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Carla Saunders & Mimi Faust host ATL Screening of ‘GPS’ [PHOTOS}

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations to indie filmmaker, Carla Saunders! She recently hosted an exclusive screening of her new short horror film, GPS. The project features Shaun King, Wardell Richardson, Tasia Grant and Kwajalyn Brown.

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Tasia Grant and Kwajalyn Brown with other GPS castmembers

The screening, which took place just in time for Halloween, was held at the historic Landmark Theaters in the Midtown district of Atlanta and was attended by the film’s stars and many of Saunders’ friends. It was also attended by Mimi Faust of Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta fame, who is also one of the film’s associate producers.

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Saunders is a self-taught filmmaker, director and producer. Last year, she presented another film, Triste during the BronzeLens Film Festival. She is also the creator of Promises Entertainment and a lover of all things horror.

Check out the NSFW trailer + more photos below:

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Carla Saunders with her GPS cast

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GPS actor Wardell Richardson 

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Mimi Faust and Carla Saunders

https://youtu.be/OIv66AKLToQ

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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AAFCA & ESSENCE honor ‘Black Women of Bond’ (VIDEOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and ESSENCE Magazine are teaming up to recognize the ‘Black Women of Bond’ on November 3 at the California African-American Museum. This special event takes place in advanced of the North American release of the 007 film Spectre opening November 6. It will also celebrate the enduring legacy that these actresses have made in the groundbreaking, iconic franchise.

‘Black Women of Bond’ will feature the unveiling of exclusive portraits shot by renowned photographer Kwaku Alston of 007 veteran stars in attendance Trina Parks (1971’s Diamonds are Forever), Gloria Hendry (1973’s Live and Let Die) and Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Spectre). Also being recognized is Oscar winning-actress Halle Berry (2002’s Die Another Day) plus fashion and music icon, Grace Jones (1985’s A View To A Kill). 

An anticipated highlight of the affair will come when Parks and Hendry discuss their experiences as Bond Girls, and laud Naomie Harris for her role as Eve Moneypenny in the Bond series. Parks and Hendry were among the first women of color to be a part of the franchise, providing film history some if its most memorable moments.

“James Bond films are known worldwide as classic and enduring, featuring some of cinema’s most indelible moments. These films have a long history of recognizing diverse images, and black women have played a key part in that. These women carry the tradition with sophistication and beauty.  It is a true honor to shine a light on their contributions to cinema history,” says AAFCA president, Gil Robertson IV. “We are tremendously excited to join this celebration.”

The tribute is part of a collaborative effort between AAFCA, ESSENCE, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures & Terry Hines and Associates’ (THA) urban divisions.

Check out a few of the ladies on screen moments below:

https://youtu.be/DeNMp8CDd24

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Recap

RC attends Lalah Hathaway’s ATL CD Release Concert [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I was in absolute music heaven last night for the Atlanta CD Release Party and Concert for two-time Grammy winning-songstress, Lalah Hathaway. The beloved R&B/Jazz/Soul singer performed not one but TWO sold-out shows Friday night at Center Stage-Atlanta.

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I actually caught the second show which began around 11:25 p.m. Hathaway opened with one of her dad’s signature tunes, “Little Ghetto Boy” before going into other classics hits such as “Summertime” and “Baby Don’t Cry.” Hathaway appeared on stage in a fitted, black graphic T-shirt with “Racism Sucks” across her chest and a black floor length skirt that shimmied like rose petals in the wind.

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Hathaway also performed Anita Baker’s early ballad, “Angel” and did an impromptu tribute to the R&B diva by humming snippets of other songs like “Good Love.” At that point, she had the audience literally eating out of the palm of her manicured hands and decided to sing other popular songs from The Whispers, Chaka Khan, Zap and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.

Towards the end of the show, Hathaway reached back into her own vault of hits and performed the Grammy-winning single, “Something,” as well as the Joe Sample duet “One Day I’ll Fly Away,” and her now famous cover of the Luther Vandross song, “Forever, For Always, For Love.”

DSC_0190-2Lalah, who had received a proclamation from the City of Atlanta during the first show, is also celebrating 25 years in the music industry. She later announced that her CD, Lalah Hathaway Live is already No. 1 on Amazon.  Following the show, Hathaway signed CDs and chatted with fans!

