GOOD MORNING AMERICA EXCLUSIVE: Frances Tiafoe Talks Amazing US Open

While he didn’t make it to this year’s U.S. Open championship, Frances Tiafoe’s tennis journey still looks very bright.

The 24-year-old American was a breakout star of this year’s tournament after he beat tennis legend Rafael Nadal to advance to the quarterfinals.

Tiafoe spoke in an interview with ABC News on “Good Morning America” Monday about his journey to one of tennis’ biggest stages.

While he said he felt “a ton of different emotions” through his run, he hailed the Grand Slam as “the best two weeks of my life.”

“Probably the best thing [was] seeing the first lady Michelle Obama after the match,” he said of his semifinal match with Carlos Alcaraz. “I was on the one changeover and I looked and she looked at me — and then when they announced her and seeing the crowd erupt, that was pretty impactful.”

He was the first Black American man to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Open since 1972. The last player to do so was Arthur Ashe, the namesake of the stadium where Tiafoe and Alcaraz battled.

“It’s truly a blessing. All the work that my parents did over the years and having them see that and be a part of that is crazy. And to be in the same sentence as Arthur Ashe in anything is unbelievable and something no one can ever take from me. So I’m going to remember that forever,” Tiafoe explained.

Tiafoe said he hopes to continue to move the sport forward for others as a role model.  “My whole life I’ve wanted to pave a way so people like me can also play the game of tennis and just be great leaders as well as great individuals,” he said.

Tiafoe lost in five sets against Alcaraz; their match lasted four hours and 19 minutes. The 19-year-old Spanish phenom advanced to the final and won the tournament.

“I feel I let you guys down,” Tiafoe said after the match, addressing the crowd during an on-court interview. “This one hurts. This one really, really hurts — I’m going to be back — and I will win this thing one day.”

Tiafoe credited picking up a racquet to his father, who was the head of maintenance at a tennis center in Maryland.

Tiafoe, whose parents immigrated from Sierra Leone amid war in the 1990s, grew up outside of Washington, D.C., with his brother, Franklin.

“My parents are everything,” Tiafoe told ABC News. “We wouldn’t be doing this interview, all achievements, I wouldn’t have them without them. I’m just so thankful for them, and them instilling in me hard work and understanding — being humble and grateful for everything that comes your way. They shaped me to the person I am today.”

In 2020, Tiafoe won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award, the ATP’s award for off-court impact.

Tiafoe added that being an inspiration is “what it’s all about.”

MORE: Serena Williams loses at US Open, likely ends professional career

“We all have a certain gift and to use that gift to inspire so many people to do great things in life,” he said.

As for the fate of the sport, Tiafoe said he thinks “American tennis is in a great place.”

“You’ll see some Grand Slam champions soon,” he said, mentioning Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, who he said is “playing great tennis.”

“I’m super excited to be in that conversation,” Tiafoe said. By Kelly McCarthy, Haley Yamada & Henderson Hewes

Ashanti Joined “Good Morning America”

This morning, singer Ashanti joined “Good Morning America” to talk about rerecording her debut album to own her masters and her new children’s book.  In case you missed it, the performances included a special appearance from Ja Rule.

Ashanti performs a medley of hits on ‘GMA’ The Grammy-winning singer performs some of her most popular jams, including “Rock Wit U,” “Happy” and “Mesmerize,” and brings out a special guest.

Ashanti performs ‘Falling for You’ and ‘Foolish’ on ‘GMA’ The hit singer performs her brand-new song live for the first time along with one of her biggest hits.

Ashanti chats about new music and re-recording past hits The singer said she was inspired by Taylor Swift to re-record her debut album, which was released 20 years ago.

Credit: Good Morning America/ABC News

Hulu’s ‘ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME’ Line-Up Announced, Includes Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nicki Minaj, and More

As previously announced, Hulu will serve as the official streaming destination of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival, which will take place in person in New Orleans, and virtually, from June 30 – July 3, 2022.  This marks the first time ever that ESSENCE has made programming from its iconic Festival available on a streaming platform. Select daytime programming including panel discussions and evening musical performances will be available exclusively to Hulu SVOD subscribers to livestream at no additional cost*.  The “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” livestream will run on the platform July 1 – 3 from 7:00pm – 11:59pm CT.

