#EssenceFest: Toni Braxton, Wendy Raquel Robinson and More Honored at 13th Annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards in NOLA

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A number of notable celebrities, community leaders and entertainers descended on the city of New Orleans once again to attend the 13th Annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards, held today at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. They were joined by spectators who converged to salute this year’s recipients of the distinguished awards, including Grammy Award-winning artist Toni Braxton; football cornerback Charles Tillman; award-winning actress Wendy Raquel Robinson; educator and historian Lonnie Bunch; and McDonald’s owner/operatorLarry Triplett. Additionally, teen philanthropist Lauren Seroyer and teen social-entrepreneur Donovan Smith were recognized alongside this lineup with the third McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award, facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Actress and singer Amber Riley and actor Lance Gross co-hosts the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.
Actress and singer Amber Riley and actor Lance Gross co-hosts the 13th Annual McDonald’s 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of AfricanAmericans year-round. Held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™presented by Coca-Cola®, the event was hosted by actor Lance Gross and actress/singer Amber Riley.

Singing siblings and reality television co-stars The Braxton Sisters performed a show-stopping tribute to their sister, Lifetime Achievement honoree, Toni Braxton. Vocal powerhouse Kelly Price, along with recording artists Kenny Lattimore, V. Bozeman and Eric Benet joined the sisters in the esteemed accolade to Toni. Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, Chrisette Michele, Ro James and Canton Jonesled the other crowd-moving performances at the awards.

Actresses Sheryl Lee RalphTa’Rhonda JonesErica Ash and Gabrielle Dennis, along with actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Ronreaco Lee and Jay Ellis, were among this year’s presenters. Other celebrities in attendance included recording artists Jordin SparksAvery Wilson and Guordan Banks, as well as music producer Sean Garrett and comedian/philanthropist Ricky Smith.

Actor, comedian and popular internet personality King Bach brought his large social media following along to the event, posting photos from the signature gold carpet prior to the ceremony.

“We salute this year’s honorees for all of their achievements and for positively contributing to their communities,” said William Rhodes, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “It is important to acknowledge people who are making a real difference. We at McDonald’s are proud to be able to honor this group with this form of recognition. We hope it inspires them and others to continue to make positive impact.”

Those who missed the live awards ceremony can share in the experience by watching the broadcast on BET® Networks and CENTRIC later this summerAdditionally, consumers can follow @365Black on Twitter for commentary on the awards and join the conversation using #365BlackAwards.

More pics below.

Photo Credit: Soul Brother 

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Entertainment Music

New Video: Tamar Braxton – “If I Don’t Have You” feat. Nene Leakes & more

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Nene Leakes is running  a chic brothel? The Braxton’s very own, Tamar Braxton teams up with the RHOA‘s Nene Leakes for a mistress-themed visual for “If I Don’t Have You.”

Tamar spoke to ET about the inspiration behind the song:

“It’s about being transparent and it’s about being open and honest with the person that you love,” she said. “It’s just saying, ‘If I don’t have you in my life, I don’t have anything!’ Because sometimes we say things that we don’t mean, and people can get the wrong message by having an argument or not being able to express ourselves, so this song is just something that you can just play and let it talk for you.”

On Toni Braxton finding a “Man”: 

“Toni Braxton need a man!” she laughed. “First of all, I tell her to open herself up. You know, don’t be afraid to go outside of the house, I promise he’s not going to ring your door bell and… be herself! She’s a really cool girl and I think she would be a catch for any man. She loves football, she loves to eat, she loves to have fun. She would be a great girlfriend.”

Check out the visual below:

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Entertainment Music

Listen: TC (Tiyon Christian) – “Designer” [Fly Music]

Singer/ Songwriter TC (Tiyon Christian) is proud to release his first official single “Designer” on iTunes. The single marks the beginning of a new journey for TC as an artist and a step into the spotlight.

