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Naomie Harris, Tyrese and more attend ATL Screening of ‘Black and Blue’ (VIDEO)

Check out my UPFRONT coverage from Wednesday night’s Atlanta premiere of Deon Taylor‘s new cop thriller Black and Blue. The screening was held at the historic Plaza Theater in Midtown and was attended by Taylor along with the film’s stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Nafessa Williams and Lucky Johnson.

In Black and Blue, Harris plays a rookie cop who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage. Rounding out the Black and Blue cast is Frank GrilloMike ColterReid Scott and Beau Knapp.

Other notables in attendance included Clifton Powell, Cocoa Brown, Brely Evans, Mike Merrill, Marquita Goings, Reece Odom and T.C. Carson.

Black and Blue is in theaters TODAY.

PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images for Screen Gems

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T.I. unveils ‘Nipsey Hussle Exhibit’ at Trap Music Museum (VIDEO)

All eyes were on Atlanta’s famed Trap Music Museum Tuesday night for the unveiling of the new Nipsey Hussle Exhibit. The event was hosted by Grammy Award-winning hip hop star, actor and philanthropist T.I. and was attended by a bevy of influencers and trap music enthusiasts including Tameka “Tiny Harris,” Monica, LeToya Luckett and Toya Wright.

UPFRONT was in the building to capture all of the sights and sounds of the evening. I got a chance to chat with the “King of the South” about the new installation as well as BK The Artist and muralists Dizzy and Quake, who also contributed to the new work. Krystal “KG” Garner, general manager of the museum also discussed the importance of bringing this exhibit to Atlanta and much more.

Hussle, a beloved Trap music star and community activist, was tragically shot and killed on March 31, 2019 outside of his store “Marathon Clothing” store in Los Angeles, CA.

Watch the coverage below:

PHOTO CREDIT: RayCornelius.com

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AAFCA celebrates Allied’s Carolyn Sloss [PHOTOS]

Congratulations goes out to Carolyn Sloss, Vice President at Allied Global Marketing. She picked up AAFCA’s Synergy Award on Thursday evening during a private reception at the historic Auburn Avenue Research Library.

The annual event recognizes individuals who have contributed to Georgia’s entertainment scene. The event also brings together the power players in Atlanta’s creative and business communities for the purpose of fostering positive relationships that continue to nurture and grow the industry.

Past recipients have included Roger M. Bobb (Bobb Cat Films), Rob Hardy (TV director and producer), Melissa Ingram (ASPIRE TV), Mark Swinton (Tyler Perry Studios) and Swirl Films just to name a few.

A number of Allied employees—past and present—were in the building to celebrate Sloss and her award. Since 2001, she has been responsible for the management and strategic planning for the Atlanta office and has played a key role in the company’s growth.

Check out a few of the reception photos below:

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Coming to the Stage: Pearl Cleage’s ‘Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Award-winning playwright and celebrated author Pearl Cleage returns to the Alliance Theatre stage with a new show titled Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous. It opens March 20 and runs through April 14 and is directed by Susan V. Booth.

In the mid-1970’s, actress Anna Campbell and director Betty Samson ignited a major theatrical controversy with a performance of scenes from August Wilson’s Fences that came to be known forever after as ‘Naked Wilson.’  To escape the critics, Anna and Betty accepted what they thought would be a temporary job in Amsterdam.  Twenty-five years later, the women receive an invitation to return to the states where the infamous piece will open a women’s theatre festival that promises to be ‘angry, raucous, and shamelessly gorgeous.’  Uncertain of what kind of reception she will get after so many years in self-imposed exile, and unmoved by Betty’s reassurances, Anna’s insecurity only grows when she meets Pete Watson, the ambitious young performer who has been chosen to recreate the role but whose theatrical experience is so far limited to the adult entertainment industry. In this funny and hopeful new play by Pearl Cleage about building bridges across generations, Anna and Pete must find a way to reconcile their beliefs and make peace with lingering ghosts from the past.   

Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous stars

Click here for tickets and more information.

Photo Credits: Alliance Theatre

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Watch a Sneak Peek of ‘UNSUNG’ featuring Lloyd (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

TV One’s award-winning docu-series UNSUNG returns for another season beginning TONIGHT at 9 p.m. with ATL heartthrob LLOYD.

