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Naturi Naughton & more honored during ‘RefresHER Experience’ [PHOTOS]

Congratulations goes out to POWER star and singer Naturi Naughton. She was honored during the recent refresHER Experience.

The exclusive event took place at the beautiful Lake Lanier Islands north of Atlanta, GA and featured a bevy of workshops and seminars aimed at empowering and saluting women of color.

The other refresHER honorees included—Trenesa Danuser of Estée Lauder, Charreah Jackson of ESSENCE and actress and comedienne Kiana Dancie.

Check out a few photos below from the exciting weekend:

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Mary J. Blige joins ‘Power’ Sequel ‘Power Book II: Ghost’

Grammy® winner and Oscar® nominated megastar Mary J. Blige is taking her career to new heights. The queen of hip hop soul is starring in the first Power sequel, Power Book II: Ghost.

The big news was announced on Friday (July 26) by Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming for Starz along with executive producers Courtney A. Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

“We have alluded previously to various spin-offs, prequels and other expansions of the ‘Power’ Universe,” Kemp and Jackson said during the network’s “Power” panel. “Today we are pleased to announce that we are in pre-production on the first of what we know will be a collection of series inspired by the dynamic world of ‘Power.’ ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ will continue the journey of some of ‘Power’s’ most controversial characters. Joining the cast of the new series and the ‘Power’ family, please welcome world-renowned recording artist and Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige.”

Also announced during the TCA session, Power season six will be broadcast in two parts. The 10-episode Part I will debut as previously announced on Sunday, August 25th. Part II, which will consist of the final five episodes, will debut in January.

STARZ will also air Power Confidential, the exclusive companion piece to the ultimate season of STARZ #1 hit series Power. The after-show will air immediately following the premiere of each new episode of Power. Power Confidential will highlight the most memorable and jaw-dropping moments from that week’s episode, provide exclusive behind-the-scenes insights and give viewers a taste of what’s to come. The cast and creators of Power will be joined by celebrity fans and surprise guests.

Blige signed an exclusive first-look television deal with global content leader Lionsgate in June 2019 to develop and produce television series under her newly-launched Blue Butterfly productions. The multifaceted singer-songwriter-actress will also have the opportunity to create content across Lionsgate’s array of business platforms.

CONGRATS QUEEN!

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50 Cent signs New Overall Deal with STARZ

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Starz, has announced its renewed commitment to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson by signing him to a new four-year, exclusive premium overall deal. Under the deal Jackson, an executive producer for the hit series Power, will continue to develop new scripted and unscripted projects exclusively for the network through his G-Unit Film & Television, Inc. banner, the production company launched by Jackson.

“When I sat down with Chris and walked him through my plans for G-Unit Film & Television going forward, he let me know I was essentially requesting the biggest deal in premium cable history.  I am excited to announce that we’ve made that partnership between myself, G-Unit Film & Television and Starz/Lionsgate and we will continue our proven track record of breaking records and delivering unique content for audiences around the world…..Get The Strap,” said Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Under the new deal, which includes a three series commitment, the addition of a dedicated development executive accompanied by a discretionary fund for use in developing G-Unit projects, Jackson will also have access to the full breadth of the Starz and Lionsgate platforms, including access to additional distribution channels and input into the merchandising and licensing of G-Unit developed brands and content. The scope of this new deal, in combination with his current television series and development, solidifies 50’s position as one of the most successful crossover artists of the modern television era.

Congrats 50!

Photo Credit: Starz

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Kendrick Lamar to star on TONIGHT’s episode of ‘Power’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Don’t forget to tune into tonight’s new episode of POWER at 8 p.m. on Starz. It features a guest appearance by international rap star Kendrick Lamar. The Pulitzer Prize winner will appear in a guest role opposite 50 Cent in this not-to-miss episode.

“It was something that’s been in the works for a long time just being a fan of the show,” said Lamar to POWER creator Courtney A. Kemp. “Me, 50 and Top, we always communicated that we need to do something one day and make something right.”

Kendrick will be portraying a drug abuser named Laces, who he described as a hot head who’s always on the go.”

“When you see what he did, you know he worked really hard on this,” said 50 Cent about Lamar’s role. “He did a really good job…like they’re going to talk about his performance.”

Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, Calif., Lamar released his debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city” in October 2012 which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and earned him seven Grammy Award nominations. His second album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” released in March 2015 immediately earned rave reviews and topped the Billboard 200, garnering Lamar five Grammy® nominations with a win for Best Rap Album.

Congrats Kendrick! We can’t wait to meet Laces!

Photo Credit: Starz

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‘Power’ actor ROTIMI covers SHEEN Magazine’s Men & Music Issue

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Triple-threat performer Rotimi is the latest celebrity to cover SHEEN Magazine. The rising singer-songwriter and Power actor kicks off the publication’s Men & Music issue that celebrates the essence of masculinity and music combined to create the evolution of man.

The budding star also shares his inspirational story that inspires the masses, while advocating the immense importance of trust the process, and overcoming.

“To be on a platform that enables me to evolve as an artist is a rewarding feeling,” said Rotimi.

SHEEN‘s July/August issue also features Love and Hip Hop Miami starlet, singer and songwriter Amara La Negra, Saweetie, Cerrone Hemingway and Black Girls Rock creator Beverly Bond.

The Men & Music issue of SHEEN Magazine hits newsstands on Tuesday, June 26.

Photo Credits: SHEEN Magazine

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UPFRONT featuring Regina Belle, Joseph Sikora, Essence Atkins & Bresha Webb (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

This weekend’s edition of UPFRONT was truly star-studded. It featured snippets of my one-on-one conversations with R&B/Jazz diva Regina BellePower actor Joseph Sikora and Marlon stars Essence Atkins and Bresha Webb.

Belle is appearing on this weekend’s edition of UNSUNG and stopped by to chat about that and her musical legacy. She also talked about what the rest of 2018 holds for her and much more. (Click here for the full conversation).

Sikora stars as the unpredictable ‘Tommy’ on the hit series Power and opens up about playing a character with “edge.” He also talks about his crazy fan experiences, his love for theater and working with La La Anthony. (Click here for the full conversation).

My last segment features the very funny actresses from NBC’s Marlon – Essence Atkins and Bresha Webb. The two stopped by this week to chat about Season 2 of the series, which debuts on Thursday, June 14 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. EST. (Click here to watch the conversation).

I also feature music from Regina Belle, Sons of Kemet and Shirley Horn!

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Joseph Sikora talks ‘Power,’ Omari Hardwick, La La Anthony & More! (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The hugely popular dramatic series Power returns to primetime this July and Starz is giving fans an opportuntiy to catch up. They’re teaming up with Lionsgate for the complete DVD release of Season 4 on June 12.

The Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson executive produced drama follows the enthralling rags-to-riches tale of James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York nightclub owner who leads a double life of survival and corruption as a drug kingpin. Omari Hardwick (TV’s “Being Mary Jane,” Shot Caller), Lela Loren (TV’s “Lost,” Reign Over Me), Naturi Naughton (Notorious), Joseph Sikora (TV’s “True Detective”) and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Get Rich or Die Tryin’) star in this hard-hitting series about betrayal and survival.

I had the pleasure of talking to Joseph Sikora for this weekend’s edition of UPFRONT where he discussed the show’s undeniable success, his unpredictable character ‘Tommy’ as well as his cast and his most memorable fan moment. He also opens up about his theater roots and much more.

Check out the full conversation below:

Season Five of Power premieres Sunday July 1, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. on the STARZ app (and On Demand). The network on-air premiere will be at the regularly scheduled time of 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Photo Credit: STARZ

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‘Power’ renewed for 6th Season and returns to STARZ on 7/1/18

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to the hugely successful STARZ series Power! The show has been renewed for a sixth season in advance of production wrapping on season five.

STARZ announced the big news earlier today with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson scheduled to direct the season six premiere episode. The fifth season returns this summer on Sunday, July 1 at 9 p.m. EST.

Starz President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik said, “As ‘Power’ wraps production on season five, we want to acknowledge and thank our spectacular ‘Power’ team for producing another great season. We are also pleased to announce a pick-up for season six.”

Power is the hugely successful New York-based crime drama created by Courtney A. Kemp who executive produces alongside Jackson as well as Mark Canton, Randall Emmett, Gary Lennon and Shana Stein.

The show stars NAACP Image Award winner Omari Hardwick along with Joseph Sikora, Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren, Larenz Tate and Brandon Victor Dixon.

 Will you be tuning in?

Photo Credit: STARZ

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STARZ to rebroadcast Season 4 of ‘Power’ + tease Season 5 on 1/7

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Fans of STARZ hit series Power will get a chance to relive all of the O-M-G moments from Season 4 tomorrow (Sunday, January 7) beginning at 12:10 p.m. EST.

If you recall, Ghost found himself behind bars for the first time, new drug wars and bosses were on the rise, hot volatile romances and a shocking death that still has everyone reeling. Following the marathon, fans will also get to see an exclusive sneak peek from Season Five beginning at 10 p.m. EST.

Power is the hugely successful New York-based crime drama from creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp who executive produces alongside Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton, Randall Emmett and Gary Lennon. The show has been nominated for four 2018 NAACP Image Awards® including “Outstanding Drama Series” and a 2017 People’s Choice Award® for “Favorite Premium Drama Series.”

“Power” is STARZ most watched franchise averaging 7.4 million multi-platform viewers for all four seasons.  Will you be watching tomorrow?

Photo Credit: STARZ

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50 Cent Developing New Shows for STARZ + ‘POWER’ is extended to 2019

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Starz announced on Wednesday (December 13) its commitment to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson by extending his existing exclusive premium overall deal into September 2019. Jackson, an executive producer for the hit series “Power,” will continue to develop new projects for the network with G-Unit Film & Television, Inc., the production company launched by Jackson.

“I am extremely pleased to expand my partnership with Starz and Lionsgate,” Jackson said. “This investment in my television and film ventures through G-Unit Film & Television will launch a wide range of new original scripted and unscripted programming I’m looking forward to everyone seeing.”

Starz CEO & President Chris Albrecht added, “This deal recognizes how Curtis’ abilities have gone beyond music and business to include acting and show creation. We’re pleased to continue our relationship and bring new projects to his current and future fans.”

Jackson’s projects currently in development with Starz include “Black Mafia Family” and “Tomorrow, Today.” “Black Family Mafia” is inspired by the story of Demetrius ‘Big Meech’ Flenory and the intersection of the drug industry and the music industry. In “Tomorrow, Today,” after being falsely imprisoned, a veteran from the south side of Chicago becomes the personal experiment of a prison doctor who genetically engineers him to have heightened abilities. Set free, but on the run, the veteran must reconcile with the world that has turned against him, and use his newfound abilities for good.

“Power” is nominated for four 2018 NAACP Image Awards® including “Outstanding Drama Series” and a 2017 People’s Choice Award® for “Favorite Premium Drama Series,” the critically-acclaimed fourth season of “Power” averaged 9.3 million multiplatform viewers per episode and is the most-watched franchise for Starz.

CONGRATS!

Photo Credit: RollingStone

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CASTING BUZZ!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Larenz Tate is headed to Starz’s popular series, “Power.” The celebrated actor will reportedly star as a city councilman from Jamaica Queens who crosses paths with the now imprisoned James “Ghost” St. Patrick, played by Omari Hardwick. Tate joins previously announced actors Charlie Murphy and “Hamilton” star Brandon Victor Dixon. Season 4 of “Power” begins this summer. [S&A]

“How to Get Away with Murder” actress Aja Naomi King will star alongside Kevin Hart in the remake of the French film, “The Untouchables.” Hart will play the caregiver who forms an unexpected bond with a quadriplegic millionaire, played by  Bryan Cranston. King will play the mother of Hart’s son. Filming is currently underway in Philadelphia. [ESSENCE]

Veteran actresses Anna Maria Horsford and Marla Gibbs will star in the upcoming ABC comedy pilot “Jalen vs. Everybody.” Horsford will star as Jalen’s mother and Gibbs will star as his grandmother.  “Jalen vs. Everybody” follows former NBA star and current TV personality Jalen Rose as he juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad. [DEADLINE]

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Sneak Peek of 4th Season of ‘POWER’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out a sneak peek of the 4th season of Starz hit series—“Power”. The cable channel has released exclusive new images of Omari Hardwick‘s character “Ghost” in jail along with an image of his wife “Tasha”, played by actress Naturi Naughton.

