Datari Turner and Meagan Good

*If you don’t know the name remember it, Datari Turner, this film and television producer is quietly taking over Hollywood working his way to becoming one of its best.

This former Ford model turned actor has made a successful transition into a film/television writer and producer. One of four major projects Turner has for 2011 release brought him to my hometown of Baltimore.

His Stony Island drama, Learning Uncle Vincent (L.U.V.) – starring Meagan Good, Dennis Haysbert, Turner, Charles Dutton and Common – is about the real-life story of the man behind the concept for the television series “The Wire.” In the film this man bonds with a shy 13 year-old.

“We’re wrapping,” Datari Turner said when I spoke with him about his time shooting in Baltimore. “The story is similar to Carlito’s Way meets Training Day. It’s inspired by a true story…This is his story.”

Turner is telling many stories to entertain us lately, such as the Dan Garcia/Turner Production/Most Wanted Film, Video Girl, starring Meagan Good, Ruby Dee, Paul Victor, Datari and LisaRaye – his first film. The movie will be released to limited theaters April 29, 2011 and in December his Turner Productions comedy film Dysfunctional Friends – starring Stacey Dash, Hosea Chanchez, Wesley Jonathan, Terrell Owens and Tatyana Ali – will be released as well.

In television his credits include BET’s “The Ultimate Hustler,” an Urban reality show similar to “The Apprentice” and “I Married a Baller,” about the lives of famous athletes’ wives. His newest television hit is the TV One reality show “LisaRaye: The Real McCoy,” which recently started its second season.

“It was time,” Datari pointed out when asked about his string of successes. “I paid my dues, its time for me to have a hit. LisaRaye is from a real place like Baltimore, in Chicago. Her father was a notorious business man…With that and the glamour. It’s their highest rated series.”

They say when you are on a roll you can’t stop, well same here with Datari because he has projects to be released well into 2012. First project next year will be the Mandalay Vision comedy film Happy Holidays, starring Kate Beckinsale and Sigourney Weaver, about a mother and daughter reuniting during the holidays after a family death. He has other projects in different stages of development.  So Datari Turner is certainly one to watch.

Check out www.VideoGirl-TheMovie.com for more information on his first film Video Girl and www.LisaRaye.TVOne.com for more on the “LisaRaye” show.

Contemporary Gospel artist Madelyn Berry puts a new Pop/Urban twist to the genre

*Watch out Mary Mary Madelyn Berry’s in town sporting a hot Pop/Urban Contemporary Gospel sound. She is going to share that sound on her newest album, “Madelyn.” A background singer for the likes of Richard Smallwood and Darwin Hobbs, Berry offers twelve inspirational songs on the CD.

“God inspired me to do this album,” Madelyn confessed. “Every song is my testimony. When I first went to my husband (also the producer on the CD)…we had producers sending us difference tracks. We wanted to touch as many people as possible, not in church but outside of church.”

Berry first started singing at the age of 11 at the urging of her mother. But she said that at some point she realized that her voice was “something special.”

“Never give up if God gave you His word and promise. Hard work (and tears) but do not give up because of the promise,” Madelyn stressed. “People can’t do it alone…speak things into the atmosphere.”

On “Madelyn” (Berry Tight Music) she takes it practically there as she covers a wide range of genres of music laid over by her Gospel and inspiring lyrics. My favorite cuts on the album include “I Believe In You” for its sweet inspirational lyrics and I also love the piano support; “Still Standing” a great Pop/Gospel sound; “Why I Love Him” because of its Urban flavor I think is reminiscent of Mary Mary, and the “Why I Love Him Remix” a hotter version of the first, but still a Praise and Worship song.

For more information on this Contemporary powerhouse vocalist, Madelyn Berry, log on to www.MadelynBerry.org.