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RC Exclusive - Ent Recap

Tim Story & George Tillman Jr. recognized during ‘UPTOWN Honors Hollywood’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out photos from Uptown Magazine’s recent salute to tinseltown. The “Uptown Honors Hollywood” Pre-Oscar gala presented by Lexus recognized two of the industry’s finest—-Director Tim Story and Director/Screenwriter/Producer George Tillman, Jr.

Collectively their films include: Shaft, Mudbound, Barbershop, Soul Food, Think Like A Man, Fantastic Four, The Hate U Give, Notorious, Ride Along, Roll Bounce, Men of Honor and many more box office hits. 

The event was hosted by Chris Spencer & CLEO TV’s Tai Beauchamp and was attended by Melinda Williams, Salli Richardson, Miss J. Alexander, Skai Jackson, Bevy Smith, Kenny Lattimore, Deon Cole, Dondre Whitfield, Luenell, Bill Bellamy, Richard Brooks, Elijah Boothe, Big Lez, Robi Reed, Cathy Hughes and COO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Christine Simmons

The reception not only included tasty Hors d’oeuvres but it was decorated with the new 2020 Lexus ES and Lexus LS and the after party had DJ Lil Mic on the turntables. 

See all the pics below:


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Celebrity Publicist Monique Jackson + Bevy Smith + Kita Williams

Photo Credits: Earl Gibson III + Darius Carter

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RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music

‘UNSUNG’ returns March 3 featuring The Jets, Adina Howard and more (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

TV One’s award-winning musical docuseries UNSUNG returns to prime time beginning March 3. The hour-long program celebrates the lives of trailblazing musicians whose full stories and journey have yet to be explored.

This new season promises memorable stories of influential artists including R&B heartthrob Lloyd, 90s songstress Adina Howard, 80s family band The Jets, singer/songwriter Shirley Murdock, house music legend Crystal Waters, crooner Glenn Jones, vocalist Kenny Lattimore and contemporary gospel musician Tasha Cobbs-Leonard

Through first-hand accounts, interviews with family and friends, and archival footage, each episode weaves a tale of the highs and lows of a life in the limelight.

Watch a sneak peek below:

Photo Credit: YouTube/TV One

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Cicely Tyson, Ledisi, Angela Bassett + more attend ‘Ailey 60’ Opening Night Gala [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Last night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre‘s 60th Anniversary holiday season at New York City Center kicked off with a star-studded Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, with iconic film stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson as honorary chairs.

Robert Battle with Cicely Tyson

Prudential Financial received the Ailey Legacy Honor for their generous support and commitment to Ailey, especially its education and community programs. The award was presented by Battle and Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural Ailey Camp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, and accepted by Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact at Prudential Financial.

Hope Boykin + Angela Bassett

 The one-night-only program featured tributes to the Company’s legendary founder with a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion entitled For Alvin by Robert Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminated with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (12-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist), Kenny Lattimore (Grammy-nominated R&B singer), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning gospel singer), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano).  Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece that celebrates Ailey and brings his voice and presence back to the stage (created in collaboration with Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc.), also premiered.

Robert Battle + Kenny Lattimore + Judith Jamison + Jussie Smollett

“Alvin Ailey said ‘I’m trying to hold up a mirror to society so that people can see how beautiful they are.’  In 1958, before the Civil Rights Movement, he “Made a Way Out of No Way” on a trailblazing journey to becoming one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history,” stated Robert Battle. “His celebration of the human spirit has lifted us up and brought us together, and his spirit still runs through the veins of this organization.”

Lucinda Martinez, Honorary Chairs Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson , Artistic Director Robert Battle, Sidra Smith, B.Michael and guests

Special guests from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, and philanthropy included Carmen de LavalladeSusan Fales-Hill, Jane Krakowski, Naturi Naughton, Soledad O’Brien, Amanda Seales, Bevy Smith, Jussie Smollett, Susan L. Taylor, Ben Vereen, Elaine Wynn, B. Michael, George Faison and many more. After the performance, the celebration continued at the New York Midtown Hilton’s Grand Ballroom where approximately 900 guests joined Battle, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, and the stars ofAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater for dinner and dancing with live music by the premier band Élan Artists.

Ailey Dancers performing “Revelations”

In addition, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the City of New York, and New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal joined in celebration by sending written proclamations recognizing Ailey’s many achievements over the last 60 years.

