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Singer/actress Mary J. Blige is seen brandishing a handgun on the set of "Power Book II: Ghost" in NYC on Wednesday, July 28.

Blige plays the ruthless designer clothes-wearing drug queenpin, Monet Stewart Tejada in "Power Book II: Ghost."

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Blige is dressed in Fendi from head-to-toe as she crouches behind a dumpster for cover with a youngster during an intense shootout scene on a hardtop basketball court.

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The 50-year-old New York native has won 9 Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards and has sold 100 million records worldwide.

She is best known for her No. 1 R&B hits "You Remind Me", "Real Love", "Not Gon' Cry", and "Be Without You."

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Mekai Curtis, left, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson attended the New York premiere of Starz's highly anticipated prequel Power Book 3: Raising Kanan.

The new iteration of Power follows young Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis) as he dodges bullets and keeps his enemies close. Kanan was originally played by 50 Cent.

Power Book 3: Raising Kanan also stars Omar Epps, Joey Bada$$, and Patina Miller.

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Mekai is pictured right with 50 Cent, center, and actor Michael Rainey Jr., left.

TheGrio spoke exclusively with the cast to discuss some of the challenges of creating the prequel.

"The pressure was having the continuity and the essence more so of the characters than the actual franchise itself," stated Mekai, who believes the hardest part was making sure he lived up to the high standards set by 50 Cent.

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Actor Omar Epps, who plays shady detective Howard, attended the premiere with his wife Keisha Epps. He said he didn't have any expectations for the new show.

"I don’t think there are any expectations. It's just a piece that I think the power in it is, that you know, we know who Kanan was and how he was the monster that he was. And this is kind of an exploration of humanity, to be honest with you. It's like, how does someone, you know, evolve into being the character that we saw 50 play."

The original Power aired on the Starz network from June 7, 2014, to February 9, 2020.

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Derrick Salters/WENN

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Derrick Salters/WENN

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The family of murdered 19-year-old TikTok star Swavy have demanded an apology from TV host Wendy Williams.

Williams come under fire last week after she shaded Swavy, real name Matima Miller, on the July 7 episode of The Wendy Williams Show.

Swavy was best known for his dance videos and comedy skits on TikTok.

Swavy was shot to death by an unknown assailant in Delaware on July 5.

Wendy acknowledged that no one in her studio audience had ever heard of Swavy until after he was killed.

"I have no idea who this person is ... neither does one person in this building. He’s a TikTok star, and he’s got more followers than me: 2.5 million," Williams said on July 7.

"Swavy is now dead. Ah, all those followers. Yeah, that's really tragic, only 19 years old," she said.

Someone tweeted out a clip of the segment on Thursday night and Wendy's name trended on Twitter.com and TikTok.

Now Swavy's mom Chanell Clark and older sibling Rahkim Clark have demanded an apology from Williams.

"Wendy has always been a messy person," Rahkim said."This is not just any other story, this is not a highlight, this is not a hot topic, this is our real life."

"I'm so p**sed off, because you did him like that," Chanell said as she tried to fight back her tears. "I'm looking for an apology, I do want an apology."

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Rachel Nichols has reportedly lost her coveted NBA Finals hosting gig amid ongoing racial drama at ESPN.

Nichols will not be at courtside when the Phoenix Suns face the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Finals tonight in Phoenix.

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The NBA Finals sideline gig will go to ESPN reporter Malika Andrews (pictured). Andrews checks all of the diversity boxes.

"We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals. Rachel will continue to host "The Jump," ESPN said in a statement on Monday.

Nichols has hosted ESPN's daily basketball show "The Jump" since 2016.

The drama ensued when Nichols was caught on a hot mic complaining about Black reporter Maria Taylor getting the 2020 NBA Finals gig.

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Nichols, who is white, sought advice from Adam Mendelsohn in a secretly recorded phone call at a hotel near the NBA Bubble in Orlando in July 2020.

She accused her bosses of giving Maria Taylor the 2020 NBA Finals gig because of the color of her skin and ESPNS's "crappy" history of "diversity."

