Magic Johnson Launches New TV Network ASPiRE, Hosts Celebrity Bash [Photos]

Rucuss staffJune 28, 2012

NBA Hall of famer Magic Johnson hosted a celebrity party to kick off the launch of his new television network ASPiRE.

Plenty of celebrities were in attendance to celebrate at Cipriani in New York City on Wednesday night. Carmelo Anthony, Russell Simmons, New Edition, Rev. Al Sharpton, Eric Benet, Natalie Cole, Lynn Whitfield, Rosci Diaz and more partied the night away in honor of the new Atlanta-based network.

ASPiRE will be aimed at African-American viewers and focus on family programming. Magic, who is the majority owner of the network, has partnered with Comcast, Time Warner and GMC. ASPiRE will launch with charter brand partners including Chrysler Group, L’Oreal USA, Nationwide Insurance, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.

The first show to debut is ABFF Independent, a weekly two-hour show, hosted by actor Omari Hardwick. It will feature the best independent movies, feature films and documentaries from up-and-coming Black directors.

Laurence Fishburne will host Groundbreaking Movies, Jonathan Slocumb will host Groundbreaking Comedies and Esperanza Spalding will host Groundbreaking Music.

Magic Johnson and Carmelo Anthony

June Ambrose

June giving 106 & Park’s Rosci Diaz a hug.

Tika Sumpter wore a gold bandage dress.

Russell Simmons and Miss Universe Leila Lopes.

Lopes wore a beaded cocktail dress.

Eric Benet

D-Nice was the DJ for the night.

Model Jessica White

New Edition was the entertainment for the night.

Former Apprentice star Kwame Jackson.

Actress Lynn Whitfield and Al Sharpton

VH1’s Janelle Snowden and Dr. Michelle Callahan

BJ Coleman and Natalie Cole

Erica Reid

Omari Hardwick will host a two-hour weekly show on Aspire called ABFF Independent.

Magic and his wife Cookie

Watch New Edition perform at the event below.

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