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


Entries in NABJ (11)

introducing motivational speaker antoinette white

Hi folks!

LIFE OF RILEY always has something baking towards keeping the creative juices flowing and the revenue streaming (and I look forward to sharing some of those updates, once they firm up --- including some synergies to which I look forward to inviting you).

MEANWHILE, my current hustle includes my own appearances and - primarily - my Brand Ambassador work for Miss Jessie's... and something new. Please read on...:



  1. NEW LIFE OF RILEY PARTNER for the next few months: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER and AUTHOR ANTOINETTE WHITE (based in the DC/MD/VA area). I'm attracting SPEAKING/PANEL opportunities and PRESS in promotion of her self-published memoir "WHO'S PROTECTING ME?".I met Antoinette while on hosting duties for XSCAPE PR 2017 Memorial Day arts & music festival. She was brought in for the Authors Showcase...and I was so moved by her PRESENTATION and her TESTIMONIAL. 
  2. And I really couldn't put the book down. I just had to see where this emotional tale was going to take me - from heart-ache to heart-break to healing, OH MY!!! And Antoinette STAYED THE COURSE...and via her TRIUMPH, she now UPLIFTS others!
  3.  A series of personal triumphs helped Antoinette find the faith to overcome sexual abuse, unstable living situations, her sister's sudden death, homelessness, a failed marriage, and years of underemployment. 
  4. Antoinette is CEO of "Mission to Motivate LLC" which provides Corporate Morale Improvement workshops and programs that refresh and uplift your labor force, improving performance, quality, productivity, and efficiency from bottom to top. For more info:
  5. SPEECH EXCERPTS: RESET Conference - Oklahoma: ....Homeless speech: ...RESET Conference 1of 2 - VA: ....RESET Conference 2of 2 - VA: ..."Minute of Motivation" every Tuesday:  
  6.  SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook:  ...Twitter: Antoinette White (@mission2motivat): .... Instagram:
  7. Please advise if you have room for Antoinette White inside any of your programming/presenter needs (Antoinette currently lives in: DC/MD/VA area). Or if not, PLEASE SHARE with someone who might. We THANK YOU - as always - for your support!


As Miss Jessie's CEO Miko Branch is promoting the paperback launch of her national best seller "Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch - Naturally" (Harper Collins/Amistad), she is looking forward to the National Association of Black Journalists' Convention August 9-13th.
A few things to know:

Miss Jessie's bags will be available via the NABJ vendor fair booth. Pop by and pick up MissJessie's latest.
Miko will also be around to say HI!
Miss Jessie's VIP bags will be available at the NABJ A&E Task Force Reception featuring cast-members from OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network's Queen Sugar and Greenleaf OWN.
Miss Jessie's VIP bags will be made available to NABJ guests on the Dayvee Sutton & NewOrleans Tourism's "Beyond the Usual" food and jazz tour.
Miss Jessie's bags will also be available at NABJ Founder Paul Broch's panels - including Friday's "Do I Have a Film Project in Me?" at 4pm. 
Miko will also be available for any select press and promo on Friday, August 11th and the morning of Saturday, August 12th.
Some of Miss Jessie's recent New Orleans press:
            a. New Orleans' own Brassy Brown NOLA journalist Kiri Lanice Walton talks to Miko about hair (of course), black female entrepreneurship and Miko's life today:  

           b. Miko was a Keynote Speaker at the Inc. GrowCo conference a couple of months ago: 

           c. Miko was an invited guest on The 504 with Sheba Turk:  

           d. We appreciate multiple WBOK-AM impressions with NOABJ President Rachel D. Graham and THE GOOD LIFE with EILEEN CARTER.
       5. Miko is EXCITED to meet some more New Orleans media pros - for TV or radio appearances; on-line or phoner interviews; additional product donation synergies; and select invites. She's in town and available on Friday, August 11th and the morning of Saturday, August 12th. 
       6. If you see Miko and the Miss Jessie's team, come STRIKE A POSE with her...and post some MISS JESSIE'S LOVE on social media: 

@mikobranch Twitter and Instagram
@miss_jessies Twitter and Instagram

SOME SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES you folks can use in addition to your own of course:
#Legacy of #TitiBranch

Am doing more BUDGETED TALKS these days. My PRUDENTIAL talk last month still has legs:  The DEBT FREE GUYS quoted me in their FORBES column: Also: they invited me to make a guest appearance on their MASS MUTUAL-presented podcast QUEER MONEY: Additionally, I've taken my ART OF THE INTERVIEW talk to more than the NYU Urban Journalism Workshop this year. The Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University for New Jersey high school students also invited me to present. And for NABJ, I'm looking forward to hosting two screenings for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation - also at the NABJ Convention: short film "90 Days"--- co-directed by Nathan Hale Williams and Jennia Fredrique... and GAY LIKE ME, a documentary Executive Produced by Derek J.

