Jurnee Smollett Lands New Role

According to IMDB via Shadow & Act, actress Jurnee Smollett is set to star in “Blondie: The Florence Ballard Story.” This story comes as somewhat of a shock to me considering Faith Evans told Wendy Williams just last year she had been handpicked by Florence’s daughter, Michelle Ballard-Chapman, to play the role.

For those of you not in the know, Ballard was the founding member of the The Supremes and the original lead singer before being replaced by Diana Ross. Following bouts with her weight and depression she was removed from the group by Barry Gordy and eventually died of cardiac arrest at the tender age of 32.

The character of Effie from the 1980s Broadway play, and subsequent 2006 movie “Dreamgirls,” was loosely based on the life of Ballard and her eventual falling out with both Ross and Gordy.

The film is set to be shot in Atlanta, Georgia and will be produced and distributed by Ballard’s daughter and Spirit of Life Films.

Solange to Play Diana Ross?

Earlier today I posted news that Jurnee Smollett was rumored to be playing the role of Florence Ballard in on the biopic “Blondie: The Florence Ballard Story.” What I did not post however was the name of the person who IMDB lists as rumored to be playing the role of Diana Ross.

It is none other than singer Solange Knowles, whose sister Beyonce Knowles played the role of Deena Jones, a Diana Ross-esque character in the movie “Dreamgirls.”

Solange has dabbled in film and television before- appearing on shows like The Ghost Whisperer and in feature films like 2004’s “Johnson Family Vacation.”

So can Solange successfully cross over into movies like her big sis? Only time will tell.

Brandy is Back

Brandy is heading back to the big screen. The 32-year old singer/actress has confirmed news that she will be appearing in Tyler Perry’s upcoming film ‘The Marriage Counselor.’

Brandy will be joined by ‘Roc’ actress Ella Joyce, comedian Ben Stiller, ‘House of Payne’ actor Lance Gross, ‘Eve’s Bayou’ actress Jurnee Smollett and socialite Kim Kardashian.

‘The Marriage Counselor’ will be Perry’s 13th film under the Lionsgate umbrella and his second to be filmed exclusively at his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Editor’s Note: Tyler Perry has singlehandedly kept black Hollywood working for the last 7 years and for that I respect him. He has especially given work to black women that I feel would have remained jobless were it not for me. Having said that, I was saddened to see him cast Kardashian in a role that could have, and should have, gone to one of the many struggling black actresses we all know exist in Hollywood.

Not only that, but when it comes time for this film to be promoted, the press will focus in on Kardasian, as oppose to Jurnee and Lance, who are the film’s starring characters.

If Perry is trying to broaden his fan base, he surely has the right to do so. However, he should be careful not to alienate the base that has so far helped make him the richest man in Hollywood.

Teyana Taylor Has a New Gig

If rumors are to be believed, singer and wanna-be actress Teyana Taylor has been cast to play the role of Diana Ross in the upcoming film ‘Blondie: The Florence Ballard Story.’

This news comes straight from journalist Peter Benjaminson, who authored ‘The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard,’ the book from which the film will be based on.

Benjaminson says the title role of Florence will be played by singer Terry Dexter, with supporting roles to be played by Lahman Rucker (Tommy Chapmen- Florence’s Husband), Kandi Burress (Maxine Ballard- Florence’s Sister) and Billy Dee Williams (Rev. C.L. Franklin– Preacher, Civil Rights Activist, Aretha Franklin’s Father).

Previous reports of Faith Evans and Jurnee Smollett playing the role of Florence are true according to Benjaminson. However, he doesn’t say why the role was eventually passed on to Dexter.

“For Colored Girls” Casting News

While attending the premier of their latest movie “Why Did I Get Married Too,” Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson announced that they would once again be teaming up. The pair will reportedly start production on their next venture “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf,” in June. The project will be the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s poem-play featuring 20 Black women speaking on the challenges they face in modern society. Other names associated with the film include Whoopi Goldberg, Jurnee Smollett, Mariah Carey, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine, Macy Gray, Kerry Washington and Phylicia Rashad. Kimberly and Mariah are the only two that made the cut from Perry’s initial wish list that he mentioned back in September 2009, which initially included Beyonce Giselle Knowles, Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey.

Essence Honors Mary J. Blige

Last night belonged to nine-time Grammy Award winner, Mary J. Blige, the esteemed guest of honor at the Essence Black Women in Music celebration in Hollywood.

The Sunset Tower Hotel was the place to be on Wednesday as Blige accepted the inaugural Essence Black Women in Music Award. Much to her surprise, Island/Def Jam Chairman, L.A. Reid, was on-hand to present her with her statue before a star-studded, standing-room-only crowd including the likes of Raphael Saadiq, Melanie Fiona, Ledisi and Ludacris along with Taraji P. Henson, Joy Bryant, Gabrielle Union and Jurnee Smollett.

“Thank you so much for supporting me from the day I stepped foot into the music industry,” Blige said to the crowd. In the 18 years since she dropped her debut album, it’s clear that she’s very aware of how far she’s traveled. “It really means something to me to have Maya Angelou speak on my behalf,” she noted after viewing Angelou’s segment of a special, video presentation. “It also means a lot to have Oprah on my speed dial!”

The Black Women in Music celebration was the first, of many, events planned in Hollywood to kick off Grammy week. And speaking of the Grammys, be sure to tune in to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night as Blige is set to join Andrea Bocelli for a special performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The audio and visual versions of their performance will be available for download at iTunes. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to benefit the ongoing earthquake relief effort in Haiti.

SOURCE

NAACP Image Awards: Pics & Winners


The NAACP Image Awards were held in Los Angeles California this evening at The Shrine Auditorium. The show aired live on Fox and as always all the major Black Talent in Hollywood was there- including Janet Jackson, Vanessa L. Williams and Meagan Good- who are all pictured above.
Continue Reading

Another Major Gallery Update

Our gallery, Brown Sista.Net continues to grow by leaps and bounds as we have added another four albums, containing an additional 435 pics of beautiful Brown Sistas.We now have galleries for Free, Jurnee Smollett, Foxy Brown and Olivia.As well as the new albums we have added, we continue to update our older albums containing pics of Beyonce, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan and many others.Below is a preview of an older photo shoot Foxy Brown did some years back and you can head on over to our sista site to see more up to date photos of her.
Foxy BrownFoxy BrownFoxy Brown
Continue Reading