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 OPRAH WINFREY (5)

Tues Dec 5th Please BUY Patrick L Riley Book

Hi folks!


Dorpie Books launched its website - announcing my book "That's What Friends Are For: On The Women Who Inspired Me" as its first title:

 1. Here's the website:

2.  Here's the book trailer:

3. Here's my sizzle for speaker consideration:

4. PLEASE pre-order starting: Tuesday, Dec 5th


5. Period to PRE-ORDER BOOK for MARCH 2018 release: Tuesday, Dec 5th --- Friday, Dec 22ND.


6. For more information – including BULK BUY DISCOUNT INFO, please call

7. As always, THANK YOU folks for your support! And SPREAD THE WORD on DORPIE BOOKS which seeks to disrupt publishing's lack of black authors.


8. As I shape up my 2018 around promotion of this passion project, I extend my gratitude to each of you who will support this high-stakes effort in any way you can.


9. You can follow @DorpieBooks on Twitter and Facebook. Retweet and post with #PatrickRileyFriends hashtag and link to:


10. FYI: My birthday is Sunday, November 19th (would appreciate late birthday gift between Tues, Dec 5 – Fri, Dec 22).




Patrick L. Riley

Author, “That’s What Friends Are For: On The Women Who Inspired Me” (Dorpie)






Lots going on this season as LIFE OF RILEY looks to unplug a bit over the holidays. I have one big deadline for recurring client BET – a video project for which I had to shoot an impressive crew of millennials who may be hiring me soon! THANKS LADIES and GENTLEMEN! Meanwhile, a couple of other projects I wrapped a couple of months ago will see the light of day. First up is my HOME LENDING episode for recurring client WELLS FARGO PRESENTS THE NEW ADVOCATE MONEY MINUTE: (See all my other episodes here: ... and on long-standing, recurring client OWN THIS UPCOMING SUNDAY? A very special interview THAT I ACTUALLY CONDUCTED with Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie: That’s Sunday, December 21, at 9/8c. Read more: #WhereAreTheyNow. And I’m saying yes to as many talent bookings I can before I leave town – including: the chance to host a marriage party for my NABJ BFF Brian Henderson and his beautiful wife Nikita Henderson – The New York Times own. Le Maison d’Art in Harlem was the back-drop… and we had a BLAST – celebrating the newlyweds. This Thursday, my friend Chris Jones booked me to join a fun line-up at “Freddie Wright’s Holiday Talent Show and Review”. And the holiday parties are booked at the craziest pace while Ant and I try to get to our loved ones – respectively! WHEW!


I’m hoping to have some voice left-over Thursday after our PRE-HOLIDAY BLAST! That's right! We are about to wrap up our FALL 2014 series of Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L Riley! AND YES! WE HOPE TO RETURN IN THE SPRING!


My ALL STAR KARAOKE producer Bernice Wooden will keep the party going during the two holiday TUESDAYS left in 2014. And if I get back in time for Tuesday, December 30th… I may pop by to WATCH (and wait in line to sing)! LOL!

Last Tuesday, our usual suspects included our beloved sponsors Miss Jessie’s and Riley Land Gourmet Pantry who ensure our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULs walk out the door with a smile and some SWAG! LOL! BFF Mara Schiavocampo got in on the phone – giving away two copies of her upcoming book “THINspired”, due December 30th… but you can pre-order on Amazon NOW: We sang, laughed, and were TRULY MERRY: AND OF COURSE, we talked about THINSPIRED: Mara also secured copies of the latest edition of ESSENCE inside of which there’s an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from her book. Also, you'll find some FABULOUS PICTURES of Mara through the years AND a couple of the pages features our ALL STAR KARAOKE/CELEBRITY hair stylist SUPREME, Carla Bone! So much fun when Mara comes by: #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke  