Throughout December, Ailey’s 32 remarkable dancers will unveil four premieres, two new productions, and a variety of returning favorites, classics, and special programs. The Company will continue to inspire audiences across North America with a 21-city tour beginning in January 2019. For more information, visit alvinailey.org.

See more pics below:

Carmen de Lavallade + George Faison + Sidra Smith +

Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters

Ailey Board Member Lucinda Martinez +

Amanda Seales + Bevy Smith + Beverly Bond

Jussie Smollett + Angela Bassett

Naturi Naughton

Gala Co-Chair and Ailey Board President Debra Lee + Artistic Director Robert Battle

Amanda Seales + Sidra Smith + Jacque Reid

Erica Campbell + Kenny Lattimore + Ledisi + Brandie Inez

The Legendary Cicely Tyson

Photo Credits: Christopher Duggan and Donna Ward

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RC Exclusive - Music Rising - Music

Kenny Lattimore’s Valentine’s Day Playlist (VIDEOS)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and RC has just the right love songs to help you get in the mood. I enlisted some help from NAACP Image Award winning R&B crooner Kenny Lattmore, who I met and interviewed over the weekend during the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show. We talked about his new album, Vulnerable, which features the hit single, “PUSH.”

The album was birth out of Lattimore’s desire to find love again and was produced by his mentee Drakkar Wesley. Lattimore says that the young singer-songwriter helped him with vocal arrangements and picking songs with the hopes of reaching a new generation of fans.

“The romance part is what’s missing in a lot of the music today. It’s more just sex and just jumpoffs and all that kind of stuff. Wait! Where’s the romance? It’s all of that and I know where my place fits for them. Bringing Drakkar in allowed me to have a fresh sound that was modern still. He respects my legacy but he figured out a way to bring me into this new time period and new generation,” said Lattimore during our interview.

When asked to give me his MUST HAVE songs for the big day, Lattimore didn’t hesitate to share some new ones from Vulnerable as well as few classics.

Take a peek below and enjoy!

#5 Stay On Your Mind

#4 Deserve

#3 Never Too Busy

#2 Falling for You

#1 For You

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com + Facebook/Kenny Lattimore

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Kenny Lattimore, Towanda Braxton + more attend Bronner Bros. Hair Show [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out photos from DAY TWO of the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show. Yours truly was there for another round and captured a few images of this year’s special invited guests including Braxton Family Value star Towanda Braxton, R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore and Sister Circle Live co-host Kiana Dancie.

Adam Tran

Braxton was in attendance along with celebrity nail artist Adam Tran. The two are teaming up for a special project that is rolling out this spring and is going to have everyone talking (I’ll tell you about that later in another post).

Kenny Lattimore + James Bronner + Black Sophisticates Beauties

Lattimore stopped by on his way to perform in Cleveland and promoted his new album, Vulnerable. He also chopped it up with Atlanta’s Big Station—V-103 and stopped by the Black Hair Sophisticates booth for photos.  I also talked to him about the inspiration behind the new music and his Top 5 Love Songs to put you in the mood for love on Valentine’s Day (coming up in a later post).

Larry Sims

Celebrity stylist and BRAVO reality star Larry Sims also stopped by the Black Hair Sophisticates booth to take photos with his fans. He is responsible for those amazing looks on Mary J. Blige, Gabrielle Union, Tracee Ellis Ross and more.

Jamie Foster Brown

Other personalities spotted on the showroom floor included Rickey Smiley Morning Show diva and the “Queen of Atlanta” Ms. Juicy Baby, L.A. Hair Nail star Naja, celebrity stylist and TV personality Derek J, media maven Jamie Foster Brown and Sister Circle Live co-host, comedienne and actress Kiana Dancie.

See more images below:

Ms. Juicy Baby

CURLS for Days

Derek J

The EYES have it!

Kiana Dancie with the Indique Hair Team

NAJA

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Jenifer Lewis, Kenny Lattimore, Rahsaan Patterson & more to appear at ‘Divas Simply Singing’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Original “Dreamgirl” and my good buddy, Sheryl Lee Ralph will host her annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser “DIVAS Simply Singing!,” on Saturday, December 9 at Hollywood’s Taglyan Cultural Center.