AND FINALLY: I have been on the festival circuit all this year in promotion of an independent film that goes down as my FILM DEBUT. I play what has become "fan favorite" RUDY in the Shaquille-O'Neal and Michael Baumgartner-Executive Produced film STEPS - Co-Directed by award-winning Rock Davis and Jay Rodriguez, Jr. - which just played to an enthusiastic, packed house at the NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (which is hosted at The Newark Museum every Wednesday through the summer: STEPS is the vision of filmmaker/writer EDDIE HARRIS. He and casting director/producer/actress extraordinaire Penwah cast me in STEPS, which has received several film festival prizes and critical acclaim: 

a. Official Selection at the 2nd annual HUFF - Hampton University Film Festival.
b. Winter 2016 presented STEPS as an Official Selection in the Jersey City International Television and Film Festival-JCITFF; STEPS took home BEST DIRECTOR (for our AWESOME Co-Directors Jay Rodriguez and Rock Davis); and BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM! 
c. STEPS PREMIEREd on my birthday in Jersey City November 2015.
d. In April 2016, we did a Harlem NYC PREMIERE at#MISTHarlem.
e. Peachtree Village International Film Festival in Atlanta, GA (Closing Selection).
f. Newark International Film Festival (Inaugural Event).
g. Urban World Film Festival (Official Selection).
h. Brooklyn Academy of Music. May 2017.
#STEPSthemovie #STEPS #LifeofRiley #RudySTEPS

If you know anything about #LifeofRiley, you KNOW I love me some Ti-Ti - as in Itika Oldvine. And now, I'm elated to send ALL MY PEEPS - L.A. and beyond - to her new digs: OLDVINE FLORALS!!!! LOCATION
Address: 111 W. 7th St.
Suite 205
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: 213-212-4760
Mon - Fri: 8am - 8pm
​​Saturday: 8am - 6pm
​Sunday: By Appointment Only
#LifeOfRiley #OldvineFlorals

nabj40 fix


What a WONDERFUL week NABJ! It’s truly my ANNUAL THERAPY! 21 YEARS of NABJ Conventions! YIKES! GASP! LOL!


One highlight this week for me was getting the opportunity to HOST #NABJ40 AT THE APOLLO… and what a BLAST THAT WAS. A GLOWING REVIEW from Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist ER Shipp goes a LONG WAY! THANK YOU, SIS! REVIEW: "Displaying his unique talent as emcee, instigator, cajoler, cheerleader and performer, our Patrick The Entertainer helped kick off the 40th anniversary convention of the National Association of Black Journalists with a night of poetry, gymnastics and music by journalists and friends at the convention center in Minneapolis, temporarily transformed into The World Famous Apollo Theater. He even persuaded the likes of news executives Paula Madison and Cheryl Smith to party like it was 1999. Thank you, Patrick L. Riley. How will we top this next year in Washington D.C.?" MY RECAP: #NABJ40 kicked off with a FUN OPENING NIGHT event - KARAOKE, APOLLO-style!!!!! I sang "Reasons" and a Mariah Hollywood Walk of Fame shout out with "Can't Let Go". ALSO: We homaged Minneapolis' own Prince Roger Nelson by singing along on 1999...and we also did a #DABUTTmoment. Plus, of course, the #THEBOSS CHOIR FINALE! LOL! Our NABJ members enthusiastically sang, recited poetry, played sax, and danced for the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 GIFT CARD to TARGET! .... AND THE WINNER IS: NBCBLK MANAGING EDITOR Amber Payne whose rendition of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" STUNNED and PLEASANTLY SURPRISED the NABJ audience. Since my Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley sponsor Miss Jessie's is EXCLUSIVELY the sponsor that got me to (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists' NABJ Convention & Career Fair, I want to shout out MISS JESSIE's CO-FOUNDER and OWNER MIKO BRANCH for making it possible for me to provide consolation prizes. They included MISS JESSIE'S product bags and Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-Naturally! And big thanks to Executive Producer Manuel McDonnell Smith and my MARY aka our VOICE OF GODDESS/ON-SITE PRODUCER Angela Robinson and all those who helped make this go off as a great launch for the week. TOTAL FUN! ANNUAL THERAPY! I LOVE NABJ!#REASONS #EARTHWINDANDFIRE #billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #iammissjessies #NABJ40



