• Soulful Songtress Cheryl Pepsii Riley Celebrates 10 Years with Tyler Perry


    New York – Madea may have a job – as evidenced by the success of the latest play, “Madea Gets A Job” in Tyler Perry’s popular stage play franchise – but Cheryl Pepsii Riley has a career. That’s because Riley’s role as Carla Montgomery in the latest Madea escapade marks almost ten years that the soulful songstress has performed as a mainstay in Tyler Perry’s many endeavors. And with vocals that simmer and soar throughout the theatre, the audiences couldn’t be happier about it.

    Riley, who first burst on the music scene in the late ’80′s with her torching classic “Thanks for My Child,” has been able to steadily build her fan base via several ventures, including an independent CD release “Let Me Be Me.” But her inclusion in over ten Tyler Perry productions, including stage plays, DVD releases, film cameos and soundtrack credits, has served to solidify her as one of soul and gospel music’s legendary voices.

    The native New Yorker from Brooklyn holds down a solid base on her home front as well. She is also celebrating five successful years at New York’s legendary Village Underground with her own homegrown vehicle, the “Back in the Day, Black Velvet Painting, Blue Lights in da Basement, Musicians and Singers Jam” night. More simply known as “Black Velvet Mondays,” the showcase attracts singers, songwriters and musicians from around the world who drop in to grace the stage. The showcase streams live at http://www.TheVillageUnderground.com and bridges the gap between the old school and new school as artists and musicians come to perform, network and inspire.

    Dedicated to regularly making her way to the club between her busy touring schedule, Riley produces and hosts the event every Monday. In addition to hosting and producing however, she is known for dropping pearls of wisdom in the midst of her Monday night events for aspiring artists.

    “I originally started ‘Black Velvet Mondays’ because of the things I had to learn on my own, things no one told or showed me. I just wanted to share information as well as provide a positive and safe atmosphere for the up and coming musicians and singers who are striving to hone their crafts. My vision was to help other artists along the way. I always say God gave me this gift, not just for the entertainment of it all, but to continue to live my purpose here on earth,” reveals Riley, who hopes to write a book featuring her advice gems.

    In “Madea Gets A Job” Riley’s character is the chief administrator of a senior citizen home. Single and experiencing man troubles, Madea’s motherly advice guides her to her true love. Her show stopping performances of “All I Want is Love” and “Dr. Feelgood” are highlights of the production.

    “I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for Tyler Perry. I have not only seen our audiences grow and grow, but I have watched him literally build an empire, right before our eyes. He absolutely inspires and motivates all of us around him to do the same for ourselves! As a performer, there is no greater joy than interacting with the audience. Having consistently worked with Tyler Perry for almost a decade now has been a tremendous experience. Top that with my showcase event on Monday’s, as well as my own Cheryl Pepsii Riley shows and projects, and all I can say is that I am humbled and thankful for the many blessings,” cites Riley.

    Check the tour schedule for “Madea Gets A Job” at http://tylerperry.com/stage-plays/madea-gets-job/ and sing along with Cheryl Pepsii Riley at http://www.CherylPepsiiRiley.com.

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  • National Radio Personality and Best Selling Author Michael Baisden Explodes on the Literary Landscape With Political/Action Thriller “Maintenance Man II: Money, Politics and Sex: Everyone Has A Price”

    Baisden’s Sequel to Maintenance Man skillfully mixes modern-day
    issues including corporate greed, voter suppression, and
    political corruption, with murder and suspense

    Miami, FL- As one of the most influential and engaging personalities in radio history, Michael Baisden is an iconic figure. The social activist, filmmaker, television host, and speaker commands a daily audience of over seven million listeners with his top rated afternoon drive radio program heard in 22 of the top 25 urban markets. But when Baisden dons his hat as a best-selling author, he fully encapsulates the essence of his magnetic force. His previous titles like “God’s Gift to Women,” and “Do Men Know What They Want” have traditionally titillated while informing, unmasking relationship and societal issues that many might deem risqué. However, with his sixth book release “Maintenance Man II: Money, Politics and Sex…Everyone Has A Price” Baisden raises his own bar, delivering an explosive political romance thriller that mixes sex and politics with volatile flair.

