Sparkle Says Unedited Version Of Docu-series Should Be Released
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Sparkle Wishes Lifetime Would Release Her Unedited Interviews For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

The singer claims important aspects of her story were left on the cutting room floor. 

Lifetime's lengthy and detailed documentary Surviving R. Kelly seemed to highlight every aspect of the singer's disturbing sexual and emotional alleged abuse toward young black women, but according to singer-songwriter Sparkle, there were plenty of elements left on the cutting room floor.

The former protégé and collaborator to the shamed singer shared her suspicions about R. Kelly's behavior and his marriage to the late Aaliyah with SiriusXM's Clay Cane Tuesday (Jan. 8). Sparkle, born Stephanie Edwards, explained how she was also one of the first people to call the police once she was informed of sexual abuse from members of the singer's inner circle in the early aughts.

"I called the authorities and they came and they investigated my sister and brother-in-law, along with my niece and they stated that nothing was going on," she said. "I did that. And then fast forward to 2001, late 2001, when I saw the tape, you know, I called the authorities. I did what I was supposed to do and what was right. I didn't hesitate. Not a second. I was on the phone with them."

This was also something she shared in her interviews with Surviving producers, which she hopes will see the light of day soon.

"I sat there for four and a half, five hours speaking the truth, and you may see 10, 15 minutes of me in the documentary," she said. "And there were things left out. There [were] things spliced up, and ya know, I've wished that Lifetime would release the unedited versions of everything that I stated".

She also stated she was one of the first people to immediately question R. Kelly's friendship and later quick marriage to Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. Sparkle was essentially a part of Kelly's creative camp when she provided vocals to Aaliyah's first album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number.

Sparkle shared how her recollections about the relationship didn't make it the documentary but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

"Who thought that was real? You know what I mean? Like I didn't even, I thought that was a hoax that that's not real, you know, you know, that was my naiveté of thinking that it wasn't real because like again, Barry Hankerson was there," the singer said about their relationship.

Because Aaliyah's uncle and former manager was involved in bringing Kelly and Aaliyah together, she believed it was safe for her then 12-year-old niece to meet the singer.

"This shouldn't and couldn't have happened. I'm thinking now this is a hoax. She's only 15. Oh, this is nothing. He can't marry a young girl. So, you know, didn't think anything of it."

Listen to the Sparkle's interview below.

READ MORE: Master P Thinks The Parents Are To Blame After Watching 'Surviving R. Kelly'

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Get Ready For Dave Chappelle's 5th Netflix Stand-Up Special, 'Sticks & Stones'

Dave Chappelle's comedic return just won't let up. With four Netflix comedy specials in the bag, the funnyman is returning to the streaming platform with another stand-up comedy special, Sticks & Stones.

To announce its upcoming premiere, Netflix released a one-minute teaser of Chappelle randomly walking through a desert as Morgan Freeman's god-like voiceover adds a bit of comic relief.

"This is Dave. He tells jokes for a living. Hopefully, he makes people laugh." But these days," he sighs, "It's a high stakes game.

"How did we get here? I wonder...I don't mean that metaphorically. I'm really asking. How did Dave get here? What the f**k is this?"

In 2017, Chappelle dropped four stand-up specials: Deep in the Heart of Texas, The Age of Spin, Equanimity, and The Bird Revelation. Later this year, he'll become the 5th black comedian to receive the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor award. Richard Pryor was the first honoree in 1998, followed by Whoopi Goldberg in 2001, Bill Cosby in 2009, and Eddie Murphy in 2015.

Sticks & Stones is set to premiere on Monday, August 26 on Netflix. Watch the randomly funny teaser clip above.

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John Legend And 'Sherman's Showcase' Creators Detail The Program's Comedic Approach

At the tail end of Sherman’s Showcase premiere episode on IFC, a hilarious skit that features a church-going woman named Renita singing the hit song, “Drop It Low (For Jesus)” with faux choir group RWKSY (Real Women Know Something, Y’all) closes out the program.

As she’s praising a higher power, she simultaneously advocates for women who enjoy flexing their knee muscles and shaking their backsides in brightly lit clubs. Since the show’s premiere, Renita’s provocative message has made its rounds on social media.

But like the many different skits on the show, the comedic scene came unexpectedly. Sherman’s Showcase’s format is a mix of Saturday Night Live and Soul Train, encapsulating some of music and pop culture’s most memorable moments while being interpolated with impromptu style and celebrity cameos, like witnessing Tiffany Haddish taste soups and raving about how good they are. Then suddenly, John Legend (who executive produced the show through his production company, Get Lifted, with award-winning producer Mike Jackson) returns as one of its hosts to say something quirky and—random.

The program was created by dynamic duo Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, both comedians and writers who first met at Harvard University and later worked together on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Before making it big in Hollywood, they’ve always wanted to create a sketch show like Sherman’s. Its formula is like taking a peek at someone’s most private, hilarious, and cringe-worthy thoughts. And it’s all intentional.

“Sherman’s Showcase gives us an opportunity to do something chaotic like the early days of Saturday Night Live, which we always really loved and cherished,” Bashir tells VIBE over the phone. “In some ways, I would say that Sherman’s Showcase had the longest gestational phase because since we started writing 20 years ago, we always thought about writing our own comedy show.”

As the episodes funnel in, viewers witness the likes of Common, Quincy Jones, Ne-Yo, Vic Mensa, and Marlon Wayans, among others. For Legend, it’s quite the treat to feature musical guests on the show.

“The good thing about it being musical is that it’s not just actors, there are lots of people who work with me in the music business that come on the show as well,” Legend says. “I think people just want to have fun, and a lot of actors and musicians don’t get a chance to do this all the time. I don’t get a chance to do things like this all the time either.”

The show’s antics are fun and as a viewer, it feels like you’re time-traveling between different worlds. Bashir notes there will be jokes about old acts like Blondie and Stevie Nicks while still keeping that classic feel of Motown and Soul Train. It’s the ‘70s but with assistance from this generation’s talent like Haddish. Their methodology is simple and relies on the consensus of the public boardroom.

"Our philosophy has always been, if the room is laughing at it, we’re going to give it a shot,” Riddle explains. Amid the comedic craze they’ve created with this show and Comedy Central’s South Side, they’re using the sketches as a litmus test for Hollywood to see how they can expand the stories—whether it’s a fake commercial or a movie— beyond a one-minute short into a 90-minute feature.

[email protected]'s brand new music video for, “Time Loop (feat. @NeYoCompound ) is OUT NOW!https://t.co/lDPwSh6oyR pic.twitter.com/zBbjfkBcWE

— MAD DECENT (@maddecent) August 13, 2019

“For us, it’s a chance to do music and TV in sort of a proof of concept kind of way,” Diallo explains. “If we can execute it on Sherman’s Showcase then all we have to do is walk in somebody’s office and say, ‘Hey, let us make the long-form version of this.’”

“And at least in the case of the original music, it’s already come to fruition because we played it for Mad Decent, which is Diplo’s record label,” he adds. “They said, ‘We want to make this soundtrack.’ It’s almost like wishing, thinking and believing things you want into existence. To me, that’s the power I’ve given it.”

Sherman’s Showcase airs on IFC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

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Shari Headley To Reprise Role For 'Coming To America' Sequel

The follow-up to 1988's Coming to America film is shaping up nicely given some of the original cast's return to the set. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shari Headley is the latest member to sign on for the sequel.

Headley plays Lisa McDowell, Prince Akeem's (Eddie Murphy) lover-turned-wife. The movie takes place in a fictional African country named Zamunda, and sees Prince Akeem travel overseas to Queens, New York to find a woman suitable to be his wife. He encounters a series of comedic experiences, which will probably be the case for the sequel that's due in 2020.

James Earl Jones, Arsenio Hall, and Murphy have agreed to revamp their chemistry onscreen. Other actors that have joined the film include Wesley Snipes, Kiki Layne, Leslie Jones and presumably there will be more to come. John Amos, Vanessa Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Eriq La Salle, and others starred in the original film. It was also reported that Rick Ross will make an appearance in the forthcoming motion picture.

The sequel is set to debut in theaters on Dec. 18, 2020.

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