In addition to live celebrity interviews with host Angela Yee and highlights from daytime programming, “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” will include the following musical performances (all times CTsubject to change):

FRIDAY, JULY 1

7:30PM – Mickey Guyton

8:10PM – Kes The Band

9:10PM – Machel Montano

10:05PM – Wyclef & Friends

10:55PM – Nas

11:45PM – Nicki Minaj

SATURDAY, JULY 2

7:20PM – Lucky Daye

7:50PM – Chloe x Halle

8:05PM – D-Nice & Friends

9:30PM – Summer Walker

10:00PM – Jazmine Sullivan

10:35PM – Patti LaBelle

11:35PM – Janet Jackson

SUNDAY, JULY 3

7:20PM – City Girls

8:00PM – Lil Kim

8:35PM – The Roots & Friends

9:45PM – Isley Brothers

10:30PM – Wizkid

11:25PM – New Edition

Hulu will also have a special presence on-site at the Festival, providing guests with an immersive experience at “The Rink @ The Hulu Motel,” a roller skating rink filled with interactive touchpoints, giveaways, and content-themed bites and drinks. Skaters will also be treated to live performances by DJ OHSO and DJ DIAMOND KUTS.  The three-day activation will be open July 1-3 from Noon – 7:00pm to guests 21+ at the New Orleans Civic Theatre.

*Requires Hulu or Hulu (No Ads) base plan subscription. Live content access available 7/1/22 through 7/3/22 from 7:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. CT only.

Martin Lawrence and Tessa Thompson join “GMA” and Meg Thee Stallion Summer Concert Performers

In case you missed it, on “Good Morning America” actor and comedian Martin Lawrence talked about 30th anniversary of ‘Martin,’ and reunion special on BET+ as well as his favorite character and career.

Plus, actress Tessa Thompson discussed her latest role and “GMA” announced the 2022 summer concert series which will include performances from Meg Thee Stallion, Ozuna, and The Black Eyed Peas. Martin Lawrence talks about 30th anniversary of ‘Martin’ The comedy legend and the cast of the hit ’90s sitcom reunited for a new special on BET+.

Actress Tessa Thompson also discusses her role as Valkyrie in ”Thor: Love and Thunder” and Creed 3.

Plus GMA Announces 2022 Summer Concert Series Performers include such superstars as Megan Thee Stallion, aespa, the Black Eyed Peas, Ozuna, Demi Lovato and OneRepublic. 

 

Good Morning America” announces its sizzling hot lineup for the 2022 Summer Concert Series with K-pop girl group aespa kicking off the free concert series on Friday, July 8.

Sponsored by Massage Envy, this year’s concert series lineup includes some of the biggest stars in music, including OneRepublic, Megan Thee Stallion, Demi Lovato, Ozuna, and the Black Eyes Peas.

Each concert will take place from Rumsey Playfield in Central Park in New York City.

This link will be updated as additional performances are announced.

·        July 8 – aespa #aespaonGMA

·        July 15 – OneRepublic #OneRepublicOnGMA

·        August 12 – Megan Thee Stallion #MeganTheeStallionOnGMA

·        August 19 – Demi Lovato #DemiLovatoOnGMA

·        August 26 – Ozuna #OzunaOnGMA          

·        September 2 – Black Eyed Peas #BlackEyedPeasOnGMA

Credit ABC News//Good Morning America

Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert + Family Get Gorgeous Curls With Design Essentials

Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert along with their daughters Junie and Rue graced the April cover of EBONY Magazine with their natural curls on display styled with Design Essentials.

Hairstylist Tahira Zaus prepped Junie’s hair by washing with Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($12.99), Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Conditioner ($13.99) and did a 3 ponytail Mohawk using the Honey Curl Forming Custard ($17.99). For Iman and Teyana, Tahira opted for the Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-In Conditioner ($13.99) and finished off both their styles with the Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse ($16.99).

SERAYAH UNVEILS NEW COLLABORATION WITH JESSICA RICH FOOTWEAR

Multi-hyphenate artist, actor, entrepreneur SERAYAH unveils her special collaboration with Jessica Rich footwear. Available today, shoe-lovers will be able to shop from Serayah’s hand-picked shoe selection from the Jessica Rich brand.

The Starz drama series, “Black Mafia Family,” actress Serayah says, “I absolutely love Jessica Rich Collection, and what better way to show that than a collaboration. Each piece I chose is a personal favorite and all-year-round must-have.”

Jessica Rich’s fearless footwear sets the tone for any occasion. The luxurious, high-quality heels can be seen on runways and at Sunday Brunch. Known for her signature, clear PVC heels, shoe lovers can’t get enough! In addition, Jessica Rich has been seen on many A-list celebrities including Kylie Jenner, Cardi B, Normani, Saweetie, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Hedi Klum, Rita Ora and more.