Introduced to the world through a boy band at the tender age of 10, he would go on to join one of the most notorious record labels of the millennium, Murder Inc. Under the guidance of label co-founder Irv Gotti, Lloyd hit the ground running with hits like “Southside,” “Get It Shawty” and “You.” When the feds came calling to investigate Murder Inc., however, both the label and Lloyd’s career were put on hold. Although Lloyd was able to reclaim his position on the music charts for a brief time, he eventually retreated from the spotlight for several years. Now with a new label and outlook on life, Lloyd is back and ready to tell his story to UNSUNG.

After the episode, be sure to catch the tvone.tv exclusive of Lloyd’s “UNSUNG Live,” a musical performance series where UNSUNG artists perform a hit song allowing fans to experience their amazing talent. The New Orleans native will perform his latest single “Caramel” in an intimate performance and discuss his musical comeback and his celebration of black beauty.

Photo Credit: TV One

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‘Black Panther,’ ‘Pose’ and more score Golden Globe Nominations

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The nominations for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards were announced recently and in the words of Insecure star Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody BLACK!”

A number of our favorite movies, TV shows and film soundtracks were nominating including BlackkklansmanGreen Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, FX’s groundbreaking LGBTQ series POSE and Black Panther’s “All the Stars” performed by Kendrick Lamar featuring SZA.

Actors and actresses nominated include Regina King, Stephan James, Thandi Newton and John David Washington

Check out all of the nominees below: 

BLACK PANTHER

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Best Original Song (“All The Stars”)

Best Original Score 

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Motion Picture –  Drama

Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Movie (Regina King)

Best Screenplay (Barry Jenkins)

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Best Director (Spike Lee)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture 

(John David Washington

GREEN BOOK 

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Movie (Mahershala Ali)

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 

Best Motion Picture – Animated 

POSE 

Best TV Series – Drama

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series Drama (Billy Porter)

STEPHAN JAMES 

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Drama

(“Homecoming”)

REGINA KING 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

(“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

Best Performance by an Actress an Actress in a Limited Series

(“Seven Seconds”)

DONALD GLOVER 

Best Performance  by an Actor  in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy

(“Atlanta”)

THANDIE NEWTON

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series 

(“Westworld”)

The Golden Globe Awards air on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 8 p.m. on NBC and is hosted by Killing Eve star Sandra Oh and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg.

Click here for the all of nominees.  

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Brian Tyree Henry to star in ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry has been cast in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.

According to VARIETY,  Henry will star opposite Millie Bobby Brown and will have a significant role in the film.  Godzilla vs. Kong will also feature Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Danai Gurira. It will arrive in theaters May 22, 2020.

Henry is currently starring in White Boy Rick and will also appear in Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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OWN & V-103 host a Season 3 Screening of ‘Greenleaf’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a few photos from Tuesday night’s Season 3 Atlanta Screening of Greenleaf.  The highly anticipated series returned to OWN this week in a two-night premiere with loads and loads of drama.

V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux

The screening took place at the SCAD Show (formerly 14th Street Playhouse) and was attended by a number of die-hard fans as well as media and Atlanta influencers. V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux served as the evening’s host and moderated a lively Q&A session featuring the show’s stars – Merle Dandridge, Lynn Whitfield, Deborah Joy Winans, Lamman Rucker and Keith David.

Merle Dandridge + Lynn Whitfield + Deborah Joy Winans

In season three of Greenleaf, all the turbulent forces that Grace’s (Dandridge) return to Memphis unleashed threaten to destroy not just the church her family built, but the family itself. Fallout from last season’s shocking revelation of Bishop’s (David) infidelities with Lady Mae’s (Whitfield) sister, as well as reverberations from his current dalliance with that insidious Jezebel, Rochelle Cross (LeToya Luckett) lead to all-out war in the Greenleaf home, setting the Bishop and Lady Mae on a collision course that, unless God or Grace intervenes, can only end one way: divorce.

Lamman Rucker + Keith David

In the wake of the marital mayhem, Lady Mae rushes to reconnect with Maxine Patterson (Patti LaBelle), an old friend and now a world-famous Christian motivational speaker, in an attempt to reclaim her forsaken call to preach and thus do what no First Lady has done before – survive as the sole head pastor of a megachurch after a major rift between its founding couple.

