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The black church is being rocked to its core regarding the various lawsuits filed by young men against esteemed Pastor Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta. Long is the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He is one of the country’s leading pastors. His congregation has over 25,000 members. At press time, three lawsuits have been filed against Long. Did he use his position as a spiritual leader to coerce men into sex in exchange for trips, cars, college tuition and cash? Did he marry these young men in commitment ceremonies? 20-year old Maurice Murray Robinson talked about trips to New Zealand. He was arrested in June for breaking into the church and stealing an iPhone, an iPad and cash. 21-year old Anthony Flagg talked about trips and a commitment ceremony in his lawsuit. A third suit was filed by Jamal Parris, who claims he became involved with Long as a teenager. He says he would call Long “Daddy,” and served as Long’s personal assistant. He was told that by becoming intimate with Long, it was a healthy component of spiritual life. In 2006, Long was rumored to be dating Singer Whitney Houston. There has been no word from Long’s wife Vanessa, or confirmation on whether they’re still married. He has four children with Vanessa. Long is expected to speak at a press conference towards week’s end. His church family has rallied behind him. Long’s spokespeople call the suits retaliation and a shakedown by men with serious credibility issues. Long has a lot to lose because of his longtime anti-gay/anti-same sex marriage stances.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is involved in a new scandal. Jesse, Jr., 45, was caught cheating on his wife with a blonde Latina. Giovanna Huidobro is a restaurant hostess who has been involved with Jr., for a while. Jesse, Jr.’s wife Sandi is a lawyer and a member of Chicago’s city council. Sandi, 47, has huge political aspirations, including running for mayor of Chicago. Jesse, Jr. also wants to be the mayor of Chicago. Can the couple survive this scandal? According to Sandi, they can. She says she is standing by her man. They have been dealing with this for the past couple of years. Compounding all of this, Sandi recently had a cancer scare. The Jacksons have two children, Jessica and Jesse, III.
Who beat up Eddie Franklin? The 52-year old son of The Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin, suffered a beat down earlier this week that landed him in the hospital. Franklin had to have surgery after being attacked by two men and a woman. Eddie Franklin is no stranger to trouble. Back in 2006, he was the prime suspect in an arson fire at his mother’s mansion in Detroit. The Queen Of Soul has no comment on the attack of her son.
R Kelly is working on three new albums that he plans to release next year.
Will the Black Eyed Peas be the entertainment for this year’s Superbowl?
Katherine Jackson, the matriarch of the Jackson family, has filed a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live for the death of her son Michael Jackson. Mom Katherine believes the promoters breached their agreement to provide physical and life saving equipment for Michael. She says they were negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray as Michael’s physician. She says they didn’t treat Michael safely and keep him out of harm’s way. She also claims when AEG didn’t do a background check on Dr. Murray, it lead to the doctor having to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.
Could wedding bells be ringing soon for reality star Omarosa and Actor Michael Clarke Duncan. Despite her new reality show, The Ultimate Merger, where she claims she is looking for love, she has found it with the Duncan. She’s very happy.
Rapper/Actor T.I. should learn his fate soon. The Takers star and his wife Tiny were arrested and found with a small amount of drugs. T.I. is on probation for a previous conviction. If found guilty of violating it, he may wind up back in jail.
Was Precious Star Gabby Sidebe photoshopped for her cover of the new issue of Elle magazine? The lighting was different. I don’t think they lightened her complexion for the photo, but they could have gotten a better weave or wig. Sidebe has a recurring role on the Showtime series The Big C, which has been renewed for a second season.
Morgan Freeman is a free man. He is now divorced from Myrna, his wife of 26 years. Myrna got a nice settlement, and she is probably relieved because she got fed up with all that cheating from her Oscar winning husband. Freeman has been rumored to have been with a number of women: one in a car crash, another woman who showed up at the hospital claiming to be his wife, and yet another woman who he got involved with after he was released from the hospital. Plus, there’s his female manager and then there was his strange relationship with his step granddaughter. It makes you wonder……. is he doing Viagra?
Alexander O’Neal is profiled in the latest edition of Jet magazine. O’Neal, 57, has a new album called 5 Questions: The New Journey. O’Neal is back in the states after living in England with his wife and 8 kids. O’Neal, best known for the songs Saturday Love, Never Knew Love Like This, Fake, What’s Missing and Criticize, says he wants to bring real music back. He is currently planning a tour with his former duet partner Cherelle.
