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Miss Lawrence added to Lee Daniels’ ‘The United States Vs. Billie Holiday’ (VIDEO)

Photo Credit: Lee Daniels/Instagram

Lee Daniels is adding more star power to his upcoming film The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. Snowfall actor Melvin Gregg and Miss Lawrence formerly of STAR have been added to film which features Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day as the jazz and music icon.

According to DEADLINE, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday follows Holiday’s career as she was targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. It will explore Holiday’s struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love. Gregg will play Joe Guy, a famed trumpet player in Billie’s band, and one of her lovers, who is battling drug addiction at the height of Holiday’s reign. Miss Lawrence will portray Miss Freddy, Billie’s stylist.

The film also stars Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, and Evan Ross, whose mother Diana Ross earned an Oscar-nomination for her portrayal of Ms. Holiday in the Motown classic film Lady Sings the Blues.

Check out Andra Day’s performance of the Billie Holiday classic “Strange Fruit” below:

PHOTO CREDITS: Lee Danies and RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Jussie Smollett, Bevy Smith, Tarrell Alvin McCraney & more attend ‘Gentlemen’s Ball’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of the biggest names in the TV, film, music and dance came together over the weekend for the “6th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” in Atlanta, GA. The black-tie affair and award’s ceremony was present by The Gentlemen’s Foundation and UPS and took place at the luxurious Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

As previously mentioned, this year’s theme was “We Are Royalty” and honors were presented to a cadre of activists, artists and actors within the Black LGBTQ community.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Tarrell Alvin McCraney was presented with this year’s Gentlemen of the Year for his groundbreaking film “Moonlight,” which was based on his acclaimed play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. McCraney thanked the real life drug dealer named “Blue” who helped raise him and shared his thoughts on what it really meant to be royal.

“Looking around, I see that I am connected to a simple and yet ancient line of beauty that goes through me and past us into infinity. But what makes us royal? What is this royalty that we have? More importantly, how do we make sure it’s bequeathed? How do we pass it on through heredity? Genetically? Steadily? Mobility? We need to as everyone has said, ‘make sure that those who are coming under us know their nobility.’ I want to thank the foundation honoring me not for my celebrity but for our collective royalty.”

Other honorees included veteran transgender activist Tracee McDaniel; Miss Lawrence and transgender actress Amiyah Scott from Lee Daniels‘ hit series, “STAR”; actor Julian Walker from “Blackbird” and “Being Mary Jane,” Ball Culture icon Jack Mizrahi, singers Coriology and Tyra B, celebrity hairstylist Derek J and a host of others.

“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was there to present to McCraney along with TV personality and fashion maven Bevy Smith, celebrity interior designer Michel Boyd, “Project Runway” alumni Anthony Williams and celebrity stylist and man about town—Dwight Eubanks. Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Kelly Price shut the place down as she belted out songs from her repertoire.

Check out all the photos below:

Dwight Eubanks is all smiles on the Gold Carpet

Amiyah Scott

Anthony Williams and guest

Tyra B

Mo’Nique congratulating honoree Julian Walker 

Julian Walker

“Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Melissa Scott

Jack Mizrahi

Dancer performing during Jack Mizrahi‘s tribute

Miss Lawrence 

Coriology

Jussie Smollett presenting the award to Tarrell Alvin McCraney 

The Gentlemen’s Foundation creator Juan and Gee Smalls with honorees

Tarrell Alvin McCraney, Jussie Smollett and Tracee McDaniel 

Michel Boyd 

Kelly Price 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Gentlemen’s Foundation to honor Tarrell Alvin McCraney, Miss Lawrence, Amiyah Scott + other LGBTQ stars (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

All eyes will be on Atlanta, GA this weekend for the Gentlemen’s Foundation 6th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball. This year’s theme is “We Are Royalty” and will recognize some of the biggest and brightest stars in the Black LGBTQ Community.

This weekend’s festivities will kick-off with empowerment workshops on Friday evening and a Men’s Health and Wellness Fair offering FREE HIV, Prostate and Blood Pressure screenings on Saturday afternoon.

Of course, the crowning touch of the weekend will be the Ball itself, which will include honors going to Oscar-winning writer of “Moonlight” Tarrell Alvin McCraney. Other recipients include “STAR” actors Miss Lawrence and Amiyah Scott, TV personality and celebrity hairstylist Derek J and many more. Six-time Grammy nominates singer Kelly Price will be the evening’s entertainment.

