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LL Cool J to become Hip Hop’s first ‘Kennedy Center Honoree’ (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

LL Cool J will make history tonight as the very first hip hop star to ever receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. He will be recognized for his decades of influence and artistry as a pioneering rapper + entertainment icon.

“I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to. You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose. This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me.

We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another. Manifest our dreams and make them a reality. I hope you’re inspired by me because I’m absolutely Inspired by you. Mic check 1212 Let’s ride!! 🎤 #KCHonors#StateDepartmentDinner #hiphop” said the rapper on a recent Instagram post.

LL Cool J will be honored alongside Grammy winning singer and Motown star Lionel Richie, trailblazing dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban megastar Gloria Estefan and pioneering TV producer and writer Norman Lear.

The Kennedy Center Honors Gala will air on the CBS Network for the 40th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tues., December 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

Photo Credits: Instagram/LLCoolJ

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Recap

Luke James wants Elijah Kelly to play SDJ in upcoming biopic

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy nominated-singer and star of “The New Edition Story” Luke James took to social media Friday to express his desire to see his co-star Elijah Kelley play Sammy Davis Jr. in a forthcoming biopic. James posted side-by-side photos of both Kelley and Davis and their similarities are eerie!

“@lionelrichie I know you won’t see this, but my brother @oneelijahkelley was born for this role…” said James as his caption.

The film James is referring to is an upcoming production that is being produced by music legend Lionel Richie along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mike Menchel. It has already received the blessings from the Davis estate and is based on Davis’ 1965 memoir, “Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.”

While I am not sure if this is the same Davis project that Kelley was attached to in 2007, I know for certain it would be a dream come true for the young star.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed and keeping my prayers up,” said Kelley in a 2007 interview with MTV. “You know what? It’s like this: I just want to make the project a quality project. … Regardless of whether there’s 25 of them out, [I want to make] the one that’s supposed to be seen, and supposed to be heard, and supposed to be felt.”

RC will keep you posted as this story continues to develop!

What are your thoughts ? Do you think Elijah Kelley should play Sammy Davis Jr. in an upcoming biopic?

Photo Credit: Instagram/WolfJames

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RC Exclusive - Music

Lionel Richie to produce new Sammie Davis Jr. biopic

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Grammy winning singer-songwriter Lionel Richie is teaming up with the Sammie Davis Jr. estate for a biopic about the life and times of the late Las Vegas singer.  According to S&A, the film will be based on Davis’ 1965 memoir, “Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.” and will be produced by the “All Night Long” singer as well as Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mike Menchel.

“It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friends to the screen. I’m so grateful to be working closely with the Davis family on this and couldn’t be happier to be moving forward on this passion project,” said Richie in a statement.”

This new project is not to be confused with another film project about Davis’ life that we announced in 2015. That was being spearheaded by Byron Allen‘s entertainment studio.

Davis was an entertainment legend whose career spanned over 60 years. He was a singer, an accomplished dancer, actor and civil right activist. He was also part of the original “Rat Pack” which also included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Davis died in 1990 at age 64 from throat cancer.

RC will keep you posted as this story continues to develop!

Photo Credit: Parade.com

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Recap

John Legend added to Barbra Streisand ‘duets’ album

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

R&B crooner, John Legend is about to do what many new school singers have only imagined…sing a duet with music icon, Barbra Streisand.  The excited news was recently confirmed through a Billboard  interview with the album’s producer Kenneth Babyface Edmonds.

“It took a long time to get it done, but we’re finally, I don’t want to say done-done, but we’re right there,”  said Babyface to Billboard. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful record. She’s singing amazingly well, and it’s been a fun project to do.”

Legend joins an elite list of other male singers on the tribute album including Billy Joel, John Meyer, Josh Grobin and most recently added, Lionel Richie.

Stay Tuned…

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Photo Credit: deejay.it

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Recap

August Alsina & more to perform at BET Awards + Int’l Artists added to ‘Experience’

August Alsina/Photo Credit: AreYouTheReason.com

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET has added more chart topping names to the already stellar lineup of performances at this year’s BET Awards including Grammy-nominated rapper Nicki Minaj, Grammy winner John Legend, American singer-songwriter Jhene Aiko and American hip-hop singer August Alsina.  106 & Park  hosts Bow Wow and Keshia Chante along with actor Larenz Tate will also present at the awards show.