This year’s roster of talent includes R&B greats Kenny Lattimore and Rahsaan Patterson, Chicago soul singer (and “The Voice” Season 3 contestant) Terisa Griffin and “Black-ish” actress and singer Jenifer Lewis, who will also be signing copies of her new book “The Mother of Black Hollywood.” This show will be the most intimate gathering in the organization’s history and will feature cocktails, dinner and entertainment in a unique club setting that will give all in attendance an up close experience with the performing artists. 

“We are always trying to find creative ways to continue to raise HIV/AIDS awareness,” Ralph says. “Anytime you put on an event for over 25 years, there’s the danger of becoming old, too familiar and having the community take you for granted. So this year, we thought we would do something different and host it in a smaller venue that brings everyone closer together for maximum interaction and enjoyment.”

The evening will also feature Todrick Hall, multi-hyphenate and former “American Idol” contestant turned Broadway star (“Kinky Boots”), who is this year’s recipient of the The DIVA Foundation’s Vision Award.

“With his passionate artistic activism, powerful songs and ability to connect with and promote a sense of better understanding with gay kids, straight kids, trans kids and so many others finding their way in the world, I believe Todrick will continue to have a great impact on our industry and the world,” says Ralph. “To use the vernacular term, he is truly WOKE!”

“Divas Simply Singing!” is the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the United States and continues to serve as a loving tribute for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDs. Over the years, DIVAS Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Teena Marie, Tremaine Hawkins, Karen Clark Sheard, Yolanda Adams, LaShun Pace, Dottie Peoples, Jennifer Hudson, and many more have raised their voices in song on the DIVAS stage. 

Click here for tickets!

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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

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RC Exclusive - Ent

‘Trumpet Awards’ to honor Wendy Williams, New Edition and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Bounce TV has announced the honorees for this year’s “25th Annual Trumpet Awards” and congratulations goes out to media maven Wendy Williams, who will be given the Entertainment Award and legendary R&B group, New Edition, who will pick up the Lifetime Achievement Award. The lavish ceremony will tape next Saturday, January 21 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and will air on Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST.

“Black-ish” star and two-time EMMY® nominated actor Deon Cole is teaming up with and “Rosewood” and seven-time NAACP Image Award nominated actress Nicole Ari Parker as hosts of the black-tie ceremony.

Other honorees include former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo (Humanitarian Award), GRAMMY®-winning soul singer Peabo Bryson (Legend Award) and fashion blogger Gabi Gregg (Trailblazing Award).

The 25th Annual Trumpet Awards will also include special performances by Erica Campbell, Kenny Lattimore, Tamela Mann, Shirley Caesar, Bobby V., Keke Wyatt and Jekalyn Carr.

In a very special tribute, civil rights icon and founder of the Trumpet Awards Xernona Clayton will be presented with the distinguished “Golden Trumpet Award” in recognition of her unparalleled leadership, affecting change, and steadfast work in building the legacy of the awards.

“We have come so far since we started in 1993 and I am extremely obliged to those individuals who saw the vision and who have worked with us for 25 years. Bounce is the ideal custodian to continue to enhance the level of excellence that is our standard going forward. I am thrilled to have my beloved Trumpet Awards become part of Bounce who will continue to celebrate the achievements of those who had an impact on our community for many more years to come,” says Mrs. Clayton.

RayCornelius.com and “UPFRONT” will be on the red carpet to get all of the exclusive interviews with the honorees and presenters, so stay tuned!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and Facebook/Wendy Williams

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RC Exclusive - Music

‘Dave Koz Christmas Tour’ appears at Cobb Energy Centre [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Centre was transformed into a winter wonderland Friday night as the “Dave Koz Christmas Tour” rolled into town for its annual holiday engagement. Joining Koz on this year’s roster is South African jazz guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Butler, R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore and legendary Motown singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson of “Ashford & Simpson.”

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Kenny Lattimore,Valerie Simpson and Dave Koz

RayCornelius.com got a chance to take photos during the show and exclusive backstage images that you won’t see anywhere else. Fans of all four entertainers were in for a treat as they performed over two hours of classic Christmas music including “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,”” The Christmas Song,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Hallelujah,” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” They also performed a few of their own iconic records as well as a medley of Motown hits such as “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “Precious Love,” “You’re All I Need” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  Check out more photos below and click here to see where the tour goes next!

