BLACK GIRLS ROCK
If I was going to be the understudy for Tommie Porter, you KNOW I had to capture my internet wifey Mara Schiavocampo while she WERQ'd the white carpet at#BLACKGIRLSROCK for Black Girls Rock! Inc. I can't teach her how to be an Emmy-award-winner /GMA Correspondent/Author of THINSPIRED, but I can escort her FABULOUSNESS... and capture a shot or two! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, MISS Mara Schiavocampo! You are my BLACK GIRL who ROCKS! And I look forward to everyone getting to see you present at the 'Black Girls Rock!' BET special which taped at NJPAC (NJ Performing Arts Center Prudential Hall on March 28, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. SO PROUD OF YOU, MY AMAZING GRACE! And as an embarrassment of riches go, it was a night of WORK WIVES! LOL! I WAS TOO EXCITED to see Lola Ogunnaike back in front of that camera in haute couture! As you know, I fill-in for Shannon Lanier over at Arise Entertainment 360: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/2/13/beyond-the-cray.html. And I have missed LOLA as she's been on maternity leave - having ushered her little boy into the WORLD! SO HAPPY for your growing family and your FIERCE RETURN, LOLA! Glad I ran into you, Jacque Reid, and Sharmayne Jenkins before you got too busy! TRUST ME, FOLKS! THIS IS A SHOW YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! Easter Sunday night on BET and CENTRIC at 7p/eastern. For updates or more information about "BLACK GIRLS ROCK! " visit http://www.BET.com/blackgirlsrockandwww.blackgirlsrock.org
Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET's multiple social media platforms:
• On Twitter by using hashtag: #BlackGirlsRock; follow us @BET and @BLACKGIRLSROCK
WENDY WILLIAMS ROCKS!
I think we already knew that my recurring client The Wendy Williams Show was Daytime Emmys-worthy! And now, the Academy has caught up to say "How you doin'?" LOL! That’s right! The Queen of All Media can now proclaim she and her show are Emmy nominated! Yay!!!! As we would expect from LIFE OF RILEY, I must shout out the entire team over there, who are industry fam. They are truly the hardest working team in talk - a little engine that could, did, and still does - in EXCELLENCE! A personal congrats of the not-always-sung kind: my partner Anthony Harper who worked with the producing team over there from sneak-peek to the end of last season...and helped build, shape, and grow it into the grandness we yearn to watch daily or nightly today. I even get the treat of personally producing Miss Wendy Williams for many of their integrated marketing shoots over the years - including the British Virgin Islands & Closet Makeover shoots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZJZDNu3ztM&list=PL1TUj2SKo8nu4WfB_74atRGcx0Q_l-Wfq. I produced several Family Dollar moments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5nYvBxX_wM; Walt Disney World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15cT2QmAhZc. I even got to do a wonderful, inspiring profile on Christine Carter – an Against All Odds inspirational story for "My Black is Beautiful": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm2fqrEStSo. And we did "50 and FAB" just this past summer. A Monster Truck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUpsz80z8oY; Stand-up debut in Vegas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYWSgh_7ha8; and a BDAY greeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5VxXjA1L4Q. Job well done to all of our Wendy Williams fam - yesterday, today, and How You Doin'? LOL! Oh! And WENDY and TEAM! PLEASE come to Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with @Patrick Patrick L. Riley when you win! Wendy and I can do "The Boss"!!!!!! Yazzz! XO #wendyshow #wendy#wendywilliams #daytimeemmys #allstarkaraoke#billiesblack #motownmay15 #faband50 #wendywilliams
BOLD SOUL SISTERS ROCK!
I’M JUST GONNA PUT IT OUT THERE! I asked Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge if she’d come and join us at BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley and she said – wait for it! – pending schedule, she really wants to try to come by! YAY! Now, if I can get her to bring her Bold Soul Sisters: Nona Hendryx of LaBelle; and Ruth Pointer of Pointer Sisters; and Rochelle Fleming of First Choice --- all of whom music journalist and essayist Christian John Wikane curated last night for a staged, APOLLO THEATER panel that explore a revolution of sound and style like none other. As the excerpt from the book notes: “Riding the waves of an evolving Feminist movement and the sexual revolution, the “girl groups” of the 1960s gave way to a more progressive look and sound for female singers in the 70s. Groups like Labelle, The Pointer Sisters, First Choice, and Sister Sledge took R&B, jazz, soul and even country music to a new level.” ALSO in the HOUSE: Melba Moore; Rhonda Ross (on her mom DIANA ROSS’ birthday! WHAT A GIFT!); and CHIC’s women voices, Norma Jean Wright and Alfa Anderson – pointing out that they have a Nile-Rodgers-produced collaboration coming up with Kathy Sledge. Maybe they’ll ALL come by and sing at Billie’s Black. Some highlights:• Miss Nona Hendryx is GODDESS! So full of EXPERIENCE! And SUCH a POWER ROCK STAR persona (yet so REAL & HUMBLE)! • The vintage clips; pix; and album covers were EVERYTHING to experience again - Lady Marmalade on Midnight Special anyone!!!• Ruth Pointer had us HOWLING and yet left us sober by her AUTHENTIC sharing! Says she and Anita did NOT want to be bothered with June or Bonnie before they re-grouped as Richard Perry's girl group trio - leading them on a soul train of pop success through mid-70s to mid-80s. This, as Ruth put it, those two were "out there"!• Ruth also told of the time when The Pointer Sisters were invited to the Grand Ol' Opry after winning a best Country song Grammy - their first - for "Fairy Tales". They arrive. Are received by Opry handlers who ushered them quickly through a backdoor and into the kitchen for what they're thinking is the big reveal of them surprising the audience with their dramatic arrival. From inside the party, their manager wonders where they are as the "guests of honor": missing in action. Their manager soon discovers them waiting in the kitchen and come to find out the Opry people who received them at the door thought they were THE HELP! 1976. SMH! • Ruth also tells of a time when they discovered that their male musicians were making more than them. And the band quit because they loved the girls and hated to see them ripped off. • Was great to see clips on ALL with the audience and to enjoy Chris' flow. Nice program!• Shout out to Ulysses Williams; Nina Flowers; Cynthia Tate; and Tonya Giddens for making sure my face was in the place. • BONUS ROSS MOMENT 1 – Motown the Musical Opening night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ • BONUS ROSS MOMENT 2 – Excerpt of Legends Ball in 2005: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFgjJ7u1hk • BONUS ARETHA FRANKLIN BIRTHDAY MOMENT 1 for NBCBLK: www.nbcnews.to/1HFEc48 • BONUS ARETHA FRANKLIN BIRTHDAY MOMENT 2 for NBCBLK: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1553278574945680&set=vb.1508175089456029&type=2&theater • #divatakeover #BoldSoulSisters #ApolloLIVF #ArethaFranklin #NBCBLK#AllStarKaraoke#billiesblack #motownmay #DianaRoss
R&B DIVAS AND DIVOS ROCK!
Sunday brought a couple of awesome invites for Ant and me – starting with a shrimp & grits/chicken & waffles brunch invite to the home of friends - New York Times’ Nikita Stewart Henderson and her husband/my NABJ baby boy Brian Henderson. YUM is the only WORD! We then double-dated down to another invite from Brad and Lyndsay Christian: RnB Spotlight presents multi-platinum singer-songwriter Faith Evans. Also, special guest J Drew was headlining. And we all got a special treat as Ivan Ellis from the smash TV show Empire performed! This is SWV manager Cory Taylor’s event that Brad and Lyndsay co-produce and present with him. Got to chat to Ivan Ellis – rep’d by an awesome team of folks, including my friend Will Nero. Stay tuned into Ivan Ellis as new music and a possible return to EMPIRE – Season 2 goes: http://www.ivanellismusic.com/. AND what a JOY it was to interview Faith Evans a couple of months ago. I was filling in on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfpHpiQd2pg. The weekend started with a standing-room drive-by to BB King’s to see Angie Stone and Bradd Marquis: SOLD OUT! Shout out to Fiona Bloom for the tix and for the invite to then see Avery*Sunshine in concert at Sub/Culture this past Monday. You recall, I had the chance to meet her last weekend as she was hand-selected