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Wanda Sykes to host ‘2020 Bounce Trumpet Awards’ (VIDEO)

The 2020 Bounce Trumpet Awards is headed to Tinseltown and will be hosted by EMMY® Award-winning comedian, actress and writer Wanda Sykes.

For the first time in its history, the Bounce Trumpet Awards will be held in Hollywood, taking place at the Dolby Theatre. It will tape Dec. 4, 2019 and will world premiere nationwide on Bounce on Sun. Feb. 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET for Black History Month. Bounce, the fastest-growing African-American network on television, exclusively owns, produces and telecasts the event. Visit www.trumpetawards.com for more information.

“Relocating the Bounce Trumpet Awards to Hollywood gives us an opportunity to build upon the show’s enormous entertainment value by tapping into Hollywood’s talent resources,” said Bounce’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming David Hudson. “Wanda Sykes is the perfect person to helm this year’s Trumpets. Not only is she hilarious and brilliant, she has broken many barriers in her career from being the first African-American woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to conceiving and starring in her own prime-time sitcom. She truly personifies the spirit of the Trumpet Awards – an inspirational celebration of Black excellence.”

Sykes has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly‘s 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand-up has sent her career in many different directions. She can be seen in her first Netflix comedy special Wanda Sykes: Not Normal, which was nominated for two Primetime EMMY® Awards. She also was seen in the EMMY®-winning reboot of Norman Lear’s The Jeffersons. She is currently in production for two shows she is producing and writing through her Push It Productions banner.  

Hudson will serve as Executive Producer of the 2020 Bounce Trumpet Awards, along with Rikki Hughes, CEO of Magic Lemonade Productions. Hughes is an EMMY® and GRAMMY®-winning producer of award shows, comedy specials and independent features. Her credits include four comedy specials with Dave Chappelle for Netflix, HBO’s upcoming comedy special All Def Comedy, The BET 25th Anniversary Special, The BET Comedy Awards and more.

The Bounce Trumpet Awards were conceived to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of African Americans and those who have succeeded against great odds and inspired success in others. Founded in 1992 by American Civil Rights leader Xernona Clayton, The Trumpet Awards were acquired by Bounce in 2016.

Check out my coverage from this year below:

PHOTO CREDIT: Bounce TV

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Clifton Powell talks Hollywood, Colorism & more with #UPFRONT (VIDEO)

Mark you calendars and join me this Sunday August 4 at 8:30 p.m. EST on CAU-TV (Comcast 23 Atlanta) for my exclusive one-on-one interview with iconic TV and film star Clifton Powell.

He stopped by the show recently to chat about the new season of his hit BOUNCE TV series Saints & Sinners. In addition, Mr. Powell also dishes about the ups and downs of stardom, being black in Hollywood, colorism and social media.

We also go down memory lane and chat about his most memorable characters including “Pinky” from the classic film Next Friday.

Check out a sneak peek below:

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Empire’s Jussie Smollett releases new single ‘Freedom’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the debut single from Jussie Smollett. The song is titled “Freedom” and was released on this past Friday (January 5).  According to the “Empire” star, this is just a taste of what fans can expect from his upcoming solo project SumOfMyMusic. The highly anticipated album debuts on March 2.

In addition to premiering the song, Smollett also released some pretty cool black and white images of himself shot by acclaimed photographer—Tarrice Love.

Check them out below and tell us what you think about the new single.

Photo Credits: Tarrice Love + Keoni Marcelo

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RC attends ‘Sorebe Art Experience’ featuring Angie Stone and more [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

R&B singer, actress and former reality star Angie Stone recently performed during the first installment of the “Sorebe Art Experience.” The private event took place at Atlanta’s swanky new Studio 7 in downtown and featured an eclectic mix of art and music. The event was presented by actor Mark John Jefferies and REBO Entertainment Group.

“Sorebe Art Experience” was created to bring the tastemakers and influencers from art, music and Hollywood together for an evening of engagement and conversation. Original art work from LeRoy Campbell was placed all throughout the venue while the audience enjoyed live music from former “American Idol” contestant Ashton Jones and poetry from John Gavin White. The night was also hosted by the “Good Girl of Comedy” G.L. Douglas.

