit from the then Tom Joyner Morning Show. Then the #Metoo movement swept Smiley and a host of other TV newsmen into the scene. When Smiley vowed to fight back, it got worse with more accusations going public, and now this ruling. At press time, no there’s been no public response from Smiley.
Tyler Perry is brings The Paynes and The Browns back in two new series on BET next month. As part of his overall deal with the BET Networks, the studio mogul is rebooting House Of Payne with the original cast of LaVan Davis, Cassi Davis Patton, Allen Payne, Lance Gross, Demetria McKinney, China Anne McClain, Larramie “Doc” Shaw and Keshia Knight Pulliam. The show will pick up five years later with Curtis, the retired fire chief, and Ella Payne. No word yet on how the events of the one season OWN spinoff The Paynes will be resolved here. Also, some of the original cast may have simultaneous projects going on such as China Anne McClain who appears in the CW series Black Lightning. Meanwhile, Assisted Living will also premiere on BET. Husband and wife David & Tamela Mann reprise their roles as Mr. Brown and Cora, but are now investors in a rundown home for the elderly and partner with a young family patriarch with teenaged children while dealing with the larger than life personalities of the residents. Na’im Lynn, Courtney Nichole, Tayler Buck, Alex Henderson and J. Anthony Brown are also starring. Meanwhile, Tyler Perry is being honored at this year’s Emmy Awards, and he’ll be given the Governor’s Award. Past winners include Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite, CBS Founder William Paley and Johnny Carson. The Emmys will be virtual this year and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC Sunday, September 20th. Meanwhile, House Of Payne and Assisted Living both premiere on BET Wednesday, September 2nd beginning at 9pm.
Two Philadelphians are teaming up for a big screen reboot. Will Smith and Kevin Hart are finally doing a picture together. The natives of the City of Brotherly Love have selected Planes, Trains & Automobiles. The 1987 version was written and directed by John Hughes and starred Steve Martin and the late John Candy. Martin and Candy played two mismatched men so desperate to get home for the holidays they become forced traveling partners. No word yet on which actor will do which part or the changes to the 2020 storyline. At this point, there’s no filming expected until 2022 and both Hart and Smith’s production companies will produce the film for Paramount Pictures.
Black-ish/Mixed-ish/Grown-ish creator and star of Black AF Kenya Barris has a new project coming to Netflix on Attorney Benjamin Crump. As part of his multi-project deal with Netflix, Barris is delving into the documentary world by profiling the civil rights attorney. The world got to know Crump through his work advocating for the family slain teenager Trayvon Martin, who was killed in the state of Florida by George Zimmerman. Despite Zimmerman’s second degree murder criminal acquittal, Crump has never let up as a public advocate in Martin’s memory for change. Crump is also involved in a number of other cases, including advocating forthe late Breonna Taylor, the 26-year old Louisville EMS worker, who was shot and killed by police in her own home. Producer Barris will produce the untitled documentary with Oscar Winner Roger Ross Williams, and it will be directed by Michelle Obama documentary Becoming Director Nadia Hallgren. No streaming date has been confirmed yet.
Speaking of Black-ish, Anthony Anderson was just honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Speakers celebrating the comedian/actor/writer included his friends Actor Don Cheadle, Comedian George Lopez and Comedian Chris Spencer along with Anderson’s family in a socially distant and masked up celebration.Anderson, who turned 50 this month, is closing in on 25 years in TV and films. He’s also up for an Emmy for Best Actor In A Comedy Series for Black-ish when the virtual Emmys take place Sunday, September 20th on ABC.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is being civilly sued for rape. The suit alleges the Oscar winning Jerry Maguire actor raped a woman twice in a Manhattan hotel room. The court papers state the two met at a Greenwich Village restaurant, and Gooding invited her to his hotel for a drink. Gooding then allegedly asked her to his room so he could change clothes then refused to let her leave. Gooding is currently facing criminal charges in Manhattan in connection to allegations from three women. Prosecutors claim they’re speaking to an additional 27 women on their allegations of either assault or rape by Gooding. The woman in the lawsuit is listed as Jane Doe, and it has not been confirmed if she has any involvement in Gooding’s upcoming criminal case.
There’s a huge change coming for O magazine but first a 20-year tradition for the magazine has been broken. For the first time in its history, Oprah Winfrey is not on the cover of O magazine. That distinction goes to the late Breonna Taylor, the 26-year old Louisville EMS worker, who was shot and killed by police in her own home. O is acknowledging Taylor’s death and the deaths of other African American women at the hands of police or in police custody and directs readers on how to help spur justice for them. That issue of O magazine with Breonna Taylor is available now.
TV Personality/Actress La La Anthony is on the cover of the new September/October edition of Essence magazine.
Cardi B and her exclusive interview with Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is the cover story for Elle magazine.
Rihanna is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
First Time Emmy Nominee Zendaya is on the cover of InStyle magazine’s September issue featuring the conversation between the actress and Black Lives Matter Co-founder Patrisse Cullors.
Singer Brandy is on the cover of People magazine discussing her battle with depression, her new album, B7, which purposely came after eight years and how the singer credits her daughter for saving her life.
Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles is on the cover of Vogue
Oscar, Emmy and Tony Winner Viola Davis is on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.
Janet Mock is on the cover of Marie Clair.
COVID-19 can’t stop some traditions, so Jasmine Sanders shares the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition with Kate Bock and Olivia Culpo. Sanders’ social media nickname is Golden Barbie, and she’s also a TV personality and actress.
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