I – as priority – want to shout out MISS JESSIE'S, one of my sponsors for “Billie’s Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley”: Co-Founder Miko Branch was my EXCLUSIVE SPONSOR for #NABJ40. I couldn’t have done the trip without her support. LOOK OUT FOR MIKO at a city near you throughout the rest of the year. Stay tuned to LIFE OF RILEY for those dates in the coming weeks and months. Some coverage that’s coming up – culled from NABJ - includes NABJ Salute to Excellence award-winning PULSEBEAT with Greg Dunmore out of Detroit; several Minneapolis features – including its ‘Good Day’ FOX affiliate; etc.  MIKO was also a panelist for the NABJ AUTHOR SHOWCASE: YOUR COMPELLING STORY - TELL IT & SELL IT #nabj40bioTelling one’s life story is difficult enough, but on top of that you must try to get it published and then convince the world that it is worthy of attention, and purchase. The individuals who grace this panel have managed to do all three, and they’ll share their insights on how they successfully crafted their biographies and brought them to a wider audience.
Location: Convention Center, 208AB
Richard Prince, “Journal-isms”
Miko Branch, Miss Jessie’s
Luther Campbell, Miami New Times
Paula Madison, Williams Group Holdings LLC James McGrath Morris, Biographer and Author


Iyanla Vanzant blessed our morning at #NABJ40 with a breakfast that gave us an intimate, sneak-peek of Iyanla: Fix My Life...and OH, WHAT A SEASON IT WILL BE! PROVOCATIVE! Was also cool to have Iyanla Vanzant be SUPER-EXCITED to see my sponsor for this NABJ Convention & Career Fair, Miss Jessie's and MIKO BRANCH! Iyanla exclaimed "I LOVE MISS JESSIE'S! HAVE IT IN NOW! LOL!" We gave her the best seller Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-Naturally as well.


WGN America sponsored #NABJ40 Arts & Entertainment Task Force reception - featuring Empire breakout Jussie Smollett's real-life sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Friday Night Lights) to quite the ENTHUSIASTIC audience! My sponsor for this Convention, Miss Miko Branch aka MISS JESSIE'S says she will be tuning in to watch with her son. In the one-hour drama, bravery, ingenuity and power take center stage as slaves band together in the fight of their lives, their families, their future and their freedom. Smollett will appear as Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even the people stationed along the way who would try to help him. Smollett-Bell plays the series regular role of Rosalee, a shy house slave with a powerful inner strength and courage. And I hear my other favorite Smollett, Jussie, will be in the mix of UNDERGROUND. Of course, his main return is EMPIRE: SEASON 2!!!!


THE REVOLUTION nor PRINCE were TELEVISED or RECORDED! Hell, they didn't even PERFORM! But we all still partied like it was 1999... and got to enjoy PAISLEY PARK. Richard Prince chronicled it best:! READ ON: At least 650 members of the National Association of Black Journalists accepted an invitation from Prince to pay $20 apiece to visit the Paisley Park studio complex used by the entertainer outside Minneapolis Saturday night in hopes of seeing the star himself.
But the NABJ members — and an additional 227 people who paid $50 for the privilege — saw an appearance of just two minutes or so in which the entertainer plugged his upcoming recording. He did not perform. Attendees spent an additional 110 minutes moving their bodies to dance tunes from the '70s and '80s transmitted with heavily enhanced bass beats inside a dimly lit airplane hanger-style hall that featured hefty speakers and a screen with kaleidoscopic images. Some partygoers were fine with what took place; others were not. While the everyday NABJ members were speculating on whether the star would show, 10 others received 45 minutes of interaction with the entertainer. In that meeting, Prince urged news coverage of what he called exploitation of young artists by the music business, which he said requires artists to relinquish too much to the industry, according to Bob Butler, the NABJ president who was among the attendees.
"He wants us to really write about what's going on in the music industry," Butler told Journal-isms. The rock star urged young artists not to sign contracts with the companies. Also in the meeting with Prince were Kelley L. Carter of BuzzFeed; Bryan Monroe, a past NABJ president; Eric Deggans, NPR television critic; Errin Whack, NABJ's vice president-print; incoming NABJ president Sarah J. Glover; ESPN host Michael Wilbon; Barbara Ciara, a past NABJ president; Trymaine Lee, a writer for MSNBC; and Carol Ash of WMAQ-TV in Chicago. "Prince has had a love/hate relationship with the Internet since the Napster days," Oscar Raymundo reported June 30 for Macworld. Last year, Prince quit Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and in July, his catalog was removed from iTunes and Spotify. The albums, including classics such as "Sign O The Times" and "Purple Rain," have found a home on a new venue assembled by Jay Z, Alvin Aqua Blanco reported Thursday for Prince announced Thursday that the Tidal streaming service, assembled by Jay Z and including shareholder-artists Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Jack White, would be the exclusive home of his upcoming record HITNRUN, to be released Sept. 7.
"After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry," Prince said in a statement. "TIDAL have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion. We've grown accustomed 2 and We're Extremely grateful 4 their generous support." It was that message that Prince used his two minutes to tell the Saturday night Paisley Park audience. "Jay Z and I have an album coming out on Jay Z's title. Downloads are coming. He needs our help," the entertainer said. And then he was gone. The dance music returned. Were audience members expecting too much? Butler messaged NABJ members on Friday, "I received a text on Wednesday that NABJ was invited to hold a dance party at Prince's Paisley Park. When I asked if Prince was going to be there I was told, 'I think so.' Cover charge is $20 at the door. Buses will take registered convention attendees from the Hilton to Paisley Park following the Salute to Excellence Gala." No cell phones were allowed. Attendees were urged to leave them behind. NABJ, which had already announced it faces a potential deficit, paid about $10,000 for buses to take members to Paisley Park in suburban Chanhassen, NABJ Executive Director Darryl R. Matthews told Journal-isms. Waiting for the return trip to Minneapolis, where the association is concluding its 40th anniversary convention, Derrick Clifton, deputy opinion editor who is based in New York, said of the evening, "I thought it was great. It's not every day you get to go to Paisley Park. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially if you're not in Minneapolis." The absence of cell phones "gave us as a community of journalists a chance to talk to each other," he said. With the devices, the journalists would probably be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and trying to capture inside photographs of Paisley Park, Clifton added. However, Margo Spann, a Los Angeles-based journalist, told Journal-isms, "Disgusted is not the word to describe how I feel. With the number of restrictions put on, the event was hyped. What was presented I didn't have to wait two hours [for]. I feel disrespected." The entertainer could have delivered his message on Twitter and saved everyone's time, she said. For those in need of souvenirs, Prince T-shirts were available for $30, vinyl albums for $20, posters for $10 and tote bags for $40. The evening drew 877 people, according to Jason Carlson, Paisley Park's assistant manager.


