Taraji P. Henson has been tapped to host BET’s 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards honoring “Insecure” creator, writer and star Issa Rae, “Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi and others. The ceremony will take place on Aug. 5 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Rae is set to receive the Star Power Award while actress/activist Shahidi will take home the Young Gifted and Black honor.
Other honorees include singer Roberta Flack (Living Legend Award); financier Suzanne Shank (Shot Caller Award); and community organizers Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of The Black & Missing Foundation (Community Change Agent Award).
The 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards will air on BET on Aug. 20.
On Sunday morning, Philadelphia-born soul singer Billy Paul passed away in New Jersey home after battling cancer, his manager Beverly Gay confirmed to NBC 10 Philadelphia. Paul was 81.
On the “Me and Mrs. Jones” singer’s website, the following message was posted:
We regret to announce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today at home after a serious medical condition.We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to his wife Blanche and family for their loss, as they and the world grieves the loss of another musical icon that helped pioneered today’s R&B music. Billy will be truly missed.
Born in 1934, Paul started singing at 11 years-old and early on his career, he performed at several clubs and college campuses with several music legends, including Charlie “Bird” Parker, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Roberta Flack, NBC 10 wrote. Serving in the army with Elvis Presley, in 1968 Paul released his debut album “Feelin’ Good at the Cadillac Club.”
One of his most popular songs, “Me and Mrs. Jones” debuted in 1972 helping him become a household name and a constant on record players across the country. That song reached number one of the Billboard charts and earned him a Grammy award. Overall, during his amazing career, Paul released a total of 15 albums.
PHILADELPHIA — Retired boxing greatMuhammad Ali (pictured) will visit Philadelphia to receive the Liberty Medal, an award recognizing his longtime role as a fighter outside the ring for humanitarian causes, civil rights, and religious freedom.
The honor will be presented on Thursday during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center by the champ’s daughter, who is also a boxer, and two U.S. Olympic athletes. It comes with a $100,000 cash prize.“ Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution – freedom, self-governance, equality and empowerment – and helping to spread them across the globe,” former President Bill Clinton, the center’s chairman, said in a statement. Since hanging up his gloves in 1981, Ali has traveled extensively on international charitable missions and devoted his time to philanthropy and social causes.