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RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music

Da Brat to star in new theatrical version of ‘Set It Off’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy winning Hip Hop star Da Brat is starring in a theatrical adaptation of the 90s classic film, “Set It Off.” The show will have its Atlanta premiere March 9-11 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre followed up by performances in DC, LA, Chicago, Houston and Dallas.

According to the press release, Brat will be portraying the role of Cleopatra “Cleo” Sims, which was originally played by Oscar nominated actress Queen Latifah.

“Set If Off” was released in theatres nationwide on November 6, 1996 and was originally created by Takashi Bufford. It boasted one of the most superb casts ever assembled in a movie including Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith and Kimberly Elise. It also featured an equally powerful, platinum selling, chart-topping, cut straight to heart musical soundtrack with songs from En Vogue, Brandy, Tamia, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Busta Rhymes, Goodie Mob along with legendary music icons like Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan.

“Without a doubt, this will be one of the greatest stage plays ever seen in the urban theatre market,” stated Johnson. “From the type of action and to the movement on stage, it will be nothing short of jaw dropping. This will be the first piece of my career that will stretch me to the limits of what can be done and seen by our urban audience. I will be recreating the same intensity, same passion and same shock and awe, breathtaking moments that made this movie resonate with millions of people.”

The stage adaptation of “Set It Off” is written, directed and produced by Je’Caryous Johnson. To date, Johnson has toured over 20 stage play productions to sold out crowds and written over 36 plays.

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Recap

#UPFRONT attends ESSENCE Festival + Radio Row + Premieres + More

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

It gives me great pleasure to share my amazing coverage of the 2017 ESSENCE Festival. My arts and entertainment radio magazine—UPFRONT—was there to capture all of the sights and sounds of this year’s festivities as part of Radio Row.  My four-day weekend began on Thursday (June 29) with a special meet & greet + reception with the cast of the indie film, “STEP.”

“STEP” is the true-life story of a girls’ high-school step dance team in Baltimore, whose teachers, counselors, coaches and families, help them achieve their dreams of going off to college. It also takes viewers into the personal lives of three of the dancers— Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon—and their coach, Gari McIntyre.  The film has received rave reviews and was the winner of the Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

On Friday (June 30) #UPFRONT began its three day stint on Radio Row. It is one of three areas that celebrity attendees can meet press and conduct interviews. I was truly blessed to have interviewed so many people including cast members from the hugely popular “Orange Is The New Black,” TNT’s new breakout series, “Claws,”  FOX’s “Empire and Star.” I also got a chance to chat with the cast of FX’s “Snowfall” and the new series “The Mayor” and “Ghosted.”

Music divas CeCe Winans, Anita Wilson and Chanté Moore stopped by the table to discuss their new projects. Winans album, Let Them Fall In Love has been killing the gospel charts and is her best work to date. Wilson talked about covering the classic jazz tune “Here’s To Life” for her new album and Moore dished about her album, Rise of the Pheonix and recording her first Christmas CD this fall.

#UPFRONT also chatted with actress and singer Lil Mama (who is going by her real name Niatia) as well as celebrity stylists Mushiya Tshikuka, Razor Chic of Atlanta and Melvin Styles. However, the highlight of Radio Row was talking to New Thought Leader, Life Coach and TV Personality—Iyanla Vanzant. She opened up about her last season + why she continues to participate in the ESSENCE Festival. She also talked about what she has learned personally from doing her award winning show, “Iyanla Fix My Life.”

“What I’ve learned personally is how powerful God is. As Black people were taught, ‘don’t tell your business in the street.’ (LOL) But when there’s a call on someone’s life to serve God, these people are showing up in amazing ways. I’ve also learned how difficult a healing journey can be. People don’t want to suffer. They don’t want to hurt. They don’t want to destroy themselves. But if they don’t have the tools and the information to heal, that’s what they do. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time. I’m human. I can have my time off…my days off and I don’t have to be who people expect me to be.”

In addition to Radio Row, #UPFRONT was able to attend and capture images from the night time concerts. This year’s ESSENCE Festival theme was all about female empowerment, sisterhood and “staying woke” and the entertainers who performed were true reflections of that. Friday’s show included Rhonda Ross, India.Arie, John Legend and the Queen of Motown—DIANA ROSS.

