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Sneak Peek of the ’26th Annual Bounce Trumpet Awards’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BounceTV has released a first look at the “26th Annual Trumpet Awards” and I can hardly contain my excitement. I had the honor of covering the red carpet this year along with CAU-TV 23 for a television special that will air before the show on February 11.

This year’s honorees include Jermaine Dupri, Cameo, Richelieu “Rich” Dennis, Tamika Mallory, Marley Dias, Dr. Lonnie Johnson and Rhyon Brown.

The show is hosted by Larenz Tate and Erica Ash and was attended by actress Ashley Love-Mills, “Saints and Sinners” stars Vanessa Bell CallowayDonna Biscoe and Jasmine Burke, comedian Rodney PerryHGTV star Egypt Sherrod, Judge Penny Reynolds, actress DeEtta West, hip hop icon Ed Lover, actor and singer T.C. Carson.

Performers include Ludacris, Doug E. Fresh, XscapeSir the Baptist, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, Arrested Development and “The Voice” star Wé McDonald and more.

Take a look + see more pics from the red carpet and more:

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Jermaine Dupri & more honored at ‘Bounce Trumpet Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was all about African-American achievement Saturday night during the 2018 “Bounce Trumpet Awards.” The annual ceremony was taped at the beautiful Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center and yours truly was in the building to capture all of the sights and sounds.

Ray Cornelius with Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton

My radio show, UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry teamed up with CAU-TV 23 to cover the red carpet for a future television special. I got a chance to interview a number of the evening’s honorees including Music Innovation Award recipient Jermaine Dupri, teen sensation and Trailblazer Award recipient Marley Dias and Rising Star Award recipient Rhyon Brown.

Ray Cornelius with Larenz Tate

I also got a chance to chop it up with the show’s hosts—Larenz Tate and Erica Ash as well as celebrity attendees Ashley Love-Mills, “Saints and Sinners” stars Vanessa Bell Calloway, Donna Biscoe and Jasmine Burke + Red Carpet hosts Demetria McKinney and Ed Gordon.  I also got additional interviews with comedian Rodney Perry, HGTV star Egypt Sherrod, Judge Penny Reynolds, actress DeEtta West, hip hop icon Ed Lover, actor and singer T.C. Carson + performers Xscape, Sir the Baptist, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, Arrested Development and “The Voice” star Wé McDonald.

Angie Stone with Ed Gordon and Lamman Rucker

After the red carpet, I got an opportunity to get a few more pictures of the show’s other honorees including Tamika Mallory, Dr. Lonnie Johnson and Rich Dennis. Performers MAJOR., Donald Lawrence, Stokley Williams, KeKe Wyatt, Arrested Development and Angie Stone also stopped through the press room along with presenters Angel Conwell, Omar Gooding, Lamman Rucker and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

My “Red Carpet Trumpet Awards Special” will air on CAU-TV 23 on Sunday, February 11 a little before the “Bounce Trumpet Awards” at 9 p.m. Stay tuned…

Check out more images below:

Ray Cornelius and UPFRONT on the red carpet

Ray Cornelius with “Bounce Trumpet Award” host Erica Ash 

Anthony Hamilton 

Honoree Rich Dennis 

MAJOR. 

Honoree Tamika Mallory 

Ray Cornelius with red carpet host Demetria McKinney

Ray Cornelius with Ashley Love Mills

Angie Stone showing us love

Ray Cornelius with “If Loving You is Wrong” actress April Parker Jones

The cast of Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners”

(l to r) Tasia Grant, Dawn Half Kenny, Clifton Powell,

Vanessa Bell Calloway, Keith Robinson, Jasmine Burke and Donna Biscoe

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms 

Honoree Marley Dias 

Angel Conwell and Omar Gooding

Honoree Dr. Lonnie Johnson 

Sir the Baptist 

Wé McDonald

Donald Lawrence 

Stokley Williams 

Arrested Development 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius

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Recap

Kelly Price, Trina, Major. + more perform at Hurricane Relief Concert [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out photos from Grammy® nominated singer Kelly Price‘s recent Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at ATL’s City Winery. The event was presented through Price’s TriFectHer Entertainment and featured heart-felt performances from Price along with her industry friends—Gritz and Jelly Butter, Algebra Blessett, Major., Donell Jones, Pastor Troy, Big Freedia, Mia X, Raheem DeVaughn, Trina, Case, 112, Kelly Price, and Slick Rick and more.

This was a ticketed event in which all proceeds, including ticket sales, wine sales, a silent auction, and physical donations will be donated to recover the lives of the families affected by Hurricanes – Harvey and Irma.  The evening was hosted by Ed Lover and model actress Eva Marcille!

Check out more photos below:

BIG FREEDIA

EVA MARCILLE

MAJOR.

SLICK RICK 

MIA X WITH 112

TRINA

RAHEEM DEVAUGHN

ED LOVER

MAYOR KASIM REED 

Photo Credits: Michael Walker/UMeek Images

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Recap

ATL Stars attend ‘Rickey Smiley for Real’ Watch Party [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The new season of TV One’s popular docu-series “Rickey Smiley for Real” debuted Tuesday night to much fanfare. The beloved comedian and his cast hosted an exclusive watch party at Atlantic Station’s Regal Cinema in Midtown – Atlanta.

“Rickey Smiley For Real” takes a humorous look at Rickey Smiley’s hectic life as he juggles his career as a nationally syndicated radio host, stand-up comedian, actor, TV personality and businessman along with his daily duties as a single father of five. Being a mega media mogul is not always as a glamourous as it’s cracked up to be; Rickey is constantly pulled in different directions between the demands of fatherhood and the needs of his work family.  Nonetheless, he keeps them all laughing while they navigate new experiences together!

Cast members in attendance included Da Brat with her musical protégé Cornbread, Headkrack, Juicy, Gary with the Tea and Porsha Williams. Other celebrities in attendance included media personalities Ed Lover and Willie Moore Jr., singer and former reality star Meelah, reality star Tommie Lee + actors Reece Odum and Mike Merrill.

Check out a clip below + more red carpet photos:

Da Brat and Cornbread 

Porsha Williams 

Headkrack 

Meelah 

Mike Merrill 

Reece Odum 

Willie Moore Jr. and his family

Photo Credit: James Pray for TV One

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Big Boi honored during PEPSI’s #ChampionTheDream [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

PepsiCo closed out Black History Month with a bang this week by presenting its “Champion The Dream” Event. The world renowned soft drink giant partnered with the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment for an inspirational conversation with some of the city’s top innovators and philanthropists. They also honored ATL’s own Big Boi for his outstanding musical career as part of the iconic hip hop duo Outkast and for his community engagement through his Big Kidz Foundation.

The invitation only event took place at the Park Tavern, which is located on the edge of historic Piedmont Park, and featured an illustrious panel of speakers including Jennifer Keitt of the Keitt Institute, Amplify4Good Founder and CEO Joey Womack, Phoenix Leadership Foundation’s Jay Bailey and BlackCelebrityGiving.com’s Jasmine Crowe. The evening was also co-hosted by media personality Rashana Ali and V-103’s Big Tigger.

A few notables were spotted on the red carpet including “Survivor’s Remorse” actress and Atlanta native Erica Ash, hip hop icon and radio personality Ed Lover, Food Network star Chef Wells, BET’s “The Quad” actor Kevin Savage, Funk Jazz Kafe creator and rising filmmaker Jason Orr, Stellar Award winning gospel singer Ted Winn, Atlanta City Councilman and mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall and his wife Natalie and veteran music industry executive Shanti Das.

Check out photos below:

Rashana Ali

Chef Will

Kawan Prather aka “KP the Great” provided dope sounds

Kevin Savage

Jasmine Crowe

Kwanza and Natalie Hall 

Big Boi explaining how he champions his dreams

Shanti Das 

Ted Winn

Attendees enjoying the #ChampionTheDream experience

Big Tigger talking to the panelists:

Jennifer Keitt, Jay Bailey, Joey Womack and Jasmine Crowe

Everybody say CHEESE!

