Rihanna Presents Mary J. Blige With Lifetime Achievement At BET Awards

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Rihanna presents Mary J. Blige with award on stage at the BET Awards Show

Mary J. Blige received the highest honor at the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday. While presenting the Queen of Hip-hop and R&B with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony in Los Angeles, Rihanna praised Blige for the blueprint she set.

She changed the game with her unique style: the backwards cap, the baggy jerseys, y’all know the Mary J. look. She took it there with those thigh-high boots,” Rihanna said, going on to praise Blige for her many successes, including becoming the first person to ever be nominated for an Oscar in both music and acting in the same year.

“Happy Mary, sad Mary … we’re here for all of it,” Rihanna said. “Mary J. Blige, you have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music. You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry. And on behalf of all the women that came after you, like myself, thank you for being you so we can feel comfortable being ourselves. Thank you for pouring yourself into every track and giving us a song for every feeling. Thank you for showing us that love is all that we need. But we didn’t know how much we needed you.”

Blige accepted the award and told Rihanna the feelings of inspiration were mutual. She went on to thank BET, her family, friends, Diddy, Andre Harrell, other collaborators, her team and fans.

“People always ask how do I sustain and stay relevant in this industry,” Blige said. “It’s because although I am a leader, a queen, a living legend, although I’m all of these things, I’m a servant as well and I’m here to serve. Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular, but it’s the job and assignment I was given. It’s because in order to be an authority, I had to learn how to come under authority. It’s because when the glory is placed on me, I give it back to God immediately. This journey has always been bigger than me and my job is not only to survive, right now it’s to thrive and continue to make history while I do it.”

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Shaft

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Shaft the Movie poster

John Shaft Jr., a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists the help of his estranged father, John Shaft, to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.

Own the Digital Movie Now & the Blu-ray™ 9/24.

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@ShaftMovie

Alkaline Water Acquires Mark Wahlberg, Diddy Backed Aquahydrate

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Mark Wahlberg (L) and Sean Combs visit Extra at The Grove holding their water bottles

The Alkaline Water Company recently announced its acquisition of Aquahydrate, the Los Angeles-based bottled water company backed by celebrity investors like actor Mark Wahlberg, Sean “Diddy” Combs and fitness influencer Jillian Michaels.

Alkaline Water, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based maker of mineral-enhanced water Alkaline88, is completing the purchase for an undisclosed sum. The hope for the merger is to expand into more packaged water offerings, with upcoming launches that “will focus on CBD-infused products due to increased demand and popularity for functional wellness beverages.”

“When Sean and I first got involved in the business, our vision was to build a lifestyle company focused on health and wellness, and that’s what we’ve done,” Wahlberg said. “The Aquahydrate and Alkaline88 brands align well and will support exciting innovations in flavors, sparkling and CBD products.”

Interestingly, Alkaline Water also stressed its intention to comply with regulators when releasing the planned CBD products. The company stated that “Alkaline intends to comply in full with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations as Alkaline develops its CBD-infused products.”

Wahlberg, Diddy and Michaels also serve as Aquahydrate’s ambassadors, giving Alkaline Water a slew of added social media clout via their massive followings. Not to mention, the associated “celebrity friends,” including Beyoncé, who have been spotted drinking and endorsing Aquahydrate. The buzz has helped the company quickly gain distribution deals with national retailers, including Walmart and Target.

Continue on to The Observer to read the complete article.

Rihanna Knows How to Throw a Party: One Successful Night at Her Diamond Ball Is Proof

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Pharrell Williams and Rihanna perform on stage during Rihanna's 5th Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

It may be just another night in the life for Rihanna. But for the 600-odd guests at the Diamond Ball supporting her Clara Lionel Foundation, it was a verified starry evening featuring host Seth Meyers and performers including Pharrell Williams, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, G-Eazy, Megan Thee Stallion, A$AP Ferg, Fabolous, Yo Gotti, and even Rihanna herself, coming in for a first-ever live performance of the song “Lemon” — to the surprise and delight of everyone assembled. (Even at her extravagant Savage X Fenty fashion show earlier in the week, Rihanna declined to sing, preferring just to dance. And after a three-years-and-counting wait for her next album, the fans are hungry.)

The goal of the night: raising money for the Clara Lionel Foundation, her charitable organization named after her grandparents, which focuses on providing support to global girls’ education programs and humanitarian aid programs in her native Caribbean, with a heavy focus on climate change resiliency.