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Dave Koz dressing room

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Kenny Lattimore and Aalyah Duncan 

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Dave Koz Christmas Tour 

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Jonathan Butler

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Dave Koz

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Valerie Simpson

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Kenny Lattimore 

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Jonathan Butler playing “Little Drummer Boy” to the young audience member

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Kenny Lattimore

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Valerie Simpson

img_6614 Dave Koz

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Toni Braxton, Wendy Raquel Robinson and more honored at ‘365Black Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations to Grammy winning-superstar Toni Braxton and accomplished television and film actress Wendy Raquel Robinson. The two divas were honored over the holiday weekend in New Orleans at the 13th Annual McDonald’s 365BlackAwards. The ceremony was held during the ESSENCE Festival and was presented by Coca Cola and hosted by Amber Riley and Lance Gross.

McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round.

Actress and singer Amber Riley and actor Lance Gross co-hosts the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

This year’s other honorees included football cornerback Charles Tillman; educator and historian Lonnie Bunch; and McDonald’s owner/operator Larry Triplett. Additionally, teen philanthropist Lauren Seroyer and teen social-entrepreneur Donovan Smith were recognized alongside this lineup with the third McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award, facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Singing siblings and reality television co-stars The Braxton Sisters performed a show-stopping tribute to their sister, who received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Vocal powerhouse Kelly Price, along with recording artists Kenny Lattimore, V. Bozeman and Eric Benet also joined the sisters in the tribute to Toni. Other performers included Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, Chrisette Michele, Ro James and Canton Jones.

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Celebrities in attendance included actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Erica Ash and Gabrielle Dennis, along with actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Ronreaco Lee and Jay Ellis, were among this year’s presenters. Other stars spotted on the red carpet included recording artists Jordin Sparks, Avery Wilson and Guordan Banks, as well as music producer Sean Garrett and comedian/philanthropist Ricky Smith. Actor, comedian and popular internet personality King Bach.

Christian Rapper and reality television personality Canton Jones performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

“We salute this year’s honorees for all of their achievements and for positively contributing to their communities,” said William Rhodes, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “It is important to acknowledge people who are making a real difference. We at McDonald’s are proud to be able to honor this group with this form of recognition. We hope it inspires them and others to continue to make positive impact.”

Those who missed the live awards ceremony can share in the experience by watching the broadcast on BET® Networks and CENTRIC later this summer.

Check out more photos below:

Actress and Recording Artist Jordin Sparks attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Jordin Sparks

Recording Artist and Reality Television Personality Tamar Braxton attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Tamar Braxton

Actor Cornelius Smith, Jr. attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Cornelius Smith Jr.

Recording Artist Kelly Price attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Kelly Price

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Anthony Hamilton

Recording artist V. Bozeman performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

V. Bozeman

Recording Artist Kenny Lattimore attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Kenny Lattimore 

Actress and comedienne Erica Ash attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Erica Ash

Recording artist Eric Benet performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Eric Benet

Recording Artist Avery Wilson attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Avery Wilson

Singer Chrisette Michele performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Chrisette Michele

Actress and honoree Wendy Raquel Robinson attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Wendy Raquel Robinson accepting her award

Singer and honoree Toni Braxton attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Toni Braxton accepting her award

Photo Credits: Soul Brother

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Recap

Debbie Allen, Smokey Robinson, NeNe Leakes & more attend Johnny Gill’s 50th Birthday Party [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

R&B crooner Johnny Gill celebrated his 50th birthday in style over the weekend at a private Bel-Air Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. The party’s theme was “50 Shades of Johnny” after the erotic “50 Shades of Grey” movie.

A number of celebrities and many of his closest friends came out to celebrate including acting and dance legend Debbie Allen, Motown icon Smokey Robinson, comedian Cedric The Entertainer, RHOA stars NeNe Leakes and Cynthia Bailey and media personalities Shaun Robinson and Rocsi Diaz.

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Other celebrities spotted at the party included Broadway and TV/film actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, former “Girlfriends” actress Jill Marie Jones, Phillip Bailey (from Earth Wind and Fire) and R&B singers Jeffrey Osborne, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Benet, Jon Jon (from Troop), Joe and Major.

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Gill’s New Edition brothers Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell were also present along with some of the cast from their upcoming BET biopic like Luke James, Yvette Nicole Brown and Bryshere Y. Gray. The young actors who will portray the group’s founding members were also present.

Johnny’s album Game Changer is currently topping the charts with the hot single “This One’s for Me and You” featuring New Edition. He most recently appeared with the group at Funk Fest Atlanta.

