PATRICKRILEYHEADSHOT2.JPGWELCOME to "The Life of Riley" which will include periodic chronicles of pop culture and possibilities that flow out of Patrick L. Riley's day. That's me!!! Through blogging (and soon some other technological features on which I'll keep you posted as they launch), I will pull experiences from my busy life to entertain and inspire all of you. Through this site, I will share my observations and insights. 

Some features to look forward to:

1.) "PATRICK'S POP UP(DATES)" will feature stories from pop culture, music, theater, fashion, and the entertainment industry at large. 

2.) "The Life of Riley" will also introduce a "take-a-look-at-your-life" section (READ: sort of an advice column), where I will help readers come up with their own questions and answers around what "ways of being" are working (or not working) to have them acheive their respective goals and live their best lives. This section is called "WHO YOU BE?".

3.) Additonally, there will be a free-flowing, organic section called "TESTIFY" from which I will pull from my own life's journey to share and hopefully inspire. Some of the fare may be new musings and experiences. Other times, I may pull from my journals and past sharings to shed light on some uncomfortable truths that I've experienced and that may perhaps play a role in healing someone else's wounds as the real-life experience did for me. From my experience of covering 9/11 as a freelance journalist to courageously coming out (as gay) to my family, "TESTIFY" promises to move those who choose to read it.

4.) And a section titled "PR" (like my initials, but also like "public relations") will include press clips from any coverage I get. 

5.) And anytime pictures or video can support an entry (in the blog, and perhaps in the subsequent podcasts, my space, and website), those visuals will keep things aesthetically enrolling. That section will be called "MY TUBE".
PLAYING TO THE POP IN POSSIBILITIES!
Patrick L. Riley

 

the more

all star karaoke

 

 WHERE IS MY ‪#‎THEBOSS CHOIR? LOL!!!! We sing it EVERY WEEK:

https://www.facebook.com/patrick.l.riley/videos/10152301946678737/! This clip features THE AMAZING Gordon Chambers, Darius Booker, AND Husain Mello Deas Williams! SPRING 2015 SERIES of Billie's Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley starts next Tuesday, April 28th at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul! Y’ALL COME ON OUT AND JOIN US! NOW THAT I CAN EXHALE from one recent client project: BET's UP FRONT for which I got to contribute to the Creative Services team on its video and art/design that let all the industry and the friendly advertisers why BET IS ALL WAYS THE NEW BLACK with lots of new programming to ensure it stays at #1! CONGRATS, TEAM! Some of you will join me at ALL STAR KARAOKE - to let some steam off! LOL!  ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎allstarkaraoke ‪#‎motownmay #theboss


more arise work

ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 had me on again this past week. I filled in for Shannon again. Always fun to chat it out with MISS LOLA!

LAST WEEK:
Among the Believers directors
- Co-Directors Hemal Trivedi & Mohammed Naqvi @manaqvi talk with us about their new Documentary#amongthebelievers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVpdgMGAap0&feature=youtu.be

Kristen Taekman
#BRAVOTV #RHONY Reality Star &creator of#popofcolor @KristenTaekman talk with us about the upcoming season & much more 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPSIGsgkFGY

Kendall Minter
Entertainment Attorney/Author Kendall Minter @askmusiclawyer tells us about his new book "Understanding & Negotiating 360" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqcU6wlXXzs&feature=youtu.be

YOU can watch (and me from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand...www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! #arise360 #allstarkaraoke#billiesblack

the more you know

Hi folks! I mentioned Executive Producing a special project inside the Fall/Winter 2014 months last year! But it was kinda’ top secret as I was asked to jump into the project in the 11th hour. Well, the project is complete and can be seen here: http://www.themoreyouknow.com/. It’s NBC Universal’s iconic THE MORE YOU KNOW campaign which had been EP’d for years by the legendary Susan Haspel. But as she was leaving the building, I was asked to come in and oversee production on the shoots with the over 40 NBC Universal talent that we shot in L.A. and New York City. I also worked with the scriptwriters; our content partners; graphic designers; and all the respective crews to complete the 2015-16 installment. FOR MORE on THE LIFE OF RILEY and that project:

http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/10/13/jakki-is-back.html.  Since working on that project at the end of 2014, NBC News' African American vertical, NBCBLK, has brought me on as a freelance contributor to its digital platform:

* Miss Aretha Franklin's birthday party:

http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbcnews-com/aretha-franklin-puts-on-star-studded-birthday-417968707987.

* MISS FRANKLIN and EMPIRE Co-Creator LEE DANIELS! LOL! -

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1553278574945680&set.  

 

* My debut contribution was an interview with Lee Daniels on EMPIRE:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416.