Stone was the evening’s special invited guest and was recognized for her decades long career as a singer-songwriter. She opened her set by reminding the audience members of her numerous contributions to R&B and hip-hop music including her pioneering efforts as a member of the first girl rap group, The Sequence. She would later perform such crowd favorites as “Brother” and “Wish I Didn’t Miss You.”

Atlanta notables spotted in the crowd included actor Mike Merrill plus actress and producer Dawn HalfKenny.

Check out more photos below:

LeRoy Campbell art work

John Gavin White 

G.L. Douglas

Mike Merrill + Mark John Jefferies 

Ashton Jones 

Ashton Jones 

DJ Spontaneous 

Mike Merrill + Dawn HalfKenny 

 

ANGIE STONE 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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#UPFRONT with Hollywood Film Icon Mario Van Peebles + R&B Singer Leela James (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out last weekend’s edition of my radio show #UPFRONT featuring iconic filmmaker Mario Van Peebles and his daughter, Morgana, as they talk about their new SyFy series, “Superstition.” The show features Mario as the patriarch of the Hastings family, the only funeral home owners in the mysterious town of La Rochelle, Ga., which is known for its haunted houses, odd residents and unusual phenomena. The series is written, produced and directed by Mario and also stars Demetria McKinney and Brad James.

R&B Diva Leela James also stopped by the studio to chat about her new single + her new tour with R&B’s General, Tank. She also opens up about her newest inspiration, her desire to make music with Lauryn Hill and playing Oprah Winfrey in a biopic.

#UPFRONT also paid tribute to Fats Domino and Robert Guillaume, who both passed away last week. We also played new music from Leela James and throwback sounds from Stevie Wonder.

#UPFRONT Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is a 30-minute radio magazine that features one-on-one interviews with all of the major players and behind-the-scenes superstars that make Georgia the new “Entertainment Capital.” It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Empire’s Gabourey Sidibe is a Glam Doll for #REFINERY29 [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out these A-MAZ-ING new images of Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe for REFINERY29. The “Empire” star is giving us all types of dramatic poses in a new fashion spread featuring looks by Christian Siriano and more. The New York City native also talks about her journey so far as full-figured African-American woman in Hollywood and why Black girls truly rock!

“I think being a Black woman today is such a huge joy,” she gushes. “I’m so proud of myself and I have so many beautiful Black women friends who I’m so proud of and who are so joyous.”


Sidibe has just directed her first independent film, “The Tale of Four” and was inspired by Nina Simone‘s iconic tune, “Four Women.” She also opens up about rewriting her history after being told by her mother that she never wanted a daughter because girls have it hard.

“I know this sounds harsh and fucked up, but what it set up for me as a child was that being a Black woman was not going to be easy. That’s what my mom told me. She said she never wanted to have a daughter because girls have a really hard life. Those were the first lessons I got about being a Black woman. Today, as an adult, I would really like to erase that narrative from my life.”

Click here to read the entire interview and see more great images of Gabby!

Photo Credits: REFINERY29

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Vivica A. Fox to release her first book, ‘Every Day I’m Hustling’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Vivica A. Fox can now add author to her long list of accomplishments. The veteran actress, producer, reality star, host, model and entrepreneur is releasing her very first book next May titled, Every Day I’m Hustling. Fox shared the big news exclusively with EntertainmentWeekly.com and on social media.

“YAY! I’m officially an AUTHOR! Thanks 4 being so AWESOME! is a motivational memoir 4 all avail 05/2018″

The book will focus on her journey as an African American woman in Hollywood as well as the ups and downs of being in entertainment and how one must take control of their own destiny. It was written with the intent of empowering and equipping the next generation of superstars.

“Success isn’t going to come knocking at your door — you have to go knocking on success’ door. You have to make good choices and make things happen for yourself. Especially in today’s society, everything’s so instant. You can swipe this and swipe that. [Younger people] believe that if you become a reality star, you’re going to be famous [forever]. They have no idea how temporary that can be… I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and I’ve seen many people come and go,” she explains. “Get ready, y’all, because [singingevery day I’m hustling. So, come along and hustle with me,” said Fox to EW.

