BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Prince’s ‘Welcome 2 America’ makes long-awaited debut

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings this week has released the long-awaited 2010 Prince album “Welcome 2 America” — a powerful creative statement that documents the icon’s concerns, hopes and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation and a renewed fight for racial justice.

Shortly after completing the album, Prince embarked on a unique tour of the same name that included multiple performances in several U.S. cities, capped off by the historic “21 Nite Stand” at The Forum in Inglewood.

The Deluxe Edition includes the complete studio vault album on both CD and black vinyl (accompanied with a hi-res digital download) plus a never-before-released full concert video of Prince’s April 28, 2011 show at The Forum, presented in 1080p HD with stereo, 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos audio.

“Welcome 2 America” features some of Prince’s only studio collaborations with bassist Tal Wilkenfeld and drummer Chris Coleman, with additional contributions from New Power Generation singers Shelby J., Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo and keyboardist Morris Hayes, who Prince also recruited to co-produce several tracks on the album.

The live concert video has Prince performing with his 2011-era lineup of the New Power Generation, including keyboardists Renato Neto and Cassandra O’Neal, bassist Ida Nielsen, drummer John Blackwell, and dancers Maya and Nandy McClean (The Twinz).

Captured midway through his marathon “21 Nite Stand” at The Forum, this performance features a cameo by recent Grammy-winner Ledisi and covers of India.Arie’s “Brown Skin,” Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music,” Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage” and Kool & The Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging” alongside Prince favorites including “Kiss,” “Controversy,” “1999,” and “Purple Rain.”

With a gold-foil package designed by Grammy-nominated artist Mathieu Bitton and Grammy-nominated creative director and Prince associate Trevor Guy, the Deluxe Edition which includes a 12-inch-by-12-inch 32-page companion book and more, is sure to be a collector’s item for years to come.

CLIPPETTES: Terry Crews (“America’s Got Talent,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame July 30 at 11:30 a.m. The gathering will assemble at 6201 Hollywood Blvd., east of Vine

Later in the day, Grammy, Tony, Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo makes her Hollywood Bowl debut with a program titled “Legendary Voices.” She will sing from the songbooks of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, as well as the single “Day Off” and other selections from her forthcoming debut album “Ch. 1 vs. 1” out Sept. 17 on Verve 

Meanwhile, Exposition Park is screening “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” featuring performances from Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Common, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, The Fugees and more. The 2005 film will be introduced virtually by director Michel Gondry, featuring the Compton Centennial High School Marching Band live

Winston Duke (“Black Panther,” “Jordan Peele’s Us”) will voice Bruce Wayne in “Batman Unburied,” a new Spotify podcast that also has Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” the Harry Potter franchise) as Alfred

Hard Summer is back July 31 at San Bernardino’s NOS Events Center with an epic lineup including 2 Chainz, Future, Kaytrana, DJ Snake and many more from 2 p.m. to midnight.  For more, visit: hardsummer.com

A three-movie reboot based on “The Exorcist” franchise is on the way with the 1973 film’s star Ellen Burstyn back along with Leslie Odom Jr. playing the father of a possessed child. The production from Universal Pictures, Peacock, Blumhouse and Morgan Creek, should arrive in October 2023

Eight-time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley headlines Reggae Night XIX at the Hollywood Bowl with special guests Wailing Souls on Aug. 1 on an evening that also finds Grandmaster Flash spinning for The DiscOasis Sunset Series at South Coast Botanic Garden; blues/rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa at The Greek; Taikoproject in a free show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; and Grupo Firme beginning a seven-show run at Staples Center.

