*Whew!!!!! I have worn out my heels to nobs with all of the pre-BET party flurry. Here goes.
Roger Mosley famed TV Star honored by The Townhouse
Legendary TV star Roger Mosley (Magnum PI) was honored by The Townhouse for his contribution to arts and entertainment. There in the heart of LA’s African-American community a plethora of stars gathered to support a dear friend. Roger was presented a beautiful crystal award from the Townhouse with an accompanying certificate from Senator Curren Price. On hand to see this well deserved honor bestowed on their friend included: Marla Gibbs, Glynn Turman, Art and Babe Evans, Hawthorne James, Larry Flash Jenkins, Bob Minor, Felton Perry, Reginald T. Dorsey, James Burkes (founder of The African Marketplace), Tony King, Michael Colyar, Dawn Lewis, Steven Williams and yours truly (I met Roger when I guest starred in the pilot of Magnum PI entitled “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii”), to name a few. The Townhouse was packed to the rafters. I was so busy chit chatting with friends I hadn’t seen in ages and enjoying the old school music, I missed the buffet spread of spaghetti and meatballs, pizza and salad and chicken. It ran out right before my turn at the buffet L. Partying and dancing lasted till the wee hours. The Event was hosted by Roger’s loving wife Toni.
The New Millennium Soul/Def Jam Music and Capitol Records –Pre-BET music showcase feat. Jon B and Abraham McDonald @ The Conga Room
The Conga Room served as the host venue for a lively showcase of up and coming performers and featured the mega talent of R&B Singer Jon B and Abraham McDonald. Talent was outstanding. Abraham McDonald has such a powerful soulful sound that reverberated the room. It gave me goose bumps. Jon B sang some of his hits and worked both keyboards, the stationery traditional type and the one strapped around his body, which was almost as big as him. Chris Spencer warmed up the audience and then requested the DJ to play some popular dance jams. A young lady sitting right in front of the stage was celebrating her birthday and she and her party got up and gave everyone a show. They danced and dance and Chris kept the music coming. Aundrae Russell from KJLH served as MC. From there I zoomed off to another party in the valley.
Pre-BET and Michael Jackson tribute at Stevie’s Creole Café
From the Conga Room I headed to Stevie’s in Encino where Michael Colyar was hosting a special tribute to Michael Jackson and celebrating the BET’s. Steve Russell from the group Troop was the main music headliner. The scene was like the front of Roscoe’s Chicken and waffles on a Sunday afternoon. There were people waiting to get into Stevie’s and you could smell the seafood gumbo down the street. One of the hosts, Marc Gaspard scouted for a place for me to sit and luckily he found one. Everyone was smacking on Stevie’s Creole cuisine. I saw so many bowls of jambalaya; put together it would have made an ocean of stew. Michael Colyar was trying to hush the crowd so he could deliver his comedy routine. Then Steve Russell took the stage singing one Michael Jackson hit after another topping it off with his own popular hits. The place was so hot, the salt from my perspiration just added to the salty sea fare menu. Even the windows were steamy like a Friday night make out in the car. Ran into actress/celebrity reporter Huntre Wilde and spotted Salli Richardson. No telling what other celebs were in the house since the lights were low. Everyone was having a great time though. It was just a little too broiler room hot for me, so I left. But, I’ll be back wearing a more easy breezy Louisianne style outfit, no lipstick and my nails cut short to crack some crab and suck the juice out Baltimore style; and listen to some great music.
Poprah hosts Fashion show for curvaceous ladies and Sandy Jean Philippe recruits support for Haiti @ The Luxe Hotel
The gorgeous Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive was the exquisite venue for Poprah’s pre-BET party, which presented a fashion show for voluptuous full figured ladies that was unparalleled. I have been to many fashion shows, but these ladies had a bounce and a catwalk that was so sexy-frassy, hip and funky. Girls, I loved that little dip and hip dance! From hats to purses the models strutted designer wares like a Parisian haute couture fashion event. Celebrities on hand to cheer them on included, Tiffany Pollard “New York,” TV personality Toneo from “Toneo Talk” show, Vince P., (pop artist) and singer, Trueful. The hosts of this affair knew how to cater to celebrities. There were complimentary drinks and complimentary hors d’houevres of filet mignon and chicken on a skewer and delicious bite size crab cakes and pita pizza. I had several rounds. Beautiful full figured Haitian actress/model Sandy Jean Philippe (Bank of Hollywood http://www.sandyjeanphilippe.com/sandy/index.htm) co-hosted the event to recruit celebrity interest to rebuild homes in Haiti. Dressed in a short verdi shimmery dress, she was eloquent and sincere.
“Never Can Say Good Bye” Katherine Jackson Archive tribute and launch of book pictorial) to Michael Jackson at the Beverly Hilton Hotel
The red carpet was of royal proportions overwhelmed by media of every kind and rightly so for the man known as “The King of Pop.” It doesn’t get any higher or bigger than Michael Jackson whose fame has superseded the words “legendary” or “icon.” In death he has become even more popular than in life because fans just can’t let go. It was so appropriate that this event titled ”Never Can Say Goodbye” named after one of his songs commemorated his passing one year later. Actually, “Never Can Say Goodbye” the Katherine Jackson Archive” is book pictorial of The Jackson family history. I had an opportunity to speak to many celebrities on the red carpet including actor
Larry Hilton-Jacobs (Lawrence Hilton Jacobs) who portrayed Joe Jackson in the biopic on The Jackson family and who is almost as famous as MJ’s famous dad. Larry imparted some background information that helped him portray a strong-willed sometimes strong-handed dad. Larry said he came from a large family also of nine kids and a father who showed strong/tough disciplined love and then of course there was character study, interacting with the family and skill that comes from being a trained actor. Larry admits that this was a role of a lifetime. I also spoke to Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites who informed me that MJ performed on the bill with them in Chicago when Michael was only 7 years old, pre-Motown introductions. Marshall was proud to declare that he has been in the biz for 43 years!!! Legendary actor Mickey Rooney was on hand also and stated, “There will never be anyone else like him.”