Queen Latifah’s got a pretty full schedule. She returns as host of The People’s Choice Awards. This is the Queen’s fifth hosting stint on the popularity awards show. Latifah is also teaming up with Dolly Parton for a gospel film. Joyful Noise is a movie musical about two women who come together to save a small town gospel choir. The rapper/actress and the country queen join forces on the silver screen when the movie arrives in theatres in 2012. Check out Queen in her latest movie with Rapper/Actor Common. The movie, Just Wright, is out on DVD.
At the movies, it’s Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin in the Oliver Stone movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. After 23 years, is greed still good?
She won’t talk babies, but Mariah Carey is planning to unveil a new lifestyle collection on the Home Shopping Network. Just in time for Christmas, she’s got a new holiday CD and her collection of footwear, jewelry and fragrances.
Fantasia is going on tour with Songwriter/Singer/Reality Star Kandi Burris, formerly of Xscape and currently of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which returns October 4th on the Bravo network.
Ed Gordon returns to BET with his TV show Conversations With Ed Gordon. The show airs Sunday nights at 10pm on BET beginning September 26th. Gordon’s first guest is Steve Harvey.
Speaking of Steve Harvey, the WDAS morning man is the new host of Family Feud. He already has 100 episodes on tape. The show airs nightly in syndication. Steve’s new book Straight Talk, No Chaser: How To Find, Keep And Understand A Man is due in bookstores December 7th. It’s the follow up to his bestseller Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.
Oprah closed out the efforts of her Angels Network. Last week, Winfrey awarded over $6 million to schools in Philadelphia, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. Winfrey wanted to honors schools that have a commitment to boosting the quality of public education.
Speaking of The Mighty O, it’s another honor for her. On December 28th, she will be one of the recipients at the Kennedy Center Honors along with Sir Paul McCartney, Choreographer/Dancer Bill T. Jones and Country Legend Merle Haggard. Oprah is in her 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Terrence Howard is one busy guy. He and Taraji P. Henson will be back as host of The Soul Train Awards. The 40th anniversary of Soul Train is being marked this year, and the awards show will air Sunday, November 28th. Special honorees include Ron Isley and Anita Baker. In more Terrence news, he also joins the cast of the Law And Order franchise on Sept 29th. That’s the day of the debut of Law And Order: Los Angeles. Actress Regina Hall (the Scary Movie franchise) is also a part of the cast.
President Obama has a new book coming out on November 16th. The book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters, is a children’s book. The proceeds will go towards a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled troops.
Jennifer Lopez is getting $12 million to sign on as a new judge on American Idol. Expect to see a lot of J-Lo in the next few weeks, including a new ad for Macy’s.
Producer Extraordinaire Quincy Jones is coming out with a line of designer headphones. The headphones debut in October, and he says it will deliver the highest quality of sound.
I had a chance to catch up with Faith Evans. She gave me the scoop on her album Something About Faith. It’ll be released October 5th, and she’s got duets with Eric Benet and El DeBarge.
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien is back with another installment of her Black In America specials. This time the focus is the black church, and airs October 21st.
The Men Of Soul are coming to Philly. Friday, November 12th at the Tower Theatre, it’s Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, Peabo Bryson and Howard Hewett. Tickets go on sale September 18th.
K-Ci and JoJo Hailey of Jodeci fame are coming to reality TV in K-Ci And JoJo Come Clean, which debuts Tuesday, October 19th on TV One.
On Saturday September 25th, it’s the gospel version of The Wiz, The Gate Called Straight. Stephanie Mills directs this production, which will be playing at the Liacouras Center. Bill Jolly is the musical director and he wrote all the music. LaBelle’s Sarah Dash is one of the cast members. Tix are on sale at the Liacouras Center Box office.
Singer Eric Benet is scheduled to be Tony Brown’s special guest on Sunday, October 3rd. Tony will be broadcasting live from Warmdaddy’s, Columbus Blvd. and Reed from noon until 3pm with the Groovin’ On A Sunday Afternoon show. Benet’s new album, Lost In Time, arrives in stores in November. The first single is Sometimes I Cry. The album features Faith Evans, Chrisette Michele, Ledisi and Eddie Levert.
The Universoul Circus is headed back to town next month in Fairmount Park.
El DeBarge is the cover guy for the new issue of Ebony magazine. DeBarge is releasing a new album on the 28th called Second Chance. He’s coming to Philly on October 9th with a concert for The Baptist Temple Arts And Culture Center, Broad and Berks on Temple University’s campus. In the Ebony magazine feature, he talks about releasing his first album in 16 years, his drug addiction and his family of 12 kids.
