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Solange for CK’s ‘Our Family. #MyCalvins’ Campaign [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congrats to NAACP Image Award nominee and one of our favorite fashionista’s SOLANGE. She is the new face of the iconic Calvin Klein brand and their 2017-18 Holiday campaign—“Our Family. #MYCALVINS.” The company rolled it out this afternoon along with these striking photos of Solo and her motley crew.

The “Cranes in the Sky” singer totally personifies #BlackGirlMagic is these beautifully shot images of her along with a curated cast of singer/songwriters all rocking classic Calvin Klein denim and underwear. Her muses include—Kelela, Dev Hynes, Caroline Polachek, and Adam Bainbridge of Kindness

The group is shot together as a “chosen” musical family, illustrating the overarching message of the campaign. The evolved #MYCALVINS concept has family at its center, a display of unity between strong individuals, further emphasized by the symbolism of the traditional American quilt. This campaign captures these bonds and brings to life different ways we can inspire families – both born and made – to connect with one another, and celebrate the things that unite us. 

This launch marks the first moment of the new “Our Family. #MYCALVINS” campaign rollout, with a series of campaign launches that will run from Holiday 2017 through the Spring 2018 season. The talent featured will represent the bridging of several generations stylistically, musically and culturally. They will bring their stories to life as “Our Family” with family and community at the epicenter of the conversation.

For the first time, the brand is embracing a digital first, socially powered mindset in communicating the evolution of the globally successful #MYCALVINS initiative originally launched in 2014. The #MYCALVINS campaign leverages influencers’ and existing consumer behavior to express themselves, and maximizes the cultural ‘selfie’ and viral image-sharing phenomenon. With dedicated digital support in 12 countries and key high impact outdoor in several key markets throughout the holiday season, the “Our Family. #MYCALVINS” initiative will be communicated to a global audience. 

Calvin Klein is a global lifestyle brand that exemplifies bold, progressive ideals and a seductive aesthetic. It seeks to thrill and inspire audiences around the world while using provocative imagery and striking designs to ignite the senses.

Click here to become a part of the family!

Photo Credits: © 2017 Willy Vanderperre

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RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music

Tamar Braxton, SWV, Tank, Kirk Franklin + more to perform at ‘Soul Train Awards’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET recently tweeted that the “hippest trip in America” aka “The Soul Train Awards” will be hosted by multi-award winning vocalist Erykah Badu. She’ll be returning for the third consecutive year as the “hostess with the mostest.”

Confirmed performers include Don Cornelius Living Legend Award honoree Toni Braxton, Lady of Soul honorees SWV as well as Tank, Kirk Franklin, Tamar Braxton and 112.

As previously reported, Solange is in the lead with seven nominations followed by Bruno Mars with six including Song of the Year and Album/Mixtape of the Year. Other nominees include DJ Khaled, Rihanna, Bryson TillerChris BrownUsher, Childish Gambino, Lalah Hathaway, Beyoncé and a host of others.

The “Soul Train Awards” recognizes the best in Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop from legends to the next generation. The show will be filmed on November 5 at the Orleans Arena and will air on November 26 at 8 p.m. on BET and BET HER.

Stay close as more performers and presenters will be announced!

Will you be watching this year?

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Solange receives Seven Nods for ‘Soul Train Awards’ and more

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

And the nominees are…

BET has announced nominations for the “2017 Soul Train Awards” and “Cranes in the Sky” singer Solange is in the lead with seven nods. Our favorite fashionista is up for awards in the categories of Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Video of the Year and Song of the Year.

Bruno Mars trails her with six nominations including Song of the Year for his hit single “That’s What I Like,” and Album/Mixtape of the Year for “24K Magic.”  Other nominees include DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller for “Wild Thoughts” as well as Chris Brown featuring Usher and Gucci Mane for “Party.”

Grammy-winning singer, actress, reality star and philantropist—Toni Braxton—will receive  the coveted Don Cornelius Legend Award. The “Un-Break My Heart” singer has been in the industry for over 20 years strong and just released a video to her new single, “Deadwood,” which appears on her new album “Sex & Cigarettes.” It is her first project in seven years and is due out in early 2018.

The third annual Lady of Soul Award will be presented to Grammy Award-Nominated, multi-platinum, female R&B group SWV. The trio became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 1990s with such hits as “Weak,” “Right Here/Human Nature,” “I’m So into You,” and “You’re the One.”

The “Soul Train Awards” recognizes the best in Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop from legends to the next generation. The show will be filmed on November 5 at the Orleans Arena and will air on November 26 at 8 p.m. on BET and BET HER.

