Black Hollywood doesn’t disappoint in 2015. Whether it’s new TV shows to look forward to (Hey Taraji. P. Henson in “Empire”), new books to discuss, new albums, and awards to be doled out during red carpet season, there’s plenty to discuss. From Rihanna and Miguel’s new albums to Taraji. P. Henson in “Empire,” here are 25 pop culture happenings that are sure to keep us entertained this year.
BET’s hit drama, Being Mary Jane, returns for it’s second season on February 3rd and there’ll be no shortage of drama. Mary Jane has made a decision to feature more stories about “the Black experience” at her station, and is trying her hardest to get pregnant, even though she’s yet to land in a stable relationship.
Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic will premiere January 17 and the world is waiting with bated breath. Will the TV film live up to the late singer’s legacy? Will former Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta nail the role? We can’t wait to see how it turns out.
For our sixth annual Black Women in Music event, ESSENCE is proud to honor Miss Jilly from Philly herself, Jill Scott, for her incredible achievement, singular artistry, and powerful storytelling through music. The private entertainment event kicks off on February 5 in Los Angeles California.
Ava Duvernay is the first African-American woman ever to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her historical drama, Selma. We’re hoping her historic nomination will result in a historic win when the Golden Globes are awarded on January 11.
Speaking of prestigious awards, Selma itself is being recognized as an outstanding cinematic achievement. The biopic has already garnered Best Picture nominations from the Critics Choice Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globes, and the NAACP Image Awards. We’d be surprised if this biopic doesn’t sweep the Academy Awards nominations this January.
The details of Nina Simone’s life will be revealed in the new Netflix documentary, What Happened to Miss Simone? The film will feature 30 years of unreleased songs and interviews from the late singer and civil rights activist who died in 2003.
Get ready to dive into the complex mind behind Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How To Get Away With Murder. Show creator Shonda Rhimes is expected to tell all about her life as a single mother and television genius in a new memoire which will be released later this year.
Lifetime has nabbed Jill Scott, Eve and Regina Hall to star in original movie, With This Ring, a romantic comedy that follows three best friends who decide that they must get married within a year. This rom-com premieres on January 24 and we know we’ll be watching!
Nine-time Grammy nominee and ESSENCE Fest Alum Ledisi is hitting the road in 2015 on a new tour. “The Intimate Truth Tour” kicks off on February 27 and will feature music from her latest EP, The Intimate Truth, which drops this January. 2015 is looking like it’s going to be the Year of Ledisi!
The iconic model is returning to daytime television in 2015 with her new show, The F.A.B. (Fun and Beautiful). Along with co-hosts Chrissy Teigen, stylist Joe Zee, interior designer Lauren Makk, and YouTube vlogger Leah Ashley, Banks will cover topics like fashion, beauty and interior design.
Tamia is also dropping new music in 2015. The Grammy nominated singer announced via Instagram that she had signed with Def Jam Records and would be releasing her sixth studio album in the new year. We can’t wait to listen!
Youtube star Issa Rae is telling her story in a new collection of essays about being an introvert in a world that glorifies being “cool.” If her new book is anything like her Youtube videos, we expect it to be filled with hilarious anecdotes that will leave us in stitches. Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is coming to a bookstore near you in February 2015.
Gladiators and Shondaland dwellers, rejoice! Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder will be returning this January with more mystery, more murder, and more guest stars, including Cicely Tyson, who will be appearing on HTGAWM. Have your red wine and popcorn ready, Scandal and HTGAWM resume on January 29.
Erykah Badu, J.B. Smoove, and Tyler, The Creator will star in The Wizard of Watts, an animated musical on police brutality from Adult Swim series, Black Dynamite. The Wizard of Watts debuts Saturday, January 10th at 10:30PM ET/PT on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
OWN will be continuing a discussion on colorism in the Black community with the premiere of Light Girls, a new documentary about the challenges Black women with light skin face. The film will feature interviews and confessions from Kym Whitley, Raven-Symoné, Iyanla Vanzant, and more. Light Girls premieres Monday, January 19 on OWN
Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr is taking on a new role this new year as the infamous O.J. Simpson in the new FX anthology drama, American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson. Production is expected to begin on this new series early this year.
Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and Miguel have all hinted that they’d be dropping new albums in 2015. We’re still dancing to Kendrick’s upbeat single, “I,” still swooning over Miguel’s early Christmas gift of three new singles, and still jamming to Frank Ocean’s leaked song, “Random Thoughts,” but we want more! Can we get some new music in 2015, pretty please?
2015 is the year of new music. Grammy Award-winning singer and producer Ne-Yo is returning to the music scene with a new album, Non-Fiction, scheduled to release on January 27, 2015.
Estelle will release her new album, True Romance, on February 17, 2015. The singer says this new album will be a strong and uplifting representation of her journey as an artist. Sounds like this album is one to look out for.
Kanye West brought in the new year with a new song. West premiered “Only One,” a sentimental ballad featuring Paul McCartney, on New Years Eve. This looks like it’s going to be the latest single from a rumored upcoming album that’s expected later this year.
Prima ballerina Misty Copeland is coming to TV with a new reality series, The Misty Copeland Project. The award-winning ballerina will act as a mentor to aspiring young dancers in New York City who hope to take their careers to the next level and be center stage in “Misty’s Master Class.” The Misty Copeland Project will air on Oxygen early this year.
Your favorite crooked politicians will be returning on Netflix’s hit series, House of Cards, on February 27, 2015. The third season of the hit political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Mahershala Ali, is rumored to be filled with the shocking scandals and dialogue we’ve come to expect from this Netflix series.