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

 

empire recap

playback

EMPIRE is on everybody’s minds these days! THE LIFE OF RILEY is no exception. Not only am I talking about the antics of Cookie, Luscious, and the Lyons “dynasty”… but when I wear my guest co-host hat and/or my pop culture analyst hat, it’s EMPIRE and its creator Lee Daniels all day:

Last week, Lee Daniels stopped by to dish on EMPIRE and its over-the-top SUCCESS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXw5_p5fpBI!

That booking came a couple of weeks after my NBCBLK interview  - my debut contribution to that new, African American vertical for NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416.

And ARISE AMERICA had me on with Debbye Turner Bell who – like me – is a FAN! GREAT CHAT with Debbye: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152816022788737.

LORRA RIVERS

I've been talking about the careers of the EMPIRE cast for years. I've met Taraji. Terrence has been really cool throughout the years - dressy or casul! LOL! I attended the "Precious" premiere in Hollywood and met Gabourey. She, Lee, and I would be in the same screening room to see one of his first sharings of "Lee Daniels' "The Butler". And on and on, I could go about the AWESOME cast. Also: From two day-playing roles on another FOX TV hit from the mid-'90s, "New York Undercover", I first got to know EMPIRE co-star Malik Yoba. Have attended his live shows over the years. Happened to be producing BET reality show "Monica: Still Standing" while Malik and the cast of Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married Too?" were filming. We all stayed at the TWELVE Atlantic Station. But par for the course in the LIFE OF RILEY, I'll also be sharing some NAMES behind the STARS and the BRAND of EMPIRE who will be popping up! I want to make sure you are in the KNOW! Shout out to my college BFF Audrey Irvine – CNN’s own – for sending some EMPIRE tea my way. On THIS WEDNESDAY’s episode (March 3, 2015), the vision and cutting edge style of designer Lorra Rivers 'Nikita' clutch will make its debut on Empire!! A homegrown DC talent, Lorra Rivers is a professsionally trained interior designer who received her interior design degree with a minor in architecture from Taraji's alma mater Howard University. With over 27 years' experience, Lorra has served as a contributing writer for Ebony, Homes of Color and Upscale magazines. She was a featured designer in the coffee table book, Spectacular Homes of Greater Washington, DC where her custom furniture designs were on display. In a little over 5 years, Lorra has transitioned her design experience towards another passion, the fashion industry. In creating the 'LorraRivers' brand, her purse designs reflect a cutting edge style for the fashionista with flair. The signature collection 'Nikita' clutch will be featured on this week's Empire.  Which character will  hold the 'Nikita'? Lorra describes the 'Lorra Rivers Woman' as one who possesses awe inspiring sensuality, a playfully shines from within and commands strength tempered with refinement. Stay tuned this Wednesday at 9p on FOX. And let LORRA RIVERS – and LIFE OF RILEY –know your thoughts on the purse AND the episode.

Contact information

www.lorrarivers.com

IG: lorrarivers

Twitter: @lorrarivers1

Facebook: Lorra Rivers bag


KEHINDE WILEY

I have also been seeing Kehinde Wiley’s work in EMPIRE – since Episode 1. Was happy to support my friend Lamar Johnson's film project KEHINDE WILEY: AN ECONOMY OF GRACE which he Executive Produced in partnership with PBS: TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46wgtP3eiEF. It was on a short list of documentaries being considered for the final ballot at this year’s Academy Awards. Look to hear more from Lamar very soon; meanwhile, so good to see Kehinde on EMPIRE!

