RC Exclusive - Music

‘NuSoul Revival Tour’ to spotlight Blacks & Alzheimer’s Disease (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

When R&B singer-songwriter Avery*Sunshine hits the stage this week as part of the NuSoul Revival Tour, she’ll be tapping those ivory keys in memory of her maternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother. Both women succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease and were very instrumental in her development as a vocalist.

The “Come Do Nothing” singer told me during our recent “UPFRONT” interview that the entire 22-city tour (which kicks off Friday, February 3 in Raleigh, NC), will bring awareness to the disease that disproportionately affects African Americans more than their White counterparts.  According to, Blacks are two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease than Whites and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition, resulting in less time for treatment and planning.

Ray Cornelius with Avery*Sunshine

“We want to bring light to Alzheimer’s. I watched my grandmother deal with my great-grandmother and I was 13 or 14 when we were dealing with that. For me, I thought that’s just what happens to elderly people. But then I saw my mother deal with my grandmother and at that time I was 24 or 25 and it definitely took on a different meaning,” said Sunshine during our one-on-one interview in January.

Sunshine also talked about how her family dealt with her grandmother being physically abused at a nursing home facility and the toll it took on her mother as the caretaker.

“We hope that we bring some light to this issue and we provide some respite from all of it for some of the caretakers. Our goal is to make people feel better. If you’re at 75 % we want you to be at 125%, when you leave the show. ”

Check out the entire interview and click here for the remaining dates of the “NuSoul Revival Tour” featuring Sunshine + Musiq SoulChild, Lyfe Jennings and Kindred Family Soul.

Photo Credit: and


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

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:

RC Exclusive - Ent

Bobby V, DC Young Fly & Lyfe Jennings star in BET’s ‘Hollywood Hearts’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out the trailer for the upcoming romantic drama “Hollywood Hearts” starring Bobby V, Carl Payne and Lyfe Jennings. The film premieres on Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. EST on BET.

According to the press release, “Hollywood Hearts” is about a music artist who’s engrossed with his music industry lifestyle and finds it difficult to give up his ways for the woman that he loves, the life he wants to build and the ego he can’t let go of. However, after a tragic turn of events and real friend interventions, he finds himself realizing that the industry will come and go but true love doesn’t come around but once in a lifetime.

Rounding out the cast of “Hollywood Hearts” is DC Young Fly, Benzino, Walnette Santiago, Patrice Fisher, Willie Hyn and Asia Sparks.

“Hollywood Hearts” is Directed, Written and Executive Produced by African-American visionaire Tangie B. Moore of Tier 2 Films. Since co-founding Tier 2 Films, Tangie has been able to ink several deals and placements with Discovery Studios, WEtv, EOne, Sprite, BET Entertainment/Viacom & Samsung.

Take a look below and tell us what you think!

Photo Credits: Tier 2 Films


Lyfe Jennings, Demetria McKinney attend ‘Bedroom Kandi Weekend’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter, Entreprenuer, RHOA Star, and mom to be, Kandi Burruss, recently presented her 3rd Annual Bedroom Kandi Convention in Atlanta.  The three-day event which was held at the Cobb Energy Centre and welcomed more than two hundred Bedroom Kandi Boutique Party Consultants from all across the country.  Special invited guest included her husband, Todd Tucker, R&B singer, Lyfe Jennings, singer and reality star, Demetria McKinney, and Mama Joyce.

Lyfe performing 099 Dee and Lyfe

The three day extravaganza kicked off on Friday night with a meet and greet cocktail party included performances by platinum-selling  singer/songwriter and musician Lyfe Jennings and Actress and eOne Recording Artist Demetria Mckinney.

Kandi with distributors

Saturday was filled with a full day of education  from Direct Sales and Party Plan Trainer, Steve Wiltshire, Sex Education from Dr. Tamara Griffin,  Motivational Speaker, Dr. Kim, a Keynote from the newly appointed Bedroom Kandi President Nadine Thompson and the Founder- Kandi Burruss.

Kandi inside photo

The company also announced its plans to expand with all new products including a silky new body wash as well as plans to lower of the initial kit price. As if a full day of education was not enough the top-selling consultants were then treated to an awards filled 3 course dinner, followed by the ladies being chauffeured by a party bus for a night of fun at Suite Lounge.