In addition, K. Michelle and Mack Wilds will join Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, and Jennifer Hudson at STAPLES Center on Sunday, June 29, 2014

This year is also the first time international acts have performed as part of the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® since the introduction of international BET Award categories, ‘Best International Act: Africa’ and ‘Best International Act: UK’ in 2010.

South African Afro-pop duo Mafikizolo, Ghanaian hip hop artist Sarkodie and Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage will take the stage along with British hip hop duo Krept & Konan and acclaimed rapper MC Ghetts. Nigerian hip hop superstar Ice Prince, who won the 2013 BET Award for ‘Best International Act: Africa’, will also perform and present the award for the same category to this year’s winner.

As previously reported, BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Motown legend, Lionel Richie and will be hosted by none other than award winning comedian Chris Rock.

The BET Awards 2014  will air live on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8pm ET on BET from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, CA.

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Recap

Pharrell Williams, J-Hud, Usher, Lil Wayne, Drake, & more to perform at BET Awards

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of the biggest names in entertainment will take the stage at the “BET Awards” 2014 on Sunday, June 29, 2014.  Pharrell Williams, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Trey Songz are among the names set to perform at this year’s ceremony.  Comedy titans Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan are also set to appear with music legend, Lionel Richie receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

As previously reportedBeyoncéJay-Z and Drake lead this year’s nominations with 5 nods a piece while Pharrell Williams and R&B newbie August Alsina both have 4 nods.

Emmy and Grammy® Award winning comedian Chris Rock will serve as this year’s host.

Click here for a full list of nominees.

Photo Credit: BET.com

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Recap

BET to honor Lionel Richie with 2014 Lifetime Achievement

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BET Networks announced this week that music icon Lionel Richie will be honored with the 2014 BET Lifetime Achievement Award.  Hosted by comedian and actor Chris Rock, the “BET Awards” will broadcast live on Sunday, June 29 from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles with sizzling performances and tributes by some of the hottest talent on the planet including this year’s special honoree himself, Lionel Richie.

“I am extremely honored to receive the BET Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Richie.  “In Black America, it’s the ‘BET Awards’ where artists receive the highest recognition for their talent from their peers and fans.  I am so proud to be included in the extraordinary company of past ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ recipients.”

The BET Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon the most significant and influential individuals in music history, and Lionel Richie is no exception.  With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, five Grammy® Awards, 16 American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar®, Richie’s accolades recognize him not only as a genius musician, but as an artist whose talents reach into all forms of expression.

Past recipients have included: Whitney Houston; Earth, Wind & Fire; James Brown; The Isley Brothers; Gladys Knight; Chaka Khan; Diana Ross; Al Green; The O’Jays; Prince; Patti LaBelle; Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Charlie Wilson.

Photo Credit: BET.com

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Recap

ESSENCE adds Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, & Erykah Badu to 2014 Festival Line-Up

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The 2014 ESSENCE Festival is shaping up to be an eclectic mix of old school and new school artists.

The festival announced today the addition of hip-hop soul queens Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu along with Motown legend Lionel Richie to its main stage. They will join previously announced headliner, Prince, who will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his classic Purple Rain  album.  Also gracing the main stage are crowd favorites Jill Scott, Ledisi and Charlie Wilson.

The Superlounges are sure to be “turnt up” with intimate performances from Marsha Ambrosius, Raheem DeVaughn, Robert Glasper, Elle Varner and R&B newcomer Sevyn Streeter. Veteran acts Naughty by Nature, Doug E. Fresh, Eve, 112, Amel Larrieux and Stephanie Mills will also hit the stage with their catalogues of endless hits.

Rounding out the weekend will be an all-star tribute to gospel diva Yolanda Adams during the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience. The event will be hosted by Adam’s Sunday Best  co-star Donnie McClurkin along with appearances by Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, and Fix My Life’s  Iyanla Vanzant.

The ESSENCE Festival is July 3-6 at the New Orleans Superdome.

Click here to purchase tickets!

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Photo Source: garuyo.com

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Recap

FIRST LOOK at Dayo Okeniyi in the romantic thriller ‘Endless Love’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Universal Pictures have released a trailer for the remake of the 80’s classic film Endless Love.

