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FIRST LOOK at Chadwick Boseman & Kevin Costner in ‘Draft Day’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The first trailer for the new NFL drama, Draft Day  has been released and just in time for Super Bowl weekend.

As previously reported, Draft Day  stars Chadwick Boseman as Vontae Mack, a Louisiana college linebacker hoping to get drafted by an NFL team.  Acting veteran Kevin Costner stars as an NFL team’s General Manager that is faced with tough professional and personal choices in the 24-hour period of the NFL Draft.

Draft Day  also features Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chi McBride, David Ramsey, Arian Foster, and Jennifer Gardner. Round out the cast are screen legends Ellen Burstyn, Denis Leary and Frank Langella.

Check out the preview below featuring Boseman challenging Costner:

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Photo Source: IndieWire.com

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DVD ALERT! Angie Stone, Tommy Ford & Vickie Winans starring in ‘Dreams’ + VIDEO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Through the pain, dreams still come true…

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has released a new inspirational drama titled Dreams.

Mia dreams of singing, Quentin dreams of dancing, Paalo wants to mend the relationship with his daughter and Alonzo hopes to reconnect with his family but the realities of abuse, failure from their broken pasts and a notorious criminal make the path to their dreams an uphill battle. Set in urban Chicago, these four stories are woven together to create an inspiring tale of the hard work it takes to achieve one’s dreams.

Dreams  features an all-star cast including Angie Stone, Tommy Ford, Mel Jackson, Geoffrey Owens, Vickie Winans, Dennis “LA” White, Marvin Winans, Lou Meyers and the debut of American Idol’s  Syesha Mercado.

Check out the preview below:

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Dreams  arrives just time for Black History Month and is available now on DVD.

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UPDATE: VH1 confirms cast of new reality series ‘Atlanta Exes’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last October, we reported that Kevin Hart’s ex-wife Torrei Hart was slated to star in an Atlanta spin-off of VH1’s hugely popular ex-wives series, Hollywood Exes. Well now its official!

The network confirmed the news yesterday that Hart and four other notable women will make up the new series titled, Atlanta Exes. Check out the press release below:

This summer, VH1’s “Hollywood Exes” sorority will charter a new chapter in ‘The ATL’ with the premiere of “Atlanta Exes.” As the thriving music and entertainment capital of the South, Atlanta provides the ideal backdrop and group of ex-wives for the franchise’s extension. The cast, featuring the once significant others of an elite list of A-list men, has no shortage of fabulousness, ambition, love, and drama.

“Atlanta Exes” stars Tameka Raymond, who once enjoyed the perks and privileges that come with being married to an international music superstar, and now dedicates much of her time to the charitable foundation she started in memory of her late son Kile, interior designer to the stars Christina Johnson (ex-wife of Cee-Lo Green), and author and businesswoman Monyetta Shaw (ex-fiancé of Ne-Yo), who is busy penning a children’s book series based on the lively personality of her toddler. Also starring are entrepreneur Sheree Buchanan (ex-wife of former pro football player Ray Buchanan), who co-owns a dessert catering company and also has a business that specializes in creating custom bedazzled hookah pipes, and actress, comedian, and producer Torrei Hart (ex-wife of Kevin Hart). “Atlanta Exes” premieres summer 2014 on VH1.

Will you be tuning in to see Atlanta Exes ?

Photo Credit: Starcasm.net

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SHE SAID WHAT?

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Multi-platinum selling artist Jennifer Hudson thinks that singing about ‘sex, drinking and the club’ is overrated. The 32-year-old actress recently revealed in a #nofilter interview with The Huffington Post that she’s had enough of hearing her female contemporaries talking  about the ‘same old thing.’ Their apparent lack of creativity is played out and has the Chicago native feeling quite ‘annoyed.’