Check out my exclusive interview below with GB’s co-founder Gee Smalls as he talks about the weekend, the inspiration behind this year’s theme and his holistic approach to healing and empowering the Black LGBTQ community.

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Recap

#UPFRONT attends ESSENCE Festival + Radio Row + Premieres + More

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

It gives me great pleasure to share my amazing coverage of the 2017 ESSENCE Festival. My arts and entertainment radio magazine—UPFRONT—was there to capture all of the sights and sounds of this year’s festivities as part of Radio Row.  My four-day weekend began on Thursday (June 29) with a special meet & greet + reception with the cast of the indie film, “STEP.”

“STEP” is the true-life story of a girls’ high-school step dance team in Baltimore, whose teachers, counselors, coaches and families, help them achieve their dreams of going off to college. It also takes viewers into the personal lives of three of the dancers— Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon—and their coach, Gari McIntyre.  The film has received rave reviews and was the winner of the Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

On Friday (June 30) #UPFRONT began its three day stint on Radio Row. It is one of three areas that celebrity attendees can meet press and conduct interviews. I was truly blessed to have interviewed so many people including cast members from the hugely popular “Orange Is The New Black,” TNT’s new breakout series, “Claws,”  FOX’s “Empire and Star.” I also got a chance to chat with the cast of FX’s “Snowfall” and the new series “The Mayor” and “Ghosted.”

Music divas CeCe Winans, Anita Wilson and Chanté Moore stopped by the table to discuss their new projects. Winans album, Let Them Fall In Love has been killing the gospel charts and is her best work to date. Wilson talked about covering the classic jazz tune “Here’s To Life” for her new album and Moore dished about her album, Rise of the Pheonix and recording her first Christmas CD this fall.

#UPFRONT also chatted with actress and singer Lil Mama (who is going by her real name Niatia) as well as celebrity stylists Mushiya Tshikuka, Razor Chic of Atlanta and Melvin Styles. However, the highlight of Radio Row was talking to New Thought Leader, Life Coach and TV Personality—Iyanla Vanzant. She opened up about her last season + why she continues to participate in the ESSENCE Festival. She also talked about what she has learned personally from doing her award winning show, “Iyanla Fix My Life.”

“What I’ve learned personally is how powerful God is. As Black people were taught, ‘don’t tell your business in the street.’ (LOL) But when there’s a call on someone’s life to serve God, these people are showing up in amazing ways. I’ve also learned how difficult a healing journey can be. People don’t want to suffer. They don’t want to hurt. They don’t want to destroy themselves. But if they don’t have the tools and the information to heal, that’s what they do. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time. I’m human. I can have my time off…my days off and I don’t have to be who people expect me to be.”

In addition to Radio Row, #UPFRONT was able to attend and capture images from the night time concerts. This year’s ESSENCE Festival theme was all about female empowerment, sisterhood and “staying woke” and the entertainers who performed were true reflections of that. Friday’s show included Rhonda Ross, India.Arie, John Legend and the Queen of Motown—DIANA ROSS.

This was Miss Ross’ first time appearing at the Festival since its inception in 1995 and she didn’t disappoint. Other performances included Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Solange, Monica, Lalah Hathaway, Remy Ma, Xscape, Master P, Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige.

Other highlights throughout the weekend included the NOLA premieres of “Girls Trip” featuring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. FX also screened its new drama, “Snowfall” which included appearances by the show’s cast + the creator and award winning director John Singleton. #UPFRONT also captured images of the casts from “Detroit,” OWN’s “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar” + Ava DuVernay and the “WOKE Women Awards.”

See all of the rest of the images below and click here to listen to the first of two radio shows featuring exclusive coverage of the ESSENCE Festival:

The Cast of “STEP”

Ray Cornelius on Radio Row

John Singleton and Damson Idris from FX’s “Snowfall”

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actors Isaiah John + Malcolm M. Mays

“Claws” stars Niecy Nash + Karrueche Tran

+ showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois

“Claws” cast with Ray Cornelius + UPFRONT Talent Producer Jess Manning

ESSENCE talking to “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright 

Ray Cornelius with FANDANGO Correspondent Chris Witherspoon

“She’s Gotta Have It” actress DeWanda Wise 

Ray Cornelius with “Empire” stars Ta’Rhonda Jones and Bryshere Y. Gray 

India.Arie

John Legend 

John Legend

John Legend 

DIANA ROSS

Ray Cornelius watching DIANA ROSS 

Ray Cornelius with the cast of “Detroit” – Jacob Latimore, Nathan Davis Jr., Algee Smith, Ephraim Sykes,  Joseph David-Jones

