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Demetria McKinney to star in Freeform's 'Motherland'

Posted by Iesha Marie on July 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (5)

Congrats goes out to my buddy Demetria McKinney. The music star of Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners has landed a role on the new Freeform series, Motherland.

Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, Motherland follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment at Fort Salem. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons.

McKinney will star as Anacostia, an articulate, tough, wryly humorous staff sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.

Motherland also stars Taylor Hickson, Amalia Holm, Kelcey Mawema and Jessica Sutton.

The hour-long series comes from CLAWS creator Eliot Laurence and is produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. The pilot is directed by Steven A. Adelson.

Article by:" target="_blank">Ray Cornelius

Muny's 'The Wiz' is nearly a dream come true for Demetria McKinney

Posted by Iesha Marie on June 17, 2018 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Singer-actress Demetria McKinney always fantasized about playing Dorothy in one of her favorite musicals, "The Wiz."

"I wanted to play Dorothy so bad I didn’t know what to do with myself," McKinney says. Her introduction to "The Wiz," an African-American twist on "The Wizard of Oz," was the 1978 movie starring Diana Ross. It was an early opportunity for McKinney to see other people who looked like her.

"I remember seeing 'The Wizard of Oz' and thinking, 'OK, no slight to it, but I couldn’t relate to anything,'" McKinney recalls. "Then ‘The Wiz' came. I’m a fan of Diana Ross, a fan of Michael Jackson, it just had so many great elements, and I was able to see myself living in this dreamland, singing these songs."

McKinney, 38, never got to play Dorothy. But starting Tuesday night at the Muny, she’ll be Glinda the Good Witch, a glamorous second-choice role.

"Glinda was draped in beauty, and her heart was amazing," says McKinney, who's based in Atlanta. This will be her first time in "The Wiz."

McKinney sees the late Lena Horne, who played Glinda in the 1978 movie version of "The Wiz," as a kind of spirit guide.

"Lena Horne was as beautiful as she was talented," she says. "I had some trepidation playing Glinda after that, but the Muny makes it so comfortable there's no choice but to be great. I’m praying I do her justice and hope people can see a little glimmer of her in me."

McKinney also plays Aunt Em, which means she"ll not only get to perform "If You Believe" as Glinda but also "The Feeling We Once Had" as Aunt Em. She’s promising something different, since she's an alto soprano.

Danyel Fulton will play Dorothy. "I’m looking forward to living through her," McKinney says.

Fans of "The Wiz" will detect a few changes.

Amber Ruffin, who writes for "Late Night With Seth Meyers," was brought on board to provide new material for the script, working in conjunction with "The Wiz" original book writer William F. Brown, with the support of Charles Michael Smalls, son of "Wiz" composer Charlie Smalls. Choreography is by Camille A. Brown, who choreographed the Broadway revival of "Once on This Island." Music direction is by Darryl Archibald.

"There's really some spins on the material. You’re gonna see something new," McKinney says. "The choreography is closer to where we are now, and the songs are brightened more."

When McKinney was approached to do the musical, she quickly accepted, especially after having such a good time in the Muny's 2012 production of "Dreamgirls"; she played Deena opposite Jennifer Holliday as Effie.

"The way the Muny works is like the way they work in the Tyler Perry realm: They don’t play," says McKinney, who was cast in "Tyler Perry’s House of Payne" on TBS. "And I loved the community aspect of it and their bringing the arts to the people in a way that’s tangible and accessible. It’s such great quality. I mean ... they brought Jennifer Holliday to the Muny."

Also, after shoring up her TV credits with Bounce TV’s "Saints & Sinners," BET’s "The Quad" and Syfy’s "Superstition," she decided she wanted to do some things she hadn’t done before.

“I’d been successful in TV, and theater is a great place to sharpen your skills,” she says. “I’m still sharpening. When they called, I was like, ‘They want me back?’ It was a phenomenal experience, but you can be forgotten, especially after a stint of six years.”

McKinney had been honing her theatrical chops with the stage adaptation of "Set It Off," based on the 1996 crime drama of the same name. She was part of the cast that included Da Brat, LeToya Luckett and Kyla Pratt. The touring play sold out in April at the Peabody Opera House


She says there is talk of "Set It Off" going back on the road in the fall. "That was one of the most fun, most crazy rides I’ve ever been on. Female unity is hard to come by."

In December, she opened for Fantasia on a Christmas tour that came to the Peabody.

"Let me tell you something right now. I’ve worked with lots of different people — Musiq Soulchild, Anthony David, Ro James, R. Kelly, Charlie Wilson, Johnny Gill, Kandi Burruss — but whenever it’s time to get on the road with other females, to show female empowerment, everyone says no. It was like doing 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' all over again," says McKinney, a Season 7 guest star. "But when it came to Fantasia, who had the final say, we bonded immediately. She’s always been sweet and kind, and I was able to just be me."

McKinney is also promoting her debut R&B album "Officially Yours," which in part represents her attempt to remind fans she’s a singer first.

"I never wanted to act, though I enjoy it now," she says. "The passion for music is first and foremost, always. Music has always been my comforting place, my therapy, my boyfriend, my home. And it came after a lot of trial and tribulations."

McKinney’s biggest musical influence seems obvious: She performs a tribute to Whitney Houston at every concert, and she even played her in the 2017 TV One movie “Bobbi Kristina” about Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.

"I’ve had all these things happen in my life, and when I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling or how to get out of it, her music was there for me."

Article/Interview by:" target="_blank">By Kevin C. Johnson St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Demetria McKinney promote "Saints and Sinners" on Bounce TV returning April 8th at 9/8c.

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 7, 2018 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney is best known for her time on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” as well as a short stint on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” where she managed to maintain her dignity and reputation.

Her career is currently on the rise. She has regular roles on not just one show but two: Mario Van Peeples‘ horror drama “Superstition” and Atlanta-based Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners,” which returns Sunday for a third season at 9 p.m. She released her first album last year and opened for Fantasia last year. And she’s touring with Da Brat in the play version of “Set It Off,” which recently was in Atlanta.

I spoke with her at Bounce TV headquarters yesterday in Buckhead about how her role on “Saints and Sinners” grew from a short stint to a regular role in the drama surrounding a local black church. She plays Tamara Austin Calloway, the wife of Miles Calloway (Keith Robinson), who oversees music at the church. In the first episode, screened to media for the first time Wednesday, she is convinced Miles’ mistress has kidnapped her baby.

“She was actually an organically added character,” she said. “She wasn’t supposed to be anyone of substance. She was kind of supposed to be there two or three episodes, get out of the way. Because of the dynamics they felt they could bring to the character that many women can relate to, she’s definitely grown and grown and grown.”

Tamara, she said, had been the “sheep” of the family the first two seasons but the circumstances have taken a mental toll on her.

She isn’t sure about the future of Von Peeples’ “Superstition,” also shot in Atlanta like “Saints and Sinners,” but she relates to her single mom character. She said it may leave Syfy and go to Netflix.

Article by: RODNEY

R&B Divas Keke Wyatt and Demetria McKinney Stir Up The Drama in Season Three of 'Saints and Sinners'

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 6, 2018 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The drama is back!

The much-anticipated third season of the hit drama series 'Saints and Sinners' is returning to television this Sunday, and they’ve kept the storyline smoking hot with the help of R&B divas Demetria McKinney and vocal veteran Keke Wyatt.

R&B star Demetria McKinney returns to the screen mastering her character’s untrustworthy antics, wild outbreaks and what could be, at first sight, signs of mental illness. On the other hand, Keke Wyatt brings class, sophistication, and Southern twang to her character making the star-studded cast complete.

"I love that the art of singing can transfer to whatever I'm doing creatively," McKinney said at a cast media roundtable earlier this week.

The Atlanta-grown series has made music a priority in its development. Keith Robinson (Dreamgirls) and Hip-Hop pioneer David Banner both play enormous characters that allows you to see the depth of their talent. Even to the point of not seeing them for the stars they are in real life, but only the characters in which they’re playing.

And here's the kicker: There’s an intimate scene with Keke Wyatt, Demetria McKinney and Keith Robinson surrounding a piano and the most beautiful sounds are made. You don't want to miss this! "We’re looking to have more music moments," Keith Neal, producer at Swirl Films, the show’s production company, said.

Saints and Sinners returns Sunday, April 8 at 9pm EST on Bounce. And if you’re like most who don’t really watch TV, you can binge watch seasons one, two and three - on Sunday - at It’s unlimited, and most of all, absolutely free.

