Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, MJ Rodriguez start the party at the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019

All Photos and Article by Jovanna Reyes

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold open the BET Soul Train Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Tisha Campbell and Tisha Arnold welcomed viewers to the House of Cellulite and Menopause with MJ Rodriguez of “Pose” for the opening of the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019. The dance number was set to a medley of Janet Jackson’s house/dance songs with the hosts singing live in leather body-con suits and with exaggerated comedic genius expressions. They are more than ready for their own variety show…Tyler Perry ya’ listening?

Keyshia Cole and Tank present the Best R&B/Soul Female Artist at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

This year’s Soul Cypher, Keyshia Cole, presented H.E.R., along with Tank, the award for BestR&B/Soul Female Artist. The always lovely and conservatively dressed, compared to her counterparts, gave an inspirational speech in comparison to admitted social anxiety disorder sufferer, Summer Walker. Ms. Walker, obviously elated, gave a quick thank you after presented with the Best New Artist award by the crew of Tyler Perry’s “The Oval”.

SIR and his brother, D Smoke, performed at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

K. Michelle soulfully performed her single “Rain” with an all white platformed background which was striking with her vibrant hair. The new Radeo record label owner, Issa Rae, introduced her new artist, TeaMarr. The Haitian rapper/singer crooned her single, “Kinda Love”, on the My Black is Beautiful stage with the Adam Blackstone Allstar Band while sipping from her teacup. Her obvious signature move repeated on the blue carpet.

K. Michelle performs “Rain” at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

After K. Michelle and TeaMarr, Tichina Arnold introduced Doctur Dot, Tiana Major9 and Johnny Venus of Earthgang, where the spoken word was introduced before “Collide” was performed. The stage was drenched in color, flowers and silver rims to represent the theme from the new movie “Queen and Slim”.

BET’s Soul Train Awards 2019 host, Tichina Arnold, at the Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

“American Soul” actor, Sinqua Walls presented the king of non traditional gospel, Kirk Franklin, with the Best Gospel/Inspirational Award. Mr. Franklin inspired those beginning their careers to be patient and allow things to ‘marinate’ because not everyone has a microwaveable career that is easily attained.

Boyz II Men and Stokely performed a medley of the ballads from their greatest hits for the Legend Award Tribute to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Wanya, Shawn and Nathan belted out falsettos for “Tender Love” and “On Bended Knee” while Stokely flamed the fire with “Breaking My Heart” and “Pretty Brown Eyes”.

Stokely performed for the Legend Award Tribute-Ballads at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Ari Lennox appeared in good spirits when introducing her friend, Pink Sweat$, who performed his hit “Honesty” on the My Black is Beautiful stage. Wale was joined by Jermih for “on Chill” and Kelly Price, looking super sexy in all black leather, for “Sue Me”.

Ari Lennox introduces her friend, Pink Sweat$, at the My Life is Beautiful stage for the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019.
Queen Naija performs her hit “Good morning text” at the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Queen Naija sang her hit “Good Morning Text” on the Orleans Arena stage before Kirk Franklin presented Yolanda Adams with the BET Soul Train Music Lady of Soul Award. Ms. Adams thanked everyone with a special mention for her daughter and performed seven of her top hits. She was so in the moment, Ms. Adams continued singing as she walked offstage. Luke James(who was giving Prince vibes on the blue carpet and onstage), Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid performed “All your love” and “Go girl” in their matching red outfits.

Luke James, Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid perform at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards in Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

The theme of the evening were the living legends, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ music compilations. From the first scene with a Janet Jackson medley, to Boyz II Men and Stokely ballads, the next set was mind blowing. Sounds of Blackness reunited with Jamecia Bennett and Ann Nesby and their pipes are still fresh. Mary Davis and Abdul Ra’Oof of the S.O.S. Band hit all the right notes and Alexander O’Neal joined Cherrelle, who outsung Alexander and looked fabulous doing it. The final Legend tribute act deserves their own award, Morris Day and Jerome Benton made the audience get on their feet and groove with the Time. They were also joined by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Babyface.

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold dressed like the Legend Award, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Adam Blackstone and the BBE Allstar Band finished off the night with Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold thanking Connie Orlando, BET V.P. Original Programming. The performers joined the hosts onstage for a Soul Train line with Cherrelle and Ann Nesby hitting high notes on the way out.

