All posts by LaRita Shelby

LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby is a broadcast media & marketing professional. She serves as V.P. of Marketing and Special Programming at EURweb.com. Additionally she is an actress, singer/songwriter who has appeared on TV and in film.
Corey Clark - slider

Corey Clark Scores Legal Victory 1 in 4

Corey Clark 2015

*The saga continues for singer Corey Clark, made famous by his season two appearance on Fox’s American Idol and by his unceremonious and controversial exit from the show.

In 2013 ten contestants filed a $25 million suit against the show claiming that details of arrest records in their personal lives were exploited in a manner which defamed them.  The law suit did not result in victory.  The ten hopefuls argued that their talent was overshadowed by what was perceived to be ongoing character assassinations.   The network maintained that the contestants failed to disclose their arrest records, and that was grounds for disqualification.  It was a tough blow for Clark, who also suffered fallout over his alleged affair with famed American Idol judge Paula Abdul.

Through all of this Corey Clark has fought a legal battle to redress what has continually been deemed by him to be slanderous and libelous activity by media outlets who refuse to let the facts prevail.  In 2012 he lost a $40 million dollar suit against MTV, but Corey is undaunted and has scored at least some hope in his current battle against Radar Online.

Corey’s account is that the outlet smeared his name in retaliation for him granting an exclusive interview to another media company once he refuted previously published information about him that further permeated a misrepresentation of an alleged battery arrest, for which there was no conviction and the charges were later dropped with regards to an alleged altercation with Clark’s sister.  Though Clark and his sister have gone to the press to refute the allegations, Clark maintains that there are some in the media who will not let the falsehoods die.

Despite claims of being blackballed because of his persistence to fight for his rights, Clark persists.   Last week Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White issued a ruling that denied defendant Radar Online’s Anti Slap motion to strike and dismiss the Clark vs. RadarOnline, LLC case in its entirety.

Corey Clark gave EURweb this exclusive account of the latest proceedings in an interview with LaRita Shelby on May 8th 2015.

After this great news for Corey, he now flexes his legal muscles for the next round when the case goes to trial.  EURweb sought a reply from Cameron Stracher, counsel for Radar Online but was told that no comment could be made on pending litigation.

eurweb & berry smokey & charles1

EURweb’s Visit with Motown Founder Berry Gordy (WATCH)

Motown meets EURweb team

Charles Randolph Wright, LaRita Shelby, Berry Gordy, Lee Bailey, Smokey Robinson

*What would it be like to sit down with Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr., Smokey Robinson and “Motown The Musical” director Charles Randolph Wright?  Well the day finally came, and as a select pool of the media entered the palatial setting of Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre, there was an air of ecstasy in the building.  Press from major networks, to the Los Angeles Sentinel, and local radio & TV outlets rounded out the list of special invitees.

Our turn finally came, a sportily clad Lee Bailey got into position, our media team from Oakhouse Pictures set their mics and trained their cameras on two men that made history, and one man whose job was to orchestrate it in the present time to Broadway precision and theatrical proportions worthy of an Emmy Award.  I could feel a “selfie” coming on, though I rarely point the camera towards myself. There was only one other occasion when I felt such an urge, and that was when Linda Morgan hosted a cavalcade of jazz legends to be honored at city hall.  With the legends in the group shot, I was satisfied just to snap a shot of my mug in the foreground to prove that I was there!  Aim, smile, “click.”  Well that’s just what I was about to do as Lee, Smokey, Berry, Charles and our crew were getting in position when I heard press and marketing agent Linda Stewart say: “What are you doing?”  While aborting the attempt, I replied: ‘Taking a selfie for social media.’ Which was the truth, but when it came to being in the midst of Motown royalty, all bets were off, my professional cap was barely hanging on, I was a FAN!  I was all in and proud of the men who gave my mama & daddy and ‘nem something to sing and dance about against the back drop of an America that was deprived of their civil rights and fighting to stand up and be counted.

Ironically, on this afternoon in 2015, Baltimore was ablaze over another fallen, and unarmed black male at the hands of police. It was yet in the aftermath of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott and many more.  I wanted to ask Mr. Gordy and Mr. Robinson how they managed to birth romance out of rage and dance out of desolation in the 1960’s when their musical caravans surely rode through paths of cruel and usual punishment, and strange fruit on Southern streets and trees.  However this interview was delegated to the media legend himself, Mr. Lee Bailey.  It was time for Broadway’s Motown The Musical to descend upon Hollywood, in the heart of Los Angeles, Motown’s second home and now residence to many of the people that it had made known to the world.

