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What’s Happening Myron? ‘Soul’ missing from American Music Awards


“Soul” missing from American Music Awards; Monique at Chuckles; “Gospel According to Jazz”; more!

by Myron Mays

I had been hearing a lot of promotions for the American Music Awards so I decided to do something different and tune in. Something amazing happened this year. I didn’t feel so out of touch…at least not because of my age. Strangely enough, I felt a little out of touch because of my race. Yes, really I did.

Have I been stuck in a time capsule for the past couple of years? I had to really ask myself, where are all the black folks? I know that there have been some black folks out there making music somewhere. I mean, I do work at a radio station.

Outside of John Legend winning R&B Male Artist and Beyoncé snaring R&B Female artist and Album of the year, it seems as if “we” were kind of lost in the mix. More specifically, our influence was most certainly there, but we weren’t.

True, Mary J. Blige performed. However, her performance didn’t have that “flavor” that you would expect from someone who is considered the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul.” And I don’t believe anything shocked me more than the hip-hop categories. Iggy Izalea won the award for Best Hip Hop Artist AND Album!

Then at the end, Jennifer Lopez turned in one of the greatest impressions of Beyoncé I have ever seen in my life.

What I’m trying to say is that there wasn’t any “soul” in this year’s telecast.

I now realize why shows such as the BET Awards and the NAACP awards are so important to our culture. We don’t necessarily like to be segregated, however, we like to turn on the TV and see a reflection of us. We like to see on TV the people we love listening to perform the songs we love. We like to see them walk away with awards for creating the songs that we like.

Sure, while watching the BET Awards we still have to sit through stuff we really don’t wanna see. However, it’s our stuff and the choice still belongs to us.

I guess I’m done bellyaching now, lol.

Here’s What’s Happening:

You know what time of the year it is, right? You know it’s gonna eventually come around, right? And there’s no way to avoid it. It’s almost Black Friday!

Yes, it’s time to strap on your combat gear and get ready to take on the crowds of renegades who are looking for the biggest TVs at the cheapest prices! Thankfully, however, it only lasts a day.

For those who want to get it all behind them and just enjoy the holidays, here’s a few things you might like.

Sip & Shop

It’s Sip & Shop this Saturday (Nov. 29th) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Southwind located at 4068 Stansell Court. Here’s your chance to do your holiday shopping with a diverse selection of vendors without the hassle of the crowds! There’s gonna be food, fun and lots of giveaways! 

Monique at Chuckles

Santa Claus is not the only one coming to town this month. Comedienne and Academy Award winning actress Monique is bringing the funny to Chuckles Comedy House for two nights – Dec. 12-13. Visit Chuckles online at www.chucklescomedyhouse.com for tickets and information.

‘Gospel According to Jazz’

It’s a very special holiday concert as saxophonist Kirk Whalum returns with the “Gospel According to Jazz” featuring Gerald Albright on Dec. 14 at the Greater Imani Church & Christian Center. Premium tickets are $30 and include a special pre-concert reception and VIP seating. For more information, contact Greater Imani 901-274-6711.

(If you have an event you’d like for me to cover or attend, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

  • Written by Special to the New Tri-State Defendery by Myron Mays

NOW SHOWING on TSD-TV: Sheila Whalum, "Why Love Doesn't Last"


TSD TV: Sheila Whalum discusses her new book, "Why Love Doesn't Last" with TSD's Beverly Anderson in one of two segments.

Click here to watch Part One.

Want to find out why love doesn't last?  Take it from Sheila Whalum in her new book. Watch now and listen to her tips on making a marriage last even when the romance is lacking.

Be sure to like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter to give us your feed back. 

  • Written by Interview by Beverly Anderson

‘My own man’ treats Memphis to ‘Mrs. Independent’

Mrs Independent

Some may wonder what can transpire in a relationship were the woman earns more money than the man. The play “Mrs. Independent,” which ran Nov. 8-9 at the Cannon Center, examined just that topic.

Bringing the storyline to life was an acting crew that featured Robin Givens, Dottie Peoples, Christopher Williams, Tony Grant, Trisha Mann-Grant and playwright Priest Tyaire.

  • Written by Brittney Gathen-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

‘The Big Baby Live Experience Volume 1’

Big Baby

If you have ever found yourself downtown at Memphis Sounds Lounge listening to the A440 Band then you might be familiar with a strong-voice performer known to many as “Big Baby.”

No, she’s not a baby! She’s not even a kid. She’s a full-grown woman with a voice that really makes you feel the pulse of what the Memphis sound is all about.

‘Dynamic duo’ builds on what keeps on working


Soprano soloist Valetta Brinson, an assistant professor of communications, graphic and fine arts at Southwest Tennessee Community College, recently joined poet and musician Kevin Simmonds in a performance before a packed house at the College of Charleston for the Crazyhorse Reading Series.

Brinson accompanied Simmonds with songs as he read poems centered on issues of identity, sexuality, family dynamics, and history.

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

First lady: ‘…you look like a ballet dancer’


So, just imagine it. Some project you’re involved in captures the nation’s top honor in creative youth development. Hundreds of after-school programs across America compete for the coveted prize. Only 12 are chosen. And yours makes the cut.

 You are chosen to accept that award from the first lady at the White House.  As you share center stage with Michelle Obama, she opens her arms to embrace you and speaks life-giving words that only the two of you share.
This was 17-year-old Briana Brown’s reality as she jetted to Washington D.C. to accept an award on behalf of the New Ballet Ensemble & School. By her side was New Ballet’s founder and CEO Katie Smythe.

  • Written by Dr. Sybill C. Mitchell