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RC Exclusive - Music Recap

ATL Stars Attend Ronnie DeVoe’s 50th Birthday Bash [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

It’s hard to believe it but New Edition star Ronnie DeVoe is 50!

The R&B music icon celebrated his half a century mark this weekend in a lavish birthday celebration presented by 1778 Events and Ciroc French Vanilla. The invitation only event took place at Atlanta’s newest event space, REVEL in West Midtown and was attended by a number of stars, industry friends and fans.

DeVoe’s wife Shamari Fears-DeVoe, his mother Flo DeVoe and fellow Bell Biv DeVoe partners Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell attended the exclusive affair, which included a VIP Meet & Greet in the Ciroc Experience Room and surprise performances by 112, Damion Hall, Kelly Price and Cherrelle. Of course, BBD took the stage for a mini concert of hits such as “N.E. Heartbreak,” “When Will I See You Smile Again” and the forever classic “Poison.”

Additional attendees included Big Tigger (V103 on-air host), Tichina Arnold, Stevie J, Hiriam Hicks, Trina Braxton, Egypt Sherrod (HGTV), DJ Fadelf, Headkrack (Dish Nation/Rickey Smiley Morning Show), Kiana Dancie (co-host, “Sister Circle Live”), Gocha HawkinsSabrina Rowe, Sharlinda Parker, Shanti Das, Donald Woodard (USA Track & Field), Rennie Curran (former NFL athlete), Teresa Caldwell, Sheri Riley (author and motivational speaker), Vanessa Fraction (comedian), Kore Stacks and DJ E-Clazz on the turntables.

 Check out more photos below courtesy of James Pray:

Big Tigger + Ricky Bell

Trina Braxton + HeadkrackCherrelle

Q Parker 

Vanessa Fraction

Ronnie DeVoe + Tichina Arnold 

Kelly Price +Damion Hall

Kiana Dancie + Trina Braxton 

Ronnie DeVoe giving Flo DeVoe a kiss on the cheek…awww Mama!

DJ Fadelf + Egypt Sherrod 

Cherrelle

Kelly Price 

Damion Hall

50th Birthday Cake 

Shamari Fears-DeVoe + Ronnie DeVoe

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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RC Exclusive - Music

BET to Produce ‘The Bobby Brown Story’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BET is teaming up with R&B’s original bad boy, Bobby Brown for an upcoming biopic about his life. According to DEADLINE, the same creators of “The New Edition Story,” are coming together once again for a two night, two-hour event that will chronicle Brown’s beginnings as a founding member of NE and his meteoric rise to superstardom as a solo artist. Abdul Williams will serve as the project’s writer while  Jesse Collins will executive produce.

“I am so excited and looking forward to everybody experiencing the B Brown Story. It will be shown through my eyes! I appreciate BET for teaming up with me and supporting my story. Get ready for an amazing journey,” said Brown on his social media handles.

While it is not being said, I would assume that this film will take some of its cues from Brown’s autobiography, Every Little Step, which was released last June.  As previously reported, the book was Brown’s attempt at setting the record straight about his nearly 40-year-career in the entertainment industry. It also took a deeper look into his very public battle with drugs, alcohol and mental illness and exposed intimate details about his tumultuous marriage to pop music icon, Whitney Houston.

It is also unclear at this point whether the actors who portrayed Bobby in The New Edition StoryTyler Williams and Woody McClain–will reprise their roles for the film.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credits: Instagram/Bobby Brown

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Recap

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 WCLK.com.

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: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

‘Trumpet Awards’ to honor Wendy Williams, New Edition and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Bounce TV has announced the honorees for this year’s “25th Annual Trumpet Awards” and congratulations goes out to media maven Wendy Williams, who will be given the Entertainment Award and legendary R&B group, New Edition, who will pick up the Lifetime Achievement Award. The lavish ceremony will tape next Saturday, January 21 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and will air on Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST.

