Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin Bring Intelligent Humor to “South Side” on Comedy Central
By Lapacazo Sandoval
Are you ready to laugh? Yes, or no? I mean, really laugh like when you first heard Eddie Murphy get “raw” or when you discovered the work of the late Richard Pryor? If the answer is yes, then I am suggesting that you mark your calendar and get ready for “South Side,” because Comedy Central had the good sense to greenlight the series created by Diallo Riddle, creator and executive producer of “Officer Goodnight” along with Bashir Salahuddin, creator and executive producer of “Allen Gayle.”
The press notes make a big deal about “South Side” being set in and around the working-class neighborhood of Englewood on the south side of Chicago. I’ve never been to the south side, but I know all of the characters in the hilarious series. I’m betting that once you watch the series that you will know those characters just as well.
“South Side” follows two friends who just graduated from community college, now they’re ready to take over the world but until they do, they’re stuck at “Rent-T-Own,” a retail and rental crossroads where “South Side’s” ensemble of quirky characters come together. Despite the obstacles of inner-city life, these friends and their co-workers all strive to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Brought to life by local Chicagoans, both in front of and behind the camera, this show gives viewers an authentic portrayal of what life on the South Side is all about.
Salahuddin and Riddle star in the series, alongside Sultan Salahuddin and Chandra Russell. First season guest stars include Lil Rel Howery, Nathaniel “Earthquake” Stroman, Jeff Tweedy, Lisa Raye McCoy, Kel Mitchell and Ed Lover.
Riddle is an Emmy and WGA nominated writer and actor, as well as a producer and showrunner who also moonlights as a DJ. Born in Atlanta, and a graduate of Harvard University, some of his credits include IFC’s upcoming series “Sherman’s Showcase,” which he co-created and is executive producing with his writing partner Bashir Salahuddin. He is also a series regular on “Marlon” and can be seen in HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”
Salahuddin has an Emmy nomination. He was born and raised on the south side of Chicago as one of eight kids and later graduated from Harvard University. In addition to his work on “South Side,” Bashir can be seen in IFC’s upcoming series “Sherman’s Showcase.” Additionally, Bashir has starred in Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor,” 20th Century’s “Snatched,” and the SAG-nominated Netflix series “GLOW.”
Salahuddin and Riddle were previously consulting producers on “The Last OG” at TBS and developed their pilot “Brothers in Atlanta” with Broadway Video at HBO. Before creating their own shows, they were staff writers on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where they wrote such notable pieces as “Slow Jam the News with Barack Obama,” and “The History of Hip-Hop with Justin Timberlake.”
This is an edited conversation phone conversation with Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL: Hey now, I’m so sorry that I could not meet you both in person. Things are finally being fixed in my Harlem apartment. I don’t know if I should be happy or terrified. Can you say gentrification is a bitch? Let’s start the conversation with you, Mr. Riddle.
DIALLO RIDDLE: Ok.
LAS: I love your last name. Mr. Riddle. Please, come to the front Mr. Riddle. And the Emmy goes too, Mr. Riddle. All kidding aside, you are an Emmy and WGA nominated writer and actor, producer, showrunner, and you moonlight as a DJ. So, when do you find time to sleep?
DR: I also have three kids. I don’t know what sleep is anymore. It’s crazy. I try to get a solid four or five hours every night, I’ll probably die soon.
LAS: Damn, you’re funny. This is why I need a podcast. I describe the comedy in your new scripted comedy ‘South Side’ as smart and slow.
DR: That’s my favorite Usher song.
LAS: Riddle, damn your quick but that’s what I should expect from a Harvard graduate.
DR: We both went to Harvard.
LAS: I know but he (Bashir Salahuddin) had eight siblings, I don’t know when he had time to study to get into Harvard.
DR: I had five siblings, I’m one of six.
LAS: Did you think when you started at Harvard that you would have a successful career as a writer on television?
DR: Actually, yes. We met at Harvard and we figured out pretty early that we liked the same type of stuff to laugh about. It was years later after we graduated, we were having dinner at my parents’ house. They had moved into a place called Park La Brea. They had sold their house and they just wanted a smaller place. My mother said, ‘hey you guys are really funny. Why don’t you guys write a script?’ At the time we thought that she was crazy, but looking back that was the beginning of us actually writing together.
