Winning! Entertainers We’ll See A Lot More Of In 2014
In 2013, Robin Thicke Blurred the Lines, “Scandal” and “Orange is the New Black” were the shows to watch and Miley Cyrus killed off her Disney Hannah Montana image and twerked her way across America. So who will steal our attention in 2014? Here are our predictions for entertainers to watch out for in 2014.
Before 2013, actress Tika Sumpter had a couple of movie roles and television credits under her belt. Best known as Layla Williamson in the soap opera “One Live To Live” and for her recurring role on “Gossip Girl,” the Queens native landed the lead in the most watched show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network: Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots.” The show earned the highest ratings on OWN and was renewed for a second season midway through the first. Expect to see Sumpter continue her reign in 2014 with the hit show as well as starring in BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” alongside Gabrielle Union. Flexing her comedic chops, Sumpter will also appear in “Ride Along” with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, which hits theaters at the top of the year.
In 1999, Regina Hall snagged her first role in The Best Man. Fourteen years later, Hall reprised her role as Candy Murch in the sequel Best Man Holiday. But in between those years, Hall won an audience over as Brenda in the spoof Scary Movie franchise. While she opted out of the last sequel, Hall will still be busy in 2014. On Valentine’s Day, audiences can expect to see Hall star opposite Kevin Hart in the romantic comedy About Last Night. She will also reprise the character Candace Hall in Think Like A Man, Too.
Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan played basketball in high school but that is about all he has in common with the NBA legend that shares his name. As a teenager, Jordan began modeling before transitioning into acting. Before 2013, Jordan was perhaps best known as the drug-dealing teenager in HBO’s “The Wire” but that changed with this year’s Fruitvale Station. Jordan’s portrayal of Oscar Grant, the single unarmed father who was shot and killed by San Francisco BART police on New Year’s Day, won him much deserved praise and numerous nominations. Kicking off the New Year, Jordan will take on a much lighter role. He is set to star in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment opposite Zac Efron and there’s been talks of an action role to follow.
Seventeen-year-old Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known as Lorde, has the world at her fingertips. The New Zealand native captured worldwide attention with her hit song “Royals.” The song became so popular Miami rapper Rick Ross couldn’t help but to jump on the remix. This year alone Lorde had two projects that have gone platinum several times over already in her country and the world over and she will continue to rise in the New Year. In February 2014, Lorde will bring her dominance to the U.S. Up for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 56th Grammys, she is also considered a shoe-in for Best Pop Vocal Album for Pure Heroine.
What a difference a year makes. In 2012, Kelela Mizanekristos was a telemarketer by day and a struggling artist by night. The Ethiopian Los Angeles-based singer caught the attention of Solange, who booked her as her opening act to join her on tour and was able to quit her job and become a singer full time. In October the R&B/pop hybrid singer released her mixtape Cut 4 Me to critical acclaim. She was also featured on Solange’s Saint Heron compilation album. In 2014, Kelala expects to release her first album and is open to inking a deal with a major label.
Before her Sail Away EP hit the shelves Jhene Aiko had already been in high demand. The 25-year-old California native gained notoriety singing on J. Cole’s “Sparks Will Fly” but it’s the song “From Time” with Drake that really put Aiko on the map. By the time her seven-track EP dropped in November, the buzz surrounding the artist helped Sail Away shoot up to the number eight slot on the Billboard charts, not a bad feat for her first official major label release. In 2014, Aiko plans to release her highly anticipated debut album Souled Out.
“SNL” has come under fire as of late for not having a female Black comedian on the show but this is not a new problem in Hollywood. Several years ago, Isaa Rae created the popular web series “Awkward Black Girl” on YouTube because the roles for Black women in entertainment were limited. The web series took off and became so popular, Rae inked a deal with cable heavyweight HBO. Landing on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Entertainment list, Rae is partnering with Larry Wilmore for “Non-Prophet.” The show will be centered around the awkward experiences Black women are faced with every day. Rae will also star in the series, which is expected to debut in the New Year.