Unbeknownst to Nichols, a video camera in her hotel room was still on and recording her phone call with Mendelsohn. The recording, which was live-streamed to a server at ESPN's headquarters, soon made the rounds at ESPN.

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Nichols is pictured interviewing actor Michael B. Jordan at the Staples Center on December 25, 2019 in Los Angeles.

She struggled to keep her emotions in check on "The Jump" on Monday, as she apologized profusely to Taylor and ESPN's viewers.

"So, the first thing they teach you in journalism school is don't be the story. And I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals," Nichols said.

"But I also don't want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN. How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team."

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The long-awaited 'Empire' spin-off, featuring Taraji P. Henson, has been put on hold indefinitely and probably forever.

The hip-hop soap opera, which was canceled last year due to poor ratings and the Jussie Smollett scandal, was set to transform into a new spin-off series.

However, Taraji - who plays the part of Cookie Lyon - revealed that plans for the new show have been delayed again.

Taraji explained that the new series - which was originally due to air last year - was "put to rest".

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"I think we're gonna put it to rest for a sec. For me, the script has to be right. It has to be worthy of the audience. We have to give the audience something incredible, and sometimes, I think you need time, time away. I think absence makes the heart grow fonder."

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Jussie was let go from 'Empire' after he was arrested for perpetrating a hoax involving two friends who were paid to shout racial and homophobic slurs at him, pour bleach on the actor and tie a noose around his neck in January 2019.

Meanwhile, Taraji is preparing to host the BET Awards this weekend in Los Angeles.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight', "It's all about the fashion. I would have to say for this one, it's about the entrance. I'm always going to try to make you laugh and forget about the woes and the troubles of the world, so look forward to a lot of fun, a lot of laughter, because that's what I like to do."

Taraji also revealed that the upcoming show will focus on celebrating the influence and achievements of black women, like Queen Latifah.

She said: "What I love particularly about this year, is that we are celebrating the black woman. This is the year of the black woman because the black woman has made incredible strides in changing history, politics, music - you name it, we done it."

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When Tyler Perry said he was retiring his famous character, Madea, everyone knew Madea would be back.

The Oscar and Emmy winning playwright and director confirmed he is resurrecting Mabel Earlene 'Madea' Simmons for a Netflix film streaming next year.

Perry said the world needs a good laugh after the Covid-19 pandemic and political turmoil.

"We need to laugh, man," the 51-year-old movie/TV mogul explained in a video where he appears possessed by Madea.

"Too much is going on in the country. We need to laugh, so I was done (but I wasn't!), but she's coming back."

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Perry announced his plan to kill off Madea during an interview on Sirius XM radio in 2018.

"It's time for me to kill that old b***h. I'm tired, man! I'm tired. We gonna say goodbye in 2019," Perry told Bevy Smith.

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He said he filmed Madea's funeral 2 years prior, and he was finally able to let her go.

Perry held Madea's funeral as a symbolic gesture to allow her fans time to mourn her passing. Her body was symbolically interred in a mausoleum in Georgia.

Tyler, born Emmitt Perry Jr., said he didn't "want to be her age playing her" but he changed his mind after Netflix asked him to bring Madea back from the dead.

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The Ellen DeGeneres Show won't be renewed after 19 seasons on television. DeGeneres made the announcement on Wednesday, saying she is walking away from her daytime chat show next year.

The news was leaked to the Daily Mail on Wednesday, as DeGeneres prepared to break the news to her devoted viewers.

She later confirmed the claims to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, "When you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged - and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore."

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The exit comes a year after Ellen's former staffers complained about her bad behavior behind the scenes.

Her reputation as one of Hollywood's nicest people took a hit following sexual harassment allegations from current and former staffers.

One ex-employee said producers were mean and sexist which created a toxic work environment.

Ellen issued an apology to staff and insisted she would do better going forward.

Multiple producers were also fired as a result of the many complaints.

Ellen has just launched a new show, Ellen's Great Design Challenge, on HBO Max, and currently oversees a variety of TV programs.

