I cannot believe 2017 is upon us. This year literally seemed to fly by. 2016 was full of unbelievable surprises and devastating heartbreak, from Hillary Clinton losing the election to having to say goodbye to icons like Prince, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds who passed away this year. In the words of Charles Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, It was the worst of times."
Before we ring in the new year, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what has been an incredible year for Studio Q. I'm proud of how we've evolved this past year. If this is your first time visiting Quencie.com, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Quencie and I am the founder and host of Studio Q, which is an online show where I interview the stars you love! You can subscribe to my YouTube channel or my VHX channel to watch some of the great conversations I've had with some of your favorite celebrities.
If you already know me and have ever taken the time to watch one of my celebrity interviews, re-tweeted any of my content, added me on snapchat or shared one of my posts on Facebook or Instagram, I thank you and appreciate your support. I am so grateful that I experienced yet another amazing year of doing what I love. I look forward to becoming better at my craft and taking Studio Q to the next level in 2017. Scroll down and take a quick look back at a few of my wins in 2016. Happy New Year! I'm wishing you nothing but love, good health and happiness in 2017!
1. Released New eBook, Nothin' But Love - My Moments with Whitney Houston
My number one accomplishment this year was releasing my new eBook, Nothin' But Love - My Moments with Whitney Houston. I started writing this book about 15 years ago. I even sent my first draft copy to Whitney Houston herself. Who knew I would ever finish it, but now it is finally done! Travel along as I recount precious memories with the greatest singer of all time! "Nothin' But Love" is a must-read for any Whitney Houston fan! It also offers life lessons and advice along the way. This book is a must-read if you are a Whitney fan, but never got a chance to meet her! Download Nothin' But Love to your phone or tablet by clicking the link below or on Amazon.
2. How You Can Rock The Red Carpet eBook
Tam and I co-wrote an eBook together sharing our tips and tricks on 'How You Can Rock The Red Carpet' when covering Hollywood events. For those of you who don't know Tam is, she is my best friend and Studio Q producer. We've both made so many mistakes that we thought we could maybe spare you a few. If you sign up for our Studio Q newsletter, you can download it for FREE. This eBook serves up as number two on my top Studio Q moments of 2016.
3. Mr. Church Premiere
This year I received the distinct honor of interviewing comedian legend Eddie Murphy on the red carpet at his movie premiere for Mr. Church. As you can see from the pictures above I was beyond excited. Who didn't grow up with Eddie Murphy making them laugh. It was the first time I ever interviewed him or Arsenio Hall, which was a double treat. Watch my red carpet interviews below.
4. The Screen Actor's Guild Awards
2016 was the the first year Studio Q ever covered the Screen Actor's Guild Awards. It was an interesting experience. The red carpet was enormous. There were so many stars and media outlets there that it would make your head spin. Tam and I were more interested in taking in the sites than getting interviews, which turned out to be a good thing, because most of the celebrities never stopped to talk. They either walked by quickly with their heads down trying to avoid you or waved bye like they were in a parade on top of a float. There were a few stars that would stop and talk here and there, but for the most part they kept it moving. It did feel like there were a million media outlets vying for interviews, but thank God we weren't one of them. We just watched in awe at how rude or kind someone was. It was like reality TV.
Now to be fair, I'm sure most celebrities spoke to big outlets like Entertainment Tonight, E! or Extra! but for everybody else it was a crap shoot.
I also got to hang out in the press room after the stars won their SAG award. So overall, it was a great experience! Check out our photos above and our coverage below.
5. Loretta Devine Interview
Loretta Devine is one of my favorite actresses, so quite naturally I am always thrilled when I have an opportunity to interview her. I have never had a sit down conversation with her yet, but I have been fortunate enough to interview her a few times on the red carpet. This year after I interviewed Loretta Devine at the NAACP Nominees' luncheon she looked at me and said, "You're such a great interviewer!" Um, did I hear her correctly? Did Loretta Devine just give me this kind of love on the red carpet?! She did! She did!