“The Haves and the Have Nots” Tyler Lepley,

Angela Robinson and Gavin Houston

Ava DuVernay during the “WOKE Women Awards” 

Jazmine Sullivan 

Tank + Angel Love + Angel Saunders

on the red carpet of the “Snowfall” NOLA Premiere

Remy Ma performing with her husband and rapper Papoose

Lalah Hathaway

Ray Cornelius with Iyanla Vanzant 

CeCe Winans talking about her new album, Let Them Fall In Love 

Ray Cornelius with CeCe Winans 

Ray Cornelius with Anita Wilson 

Ray Cornelius greeting “cousin” Chanté Moore

Ray Cornelius with Chanté Moore

Ray Cornelius interviewing Miss Lawrence of “STAR”

Ryan Destiny of “STAR”

Ray Cornelius with Miss Lawrence 

Issa Rae, Kofi Soriboe and Larenz Tate at “Girls Trip” NOLA Premiere

Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith at “Girls Trip” NOLA Premiere

Ray Cornelius with the cast of “The Mayor” – Brandon Michael Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown and show creator Jeremy Bronson

Ray Cornelius with Nicci Gilbert 

XSCAPE after their Super Lounge performance

Elle Varner

SHAGGY

Ray Cornelius with Craig Robinson of “Ghosted”

Ray Cornelius with Melvin Styles and Razor Chic of Atlanta 

Mushiya Tshikuka talking to #UPFRONT

Ava DuVernay with the cast of “Queen Sugar”

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actor Damson Idris 

Chanté Moore with June’s Diary

Ray Cornelius with Common 

Ray Cornelius with Big Freedia 

Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls 

Ray Cornelius with “Insecure” actress Yvonne Orji

Ray Cornelius with Tamika D. Mallory

Ray Cornelius with the fabulous Candace Ledbetter

Ray Cornelius with “Snowfall” actors Isaiah John + Malcolm M. Mays

Common with cast of “Detroit” – Nathan Davis Jr.,

Jacob Latimore and Joseph David-Jones

THANK YOU ESSENCE FESTIVAL AND SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius and Mark Angel for RayCornelius.com

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Recap

The Cast of ‘Girls Trip’ attend #NOLA Premiere [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

The New Orleans premiere of “Girls Trip” was lit yesterday afternoon and yours truly RC was there to capture all the sights and sounds. The advanced screening took place at the luxurious Theaters at Canal Place on historic Canal Street.

The films four divas—Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish—looked absolutely amazing on the red carpet along with their co-stars Larenz Tate and Kofi Soriboe. The film’s director Malcolm D. Lee and producer Will Packer were also in attendance.

As previously reported, “Girls Trip” features the ladies as lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, where they rekindle their wild sides. The film features a lot of dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make even the Big Easy blush. Rounding out the cast is Kate Walsh and Mike Colter.  “Girls Trip” was also written by “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris along with Tracy Oliver.

A number of celebrities were in attendance including reality show maven Mona Scott-Young;  singer and actress LeToya Luckett, singer/songwriter Tank, “Insecure” actress Issa Rae, LHHNY Yandy Smith; rapper, actor and reality star him Romeo, South African actress Nomzano Mbatha, actresses Essence Atkins and Bresha Webb, “Queen Sugar” stars Omar Dorsey and Timon Kyle Durrett and many more.

The event was presented by Nissan and Hello Beautiful! Check out more pics below:
MONA SCOTT-YOUNGTANKLETOYA LUCKETTISSA RAE, KOFI SORIBOE AND LARENZ TATE ESSENCE ATKINS AND BRESHA WEBBSTAR CAST – RYAN DESTINY, JUDE DEMOREST, BRITTANY O’GRADY AND MISS LAWRENCERONREACO LEEOMAR J. DORSEY AND TIMON KYLE DURRETTYANDY SMITH AND MIELLEORGANICSTAI BEAUCHAMPELLE VARNERNOMZAMO MBATHATY HUNTER AND KAREN CIVILSHYANN ROBERTS FROM JUNE’S DIARYREGINA HALLJADA PINKETT SMITHQUEEN LATIFAHTIFFANY HADDISHMALCOLM D. LEE WILL PACKER

Photo Credits: RayCornelius

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RC Exclusive - Ent

#UPFRONT to feat. Sheri Riley, Orlando Jazz Fest and Casts of ‘Underground’ ‘Scandal’ & ‘Star’

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

This week’s edition of #UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry is going to be an exciting one.  Saahara Glaude, stage manager of the Orlando Jazz Festival is in the studio to give us all the DEETS on this year’s inaugural festival which is taking place March 9-11 in beautiful Orlando, Florida.