#themoreyouknow #comcast #nbcuniversal #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #NBCBLK


blackbird

It was Ant’s birthday... and since it fell in the middle of the week, we will enjoy and toast this weekend (and one thing we’ll be doing is supporting the opening weekend of “BLACKBIRD” [See cities below and let’s make this FIRST WEEKEND count]. Last night, on Ant’s birthday, he and I thought it important to attend and support the New York PREMIERE of our friend Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Blackbird” – Co-Executive Produced and Starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique – in attendance with her co-stars Isaiah Washington, D. Woods, and introducing Julian Walker. The historic night at the iconic Schomburg included an awesome array of my industry family – including legendary make-up artists Reggie Wells and Roosevelt Cartwright – once-Oprah’s team (Roosevelt now works with Mo’Nique). TRAILER: https://youtu.be/rHe0ukjp0-M. I am TOO EXCITED for Patrik-Ian as I remember in 2006 in Los Angeles as I was out there for business, we had dinner and drinks at The Standard on Sunset. And I remember him sharing the BLACKBIRD script and telling me how he was seeking funds and some star attachments for the project. After that deal fell through, his BLACKBIRD takes flight! YAZZZ! Blackbird opens April 24 in the theaters below. Tell a friend and check www.BlackbirdTheMovie.com for more information.#WeAreBlackbird p.s. Leon was there! Always good to see him!

p.p.s. And a special shout out to our girlfriend Alysia Joy Powell - a regular alongside Debra Messing on The Mysteries of Laura - NBC hit in primetime! YOU GO GIRL!

support

The weekend brought out the CHEERS – first for Miss Miko Branch with whom I had the chance to have a conversation at an awesome book event hosted at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Skylight Gallery – hosted by the Honorable Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson and my friend Blaine Robinson’s Bainbridge Harrison Partners. BEAUTIFUL to catch up with Miko on her debut tome: “Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch---Naturally”. Then, also in Brooklyn – DUMBO to be exact, our girlfriend Charon who I got the chance to meet in St. Croix last year, debuted her GWAN BY CHARON HEAT line of swimwear for the curvy girls out there. The Private Fashion Presentation was fierce and the publicity was handled by Ant’s sis Sabrina who I met December 1, 2005 – the same night I met Ant. Then, we had Mairie and Eric baby shower duty. And the close out? Celebrating Ant’s birthday! Backdrop: Kiabacca bar on 10th Ave between 45th and 46th. BEER. BRICK-OVEN PIZZA. And an ENDLESS STREAM OF LOVE for ANT!  #iammissjessies #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

DL and ESTELLE

I interviewed Debi Mazar for recurring client Oprah: Where Are They Now? recently! Find out more about her later this summer. But this past weekend, my D.L. Hughley and Estelle Parsons finally aired --- culled from a couple of days I got to spend with each of them in New York City last year on assignment for recurring client OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Here’s a peek: http://www.oprah.com/own-where-are-they-now/The-Promise-a-Young-Broke-DL-Hughley-Made-to-His-Baby-Girl-Video#ixzz3Y9PpoXUQ. #WhereAreTheyNow

spring one five arises

spring arises


ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 had me on a few more times this past week – including a reunion with my friends Lola Ogunnaike and Shannon Lanier, the show’s hosts. We were BACK TOGETHER AGAIN to talk BROADWAY & OFF-BROADWAY! https://youtu.be/54sUbyIDkiI. Additionally, I filled in for Shannon on another day – including interviews with New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey (https://youtu.be/jCgLNbWcof8);

 “Gotham” series star Zabryna Guevara (https://youtu.be/p5RjQ9-YjuM); and “The Scorpion” series star Eddie Kaye Thomas (https://youtu.be/L9q6XabEpEI).  I’ll be filling in a few more times over the next few weeks! YOU can watch (and me from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!#arise360#allstarkaraoke #billiesblack p.s. Special shout out to Mara Schiavocampo who sent students from the University of Maryland chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

harriette cole

I was too excited when Harriette Cole asked me to be a guest on her web series The Root: Bring it to the Table, which churns out its FOURTH SEASON next Month! Harriette – also the show’s Executive Producer – has been an industry buddy for years. So good to discuss FAME: the great things and the pit falls in my episode which will run on  www.TheRoot.com and will be distributed via the site and social media when aired.


Miko Branch

PLEASE don’t forget to join us – starting Tuesday, April 28th at 7p for Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/4/9/cookie-and-jamal-rock.html. We are too excited. Meanwhile, our beloved sponsor Miss Jessie’s will be back in the mix. And I am excited to be interviewing Miko at one of her book launch events next Saturday, April 25th in Bed Stuy. Please see flyer and come out and join us! #iammissjessies #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

Curtis Smith

Hi folks! You should already know who my industry buddy Curtis Smith is as our mutual friend, makeup extraordinaire Merrell Hollis of MAKEUP by MERRELL fame brought Curtis to Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with @Patrick Patrick L. Riley last season (We’re starting back up Tuesday, April 28th from 7p to 10p, by the way!). But Curtis Smith - master groomer and barber behind his recurring clients Diddy and Usherj- is starting up as CELEBRITY JUDGE this Friday on Cedric's Barber Battle – Cedric The Entertainer’s new barber reality competition show. The CW bought 10 episodes which will run every Friday from 8p-8:30p. CEDRIC’S BARBER BATTLE sets out to capture the unique culture that exists in barbering communities across the country. Blending craft with comedy, CEDRIC’S BARBER BATTLE will visit different barbershops in communities, including Los Angeles, Queens, Harlem and Austin, where the best barbers will go head-to-head in a hilariously unfiltered, no-holds-barred arena. Creating hair sculptures that feature elaborate designs, ranging from images of a person’s face to grand cityscapes, the barbers will use nothing more than their clippers and a few coloring tools to create intricate works of art that are both imaginative and location-centric. Episodes will contain two challenges: a “buzz cut” challenge, set inside an iconic barbershop, and an outdoor “cut down” challenge, located at a regional landmark in each city. At the end of each episode, a champion will be crowned. Joining my friend Curt on the panel of judges also known as “The Cutting Board”: Rich the Barber, Bashan “B.G. Cutta” Gibbs and famed instructor Lena Piccininni. FOLLOW CURTIS on Instagram: xotics and FOLLOW CURTIS on TWITTER: xoticsproducts. CONGRATS, CURT! Come back and see us at Billie's Black Bar Lounge & Restaurant! Billie's Black Gourmet Soul WELCOMES YOU, BROTHER! #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #curtissmith #motownmay

