January 28, 2018

ONE OF MY FAVORITE BACKSTAGE GRAMMY MOMENTS: LADY GAGA AND ROBERTA FLACK


So I was hired by the legendary Roberta Flack to do her publicity for the Grammy Awards in 2010. It had been decades since the GRAMMY-winner had performed on the stage and the Recording Academy had paired her with the music's biggest nominee Maxwell.

Her manager hired me and I didn't meet Flack until about two weeks before the telecast was scheduled. She was amazing. Funny. Lovely. Confident. But also unsure as to what she could bring to the table after all of these years. She still was touring and she had just finished a cover of Beatles' tunes. Her first album in years.

When I met her, I asked her about her new album. She told me she lived in the same building in NYC as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. She said, "We shared a wall between our apartments, and I remember John working on this new song that was absolutely amazing. I sat in my reading room and listened to him creating this song."

The song would become "Imagine." One of the most iconic songs ever written and recorded. So I knew, despite her own historic singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly" which became the first time an artist ever won back-to-back GRAMMYs for Record of the Year, I was dealing with a legend.

As I was walking her backstage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, people -- even really famous people -- were calling out her name "Roberta! Roberta! I love you!" But it wasn't until we were walking past the GRAMMY official Photo Gallery that we heard a now-familiar voice yelling out: "Roberta! Roberta! I love you so much! You are my hero!!!"

It was Lady Gaga, in a lightening-inspired head dress, that ran out of her photo shoot over to us.

"Lady Gaga, this is Roberta Flack. Roberta Flack, this is Lady Gaga," I said.

The amazing interaction that happened between the two was one of those surreal, life-changing moments. They put their heads together and Gaga said, "I am a classically trained pianist too, and I didn't ever think I could become famous and change the world until I heard you."

Ever the legend, Flack said, "I just love what you do and who you are, Gaga. Keep doing it for us."

At that point, Gaga invited Flack over to the Official Photo Gallery with famed photographer, and my friend, Danny Clinch. The photo above is what he took...and it changed my life...below is what Time Magazine said about my client Ms. Roberta Flack (and after the show I spent some time in her dressing room rubbing her feet....proudly...)

#grammys #60thgrammys #ladygaga #robertaflack #dannyclinch #grammyawards #johnlegend #imagine #yokoono #gaga #killingmesoftly

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1957992_1957982_1957976,00.html


January 24, 2018

OH. MY. MERYL. BIG LITTLE LIES SEASON 2 TO STAR MOST NOMINATED STREEP IN HISTORY!!

Just announced by Deadline!!
An all-star cast has just gotten starrier. Meryl Streep, the most Oscar-nominated actress in history, is joining the second installment of HBO’s Emmy-winning limited series Big Little Lies.
Streep will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Perry (played by Alexander Skarsgard in Season 1). Concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry’s death, Mary Louise arrives in Monterey searching for answers.
This is the first new cast addition since the long-rumored second installment was officially greenlighted with a seven-episode order.
Season 1 stars/executive producers Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon will return in their roles, respectively, as Celeste and Madeline, as well as writer David E. Kelley who again is penning all seven scripts partially based on a story by Liane Moriarty, author of the Big Little Lies book that the original mini was based on.
pped by CAA

January 20, 2018

Hollywood Reporter Declares Universal FanCon "Most Diverse Con" Around





As comic book culture continues to wrestle with the idea of diversification — and as genre media expands its own horizons with TV shows such as Black LightningStar Trek: Discovery and movies like Black Panther and the revived Star Wars franchise, a new convention is about to emerge to serve audiences often ignored by fandom at large.
“Universal Fan Con is more than just a new convention, it's the outgrowth of building a community of bloggers, podcasters and influencers over the last seven years who are committed to contributing diverse voices to the fandoms that we love,” executive director Robert Butler tells Heat Vision about the Baltimore-based convention, which launches this April.
Fan Con got its start during a dinner conversation between Butler, his partners in The Black Geeks podcast, and Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds, during 2016’s Dragon Con in Atlanta, Ga. “As we sat around the kitchen table and talked, it became clear that if we wanted to see the kind of talent, artists and panels at conventions that represented the vibrant diversity of the fan community, we may have to do it ourselves,” Butler remembers. “We set out to create a safe space that celebrated fandom and included the many faces and voices that made up the groups we represented, including women, persons of color and members of the LGBTQIA and disabled communities.”
The convention was announced soon after, and met with immediate excitement. “The response from fans has been incredible,” Butler says. “People really want to see us succeed.” It’s not only fans who’ve been into the idea, however; to date, the show has garnered support from people like LeVar Burton, Orlando Jones, Mahershala Ali, New Girl’s Lamorne Morris, Timeless star Malcolm Barrett and writer Greg Pak. “The love we’ve received from the entertainment community has been overwhelming,” according to Butler.
Much of that support came in regards to the Kickstarter campaign that ran in late 2016 to fund the event; it ended up raising $56,000, more than twice the initial asking amount. It's something that Butler describes as “a greater success than we could have imagined, especially since we launched right in the middle of the Christmas holiday season” but also a sign that there’s a massive audience out there currently underserved by the media that’s available, and that's ready and willing to support media that does address them.
“We're all big geeks, and we realized that persons of color have the same complaints about representation as other groups,” he explains. “Hispanics, African Americans and Asians make up 38 percent of the population, but 49 percent of frequent moviegoers, and are more likely to see a film with characters that they can relate to."
He points to statistics showing that despite high box office receipts for diverse projects such as the Fast and the Furious movies, there is still a long way to go for representation in Hollywood.
"Representation matters, and it translates into tangible returns when you genuinely engage the audience," Butler says. 
For Butler, Fan Con may be only one signifier of a changing entertainment landscape, but it’s an important one.
“People are looking for ways to connect with like-minded groups to share their love for the content, as well as express their relationship to in the actual and not just virtual world through things like industry panels and cosplay,” he says. “Events like Fan Con provide an engaging, inclusive, family-friendly and safe platform for people to interact along those lines. Fan Con is a community that brings people together to celebrate the best of what we love in fandom."
More information about Universal Fan Con can be found at www.universalfancon.com The show runs April 27-29 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
#billydeewilliams #fancon #hollywoodreporter #orlandojones #supergirl #starwars