Vanessa Williams is geared up for the new season of Desperate Housewives. Williams is joining the cast along with Actor Reggie Austin, who plays her basketball player husband. The new season kicks off this Sunday, September 26th. Williams looks amazing in the promos.
October 18th is the new start date for the Holly Robinson’s daytime talk show debut. The show, simply called The Talk, will also feature Sharon Osborne and Moderator Julie Chen with a host of other women, a la The View.
The new issue of Essence is hot with Blair Underwood, Boris Kodjoe and Lance Gross as the cover guys. The TV hunks look good as they gear up for their new shows. Blair Underwood plays the President Of The United States in the suspense filled drama The Event, which airs on Monday nights at 9pm. Boris Kodjoe will be starring with Gugu Mbatha-Raw as husband and wife in the action drama Undercovers, which airs on Wednesday nights at 8pm.
The release date for Tyler Perry’s movie For Colored Girls has been moved up. The movie was supposed to come out next January, but the movie is now being released on November 5th. The movie, based on the 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, stars Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Macy Gray, Michael Ealy, Hill Harper and Khalil Kain. Tyler Perry wrote and directed this movie version, and Oscar buzz and hype is already surrounding the film.
Anita Baker is set to release a new album new on January 18th. Baker, 52, says she’s excited about the new project called 21st Century Love.
Patti LaBelle is on Broadway. She is playing the mother of the lead character in the musical Fela! LaBelle will be in the production through the first of the year.
Takers Co-star Idris Elba is going to be the Honorary Chairperson along with Jimmy Rollins at this year’s Philly’s Men Are Cooking taking place Saturday, November 27th. I’ll keep you posted with more details later.
Coming to DVD:
Iron Man II with Robert Downey, Jr. and Don Cheadle comes out on September 28th.
Toy Story III, starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Don Rickles, is out November 3rd.
Congrats to Chaka Khan! Khan is being honored at the 32nd Annual UNCF telethon, An Evening Of Stars. The show airs in syndication January 2011.
Sherri Shepherd has been named the new host of the Newlywed Game. The new revival of the classic series kicks off this November airing weeknights at 6pm on the Game Show Network.
Holmes Lounge is back. Steve Holmes and crew are back in business with a new location: 2029 Erieal Road in Blackwood, New Jersey. They’ve got the sautéed crabs and seafood and are open Thursday-Sunday, takeout and delivery only. Go to Holmeslounge.com
Iyanla Van Zandt has a new book coming out in November called Peace From Broken Pieces: How To Get Through What You’re Going Through. Van Zandt is returning to the literary world after suffering the loss of her daughter and the end of her marriage.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A lot of people wonder why this Soul Legend appears out of it at times. He has been doing drugs for years, and he can’t stop. Nine times out of ten when people see him, he is high as a kite.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Saturday, September 25th – The Gate Called Straight Starring Sarah Dash and Directed by Stephanie Mills with Music by Bill Jolly at the Liacouris Center, Broad & Montgomery. For tix and more information: http://thegatecalledstraight.com/
October 5th-10th - The stage play Church Girl with Angela Winbush, Karen Clark Sheard and Robin Givens at the Merriam Theatre on Broad Street, between Locust and Spruce Streets.
October 9th – El DeBarge at The Baptist Temple Arts And Culture Center, Broad and Berks on Temple University’s campus.
October 9th – Salt-N-Pepa’s Legends Of Hip Hop Tour with Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Rob Base and Kid ‘N Play at the Trump Taj Mahal Arena in Atlantic City. For more info call 1-800-736-1420.
October 9th – Mary J. Blige in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. For more info call Borgata.com or 1-866-900-4TIX.
November 10-14th Je’Caryous Johnson presents his new stage production It’s Cheaper To Keep Her with Vivica A. Fox and Brian McKnight at The Merriam Theatre.
November 12th- The Men Of Soul with Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson & Howard Hewett at the Tower Theatre 69th street
December 16th – Usher in concert at The Wells Fargo Center.
Saturday and Sunday, January 8th and 9th - It’s the Rick Watson stage production There’s A Wright And Wrong Way To Love Somebody starring WDAS’s own Mimi Brown at The Arts Bank on The Avenue Of The Arts, 601 South Broad Street. The romance comedy drama is written, produced and directed by Rick Watson. For more info call 215-869-3509.
If you would like more info please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check me out with my Midday reports at 10:35, 12:35 and 2:35 pm during the day.