    In “Maintenance Man II: Money, Politics and Sex…Everyone Has A Price” Baisden builds upon the saga of his former main character, Malcolm Tremell, a gigolo who first came to life in Baisden’s 1999 release “The Maintenance Man.” “The Maintenance Man” saw the author gain notoriety for unapologetically disclosing the lifestyle of a man who rendezvoused for pay with married women. The original “Maintenance Man” followed a litany of releases, including “Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat,” and “Men Cry in the Dark” and solidified his stance as one of the most successful self-published male authors on the literary scene.

    With “Maintenance Man II,” Baisden broadens the storyline as Tremell comes out of retirement to not only rebuild his contact list of high-end female clientele, but also franchise a male escort service worldwide. Intrigue, drama and danger quickly come into play when Tremell liaisons with the wife of a powerful and corrupt Republican senator. When they unwittingly uncover the senator’s underhanded deal with the powerful Kross brothers for political control, Tremell will have to tap his military training and street smarts to not only save his life, but also those closest to him.

    Baisden, once again educates as he entertains, brilliantly engaging his readers. Utilizing Malcolm Tremell as the ultimate Renaissance man protagonist, he brazenly unveils several harsh and dark realities behind the current political process. He skillfully touches on some of the most critical political issues to date, including voter suppression as well as corporate greed, seamlessly interspersing them between a romantic and politically charged plot. The novel’s tone is captivating and inviting, whisking the reader into a non-stop escapade of sex, action and adventure.

    “Whether it’s my daily radio show, one of my film productions or TV shows, my audience recognizes me as the voice of the people. My career was launched with my books, so it’s important for me to continue writing novels that push the envelope. My mission has always been to challenge people to think outside the box and adopt lifestyles and attitudes that work for them, not society. ‘Maintenance Man II’ is my best novel yet; unlike any story I’ve ever told. It’s like James Bond, Bourne Identity and Shaft all rolled into one action packed and sexy thriller!” reveals Baisden.

    All of Baisden’s books, including “Maintenance Man II: Money, Politics & Sex…Everyone Has A Price” can be purchased at Target stores and Amazon.com For more information on Michael Baisden, go to http://www.BaisdenLive.com/ or join him at “Michael Baisden Live” on Facebook and “Baisden Live” on Twitter.

    About Michael Baisden
    Michael Baisden is a recognized best selling author, nationally syndicated radio personality and TV talk show host. His high-octane energy and love for interacting with his listeners is just one reason for the popularity and success of his number one rated Michael Baisden Show, which is broadcast to over seven million listeners in nearly 80 affiliate stations across the country.

    Baisden is known for spearheading the historic Jena Six March, The Michael Baisden Foundations 2010 One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids, where he spoke in over 72 cities signing up mentors and the recent Trayvon Martin awareness campaign. In March, Baisden along with Rev. Al Sharpton held a rally in Stanford, FL to protest the injustice over the lack of an arrest in the killing of Martin, a teenager who was just walking home from the store. Over 30,000 people attended the rally along with the teenager’s parents and other leaders. In 2012, to further his commitment to mentoring, he formed a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and African American Fraternities for the Mentoring Brothers in Action Campaign to recruit more African American mentors for Black boys.

    With nearly 2 million books in print, both hard and soft cover, his work blends the perfect combination of entertainment, humor, provocation and sexuality. Michael’s vibrant personality on and off the air has made him a people magnet.

    He first began attracting attention with primarily female followers as an author and publisher of the highly successful best selling books: “Men Cry in the Dark”, “The Maintenance Man,” (two of his titles ultimately were adapted into stage plays selling to sold out crowds across the states), “God’s Gift to Women” and a hot new book “Do Men Know What They Want.”

    Baisden has released the “Collectors Edition of Maintenance Man” followed by his sixth book “Maintenance Man II: Money, Politics & Sex…Everyone Has A Price” on e-book, paperback and hard cover. The hard cover book will be available exclusively at Target June 1, 2012.