Nsilo

You see the one on the right with the sunglasses and the pink shirt? I used to call him "Tandi's little brother". She and I were closer in age as we matriculated through Savannah's social teen scene. But I must give him a GROWN MAN shout out to my Savannah homeboy; fellow Windsor Forest High School KNIGHT; and Morehouse brother Nsilo Reddick – business partner and producer to Grammy-winning MC Chamillionaire: http://allhiphop.com/2015/02/24/chamillionaire-start-up-companies/. The two moguls and their team are stellar exemplars of making the most of THE BUSINESS in SHOW BUSINESS as they aim to encourage "our people" to learn more about finance, investing, the tech industry, etc...and to put some of that floss less into bottle service and more into making power moves - for example - at a venture capital firm. And the proof is in the pudding as Chamillionaire announces that he - and Nsilo - are now an entrepreneurs-in-residence for Upfront Ventures, an investment firm. EXCERPT from the article above: “In a letter written by Upfront Ventures’  investment partner Mark Suster, he detailed how his relationship with Chamillionaire began and how the “Hip Hop Police” rapper is flourishing into quite the entrepreneur. The Houston spitter caught Suster’s eye after a 2009 speech about social media engagement in the music industry. A few years back he started many mini investments in tech firms with Suster, which led to Cham wanting to becoming more involved with the tech start up world. “A while back Chamillionaire started telling me he wanted to immerse himself even more in the tech world – learning to build products, studying different business models and committing himself to being a true tech entrepreneur,” Suster wrote. “Chamillionaire has a way more refined sense of what customer behavior is like than most ivy league graduates with nice Powerpoint slides that I meet.” Now as an entrepreneur-in-residence for the next several months, Chamillionaire is soaking up knowledge about start ups and is also advising Upfront Ventures along with his business partner and producer Nsilo Reddick.” LOVE IT! LEAD BY EXAMPLE, MY BROTHERS!

 

 

glory

SWEET ARISE

 Hi folks! YOU can watch me (from time to time) on ARISE - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360. THIS WEEK, I’m filling in for my friend Shannon Lanier who is on Oscar duty. I’m working alongside Sharon Carpenter who is filling in for our beloved Lola Ogunnaike. Earlier this week, Lee Daniels stopped by to dish on EMPIRE and its over-the-top SUCCESS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXw5_p5fpBI!  This comes a couple of weeks after my NBCBLK interview with one of Hollywood’s finest directors:http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416. And ARISE AMERICA had me on with Debbye Turner Bell who – like me – is a FAN! GREAT CHAT with Debbye:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152816022788737. THIS WEEK on Arise Entertainment 360, we talked OSCARS and interviewed actress Regina Taylor (star of USA Network's DIG on USA) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m8mfdjNa8Q; Anthony Harper's and my friends, Miss Robbie Montgomery and her son Tim Norman – stars of recurring client OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Welcome to Sweetie Pie's -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9IXUAC2-JQ;

 Claire Gilman on why Tomi Ungerer is the first illustrator to be shown at The Drawing Center in its over 30 year history -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT9uzh1U0Gk; Scheana Marie fromVanderpump Rules on Bravo; Crystal Mccrary (Director, “Little Ballers”); plastic surgeon Dr. Randal Haworth; Thelonious Monk III; Jason Hervey (EP, “Outlaw Country”/Child star, “Wonder Years”):

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

; fashion designer Kimberly Goldson (Season 9 FINALIST on “Project Runway”) -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl2koRMa7Og; and – from MINIBAR (delivery apps) - Lindsey Andrews:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk3H3S-d8Kg. PRIMARILY I do Broadway/pop culture segments and guest co-host on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYghWCBasyo&list=PL1TUj2SKo8ntR2D6QVDcQLwdykzvhtzbK. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!#arise360#ariseTV360 #sweetiepie

 

QAASIM MIDDLETON

SHOUT OUT to Toni Seawright for sharing her son Qaasim Middleton (and his AWESOME brother Khalil) with us during the SPRING 2014 SERIES of Billie’s Black Presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley (At the end of June, I also got to share a stage with them as I hosted their mom’s 50TH BDAY PARTY – a tribute to Michael Jackson!).

WELL, NOW WE NEED THE VILLAGE TO LIFT HIM UP as he is TOP 24 on this season of AMERICAN IDOL! TOMORROW night on Fox!!! This week, AMERICA VOTES!!! AND WE MUST GET HIM TO THE TOP 12! So please spread the word and vote for Brooklyn's BADD Boy, New York and Mississippi's Finest in Entertainment!!! And also join his Fan page on Facebook… and hit him up and follow him on:
His Twitter is @QaasimOfficial 
His Instagram is @QaasimOfficial#billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #motownmay#AmericanIdol #LetsBegin#SypheEntertainment#MCMI #MCMIReport#RebellionEvent#idolauditions

 

