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.
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.