My brother friend Nathan Hale Williams Releases Debut Novel: Ladies Who Lunch & Love… and we are ALL TOO EXCITED! It’s about Four Fabulous NYC Women Share Their Tales of Triumphs, Tragedies and Love. Please see link to buy book BELOW. Ladies Who Lunch & Love, the dazzling debut novel from former Essence magazine columnist and NAACP Image Award nominee, Nathan Hale Williams, is the story of four fabulous New York society women navigating life and love while sharing their best friend. Not your typical snobs or real housewives, these ladies are down-to-earth, relatable women who know how to have a great time even when confronting life’s challenges. Over the course of a year, the narrator and the ladies go on a journey that forces them to examine their lives and choices, yet enjoying the glamorous side of NYC as the backdrop. Vikki is a twice-divorced magazine publisher contemplating a third trip down the aisle with her younger, multi-millionaire boyfriend. Krissy is a high-powered attorney with humble Harlem beginnings who has a penchant for downward spiraling men. Lauren, the nature loving trust-fund heiress, has to work for the first time because of her film producer husband’s drug addictions. And, Rebecca is the “house” wife of a business tycoon caught in an affair with a star ballet dancer. The other main character of the novel is New York City, which the narrator romanticizes as “the true love of his life.” “Ladies Who Lunch & Love combines the sultry urban drama of an E. Lynn Harris book with the romantic longings of a Candace Bushnell TV series in this exuberant debut novel" says Keith Boykin, New York Times bestselling author Ladies Who Lunch & Love is also a novelization of Nathan’s popular Essence magazine love and relationship advice column, “The Girl’s Best Friend.” It is heartwarming, complex, and full of relatable, but well-crafted characters who live extraordinary lives. Yet, every woman (and man) can identify with their stories and struggles. “Ladies Who Lunch & Love was a joy to write and I hope readers will enjoy these stories and life lessons embedded in a fun story,” says Mr. Williams.


 BIO: Nathan Hale Williams is an award-winning filmmaker (Dirty Laundry & Love for Passion), producer, entertainment attorney and television personality. Nathan is the co-author of Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World and contributing author of For Colored Boys…, which won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Nathan starred in Sundance Channel’s #1 rated original series, “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” as well as Showtime’s “American Candidate.” He recently moved to Los Angeles after living in Harlem, New York for fifteen years. ### Press Contact: Kiwan Michael Anderson, 323.614.5550 or

purple reign or shine

money minute

I just hosted the 2ND SEASON of WELLS FARGO's NEW ADVOCATE MONEY MINUTE. It runs on-line on Those will roll out at the end of August through December 2015.

forest whitaker

My NBCBLK INTERVIEW WITH Forest Whitaker just went HOT! CHECK IT OUT: My last NBCBLK assignment was with Miss Aretha Franklin: Have had two LEE DANIELS impressions published as well – from Aretha Franklin’s birthday party. and a Q&A at the beginning of EMPIRE’s first season: On the NBC tip, I also recently Executive Produced NBCU's "The More You Know" Campaign for 2015-16 (L.A. and NYC shoots as well as the preps for post): AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR YORU SUPPORT! #SOUTHPAW #FORESTWHITAKER #JAKEGYLENHAAL