The interview concluded, although it was hard to adhere to the 10 minute time frame, just one question could evoke twenty five years of memories.  Berry Gordy spoke with the authority of a proud general who had brought his musical troops safely through their mission.  Smokey Robinson reveled as more than just a sultry two stepping crooner, but as a steady co-pilot who kept the whole operation grounded, and Mr. Charles Randolph Wright revealed skills that are clearly majestic, in being able to intertwine so many complex stories, songs, and chapters into a mere two hours that equal the magical soundtrack of our lives.  It was now time for the official group shot.  I was jumping in at all costs just to prove that one day I was in the same room as Berry Gordy.  Well, as if the story could not get any better, when Mr. Bailey took the occasion to formally introduce me, Mr. Gordy stopped him and quickly informed Mr. Bailey that he “knew Rita” and that “he had heard of Rita already.”  Like a deer in headlights I thought, ‘Who me?!”  I threw him a couple of my favorite lines from Mahogany, thanked him and I’ve been acting “siditty” every since.  My day, my week, my life was made in that moment!  Guess that’s the way it goes, once you encounter Motown, you’re never quite the same, kinda like ‘sunshine on a cloudy day.’

To top it off, when show time finally came for me, I had the great fortune of attending with my charming and debonair date, who is a family member of one of the persons characterized in the show.  I had no idea until a day or so before the show.  Edna Anderson Owens, that’s her name and I met the real fabulous dame once in a day that was just as serendipitous .  Sending loving thoughts to her and to all the folks to helped to make it happen- musicians, promoters, administrators, executives, choreographers, costumers, and artists.  Thank you Mr. Berry Gordy, you did it sir.  Somebody had to be the heavy, and it was you.  You endured, you prevailed and the world will never be the same because you came.  Your story is finally told, your way.  Motown The Musical is playing now through June 7th 2015 at the Hollywood Pantages, then the national tour continues to select cities through 2016.   It is presented by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy.  Special discounts are available.  Click here.      

EUR BONUS COVERAGE: Check out Lee Bailey chat’s with Mr. Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Charles Randolph-Wright about the man himself and his “Motown The Musical” stage production.

paul oakley stovall & phylicia rashad

Paul Oakley Stovall Strikes Gold with ‘Immediate Family’ Director Phylicia Rashad

Director Phylicia Rashad

Director Phylicia Rashad at the first rehearsal for Paul Oakley Stovall’s “’Immediate Family,’” which plays April 22 through June 7, 2015, at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum.

*It is rare that a new playwright lands a top notch director who happens to be a veteran Broadway actress and television star. But that’s exactly what happened when Phylicia Rashad was introduced to the work of Paul Oakley Stovall.

The result is “Immediate Family,” a comedy that is now showing at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum and presented by the Center Theatre Group.

“Immediate Family” is somewhat of a modern day comedy of errors that unearths rigid notions of family, relationships, expectations and the sometimes fuzzy dimensions of love.

Paul Oakley Stovall told EURweb’s Jazzy Rita Shelby how he took a leap of faith and realized a dream come true.

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita: “How were you able to collaborate with Phylicia Rashad?”

Paul Oakley Stoval:  “I just said, why not ask.  The worse she could say is no… I just asked and she said yes.  You have to say yes to life! Don’t convince yourself of something before you actually try to do it.  A lot of times it will be a lot easier than you think.”

“Immediate Family” directed by Phylicia Rashad opened to a packed star studded house on May 3rd, 2015 and shows through June 7th 2015.  The cast includes Kamal Angelo Bolden, J. Nicole Brooks, Bryan Terrell Clark, Shanésia Davis, Mark Jude Sullivan and Cynda Williams.   “Immediate Family” was most recently seen at The Goodman Theatre where it was nominated for GLAAD, Steinberg and Jeff Awards.  Mr. Stovall’s other works include “Billie and Billy,” “Young Lords and Ladies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “The Fields” and “Parker.” For now the whole town is talking and chuckling about the complicated, yet common entanglements in “Immediate Family.”  For tickets and information go to www.centertheatregroup.org or call (213) 628-2772.  The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

motown the musical

Show Town Welcomes ‘Motown The Musical’ Get Ready!

motown the musical

*Coming to Los Angeles is Motown The Musical and EURweb.com will be there opening night, April 30th to kick off it’s spectacular run at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

In addition, the Electronic Urban Report’s CEO Lee Bailey will also be favored with an exclusive interview with Motown founder Berry Gordy.

Stars expected to be in attendance at Motown The Musical’s Hollywood opening include Berry Gordy , Eskedar Gobeze,  Smokey Robinson, Claudette Robinson, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, Brenda Holloway, Thelma Houston, Janie Bradford, Barney Ales, Clarence Avant, Shelly Berger, Suzanne de Passe and many more!

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, with a book by Berry Gordy and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Now, experience it live on stage in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!