“Singing about the same old things in music is so overrated. Sex, drinking’, the club. Okay, especially sex. Like, we [are] grownups, we ain’t got over that, like, really? Ain’t you too old for that kind of thing? Can you talk about something else? I get annoyed with those things,”  stated Hudson.

When asked who she was referring to Hudson quickly replied,  “Girl, I can’t. Ooooh though I want to.”

This very honest response promoted many fans to think that Hudson was calling out her Dreamgirls co-star Beyoncé, whose latest surprise album is full of lyrics about sex, drinking and the club. Although Hudson denies that she was talking about Bey, she did have this to say to her would be accusers.

“If u took my general comment and YOU singled out someone to apply it to, then that would mean that’s how u feel. Not me,” Hudson said this week, also retweeting a fan, who wrote “I don’t think @IAMJHUD ‘dissed’ Beyoncé with her comments, if you think about it the shoe fits 99.9% of music today.”

What are your thoughts about Hudson’s comment? Do you think she was throwing shade towards a singular artist?

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NAACP Image Awards to honor Forest Whitaker, Paris Barclay & Cheryl Boon Isaacs…

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards announced this week that actor, producer, director and 2014 Image Award nominee, Forest Whitaker would receive the coveted Chairman’s Award.

According to the NAACP’s’ website, The Chairman’s Award is chosen by the Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, Roslyn M. Brock and is bestowed upon individuals in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.  Past honorees include Radio One Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes, Tyler Perry, Aretha Franklin, Bono, then-Senator Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, and Danny Glover.

“Forest Whitaker embodies the moniker of artist and activist. His work in front of and behind the camera engages and entertains, and his service to communities around the world is truly inspirational.  It is my honor and privilege to recognize Mr. Whitaker with the Chairman’s Award,”  stated Chairman Brock.

Also being recognized for their outstanding achievements in television and film are Paris Barclay (the first African-American President of the Directors Guild) and Cheryl Boon Isaacs (the first African American president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the third woman to hold the title). They each will be inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame according to S&A/Indie Wire.

The Television Academy Presents An Evening With "Sons Of Anarchy" Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 4th Annual Governors Awards

“I am honored to induct these two pioneers into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame,”  stated Chairman Brock. “Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs are to be recognized not only for their own remarkable achievements in the entertainment industry, but also for their respective roles in opening industry doors to filmmakers of color.”

This year’s show is being produced by Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin and will broadcast live as a two-hour star-studded telecast on Saturday, February 22 at 9 p.m. EST on TV One.

Click here to see all of this year’s nominees.

Photo Credits: thegrio.com, positivelygospel.com and thehollywoodreporter.com

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T.I. & Tiny are NOT headed to Splitsville

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Despite of all of the internet rumors, Atlanta’s “hip-hop” Huxtables, T.I. and Tiny are NOT heading to divorce court.  According to a report from TMZ, rumors began surfacing after a series of Instagram messages popped up on both of their accounts leading fans to believe that something was going wrong in the Harris household.

untitledOn top of that, the two were seen partying separately during last weekend’s Grammy Awards. Reportedly, Tiny was hanging with her girlfriends Tamar Braxton and Sevyn Streeter while T.I. was a ‘no show’ at the awards.

However, T.I. cleared up all of the alleged drama and told TMZ that he and his wife of three years got into an argument over ‘something pretty stupid’ but are not calling it quits. Apparently the argument was over Tiny wanting to walk the Grammy red carpet and watch the show while T.I. didn’t. Instead, they challenged each other on who would have the most fun that night.

Even Tiny’s BFF Shekinah chimed in on Instagram, telling fans not to “believe the hype.”

“People stop with the BS @majorgirl and @troubleman31 are good!!!! (They are still together) Don’t believe everything you hear!!!! Don’t believe the hype!!!!

In other T.I. news…

S&A/Indie Wire is reporting that the “King of the South” will appear on the award-winning Showtime series, House of Lies, beginning this Sunday, February 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. He joins acting veteran, Mekhi Phifer as childhood friends-turned-moguls who hire Don Cheadle’s character, Marty to help expand their business empire. The episode marks Cheadle’s directorial debut.

