*There was a lot of hype leading up to the September 13 Verzuz Battle between veteran R&B legends Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle. (Watch it go down via the YouTube player above.)
There was competition before the competition, with both legends, who are also known for their cooking abilities, whipping up something in the kitchen and showing it off on Instagram.
By the time the ladies appeared together at the Fillmore in Philadelphia, the fans were revved and ready, waiting to hear their favorite songs, by their favorite legends.
The evening began with Gladys and Patti reminiscing, like the two old friends that they are. They talked about their early years, growing up together, having children at the same time, their shared love of cooking, which they learned to do on the road, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren (Gladys) as well as their losses; Gladys’ son and Patti’s sister. They urged people to vote, and although they said they were not going to get into politics, a little crept in anyway. It was obvious these two women have nothing but love and admiration for each other.
I think many will agree that, to a certain extent, legends have earned the right to a little latitude in their speaking, which explains why most of the audience didn’t gasp (via the comment field) when Patti said, “that heffa sang me under the table” referring to Jennifer Hudson or when she said, “gay people keep us pumped” or when they told Monica and Brandy to, “stop it!”
The battle began, with Patti going first and then the two legends going back and forth. From Patti’s catalogue, we were treated to, “If You Ask Me To,” “Stir It Up,” “When You’ve Been Blessed,” “Love, Need and Want You,” “Right Kinda Lover,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Somebody Loves You,” “New Attitude,” “On My Own,” and “Lady Marmalade,” among other hits. Gladys countered with, “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” “Make Yours a Happy Home,” “On and On,” “License to Kill,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Neither One of Us”, “Friendship Train” and “Love Overboard,” among others. Patti dedicated, “You Are My Friend” to Gladys, one of the best songs of the evening. The absolute highlight of the songfest was when another legend, Dionne Warwick, joined them to sing, “That’s What Friends Are For” and “Superwoman.”
These two women, who are now deep into their 70s, can still sing! Gladys’ tone was incredible, and Patti was hitting those high notes as good as ever. They both had their moves together, with Gladys and her bop and Patti with her signature arms flap when she sang, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” We will not mention when she did her trademark kicking off the shoes, she kicked herself in the leg. The only singing drawback, if it could be considered one, is they were singing with the songs and sometimes they did not know the words and other times they were singing over or under the song. Patti mentioned she could not remember the words and stressed that they needed to be put on the teleprompter. Gladys then admitted she too cannot recall the words to some of her songs. I don’t think anyone cared; we were all too busy enjoying the love, camaraderie and authenticity of these two beautiful legends.All the listeners were in awe and the flurry of comments were extremely complimentary, mentioning the joy the evening was bringing.
The verzuz battles typically bring out its share of celebrities lending their support to the featured artists, and this battle was no exception. Some of the people who checked in included Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg, Brandy, Monica, Missy Elliott, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Diddy, Tyrese, Viola Davis, Queen Latifah, Niecy Nash, Gabrielle Union, Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. Patti Labelle told Michelle Obama she is, “married to the best man in the world.”
By the end of the night, Patti had changed shoes three times and said, “They can have these,” as she left her shoes on the stage when she was leaving.
Who won the battle? Gladys Knight’s tone and clear, clean vocals impressed me enough that I am giving her the nod. That is not to say Patti Labelle did a bad job; Gladys Knight was just vocally better and more prepared. The fans, however, were the biggest winners, because we were treated to two hours of some of the best music ever made, by two of R&B’s iconic treasures…make that three treasures. We are so lucky to still have them.
Yep, there really were no losers in this battle.
Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer. Contact her via [email protected].
Vanessa Bryant Kicked Her Mother OUT After Kobe’s Death and Now Sofia Lane is Talking / VIDEO
*As you can imagine, Vanessa Bryant has been going through a lot since her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna, were killed in that now infamous helicopter crash this past January. It is a time like this that you would think that widow Bryant would want her dear mother, Sofia Laine, by her side. Well, apparently NOT. At least not anymore.
That’s because Sofia revealed during a recent interview that her daughter kicked her to the curb after the tragic death of the NBA super star.
In the interview (in Spanish) that’s set to air on Univision on Monday (09-21-20), Sofia Laine claims that her relationship with her daughter is on the rocks. However, in the sneak peek shared to Instagram, Sofia was seen saying that Kobe Bryant has been laid to rest in a private cemetery. Then she started crying, saying that Vanessa not only told her to leave get out of the house, but she also demanded that she return her car, as well.
The mom of four allegedly told Sofia, “You need to leave my house and give me my car.”