Production has officially begun in and around New York for the series which includes locations at its home base in Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios and will return Summer 2017.

naturi-naughton-as-tasha-st-patrick-first-look“Power” Season Three is the most-watched STARZ original series ever, with a record of 7.1M viewers of “Power” across all platforms and counting.* The #1 original STARZ drama also ranked #1 among all weekend cable programs for African American viewers this season.**

The 4th season will pick up on the heels of James “Ghost” St. Patrick’s (Hardwick) highly publicized arrest by his ex-girlfriend, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Valdes (Lela Loren), for the murder of FBI Agent Greg Knox—a crime he did not commit. Ghost can’t outrun his past choices and mounting enemies this season, which threaten his freedom and his family’s safety at every turn. His fight for redemption brings him face-to-face with the Feds, the media, new allies, and old foes. But the biggest obstacle for Ghost remains himself and his internal struggle between the man he wants to be and the one he really is.

“Power” also stars Joseph Sikora as Ghost’s brother in arms in the drug business, “Tommy Egan” and is executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It was created by Courtney A. Kemp.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credits: Starz Entertainment, LLC

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STARZ renews ‘POWER’ for Seasons 4 & 5 (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congrats to the cast of the hit series “Power.” The hugely popular show has been greenlit by STARZ for a fourth and fifth season following Sunday night’s record-shattering Season Three premiere.

According to a press release from the network, each season continues to establish several all-time high performances for STARZ viewership, with the Season Three premiere growing more than 58% from the Season Two and 389% from Season One premieres respectively.1

This is the first multi-season pickup for the New York-based drama starring Omari Hardwick. Creator, executive producer and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp will return alongside executive producers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton, Randall Emmett and Gary Lennon.

13679967_1184947258224863_2113193885014872454_o“In today’s content landscape, it is challenging for a series to stand out, but Courtney is a singular voice working in television today. In Curtis, we not only have an immense talent, but an executive producer who brings a unique perspective, an authentic voice and passionate fan base that has helped in a large part propel the success of the series. Along with our executive producers and the talented ‘Power’ cast and crew, they have created one of the most distinct dramas I’ve ever had the good fortune of putting on the air. The fans have let it be known loud and clear that they cannot get enough of Ghost, Tommy, Tasha, Angela and Kanan,” said Chris Albrecht, President and CEO of STARZ.

Creator Courtney A. Kemp said, “Chris Albrecht and the Starz team have believed in this show from the very beginning. Everyone here at ‘Power’ is deeply grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the fans of the show, which made today’s announcement possible. I am humbled by this vote of confidence from the network and the opportunity to continue to employ our excellent cast and crew, who work tirelessly to bring this show to life.”

Check out a First Look at Season Three below:

Photo Credits: Facebook/Power

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Omari Hardwick talks ‘Power’ and more with ‘INTERVIEW’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out these dope shots of “Power” star Omari Hardwick for INTERVIEW Magazine. The sought after leading man was shot by Victoria Stevens and styled by Shala Rothenburge.

Inside, Hardwick is interviewed by his friend and co-star in the forthcoming film “Shot Caller,” actor Jon Bernthal. The two dish about everything from Hardwick’s love of mentoring to his new music project with Robert Glasper to where he sees his career five years from now.

Take a look at the pics and a few excerpts from their conversation below:

img-omari-hardwick_181001194915

Omari on transition from football to acting…

“I always had an interest in telling stories. I thought, “Maybe a football player is telling a similar story just without dialogue.” There’s not a lot of sports that have as many people on the field as football. Does it liken itself to a set environment? Perhaps. I started thinking that way. I thought, “I should fricking minor in theater!”

img-omari-hardwick_181134995207

Omari on how Power has changed his acting career…

“What feels good to me is what Power has afforded me. I can dig my fingers into some real shit. Is Power real shit? Yeah, but I can’t do that for the rest of my career.”

img-omari-hardwick_181042430702

Omari on his new music and poetry album…

I want that album, which comes out next year sometime, to be so good that that becomes a template for me to be taken seriously without somebody going, “Oh okay, that was cute. He went and did that.” I want to produce [projects] with other actors I adore, directors I want to work with. I want those things to become a lot easier for me—if that means getting to a place where I’m seen in a higher light as a leading man to go into those rooms and be taken seriously as a producer.

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Omari on where he sees his career in five years…

“In the next five years, I want to see myself at least on the producer side, if not equally on the director side, of on one of these great projects, while doing the music and writing children’s book as well.”

Click here to read the entire interview!

The new season of “POWER” airs tomorrow Sunday, July 17!