Patty's 411: Tyra Set Up? Lenny Tells & Bares All; Will Smith Laughs Again

So what’s Taraji P. Henson up to now that empire is wrapped? She’s got a brand new show, and it’s a talk show. The Oscar and Emmy nominee is coming to Facebook Watch. Henson has been a huge advocate for mental illness treatment and acknowledgement. Peace Of Mind with Taraji is all about mental health and getting people not only to talk about it but understanding. Henson wants to break all stigmas attached to talking about it, asking people in your circle for help and seeking medical treatment. At press time, we’re waiting for a premiere date to be confirmed, but good luck Taraji.

Karma seems to have come for a visit for Dan Gasby. Gasby was married for 26-years to the late TV Personality/Entrepreneur/Restaurateur/Model B. Smith. Smith suffered from Alzheimer’s disease the last few years of her life. Things went left when Gasby got new girlfriend, a blonde socialite named Alex Lerner. At first, Gasby put Alex and himself on social media and then moved her in with him and B. Smith, while he and Smith were still married and living in the couple’s home. In response, social media lit up and tore into Gasby. Well once Smith passed away, the money changed and guess what? Lerner is gone. Gasby has been left high and dry because it was B. Smith who was the brand. Gasby took quite the hit publicly for his disrespectfully actions despite all his efforts to explain. He was reportedly shopping around a reality show and related media projects, but the interest isn’t there without B. Smith. I think that’s why they call karma!

HBO Max is launching a series about the creation of Essence magazine. This is similar to how the BET series on Soul Train’s first years are chronicled in American Soul. The iconic Essence magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has returned to black ownership. By the way, those charges of sexual harassment and inappropriateness at the Essence workplace led to an investigation. The investigators found none of the accusations could be substantiated. We’ll see what happens from here on that front. Today, Essence is published six times a year and has seen its share of internal drama going through ownership challenges including when Time-Warner owned them and then sold it. Back to the series, Edward Lewis was one of the four men who created Essence magazine, and he will be an executive producer of this Essence series. The series will focus on the four men and the women who eventually became the magazine’s calling card and shaped the legend Essence became. We all remember Susan Taylor as Essence’s Editor & Chief. She became the face of the publication and with her departure the magazine and readers felt that. The Essence-HBO Max series will be set in the early 1970’s and dramatizes getting the magazine off the ground. At press time, no premiere date has been confirmed.

Is Tyra Banks being set up to fail? This season, Dancing With The Stars replaced Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, and first time Host and Executive Producer Tyra Banks is having many challenges. She’s been rushing Judge Derek Hough to get to his answer right away on contestants. This week, she announced the wrong set of couples was disqualified and the other was safe. It turns out, ala Steve Harvey, she had to go back and fix it. Wow! There are people who miss Tom Bergeron, but that’s not Tyra’s fault. I have my own issues with some of the styling of the show. But from the viewers’ point of view, this has got to get better. The team work is definitely a must.

Good news for our WDAS family member Tamron Hall. We’re early in the season and she’s already been renewed. The Tamron Hall Show will have its third season come fall 2021. Congrats Tamron!!!

Singer/Songwriter Lenny Kravitz has a new very touching memoir while at the same time a photo shoot he did broke the internet. The book is titled Let Love Rule, named after his 1989 debut album. It’s co-written with David Ritz, famous for his biographies on Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. Kravitz is the son of the interracial marriage of Sy Kravitz and Actress Roxie Roker, and he says the book is a love letter to his mom who died of breast cancer in 1995. Roker was a member of the legendary cast of The Jeffersons (1975-85). She played Helen Willis, the wife half of TV’s first interracial couple to be regularly featured on a hit show. Lenny Kravitz was also married to Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show; A Different World), and they are the parents of Actress Zoe Kravitz. Lenny is talking life, love and music in his book. From his childhood, marriage and divorce, parenthood, racism and touching reflections of his lessons from mom is all covered. Kravitz told The Today Show’s Al Roker, his second cousin by the way, that writing the book was therapeutic. Kravitz had a strained relationship with his dad, but made peace with him before his father’s death. Kravitz says despite that, there were still some things he needed to get out and the book helped with that. Meanwhile, the 56-year old is on the cover of Men’s Health magazine and the singer/songwriter is breaking the internet with his photo shoot and online accompany video where he’s shirtless and working out. You know Auntie picked up her copy!!!!!

