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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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Watch Crystal Fox, Bresha Webb and more in ‘Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace’ (VIDEO)

Check out the trailer for Tyler Perry‘s upcoming Netflix thriller, A Fall from Grace. The drama features all of my favs—Crystal Fox, Bresha Webb, Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson and debuts on January 17.

A Fall from Grace features Fox as Grace Waters, a divorced woman whose faith in love is restored by a new romance with Shannon, played by Mehcad Brooks. But when secrets surface, Grace’s vulnerable side turns violent.

A Fall from Grace was written and directed by Tyler Perry.

Will You Be Tuning In?

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OWN presents Ava DuVernay’s ‘Cherish the Day’ (VIDEO)

Check out the teaser trailer for OWN’s new original anthology drama 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, which is set for a February 2020 premiere, is produced for OWN by ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Tanya Hamilton, and Oprah Winfrey serve as executive producers. 

WILL YOU BE WATCHING CHERISH THE DAY?

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Cicely Tyson to star in OWN’s new series ‘Cherish the Day’

Ava DuVernay is adding more star power to her new OWN series Cherish the Day. Screen legend and film icon—CICELY TYSON—will be a series regular and joins previously announced actors Xosha Roquemore and Alano Miller.

Cherish the Day, chronicles the stirring romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The season-long 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.

Tyson will star as Miss Luma Lee Langston, a legendary star of stage and screen in decades past. She is also the employer of Gently James, played by Roquemore.

Cherish the Day is produced for OWN by Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Acclaimed filmmaker Tanya Hamilton (Queen SugarNight Catches Us) will direct the Cherish the Day series premiere written by DuVernay.

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

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Cicely Tyson, Ledisi, Angela Bassett + more attend ‘Ailey 60’ Opening Night Gala [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Last night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre‘s 60th Anniversary holiday season at New York City Center kicked off with a star-studded Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, with iconic film stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson as honorary chairs.

Robert Battle with Cicely Tyson

Prudential Financial received the Ailey Legacy Honor for their generous support and commitment to Ailey, especially its education and community programs. The award was presented by Battle and Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural Ailey Camp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, and accepted by Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact at Prudential Financial.

Hope Boykin + Angela Bassett

 The one-night-only program featured tributes to the Company’s legendary founder with a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion entitled For Alvin by Robert Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminated with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (12-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist), Kenny Lattimore (Grammy-nominated R&B singer), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning gospel singer), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano).  Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece that celebrates Ailey and brings his voice and presence back to the stage (created in collaboration with Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc.), also premiered.

Robert Battle + Kenny Lattimore + Judith Jamison + Jussie Smollett

“Alvin Ailey said ‘I’m trying to hold up a mirror to society so that people can see how beautiful they are.’  In 1958, before the Civil Rights Movement, he “Made a Way Out of No Way” on a trailblazing journey to becoming one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history,” stated Robert Battle. “His celebration of the human spirit has lifted us up and brought us together, and his spirit still runs through the veins of this organization.”

Lucinda Martinez, Honorary Chairs Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson , Artistic Director Robert Battle, Sidra Smith, B.Michael and guests

Special guests from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, and philanthropy included Carmen de LavalladeSusan Fales-Hill, Jane Krakowski, Naturi Naughton, Soledad O’Brien, Amanda Seales, Bevy Smith, Jussie Smollett, Susan L. Taylor, Ben Vereen, Elaine Wynn, B. Michael, George Faison and many more. After the performance, the celebration continued at the New York Midtown Hilton’s Grand Ballroom where approximately 900 guests joined Battle, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, and the stars ofAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater for dinner and dancing with live music by the premier band Élan Artists.

Ailey Dancers performing “Revelations”

In addition, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the City of New York, and New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal joined in celebration by sending written proclamations recognizing Ailey’s many achievements over the last 60 years.

Throughout December, Ailey’s 32 remarkable dancers will unveil four premieres, two new productions, and a variety of returning favorites, classics, and special programs. The Company will continue to inspire audiences across North America with a 21-city tour beginning in January 2019. For more information, visit alvinailey.org.

See more pics below:

Carmen de Lavallade + George Faison + Sidra Smith +

Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters

Ailey Board Member Lucinda Martinez +

Amanda Seales + Bevy Smith + Beverly Bond

Jussie Smollett + Angela Bassett

Naturi Naughton

Gala Co-Chair and Ailey Board President Debra Lee + Artistic Director Robert Battle

Amanda Seales + Sidra Smith + Jacque Reid

Erica Campbell + Kenny Lattimore + Ledisi + Brandie Inez

The Legendary Cicely Tyson

Photo Credits: Christopher Duggan and Donna Ward

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Watch Cicely Tyson receive her Honorary Oscar (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

“This is the culmination of all those years of have and have nots…”

That is what iconic actress CICELY TYSON told the audience during Sunday night’s 2018 Governors Awards. The Tony-Award winning Broadway star, who is turning 94-years-old on December 18, was recognized for her legendary career.

She opened her 11-minute speech by recalling her 1973 Oscar nomination for the role of Rebecca Morgan in the film version of Sounder. She was nominated alongside Diana Ross, Liv Ullman, Maggie Smith and Liza Minelli, who won the award for her role in Cabaret.

Tyson also talked about inviting her friend Arthur Mitchell to escort her to the ceremony. He attended the Oscars with her in 1973 but was unable to do so this time around due to illness. Unfortunately, he died two days after she extended her invitation.

Tyson ended her speech by recognizing Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and her mother, whom she claims wasn’t proud of her decision to become an actress until she appeared in the 1974 television movie The Story of Miss Jane Pitman.

Tyson is by far one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and has a body of work that most actresses dream of. She admitted that she sat there and wept when she received the call from her agent that she was being recognized by the Academy.

Oscar nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay did the honors of presenting Tyson with the award. Other notables in attendance to help her celebrate were Winfrey along with Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins and Lee Daniels.

Watch the entire speech below:

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‘Nobody’s Fool’ Cast attends NYC Premiere [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The stars aligned this past weekend at the AMC Lincoln Square for the New York City premiere of Tyler Perry‘s newest comedy Nobody’s Fool. All of the film’s actors joined Mr. Perry for a star-studded red carpet screening.

Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by the book sister Danica (Tika Sumpter) to help her get back on track. As these polar opposites collide — with hilarious and sometimes disastrous results — Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life — including her mysterious boyfriend — may not be what it seems.

Nobody’s Fool also stars iconic EGOT performer Whoopi Goldberg, Power actor Omari Hardwick, stage and music diva Amber Riley and film heart-throb Mecad Brooks.

Other celebrities in attendance included media mavens Gayle King and Bevy Smith, versatile actors Micheal K. Williams, Malik Yoba and Leon, hip hop icon Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, OITNB actress Danielle Brooks, fashion icon June Ambrose, film legend Cicely Tyson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Nobody’s Fool opens in theaters this Friday Nov. 2. Click here to watch the trailer.

Check out all of the red carpet photos below:

Whoopi Goldberg + Cicely Tyson +  Tyler Perry + Rev. Al Sharpton

Tika Sumpter + Omari Hardwick

Tiffany Haddish + 50 Cent + Malik Yoba

Tyler Perry + Omari Hardwick + Gayle King

Danielle Brooks

Michael K. Williams

LEON

June Ambrose + Tika Sumpter

Tyler Perry + Mark Swinton + Will Areu

Amber Riley + Tiffany Haddish + Tika Sumpter

Photo Credits: Dave Allocca/Starpix

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Cicely Tyson to receive Honorary Oscar on November 18 (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Stage, screen and TV legend CICELY TYSON will be receiving an Honorary Oscar at the 10th Annual Governors Awards on November 18.  The award ceremony is  hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and is given to individuals for lifetime achievement and exceptional contributions to the state of motion pictures arts and sciences. 

Tyson will be recognized alongside publicist Marvin Levy, composer Lalo Schifrin and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

“Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this year, its selection of five iconic artists was made with universal acclaim by the Academy’s 54 spirited governors,” said Academy President John Bailey.