Selma – Cochran Firm

During this last week of February, The Cochran Firm is giving high school students from selected metropolitan area schools the opportunity to see Selma Movie. Through the efforts of regional offices of The Cochran Firm, students aged 12 – 19 are seeing the movie, Selma, and are participants in a social media campaign highlighting their thoughts on current social justice issues. For the New York City screening at Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem, organizer of this effort/my NABJ sister friend Yolanda Young – an attorney and journalist – asked me to present the film; The Cochran Firm rep for NYC: Tracey L Brown; and the winnings from the student social media contest to three NYC students: Brian Brown Jr.; Zydasia Ramos; and Joshua Glover. As part of this event, students from across the country posted their original artwork, photos, poems, memes and essays - expressing their views on today’s social justice issues and what they would like to do to peacefully implement change. Winners for their work received a $50 Visa gift card, and the school with the most participation, shares, and entries will win $500. Platforms to follow these works are Twitter (@CochranNational), Instagram (CochranFirm) and Facebook (The Cochran Firm). THANKS COCHRAN FIRM! And SHOUT OUT to YOLANDA YOUNG, who last booked me a year or so ago to host “Lawyers of Color” HOT LIST ROLL CALL reception at esteemed law firm Sullivan & Cromwell!

http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2013/6/9/magic-2-do.html.  

#SELMA #selma2015 #SelmaStudentSocialMediaContest #FDA2 #LifeofRiley #LOR #PatrickLRiley #PatrickRiley

standing next to goddess

miss watley is everything

MISS Jody Watley made it a "Night to Remember" for 'Life of Riley' (and childhood friend Ernest Maynor's BDAY + NJ BFF TATA met her "DIVA" in person). B.B. King Blues Club's was the place to be as MISS Watley sang from her Shalamar AND solo repertoire. She was in AWESOME VOICE and her performance gave everything her loyal fans (and the sold-out audience) hunger to experience: the HITS; the MOVES; the DRAG; the DRAMA; and the DIVA! I was on my feet through most of the highly-charged set... and on my knees  -BOWING DOWN - for the rest! LOL! SO WAS THE REST OF HER LOYAL FOLLOWING! She did 'Most' of the material but not 'everything'! BACKSTORY: So, I have loved MISS Jody Watley since she was a teenager – dancing on Soul Train before she joined the group Shalamar – at which time I was a footloose and fancy-free Air Force Brat of six-years old in San Bernadino, CA on Norton Air Force Base --- with a blow-out of dusty dark brown and the inevitable bell bottoms! LOL! Well, fast forward through many years in which she brought me only the FIERCEST brand of JOY - from the balance of her SHALAMAR years through to the launch and lift-off of her SOLO career... and stop for a moment on July 1995. Philadelphia. And MISS Jody Watley was headlining a concert for the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention. She called me on stage to dance with her. Talk about A NIGHT TO REMEMBER! Though I’d seen her fabulous solo show a couple of years ago at B.B. KINGS, I got another opportunity to be an audience with MISS Jody Watley (album) back in September 2013. Her publicist Juanita Stephens is a mutual friend and led MISS JODY WATLEY to my blog A DAY IN THE LIFE OF RILEY as a vehicle to – via phone and an on-line Q&A - update folks on her latest release "PARADISE" – quite the global dance senastion: iTunes Digitally (as well as other select digital outlets) –

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/paradise/id901587446?uo=4  [EXCLUSIVE CD, includes 'Everlasting' not available digital: http://jodywatley.bigcartel.com/]. What a GREAT PHONE CHAT:

http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2013/9/10/a-nightlife-to-remember.html. SO LAST NIGHT: MISS JODY WATLEY was back at B.B. King Blues Club accompanied by her new and reloaded Shalamar… and we ENJOYED THE SHOW; CELEBRATED BFF (since 7th grade), Ernest Maynor’s birthday; and – afterwards – got some LIFE OF RILEY & JODY WATLEY time and - FINALLY - my posed photo op (though LOVE NABJ bestie and Morehouse brother Michael K. Watts captured MISS WATLEY and me on stage in Philly). Was great to catch with MISS JODY WATLEY on all she's got going: her upcoming shows - including one in NYC this summer (TBA; Stay tuned...); how she came to re-incorporate the SHALAMAR legacy into her SOLO shows - now that she OWNS THE NAME & BRAND! YOU GO, MISS JODY!; and – because ‪#‎itsinthemusic – she shared that her upcoming music release plans, which include forthcoming single “DANCER”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/paradise/id901587446?uo=4. AND we're excited to hear some of what we didn't hear this go around THE NEXT TIME - including: "Most of All"; "Everything"; "All Begins With You" (MY REQUEST FOR NEXT! LOL!); "When A Man Loves A Woman"; "Off The Hook"; and WHAT ELSE? Shalamar’s “I Don’t Wanna Be The Last” and the MOTOWN REVUE song! LOL! OH, WE JUST LOVE YOU, JODY WATLEY! And could listen to you and DANCE WITH YOU ALL NIGHT LONG! SHOUT OUT to MR. WALLACE who works with JODY... and Editor in Chief of UPTOWN MAGAZINE, my brother friend Isoul Harris! XOXOXOXO ‪#‎JodyWatley#itsinthemusic ‪#‎dancer ‪#‎paradise ‪#‎nightlife‪#‎lifeofriley#allstarkaraoke ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎motownmay#ARISETV360 ‪#‎NBCBLK‪#‎COZITV ‪#‎OWNTV ‪#‎TVONE#CENTRICTV ‪#‎BET

more arise

In the wake of doing a freelance interview with Lee Daniels for recurring client NBCBLK: 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416, I got a booking to chat about the success of EMPIRE on ARISE AMERICA with Debbye Turner Bell: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152816022788737. We had a GREAT TIME as she's a FAN like me. I guest co-hosted last week on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 (and am on HOLD for some days in the coming weeks). Has been fun to fill in for my friend Shannon Lanier to and to rejoin Sharon Carpenter who is filling in for our beloved Lola Ogunnaike. YOU can watch them (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! Here are a few of the segments we did this week:

 

Author of "The Work" Wes Moore!

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

The Authors of "Single Man Married Man!"

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hbvDBYlCJs

Author of "MelloYello" Walker Smith!

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHd0HBPTpQ4

T.S. MONK (Thelonious Monk III)

- http://youtu.be/1EMJPYRQSW4

BRIAN WATKINS (jeweler)

- http://youtu.be/T4dNgHuqxa4

Zaraah Abrahams (from Spike Lee's "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOIm5qqeIdE

#arise360 #ariseTV360 #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #wesmoore #thework #singlemanmarriedman #pervistaylor #melloyello #jacktherapper #walkersmith #brianwatkins #ritani #theloniousmonkIII

vivica a. fox

Shout out to my friends from SavvyMarketing Entertainment Group LLc for inviting us out to the Unsung HOLLYWOOD premiere of Vivica A. Fox which is airing on TV One! IT'S GOOD!!!!!! And was good to see my peeps Savoy Walker; Mark A Forrest; Cynna Gorham; Tasha Lynch; Jamar Dunn; Deborah Gregory; and MISS Vivica A Fox herself!

3 the hard way comedy

Shout out to my BET colleague and sister in CREATIVITY, Thembisa Mshaka, for hipping me to some work she's doing with an amazing comic named Jabari Baraka Davis, whose definitely on the rise in standup. He produces an event called 3 The Hard Way Comedy--the goal being to diversify comedy in NYC with talented women and people of color taking the often segregated stages of Manhattan. He considers himself a product of both philosophy and hip hop, and his comedy reflects this in unexpected ways. He's also a former substitute teacher, so the jokes are smart and street.The BHM edition has 3 Black comedians: Seaton C. Smith and Janelle James join Jabari Davis on 2/24 at 8pm at Stand Up NY LabsY. There will also be shows March 6 and 31 - so look for my updated accordingly and know that I'll likely be at one of the shows. SO, PLEASE SAY HI, if you come. Here's a link to Jabari's bio: http://jabaridavis.site.socxs.com/home CONGRATS!

get focused on reading

Shout out to my brother friend Goldin Martinez, Founder of Get Focused - www.getfocused.org - introducing its newest initiative called Get Focused On Reading, which will be the focus of an event on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at Inwood Academy to commemorate National Reading Month. They want to increase their impact with Get Focused On Reading… and to give you a chance to help:

1. Organize a book collection with your network. They accept all books from poetry, biographies, children books, and more, and can arrange a pick-up. This will help us reach our goal of 1,000 books.2. Make a personal monetary donation to our cause. This will help us with transportation, storage, t-shirts, marketing material, etc. Our goal is to raise $2,000 to help pay for expenses.