Artists scheduled to appear include Maysa, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, David Sanborn, Ken Ford, Najee and many more.

I will also be talking to the casts of TV’s biggest shows including Miss Lawrence of Fox’s “Star,” Joe Morton from ABC’s “Scandal” and Amirah Vann, Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aisha Hinds of WGN’s “Underground.” The exclusive interviews took place recently during SCAD’s aTVfest.

Closing out the show is life strategist Sheri Riley, who is on to chat about her new book, Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are. The former Senior Director of Marketing for LaFace Records is in the studio to help us “pursue peace, choose clarity and live courageously.”

“UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is 30-minute magazine that features one-on-one interviews with all of the major players and behind-the-scenes superstars that make Atlanta the new “Entertainment Capital of the South.”  It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK or WCLK.com.

Click here to check out last week’s show which featured Miss Jessie’s co-founder Miko Branch, playwright Jiréh Breon Holder, Bravo’s “Married to Medicine” stars Dr. Courtney and Genise Shelton and celebrity chef Juan Montier of Chez Montier.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Cast of ‘STAR’ receives ‘Rising Star’ Award during SCAD’s ‘aTVfest’ (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to the cast of Fox’s newest musical drama “STAR.” The show’s three leading actresses Jude Demorest (Star), Brittany O’Grady (Simone) and Ryan Destiny (Alexandra Crane) each received the “Rising Star” Cast Award during SCAD’s “aTVfest” on Saturday evening. The ladies were also joined by Miss Lawrence (Miss Bruce) as well as transgender model/actress Amiyah Scott (Cotton) and heartthrob Chad James Buchanan (Hunter Morgan).

The ladies were super excited to be receiving the awards because it was their very first one since the show’s debut in December. Following the presentation was a screening of tonight’s episode that deals with police brutality, racism, social injustice and the death of Jasmine Burke‘s character, Danielle. The group’s loyalty is also tested when the girls replace Star with another singer during a protest rally performance. The evening closed out with a Q&A session.

“STAR” is led by Oscar nominated-actress and RC favorite Queen Latifah and follows three determined young singers who will risk it all to become superstars in Atlanta’s cut-throat music industry. Check out more photos below + a sneak peek of “Black Wherever I Go.”  Also be on the lookout for my one-on-one interviews with the ladies in a future edition of #UPFRONT.

The Cast of “STAR”

Ryan Destiny talking about how she was selected for the show

Chad James Buchanan talking about his on screen chemistry with Demorest

Brittany O’Grady

Miss Lawrence & Amiyah Scott throwing playful shade

at each other during the Q&A session

https://youtu.be/YjRXj5I486M

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

New ‘STAR’ Poster + Preview (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new poster for Fox’s upcoming musical drama “STAR.” It features the show’s three leading actresses—Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady—along with Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt.

As previously reported, “STAR” follows three young singers who try to navigate their way through Atlanta’s cut-throat music industry. The series also features Lenny Kravitz, Tyrese Gibson, Naomi Campbell as well as Atlanta talent Jasmine Burke, Miss Lawrence and Amiyah Scott. The one-hour drama is a modern take on the award winning Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” and was created by Lee Daniels.

“STAR” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and executive produced by Daniels along with Tom Donaghy, Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown.

A special premiere of “STAR” will take place on December 14 at 9 p.m. following the season finale of “Empire.”

https://youtu.be/7G9j1A-zLXU

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Fox hosts Atlanta Premiere of Lee Daniels’ ‘STAR’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

It was all about “girl power” Monday night at the Fox premiere of Lee Daniels‘ new one-hour drama “STAR.” The advanced screening took place at Atlanta’s Park Tavern at historic Piedmont Park and featured many of the show’s leading actresses. RC was in the building to capture all of the sights and sounds of this music-filled evening.

img_4150“STAR” is the highly-anticipated scripted series that is led by Oscar nominated-actress and RC favorite Queen Latifah. It follows three determined young singers who will risk it all to become musical superstars. Their journey takes place in Atlanta, GA where they find themselves navigating through the city’s cut-throat music industry. The “STAR” trio includes the very captivating Jude DeMorest followed by the gorgeous Brittany O’Grady and the very sexy Ryan Destiny. Supporting the ladies in their pursuit of fame is alluring transgender model turned actress Amiyah Scott.