So, imagine my EXCITEMENT when my nephew made sure that his uncle got prime seats to see my icon MISS ROSS February 3rd as she opens the historic, now-newly-renovated theater in Brooklyn! She's still #THEBOSS - never more underscored when my friend - marketing consultant Marcia Pendelton - brought #MOTOWNMAY to #BILLIESBLACK and #ALLSTARKARAOKE. Well, as I have loved MISS ROSS since I came out the womb; and since Marcia made it possible for me to be the Opening Night HOST of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL's video which allowed me TWO interviews with Miss Ross and Berry Gordy that night:; and since our #MOTOWNMAY was such a SUCCESS; and since MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL is playing its final performance at Broadway's Lunt Fontanne Theatre on January 18, 2015 (though poised to return to the Nederlander theater July 2016). BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE: In additon to its US THEATER TOUR, a UK production is planned for the summer of 2015. MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL has broken the weekly gross box office record at the Lunt Fontanne with million-dollar grossing weeks. Recoup? Check! This spring, the first National Tour of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL opened to critical acclaim, grossing an impressive $20 Million dollars during a packet, sixteen-week run. SO GIVEN ALL OF THAT: Marcia is coming THIS WEEK to ALL STAR KARAOKE to - as she put it - "Can I come to karaoke, we do some Motown, and I give away some grand prizes?" The answer is: AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH! LOL! #getready #motownthemusical #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #motownmay



“Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley” extends condolences to Miko Branch and the family and friends of Titi Branch of Miss Jessie's, who died last week at the age of 45.


I am scheduled to do one more MUST-SEE HOLIDAY SHOW segment for ARISE 360 a little later this week – including, if time, word on my friend Stanley Bennett Clay who invited Anthony, Derrick, Dawn Murphy Riley, and me to see his award-winning play “Ritual” – now inside an extended run at the 777 Theatre, 777 8th Avenue, NY 10036 (between 47th and 48th Sts.), with 2 pm Sunday shows. Tickets are currently on sale for performances thru December 28, 2014. BACK-STORY: Set in the 1980’s, this powerful drama explores the dysfunctional dynamics at work beneath an affluent African-American family’s appearance of perfection. The husband & father is in denial about his family crisis, and is equally detached from his ethnic soul. The wife & mother is on the verge of alcoholism and is threatened by her cunning daughter in the home and perhaps the bedroom. The young gay son, at odds with his father, leaves his Ivy League college to come home and save his family…by any devastating means necessary. “Ritual” features Reginald James Albert, Latresa Baker, David M. Raine, and Q as the volatile Becker family. Clay wrote and produced “Armstrong’s Kid” Off-Broadway 3 years ago. Two years ago he wrote and directed the feature-length documentary “You Are Not Alone,” an examination of depression among black gay men, and directed last year’s award-winning production of the stage adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s classic novel “B-Boy Blues.” He received 3 NAACP Theatre Awards and 3 Drama-logue Awards for writing, directing and co-producing the original Los Angeles production of “Ritual.” That production was also an L.A. Times Critics’ Choice and an L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week. Tickets to “Ritual” are available by calling (866) 811-4111 or visiting Tickets are also available at the box office one hour before curtain. Tickets are $31.45-$51.45 (which includes a $1.95 service fee). TDF members get discount tickets on the TDF site. All seats reserved. Tickets are on sale now. Group rates/tickets are available. Contact: Stanley Bennett Clay phone: 323-200-4861 #HIGHLYRECOMMENDED #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack


After enjoying a night with my Morehouse brother Mario's Harlem Thursday Night at NABE, had a great night with industry buddy Ron Smith AKA The Wiz.  He brought Anthony Harper and several of our colleagues and friends – new and old – together at Chez Josephine for the opportunity to meet and greet and get to know menswear label Polo Ralph Lauren’s latest pluck: model Darius Williams - one of the faces of the brand’s Fall/Winter 2014 men’s campaign. In attendance: David Miller (DMillerPR); Brian Jamie (Photographer); Sonya Magett (Style/Fashion expert); Ken like Barbie (VROGGPR); Terry Donovan (Summer Sizzle BVI); Christopher Kadima (model); Jamie Tonge (Distinct Homene Magazine); Claire Summers (Fashion Bomb Daily); Indashio; Ebony ( model – “MLZ”). We all WELCOMED Darius into what we see as an obvious destiny of SUCCESS: the TRIPLE-THREAT KIND! PER DARIUS’ BIO, Louisiana native Williams caught the eye of one the fashion industry’s leading clothing brands this year. The 6’1.5” fitness model was photographed to appear in the print and online ads for the prestigious company by world-renowned lensman Bruce Weber, one of the industry’s most celebrated photographers. Weber captured the professional model’s good looks both solo and posed with other models for the brand’s print and billboard ads featured in department stores nationwide as well as on the company’s website The photos spark the viewer’s imagination enough to cause a double-take. Williams was raised in a small town in Louisiana with a population of only 18,000 residents. Before he moved to New York, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he also honed his skills as a graphic designer. It was during his last semester in college is when he took up an offer by a model scout to attend castings for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Williams jumped at the chance he felt could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, despite having never visited the Big Apple before. As Williams’ flight landed in a New York airport, he received a phone call stating he had one hour to attend his first meeting at a modeling agency in Manhattan. As fate would have it, he landed a modeling contract with Soul Artist Management. Since that fateful meeting, Williams has worked with many other talented photographers. He has appeared in ad campaigns for Nike, SperryTopsider, and Verizon. The fine art lover has also been snapped by male supermodel David Agbodji (Calvin Klein) for Flaunt magazine. Williams has also walked on the runway for men’s underwear brand 2xist as well as various designers for the fashion week seasons. Williams recently wrapped a shoot to appear in an upcoming ad for Hanes; another one of the nation’s leading the underwear brands for their spring 2015 campaign. His career path, however, lies not only in modeling—he is currently studying acting to prepare his next steps into Hollywood. His model profile and portfolio may be viewed at