Now showing through June 7th 2015.  Motown The Musical is celebrating the one year anniversary of their national tour, and additional tour dates have been announced through July 26, 2016.  For tickets and more information, click here.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL has been called “More than a Broadway show. A celebration of music that transformed America!” by CBS Sunday Morning News.

Press Contact:  Linda Stewart – It Is Done Communications [email protected] or Charlena Ponders – It Is Done Communications [email protected]

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus   Production B-Roll:  Courtesy: Hollywood Pantages

alissa cavallaro (Ft-Big Daddy Kane)

Alissa Cavallaro Song (‘Journey Isn’t Over’) Features Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane

*Legendary rapper Big Daddy Kane cares about the youth and their self-esteem. Because of that he has joined forces with a 15-year-old singer Alissa Cavallaro for the anti-bullying campaign “Don’t Be Pushed Around.” The campaign will be anchored by a musical collaboration between the two called “Journey Isn’t Over.” 

Alissa-Cavallaro-Ft-Big-Daddy-Kane-Journey-Isnt-Over-Video1

Together Alissa and Big Daddy Kane have created a musical journey of positive, pulsating lyrics ensuring the listener’s confidence and giving voice to young people who often feel helpless. The single  is on sale through Battle Records – E 1 Entertainment Distribution.   “Journey Isn’t Over” music video is presented by Ghetto Nerd and Double XXposure Media, directed by Max Sainvil.

For more on Alissa Cavallaro and the “Don’t Be Pushed Around” campaign go to: Alissa Cavallaro.com
Comedian & Activist Dick Gregory to key note 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention

Dick Gregory to Keynote 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention

Comedian & Activist Dick Gregory to key note 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention

Comedian & Activist Dick Gregory to key note 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention

*Los Angeles, CA – Philanthropist, civil rights activist, and comedian, Dick Gregory, will keynote the 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention, to be held in Los Angeles April 23rd-26th.

This marks the 2nd year male comedians have been invited to attend. The purpose of the convention is to educate comedians about the many aspects of becoming a success in the business by bringing veteran comedians together with comedians who are new to the industry. Mr. Gregory will share his journey with attendees.

Hope Flood is a veteran comedienne and founder of FICA (Females in Comedy Association)

Hope Flood is a veteran comedian and founder of FICA (Females in Comedy Association)

Comics Rock Convention founder Hope Flood says, “We congratulate Mr. Dick Gregory on his continued success, and we are honored to have him”.

Dick Gregory was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The iconic humorist got his big break in 1961 at Chicago’s Playboy Club. He was booked as a replacement for a white comedian. He was so successful that they extended him a contract that lasted for three years. He’s a proud husband and father of ten very successful adult children.

In addition to Mr. Gregory’s keynote, the Comics Rock Convention will also present a fashion & comedy show, “Comics on the Catwalk 4a Cause.” This portion will benefit the Diabetes Foundation, & A Nickel of Hope, Inc., a non-profit organization founded by Hope Flood that helps mentor at-risk girls in the inner cities. Other celebrity participants include Luenelle, Kym Whitley, Shang, The Mooney Twins, Rodney Perry, Forbes, Cocoa Brown, David Arnold, Erroll Jackson, Tina Graham, Greg Dean, Trea Davenport, Sam Weaver, T Faye Griffin, Sherita Herring and many others.

The CRC brings a diverse demographic of up and coming comedians as well as intermediate and veteran comedians from around the world with the intent of working on their craft and gaining industry knowledge, which enables them to effectively brand and manage their business. It also teaches them how to break into the business.

Workshops and seminars include: “The Art of Stand Up,” “How to Promote Like the Pros,” “Joke Writing Techniques,” “Introduction to Voice Overs,” “Social Media” and so much more! Registration is open to all comedians and tickets to special events are being sold online only.  Workshops/Seminars for the the convention will be held at The JSpot Comedy Club 5581 West Manchester Blvd, Westchester, CA from Thursday, April 23rd through Saturday morning, April 25, 2015.

For more information or to become a sponsor, vendor or attendee, please visit:  www.comicsrockconvention.com.  For more information or interview opportunities, please contact Dayna Williams Hunter at [email protected] or (818)794-9832.

HOPE FLOOD is the Founder of FICA (Females in Comedy Association) and a veteran comedienne.  She is one of the top females in the industry.  Her commitment and dedication to FICA as well as her numerous ventures, help to keep female comedians ahead of the entertainment business.  FICA is a group designed for comedians to learn how to break into or to stay in the business as they refine their craft. Its sole purpose is to network, mentor, and collaborate as well as bringing awareness to the talents of females in comedy. This group has spread world-wide and gained the attention of many female comedians all over the country new and established. Although the convention was originally branded as the Females in Comedy Convention, it is the vision of founder Hope Flood to include all comedians regardless of gender. The convention will be filled with many opportunities for networking and career changing resources for both men and women in the comedy field.