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Janet Jackson, Empire, Creed and more receive nominations for NAACP Image Awards

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The NAACP Image Award nominations were announced earlier today and my boo, Janet Jackson and Fox’s Empire are up for six awards including “Outstanding Group, Duo or Collaboration.”

Jackson is nominated for her sexy single, “No Sleeep” featuring J. Cole while Empire’s Jussie Smollett and British soul diva Estelle are nominated for their inspirational hit, “Conqueror.”

Other nominees include the film Creed, which is up for five awards including Michael B. Jordan for “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” and Straight Outta Compton, who received 4 nods including “Outstanding Motion Picture.”

A special #shoutout to ATL’s own media maven Egypt Sherrod.  Her  book, Keep Calm…Its Just Real Estate, is nominated for “Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional.”

The 47th Annual NAACP Image Awards airs live on TV One Friday, February 5 beginning with a “Red Carpet Special” at 8 p.m. followed by the Awards Ceremony at 9 p.m. This year’s telecast is hosted once again by Black-ish star Anthony Anderson.

Stay tuned for the list of performers and presenters. Click here to see the full list of nominees!



RC attends #PepsiATL Screening of ‘Empire’ (PHOTOS)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

My girl Monica Coleman from M320 Consulting teamed up with Pepsi last night to present an intimate screening of Empire. The evening took place at Atlanta’s iconic Park Tavern at Piedmont and featured a celebrity panel discussion along with southern dining and specialty drinks courtesy of Pepsi. Your truly, RC was honored to partner with both brands to promote the event through a social media contest and website promotions.


Rico Wade and Shanti Das

Music industry veterans like Shanti Das, Rico Wade, R&B group Silk and everyone’s favorite “mama” from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Deb Antney led a lively discussion about their experiences in the music industry. Both Das and Wade dished about working with industry giants like L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone while Antney talked about working with her rapper son, Waka Flaka and other artists she’s managed. Silk also talked about their challenges and gave some much needed advice to those pursuing a career as talent and those who want to manage them. The conversation was moderated by V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux.



After the 30-minute discussion, we all enjoyed Empire which featured a story line where Jamal (Jussie Smollett) brought his feuding parents, Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) together to create a song for a new Pepsi endorsement deal. The result was pure magic and Pepsi offered Jamal the opportunity to become the face of its new brand campaign.

Side Note: That was genius marketing on behalf of Pepsi to create an event that was centered around a story line on TV’s most popular show. Brilliant!!

Check out more photos from the evening below and a preview of next week’s episode featuring Vivica A. Fox and Alicia Keys.


Shanti Das and Ramona DeBreaux


Miss Deb Antney was open about the challenges shes faced in the music industry


Attendees could take pics at the Pepsi Photo Booth


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!


Attendees having fun at the Pepsi Photo Booth


Pepsi provided specialized cocktails for all attendees


Shanti Das discussing her time with LaFace Records


Lil G from Silk talking about his group’s experience as young artists


Photo Credits:


Empire’s Taraji P. Henson & Jussie Smollett host MYX Fusion Moscato Mixer [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last night, MYX Fusions Moscato participated in the Summer Sizzle BVI 2015 Launch Party at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York. FOX’s Empire stars Taraji P. Henson and Jussie Smollett hosted the launch party and indulged in the refreshing natural flavors of MYX Moscato, Peach and Mango throughout the night. Fashion and media influencers in attendance included Ty Hunter, Raquel Smith, Cori Murray, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, Memsor Kamarake, Ashunta Sheriff, Satchel Jester and many more.
Take a look at the photos below:

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Taraji jussie


The 7th Annual Summer Sizzle BVI event takes place July 23 – 27 in the British Virgin Islands. For more information,

Photo Credits: Patrick Neree


Empire’s Jussie Smollett ‘Comes Out’ + a SNEAK PEEK of this Week’s Episode (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Empire” actor and newly signed recording artist, Jussie Smollett, has come out as gay to talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres. The 31-year-old star wanted to set the record straight about his sexuality after his “Empire” co-star, Malik Yoba, unintentionally outed him during an interview. Yoba has since denied the claim and says he was misquoted.

Smollet, who plays the gay singer-songwriter “Jamal” on the hugely popular Fox series, told Ellen that he wanted to reveal the news to her because she has been such an inspiration to the LGBT community. His appearance on her show was also his first time performing live and his first television interview.

“It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet,” he told DeGeneres. “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got dressed, but I don’t have a closet…I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.”