Rémy Martin meet NABJ


REMY Martin meet NABJ

 You folks know how much I LOVE NABJ! SO MUCH!  

As my NABJ fam and I convened in Orlando, Florida last week, it was “annual therapy” as usual! A family reunion! HUGS! LAUGHTER! TEARS! JOY! And as can be par for the course in convention culture, lots of cocktails --- all for the calming of nerves and the brokering of new gigs and deals.  As Immediate Past Chair of the NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force, I’m pleased to have been able to bring a recurring client REMY MARTIN to the table. This, just in time for the task force’s 20th Anniversary. Good friend of almost 20 years Lamar Johnson is VP of PR, Branded Entertainment, and Digital Marketing for Remy Martin. And he reached out to me about a year ago with the interest of connecting his brand to some of the events that I often include in “A Day in the Life of Riley: pop culture & possibilities” – most pointedly: He wanted to do something with NABJ ( Well, mission accomplished! REMY Martin came in to the Orlando convention mix with great synergies and signature cocktails for the NABJ President’s Reception (CONGRATS, my friend, Mr. Greg Lee on the completion of your administration!) and – after my own heart – the NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force’s reception which featured some exciting elements: POWERED by Toyota Avalon via dear friend Sheila Eldridge, MC Lyte DJ’d; Tyrese Gibson... and TD Jakes (sporting plaid like me!) appeared on behalf of BLACK NATIVITY (In theaters November 27th) and Derek Luke, Jennifer Lewis (who brought me many laughs this night and from her body of work!), and... David E. Talbert joined us on behalf of his BAGGAGE CLAIM (September 27th); my friend Bevy Smith hosted; and we honored Eric Deggans with this year's LEGACY award (He’s just been named TV Critic for NPR). From carving stations to passed food... and THREE signature cocktails courtesy of REMY Martin!  WHAT A BLAST!  Great event! Some of the other events for which I've enrolled Rémy Martin to power and partner this past year: 

1. Oscar Viewing Party in L.A. with the African American Film Critics Association and the Robey Theatre Company: Went well and client may want to partner again this year.

2. NYC Hearts of Gold charity event:

3. DC (National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame synergy where REMY provided all the inductees engraved bottles of high-mark cognac);

4. Chicago (We recently hosted a 'Steve Harvey' birthday toast on the set of his show). That synergy with Steve Harvey has legs as Mr. Harvey has reached out and asked REMY to partner with his HOODIE AWARDS in Las Vegas next week. I've had the chance to host a half dozen "Disney Dreamers Academy" events (Steve Harvey's baby) at the National Associaton of Black Journalists' Convention. And at our Vegas convention, I got to share the stage with Mr. Harvey:  This past year, I was a guest of Disney at the "Disney Dreamers Academy" (




