The music world is still in shock over the death of Don Cornelius. Cornelius was a true visionary, and he changed the face of TV when he created Soul Train. Cornelius, 75, was found dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. What happened in his California home? Cornelius’s son Tony made the 911 call. Police say there were no signs of foul play. Soul Train was the longest running, first-run, nationally syndicated show in television history. Cornelius stopped hosting in 1993, and the show, with various hosts after ‘93, ceased production in 2006. Cornelius was the first African American to create produce, host and own his own television show. He opened the door to many singers, musicians and dancers. The past few years had been rough for him. He was in a troubled marriage, and he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence back in 2008. That incident did involve guns. He was divorced in 2009, and he pleaded with the judge to end the marriage to Viktoria Chapman before he died. He had been having many health issues recently, including a stroke, and he was being treated for a brain disorder. With his signature Love Peace And Soul signoff, he was a man who changed the face of television.
Cedric The Entertainer is coming to town. He’s doing a comedy show Sunday, February 12th at the Tower Theatre. In more Cedric news, he’s teaming with Niecy Nash for a TV Land-Hot In Cleveland spinoff sitcom. Nash is also getting a reality show on the TLC network. The show will focus on Nash’s husband Jay Tucker, her three daughters, his son and her mom.
The fallout is still being heard as Simon Cowell shakes up the casting of The X-Factor. Cowell was very disappointed that his singing- reality show never lived up to expectations, and this week he fired the host Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and his buddy, Paula Abdul. Simon is only bringing back Record Exec L.A. Reid. Cowell said his show was going to be groundbreaking but in the end The X-Factor turned out just like the other singing reality shows. Cowell even toned down his act. He was known as “Mr. Mean” on American Idol, but on his own show, he was very nice. What will Cowell do? Will he hire Mariah Carey as a judge on the show? She would definitely bring the crazy. With so many singing reality shows, how can X-Factor stand out? We will soon find out.
Don’t be surprised if you see Will Smith and his son Jaden in town. They are filming Director M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, a futuristic thriller. In the movie, which is filming in the area, Jaden plays a teen stranded on an abandoned planet. Will plays his dad. Filming is happening now through April. Will and Jaden last appeared together on screen in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. Look for Will Smith in March as host of The 25th Annual Kids Choice Awards on Nickelodeon.
Halle Berry's custody battle with her baby daddy has everyone going to counseling. Berry and Gabriel Aubry have been battling it out over their three-year old daughter Nahla. Aubry has already gotten into a scuffle with the little girl’s nanny. He was accused of shoving her, and he has been ordered to go into anger management classes. The judge’s ruling is expected at anytime, but social workers have already recommended to the judge that the joint custody agreement remain in place. This case feels like all the fighting is doing nothing but hurting their child.
Mark your calendars for Monday, February 13th. It’s The 5th Annual BET Honors. Gabrielle Union is hosting the show, and honorees include Spike Lee, Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey. Special musical guests include Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Common. First Lady Michelle Obama will also be making a special appearance during the tribute to Maya Angelou. In the next few weeks, you are going to see Gabrielle Union everywhere. She is starring in the Tyler Perry movie Good Deeds, which opens in theatres February 24th, and she’s also starring in the new Steve Harvey movie Think Like A Man with Kevin Hart, which debuts March 9th.
Allen Iverson’s bank account is feeling lighter these days. A judge recently had $375,000 taken out of his bank account to pay a jeweler who was suing Iverson for non payment. Iverson is also battling it out with wife Tawanna. She says she and her five children have no money because Iverson removed funds from their account.
Season 2 of Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s kicks off in March on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable channel. I love this show! It’s the story of former Ike & Tina Turner Backup Singer/Dancer Robbie Montgomery, her son Tim Norman, her family and her soul food restaurant in St. Louis. The new season will focus on their new restaurant.
Get ready for more reality shows featuring wives. VH1 is developing a reality show featuring the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy and Will Smith. Nicole Murphy and Sheree Smith, who is now a pastor’s wife, will be starring in the new reality show The Ex-List. Filming starts in March.
Another reality show in the works is the Real Preachers’ Wives of Atlanta. The show will air on TLC. Meanwhile, changes are coming to the real housewives of Atlanta. Khandi Burress and Kim Zolciak are leaving the show to star in their own spinoffs. I hear Keshia Knight Pulliam (“Rudy” from The Cosby Show) may be joining the cast when the new season starts. In other reality show news, don’t look for Vanessa Bryant to star in any. The ex-Mrs. Kobe Bryant was offered a lot of money by VH1 to star in a show, but she turned them down saying shows about players wives are not her style.