See all the nominees below:

Best New Artist
6LACK
H.E.R.
KEVIN ROSS
KHALID
SZA

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
BRUNO MARS
BRYSON TILLER
CHRIS BROWN
KHALID
THE WEEKND

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
KEHLANI
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MARY J. BLIGE
SOLANGE
SZA

Soul Train Certified Award
BELL BIV DEVOE
JOHNNY GILL
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MACK WILDS

Video of the Year
BEYONCÉ – ALL NIGHT
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

Best Gospel/ Inspirational Award
CHANCE THE RAPPER
CHARLIE WILSON
KIRK FRANKLIN
LECRAE
TAMELA MANN

Album/ Mixtape of the Year
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
MARY J. BLIGE – STRENGTH OF A WOMAN
SOLANGE – A SEAT AT THE TABLE
SZA – CTRL
THE WEEKND – STARBOY

Rhythm & Bars Award (Formerly Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year)
CARDI B – BODAK YELLOW
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
FRENCH MONTANA FT. SWAE LEE – UNFORGETTABLE
KENDRICK LAMAR – HUMBLE.
YO GOTTI FT. NICKI MINAJ – RAKE IT UP

Song of the Year
BRUNO MARS – THAT’S WHAT I LIKE
CHILDISH GAMBINO – REDBONE
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
KHALID – LOCATION
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award
CRANES IN THE SKY – WRITTEN BY: TROY L. JOHN, SOLANGE KNOWLES, RAPHAEL SAADIQ (SOLANGE)
LOCATION 
– WRITTEN BY: ALFREDO EMMANUEL GONZALEZ, OLATUNJI OLUTOMIWA, SAMUEL DAVID JIMENEZ, KHALID ROBINSON, JOSHUA SCRUGGS (KHALID)
LOVE ME NOW – WRITTEN BY: BLAKE MATTHEW SIMON MILLS, JOHN HENRY RYAN, JOHN ROGER STEPHENS (JOHN LEGEND)
REDBONE – WRITTEN BY: GEORGE CLINTON, WILLIAM EARL COLLINS, GARY LEE COOER, DONALD MCKINLEY GLOVER II, LUDWIG EMIL TOMAS GORANSSON (CHILDISH GAMBINO)
VERSACE ON THE FLOOR 
– WRITTEN BY: CHRISTOPHER STEVEN BROWN, JAMES EDWARD FAUNTLEROY, BRUNO MARS, PHILIP MARTIN LAWRENCE (BRUNO MARS)

Best Dance Performance
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
WIZKID FT. DRAKE – COME CLOSER

Best Collaboration
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
JAZMINE SULLIVAN & BRYSON TILLER – INSECURE
MARY J. BLIGE FT. KANYE WEST – LOVE YOURSELF
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
SZA FT. TRAVIS SCOTT – LOVE GALORE

Photo Credit: PopHangover.com and RayCornelius.com

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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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RC Exclusive - Ent

GPB’s ‘A Seat at the Table’ to debut 6/18 [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Renowned broadcast journalist and former Atlanta news anchor Monica Pearson is teaming up with journalist and author Denene Millner and entertainment attorney Christine White for a brand new talk show on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) titled “A Seat the Table.” The series, which is inspired by Solange‘s Grammy-winning album of the same name, debuts on Sunday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. EST.

“A Seat at the Table” is being described as “a weekly series that discusses the diverse experiences, perspectives and challenges of African-American women.” The trio will talk candidly about topics ranging from national news, family, kids, careers and medicine to sexuality, beauty, fashion and relationships. The “no filter” program will cut through the silence and engage viewers in a conversation that will be enlightening and entertaining.

I had a chance to meet the ladies this week during a private press luncheon at the GPB Studios where Pearson was excited about returning to television and viewers getting an opportunity to meet the “real” woman behind the camera.

“I came out of retirement to do this because I always had to keep my thoughts to myself. Now there were viewers who thought that I had shared my thoughts by the way I moved or raised my eyebrows but this gives me an opportunity for people to see me as more than a reader and more as a reporter, said Pearson, who left television in 2012 after being Atlanta’s first female and first minority news anchor.

Millner is an award-winning journalist and was been named by BlackVoices.com as one of the 40 Most Influential Black Female Writers. She was the co-writer for Steve Harvey‘s hugely popular Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man and wrote the novelization of the screenplay for both “Dreamgirls” and “Sparkle.”

White is a Spelman College graduate who has build a very successful career as an entertainment attorney and cultural economist. Passionate about activism and Black entrepreneurship, White co-founded the Influencer Coalition (icATL), a political organization composed of entertainment industry professionals in the state of Georgia.

Click here to see the ladies tackle the controversial issue of “Body Image” and stay tuned for my exclusive interview with them for a future edition of #UPFRONT.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Beyoncé up for Seven BET Awards! (See Full List of Nominees)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET has announced the nominees for this year’s highly anticipated BET Awards and the Queen Bee—Beyoncé—leads the pack with seven nominations including ‘Best Female R&B/Pop Artist,’ ‘Best Collaboration’ with Kendrick Lamar for “Freedom,” ‘Video of the Year,’ and ‘Album of the Year’ for Lemonade.

Following her is everyone’s favorite—Bruno Mars—with five nods including ‘Album of the Year,’ ‘Best Male R&B/Pop Artist,’ and ‘Video of the Year’ for “24K Magic.”

Bey’s sister—Solange—also picked up four nominations including ‘Video of The Year’ for my favorite “Cranes in the Sky.”  Chance the Rapper and Migos both received four nominations as well, Chance the Rapper nominated for ‘Best Male Hip-Hop Artist’ and ‘Best New Artist’ and Migos for ‘Best Group’ and ‘Best Collaboration’ for their #1 hit “Bad and Boujee” with Lil Uzi Vert.

