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".
Patrick L. Riley


u want fame


Hi folks! CHECK THIS OUT! IT WENT HOT this WEDNESDAY JUNE 24TH! Link: My segment "I want to be Famous". It is a great conversation. THANKS to Harriette Cole from HARRIETTE COLE MEDIA and Michele Wilson for the opportunity to chat it up. #theroot #harriettecole #bringittothetable


THREE MORE! Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley is going through Tuesday, July 14th. Last night’s 9th ANNIVERSARY of Billie's Black Gourmet Soul brought back (with a three-song set): MISS Frenchie Davis, a surprise for owner Adriane, who has been an awesome #theboss for our Tuesday night that could and did and does! Shout out to Marian - her wife - for her awesome zen-like support! And THANKS to FRENCHIE for shouting out my Anthony as well. She - to our ask - performed her amazing spin on Rihanna's "We Found Love". Was EXCITED to gift Frenchie Davis with a special giveaway from our SPRING 2015 SPONSOR Miss Jessie's. Upon receipt, Frenchie exclaimed: “I LOVE MISS JESSIE’S!!!”. We also toasted my Morehouse College BFF Michael K. Watts’ 45th Birthday. He had a blast! And I was too over the moon when my high school BFF Natalie Shinhoster Palmer opted to come up from Atlanta for ONE NIGHT ONLY of Billie’s Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley. We got in some other quick fun too. But she's gonna have to come for a stretch the next time. LOVE YOU, NAT! BEFORE WE WRAP, COME ON OUT! It's always so good to see my ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULS and our SUPPORTERS who come from NEAR and FAR! RESERVATIONS are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:212.280.2248. #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #invisiblelife #iammissjessies


Ushering in #NYCPride2015 at the Opening Night of Invisible Life:THE MUSICAL - running at The Apollo Theater, Harlem's Apollo Music Cafe!As this week's landmark decision by the nation's highest court marked a victory for proponents of same sex marriage, Invisible Life, the wildly successful novel from author E. Lynn Harris, is debuting a limited run --- as a musical --- at the Historic Apollo Theater. 20 years since the New York Times best-selling novel hit bookshelves, this explosive narrative addresses the conflicts of Sexuality, Religion, HIV/AIDS and Family in America. The musical features a prolific and robust score that was started by writer/author/director/LGBT-rights advocate Stanley Bennett Clay and completed by Motown legends Ashford & Simpson. One song, “God Has Love For Everyone”, captures the sentiment of this moment in time. Thanks to show consultant Sidra Smith for inviting me to be her date! So GOOD to see this long-held dream come to life for Co-Director Proteus Spann! CONGRATULATIONS! IT IS SOOOOO GOOD, I HAVE TO GO BACK THIS WEEKEND! 


Weekend of FAMILY:
Cousin Reggie's wedding in Perry, GA...and FATHER'S DAY in Savannah, GA with the GREATEST DAD ON EARTH! LOVE MY FAMILY! XO



PATRICK L. RILEY on latest episode of “The Inclusion Show” on “Soul of the South” Network: - “The Inclusion Show” with Wallace Ford had me on Soul of the South Television Network a month or so to discuss EMPIRE and the images of African Americans in Hollywood throughout time: Now, look for me on a monthly basis as a pop culture contributor --- having just taped another episode that will run this weekend. We'll talk more Empire, Shonda Rhimes, Diversity in Hollywood, and TV on DEMAND. ‪#‎theinclusionshow ‪#‎soulofthesouth ‪#‎ARISETV360 ‪#‎ARISENews ‪#‎EMPIRE ‪#‎FOXTV ‪#‎shondarimes ‪#‎scandal ‪#‎thecatch ‪#‎allstarkaraoke ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎motownmay


The rain didn't keep BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley from being THE PLACE TO BE – for singing, eating, drinking, and snagging some product from our sponsor MISS JESSIE’S.

Week 8 was a BLAST!

First, my surprise came in the form of MY COUSINS Gloria and Dwayne Arvinger who stopped by and got in on the fun! I LOVE Y’ALL!

And my dear friends, "Cheetah Girls" author Deborah Gregory - with her brother Edgar in tow (He turned it out! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EDGAR! LOVE YOU, DEBORAH!); film/TV producer/writer/podcast host Nathan Hale Williams, actress La Rivers, celeb hairstylist Carla Bone, Chef Roble & Co’s Artie Thompson - ALSO A BIRTHDAY BOY, Zenbiz Travel’s Laurence Pinckney, and makeup artist for the stars Merrell Hollis --- ALL stopped by with great things to share: Nathan’s Directorial Debut, Love for Passion, is an Official Selection at the Manhattan Film Festival...For more info: and Artie Thompson has a show at Metropolitan Room Saturday July 11th:

BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE is going through Tuesday, July 14th.