The full production was presented by Next Level Events in conjunction with Invictus Productions. Check out more photos from the second show below:

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Hathaway’s mother showing off her daughter’s photo

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Dancer/choreographer Juel D. Lane and friend attending the show

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Bishop William Murphy and congregants taking in the show

DSC_0101Ladies Night Out

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Harold Watkins of Invictus Productions (center) with family and friends

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Next Level Events’ Craig Garrett with AList’s Aalyah Duncan

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WCLK’s Jamal Ahmad hosted both shows

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Hathaway singing “Little Ghetto Boy”

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Hathaway is celebrating 25 years in the music industry!

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Hathaway signing CDs for fans after the show

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

RC attends Atlanta Premiere of ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Whenever I can support my friends and their dreams I do so and Friday night was no exception! I had the pleasure of attending the Atlanta premiere of Fetch Clay, Make Man. It’s the first production of the season for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company and a critically acclaimed drama written by Will Power and directed by my fraternity brother, Eric J. Little.

The play is inspired by the true friendship between film actor, Stepin Fetchit and heavyweight boxing champion, Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali.  Coming to fame during different generations of race relations in America, the two handled crafting their public image very differently and their perception of their place in history.

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Will Power and Eric J. Little

Atlanta! Please go and see this brilliant performance. It features some of the city’s biggest and brightest actors including Rob Demery as Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali and Brad Raymond as Stepin Fetchit. It also includes the beautifully talented, Danielle Deadwyler as Ali’s fiesty wife, Sonji Clay; Brian Kurlander as Hollywood film executive, William Fox; and Amari Cheatom as Brother Rashid.

While I was only able to catch the first act of the show, I was totally mesmerized by these two unlikely characters and their compelling stories. I have always been  infatuated by the history of our black icons and how they were able to prevail during hard times. This well written theatrical production exposes the sacrifices many of these men and women made in the name of fame and glory. I am definitely going back to see the full performance which runs through November 22 at the Southwest Arts Center.

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Byron Horne and Rueben Cannon

Prior to the show was cocktail reception which featured appearances by Leon, Little and Power. I also spotted legendary casting director, Reuben Cannon as well as playwright and book author, Pearl Cleage and filmmaker, Byron Horne of The Horne Brothers. There was also a special presentation from Leon’s alma mater, Clark Atlanta University.

Check out all of the photos below:

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ATL icons Alexis Scott, Pearl Cleage, Zaron Burnett Jr. and Pat Lottier

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Kenny Leon and True Colors Theatre Company Board Members

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True Colors’ Lisa Watson with Camille Love, ATL’s Office of Cultural Affairs

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Eric J. Little with CAU’s Larry Calhoun and the CAU Men of the Year 2015-16

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Actress Charity Jordan (left) with her husband, Justin and friend

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Kenny Leon with Kimberly Clark (SocialButterflyATL) and husband

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True Colors’ Ms. Francis Pepper Holley

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Byron Horne taking a selfie with Will Power and Eric J. Little

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CAU Men of the Year presenting a certificate to Kenny Leon

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Terrence Howard tells ‘EXTRA’ that he’s retiring after ‘Empire’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“Extra’s” Jerry Penacoli caught up with Terrence Howard at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Global Down Syndrome Fashion Show in Denverto get the latest news on “Empire,” his family, and more.

Howard has been Iron Man’s sidekick and earned an Oscar nomination, but revealed to Jerry, “I was never as famous as a film actor as I am now.”

In his candid exclusive with “Extra” Terrence, who plays Lucious Lyon, said the massive ratings and red-hot success of “Empire” have his head spinning.  When Penacoli asked Terrence if he has wrapped his head around all of this success, Howard replied, “Not really. I’m still trying to stay in the game with the Cookie Monster.  Joking about his co-star Taraji P. Henson, aka Cookie, he continued, “When you have Taraji P. Henson on your coattails, I’m like, ‘Am I still number one? Is it still my show?’ Yeah, I’m number one. It’s still mine.”

He also set the record straight about his reported beef with Henson, explaining there was “never a feud. The only feud we have is who’s going to get the weekend off, who’s going to work the latest on Friday.”  Howard teased what’s ahead in Season 2, saying, “Maybe [Lucious] having a bipolar mother had a huge effect on him. That is one of the things we’re uncovering.”

He also dropped a bombshell, telling Jerry he plans to retire after his run on “Empire” is over! “I want to give Lucious the rest that I have in this creative space, and then I want to raise my son.”

The star also gushed over his son Qirin and wife Mira Pak, saying, “I’ve got a beautiful baby boy. I’ve met my one, and I’ll be with her until time definite.  Mira was with Terrence at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself event, along with stars like Jamie Foxx and Jamie Brewer.

