BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Demetria McKinney shows her talents in three projects

Demetria McKinney is having one of those streaks entertainers dream of. The singer/songwriter/actress has three projects being unveiled this weekend that showcase her many talents.

Up first is the release of “Officially Yours” on the eONe label. The album, executive-produced by McKinney, award-winning artist, producer and personality Kandi Burruss and industry powerhouse/beau Roger Bobb, has already spawned a hit single, “Easy” and the sure shot track “No No No.”

Additionally, McKinney will star in actor/director Mario Van Peebles‘ new supernatural SyFy series “Superstition,” with his daughter Morgana Van Peebles and Robinne Lee (“Til Death Do Us Part”), premiering Oct. 6.

She also portrays the late music legend Whitney Houston in TV One’s biopic “Bobbi Kristina,” starring Joy Rovaris as the only child of Houston and singer Bobby Brown, which is scheduled to premiere on the network Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

McKinney is widely known for her role as Janine Payne on the hit TBS sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” which has taped more than 250 episodes and received five NAACP Image Awards for Best Sitcom, now airing on syndication on BET. She will revive the character in the new Tyler Perry show The Paynes, debuting on OWN in 2018.

With recurring parts on Bounce TV’s breakout hit “Saints & Sinners,” and BET’s “The Quad,” the beauty has quietly become one of the hardest working triple threats in the biz.

IRIE: The 40th anniversary of one of Bob Marley’s landmark albums will be celebrated with Exodus 40 Live, an all-star concert event set to take place Nov. 1 at the Orpheum Theatre. Music director Don Was will be joined by Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Tom Morello, Gary Clark Jr., Jim James, Citizen Cope, Aloe Blacc, Cyril Neville and Terence Higgins, with additional artists to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations, at (800) 745-3000, or at the Orpheum box office.

CLASSIC SPINS: The centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday has been celebrated throughout this year and is culminated with the release of “Someone To Watch Over Me,” featuring digitally remastered vocal tracks from Ella’s original Decca and Verve recordings paired with newly orchestrated and arranged performances by the London Symphony Orchestra. Among the highlights: Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter duets with Ella on the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, “People Will Say We’re In Love” from the Broadway musical “Oklahoma;” and the beloved duets with Louis Armstrong.

On “Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook,” the legendary vocalist tackles 11 current songs with his indelible touch. Among the songs produced by Grammy winning music greats Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Clive Davis, are Adele’s “Hello,” Pharrell’s “Happy,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are,” and “Run To You” (featuring Kenny G), originally recorded by Whitney Houston.

INDIE WATCH: A whimsical look at marijuana culture yesterday and today is presented in Peter Spirer’s documentary “The Legend of 420,” available on VOD and iTunes and opening in theatres Oct. 6. Famed talking heads Tommy Chong, W. Earl Brown, Henry Rollins, Michael Del Barres, Melissa Etheridge and various experts provide amusing testimonials and scientific info on the herb. Did you know about the cocoa connection? You’ll never look at that confection the same again.

CLIPPETTES: Maxwell with Raphael Saddiq and Jazmine Sullivan bring the hits to the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 6; while Jeffrey Osborne woo woo woos with Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers at the Newport Beach Hyatt Regency

Lupita Nyong’o is rumored to be joining Kristen Stewart as two of “Charlie’s Angels” in a movie reboot

Jazz at Drew is set for Oct. 7 with Earth, Wind & Fire, Sheila E, Kamasi Washington & the West Coast Get Down, Eloise Laws and others on campus. Later that evening, Raekwon headlines Panic in L.A. at the Globe and Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 are at the Novo DTLA

LisaGay Hamilton (“House of Cards”) has landed the part of Condoleezza Rice in “Backseat,” a Dick Cheney biopic

Leon Sylvers III, Dom Kennedy and Matt Martians are representing three generations of L.A. musicians at Glydezone on Oct. 10 as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival

Rising soul singer Phillip Brandon will headline Soulful Cabaret (with Elijah Rock) in support of his debut album, “The Story Begins” on Oct. 12 at the Colony Theatre.

TC ON TV: Oct. 6 – “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” (Netflix): This documentary looks for the truth behind the mysterious 1992 death of the black transgender activist and Stonewall veteran. “Harry” (Syn): Queen Latifah, Ledisi “The Real” (Syn): Idris Elba, guest co-host Keyshia Cole. “Broke and Famous” (Reelz): TLC “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Taraji P. Henson, Desus & Mero, Miley Cyrus.