For more information on Serayah x Jessica Rich Collaboration visit: https://jessicarich.com

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ABOUT SERAYAH

Serayah is a show-stopping trifecta of talent in Young Hollywood as a multifaceted actress, singer, dancer and entrepreneur. The rising superstar is best known for her breakout role of ‘Tiana Brown’ on FOX, iconic series “Empire,” and several other acclaimed roles in the space and television and film. Serayah is not only a talented, beautiful and intelligent actress but also an incredible music artist.

Over the past three years, Serayah has begun to flourish as a music artist, writing and co-producing her songs and videos. Her hot first single, “Driving Me,” released in August of 2017, was such an independent phenom that the producers of Freeform’s hit show “Grown-ish” decided to play it in Season 1 of popular series. Driving Me (+1.5M views) had so much traction it garnered radio play in both huge markets in Los Angeles and New York as all well as other major cities across the nation and caught the ears on shows such as MTV’s “TRL” and “Wild’ In Out”. Serayah also dropped her single “So Good” in July 2018, which also left fans wanting more music from the young and talented artist. As she prepares the release of new music leading up to her highly anticipated debut project, Serayah can be seen on the STARZ new series “BMF” produced by Curtis “50 Cents” Jackson this Fall and more. With her immense social following of millions and status as “One to Watch,” there are no limits when it comes to Serayah as she keeps soaring to the top on-screen and with her music.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES ITS 2021 “LIVE LOUD” VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its stellar talent line-up for its 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. Incorporating virtual for the second year in light of the pandemic, this year’s event will live up to its theme of “Live Loud” by featuring exciting content across all of its stages centered around culture, equity and celebration. As the nation continues to reopen, ESSENCE’s exciting and elevated hybrid experience will present a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of our community and omnipresence of our culture — and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart  and more. The Festival will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com—Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4.

“The ESSENCE Festival of Culture, now the largest festival in the nation by per day attendance, is an unparalleled convening and celebration of global Black culture and continues to have even deeper impact on our communities via our expanded focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development,” said Latraviette Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “As a live experience, the ESSENCE Festival normally attracts more than 500,000 attendees annually during July 4th weekend in New Orleans — but last year, we made the necessary decision to shift our multi-day celebration to an innovative virtual format due to COVID-19. The ESSENCE Festival was the first of its kind and scale to be executed virtually during the pandemic, and our team worked tirelessly to deliver the content, programming and resources that our community desired. As a result, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture provided much-needed, only-at-ESSENCE content and experiences that inspired, entertained, informed and empowered—resulting in 45+ million full-stream views of 2020 Festival content to date. This year, we are thrilled to bring forth another exciting talent line-up, curated programming and a new hybrid experience that will directly touch the people of New Orleans and Louisiana while also further extending our reach, engagement and impact via enhanced digital, technology and streaming capabilities to connect more of our community in the U.S. and across the diaspora.”

For the 2021 Festival experience and under strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies, ESSENCE will produce live activations available only to New Orleans and Louisiana residents— honoring essential workers and first responders—that will be integrated into the virtual experience during both weekends.

For more information and to register, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. Sponsors of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Estée Lauder, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart as well as premium sponsors AT&T, Disney and UnitedHealthcare.

Tune-In Alert: Black Beauty Roster Virtual Summit – Gabrielle Union, Kim Kimble, and more

The upcoming BBR Virtual Summit, hosted by Black Beauty Roster (BBR) and powered by Bonnti, has announced ten additional partners to their lineup of organizations and companies driving change for people of color. This first-of-its-kind digital summit will bring together beauty pros and Hollywood insiders to learn, discuss, and advocate for a much-needed shift in representation in the entertainment and beauty industries. BBR is proud to welcome its new partners, alongside existing sponsors, L’Oréal Paris and SHOWTIME, who represent a cross-section of stakeholders needed to increase representation in Hollywood.

“The BBR Virtual Summit is, at its core, about uplifting people of color in beauty and entertainment and driving large-scale change. We are so excited to partner with organizations that continue to progress the work we are doing through initiatives like TRESemmé’s Future Stylist Fund and Color of Change’s #ChangeHollywood Diversity initiative ” said Maude Okrah, co-founder of Black Beauty Roster and Bonnti.

In September 2020, TRESemmé launched the inaugural TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, an annual $100,000 scholarship program created to help Black women interested in becoming licensed hair professionals offset the cost of tuition for an accredited cosmetology school of their choosing.

