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TV One’s ‘African Pride Gospel Superfest’ to air 8/25 (VIDEO)

TV One is getting ready to raise the roof with The African Pride Gospel Superfest on Sunday August 25 at 7 p.m.

Held at the Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio, the 19th annual celebration will bring together gospel recording artists and celebrities for one of America’s most anticipated television events in urban gospel. 

The show is hosted by award winning film and television star Wendy Raquel Robinson and will feature soul-stirring tributes to Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Scheduled performer include Deitrick Haddon, Sensere, J. Moss, Tye Tribbett, The Shelby 5, Isabel Davis, Micah Stampley, Byron Cage, Demetrius West & JP and many more.

Don’t miss a memorable evening of performances, uplifting entertainment, and a salute to gospel luminaries and their musical legacies.

The African Pride Gospel Superfest is produced by Cartwright Entertainment Group with Bobby Cartwright Jr. and Renita A. Cartwright serving as Executive Producers. 

Take a look below:

PHOTO CREDITS: TV ONE

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Erica + Warryn Campbell talk ‘Black Love’ with UPFRONT (VIDEO)

The brand new season of OWN’s hit series Black Love debuts this Saturday August 10 at 9 a.m. and I have an exclusive sneak peek on what’s to come.

I got a chance to interview some of the show’s featured couples including gospel music diva Erica Campbell along with her husband and music producer Warryn Campbell. The two open up about the moment they knew they were meant for each other.

Check it out below:

Black Love airs Saturday, August 10 at 9 p.m. on OWN

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Beyoncé and Blue Ivy star in new ‘Lion King’ song ‘Spirit’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Beyoncé is celebrating her role as ‘Nala’ in The Lion King with a brand new inspirational song titled “Spirit.” The Grammy-winning music superstar debuted her self proclaimed “love letter to Africa” during Robin Robert‘s ABC Special Tuesday night.

The Queen, who still can’t believe she is starring in the film, executive produced the soundtrack for the film which features her Lion King co-star Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) along with her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter. It also features Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and 070 Shake.

In addition, the project also features collaborations with an array of African artists and musicians including Moonchild Sanelly, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy and Mr Eazi.

The Lion King opens in theaters Friday July 19.

Check out the video below:

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DeVon Franklin developing a Kirk Franklin Biopic (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Faith-based filmmaker, minister and best-selling author DeVon Franklin is currently working on a biopic about Grammy-winning gospel music superstar Kirk Franklin.

According to DEADLINE, Sony Pictures is behind the untitled project (I think it should be called “Imagine Me” but I digress) and will follow his humble beginnings all the way to his meteoric rise to fame as the face of gospel music and the demons he battled along the way. It is being written by Brian Ivie.

DeVon Franklin

Franklin released his first album in 1993 titled Kirk Franklin & The Family and forever changed the sound of gospel and inspirational music. He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in R&B and Pop music from Bono to Mary J. Blige.

He is currently promoting his new album Long Live Love and is the host of BET’s hugely popular gospel music competition series Sunday Best. He is also the first artist in history to top all five Billboard gospel charts at one time.

Catch Franklin this Friday, July 19 at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall with Koryn Hawthorne (“Won’t He Do It”) at 8 p.m. Click here for more information.

Side Note: I think KEVIN HART would be an amazing Kirk Franklin in this project. I believe the role would challenge him as a dramatic actor and I believe he can capture the essence of Kirk.

What are your thoughts?

Photo Credits: RCA + Wired.com + Essence.com

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Watch Season 4 Trailer for OWN’s ‘Greenleaf’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The Oprah Winfrey Network: OWN has released the new trailer for Greenleaf and they need Jesus to take the wheel…like now!

According to the two-minute trailer, the Greenleafs are in a battle to take back their name and church from the clutches of Harmony and Hope Faith Ministries, led by Bob Whitmore (played by the iconic Beau Bridges) and Phil DeMars (Sean Blakemore). It also appears that Grace (Merle Dandridge) may be the key to saving Calvary Fellowship and bringing her family back to its proper place of power and prominence.

RC will keep you posted as we get closer to season four premiere on Tuesday September 3.

Photo Credit: OWN

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TAKE A LOOK: Kirk Franklin ~ ‘Love Theory’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Kirk Franklin is back with a hot new single titled, “Love Theory,” and we’re here for it. The uptempo song not only inspires but it makes you wanna do a two-step for Jesus.

How can it be that you love the most unlovable part of me, of me?
How could you see your life was the only gift I’ll ever need to be free?
It’s amazing with you, I win even if I lose
Everything’s working for my good for always

“Love Theory” comes from Franklin’s forthcoming album and thirteenth studio project. Franklin will probably performed the song for the first time this week during the taping of the highly anticipated Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. He will be sharing the stage with Tasha Cobbs Leonard, The Winans and a myriad of other Gospel superstars and football players.

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration airs on Sunday, February 2 on BET. Franklin will also be hosting the 34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards on March 29.

Check out “Love Theory” and tell us what you think!

