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RC Exclusive - Music

BET’s ‘Sunday Best’ Auditions Taking Place in ATL on 2/15

Returning to BET Network’s for season 10 is America’s most inspirational singing competition, “Sunday Best.” The well-established gospel show welcomes back Grammy Award®-winning music legend Kirk Franklin as host. Returning for the second consecutive year as judges are gospel songstress and host of “Get Up Mornings,” Erica Campbell, and Grammy-Award® nominated artists Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds.

Season 10 open call auditions will be held Saturday, February 15th in Atlanta, GA at The House of Hope (4650 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur, GA 30034; registration 6am-11am). Atlanta auditions will be filmed for television. Aspiring contestants should be age 18+ and should prepare to sing a song from the list below:

1. Amazing Grace

2. Blessed Assurance

3. Have Thine Own Way, Lord

4. His Eye is On The Sparrow

5. I Need Thee Every Hour

6. I Surrender All

7. It Is Well With My Soul

8. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

9. Love Lifted Me

10. Mary, Don’t You Weep

11. Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

12. O Come, All Ye Faithful (O Come Let Us Adore Him)

13. Oh, How I Love Jesus

14. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

15. Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

16. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Aspiring contestants from around the country are encouraged to submit their audition online and get additional audition information at BET.com/SundayBest.

The final day for online submissions is Monday, February 10, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST.

Photo Credit: BET.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent Recap

‘Lexus UPTOWN Honors Hollywood’ recognizes Robin Thede, Marsai Martin + more [PHOTOS]

Uptown Ventures Group, the parent company of Uptown Magazine, kicked off Oscar week with their annual event, Lexus Uptown Honors Hollywood, at NeueHouse Hollywood Wednesday evening. Celebrity guests gathered to honor Power Player Women within the film industry. The evening honorees included writer, producer and creator of “Power (Starz),” Courtney A. Kemp, Executive Vice President of Film Production at Warner Bros. Pictures Niija Kuykendall, writer, performer, producer and show runner Robin Thede, along with creative, young power player, award-winning actress and executive producer Marsai Martin. The night of excellence was hosted by Tai Beauchamp and Chris Spencer


As a prelude to the Academy Awards® the star-studded event was lavishly decorated with beautiful white rose centerpieces, a 5-course dinner was served, followed by a private after-party. Highlights from the evening included the cast of “Power,” Naturi Naughton, Larenz Tate and Jospeh Sikora presenting writer, producer, and creator Courtney A. Kemp with her award. Honoree Robin Thede delivered a belly-aching hilarious speech as she accepted her award, Honoree Niija Kuykendall spoke about breaking barriers and being fearless in the industry and mini-mogul and Hollywood starlet Marsai Martin delivered an empowering speech and let the crowd know that being a teenager was much harder than being the youngest executive producer working in Hollywood.

“Tonight is about celebrating exceptional talent leading the way and contributing to the industry in front and behind the camera,” says Len Burnett co-CEO and chief revenue office, of UPTOWN Ventures Group.


Celebrity guests and VIP’s in attendance included Naturi Naughton, Larenz Tate, Joseph Sikora, Malinda Williams, Curtis Hamilton, Affion Crockett, Miss J. Alexander, Gabrielle Dennis, Tai Beauchamp, TJ Jackson,Kenny Lattimore, Terrence J, Bresha Webb, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mike Hill, Cynthia Bailey & more.


For almost a decade, LexusUptown Honors Hollywood is made possible by the generous support of Lexus as the returning title sponsor. 

Check out a photo gallery below:

Photo Credits: Earl Gibson & Darius L. Carter

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First Look Teaser for NatGEO’s’Genius: Aretha’ feat. Cynthia Erivo (VIDEO)

National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios will release a first-look, national teaser promo for GENIUS: ARETHA during this TONIGHT’s Oscars® telecast airing on ABC. Cynthia Erivo, a 2020 Academy Award® nominee, stars as Aretha Franklin in the third season of the critically acclaimed global anthology series.