LAS: Your mother is a smart lady!
DR: We really started our careers as writers. You know, a lot of people brag that their managers put them together but no, we were friends. Then we started acting in the stuff that we were writing. Truthfully, because sometimes we could not find someone to deliver the lines the way we wanted them delivered.
LAS: So, you both always loved being actors?
DR: Yes, giving him some credit he always knew that he wanted to be an actor even in college he would create a one-man play, and for me, as a writer, I was the guy who wrote a book in the third grade.
LAS: Pardon? Did you say that you wrote a book when you were in the third grade?
DR: Yes, I did. I was eight-years-old and I was published. I would go to the library and I would fill out the little slip to check out my book. It was a World Word II spy thriller. The main character was named Ripple and he was a Black fighter in World War II and he was going to assassinate Hitler.
LAS: I can see the Netflix original animated series, now. I want to be in that writers’ room!
DR: I’ve never told that story in an interview so I’ve just given you a worldwide exclusive.
LAS: What’s the secret to a successful writing partnership? Advice?
DR: You have to listen to your partner and you have to respect them. At the end of the day, we’ve known each other long enough that we can always be honest with one another.
LAS: What I loved about ‘South Side’ is that I know all of the characters and I’ve never been to the South Side of Chicago.
DR: We love that you said that! That was the goal of the show.
LAS: Goal reached, Mr. Riddle. Hey now, I’ve not forgotten you, Bashir Salahuddin.
BS: I didn’t think you did. I play Officer Goodnight on the show.
LAS: I love that character! Gosh, you are not well. I mean that character is not well. You are understatedly ‘flippin’ funny.’
BS: Thank you. So are you.
LAS: (laughing) I also really like his partner, Sergeant Turner. Her comedy has levels.
BS: Chandra Russell, she’s my wife. She’s a natural treasure.
LAS: Stop it. Really? She’s talented. I want to chat with her and find out if you are a natural treasure!
BS: We will arrange that for you. Not a problem. We grew up with a lot of the actors so we know all these people personally, we know how they are funny. So, when we are writing the show it allows us to give them every opportunity to score.
LAS: You have rich characters. They are all good. There is not one that does not work and that’s rare.
BS: The show is excellent. It’s the best show on TV.
LAS: (Laughing) This is where I need a podcast, how do I describe your deadpan tone and pitch? Onwards. What do you want people to know that I’ve not asked?
BS: Even though our show is called ‘South Side,’ we’re not trying to elevate the South Side above any other part of Chicago. Specifically, when it comes to Black folks, we are all Black — different experiences, different circumstances and sometimes similar challenges. The reason that you felt you could still feel the love when you come from North Philly, South Bronx, Harlem, Atlanta, South Central, Los Angeles, Montreal, wherever, I just want to say we are so proud that our show is providing a place for people from places like that to show how funny they are and the diversity of their interests, and we’re excited that everybody from those places or that have never even been to those places watch our show and enjoy themselves. And I think that we won.
“South Side” will premiere Wednesday, July 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel.
By Pat Byington
No one captured more hearts and inspired the judges and audience of America’s Got Talent than electric violinist Brian King Joseph during Season 13 of the show in 2018.
Despite living with a rare and very painful nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy, Joseph, or “The King of Violin”, made it all the way to the finals of the top rated talent show.
Joseph will be in Birmingham on August 3, at 7 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hal, his first time in Alabama.
He will perform and describe his own powerful story at United Ability’s 3rd Annual Journey of Hope. The event supports the advancement of medicine, technology, and therapies for people living with disabilities.
Earlier this month, Bham Now interviewed Joseph about his journey, America’s Got Talent and why the upcoming concert benefiting United Ability means so much to him.
At the start of the interview, we talked about his health and what he faces day to day.
“My nerves are dying,” he said. “What I mean by that, every single one of my nerves that matters, all throughout my legs, arms, back, they have been slowly deteriorating, since about six years ago. In my case it was an acute onset – it hit me very hard and immediately – I lost feeling in both my hands and my feet. And that continues to spread. It starts in your extremities, spreads throughout your body, eventually causing paralysis. It’s incurable. But I believe and hope eventually we will find some treatment and management.”
As a result of his condition, Joseph is in pain 24/7. He describes it as a high level of pain that burns and is like being stuck with pins and needles.
