Patty's 411: Taraji moves on; Kells wants out; Queen & Sandler married?!!!

Essence Girls United digital issue 2020 Marsai Martin

Taraji P. Henson: she’s fierce, she’s fly, she’s fifty and now she’s free. Henson seemed to have the world on a string. Not only is she reprising her Emmy nominated role as Cookie Lyons on the Empire TV spinoff, but she’s launching her new Facebook Watch talk show focusing on good mental health. Henson was celebrating her milestone birthday, but nowhere in sight was fiancé, ex NFL Player Kelvin Hayden. Henson and Hayden, 37, got engaged in 2018 and were to marry this past summer. Henson confirmed it didn’t work out. The actress also said she was willing to do therapy. Henson must have been the only one willing because she said if you’re both not on the same page you’re taking it all on yourself and that’s not fair. Word on the street was, in addition, there was a prenuptial agreement issue. We know all about that from the Dr. Dre and Nicole headlines. Henson says she loves black men and black love and is also a fan of mental health support. The Oscar nominee also said she wants to see our relationships last and make it. Meanwhile, Peace Of Mind with Taraji is slated to go into production for Facebook Watch before this year ends.

Queen Latifah will play the wife of Adam Sandler in the new movie Hustle. Sandler is a basketball coach whose fast living made him fall on hard times. In order to redeem himself, the coach devises a career comeback by way of a basketball phenom he discovers overseas. Latifah and Sandler’s movie is filming here in Philly. Hustle also stars Ben Foster and Oscar Winner Robert Duvall, and is being produced by Sandler and NBA Superstar LeBron James for Netflix. At presstime, No streaming date has been announced.

L.A. Reid has a new title, and he’s also made a deal to sell what most consider his true legacy, his music. Before becoming a TV personality, before being a label honcho at Arista, Island Def Jam and Epic and before launching the careers of LaFace Records artists Usher, TLC, Pink, Outkast and Toni Braxton, L.A. Reid was a songwriter. He and Babyface were members of the group The Deele (Two Occasions) and the two were songwriters/producers for hire: Boyz II Men (End Of The Road); Reid’s ex-wife Peebles (Girlfriend), The Whispers (Rock Steady), Bobby Brown (Don’t Be Cruel; Every Little Step) Karyn White (Superwoman; The Way You Love Me);Whitney Houston (I’m Your Baby Tonight); The Boys (Dial My Heart); Sheena Easton (The Lover In Me)and Johnny Gill (There U Go; Fairweather Friend), just to name a few. Reid would later launch LaFace Records in 1989 with Babyface in Atlanta and the rest is history. Now, Reid has sold his songwriting and publishing interests to Hipgnosis Songs. Reid also becomes a part of their advisory board. Hipgnosis Songs has been acquiring some or all of the songwriting/publishing ownership interests of others major players such as Timberland, Dave Stewart from The Eurythmics and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Now they’ve got 100% of L.A. Reid’s shares of his 162 song catalog. You know that songwriting interest, when it’s done right, is the gift that keeps on giving. The old joke was there’s a check every time you go to the mailbox, so I’m very shocked to hear of this sale. But, Reid says he’s excited to partner with the Hipgnosis Songs company.

Speaking of songwriting royalty, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are coming out with their first album. Yes! Their first album because they’re usually in the producers seat, but not this time. Jam & Lewis have set records having hit number one more times than anyone else and their roster include Patti LaBelle, Janet Jackson, The S.O.S. Band, Boyz II Men, Bobby Brown, Alexander O’Neal, Klymaxx, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan, Cherrelle, Barry White, Lewis’ ex-wife Karyn White, Sounds Of Blackness, New Edition, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill and Mariah Carey. Remember Jam & Lewis just teamed up with Peabo Bryson just last year for his comeback album. Plus, Jam & Lewis are no strangers to performing as they were members of The Time. The group was managed by the guy who owned their name….Prince. Jam & Lewis have said many times their songwriting/production career launched into high gear after Prince fired them for missing an engagement. Jam & Lewis missed that gig with The Time after they were snowed in while producing The S.O.S. Band. All’s well that ends well! No word yet on the Jam & Lewis album’s collaborators or a release date.

You know there are competing Aretha Franklin movies and one of the performers is speaking on it. Jennifer Hudson’s big screen biopic on the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is called Respect. Before she died, Franklin gave Hudson the nod to play her on the big screen. The title of the movie comes from Franklin’s biggest hit and signature song Respect. Meanwhile, a miniseries called Genius stars two time Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin. Erivo teamed up with Clive Davis, currently of Sony Music and the former head of Arista Records where Franklin made her 80’s and 90’s comebacks. Genius is a mini-series that will air on the National Geographic Channel. Both of these films’ release dates have been pushed back because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Jennifer Hudson was recently asked about the competing movie situation. Her response, If It’s Not A Movie And You Don’t Have Permission From The Family…..Who Wants To See It? Ouch (LOL)!

Writer/Producer/TV Mogul Shonda Rhimes is revealing why she left ABC/Disney for Netflix. Her Shondaland productions gave the network and viewers Station 19, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. These shows were, and are, big hits for the network so everything should be cool right? Apparently the executives were dragging their feet with her new contract. To add insult to injury, Rhimes got passes Disney. When extra family arrived and she needed more, they were given a hard way to go. An executive even said to her with everything you got what more do you want? Tone is everything y’all. Rhimes expanded her empire and signed with a deal with Netflix. First up is Bridgerton, a drama set in London high society. It’s the first of 12 new projects Rhimes is creating for Netflix and Bridgerton streaming premiere date is Christmas Day. The twist here is Rhimes signed a huge deal with Netflix reported to be at $150 million. Good right? But here comes Writer/Producer Ryan Murphy from Pose, Feud: Bette & Joan, American Horror Story, Boys In The Band, but he gets $300 million. Rhimes says that and a conversation with Oprah taught her about ownership and enjoying success because there’s nothing like it. Stay tuned for the continuing striving of Shonda Rhimes because no one keeps her down.

R Kelly is pulling out all the stops to get out of jail. A few weeks ago, the embattled singer/songwriter was beaten up. Kells team is claiming that the guards just stood there as this happened. R Kelly is being held without bond as he faces a battery of sexual misconduct charges in New York and Illinois. Kelly and his team want out, but at this point bail seems to be out of the question despite violence and COVID-19 claims.

Coming To America II begins streaming on Amazon December 18th.

Jamie Foxx has a new film coming to Disney Plus. The animated feature is called Soul. It’s about a musician who finds his soul. Foxx provides the voice of the musician. Soul is coming to Disney Plus on Christmas Day.

Essence magazine has launched EssenceGU (Girls United) and Actress/Producer Marsai Martin is on the cover of the first digital issue.

Singer/Songwriter Solange Knowles is on the digital cover of Harper’s Bazaar with a series of essay and poems focused on the whirlwind year that is 2020.

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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