BET TAPS POWERHOUSE SINGERS KELLY PRICE AND KELLY ROWLAND FOR NEW DRAMA SERIES "AMERICAN SOUL"
KELLY PRICE JOINS THE CAST AS A SERIES REGULAR, WHILE KELLY ROWLAND PORTRAYS GLADYS KNIGHT IN MULTI-EPISODE GUEST STAR ARC
LOS ANGELES - September 27, 2018 - BET Networks today announced Kelly Price and Kelly Rowland are boarding AMERICAN SOUL, the newest scripted drama series that chronicles the untold rise of Soul Train. The powerhouse singers will pull double duty on the music-based series, showcasing both their incredible voices and acting chops. Kelly Price joins the cast as a series regular, while Kelly Rowland will portray Soul legend Gladys Knight, who was instrumental in launching Soul Train to national prominence. Rowland will also record an original version of Knight's classic hit, "Midnight Train to Georgia" for the role.
Grammy(R)-nominated Kelly Price will play "Brianne Clarke," the extremely wise yet cautious head of the Clarke household. Brianne's children, Simone and Kendall, are rising stars in Los Angeles, but she is wary of what a life as entertainers could bring them. Kelly Price has forged her own career path in music, when she first earned the reputation as one of the industry's most sought-after songwriters, before becoming a Grammy-nominated artist in her own right. Her first two albums, Soul of a Woman and Mirror Mirror both went platinum and launched Price to R&B prominence. Proving versatile off the stage, Price has pivoted to the small screen as she recently recurred on Bounce's series, Saints & Sinners. Price is represented by Lynn Richardson (Sunni Gyrl Entertainment) and Laura Pallas (Pallas Management Group).
In a multi-episode guest starring role, Grammy(R) Award-winning Kelly Rowland will portray the legendary Soul singer, Gladys Knight. As one of the first performers young Don Cornelius books for Soul Train, Gladys Knight proves instrumental in the national syndicated launch of Soul Train. Don impresses Gladys with his groundbreaking vision, and turns a would-be business transaction into a true friendship. Kelly Rowland is a 4-time Grammy(R) Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and executive producer. A global pop star since the age of 16, Kelly grew up in the spotlight as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. Rowland has blossomed into a stunning solo artist who has released four successful studio albums, which have topped music charts all over the world. Kelly's beautiful voice and effervescent personality have also generated success in television, film and fashion. Rowland has had guest starring turns on "Girlfriends," "Empire" & "Being Mary Jane", as well as executive producing her very own docu-series, "Chasing Destiny" on BET in 2016. She also appeared as a judge for the immensely popular shows, "The X Factor" (UK 2011 and US 2013), and "The Voice Australia". Most recently, she participated as a guest mentor on the new season of NBC's "The Voice" (US) working alongside Jennifer Hudson. Kelly also added a new title to her name as published author with the release of her literary debut "Whoa, Baby!" which chronicles the trials and funny tribulations of being a new mother. Rowland is represented by The Gersh Agency.
As previously announced, the series features a cast of multi-talented actors including Sinqua Walls (Power, The Breaks) who will play a young Don Cornelius. Series regulars also include Jason Dirden (Greenleaf), Iantha Richardson (This Is Us), Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol, and Jelani Winston.
Everyone knows Soul Train, but not everyone knows what happened when the music stopped. AMERICAN SOUL is the untold story of the struggle to make the dream of Soul Train come true. Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius, the 70s period drama is an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, and musicians set against the backdrop of a cutthroat Hollywood - how they work, play, rise and fall. The series chronicles "the hippest trip in America" and what became of one of the most prominent and groundbreaking television shows for African-American culture.
Production for AMERICAN SOUL kicked off on September 17th in Atlanta, Georgia. The series will bow in 2019.
Produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, AMERICAN SOUL is executive produced by Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince, Devon Greggory and Tony Cornelius with Co-Executive Producers Andy Horne and Dionne Harmon. Greggory and Prince will also pen the pilot.
For more information about AMERICAN SOUL, please visit www.BET.com/AmericanSoul.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) (NASDAQ: VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, France and South Korea. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER (formerly CENTRIC), a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.
About Jesse Collins Entertainment
Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television's most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins has produced ground-breaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, the critically-acclaimed The New Edition Story, a biopic on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series on BET in January 2017 and posted record ratings for the network and attracted nearly 30 million viewers. He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows Dear Mama and Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube. He has appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine and has been featured in numerous publications including Ebony magazine. JCE will next debut The Bobby Brown Story. The mini-series will pick up where The New Edition mini-series left off and chronicle the talented but troubled singer's exit from the popular '80s boy band through his solo success and tabloid-fodder marriage to pop icon Whitney Houston. Spanning 30 years of Brown's life, the new project follows his story from the hard streets of Roxbury, where he turned to a life of drug dealing before being given the chance to prove himself as a solo artist. The Bobby Brown Story also will be a story about redemption. Through sobriety, the singer learns to be a better man, husband and father - finding love again and remarrying in 2012. The hit biopic debuted on BET on September 4 and 5, 2018 drawing over 13MM total viewers in its premiere week.