Feature: Sommore

Sommore

 

 

Sommore reigns as the undisputed “Queen of Comedy.” This trendsetting, highly-acclaimed veteran entertainer is widely considered one of America’s top comedic female entertainers. With a winning combination of class and sass, Sommore offers audiences a hilarious, yet piercing look at today’s issues from a woman’s perspective. She is frank and fearless in her routines, tackling topics that range from the mundane to the controversial with wit, intelligence and style. Praised by critics, respected by her peers, and adored by a diverse fan base, she performs her stand-up act to sold-out audiences across the country, and she is among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad. Oprah Winfrey proclaimed her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium.”

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Sommore has had a meteoric rise to the top of her field and has been a trailblazer for women in the comedy business. She was the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” presiding over the 1994-1995 season, and in 1995, she received the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year. She also has hosted Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam,” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” She was part of the record-breaking “Queens of Comedy” tour in 2000, which garnered Sommore a wider fan base and got her registered in Guinness’ Book of World Records when she performed to a captivated audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2001 made-for-television movie based on that tour was the highest-rated and longest running special in the history of the Showtime Network. Never one to rest on her laurels, Sommore was a featured comic in the “Latham Entertainment Presents” tour in 2002, where she was the only woman performer.

In 2002, Sommore made her film debut in Friday After Next. She has also been featured in a number of other films including, Family Reunion (2002), Soul Plane (2004), Something New (2006), and Dirty Laundry (2007).

Sommore has been a featured guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The View,” and “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” She was interviewed on CNN Headline News about her phenomenal artistic and financial success as a comedienne, and was profiled in Comedy Central’s “Special Women in Comedy” program. Other noteworthy accomplishments for Sommore include several appearances on the sitcoms “The Hughleys” and “The Parkers,” HBO’s “SNAPS” and MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out.” Sommore also participated in season six of VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club”, Comedy Central’s “Roast of Flavor Flav,” and was a regular on NBC’s game show “1 vs. 100” during the 2008 season.

More than a comedienne, Sommore is a writer, producer, and entrepreneur. She wrote and produced “The Queen Stands Alone,” a filmed version of her stand-up act, which debut on Comedy Central in September 2008 to over 800,000 viewers. The DVD is currently in stores and is one of the best sellers among stand-up films.

In 2010, Sommore was invited to participate in Chicago’s “Just for Laughs Comedy Festival” as a featured act on the “Cedric the Entertainer’s Urban Circus” which aired on TBS. There she performed alongside the likes of other comedic greats such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer. Sommore was also featured on the very successful “Royal Comedy Tour” where she was the first female comedienne to Headline over other male Nationally Headlining acts. The tour is currently gearing up to go back out in 2011 and Sommore is looking forward to once again headlining the show and proving to others that she belongs. In addition, she is the producer of a documentary, which is currently in production and she is developing several projects for television. Sommore earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and mathematics from Morris Brown College in Atlanta. Before she became a comedy star, she taught algebra in the Atlanta public school system, and owned and operated several businesses in Atlanta, including a clothing store, a shoe store, and a store that featured imported food and specialty products from Africa.

    Sommore has found success in nearly every area of the entertainment industry. She continues to be in high demand for film roles and television appearances. She plans to expand her role as a writer and producer of comedy, documentary films, and television programs. In addition, she has been involved with several hip-hop projects, including videos and recordings. However, her greatest love continues to be her first love—stand-up comedy. She is currently gearing up to once again Headline the very successful “Royal Comedy Tour” which debuted in early 2010 to rave reviews. It was also the first time that a female comedian has been featured as the headlining act over other nationally known male headliners. A feat that she Sommore continues to hone her skills and expand her reputation as a comedienne, performing to sold-out audiences across the country in both large arenas including the world famous Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden in New York City and Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, as well as at premiere comedy clubs such as Caroline’s on Broadway in New York and the world famous Improv’s. With her fresh approach to comedy, her distinctive style, and her groundbreaking accomplishments in the entertainment industry, she is a true “Queen of Comedy,” – a title she plans to hold for years to come.

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Feature: Sheryl Underwood

Sheryl Underwood

 

 

Sheryl Underwood is a multi-faceted entrepreneur, currently balancing the roles of in-demand entertainer, owner and chief executive officer of Pack Rat Productions and International President of her beloved Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Named one of today’s hardest working comediennes, Underwood has starred in such films as “Bullworth,” “I Got the Hook Up” and “Beauty Shop,” starring Queen Latifah. In addition, Underwood was the host of Black Entertainment Television’s (BET’s) “Comic View” and “Holla,” a talk show she created and produced which was loosely based on Bill Maher’s “Politically MoreIncorrect.” Underwood, a sought after media personality, is described as one of the world’s brightest contemporary humorists. She is a weekly contributor on the “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” also serving as guest host, and appears on “The Steve Harvey Project,” the television version of the show airing on TV-ONE. Underwood also hosts “The Sheryl Underwood Show” on Jamie Foxx’s “The Foxxhole,” airing on Sirius 106/XM 149, where she provides a mix of political satire, comedy and music. Also, Underwood hosted the fifth season of “Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-Up” and is a former contributor to the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” Underwood has appeared on the “Dr. Phil Show,” “Fox and Friends,” “The Joy Behar Show,” “WPIX” in New York City and “The View.”

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Dr. Natasha Sandy shares helpful information for ‘Skin Cancer Awareness Month’

Natasha Sandy

Dr. Natasha Sandy shares with us about skin cancer. Here’s What You Should Know: Caucasians are the primary patients diagnosed with skin cancer. Many people do not believe that non-Caucasian people are at risk. As a consequence skin cancer in Skin of Color is under diagnosed; outcomes are poor for these patients and poor skin cancer preventative care is practiced. Everyone regardless of ethnicity is at risk for skin cancer. Often people of color are diagnosed with skin cancer at later stages. This results in skin cancers in Skin of Color often being advanced and potentially fatal. The most common skin cancers are Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma. These skin cancers are most commonly caused by UV rays from the sun damages the DNA in the skin and lead to cancer. This is why UV protection with the use of sunscreen daily is important. Squamous cell carcinoma which is the most common cancer seen in those with African descent can also be caused by chronic inflammation in areas of trauma, scar, burns, discoid lupus. Melanoma is most deadly of these skin cancer has increasing rates in Skin of Color. Well-known reggae artist Bob Marley actually died from Melanoma found on his toe that moved to his lungs not from smoking as is commonly believed. Melanoma can be found on sun-exposed areas and on palms and soles, particularly in Skin of Color.

So careful monitoring by patient through self-skin examination and by a physician is important along with daily sun protection with sunscreen and sun protective clothing.

 

 

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Feature: Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes

 

 

 

Sykes was previously seen on several television shows over the past two years. Her Own special “Herlarious” which aired in July highlighted female comics. Last year she made a return to HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” starring opposite Larry David. In 2010 she starred on her own late night talk show on FOX, “The Wanda Sykes Show”. In October of 2009 her second HBO stand up special “I’ma Be Me” premiered. It was taped at the Warner theatre in Washington DC where she tackled topics like the first black president, gay cruises, being a new mom and aging. The special was nominated for two 2010 Primetime Emmy awards: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.

July 2012 she was heard in the animated feature “Ice Age: Continental Drift” as ‘Granny.’ In 2010 she was heard in the Fox animated feature “Rio” as ‘the Goose.’

Her first HBO comedy special “Wanda Sykes; Sick and Tired” debuted in October 2006 and was nominated for a 2007 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. It was taped in Seattle Washington and covered everything from racial profiling to gay marriage.

