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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

The 2019 ESSENCE Festival Draws More Than Half A Million Attendees For Historic 25th Anniversary Celebration

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: A view of the audience during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

The 2019 ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola® attracted more than half a million attendees to New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend (July 4-7) for an historic 25th anniversary celebration representing one of the largest gatherings in the event’s history. Forever First Lady Michelle Obama commanded the main stage at the sold-out Superdome on Saturday, July 7 for her first ESSENCE Festival headline appearance. Throughout the weekend, seven 2020 Presidential candidates joined Power Stage segments at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to directly engage the influential audience of Black women in attendance and share plans and policies to address some of their most pressing issues. In addition, the debut of the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum connected attendees with accomplished leaders and chief executives including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Duckett, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, and TDJ Enterprises CEO TD Jakes, among others.

“The 25th anniversary ESSENCE Festival represented a truly transformative global homecoming celebration for Black women and the Black community,” said ESSENCE Chief Executive Officer Michelle Ebanks. “This year’s extraordinary turnout reflects ESSENCE’s uniquely powerful engagement of Black women around personal empowerment, community, and culture as only ESSENCE can. With the debut of 10 new Festival experiences, activations at more than 40 venues across New Orleans, and engagement with more than 300 small businesses and local vendors, we have redefined the Festival as the largest and most impactful destination at the epicenter of Black culture.”

Ebanks continued, “Lastly, in honor of us embodying all that Black excellence and culture represent – beyond entertainment and beauty, we were thrilled to reveal the Festival’s official rebrand to the ‘ESSENCE Festival of Culture,’ with a mission to inform, inspire and uplift Black women and provide a holistic approach to how we offer and deliver Black culture in every way.”

Additional highlights of the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival include:

Live broadcasts of Power Stage ‘Presidential Spotlight’ and “Candidate Conversations” segments on MSNBC and CNN, featuring keynote addresses from Senator Michael Bennett, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Kamala Harris, Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. In addition, exclusive live to tape segments on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton.

New, stand-alone consumer experiences including the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum, ESSENCE Fashion House, ESSENCE Wellness House, ESSENCE After Dark, and ESSENCE Passport25, among others, as well as the return of reimagined live content platforms and experiences including Beauty Carnival, Entertainment All Access, business & career summit E-Suite and ESSENCE Honors.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Teddy Riley and Pharrell Williams perform onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Teyana Taylor performs onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Over 100 performing artists across the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Many of the biggest names in the entertainment industry including Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, H.E.R, Nas, Pharrell, Patti LaBelle, Teyana Taylor and others performed at the event’s concert series and dozens of others across ESSENCE’s Center Stage and All-Star Gospel Celebration.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Zendaya attends onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

More than 300 influencers, leaders, creators and celebrities participated in the Festival’s daytime experience – featuring powerhouse speakers Rev. Al Sharpton, Ava Duvernay, Yara Shahidi, Tyler Perry, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Marsai Martin, Valerie Jarrett, Iman, Common, Mona Scott-Young, Miles Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, among many others.

Photos Courtesy of Essence

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

BYRON ALLEN ACCEPTS THE ICON AWARD AT THE 4TH ANNUAL CULTURE CREATORS INNOVATORS & LEADERS AWARDS BRUNCH

Celebrating leaders throughout the creative community and upholding a commitment to diversity, Culture Creators hosted its fourth annual “Innovators & Leaders” Awards Brunch at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the International Ballroom on Saturday,June 22. It was hosted by Tanika Ray, co-host of EXTRA, and DeMarco Morgan, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning.

Check out Bryon Allen’s “Culture Chat”, and photos of the event below!

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This year, businessman, television producer, comedian, philanthropist, and founder, owner, and CEO of Entertainment Studios, Byron Allen accepted the Icon Award. His acceptance of the honor was preceded by a Culture Chat that engaged attendees, moderated by Amy DuBois Barnett, the EVP, Digital + Chief Content Officer of The Grio—an Entertainment Studios-owned platform.<

Michael Ealy presented James Lopez with the Culture Creator Award for Film & Television Excellence, while Marsai Martin spoke directly to young girls of color who don’t feel like they belong, as she accepted her honor of Innovator of the Year.

Check out the full list of honorees, below.

Additionally, attendees of the gala were first to hear an exciting announcement from Andréa Richardson, Director, Multicultural & Diversity Relations and Global Corporate Affairs at Hilton.

On behalf of Hilton, she announced a new initiative between the leading hotelier and Culture Creators: The HBCU Summit. This event will allow Culture Creators to extend its impact on our world today with their expanded resources.

More information on the partnership will be forthcoming.

