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




 Anthony Harper and I are here watching Xscape Unsung. Talk about the soundtrack of OUR LIVES (and - for me - my young adult years right as my pie-in-the-sky ambitions were about to meet crippling-despair at the pass... and life would never be the same... and yet I'm here to tell the story)...GOD IS GOOD!See the time stamp: July 8, 1994. And the frame is footage from some behind the scenes footage of that Xscape music video shoot for the song "Tonight". As I was an associate producer and the entertainment guy for FOX 5 Atlanta's Good Day Atlanta, I took my little cousin DeeDee Manor with me to the set as she was visiting Atlanta from Savannah for the summer and had just come up with my mom #queenelizabethbellingerriley for my sister Janice Riley Priester's July 4 work cookout. That week, we also saw Whitney Houston at The Omni. At 23, I was readying for the wrap of "Options: Image of the Future" summer camp which I co-directed with Reginald Parker (our banquet was approaching) and I was Co-Chair of the first Unity Journalists of Color / (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists Convention (as VP-Broadcast of Atlanta Association of Black Journalists - AABJ). A week later, I'd wreck my car on Georgia Tech's campus. That's where we held our camp. Then 7/20 happened: my mom had a heart attack and instantly passed away. When this frame of video flashed across the screen, I got goosebumps. It all came pouring back! It was 21 years ago this month...time flies... and pop culture is here to remind us. XO RIP #queenriley #72094

grand finale

THE GRAND FINALE of Billie's Black PRESENTS#ALLSTARKARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley: our SPRING 2015 SERIES went out with a BANG! Broadway DIVOs Ryan Shaw (Stevie Wonder from “Motown the Musical”). Also, my friend Charles Wallace (Broadway’s “Amazing Grace” which OPENS this Thursday) came by and SANG Aretha and Teddy. The passing of songwriter/producer Michael Masser hit me like a ton of bricks as I was first introduced to him via Miss Ross' liner notes. He wrote "Touch Me In The Morning"; "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?"; "Last Time I Saw Him"; "It's My Turn"; "To Love Again", "In Your Arms", "One More Chance", "Stay With Me" --- many of my FAVORITES! Then, when Miss Ross exited stage left from his works in the '80s, Miss Whitney Houston inherited his genius on "Greatest Love of All", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "All At Once", "After We Make Love", and so much more - for these ladies and George Benson and Natalie Cole, etc! I would have me choose two favorites from his Diana Ross/Whitney Houston repertoires: “It’s My Turn” and “Didn’t We Almost Have it All”: And we celebrated two birthday girls: Rachelle and Tracey as well as the CUNY Journalism Fellows who my friend Nikita Stewart Henderson (from “The New York Times”) brought to hang out with us. AND WE DID THE ‪#‎THEBOSSCHOIR at#BILLIESBLACK ONE MORE TIME! LOL! THANKS TO EVERYBODY who has been such a STEADY SUPPORT of our LITTLE NIGHT that COULD - including our TITLE SPONSOR Miss Jessie's... and Riley/Land Gourmet Pantry XOXOXOHope to see y'all in the FALL... if we don't pop up somewhere in the meantime! Endless Love for Billie's Black! Love you, Adriane and Marian! XOXOXOXO


I love my National Association of Black Journalists' sister friend Katti Gray - so much I got up too early (after the GRAND FINALE of our Spring 2015 Series of “Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley”) to teach her new, diverse crop of NYC high schoolers participating in the NYU Urban Journalism Workshop "THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW". Plus, I had a young CAU-bound intern Blake shadowing me for the day on an ask from my friend Marcia Cole. GREAT KIDS! GREAT TIMES! My recap from last year: #nyuujw




Thanks to my "nephew" and NABJ BFF Brian Henderson for hipping me to filmmaker Aviva Kempner's latest work: Rosenwald, a documentary describing how businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald joined with African-American communities in the South to build schools for them during the early 20th century. Rosenwald will be released in theaters in August 2015. And there's a screening next week in L.A. MUST SEE! Thanks Brian!