Story, Photo and Video Credits: ExtraTV.com

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Sammy Davis Jr. story coming to big and small screen (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The life and times of entertainment giant, Sammy Davis Jr. is coming to life thanks to media mogul Byron Allen.  According to S&A, Allen’s company Entertainment Studios, has acquired the global rights to “Deconstructing Sammy” the hugely popular biography written by Matt Birkbeck.

Part of the deal includes a motion picture, a scripted television series and a documentary. The TV series will reportedly cover Davis’ career from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.

“I personally knew and worked with Sammy Davis, Jr.,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Sammy hired me to open for him at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when I was a 19-year-old standup comedian, and that’s where my fascination with his incredible story began. ‘Deconstructing Sammy’ is an amazing work of literature. It is the perfect foundation for a movie, a scripted television series, and a documentary about this legendary global icon.”

Davis was an entertainment legend whose career spanned over 60 years. He was a singer, an accomplished dancer, actor and civil right activist. He was also part of the original “Rat Pack” which also included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.  Davis died in 1990 at age 64 from throat cancer.

So far, no one has been cast in the lead role. However, I would highly recommend Broadway actor, Eric Jordan Young, for the role.  I had a chance to see his one-man-show, Sammy and Me, when it premiered in Atlanta back in 2010 and was blown away at his immense talent. The show follows Young’s childhood obsession with Davis and features such classic songs as “Where or When,” “Smile,” and “Candy Man.”

Check out Eric Jordan Young below singing “Mr. Bojangles” and stay tuned for more about this project as it continues to develop.

Photo Credit: Hommeschooled.com

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Tasha Cobbs is going on tour with Keirra Sheard & Bishop William Murphy (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy winning-Gospel diva, Tasha Cobbs is hitting the road next month for the “One Place Live” Tour featuring BET Sunday Best judge Kierra Sheard and Mr. “Praise Is What I Do!” Bishop William Murphy.

The tour kicks-off on Tuesday, November 10 at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Church with spots in Jacksonville on November 11, Houston on December 10, Dothan, Alabama on December 17 and St. Louis’ Faith Church on January 22.

Cobbs will also have a few other special guests joining her on the tour as well as more dates to be announced.  Check out Cobbs + more tour information below:

Cobb Sheard and Murphy

Click here to purchase tickets!

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Rickey Smiley returns to TV One with ‘Rickey Smiley for Real’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One just can’t seem to get enough of Rickey Smiley! The Award winning national syndicated radio personality, host and stand-up comedian returns to the network with an all new reality series, Rickey Smiley For Real. The new show premieres on Tuesday, November 10 at 8 p.m. EST.

According to TV One’s press release, Rickey Smiley For Real is a voyeuristic view into what makes Smiley a successful media mogul in radio, comedy and television, as well as captures the syndicated host as he juggles two families – one at home and the other at work.

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Rickey Smiley For Real showcases the ‘real’ Rickey,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP of Original Programming and Production. “We see his real job, real friends, real kids and his really crazy life. As a successful member of our Radio One family, Rickey‘s return to TV One is sure to resonate with our audience.”

Joining Rickey on the show are his four children – sons Brandon and Malik and daughters D’Essence and Aaryn – as well as his extended family of co-workers, colleagues and friends. There will also be appearances by his business consultant Bruce Demps, childhood friend and family lawyer Nikita Blockton, radio co-hosts Da Brat, Gary With Da TeaHeadkrack, Rock T and Juicy, and radio show producers Beyonce and Hollywood.

Check out a sneak peek below:

 Photo Credits: TV One
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RC Exclusive - Fashion

COOGI relaunches brand at Pure Atlanta [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

COOGI recently celebrated the legacy of the late Notorioius B.I.G. with a relaunch at PURE Atlanta.  The iconic hip-hop brand partnered with PURE Atlanta and One Grand Gallery for “Ready 2 Die,” a new fashion line recognizing the musical contributions of Biggie Smalls.

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Lil Scrappy pictured with Lizzie Pure and Willie Esco with COOGI

Lizzie Pure owner of PURE Atlanta said the collaboration was perfect for the store because of its longtime affiliation with hip-hop. “I’m a hip-hop enthusiasts and PURE has always supported the hip-hop community.  Doing this event with COOGI allowed us to be a part of the brands re-launch and I loved the idea of connecting with the art community.”