This was Miss Ross’ first time appearing at the Festival since its inception in 1995 and she didn’t disappoint. Other performances included Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Solange, Monica, Lalah Hathaway, Remy Ma, Xscape, Master P, Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige.

Other highlights throughout the weekend included the NOLA premieres of “Girls Trip” featuring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. FX also screened its new drama, “Snowfall” which included appearances by the show’s cast + the creator and award winning director John Singleton. #UPFRONT also captured images of the casts from “Detroit,” OWN’s “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar” + Ava DuVernay and the “WOKE Women Awards.”

See all of the rest of the images below and click here to listen to the first of two radio shows featuring exclusive coverage of the ESSENCE Festival:

The Cast of “STEP”

Ray Cornelius on Radio Row

John Singleton and Damson Idris from FX’s “Snowfall”

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actors Isaiah John + Malcolm M. Mays

“Claws” stars Niecy Nash + Karrueche Tran

+ showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois

“Claws” cast with Ray Cornelius + UPFRONT Talent Producer Jess Manning

ESSENCE talking to “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright 

Ray Cornelius with FANDANGO Correspondent Chris Witherspoon

“She’s Gotta Have It” actress DeWanda Wise 

Ray Cornelius with “Empire” stars Ta’Rhonda Jones and Bryshere Y. Gray 

India.Arie

John Legend 

John Legend

John Legend 

DIANA ROSS

Ray Cornelius watching DIANA ROSS 

Ray Cornelius with the cast of “Detroit” – Jacob Latimore, Nathan Davis Jr., Algee Smith, Ephraim Sykes,  Joseph David-Jones

“The Haves and the Have Nots” Tyler Lepley,

Angela Robinson and Gavin Houston

Ava DuVernay during the “WOKE Women Awards” 

Jazmine Sullivan 

Tank + Angel Love + Angel Saunders

on the red carpet of the “Snowfall” NOLA Premiere

Remy Ma performing with her husband and rapper Papoose

Lalah Hathaway

Ray Cornelius with Iyanla Vanzant 

CeCe Winans talking about her new album, Let Them Fall In Love 

Ray Cornelius with CeCe Winans 

Ray Cornelius with Anita Wilson 

Ray Cornelius greeting “cousin” Chanté Moore

Ray Cornelius with Chanté Moore

Ray Cornelius interviewing Miss Lawrence of “STAR”

Ryan Destiny of “STAR”

Ray Cornelius with Miss Lawrence 

Issa Rae, Kofi Soriboe and Larenz Tate at “Girls Trip” NOLA Premiere

Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith at “Girls Trip” NOLA Premiere

Ray Cornelius with the cast of “The Mayor” – Brandon Michael Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown and show creator Jeremy Bronson

Ray Cornelius with Nicci Gilbert 

XSCAPE after their Super Lounge performance

Elle Varner

SHAGGY

Ray Cornelius with Craig Robinson of “Ghosted”

Ray Cornelius with Melvin Styles and Razor Chic of Atlanta 

Mushiya Tshikuka talking to #UPFRONT

Ava DuVernay with the cast of “Queen Sugar”

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actor Damson Idris 

Chanté Moore with June’s Diary

Ray Cornelius with Common 

Ray Cornelius with Big Freedia 

Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls 

Ray Cornelius with “Insecure” actress Yvonne Orji

Ray Cornelius with Tamika D. Mallory

Ray Cornelius with the fabulous Candace Ledbetter

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actors Isaiah John + Malcolm M. Mays

Common with cast of “Detroit” – Nathan Davis Jr.,

Jacob Latimore and Joseph David-Jones

THANK YOU ESSENCE FESTIVAL AND SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius and Mark Angel for RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, John Legend & Solange to play ESSENCE FEST

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The BOSS is coming to the BAYOU!

ESSENCE has announced today that legendary music and film icon Diana Ross is coming to the 2017 ESSENCE Festival for the very first time!  The Queen of Motown will headline the main stage along with “My Path to Strength” – a curated evening of performances by Mary J. Blige that will include Chaka Khan, Jazmine Sullivan and Erykah Badu.

