Lizzo, the plus-size bombshell who nabbed her first No. 1 track on the Billboard Hot 100 this week with the two-time platinum selling “Truth Hurts,” is joining fellow recording artists Halsey, Shawn Mendes, Tegan and Sara, Blink-182, athletes, first responders as well as mental health professionals for “I’m Listening,” a two-hour, commercial-free radio broadcast aiming to raise mental health awareness.
The special marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 8 and will air on 235 Entercom stations at 7 a.m. local time and via each station’s livestream on RADIO.COM in their respective time zones. Listeners will have the opportunity to participate via live call-in and an interactive website.
“The fact of the matter is, I do have people to talk to,” said Lizzo, whose sold-out Cuz I Love You Tour arrives Oct. 18-21 at the Hollywood Palladium. “But I get so sad sometimes I feel like there is nothing anyone can say.
“Nobody can walk inside of your body and fix your brain — not fix it, but change your brain around to feel things differently. By participating with ‘I’m Listening’ I hope that by sharing my feelings it will help everyone understand that it’s totally normal to have the lows with the highs — and sometimes asking for help is the first step.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five or 46.6 million adults in America experience mental illness in a given year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S., claiming the lives of more than 47,000 people each year. More than 50 percent of people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their life. Mental health affects everyone regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
For more information about the campaign, visit ImListening.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ImListening. If someone you know is going through a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
RETOOLING: Despite seeing her nationwide stand-up tour falling by the wayside due to multiple cancellations, daytime talk show host Wendy Williams is sallying forth with a comedy special to give viewers a taste of what she planned, according to a Deadline exclusive.
“The 90-minute pilot special ‘Wendy Williams & Friends Presents: For The Record’ will feature her take on the headlines and her evolving lifestyle after a controversial tabloid-covered separation from her longtime husband/producer/manager Kevin Hunter.
Royale Watkins (who along with Williams is a co-executive producer) will be among the featured comics along with Carmen Barton, Mark Viera and newcomer Kristen Sivills.
“Listen, people are talking about me and my life, but they have no idea,” Williams said. “And since comedy has always been the best source of therapy for me, I’m using this special to tell some really good stories and have my comedian friends do some great comedy we can all relate to.”
FAN-TASTIC: The Paley Center for Media’s 13th annual PaleyFest Fall TV Previews is in full swing this week at its Beverly Hills location.
Among the highlights are Hulu’s “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” presentation on Sept. 10 with series creators The RZA and Alex Tse; CBS’s legal drama “All Rise” (with Simone Missick) and romantic sitcom “Bob Abishola” (with Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku and series creator Gina Yashere) on Sept. 12; and ABC’s “mixed-ish” (with Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gary Cole and the rest of the cast) on Sept. 14.
The screenings are preceded by receptions featuring free refreshments and appetizers. For tickets and more info, visit: www.paleycenter.org/2019-paleyfest-previews/.
TICKET ALERT: After a more than two-year hiatus, producer Reginald Hudlin and musical director Marcus Miller’s “Black Music Soundtrack III” is set for Sept. 25 at the Hollywood Bowl. Craig Robinson is back to host with El DeBarge, Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson, Meshell Ndegéocello, Dionne Farris, Raphael Saadiq and BeBe Winans accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Nuff Said! Run to www.hollywoodbowl.com to choose your seats.
CLIPPETTES: Sheila E, along with Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers, kick off the weekend Sept. 6 at Newport Beach’s Hyatt Regency. Also that evening, rap is represented by Rick Ross at Zipper Hall; KRS-One at Catch One; Everlast at the Troubadour; and soul man Durand Jones & The Indications at The Novo …
Comics rule on Sept. 7 with Sinbad at the Saban Theatre and Ali Wong’s The Milk & Money Tour, which has been selling out across the country, at the Wiltern for two nights. Meanwhile, Toni Braxton sings at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts; and Robert Cray plays the blues at Riverside’s Fox Performing Arts Center …
The Hollywood Bowl presents Gladys Knight joined by The Kingdom Choir, the London gospel group that captivated a worldwide television audience with a stunning performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on Sept 8 …
Sheryl Crow, whose 11th album “Threads” was just released with guests Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Sting, Chuck D, Andra Day, James Taylor and Gary Clark Jr., begins a two-night stand at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Sept. 11; as Elton John continues his farewell tour at the Honda Center; and Ben Harper and Neneh Cherry co-headline at the Hollywood Bowl …
Comic/actor Michael Colyar’s poignant biographical one-man show “Momma” is revived on Sept. 12 for two nights at the Barnsdall Theatre.