I LOVE “LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER”! And I absolutely ADORE OPRAH in it... and the rest of the STAR-STUDDED, AMAZING CAST! But I digress: Most of you know I’ve freelanced for Oprah Winfrey since 1998 (and still today as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network produces a whole network of next-chapter content for which I sometimes get assigned to field produce – including recent Oprah: Where Are They Now? fare i.e. interviewing Dennis Rodman and Candace Bushnell recently; etc.). But like many of her opening nights (including “The Color Purple” on Broadway where Ant and I met), I got to share the carpet with her. But not working for her this time. I was asked a favor by my dear friend and NABJ sister @Lauren Tobin (Just saw her at the Convention in Orlando) – to escort her client Colman Domingo down the red carpet of Lee Daniels’ The Butler premiere. He portrays Freddie Fellows (head of the White House staff) – the character who grills Forest Whitaker’s character about Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac – the exceptionally mellow cognac made by my recurring client Rémy Martin who just partnered with my beloved NABJ for its Orlando Convention – providing fine spirits for the NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force and Immediate Past President Greg Lee’s reception.     But worth noting it was in Orlando where Lauren knew she wouldn’t be able to make it NYC for the WORLD PREMIERE. ENTER COLMAN DOMINGO – in Hugo Boss! I made sure my friends in the business spoke to him – from EXTRA’s AJ Calloway to E! ENTERTAINMENT’s Alicia Quarles to OMG! Insider’s Kevin Frazier; ACCESS HOLLYWOOD; Vanity Fair; Wall Street Journal; The Source; all of NYC’s papers; and a host of other GREAT PRESS! PLUS, I snagged a few shots of him with his co-stars – including Lenny Kravitz who attended with his late mom Roxie Roker’s dear friend Cicely Tyson (recent Tony-award-winner for “Trip to Bountiful”:  I first met Colman Domingo after he starred in Broadway’s “Passing Strange” (  Came to know he and I had Lauren in common soon after that. His upcoming projects: “A Boy and His Soul” at the Tricycle Theatre in London and “The Scottsboro Boys” at The Young Vic in London; one recent independent film “Newlyweeds” premiered at Sundance; and “Almost Christmas” with Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd is also coming up. OF COURSE, while on the carpet, I got to acknowledge – face-to-face – many of the wonderful cast-members – including Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrance Howard, David Oleyowo, Mariah Carey, Yaya Alafia (from “America’s Next Top Model”), Jane Fonda, and a host of others. Most excitedly, I got to say HI to MISS WINFREY (and to CONGRATULATE her on the amazing role she plays). Shout out to MISS WINFREY’s GLAM SQUAD: Andre, Kelly, and my friend Derrick – all of whom I was happy to see. I’ve seen the film twice – once with Lee Daniels, Gabourey Sidibe, my girlfriend Sidra Smith, TV personality Paul Wharton, Chris Rock, and an intimate group of folks. Then, I just saw it again – FINAL CUT – with NABJ this past weekend. I LOVE “THE BUTLER”! It’s a CLASSIC and so timely right now! TWITTER @weinsteinfilms @oprah @colmandomingo INSTAGRAM: kingofbingo FACEBOOK: Colman Domingo WEBSITE:  JOB WELL DONE, LADIES (including my friend Pernell Walter) and GENTLEMEN‪!‎ #leedanielsthebutler

Dear Young Morehouse


Not yet. But ‘the law’ and ‘public opinion’ seem to be getting us closer to my choosing to have that option everyday. Whenever I'm approached to speak on something personally controversial, I get a butterfly in my belly (at risk of hurting someone's feelings or not wanting to rock the boat), but shout out to NBC News Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo for asking... and the many who have validated my thoughts and heart! As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I’m looking forward to sharing more published works (inside my brand: ‘pop culture’ & ‘possibilities’) that explore even more aspects of this ever-evolving topic in America.


Also: shout out to Mara Schiavocampo on her Wendy Williams' profile which ran recently on WEEKEND TODAY:! A BFF and a recurring client make beautiful TV together! HOW YOU DOIN'? XO And as small worlds get smaller, we all were under one roof for WENDY’s celebration of 500 SHOWS! The ELEMENT was the back-drop for the celebration that toasted shows done and the many more to come. Was great to attend with Mara given she’d just profiled Wendy and had justquoted me in a Grio ( piece. I considered it a double honor to have contributed (as freelance field producer) to some of those shows: (1)
(2) (3) (4) Black History Month with "My Black Is Beautiful" (Proctor & Gamble): Many friends, colleagues, and society associates were in the house – including: NABJ brother (recently SNL’d) Stephen A. Smith; Mecca Moore (Publicist and Associate Publisher of Pynk Magazine) [who I saw just the night prior with friend Devon Johnson (Publisher of Bleu and Pynk Magazine) at the NYC Premiere of L.A. Hair); Priya Scoggins (designer and producer/personality); Musa Jackson; Tonya Lee (Writer and wife of Spike Lee); Spencer Means (NYC realtor for the stars); Carlton Jared Lockett (Jones Magazine); Chastity Saunders (Avenue Pink); etc. Before we came to the party, Ant and I got to FINALLY give Mara and her husband Tommie’s Nina her “1st Magic Kingdom swag”: a Minnie Mouse bib! She instantly LOVED it! After the ‘Wendy’ set, we got in a little karaoke for kicks at BOHO KARAOKE on the Lower East Side, and look who we ran into? Our NABJ sister and fellow journalist extraordinaire Lola Ogunnaike who was getting her karaoke on, she says, for the first time! I LOVE KARAOKE (and NYC even more)! CONGRATS WENDY WILLIAMS & TEAM! Hardest working team I've seen of late... in the BIZ-NESS!