The method of fundraising: a hefty entrance price tag and a live auction. Guests bid on an all-expenses-paid trip to see Serena Williams compete in her next Grand Slam shot ($60,000); a limited-edition 60-lb. coffee table book of exclusive Rihanna photos and custom 2,000-lb. sculpted marble pedestal ($111,0000, to a Cardi B who outbid herself); and a trip to Barbados featuring dinner with the Prime Minister and a submarine trip, among other perks ($275,000, twice).

Live donations were matched by Twitter co-founder and former party attendee Jack Dorsey (racking up over half a million from the crowd in the room). Ultimately, they raised over $5 million in total.

Continue on to Time to read the complete article.

BET and Tyler Perry Studios Set Launch Date, Price For New Streaming Service BET+

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Tyler Perry on stage at the Golden Globes

Starting Sept. 19, the subscription video on demand BET+ service will be available for $9.99 a month, featuring exclusive new programming and existing movies, series and specials from leading African American creators including Tyler Perry, Will Packer, “Girl’s Trip” screenwriter Tracy Oliver and others. New series to premiere exclusively at the platform’s launch include Oliver’s nine-episode scripted drama “First Wives Club” and Will Packer’s ten-episode series “Bigger.” You can watch a teaser video for “First Wives Club” below.

Tyler Perry’s collected works across film, television and stage will also be available to stream on the platform at launch, with a yet-unnamed new original series coming to BET+ sometime in the next year.

“We are thrilled to offer a streaming experience of content curated for the underserved African American audience with BET+. African Americans have a higher SVOD adoption rate than any other consumer base on the market, which is why BET+ is a natural complement of BET’s linear network, which has been and continues to be the leading home of black culture for decades,” said BET Networks President Scott Mills.

Continue on to The Wrap to read the complete article.

Twitter Is Raving Over Angela Bassett’s Powerful Speech at the Black Girls Rock! Awards

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actress Angela Bassett speaks onstage wearing sequined outfit

Some are born icons, some eventually achieve icon status, and some have icons thrust upon them. Such was the case with Angela Bassett, who became the recipient of the Icon Award, the highest accolade at the 2019 Black Girls Rock! event.

After Academy Award–winning actress Regina King introduced Bassett to the audience, the actress delivered an empowering acceptance speech, in which she discussed the winding road to finding her life’s purpose and what it means to stand in the face of adversity as a black woman.

“My purpose as a black woman, as an actress, has always been to portray excellence on the screen, to be proud, unapologetic, and without regret,” said the Black Panther queen.

“It hasn’t always been easy. And there have been tough times, days when the phone didn’t ring, even after What’s Love Got to Do with It, as well as moments of uncertainty and of doubt,” Bassett said.

“But what women like my mother, Betty Jane, and my Aunt Golden taught me is that there will be times when you seemingly face insurmountable obstacles, but that’s when you dig deep into your soul for the courage and the fortitude … .”

She additionally thanked her family for “giving me the opportunity and the space to be a black girl who rocks.”

Later, she urged the audience to persistently remind the world of their worth and irreplaceability. “When you’re told you’re not good enough, you tell them, not only am I good enough, I’m more than enough,” she said. “When they say send her back home, you tell them, I am home. I am the foundation of what you call home. When they tell you that you’re angry or nasty, you tell them that they’re mistaken. This is me. This is me being resolute and standing firmly in my truth. And when they say you’re not beautiful, you tell them that you are the descendant of royalty.”

Continue on to Harper’s Bazaar to read the complete article.

Viola Davis To Play Michelle Obama In New Showtime Series

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Michelle Obamba and Viola Davis pictured side by side

It’s fair to say that the next potential next TV role for Viola Davis will come with a lot of pressure.

The actress has signed on to play former First Lady Michelle Obama in a series titled “First Ladies” which is in the works at Showtime.

The network has given the prospective one-hour drama a three-script commitment, with novelist Aaron Cooley on board to write and executive produce.

The series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of First Ladies from throughout history, with season one focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.

“First Ladies” will turn it lens on the East Wing of the White House, as opposed to the West, where many of history’s most impactful and world changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies.

The series hails from Showtime and Lionsgate Television.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.