Go to www.getfocused.org for more information.

standing next to God

He's much like a nephew! Mr. Myles and his mom Tracey Moore are producing his documentary "Standing Next to God" about his recovery from traumatic brain injury. Please make a Love Donation and share this link in your network. Thank you! This is the fundraising campaign for Standing Next to God -Myles Marable: http://de.gofund.me/StandingNextToGod  ‪#‎StandingNextToGod

precious queen

MY LATE, GREAT MOM QUEEN ELIZABETH BELLINGER RILEY - a social media SENSATION! LOL! With all the controversy over Beyonce and Ledisi and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" and the Grammys, I'd been having an internal dialogue with myself about MY LATE, GREAT MOM QUEEN ELIZABETH BELLINGER RILEY. My self-chat goes something like this: "Thank you, Thomas Dorsey for the song! Thank you, Mahalia for sharing it with the world! Thank you, Ledisi for your recording on SELMA! Thank you, Beyonce for your performance on the THE GRAMMYS! But NO ONE SANG "TAKE MY HAND, PRECIOUS LORD" LIKE MY MOTHER!!!!!!!!" 

Well, I'd told many of you my mother could sing and did often in The House of Prayer (our family church) as well as in all our travels - from Germany to Japan to California to Valdosta, GA, etc.  I've even compared her to Mahalia Jackson with a little Tamala Mann to boot! LOL! Well, via FACEBOOK, it seems we're not the only ones thinking this. A FACEBOOK note from my sister's childhood friend from our mid-to-late-'70s days in San Bernadino, Califonia on Norton Air Force Base underscored what we always knew (How’d she remember, after all these years?):

 February 10 at 7:05am · Edited ·

Janice, I don't care what anyone says "Queen" is still my winner when it comes to singing "Take my hand". Everytime I hear it I remember her singing it at Norton! — feeling blessed.

 MY FIRST DIVA! LOL! #RIP #QUEENELIZABETHBELLINGERRILEY

beyond the cray

mo’ better arise

I guest co-hosted this week on Arise Entertainment 360 – filling in for my friend Shannon Lanier and rejoining Sharon Carpenter who is filling in for our beloved Lola Ogunnaike. YOU can watch them (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! Here are a few of the segments we did this week:

Author of "The Work" Wes Moore!

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

 

The Authors of "Single Man Married Man!"

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hbvDBYlCJs

 

Author of "MelloYello" Walker Smith!

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHd0HBPTpQ4

 

T.S. MONK (Thelonious Monk III)

- http://youtu.be/1EMJPYRQSW4

 

BRIAN WATKINS (jeweler)

- http://youtu.be/T4dNgHuqxa4

 #arise360 #ariseTV360 #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #wesmoore #thework #singlemanmarriedman #pervistaylor #melloyello #jacktherapper #walkersmith


cindy crawford

Shout out to my dear friend Kiwan Michael Anderson, Special Events Manager at Ω OMEGA Watches (Division of The Swatch Group (U.S.), Inc.): www.omegawatches.com/corbis. He made sure Anthony Harper and I were in the house at The NY Historical Society to celebrate the screening of a special documentary OMEGA produced with iconic Supermodel and businesswoman Cindy Crawford and Orbis (the flying eye hospital). Crawford narrates the compelling doc. Nice to pop by my friends Mario and Randall’s Thursday night set in HARLEM: NABE. FUN TIMES! #omegaorbisteddy


beyond the lights

Shout out to Tagan Lee and Anna Fuson for getting me out to the Parker Meridian Hotel-Bar to see Director SUPREME Gina Prince-Bythewood whose Beyond the Lights is now available on Digital HD via iTunes and Amazon digital – just in time for Valentine’s Day! It will release on Blu-ray™ & DVD Feb 24. The PG-13 film – called by some a modern-day The Bodyguard – stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (also from Belle – the premiere of which I got to attend and meet Gugu); my buddy Nate Parker (who I recently saw in L.A. while out there Executive Producing NBCUniversal’s The More You Know campaign for 2015-16); Minnie Driver; Richard Colson Baker (MGK); and Danny Glover. I got to interview Gina Prince-Bythewood and Nate Parker in Chicago in 2008 at the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention where they were promoting The Secret Life of Bees (film) - also directed by Gina: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2008/7/29/like-i-never-left.html.#beyondthelightsfilm #nateparker#belle #BeyondTheLights 