The BET Soul Train Awards 2019 Finale, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
Mary Davis(S.O.S. Band), Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold and Ann Nesby at the finale of The BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.
Babyface, Abdul Ra’Oof(S.O.S. Band) with Tichina Arnold at The BET Soul Train Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas

All photos and article written by Jovanna Reyes http://www.jovannareyes.com @jovannareyesphotography

BET Hip Hop Awards Green Carpet Fashion 2019!

Lil Kim and Junior Mafia at the BET Hip Hop Awards, the Cobb Energy Center, ATL
Photo by Jovanna Reyes

The BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 was held on October 5, 2019 at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a stream of old and new, emerging and hitmakers on Sprite’s green carpet this past weekend. Lil Kim, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor, T-Pain and more made appearances on the Sprite’s green carpet this past weekend. Junior Mafia and the Queen Bee performed a medley of her hits, after she received the ICON award. Rick Ross, a long time collaborator with Lil Kim, presented her with the award. She thanked her crew, family, including her daughter Reign, with the biggest props going to Biggie Smalls(discovered and produced her successful albums).

Rick Ross gave presence on the green carpet casually dressed but dripping in ice. He later performed with T-Pain and Lil Jon with a vision of Miami on the LED backdrop.

Rick Ross performing on the BET Hip Hop Awards, Atlanta, GA
Photo by Jerome Dorn/InDaHouse Media

Atlanta had every rapper from the last few decades grace the carpet and the stage. Lil Kim, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Lil Jon, Junior Mafia, Money Man, Gunna, and all the Babys, Lil Baby and DaBaby. The Babys also performed together and on DaBaby performed with Meg The Stallion, who opened the award show with a thong bodysuit, showing her best assets. Her set was a retro designed in red, white and blue, transported from the old World War II musicals.

The female rappers represented in rhinestones, sheer gowns and cutouts with designer labels galore. One of the outstanding memorable artists was Rapsody. The hood feminist wore a vintage style jogging outfit adorned with a swavorski headdress of rollers. It was original and perfect for the multifaceted fashion carpet.

Teyana Taylor and her husband, cypher, Iman Shumpert supported each other on the carpet. Teyana was a presenter while her husband showed his skills as a cypher on a pre recorded battle with other upcoming and talented rappers.

Lil Duval hosted this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta. He performed his hit single “City Boys” and was joined by KaMillion and an entire slew of folks. He had an entire city on that stage.

Article by Jovanna Reyes @jovannareyesphotography @curvysta

“If Not Now, When?”, The First Ever Film Directed by Two Black Women Premieres at the 23rd ABFF in Miami Beach

Article/Photos/Video by Jovanna Reyes www.jovannareyes.com

It’s 2019 and we can still say “If Not Now, When?” is the first film ever made with two Black female directors and producers, where it premiered at the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach. Tamara Bass and Meagan Good, friends first and directors/producers(Krazy Actress Productions) second, took on several titles and multitasked as actors in the film. The movie, written by Tamara Bass, also stars Mekia Cox and Meagan Holder as childhood friends with a strong “sisterhood” bond that keeps them together through life’s challenges.

Watch the video below, captured at the 23rd ABFF Roundtable where Bass and Good describe wanting to bring back an all Black female ensemble cast(popular in the nineties) and how ‘authenticity ‘ and quality were the most important factors during filming.

Meagan Good and Tamara Bass, directors and producers of “If Not Now, When?” Discuss the screening at ABFF 2019 Roundtable at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

Tamara Bass and Meagan Good at the ABFF 2019 Awards Carpet.

Comcast welcomes two more Multicultural channels to their roster, ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’ with a celebration at the Newseum in D.C.

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

On Thursday, March 14, Comcast celebrated the new media additions to their cable systems, Afrotainment’s ‘Afro’ channel and TV One’s ‘Cleo TV’. The event held in Washington D.C.’s Newseum was hosted by Comcast, represented by Keisha Boyd, Executive Director of Multicultural Products and featured Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III, Michelle Rice(General Manager of Cleo TV), Yves Bollanger(CEO/founder of Afrotainment channels) and talents from both channels.