I can think all day long that I'm the greatest interviewer of all time, but that doesn't mean anyone else agrees with me. The reason I am always grateful for compliments such as this is because I really work hard at my craft. I do admit that I am a natural when it comes to connecting with people, but I work extra hard at taking it to the next level when I'm interviewing them. I do my homework. So, when they notice and compliment me like Loretta Devine did, oh yes people, it's a big deal for me. Celebrities are interviewed all the time for every project that they do. So, it's awesome to get love like that and on the red carpet too. There is never enough time to interview stars on the red carpet the way I like to do interviews so, to make a connection, where I get a compliment like that is priceless. Thanks Loretta Devine! I hope to do a sit down interview with her in 2017. You can check out the love she gave me below.
6. Sheryl Underwood Interview
I love interviewing Sheryl Underwood who co-stars on the Emmy award winning talk show, 'The Talk'. She is funny, smart and a bunch of fun to talk to. Usually, after I interview a celebrity I ask them if they will do a drop for Studio Q. A Studio Q drop is when they hold the mic, look into the camera and say, "My name is Sheryl Underwood and you're watching Studio Q." But when I gave Sheryl Underwood the mic she said so much more. I was in shock. You would have thought we were friends or that I slipped her a $20. But neither is true. I've only interviewed Sheryl Underwood one other time before this so it was quite a wonderful surprise. First Loretta Devine with the compliment, then this. Press play and feel the love. Thanks Sheryl Underwood!
7. The 47th Annual Image Awards Luncheon
Studio Q attended the 47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. We've attended a few times before and it's always a lot of fun. The luncheon was co-hosted by Black-ish (ABC) stars Marcus Scribner and Yara Shahidi. Other celebrities in attendance included: Anthony Anderson, Tyrese, Laverne Cox, Loretta Devine, Joe Morton, Sheryl Underwood, Naturi Naughton, Teyonah Paris, RonReaco Lee, Cornelius Smith, Jr., Miles Brown and many more. Watch my Studio Q coverage below:
8. The Black-ish Kids
It was such a highlight this year for me to talk to the smart, adorable, fun kids from ABC's hit show Black-ish at The NAACP Image Awards luncheon. Even though I don't know the creator of the show Kenya Barris I am super proud that we graduated from the same college, Clark Atlanta University. It makes me love the show just a little bit more. Check out my Studio Q interviews with these pint sized stars below.
9. Oscar So White Controversy
A major trending topic during the time we covered the 47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon in Beverly Hills, CA was about the lack of diversity at the Oscars. The hashtag #oscarsowhite was currently trending on Twitter and I got a chance to ask singer, Tyrese, actress, Loretta Devine, and actor, Joe Morton about how they felt. At the time people were calling for Chris Rock to step down as host. "Why boycott Chris Rock?" says Joe Morton right off the bat. However, Tyrese felt the complete opposite. This was a highlight for me this year because I love the fact that just by asking these stars a question, I was participating in a national conversation that was going on about race, diversity and Hollywood. It's one of the many reason why I love my job. Pure awesomeness. Watch below.
10. Queen of Katwe
I was invited to a special screening of Disney's Queen of Katwe and it was a highlight this year because I was so moved by this movie. There were so many great performances from Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Madina Nalwanga. This definitely should be on your watch list as well as a new Disney classic. I got a chance to speak with a few others who came out to the screening including, Kat Tat from VH1's Black Ink Chicago and Edwina Findley of Tyler Perry's 'If Loving You Was Wrong' featured on OWN. Edwina also hosted the screening. Check out my chats with both ladies below.
11. Celebrity Connected Luxury Gifting Suite - The Emmy Awards and The American Music Awards
This was the first year Studio Q attended the Celebrity Connected Luxury Gifting Suite at the W Hotel. The event honored The Emmy Awards and The American Music Awards with celebrities, bloggers and athletes. What are Celebrity Gifting Suites? Gift Suites provide exposure to products or businesses to celebrities. The day before an awards show, the invited celebrities visit the Celebrity Connected event. They are each provided with their own personal guide to escort them to various booths which display businesses products. As each celebrity comes by, they are given gifts and the businesses take photos or videos with them for product endorsements.
It's so crazy that the main people who don't need free gifts always get them. The cool thing about this event was that the media also gets those same gifts. I even shared some of my free goodies with someone who watched along as I live streamed the event. Check out all the fun I had with stars like Jackee' Harry, Derek Rose, Essence Atkins and more at the event and on the red carpet. Watch below.