Brian and his wife, dear friend Nikita Stewart Henderson - New York Times' own - invited me to experience Nikita's daughter Ella for what is being dubbed "the greatest showcase of the summer"! This weekend, at the lengendary Bitter End, talented teenage musicians took over the stage at "ROCK IN BLEECKER"! Proceeds benefitted the charity Music Unites, which is dedicated to spreading music programs throughout public schools for at-risk youth. GO ELLA who also graced our Grand Finale of Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley. She's also working in several fabulous arts programs - including a Clive Davis one at NYU and another at Harlem School of the Arts. And she's interning at Sounds of Brazil: SOBs this summer - booking acts for the famous live venue.

grace is amazing


Everybody KNOWS Diana Ross' THE BOSS is my FAVORITE!

And we MUST DO #THEBOSS with the #THEBOSSCHOIR every week at Billie's Black​ presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley​ at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul​ --- EVERY TUESDAY! Even got my nephew's mom/friend Felecia Roberts to join in on the fun as she visits from our hometown of Savannah, GA: MUCH LOVE, FE! And FOLKS! with ONE MORE TO GO, WHO WILL JOIN US NEXT WEEK for #THEBOSS choir!? Reservations highly recommended or swing through and TOAST with us for a MOMENT! It's ALWAYS A BLAST! And we'll be back in the FALL and may be POPPIN' UP around TOWN and maybe somewhere out there! AS ALWAYS, THANKS TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO PLAY A PART – including designer B. Michael (and his business partner and husband Mark-Anthony Edwards) for stepping into our room for the first time… WHAT A BLAST!


THIS PAST TUESDAY was NEXT LEVEL! WASHINGTON DC brought GO GO music to LIFE! Morehouse man Spike Lee brought GO GO music to the world via his 1988 film School Daze. Howard’s own Carla Bone’s BFF Donna Kirkland – along with the capture by her fellow CAU alum Derrick Hemphill – created ‪#‎DABUTT MANIA when this song was selected at our 2nd to the last Tuesday of the SPRING 2015 SERIES of Billie’s Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley. The room ERUPTED with C.A.U., Morehouse, Spelman, Howard and all the the HBCU's representing when the EU classic was chosen! OMG! LOL!


ONE MORE TUESDAY LEFT: Tuesday, July 14th! And if you plan to do more than a “drive by”, RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 212.280.2248. All Star Karaoke is a weekly karaoke series in Harlem, NY that I host in Harlem, NY! My blog, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF RILEY can be found at  ‪#‎BILLIESBLACK#ALLSTARKARAOKE #DABUTT ‪#‎DABUTTCHOIR#THEBOSSCHOIR ‪#‎THEBOSS ‪#‎thevoice ‪#‎teamkimberlynichole‪#‎schooldaze


Speaking of Miss Jessie’s and their continued support of BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with PATRICK L. RILEY and LIFE OF RILEY, I must note how appreciative our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULS are for the weekly giveaways. And the SWAG bags she provides everyone who walks through the door! Along with other integrations we've been able to execute with RILEY LAND GOURMET PANTRY, HENDRICKS GIN, and MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, MISS JESSIE'S has been our MAIN SPONSORSHIP DIVA - in the cut for our folks... and letting us wrap our arms around her from time to time as she's been inside a grueling year of personal losses; major professional gains; and a major book release and tour:Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch---Naturally. And - sometimes - you just want to sing some karaoke... and we do! LOL! #THEBOSS of course:! LOL!