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Lil Scrappy posing for the camera

“Ready 2 Die” welcomed an eclectic mix of Atlanta’s art, fashion and hip-hop community. Special guests spotted at the event included Lil Scrappy, C Bone, Love & Hip Hop’s Primadonna, celebrity stylist & art enthusiast Renaldo Nehemiah, super producer Brian Michael Cox and many more. Guests also enjoyed COOGI inspired strawberries and PURE cupcakes from Black Diamond Edibles and were
serenaded by a live brand playing various interpretations of trap music.

Click here to learn more!

Photo Credits: EnchantedPR

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CASTING NEWS!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy winning-vocalist and fashion icon, Rihanna will star in the upcoming sci-fi drama, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The film’s director, Luc Besson announced the news Wednesday via social media with a photo of the singer and the caption: “RIHANNA is in VALERIAN!!!!! ….and she has a big part!! I’m Sooo excited!!!” Rih Rih joins Clive Owen, Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan in the film adaptation of Valerian and Laureline. Shooting begins in January with a 2017 release. [SHADOW AND ACT]

Oscar winning-hip-hop star, Common has secured a role in the upcoming feature, John Wick 2. The project is a sequel the 2014 film, John Wick and features the Chi-Town rapper as the nemesis of the film’s main character played by Keanu Reeves. In other related news, Common has also signed a two-year deal with HBO. According to reports, he is responsible for developing and producing new projects for the cable network through his Freedom Road Productions. He will also be producing a new untitled “Chicago-set drama” for Showtime. Way to go Common! [DEADLINE)

Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique and acclaimed actress Kimberly Elise have been added to David E. Talbert’s A Meyers Thanksgiving. As previously reported, the film focuses on what happens to an estranged family when they come together for the first time after the death of the family matriarch. It also stars Jessie T. Usher, Gabrielle Union, Alkoya Brunson and Danny Glover. CONGRATS ladies! [THR]

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Take a Look ~ ADELE ‘Hello’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy-winning Blue-eyed Soul singer, Adele has released a brand new track titled, “Hello.” The tune premiered earlier this week with much applause considering we haven’t heard much from the British songbird.

“Hello” is the first single from her highly anticipated 25 album which is due in stores November 20th. Check out the sepia-toned video below which was directed by Xaviar Dolan with breath taking cinematography by André Turpin.  It also features a cameo by multi-talented entertainer, Tristan “Mack” Wilds as Adele’s ex-lover.

Photo Credit: ConsequenceOfSound.net

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‘Think Like A Man’ TV Series in the works (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Steve Harvey is taking his ‘Think Like A Man’ concept to the small screen.

Deadline is reporting that Fox is currently developing a television adaptation of Harvey’s best selling advice book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. The series will be written by the same team that wrote the film versions, Think Like A Man and Think Like A Man Too, Keith Merryman and David A. Newman.

Tim Story, the film’s director, will oversee the project and will executive produce alongside Gerald Washington of Steve Harvey’s production company, East 112th Street Productions, and Will Packer, who also produced the film versions.

Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man is Harvey’s thoughts about what men really think about love, sex, relationship, romance, intimacy and commitment.

Congrats and stay tuned….

Photo Credit: AceShowBiz.com

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Watch Brandy in her new BET Series, ‘Zoe Ever After’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the first promo for Brandy Norwood’s new original BET series, Zoe Ever After.  The romantic comedy follows Norwood as a newly divorced, single mother who is trying to balance parenting and her complicated relationship with her ex-husband along with starting a new cosmetic line.

Zoe Ever After also features Dorian Missick, Tory Devon Smith, Haneefah Wood, Ignacio Serricchio and Atlanta’s own, Jaylon Gordon.

The show is executive produced by Norwood and Debra Martin Chase (Sparkle) and premieres at the top of the new year.

Take a look below:

Photo Credit: NYDailyNews

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Jessie T. Usher & Gabrielle Union to star in ‘A Meyers Thanksgiving’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

In April of this year, we reported that noted playwright and budding filmmaker, David E. Talbert was teaming up with Will Packer for a new family drama titled, A Meyers Thanksgiving.

Well now it looks like this project is finally coming together. S&A is reporting that Survivor’s Remorse star Jessie T. Usher along with Being Mary Jane’s Gabrielle Union have been cast in the film along with child actor Alkoya Brunson and veteran film star Danny Glover.

A Meyers Thanksgiving focuses on what happens to an estranged family when they come together for the first time after the death of the family matriarch.

It is set to open in theaters November 11, 2016.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: TheComicBookCast.com