Kelly Clarkson's hit daytime show is expected to fill the slot vacated on the schedule by DeGeneres' departure.

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The Internet is buzzing about Joseline Hernandez grilling Wendy Williams for overlooking the many accomplishments of Latina women.

Joseline was the celebrity guest on Wendy's episode which aired on Wednesday, April 28.

"I'm an accomplished woman," said Joseline, "and I feel like every time I come on your show, you don't give me those flowers now... You're 35 years my senior. I should get those flowers by you. I should feel wanted by people like you."

Wendy was annoyed by Joseline's line about her being 35 years older.

"Ouch. Shame!," said Wendy, who added that, as a woman, she feels undervalued at the end of the day.

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Joseline also touched on Wendy's scandalous divorce from Kevin Hunter that nearly derailed her career.

"You have to do better. You're not even in an abusive relationship anymore. You don't deal with that man anymore. You should be in a better place. And when people come on your show -- especially Black culture -- you should be nicer to us, the ladies, you should respect us, you should give us our flowers while we're here, and you should tell us how proud you are of what we've done in the streets."

Wendy repeatedly distracted Joseline from her speech by asking to see her shoes. "Well I'm not proud of all [women]," said Wendy. "And what I've been through makes me even harder on young women. Like you can do better. Now can we get back to the show at hand? Let me see your shoes."

Watch the explosive exchange below.
 

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Former President Barack Obama pleaded with Black Americans to take one of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

Obama appeared on ATTN's "Roll Up Your Sleeves" television special, alongside retired NBA stars Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley on Sunday.

The goal of the TV special was to convince hesitant Black people to take one of the still experimental vaccines.

Obama urged Black Americans to "forget what happened back in the day," referring to the infamous Tuskegee experiment.

Obama said those men got sick and some died because the doctors withheld treatment.

"The irony is when you know about the Tuskegee experiment, what was going on there was the government withheld treatment that was available for black men for syphilis. It wasn't that they made them sick by giving them medicine, it's that they didn't give them medicine they needed."

Referring to the experimental vaccines as "medicine," Obama said, "So here's a situation where if the medicine's available, we need to take it."

He said Black people should take the mRNA vaccines because the "wealthy and the powerful" are taking it.

"And look, if the wealthy and the powerful in our society are all lining up to get shots, that means everybody should know it's a good thing to get."

The CDC said only 25% of the American population got at least one shot of the vaccine.

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Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker will be featured on episodes of Uncensored & Unsung this Easter Sunday on TV One.

TV One'S Critically-acclaimed documentary-series Unsung continues with the spotlight on Gospel greats Hezekiah Walker and Dannie McClurkin this Easter Sunday, April 4 at 9 P.M. ET/8C.

Unsung is immediately followed by Uncensored with Donnie McClurkin at 10 p.m. ET/9C.

Upcoming episodes of Unsung features Keith Washington, Mystikal, Syleena Johnson, Bobby V, Lyfe Jennings and The Jones Girls.

New Episodes of Uncensored features KEM, Remy Ma, Marsha Ambrosius, Lisa Leslie and Jaleel White.

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UNSUNG: Hezekiah Walker

Hezekiah Walker is a singer and pastor whose ministry has pushed the boundaries of traditional church and worship. Bishop Walker gets candid about the ups and downs of a trailblazing career and his personal journey that inspired his greatest hits.

UNCENSORED: Donnie McClurkin

The hit autobiographical series UNCENSORED explores the lives of your favorite personalities as they provide first-hand accounts of their success and the obstacles they faced throughout their careers. This week's episode hits a high note with Gospel music trailblazer Donnie McClurkin.

Each episode will be published on TVOne.TV and TV One's social media platforms. Syleena will react to clips, share anecdotes, and provide cocktail recipes for viewers to unwind to as they watch both Unsung and Uncensored. She'll end each episode reminding viewers of their chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

For more information on Uncensored and Unsung, visit TV One's Youtube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.tvone.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv).