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Fly Interview: Essence Atkins Talks ‘Marlon’, McDonald’s 365 Black Awards & more

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We caught with actress Essence Atkins during this year’s Essence Festival as she discussed her hosting duties for McDonald’s 365 Black Awards, the upcoming new sitcom ‘Marlon‘ and so much more.

Check out the full interview above.

FLY Events

We Like: Ronald McDonald House Charities Awards The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation

(L-R) Chris Perry, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri State Area, Wendy Hilliard, Founder of Wendy Hillliard Gymnastics Foundation, Linda Dunham McDonald’s Owner Operator and Former RMHC Global Chairman

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Ronald McDonald House Charities® New York Tri-State Area (RMHC NYTSA) awarded a $7,500 community grant to the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation (WHGF), a not-for-profit organization that provides free and low-cost quality gymnastics for inner-city youth based in Harlem, New York.

“In keeping with our organization’s mission of supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children, we have historically supported the Wendy Hilliard Foundation for its groundbreaking program for young women, which incorporates not only gymnastics, but also general education and proper nutrition programming,” said Christopher Perry, Executive Director of RMHC NYTSA.


The WHGF is celebrating their 20th anniversary of successful programming this year.  In the past two decades, the WHGF has served more than 17,000 local youth, developing elite athletes and international gymnastic performers in the process.  Founder Wendy Hilliard, Hall of Fame rhythmic gymnast and the first African-American to represent the U.S. in international competition, also recently announced that the WHGF will be expanding and providing gymnastics programs in Hilliard’s hometown of Detroit, Michigan in fall 2016.   

“As a local charity, we are so grateful for this award. It is through partnerships and grants like these that we are able to create opportunities for our local youth to excel in nontraditional sports like gymnastics.” said WHGF Founder, Wendy Hilliard.  “With this extra funding, we have the power to support over 250 youth with gymnastics and workshops to provide youth with the tools to become healthy, active and well rounded adults.”

This year, RMHC NYTSA has now awarded over $200,000 in community grants to nonprofit organizations that serve children. To be considered for a community grant, grant applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with a specific program that directly benefits children aged 0-21 years, consistent and effective management, clear goals and objectives, and a demonstrated ability to respond to the needs of children in a manner that yields measurable results. For more information on the organization’s grants program, please visit

Photo Credit: Don Sherrill

Check out more photos below:

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About Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area

For over 20 years, Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area has been creating, finding and supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Their signature programs include scholarships to help provide access to a college education for students who need and earn it, and community grants to support a variety of local children’s charities. The organization also provides needed support to five Ronald McDonald Houses, which are “homes away from home” allowing families to be with their hospitalized children for extended periods of time. To learn more about the organization, please visit


#EssenceFest: McDonald’s #BounceBrunch with Tank, Tyrese, Andra Day, Tigger and more


During the Essence Festival weekend in New Orleans, McDonald’s held an exclusive invite-only Bounce Brunch just outside of the Convention Center where the other daily festivities were being held.

The event was hosted by Tank and Tyrese with special appearances by Tigger, singer Andra Day, BJ The Chicago Kid, Guordan and PJ Morton. Our very Gabriel Williams was also on deck!


Guests enjoyed McD’s special All-Day Breakfast Menu, french fries, their classic beverages, and even Mimosas, along with other speciality cocktails. Special performances were held by local NOLA bands, Tank and The Bangas, and New Breed Brass Band as well. Tyrese was even onboard to serve up a few items, as he revisited his childhood days working for the veteran company, and took a few flicks with some of the employees.

Music was provided by the one and only DJ D-Nice.

It was indeed a great moment for the Essence Fest weekend!

Peep the video recap below:

Photo Credit: Cameron Roper & SFPL’s Gabriel Williams 

Check out more pics below.

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The Word: R. Kelly Walks Off Huffington Post Live & Heads To McDonald’s For A McRib….


Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly has been out pushing his new album The Buffet pretty hard, even uploading videos to YouTube and Facebook begging for his fans to support the record.

