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TV Icon Norman Lear Saluted by Usher, Jasmine Guy, Kim Fields and More! [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of TV’s most iconic actors came out last night to salute the man who helped launch their careers and changed the face of television forever. I am talking about none other than legendary producer and content creator Norman Lear.

He was in Atlanta Monday evening for an all-star tribute to his phenomenal career as well as the promotion of his new book Even This I Get to Experience and the 40th Anniversary of The Jeffersons, one of the longest-running sitcoms in American television history.

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The event took place at Morehouse College and was attended by Usher, Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy, Brad James, Keshia Knight Pullman and Terri J. Vaughn. Veteran actress and star of The Jeffersons Marla Gibbs aka “Florence” was also there to pay homage to her long-time friend along with her daughter and fellow actress Angela Gibbs. Famed casting director Reuben Cannon was also present as well as Terrell Whitley of Liquid Soul Media and Bart Phillips of Sunseeker Media.

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The event opened with a hip-hop version of The Jeffersons’ theme song, “Movin’ On Up” performed by D.R.E.S the BEATnik and then into an intimate conversation between Mr. Lear and Dr. Stephanie Dunn. She is an Assistant English Professor at Morehouse’s new Cinema Television and Emerging Media Studies program and specializes in film, African-American cultural studies and and literature.

Mr. Lear is one of the most recognizable names in television history and was responsible for producing and creating such groundbreaking sitcoms like All In The Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Goodtimes, Maude, What’s Happening, 227  and many more. At one point in his career, he had nine shows on television at the same time.

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Throughout the conversation, the 93-year-old talked about the memorable characters he created, some of the behind-the-scenes drama on the shows and why he chose to write storylines based on such taboo subjects as race, politics, sexuality and religion. In addition to the conversation, the audience got a chance to see snippets of Lear’s most memorable “Jeffersons” episodes as well as re-enactments of a few other landmark episodes performed by Morehouse College students and the actors in attendance.

Check out more photos below:

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Even This I Get to Experience is Norman Lears’ new book

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Usher talking about the impact TV had on his childhood

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Marla Gibbs re-anacting her character “Florence” with Terri J. Vaughn 

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Kim Fields and her mother Chip Fields both worked with Mr. Lear

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Atlanta actor Ali Amin Carter with filmmaker Julie Dash

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Angela and Marla Gibbs 

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Usher getting his book signed by Mr. Lear 

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Terrell Whitley, Kim Fields, Christopher Morgan and Bart Phillips 

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Morehouse College President John Wilson and wife with actor Brad James

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Mr. Lear signed books afterwards

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Snoop Dogg, Goodie Mob and Erykah Badu play the One Music Fest + PHOTOS

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Atlanta’s Masquerade Music Park was filled to capacity this weekend for the 2013 One Music Fest.  Now in its fourth year, the outdoor concert promotes unity through music with performances from diverse acts ranging from alternative rock to hip-hop.

This year’s festival boasted an impressive line-up of acts that included rap icon Snoop Dogg, R&B newcomer Luke James, hip-hop star Joey Bada$$, soul music vocalist Goapele. The show was also hosted by D.R.E.S tha BEATnik and Joi, formerly of the group Lucy Pearl.

Philadelphia vocalist Res also graced the secondary “Purple Rain” stage along with Atlanta’s own Ruby Velle & The SoulPhonics. Their sound is easily comparable to that of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings as well as the late Amy Winehouse.

Groove Theory’s Amel Larrieux was scheduled to perform but pulled out at the last minute due to a sudden illness. However, Erykah Badu aka Lo Down Loretta Brown stepped right in and performed a 30-minute set of her classic songs including “Appletree,” “Bag Lady” and “I Want You.”

However, the biggest surprise of the evening was the reunion of Goodie Mob. The pioneers of Atlanta’s hip-hop-soul music scene performed a lengthy set of their greatest hits as well as a  few new songs from their current album, Age Against the Machine.  Cee Lo Green also introduced his new artist and protégé V-Bozeman, who wowed the audience with her version of the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha,” a song that was co-written and produced by Green.

Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion closed out the festival with a medley of all of his hits. He was joined on stage by three dancers and a dog mascot wearing a “Nasty Dogg” T-shirt and carrying a blunt in his hands. Only Uncle Snoop could get away with such a show!

Check out the amazing photos below:

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 Grammy-nominated singer Luke James opened the One Music Fest

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 James set included snippets of MJ’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”

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 Luke James recently opened for Beyoncé and her Mrs. Carter World Tour

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Hip-Hop’s D.R.E.S tha BEATnik served as the host for this year’s fest

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 Indie rapper Joey Bada$$ rocked the mic

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Atlanta’s own Ruby Velle & The SoulPhonics hit the stage

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 Soul music vocalist Joi served as the host for the all day festival

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 One Music Fest People’s Choice Winner, Methuzulah

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 Erykah Badu stepped in for Amel Larrieux who wasn’t able to perform

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 Badu rocked floor length braids

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 Badu is currently working on a new album

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 Badu is also a noted actress and has appeared in The Cider House Rules  and Blues Brothers 2000

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 Badu with One Music Fest creator Jay Carter

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 Soul music vocalist Algebra and Anthony David enjoying the sights and sounds of the Festival

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 Philadelphia vocalist Res is part of the duo Idle Warship with Talib Kweli

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 Cee Lo Green of Goodie Mob

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 Goodie Mob is currently promoting their new album, Age Against the Machine

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 Bigg Gipp enjoying the crowd at One Music Fest

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 Cee Lo Green’s new artist and protégé V-Bozeman brought some flair to the Goodie Mob set

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 Cee Lo Green is one half of the group, Gnarls Barkley featuring Danger Mouse

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 Snoop Dogg was the headliner of One Music Fest

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 Snoop Dogg is also known as Snoop Lion and Uncle Snoop

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 Snoop Dogg will host the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards taping in Atlanta on September 28

Photo Credit: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com