Monday, March 2, 2015

Jussie Smollett Signs to Columbia Records

According to the Root, Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Empire, has signed a record deal with Columbia Records. Smollett, showcases his singing skills on a weekly basis and can definitely sing. Smollett revealed his record deal to Entertainment Weekly.“There will be a Jussie Smollett album. I signed to Columbia,” he said. “So, darling [laughs], I’m label mates with BeyoncĂ© and Adele and Barbra Streisand.”Smollett also went on to discuss how he’s dealing with his newfound fame.
“The other day I went to Whole Foods and bought some chewable vitamin C and got mobbed by, like, 15 girls,” he said. “I kind of feel like how Michael Jackson must have felt after Thriller was out and he had to come out with Bad. Here we are through the first season and we’re five months out until we start the second season, and I’m like, ‘What the hell are y’all gonna do next?’ Because it’s going to be very difficult to top this season.”  Smollett is hoping to work with Timbaland and Terrence Howard on his album. Who knew Howard had music-production skills?  “It’s going to be a whole different thing,” he said. “Now the Empire family will still have something to do with it. I would love for Terrence to come and oversee the production of all of the music. And I would love for Timbaland to come on, and Jim Beanz. We’ve all talked and they’re all down to work on it.”

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Charmayne "Maxee" Maxwell of the '90s R&B Group Brownstone has Sadly Died

According to TMZ, Charmayne Maxwell, part of the 90s R&B group Brownstone, died Friday night in L.A. after her husband found her bleeding from a cut to her neck.
A family member says Charmayne had come home from her son's soccer game, and was home alone with him. Later in the evening around 9 PM her husband, music producer Carsten Soulshock, came home and found her unconscious and bleeding.
We're told it looked like Charmayne had fallen and cut her neck on glass she was bleeding profusely, but still had a pulse. Carsten called 911, and paramedics transported her to Cedars Sinai Hospital but she had lost too much blood. We're told she died on the way to the hospital.
LAPD went to the home ... and tell us it was a broken wine glass that cut Charmayne's neck. Detectives do not suspect foul play. The group -- which was on Michael Jackson's MJJ Music label had its biggest hit with 1995's "If You Love Me." They earned a Billboard Music Award and a Grammy nomination for the song.
Sidebar: RIP Charmayne Maxwell. We so love Brownstone. Condolences to all of her friends and family.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Mo’Nique Opens Up About Being Blackballed by Hollywood

Lee Daniels Talks About Monique Being Blackballed

OWN Wants More Tyler Perry — And Gets It

According to Deadline, Oprah Winfrey’s love affair with Tyler Perry continues as her OWN Network has ordered additional episodes of four of his series. The numbers: 23 hourlong episodes of The Haves And The Have Nots22 of its companion drama If Loving You Is Wrong, 22 half-hours of comedy Love Thy Neighbor and 20 of sitcom For Better Or Worse.  Oprah Winfrey’s partnership with Tyler Perry has been a tremendous success, garnering millions of viewers for OWN and setting ratings records,” network president Erik Logan said in a statement. “Tyler’s original series have quickly become appointment viewing for a passionate audience and OWN is pleased to deliver 87 new episodes.”

Raven-Symone to play Dre's gay sister on Black-ish

Raven Symone will be starring on the hilarious ABC series “black•ish.” She will star as Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) gay sister Rhonda who, according to Entertainment Weekly, is just as uncomfortable talking about her sexuality as her brother. In the upcoming episode, Dre and Rhonda will be battling for the top spot in their mother’s (Jennifer Lewis) rankings in a “playful rivalry.” Although Dre and Rhonda are super close, there’s some uneasiness when it comes to her discussing her sexuality.Raven is expected to appear in an episode titled "Please Don't Ask, Please Don't Tell” later this season.  “black•ish” airs on Wednesdays at 9:30 PM ET on ABC.

Meagan Good To Star In 'Minority Report' on Fox

According to YBF, Meagan has landed the lead in a new FOX pilot titled "Minority Report."  "Minority Report" is billed as the sequel to the Steven Spielberg-directed movie (of the same name), set 10 years after the end of Precrime in D.C. If you're not familiar with the movie (which starred Tom Cruise), "PreCrime" was a specialized police department which apprehended criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called "precogs".  In the new FOX series, one of the three Precogs, Dash, struggles to lead a “normal” human life, but remains haunted by visions of the future.  Then he meets detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good). Lara, who's haunted by her own past, links up with Dash to break a few rules and use his gift to her advantage. The pilot was written by Max Borenstein and directed by Mark Mylod. Meagan's supporting cast includes Laura Regan, Daniel London and Li Jun Li.  Meagan also has a recurring role on NBC's upcoming comedy series "Mr. Robinson."
Sidebar: Check out a throwback interview we did with Meagan Good and her husband DeVon Franklin at a party in Hollywood awhile back.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Detroit Lions Release Reggie Bush

According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, Reggie Bush is no longer a member of the Detroit Lions. The Lions announced the release of the 29-year-old running back Wednesday afternoon, less than two weeks before the start of free agency. Bush signed a four-year deal with the Lions in 2013 and was a 1,000-yard rusher for Detroit in his first season with the club. Bush couldn’t stay healthy in 2014, though, dealing with a lingering ankle injury that started in Week 5 against Buffalo and never completely healed.
He played in 11 games last season with only 76 carries for 297 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 40 receptions for 253 yards. Bush continually tried to come back throughout the season but kept getting reinjured. The Lions released veteran RB Reggie Bush on Wednesday after two seasons with the team.
The move saves the Lions $1.7 million in cap room for 2015, which is sorely needed if the team is going to try to keep defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, long the franchise’s top priority in free agency.  Had the Lions kept Bush, the team would have had a $5,277,941 cap charge for 2015.  Bush was drafted by New Orleans with the No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft. He turns 30 years old next week.

Maya Angelou to be honored with Forever Stamp

According to NBC News, in the months since Maya Angelou's passing, Twitter has been campaigning and petitioning for an official postage stamp. Finally, the U.S. Postal Service announced that the beloved poet will be honored with her very own Forever postage stamp.
"Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word," Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan said. "Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator and advocate for justice and equality enhance our culture." 
Sidebar: YES. She is an icon. I'll be getting that stamp. 

Zendaya Accepts Guiliana's Apology [VIDEO]

According to the Root, Zendaya continues to prove that she is mature and classy despite what her haters might say. The actress took to Twitter to publicly accept Guiliana Rancic's apology for saying that Zendaya looked like she smelled like weed on the Oscars red carpet.
"I appreciate your apology and I'm glad it was a learning experience for you and for the network," she tweeted. "I hope that others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well." Watch the apology below:
Sidebar: We Love Zendaya! 

Paula Patton to Star in ABC's Drug Cartel Drama 'Runner'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paula Patton has been tapped to star in ABC's drug cartel drama pilot Runner.  Based on the Turkish series Son, the drama revolves around Lauren Marks (Patton), who believes she is leading a perfect life, which is ripped apart when, in search of the truth, she must follow a trail of lies that takes her into the world of cartels and the illegal gun trade between the U.S. and Mexico.  Patton's Lauren is described as an architect, a caring wife and mother living 
peacefully with her husband, Adam, and their son, Jackson.
 When a commercial plane with Adam on it goes down, Lauren feels her life crashing down along with it — until she's told that her husband never boarded the plane. Now hell-bent on figuring out what her husband is up to, she goes to great lengths to find him, winding up in the middle of a cartel war and forced to work with someone she had hoped never to see again.  Originally developed by Fox last season under former network topper Kevin Reilly's no-pilots process, the cast-contingent drama made offers to several actresses, includingChristina ApplegateKatie HolmesMireille Enos and Jessica Biel, but did not move forward until this season when it earned an official pilot order at ABC in January.  Runner marks Patton's first TV series regular foray after roles in films such as Hitch, Precious, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, 2 Guns and About Last Night. She next has Warcraft due in 2016. She's repped by CAA, More/Medavoy Management and Sloane Offer.

Bobbi Kristina Suffered 'Violent Seizures' After Being Taken Out of Coma

Shortly after family members decided to take Bobbi Kristina Brown out of a medically induced coma, she began suffering "violent seizures," a family source tells PEOPLE.
The family made the decision earlier this week to bring Brown out of a coma to give doctors a better sense of the severity of her injuries. However, she began seizing soon after. The source said that they have decided to place her back into the coma.
"This is a horrible setback," the source said. "Everyone was hopeful that this was the sign that she'd turned the corner. We were so optimistic."
The 21-year-old daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown was found lying facedown and unresponsive in a bathtub at her Atlanta home on January 31. She remains on life support at a Georgia hospital.

Sidebar: Watch our video and continue to keep praying for Bobbi Kristina and her family

'Empire' Grows Yet Again As Season Finale Approaches

According to THR, With only three more weeks left to its freshman season, Empire is still growing.  For the seventh week in a row, the Fox drama clocked another series high — rising to a 5.3 rating among dults 18-49. That's technically even with last week's final score, but two-tenths of an improvement from last Wednesday's Fast Nationals. And with a minute of lower-rated American Idol bleeding into Fox's 9 p.m. hour, last night's Empire is all but sure to be adjusted upwards.
As for total viewership, Empire rose to 13.75 million viewers — making it the most-watched telecast of the night.  Empire's growth continues to leave many scratching their heads. Seven consecutive weeks of improvement for a freshman series in unheard of these days. Up 39 percent from its premiere, it has now grown more than any broadcast drama since House in 2004. For Fox, it will only be able to get three more Wednesdays out of the show. Four hours of the freshman order remain, with a two-hour finale slated for March 18.  As for American Idol, the show was steady with a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 — now less than half of its lead-out's haul.

Lupita Nyong'o's $150K Pearl Oscar Dress Stolen

According to TMZ, Lupita Nyong'o's now-famous Oscar dress, adorned in pearls, was stolen right out of her hotel room.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the dress was taken out of Lupita's room at The London West Hollywood. The dress is made of 6,000 white Akoya pearls and valued at $150,000.
Our sources say Lupita told cops it was taken from her room sometime between 8 AM and 9 PM Tuesday while she was gone.  There is security footage that cops are looking at that could catch the culprit right in the act. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HBO To Air 'Bessie', Starring Queen Latifah, On May 16

According to Blackfilm.com, HBO has confirmed the debut date for BESSIE, with the HBO Films presentation scheduled to debut SATURDAY, MAY 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.  Starring Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (“Chicago”) in the title role, BESSIE focuses on legendary blues singer Bessie Smith’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues,” one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today.
Directed by Dee Rees from a screenplay by Rees and Christopher Cleveland Bettina Gilois, with a story by Rees and Horton Foote, BESSIE is executive produced by Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.
The film also stars Michael Kenneth Williams as Bessie’s husband, Jack Gee; Khandi Alexander as Bessie’s older sister, Viola; Tory Kittles as Bessie’s older brother, Clarence; Mike Epps as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Oliver Platt as famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten; Bryan Greenberg as renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond; with Charles S. Dutton as Ma Rainey’s husband, William “Pa” Rainey; and Oscar winner Mo’Nique as blues 

‘DWTS’ Season 20 Cast Revealed: Michael Sam, Patti LaBelle & More

According to Variety, here’s the full rundown of the “DWTS” Season 20 celebrity and pro partners below:
  • Noah Galloway partnered with Sharna Burgess
  • Robert Herjavec partnered with Kym Johnson
  • Patti LaBelle partnered with Artem Chigvintsev
  • Nastia Liukin partnered with Derek Hough
  • Riker Lynch partnered with Allison Holker
  • Charlotte McKinney partnered with Keo Motsepe
  • Redfoo partnered with Emma Slater
  • Michael Sam partnered with Peta Murgatroyd
  • Willow Shields partnered with Mark Ballas
  • Suzanne Somers partnered with Tony Dovolani
  • Rumer Willis partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
 Reigning champ Witney Carson (who won Season 19 with Alfonso Ribeiro), will be paired with a surprise celebrity to be announced at a later date.  Season 20 will welcome back judges Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. Longtime pro dancer Cheryl Burke is not returning to the ballroom.  The new round of competition will also feature new and returning themed episodes including favorites Disney Night and Latin Night, and the first-ever Spring Break Night. The series will also expand #DWTSAllAccess for at-home viewers with additional behind the scenes live-streams from the ballroom and rehearsals, on ABC.com.

Paula Patton Lands Lead Role In ABC Drama Pilot ‘Runner’

According to Variety, Paula Patton will star in ABC’s drama pilot “Runner,”   Patton will play the lead Lauren Marks, a woman whose perfect life is torn apart by one twist of fate. To uncover the truth, Lauren must follow a trail of lies that take her into the world of cartels and illegal gun trade between the U.S. and Mexico.  Australian director Michael Offer (“How To Get Away With Murder,” “Longmire”) will direct the pilot from 20th Century Fox and ABC Studios. “Runner” was penned by Michael Cooney who will exec produce with Peter Horton, Ian Sander, Kim Moses and Jon Cowan, with Cowan as showrunner.The project marks Patton’s first-ever TV series, as a regular. She co-starred in “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” with Tom Cruise, “Deja Vu” with Denzel Washington and “Precious.” Patton will also star in “Warcraft,” alongside Travis Fimmel and Dominic Cooper, set to hit theaters in 2016.

Damon Wayans Tour Dates Cancelled Due to Diabetes

According to TMZ, Damon Wayans is postponing multiple tour stops after suffering a medical emergency related to his diabetes.  The comedian was supposed to perform Saturday in Missouri, but sources close to Wayans tell us he's unable to fly right now because of his ongoing battle with Type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed back in 2013. 
The Kansas City Improv Theater says it got word Tuesday Damon wouldn't be able to perform -- and our sources say there are going to be more cancellations down the road. He's already dropped a six-show engagement in Buffalo next month.  Damon will attempt to do shows if they're close enough for him to drive from L.A. -- but until his health improves all out-of-state gigs are on hold.
Sidebar: Get well Damon!

Michael Sam Signs with 'Dancing with The Stars'

According to TMZ, Michael Sam will be competing in March, not on the football field, but on the "Dancing with the Stars" hardwood.  Michael -- the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL -- will be part of Season 20, which fires up next month.  Here's the problem. Sam -- who insinuated he was cut from the NFL because he is gay -- has vowed to get back in the league and said he'd take part in the first-ever veteran's combine on March 22.  But Sam needs to prove he has what it takes, and we're thinkin' some of the owners might question his commitment if he's focusing on the rumba rather than rumbling.

Keyshia Cole "All In" Episode 1 [VIDEO]

Monday, February 23, 2015

TLC Raises $430,000 at Kickstarter's End

According to Billboard, TLC's Kickstarter ended Thursday, raising more than $430,000 for the group's fifth and final album.  That total is nearly three times their goal of $150,000 -- a point they passed in just three days -- thanks to the help of Katy PerryNew Kids on the Block and other excited fans. In all, 4,201 funders helped support this project. The group's T-Boz and Chilli thanked its fans on Kickstarter in the campaigns final hours Wednesday night, saying, "Thank you to everyone who has donated to our final album!! The amount doesn't matter but the fact that you donated means the world to us."
The duo told fans last month after passing their fundraising goal that every dollar raised will go into the album. They wrote on Kickstarter, "The more funds that we raise means more access to the best producers, writers and talent in the business!!!"
Later, it was announced veteran producer/label executive Ron Fair -- most recently Virgin's chief creative officer -- had signed on as executive producer for the project, suggesting some high-profile collaborations may be in the cards.  "The return of TLC is surrounded by incredible positivity," Fair told Billboard. "The entire creative community of artists, producers and songwriters is invited to the celebration." 
Chilli also told Billboard that longtime collaborator Dallas Austin (who co-wrote the act's breakthrough "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg," as well as later hits "Creep" and "Unpretty") will be involved. She said Ne-Yo -- who penned its 2013 reunion track "Meant to Be" -- will work with them if his schedule permits.
TLC will join New Kids on the Block and Nelly on the two month long "The Main Event" tour this spring, kicking it off at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. 

Must See: An Emotional Outtake from the Final Day of Filming on 'Selma' Set

According to Essence, while most of the world was tuning into the Oscars last night, director Ava DuVernay quietly tweeted an emotional behind-the-scenes video from the filming of Selma. The 57-second clip shows the movie's star, David Oyelowo, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., filming the final scene of production. The minute DuVernay calls "Cut!" Oyelowo's tears (and ours) overflow. 
"I never shared this. I saved it for today. A special outtake of my hero. I love you, David. You are my Best Actor," DuVernay tweeted with the video, referring to Oyelowo being snubbed from a Best Actor Academy Award nomination.  Check out the emotional video above.  
Sidebar: Oyelowo definitely deserved a Best Actor nod?

John Legend and Common’s Oscar Performance Brings Crowd to Tears

According to Pagesix, Common and John Legend‘s powerful performance of “Glory” brought the Oscars to tears on Sunday.
As the two Grammy winners’ performance of the soon-to-be Oscar-winning song from “Selma” came to a close, the camera cut to the movie’s star David Oyelowo, who had tears streaming down his face as he was comforted by the film’s producer, Oprah Winfrey.
The actor, who controversially wasn’t nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wasn’t the only one caught up in the moment. “Star Trek” actor Chris Pine was among other stars who couldn’t hide their emotions during the song’s standing ovation.
Moments later, the song was awarded the Oscar for Best Original Song, the same award it won at last month’s Accepting the award, the two artists made sure to underline why the film their song belongs to is more important than ever.
“‘Selma’ is now because the struggle for justice is now,” Legend said. “We know that the voting rights that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised in this country today.”
The musician also noted the sobering statistic that there are more black men incarcerated in the U.S. today than were under slavery in 1850.

John Legend & Common Perform 'Glory' at The 87th Oscars [VIDEO]


John Legend & Common - Glory Performance [87th... by uploader1473

Jennifer Hudson Performs "I Can't Let Go" at The Oscars [VIDEO]

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Will Be Broadcast on TV on OWN

According to Shadow and Act, Oprah Winfrey Network announced that it will air the "Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards," the very first time that the ceremony will be broadcast on television!  Hosted by Tracey Edmonds and Shemar Moore, the special will air this Saturday, February 21 at 10 pm ET/PT on OWN. An annual event that takes place during the week leading up to the Academy Awards, Essence will spotlight the top African American women who are "pushing the limits, raising the bar and breaking through barriers in both film and television." This year’s event, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, will feature Oprah Winfrey opening the luncheon, followed by appearances from Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Ava DuVernay, Carmen Ejogo, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Mara Brock Akil and more. 
Honors at the eighth annual ceremony include the 2015 Black Women in Hollywood Vanguard Award, given to 7 stars of the Emmy award-winning series "Orange Is The New Black" including Adrienne C. Moore, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley, Uzo Aduba, and Vicky Jeudy, marking the first time the award will be given to a group instead of a single person. Regina King is receiving the Fierce & Fearless Award; Gugu Mbatha-Raw is receiving the Lincoln Breakthrough of the Year Award; and costume designer Ruth E. Carter is receiving the Visionary Award. "The ‘Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards’ have become one of the most distinguished events in Hollywood, celebrating the year’s standout performances and behind the scenes accomplishments from iconic, trailblazing African-American women who are reshaping the cinematic and television landscape," said Sheri Salata, president, OWN and Harpo Studios. "We are humbled in the trust that Essence has placed in us to bring this moving and poignant event to television for the first time, allowing a broader audience to experience the emotion of this powerful celebration."
"Together with OWN, we are proud to extend the reach of the ‘Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards’ and share this important recognition of our leading ladies who are creating, performing and calling the shots," said Essence president Michelle Ebanks. "Over the past seven years, Essence has celebrated the power of our presence in Hollywood, and this first-time television special is certain to broaden the conversation around images in media, personal inspiration and empowerment for women around the world." The special is produced by IMG. Check out some of the moments from the event below.























Bobbi Kristina Brown's Breathing Tube Removed

According to CNN, Bobbi Kristina is still fighting for her life.  Doctors have removed her breathing tube, two sources close to the family told CNN on Thursday, one day after the procedure supposedly took place.  Brown, daughter of late singing star Whitney Houston, will now be ventilated through a hole in her throat.  "This is an indication that the patient will need this for weeks and months to come, as opposed to hours and days," said CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
He said the move lowers the risk of infection and is standard procedure. Brown, 21, remains in a medically induced coma at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Doctors are attempting to slowly lift her coma, according to sources close to the family.  The extent of her injuries is not known.
Police have said they're treating Brown's case as a criminal investigation. 

Bill Cosby Applauds Eddie Murphy For Not Playing Him In ‘SNL’ Anniversary Special

According to Deadline, Bill Cosby Applauds Eddie Murphy For Not Playing Him In ‘SNL’ Anniversary Special. “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” Bill Cosby said through a spokesperson – and dutifully reported this morning by NBC News — in re a report Murphy was asked, but declined, to play Cosby in a skit during the network’sSaturday Night Live 40th anniversary celebration.  NL alum Norm Macdonald tweeted an anecdote about being assigned to convince Murphy to play embattled Cosby in that Celebrity Jeopardy! skit some critics thought stole the 3.5-hour show Sunday night.
Macdonald fired off more than 100 tweets over two-plus hours detailing his role trying to wrangle Murphy into doing the bit. Despite Macdonald’s urging, Murphy refused to do the Cosby sendup in the bit, in which a Video Daily Double question under the “Potent Potables” category showed Cosby, played by Kenan Thompson, mixing a cocktail.More than 20 women who have now come forward claiming to have been drugged with a drink and/or sexually assaulted by Cosby, who has never been charged and who has, through lawyers, denied the allegations.
According to Macdonald, Murphy decided “the laughs are not worth it…He will not kick a man when he is down,” Macdonald tweeted.

Will Smith to Star in 'Bounty' for Paramount

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures has bought Sascha Penn's spec script Bounty, with Will Smith attached to star.The story is set in Boston and centers on a man (Smith) who is wrongly convicted of murder. He escapes from prison determined to prove his innocence — a nearly impossible task after the widow of the man he supposedly killed puts a $10 million bounty on him, dead or alive.  Smith's Overbrook Entertainment will produce the action-thriller along with Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment.  Madhouse's Robyn Meisinger will exec produce. Paramount's Alana Mayo was the exec that championed the project in a competitive situation.  Smith will next be seen in Warner Bros.' Focus,hitting theaters on Feb. 27. His upcoming projects include football drama Concussion (out Christmas Day) and Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad, in which he'll play Deadshot