AP NEWS

What’s the 411?

September 8, 2016

What’s going on with Bishop Eddie Long? A few weeks ago, the controversial Atlanta mega-church pastor appeared in a video and astonished viewers with his weight loss. This puts Long back in the spotlight five years after settling a lawsuit with four men who accused him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers. On camera, the Bishop explained his current weight loss saying he changed his diet and gave up many fried and unhealthy foods and is now on mostly raw vegetables. His critics suspected something else and the whispers began about cancer. Long has since released a statement saying that he’s overcome a health challenge, and he’s continuing his mostly raw vegetable diet as a holistic approach to good health. Long did not elaborate on the specific health challenge.

***

Forbes magazine just crowned the highest paid hip-hop moguls. Sean “Diddy” Combs, riding high from his Bad Boy Record label’s 20th anniversary tour, comes in number one. Combs reportedly took in $62 million. Beyoncé’s husband Jay Z was second at $53.5 million, followed by last year’s highest paid artist, Dr. Dre, who came in third at $41 million. The top five also includes Drake, who took in $38.5 million and Wiz Khalifa at $24 million. The only woman to make the list was Nicki Minaj at number six with $20.5 million.

***

Maxwell and Mary J. Blige are together ... and they’re coming to town! It’s The King And Queen Of Hearts World Tour. The King of Neo Soul and The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul have teamed up for the first time and will be at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Tickets go on sale today. There’s a link on the WDASFM.com contest page.

***

Smokey Robinson is also coming back to Philly and he’s getting in the skin care business. The former Miracle will bring his Motown hits to the Academy of Music on Friday, Nov. 18. Tickets go on sale Saturday. There’s a link on the WDASFM.com contest page. Plus, Smokey and his wife, Frances, have a brand-new skin care line called Skinphonic. Skinphonic’s products take their name from two of the most famous songs Smokey wrote for The Temptations: the men’s line is called Get Ready and the women’s line is called My Girl.

***

Halle Berry says hold your horses to her divorce proceedings. The Oscar winner wants to give it another try. Her husband is French actor Olivier Martinez. He’s the father of her son, Maceo, and famously gave Berry ex-boyfriend and baby-daddy of daughter, Nahla, Gabriel Aubry, a Thanksgiving beatdown a few years ago when the two had words. Berry, 50, and Martinez, 50, were married two years before they both filed divorce papers last October. Reps for the two actors are not commenting, but sources say they’ve both been purposely dragging their feet to follow up on the divorce papers because the two still love each other, their family and don’t want to go through the drama of a divorce. For now, the two remain separated, which is going on 11 months now.

***

Olympic darling Simone Biles is writing a memoir, “Courage To Soar.” At 19, the four-time gold medalist set a new record in gymnastics at this year’s games in Rio. Now, she and journalist Michelle Burford will pen a book about Biles’ life. “Courage To Soar” will cover being adopted by her grandfather and his wife, the substance abuse issues that plagued her biological parents and her training and road to victory, including dealing with the praise and criticism while competing on the Olympic stage. “Courage To Soar” will be available Nov. 15.

***

Congratulations to Usher! The eight-time Grammy winner just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usher’s wife, Grace Miguel, and their four children (his two sons and her son and daughter) were all in attendance. Fellow artists Stevie Wonder, Kelly Rowland, Miguel, will.i.am, and producer/songwriter Terry Lewis also came out to congratulate and celebrate with Usher.

***

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan have gone their separate ways, but they’re doing fine. Ripa returned for a new season of “Live” without Strahan, who left abruptly last year when “Live’s” producers, ABC/Disney, promoted him to “Good Morning America” (GMA) full time. Strahan got right into the groove of GMA, including A-list interviews with Tom Hanks, the “Dancing with the Stars” cast and surprise visits from Usher and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles. Meanwhile, Ripa began a contest to allow viewers to become a guest host on “Live.” As of press time, no permanent co-host has been announced yet. “Live” began its season with Morris Chestnut guest-hosting two days in a row.