Got to CELEBRATE Brandy’s UPTOWN Magazine cover with the DIVA herself and Editor in Chief Isoul Harris. IT and the STORY and the SUBJECT and the EDITOR are nothing short of FABULOUS! Read the cover story at

culture club

Went to the Beacon Theater to meet Morehouse brother Michael K Watts for my belated birthday gift: Culture Club WITH BOY GEORGE! IT’S A MIRACLE!!!! Get the latest concert tour news, tour dates, information, reviews, videos, and more at

amazing grace

Two of my sentiments and endless praise from others on Amazing Grace Musical:!! #amazinggracemusical

miss harlem shake 2015

I’m missing Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE already! But the Miss Harlem Shake 2015 pageant gave me a host booking for the second year in a row. Last year’s 1ST ANNUAL was a blast! LINK: .. and THIS YEAR was even more FABULOUS! Special shout out to Musa Jackson whose Musa Jackson Productions booked me then, asked me back this year, and organized this event and a number of other grand fetes in Harlem and throughout NYC. And a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to the Harlem Shake TEAM plus ALL-of-the behind the scenes team-members – most pointedly, owner of Harlem Shake: Jelena Pasic. One more CONGRATS to Ljeoma: the 2014 Miss Harlem Shake… and we look forward to meeting #MissHarlemShake2015 from #Top6 come September!

frenchie davis

Frenchie Davis came by Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley TWICE during our SPRING 2015 SERIES. So, Ernest Maynor and I had to support The Frenchie Davis Experience at The Metropolitan Room... She's AMAZING! GIVES VOICE FOR DAYS AND INTO ETERNITY WITH ELEGANCE, VULNERABILITY, AND A SPOT OF RATCHETNESS TO BOOT! LOVE ME SOME Frenchie Davis!!! THAT'S ALL! YOU'RE WELCOME! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

fellowship and fabulosity

Been great to catch up with friends and NYC family of late:

1. My dear friend Sidra Smith invited an impressive group of tastemakers to her client Janet League-Katzin’s Sphatika – the 100% Natural Sphatika Skincare & Spa on Madison Avenue between 68th and 69th Street: Instagram: @Sphatika_nyc and Twitter: @Sphatika The room included industry friends: GMA Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo; recording artists Gordon Chambers and – from The Voice: THROATRESSES Amanda Brown and Kimberly Nichole; style experts Emil Wilbekin and Tai Beauchamp; Lisa Bonner, Esq.; artist Dianne Smith; and so many more! The Sphatika concept is based on the awareness that the true nature of every individual is divine, radiant, and joyful. We honor and connect with that inner reality by offering the highest quality treatments and products possible. Through a unique combination of deep sleep, sacred elements from the earth and powerful natural healing modalities one experiences the body’s innate ability to repair, renew and rejuvenate itself.

2. Got to spend some long-overdue, quality time with my Mara and her husband Tommie and ALL OF OUR GANG recently for a BLACK MOVIE NIGHT at their home!

3. My people in Mount Vernon are always up for a great time… and we had game night and some karaoke to boot with Derrick, Kiana, Neal, and the gang out there! ALWAYS A PLEASURE!


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


Derrick Hemphill and I did a drive by the New York Association of Black Journalists’ pre-convention mixer to find out who is going to be participating in #NABJ40 AT THE APOLLO. Great to see NABJ and NYABJ fam… as always!

RIP Bobbi Kristina and Michael Masser and Whitney Houston 

"Didn't We Almost Have It All"


life art 


Am GRATEFUL to the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ) for honoring me a couple of months ago as one of its Trailblazers alongside Robert Anthony, Eric V. Tait, Lena Sherrod and Audrey Edwards. A BLESSING! A couple of months later, I'm grateful AGAIN to NYABJ fam, President Mike Michael J. Feeney and the many Board and committee members – including Cheryl Wills; Diane Patrick; Christina Carrega; et al for inviting me to attend the 25th ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP & AWARDS BANQUET. Late, great WNBC reporter Bob Teague was honored as well as veteran TV journalist Randall Pinkston (Lifetime Achievement Award). And a WHO’S WHO of journalism and media were in the house to recognize the work of NYC journalists while being entertained by the one-and-only MISS Rhonda Ross (daughter of Diana Ross & Berry Gordy). Rhonda sang "Killing Me Softly" by the great Roberta Flac,! As always, WONDERFUL!

David Ushery, WNBC Anchor

Carol Jenkins, Former WNBC Anchor & Presenter

Norma Quarles, Former NBC/CNN Anchor & Presenter


Toure, Co-Host, MSNBC “The Cycle” Honoree

Bill McCreary, Former Fox 5 Anchor & Presenter

Vanessa Bush, Editor-In-Chief, Essence Magazine

Patrik Henry Bass, Sr. Editor, Essence Magazine

Michelle Miller, National Correspondent, CBS News

David Rhodes, President, CBS News

Cheryl Wills, Anchor/Author, NY1 News (NYABJ Dinner Chair)

Diane King, Anchor, NY1 News (Dinner Host)

Larry Mullins, Anchor, 1010 WINS (Dinner Host)

Dan Bowens, Reporter, Fox News

Ruschell Boone, Reporter, NY1 News

Dean Meminger, Reporter, NY1 News

....and a HOST OF OTHER NABJ FAM!!!!