TC ON TV: July 30 – “Jungle Cruise” (Disney+/Premier Access/Theatres): Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt take a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon in this blockbuster based on the famed theme park ride. “Watch The Sound With Mark Ronson” (Apple TV+): The Oscar, Golden Globe and seven-time Grammy award-winning artist/DJ hosts this six-part docuseries from Academy Award-winning producer Morgan Neville (“20 Feet from Stardom”). Guests include Paul McCartney, Questlove, King Princess, Ad-Rock and Mike D from the Beastie Boys, Charli XCX and more. “Romeo Santos: King Of Bachata” & “Utopia Live From MetLife Stadium” (HBO Max): The documentary celebrates Dominican culture and the music leading to a record-breaking concert with legendary bachateros. “The Last Mercenary” (Netflix): Well, I’ll be. New Jean-Claude Van Damme.  “Jeopardy!” (Syn): LeVar Burton’s celebrated trial run as guest host comes to an end. “Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog” (NGC): The all-new 10-part series brings the dog behavior expert back when pet owners need him the most.  “Back On The Record With Bob Costas” (HBO): Joining the series this season is Emmy-winner Bomani Jones (“Highly Questionable,” “Outside The Lines”).

July 31 – “Premier Boxing Champions” (Fox): Unbeaten former Marine Michael Coffie takes on Vallejo’s former world title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a battle of heavyweights.

Aug. 1 – “Betrayal At Attica” (HBO Max): Radical lawyer Elizabeth Fink tells the story of the 1971 Attica prison rebellion, and how she exposed the cover up that went on for decades. “36th Stellar Gospel Music Awards” (BET/BET Her): The Clark Sisters and Lady Tramaine Hawkins are honored in the ceremony hosted by Tye Tribbett and Jekalyn Carr with performances by Hezekiah Walker, Mali Music, Jonathan McReynolds, Yolanda Adams, Shelea, Kierra Sheard, Avery*Sunshine, J.J. Hairston, Maverick City Music, Tamela Mann and CeCe Winans. “Johnson” (Bounce): Back-to-back episodes open this new sitcom produced by Cedric The Entertainer, centering on four life-long best friends in Atlanta, all of whom share the same last name (Johnson).  “History Of The Sitcom” (CNN): The one about “Facing Race.”

Aug. 3 – “Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union” (HBO): A three-part documentary, with additional parts airing the next two evenings, chronicling the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama as the country grapples with its racial history. Weaving together conversations with colleagues, friends and critics, and interspersed with his own speeches and news interviews, the series begins with Obama’s childhood and takes us through his perspective as the son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father, his spiritual formation by a generation of Black leaders, and his hopes for a more inclusive America.

Aug. 4 – “Music’s Greatest Mysteries” (AXS): “Tina [Turner], Disco and Ghosts”

Aug. 5 – “The Suicide Squad” (HBO Max): Idris Elba, Viola Davis and Margot Robbie lead an all-star cast in this comics-based sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” with the now absent Will Smith. “Lil Duval: Living My Best Life” (ALLBLK): The Jacksonville, Florida native (“Meet the Blacks,” “Grow House”) employs his special brand of humor as he takes an intimate and hilarious look at life, sex, relationships and the world in his first stand-up special. Filmed before a star-studded, live audience in Atlanta, the hourlong special features appearances from actress Bresha Webb (“Run This World”), comedians Gary “G Thang” Johnson and Navaris “Navv” Greene, and social media star Pretty Vee. “Hart To Heart” (Peacock): No topic is off limits as Kevin Hart invites A-list friends to sit back, have a glass of wine in the comfort of his virtual wine cellar for an uninterrupted hour of insight, truth, and laughs. “Grown-ish” (Freeform): After an unarmed Black man is shot by police, the crew reacts in different ways to the news. Kiela (Daniella Perkins) and Doug (Diggy Simmons) butt heads when she wants to use his party to raise awareness.

TASTY QUIP: “I don’t care who you are. You could be the nicest person. You could be vaccinated. You could be quadruple vaccinated. If you see me, please give me six feet.  This s— is coming back. And people being real sloppy with personal space. I’m not trying to catch nothing. I don’t even want to catch feelings, bitch. You think I’m trying to catch COVID?” – LIZZO on Instagram Live

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 tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

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