2017 VH1 ‘Dear Mama’: Event Photos and Videos

May 8, 2017

VH1 Dear Mama

Dear Mama
Halle Berry, Kelly Rowland and La La Anthony at VH1’s “Dear Mama” event at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles on May 6, 2017. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for VH1)

The following is an excerpt from a VH1 press release:

VH1 has released highlights from the second annual Mother’s Day special “Dear Mama: An Event To Honor Moms” which premieres May 8, 2017, at 10 p.m. Eastern Time/Pacific Time.  Co-hosted by Anthony Anderson and La La Anthony, the event as recorded at at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles on May 6, 2017. “Dear Mama” recognizes mothers with celebrity guests paying tribute to the women who have shaped their success. Celebrity participants include Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, DJ Khaled, Gladys Knight, Ludacris, Maxwell, Chris Paul, Kelly Rowland and Robin Thicke.

Highlights include:

  • Co-hosts Anthony Anderson and La La Anthony welcoming guests to the show by sharing anecdotes about their own mothers and sparking some good-natured ribbing.
  • DJ Khaled providing a rare glimpse into his home via a tribute to his fiancée Nicole Tuck and their six month-old son Ashad. He then introduced Mr. Dalvin and K-Ci of the R&B group Jodeci, who serenaded the mothers in the house with their classic hit “Forever My Lady.”
  • Ludacris commemorating the lasting impact of his mother Roberta Shields, and her unconditional love and support.
  • Robin Thicke honoring his motherGloria Loring with a heartfelt selection of beloved jingles written by his father Alan Thicke and originally sung by his mother including “It Takes Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” culminating in a joint performance of her #1 80s hit ballad “Friends and Lovers,” with charmingly reworked lyrics replacing “lover” with “mother.”
  • Kelly Rowland applauding her best friend La La for her friendship, great parenting advice and exemplary skills as a mother and role model to her son Kiyan Carmelo Anthony followed by a surprise performance by Anthony Anderson of his own rendition of Bruno Mars’ hit “That’s What I Like,” in honor of his co-host.
  • Academy Award winner Halle Berry paying tribute to the crucial work of the Jenesse Center, a non-profit organization which aims to prevent domestic violence against women and children by introducing survivor Yesica Mendoza who took the stage to express her gratitude for the center and Berry’s commitment to the organization.
  • Queen of R&B Mary J. Blige giving a moving speech about her mother Cora Blige and then surprising her with a jaw dropping performance by Gladys Knight who sang her classic “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Mrs. Blige’s favorite song.
  • NBA superstar Chris Paul and his brother CJ recounting their childhood with their mother, Robin Paul, praising her selfless sacrifice and relentless drive to give them opportunities to better their lives.
  • Taraji P. Henson and Pitbull recognizing the great work of the #SeeHer initiative of which Viacom is a partner. #SeeHer’s mission is to lead the movement to accurately portray women and girls in media, so that by 2020, they see themselves reflected as they truly are.
  • Maxwell ending the night by bringing the house down with his hit song “Fortunate,” which he dedicated to his late grandmother.

Official sponsors of “Dear Mama: An Event To Honor Moms” include America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, DOVE® I Chocolate, Honey Bunches of Oats, Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders, Tide PODS, T.J.Maxx and Unilever.

“Dear Mama: An Event To Honor Moms” was produced by Flavor Unit and Jesse Collins Entertainment.  Shakim Compere, Queen Latifah, Jesse Collins, and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay are Executive Producers.  For VH1, Amy Doyle, Ryan Kroft, and Elena Diaz are Executive Producers, Paige Milleris Coordinating Producer, and Joe Buoye is Executive in Charge of Production.

Artist Awol Erizku created an Instagram installation at the event and took portraits of talent and their mothers. Portraits can be found on the @VH1 Instagram account.

Tyra Banks tapped to host ‘America’s Got Talent’ and returns as host of ‘America’s Top Model’

March 16, 2017

by Carla Hay

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks (Photo courtesy of VH1)

Supermodel/producer/entrepreneur Tyra Banks has been named the new host of the talent contest “America’s Got Talent.” In addition, Banks is returning as host of “America’s Top Model,” the reality show modeling contest that she launched in 2003. Season 12 of “AGT” (which airs in the U.S. on NBC) begins filming in March 2017, while Cycle 24 of “ANTM” (which airs in the U.S. on VH1) begins filming in the summer of 2017.

Banks was a host and a judge on “ANTM” from 2003 to 2015, when it was cancelled by The CW. She remained an executive producer of the show when it was revived in 2016 on VH1 with host Rita Ora and judges Ashley Graham, Drew Elliott and Law Roach. Although Banks did not host “ANTM” that season, she made guest appearances on the show. The judges for Cycle 24 of “ANTM” are to be announced.

Banks commented about returning to host “ANTM” in a statement: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ‘ANTM’ fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ‘ANTM’ is woven into my DNA.”

In a separate statement, Banks commented on her “AGT” hosting gig: “Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible. I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!”

On “AGT,” Banks replaces Nick Cannon, who hosted the show from 2009 to 2016. Cannon quit “AGT” in February 2017. He made the announcement on February 13, 2017, in a lengthy post on his Facebook page, claiming that he was”threatened with termination by executives ” after he made a racial joke on his Showtime stand-up comedy special “Nick Cannon: Stand Up, Don’t Shoot,” which premiered on February 10, 2017.

Cannon said in his Facebook announcement: “There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity. I have loved hosting ‘America’s Got Talent’ for the last 8 seasons, watching talented, brave, and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.

“Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to ‘put me in my place’  for so called unruly actions. I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head. It’s never been about the money for me, what is difficult to walk away from is the fans, the people who love me on the show.”

In early March 2017, Marlon Wayans confirmed reports that he was being considered as a replacement for Cannon, but Wayans (who is known for his profanity-laced, adult humor) told the media that he didn’t think he would be right for the job, since “America’s Got Talent” is a family viewing show. Tone Bell and Mychal Smith were also named in media reports as being possible candidates to host “AGT.”

On March 14, 2017, Banks posted a photo on her Twitter account  of a bouquet of flowers with the accompanying note: “Tyra, congratulations and good luck on AGT! Love, Nick C.” Banks posted her reaction to the kind gesture by saying it “made me smile.”

Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel have returned as judges on “AGT.” Cowell (who is also an executive producer of the show) has signed  on to be a judge on “AGT” through 2019.

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