An advocacy group established in 1976, the New York Association of Black Journalists provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members. NYABJ is an affiliate of NABJ, the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. I LOVE NYABJ!



Shout out to two brothers who’ve been great to me in my journey as a pop culture expert – each having booked me on their shows to discuss all sorts of topics: (1) ED GORDON - Ed Gordon Media announced today the syndication of Conversations with Ed Gordon, a quarterly, one hour special with award-winning journalist and renowned interviewer, Ed Gordon, serving as host and executive producer. The specials will be aired nationally, including on all ten NBC owned and operated affiliates. The first special begins airing April 28, 2013. Specific airdates, times and markets can be found on Gordon is known for in-depth and exclusive interviews. I got the chance to do his roundtable at “Our World with Black Enterprise” a time or two as seen excerpted inside this comp reel: (2) TJ HOLMES – As he’s announced that he’s inside his what’s next (, I want to thank he and his team for having me on “DON’T SLEEP – HOSTED BY TJ HOLMES” several times. I'm most proud of being invited to participate in the post-election-day show. On that episdoe, I waxed philosophical and political alongside MSNBC's Toure and rapper The Game who noted he was a fan of my blog: And here’s a behind-the-scenes look at that appearance: CONGRATS GENTLEMEN on all of your success and - as you climb - continuing to lift back and let some of us share the spotlight. You both make me proud to spell my demographic: B-L-A-C-K M-A-N!






It’s DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON time again this Sunday, May 19th in NYC! This is put on annually by my friend, producer Carl Nelson. I'll introduce the performers/acts on the main stage during the afternoon portion of the day (as I have several times before when DRUMS catches me actually in town:





Drums Along The Hudson is a Native American and multi-cultural family oriented festival on May 19th, 2013 at Inwood Hill Park, 218st. & Indian road in Manhattan.



This event is FREE to the public and Co sponsored by lotus Music & Dance & the New York City Parks Department. The festival includes a Native American Pow-Wow, exhibitions of world dance and drumming traditions as well as Native American crafts and international cuisines. It combines a celebration of Native Heritage,culture and art with the diversity of New York City.




We also honor two individuals or organizations for their contribution to humanitarian or environmental services. It is an all day event from 11:00 am to 6;00 pm. AND SO MUCH FUN! I hope you’ll come out and join us!







I decided to pop by the launch of my friends Nathan Hale Williams' & Tammy Ford's soon-to-be-weekly networking event at Hudson Bond on 215 W 40th btw 7th & 8th Avs.



PLEASE come and join us the next time!!! Congrats Nathan and Tammie! Fun and POWER NETWORKING to boot!!! WIN WIN!



Among others this most recent time, I saw my friends ENTERTAINER BUTTAFLY SOUL and MISS TONYA GIDDENS the creator and executive producer of the Ms. Full Figured HBCU Pageant™. She is also the Beauty director of Full Figured Fashion Week®. You can access the pageant website here:




And for Full Figured Fashion Week: BIZ BOND is scheduled to be back in JUNE! Don't miss it!







 Enjoyed a fight party at BFFs Mara Schiavocampo and her hubby Tommie Porter’s home!





GREAT FOOD! GREAT FOLKS (including NABJ buddy Nekesa Moody and my boo boo Sidra Smith).






Enjoyed a BDAY PAJAMA PARTY for our friend, model Bobby Roache (at his pad). Dear friend Q (hairstylist guru) and many others were in the house to toast the birthday boy! HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOBBY!





Enjoyed rooftop cocktails at The Empire Hotel (overlooking the Lincoln Center Plaza) with our dear friends Jason and Marlynn.





Great to catch up with them!  ALWAYS!






You know I love "Merrell's LEGENDS ball for some of the Black gay elite of NYC" (and our friends). This year's RuPaul's Drag Race Finale viewing party was no exception as we enjoyed the company ...of cosmetics mogul/make-up artist AJ Crimson; hairstylist superstar Chuckie Amos; Publisher of DBQ Magazine, Derrick Bridgeforth; Wendy Williams' FAB stylist Memsor; casting director Adrian Wells; and a host of other dear friends. Merrell is Wendy Williams' makeup artist and cosmetics icon his own right in the industry. He is quite the muse du jour for me as he takes his brand to the next level. Great set (and fried chicken a la Merrell), as always. But we were hoping for Alaska to win. Some of us got to celebrate Wendy on her new book “Ask Wendy”! Worth noting, my partner Ant is the primary producer of "Ask Wendy", even though the book is a separate, albeit co-branded, effort. Graciously, Wendy autographed the first advance copy of the book to Ant some months ago as  a THANK YOU for all he does on the daily for the franchise and the show. CONGRATS, WENDY! This is my kinda' book! LOL!