Oct. 8 – “Startalk” (NGC): Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Oct. 10 – “Live with Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Tracee Ellis Ross, Jackie Chan “2017 Hip Hop Awards” (BET): DJ Khaled will host performers T.I., Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Lecrae, Young M.A, Dead Prez and more.

Oct. 11 – “Ellen” (Syn): Sean “Diddy” Combs, French Montana, Gina Rodriguez “Empire” (Fox): Teyonah Parris (“Survivor’s Remorse”) joins the cast in this episode featuring more flashbacks from Cookie’s jail house years. “The Story of Us” (NGC): Morgan Freeman presents more answers in this spinoff of his popular series “The Story of God.”

Oct. 12 – “The Comedy Get Down” (BET): A behind-the-scenes scripted series following tour mates George Lopez, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin and the late Charlie Murphy.

TASTY QUIP: “Praying for the cities after the fact is great but what we really need to be praying for is gun control.” – CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD on Twitter

 

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.

BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Deborah Cox pays homage in ‘Bodyguard — The Musical’

As a rising recording artist, Deborah Cox felt a special connection when she first met Whitney Houston.

That bond has led to her paying homage to the memory of her former Arista label mate in “The Bodyguard — The Musical,” a winning adaptation of the beloved film currently running through May 22 at the Hollywood Pantages.

The two met while recording “Same Script, Different Cast,” co-written by the team responsible for Cox’s biggest song, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” for “Whitney: The Greatest Hits.”

“She was like a mentor,” recalled the Canadian-born star. “We talked about a lot of personal things. She helped steer me to make the right choices and not depend so much on success in the business but with family as well. That was important. I was between albums and trying to figure out what I should do.”

The show marks the second time Cox’s powerhouse vocals have been utilized in conjunction with a Houston-based project after she lent her talents to the Lifetime biopic “Whitney.”

This time she takes on the role of Rachel Marron, the threatened superstar who unexpectedly falls for her protector Frank Farmer (endearingly played by Judson Mills).

Though the Houston estate has yet to comment on the crowd-pleasing production that is Broadway bound with film potential, Cox did say that Whitney’s aunt, Dionne Warwick, came to see the show and told her she enjoyed it. As did many after a surprise sensational post-curtain call finale that turns theaters out.

An EP of some of the show-stopping numbers has just been released.

“It’s arguably the most requested songs that people wanted to hear me sing,” Cox said. “[Among the eight songs covered are] ‘I Will Always Love You;’ ‘All the Man That I Need,’ which has always been a favorite of mine; ‘I Want To Dance With Somebody’ and ‘I’m Every Woman.’”

The tour continues nationwide through April 2018 with a few layoffs, but there are other “sheroes” stories Cox would love to take on, including Miriam Makeba, Lena Horne and Diana Ross.

In the meantime, she wants her fans to know she’s putting together some new music as well.

“I haven’t forgotten about them,” she said. “People have been asking about that for quite a while.”

BEATING THE DRUM: Peerless percussionist Sheila E. has joined forces with PledgeMusic to launch a pre-order campaign for “Iconic,” her new project described as a “protest album for modern times.” George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Ringo Starr and Freddie Stone are but a few of the collaborators reinventing revolution songs drawn from American musical history.

Pledgers can pre-order now and bid on extras like exclusive tracks; signed drumsticks; a full performance drum kit played by Sheila on tour; a limited-edition 45 single of “Girl Meets Boy” by Prince and Sheila E.; and much more. Visit www.pledgemusic.com/projects/sheilae for details.

CLIPPETTES: Ozomatli and 40 other acts perform on May 6 at Mission for South Pasadena’s ninth annual Eclectic Music Festival & Art Walk; while Shang brings his insightful comedy to the Hollywood Improv

Grammy-nominated rapper Wale’s hugely anticipated fifth studio album, “Shine,” has arrived, featuring collaborations with Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Major Lazer, G-Eazy, J Balvin and even Wale’s daughter Zyla, to name a few

“Hope in the Hood,” a script-flipped Snow White play written and directed by Wendy Raquel Robinson, is having a 20th anniversary staging by Amazing Grace Conservatory on May 7 for two shows at the Gindi Auditorium

Pianist/composer Gerald Clayton has a two-night stand at the Blue Whale beginning May 9 in support of his new album “Tributary Tales”

Rap star Devin the Dude hits the Regent Theater on May 10.

