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BMW’S ‘Celebration of Culture’ with Jermaine Dupri, Doug E. Fresh + more [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out photos from last night’s “Celebration of Culture” presented by BMW and The Connect Worldwide. The event took place at the historic Georgia Freight Depot and was attended by a number of Atlanta’s movers and shakers.

“Celebration of Culture” is a fusion of culinary, art, music and fashion inspired by Asian American, African American and Hispanic American cultures. Attendees enjoyed a variety of eats from celebrity chefs—Palak Patel, Nichelle Benford and Ronaldo Lineres.

Hip hop icon Doug E. Fresh provided old school tunes along with DJ D-Nice and Latin sounds from El Pariseo. There were also visual and performance art from Lion and Dragon as well as Dwayne ‘Dubelyoo’ Wright.

“The language of great food, music and art is universal— so it made sense for BMW to lead the charge in creating new ways to engage influencers,” said Kevin Williams, Head of Multicultural Marketing and Diversity & Inclusion for BMW of North America. “Through the CoC platform, we are redefining diversity in one of the most authentic and intimate ways possible. It’s proof that embracing different cultures is a powerful way to connect.”

Celebrities in attendance included Jermaine Dupri, RHOA stars Cynthia Bailey and Lisa Wu + NBA legend Julius Erving aka Dr. J. Comedian Jonathan Slocumb served as the evening’s MC and the red carpet was hosted by media personality Roland Martin.

Check out more photos below:

Photo Credits: PerMedia Group

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RC Exclusive - Music Recap

Jazze Pha, Cynthia Bailey, Lisa Wu + more spotted at ‘BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Gifting Suite’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

In preparation for tonight’s R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Ceremony, BMI hosted a VIP Gifting Suite Wednesday evening at Atlanta’s uberly sexy W Midtown Hotel.  The soiree took place at the newly renovate ELEVATE and was co-presented by EyeCandy Creation’s Tiffany Williams.

The BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Awards & Gifting Suite is a private event for BMI affiliates, artists, celebrities, prominent music industry executives and industry taste makers.  EyeCandy Creations was able to bring out a number of  luxury brands such as Gold & Wood: Luxury Eyewear in noble materials, Absolut, Cartier, Mia Adora, Caribbean Blue, Tickets 2 Events, Carmen Sol, Jaxon Pastries, to name a few.

Celebrity attendees included RHOA star Cynthia Bailey, actress and reality star Lisa Wu, music producer Jazzy Pha, celebrity stylist Derek J and hip hop stars Sonny Digital and Drumma Boy. Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations at BMI Atlanta—Catherine Brewton—was also in attendance and was recognized by her staff for her 20 years of service to the music company.

This year’s BMI R&B/Hip Hop Awards will feature an all-star salute to music icon Patti LaBelle and will have award presentations in the following categories: Most Performed R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the past year, BMI Billboard #1’s, R&B/Hip-Hop Producer of the Year.  See more photos below:

Cynthia BaileyJazze Pha
Lisa Wu

UPSCALE’s Satchel Jester and Derek J 

BMI’s Catherine Brewton and Wardell Malloy

Tiffany Williams and Aliya T. Crawford 

Tiffany Williams presenting an gift to BMI’s Catherine Brewton

Catherine Brewton during the champagne toast

Sir Elijah Blake and Travis Malloy

Drumma Boy 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Spike Lee, Jermaine Dupri & others honored at ‘Triumph Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The stars aligned last night for The Triumph Awards. The private ceremony took place at the historic Tabernacle Concert Hall in the heart of downtown Atlanta, GA. Yours truly was in the building to capture all of the red carpet action.

img_8903The Triumph Awards are presented each year by Reverend Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network (NAN). The invitation only event recognizes distinguished individuals and corporations in civil rights, the arts, entertainment, education, business and sports. The show was taped before a live audience and will premiere on Sunday, October 2  at 7 p.m. EST on TV One.