The Whispers will be in town Friday, February 10th at the Liacouras Center. It’s a lovers’ themed show with The Whispers, The Temptations Review With Dennis Edwards, The Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding, Sr. and The Stylistics. The Liacouras Center is located at Broad and Montgomery and tickets are on sale now.
Get ready for the return of Basketball Wives: Miami Version. The new season kicks off in February. Royce, Evelyn and Jennifer are back and with new castmates.
What is going on at the Food Network? They have changed their programming. Where is Big Daddy’s House with Chef Aaron McCargo? Where are The Neelys (Pat and Gina Neely) with Down Home With The Neelys? Sunny Anderson's Cooking For Real show is still on but only the re runs. Why is the network getting rid of the shows with people of color? Hmmmmmmmm!
Jennifer Hudson is out promoting her new book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways And Lost What Weighed Me Down. In the book, she talks about how she lost the weight and refuses to gain it back.
Singer D’Angelo’s long awaited album, James River, is due this year, and I hear he will be going on an extended European tour. D’Angelo recently suffered an injury when he fell off a stage in Amsterdam. Another long awaited album is from Singer Tank. Look for Savior this spring featuring the first single Next Breath.
Football’s Terrell Owens is featured in the latest issue of G.Q. magazine. Owens, 37, did not play on an NFL team this year. The wide receiver bares all in the G.Q. issue. He talks about his attitude problems that got in the way of his playing days with the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys. He says he has no friends, including Kita Williams and Monique Jackson, the two ladies who co-starred with him in his VH1 reality show. He says they were too busy with their own issues. He says his recent suicide attempts where misunderstandings. Owens talked about his babymommas. He has four. He admits he never dated these women, and they were not girlfriends. Owens says they were women he slept with, and now he has to pay them thousands in child support. He is having financial problems and says his partners led him astray blowing $80 million of his money. He says he was told Don’t Worry About The Money…. Concentrate On Football!
Are Chilli and Tyrese dating? Maybe not, but they did develop a close relationship on his new video Nothing On You. The former TLC singer is the leading lady in Tyrese’s new project.
The 20th Annual Trumpet Awards air later this year. One of the highlights is Aretha Franklin accepting an award on behalf of her father the late Rev. C.L. Franklin. Rev. Franklin was recognized for his work with the civil rights movement. Rev. Franklin died in 1984. He spent five years in a coma as a result of a gunshot wound he suffered during an attempted robbery in his home. Singer Tyrese and Earth, Wind & Fire will also be honored during The Trumpet Awards.
Jada Pinkett Smith, hubby Will Smith and Simon Cowell are joining forces for a new talent show judging the world’s best DJ’s.
Singer Erica Campbell from Mary Mary is the proud mom of baby number three. Erica gave birth to a baby girl.
Angelo Dundee, the legendary boxing corner man, has passed away at the age of 90. Born in Philadelphia, Dundee’s career as a boxing trainer spanned six decades. He most famously willed Sugar Ray Leonard into a comeback and defeat of Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in 1981, and helped George Foreman become boxing’s oldest champion in 1994. It was Dundee’s enduring relationship with Muhammad Ali beginning in 1960 that brought him worldwide recognition. He would see Ali though several successful heavyweight title claims, including the Thrilla In Manila. Dundee even recently attended Ali’s 70th birthday party. Dundee’s larger than life persona made the South Philly native a perfect ambassador for the world of boxing.
Actor Robert Heyges passed away last week. Heyges was best known for his role as “Juan Epstein” on the 70’s show Welcome Back Kotter. Hedges died of a heart attack at the age of 60.
Singer David Peaston has passed away at the age of 54. Peaston shot to stardom after winning several weeks on the Showtime At The Apollo show beginning with Host Bill Cosby in the late 80’s. After the Apollo, Peaston cut several albums. In later years, he became an amputee as a result of his diabetes. The former school teacher was most famous for the songs Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right) and his remake of Eddie Kendricks’ Can I.
Henry David the bass player from L.T.D. passed away last week.
R Kelly is back with a new song Share My Love. He has a new album, Write Me Back, coming out in May. He is also coming out with a new book about his life titled Soul-A-Coaster. I had a chance to talk to Kelly. He told me he wants people to get to know Robert, and how he came up in the business. The book is coming out June 12th. Kelly is also working on the soundtrack for the Sparkle movie remake. This film stars Jordin Sparks (American Idol) and Whitney Houston. It comes out in August.
