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Quincy Jones gets Hands and Feet Immortalized at Chinese Theatre [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Music icon Quincy Jones made history Tuesday (November 27) by becoming the first composer to have his hands and feet enshrined at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

The 85-year-old legend was joined by his daughter Rashida Jones and a few of his close friends—Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Usher.

“Man…THIS is what you call family!! I can’t believe they all got up so early for me! ((:0))…Anyway, today was TRULY a special day, because I had the incredible honor of becoming the 1st composer to have his or her hand & footprints enshrined at The Chinese Theatre,” said Jones on his Instagram page.

Jones will be recognized for his illustrious career next Sunday, December 9 during a BET program titled Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones. The all-star salute will feature performances from Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Meghan Trainor, John Legend, Patti Austin, Gloria Estefan, Charlie Wilson, Ledisi, Gregory Porter, Gladys Knight, and others. It is also hosted by media maven and close friend—Oprah Winfrey.

Jones is also the subject a new documentary titled QUINCY,   which chronicles his rise to fame as a musical genius, composer, producer, arranger, record label manager and pop culture icon.

Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones airs 12/9 at 8 p.m. on BET.

Photo Credits: Instagram/Quincy Jones

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WATCH the ‘Black Panther’ World Premiere Red Carpet Special (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Marvel teamed up with YouTube Monday night for the World Premiere Red Carpet Special for “Black Panther.” The video streamed live beginning in the 9 p.m. hour and features interviews with the film’s leading actors Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke and director Ryan Coogler. Other stars of the film in attendance included Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Atandwa Kani, and Florence Kasumba.

The special also features interviews with Jordan’s “Creed” co-star Tessa Thompson, “Black-ish” star Miles Brown, and recent Grammy winner Donald Glover.

Other celebrities spotted on the “Purple Carpet” include Usher, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar (who worked on the film’s soundtrack), Issa Rae, Janelle Monáe and “Black-Ish” star Yara Shahidi.

The highlight of the video was Joh Kani breaking down the cultural relevance of the film and how it will change people’s perceptions of the African continent. Kani plays King T’Chaka in the movie.

“This movie will prove that we built the pyramids in Egypt! Will prove the Timbuktu libraries of the history of mankind is in Africa. Will prove that the Zimbabwe ruins were built by us. Will prove that the cradle of humankind is in Southern Africa. So this is one time whereAfrican people are shown the fullest potential, when they’re able to travel from space and back with incredible technology. We’re all Africans anyway,” said Kani boldly.

Check out the full video below + photos of the stars:

Photo Credits: Instgram/Marvel

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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 - Ent

Kevin Hart kicks off new season of ‘Oprah’s Master Class’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Comedian and acting extraordinaire Kevin Hart will kick off the new season of OWN’s popular series, “Oprah’s Master Class” beginning tonight at 10 p.m. EST. Hart will explore life lessons, painful memories and the monumental moments that shaped him into the entertainment powerhouse he is today.

Take a peek below:

One of the longest-running OWN series, “Oprah’s Master Class” has featured in-depth interviews with over 50 masters. From award-winning musicians and box-office busting actors to groundbreaking leaders, this all-new season also includes Original King of Comedy and television personality Steve Harvey, civil-rights hero Congressman John Lewis, hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J, R&B legend and the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, NBA champion and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, film and TV mogul Tyler Perry, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Usher, and Emmy-winning actress Lynn Whitfield.

Before watching “Oprah’s Master Class,” check out the final season episodes  of “Tyler Perry’s For Better Or Worse.” It features my girls Tasha Smith and Cocoa Brown and airs with back-to-back episodes tonight at 9PM and 9:30PM ET/PT.

Click here for a sneak peek!

Photo Credits: OWN

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Recap

Jill Scott, Usher, Wyclef Jean & more celebrate Andrew Young’s 85th Birthday [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

The stars aligned on Saturday night for the “Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards & 85th Birthday Tribute.” The Civil Rights pioneer and former Mayor of Atlanta presented the invitation only event at Philips Arena which featured an all-star lineup of today’s biggest and brightest entertainers and performers. The evening was also hosted by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.

Ambassador Andrew Young

Andrew Young is best known as one of Dr. Martin Luther King‘s “generals” during the turbulent 1960s. From Selma to St. Augustine to Memphis, Young was there during the Movement’s most pivotal moments. He would later serve as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977 and was chosen personally by former President Jimmy Carter. Young was also very instrumental in Atlanta becoming the city of choice for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and now runs the Andrew J. Young Jr. Leadership Foundation. The non-profit organization recognizes exceptional individuals whose activism, philanthropy and leadership have transformed lives throughout our global community.