Set to perform “Stand Up” live during Hollywood’s biggest night, Erivo is nominated in two categories: Actress in a Leading Role and Music (Original Song) for the film “Harriet.”

GENIUS: ARETHA will premiere over four consecutive nights, beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 9/8c. GENIUS: ARETHA will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Aretha Franklin. The eight-part series will explore Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career – and the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. GENIUS: ARETHA will broadcast in 172 countries and in 43 languages on National Geographic Channels.


The cast includes Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) as Aretha Franklin; Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) as C.L. Franklin; David Cross (“Goliath,” “Arrested Development”) as Jerry Wexler; Malcolm Barrett (“Timeless,” “Preacher”) as Ted White; Pauletta Washington (“She’s Gotta Have It”) as Grandmother Rachel; Patrice Covington (Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) as Erma Franklin; Rebecca Naomi Jones (“The Big Sick”) as Carolyn Franklin; Steven Norfleet(“Watchmen”) as Cecil Franklin; Kimberly Hébert Gregory (“Vice Principals”) as Ruth Bowen; Omar J. Dorsey (“Queen Sugar”) as James Cleveland; Marque Richardson (“Dear White People”) as King Curtis; and introducing Shaian Jordan as Little Re.

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Recap

Jamie Foxx, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lena Waithe and more honored at ‘AAFCA Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Check out photos from Wednesday night’s 11th Annual AAFCA Awards.

The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery with honors going to Jamie Foxx for his role in Just Mercy, Eddie Murphy for the Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name, Jordan Peele for Us, Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim and Kasi Lemmons for Harriet.

The event was sponsored by Nissan, Morgan Stanley and Deadline and took place at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

See the full list of winners below:

Best Film: “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy,” Warner Bros. Pictures) 

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Breakout Performance: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Waves,” A24)

Best Animated Film: “Abominable” (Universal Pictures)

Best Documentary: “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (Neon)

Best Independent Film: “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24)

Best Screenplay Presented with The Black List: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” (Neon)

Impact Award: “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

We See You Award: Taylor Russell (“Waves,” A24)

The AAFCA 2019 Top Ten Films

  1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)
  2.  “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
  3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  4. “Clemency” (Neon)
  5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  7. “Waves” (A24)
  8. TIE “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)
  9. The Farewell (A24)
  10.  “Harriet” (Focus Features)

Photo Credits: AAFCA

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OWN hosts ‘Cherish The Day’ Launch Party [PHOTOS]

All eyes were on the A-T-L Thursday night for OWN’s swanky launch party for its newest dramatic series, Cherish the Day. The highly anticipated two-night premiere begins on February 11.

The invite-only soiree took place at the Stave Room in the Midtown district of the city and was hosted by OWN president and CEO Tina Perry along with the show’s creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay.

Chapter One of the “anthology series” chronicles the stirring relationship of the two star-crossed lovers, with each episode spanning a single day. The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in their relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love.

Cherish the Day cast members in attendance included the show’s leads—Alano Miller and Xosha Roquemore as well as Kellee Stewart, Michael Beach and Anne-Marie Johnson. Not present but also included in the show are Dorien Wilson, Loren Lott, Bryan Terrell Clark and the queen mum—CICELY TYSON.

Other notables in attendance included the hosts of TV One’s Sister CircleRashan Ali, Syleena Johnson and Trina Braxton plus actresses DeWanda Wise, Jasmine Guy and Terri J. Vaughn. Other famous faces spotted in the crowd were actors Joel Rush, Karon Riley, André Holland, Omar Dorsey, celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge and Exonerated Five member Raymond Santana and his fiancé Delicious.

The evening included a sneak peek of three different scenes along with commentary and a Q&A session featuring the cast and DuVernay. We also listened to some dope sounds from DJ Princess Cut and enjoyed some refreshing cocktails, food and much more.

See the picture gallery below including a few of my selfies:

CHERISH THE DAY premieres on February 11 and 12 on OWN.

Photo Credits: Paras Griffin Getty Images/ OWN + RayCornelius.com

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TV One’s ‘UNSUNG’ returns 2/23 at 10 p.m. (VIDEO)

TV One’s longest-running and award-winning documentary series UNSUNG continues its stellar run with an all-new season premiering Sunday, February 23 at 10 P.M. ET/9C.

