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Just hours before New Edition was honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, Demetria McKinney raved to HipHollywood about her love for the famous group.

“After the biopic I got a chance to really connect with the guys on a more intimate level. And to have gone to so many to concerts before that to now go back with these new set of eyes is really exciting,” she told HpHollywood while on the red carpet for the BET  Awards.

What McKinney didn’t know during her years of following the group, was that she would one day be playing that of Bobby Brown’s now late ex-wife, Whitney Houston.

The former reality TV star has been tapped to play Houston in an upcoming TV One biopic, something that the singer says she’s humbled by. “It feels like I’m in a submarine and it’s collapsing, but what’s collapsing in there is just greatness. I’m just so excited, I’m humbled.”

She continued, “We approached it [biopic] with a lot of sensitivity. We really wanted to humanize these people. I was very guilty of that. I never gave Whitney a chance to be off until I had to step in. I’m not playing Whitney, I’m playing Nippy. That’s the difference.”


Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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