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“STAR” also features acting veteran Benjamin Bratt, Grammy winning rocker turned actor Lenny Kravitz as well as “Furious” star and Grammy nominated singer Tyrese, former “Bravo Fashion Queen” Miss Lawrence and actress, singer and dancer Jasmine Burke. There are also appearances by Darius McCrary and “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Joseline Hernandez.

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A number of celebrities came out to support the ladies including the cast of Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners” – Vanessa Bell Calloway, Christian Keyes, Demetria McKinneyKeith Robinson, Dawn HalfKenny, Clifton Powell, J.D. Williams and Tray Chaney. Other notables included “Hollywood Divas” star Lisa Wu, “Married to Medicine” star Lisa Nicole Cloud and her husband Dr. Darren Naugles, “Collateral Beauty” actor Jacob Latimore, “Braxton Family Values” star Trina Braxton, “For Better or Worse” actor Brad James, R&B singer Mishon, rapper Lil Zane, singer Vina Mills and former “R&B Divas” star Meelah Williams.

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Following the screening attendees went downstairs to Shanti Das‘ “ATL Live on the Park” which featured musical performances by Dondria, jazz vocalist Julie Dexter and Xscape’s LaTocha Scott and her new girl group Brookwell.  “STAR” will preview on December 14 at 9 p.m. following the season finale of “Empire” at 8 p.m.

Check out more photos below:

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“STAR” is inspired by the Tony-winning Broadway musical “DREAMGIRLS”

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Clifton Powell

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Demetria McKinney 

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Christian Keyes

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Vanessa Bell Calloway

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Keith Robinson 

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Trina Braxton 

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Tray Chaney 

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Dawn HalfKenny 

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J.D. Williams 

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Vina Mills 

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Lil Zane 

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Mishon and guest

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Brad James

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Jasmine Burke 

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Ryan Destiny

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Jude DeMorest img_4349

Brittany O’Gradyimg_4370

Amiyah Scott

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Jacob Latimore 

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Lisa Nicole Cloud with Dr. Darren Naugles 

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Julie Dexter and RivaBlue 

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Meelah Williams and guest with Isaac Hamm

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Dondria

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Xscape’s LaTocha Scott

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R&B trio Brookwell

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LaTocha Scott singing with Brookwell

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Julie Dexter is the Queen of U.K. Soul

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The cast of “STAR”

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

BTS of Centric TV’s ‘Hair Battle 2016’ hosted by Tamar Braxton [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

CENTRIC TV aired the “Hair Battle 2016” on Saturday night and I can tell you it was just as exciting being there in person as it was watching it unfold on television. The event was actually taped in August during Atlanta’s Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show and yours truly was in the mix to get some exclusive shots of all the glitz and glamour that only these stylists could bring.

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Tamar Braxton

The evening was hosted by R&B superstar, reality show diva and former Real host Tamar Braxton and featured appearances by hair and fashion maven Dwight Eubanks and celebrity judges—Shekinah Jo, Miss Lawrence and Razor Chic of Atlanta. Each presenter was judged on theme, creativity and styling technique.

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The Judges

This year’s competitors were aiming for a chance to win $10,000 as well as a trophy, a scooter bike from RayTroniks and the coveted Hair Battle Belt. The fierce stylists included Toni Campbell aka Texas T, razor extraordinaire Que Barnes Jackson, newcomer Keon Brunson, former Hair Battle winner Angela Stucky and acclaimed wigmaster Terrence Davidson, who ultimately walked away with the evening’s grand prize. There were also appearances by Beyoncé‘s stylist Neal Farinah, the cast of Centric’s “My Current Situation” and the Queen of Bounce—Big Freedia.

Check out all of the pics below and tell us what you think!