Constantly playing violin is an exercise that gives Joseph a chance to fight back, he said.
“All that being said it is simply an obstacle. I’m just blessed to have an outlet that not only fills my heart, but also allows me to be physical. If it weren’t for the violin, the adrenaline and feeling and how much I love it, inadvertently, it saved me. When I play its magic.”
If you are a follower of America’s Got Talent, last year’s final show, you got to witness how Joseph’s health nearly kept him out of the final show.
After rehearsing a duet with fellow violinist Linsdsey Stirling, Joseph’s body in his own words, “locked up.”
“I had pain attacks. I felt like a baby. I didn’t move.”
Somehow, he played that evening
“Every time I look at that performance, I don’t know how. That day I went through the worst pain I have ever gone through. It was scary for me. God is so good. To look at what I’ve went through over the past six years, and I’m still here. He has pulled me through this – everything that has happened.”
Joseph described why performing at United Ability’s Journey of Hope Aug. 3 means so much for him.
“Everybody has a journey. My journey is to set out and inspire others to follow their journeys,” he said. “Because I found in following my journey, in following hope, and being positive and believing in the power of miracles, hope and striving forward, you can find salvation. I was saved in that way. By being able to follow my journey.”
Joseph said he sees parallels in his story and United Ability’s Journey of Hope event.
“I really want to be a beacon of light – to show other people it can be done. It is not easy. Everyone at United Ability, they understand that. They know life is not easy. For them life is a series of challenges. For them, they may feel I’m lesser, I’ve felt that way. I want them to know it really makes them stronger. They are my inspiration, They are my heroes. I just want to elevate and lift them up.
Music saved my life. I want to use it now to save other people’s lives.”
Open to the public, celebrate and connect with United Ability at the 2019 Journey of Hope on August 3, 6 p.m. at UAB’s Alys Stephen Center.
For more on the modern, mobile guide to Birmingham, visit www.bhamnow.com.
To read more stories about Local Birmingham Talent, click one of the links below.
This article originally appeared in the Birmingham Times.
By Anita Debro
If it’s Saturday night in Birmingham, that usually means it’s showtime somewhere on the city’s music scene for hip-hop artists Shaheed and DJ Supreme. After nearly two decades of making music, they are still eagerly received by fans of their conscious brand of hip-hop.
On a recent Saturday evening, the lyrical duo heads to The Nick Rocks on the city’s Southside well before the crowds show up to talk about their musical roots and upcoming album “The Art of Throwing Darts,” which is slated for release later this year. That album will feature artists like three-time Grammy nominee Raheem DeVaughn and local artists Lauren Strain and Percy P.
In 2000, Shaheed Tawheed, still a student at Shades Valley High School, started hanging out at some of Birmingham’s hip-hop venues. At the time, Jon “DJ Supreme” Malone, a transplant from Detroit, Mich., was already an established artist. The two crossed paths at Eargasm, a hip-hop open-mic night hosted by DJ Supreme at the High Note Lounge. That show, which began in the late 1990s and lasted into the early 2000s, gave many of Birmingham’s most popular hip-hop performers their start—including Shaheed.
“We were right there at the beginning. There was a fledgling hip-hop scene back then,” said DJ Supreme, who was producing for other artists at the time.
Shaheed was collaborating with several rappers in DJ Supreme’s circle at the time, too. By 2007, Shaheed and DJ Supreme were working together almost exclusively on Shaheed’s solo works, and eventually they teamed up to form a group.
In 2013, the duo released “Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding,” an album that put them on an international stage.
“That album has blessed us,” said DJ Supreme. “It allowed us to tour the world and open up for [hip-hop group] Jurassic 5.”
While Shaheed and DJ Supreme continue to tour outside of the country and gain fans from all over, the duo has never considered making music anywhere but Birmingham.
“Being from here has been a gift and challenge,” Shaheed said. “People always say, ‘We can’t believe y’all are from Alabama.’ But there is so much music history here—from soul to jazz. [Chart-topping singer and songwriter] Eddie Kendricks was from here, and so was [jazz musician] Sun-Ra.”
Against the Grain
Shaheed and DJ Supreme have steadily gone against the grain of Southern hip-hop, opting for substance over blaring beats. Shaheed called it “edutainment,” a sound that is heavily influenced by DJ Supreme’s love of soul music.