Every Day I’m Hustling will debut on May 15, 2018.

Photo Credits: Entertainment Weekly

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Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny and Luke James @Clark Atlanta University [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Actors from “The New Edition Story” and Lee Daniels‘ “Star” dropped by Clark Atlanta University Thursday afternoon to speak to a classroom of aspiring theater students. The intimate conversation was presented by Farrinheit411 and was part of CAU’s weeklong Homecoming activities.

Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny and Luke James were greeting by high-pitched screams and a thunderous applause as they entered the Mass Media Arts Black Box Theater. The triple threat performers talked candidly about their roles, their time on set and in between projects and their newfound fame.

Powers and James both appeared in this year’s highly anticipated BET biopic about iconic R&B supergroup New Edition. They both talked about meeting each other on set and how quickly they formed a fraternal bond with the rest of the cast members. Powers portrayed Ronnie DeVoe while James starred as Johnny Gill.

Destiny is one of the three main actresses on Lee Daniels’ hit Fox series “Star.” The show, which is now in its second season, features her along with Jude Demorest and Brittany O’Grady as a trio of singers trying to make it in Atlanta’s cutthroat music industry. Destiny plays Alexandra “Alex” Crane, a wealthy 19-year-old singer-songwriter who grew up in the shadows of her famous rock star father played by Lenny Kravitz and her prime & proper mother played by supermodel—Naomi Campbell.

In addition to the students asking questions, they also shared with the actors their personal aspirations and how attending an HBCU (Historal Black College and University) has brought them closer to their goals and dreams.

Check out a few more pics below:

Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers 

Keith Powers talking to the students about starring in “The New Edition Story”

Keith Powers began his career as a model

Ryan Destiny

Luke James 

Luke James and Keith Powers 

CAU students sharing their experience at an HBCU

Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny, Farrinheit411, Eric Little and Luke James 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Mary J. Blige talks ‘Mudbound’ and more with ESSENCE Magazine

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Mary J. Blige has had an eventful 2017 to say the least. The Grammy-winning music diva, actress and fashion maven released her husband, released a new album and is now gearing up to release a new movie, “Mudbound.”

The multi-platinum selling artist is profiled in the November issue of ESSENCE where she opens up about the film project coming at a time of major change in her life on and off the stage.

“If I didn’t let go and give into the character, the movie probably wouldn’t be what it is right now. It was the one thing that needed to be done, and I couldn’t let Dee down.”

“Mudbound” follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Blige and Rob Morgan) — sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.

“Mudbound” has already garnered critical acclaim and some pre-Oscar buzz and will debut on Netflix beginning Friday, November 17.

All Hail the QUEEN!

Photo Credits: ESSENCE.com

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RC Exclusive - Fashion

‘Marshall’ star Chadwick Boseman for ‘Men’s Issue’ of EBONY [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

HOT OFF THE PRESSES!

Check out photos from Chadwick Boseman upcoming spread in EBONY Magazine. The star of “Marshall” and “The Black Panther” gets retro fresh for the 70s theme fashion shoot that was photographed so wonderfully by Dennis Leupold. The actor is seen in a variety of blue and chocolate hues and bold, vintage patterns.

“Grew up reading @EbonyMagazine. Grateful for the opportunity,” said Boseman on his Instagram page.

EBONY’s Men’s Issue also features R&B crooner Maxwell in the latest Fall fashion, a sneak peek into Ms. Tina‘s crib + an intimate look at “This is Us” star and Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown.  The issue also featues 5 Essential Movies About Civil Rights, Grammy winner Ne-Yo + A Day in the Life of Reginald Hudlin.

“Marshall” hits theaters this Friday, October 13. Go see it!!!

Photo Credits: Dennis Leupold for EBONY

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#UPFRONT featuring Bill Duke, Bobby Huntley and John Marshall Jones (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Don’t forget to check out this past weekend’s edition of my radio show #UPFRONT. It featured interviews with legendary actor and filmmaker Bill Duke; emerging Atlanta filmmaker Bobby Huntley and veteran actor John Marshall Jones. All three of them had film projects during this past weekend’s BronzeLens Film Festival. In addition to talking about their films, they also shared words of wisdom for aspiring actors and filmmakers.