Kandi and Todd taking a selfie

To close out the weekend the ladies continued their education and new product unveilings and then surprised mom-to-be, Kandi, with a special Bedroom Kandi baby shower.


Photo Credits: JasonGMedia/Bedroom Kandi

RC Exclusive - Ent

Ava DuVernay, Keri Hilson & more attend Andrew Young 83rd Birthday Gala

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Civil Rights Pioneer, Andrew Young celebrated his 83rd birthday Sunday night with a lavish gala in Atlanta, GA. The black-tie affair was in conjunction with the installation of the Andrew J. Young Foundation’s International Leadership Awards. The  event took place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and was hosted by comedic actor, Chris Tucker, news anchor, Cynee Simpson and South African business woman, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle.

The Andrew J. Young Foundation honored five exemplary individuals whose generous actions, philanthropy and servant leadership have had an extraordinary impact on changing the lives of others and the world community at large. The inaugural honorees included filmmaker, Ava Duvernay (Civil Rights and Civic Participation); the Shepherd Center’s Alana Shepherd (Public Service and Advocacy); Philanthropist, Stive Masiyiwa (Community Engagement); Attorney, Lucien Ebata (International Humantarian Initiatives); and Chevron Corporation’s Warner Williams (Chairman’s Award).

Celebrities spotted on the red carpet included Alyson WilliamsLyfe Jennings, Tulani, Abiodun Koya, Keri Hilson, Tomi MartinEudoxie Bridges, Martin Luther King III, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Steve Smith and his wife. Also spotted were Turks and Caicos Island Premiere, Rufus Ewing and his wife; Stepp Stewart and members from the Morehouse Glee Club.

Grammy-winning hip-hop star, T.I. and music legend, Valerie Simpson (Ashford and Simpson) were also present to help Ambassador Young celebrate another year.  Check out a few red carpet photos below:

Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson

Ava DuVernay 2

 Ava DuVernay

Alyson Williams and Lyfe Jennings

Alyson Williams and Lyfe Jennings

Photo Credits:

RC Exclusive - Ent

PHOTOS from L.A. & ATL Premieres of ‘GET HARD’ + VIDEO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius  

Premieres were held Wednesday night in Los Angeles and Atlanta for the new comedy, “Get Hard.” The L.A. viewing featured the film’s cast members Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, T.I. and Edwina Findley. Other special guests in attendance were Drake, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, Alyssa Milano, Kate Walsh, Craig T. Nelson and more.

unnamed (6)

 Kevin Hart meeting fans at the L.A. premiere of “Get Hard”

The Atlanta screening brought out a number of the city’s celebrities as well including “Married to Medicine” stars Toya Bush-Harris and Dr. Heavenly Kimes. R&B singers Lyfe Jennings, RL of Next and Mishon were also present along with Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Karlie Redd.

Karlie Redd and Lyfe

 Lyfe Jennings with Karlie Redd at the Atlanta premiere

When millionaire James King (Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis (Hart) to prep him to go behind bars. “Get Hard” opens nationwide TOMORROW, Friday, March 27.  Check out all the photos from both premieres below as well as an excerpt from Kevin and Will’s ESSENCE magazine interview which is currently on newsstands.

L.A. Premiere Photos

Photo 1 Milano

 Edwina Findley/Allysa Milano

unnamed (7)

 Will Ferrell signing autographs

Drake TI and Will

 Drake/T.I. with Will Ferrell

Atlanta Premiere Photos

Heavenly and Toya

 Toya Bush-Harris with Dr. Heavenly Kimes


 R&B singer Mishon

RL and Girlfriend

 RL with Lena Chenier

inside photo

ESSENCE: Why did you want to work with Kevin?

FERRELL: Kevin’s comedy is so accessible. He represents the every man—when you hear Kevin do stand-up, you’re so comfortable listening to him because it’s like, Oh, my God, I can relate to this guy. I think that we share the same generosity. More than making people laugh, I like laughing myself. Kevin’s the same way. It’s almost more fun to make each other laugh.