Also gracing the stage is Atlanta’s Queen of Soul music India.Arie,  fashion icon and singer Solange, Grammy winning crooner John Legend and Nawlins native sons Master P. and Trombone Shorty.

Other performers include Sir The Baptist, Kelly Rowland’s girl group June’s Diary, Doug E. Fresh, The Jones Girls, Lalah Hathaway, Ro James, Teyana Taylor, Total, Tweet and more yet to be announced.

“This year’s Festival lineup puts women at the forefront of an incredible weekend of entertainment featuring more than 40 of the world’s most gifted artists and performers,” ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks says. “It is an honor to welcome the inimitable Diana Ross to the Festival for the first time. Plus, Festival veteran Mary J. Blige is back to share ‘Strength of a Woman’ with her most passionate fans.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, December 16. Click here to purchase.

The ESSENCE Festival is June 29-July 2 in New Orleans, LA!

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

John Legend, Chaka Khan, Busta Rhymes and more to appear on ‘Showtime at the Apollo’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

He’s back!!! Emmy winning entertainer Steve Harvey returns to his roots TONIGHT as the host of the world renowned “Showtime at the Apollo.” It airs beginning at 8 p.m. and includes two-hour of electrifying performances from some of music’s biggest names including John Legend, Chaka Khan, Flo Rida, EnVogue and Bell Biv Devoe. There will also be a special appearance from funnyman and fellow actor Mike Epps.

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The evening will also included the infamous Apollo Amateur Night – the long-running, live talent competition, now in its 82nd year – which provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform in front of the toughest audience in the world.

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The Apollo audience is famed as one of entertainment’s most boisterous and brutally honest and those amateurs who don’t win over the crowd risk being booed off the stage. Amateur Night at the Apollo has launched the careers of many iconic artists, including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, D’Angelo and countless others. The show continues to present new talent on the legendary Apollo stage every Wednesday night.  Also look for Steve Harvey to host an additional show in 2017!

Check out a few more images and watch the sneak peek video below:

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https://youtu.be/wS8KhSKRTDw

Photo Credits: FOX

Categories
Recap

#QueenofFunk Chaka Khan plays ATL’s Cobb Energy Centre [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

“Thank you for your prayers and your loving wishes” is what Grammy winning-music legend Chaka Khan said to the nearly sold out crowd Friday night at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Centre. The reigning “Queen of Funk” performed a powerful 75-minute set of her biggest hits after spending much of last month in a rehab facility.

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If you recall, Khan and her sister Yvonne Stevens aka Taka Boom turned themselves into an intensive rehabilitation and aftercare program due to their addiction to prescription drugs. The sisters were reportedly addicted to the same drugs that killed friend and fellow singer-songwriter Prince.

Khan opened the show with “Do You Like What You Feel?”and then segued into her 80’s hip hop classic, “I Feel For You.” After a thunderous applause, she shimmied her way into the Gold certified hit record, “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me,” which actually turned 35-years-old this past April.

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Khan, who has starred on Broadway and featured on numerous film soundtracks, appeared to be in good spirits and felt right at home in the 2,800 seat auditorium. “It’s good to be back in Atlanta. It’s been a minute, huh?”

Other songs performed throughout the night included the Rufus classic “Everlasting Love,” “Love Me Still” and then a medley of “Stay” and “Sweet Thang,” which brought the crowd to its feet. She then stepped away for a costume change and her band and trio of background singers performed a powerful version of her signature ballad, “Through the Fire.”

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Khan returned about 20-minutes later wearing a sparkling black and gold ensemble and performed “My Funny Valentine” which appeared on the hugely popular 1995 “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack. Following that was the funk hit that Stevie Wonder wrote for her titled “Tell Me Something Good.” She closed with her female disco anthem, “I’m Every Woman,” in which she asked all of the ladies in the audience to stand.

At the end of the show, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall presented Khan with a proclamation from the City of Atlanta declaring August 5th Chaka Khan Day!

A special shoutout to my friend and singer Cleveland P. Jones, who opened the show with Nick Rosen. Also, a BIG THANKS to Craig Garrett and Next Level Events for invite.