Photo Sources: trackhustle.com and TheYBF.ccom

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Sneak Peek of 50 Cent’s new STARZ series ‘POWER’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

STARZ has release a snippet of its upcoming series produced by 50 Cent titled, Power.  The one-hour drama is centered on a New York night club owner who skirts the line between legitimacy and criminality.

The series stars Being Mary Jane’s  Omari Hardwick as James “Ghost” St. Patrick along with singer-actress Naturi Naughton as his ride or die  wife, Tasha St. Patrick. Reality-star and book author, La La Anthony will play Tasha’s childhood friend, LaKeisha Grant while soap opera icon Debbie Morgan will play Tasha’s mother, Estelle.

Rounding out the cast is Lela Loren, who plays Ghost’s ex and Joseph Sikora as Tommy Egan, Ghost’s childhood friend.  In November, we reported that 50 Cent was not only producing the show but also starring in the series as well. He is slated to play Kanan, an old friend of Ghost.

Check out the sneak peek below and tell us what you think:

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Power  is set to debut this summer.

Photo Credit: bongo5.com

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PREVIEW of ‘The Gabby Douglas Story’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Lifetime will kick off Black History Month with the highly anticipated made-for-television movie about Olympic Gold medalist Gabby Douglas. The film airs this Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m. EST and stars Sydney Mikayla as young Gabby, Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris ) as teenage Gabby, Regina King as Gabby’s mother and S. Epatha Merkerson as Gabby’s Grandmother.

As previously reported, the film chronicles Gabby’s rise to Olympic superstardom. Affectionately known as “The Flying Squirrel” Gabby became a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions.

Since that time, Gabby has appeared on the cover of countless magazines including ESSENCE and JET. She’s also chatted with First Lady Michelle Obama, media maven Oprah Winfrey and had a letter written about her by Beyoncé.

Check out the preview below and let us know what you think…

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Photo Source: Variety.com

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PHOTOS from ATL Preview of ‘About Last Night’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Actors Michael Ealy and Regina Hall joined Atlanta-based producer Will Packer on the red carpet Monday night at an advance screening of their new film About Last Night.

The film opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, February 14 and stars Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant. A number of Atlanta stars attended the screening including Kandi Burruss, Wanda Smith, Toya Wright, Monyetta Shaw, Derek J, Terri J. Vaughn and more.

As previously reported, About Last Night  follows two single men, Danny (Ealy) and Bernie (Hart), living their lives on the wild side. But when Danny meets Debbie (Bryant) at a bar and the two start a relationship with a one night stand, Danny’s life takes a different turn. How does this passionate night become a full affair and what effect will this relationship have on both people and their friendship with their best mates?”

About Last Night is based on the original 1974 play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which spawned the 1986 film version starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins.

Check out the pictures below from Monday night’s red carpet:

Monyetta and LaToya Wright Todd and Kandi

Monyetta Shaw & Toya Wright/RHOA’s  Todd Tucker & Kandi Burruss

Demetria McKinney2 Derek J

Actress Demetria McKinney/Fashion Queens’  Derek J

these two

Michael Ealy and Regina Hall talking to press on the red carpet

Wanda Smith Michae Knight

V-103 radio personality Wanda Smith/Project Runway’s  Mychael Knight

Jasmine Burke Dondria

 Actress Jasmine Burke/So So Def singer Dondria

Brely Evans Rodney Perry

Being Mary Jane  actress Brely Evans/Comedian Rodney Perry

Wanda Smith2

Smith introducing Packer, Hall and Ealy to the audience

Group Photo

 Packer, Hall, and Ealy talking about the film

Photo Credits: Screen Gems/Paras Griffin

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ASPiRE’s ‘exhale’ gets renewed for Season 2 + VIDEO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

ASPiRE announced yesterday that it was starting production in Los Angeles on the second season of its popular original weekly talk series, “exhale” (@exhaleTV).  Hosted by five dynamic, successful African-American women – journalist and media maven Angela Burt-Murray; actress and comedian Erin Jackson; director, writer and actress Issa Rae; blogger, author and TV anchor Rene Syler ; and actress Malinda Williams  – “exhale’s” new season will continue to bring honest, entertaining and candid discussion on a wide range of topics affecting African American women.