“Black women are underrepresented in women’s initiatives and receive fewer tools, resources, and support to advance their professional ambitions. There is more to be done, but the Future Stylists Fund is one way that TRESemmé can provide a long-term solution that specifically supports Black women,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and COO Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever NA.

The BBR Virtual Summit will take place on Sunday, February 28 from 12pm EST to 8pm EST. In addition to showstoppers like Gabrielle Union, Kim Kimble, and L’Oréal Paris US Makeup Artist and Creative Director, Sir John, BBR is excited to announce additional guest speakers including actress Monique Coleman, journalist Jemele Hill, celebrity natural hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood, and a special guest appearance from model Tyra Banks. Attendees can look forward to engaging and informative panels and breakout sessions, as well as networking opportunities and a virtual happy hour sponsored by Indoggo Gin by Snoop Dogg.

To register for the BBR Virtual Summit please visit: blackbeautyroster.com.

Ebony: Covering Black America by Lavaille Lavette (Rizzoli; Feb 2021)

Long before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Ebony magazine was Black America’s social media. In 1945, legendary founder and visionary John H. Johnson set out to create a magazine for Black America much like that of the trailblazing Life Magazine, and that he did. For the African American community, Ebony has been a breath of fresh air, speaking on issues and events from the Black perspective, celebrating Black standards of beauty and elevating heroes of Black America—athletes, entertainers, activists, elected officials, or some combination thereof.

EBONY: COVERING BLACK AMERICA (Rizzoli; February 2021), by Lavaille Lavette, is a celebration of the treasure trove of the magazine’s rich history, glamorous covers, groundbreaking cultural impact, and authentic coverage of Black American life from the magazine’s inception to the present.

In 1945, Ebony’s legendary founder John H. Johnson set out to create a magazine for Black America much like that of the trailblazing Life Magazine,and that he did. For the African American community, Ebonyhas been a breath of fresh air, speaking on issues and events from the Black perspective, celebrating Black standards of beauty and elevating heroes of Black America—athletes, entertainers, activists, elected officials,or some combination thereof. EBONY: COVERING BLACK AMERICA, by Lavaille Lavette, is a celebration of the treasure trove ofthemagazine’s rich history, glamorous covers, groundbreaking cultural impact, and authentic coverage of Black American life from the magazine’s inceptionto the present. “Ebony was Black America’s social media long before the birth of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram”, says Lavette. Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.300 Park Avenue SouthNew York, NY 10010Tel. (212) 387-3400Telefax (212) 387-3535

Curated by Lavette, this all-out feast of a book is packed with exclusive contributions by a host of celebrities, influencers, and cultural icons, including Common, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Sean Combs, Kimora Lee Simmons, Ciara, and Venus Williams.

The book also includes more than 600 covers and photographs featuring political forces such as Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle and President Barack Obama, and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan; entertainers such as Diana Ross, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Oprah Winfrey, and Prince; as well as sports heroes like Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali, Russell Westbrook, and Simone Biles. Lavette has chosen select articles, features, and reportage of note, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s advice column, and Ebony Fashion Fair photo shoots, divided into categories found within the magazine, including Civil Rights & Social Justice, Love & Family, Ebony Men,Ebony Women, and Ebony Music.

Unique in the quality of its photographs and contributors and chronicling everything from fashion and food to politics and social change, to sports and entertainment, EBONY: COVERING BLACK AMERICAis a monumental milestone in African-American history and culture, and will be a treasured volume for the magazine’s legion of loyal readers.

ABOUT   THE   AUTHOR: Lavaille   Lavetteis abest-selling   author,educator,   producer, social entrepreneur and the president and publisher of OneStreet Books and Ebony Magazine’s imprintEbony Publishing. With a master’s in education, Lavaille is a formerschool   district   administrator, speechwriter, marketing executive, and she served asspecial advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. RodPage(2001 -2005).

Beyond her work in community engagement, nonprofit and the education spheres with her bestselling series, The Adventures of Roopster Roux,Lavette is co-founder of Every Child an Author, (ECAA) Class-by-Class, School by School. ECAA is on a mission to make every child in America a published author, one grade level at a time.