Released on TC’s imprint Make Ah Sound and Audio Dope LLC, “Designer” is a smooth light groove that allows for TC to show his stellar vocals. Lamenting over a love that that treated him like rags when he is truly a work of art, he makes it clear that she made the wrong choice and he deserves better.

Known industry wide for his work as a songwriter, producer and vocal arranger, TC has worked with some of today’s most talented artist like Tamar Braxton, Brandy, John Legend, Demi Lovato and more. He has also been featured on WEtv’s hit reality shows, The Braxtons and Tamar & VinceNow it is time for him to give the gift of his artistry to the world.

“Designer” is available on iTunes NOW

Entertainment Latest News

Braxton Family Values: Top 10 of Our Favorite Braxton Moments


We are the Braxtons and you’ll see that we are not like an ordinary family”

They’re back!!! Toni, Traci, Towanda, Trina, Tamar and Ms. E are blessing our televisions screens for another season of ‘Braxton Family Values.’ In celebration of this moment, we will highlight some of your favorite moments from previous episodes of BFV.

Check them out below….

Music Videos

Tamar Braxton – ‘The One’ [Video]

Just in time for the summer, reality tv star and singer Tamar Braxton releases a beautiful visual of her new single “The One.” In our opinion, the video could’ve went with a different feel with more of an empire state of mind, or Brooklyn visual — but all in all, Tamar looks absolutely stunning. Check it out for yourself below…


Tamar Braxton – ‘The One’ [New Music]

Tamar Braxton is back with a new summer jawn entitled “The One,” which samples rapper Biggie‘s classic hit “Juicy.” Recently, Tamar gave SFPL an exclusive sneak peek of the official single, and the boardroom was definitely rocking to the new tune. Expect a new visual soon, which the singer and mom-to-be recently shot in Santa Monica. Take a peek below and let us know what you think….


New Music: Phoenix – ‘Love & War’ (Tamar Braxton Cover)


BME‘s Recording Artist, Phoenix displays her vocals as she covers Tamar Braxton‘s “Love & War”. Check it out below and let us know what you think…

Music Seen on The Scene... Videos

Video: Tamar Braxton Chats With Rap-UpTV On The Set of Her ‘Love And War’ Shoot

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Right off the success of her current single ‘Love And War’, Tamar Braxton takes a break on the set of the upcoming video and chats it up with Rap-UpTV. She speaks on the concept of the video, her upcoming album and few of her favorite tracks that will be on the album.


[SFPL Exclusive] STUFF FLY PEOPLE LIKE Interviews The Braxtons


Sitting down with the Braxtons for an interview is definitely a comical episode within itself. The Braxton sisters, minus Toni who is working on a film, and their mother Miss Evelyn dish the juice on the new season of “The Braxton Family Values” with updates concerning marriages, upcoming projects both solo and collectively, and of course being FLY. One of the benefits to watching the show is witnessing the melodies and amazing harmonies that transpire when the sisters get along long enough for a collaborative performance. Inspired by all types of genres from gospel legends The Clark sisters to sneaking to listening to heartthrobs like the Jackson 5, the Braxtons recognizes being in love with music since birth.

“At first it wasn’t even a choice. We would have to be in the living room rehearsing every Saturday and that’s just what we did in our family. We had no choice and we had to listen to gospel music because we had to know them to sing them every Sunday. As kids I think we fell in love with music because it was a part of our upbringing and our life,” explains Tamar Braxton. Although they are working on individual projects, the “Braxton Album” isn’t completely off the table and the next five years is definitely limitless for the sisters with possible talks of a tour.

“I think it would be great for all of us to tour together. It would be exciting to call it “The Braxton Tour” like “The Jackson Tour”. That would be fun,” says Towanda. Trina also chimes in acknowledging that the Braxton brand is sure to expand their business ventures as well as their image, “I think you’re going to see a bigger brand of the Braxton’s that’s not just singing , not just doing Braxton Family Values, but building and creating business ventures. I think as times goes by everyone will see more to us…We are businesswomen and entrepreneurs.” Advancing to successful entrepreneurs, the Braxtons dish on their secret weapon, which is being FLY.

“It’s confidence; what someone exudes. …It’s when someone has a certain air about them that makes a person fly. Also, accepting yourself, we all have flaws and none of us are perfect and at the end of the day we accept the things that we need to change and we go about changing them in a positive way. That’s SUPER FLY,” says Trina.

Music and confidence aren’t the only things that make audiences tune in each week, but rather the drama concerning the women and their relationships with their men. Miss Evelyn confirms that she is no longer in a relationship with Doc and that they are really good friends. The show has reveals the hardships of both Trina and Towanda’s marriages which they both are taking it in as a learning experiences. “I will say that watching myself back is a growing process because you can look back at yourself and say, Wow is that really me?. Is that who I am?….I’m also realizing that there are some things that I need to work on for Trina that doesn’t include Gabe.”

Towanda also touches on her relationship with Andre, “When you say your vows you really have to honor those vows because you say for better for worse so you can’t just run when the worse is happening. Sometimes “worse” can go on for years.”

The new season of “The Braxton Family Values” is sure to bring more drama, arguing, and viewpoints from relationship to relationship, but most of all growth. The endearing relationship within the family is sure to be entertaining.

Step into the FULL interview below …


Q: A lot of reality shows don’t get a second season, so for the show to launch season 2.5 as a
continuation of the second season how does that make you feel that people are intrigued by the
Braxton Family?

Trina Braxton: It’s definitely a blessing. I don’t know if it’s out but we also got picked up for a third
season as well. Its’ just so exciting to be able to share our lives and our world with everybody who’s
going through the same things that we are. We just feel very blessed.

Q: We get footage in the pass season of all of you singing in church. When was the first time you can
remember falling in love with music?

Tamar Braxton: Since birth. At first it wasn’t even a choice. We would have to be in the living room
rehearsing every Saturday and that’s just what we did. It was something we did in our family and we
had no choice and we had to listen to gospel music because we had to know them to sing them every
Sunday. As kids I think we all fell in love with music because it was a part of our upbringing and our life.

Q: Who were your music inspirations growing up? Who were the people that that you maybe had to
sneak and listen to?

Trina Braxton: We definitely had to sneak. We can always start off with the gospel greats The Winans,
The Clark Sisters, The Staple Singers, but we use to sneak and listen to the Jacksons and the Jets, but I
think every genre there is an influence for everybody because not any of us listen to just one genre of
music. So we were influenced by so many people and so many greats in the industry. We can’t just name
one, two, or even five because there’s so many of us with so many loves and passions.

Q: So I think the big question is when will there be a Braxton album? Are you ladies doing solo projects?

Tamar: Well we are doing solo projects, but the Braxton album is not off the table.

Traci: It’s in the wind (everyone laughs)

Tamar: We just really have to come together and put it on the schedule and make sure we get it done.

Q: You all have your own style what does the word “FLY” mean to you? When people say the Braxtons
are FLY, what does that mean to you?

Trina: For me I think it’s confidence; what someone exudes. Someone could have on a really really
grungy looking outfit and you’re like “Oh My Gosh that person is so fly”. It’s the way they carry
themselves. It’s when someone has a certain air about them and that’s what makes a person fly. Also
accepting yourself, we all have flaws and none of us are perfect and at the end of the day we accept the
things that we need to change and we go about changing them in a positive way. That’s SUPER FLY to

Q: What are your top fashion must haves?

Towanda: Mascara & Lip Gloss

Traci: AND shades

Tamar: And earring and a little lip gloss you can’t go wrong with that

Q: Where do you ladies see yourselves in the next five years?

Towanda: Braxton Family Values season 10. (laughs). I think it would be great for all of us to tour
together. It would be exciting to call it “The Braxton Tour” like “The Jackson Tour”. That would be fun.

Trina: But I also it’s very limitless. I think you’re going to see a bigger brand of the Braxtons that’s not
just singing, not just doing Braxton Family Values, but building and creating businesses and ventures and
I think as time goes by everyone will see that there is more to us than just singing and doing Braxton
Family Values. We are businesswomen and entrepreneurs. The sky is the limit, we’re very limitless

Tamar: Not even collectively, individually and the beauty about it is that we can work by ourselves and
then we can all get together and work together. That’s a great thing.

Q: Trina how is living out your relationship with Gabe on television? Was it beneficial or therapeutic?
How do you view that?

Trina: I think it was a combination of both…

Tamar: *cough * *cough* I’m sorry there was something in my throat. I just ate *clears throat*

Miss E: You want some water?

Tamar: No. I’m good. Read on Trina. Sorry.

Trina: Very difficult to see a mirror image of your life and your intimate relationship being played out in
front of millions of people to see. When you open up your life and you open up your situations you also
open yourself up for opinion and everyone thinking that they know the full scope of your relationship
just because they see it for one hour a week for x amount of time. But I will say that watching myself
back is definitely a growing process because you can look back at yourself and you’re like “Oh My Gosh”
is that really me. Is that who I am because you can always see the fault in someone else, especially when
you’re there and you’re living with them. Like “Oh this person is that and this person did that to me, but
what did you do?” I’m not saying that he’s not at fault, but I’m also realizing that there are some things
that I need to work on for Trina that doesn’t include Gabe. I see this as a growing experience and if I
don’t and not grow from it then it’s all for not. I might as well not even do it, because not only am I not
helping myself, I’m not helping anyone else that’s watching it. They’re not benefiting from it.

Tamar: That’s the whole part of us doing Braxton Family Values. Not just to show people how we live,
but people to get something out of what we’re doing so maybe they could change their life for the
better and then with their comments we could change our lives for the better.

Q: Towanda I wanted to ask you the same thing with your relationship with Andre opening up and
playing things out for the world?

Towanda: For me everything is a work in progress and when you get married you say your vows. First of
all there were only two people at the alter saying “I DO” and that was the husband and wife. And then
when you say your vows you really have to honor those vows because you say for better for worse so
you can’t just run when it’s the worst happening. Sometimes worse can go on for years, then you just
have to honor your vows that you have with that person.

Q: Miss Evelyn are you still with Doc?

Miss E: No, however we are good friends.

Q: Traci how is the hair salon coming along?

Traci: It’s coming very soon. I don’t have the date on when I’m going to open it up. I’m still doing the
paper work but it is going to be open.

Q: What would you ladies like to leave with our readers and what should we expect for the new season?

Trina: I think we should leave them with that we are really appreciative of the love and support that
they have given to the Braxtons and The Braxton Family Values for the past seasons and the seasons to
come. We just love them and support them back. For this season coming they’re going to see a lot of
growth from us, and they’re going to see love and support from all of us to each other. A lot of decision
making. They’re going to see the drama, the back and forth and going from sister to sister and from
relationship to relationship. That’s a part of what’s endearing and why people love us and why they
should continue to watch.


Tune in every Thursday 9/8c on WE TV for the next episode.

-Stay Fly!

[Words and Interview By Fly Girl LaParis]


[Video] Toni Get’s Tamar Together …

Well now,

Looks like Toni get’s Tamar together on this Thursday’s episode of WE tv’s BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES.  Also looks like we get to the real reason why Toni fired her manager Vince (Tamar’s husband).

*pops popcorn* Take a look…

OoooPPP! Toni let Tamar Know WHO the Braxton Family Business Is …

First Name, Toni, Last name, Braxton.

But you know Tamar won’t let that thang go ….

“Everyone else he’s managing is winning right now….sometimes it’s the artist, not the management.”

Good Night.

I’ll be watching on Thursday ….

-Stay Fly!