Oh, and yes! If you hear about a scene that includes Clifton Powell, a chicken leg and Karlie Red, it's all true!

Article by:" target="_blank">Joshua King

Hype Chat: Demetria McKinney On Music, Acting & Lipstick Collection

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 19, 2017 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Demetria McKinney is a bona fide triple threat. The former reality tv star is an award-winning actress, a talented singer with an incredible voice and a skillful songwriter who expresses emotions in ways that instantly connect with listeners.

While most know her as Janine Payne from Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (now airing on syndication on BET), Demetria just might be one of the busiest actresses in the game. She has appeared on seasons 7 and 8 of the The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, on the Bounce TV breakout hit Saints & Sinners, BET’s The Quad. She also has recurring roles on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and on TV One’s The Rickey Smiley Show. Demetria will also be reviving her role as Janine on the new Tyler Perry show The Paynes, which debuts on OWN in 2018.

Not only does she stay on the grind, she keeps her beauty game tight! We caught up with Demetria to talk about her busy schedule, new album and, of course, all things hair and beauty!

Hype Hair: Can you tell us a little bit about your latest projects?

Demetria McKinney: Where do I start? My new album, Offcially Yours, dropped October 6. have my new series, Superstition with legendary actor/director Mario Van Peebles and I played the legendary Whitney Houston in Bobbi Kristina!

HH: What inspired the music?

DM: My life challenges. This album is really the soundtrack to my life.

HH: How would you describe your sound?

DM: It’s really soulful and true R&B.

HH: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

DM: Chaka Khan, Celine Dion and, of course, Whitney Houston.

HH: What are some of your favorite ways to experiment with your hair?

DM: My normal style is pretty much carefree, a wash-and-go look. But I do like to show versatility according to the characters I play. For example, May Westbrook [Superstition] has to have a very clean, professional look, but the show does allow me to do that with my natural hair. Tamara Austin [Saints & Sinners] is a bit more artsy. So I like to use my hair as the greatest form of expression for whatever I am doing.

HH: What is your daily hair-care routine?

DM: My hair-care routine actually begins at night. I start with water, seal with an oil, usually castor oil, and wake up in the morning ready to shake and go. I’ve learned to keep it really simple so I don’t over manipulate and cause unnecessary breakage.

HH: What are some of your top favorite hair tips?

DM: Some of my favorite hair tips include listening to your hair. The relationship with your hair is no different from other relationships in your life. You have to get to know when it’s dry; you have to get to know when it’s happy; you have to get to know how to keep it easy. (Ha!) Listening to what it needs will give you everything you need. The other thing that I would say is, concentrate on health versus length. Length comes from healthy hair; shine comes from healthy hair. Everything great that happens on your head comes from health—and that also starts from within. Plenty of water, plenty of rest, plenty of nourishment.

HH: What hair products do you use that our readers may be able to find?

DM: Dark and Lovely’s Au Naturale line; Carol’s Daughter Monoi line is still one of my faves. And oils—whether it be castor oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil, just find the right mix for you. It definitely helps to keep my hair moisturized with the sealant.

HH: Who are some of your favorite hair inspirations?

DM: Tracee Ellis Ross has always had a head of beautiful hair; on the YouTube side, Naptural85 is amazing. I love how transparent she is. She let us see her growth all the way to waist length. She let us see when the color kind of took her down, and now she is letting us see her on the come up again. All in all, her hair is gorgeous—and so is her spirit.

HH: What are some of your favorite makeup products to use to glam up?

DM: My lip gloss from the Demetria McKinney Collection, which can be found at

HH: What is your skin-care routine, and what products do you use for your skin?

DM: As for skin care, it’s very similar to my hair-care regimen. As someone who has suffered from acne, harshness is not my friend. I remove my makeup with an oil and follow with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. Every now and then I will give myself a baking-soda-and-oil scrub just to get a good exfoliation and balancing of the skin. But again water, water, water! I drink lots of it. I mist my face throughout the day, and I try to just keep it as clean as possible without cleans- ing out the natural oils that are supposed to be there. Glowing, youthful skin is the goal—not a dry, ashy bucket!

HH: How would you describe your sense of fashion?

DM: I wear whatever makes me feel good. I can be a tomboy and wear ripped jeans and my Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, or I can rock a Balmain dress with a pair of red-bottoms.

HH: If you had only 15 minutes to pull a complete look together that includes hair, makeup and clothing, how would you do it?

DM: Hair would be wash-and-go; face would be simplistic, with a tinted moisturizer, a brow and a lip gloss; then a simple romper with a banging shoe. I’m a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. I would step out the door with the biggest smile ever. ’Fro on fleek!

HH: What are your purse-packing must-haves?

DM: My cell phones of course, a Red Bull, gum and a nude lipstick from my collection.

HH: Where do you derive your strength, encouragement and creativity from?

DM: From my son, who is 18 years old. Everything I do, I do for him. I have been homeless; I have lived in the projects; my mother is still married to the man who tried to molest me. Everything I have been through makes me a stronger and better person.

HH: What’s up next for you?

DM: Another album and going into filming season three of Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV.

Article by: Hype Hair

Demetria McKinney: It's Not As "Easy" As You Think

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 18, 2017 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney has become one of the most recognizable faces between the small screen and her first passion—music. Her range of television credits are active from her role on Syfy’s “Superstition” with Mario Van Peebles; the drama series “Saints and Sinners;” BET’s popular “The Quad” and Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne” returning for another season in 2018.

But, if you didn’t have a chance to catch her on all of the above television shows airing on several different networks—just turn on the radio because her hit song “Easy” is a major hit.

While she was traveling on the Fantasia Christmas After Midnight Tour, The Defender sat down to discuss how McKinney balances her successful career.

You have a great deal of projects happening? How do you balance it all?

It’s funny, it’s just a testament to what’s for you in God’s time. It’s also about not being upset or stressed out about stuff—it’s human. But you got to kind of let things go.

Congratulations on the success of "Easy." How did you come up with the concept and who wrote it?

It’s an amazing love song. What I love about "Easy" is that they’re gravitating to the message. It’s great to see that in the midst of reality television where everybody is like ‘Yes, I’ll do this for that or I’ll do this for a shirt or for a car,’ people are saying ‘I’m worth love, I’m worth substance, I’m worth the mindset that agrees with mine.'

Who wrote the song?

Courtlin Jabrae, Devin Horton and myself. It was a collaborative effort.

My album is comprised of a couple of different writers-some of them are known and some of them are not, but they all speak my language. I really wanted to tell stories from my point of view. This "Easy" moment came from being tired of being approached at the bar and they think they can come at me with that same line that same thing and the minute I say 'no'-'she stuck up and she got an attitude'. I have high expectations-damn right! I deserve because I give. And sometimes as women, I feel we kind of diminish everything that we give, and we take the scraps because it’s what is available. No, you wait for the right thing and make them give it to you.

Since you have so many irons in the fire, have you had time to enjoy your personal time for yourself?

I would really love to take this wig off and sit it on the headrest as if it were my bestie. [she laughs]

But those moments where I used to be able to of walk out looking any kind of way, being any kind of way and acting silly in public, I have to be aware of this. To understand there’s consequences, and everything that comes with fame comes with a consequence. There is no way around it. Michael Jackson led a very private life for a reason. Beyoncé is private about her life for a reason because you still want to shield those things that are super important to you.

As an independent artist, we’ve seen a great deal of changes in the music business. Does it help to still have a major label in your corner?

Having a partner in radio and in finance is great, but I still had to make sure that everybody understood I am a partner. I struggled with that within my own team for a while until I had to weed out some folks who couldn’t let me be at the helm of my boat. With EOne, they ask me what would I like to do; they offer their opinions about things, but ultimately, they’re very gracious in letting me take the lead on my project.

SUPERSTITION — Pictured: (l-r) Demetria McKinney as May Westbrook, Mario Van Peebles as Isaac Hastings — (Photo by: Mitchell Galin/Xlrator Media/Syfy)

I had to build from scratch and I was building for 10 years before "Easy" really hit. I was doing A&R while I was on the road with R. Kelly and while I was out with Charlie Wilson. On tour with Fantasia right now, I’m still learning, I’m still growing because these are people who came up. They are willing to lend advice to me. I think that the biggest difference as an independent artist signed to a small label is that I get the best of both worlds.

As a Black artist, do you feel there is a dominance of White artists taking over R&B music without due respect to our culture and significant contribution?