Pop music star Norwood Young commented Michal Jackson had a “light.”
Tisha Campbell, looking flawless on the red carpet talked about how people did not treat Michael right when he was alive with all the accusations. She told me that at one point she had a heart to heart telephone conversation with him about this subject and that she actually spoke up for him on many occasions. Tisha seemed very sad at the insensitivity that exists in human nature. “We did not treat Michael right when he was alive” stated Tisha Campbell. Former BET correspondent/reporter and friend of the Jackson family April Sutton graced the red carpet in a long flowing red gown. She had the honor of hosting the show.
Also on the red carpet looking like a goddesss was Tatiana Yvonne (MJ’s love interest in the video “The Way You Make Me Feel.”). Now, I heard from a very reliable source that she may have been the girl that got away. I asked her with so many people stating that they have been influenced by Michael Jackson; I heard that in her case, it’s the other way around, that she was a big influence on him. After stammering and catching her breath just a bit at hearing this question, she found her composure to state in a very dignified way, “I can say, we influenced each other.” Tatiana continues to be stunning woman and one can see why Michael Jackson “King of Pop” would have swooned over this Aphrodite looking actress. Tatiana may have thought she could get away but now realizes she can never say goodbye.
Uplifting Minds II Seminar Entertainment Conference founded and produced by Baltimore Times Entertainment Entertainment Editor Eunice Moseley held day of BET Awards @ Los Angeles Convention Center
Uplifting Minds II Entertainment Conference Seminar and talent showcase is one of the most helpful showcases and seminars for up and coming music artists who want to present their talent and product to a savvy industry panel for advice and constructive critique. Eunice Moseley, famed columnist and entertainment editor for The Baltimore Times and numerous publications, founder of the event has worked tirelessly for years to present raw talent to those that can help them grow, taking little to no compensation for her hard efforts. I’ve attended several and even been a part of her industry panel and I can tell you, first hand, I’ve seen some amazing artists develop from the showcase such as Neenah Taylor, 2- Uneek and Pop/R&B/Hip Hop singer Trueful. I was very pleased to see that the talent showcase part of the event had been moved from one of the seminar halls to a beautiful and new luxurious theatre within the Los Angeles Convention Center. Considering the fact that the BET Awards was taking place on the same day, attendance was high. Talent this year was exposed to an industry panel of judges that included, famed radio personality Lee Bailey (Founder of RadioScope and EURweb), filmmaker, Ben Foster; BET Comic view legend Annie McKnight, Vernon Neilly of Boosweet Records. Publicist Phyllis Cadell-M, and actress, Ashley Argota. Other impressive line up panelists that were part of the seminar included music professionals,
Debrah French, artist manager at French Royalty Entertainment and co-owner of French Royalty Records, Kerri Hobbs former model and actress and Vernon Neilly of Boosweet Records who has been a loyal supporter of Uplifting Minds since its inception. I stayed for the great portion of the showcase but had to dash to a post-BET party for Ludacris. For more about Uplifting Minds log on to www.UpliftingMinds2.com and reach out to Eunice Moseley. Special performances from today’s young stars who got their start from Uplifting Minds included Pop/R&B Hip Hop singer Trueful and the twin duo 2-Uneek.
Ludacris’ post-BET party at Boulevard 3
OMG, the red carpet on this event was pure pandemonium, everyone wanted to get into this one. It reminded me of P.Diddy’s “I am King” event here last year. But, Kleo has her way and forged through the crowd without a hitch. In tow was BET Comic View comedienne Annie McKnight and Pop/R&B singer Trueful. They were very popular on the red carpet and the paps snapped photo after photo creating a constant beam of light on these two. Inside the party dancers were mesmerizing the crowd on the ground level. The only way to describe the scene was sexy, steamy, hot, smoking, smoldering and mesmerizing. The music was pulsating. I made my way to the VIP area on the second level and ended up at the VIP bottle service table belonging to Bungalo Records exec Leo Rodgers and music executive Cheryl Reid. Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe (star of the Oscar nominated film Precious) got plenty of attention and in spite of the party flurry stopped to pose for a pic with BET’s Comic View Annie McKnight. The fastest tongue in the west, rapper Twista was also seen as well as Keshia Knight Pulliam from the Cosby show. Vince P, pop artist who was in town specially for BET weekend events attended as well. I also spotted pretty urban stylist Krystal French who was burning a hole on the dance floor with Trueful. I stayed till about 12:30PM and then headed out. By this time, I was partied-out. I heard that 10 mins after departing Ludacris showed up. My sources tell me he stopped on the red carpet for all of 15 seconds. Well, boyz and gurlz, I gotta catch the Luda next time. – Kleo out.
Eugenia Wright is a former actress turned syndicated columnist/publicist. You may write to her at [email protected]
Photo Credit: Donald Carraway