New, Black-owned radio station in Chicago becomes the “Game-Changer”

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Tracey V. Bell close up professional picture

Chicago makes history by ushering change as African-American female industry veteran Tracey V. Bell, President of The Integrated Brand Marketing Company (The IBM Company), seals the deal of a lifetime and has purchased 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago from Windy City Broadcasting.

Commercializing the brand name of Clubsteppin™ and recognized as “The Heartbeat of Soul,” 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago becomes the only African-American-owned music station in Chicago with a strategy to change the game in the third largest media market in the country. While the parent company of Clubsteppin™ reveals that Steppin music will remain the nucleus of the format, it also shares that Steppin music transcends genres.

95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago will not only serve up the same great music its listeners have come to expect and enjoy, it will extend itself to ensure an optimal listening experience, intermingling Steppin music with Classic/Old School R & B. It will also remain committed to servicing African-American adults 35 plus years of age as its primary listener, the only music station in Chicago to do so.

Solidifying that commitment, in addition to Tom Joyner who will continue to start the day at 5:00 a.m., 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago has teamed up with an A-List of Chicago’s veteran personalities, the Who’s Who in “Black” Chicago radio: Legendary DJ Sam Chatman, Ramonski Luv aka “The Al Kapone Of The Microphone,” Kris Hutchinson aka “First Lady,” who also dubs as Program Director, Gene “Airman” Phillips, Bonnie “Hey Baby” DeShong, Brian Frazier, Troi Tyler, Gachelle Coffey, Dana Divine, Hugo Hutchinson, AJ Parker and Ken Bedford and Luther Gage.

More still, 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago, is bringing Smooth Jazz back to the airwaves in Chicago. Amidst one of its weekend specialty segments, “The Sunday Evening Winddown,” Gachelle “Smooth Touch” Coffey kicks off the segment and renowned recording artist Will Downing headlines at 9:00 p.m.

Committed to helping uplift the community, 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago will work to become the people’s station and build a gateway for the exchange of information in support of small businesses. Building on that gateway, 95.1 FM Clubsteppin™ Chicago reaches 95 percent of African Americans on the South and West sides of Chicago and some areas of NW Indiana.

Continue on to the Chicago Crusader to read the complete article.

Garcelle Beauvais Becomes First Black Woman to Join ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

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Garcelle Beauvais at Spiderman premiere

Garcelle Beauvais is about to make history as the first black woman to join the cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Sutton Stracke joins her as the second cast member added to season 10 following Lisa Vanderpump’s exit in the ninth season after feuding with costars.

“As the first African American Housewife in the ‘Beverly Hills’ franchise, I am honored and humbled by this awesome opportunity to exemplify the fact that Black Girl Magic lives and thrives in every ZIP code,” Beauvais said in a statement to Bravo’s The Daily Dish. “I’m excited to share the many ongoing daily surprises, laughs and joys of being a working mother in today’s crazy world. The hustle is R-E-A-L! No games, all heart and a little dash of fashion-filled sass is what you’ll get when you step into my sphere… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Beauvais has come a long way from her early days as Fancy on “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Already established as an actress before joining “RHOBH,” she starred in a number of sitcoms and films including “Franklin & Bash,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Barbershop 2” featuring Ice Cube, Eve, and Michael Ealy.

Additionally, she’s slated to appear in the “Coming to America” sequel currently in production.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.

2 Million Downloads Later: One Woman’s Mission To Highlight Black Female Entrepreneurs

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Nicaila Matthews Okome sits casually on floor in front of couch smiling

It’s no secret that women are often unsuccessful in securing adequate funding to scale and grow their businesses. For women of color, these experiences can be even more pronounced.

The 2018 State of Women-owned Businesses Report found that in 2018 women of color comprised 47% of all women-owned businesses and that the number of companies owned by women of color grew by 163%. After non-minority women, Black women make up the largest segment of women-led businesses, the report indicates.

Nicaila Matthews Okome decided to spotlight these untold stories of female entrepreneurship and highlight the different trajectories of successful Black female business owners.

In 2016 Nicaila started a podcast, Side Hustle Pro, that features interviews from black female entrepreneurs who have successfully turned their side hustle into a profitable business. Now three years later, the podcast has amassed over two million downloads and was named “the perfect entrepreneurship podcast” by Mashable.

Nicaila sat down with Forbes to discuss what she’s learned through her podcast, how women can successfully launch a profitable business and what she wishes she knew when she started her side hustle journey.

Janice Gassam: What sparked your desire to start you own podcast? Why was it important for you to highlight black female entrepreneurs?