Comcast’s David Cohen, Afro Channel CEO and founder Yves Bollanger, Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, General Manager of Cleo TV Michelle Rice, Keisha Boyd, Comcast Executive Director Multicultural Products and guest.
Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III
Rahsan Rahsan Lindsay, TV One EVP, Ad Sales & Marketing

Comcast made a commitment to include ten multicultural channels as part of their 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal. Those channels include Revolt, El Rey, with Afro and Cleo TV rounding out their fulfillment. Michelle Rice was the lead to bringing Cleo TV to fruition. Her goal was to create a channel that fully engages Black women 24/7. “Cleo will offer content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes.” Yves Bollanger shared the goal of his ‘Afro’ channel. “We are excited to showcase all shades of the Black culture…:”

Here are some of the offerings available on the ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’:

‘Cleo TV’ http://www.mycleotv.com:

Sister Circle, a live mulitplatform talk show featuring Rashan Ali, Trina Braxton, Syleena Johnson

Tough Love, NYC millenials navigating love in the city.

Lens of Culture with Tai Beauchamp

Just Eats with Chef JJ with host JJ Johnson

New Soul Kitchen with Jernard Wells

Cleo Speaks with April Reign

‘Afro’ http://www.afros.tv:

The Lowdown, a late night show with James Yon

POINT OF VIEW-A talk show for women hosted by Erika Washington, Kaya Chihombori, Sandy Laborde, Candice Cruz and Sisaundra.





Style Check-featuring Katrina Lee and CL Freeman



 Information below provided by PR for Cleo TV and Afrotainment.

For more information on CLEO TV, visit CLEO TV’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.mycleo.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on CLEO TV’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #CLEOTV.

About Afrotainment
Afrotainment, a Florida-based company edits, operates and distributes eight networks from its state-of-the-art film and television studios in Orlando and Queens, New York. Afrotainment channels are available in the US and Canada via cable, satellite, fiber-optic and OTT platforms. Visit www.afrotainment.us for more information.

Love & Hip Hop’s, Paris Phillips, lands her first movie role on BET’s “Fall Girls”


BET Networks will premiere their original comedy production “Fall Girls” on Saturday, January 12, 9PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her.  The comedy, executive produced by Footage Films, features Paris Phillips of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, Amara La Negra(Love and Hip Hop Miami), Tami Roman(Basketball Wives), Erica Hubbard, Erica Peeples and Joely Fisher.  The light hearted comedy is set in San Francisco, where Paige Davis(Amara La Negra) is promoted and her boss Simone(Joely Fisher) invites her and friend Tyra(Erica Hubbard) to a weekend getaway.  After a night of decadence, the two friends wake up to a dead boss and the comedy begins with the help of Paige’s friends, Tyra and Kiki(Paris Phillips). The hysterical group with very different personalities, try to get through the weekend without being accused of her death and attempt to find the real killer.

As you watch the short trailer, it is quite evident who will carry the “funny” in the movie,  Ms. Paris Phillips.  The Brooklynite dominates every scene she is in and pulls you further into the story.  It’s why we had to find out how she became this confident, Curvy being and her natural flair in front of the camera.

Curvysta: “May I call you Ms. Phillips? “

Paris: “Girl you better call me Paris.”

Curvysta: “Where were you born and raised Ms. Paris?”

Paris:  “I was born in Harlem, but I was raised in Brooklyn.  I lived in Harlem until I was eight years old but Brooklyn is home.”

Curvysta: “As a child did you have aspirations to be in the entertainment industry?  It’s so natural to you.  You’re like a beam of light on camera.  I love watching you.”

Paris: “ I just knew I always wanted to be on tv.  I was that kid that always loved attention.  My grandmother said when I was a little kid, I would copy people on the train.  I was always the class clown.  I’ve always been the kid that everybody loved.  I knew I wanted to do something on TV”

Curvysta:  “What was your first opportunity getting into the industry?  Your foot in the door?”

Paris:  “My first opportunity came through Keyshia Cole’s via Twitter.  I never really tried to go after.  I was going to get a city job but Twitter came around and you have access to real celebrities.  Keyshia Cole followed me.  She wasn’t following a lot of people.  I was a fan but I wasn’t to the extreme.  I said something back to her, that I didn’t agree with and she  took a liking to me.  She let me know she was coming to do Wendy Williams.  I remember talking to a lot of her people behind the scenes and they must’ve let her know that “Paris was a cool girl…so she took a liking to me.”