It will be ALL STAR KARAOKE as usual with several surprises + we’ll toast my Morehouse College BFF Michael K. Watts 45th Birthday while welcoming my high school BFF Natalie Shinhoster Palmer out for ONE NIGHT ONLY of Billie’s Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley.





strike a pose


frank ishman

World-renowned photographer - Frank Ishman – also my Morehouse College brother! He married his GENIUS to the COLLABORATIVE BRANDING GENIUS of Myrdith Leon-Mccormack... to the STYLING GENIUS of Janine Linton... and – VOILA! – you have MAN-HOGANY! LOL! Was FUN to get my MAHOGANY on with FRANK! Frank Ishman is THE BEST! #frankishman


How is it that I tell a slew of people on social media to go see MAHOGANY at the IFC and – by the time – I got around to securing my own ticket, it was SOLD OUT! Then, when I do an outreach, I get an emailed reply from Rhonda Ross! Yes, my friend! But also: daughter of Miss Diana Ross and Mr. Berry Gordy… and MAHOGANY was their 1975 Blockbuster project for which Miss Ross designed (and/or styled) ALL OF THE COSTUMES! Oh, and wait for it! Rhonda was seeing it ON THE BIG SCREEN for the FIRST TIME! Her escort? Bob Silberstein, the man who raised Rhonda - also father of her sisters Tracee Ellis Ross and Chudney Ross. The occasion: "Black Summer Nights", a celebration of queer African American artists and their unique role in shaping American culture and history. Tonight's selection was curated by another industry buddy, Tony-nominated actor for "Passing Strange" Colman Domingo via SKYPE (who - last we hung out - I was helping navigate the red carpet at the World Premiere of Lee Daniel's "The Butler"). As I'd just asked our sponsor at "Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley", Miko Branch of Miss Jessie's, her favorite film at a recent book signing, LOVE that it was "Mahogany" and she came out to enjoy it as well --- along with other buddies, filmmaker Andre Robert Lee; legendary performer Flotilla Debarge whose next show "FLO-REAL!! Here & Now" goes up Thursday, June 25th at 9p at Kraine Theatre - - and many others! FAB Monday Night! Next month on July 20th, pick up the series with "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket". For more info on Queer/Art/Film at the IFC Center...and the awesome folks associated - including filmmaker Stephen Winter, poet Pamela Sneed, Ira Sachs, Adam Baran, please visit www.IFCCENTER.COM/SERIES/QUEERARTFILM.  #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke#mahogany #queerartfilm

invisible life

Week 7 of BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE was VISIBLY VIBRANT as EVERYBODY ENJOYED their “Miss Jessie’s” grab bags (and Miko Branch’s current book). Highlight of the night was the cast of “Invisible Life: The Musical” coming by to promote their week-long, almost-SOLD-OUT engagement at The Apollo June 25th – 30th. We gave away tickets; sang Miss Ross’ “The Boss” produced by Motown Legends Ashford & Simpson who wrote the music and lyrics for “Invisible Life” (with additional lyrics by my brother friend Stanley Bennett Clay):  Based on the novel “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris, the musical’s book is written by Proteus Spann & Javon Johnson who joined us on stage for the fun! They co-direct “Invisible Life: The Musical”. And can we talk about the cast which is full of Broadway star power? Tony Award nominee Brenda Braxton (Smokey Joe’s Cafe) will portray Mama Tyler, the mother of Raymond Tyler Jr., who will be played by Gregory Williams. Raymond’s two closest friends Kyle and JJ, will be Terry Lavell (La Cage aux Folles) and Grammy- nominated Frenchie Davis (RENT). The iconic stage songstress Vivian Reed is also in the cast. Terry and Frenchie came to play – singing with me and solo! Ant’s sister Sabrina does Frenchie’s PR – so these moments were extra special. Purchase Tickets: ALSO IN THE MIX: One of our All Star Karaoke Journalism DIVAS, NBC4’s own anchor extraordinaire Shiba Russell and her crew were in the house as well as FIT grad Travis and his friends – led by ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFUL Antoinne who brought a fun group to CELEBRATE. And to all my peeps, THANKS! BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE is going through Tuesday, July 14th. PLEASE COME JOIN US! RESERVATIONS are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:212.280.2248. AND COME TUESDAY, JUNE 23RD, LET’S LOOK TO ALL STAR KARAOKE plus CELEBRATE BILLIE’S BLACK’S 9TH ANNIVERSARY – including a “special surprise guest”! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #invisiblelife