Check out the interview below as well as a sneak peek of this week’s Empire episode, “Sins of the Father”

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Photo Credit:


The Lyons come together in next episode of ‘EMPIRE’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

If you thought last week’s episode of “Empire” was off the chain, wait until you see tonight’s show. From the looks of the video below, we get a chance to see what happened when Cookie first went off to prison. We also see what takes place when Anika confronts Lucious about his sexual escapade with Cookie. It also appears that Hakeem’s “mama” Camilla has her eyes set on the Lyon’s throne. Finally, the family unites for a musical project that appears to leave Andre and Boo Boo Kitty out in the cold.  It’s hard to believe that we only have four episodes left of this season.  Take a look:

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Photo Credit:


Snoop Dogg to appear on ‘EMPIRE’ + PREVIEW of this week’s episode (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The Wrap is reporting that hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg will be making a guest appearance on the new Fox series, “Empire.”  The West Coast rapper, actor and reality star will be playing himself on an episode that is slated to air between February and March. In addition to the show, Snoop will also be working on his next album, “Bush” along with Grammy winning producer, Pharrell Williams. With that in mind, I’m sure Snoop’s appearance on “Empire” will be some form of promotion for the new album.  He is just one of many A-list celebrities that will appear on this first season. Others include Gladys Knight, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Even Debbie Allen is getting in on the action as she will be directing a few episodes this season.

As previously reported, “Empire” reached over 9.9 million viewers during last week’s debut. The numbers were the highest Fox has seen in over three years making it one of the biggest premieres in the 2014-15 season.

Check out a few photos and trailer  from this week’s second episode below:






 EMPIRE airs this Wednesday, January 14 at 9 p.m. on Fox

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Photo Credits: (Snoop Dogg) & (Empire)


New Trailer for ‘EMPIRE’ feat. Terrence Howard & Taraji P. Henson (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

FOX is teasing us with another new trailer from its forthcoming series, EMPIRE,  starring Oscar-nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.  In the one-minute clip, Howard’s character Lucious Lyons finds out he’s running out of time and needs an heir to watch the throne of his multi-million dollar hip-hop empire that is until his ex-wife, Cookie Lyons (played by Henson) steps into the picture to reclaim half of the fortune.

Check it out below:

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As previously reported, EMPIRE  follows a family-run-hip-hop dynasty governed by Lyons who is attempting to take his record company, Empire Entertainment public. His plans come to screeching halt when his ex-wife emerges from prison for drug trafficking and an all-out family war ensues.

Rounding out the all-star cast is Gabby Sidibe, Malik Yoba, Jussie Smollet, Gladys Knight, Naomi Campbell and Macy Gray. The one-and-only Timbaland serves as music producer for the show which will feature original and current music.

The Lee Daniels’ production airs this January on FOX!

Photo Credit:


First Look at Terrence Howard & Taraji P. Henson in Lee Daniels’ ‘EMPIRE’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Fox has released a FIRST LOOK photo of Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in Lee Daniels’ upcoming hip-hop family drama, Empire. The one-hour series is slated to debut in the 2014-15 Season.

Empire  follows a family-run-hip-hop dynasty governed by Lucious Lyons (Howard), who is attempting to take his record company, Empire Entertainment public.  Henson plays Howard’s ex-wife, Cookie Lyons, who spent some time in prison for drug trafficking.

90210’s Trai Byers stars as Lyons’ oldest son, Andre. Jussie Smollet will play Jamal Lyons, the middle son who is also a gay rapper and Bryshere Y. Gray as Hakeem Lyons, the youngest son and heir apparent to his father’s throne.

Rounding out the cast is Malik Yoba as Lyons’ oldest friend and business associate Vernon Turner.  Macy Gray is Tasha, an older woman having an affair with Hakeem and Gabourey Sidibe is Lyons’ hard working assistant, Becky.  Grace Gealey will appear as Anika Gibbons, the head of A&R for Empire and Lucious’ current lady friend who may be angling for a power position in the new Empire hierarchy.

Timbaland is also on board as a songwriter and music producer for the series which will feature original and current music.

Stay  tuned…


Photo Credit: Indie Wire


Malik Yoba joins Lee Daniels’ new series, ‘EMPIRE’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

ESSENCE is reporting that veteran actor Malik Yoba will co-star alongside Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Lee Daniels’ new hip-hop drama pilot, Empire.

As previously reported, Empire  is set in the world of a family-run-hip-hop dynasty much like the real lives of rap moguls Jay Z, Diddy and Russell Simmons. Howard is tapped to play Lucius Lyons, a businessman on the rise that is about to take his record company, Empire Entertainment, public.

Yoba will play Vernon Turner, Lyons’ old friend and now business associate. Henson is slated to play Howard’s ex-wife, who spent some time in prison for drug trafficking.  Rounding out the cast is Jussie Smollett, brother of actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.  He is playing Howard and Henson’s son.

Empire  reunites Daniels’ with his Butler  writer Danny Strong and will air on Fox.

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