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RC Exclusive - Music

TAKE A LOOK ~ EN VOGUE – ‘ROCKET’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The “Funky Divas” of En Vogue are back with a new album Electric Café and a new video for their latest single titled “Rocket.”  As previously reported, the song was written by ATL’s very own Ne-Yo and was produced by Curtis ‘Sauce’ Wilson whose credits include BrandyK. MichelleMusiq and Celine Dion.

“This summer we had the pleasure of touring with Ne-Yo in Australia and he’s truly a singer’s songwriter! We’re honored to have the opportunity to put our signature sound on a song from one of the most talented artists and composers today,” said the ladies in December 2017.

Check out the visual below which was directed by Damian Sandoval and produced by Martin Davis and Diallobe Johnson. 

Electric Café album is set to be released on March 30. 

Photo Credit: YouTube/En Vogue

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RC Exclusive - Music

LISTEN UP ~ NE-YO – ‘GOOD MAN’ (AUDIO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the latest single from three-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. The song is titled, “Good Man” and was originally posted on his social media page on Wednesday.

“It don’t matter where I’m is. I wanna be chillin with Obama talking business, see you callin, tell him hold up I got take this. Let the world wait…” proclaims Ne-Yo in the song.

In addition to the new release, Ne-Yo is also starring in the new YouTube series Step Up: High Water, along with Naya Rivera, Faizon LovePetrice Jones and Lauryn McClain. It premiered on January 31 and follows a brother and sister duo who attempt to navigate through Atlanta’s dance world hoping to realize their dreams and seize their moment.

Tell us what you think about “Good Man” below:

Photo Credit: YouTube/Ne-Yo

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Watch New Trailer for YouTube Red Original Series ‘Step Up: High Water’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Passion and fame collide in YouTube’s new series,”Step Up: High Water” It airs beginning January 31 and is based on the popular “STEP UP” film franchise.

Welcome to Atlanta, home of High Water— the city’s most cutthroat performing arts school. When twins Tal (Petrice Jones) and Janelle (Lauryn McClain) relocate from Ohio, they find themselves thrust into a world where every move is a test. As they attempt to navigate their new world— on and off the dance floor— they’ll discover just how deep they’re willing to dig to realize their dreams and seize their moment.

Grammy winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo plays legendary High Water Performing Arts School founder, Sage Odom while Naya Rivera stars as a former dancer turned High Water administrator. Rounding out the cast is Faizon Love as Tal and Janelle’s Uncle Al and Marcus Mitchell as Dondra. Also look for appearances from CAU alum Terayle Hill and ATL’s own Kendrick Cross.

Acclaimed filmmaker Rob Hardy and dance icon Debbie Allen are directing some the series’ episodes while Channing Tatum serves as one of the show’s executive producers.

Photo Credit: IMDB.com/STEP UP

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RC Exclusive - Music Recap

Mariah Carey, DJ Khaled, Ne-Yo, and more perform at AHF’s ‘World AIDS Day Concert’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry came together recently for the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest AIDS organization. The event took place on the eve of World AIDS Day (December 1) at L.A.’s famed Shrine Auditorium and featured a spellbinding performance by Grammy-winning singer Mariah Carey.

Ne-Yo

The show opened with a dance performance by AHF Partner Debbie Allen and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.  AHF Partner and award-winning music producer DJ Khaled performed a set that included a surprise guest performance by Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Ne-YoVonzell Solomon, “American Idol” Season 4 finalist, gave a stirring live performance.  Emmy winning host of “Extra” Mario Lopez and Daytime Emmy-winning actress/transgender activist, Laverne Cox, served as hosts for the evening.  

Lavern Cox + Mario Lopez 

During the event, AHF presented The Chris Brownlie Community Champion Award, named in honor of gay political activist and AHF co-founder Chris Brownlie, to Impulse Group United, its international advocacy and empowerment group dedicated to promoting healthier sexual lifestyles among young gay men in 20 cities around the world.  19-year-old singer/songwriter Verlla Vee, grand prize winner of AHF’s National Jingle song contest, performed her winning original song about HIV/AIDS during the concert’s pre-show.

