Sorry ladies, but Idris Elba is engaged! The actor best known for his roles in “The Wire” and “Luther” proposed to his girlfriend on stage. Elba was hosting the screening of his film directorial debut called “Yardie” in London. The 45-year-old actor brought 29-year-old Sabrina Dhowre on stage and popped the question. Dhowre said yes and the couple has been on social media basking in their love, including on Valentine’s Day. This is a turnaround for Elba, who has been twice married before. He reportedly proclaimed he wouldn’t marry again, but clearly Dhowre changed his mind. “Yardie” made its debut in America at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. At press time, no wedding date has been shared yet.
Wendy Williams is missing shows. The Queen Of All Media has been cancelling the tapings of her daytime talk show. She’s been missing out on some very important guests. Not to mention the February sweeps, when the ratings for all TV shows are specially measured. Williams took to Instagram and let her fans know she’s suffering from flu-like symptoms. Speculation may have driven Williams to take to social media because, of course, the state of her marriage is still on people’s minds. Her husband, Kevin Hunter, is reportedly still being seen out and about with other women. Whether its flu or marriage, we wish Wendy a fast recovery to get back where she belongs on TV.
A judge threw out a $60 million lawsuit by Steve Harvey‘s ex-wife, Mary Harvey. Mary Harvey divorced Steve back in 2005, but recently filed suit claiming endangerment, torture, conspiracy against rights, kidnapping and intentional infliction of emotional distress, just to name a few of her charges. Mary in the past has trashed Steve and his wife, Marjorie, to the media, especially after the successful “Think Like A Man” book and movie franchises. A judge threw the suit out and said it belonged in Texas where the divorce was officiated. No word yet on whether Mary will re-file. Meanwhile, the WDAS morning man has another job. “Showtime at the Apollo” was a series of specials on FOX. Now, the network has decided to make the show a series, and Harvey will host beginning March 1 at 9 p.m.
Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly,” “Bridesmaids”) team up for the film “The Kitchen.” The movie is actually a drama that follows how powerful the mob wives of Hell’s Kitchen became after their husbands were sentenced to jail and the wives had to take over. At press time, no release date has been announced.
In more Tiffany Haddish news, the comedienne/actress signed a two-year first-look deal with HBO. A comedy special will probably be part of the deal. Haddish also has the TBS show “The Last OG” with Tracy Morgan coming in April, and she has the movie “Night School” coming in September with Kevin Hart.
Tragedy has struck Fantasia Barrino and her family, so let’s keep them in prayer. The singer/actress’s 18-year-old nephew, Tyquan Vonricco Washington, was shot to death. A 21-year-old suspect is in custody and officials believe there was a dispute between the two men. Fantasia and her brother Ricco, who is Tyquan’s father, posted tributes on social media. Fantasia is still scheduled to join Kem and Avant in concert this Saturday in Atlantic City at the Boardwalk Hall.
Martin Lawrence, Adele Givens and DeRay Davis are all coming to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for a comedy concert March 31. For tickets and information, log on to boardwalkhall.com/events. There’s also talk of a “Martin” reboot with the surviving cast members. (Thomas “Tommy” Mikal Ford passed in 2016.) Recently, Lawrence was spotted out and about with Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell-Martin. None would confirm, but the three didn’t say no when asked about reviving the former FOX Thursday night hit that ran from 1992-97. The show ended with a lot of tension between cast members. Can that all be squashed in this era of reboots, ala Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Hawaii Five-O?
On June 2, the 11th Annual Roots Picnic returns to Festival Pier in Philly with host Dave Chappelle. Scheduled to perform are 2 Chainz, DVSN, Fabolous, Jadakiss, Rapsody and Brandy, just to name a few. For festival passes and information log on to rootspicnic.com/philly.
NBA champ Kyrie Irving is getting into movies with Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Weber, Lisa Leslie, Erica Ash and Tiffany Haddish. Irving stars as elderly basketball playing Uncle Drew in a big-screen adventure based on the character created for the Pepsi Max commercials. Philly’s own Charles Stone III directs this adaption. “Uncle Drew” hits theaters June 29.
Sheryl Lee Ralph joins “Claws.” The TNT show stars Niecy Nash as a Florida nail shop owner and centers around the very unorthodox practices of the shop and its manicurists. Ralph will play the mom of Nash’s love interest in season two. “Claws” will return this summer on TNT.
The “Iyanla Fix My Life” season premiere airs on OWN March 3 at 9 p.m.
“Chris Rock: Tamborine” is the latest comedy special from the comedian and is also part of his deal on Netflix. But in the special, it is also confession time. Rock fesses up to cheating with three women while on the road and says he wasn’t a good husband in the show. He also says he was addicted to porn and the habit not only desensitized him but made him 15 minutes late everywhere. “Chris Rock: Tamborine” is currently available on Netflix.