Ray Cornelius with Bobby Huntley 

CLICK HERE to listen!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Greenleaf’s Lamman Rucker hosts ‘Brunch with the Brothers’ during #BLFF17 [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was all about #BlackMaleExcellence Sunday morning during BronzeLens Film Festival’s “Brunch with the Brothers.” The exclusive event took place at Atlanta’s historic Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and was hosted by “Greenleaf” star Lamman Rucker.  This year’s “brothers” included Lamman’s “Greenleaf” co-star Keith David, “Queen Sugar” stars Omar Dorsey and Timon Kyle Durrett and E.Roger Mitchell of BET’s “The Quad.” 

“Brunch with the Brothers” is an intimate gathering that puts a spotlight on African American men in television and film who are making bold moves in their own unique way. Each “brother” opened up about the numerous obstacles they’ve faced as actors within the entertainment industry. They also talked candidly about character selection, career balance and finances, actors versus artists and the “ebbs and flows” of show business.


“If you study and if you go to school to learn your craft, you can make a living. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich,” said Keith David. “You can be on television show after television show, that don’t mean you’re going to be rich. But the skewed perspective is that if you appear on TV everybody’s mind is in your pocket because they don’t know what minimum salary is. What they also don’t know is that you’re being taxed on that as if you’re making that all year round and you’re making that for a job. So, it ain’t what it seems to be!”

The “brothers” also revealed some of their other arts and entertainment interests including creating, writing, directing and producing new content, being able to control the narrative of our stories and much more.

“I want to be a part of that movement that’s going on right now of us showing ourselves on television in ways that we all can relate to,” said Dorsey.

Following the conversation was a brief Q&A with the audience and personal photos.

Check out more images below:

Timon Kyle Durrett being interviewed for BronzeLens TV

BronzeLens’s Executive Producer Kathleen Bertrand 

The Brothers (from l to r) Lamman Rucker, E. Roger Mitchell,

Keith David, Omar Dorsey and Timon Kyle Durrett

The Brothers with BronzeLen’s Artistic Director Deidra McDonald

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Niecy Nash, Elise Neal, Shanice & More @ ‘SMART, FUN, FAB GIRLS’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Over the weekend celebrity publicists and TV personalities, Monique Jackson and Kita Williams, introduced their “SMART, FUN, FAB GIRLS” mini-conference. These two smart and creative ladies are on a mission to help fill a void that’s been created by the facade and false  images and lifestyle that reality TV and social media has created, especially for our young millennial women of color. Thus, they created a refreshing, new realm of thinking and blueprint for success for young women with their “SMART, FUN, FAB GIRLS” movement.

They brought together a panel of celebrity women before a packed house in downtown Los Angeles to kick-off it off including Niecy NashElise NealShanice and reality star & Kevin Hart’s ex-wife Torrei Hart. The panel of women shared their recipe to success, how to step in to your own light without a “like” button and understanding your power to win in life to an all female audience. They plan on bringing the “SMART, FUN, FAB GIRLS” mini-tour to a city near you.

Check out more photos below:

Photo Credits: Jason Keepler
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#BLFF17 to award Queen Latifah with IconSuperstar Award

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Oscar-nominated actress, producer and award-winning entertainer—Queen Latifah—will be honored at this year’s Women Superstars Luncheon. The “Girls Trip” star will be recognized with the festival’s first ever IconSuperstar Award.  The annual ceremony will take place at Atlanta’s iconic Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and is one of the city’s most recognized and highly anticipated events.

The BronzeLens Women SuperStars Luncheon serves as an industry platform for interactive networking, social and professional engagement that inspires and informs women from all walks of life,” said Kathleen Bertrand, BronzeLens Film Festival Executive Producer.

Other previously announced honorees include award-winning director, writer and producer Neema Barnette, emerging filmmaker Nefertite Nguvu + actress, activist and theatre diva Crystal Fox.  Past recipients have included Margaret Avery, Terri J. Vaughn, Suzanne dePasse, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lynn Whitfield, Julie Dash, Cheryl Boone Issacs and Ava DuVernay.

Click here for tickets!

Photo Credit: BronzeLens.com