The BET Networks recognizes artists, entertainers, and athletes across over 19 categories with the 2017 “BET Awards” nominations. The nominations are selected by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of fans and an esteemed group of entertainment professionals in the fields of television, film, music, social media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, and the creative arts.

See the complete list of nominees below:

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

BEYONCÉ

KEHLANI

MARY J. BLIGE

RIHANNA

SOLANGE

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

BRUNO MARS

CHRIS BROWN

THE WEEKND

TREY SONGZ

USHER

Best Group

2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

FAT JOE & REMY MA

MIGOS

RAE SREMMURD

Best Collaboration

BEYONCÉ FT. KENDRICK LAMAR – FREEDOM

CHANCE THE RAPPER FT. 2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE – NO PROBLEM

CHRIS BROWN FT. GUCCI MANE & USHER – PARTY

DJ KHALED FT. BEYONCÉ & JAY Z – SHINING

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist

BIG SEAN

CHANCE THE RAPPER

DRAKE

FUTURE

J. COLE

KENDRICK LAMAR

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist

CARDI B

MISSY ELLIOTT

NICKI MINAJ

REMY MA

YOUNG M.A.

Video of the Year

BEYONCÉ – SORRY

BIG SEAN – BOUNCE BACK

BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

Video Director of the Year

BENNY BOOM – KEHLANI “CRZY”

BRUNO MARS & JONATHAN LIA – BRUNO MARS “THAT’S WHAT I LIKE”

DIRECTOR X – ZAYN MALIK “LIKE I WOULD”

HYPE WILLIAMS – TYGA “GUCCI SNAKES FT. DESIIGNER”

KAHLIL JOSEPH & BEYONCÉ KNOWLES-CARTER – BEYONCÉ “SORRY”

Best New Artist

21 SAVAGE

CARDI B

CHANCE THE RAPPER

KHALID

YOUNG M.A.

Album of the Year

24K MAGIC – BRUNO MARS

4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY – J. COLE

A SEAT AT THE TABLE – SOLANGE

COLORING BOOK – CHANCE THE RAPPER

LEMONADE – BEYONCÉ

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

CECE WINANS – NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE

FANTASIA FT. TYE TRIBBETT – I MADE IT

KIRK FRANKLIN FT. SARAH REEVES, TASHA COBBS & TAMELA MANN – MY WORLD NEEDS YOU

LECRAE – CAN’T STOP ME NOW (DESTINATION)

TAMELA MANN – GOD PROVIDES

Best Actress

GABRIELLE UNION

ISSA RAE

JANELLE MONÁE

TARAJI P. HENSON

VIOLA DAVIS

Best Actor

BRYSHERE Y. GRAY

DENZEL WASHINGTON

DONALD GLOVER

MAHERSHALA ALI

OMARI HARDWICK

YoungStars Award

ACE HUNTER

CALEB MCLAUGHLIN

JADEN SMITH

MARSAI MARTIN

YARA SHAHIDI

Best Movie

FENCES

GET OUT!

HIDDEN FIGURES

MOONLIGHT

THE BIRTH OF A NATION

Sportswoman of the Year Award

GABBY DOUGLAS

SERENA WILLIAMS

SIMONE BILES

SKYLAR DIGGINS

VENUS WILLIAMS

Sportsman of the Year Award

CAM NEWTON

LEBRON JAMES

ODELL BECKHAM JR.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

STEPHEN CURRY

Centric Award

FANTASIA – SLEEPING WITH THE ONE I LOVE

KEHLANI – DISTRACTION

MARY J. BLIGE – THICK OF IT

SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

SYD – ALL ABOUT ME

YUNA – CRUSH FT. USHER

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award

BEYONCÉ – SORRY

BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC

DRAKE – FAKE LOVE

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES

THE WEEKND FT. DAFT PUNK – STARBOY

Best International Act: Europe

BOOBA (France)

MHD (France)

CRAIG DAVID (UK)

EMELI SANDE (UK)

GIGGS (UK)

SKEPTA (UK)

STORMZY (UK)

WILEY (UK)

Best International Act: Africa

AKA (South Africa)

BABES WODUMO (South Africa)

DAVIDO (Nigeria)

NASTY C (South Africa)

STONEBWOY (Ghana)

TEKNO (Nigeria)

WIZKID (Nigeria)

MR EAZI (Nigeria)

“The BET Awards” will air live on Sunday, June 25 at Microsoft Theater at 8 p.m.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: BET.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Choreographer Kyle Abraham talks ‘Untitled America,’ Solange & more (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out my exclusive audio interview with acclaimed dance choreographer Kyle Abraham. The MacArthur “genius” has a new work premiering this Saturday evening during the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s Atlanta engagement at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. His dramatic trilogy is titled, UNTITLED AMERICA and it shines a light on the impact that prison systems have on African-American families. The piece was developed over three seasons and features riveting interviews by those impacted by incarceration.

