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‘Cookie & Nem’ about to ‘Set It Off’ in New ‘Empire’ Clip (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Cookie and her sisters—Carol and Candace—are stepping into Leviticus/Las Vegas like their about to “set it off” in this new clip from tomorrow night’s episode of  “EMPIRE.”

Taraji P. Henson, Tasha Smith and Vivica A. Fox are giving fans of the show major “girl group glam” as they try to intercept Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Juliana’s (Nia Long) plans to expand the Lyon brand in the Sin City. I’m not sure what’s about to go down but from the looks of their entrance and those cocktails in their hands, it is going to be #EPIC!

Take a look below and watch #Empire at 9 p.m. on FOX:

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Viola Davis, Common, Omari Hardwick & Lee Daniels to present during ‘BET’s ABFF Honors’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET has announced that Oscar nominated “Fences” star Viola Davis will be in good company as a presenter during the “American Black Film Festival Honors.” She will be joined by award winning-director Lee Daniels, Oscar winning-hip hop star Common and beloved actors Morris Chestnut and Omari Hardwick during tonight’s taping of the show. Also scheduled to appear are singers Maxwell and Dionne Farris, who I imagine will be performing songs from the “Love Jones” soundtrack since the film turns 20-years-old this year (Yes, it’s been 20 years!)

As previously reported, the “BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors” is being taped in Los Angeles and will celebrate Black culture by honoring individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment.

This year’s honorees include two-time Oscar winning actor and screen icon Denzel Washington with the “Hollywood Legacy Award;” writer, producer and actress Issa Rae with the “Rising Star Award,” film director and producer F. Gary Gray with the “Excellence in the Arts Award” and actor and singer, Terrence Howard with the “Excellence in the Arts Award.”

The show is hosted by actress and director Regina Hall and will include other appearances by Jay Ellis (Insecure, The Game), Kofi Siriboe (Queen Sugar), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse, Straight Outta Compton) and Kylie Bunbury (Pitch).

“BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors” is executive produced by ABFF Ventures founder Jeff Friday, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones for de Passe Jones Entertainment, Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment, and Connie Orlando, Stephen G. Hill and Debra Lee for BET Networks.

“BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors” airs on BET and Centric on Wednesday, February 22nd at 8:00PM ET.

Photo Credit: ABFFHonors.com

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‘NAACP Image Awards’ adds more star power to live telecast!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

We’re about four days away from the live telecast of this year’s “NAACP Image Awards.” The TV One special will take place on Saturday, February 11 at 9 p.m. beginning with a red carpet at 7:30 p.m. that is hosted by ET’s Nischelle Turner and E!’s Terrence J with Tai Beauchamp and Chris Spencer as special correspondents.

The show is also adding more big names to its list of celebrity presenters including Tracee Ellis Ross, Mandy Moore, Adam Rodriguez, Rashida Jones, Bill Paxton, Brian White, Deon Cole, Jussie Smollett, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Justin Cornwell, Nick Kroll, Penny Johnson and Pooch Hall.

As previously announced, they will join presenters Taraji P. Henson, Sterling K. Brown, Octavia Spencer, Trevor Noah, Janelle Monae, Issa Rae, Mike Colter and Mykelti Williamson. Additional talent scheduled to attend includes: Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Kerry Washington, John Legend, Terrence Howard, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Keesha Sharp, Andra Day, Kofi Siriboe, Nate Parker, Niecy Nash, Omari Hardwick, Regina King, Rutina Wesley, Stephan James, Tika Sumpter and Uzo Aduba. Also expected are cast members from “Empire,” “This Is Us,” “Atlanta,” “The Carmichael Show,” “Power,” “black-ish,” “Queen Sugar” and more.

In addition, the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This special honor is bestowed upon an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums – the nominees are Beyoncé, Viola Davis, Regina King, Dwayne Johnson and Chance the Rapper.

Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP “Chairman’s Award” and Lonnie G. Bunch, III will receive the NAACP “President’s Award.” LeBron James was already presented with the NAACP “Jackie Robinson Sports Award.”

The NAACP Image Awards is hosted by “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: NAACPImageAwards.net

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Phylicia Rashad to have recurring role on ‘EMPIRE’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Tony Award winning-actress of stage, TV and film Phylicia Rashad will star on the new season of “Empire.” Rashad will play Diana DuBois, a powerhouse from one of New York’s oldest and most prominent African-American families.

unnamed-92As the mother of ambitious city councilman Angelo Dubois (played by Taye Diggs), she has her sights set on higher office for her only son, and she’ll stop at nothing to groom him. Diana’s interactions with Cookie, Lucious and the rest of the Lyon clan will lay bare the stark class divides that can exist, even within the black community.

Rashad is best known for her role as ‘Claire Huxtable’ on the iconic 80’s TV series “The Cosby Show.” She has also appeared in numerous Broadway productions including “The Wiz,” “Dreamgirls” and “Into the Woods” and won a Tony Award for role as ‘Mama’ in “A Raisin in the Sun.” She has also starred in such films as “Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds,” “For Colored Girls…” and most recently in “Creed” alongside Michael B. Jordan.

Check out the new trailer for Season 3 which features Grammy winning-music superstar Mariah Carey. “Empire” returns to Fox on September 21 at 9 p.m. EST.

https://youtu.be/QYMeQ9Lbjd4

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YAY!!! TV One to air an EMPIRE Memorial Day Weekend Marathon

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

TV One is celebrating this Memorial Day Holiday Weekend with an “Empire Marathon” beginning Sunday, May 29 at 12 p.m. and Monday, May 30 at 7 a.m. ET.

Relive every exciting moment from Seasons 1 & 2  all over again! From Cookie beating Hakeem with a broom to Jamal coming out of the closet to Andre’s emotional breakdown to Hakeem taking the throne from Lucious…it’s all at your fingertips this weekend.

In addition to that, TVOne.TV is also launching four new online packages, including “This Ain’t New,” a think piece on the comparison between soaps of yesteryear and their modern interpretations or remixes; Which Empire Character Are You?,” an exclusive online quiz to determine if viewers have what it takes to be a Lyon; “Music Star Copycat,” an in-depth look at which real life musicians were the inspiration for Empire’s cast of characters; and “Best Empire Looks,” a week-to-week editorial capturing each character’s best looks.

Viewers can also explore the recently published, “The Fight for the Throne,” showcasing the best power moves of Empire’s noteworthy characters—Andre, Hakeem, Cookie, Jamal and Lucious. This also includes video, photographs and artwork capturing their best moments, quotes and scenes.

Check out the preview below and enjoy the marathon!

Photo Credit: Fox.com

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MIchael B. Jordan, ‘Empire’ and ‘Black-ish’ Win Big at NAACP Image Awards [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was all Black Achievement last night during the live telecast of the NAACP Image Awards on TV One. Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars came out to recognize the best in television, film, music, and literature. A BIG congratulations goes out to “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan who picked up the biggest honor of the night—Entertainer of the Year—as well as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in “Creed.”

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ABC’s “black-ish” picked several awards including Outstanding Comedy Series as well Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for Anthony Anderson and Outstanding Actress In a Comedy Series for Tracee Ellis Ross. “Empire” was also a big winner of the night including Outstanding Drama Series + Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for Terrence Howard and Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for Taraji P. Henson.

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Other winners included “Survivor’s Remorse” star Mike Epps for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, “black-ish” starlet Marsai Martin for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, “Scandal” villian Joe Morton for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and “American Crime” star  Regina King for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Click here to see a complete list of winners and check out more photos below courtesy of Jerome Dorn & InDaHouseMedia:

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Winners F. Gary Gray, Anthony Anderson and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

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John Legend picked up this year’s President’s Award and performed “All Of Me”

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The cast of “Empire” with Show co-creator Danny Strong 

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Winner Tracee Ellis Ross

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Actor and media personality Terrence J with “Empire” Star Serayah McNeill

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Winner O’Shea Jackson Jr. 

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Acclaimed actor Chadwick Boseman

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Sevyn Streeter with Jussie Smollett and Tika Sumpter 

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“Survivor’s Remorse” actress Erica Ash

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NAACP Nominee and Atlanta favorite Egypt Sherrod

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Actress and singer Demetria McKinney and Roger M. Bobb

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“Empire” diva Ta’Rhonda Jones and guest on the red carpet

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“The Next: 15” star Claudia Jordan with Congress’ Frederica Wilson & guests

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Actress Aunjanue Ellis making a bold statement with her dress on the red carpet

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NAACP Image Awards to honor Jussie Smollett + Confirmed Attendee List

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to “Empire” star Jussie Smollett! The singer and actor will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award during this year’s telecast on Friday, February 5 at 9 p.m. Also being recognized is Grammy Award-winning vocalist John Legend. The Oscar winning-songwriter will pick up this year’s President’s Award.

jussie_06_recording_room_1170final2_0An all-star lineup of talent is also confirmed to attend and/or present at this year’s show including Will Smith, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez, Kerry Washington, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tika Sumpter, Keegan-Michael Key, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Chadwick Boseman, Shameik Moore, Abraham Attah, Michael B. Jordan, Tracee Ellis Ross, Loretta Devine, Shonda Rhimes, Omari Hardwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sanaa Lathan, RonReaco Lee, Keke Palmer, Teyonah Parris, Michael Ealy, Tom Joyner, LeToya Luckett, Ken Jeong, F. Gary Gray and more. Also expected are cast members from “Empire” – Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealy, Trai Byers, Serayah, Gabourey Sidibe, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Kaitlin Doubleday, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong.

The award ceremony is being hosted once again by “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson along with a red carpet pre-show hosted by Terrence J and Tracey Edmonds. Click here to see all of the nominees!

Click here to read Jussie’s current story in OUT Magazine where he dishes on everything from Black Lives Matter to why he’s still waiting on his “boo” to show up!

The NAACP Image Awards airs live beginning at 9 p.m. EST on TV One.

Photo Credits: sfltimes.com and OUT.com

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SNEAK PEEK of ‘Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out a preview of Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays airing tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on Fox. As previously reported, there will be special performances by Grammy winners Mary J. Blige and John Legend along with Chris Brown, Patti LaBelle, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx and the cast of Empire. This is one special you don’t want to miss!

https://youtu.be/BGHZ3Qw2vL4

Photo Credit: People.com

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He Said, She Said: Terrence & Taraji talk Holiday Plans with ‘EXTRA’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Terrence Howard has some big plans for the holidays. The star of Empire with his on-screen wife, Taraji P. Henson as they gear up for their Christmas special, Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays talking to Extra’s Renee Bargh. Terrence revealing his holiday plans with real life wife Mira, “Hopefully trying to make another baby.” Howard and Mira welcoming their first son, Qirin Love, in June, has put some thought into when to have baby number two, “Yeah we want astrology – we want the signs to match up, we need baby born in September to match the Taurus.”

Terrence and Taraji also clearing up the rumors they are feuding, making light of the headlines, Taraji smiling, “He pays me very well to say nice things about him.” Joking, “I can’t stand him he gets on my nerves…He’s ugly look at him, ugh.” Terrence jumping in, “I love her it’s just her breath that’s what bothers me.” In all seriousness he continued, “We were probably brother and sister in a last life…We’ll be connected at the hip until the day we die.”

The duo staying tight lipped on what’s to come when Empire returns in March, Taraji only promising, “More drama more fashion, more, more, more!” But you can catch them Wednesday on FOX when Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays airs with guests including John Legend and Mary J. Blige.

Check out the full interview below:

Thanks EXTRA!

Photo Credit: EXTRATV.com

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Empire’s Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard to host ‘White Hot Holiday’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

If you were watching Empire last night you may have noticed during the commercial break that its stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are hosting a television holiday special White Hot Holidays. The music and variety special airs Wednesday, December 9 at 9 p.m.

According to VARIETY, the one-hour program features modern versions of classic holiday songs performed by musical superstars Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Jamie Foxx along with a special duet by Henson and Howard.

Check out the preview below:

https://youtu.be/xDgDCqLgTX4

Photo Credit: BirminghamTimes.com

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RC attends #PepsiATL Screening of ‘Empire’ (PHOTOS)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

My girl Monica Coleman from M320 Consulting teamed up with Pepsi last night to present an intimate screening of Empire. The evening took place at Atlanta’s iconic Park Tavern at Piedmont and featured a celebrity panel discussion along with southern dining and specialty drinks courtesy of Pepsi. Your truly, RC was honored to partner with both brands to promote the event through a social media contest and website promotions.

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Rico Wade and Shanti Das

Music industry veterans like Shanti Das, Rico Wade, R&B group Silk and everyone’s favorite “mama” from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Deb Antney led a lively discussion about their experiences in the music industry. Both Das and Wade dished about working with industry giants like L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone while Antney talked about working with her rapper son, Waka Flaka and other artists she’s managed. Silk also talked about their challenges and gave some much needed advice to those pursuing a career as talent and those who want to manage them. The conversation was moderated by V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux.

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Silk

After the 30-minute discussion, we all enjoyed Empire which featured a story line where Jamal (Jussie Smollett) brought his feuding parents, Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) together to create a song for a new Pepsi endorsement deal. The result was pure magic and Pepsi offered Jamal the opportunity to become the face of its new brand campaign.

Side Note: That was genius marketing on behalf of Pepsi to create an event that was centered around a story line on TV’s most popular show. Brilliant!!

Check out more photos from the evening below and a preview of next week’s episode featuring Vivica A. Fox and Alicia Keys.

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Shanti Das and Ramona DeBreaux

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Miss Deb Antney was open about the challenges shes faced in the music industry

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Attendees could take pics at the Pepsi Photo Booth

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

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Attendees having fun at the Pepsi Photo Booth

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Pepsi provided specialized cocktails for all attendees

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Shanti Das discussing her time with LaFace Records

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Lil G from Silk talking about his group’s experience as young artists

 

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Terrence Howard tells ‘EXTRA’ that he’s retiring after ‘Empire’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“Extra’s” Jerry Penacoli caught up with Terrence Howard at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Global Down Syndrome Fashion Show in Denverto get the latest news on “Empire,” his family, and more.

Howard has been Iron Man’s sidekick and earned an Oscar nomination, but revealed to Jerry, “I was never as famous as a film actor as I am now.”

In his candid exclusive with “Extra” Terrence, who plays Lucious Lyon, said the massive ratings and red-hot success of “Empire” have his head spinning.  When Penacoli asked Terrence if he has wrapped his head around all of this success, Howard replied, “Not really. I’m still trying to stay in the game with the Cookie Monster.  Joking about his co-star Taraji P. Henson, aka Cookie, he continued, “When you have Taraji P. Henson on your coattails, I’m like, ‘Am I still number one? Is it still my show?’ Yeah, I’m number one. It’s still mine.”

He also set the record straight about his reported beef with Henson, explaining there was “never a feud. The only feud we have is who’s going to get the weekend off, who’s going to work the latest on Friday.”  Howard teased what’s ahead in Season 2, saying, “Maybe [Lucious] having a bipolar mother had a huge effect on him. That is one of the things we’re uncovering.”

He also dropped a bombshell, telling Jerry he plans to retire after his run on “Empire” is over! “I want to give Lucious the rest that I have in this creative space, and then I want to raise my son.”

The star also gushed over his son Qirin and wife Mira Pak, saying, “I’ve got a beautiful baby boy. I’ve met my one, and I’ll be with her until time definite.  Mira was with Terrence at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself event, along with stars like Jamie Foxx and Jamie Brewer.

Story, Photo and Video Credits: ExtraTV.com

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Ludacris to guest star in next episode of ‘Empire’ + Sneak Peek (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Why wait until tomorrow night to see Empire, when we’ve got a sneak peek right here? Check out the newest clip of episode “Without a Country” starring Fast and Furious actor, Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges as ‘Officer McKnight’ alongside Terrence Howard‘s ‘Lucious Lyons.’

Speaking of Fast and Furious, Luda’s co-star Tyrese Gibson confirmed recently that he too will be making an appearance on Empire as one of Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) love interest.

“I’m coming to get my girl back,” said Gibson during an appearance on the “Wendy Williams Show.” “All them dudes on there kissing on my girl ‘… I’m kinda done with seeing all that.” [NYDailyNews]

The two co-starred in the 2001 cult classic, Baby Boy and have remained close friends ever since. Empire will be the first time they’ve starred on a project together since the film.  Other guest stars include Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Vivica A. Fox, Kelly Rowland and Alicia Keys.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Blackfilm.com

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FOX releases a new trailer for 2nd Season of ‘EMPIRE’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Lucious Lyons (Terrence Howard) may be on lockdown but it appears that he is still running things in this new trailer for “Empire.” From the looks of the one minute clip, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) goes to visit him but something tells me she’s not there for sympathy.  Meanwhile Andre (Trai Byers) is trying to gain control of the company which was placed in the hands of his singer brother, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) while Hakeem (Breyshere Y. Gray) is devising a plan of his own to take control with the help of “Boo Boo Kitty” (Grace Gealey). We also see a glimpse of guest stars Chris Rock and Marisa Tomei in action.

“Empire” returns to Fox on September 23 at 9PM and I can’t wait to see what twisted plots and schemes Lee Daniels will be serving up!  Check out the trailer below and let me know what you guys think.  #ManDown

[youtube id=”h9bSk7ZedEU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credit: OffThaScript.com