Credit for the book must read: Ebony: Covering Black Americaby Lavaille Lavette,©Rizzoli New York, 2020. Photography to be credited on a case-by-case basis.Select press images will be made available, but no image may be used, in print or electronically, without written consent from the publisher. Serial rights are available; please contact Ron Longeat (917) 312-5571or rlonge@rizzoliusa.comEBONY: COVERING BLACK AMERICABy Lavaille LavetteWith contributions by Common, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Sean Combs(Diddy), Kimora Lee Simmons, Ciara, and Venus WilliamsHardcover/ 9 1/3”x 12 1/3” /352pages / 800colorand black & whitephotographs$57.50U.S. / $75.00Canadian/ £44.00U.K.ISBN:978-0-8478-6901-5/ Rizzoli New York / Release date: February 202

EMMY-WINNING ACTRESS+ACTIVIST ZENDAYA ON ESSENCE’S NOV/DEC COVER

Zendaya is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars – and one of Black Hollywood’s wildest dreams. At just 24 years old, the actress has led two successful series on two of the biggest networks in TV land; costarred in a huge blockbuster Marvel film; and become the youngest woman ever to win the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama, Euphoria. As much as the actress and activist has broken barriers in her past, it’s her present and future in Hollywood that’s winning.

For ESSENCE’s November + December issue, Zendaya graces the cover with stunning and picturesque black and white imagery that pays tribute to icons of the past while squarely establishing her as a leading force in the present and an icon of the future. The special issue is part of the brand’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration and also features Zendaya on three bonus digital covers (with fashion styling and creative direction led by renowned celeb stylist Law Roach.) In her cover story, A Work of Art, Zendaya talks to writer Sylvia Obell about everything from her historic Emmy win, speaking truth to power and carrying our legacy forward. She tells ESSENCE:

ON WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH HER MIND RIGHT BEFORE HER HISTORIC EMMY WINNING: “There’s a video of me that a family friend took while I was waiting, and you can see my leg shaking. In my head I was like, ‘Dude, just chill out. What will be, will be.’ I remember taking a deep breath, and then hearing my name, and then my family screamed. I was worried that if they kept screaming for too long, I wouldn’t have any time to actually say anything—but I didn’t want to stop them, because they were having a great time. It was a very special night. I’ll definitely remember that one forever…”

ON RECEIVING SUPPORT FROM OTHER BLACK WOMEN AFTER HER EMMY WIN: “I’m honored to have that support, especially from my fellow young Black creatives. Through this Emmy’s period, especially, I felt a strong sense of support within our community, which I’m really grateful for. I think what’s slowly starting to happen is, artists like Issa Rae and Lena Waithe have created opportunities that have resulted in more of us being in these rooms. That’s such a special feeling, and I think it’s definitely changing the idea that there can only be “one at a time,” which is false. I love to see that genuine love and respect for each other’s work. I hope that we continue to expand that in all kinds of beautiful ways, because I think we’re on a really good path…”

ON LAW ROACH’S CREATIVE + FASHION DIRECTION: “I also felt very excited that ESSENCE allowed Law [Roach] and me to be a part of the creative team and do something a little bit different. I had so much fun on this shoot paying homage to Donyale Luna, the first Black supermodel. A lot of what I do, specifically within fashion, is a tribute to fashion icons who came before me—many of whom are Black women. I love the way it turned out. I’m very proud of it. It’s one of my favorite cover shoots I’ve ever done.”

ON FILMING “MALCOLM & MARIE” WHEN THE PANDEMIC FIRST SHUT DOWN: “It was a dream, because I’ve always wanted to be able to just strip everything away. I love what I do—and like most people, I was finding ways to stay inspired and stay creative, and luckily I know people who are the same way. It was great sitting in a room with John David Washington, Marcell Rév and Sam [Levinson], literally writing scenes as we went, coming up with ideas as we moved through the characters, and finding new things every day. That was the coolest part. That is why I do this.”

HER NEW YEAR’S WISH FOR BLACK WOMEN: “For us to continue to fully realize our power and harness it to do great things, because we are incredibly powerful. We’re often convinced that we’re not, and taught to shrink—but we have to believe in our collective power. I always think of that Beyoncé song, ‘They’ll never take my power, my power, my power.’ Let’s take that energy into the new year…”

ESSENCE’s November + December issue also includes a special Election 2020 package featuring a History Maker profile on Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris and her historic run for the White House. In the piece, News & Politics editor Tanya Christian details her year-plus coverage of the Senator—including her live appearance at the 2019 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans during her presidential run. The issue also features The Black Women Behind the Biden-Harris Campaign, an article showcasing key movers and shakers who helped drive the campaign to victory.

ESSENCE’s November + December issue hits newsstands on November 24th. For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com. (Photo, AB+DM) Also join the conversation @Essence.