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Andra Day is Billie Holiday for Lee Daniels’ biopic


Singer-songwriter Andra Day is taking her love for Billie Holiday to the next level with the news that she will be portraying the iconic jazz chanteuse in an upcoming feature film from director Lee Daniels (“Precious” “The Butler”).

The San Diego native, who stayed atop the charts with her blockbuster anthem “Rise Up,” begins filming “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” next month in Montreal along with Trevante Rhodes (“Moonlight”), Garrett Hedlund (“Mudbound”), Natasha Lyonne (“Orange is the New Black”) and Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name”).

Groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) wrote the script based on Holiday being the target of a federal drug investigation during her tumultuous career.  

Said Daniels to Deadline about the project: “Her story is very personal to me and I hope to do justice when bringing to light this profound and complicated soul — a great artist and an unsung civil rights warrior.” 

UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL: A couple of unique recording artists are being given the opportunity to discuss their careers and introduce music at The Grammy Museum. Up first is pop star Halsey (“Without Me” “Bad At Love”), who will talk about her upcoming album “Manic” on Sept. 23 followed by a performance. 

Percussionist Poncho Sanchez will get the same treatment there on Sept. 26 to coincide with the release of his first new album in seven years, “Trane’s Delight,” a tribute to the life and music of the iconic saxophonist John Coltrane

BLACK PANTHER MAGIC: Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) is reuniting for a third time with Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”) for the HBO Max series adaptation of “Americanah,” based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel.

Gurira, who wrote “Eclipsed” which starred Nyong’o on Broadway, will do the same for the pilot of this story of a Nigerian woman’s self-discovery in America.  

Prior to this, Nyong’o will next be seen as a protective schoolteacher Miss Caroline in “Little Monsters,” a youth-oriented zombie comedy premiering Oct. 11 on Hulu. 

CLIPPETTES: Multi-platinum group Toto (“Africa” “Georgy Porgy”), whose milestone anniversary is celebrated in the career-spanning new Eagle Rock CD/DVD set “Toto – 40 Trips Around The Sun,” is embarking on the final leg of its global tour by returning home to L.A. for a Sept. 20 date at The Wiltern  

Also that evening, Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Too $hort, Suga Free and more are at Citizens Business Bank Arena; Charlie Wilson and Montell Jordan entertain at the L.A. County Fair in Pomona; Johnny Mathis croons at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts; Naturally 7 bring their a capella chops to Pepperdine University’s Smothers Theater; Flying Lotus soars at The Novo; and the Joey Alexander Trio jam at UC Irvine

“Set It Off,” the classic 1996 heist drama with Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise, is getting a remake by Issa Rae (“Inscecure”), who will produce and star …     

Lenny Kravitz’ Raise Vibration Tour 2019 lands at The Shrine Sept. 21; as Talib Kweli with Ackword Actwrite headline at La Santa; and a gathering of stars including Alfre Woodard, Wayne Brady, Gina Torres, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Lynch, Eric McCormack and more participate in Concert For America at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The proceeds will benefit the National Immigration Law Center … 

A new song called “Show Me Love” was released this week by Alicia Keys and Miquel with Raphael Saddiq on guitar and a video featuring actors Michael B. Jordan and Zoe Saldana … 

Luis Fonsi’s Vida World Tour stops at Anaheim’s House of Blues Sept. 24; while Nikki Glaspie & The Homies rock The Mint; and “Blue Man Group: Speechless” is staged at the Pantages … 

Whoopi Goldberg has been cast as 108-year-old prophet Mother Abagail in CBS All Access’ remake of “Stephen King’s The Stand” in the role originated by the late Ruby Dee. Jovan Adepo (“When They See Us”) and Daniel Sunjata (“Rescue Me”) were also added … 

India.Arie, riding the wave of a new album “Worthy” and hit single “Steady Love,” performs at The Novo Sept. 25. Also that night, singer Taylor McFerrin is at The Moroccan Lounge; and the legendary Lee Scratch Perry + Subatomic Sound System bring da riddem to Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach

Tony and Obie Award–winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones’ “Sell/Buy/Date,” inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry, is set for Sept. 26 at USC’s Bing Theatre; while Rick Ross’ Port Of Miami 2 Tour opens at the Belasco Theater.  