Check out more photos below:

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Chaka Khan T-Shirts were sold in the lobby of the Cobb Energy Centre

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Jazz 91.9 WCLK’s Jamal Ahmad hosted the show

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Cleveland P. Jones along with Nick Rosen opened for Chaka Khan

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Chaka Khan was the lead singer for the 70’s funk band Rufus 

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Chaka Khan is also an actress and has appeared on BroadwayIMG_2258

Chaka Khan is a 10-time Grammy winning-singer

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Chaka Khan is known around the world as the ‘Queen of Funk’

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Chaka Khan cooling off with her signature fan

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Chaka Khan with Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall 

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 Khan on stage with Jamal Ahmad, Craig M.Garrett and Kwanza Hall IMG_2347

Kwanza Hall presenting Khan with a proclamation from the City of Atlanta

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Chaka Khan was totally surprised about the proclamation

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August 5 is officially “CHAKA KHAN DAY” in the City of Atlanta

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Until the next time…

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
Recap

Amel Larrieux plays ATL’s City Winery [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

While everyone else was enjoying Sheila E. at Wolfcreek Amphitheater and T.I. at V-103’s Car and Bike Show on Saturday night, I was chillaxing to the smooth sounds of vocalist—Amel Larrieux.

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The former lead singer of the 90s R&B Soul duo Groove Theory played Atlanta’s City Winery for two sold-out performances at 5 and 8 pm. The ageless beauty, whose voice still sounds incredible, performed songs based on fan’s Twitter requests and audience suggestions. Her quartet also featured her oldest daughter Sky Larrieux on keys and acoustic guitar.

Her set list included “Give Up Something,” “Amazing Grace,” “If I Were A Bell,” “Searching for My Soul” and “Infinite Possibilities.”  She also performed a medley of Prince tunes including “I Would Die For You,” “Pop Life” and “Paisley Park.”  Larrieux considered the late music icon one of her mentors and regrets that she “didn’t get to properly say goodbye.”

She closed out her nearly two-hour show with “Don’t Let Me Down,” which was featured in the film “Beyond the Lights,” “Make Me Whole,” “Get Up” and the crowd favorite “Tell Me.” Her encore performance was Chaka Khan‘s disco/funk anthem “I Know You, I Live You.”

Check out exclusive images below:

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

Chaka Khan to resume performing in August beginning with ATL!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Despite turning herself into a rehab facility over an addiction to prescription drugs, R&B goddess Chaka Khan is expecting to perform as scheduled on August 5 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Center.

According to the show’s promoter, Craig Garrett of Next Level Events, Khan’s management has said that she will begin performing again starting with Atlanta and then on to Atlantic City, New Jersey, Grand Prairie, Texas and St. Louis. She is also going back into the studio to resume recording per her doctor’s recommendation.

Khan and her sister Yvonne Stevens aka Taka Boom are entering an intensive rehabilitation and aftercare program due to their addiction to prescription drugs says USA Today. The singer is reportedly addicted to the same medication that killed her friend and legendary pop star Prince. Both Khan and her sister have agreed to “take this journey together and support each other through the recovery.”

“Unfortunately, I will miss concert appearances over the summer,” said Khan in a statement. “However, it’s vital that I put my health and well-being first. I know that I am disappointing some of my fans, but I also know they would want me to recover and be well and healthy.”

Click here to purchase tickets!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Fashion

Taraji P. Henson is back as host of BET’s ‘Celebration of Gospel’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Multi-talented entertainer Taraji P. Henson returns as host of BET’s highly rated Celebration of Gospel. The Empire star is back for another year of foot stomping, toe-tapping, and hand clapping music as the best of gospel, R&B and hip-hop collide for one explosive night of television.

“I am thrilled to return to BET’s Celebration of Gospel. It is truly a celebration of the best in music with love and hope. A celebration of what brings us all together and reminds us of what is important,” said Taraji P. Henson.

This year’s telecast will feature soul-stirring performances by Pastor Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight along with contemporary artists Yolanda Adams, Eric Campbell, Tamela Mann, Tasha Cobbs and Preachers of Atlanta and Sunday Best alum Le’Andria Johnson.