Something tells us a lot of people – even those that don’t speak Spanish – will be tuned in to that Univision broadcast on Monday.
In the meantime, check out the clip below.
This revelation is no doubt shocking to some, considering that Vanessa and her mom have always seemed close. Even after the helicopter crash that claimed Kobe and Gianna’s lives, it was reported that Sofia and Vanessa grew even closer. Well, obviously something changed.
As we reported, Kobe died on January 26, when the helicopter that he and Gianna rode crashed in Calabasas, California while en route from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport. Including Kobe and his daughter, everyone else was killed in the accident. His death sparked multiple remembrances and tributes, including a memorial outside of the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, which Kobe attended from 1992 to 1996.
Kobe and Gianna were buried in a private funeral in Pacific View Memorial Park in the Corona del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach, California on February 7. A public memorial service was held on February 24 at the Staples Center, where’s Kobe’s team, the LA Lakers, play.
Charlamagne Tha God and iHeartMedia Launch ‘The Black Effect Podcast Network’
*New York – iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, and Charlamagne Tha God, one of the most influential and authoritative voices in media, announced today a historic joint venture partnership to launch “The Black Effect Podcast Network.”
The Black Effect Podcast Network is positioned to become the world’s largest podcast publisher dedicated to Black listeners, bringing together the most influential and trusted voices in black culture for stimulating conversations around social justice, pop culture, sports, mental health, news, comedy and more.
The multi-genre venture will feature a luminous roster of marquee talent and culture-shifting voices committed to enlightening, educating and entertaining audiences curated by Charlamagne himself. The programming will provide a bridge to understanding information and interaction rooted in diverse perspectives.
“Blackness has an immediate, culture shifting effect on everything,” said Charlamagne. “Blackness controls the cool. Blackness is the culture, but Black Voices are not monolithic. The only way to appreciate the diversity of thought and experiences in Black culture is to build a platform for those voices to be heard. Unapologetically Black experiences, unapologetically Black thought, unapologetically Black ideas. Black, Black, Blackity Black, Black, Black, Black. Everything Black. Black Everything. The vision for The Black Effect is to amplify, elevate, and empower emerging and established talent. Our goal is to shift the narrative from Black creators signing transactional deals, to instead forming legacy partnerships that build generational wealth while allowing each creative to have an equitable stake in their future. As a long-time partner of iHeart, it’s an honor to make history with them.”
The Black Effect Podcast Network creatives will include comedian/actress Jess Hilarious, Social Justice Activist Tamika Mallory, American attorney and TV Host Eboni K. Williams and many more. The Black Effect Podcast Network has also partnered with other widely successful podcasts like “All The Smoke,” “Drink Champs” and “The 85 South Show,” and will debut with 18 podcasts this fall on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are available.
Additionally, Charlamagne’s wildly popular, co-anchored, nationally syndicated radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” will bring its replay podcast to The Black Effect Podcast Network as its flagship show, effective immediately. With over 4.5 million weekly listeners, “The Breakfast Club” has become the most sought after media destination for A-list talent and influential thought leaders.
“As our country’s number one audio company and podcaster, we have both the responsibility and the opportunity to give new voices a massive audience platform for creativity and innovation—and for important ideas that need to be heard,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “Charlamagne Tha God is an unparalleled multi-platform creator whose impact extends across radio, digital, social, TV, events and podcasts. He is uniquely qualified to bring The Black Effect Podcast Network to life, and we are lucky and honored to be his chosen partner and to continue our successful partnership of over a decade in this exciting and fast-growing arena.”
The Black Effect Podcast Network will also produce exciting limited series podcasts in conjunction with various high wattage creators and talent, musical artists, actors, actresses, sports and literary superstars to support their upcoming films, music releases and related projects.
All shows on The Black Effect Podcast Network will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network which is home to more than 750 original podcasts. With over 225 million downloads each month, iHeartRadio is the leading podcast publisher according to Podtrac, with a substantial lead over the next largest commercial podcaster. iHeartPodcasts span every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime – and everything in between – making iHeartRadio the largest publisher of podcast content in the world. iHeartPodcasts are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app.
PepsiCo Beverages, in collaboration with its agency partner OMD, has signed on as an inaugural partner of The Black Effect Podcast Network with others to be announced. “We knew we wanted to support this groundbreaking partnership as soon as Charlamagne and iHeart shared their vision for the network. This opportunity connects our brands to consumers through the newer trusted medium of podcasting, and more importantly, supports the overall PepsiCo strategic initiative to invest in Black communities and support diverse voices,” said Katie Haniffy, PepsiCo Beverages Head of Media. “We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Charlamagne in the past and look forward to our continued partnership with him and iHeartMedia on this incredibly exciting venture.”