The free concert in Los Angeles is part of a series of events across the world to continue to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS. The activities will include free concerts in Haiti, Mexico City and the United States as well as free awareness and testing events throughout the U.S., Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Vonzell Solomon

“It’s not an everyday occurrence to have a group of the world’s most talented stars put on a free concert to draw attention to the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.  We were so honored to have Mariah, DJ Khaled, Ne-Yo and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy join us in Los Angeles to celebrate World AIDS Day and the 30th anniversary of AIDS Healthcare Foundation,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein.  “As we look back on how far we’ve come over the last 30 years, modern medicine has made enormous leaps and bounds so that now, if you are in treatment and undetectable, you cannot spread HIV/AIDS.  AHF is more determined than ever to hold the U.S. and the international community accountable to keep their promise to end the global AIDS epidemic so that people around the world know to be tested, learn their status and have access to resources to the medications and resources needed to keep people living with HIV in treatment and healthy.”

December 1 is World AIDS Day

According to UNAIDS, over 36 million people are living with HIV/AIDS around the world. Each year 2 million people become infected with the virus and 1 million people die of AIDS-related causes.  While millions of people today are accessing lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, millions more still desperately need it. The end of the epidemic is only possible, if governments and world leaders Keep the Promise on AIDS.”

See more images below of performances and celebrity attendees:

DJ Khaled

Harmony Samuels + Ryon Nicole Brown + MAJOR.

AHF President Michael Weinstein

Ne-Yo

Timon Kyle Durrett

Mariah Carey

Photo Credits: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AHF

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LISTEN UP ~ EN VOGUE – ‘ROCKET’ (AUDIO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out new music from the iconic female group, En Vogue! The single, “Rocket” comes from their forthcoming Electric Café album, which is set to be released on March 30, 2018. 

The ladies effortlessly serenade about a love that has them higher than they’ve ever been before. The soul-stirring lyrics were written by ATL’s own Ne-Yo and produced by Curtis ‘Sauce’ Wilson whose credits include Brandy, K. Michelle, Musiq and Celine Dion.

“This summer we had the pleasure of touring with Ne-Yo in Australia and he’s truly a singer’s songwriter! We’re honored to have the opportunity to put our signature sound on a song from one of the most talented artists and composers today.”

Electric Café will also feature a guest appearance by Snoop Dogg (“Have A Seat”), with production from Raphael Saadiq, Dem Jointz and longtime En Vogue producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy.

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RC Exclusive - Music

‘Taraji’s White Hot Holidays’ to feature Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo, Andra Day & more

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Andra Day are just a few of the big name acts who will join Taraji P. Henson for “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays.”  The Oscar nominated actress and star of “Empire” is back for another year to spread some holiday cheer, goodwill and Christmas magic.

Just like last year’s show, “White Hot Holidays” will feature soul-stirring renditions of some of our favorite holiday classics, as well as some comedy and more. Other acts include Tyrese Gibson, Candice Boyd, October London, along with her “Empire” cast members Jussie Smollett and Taye Diggs.

Also scheduled to appear are Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, TLC, Tyler Perry and Terry Crews.

Look for Taraji to star in this holiday season’s highly anticipated “Hidden Figures.” It opens in theaters on December 25 and also stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

“Taraji’s White Hot Holidays” airs on Thursday, December 8 at 8 p.m. on FOX!

Photo Credit: FOX

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Recap

Ne-Yo, Kim Fields, Brandon T. Jackson and others attend ‘S3 Summit’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure on Thursday night of covering the S3 Summit hosted by Grammy winning-singer-songwriter Ne-Yo and honoring Atlanta’s own Dominique Wilkins. The very private event took place at Atlanta’s newest sports attraction—The College Football Hall of Fame.

IMG_3255The evening began with a dazzling red carpet featuring the singer and NBA legend along with actors Kim Fields and Brandon T. Jackson as well as Pro@CEO’s Kevin and Keith Carr, former US track and field star Kim Batten, Trayvon Martin an Michael Brown‘s lawyers Benjamin Crump and Daryl D. Parks and a host of retired football players.

The event was presented by Prudential and Pro2CEO, a transition and business development consulting firm for elite current & former athletes, artists and enterprising organizations who seek to increase their optimization and monetization in the business world. The organization helps to create successful transitions, business collaborations, joint ventures and partnerships for high achieving individuals and organizations.

Keynote speakers included WNBA Atlanta Dream owner, Kelly Loeffler and John Grant, Executive Director of Atlanta’s Celebration Bowl for ESPN. The event also included a panel discussion hosted by Atlanta media maven Karyn Greer.

Check out more pictures below:

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Former track and field star Kim Batten

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Kevin Carr of Pro2CEO

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Tirrell Whittley of Liquid Soul

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Keith Carr of Pro2CEO

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Dominique Wilkins 

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John Grant

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Kim Fields and her husband Christopher Morgan 

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Brandon T. Jackson

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Prudential’s Dorinda Walker 

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Prudential’s Joseph Anderson

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Kelly Loefller

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Eddie Drummond 

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Former NFL player Julius Williams 

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Lawyer Benjamin Crump

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Former NFL Players – Ronnie Brown, Vonnie Holiday and Jason Campbell

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Kelly Loefller speaking to the audience

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John Grant speaking to attendees

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Broadway BUZZ! (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Tap dance king Savion Glover has joined the cast of Broadway’s smash hit, “Shuffle Along.” The Tony Award winning-performer, who actually serves as the show’s choreographer, will join the musical beginning July 26. Also joining the show is actress and dancer Rhiannon Giddens. She will take on the role of ‘Lottie Gee’ and replace Tony winner Audra McDonald, who’s leaving the production to have a baby. Take a look at Glover in action as he recently joined the cast on NBC’s new variety show “Maya & Marty.” [PLAYBILL.COM]

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“The Wiz Live!” cast with NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt

Photo Credit: Chris Haston for NBC

“The Wiz Live!” cast reunited in Los Angeles on Wednesday (June 1) for a special engagement during the Directors Guild of America. Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo, Common, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Amber Riley, Elijah Kelley and Shanice Williams all joined the show’s director Kenny Leon, music supervisor Harvey Mason Jr., choreographer Fatima Robinson and others for a lively discussion and musical performances. The event was moderated by actress and reality star Holly Robinson Peete. “The Wiz Live” aired last December 3 on NBC to rave reviews and is headed to Broadway for the 2016-17 season. [BROADWAYWORLD.COM]

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Cynthia Erivo and Heather Headley Photo Credit: ColorPurple.com

Check out a first look video below of Tony winning-actress Heather Headley performing the song “Too Beautiful for Words” from “The Color Purple Musical.” As previously mentioned, she took Jennifer Hudson‘s place in the role of ‘Shug Avery’ last month on May 10. “The Color Purple Musical” is up actually up for three awards this year at the Tony’s including ‘Best Revival of a Musical,’ ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical’ for Cynthia Erivo and ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical’ for Danielle Brooks. “The Tony Awards” air on next Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. on CBS. [TONYAWARDS.COM]

Stay tuned…

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Eva Marcille to star in unscripted BET series ‘About the Business’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Eva Marcille is hoping to make a dent in the luxury container home business in a new unscripted series for BET titled “About the Business.”  The one-hour docuseries follows Marcille and four other Hollywood professionals as they hustle to make it in the industry.

The tight-knit group often find themselves blurring the lines between work, play and personal relationships. Their careers and long-time friendships will be tested, tough choices will be made, but they will always be “About The Business.”

Joining Marcille on this journey is Crystal Renay, model and fiancée of Ne-Yo, PR Maven Sparkle Holmes, Celebrity Stylist EJ King, and marketing executive for Nick Cannon‘s Ncredible Entertainment, Danielle Crawley.  The series will also feature, Sparkle’s business partner and Eva’s project manager, Krista Kolley, as well as host, model and recording artist, Candice Brooks.

“About the Business” launches Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10 P.M. ET/PT on BET Networks.

Photo Credit: atomica.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent Recap

Ne-Yo, Will Packer, George Wallace, and more honored at 2016 Trumpet Awards [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was all about African-American achievement last night at the 2016 Trumpet Awards. The annual black-tie affair recognized some of the biggest and brightest names in the fields of education, medicine, arts & entertainment, politics, community service, and business.

