Bourgeois Brief: John Legend Soars in Jesus Christ Superstar, Tributes Pour in for Winnie Mandela, Drake Makes History & Much More!
Your daily dose of art, news, and pop culture headlines, and a signal boost for creators of color.
John Legend Leads Easter Ratings in Jesus Christ Superstar Live
NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live ruled network ratings on Easter Sunday. The modern adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical pulled in 9.4 million viewers. Its ratings were on par with 2016’s Hairspray Live, and the special easily beat the other big shows of the night—American Idol and 60 Minutes. The production was praised across social media and in a series of glowing reviews. See Vulture’s take below, and get more details on the ratings at The Hollywood Reporter.
Winnie Mandela Passes Away at 81
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid activist, has died at 81 years old. Throughout her life and activism, she fought to keep her husband Nelson Mandela’s agenda alive during his 27-year imprisonment. The couple divorced in 1996, but not before becoming the first black President and First Lady of South Africa in 1994. Madikizela-Mandela was one of South Africa’s most vocal apartheid opponents and will be forever remembered for her commitment to justice. Celebrities like Idris Elba and Viola Davis paid tribute on social media Monday. Read more at CNN.
Dwayne Johnson Gets Personal About Depression Battle
Dwayne Johnson is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, but he’s had quite the journey on his way to the top. In an interview with UK publication Express, he opened up about his battle with depression and his mother’s suicide attempt, which he witnessed at just 15 years old. His revelation has resonated as men of color rarely open up about mental illness. Read more of his story at Variety.
JAY-Z Sits Down with David Letterman
JAY-Z is David Letterman’s next guest on his Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. In a recently released clip, the legendary rapper and businessman breaks down Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s artistry. The interview is just the latest appearance for Hov, who recently appeared as the first guest on Van Jones’ new CNN show and sat down for an in-depth, headline-grabbing New York Times interview. See the Netflix clip below.
Drake Continues to Make History with God’s Plan
With his latest single, “God’s Plan,” Drake is now the only solo male artist with two 10-week runs in the number one spot on the Billboard singles chart. The song also joins an exclusive club of songs that have spent 10+ weeks at number one, including Puff Daddy & Faith Evans’ “I’ll Be Missing You” and Adele’s “Hello”. Find out more at Billboard.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Cardi B unveils clip for “Bartier Cardi” [Pitchfork]
Zazie Beetz in talks to join Against All Enemies [Variety]
Tracy Morgan joins Taraji P. Henson-starring What Men Want [Vulture]
The Weeknd heads for a no. 1 debut [Billboard]
Food for thought
NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live was a rare feat—a ratings hit that also won the favor of a diverse audience. Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz explores its magic:
Minute for minute, NBC’s Easter spectacle was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the 20-plus years I’ve been writing about TV. I wish I’d recorded it so that I could have watched it again right away to savor its visual and musical grace notes.
Read his full recap here.