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Ledisi releases a new book ‘Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk’

Grammy nominated R&B, jazz and soul music songstress Ledisi has released a new book entitled “Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey.” It’s available now on Amazon and can also be purchased during her current tour with Gregory Porter.

“Many people know me as a recording artist with an enormous gift, but there is so much more to me. In regaining my power to complete my book, the right way, I have learned how to conquer rejection, depression and more recently deceit. I made a commitment to myself to feel proud of every step and every goal, at every level, as much as I possibly can,” Even my mistakes are shared in this book,” said Ledisi to Amazon. “This book is my way of reminding others to embrace every part of their journey. Our life as a whole is important, all of it – the highs, the lows, the challenges, and everything in between. In all of it, there is a lesson.”

Click here to purchase.

Photo Credit: Instagram/Ledisi

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Zoe Saldana + Reese Witherspoon team up for ‘From Scratch’

Zoe Saldana and Reese Witherspoon are coming together for the new limited Netflix series based on Tembi Locke‘s New York Times best-selling memoir From Scratch.

From Scratch is a sweeping, autobiographical romance that follows an American woman as she falls in love with a Sicilian man while studying abroad in Italy then builds a life with him in the United States. When she unexpectedly loses him to illness, she is challenged to pull herself through grief so she can raise their daughter as they would have raised her together: with hope, joy and infinite love.

In addition to starring in the film, Saldana is also serving as an executive producer along with her sisters—Cisely Saldana and Mariel Sadana.

Reese and her producing parter, Lauren Neustradter will executive producer under Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner. Attica Locke will serve as showrunner.

“This is a profound true story of love and family, deprivation and nourishment, that needs to be brought to life on the screen as Tembi Locke brought it vividly to life for me on the page,” said Saldana. “We are grateful to Netflix and thrilled to be working with Reese, Lauren, Attica and 3 Arts on this wonderful project.”

“Tembi’s memoir is a raw and tender exhibition of life in all its pieces,” says Witherspoon. “She brings you into her love, her loss and her resilience with such vulnerability and strength. We immediately fell for Attica and Tembi’s vision and feel honored to have the opportunity to help bring it to life on-screen. We could not imagine more perfect partners for this than Zoe and her sisters and 3 Arts Entertainment, along with the incredible team at Netflix.”

Stay tuned…

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T.I., Killer Mike, Ledisi and more to appear in live reading of ‘Between the World and Me’ (VIDEO)

The words of Oprah Book Club author Ta-Nehisi Coates are coming to life as part of a special live reading of his New York Times bestselling book, Between the World and Me on Tuesday October 22 at Atlanta’s historic Symphony Hall.

The event is being presented by the Apollo Theater and The Collective Culture and will feature Atlanta hip hop icons T.I. and Killer Mike as well as Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Ledisi, TV and film actress Pauletta Washington and spoken word sensation Marc Bamuthi Joseph and more.

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

A live reading of his book was first done last spring at the Apollo Theater and featured a who’s who of star performers including Angela Bassett, Joe Morton, Black Thought, Common and Susan Kelechi Watson from NBC’s This Is Us. The show was conceived and produced by the Apollo Theater’s Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes and includes a jazz score by Jason Moran.

Ray Cornelius with Kamilah Forbes

Click here and listen to my UPFRONT interview with Kamilah Forbes about the event and click here to purchase tickets for the 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances.

PHOTO CREDITS: RayCornelius.com and Ronald B. Hill

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Watch Trailer for ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Magnolia Pictures has released the trailer for the new documentary on Pulitzer Prize winning author and BLACK literary icon Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is an artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller and Nobel Prize winner. The film examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her extraordinary career.

Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition. Look for appearance by her many admirers including Oprah WinfreyAngela DavisWalter Mosley, and Sonia Sanchez.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am arrives in theaters on June 21.

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UPFRONT featuring James Bland, Nadej Bailey, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Chef Jenard and a Salute to John Singleton (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Happy Saturday Family! Check out my last four UPFRONT shows featuring my one-on-one interviews with some of the hottest names in TV, film, music and the performing arts.

Shows include Meagan Good and Michael Ealy from The Intruder, James Bland from CLEOtv’s Giants, dancer Juel D. Lane, character actor Reno Wilson from BOLDEN, CLEOtv’s Chef Jenard and my salute to the late iconic filmmaker John Singleton featuring AAFCA’s Gil Robertson. I also have a great conversation with actor Eric J. Little about this year’s Tony Award nominees and many more!