Mara and I also recently attended the New York Association of Black Journalists' 24th Annual Scholarship & Awards Ceremony together. The event was held at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center (and the competition which had a finalist prize for Beyonce and Essence) was SOLD OUT! While minding my business on projects with recurring clients BET and The Links, Incorporated (in casual, but kinda' transitional rags), my NABJ BFF Mara Schiavocampo called with an 11th hour invitation to escort her (and as a result, I got to wish her hubby and my dear friend Tommie Porter a Happy Birthday when I went to pick her up [One of his gifts: Babysitting Nina while mom handled her NABJ Regional Director duties]). We sat at the NBC table, but this precursor to the NABJ Annual Convention (which is next month in New Orleans) gave me the chance to see so many of my NABJ family - including: NYABJ President Mike Feeney; Dwight Oestricher; Associated Press' Sonya Ross; GSABJ sister Henrietta Parker; PSABJ's Sarah Glover; former NYABJ Prez (under whom I served two terms at VP-Broadcast before serving as Region 1 Director some years back) Robin Stone; APOLLO's Nina Flowers; NBC/The Grio's David Wilson; PR icon Terrie Williams; Newscorp's Manny Smith; NYABJ budy Lynette Vallasco; my sometimes co-host for "Drums Along The Hudson", Tetiana Anderson; co-hosts for the night, Pat Battle and Shannon Lanier; my ESSENCE friends Constance White (Editor-in-Chief); Emil Wilbekin; and so many others friends - old and new. NYABJ's Eric Tait also saluted the life and career of our recently departed Gil Noble. GREAT NIGHT!


Shout out to @WEtvPr @WEtv @135stagency @KimbleHairCare @pynkmag & @bleumagazine @devonisbleu Great times at the NYC Dinner Premiere of WE TV’s new L.A. HAIR ( – starring Kim Kimble who I had the chance to produce a few years back (100 HAIRCUTS in 48 HOURS). She was quite a JOY…and so is her show. 135th Street Agency invited me out to PRANNA ( to dine on a wonderful array of Modern Southeast Asian Cooking + Cocktails. And we got a sneak-peek of the very entertaining new addition to WE’s line-up of new, WOMEN-centric reality fare – including ‘The Braxtons: Family Values’ & ‘Mary Mary’. Also, check out video from Kimble’s recent press events in New York and Atlanta:


·         “L.A. Hair” at NY Press Dinner –


·         “L.A. Hair” in ATL -


‘L.A. Hair’ premieres TOMORROW (Thurs, May 31st) at 10pm ET/PT on WE tv. Visit the show online at #LAHair




I recently shouted out Chloe Hilliard (Editorial Director, who I’ve known since she was 15, a student in the New York Association of Black Journalists’ High School Journalism Workshop for which I was an instructor (and co-director). I always knew she’d be a journalism star, maybe pro B-Ball player (And when last we were together, she was a panelist on a Q&A talk back I moderated with the cast of "Stick Fly"). But she’s now ADDITIONALLY working her magic as a stand-up comic. And she is now sharing her expert advice with the masses via her new web series. Here’s a sample: and If you have a question that needs expert advice submit them here:


DEAR OLD MOREHOUSE! 20 YEARS! Just back from my 20-YEAR REUNION at Morehouse College! What an AWESOME weekend with my Savannah BFFs Natalie Palmer & Latecia Engram! My friends since childhood! While in ATL, I got to see my sister Janice; dear friend Carla Jackson; and so many others – from Michael K. Watts to Elise Durham to Jamahl L. King to Darian Trotter and a host of others. See so many of the pix that I could not include here:


I’ve been asked to read stage direction in one act of a historic NYC reading – featuring an impressive cast that includes: Tony royalty Lillias White; Adriane Lennox; and many more! IT'S YEAR TWO OF: PROJECT 1 VOICE! Shout out to Erich McMillan-McCall, visionary and founder of Project 1 Voice (  I’ve blogged about it:  Was in last year’s SAVE-THE-DATE campaign: It’s a day where you can take part in ensuring that funding keeps our black theaters open and vital. This initiative was created last year to bring attention to black theater companies. On June 18, theater companies and groups across the country will stage readings of “The Amen Corner,” James Baldwin’s 1954 work that looks at the role of the church in black communities. Last year’s reading of Alice Childress’ “Trouble in Mind” featured performances by Andre De Shields, Leslie Uggams, Peter Coyote, La Chanze, John Mahoney and many others across the country. PLEASE BE SURE TO COME OUT! Special shout out to Marcia Pendelton and Morehouse brother Charles Reese! How many of our Tri State area Alumni of Morehouse/Spelman along with other HBCUers on board will join us. Also: please don't forget to pick up your copy of the book version of James Baldwin A Soul On Fire. Available at Amazon. Visit That’s Mr. Reese’s labor of love. SYNERGIES ABOUND!



So those of you who know me know that I don't ever document particulars about one of my main clients that is a household name (and most watch the client at 4pm in most marketplaces). Not that I am not proud of the work I do for the show (of which I am also a fan). But much of the high-profile fare to which I contribute is confidential and proprietary. So, it's in the best interest of all that I keep those particulars at bay from this forum. That said, you ALSO know that I am MISS DIANA ROSS' #1 fan since my childhood (so wherever she is, I'm usually commenting on it).

Well, as "pop culture" and "possibilities" converge in "... the life of Riley...", please know that MISS ROSS will be on the air of my main client (for which I am a freelance field producer) this Friday (or depending when you read this: was on my main client's air).

This will be her 4th appearance on a show that's been on the air for 25 years:

After the taping earlier this week in Chicago, one of my bosses (the one who green-lighted my attendance and participation in the show) told me to tell my readers to WATCH!

(This, as everybody else is talking about the now-moving-between-#1-and-#2-TRENDING topic of the last few days: MISS DIANA ROSS - a FACEBOOK & TWITTER phenomenon this week! I LOVE IT!). You must check MISS ROSS out on FRIDAY!

SHE'S EVEN MORE SUPREME THAN YOU HAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED or can IMAGINE! It is truly MISS ROSS at her best. Having the show’s studio as a client helped me to get up close and personal with Miss Ross. 

But as effortless as one might imagine it would be for the #1 DIANA ROSS FAN (me) to get access to this historic taping, it wasn't. I had to get creative with the finances to snag a plane ticket. And I had a village of friends on the inside who worked diligently to ensure that once I made it, it was special. This, as "AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH. NOTHING CAN KEEP ME FROM [MISS ROSS]..." LOL! So in the end, I made it there... and had the time of my LIFE! Still no photo op with MISS ROSS and me. But as THE SUPREME DIVA often says: "GO FOR YOUR DREAMS... REACH AND THEIR YOURS!" I'm still REACHING, MISS ROSS! Regardless, I have other new memories now with MISS ROSS that are JUST MINE. Plus, I got to be a part of an intimate audience with MISS ROSS' BEAUTY; TALENT; and TESTIMONY from back-stage and in the studio.

One cherished moment is meeting her background singer Fred White.

He also wrote "I Love You" - the title track for her most recent CD (

Will be great to hear about other things that Fred is working on - including new material with Miss


Ross. So stay tuned for those developments over time. 

Diana Ross will continue her national “Now” Tour with a southern and eastern U.S. leg beginning February 25 – March 20. The complete list of the Diana Ross “Now” Tour dates follows.  For the latest tour information, please visit Facebook:

      # # #


City Venue
2/25/2011Choctaw, MS Golden Moon Hotel & Casino
2/26/2011Bossier, LA Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
2/27/2011Austin, TX Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theatre
3/1/2011Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater
3/2/2011Dallas, TX Majestic Theatre
3/4/2011Jacksonville, FL Moran Theatre (Times Union Center PAC)
3/5/2011Greenville, SC Peace Center Concert Hall
3/7/2011Charleston, SC Charleston's Historic Dock Street Theatre
3/9/2011Charlotte, NC McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
3/11/2011Durham, NC DPAC
3/12/2011Washington, DC Washington Convention Center
3/13/2011Poughkeepsie, NY Bardavon, 1869 Opera House
3/15/2011Englewood, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center
3/16/2011Hartford, CT Bushnell Auditorium
3/18/2011Stamford, CT Palace Theatre
3/19/2011Atlantic City, NJ Caesars Atlantic City - Circus Maximus
3/20/2011Staten Island, NY St.  George Theatre



Shout out to Sara & all of my friends at Richard Harris Inc. ( for graciously dressing me for my close encounter of the ROSS kind.

