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Central City Productions completed the taping of the 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena. The annual show hailed as an, “epic night in gospel music,” was hosted by Kirk Franklin. The telecast will premiere on TV One, Good Friday, March 30, at 9/8c . Additionally, the Stellar Awards will air in national broadcast syndicationMarch 31-May 6, 2018.

stellar awards 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 24: Tina Campbell and Erica Campbell of Mary Mary attend the 33rd annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on March 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tina Campbell; Erica Campbell; Mary Mary

This year’s spectacular show open featured Stellar Awards alum Erica Campbell reuniting with her sister Tina Campbell as the hit gospel duo Mary Mary for the first time in more than six years. The show also included an all-star tribute to the late, great Edwin Hawkins, with his sister Lynette Hawkins accepting the Edwin Hawkins Icon Award in his honor. Also, a stand out moment featured the multi-platinum award-winning Snoop Dogg performing material from his new gospel album, “Bible of Love.”

The night included performances by Snoop Dogg, Mary Mary, Kierra Sheard, Tori Kelly, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Anthony Brown, JJ Hairston, Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds, Ricky Dillard, Todd Dulaney, Tasha Page Lockhart, KeKe Wyatt, Canton Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Koryn Hawthorne, Le’Andria Johnson and more. Special presenters included Donnie McClurkinMerle DandridgeDavid MannAnika Noni Rose and more.

Top winners of the night were JJ Hairston winning six awards; Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Travis Greene each winning four awards; and Anthony Brown winning two awards.

stellar awards

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 24: Honoree Ben Tankard (L) and guest attend the 33rd annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on March 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben Tankard

Don Jackson bestowed special honors upon gospel greats who have made significant contributions to the genre. The incomparable Tamela Mann was the 2018 recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award and the legendary Rev. Milton Biggham received The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees includes Kurt Carr, Ben Tankard, and Dr. Marabeth Gentry – President of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.

The Stellar Awards telecast will premiere on TV One on Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and air in broadcast syndication on 130 stations in more than 110 markets around the country March 31 – May 6, 2018.  For more information visit us at www.thestellarawards.com.

Social Life

[EVENT RECAP] Humbl Hustlr Entrepreneur Workshop and Community Clean Up

We planned the Humble Hustlr entrepreneurship workshop and community clean up with a goal to cultivate the next generation of leaders by providing knowledge and transformational skills needed in entrepreneurship, while cleaning the community and we did just that!

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We planned the Humbl Hustlr entrepreneurship workshop and community clean up with a goal to cultivate the next generation of leaders by providing knowledge and transformational skills needed in entrepreneurship, while cleaning the community and we did just that!

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On Saturday, July 13th 26 young black men ages 11-17 and 35 black men representing black owned businesses across various industries came together at the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to build on the ideas and concepts of entrepreneurship and learn what it means to make an impact in the community. In addition to the entrepreneurs who mentored the young men we had the support of countless black owned businesses pitch in to create an experience they will never forget.

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Photos by Carol Rose photography (L) young men of Start Up ATL (R) Entrprepnuers

The event consisted of a workshop where the mentors helped the young men create a mission statement, social media marketing and branding plans for their business or service. Kayla Hutchinson, Social Media Manager and Event Manager, oversaw execution of the workshop. At the end of the workshop each group came together to pitch their project and share the new ideas they will be implementing. In other words, they learned the true meaning of  “boss up or get bossed around” as the men of the Future CEO and S.Q.U.A.D. say.

Elite Mobile Parties shuttle services then took the young men for a fun ride to the Vine City Center where they were met by music from Praise 102.5, their mentors and Bishop Lewis, the Chairman for the Vine City Civic Association Center to learn about the historic importance of the area. Bishop educated and motivated them saying, “whatever it is you want, you can do” before sending them off to clean the area. Marquise McAlpin of The Build Up LLC led the team in execution of the clean up.

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Photo by Keno

Upon their return to the Vine City Center the young men were surprised to meet Atlanta City Councilman, Antonio Brown, be served ice cream from Bucks Ice Cream truck and a book bag full of goodies from our sponsors such as water bottles, note pads, gift cards, USB drives and hats.

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Photo by Keno of (L)Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown and (R)Founder and CEO of Humbl Hustlr Lorenzo Gordon

Just like the saying “it takes a village” that was truly the same mentality that made this event such a success. Individuals and organizations from all over Atlanta came together to make this happen. Everyone from volunteers to sponsors played a major role in impacting not only the young men of The Startup ATL but also the Vine City Community. Events like this remind us of not only our duty to serve our community, but also the amazing things that we can accomplish when we come together.

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Photo by Keno of Bishop Lewis; Chairman for the Vine City Civic Association Center

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Social Life

[REVIEW/EVENT RECAP] OWN Gets It Right w/ New Series, “Ambitions,” Starring Robin Givens & Essence Atkins!