Sykes was seen in the feature films “Evan Almighty,” the sequel to “Bruce Almighty,” in which she co-starred with Steve Carell, the New Line feature “Monster-In-Law” starring opposite Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda, and was heard in the animated feature “Over The Hedge” for Dreamworks as well as “The Barnyard” for Paramount Pictures.She can also be seen co-starring with Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman in the romantic comedy “My Super Ex-Girlfriend.” Sykes starred and produced the Comedy Central show “Wanda Does It” where she tried various non-showbiz jobs. Her first book titled Yeah, I Said It, published by Simon and Schuster, hit bookstores in September 2004. Yeah, I Said It is a hilarious collection of essays touching on life, family and current events.

She spent 5 years as part of the HBO’s critically acclaimed “Chris Rock Show.” As a performer and writer on the show, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmy’s and in 1999 won the Emmy for “Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.” In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for “Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic”. She won three more Emmy’s, in 2002, 2004 and 2005, for her work on “Inside the NFL” for “Outstanding Studio Show – Weekly- Inside The NFL”.

In 2010 she won a GLAAD award for promoting a good image of equal rights for gays and lesbians.

She also appeared in the feature films: “Pootie Tang”, “Nutty Professor 2; The Klumps”, and “Down to Earth”.

 

 

 

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‘Castle’ Star Tamala Jones Launches Brain Aneurysm Survivor Model Search

Tamala Jones

Actress Tamala Jones of ABC’s Castle has teamed up with the Joe Niekro Foundation and luxury hat maker Canada Bliss in a unique model search for brain aneurysms survivors.

According to research, the sudden and fatal illness is believed to claim more than 500,000 lives annually and has a greater chance of occurring in African American women.

After, recovering from the burst of a swollen blood vessel at the young age of 23, Jones decided to go public with her health issue back in 2011, and recounted her experience to BlackEnterprise.com.

“[I woke] up one morning with a massive headache; feeling like I had to use the bathroom, like I had to urinate really bad,” she said in a previous interview. “When I got out of bed I had no balance. I was walking on my toes and I was stomping. When I got to the bathroom, I plopped down on the toilet. I had no control over my body weight. And when I couldn’t go I was like, Oh, my God, I just had to pee really bad and now I don’t have to. Then, I got up because my head was hurting, and I looked in the mirror and I’m telling you two seconds after I looked in that mirror I dropped and hit the floor.”

Now a longtime supporter of the cause, Jones has sparked the model search as part of her early-detection aneurysm campaign and survivor self esteem initiative, to help educate others  and make them aware of the warning signs. It’s also designed to encourage survivors to share their personal experiences.

“This is more than a model search, it a message to survivors that by sharing our stories we help save lives,” Jones said in a statement. “For a long time I did not discuss my brain aneurysm out of fear, so I understand the silence of survivors but now we are giving them not only a voice but faces too.”

Canada Bliss collaborated with Jones to create the signature line Tamala By Canada Bliss to help raise awareness of brain aneurysms.  The company is now taking its efforts a step further by placing survivors chosen via the model search in advertising for the brand.

The model search is currently taking place through June 5th and Jones’ is seeking survivors age 18 and over to come on board with the ad campaign. To enter participants must submit a 500-word essay along with two photos to BASurvivorModelSearch@gmail.com.

Proceeds from the sales of Tamala By Canada Bliss, according to the news release, benefit brain aneurysm awareness and research.

 

 

 

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Feature: Jamilah Lemieux

Jamilah L

 

 

 

Jamilah Lemieux is the News & Lifestyle Editor for EBONY.com. In 2005, she created the award-winning blog, The Beautiful Struggler, where for more than six years, she published meditations on race and relationships. Jamilah has contributed to a host of publications including Essence, JET, Clutch, The Loop, Madame Noire, Black Enterprise Online, and Jezebel. She has appeared on a number of radio programs, including NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “The Michael Eric Dyson Show,” WBAI’s “The Spin,” and “Al B. In The Afternoon” on Philadelphia’s 900AM WURD. Jamilah is a Chicago native and graduate of Howard University.

 

 

 

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