between riverside and crazy

ALSO: Shouting out my friend Marcia Pendelton for getting Anthony Harper, Marlynn Snyder, Derrick Hemphill, and more out to see one of several off-Broadway productions she’s marketing where the lives of African-Americans unfold in front of the audience in bold, diverse strokes. Our latest treat from her repository of HOT SHOWS was Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis starring Stephen McKinley Henderson and Ron Cephas Jones, now playing at Second Stage Theatre, through March 22…and inside its very NYC-centric narrative, the two-act play is nothing short of spectacular! MUST-CHECK-OUT

#SecondStageTheatre#BetweenRiversideandCrazy 

loud 100

Shout out to David Bridgeforth for including me on your Loud 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR OF 2014 LIST http://dbqmag.com/loud100.html. Go see who else made the list! CONGRATS to all of my brethren and sisters! #dbq #loud100 #lgbt

blackbird

A few months ago, I shared with all of your that I attended Film Life Presents the 18th annual American Black Film Festival in NYC: www.abff.com - at which my friend Patrik-Ian Polk PREMIERED his NEW FILM “BLACKBIRD – Executive Produced by and Starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique. Well,  the distribution deal is done and the theatrical release date is April 24th: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/exclusive-umc-sets-theatrical-date-for-patrik-ian-polks-blackbird-new-release-poster-trailer-20150210. Here is the trailer:

https://vimeo.com/86641697  #blkbirdthefilm #abff

lesbe real radio talk

 Shout out to Jazz Gray-Sadler, Producer and Host of LesBe Real Radio Talk! She popped into New York City for her birthday and squeezed me in for a FAB TALK that she'll be sharing via her airwaves very soon. Stay tuned for those details.  Meanwhile, please take a few minutes to check out this video & article to learn more about her journey:  http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/speak-easy/speak-easy-feature/item/75910-a-live-mic-for-lgbt-philadelphias-most-disenfranchised. ALSO: Check out What's New @ LesBe Real on Pinterest! Adventure, Lovers, Travel, Wellness & more...www.pinterest.com/lesbereal1/ THANKS JAZZ! Looking forward to seeing/hearing our CHAT! #lesberealradiotalk

king queen

ross

From the house, MISS ROSS came OUT at the GRAND RE-OPENING of the Kings Theatre. In the audience? NYC Mayor de Blasio; Natalie Cole; Gordon Chambers; Rhonda Ross; Miss Ross' first husband Bob Silberstein (father of Tracee Ellis Ross and Chudney Ross); Art Thompson; and all my DIANA tribe members. WAS TOO EXCITED to experience the show with my nephew, his first ROSS extravaganza, which capped off with "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" on which Rhonda Ross joined her mom with an ad-lib plus Ross' son Evan Ross joined her with his new wife Ashlee Simpson who is pregnant with Miss Ross' third grandchild.Ashlee's son joined them on the stage as well - dancing with Miss Ross whose ex-stepchild Leona Naess, Evan and Ross' sister via thier late father Arne Naess, was also in attendance. Miss Ross will tour this final leg of her IN THE NAME OF LOVE 2014-15 tour throughout February. Then, she’ll jump into rehearsals and relocation for here mini-residency in April at The Venetian in Las Vegas - http://www.venetian.com/ - THE ESSENTIAL DIANA ROSS: SOME MEMORIES NEVER FADE. #endlesslove

ella

It's Ella's Sweet 16! She is my NABJ buddy Brian Henderson's stepdaughter (Daughter of Brian's wife Nikita Stewart Henderson).Had to have her "guncles" in the house! That's right! Anthony Harper's back! Yay! XO #e16

titi

Billie's Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley's sponsor Miss Jessie's MIKO BRANCH asked me to sing Sylvester/Patti LaBelle's "You Are My Friend" for the public celebration of her sister Titi Branch's life held recently at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY:

http://youtu.be/KDlVBgqBH0U

. A BEAUTIFUL, UPLIFTING AFTERNOON! #TitiBranch#RIPTitiBranch #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke

brunch

Champagne Fashion Brunch during ALL STAR WEEKEND! Women in POWER (and the men they love) NETWORK and enjoy an afternoon on Sunday, February 15th.  

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