Big Boi with Erica Ash

Jason Orr

Big Tigger

Big Boi with Ed Lover

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
Recap

New Edition, Peabo Bryson, Wendy Williams & more receive Trumpet Awards [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The 2017 Trumpet Awards were taped on Saturday evening at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and your truly was in the mix to capture all of the sights and sounds of one of Atlanta’s biggest nights. This year, I covered the red carpet for my radio magazine #UPFRONT and gathered exclusive interviews with some of the attendees, honorees and presenters. That segment will air this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on WCLK.com.

After the red carpet, I was able to go backstage and cover the media room where most of the show’s presenters, performers and honorees stopped by for photo opportunities. As previously reported, this year’s 25th Anniversary show recognized the accomplishments of some of the biggest names in the African-American community including talk show host Wendy Williams, whose Trumpet Award for Entertainment was picked up by her media brother, hip hop icon Ed Lover.

New Edition’s Rickey Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins and Johnny Gill, collected their much deserved Lifetime Achievement Trumpet Award. The iconic group from the 1980s, who laid the foundation for many  boy bands of the 90s and 2000s, was recognized just days before their highly anticipated biopic which airs tonight on BET. The group was saluted by R&B groups Transitions, Silk and Jagged Edge.

Music legend Peabo Bryson was honored for his enduring career as a Grammy winning-singer and songwriter. He has performed some of music’s most beloved duets including “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” with Roberta Flack, “Beauty and the Beast” with Celine Dion and “A Whole New World” with Regina Belle, who also performed the song with R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore as part of Bryson’s musical tribute. Bryson’s award was presented to him by music legend—Bill Withers. I had a chance to see Bryson perform last spring and he was simply amazing. He is one of the few veteran performers that still puts on an entire show including stories, dazzling costumes, a live band and back to back hits. This award is very well deserved and was one of the evening’s highlights.

NBA star Dikembe Mutombo picked up the Humanitarian Trumpet Award and praised gospel vocalist Tamela Mann for her amazing performance. She was a ray of sunshine when she entered the media room and bought a smile to everyone’s face. Fashion Blogger Gabi Gregg, was also glowing as she picked up this year’s Trailblazing Trumpet Award. I got a chance to chat with her on the red carpet and she described the moment as “surreal.”  I believe she is the first blogger to receive this award and was really humble to be in the midst of such greatness.

Gospel superstars Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene and Derek Minor were all in the house for a foot stomping, hand clapping, spirit-filled musical tribute. While I wasn’t able to see it from the media room, we were all in awe when the Queen of Gospel, Shirley Caesar, walked into the room. She even took pictures with a dry eraser sign that we created with the famous tag line, “You Name It.”  That was the name of the remixed song that created quite a frenzy over the Thanksgiving holiday and used a line from iconic tune, “Hold My Mule.”

The icing on the cake was Oscar winning-actor Louis Gosset Jr. being there to present Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton with the distinguished Golden Trumpet Award. She also joined us backstage and had everyone’s full attention with her radiant white and gold gown and dazzling head piece.

Other stars spotted on the carpet included Ed Gordon, Erica Campbell, Dr. Bobby Jones, T.C. Carson, Lalah Hathaway, the show’s hosts Nicole Ari Parker and Deon Cole, the cast of Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners,” Gary Owens, BJ The Chicago Kid, KeKe WyattErica AshWillie Moore Jr., Tyler Williams from “The New Edition Story” and more!

See more backstage photos below and stay tuned for red carpet pics:

Vanessa Bell Calloway

Tamela Mann

Tamela Mann with Miss Georgia Pre-Teen Damacia Howard

showing off their sparkling shoes

Honoree Dikembe Mutombo with Ed Gordon

BJ The Chicago Kid 

Honoree Peabo Bryson with Bill Withers and Ed Gordon

Kenny Lattimore, Erica Ash and Bill Withers 

KeKe Wyatt

Le’Andria Johnson and Jekalyn Carr

That shoe tho! #Jekalyn Carr

Canton Jones with Shirley Caesar 

Shirley Caesar

Willie Moore Jr. 