    Makeda Smith
    (323) 596-1522
    jazzmynepr@gmail.com
    Edrea Davis
    (770) 961-6200
    edmedia@dogonvillage.com

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  • Vivica A. Fox to Host Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala Honoring Men Committed to Empowering Underserved Communities

    Washington, DC – Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (The National Coalition), today announced the recipients of the prestigious 2012 Spirit of Democracy Awards which will be presented during the 15th annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala hosted by actress and producer, Vivica A. Fox (Set It Off, Kill Bill, Soul Food), on Thursday May 17, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. For ticket information call (202) 659-4929 or email events@ncbcp.org.

    Honorees are Michael Baisden, nationally syndicated radio personality, author, philanthropist, and social activist instrumental in exposing the Trayvon Martin case; Al Dotson, chairman of the board, 100 Black Men of America; Shawn Dove, campaign manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Foundations; Gerald Hudson, executive vice president, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and David Honig, founder and president, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council.

    “This year we are proud to be ‘Celebrating Our Brothers.’ The leadership of these men in their respective fields helps to empower underserved communities across the country” said Campbell. “These strong, positive men also set an example of excellence in achievement for young brothers across the country.”

    There will also be a special tribute to the late Ruby Campbell Pulliam who was a servant leader in civil rights and women’s rights.

    The Spirit of Democracy Awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to creating balance in the democratic process and support The Nation Coalition’s mission and vision of making civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition. Sponsors include AT&T and Verizon, among others. The event is open to the public. Individual ticket prices are $175. For tickets or more information call 202 659-4929 or visit www.ncbcp.org to purchase online.

    ABOUT THE NATIONAL COALITION:
    Founded in 1976, the NCBCP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society. The current programs and initiatives of the organization include Black Youth Vote!, Black Women’s Roundtable, and a Black Men & Boys Initiative. The National Coalition has trained and engaged African American leaders and community activists in overcoming institutional barriers that have hindered the growth of Black communities politically, socially and economically.

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  • BET Television Executive Lea Walker Takes Career to New Heights with Aerial Yoga and Pole Studio


    North Hollywood, CA – As a busy television executive, Lea Walker knows the demands of a grueling career. A current Director of Production for Original Programming at BET, Walker can boast not only having worked on a roster of hit shows including “Sunday Best,” “Tiny & Toya,” and “American Gangster,” but also having interacted with a slew of fabulous talent like John Salley, Damien Wayans, Ryan Seacrest, Snoop Dogg, and Janet Jackson. But all that glitters is not gold, and even with a her dream job, some part of Walker knew something was missing.

    When the demands of her busy lifestyle took a toll on her health, the busy career maven found herself in the emergency room. Back and reproductive issues were revealed and the ensuing surgeries left her bedridden for weeks. Walker discovered that the surgery not only stripped her of her physical strength but also her sense of body confidence and power.

    “My scars became a symbol of how my body had failed me. While stuck in bed I came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to finally slow down and just do something for me. My friend suggested a pole dance class. I figured it looked fun so what the heck,” reveals Walker.

    Walker discovered that pole dance/fitness not only was great fun, but it restored her sense of ‘self.’ In addition, the exercise and movement led to her back pain subsiding and she was able to avoid additional operations. From pole dancing she moved on to aerial yoga. Aerial yoga makes use of hammocks, that provide aerial suspension for a total body workout incorporating the techniques of yoga, core conditioning, strength training, Pilates and more. Centered, confident and reconnected to her feminine side, Walker wanted to share her new found empowerment and Aeriform Arts was born !

    Walker’s Aeriform Arts, located in the art district of North Hollywood, CA is a fitness studio that welcomes every “body” to come and work out while having fun. The beautiful mirrored space is home to eleven aerial yoga hammocks, a lyra, hanging silks and five brass dance poles. Many of the classes are co-ed and Walker offers an intimate setting for a wide range of exercise course work including aerial yoga, yoga, pole, Pilates, stretching, classic burlesque, BUTI ™ and aerial fit, which incorporates pole, beam, barre, hammock, silks and lyra !

    She has also assembled a roster of some of Los Angeles’ best fitness instructors including Leigh Acosta, specializing in pole, lyra and aerial fit; Amber Porter for aerial fit; Jennifer Kim for pole; Kristina Serna for BUTI ™ and Saharah Ali for aerial yoga.

    Still working as a busy television executive, Walker finds that running the studio, along with a steady diet of classes, serves to now keep her lifestyle more balanced and focused.

