The VIPP Report: The ultimate neo-soul and hip hop concert comes to Louisville featuring Erykah Badu, Common & Bilal


Exclusive concert announcement by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 News, ABC, Louisville

The411 with Sherlene Shanklin:  I haven’t seen Erykah Badu in Louisville since she attended the Grand Gala, a Kentucky Derby event several years ago.  Now, she returns to perform.  Initially, I reported that the neo-soul, hip-hop artist would be here January 28th, now I’ve received word that the star will be in the studio working on a new album, which I’m sure her fans will be happy to hear.

Now, Badu along with actor and hip-hop artist Common and alternative hip-hop artist Bilal will join her on Saturday, April 8th in Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Expo Center.

Critics and music enthusiasts describe Badu as an experimental R & B artist.  She takes a little of contemporary forms of soul and hip hop and blends it into her own sound with influences of jazz and funk.  She recently hosted the Soul Train Awards where Louisville’s own Bryson Tiller was nominated for multiple awards.

commonCommon, the poet, rapper and actor has an extensive background in the entertainment industry.  His original stage name, Common Sense pretty much says it all.  The conscious rapper is a Golden Globe, Academy Award and Grammy Award winning artist.

Bilal is an independent artist whose multi-talented as he juggles being a singer-songwriter, producer and musician.   When he performs you will hear influences of jazz, soul, and some blues.

Tickets for Erykah Badu, Common and Bilal are on sale bilalfor the Saturday, April 8th show in Louisville at Broadbent Arena.  You can purchase them on and all Ticketmaster locations.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter for the latest in entertainment, community and lifestyle news @Sherlenemediapr and on Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.



The VIPP Report: Artist Mark Lenn Johnson to showcase his work at Louisville’s Kore Art Gallery



Courtesy: Mark Lenn Johnson


(Lexington, KY) Having just recently returned from Paris, France where images from his new Fountainfalls series were on exhibit, Kentucky artist, glassmaker, abstract painter and creative photographer Mark Lenn Johnson will showcase selected pieces from his entire body of work on December 3 at the Kore Art Gallery, located at 1860 Mellwood Ave, Bldg A-116 & 117 (inside Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Complex).  A portion of each sale will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

Johnson says “What an unbelievable year it has been.  I was blessed to have been invited and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to show my work in New York and Paris, France and the feedback from those events has been overwhelming.  My work is now on display in Helsinki, Finland thanks to Ava Galleria and I will be part of their show in Tokyo next year.  And now, to return home to the honor of having my work on display at, and added to the permanent collection of, Eastern Kentucky University’s John Grant Crabbe Main Library is just really special.  I can’t thank everyone enough for their support including the team at Kore Art Gallery.”

You can see Johnson’s work at Kore Art Gallery December 3rd through December 31st.  A reception that’s free and open to the public will be held on Saturday, December 3rd at 5:00 pm

For additional information about Mark Lenn Johnson go to and


Kentucky shows
Additional images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls series have been selected to the Kentucky Invitational Art Exhibit, hosted by Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts in Richmond Kentucky. The “sister” images – ‘Yara’, ‘Taura’, ‘Talora’ and ‘Maya’ – will be on display and available for sale through Dec 31, 2016.

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Facebook @ facebook/marklennjohnson or
Instagram @MarkLennJohnson

The VIPP Report: Rap & Hip-Hop Artist Kid Que 9 Visits Louisville Area Elementary & Middle Schools To Motivate Students


(Louisville, KY) He maybe only 13 years old but this teen is influencing others to do the right thing. B.M.B. Record’s rap and hip-hop artist Kid Que 9 is hitting the road to send a positive message to his peers that its okay to be a kid and to have fun.   As he travels the U.S. he hopes that fans and their parents hear his positive, clean and youthful lyrics.

On Thursday, October 17th and Friday, October 18th, Kid Que 9 will be in the Louisville area visiting elementary and middle schools in hopes of empowering and motivating youth one class at a time. If you are an educator and would like to be included in the tour when we come to your city, contact our office.