***

Speaking of Morris Chestnut, he’s producing and starring in the new thriller “When The Bough Breaks,” which hits theaters Friday. The actor, currently seen in Fox-TV’s “Rosewood,” has recruited his “Best Man” co-star Regina Hall to play his big-screen wife. Chestnut and Hall are a successful couple trying to have a baby. The problems begin when their perfect surrogate, played by Jaz Sinclair, becomes obsessed with the couple’s life and wants to replace the wife. “When The Bough Breaks” is in theaters now, and Sept. 22, his TV drama “Rosewood” moves to Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox.

***

Eddie Murphy returns to the big screen in “Mr. Church.” He plays a chef in 1970s Los Angeles, who befriends a single mom dying of cancer and her daughter. He becomes a surrogate father after the mom passes. “Mr. Church” hits theaters Friday, Sept. 16.

***

Iyanla Vanzant kicks off her new season on OWN tomorrow night. “Iyanla, Fix My Life” begins with her “Myth Of The Angry Black Woman”workshop, which airs Saturday night at 9 p.m. In more OWN news, Tyler Perry‘s nighttime soap “If Loving You Is Wrong” returns Tuesday at 9 p.m.

***

In other Oprah Winfrey news, Winfrey is teaming up with Bishop TD Jakes for a new daytime talk show. The show, called “TD Jakes,” will roll out five days a week. Winfrey and Jakes have a focus on positive uplifting programming, and Jakes describes this business venture as a partnership. TD Jakes will premiere in syndication on Monday and then on OWN Sept. 19.

***

Babyface and South Philly’s own Amber Rose are joining “Dancing with the Stars” this season on ABC. Other dancers this season include ex-Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson, “Final Five” gold medalist and New Jersey native Laurie Hernandez, actress Marilu Henner (Elaine from “Taxi”), actress Maureen McCormick (Marcia from “The Brady Bunch”), former presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry and rapper Vanilla Ice. Plus, despite all that trouble he caused down in Rio, Gold medal-winning swimmer Ryan Lochte is competing, too. The 23rd Season of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday on ABC.

***

Phylicia Rashad is returning to prime time when she joins the cast of “Empire.” She’s a mom here, too. Rashad will play Taye Diggs’ mom, Diana DuBois. Diggs will play Angelo DuBois, a Harvard educated up-and-coming politician who wants to make a change for the people. His mom will do anything to see her son gets to the top. “Empire,” starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, returns to Fox Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.

***

In post-Olympic news, Gabby Douglas will be one of the judges for the Miss America Pageant. Newlywed and singer Ciara will also be on the judges’ panel with the multi-gold medalist. Douglas recently had a health scare and couldn’t join her fellow “Final Five” members presenting at the MTV Awards. She was hospitalized when a previous injury caused a cyst on a bone in her mouth. She took to social media to confirm she’s doing just fine now. The Miss America Pageant will air on ABC on Sunday with hosts Chris Harrison and Sage Steele (ESPN).

***

Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson, music legend Dionne Warwick and the man who introduced the movies to an entire genre in the 1970s, Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”), will all receive a special honor. To kick off the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend, the three will receive lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the arts on Wednesday. Tyson is known for acclaimed films such as her Emmy-winning turn in “The Miss Jane Pitman Story,” “The River Niger,” “Diary Of A Mad Black Woman” and her Oscar-nominated performance in “Sounder.” Roundtree’s films include the three “Shaft” movies of the 1970s, “Earthquake,” “Charley One-Eye,” “Speed Racer,” “City Heat” and his TV role on BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” Warwick is best known for her classic songs “Then Came You” (with The Spinners), “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” “Walk On By,” “I Say A Little Prayer” and “Don’t Make Me Over,” just to name a few.

***

Martin Lawrence is returning to standup and television. This will be his first special in 14 years. Lawrence appears to be working on his comeback. “Bad Boys III,” with Will Smith, is scheduled to start filming next year. But first, what Lawrence is supposed to talk about in his cable special: How about President Obama, Bill Cosby and Hollywood. “Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut” premieres Friday at 9 p.m. on Showtime.