That of course includes Scott French - the designer with the most!!!

He has dressed me in many great pieces over the years. This time was no exception.

You'll recall, I primarily wore Richard Harris Inc. for the National Association of Black Journalists Convention.

That was last year in San Diego.

He's been my FAVORITE for a minute.

Ant too.

And the folks at RICHARD HARRIS & AMERICAN CHANG have gone on the record saying my blog is a FAV in their showroom!! American Chang – in fact – gave my blog “A Day in the Life of Riley: pop culture & possibilities” its “Golden Poodle Award” as “The Best Way To Spend A Lazy Afternoon” (

 Check all of their links out: and and 

You can take a look at the new suits and the new outerwear for Fall 2011.

HOT LOOKS to keep cool near the end of this year.  



While in Chicago, you know I spent time with my best friends. I enjoyed one of Obama's favorite soul food joints MacArthur's with Morehouse BFF Eddie, Chicago buddies Carl & Itika, and new friend Cory. Then, Market sports bar for quick cocktail catch-up w/Ti-Ti. This, as that ALL-STAR GAME was on! GO RIHANNA! GO BLAKE GRIFFIN!


Miss Ross’ oldest offspring Rhonda Ross was in Chicago (exclaiming - when she saw me for the first time in Chicago - "YOU MADE IT!" with her left thumb up to the sky while her other hand was holding her son). She was with her mom and her son as well as the rest of her siblings Tracee, Chudney, Ross, and Evan. I had the chance to chat her up in NYC a few days prior at B Michael America show at The Plaza. It’s Fashion Week after all. And B’s show featured star model Cicely Tyson. Also in the house: Susan Taylor, Ashford & Simpson, Melba Moore; my Sidra, my Carl Nelson, Seitu, etc (my usual suspects).


After B. Michael’s show, I went uptown to join our girl Manivone who showcased her paper sculptures on live models from her "PAPER STATUS" series ( Her models included my girl Anise White – also an amazing vocalist who has popped by ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT with her gifts. And Manivone’s cousin Vilay. And dear friend Chris were also in the show. Vilay – you’ll recall – helped out on our fashion pilot last year. Also, her man Taha’s brother Adam was a featured model. He is a talented artist who knows his way around leather, suede, and all the elements that make up a great bag. Stay tuned for more on Adam, Taha, and Fafa – three brothers from Toronto who are a FORCE in the ART WORLD and three to watch - the Clayton brothers! 


Amidst Fashion Week, got to hang out with Nicole Richie. She hosted a Bergdorf Goodman set promoting her “About Winter Kate | House of Harlow 1960” line. Shout out to my friend Seitu who managed the media relations on the Fall/Winter 2011 Collection of Nico Lena (by Nicholas D’Aurizio) at the Chelsea Art Museum (  While commuting from show to show, I happened upon hairstylist extraordinaire Oscar James alongside the FABULOUS Deborah Cox. I spoke to them both quickly and blew kisses from my cab while rushing to my next event.


My boy Ron Smith always invites me to great shows. This recent Fashion Week is no exception. For my BFF (since 7th grade) Ern’s birthday, we went to the presentation of ROMAS (Linda Rowe) at Michaelangelo Hotel. Shout out to Harriette Cole who in her post-EBONY life tells me she's been consulting with Prince. From the Michealangelo Hotel to Cafeteria for dinner. Then, the Village’s “Insomnia” cookies and GRAMMY-DVR set at Ern’s place to round out the night. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERN!


Shout out to my BFF Tata for inviting me to join her at Mary Mary’s listening party concert promoting the duo’s 5th CD release “Something Big” at The Canal Room in NYC. And these girls were serving (God's) children...hear? ...with VOICE & TESTIMONY & INSPIRATION! AMEN! Donald Lawrence was also in the house! They sang their biggest hits “Shackles”; “God in Me”; “Yesterday”; and a few of their new tracks from “Something Big” – including their current single “Walkin’”. Was with Mary Mary when their 4th release came out a couple of years ago. Always good to see them. Happy they are back!


