Tag: Trinidad

NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and News Anchor Robin Roberts Receive 2017 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robin Roberts receive Ellis Island Heritage Awards for 2017 (photo via thepostgame.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

On Tuesday, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. honored basketball legend, author and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, among others at its 2017 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, held in the Great Hall at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Anchor and Managing Editor of ABC World News Tonight, David Muir, served as master of ceremonies.

Now in its 14th year, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards celebrates the extraordinary lives and heritage of selected citizens, or their descendants, who have made major contributions to the American experience. From sports heroes, entertainers and authors to former Secretaries of State and Nobel Prize winners, more than 50 esteemed citizens have been recognized by the Foundation.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the grandson of immigrants from Trinidad. Robin Roberts has roots in Virginia where her ancestors were slaves. When speaking at the event, according to thepostgame.com, Abdul-Jabbar said none of his success in the United States would have been possible if not for the leap of faith made by Abdul-Jabbar’s paternal grandparents, Cyrus and Venus Alcindor, 100 years ago, when they immigrated from Trinidad to the United States. “I’ve always understood myself to be a second-generation immigrant,” Abdul-Jabbar says. “It fits in with so many other stories like it.”

As reported by nj.com, Roberts captured the theme of the event best, when she said: “My mother had this wonderful way of saying: just look all around us … we all may have traveled here in different ways, but there are far more similarities than differences, so why not embrace and celebrate all of those many things that we have in common instead of those few differences.”

This year, the Family Heritage Awards also recognized the 125th anniversary of Ellis Island, which opened in 1892 as the nation’s preeminent immigration station.

Nicki Minaj Comedy Gets ABC Family Series Commitment

Nicki Minaj ABC Family

Nicki Minaj is set to executive produce and appear in a scripted comedy series for ABC Family based on the rap star’s life growing up in Queens, New York. The project, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, will film a pilot episode in Minaj’s hometown this winter, with the intention to continue to series.

Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Minaj moved to the U.S. as a child. Written by Kate Angelo (Sex Tape), the untitled series will
focus on Minaj’s growing up in Queens in the 1990s with her vibrant immigrant family and the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual rise to stardom.

“Nicki Minaj is a force to be reckoned with at everything she touches,” said ABC Family’s EVP Programming and Development Karey Burke. “Nicki is an international superstar, yet not everyone knows how inspiring and hilarious her true story is, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Minaj, Kaplan and Angelo executive produce with Stella Bulochnikov and Brian Sher (Boss), as well as Gee Roberson.

“This is one of the more unique adventures I’ve ever embarked on,” said Minaj. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to team up with an amazing group of people to give the world something really special.”

ABC Family 1Minaj studied acting at Manhattan’s prestigious LaGuardia High School and originally pursued acting before launching a successful music career. Minaj, who is in the midst of her worldwide “Pinkprint” tour, is the first solo female artist to have seven singles charting simultaneously on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her third full-length album, The Pinkprint, became the second highest-selling female debut of 2014 and arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.

Additionally, Minaj’s double-platinum Anaconda set the record for most Vevo views in 24 hours. Minaj also achieved the highest digital sales for any female artist in history with over 50 million track sales between solo and feature performances. She and Adele are the only two artists in history to sell 1 million copies of five different songs in one year.

Minaj made her acting debut with a voice role in Ice Ace: Continental Drift and a co-starring role in the feature comedy The Other Woman. She recently wrapped her first starring movie role in MGM’s Barbershop 3. On TV, Minaj drew attention with her appearance on Saturday Night Live last year where she was a musical guest but did a couple of skits and portrayed Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.

This would mark Kapital Entertainment’s third series for ABC Family, along with drama Chasing Life and comedy Kevin From Work. The six-and-a-half-year old production company has seven on-air series — Secrets & Lies on ABC, The Mysteries Of Laura on NBC, Life In Pieces on CBS, Instant Mom on Nick as well as Chasing Life and Kevin From Work, and the upcoming comedy Divorce on HBO. Kapital also has a pilot at Showtime that is in pre-production.

Angelo started her writing career in TV with stints on Will & Grace and The Bernie Mac Show before segueing to features where she penned The Back-Up Plan and co-wrote Sex Tape. She’s repped by UTA and attorney David Fox.

Minaj is managed by Gee Roberson at Maverick.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

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