I feel we’re in a good place and I’m going to say why. When you have an artist like an Adele who can sell the kind of records that she’s sold-who can sell out arenas and who can utilize what she’s seen of our culture-I have no problem with that. As long as you own it- if we can say I listened to James Brown. I listened to Etta James. I listen to this person and those are my influences. Ultimately in the body of work that you are doing, you are celebrating our culture and the people who started it. Now, the problem I have is when we can’t get a look because they’re doing it and they’re claiming it like it’s their own.

Article by:" target="_blank">Mary L. Datcher, Chicago Defender Sr. Staff Writer

Demetria McKinney Nominated For NAACP Image Award And Comes To The Apollo

Posted by Iesha Marie on November 22, 2017 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Rising music star and veteran actress Demetria McKinney has received a 49th Annual NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist. The Two-Hour LIVE TV special will air on TV One on Monday, January 15, 2018, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday with a One-Hour Live Red Carpet Pre-Show. For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at:

Along with an NAACP Image Award nomination, McKinney proudly joins Grammy Award winner Fantasia’s holiday tour, “Christmas At Midnight.” Tickets to Fantasia’s “Christmas At Midnight” tour, featuring Demetria McKinney, can be purchased here. Demetria McKinney joins Fantasia on the following dates at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY.

BET & BET Her’s 2017 Soul Train Awards will air November 26th, 2017, at 8PM ET. The annual event honoring the best in soul and R&B featured the national TV debut performance of Demetria McKinney‘s Billboard chart-topping single “Easy.” “Easy” currently sits at number 6 on Billboard’s Adult Urban AC chart.

McKinney’s debut album, “Officially Yours” is available in stores and online now. The album features the chart topping single “Easy,” and the newly released, “Happy.” “Officially Yours” was executive-produced by award-winning artist, producer and personality Kandi Burruss, Demetria McKinney and Roger Bobb. Get “Officially Yours” here.

McKinney recently portrayed the late music legend Whitney Houston in TV One’s “Bobbi Kristina” biopic, about Bobbi Kristina Brown– the only child of Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown. The television film premiered in early October 2017 to over 2.4 million homes, marking top rated success for the network.

Demetria McKinney is best known for her outstanding acting abilities as seen on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS/OWN/BET), “The Quad” (BET) and “Saints & Sinners” (Bounce TV). Demetria is currently the female lead in the new series “Superstition” created by Mario Van Peebles on the SYFY Channel which premiered October 20. She will return to “Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne” spin-off “The Paynes” as Janine Payne in 2018 on OWN. Additionally, she will reprise her roles on BOUNCE TV’s “Saints & Sinners.”

For more information on Demetria McKinney visit

Article by: Harlem World Magazine

The many shades of Demetria McKinney

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 28, 2017 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

To say that 2017 has been a very busy year for actress/singer Demetria McKinney would be a gross understatement. With three TV projects, a feature-length film and the debut of her new CD, all dropping this year just go ahead and called it, “The Year of Demetria McKinney!”

In an exclusive to The Atlanta Voice, singer-actress Demetria McKinney discusses her new album and new TV projects that will be released this month.

It seems impossible that the Atlanta-based entertainer could squeeze another activity in the month of October. McKinney portrays Whitney Houston in the TV One biopic “Bobbi Kristina” which premiered at the first week of the month. Also debuting in October is her first album “Officially Yours.”

The album’s first single “Easy” has peaked at number 5 on the Billboard R&B chart. She starts filming Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners” at the end of October which will overlap some with the filming of her new TV series “Superstition” premiering on the SyFy channel Friday, Oct. 20 at 10 p.m.

The talented actress and singer first came to the attention of TV audiences in a supporting role on Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne” which is moving to OWN. She also appeared on the stage in a production by True Colors Theatre Company. She gained further notice with a short stint on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

McKinney took a little time out of her hectic schedule to visit The Atlanta Voice offices to talk about her many projects and her increasing fame.

Are you busy enough? But that is what you asked for, right?

Demetria McKinney: (Whew!) You have to be careful about what you ask for.

Just how true is that statement?

DM: Super true, especially lately. I’ve have been saying forever even before we lost her that my dream role would be to tell the Whitney Houston story. When the Bobbi Christina biopic came up, I was super happy and to do this. And then after a few days of filming the weight of it all set in. The responsibility settled in. The eyeballs that were going to be on me settled in. And I thought I might have played myself. I better do this right.

So how did you get over the pressure?

DM: I accepted it as an opportunity to pay homage to her. And I accepted her presence there. I’m not going to get too deep into it but I think I can speak everyone there, we felt them both there. I was surrounded by her (hearing her music everywhere) all the time. And going through the transformation, everything I had to do to be in her world, it required a lot but I think since I had been asking for it (role) for so long I had to do my due diligence.

Did you feel the pressure that Whitney felt as being this superstar – no privacy in her social life. Did you connect to that?

DM: Absolutely. Even though I wasn’t her but playing her, the criticism that was received even before any eyeballs ever saw the film was ever screened.

The attitudes that were taken even before the film had a chance to speak for itself, it was a lot. I felt like what it was to be judged. I had to understand the amount of love people had for her and how it turned into this ownership of her which I think is part of what caged her in so much where she did do some of the things she did. And why she connected with her daughter as her best friend and who genuinely loved her not just her voice, not her looks but her.

It’s been a very busy year for you so how do as a single parent keep yourself from losing contact with your son?

DM: That part has been hard. I’m really glad my son is of age now. He’s 18. So, he’s looking for that independence along with me now having to give it to him. The communication we still have is awesome. He’s still asking me for money. He still trying to be my dad by checking on where I am and what I’m wearing. We are still very much connected and we are because we were before all this began.

Have you noticed that as your stardom rises on the opposite end your privacy declines?

DM: Absolutely, I wasn’t really affected so much by the lack of privacy because I control what I put out there. Whatever that isn’t true, I can’t control that. That’s what people do. For me it’s the personal relationships. Learning who I can really trust as this thing grows and shifts and moves into something else. I’ve had to lose some people. I’ve had to cry a little bit. I’ve had to grow a lot and some people have changed and there is a difference: Plants grow. Children grow. Change can be up and down. The stock market changes every day. Figuring out those people who can grow with you instead of change on you is really something I’ve been struggling with this whole year.

What are you trying to say with this album?

DM: “Easy” (the single) is an anthem which was unexpected. The music is revealing more of who I am as a person. People have seen a little bit of me on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and as Whitney in the “Bobby Kristina” biopic, this debut album is my chance to tell who I am by my own definition. Yeah, I’m bad, but I’m vulnerable, I been hurt. I celebrate my sisters. There is just a whole lot of me on this album. No woman is one dimensional. So, ladies, if you press play no matter what mood you are in, there is something there.

McKinney also pays homage to Whitney Houston on her debut album by covering two of her songs.

DM: If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have made this album. I would have never known I wanted to sing. I wouldn’t have made it as a human being to point that I could pursue my dreams. She brought me out of some really, really tough times. I had to make sure she was a part of this.

Interview by:" target="_blank">Stan Washington | The Atlanta Voice

Actress Demetria McKinney Reveals Emotional Toll Taking on Whitney Houston Role

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 14, 2017 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (1)

(Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Whitney Houston performs "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, November 22, 2009.

Demetria McKinney, the actress who portrayed the late legendary singer Whitney Houston in the "Bobbi Kristina" biopic that aired on TV One Saturday, said the role took an emotional toll on her.

McKinney admitted that playing Houston was the most iconic role that she's had to date. The biopic centers around Bobbi Kristina Brown, Houston's daughter with R&B star Bobby Brown, who was 22 when she died in 2015.

McKinney said she had trouble sleeping as she thought about the grief Bobbi Kristina felt over her mother's death.

"A couple weeks into filming I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning bawling. [I] couldn't stop," McKinney told ABC radio, WJBD reports. " I could not get her off of me."

McKinney also spoke about Houston's faith and the responsibility she felt in taking on the role.

"There's something to be said for such a spiritual person. Such a faith-based person and somebody who has left such a mark on so many different people," she said. "I think that's when the responsibility kind of settled on me. The responsibility hit kinda hard."

Although Houston's life ended after a lengthy battle with drug addiction, her Christian faith had always been a vital part of her career. In 1997, Houston was awarded with the "Outstanding Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music" honor given by the Gospel Music Association.

Houston's close friends and family spoke about her love for the Lord, including one of her closest friends, gospel singer Kim Burrell. And Pastor Shirley Caesar recalled the time when Houston spoke in tongues at Burrell's Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, Texas.

