This year’s Circle of Sisters Expo powered by WBLS, WLIB and Hot 97 did not disappoint. The Expo was packed with a little something for everyone from the Main stage performances by Tyrese and Jennifer Hudson to the Man Cave for all the men, who were in attendance for their ladies. You couldn’t go wrong!
Covering COS for the second year in a row, we wanted to get as much coverage as possible but that was hard to do when there is so much to see. So the first stop on our list was “The State of Black Music & Culture” panel with Oscar, Golden Globe & Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, Grammy nominated R&B Singer, Actor, Author Tyrese Gibson and Singer, Songwriter, Actor Johnny Gill. These music veterans discussed staying relevant in the ever-changing recording industry social media age. They dove into how Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all aspects of social media impact our culture, creativity, music, popularity and sales. J Hud was gorgeous and straight to the point, Tyrese was humble and honest with all his answers, Johnny Gill was open and relatable. Jennifer talked about how hurtful it can be to get some of the responses from “fans” on social media and that certains words do hurt but she refuses to let it bring her down. Tyrese talked about how social media has allowed him to get closer to his fans, bringing him a new level of one-on-one. Johnny Gill admits that social media can make or break your career as someone in the industry. All in all it was a awe inspiring panel to see the realness behind these music vets, and the crowd clearly agreed.
The next panel up was Reality TV 101: The Female Perspective with BRAVO’s Blood, Sweat & Heels, Mica Hughes, Daisy Lewellyn and Geneva Thomas, TV One’s Hollywood Divas, Elise Neal and Lisa Wu, along with VH-1’s Love and Hip Hop New York, Yandy Smith. The ladies of t he panel gave the audience an up close and personal account of the reality TV game. Explaining that what you see is what you get. The reality tv shows for the most part are unscripted, but situations are orchestrated to get the ladies together in one environment. The ladies also dished on love, fashion, surviving in the big city and Yandy Smith announced that she and fiance Mendeecee were pregnant with their second child (a baby girl) Congrats, Yandy!
We then took the opportunity to leave the main stage to head over to the side rooms. Entering into room 1A12 where Best-Selling Author Zane was hosting her own Q&A. Zane talked about the themes from her new book, The Other Side Of The Pillow and discussed the highly anticipated movie “Addicted” based on her best-selling book. The floor was then opened to the audience to for the Q&A. With questions about relationships, domestic violence, how she comes up with the different coceptions for her books and the fans praising Zane for helping them through her words and telling her she doesn’t get the recogition she deserves in comparion to the author of “50 Shades of Grey”. Zane signed books an posters of all her fans, including yours truly. Humble and down to earth sum up lady Zane.
Also in the building were the like of LaLa Anthony, Terry Crews, Niecy Nash, Tank, Lance Gross, Tamela Mann and so many others. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the expo this year, be sure to catch it next year. Until then check out all the behind the scences footage.