Honoree Gabi Gregg

Gary Owens taking part in our backstage shenanigans

The group Transitions performed as part of the NE Tribute

Honorees Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins 

Tyler Williams 

Ronnie DeVoe and Lyfe Jennings 

Trumpet Awards Founder Xernona Clayton

The Trumpet Awards airs this

Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST On Bounce

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

“Soul Violinist” Lee England Jr. performs at ATL’s Tree Sound Studios [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the pleasure of attending a private dinner and listening session recently for classically trained violinist—Lee England Jr. The event took place at Mali Hunter‘s legendary Tree Sound Studios and featured an intimate conversation with him about his career followed up by a live performance with his band.

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Lee is one of the industry’s most sought after musicians and is known as the “Soul Violinist.” After a short career as a music teacher in Chicago, he found himself playing alongside music royalty on stages around the world. He’s even appeared on Diddy‘s “Making the Band.”

However, it was a performance during an All-Star Weekend Party for Michael Jordan that totally changed the trajectory of his career. The NBA legend was so impressed with Lee’s performance that he immediately signed him to his Jordan Brand as a non-athletic ambassador.

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He would later catch the attention of another legend, Quincy Jones, who eventually hosted a private concert for him.

“We spoke for an hour. And with the help of one of my angels, we ended up hosting a showcase that he put his name on. He endorsed it and it sold out,” says Lee about Quincy Jones. “That was the most monumental show for me because it was the first time that I was actually able to show everyone what was going on in my mind. I’ve always done track shows or I might have a sparse arrangement or my band with me but I wanted to show people that I could put on a show. After that, Mr. Jones called me on the Fourth of July from Switzerland and the rest is history.”

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Lee is currently working on an original album and is expanding his non-profit, “Love Notes Music Organization.” It provides basic level instruction for new musicians, music camps and clinics. It’s a cause that is very near and dear to his heart. “I really, really, really believe in the arts and education through the arts, giving back and being a positive light in the community.”

A number of Atlanta celebrities came out to meet Lee including actresses Jasmine Guy and Terri J. Vaughn, filmmaker Cas Siger-Beedles, interior designer Michel Boyd, R&B songstress Angie Stone, music executive and author Shanti Das and radio personality and hip hop icon Ed Lover.

See more photos below:

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Lee England Jr.

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Jasmine Guy with Ed Lover 

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Terri J. Vaughn with Interior Designer Michel Boyd

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Jasmine Guy with Cas Siger-Beedles

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Lee England Jr. playing his violin

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music Recap

Tito jackson, V. Bozeman and more perform at ‘ATL Live on the Park’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a few images from last night’s “ATL Live on the Park.” The monthly music event was hosted by hip-hop icon and Boom 102.9 Morning Show host Ed Lover and featured a variety of music superstars including newcomers Sebastian Kole and Young Marco.

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Legendary member of The Jackson Five, Tito Jackson graced the stage and performed songs from his forth coming project, Tito Time. And closing out the night was “Empire” star and singer V. Bozeman.

Unfortunately, I didn’t leave the “Cutting It in the ATL” preview party in time to see Kole, Marco or Jackson’s performances. However, I did get to catch Bozeman and she blew me away with her live version of “What Is Love” along with the Michel’le’s classic “Something in my Heart” and her newest single “Go.” The 20-something year-old vocalist from Los Angeles, California definitely proved why she is the “Pepsi Artist of the Month.”  “ATL Live on the Park” is produced by Shanti Das and Marlon Nichols.  Next month’s event will take place on Tuesday, August 8 and features the highly anticipated “All White Party.” Performers have yet to be announced. See more images from last night below:

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Young Marco/Photo Credit: Prince Williams  of ATLPics.Net

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Dr. Yamma Brown (daughter of James Brown) and friends