As previously reported, Endless Love  tells the story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart and stars Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde and The Hunger Games  star Dayo Okeniyi.

The original 1981 version of Endless Love  starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt in the lead roles and featured the popular theme song of the same name which was recorded by R&B legends Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

The film is directed by Shana Feste and based on the book by Scott Spencer.

Check out the trailer below:

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

Photo Credit: IndieWire.com

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Respect

RC Birthdays for the Week of June 16-22

Zoe Saldana appearing in her birthday suit for Allure  Magazine. The actress turns 35-years-old on June 19

Written by | Ray Cornelius

This week’s celebrity birthdays include a chameleon actress, two R&B music icons, a former boy band heart-throb, a celebrated tennis player, a rising hip-hop star, a Broadway diva and one funny ass actor .

Get plugged into the RC Birthdays for this week, June 16-22, 2013.

Eddie Levert.jpg2

 June 16: R&B legend and lead singer of The O’Jays, Eddie Levert is 71

Kendrick Lamar.jpg2

June 17: Hip-Hop’s “It” Boy, Kendrick Lamar turns 25-years-old

Venus Williams 23.jpg2

Tennis Champ and Fashion Maven, Venus Williams turns 32-years-old

Nathan Morrison AJC.jpg2

June 18: Boyz II Men’s Nathan Morris turns 42-years-old

Phylicia Rashad.jpg2

Tony-winning actress and everyone’s favorite mom, Phylicia Rashad is 65

Andrea Berg 'Die 20 Jahre Show'

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lionel Richie is 64

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Former Scrubs  star Donald Faison turns 39-years-old

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Recap

Dayo Okeniyi to star in ‘Endless Love’ remake

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Indie Wire is reporting that The Hunger Games  star Dayo Okeniyi is currently in talks to star in a remake of the 80’s romantic drama Endless Love.

Reportedly, Okeniyi will star alongside Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde in a story about a romance between two teenagers that turns obsessive, dark and disastrous. Okeniyi will play Pettyfer’s best friend, Mace and is described as “mischievous and a daredevil.”

The original 1981 version of Endless Love  starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt in the lead roles and featured the popular theme song of the same name which was recorded by R&B legends, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

 Endless Love  will be directed by Shana Feste and is reportedly in pre-production.

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Recap

John Legend replaces Lionel Richie on ‘DUETS’

Posted by | Cyrena Rose

ABC has announced that singer John Legend has replaced Lionel Richie on the new competition series, Duets!

No official reason was given for Richie’s departure.  His reps told TheInsider.com that Lionel pulled out of the show due to personal scheduling conflicts.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Duets and I’m looking forward to finding an undiscovered gem out there.  This is going be a lot of fun, John said in a statement, which also touted that John — along with Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke — set out on a journey across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy of being their duet partners.

What are your thoughts?

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Respect

Lionel Richie and Friends: In Concert!

The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions taped a special on April 2nd in Las Vegas that will feature Lionel Richie!  The concert, Lionel Richie and Friends:  In Concert,  will air on Friday, April 13th @ 9pm ET/PT on CBS.  In it, Richie performs with an array of country music superstars, including some who joined him on his newly released album of duets, Tuskegee.

Some of Richie’s greatest hits will be performed by today’s hottest country artists including Jason Aldean (“Say You Say Me”), The Band Perry (“Penny Lover”), Luke Bryan (“Running with the Night”), Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum (“Truly”), Martina McBride (“Still”), Jennifer Nettles (“Hello”) and Rascal Flatts (“Dancing on the Ceiling”).  Duets with Richie include: “My Love” with Kenny Chesney, “Sail On” with  Tim McGraw, “Lady” with Kenny Rogers, and more surprises to be announced.

“It has been so rewarding to have my songs embraced by country music artists,” said Lionel Richie. “Since Conway Twitty recorded ‘Three Times a Lady’ and Kenny Rogers sang ‘Lady,’ I have been welcomed into the country music family with open arms.  It’s the ultimate compliment to have country artists record and perform songs that I’ve written.  I’ve always felt right at home in country because I was raised just down the road from Nashville in Tuskegee, Alabama, where I was immersed in country, R&B, gospel and classical music. This show will be a homecoming and family reunion combined, and I’m so glad that viewers will be able to share these special moments with us. It will be a night that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Source:  CountryMusicChat