Honorees Bob Bland and Tamika Mallory

This year’s recipients of the Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards included the National Co-Chairs of the Women’s March – Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland; world renowned educator and founder of the Ron Clark Academy Ron Clark; media commentator, activist, thought leader and Dream Corps founder Van Jones; Award winning rapper, producer and philanthropist Akon; “Silver Rights Activist” John Hope Bryant and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Angela Robinson and husband

The evening began with a dazzling red carpet of stars that included “The Haves and The Have Nots” actresses Angela Robinson and Crystal Fox; “The Quad” actor Larry Rhem; legendary Motown performer Hamilton Bohannon; “Saints & Sinners” actress Jasmine Burke; “If Loving You is Wrong” actor Joel Rush; media personality Frank Ski, Civil Rights icons Reverend C.T. Vivian and Xernona Clatyon, veteran actors and philanthropists Afemo and Elisabeth Omilami. Other Atlanta notables included actress and producer Chrystale Wilson, actress and producer Terri J. Vaughn, singer and former reality star Meelah, child actor Lil Dee Dee, accomplished actor and singer T.C. Carson, former Destiny’s Child singer LaTavia Roberson, “Braxton Family Values” stars Evelyn and Trina Braxton and film star and comedian Chris Tucker. 

Brandon J. Dirden as Andrew Young in Broadway’s “MLK”

The award show also featured amazing performances from Estelle, Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, Cristina Quinones, Angie Stone and a scene from the forthcoming Broadway play, “MLK” featuring Brandon J. Dirden as Andrew Young. There were also breathtaking tributes by “Greenleaf” star Keith David, harpist Tulani, jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet, African rapper Davido and Grammy winning singer and actress Jill Scott. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for Wyclef Jean and Usher‘s performances.

The show was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, Chevron, OPRAH, Cox Enterprises, EBONY and Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.

See all of the photos below:

Larry Rhem and guest

Hamilton Bohannon

Afemo and Elisabeth Omilami

Joel Rush 

Chrystale Wilson and guest

Lil Dee Dee

Jasmine Burke 

Ambassador Andrew Young talking to media

Frank Ski and guest

LaTavia Roberson 

Wyclef Jean + Cristina Quinones

Mrs. Carolyn Young 

Meelah 

Honoree Ron Clark

T.C. Carson 

Terri J. Vaughn 

Anthony Anderson 

Akon‘s Family

Evelyn and Trina Braxton 

Keith David 

Reverend C.T. Vivian 

Crystal Fox 

Cristina Quinones

Wyclef Jean 

Xernona Clayton 

Chris Tucker 

Performances

Mayor Kasim Reed 

Mrs. Carolyn Young 

Estelle 

Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy

Anthony Brown 

Angie Stone 

Angie Stone performing “Brotha”

Cristina Quinones performing Andra Day‘s “Rise Up” 

Akon’s Family accepting his award

Davido

Honoree Van Jones 

Tulani

Keith David 

Honoree John Hope Bryant 

MISS JILL SCOTT

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Usher, Anthony Anderson, Samuel L. Jackson & more to attend Kenny Leon’s ‘Golf and Gala’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Kenny Leon, Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company, is hosting a group of celebrity guests from the entertainment, sports, and media worlds for a two-day event of entertainment and golf to raise funds for the theatre company’s education programs including the National August Wilson Monologue Competition for high school students.

The festivities will begin the morning of Friday, May 19, 2017, at the exclusive Golf Club of Georgia. Golfing participants get to enjoy this prestigious, private club and join Kenny Leon and Samuel L. Jackson as they battle it out for the “Kenny Cup”. The day will include a breakfast, ladies golf clinic, a buffet lunch, raffle prizes and awards reception in the clubhouse. It is impossible to play at the Golf Club of Georgia unless you are the guest of a member, so do not miss your chance to swing your clubs at this beautiful course.

Other celebrity participants include “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, actress LaTanya Richardson, NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Queen Sugar’s Glynn Turman and media personality Tavis Smiley.

On the evening of Saturday, May 20, 2017 (day 2) celebrities and gala guests will gather for an exclusive party that will include dinner, cocktails, a silent and live auction, and celebrity entertainment including a performance by Grammy Award Winning Artist, Stephanie Mills, at Tony Conway’s Flourish in Atlanta.

Celebrities in attendance will include Usher Raymond, Earl Billings, Tory Kittles, Eugene Lee, Flex Alexander, Malik Yoba, Will Lowery, Duke Fakir, and more.

This two-day fundraiser is being chaired by Fredricka Whitfield, news anchor for CNN; Lynn Jarrett-Gude, Executive Vice President of Gude Management Group and Samuel L. Gude III, CEO of Gude Management Group.

Click here for more information and check out photos from last year’s Golf and Gala.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Anthony Anderson to host Andrew Young’s 85th Birthday Celebration

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

On June 3, 2017, The Andrew Young Foundation will welcome the city of Atlanta and guests from around the world to celebrate the 85th birthday of the Foundation’s founder and chair, Ambassador Andrew Young, by hosting the biennial Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards. The event will be held at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta.

ABC’s “Black-ish” star, Anthony Anderson will serve as master of ceremonies of the event with feature performances by world-class entertainers including Usher and Jill Scott, who will pay tribute to Young and the 2017 leadership award recipients (TBA).

The awards program will salute extraordinary individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of those in communities at home and throughout the world; and will honor Young’s global contributions along with his roles as a pastor, activist, ambassador, congressman and mayor of Atlanta. The theme for this year’s event is “Lead Young” in recognition of Ambassador Young’s leadership activities that began at a young age and saluting the next generations of young leaders who are committed to carrying on the fight for human rights around the world.

Proceeds from the event will support the Foundation’s current programs to preserve civil and human rights and help support and sustain future initiatives.

Click here for tickets!

Photo Credits: AYLF and RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

“Take the Stage” to air on 1/12 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Common, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Angela Bassett are just a few of the big names who will appear on this week’s ABC telecast of “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America.” It airs on Thursday, January 12 beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

The two-hour program, presented by The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, will spotlight the contributions African-Americans have made to the global landscape and will focus on music, dance and spoken word. The show will also feature film footage of iconic items from the museum’s collections – items ranging from a plane used to train the famed Tuskegee airmen for World War II combat duty, to a bible owned by Nat Turner.

Other celebrities participating include Dave Chappelle, Chuck D., Doug E. Fresh, Savion Glover, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Rashida Jones, Elijah Kelley, Janelle Monáe, Octavia Spencer, Chris Tucker, Jesse Williams, Patti Austin, Christina Aguilera, Alvin Ailey dancers, Jon Batiste, Shirley Caesar, Chloe x Halle, Gary Clark Jr., Cynthia Erivo, Jamie Foxx, Robert Glasper, Dave Grohl with Trouble Funk, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, NeYo and Usher.

The special was filmed on September 23 at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Usher, Future, Tyrese Gibson, Young Jeezy and more attend Mayor’s Masked Ball [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Usher, Tyrese Gibson, Future and Young Jeezy were just a few of the A-List celebrities who came out for Saturday night’s UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Atlanta. The VIP gala was held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and was attended by a who’s who of celebrities, city officials, dignitaries, tastemakers and influencers.

Dr. Michael Lomax presenting the HBCU Presidents

Yours truly, RayCornelius.com was in the mix and captured some pretty amazing shots of everyone in their black tie and ballroom garb. The UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball is held annually by the city’s mayor and is a huge fundraiser for students attending historically black colleges and universities. The Mayor’s Masked Ball was created in 1983 by Billye S. Aaron (Hank Aaron’s wife) and Ambassador Andrew Young with the hopes of providing scholarships for underserved youth with dreams of attending college. The event is one of several “Masked Balls” that are presented by UNCF chapters around the country.

Tyrese Gibson helping out during the fundraising portion of the evening

Last night’s ball raised well over one million dollars due to the high demand of tickets  and a little help from “Fast and Furious” star and musician Tyrese Gibson. He literally took over the fundraising portion of the program and was able to galvanize an additional $1oo,ooo from the audience which included three hefty donations from Usher, Young Jeezy and Future. Other celebrities who contributed to the cause included “R&B Diva” Angie Stone, soul singer Avery*Sunshine,HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod and BMI executive Catherine Brewton.

Avery*Sunshine, Q Parker and Angie Stone

A number of other Atlanta notables were in attendance including Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, RHOA star Phaedra Parks, “Married to Medicine” stars Dr. Heavenly Kimes, Dr. Jackie Walters and Dr. and Genise SheltonQ. Parker from 112, celebrity interior designer Michel Boyd, TV and stage actress Danielle Deadwyler, actor Al Thompson, filmmaker Roger M. Bobb, “Greenleaf” star Lamman Rucker, 11 Alive Atlanta news anchor Shiba Russell, acclaimed author and playwright Pearl Cleage, reality star Stevie Baggs, Jr., gospel singer VaShawn Mitchell, hip hop artist Kore $tacks, Dr. Yamma Brown (James Brown’s daughter), gospel singer and radio personality Darlene McCoy, UPSCALE Magazine’s Satchel Jester, “Saints and Sinners” actress Reece Odum and more.

Sheila E.

This year’s entertainment was provided by the one and only—Sheila E. The award winning entertainer and beloved music icon opened her show with a nod to her late mentor and friend Prince with “Erotic City.” She later jammed the night away with hits of her own including “Love Bazaar” and “Glamorous Life.”

The Mayor’s Masked Ball was hosted by comedian and actor J. Anthony Brown along with UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax and UNCF Regional Development Director Justine Norman Boyd.

See more exciting pictures below and click here to donate:

Al Thompson and Shiba Russell

Pearl Cleage and her daughter Deignan

Avery*Sunshine and Dana Johnson

Danielle Deadwyler, Jakeem Smith and Kore $tacks

Dr. Yamma Brown 

Atlanta radio personality SiMan Baby with his guest

Usher

Stevie Baggs Jr. with his date

Kwanza and Natalie Hall

Reece Odum and her guest

Young Jeezy with Phaedra Parks 

Dr. and Mrs. Shelton

Egypt Sherrod and Avery*Sunshine

Actor Lamman Rucker chatting with Billye S. Aaron 

Angie Stone and Gwendolyn Chisolm aka “Blondie”

Q Parker, Tyrese Gibson, Elle Duncan and her husband

Future with his sister and mother

Satchel Jester with Michel Boyd

Darlene McCoy

J. Anthony Brown and Myra J

Roger M. Bobb and Carolyn Young (Ambassador Andrew Young’s wife)

Dana Johnson, Avery*Sunshine, Ceaser C. Mitchell (Atlanta City Council President), Rev. Raphael G. Warnock (senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church) and his wife Ouleye Ndoye    

Tyrese Gibson

Usher

Tyrese Gibson and Ambassador Andrew Young sharing a laugh

Dr. Michael Lomax ~ UNCF President and CEO

Usher laughing out loud at J. Anthony Brown‘s shenanigans

Mayor Kasim Reed and First Lady Sarah-Elizabeth Reed

UNCF Regional Development Director Justine Norman Boyd

handing flowers to Billye S. Aaron

Lamman Rucker with Morehouse College President John Wilson

J. Anthony Brown sharing a laugh with Atlanta business icon Richard Dent 

SHEILA E.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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BET honors The Obamas with Musical Celebration feat. Usher, Jill Scott and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Not sure how I missed this but BET Networks saluted the First Family (President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama) last night during a musical celebration at the White House. The event was hosted by Terence J and Regina Hall, and featured performances by Usher, Jill Scott, Common, The Roots, Bell Biv DeVoe, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, De La Soul, Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams and KiKi Sheard along with appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Williams and Angela Bassett.

“Our country has been led for the past eight years by an extraordinary president and first lady,” said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “We have all witnessed history in the making and I am humbled by this momentous opportunity for BET Networks to join the Obamas for this musical celebration.”

The concert special will premiere on BET Tuesday, November 15 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: BET.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

TAKE A LOOK ~ Usher featuring Future ‘Rivals’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Watch Usher as he enjoys the last days of summer in this new video for the single, “Rival.” It features the Grammy winning singer along with hip hop star Future as well as some amazing views of Atlanta.  In addition to the new video, the multi-talented entertainer also received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame today. The dedication took place this afternoon at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard.

“Usher is one of the most successful artists of our modern music world. We are proud to welcome him to the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Famer ceremonies.

CONGRATS!

Photo Credit: Upcoming100.com

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RC Exclusive - Music

WATCH Usher sing and dance with Diana Ross (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Can you say Déjà vu!

Watch Usher as he sings and dances with music legend Diana Ross at her Hollywood Bowl Concert over the weekend. Miss Ross was singing her R&B hit “Upside Down” and asked her son Evan Ross to join her on stage. He also brought up one of her former dancers, Adam. After Adam performed, Evan noticed that Usher was sitting in the audience and told is mom. She invited the reigning king of pop and R&B to come up on stage and the two commenced to performing much to the audience’s delight.  As soon as I saw the video, I immediately thought about Miss Ross’ 1981 L.A. Forum concert where she invited a very young Michael Jackson to come on stage and perform the very same song with her. Check out the two videos below.

WOW! #historyrepeatingitself

https://youtu.be/RFAOfcDDRyU

 

Photo Credit: Instagram

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RC Exclusive - Music Rising - Music

RC attends Mixtape Release Party for R&B Sensation VEDO [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Oh what a night!  I had the pleasure of attending and covering the Atlanta Mixtape Release Party for rising singer-songwriter Vedo. The Michigan native, who first caught our attention as a contestant on The Voice, was super excited Tuesday evening about his new musical project, 93 which is an eclectic mix of smooth R&B, pop, hip-hop sounds.

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Vedo with fans

The Platinum Power Moves vocalist has recorded over 13 tracks which pay homage to some of his favorite 90’s singers including H-Town, R. Kelly, and Destiny’s Child. Singles like “Knockin’ Da Boots,” “Say My Name,” and “D’ussé or Patrón” are just a few of the hits on 93 that were inspired by the decade in which he was born.

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Vedo with Rahbi Raw

Atlanta notables in attendance included SESAC’s Associate Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Gregory Smith , music producer Troy Taylor, ATL singer-songwriter Rahbi Raw, Grammy Nominated Mastering Engineer Dvante Black, S.T.E.P.S Events’ Jamahl King along with other music tastemakers and die-hard “Vedo” fans.

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Vedo singing his version of Drake’s “Hotline Bling”

Attendees listened to a few samples of the EP and were later treated to a performance from Vedo including his version of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” as well as “We Found Love Right Where We Are” and “Classic.” He also dedicated the evening to his mother, who passed away prior to his appearance on The Voice.

93 is definitely some music that will get you moving on the dance floor! Vedo has that same crossover appeal and sound that belongs right up there with other R&B and pop superstars like Chris Brown, Omarion and Usher Raymond.

Check out more photos below of the party!

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The 93 Release Party took place at Suite Food Loung in downtown Atlanta

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Vedo taking photos with a fan and music producer Troy Taylor 

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Vedo performing his hit single “Classic”

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Vedo with music luminaries Dvante Black and Gregory Smith

April and Troy VEDO

Troy Taylor and Vedo’s publicist April Love 

Jamahl King

Jamahl King with Suite Food Lounges’ Yvette RamirezZiggy VEDO

ATL singer Antonio Ramsey with his manager Ziggy

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Vedo posing with fans he says have supported him from the beginning

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Vedo signed copies of his mixtape 93 after his performance

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

TV Icon Norman Lear Saluted by Usher, Jasmine Guy, Kim Fields and More! [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of TV’s most iconic actors came out last night to salute the man who helped launch their careers and changed the face of television forever. I am talking about none other than legendary producer and content creator Norman Lear.

He was in Atlanta Monday evening for an all-star tribute to his phenomenal career as well as the promotion of his new book Even This I Get to Experience and the 40th Anniversary of The Jeffersons, one of the longest-running sitcoms in American television history.

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The event took place at Morehouse College and was attended by Usher, Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy, Brad James, Keshia Knight Pullman and Terri J. Vaughn. Veteran actress and star of The Jeffersons Marla Gibbs aka “Florence” was also there to pay homage to her long-time friend along with her daughter and fellow actress Angela Gibbs. Famed casting director Reuben Cannon was also present as well as Terrell Whitley of Liquid Soul Media and Bart Phillips of Sunseeker Media.

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The event opened with a hip-hop version of The Jeffersons’ theme song, “Movin’ On Up” performed by D.R.E.S the BEATnik and then into an intimate conversation between Mr. Lear and Dr. Stephanie Dunn. She is an Assistant English Professor at Morehouse’s new Cinema Television and Emerging Media Studies program and specializes in film, African-American cultural studies and and literature.

Mr. Lear is one of the most recognizable names in television history and was responsible for producing and creating such groundbreaking sitcoms like All In The Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Goodtimes, Maude, What’s Happening, 227  and many more. At one point in his career, he had nine shows on television at the same time.

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Throughout the conversation, the 93-year-old talked about the memorable characters he created, some of the behind-the-scenes drama on the shows and why he chose to write storylines based on such taboo subjects as race, politics, sexuality and religion. In addition to the conversation, the audience got a chance to see snippets of Lear’s most memorable “Jeffersons” episodes as well as re-enactments of a few other landmark episodes performed by Morehouse College students and the actors in attendance.

Check out more photos below:

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Even This I Get to Experience is Norman Lears’ new book

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Usher talking about the impact TV had on his childhood

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Marla Gibbs re-anacting her character “Florence” with Terri J. Vaughn 

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Kim Fields and her mother Chip Fields both worked with Mr. Lear

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Atlanta actor Ali Amin Carter with filmmaker Julie Dash

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Angela and Marla Gibbs 

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Usher getting his book signed by Mr. Lear 

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Terrell Whitley, Kim Fields, Christopher Morgan and Bart Phillips 

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Morehouse College President John Wilson and wife with actor Brad James

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Mr. Lear signed books afterwards

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com