She offered to fly me out to LA on her next album and I’d never been to LA before.  She said don’t tell anyone I’m flying you out.  I was in LA for ten days while she’s taking me to studios.  I became cool with people behind the scenes, writer, engineers and show runners.  They went on to become big executives.  That’s why I tell people, when you meet people you never know how far they’ll go.  They’ve gone on to become successful publicists and Grammy writers and so on.  I was still working at Starbucks.  I was on tour and I took advantage of being on tour.”

Curvysta:  “There is a softness about you.  I know you’re from Brooklyn but there is a kindness that comes across.”

Paris:  “These celebrities like being around me because I’m real.  Sometimes you want that realness around you.  It feels like home.”

Curvysta: “How does the reality show differ from being on a movie set?”

Paris: “It’s a big difference.  When you walk on set, I know what you’re walking into.  When you walk onto Love and Hip Hop, you’re blindsided.  You don’t know what you’re walking into.  I know when I’m on a movie set, I know I’m going to be with this actress or that actress.  It’s a big difference.  You don’t know what’s expected on Love & Hip Hop.”

Curvysta:  “So is it easier on the movie set, than the reality set?”

Paris:  “Any set is easier than the Love & Hip Hop set.  When people talk about the other reality show sets, we don’t get anything.  A movie set is easy.”

Curvysta:  “You’re voice is amazing.  I love your tonality.  You should be on radio.  Your energy is so infectious, it comes across whether they are seeing you, visually or hearing you on the radio.”

Paris:  “Yes, yes, yes!  I want to do something like DJ Khaled.  I want to do something like that.  I know the people. I have the voice…Why can’t I be the next DJ Khaled?  This is what I’m saying!”

Curvysta:  “You’re a great example of a confident Curvy girl.  You have this great confidence.”

Paris:  “I’m not going to front.  It’s hard to find clothes.  I can’t be on Love and Hip Hop looking like a raggedy b*&(^.  It’s hard.”

Curvysta:  “I think you’re absolutely stunning.”

Paris:  “I call myself ‘Peyonce”,  They see me with the blonde wig and folks call me “Peyonce”.  When I have my glam on and my hair laid I know I look beautiful.  Some people have negative energy, so it makes you ugly.  Once again, my energy is positive so it makes me more beautiful.  It’s not about size.  Good vibes overpower everything.”

Curvysta:  “Sometimes you’re glam and sometimes you wear a grill.  What is your style?”

Paris:  “My style is TomBoy chic.  Shout out to Fashion Nova Curves.  They look out for me.  You have to know what is flattering to your body.  When you’re comfortable, you look comfortable.  The reunion show was out of the box for me.  That was my first time with blonde hair.  I love the feedback from the people.  Thanks to my friend, Lazell @zellswag, he styled me up for the reunion.  He said “No, we are getting sexy, sexy.”  Zell had a vision.  I was nervous.  Corset, titties up, blonde hair…that was a real 360 for me.”

Curvysta: “How was it working with Amara La Negra, Tami Roman…your reality show sisters?”

Paris: “Tami is my sister.  She is my family.  Amara, that was my first time meeting her.  Amara is cool.  She’s really nice but Tami is my sister.”

Curvysta:  What do you have planned next?

Paris: “Keep doing auditions. I am going to continue taking acting classes.  I want to continue taking my DJ classes.  It’s a lot.  Five years from now, God willing, call me Dana Jr(Queen Latifah)  That is my aspiration.”

Curvysta:  Is there anything you want to share about the movie?

Paris:  Watch the movie BET 9PM.  Watch it because they gave me a chance to be in it.  Support it! Show love!

Follow Ms. Paris Phillips on Instagram @whoisparisphillips

Watch Paris, Amara La Negra, Tami Roman, Erica Hubbard and the rest of the cast this Saturday, 1/12/19 on BET/BET Her at 9PM

Brandy, D.L. Hughley, Jade Novah, Elle Varner, Marvin Sapp and more celebs grace the Urban One Honors Stage to be aired on TV One in January 2019.


Cahty Hughes, the media maven behind TV One and Radio One, has done it again.  She’s created another outlet that exemplifies the best of the African American community in media, music, education, politics and activism.  The inaguaral Urban One Honors Awards was held in Chocolate City, Washington D.C. and sponsored by MGM National Harbor.

The event started with a robust red carpet hosted at La Vie at the Wharf, with April Ryan, Symone Sanders,Tom Joyner, Elle Varner, Jade Novah, Brandy, Ray J and the list goes on.



