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The Pulse of Entertainment - 2010

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Eunice Moseley
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ACLU2009BillofRightsAwards017.JPGAlfre Woodard supports the Sundance Institute by presenting them with the ACLU/SC's 2009 Bill of Rights Award

(January 1, 2010) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) recently held its 2009 Bill of Rights Awards where Steve Schnur (Artwerk Music Group), Maria Elena Durazo (AFL-CIO), and Robert Redford, Michelle Satter and Cara Mertes (The Sundance Institute) was honored. The award is for people who have promoted civil liberties and civil rights through distinguished work.

"I love supporting the ACLU," said Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winning actress Alfre Woodard (CBS' "Three Rivers") about coming out to present The Sundance Institute with the ACLU/SC 2009 Bill of Rights Award - along with actress Sally Fields (ABC's "Brothers and Sisters") and film director Rodrigo Garcia ("The Sopranos"). "They asked me. I have a history with them serving twice as judge at the (film) labs."

The Sundance Institute, headed by Robert Redford, Michelle Satter, Cara Mertes and the leadership at the institution, flourishes and nurtures creative artists in film, theater and film music. The ACLU/SC feels that its atmosphere raises public consciousness and sheds light on civil liberties. They point out that most of Robert Redford's films explore special justice themes and his documentaries take up the causes of native rights and the public's right to a healthy environment.
The Sundance Institute is currently the world's most important venue for independent feature and documentary filmmakers. Founding director of Feature Film Programs, Michelle Satter, is the architect of the programs that have been supporting filmmakers for 25 years. Cara Mertes is an award-winning filmmaker and executive producer who lead the Sundance Documentary Program, and Fund.
"Ten to twelve (films), out of a thousand (are picked)... they get to work on their films," said Woodard about the process.

Steve Schnur has been a visionary pioneer in music for digital platforms such as videogames. Schnur, chairman of the Grammy Foundation, promotes pushing creative boundaries, mentoring, empowerment, education of children and civil rights. Maria Elena Durazo is the daughter of a Mexican farm worker who helped to turn her union, Unite-Here Local 11, into the most active union in Los Angeles County. She made history when she became the first Latina elected to the executive board of Here International Union, as general vice president.

The Hollywood event was emceed by actress Olivia Wilde (Fox's "House"). Maria Elena Durazo was presented with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and Randy Jackson (American Idol) presented Steve Schnur with his SCLU/SC 2009 Bill of Rights Award.
For more on the ACLU of Southern California log onto www.ACLU-SC.org. (Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley) 

Boney James is in a class by himself with new project ‘Send One Your Love'
boneyjamespic.jpg"I wanted to do something different," award winning saxophonist Boney James said about his new CD "Send One Your Love" (Concord Records). "Normally I let it flow, this time I had a concept in mind. The saxophone is a sexy instrument so I knew I wanted to record some of the greatest love songs. I'm a child of the 70's...make-out songs!"

That's exactly what Boney gives on his 12th solo album. Credited for helping to create Contemporary Jazz, James has sold over 3 million CDs and garnered a Soul Train Award, three Grammy Award nominations and a NAACP Image Award nomination for is music. On "Send One Your Love" you get that Boney Jazz style sax playing on such selections as the Stevie Wonder title track.

"I'm just doing my best to make music," Boney pointed out. "I'm a Contemporary person too. I love R&B and I love the sax."

The combination was a winner from the start. Eight of his solo releases reached number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. He has appeared as a guest on projects for Mary J Blige, Faith Evans, George Benson, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim and Angie Stone - just to name a few.

My favorite cuts on the CD include "I'll Be Good to You" because Boney takes off on it and it is supported by some sweet piano playing thanks to Tim Carmon; "Wanna Show You Somethin'" is written by Boney James; "Hold on Tight" for its smooth romantic sound that is supported by the piano and the electrical guitar - played by Agape; "Stop, Look, Listen (to your heart)" because I love the way his sax sings the lyrics and again I love the awesome support of the piano, and I love his version of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," which has some outstanding vocal support from Quinn.

Get updated concert information and heard a little from the "Send One Your Love" CD at www.BoneyJames.com and www.myspace.com/boneyjamesmusic.  

January 8, 2010 

DonaldLawrenceandDrBobbyones_BET2009GospelCelebration.jpg
BET celebrates 10 years of Gospel with Celebration of Gospel to air Sunday, January 10th

On Sunday, January 10th at 8 p.m. ET/PT BET will air its' 10th annual Celebration of Gospel. My coverage of the red carpet arrivals was very exciting, seeing all the Gospel legends, current hit-makers and up-and-coming Gospel artists come together in support of BET, the nation's leading provider of programming for African-American viewers.

The BET 2009 Celebration of Gospel has outstanding performances by Yolanda Adams, Ledisi, and Donald Lawrence. The event was hosted again by Steve Harvey and the 24-piece orchestra was again led by musical director Ray Chew. Also performing at the Celebration of Gospel is Fantasia and her mother Diane Barrino Barber, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, Kelly Price, and John Hamilton and his wife Tarsah Hamilton.

If that is not enough to certify this BET event as a Gospel celebration it also offers performances by Donnie McClurkin, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Marvin Sapp, James Fortune & FIYA, Tye Tribbett & Greater Anointing, Dr. Bobby Jones, The Rance Allen Group, BET Sunday Best winner Y'Anna Crawley, and The City of Refuge P.S.A.L.M.S. Choir.

Celebrities that came out in support who graciously stopped by the red carpet includes BET's College Hill's Dorian Renaud, actress Elise Neal, singer/dancer Judith Hill (Michael Jackson), Kelly Chapman, Papa San, Deleon Richards-Shiffield, and Bishop Noel Jones (Pastor of the City of Refuge Church).

When I asked Bishop Jones to give some words of encouragement to those having a hard time because of the economy he said, "One of the things you have to remember is that it's not what you have, but who you are. If you don't lose yourself, you can recover."

Dr. Bobby Jones was asked by me what he listens to when he is in his car and he didn't take sides, he said, "Everything I can get my hands on. I don't make differences in what's out there...you don't make differences in God's Word."

That reasoning is why I love all types of Gospel music, it's His Word that is important, which is why I love Shirley Caesar because she sings all types of Gospel.
The 2009 BET Celebration of Gospel is produced by Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials/BET, Lynne Harris Taylor, vice president of specials/BET, and Geovanni Brewer, executive producer.

For more information on the show please log onto www.BET.com/COG(Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley)

Karima Kibble breaks from sisters to release her debut solo CD, ‘Just Karima'
KarimaKibblePic.jpg"I didn't set out to sing a certain sound," Contemporary Gospel artist Karima Kibble said about her first solo project "Just Karima." "I asked God to give me the sound. I listened to it and said that's good!"

Karima Kibble came into the Gospel music business as part of a group of sisters, Virtue. She recently formed her own label Life Music Recordings in partnership with N Season Records to release her debut solo project "Just Karima." To me her singing style is reminiscent of a mixture of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.

"I didn't feel like I could do it...without my sisters, God said, ‘Step out.' I didn't think I could write and He said, ‘Be Obedient.'"

The project offers 11 selections with the support of such producers as Styalz Fuego, Terrell King, Debra Killings, Sean "Santana" Cooper and Rodney East. The first single is "So Happy."

My favorite cuts on this New Orleans native's CD include "Light" because of his Urban Hip-Hop feel; "Forecast" has a Pop sound that makes you want to get up and dance in the Spirit; "Just to Know" because of its piano support and its lyrics - a beautiful testimony, and "Hold Me Back" which has an Alternative Pop vibe.

To learn more about this hot young Gospel artist log onto www.myspace.com/musicbyKarimawww.facebook.com/karima.kibblewww.MusicByKarima.com and www.Twitter.com/KarimaMusic 

January 15, 2010

2010NAACPImageAwardsconference017.JPGPrecious, Invictus and The Princess and the Frog lead in the 41st NAACP Image Award nominations


Last week in Beverly Hills the NAACP announced the nominations for its' 41st Image Awards - Precious, Invictus and The Princess and the Frog lead with the most nominations. Announcing the nominations were Wanda Sykes ("The Wanda Sykes Show"), Taye Diggs ("Private Practice"), Tatyana Ali ("The Young and the Restless"), Michael Strahan ("Brothers"), Kyle Massey ("Cory in the House"), and Chris Massey ("Zoey 101").

Vicangelo Bulluck, executive producer of the telecast and executive director of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau and Clayola Brown, chairman of the 41st NAACP Image Awards hosted the red carpet event.

"This is our 15th year on Fox," Vicangelo said about where the 41st NAACP Image Awards will be aired on Tuesday, February 26, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. "We had over 1,200 submissions."

"The theme is ‘One Nation, One Dream,'" Clayola added about this year's Image Awards. "The NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization. The Image Awards is the major fundraiser for the NAACP thanks to our sponsors Ford, Chrysler, Sprint and FedEx."

Lionsgate's Precious lead in nominations with seven for "Outstanding Motion Picture," "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" - Gabourey Sidibe, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture" - Lenny Kravitz, "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture" - Mariah Carey, Mo'Nique and Paula Patton, and "Outstanding Independent Motion Picture." Both Invictus and The Princess and the Frog follow with two nominations each. Warner Bros. Pictures' Invictus received nominations for "Outstanding Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture" - Morgan Freeman. Walt Disney's The Princess and the Frog received nominations for "Outstanding Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" - Anika Noni Rose.

For the complete list of nominations for the 41st NAACP Image Awards log onto www.naacpimageawards.net/41/nominees-and-voting/nominees.  (Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley)

Latin Jazz guitarist Lawson Rollins releases ‘Espirito' January 19, 2010 through Baja/TSR Records
lawsonrollinspic.jpg"It's Portuguese for spirit," said Latin Jazz guitarist Lawson Rollins about his newest CD project "Espirito" on Infinita/Baja/TSR Records. "World Music to me is all about bringing together different music styles in some kind of unity. I tend to migrant to Latin - Middle Eastern, the birth place of the guitar."

World Music is the best description of what "Espirito" has to offer. On this 13 track project you hear cultures such as Spain, Brazil, Cuban, Persian, Afghanistan, Indian and U.S. Lawson wrote all the compositions on this, his second, solo project and co-produced it with Shahin Shahida and Dominic Camardella.

I had so many favorites on this CD because I love the guitar and the Latin culture. These favorites include "Rumba del Soul" for its lovely violin support giving a Country music meets Latin music feel and it also has some great horn support thanks to Jeff Elliot; the title track "Espirito" again for the horn support and how Lawson gets a little crazy on his guitar; "Cape Town Sky" has an African driven vibe to it and I love the electric guitar support from Shahin giving it almost funky Latin sound; "Cape La Martinique" because the violin almost sings lyrics and you can also hear Rollins' fingers do a dance on his guitar; "Blue Mountain Bolero" reminds me of music you would hear in a old western film and then it turns into a Latin number, and "Shadowland" because of the sweet flute playing by Richard Hardy, it has a Africa meets Latin music feel to it.

"I left room for improvisation," Lawson pointed out. "I am not interested in an album of wall to wall guitar. It's almost like a director of a movie with all kinds of eager actors. I am kind of the director."

Rollins started in the music business as part of a duo Young and Rollins (with Daniel Young) which became an international renowned touring act. On "Espirito" Lawson also has the support of Charlie Bisharat on violin; Justin Claveria on saxophone; Randy Tico on bass; Dominic Camardella on keyboard, and Dave Bryant on drums.

For more information on Lawson Rollins or to hear a little from his "Espirito" CD log onto www.Infinitarecords.comwww.LawsonRollins.com or www.myspace.com/lawsonrollins.  

January 22, 2010

TatyanaAlipic1.jpgTatyana Ali to star in the Martin Lawrence sitcom ‘Love that Girl' to air on TV One  


Best known for her role as Ashley Banks on the sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Tatyana Ali, who now appears as a regular on CBS's "Young and the Restless" as Roxanne, is now starring in a new sitcom "Love That Girl." On January 19, 2010 the Martin Lawrence sitcom will premier on TV One at 9 p.m. Four episodes, acquired by TV One, will air from January 19th - 21st.

"Love That Girl" was created by Bentley Kyle Evans - responsible for such hits as "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Full House" and "Martin" - and produced by Jeff Franklin ("Full House"). The show is about the trials and tribulations of a newly divorcee (Tatyana) as she moves back to Southern California to work with her father (Phil Morris) in the real estate business. Alphonso McAuley (Fat Albert) co-stars as her unemployed brother and Kendyl Joi (Life) plays her best friend.

Singer/songwriter Raphael Saadiq's 2008 single "Love That Girl" serves as the show's theme song. In fact, the sitcom was filmed in Saadiq's Blakeslee Recording Studios.

"He approached me (Bentley), told me the idea ...and I loved the script, loved the character...a coming of age story," said Tatyana Ali about her involvement in the "independent" series. "It's very much a family comedy sitcom. Her brother's out of work...there's her best friend and the friend next door."

Bentley Evans also enlisted the help of his sister Stacey Evans Morgan ("The Parkers") as producer-writer; his nephew Nile Evans ("Wild ‘n Out") and brother Lamont Evans as writers; his wife Valicia Evans as set designer, and Anastasia Ali as co-producer. Evans, Martin Lawrence, Saadiq and Trenten Gumbs serve as executive producers.

A graduate of Harvard with a bachelor's degree in Government and African-American Studies Tatyana has two siblings Kimberly and Anastasia - who co-owns NazraH Entertainment which produces the www.BET.com web series "Buppies."

Born in Brooklyn, New York on January 24, 1979 Ali obtained her first acting role at the age six on Sesame Street. Then in 1990 she obtained a co-starring role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

"After high school I didn't feel like I was finished," Ali said about the decision to go to college. "It is something no one can take from you. If you have the education you can turn your dreams into reality."

As a vocalist her first national performance was on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and in 1999 she released her debut CD, "Kiss the Sky," which went gold. Tatyana is currently working on her sophomore CD which is to be produced by Johnny J (Tupac).

In 1995 Tatyana won an NAACP Image Award for her work on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and recently receive a 2010 NAACP Image Award nomination for her work on "Young and the Restless."

To learn more about Tatyana or "Love That Girl" log onto www.TatyanaAliOnLine.com or www.myspace.com/TatyAli. 

January 29, 2010

cliftonpowellpic.jpgThe prodigal daughter comes home in the Warner Bros' film ‘Preacher's Kid,' hits theaters January 29, 2010
By Eunice Moseley


"It's a wonderful journey of a father finding himself learning to trust," said actor/director/producer Clifton Powell about the new Warner Bros. feature film Preacher's Kid that hits theaters on January 29, 2010.

The film stars Latoya Luckett a platinum-selling singer and co-founder/former Destiny's Child member. Latoya plays Angie King who dreams of fame and the lime-light. Her father, a minister, is dead-set against such a dream taking her out into the world.

Rebellious and in search of her dream she leaves home and joins a traveling Gospel show. Through circumstances - that normally occur in the music business - she learns how hard that life can be and how important family support is to a happy and fore-filling life. Clifton Powell plays Ike, her hard-nose road manager who tries to protect her.

"All mothers, fathers, sons and daughters should see the film, it's very moving," Powell added. "I have a 17 year-old daughter. She's a good girl, but a teenager, so the storyline did attract me."

Clifton said Stan Foster, the films' writer and director approached him with the part. Fosters work include T.D. Jakes' Woman, Thou Art Loosed. Also starring in the Preacher's Kid is Grammy Award nominee Trey Songz, R&B singer/songwriter Tank, Sharif Atkins (USA Networks' "White Collar"), Gregalan Williams (Remember the Titans), Essence Atkins (TBS's "Are We There Yet"), and Gospel singer Kierra "KiKi" Sheard.

Powell started in the entertainment business as an actor appearing in such films has House Party (1990), Bill Duke's Deep Cover (1992); Rush Hour (1998), Menace II Society, Next Friday, Lockdown and Bones (all in 2000); Never Die Alone, Ray and Woman thou Art Loosed (all in 2004). In television Clifton has appeared in "The Jamie Foxx Show," "NYPD Blue," "House" and "CSI." As a director his work includes There's a Stranger in my House (2009) starring Vivica A. Fox and Man of her Desires - a comedy starring Jackee Harry, Dave Hollister and Shirley Murdock.

For more on the Gener8ion Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures' feature film "Preacher's Kid" log onto www.PreachersKidMovie.com

Le Kat takes you back in time with her new CD project ‘Boudoir Rouge'
LeKatPic.jpgDeeply rooted in her style and music is the 1930s, Le Kat (Kathy Lester) recorded a CD project titled "Boudoir Rouge" that takes us back to that period. The CD offers vintage Jazz, Moody-Blues, Cabaret and Pop selections. Even the cover of the actual CD looks like a vintage 45 vinyl record.

"This is pretty much my style...I'm inspired by Hollywood and Jazz. It's like my alter ego," singer/songwriter Le Kat said. "I so wanted to live in that time. People say I ooze sex and I don't try."

Well the title of the CD, "Boudoir Rouge," is an excellent description of her music style and image, but I must say even though it's "oozing sex" Le Kat seems to come out looking like a very classy lady. Appearing on the CD with her are Tabanou (guitar/keyboards); Aaron Kaplan (guitar/banjo/mandolin), Brett Simons (bassist), Doug Webb (saxophonist/clarinet), Larry Williams (trumpeter), David Langlois (percussion/washboard), Jimmy Levine (pianist), and Mark David (drummer).

"I wanted to re-create the sound," said Le Kat about using a live band.

My favorite cuts on the "Boudoir Rouge" CD include "Mista Twista" for its Be-Bop sound and I love the horn support of Doug Webb; "River" for its club feel; "More" for the upright bass used by Brett Simons - it really takes you back in time, and "I Need a Man" for her very passionate vocals - plus I also love the horn.

"The songs I write are usually actual people's experiences," Le Kat added. "'Desire' is one of my favorites and ‘River' ...I was very moved when I wrote it, I felt the world was so troubled. I was moved by the intolerance in this world."

For more information on Le Kat or her CD, "Boudoir Rouge," log onto www.LeKatMusic.com. 

February 5, 2010

Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir brings ‘Grace' with new CD project on Shanachie Entertainment

"It was like mind-blowing. At first I couldn't believe it," said Sipokazi Nxumalo, one of 19 founding members of the Soweto Gospel Choir, about winning their first Grammy Award. "There are 26 members (including band and dancers) and 90% of us have been together since the beginning. Seven or eight have moved on..."

The Soweto Gospel Choir began in 2002 when the groups' executive producer, Beverly Bryer, and musical director, David Mulovhedzi, held an audition in Soweto to form an "all-star" choir. The result is a choir that won a Grammy Award with their second CD project, "Blessed," in 2005 - their first CD project "Voices from Heaven" was released in 2004. Last year they released a CD/DVD titled "Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre Grace, Inc." which garnered them a Grammy Award nomination.

In 2010 the World Music choir released "Grace" on Shanachie Entertainment. The 19 selection CD is certainly another award winning album. The harmony is almost perfect - if there is such a thing. To also hear that old-time Traditional Gospel on the same project as Traditional South African Gospel was truly refreshing and brought back memories of my grandfathers church.

" The awards they just keep us going," Sipokazi said about all of the accolades they have received.

The Soweto Gospel Choir, aside from performing for Mandela, appeared with Peter Gabriel on "Down to Earth" which appeared on the Disney/Pixar film Wall-E; performed with Celine Dion during her "Taking Chances" tour in South Africa (2008); performed with BeBe Winans and Kirk Franklin, and in 2009 they performed at the Academy Awards singing with John Legend.

The Soweto Gospel Choir is also proud of their work with their foundation which works closely with orphans and victims of AIDS.

"The charitable foundation we founded is our success," said Nxumalo. "There are eight organizations (in South Africa). There is no government funding or very little. They have no food, no blankets, medication...our foundation can help with such things."

The Shanachie Soweto Gospel Choir CD, "Grace," is a must to have. I had many favorites on this project which includes "Kae Le Kae" because of its gutsy lead singer that over laps the beautiful male vocals that are both supported by that harmonic Soweto choir; "Mangisondele Nkosi Yam" a traditional Gospel selection; "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with leads by Sipokazi Nxumalo, has a very soulful and gutsy sound and I love them singing in English; "Muphulusi" a traditional South African Gospel selection; "Ndikhokhele" because of its' almost perfect harmony; "Put Your Hands Medley" a traditional American Gospel selection; "Voices on the Wind" a Contemporary Gospel cut; "Oh! It is Jesus" again I love them singing English, with that African accent and plus this is yet another traditional Gospel song; "Ave' Maria" because not only do I love the male vocalist but I haven't heard this beautiful song in so long, and the title track "Grace" which has a bit of Jazz influence thanks to the piano and electric guitar support.

The Soweto Gospel Choir is currently on tour in the U.S. to promote the CD release of "Grace" that ends in March. For more information on the U.S. tour or the Soweto Gospel Choir log onto www.SowetoGospelChoir.com or www.myspace.com/sowetogospelchoir.  (Photo Credit: Lorenzo de Nozzi)

Saxophonist Michael J. Thomas brings the beat of the city with his new CD release
MichaelJThomasPic.jpgEven though he was raised around country music - growing up in Kentucky - and heard R&B music from his parents that consisted of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael J. Thomas was drawn towards the saxophone and Jazz. On March 2, 2010 Thomas releases a new CD project, "City Beat," on Harbor Breeze Music.

"I'm from the country originally...and any opportunity to go to the city I took, " laughs Michael about the title of the project. "It's something about the city that I love...the hustle and bustle...I like it."

His love for the sounds of the city is evident in his new CD project because honestly while listening to it that is exactly what I see in my mind, the comings-and-going of city life.

"You can go to a restaurant in New York at 2 a.m.," Thomas points out. "The town I live in everything shuts down at 9 p.m."

Michael said music was all that he ever wanted to do and though his music is classified as Jazz he has been influence by Michael Jackson, Prince and Brian McKnight.

"My last album was a Gospel album," Michael J. informed me.

Michael, who has a large following in Japan, is backed by some awesome musicians that consist of Eric Lampley on bass; Jonathan Davis on drums; Diki Ross on keyboard; Shannon Wallace on electric guitar, and Paul Scurto on electric guitar/trumpet.

I have so many favorites on this CD. I will try to list a few cuts that stand out which includes "Pretty Skin" for its Smooth Jazz feel, "Mind Your Step" which has a bit of a funky flavor to it with a layer of Smooth Jazz; "Cali Trippin'" where everyone gets a little crazy - Diki on piano, Paul on Trumpet, Shannon on guitar and of course Michael on sax; "Midtown Manhattan" gave me a night club feel; the title track "City Beat" for being a bit sassy, and the Michael Jackson cover "Billie Jean" because I love the "intro" before the cover and I love the way he has his sax singing the "Billie Jean" lyrics.

For more information on Michael J. Thomas and his "City Beat" project log onto www.MichaelJThomas.netwww.myspace.com/michaeljthomas and www.facebook.com/smoothmichaeljthomas. 

February 12, 2010

‘Who Knew' KeKe Wyatt's newest project is full of hot Pop and R&B

The lady who came to us via multi-platinum singer Avant on his single, "My First Love," Ketara "KeKe" Wyatt is back with her fourth CD project "Who Knew?" on Shanachie Entertainment. KeKe has been waiting a while for a new project release, which is slated for February 23, 2010.

"I have been knowing them for years," KeKe Wyatt said when asked about securing the very talented producers/songwriters The Underdogs on the project. "I said ya'll come on! Me and Harvey Mason (The Underdogs) did four on the CD."

Wyatt, who is diffidently showing her Cherokee bloodline on CD's cover picture, has a captivating R&B/Pop sound that's refreshing. Her talent radiates through some of my favorite songs on the "Who Knew?" project that include the title track "Who Knew?" produced and written by The Underdogs - a hot hand-clapping Pop/R&B number; "Getting' It" produced by True Storee with lyrics by KeKe is a hot Urban/R&B/Hip-Hop track that has a twist of Gospel's soulfulness - if you can imagine, and "With Out You" produced and written by L. Young where KeKe vocally takes completely off.

"It didn't take long at all," said Wyatt about recording the CD. "I wanted to do what it needed to do...I don't think this one will be held up."

KeKe is talking about what happened with her sophomore and third CD projects. Her Cash Money Records sophomore project, "Emotional Roller Coaster," and her third TVT Records CD, "Ghetto Rose," where shelved for label reasons. Now on Shanachie Entertainment, a label that has been rolling out hit CDs like crazy, KeKe Wyatt is preparing for the release of her forth CD "Who Knew?"

For more information on the new KeKe Wyatt release log onto www.myspace.com/kekewyatt.

Entertainment columnist ‘Rambling Rose' authors book, ‘Black America Series: African-American Entertainment in Baltimore'
Rosa_Pryor-Trusty_souvenir_Journal.jpgThe lady that Nat King Cole wrote about in his song "Rambling Rose," entertainment columnist Rosa Pryor-Trusty, adds author to her credits - that include singer and first female concert promoter - with the Arcadia book release "Black America Series: African-American Entertainment in Baltimore." The book is a visual and educational journey of black entertainment in Baltimore during the 50s and 60s.

"The reason I did the book is to show what generations offer...see how proud black people were so you can walk with pride, stepping and smiling," columnist/author Rosa Pryor-Trusty said about her book - which took her 10 years to do. "It was more than hard work it was a labor of love. I sang and whistled 99% of the time."

Co-authored by Tonya Taliaferro for introducing Rosa to Arcadia Publishing, "African-American Entertainment in Baltimore" is available in every book store in the country, as well as having a large market in Europe. Book sales, according to Pryor-Trusty, have not decrease since it was initially published in 2003.

"I knew nothing about the computer at that time, nothing about researching online," Rosa pointed out. "It had been years since I been in the library, until this book."

Through pictures and cut-lines Rosa Pryor-Trusty, whose column "Rambling Rose" is published weekly in the Baltimore Afro newspaper (www.afro.com), takes the readers on a journey of black entertainment in Baltimore. First she introduces them to the Baltimore nightclubs (Red Foxx Lounge, Crystal Ballroom, Royal Theaters, Old Regent Theater) where people such as Cab Calloway, Louie Armstrong, Nate King Cole, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Red Foxx, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald frequently performed and the people who frequented there to see such acts. Readers get to see and read about the famous social clubs that sprung-up such as The Sphinx Club, the Left Bank Jazz Society, the Arch Social Club and the Young Pharaohs. You get to see the famous hang-out areas such as "The Avenue" (Pennsylvania Avenue).

Rosa's book will educate the readers about the "Chittlin' Circuit, the A'rabbers and the birth of Baltimore's Marching Band steppers sometime called cadets. You will learned about successful black entertainment business stories such as Dorothy Brunson the account sales executive turned radio station owner when she brought Baltimore's WEBB Radio from James Brown.

To learn more about Rosa Pryor-Trusty's "African-America Entertainment in Baltimore" log into www.ArcadiaPublishing.com. 

February 19, 2010

Judith Hill and N'dambi performances rock the NAACP Image Awards Luncheon in Beverly Hills

The NAACP held a luncheon in honor of the nominees of its 41st Image Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel recently where singer/songwriters Judith Hill (Michael Jackson protégé) and N'dambi (Stax Records) gave outstanding performances. The 41st NAACP Image Awards will be held live Friday, February 26, 2010 on Fox 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The luncheon started with the red carpet arrivals of the nominees - Hill and N'dambi included. Those who came in support of the luncheon were Corey Reynolds of TNT's The Closer for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; Chandra Wilson of ABC's Grey's Anatomy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series; Gabourey Sidibe (Lion Gate's "Precious") for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture; Geoffrey Fletcher (Lion's Gate's "Precious") for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series; Gus Hoffman of TNT's Gifted Hands for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini Series or Dramatic Special; Texas Battle and Cassius Willis of CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series; Tonya Lee Williams and Tatyana Ali of CBS's The Young and the Restless for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series; Def Jam artist Kristinia DeBarge for Outstanding New Artist; Xzibit for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for Outstanding Reality Series; Mack Avenue Records' legendary Gerald Wilson for Outstanding Jazz Album; Dr. Keith Black for Outstanding Literary Work Non-Fiction (Grand Central Publishing), and Kevin Sullivan, ABC Family's Lincoln Heights, for Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series for the "Aftershock" episode. Others who came to the luncheon include playwright Don B. Welch and his guest Dawnn Lewis (Different World); NAACP president Ben Jealous' wife Julia who spoke on his behalf; actress/singer Ashley Arogta in support of Nickelodeon's True Jackson VP which received a nomination for Outstanding Children's Program and KeKe Palmer for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program, and Jesse Williams of Grays Anatomy who helped to announce the nominees present.

"I am very excited about the NAACP Image Awards," said singer/songwriter N'dambi - who performed her current single, "I Can't Hardly Wait" (Stax Records). "It's time to celebrate our greatness. There's always a need to have those accolades. So it's an honor and pleasure to be here."

The other entertainer for the luncheon, Judith Hill, who performed MJ's "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," talked briefly about her experience performing with Michael Jackson during the preparation for the "This is It Tour," "It was magical. I can't put into word. He was amazing and so sweet, and his presence lit up a room. That's kind of how the whole project went."

Well she lit up that luncheon room with her emotional performance. Also on the red carpet were nominees such as Dr. Keith Black who wrote a non-fiction book about brain surgery. "I wanted to inspire people to go into math and science...to see the life of a brain surgeon and how important mentoring and parenting are."

Xzibit, who was there in support of his episode on Home Edition that received a nomination, seems out of place but glad to be there. He laughed, "I'm a musician I don't do construction... but I got to meet a lot of good people...the Hill family we built a house for. It was real."

The NAACP Image Awards to air Friday, February 26th is going to be real as well when even more nominees and celebrities will show up. As always the event will lock down the whole area, where the venue is located, as it welcomes and honor America's finest people of color.

For the complete nominee list and more information on the live telecast log onto www.naacp.org(Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley)

Legendary radio Jock Lee Bailey's new improved and interactive EURweb.com
LeeBaileyPic2.jpgLee "The Voice" Bailey, legendary radio jock turned Internet media mogul, recently launched a new and more interactive EURweb.com. The website was an electronic version of Bailey's radio show RadioScope and quickly became (along with his daily email blast of the same information) a major source of information on black entertainment.

"When the Internet first came along...to me it was the future," Lee Bailey said when asked what made him launch a website in the first place back in the late 90s. "It's about...communication not necessarily radio, print, website, but communication."

Bailey said all those media outlets are mainly platforms that through time and technology may change and it is those in media who understand that concept that continue to be successful. The content on Lee Bailey's www.EURweb.com is used in the same manner as the content offered by Associates Press (AP), in fact I call website and email blast, the AP of black entertainment news.

Aside from cutting edge entertainment news Lee Bailey's EURweb.com now offers more information that is constantly changing with the news, as oppose to changing each day as it did in the past. New to EURweb.com are video clips and other news media video at his "EUR Video News" stream.

"I love the computer. I always like fooling around with it," Lee said. "A lot of people my age are not into the computer. I knew what it could do. Never was afraid of it. Generations under 40, maybe 50, are not print oriented anymore. If you have a print media, big magazine will succeed, but smaller - especially minority - publications the (future) vehicle is the telephone, smart phones, phone web enabled."

Also new to EURweb.com is the feedback from the readers, now when readers comment on articles, other readers can comment to their comments directly (like with Facebook). Now EURweb.com is on Facebook.com and Twitter.com and readers can comment on articles from their Facebook (if they become a EURweb fan) and re-Twit articles to your Twitter followers.

"We will soon have in-house video," Bailey pointed out when asked about seeing all his famous interviews on video. "I have been recording for about a year now."

The website is user friendly and lots of interactive things to do, and according to Lee there is much more to come. The EURweb.com site generates easily two million visitors a month (averaging 100,000 viewers every week day). I also must add that you can find this column, The Pulse of Entertainment (www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com), weekly there at the column section of the website.

So if you haven't visited Lee Bailey's www.EURweb.com (electronic urban report) lately - or ever - you are missing a lot of good information.

February 26, 2010

Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis make a great team in Warner Bros.' ‘Cop Out'
By Eunice Moseley

I must admit Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis pulled it off in the Warner Bros. Film "Cop Out" hitting theaters February 26, 2010. That "serious NYPD detective partnered with the wild and funny cop" scenario worked great for them. "Cop Out" stars Morgan ("30 Rock"), Willis ("Die Hard" franchise); Kevin Pollak ("The Usual Suspects"); Adam Brody ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith"); Guillermo Diaz ("Weeds"); Michelle Trachtenberg ("Gossip Girl"); Ana De La Reguera ("Nacho Libre"), and Seann William Scott ("Bullet Proof Monk").

"Cop Out" takes the similar script format as Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan's "Rush Hour" and Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte's "48 Hours." It would seem a hard thing to do, but Brooklyn native Tracy Morgan and action-hero Bruce Willis' timing is on point. I expect to see this film become another franchise like "48 Hours" and "Rush Hour."

"Cop Out" is about veteran detective Jimmy's (Bruce) hunt for his collectible baseball card that was stolen just as he planned to sell it to pay for his daughter's wedding. The clock is ticking, a baseball collecting gangster holds the card hostage, and his wild and crazy partner Paul (Tracy) is all that stands between him and the baseball card.

This Warner Bros. Entertainment film is directed by Kevin Smith ("Chasing Amy"), and executive produced and written by brothers Robb Cullen and Mark Cullen (FX's "Lucky"). Producers include Marc Platt ("Wanted"), Polly Johnsen ("I Am Legend") and Michael Tadross ("I Am Legend").

"I walked away thinking he (Kevin Smith) is a really down to earth man and Bruce is humble, quite and a good man," said Tracy when asked about his thoughts, since working on the film, about the popular direct and the iconic actor Bruce Willis.

Tracy Morgan credits his parents for instilling in him the characteristic that allowed him to believe he could achieve what he has.

"I witness all those things (in the film). I did not want that in my life," Morgan pointed out when asked what made him seek out more than just his neighborhood. "My Father," he continued, "said, ‘you got to do better than me' and my mother she refused to lose us to the street, so I learned stubbornness from her."

For more on Warner Bros' "Cop Out" log onto http://copoutmovie.warnerbros.com/

Celebrities come out for L.A. King ice hockey player Wayne Simmonds in honor of Black History Month

TruefulandRogerEMosley_Credit_DonaldCarraway.jpg"We're here to honor a black hockey player. There are only four black players, Simmonds is one, so we are here to honor Wayne Simmonds," said actor Roger E. Mosley, best known for his role on the television series Magnum P.I., about why he was at a star filled reception at the Los Angeles Staple Center. "He sponsors programs catering to African-American kids. So we may have a few more in the future."

Rev. Jessie Jackson, MLB Hall of Famer Eric Davis, legendary singer Florence LaRue (5th Dimensions); comedian/actor Joe Torry; actress Kyla Pratt; KiKi Shepard (Showtime at the Apollo); actor Ernest Thomas ("Everybody Hates Chris"); singer Tionne Williams; celebrity trainer Sam Bell; singer/songwriter Trueful, and veteran actor Roger E. Mosley ("Magnum P.I.") were on hand to honor the only black ice hockey player on the L.A. Kings.

Wayne Simmonds is a native of Ontario and at the age of 16 he joined his first ice hockey team. Four years later he was playing for the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. In the second part of the 2007 season he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and on October 14, 2008 he scored his first NHL goal.

The event was sponsored by KJLH Free 102.3 F.M. and The Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper. Any proceeds went to benefit The Challengers Boys & Girls Club.

For more information on this history-making 21 year-old NHL ice hockey player log onto his MySpace at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wayne-Simmonds/172720684081.  (Photo: R&B singer/songwriter Trueful and actor Roger E. Mosley. Credit: Donald Carraway) 

March 5, 2010

NavidNegahban_atNAACPImageAwards2010.JPGBackstage at the 41st NAACP Image Awards was as entertaining as the onstage live show

Held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the 41st NAACP Image Awards was just as entertaining backstage as it was live onstage because of all the winners that were there mingling. Hosted by actress/singer Anika Noni Rose (Princess and the Frog) and actor/author Hill Harper, who won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, the show went as planned until the end when Lee Daniels wanted to share his Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture win with Tyler Perry, executive producer on the project.

"This is my third year at the end of this season," said actor Anthony Anderson (Law & Order). He joked about his nomination in the same category as Harper. "We'll see if they will give it to Hill Harper...it pays to know the president. I don't even know why I'm here ...and he's hosting too!"

Aside from Anderson, who was looking slim and trim, many of the nominees walked the press line before entering, such as Tyler James ("Everybody Hates Chris" - Outstanding Supporting Actor); CCH Pounder ("Brothers" - Outstanding Supporting Actress); winner Lance Gross ("House of Payne" - Outstanding Supporting Actor); Corey Reynolds ("The Close" - Outstanding Supporting Actor"); winner Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious" - Outstanding Actress); winner Jaishon Fisher ("Gifted Hands" - Outstanding Actor); winner Cornelius Smith, Jr. ("All My Children" - Outstanding Actor), and Eva Marcille ("The Young and the Restless" - Outstanding Actress). While others like LL Cool J, Mo'Nique, Tyler Perry, James Pickens, Jr., and Sherri Shepherd almost ran by us journalists to get early awards.

Imagine an expo, in a warehouse type structure, where in each cubicle you find NAACP Image Award winners either taking pictures or giving interviews. You may look in one to see the cast of Lincoln Heights (Outstanding Drama); Debbi Morgan (Outstanding Actress); Xzibit (Outstanding Reality Show); Keri Hilson (Outstanding New Artist); Chris Rock (Outstanding Documentary), and KeKe Palmer (Outstanding Performance).

"Every time I come here I say OK I got one (for The Wool Cap) its fine. But every time I come I just want to be...to be appreciated," said an excited KeKe Palmer backstage after winning in her category for Outstanding Performance in the Nickelodeon sitcom "True Jackson VP."

Keri Hilson, who performed with Wyclef, said backstage that, "it is so great to be acknowledged by my people, my culture." She stated that in preparing for her performance with Wyclef and Santana, that included singing Spanish, she learned that the Haitian people speak 6 -7 languages.

Aired live on Fox, the 41st NAACP Image Awards' theme this year is "One Nation, One Dream." The event was actually a week of events leading up to the awards show, which honored the artistic achievements of people of color. The event was sponsored by Ford Motor Company, FedEx, Pepsi, UAW/Chrysler, AT & T, Bank of America, Hyundai and American Airlines.

Honors were given to Wyclef Jean (Vanguard Award), Van Jones (President's Award), Clarence Avant (Hall of Fame) and Tyler Perry (Chairman's Award). For video clips of the event's red carpet arrivals and backstage action, log unto www.youtube.com/freelanceassociates or http://thepulseofentertainment.com/41snaacptimageawards.html(Photo: Navid Negahban of "The Stoning of Soraya M." winner of Outstanding Foriegn Film)
 

Comedian/actor Peanutt's comedy show at The Oasis is full of ‘Nutts'
PeanutonMotorCycle_Credit_DonaldCarraway.jpgComedian/actor Edward "Peanutt" Smith launched his weekly "Escape from the Nutt House" at The Oasis which consists of him hosting a comedy show high lighting the comedic talents of others.

"You got to know where I came from," said Peanutt when I commented on how good he looked. "I was in a street gang, on drugs, got catch up."

Peanutt explained that his drive to get away from that environment came from his father who started the first union for black stunt workers in Hollywood and his brother comedian/actor AJ Johnson.

"My brother's career motivated me," Peanutt added. "We look so much alike."

Peanutt, best known for his appearances on BET Comic View, is a natural comedian. He has mastered the skill to the point that it was like watching the teacher introducing the students. If a comedian on the line-up used a tactic and it failed, and didn't get much laughs, Peanutt - the host - used the same tactic but solicits that response the previous comedian was trying to muster. His comedy is friendly and as a result the audience, at the end of the night, was totally impressed and solely satisfied.

Peanutt's acting credentials are impressive, as well as his comedic timing, having appeared in films such as Living the Life, Baller Blocker with Lil' Wayne and Juvenile; The Night Watchman with Keanu Reeves and The Game; The Soloist with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr., and This Christmas with Chris Brown. His comedy show takes him from Los Angeles to Louisiana to Miami.

"You have to be true to yourself," he said. "Don't let nobody tell you what you can't do. Stay focused and whatever your talent, work on it. I love Deborah French (his label owner, along with her husband Dana French) as a person. She saw something in me. Me and her husband we went to school together, so they know my background."

Peanutt's "Escape from the Nutt House" is held every Thursday at The Oasis (3310 West Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles, CA). To learn more on comedian/actor Peanutt log onto www.myspace.com/peanuttcomedy. (Photo Credit: Donald Carraway) 

March 12, 2010

MoyaAngela_asEffieWhitepic3.jpgThe original ‘Dreamgirls' attend the L.A. premiere of the Tony Award winning musical, runs until April 4, 2010
Every little girl's dream is to be a "dream girl." That is what I said to myself (and those around me) as I watched the inspiring Los Angeles premiere of the award winning musical "Dreamgirls." The ground-breaking multi-Tony Award winning show stars Syesha Mercado (as Deena Jones), Adrienne Warren (as Lorrell Robinson) and Moya Angela (as Effie White). "Dreamgirls," which started its' tour November 7, 2009 in New York, runs in Los Angeles at the CTG/Ahmanson Theater (135 North Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012) until Sunday, April 4, 2010. The red carpet arrivals include the original "Dreamgirls," Nia Long, Kim Whitley, Kenny Lattimore and Courtney B. Vance and wife Angela Bassett.

The vocals where unbelievable, the dance routines were powerful - especially when they mixed modern dance steps with those of the original show; the backdrop was an impressive piece of movable art decorated with magnificent lighting and images; the costumes were breath-taking, and the orchestra all made the Los Angeles production of "Dreamgirls" one of the best musicals I have ever seen.

Moya Angela vocally handled the role of Effie White, effortlessly. I came to the show sure she could not touch the vocals of the original Effie, Jennifer Holliday who was there at the premiere show with fellow original Dreamgirls Loretta Devine (Lorrell) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Deena), but Moya did just that - and more. Her performances of the legendary Broadway tunes "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "I Am Changing" and "One Night Only" were so powerful it's hard to believe that human vocal cords can do such things.

Chester Gregory who plays James "Thunder" Early not only gave an outstanding performance with his dance moves and vocal range, but he also showed comedic timing as well. His portrayal of his character seemed to combine Prince, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding and Little Richard - it was truly amazing to see (and hear).

The Los Angeles production is produced by John Breglio and Vienna Waits Productions, with Robert Longbottom as director/choreographer - Shane Sparks is co-choreographer. Sam Davis serves as musical director.

"Dreamgirls" started as a musical project for comedian/actress/singer Nell Carter, but she decided to follow the success of her television series and abandoned the project. Tony Award winning theatrical director Michael Bennett, who started the project for Nell, received funding from David Geffen (Geffen Records), and support from ABC Entertainment and Metro Media, for the renamed project "Dreamgirls." The script was rewritten to accommodate three ladies (who could act, sing and dance) and as a result Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph were casted. On December 20, 1981 "Dreamgirls" premiered and ran until August 11, 1985 - winning six Tony Awards.

Co-founder Geffen later leased the rights to DreamWorks SKG to take "Dreamgirls" to the big-screen. Jennifer Hudson was casted as Effie, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell and Beyonce' Knowles as Deena. The movie premiered December 25, 2006 and won two Academy Awards launching the careers of both Hudson and Rose.

For more information on the Los Angeles production of "Dreamgirls" at the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre log onto www.CenterTheaterGroup.org.  

Smooth Jazz vocalist Kathy Sanborn releases ‘Small Galaxy' on Pacific Coast Jazz
kathysanbornpic.jpgWith her love for music, smooth Jazz singer Kathy Sanborn delivers a personal look into her creative mind and vocal style with a sophomore release, "Small Galaxy" (Pacific Coast Jazz). The CD offers ten tantalizing selections.

"This is my second album...it's a feel good album," Sanborn said about her newest album. "I feel I have a lot to offer people to motivate them. What I want to say (with the CD) is it's a small world, that we live in a small galaxy. 'Small Galaxy"' is the first time I wrote for an album and it came out the blue."

Set to hit the streets April 6, 2010, "Small Galaxy" is full of "feel-good" songs. My favorites on the CD include "Himalaya" for its sweet Pop/Jazz feel and "Be Coolin'" because it provokes images of tropical island scenes.

Kathy Sanborn, also a pianist, said she wanted to perform since she was a child. "I would perform in the mirror. It was just in me to let it blossom. I took piano and singing lessons," she recalled.

Learn more about Kathy or hear sound clips of the CD by logging onto www.KathySanborn.com. 

March 19, 2010

MyrlieEvans_Williams_atFreedomSistersHonors.JPGFord's Freedom Sisters award twenty women, Myrlie Evers-Williams serves as keynote speaker
By Eunice Moseley

"There were 18 black firefighters at the time and I wanted to be a firefighter and they didn't allow women to be firefighters. So I went into the military and when I got out I persuade it," said Captain d'Lisa Davis of the Los Angeles Fire Department about her career choice and experiences as a black woman firefighter, while at the recent Ford's Freedom Sisters honors held in Beverly Hills.

The Freedom Sisters is a traveling exhibit highlighting women across the U.S. who is exemplifying dedication to social causes and humanitarian efforts in their local community. When the Ford's Freedom Sisters' exhibit arrived in the Los Angeles area, as part of Ford's sponsorship of the NAACP Image Awards, 20 women from Southern California were chosen, firefighter Captain Davis was one of the women. Also given the Freedom Sisters award that day were California State Assembly Karen Bass; actress and activist for Autism Holly Robinson Peete (HollyRod Foundation); Deputy City Mayor Miriam Scott Long; singer/actress Rev. Della Reese; news anchor Pat Harvey (KCAL - 9); former L.A. Country Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke; actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph for her work with HIV/AIDS awareness (D.I.V.A. Foundation); community activist "Sweet Alice" Harris; executive Denise Pines (Travis Smiley Group); Publisher Natalie Cole (Our Weekly); sculptor and painter Artis Lane; community activist Lillian Mobley; Cynthia Davis (Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science); community activist LaWanda Hawkins (Justice for Murdered Children); auto advocate Glenda Gill (Rainbow Push); community leader Charisse Bremond-Weaver (Brotherhood Crusade); child care advocate Holly J. Mitchell; youth advocate Angela B. Winston (Challengers Boys & Girls Club), and actress Loretta Devine.

"I say your name and ‘pow'! She just asked me who did I come here to see and I just said Loretta Devine. We're kindred's...we're kindred souls! I say her name and she shows up," said the host for the evening, Academy Award winning actress Taraji P. Henson about Loretta Devine - who I was interviewing at the time. "You know she played my baby," Devine said about Henson. When I asked this original "Dreamgirls" (along with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Holliday) about winning the Freedom Sisters' award Loretta said, "I am very excited. It's my first time being a part of the event. Being that I am an actress, it's wonderful!"

Actress/singer Ellia English ("Curb Your Enthusiasm" and author of "I am that I am") performed an original selection titled "Freedom Sisters." Keynote speaker at the event was former NAACP Chairman and Civil Rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams. Myrlie is also honored as a living legend in the national Freedom Sisters exhibit; she was introduced by actress Camille Winbush ("The Secret Life of a Teenager" and "The Bernie Mac Show"). Other celebrities who came in support of the event and its honorees included actress Angela Bassette ("ER" and "How Stella Got Her Groove On") and husband Courtney B. Vance ("Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "Flash Forward"), and NeNe Leakes ("Atlanta Housewives").

To learn more about Ford's work in the community log onto www.community.ford.com and for more on the exhibit log onto www.cincymuseum.org or www.sites.si.edu.

R&B/Pop artist Tionne becomes the face of Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line

Tionnecolorheadshot.jpgVegas based Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line has signed on R&B/Pop singer Tionne as their spokes-model.

"Through a gentleman who was impressed with my music and my look," said Tionne when asked how he was chosen. "He was casting for models (for the Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line) and said I would be great. So far I have modeled in their fall catalog and I just came back from their Magic Show where I was celebrity guest along with platinum selling New Boyz... and Young Dro from T.I.'s squad."

Combining only the finest materials Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line redefines couture by producing highly exclusive luxury goods. The brand consists of a fierce, high-end collection of handmade apparel, infused with Hip-Hop and a Rock and Roll edge. The collection includes apparel in both men and women's sizes. Men's clothing includes t-shirts and hoodies, and women's wear includes tops, jackets, dresses, swimsuits, lingerie and more. They offer accessories ranging from trucker hats and jewelry to complete any ensemble. Unlike most other design companies, Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line maintains their own house team that creates the clothing by hand, making the collection one-of-a-kind.

Tionne is a native of Watts and has demonstrated that he can rise from poverty with hard work and perseverance. His grandmother is Gospel singer BJ Stanton. Gearing up for the release of his debut CD Tionne is currently promoting the first single "Unfreeze," produced by Jason "Jedi-1" Edmonds. The single is already climbing the charts and being added to radio playlists across the country. Recently stations KRCK-FM in Palm Springs, CA; KGGI-FM in Riverside/Inland Impire, CA; WBBM-FM in Chicago, Ill, and WNOV-FM in Milwaukee have picked up the single.

For more on Tionne's new single and upcoming album log onto his MySpace at www.myspace.com/officiallytionne and for more on the Billionaire Mafia Clothing Line log onto www.billionairemafia.com.   

March 26, 2010

ashleyargota_standing.jpgAshley Argota, LuLu of ‘True Jackson VP,' serves as judge at the Los Angeles ‘Uplifting Minds II' national talent competition showcas
    Actress/singer Ashley Argota, most known for her role as Lulu on Nickelodeon's "True Jackson, VP" starring Keke Palmer, will serve on the panel of judges at the Sunday June 27, 2010 "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference's national talent competition showcase held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall Theater) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Artists will be judged in vocals, songwriting and dance for the ULMII Best Artist Award and a list of prizes donated by sponsors that include a free music video, free music track, free legal consultation, a slot as an opening act to a hot L.A. performer and much more. The showcase admission is free and it precedes the entertainment business seminars from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., where pre-registration is required.
    Ashley also started her career competing at ten years old with 200 artists at the Apollo Theater in New York for a chance to perform at "Showtime at the Apollo" as the Star of Tomorrow - and she won! Born January 9, 2010 in Redlands, California of Filipino descent, Ashley Argota was onstage since the age of three. After the Apollo win Argota travel the country in the stage production of The Lion King. In 2003 she competed in Star Search.
   "My mom put me in acting class at age five" Argota said about her start in entertainment. "She said because I had lots of energy. I was singing before I was acting. I don't think I started talking first, I was singing! I met Suzanne Coston there (her manager at dePasse Entertainment Group). I was rehearsing and a lady was following me back stage she said, ‘that was a really good rehearsal.'"
   Ashley later joined with Moho Productions to produce her debut CD "Ashley" and her first single "Dreams' Come True" was the theme song of the Orlando Citrus Parade and she also performed it at the 4th Annual "Create Your Dreams Gala" in Las Vegas. In 2008 her career took another push as she acquired a major role on Nickelodeon's "True Jackson, VP" starring Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee) as the best zany best friend. Argota also appeared on "iCarly"; a Reese's Wal-Mart commercial, and is spokesperson of Ashley Furniture stores.
   "It's been a world-wind," Ashley said about her career since 2008. "No sleep and gets hectic, but I am having fun!"
   As a community activist Ashley has donated her time for the Girl Scouts' "Girl-fest" in Riverside, California; Ronald McDonald House charities for disadvantaged youth, and of course on Sunday June 27th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. she will be serving as judge at the 11th annual "Uplifting Minds II" talent showcase, where admission is free, where she will get the opportunity to give advice on performances.
   "It (volunteering) started by me doing a charity event a while ago, I had a great time. Then I did a Halloween event where I am now their "Starlight Ambassador."
   For more on Ashley Argota log onto her website at www.ashleyargota.com or www.myspace.com/ashleyargota and for more information on the "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com.  

Radio personality Doresa Harvey host the Baltimore Saturday April 17th ‘Uplifting Minds II' talent cshowcase
doresaharvey.jpg   Baltimore radio personality Doresa Harvey (Heaven 600) comes back again to host the "Uplifting Minds II" (ULMII) entertainment conference's talent competition showcase, presented by The Baltimore Times. The showcase will to be held Saturday April 17, 2010 at Sojourner-Douglass College auditorium (200 North Central, Baltimore, MD 21202) from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Deadline to be in the line-up of the talent showcase approaches. Winners in the vocal, songwriting and dance categories will receive a free music video; free music track; opportunity to perform as opening act at the African-American Heritage Festival; free vocal coaching, and free legal advice from two entertainment attorneys.
   Assisting Doresa hosting the showcase is Baltimore's own DJ Fatman (who is also a sensational singer). Admission to the talent competition showcase is free and takes place after the conference's ULMII entertainment business seminars held from 9 a.m. 11a.m. - pre-registration is required.
When Harvey, who is also a comedian/actress, was asked if you could donate her time once again she simply replied, "Sweetie, see you there."
   Harvey started at WCAO/Clear Channel an intern in 1991 and later as a paid intern - working as a board technician. Two years later Doresa was promoted to Public Service Assistant. By 1994 Doresa was promoted again to weekend programming and also as radio personality on "Melodies of Inspiration" on Sundays at WACO/Clear Channel's V103 FM station and as a fill in for Heaven 600's mid-day shift.
   Today Doresa works solely as a radio personality at Heaven 600 on her own "Doresa Harvey Show" Monday through Friday during the mid-day slots from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Affectionately known by her listeners as "The Mid-Day Diva" Harvey has a loving and funny personality that has garnered her such popularity that she has become the #1 mid-day Gospel personality on WCAO's Heaven 600, the #1 rated Gospel Contemporary station in the country.
Harvey is also known for volunteering her time hosting community events, such as Uplifting Minds II, and hosting fundraisers. The 11 year-old entertainment conferences have had the pleasure of having Doresa Harvey as host for 10 years.

   For more information on the "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference log onto www.upliftingminds2.com.  You can also visit Doresa at www.facebook.com/doresah1 or at www.myspace.com/themiddaydiva.   

April 2, 2010

The Gospel according to Kirk Whalum is a masterpiece in motion
By Eunice Moseley

Kirk Whalum has released a two-disk CD with accompanying HD DVD of a live performance held at Reid Temple AME Church near Washington, DC titled "The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter II." This is a collection of musical testimonies in a multitude of musical styles with an overlay of Whalum's signature sax playing. This eight-time Grammy Award nominee is sure to receive honors for this project which provokes Spiritual images that I am sure are different for everyone who listens.

"We have to remember...what we are called to do," said Kirk Whalum, a two-time Stellar Award and one-time Dove Award winner. "You put your art and heart on the line. That's what we do as artists."

Putting his art and heart on the line is just what was done that day when the Top Drawer/Rendezvous project was recorded. Kirk enlisted the assistance of the heavenly vocals of Lalah Hathaway (Stax Records); the smooth sultry vocals of Kirk's brother Kevin Whalum; George Duke on piano; Doc Powell on guitar; the vocals of his uncle sax player/vocalist Hugh "Peanut" Whalum; Kevin Whalum, III on tenor sax; Kyle Whalum on electric bass; his nephew rapper Caleb Tha Bridges; T.D. and Serita Jakes with spoken-word duet, and vocalist/keyboardist John Stoddart.
Combine all those blessings with Kirk Whalum woven throughout and you have a masterpiece in motion offering Contemporary, R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, and African Spiritual Gospel melodies. For me, as I know it will be for you too, just having Kirk's skills on the sax (and flute) is enough to want to buy the CD - he is the greatest horn player of our generation.

"God is pleased to participate in the creative process when we invite Him in," Whalum points out about Gospel instrumentals. "Jazz music loves to create and God is the same. I always invite God in. God is open, God is a creative God. Just because He rested on the 7th day...He wasn't finished, He didn't retire!"

Just as God's work is a "work in progress" so is Kirk Whalum who is currently attending Seminary School. This is his third "The Gospel According to Jazz" project. The first single off the "Chapter III" CD is one of my favorites on the project, "He's Been Just That Good," featuring Lalah Hathaway and written by husband and wife songwriting team Jonathan and Brandi Jackson.

My other favorites on the two-disk CD are "Fit to Battle" which had me visualizing myself in New Orleans marching to Glory, and low and behold when I read the history on the song I find Kirk wanted the listener to capture New Orleans; then there is the Celine Dion cover "Because you love me" one of those masterpieces - love that piano support as well; the Luther Vandross cover "Make me a believer," with words slightly changed by one of the featured vocalist Kevin Whalum, and Lalah Hathaway; the Charlie Chapman cover "Smile, Part I" features the vocals of Uncle Peanut, which almost brought tears to my eyes it was so sweet; the B.B. King cover "The Thrill Is Gone" which Kirk goes just crazy on and Lalah Hathaway does the same as the featured vocalist, and the Stylistics cover "You are everything" with features the spoken words of T.D. and Serita Jakes - an intimate look into their third party marriage with God.

For more on "The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter II" log onto www.kirkwhalum.com or visit Kirk at www.facebook.com/kirkwhalum or tweet him at www.twitter.com/kirkwhalum.  

Television and film producer Datari Turner is set to air a new reality show on TV One, ‘The Real McCoy'
daratiturner.jpgTelevision and film producer Datari Turner is set to air his newest reality show on TV One, "The Real McCoy," on the day-to-day life of actress and former First Lady of Turks and Caicos, LisaRaye McCoy, as she focuses on her career and her daughter Kai. The show airs Thursday April 8, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. EST.

"I have known LisaRaye for ten years now," Datari recalled about the day the subject of a reality show came up. "I always looked at her as a big sister; we've worked together and stayed in touch. I met up with her and we had lunch (after her divorce) and she had a lot to say. I have been producing a couple of reality shows and said, ‘LisaRaye I think it's time for you to do a show, re-establish yourself as an actress.' She said she liked the idea and we did eight episodes."

LisaRaye is best known for her role in UPN's "All of Us" and as Diamond in the film The Player's Club with Jamie Foxx. A Chicago native, LisaRaye is also half sister of rapper DeBrat.

At an early age LisaRaye moved to Los Angeles and immediately landed roles on "The Martin Show" and "In the House." She appeared in a music video of rapper Tupac and was seen by rapper/actor Ice Cube who placed her in The Players Club, which he directed.

Aside from "The Real McCoy" Datari is also releasing his first film "Video Girl" this year about the rise and fall of a video vixen. The film stars Meagan Good, Ruby Dee, Haylie Duff and Paul Victor. Other reality shows produced by Turner include BET's "The Ultimate Hustler" and "I Married a Baller" with Tennessee Titan running back Eddie George and his wife Taj (from SWV). Future projects include a reality show starring Toccarra Jones ("American's Next Top Model" and "Celebrity Fit Club") and another film, a comedy, "Dysfunctional friends and a funeral."

"I have to fight every day," Datari said about the business of producing and creative television and film projects. "I am not where I want to be by a long shot. I made a lot of mistakes as a young producer. I was a model...I told people I wanted to be a writer and producer and they were shocked."

Well this former Ford Model has made the transition better than those who have degrees in film and production. His projects have been aired and soon-to-be released. Not only that, but he is also a regular speaker at USC's Film School.

For more information on Datari Turner or his TV One reality show, ‘The Real McCoy," log onto www.facebook.com/datariturner, www.lisaraye.com or www.TVOneOnline.com. 

April 9, 2020

Moniquetourpio.jpgMo'Nique gets back to her roots with her 'Spread the Love' comedy tour with guests Rodney Perry and Tone-X
By Eunice Moseley

Comedian/actress and late night talk show host Mo'Nique gets back to her comedic roots on her "Spread the Love" tour with guest comedians Rodney Perry and Tone-X. That is the Mo'Nique I am familiar with. In my home town of Baltimore she had the night clubs on lock with her sassy comedic talent and her in your face approach to comedy - before she left for Hollywood ("The Parkers"). Still her walk, her sassy personality; her shape; her love of people and God, and even how she talks scream "I'm from Baltimore!"

"Cuss, cuss, cuss, cuss, cuss," Mo'Nique said when addressing why she uses profanity. The Oscar winner addresses that, her unexpected pregnancy and the arrival of her twin boys (now four years-old); her husband; her weight lose; winning the Oscars, and she addresses (or confesses) the "diva" rumors that went on during the promotions of the film "Precious" during her "Spread the Love" event - which I attended in Los Angeles.

I was graciously given passes to the VIP lounge where I saw some of her cast members from UPN's "The Parkers" and other projects she has appeared in - all there to support her along with myself. I sat there remembering how I cried when she left Baltimore - our hometown celebrity - because I felt I would never interview her again. I enjoyed our "conversations" that always ended up in us fellowshipping and giving God His glory and praise. Then I remembered how I cried when my interview requests still went through in covering she starring role on "The Parkers."

I remembered crying when she invited me to her house-warming party in Tarzana, California - along with a plane load of her fans and local media from Baltimore (I hear she lives in Atlanta now). I cried out to the screen when she appeared in Soul Plane, "No, Mo'Nique don't do it!" I cried when I heard about her outstanding performance in "Precious" because I knew I could never see it, hits too close to home (I am a "Precious" too). I remembered crying all night when she won the Oscar knowing that she is now in history books forever, no matter what she ever does because she is the fifth black female to ever win the award since it began in 1927 - past winners include Hattie McDaniel/Gone with the Wind, Whoopie Goldberg/Ghost, Jennifer Hudson/Dreamgirls, and Irene Cara/Flashdance. I almost started crying again back there in the VIP lounge - after seeing the "Baltimore" style comedy again, but I left with a warm heart instead, with a thought that yes Mo'Nique has "spread the love" with the laughter she inspired in us.

The "Spread the Love" tour arrives Friday April 9, 2010 in Newark, NJ, then on to Augusta, GA on April 10th and continues across the country until it ends May 22, 2010 in Bridgeport, CT. For more information on the "Spread the Love" tour with guest comedians Rodney Perry and Tone-X log onto www.aeglive.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Bio-film on the life of Paul Robeson planned for production by Four Stars International and Nexus Films
PaulRobesonpic2.jpg"I think Paul Robeson is the most accomplished African-American of all time," states Richard Akel co-founder and President of Four Stars International, LLC ,the film production company producing the film based on the life of Paul Robeson. "It's about time a film was made about him. I immigrated from New Zealand. It was African-Americans that were most supportive of me and I never forgot. I have become a successful film maker and I want to give back."

Paul Robeson was a scholar (being the third black to ever be accepted to Rutgers University and a graduate of Columbia Law School); a sportsman (he earned 15 varsity letters in American football, baseball, basketball ,and track and field); an entertainer (with his bass voice his renditions of old Spirituals were acclaimed - i. e. "Ol' Man River" from the play "Show Boat"), and a civil rights activist (founded the American Crusade Against Lynching, which was supported by Albert Einstein). He was a married man to Eslanda Cardozo Goodie, known as Essie, who headed the pathology laboratory at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. An unusual marriage, Essie accepted Robeson's taste for extramarital affairs and considered only once divorcing him when he fell in love with a British woman. But for some reason the relationship with the British lady ended, and Essie and Paul remained together in an "open marriage" until she died in 1965 - 44 years later.

Akel along with VP/business manager Janice Hammond and director Greg Carter plan to put the life of this complicated and amazing individual in theaters everywhere.

"He was the highest earning African-American in the United States at that time," Richard points out about Robeson. "I have great expectations that it's going to be bigger than Ray and Ali (films). I respect their achievements, but Paul was all those things combined."

Four Star International, LLC, Nexus Films and Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates are producing a Paul Robeson Celebration, in honor of his birthday April 9, 1898, in Los Angeles. For more information on the Paul Robeson project email Lynn Jeter at lajass@att.net

April 16, 2010

Chris Rocks' Death at a Funeral is hilarious, will have you laughing way after the movie ends
  
Screen Gems presents Death at a Funeral, an American film version of the British release, to hit theaters April 16, 2010. The film, spearheaded by Chris Rock, stars Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan , Zoe' Saldana ,Columbus Short, Danny Glover, Loretta Devine, James Marsden, Luke Wilson and Regina Hall. Death at a Funeral is hilarious, with shocking moments that will leave the audience unable to stop laughing way after the scene has gone.

"Comedy is comedy," Chris Rock said. "Something said ‘this is a Pop movie.' I thought the jokes would work in America."

Thanks to the support of the comedic talents of Tracy Morgan you will be laughing constantly.

"These are my champions," Morgan said about Rock and Lawrence. "This is the dream team."

Chris plays Aaron whose father dies. He wants to give the eulogy, but everyone wants his "baby" brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence) - the writer - to give it.

A mysterious stranger, Frank, played by Peter Dinklage of the British version, comes blackmailing the family bearing compromising pictures of the father. Before they can figure out what to do, something goes terribly wrong.

Loretta Devine plays Cynthia the widower; Aaron's wife Michelle is played by Regina Hall; Zoe' Saldana plays Cousin Elaine; James Marsden plays Oscar, fiancé' of Elaine; Columbus Short plays Jeff, Elaine's brother, and Luke Wilson plays Derek, who is after the affection of Elaine.

"I just knew it was going to be an amazing experience," Zoe' Saldana said about why she took on the project.

"My man Chris Rock gave me a call personally. At first I said no, can't do that," Martin Lawrence laughed about how he was approached to do the role. "He sent the British version and I thought it was funny!"

"I was excited to do the movie, I never worked with any one of them," Regina Hall said about getting a role in Death at a Funeral. "They are giving and generous."

Columbus Short who also stars in the upcoming film The Losers said, "This movie prepared me so much to do that movie - watching Martin's comedic timing."

Death at a Funeral is directed by Neil LaBute (Lakeview Terrace); written and co-executive produced by Dean Craig; co- executive produced by Jim Tauber, Glenn Gainor and Bruce Toll, and produced by Sidney Kimmel, Chris Rock, Williams Horberg, Share Stallings and Laurence Malkin. This Sidney Kimmel Entertainment/Wonderful Films and Parabolic Pictures/Stable Way Entertainment Production is sure to be a hit.

For more information on Death at a Funeral log onto http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/deathatafuneral,  for pictures from the movie premiere held at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood log onto http://thepulseofentertainment.com/deathatafuneral.html  and for video clips of the premiere arrivalal log onto www.youtube.com/freelanceassociates.  

Grammy Award winning PJ Morton's ‘Walk Alone' climbing the charts on Urban AC Radio
Pjmortonpic.jpgGrammy Award winning musician PJ Morton is still flying high from the success of his latest CD project "Walk Alone" on the Songs of Solomon Music/Tehillah/InieBlu imprint - in distribution with E1 Music. The single, "The One," is co-produce by Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary).

"I go were the music calls me," PJ Morton said about this album. "I answer to it. It speaks to my whole journey. I have been at the music thing for a while. People fall off...fans grow, you see who is loyal."

Well PJ is certainly loyal to his music, this performer has never performed to a track, and in fact he prides himself on being a "musician." Also a Stellar and Dove Award winner, Morton is currently on the "Walk Alone Tour," which ends at the end of April.

"I grew up as a preachers' son," Morton pointed out.

On the "Walk Alone" CD PJ has a selection titled "Son of a Preacher" where he addresses his life dilemma, growing up as a preacher's son with a desire to play secular music.

"I want to take it to the next level," he frankly said.

This New Orleans native and Atlanta resident, recently added author to his title by publishing his first book "Why Can't I Sing About Love? The Truth About the ‘Church' Against ‘Secular' Music" where he explores religion and relationship. His fifth project, PJ's "Walk Alone" offers ten selections all written and produced by Morton. The CD features singer Tweet and producer Warryn Campbell, who also co-produced "She's Gone."

My favorite cuts on the "Walk Alone" project include the title track for its great storytelling, it is truly a masterpiece; "She's Gone" a nice R&B/Pop song; "Love you More," featuring Tweet is a Reggae influence love song; "Mountain and Mole Hills" is such a sweet deep testimony with a traditional Gospel sound, and "Son of a Preacher" where he uses spoken-word style delivery his story as the son of a preacher. On this selection he speaks on why his ministry is the same as his fathers'.

For more information on PJ Morton log onto www.PJMortonOnline.com or www.myspace.com/PJMorton or you can tweet him at www.twitter.com/thePJMorton or post on his www.MyFace.com/thePJMorton. 

April 23, 2010

TheLooserspic.jpgWarner Bros. Pictures' The Losers is a winner - action, romance, comedy, intrigue and fantasy - opens in theaters April 23, 2010
  
Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Dark Castle Entertainment, presents the Weed Road Pictures production of The Losers in theaters April 23, 2010. This rated PG-13 film is full of action, comedy, romance, intrigue and fantasy - all the makings of a movie franchise. Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo comic book series by Andy Diggle, with illustrations by Jock, The Losers star Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) as Clay; Zoe' Saldana (Avatar, Death at a Funeral) as Aisha; Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) as Jensen; Idris Elba (Obsessed) as Roque; Columbus Short (Quarantine, Death at a Funeral) as Pooch; Oscar Jaenada as Cougar; Holt McCallany (Vantage Point) as Wade, and Jason Patric (My Sisters Keeper) as Max.

"That love scene was hard. I said can we take one more, she didn't flip her hair right," Jeffrey Dean Morgan laughed when talking about his love scene with his lovely co-star Zoe Saldana.

The Losers is about an elite group of Special Forces agents fighting betrayal from outside and within, in an attempt to clear their names so they can return home. The team - Clay, Hensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar - all have their own specialty skills in the fight against the enemy only known as Max. They all have their weakness too such as Pooch's growing family and the leader Clay's feelings for the lovely and mysterious Aisha.

"I first saw Zoe' in Haven (2004) and was just waiting for a chance to work with her," said the films' director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) about casting Saldana. "I was able to get my first choice for each character. The movie is...conspiracy...hard hitting action with...humor...you're watching a comic book."

I loved the futuristic technology that the film presents and yes, I like the comic books feel it gives. All the actors carried their characters to the point that I am sure each will have their own followings (and maybe spin-off films).

"I got to beat up Jeffrey (Clay)," Idris Elba laughed, "It was a wicked opportunity... to play an interesting arch (to the character). All our characters have layers so when it ends its believable."

Executive produced by Steve Richards, Andrew Rona and Sarah Besser, The Losers is also co-produced by Richard Mirisch, and produced by Joel Silver, Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster. The screenplay was written by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt.

For more on The Losers or its' cast log onto www.the-losers.com.  

Multi-Grammy Award winning Jon Secada releases CD of ‘Classics' on Big 3 Records
JonSecada_CreditJaniceR.jpgA CD of classic songs from a very classy vocalist is the recent gift from Big 3 Records as it releases its newest project from Multi-Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jon Secada. The CD titled "Classics/Classicos" is full of English and Spanish speaking selections that returns Jon to his roots and yet also returns the listener to moments in times past that brought greatest joy.

"(The songs are) Known in both languages," said Jon Secada about his choice of songs. "I wanted to do a remake like this, songs I grew up with...songs everybody knows in English and Spanish."

Recorded with a full orchestra in Nashville, TN and produced by James Stroud - with Bill Edwards as executive producer - "Classics" features classic standards such as my favorites Santana's "Evil Ways," there is some crazy guitar support on this one; Englebert Humperdinck's "Cuando Cuando" because Jon goes vocally crazy hitting an unbelievable high note; Frank Sinatra's "Besame Mucho (Kiss me a Lot)" which took me - mentally - to another place; Dinah Washington's "What a Difference a Day Make" was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes, and I love the horn support too; the old classic "Vaya Con Dios (God be with you)"; "Spanish Eyes" because Jon put so much passion into this one and I love the guitar support, and "LaBama" because it is in Spanish and I love the Latin culture, again the guitar support was unbelievable, and made me what to get up and party!

"I wanted to make the orchestra simple," Secada explained when I commented on how he stayed with the way the classics originally sounded, but yet made them his. "I wanted them to recognize the standards."

For more on the Big 3 Records' Jon Secada CD release "Classics" or on for more on Jon Secada and upcoming concert dates log onto www.jonsecdada.com or www.facebook.com/jonsecada(Photo Credit: Janice R.)

April 30, 2010

noes-13103.jpgIs it real or isn't it, the new 'Nightmare on Elm Street' - in theaters April 30, 2010 - will have you wondering
  
Based on a newspaper article about war damaged children who died because of the power of recurring dreams, Wes Craven wrote the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" as a low-budget film in 1984. On Friday April 30, 2010 director Samuel Bayer, screenwriters Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer, and Platinum Dunes Productions (Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller) provides a new twist to the story when Warner Bros. Films release the New Line Cinema presentation of "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

The film stars Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Freddy Krueger; Rooney Mara ("The Cleaner," "Law & Order: SUV") as Nancy; Kyle Gallner ("Smallville") as Quentin; Thomas Dekker ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") as Jesse; Kellan Lutz ("Twilight") as Dean, and Katie Cassidy ("Melrose Place") as Kris. Nancy, Kris, Quentin, Jesse and Dean live on Elm Street and are having the same frighten reoccurring dream of Freddy Krueger. Functioning on little to no sleep the last two remaining are determined to meet Freddy head-on.

"I am a big fan of the original," said Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley. "When I think of Freddy, I think of him (Robert Englund)."

Producer Brad Fuller said - about casting Jackie," we all felt if we are going to restart with Freddy we needed an iconic actor." Producer Andrew added, "We had one meeting with him, talked for one to two hours."

Jackie's version of Freddy Krueger is believable. Even though he has the same Freddy Krueger personality, sweater and hat Jackie still makes the role "his" because you do notice it's not Robert Engluud, but you still see Freddie Krueger. Director Sam Bayer did an excellent job making it seem as though it could be you (or me) with his dream locations and the staying true to real life. Even the script which explains why Freddy goes after kids and providing real life data on what sleep deprivation does to the body, tried to stay as true to life as possible.

"Sam knew exactly what he wanted," Rooney Mara said about the film's director. "Even to the most little thing."

Jackie added, "even the make-up with the burnt flesh hanging. Sam's direction is grounded in reality."

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" is rated R and hits theaters everywhere April 30, 2010. For more on the New Line Cinema film log onto www.NightmareonElmStreet.com.  (Photo Credit: Dale Robinette)

Urban Soul singer Leela James is back with a new project, ‘My Soul,' on Stax Records
LeelaJamesCoverpic.jpgRecently signed to Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group, Urban Soul singer Leela James will release "My Soul" on May 25, 2010. She debuted on the music scene in 2005 with her debut "A Change is Gonna Come" and today she has niche a solid place in music's history books as one of the first Urban Soul singers. Her soulful way of singing is not as Hip-Hop as Mary J and not as traditional as Aretha Franklin, you get something in between that blows your mind away.

"They always talked about my gutsy soulful voice," Leela said when I talked about her vocal sound. "You don't hear yourself. I always wanted to know what they meant. I hear I have a big-momma voice!"

Big voice with a sweet heart is Leela James and she gives you her heart and soul on "My Soul." The first single off the new project is "Tell me you love me" which she co-wrote with the famous songwriting team Andrea Martin and Gordon Williams. It was produce by Gerrard Baker (Toni Braxton).

"I want to show a variety of (production) styles," James said. "I want to show my versatility Hip-Hop (flavored), R&B, throw-back soul..."

My favorites on the "My Soul" CD - that I find myself playing over and over again - are "I Ain't New to This," produced also by Baker, because of her gutsy message to the music industry; "Party all Night" has a lovely horn support and a club feel to it; "Mr. Incredible and Ms. Unforgettable" featuring Raheem DeVaughn is a hot duet; "Tell me you love me" has an incredible electric guitar solo at the end, and "It's Over" produce by the great songwriting Philly team Carvin & Ivan.

For more on the Los Angeles native log onto www.LeelaJames.com or to hear a little from the CD log onto her at www.myspace.com/leelajames 

May 7, 2010

JonathanButlerpic.jpgJazz guitarist Jonathan Butler is still going strong with a new CD project on Rendezvous Music
  
Native South African Jazz guitarist Jonathan Butler is about to release his 15th solo CD project, "So Strong," on Mack Avenue/Rendezvous Music on May 11, 2010. The Grammy nominated musician is also a singer/songwriter and producer who received his first record deal at age 17 with Jive Records. The result of the debut album resulted in Butler being the first black artist to be played on white radio stations in his native home of South Africa. "So Strong" is a brilliant collection of songs supported by a "class-A" team of artists.

"I haven't had a CD out in quite some time," Jonathan said during an interview. "I just got signed and had to start writing."

Butler said he drew inspiration from the lost of Wayman Tisdale and his mother, and his wife's battle with cancer.

"It speaks about standing strong, trusting God, no matter what," He said. "I want people to be inspired."
Butler, who lived in England for 17 years and now resides in Southern California, enlisted the help of such greats as Rick Braun (trumpet); Dave Koz (saxophone); Michael Lington (drums); Angie Stone, Kurt Lykes, and his daughters Randy and Jodie - who sings background vocals on the CD. The first single to Smooth Jazz radio, off "So Strong," is "Make Room for Me" featuring Sax man Dave Koz. This is one of my favorites on the CD because Jonathan goes crazy on his guitar and it also has a Latin feel to it - I love the Latin culture.

"It's my spiritual views and feelings," Jonathan said about the project. "And it's me having fun. I am fortunate to have Angie Stone, Rick (and the rest)."

Jonathan duets with Angie on an Urban R&B number titled "Be Here with You," another favorite of mine that I found myself playing over and over again. On "Good Times" Jonathan makes his guitar sing, that ability has always left me in awe when musicians can do that.

I went to the Smooth Jazz 2012 Cruise launch party to see Jonathan Butler performed. He did not disappoint the standing room only crowd that came to the very popular Spaghettini Jazz Club in Seal Beach, California.

"We all have a special assignment on the earth...we have to stay true to it," Butler points out.
Jonathan certainly stays true to his assignment and his current CD "So Strong" is evident of that fact. The CD is sure to be one of the best Smooth Jazz/Urban R&B CD's of the year. For more on Jonathan Butler and his new release "So Strong" log onto www.jonathanbutler.com or www.mackavenue.com/jonathanbutler.  

Designer to the stars Angela Dean adds another client and a new business venture
angeladeanpic.jpgDesigner Angela Dean, who has designed gowns and outfits for such high-profile people as Madonna (bullet bra bustier), Oprah Winfrey, Mary J Blige, Jill Scott, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Halle' Berry, Paula Abdul, Sherri Sheppard, Neicy Nash, Katy Perry, Mo'Nique, and Nancy Wilson, adds California television personality Michaela Pereira (KTLA-Morning News Anchor-channel 5) as a client and will dress her twice a week starting in May, 2010. Angela has also added a new business venture called Hollywood Secrets, where she makes available to the general public garments, ointments and drinks that celebrities use to make them look smaller, makes their cellulite disappear or make fat cells melt away.

"I met Michaela at a fashion show for a CASA Charity for Foster Children (where Dean made prom dresses for everyone)," Angela said when asked how she met the Los Angeles anchorwoman. "I did a dress for her for the Image Awards. I've known her for quite some time and she loves my clothes. She knows I know the body of real women with ‘real' bodies...any size."

Angela Dean talked about her line of "ready to wear" clothes that are featured on her website www.DeanZign.com. Also available on the website is Angela's new line of "body shapers," part of her Hollywood Secrets venture that includes undergarments that tucks-in and reshapes the body for full figure and voluptuous ladies.

AngelaDean_AsiaLoveDesign.jpg"I've been successful with celebrities because I listen and understand a little about their style. I sit and take notes and make suggestions," Angela pointed out.

Dean has also designed CD/album and magazine covers, such as the O Magazine cover with Oprah in the Angela Dean red dress or the Essence Magazine cover with a group of black female celebrities that included Queen Latifah, Halle' Berry and Laretta Devine. She has also designed the covers of Us, Sister2SisterEbony and People magazines. Dean also designed the Paris Hilton gown seen in her Can Can Perfume ad campaign.

"People are branding themselves...that's why the reality shows are taking off," said Angela. "The system is not set for you to win...you have to get in where you fit in."

Angela Dean is also in the process of launching her contemporary line of clothes for women and men. The female line is called DZ Fashionista and her men's line is called DZ Men.

"The DZ Fashionista line started with handbags and then T-shirts," Deans said.

She is currently looking for investors for her men's line, but she says she has the designs "in her back pocket." Dean is not new to designing for men, haven worked for many major record labels that had her designed for artists such as Montell Jordan, Immature/IMX... Dean said all of Montell Jordan's' clothes had to be made by her because he was so tall.

"God placed me in this position...there's a niche for it," Angela said. "With the recession...now high-end designers are grabbling and don't know what to do. Consumers' are not using credit cards."

Angela is developing a "recession proof wardrobe" that will give the consumers high-fashion at an affordable price. In addition, it will be clothes that fit the body shape; no longer will consumers have to wear merchandise they can't fit.

Dean's Hollywood Secrets is sure to be a winner, because it is already a winner amongst her celebrity clients, such as Sherri Sheppard, Queen Latifah, and Neicy Nash.

"Celebrities use them all the time," Dean concluded about the body shapers, cellulite ointment and drinks that melt body fat.

For more information on Angela Dean's contemporary and "ready to wear" designs or for more on her Hollywood Secrets products log onto her website at www.DeanZigns.com. 

May 14, 2010

AlMacWillpic.jpgSinger/songwriter finds her place in Urban Country Gospel, releases debut CD, ‘Stand Still'
  
"I grew up in a white town...in a church home with no way to step out and do something different. We only got black music (on the radio) from Chicago and Nashville, no R&B," said singer/songwriter Al Mac Will (Alice McAfee Williams) about her new style music, like no other, Urban Country Gospel.

To get a visual feel for her style imagine Aretha Franklin, mixed with Tracy Chapman, with a layer of Dolly Parton to top it all off. Through Xodust Word & Music/Thank You Entertainment/Fontana/Universal Music Christian Group Al Mac Will releases her debut CD, titled "Stand Still."

"I was given 72 hours to live," Will pointed out to me. "I heard God's voice saying the wound closed up. A year later I was singing in a group."

Al Mac continued in explaining how God lead her to Country Gospel and gave her confirmation in a conversation with Stevie Wonder. Even now she is discovering herself as an R&B/Soul singer, now called Urban, as we the public place even yet another label on her music. Now known as an Urban Country Gospel artist Al Mac Will's CD, "Stand Still," will certainly give you all those things.

My favorites are the traditional Gospel selection "Altar," which has a hard piano support that puts you back in that home church setting; then there's the title track "Stand Still," I love the funky beat it has and the electric guitar support brings you back to the church; "Your Will" shows that Al Mac Will is a Soul singer; "Holy is the Only Way," because it covers the Aretha Frankin hit "Ain't No Way" and carries a very important message; "Content" is Country mixed with Pop, reminiscent of Dolly Parton but with a "lot" of Soul; "How Much" is a Country toe-tapping number about God's love; "God's Kinda Man" is true Country selection that makes you want to get out your seats and "shout," and then there is "Our Nation" with a sweet voice and a sweet message.

"From the time I embraced it (her genre of music) I wrote 50 songs," Al Mac said. "I sang ‘Ain't No Way' all the time...changed a few chords... I said, ‘God this song is too good for the ‘world' alone'."

An Urban Country Gospel treat is what is in store when you get the "Stand Still" CD. For more on Al Mac Will or her debut "Stand Still" on Universal Music Christian Group log on to www.UrbanCountryGospel.com or visit her at www.myspace.com/almacwill or www.faceboook.com/almacwill.  

The Kierrah Foundation puts on a great show at its' 70's Disco Ball fundraiser
Trueful_withAVI_DValentine_Jazzy_atKierrahFoundation70sDiscoBall.JPGI recently attended The Kierrah Foundation's red carpet 70's Disco Ball at the legendary Jewel's Catch One in Los Angeles because I heard from a publicist friend of mine that founder Brandy Sanders puts on a great event - not to mention one of my clients was performing. I was not disappointed, not only because the event's host comedian/actor Michael Colyer was unbelievably so funny, but we were treated to some great talent and a hot fashion show.
 

Parris Harris presented the fashion show that lead a line-up of performances that included singer/poet Aquilah Ali, tap dancers Sean and John; Urban R&B singer/songwriter Trueful; R&B singer Jesse Campbell, and Pop/R&B duo 2 U-Neek. Celebrities and supporters of the foundation had fun mingling and took pictures.

Present to support the event was comedienne/actress Luenell, legendary singer/songwriter Brenda Lee Eager; filmmaker Cassius Vernon Weathersby (You Got Served); comedienne/actress Annie McKnight; the French Royalty Dancers (Jazzy, D. Valentine, Ms. Styles); rapper/producer AVI, and comedienne/actress Kymedienne.

Most everyone in attendance came dressed in afros and 70s' gear full. Proceeds from the 70s Disco Ball will benefit The Kierrah Foundation that works with young adults in the foster system. Sponsors include Amoeba Music, Diversity News, Kappa Omega Omicron and DJ Lovey C.

For more information on The Kierrah Foundation log onto www.KierrahFundation.org or visit Brandy at www.facebook.com/brandysanders or www.twitter.com/brandysanders. (Photo: Producer AVI,Urban R&Bs' Trueful, The French Royalty Dancers' D. Valentine and Jazzy. Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley) 

May 21, 2010

phylliscaddell.jpgPR guru and record label owner join participants at the Sunday, June 27th Los Angeles ‘Uplifting Minds II' entertainment conference
By Eunice Moseley

The Los Angeles "Uplifting Minds II" (ULMII) entertainment conference has just confirmed two new participants, PR guru Phyllis Caddell-M of PC Public Relations and Management, and Debrah French of French Royalty Entertainment. Debrah will host the "artist management tips" seminar and Phyllis will serve on the panel of judges at the talent competition showcase. The ULMII conference will be held Sunday, June 27, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall Theater) from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Phyllis Caddell- M not only owns a PR firm (since 1995) but is a west coast correspondent for 88.1 WFSK Radio and author of a newly released book titled "Do-It-Yourself Publicity: For those too cheap or too broke to hire a publicist." As a publicist Caddell's clients include Grammy Award winning Mary Mary; the legendary Shirley Caesar; singer/songwriter Dayna Caddell; Michelle Williams (Destiny Child); actors Tommy Ford and Wendy Raquel Robinson , and labels such as Bad Boy Entertainment, Sony Music, J Records, Music World Entertainment, Columbia Records, and EMI. Phyllis has been able to place her clients on such high-profile television shows of Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, and in such publications as Essence, Vibe and Billboard Magazines.

dana_and_debra_french_cropped.jpgDebra French is co-owner of the French Royalty Entertainment group (since 2006) with her husband Dana French. Debrah has a bachelor degree in Psychology. Aside from running the record label and management company, French also works for Los Angeles County in Mental Health. In 2005 her youngest son Dezell French, known on stage as Trueful, decided he wanted to be an entertainer, so she had him attend the "Uplifting Minds II" conference to both attend the seminars and compete in the showcase competition where he has learned the entertainment business and had the opportunity to develop his talent.

"In 2005 I started taking my son, who loves to sing, to talent competitions and seminars to learn about the music business. His first showcase was with ‘Uplifting Minds II,' every year for the next few years I made him - and any dancers or singers he worked with - attend the seminars. I even paid for them all to attend because I feel education is key. You need to know about the business in order to be in the business," Debrah recalled.

With Debrah's urging Trueful attended USC in music business, songwriting and engineering where he learned to be a talented songwriter and businessman. The French Royalty Management division later signed the French Royalty Dancers (D. Valentine, Jazzy and Ms Styles), who backs Trueful, and comedian/actor Peanutt (BET's Comic View).

The ULMII entertainment seminars are held from 1 - 4 p.m. and topics, aside from Debrah's, include "PR/Media and Promotions Strategies" by syndicated columnist (www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com), PR consultant (www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com) and Baltimore Times Promotions Director Eunice Moseley, "Finding Gigs Online" by former model/actress and current artist manager Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, and "Marketing in the 21st Century" by record label owner and award winning Jazz guitarist Vernon Neilly (www.boosweet.com). Pre-registration is required for the seminars and attendees receive a copy of the ULMII Music Business Handbook.

The ULMII talent competition showcase, where admission is free, will be hosted by KDAY 93.5's DJ So Real and have a judging panel that include actress/singer Ashley Argota (Lulu on Nickelodeon's ‘True Jackson, VP'); film director/producer Ben Foster; Vernon Neilly, and legendary radio personality Lee Bailey (RadioScope and www.EURweb.com). Ten acts will compete in vocal, songwriting and/or dance for a chance to win the ULMII Award and a list of prizes that include a free music video by Ben Foster (www.BenFosterFilms.com); free music track by four-time ULMII winner VIP (www.DustDemAFF.com); 30 minutes legal consultation from Paul Gardner II, Esq. (www.TheGardnerLawGroup.com) and Richard Jefferson, Esq. (www.metallawgroup.com); a slot as an opening act for L.A. Urban R&B singer/songwriter Trueful (www.FrenchRoyaltyEnt.com); 50% off marketing and promotions of social media pages by Boosweet Records, and vocal coaching from vocalist Nadiyah Kareem (Superstar Entertainment).

"I developed ULMII in 1999 as a project of The Baltimore Times in an attempt to reach a younger readership and in 2000, with the blessing of the publisher; I took ownership of the event in 2000 and took the conference on the road. The conference holds from three to five dates a year. It went to Houston, Atlanta and is currently held in Los Angeles and Baltimore," said ULMII founder and coordinator Eunice Moseley. She went on to say, "I wanted to give young people something positive that they can work on throughout the year. I wanted those in the business to come share information and advice to the young acts to help cultivate them into superstars and it has worked. Those who have competed, as a result, have had a song placed on a Dru Hill CD - single titled "I Should Be" went platinum; performed on Broadway; was signed to such labels as Columbia and Epic Records, and has performed as opening acts for such artists as LL Cool J, India.Arie, Trey Songz and Faith Evans."

For more information on attending the Los Angeles "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com, for more on Phyllis Caddell-M log onto http://www.PCPublicRelations.com, or for more information on French Royalty Entertainment log onto www.FrenchRoyaltyEnt.com(Second Photo ID: Urban R&Bs' Trueful, Debra and Dana French of French Royalty Entertainment. Photo Credit: Donald Carraway)  

May 28, 2010

Hit-maker Claude Kelly pens Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson ballad, ‘Love is your Color,' on ‘Sex and the City 2' soundtrack
  
claudekelly.jpgAffectionately called "Studio Beast," songwriter Claude Kelly adds yet another amazing milestone to his resume with the placement of ‘Love is your Color' on the "Sex and the City 2" soundtrack. Released May 25, 2010, the song - produced by Salaam Remi - features the vocals of Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis.

A performer at-heart Kelly said it was his songwriting skills that took off first. "I have been professionally writing songs for seven years," Studio Beast said. "I was playing piano at two and a half... I went to college for music at Berkley in Boston. I didn't consider writing...my passion was performing. I went to college because my mother wouldn't have it no other way."

Claude said being a singer and performer helped him as a songwriting. His first song placed was on a Japanese CD. He worked his way to penning Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA"; Ke$ha's "Dancing with Tears in My Eye"; Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You"; five songs on Chrisette Michele's "Epiphany," such as "Blame it on Me," and Britney Spears' "Circus." Studio Beast has also written for the upcoming Fantasia CD titled "Bittersweet" and projects for Brandy, Jessie McCartney, Toni Braxton and Christina Aguilera.

"A good friend, a producer (Nas), was doing all the music for the soundtrack," Kelly said when asked how he got on the project. "(The film is about) women empowerment. They wanted a song to show that."

For more on Claude "Studio Beast" Kelly log onto www.myspace.com/claudekelly - he is also on twitter.

The Alliance of Women in Media honors the Spelling Family, Suze Orman and Jessica Simpson with a Gracie Award
RobinMeade_HNL_2010GracieAwards_creditEuniceMoseley.JPG"It's named after Gracie Allen. She was the first woman known by her first name," said Cary Broussard founder of The Alliance of Women in Media (formerly known has American Women in Radio and Television) about the name of the awards.

The 5th annual Gracie Awards Gala was recently held in Beverly Hill and honored the Spelling Family with the Gracie Lifetime Achievement Award, Suze Orman with the Gracie Tribute Award and Jessica Simpson with the Gracie Dove Real Beauty Award. Hosted by Maria Menounos (Access Hollywood), the Gracie Awards was well attended by media (attending and covering), Hollywood and supporters of The Alliance of Women in Media organization.

"News isn't always good. We are the guardians of what you hear," said Robin Meade, anchor for HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade about those in the media.

Aside from Robin, others who came in support of the event and the awardees were "30 Rocks'" Jane Krakowski; philanthropist and founder of the Arbus Foundation Loreen Arbus; "Gossip Girl's" Penn Badgley and Kelly Rutherford; "Secret Life of an American Teenager's" Melissa Rivers and Camille Winbush, and "Half and Half's" Obba Babatunde.

"I'm here to support all of the ladies," said actor Obba Babatunde. "What they do ...need to be recognized."

The Gracie Awards, named for radio and television pioneer Gracie Allen, recognizes exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of the media - including radio, television, cable and new media. It is presented by The Alliance of Women in Media Foundation which supports educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns, and scholarships to benefit the public and women in the media.

For more information on The Alliance of Women in Media, its' foundation or the Gracie Awards log onto www.awrt.org(Photo ID: Robin Meade of HNL's Morning Express with Robin Meade. Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley) 

June 4, 2010

Saxophonist Tia Fuller takes break from Beyonce's all female band to release third project, ‘Decisive Steps'
  
TiaFuller.jpgJazz saxophonist/flutist Tia Fuller takes a break from Beyonce's all female band to release a third CD titled ‘Decisive Steps' and tour with her own all female quartet Girl Power. The tour arrives in Harrisburg, PA Saturday June 12, 2010 at Central PA Friends of Jazz.

"People have a misconception of what Jazz is," said alto/soprano saxophonist/flutist Tia Fuller.
Fuller's influences were John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn, and Charlie Parker and it shows on this new project which starts off with a crazy Jazz number, the title track, "Decisive Steps." My lips got tired just listening to it and I didn't blow a note!

Not new to the Jazz scene, this CD is Tia's second project on the Mack Avenue Records imprint.
"I love all kinds of music, of course I love Jazz," Fuller pointed out. "This album is a combination of all that. I don't want an album with everything sounding the same...only 2% (of the market) purchases Jazz. I really want to integrate and reach beyond the Jazz audience."

Tia fuses Jazz with Pop and Jazz with R&B. "Decisive Steps" features the members of her quartet Kim Thompson on drums, Mirian Sullivan on bass, and Fuller's sister Shamie Royston on piano. Also featured on the CD are Sean Jones on trumpet and Christian McBride on bass (both label mates); Warren Wolf, vibraphonist, and Maurice Chestnut, tap dancer.

"You have to brand yourself," Tia said about the entertainment business. "I really learned that on the road with Beyonce'. Her success is not by chance she works really hard."

My favorite cuts on the "Decisive Steps" CD include "Clear Mind" because it reminds me of Miles Davis; "Night Glow" because I love the string support and the piano solo is so hot; "My Shining Hour" because it gets a little crazy like Thelonious Monk; "Shades of McBridge" gives a fresh change; "Kiss by the Sun" is a nice club number that you can dance and groove to, and "I Can't Get Started" because though there are no words it's a very deep selection that gets you in the mood for deep contemplation.

To learn more about Tia Fuller and her newest project "Decisive Steps" log onto www.myspace.com/tiafuller or www.mackavenue.com.  

The 2010 Female UG Hip-Hop Honors solute underground artists from back-in-the-day and today
Michel_le_2010UGHipHopHonors.jpgRecently the 2010 UG Female Hip-Hop Honors were held in Los Angeles where they acknowledged the achievements of underground artists from back-in-the-day and showcased those up-coming underground artists of today. Comedienne/actress Luenell, the "Bad Girl" of comedy, was host of the event.

"Sometimes things may not be going as scheduled and it can get kind of frustrating," Luenell said when asked how she keeps it light (in stressful situations). "I've done it for so long...you look around the room and find something to make a joke about."

Well Luenell's comedy always has the audience laughing "with her" and I've never seen her get her laughs "off" people and situations. Her jokes are always trying to build people up (such as when she flirts with the guys and when she compliments what girls are wearing) and not tearing them down - as some comedians do in order to get a laugh.

As Luenell takes time out for the red carpet walk while waiting for the event to start, others who arrived included Academy Award nominee Kimberly River Roberts (Trouble the Water), known on stage as Black Kold Madina; The Lady of Rage ("Afro Puffs"); Ms Toi ("You Can Do It"); The Rangers; Draft ("Kiss My Black Amex"); Pink Dollaz, Asia Lynn, known on stage as Ms. Betsyville Herself; Hea-Von ("Getting in the Game"), and the legendary Hip-Hop songstress Michel'le ("Nicety" and "Something in My Heart").

"Congratulations to everybody who is (getting honored)," former platinum selling Ruthless Records artist Michel'le said with sincerity.

There were many performances to honor those who paved the way for female underground artists, in fact, legendary Sparky D performed her own material such as her "Sparky D's World" released on B-Boy Records in 1988. Queen Pen was honored, along with Humanitarian and Academy Award nominee Kimberly Rivers Roberts.

For more on the Female Hip-Hop Honors log onto www.UndergroundGirlsofHipHop.com and for more on the events' host Luenell log onto www.HeyLuenell.com. (Second Photo ID: Hip-Hop songstress Michel'le. Photo Credit: Eunice Moseley)

June 11, 2010

Actress Denise Boutte' plays it straight on Tyler Perry's ‘Meet the Browns'
  
deniseboutte.jpg
Louisiana native actress Denise Boutte' received her first acting role a year after moving to Los Angeles, but what the stunningly beautiful actress didn't know is that her world would go into high-gear after meeting Tyler Perry at an audition for his sit-com "Meet the Browns."

"I only saw Tyler as Madea so I didn't know it was him," Denise laughed when recalling that day she audition for the role of Sasha Brown in the #1 sit-com on TBS. "I told my mother, ‘I did it.' Call it woman's intuition...but I knew."

When Tyler told her she had the role Boutte' said she started crying. "He said, ‘I also want to cast you in Why Did I Get Married,'" she added.

Not only did Boutte' get the role of Sasha, but Tyler Perry also casted her in Why Did I Get Married Too - the sequel as Trina.

"The good thing about Tyler is he combines real life drama with comedy...The beautiful thing is you can relate to the characters," Boutte' said. "You can relate to the storylines."

Denise pointed out that she gets tons of mail from women trying to balance things in their lives and they can sympathize with her character Sasha. Sasha is a compassionate, yet quirky, nurse who is constantly struggling to find that balance between career and family.

"We hit hard topics," Denise points out. "People use this show to talk to their kids."

Boutte' was no stranger to acting at the time she auditioned for Tyler, her credits included "Noah's Arc," "Cuts," "Boston Legal," "Girlfriends," "Days of Our Lives" and "Everybody Hates Chris."

"In the beginning I wanted to focus on comedy," Boutte' stated. "Getting in front of the camera with people doing improve and you're the straight man (is a learning experience). Comedy is harder than drama...because of the timing. It started me looking at shows like...the Golden Girls."

Well Denise must have learned very well because together with the rest of the cast, that includes David Mann as Leroy Brown; Tamela Mann as Cora Simmons; Lamman Rucker as Will; Juanita Jennings as Edna; Logan Browning as Brianna, and Tony Vaughn as Colonel, they have the #1 show on the TBS network. That in-it-self proves she learned the "timing" of comedy very well.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, with a bachelor in Mass Communications, Denise Boutte' is an actress you should watch out for. I personally would like to see her in an "Angelina Jolie" role kicking butt!

For more information on Denise Boutte' log onto www.myspace.com/deniseboutte or for more on the "Meet the Browns" log onto www.TBS.com.   

June 18, 2010

Actor Aldis Hodge has ‘Leverage' on TNT, third season starts June 20, 2010
  
AldisHodge_cover.jpgActor Aldis Hodge starts a third season on the TNT hit series "Leverage" as one in a team of thieves, grifters and con-artists that are highly skilled and out to settle scores against those who use power and wealth to victimize others. Hodge plays Alec Hardison, a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team informed.

Aldis, like his character, has a love for gadgets, but one type gadget, watches. When asked if that love for watches helped him be the "gadget" man on the team he said, "It does help me understand how someone can be so into his craft. I know a little bit about a computer...some people would call me a geek. I'm a nerd in real life, but people like to think I'm cool. When people think of nerds they think of glasses...that type thing. I wanted to give the audience something else."

Aldis admitted that the writers on the series trust the actors enough where they can improv where they think it's best for the character.

"After the original take on what's written...I play with the character," Aldis Hodge confined.

Starring with Hodge on TNT's "Leverage" are team leader Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton (Original People) who plays Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator; Gina Bellman (Coupling) who plays Sophie Devereaux, a grifter that uses her acting skills to corner her mark; Christian Kane ("Into the West") who plays Eliot Spencer, a "retrieval specialist" with bone-crushing fighting skills, and Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) who plays Parker, a slightly off-centered thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.

Last season 4.5 million viewers watched and it ended where the "Leverage" team had scammed a hedge-fund manager who happened to be in the custody of U.S. Marshals; they had used Eliot's martial arts skills to corner a corrupt fight promoter; took over a private school to recover millions of dollars lost in a Ponzi scheme; went head-to-head with an almost identical team of drifters to recover a painting; took down an oppressive sweat-shop owner; cornered a fake psychic; freed Nate's ex-wife from a Ukrainian jail; thwarted a gun-running scheme by a corrupt mayor, and left Sophie conflicted about her relationship with Nate and questioning if she wanted to continue working with the team.

"Everything is set. We work off the camera operator to find out mark," Aldis said when asked about their almost artistic camera positioning of the characters in scenes. "He is great...not too much rehearsal. We don't table read, we shoot from the hip...let the acting happen...I like it."

Hodge started acting at age nine, appearing in the Tony Award winning revival "Showboat" on Broadway for 2 ½ years. Through the years to follow he appeared in movies such as Die Hard with a Vengeance, Bed of Roses and Big Momma's House, and television shows such as "Friday Night Lights," "Supernatural," "Girlfriends," "Bones," "CSI," and "Cold Case."

TNT's "Leverage," executively produced by Dean Devlin of Electric Entertainment (Independence Day), returns for a third season beginning with two weeks of back-to-back episodes on Sunday, June 20, 2010 and Sunday, June 27 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

Comedienne/actress Annie McKnight joins panel at the Los Angeles ‘Uplifting Minds II' entertainment conference Sunday, June 27, 2010
AnnieMcKnightpic3.jpgComedienne/actress Annie McKnight serves on the judges' panel at the Sunday June 27, 2010 "Uplifting Minds II" (ULMII) entertainment conference to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall Theater) from 1 - 7 p.m. Annie, along with the other judges on the panel, will score on ten acts in vocal, songwriting and/or dance, during the talent showcase competition, for a chance for them to be the top winner in each category and be garnered with the ULMII Award and a list of other prizes. The talent competition is from 5 - 7 p.m. and is hosted by KDAY 93.5's DJ So Real - admission is free!

"In this business every opportunity has options some cost some don't," Annie McKnight points out about why she chose to volunteer her time for the event.

Annie McKnight knows from experience about cost, just participating in the ULMII conference is costing her time, money (parking, gas, missed gig opportunities), in fact, this is her second time participating. McKnight also knows about investing in your craft too because she went to college - and it cost her. The ULMII entertainment conference offers attendees, just that education and a chance to invest in your craft.

McKnight earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Columbia College. After college her comedic and acting crafts have helped her amass an impressive list of credits that include BET's Comic View, Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment, and the Tonight Show for her stand-up and The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.; Cornered, starring Steven Guttenberg, Crazy on the Outside, starring Tim Allen; Crimes of the Heart, Two Degrees, Hair Show, "Heroes," "Brothers & Sisters" and "iCarly" for her acting. Annie recently won $10,000 on "America's Funniest People." Annie works with children with Autism using her animated facial skills and various vocal abilities to help teach them.

The 11 year-old conference will start with the ULMII entertainment seminars that include "PR/Media and Promotions Strategies" by PR/media and promotions consultant Eunice Moseley (www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com); "artist management skills" by label owner Debra French (www.FrenchRoyaltyEnt.com); "Finding Gigs Online" by former model/actress and current artist manager Kerri Moseley-Hobbs (www.Anthony-Michael.com), and "Marketing in the 21st Century" by label owner Vernon Neilly (www.boosweet.com). Pre-registration is required and all attendees receive a copy of the ULMII Music Business Handbook.

Aside from Annie McKnight, ULMII talent competition judges include public relations specialist Phyllis Caddell (www.PCPublicRelations.com); actress/singer Ashley Argota (Lulu on Nickelodeon's ‘True Jackson, VP'); film director/producer Ben Foster (www.BenFosterFilms.com); award winning guitarist Vernon Neilly, and legendary radio personality Lee Bailey (RadioScope and www.EURweb.com).

Words of advice to up-coming talent from Annie, "If you're starting your career a lot will cost you...time, effort...knowledge...clothes...we can go on for days about cost, but don't worry!"

Prizes for the showcase winners include a free music video courtesy of Ben Foster (www.BenFosterFilms.com); free music track from four-time ULMII winner VIP (www.DustDemAFF.com); 30 minutes free legal consultation from Paul Gardner II, Esq. (www.TheGardnerLawGroup.com) and Richard Jefferson, Esq. (www.metallawgroup.com); a slot as an opening act for L.A. Urban R&B singer/songwriter Trueful (www.FrenchRoyaltyEnt.com); 50% off marketing and promotions of social media pages by Boosweet Records (www.Boosweet.com), and vocal coaching from vocalist Nadiyah Kareem (Superstar Entertainment).

For more Annie McKnight log onto www.AnnieMcKnight.com and for more information on attending the Los Angeles "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com.

July 2, 2010

Chris Brown's come-back emotional performance at the 2010 BET Awards is worth watching again and again and again
  
chris-brown_mj_salute_bet2010-med.jpgLos Angeles gave BET Awards the red carpet treatment again this year for their 2010 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium. The house was packed and attracted a viewing audience of 4.5 million households. Everyone who watched was treated to performances by a list of who's who in the music industry today such as Kanye West, T.I. and Chris Brown - a tribute performance to Michael Jackson by dancing to "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Remember The Time," "Billie Jean," "Smooth Criminal," and the selection that made him break down and cry, "Man in the Mirror."

Hosted by Queen Latifah who was looking gorgeous in her white gown, the BET Awards' backstage happenings was where I spent my time - watching nominees and winners come and go. I did get a chance to talk to Quinton Aaron who was nominated for Best Actor for his role as Michael Oher (Baltimore Ravens) in "The Blind Side."

Since I had just left my own event, the "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference, where we educate young artists and executives about the entertainment business, I asked Quinton what he would say to artists trying to break into the business and he said, "If you want to be in the business...it's hard. You have to hone your craft, stay ahead of the game and don't let little things knock you down. Be in it for the passion."

Passion was just what the BET Awards to Los Angeles - the passion of the city, attendees, special celebrity guest and participants, the winners and the passion of the performers. Though everyone is talking about Chris Browns' MJ presentation, others who gave Class-A performances included Usher, Trey Songz and Rick Ross.

BET honored Prince with the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award and John Legend with the 2010 Humanitarian Award. The show will be re-telecast on Friday July 2, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday July 5th at 8:00 p.m.

Winners include Alicia Keys (Best Female R&B Artist), Trey Songz (Best Male R&B Artist), Drake (Best Male Hip-Hop Artist), Young Money (Best Group), Nicki Minaj (Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist), Jay-Z & Alicia Keys (Best Collaboration), Beyonce' f/Lady Gaga (Video of the Year), Serena Williams (Subway Sportswoman of the Year), LeBron James (Subway Sportsman of the Year), Rihanna f/Young Jeezy (Viewers Choice), and Monica (Centric Award) - for the full list log onto www.betawards.com.  

Fresh Wine Records releases the latest Eddie James project ‘Victory: Phoenix Mass Choir'
eddiejames.jpg"A strong part of what I do is minister to young people," said Praise and Worship singer/songwriter and music minister Eddie James about his music career.

Ministry is just what you will get from the newest CD project from Eddie James. The fact that he ministers through his music comes through on the selections offered by "Eddie James presents Victory: Phoenix Mass Choir" project.

Eddie entered into music ministry at the age of nine at his father's church. In 1993 he established the Eddie James Ministries. Today Eddie James' music ministry takes him all over the world with 40 young people, most part of Dream Life a recovery program he founded that rehabilitates troubled youth and college age students.

"You got to know the Word," Eddie stressed. "My mother instilled that in us."

James takes that knowledge his mother gave him and shares it with his many artists such as ColorBlind, a culturally diverse Gospel group of five young men who release "The David Story," Asaph, Tab and Ultimate Call.

"Victory: Phoenix Mass Choir" is such a spirit lifting CD it's almost a must to get. My favorite selections on the CD include "Lord We Praise You," an awesome Praise and Worship piece; "Tell Him What You Want," gave me chills it was so powerful; "Victory," for being so soulful and joyful; "Honor." another powerful Praise and Worship selection; "Faith" is a deep love song, "When I Think about the Lord," and the powerful "The Battle," which he wrote at age 16 - "the battle is not yours, but Gods."

For more information on "Eddie James presents Victory: Phoenix Mass Choir" log onto www.ejworship.org 

July 9, 2010

Dru Hill talks about their ‘Keith Sweat's Platinum House' reality show experience
  
DruHillpic2.jpgBeing on a reality show can make or brake you - literally - but the platinum selling R&B group Dru Hill has taken on the challenge in an attempt to repair "the brotherhood" that once made four young guys from Baltimore a house-hold name. The group - Nokio, Jazz, Sisqo and new comer Tao (also from Baltimore, replacing Woody) - appears on multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer Keith Sweat's reality show on CENTRIC TV, "Keith Sweat's Platinum House," every Monday at 8:00 p.m.

The reality show premiered Monday June 28, 2010 with Nokio and Sisqo boxing off the tension and frustrations with each other. In up-coming series member Jazz works through his demons of resentment from the group break up. Through it all Keith Sweat pushing them to complete an album, "InDRUpendence Day," and complete the Platinum House boot-camp.

When I asked the guys what they got from the reality show experience that helped them in dealing with being in a group, Jazz said, aside from an album, "A fresh start." He said he learned to forgive and forget - to start fresh."

Nokio pointed out, "One of the things I took away from the show is a sense of feeling that I had to listen a little bit more...I learned to hear."

The idea for a reality show came about when the group was touring with Keith Sweat.

"People know our accomplishments, but...not as a person," Nokio added. "He (Keith) let us be free with the show...there was no script."

Dru Hill recorded so far three albums, "InDRUpendence Day" will be their fourth record group project. Today the multi-platinum selling act has seven Top 40 hits with "In My Bed," "Never Make a Promise," and "How Deep is Your Love" reaching #1.

"Keith Sweat's Platinum House" airs weekly on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on CENTRIC TV (formerly BET J). For more information on the show log onto www.centrictv.com and for more on Dru Hill log onto www.DruHillOnline.com.  

ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards bring together the best songwriters/producers
TrickyDreamJJam1.JPGThe 2010 ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards recently held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills brought together the best in songwriters and producers for an evening to honor them, as well as Dr. Dre with the Founder's Award and Janelle Monae' with the Vanguard Award. The guest list was the who's who in the songwriting business which included Ne-Yo (Songwriter of the Year- tied with The Dream and Tricky); T.I. (performed); Eminem (performed); Big Boi (performed); The Dream/Nate Walka/Christopher Henderson/Tricky Stewart (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song - "Blame It"); Gucci Mane (performed); JD protégé Dondria (performed), and Jermaine Dupri (Song of the Decade - "We Belong Together").

Some songwriters were riding high on the success of one hit record, such as Nate Walka, co-writer on the Jamie Foxx hit "Blame It on the Alcohol." On the red carpet Walka pointed out, "This was my first major placement. I wasn't even a songwriter. I feel everybody can relate to it." He went on to explain what he did following the success of the song, "Man, I was able to buy my mom a car...me and my mom been in the trenches, its' been really hard, know what I mean. I give credit to God, things that shouldn't have happen, happened...God is good, He has a plan."

I had a chance to talk to Kawan "KP" Prather who produced/wrote John Legend's hit "Green Light." As a songwriter/producer KP said he has worked on the albums of Usher, T.I. and Young Blood, in fact it was on Young Bloods' CD that his first song was placed.

Others that walked the red carpet to talk to the media included singer Janelle Monae, Brian Kennedy (won for Jennifer Hudson's "If This Isn't Love"); Flo Rider (won for "Right Round" featuring Ke$ha); The Dream (nominated for his Rockin' "That Thang," Beyonce's "Single Ladies," Fabolous' "Throw it in the Bag", Usher's "Trading Places" and won for "Blame It"), Erika Shevon Lockhard (won for Twista's "Wetter"), and Johnny "Smurf" Smith (won for Musiq Soulchild's "IFULEVE."

Established in 1914 ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is the first and leading U.S. performing rights organization (PRO) handling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works. It is also the only PRO owned and governed by its writers and publisher members.

For a complete list of winners of the 2010 ASCAP R&S Awards or for more information the PRO log onto www.ascap.com. 

July 16, 2010

fela_castcover.jpgThe Broadway musical ‘Fela!,' that received the financial backing from Jay-Z and Will and Jada Smith, releases CD on Knitting Factory Records
  
"I went to the Broadway production (of Fela!)...and was told the license to the record catalog was ending with Universal Music US (they held 26 of the 77 albums recorded)," said Brian Long, manager of Knitting Factory Records who brought the license to release a CD recording of the Broadway musical "Fela!" "The family has the right to license it to whomever...Universal wasn't doing anything. It (the recording) was done in one day. The cast was there, the band - it's a live documentation of what's performed on stage."

"Fela!" is a musical about the life of Nigerian musician and composer Fela Kuti who died in 1997. In 1958 Fela was sent off to study medicine, by his father a reverend and teacher, like his two brothers before him, but Fela decided he wanted to study music instead. While in school he formed a band that played a fusion of Jazz and Highlife (a genre of music from Ghana characterized by jazzy horns and multiple guitars). In 1967 he decided to change musical directions and called it Afro Beat. He took his sound and band to the United States in 1969 and discovered Black Power and the Black Panther movement. That is when his music changed from love to social issues.

He return to his home in Nigeria and opened a recording studio, which also served as a compound for him, his family and his band to reside. He also opened a night club Afrika Shrine where he performed regularly. His lyrics began to tell a political story of government corruption and military abuse, and as a result his studio and club were raided regularly by the government.

In 1977 he renamed his band Afrika '70 and release an album titled "Zombie" a description used by Nigerians to describe the military soldiers and their methods. The album became an immediate success which brought over a 1,000 soldiers to his studio and night club resulting in the burning of both his places and the death of his mother - when she was thrown out a window. Fela sent his mothers' coffin to the residence of the military general, who claimed the burning and death were caused by one "unknown soldier." Fela later rebuilt his properties and in 1984 the government attacked them again.

Fela's passion for justice, for him and his people, never stopped, but it was only his death in 1997 from complications to AIDS that silence him. In 2008 an off-Broadway musical on his life was launched with the help of Tony Award winning director/choreographer Bill T. Jones. By 2009 "Fela!" was running on Broadway thanks to the financial backing of Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith. That same year Universal Music U.S. licensed the catalog of Fela's music to Knitting Factory Records.

"We set up a website," Brian pointed out. "That had never been done by Universal Music. We can now sell through the website...a Fela community. Two of the 26 album covers we've made into posters."

The CD "Fela!" provokes visions of the colorful and energetic Broadway musical. Sahr Ngaujah plays Fela, Lilias White, with the beautiful vocals, plays Fela's mother Funmilaya Kuti (a feminist activist) and Saycon Sengbloh plays Fela's American girlfriend Sandra Izsadore (Fela had 27 wives in Nigeria).

Of the 22 selections on the "Fela!" album the ones I find playing over and over again are "Trouble Sleep" a powerful song sung on-stage by the ghost of his mother - lyrics talks of standing up for what you believe; "Lover," is a passionate selection with heavy horn support and African drum beating as an echo - is about when he fell in love with the American, Sandra; "Upside Down" makes you want to get up and do something productive -"Open that Dictionary" the lyrics say; "Rain," sung by Lilias who shows an impressive vocal range, and "Dance of Orisas (Shakara)" which gives me visions of an African tribal dance scene.

I haven't seen the musical, but just reading about it, Fela's life and hearing the CD I can see why Jay-Z and the Smiths decided to support it. Fela was a remarkable man and lived a remarkable and socially conscious life.

For more information on "Fela!" log onto www.FelaOnBroadway.com and for more on Fela Kuti log onto www.FelaProject.net. 

July 23, 2010

JuliaPaceMitchell.jpgCBS brings high-powered black role to the ‘Young and the Restless' with actress Julia Pace Mitchell as Chief Financial Officer Sofia Dupre

Julia Pace Mitchell, a formerly trained actress (Howard University) and daughter of two legendary actors, lands reoccurring role on CBS's "Young and the Restless" as high-powered Chief Financial Officer Sofia Dupre. Julia credits a Facebook message from a friend about the casting of a new role on "Young and the Restless" as to what lead to this historical role.

"I auditioned for six weeks...each week," Julia recalls. "There were tons of actors there that I admire. The last day I was there with Kristoff (St. John) and Shemar. Kristoff gave me a look (like you got it). I got a call from my agent...I think he was surprised." Mitchell goes on to describe her character, "She's Chief Financial Officer...a business woman, at the top of her game. I am really excited!"

Mitchell confessed that she was a bit surprised herself, because not only is she black, but a full figure woman. Her legendary parents are daytime stars also - mother Judy Pace was on ABC's "Payton Place" and her father, Don Mitchell, was on CBS's "Capitol." Both parents had leading roles elsewhere, for Judy there was film roles in Brian Song and Cotton Comes to Harlem and for Don there's television series such as NBC's "Ironside," "The Fugitive" and "CHiPs."

Taking after her parents Julia Pace Mitchell's credits are impressive as well, appearing in the stage production of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," CBS's "Cold Case," comedy film "Meet Bill," and the Fox Searchlight film Notorious.

Julia's also appeared on TNT's "The Closer," NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Lifetime's "Strong medicine," and "NBC's "Law & Order." Later this year Mitchell will appear in an action film, Faster, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. In fact, you may have already seen Julia in the current national "Playtex Fits" bra commercials and print ad campaign for the full figured woman.

When I asked Julia to give advice to others struggling actors not only did she make me visualize her answer when she said, "Image all the people who said your skin color or body type wasn't right." Just as the visions of those doors closing in my face started to sadden me Julia picked my spirits back up immediately, with a philosophy that is very similar to my own, by adding, "You have to trust in yourself. You have to do it with dedication; training...comes down to your craft."

For more information on CBS's "Young and the Restless" log onto http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_young_and_the_restless and for more on actress Julia Pace Mitchell log onto http://www.juliapacemitchell.com.  

Young saxophonist Eric Darius releases new project, ‘On a Mission,' on Shanachie
Eric_Darius.jpg"I started writing music for this project a year a half ago," composer and saxophonist Eric Darius said about his newest CD release, "On a Mission," on Shananchie Entertainment. "It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I started recording. I like to put out (a CD) every two years."

A protégé child, Eric said he started writing music at age twelve."The concepts are constantly floating in my mind," Darius confessed to me. "Writing music is a gift."

He admitted that what is in his mind is the music: the horns, the strings...every note. This is Eric's fifth album and he believes with each CD he is continuously involving. His influences include Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis.

"I don't want to be in a box," Darius stressed. "I want to reach everyone! ...To incorporate Jazz, R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop and Reggae. There is so much going on in my life."

As a musician Eric Darius started professionally at the age of 17 and was soon sharing the stage with Prince, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson and Brian McKnight. One of his CD releases even reached #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Charts.

His latest CD, "On a Mission," features the contributions of Rick Braun, Rex Rideout, Micah Otano, Chris Andrew, Rohan Reid and an original song of James Lloyd (Pieces of a Dream). My favorite cuts on the "On a Mission" project include "Kingston's Flavor" because of its' Reggae feel with a layer of some funky Jazz support; "Move It on," "Soulful Stride," a finger popping selection; "Uptown Swagger," featuring James Lloyd, because of its great piano support, and "My Prayer for Haiti," a sweet love song for the people of Haiti.

I asked Eric to also give advice to struggling musicians and he didn't hesitate to say, "We live in a digital time and (you) can get songs for free. Artists need to understand the business side. Labels are closing and artists are taking control of their music. They have a direct link to their fans to promote themselves...its' an exciting time...an interesting time."

To learn more on Eric Darius and his latest CD "On a Mission" log onto his website at www.EricDarius.com.

July 30, 2010

DruHill_studiopic.jpgDru Hill's anticipated fourth album, ‘InDRUpendence Day,' finally released on Kedar Entertainment

When I heard Dru Hill was back with their original manager Kevin Peck I looked up to the Heavens and mouthed "thank you Lord." Yes, finally I will hear that Dru Hill Baltimore sound again. This week Kadar Entertainment released the fourth anticipated CD of the multi-platinum R&B group Dru Hill titled "InDRUpendence Day" executively produced by Kadar Massenburg, Dru Hill and Kevin Peck. The CD offers 13 songs and three teasers.

"Dealing with leaks," founding member Nokio pointed out when asked about the delay of the group's new project. But Nokio didn't seem to be worried by the leaks saying, "If fans like your music, leaks are just advertisement for the album. You have so many people with leaks. Look at Drake, he had two different leaks and he still sold 400,000 and Eminem (same thing) sold 700,000 (the first week)."

Nokio (Tamir Ruffin) formed the group in the early 90s, which included childhood friends Larry "Jazz" Anthony, Jr. the vocal virtuoso who can sing any genre of music, Mark "Sisqo" Andrews the passionate Urban Soul singer that the public ordained as the leader of the group, and James "Woody Rock" Green who left the group twice - the last time being replaced by Antwuan "Tao" Simpson - who is affectionately known in Baltimore as "The Soprano." Kevin Peck who was Marketing Manager at the Afro newspaper in Baltimore saw the guys at a local talent showcase. Peck literally adopted the guys and helped define and market them.

Named after a local park in Baltimore, Dru Hill was signed in 1995 to Haqq Islam's University label, distributed by Island Records. Island merged with Def Jam Records and in 1999 they signed to Def Jam's imprint Def Soul Records. During that period the group released their debut self titled CD in 1996, "Enter the Dru" in 1998 - which went multi-platinum and "Dru World Order" in 2002. Hit singles during that period included "In My Bed," "Never Make a Promise," and "How Deep is Your Love."

Their first soundtrack placement was for the movie Soul Food, "We're Not Making Love No More," written and produced by BabyFace. That song was the soundtracks' first single and reached #2 on the R&B Charts and "She's a Bad Mama Jama" featuring Foxy Brown on the soundtrack for Bill Bellamy's Def Jam's How to be a Player.

Though I am so Dru Hill starved that I could listen to "InDRUpendence Day" from beginning to end without skipping, I must say my favorites include the first single off the project "Back to the Future," a masterpiece, musically, vocally and lyrically - what an outstanding lovers plea. Then there is also "Do It Again" it's something you can hear being blast from cars; "Making Luv," a passionate song with that trademark Dru Hill harmony and flavor; "Shut it Down" is certainly a club song that gets more explosive as you come to the end; "She Wants Me," another Dru Hill - sure to be - platinum hit; "Away" which I can hear as the back-drop of some powerful major motion picture, and their remake of the Tears for Fears cover song "Rule the World."

For more information on the new Dru Hill CD, "InDRUpendence Day," log onto www.DruHillOnline.com  or www.Kadar.com.  You can also catch Dru Hill on BET's CENTRIC Network on Mondays at 8pmET in Keith Sweat's "Platinum House" reality show.

Arrested Development is back ‘Strong' with new CD and new members
ArrestedDevelopment2.jpgIn the late 1980s an Afro-centric group of mostly family members came onto the scene and stole the show. They called themselves Arrested Development and before the air settled on the music industry they had reached multi-platinum status and garnered two Grammy Awards.

Founded by member Speech, Arrested Development is back with its 9th album titled "Strong" on Vagabond/Cutting Edge Records. With four new members (Tashia Larae, Za, JJ Boodie and One Love) expect some new sounds, but not to fear you will still get that Arrested Development flavor. Past hits for the group include "Mr. Wendal," "People Every Day," "Ease My Mind," "Revolution," "Tennessee," and "The World is Changing" - a 2010 hit in Japan (reached #9 on the charts).

Aside from Speech and Eshe other original members include Rasadon (aka Don Norris) and Baba Oje (the spiritual elder). I spoke to member Eshe Gaither (aka Montsho Eshe), who has such a beautiful voice, about where the group has been and she filled me in on how hard they have been working overseas.

When we talked about the CD Eshe said, "It has a lot of edge to it. Everybody comes from a true place as musicians...Speech brings the political edge. I do a lot of dancing...Modern, Hip-Hop to African."

Eshe, who is about to release a solo project "Life, Live, Freedom - The Billie Gaither Project," said she has a dance ministry at Solomon's Porch Ministries that it is not your tradition dance ministry, but an "out of the box" ministry teaching all types of dance Swing and Jazz also.
"Music is true," Gaither stressed. "It's coming back around...artists from back in the day are coming out."

That must be true because lately Arrested Development has been everywhere here in the states. They just did the Tom Joyner Cruise, BB King Lounge and the Essence Festival. The "Strong" album offers a lot for the listeners. I was hyped just to be able to hear that Arrested Development sound again with those thought provoking lyrics.

My favorite cuts on the Vagabond CD release include "Bloody" reminiscent to me of Bone Thugs' Cali style - supported with both African and native Indian influences - is surely a platinum hit; "Greener" a traditional Arrested Development hit with Speech leading the way with some great vocals singing the hooks and harmonizing in the back - I also love the flow of the second rapper; " La La La," is a catchy song with an African feel to it; "Africa We Thank You" is a hot number that makes you want to get up and do some traditional style African dancing (even if you don't know how), and "Freedom" because it's one of those songs that could go down in history because of its old American Spiritual feel and its thought provoking lyrics.

For more information on the "Strong" CD release from Arrested Development log onto www.ArrestedDevelopmentMusic.comwww.SpeechMusic.com  and for more on Eshe Gaither (aka Montsho Eshe) log onto www.Myspace.com/EsheLifeDance.

August 6, 2010

Singer Teairra Mari appears in the Warner Bros. film The Lottery Ticket, in theaters August 20, 2010

The music industry was introduced to Teairra Mari at the age of 16 when she signed to Roc-A-Fella Records. They released her self-titled CD, which debuted at #2. Now she is all grown up, literally, and will be acting alongside Bow Wow in the Warner Bros film The Lottery Ticket, as the sultry Nikki Swasey, the neighbor trying to get some of the "lottery money." Mari is also releasing a five song EP and mix-tape with DJ Drama around the same time.

"My goal is to be the busiest woman in the world!" Teairra said about her career in entertainment. "The busier you are the better."

After being released from Roc-A-Fella Mari moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19. After sleeping in her car for a couple of months she met Cudda Love (Mase, Nelly). I guess you can say he was her angel and now she is currently signed to his label Fo' Reel Records.

So far they have released singles such as "Home 4 U," featuring Pleasure P and "Cause a Scene," featuring Flo Rida. Not only is she no longer sleeping in her car, but the girl got it going on landing such a role. Also starring in the movie with Teairra and Bow Wow are Ice Cube, Brandon T. Jackson, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Michael Ealy, Terry Crews, Keith David, Bill Bellamy, Jason Weaver and Naturi Naughton.

"I was at home in bed and a friend (stylist) kept calling me. Then Cudda started calling me," Mari explained about how she heard about the role. "He said a friend was doing a movie you should read for. I had five minutes...but it was around the corner. I got called back...four auditions later...I went to a table read. Everyone was there. I said, ‘Oh my God I am going to be in a movie!'"

Teairra goes on to explain to me that she didn't get the part, which sent her into a depression, but later received a call that the person they picked wasn't working out and she was asked when she could get there. She got there, ASAP, and as they say "the rest is history."

Mari is still doing her music thing she has been busy releasing mix-tapes, singles and appearing on mix-tapes. She is preparing for the launch of a new mix-tape with DJ Drama.

"We're going back (in August) to record a remix with DJ Drama," Teairra said. "It will be half remix and half originals."

Speaking on originals Mari has been trying to release an album for a while and she points to leaks as what is holding her back. This month she will be releasing five of the songs on the album as an EP release.

"I'm working on an album, most the songs got leaked somehow," she pointed out. "So I had to get it on EP."

Teairra, musically, is promoting her current single "Sponsor," featuring Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy - which is on her EP release slated for August 17, 2010 release. For more information on Teairra Mari log onto her www.myspace.com/teairrammari and also follow her at www.facebook.com/teairramarithomas and www.twitter.com/teairra_mari.  

Legendary Florence LaRue of the 5th Dimension celebrates 44 years with the group
FlorenceLaRue.jpgLooking as young and beautiful as the day she joined the group, singer and original member of the 5th Dimension, Florence LaRue, is celebrating 44 years with the legendary group with a string of performances and public appearances. The 5th Dimension garnered through the years six Platinum records and six Grammy Awards.

"The so-called celebrity has a job," Florence said about the life of a legend. "I love what I do and try to show the love of God (when she meets her fans)...God said, ‘there is only one star - Jesus.'" LaRue went on to explain, "Without people I have no job. The 5th Dimension never stops performing. Some don't know that we're still together. The original 5th Dimension was together for 10 years before Marilyn and Billy left and Ron passed away."

Florence said of all the members that replaced the originals 99% of them remain friendly and that she is very proud that they are doing well with what they learned room the group.

"We're looking forward to recording a record," LaRue informed me. "Hits with the same arrangements...People don't want to hear a rap version of ‘Up Up and Away.' We want music that is positive."

Still Florence admits that they put a little current day twist to their hit "Stone Soul Picnic." They tend to have a mixed audience for their shows. "We bridge the gap between age and race," she said.

Florence LaRue, who also has a one woman show which she would like to take to historically black colleges, credits her late husband Marc Gordon for the groups success. Marc was head of Motown's Los Angeles office at the time Motown had turned down the group for a recording contract. He decided he saw potential and signed on as their manager and brought them to Johnny Rivers who signed them to his Soul City Records.

The group was formed by Marilyn McCoo - a former beauty pageant winner- and Lamonte McLemore and they enlisted LaRue - who at the time was a winner of a pageant herself - in the talent division, Ron Townson - who had just toured with Dorothy Dandridge and Nat King Cole, and Lamonte's cousin Billy Davis, Jr. - who owned a cocktail lounge and later on married McCoo.

In 1968 they released "Stone Soul Picnic" written by Laura Nyro - which went Gold and also included the hit single "Cali Soul,' written by Ashford and Simpson. That year they had three other singles reach number one, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," "Hair" for the musical and "Wedding Bell Blues," written by Nyro. In 1970 they released "One Less Bell." In 1971 the 5th Dimension released "Last Night/I Didn't Get to Sleep at All" and in 1972 "If I Could Reach You." By 1975 McCoo and Davis - who married in 1969 - left the group to form a duo and LaRue took over as lead female singer and they released "Long Hangover" in 1976, but Motown immediately released Diana Ross's version soon after. Ironically Motown signed the group shortly after, along with two new members, in 1978 where they released two albums.

While performing on the legends' circuit Townson passes away of complication to diabetes and McLemore retires. The 5th Dimension now tours as Florence LaRue and the 5th Dimension (with members Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris and Floyd Smith).

The group will be performing August 20th and 30th at the Classic Gold Music Awards in Hollywood, Florida, October 3rd in Huffton, South Caroline and November 12th at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information on Florence LaRue or the 5th Dimension log onto their websites at www.FlorenceLaRue.com and www.TheFifthDimension.org.

August 13, 2010

nickcannon.jpgNick Cannon speaks on new TeenNick network and its' new series, The Nightlife

"Oprah has her network, why can't I have mine," Nick Cannon (Nicholas Scott) said about his new network TeenNick.
TeenNick, of which he is chairman, has launched this month a new series, "The Nightlife," which features the latest trends in fashion, music, dance and entertainment for teens.

"It's about teens. Where teens can come to find out the hottest clothes ...the latest dance...," he said about the new show, which he is executive producer. "It's a voice."

Well this month that "voice" will be made by legendary celebrity guests T.I., and Ice Cube, and the trendy New Boyz (demonstrating their dance craze) "The Jerk" and Travie McCoy. "The Nightlife" has teen correspondents Chloe Wang and Nick Cannon's artist Aaron Fresh - who will perform.

"I did research...made graphics," Nick said when asked how he was able persuade Nickelodeon (owned by Viacom) to give him his own network. He also pointed out that he spoke it into existence. "I was the youngest in a lot of things...and I'd always say I am going to own this channel. Throughout my career I'd say to executives I'm going to run this."

Now, Nick Cannon does "run this" as chairman of TeenNick Network. At 30 years-old he is now the youngest, if not one of the youngest, black network chairs in the US.

Aside from "The Nightlife", TeenNick airs sitcoms "Degrassi," "Sabrina," and "Drake and Josh." Young people can also see shows Nick Cannon spent his teen years watching, such as "Moesha," "Kenan & Kel" and "Saved by the Bell." Other shows airing on the network include "One on One" and "Full House."

Cannon's father, James Cannon, hosted a televangelist public access television show in North Carolina. By age 11 Nick had a spot on his father's program as a stand-up comedian. By his teens he moved to Hollywood - with his mother - where he performed standup at The Improv, The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store.

In 1998 he was casted in the movie Drumline and in 2002 Nick was featured in his own series "The Nick Cannon Show" on Nickelodeon. The year 2003 brought a leading role in the film Love Don't Cost a Thing and in 2005 he starred in Roll Bounce with Bow Wow. On MTV, from 2005-2007, Cannon hosted his "Wild ‘n Out" show.

If all that is not enough Cannon is a rapper. He was featured on the soundtrack of "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," alongside Lil' Romeo and 3LW. He signed a recording deal with Jive Records in 2001 and his self-titled debut was in 2003. By 2005 he had formed his own label, Can I Ball Records, where he released a single "Can I Live?" that became a pro-life anthem song.

Nick Cannon married legendary songstress Mariah Carey in 2008 and today he is handling the networks' development and creative concerns.

For more information on the TeenNick Network and "The Nightlife" show log onto 
www.TeenNick.com.

Urban Soul singer Leela James brings her soul home to L.A.'s El Rey Theatre
LeelaJamesPic4.jpgPromoting her newest CD release, "My Soul," (Stax Records) Leela James, her band and back ground singers came back to her home town for a packed-house engagement at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Truly an artist with a style of her own, Leela took command of not only the stage but the audience too. She "made" us get up and get loose so we could have a good time. Through it all she gave us her heart and soul with selections from her CD "My Soul."

I truly enjoyed the performance - my mind seeing a cross between a young Aretha mixed with a little Mary J and Eryka Badu. James invited the audience on stage to dance with her and she even danced with an African style dancer (that must have been a professional), showing she is also a very versatile dancer.

The current single off the album is "Tell Me You Love Me." Leela James tour continues until October, 2010. On September 2nd she will be at Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida.

For more information on where to catch the "My Soul" tour with Leela James log onto www.LeelaJames.com 

August 20, 2010 

nickcannon.jpgNick Cannon speaks on new TeenNick network and its' new series, The Nightlife

"Oprah has her network, why can't I have mine," Nick Cannon (Nicholas Scott) said about his new network TeenNick.
TeenNick, of which he is chairman, has launched this month a new series, "The Nightlife," which features the latest trends in fashion, music, dance and entertainment for teens.

"It's about teens. Where teens can come to find out the hottest clothes ...the latest dance...," he said about the new show, which he is executive producer. "It's a voice."

Well this month that "voice" will be made by legendary celebrity guests T.I., and Ice Cube, and the trendy New Boyz (demonstrating their dance craze) "The Jerk" and Travie McCoy. "The Nightlife" has teen correspondents Chloe Wang and Nick Cannon's artist Aaron Fresh - who will perform.

"I did research...made graphics," Nick said when asked how he was able persuade Nickelodeon (owned by Viacom) to give him his own network. He also pointed out that he spoke it into existence. "I was the youngest in a lot of things...and I'd always say I am going to own this channel. Throughout my career I'd say to executives I'm going to run this."

Now, Nick Cannon does "run this" as chairman of TeenNick Network. At 30 years-old he is now the youngest, if not one of the youngest, black network chairs in the US.

Aside from "The Nightlife", TeenNick airs sitcoms "Degrassi," "Sabrina," and "Drake and Josh." Young people can also see shows Nick Cannon spent his teen years watching, such as "Moesha," "Kenan & Kel" and "Saved by the Bell." Other shows airing on the network include "One on One" and "Full House."

Cannon's father, James Cannon, hosted a televangelist public access television show in North Carolina. By age 11 Nick had a spot on his father's program as a stand-up comedian. By his teens he moved to Hollywood - with his mother - where he performed standup at The Improv, The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store.

In 1998 he was casted in the movie Drumline and in 2002 Nick was featured in his own series "The Nick Cannon Show" on Nickelodeon. The year 2003 brought a leading role in the film Love Don't Cost a Thing and in 2005 he starred in Roll Bounce with Bow Wow. On MTV, from 2005-2007, Cannon hosted his "Wild ‘n Out" show.

If all that is not enough Cannon is a rapper. He was featured on the soundtrack of "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," alongside Lil' Romeo and 3LW. He signed a recording deal with Jive Records in 2001 and his self-titled debut was in 2003. By 2005 he had formed his own label, Can I Ball Records, where he released a single "Can I Live?" that became a pro-life anthem song.

Nick Cannon married legendary songstress Mariah Carey in 2008 and today he is handling the networks' development and creative concerns.

For more information on the TeenNick Network and "The Nightlife" show log onto 
www.TeenNick.com.

Urban Soul singer Leela James brings her soul home to L.A.'s El Rey Theatre
LeelaJamesPic4.jpgPromoting her newest CD release, "My Soul," (Stax Records) Leela James, her band and back ground singers came back to her home town for a packed-house engagement at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Truly an artist with a style of her own, Leela took command of not only the stage but the audience too. She "made" us get up and get loose so we could have a good time. Through it all she gave us her heart and soul with selections from her CD "My Soul."

I truly enjoyed the performance - my mind seeing a cross between a young Aretha mixed with a little Mary J and Eryka Badu. James invited the audience on stage to dance with her and she even danced with an African style dancer (that must have been a professional), showing she is also a very versatile dancer.

The current single off the album is "Tell Me You Love Me." Leela James tour continues until October, 2010. On September 2nd she will be at Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida.

For more information on where to catch the "My Soul" tour with Leela James log onto www.LeelaJames.com  

August 27, 2010

Actress Sharon Leal breaks into CW Network's line-up as Vanessa Lodge in ‘Hellcats'  

Sharon Leal (Dreamgirls, Why Did I Get Married?) has landed a leading role on the CW Network's new series "Hellcats" as head coach Vanessa Lodge. The series premieres September 8, 2010 and will be a much needed "minority lead role" for the network.

"As a kid I was caught in the middle...I identified with African-Americans," said actress Sharon Leal about her heritage, which is also Philippians. "Some people see it...some people say, really?"

Leal started singing at an early age and later discovered acting while attending a performing arts high school. Her career in entertainment began in theater in such productions as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Little Shop of Horrors." Sharon reached Broadway appearing in musicals "Rent" and "Miss Saigon."

"The gig for Miss Saigon I went with my hair pulled back real hard," Sharon laughs about trying to show her Asian side. "There were like 600 and they picked two girls."

Leal went from New York's stage to television appearing in the Fox series "Boston Public" and guest starring roles in "Las Vegas" and "CSI: Miami." In 2006 she received international attention by co-starring in the blockbuster film Dreamgirls as Michelle Morris - the singer that replaced Effie White.
The next year she starred in two box office hits Why Did I Get Married? and This Christmas. Her performance in This Christmas garnered a 2008 Asian Excellence Award for "Outstanding Film Actress." That same year she starred with Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac in the movie Soul Men.
This year Sharon Leal starred in Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? and now she takes on the character of Vanessa Lodge in CW's "Hellcats." The Hellcats is a cheerleading team that is trying to win a championship, while the coach is trying to keep her job and balance a love/hate relationship with the football coach.

"In trying to figure her out...she‘s kind of a Debbie Allen character ("Fame")," she said about her role. "They said it was going to be about cheerleading and I was like, ‘Cheerleading, well I don't know' But I went in... This role is about rallying up people."

Sharon also admits that this is her largest speaking role. That, along with the fact that she is one of few minorities on a network that started out strictly for minorities, makes me stand in her honor and say, bravo Sharon it's well deserved.

For more on CW's "Hellcats" log onto http://www.cwtv.com/shows/hellcats and follow Sharon Leal at www.twitter.com/SharonLeal_.

Screen Gems' Takers starring T.I., Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen and Michael Ealy, hits theaters August 27, 2010
takerspic.jpgScreen Gems present Takers, a PG 13 film about a group of "successful" thieves played by Idris Elba (the leader), rapper T.I. (the smooth talker), Chris Brown (the runner), Hayden Christensen (the builder) and Michael Ealy (the gunman). Working against the clock on their last heist the group may have their hands full with a detective, played by Matt Dillon, who is determined to solve the case - along with his partner played by Jay Hernandez.

I was to cover the red carpet arrivals of the movie premiere for Takers, held in Hollywood recently, but as the mob of security held the press and fans (at either end of the street) back, there was a mob (of publicists, assistants, managers and security) behind them on the red carpet - between us and the lead actors - which means I didn't see much of anything.

Out of the crowd comes handsome Hayden Christensen (Star Wars), breaking past security to be interviewed by the press and of course just before he got to me security pulled him away. Suddenly Hayden pulls away again and "runs" over - pass the media - to the barriers to say hi to the fans that surrounded the red carpet area calling out the names of the leading men.

Then out of the blue I turn around and this sweet face is there saying, "Hi, I'm Kelvin Brown, I play the security guard in the bank." Of course I wanted to know all about his role, which it seems, is a role to keep you guessing as to whether he is in on the heist or not.

"I am one of the guys that work in the bank," actor Kelvin Brown said about his character. "Now because I work in the bank you're going see what's ‘gonna' happen we're going to see if I am a part of it or if I'm not a part of it." When I asked how it was being on the set with all those heavy hitters, he admitted, "I had a great time. I love the Screen Gems family...I am glad to be a part of it."

Takers also stars Zoe' Saldana (as the gunman's girl) and Paul Walker. For more on the Screen Gems film Takers, log onto the website at www.WhoAreTakers.com. 

September 3, 2010

incognito2010.jpgIncognito goes ‘Transatlantic' with new Shanachie Entertainment release celebrating 31 years 

"I put the funk," said Bluey, founder and leader of the UK group Incognito that gave us Maysa and other industry singing sensations.

The funk that Bluey talks about is found in his newest Incognito CD project titled "Transatlantic R.P.M." recorded in celebration of 31 years in the business for the popular assembly of musicians and singers. Bluey is highlighting new talents such as Vanessa Haynes, Tony Momrelle and Mario Biondi. "Transatlantic R.P.M." also includes some familiar voices such as Chaka Khan and Maysa.

"Mario is an Italian singer that knows no English," Bluey said in his thick UK accent. "He's #1 in Italy and #1 in Germany. Quite amazing...the Barry White of Italy."

Mario Biondi is featured on one of my favorite songs on the album titled, "Can't Get Enough," which has Bluey on piano. To me Mario sounds like an Isaac Hayes/Teddy Pendergrass mixture and for him to not know any English, I see why he is #1 overseas - what a great artist!

Throughout the CD Bluey is the main ingredient with his "funky" guitar, keyboard, vocals and programming mixture that has become the sound of Incognito. Another new vocalist on this "Transatlantic R.P.M." CD is Vanessa Haynes she is featured on another of my favorites "Life Ain't Nothing But a Good Thing," a traditional Incognito vibe.
The project also offers spoken word and a hint of Jazz. "Low Down" featuring Chaka Khan is another one I tend to play over and over again, along with "Express Madureira" featuring Bluey on guitar, Sid Gauld on trumpet, Matt Cooper on piano - so hot - and Simon Willescroft on sax. Vocalist Tony Momrelle on "Make Room" made me takes notice of him with Bluey excellent keyboard skills as support.

"Tony been in the band for a few years," Bluey said about the talented singer. "Immediately we go on tour and I get a call from a friend, Sade', said she was looking for a (background) vocalist. I said to myself, ‘I'm a shoot myself in the foot,' but I said, ‘I got someone.' He went on to tour with Sade'. She allowed him to come record for me."

As always the London native has recorded a stellar CD. Others featured on the "Transatlantic R.P.M." project include Incognito veteran Maysa, Ursula Rucker, Luckyiam and Motown's Leon Ware.

For more information on Incognito and the "Transatlantic R.P.M." CD log onto www.Incognito.org.uk.  

Viver Brasil's ‘Alaafia/Harmony' gave an emotional performance at the Ford Amphitheatre production
Alaafia_Harmonypic.jpgViver Brasil invited me to review their 8th season at the Los Angeles Ford Amphitheatre of their production "Alaafia/Harmony" - the culture, music, dance and history of Afro-Brazilians, with the story of Yoruba (a concept of peace and total well-being). The dancers and music was so emotional and clearly communicated that Afro-Brazilian culture that, to me, is reminiscent of traditional African dance combined with contemporary modern dance.

The performance included six acclaimed Bahian dancers courtesy of The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations and the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles, along with dancers Vera Passos and Nildinha Fonseca. Jose Ricardo Sousa was composer and Vania Amaral was on vocals.

Aside from the excellent dramatic Afro-Brazilian dancing and the interesting story of Yoruba, I was most impressed with the colors, the costuming and the awe inspiring dancing. What a perfect presentation of Afro-Brazilian culture. Bravo to Viver Brasil for another production that is sure to be yet another award winner.

For more information on the Viver Brasil presentation "Alaafia/Harmony" log onto www.ViverBasil.com.  

Lucinda Moore releases new CD project, ‘Blessed, Broken and Given,' on Tyscot Records
lucindamoore_coverpic.jpgTyscot Records releases a new recording project for Gospel vocalist Lucinda Moore titled "Blessed, Broken and Given." Moore gives a passionate and inspiring performance on the CD.

"The concept came first," Lucinda said about the CD. "I was going to battle abuse...for the Abuse Shelters...causes I've gone through. That was my objective in doing this project."

Moore said Jo Jo (one of the executive producers on the CD) brought to her the title track and she knew that that was the song. Lucinda confessed that she started out singing and, "now I'm preaching." Preach she does on this "Blessed, Broken and Given" album with her inspirational songs that uplift, inspire and education.

"It was recorded live at Elizabeth Baptist Church with their choir in Atlanta," Lucinda informed me. She closed the interview by saying how God is first in everything she does, "Fold to His calling" she said to me, "...be obedient to God...He will open up the doors (and windows)."

Some of my favorite songs on the "Blessed, Broken and Given" album include "Days of Elijah" - what a marching song, the passionate "I Need Thee" and the inspirational "Speak Lord."

For more information on Lucinda Moore or her latest project "Blessed, Broken and Given" log onto www.LucindaMoore.com.

September 10, 2010

Vernon_At_Memorial_Park2.jpgSmoothie Award winning guitarist Vernon Neilly performs with his band in Santa Ana

Multi-award winning guitarist/actor Vernon Neilly (Walk Hard) took time from globetrotting with his band to share their masterful skills at a community event in Santa Ana, California at Memorial Park. Neilly's band - Grammy Award winning Juan Nelson on Bass, Edward Neal on keyboards, Mekiel Rueben on sax and Preston Nelson on drums - featured the vocals of Tija Carlos.

Vernon, who has his own signature guitar, is known for his work in the community working with and educating young musicians and artists - he recently received an award for his volunteering at the Los Angeles Uplifting Minds II event for six years straight. So when he was asked to go on early, he patiently explained to the audience why his band couldn't just sit down and play, why professional musicians needed to perform a "sound check." The wait was well worth it of course because once they started playing it wasn't long before one by one people started to get up and dance to the Vernon Neilly Band.

"Nassau Nights" started their session, a very European sounding song from one of his early albums "United by Tone" and by the second selection "Moonlight in Paradise," from his "G-Fire" CD, everyone including me was on their feet. Next was a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" from his latest CD project, "A Tribute to Stevie Wonder;" "Flight to Ecstasy" from his "G-Fire" project followed, and vocalist Tija Carlos joined the band on "Boogie Oogie Oogie," "Call Me," and "Neither One of Us."

The Vernon Neilly Band is back on their world-wide tour with numerous dates in Brazil and Argentina. For more information on the bands' dates and music log onto www.myspace.com/VernonNeillyBand.  

Dru Hill makes a stop in their hometown of Baltimore for a performance with label-mate Joe
DruHillpic2.jpgLabel mates Joe Thomas and Dru Hill (Kadar Entertainment) arrive in Dru Hill's hometown of Baltimore on Saturday September 11, 2010 at the Lyric Opera House for a special performance with Grammy Award nominee Joe. Thomas, who is currently in the recording studio working on his next project, is also promoting his DVD "Joe, Live from Japan." The Baltimore natives Dru Hill are currently promoting their fourth CD project "InDRUpendence Day" and just ended a successful run on BET's CENTRIC in the "Keith Sweat's Platinum House" reality show series.

"We have been doing spot dates for a couple years," Nokio informed me when I asked about a Dru Hill tour.

The Sept. 11th "Joe with special guest Dru Hill" performance in Baltimore is followed by a CD Release Concert "Old Skool Meets New Skool" with Silk, Dru Hill, H-Town and new comer Trueful on Sat. September 18th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Then Dru Hill is off to Australia and then the UK.

joe-thomas.jpg"Joe is a good friend," the guys said about their label-mate. "He's a mentor...him and Keith Sweat. Joe was our first label-mate at Island Black Music. He introduced us to a lot of major people."

Joe Thomas' latest CD "Signature" was released on his indie label 563 Entertainment, distributed by Kedar Entertainment and Dru Hill's "InDRUpendence Day" is also released independently on Kardar Entertainment.

For more information on the September 11th "Joe with Special Guest Dru Hill" Baltimore performance or the Los Angeles September 18th "Old Skool Meets New Skool" performance log onto www.DruHillOnline.com.

September 17, 2010

kirkwhalum.jpgA Living Legend Honors a Passed Legend with the release of ‘Everything is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway'

An avid believer in the "great communicator" sax legend Kirk Whalum took a calling to honor another legend, one of the most prolific singers and songwriters of all time, Donnie Hathaway. In his newest project "Everything is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway," not only did Kirk enlist the daughter of the legend - Lalah Hathaway - as guest vocalist on the project, but he also features the talents of Musiq Soulchild, Robert Randolph, Rick Braun, Jeff Golub and Christian McBride - with Gil Goldstein and John Stoddart arranging. "Everything is Everything" is released on Mack Avenue Records/Rendezvous Music.

"Their songs that compose of his repertoire, songs he wrote, songs that are identified with him...and his interpretations," said Whalum about the content of the new project.
If you are a Donny Hathaway lover like I am, this CD is a must to get. It will truly remind you or introduce you to the musical wonders of the man. His daughter has his soulful yet gentle approach to a song, as evident on "You Had To Know."
"They were very happy with the job we did," Kirk said when asked how Lalah and her mother felt about the tribute CD.
This is not the first time Kirk Whalum has released a tribute CD. He released "The Babyface Songbook" which was an unbelievable project of Babyface signature songs. This project will certainly take you back in time to that Donny Hathaway era and style of music, but with just enough difference to bring you back to the present time.
Aside from the thought provoking "You Had to Know" I was also feeling "Someday We'll All Be Free," "Valdez in the Country," featuring Jeff Golub, "Everything is Everything," and "We're Still Friends" featuring Musiq.
"Musiq is someone with a natural organic connection with Donny Hathaway," Whalum pointed out to me when I mention how closely they sound.
Kirk, who was recently named President and CEO of Stax Museum of American Soul Music, debuted at #4 on Billboard Jazz Album Chart and #11 on the Billboard Gospel Chart with this last project "The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III." "Everything is Everything" is sure to do just as good.
For more on this "Everything is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway" log onto www.KirkWhalum.com.  

Ted Lange's ‘Let Freedom Ring' is a ringing success
LetFreedomRing_VinniRatcliff.jpg"That liberty bell won't ring until all men are free," were words that were echoed in the new Ted Lange play, "Let Freedom Ring."

Everyone is raving about the new play, which made its world-wide premiered recently at the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles before a star-studded audience. The play stars Lange, Garrett Morris, J.D. Hall, Lou Beatty, Jr., Chrystee Pharris, Eddie Goines, Christine Kludjian, Shani Shockley, Christopher Warren and Williams Stephens who all gave an exceptional performance. The play runs every weekend in September.

"Let Freedom Ring" offers historically interesting points of view in a serious, but yet, entertaining way. Garrett Morris' character (Grandpa) was the mood changer bringing laughter when and where needed. J.D. Hall's character (Reverend) was a mood changer too, thanks to his believable acting, the light mood changed to dark quick.
The script to "Let Freedom Ring" was admirable, with surprises and thought provoking ways of presenting historical facts that had a twist of imagination.

The stage props and costumes were truly a large factor in how the play took the audience on a time-machine to the past. Lange's character (Prince) was the voice of reasoning throughout, but then gives everyone a shock near the end.

"Let Freedom Ring," written and directed by Ted Lange, and produced by Mary Lange, is a must to experience. I can still remembering some of the lines in the play, like the barmaid telling her employee (mistress) "remember my face." (Photo Credit: Vinni Ratclif)

September 24, 2010

jermainedupre_ASCAP_PreVMAevent.jpgASCAP honors Jermaine Dupri and Ocean 7 with Pre VMA Party in Beverly Hills

ASCAP invited me to a Pre VMA event honoring the achievements of Jermaine Dupri and his Ocean 7 team with a private party in Beverly Hills. The location was so secret that we had to be transported there from another location. Unfortunately the secret location wasn't secret for long because soon a caravan of cars and people were making their way up the long winding road to the mansion. So many that police and helicopters came in to literally shut it down.

Before all that happened though so many celebrities, 2010 VMA nominees, media and friends of JD came to support him and ASCAP. I saw Usher slide through, along with singer Anthony Hamilton, actress Brenda Song; rappers Cali Swag District; songwriter/producer Brian Michael Cox; rapper Gucci Mane; singer/songwriter Jesse McCartney; producer Johnsta Austin; actress Lala Vasquez; rappers New Boyz; actress Meagon Good; producer Sean Garrett; rapper Nelly; singer Johnny Gill, and actor Tristan Wilds. JD was the DJ for the evening.

Jermaine Dupri is a six-time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year winner and the Ocean 7 team consists of Usher, Nelly, Trey Songz, Brian Michael Cox, Johnsta Austin and Tyrone Davis. ASCAP is home for American music industry people that range from Duke Ellington to Dr Dre, from Maxwell to Stevie Wonder, from Jay Z to Beyonce', from Alicia Keys to Diddy, and from Gucci Mane to NE-YO.

For more information on ASCAP log onto www.ASCAP.com and for more on JD log onto www.myspace.com/sosodefmusic.

Will Downing releases an audio novel with new CD project, ‘Lust, Love and Lies' on Peak Records
willdowning_lustlovelies_CDcover.jpg"It's been in the making and in my mind for 5 to 6 years," said legendary singer Will Downing about his newest CD release on Peak Records (Concord Music Group) titled "Lust, Love and Lies (An Audio Novel)." This project is like no other, as you listen to his music you experience a well acted out "audio novel " about, what else, "lust, love and lies." "It's my 15th project and so I am trying to do something difference."

Different is what this is and Downing's vocals couldn't be better. What a wonderful journey Will Downing takes you on. The acting is so real that I had to ask if he really went through what his character experiences in the audio novel.

"No, and I hope there's no trouble at home," he laughed about his character cheating on his lady in "Love, Lust and Lies (An Audio Novel)." "This is a story I always wanted to tell, from the moment they meet and what happens to the end... it was hard, but fun."

Normally I'd mention my favorite songs on the CD but on this one every song is important to the novel and thus has a special meaning and delivery by Will Downing in a way that relates to the story-line of the audio novel. "Lust, Love and Lies" include such cuts as "Glad to Meet You Tonight," "Consensual," "Safe in His Arms," a powerful Gospel song featuring Dave Hollister; "Shades," and "At This Moment."

"The response has been really good," Will said about the project. "(Which is a good thing because) It's so hard out there, there are so many projects out."

For more information on Will Downing and his new album "Lust, Love and Lies (An Audio Novel)" log onto www.WillDowning.com.

J.J. Hairston and Youthful Praise perform an unprecedented three concerts in one day
jjhairston_andYouthfulPraise.jpg
J.J. Hairston and Youthful Praise is known for their energetic and passionate performances, so when I learned that they had already performed twice the day I was to review their performance at Pastor Bishop Noel Jones church, City of Refuge, in Los Angeles, I wasn't expecting the normal high energy J.J. and Youthful Praise performance they give, but I was solely mistaken.

"Nine are with me," J.J. Hairston said of his Youthful Praise Choir members. "We have actually 30 members all together. When we travel I take 9 of them with me. So literally they help me out. I can pass the ‘mic' to anyone of them. They are much better singers than I am."

I think J.J. is being a bit modest because when initially introduced to them I thought he wouldn't have the vocals because he is the choir director, but this guy can "sang." Granted his nine lead choir members were unbelievably powerful, but J.J. got it going on vocally too.

Hairston and Youthful Praise is currently promoting their latest project "Resting on His Promise."

"'Resting on His Promise' is number 3 on Billboard," J.J. informed me about the project that has garnered them nine Stellar Award nominations.

The choir's beginning started in the church of his father-in-law.

"We started as a church choir. We formed our own choir because we were too young for the adult choir and too old for the kids' choir," Hairston stated. "We recorded a song and sent it to a friend at www.GospelFlavor.com and they loved it and started a record label to release it...now its five albums later."

The father of three children (one boy and two girls) and his choir are currently on Light Records. For more information on J.J. Hairston and Youth Praise, and their music, log onto www.YouthfulPraise.org. 

October 1, 2010

tinkerbell_rescue_pic1.jpgRaven-Symone' the voice of the first African-American Fairy in the Walt Disney release ‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue'

"I had VHS's of all Disney movies," aid Raven-Symone' who plays the voice of Iridessa the first African-American Disney fairy - friend of Tinker Bell.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released a Blu-ray Combo DVD Pack of their new film project "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue." The Disney project stars the voice talents of Mae Whitman as Tinker Bell; Raven-Symone' as Iridessa the light Fairy; Lauren Mote as 9 year-old Lizzy - who believes in Fairies; Michael Sheen as Dr. Griffiths - Lizzy's father, and Pamela Adlon - the fast flying Fairy.

The beautifully animated film follows Tinker Bell, way before she met Wendy and the Lost Boys of Peter Pan, during her vacation where she gets lost and while forming a relationship with little 9 year-old Lizzy - who believes deeply in Fairies - her Fairy friends launch a major rescue. The theme is that of the power of faith and friendship.

"How she (Tinker Bell) looks at the world," pointed out Raven-Symone' about lessons we can learn from the film. "She can teach us to be opened minded. I wonder if instead of closing your mind to it..."

Being open minded is the message of this wonderful Rated G film that the entire family will enjoy - over and over again. Raven-Symone' concluded that we all need to "take something from the DVD and put into real life."

"Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue" was directed by Bradley Raymond (Lions King 1 ½) and produced by Helen Kalafic and DisneyToon Studios. Executively producer is John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

You can see more on "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue" at www.Disney.go.com/fairies/.

Father and son release a Gospel worship experience on Tyscot Records
myworshipexperience_cover.jpgBishop Scott and son Bryant Scott release a two-disk CD project titled "Bishop Leonard Scott presents...My Worship Experience" on Tyscot Records - which is celebrating 30 years. Bryant Scott serves as the major producer on the project.

"The vision, God gave me," Bryant pointed out about the project. "Traditional music and the Word are separated. Music leads up to the Word. God gave me the strategy to marry the music with the Word."

Bishop Scott quickly added, "Bryant wrote 90% of the songs."

Joining Bryant and Bishop Scott on the album are featured artists Lil' Mo and her husband Phillip Bryant, Gospel singer Lucinda Moore; Pastor Thomas Hill, Darrell Harris, Deitrick Haddon, Damita Haddon, Johnathan Dunn, LaMar Campbell, Ivan Powell, Rodnie Bryant, the Indiana Celebration Mass Choir; Ernest and Ericka Jackson, Dr, Chris Holland, Pastor Ronnie ‘Diamond' Hoard, and Joann Rosario Conrey.

Though a great Praise and Worship CD from beginning to end, my favorites include "You Alone Are God" featuring Deitrick Haddon, a sweet vocal master-piece; "Hosanna" a non-traditional sound and vibe, and "I Need You" featuring Lil' Mo, her husband Phillip Bryant, Damita Haddon, Ivan Powell, Lamar Campbell, Rodnie Bryant and The Indiana Celebration Mass Choir, because it feels like it could be a movie score with its' outstanding emotional evoking guest vocalists.

For more on the "Bishop Leonard Scott presents My Worship Experience" two-disk CD project log onto www.Tyscot.com.

October 8, 2010

trueful_druhill_pressconference_credit_donaldcarraway.jpgL.A.'s own Trueful with Platinum artists Dru Hill and H-Town ‘shut it down' at the recent ‘Old School Meets New Skool' CD Release Concert

People who attended Trueful's CD Release Concert ‘Old School Meets New Skool" with Dru Hill and H-Town are still talking about this mega event put on by French Royalty Entertainment (in association with Bigg Whale Distribution). It seems major media outlets came to cover the event and a long list of celebrities, such as Quinton Aaron (Blindside), came to see the show.

Dru Hill, representing the established new skoolers,' literally "shut it down" after their performance and Los Angeles' own R&B singing/songwriting sensation Trueful - representing the up-and-coming new skooler - held his own with the Platinum artists - along with his French Royalty Dancers. H-Town - representing "old school" legends - had the ladies overly excited, along with opening act Ricky Jones.

What a great turn-out too, at the events' press conference held the day before - where at least 15 different media outlets interviewed and took pictures of the headlining talent - and at the event where at least 850 people attended. The Concert started at the red carpet where another 15-20 media outlets covered the arrivals of the Hollywood personalities such as rapper/actor Lil' Zane (Fighting Temptations/"Dr. Dolittle2"), comedian/actress Annie McKnight ("Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment Stand-up"/The Soloist), actor/rapper Allen "Dawone" Maldonado (Live Free, Die Hard/"Young and the restless") and Irene "Mama" Stokes (You Got Served). After the concert there was a brief "meet and greet" with Dru Hill and H-Town and an After Party in the Concourse lobby at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall, where the event was held. KJLH's DJ Roc was host of the After Party.

Truefulconcert_Drive_Credit_vinniradclif.jpgKJLH jock Tammi Mac (4 - 8 pm) hosted the pre-show of young local talent and part of the actual concert when KJLH's Kevin Nash (8pm - midnight) took over. There was some young talent not on the line-up performing when Tammi came in, this caused the concert to run over but Mac and DJ Roc was gracious enough to stay on, as did the sound/light company, the headliners' limo-driver and the audience! It was well worth the wait though, because Trueful gave a "class-A" performance, H-Town made the ladies scream and Dru Hill had ladies, men, kids and young adults just about going crazy before the night was through.

Trueful performed five songs (had five wardrobe changes) from his recently album "Taste of Class:" "Beast," "Truely Special," "Drive" featuring rapper AVI, "My Baby," and "All Star." Dru Hill performed a medley of their hits, such as "Never Make a Promise" and "In My Bed," their latest single "Back to the Future" from their current CD "InDRUpendence Day," along with some K-Ci and JoJo hits. H-Town performed their past hits such as "Knockin' Da Boots" and their current single "I Appreciate You" from their newest project "Child Support."

Plans are underway for a national promotional tour, so maybe everyone can see what the crazy hype was all about. Stay tuned into my columns' website www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com for updates.

For more information on Trueful log onto www.myspace.com/FrenchRoyaltyInc or www.myspace.com/BeTrueful, to find out where Dru Hill will be next log onto www.DruHillOnline.com and for the scoop on what H-Town is into log onto www.myspace.com/HTownLegends. (Photo Credit: Donald Carraway)

Mack Avenue releases new self-titled project from saxophonist Jackiem Joyner
JackiemJoyner.jpg"I unexpectedly fell in love with the sax in high school. I wanted to play the drums but the teacher said the drums were taken. (He pointed to some instruments) Said pick one. I liked the one with the buttons. After a week I was really into it," said rising star saxophonist Jackiem Joyner about his love for the saxophone. Joyner just released his third self-titled CD on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue.

Jackiem's debut project was titled "Babysoul" a symbol of, I guess, his youthful age in a career full with older saxophonists that are now practically legends. His sophomore CD titled "Lil' Man Soul," another testament to his age, garnered him two #1 singles on the Smooth Jazz Charts, "I'm Waiting On You" and "Take Me There."

Joyner's sound - a combination of Funk/Pop/Jazz and Latin - has played on stage with such great artists as Joe Sample, Gerald Albright and Keiko Matsui.

"After playing for about a year I wanted to be a solo artist," Jackiem admitted when asked what motivated him to step in front of the band. "I always wanted to have my own songs and CD."

Well now he is working on promoting his third CD project. My favorite cuts on the "Jackiem Joyner" album include "My Last Goodbye," which reminds me of a movie scene of two lovers with one driving away; "The Reunion" has a lovely drum-line which gives me the imagine of a marching band; "Dance with Me" because I adore the Spanish guitar support; "If This Isn't Love" for his powerful and yet sweet playing style, and "Home" a passionate song that makes me want to literally cry.

"Jackiem Joyner" is sure to win some Jazz or Instrumentalist award, if only from the hearts of those that listen. For more information on Joyner log onto his websites at www.myspace.com/jackiemsoul or www.JackiemJoyner.com.

October 15, 2010

jojokci_comeclean.jpgMulti-Platinum K-Ci and JoJo ‘Come Clean' in new TV One Reality Show

As I type this "K-Ci and JoJo Come Clean" reality show is premiering on TV One with two back-to-back episodes. "K-Ci and JoJo Come Clean" is a nine-episode series that will air on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.ET.

The Hailey brothers go through 30 hard days of sobering treatment (physical, mental and spiritual) for family and career. The multi-platinum brother duo - Cedric "K-Ci" and Joel "JoJo" Hailey (of the multi-platinum group Jodeci - which also includes brothers Donald "DeVante Swing," Delvin, and Dereck DeGrate) - moved into a house together for the treatment duration with no bodyguard, housekeeper, family or cook.

"God has a way to show you little things in your life," JoJo said about how they reached the point where they were ready to "come clean." "We started missing out on a lot of opportunities...they didn't know if they could trust us."

During the treatment, arranged by their manager Damon Jones, the brothers' eyes slowly opened to the real world. To deal with all the changes the duo had help from physical, mental and spiritual professionals.

"Our manager came to us with the idea," K-Ci said about how it all began. "We were ready to make a change. We were ready...a team came together."

Aside from their "team" K-Ci and JoJo will have guest appearances by people from their past, such as music executive Andre' Harrell, The Gap Band's Charlie Wilson and Jodeci's Devante Swing. The first episode reveals - through a video presentation - the slow decline of the brothers' health and career due to a habit they picked up at ages 14 and 15 - drinking. Near the end of the series their mother states - during their visit - that she hadn't seen her sons sober since they were 14.

While in their early 20s the brothers joined a group, formed by friend Devante Swing, and they called themselves Jodeci. The group released three albums - all reached Platinum status - "Forever My Lady" in 1991 (3x Platinum), "Diary of a Mad Band" in 1993 (2x Platinum) and "The Show, The After Party, The Hotel" in 1995 (2x Platinum). When Jodeci disbanded for a while the Hailey brothers, in 1996, were featured artists on 2Pac's "How Do U Want It," which garnered a Grammy Award nomination.

In 1997 the debut released of a solo project, "Love Always," gave us the hit "All My Life" which reached #1 on Billboard for three weeks. The project sold 4 million units (4x Platinum) and garnered them two Grammy Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, NAACP Image Award and Soul Train Award nominations. Their second CD, "Its Real," was released in 1999 - reaching #2 on Billboard; their third project, "X", was in 2000; in 2002 it was their fourth CD "Emotional;" a "Greatest Hits" followed in 2005, and in 2008 a project titled "Love" was solely distributed in Japan.

JoJo said he would like for those who watch the "K-Ci and JoJo Come Clean" reality show to, "watch with an open mind and kind heart." He pointed out, "We put our dirty clothes in the front yard. Look but don't judge. Maybe we can stop someone from going through that."

To learn more on the show log onto www.kciandjojo.tvoneonline.com.  

Actress Denee Busby quietly taking Hollywood by storm
deneebusby2.jpgWatch out for the name, Denee Busby, this UCLA graduate is quietly taking Hollywood by storm. Her acting career was egged on by the passionate belief of her mentor and acting coach, Michael John, that she will be a great actress. With his help Denee secured her first major role in a film as Little Dee in the Lionsgate presentation, The Cookout - produced by and starring Queen Latifah, along with Danny Glover, JaRule and Eve.

"Michael is an angel," Denee said about her mentor. "He'd say, ‘There is something in you, you don't see. I'll bring it out of you.' When I met him I couldn't put two words together. Even when I wanted to give up, he said, ‘you can't.'"

John is still Busby's coach. Since she landed that prime role Denee has appeared on the television series "Eve" and in a stage play, "Whatever She Wants," with Vivica A. Fox, Richard Roundtree and Boris Kodjoe. She is currently starring in the HBO series "Eastbound and Down."

"This is new for me," Busby said about her big role on the cable series. "I am use to African-American productions with African-American cast...HBO has pulled out the red carpet (for me). We filmed in Puerto Rico!"

Denee also works as a consultant in her field of study at UCLA, Mechanical Engineering.

"The business of entertainment can be...highs and lows," she points out. "Some actors have great success, but when nothing is going on they don't know how to pay the bills. I work as a consultant for a company that knows I am an actress. Even as an actress if I am making millions I still want to work in engineering."

Busby, who grew up loving math and science, said she "needed singing and dancing as my outlet."

Denee Busby just finished shooting for Cookout 2, reprising her role as Little Dee. Visit Denee at Facebook and Twitter.

October 22, 2010

tyetribbett2.jpgStellar Award winning Tye Tribbett goes solo with new CD project, ‘Fresh'
By Eunice Moseley

"The CD is a lot of trails and errors...a real journey... the last season of my life," said Grammy nominated Gospel/Inspirational artist Tye Tribbett about his debut solo project titled "Fresh." "Expect it to be a testament."

A native of New Jersey Tye is the son of a preacher and choir leader, so it was only natural that he would become one of the most respected choir directors in Contemporary Gospel music. In the late 90s Tribbett formed the Greater Anointing (G.A.) choir and by 2000 they were backing Faith Hill on her tour. They released a song, "Let Go, Let God," which appeared on the "Prince of Egypt" compilation CD.

Tye Tribbett and G.A. went on to perform with Will Smith, Usher and Mary Mary. In 2004 they released "Life," 2006 "Victory" and in 2008 "Stand Out" on Columbia/Sony Gospel. Along the way they garnered a Stellar Award and a Grammy Award nomination.
"The concept God gave me...sharing God's grace," Tye said about his solo project. Then he added something on a personal note, "I took a sabbatical last year. I got out of line with my life and family."

Tribbett pointed out that his new CD is about "no shame." As per the name of the album, "Fresh," Tye said, "We can all start fresh."
Fresh is what this project sounds like, something totally different from the Greater Anointing sound. The current single off the "Fresh" project is "Keep Me."

To hear a bit from the new "Fresh" project or learn more on Tye log onto www.TyeTribbettWorldWide.com.  

Stellar and Dove Award nominee Mary Alessi is ‘Pressing On' with newest CD project
maryalessi.jpgYou could say it was in her blood that Mary Alessi would become one of the leading worship leaders. She was raised in Gospel music. Her twin sister is Stellar Award winner Martha Munizzi, another inspirational worship leader. Recently Alessi released her fourth CD project titled "Pressing On" (Miami Life Sound Records/New Day Christian/Select-O-Hits).

"I been singing since I was three years old," recalled Alessi, a Stellar and Dove Award nominee. "At 15 I knew God was going to use me in a big way and at 25 I heard TD Jakes speak. I remember we said, ‘TD Jake who?' He preached and everyone stood up. On the way home I realized and was determined that I would never sing again if I couldn't have that. From there, God started using me."

Mary and her husband Stephen Alessi are now pastors of their own church, Metro Life Church, in Miami, Florida. Her music ministry has given her the opportunity to work with Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Nicole Binion and her sister Martha Munizzi.

Alessi, to me, has a Pop/Rock flavor that carries an uplifting and inspirational message. My favorite cuts off the "Pressing On" album include "Hope in Me," because I love the guitar support; "I Love You," a powerful praise song - I also love the harmony and piano support; "I Surrender All," but don't be fooled by title it's an original, and "I Will Bless the Lord" a sweet love song of God's grace ad mercy.

To learn more about Mary Alessi or her latest CD project "Pressing On" log onto www.MaryAleesi.com or visit her at www.facebook.com/MaryAlessiMusic.

October 29, 2010

sunshineanderson.jpgSunshine Anderson prepares for ‘The Sun Shines Again' release November 2, 2010 with performance at RnB Live in Studio City 
By Eunice Moseley


The singer from North Carolina that was introduced to Mike City - and managed at the time by Macy Gray - that went Gold with her debut CD "Your Woman" is preparing for her third album release "The Sun Shines Again" on Verve Forecast November 2, 2010. In preparation for the release Sunshine Anderson performed recently at RnB Live at the Romanov Club in Studio City, California along with others also promoting new releases such as El Debarge with his featured guest Faith Evans, Keisha Cole and JoJo (with DeVante' Swing in the audience as moral support).

The anticipation of all of those fine artists at a private, invitation only, setting was thick. Everyone was made up of media, record executives and other profile artists there to support. Even though the show didn't start until after 11pm, the audience was entertained by a fabulous talent show put on my Interscope Records' A&R boss - who you can see on the TV One reality show "K-Ci and JoJo Come Clean." Macy Gray served was judge at the label's finale competition showcase.

Labeled RnB Live the event had the Romanov Club packed with standing room only. After the showcase Sunshine Anderson lead the way with a line-up of "Class A" talent. A top notch performer herself Anderson was heard on the campus of North Carolina State University (where she earned a BS in Criminal Justice) singing and was immediately introduced to Mike City, V.P. of A&R at Soulife Records. City signed Sunshine and in 2001 her debut "Your Woman" album was released (via Atlantic Records). It garnered two hot singles "Heard It All Before" and "Lunch Or Dinner."

Her sophomore CD "Sunshine At Midnight" (via Music World Entertainment) peaked at #16 on Billboard's R&B Chart. The current new release "The Sun Shines Again" is lead by the first single "Lie to Kick It."

Sunshine Anderson's performance of the single that night received much love and as always she spread the "Sunshine." For more on Anderson or her new CD, "The Sun Shines Again," log onto www.SunshineAnderson.com.

The ‘Queen of Quartet Gospel' Evelyn Turrentine-Agee releases ‘There's Gonna Be A Meeting' on Shananchie
evelynturrentineagee.jpgIt started with the dream of a man, Cleveland Tyler, to "record professionally" with his group The Christian Travelers and ended with the passions of his daughter Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, now labeled the "Queen of Quartet Gospel." This Stellar Award winner is not only recording professionally but just released her seventh album titled "There's Gonna Be A Meeting" on Shanachie Entertainment.

"My earliest memory I was singing with my dad...a quartet singer," said Evelyn Turrentine-Agee about her singing career as the "Queen of Quartet Gospel." "He'd hold me up and say, ‘Sing baby sing.'"

Sing she did, first in a girl quartet group formed by her father, The Tylerettes and then - by age 17 - singing in a quartet with her male cousins. While in college earning her degree from the University of Detroit she continued singing as a member of the Masonettes, the Gospel Echoettes and in her own group the Gospel Warriors.

In 2001 Evelyn released her debut solo project "God Did It." The title track earned her a BMI Award and crowned her officially the "Queen of Quartet Gospel."

I told Evelyn that her voice, delivery and song content is reminiscent of Shirley Caesar and she did not hesitate to congratulate me for being on-point, for, as she said, "It' called the anointing, the power to break and destroy yokes."

"That's...Shirley Caesar," Turrentine-Agee said about the Gospel legend. "She's my mentor from when she was with the Caravans...I remember their last one (concert tour) Shirley Caesar couldn't make it and I filled it."

Well the influence is evident, that ‘old time Gospel" sound combined with the quartet influence makes Evelyn a Gospel force to be reckoned with.

"This album is quartet influenced," she pointed out about the project.

Agee used a quartet producer on the project to get that "feel" and it is a breath taking combination. My favorite cuts on the CD, "There's Gonna Be A Meeting," are "So Good" featuring Paul Porter; "Yes, He Can" for the lovely lead guitar support; "Meeting," a sweet testimony; "He's Using Me" featuring James Cleveland, and "My Job is Working for Jesus," one of those congregation marching songs.

"Take it and bless others with it," Evelyn told me to say to the readers. "I was blessed just doing it."

For more on Evelyn Turrentine-Agee or her new project "There's Gonna Be A Meeting" log onto www.EvenlynTurrentineAgee.com.

November 5, 2010

pagekennedy.jpgActor Page Kennedy lands second season on Spike TV's ‘Blue Mountain State' 
By Eunice Moseley

It is said of him that he came to Los Angeles with a "headshot and a dream," but actor Page Kennedy also came with a plan, to be an actor by any means possible. Today you can see him every Wednesday at 11 p.m./10C on Spike TV's "Blue Mountain State" as college football player Radon Randell, a talented egotistical recruit.

"I had to audition," Page said when asked how he came by the role. "Three or four auditions. I actually wasn't so optimistic about this part...(A part) you audition for when you know you're not right, but you try out. The appearance I didn't have... the person, the character I could do that."

It seems he brought out the "essence" of what the character is, so much so that his appearance didn't matter. Blue Mountain State University is the backdrop of the series that also stars Ed Marinaro as Coach Marty Daniels; Darin Brooks as Alec Moran (quarterback); Samuel L. Jones as Craig Shilo; Alan Rirhson as Thad Castle; Chris Romano as Sammy Cacciatore, and Gabrielle Dennis as Denise Roy.

A graduate of University of Delaware (Theater/Acting) Page Kennedy, soon after arriving in Los Angeles, with his headshot and resume in hand snuck onto the Sony studio lot to audition for CBS's "The Kennedys" - and he landed the role!

That was in 2001 and today - now nine years later - Kennedy has appeared on television in ‘The Shield," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Weeds," NYPD Blue," "Six Feet Under," and "My Name is Earl." In film he has appeared most noticeably in S.W.A.T., co-starring with Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Ferrell, Michelle Rodriquez, LL Cool J and Olivier Martinez.

Though he works regularly Page admits that there are times when he is not working and it's hard.

"Last year was a very tough year for me," he pointed out. "God bless me with this opportunity."

When I asked him what he would say to other struggling actors he said, "Wait it out. For me there is no other option."

To learn more about Spike TV's "Blue Mountain State" log onto www.SpikeTV.com and for more on Page Kennedy log onto www.PageKennedy.com.  

The Ultimate Praise & Worship leader Joe Pace releases new CD on Tyscot Records
joe_pace.jpgGod has blessed Joe Pace, II with an abundance of talents and this ultimate Praise & Worship leader is steadily sharing and growing. Through Tyscot Records Joe Pace has just released a new album titled "Joe Pace Presents: Praise for the Sanctuary."

‘I started this CD to bless listeners...to teach the choirs," Pace said about the album's journey to be here. "This was recorded in Dayton, Ohio... God told me to go to cities, put community choirs together with churches (in the area)."

Joe went to 30 different churches and let the pastors pick out the best in the choirs. By the time he was ready to record he had 85 of the best choir singers in the country. The new project comes with a DVD of the live recording. "Joe Pace Presents: Praise for the Sanctuary" features vocalist such as Isaac Carree, Norman "Jimmy" McDuffie, Crystal Aikin, Tonya Baker, Koerry Mitchell, and or course Joe.

Pace is a songwriter, producer, artist, director and author. As a songwriter he has written songs that have been sung by Fred Hammond, Tina Campbell, Rance Allen, LaShun Pace, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Clint Brown.
This is the 18th CD project for the Grammy, 8-time Dove and 7-time Stellar Award nominee.

"It represents the Kingdom," Joe Pace said simply. "It's about Him.

This is such a great Praise & Worship project that I let it play from beginning to end, didn't seem to put any on repeat so I have no doubt those who want to be lifted in spirit will enjoy some of the selections. Selections on the album include "Forever," "Fill This Place," "Just Like He Said He Would," "Wise Men Still Seek Him," and the emotional "'Til We Gather Again."

To learn more about the new Tyscot Records' project log onto www.Tyscot.com and to learn more on Praise & Worships' Joe Pace, II log unto www.JoePace.com. 

November 12, 2010

terrivaughn_slide.jpgStage play ‘Love Me or Leave Me' makes it to television with the GMC presentation premiering Saturday, November 13, 2010 
By Eunice Moseley

   Playwright John Ruffin's stage play "Love Me or Leave Me" makes it to television with the GMC presentation to premiere on Saturday November 13, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. ET (with encore at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.). The comedy/drama, directed by Ruffin, stars Elise Neal, Shirley Murdock, Clifton Powell, Terri J Vaughn, Terrell Carter and Carl Anthony Pain, II.
   "It's a story about family," actress Terri J Vaughn explained about "Love Me or Leave Me." "It reveals family secrets...deals with marriage, infidelity and trying to hold on. Expect lots of fun, drama and singing. There's some eye candy too! It's a good, good show."
   "Love Me or Leave Me" is about a troubled teen who abandoned her fraternal twin infants, leaving them with her mother to raise. The show picks up 25 years later with one of the twins, an attorney, is engaged to the man of her dreams. The troubled teen is grown now and back to reclaim her place in her children's lives.
   "I play an old guy, an old fart," Clifton Powell laughed about his character. "I read the script...it was wonderful. Fell in love with the writer...John Ruffin is a young writer who is technically taught."
   Powell schooled me a little on the difference in acting in "Love Me or Leave Me" the stage play and the cable show. He said on stage its "linear, you keep the focus up," but on television - if your character has emotional scenes, like Terri's - it "gets kind of tiresome" with the many takes required.
   "I am getting a real kick out of it," Powell added about playing the "old fart." "In movies I always play a heavy weight...dealing with issues."
   Clifton explained that GMC is trying to do more innovative programming now. "Trust me you are going to hear a lot more from GMC and John Ruffin... and I hope to be there."
   "Love Me or Leave Me" airs Saturday November 13th on GMC, and each week thereafter. To learn more log onto www.WatchGMCTV.com.  

ASCAP holds its annual Women Behind the Music Series in Los Angeles honoring Sheila E, attorney Tabetha Plummer and record executive Kirdis Postelle
ASCAPwomenbehindthemusichonors023.JPG   Recently ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) held its 2nd annual "ASCAP presents Women Behind the Music Series" in Los Angeles to honor Sheila E, entertainment attorney Tabetha Plummer and record executive Kirdis Postelle at the Beso in Hollywood.

ASCAP executives, lead by Nicole George (VP of Rhythm and Soul), turned the event over to Billboard Magazine's Senior Editor Gail Mitchell to host a Q and A for a crowd of media and ASCAP members. All three ladies are on a short list of women that ASCAP honored this year in their Women Behind the Music Series. Others included Grammy winning Kelly Roland and Motown's Melanie Fiona.

ASCAP planned the honors to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is designed to encourage and recognize women in the music community, highlighting not only women songwriters and artists, but women working in all facets of the business.

Sheila E, best known to me as Prince's drummer and music director of his band The New Power Generation, talked about growing up not knowing that girls normally didn't play percussion instruments and laughed about challenges she has had from men about her ability to play.

"I'm not here to compete, I am here to share," Sheila E told the crowd. "But if ya'll want to throw down. I'm just saying, I'll do it in some pumps, don't mess with me!"

Also honored was the general manager of Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, Kirdis Postelle. She talked about her decision to stay on as the secretary at LaFace Records, which was where her had her start as a record executive, instead of pursuing law school.

"LaFace was no joke. It was like boot-camp," Kirdis pointed out. "But at the end of three years I was making more money than all my peers coming out of law school."

Another amazing story told to the crowd was that of entertainment attorney Tabetha Plummer. Put through college by a hard working single mother, Tabetha said that gave her the determination to take law school all the way. She talked of working with no pay to get the needed experience offer at Motown Records. Today she heads her own law firm, Plummer Law Group, and clients include Snoop Dogg.

ASCAP is a performing rights organization which licenses and collects royalties for performance of its members. For more information about ASCAP, its members and its many events and services log onto www.ASCAP.com. 

November 19, 2010

Natalie_Floacist_Stewart_credit_PhyliciaGheePhotography.jpgNatalie ‘Floacist' Stewart comes back to her poetic roots with the new CD release, ‘Floetic Soul' 
By Eunice Moseley

As I was listening to the new CD of Natalie "Floacist" Stewart, "Floetic Soul," I was taken back in time when clubs where full of poets doing their spoken word thing in a delivery manner that made the audience just as excited as any other act. Well, with this highly anticipated solo project of the seven time Grammy nominated former Floetry member, you get both poetic spoken word with the supported of Floacist's beautiful voice.

"I understand the audience and response of the audience, "Floacist said about her delivery and performing in general.
On the "Floetic Soul" album her, though spoken word, her delivery changes with each selection: some sultry, some funky and some a bit jazzy. Joining Floacist on the "Floetic Soul" project is Music Soulchild, Raheem DeVaughn and Lalah Hathaway.

"I absolutely adore all three," Floacist said about her featured guest artists. "I adore...what they stand for...what they choose to sing."

It just so happens that included in some of my favorite cuts on the CD are those featuring theses artists. Musiq Soulchild assist her on "Forever," the first single off the CD; Lalah Hathaway's hot jazzy moaning in the background on "Come Over;" Raheem DeVaughn on "Keep It Going," with its slight Jazz flavor; "What R U Looking 4" for its impressive piano support, and "Alright Then" because I get to hear her beautiful voice a bit more in this one, the horn support and the Jazz feel are impressive as well.

"(Floetry) was a large journey of identifying and understanding," London native Floacist said about the ending of the duo Floetry - which she co-founded with partner Marsha Ambrosias. "I was manager, PR, travel agent, etc..."

Now managed by her husband, who in the beginning was the motivation for her to take her poetry to the stage (which is where she met Marsha), Floacist is going solo with the release of "Floetic Soul." I feel not only will she be setting the tone to revitalize the spoken word genre, but releasing a strictly spoken word project by such a successful artist is almost trend setting.

For more information on Floacist or her project "Floetic Soul" log onto www.myspace.com/thefloacist(Photo credit: Phylicia Ghee) 

Ava DuVernay directed film, I Will Follow, premieres at the historic The Egyptian Theater
IWillFollow_Omari_Salli_Ava_Blair_Beverly_Credit_EuniceMoseley.jpgI was invited to cover PR guru - turned film producer/director - Ava DuVernay's (My Mic Sounds Nice) film, I Will Follow, red carpet movie premiere and screening during the AFI Film Festival presentation at the historic The Egyptian Theatre. At the end of the night I walked away so proud of her. Not only did all the cast members come to support her night, but by the tears of joy in Ava's eyes, I can see she was quite surprised at the turn out for the movie screening.

This true-life story is about the death of a mother, played by Beverly Todd (Crash), who was the center of her niece's life, played by Salli Richardson (I Am Legend). Pledged with jealousy about that relationship, the daughter, played by Michole White (She Hates Me), finds it hard knowing she never said good-bye - because she refused to help tend to her mother.
Richardson's character, while dealing with packing up her aunt's possessions, is working through her own personally problems - a husband (Blair Underwood) she left a year ago to come tend to the aunt and a budding relationship with a local played by Omari Hardwick ("Dark Blue"). I Will Follow also stars Tracie Thoms ("Rent"), Dijon Talton ("Glee"), and Damone Roberts (Essence).

"I had such a great cast," Ava DuVernay pointed out to me. When asked about any challenges the film brought as director she said, "I think the budget. We had a very low budget and not as much time as we'd like. Next time we'll have more cash."

I Will Follow is an awesome film, simply award winning material. It was deep, something every family goes through (even me with the death of my husband). It made me think, reflect, laugh and cry. Great storyline, awesome script, great acting and directing - bravo! (Photo: Omari Hardwick, Salli Richardson, director Ava DuVernay, Blair Underwood, and Beverly Todd) 

November 26, 2010

jojokci_comeclean.jpgK-Ci and JoJo give a hot show at Nokia LA Live with special guest Dru Hill
By Eunice Moseley

K-Ci and JoJo, while riding the success of their reality show "K-Ci and JoJo Come Clean" on TV One, are doing concert dates that brought them to the Nokia LA Live night-club - where I was blessed to be in attendance. The platinum duo had my hometown babies Dru Hill headlining with them.

The result was a hot show from the beginning when Dru brought the audience to their feet after the first song - with their unbelievable vocal harmony and power - to the end when K-Ci and JoJo brought the audience back to their feet with a fantastic show with live band, background singers and romantic atmosphere. So when I say the show was hot, I mean it was "red" hot!

"This is not the JoJo show, this the K-Ci ‘and' JoJo show, so get your a%$ back on stage," JoJo said to his brother, who was having a good time in the audience (on the shoulders of his bodyguard) being pulled here and there by fans while still singing.

At some point K-Ci calls Sisqo on stage - and his brothers' in-arms accompany him - to join the Hailey's to perform a Jodeci number that Dru Hill often includes in their repertoire, "Forever My Lady." That's when the party really started.
druhillpic2.jpg
Comments that I heard in the audience while there included, "this is real singing, I miss this" and "I'm glad to see them back," and certainly I ditto on that! You can catch the wave of real singers - when artists actually "sang" for real - by catching the performances of the Hailey brothers by following them at www.twitter.com/RealKCiJoJo for updated information and you can visit www.DruHillOnline.com to see when the next time Dru is in your town.

You can also see K-Ci and JoJo in TV One's "...Come Clean" every Tuesday at 9 p.m. until the finale' on December 7, 2010. Dru Hill's reality show, CENTRIC's "Keith Sweat's Platinum House," is - I believe - still repeating on Mondays at 8 p.m.

Baltimore native Lester Speight taking Hollywood by storm with three major projects to be released
lesterspeight.jpg"I was raise in a house hold where...I was singing and performing in church plays. So I was acting before sports," Baltimore's Lester Speight said about his humble beginning as an actor.

Lester's career in entertainment started in sports and with the help of a local booking agent, Norman Gibson, he successfully transitioned into acting with roles in such films as Any Given Sunday. Today Speight appears in the just released CBS Film, Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton.

His massive build has been one the God-given gifts that have helped in throughout his life. From high school and college (Morgan State University) all-American football player to professional wrestling, Lester credits for helping land his famous role of all, that of Terry Tate the Office Linebacker in the Reebok Super Bowl commercials.

"I knew at an early age I was created (for this) for a reason," Lester pointed out about his life that seems to be ordained and already mapped out for him. "I knew I was going into acting...athletics play maybe 30 years. My plan was in 20 years to start wrestling, then acting."

Early projects in acting, aside from Any Given Sunday, included The Meteor Man. Speight also credits his mother Gussie Hughes-Watson, a nurse in trade and owner of Gussie's Carryout, for his business sense as the former owner of a beeper and cell phone store, and co-owner (with his sister) of a beauty outlet store. He credits his current agent Tracy Christian for taking his budding acting career and making it flourish.

Today Lester is all actor with upcoming projects that include Transformer III: Dark of the Moon (2011), Gus in Xbox 360 "Gears of War" game (2011) and in the film Knucklehead (2010). Past projects are extensive but include roles on "Cold Case," "Bones," and in the film Norbit.

Learn more about Lester Speight by logging onto www.LesterSpeight.com.  

Young comic strip genius Aaron McGruder debuts ‘The Boondocks: The Complete Third Season' on DVD
TheBoondocksTVseries.jpgSony Pictures Television's Peabody Award-winning comic strip animation series "Boondocks: The Complete Third Season" debuted recently on DVD. The infamous politically-charged animation series - created by Aaron McGruder - known for its hard-hitting satiric humor arrives just in time for Christmas.

Though it was my first time reviewing the series, I held onto my chair because I heard that it was pretty brutal in language and subject matter, but I found it to be hilarious and nothing I don't hear in my own family and circle of friends. Take the character Uncle Rukus, I see my brother in him, and that just made it all the more funny.

"It's social satire," said Gary Anthony Williams ("Boston Legal"), who plays the voice of Uncle Rukus, about the animation series. "He is a melding of a bunch of friends of my daddy- rude...It's to let you know how wrong he is. Funny part is I meet rappers who love him!"

Picked up in 2005 "The Boondocks" is about American culture and race relations through the life of 10 year-old Huey Freeman, his younger 8 year-old brother Riley (both played by Regina King) and their custodian, grandfather Robert (John Witherspoon). Others in the cast include Cedric Yarbrough, Jill Talley and Gabby Soleil.

For more on "The Boondocks: The Complete Third Season" log onto www.BoondocksTV.com.   

December 3, 2010

KekePalmer_TheOneYouCallLyrics.jpgMulti-Image Award winning KeKe Palmer releases new music video and web-dairy series just in time for Christmas By Eunice Moseley

"My song was leaked," said actress/singer KeKe Palmer about what led up to the early release of the music video to her song "The One You Call." "The fans took to the song very well."

The song, along with "Top of the World" which was premiered in the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, will be included on her sophomore CD to be released on Interscope Records the summer of 2011. "The One You Call" video has the Illinois native showing her dancing talents.

"I wish I did them," KeKe said when I asked if she did the dance moves in the music video because I think they're fresh, yet familiar - a really great combination. "They were choreographed by Nick Demoura. He did the Disney Jingle Jam Tour (routine)."

Palmer was initially signed to Atlantic Records for her debut album but sales were low. Hopefully with her new label she will get the marketing and promotions deserving of a multi-Image Award winning artist. In fact, one of her Image Awards' for "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" (Akeelah and the Bee) has her making history by being the youngest to ever win in that category.

Her sophomore album is slated for release the summer of 2011. For now the multi-facet 17 year old is promoting the launch, in association with Laron Entertainment, of her weekly Internet series "KeKe on the Reel" at www.KeKePalmer.com. While waiting to see if her Nickelodeon sitcom ‘True Jackson, VP" will be picked up for a third season, the bubbly young lady is also promoting the release of the single "The One You Call" currently available iTunes.com.

The web-series is a documentary (via her diary) of her pursuit to be the ultimate well-rounded female performer. The first episode, at www.KeKePalmer.com, has her father and mother (Larry and Sharon) narrating her climb from the beginning. They explain in detail how they were "working" actors, so performing came naturally to their child, Lauren Keyana Palmer.
That first episode shows her first audition tape as she animatedly sings "The Lion" from The Wiz. That tape resulted in her first role in Ice Cube's Barbershop 2: Back in Business in 2004 starring Queen Latifah - which led to the lead role in "The Wool Cap" the same year.

"The web series came from so many people asking me how I got started," KeKe said about the web-documentary. "This...is my voyage...in five episodes. It ends at where I am now."

For the rest of her story that involves landing a starring role in the Nickelodeon sitcom "True Jackson, VP" log onto www.KeKePalmer.com every Friday. "KeKe on the Reel" is a five episode series, the second episode airs Friday December 3, 2010.

D.C. native Gbenga Akinnagbe is Pastor Isaiah Easton in CBS' ‘The Good Wife'
Gbenga-Akinnagbe.jpgRaised in Silver Spring, Maryland by Nigerian parents Gbenga Akinnagbe was the first in his family of six children to be born in the United States. His curiosity in the art of acting lead to his "break-out" starring role as Chris Partlow in HBO's "The Wire."

"I got curious," said actor Gbenga Akinnagbe about how he went from working in a government position - after graduating college - to a full-fledge acting career that includes a co-starring role in Warner Bros. The Lottery Ticket starring Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, Ice Cube and Terry Crews and a recurring role on the CBS series ‘The Good Wife." "I started auditioning just to see what it was like...I was offered a role on ‘The Wire.'"

Akinnagbe's role in "The Good Wife" is a recurring one of Pastor Isaiah Easton opposite Julianna Margulies - the series just started its second season.

"I think I bring a different take than the typical view of a Black pastor," Gbenga pointed out about his character. "It was important that that come across."

Getting the point across is certainly why he has become a well sought-after actor. Last time I saw him was when I interviewed Gbenga on the red carpet of The Lottery Ticket movie premiere. I told him then that he came across as a very scary guy trying to "steal that lottery ticket" through-out the movie - honestly, I'd give him the role too!

Other credits for this former wrestler include The Taking of Pelham 123 opposite John Travolta; The Edge of Darkness opposite Mel Gibson; Showtime's "The Barbershop"; "Law and Order: SUV"; "Cold Case," and "Numb3rs."
Currently residing in New York Akinnagbe's personal interest includes philanthropy and volunteering. He volunteers as wrestling coach at his high school in Maryland. He also works with non-profits such as All for Africa, Rewired for Change and Shine on Sierra Leon.

To learn more about Gbenga Akinnagbe log onto www.myspace.com/Akinnagbe or follow him at www.twitter.com/GbengaAkinnagbe.   

December 10, 2010

Freddie-Jackson-For-You-2010.jpgFreddie Jackson goes Urban/R&B on new CD, ‘For You'


"(Barry Eastmond) He opened his studio door to me," R&B's legendary crooner Freddie Jackson said about how his newest album, "For You," (Orpheus/E One Entertainment) came to be. "We did two songs...then 10...then 12."
~
Freddie Jackson said that they were in the studio mixing what they had and there was a guy there - with Barry Eastmond "the" producer on the CD - from E One Entertainment who said, ‘We must have it!'"

I feel the excitement of that E One executive because this album is like none I have heard from Freddie. In fact, his vocals - though the same - are better than before, if that is at all possible. Jackson (with the help of Barry) has created an Urban/R&B project that continues to prove that Freddie is still one of the leading contemporary R&B singers of our time.

"I'm glad to be received," Freddie said about the response so far. "God has moved things out my life...and I was not recording. Barry said I should be recording."

How right Barry was because the result is certainly a hit CD in my book. The whole album is so hot. I let it play all the way through (twice) before critiquing it. I have many favorites on the CD which include "I Don't Wanna Go," a hot Urban/R&B cut; "After All This Time," another hot finger snapping song where Freddie shows he still can be "contemporary" in his delivery "Incognito," a funky Urban number; "Say Yeah," I can hear being played in the clubs; "Rumors" and "Any Way You Want It," are "very" hot - go Freddie - and also have that Urban feel, and "For You I Will," a special song written by producer Barry Eastmond for his wife Dolly Parton, is so touching it brought tears to my eyes. Ok, I will admit, I do cry easily but what a testament of love "For You I Will" is.

Freddie, who is looking good after losing 107 pounds on a low carbohydrate/lots of walking regiment, began singing in the church. He went on to performing in the clubs of his native New York and eventually landed a gig as Melba Moore's backup singer. He joined an R&B group Mystic Merlin but branched out to go solo with his debut album in 1985, "Rock Me Tonight."

The CD topped the charts and led the way for many albums to come which garnered him a total of 11 number one hits. His most memorable songs include "You Are My Lady," "Have You Ever Loved Somebody," "Jam Tonight," "Do Me Again" and "Hey Lover."

E One Entertainment, who is distributing the CD for his label Orpheus, is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. Its' network reaches Canada, U.S., UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

For more information on Freddie Jackson's "For You" log onto www.EOneMusic.com or www.FreddyJackson.com.  

 

Gospel's own Patrice Wilson offers ‘A Christmas Blessing,' performs it December 17, 2010 on TBN
patrice_wilson.jpgStellar Award nominated Contemporary Gospel singer Patrice Wilson releases "A Christmas Blessing" produced entirely by hit-maker Claude "Deuce" Harris, Jr. Wilson will sing from the CD on TBN's Christmas Special slated to air December 17, 2010.

"I sing all types of music," Patrice Wilson said when I commented that she sounds a lot like Whitney Houston. "I (originally) took up classical (music). In 1999 I decided to go straight Gospel."

Wilson said her influences - or favorite artists - include Whitney, BabyFace, Vicki Winans and Alicia Keyes. The Houston singer/songwriter released her debut "Sacrifice," which garnered the hit single "Secret Place," and her sophomore album, "Worshipper," by 2006.

"In 2008 I met Claude through Alvin Williams (formerly of Gospel Music Channel)," Patrice pointed out. "We were working on two projects at the time, a Christian and a Praise and Worship, when I broke my foot."

Instead of continuing on with the projects the duo decided to first put together this delightful Christmas present full of inspiring songs such as the first single off the CD "Everyday is Christmas." That one is a favorite of mine on the album of 11 songs, along with "Joy to the World" and "This Christmas."

Claude's production skills bring a more contemporary spin onto the holiday classics. That, and Wilson's angelic, but Jazz influenced, vocals is all you need to celebrate the reason for the season - Christ‘s birth.

For more on Patrice Wilson or her "A Christmas Blessing" release log onto her website at www.PatriceWilson.com. 

December 17, 2010

YogiBooBoo2_movie.jpegWarner Bros. Pictures presents Yogi Bear, starring Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake, hitting theaters in 3D December 17, 2010

"I wanted to get...close to the original character," Dan Aykroyd said about his voice-style for the lovable accident-prone Yogi Bear, who stars in his own movie to hit theaters December 17, 2010 in 3D. Yogi Bear stars with his faithful side-kick Boo Boo, who is voiced by Justin Timberlake. "You can't help it; a lot of your own personality comes through," Aykroyd added about any variation from the original.

I think they both did an excellent job staying true to Hanna-Barbera's bubbly voices of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo. The animation is so breath-taking and when they put it together, "perfectly," with the live actors, you enter into a whole new world.

Tom Cavanaugh stars as the hard-working Ranger Smith; Anna Faris, a nature documentary filmmaker, is Ranger Smith's love interest Rachel Johnson; T. J. Miller is the over-enthusiastic Deputy Ranger Jones; Andrew Daly is the conniving Mayor Smith, and Nate Corddry is the Mayor's suck-up Chief of Staff.

Timberlake said he went through a process of voicing his character the lovable Boo Boo.

"Creative support," Justin said is what they gave him and Dan in finding their "voice" for the characters. On getting such a major role Justin added that sincerely, "(Boo Boo's) an icon character...I'm honored to be contributing."

Yogi Bear is a Warner Bros Picture presentation of a Sunswept Entertainment/De Line Pictures Production. Rated PG, the film provides a wonderful world the whole family can live in and enjoy for a couple of hours. The film will also open up that age old discussion, what happens if we cut down all the trees.

Though at every turn Yogi Bear is creating park-mayhem in his attempt to steal food, you grow to love him, as intended. The 3D was almost like an amusement park ride for me with everything from lunch baskets, firecrackers and water (seemingly) being thrown at me. A must see for everyone with children or those like me with a child's heart.

To learn more on the film log onto www.warnerbros.com.  

Dancer/cheerleader Royce Reed stars in another season of VH1's ‘Basketball Wives'
roycereed.jpgVH1's reality series "Basketball Wives" recently launched its new season, which revolves around seven women who are linked to professional basketball players. One of the women, Royce Reed, is known as a "firecracker." She is a professionally trained dancer and a two-time NBA cheerleader (Heat and Magic).

"Obviously I'm not a wife," Royce Reed giggled when I asked how she became involved in the reality show, being a single mother. "These days you go by wifey...and I had been with him (Magic's Dwight Howard) for 3-4 years and they wanted me to have a voice."

Reed grew up excelling in dance, cheerleading and gymnastics. By the time she graduated Florida A&M University in Theater Education and Humanities Royce was captain of the cheerleading team and president of the Mahogany Dance Theatre in Tallahassee.
"Dancing came quicker," she recalled.

Reed now has her own dance company, Fantashique, which performs regularly across Florida at places such as an upcoming event to fight breast cancer. She is currently working on a book and hasn't counted out the possibility of cheerleading again.

For more on "Basketball Wives" log onto www.VH1.com and you can follow Royce Reed at www.twitter.com/roycelr. 

December 24, 2010

rosario_and_angie.jpgThe Fighter and The King's Speech top the 17th Annual SAG Awards nominations with four each

   The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards nominees were recently announced by actresses Rosario Dawson (20th Century Fox's Unstoppable, Seven Pounds) and Angie Harmon (TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles," "Law and Order"). Paramount Picture's The Fighter and The Weinstein Company's The King's Speech lead the way with four nominations each.

The Fighter nominations are in "Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role/Christian Bale," "Actress in a Supporting Role/Amy Adams," "Cast in a Motion Picture," and "Actress in a Supporting Role/Melissa Leo" and The King's Speech in "Actor in a Leading Role/Colin Firth," "Actor in a Supporting Role/Geoffrey Rush," "Actress in a Supporting Role/Helena Bonham Carter," and "Cast in a Motion Picture." Before a room of media outlets Rosario and Angie read the list of nominations and afterwards were very sweet to give each media outlet a quick interview.

The 17th Annual SAG Awards will be held and broadcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. The show will be produced by Jeff Margolis Production in association with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC.

The Screen Actors Guild Awardees are selected solely by actors' peers. Two randomly selected panels - one for television and one for film - is composed of 2,100 randomly selection Guild members from across the U.S. SAG's official teller is Integrity Voting Systems and JoBeth Williams serves as SAG Awards Committee Chair.

For more information on the 17th Annual SAG Awards log onto it's website at www.SagAwards.org.  (Photo: Announcers Rosario Dawson (L) and Angie Harmon)

Reality star Kim Kardashian launches signature watch collection with The Brissmor Company
Kimkardashian_SuammanaBrown_BrightRiley_credit_VinceTanzilini.jpgI was honored to be invited to the launch party of reality television's Kim Kardashian for her Brissmor Signature Watch Collection held recently at The Whisper Lounge at The Grove in Los Angeles. The Brissmor Company is a black owned company who, together with Kim, designed the watch.

Media outlets from seemingly from all over the world were on hand to cover the event. The closer it came to her arrival the larger the pool of media grew. As she stepped out of a four wheeler, as cameras' flashed, cars and pedestrians all stop to watch her take the media red carpet walk into the lounge.

Kim was sweet and patient as she took the time to address all the media. I do believe if she wasn't pulled away, at the last minute, I would have gotten a chance to interview her as well. Her answers were frank and direct and I give her kudos for not skirting-around any questions about her personal life, which had nothing to do with the watch collection.

The Kim Kardashian Signature Watch has two limited high-end elite watches with 8 karats of VVS1 diamonds and Swiss Movement. The watch will be available online and at major retailers globally sometime in the first quarter of 2011.

The Brissmor Company was established in 2008 and is located in Beverly Hills, California (and Nassau, Bahamas). Their watches are made with genuine leather, traditional gold, white gold, rose gold stainless steel, conflict free diamonds, Swarovski Crystals, Mother of Pearl, and other high quality materials. All of Brissmor watches feature Swiss or Japanese movements.

For more information on The Brissmor Company or the Kim Kardashian Signature Watch Collection, log onto their website at www.TheBrossmorCompany.com.  (L to R: Suammana Brown (Brissmor owner), Kim Kardashian, Bright Riley (Brissmor owner). Credit: Vince Tanzalini)

New duo Twoche' is in touch with the old and new school on self-titled debut CD
scan0001.jpgI was invited to see the performance of a new duo, Twoche', consisting of Butch Dubarri and Bricktop Freeman, recently in Los Angeles. I totally enjoyed their performance and not only did they offer the crowd good music, good vocals and some tight dance moves, but member Butch kept the crowd going with his pleasant and funny personality.

Both Butch and Bricktop vocals were a perfect match. Bricktop, the tenor and Butch, the male alto gave us perfect harmony. The CD is full of selections that bring back the reminiscent of the old school doo-wop sound, but with a modern twist - resulting in a fresh new sound.

Twoche' is currently promoting their debut CD with spot dates at clubs and lounges across the west coast corridor. The "Twoche'" CD is produced and written by the duo through their company Lonesome Music Productions.

You will totally enjoy the CD and be pleasantly surprise at the depth of their talent. For more information on Twoche' log onto their website at www.Twoche.com.  (Photo: Butch and Bricktop) 

December 31, 2010

ThePulse2010picsinreview.jpgThe year 2010 leaves ‘The Pulse of Entertainment' on the lips of many

   The 2010 year for my weekly syndicated column, The Pulse of Entertainment (total readers - 1/4 million a week), was sort of a world-wind experience because of the addition of my Twitter and Facebook social networking pages (www.twitter.com/eunicemoseley and www.facebook.com/thepulseofentertainment) - that opened up my column to a new audience that currently receives its news from their cell-phone applications. It also gave me a complete year of its website, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com, being in full operation.
   The Pulse of Entertainment website offers the hottest news, interviews and entertainment, and has an online broadcasting network with a line-up of music videos and interviews that run 24/7 to a worldwide audience. Just in its year of operation the online broadcasting network page, "alone," is attracting 3,000 viewers a month. The website's content is "shared" by an average of 400 people a week, and it currently receives - on average - 2,000 hits a week.
   In the 2010 year I interviewed many Jazz greats such as my old friends Kirk Whalum and Boney James, the most prolific saxophonists I've had the pleasure of talking to. As well as interviewing new comer's Jackie Joyner, Michael J. Thomas, Tia Fuller, and Eric Darius. I also had the pleasure of interviewing actress Alfre Woodard (I am such a big fan) at the ACLU Bill of Rights Awards where she presented Clint Eastwood's The Sundance Institute with an honor.
   I attended the 2010 BET Awards and BET Celebration of Gospel where I was able to talk to some of my favorite artists. I noticed that the media - as a whole - is sleeping on the Celebration of Gospel because I didn't have elbows and body parts pushing me out the way for a photo shot or a for chance to get an interview.
   I also covered the ASCAP events (R&S Awards, Women Behind the Music); the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards nominee announcements; the NAACP Image Awards and its luncheon where I saw the outstanding performance of Michael Jackson protégé Judith Hill. I was also able to get up personal with some of my favorite actors/actresses there, such as Ashley Argota of Nickelodeon's "True Jackson, VP," who agreed (as did the star of the series, KeKe Palmer, at one point in her career) to be a judge at my national "Uplifting Minds II" entertainment conference's talent competition showcase (www.UpliftingMinds2.com). 
   At the Gracie Awards I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the top women media personalities in the country. One media personality, HLN's Robin Meade, after "interviewing me" said she was very impressed with my own media achievements and that I should be receiving an honor too - that was a sweet compliment.
   I also had the pleasure of interviewing Tatyana Ali ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") who was promoting a new show, created by Bentley Kyle Evans, "Love That Girl" which currently airs on TV One. I also talked to K-Ci and JoJo about their reality show on TV One, "K-Ci & JoJo Come Clean," and Dru Hill about their reality show appearance on BET's CENTRIC Network in ‘Keith Sweat's Platinum House" - both series are on repeat.
   I was also invited to cover the movie premieres (and interview the leading cast members) of "The Lottery Ticket," "Takers," "The Losers," and "Death at a Funeral." In addition, I was blessed to be able to interview the cast - and do a review - of "Yogi Bear," "Tinker Bell: The Great Adventure," "I Will Follow," and "A Nightmare on Elm Street,"
   Other events I attended for review included ASCAP sponsored Jermaine Dupri/Ocean 7 Pre-VMA Party; the performance of Sunshine Anderson at Club Aurora in LA; Mo'Nique during her comedy tour; the play ‘Let Freedom Ring;" the Vernon Neilly Band; R&B sensation Trueful's CD Release Concert with Dru Hill and H-Town; K-Ci and JoJo with special guest Dru Hill concert at Nokia LA Live, and the Los Angeles premiere of "Dreamgirls," where I felt privilege to witness the original Dreamgirls back together again in attendance - Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Holliday and Loretta Devine.
   I also reviewed the CD releases of such powerful singers as Leela James ("My Soul"), Dru Hill ("InDRUpendence Day"), PJ Morton ("Walk Alone"), Jon Secada ("Classics"), the cast of "Fela," and Freddie Jackson ("For You"). As well as review the CDs of the talented Tye Tribbett, Joe Pace, Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, Incognito, and Bishop Leonard & Bryant Scott.
   Other artists/actors/actresses/comedians interviewed in 2010 by The Pulse of Entertainment included Denee Busby (HBO's "Eastbound and Down"); comedian/actress Luenell (Borat); Anne McKnight (Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment); Royce Reed (VH1's "Basketball Wives"); Gbenga Akinnagbe (CBS' "The Good Wife," The Lottery Ticket); Lester Speight (Faster, Transformer III); Gary Anthony Williams ("Boondocks"); Floacist, Teairra Mari (The Lottery Ticket); Arrested Development, Julie Pace Mitchell ("Young and the Restless"); Aldis Hodge (TNT's "Leverage"); Soweto Gospel Choir, Page Kennedy (Spike TV's "Blue Mountain State"), and KeKe Wyatt.
   I felt very blessed to be asked to interview, one on one, such high-profile people as Nick Cannon (about his network TeenNick), Faith Evans (about CD release); Will Downing ("Love, Lust, Lies"); Raven Symone' ("Tinker Bell" DVD); KeKe Palmer ("True Jackson, VP," Akeelah and the Bee on new single/video); Angela Dean (designer to the stars like Oprah and Queen LaTifah); Shad "Bow Wow" Moss (about The Lottery Ticket); Florence LaRue (5th Dimension anniversary), and Clifton Powell (GMC's "Love Me or Leave Me").

   I couldn't have asked for a more in 2010 than what was given. Hopefully 2011 will be just as exciting for The Pulse of Entertainment. For more information on my weekly column log onto its website www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com, for more on me - Eunice Moseley - log onto www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com and to see some video-taped interviews and event coverage log onto www.youtube.com/FreelanceAssociates. 

 

 











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