Nelly is under a new sexual assault criminal investigation for an incident that allegedly happened in England. Back in December in Essex, England, a woman says that after his concert she was picked out of the crowd. Nelly brought her backstage with her friends, but then asked her to a room alone. She says that’s where she was assaulted by the rapper. Nelly denies all wrongdoing. So does Nelly’s girlfriend, who’s been on tour with him and says she knows he’s innocent. Monique Green is already suing Nelly for sexual assault in Washington state for an incident in October. Police dropped that investigation after Green decided a civil suit was the best way to go and stopped cooperating with the police investigation.
The O’Jays will call it quits in 2020. Eddie Levert, Walter Williams and Eric Nolan Grant did a sit-down with CBS Sunday Morning. The three reflected back on what the O’Jays have meant to music and on touring today and revealed their plan to walk away from it all in two years, ala Neil Diamond and Elton John. The O’Jays gave Gamble and Huff’s Philly International Record label its first No. 1 million-seller with McFadden, Whitehead and Huff’s “Back Stabbers,” and the O’Jays stayed 15 years with the label. The men also discussed the highs (watching Kenny Gamble finish the lyrics to “Love Train” in the control room) and the lows (the passing of both Gerald and Sean Levert; Williams’ MS diagnosis in 1983). Eric Nolan Grant currently has a new solo single, “OMW,” on his Twitter page. Williams and Levert are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the O’Jays this year.
Did Russell Simmons leave the country? The rap music mogul/clothing entrepreneur has over a dozen women accusing him of sexual misconduct ranging from workplace sexual harassment to date rape. Simmons has denied all allegations. He even tried to fight back by starting the #notme hash tag, for which he was heavily criticized. Reports are Simmons has left the country on a yoga retreat while the NYPD investigates some of the misconduct claims.
Bruno Mars and Cardi B are on tour together, but could a bun in the oven complicate matters? The final leg of the 24K Magic North American Tour will begin in September, but rumors abound that Cardi B is with child (possibly three months pregnant). Reportedly, members of her team even confirmed it. Cardi B took to Instagram as only she can and said “No Bch, I’m Just Getting Fat. Let Me Be Fat In Peace!” Bruno Mars and Cardi B are scheduled to perform at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly Sept. 19 and 20.
At the movies today, it’s finally here: Marvel Comics’ “Black Panther.” Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Phylicia Rashad and Sterling K. Brown lead the cast of winter’s most anticipated film. Ryan Coogler, who is on a roll himself with “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station,” directed and co-wrote the script. “Black Panther” is in theaters now.
Speaking of “Black Panther,” Essence magazine’s March issue is a salute to the movie. There are three covers, the first featuring Chadwick Boseman, the second with the men (Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya and Forest Whitaker) and the third with the ladies (Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira). The issue is on newsstand Friday.
Ebony magazine’s Love Issue is on stands now. The cover features super couples Common and Angela Rye, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Ciara and Russell Wilson.
Gabrielle Union wants you and her “Being Mary Jane” co-stars to live your best lives. Union discusses this and more as she graces the cover of Redbook magazine. Mrs. Dwyane Wade also reunites with producer Will Packer for the thriller “Breaking In.” Union plays a woman whose father passes and when she brings her two children to his highly secured home, the horror begins. When a group of criminals break into the home, hold the kids hostage and try to extort Union’s character, her race against time becomes rescuing her children. “Breaking In” opens Mother’s Day, May 13.
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is out, and 24-year-old Danielle Herrington becomes just the third Black woman to grace the cover after Tyra Banks and Beyonce. First-time barrier breaker and supermodel Banks has been showing Herrington the ropes by attending the premiere party for support and with social media and publicity introducing Herrington to the world. Herrington has been making her way around the media, including a stop at “Good Morning America” followed by a live on-line chat. Actor Michael B. Jordan was promoting “Black Panther” in the same studio and made a cameo giving Herrington a warm greeting, much to her and the online fans’ delight. Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue is on stands now.
We remember actor Reg E. Cathey. Cathey won an Emmy for his guest role on “House Of Cards.” He also appeared on “The Wire,” “Law & Order,” “30 Rock” and “Grimm,” and his film work included “Fantastic Four” and “Hands of Stone.” Cathey died on Feb. 9 at age 59.
The former executive editor of Ebony and Jet magazines, Lerone Bennett Jr., has passed away. Bennett had honed his skills in newspapers in high school and later at Morehouse College. From there, he joined Johnson Publications’ Ebony and Jet magazines and was with the organization an incredible 50 years. Bennett’s wife, Gloria, was also a Jet magazine journalist before she passed in 2009. Lerone Bennett also wrote two books chronicling the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in America. Lerone Bennett reportedly suffered from vascular dementia and was 89 years old.
WDAS presents the Fourth Annual Women of Excellence Luncheon March 31. This year’s honorees include broadcast legend Rev. Louise Williams Bishop, City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, TV icon Lisa Thomas Laury, first lady of Mother Bethel AME Church Leslie Patterson-Tyler, The Philadelphia Tribune’s own Shonda McClain and our Special Trailblazing Woman of Excellence honoree, hip hop legend and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah. It all takes place March 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, 17th and Race streets. The details are at wdasfm.com.