There will also be appearances by Chrisette Michele, Tank, Kirk Franklin, Bebe Winans, Ty Tribbett, Donald Lawrence, Kurt Carr, Donnie McClurkin and Anthony Brown & Group Therapy. Closing out the show is Dr. Bobby Jones with a salute to the late Andraé Crouch.

BET’s Celebration of Gospel will tape on Saturday, January 9 and will premiere on Sunday, January 31 at 8 p.m. EST.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: TheYolandaAdamsMorningShow
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RC Exclusive - Fashion

Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, N.W.A nominated for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations goes out to R&B legend, Chaka Khan; pop/dance diva, Janet Jackson; and hip-hop pioneers, N.W.A. All three have received nominations for this year Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  The big news was announced earlier today and also includes disco icons, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and soul music titans, The Spinners.

Criteria for nominees require that at least 25 years must have passed since the release of their debut recording.  Fans of these artists have until December 9 to cast their votes.  According to Billboard, the top five acts will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that go along with those of the 800 artists, historians and music industry professionals who make up the Rock Hall voting body.

The final artists chosen will be announced in December and will be inducted next April.  HBO will cover the ceremony with plans to air it later on in the year.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

Chicago
Cheap Trick
Deep Purple
The Cars
Chaka Khan
Chic
The JB’s
Janet Jackson
Los Lobos
Steve Miller
N.W.A.
Nine Inch Nails
The Smiths
The Spinners
Yes

Click here to vote!

Photo Credit: TheGuardian.com

Categories
Recap

Mali Music, Chaka Khan, and Michelle Williams Biblical Musical ‘Revival’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Versatile actor Harry Lennix is teaming up with some of entertainment’s biggest names for a musical film of biblical proportion!  The project is titled, “Revival!” and it’s being described as a mixed media virtual experience of the gospel according to John the Apostle. It is also a hybrid of every film idiom including Broadway musical, Hollywood musical, animation, green screen technology, and sound stage.

“Revival!” features an all-star cast including Chaka Khan, Michelle Williams,Wendy Raquel Robinson, Dawwn Lewis, Brely Evans, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Siedah GarrettObba Babatundé, and Bishop Williams Murphy III. Rounding out the star power is Lennix as Pontius Pilate and introducing Mali Music as Jesus Christ.

The script is written by Lennix along with Holly Carter and co-directed by Babatundé and Danny Green. Steve Harris and Keymáh both serve as executive producers.

“This project brings moments of the Bible alive in a way that is awe inspiring, entertaining and maybe even life changing. It offers an incredible biblical and musical experience for audiences yearning for more inspirational storytelling,” says Carter.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think:

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Source and Photo Credit: IndieWire.com

Categories
Recap

ESSENCE adds Chaka Khan, Brandy & Lianne La Havas to Black Women In Music Event

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

ESSENCE has added some more star power to this year’s Black Women in Music Event.  The magazine announced Friday evening that in addition to Jill Scott performing, “the event would feature exclusive performances from Chaka Khan, Brandy and Lianne La Havas, who will collectively represent the classic eras in music —  70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond –in recognition of ESSENCE’s milestone 45th anniversary in 2015″

As previously reported, the invitation only affair spotlights the achievements of music’s biggest and brightest stars including industry veterans and rising talent. Past honorees have included Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae, Solange Knowles and this year’s scheduled performer, Lianne LaHavas.

“ESSENCE was groundbreaking in its founding 45 years ago, as is Jill Scott in her impact on music and the arts,” says Michelle Ebanks, President of ESSENCE. “She is a fearless innovator, and it is our honor to continue to build community by bringing together music industry influencers and fans during GRAMMY Week for an epic celebration.”

The event takes place on Thursday, February 5 followed by the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 8.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Instagram/ESSENCE

Categories
Recap

Chaka Khan to headline ATL’s UNCF Mayor’s Mask Ball

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

In what has become a highly anticipated tradition, there will be spectacular masks and elegant attire for an evening of style and glamour at UNCF’s 31st Annual Mayor’s Masked Ball on Saturday, December 20, Atlanta’s premier charity event of the holiday season. UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. will be joined as co-hosts by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Maurice Jenkins, UNCF Executive Vice President, National Development. R & B Recording Artist Chaka Khan will perform.

The UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and will begin at 7:00 p.m. Co-chairs for this year’s gala include Ms. Erica Qualls-Beatty, General Manager, Atlanta Marriott Marquis; Mr. Ed Baker, Publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Mr. Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., President, TWD, Inc. The Marquis Sponsors for the ball include The Coca- Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS. The co-founders of the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball are Ambassador Andrew Young and Ms. Billye Suber Aaron.

Chaka inside photo“The Mayor’s Masked Ball is always a spectacular evening supported by the leaders of Atlanta who share in our efforts to raise funds for the education of college students attending UNCF schools, four that are right there in Atlanta ” said Dr. Lomax. “The ball is UNCF’s signature event and significant opportunity to keep students in school and to help them graduate and go on to secure successful professional careers.”

UNCF’s Mayor’s Masked Ball welcomes more than 1,200 guests annually, many who are entertainers in film, television and music, sports figures, elected officials, civic leaders, dignitaries and volunteers. Past celebrities who have attended include actor Derrick “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins, Dawnn Lewis and Jasmine Guy stars of NBC TV sitcom “A Different World”; songwriter and recording artist Cee Lo Green formerly of “The Voice”; singer and actress Demetria McKinney of “Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns” and singer Jennifer Holliday, star of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.” Entertainment has been provided over the past few years by Fantasia, Frankie Beverly and Maze and Gladys Knight.

UNCF’s Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball has raised millions to support students who attend Atlanta’s four UNCF member institutions –Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College—Atlanta students attending other UNCF colleges and universities, and all of the 60,000 students who attend the 37 UNCF member institutions. This year the ball begins with a VIP reception and holiday silent auction, followed by the signature Parade of Stars and Dignitaries, an elegant dinner, and the Parade of Masks. Dancing and a performance by a national recording artist. .

General admission tickets can be purchased for $550 each and corporate sponsorships are also available.

Photo Credits: UNCF.org

Categories
Respect

‘Godfather of House Music’ dead at 59 (VIDEOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

House Music pioneer Frankie Knuckles died on Monday afternoon at the age of 59 of complications due to diabetes.  Best known as the ‘Godfather of House Music’ Knuckles would become one of the world’s most respected DJs, music producers and remixers in the industry.

Born in the Bronx in 1955, Knuckles moved to Chicago in the 70’s where he started spinning at the infamous Warehouse – the club that has been credited as the birthplace of house music. He later open his own establishment in 1983 called The Power Plant.

Knuckles would continue spinning and producing throughout the 80’s and 90’s, eventually releasing his own debut album in 1991 titled Beyond the Mix.  The groundbreaking project included the hit singles “Rainfalls,” “Workout,” and “The Whistle Song.”

Knuckles also worked with a number of musical heavy weights including the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, Sound of Blackness and Toni Braxton.

The Grammy-winning artist was also inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievement as a DJ in 2005.

Check out a few of his remixes below:

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Photo Credit: The HollywoodReporter.com

Categories
Recap

Oprah celebrates all things ‘Hair’ in O Magazine’s September Issue

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Oprah Winfrey loves BIG hair!

No seriously, the Butler  actress and media maven is sporting her biggest hairdo ever for the September issue of her O Magazine. The custom made 3.5 pound wig dominates the cover along with her hot orange V-neck dress and famous, mega-watt smile.

According to Winfrey, this is her favorite cover to date and shared it on Monday via Facebook: “Just revealed this new cover of O, The Oprah Magazine — one of my faves ever,” she wrote. “Let’s talk about HAIR! Love this cover so much, I’m making it my new profile pic!”

Reportedly the wig was created by Kim Kimble, weave guru and reality star of L.A. Hair.  The hair was also transported in bubble wrap and a custom-made, bright pink travel box with a built-in stand to keep it upright and is affectionately known as  ‘wild thang.’

A consumate wig-wearer, Winfrey went on to say this about the ginormous afro, “I wish I could say it was all mine. In fact it’s borrowed. And it feels like carrying around an extra head.”

Diana Ross…eat your heart out!

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