Rarely, if ever, has a 10 year old’s future looked so bright. Quvanzhané Wallis brought audiences to tears and cheers as Hushpuppy in 2012’s Beast of the Southern Wild. Just six year’s old at the time of filming, Wallis became the youngest actor to earn a nomination for an Academy award. She followed that up with the role of Margaret Northup in this year’s 12 Years A Slave. So what’s next for the pre-pubescent star? In 2014, Wallis will play the iconic Annie in a new film version that is slated to hit the big screen.
British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is by no means a newcomer. He’s garnered critical acclaim for his other movies, including Dirty Pretty Things, but it’s his portrayal of free negro-turned-slave Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave that may earn him the coveted gold statue. Eijofor has racked up countless nominations and even if he doesn’t become nominated for an Academy award or bring home the Oscar for Best Actor, expect to see the 36-year-old British Nigerian actor be in great demand for years to come.
Sean “Diddy” Combs is the ultimate puppet master. Teaming up with MTV, Diddy finally found the all-girl group he was looking for when Danity Kane formed on the third season of “Making The Band.” The five-member group was whittled down to three and despite their early success, Danity Kane disbanded in 2009. To the shock and joy of their fans, four of the original five got back together (Aubrey O’Day, Shannon Bex, Dawn Richard and Aundrea Fimbres) and announced their reunion at the 2013 MTV VMA’s in September. They performed for the first time in five years at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and will put out a brand new album in the coming year.
2013 was a good year for Kevin Hart. After his hugely successful Laugh At My Pain comedy tour, the pint-sized star created and co-starred in “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” a spoof reality show on BET along side Nick Cannon, Boris Kodjoe, JB Smoove and Duane Martin. After being virtually everywhere in 2013, Hart ended the year with Grudge Match, which co-stars Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. So what can we expect from Hart in 2014? Even more movies. Hart begins the New Year with Ride Along co-starring Ice Cube. Valentine’s Day will see another Hart movie hit the theaters with the romantic comedy About Last Night. And Hart will also reprise his character in Think Like A Man, Too, which hits theaters in the summer of 2014.
New Orleans hip-hop singer August Alsina dropped his first mixtape in 2012 but in 2013 he really started to make some noise. Alsina says he was inspired by Lauryn Hill in the cult classic Sister Act 2. Capitalizing off of his buzz, he released a mixtape at the top of the year and has continued to drop new music. By the end of 2013, Alsina was all over the place and even performed on the “Wendy Williams Show.” In December, Alsina’s song “Ghetto” featuring Rich Homie Quan was in high demand. The song will serve as the first single off of his upcoming album, which is slated to drop in 2014.
Gabrielle Union has been a star on the silver screen for well over a decade but in 2013, Union’s highly anticipated show on BET debuted to high ratings. In July, more than four million viewers tuned in to see her star in “Being Mary Jane” and the series was picked up for an eight-episode season. In 2014, Union will kick off the year with the first season of her show, which airs this month. And if audiences can’t get enough of Union there, they will also be able to see the Nebraska native beauty in the sequel Think Like A Man, Too.
As one-fourth of Destiny’s Child, Letoya Luckett took the music world by storm in 1998. But by the time their second album dropped, there was tension within the girl group and soon Luckett was out. Although her solo career failed to take off, Luckett tried her hand at acting and finally found her mark. Accumulating a few movie and television roles under her belt, it was announced in May that Luckett would be starring in VH1’s “Single Ladies.” The popular show is set to begin its third season this month.
After years of staying on the grind and trying to get her singing career off of the ground, K. Michelle has finally arrived. Joining the rest of the crew on “Love & Hip-Hop: ATL” during the second season, audience members fell in love with the Memphis singer. This year we saw K. Michelle land a record deal with Warner Bros, drop her long awaited album Rebellious Soul and move to New York to join the original version of the show. The Memphis native was also crowned Best New Artist at the 2013 Soul Train Music Awards. Continuing strong in the New Year, “Can’t Hold A Man” will serve as the next single for K. Michelle, which she will drop in early January. She’s also expected to star in her very own reality show proving that she is finding an audience of her own.