Actress Nia Long at the the BET 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 31, 2017: Here are the top stories making news on the Caribbean entertainment scene for the week-ending Mar. 31, 2017.
That Nia Long, Empire Feud
Caribbean-roots star Nia Long’s has chosen a more diplomatic response to reports swirling in the media that she and The Empire’s leading lady, Taraji P. Henson, butt heads on the set. Long, took to Instagram this week to post a simple graphic that stated: “Time Discovers Truth.”
Her response came following the Henson/Long alleged blow-up and after the 46-year-old actress, who traces her roots to Trinidad, Grenada and Barbados, threatened to sue the show over an improper goodbye, which was allegedly outlined in her contract. Due to Terrence Howard suffering from an alleged allergic reaction on the final day of her shooting, she did not receive it.
According to sources on the set, the Brooklyn-born Long was disrespectful and unprofessional throughout her time on the show. But her rep has come forward, denying all of the allegations, stressing that Long has been nothing but professional to all parties involved throughout the entire filming process.
“We stand by our comments this morning that Nia has always, and continues to be, a consummate professional on set,” her rep wrote. “In respect to her working relationships with the cast, she came onto this project, in the first place, because of her long-standing friendship and professional relationship with Terrence Howard. We are not aware of any complaint, suit or case against her from anyone involved in the show.”
Empire’s showrunner, Ilene Chaiken, also denied the allegations in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.
Another Honor For Rihanna
Looks like the year of honors for Rihanna. The Bajan-born star is set To be honored for empowering young women at this year’s69th annual Parsons Benefit. Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons School of Design, noted in a statement that Rihanna has worn designs by alumni of the school on a number of occasions in the past. She has been seen wearing designs by Melitta Bauemeister, Matthew Dolan, and Snow Gao, plus BFA Fashion Design graduate Melody Ya Jun Lin.
Last month, Rihanna was named by Harvard as their Humanitarian of the Year. RiRi’s philanthropy includes founding an oncology and breast cancer treatment center, and her charity, the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, which gives scholarships to Caribbean students attending U.S. universities.
Call Her Nicki Minaj The Model
Trinidad-born rapper and businesswoman, Nicki Minaj, is adding another title to her resume – that of model. The star has been signed by Wilhelmina Models. She made the announcement to her fans on Instagram this week. Minaj joins the agency after making history for the most Billboard Hot 100 hits of any female artist in chart history. Wilhelmina CEO, Bill Wackermann, in a statement said: “We’re thrilled to work alongside Nicki Minaj and her team. She is a style pioneer and icon.”
Who Is Iya Terra?
Musicians Danny Monar, Luis Tovar, Blaze Bartz, Nathan Feinstei and Nick Loporchio of the band Iya Terra. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Iya Terra has taken over the top spot on the Billboard Reggae chart for a second week running with “SACRED SOUND.” But who exactly is Iya Terra?
Iya Terra, or “Higher Ground,” is a California band led by lead guitarist and vocalist, Nathan Feinstein and includes bassist Nick Loporchio, Luis Tovar on keys, drummer, Blake Bartz and Nick Sefakis on rhythm guitar. The group says it is taking the messages of traditional Roots-Reggae and seamlessly mashing them up in a “today” version. The group began their musical journey in Los Angeles inspired by the sounds of the Roots music in South Bay and San Diego. The band’s first recorded release consisted of a 6 song self-titled EP that dropped in the spring of 2014. After receiving a great response and several requests to put out more music, Iya Terra released their first full-length album, “Full Circle,” on April 14th, 2015. Their second and new album “SACRED SOUND” debuted at #1 on the Itunes Reggae Charts and on Billboard.
“Give thanks! SACRED SOUND is #1 on the Reggae Billboard Charts. Thank you to everyone who has supported us,” the group posted on Facebook this week.