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On Thursday night singing sensation Solange surprised guests attending the premiere party for HBO’s Bessie with a surprise performance at Millwick in Los Angeles.

The event capped off HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour which kicked off  in NYC with a surprise performance from Janelle Monae, and also featured a new artist showcase (with King, Kehlani and Tiffany Gouche) and a workshop for aspiring musicians with top songwriter Stacy Barthe and acclaimed Grammy-winning producer Brian Michael Cox.

HipHollywood was on hand for the Los Angeles activities and spoke with Barthe and Cox about why Bessie’s story needed to be told. “I feel like I am Bessie,” said Barthe. “From refusing to play second fiddle … to being sexually ambiguous. I just feel her.”

Directed by Dee Rees, the film follows the story of Bessie Smith, one of the first singers to break racial barriers in the 1920s. Queen Latifah stars and executive produced the film and told us it was a huge role to step into.

“She inspired everybody from Janis Joplin and Rolling Stones to Mahalia Jackson for that matter. You name it, she inspired them. It was really a beautiful thing to step into her shoes and tell her story.”

Bessie also stars Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams, Tika Sumpter, Khandi Alexander and Mike Epps. be sure to check it out on on HBO  May 16th.


Reports: Mariah Carey Signs With Jay Z’s RocNation



We know Mariah Carey changes managers like she changes clothes, but her next move could be her best move. According to Page Six Carey is in talks with Jay Z’s Roc Nation to manage her career.

Roc Nation manages Rihanna, Shakira, J Cole and DJ Khaled to name a few.

Apparently, the pop diva is hoping Hov and his team can put her back on top now that she parted ways with former manager Stella Bulochnikov earlier this month.

Sources tell HipHollywood Carey is cleaning house, and has also fired her publicist, assistant and attorney Darrell Miller.

But one person who hasn’t gotten the boot is her back-up dancer boyfriend Bryan Tanaka. Rumors were swirling that she hired Tanaka to take over her day-to-day management, but he’s actually her creative director.

Carey just released her holiday movie Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, and is slated to bring her Christmas concerts back to the Beacon Theater in NYC this month. She hasn’t however dropped a new album in almost four years.

Fingers crossed this new partnership with Roc Nation brings about new music, and a Mariah / Jay Z collaboration. The two did make magic back in 1999 with their #1 single “Heartbreaker.”

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