12. 'Almost Christmas'
Right before Thanksgiving I went to support the movie 'Almost Christmas' with my best friend Tam and Godson, Jayden. As soon as we walked into the theater we saw the director and writer of the film, David E. Talbert and Omar Epps, who co-stars in the movie. Only in LA can you run into the stars of the film while you're going to see the film! I would say this happens everywhere, but not so. This never happened in my midwestern hometown of Springfield, IL. They were all pretty friendly and even agreed to do a future Studio Q interview. People always ask me how I get interviews, this is one of the many different ways how. Whenever I find myself in a unique situation like this, I open my mouth and ask for what I want. As the old saying goes, A closed mouth don't get fed. Check out the photo below. Jayden has no idea who these people are. Lol!
13. Eddie Levert (The O'Jays), Bryce Wilson (Groove Theory) and Miki Howard Interviews
I had the pleasure of doing sit down interviews this year with the legendary Eddie Levert, Groove Theory's Bryce Wilson and Miki Howard who had her life story premiere on TV One this year. I like doing red carpet interviews but it's the one on one interviews that give me life. It's the reason why I created Studio Q. Eddie Levert was my very first Skype interview and even though I wasn't in the room with him like I was with Miki or Bryce it felt like I was. He was a bunch of fun. It's nothing like interviewing legends. They have so much to talk about and so much wisdom to share. My goal in every interview is to show another side of the celebrity you love so that you can connect with them in an even more authentic way. We are so much more alike than we are different - real talk. In 2017, I look forward to doing even more sit down interviews and having them all be sponsored reaching massive audiences like never before. Oh yeah people, I got big dreams! To check out all of my exclusive interviews subscribe to my VHX channel by clicking on the button below. For $5 a month you can have access to all of my exclusive Studio Q content, but if you're reading this right now I will send you every one of my exclusive interviews for free. Just email me at Studioqtv@gmail.com and mention that you saw the offer from this New Year's Eve post.
14. Gerald Albright Interview
I had a great time Skype interviewing jazz great, Gerald Albright. We talked abut his illustrious career which spans over three decades. Gerald has worked with Whitney Houston for a number of years so, you know I was super excited to hear him talk about his time with her. I loved this guy's spirit and his new album, G , which is the perfect CD to listen to as we slide into 2017. Check out our conversation below and buy his album on his website, geraldalbright.com. You won't be disappointed.
15. Premiered 'For The Love of Whitney' Documentary on YouTube
I premiered our 'For The Love of Whitney' documentary on Whitney Houston's birthday this year. Tam and I created the documentary back in 2013 and we finally shared it with the world. You can now watch it on our YouTube channel or by clicking below. Thank you to everyone who supported our Kickstarter campaign back then to even make this tribute to Whitney. I am so proud that this exists for her. If you are a real Whitney fan you will really appreciate watching it. So far, it's the best thing you never saw about Whitney. But you can change that by pressing play below.
16. For The Love of Whitney Facebook Page Reaches over 52,000 fans!
I created a Facebook page back in 2013 to support our For the Love of Whitney documentary. It was a great way to keep everyone in the loop of all that we were doing. Even though the main purpose of the page was to promote the documentary I would also post Whitney pictures and videos to help keep her legacy alive. I grew a small tribe of Whitney fan supporters in those three years but it wasn't until this past June that the page climbed to 10,000 likes on Facebook. I was pretty excited that I was able to grow the page to that many people who loved Whitney even after the documentary had long been completed. I have know idea what happened over the summer but in just 6 short months the page grew from 10k to over 50k. I am stunned but happy that fans have supported the page. I never intended to keep the page going past the documentary but I'm so glad I did. Recently, I recruited some Whitney fans to help keep the page growing in 2017. A big thank you to fellow Whitney fans, Devron Ford, Doc Reich and Benja Diaaz who now post for me on a regular basis. The only Whitney page that has more fans than we do is Whitney's official one with 14 million fans. Pretty awesome for someone who had no idea what she was doing. If you're a Whitney fan visit and like our page For The Love of Whitney on Facebook.