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

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:


ATL Stars participate in #MeetTheBlacks Celebrity Breakout [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Some of Atlanta biggest singers, actors, and reality stars came together Thursday night for a special “Meet the Blacks” Celebrity Breakout experience. The outing was the perfect event to promote the hilarious new film “Meet the Blacks” which opens in theaters this weekend. It took place at Breakout Atlanta – an entertainment complex of “Escape” games featuring four (4) themed rooms where teams are tasked with solving puzzles, cracking codes, finding hidden items and clues in order to “breakout” in one hour.


Lil Duval and Will Packer debating over whose team escaped first

Celebrities who participated included RHOA stars Kandi Burruss, Porsha Williams, Demetria McKinney, Todd Tucker, Mama Joyce, Carmon Cambrice and Don Juan. Filmmaker Will Packer and media personalities Egypt Sherrod, Gary With the Tea, and HeadKrack were also present. Other stars included “Saints & Sinners” actors Karlie Redd, Kendrick Cross, Dawn HalfKenny, Jasmine Burke. “Meet the Blacks” star Lil Duval was also in attendance.


Dish Nation’s Porsha Williams and Gary With Tha Tea

“Meet the Blacks” is a parody of the “PURGE” franchise and follows an African-American family from Chicago who arrives to Los Angeles right around the time of the annual purge, when all crime is legal for twelve hours.


Bobby V, Jamal Woodard, Karlie Red, Jasmine Burke and more taking a group photo

The comedy stars Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Bresha Webb, and Lil Duval. It also features special appearances by George Lopez, Mike Tyson, Gary Owens, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, Perez Hilton, King Bach, DeRay Davis, Lavelle Crawford and comedy legend Paul Mooney. The film was written, produced and directed by Deon Taylor with music by RZA.

Check out more pics below along with the film’s trailer:


“Meet The Blacks” is a parody of “The Purge”


Kandi Burruss sharing a photo opportunity with Mama Joyce 

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Chrishena Stanley with Porsha Williams / HeadKrackIMG_0155

Demetria McKinney and DJ Fadelf with Ghetto Blues 

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“Saints & Sinners” stars Karlie Redd, Jasmine Burke and Dawn HalfKenny


Porsha Williams holding up the sign with her group’s time

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Actors Kendrick Cross with Jamal Woodard / Egypt Sherrod 


Lil Duval, Porsha Williams and Gary With Tha Tea talking much smack!

“Meet the Blacks” is in theaters nationwide today!

Photo Credits:

RC Exclusive - Ent

New Poster for Mike Epps and Bresha Webb Comedy ‘Meet the Blacks’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new poster for the upcoming Mike Epps and Bresha Webb comedy “Meet the Blacks.”  The film is a spoof of the hugely popular 2013 science fiction horror “The Purge” and opens nationwide on April 29th.

“Meet the Blacks” also features George Lopez, Mike Tyson, Zulay Henao, Gary Ownens, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, Perez Hilton, Andrew Bachelor aka King Bach, Lil Duval, DeRay Davis, Lavelle Crawford and comedy legend Paul Mooney.

“Meet the Blacks” is written, produced and directed by former pro basketball player turned filmmaker Deon Taylor and features original music written, produced and performed by RZA.

Check out the full poster and trailer below:



WATCH New Trailer for Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell’s ‘GET HARD’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new Red Band Trailer for “Get Hard” starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell.
When millionaire hedge fund manager James (Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order. Desperate, he turns to Darnell (Hart) to prep him for a life behind bars. But despite James’ one-percenter assumptions, Darnell is a hard-working small business owner who has never received a parking ticket, let alone been to prison.  Together, the two men do whatever it takes for James to “get hard” and, in the process, discover how wrong they were about a lot of things – including each other.  “Get Hard” also stars T.I., Edwina Findley Dickerson and Gary Owens.

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“GET HARD” in theaters March 27th!

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FIRST LOOK at ‘Think Like a Man Too’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The first trailer for Think Like A Man Too  has been released and it is hilarious.

The Will Packer film is a follow up to the 2012 smash hit, Think Like A Man  and features all of the original cast members:  Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Jerry Ferrara, Gary Owens and Kevin Hart.

The sequel also stars Jenifer Lewis, Wendy Williams and Dennis Haysbert.

According to the film’s IMDB page“All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.”

Think Like A Man Too  is based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man  and is directed by Tim Story and penned by Keith Merryman with David A. Newman.

Check out the trailer below:

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Think Like A Man Too  will be released on June 20, 2014.

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