Nicaila Matthews Okome: What sparked the idea for Side Hustle Pro, well it was a gradual process that led me to launch the podcast. First, coming out of grad school I didn’t have a job initially. When I moved back to Washington D.C., I struggled to kind of find my place as someone with a social media marketing background, very creative media background in the political capital of the United States and I really wasn’t sure where I was going to land so while I was searching, I started to take matters into my own hands and started to write again, started to use social media to market and promote my own work, as a way to kind of build a portfolio…and attract employers. As I was doing that, I started to realize that I just genuinely enjoyed writing but more so talking to Black women…who were working but finding a way to nurture their multi passions through side hustles. I started doing those interviews, just as a side thing on the blog and then I eventually shifted completely into focusing on interviews and after a while, that blog grew into a podcast…I just wanted to do justice to their stories and I wanted people to hear their answers and not have to edit it down.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

40th College Television Awards Submission Period Begins Sept. 5

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College Television Awards logo

The Television Academy Foundation Awards Ceremony Celebrates Student-Produced Programs From Colleges Nationwide. The submission period for the Television Academy Foundation’s 40th College Television Awards is Sept. 5 through Oct. 3, 2019.

Each year hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students, representing colleges and universities nationwide, submit their media projects to television’s most prestigious student competition—the Television Academy Foundation’s College Television Awards.

The College Television Awards honors achievement in student-produced programs and will feature stars from today’s top television shows presenting awards to winners at the red-carpet awards ceremony.

Emulating the Emmy® Awards selection process, entries for the College Television Awards are judged by Television Academy members. Top honors and a $3,000 cash prize will be presented to winning teams in eight categories: drama, comedy, animation, nonfiction, promotional, news, sports and variety. The College Television Awards also includes two additional, donor-supported, categories: the Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award and the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the nominees will take part in a three-day television summit hosted by the Television Academy Foundation. The summit, designed to enhance professional development, will feature panel discussions, studio tours and networking opportunities with industry executives and Academy members.

The College Television Awards often serves as an entry point for a career in television for nominees and winners. Past alumni have worked as editors, writers, producers and other positions on programs including Ray Donovan, The Handmaid’s Tale, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, CBS This Morning, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Grey’s Anatomy, 60 Minutes, Empire and many more.

For additional information, visit TelevisionAcademy.com/CTA.

To read the complete article continue on to The Patch.

Oprah Winfrey And WW Announce Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour

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Oprah tour poster

Global media leader Oprah Winfrey recently announced her first national arena tour in five years, Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus. Presented by Weight Watchers (WW) Reimagined – Oprah will bring a full day wellness event to nine U.S. cities beginning January 2020.

Joined by high profile guests, Oprah will help motivate audiences across the country to make 2020 the year of renewal and celebrate all we are meant to be.

“What I know for sure is we can all come together to support a stronger, healthier, more abundant life – focused on what makes us feel energized, connected and empowered,” said Oprah Winfrey. “As I travel the country, my hope for this experience is to motivate others to let 2020 be the year of transformation and triumph – beginning first and foremost with what makes us well. This is the year to move forward, let’s make it happen in 2020!”

On each stop, attendees will spend the day with Oprah as she shares the personal ups and downs of her wellness journey and guides them to develop their own 2020 action plan through motivating conversations, the latest in wellness research and insightful interactive workbook exercises. Every city will feature a different lineup of high-profile guests, electrifying experiences and invigorating talks as well as highlight inspiring individuals who took charge of their lives and created lasting change. Each tour stop will also feature a signature Oprah interview as she sits down for an intimate one-on-one conversation with some of the biggest celebrities, headline-makers and game-changers.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for WW to do what we do best: bring communities of people together with a shared goal of health and wellness,” said Mindy Grossman, President and CEO, WW. “As the leader in weight loss and the world’s partner in wellness, we look forward to giving people the tools, content and inspiration that can help them on their journey during this tour and beyond, through our engaging digital experience on our app or our face-to-face group Workshops.”

“For more than three decades, Oprah has used her unparalleled gift to empower audiences to live their healthiest and best lives,” said Amy Weinblum, Chief Business Development Officer, WW. “Creating energizing events and experiences with partners like Oprah and Live Nation is the next iteration of WW showing up to inspire community, making wellness accessible to all.”