    “There is something about hanging out, upside down and in mid-air that is just so liberating,” adds Walker. “You really forget about the rest of the world and tune into a deep sense of the present moment and self. And it is truly a feat that anyone and everyone can conquer. I was suffering from back pain and health issues so I am a living testimony. I really just want to share this sense of freedom with everyone I can. Aeriform Arts is a safe haven where you can learn to let go and let your spirit fly !”

    Aeriform Arts is located at 5625 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA. Take flight at Aeriform Arts at http://aeriformarts.com/ or by calling 818-980-AERI (2374).

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  • Actress and Singer Demetria McKinney to Perform at Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala “Celebrating Our Brothers”

    Washington, DC – Determined to honor their commitment to produce an intergenerational affair, The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (The National Coalition) has tapped award-winning actress, singer and songwriter, Demetria McKinney (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne), to perform at the 15th annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala on Thursday May 17, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Hosted this year by actress Vivica A. Fox (Set It Off, Independence Day), among the groups honorees are emerging leaders Jonathan McDaniel, actor, recording artist and technology advocate, and Joshua DuBois, executive director of The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    “We want to make sure to honor some of the young people that are doing the work in addition to recognizing the stellar individuals and organizations that work to mentor and train our men. Jonathan and Joshua are young leaders in technology and public service,” said Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of The National Coalition.

    “Demetria is a rising star in music and film. She is known for her acting talent, but she is also an accomplished vocalist and does positive work with youth. I’m looking forward to her electrifying performance,” said Jessica Brown, national field coordinator, Black Youth Vote, The National Coalition’s youth civic engagement initiative.

    Best known for her role as “Janine Payne” on the NAACP award-winning sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” McKinney started out in the stage play, “Meet the Browns” and went on to star in several other Tyler Perry plays including “What’s Done In The Dark” and “Why Did I Get Married.” She also held lead roles in “Church Girl” and portrayed Mrs. Coretta Scott King in the musical, “I Dream.” McKinney’s hit single “Take Away” is available on iTunes and her debut CD is due out later this year.

    With the theme, “Celebrating Our Brothers,” the remaining 2012 Spirit of Democracy honorees are Gerald Hudson, executive vice president, Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Michael Baisden, nationally syndicated radio personality, author, and activist; Al Dotson, chairman of the board, 100 Black Men of America; Shawn Dove, campaign manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Foundations; and David Honig, founder and president, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. There will also be a tribute to Ruby Campbell Pulliam.

    The Spirit of Democracy Awards are sponsored by AT&T and Verizon, among others. Individual ticket prices are $175. For more information call 202 659-4929 or visit www.ncbcp.org to purchase online.

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  • Mac Dre’s Thizz Entertainment Erroneously Reported in DEA Drug Bust – Jay King Issues Statement


    Per Jay King, spokesperson for Thizz Entertainment:

    On April 25th, 2012 a grave error was made by law enforcement and news reporting agencies. I was quite disappointed and alarmed by what I have read and heard reported by many involved in the investigation of an alleged drug ring, which included the name of a company I represent as spokesperson.

    Thizz Entertainment was erroneously named as part of a four-year undercover drug investigation and a person arrested was erroneously named as the C.E.O of Thizz entertainment ( see http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20481644/mac-dres-mother-distances-her-sons-label-thizz ) . These errors have harmed the name, reputation and possible business relationship of our legitimate business enterprise “Thizz Entertainment.”

    I am asking that from today forward, everyone involved in this investigation and the reporting of this investigation and these arrests do so professionally and responsibly.

    Today you have involved a continual grieving family, innocent company and reputation as part of an investigation of criminal, illicit and illegal acts and elements that are untrue and unfounded as it relates to Thizz Entertainment. You have also named Andre Hicks aka Mac Dre as “at the core” of this drug trafficking ring even though it is common knowledge that he has been deceased for eight years now.

    His family, friends and loved ones are now made to relive the pain of his death and fight to keep his name from being associated with a negative element once again for something he hasn’t done nor is remotely involved in or responsible for and it must stop today.

    It is important to know Thizz Nation and Thizz Entertainment are two separate companies ran by two different business entities and have no ties whatsoever.

    We in no way want to stand in the way of law enforcement doing its job, but we do not want it to come at the cost of our good business name.

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