The VIPP Report: Remembering Civil Rights leader Sen. Georgia Davis Powers

The worst feeling in the world to wake up to two dozen text and phone calls that a friend has died.  I drove past her home Friday and looked up.  My heart knew but mind won’t let it be.  I checked on Sen. Georgia Davis Powers on a regular basis.  Initially, some 40 years ago, I had no idea what her title or position was I just knew her as a neighbor on Cecil Avenue in West Louisville.  To hear that she died this morning my heart literally sunk.  I’ve been preparing myself for about a week to get the call but its never easy.  I even refused to write anything because I wanted to write it from the heart.
Georgia Davis Powers was born in Springfield, Kentucky on October 19, 1923.  One of nine children in which she was the only girl.  As a young girl the family moved to Louisville and eventually moved to the street that Cassius Clay known today as Muhammad Ali lived on, which was Grand Avenue.  She used to joke about babysitting Ali along with her brothers.  She would marry her first husband Norman Davis and adopt a son, William “Billy” Davis.  I know her second husband James Powers because that’s when we met.  Well, being four years old on a tricycle is actually how we met.  My job was to ride my bike from my parents house to Senator Power’s house and back.  I had the opportunity to speed up and down that five house distance to my pleasure without a care in the world.  While she was making history.
Who would of thought that 20 years later after college, I would talk to her and she referenced that I was the pretty little girl that had the two long ponytails that used her house as a marker to turn around and ride back down the street.  Back then everyone knew their neighbors and actually looked out for them.  She talked about my parents being the cute young couple that moved on the block.
I was so shocked when she said that.  I used to see her and her husband jump into a big beautiful car and I used to say “I want a car like that when I grow up.” Not knowing that her husband owned a car dealership and that in 1967 she was the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate.
Senator Powers worked actively for many years in the NAACP and that’s when she along with the president of the Louisville chapter gave me opportunities to work along side them and helped me perfect so many of the things I do today.  I’ve had countless chances to sit and listen to the senator.  When I started working for WHAS11 Television she would always say “If you ever need anything just call me” and I did.  We were together when the Western Branch Library celebrated their 100th birthday to the 2010 renaming of the Shawnee Expressway to the Georgia Davis Powers Expressway.  She used to call the newsroom and say “Sherlene I need for you to talk to your guys they just said the name of the expressway incorrect.” I would say yes ma’am and get it changed.  To many its something minor but for a woman that changed the climate of Kentucky politics it’s a major thing.
I would sit in the living room and talk about her 1964 March on the State Capitol in Frankfort.  She along with other leaders wanted to support equity in public accommodations.  Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball legend Jackie Robinson walked with Powers.
She was very open with me about her friendship with Dr. King.  She even told me that she was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when King was assassinated in 1968.
Powers retired from her seat in the Kentucky Senate in 1988 but her civil and human rights never stopped.  Just a few days ago she posted something on her social media page, yes, she had a page.
If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.
The VIPP Report: Twitter @VIPPComm Email: TheVIPPReport at vippcommunications dot com.


The VIPP Report: Bryson Tiller returns to his Kentucky roots for a show

Sherlene Shanklin, The VIPP Report


Bryson Tiller Trapsoul Album Cover

Louisville native singer/songwriter Bryson Tiller is following his dreams by signing with RCA Records and now he’s returning to his hometown to perform in front of family and friends.

The 23 year old debuted his album TRAPSOUL on October 2nd and it’s already receiving rave reviews with songs Right My Wrongs, Been That Way and For However Long.

Tiller will be at the Louisville Palace on Saturday, March 12th at 8 p.m.  To get right up front to support Tiller tickets are only $49.50.  General admission tickets are still available.
If you have a story idea, send it to  You can follow us on Twitter @vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: It’s Love, Lust & Lyrics

It’s all about taking poetry to the next level.  It’s “An Erotic Poetry Showcase” hosted by Truth B. Told on Saturday, January 16th at Manhattan on Broadway located at 716 E. Broadway in downtown Louisville.
Poets from around the region will be apart of what they call “Love, Lust & Lyrics”.  Here’s just a few on the lineup: Lip Service, Rheonna Nicole, Robin G, Gwen Cee, Crystal Carpenter, Franklin Bob and Hannah Drake just to name a few of the talented poets participating.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and they are asking you to dress to impress.  General admission tickets according to Eventbrite are $27.37.
If you have a story idea, send it to  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.

The VIPP Report: Janet Jackson puts all of her concerts on hold until spring

CXBrcpQUsAA3miTSpecial from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

Now that we are all back to work did you see Janet Jackson’s announcement on Christmas Eve?  The multi-Grammy Award winning artist didn’t send a news release but took to social media to let her fans and the media know that she was having surgery.  She never mentioned what kind but what was clear is that her tour is on hold.

Jackson says “It breaks my heart to tell you that I am forced to postpone the Unbreakable Tour until spring.  Every date will be rescheduled.  Please hold on to your tickets.”

So, that definitely means that Lexington’s show in Rupp Arena on January 30th is definitely on hold.  The Louisville show in the KFC Yum! Center is not until June. So, that concert is still a go.  Jackson’s team will makeup up the postponed dates before their Europe leg of the tour.

I guess we will have to wait and see.  Make sure you follow me for any updates and future concert announcements.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenelediapr and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.