TC ON TV: May 5 – “The View” (ABC): Wanda Sykes joins guest co-host Deion Sanders. “Ginormous Food” (Food): Eagle eyes may spot a Tasty Clips sighting as host Josh Denny tackles Henry’s Hungriest Bennett, a 12-pound hash brown casserole jam-packed with everything the restaurant has to offer for breakfast. “Dennis Rodman‘s Big Bang in Pyongyang” (Reelz): About that time the former NBA baller visited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Hijinks ensue. “Tavis Smiley” (PBS): Trombone Shorty

May 7 – “2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards” (MTV): “Fast & Furious” stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriquez, Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster get recognized. Big Sean performs. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo): The fourth and final episode of The Reunion finds Phaedra Parks exposed. “United Shades of America” (TNT): W. Kamau Bell visits Chicago gangs. “Dear Mama: An Event To Honor Moms” (VH1): Anthony Anderson and La La Anthony host Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Kelly Rowland, Ludacris, Robin Thicke, DJ Khaled and more.

May 8 – “The Therapist” (Viceland): L.A. Dr. Siri Sat Sam Singh sits down to speak with celebs such as Young M.A., Waka Flocka Flame, Dej Loaf, D.R.A.M.,and Freddie Gibbs to discover what lies beneath their public personas in this new series.

May 10 – “Black-ish” (ABC): Eva Longoria directed this season finale. “Underground (WGN): In the season two finale, Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Noah (Aldis Hodge) reunite with Cato (Alano Miller); Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds) gets recruited by John Brown’s men; and we’ll see how slave catcher August (Christopher Meloni) fares against the wiles of his prisoner Ernestine (Amirah Vann).

May 11 – “American Race” (TNT): Charles Barkley journeys across America to discuss race, beginning in Baltimore, a city central to the Black Lives Matter movement, where he embeds with the community and police.

JUMP BALL: The participants have been named for this year’s highly anticipated BET Experience Celebrity Basketball Game at L.A. LIVE on June 24. Among those suiting up are Nick Cannon, The Game, YG, Joey Bada$$, Tank, Soulja Boy, Bell Biv DeVoe, DJ Mustard, Jidenna, Brandon T Jackson, Trevor Jackson, Doug Christie, Dave East, Stevie J, and Rotimi, alongside ESPN guest announcers Jemele Hill and Michael Smith. Tip-off is at noon and will be livestreamed on www.bet.com.

TASTY QUIP: “It’s not about politics. It’s about people, the world, relationships, and just love.” – JANET JACKSON upon announcing her return this fall on the 56-city State of the World Tour. Tickets go on sale May 5 via Ticketmaster.com for the dates including Oct. 8 at the Hollywood Bowl.

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.

BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Black museum opens in D.C.

The Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was heralded last weekend with star-studded receptions, concerts and an A-lister dedication led by former President George W. Bush, who signed the groundbreaking papers; and standing President Barack Obama and their first ladies.

And what a glorious building it is. After walking through its stunning tiered bronzed exterior, you are urged to start at the bottom, three levels underground, for its details and artifacts of the slave trade.

Ramps connect the next two floors adorned with amazing pieces such as Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Frederick Douglass’ exquisite hand-carved walking stick, Nat Turner’s Bible, and the emotional corridor housing the coffin of young martyr Emmett Till.

Upper levels concentrate on the many contributions made in the arts, politics, religion, sports, fashion and so much more. Particularly striking are Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac, George Clinton’s mothership and outfits worn by Cab Calloway, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and so much more.

One section was devoted to Roy Ayers, who was currently enjoying a stand at the city’s famed Blues Alley. After a late set, the 76-year-old master of the electric vibes said he hadn’t visited the museum yet, but that we should expect a new DVD soon of his classic collaboration with the late African music giant Fela Kuti.

The Oprah Winfrey Theatre officially opened with stars and creators from the hit WGN series “Underground” in attendance after a screening of one of its best episodes. A special film made by Ava DuVernay is in rotation daily.

Tickets are said to be gone until January, but the museum has implemented daily giveaways of up to 1,000 passes to same-day visitors willing to get in line early. Just know that this is a huge undertaking that could easily take seven hours or two trips to go through thoroughly.

Series creator Shonda Rhimes, who made a large donation to the museum, talked about the museum and other subjects at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. (Courtesy photo)
Series creator Shonda Rhimes, who made a large donation to the museum, talked about the museum and other subjects at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. (Courtesy photo)

AUTHORIZED: Series creator Shonda Rhimes, one of the largest donors to the museum, sat for a chat before a packed ballroom at the National Book Fair, held at the D.C. Convention Center. She called her backing, which has produced a wing of Visual Art and the American Experience, “cultural patriotism.”