“We have been able to forge our own style of music here,” said DJ Supreme. “There is no pressure to conform. We always do the music we feel.”
Shaheed agreed, saying they have found a way to please audiences and themselves as artists.
“We never follow trends, and our music comes very organically.”
You can learn more about Shaheed and DJ Supreme at http://communicatingvessels.com/shaheed-and-dj-supreme.
To read more stories about Local Birmingham Talent, click one of the links below.
This article originally appeared in the Birmingham Times.
By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
“I am here using my celebrity, using my voice, to put a face to this, because I also suffer from depression and anxiety. If you’re a human living in today’s world, I don’t know how you’re not suffering in any way.”
Award-winning actress and ‘Empire’ star Taraji P. Henson testified before members of Congress on mental health issues in the African American community.
The Congressional Black Caucus launched a task force on mental health issues in April of this year. They have held hearings on mental health and the increasing number of suicides among black youth. The CBC Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health is chaired by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
The members of the task force are Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO), Danny Davis (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
“I’m here to appeal to you because this is a national crisis,” Henson said. Henson founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness in the African American community with a specific emphasis on the suicide rate among Black youth.
“I really don’t know how to fix this problem, I just know that the suicide rate is rising,” she said. “I just know that ages of the children that are committing suicide are getting younger and younger,” the actress added.
“It breaks my heart to know that 5-year-old children are contemplating life and death, I just…I’m sorry. That one is tough for me. So, I’m here to appeal to you, because this is a national crisis. When I hear of kids going into bathrooms, cutting themselves, you’re supposed to feel safe in school,” Henson told the members of Congress and those in the audience in a hearing room on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Every year, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness, but a National Alliance on Mental Illness study discovered that black adults utilize mental health services at half the rate of white adults.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke
By Nsenga K. Burton, Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., NNPA Newswire Entertainment Editor
Entertainment juggernaut Will Packer, the man behind hit films like Girls Trip, Straight Outta Compton, Little, Stomp the Yard, Ride Along, “Ready to Love,” and “The Atlanta Child Murders” has brought “Ambitions,” a big drama starring Robin Givens, Essence Atkins, Kendrick Cross, Brian Bosworth and Brian White, to the small screen.
Robin Givens plays the role of Stephanie Lancaster, a sophisticated lawyer hailing from a long line of distinguished attorneys. Stephanie desperately wants to be in charge of her family’s prestigious law firm and will stop at nothing to get it. Brian White is ‘Evan Lancaster,’ the Mayor of Atlanta, who is married to attorney Stephanie Carlisle (Robin Givens). Evan’s dream is to be the first African-American governor of Georgia and there’s no line he won’t cross to get there.
Kendrick Cross stars as ‘Titus Hughes,’ a passionate attorney and dedicated husband to Amara (Essence Atkins). Titus has accepted the challenge of being in-house counsel for a big pharma company run by Hunter Purifoy (Brian Bosworth) to fight a class action suit brought by the powerful Carlisle family.
Brely Evans stars as ‘Rondell Lancaster,’ the sister of Atlanta Mayor Evan Lancaster and manager of the Thelma’s Place restaurant. As the new face of an anti-gentrification campaign, she never thought she’d become a crusader for the people, but it’s a badge she wears with pride – and nobody is removing it.
Erica Page plays the role of ‘Bella (Tru) Trujillo,’ Atlanta’s newest and trendiest fashion designer. She’s the exclusive dress designer for First Lady Stephanie Lancaster, but has set her sights much higher.
Essence Atkins plays the role of ‘Amara Hughes,’ a lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who has newly arrived in Atlanta with her husband, Titus (Kendrick Cross). Originally from Texas, she is quickly gaining attention from the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a diligent investigator and prosecutor.
In addition, Brian Bosworth (“What Men Want”), Matt Cedeño (“Power”), Deena Dill (“Conrad & Michelle”), Gino Anthony Pesi (“Shades of Blue”) and Kayla Smith (“Star”) will appear in recurring roles.
Created by executive producer/writer Jamey Giddens “AMBITIONS” is produced for OWN by Will Packer Media in association with Lionsgate and Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury.
Will Packer is executive producer. Kevin Arkadie is executive producer/showrunner. Creator/writer Jamey Giddens and Will Packer Media’s Sheila Ducksworth also serve as executive producers.
Benny Boom directed and served as a producer of the pilot episode.
Connect with the series on social media via: @AmbitionsOWN (Instagram & Twitter)
Check local listings for channel information.
This post was curated by Nsenga K Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. An expert in intersectionality and media industries, Dr. Burton is also a professor of film and television at Emory University and co-editor of the book, Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual or @TheBurtonWire.
By Karanja A. Ajanaku, New Tri-State Defender
Jamey Hatley is from Walker Homes and while debates still rage over whether that’s in Whitehaven or Westwood, there is no question that Hatley’s writing career is on an upward trajectory.
Hatley is the recipient of the inaugural Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Fellowship in Screenwriting. Funded by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk”), the two-month fellowship comes with a $7,500 unrestricted cash grant to help Hatley develop her screenplay, “The Eureka Hotel.”
Jenkins also handpicked Raven Jackson, another native of Tennessee, as the winner of the Indie Memphis national Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting. The two-month residency, including travel and housing, affords Jackson, a thesis student in New York University’s Graduate Film program, $7,500. Her feature film product is “all dirt roads taste of salt.”
“As an artist, I’ve always admired Memphis and what it’s meant to black artistry across many forms and genres,” said Jenkins. “To partner with Indie Memphis in supporting Jamey Hatley and Raven Jackson in taking the next steps in their quest to creatively engage and contribute to the diaspora is an honor most high.
“In their work, I find resounding proof that Memphis both raises talent from within (Hatley, a native Memphian) and inspires it from abroad (Jackson).”
A Whitehaven High School alum, Hatley had definite plans – attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and become a corporate executive – the day she walked off the graduation stage.
What happened? So many things, she said, including an internship that contributed to her rethinking her plans. Later, she got a journalism degree from the University of Memphis and at one point got mixed up in the music industry via a connection.
“…(W)ords and books were so important to me that I could not imagine myself being a writer. I tiptoed up to it,” she said. “I was doing everything to run away from these stories, but I was still scribbling. The stories ended up catching up with me.”
Screenwriting came into the picture by email and out of the blue last September.
“At that time, I had no job. My literal organization had gotten defunded, it had fallen apart. It was like, ‘Oh, this fancy director considers you an ideal collaborator. Would you do it?’ I’m like, ‘I like to eat, I like to pay my rent, so OK.’”
That project, which is for a major network, still is in development. The experience opened the door to the Writer’s Guild and primed her for the Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Fellowship in Screenwriting opportunity.
“I think one of my superpowers is knowing, ‘Oh, here’s your door. Are you going to walk through it?’ If it’s a door and I feel like it’s mine, then I’m going to run through it and I’ll figure it out on the other side.”
That the fellowship was being funded by Jenkins was a huge attraction. She’d met him at an event in New Orleans (where she was living at the time) and had summoned the resolve to share with him her first – and then recently published in the Oxford American – short story.
Content to “just watch Barry’s beautiful movies for the rest of my life,” she learned on Twitter that she had won the fellowship and the opportunity to learn more directly from him.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said.
Hatley entered a treatment into the fellowship, eager for the resources and support to create a finished version of her screenplay, “The Eureka Hotel.”
The Eureka Hotel was a real place in Memphis. Hatley became aware of it while researching for her novel, learning that it had operated out of a Victorian-styled home that she had stared at so many times while visiting a friend’s Downtown Memphis art gallery.
“The Eureka Hotel,” Hatley says, is “a journey story because the Eureka was a colored hotel. … Their tagline was ‘Always open.’”
A short film based on the screenplay now is in post-production.
“It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful,” says Hatley, who must deliver a script for a feature-length film to Jenkins.
She also has “a few things else that are secret that are working in the background that happen to be scripts.
“But I’m also going to finish my novel, because I’m still a novelist….”
The novel is about Memphis.
“Everything I write is about Memphis, and it’s about Walker Homes. It’s called the ‘Dream Singers.’ It takes place in the wake of the King assassination, and there is a woman … I call her a dream singer. …She has babies, twins. One is born at the moment that King is assassinated. One is born at the moment that he dies, and all the hopes and dreams of this community, that’s based on Walker Homes, reside in these babies. In three months, four months, later in July, one of the babies passes away. That stymies the community. …
“I feel like Memphis feels a debt about King dying here that we’ve never fully acknowledged. …To me, dreams are debt. Anybody’s dream, somebody else pays for it. …It’s really exploring who gets the dream and who pays the price for that.”