sidra and tasha smith

I was too excited to see my girlfriend Sidra Smith who has been busy as ever of late, but not too busy to bring the cast of “Invisible Life” to see me at All Star Karaoke (with the coordination of my friend Richard Pelzer). Sidra - NAACP Image Award winning producer of “Free Angela” - is Executive Producing "BOXED IN" - a film project her identical twin sister, Hollywood star Tasha Smith wrote and directed in association with producer Kim Ogletree. ABFF – the American Black Film Festival – screened the awesome flick . Shout out to ABFF and Jeff Friday for curating this one! For more information visit: a compelling story that anecdotes brilliantly the struggle and stigma of mental illness among our African American brothers and sisters. Beautiful film andawesome cast! Walter Fauntleroy plays a character who suffers with bipolar disorder. His mom is played by the amazing actress Tyra Ferrell who I've missed from the big screen a la the days of Poetic Justice and School Daze! We also loved her from HBO's The Corner (with Tasha Smith)...and - this just in - she told me we'll see her in Season 2 of Empire. BOXED IN also features the lady who cast me in upcoming film Steps- due out later this year: Penwah Phynjuar!! She's THE BEST! Director of STEPS, Eddie Harris
also in attendance tonight - saw an early screening of BOXED IN...and says he had to have Walter Fauntleroy for STEPS! And he and I have a few scenes together. Eddie also says I'm looking good in edit - as Rudy, the character I play, my acting debut in a feature film... Stay tuned..

tony awards

Another of my Broadway predictions on Arise Entertainment 360 has come TRUE! From my last visit, I figured Helen Mirren is so well-decorated in so many platforms for portraying THE QUEEN, the Great White Way would CROWN her accordingly. I was right! CLIP:! Tony Awards Leading Actress in a Play -- Helen Mirren in "The Audience". Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in the Broadway play, written by Peter Morgan. Mirren also originated the part at the play's original 2013 run in London's West End. #TheAudienceBway #TonyAwards #Arise360 #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke



VIDEO LINK: - SHOUT OUT to Carl Nelson - BFF for 20+ YEARS and Producer of Drums Along The Hudson -Inwood Park joined me on stage recently at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke to promote #drumsalongthehudson which he produces every years. I host the afternoon stage this Sunday, June 14th – an event that honors Tichina Arnold and His Holiness the Dalai Lama! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

 Hosting 2015s Drums Along The Hudson -Inwood Park, 13th annual! Honorees: my friend Tichina Arnold andHis Holiness the Dalai Lama! And George Faison andLotus Music Dance put on quite the FABULOUS presentation! #weareONE #drumsalongthehudson#rhythmnation 

#wearetheworld #thewiz #tony#lotusmusicanddance



Some know but I’ll share again: Ant and I met the opening night of “Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple”. He was covering it for STARZ. I was covering it for aforementioned title producer’s talk show. Ten years later, Ant and I are HERE! And my ARISE 360 Broadway/theater segment producer Derrick Hemphill and I got to meet the cast of on THE COLOR PURPLE Revival for Broadway – due in November 2015. At Chelsea’s Pier 59 as the backdrop, we got to hang out with the ladies on their first day together: Cynthia Erivo as Celie (She played the part in the London run); Jennifer Hudson as Shug (EGOT anyone? She has the Oscar and the Grammy); and Danielle Brooks of “Orange is the New Black” FAME as Sophia. #thecolorpurple

all star karaoke

Hope we can get Miss Hudson and the ladies up to Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley. We are UP AND RUNNING through mid-July! Join us next Tuesday for some special giveaways – including MISS JESSIE’s and a raffle for tickets to see the APOLLO THEATER's staged adaptation of E. Lynn Harris' New York Times best-selling debut novel "Invisible Life"….

This week was a BLAST! We welcomed another group of business journalism interns under the leadership of my NABJ brothers Will Sutton and Garry Howard. Shout out to the #DJNFbiz15 – the Dow Jones News Fund Business Internship program…

…we toasted and serenaded our ALL STAR KARAOKE show-runner Derrick Hemphill…

…and we welcomed singer Kylie Marcus Blue who sang her new single WONDER – available on I-Tunes and all platforms.


ALSO IN THE HOUSE: Celebrity designer Indashio came, saw, and conquered --- with the promise to return! MUCH LOVE!

Was also a treat to have ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 CO-HOST SHANNON LANIER in the house! I fill in for him at ARISE 360 when he's away. Now, we must get MISS LOLA OGUNNAIKE and the rest of the ARISE gang to come hang out at ALL STAR KARAOKE.

COME JOIN US NEXT WEEK – prepared to sing your favorite DIVA in the first hour of the night. We’ll have a “little giveaway” for the participant who BRINGS IT!