 Photo Credits: WB Pictures and

RC Exclusive - Ent

Tamar Braxton, LL Cool J, Keyshia Cole & others perform at ‘For Sisters Only’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Atlanta’s premiere radio stations, V-103 and WAOK 1380 hosted its annual For Sisters Only (FSO) on Saturday afternoon at the Georgia World Congress Center. The conference hall was packed with listeners and fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite recording and reality stars. The family-friendly event, catered to African-American women, featured a variety of health & beauty vendors as well as musical entertainment, live cooking demonstrations, numerous medical screenings, shopping, food and more.

 Women in Hollywood panel

V-103’s Joyce Littel hosting “Crass-vs-Class: Women in Entertainment”

This year’s performance roster included a bevy of today’s hottest artists including Gospel music superstars J. Moss, Isaac Carree, and Sunday Best  winner, Latasha Lockhart. Soul music artists, Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan and Raheem DeVaughn rocked the stage with a medley of their greatest hits while hip-hop legends Kizzy Rock and Kilo Ali to us back with ole-school classics. Closing out the evening were Grammy-nominated vocalists Keyshia Cole and Tamar Braxton, who performed songs from their newest projects. Rap icon, LL Cool J wowed the mostly female audience and served as celebrity host.

LL Cool J 2

LL Cool J doin his thing on the FSO stage

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam participated in a panel on “Women in Hollywood” along with PR maven Sheri Riley, Atlanta Exes  star Monyetta Shaw and filmmaker, Gina Prince-Bythewood. Celebrity chef G. Garvin presented his signature cooking demonstration while TV and radio personalities Roland Martin, Michael Baisden and Bev Smith hosted lively panel discussions. Also spotted were reality stars Lisa Nicole Cloud and Dr. Heavenly from Bravo’s Married to MedicineMeelah Williams from R&B Divas Atlanta  and Gospel singing duo, 21:03.

Check out all of the photos below:

Wanda and Ryan Cameron

V-103’s Morning Show hosts Wanda Smith and Ryan Cameron

Issac Caree

Gospel vocalist Isaac  Carree giving praise on the FSO stage

RC with J Moss

RC with Gospel superstar J. Moss

Dryer Buzz

WAOK’s Real Talk with Rashad Richey and Dryer Buzz with Yalanda Lattimore

Health Screenings

Morehouse School of Medicine provided health screenings

RC with It's Arkeedah

RC with in 2014 Chevy Camero Coupe

Lisa Nicole with shopper Knight with baby

Married to Medicine’s Lisa Nicole Cloud/Medieval Times  Knight holding baby


FSO attendees enjoying the festivities

Keshia Knight-Pulliam Monyetta Shaw

Keshia Knight-Pulliam promoting Kamp Kizzy/Monyetta Shaw signing copies of her children’s books

Stacii J. Johnson with Michael

V-103’s Stacii Jae Johnson with model for

Bev Smith

Radio and talk show host Bev Smith led a powerful panel on domestic violence

boys playing chess

Two young men playing chess in the Kid’s Zone

RC with 2103

RC with Gospel group 21:03

Lyfe Jennings

Lyfe Jennings performing “Must Be Nice”

Lyfe Jennings 2

Lyfe Jennings promised fans new music coming soon!!

Bahamas Big Tigger with child

Bahamian dancer giving us body/Big Tigger taking pics with fans

Jazmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan performed “Forever Don’t Last” from her new album, Reality Show

Jazmine Sullivan 2

Jazmine Sullivan singing my personal favorite, “Lions, Tigers and Bears”

Breast Cancer

American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Booth

Raheem DeVaughn

Raheem DeVaughn performing “Bulletproof”

Roland Martin Gina Martin-Prince

TV One Commentator Roland Martin chatting with filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood

Michael Baisden

Radio host Michael Baisden hosting “Battle of the Sexes”

Big Tigger

V-103’s Big Tigger warming up the crowd before the main acts

LL Cool J

LL Cool J performing his hit records “Around the Way Girl”

Yes LL

LL Cool J performing his club banger “HeadSprung”

Keyshia Cole 1

Keyshia Cole performing her classic hit,  “Love”

Keyshia Cole 2

Keyshia Cole performed songs from her new album, Point of No Return

Tamar Braxton 2

Tamar Braxton singing her dance hit, “Hot Sugar”

Tamar Braxton 1

Tamar Braxton performing her new single, “Let Me Know feat. Future”

Tamar with the kids

Tamar Braxton letting her Tamartians sing during “Love & War” performance

Photo Credits: Megan Alodie & Ray Cornelius