“We are excited to have ‘exhale’ return for a second season on ASPiRE,” said ASPiRE General Manager Paul Butler. “As a signature series for the network and integral part of our growing original programming lineup, we expect ‘exhale’s’ new season to further spark important and intriguing conversations across a range of topics relevant to African American women, the African American family and community.  Based on the positive and spirited social media chatter across platforms during the first season, we hope that our viewers continue to engage and further the conversation wherever we gather as a community with each new episode.”

With a unique mix of bold humor, sincerity and insight, Burt-Murray, Jackson, Rae, Syler and Williams return to provide a fresh in-depth perspective on topics that are relevant and evergreen in the lives of African-American women.  The five hosts from different generations, fields and backgrounds get real about family, love and relationships, career, money, faith, justice, education, health and wellness, and other topics of interest to modern women.  An intriguing range of special guests, from celebrities and experts to religious leaders and authors, join in the conversation and fun.

Check out the “exhale” clip below featuring special guest, Vanessa Simmons:

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The eight-episode series will premiere in May 2014.

Photo Credit: salon.com

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Queen Latifah to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ at Super Bowl XVIII + VIDEO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Queen Latifah has been tapped to perform “America the Beautiful” during the Super Bowl pregame show.

According to THR, the New Jersey native is coming home to perform the beloved classic for the NFL showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Reportedly, Latifah will precede famed opera singer Renee Fleming, who will perform the national anthem.This is Queen’s second time performing the song, having done so four years ago at Super Bowl XLIV.

Latifah is still on a high from Sunday night’s Grammy Awards where she helped to marry over 33 couples. The historic moment took place during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of their award winning song, “Same Love.” The diverse wedding included heterosexual, interracial and same-sex couples.

According to BET, Latifah was sworn in as a temporary commissioner by the state of California to make the televised nuptials legal.

Check out Latifah’s 2010 Super Bowl performance below:

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The Super Bowl airs this Sunday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m. on FOX.

Photo Source: newsday.com

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India.Arie says Kendrick Lamar was ‘robbed’ and pens a letter to the Grammys + VIDEO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

R&B songbird India.Arie is not happy about Kendrick Lamar’s obvious shut out at this year’s Grammy Awards. The 26-year-old rapper was up for seven nominations including “Best Rap Performance,” “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Album” but lost all three awards to hip-pop artists, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  For Arie, the situation is just another example of the Grammy Committee shutting out Black artists and Black music.

“If the hip hop community voted on hip hop –  r&b COMMUNITY the same –  same for each category – we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes. NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music,” says Arie.  “Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not) … Where were the black artists?”

The singer also called out the Grammy Committee’s obvious favoritism toward bigger named artists and claims the show is more about “high ratings” than music.

“Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone – the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation.  Too much to go into here,” says the 38-year-old singer.

Arie knows a little bit about being snubbed by the Grammy organization. In 2002, her first album, Acoustic Soul was up for seven nominations including “Album of the Year,” “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” Like Lamar, she too walked away from the show with nothing and recalled that night in an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday.

[youtube id=”dXjoN77qIFQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Click here to read India’s entire letter.

What are your thoughts about India.Arie’s letter to the Grammy Awards? Was she correct?

Photo Credit: iloveneosoul.com

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Highlights from Honda Battle of the Bands (PHOTOS)

Rapper Big Sean posing with students from Detroit School of Arts

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It may have been freezing cold on the outside but ATL’s Georgia Dome was hot like fire on the inside from the 2014 Honda Battle of the Bands. The 12th Annual Invitational Showcase was held on Saturday and was packed with fans, students and alumni rooting for their favorite school.