Finally saw “Kinky Boots”! You know I’ve been yapping about it and consider Billy Porter one of my FAVORITE SOUL SINGERs! I FINALLY SAW IT AND LOVED IT! “Kinky Boots” which received 13 TONY nods (The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots," which earned a leading 13 Tony nominations. British import "Matilda: The Musical" has 12.




"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser. Fierstein; one of my TOTAL FAV SINGERS Billy Porter; and Stark Sands as well as Annaleigh Ashford are nominated for “Kinky Boots”)! IT’S WONDERFUL!




CONGRATS to dear friend, fine artist Taha Clayton on his latest project: "Round Zero", an Exhibition of Paintings by Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton, & Joseph Adolphe in NY! "Round Zero," a fine art exhibition, featuring four contemporary painters, will be on view May 13–17th* at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan. Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton and Joseph Adolphe will exhibit their latest work in a boxing-themed collection curated by Dexter Wimberly. The exhibition also serves as the culmination of more than two years of documentation of these artists' creative journey by film-maker Jeff Martini, for an upcoming feature entitled "HEAVYWEIGHTPAINT," a segment of which will be shot at the events. A portion of proceeds went to the Brotherhood / Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth organization.  Artworks created by students from "Bro/Sis" were also on display at the event. ( and (








Lonette McKee is appearing on an MMC Web Channel near you! Legendary Entertainer Lonette McKee Partners with Midnight Media Capture (MMC) a la my good girlfriend Nicole Franklin (and her fellow Executive Producer Giovanna Aguilar) to Engage Audiences with Her Story, 'The Lonette McKee Files,' and Performers with ‘Actors Empowered.’ Both appearances are Web-based at




It’s ‘The Lonette McKee Files,’ an On Demand podcast series in which she shares her story of growing up, from a child musical prodigy to a distinguished actress, in the entertainment industry. Lonette also joins a stellar line up of media professionals on MMC Presents Summer 2013 Sessions, a series of online professional workshops dedicated to the storytelling process, from writing to directing to performing, launching on MMC’s online channel in June. Her first offering,‘Actors Empowered,’ is a 6-week online webinar enabling talent across the world to learn the tools of the trade from a Hollywood veteran. Lonette is excited about this new venture and says that The Lonette McKee Files will engage her fans and capture new audiences—a global community of storytellers and entertainment aficionados—with personal anecdotes, including the segment “What Happens When,” during which she poses compelling real-life situations to her followers based on her own experiences. Lonette states she values MMC because they are a cutting-edge, forward-thinking company that is able to reach audiences around the world through their Web platform, and with highly defined content that mixes storytelling and marketing. She is confident that this synergy serves as an opportunity for her generation of entertainment professionals to couple their experience with technology into new ventures for empowering new generations of performers—storytellers. “It would serve us to get on the new wave of technology so we can share the stories, knowledge and wisdom that only come with veteran years of experience,” Lonette states.

‘The Lonette McKee Files’ has rolled out as podcasts for purchase at $2.99 on MMC’s online channe.



‘Actors Empowered’ course begins June 3, 2013. For more information, visit  You can sign up right now by clicking this link:





Shout out to my friend Ed Roebuck who hipped me to this event he’s been working on: Composer, pianist and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis and his Electric Band will perform at The City College of New York’s Aaron Davis Hall for the first time in a special Father’s Day Weekend Celebration 7 p.m. Friday, June 14. Jazz greats Henry Johnson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass) and Charles Heath (drums) will join Ramsey in this extraordinary concert. “A Father’s Day Weekend Celebration with Ramsey Lewis” will take place at Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue on The City College campus. Tickets are: $30 and $40 (reserved seating).


For more information and ticket sales visit: or call Aaron Davis Hall Box office at 212.650.6900. “We all know Harlem is so important to the world of jazz and to perform in Harlem at Aaron Davis Hall is a true delight,” states Mr. Lewis. “Just in time for the first days of summer and Father’s Day.” “Ramsey Lewis is a class act and I’m so happy he will perform at Aaron Davis Hall,” states Aaron Davis Hall Managing Director Gregory Shanck. “We’ve had world legends on our stage and this is one more creative giant I’m so proud to have perform at Aaron Davis Hall.”