"Kim said that the power of God fell on Whitney Houston and she ran all around the church, and then she fell out on the floor and just began to speak in tongues," Caesar explained after Houston's untimely death in 2012. "For about 30 minutes (she was) lying there and praising the Lord. This girl knew that Jesus loved her."

Article by: Christine Thomasos

Demetria McKinney Became The Most Vulnerable She's Ever Been For Her Role As Whitney Houston (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 14, 2017 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney was fortunate enough to land the role of a lifetime in TV One's Bobbi Kristina as Whitney Houston, the late icon and mother to Bobbi Kristina.

Stopping by ESSENCE's Yes, Girl! McKinney talked about the depths she had to explore in order to become Houston.

"I really realized, in order to get into Nippy I had to dig into myself," McKinney said. "Whitney would fight you. Nippy was no joke. She cussed, she drank, she smoked. And, it wasn’t to say she’s a bad person, that’s just the reality of who she was.

McKinney added, "Like anybody else, she had her demons. I had to get into that space that I didn’t want to get back into. So, my biological mother is still married to the man who tried to molest me. I have been homeless due to that situation. I have been pinned to a tree and beat up by a boyfriend. These dark places that you go to in order to be an actress I never really had to go to because I already had that thing in tuned. But to get to some of the places that she would feel, I had to become the most vulnerable I have ever been."

TV One's Bobbi Kristina premiered in October, telling the story of Bobbi Kristina's struggles growing up in the spotlight. McKinney says she immersed herself in all things Whitney Houston, singing non-stop to make sure she portrayed the iconic figure just right.

It was a dream role for McKinney, who says Houston was the biggest inspiration in her life.

"She was the reason I wanted to sing in the first place," McKinney told ESSENCE. "I used to tie pom poms to my head and make people at the family reunion sit down and pay me fifty cents to hear me sing a terrible rendition of ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody.’ You were gonna pay me, you were gonna get this concert. She has been my inspiration, musically, period. Point blank. Everything else—I love Chaka Khan, I love Anita Baker, I love Celine Dion, Pink, Nine Inch Nails—I listen to all kinds of stuff, but she was it."

Article/Audio:" target="_blank">Sydney Scott

Celebrity This Or That: Demetria McKinney (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 14, 2017 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s Celebrity This Or That and this time it’s with singer Demetria McKinney! If McKinney were on a sinking boat and with NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore and there was only one life jacket left, who would she give it to? Listen below to find out who!


Audio by:" target="_blank">DLHS Staff

Demetria McKinney plays the character of herself this time on debut album, "Officially Yours"

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 14, 2017 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The wait is officially over:- Demetria McKinney‘s debut album, Officially Yours, is out now.

The Bobbi Kristina actress tells ABC Radio that the disc, which took several years to develop, is all about “owning who I am” as a person, as opposed to the people she portrays onscreen.

“I’ve played so many characters,” she says. “Super blessed. Very humbled and honored to do that. And I’ve gotten an opportunity to tell everybody else’s stories. I’ve walked in a lot of shoes. But when you go out and you present Demetria, people don’t know who she is.”

She adds, “Officially Yours had to be named that because it was my first time presenting myself as myself.”

Demetria adds that both she and the album went through some growing pains.

She explains, “I’m a totally different woman now. I’ve grown. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve experienced different things. I’ve toured with a couple more people, so I’ve gotten to grown into the woman that I am today.”

The entertainer says the experience of making Officially Yours, as well as appearing in various TV shows, has “been an altar unlike any other.”

“I’ve had to grow a lot,” she says. “I’ve had to become a lot more progressive.”

Article by: ABC Radio

Demetria McKinney Is Breakout Star of Controversial 'Bobbi Kristina' Movie

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 11, 2017 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (1)
Left to Right: Hassan Johnson (Bobby Brown), Demetria McKinney (Whitney Houston), Joy Rovaris (Bobbi Kristina), Vivica A. Fox (Pat Houston) and Nadji Jeter (Nick Gordon). (Photo: TV One)

Bobby Brown’s legal action to prevent TV One from airing its original movie “Bobbi Kristina” October 8 may have failed, but, judging by the initial outcry against the film, Brown, who is portrayed by Hassan Johnson, wasn’t the only one who had issues with the film about the only child he and Whitney Houston had together. Those issues, however, didn’t keep “Bobbi Kristina,” which should break yet another TV One viewership record, from trending all night on Twitter, thanks to TV One airing the two-hour film three times back to back. The film about Bobbi Kristina, who died July 26, 2015 in Duluth, Georgia, following a tragic accident where she was found unconscious in a bathtub — eerily similar to how her mother died in Beverly Hills February 11, 2012 — was still trending the morning after it aired.

When the network hosted a media teleconference about three weeks prior to the film airing, without offering an advance screening of the film, TV One senior vice president of original programming & production D’Angela Proctor championed the merits of telling this story. “At the end of the day,” she said, “this is the story of a young girl who was looking for a boy to love her. To me, it is a quintessential love story gone wrong and, to be honest, it could have been anyone.

“She didn’t have to be Whitney Houston’s and Bobby Brown’s daughter,” Proctor continued. “She just happened to be Whitney Houston’s and Bobby Brown’s daughter, which added another layer of complexity to the relationship that she was seeking and also added a level of complexity to what she brought to the relationship with Nick Gordon.”

In her biggest role to date, Joy Rovaris won over lots of social media skeptics with her portrayal of Bobbi Kristina, or Krissi to those who knew her. “As a woman you love hard, and seeing love through Krissi’s eyes was a whole ‘nother world to me,” Rovaris shared. “I had to figure out a way to be Krissi in love with Nick so I had to see him through her eyes.”

As for Nadji Jeter, whose portrayal as Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina’s troubled “adopted” brother-turned-boyfriend, drew jeers on social media, he said he learned a lot about him from some of Krissi’s friends who were on set during filming. “I knew [about] Nick Gordon being really close to the family but not really his impact and effect on Krissi until I got around the people who really knew her,” he shared. One of Bobbi Kristina’s friends, Alexandria Reid, played the role of Britt in the film.

Vivica A. Fox also had a personal connection to the film beyond just playing Pat Houston, Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, one-time business manager and Bobbi Kristina’s aunt. “It was very important for me to be a part of this project,” she shared, “because I knew the family, personally.” As a result, she was just as invested or more so as everyone involved in the mission “to humanize this family.”

Some of the biggest cheers of the night were for Demetria McKinney’s portrayal of Whitney Houston. @Miss_knockout tweeted, “i have so much respect for @demimckinney she’s the closest to whitney i seen yet she slayed both acting and singing!” @CeCeTyshay was also impressed and tweeted, “Demetria killin me with the Whitney-isms.”

i have so much respect for @demimckinney she's the closest to whitney i seen yet she slayed both acting and singing! #BobbiKristina

— Miss knockout (@Miss_knockout) October 10, 2017

#BobbiKristina Demetria killin me with the Whitney-isms. She got the hand & lip twitch thing while singing down pat

— CeCe Tyshay (@CeCeTyshay) October 10, 2017

For McKinney, who was introduced to audiences as Janine Payne in the Tyler Perry comedy series “House of Payne,” Whitney Houston was a great source of personal inspiration.

“She never met me, she never knew me,” she shared, “but being a person who has been homeless, being a person who came from a household where I was molested, there were different things I didn’t know how to emote and almost couldn’t get out of because that space was so dark, but her voice was literally able to bring me out of it.”

McKinney released her debut album “Officially Yours” on Friday, October 6th via eOne Music. Watch the music video for the single “Happy” below.

“Bobbi Kristina” screenwriter Rhonda Baraka said that her focus was “to make sure that we stayed true to Krissi.” Baraka, who is a mother herself, also admitted to being moved by Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina’s mother-daughter connection. “I was very intrigued about their bond,” she said.

Keeping it all together were executive producers Tracey Baker-Simmons and Wanda Shelley, who were behind 2005’s “Being Bobby Brown,” Bravo’s first breakout reality show, and “The Houstons: On Our Own,” which ran on Lifetime in 2012 and 2013. “We knew Krissi really since she was about 8 or 9 years old and we knew her as a young, loving and talented, really sweet actually, little girl,” shared Baker-Simmons. “And we really felt like her life story could really serve as a testimony to other young ladies.”

“Bobbi Kristina” airs again on TV One Tuesday, October 10 at 8 pm.

Article by: Ronda Racha Penrice

'Bobbi Kristina' Cast on the 'Supernatural' Experience Filming TV One Biopic [EUR Exclusive]

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 8, 2017 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

*TV One’s original Bobbi Kristina movie premiers Sunday night (Oct. 8.) and is set to take viewers inside the high-profile life – and untimely death of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s only child.