Competing for the coveted title were eight Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Marching Bands including Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, North Carolina A &T University, South Carolina State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Winson-Salem State University, and Morehouse College.

Drum Majors.jpg45As previously reported, each band received a grant from Honda for their music education program plus an all-expense paid trip to the invitational.

The event was hosted by V-103 morning show personality, Ryan Cameron along with crowd favorites DJs Skillz and Baby Yu. The musical headliner for this year was Grammy-nominated rapper Big Sean, who had the audience dancing in their seats with an “unfiltered performance” of all his hits.

Prior to his show, Sean talked to Atlanta press about his participation in the event.  While he admitted that he didn’t know much about the bands, he was looking forward to seeing some really good  performances.

“What’s cool is that I don’t know what to expect from today’s event. Everything is going to be a surprise to me but I am expecting to see a ‘show.’ Besides, Atlanta is very special to me because my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins live here and I’ve been visiting all of my life. So, it’s cool to be able come down and participate,” said Big Sean.

Other event highlights included a Honda Car giveaway in which three contestants competed for a vehicle by submitting online video of themselves singing or rapping.

Check out the photos below including the competition and Honda Car winners:

Big Sean with Kids2

 Big Sean talking to Detroit School of Arts students during press conference

Morehouse

Morehouse College Marching Tigers performing

NC A&T

North Carolina A&T ( NC A&T) Blue and Gold Marching Machine

NC A&T2

NC A&T dancers performing to the Russian Classic, “Night on Bald Mountain”

Big Sean2

Big Sean left the stage and took to the field for his “unfiltered performance”

Big Sean3

Big Sean is a Grammy-nominated rapper and rising fashion designer

skyyu

DJs Skillz and Baby Yu battled it out in an “old school-vs-new school” competition

RC with D. Woods

RC with former Danity Kane member D. Woods

South Carolina State

South Carolina State University (SCSU) Drum Majors prepping for show

South Carolina State University

SCSU’s performance included a tribute to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Children's Choir

SCSU’s performance also included  a Children’s Choir and African drummers

Antenica Winner

 Honda Car Winner Antenica with Tom Peyton, Honda AVP, Advertising & Marketing

Winner

 NC A&T drum major accepting first place prize from V-103’s Ryan Cameron

NC A&T 4

 NC A&T dancers posing after winning first place

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Rihanna, T.I., Rita Ora and others attend Roc Nation Pre-Grammy Party + PHOTOS

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Hip-Hop mogul Jay Z hosted his annual Roc Nation Pre-Grammy Brunch yesterday at a private mansion in Beverly Hills.

The star studded soiree was attended by a number of Jay’s closest friends and artists including Rihanna, Rita Ora, Kelly Rowland, T.I., Kevin Hart, J.Cole, Willow and Jaden Smith.  Also in attendance were Wale, Ne-Yo, Bridget KellySingle Ladies  star Denise Vasi and The Real’s Adrienne Bailon.

2013 proved to be a great year for HOV, who is actually up for nine Grammy’s this year. He and his wife, Beyoncé are slated to perform together for tonight’s award’s ceremony.

Check out the looks below:

rir rita

Rihanna and Rita Ora/Photo Credit: FashionBombDaily.com

Roc Nation Pre-GRAMMY Brunch Presented By MAC Viva Glam - Inside Denise

Kelly Rowland and Denise Vasi/Photo Credits: HipHOpWired.com & FashionBombDaily.com

Jay-z-kevin-hart-Roc-Nation-Pre-Grammy-Brunch

Kevin Hart shaking hands with Jigga/Photo Credit: FashionBombDaily.com

willow ti

Willow and Jaden Smith + T.I./Photo Credit: FashionBombDaily.com

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