I got a chance to chat with Abraham one-on-one about the work and the inspiration behind it. We also talked about his on-going relationship with the Ailey company and working with Artistic Director, Robert Battle. Considering that Abraham is from Pittsburgh, we also discussed if he’s ever considered choreographing a work inspired by August Wilson and my selfish desire to see a collaboration between him and A Seat at the Table singer and activist, Solange.

Check out the conversation + watch a snippet of UNTITLED AMERICA below:

Photo Credit: NewYorker.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Beyoncé to NYT: ‘My mother has always been invested in making women feel beautiful’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Superstar siblings Beyoncé and Solange took time out of their busy schedules recently to chat with The New York Times about their beloved mother, Miss Tina. Bey opened up (via email) to the paper about her mother’s influence and how important the arts and positive Black images were to the Knowles household.

“I think it was important to my mother to surround us with positive, powerful, strong images of African and African-American art so that we could reflect and see ourselves in them,” Beyoncé said.

“My mother has always been invested in making women feel beautiful,” she added, “whether it was through someone sitting in her hair chair or making a prom dress for one of the girls at church. And her art collection always told the stories of women wanting to do the same.”

Solange also talked about why it was so important for her to include Miss Tina’s words of wisdom on her groundbreaking music project, A Seat at the Table.  “She says things in that interlude that I had been trying to say for the last four years. But my mother has a very special way of communicating, a very special channel that she speaks through that has always felt bigger than her.”

Miss Tina is the subject of an extensive interview that profiles her career as lover of all things beauty including hair, fashion and the visual arts. Miss Tina also dishes about her future ambitions including a new autobiography and the opening of an actor’s workshop in L.A. with her new husband and veteran actor, Richard Lawson.

Click here to read the full interview!

Photo Credits: NYTimes.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

Solange for INTERVIEW Magazine [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a few excerpts and photos from Solange’s beautiful fashion spread in INTERVIEW Magazine. The NAACP Image Award nominee is interviewed by her big sister, Beyoncé, and talks about everything from the inspiration behind the new album, A Seat at the Table to her love for “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” to the cultural inheritance she received as a child of Houston, Texas to why she chose Master P as a narrator on the album and much more!

On what inspired her to create A Seat at the Table:

“For this record specifically, it really started with wanting to unravel some truths and some untruths. There were things that had been weighing heavy on me for quite some time. And I went into this hole, trying to work through some of these things so that I could be a better me and be a better mom to Julez and be a better wife and a better friend and a better sister. Which is a huge part of why I wanted you [Beyoncé] to interview me for this piece. Because the album really feels like storytelling for us all and our family and our lineage. And having mom and dad speak on the album, it felt right that, as a family, this closed the chapter of our stories.”

On collaborating with Master P:

“I remember reading or hearing things about Master P that reminded me so much of Dad growing up. And they also have an incredible amount of love and respect for one another. And I wanted a voice throughout the record that represented empowerment and independence, the voice of someone who never gave in, even when it was easy to lose sight of everything that he built, someone invested in black people, invested in our community and our storytelling, in empowering his people.”

On the meaning of her hit single, Cranes in the Sky:

I remember thinking of it as an analogy for my transition—this idea of building up, up, up that was going on in our country at the time, all of this excessive building, and not really dealing with what was in front of us. And we all know how that ended. That crashed and burned. It was a catastrophe. And that line came to me because it felt so indicative of what was going on in my life as well. And, eight years later, it’s really interesting that now, here we are again, not seeing what’s happening in our country, not wanting to put into perspective all of these ugly things that are staring us in the face.

On the celebrity she wants to meet: 

Diana Ross. For sure. I broke out in some hives when I went to her concert. Alan was like, “Uh, you’re breaking out into hives. Calm down.”

Click here to read the entire interview!

Photo Credits: Interview Magazine

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Beyoncé up for 7 NAACP Image Awards + Full List of Nominees

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Beyoncé has done it again! The Grammy winning music icon has earned seven nominations for the 2017 NAACP Image Awards. The histoic organization released the list this week and the Queen Bee is in the lead. Her sister, Solange is not far behind her with five nominations. Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar both earned four while veteran actor Danny Glover and Nate Parker picked up three nods.

Other nominees include OWN’s “Queen Sugar” and NBC’s breakout hit, “This Is Us” for Outstanding Drama. HBO’s “Insecure” picked up three for “Oustanding Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series” for Issa Rae and “Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for her co-star Yvonne Orji.

My friend and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper also earned a nomination for her documentary, “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.” Click here and listen to our “UPFRONT” interview about the project.

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced during the two-hour star-studded event hosted by Anthony Anderson, which will broadcast LIVE on TV ONE on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9pm as a two-hour special. A 90-minute pre-show will air live from the red carpet at 7:30pm.