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Dwight Eubanks served as this year’s commentator and backstage correspondent

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Tamar was in full “Tamar” mode as host and kept the crowd in stitches

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Big Freedia made an appearance during Toni Campbell‘s show

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Toni Campbell‘s show also included a inflatable Zorb Ball

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Toni Campbell aka Texas T whipping that hair into shape

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Candid shot of Miss Lawrence, Tamar Braxton and Shekinah Jo

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Miss Lawrence getting his life with that fan

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Over-the-top styles from Angela Stucky

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Angela Stucky‘s theme was inspired by Disney’s Maleficent 

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Bedazzled “Hair Petals” by Angela Stucky

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This collage of color is made of real hair

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Terrence Davidson‘s show opened up with a salute to Beyoncé and New Orleans

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These Beyoncés were fierce and fabulous with their synchronized dance moves

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The girls opened to a medley of song’s from Beyoncé‘s Lemonade CD

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Simply Stunning!

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Davidson’s theme transitioned from Beyoncé to The Addams Family

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Keon Brunson‘s presentation was a look at hair in the future

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This was Brunson‘s first time in the competition

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Shekinah Jo and Razor Chic dancing and enjoying the music between presentations

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Que Barnes Jackson using her infamous razor technique on her model

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Tah Dah!

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Tamar Braxton and Dwight Eubanks with the competing stylists

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The stylists getting their final critiques from the judges

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James Bronner getting ready to announce the winner

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And the winner is…TERRENCE DAVIDSON!

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Terrence Davidson sharing the victory with his son

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Milan Christopher & others honored at ‘Gentlemen’s Ball’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

It was all about the glitz and glamour of the 1920s last night at the 5th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball. The  fundraising event was presented by The Gentlemen Foundation and was held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

img_2053The Gentlemen’s Ball was created by Juan and Gee Session-Smalls to celebrate the accomplishments of Gay, Bisexual + Transgender men of color who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life of the minority LGBTQ community and who have demonstrated a commitment to social change.

img_2143This year’s honorees included Devin B. Ford (Gentleman of Promise), Neo Sandja (Gentleman of Service), Darian Aaron (Gentleman of Excellence) and Sen. Vincent Fort (Gentleman of Alliance), who presented The Gentlemen Foundation with a proclamation. Other honorees included former “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” star and openly gay hip hop artist Milan Christopher (winner of Gentleman of Artistry) and Bishop O.C. Allen (Gentleman of the Year), who was appointed by President Barack Obama to be on the Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS.

img_2278This year’s theme was centered on “The Harlem Renaissance” and featured live entertainment by vocalist Mia LaQuan, dazzling casino tables and signature cocktails. Celebrity attendees included YouTube sensation Gary Lavard (“About Him”), “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” divas Mimi Faust and Ariane Davis, award winning television producer and reality TV czar Carlos King and “R&B Diva” Monifah, who closed out the ball with a medley of her hits.

The evening was also hosted by community activist Darnell L. Moore (Mic.com) and television personality and actor Miss Lawrence, who will be starring in Lee Daniels‘ new series “STAR.”  Highlights of the ball included the organization’s first scholarship presentation to Morehouse College’s Safe Space Organization for LGBTQ students. There was also a moving musical tribute to the Orlando Pulse victims performed by one of the survivors—Joshua Lewis.

Check out more photos from The Gentlemen’s Ball below:

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GB’s hosts Miss Lawrence and Darnell L. Moore 

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Juan and Gee Session-Smalls

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Gary Lavard

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Devin B. Ford

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Senator Vincent Ford

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The cast from the musical “THE DINGALOGUES

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Carlos King and April Love 

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Joshua Lewis 

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Milan Christopher 

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Bishop O.C. Allen 

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Monifah

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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2nd Trailer for Lee Daniels’ ‘STAR’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Fox has released another new trailer for Lee Daniels’ upcoming series “STAR.” The show  focuses on three young singers—Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady—who try to navigate their way through Atlanta’s cut-throat music industry.

The series also features Queen Latifah, Lenny Kravitz, Benjamin Bratt, Miss Lawrence, Jasmine Burke, transgender model Amiyah Scott and newly added Tyrese Gibson. The one-hour drama is a modern take on the award winning Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” which starred Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday.

“STAR” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and executive produced by Daniels along with Tom Donaghy, Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown.

Photo Credit: TVLine.com

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Kandi Burruss, Ray J, Lisa Nicole Cloud and more to appear at ATL’s Bronner Bros. Int’l Hair Show

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Get ready Atlanta! The Bronner Brothers International Hair show is just two weeks away and a number of your favorite celebrities are slated to make an appearance. The list also includes some of the industry’s most innovative beauty and barber professionals and influencers.