“Black-ish” star and two-time EMMY® nominated actor Deon Cole is teaming up with and “Rosewood” and seven-time NAACP Image Award nominated actress Nicole Ari Parker as hosts of the black-tie ceremony.

Other honorees include former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo (Humanitarian Award), GRAMMY®-winning soul singer Peabo Bryson (Legend Award) and fashion blogger Gabi Gregg (Trailblazing Award).

The 25th Annual Trumpet Awards will also include special performances by Erica Campbell, Kenny Lattimore, Tamela Mann, Shirley Caesar, Bobby V., Keke Wyatt and Jekalyn Carr.

In a very special tribute, civil rights icon and founder of the Trumpet Awards Xernona Clayton will be presented with the distinguished “Golden Trumpet Award” in recognition of her unparalleled leadership, affecting change, and steadfast work in building the legacy of the awards.

“We have come so far since we started in 1993 and I am extremely obliged to those individuals who saw the vision and who have worked with us for 25 years. Bounce is the ideal custodian to continue to enhance the level of excellence that is our standard going forward. I am thrilled to have my beloved Trumpet Awards become part of Bounce who will continue to celebrate the achievements of those who had an impact on our community for many more years to come,” says Mrs. Clayton.

RayCornelius.com and “UPFRONT” will be on the red carpet to get all of the exclusive interviews with the honorees and presenters, so stay tuned!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and Facebook/Wendy Williams

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RC Exclusive - Music

Oprah Winfrey to make first appearance at ESSENCE FEST

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

ESSENCE announced earlier today that the reigning queen of television, Oprah Winfrey, will make her very first appearance at this year’s Festival on Saturday, July 2 at 4 p.m. EST at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Winfrey will be a part of an amazing speakers panel that includes Bishop T.D. Jakes, Ava DuVernay, Rev. Al Sharpton, Misty Copeland and Tyra Banks.

“Oprah’s message of inspiration is universal and, through her life’s work, she has influenced women and girls across the globe,” said ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. “We are delighted that Iyanla Vanzant graciously invited Oprah to the ESSENCE Festival as a special gift for the fans, so we are welcoming our passionate community to join us for an absolutely extraordinary experience not to be missed.”

As previously reported, this year’s ESSENCE Festival will feature headliners Mariah Carey, Maxwell, and Kendrick Lamar along with Andra Day, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Estelle, Common, Charlie Wilson, Ciara, Tyrese and New Edition. Closing out the Festival will be a Prince Tribute along with Puff Daddy and the Family featuring Faith Evans, Mase, 112 and more.

Source

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

New Edition, Ice Cube, Tyra Banks and more to receive Hollywood Stars in 2017

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congrats to New Edition, Tyra Banks, Ice Cube, Clarence Avant, Lee Daniels and John Legend.  They’re just a few of the entertainers who will be receiving stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2017.

The Walk of Fame Selection Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced all of the honorees on Tuesday just before honoring gospel legend Pastor Shirley Caesar with her own star.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the committee at a meeting held in June and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber’s Board of Directors. Television Producer and Walk of Famer Vin Di Bona, Chair of the Walk of Fame Selection Committee for 2016-2017, announced the new honorees alongside Leron Gubler, President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

“As a Walk of Famer myself, I know these honorees will look back at the day of their ceremony and remember it with fond memories shared with family and friends, and of course, the fans. We look forward to their big day as the Walk of Fame Class of 2017 become part of Hollywood history on this famous Walk,” stated Di Bona.

Check out the full roster and watch the announcement below:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES:
Amy Adams, Jason Bateman, Goldie Hawn, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Brett Ratner, Ryan Reynolds, George A. Romero, Mark Ruffalo and Rita Wilson

In the category of TELEVISION:
Tyra Banks, Andre Braugher, Ken Corday, Lee Daniels, Hugh Laurie, Eva Longoria, Wolfgang Puck, Keri Russell, Haim Saban, George Segal, Sarah Silverman and Jeffrey Tambor

In the category of RECORDING:
Clarence Avant, Jerry Goldsmith (posthumous), Hall & Oates, Ice Cube, John Legend, *NSYNC, New Edition and Selena Quintanilla (posthumous)

In the category of RADIO:
Elvis Duran

In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Criss Angel, Jeff Dunham and Gustavo Dudamel

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Bobby Brown signs copies of ‘Every Little Step’ at ATL Barnes & Nobles [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Bobby Brown is still that dude!  The 47-year-old Grammy winning-performer, actor, dancer and reality star can still make the ladies swoon and cry as he did Thursday night at Atlanta’s Barnes & Nobles bookstore. The “My Prerogative” singer was at the Edgewood location taking pictures and autographing copies of his new book, Every Little Step, which debuted on June 13.

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Every Little Step is Brown’s attempt at setting the record straight about his nearly 40-year-career in the entertainment industry and takes a deeper look into his very public battle with drugs, alcohol and mental illness. The book also exposes intimate details about his tumultuous marriage to pop music icon, Whitney Houston, including claims that the “I Will Always Love You” singer was indeed bisexual and had a romantic relationship with her former assistant and best friend Robyn Crawford. He also reveals in the book that Houston had an extramarital affair with the late rapper, Tupac Shakur. In true Brown fashion, he also brags about some of his sexual conquests including trysts with the material girl herself, Madonna and his ultimate childhood crush, Janet Jackson.  But despite criticism the book has already received, die-hard fans still lined up and down the bookstore aisles waiting to see Brown, like Ingrid Franklin of Atlanta. She not only came out singing his praises but she says she’s always admired his bad boy persona.

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“He’s Bobby Brown and he says and does what he wants to do and you gotta love him for it,” says Franklin in her throwback Bobby Brown t-shirt.  “He may not be perfect but he does what he wants to do!”

Keisha Archer of Atlanta, was another fan who came out to get up close and personal with the self-proclaimed ‘King of R&B.”  She admits that Brown’s music is the soundtrack to her and her sister’s teenage years.

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“His music reminds me of my sister and I being younger and listening to it over and over and over again. (LOL) When I hear songs like, ‘Tender Roni,’ I automatically think of an old playlist I used to have,” says Archer.  “I’m 36 going on 37 and I feel like I’ve known him all my life. I’m also a huge New Edition fan and have been since day one.”

Nykia Cheeks, left work early so that she could get in line by 6 p.m. to meet Brown, who arrived at the store at 7 p.m. Grinning from ear to ear and holding his book close to her heart, Cheeks says she’s been a fan ever since seeing him perform during the “N.E. Heartbreak Tour” at the tender age of seven.

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“My first concert was seeing him along with New Edition and Al. B Sure. My mother got my tickets and I saw him at the New Haven Coliseum.” Like so many of his fans, she too was attracted to his raw and edgy appeal.

“He did everything he wanted to do his way. He didn’t care about anything that anyone said about him and he still was Bobby. That authenticity of how he is was what I liked the most. He’s had a lot of dirt thrown at his name but he still remains Bobby.”

Bobby’s siblings, Tommy and Leolah Brown, were also present at the signing along with other relatives and close friends. Check out more photos below and click here to get your copy of Every Little Step.

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Bobby Brown kissing one of his adoring fans on the cheek

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Felicia Simon of “Unique Sweets by Felicia” baked a cake for her idol

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Unfortunately, Simon was not allowed to personally deliver the cake to Brown

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Leolah Brown came out to support her brother Bobby

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Bobby Brown signing Indrid Franklin‘s “Bobby Brown” concert shirt

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Brown taking a picture with Shawn Mitchell of Atanta Metropolitan State College

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Debbie Allen, Smokey Robinson, NeNe Leakes & more attend Johnny Gill’s 50th Birthday Party [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

R&B crooner Johnny Gill celebrated his 50th birthday in style over the weekend at a private Bel-Air Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. The party’s theme was “50 Shades of Johnny” after the erotic “50 Shades of Grey” movie.

A number of celebrities and many of his closest friends came out to celebrate including acting and dance legend Debbie Allen, Motown icon Smokey Robinson, comedian Cedric The Entertainer, RHOA stars NeNe Leakes and Cynthia Bailey and media personalities Shaun Robinson and Rocsi Diaz.

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Other celebrities spotted at the party included Broadway and TV/film actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, former “Girlfriends” actress Jill Marie Jones, Phillip Bailey (from Earth Wind and Fire) and R&B singers Jeffrey Osborne, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Benet, Jon Jon (from Troop), Joe and Major.

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Gill’s New Edition brothers Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell were also present along with some of the cast from their upcoming BET biopic like Luke James, Yvette Nicole Brown and Bryshere Y. Gray. The young actors who will portray the group’s founding members were also present.

Johnny’s album Game Changer is currently topping the charts with the hot single “This One’s for Me and You” featuring New Edition. He most recently appeared with the group at Funk Fest Atlanta.

Check out more photos below:Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny Gill

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Actors from “New Edition: The Movie”

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny with Joe, Rocsi Diaz, Nicole Murphy and guest

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Kenny Lattimore with Jeffrey Obsorne

Johnny Gill's 50TH Birthday Party

Johnny with Ronnie Devoe, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins

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Kenny Lattimore, Jeffrey Osborne & Smokey Robinson serenading the RHOA

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Johnny with Cedric The Entertainer

Johnny with Bryshere Y. Gray, Ricky Bell and Nicole Murphy

Johnny Gill and Sheryl Lee Ralph

Johnny with Sheryl Lee Ralph

Photo Credits: Arnold Shoots

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Recap

New Edition, Babyface, TLC & more rock ‘Funk Fest’ Stage [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had a blast on Saturday afternoon covering the second day of Pepsi’s Funk Fest. The lineup consisted of 90’s heartthrob and Babyface protégé Jon B., award winning-girl groups SWV and TLC, hip-hop maverick Master P, Grammy winning-singer-songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and R&B icons New Edition.

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Jon B.

Jon B. kicked things off around 4 p.m. and took fans down memory lane with such popular ballads as “Someone to Love,” “They Don’t Know” and “Pretty Girl.” He joked with the fans that he was singing “R&B long before Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake made it popular.” He was also really excited to be back in the recording studio and is currently working on a new album titled Mr. Goodnight with Grammy winning-producer, Warren Campbell.

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SWV – Sisters With Voices

Following Jon B. was “Sisters with Voices” better known as SWV. LeLee, Coko and Taj looked amazing and sounded great too as they took to the stage. Their short but powerful set included their new single “Man Crush” as well as their now classic tunes “So Into You,” “Anything,” and crowd favorite, “Weak.”

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Master P

New Orleans rap mogul and entrepreneur Master P performed a medley of his hits and dedicated his show to his incarcerated brother C-Murder and the late Atlanta rapper  Bankroll Fresh, who was murdered outside of a studio in March. The former DWTS contestant thanked the audience and his fans for over 20 years of supporting him and and his “No Limit” family.

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TLC

TLC still holds the record as the best-selling American girl group of all time and the ladies proved it during last night’s show. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas performed all of their hits including “What About Your Friends,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Baby, Baby, Baby,” “Diggin on You,” “Red Light Special,” “Creep,” “Unpretty” and “No Scrubs.” The ladies were accompanied by an amazing group of background dancers and DJ. Their rendition of “Waterfalls” was dedicated to the memory of their third member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002. The song, which tackles this issues of promiscuity, drug use and HIV/AIDS, was said to have been her personal favorite.

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Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

11-time Grammy winning-singer and songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds electrified the stage during his hour-long set with a medley of hits like “For the Cool in You,” “Everytime I Close My Eyes,” “Soon As I Get Home,” “Never Keeping Secrets,” “Whip Appeal,” and “Two Occassions.”  But it was the later part of his performance that really brought the crowd to their feet.  He sang snippets of at least 15 different songs from artists he had written for including Johnny Gill‘s “My, My, My,” Tevin Campbell‘s “Can We Talk,” and Bobby Brown‘s “Don’t Be Cruel.”  He closed out the show with a rousing performance of BoyzIIMen‘s “End of the Road,” in which he took off his jacket, unbuttoned his shirt, jumped off stage and ran into the audience. It was a move that many of us didn’t see coming but it turned out to be a real crowd pleaser.

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New Edition

The night ended with a power-packed show from R&B legends “New Edition.” Due to time constraints the group turned what would have been a 90-minute set into 40 minutes. Literally, these guys sang and dance to hit after hit after hit including “Popcorn Love,” “Candy Girl,” “Is this the end,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “My Secret,” “Count Me Out” and “If It Isn’t Love.” They also performed their latest single, “This One’s For Me and You,” which appears on Johnny Gill‘s current album, Game Changer. The group is also be the subject of a new television movie based on their lives and careers for BET titled “New Edition: The Movie.” It airs in 2017 and features R&B heartthrob Luke James and “Empire” star Bryshere Y. Gray.

Take a look at more photos below:

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Jon B. taking photos at the media tent

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SWV

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Master P with his son on stage

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 Master P dedicated his performance to Bank Roll Fresh 

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Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins 

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Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas

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Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell

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Babyface 

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Babyface 

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Babyface

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“Married to Medicine” star Lisa Nicole Cloud spotted backstage

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New Edition

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Ralph Tresvant

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Johnny Gill 

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Ricky Bell

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Ronnie DeVoe

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Michael Bivins 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

LaLa Anthony, Lisa Nicole Carson, Monica Calhoun and more added to ‘New Edition’ biopic!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some very familiar faces have been added to BET’s upcoming New Edition biopic “New Edition: The Movie.” Actresses La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Monica Calhoun are just a few of the stars who will be portraying mothers of the iconic group. Check out the full casting below:

• La La Anthony will play Ronnie DeVoe’s mother Flo DeVoe.
• Yvette Nicole Brown will play Michael Bivins’ mother Shirley Bivins.
• Monica Calhoun will play Ralph Tresvant’s mother Patricia Tresvant.
• Lisa Nicole Carson will play Ricky Bell’s mother Mae Bell.
• Sandi McCree will play Bobby Brown’s mother Carole Brown.

The ladies will star alongside “Empire” actor Bryshere Y. Gray as Michael Bivins, Elijah Kelley as Ricky Bell, Luke James as Johnny Gill, Woody McClain as Bobby Brown, Keith Powers as Ronnie DeVoe and Algee Smith as Ralph Tresvant.

“New Edition: The Movie” is a 3-part miniseries that follows the group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global megastardom – weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personnel changes, and the ultimate cost of fame. The film was written by Abdul Williams and is executive produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment and directed by Chris Robinson.

It airs on BET in 2017!

Stay tuned…

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RC Exclusive - Music

TAKE A LOOK ~ Johnny Gill Feat. New Edition ‘This One’s For Me and You’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

R&B crooner Johnny Gill has reunited with his former group New Edition for a brand new single titled “This One’s For Me and You.” The song is taken from Gill’s 2014 project “Game Changer” and features four of the group’s original members—Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe. The guys will also be headlining this year’s Funk Fest taking place in Atlanta, Birmingham, Mobile, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Miami. Also look BET’s three-night mini-series this year on New Edition’s origins and outstanding musical career.

Photo Credit: TheRoot.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Mariah Carey, Babyface, Kendrick Lamar, Maxwell to appear at ‘ESSENCE’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Take a look at this year’s lineup for the 22nd ESSENCE Festival. The list was released Tuesday and includes a number of my personal favorites like Mariah Carey, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Kendrick Lamar, Maxwell, and Ciara.

“The ESSENCE Festival is back in New Orleans with an extraordinary roster of the biggest names and best performers in entertainment—from global music icons to the industry’s rising stars,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “We are welcoming Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar and Maxwell to headline the Superdome main stage. In addition, we will be embracing newcomers like Leon Bridges, Jeremih, Lion Babe, Dej Loaf and The Internet, as well as fan favorite Charlie Wilson for the ultimate cultural experience in New Orleans this July 4th weekend.”

Other artists include: Faith Evans, Charlie Wilson, Estelle, Kelly Price, Lalah Hathaway, New Edition, Tyrese, Doug E.Fresh, Mali Music, MC Lyte, Robert Glasper Experiment, V. Bozeman, The Brand New Heavies, Leon Bridges, and many more!

Click here for tickets and the full lineup!

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

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New Edition, TLC, Babyface, and more to perform at ‘Funk Fest 2016’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

New Edition, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and Snoop Dogg are just some of the big names who will take to the Atlanta stage for this year’s Funk Fest. The all-star lineup was announced by Variety Entertainment this evening and will take place May 13 and 14.

imageOther acts to perform that weekend include SWV, De La Soul, T. Pain, Master P and TLC. The festival will also be held at it’s new home – Central Park in downtown Atlanta. Central Park is a premier venue for hosting major music festivals including Music Midtown and the Shaky Knees Festival.

“We are excited to bring Pepsi Funk Fest back to Atlanta. Our line up is a music lovers dream and our new venue, Central Park is just what we need to accommodate our growing festival fans” said Leo Bennett, Founder and CEO of Variety Entertainment.

In addition to the live performances, Pepsi and Variety Entertainment will partner with Lifting As We Climb (LAWC) to provide scholarships to two students in each tour city who exemplify leadership. They will also put a “spotlight” on community and civic leaders in each tour city who work tirelessly to make each city a great place to live and thrive. Each show will feature a special presentation to highlight the efforts of these individuals.

Click here for more information!

Photo Credit: Fanart.tv

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RC Exclusive - Music

UPDATE: BET to develop and produce ‘New Edition’ mini-series (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

A New Edition biopic is coming to television courtesy of BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment. The big news was announced earlier on Monday and the project will be co-produced by only five of the group’s six members: Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant.

Wait! No Bobby Brown?

According to the press release, the project is being developed by the network and will premiere in a three night mini-series in 2016.  Here is what the group had to say in a statement:

“It’s been a long time coming and that time is finally here! Now that we have signed the deal, New Edition’s journey will be captured in a three night miniseries to tell our life story through our very own eyes. We are happy to have New Edition Enterprises collaborate with BET Networks’ Debra Lee and Stephen Hill along with Jesse Collins Entertainment.  From our beginning in the Orchard Park Projects in Boston to Hollywood and everything in between, just like The Temptations and The Jackson Five—we are ready to retrace our footsteps and show everyone how we got here. For the fans all over the world, this one’s for you,” says New Edition.

This news actually comes as a shock to me considering there was a very well produced trailer floating around the internet in March of a proposed New Edition film produced by Atlanta filmmaker, Bobby Huntley. If you recall, Huntley’s passion project was titled, “NE Heartbreak” and he was soliciting support from the group via social media to be the production team to tell their story.

“The NE Heartbreak The Movement is a ‘labor of love’ mission, set up by a creative team of New Edition fans, to produce an authentic biopic, that will tell a sincere and honest narrative, of the lives and journey of New Edition,” said Huntley in a statement on his website.  “NE Heartbreak The Movement’s main objective, is to be the production team entrusted to tell the story of 6 young men, who had a dream of success, happiness & music.”

Not sure what this new development means for Huntley’s project but at least the group’s story will finally be brought to the screen. RC will keep you posted as this story continues to develop. Check out Huntley’s 3-minute trailer below:

[youtube id=”6fuRTW2KNu0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credit: PopCultureBlog.DallasNews.com