See the full list of nominees below:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Beyoncé
  • Viola Davis
  • Regina King
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • Chance the Rapper

TELEVISION

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • “Atlanta” (FX)
  • “black-ish” (ABC)
  • “Insecure” (HBO)
  • “Survivor’s Remorse” (Starz)
  • “The Carmichael Show” (NBC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Don Cheadle – “House of Lies” (Showtime)
  • Donald Glover – “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
  • Kevin Hart – “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (BET)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Issa Rae – “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Keesha Sharp – “Lethal Weapon” (FOX)
  • Niecy Nash – “The Soul Man” (TV Land)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Uzo Aduba – “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • David Alan Grier – “The Carmichael Show” (NBC)
  • Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Laurence Fishburne – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Miles Brown – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Tituss Burgess – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Erica Ash – “Survivor’s Remorse” (Starz)
  • Laverne Cox – “Orange Is The New Black” (Netflix)
  • Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Tichina Arnold – “Survivor’s Remorse” (Starz)
  • Yvonne Orji – “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Drama Series

  • “Empire” (FOX)
  • “Power” (Starz)
  • “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • “Underground” (WGN America)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

  • Kofi Siriboe – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Mike Colter – “Marvel’s Luke Cage” (Netflix)
  • Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)
  • Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Terrence Howard – “Empire” (FOX)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

  • Jurnee Smollett-Bell – “Underground” (WGN America)
  • Kerry Washington – “Scandal” (ABC)
  • Rutina Wesley – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Taraji P. Henson – “Empire” (FOX)
  • Viola Davis – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Alfred Enoch – “How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)
  • Jesse Williams – “Greys Anatomy” (ABC)
  • Joe Morton – “Scandal” (ABC)
  • Jussie Smollett – “Empire” (FOX)
  • Trai Byers – “Empire” (FOX)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Amirah Vann – “Underground” (WGN America)
  • CCH Pounder – “NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS)
  • Cicely Tyson – “How To Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
  • Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Naturi Naughton – “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • “American Crime” (ABC)
  • “Confirmation” (HBO)
  • “Roots” (History)
  • “The Night Of” (HBO)
  • “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • Courtney B. Vance – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
  • Jeffrey Wright – “Confirmation” (HBO)
  • Malachi Kirby – “Roots” (History)
  • Sterling K. Brown – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • Anika Noni Rose – “Roots” (History)
  • Audra McDonald – “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” (HBO)
  • Emayatzy Corinealdi – “Roots” (History)
  • Kerry Washington – “Confirmation” (HBO)
  • Regina King – “American Crime” (ABC)

Outstanding News / Information – (Series or Special)

  • “AM Joy with Joy Reid” (MSNBC/NBC News)
  • “BET Love and Happiness White House Special” (BET)
  • “StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson” (National Geographic Channel)
  • “Stay Woke” (BET)
  • “Unsung: Sugarhill Gang” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

  • “Steve Harvey” (Syndicated)
  • “SuperSoul Sunday” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • “The Real” (Syndicated)
  • “The Talk” (CBS)
  • “The View” (ABC)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series

  • “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • “Little Big Shots” (NBC)
  • “Mary Mary” (WE tv)
  • “The Voice” (NBC)
  • “United Shades of America” (CNN)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

  • “2016 Black Girls Rock” (BET)
  • “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC)
  • “Lemonade” (HBO)
  • “Lip Sync Battle” (Spike TV)
  • “The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards 2016” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Outstanding Children’s Program

  • “All In With Cam Newton” (Nickelodeon)
  • “An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” (Amazon)
  • “Doc McStuffins” (Disney Junior)
  • “K.C. Undercover” (Disney Channel)
  • “The Lion Guard” (Disney Junior)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-series)

  • Emyyri Crutchfield – “Roots” (History)
  • Hudson Yang – “Fresh Off The Boat” (ABC)
  • Lonnie Chavis – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Miles Brown – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a News, Talk, Reality, or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble

  • Anthony Anderson & Tracee Ellis Ross – “2016 BET Awards” (BET)
  • Joy Reid – “AM Joy with Joy Reid” (MSNBC)
  • Roland S. Martin – “NewsOne Now with Roland S. Martin” (TV One)
  • Steve Harvey – “The Steve Harvey Show” (Syndicated)
  • W. Kamau Bell – “United Shades of America” (CNN)

RECORDING

Outstanding New Artist

  • Chance the Rapper (Chance the Rapper)
  • Chloe X Halle (Columbia Records)
  • MAJOR. (BOE/Empire)
  • Ro James (RCA Records/ByStorm Entertainment)
  • Serayah (Columbia Records)

Outstanding Male Artist

  • Anthony Hamilton (RCA Records)
  • Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
  • Chance the Rapper (Chance the Rapper)
  • Kendrick Lamar (Top Dawg Entertainment/ Aftermath/Interscope Records)
  • Maxwell (Columbia)

Outstanding Female Artist

  • Alicia Keys (RCA Records)
  • Beyoncé (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • Fantasia (RCA Records/19 Recordings Limited)
  • K. Michelle (Atlantic Records)
  • Solange (Columbia Records)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration

  • “Blended Family” – Alicia Keys feat. A$AP Rocky (RCA Records)
  • “Everything’s Beautiful” – Robert Glasper & Miles Davis (Legacy Recordings)
  • “Freedom” – Beyoncé feat. Kendrick Lamar (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • “Mad” – Solange feat. Lil Wayne (Columbia Records)
  • “Royalty” – Sounds of Blackness feat HSRA (High School for Recording Arts) (Sounds of Blackness/Atomic K Records)