The VIPP Report:  Twitter @VIPPComm

Send story ideas to: TheVIPPReport at

The VIPP Report: Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin returns to Louisville

The last time contemporary gospel artist Kirk Franklin was in Louisville he was rocking a ladies Kentucky Derby hat while performing to a sold out crowd at Junior Bridgeman’s Grace at The Race, an annual gospel celebration during Kentucky Derby weekend.  I had the pleasure to produce that unforgettable show.  Now, the nine-time Grammy Award winning star returns to Louisville on Thursday, March 31st.
The host of BET’s Sunday Best will minister in his unique way to his large fan base at the Louisville Palace.  You will get to hear some of his biggest hits plus new songs from his latest album, Losing My Religion.  Franklin refers to this concert as 20 years in one night.  If that says one thing, it would have to be that they are going to have a very hard time getting him off stage like I did.  He has so many songs in his catalog that he tried his best to sing as many of the favorites that at the one hour mark he was still going strong.  At one point, in the show he yelled can I keep going? I turned to Bridgeman and he said “Yes, let him go”.  I gave the thumbs up and I promise I think he went into second gear.
If you are looking for a concert where your coat will occupy your seat because you will likely not sit for this concert go see Kirk Franklin at the Louisville Palace.
I’ve already asked the question on who will open for the artist and that’s still to be determined.
Tickets start at $25 and you can purchase them at the Louisville Palace Box Office, and all Ticketmaster locations.
If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

The VIPP Report: Top shows in 2015

Special report by Sherlene Shanklin, The411, WHAS11 Television/ABC Affiliate
I’m trying to gauge which Louisville concerts did you like the best in 2015.  Give me your top five concerts.  Mine would have to be: #1 PRINCE, #2 Jill Scott, #3 (tie) Marvin Sapp & Yolanda Adams, #4 Babyface & Toni Braxton and #5 (tie) Tank & Mike Epps 
I didn’t get to attend Kevin Hart, Dave Chappell, Cedric The Entertainer’s and tons of other shows due to work.  I’m sure you will have them on your list. 
My biggest announcement of 2015: Hands down was Prince! I even received an invitation from his team to do his concert review because I was able to break the announcement.  Everyone is still talking about how I did that.  After that one, I didn’t mind if I didn’t get anymore. When you are asked to cover the best…everything else was a bonus. 
I wrote over 130 stories and announcements throughout the year.  Some of my biggest media hits:  Prince with over 194,000 views, 986 likes and 663 shares in just a few hours of me saying Louisville will be his FIRST stop.  Impractical Jokers had 115,008 views, 781 likes and 634 shares.  My Diane Sawyer and Jennifer Lawrence preview of ABC interview was viewed 115,000 times with more than 1600 likes and 222 shares in five hours.  Kevin Hart’s announcement was viewed 105,152 times with 830 likes and 519 shares. My Kenny Chesney and Janet Jackson announcements were also big. I had about 100,000 views in the first few hours of their announcements.  Finally, New Kids on the Block with Nelly and TLC announcement had 130,560 views, 466 shares and 873 likes. 
This does not include any of my Louisville native Muhammad Ali stories which have created a lot of attention and followers for me.  I cover the “Greatest” on a regular basis.
Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL "HitnRun" Tour Opener - Louisville

(Exclusive Coverage) Prince performs onstage during the “HitnRun” tour opener at The Louisville Palace on March 14, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr.  
The VIPP Report-@VIPPComm

The VIPP Report: Biz Markie in concert at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY

On Friday, January 15th , the Mercury Ballroom will take you back in time where hip hop and rap was in the infant stages and aspiring artists in the genre were trying to make a name for themselves.  Fast forward to 2016 and these artists are considered legends like the one who will return to Louisville.  Biz Markie will be apart of the 80s vs. 90s Mashup Bash.
Tickets are only $15 to see this infamous dj and legend in the hip hop game.  Biz Markie has performed on the turntables for exclusive events such as Super Bowl, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Show, Grammy after parties of our course the some of the biggest Kentucky Derby events.
This will also be The411 with Sherlene Shanklin thank you for your support event.  I’m going to send at least 100 people to this event.  All you have to do is like my public figure page to be eligible and then look for the announcements.  I’ve even attached the link for you below.
If you have a concert announcement that you would like for me to announce send it to  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.
The VIPP Report will also give away tickets for this concert. So, follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.

The VIPP Report: Music legend Natalie Cole dies at the age of 65

Natalie Cole GettyWith just hours into the new year, I receive sad news. The woman that had the “Unforgettable” voice and beautiful duet that set the technology bar high for other artists trying to do the same thing has died.  Natalie Cole died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 65.  She just cancelled her concert in Louisville, Kentucky for Saturday, February 13th at the Kentucky Center due to illness.

Here’s my story that I posted on

Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning daughter of Nat “King” Cole” who carried on her late father’s musical legacy and, through technology, shared a duet with him on “Unforgettable,” has died. She was 65.

According to ABC News, Natalie died Thursday evening at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles due to compilations from ongoing health issues, her family said in a statement.

“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever,” read the statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole.

Cole’s greatest success came with her 1991 album, “Unforgettable … With Love,” which paid tribute to her father with reworked versions of some of his best-known songs, including “That Sunday That Summer,” ”Too Young” and “Mona Lisa.”

Her voice was spliced with her dad’s in the title cut, offering a delicate duet a quarter-century after his death.

The album sold some 14 million copies and won six Grammys, including album of the year as well record and song of the year for the title track duet.

Cole was scheduled to be in Louisvile on Saturday, February 13th but just a couple of weeks ago the Louisville Orchestra had to adjust their lineup by including Kristin Chenoweth in place of Cole due to illness.

If you have a story about Natalie Cole you would like to share send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapro and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.

*The VIPP Report-follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.  If you have a story idea, for Shanklin send it to