Check out more photos below:Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny Gill

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Actors from “New Edition: The Movie”

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny with Joe, Rocsi Diaz, Nicole Murphy and guest

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Kenny Lattimore with Jeffrey Obsorne

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny with Ronnie Devoe, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins

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Kenny Lattimore, Jeffrey Osborne & Smokey Robinson serenading the RHOA

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Johnny with Cedric The Entertainer

Johnny with Bryshere Y. Gray, Ricky Bell and Nicole Murphy

Johnny Gill and Sheryl Lee Ralph

Johnny with Sheryl Lee Ralph

Photo Credits: Arnold Shoots

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Recap

Elise Neal, Sharon Leal and More attend Kenny Lattimore’s play, ‘Love Soul Deep’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

A number of celebrities came out recently to support the L.A. stage play “Love Soul Deep,” executive produced by Grammy nominated-artist, Kenny Lattimore and director Patrica Cuffie-Jones. Out on the scene was actress & star of “Hollywood Divas” Elise Neal, “Addicted” actress Sharon Leal, stars of TV Land’s, “Soul Man,” actors Wesley Jonathan and Kellee Stewart, new author and “Marrying The Game” reality star Tiffney Cambridge, celebrity publicists Kita Williams and Monique Jackson, celebrity herbalist A.D. Dolphin.

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Sharon Leal, Kenny Lattimore, Patricia Cuffie-Jones

“We have heard that blacks don’t attend the theatre but that’s far from the truth,” said Patricia Cuffie-Jones. “Being a playwright/director with a successful body of work from the stage, I’m excited about bringing out some prominent celebrity actors who support my work to experience a night at the theatre.”

Check out a few photos below:

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 Charity Jordan

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Group Shot

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 Tiffney Cambridge

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 Patricia Cuffie-Jones & Elise Neal

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 A.D. Dolphin, Kenny Lattimore

kita SHARON LEAL

 Kita Williams & Joe Hardy/Sharon Leal

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Jill Scott, Lil Mama, Goapele and more attend Robi Reed’s Summer Soiree [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Emmy® Award-winning casting director and talent executive Robi Reed recently held her legendary end-of-summer event, “Robi Reed’s 12th Annual Sunshine Beyond Summer Celebration” – The Day Party With A Purpose benefiting The Reed For Hope Foundation, at the opulent estate of philanthropist and healthcare entrepreneur Lorna Johnson in Beverly Hills, California.  As one of the most highly-coveted invites in the entertainment industry, Reed brought together a select, diverse group of over 300 influencers, ranging from Hollywood insiders and business executives to community leaders, close friends and associates, for a fundraiser unlike any other.

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 Kym Whitley, Wren T. Brown, Robi Reed

The special event was hosted by actress/model Eva Marcille (“America’s Next Top Model”) and actress/comedian Kym Whitley (OWN’s “Raising Whitley”), with music spun by DJ Tendaji Lathan and special musical performances by singer/songwriter Goapele and the Hidden Beach Experience featuring Unwrapped performing jazz instrumentals of hip-hop hits.  Guests enjoyed champagne and Red Bull cocktails and a delicious healthy food menu prepared by celebrity chef Judson Todd Allen.

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Robi Reed with Lynn Whitfield

Reed had many reasons to celebrate this year, including her birthday weekend, recent membership in the invite-only Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a successful second year of her non-profit organization, the Reed For Hope Foundation (RFHF), which focuses on health, wellness and disease prevention.  RFHF’s Love Healthy campaign is aimed to initiate meaningful conversation about how influencers can use their social currency to affect public attitudes about health disparities, disease prevention, and general wellness.  RFHF is extending the Love Healthy Tour next year, which launched in 2013-14 in target markets around the country and with activations on HBCU campuses, encouraging everyone to get screened for HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, diabetes, blood pressure, stress, cholesterol, and breast cancer.  Other RFHF initiatives include building wells for clean drinking water in Africa and a documentary film produced by Will Packer (“Ride Along,” “Think Like A Man Too”) about sickle cell anemia, which has personally affected Reed’s family members.

photo 14

R&B Crooner Kenny Lattimore

Celebrities and notables in attendance included Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jill Scott, actress Regina King, former NFL player Terrell Owens, hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte, singer Kenny Lattimore, Emmy-winning actress Lynn Whitfield, veteran actor John Amos, actress Nadine Ellis (“Let’s Stay Together”), rapper/actress Lil’ Mama (“CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story”), TV personality Omarosa Manigault (“The Apprentice”), actress Nicki Micheaux (“Lincoln “Heights”), actress Robinne Lee (“Being Mary Jane”), news anchor Leslie Sykes (KABC TV), TV personality Petri Hawkins Byrd (“Judge Judy”), among others.

