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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Muhammad Ali’s own words enliven new projects

The life of the world’s recognized “Greatest of All Time,” Muhammad Ali, is the subject of several works seeing the light of day this week.

Premiering on HBO May 14 at 8 p.m. is the film “What’s My Name/Muhammad Ali,” directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “The Equalizer” franchise) with LeBron James and Maverick Carter (of the network’s “The Shop”) serving as executive producers.

Through recordings of Ali’s own voice and archival footage, some of it previously unseen, the two-part documentary paints an intimate portrait of a man who was a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world and, in his later years, was recognized as a global citizen and a symbol of humanity and understanding.

“Muhammad Ali transcended sports in a way the world had never seen before,” says James. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to tell his incredible and important story for the coming generations. He showed us all the courage and conviction it takes to stand up for what you believe in.”

Lonnie Ali, who was married to Muhammad Ali for the final 30 years of his life, adds, “We are at a time in American history when we look to a new generation of heroes like LeBron James to carry on Muhammad’s legacy, not only by remembering Muhammad, as is done so eloquently in this documentary, but also through their own words and deeds.”

The champ’s voice is also utilized by daughter Hana Ali for her candid and intimate family memoir, “At Home with Muhammad Ali,” just released by Harper Books. 

To preserve his family’s history, the man born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. began recording a series of audio diaries in the 1970s. Drawing on these private tapes, as well as personal journals, love letters and many never-before-seen photographs, his third youngest child (a CNN.com and ESPN contributor) reflects on the complexity of her father and provides a rare glimpse inside the Ali home — where both joy and pain resided.

“It’s been said that my father is one of the most written-about people in the world,” Hana Ali writes. “As the chronicles continue to grow, the deepest and most essential essence of his spirit is still largely unknown.”

Art Jones’ “Ali’s Comeback: The Untold Story,” an in-depth look at the people and events that brought the then-suspended fighter’s highly anticipated comeback bout to Atlanta in 1970, will close the 13th annual BADWest Day of Black Docs Film Festival being held on May 11 at the American Film Institute, from noon to 5 p.m.

The director will participate in a question-and-answer session, along with Sophie Huber, who directed “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” and Xavier Burgin, whose “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror” has enjoyed critical acclaim. For more information, visit www.dayofblackdocs.org/.

TICKET WATCH: Lil Wayne is teaming with alt-rock group Blink-182 for a 38-city U.S. tour with opener Neck Deep. Tickets go on sale to the general public May 10 via LiveNation.com for the bill hitting the Forum Aug. 8.

Sales are now open for the return of Smokin’ Grooves June 15 at Queen Mary Park. This edition’s performers include Erykah Badu, Usher, Ella Mai, Daniel Caesar, Common, T-Pain, Kali Uchis, The Pharcyde, Jacquees, Twista, Slum Village and more.  Axs.com has the details.

CLIPPETTES: Kandi Burruss headlines her Welcome to the Dungeon Tour with Tamar Braxton and Trina at the Novo May 10

Kenya Moore Daly (rumored to be rejoining Kandi for Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” franchise) is celebrating the launch of her hair care line May 11 at Sally Beauty (5836 S. Vermont Ave.) from 1 to 3 p.m. No RSVP is required for the free public event, but a purchase is required for photos with her

Later that evening, Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena hosts a Mother’s Day Love Jam with The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Ginuwine, Guy featuring Teddy Riley and more; The Whispers perform at the Belasco Theater; The Spinners are at the Saban; Roy Ayers and Tom Browne jazz up the Miracle Theater; and The NeNe Leakes hosted Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour hits the Microsoft Theater with Adele Givens, Loni Love, Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley and Melanie Comarcho …

Charlie Wilson, Patti LaBelle and Stephanie Mills keep the Mother’s Day gifts coming with songs at the Forum May 12: as the estate-approved 4U: The Music of Prince with Symphony tour curated by Questlove makes its only area visit to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Yara Shahidi (“Grown-ish”) and Charles Melton (“Riverdale”), stars of the upcoming feature film “The Sun Is Also A Star,” will sign copies of the book beginning at 4 p.m. May 13 at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive

The Taraji P. Henson movie “What Men Want” is released on DVD this week with season five of Starz’s “Power” arriving on May 14

Make room in the schedule for a living legend on May 16 when Johnny Mathis’ The Voice of Romance Tour stops at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

TC ON TV: May 10 – “Remastered: The Lion’s Share” (Netflix): After discovering the family of Solomon Linda, the writer of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” a reporter tries to help them fight for fair compensation. “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” (ABC): The sixth season premieres with Mack (Henry Simmons) now leading the team. “Live From Lincoln Center” (PBS): “Cynthia Erivo in Concert” showcases the Tony Award-winner of Broadway’s “The Color Purple.” “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” (Showtime): As the group marks the 25th anniversary of their breakout debut, this four-part docu-series from filmmaker Sacha Jenkins looks back on their career, combining intimate and reflective interviews from each of the nine living members with never-before-seen archival footage and performances.

May 12 – “Real Story of…” (Reelz): “All Eyez On Me” focuses on Tupac Shakur’s childhood and evolution through exclusive interviews with close friends, including his former theatre guru Donald Hicken.

May 13 – “L.A.’s Finest” (Spectrum): From the universe of the Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay “Bad Boys” franchise comes this spinoff series with Gabrielle Union reprising her Syd Burnett character, now an LAPD detective teaming with Jessica Alba’s Nancy McKenna. Duane Martin and Ernie Hudson provide ample support. 

May 14 – “Ladies Night” (BET): The drama between Salt-N-Pepa and tour-mates SWV has been on display. So it came as a surprise when DJ Spinderella last week announced via social media that after 30 years with the former group, they fired her in January! “Please know you will have the opportunity to see me this summer in many other projects and activities I’ll be participating in and I look forward to seeing you all then,” she wrote to her fans.

May 15 – “Yardie” (Amazon): Victor Headley’s best-selling novel set in 70s Kingston and 1980s Hackney (a neighborhood in London with a large Jamaican community) is the source material for Idris Elba’s directorial debut.

TASTY QUIP: “I didn’t come into Hollywood as a Hollywood person. I came in as a rapper-turned-manager-turned-actor so I was already a boss before I became an actor. A lot of the things — the pressures that Hollywood puts on actors — there was no way I was going for that. … I always had an attitude of I can say ‘F you’ to anyone in Hollywood.” – QUEEN LATIFAH at the Tribeca Film Festival

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