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Ed Lover/Photo Credit: Prince Williams of ATLPics.net

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Tito Jackson/Photo Credit: Prince Williams of ATLPics.net

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V. Bozeman performing Michel’e’s Something in My Heart

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V. Bozeman appeared in the pilot episode of Fox’s smash hit “Empire”

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V. Bozeman also performed “What Is Love” and her new single, “GO”

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and Prince Williams of ATLPics.net

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RC Exclusive - Music

Vivian Green, Too Short and Kwame attend ‘ATL Live on the Park’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Shanti Das recently celebrated 25 years in the music industry during the June edition of “ATL Live on the Park.” The event was hosted by Das’ friends and family and included special performances by emerging and seasoned artists Benjamin Brim, The YRS, and Pepsi’s Artist of the Month, Vivian Green. The evening also concluded with surprise performances by hip hop legends Too Short and Kwame and was sponsored by Gentleman Jack, Pepsi, ChooseATL, MAJIC 107.5 and Boom 102.9.

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Before the evening started, event host Ed Lover paid a tribute to Muhammad Ali and the victims of the Orlando mass shooting with a moment of silence. Soon after, new artists Benjamin Brim and The YRS opened the show. The YRS was immediately coined as the next big ‘Boy Band’ as their vocals were reminiscent to band group One Direction. This was also the group’s debut performance to a live crowd.

Following their performance, Shanti’s closest friends, clients and music family including Usher, Donell Jones, T.I., Big Boi and Andre 3000 of Outkast, Sway Calloway and more paid homage to Das for her 25 years in the entertainment industry. After the video presentation, event hosts Devyne Stephens, Kawan ‘KP’ Prather, Dee Dee Hibbler, Phillana Williams, DJ Eddie F, Councilmembers Ceasar C. Mitchell and Kwanza Hall presented Das with an award commemorating her success in the industry. The group accredited Das as the driving force behind establishing the hip hop industry in the south.

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Immediately following the presentation, the Pepsi Artist of the Month, Vivian Green, set the stage on fire with live renditions of her songs “Fanatic,” “Work” and “Get Right Back To My Baby.” During her performance Green paused to pay tribute to Shanti Das for her assistance in launching her career. “Shanti was the product manager for my first two albums…She was there for me at my first photoshoot. Shanti took care of me and made sure no one took advantage of me… so thank you.” Following the heartfelt thanks, Green performed fan favorites Emotional “Rollercoaster” and “Gotta Go Gotta Leave.”

Notables guest in attendance of last night’s performances included, but were not limited to: Dorien Wilson, Terri J. Vaughn, Kirk Frost, Karyn Greer, Big Gipp, Chaka Zula, Bone Crusher, J. Carter, Nicole Garner, Greg Street, Chrystale Wilson, Lil John Roberts and more!

The season continues with the July edition of ATL Live on the Park on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. The official line up will be released next month. The July edition will include American soul singer and actress on FOX hit television series “Empire,” V. Bozeman.

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Recap

Porsha Williams, Da Brat, Karlie Redd & more attend Rickey Smiley Bowling Tournament (PHOTOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of ATL’s finest battled it out for a good cause last night! Da Brat, RHOA’s Porsha Williams, singer and actress Demetria McKinney and more participated in Rickey Smiley‘s Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

The event took place at Slingshot Entertainment in Norcross, GA and featured complimentary food and drinks and more. It was also tapped for an upcoming episode of Rickey’s TV One docu-series, “Rickey Smiley For Real,” which airs on Tuesday night’s at 8 p.m. EST.

Other celebrities in attendance included Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Karlie Redd, Dish Nation’s Gary with da Tea, R&B Diva Meelah Williams, rapper Bonecrusher, For Better or Worse actress Cocoa Brown, Barbershop: The Next Cut actor Diallo Thompson, R&B singer Brandi Williams, Celebrity Stylist Tameka Foster, entertainer Mishon, vocalist Sammie Bush, Hollywood Diva‘s Lisa Wu Hartwell, Hip-Hop icon Monie Love, gospel singer Micah Stampley, Sunday Best Season winner Y’Anna Crawley, Selling It in the ATL’s Gwen Boyd, Porsha Ferguson from The Haves and the Have Nots and more.