TC ON TV: Sept. 20 – “Savage X Fenty Show” (Amazon): Rihanna’s spectacular New York Fashion Week presentation of her fall/winter 2019 lingerie collection airs with performances by Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, Fabolous and Tierra Whack.  

Sept. 21 – “Black Jesus” (Comedy): The Oracle of Compton, created by Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”), is resurrected after four years for a third season.   

Sept. 22 – “71st Primetime Emmy Awards” (Fox): The live broadcast from LA’s Microsoft Theater boasts no host, but will be strong with presenters including Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Billy Porter, Taraji P. Henson and Zendaya.

Sept. 23 – “Ellen” (Syn): Oprah Winfrey, Lil Nas X. “All Rise” (CBS): Simone Missick (“Luke Cage”) stars as a former deputy district attorney newly appointed as a judge. “Bluff City Law” (NBC): Jimmy Smits returns to the network that launched him on “L.A. Law.”

Sept. 24 – “Empire” (Fox): The final season kicks off with Lucious on the run; Cookie with a talk show; Andre running the label; Hakeem venturing into movies; and no sign of Jamaal. FYI: Terrence Howard is talking about retiring from acting at the end of the show. “mixed-ish” (ABC): The upbringing of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Rainbow is the focus of this “black-ish” spinoff which has devotees wondering how her mom (played here by Tika Sumpter) morphs into the original series’ Anna Devere Smith. “black-ish” (ABC): Pops (Laurence Fishburne) reveals that he is getting married on the season premiere welcoming Loretta Devine in a recurring role.  

Sept. 25 – “The Masked Singer” (Fox): America’s favorite guessing game is back with a two-hour second season premiere with undercover celebs said to have amassed 69 Emmy Award nominations, 42 Grammy Award nominations, 22 Broadway shows and three New York Times Best Sellers. “Survivor” (CBS): The Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 39th season with a special 90-minute premiere bringing back two beloved winners, “Boston Rob” Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine as mentors. 

Sept. 26 – “Creepshow” (Shudder): Met the delightful Adrienne Barbeau (1982’s “Creepshow,” “The Fog,” “Escape From New York”) at the Soda City Comic Con last month where she talked about co-starring with Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”) and Tobin Bell (“Saw”) in tonight’s opener directed by Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”). She looked great and questioned my choice of Jane Fonda as “Maude” for an inevitable reboot from Norman Lear with his last one just copping a Creative Arts Emmy. “How about me?” asked the actress who was daughter Carol through six seasons. “People don’t realize Bea Arthur was 49 when she first played that role!” “Evil” (CBS): Also caught a preview of this series starring Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”). Convention organizers proved to be correct in steering the young’uns out of the screening room. This “X Files” hybrid examines the dividing line between science and religion and had a couple of scenes that delivered real scares. “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC): The sixth and final season of Professor Annalise Keating’s class is in session. “Untold Stories of Hip Hop” (WE): Longtime radio host Angie Martinez interviews the likes of Cardi B, Snoop Dogg, Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, Nelly, Wyclef Jean, Ja Rule and more.  

TASTY QUIP: “I’m not trendy, I’m not cool. I’m just a big black beautiful girl who can sing about that song and y’all have supported me. It all started with this dedication to positive music that I started back in 2015. I know it feels like it’s becoming mainstream now, but do not let them marginalize the self-love movement. Don’t let them reduce it to spa day and mimosas because you know it’s more than that. In times like this, self-love is a form of survival. In times like this, we need to be rooted in self-love so we can survive. We can survive presidencies like Donald Trump’s that like to take away our rights. We can survive people like Bill Maher, who says we need to bring shaming back into schools because fat shaming needs to make a comeback. We really need self-care to survive. Don’t let them take that away from you. Remember that you deserve it. You deserve to feel good as hell. This is where we’re going to change the world.” – Rising superstar LIZZO at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre as part of her massively popular Cuz I Love You Too Tour hitting the Hollywood Palladium Oct. 18.

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.