Listen to them all below:

UPFRONT featuring James Bland, Nadej Bailey and Juel D. Lane
UPFRONT featuring Reno Wilson, Chae Stephen, Joel King and Ptosha Storey
UPFRONT featuring CLEOtv’s Chef Jenard + Cast of Intruder Meagan Good and Michael Ealy
UPFRONT salutes John Singleton + Tony Award Nominees
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UPFRONT featuring Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Rhonda Ross, Pearl Cleage, Will Packer and more! (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out this past weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It features my red carpet interviews from the recent Atlanta premiere of Little. I got a chance to chat with film’s star Marsai Martin along with Issa Rae and the film’s director Tina Gordon and producer Will Packer

Iconic fashion designer Kevan Hall discussed his Black Design Collective honoring Oscar winning costumer designer Ruth E. Carter. She has designed looks for a number of classic films such as School DazeMo Betta BluesMalcolm XWhat’s Love Got To Do With ItSparkleSelma and most recently Black Panther

Closing out the show is my conversation with pop culture critic Dr. Nsenga Burton. She stopped by to chat about the life and death of hip hop star Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down last week in front of his business in Los Angeles, CA. She will discussing his impact beyond the lyrics and much more. 

You can also listen to my other UPFRONT shows featuring Rhonda Ross, Pearl Cleage, April Parker Jones and more below:

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#UPFRONT featuring Russell Hornsby, Deborah Riley Draper, Terri J. Vaughn and more (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Just in case you missed them, here are my UPFRONT shows from the last three weeks!

It features my one-on-one interviews with TV and stage actor Russell Hornsby; filmmaker, producer and director Deborah Riley Draper; ASPIRE TV’s General Manager Melissa Ingram; the cast of the stage play She Married the Ring and Forgot the Man; actress, producer and director Terri J. Vaughn; media maven April Love and some commentary from my blogger boo Yalanda Lattimore.

UPFRONT airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK and online at WCLK.com.

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UPFRONT featuring DeVon Franklin, Meagan Good, Morris Chestnut, Trumpet Awards and more (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out this past weekend’s edition of my radio program UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It features acclaimed author and Hollywood producer DeVon Franklin and his wife actress Meagan Good. The two have been touring the country promoting his new book The Truth About Men. They also talk about their new film projects—BreakthroughThe Garden and The Intruder.

Hollywood heartthrob Morris Chestnut is starring in a new series The Enemy Within. I caught up with him and his beautiful co-star Jennifer Carpenter during the recent SCAD aTVfest. The show premiered this past Monday night and the two actors talked exclusively to UPFRONT about their characters and more.

I also chat with Nikki Toombs, Director of Education at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company.  She is in charge of the August Wilson Monologue Competition and talked to UPFRONT about the Regional Finals that is taking place tomorrow Friday March 1 at the 595 North Event space. 

You can also listen to my other UPFRONT show featuring interviews with Jamil Jude, artistic director for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, Alvin Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts and my red carpet interviews during the 2019 Bounce Trumpet Awards.

UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and is hosted by yours truly Ray Cornelius

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Happy New Year from RayCornelius.com

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Happy Sunday Everyone and Welcome to 2019!

I was a little apprehensive about posting this but felt that I needed to bring all of my readers and supporters up to speed about my website and what’s been happening. I know I haven’t been as consistent with posting stories and updating the site but it’s all been for a good reason.

RayCornelius.com is growing by leaps and bounds. This tiny little brand that I started in 2012 will be celebrating seven years this February 6, 2019. With that said, so much has been happening with me professionally and personally. As you know, I took my love for “arts and entertainment” to a radio platform and created UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry in August of 2016. The 30-minute program airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Atlanta’s Jazz Station – WCLK 91.9. Since that time, I have been covering and hosting a number of high profile engagements all around the country.

In the fall of 2016, I was invited by my media buddy Ice Cream Conversations to travel to New Orleans  for the premiere of the film Deep Water Horizon. I would later return to the crescent city in the summer of 2017 for the Essence Festival. In March of 2018, I was invited with other U.S. media influencers to attend a tour of the famed NBC studios in Hollywood, CA where we interviewed the casts of Marlon, World of Dance and the writers of the award winning series This Is Us. Later on that month, I was invited to attend the New York City Premiere of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony and in June in attended the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in South Beach Miami where I conducted Black Carpet interviews for ASPIRE TV’s In the Loop. I closed out 2018 by hosting Facebook Live Interviews during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, the largest film festival presented by a college or university.

In addition to hosting the radio show, I also began producing television programs in 2018 for CAU-TV including a Trumpet Awards Red Carpet Special, a SCAD aTVfest Special, a Living Single 25th Anniversary Special and a SuperFly Red Carpet Special. I was also invited to host and moderate the BronzeLens Film Festival’s Sunday Brunch with the Brothersand moderated a post performance conversation with the cast of Kenny Leon’s True Colors production of Colman Domingo’s DOT.

In addition to my professional advancements, my personal responsibilities also expanded as I took on the role of a caregiver for my mother. I moved her, my sister and my niece from my hometown of Orlando, FL to Atlanta, GA. In other words, I HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY, VERY BUSY. That is why there have been a lot of lapse in postings and updating the site. RC (as I like to call it) is solely operated by me and me only.