Show first-timers include stars from popular TV shows like “Orange is the New Black,” Lifetime’s “Little Women: Atlanta,” “VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” WE tv’s “Cutting It in the ATL” and “L.A. Hair.” Known as the largest multicultural beauty show in the world, the event is expected to attract more than 35,000 attendees from August 20 – 22, 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“Each year, we set out to raise the bar by inviting some of the nation’s hottest stylists, artists and personalities to the Bronner Bros. Beauty Show. This is only place where you can meet the stars— and the professional stylists who create their look – together under one roof,” said James Bronner, senior vice president and show director at Bronner Bros. “This August, we will be welcoming industry heavyweights like Tokyo Stylez and Razor Chic, as well as fan favorite Shekinah Jo. In many ways, we’re creating the best of both worlds!”

Confirmed guests include: RHOA star Kandi Burruss, singer and songwriter Ray J & Princess Love; “Little Women: Atlanta” stars Miss Juicy and Ashley “Minni” Ross; fashion designer and “Married to Medicine” star Lisa Nicole Cloud; and celebrity hair stylists Tokyo Stylez, Razor Chic and Anthony Cuts.

Also attending is “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” diva Joseline Hernandez, TV personality Dwight Eubanks, celebrity hairstylist Ming Lee, “Orange Is the New Black” actress Tanya Wright, civil rights activist Dick Gregory, Beyoncé hairstylist Neal Farinah and former “Fashion Queens” Derek J and Miss Lawrence.

Bronner Bros. will present its first-ever combined comedy and fashion show featuring the Lisa Nicole Collection and designs from Kandi Burruss’ TAGS BoutiqueSteve Brown will host the comedy show with performances by funnymen Benji Brown, Tony Tone, Lavar Walker and Big Que on Saturday, August 20 at 9 p.m.

On Sunday, August 21 at 8 p.m., guests are invited to attend a live taping of the legendary hair battle where stylists Angela Stuckey, Keon Brunson, Texas T, Terrance Davidson and ‘QUE’ will compete for the ultimate title.

Click here for tickets and more!

Photo Credit: BronnerBros.com

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‘Fast 8’ stars Ludacris & Nathalie Emmanuel featured at ‘CreATL’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

It’s no secret that Atlanta is a hotbed for TV, film and entertainment. Just this week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that Georgia-lensed feature film and television productions generated an economic impact of more than $7 billion during fiscal year 2016. Georgia is also number three in the world for film production according to FilmLA.

IMG_1973Last night, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed along Christopher Hicks of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, gathered together to talk about that accomplishment and more as part of a new series titled CreATL. The immersive conversation features the industry’s top creatives, tastemakers and thought-leaders in film, entertainment, technology and culture that is created in Atlanta.

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The series first featured guests included “Fast 8” stars Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Nathalie Emmanuel, who are currently shooting the newest installment throughout the city. The private event was held at The Gathering Spot in Midtown-Atlanta and was presented by MARTELL. Bridges and Emmanuel opened up to moderator, Simone Gray about their life on set and the many advantages they have to shooting “Fast 8” here in Atlanta. “I get to wear my pajamas and house shoes to work,” said Ludacris to the most packed auditorium.

A number of celebrities were in attendance for the lively discussion including “Rickey Smiley for Real” star Gary With Tha Tea, “L.A. Hair” diva Gocha Hawkins, music executive Brian Michael Cox, celebrity hairstylist and television actor Miss Lawrence, “Saints & Sinners” actress Jasmine Burke, “Married to Medicine” stars Dr. Heavenly Kimes and Dr. Jackie Walters and many more.

Check out all of the red carpet photos and stay tuned…

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Interscope Records’ Keinon Johnson

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Actor Jamal Woolard with the MARTELL reps

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Brian Michael Cox 

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Judge Terrinee L. Gundy 

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Filmmaker Bobby Huntley and guest

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Gocha Hawkins 

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Dr. Heavenly Kimes

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Former “Big Rich Atlanta” stars Sharlinda Parker and Brie Rowe

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Jasmine Burke 

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Actor  Mike Merrill

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Dr. Jackie Walters 

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Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Nathalie Emmanuel

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WEtv’s Cutting It in the ATL star Mushiya Tshikuka

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Miss Lawrence

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Christopher Hicks from the Mayors Office of Film and Entertainment

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Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Nathalie Emmanuel

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com