Outstanding Jazz Album

  • “Everything’s Beautiful” – Robert Glasper & Miles Davis (Legacy Recordings)
  • “Latin America Songbook” – Edward Simon (Sunnyside)
  • “Leslie Odom Jr.” – Leslie Odom (S-Curve)
  • “Ready Take One” – Erroll Garner (Legacy Recordings / Octave Music Licensing LLC)
  • “Upward Spiral” – Branford Marsalis Quartet and Kurt Elling (Okeh)

Outstanding Gospel Album – (Traditional or Contemporary)

  • “Jericho: Tribe of Joshua” – Livre’ (Glory 2 Glory Entertainment/RAL)
  • “Myron Butler & Levi On Purpose” – Myron Butler (Motown Gospel)
  • “One Way” – Tamela Mann (Tillymann, Inc.)
  • “The Journey (Live)” – Donnie McClurkin (RCA Inspiration)
  • “Worship Journal Live” – Fred Hammond (RCA Inspiration)

Outstanding Music Video

  • “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
  • “Cranes In The Sky” – Solange (Columbia Records)
  • “Formation” – Beyoncé (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • “This One’s for Me and You” – Johnny Gill feat. New Edition (Jskillz)
  • “In Common” – Alicia Keys (RCA Records)

Outstanding Song – Traditional

  • “Amen” – Anthony Hamilton (RCA Records)
  • “Cranes In The Sky” – Solange (Columbia Records)
  • “God Provides” – Tamela Mann (Tillymann, Inc.)
  • “I See Victory” – Kim Burrell and Pharrell Williams (I Am Other/Columbia)
  • “Lake By The Ocean” – Maxwell (Columbia Records)

Outstanding Song – Contemporary

  • “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
  • “Formation” – Beyoncé (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • “Freedom” – Beyoncé feat. Kendrick Lamar (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • “Letter to the Free” – Common featuring Bilal (ARTium Records/ Def Jam Recordings)
  • “Royalty” – Sounds of Blackness feat HSRA (High School for Recording Arts) (Sounds of Blackness/Atomic K Records)

Outstanding Album

  • “A Seat At The Table” – Solange (Columbia Records)
  • “Coloring Book” – Chance the Rapper (Chance the Rapper)
  • “Lemonade” – Beyoncé (Columbia Record/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • “untitled unmastered.” – Kendrick Lamar (Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath/Interscope Records)
  • “What I’m Feelin” – Anthony Hamilton (RCA Records)

LITERATURE

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

  • “Another Brooklyn” – Jacqueline Woodson (HarperCollins /Amistad)
  • “The Book of Harlan” – Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic Books)
  • “The Illegal” – Lawrence Hill (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • “The Mother” – Yvvette Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers / Amistad)
  • “The Underground Railroad: A Novel” – Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction

  • “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul” – Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Crown / The Crown Publishing Group)
  • “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” – Angela Y. Davis (Author), Cornel West (Foreword), (Haymarket Books)
  • “Hidden Figures” – Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins Publishers / William Morrow)
  • “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” – Ibram X. Kendi (Nation Books)
  • “Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Author), Raymond Obstfeld (Author), (Time Inc. Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

  • “Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” – Trevor Noah (Random House)
  • “Carry On” – Lisa Fenn (HarperCollins Publishers / Harper Wave)
  • “Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court” – Dr. Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve (Stanford University Press)
  • “Grace: A Novel” – Natashia Deón (Counterpoint Press)
  • “United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good” – Cory Booker (Ballantine Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Auto-Biography

  • “Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America” – Nathaniel Jones (The New Press)
  • “Around the Way Girl: A Memoir” – Taraji P. Henson (37 Ink/Atria Books)
  • “Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” – Trevor Noah (Random House)
  • “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, A Young Black Man’s Education” – Mychal Denzel Smith (Nation Books)
  • “My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire” – Herb Powell (Author), Maurice White (Author), Steve Harvey (Foreword), David Foster (Foreword), (HarperCollins Publishers / Amistad)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

  • “Green Smoothies for Life” – JJ Smith (Atria Books)
  • “LA Reid Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next” – LA Reid (Harper Collins)
  • “Running the Long Race in Gifted Education: Narratives and Interviews from Culturally Diverse Gifted Adults” – Joy M. Scott-Carrol (Author), Anthony Sparks (Author), Diana Slaughter Kotzin (Foreword), (IGET-Network Press/Book Publisher’s Network)
  • “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World ” – The Dalai Lama (Author), Desmond Tutu (Author), Douglas Abrams (With), (Avery)
  • “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage” – Daymond John (Author), Daniel Paisner (With), (Crown Business / The Crown Publishing Group)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

  • “Collected Poems: 1974 — 2004” – Rita Dove (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • “Counting Descent” – Clint Smith (Write Bloody Publishing)
  • “The Big Book of Exit Strategies” – Jamaal May (Alice James Books)
  • “The Sobbing School” – Joshua Bennett (Penguin Books)
  • “Thief in the Interior” – Phillip B. Williams (Alice James Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