Guests were also encouraged to donate to Rickey’s Foundation which was born out of his desire to impact the lives of children and teens through programming that motivates them to live life to their fullest potential. It also celebrates the lives of our seniors, who are the fabric of the community.

Check out more photos below and click here to donate:

Porsha Williams-2

Porsha Williams 

Cocoa Brown

Cocoa Brown

Da Brat and Rickey Smiley

Rickey Smiley with Da Brat

Ed Lover

ED Lover

Demetria McKinney

Demetria McKinney

Bonecrusher and wife

Bonecrusher and his wife

Heidi and Micah Stampley

Micah Stampley and his wife

Lisa Wu Hartwell

Lisa Wu

Tameka Foster and Ryan Foster

Tameka Foster  and son

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Sammie 

Porsha Ferguson

Porsha Ferguson

 

 

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Recap

CeeLo Green and more attend ‘ATL Live on the Park’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the pleasure of covering the May edition of Shanti Das‘ and Marlon Nichols‘ “ATL Live on the Park.” The monthly music event took place at historic Park Tavern on Tuesday evening and was part of Atlanta’s celebration for Funk Fest 2016 and the Atlanta Jazz Festivals 31 Days of Jazz.

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Kendra Foster

The evening featured a variety of performances including Pepsi Artist of the Month Gourdan Banks, Grammy Award-winning artist Kendra Foster as well as Lamar Williams, Jr. and LUVK.  It was hosted by hip-hop icon and media personality Ed Lover and featured an appearance by CeeLo Green, who gave away tickets to his Funk Fest performance tonight with Goodie Mobb.

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Ed Lover

Atlanta notables spotted in the audience included Angel McCoughtry of the WNBA- Atlanta Dream, former NFL players Takeo Spikes and Carlos Emmons, Councilman Kwanza Hall, Dr. Yamma Brown (daughter of the late James Brown) and hundreds of live music lovers.

Check out more images I captured below:

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CeeLo Green 

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PEPSI Representatives

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Takeo SpikesIMG_3767

Carlos EmmonsIMG_3786

Lamar Williams Jr.

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Malika Willis, Chrisitan Ruffin and Rita K. Davis 

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Lalohni and Marlon Campbell

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Gourdan BanksIMG_3826

ATL City Councilman Kwanza Hall and Funk Fest 2016 creator Leo Bennett

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
Recap

TV One hosts ATL Premiere of ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ Season 2 [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Rickey Smiley is determined to change the negative perceptions of single dads, particularly African-American fathers, through his unscripted TV One docuseries, “Rickey Smiley For Real.” The multi-talented comedian hosted a very special screening of season two last night at Atlanta’s SCAD Show (formerly 14th Street Playhouse) along with TV One and a cadre of celebrity friends and family.

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Rickey Smiley on the red carpet

The one-hour series, which premieres next Tuesday May 10 at 8 p.m., takes a humorous look at Smiley’s hectic life as a nationally-syndicated radio host, stand-up comedian, actor, TV personality and businessman as he tries to juggle his career as with his personal life where he is the single father to five children. Rickey strives to be a mega media mogul but is constantly being torn between his work and family demands, which frequently results in interesting and often funny moments as he constantly plays catch up. A notoriously picky bachelor with a habit of picking the wrong women, or ending relationships for the smallest of reasons, Rickey is a complete mess in the romance department.

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Rickey Smiley explaining to the audience why the show is a hit!

“There’s a lesson in every episode,” said Rickey to the packed auditorium. “You have conflict resolution but there’s a lesson. Also, dads get a bad rap sometimes and I think finally, a single dad that’s managing business and kids is a good look for us.”

In addition to focusing on his family, the series will also put a spotlight on other areas of Rickey’s life including his church, his standup routines, his numerous appearances and community service. This unique quality about the show is what peaked the interest of TV One’s SVP of Programming & Production, D’Angela Proctor.