wendy hilliard

Shout out to my friend Janet Hill Talbert for inviting me to help raise funds – as reverse auctioneer and raffle wrangler – for the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation’s 3rd annual benefit: HEALTHIER LIVES FOR HARLEM YOUTH! This program provides free and low cost gymnastics for over 15, 000 urban youth – many of whom go on to become serious competitive gymnasts. The US Olympic Committee awarded Wendy Hilliard the prestigious “Rings of Gold” Award in 2011 for her commitment to helping children develop their Olympic dreams and reach their highest athletic goals. The well-appointed affair took place at the New York Athletic Center. You can still be a part and help: www.wfhny.org. AND may I send a special shout out to some of my favorite divas – including Rebecca James, Michelle Huff, and Simone Smalls! Plus a couple of my divo bros were in the house and I was so happy to see: Raymond Lewis – one of Adrianne C. Smith’s Southern Chefs and a chef personality his own right; my Morehouse brother and fellow pop culture/arts producer/personality George Alexander; and UPTOWN Publisher Len Burnett. #wendyhilliardFD #WendyHilliardFoundation

cookie and jamal rock

April 28

 Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley starts our SPRING 2015 SERIES Tuesday, April 28th from 7p to 10p! ALWAYS A BLAST! LINK: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/20/ask-patrick.html


 Cookie & Jamal

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: You all know how much I LOVE EMPIRE and Lee Daniels and its cast! LOL! So, imagine my EXCITMENT "stumbling into" "COOKIE" and "JAMAL" at the Summer Sizzle BVI 2015 launch party at Ricco Maresca Gallery! THANK THE LORD Derrick Hemphill got the shots! LOL! As you know, I’ve been talking about ALL THINGS EMPIRE on all platforms: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/3/empire-recap.html. Shout out to my friend The Wiz, Ron Smith, for inviting my Anthony Harper, our girlfriend Rachelle, Derrick, and me out for a lovely evening (after I had them all see “Airline Highway” on Broadway. I had a late edit with recurring client BET). Many industry players were in the house and I was glad to see them – including friends, fellow journalist Clay Cane, model/trainer Christopher Kadima, Beyonce stylist Ty Hunter, Wendy Williams’ stylist Memsor Kamarake , Bravo's "Blood Sweat & Heels" star Demetria Lucas D'Oyley, model Jordun Love, who walked for Givenchy last fashion week in Paris, and more! FOR MORE INFO: http://www.summersizzlebvi.com/events/. I think I'm going to have to go to the BVI in July. LOL! You remember my St. Croix fiesta last year: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/6/5/fvifw.html.  Audrey Irvine? You crashing this one!? OH! My last digression: I produced Wendy Williams in the BVI a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZJZDNu3ztM&list=PL1TUj2SKo8nu4WfB_. BACK TO #SUMMERSIZZLEBVI:  A LITTLE VIDEO C/O Derrick Hemphill: http://bit.ly/ssbvi_dh  - www.summersizzlebvi.com - Summer Sizzle events include the Culture and Style Welcome Party, the Sunset White Fashion Fete, a Sailing Excursion, the highly anticipated fashion gala, VIP after-party, and other fabulous activities. Many highlights at Summer Sizzle BVI. They include: the Global Glamour fashion show, serves as a platform for showcasing international and Caribbean trend-setting fashion designers and models. All the world’s top agencies are represented. Line up includes Ford, IMG, Elite, DNA, Major, Muse and RED.

Who's joining Cookie, Jamal, and me?


lola is back

SHOUT OUT to my beloved Lola Ogunnaike for calling me in to fill in for my friend Shannon Lanier on Arise Entertainment 360. We interviewed my old industry buddy from the beginning of my career in New York City, Tavis Smiley who had lots to talk about – from his new book on Dr. Maya Angelou to EMPIRE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHWT12NElT0&feature=youtu.be. Also in the house: Dr. Paul with STRESS AWARENESS MONTH tid-bits:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC4nZi9W_64&feature=youtu.be

and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Darryl Strawberry’s daughter Diamond Strawberry – castmember of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ezlb-lLMJQ&feature=youtu.be.