  • “A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day” – Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author), Lou Fancher (Illustrator), Steve Johnson (Illustrator), (Viking Children’s Books)
  • “Daddy’s Little Girl” – Karissa Culbreath (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” – Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • “The Golden Girls Of Rio” – Nikkolas Smith (Skyhorse Publishing / Sky Pony Press)
  • “Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas” – Gwendolyn Hooks (Author), Colin Bootman (Illustrator), (Lee & Low Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

  • “As Brave As You” – Jason Reynolds (Simon & Schuster (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books))
  • “Riding Chance” – Christine Kendall (Scholastic / Scholastic Press)
  • “Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express” – Holly Robinson Peete (Author), Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Author), RJ Peete (Author), (Scholastic / Scholastic Press)
  • “The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend” – Sharon Robinson (Scholastic / Scholastic Press)
  • “Two Naomis” – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Author), Audrey Vernick (Author), (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

MOTION PICTURE

Outstanding Motion Picture

  • “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)
  • “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)
  • “Loving” (Focus Features/Big Beach)
  • “Moonlight” (A24)
  • “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Denzel Washington – “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Don Cheadle – “Miles Ahead” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Nate Parker – “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Stephan James – “Race” (Focus Features/The Luminary Group A Solofilms/Trinidad/Trinity/Trinity Race Production)
  • Will Smith – “Collateral Beauty” (Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Angela Bassett – “London Has Fallen” (Focus Features/Millennium Films/G-Base Production)
  • Madina Nalwanga – “Queen of Katwe” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Ruth Negga – “Loving” (Focus Features/Big Beach)
  • Taraji P. Henson – “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)
  • Tika Sumpter – “Southside With You” (Roadside Attractions)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Alano Miller – “Loving” (Focus Features/Big Beach)
  • Chadwick Boseman – “Captain America: Civil War” (Marvel Studios)
  • David Oyelowo – “Queen of Katwe” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight” (A24)
  • Trevante Rhodes – “Moonlight” (A24)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Aja Naomi King – “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Lupita Nyong’o – “Queen of Katwe” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Mo’ Nique – “Almost Christmas” (Universal Pictures)
  • Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)
  • Viola Davis – “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

  • “Lion” (See-Saw Films)
  • “Loving” (Focus Features/Big Beach)
  • “Miles Ahead” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • “Moonlight” (A24)
  • “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

DOCUMENTARY

Outstanding Documentary – (Film)

  • “13th” (Netflix)
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” (Velvet Film)
  • “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” (The People’s Poet LLC)
  • “Miss Sharon Jones!” (Cabin Creek Films)
  • “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” (Coffee Bluff Pictures)

Outstanding Documentary – (Television)

  • “Major League Legends: Hank Aaron” (Smithsonian Channel)
  • “Policing the Police” (PBS)
  • “Roots: A History Revealed” (History)
  • “Roots: A New Vision” (History)
  • “Streets of Compton” (A&E)

WRITING

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

  • Donald Glover – “Atlanta” – B.A.N. (FX)
  • Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore – “Insecure” – Insecure as F**k (HBO)
  • Kenya Barris – “black-ish” – Hope (ABC)
  • Our Lady J – “Transparent” – If I Were A Bell (Amazon)
  • Prentice Penny – “Insecure” – Real as F**k (HBO)

Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series

  • Akela Cooper – “Marvel’s Luke Cage” – Manifest (Netflix)
  • Anthony Sparks – “Queen Sugar” – By Any Chance (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Ava DuVernay – “Queen Sugar” – First Things First (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Joe Robert Cole – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – The Race Card” – (FX)
  • LaToya Morgan – “TURN: Washingtons Spies” – Benediction (AMC)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture – (Television)

  • Alison McDonald – “An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” (Amazon)
  • Alison McDonald – “Roots (Night 2)” (History)
  • Charles Murray – “Roots (Night 3)” (History)
  • Rashida Jones and Mike Schur – “Black Mirror: Nosedive” (Netflix)
  • Rhonda Freeman-Baraka – “Merry Christmas, Baby!” (UP TV)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film)

  • Adam Mansbach “Barry” (Black Bear Pictures and Cinetic Media)
  • Barry Jenkins “Moonlight” (A24)
  • Jeff Nichols “Loving” (Focus Features/Big Beach)
  • Nate Parker “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Richard Tanne “Southside With You” (Roadside Attractions)

DIRECTING

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

  • Anton Cropper – “black-ish” – God (ABC)
  • Anton Cropper – “black-ish” – Good-ish Times (ABC)
  • Donald Glover – “Atlanta” – Value (FX)
  • Marta Cunningham – “Transparent” – Exciting and New (Amazon)
  • Melina Matsoukas – “Insecure” – Insecure as F**k” (HBO)

Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series

  • Anthony Hemingway – “Underground” – The Macon 7 (WGN America)
  • John Singleton – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: The Race Card” – (FX)
  • Millicent Shelton – “Empire” – The Lyon Who Cried Wolf (FOX)
  • Paris Barclay – “Pitch” – Pilot (FOX)
  • Sam Esmail – “Mr. Robot” – eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme (USA Network)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television)

  • Carl Seaton – “Bad Dad Rehab” – (TV One)
  • Mario Van Peebles – “Roots (Night 2)” – (History)
  • Rick Famuyiwa – “Confirmation” – (HBO)
  • Thomas Carter – “Roots (Night 3)” – (History)
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall – “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart” – (Lifetime)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture – (Film)