This year’s honorees include hip hop superstar and music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs; legendary film director Spike Lee, music mogul Jermaine Dupri, Attorney Benjamin Crump, FedEx executive Gina Adams and Tim Murphy of Mastercard. “Survivor’s Remorse” actress and beloved TV and film star Tichina Arnold served as the host.

img_8765Celebrity presenters and performers that walk the red carpet included TV One President Brad Siegel, TV and film star Nick Cannon, R&B crooner Joe, “Survivor’s Remorse” star Erica Ash, TV and film star Larenz Tate, Grammy winner and RHOA Kandi Burruss, “Hollywood Divas” star Lisa Wu, “Queen Sugar” actor Dondre Whitfield, TV and film actor Carl Payne, “Empire” actress and music star V. Bozeman, “Survivor’s Remorse” actress Teyonah Parris, “If Loving You is Wrong” actress April Parker Jones, recording star BJ the Chicago Kid, WNBA star Angel McCoughtry, comedic actor JB Smoove, James Brown’s daughters Dr. Yamma and Deanna Brown-Thomas, “Saints and Sinners” star Clifton Powell, “Born For This” stars Juan and Deborah Joy Winans, gospel sensation Jekalyn Carr, TV and fashion personality Fonzworth Bentley, media maven Ebony Steele, Recording artist Cristina Quinones, TV and film star Pooch Hall,  TV and film actress Denise Boutte and the Mothers of the Movement: Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin), Gwen Carr (Eric Garner) and Leslie McSpadden (Mike Brown).

Check out all of the photos below:

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Honoree Benjamin Crump

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Tichina Arnold 

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BJ the Chicago Kid

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Deborah Joy Winans and Juan Winans 

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Larenz Tate 

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Teyonah Parris 

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Nick Cannon 

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V. Bozeman

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Pooch Hall 

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Tichina Arnold throwing up the Lupus advocate sign

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Brad Siegel with Kandi Burruss

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Fonzworth Bentley and his wife Faune Bentley

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April Parker Jones 

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Joe

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Kandi Burruss

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Dondre Whitfield

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Honoree Gina Adams FedEx Corporation 

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Carl Payne 

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Ebony Steele 

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JB Smoove 

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Cristina Quinones

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Rev. Al Sharpton playing with Tichina‘s gown

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Honoree Tim Murphy Mastercard 

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Erica Ash

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Honoree Benjamin Crump and his mother

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Clifton Powell and guests

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Bart Phillips and guest

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Dr. Yamma Brown and Deanna Brown-Thomas

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Denise Boutte

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Carl Payne and Dondre Whitfield

aka “Cockroach” and “Robert” from “The Cosby Show”

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Lisa Wu and guest

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Music mogul Michael Mauldin

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Jekalyn Carr

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Tim Murphy, Brad Siegel, Teyonah ParrisTichina Arnold

and Rev. Al Sharpton sharing a laugh on the red carpet

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The Mothers of the Movement ~ Gwen Carr (Eric Garner),

Leslie McSpadden (Mike Brown) and Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin)

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Porsha Williams, Da Brat, Karlie Redd & more attend Rickey Smiley Bowling Tournament (PHOTOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of ATL’s finest battled it out for a good cause last night! Da Brat, RHOA’s Porsha Williams, singer and actress Demetria McKinney and more participated in Rickey Smiley‘s Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

The event took place at Slingshot Entertainment in Norcross, GA and featured complimentary food and drinks and more. It was also tapped for an upcoming episode of Rickey’s TV One docu-series, “Rickey Smiley For Real,” which airs on Tuesday night’s at 8 p.m. EST.

Other celebrities in attendance included Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Karlie Redd, Dish Nation’s Gary with da Tea, R&B Diva Meelah Williams, rapper Bonecrusher, For Better or Worse actress Cocoa Brown, Barbershop: The Next Cut actor Diallo Thompson, R&B singer Brandi Williams, Celebrity Stylist Tameka Foster, entertainer Mishon, vocalist Sammie Bush, Hollywood Diva‘s Lisa Wu Hartwell, Hip-Hop icon Monie Love, gospel singer Micah Stampley, Sunday Best Season winner Y’Anna Crawley, Selling It in the ATL’s Gwen Boyd, Porsha Ferguson from The Haves and the Have Nots and more.