America, she says, has never been honest with itself, regarding the root-level issues that existed before Dr. King – issues that brought him to Memphis and ultimately led to his assassination.
“I think art gives us an opportunity to at least explore being honest in a way that’s not comfortable, but more successful.”
By Branden Hunter
Motown Records was founded in Detroit in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. To commemorate its 60th year, the Motown Museum announced plans for its highly anticipated Motown 60 Weekend set for September 21-23. The three-day event is packed full of music and star power converging on Detroit in true Motown style for an incredible not-to-be-missed celebration benefiting Motown Museum.
“It’s been such an important year for us to share Motown history and celebrate this milestone in a big way,” said Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry. “Our Motown 60 Weekend is the culmination of a year-long celebration all happening right here in Detroit. We’ve created three special and unique events for Motown fans. Most importantly, we will honor and celebrate Motown’s iconic visionary founder Berry Gordy in Detroit where this story was born. We invite all Motown fans to join us as we celebrate the musical and cultural impact of this incredible legacy.”
The weekend’s festivities include a “Motown Gospel Concert” Saturday, September 21 at Detroit World Outreach. The concert will feature artists performing traditional gospel music along with spiritually enhanced Motown favorites. Artists include Grammy Award-winning artist Regina Belle, Stellar Award-winning and current Motown gospel label group Tye Tribbet & G.A., Tasha Page-Lockhart, winner of the gospel singing competition Sunday Best that airs on BET, and Detroit gospel royalty Kierra “Kiki” Sheard. A 125-person choir from more than 70 local faith-based groups will perform. With a capacity of 3,000 people, this is an open-to-the public, free community concert. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis beginning August 28. For more information, please visit motownmuseum.org.
During “Hitsville Honors: Celebrating Berry Gordy & 60 Years of Motown” Sunday, September 22 at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Marjorie J. Fisher Music Center, the city that started it all will soon play host to an unforgettable evening of extraordinary entertainment. Hitsville Honors is a powerful musical tribute to Motown’s legacy and a celebration of the Motown family. Highlights will include a tribute to Motown founder Berry Gordy and a celebration of his incredible life and transformative musical and entrepreneurial vision. The evening will be a star-studded event, with planned appearances by celebrities, local dignitaries and special guests. The Temptations, Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Mary Wilson will perform Motown favorites. That legendary lineup is just the beginning. Award-winning Motown artists Ne-Yo and Kem will be joined by Detroit’s own Big Sean with other artists and performances to be announced. The result is sure to be a moment unlike any other, where legendary meets contemporary, and where Motown favorites come together with some of today’s most innovative talents to showcase the generational impact and lasting legacy of Motown. Tickets range from $50-$1,000 and include various opportunities, including pre- and post-event receptions. Tickets for Hitsville Honors go on sale Thursday, Aug. 1 and can be purchased at www.motownmuseum.org.
The ”Soul In One Celebrity Golf Classic” will take place Monday, September 23 at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield Township. Guests will join Motown alumni and celebrities for an afternoon tee time and a gourmet lunch and dinner. Pricing ranges from $350 for an individual golfer with groups packages available. To register golf event and for information about sponsorship opportunities and tickets packages for all events, contact Motown Museum Director of Development and Community Activation, Paul Barker, at (313) 875-2264, Ext. 226, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Motown Museum hosted weekend of events, the Friends of Fuller Gordy Strikefest event, an L.A.-based annual affair led by his daughter Iris Gordy and granddaughter Karla Gordy Bristol, will honor Motown VP, humanitarian and pro bowler Fuller Gordy. The event will serve as a casual ‘warm up’ for Motown alumni, family, friends and fans to connect and support Motown Museum prior to the weekend’s festivities. Featuring bowling, karaoke, dinner and Motown music, Strikefest will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. To inquire about tickets and for more information, visit http://friendsoffuller.org.
The Motown Museum was founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards and is committed to preserving, protecting, and presenting the Motown story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences.
Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by reknown architects and exhibit designers. When completed, the new museum campus will have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in the historic area.
This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.