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Miss Pat, D’Angela Proctor and Porsha Williams

“Often times, reality TV can be placed into buckets. Like it’s either a work base reality show or it’s a family based reality show or it’s drama filled or it’s comedic. The thing about ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ is that it checks a lot of boxes like family, relationships, business, entrepreneurship, and the radio industry,” said Proctor to the audience.

“One of the things I have done as a producer and now a network executive is that I always believe in putting medicine in the food. But the food has to taste good in order for people to digest it. I believe that ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ is a big hamburger with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, and nutrients and all kinds of stuff. You enjoy it but at the same time, you’re also being fed.”

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Gary with da Tea on the red carpet with Joseline Hernandez

Following the screening was a lively Q&A session moderated by Rickey’s “Dish Nation” co-host Porsha Williams. That was followed by an exclusive after party at the W Hotel Midtown.

Celebrities in attendance included “Rickey Smiley Morning Show/Dish Nation” co-hosts like Da Brat, Miss Juicy, Gary with da Tea as well as Kelly Price, Joseline Hernandez, Ed Lover, Brandi Williams, LeLee Lyons, and Nicci Gilbert. Other celebrities spotted were Jasmine Burke, Drea Kelly, Diallo Thompson, Julian Walker, Gwen Boyd Moss, Willie Moore Jr. and more!

Check out more photos below:

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Da Brat

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Princess – Creator of the Real Housewives of Atlanta

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Miss Juicy

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Porsha Williams and Gary with da Tea on the red carpet

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Willie Moore Jr. 

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Kisa Willis of TV One’s original movie “Chasing Waterfalls”

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Derek Blanks 

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Diallo Thompson

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Brandi Williams – Blaque

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Porsha Williams blowing kisses to the media

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Spirit

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Shay Johnson of “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta”

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Gary with da Tea and Kelly Price sharing a laugh on the red carpet

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TV One’s Brad Siegel and Lori Hall with “Hollywood Divas” star Lisa Wu

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“Saints & Sinners” stars Julian Walker and Jasmine Burke 

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Gwen Boyd Moss – “Selling It in the ATL”

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Beautii J – “Cutting It in the ATL”

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Nicci Gilbert, Ed Lover and SWV’s LeLee Lyons 

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Kelly Price 

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Drea Kelly and Gary with da Tea cuttin up on the red carpet

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Roger M. Bobb bringing greetings before the screening

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Rickey Smiley with Da Brat, Porsha Williams and Gary with da Tea

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After show Q&A was hosted by Porsha Williams 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

Keri Hilson, Demetria McKinney and more attend ‘ATL Live on the Park’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“ATL Live on the Park” kicked off its 7th season Tuesday night at The Park Tavern in historic Piedmont Park. The live music series has become on the city’s most high-profile platforms for award winning R&B talent as well as emerging artists in the music industry.

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Co-founded by Shanti Das and Marlon Nichols, ATL Live on the Park is expanding its reach this year with new brand partnership with ChooseATL, Boom 102.9/ 97.5 and Pepsi. In addition, the show has recruited Boom’s morning show personality and iconic hip-hop personality Ed lover as its host. They will also work closely with Pepsi to produce the “Pepsi Artist Spotlight of the Month,” which highlights “ones to watch.”

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Polow da Don

A number of ATL celebrities came to support the kick-off festivities including Keri Hilson, Demetria McKinney, Polow da Don, Tameka Raymond, Rob RileyDedra Allen, and Atlanta’s First Lady Sarah Elizabeth Reed.

Highlights from the evening included spellbinding performances from singers Crystal Cruz, Candice Nelson and Pepsi Artist Spotlight performers Ghetto & Blues. There was also an impromptu performance by McKinney and Hilson, who belted out a soulful version of the “Happy Birthday” song to a few attendees.

