On the eighth and final season premiere of Black-ish Tuesday, Michelle Obama made a guest appearance after the show’s main characters attended an event for When We All Vote, an organization that Obama founded to help register and turn out voters across the country.
What began as Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross)’s chance encounter with the former first lady turned into a casual dinner at the Johnson house.
Obama’s main scene mostly consisted of the rest of Dre and Bow’s family interrupting with attempts to try and impress her. And there were also a few moments of conversation among Obama, Dre and Bow about what it’s like having teenage kids.
“When our girls were that age, you should have seen how they rolled their eyes, especially at their father,” Obama said during the episode.
But clearly the cameo for Obama, who was personally asked to appear on the show by Ross herself, was all about getting the word out about voter registration. And while it was subtle within the episode, Obama reiterated the objective with a tweet after the show aired, reminding people to get themselves and others registered.
Meanwhile, viewers on Twitter celebrated Obama’s appearance on the hit series with plenty of praise and even a few requests like, “Please decide to be president in 2024” and “I too would like to invite you over for dinner.”
Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.
By Charna Flam, Jazz Tangcay, Angelique Jackson, Variety
Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have reunited to revive “The Color Purple” into a movie musical, directed by Blitz Bazawule.
After debuting footage for distributors at CinemaCon last month, Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for the new adaptation, which is set to premiere in North America on Dec. 25. The film will open internationally beginning Jan. 18, 2024.
The trailer features visually bold motifs as it takes audiences inside Celie’s headspace with “American Idol” winner Fantasia reprising her Broadway role, in her major motion picture debut. It also gives an insight into the sisterhood of the women at the heart of the story. Elevated by grandeur, the highlights are the musical clips and jaw-dropping production set against the backdrop of Mister’s Farm.
Starring alongside Fantasia are Danielle Brooks as Sofia, who earned a Tony nomination for the role in the 2016 Broadway revival, Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Colman Domingo as Mister, H.E.R. as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Corey Hawkins as Harpo and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Mama.
The adaptation’s cast also features Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister, David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Ciara as Nettie, Deon Cole as Alfonso, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as Young Celie, Tamala J. Mann as First Lady and Stephen Hill as Buster, as well as Jon Batiste as Grady and Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie.
In one scene, Shug Avery shows Celie how to apply lipstick. During a virtual event launching the trailer, Winfrey revealed the line was improvised. “When she says, ‘Oh, living God.’ That was an ad-libbed line that comes out of that moment when you’re with your sister and you’re looking at her in lipstick for the first time and you’re happy for her,” she explained.
Winfrey was also asked about the need to retell “The Color Purple” story almost 40 years later. Winfrey, who serves as a producer on the film, alongside Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, replied, “As long there is a need for self-discovery, self-empowerment, as long as there is a need for victory in someone’s life, as long as there is a need for people to know what it feels like to be loved up and to be made full and hold to somebody else’s love, there will be a need for ‘The Color Purple.’”
With the film’s Christmas day release, Winfrey and Bazawule hope the film’s message will bring healing. Winfrey recalled a recent conversation with Fantasia who said, “The movie changed her because it allowed her to forgive. She said, ‘People coming to this movie will be healed because I was healed.’”
Deshauna Barber’s father is a retired special forces Master Sergeant that instilled “leadership, discipline and integrity” in all his children, said Barber in an interview with U.S. Veterans Magazine.
Her late mother also served in the U.S. Army and inspired Barber and her siblings to join the military.
Growing up in North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C., Barber learned foundational principles from her parents that she carried into her military career.
Self-discipline. Teamwork. Endurance.
But she had to learn other principles and skills that hadn’t crossed her mind on her way to winning the 2016 Miss USA title.
Army Captain and Miss USA don’t seem to add up until you hear Barber, a veteran, CEO and motivational speaker, tell audiences, “The most important thing is to move.” And: “Be terrified of regret.”
Rewind to 2007, when Barber, 17, committed to a U.S. Army scholarship and joined the ROTC program at her university.
She then earned her master’s degree in management information systems and services from the University of Maryland University College and worked as an IT analyst for the United States Department of
Barber went on to become president and chief executive officer of Service Women’s Action Network, the nation’s leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advocating on behalf of service women and women veterans in the country.