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and their family got a nice honor recently. The family survived the #entanglement and just received the Robin Williams Legacy Of Laughter Award. Williams died in 2014. The Oscar winning comedian/actor committed suicide struggling with Lewy Body Dementia disease, depression and anxiety. Williams’ family created an organization, Bring Change To The World, as a response to their great loss. Williams and Smith both played the Genie in two different versions of Disney’s Aladdin. The Smiths were given the award by Bring Change To The World to encourage them to continue the fun, laughter and feel good time they bring to their TV, movie and online work. Will, a West Philly native, made a very funny video in accepting the award and even made fun of his so-called crying meme which replaced the Michael Jordan crying meme. Smith said in the video I look like I’m crying because coffee dehydrates me…I’m Not Crying. So, the Smiths took a moment to turn things around and keep pushing on. Good For Them!!

We remember Johnny Nash. The singer/songwriter was often categorized as a reggae/pop singer, but a fun fact about him was Nash was the first non Jamaican artist to record music in Kingston. Nash was born in Houston, Texas. He was quite a figure on the reggae scene, and at one point signed Bob Marley to a songwriting/publishing deal. As for Nash’s career, he’d been charting hits as far back as 1957 up to the late 1970’s, including remakes of Sam Cooke’s (What A) Wonderful World, Doris Day’s A Very Special Love, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, Hold Me Tight and Tears On My Pillow. Nash launched to superstardom when he wrote, produced and performed the biggest single of his career and one of the biggest songs of all time, 1972’s I Can See Clearly Now. The song was not only number one for him, but it charted top 20 two more times in 1982 for Lee Towers and in 1993 for Jimmy Cliff. Johnny Nash was 80 years old.

Police confirm Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was killed in Atlanta. He’s best known from his performances in TV and films, most notably in Filmmaker Spike Lee’s He Got Game and Get On The Bus. Byrd was found shot to death in Atlanta and the investigation is ongoing. He was found as a result of a 911 call with multiple shots to the back and was pronounced dead at the scene. Spike Lee said Byrd was his guy and offered condolences and blessings to his family. Thomas Jefferson Byrd was 70-years old.

We send prayers to John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and their family. Last week, the couple announced losing their third child due to pregnancy complications. Teigen had been on bed rest for a little less than a month due to experiencing bleeding. The couple decided to go public immediately on their terms to make the announcement and reveal the child was a boy and his name was to be Jack. While they did experience some criticism, they were overwhelmingly praised and noted they were most likely a help to others experiencing this same loss.

We remember Rock Legend Eddie Van Halen who passed away after a battle with cancer. Eddie and his brother Alex, Mark Stone and David Lee Roth were the founding member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame group Van Halen in 1972. The group’s mainstream success came in 1984 when they released the album entitled 1984. It hit number two on the charts sold five times platinum and launched their number one hit Jump. Before and after Jump and 1984, the group had a string of hits and successes. Eddie Van Halen is held as one of rock’s all time guitar greats. Eddie is also world famous for his guitar solo on Michael’s Jackson’s 7 million copy selling classic Beat It from the world’s best-selling album of all time Thriller. Eddie Van Halen was married to Actress Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At A Time; Hot In Cleveland) in 1981. They had one son, Wolfgang, and their divorced was finalized in 2007. Eddie has been married to second wife Jane Liszewski since 2009. Eddie Van Halen was 65-years old.

Kelly Clarkson will host the Billboard Music Awards. Lizzo, Post Malone and Lil Nas X are all nominated. The Billboard Music Awards air at 8pm on Wednesday, October 14th on NBC.

Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris is on the cover of the November issue of Elle magazine.

Congratulations to Singer/Actress Kelly Rowland and her husband Tim Witherspoon. The former Destiny’s Child member now solo artist confirmed her pregnancy with her second child with her cover shoot for Women’s Health magazine.

Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union is on the cover of Marie Claire’s digital October issue and she’s talking the Supreme Court, her new action series L.A.’s Finest with Jessica Alba and America’s Got Talent (Union and NBC recently settled).

Lizzo is on the cover of the October issue of Vogue talking hope, justice and the upcoming election.

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