A new documentary is coming out about Actor/Comedian Bernie Mac. Mac died at the age of 50 three years ago from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease. The tribute DVD is coming out February 21st. Chris Rock and Cedric The Entertainer are featured in the documentary.
Flavor Flav’s family issues are making news. Last week his 19-year old daughter, Dazayna, was arrested for assaulting him. Flav says it was a big misunderstanding, and he was never assaulted by his daughter. Cops were called to his Las Vegas home, but Flav says all is well.
Filming starts this week on a new Madea movie. Madea’s Witness Protection co-stars Lil’ Romeo.
Look for the return of Martin Lawrence to TV. Lawrence had the hit Martin show in the 90’s, and he is currently filming two pilots for CBS. One of the pilots will be a TV show in the fall.
Congrats To Actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer! They were big winners at the recent SAG Awards. Winning top actress honors for the roles in the movie The Help.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards is February 26th. The show will air on ABC, and Billy Crystal is hosting. The movie The Help has nabbed four nominations including Best Actress for Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer and Best Picture.
Steve Harvey is getting ready for his talk show. The show which debuts this fall will be filmed in Chicago. Harvey describes the show as inspirational, uplifting and insightful. He says there will be lots of entertainment and laughs. Harvey says doing this show is a dream come true. His new movie Think Like A Man opens in theatres March 9th.
Raven-Symoné is headed to Broadway. Raven best known for her Disney hit That’s So Raven and for getting her start on The Cosby Show. Raven is joining the cast of Sister Act staring in the lead role. She takes over in March. Raven started on Broadway with The Boys Choir Of Harlem at the age of five.
Paula Patton is one of the Hollywood beauties featured in Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue.
The 43rd Annual NAACP Image will air on NBC Friday, February 17th. The show had been airing on FOX the past few years, but is now returning to NBC.
Filmmaker Robert Townsend is back with a new project. The movie Diary Of A Single Mom is out on DVD Starring Monica Calhoun, Leon, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Roundtree.
Actor Avery Brooks was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The 63-year old actor is best known for his work on the television shows Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, A Man Called Hawk and Spenser For Hire.
Tracy Morgan is battling it out with his family. Morgan has been making headlines lately, most recently with his health scare passing out at the Sundance Film Festival. He couldn’t handle the high altitude. Now, Morgan is fighting with his family. Morgan’s mother, Alicia Warden, who has been estranged from him for ten years, is facing foreclosure on her home in Ohio. Morgan won’t help her. Morgan’s sister, Asia Morgan, says the family feud is mess. Asia says her brother has never been nice and money has made the situation worse.
Actress Kerry Washington is on the latest issue of Essence magazine.
Star Jones is coming back to The View! Jones left the show in a firestorm six years ago, but she’s returning to the show as a guest in February. Jones will be discussing heart disease as February is Women’s Heart Health Month……. and ratings sweeps month.
Fashion Icon Mikki Taylor has a new book dedicated to First Lady Michelle Obama. The book, Commander In Chic, is dedicated to the fashion stylings of Mrs. Obama.
The New England Patriots and the New York Giants will battle it out in the Superbowl. All eyes will be on Indianapolis this Sunday. On Friday, the 3rd, it’s the gospel celebration which is part of the Superbowl festivities with Fantasia, Wayne Brady, Hezekiah Walker, CeCe Winans, and Donnie McClurkin.
Actor Courtney Vance is joining the cast of the ABC show Revenge. Vance is married to Actress Angela Bassett.
Rapper/Actress Eve has joined the cast of the VH1 show Single Ladies. The new season with Actress LisaRaye kicks off in late May.
Get ready for Dancing With The Stars. The 14th season kicks off March 13th.
Actress Sanaa Lathan is the new face of Pantene Pro V Nature Fusion Collection.
The Voice returns to NBC on February 5th. NBC’s singing reality show will feature Celebrity Mentors Robin Thicke, Lionel Richie, Babyface and Ne-Yo. The show’s stars, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee-Lo Green, will also be returning.
Sheryl Lee Ralph is coming out with a new book Redefining Diva: Lessons From The Original Dreamgirl. Ralph, 55, is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes, and she is ready to tell her life story. The book comes out in March.
“The Boss” Diana Ross is finally getting a Grammy. Miss Ross is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy at this year’s awards celebration. That event is held the night before The 54th Annual Grammy Awards February 12th. Ross will be honored along with Glen Campbell, The Allman Brothers and the late Gil Scott Heron.