Inspired by true events, the biopic offers an intimate look at the highs and lows of parental, familial and romantic love complicated by fame through the eyes of a sensitive, vulnerable young woman.

Actress Joy Rovaris revealed to EUR/Electronic Urban Report that the toughest challenge about playing Bobbi Kristina was being able to find “a genuine love” for Krissy’s allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend, Nick Gordon.

“Feeling so personally connected to Krissy. I couldn’t stand Nick Gordon. In order for me to play her genuinely and authentically, I had to find a real true reason why she loved him so much and then I just had to embrace that. So I had to see Nick beyond what he did wrong and what he did right, what was so appealing to Krissy. So finding that and removing Joy’s feelings about Nick was probably the toughest challenge,” she says.

Bobbi Kristina was 14 when her parents divorced and when Houston died in February 2012, Brown was named as the sole beneficiary of her mother’s estate. That October, she made headlines when she announced her engagement to Nick Gordon, a man she previously considered her “big brother.” The announcement caused controversy within both her parents’ families.

Throughout her teenage and adult years, Bobbi Kristina was the focus of gossip column speculation, including stories about her purported drug use, which Rovaris said Krissy turned to as a “coping mechanism.”

“For Krissy, she grew up with rock star parents and Whitney was the greatest thing in Krissy’s world, so whatever Whitney did was very normalized for Krissy. So the drugs, the crazy relationship, the severe up and down, all of that was very familiar for Krissy,” she says. “That was her normal. Even her relationship with Nick was like finding her own Bobby because it was so extreme. The love was extreme the hate was extreme, the fighting was extreme. And when she’s hurting she goes to drugs ‘cause that’s what she saw her mom doing. Her world is very different than someone who’s not exposed to those things. So it, hopefully, gives a “Why?” understanding for the judgment that people have possibly made. You can see how these choices came about.”

TV One’s “Bobbi Kristina” biopic also stars Demetria McKinney as Whitney Houston, Vivica A. Fox as Pat Houston, Nadji Jeter as Nick Gordon, and Hassan Johnson as Bobby Brown.

We caught up with Joy, Demetria, and Hassan ahead of the biopic’s premiere to dish about the creative process behind capturing the essence of these pop cultural icons.

Check out Part 1 of our conversation with the cast below.

Demetria, talk about your process behind capturing Whitney’s spirit for this project?

Demetria: First off, I’ve been, and am, an avid Whitney Houston fan, and this project has done nothing but intensify that feeling for her. Coming into this, I was so stoked to play Whitney. And it wasn’t until about two weeks in, at 3 o’clock in the morning, on a weekend, after we’d been filing and this thing had been settling on me and I’m realizing that I’m playing Nippy. Which means I had to get down to the core of who Whitney Houston was, minus the hair, the make-up, the wardrobe, the accolades, the voice — who she was as a person. And that responsibility and realization kind of humbled me to understand that the biggest thing I had to tackle was my ability to let her be human. I never judged her for any of her choices but I never realized who was making those choices. Whether it was her professional ones by her record label, whether it was her choices as a mom, whether it was her choices as a singer, whatever it was, those choices were kind of taken from her (and) made her choose other things. And that humanity that we didn’t get to see, that desire for love that she expressed with her daughter, was something that was so intense and so strong for her because it was all that she ever really wanted. So really understanding the humanity of Whitney Houston, understanding the choices and allowing those things — just like we are allowed to make mistakes, just like we’re allowed to grow in our way — allowing for her to shine through all of the other stuff that people would have be remembered.

Was it ever difficult to stay in the moment without having to struggle with your energy wanting to pull from the tragedy of their deaths?

Demetria: I know Joy felt it. I saw it on Joy. I felt her all over the place. Even when I did not want to think about who she was, how she was, live her, be her, I could not get her off of me. It was really strong because we care. It wasn’t a project so that we could say, “Yeah, I did that.” It was a true story that can truly help people and I feel like their spirits were there with us, wanting us to do that. That being said, I didn’t get a chance to dwell on the tragedy of the deaths. I got a chance to understand the tragedy that we didn’t get to see them in real life. Everything that we saw sensationalized in the media, everything we saw as far as the bad, everything we saw as far as the ugly, everybody wanted to remember that.

Nobody really connected to just how deep they were to each other. Nobody really connected to the fact that these were all people, including Nick, who were just broken but still found a way to love in the way that they knew how. So I think the bigger tragedy for me in going into this wasn’t necessarily the deaths because that’s finite. The fact that there is still this lingering tragedy that those human beings, those people who were in love, those people who celebrated are the people not getting to be seen, is what I focused on.

Joy: That was one of the things that I really wanted to focus on with Krissy. Showing you who Krissy is as a human being, aside from all the tabloids and all the gossip and rumors. To show you this girl’s funny side, her angry side, her vulnerable side and then to really show you how much Whitney meant to Krissy and how much Krissy meant to Whitney. That relationship was so extremely dynamic. I felt almost like I had a responsibility of showing the world this side of them. Like Demetria said, I really focused on making sure the audience could see this connection as a mother and a daughter, aside from everything else.

Did you get an opportunity pick Bobby Brown’s brain to gain insight on how you could truly embody him?

Hassan: I had a lifetime of research with Bobby. I don’t think I missed a step with the timeline of Bobby Brown, from New Edition to now. One thing I knew about Bobby, ‘cause I did know him personally, we didn’t get to reconvene or huddle up as far as the role was concerned, but I didn’t really need to and I think he probably would have the same sentiments being that we know each other personally — Hassan should be able to get the job done. I know Bobby wore his heart on his sleeve. A lot of us do, some of us don’t but Bobby didn’t have a problem with that. And so, there’s this obsessive and detachment. He was obsessed and detached at the same time, it’s been my opinion, and the detachment was emotionally. I think that’s what the dynamic between Bobby and Krissy was. He loved Whitney, we all know that, but… I have a daughter, who’s my only child, and you want to do above and beyond what you can do and muster up inside for them, and I just think that’s what it was, and then all the other demons. Like Demetria said, the sensationalized rhetoric and the negatively kinda takes its toll and it kinda takes over and then they gotta battle with that and then trying to have some normalcy in your life, which can almost never ring true for you. There’s just those dynamics and those conflicts and Bobby had those conflicts. I was enthused to get involved and be able to bring that to fruition.

Were any of Krissy’s family and friends, those who most influencial in her life, instrumental in enhancing this narrative?

Joy: Her best friend in real life, Alex Reid, who also plays herself in the movie. There’s this scene where she and I have this other-worldly communication where we just stare at each other, and talking to her off camera I learned so much about Krissy that it was overwhelming. She’s talking to me and I’m just boohooing and she’s boohooing because, at the time, I looked so much like Krissy so it kinda gave her this sensation that she had her friend back. But a lot of the things she told me that really resonated was how soft and gentle Krissy was and that her bad girl, I’m tough — I don’t care, all of that was such a front. So for me, I took that as Krissy was kinda like an oyster, her shell was hard but then her inside was soft and there’s this pearl.

So speaking with Alex really gave me the deepest sense of who she was because Alex was her best friend towards the end and a lot of times, when Krissy and Nick were fighting, Krissy would call Alex from the closet and sit on the phone with Alex for hours until she felt safe enough to come out. And so Alex, being so open and vulnerable with me, shared everything, like their deepest conversations, Krissy’s bruises and teeth missing and everything. Everything she would cry to Alex, Alex kind of poured into me and then in the scene, I went and poured it back out to her and so it was really powerful. I’m getting chills right now talking about it. It was almost supernatural.

TV One's "Bobbi Kristina" biopic: Demetria McKinney as Whitney Houston, Hassan Jonson as Bobby Brown and Joy Rovaris as Bobbi Kristina

In what ways do you think this project will add to Bobby and Whitney’s legacy?

Demetria: I think it will add so much dimension to it. Everything just seems so black and white. For a long time, I think Bobby got a lot of flack that he wasn’t deserving of. For along time, I think people speculated on what caused what, but they were truly in love and I don’t think a lot of people gave them an opportunity to be. Of course he was a bad boy, I used to love his antics but when it came to Whitney, he was not playing with nobody. And y’all saw how scrappy Nippy was over that Bobby. But I think that because everything else was encompassing it, it just kinda drowned out the love factor. The biggest thing for me, in regards to she and Bobby’s relationship, as crazy as it was, it was based out of love. What Pat did to protect Nippy and Krissy, was based out of love. Was it always the right thing? Maybe not. What Whitney did was base out of love. Bobby having to make decisions about his life, was still based out of love. And if we keep that at the forefront I think people give the opportunity for the forgiveness that everybody is deserving of. I think that people give an allotment for the hard shell to come off of the whole situation and then Bobby can get a chance to continue loving Whitney and his daughter in the way that he does and go on with his life being the great husband and father he is still.