A Father’s Day Weekend Celebration with Ramsey Lewis



Featuring: Ramsey Lewis & The Electric Band



With Henry Johnson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass) and Charles Heath (drums)



Friday, June 14, 2013



7 p.m.∙ Showtime



6:30 p.m. ∙ Doors Open






Price: $30 and $40 (reserved seating)






Call: 212.650.6900



Aaron Davis Hall



West 135th Street & Convent Avenue



On the campus of The City College of New York



New York, NY 10031






Bus: M11, M18, M100 or M101 to 135th Street



Subway: 1 to 137th Street; A, B, C or D to 145th Street



Driving: Free parking at West 133rd Street & Convent Avenue or parking on the street






Y’all know “…THE LIFE OF RILEY…” LOVES MINORITEES: Well, guess what? MINORITEES IS RELOADING! IN THE WORDS OF THE NEW CAMPAIGN: “Nine years ago, people from all walks of life started falling in love with Minoritees. Minoritees revolutionized the way we look at, and break down, stereotypes by giving the world a candid and clever way of wearing their heart on their sleeve. Born from the streets of New York City, Minoritees represents the voice of a generation that is as multi-cultural and unique as The Big Apple herself. Worn by the likes of Janet Jackson, Denzel Washington, P!nk, RuPaul, and Shakira to name a few, the Minoritees brand started by reclaiming the iconic image of an afro-pick to symbolize freedom and strength no matter what race, gender or religion you identify with. Like any road worth travelling, Minoritees has seen its ups and downs. We’ve grown from street fairs to Macy’s stores and beyond, always representing the strength, individuality and pride that make up our fan base. Minoritees braved some super-storms, barely surviving an economic meltdown which resulting in the loss of jobs, substantial revenue due to the closing of stores and vendors which financially crippled the company and its operations. And so, after much soul searching by it’s founder and encouragement from it’s loyal fan base; In 2013, we’re renewing our commitment to you by going back to basics with clothing, products and a lifestyle that is as loud, proud and fearless as you are. We ask for your participation and support by spreading the word about our re-birth and by participating in our incentive-driven Kickstarter campaign that will help with our re-launch. We promise you with utmost certainty a renewal of focus and commitment to customer service and appreciation and a quality product. Expect a brand new website launch in Memorial Day 2013, new designs, a streamlined quality line of apparel and lifestyle products, sleek new packaging, limited editions re-issues of classic Minoritees collections and a robust integration of multi-format social networking. So thank you, for making the past nine years the adventure of a lifetime. We look forward to celebrating new victories and overcoming new challenges with you, as we reboot from scratch with little more than our heart, vision and a legacy to preserve and enhance. Sincerely, MINORITEES”














full circle


So honored to have been invited to be the Keynote Speaker for the 2012 NABJ Multimedia Short Course - a journalism boot-camp that attracts 30 or so college students from all over to receive intensive hands-on training at FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (and its 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility). As I am one of the NABJ BABIES who just-over 20 years was introduced student opportunities the like of this one, you must know how excited I was to share my testimonial in front of these bright students and others of my NABJ colleagues who volunteered their time to teach. And on top of that, I got the FULL CIRCLE honor of reuniting with the very woman who introduced me to NABJ in 1991 (circa my days at Morehouse and in the AUC - including Clark Atlanta University's Mass Media Arts Department from which I got much of my early training): Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough, now-Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (Twitter: @annkimbrough) and my "industry mom" with whom I also got to enjoy one-on-one catch-up time at one of Tallahassee's best restaurants Masa... and after my speech, I got to enjoy a tour of Tallahassee and further catch-up time (on our families and mutual colleagues) at her beautiful home. As I look back on my last 20 years, I'm so proud to continue my investment in the next generation of media professionals. NABJ continues to teach us well! (! Oh! Don't tell my Morehouse brothers, but the FAMU hosts made me an honorary "rattler"! LOL! SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! THANKS FAMU for hosting me in EXCELLENCE!


My friends at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation ( invited me to the African American Museum in Philadelphia, for cocktails; appetizers; one-on-one chat time with Miss Ross' fellow Original Supreme, the FABULOUS Mary Wilson whose new exhibition, "Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection" will run January 25-July 2013 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP).
For more info:
The exhibit will include more than 30 gowns from the musical group but it will be about so much more:
·         How the Supremes began to change the perception of black women in America in the 1960s and 70s
·         Music of the era
·         Fashion: the exhibit contains Supremes' wigs, jewelry, accessories, album covers, etc.
The exhibition is likely to strike a chord with baby boomers, fans of the music, mothers and daughters, etc.  This is the first time this many gowns will be shown together, and in this social context-the empowerment of women and the breaking down of social barriers.
Mary shared many stories - including many of the Motown memories; sang beautifully one of her jazz staples "Here's To Life" a capella; played one of her new pop songs "Life's Been Good To Me" for us (after those many #1 hits piped through the sound system); and once she and I sat down to talk, she asked if I'd send her my "...Life of Riley..." Blog entry. I assured her I'd get it to her AND blast it out to many friends who - I'm sure - will want to come see the exhibit with me next January 2013 - June 2013.
I'M SO GLAD I TOOK THE TIME TO 'COME SEE ABOUT (THE FABULOUS MISS MARY WILSON)'. Someday she, my beloved Diana, and Flo-Ballard-replacement Cindy Birdsong may NOT ever be together again. BUT like Miss Ross (a few times over), I'M THRILLED I GOT TO MEET HER!

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