My Valentine’s Day started with a table read at George Faison Firehouse where I contributed my acting chops. It was for my friend Sid's in-development romantic comedy feature alongside-this-go-around- a stellar combo including diva D'Atra Hicks; Maya Days; FELA!s Kevin Mambo; and a host of others. After this, I ran some errands – including snagging Janet Jackson’s new book “True You” and a card for Ant’s and my exchange. You know he loves him some Janet! He and I did dinner and karaoke - singing Janet. And we basked a little bit in the accomplishment of having snagged Janet Jackson tix for her NYC tour in March. Just us. Interestingly, while picking up the book at Time Warner Center’s Borders, I ran into to FAV male vocalist Billy Porter (getting on subway as I was geting off). I LOVE NY! Before Ant and I connected, I popped by Harlem's Red Rooster & Chez Lucienne to have a 'happy (valentine's day) hour' during which I caught up w/dear friends and got some fun chat time with Miss Lynn Whitfield who was in town from L.A. and about to celebrate a birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LYNN!


We went to see my ATL-buddy JOI perform a couple of weeks at the inaugural APOLLO MUSIC CAFÉ. She sang songs from people who have performed at The Apollo Theater – from Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney to Bessie Smith. AWESOME SHOW! Dressed minimally-yet-fiercely in a spaghetti-strapped catsuit in black. My dear friend from A-T-L looks as if she’s frozen in time – still fit and trim to the naked eye; vocals still on fire; and her Esther-Rolle-meets-Nina-Simone, deconstructed ‘fro was to die. She sang songs from people who have performed at The Apollo Theater. My rough notes produced this set list (I didn't know all of the titles - so some of the listings include lyrics):

"Steppin' in the Darkness" - WAR

"Halo" - Delfonics

"Try Me" - James Brown

Stevie Wonder - "Jesus, Children"

Bob Marley - "Burnin' in Loop" (featuring Devon Lee)

Curtis Mayfield – “Runnin' Wild”

Teena Marie - "Square Biz"

Paliament – lyric: "produced in conjunction"; lyric: "cobwebs out your mind" (outkast sampled on southern funk)

Dinah Washington – “You Don't Know What Love Is”

Jimi Hendrix – “Little Wing” (featuring Devon Lee)

Paul McCartney - "Helter Skelter" (featuring Devon Lee)

Aretha Franklin - "Nobody Knows The Way I Feel"

Bessie Smith - "I'm Wild About That Thing

FINALE: Tina Turner - "Nutbush City Limits"/Joi - "Lick"

AWESOME NIGHT… and GREAT NEW EXPERIENCE that bridges the classics with new, independent artists of today and the future. Find out more about this FUTURISTIC THROWBACKS franchise, which will include a diverse mix of live music, poetry, spoken word, comedy and spinning DJ’s. Tickets for Apollo Music Café are available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, Apollo Music Café is made possible by generous support from Heineken, the Official Imported Beer Sponsor of the Apollo Theater’s 2010-11 Season. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Lots of birthdays last week! Friends Maurice Jamal, Toyce, Scott, and a wonderful young lady named Arianna Francis turned 16. Her parents invited me to interview her guests on the red carpet at the well-appointed affair at the Midtown Loft AKA Arianna LIVE!



And many of our ALL-STAR KARAOKE regulars came out to CELEBRATE last THURSDAY along with a house full of new folks in the mix!


We are at NATIVE Restaurant in HARLEM every THURSDAY – from 9pm to MIDNIGHT.


Brian, Jasmine, Ephraim, Carl Nelson, Troy & Darryl (“Bangin’ Ass Artists”), Derrick; Mario (also from “No Parking” KARAOKE Monday night); etc.

My Morehouse brothers PT and Kobie ( were in the house along with my NYABJ/NABJ sister Georgia Scott.

She owns a Harlem coffee shop GLOBETRIPPIN’ (and she is celebrating the publication of her new book, "Down There: Narratives About the Joy, Aroma and Overall Existence of the Bush"). AS ALWAYS, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 P.S. Happened upon Vinyl in Chelsea for a late night bite last Friday… and look which menu I got: one of my favorite albums of all time Jennifer Holliday’s “Feel My Soul” ( and her sophomore release. I didn’t take it (I have one at home). LOL! I hear Miss Holliday has a new Gospel CD coming out! I sure hope so! I LOVE ME SOME JENNIFER HOLLIDAY!