Barber was commissioned in 2011 as an Army Quartermaster Officer. During her service, she held many positions including a logistics commander of a petroleum detachment company. After reaching the rank of Captain, she decided to leave service to focus on her motivational speaking career and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Reserve after 11 years of service.
“The Army Reserve taught me how to balance, plan, multi-task and prioritize,” she said. “Not to mention, being in the Army can be somewhat intimidating, depending on who is in the room with you… It was scary, but I think I’ve been in scarier situations.”
She has spent much of her career focused on supporting Soldiers suffering from PTSD and women who’ve faced sexual harassment in the military. She said one in four women will experience sexual trauma while serving.
“We try to break the stigma attached to it,” she said. “It’s really about catching that stigma and making sure they don’t go to that darker place.
“It’s important to get help and get therapy,” she added. “I am still in therapy at 33. These types of trauma can manifest in subtle ways.
“You may not get the sorry you deserve, but it does not mean you have to lock yourself into the sadness and sorrow.”
She said it was a pivotal move when “President Joe Biden signed into law that sexual harassment is against the law as far as military justice.”
When Barber was crowned Miss USA 2016, she became the first member of the military to win the honor and the first African-American woman to wear the crown since Crystle Stewart in 2008. Her platform: promote veterans’ issues.
Barber is diligent about fitness, and she’s a polished speaker, two qualities that were honed in the military (as a Captain, she gave presentations to companies and battalions). But she wasn’t prepared for one thing.
“I got to tap into my femininity, my girly side,” she said. “But the military doesn’t prepare you for six-inch stiletto heels.” Her parents and siblings supported her throughout her pageantry endeavors, but it wasn’t easy for her father.
Seven years after being crowned, Barber is on the move, per usual. She’s a speaker- preacher T.D. Jakes and TV host Steve Harvey have influenced her style-and an activist.
For her, the two go hand-in-hand. A survivor of sexual abuse, she frequently talks about dealing with trauma and loss.
Her Apple podcast will launch in late spring or early summer of this year-the title: Sour Loss, Sweet Lessons.
Barber suffered a profound loss when her mother died. There’s no getting over it, but there is the matter of getting on, so she’s taken her own advice, advice she’s doled out to audiences for years in her work as a motivational speaker.
“Sometimes, when people are dealing with sorrow, they allow themselves to drown in it,” she said. “I tell people to swim through it and ask them what direction they’re headed.”
These days, when Barber speaks to the media, corporations, universities, the military and even the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, you can see the Army Captain, the pageant queen, the corporate executive, the survivor.
She walks upright, like a Soldier, paces the stage with the confidence and charisma of a Miss USA, and issues words that have been polished through many rewrites.
“People connect to the beauty of words, and that’s what preachers have mastered,” she said.
Most recently, at the Life Vantage Global Convention 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona, she talked about overcoming doubt, be it internal, external or both. Her words excited the crowd in front of her but were meant for everyone- women, men, survivors of abuse, those struggling with mental health issues, active military personnel and veterans.
“You have been promoted for a reason. You’ve been placed in your role for a reason,” she said. “Put on your bulletproof vest and allow the doubts of others to bounce off you.”
The legendary singer died Wednesday, May 24 after a long illness at her home near Zurich in Switzerland, her publicist Bernard Doherty confirmed in a statement.
“Tina Turner, the “Queen of Rock’n Roll” has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” the statement read. “There will be a private funeral ceremony attended by close friends and family. Please respect the privacy of her family at this difficult time.”
Since 1994 the American-born singer had been living in Switzerland with her husband, German actor and music producer Erwin Bach, earning her Swiss citizenship in 2013. In recent years she battled a number of serious health problems, including a stroke, intestinal cancer and total kidney failure that required an organ transplant.
Boasting one of the longest careers in rock history, Turner scored Billboard Top 40 hits across four decades, earning her Grammys, a Kennedy Center Honor, and entry into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Turner’s incendiary singing, glittery stage-wear and seemingly inexhaustible energy as the frontwoman for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue made her and her then-husband one of the most electrifying acts of the 1960s, serving up high octane covers of “Proud Mary,” “Come Together,” and “I Want to Take You Higher.”
Striking out on her own as a solo artist in the ’70s, Turner reinvented herself as a star of the MTV age, notching hits with “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “The Best,” and “Private Dancer” — becoming one of the highest-selling female artists on the planet in the process.
Turner’s early years were marred by her tumultuous marriage to musical partner Ike Turner, who subjected her to brutal acts of physical and psychological abuse. (He died in 2007.) Her survival and harrowing escape was dramatized in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do with It starring Angela Bassett.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939 in the town of Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner began singing in a Baptist church choir. Her childhood was not a happy one; at the age of 11 her mother left home in an effort to flee her abusive husband. Two years later, when Turner was a teen, her father married another woman and left the state, leaving Turner and her sisters in the care of her grandmother.
Turner would meet her future husband Ike in the late 1950s, when he was performing on the St. Louis club circuit with his band, Kings of Rhythm. He was 25 years old, and Turner was just 17.
“Ike wasn’t conventionally handsome,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir My Love Story. “Actually, he wasn’t handsome at all — and he certainly wasn’t my type. I was used to high school boys who were clean-cut, athletic, and dressed in denim, so Ike’s processed hair, diamond ring, and skinny body looked old to me, even though he was only 25. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘God, he’s ugly.'”
Tina became a member of the band, and after a relationship with the sax player, Raymond Hill — which resulted in the birth of her first son, Craig, in 1958 — her association with Ike took a romantic turn. Even when she became pregnant with his child, business was never far from his mind. After the band’s first studio recording with Tina netted Ike $25,000, he sensed an opportunity that had nothing to do with love. “My relationship with Ike was doomed the day he figured out I was going to be his money-maker,” Tina later wrote. “He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him.”
Around this time, Ike gave the future superstar her famous moniker — against her wishes. “Tina” was inspired by a character in a favorite television show. He also insisted she take his surname, implying both marriage and a certain degree of ownership. In fact, he even trademarked the name “Tina Turner.”
Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour is doubling as a philanthropic tour. Her charity foundation, BeyGood, announced on April 20 that it is donating $2 million to entrepreneurs and students while the most-Grammy-winning artist tours the country for her latest album “Renaissance.”
Half of the donation will go to entrepreneurs. The day before Beyoncé’s scheduled concert in a city, BeyGOOD will host luncheons for entrepreneurs who have the chance to win a grant from the 100 allocated for each networking event. BeyGOOD plans to support a thousand small businesses with a total donation of $1 million.
The foundation said it is prioritizing organizations that support or serve marginalized and under-resourced communities. Applications to apply for a spot are now open.
The other half of the funds will establish the Renaissance Scholarship Fund. BeyGood will give $1 million to colleges and universities in 10 cities across the country with each institution receiving $100,000. The institution will then select student recipients.
“We are keenly aware of the barriers to access, opportunity, and resources that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities,” McGregor said. “Our work is rooted in the belief that education, pathways for employment and support of entrepreneurship are vehicles that help drive sustainable outcomes.”
Beyoncé founded BeyGood in 2013 during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Since then, the charitable initiative has donated to educational efforts, disaster relief, food, water and housing security, mental health resources and career development in the US and abroad.
“I am hugely proud of the work we have done over a decade at BeyGOOD, here in the US and around the world,” Beyoncé said in a statemetn. “From scholarships to the water crisis in Burundi, to helping families during Hurricane Harvey in my hometown, Houston, it has been beyond fulfilling to be of service.
“Now, as a foundation, we will continue the work of engaging partners through innovative programs to impact even more people,” she continued.
Queen Latifah, Super Mario, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Daddy Yankee and mariachi music are the latest additions to the U.S. National Recording Registry, which means a selection of their recordings have been dubbed “audio treasures worthy of preservation” by the Library of Congress.
“The Equalizer” star Queen Latifah made history as the first female rapper with a recording in the registry thanks to this year’s inclusion of her 1989 album “All Hail the Queen,” which includes the feminist anthem “Ladies First.”
“Her album showed rap could cross genres including reggae, hip-hop, house and jazz — while also opening opportunities for other female rappers,” the library said Wednesday.
The instantly recognizable “Super Mario Bros.” theme music — officially known as the “Ground Theme” — became the first music from a video game to enter the registry Wednesday when the library announced this year’s selections. The tune, written by young Nintendo composer Koji Kondo in 1985, appeared in dozens of iterations of the iconic video game and most recently in the box-office smash “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
Kondo, 61, told the Library of Congress that he had to be “very innovative and make full use of the musical and programming ingenuity” available to him at the time to record the motif because the amount of data he could use for music and sound effects was extremely small.
“I used all sorts of genres that matched what was happening on screen. We had jingles to encourage players to try again after getting a ‘game over,’ fanfares to congratulate them for reaching goals, and pieces that sped up when the time remaining grew short,” he said through an interpreter.
Additionally, Madonna’s breakthrough 1984 album “Like a Virgin,” Mariah Carey’s 1994 holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Daddy Yankee’s explosive reggaeton single “Gasolina” from 2010 are also among “the defining sounds of the nation’s history and culture,” the library said. “Gasolina,” the first reggaeton hit to be included in the registry, helped the Panama-rooted musical genre cross over from Latin radio to wider audiences and launched Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee onto the global stage. His single’s appeal was so great, the library said, that it “even moved some radio stations to switch formats from English to Spanish to tap into this revolution.”
Read more of the article originally posted on LA Times here.
The power of an influential social media platform has transformed this couple’s business.
Earlier in March, Tabitha Brown and her husband, Chance Brown, posted an episode of their YouTube series, “Fridays with Tab and Chance.” In the video, the two were wearing a sweater set from Brand Avenue — a marriage lifestyle apparel brand.
Co-founded and launched in 2014 by Marc and Ima Carnelus, the two shared that prior to being featured on Brown’s channel their business had been struggling for six months. From March 3 to March 9, the brand only made around $200 for the week.
“We even considered shutting the business down altogether,” Marc openly shared in an Instagram post. “This is our main source of income and it’s been super tough.”
Ima added, “We have been praying in the midst of all that for a breakthrough, for a sign to keep going, a miracle. We’ve had people really rallying around us, supporting us, praying for us, helping us financially because we still got bills to pay. And God answered our prayers.”
A week after their flatline in sales, their business blew up overnight from the Browns’ video posting.
From March 10 to March 16, the entrepreneurs made over $23,000 — and the sales are still going up.
“This is the Tabitha effect,” Marc emphasized.
“I love this so much and it’s just another reason I can’t wait to bring back Very Good Mondays!!! So happy for you guys @brandaveclothing,” Tabitha Brown shared on Instagram. “Keep believing and keep trusting God, he got you!!!!”
Back in 2020, she started the Very Good Mondays series to feature and support small businesses.
The video that sparked Brand Avenue’s sales isn’t the first time Brown has shown love to Brand Avenue.
In a stunning victory, Michelle Yeoh took home the trophy for best actress at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday. The Everything Everywhere All at Once actress made history as the first Asian American to win the category and the first woman of color to receive the award in two decades, following Halle Berry, who was the first Black woman and woman of color to win the Academy Award in 2002 and presented Yeoh with her history-making win tonight.
“To all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime.”
She added: “I have to dedicate this to my mom – all the moms in the world – because they are really the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight. She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her. She’s watching right now in Malaysia with my family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing this home to you and also to my extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career. Thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders giving me a leg up so that I can be here today.”
Yeoh has been a force in filmmaking since the Eighties, rising to fame for her starring roles in action films Police Story 3: Supercop, James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, and international sensation Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee. And while Yeoh has been an icon and prolific actress and stuntwoman for decades, her performance as Evelyn Wang in the 2022 film Everything Everywhere All at Once garnered long-deserved accolades from several largely white institutions.
In January, the beloved actress accepted the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and shared a touching speech about the impact of her win for the role of Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I’m holding onto this,” Yeoh said as she held up her trophy. “It’s been an amazing journey and incredible fight to be here today. But I think it’s been worth it.”
Click here to read the complete article on Rolling Stone.
After winning the award for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, Beyoncé now holds the all-time record for most GRAMMY wins. While George Solti had previously held that incredible honor, Queen Bey has now overtaken the classical conductor thanks in part to her powerful 2022 record, RENAISSANCE. With 32 GRAMMY awards now in her trophy case — and the potential to add even more still to come this evening — the mega-star produced yet Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
another unequaled GRAMMYs moment. The record-tying award came early in the ceremony — so early in fact that Beyoncé had yet to arrive. The GRAMMY for Best R&B Song was instead accepted on her behalf, the legendary Nile Rodgers sharing his story of “CUFF IT” and offering words of thanks. In fact, prior to this year’s ceremony even beginning, Beyoncé had already marked another record: tying her own husband, Jay-Z, as the most nominated artists in GRAMMY history.
When time came for the record-setting GRAMMY win, Beyoncé herself was present, arriving to the stage to a standing ovation and an immeasurable wash of applause. After thanking God and her family, she was sure to highlight a group that made a special impact on this record.
“I’d like to thank the queer community,” she smiled, crediting the early voices in the dance and electronic realm as well as her uncle Jonny, who inspired RENAISSANCE. In host Trevor Noah’s eyes, the conversation about who is considered the GOAT to be over, Beyoncé’s legacy is far from finished.
Read the complete article and more about the GRAMMY’s here.
“Oh my God! I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola, to honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything,” Davis began in her acceptance speech. “And it has just been such a journey. I just EGOT!”
She continued to thank “everybody who was a part of my story, and the best chapter yet, my loves [husband Julius Tennon and 12-year-old daughter Genesis]. You are my life and my joy, the best chapter in my book. Thank you!”
Fellow EGOT winner Jennifer Hudson celebrated the accomplishment on Twitter, sharing a video of Davis’ speech. “Hold the line!!!!!!! Viola Davis just became EGOT #18!!! Omg @violadavis U are absolutely everything! Congratulations to a living LEGEND. Time to celebrate!!!” she wrote.
The Woman King star’s journey to EGOT status began in 2001 when she won best featured actress in a play at the 55th Tony Awards for her performance as Tonya in Broadway’s King Hedley II. She was previously nominated in the same category for Seven Guitars in 1996.
In 2010, she won best leading actress in a play for her role of Rose Maxson in Fences, which also earned her first Academy Award in 2017 for Best Supporting Actress in the play’s feature adaptation.
Read the complete article originally posted on People.
Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe award Tuesday for her performance as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” making the 64-year-old the first actor ever to win a major individual acting award for a movie based on Marvel Comics.
The evening marked Bassett’s second win (and second nomination) at the Globes; she took home the trophy for best actress in a musical or comedy for 1993’s Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
“I got to find my words. I’m so nervous. My heart is just beating,” Bassett began, taking the stage to accept the award. “The late Tony Morrison said that your life is already a miracle of chance just waiting for you to order its destiny. But in order for that destiny to manifest, I think that it requires courage to have faith. It requires patience, as we just heard. And it requires a true sense of yourself. It’s not easy because the past is circuitous and it has many unexpected detours, but, by the grace of God, I stand here. I stand here grateful.”
Bassett took the space to thank her husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance, her family and her Marvel collaborators, “Wakanda Forever” director Ryan Coogler, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito. Bassett also acknowledged the death of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020. Boseman’s death casts a shadow over the plot of “Wakanda Forever.”
“We embarked on this journey together with love. We mourned, we loved, we healed. We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman,” Bassett said. “We have joy in knowing that with this historic ‘Black Panther’ series, it is a part of his legacy that he helped to lead us. We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like, behind and in front of the camera. To the Marvel fans, thank you for embracing these characters and showing us so much love.”
Backstage, Bassett was characteristically composed as she was asked if she had any hesitation about attending the show given the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s recent controversary over the lack of Black members in the press organization.
“The HFPA has made strides,” Bassett said. “They know what needs to be done.”
Prior to Bassett’s win for “Wakanda Forever,” only four actors, and no women, had even been nominated for a Golden Globe for acting in a superhero movie: Nominees Ryan Reynolds for 2016’s “Deadpool” (actor in musical/comedy) and Jack Nicholson for 1989’s “Batman” (actor in musical/comedy), as well as winners Joaquin Phoenix for 2019’s “Joker” (actor in drama) and Heath Ledger for 2008’s “The Dark Knight” (supporting actor). Phoenix and Ledger, who both played variations on the DC Comics villain the Joker, were the major winners in their respective years across awards season, taking home the SAG Awards and the Oscars as well (Ledger’s wins were posthumous).
This isn’t the first time Bassett has earned a top award for playing Queen Ramonda, however: She was also part of the group of actors from 2018’s “Black Panther” who won best ensemble at the SAG Awards.