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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Remembering John Singleton; a giant gone too soon

John Singleton, the pioneering filmmaker who at the age of 24 became the first African American to receive a best director Oscar nomination for his 1991 debut feature “Boyz N The Hood,” died April 29 of complications from a stroke suffered 13 days earlier.

We first met at a luncheon in Washington, D.C. while he was promoting his 1993 follow-up movie “Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Regina King. He was cool like that wearing dark shades the whole time while sipping on water.

Singleton’s sly sense of humor was on display when he talked about how he hoped to one day make a biopic about Haitian freedom fighter Toussaint L’Ouverture with Shakur, but that he might have to cast Michael Jackson (who he directed in the “Remember The Time” video) to get it financed.

He would go on to helm several memorable films such as “Rosewood,” “Baby Boy,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Four Brothers” and the 2000 remake of “Shaft.” As a producer, he was responsible for “Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan,” and the current FX hit series “Snowfall,” while continuing to launch the careers of many of today’s stars.

May is National Stroke and Hypertension Awareness Month, and it is hoped that the passing of the 51-year-old Singleton, who quietly struggled with high blood pressure, will spur an increase in regular check-ups and dietary management.

R YOU READY FOR MORE?:  Following the debut of the record-breaking premiere of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” this past January, the network will debut a two-hour follow-up special, “Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact,” to be hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien May 4 at 10 p.m.

In the days following the debut of the docuseries, seen by over 26 million people, vital conversations erupted throughout the country. Calls to sexual assault hotlines increased by 35%, #MuteRKelly activists were galvanized to protest for his record label to drop him and more women came forward with allegations of abuse.

Seven weeks later, the Cook County attorney’s office indicted the R&B singer on 10 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault involving four victims and spanning over a decade, ultimately leading to Kelly’s arrest.

The special features original footage, interviews with journalists, legal experts, nonprofit organizations and psychologists to discuss the ongoing story surrounding R. Kelly, including an in-depth look at his now infamous interview with Gayle King and the women who are still standing by his side. 

TICKET WATCH:Sting: My Songs,” a greatest hits-filled show with dynamic, visual references to some of his most iconic videos and inspirations, will be presented at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for a 16-night 2020 run beginning May 22 through Sept. 2. The demand is expected be high for his first Las Vegas residency as tickets go on sale a year earlier this May 3.  

The Hollywood Bowl announced individual tickets will be sold beginning May 5 for the upcoming production of “Into the Woods,” the beloved Broadway fairytale musical to feature  Gaten Matarazzo (“Stranger Things”), Patina Miller (“Madam Secretary”), Shanice Williams (Dorothy in NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”), and the voice of Whoopi Goldberg as the Giant for three performances July 26-28.  Call (323) 850-2000 or visit hollywoodbowl.com for further details. 

TASTY QUIP: “The doc says, look, when you go on the road, don’t try to tear the buildings down — just ease into it. Don’t try to strain too hard. When you start singing those songs, you start sweating, you can’t help it. It builds up excitement in me, and I don’t know how to stop it.” – 73-year-old R&B legend AL GREEN, making a rare return to the stage at the Greek Theatre May 9, to the AJC. 

CLIPPETTES: In the week’s casting news, Kevin Hart will star in a remake of hit South Korean film “Extreme Job;” Tyler Perry will join Angelina Jolie in a wilderness thriller called “Those Who Wish Me Dead;” and Jeffrey Wright is returning to his role as CIA agent Felix Leiter for the 25th James Bond film

Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective at the California African American Museum from May 8 to Sept. 8 showcases the works of the former NFLer whose signature paintings were featured on the hit sitcom “Good Times” and on albums like Marvin Gaye’s classic “I Want You.” The North Carolina native who lived in L.A. until his death in 2009, was known for his unique “neo-mannerist” approach of presenting figures through elongated forms  

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, in partnership with Netflix, revealed some of the projects they are working on including a feature film adaptation of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”

Get up on some musical history at the Sound Of Parliament Funkadelic: A Conversation With Bootsy Collins & Jim Vitti set for May 9 at the Grammy Museum from 7 to 9 p.m.  

PRAYERS UP: To multiple Grammy and Oscar Award-winning balladeer Peabo Bryson who suffered a mild heart attack at his Atlanta home in the early morning hours of April 27.  He is currently listed in stable condition and is awake and responsive. Both his medical team and family are optimistic for a speedy recovery.

TC ON TV: May 3 – “Tuca & Bertie” (Netflix): Tiffany Haddish (who also executive produces this animated comedy series) and Ali Wong voice the title characters, two 30-year-old bird women who live in the same apartment building. “The Cool Kids” (Fox): Jackée Harry, Rick Fox and Tony Rock guest-star. “Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song” (PBS): Rita Moreno and Andy Garcia host this tribute featuring performances by Patti LaBelle, Jose Feliciano, Il Volo, Cyndi Lauper, Emily Estefan and original cast members of “On Your Feet!,” with a special presentation by Quincy Jones. “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO): Ex-South Carolina Legislator Bakari Sellers, Moby

May 4 – “The Shop” (HBO): Joining LeBron James and Maverick Carter will be actor Seth Rogen, Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, rapper Travis Scott, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and fashion designer Pharrell Williams, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, actor Don Cheadle, record producer Jimmy Iovine and entertainment programmer Paul Rivera.

May 5 – “The Spanish Princess” (Starz): Returning to the world of Tudor royal court intrigue, this story is told uniquely from the point of view of the women, which also sheds light on a previously untold corner of history: the lives of people of color, living and working in 16th century London. “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” (DXD): For the first time, various animation techniques are used to visually support the storyline spanning dimensions. 

May 6 – “Desus & Mero” (Showtime): Someone at the network must have realized that reducing cable’s former #1 late nightly commentary to just Thursdays wasn’t working.  So tonight, begins an added Monday edition until their August hiatus. Upcoming guests will include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Charlize Theron, Gabrielle Union, Spike Lee, Regina Hall and many more.

May 7 – “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (ABC): Will Smith, RuPaul “Foster” (HBO): Drawing on unprecedented access, this documentary traces a complex path through the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services, interweaving firsthand stories of those navigating the system with insights from social workers, advocates and others working in the justice system. “black-ish” (ABC): “Becoming Bow” flashbacks to the upbringing of Tracee Ellis Ross’ character with Tika Sumpter and Gary Cole as her progressive parents. “Texicans” (Bravo): A stylish group of San Antonio sophisticates are the focus of this new docuseries. “The Last O.G.” (TBS): In a storyline tailored for today’s audiences, Tray (Tracy Morgan) takes his son to a proper black barber shop for the first time; and Shay (Tiffany Haddish) takes their daughter to the beauty shop after discovering an obscene pic on her phone.

May 8 – “Ellen” (Syn): Jason Momoa  “Empire” (Fox): The mystery of who is in the coffin is finally revealed. It was looking like it would be the terminally ill Andre (Trai Byers), but rumors persist that Jussie Smollett is out. Do you think creator Lee Daniels had a different scene filmed for the season ender? “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC): If you weren’t fortunate enough to score tickets for Bruce Hornsby’s sold-out May 6 date at the Troubadour, the pianist/singer will be performing cuts from his new album “Absolute Zero” tonight. 

TASTY QUIP: “I be going to sleep hoping Nip visit me. That young king had a lot of jewels to split with me. And we ain’t gotta leave the hood physically. But we gotta leave that sh*t mentally.” – From JAY-Z’s freestyle memorializing Nipsey Hussle at NYC’s Webster Hall.

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.