Weekend Recap: Black Girls Rock! Awards and NeYo's 30th Birthday Party

Whew..what is it about Mondays? I don't know about everyone else, but they are always the loooonnggeest day of the week for me! I swear that it always feels like I've been here for 24 hours. Sometimes I think about pulling one of those cushioned red benches in the beauty/fashion area into the beauty closet and just spending the night! I mean, I have everything that I need to exist here at the office. (I don't know whether that's funny or sad lol)
But, I did have a stellar weekend! My life gets so crazy and busy that it's easy to forget what else exists outside of my little bubble. However, I received a quick reality check on Saturday night after attending the Fourth Annual Black Girls Rock! Awards. (Ambi was the official skincare sponsor and invited me to be one of their guests...that's me pictured here, seated and waiting for the show to begin....thanks Ambi!) Hosted by actresses Tracee Ellis Ross (who is hilarious!) and Regina King, this was truly an inspiring event. It made me look back at my life and realize that I've done nothing to give back since I've moved here to the Big Apple. With that said, I've now decided to give over my spare time (what little bit that I have) and get more involved with the youth here in the city.
This awards show serves as a fundraising event for the nonprofit youth empowering mentoring organization, Black Girls Rock!, Inc.
Honorees for the night included: Mary J. Blige (received the "Icon" award); Raven Symone (received the "Young, Gifted & Black" award); Dr. Mehret Mandefro (received the "Community Service" award); Naomi Campbell (received the "Fashionista" award); Janelle Monae (received the "Who Got Next?" award); Dr. Sonia Sanchez (received the "Living Legend" award); DJ Spinderella (received the "Jazzy Joyce DJ" award); Iyanla Vanzant (received the "Shot Caller" award); Queen Latifah (received the "Rock Star" award) and Anthony Hamilton (received the "Soul Brother #1" award).
Highlights of the evening included an impromptu free style session from Doug E. Fresh (yes, even after all these years, the man has still got it!); an amazing performance by Melanie Fiona (I'd never heard her sing before and the girl has got a nice voice on her) and an equally awesome performance by Janelle Monae. (I got the chance to interview her during Fashion's Night Out. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me.) I was also astounded by the poet Sonia Sanchez as I remember studying her in one of my African American literature classes from college. She even came up and spoke to me after the event and I gave her a big hug. Just to be in the presence of these great women was an experience that I'll never forget.
After my hours of inspiration, it was time to party. Emil Wilbekin (managing editor at essence.com and former EIC of VIBE magazine...love him to pieces! and did you know that he's an honorary Glamazon?!), Jennifer Cooper (photographer for essence.com) and I all headed over to Cipriani's for NeYo's 30th birthday party. There I met Rihanna's stylist Mariel Haenn, Ryan Leslie and a bevy of other important people in the music industry. The party was chock full of half naked women painted in body glitter and there were ice sculptures abound (even the bar was made of ice!) All in all, a fab night. Check out the pics below!

I was stoked to meet the actress Raven Symone. She's a very cool young lady. Makes me wanna step up my game...I mean, she's only 24 and has already done so much!

Me along with makeup artist AJ Crimson and the beautiful Lyndsay C. (Can you believe she's only 11 years old?! Isn't she gorge?! And she's so sweet..love her.)

Me and the haute celebrity stylist June Ambrose (who, by the way, says she just loves the Glamazons!)

Me and honorary Glamazon Emil Wilbekin (tip, tip, tip, Glamazon, tip, tip tip...)

Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King giving their best Naomi Campbell runway walks. Hilarious!!

Model Naomi Campbell accepting her award. She's so gorge!

Singer Melanie Fiona killed it onstage!

Impromptu performance by Doug E. Fresh!

Members of Black Girls Rock!, Inc. perform during the awards show.

Janelle Monae performing.

Mary J. Blige accepting her award....

And here she is later gracing the red carpet at NeYo's 30th birthday party! The songtress recently had her own red carpet event for FFAWN, the Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, which she founded with marketing pioneer Steve Stoute. (Coutura attended the event! Read more about it here.)
*Photo from gossiponthis.com

The man of the hour! (NeYo)
*Photo from gossiponthis.com


cjay said...

Inspiring black people! I love Raven Symone and June Ambrose!

Glad to see the Glamazons are there to represent!
Great Job ladies!

Asha said...

Great post! I'm in such awe of June Ambrose!
Any idea who makes those shades she is wearing? I'm on the hunt. Seriously!

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