TC ON TV: Sept. 6 – “Hip-Hop Evolution” (Netflix): The Peabody Award and International Emmy-winning docu-series, hosted by rapper and broadcaster Shad Kabongo, focuses on the East Coast/West Coast beef for its third season. “Into The Dark” (Hulu): Jahkara Smith (“NOS4A2”) stars in “Pure,” an installment of the Blumhouse Television produced anthology series described as a female coming-of-age horror story.
Sept. 7 – “Gary Owen: #DoinWhatIDo” (Showtime): Black America’s favorite crossover comic recounts his early days as a wrestler and as a military recruit, his 20-year friendship with Kevin Hart, his reaction to his daughter dating and one of the greatest things he has ever heard at a football game.
Sept. 8 – “Black Girls Rock 2019” (BET): Beverly Bond’s celebration of self-empowerment returns with Niecy Nash hosting the event honoring actresses and directors Angela Bassett and Regina King; music’s Ciara and H.E.R.; film industry trailblazer Debra Martin Chase; and the activist Mothers of the Movement: Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed-Veal, Gwen Carr, U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton. Performers include India.Arie, Common, Erykah Badu, Elle Varner, Monica, Crystal Waters and Cece Peniston; with Brandy, Issa Rae, Rapsody and Tamika Mallory among the presenters. “A Year in Music” (AXS): Tommy Chong walks us through 1968 in the season finale. That year introduced Aretha Franklin’s “Lady Soul” and “Aretha Now” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Electric Ladyland.” “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” (ID): “Vanishing on I-95” opens the 6th season.
Sept. 9 – “Lip Sync To The Rescue” (CBS): Cedric the Entertainer hosts this special where viewers vote for their favorite video of performances by first responders with the winner announced live. “Out of Omaha” (Starz): J Cole is the executive producer of this documentary on twin brothers followed at age 17 for the next eight years.
Sept. 10 – “30 For 30” (ESPN): “Rodman: For Better or Worse,” An unfettered look at Dennis Rodman on and off the court is presented. “Mr. Mercedes” (Audience): It seemed implausible that this Stephen King novel turned killer series would continue after season one. Yet here we are at season three with cast member Jharrel Jerome now at star status with his gripping portrayal of Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix “Exonerated 5” mini-series “When They See Us.”
Sept. 11 – “Man’s Greatest Food” (Cooking): Roger Mooking digs into the 15 best soul food dishes from around the country. “Sherman’s Showcase” (IFC): The first season finale flips the show’s reality to show Ray J as the new host. “Snowfall” (FX): The late series producer and co-creator John Singleton’s son Seven is supposed to make a special appearance in tonight’s third season tribute finale featuring a young version of the filmmaker prior to his breaking out with “Boyz N’ The Hood.” His legacy lives on through his work and the John Singleton embrace L.A. Short Film Competition allowing the major opportunity to have your live-action narrative script read by Hollywood insiders when submitted before the Sept. 15 deadline. Three winners will be awarded $20,000 each for the production and completion of a short. Visit www.PAFF.org for details.
Sept. 12 – “The I-Land” (Netflix): Natalie Morales and Kate Bosworth star in this sci-fi adventure from “Van Helsing” series creator Neil LaBute about 10 people wiped clean of memories and thrown together to survive harsh realities.
TASTY QUIP: ““The one chased away with a club comes back, but the one chased away with reason does not.” – KENYA proverb from “Life Is God’s Best Gift” by Sam Chege via Amistad Books.
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 email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.