RESERVATIONS are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – if you want to sit and enjoy some SOUL FOOD & COCKTAILS! 212.280.2248. #DJNFbiz15 #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke

nectar imperial rose

Shout out to BFF Derrick Hemphill who invited me out to his birthday celebration extension: a Moet & Chandon-sponsored TOAST (of Nectar Imperial Rose - one of my FAVS!). The event at Cipriani was to introduce Nectar Imperial Rose's FIRST CREATIVE COLLABORATION: LIMITED EDITION BY MARCELO BURLON! FUN ROOM of GREAT FRIENDS and INDUSTRY BUDDIES I've not seen in a minute. ALSO IN THE HOUSE: my EVERY-STYLISH & GQ NEPHEW: HERMAN L. RILEY III. FUN to stumble into him... and a hang a bit! XO #MOETXMARCELO


Kylie Marcus Blue

My girl Michelle Sanchez Boyce is working with another awesome artist Kylie Marcus Blue… and bringing her to BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE this Tuesday, June 2nd to karaoke with us and to let us hear her new song “Wonder”. PLUS, Kylie will catch us all up on her upcoming plans! Kylie is HOT! Check out her EPK: FOLLOW KYLIE NOW: @kylie_marcus. One of the love interests in the video is Don Benjamin who was recently on America’s Next Top Model.  He has over 1M followers on IG @itsdonbenjamin. Come join us this Tuesday, June 2nd to meet Kylie and more!  RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 212.280.2248… or please be flexible and patient for standing room pending any cascading avails throughout the night! THANKS TO EVERYBODY FOR THEIR WEEKLY SUPPORT! WE ARE HAVING A BLAST!


On Tuesday, June 30th ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley will host the closing night show of Invisible Life The Musical Afterparty at Billie's Black, 271 W 119th St, New York, NY 10026. Join Global Network of Black Pride, Circle of Voices & Tammy Peay for a summer of fun on the last day of 'PRIDE' Month. For Additional Information & To Purchase Tickets: or RSVP Tickets with Richard E. Pelzer II at Shout out to Proteus Spann. Glad to see my friend Stanley Bennett Clay involved – adding lyrical magic to the gurus of composition: Ashford & Simpson. Was blessed to hear some of this music several years ago at The Apollo for a staged reading. Now, it’s show-time! RIP E. Lynn Harris. He’ll be thrilled to see the “Invisible Life” cast include: Broadway’s Brenda Braxton AND MISS Frenchie Davis – two powerhouses!


THIS PAST WEEK was OFF THE CHARTS! Shout out to one of my National Association of Black Journalists' mentors/Past NABJ President Will Sutton for bringing the Dow Jones News Fund Business Reporting Internship Program to Harlem for Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley. VIDEO CLIP: Will heads up Grambling State University's journalism school. He came in tow with about 20 program participants - recent graduates from an array of colleges and universities across the nation. They all trekked up from their facility at NYU to to see me and ask many questions about what I do, how, with whom, etc. They took lots of notes... and then, ENJOYED the SOUL FOOD, the KARAOKE (YEP! THEY SANG! LOL!), and quite the networking room - including our sponsor MIKO BRANCH from MISS JESSIE'S who brought a fun group of folks to get in on the fun and meet the kids. Plus, she helped me co-present the MISS JESSIE'S giveaways! PLUS, we all broke out in song as well! VIDEO CLIP: Special shout out to ROB WELLS, a professor at Maryland, who is working with #DJNFBiz15 as well. ALSO IN THE HOUSE: A host of our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULs and a lovely group of new ALL STAR KARAOKE FRIENDS – including Choreographer & Creative Director Victor Jackson who designs the moves for many of the music stars out today, from Iggy Azalea to SWV to Jennifer Hudson! AND CAN I TELL YOU HOW EXCITED I WAS TO HAVE – FOR THE FIRST TIME – MY BELOVED MOREHOUSE BROTHER ISOUL HARRIS – UPTOWN Magazine’s Editor in Chief – IN THE HOUSE! #bossbitches We never know who will pop by – so please come out and EXPERIENCE Billie's Black Gourmet Soul presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L Riley. RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 212.280.2248. #AllStarKaraoke #motownmay #billiesblack #iammissjessies #theboss


“The Inclusion Show” with Wallace Ford had me on Soul of the South Television Network a month or so to discuss EMPIRE and the images of African Americans in Hollywood throughout time: Now, look for me on a monthly basis as a pop culture contributor --- having just taped another episode that will run this weekend. We'll talk more Empire, Shonda Rhimes, Diversity in Hollywood, and TV on DEMAND. I’ll send the link when they send it. ‪#‎theinclusionshow ‪#‎soulofthesouth ‪#‎ARISETV360 ‪#‎ARISENews ‪#‎EMPIRE ‪#‎FOXTV ‪#‎shondarimes ‪#‎scandal ‪#‎thecatch ‪#‎allstarkaraoke ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎motownmay

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