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George Wallace with Arnez J, Rodney Perry, Mo’Nique & Cory “ZooMan” Miller

The lavish ceremony took place at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Centre and was hosted by celebrated actors Nia Long and Terrence J. This year’s honorees included TV and film producer Will Packer, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, comedic legend George Wallace, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, General Motors executive Alicia Boler-Davis, Wayne County Community College Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery, Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mohandas Gandhi), and Her Royal Highness Basmah Bit Saud.

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Congresswomen on the red carpet

The award show also recognized over twenty “Women of Congress” including Donna Edwards, Alma Davis, Barbara Lee, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Brenda Lawrence, Corrine Brown, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Terri Sewell, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Frederica Wilson, Gwen Moore, Joyce Beatty, Karen Bass, Marcia Fudge, Maxine Waters, Robin Kelly, Shelia Jackson Lee, Stacey Plaskett, Yvette Clarke, and Mia Love.

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Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella are celebrating 30 years in entertainment

This year’s celebrity presenters and performers included Deitrick Haddon, Kelly Price, Raheem DeVaughn, Vivian Green, Joe, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Christian Keyes, Bryshere Y. Gray, Mo’Nique, Brad James, Tweet, Andra Day and Trumpet Award announcer Al B. Sure.  There was also a special acknowledgement of Hip Hop pioneers Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella. The trio is celebrating over 30 years in the music industry and opened the show alongside iconic rap stars MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, and Monie Love.

The Trumpet Awards was presented this year by Cadillac, Carnival Cruises, and American Family Insurance. It will premiere on BOUNCE TV January 29 at 9 p.m. EST and on January 31 at 3 p.m. EST.  Check out more photos from the red carpet and media lounge below:

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“Preachers of Atlanta” star Pastor Corey Hambrick

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“Love Thy Neighbor” star Palmer Williams Jr. and his wife

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BET’s Gospel music legend Dr. Bobby Jones  

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R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn

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“Preachers of Atlanta” star Pastor Judah Swilley

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NFL Player Walter Harris 

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Honoree Alexis Herman

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Actress Charmin Lee

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Hip Hop icon MC Lyte 

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Cheryl Smith and Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper aka Salt and Spinderella

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Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon

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  Princess Basmah Bit Saud

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EBONY Fashion Fair model Renee Knorr/Actor Tye White 

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“Empire” star Bryshere Y. Gray aka Yazz the Greatest

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Honoree Ne-Yo

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“Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Joseline Hernandez 

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Actor Brad James

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R&B singer Tweet

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Representative Shelia Jackson Lee 

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Honoree and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

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Singer, actress, and reality star Demetria McKinney

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Hip Hop icons Yo-Yo and Monie Love 

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Comedian Jonathan Slocumb and guest

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R&B Songtress Kelly Price 

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“Saints and Sinners” cast Clifton Powell, Jasmine Burke, and Christian Keyes

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R&B singer Joe 

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Pastor Canton Jones with Miss Fulton Cty. Pre Teen Damacia Howard

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Actress Chrystale Wilson with Jennifer Lester and CheriAmour Dallas

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Singer Andra Day with American Family Insurance’s Michael Riggs 

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Gospel singer and reality star Deitrick Haddon/Singer Kelly Price

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Ladies of Hip Hop – MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, Spinderella, and Yo-Yo

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Mo’Nique sharing a laugh with comedian Rodney Perry 

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Honoree George Wallace 

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Singer Vivian Green/Miss Fulton County Pre-Teen Damacia Howard

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Kelly Price pictured with Honoree Ne-Yo

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Andra Day with Mo’Nique

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The Queen B and Trumpet Awards founder – Ms. Xernona Clayton

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

MusicBUZZ!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo has been added to this year’s list of the honorees for “The Trumpet Awards.” “The Wiz Live” star, whose first album “In My Own Words” turns 10-years-old on February 28, will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to music. Ne-Yo joins previously announced honorees filmmaker Will Packer and comedic legend George Wallace.  “The Trumpet Awards” will be hosted by actors Mike Epps and Nia Long and will be taped next Saturday, January 23 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Centre. It will air this year on Bounce TV.