“How To Get Away With Murder” will do a crossover episode with “Scandal.” Both shows are produced by Shonda Rhimes as part of the blockbuster ABC-TGIT lineup. Scandal, which is in its final season, has welcomed Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Kobe Bryant to the set. Bryant, an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Short Film (“Dear Basketball”) as a producer, will also guest star on “How to Get Away With Murder.” The crossover event airs March 1 at 9 p.m. on ABC after Grey’s Anatomy.
Essence magazine released the Essence Music Festival schedule and lineup for 2018. The festivities return to New Orleans July 5-8. Performers include Janet Jackson, Jilly from Philly Jill Scott, Philly’s own The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Experience (Wreckx-N-Effect, Blackstreet and Guy), Idris Elba, Fantasia, Miguel and Mary J. Blige, with more acts to be announced. Details are on Essence.com
“American Idol,” with Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry in the judges’ seats and Ryan Seacrest as host, returns to TV on its new network, ABC, Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m.
Lee Daniels‘ dramas “Empire” and “Star” return to FOX Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. beginning March 28.
The Oscar nominations are out and “Get Out” made a huge showing. The unlikely box office blockbuster grossed over $250 million at the box office last year. It took nods for Best Picture (Jordan Peele and his producing partners), Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Screenplay and Director (both for Peele, his debut in both positions). Also nominated: Denzel Washington for Best Actor for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” and Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound” and Octavia Spencer in “The Shape Of Water” for Supporting Actress. Dee Rees and Virgil Williams are nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Mudbound”; Rees is the first African-American woman ever nominated in that category. NBA legend Kobe Bryant has been nominated for Best Animated Short Film (“Dear Basketball”) as a producer. Blige shares her second nomination with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson for Best Original Song (“Mighty River” from “Mudbound”). Common is nominated again this year with Diane Warren for “Stand Up for Something” from the movie “Marshall.” Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
“UnSung” is back. The TV music and Hollywood documentary series will kick off its 12th season after winning the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News and Information Program. “UnSung” returns this Sunday at 9 p.m. with music group Silk as the season premiere.
“Uncensored” is coming to TV One in February. The series explores the intimate lives and past experiences of some of today’s hottest talent from various media. Tiffany Haddish, Tamar Braxton, Rick Ross, NeNe Leakes and Nia Long are a few of the featured subjects. The biography series debuts Sunday at 10 p.m.
Taraji P. Henson is starring in the action-thriller “Proud Mary,” which will reunite “Color Purple” co-stars Danny Glover and Margaret Avery. Henson’s Tyler Perry-psychological-thriller “Acrimony,” co-starring Tika Sumpter (“The Haves & Have Nots,” “Ride Along”), opens March 30.
Singer/songwriter/actor John Legend is coming to TV as ... Jesus Christ. The Oscar winner will star in NBC’s revival of the legendary Broadway smash “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Legend is no stranger to Broadway works, as he won a Tony for producing the revival of August Wilson‘s “Jitney.” This project is the latest in the live revivals of movies and plays by network television. Rock legend Alice Cooper will also be in the cast. “Jesus Christ Superstar” will air live on NBC Easter Sunday, April 1.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Friday and Saturday — Mary J. Blige in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Tickets and more information are at www.theborgata.com.
Saturday — Kem/Fantasia/Avant in concert at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information, log on to ticketmaster.com.
Sunday — The Soul Jam starring the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Blue Magic and Bloodstone at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. For tickets and more information, log on to Tropicana.net
Feb. 24 — Katt Williams in concert at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information, log on to boardwalkhall.com/events.
March 9 — Keith Sweat in concert at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. Tix are on sale now, and for more information log on to Liacourascenter.com/events.
April 5 — Patti LaBelle in concert at the Academy Of Music, 240 S. Broad St. For tickets and information, log on to kimmelcenter.org
April 13 — The Philly Spring Jam starring Ginuwine, Tank, Brandy, Teddy Riley & Guy and 112 at the Liacouras Center. For more information, log on to Liacourascenter.com/events.
May 11 — The 10th Anniversary of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival begins with the Friday concert starring singers Joe and Stokley (from Mint Condition) at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City. For ticket information, log on to ppshows.com.
May 12 — The 10th Anniversary of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival continues with the Saturday concert starring Maxwell, Gladys Knight and Vivian Green at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For ticket information, log on to ppshows.com.
May 13 — The 10th Anniversary of Platinum Shows’ Mother’s Day Music Festival concludes with the Sunday concert starring the Whispers and L.J. Reynolds & the Dramatics at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. For ticket information, log onto ppshows.com.
May 26 — The Irresponsible Tour starring Kevin Hart at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
If you would like more info, please email me at PattyJackson@iHeartMedia.com or check out my reports at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.