Merle Dandridge + Lynn Whitfield

Grace, meanwhile, works undercover in the company of Rochelle, hoping to discover Rochelle’s motives and true identity before the Bishop is swept away on a raging river of vanity and desire. Across town at Triumph, Jacob (Rucker) and Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne) try not to make the same mistakes Bishop and Lady Mae made as they work to build their own evangelical empire and manage parenting their teenage daughter Zora (Lovie Simone), but the roots of sin delve deep and old habits die hard.

Deborah Joy Winans

Sophia’s (Desiree Ross) faith is tested when an unforeseen medical issue arises; Charity (Winans) struggles to make peace with Kevin (Tye White) and find her place in the world; and Grace works to keep an abused woman from death row for the crime of defending her own life. Meanwhile, Darius (Rick Fox) finds himself in conflict due to being entangled in an increasingly strained relationship with Grace.

See more photos from the screening below:

Lynn Whitfield 

Lamman Rucker + Keith David

Keith David + Deborah Joy Winans + Merle Dandridge + Lamman Rucker

Will you be watching this season?

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Watch UPFRONT’s CAU-TV 23 Special featuring the cast of ‘Superfly’ (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Just in case you missed it…

Check out my 30-minute UPFRONT Special that aired on CAU-TV 23 this past weekend. It features interviews from the recent black carpet Atlanta premiere of Superfly as well as my exclusive with the film’s stars Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell and the film’s director – Director X.

Superfly is a remake of the classic 1972 film of the same name and features Jackson as Preist, a drug dealer who decides that he wants to get out of his dangerous trade. The film also stars veteran actors Esai Morales and Michael K. Williams along with newcomers Lex Scott Davis, Terayle Hill and Allen Maldonado.

Superfly also features a number of hip hop giants including Big Boi, Rick Ross and Big Bank Black. Multi-award winner Future serves as the film’s producer alongside Joel Silver, Palak Patel and Matthew Hirsch.

The UPFRONT Special was shot and produced by CAU-TV 23 and features music produced by The Dangerfeel Newbies – Mark Angel.

Check it out below and tell us what you think!

https://youtu.be/5y5jovHYCe4

Superfly is in theaters now!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Cardi B, Common, Brandy, Nas, Robert Glasper and more to appear at ‘One Music Fest’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Nas, Cardi B, Miguel, T.I., Brandy and Jeezy are just a few of the big music stars who will grace the One Musicfest stage in September. The two-day Atlanta based festival announced their acts this week with much excitement and fanfare.

It goes down on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 at Central Park in Atlanta and will include appearances by Kelis, August Green, Big Krit and legendary music icon George Clinton & Parliament.

Hailed as one of the nation’s “Can’t Miss Festivals,” ONE Musicfest returns for its ninth year with an unforgettable weekend of high-energy performances and unique cultural experiences. Over 20,000 attended last year, generating over 1.8 billion impressions and rave reviews from USA Today, Associated Press, Huffington Post and VIBE.

“We are all super excited about OMF 2018,” says founder Jason “J” Carter. “Growing into a two-day festival allows us to expand our roster, highlight more of the music that we love and give our audience an experience unlike any!”

Check out the full list of acts below:

August Greene featuring Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins

Big KRIT

Big Sean

Brandy

Cardi B

Davido

DJ Nabs’ ATL Crunk Set featuring YoungBloodz, Ying Yang Twins, Eastside Boyz, Trillville, Kilo Ali and DJ Taz

DVSN

George Clinton & Parliament

Goldlink

Jeezy

Jessie Reyez

Kelis

Miguel

Nas

Rapsody

St Beauty

T.I.

Teedra Moses

CLICK HERE for tickets!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and ONE MusicFest

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Stars of ‘Power,’ ‘Greenleaf’ and more attend ‘Kimmie Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

All eyes were on the ATL last night as SHEEN Magazine hosted its annual “Kimmie Awards.” The gala was held at the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Marquis and was attended by some of our favorite TV, film and social media stars.

The “Kimmie Awards” are named after SHEEN‘s beloved publisher Miss Kimberly Chapman and recognizes talented individuals for their outstanding contributions to hair & beauty, business, law and entertainment.

