Queen Bey rules! Whether the critics love it or hated it, nobody does the Superbowl like Beyonce! The ex-Destiny’s Child lead singer stole the show at halftime when she joined Coldplay and Bruno Mars at Superbowl 50. She performed her song Formation, which references everything from post Katrina New Orleans and the unfairness to people of color as a result to #blacklivesmatter. She’s received both praise and criticism, including from members of Congress and social media. One thing’s for certain, Mrs. Carter has lifted her image and added a new layer to her still-rising musical legacy. Meanwhile, the Superbowl was the ideal place to announce her Formation Tour, which will be here in Philly at The Linc on Sunday, June 5th.
So how much would you say Future versus Ciara is worth….how about $15 million? Singer Ciara and her ex-fiancé Rapper Future have a year-old son together. After a bitter break up, Ciara started dating Seattle Seahawks Superbowl Champ Russell Wilson fresh off his divorce. When Ciara and Wilson were photographed not only dating but with her son at football practice or strolling out together just the three of them, Future took to social media and let Ciara have it. Ciara now claims Future’s year long attacks are diminishing her brand, hurting her career and business by branding her a bad mom. So she’s filed a $15 million defamation lawsuit against the rapper. Future’s reaction was Ciara did the same thing to him by publicly questioning his behavior and how much he sees his son. Ouch! The two still have this one-year old to raise, not to mention Future has other children by other babymommas. Meanwhile, in better Ciara news, she’s bringing her Jackie tour to the area. The tour named for her current album is coming to Harrah’s in Atlantic City on Saturday, April 16th. Plus Ciara, fellow Singer Tori Kelly and Actress Allison Williams have signed up with Keds footwear for a spring campaign and to introduce their new collection.
LeSean “Shady” McCoy is in hot water. The Philadelphia Police are recommending charges be filed against the former Eagle and now Buffalo Bill stemming from his involvement in an afterhours club brawl with members of his entourage and some off duty Philly police officers. Cell phone video has been posted all over social media, and sources say more video will show McCoy as an active participant. Apparently, sometime after two in the morning at a Philadelphia nightclub, one of the off duty cops and one of McCoy’s friends got into it over a bottle of champagne. Things got heated from there with punches being thrown in clear view of cell phone cameras. The club’s bouncers broke up the may lay and kicked all the participants out of the club. 27-year old McCoy is currently a running back with the Buffalo Bills, who at this time say they are aware of the incident but won’t be commenting further on it for now. At press time, multiple news sources say a warrant for Shady’s arrest will be forthcoming.
Sylvester Stallone was ready to get his protest on! Despite being an Oscar nominee for reprising his iconic role as “Rocky” in the box office smash Creed, Stallone got the only major nomination. He recently revealed he called the film’s Director and Co-writer Ryan Coogler upset that Coogler and lead Actor Michael B. Jordan didn’t get nominated with him. Stallone says he was willing to join the boycott and stay away from the awards that night. Coogler told him to go and represent the film. The Oscars will air Sunday, February 28th on ABC.
Speaking of the Oscars, Host Chris Rock is on the cover of the March issue of Essence. He and his team have also done some heaving rewriting of his material for the awards because of the diversity issue. This is the second year in a row there are no people of color nominated for Oscar’s most high profile awards. Meanwhile, the Academy is also trying to at least present some diversity in the presenters by enlisting Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Hart, Pharrell Williams, Common, Kerry Washington and 1971 Oscars Music Director and 1996 Oscars Producer Quincy Jones.
Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson are on the cover of Elle magazine. Perfect timing for Henson, who just won a Golden Globe Award for Lead Actress for her role as “Cookie” in FOX’s Empire.
Ebony Magazine’s February issue is holding on to Black Love covering everything from for lovers only to marriage.
Did Idris Elba dump his new babymomma for Naomi Campbell? The actor and the supermodel were spotted out and about on a date night excursion. Naiyana Garth was nowhere in sight. 28-year old Garth is a makeup artist and mother of Elba’s 22-month old son. The couple had been living together in London, but Elba moved to quarters close by to stay close to his son. Elba, 43, was seen at the SAG Awards with his 13-year old daughter, from a previous relationship, as his date, so there wasn’t a whole lot of talk then. But, after photographers caught 45-year old Campbell and Elba leaving a New York nightclub together, it appeared the deal on previous relationships were done. Let’s see how Stringer Bell handles that hot tempered supermodel.
Speaking of hot tempered, Michelle Ghent ain’t done with Terrence Howard yet? The Empire star’s second ex-wife is appealing the judge’s ruling that overturned her divorce settlement. The judge found that Howard signed it under duress. That was after testimony that Ghent was holding a sex tape of Howard over his head. Ghent was to get $5,800 a month and 21% of all Howard’s earnings even though they were only married a year. The appeal to restore that deal is case number one. Case number two has Ghent suing Howard for an alleged assault. She claims Howard beat her during their trip to Costa Rica. Looks like Ghent’s in Howard life to stay…at least for now!
Will Smith on Aunt Viv: no shade it’s just praise. Smith was promoting the international release of his movie Concussion when he was asked which Aunt Viv from his hit series The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air he liked better: the first played by Janet Hubert or the second played by Daphne Maxwell Reid. Smith praised both. He says Hubert brought artistry and dignity to the role, and he loved her performance. Smith took the high road even though Hubert’s been slamming Smith and his wife Jada lately over their Oscar boycott. Smith also used the occasion to defend his son Jaden, who’s been taking hits for his wardrobe choices which includes skirts. Smith says his son is a true artist, and he’s loyal to that artistry. He says he admires Jaden’s courage to stay true to his belief of expression even though everyone doesn’t understand it. Finally, the Grammy-winning rapper confirmed he and Martin Lawrence are in the early stages of putting Bad Boys III together.
Wendy Williams takes over where the late Joan Rivers left off. The Queen Of All Media has a new fashion show coming to BET called Wendy’s Style Squad. She and her Co-hosts Lloyd Boston (my fav), Robert Verdi and Bevy Smith will be doing post awards show recaps of all the stars and what they’re wearing. The seventh season of her daytime talker The Wendy Williams Show already airs weeknights on BET. Wendy’s Style Squad will premiere Tuesday, February 16th on BET.
Meanwhile over on the E! Channel, the Fashion Police show, originally hosted by the late Joan Rivers, has some drama going on. Seems Reality Star NeNe Leaks don’t take no mess when it comes to onset disagreements. She’s upsetting the applecart with Co-hosts Melissa Rivers, Margaret Cho and Giuliani Rancic. The show’s already taken a beating in the ratings before NeNe arrived. Can the hosts check their egos and keep everything a float?
Lamar Sally is getting a reality show. The ex-husband of Comedienne Sherri Shepherd is documenting his life as a single dad. Though he won his court battle against his famous ex-wife, Sally says he’s $100,000 in debt because of the legal fees. He says Shepherd has not called or even seen Lamar, Jr. Sally claims Shepherd had ruined his reputation in the media and won’t even acknowledge Lamar, Jr. Meanwhile, Shepherd’s still appealing the ruling that grants Sally child support of $4,100 a month which increases to $4,600 when Lamar, Jr. turns 13. Shepherd was twice declared as responsible for the surrogate child she and Sally agreed to have before they broke up. The child biologically is not Shepherd’s because a donor egg was used. The boy is biologically Sally’s son. Shepherd claims the agreement was based in fraud, and she continues fighting this in court.
Bill Cosby versus Janice Dickinson and round one goes to Cosby. This week, a judge threw out an amended defamation suit Dickinson filed against both Cosby and his ex-lawyer Martin Singer. Singer, then defending Cosby, called Dickinson’s story a lie when she claimed Bill Cosby raped her in 1982. Singer cited this was after Dickinson released her book saying Cosby only blew her off when she refused to sleep with him. The judge dismissed the amended suit and Singer himself from being sued in this case. Cosby still faces the original suit with Dickinson at the end of the month. Meanwhile, Cosby also still faces the indecent assault criminal charges in Montgomery County with the next hearing scheduled in March. This case stems from a 2004 encounter with former Temple University Employee Andrea Constand in Cosby’s Pennsylvania home. Cosby says it was consensual, but Constand says she was drugged and assaulted against her will. This makes the Pennsylvania case the one and only criminal case Cosby has ever faced despite his more than 50 accusers.
The NAACP Image Awards had a huge night on TV One. Best Actress Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy), Entertainer Of The Year and Best Actor Creed’s Michael B. Jordan and the box office blockbuster Straight Outta Compton, which is now out on DVD, as Best Picture took top film prizes. Empire and Black-ish swept the TV Awards for series, actors (Terrence Howard & Anthony Anderson) and actresses (Taraji P. Henson & Tracee Ellis Ross). There was a special memorial segment whose honorees included Julian Bond, Natalie Cole, Maurice White and WDAS’ own Jerry Mondesire.
Speaking of Maurice White, the founder, principal writer and producer of Earth, Wind & Fire passed away late last week from complications of Parkinson’s disease. His more that 20-year battle with the illness took him off the road with EWF in 1994, though he continued to produce and record with the group. EWF’s hits are too numerous to cover, but to name a few: Be Ever Wonderful, That’s The Way Of The World, After The Love Is Gone, System Of Survival, Let’s Groove, Evil, Can’t Hide Love, Serpentine Fire, In The Stone, Shinning Star and Getaway. White’s legacy includes his early years as a Chess Records session drummer and a member of The Ramsey Lewis Trio in the 1960’s. Years, later he would produce and co-write several albums on Lewis’s in the 70’s, including the gold album Sun Goddess, which featured Earth, Wind & Fire on the title track. A writer, producer, and label head (ARC Records and Kalimba Productions), White produced music for Phillip Bailey & Phil Collins (Easy Lover), Atlantic Starr, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Pockets, Deniece Williams (Free, Cause You Love Me Baby, That’s What Friends Are For) and The Emotions (Best Of My Love, Flowers, Don’t Want To Lose Your Love, Boogie Wonderland). Maurice White and Phillip Bailey did all the vocals for Earth Wind & Fire, and what many don’t realize is they could both sing those high notes. Bailey spoke about this in his book and noted he and Maurice could sing each other’s parts no matter how high the note. Maurice White named Earth, Wind & Fire for his astrological signs but infused the ideas of peace, spirituality and love into the every other aspect of the group. Maurice White was 74-years old.
In more EWF news, The Grammy Awards will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to the group. The legendaryElements Of The Universe already have won six Grammy. This year’s nominations were lead by Kendrick Lamar leads all those nominees with 11 and The Weeknd and Taylor Swift both have 7 nods. D’Angelo, Bruno Mars, Kirk Whalum, John Legend and Kanye West round out the leading nominees. LL Cool J, a two time Grammy winner himself, will host The 58th Annual Grammy Awards for the fifth time Monday, February 15th on CBS.
Usher will headline this summer’s Roots’ Picnic in June. Joining the Confessions singer will be Future, Leon Bridges and Willow Smith (Whip My Hair Back & Forth and daughter of Will & Jada). The all day event will still welcome new performers as well. Tickets are on sale now. The 9th Annual Roots Picnic will take place on Penns Landing Saturday, June 4th at Festival Pier.
Speaking of Usher, his former mentor and label boss L.A. Reid has written a new tell all. Sing To Me: My Story Of Making Music, Finding Magic And Searching For Who’s Next is on bookshelves now and chronicles Reid’s ride in the music industry. He covers being a member of The Deele (Two Occasions) to becoming Babyface’s writing, producing and label partner (LaFace Records) and to succeeding Clive Davis as head of Arista Records. Reid talks frankly about regretting letting Whitney Houston do her infamous Crack Is Wack interview with Diane Sawyer, the Toni Braxton and TLC battles and Michael Jackson’s hating on both Prince and his own brother Jermaine. Reid is noticeably quiet on his ex-wife Singer Peebles. Peebles was last seen announcing to the world she was checking in with her lawyers after the TLC bio-pic made her look bad. This may explain Reid’s silence, and the now divorced couple has a daughter together as well. Sing To Me: My Story Of Making Music, Finding Magic And Searching For Who’s Next is available now.
Speaking of L.A. Reid, he, Patti LaBelle, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, Eric Holder and Mellody Hobson are all getting awarded at The BET Honors which has a new air date of Monday, March 14th at 8pm on BET.
Celebrity Apprentice is back, but Donald Trump is out and Arnold Schwarzenegger takes over: from You’re Fired to Hasta Lavista Baby! Because Trump is running for president, NBC had to drop him as host because of equal time. Now the original Terminator himself has jumped into the chairmen’s seat for season number eight. This season’s contestants are Real Housewives Of Atlanta Star Porsha Williams, NFL Hall Of Famer Eric Dickerson, TV Personality and Boxer Laila Ali, former NFL Star and TV Analyst Ricky Williams and Culture Club’s Boy George. Actress Jessica Alba and Supermodel Entrepreneur (and new mom) Tyra Banks will pop up as board room advisors. The 8th season of Celebrity Apprentice will premiere later this year on NBC.
An NBA player’s mom is getting a Lifetime movie tribute. Remember NBA Player Kevin Durant’s mom’s Wanda Pratt? Durant sang her praises in an emotional speech when the Oklahoma City Thunder forward won the MVP title. Durant listed the many sacrifices Pratt made for him and his siblings. The speech became both a TV and internet sensation after Durant called Pratt the real MVP. Now Queen Latifah has put her producer’s hat on along with her Flavor Unit Entertainment company to bring Pratt’s story to TV. The last time this happen, Emmy Winner Alfre Woodard played the mother of NBA Legend Isaiah Thomas in 1989’s A Mother’s Courage: The Mary Thomas Story. This time around Wanda Pratt will also be one of the producers. The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story will air Mother’s Day Sunday, May 8th on Lifetime.
Scandal’s Kerry Washington is bringing the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas Story to HBO in Confirmation. The movie chronicles Anita Hill, former co-worker of now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, when she brought her claims of sexual harassment by Thomas to his confirmation hearings in 1991. Hill was thrust into the spotlight, her personal life exploited and she was seen by some as the face of sexual harassment and by others as a traitor. Thomas, a George H.W. Bush appointee, denied all the charges and was eventually confirmed to the court after his confirmation hearings turned into a grueling, tabloid-like spectacle. Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear and Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas also star. Confirmation airs 8pm Saturday, April 16th on HBO.
In more reading news, check me out in the latest edition of Philadelphia magazine. I’m in the One Of Us column, and I talk about my long health journey that started last year when I suffered a stroke shortly after the death of my mother. It’s been a tough road. Hopefully if my story can inspire others, I definitely want it shared.
UnSung and UnSung Hollywood return to TV One. Episodes of UnSung include The Sugar Hill Gang, Patrice Rushen, Donnell Jones and “The Wailer” Johnnie Taylor. UnSung Hollywood will feature Filmmaker/Ex-Football Star Fred Williamson, Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway and Papa Pope himself Joe Morton. UnSung airs Wednesdays at 8pm, and UnSung Hollywood returns March 9th at 8pm on TV One.
Terrence Jenkins is making the transition to leading man. We know him best as Terrence J, the co-host of BET’s late 106 & Park and E! Channel’s E! News. He made a big splash in Steve Harvey’s two installments of the Think Like A Man movie franchise. Now, Jenkins is the romantic lead in The Perfect Match. He plays a man who always loses interest in the ladies he’s dating once they have sex. He meets his match in a woman who appears to lose interest in him. Cassie Ventura, that’s right Singer Cassie, is Jenkins’ leading lady. Donald Faison and Paula Patton co-star. The Perfect Match hits theaters March 11th.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!
Now that her on and off again is getting back to normal, what’s a gal to do about the new guy. Maybe she’ll dump him, but maybe not? Mentioning both guys on reality shows is not the way to figure it out though!
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, February 12th- Tracy Morgan's comeback comedy tour Picking Up The Pieces at Harrahs Casino in Atlantic City.
This Saturday, February 13th – R Kelly in concert at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
This Sunday, February 14th- Jeffrey Osborne in concert for Valentine’s Day at the Keswick in Glenside, PA.
This Sunday, February 14th- Bloodstone and The Stylistics in concert for Valentine’s Day at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.
February 18th – 20th - The stage play Things Your Man Won’t Do Starring Leon, Allen Payne, Teri Vaughn, Tony Grant and Essence Atkins at the Merriam Theater, Broad & Spruce Streets. For more info go to Jecaryous.com.
Sunday, February 14th- Bloodstone and The Stylistics in concert for Valentine’s Day at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.
Saturday, February 20th- Chaka Khan at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.
Saturday, March 5th - Comedian Katt Williams’ Conspiracy Theory Tour at the Liacouras Center Broad & Montgomery on Temple University’s campus.
Sunday, March 6th – Rachelle Farrell in concert at the Keswick in Glenside, PA.
Saturday, March 12th – The Isley Brothers/The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston/Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Friday, March 18th – The Temptations and The Four Tops in concert at the Keswick in Glenside, PA.
Saturday, April 2nd – Spring Jam starring Keith Sweat, Blackstreet, K-Ci & JoJo, H-Town, Al B. Sure, and Wrex-N-Effect at the Liacouras Center Broad & Montgomery on Temple University’s campus.
Sunday, April 3rd – Rihanna in concert at The Wells Fargo Center.
Friday, April 29th - Martin Lawrence comedy show at the Liacouras Center, Broad & Montgomery.
Saturday, May 7th – The Mother’s Day Music Festival starring Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Charlie Wilson at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.