In more Grammy news, controversial Rapper Kanye West leads all nominees with 7 nods. Other nominees include R Kelly, Raphael Saadiq, Kelly Price, Ledisi, Eric Benet, Cee-Lo Green, Melanie Fiona and El DeBarge. There’s controversy going into the ceremony since the academy chose to eliminate 31 categories. This year will have men and women competing against each other in the vocal categories for R&B, pop and country. The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast February 12th on CBS. LL Cool J is hosting. He’ll be the first host of the Grammys in 7 years.
Get ready for another season of Celebrity Apprentice. The new season kicks off February 12th on NBC, and features the TV return of Arsenio Hall and Singer Clay Aiken.
The movie Tower Heist starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller is coming out on DVD in March.
The Broadway musical Memphis is coming to the PBS network February 24th.
Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds opens in theatres February 10th;
Tyler Perry’s latest movie, Good Deeds with Gabrielle Union and Thandie Newton, opens in theatres February 24th;
Think Like A Man – based on the bestselling book by Steve Harvey- debuts March 9th with Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Gabrielle Union, Melyssa Ford, Meagan Good, Regina Hall and Taraji P. Henson;
Men In Black III opens May 25th with Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin;
Rock Of Ages opens June 1st with Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige and Catherine Zeta Jones;
Sparkle opens August 10th starring Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Cee-Lo Green, Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter;
The DVD release for Mama I Want To Sing is Valentine’s Day February 14th. The movie stars Ciara, Lynn Whitfield and Patti LaBelle.
Celebrity Chefs Pat and Gina Neely (The Neelys) are back with a new cookbook. Their Celebration Cookbook has meals for every occasion. New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, March Madness, Christmas, Back to School, and girls’ night out, to name a few.
The Bynum Brothers have a new venture: Green Soul, 7169 Ogontz Avenue. It’s a new healthy food restaurant.
Health Specialist and Author Glenn Ellis has a new health book out called Information Is The Best Medicine. Ellis is a regular guest discussing health on my Sunday morning magazine show Rewind. He’ll be doing a booksigning at the PA Convention Center, 11th and Arch Streets in Room 107 on Sunday, February 19th at 3pm.
The African American Children’s Book Fair is Saturday, February 4th at Community College Of Philadelphia, 17th and Spring Garden Streets. It’s free from 1pm until 3pm. The Literary Café is sponsoring this event and for more info call 215-878-BOOK.
The 26th anniversary of The Madame CJ Walker Awards Luncheon And Economic Seminar is Saturday, March 10th at the Loews Hotel, 12th and Market Streets. The National Coalition Of 100 Black Women sponsors this event and for more info call 215-970-7114.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did a music legend call off a ceremony because of too many secrets? This Diva didn’t like all the revelations, including a beau who turned out to be much younger than she knew.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Friday, February 10th- Valentine’s Lovers Show with The Whispers, The Temptations Review starring Dennis Edwards, The Stylistics and The Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding, Sr. The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Sunday, February 12th- Cedric The Entertainer comedy show at the Tower Theatre, 69th and Market Street in Upper Darby. Tickets on sale now.
Sunday, February 12th- Jeffrey Osborne in concert at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.
Tuesday February 14th- The Stage play The White Room by Bryant Pugh. Sharon Baptist church 3955 Conshohocken Avenue. For tickets go to Urbantix.com
Tuesday, February 14th- Marsha Ambrosius & Carl Thomas at the House Of Blues in Atlantic City. For info go to ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, February 18th- The Royale Comedy Tour starring Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, Tony Rock and Mark Curry at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. Tickets are on sale now.
Saturday February 18th- George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.
Saturday, February 25th- Lauryn Hill in Concert at Caesars in Atlantic City. For more info call 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
Friday March 9th- Brian McKnight in concert at Harrah’s in Chester. For more info 1-800-745-3000.
Saturday, March 24th - Comedian Mike Epps at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Saturday March 24th- Toni Braxton and Babyface at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre in Atlantic City.
Saturday March 31st- Boney James- Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, NJ for ticket information call (856) 858-1000;
Tuesday, April 10th- Cirque De Soleil Show featuring the music of Michael Jackson at The Wells Fargo Center (formerly The Wachovia Center).
Friday April 20. 21 Tower of Power, The Average White Band at the Keswick Theatre;
Saturday April 21st- Smokey Robinson at Caesars Atlantic City;
Saturday, May 12th- Charlie Wilson, Patti LaBelle & Johnny Gill at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For more info go to Platinumshows.com Mothers’ Day Music Festival.
Saturday, May 12th- Mother’s Day Concert After Party, 6th Floor Trump Plaza Imperial Ballroom 11pm-4pm.
Sunday, May 13th- Up Close And Personal with Keith Sweat at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre in Atlantic City at 4pm.Read more: