Radar 6/14: The Pop Culture PeriscopeRadar 6/14: The Pop Culture PeriscopeHey ladies! Welcome to the middle of June, where everyone in the city scurries to see whomever they must because for the next three weeks, the streets will be empty. From the BET Awards to our own ESSENCE Music Festival on July 4 weekend, it’s a whirlwind of fun and we can’t wait. But before we get carried away, did you catch the premiere of HBO’s vamp drama “True Blood” last night? We did and Rutina Wesley warmed our vampy hearts! We also drooled a bit — OK, a lot — over all the cuties running back and forth during the opening World Cup Soccer games in South Africa. England striker Carlton Cole anyone? Now, let’s get started on this week!Monday, June 14Feeling bogged down at your job, check out this book “The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work” and get yourself in gear.Tuesday, June 15Ice Cube celebrates his 41st birthday.Wednesday, June 16Bryant Gumbel fills in for Whoopi Goldberg on “The View.”Thursday, June 17John Legend and the Roots perform at Brooklyn Bowl, where you can listen and actually bowl.Friday, June 18Mel B stops by “Lopez Tonight” and wish Zoe Saldana a happy birthday on June 19!
If you're a television addict, then you already know this Sunday (June 13) begins season three of HBO's vampire drama, "True Blood." We couldn't be more excited. Not to mention, Rutina Wesley, who's performed on Broadway in "The Vertical Hour" and starred in the film "How She Move," kicks butt as she tries to keep Sookie and herself out of trouble in their small Southern town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. ESSENCE.com chatted with Rutina about how she isn't playing an angry black woman, marrying beyond color and just who controls Tara's mind during this season of "True Blood..."
Radar 6/7: The Pop Culture PeriscopeRadar 6/7: The Pop Culture PeriscopeHey ladies! Did you enjoy Diddy and Kali Hawk’s chemistry in “Get Him to the Greek” last week? Did you catch Drake’s album leak — were you a bootlegger? Don’t worry, he says he doesn’t mind — and Halle Berry’s new perfume, Reveal? We know what we didn’t miss, the oil from BP’s leak sliding across the Gulf coast to Florida and other places on its way up the East Coast. We also have our eyes glued to Dwayne Wade’s “situation” since the basketball star recently received temporary custody of his sons. Interesting. Meanwhile, this week we get among other things, the return of “True Blood!”Monday, June 7The View takes us behind the scenes of host Sherri Shepherd’s new off-Broadway show, " Love, Loss and What I Wore." The 2010 Hip Hop Honors premieres on VH1.Tuesday, June 8Kanye West celebrates his 32nd birthday.Wednesday, June 9Love, Loss and What I Wore shows at Los Angeles’s Geffen Playhouse.Thursday, June 10Catch Rihanna perform at the Bay Area’s Shoreline Ampitheater.Friday, June 11HBO’s vampire drama “True Blood” returns for season three on Sunday night. Oh Lafayette, how we’ve missed you! As Jaden Smith and our cover star Taraji P. Henson make the publicity rounds, don’t forget to check out “The Karate Kid.”
"Hi Bay Area!" said Jill Scott to the Oakland, California audience of mothers and daughters, couples and lovers, and girlfriends on a night out. The singer/songwriter/actress opened for Maxwell during the pair's North American tour and ESSENCE.com caught the duo's show at the Oracle Arena on Friday, June 4...
For Kali Hawk, acting is just one of many stops along her creative path. Hawk is a NewYork native, where she graduated from high school at age 12 and entered the art department at SUNY Purchase before she was even 16 years old. As a drama major, she went on to perform in projects like the Spike Lee joint, "Lovers & Haters." Now, Hawk is nabbing roles in big budget films like "Couples Retreat" and "Get Him to the Greek," starring Sean "Diddy" Combs. She spoke with ESSENCE.com about jewelry, making it in Hollywood, and why Diddy is Mr. Manhattan...
Radar 5/31: The Pop Culture PeriscopeThe Pop Culture PeriscopeHey ladies! It’s June, this year is really flying. Did you enjoy the luxurious three day vacation from your weekly grind? We did, from bbqs to beach towels, we absolutely relaxed — “only with cocktails” as Carrie Bradshaw quipped in “Sex And The City 2.” Last week, we drooled during our last peak at Micheal Ealy’s turn as a smoldering CIA agent on the now-cancelled “Flash Forward,” discussed Alicia Keys’ pregnancy and new engagement to Swizz Beatz, caught Kanye’s new single “Power” featuring Dwele and watched “Sex and the City 2” in our best pair of heels! And this week…Monday, May 31Celebrate the birthday of the late Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American female cabinet member and Howard University dean. Before her death in 1985, Harris was appointed U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg by President Lyndon B. Johnson and later dean of Howard University’s law school.Tuesday, June 1Glee’s Amber Riley stops by “Wendy” or enjoy Broadway’s traveling cast of “In the Heights” at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre.Wednesday, June 2Comedian Charlie Murphy and the suave Jimmy Smits stop by “Lopez Tonight.” Erykah Badu rocks the Chicago Theatre and Stacey Dash chats with “Wendy,” and hopefully spills some juice on her relationship with Jamie Foxx.Thursday, June 3Recently “fired” Holly Robinson Peete stops by “Wendy” or admire 50 Cent’s muscles at San Francisco’s Warfield theater.Friday, June 4Taraji P. Henson and Jaden Smith shine in “The Karate Kid” while “Get Him To The Greek” starring Diddy and actress Kali Hawk hits theaters. Diana Ross takes over Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre and Brian McKnight celebrates his birthday on Saturday.
Though the list of canceled television shows, including "Law & Order" and "Flash Forward," are ironically juxtaposed with the rising popularity of reality shows like "Basketball Wives," all is not lost. In fact, here's a list of what the major television networks have on the way for fall 2010 -- it's more multi-cultural than you think; starring Blair Underwood, Boris Kodjoe and more.
Hey ladies! Were you aware that this is the last week of May? Yup, next Monday is Memorial Day and it's officially June. What are your three day weekend plans? While looking for the cheapest flights to some place with a beach last week, we watched President and Mrs. Obama host their glamorous White House State Dinner dinner welcoming the president of Mexico, caught Drake's remix of Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable," and watched our fave fashionista Andre Leon Talley host "The View" with Whoopi. This week we've got... the release of "Sex and the City 2"! Do we even need to mention anything else? We kid, we're excited Leela James' album dropping too.
Regina Carter is simultaneously a widely known talent and secret treasure. The violinist and Detroit native, who currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, has performed all over the world, released seven albums and recorded with pop icons like Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin. Now Carter has set her sights on reaching back to her musical roots and exploring her affinity for musical patterns with the diasporic LP, "Reverse Thread," which hit shelves on May 18. Carter will resume her national tour on May 25 in Seattle and is currently prepping a music video to be released soon...
While Miley Cyrus might be a household name, teen actress Keke Palmer is quietly building an entertainment empire. The Chicago native began acting at 9-years-old following an audition for the off-Broadway run of "The Lion King" and now boasts films like "Akeelah and the Bee." Her current Nickelodeon show, "True Jackson, V.P.," where a teen, played by Palmer, becomes vice president at a billion-dollar fashion company, pulled in over 5 million viewers for its second-season debut. The teen took a break from filming to chat with ESSENCE.com about acting, why she's no "Hollywood kid," and taking over the world...
Radar5/17: The Pop Culture PeriscopeThe Pop Culture PeriscopeWelcome to another week of Radar, ladies! Even though it's the middle of May, who'd know with all of this fickle weather? Did it rain where you were? Thankfully, Friday was warm! Anywho, last week we watched President Obama introduce his newest Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, caught Alicia Keys' new video for "Unthinkable" -- who knew interracial dating mixed with time travel could be so fun? -- and watched as LL Cool J lifted Sherri Shepard like a dumbbell on "The View." Us next? raises hand This week we've got even more for you, from appearances by former track star Marion Jones to Diana Ross performing at Madison Square Garden. We love you, we love you all!Monday, May 17Will and Jada Smith stop by "Oprah" with their family to discuss maintaining a successful marriage. Former track star Marion Jones hits "Good Morning America" and Nas and Damian Marley will perform in NYC in support of their duet album, "Distant Relatives."Tuesday, May 18The book "Sex and the City 2: The Stories. The Fashion. The Adventure" detailing the hugely popular film hits shelves along with Blair Underwood's "From Cape Town with Love." Common and Lionel Richie stop by "The Wendy Williams Show" while Laura Ling, who was imprisoned in South Korea for 140 days, and a Haitian earthquake survivor appear on "Oprah." New York Liberty play the Seattle Storm at NY's MSG and Janelle Monae's album release event for "ArchAndroid" in NYC.Wednesday, May 19The definitive diva Diana Ross takes over NY's Madison Square Garden with a performance. Vogue's Andre Leon Talley visits "The View" and Chilli hits "Lopez Tonight" and book "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" hits shelves. It's also Malcolm X's birthday.Thursday, May 20Niecey Nash pops by "Lopez Tonight" following her departure from "Dancing With The Stars." Rebecca Minkoff hosts a sample sale at its location in Los Angeles.Friday, May 21Sexy actor Blair Underwood stop by "Wendy Williams" to discuss his new book. "Sex & The City" author Candace Bushnell also hits "Wendy" while Mario Cantone stops by "The View." The photo book, "When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combats Veterans," drops and "Shrek Forever After" and the crime thriller "Holy Rollers" hits theaters.Saturday, May 22Naomi Campbell celebrates her birthday!
"Just Wright," opening today, is a fresh romantic comedy starring a few of our favorite actors and actresses, like new mom Paula Patton, sexy Common, mother extraordinaire Phylicia Rashad, blast-from-the-past Pam Grier, and the ultimate chameleon, Queen Latifah. The film stars Latifah as a physical therapist named Leslie Wright who, on a whim, meets New Jersey Nets basketball star Scott McKnight, played by Common. Though Leslie likes him, Scott is taken with her godsister, played by Patton, until life gives Leslie and Scott a shot at love. We're not telling you what happens, because it was too much fun to watch... Here's what you had to say: DD commented: "Those boots are hot! Queen is sharp." Ronda wrote: "I got a chance to see the movie at a local premiere and it is really good."
Radar 5/10: the Pop Culture PeriscopeThe Pop Culture PeriscopeWelcome to another week of Radar, ladies! Have you enjoyed the nice Spring weather? It was gorgeous, wasn’t it. The perfect time to try out that new pair of espadrilles, right? We know we did! Last week, we caught Oprah’s tearful interview with Naomi Campbell — featuring Campbell’s mother, who looked like she was 30 years old — cheered President Obama for forgiving Haiti’s debt, watched Mary J. Blige’s “Hood Love” video, as well as Suzie of “Basketball Wives” throwing a drink on a woman that disrespected her girl Jennifer’s marriage. This week, among other bits, comes the release of Queen Latifah, Paula Patton and Common’s turn in the romantic-sports-comedy, “Just Wright.” Go Team!Monday, May 10TV: B.O.B performs on “Wendy Williams.” Also, Queen Latifah and Common stop by “Good Morning America.”Tuesday, May 11TV: Taraji P. Henson stops by “Lopez Tonight,” Wyclef Jean’s on “Wendy.” SPORTS: The WNBA’s New York Liberty play the Connecticut Sun at MSG. DVD: “Raising The Bar: The Complete Second Season” drops, starring actress Gloria Reuben. CONCERTS: Little Brother performs at Highline Ballroom.Wednesday, May 12TV: Spike Lee pops by “Good Morning America,” and Chris Rock is on “Lopez Tonight”Thursday, May 13TV: Damon Wayans stops by “Wendy,” Vanessa Williams co-hosts “The View,” with special guests LL Cool J and “Grey’s Anatomy” star James Pickens Jr. CONCERTS: New R&B artist Miguel performs at an industry showcase in NYC.Friday, May 14TV: Following the popularity of the documentary “Food Inc,” Lisa Ling talks on “Oprah” about “How We Treat the Animals We Eat,” while Zoe Saldana and Columbus Short stop by “Lopez Tonight.” CONCERTS: Kevin Hart in Oakland’s Paramount Theater. FILM: “Just Wright” is released. It’s a great date night movie, have fun!
Radar 5/3: The Pop Culture PeriscopeRadar 5/3: The Pop Culture PeriscopeWelcome to May ladies! This year is truly flying by, isn’t it? Hopefully the weather will match our excitement to sport our new flower-print dresses! Last week, we caught Oprah’s salacious interview with John Edwards’ mistress Rielle Hunter, who’s also the mother of his new daughter, Don Cheadle promoting the upcoming “Iron Man 2,” Drake’s new song “Find Your Love” — ehn, we didn’t like it much either — and watched as Jennifer of “Basketball Wives” almost attacked a woman that might’ve messed around with her husband. Whew, that’s plenty but this week we’ve got even more bits for you ladies! Make sure you check out Morris Chestnut on ABC’s “V,” because comic book geek or not, the suspenseful hour-long drama is a breath of fresh air and who doesn’t like to watch the chocolate that is rom-com star Morris Chestnut?Monday, May 3TV: Naomi Campbell appears on “Oprah” to explain herself, her tantrums and her family background and a fresh season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” premieres on Bravo. EVENTS: The glamorous annual Met Costume Institute Ball hosted by Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey and Patrick Robinson in NYC, along with ‘Good Morning America’s’ co-host Robin Roberts supporting the First Annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala honoring Denzel Washington.Tuesday, May 4TV: Gabourey Sidibe co-hosts with Whoopi and the crew on “The View” and Pam Grier pops by as a guest, promoting her new book, “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.” Check out Morris Chestnut on ABC’s “V,” plus Niecey Nash and Ochocinco are still in the race for “Dancing With The Stars,” make sure you tune in! MUSIC: Toni Braxton releases her new CD, “Pulse” along with Juanita Bynum’s “More Passion.” BOOKS: Charlaine Harris, originator of HBO’s “True Blood” series and author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, releases her new book “Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel” along with actress Victoria Rowell releases “Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva.”Wednesday, May 5TV: Toni Braxton performs on “The Wendy Williams Show” and Trey Songz grooves on “Lopez Tonight” — hopefully sans his shirt.Thursday, May 6TV: Nene Leakes defends herself against those pesky infidelity rumors on “Wendy Williams.” Also, Khloe and Lamar Odum pop by “Lopez Tonight.”Friday, May 7FILM: Check out Don Cheadle in “Iron Man 2” for action and the documentary “Babies” for “aw’s.” TV: Mike Tyson checks in with the ladies of “The View,” and don’t forget to set your DVR to record Jay-Z’s performance on Saturday Night Live and Nelson George’s cameo on HBO’s “Treme.”
After one season of roaming the world, Cincinnati Bengal linebacker Dhani Jones is back for another round of his Travel Channel show, "Dhani Tackles The Globe" which returns tonight. Traipsing through countries like Croatia, Nepal and Senegal this go round, who knows what Dhani will find but we do know that we'll enjoy watching! The brown bomber chatted with ESSENCE.com about his top five travel must-haves and gave us advice on choosing a travel mate because you know you can't go out of town with just anybody. Related stories: Summer Getaways: The Hottest Affordable DestinationsGreat Getaways For You and Your Girlfriends
Following the 2007 British film "Death at a Funeral," Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan star in the remake featuring an all-star cast, including Loretta Devine, Zoe Saldana, Danny Glover and Columbus Short. The film revolves around Aaron, played by Chris Rock, who is the younger responsible brother of prodigal son, Ryan, played by Martin Lawrence. As Aaron organizes his father's funeral, the homegrown hijinks ensue and skeletons fly out of the closet. Chris Rock and "30 Rock" Emmy Award-winner Tracy Morgan sat down with ESSENCE.com to chat about British humor, female comics and acceptance. Read more: Common Bursts In On "Date Night"Talking With The Ladies Of "Why Did I Get Married Too?"
Jennifer Hudson is not only breaking barriers as Weight Watcher's new spokesperson, she's also dived headlong into recording her sophomore album. "I am in the recording process, at least 10 songs in," the 28-year-old singer-actress recently told the AP. "It's between film and music right now, working on the album, but it won't be out until September." The as-yet-untitled album is the follow-up to her 2008 self-titled debut and Hudson says she's aiming to make a project that both represents her and pleases her fans... Read more: Jennifer Hudson Is New Weight Watchers SpokespersonBacklash Over J-Hud's Winnie Mandela Portrayal
In 2002, singer Vivian Green burst onto the scene at the height of the Philadelphia-born neo-soul movement with her debut LP, "A Love Story," on Columbia Records. Her lead single "Emotional Rollercoaster" rose up the charts and we all fell in love with her short haircut and raw lyrics. Three years later, the Philly native delivered her sophomore album "Vivian" just before giving birth to her son, Jordan. Today, April 6, the petite songstress is releasing her third album, "Beautiful" on a new record label, E1, and says she's no longer interested in making "negro-please" anthems like "Gotta Go, Gotta Leave." Instead, "positive Vivian," as she calls herself, spoke to ESSENCE.com about breaking up and learning life's lessons of resilience through faith and raising her often-ill son. Read more: Usher's Back With "Raymond vs. Raymond"Erykah Badu Creates A "New Amerykah"
Few actresses can get us into the theater like the romantic comedy queen of film herself, Ms. Sanaa Lathan. However, as a stage-trained actress who boasts a Tony Award nomination for her turn as Beneatha in Broadway's "A Raisin in the Sun," Lathan isn't interested in creating a typical career. Instead, the Los Angeles native is opening herself up to the independent film scene with "Wonderful World," which comes out on DVD today. The film follows the transformation of Matthew Broderick as a curmudgeon whose life is changed by Ibou, played by Micheal Kenneth Williams, and his sister Khadi, played by Lathan. Lathan spoke with ESSENCE.com about crafting an adventurous career, making out with Sarah Jessica Parker's husband and international cuties... Read more: Lance Gross Preps For Wedlock In "Our Family Wedding"Tobias Truvillion Gets GrimyIn "Brooklyn's Finest"