by the QUEEN OF SOUL to perform for her 73rd Birthday party - an evening I chronicled for recurring client NBCBLK:www.nbcnews.to/1HFEc48. MISS FRANKLIN and I also got into it about EMPIRE... and I brought Lee Daniels into my "dream casting"! LOL!https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1553278574945680&set=vb.1508175089456029&type=2&theater. In meeting Fiona and Avery’s team, I have some new music to share: Jeff Bradshaw has a new CD out this week that features Black Thought as well as Robert Glasper, Trombone Shorty, Marsha Ambrosius, Trombone Shorty, Will Downing, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Najee, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Tweet, and Kenny Lattimore. Two time Grammy winner Robert Glasper is executive producer of the album. Jeff Bradshaw has been a key player in Philly's influential neo-soul scene. Bradshaw's trombone has propelled horn-sections for everyone from The Roots, Jill Scott and Jay Z to Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin. He is kind of the go to guy. The new CD, "HOME", (out 3/31) is an all-star concert recorded live at the renowned Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and joins Bradshaw by some of the brightest stars in R&B and gospel. Bradshaw's Kimmel Center concert is a dream come true and in a way brings the inspiring musician full circle. Bradshaw grew up in the North Philadelphia housing projects, the son of a minister. His formative musical experiences were in church, where brass bands were a staple. Jeff amazingly never took formal lessons. He used to play around the corner from the Kimmel Center on the street. HOME brings him full circle and this star-studded date is a testament to how respected Bradshaw is in the music world. Jeff is also committed to bringing the trombone to the forefront in music and not just having it be relegated as a background instrument.The album's first single "All Time Love" features Robert Glasper, Tweet and Eric Roberson:http://youtu.be/2KHNGsC9vZs
AND Fiona’s client Timothy Bloom is poised to perform at
Apollo Music Café April 18th:
He plays guitar and piano. Check out some of his clips:
"Waitin on You"
From upcoming 808 Project
"Stand in the Way"- featuring Herbie Hancock
"On the Other Side"-- MUSE
Last time I did Apollo Music Cafe, the headliner was MISS JOI! She's AMAZING... and so HUMBLE! Have known her since my days in Atlanta in the '90s! XOXOXOXO
Earlier this year, I mentioned that I shot a small part in a film called STEPS: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/1/22/empire-fire.html. Well, as I’m trying to announce BILLIE’S BLACK Presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley is coming back for SPRING 2015, starting Tuesday, April 28th and as LIFE OF RILEY toasts THE QUEEN OF SOUL - http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/20/ask-patrick.html, THE OFFICIAL MOVIE POSTER for STEPS is out – underscoring that it’s COMING SOON! And AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST QAASIM MIDDLETON is in it too along with his brother KHALIL MIDDLETON. I’ll tell you more when I can… but the poster came out today! YAY! And BIGGEST of THANKS to EDDIE HARRIS and PENWAH for casting me… #LIFEOFRILEY #ALLSTARKARAOKE #BILLIESBLACK #NBCBLK
Got to celebrate Miko Branch at the 17th Annual Influential Black Women in Business Awards Luncheon – put on by The Network Journal at the Marriott Marquis. And we got advanced copies of her book Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-NaturallyScratch - NATURALLY hits stores April 15th! And Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley is excited to have Miss Jessie's back in our “mix” for SPRING 2015: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/20/ask-patrick.html. OF COURSE, we’ll celebrate the release of her book, which you can pre-order now: http://www.amazon.com/Miss-Jessies-Creating-Successful-Scratch-Naturally/dp/0062329189 …and maybe MIKO will join us on the stage to SING – along with, ahem, Kobie Brown; Andre Robert Lee; Anthony Harper; Amber Payne; Ryan Williams; and more! WE LOVE YOU, MIKO (who is also featured on the cover and inside the Spring 2015 issue of The Network Journal (TMJ)! #IamMissJessies #NATURALLY #ALLSTARKARAOKE #billiesblack
I said when we saw Wendy Williams in Chicago the Musical on Broadway that I would NOT see it AGAIN - having gone TOO MANY TIMES for all the stunt castings they've done over the years - from Michelle Williams to Robin Givens to Smokey Robinson! WELL, I LIED! LOOK WHO'S COMING? Brandy!!!! http://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/brandy-norwood-chicago-broadway_72221.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=24mar2015 LOL! Oh, well… one more time! LOL!
BEING MARY JANE & MAD ROCK!
So GLAD to CELEBRATE THE BEST amongst BET’s BEST while watching THE BEST TV EVER! It was Michaela angela Davis’ BDAY! So, that alone should have been enough but – wait for it – we were hosted by the network’s top tier as we screened #BeingMaryJane on BET – featuring an inspiring cameo by Miss Michaela AND Bevy Smith – also in attendance. Bravo TV’s Demetria Lucas D'Oyley – cast-member on “Blood, Sweat, & Heals”. Plus, Miss Tai Monique Beauchamp - who is featured in the Mara Brock Akil interviews that run after the show each week – gave us a reason to toast her: she’s got her own show on TLC that will be rocking this summer. And my friend Briana Bingham was in the house as well. She designs the most amazing bags. Stay up on her… and if you need any further proof that #blackgirlsrock … be sure to check it out Sunday at 7p/eastern on BET! IT IS AN AWE-INSPIRING NIGHT! CONGRATS MAD ET AL!!!! Y’ALL ROCK! Please come rock with us at Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley. XOXOXOXOXO #beingmaryjane #earringsoff #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay15
PATRIK-IAN POLK AND MO’NIQUE ROCK!
You need look no further than the pages of LIFE OF RILEY to know how much I love me some Patrik-Ian Polk and all of his great contributions to TV and film – from PUNKS to Noah's Arc to Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom to The Skinny to Blackbird (2014 film) which did a successful run on the FILM FESTIVAL circuit: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/6/30/empowerment.html. Well, it now has a distributor and a release date: "Blackbird" @BLKBirdTheFilm www.blackbirdthemovie.com.When the film did one of its festival premieres, Patrik-Ian Polk came by Billie’s Black Presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley. Hoping he’ll come by this Spring 2015 – starting Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (through mid-July)…and PLEASE BRING your STAR and EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Mo'Nique by! LOL! Great to attend a press screening with a Q&A hosted by my friend from The Grio and MSNBC, Chris Witherspoon with Patrik-Ian. #WeAreBlackbird TWEET and INSTAGRAM away, my friends:
BETTER BROTHERS ROCK
I LOVE that my friend Scott and his BETTER BROTHERS group put on the
Inaugural Truth Awards – an evening to celebrate "Living Our Truth".
The Truth Award honors Black Gay Men and Women whose accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ community.
The Inaugural Truth Awards presented to the following honorees:
Grammy-nominated producer, writer and singer
Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan MD, Founder
Stanley Bennett Clay
Actor, Producer, Author and Journalist
Benjamin Cory Jones, Writer
Amazon’s “Hand of God” and HBO series creator
Darren “Buttah Man” Brin, Music Director
BET’s 106th & Park and Yo MTV Jams
Vallerie Wagner, Chief Operating Officer
AIDS Project Los Angeles
Wendell James, Philanthropist
OWN’s “Raising Whitley” Cast Member
Steph Thomas and Glen Lawrence
Quincy & Deondray Gossfield
Writers, Producers and Creators of “ DL Chronicles”
Dr. Tenika Jackson
The goal of the Truth Awards is to increase the awareness of Black Gay men and women, and highlight their contributions in life, career, and mainstream culture. This annual event will also provide funding for a college scholarship to be given to a promising Black LGBT youth. While recognizing members of the community, we want to encourage youth to pursue educational opportunities while being true to themselves.
For more information: www.betterbrothersla.com/truthawards
YLONDA GAULT CAVINESS ROCKS!
CHILD, PLEASE (Penguin) by Ylonda Gault Caviness hits bookstores on May 5. It's a glimpse of her life as a mom and parenting editor living in a fancy-ish suburb. Occasionally she pokes fun at the differences between white moms and black moms. But mostly she explores her stormy relationship with a straight-no-chaser mama, whose lessons eventually shape her into the woman she was meant to be. She concludes that Mama had motherhood righhttps://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/19122_627112977420232_564525210395960882_n.jpg?oh=69a197112442d5fea16beef4ccb39fe6&oe=55B60000fter all, you really don't need expert advice when you have such old school wisdom as, "Act like you've got some sense!" Pre-order on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Child-Please-Old-School-Lessons-Wrecked/dp/0399169962. CONGRATS YLONDA! www.ylondagault.com
p.s. LIFE OF RILEY keeps churning through the BLESSINGS and the DIFFICULT TIMES. ALL TOWARDS MAKING A BETTER ME, WE, AND THE WORLD! But I MUST - in LIFE OF RILEY signature style and sensitivity - mention that it's been 10 YEARS since KODJOE left us! WOW, right? SURELY, he's looking down and saying JOB WELL DONE! Or as the struggles and stresses of life go, he might be saying "BETTER Y'ALL THAN ME"! LOL! Either way, WE SPEAK YOUR NAME, KODJOE! And MISS YOU MUCH! RIP.