Speaking of Grammys, CONGRATS to hip hop pioneers Run D.M.C, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and R&B icon Earth, Wind and Fire. They all will be receiving Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards. Each year The Recording Academy honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.  A special ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held in the spring. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. Other recipients include Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Jefferson Airplane, and Linda Ronstadt. “The Grammy Awards” will air on Monday, February 15 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Photo Credit: Grammy.com
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WATCH New Promo for ‘The Wiz Live’ + Full Cast announced

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

There’s no place like home…

NBC has released an exciting new promo for the highly-anticipated television special, The Wiz Live!  The clip features the musical’s four main characters—Dorothy (Shanice Williams), Lion (David Alan Grier), Tin Man (Ne-Yo), Scarecrow (Elijah Kelley)—along with pictures of the other celebrity cast members including Queen Latifah (The Wiz), Amber Riley (Addaperle), Mary J. Blige (Evillene the Wicked Witch of the West), Common (The Royal Gatekeeper), Stephanie Mills (Aunt Em) and Uzo Aduba (Glinda the Witch of the South).

In addition to the promo, the network has also announced 33 new ensemble cast members who will take on the roles of the Munchkins, the Crows, the infamous “Winged Monkeys” and the ultra sophisticated Citizens of Oz.

It has also being reported that some of the cast will be performing during this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26 at 9 a.m.

The Wiz Live!  is an African-American adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The original Broadway show debuted in 1975 and was followed by a glitzy movie version in 1978 starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne.

Check out the promo below and tell us what you think!

https://youtu.be/D3Z53V6x0KU

Photo Credit: BroadwayDirect.com

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Recap

Broadway Buzz!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Reality star and actress, Nene Leakes is headed back to Broadway!  The former RHOA diva is starring as “Mama Morton” in the Tony Award-winning musical, Chicago. Leakes will star in the role for four-weeks beginning November 23 through December 20 at the Ambassador Theater. This is Leakes second time on the Great White Way. Last year she started as the wicked stepmother ‘Madame’ in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Congrats! [BROADWAYWORLD]

OITNB star Lavern Cox is starring in  a new Fox remake of the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show. She will take on the role of Frank-N-Furter, the transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania. The role originally played by Tim Curry for the 1975 film version. The project is a two-hour special that will air next fall in honor of the 40th Anniversary. [ROLLINGSTONE]

The Wiz Live will feature a new song written by R&B/Pop star Ne-Yo when it airs on NBC December 3. In addition to starring as the ‘Tin Man,’ the award winning singer-songwriter has written a new tune that will also be performed by the friends—Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. Speaking of songs, it is also confirmed that Elijah Kelley aka ‘Scarecrow’ will be singing Michael Jackson‘s “You Can’t Win” in the show. The hugely popular song, which was performed in the 1978 movie version, was originally written for Evillene’s “Winkies” in the stage production but was pulled before it hit Broadway in 1975. It was resurrected later for the movie and became a cult classic song for Jackson. Cant’ wait to see this one performed live! [PLAYBILL]

Check out Michael Jackson singing it below:

Photo Credit: OKMagazine.com

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FIRST LOOK at ‘The Wiz Live!’ (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out these first look photos of NBC’s The Wiz Live! airing December 3. The very colorful images were revealed exclusively today by PEOPLE and features “the friends” aka Dorothy (Shanice Williams), Scarecrow (Elijah Kelley), Tin Man (Ne-Yo) and Lion (David Alan Grier).

NBC also released a 41-second behind-the-scenes clip of the group getting ready for their magical photo shoot. According to the show’s costume designer, Paul Tazewell, they are “creating a fantasy land that also is inspired by some of the imagery you’d see today” including a “Jean-Michel Basquiat” inspired Scarecrow and a Cowardly Lion with dreadlocks.

Take a look at all of the video and pics below and tell us what you think!

https://youtu.be/BjlLShDRsFk

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DOROTHY and TOTO

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SCARECROW

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TIN MAN

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COWARDLY LION

The Wiz Live poster

Photo Credits: PEOPLE.com and Facebook/TheWizLive!