By Bill Vaughan
Music legend Whitney Houston will be profiled to kick off a new ABC News docu-series the network is announcing as “the all-new television event of the summer.”
“Superstar,” from the producers of “20/20” and the “Truth and Lies” series, travels deep inside the lives of iconic celebrities who shaped American culture such as Houston, Kobe Bryant, Robin Williams and more.
The stunning one-hour premiere features never-before-seen-private videos and interviews with friends and family who reveal the meteoric highs and the devastating costs of fame.
Singers Brandy, Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Darlene Love; Narada Michael Walden, musician and producer; Michael Bearden, musical director; and Savion Glover, dancer and choreographer; offer their personal reflections on the young Black woman from New Jersey who broke barriers to become a modern pop icon.
In addition, interviews with Houston and Bobby Brown from the ABC News archives will be referenced.
“Superstar: Whitney Houston” airs Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. on ABC. It can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.
ALBUM ALERTS: Nas drops his new album “King’s Disease II,” a follow-up to the Grammy Award-winning “King’s Disease” on Aug. 6. The record on the Mass Appeal label has contributions from Ms. Lauryn Hill, Charlie Wilson, Eminem, EPMD and more.
Jazz Is Dead’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge have collaborated with fellow Brooklynite Brian Jackson to release his first full album in 20 years. “Brian Jackson JID008” presents new jazz funk compositions from the musician famous for his partnership with Gil Scott-Heron and the Midnight Band.
Spice, dubbed the “fashion forward Queen of Dancehall” by Vogue, has released her long-awaited debut album “10” through VP Records. Representing the culmination of a 10-year journey, the new album showcases her songwriting versatility while blending hardcore dancehall with soca, pop, R&B and EDM genres.
Stand out tracks include her breakthrough anthem “So Mi Like It,” which has racked up nearly 100 million video views, and her latest smash single “Go Down Deh” (featuring Shaggy & Sean Paul).
65-year-old, L.A.-based pianist/composer Bobby West (a mainstay since the 70s on the city’s jazz scene, as a sideman and leader) has released his debut album “Leimert Park After Dark” on www.SoulvilleSoundRecordings.com. He is joined on this 10-track project by fellow area musicians: bassist Jeff Littleton and Mexican-American drummer Daniel Bejarano.
RED CARPET WALK: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans and others are set to appear at the Hollywood premiere of the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” on Aug. 8 at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood Village. Arrivals are likely to start between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. for the film, which opens nationwide Aug. 13.
CLIPPETTES: NBA superstar LeBron James and partner Maverick Carter will team with rapper Drake to create a documentary on racism in the National Hockey League to be called “Black Ice.” Meanwhile, the producer duo’s remake of “House Party” has found a star in Jacob Latimore (“The Chi) …
Celebrate Dilla Fest honoring producer J Dilla, aka James Yancy, on Aug. 7 with special guest DJs and live performances by Talib Kweli and more. It’s free at Grand Performances …
Also that evening, the legendary Guitar Shorty is at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica; and house music producer and vocalist Roland Clark is at the Globe Theatre …
The continuing story of Mr. Nancy (so memorably played by Orlando Jones in the Starz series “American Gods”) will be told in Amazon adaption of Neil Gaiman’s novel “Anansi Boys” to star Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods,” “The Good Fight”) in the title role …
Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns return Aug. 8 to the Hollywood Bowl with a stellar line-up of Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Vincent Ingala and Kenny Lattimore. Be sure to arrive on time to catch the soulful Tower of Power opening.
TASTY QUIP: “You think that’s clever? You think that’s something that any Black person walking in this country right now hasn’t heard? You are the least of my worries. You can kiss my ass. Thanks for watching. I hope you’re a Nielsen viewer.” – “Let’s Make A Deal” host WAYNE BRADY to TMZ on the anonymous person who left a voicemail on set calling him the N-word
TC ON TV: Aug. 6 – “Hit & Run” (Netflix): Sanaa Lathan is featured in this new thriller series. “Vivo” (Netflix): An animated movie with songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a voice cast of Gloria Estefan, Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer.
Aug. 7 – “Urban Beauty TV” (BET Her): A five-part series hosted by model and media personality Midori Amae dedicated to health, beauty and style with appearances by Monica, Yandy Smith-Harris, Serayah, Deborah Cox and others.
Aug. 8 – “2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony” (ESPN): Troy Polamalu, Calvin Johnson, Drew Pearson, Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning are but a few of the inductees. “Godfather of Harlem” (Epix): The four remaining episodes of the second season start tonight. “History of the Sitcom” (CNN): “Movin’ On Up” explores classism in comedy.
Aug. 9 – “Reservation Dogs” (FX on HULU): Director Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) is a co-creator and executive producer of this breakthrough half-hour comedy where every writer, director and series regular on the show is Indigenous. “The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies” (MTV): For the first time ever, the critically acclaimed competition franchise will feature 17 international players alongside U.S. players in the picturesque Mediterranean coast of Croatia vying for their share of $1 million. “Secrets” (Smith): “Cleopatra’s Lost City”
Aug. 10 – “Untold” (Netflix): This new docu-series opens with “Malice At The Palace,” a retelling of the night NBAer Ron Artest jumped in the stands igniting a melee. “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): The blockbuster franchise returns for a 16th season with a post-apocalyptic set design, 10 new games and guest stars including Rick Ross, Trina, Freddie Gibbs, Too $hort, Fat Joe, Loni Love, Big Freedia and Gary Owen. “Fantasy Island” (Fox): Roselyn Sanchez (“Devious Maids”) stars as Elena Roarke, a descendant of the iconic Mr. Roarke (as portrayed by the late Ricardo Montalban) in this reboot of the classic TV show shot entirely in Puerto Rico. “Money Hungry” (Food): Kal Penn (“House”) hosts this competition pitting talented chefs, restaurant critics, cookbook authors and accomplished home cooks in the ultimate test of their taste buds for $50,000.
Aug. 11 – “Masterchef” (Fox): The pioneering king of the food truck revolution, Roy Choi, tasks the home cooks with making a street food dish worthy of a Michelin star restaurant.
Aug. 12 – “Behind The Music” (Paramount+): Busta Rhymes “The Hype” (HBO Max): Offset of rap group Migos is among the judges of this competition set in the colliding worlds of streetwear, business and culture. Special guests to include Cardi B, Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Ferg and Dapper Dan. “The Ms. Pat Show” (BET+): Lee Daniels is an executive producer of this series based on Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams‘ stand-up comedy and memoir telling the story of a former convicted felon turned suburban mom whose Atlanta family is transplanted to conservative middle America. “Lokillo: Nothing’s The Same” (Netflix): Comedian Lokillo Florez hilariously reviews how Latin Americans have adjusted to a new world where no hugging policies prevail. “The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E” (WE): The four hour-long installments explore the extraordinary impact Eric Wright had on the music industry and his daughter’s quest for answers to the perplexing circumstances surrounding the 1995 death of the gangsta rap icon. Did Eazy-E truly die from AIDS? If so, how did he contract it? Are there people who wanted this pioneer and father dead? The investigative series uncovers these questions and more.
TASTY QUIP: “I know where my heart is at, and you can’t just do it alone with just Black people. You got to have all types of allies. And that’s one thing I’m good at, I’m good at being a unifier, but I’m not going to be in a room with other tribes that protect themselves and make sure that they straight and not make sure that we straight. But also, I’m not a politician, I’m not trying to be the king or the dictator of somebody. I’m a boy from Harlem that came here to make a change. We all have our story.” – SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS to Vanity Fair
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.