The event also welcomed corporate partners such as Hilton, Don Julio Tequila, Pepsi, and Lexus. The exclusive invite-only gala maintained its status as one of the most sought-after and influential events of BET Awards Weekend for the fourth consecutive year. 2019 saw the event expanded and evolved as it highlights the achievements of thought leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African American culture in an intimate setting among key players.

Talent from this year’s gala included: Past Icon Honoree Sylvia Rhone, Lalah Hathaway, Ryan Destiny, Lecrae, Chris Chalk (When They See Us), Omar Bolden, Brandon Marshall, Mona Scott-Young, Van Lathan, Kendrick Sampson, and more.

These “Culture Creators” continue to set the pace for diversity in the fields of entertainment, music, sports, and beyond.

The list of 2019 honorees:

Innovators & Leaders Award 2019
Icon Award
Byron Allen
Founder, Chairman, CEO
Entertainment Studios
Innovator of the Year
Marsai Martin
Actress, Executive Producer
Film & Television
James Lopez, President Will Packer Productions
Business
Tiffany R. Warren,
Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group
Founder & President, AdColor
Technology
Morgan DeBaun, Founder & CEO Blavity Inc.
Iddris Sandu, Entrepreneur
Finance
Phyllis Newhouse
Founder & CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp
Music
Quality Control Music: CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee
Fashion
Antoine Phillips
Vice President, Brand and Culture Engagement, GUCCI
Sports
Alexys Feaster
Senior Director Player Development, NBA
Art
Simphiwe Ndzube

See more exclusive photos courtesy of The Purple Agency below:

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Fashion FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: Rémy Martin & Don C Release the FINAL Piece of the “Just Rémy” Capsule Collection During All-Star Weekend

Premium cognac brand Rémy Martin and world-renowned streetwear designer, Don C, have dropped the final piece of the “Just Rémy” co-branded capsule collection- the Duffel. Rémy Martin and the influential online cultural hub Hypebeast, celebrated the final product release at a co-hosted event in Charlotte, North Carolina, amongst industry notables attending and participating in the 2019 All-Star Weekend.

The “Just Rémy” Duffel was designed with a luxurious twist similar to the previously released pieces within the collection. Comprised of black lambskin leather with gold hardware and red python piping, the Duffel also features a gold embroidered “Just Rémy” logo as its signature emblem.

From beginning to end, guests enjoyed signature Rémy Martin 1738® Accord Royal cocktails while enjoying music by DJ Brittany Sky. Basketball enthusiast and reputable artist, Victor Solomon set the scene with custom-made art installations throughout the space; inspired by the aesthetic and energy of the “Just Rémy” Collection.

The Collector’s Series is a program that celebrates the premium promise of Rémy Martin through the collaboration of leading lifestyle brands and designers who are at the crossroads of luxury and lifestyle. The “Just Rémy” partnership, which is the first installment of the series, intertwines fashion, basketball, and luxury to create signature pieces exemplary of the iconic Rémy Martin brand. With a focus on basketball culture, the collection presents premium basketball essentials that double as timeless lifestyle pieces that are essential beyond the court.

The Collector’s Series launched in October of 2018 in Don C’s hometown of Chicago with the debut of the “Just Rémy” 1738 Sneaker Box. The second piece of the collection, the Cap, was unveiled last November in Los Angeles, followed by the release of the Jersey during Art Basel in Miami. Most recently, the Dopp Kit was release at an exclusive event in NYC at the end of January.

The “Just Rémy” Duffel is available for purchase for $750 in a limited supply on JustDon.com. All other pieces in the collection, including the Dopp Kit and Cap ($350) and the Jersey ($750,) are also available for purchase through the site.

Photos by Brandon Todd

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Fashion FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: Rémy Martin and Streetwear Designer, Don C Release “Just Rémy” Dopp kit at The Webster SOHO

Last Thursday evening, premium cognac brand Rémy Martin and world-renowned streetwear designer, Don C, debuted the latest piece of the capsule collection –the Dopp Kit. To celebrate the release of the newest piece, the brand and designer hosted an exclusive cocktail party at luxury multi-brand retailer The Webster SOHO.

Guests enjoyed Signature 1738 cocktails and passed bites while interacting with unveiled pieces of the collection and Don C who was conversing with attendees throughout the event. A childhood friend of Don C’s and fellow Chicago-native, DJ Happy, set the mood onsite, performing a live 2-hour set.

The “Just Rémy” Dopp Kit was designed with a luxurious twist, reinventing the traditional travel accessory into a bold fashion statement perfect for the daring jetsetter. Made of black lambskin leather with gold hardware and red python piping, the Dopp Kit also features a gold embroidered “Just Rémy” logo as its signifier. The Dopp Kit is available for purchase for $350 in a limited supply on JustDon.com and available for a limited time in-store at The Webster SOHO (29 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013)

The Collector’s Series is a program that celebrates the premium promise of Rémy Martin through the collaboration of leading lifestyle brands and designers who are at the crossroads of luxury and lifestyle. The “Just Remy” partnership, which is the first installment of the series, intertwines fashion, basketball and luxury to create signature pieces exemplary of the iconic Rémy Martin brand. With a focus on basketball culture, the collection presents premium basketball essentials that double as timeless lifestyle pieces that are essential beyond the court. 

For more information about “The Collector’s Series” and Rémy Martin, visit RemyCollectors.com and follow along on social media at: Instagram @RemyMartinUS | Twitter @RemyMartinUS | Facebook RemyMartinUSA

 

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: HBO Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin’ NYC Premiere

Last night, HBO hosted the official NYC premiere of the highly-anticipated stand-up comedy special of AMANDA SEALES: I BE KNOWIN’ with actress and comedian Amanda Seales. The VIP event took over TriBeCa’s Roxy Hotel and theatre space to host the intimate viewing party and cocktail reception.

Inside the event, guests enjoyed an event-themed cocktail, delicious small-bites, popcorn, and other concession stand snacks before gathering inside the theatre to get an exclusive first look at the comedy special. HBO’s SVP of Marketing LUCINDA MARTINEZ made opening remarks before passing the mic to SEALES who welcomed her friends, family and influential guests to the screening.

Following the screening, guests were treated to an exclusive Q&A discussion with Amanda Seales moderated by The Breakfast Club’s ANGELA YEE. During the discussion, Seales touched on topics like writing the special specifically for black women, her writing process and the 37 years that lead up to her debut special.

Guests were also treated to a hard-copy of the official “I Be Knowin’” Digital Magazine (available on HBO.com).

Photos: Dorothy Hong/Team Epiphany

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: Keri Hilson Joins ‘My City 4 Ways Culture Festival’

Over the weekend, Essence and FORD once again joined forces to bring the My City 4 Ways Culture Festival to Houston for its last stop. Ford brought the festival to White Oak Music Hall, to celebrate the city’s most notable tastemakers, innovators and leaders across music, art, lifestyle, and food. R&B star Keri Hilson celebrated the eve of her birthday with a special performance of some of her classic hits, including “Turning Me On”, “Knock Me Down” and “Pretty Girl Rock” while delicious hors-d’oeuvres circulated the gallery, prepared by One Feisty Chef and Chef James Robinson. Guests also enjoyed a Ford “Ride & Drive” experience, where consumers got the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the Mustang, the all-new 2018 Expedition, and the F-150.

Attendees were also able to shop at the pop-up shops of art influencer Ashely Price, who did a live art installation, entrepreneur and fashion influencer Rich God who had his clothing Made By Rich God on display and for sale. Melissa Butler founder of the Lip Bar also had an interactive Lip Bar experience where she gifted guests with her lipstick. Houston’s very own Kam Franklin sang her heart out while she entertained the crowd with a special performance including a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Women, Do Right Man”.

Top financial advisor Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche hosted the festival along with Tai Beauchamp. The Budgetnista announced the Ford’s Driving Her Dreams contest winner, through which Ford awarded Melissa Mitchell of Abeille Creations a two-year lease of a Ford Explorer. To win this contest, Melissa Mitchell beat out 10 other female entrepreneurs who made a pitch at ESSENCE FESTIVAL explaining why getting a Ford Explorer would help their business go further. Congrats to Melissa Mitchell for the big win!

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Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: Zaytoven’s private screening in NYC for his new film ‘Birds of a Feather 2’

Over the weekend, Grammy Award-Winning producer Zaytoven held a private screening at IMI Studio in NYC for his new film, Birds of a Feather 2. Zaytoven stars as himself in the film opposite Kash Doll, who plays the widow of an old friend trying to extort Zaytoven. Legendary music executive Tom Silverman was in attendance as well as up and coming artist, Young Prophit.

While at the screening, Zaytoven spoke about his venture into the business side of music by recently joining the Creators Advisory Board for Tracklib, the world’s first and only online crate-digging and music sample clearance service.

“I am where I am today because somebody opened up their studio to me and gave me the opportunity to play around with instruments, to create,” said Zaytoven. “I’m blessed to be given the chance to pay it forward through a platform like Tracklib, which is giving aspiring musicians and producers the chance to experiment with different samples and define their sound.”

Zaytoven has joined Erick Sermon, Prince Paul, and Drumma Boy as a leading advocate for Tracklib’s one-of-a-kind system for searching full tracks by popular artists, sampling them, and then licensing the resulting songs in only minutes.

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Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: BET Celebrates Premiere of ‘Hustle In Brooklyn’

Last night, BET Networks celebrated the premiere of their hot new reality series, “Hustle In Brooklyn,” at BKLYN Studios in West Brooklyn. The cast was in attendance and joined a room filled with excited guests, media, celebrities and influencers. The event was hosted by The Breakfast Club radio host and Brooklyn native Angela Yee, which added to the hype of the evening.

A select group of media had the opportunity to travel to the event in style, joining cast members Santos Garcia and Eva Evans on a party bus from Manhattan. Santos and Eva spoke to the group about their own hustles, their experiences filming the show, and their excitement for the premiere.

The evening began with a cast meet and greet with media, before Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for BET Networks, Jeanine D. Liburd, took the stage to thank everyone for coming and introduced Angela Yee to a huge round of applause.

The Breakfast Club host spoke to the crowd about the show and her love for Brooklyn before introducing the cast and presenting a super-teaser that got everyone talking about the upcoming show. Following the teaser, attendees enjoyed a great night complete with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music by both DJ Olivia Dope and “Hustle In Brooklyn” cast members BLK.ID TWINS.

Created and produced by Entertainment One and Creature Films, “Hustle In Brooklyn” follows a group of young and driven millennials, and tracks how their lives intersect in the pursuit of personal and professional success. This 9-episode one-hour reality series is a coming of age aspirational story set in one of NYC’s most iconic boroughs. “Hustle In Brooklyn” premieres Tuesday, October 16, at 10/9c pm on BET, immediately following the Hip Hop Awards.

#HustleInBK

(Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz and Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: Chance the Rapper’s Electrifying Performance at Spotify’s RapCaviar

This past weekend, Saturday, 9/29, Spotify’s wildly popular RapCaviar Live concert series returned to New York with headliner Chance the Rapper for an electrifying sold-out show at Ford Amphitheater on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn. In partnership with Verizon, the concert also featured highly respected hip-hop artists Sheck WesTierra Whack, and DJ SpinKing.

Attendees and notable influencers, including Lauryn Hill’s daughter Selah Marley, enjoyed an evening of energetic live performances at the open-air, beach-side venue. DJ SpinKing kicked off the night, followed by sets from Tierra Whack and Sheck Wes. DJ SpinKing was joined on stage by special guests Jim JonesUncle MurdaYoung M.A and Pardison Fontaine. The three-time Grammy Award winning artist, Chance the Rappercaptivated fans with performances of hits including “All Night”“Blessings”“No Problem”, “Same Drugs”, and “I’m The One”, along with latest songs “I Might Need Security”“Work Out”, Wala Cam”, and “65th & Ingleside”. Before closing out the night, Chance took a seat on the stage to quiet the amphitheatre and emotionally express his gratitude for his fans. He ended the show with an electrifying encore of “Blessings”,accompanied with colorful confetti that showered the enthusiastic crowd.

Since the launch of RapCaviar Live in 2017, Spotify continues to showcase some of today’s hottest rappers to their biggest fans around the country. Produced in partnership with Live Nation Urban, RapCaviar Live is inspired by Spotify’s highly influential flagship hip hop playlist, RapCaviar, which encompasses a collection of fresh hip hop tracks and has since become one of Spotify’s biggest playlists with over 10 million followers.

RapCaviar Playlist linked here

Photo Credit: Nicholas Hunt, Monica Schipper/ Getty Images

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Last Night in NYC

Fly Exclusive: Afropunk & Toyota Get The ‘Green’ Conversation Started In Brooklyn

Before we took our talents to this year’s Afropunk Festival, as part of Toyota’s overall Afropunk Brooklyn experience, we were privy to attend a special dialogue/panel (done over brunch) which promoted and discussed the growing community of African Americans engaging in and practicing sustainable living.

Held at Brooklyn’s newest obsession, Sweet Chick (the downtown Flatbush location), tastemakers and members of the elite brown press in NYC congregated over the franchise’s signature chicken & waffles, mac & cheese, mimosas, bloody mary’s and more over a smooth Brooklyn soundtrack as the conversation started up.

Kerene Tayloe, policy director for Green For All, a national organization working to ensure people of color and working families have a place and voice in the climate movement, lead a panel conversation with sustainability advocates and TGI coalition members, hip-hop artist Stic of Dead Prez, selfproclaimed “Queen of Green”, Yoli , as well as, Yvonna Wright of Lomar Farms.

The group kicked off the conversation about the emerging green movement among people of color and the importance of building a coalition of green advocates in those communities at an intimate brunch near the festival.  Needless to say it was a much needed conversation, and we were glad to be in attendance.

-Stay Fly!