Guests were also encouraged to donate to Rickey’s Foundation which was born out of his desire to impact the lives of children and teens through programming that motivates them to live life to their fullest potential. It also celebrates the lives of our seniors, who are the fabric of the community.

Check out more photos below and click here to donate:

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Porsha Williams 

Cocoa Brown

Cocoa Brown

Da Brat and Rickey Smiley

Rickey Smiley with Da Brat

Ed Lover

ED Lover

Demetria McKinney

Demetria McKinney

Bonecrusher and wife

Bonecrusher and his wife

Heidi and Micah Stampley

Micah Stampley and his wife

Lisa Wu Hartwell

Lisa Wu

Tameka Foster and Ryan Foster

Tameka Foster  and son

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Sammie 

Porsha Ferguson

Porsha Ferguson

 

 

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TV One hosts ATL Premiere of ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ Season 2 [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Rickey Smiley is determined to change the negative perceptions of single dads, particularly African-American fathers, through his unscripted TV One docuseries, “Rickey Smiley For Real.” The multi-talented comedian hosted a very special screening of season two last night at Atlanta’s SCAD Show (formerly 14th Street Playhouse) along with TV One and a cadre of celebrity friends and family.

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Rickey Smiley on the red carpet

The one-hour series, which premieres next Tuesday May 10 at 8 p.m., takes a humorous look at Smiley’s hectic life as a nationally-syndicated radio host, stand-up comedian, actor, TV personality and businessman as he tries to juggle his career as with his personal life where he is the single father to five children. Rickey strives to be a mega media mogul but is constantly being torn between his work and family demands, which frequently results in interesting and often funny moments as he constantly plays catch up. A notoriously picky bachelor with a habit of picking the wrong women, or ending relationships for the smallest of reasons, Rickey is a complete mess in the romance department.

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Rickey Smiley explaining to the audience why the show is a hit!

“There’s a lesson in every episode,” said Rickey to the packed auditorium. “You have conflict resolution but there’s a lesson. Also, dads get a bad rap sometimes and I think finally, a single dad that’s managing business and kids is a good look for us.”

In addition to focusing on his family, the series will also put a spotlight on other areas of Rickey’s life including his church, his standup routines, his numerous appearances and community service. This unique quality about the show is what peaked the interest of TV One’s SVP of Programming & Production, D’Angela Proctor.

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Miss Pat, D’Angela Proctor and Porsha Williams

“Often times, reality TV can be placed into buckets. Like it’s either a work base reality show or it’s a family based reality show or it’s drama filled or it’s comedic. The thing about ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ is that it checks a lot of boxes like family, relationships, business, entrepreneurship, and the radio industry,” said Proctor to the audience.

“One of the things I have done as a producer and now a network executive is that I always believe in putting medicine in the food. But the food has to taste good in order for people to digest it. I believe that ‘Rickey Smiley For Real’ is a big hamburger with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, and nutrients and all kinds of stuff. You enjoy it but at the same time, you’re also being fed.”

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Gary with da Tea on the red carpet with Joseline Hernandez

Following the screening was a lively Q&A session moderated by Rickey’s “Dish Nation” co-host Porsha Williams. That was followed by an exclusive after party at the W Hotel Midtown.

Celebrities in attendance included “Rickey Smiley Morning Show/Dish Nation” co-hosts like Da Brat, Miss Juicy, Gary with da Tea as well as Kelly Price, Joseline Hernandez, Ed Lover, Brandi Williams, LeLee Lyons, and Nicci Gilbert. Other celebrities spotted were Jasmine Burke, Drea Kelly, Diallo Thompson, Julian Walker, Gwen Boyd Moss, Willie Moore Jr. and more!

Check out more photos below:

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Da Brat

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Princess – Creator of the Real Housewives of Atlanta

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Miss Juicy

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Porsha Williams and Gary with da Tea on the red carpet

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Willie Moore Jr. 

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Kisa Willis of TV One’s original movie “Chasing Waterfalls”

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Derek Blanks 

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Diallo Thompson

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Brandi Williams – Blaque

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Porsha Williams blowing kisses to the media

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Spirit

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Shay Johnson of “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta”

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Gary with da Tea and Kelly Price sharing a laugh on the red carpet

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TV One’s Brad Siegel and Lori Hall with “Hollywood Divas” star Lisa Wu

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“Saints & Sinners” stars Julian Walker and Jasmine Burke 

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Gwen Boyd Moss – “Selling It in the ATL”

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Beautii J – “Cutting It in the ATL”

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Nicci Gilbert, Ed Lover and SWV’s LeLee Lyons 

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Kelly Price 

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Drea Kelly and Gary with da Tea cuttin up on the red carpet

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Roger M. Bobb bringing greetings before the screening

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Rickey Smiley with Da Brat, Porsha Williams and Gary with da Tea

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After show Q&A was hosted by Porsha Williams 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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LisaRaye McCoy hosts ATL Screening of TV One’s ‘Skinned’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was a full circle moment Saturday night for actress LisaRaye McCoy. She hosted a private screening of her independent film “Skinned” which kicked off TV One’s new season of programming. The two-hour drama marked her directorial debut and was filmed entirely in Atlanta, GA. Coincidentally, ATL is the same city where she starred in her first major film “The Players Club” in 1998.

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LisaRaye McCoy

“Skinned” tackles the sensitive issues of skin bleaching and colorism within the African-American community. The story follows a young woman named Jolie (played by Jasmine Burke) who lightens her dark skin in order to feel more beautiful and get a man. However, she soon finds that life doesn’t get easier for her after her skin is lighter. She develops skin cancer and must confront her horrible past in order to save her future.

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Racquel Bianca John, Brad James, Cycerli Ash, Tasia Grant and Jasmine Burke

The screening took place at Prince Place Cigar Bar & Bistro in the Buckhead district of Atlanta and was attended by a number of the film’s cast and crew including Jasmine Burke, Brad James, Tasia Grant, Cycerli Ash, Kerri J. Baldwin, Leah Monet Johnson, and Queen Blessing Itua.  “Skinned” writers and creators Sharon Tomlinson and Clarice Kulah were also present along with McCoy’s co-director Avery O. Wilson and executive producer Lotten Yeaney. 

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LisaRaye with Ladell Hill and Stevie Baggs

Other celebrities in attendance included McCoy’s sister and hip hop star Da Brat, actors Clifton Powell and Vanessa Bell Calloway, reality star turned actress Lisa Wu, former NFL player Stevie Baggs, and media personalities Ebony Steele and Carol Blackmon.  McCoy’s Players Club co-star Chrystale Wilson was also present along with motivational speaker Ona Brown, TV One’s Senior VP of Marketing Lori Hall and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who applauded McCoy for bringing this film to the city.

Check out additonal photos from the screening below:

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Cycerli Ash, Tasia Grant, LisaRaye McCoy and Jasmine Burke

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LisaRaye with Ebony Steele/ Lisa Wu

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A “Players Club” Reunion

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LisaRaye McCoy and Chrystale Wilson

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Brad James/LisaRaye with Jasmine Burke

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LaRonda Sutton from the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment

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LisaRaye with TV One’s Lori Hall 

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Valencia Joseph, Deanna Nowell, JaBarr Lasley-King and Carol Blackmon

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Lotten Yeaney with her daughter/Lori A. Manns and Ona Brown

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Kerri J. Baldwin, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Jasmine Burke and Tasia Grant 

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LisaRaye with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Jasmine Burke 

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Jasmine Burke getting a little emotional during post film speeches

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“Skinned” Co-Director Avery O. Williams 

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LisaRaye, Jasmine Burke with Racquel Bianca John and Avery O. Wilson

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Cynthia Bailey hosts #RHOA Viewing Party [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

It was raining like cats and dogs last night but that didn’t stop me from attending Cynthia Bailey’s private Viewing Party for Season 8 of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The event was held at The Marke in Midtown Atlanta and was packed with fans and friends of the runway diva. The evening featured complimentary cocktails, light hors d’oeuvres and table of assorted chocolate covered strawberries. It was also a celebration for Bailey’s newest business venture, Cynthia Bailey Eyewear.

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A few of Bailey’s RHOA cast mates were in attendance including Kenya Moore (who asked not to be photographed) and Marlo Hampton, who looked amazing in her black, glittery catsuit with “Marlo 7” across her chest.  Other celebs in the room included Hollywood Divas and former RHOA star Lisa Wu, Empire actress Tasha Smith, Nicci Gilbert of Centric’s From the Ground Up and WEtv stars Jae Christian of Selling It in the ATL and Dedra Allen of Cutting It In the ATL.

DSC_0478Everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy the premiere episode which was full of the typical RHOA “shenanigans” we’ve grown to love and adore. While a large part of the episode focused on Cynthia confronting her husband Peter Thomas about a video of him with another woman, that didn’t stop her from laughing-out-loud and high-fiving her girlfriends during certain scenes. Unfortunately, Peter was not at the event.

Check out more photos below and don’t forget to tune in next week at 8PM:

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Nicki Gilbert looking radiant in red!!!

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The woman of the hour—Cynthia Bailey

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Lisa Wu and friends with Jae Christian

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Cakes and sweet treats in honor of Cynthia Bailey Eyewear

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Marlo Hampton always knows how to shut a red carpet down!

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Bailey getting a few pics with the “cake” lady

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My Instagram photo with Cynthia Bailey

What was your favorite part of last night’s premiere. Talk to us RC Fans!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius

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RC Exclusive - Ent Recap

TV One hosts ATL Premiere of ‘Born Again Virgin’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One hosted an exclusive premiere party Tuesday night at Atlanta’s American Spirit Works for its new original series, Born Again Virgin. The one-hour comedy stars Danielle Nicolet, America’s Next Top ModelEva Marcille, Meagan Holder and R&B superstar Tank and airs TONIGHT with back-to-back episodes beginning at 10 p.m. EST.

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Meagan Holder, Brad James and Danielle Nicolet

The series is focused on Jenna (Nicolet), a 34 year-old up-and-coming blogger, who decides to become celibate when she finds her body count is starting to trump her age. Using her blog as encouragement for her newly adapted sex diet and also as a sounding board for her girlfriends’ often amusing “sexcapades,” Jenna is determined to make the blog a success and transform her friends in the process. But just as Jenna is settling into her new found virginity, in comes her new fine-as-wine neighbor Donovan (Tank). Will she be able to hold out?  Marcille and Holder play Jenna’s BFF’s Tara and Kelly.

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Chrystale Wilson taking a selfie with Tank and Gary with the Tea

All of the show’s stars were in attendance as well as TV One President, Brad Siegel. Other Atlanta celebs included  Hollywood Diva star Lisa Wu; UP’s Marry Me for Christmas stars Chrystale Wilson and DeEtta West; celebrity hairstylist and Fashion Queen, Derek J; actress and reality star, Stacii Jae Johnson, Ricky Smiley co-host, Gary with the Tea; For Better or Worse actor, Brad James; actress Jasmine Burke;  actress Terri J. Vaughn and her actor husband, Karon Riley; Survivor’s Remorse star RonReaco Lee and hip hop artist, Bone Crusher. 

The 3-hour party featured complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, a preview of the show and a live performance by Tank.  Check out all of the photos below:

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 Eva Marcille with TV One President Brad Siegel

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UPtv stars DeEtta West and Chrystale Wilson

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Eva Marcille and Meagan Holder being interviewed by my girl, Reyonce from AllHipHop.com

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Derek J with Danielle Nicolet and Meagan Holder

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 DJ Tron provided dope sounds all through the night

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 Eva Marcille with her boyfriend, Michael T. Sterling

 

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 Born Again Virgin cast

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Bone Crusher and his wife

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 Eva Marcille and Tank on the red carpet

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Media maven Ebony Steele with Terrance Terry and guest

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 Lisa WuChrystale Wilson and Stacii Jae Johnson

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 Tank performing “Maybe I Deserve”

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 Tank performing “Please Don’t Go”

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Tank with TV One’s Lori Hall/ RonReaco Lee with friend

 Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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TV BUZZ: Kelly Rowland + Brandy, Vivica A. Fox and ‘Empire’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Here’s the latest TV Buzz…

BFF’s Kelly Rowland and Brandy are coming to BET. Reportedly the two R&B singers have inked deals with the network to headline in two separate projects. Rowland will star in a reality-series titled, “Chasing Destiny,” where she will try to find the next big girl group. This series is very different from the pilot she shot for the network back in 2012 titled, “What Would Dylan Do?” If you recall, Rowland was supposed to play a relationship blogger from L.A. I guess BET decided to scrap the idea and go with an unscripted series. As far as Brandy goes, she will star in a romantic comedy about a cosmetic mogul who is trying to adjust to her new life as a divorced, single mother of a ten-year-old son.  [SINGERS ROOM]

Vivica A. Fox is headed back to reality…this time as a “Hollywood Diva.” The veteran actress is joining the hit TV One series that also includes Elise Neal, Golden Brooks, Paula Jai Parker, Lisa Wu and Countess Vaughn. “Hollywood Divas” takes a look at African-American actress as they try to navigate through the unpredictable world of television and film. Fox was most recently seen on the úberly popular reality series, “Celebrity Apprentice.”  [EURWEB]

Congrats goes to “Empire” actresses Gabourey Sidibe and Ta’Rhonda Jones. The two have been promoted to series regulars.  Sidibe plays Becky, the no-nonsense assistant to Terrence Howard’s character, Lucious Lyons while Jones plays the ghetto fabulous Porsha, who assists Taraji P. Henson’s outrageous character, Cookie Lyons. We are so looking forward to seeing more of these ladies on the show when it returns for a second season later on this year. [INDIEWIRE]

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: FanPop.com

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Atlanta Stars attend FURIOUS 7 Premiere [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

The Atlanta premiere of ‘Furious 7’ was held last night at the Regal Atlantic Station. The event was preceded by a car and bike show.  A number of the city’s celebrities, tastemakers and influencers turned out to support the film that features Atlanta rapper and actor, Ludacris.

Tigger with guest

Attendees included RHOA’s Demetria McKinney; Lisa Nicole Cloud and Toya Bush Harris of Married to Medicine; HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod and her husband, DJ Fadelf; RL of Next; Trina Braxton; media personalities Wanda Smith, Ryan Cameron and Big Tigger. Also spotted were rapper, K-Camp; Hollywood Divas’ Lisa Wu, filmmaker, Roger Bobb; and Jagged Edge’s Wingo.

Yellow Car

As previously reported, ‘Furious 7’ brings back Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris for a high-speed, action packed film, that I believe is going to make fans of the series very happy. The film also stars Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Djimon Hounsou and many more.

Check out the trailer below and more photos from the premiere:

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 Big Tigger at the Car and Bike Show talking about his vehicle

Gray Car

One of my favorites

Car and Pop Art

Pop Culture Clothing’s William KingPop Floyd

Kim Jubilee Mag Demetria McKinney

Kim Ford of Jubilee Magazine/RHOA Demetria McKinney

 LaToya Bush Harris designer

Married to Medicine’s Toya Bush Harris/Fashion Designer Kayla Shelton with Clay West

Stevie Baggs

Stevie Baggs 

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Rickey Smiley hosts Private ATL Screening of ‘ANNIE’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Comedian, actor, radio personality, entertainment mogul and dedicated family man, Rickey Smiley, hosted a private, advance screening of Columbia Pictures’ new film, “Annie” for his celebrity friends and family members in Atlanta on Thursday night.

Rickey, Trina, Lisa and Towanda

Rickey Smiley with Lisa Wu and Trina & Towanda Braxton

It was a star studded screening, as many of Atlanta’s elite came out to check out “Annie” with their kids, including Ludacris, Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Tameka Raymond (Atlanta Exes), Lisa Wu (Hollywood Divas), Waka Flocka Flame with Tammy Rivera and Erica Dixon (Love and Hip Hop Atlanta), Trina and Towanda Braxton (Braxton Family Values), Chanita Foster (Football Wives), Sharlinda Parker (Big Rich Atlanta) and social media influencer Shod Santiago, as well as Gary with Da Tea and Juicy from The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

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Ludacris and his daughter Karma

Rickey Smiley introduced the movie to his special guests, while sending a thank you out to all who were in attendance to see the highly anticipated film. “Annie” releases in theaters nationwide on Friday, December 19, 2014.

Check out more photos below:

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Waka Flaka and wife Tammy Rivera

Towanda and kids

Towanda Braxton and kids

Peter and Cynthia

Cynthia and Peter Thomas

Tameka Raymond and Children

Tameka Raymond and sons

Erica Dixon and child

Erica Dixon and daugther

Chanita Foster with Kids

Chanita Foster and family

Gary with Da Tea 2

Gary with Da Tea

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Juicy from the Rickey Smiley Morning Show

 Photo Credits: Allied Moxy

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ATL Premiere of HBO’s James Brown Documentary ‘Mr Dynamite’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

HBO and the BronzeLens Film Festival recently hosted a private screening of the Alex Gibney’s documentary, Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown  at the Woodruff Art Center in Atlanta, GA. The red carpet screening was held in the Rich Auditorium and was hosted by Brown’s daughters, Deanna Brown-Thomas and Dr. Yamma Brown.

Brown Family

The Brown Family with HBO’s Janet Wally, Leigh Davis-Turner and BLFF’s Kathleen Bertrand

Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown is produced by music icon, Mick Jagger and chronicles the musical ascension of the “hardest working man in show business” who forever changed the face of American music. The documentary was made with the unique cooperation of the Brown Estate, featuring rare and never-before seen archival footage and photographs along with current interviews from those who worked alongside Mr. Brown.

Lisa Wu

Lisa Wu with Yolanda Chavez, Talking with Tami, Erika Mitchell and guests

The event was attended by a number of ATL stars including creator of Funk Jazz Kafé Arts and Music Festival, Jason Orr; Hollywood Divas’ star Lisa Wu; Resurrection  actress Karen Ceesay; former football star Stevie Baggs, Jr.; TV and film actress Maria Howell; and Shayla Hale from Black and Sexy TV’s popular web-series, RoomieLoverFriends. Other special guests included Drumline: A New Beat actress Jasmine Burke and James Brown’s legendary “Cape Man” Mr. Danny Ray.

Check out photos below from the red carpet:

Tasia Grant, Karen CeeSay and Maria Howell

Actresses Karen Ceesay, Tasia Grant and Maria Howell

Tammy McGarity, Stevie Buggs Jr. and Jasmine Burke

Tammy McGarity, Stevie Baggs, Jr. and Jasmine Burke

Shayla Hale

Shayla Hale

Leigh Davis-Turner

HBO’s Leigh Davis-Turner with celebrity photographer Sue Ross

jason orr with Danny Ray and Keny Rye

Jason Orr and Ken Rye with James Brown’s “Cape Man” Mr. Danny Ray

Janet Wally, Kathleen Bertrand and Leigh

HBO’s Janet Wally and Leigh Davis-Turner with BLFF’s Kathleen Bertrand

HBO

Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown  premieres Monday, October 27 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent

‘Hollywood Divas’ Golden Brooks dishes about Reality TV, ‘Girlfriends’ & Kim Kardashian

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Tonight is the season premiere of TV One’s newest docu-series, Hollywood Divas  and all I can say is drama, drama and more drama!