Hassan: I think it colorizes their legacy. It beautifies and colorizes everything.

Joy: I feel like the movie will curb a lot of the criticism that they got. I also want Bobby to have some sort of closure. I don’t know if he’s missing it or not but my hope for Bobby would be to see this movie and feel really good about his daughter, about Whitney and about them being in a better place together.

As far what what new the world will see of Krissy, I really think it’s everything. Because everybody has their opinion about Bobbi Kristina but nobody new the real girl. All they knew was Whitney’s daughter who died just like Whitney. But you see four of them, Nick included, as human beings. And I think that’s what kids going through similar situations will connect to. Everybody’s been in a position of hurting in love and I think everybody will be able to connect to that.

What message do you think Bobbi Kristina would want young women to take away from this story?

Joy: I think her message is, you are beautiful enough. You are strong enough. You are smart enough. You are capable enough to do it on your own. You don’t need the approval of a lover. You don’t need the approval of parents either. It’s about finding that inner self-worth and just believing in yourself enough to go out and pursue your dreams. I mean, it sounds kinda cliché but I think her message to young people would be, you’re enough. You’re enough to stand on your own two feet.

Hassan: Basically, love what you do and do what you love. I think that’s what the message would be overall as well.

Demetria: I talk about this all the time, the power of choice. God gave us free will for a reason because it is a very powerful thing. So if we recognize that each choice led to a whole ‘nother choice that led to another choice that directly affected another choice that somebody else had to make which even trickled down to the choices we had to make as performers. If you recognize that your choices are not just for you. If you recognize that your choices affect the future then I think that we take those choices a little bit more seriously and I think we’re a bit more forgiving with people’s choices because we make some bad ones too.

“Bobbi Kristina” airs Oct 8. at 7/6c on TV One.

Check back soon for Part 2 of our conversation with the cast.

Interview by: Ny MaGee

Demetria McKinney Starring in TV-One's "Bobbi Kristina" Movie (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Source: Prince Williams / Getty

Demetria McKinney stars in the TV-One original movie “Bobbi Kristina”, that premieres this Sunday, October 8th. Demetria plays Whitney Houston and she talks about playing one of the greatest voices of all times with Midday Personality Cindi B on Majic 94.5. The TV-One movie gives us a closer look into the relationship between Bobbi Kristina and Whitney. And how Bobbi Kris detailed with her mother’s death and her relationship with Nick Gordon.

Article by:" target="_blank">Cindi B.

Demetria McKinney Lays It All Out On The Line In The Most Official Way

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Actress & Singer-Songwriter Demetria McKinney Recalls Working On Her Debut Album, Officially Yours, Transitioning From An Actress To Artist, & More…

Award-winning actress and skilled singer-songwriter Demetria McKinney is out to show the world that she has officially arrived, and she’s officially here to stay. With a successful and extensive acting career and roughly fifteen years in the entertainment industry, overall, McKinney is a multi-talented triple threat, gracefully commanding the scene, both on and offset and straight to the mic. The 38-year-old has just recently premiered her debut album, titled Officially Yours, on October 6th. A sultry songbird with an uncut talent, Officially Yours showcases McKinney spreading her wings, dynamically giving us all things Demetria. She has crafted this album with no-holds-barred, authentically illustrating vocal transparency in a way like no other. Newly-released, the project features fourteen diverse tracks, each fit for every woman’s emotion. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that Demetria McKinney has, undoubtedly, outdone herself on this one.

You may have grown familiar with McKinney as she gained critical acclaim for her work with Tyler Perry, one, in particular, being her personage role as ‘Janine Payne’ in Perry’s TBS comedy series, House of Payne–which she will also be reprising in the 2018 reboot, The Paynes. However, McKinney has since appeared in a variety of other TV and film productions, such as The Rickey Smiley Show, Lifetime’s Devious Maids, and, more recently, Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners, among a slew of others. Her latest happens to be in the awaited TV One-exclusive biopic, Bobbi Kristina, in which she will portray the role of the late, great Whitney Houston. The film is set to premiere on October 8th.

However, though acting is definitely a passion of McKinney’s, she boasts that music has always been a first love of hers. But, the transition from an actress to a full-time recording artist hasn’t been the easiest, she admits. Notwithstanding, McKinney’s only hopes are that, through her music, women can acquire a new sense of liberation, self-gratification, and self-appreciation.

Her lead single, “Easy”, did just that and has seen major airplay since its release, bringing in a large amount of social buzz, as it now serves as an empowerment anthem for women all across the world.

Accompanying “Easy” also came two other singles from the album, “Happy” and “No No No”, both widely gaining popularity throughout mass media, as well.

With this album, McKinney offers musical vulnerability to the listeners, as it represents ‘the spectrum of a woman’s life lived out loud’, fearlessly made with love, light, and great fortitude.

Indisputably, Demetria McKinney is showing that while everyone else is quiet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being loud, and she, for sure, won’t be silenced.

Check out our exclusive interview with McKinney below…

Parlé Mag: Let’s take it back to the beginning. You came to prominence mostly being known as an actress through your work with Tyler Perry. So, how did the singer Demetria come about? Was music something that you always wanted to do?

Demetria McKinney: Music has always been my best friend. Ever since the first time I heard Whitney Houston’s voice, I knew I wanted to do that. Not like her [laughs], but definitely make people feel the way that she could make me feel, musically. Acting kind of came in as I was in pursuit of that, really heavily, and took over. The love for [acting] started to develop, but there has never been a moment where I did not think, ‘Okay, I have to get some music out; I have to make sure that my voice is out there. Even if I just have one person, then I’ve done what I needed to do.’ So, it’s always been about music, but I love acting, too, now!

Parlé Mag: Being that you did start out as an actress, and that’s what people know you for, in the beginning, was it more challenging to break into the music industry?

Demetria McKinney: Oh, super hard! It still has its challenges. There are so many times when people come up, and they’re like, “Hey, Janine!” It is great to be known for your work, but those moments where people are like, “Oh my gosh! You’re Demetria, the singer.” has such an impact on me. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh! You heard me.’ You know what I’m saying?

Parlé Mag: Yes!

Demetria McKinney: It’s great when people can hear you as the Janines or Coretta Scotts–and the upcoming stuff that I have coming up as those characters, but when people relate to something that you’ve said from your heart, as your true self, is a whole other realm.

Parlé Mag: Definitely! So, tell me, how would you describe your style of music?

Demetria McKinney: My style of music is definitely R&B. I can’t say that it’s like anything else, but all inspired by so many different things. What I will say is, it’s the most real I’ve been in touch with myself, and it’s the most genuine me I can give to people. I own everything about myself–the vulnerable moments, the happy moments, the sad moments, the pissed moments. [laughs] You know? Whatever emotions I’m feeling, they’re all there. And, that’s why the title of [Officially Yours] is so fitting. When you see the album cover, it’s me, just naked; I’m being as vulnerable and transparent as I know how to be on this album. I’m praying that I help some other people kind of come to their true selves, as well.

Parlé Mag: Speaking of your debut album, Officially Yours–which just released. Did you have any first album jitters? If so, why?

Demetria McKinney: I did and still have them! I have them, right now, as we are talking! [laughs] Because it’s the first!

Parlé Mag: Right!

Demetria McKinney: You don’t really know how people are going to react to it. As an artist, first, as a Virgo, second, and as a woman, third, we’re constantly critiquing ourselves; we’re constantly second-guessing and wondering if we should’ve made a different turn or a different choice. At the end of it, I have no regrets. I’m super elated to see what everybody has to say. I think that’s the biggest part, helping me to get rid of the jitters, is to say, ‘Okay, you know, it is what it is.’ I’m looking forward to the response–who rocks with it, who jigs with it, what was it that they loved, how did it help someone overcome it. At the end of it, most importantly is, ‘Did I give my all?’, and I know that I did.

Parlé Mag: Officially Yours is executive produced by Kandi Burruss-Tucker. Tell us a little about the backstory behind her actually becoming apart of this project.

Demetria McKinney: Well, as people saw on Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi and I collaborated on a couple different things–including “Unnecessary Trouble”, and she wrote a couple other songs that I really, really love. There’s a song called “B.S.”, on the album, that is definitely by way of Kandi and The Kandi Factory. It is such an anthem in a whole other way than “Easy” is. It’s just about knowing that ‘I’m not going to take no ‘B.S.’ from you’!