  • Anthony Russo, Joe Russo – “Captain America: Civil War” (Marvel Studios)
  • Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight” (A24)
  • Garth Davis – “Lion” (See-Saw Films)
  • Mira Nair – “Queen of Katwe” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Nate Parker – “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

ANIMATED/CGI

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – (Television or Film)

  • Dwayne Johnson – “Moana” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Idris Elba – “Finding Dory” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Idris Elba – “The Jungle Book” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Kevin Hart – “The Secret Life of Pets” (Universal Pictures)
  • Loretta Devine – “Doc McStuffins” (Disney Junior)

###

ABOUT NAACP:

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, John Legend & Solange to play ESSENCE FEST

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The BOSS is coming to the BAYOU!

ESSENCE has announced today that legendary music and film icon Diana Ross is coming to the 2017 ESSENCE Festival for the very first time!  The Queen of Motown will headline the main stage along with “My Path to Strength” – a curated evening of performances by Mary J. Blige that will include Chaka Khan, Jazmine Sullivan and Erykah Badu.

Also gracing the stage is Atlanta’s Queen of Soul music India.Arie,  fashion icon and singer Solange, Grammy winning crooner John Legend and Nawlins native sons Master P. and Trombone Shorty.

Other performers include Sir The Baptist, Kelly Rowland’s girl group June’s Diary, Doug E. Fresh, The Jones Girls, Lalah Hathaway, Ro James, Teyana Taylor, Total, Tweet and more yet to be announced.

“This year’s Festival lineup puts women at the forefront of an incredible weekend of entertainment featuring more than 40 of the world’s most gifted artists and performers,” ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks says. “It is an honor to welcome the inimitable Diana Ross to the Festival for the first time. Plus, Festival veteran Mary J. Blige is back to share ‘Strength of a Woman’ with her most passionate fans.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, December 16. Click here to purchase.

The ESSENCE Festival is June 29-July 2 in New Orleans, LA!

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

New Music Monday: Solange ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ & ‘Cranes in the Sky’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Solange has released two music videos to accompany songs from her new album, A Seat at the Table, which she released digitally on Friday (Sept. 30).

According to her website, the “musical presentation” has been brewing in her mind over the past four years and highlights both the troubling conversations that come along with being a Black woman in the midst of cultural and socio-political shifts in America. It also observes the truth and triumphs that come along with being a part of an ever-resilient, multifaceted, chosen people. A Seat features cameos from Lil’ Wayne, Master P, Kelly Rowland, Kelela, Dev Hynes, Tweet, Q-Tip and was executive produced by Solange and Raphael Saadiq.

Check out the female empowerment tune “Don’t Touch My Hair” featuring Sampha and “Cranes in the Sky” which addresses running away from life’s issues. Both videos were produced by Solange and her husband Alan Ferguson.

Click here to listen to A Seat at the Table!

Photo Credit: SaintHeron.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Fashion

The QUEEN MUM! Tina Knowles Lawson covers EBONY’s #SexyForever Issue

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

One of the most famous mothers on the planet slays the July issue of EBONY magazine. I’m talking about none other than Tina Knowles Lawson. The ageless beauty looks absolutely ravishing in her red garb, dazzling crown and signature cascading honey-blond locks. Inside, MISS TINA or Tenie B as she is also called, bares her soul and talks candidly about finding love again after her messy divorce from Mathew Knowles. She also opens up about  her famous offspring, Beyoncé and Solange, as well as the new love of life, veteran actor Richard Lawson.  Check out her sexy photo below and don’t forget to pick up your copy of EBONY on newsstands soon:

Tina Lawson inside

Photo Credits: EBONY.com

Categories
Recap

Jay Z is #3 among the ‘Top Celebrity Searches of 2014’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

They don’t call Jay Z, HOV for nothing!

The multi-platinum selling rapper and entrepreneur is the third most searched celebrity of this year. According to Billboard, Blue Ivy’s proud papa beat out Kim Kardashian, who ranks at #4 and the late Joan Rivers, who came in at #5.  The list, which is compiled by Ask.com, surveys all of the queries of its 100 million global users between the dates of January 1 through November 15.

Other celebrities that made the list are Jennifer Lawrence, Ray Rice, and Derek Jeter. Surprisingly, Jay Z’s sister-in-law, Solange Knowles, was not on the list considering the elevator brawl that took place between the two of them last Spring. Not to mention, her recent wedding photos to video director, Alan Ferguson, that seem to appear on everyone’s Facebook timeline.

Also noticeably absent from the list is comedian Bill Cosby, whose been under fire regarding old and new allegations that he drugged and raped several women. Although most of these charges are from a 2006 situation, Cosby had to cancel recent tour dates and even had his upcoming show pulled by NBC.

Check out the full list below:

1. Robin Williams
2. Jennifer Lawrence
3. Jay Z
4. Kim Kardashian
5. Joan Rivers
6. Ray Rice
7. Angelina Jolie
8. Renee Zellweger
9. Kate Middleton
10. Derek Jeter

 Photo Credit: TheJayZ.com