The season kicks off with the popular 90s R&B group Dru Hill.  The season continues with memorable stories of influential artists including rap’s first female star MC Roxanne Shante; singer/actor Christopher Williams; funk and disco band Skyy; the “Mother of Freestyle” Shannon; Grammy Award-winning crooner behind the 1972 number one single “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Billy Paul; vocal powerhouse Betty Wright, best known for the 70s hit single “Clean Up Woman;” multi-Grammy Award-winning musician Al Jarreau; and Atlanta hip hop quartet Goodie Mob.

UNSUNG, nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News/Information – (Series or Special), celebrates the lives of trailblazing musicians whose full stories and journeys have yet to be explored. Through first-hand accounts, interviews with family and friends, and archival footage, each episode weaves a tale of the highs and lows of a life in the limelight. 

Watch a sneak peek below:

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Phylicia Rashad to direct Lynn Whitfield + Leslie Uggams in ‘Blue’ at the Apollo Theater

PLAYBILL is reporting that stage and screen icons Lynn Whitfield and Leslie Uggams are teaming up for a revival of the theatrical production Blue.

The project was written by Charles Randolph-Wright and is being directed by Tony winning actress Phylicia Rashad, who starred in the show 20 years ago. This will also be Ms. Rashad’s directorial debut. Music for the show is provided by R&B idol and LaBelle member, Nona Hendryx.

Infused with a jazz and soul score, Blue explores the complexities of identity and trust behind the carefully constructed façade of the Clarks, a socially prominent family that is struggling with the legacy and pitfalls of their own good fortune. Whitfield is slated to play ‘Peggy Clark’ and Uggams will play ‘Tillie Clark.’

“I am happy to be directing this play that brought me so much joy,” said Rashad to PLAYBILL. “It affirms the importance of theatre and its power to touch the human heart.”

Blue will be produced by Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Mike Jackson, John Legend, and Eric Falkenstein.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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‘The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel’ to air 4/11 at 8 p.m. (VIDEO)

Lifetime has released the official trailer for the highly anticipated biopic The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. The movie debuts Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. EST.

As previously reported, the film recounts the story of the highest selling female gospel group in history and of their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark (Aunjanue Ellis). Credited with bringing Gospel music to the mainstream, the five Clark sisters (Christina Bell as “Twinkie,” Kierra Sheard as “Karen,” Sheléa Frazier as “Dorinda,” Raven Goodwin as “Denise,” Angela Birchett as “Jacky”) overcame humble beginnings in Detroit, enduring abuse, loss, rejection, betrayal, and sibling rivalries to achieve international fame as icons of the Gospel music industry.

In addition to the film, the Clark Sisters will be honored with the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Stellar Awards. CONGRATS LADIES!!!!

Watch the trailer below + photos from a recent press event in Pasadena, CA with executive producer Queen Latifah.

Photo Credits: Getty Images for Lifetime

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‘Scoop on Blogging’ Podcast featuring Ray Cornelius (VIDEO)

Check out my interview with IceCreamConvos.com creator, media maven and dear friend—Xaviera Bryant. I talked to her for the very first Scoop on Blogging Podcast, which is aimed at helping aspiring bloggers and media content creators.

In the video, we chat about the inspiration behind this website, my radio show, UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry and my future plans of content creation for television and films.

We also talk about the current media landscape and some media “do’s and dont’s.”

This is a conversation you don’t want to miss if you’re looking to become a blogger or want a career in media!!!!

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Watch the Trailer for OWN’s ‘Cherish the Day’ (VIDEO)

OWN has released the official trailer for its upcoming drama series Cherish The Day. It is created and executive produced by Emmy® winner and Academy Award®-nominee Ava DuVernay

Chapter one of Cherish the Day chronicles the stirring relationship of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday. 

Xosha Roquemore (“The Mindy Project”) stars as Gently James and Alano Miller (“Underground”) stars as Evan Fisher. The couple meet and fall in love in Los Angeles, with the full season spanning five years in eight episodes.  

OWN previously announced additional cast including legendary Emmy®-winning actress Cicely Tyson, as well as Michael Beach, Anne-Marie Johnson and Kellee Stewart. The DuVernay led series also recently announced it achieved full gender parity with a production crew of over 50% women, including 18 female department heads.  Directors for the series are Tanya Hamilton, Blitz Bazawule, Aurora Guerrero and Deborah Kampmeier.

Cherish the Day is produced for OWN by ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Tanya Hamilton, and Oprah Winfrey serve as executive producers. 

https://youtu.be/uNf8tT5gaJ0
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Watch the Season 3 Trailer for ‘The Chi’ (VIDEO)

Showtime has released the new trailer for Lena Waithe‘s hugely popular dramatic series THE CHI.  In this third season, the series will feature the Emmy® winning creator (Queen & SlimBoomerang) in a multi-episode arc as a Chicago mayoral candidate.

This season will also feature appearances from RHOA star Kandi BurrussPower actress La La Anthony and STAR actor Luke James.

THE CHI also includes Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, Alex Hibbert, Yolonda Ross and Armando Riesco. It premieres Sunday, July 5 at 10 p.m. EST.

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RC talks to Tyler Perry and cast of ‘A Fall from Grace’ (VIDEO)

Check out this past weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It features Stephanie Heydt from the High Museum of Art, AAFCA’s Ed Adams plus Tyler Perry and the ladies of the Netflix movie, A Fall from Grace: Crystal Fox, Bresha Webb and Phylicia Rashad

Curator Stephanie Heydt stopped by to chat about the High Museum’s current exhibition, Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series. The show, which is now in its final weeks, features work from the iconic artist that go back as early as the 1910s all the way to the 1940s and beyond. Stephanie also opens up about an event associated with the exhibition that takes place on 1/25. (Click here for more information). 

Edward Adams from the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is here to chat about this week’s Oscar nominations including snubs and the lack of diversity and inclusion amongst the nominees. 

Closing out the show is my exclusive interview with Tyler Perry and the cast of his new Netflix movie, A Fall from Grace – Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad and Bresha Webb. I got a chance to chat with them about their roles and more at the new Tyler Perry Studios.

Listen to the show and watch the full Tyler Perry interview below: 

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Watch a Sneak Peek of STARZ new series ‘P-Valley’ (VIDEO)

STARZ has released a sneak peek of its upcoming new drama series P-Valley.

The show is based on Katori Hall’s play Pussy Valley and is being described as an unapologetic look at the lives of strip club dancers. Deep down in the Mississippi Delta lies an oasis of grit and glitter in a rough patch of human existence where beauty can be hard to find. This southern-fried, hour-long drama tells the kaleidoscopic story of a little-strip-club-that-could and the big characters who come through its doors—the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned.

As previously reported, P-Valley stars Brandee Evans as Mercedes and Nicco Annan as Uncle Clifford while Shannon Thornton and J. Alphonse Nicholson are series regulars.

Joining Hall behind-the-scenes are Khaliah Neal as consulting producer, Patrik-Ian Polk as co-executive producer and award-winning music video director Karena Evans, who will direct the premiere episode.

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‘Essence’ to honor Niecy Nash, Melina Matsoukas, Lashana Lynch + ‘POSE’ Series

Essence will recognize CLAWS star Niecy Nash plus Queen & Slim director Melina Matsoukas during this year’s Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. It’s all going down on February 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA.

The annual highly-anticipated celebration will shine a deserving spotlight on several Black women in Hollywood who are owning their narrative and transforming the art of storytelling.

Other honorees include 007 actress Lashana Lynch and the divas of POSE: Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar.

“For fifty years, ESSENCE has remained committed to portraying and highlighting the triumphs, aspirations and dynamic lives of Black women,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications, Inc. “The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon has become an amazing platform to recognize and honor the unparalleled talents of Black women in an industry that often hasn’t. We celebrate all of our honorees this year for their fearlessness and strength as they boldly continue to own their narratives and share our stories.”

Click here for more information.