“To be a part of that legacy is not a small thing to me,” she said.

Of her many revelations, we found that “Italy stops on Mondays for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and that the continent of Africa loves ‘Scandal.’”

It all drives her mission of making things happen for other people especially for women of color. “The guys aren’t doing it,” she said frankly.

Rhimes, who counts Toni Morrison and Stephen King among her literary inspirations, is satisfied writing television for the present.

“I don’t want my own networks,” she announced. “Oprah has that covered.”

FIRST OF THE MONTH: Oct. 1 is live with guitarist Gary Clark Jr. at The Greek; DJ sets by Talib Kweli and Viktor Duplaix at Sofitel; Diplo and Kesha headlining Mad Decent Block Party 2016 at the LA Center Studios; and Jazz at Drew University of Medicine and Science featuring Poncho Sanchez, Ndugu Chancler, Karen Briggs, Rickey Minor, Paul Jackson Jr. and The Dazz Band.

Amber Rose’s empowering Slut Walk 2016, hosted by Perez Hilton and Frenchie Davis, is in Pershing Square. If you’re venturing out of town, Musiq Soulchild is at Anaheim’s City National Grove, with Al B. Sure! at Carson’s Solvenue.

CLIPPETTES: “A Seat at the Table,” an album written and produced by Solange Knowles, was just dropped with guest turns from Lil Wayne, The Dream, Q-Tip, Kelly Rowland, BJ The Chicago Kid and more

Pharoah Sanders leads the Angel City Jazz Festival on Oct. 2 at the Ford Theatre; while Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau Duo are at The Broad Stage; and Res is in concert at The Hotel Café

“12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen has landed Viola Davis as the lead for his next film “Widows,” described as a revenge heist film

The Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour featuring Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Lil Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, 112, Total and French Montana lands at The Forum on Oct. 4

Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter croons on Oct. 6 at the Orpheum Theatre.

ROCK HARD: “Marvel’s Luke Cage” starring Mike Colter as the impervious comics hero-for-hire is making an inaugural run now on Netflix. Alfre Woodard, Sonia Braga, Theo Rossi and Mahershala Ali as the villainous Cottonmouth round out the cast.

In addition, The Live Score, a special event of the series music curated by Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, takes place at the Ace Hotel on Oct. 6. Miquel Atwood-Ferguson conducts a 40-piece orchestra for the evening hosted by Russell Peters and Wayne Brady with an opening DJ set by mega producer No I.D.

TC ON TV: Sept. 30 – “America Divided” (Epix): This five-part docu-series debuts with segments featuring Common back in his hometown Chicago exploring disparities in the justice system; Rosario Dawson investigating the Flint, Michigan, water crisis; and executive producer Norman Lear on gentrification in New York City.

Oct. 1 – “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” (OWN): Naughty By Nature; “SNL” (NBC): The Weeknd will premiere a new song and hairdo as musical guest for the 42nd season opener hosted by Margot Robbie.

Oct. 2 – “2016 Triumph Awards” (TV1): Spike Lee and Jermaine Dupri are among honorees for the ceremony hosted by Tichina Arnold with performances by Fantasia, Nick Cannon and Eric Benet. “Westworld” (HBO): Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and Thandie Newton star in this buzzworthy series adaptation of the 1973 sci-fi western robotics movie. “Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City” (Comedy): Forbes’ highest-paid comedian ($87.5 mil) adds this new travel discovery series to his credits.

Oct. 4 – “16 for ‘16” (PBS): “The Originals” looks at the presidential campaign of Rev. Jesse Jackson.  \“2016 BET Hip Hop Awards” (BET): DJ Khaled hosts and T.I., Gucci Mane, Travis Scott and others pay tribute to honoree Snoop Dogg.

Oct. 5 – “Frequency” (CW): Mekhi Phifer co-stars in this sci-fi detective drama based on the feature film.

Oct. 6 – “iHeartRadio Music Festival” (CW): The mega line-up includes Drake, U2, Usher, Sting and Pitbull.

TASTY QUIP: “You’ve had Jamie Foxx a couple of times. Jay Z and Beyoncé, they’ve been there but you haven’t had Flavor Flav. So Mr. President, from me to you, it would be an honor if you would consider to have Flavor Flav, while you’re in office, come to the White House and visit you. All I want to do is take a picture, get an autograph and I want to keep the pen.” – Public Enemy hype man FLAVOR FLAV at the Freedom Sounds Community Celebration

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.