Though LIFE OF RILEY can be FAB, it only beats one booking and one check at a time, so when folks in my life are the difference to me (as I aim to be for so many), I have to SHOUT it out! SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to MY FRIEND, Miss Jessie's Founder Miko Branch and Miss Jessie's for SPONSORING ME to attend this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ Convention – a bit of an off-shoot of my “Harlem open mic night” as I’ve been invited to HOST “#NABJ40 Night at the Apollo” (but it’s in MINNEAPOLIS on Opening Night of the Convention in August). Everyone knows NABJ is "my annual therapy". And my "annual therapy" is about to meet my "daily therapy" (karaoke) at the pass. LOL!  The release reads: "Battle it out on stage with your fellow NABJ members as you compete in the ULTIMATE Apollo talent competition hosted by none other than Patrick L. Riley! Bring your costumes, props, and song choice to the convention center after the opening reception. Solos, duets, and group performances are welcome! Become the 2015 #NABJ40 Apollo Night Champion!" If my NABJ fam is registered for the convention, coming, and going to be there and want to get in on the fun, PLEASE FILL THIS OUT and SUBMIT: #NABJ is a FAMILY REUNION and ALWAYS a good time! See LIFE OF RILEY's capture of NABJ over the years: Once-NABJ “Emerging Journalists of the Year” Michael Feeney (NYABJ President); dear friend Mara Schiavocampo (GMA Correspondent); NBC4 Anchor Shiba Russell (and the NBC 4 crew); and one of Ant's and my favorite couples Nikita Stewart Henderson (New York Times) and consultant Brian Henderson frequent our night! Also, NABJ President Will Sutton and NABJ's own Garry Howard brought their Dow Jones Business Reporting Internship students out. And they came two Tuesdays in a row at this Spring 2015's "Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley". So, I’m excited to bring KARAOKE to NABJ! And to see what our FABULOUS MEMBERS are going to sing! #WEAREFAMILY 


Broadway marketing/audience consultant SUPREME, Marcia Pendelton​! THANK YOU! WHAT AN AWESOME MUSICAL! Something ALL will want to experience when it OPENS next Wednesday! Anthony Harper​, Derrick Hemphill​, Herman Lee Riley III, Felecia Roberts​, RU, and I LOVED Amazing Grace, the musical. It stars Chuck Cooper. He's a Broadway legend! AND IS JUST AWESOME in this musical!I got to share the stage in Project1voice​'s Amen Corner​ by James Baldwin​: My friend Charles E Wallace​ is also in it...and STUNS! The whole cast is AMAZING! But friend Charles Wallace does bring something special into the equation. He'll be understudying for Chuck Cooper as well. A MUST SEE!  #AGBROADWAY #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

lotta love

I love when my MOREHOUSE COLLEGE brother Michael K. Watts - LIVE! from Front Row keeps me posted on where he is in his #LIFEOFRILEY reading. He reads on varied commutes... on demand. Or when he chooses! LOL! His note with this picture: "You've been blogging your a__ off this year!! This is only half of them!!" LOL! Thank MKW and all who take the time to check out LIFE OF RILEY: #lor #lifeofriley

Kimberly Nichole

The Voice Finalist KimberlyNichole - of KimberlyNichole & the Yellow Brick Journey! fame - was in the house! She was SANGING Led Zeppelin's hit A Whole Lotta Love and more at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley!


KIMBERLY NICHOLE's and my chat:



We NEVER know! And how gracious was Kimberly Nichole to get in on the fun of our Miss Jessie's GIVEAWAYS! Plus, we had Riley/Land Gourmet Pantry back in the house with a "pop up situation" and we did a raffle giveaway of Joseph Riley Land products - an awesome grouping of sauces, jams, rubs, popcorn, chocolates, OH MY! TOO YUMMY! He'll be back in the house to raffle off some more goodies this Tuesday! TWO MORE TUESDAYS TO GO, FOLKS! MORE GIVEAWAYS, SPECIAL GUESTS, and SO MUCH FUN! Please come join us... and make your reservations: 212.280.2248. AND AS ALWAYS, THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO PLAY A PART! XOXOXOXO ‪#‎billiesblack ‪#‎allstarkaroke ‪#‎thevoice ‪#‎teamkimberlynichole

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.





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