Brandy, Actress and Singer, was presented with the Cathy Hughes Excellence Award, while June Ambrose, stylist and resplendent in a mermaid style luxe gown, received the Fashion Icon Award.  She mentioned that TV One was the first channel to air her reality show, so she felt this award was a full circle moment.  Jade Novah, Comedian and Singer, was awarded the well deserved, Viral Sensation Award.  She was glowing as she described her new album and how grateful she is to be in the moment and knowing that she is headed in the right direction.


Symone Sanders, pictured above with the Social Change Award recipient, Shaun King, was a presenter along with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.  Ms. Pugh presented April Ryan the Media Personality of the Year Award.



Jermaine Dupri, received the Living Legend Award presented by Da Brat and Bryan Michael Cox.  Mr. Cox also a music producer took the time to grace the red carpet.  The hardest working man in showbiz, Rotimi, was honored with the Generation Next Award by Traci Braxton, who was gorgeous is a red fringe leather ensemble.  Marvin Sapp received the Inspirational Impact award for his work as a Gospel Radio DJ and his consistent release of gospel hits.

The Urban One Honors event will be aired on TV One in January 2019 with Reach Media’s D.L. Hughley as host of the star studded, celebrity event.

All photos supplied by James DeMarco with Strategic Heights Media.

Article written by Jovanna Reyes @jovannareyesphotography


Afros, Community and Acceptance at CurlFest 2019

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes


“The only natural beauty festival in the world that was created by five Black women for Black women.” ~Simone Mair, co-founder of the Curly Girl Collective and CurlFest

Glistening, pride, power, natural, love. The only words needed to describe the scene at Randall’s Island in NY this past weekend. The throngs of natural hair beauties, at least 100,000, covered the green grass of Icahn Stadium for the sixth annual CurlFest 2019. The music throbbed non stop, as you heard inspirational words at the Empowerment Stage.

Hair, skincare and drink sponsors offered free braiding, entertainment and products to all the attendees. The early birds left with Creme of Nature gift bags filled to the brim and didn’t mind waiting on the long lines for product.

Mack Wilds, Yandy Smith-Harris, Tiffany M. Battle, Jacque Reid were just a few of the celebrities and influencers to grace the CurlFest Empowerment Stage.

The encore to Saturday’s festivities was the RollerFest, sponsored by Target at the LeFrak Skating Rink at Prospect Park. The venue decorated with every primary color in existence and a ball pit, showcased a throw back skate party with Top DJs on stage and in the rink.

There were smiles and laughter at every turn. A successful event indeed! Visit http://www.curlfest.com for information on their next event in Atlanta this fall.

#curlfest2019 #curlfest #curvygirlcollective

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes http://www.jovannareyes.com

Congresswoman Maxine Waters receives WNDC Democratic Woman of the Year Award 2019 in D.C.

Article and Photos by Jovanna Reyes

“Aunt” Maxine Waters entered the Woman’s National Democratic Club to a standing ovation amongst her House of Representatives colleagues, members of the club and attendees who wanted to hear the powerhouse speak live.

The WNDC chose Congresswoman Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, the first African American and female to hold the position, to receive the Democratic Woman of the Year. One of the many comments by the speakers giving her their love and admiration is her commitment to women’s issues. She chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 1997 to 1999.

Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Jamila Jayapal, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur praised Congresswoman Waters for her leadership and using her voice for those in need, especially the poor and youth. Representative John Lewis presented her with the award.

Several of her colleagues including Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi sent their love and admiration with letters read by local students to Congresswoman Waters.

Congresswoman Lucy McBath, pictured above, presented students from Parkland with the Trailblazer Award. The award recognized their actions after their high school shooting to end gun violence. They assisted in the passing of the first gun restrictions in Florida in thirty years and organized the largest youth march since the sixties, “March for Our Lives”. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee ended the gala with praise for the students bravery and move for action.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
President of the WNDC, Nucchi Currier

Vydurya Lokesh, Celebrity MUA, Body Positive Influencer and Muse


I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC  this past summer.  I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course.  The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy.  Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows.  I mean her skin glows!  She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light.  It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.

One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course.  At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age.  I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty.  She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets.  The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her.  She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.

Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening.  I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.

As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.

Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.










Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes:

Follow Instagram@jovannareyesphotography and @curvysta