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Watch Donald Webber Jr. perform a song from ‘Born For This: A New Musical’

Check out the first music video from the Broadway-bound production of BeBe Winans new autobiographical musical Born for This. It features Donald Webber Jr. of Hamilton and Motown the Musical fame performing the title song, “Born For This.”

As previously reported, Born For This follows BeBe’s rise to stardom along with his singing partner and sister CeCe. As the two encounter fame, fortune, and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling. The show made its world premiere back in 2016 at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and featured BeBe’s niece and nephew – Deborah Joy and Juan Winans.

In the new Broadway bound show, Webber will assume the role of BeBe along with my girl and CAU alumnae Loren Sharice as CeCe.

A concert version of Born For This was presented in November in NYC at the celebrated cabaret Feinstein’s/54 Below, and featured guest appearances by members of the cast, Stephanie Mills and BeBe Winans.

Watch Donald’s performance below:

Photo Credits: Born For This and RayCornelius.com

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UPFRONT featuring Sheryl Lee Ralph, Anita Wilson, Rickey Smiley and more (AUDIO)

Check out this weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. Broadway veteran and Tony nominated actress Sheryl Lee Ralph discusses her new role in the CBS series FAM. She also opens up about her new podcast Diva Defined, her special relationship with the late jazz great Nancy Wilson and the advice she would have given Beyoncé during the filming of Dreamgirls

Gospel Sensation Anita Wilson has released her take on the jazz standard “Here’s To Life” and talked exclusively to UPFRONT about the new project, acquiring the masters to her first album and much more. 

And finally…UPFRONT hit the streets recently and attended the press conference for the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. Now in its 20th year, the annual NFL sanctioned event returns to the ATL next month and I got a chance to discuss this year’s show with founder and CAU alumnus Melanie Few and host Rickey Smiley

UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry is produced by WCLK 91.9 Atlanta’s Jazz Station and can be heard every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. It is hosted by yours truly Ray Cornelius. 

CLICK HERE and listen to previous UPFRONT shows.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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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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#WellAmen Regina Y. Hicks + Karen Gist team up for a new ‘Sister Act’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Insecure executive producer Regina Y. Hicks and Star show runner Karin Gist are teaming up for Sister Act 3.  VARIETY is reporting that the dynamic duo will pen the project for Disney’s newly named streaming service, Disney+.

Sister Act follows Deloris Van Cartier, a brash and ballsy lounge singer who goes into protective custody at a San Fran convent pretending to be a nun after a mob hit has been put on her. The film featured the one and only Whoopi Goldberg in the leading role along with Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Harvey Keitel, Jenifer Lewis and many more. There is also the hugely successful sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and the smash Broadway version Sister Act: The Musical that featured Raven Symone

However, according to Movie Web, this new Sister Act 3 is not a continuation of the story we’ve grown to love and may not feature Goldberg in the lead. Apparently this version will follow a new nun with a more modern story and may have a cameo only from its original star.  

“We’ve been all over Disney begging. They’ve decided that they’re going to go in a different direction with Sister Act. So it won’t be Sister Act 3 it will be a brand new rendition of Sister Act, and I guess I’ll walk through a scene and that’s how they’ll say I was part of it,” said Goldberg during a recent interview with Good Morning Britain

At any rate, were excited about Hicks and Gist’s ties to the project and hope that Disney will allow Goldberg to make more than just an appearance. Can you believe it’s been 25 years since the last one? 

Stay Tuned…

Photo Credit: DigitalSpy.com

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Egypt Sherrod and DJ Fadelf host a Baby Shower for Harper Skye [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

OOH BABY LOVE, MY BABY LOVE…

I had the distinct pleasure this afternoon of attending the Baby Shower for HGTV star Egypt Sherrod and her husband DJ Fadelf. The invitation only celebration was held at an intimate event space in the West Midtown district of Atlanta and was the personification of faith, family, food and fun.

The room was filled with several images of the happy couple as well as a center wall saluting their new baby girl—Harper Skye. Guests were seated at tables adorned with pink and green floral arrangements and custom made umbrellas and ribbons.

Attendees also enjoyed southern cuisine and desserts provided by Chef Johnnie Winston. Egypt shimmied all throughout the room in a form fitting hot pink dress designed by former reality star and fashion designer Reco Chapple.

Atlanta notables spotted in the room included actress, producer and director Terri J. Vaughn, former music executive and author Sheri Riley, Sister Circle host Rashan Ali, Praise 102.5 radio personalities Darlene McCoy and Willie Moore Jr., Greenleaf star Lamman Rucker, comedienne and actress Kiana Dancie, media maven Ebony Steele and many more.

The event was produced by the fabulous—Jakeem Smith.

Check out all of the photos below and congrats once again to the happy couple:

Egypt Sherrod taking a pic with her friends

Darlene McCoy

Charmaine Ward, Talking with Tami and Terri J. Vaughn

Sheri Riley, Rashan Ali and friend

Lamman Rucker and Adrienne Alexander

Egypt Sherrod and DJ Fadelf

Reco Chapple and Diane Larche

DJ Fadelf, Egypt Sherrod and Janeé Bolden

Rashan Ali and Ebony Steele

Guests enjoying the baby shower

Olivia Seymore, Shanae Hall and Candace Ledbetter

Angela Watts

ATL’s Social Butterfly Kimberly Clark

Evelyn Mims

Egypt Sherrod, Simone Jackson, DJ Fadelf and Kendall Jackson

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com + Aric Thompson of Dream MultiMedia

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Oprah to chat with Gabrielle Union + Dwyane Wade about Baby Kaavia James

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

In “she moves fast” news…Lady O is gearing up for a television special featuring Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade‘s new baby girl, Kaavia James. She was born earlier this month.

According to Union’s social media pages, Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby will air on Saturday December 8 at 8 p.m. and will put a spotlight on their path to parenthood. Union used a surrogate to have Baby Kaavia since she experienced numerous miscarriages and unsuccessful IVF treatments in the past. It’s a subject that she has been very vocal about as seen here on Dr. Oz.

“Look who I got to meet! Little @KaaviaJames, the miracle baby! Kaavia James, you are SO loved by your parents,” said Winfrey on Instagram. “Couldn’t be happier for @GabUnion and @DwyaneWade. This conversation is for every parent and anyone who became a family in their own way.”

Will you be tuning in?

Photo Credit: Instagram/Gabrielle Union

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David and Tamela Mann present the ‘Us Against The World Tour’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Gospel Music Power couple David and Tamela Mann are hitting the road this fall in the second installment of their critically-acclaimed, “Us Against The World: Mann Family Tour.” The Mann’s family national concert tour kicked off on Oct. 11 and will make stops in 20 cities, ending in Cincinnati, OH Nov. 11.

Immediately following the tour, David and Tamela will release their new memoir, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family available November 13, 2018. In their new memoir, the couple candidly shares an inspiring, funny, and up-close look at their lives while offering hope and practical advice for building a strong relationship, marriage and family.

Ever since the NAACP Image Award winners David and Grammy® Award winner Tamela Mann were key members of Kirk Franklin’s Platinum selling group, ‘The Family,’ fans have been clamoring for the duo to release a joint album. That time has finally come. David and Tamela plan to release, Us Against The World: The Love Project, a soulful 10-song musical collaboration (6 out of the 10 tracks are duets) on November 9. The album is being released in conjunction with the release of their new book.

In addition to the tour, David and Tamela are executive producing and starring in the TV One original film, Merry Wish-mas, premiering on December 2. Directed by award-winning actress, director and producer Terri J. Vaughn, this feel-good romantic comedy revolves around Kenni, who has avoided the annual holiday trip to her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina for years. While she is hoping for the best, as with any family, there are unresolved issues lingering that could make the holiday not so bright. The movie also stars Kim Fields, Towanda Braxton and rapper Yung Joc.

Check out the full tour schedule below:

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#BETGoesPINK for October with ‘Her Only Choice’ and ‘BET Her Fights: Breast Cancer’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BET is going Pink for the entire month of October! The iconic television brand is doing its part for breast cancer awareness month with original programming that is sure to keep you informed as well as entertained.

Kicking off the festivities is BET Her’s first original movie Her Only Choice. It tells the story of a woman who after years of infertility becomes pregnant only to be diagnosed with a life-altering disease. She must make a choice to either fight for her life or sacrifice her child’s. The film stars Denise BoutteTimon Kyle DurettLeon RobinsonTiffany SnowTamara Tunie and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Dr. Bailey. It airs Saturday, October 6 at 9 p.m. EST.

The “party with a purpose” continues with the second annual BET Her Fights: Breast Cancer special. This year’s show was taped right here in Atlanta a few weeks ago and is hosted by The Real’s Loni Love. The one-hour special looks to raise awareness, and encourage more people to take action to prevent, diagnose, treat, & end breast cancer.

This year’s honorees include Bershan Shaw and Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green.  Shaw, a transformational coach, motivational speaker, author, and founder of URAWARRIOR.COM, is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, it returned as stage 4 in 2009, she ultimately beat the odds is now nine years cancer free.  Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, one of the first 100 African American women to earn a Ph.D. in Physics, is a physicist who specializes in targeted cancer therapeutics using nanotechnology and lasers.  She founded the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation in memory of her aunt, Ora Lee “Auntee” Smith, whose tragic experience with cancer inspired her to develop a cancer treatment without side effects.

Look for show stopping performances from Kelly PriceEstelle along with Luke James, The Voice season 8 finalist Koryn Hawthorne, and Grammy Award nominees The Walls Group.  Presenters  included OFFSETKeri Hilson and special guest Brandy.

BET Her Fights: Breast Cancer airs Sunday, October 7 at 7 p.m. EST on BET and BET Her.

Check out a few images below:

LONI LOVE

OFFSET

DR. HADIYAH-NICOLE GREEN

KELLY PRICE

KERI HILSON

BERSHAN SHAW

Photo Credits: Moses Robinson for Getty Images