The Black Effect Podcast Network launch lineup will include:
“Drink Champs” with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN
“All The Smoke” with Matt Barnes
“The 85 South Show” with Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico Bean
“Whoreible Decisions” with Mandii B and Weezy
“Dropping Gems” with Devi Brown
“Holding Court” with Eboni K. Williams
“Carefully Reckless” with Jess Hilarious
“Street Politicians” with Tamika Mallory and Mysonne
“Hot Happy Mess” with Zuri Hall
“Untitled” with Bonang Matheba
“Hello Somebody” with Senator Nina Turner
“P.O.D.” with Ashley and Tammy
“Straight Shot No Chaser” with Tezlyn Figaro
“Laugh and Learn” with Flame Monroe (executive produced by Tiffany Haddish)
“Checking In” with Michelle Williams
“Cut To It” with Steve Smith Sr.
“No Ceilings” with Glasses Malone
“Gangster Chronicles” with MC Eiht, James McDonald and Norman Steele
Fans can go to iHeart.com/apps to download and listen on all their favorite devices — including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, televisions, gaming consoles and more.
iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide; through its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; other digital products and newsletters; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.
About Charlamagne Tha God
Charlamagne Tha God is one of the most potent, influential, and authoritative voices in media today. He is the widely coveted, outspoken, thought-provoking co-host of the hottest nationally-syndicated radio show in the U.S., ‘The Breakfast Club,’ heard by over 4.5 million listeners each week. Charlamagne’s production company, CTHAGOD World Productions, discovers and advocates for original content and emerging talent who resonate with popular culture long before they are recognized mainstream. A cultural architect and executive producer, Charlamagne is the co-host of the popular podcast, ‘Brilliant Idiots,’. He is a New York Times bestselling author of the book, ‘Black Privilege’ and global bestseller ‘Shook One,’ which propelled him to become one of the world’s leading voices in the mental health discussion. Charlamagne will be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in October.
About The Black Effect Podcast Network
The Black Effect Podcast Network is a transformative network founded by renowned cultural architect, executive producer, bestselling author, and media mogul Charlamagne Tha God. In an historic joint venture with the world’s number one commercial podcast publisher, iHeartMedia, Charlamagne and iHeartMedia created the groundbreaking first-ever Black Effect Podcast Network, celebrating the most important Black culture-shapers on the planet—in education, politics, entertainment, sports and pop culture. The Black Effect Podcast Network gives rise to emerging and established content creators and storytellers whose perspective and creative vision have been marginalized and overlooked while serving an audience that has been underserved. The Black Effect Podcast Network helps its partners define their place in culture through influence, ideas, and experiences that engage, inspire, inform and empower.
Global Brand Strategist
The Britto Agency
EVP of Communications
Cardi B and Offset to Divorce After Nearly 3 Years of Marriage
*Cardi B is finally calling it quits from husband Offset after nearly three years of marriage.
Their relationship woes have played out on social media over the years, with endless rumors about his infidelity. Word on the street is that Offset got one too many Instagram groupies and strippers knocked up (allegedly), and Cardi has had enough of looking foolish trying to defend him and their marriage.
Cardi and Offset tied the knot in September 2017. They are parents to 2-year-old daughter, Kulture.
“Offset and Cardi both continue to put Kulture first through this troubling time,” a source close to the estranged couple tells Us.
Hollywood Unlocked was the first to report that Cardi, 27, filed for divorce from the Migos member, 28, on September 15. The divorce petition was filed with the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta.
A court hearing is set for November 4.
View this post on Instagram
HU Staff: Alyssa Brook @alyssabrookhu Hollywood Unlocked can exclusively report that Cardi B is filing for divorce from her husband, Migos rapper Offset. __________________________________________________ We contacted the Fulton County superior court who confirmed that a divorce petition has been filed in Superior Court, Fulton County, Georgia by Cardi B. __________________________________________________ Cardi B and Offset’s relationship has undoubtedly been tumultuous. They secretly got married in 2018, but then dealt with numerous cheating rumors. In April of that year, Cardi confirmed they were expecting a baby girl and that they were married. They later welcome daughter Kulture. ___________________________________________________ Read more at hollywoodunlocked.com 📸: Getty Images __________________________________________________ If you have a tip or suggestion, or want to talk to us about this story, Text the word “TIP” to 1-310-388-6463
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