As we step into a new year, it is my hope and prayer that you would continue to support the brand and be patient with me. I am looking to refresh the site and format and really make this more interactive for you as readers. This will also become the home base for all of my media entities – print, radio, YouTube and hosting gigs. I am also producing some TV-Film-Web-based series! Yes, Ray Cornelius is currently working on a few film and TV projects. The more I interview actors, writers and directors, the more I realize the content is KING and I have a few stories in me that I’d like to share.

In closing, I wish each and every one of you all the very best this 2019 and let’s continue to grow together. THANK YOU for being patient and I look to forward to bringing you more of the best in “positive” arts and entertainment news, content and happenings.

Much Love,

Ray Cornelius

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Michelle Obama adds more U.S. & Euro Dates to her ‘Becoming Tour’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Well Praise God!

Former First Lady—Michelle Obama—has added more dates and cities to her Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama Tour. The Live Nation produced event is in support of her best-selling book Becoming Michelle Obama and has been filling up arenas all across the country.

This extension of the tour will include 21 events in 2019 across North America and Europe produced by Live Nation, including 11 additional events in the U.S., 4 in Canada, and 6 in Europe.

The 2019 events will kick off on February 8 in Tacoma, WA, and will make stops in previously unvisited cities, including Austin, Toronto, Atlanta, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and more. The European dates will include an event in Paris, rescheduled from the original December 5, 2018, date which was delayed due to Mrs. Obama’s trip back to the U.S. to attend the late President George H.W. Bush‘s funeral.

The 2019 events will also see Mrs. Obama visiting a range of venues, from arenas to more intimate theaters. Each stop will feature to-be-announced moderators who will appear in conversation with the former First Lady. The final event will take place on May 12 in Nashville, TN, concluding the Becoming book tour.

Click here to secure your tickets! 

Photo Credit: LiveNation.com

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‘Insecure’ star Yvonne Orji to release ‘Bamboozled by Jesus’ Book

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congrats to Insecure actress and comedienne Yvonne Orji. She has inked a new deal with Flatiron Books and her first release is titled Bamboozled By Jesus: How God Tricked Me Into the Life of My Dream. 

According to THRBamboozled by Jesus is being described as “a frank and fresh advice book, filled with one woman’s authentic journey to understand her life and the nuggets of wisdom she’s uncovered along the way. Orji covers 20 life lessons gleaned from her own experience, her family and the Bible — from how to save for a rainy day to building the ark before the flood, from thinking outside the box to realizing you’re not special (while instead making yourself available).” 

“Sometimes life plays tricks on you. And sometimes the master trickster is Jesus. That’s the story I want to tell and I’m sooooo excited to join the @flatiron_books family to bring BAMBOOZLED BY JESUS to life,” said Orji on her social media announcing the new book deal. 

RC will keep you posted on the release date and more regarding Orji’s new deal. 

Will you be reading Bamboozled By Jesus

Photo Credit: Pulse.ng

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Watch Trailer for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new trailer for The Girl in the Spider’s Web. It opens in theatres nationwide on Friday, November 9.

A new Dragon Tattoo story comes to the screen starring Claire Foy (“The Crown”) as Lisbeth Salander, the fierce, outcast vigilante defender from the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson.

A first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller, the film is directed by Fede Alvarez, the director of 2016’s breakout thriller Don’t Breathe; the screenplay adaptation is by Jay Basu & Fede Alvarez and Steven Knight.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web also stars Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Christopher Convery and more.

Tell us what you think…

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Michelle Obama teams up with Live Nation for ‘Becoming’ Tour

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Former First Lady of the United States of America – MICHELLE OBAMA – is hitting the road this fall to promote her new book Becoming. The 10-city tour will begin in Chicago November 13.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

The tour is produced by Live Nation and publisher Penguin Random House. Michelle is also donating 1 million copies to educational non-profit program, First Book.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like she is coming to the south. I don’t see any dates for Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami or New Orleans. Hopefully, she’ll add more cities to the schedule.

See the full list below:

  • Nov. 13: Chicago — United Center
  • Nov. 15: Los Angeles — The Forum
  • Nov. 17: DC — Capital One Arena
  • Nov. 24: Boston — TD Garden
  • Nov. 29: PHL — Wells Fargo Center
  • Dec. 1: Brooklyn — Barclays Center
  • Dec. 11: Detroit — Little Caesars Arena
  • Dec. 13: Denver — Pepsi Center
  • Dec. 14: San Jose — SAP Center
  • Dec. 17: Dallas — American Airlines Ctr.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

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Ledisi presents her new book ‘The Walk: Accepting Your Life As It Is Now’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi is releasing a new book next month (September 23) titled The Walk: Accepting Your Life As It Is Now. She posted the big news on Instagram this week urging her fans to pick up a copy now.

So far, she has received reviews from industry veterans like Patti LaBelle, Tyler Perry and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant.

“The act of walking requires you to take one step and then another until you arrive at your destination. In ‘The Walk’, Ledisi shares the steps she took to get to her best life. And just like her songs, the gems she so bravely shares about her life will inspire many. I am so proud of her! Keep walking in your majesty, my beloved,” says Vanzant.

Click here to get your copy!