Que 9’s manager, Dorian Washington says “What a successful summer we’ve had because this young artist knows how to relate to his fans and peers.   His music is clean and positive and that sets him apart from other artists. We’re trying to create a paradigm shift where youth can be carefree, light-hearted and just be kids, dance and have fun to Que 9’s music.”

On November 11th, Kid Que 9 released his new full length EP, “Epidemic”. This summer the talented teen made a huge “SPLASH” with a single entitled the same name.   Thousands of kids took the #QueSplashChallenge and attributed to the successful promotion.

Que 9 finished his album in record time. Within three days he completed the project. He says “This was the hardest I’ve ever worked in a studio. The fast pace drove and pushed me to become a better artist and to have more respect for my craft and the entertainment industry.”

For personal appearance and/or concert availability contact Dorian Washington at

To set up an interview, (phone and/or in-studio) please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at

If you have a story idea, and/or would like to advertise with us contact a representative at  You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.  

The VIPP Report: Film screening at KCAAH will highlight African descendants and their culture



(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with the University of Louisville Theatre Program and the Black Media Collaborative, (BMC) presents African Heritage in Columbia:  A film screening and discussion.  It will take place on Sunday, November 20th at KCAAH, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

Manuel Francisco Viveros, director and actor for the African Columbian Theater will be present for the screening and discussion.

The film documents the villagers of San Basillo de Palenque, who are descendants of enslaved African rebels, who preserved and maintained the culture of their African forebears in the music, dance and other aspects of their social lives.

We are also happy to announce that John Chenault, lecturer in the Pan African Studies Department at U of L will introduce Viveros and lead the discussion.

November 20th is also known as Black Consciousness Day in Brazil.  It’s also called Zumbi dos Palmares Day.  It’s a symbol of enduring freedom and justice.  We invite you to come out and pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For additional information on how you can be a part of the Black Media Collaborative, please call 502-583-4100.

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY 40203. Follow KCAAH on Twitter @kygriot for events and announcements.

Manuel Viveros.png


The VIPP Report: A lecture series named in honor of a Louisville civil rights leader welcomes Angela Davis


Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC affiliate Louisville  

The person who said “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society” will be a part of the 10th annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Louisville .  Angela Davis, one of the nation’s leading advocates for prison reform and abolition, gender equity, and racial and economic justice will be their guest.  The social justice activist’s topic will be “Freedom is a Constant Struggle”.

The free event will be held on Tuesday, November 15th in the Brown &  Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Floyd Street.  All seating is first come, first served basis for the 6:00 p.m. talk.

Davis is an accomplished author and lecturer with engagements all over the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.  She’s published eight books including an anthology of her writings and speeches: “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement.”

Following the talk, there will be a book signing.

This educator and a vocal activist in the Civil Rights Movement draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.

You may remember that Davis was a visiting professor with the University of Louisville in 2002.  She taught women’s and gender studies course.

Davis, a longtime friend of the late Anne and Carl Braden, wrote the foreword to the biography “Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South,” written by institute director and UofL professor Cate Fosl.

This lecture series and institute are named for the Bradens who were active in the civil rights movement in Louisville

To learn more about the 10th annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Series go to

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The VIPP Report: Michael Sam will be in Louisville to take part in UofL’s Pride Week


The University of Louisville Michael Sam, the first openly gay man drafted by an NFL team, will deliver the UofL Pride Week keynote address on Nov. 3.

The event is at 7 p.m. , Swain Student Activities Center, Multipurpose Room.

This event is a collaboration between the Student Activities Board and the LGBT Center. The talk is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Register online via eventbrite.

Sam’s keynote will address his journey, triumphs over hardships, and lessons learned from key mentors in his life.

Sam ended his career at the University of Missouri as a consensus All-American and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He made history in 2014 as the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was drafted by the then St. Louis Rams. He is currently a free agent.

This event is part of a series of events planned for UofL Pride Week 2016, hosted by the LGBT center and made possible by more than 40 sponsors from across the campus and community.

For additional information, visit