January 16, 2018

Orlando Jones, Autism and Universal FanCon!


Universal FanCon is the first large-scale, 24-hour celebration of the diversity of fans and the diversity of fandoms. Be a part of the change, www.universalfancon..com

Click below

https://blog.universalfancon.com/what-orlando-jones-and-universal-fancon-demand/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=Cb556XnkMaE (click here for YouTube video!)

January 13, 2018

GRAMMY NOMINEES LUIS FONSI, KESHA, BRUNO MARS WITH CARDI B SET TO PERFORM ON 60TH GRAMMY TELECAST

GRAMMY® NOMINEES LUIS FONSI & DADDY YANKEE, KESHA, BRUNO MARS WITH CARDI B, AND SZA SET TO PERFORM ON THE 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS®
FIRST-TIME GRAMMY NOMINEES ALESSIA CARA, KHALID, AND LOGIC TO COME TOGETHER FOR A POWERFUL PERFORMANCE

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (JAN. 10, 2018) — Music's Biggest Night® just got bigger as the Recording Academy™ announces additional acts to perform on this year's 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. Just added to the lineup are current GRAMMY® nominees Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee; current GRAMMY nominee Kesha; GRAMMY winner and current nominee Bruno Mars with current nominee Cardi B; current nominee SZA; and first-time GRAMMY nominees Alessia Cara, Khalid, and Logic, who will take the stage with a group of suicide attempt and loss survivors selected by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in a special performance delivering an important message. Previously announced performers include Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, Little Big Town, Patti LuPone, P!nk, and Ben Platt. Live from Madison Square Garden in New York City, and hosted by award-winning television personality and performer James Corden, the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.


First-time nominee Alessia Cara has four nominations this year: Best New Artist, Song Of The Year and Best Music Video ("1-800-273-8255"); and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Stay" with Zedd).

Making her GRAMMY debut, Cardi B currently has two nominations: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song ("Bodak Yellow").

Current three-time GRAMMY nominees Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee are up for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Despacito" featuring Justin Bieber).

Performing on the GRAMMY stage for the first time, Kesha earned two nominations this year: Best Pop Solo Performance ("Praying") and Best Pop Vocal Album (Rainbow).

Five-time nominee Khalid is up for Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, and Best Music Video ("1-800-273-8255"); Best R&B Song ("Location"); and Best Urban Contemporary Album (American Teen).

First-time nominee Logic has two nominations: Song Of The Year and Best Music Video ("1-800-273-8255").

Five-time GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars is up for Album Of The Year and Best R&B Album (24K Magic); Record Of The Year ("24K Magic"); and Song Of The Year, Best R&B Performance, and Best R&B Song ("That's What I Like").

Also taking the stage for the first time, SZA has five nominations this year: Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance ("The Weekend"), Best R&B Song ("Supermodel"), Best Urban Contemporary Album (Ctrl), and Best Rap/Sung Performance ("Love Galore").

The 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for the Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, Ben Winston is a producer, Chantel Sausedo is the Talent Producer, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers

December 20, 2017

Grandparents Give the Worst Christmas Gifts, Right Chewbacca?!


As a kid, one of the most amazing times of the year was Christmas. It just always seemed like a moment and spirit trapped in time -- whether that be because my Grandma Mohney was a kid at heart who turned her entire house into a winter wonderland or because family and friends seemed to be so much closer and strangers seemed to be so much nicer.