Tyson has appeared in at least 28 films including “Hoodlum,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Bustin Loose,” “The Help,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Sounder,” where she picked up her first Academy Award nomination. However, it was her role in the 1974 classic “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman,” that showed her range as an actress and leading lady.

In addition to TV and film, she has appeared on Broadway and picked up a Tony Award for the 2013 production of “A Trip to Bountiful.”

Congratulations Ms. Tyson!

Photo Credit: ELLE.com

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Cicely Tyson + Tessa Thompson cover ELLE Magazine [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to Tony-winning TV and film icon—Cicely Tyson! The 92-year-old actress and activist looks absolutely amazing on the November issue of ELLE Magazine. She is just one of many famous faces featured on the “Women in Hollywood” issue.

Tyson opens up about the “sheroes” who influenced her long-lasting career:

“At the very beginning of my career, I had a teacher whose name was Vinnette Carroll; she directed a number of Broadway shows. She kept saying to me, “You know the problem with beautiful women? They tend to rely on their beauty.” And I said, How wrong she is! I never think of myself as being beautiful. I thought, What are you talking about? I work so hard. And I did. But I learned from her how important it is to learn your craft. When all else fails, you will land on that, and that alone.”

Versatile actress Tessa Thompson of “Dear White People” and “Creed” also appears on the cover and gets real about her views on traditional roles…

“I think our ideas about what a young black person or a young Mexican person or a young white person should be like weren’t as expansive then as they are now. It made me think I had to fit into a box. The one-dimensional girlfriend or the sassy black friend—those weren’t going to work for me.”

Other divas featured on the cover include: Jennifer Lawrence, Laura Dern, Jessica Chastain, Margot Robbie, Riley Keough and Kathleen Kennedy.

ELLE’s November issue hits newsstands on October 17.

Photo Credits: ELLE.com

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Tim Story developing an HBO film about Harlem’s Stephanie St. Clair

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

DEADLINE is reporting that Tim Story is teaming up with Zero Gravity Management for a new HBO film about the life and times of Harlem mobster and numbers runner Stephanie St. Clair.

ca.1930 — Portrait of Mme. Stephanie St. Claire, 1930. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The film will be based on the book, The World of Stephanie St. Clair: An Entrepreneur, Race Woman and Outlaw in the Early Twentieth Century Harlem by Shirley Stewart.

St. Clair, better known as Madame Queenie, was one of the most fascinating women of her time. She was a Caribbean-born immigrant that came to the U.S. with nothing and later built a criminal empire that featured a lottery system called, The Policy Bank. She was also an activist that spoke out about voting rights for African Americans and police brutality.

I remember seeing legendary TV and film actress—Cicely Tyson—portray her in the 90s hit film, “Hoodlum” and thought she was fabulous  and fierce. I later caught the TV One “Crime Files” episode on her life that gave me a deeper understanding of who she was and fell more in love with her persona. Last year, we reported that pop music icon Janet Jackson was teaming up with Tony-winning Broadway director Kenny Leon for a Lifetime movie about her.

I always thought St. Clair’s life would make a great television movie or big screen film. It definitely has all the elements needed for a great drama – money, sex, mystery and murder.

RC will definitely keep you posted as this story continues to develop.

Click here to watch TV One’s “Crime Files” episode on Stephanie St. Clair!

Photo Credit: Blanks.fr

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‘Atlanta,’ ‘This Is Us’, ‘Drag Race’ & ‘Black-ish’ receive Emmy Nods

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS to the casts of FX’s comedy series “Atlanta,” ABC’s “Black-ish” and NBC’s “This Is Us.” All three picked up Emmy nominations on Thursday morning during the official announcement ceremony.

Other nominees include “Black-ish” stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, “Atlanta” star Donald Glover, “How To Get Away with Murder” actress Viola Davis and “This Is Us” actors Sterling K. Brown, Ron Cephas Jones and Milo Ventimiglia.

HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” picked up a nomination for Best Television Movie while “RuPaul’s Drag Race” scored three nods including Best Reality Host for RuPaul. Other nominees include Jeffrey Wright, Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, Wanda Sykes, Titus Burgess, Regina King, Snoop Dogg, Dave ChappelleW. Kamau Bell and Leslie Jones.

The “69th Emmy Awards” will air live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS and his hosted by Stephen Colbert.

Click here to see the full list of nominees.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson & others receive ‘Medal of Freedom’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to legends Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. All four of them received the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom this afternoon during a ceremony at the White House. President Barack Obama awarded the quartet along with other fellow entertainers Bruce Springsteen, Robert Dinero, Ellen DeGeneresTom Hanks, Robert Redford and 12 others.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest award a U.S. Citizen can receive and recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.

This is not the first time Ross and Tyson have been recognized for their amazing talents at the same time. The iconic film stars were both nominees in the “Best Actress” category during the 1973 Academy Awards. Ross for her portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in “Lady Sings the Blues” and Tyson for her role as Rebecca Morgan in the film adaptation of the children’s book, “Sounder.” They both lost to Liza Minnelli for her role in “Cabaret.”

Past “Medal of Freedom” recipients include Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Oprah Winfrey and Sidney Poitier.

Check out the full ceremony below:

Photo Credit: Instagram

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WATCH Trailer for Dr. Maya Angelou Documentary ‘And Still I Rise’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the trailer for the first documentary on the life and times of award winning writer, poet, actress and activist—Dr. Maya Angelou. Appropriately titled, “And Still I Rise,” the film features appearances by her family and many of her close celebrity friends including Oprah Winfrey, Cicely Tyson, Common, Alfre Woodard, Diahann Carroll and Louis Gossett Jr. Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also make a special appearance.  Take a look below and see the full film in theaters on October 14.

Photo Credit: MayaAngelousFilm.com

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‘House of Hillary’ is more than just a fashion statement!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

So you want to commemorate Hillary Clinton‘s historic moment as the first woman to lead a presidential ticket for a major party?  Well, the House of Hillary may have just what you need to get started. It’s a new line of high quality T-Shirts that promote Clinton as America’s first female President as well as other empowering messages about women in politics.

The “Clinton Couture” line ranges from T-Shirts to Tank Tops to Baby Onesies with such pop culture slogans featured on them like “Hillary -vs- Everyone,” “I met the President and He’s a Woman” and “High Heels High Office.”

I had a chance to chat recently with the line’s creator, Curtis Thomas, who claims that each House of Hillary item was designed to encourage a new generation of legislators, senators and congressional leaders. He also wants them to understand that exercising their political power and rights go far beyond the polls.

crop
“The House of Hillary was really just a concept to try to keep young people engaged and to keep them involved with an overall awareness to the issues at play. What can be cooler than a T-Shirt? Something that can really galvanize and organize people. Politics needed to catch up with the times and this is my contribution to that,” says Thomas.  “My focus is also young people who may be a little turned off by politics right now. So we’re trying to make them understand that there is a role for them to play and it’s not always just at the voting booth.”

Thomas also expressed that while the clothing line may possess Clinton’s name, it’s not so much about her as it is about getting more women in political offices.

DSC_8302

“Yes, Hillary is our preferred candidate. However, we know that politics works through coalitions and people working together. Of course within a party system, everyone doesn’t like the same person yet a lot of the same goals overlap. Some of the shirts have her [Hillary Clinton] name on them and do speak to her candidacy but then there are those that speak to Democrats in general or progressive ideas or just women voting. Take the T-Shirt that says, ‘Polls Before Bros.’ If you look at the makeup of Congress which is overwhelming male and you look at our voting population which is overwhelmingly female, that shirt is just trying to give a little bit of recognition to the voting power of women. It also encourages them to run for office.”

Celebrity endorsements of the brand have come from actress Garcelle Beauvais and “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Gizelle Bryant. They’ve also gotten a few retweets from “The Talk” host and comedienne Sheryl Underwood as well as TV and film legend Cicely Tyson.

Click here to check it out and get your House of Hillary today!