The tour will be produced by Live Nation in conjunction with Women Nation, the newly formed division dedicated to women-led and women driven live events. The day-long event will kick off Saturday, January 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and make stops in St. Paul, Charlotte, Atlanta at the award-winning State Farm Arena, Brooklyn, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles before wrapping Saturday, March 7 in Denver, CO. Exclusive pre-sale access for the WW community begins Monday, September 9 at 10am local time. American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Tuesday, September 10 at 10am local time through Thursday, September 12 at 10pm local time.

Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, September 13 at 10am local time at ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit ww.com/oprah.

Over $1 million from tour proceeds will benefit WW Good, the philanthropic arm of WW that helps bring fresh, healthy food to underserved communities nationwide.

“It is an honor to partner with Oprah and WW in bringing this one-of-a-kind tour to life in 2020,” said Ali Harnell, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Women Nation at Live Nation. “We look forward to sharing Oprah’s captivating message with the country as she motivates audiences to be the best versions of themselves in the new year.”

OPRAH’S 2020 VISION: YOUR LIFE IN FOCUS TOUR DATES

DATE CITY VENUE
Sat Jan 04 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
Sat Jan 11 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Sat Jan 18 Charlotte, NC Spectrum Center
Sat Jan 25 Atlanta, GA State Farm Arena
Sat Feb 08 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Sat Feb 15 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Sat Feb 22 San Francisco, CA Chase Center
Sat Feb 29 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Sat Mar 07 Denver, CO Pepsi Center

 

About WW

WW – Weight Watchers Reimagined – is a global wellness company and the world’s leading commercial weight management program. We inspire millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life. Through our engaging digital experience and face-to-face group workshops, members follow our livable and sustainable program that encompasses healthy eating, physical activity, and a helpful mindset. With more than five decades of experience in building communities and our deep expertise in behavioral science, we aim to deliver wellness for all. To learn more about the WW approach to healthy living, please visit ww.com. For more information about our global business, visit our corporate website at corporate.ww.com.

About Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, please visit livenationentertainment.com.

About State Farm Arena

Home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, State Farm Arena opens its doors in October 2018 following the 2nd largest renovation in NBA history. Inspired by the fans, State Farm Arena is a next-generation venue focused on experience, service and entertainment. With the NBA’s third-largest center-hung scoreboard and an immersive video experience, fan-friendly food pricing and premium restaurant options, Topgolf Swing Suites and celebrity-inspired spaces accessible to every fan, the downtown Atlanta arena stakes its claim as the city’s best sports and live entertainment venue. Consistently ranked among the top 10 concert and event venues in the world by Pollstar, State Farm Arena hosts approximately 170 events and nearly 2 million guests annually. For more information on State Farm Arena, log on to www.statefarmarena.com today or follow us on Twitter @StateFarmArena.

Want more money? Tips for creating a successful side hustle

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woman small business owner

Millions of Americans have a ‘side hustle’ to supplement their income. How does one supplement their income? Some are turning to ‘side hustles’ to get some extra cash while simultaneously pursuing their passions.

In an effort to boost their income level as well as pursue their passions, research shows millions of Americans are turning to “side hustles.”

A study of 2,000 full-time employees showed 27 percent of them turned their hobby into a side business, while 55 percent of them said they dreamed of finding a side hustle themselves.

The average income for these side hustles, according to the research commissioned by Vistaprint, was more than $14,000 annually post-tax.

“America’s side business economy is booming, as employees increasingly look for financial, professional and personal fulfillment that may not be present in their main job,” Simon Braier, Vistaprint’s customer strategy and insights director, said.

Of the most common side businesses, beauty and wellness was a clear favorite, which includes professions like dieticians, personal trainers and hairdressers. Arts and entertainment was another popular choice, including being an artist, a DJ or a designer.

While a majority of people took on a side hustle to earn some extra cash, 41 percent did it to spend more time going something they enjoy.

“While many side hustles are born out of a personal interest or hobby, they don’t have to stay small,” Braier said. “Side business owners can test their venture’s long-term viability, growth and marketing opportunities in a safer setting, helping them to ease the transition into full-time entrepreneurship and spend more time doing what they love.”

Most of the people surveyed said they work on their side hustle in between the hours of 5 p.m and 9 p.m., but nearly half of them work their side job on the weekends. Those polled said they typically work up to 16 hours a week, but 34 percent of them said they spend more than 20 hours on their side hustle.

Continue on to Fox Business News to read the complete article.

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