Just when we thought OWN had reached its pinnacle with dramatic series, Will Packer delivers a hot, new series in Ambitions!  The series centers on Stephanie Carlisle-Lancaster (Robin Givens), a brilliant attorney, and wife of Atlanta’s mayor, Evan Carlisle (Brian J. White). Stephanie is ambitious, and power hungry, determined to take over her father’s law firm, while being stuck in a loveless, troubled marriage for political clout. However, her world begins to shake with the return or her former lover, Titus Hughes (Kendrick Cross), who has just taken a case representing a large pharmaceutical company responsible for her sister’s death by overdosing. Titus’ wife, Amara (Essence Atkins), a U.S. Attorney, and Stephanie’s former best friend, is determined to save her marriage after an extramarital affair. Worlds collide, and love becomes toxic as The Carlisles, Hughes, and their respective friends and family go to war over power, property, and the very souls!

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Just when we thought OWN had reached its pinnacle with dramatic series, Will Packer delivers a hot, new series in Ambitions!  The series centers on Stephanie Carlisle-Lancaster (Robin Givens), a brilliant attorney, and wife of Atlanta’s mayor, Evan Carlisle (Brian J. White). Stephanie is ambitious, and power hungry, determined to take over her father’s law firm, while being stuck in a loveless, troubled marriage for political clout. However, her world begins to shake with the return or her former lover, Titus Hughes (Kendrick Cross), who has just taken a case representing a large pharmaceutical company responsible for her sister’s death by overdosing. Titus’ wife, Amara (Essence Atkins), a U.S. Attorney, and Stephanie’s former best friend, is determined to save her marriage after an extramarital affair. Worlds collide, and love becomes toxic as The Carlisles, Hughes, and their respective friends and family go to war over power, property, and the very souls!

Ambitions is so riveting and thrilling that we dared not blink an eye. Robin Givens is BACK in a starring role and the ageless beauty is as amazing as ever.! This cast is also chalked full of veteran Black actors and is even inclusive with a lesbian story line. We recently attended the premiere of the series hosted by OWN and it was equally amazing, as the cast, Will Power, and the YBFs (Young, Black, & Fabulous) of Atlanta came out in full force to show their support. Check out a few photos from the amazing event below:

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[EVENT] NBC’s Luncheon w/ “The Village” Star, Frankie Faison (@FrankieFaison)!

NBC’s newest series, The Village, is undoubtedly turning out to be one of its greatest. Set in an eclectic apartment building in Brooklyn, it centers on a group of close knit neighbors whose lives, love, problems, and social issues all intertwine in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways making them a family of sorts. Heading this family as a patriarch is none other than Frankie Faison as “Ron Davis!” Ron is wise, funny, and of course the backbone of his makeshift dishing out love and wisdom where needed. HeyMikeyATL and Kontrol Magazine recently attended an NBC Luncheon filled with the other “Who’s Who” of Atlanta’s media community and got the opportunity for a sit down interview with Frankie himself!

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frankie faison nbc the village

NBC’s newest series, The Village, is undoubtedly turning out to be one of its greatest. Set in an eclectic apartment building in Brooklyn, it centers on a group of close knit neighbors whose lives, love, problems, and social issues all intertwine in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways making them a family of sorts. Heading this family as a patriarch is none other than Frankie Faison as “Ron Davis!” Ron is wise, funny, and of course the backbone of his makeshift dishing out love and wisdom where needed. HeyMikeyATL and Kontrol Magazine recently attended an NBC Luncheon filled with the other “Who’s Who” of Atlanta’s media community and got the opportunity for a sit down interview with Frankie himself!

michael j. fanning mikey and frankie faison

Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning and Frankie Faison

Frankie has been in the in the entertainment industry for over forty years, with dozens of roles, and is known best for his roles on The Wire (2002) and the Hannibal Lecter franchise. At the luncheon Frankie discussed the secret to his career’s longevity and how his own village greatly impacted his life. “…I’ve had really thoughtful and impactful people in my life since elementary school–my whole community actually. I grew up in an all-black community and the people in my life saw I was a character, a real class clown [he laughs], but instead of punishing me or writing me off as a bad kid; they put me in the theater…there I was able to grow and cultivate and become the character I am today [he laughs]. 

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THE VILLAGE — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Frankie Faison as Ron Davis, Lorraine Toussaint as Patricia Davis — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

As “Ron Davis,” Frankie embodies so much strength and understanding on the show, and when combined with the talents of Lorraine Toussaint, portraying Ron’s wife, “Patricia Davis,” you have quite a powerful, earthy couple. Frankie went on to discuss why he chose to do The Village, what it is like working with Lorraine, and his similarities and dissimilarities to his character. “He [‘Ron’] is the head of this chosen family of people–that’s what friends are, the family you choose–and he is a wise, upstanding, strong guy and I can identify with that. He’s like the ‘mayor’ of the neighborhood…then he likes to give wisdom to others and I find myself dispensing wisdom to the youngins on the set [he laughs]…I loved the script for The Village, it was well-written and I loved the stories. I’m down for any project that I can connect to and grow from. He then went on to discuss Lorraine. “When I found out she was on board I was thrilled. We came up in the industry together and she’s a respected colleague. She was perfect for the role and I can see us being the parents and grandparents of this situation…”

nbc the village

Frankie Faison is nothing short of amazing, encouraging rising and aspiring actors and entertainers to “Never give up. If this is what you want to do stay at it, believe in it, grow with it, and just don’t stop!” You can catch Frankie every Tuesday night, 10 PM EST!

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