Also, we interviewed Dr. Woody on "Horrible Bosses":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4YSW-65BEE&feature=youtu.be

 and R&B Singer Case who is so talented and super nice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoWzIjDESME&feature=youtu.be. YOU can watch them (and me

from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360. I’ll soon be going back to talk BROADWAY and THEATER including two shows I saw this week: At the PUBLIC, BUZZER! And on Broadway, AIRLINE HIGHWAY! Lots going on inside The Great White Way! Please stay tuned! And as always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!#arise360#allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

money minute

I'm booking more-and-more work - including hosting WELLS FARGO PRESENTS THE NEW ADVOCATE MONEY MINUTE - an online show that currently runs on-line (http://www.advocate.com/business/advocate-money-minute). Well, Wells Fargo is back as sponsor for another season of The Advocate Money Minute.  This season it is called "Working Sessions"; Wells Fargo and The Advocate would love to have me return as host! This season, the focus will be on families:  we will shoot in people's homes with the Wells Fargo subject matter expert.  I also do a lot of mentoring with LGBTQ youth! Please check out my testimonial for the IT GETS BETTER campaign I am PROUD to have been asked to be a part! http://www.advocate.com/youth/no-more-bullying/2014/01/24/healing-one-truth-time  FOR MORE INFO, check out the blog: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/1/24/hallelujah-amen.html 

black gays rock

I was just my girlfriend Mara Schiavocampo’s “+1”. The GMA Correrspondent and best-selling-author of THINspired was a #blackgirlsrock presenter. But recurring clients BET and CentricTV air showed that #blackgaysrock too! CUTAWAY after CUTAWAY! LOL! Be sure to tune in for ENCORE PRESENTATION! FOR MORE INFO on that night: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/4/1/black-girls-rock.html.   #BLACKGIRLSROCK

Olu

Was nice recently to unwind with friends Brian Henderson, Nikita Stewart Henderson, Rachelle, Mario Ephriam, and more between two spots: On an invite from my friend Jae Joseph, we gathered at Gallery 151 for a show he curated. Ori is the first solo exhibition from Toronto-based visual artist Oluseye. Great to see some industry buddies - like artist Henry Mitchell and creative director Mykel C Smith Creative. Join the conversation: @gallery151 #ORI After, we all went to NABE for my friends Mario Ephriam and Randall Isaac's Thursday night set - come one, come all. Perfect back-drop for joyful conversation among gentlemen (and an array of beauties in the mix, of course); dance and house music piping to temperature of the room, so you can hear yourselves until "The Boss" or something the like comes on (LOL!); cocktail specials; and some hearty fare for the social kind. With Spring beginning to do what it do, Thursdays at NABE in Harlem (127th St and Frederick Douglass/8th Av) is often where I'll be.

brenda braxton

Broadway Star and Tony Nominee Brenda Braxton - and friend of ALL STAR KARAOKE - comes to the Metropolitan Room in her new One Woman show "ACT 2...Now What?" Join Brenda on her journey of Love, Loss, and What wore her out, yet lifted her up!! MAC and Bistro Award Winner Tracy Stark is Musical Director. There are 2 shows scheduled Sunday, April 26th @ 7:00 and Sunday, May 3rd @ 7:00. For ticket information see the link below. http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=185269  Or call 2122060440 to make your reservations. A large number of tickets have already been sold so purchase your tickets today.

wendy hilliard gymnastics foundation

My dear friend Janet Hill Talbert has asked me to be a reverse auctioneer for a benefit that is being held to at the New York Atheletic Club to benefit the Harlem based Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation. She also wants me to invite me friends. It’s April 16 from 6:30-8:30 at the New York Athletic Club. Here's a quick link that tells you what the Foundation is all about! http://aetnaafricanamericancalendar.com/2015/videos.php?month=2. Olympic Medalist Sarah Hughes is our MC. It's cocktail reception benefit; the kids will be doing a brief performance; and we are trying to raise money for the kids!FOR MORE INFO on how to get tickets, go to www.whfny.org.

from remy to kehinde to pet rescue road trip

I’m always talking about the awesome projects on which my friend Lamar Johnson is working and – sometimes – extending my way for collaboration. Well, I must tell you his latest. He and his partner Susanne Rehse are getting ready to embark on an 8,300 MILE trek AND crowdfund for Pet SHELTERS.  Yep! It’s what happens when you combine two dog-loving New Yorkers, a 15-pound Baguette, an 8,300-mile sightseeing journey and a crowd-funding campaign to support animal rescue shelters.  Pet Rescue Road Trip is the brainchild of Lamar, a NYC-based marketing consultant and documentary filmmaker who, along with his partner Susanne Rehse, wanted to raise awareness of the benefits of pet adoption and to raise funds to support No-Kill animal shelters.  Johnson and Rehse own a shelter-rescued 8 year old Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix named “Baguette” and had been tossing around the idea of a 2-week sightseeing road trip vacation for over 2 years when they decided to extend the duration and incorporate a charitable “passion project” into the trip. Rehse, a German-born ex-pat says, “We kept seeing those heart-wrenching TV commercials with the sad Sarah McLachlan song and I said to Lamar one day, ‘I wonder if we could come up with something to help promote animal adoptions that would feel more fun and upbeat and not like such a “downer”.’ The couple went to work planning and mapping out their bucket-list-style tour of National Parks, historic sites, pet-friendly activities and points-of-interest (using trip-planning websites -- Roadtrippers.com and BringFido.com). Next, they launched a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe.com with the starting goal of raising $15,000 (to support 6 shelters with donations of $2,000 each and $3,000 to cover GoFundMe processing fees and to offset a portion of gas and lodging expenses).  They spread the word via social media, word-of-mouth, flyers and magnetic and vinyl decals affixed to Johnson’s SUV. Within the first 4 weeks, the campaign had raised just over $3,000 and donations continue to trickle in. On April 2, Johnson and Rehse presented the first donation check to Animal Haven NYC -- the shelter they fostered then adopted Baguette from in the months following SuperStorm Sandy. Lamar says, “It’s like our own little telethon. To keep folks entertained, we’ve outfitted Baguette with a GoPro “Fetch” harness-cam and installed dash cams in the SUV so fans and followers can get a streaming “dog’s-eye” view of the journey on social media - @K9Baguette. We can’t wait to hit the road!” The Pet Rescue Road Trip departs from NYC on April 11 “National Pet Day” and lasts four weeks, stopping and taking pics at National Parks, monuments and points-of-interest like Mt. Rushmore, the Hollywood sign, and the Gateway Arch -- just to name a few. The trip will also visit and make donations to additional No-Kill animal shelters along the way and will wrap up in our nation’s capital at the end of National Pet Week (May 10).  For more information, please visit www.gofund.me/PetRescueRoadTrip and www.PetRescueRoadTrip.com. Hey Lamar! When y’all get back, be sure to come by Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley and tell us all about it!

 

 

black girls rock

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


• On Facebook by liking the fan pages at facebook.com/BET and facebook.com/BLACKGIRLSROCK


• On Instagram @betnetworks and @BLACKGIRLSROCK
#BlackGirlsRock #AriseTV360 #allstarkaraoke#billiesblack

#GMA #THINspiredbook#allstarkaraoke #billiesblack


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=cm2fqrEStSoAnd 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:
 http://www.timothybloom.com
He plays guitar and piano. Check out some of his clips:

 "Waitin on You"

From upcoming 808 Project

http://youtu.be/BrOaph8MAlI

 Official Video-

"Stand in the Way"- featuring Herbie Hancock

http://youtu.be/1LQA-C9UBKM


 "On the Other Side"-- MUSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-EeU42vkRU

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


 STEPS ROCKS!

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

MIKO ROCKS!

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

BRANDY ROCKS

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:

@BlkBirdtheFilm


@PatrikIanPolk

@WitherspoonC


@WatchUMC

@135StreetAgency


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:

 

B. Slade

Grammy-nominated producer, writer and singer

 

Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan MD, Founder

Oasis Clinic

 

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

Community Mentors

 

Quincy & Deondray Gossfield

 

Writers, Producers and Creators of “ DL Chronicles”

 

Dr. Tenika Jackson

Community Mentor

 

 

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.

 

ask patrick

ASK PATRICK 

This entry was to announce that ALL STAR KARAOKE is coming back at the end of APRIL 2015! Then, the QUEEN OF SOUL called and my lead is buried! But this is MISS ARETHA FRANKLIN, after all.. LOL!.... so let me interrupt this regularly scheduled programming for this ROYAL RE-CAP that deserves some R-E-S-P-E-C-T....


ALL HAIL THE QUEEN

CHECK OUT THIS LATEST VIDEOs on NBCBLK - a viral that details MISS FRANKLIN's "openness" - shall we say - to do some EMPIRE - Season 2 - https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1553278574945680&set=vb.1508175089456029&type=2&theater.... and here is a RE-CAP of the MAGICAL NIGHT: 

http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbcnews-com/aretha-franklin-puts-on-star-studded-birthday-417968707987

 

It’s for NBCBLK – recurring client which dispatched me to do this LEE DANIELS interview last month: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416.  Over the years, MISS ARETHA FRANKLIN has invited LIFE OF RILEY to celebrate her birthday and other milestones. There was last year’s birthday at the RITZ CARLTON. Denzel Washington stopped by: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/3/23/another-night.html. In 2009, I was a guest at Miss Franklin's HOLLYWOOD BOWL show followed by a post-show set at the PENINSULA HOTEL. This was on the day that Michael Jackson died:http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2009/9/21/ive-waited-so-long-to-hear-you-say-that-to-me-say-it-again-s.html. The year prior to that, Miss Franklin’s camp asked me to secure SECRET TROIS for her birthday set in Detroit and to accompany them. The QUEEN’s wish was Anthony Harper’s and my command: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2009/3/26/people-say-im-the-life-of-the-party.html. And years ago, in 1992, when I started my career in TV, I got to interview Miss Franklin at then-CBS affiliate WXIA. We dished on “The Young & The Restless”. Fast forward 23 years later to Miss Aretha Franklin’s 73rd birthday celebration recently held at the Ritz Carlton, Central Park South; LIFE OF RILEY gets another ROYAL INVITE; NBCBLK asks if they can tag-along; and THE QUEEN OF SOUL and I do some catching up – on the SOAPS. But this time, we talked EMPIRE and Tyler Perry’s THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS. She’s a fan of both. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN for whom some very special guests came out: Record industry legend Clive Davis, Empire creator Lee Daniels, Attorney General Eric Holder, singers Valerie Simpson and Freddie Jackson, LABELLE original Sarah Dash, CNN’s Don Lemon, my fellow journalist buddy Jamie Foster Brown (“Sister 2 Sister”), choreographer George Faison, Sirius XM’s Tracey J. Jordan, Lawrence O'Donnell, Tamron Hall from msnbc and NBC Today, Rev. Reverend Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangell, the Duke Ellington Jazz All Stars, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, Avery*Sunshine, etc. Shout out to my friend, Detroit’s own Greg Dunmore who emceed the festivities. Miss Franklin’s actual birthday is March 25. FOR MORE INFO on LIFE OF RILEY, click here: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/20/ask-patrick.html. I love that even at the Queen of Soul's 73rd birthday party, we're in an EMPIRE state of mind! LOL!  #NBCBLK

PHOTO - Michael Stewart. 

 

BACK TO ALL STAR KARAOKE! LOL!

 As brutal as winter was, I know we made a good decision to hibernate BILLIE'S BLACK PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH PATRICK L. RILEY during winter break. Well, as Spring awakens, I'm excited to announce that BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, we are returning with our SPRING 2015 SERIES - STARTING Tuesday, April 28th! We'll go every Tuesday through Tuesday, July 14th from 7p-10p.

Highlights have included:

Monifah singing - http://bit.ly/beatsbydre_monifah

* Keke Wyatt singing http://bit.ly/beatsbydre_kekewyatt

* Patrick L. Riley singing with Keke Wyatt http://bit.ly/beatsbydre_patricklriley

* Patrick L. Riley singing I AM CHANGING (and more on my YOU TUBE channel):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pVZZ9GCm4

* Good Morning America’s Mara Schiavocampo promoting her book THINSPIRED:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTZt5efrf4c

STARS OF TOMORROW

* Iconic vocalist Toni Seawright brought her son Qaasim Middleton to ALL STAR KARAOKE Spring 2014. Fast forward to this week: he is an "American Idol Top 10" finalist. Did you see that SAVE? LOL!

* My Spelman sister Kimberly Nichole has also performed on the Billie's Black stage as she is now perched on Team Christina Aguilera for the current season of "The Voice".

* After Broadway hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL's marketing rep hired me to host its Opening Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ, the producers wanted to partner with ALL STAR KARAOKE for what we coined: #MOTOWNMAY - a month of participants singing songs from MOTOWN's legendary catalog; a handful competed each week inside a MOTOWN-RETURNS-TO-THE-APOLLO-style competition for a chance to sing with the show's DIANA ROSS on the Broadway stage for ONE NIGHT ONLY (Our winner: emerging vocalist Husain Mello Deas Williams). MOTOWN THE MUSICAL also provided lots of giveaways; discount codes for the show; and - as our GRAND FINALE judges - a handful of cast-members from MOTOWN THE MUSICAL - including Marva Hicks (Gladys Knight in the show) and Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye in the show).

SINGERS PROMOTE THEIR SONGS & SHOWS

TV One's R&B DIVAS' Monifah Carter & Keke Wyatt came by to karaoke; sing their songs; and promote their show/new music. 

* Recording artists Alyson Williams; Shaliek; Gordon Chambers; Kenneth Carr; Kim Waters (who serenaded me HAPPY BIRTHDAY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Iwk4WLMuI); and Sweet Honey in the Rock.

* Broadway star Anthony Wayne ("Pippin'") took a night off from the Great White Way to join me on the All Star Karaoke stage to preview his smash hit "Mighty Sylvester".

CELEBS & TASTEMAKERS LOVE ALL STAR KARAOKE 

* We never know who will pop in - including ALL STAR KARAOKE supporter Bevy Smith (BRAVO's FASHION QUEENS HOST); Mica Hughes (BRAVO's BLOOD, SWEAT, & HEELS); Artie Thompson (BRAVO's CHEF ROBLE); Mara Schiavocampo (GOOD MORNING AMERICA correspondent/best-selling author: THINSPIRED); Shiba Russell (NBC4 Anchor); Xosha Roquemore (Actress, FOX's "The Mindy Project"); and Laurie Anne Gibson(Choreographer/Recording Artist - clients including Lady Gaga and more).

* Before we did ALL STAR KARAOKE at Billie's Black, NATIVE Restaurant hosted it. Some of those CELEB sing-bys included: Tichina Arnold (Actress, "Martin", "Everybody Hates Chris", etc.); Kevin Mambo (Actor, "FELA" on Broadway); TONEX (Recording Artist); Brenda Braxton (Broadway legend, "Chicago"); Napiera Groves (Actress, "As The World Turns"); David Nathan (Author, "Soulful Divas"); Greg Dunmore (Host, PULSEBEAT); Jamie Foster Brown (Publisher, SISTER 2 SISTER); etc.

* Though most are in the house to enjoy ALL STAR KARAOKE and the food and drink BILLIE'S BLACK provides, the room is also a networking room. You could be dining or singing alongside any of the entertainment and media industry's best - from all domains - including CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLISTS Carla Bone (clients including: Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett Smith, and more); Brian Badie (clients including: Ice T, Coco, "Power"); BLACK OPAL Creative Director Merrell Hollis (celeb make-up artist including Wendy Williams; Diddy; Usher; Cynthia Bailey; Jessica White; etc.); celebrity publicist Gwendolyn Quinn (clients including: Keke Wyatt [who she brought]; Aretha Franklin; Deborah Cox, etc.); President of the New York Association of Black Journalists Mike Feeney; legal analyst/journalist Lisa Bonner, Esq.; BLISS President Mike Indurksy; "Blackbird"/"The Skinny"/"Noah's Arc" Director Patrik-Ian Polk; producer/director Nathan Hale Williams; NAACP Image Award winning producer Sidra Smith; actor/writer/director Stanley Bennett Clay; "Drums Along The Hudson" producer Carl Nelson; Tony-award-winning choreographer/Faison Firehouse's own George Faison; New York Times writer Nikita Stewart-Henderson; etc.

* Industry players use our ALL STAR KARAOKE experience as a BUILT-IN BIRTHDAY PARTY. We've toasted many - including: Kevin Anthony (international performer/recording artist); Rowena Husbands (celebrity photographer); Penwah (singer/casting director/producer [STEPS: An Eddie Harris Film]; Anthony C. Harper (my partner and - at the time - producer, The Wendy Williams Show); and me.


ALL STAR KARAOKE SPONSORS ROCK

* MANY SPONSORS have appreciated the excitement of our night; the folks in the room; and the on-line social media buzz we get during and after that they have reached out to partner with ALL STAR KARAOKE - including our main FALL 2015 SPONSOR "Miss Jessie's" who donated giveaways for all of our ALL STAR KARAOKE guests. Plus, Co-Founder Miko Branch ensured TWO big weekly prizes for two on-stage participants to hopefully win at the end of the night. ALL STAR KARAOKE is excited to help promote MISS JESSIE'S: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch - Naturally (Amistad; Hardcover; On Sale: April 14, 2015; $24.99). #IAMMISSJESSIES

HENDRICK's GIN provided a month of ONE-HOUR TASTINGS along with signature cocktails at a discounted price to quench the thirst of our ALL STAR KARAOKE regulars. Dear friend Sidra Smith brought that integration to ALL STAR KARAOKE. She is an NAACP Image Award winning producer for documentary "Free Angela", Sidra Smith, is a dear friend (and also the identical twin of Hollywood actress Tasha Smith - known for her current role as Cookie's sister in EMPIRE and her starring role in Tyler Perry's "For Better or Worse" on OWN).

* RAFFLES: We also do $2 raffles (and sometimes $5 raffles for BIG GIVEAWAYS). Our RAFFLE SPONSOR for SPRING 2014 and FALL 2014 was RILEY/LAND GOURMET PANTRY - providing a number of high-end gourmet samples.

CREATIVE THOUGHT-STARTERS FOR SPONSOR CONSIDERATION: SPRING 2015

A. BRING YOUR CLIENTS: Already, we're receiving word from CELEB family members; publicists; and crew-members that some of their clients want to come by. So, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD to any of your CLIENTS or PEEPS that BILLIE'S BLACK PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH PATRICK L. RILEY is a good room to DRIVE-BY on TUESDAY NIGHT!

B. LIFE OF RILEY FRIENDS & CLIENTS: As an independent personality, producer, and writer, you folks know LIFE OF RILEY is all over the place: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/. As such, I LOVE when I'm working on a special project with recurring client BET and I see my BET FAM at ALL STAR KARAOKE! So, to all of MY RECURRING CLIENTS & FRIENDS, here's a SHOUT OUT for you to CONSIDER a TUESDAY NIGHT (s) to come out and decompress or celebrate APRIL/MAY/JUNE/JULY birthday(s). That includes: my peeps at ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360; OWN TV; NBCBLK; NBCU's "The More You Know" team; NYABJ (New York Association of Black Journalists); LIVE OUT LOUD (LGBTQ Mentoring Organization); NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force; NABJ LGBTQ Task Force; "The Wendy Williams Show"; etc.

C. LOOKING AHEAD: ALL STAR KARAOKE ON-DEMAND:  

* SAGE Harlem provides services and advocacy for GLBT Elders. SAGE Harlem program manager (and friend) Christopher Jones asked me to perform for the group's holiday party after he’d attended Billie's Black Presents All Star Karaoke FALL 2014 SERIES. WAS FUN to sing my ALL STAR KARAOKEstaples for this enthusiastic audience: “Reasons” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vxU3In7zl4; “This Woman’s Work” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phNQU3hWfAE; and “Endless Love” - https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152858343658737&set=vb.662073736&type=3&theater. Learn more at: http://www.sageusa.org/sageharlem.

BILLIE'S BLACK PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH PATRICK L. RILEY was also able to offer support to MISS JESSIE's (talent and food) in the wake of MISS JESSIE's co-founder Titi Branch's passing at a MEMORIAL TRIBUTE - celebrating her life: http://youtu.be/KDlVBgqBH0U.

* After AMERICAN IDOL finalist Qaasim Middleton’s mom Toni Seawright graced our ALL STAR KARAOKE stage several times with her AMAZING TALENTS, I was too excited when she asked me to host her 50th Birthday Honoring the Music and Legacy of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Her family and friends all gathered in Brooklyn, New York at the 5 Spot. I sang “Got to Be There” with the HOT BAND! Shout out to them for rehearsing with me a couple of days prior to ensure I could hit those CHAKA notes. I even rehearsed at our closing night of ALL STAR KARAOKE:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152301811918737&set=vb.662073736&type=3&theater.

* We are currently in talks with varied sponsors and organizers regarding an ALL STAR KARAOKE TOUR for later this year or next year. Stay tuned as we've received word from several entities that they would love ALL STAR KARAOKESome of the information in the attached POWERPOINT underscores some of the current outreaches. Nothing is firm as the TOUR goes - so if an announcement, you'll hear it first from me.  ENDLESS LOVE for #ALLSTARKARAOKE #BILLIESBLACK AND ALL OF YOU!

MAIRIE BDAY

Great to gather and celebrate Mairie Ame Raxy at Isola on Columbus where I just had to break out in a HAPPY BIRTHDAY serenade for our BDAY GIRL - looking to celebrate another birthday this summer: she, her husband Eric, and big sister Raixy's new addition: a baby boy! CONGRATS on everything, Mairie! We LOVE YOU! Remember when Ern and I had the chance to attend their beautiful wedding last year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Ant and I enjoyed catching up with Miss Angelique Miles. She’s so FAB! Please check out her method to living a balanced, healthy, fit, social life at 45+. It’s The Miles Method – a content portal that allows you to read and see many of her fitness/lifestyle escapades. Good tid-bits… and you might as well listen: Ain’t she FINE! LOL! Please like her page, The Miles Method, and invite your friends to like it too!: https://www.facebook.com/Amilesmethod

COVERGIRL, MARA!

LADIES & GENTLEMEN!!! MISS Mara Schiavocampo AKA Good Morning America CORRESPONDENT AKA COVER GIRL on Woman's World AKA MY AMAZING GRACE AKA MY INTERNET WIFE AKA "MAKES ME SO PROUD"!!!! GO MARA, GO! ‪#‎THINspiredbook

PAULA MADISON

‪#‎FBF Paula MadisonN is one of my (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists MENTORS! At a time in my career when I needed to "attract" skill-set work in entertainment and pop culture, she - at the helm of News 4 New York - quickly and deliberately stepped in and up and presented me a handful of opportunities to SHINE via the local news division's special projects unit. The year was 1997 and - to that moment - I became a "working", full-time, independent producer, personality, and writer. And the melody lingers on. By way of that one chance she took on me, I continue to know ENDLESSLY that I can make it - even when the fiscal snapshot isn't cute. She remains supportive and kind. And she continues to lead by example - having experienced many chapters inside the book of her own amazing life since we worked together in the late '90s - including leading diversity efforts in network TV and Hollywood; owning sports teams and networks; and - wait for it - dancing with Prince on his "Musicology" tour. Her latest flourish is an actual book that she's written (alongside a companion documentary she produced) about her search to connect with her Chinese relatives. And she will be in NYC April 12-15 for the launch of Finding Samuel Lowe: www.findingsamuellowe.com. Hit up my sister friend publicist Lauren Tobin with PANTHER PR, if you want to consider booking our beloved Paula and/or knowing where she's signing and speaking. Book launch at B&N on 82nd and B'way, 7P Tuesday 4/14!!! Please come on out to show your friendly face. Paula says she will be signing books until they close!!! AND PAULA? If you make it back Harlem-way between Tuesday, April 28th and Tuesday, July 14th, please stop by Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH Patrick L. Riley... and sing a tune with me as we hip my folks to FINDING SAMUEL LOWE! LOVE YOU! ‪#‎findingsamuellowe ‪#‎nabj40 ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎allstarkaraoke

BEN VEREEN

LOVE when my LEGENDS are still high-kicking and singing for the gods! lOL! One of my heroes from the land of TRIPLE THREAT: Ben Vereen recently did a stint at #54Below: http://54below.com/artist/ben-vereen/. WAS TOO EXCITED to interview Ben Vereen a month or so ago at ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a12El8-zU_k.  Watch Daily On Time Warner, Verizon Fios, Centric and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360  + you can watch it streaming live on www.arise.tv at 3p/eastern. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! #ARISE360#hiphopchangedus #devotion #endlesslove #popcultureandpossibilities #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke#CentricTV

 THE YOUNGER ‘EMPIRE’

CLICK HERE: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153273324868287 - LAWD! Blair Younger - one of my work BFFs - formerly from Harpo Productions /Oprah Winfrey Show and currently via recurring client BET - is always YAPPING about her FAMILY - primarily her sister, professional musician Brandee Younger AKA Brandee A. Younger (as well as her FIERCE mother Linda Mcnease-Younger)! Well, NO SURPRISE these two AMAZING WOMEN are MEDIA DARLINGS this week - BRANDEE inside a feature on FOX 5 / MyFoxNY.com c/o Chrystal Young: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153273324868287 & MOM was featured in one of Anthony Harper's The Wendy Williams Show contributions - dating back to his former employer's sneak-peek: It was CELEBRITY FAN OUT... and Miss Linda was inside the segment with not one, but TWO pix with two of the FINE BROTHERS in Empire: Bryshere Gray and Jussie Smollett! HOW YOU DOIN'? LOL! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS6XDg86o-c. ‪#‎empire ‪#‎harp

john edward

Remember CROSSING OVER? Too cool to interview John Edward (and co-host Kat Jenus at Evolve) recently for recurring client OWN. Catch up with John and more on March 29th on Oprah: Where Are They Now? WHAT AN ICON HE IS! My DL Hughley is coming up in that episode as well. For more on Oprah: Where Are They Now, visit: www.Oprah.com/WhereAreTheyNow To join the conversation on social, use: #WhereAreTheyNow @OWNtv

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