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Keri Hilson with ATL Live on the Park Co-Founder Shanti Das

“I cannot believe that we are headed into season 7. We continue to take great pride in providing the City of Atlanta with the best talent that the entertainment industry has to offer”, said Shanti Das, co-founder of ATL Live on the Park.

“ATL Live on the Park” continues May 10, June 4, July 12, August 9, September 20 and October 11 and November 8.  Check out more photos below:

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Crystal Cruz looked radiant in blue as she performed songs from Etta James

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Demetria McKinney with Rob Riley

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Ed Lover had everyone in stitches with comedic flair

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Cutting It in the ATL‘s Dedra Allen with singer-songwriter Keri Hilson

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Singer-songwriter Candice Nelson performaning “Take Me As I Am”

which she co-wrote with Keri Hilson for Mary J. Blige

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Ghetto & Blues singing “Maria Maria” with they wrote & performed with Santana

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Rob Riley taking a picture of Ghetto & Blues

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
Recap

ATL Celebrates the life of late Kris Kross star, Chris Kelly [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Celebrities joined industry legend Ed Lover and hip hop sweetheart Reginae Carter for a night of lights, camera and action on September 6, 2014 when Atlanta’s hip-hop and philanthropic communities converged at the illustrious Woodruff Arts Center as entrepreneur and socialite LaToya “Leigh” Wise presented the first annual Live and Die for Hip Hop Black Out Gala.

The formal event commemorated the life and legacy of late multi-platinum music artist—and Wise’s first cousin—Chris Kelly, half of the rap duo Kriss Kross. This event was produced in conjunction with Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly-Pratte, and the turnout was phenomenal.

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 Chris Kelly’s cousin, uncle and aunt, Leigh Wise, Robert and Delanie Barber

The vision of the Live and Die for Hip Hop Black Out Gala was birthed out of a desire to celebrate the life of Chris Kelly and offer music scholarships to students that attend the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media, Kelly’s alma mater. Wise teamed up with The Atlanta Step-Up Society for a night of music, philanthropy and celebrity.

The Historic Woodruff Arts Center was star-studded with an overwhelming amount of attendees that came to celebrate the life of Chris Kelly, including key tastemakers and familiar faces from entertainment and music. The event was hosted by hip-hop legend Ed Lover; daughter of mega rapper Lil Wayne, Reginae Carter; and socialites the Three Brown Girls.

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 Bone Crusher performing

The event was curated by reality television Phenom Dwight Eubanks of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and produced by Leigh Wise, Donna Kelly-Pratte and Delanie Barber. Attendees included former labelmate Tiny Harris (formerly of R&B group Xscape), VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmates Kirk and Rasheeda Frost, reality TV personality Toya Wright, radio personality Eboni Steele, recording artist Pretty Kenny, music industry veteran Shanti Das, former RHOA castmate Sheree Whitfield, VH1’s “Atlanta Exes” castmate Sheree Buchanan and Zonnique Pullins of OMG Girlz .

World renowned DJ Nabs was spinning, and Bone Crusher grabbed the mic for a special performance. Vice president of Atlantic Records and former A&R for LaFace Records Kawan “KP” Prather and founder of Organized Noize, Rico Wade, were recognized by their respected colleagues and clients for all the that they’ve contributed to the hip-hop industry. Proceeds from the gala awarded Atlanta Institute of Music and Media (Kelly’s alma mater) student, Javaun Mundle a music scholarship.

Check out more photos below:

Carter Brown Girls

Reginae Carter/Three Brown Girls

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 Chris Kelly’s Grandmother, Rosina Williams and Tameka “Tiny” Harris

Dwight and Her Ebony Steel and Ed Lover

Dwight Eubanks and Leigh Wise/Ebony Steel and Ed Lover

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Chris Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly-Pratte

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 Victor Jackson/Honorees Rico Wade and Kawan “KP” Prather

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Former RHOA Sheree Whitfield

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DJ Nabs, Kirk Frost, and DJ Jelly

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 Chanita Foster with Shanti Das/Cocoa Brown

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Rasheeda and LaToya Wright

Photo Credit: Chuck Brown Photography