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Quincy Jones gets Hands and Feet Immortalized at Chinese Theatre [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Music icon Quincy Jones made history Tuesday (November 27) by becoming the first composer to have his hands and feet enshrined at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

The 85-year-old legend was joined by his daughter Rashida Jones and a few of his close friends—Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Usher.

“Man…THIS is what you call family!! I can’t believe they all got up so early for me! ((:0))…Anyway, today was TRULY a special day, because I had the incredible honor of becoming the 1st composer to have his or her hand & footprints enshrined at The Chinese Theatre,” said Jones on his Instagram page.

Jones will be recognized for his illustrious career next Sunday, December 9 during a BET program titled Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones. The all-star salute will feature performances from Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Meghan Trainor, John Legend, Patti Austin, Gloria Estefan, Charlie Wilson, Ledisi, Gregory Porter, Gladys Knight, and others. It is also hosted by media maven and close friend—Oprah Winfrey.

Jones is also the subject a new documentary titled QUINCY,   which chronicles his rise to fame as a musical genius, composer, producer, arranger, record label manager and pop culture icon.

Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones airs 12/9 at 8 p.m. on BET.

Photo Credits: Instagram/Quincy Jones

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Watch Tamar Braxton’s new video for ‘The Makings of You’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Tamar Braxton is taking us back down memory lane in the new video for her single, “The Makings of You.” The award-winning songstress puts her spin on the old 1970s classic written and recording first by the late Curtis Mayfield and then re-recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips for the 1974 cinema classic Claudine.

In the video, Tamar is rocking a “Willona” from Good Times wig along with a “Thelma” from Good Times floral ensemble. She’s also reminiscing on the good love she is receiving from her new man. While the video says she is “some where in D.C.”  it was actually shot at the childhood home of Instagram star Lonnie Bee, who makes a grand appearance at the end of the video.

“The Makings of You” appears on Braxton’s current album, BlueBird of Happiness.

Check it out below and tell us what you think!

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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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Kevin Hart kicks off new season of ‘Oprah’s Master Class’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Comedian and acting extraordinaire Kevin Hart will kick off the new season of OWN’s popular series, “Oprah’s Master Class” beginning tonight at 10 p.m. EST. Hart will explore life lessons, painful memories and the monumental moments that shaped him into the entertainment powerhouse he is today.

Take a peek below:

One of the longest-running OWN series, “Oprah’s Master Class” has featured in-depth interviews with over 50 masters. From award-winning musicians and box-office busting actors to groundbreaking leaders, this all-new season also includes Original King of Comedy and television personality Steve Harvey, civil-rights hero Congressman John Lewis, hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J, R&B legend and the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, NBA champion and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, film and TV mogul Tyler Perry, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Usher, and Emmy-winning actress Lynn Whitfield.

Before watching “Oprah’s Master Class,” check out the final season episodes  of “Tyler Perry’s For Better Or Worse.” It features my girls Tasha Smith and Cocoa Brown and airs with back-to-back episodes tonight at 9PM and 9:30PM ET/PT.

Click here for a sneak peek!

Photo Credits: OWN

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“Take the Stage” to air on 1/12 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Common, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Angela Bassett are just a few of the big names who will appear on this week’s ABC telecast of “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America.” It airs on Thursday, January 12 beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

The two-hour program, presented by The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, will spotlight the contributions African-Americans have made to the global landscape and will focus on music, dance and spoken word. The show will also feature film footage of iconic items from the museum’s collections – items ranging from a plane used to train the famed Tuskegee airmen for World War II combat duty, to a bible owned by Nat Turner.

Other celebrities participating include Dave Chappelle, Chuck D., Doug E. Fresh, Savion Glover, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Rashida Jones, Elijah Kelley, Janelle Monáe, Octavia Spencer, Chris Tucker, Jesse Williams, Patti Austin, Christina Aguilera, Alvin Ailey dancers, Jon Batiste, Shirley Caesar, Chloe x Halle, Gary Clark Jr., Cynthia Erivo, Jamie Foxx, Robert Glasper, Dave Grohl with Trouble Funk, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, NeYo and Usher.

The special was filmed on September 23 at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Will you be watching?

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Usher, Gabrielle Union, Mo’Nique & more attend ATL Premiere of ‘Almost Christmas’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The cast of the upcoming holiday film “Almost Christmas” came out Wednesday night to a very special advanced screening at Atlanta’s Regal Atlantic Station.  Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Keri Hilson, Nadej K. Bailey, Marley Taylor, Rachel Kylian, Keon Mitchell and D.C. Young Fly all walked the red carpet as fans screamed their names and tried capturing photos of their favorite stars.

img_3347Mo’Nique and her family

Originally titled, “A Meyers Christmas,” “Almost Christmas” tells the festive story of a beloved patriarch who asks his family for one gift this holiday season: to get along. If they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof without killing one another, it will be a Christmas miracle. The film was written and directed by David E. Talbert and produced by Will Packer. It also stars Nicole Ari Parker, Jessie T. Usher, Kimberly Elise, J.B. Smoove and Romany Malco. There are also special appearances by Grammy winning-singer Monica and legendary songstress and actress Gladys Knight.

img_3496Usher with “Almost Christmas” stars Marley Taylor and Nadej K. Bailey

A number of ATL celebrities were in attendance including Usher Raymond, Queen Latifah, Big BoiTyrese Gibson, Ambassador Andrew Young, Jasmine Guy and the cast of Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners” Vanessa Bell Calloway, Christians Keyes, Keith Robinson and Dawn HalfKenny.  Other stars spotted on the red carpet included Towanda Braxton, B.J. Britt, “Ink, Paper, Scissors” star CoCo, “Married to Medicine” star Dr. Heavenly Kimes, Swirl Films’ Keith NealThe Tankards from Bravo’s “Thicker Thank Water,” actor T.C. Carson, media personality Frank Ski, Blue Kimble, Reece Odum, Elijah Kelley, Julian Walker and music producers Rock City.

Almost Christmas” opens in theaters November 11!

Check out all of the red carpet photos below:


Ambassador Andrew Young and his special guests


Cast of “Saints and Sinners”
Keith Robinson, Vanessa Bell CallowayChristian Keyes and Dawn HalfKenny


Nadej K. Bailey



Rachel Kylian


“Ink, Paper, Scissors” star CoCo


Frank Ski


Keith Neal 


Julian Walker 


Keon Mitchell 


Big Boi and Towanda Braxton 


The Tankards 



Jasmine Guy 


Omar Epps 


T.C. Carson


Rock City


D.C. Young Fly with his family


Usher Raymond


Queen Latifah


Will Packer with David E. Talbert 


Keri Hilson


Big Boi and his son


B.J. Britt


Gabrielle Union and Will Packer 


Elijah Kelley


David E. Talbert and his wife

Photo Credits:

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YAY! Rihanna to receive ‘Rock Star Award’ during ‘Black Girls Rock’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Rihanna will bring some of her #BlackGirlMagic to this year’s “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” The eight-time Grammy winning fashion icon will receive this year’s Rock Star Award.

The chart topping singer, executive producer, fashion designer, actress, astute business entrepreneur and philanthropist will help illuminate the triumphs of brilliant Black women who have broken barriers in the areas of art, music, philanthropy and community service.

As previously reported, the show will tape on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ and the broadcast will premiere on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.

This year the dynamic “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” movement, founded by Beverly Bond, celebrates its 10 year anniversary and its sixth televised broadcast on BET Networks. The NAACP Award winning “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” on BET continues to represent a revolutionary landmark in media as it delivers edifying, entertaining and inspiring content honoring the nexus of achievements made by powerful Black women and girls.

Rihanna joins producer and writer Shonda Rhimes (Shot Caller Award), R&B legend Gladys Knight (Living Legend Award), “The Walking Dead” actress and “Eclipsed” playwright Danai Gurira (Star Power Award), award-winning actress and activist Amandla Stenberg (Young Gifted and Black Award), and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi (Community Change Agent Award) as this year’s “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 Celebrants.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit:

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‘Black Girls Rock’ to honor Gladys Knight, Shonda Rhimes and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“Black Girls Rock” returns to BET/CENTRIC for another exciting evening of Black Girl Magic on Tuesday, April 5 at 8 p.m. EST.

“black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross is back as the host of the show along with honorees producer and writer Shonda Rhimes, R&B living legend Gladys Knight, “Eclipsed” playwright and “Walking Dead” actress Danai Guirra, actress and activist Amandla Stenberg and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ acknowledges the achievements of African-American women who have broken barriers in the areas of art, music, philanthropy and community service.

“I am so proud to once again host “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™”! What an incredible night celebrating Black women in a show dedicated to Black Girl Magic. Powerhouses Debra Lee, CEO and Chairman of BET Networks and Beverly Bond, CEO of ‘Black Girls Rock! ™’ are true examples of Black Girls who Rock. I’ve proudly hosted this show since before it was televised, and it’s been an honor to be connected to this show for so long. In its 10th year, this show is of utmost importance in today’s times as it highlights positive reinforcement and representation for young black women. I am looking forward to once again being a part of such a wonderful night celebrating the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of black women – it will be a show to remember!” – Tracee Ellis Ross

This year’ BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ will tape on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ and the broadcast will premiere on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit:

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Sneak Peek of Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson Doc ‘Off the Wall’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a sneak peek of Spike Lee‘s new Showtime documentary on the King of Pop titled “Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall.” The film examines his rise to stardom as the little lead singer of The Jackson Five to his successful transition as a solo pop superstar.

“Off the Wall” was actually Jackson’s fifth solo project and the first release under his new label Epic Records. It features such classic hits as “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” “Working Day and Night,” “Rock With You” and of course the title track “Off the Wall.” Other stand out singles include “She’s Out of My Life” and my personal favorite “I Can’t Help It.” The album was produced by the legendary Quincy Jones, who became close friend’s with Jackson when he performed alongside Diana Ross in the 1978 movie version of “The Wiz.” “Off the Wall” is certified eight times platinum in the United States and has reportedly sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.

Celebrity appearances include Suzanne de Passe, Berry Gordy, Marlon Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Lee Daniels, Kobe Bryant, Misty Copeland, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, QuestLove Smokey Robinson, Randy Jackson, Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, The Weekend, John Legend, and Joe and Catherine Jackson.

Take a look below:

“Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall” airs Fri. Feb. 5th at 9 p.m. EST


Photo Credit:
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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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Gladys Knight receives Highway Dedication from the State of Georgia (PHOTOS)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The state of Georgia dedicated a special highway Tuesday morning  to multi Grammy award-winning vocalist, author, actress and restaurateur, Gladys Knight. The legendary Motown singer, who is affectionately known as the “Empress of Soul,” was in attendance along with her famous brother, Merald “Bubba” Knight, and a host of family members and close friends. The event took place at the Senate Chambers of the State Capitol.

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 Gladys Knight at the press conference

The morning began with a press conference featuring remarks from Senator Donzella James and State Representative “Able” Mable Thomas, who were both instrumental in the getting the acknowledgement passed through the Senate.  The 71-year-old entertainer, who was often referred to by many of the public officials as a real “Georgia Peach,” grew up on English Avenue in the Vine City District of Atlanta.

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 Knight with Senator Donzella James (right) and “Able” Mable Thomas (left)

Following the press conference was a formal program featuring the 11th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, Casey Cagle, who allowed Knight to sit in his coveted chair. During the ceremony, she was honored with proclamations from the State of Georgia featuring forewords by Governor Nathan Deal as well as Fulton County.

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Senator Donzella James giving some backstory on why she wanted Knight to receive a highway dedication

There were also remarks from Knight’s husband, William McDowell, her son, Shanga Hankerson and her brother, Merald “Bubba” Knight, who revealed the history behind their group’s famous hit record, “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The song was originally titled, “Midnight Plane to Houston” but Gladys intervened and had it changed to reflect a more personal connection while also giving credit to her beloved home state.

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 Merald “Bubba” Knight saluting his famous sister

The program ended with a soul-stirring rendition of the state song, “Georgia On My Mind” performed by Knight’s Choir along with a few words of acknowledgement from the honoree.  “Never did I dream that I would have a street named after me,” said the music diva, who is no.51 on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

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 Knight’s Choir performing the state song, “Georgia on My Mind”

She also  acknowledged James “Pip” Woods, her cousin who she claims was the real inspiration behind her group’s famous name. The Gladys Knight Highway will run from Peachtree Street to 14th Street along State Route 9 in Fulton County, Georgia.

Check out more photos below from today’s ceremony:

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 Knight during the morning press conference

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 Knight with her sister and brother

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 State Representative “Able” Mable Thomas talking about Georgia’s most famous “Peach”

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 GLBC Chair Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler conducted the morning prayer

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 11th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Casey Cagle offering greetings

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Knight’s husband William McDowell talking about his famous wife

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 Knight’s son and manager of Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles Restaurants – Shanga Hankerson

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 Merald “Bubba” Knight telling the real story behind the song, “Midnight Train to Georgia”

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Knight’s daughter-in-law, Gloria “Glo” Hankerson and grandchildren

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 Knight holding her State Proclamation with Senator Donzella James

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 Knight receiving her proclamation from Fulton County

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 Knight receiving her Highway Dedication from Thomas and James

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 Ta-Da…the unveiling of Gladys Knight Highway

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Knight standing next to her cousin, James “Pip” Woods

Photo Credits:

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Georgia to Honor Gladys Knight with Highway Dedication (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations to Motown legend and Grammy-winning international recording superstar, Gladys Knight. She will be honored next week by the state of Georgia with a highway dedication.

According to the press release, Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) will hold a press conference featuring Knight on Tuesday, June 9 at 9 a.m. A celebratory ceremony will be held immediately following the press conference in the Senate Chamber where Sen. James and other elected officials will highlight Ms. Knight’s many achievements including her lasting impact on the state of Georgia.

Gladys Knight Highway will run from Peachtree Street to 14th Street along State Route 9 in Fulton County. Ms. Knight is a recording artist, songwriter, businesswoman, humanitarian and author. Her group, Gladys Knight & The Pips are known for hits such as “I Heard It through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” She has been awarded numerous awards throughout her career, including 7 Grammy Awards, music’s highest honor.

Check out a few of my favorite Gladys Knight & The Pips songs below:

[youtube id=”n_Lh4MFiw08″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

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Gladys Knight to headline BET’s “Super Bowl Gospel Celebration” Special (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET Networks announced this week that it will air a one-hour special from the “The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration” on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, 2015.  Co-hosted by actress Holly Robinson Peete and retired NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, the gospel musical special will premiere on BET at 10:00 a.m. and on Centric at 2:00 p.m.  The 16th annual concert event has become a Super Bowl weekend favorite and has taken place in the host city of the Super Bowl football championship game since its launching in 1999.

Grammy-winning legend Gladys Knight leads an all-star line-up including a special appearance by David and Tamela Mann, plus Tichina Arnold, Anthony Hamilton, Fred Hammond, Dave Hollister, Israel Houghton, Natalie Grant, Mali Music, Donnie McClurkin, DeWayne Woods along with current and former NFL athletes Deion Sanders and Ray Lewis, Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Rashad Jennings (New York Giants), and Devon Still (Cincinnati Bengals).  The acclaimed NFL Players Choir, which features current and retired players, will also perform at the celebration.

Rounding out the 3-hour block of gospel programming on BET is a new episode of “Bobby Jones Gospel” with guests Byron Cage, Y’anna Crawley, Charles King and William McDowell at 9:00 a.m. ET* and “Lift Every Voice” hosted by Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins with guests Stephen Bishop and Aaron Spears, the men of “Being Mary Jane” immediately following at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Check out the preview of “Lift Every Voice” featuring Stephen Bishop below:

[youtube id=”k0fqP_C78do” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credit:

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RC attends ATL Preview Mixer for Princess Monique’s ‘Seasons of Love’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Friday night I had the pleasure of attending a preview mixer for the romantic, soulful holiday drama “Seasons of Love.” The made-for-television movie premieres tonight on LIFETIME and stars Taraji P. Henson, LeToya Luckett, and music legend Gladys Knight. The screening was held at Knight’s Signature Chicken and Waffles Restaurant in Atlanta and was hosted by the film’s director, Princess Monique.

Princess Monique standing in front of crowd

Princess Monique addressing the attendees

In “Seasons of Love,” Kyla (LeToya Luckett) and Amir’s (Cleo Anthony) new romance is thrown for a loop when Amir’s father (Richard Portnow) suddenly passes away and Kyla’s ex, Miles (Rob Riley), comes back into the picture. The two struggle to determine what truly matters to them in this story of life, love and family. Henson stars as Amir’s Aunt Jackie while Knight plays the loving matriarch Miss Angie. Rounding out the cast is hip-hop vet, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, who plays Big Rob.

Princess with Shanga Hankerson

Shanga Hankerson talking about his mother (Gladys Knight) starring in the film

During the event, Monique revealed that she shot “Seasons of Love” in 18 days and that it was executive produced by Henson. She also mentioned that it took her 10 years to get the film produced and hopes that’s its successful enough to become a television series. The former runway model turned film director/producer, thanked a number of her supporters who were present at the event including Knight’s son and wife, Shanga and Gloria “Glo” Hankerson, Nyrobi Moss, Lamont Ferrell, Donald Jarmond and Jeffrey Brathwaite, who stood in for his sister and one of the film’s writer’s, Sharon Brathwaite-Sanders.

Jeffrey Lamont Princess Glo Nyrobi Donald

l to r: Jeffrey Brathwaite, Lamont Ferrell, Princess Monique, Gloria “Glo”Hankerson, Nyrobi Moss, Donald Jarmond

A few Atlanta notables were also in attendance including V-103 personalities Joyce Little and Sytonnia, Atlanta Exes  star Christina Johnson, celebrity make-up artist Toni Acey, and actor Karon Riley.

Check out more photos below along with a BTS video of “Seasons of Love” below:

Princess and Christina Princess Monique photo

Princess Monique with Christina Johnson/Monique is a former model turned TV Film Director

Candace Lebetter

PR Maven Candace Ledbetter addressing the attendees

 Prayers going up

Princess Monique led everyone in a prayer and toast

Joyce Littel and Princess Monique

Princess Monique with V-103’s Joyce Littel

 Toni Acey and Christina Johnson

Atlanta Exes  star Christina Johnson with celebrity make-up artist Toni Acey

RC with Candace Ledbetter

RC with Candace Ledbetter

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 “Seasons of Love” airs TONIGHT on Lifetime at 9 p.m. EST.

(Please Tweet using the hashtag #SeasonsOfLove)

Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for