Entertainment FLY Events

Fly Events: McDonald’s All Day Breakfast Launch with Bridget Kelly, Wayne Chrebet, John Starks & more



To answer the demand of customers who live, work and play in and near the city that never sleeps, McDonald’s throughout the New York Tri-State area are now serving breakfast “All Day” *in our Kanye West voice* at participating restaurants.

To celebrate, local McDonald’s restaurants hosted activities and invited customers to enjoy McDonald’s “All Day Breakfast” menu and share their experiences with #BreakfastNeverSleeps.

First stop, McDonald’s flagship location right in the heart of Times Square! 


Grammy Award Winner, Singer/Songwriter and New York native Bridget Kelly hit the stage and wow’d the audience with two selections from her latest EP Summer of 17. Bridget was happy to celebrate the new menu as she mentioned there have been times that she wanted Breakfast after 11 a.m. but she never quite made the timestamp. She also said that McDonald’s was big part of her childhood growing up.



Also in attendance were: McDonald’s Owner Operator’s Cort NormanDave Hatton, Former American Football Wide Receiver of the NY Jets Wayne Chrebet, Retired Professional Basketball Player John Starks, McDonald’s O/O’s Nellie ThomasJosh Kaufman and Brian Hairston.


The Brooklyn United Marching Band took their percussions and dance moves right outside the establishment on 42nd street.


The Brooklyn Nets dancers and The Rockettes were also in tow!


Lastly, the McDonald’s Gospel Super Choir served up a few inspirational numbers.

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The event turned out to be quite the success!

Photos courtesy of Don Sherrill & Bernard “Beanz” Smalls (of SFPL)



Entertainment Music

Listen: Ne-Yo feat. Sonna Rele – “Every Day With Love” [Fly Music]


You can always count on Ne-Yo to deliver a self-reflecting tune about the good times in life!

Today, the singer-songwriter teams up with his female protege-songstress Sonna Rele for a fly track entitled “Every Day With Love,” in which helps spread a light of joy for the McDonald’s imLovinIt24 campaign; designed to celebrate 24 moments of joy in 24 hours with consumers in 24 cities around the globe. The campaign also involves performances by noted music acts and various fun events. Jessie J will join Ne-Yo as well, serving as one of the premier performers.

“This campaign is about something positive as opposed to all the negativity that’s going on in the world right now,” Ne-Yo tells Billboard. “It’s about giving people another reason to smile. And being a super-positive person, I’m all for that.”

Check out the featured song below:



FLY Events

FLY Events: McDonald’s Honors Black Media Legends and Trailblazers At The Plaza Hotel For The Faces of Black History Awards Ceremony.


Friday February 1st SFPL was in attendance as McDonald’s kicked off Black History Month with its annual event honoring the achievements of Black Media  Legends and Trailblazers. The event was hosted by past honorees Brenda Blackmon of (My9 WWOR-TV),Elsie Finch (Meteorologist, CBS2 News) and Mike Woods (Fox 5 Weather Anchor).  This years list of honorees included  DJ Clue (Power 105.1),Jay Dow (WPIX-TV/PIX11), Edward Harris (WNYW/WWOR), Don Lemon( CNN),Deon Levingston (WBLS/WLIB),Errol Louis (NY1),J.L. Mitchell (WNYW-TV), Robert F.Moore (New York Daily News), Fatiyn Muhammad (WBLS), John Noel (WNBC), Troy Roberts (CBS News), Sue Simmons (WNBC), Walter Smith (New York Beacon & Philadelphia Observer),Joy-Ann Reid ( Pat Stevenson (Harlem News), Saundra Thomas (WABC-TV) and Earl VanDyke Toliver (WNYW Fox 5). The Awards Ceremony also served as the unveiling of the 2013 Faces of Black History Poster featuring the honorees. You can get the poster for free at your local McDonald’s restaurant.  It was honor to be surrounded by such legends in the media industry, meeting people I grew up watching on television and listening to on the radio was definitely an amazing experience. Checkout the photos from event below.

Fashion FLY Interviews SFPL's Artist Spotlight Stuff Fly People Like We Like

SFPL Interviews Teyana Taylor…

SFPL had recently had the opportunity to talk with the multi-talented Teyana Taylor. The Harlem native, discussed her up-coming EP The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor, who inspires her musically, and her favorite must have items. Peep the interview after the jump!