Parlé Mag: Yes!

Demetria McKinney: It’s literally laying the law down. Fellas, if you need a rulebook of ‘what not to do’, “B.S.” is the one you need to listen to, and if you hear her playing it, you messed up! [laughs] Kandi is awesome in her penmanship; she’s awesome in her way of getting those words across, and it’s great to have her in collaboration on this album.

Parlé Mag: You previously mentioned that this album would show a more truthful and transparent side of you and how, in the past, you found it difficult to show any ounce of vulnerability. So, during the making of this album, what really helped you to become vulnerable and sort of pull you out of your element?

Demetria McKinney: The people I was working with–everybody from Kandi to Travis Cherry. Travis is an amazing producer. There would be days where I was in there, and he’d be like, “You are so half-ass!” or “I don’t feel anything you’ve said! Like, who are you playing with right now? You want to win or nah? You want to tell the story? You want to be vibrant? What are you doing?”

Parlé Mag: Wow! [laughs]

Demetria McKinney: My management, they would tell me what they did and didn’t like. Really, at the core of it, it had to be me going into who I was. You know what I’m saying?

Parlé Mag: Definitely.

Demetria McKinney: As you’re going through different things in life, it can knock you down, it can build you up. But, finding that Plato, in the middle, where you accept it all, and you understand that all of it is a part of your journey, all of it is part of your story, and all of it has its place and its importance was really important, for me, in getting to the point where I was like, ‘Okay, vulnerability is okay! It’s not weak.’ It’s not crazy to say, ‘ I loved him, and I lost him.’ It’s not crazy to say, ‘You know what? I kind of f**ked up on that one.’ It’s not crazy to say, ‘So, right now, I don’t feel like doing nothing but going to the club and twerking on somebody.’ [laughs]

Parlé Mag: I feel you! [laughs]

Demetria McKinney: Wherever you’re at, in life, that’s okay!

Parlé Mag: Going back to what I said about vulnerability, as an African-American woman, we are automatically expected to possess a certain amount of strength, mentally and emotionally, and when we don’t, we’re often seen as angry or belligerent. Through your music, how do you want to kind of break that cycle of barriers and show that ‘Yes, I am a strong woman, but I can also walk in my truth, unapologetically.’

Demetria McKinney: I think that strength has to be redefined, by all of us. Let’s take Real Housewives, for example, in an effort to show strength, a lot of the women choose shade. In an effort to show strength, a lot of the people choose to use other people’s situations as a stepping stone. Strength, sometimes, is being quiet; strength, sometimes, is being still. Strength, sometimes, is going in a room, away from your kids–like I know I’ve had to do before, and just having that good cry. Strength, sometimes, is that one day of the month that you pick where you just cancel everybody! I used to do it. Ladies, try it; it’s amazing. Like, ‘I love you, but, right now, you are not as important as me regaining a little bit of me to give so that I can be strong.’

Parlé Mag: Right.

Demetria McKinney: I think when we see tears, we’ve equated it to the wrong thing. Tears are an expression of a feeling, not an attribute to strength or weakness. It is a feeling. ‘Right now, I feel this, and I’m strong enough to admit that.’ That’s another problem that we have with mental health issues, health issues, in general. If somebody says, “My heart hurts.”, they don’t want to tell nobody because then they are looked at as weak. We have to change what that is! I think that will open up so many opportunities for the levels of help that we need, for the levels of care that we need, for the levels of support. In the same breath that we’re saying ‘you’re weak or you’re strong’, nobody’s helping us. We need that help, we need our fathers, we need our brothers. If we’re acting so ‘strong’ that they can’t get through, we’re just as guilty as them not being there.

Parlé Mag: As a female artist, what are some of the biggest challenges that you face or have faced?

Demetria McKinney: As a female artist–besides being an actress and trying to transition into a whole other realm, it’s trying to distinguish sultry from stinky, I think, has been the hardest part, for me. I’m a sensual being; I gets down! [laughs] I don’t have to be a thot to do it! I love my body; I love the women’s physique. I love the mentality that comes when I put on some lingerie, I put on my heels, and I’m strutting. But, I also recognize that I have a duty, to these other young ladies watching, to say, ‘There’s a limit to that.’ There’s a line that I just won’t cross. I think that when people see that I still have my morality intact, when they see that I still have my passion for myself intact, then that kind of puts them in an area that they’re not used to seeing. I’m cool with that! I love showing this whole other part of being sexy, without having to abandon who I am.

Parlé Mag: What song on the album would you say took the most out of you, personally, to record, and why?

Demetria McKinney: As you know, the album is a bunch of different dimensions of Demetria. There is one called “All Or Nothing”; it’s admitting so many different things about myself and the person who I loved, in a space that could be really scary. I think that was the hardest one for me to sing because I would get so choked up while singing it because it was so important to me. There’s another one called “Home”–which is on the album. It’s a remake, but it has so many childhood memories, it has so many nuances, it could be so applied to what’s happening today. You know? There’s a tribute that I did do to Whitney Houston, remaking “You Give Good Love”. That, for me, was powerful. She gave to me, in so many ways, without ever knowing that she did. The way that I remembered hearing that song for the first time, I was able to understand a little more about what it is, now, and sing it from a space of understanding and respect. So, there’s just so many of them; it depends on the mood. If I’m cleaning the house, and I just want to rock out, then I’ma hit “No, No, No” because chicks tried me, and they made me mad! [laughs] It depends on what mode you’re in. So, right now, I would have to say, “All Or Nothing” is the mode I’m in.

Parlé Mag: Other than your forthcoming album, you also have something else very huge on the horizon–which happens to be your role as the great Whitney Houston in TV One’s Bobbi Kristina biopic. Walk us through your audition process for the film.

Demetria McKinney: The audition process was unlike anything else I’ve ever done. I’ve been through some auditions where I was nervous; I’ve been through some kind of strenuous auditions, and I’ve kind of crossed my fingers, afterward. A part of being an actress is accepting ‘no’ as a part of your vocabulary. So, with this one, I did that audition for a good three hours.

Parlé Mag: Wow, really?

Demetria McKinney: Yes! I was not playing no joke. Getting the call that I got it, the initial emotion was excitement. I’ve always said I wanted to play her, even before we lost her; that was who I’ve always wanted to tell that story of. But, two weeks into filming it, there was this immense pressure. I remember calling my management, four o’clock in the morning, on a Saturday, ‘Man, I cannot stop crying.’ It was such a spiritual thing because I really feel like she and Bobbi Kristina are still with us. It was eerie; it was a lot. I don’t know how to even describe it. When I realized the gravity of what I was doing is when I realized the gravity of what I was doing, to everybody else, too, because we all loved Whitney. And, I realized the responsibility of telling Bobbi Kristina’s story, at the same time. So, playing such an iconic character is humbling as hell! It’s a lot! I pray that, if nothing else, I’ve given people an inspiration of her. That’s all I can ask for.

Parlé Mag: In addition to the Bobbi Kristina biopic, you’ll also be reprising your role as Janine in Tyler Perry’s new sitcom, The Paynes, slated for 2018. Is there any information you can share with us about the sitcom, itself?

Demetria McKinney: All I can say is that it’s more of what you grew to love, the first time around. You know? The faith, the family, the fun. There was a couple of sprinkles of real-life issues to start the conversation. It’s more of everybody that you loved, previously.

Parlé Mag: Well, we definitely can’t wait to see that! Aside from being a wonderful actress and singer, you’re the CEO of your own cosmetics line, The D Mckinney Collection. Give us a little insight on how this collection came into creation.

Demetria McKinney: As you build, as you grow, and as people take notice, different brands want to connect with you, to help their platform. That can be a win-win, as long as you believe in it. Celfie Cosmetics is a brand that definitely does partnerships with different people, but what I love about them is their integrity and their willingness to give me the opportunity to be kind of in the driver’s seat, as well. I picked my colors, I talked about the formulas, I named everything. It’s definitely a collaborative effort with them. The Demetria McKinney Line, I wanted to start off small because I’ve never really been in that brand of business before. I wanted to get the opportunity to learn, grow, feel, do, and then kind of expand. So, it’s been doing amazing. We have the metallic line, we have the original line. The colors kind of suit everybody; we have everything from the bold and the beautiful to the nude and the nice. I’m really, really excited about the relaunch because we’re actually sold out. [laughs] We have to get more products for the people!

Parlé Mag: Will you be adding more products to the line in the near future? Eyeshadows, eyeliners, anything of that sort?

Demetria McKinney: I’d love to! But, before I become a ‘Jack of all trades’, I want to make sure I’m really the ‘Queen’ of the one I have now.

Parlé Mag: Moving forward, what’s next for you?

Demetria McKinney: Ooooh! Well, we’ve talked about The Paynes coming back in 2018. Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV is coming back for season three; for everybody who’s been watching, we’re coming, and we got you! I’m also starring in a new show, called Superstition–which is going to be on Syfy. It stars myself, Brad James, and Mario Van Peebles. Oh my God! This is totally different than anybody’s ever seen me do. I’m doing stunt work; there’s a totally different level of relationships. I’m just really excited about the opportunity to continue growing, as an actress–working on a new network, with a new set of audience members. So, be on the lookout for that! That actually aired on October sixth, along with my album release.

Parlé Mag: So close! Right around the corner, actually.

Demetria McKinney: Oh, yes! Lots to look forward to.

Catch up with Demetria McKinney on social media:




Purchase Demetria McKinney’s Officially Yours Today!

Article by: Ashley Blackwell

Demetria McKinney revealed: The talented singer channels Whitney Houston

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Life has been a blinding whirlwind for do-it-all talent Demetria McKinney. While her thriving music career has kept her busier than a certain president’s tweet calendar, her work as an actress is equally as impressive. Her latest accomplishment in that area has certainly piqued the interest of many, as she’s set to portray the iconic Whitney Houston in the upcoming Bobbi Kristina biopic.

The role of a lifetime for McKinney has inevitably ramped up the demands of her time. But the opportunity to commemorate this milestone, found Demetria comfortably lounging on a couch in rolling out’s photography suite, reflecting on her journey with “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star Ariane Davis. Their convo, while relaxed, found McKinney candidly opening up about a moment that she has literally been waiting her entire life for.

Ariane Davis: Hi Demetria, how are you? I’m so excited that rolling out has us sitting down today to chat about all of the amazing things you have going on.

Demetria McKinney: Hey! How are you?

Before we completely dive in, let me give you guys this smooth introduction about who she is. She is A1’s recording artist and an actress. Her single “Easy” is currently at No. 6 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart. Her debut album, Officially Yours, will be released on Oct. 6, 2017, and she is playing the role of Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic of Bobbi Kristina on TV One, airing Oct. 8.

Demetria, how are you doing? What’s going on?

Man, life is good; 2017 has been amazing. It’s still kind of surreal.

This upcoming role that you have, how do you feel? Are you excited? I’m such a huge Whitney fan, so being here with you is such an honor. It’s so great that it’s you playing this role, because not only do I love her, but I also admire you and think you’re great, so I’m excited to see you play this role.

No pressure [laughs]. I’m excited. I’m very excited for the world to see this and the relationships that she had; not only with Whitney, but also with her father, her boyfriends, her aunt, her friends — just to get to know this beautiful young lady who was overshadowed by the iconic parents that she had.

How was it working with the other actors and actresses in this biopic?

It was amazing. Everyone came in with the same mentality: we all were there for Bobbi Kris. And I think because of that, there was no room for ego, there was no room for judgement, there was no room for people to not carry their own weight, and everyone, even TV One, wanted to approach this with as much sensitivity, as much clarity, as much heart as we could. And [we] really wanted it to be a story where even if we took out the iconic Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, the name Bobbi Kristina, this was a conversation piece so that we don’t have to lose any more of our daughters and children unnecessarily.

How did you prepare yourself for this role?

Well, much like you, I’ve been a Whitney Houston fan from day one. I felt like my whole life, I’ve been watching, learning, picking different pieces from her that I felt applied to me. Now, coming into this, about three weeks in, I was realizing that the places where I had to go were the places I didn’t want to be. And when you’re in such a spotlight, you have so many people wanting your talent and your gift, and they aren’t really trying to get to know you as a person. I think that’s what she really dealt with. The only way I could really prepare for that was to open myself up enough to accept those hurts I had in my life; those moments of judgment; those moments of sheer desire to just be who I am without all of the covering up, and makeup. At the core of who she was, she just wanted to be Nippy.

At one point, Nippy had gotten so slim and had noticeable physical changes. Did you have to lose weight or learn how to smoke?

I had to do a lot. I lost weight. I had to tan; I had to wear teeth; I had to learn how to smoke — there was a whole lot that went into it. Although I am fully aware that there will never be another Whitney Houston, I try to put people in the mindset of her. We were covering a really unique piece of Bobbi’s life. But even in the film, they substituted a voice to replace a certain person, and they even allowed me to use mine. I am fully aware that I am not Whitney Houston, but if I sang it, I had to sing it in the mindset that I felt she would be in. I had to do it as a nonsmoker, smoking. Or as a non-teeth wearer, wearing teeth. And then I had to show the emotions that she not only was feeling but also the feelings that I had for her and because of her.

What other projects are you working on?

“Saints & Sinners” is coming back for a third season. I’m also filming a show called “Superstition,” which stars myself, Brad James, and Mario Van Peebles. It’s going to be on the Sci-Fi Channel, so it’s a whole different genre … and just the action and intensity of the character is different. I play a cop, and it is a lot of work but I’m really embracing it and having a lot of fun.

A lot of young people may not know Whitney Houston’s story and understand who she really was. What would you say to the young kids who don’t necessarily understand Whitney and why she was so significant?

What I would say to people that aren’t that familiar to Nippy or really understand who she was is to pay attention to the bird singing in the cage. Her beauty, her voice, her majestic persona, her magnetic personality, all of that stuff made us feel like we owned her and we put her in this thing that she couldn’t get out of. Once you’re on that big of a pedestal, a lot of life passes you by because you’re living to other people’s standards. So, if you get the opportunity to get to watch anything about Ms. Whitney Houston [and] Bobbi Kristina, please remember that these are people. Please remember that beyond the tabloids, when they go home, they have a heart. When they go home, they have a family. When they go home, they have kids [who] are watching. So be aware, and take care of them like you would want someone to take care of you.

Interview by:" target="_blank">Ariane Davis

Photography by: John Stephens

Hair and Makeup by: J. Denelle



Demetria McKinney Talks To The Light About Playing Whitney Houston In TV One's Original Movie Bobbi Kristina (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Friday actress Demetria McKinney talked to The Light 103.9 about playing the late Whitney Houston in the TV One original picture “Bobbi Kristina” which airs Sunday October 8, 2017. During the interview McKinney showcased her singing talent with a little bit of “I’m Every Women” a classic by Whitney Houston. Listen to the interview in the link below

Article/Audio by:" target="_blank"> Jerry Smith

Demetria McKinney is Whitney Houston in "Bobbi Kristina" biopic: "I've never played somebody so iconic"

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Cast of "Bobbi Kristina" (Courtesy of TVOne)

Demetria McKinney, who portrays late icon Whitney Houston in TV One's biopic Bobbi Kristina, tells ABC Radio that she's "never played somebody so iconic" -- not to mention someone so psychologically and emotionally impactful.

As Demetria recalls, "A couple weeks into filming I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning bawling. [I] couldn't stop. I could not get her off of me."

The "Is This Love" singer adds, "There's something to be said for such a spiritual person. Such a faith-based person. And somebody who has left such a mark on so many different people."

She adds, "And I think that's when the responsibility kinda settled on me. The responsibility hit kinda hard."

Regardless of how psychologically taxing it was to portray one of the world's biggest entertainers, Demetria explains that it was all worth it because Bobbi Kristina is a story that needed to be told.

"There'll never really be a good time to tell it," she says. "But I think that the longer we wait to tell the story, the fewer lives we get to change from it happening again. We lost two beautiful, beautiful souls way too early.

"My son is eighteen," she continues. "So I took on that responsibility in making sure that I understood this was a conversation piece to save. This was a conversation piece to teach how to love. This was a conversation piece about relationships."

McKinney explains, "Relationships are just that. And if we don't cultivate them properly, if we don't show the love that we have for each other, we don't know when the next time will be. And hopefully people will get an opportunity to see that and understand it."

Bobbi Kristina airs Sunday, October 8, at 7 p.m. ET on TV One.

Article by: ABC Radio

Demetria McKinney Interview | Kelly Mac Show (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 7, 2017 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney called the Kelly Mac Show today to discuss...

the role she played as Whitney Houston in the upcoming Bobbi Kristina Biopic. It airs this Sunday at 7pm on TV One. Check out the interview below:

Audio by: Kelly Mac Show