The one-hour show is a spin-off of the hugely popular R&B Divas  franchise and follows the lives of actresses Paula Jai Parker, Lisa Wu, Countess Vaughn, Elise Neal and Golden Brooks as they attempt to navigate in the Hollywood landscape and balance real life with the challenges of the industry. The project is the brainchild of Bravo producer, Todd Tucker and RHOA producer, Carlos King and is sure to be another one of my weekly guilty pleasures.

I recently chatted with one of the divas, Golden Brooks, about her return to prime time and why she chose the reality route. We also talked about her stance on traditional actors versus reality stars turned actors, the current shift in Hollywood’s attitude toward Black actresses, whether we could see a Girlfriends  reunion and more.

Check it out below:

On social media’s influence on the acting business…
When I started out in the acting business, there was no such thing as “who’s trending or how many likes do you have on Twitter.” Social media has completely changed the culture of the acting business and the types of roles that people get. The reality show world has created this type of platform and new form of positioning power. Basically, Kim Kardashian has changed the face of how Hollywood determines who’s marketable. If you were to take an acting course on a college campus today this is what they’d be talking about.  It’s all about the money.

On the current shift in Hollywood’s acceptance of Black actresses…
I’m never going to act like I’m the curator or mascot for the representation of African-American women in Hollywood.  Do I feel there is a change?  Absolutely.  Do I think having First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House has something to do with it?  Absolutely.  Do I think Shonda Rhimes has a huge component in putting Black women in the forefront?  Absolutely.  However, let’s not forget The New York Times  article that recently came out about Viola Davis being seen as “less classically beautiful” than her peers of Kerry Washington or Halle Berry.  Now, I’m not here playing the negative.  I am so proud of any work black women get in this business and being in the forefront of major television projects.  However, we still have to deal with that.  The statement that we are just “one snap and a head roll away from being the angry black woman” is the thought pattern of those in power.  I am hoping to use this show as a platform to show audiences that there are so many facets to women of color, especially Black women.

On why she chose reality-television…
There is something to be said about using the reality show platform to showcase your belief system and that we have more colors to us as Black women than what has been portrayed.  I think every chance we get to show that as Black women the better we are as people.  I also want fans to know that I’m the everyday girl.  I may be on TV and may have my hair all cute with my make-up on but at the end of the day, I’m an everyday chick.  I go through the same stuff as my fans. Just as my Girlfriends‘  character, Maya was that everyday girl and so many people were able to respond to her, I hope people can see that in me and in this show.

On a Girlfriends  Reunion…
Here’s the deal!  Mara Brock Akil met with the entire cast last year including myself, Tracee, Persia, Jill, and Reggie (the 5th Girlfriend). We all met with talks of it and it’s been out there but it is really a Mara, Kelsey Grammar and Paramount decision.  Mara seems very interested and knows that fans are feeling that the show was left open ended. I personally think it would be great and a huge hit. There seems to be a resurgence of making old things new like Best Man Holiday. So, I think it would benefit a lot of people and audiences would support it.

Golden Brooks is currently in production on a new movie, My B.F.F and is in talks to do a project on the life of Grammy-winning artist, Lauryn Hill.

Hollywood Divas  debuts tonight on TV One at 10 p.m. EST.

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 Photo Credit: JoJoCrews.com

Categories
Recap

WATCH TV One’s ‘Hollywood Divas’ Teaser (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One has released a new teaser for its upcoming reality-series, Hollywood Divas.  The show is an offspring of the network’s hit shows, R&B Divas ATL  and R&B Divas LA  and follows the lives of  five actresses as they attempt to navigate in the Hollywood landscape and balance real life with the challenges of the industry.

As previously reported, the cast of ‘divas’ include Elise Neal (All of Us), Golden Brooks (Girlfriends), Countess Vaughn (The Parkers), Paula Jai Parker (Hustle & Flow) and former RHOA star turned actress Lisa Wu.  Hollywood Divas  is being produced by Todd Tucker, husband of RHOA star Kandi Burruss and Carlos King, current producer of theReal Housewives of Atlanta.

Check out the teaser below:

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Photo Credit: TVOneonline.com