I loved the lights. I loved the music. I loved the joy. I loved the presents. Well, for the most part. There never were any presents more disappointing than the ones from my grandparents. I don't know if they were so disappointing because I always thought my grandparents were the closest things to Santa or because I thought they somehow were cooler than my parents because they always spoiled me throughout the year or simply because it was totally humiliating to unwrap a package of underwear. I just remember thinking "wow, you don't get me at all."

Then today, at age 48, I was in line at Walgreens. I, of course, was in a hurry and almost lost it when I saw the old woman in front of me dump out her change purse onto the counter. "25 cents, 30, 55, $1..." I almost offered to pay for everything in her cart because I could barely stand it!!

Then I heard her say, "I have been looking for a present for my great-grandson. He loves Star Wars, don't you know. But he is very particular about who he likes. He really likes the big furry one. Oh, gosh, I can't remember...he's really tall and growls and shoots people...oh, he's really hairy but I can't remember his name, it's something like..."

"OMG!!!! CHEWBACCA. PLEASE, DEAR GOD, CHEWBACCA!" I think I thought to myself...


"$3.83, 3.93, 4.93..." now the clerk was counting the coins, as well as my last remaining nerves. I was like, "Lady, SERIOUSLY?!"

"I've seen a lot of things with, oh, my, what's the big animal's name..."

"CHEW. BAH. CAH. OH. EM. GEE."

"$11.87, 12.87..."

"Oh, my land, here's a $5 bill!"

I think I screamed "17 F****** DOLLARS AND 87 CENTS!!!" but pretty sure it was in my head...pretty...sure...

"But I think THIS is the one he'll REALLY love."

She stopped counting her change and looked up at the clerk. Then she looked over at me.

Seconds before, all I wanted was for her to get the heck out of my way so I could pay for my razor, diet Coke, deodorant and People Magazine.

But when she looked at me, all I could think about was how many stores she must have gone to...how many "furry Star Wars animal things" she must have looked at and how she had saved enough money to get the perfect gift.

I thought about my own grandparents and the packages of underwear, the Donny & Marie turn table, the PJs and how hard it must have been to know what to get me and my sister. I thought about how happy they must have been when they believed they finally got it right.

"He's going to absolutely love it," I said.

She grabbed her bags and walked away. I started to cry like a crazy person in line at Walgreens and just looked up to the sky and said, "Grandma and Grandpa, I loved it all."

#christmasgifts #grandparentsrock #thankyougrandma #greatestgift #starwars #chewbacca


December 19, 2017

Meet 11-Year-Old Double Amputee Who Runs for Medals and More


Click below
http://www.hooplaha.com/jack-cunningham-the-bilateral-amputee-2518465529.html

December 6, 2017

TIME MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES ITS "PERSON OF THE YEAR" AND IT AIN'T HIM


The "Silence Breakers" — those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment — have been named Time magazine's Person of the Year.
Numerous women have spoken out publicly since October about sexual misconduct by dozens of high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports. Time praised those who have given "voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable." The magazine's cover features Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Susan Fowler and others who say they have been harassed.
Time's announcement was made Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was fired last week amid harassment allegations. "Today" host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged Wednesday that this year's winner hits "close to home" and mentioned Lauer by name.
Women who spoke out, initially against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and then others, helped to spawn the #MeToo movement, with millions of people telling stories of sexual misconduct on social media.
The tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts began after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours. #MeToo was actually founded by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence. Milano has said she wasn't aware of Burke's contributions when she made her initial tweet and has since publicly credited her.
Milano and Burke appeared together Wednesday on the "Today" show.
"This is just the start. I've been saying from the beginning it's not just a moment, it's a movement," Burke said. "Now the work really begins."
"As women, we have to support each other and stand together and say, 'That's it. We're done. No more,'" Milano said. "It's vital to me that we really set in some actionable things that we can do to continue this momentum."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Time's 2015 Person of the Year, said through a spokesman that this year's winners should be thanked for "having the courage to break the silence on sexual assaults and for the worldwide discussion that they have launched."
The two runners-up for Person of the Year were Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump, himself accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Trump, Person of the Year in 2016, tweeted recently that the magazine had told him he "probably" would be named again if he agreed to an interview and photo shoot. Trump added that he "took a pass." Time has disputed his account.

December 3, 2017

UNIVERSAL FANCON TEAM REPRESENTS WHO WE WANT AT THE INAUGURAL EVENT


We get very few opportunities to do something for the first time; to help change the world for the better; to help address things in our country which need to be addressed (racism, accessibility, gender equality, ageism, Gay rights). This is only part of the group that is creating the first Universal FanCon that celebrates the diversity of fandom and the diversity of fans.

What's amazing about this group is that -- although we are supposed to "represent," we do so because we have a common goal and passion and respect ...and we actually really, really like each other!!! #baltimor#fandomisuniversal

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.universalfancon.com. Love you all. R