A number of this year’s honorees were in attendance including Power actor Rotimi, Greenleaf actress Deborah Joy Winans, music mogul Dr. Mathew Knowles, Bring It dance coach Dianna Williams, health and fitness expert A.D. Dolphin, celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson and celebrity hairstylist Razor Chic.

Additional honorees included Empire actress Serayah, Sister Circle Live co-host Miss Quad Webb-Lunceford and Lethal Weapon actress Keesha Sharp. 

Other special invited guests who hit the red carpet included Greenleaf actress Merle DandridgeProject Runway contestant Terri Stevens, Swirl Film’s Keith Neal, Saints & Sinners star Keith Robinson, reality stars Genise Shelton and Dr. Ron Williamson and PPM Entertainment artist Jas. 

Check out all the red carpet images below:

ROTIMI

MERLE DANDRIDGE

A.D. DOLPHIN

DEBORAH JOY WINANS

KEITH NEAL 

DIANNA WILLIAMS 

GENISE SHELTON +DR. RON WILLIAMSON 

 SHEEN RED CARPET CORRESPONDENTS WITH DR. MATHEW KNOWLES

JAS

AJ CRIMSON

TERRI STEVENS 

RAZOR CHIC

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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T.I. teams up with BET for ‘The Grand Hustle’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Grammy Award-winning hip hop star T.I. and BET Networks are coming together for a fierce new reality competition series titled, The Grand Hustle. The show will premiere on late nights beginning this summer.

The Grand Hustle features 16 business minded men and women vying for a coveted position and six-figure salary within Tip’s multimillion-dollar Grand Hustle business empire which he built from the ground up.

“The Grand Hustle Empire is always expanding so therefore we needed to add a very talented, highly skilled executive to our team,” said Harris. “It doesn’t matter if you got your hustle at Harvard or the hood, “THE GRAND HUSTLE” is about how you handle business and what you can do for the brand so I wanted to create a show that offers an equal playing field.”

The 12, one-hour episode series, is set in Atlanta and the candidates are determined to prove they have what it takes to out-hustle the rest. They serve up big deals and even bigger doses of drama each week as they fight for their seat at the table. Ultimately, only one will be crowned the Grand Hustler. The show is created and executive produced by Harris.

The Grand Hustle premieres on Thursday, July 19th at 10:00 p.m.

 Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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#UPFRONT featuring casts of ‘Unsolved’ & ‘Atlanta’ + Dr. Nsenga Burton talks Oscars (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

This week’s UPFRONT is pure fiyah! I’ll be talking to Emmy winning producer and director Anthony Hemingway and the cast of USA’S Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Bokeem Woodbine, Wavvy Jonez and Marcc Rose.

The 90th Oscars are this Sunday evening and CAU Mass Media Arts Chair, Dr. Nsenga Burton gives us her projected winners. Nominees include Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blige, Daniel Kaluuya and Octavia Spencer.

And closing out the show is an UPFRONT exclusive with the stars of FX’s ATLANTA. I attended the recent Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and captured interviews with Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry and more. 

I’ll also be playing music from Glover, Notorious B.I.G and Incognito featuring Mario Biondi and Chaka Khan.

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RC attends Closing Reception of ‘Jim Hill Art Exhibition’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure of ending Black History Month this week at the Closing Reception of United Nations Humanitarian of the Year Award Winner, Jim Hill and his Mosaic Master-Pieces Art Exhibit. The private affair took place at a swanky gallery in the West Midtown district of Atlanta and featured live jazz from my friend Eric Thomas and Elevate the Quest along with poetry and of course beautiful art.

Mr. Hill has spent most of his career educating youth in New York City schools and also worked as a fashion print model for 10 years. He talked to attendees about those life changing experiences and how he has always found great joy in helping others learn about Black history and culture through his art work.  His mosaics always incorporate his passion for love, live, and the struggles and triumphs of Black People throughout the African diaspora.

The event was also an opportunity for him to promote his new book Historical Blues – 100 Stories and 100 Pictures and as well as his new collection of work that pays tribute to Civil Rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. It also pays homage to his mother and to African American women in corporate America.

Check out a few more images from the reception below:

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com