photo 9

 Nadine Ellis, Lil’ Mama, Robi Reed

Reed recognized honorees during a pre-event reception hosted by esteemed actor/producer Wren T. Brown (Founder, Ebony Repertory Theatre).  Special awards were presented to this year’s honorees:  Lorna Johnson (Founder, Advanced Family Care Medical Group), Tony Lee (CEO, Dickerson Employee Benefits), Samantha Granberry (Senior Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation), Toure Roberts (Pastor, One Church International), Eric and Maleka Beal (Co-Founders, BetterChoices, LLC), and Eva Marcille (RFHF Awareness Ambassador).

Photo 8

Hidden Beach Experience featuring Unwrapped

The 2014 SBS Celebration was presented in association with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  Co-sponsors included the American Heart Association, Bling H20, Chef Judson Todd Allen, Chef Works, Healthy Infused Cuisine, Hidden Beach Recordings, Lorna Johnson, NIKE, Ralph’s, and Wings Limousine.  For more information about the SBS Celebration and RFHF, visit www.reedforhope.org.

Check out more photos below:

photo 13 Photo 2

 Leslie Sykes and Robi Reed/Goapele with Jill Scott

Photo 10 Photo 4

 Robi Reed and Robinne Lee/Terrell Owen with Regina King

Photo 5 photo 11

  Chef Judson Todd Allen/John Amos

Photo 3 Photo 12

  Eva Marcille and daughter Marley/Omarosa Manigualt

 Photo credits: A. Turner Archives and Malcolm Ali 

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent

RC attends ‘UNCF An Evening of Stars’ (PHOTOS)

R&B singer Sevyn Streeter performing at the UNCF An Evening of Stars/Photo Credit: MGR/LinxImages

Written by | Ray Cornelius

The 35th Annual UNCF An Evening of Stars was taped last night in Atlanta’s Boisfeuillet Jones Civic Center. The star-studded event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser and collects millions of dollars for its UNCF member Historically Black Colleges & Universities as well as UNCF scholarships and programs.  The show, which was previously held in Los Angeles, was moved to Atlanta and was hosted once again by comedic actor Anthony Anderson.

Many of entertainment’s biggest and brightest stars performed during the show including Jill Scott, Monica with the legendary Isley Brothers, YouTube sensation Spoken Reasons with Marsha Ambrosius and R&B newcomers Alice Smith, August Alsina and Sevyn Streeter.

There were also appearances by Cedric the Entertainer, Braxton Family Values  stars – Tamar, Trina and Towanda Braxton, DJ Drama, actress Demetria McKinney, actor-singer Mack Wilds, actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield and 106 & Park  host  Keshia Chanté.  Also spotted in the audience were singers Algebra and Kenny Lattimore, actor Brad James and CEO of BobbCat Films, Roger Bobb.

R&B heartthrobs Usher and Trey Songz presented scholarships on behalf of their foundations and Gospel superstar Ty Tribbett closed out the show with a “hand clapping, toe tapping” finale.

The telecast will air this Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. EST on BET.

Check out a few photos from the red carpet and show below:

Trey Songz and his mother Trey Songz

 Trey Songz and his mother April Tucker

Sallie Richardson-Whitfield Roger Bobb

 Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield and  acclaimed TV and Film producer Roger Bobb

 Monica 2 Mack Wilds0

 Singer Monica and actor/singer Mack Wilds

Towanda Braxton Trina Braxton

 Braxton Family Value  stars Towanda and Trina Braxton

Jill Scott

Jill Scott opened the show with some of her biggest hits like “The Way”

Anthony Anderson

 Anthony Anderson hosted the show for the year in a row

Cedric the Entertainer

 Cedric the Entertainer and Anderson joking around before presenting a scholarship

Monica and Ronald Isley

 Monica performs For the “Love of You” with Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers

Usher Raymond

Usher presented a scholarship to a lucky student on behalf of UNCF and his New Look Foundation

RC with sasha the diva

 RC with Sasha the Diva from ATL’s Kiss 104.1 FM

RC on the red carpet

RC reporting from the Red Carpet!

Photo Credits: MGR/LinxImages