Cedric the EntertainerReverend Boyce 'The Voice' Ballentine
Cedric the Entertainer
Cedric “The Entertainer” stars as Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine in “The Soul Man,” which revolves around Reverend Boyce, an R&B superstar-turned-minister who relocates his family from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where they’re constantly caught between the pull of the glam celebrity life and the simple life of a reverend’s family.
Charismatic actor and comedian Cedric “The Entertainer” is best known for his many crowd-pleasing performances in hit films like “Barbershop,” “Be Cool” with John Travolta, “Madagascar,” “Intolerable Cruelty” with George Clooney, “Johnson Family Vacation” (which he starred in and produced) and “The Original Kings of Comedy,” MTV’S phenomenally successful documentary feature directed by Spike Lee.
Also on the big screen, Cedric has also been seen in “Cadillac Records” with Adrien Brody and Beyoncé Knowles, “Street Kings” opposite Keanu Reeves, “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” with Martin Lawrence, “Talk to Me” with Don Cheadle, “A Haunted House,” “Code Name: The Cleaner” opposite Lucy Liu, “The Honeymooners,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” with Jim Carrey, “Man of the House” with Tommy Lee Jones, “Barbershop 2,” “Big Momma’s House,” “Kingdom Come” with Whoopi Goldberg and “Serving Sara” with Matthew Perry. He has also displayed tremendous voiceover talent in the beloved family features “Madagascar 2,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “Ice Age.”
Cedric also appeared in “Barbershop 3” alongside Ice Cube. He co-starred with Chris Rock in the hit comedy “Top Five” and appeared alongside Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in the feature "Larry Crowne.” He also lent his voice to the smash animated film, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” returning once again as Maurice the lemur.
He also completed a nationwide tour with George Lopez, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy entitled The Comedy Get Down Tour.
In 2006, Cedric's first-ever HBO comedy special, "Cedric The Entertainer: Taking You Higher,” was the highest-rated special of the year for the network. In 2008, Cedric made his Broadway debut in David Mamet’s masterpiece “American Buffalo,” and his performance was singled out for critical praise.
Cedric's universal appeal, versatility and remarkable career successes spanning television, live performances and film have solidified his standing as one of the premier entertainers in the world.
Some notable career accolades for the multi-talented funny man include nabbing The AFTRA Award of Excellence in Television Programming for his FOX Television series “Cedric The Entertainer Presents” and a record-breaking four consecutive NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” for his portrayal of the lovable Coach Cedric Robinson on the WB’s #1-rated “The Steve Harvey Show,” which ran for six seasons.
His first comedy book, "Grown-Ass Man," was released in January 2002 and sold out across the country. In 2001, a viewing audience of over 144 million saw Cedric star in the Bud Light commercial that landed in the #1 spot during the Super Bowl broadcast, which led USA Today to dub him “Madison Avenue’s Most Valuable Player.” In 1994, Cedric received The Richard Pryor Comic of the Year Award from Black Entertainment Television for his groundbreaking work as host of “Def Comedy Jam” and BET’s “Comic View.”
Now helming his own production company, A Bird And A Bear Entertainment, Cedric develops and produces feature films, including "Johnson Family Vacation," which was the first under the banner. In 2009, he made his directorial debut overseeing the dance-film spoof “Dance Fu” starring rising comic actor Kel Mitchell.
The 2011 launch of his WHOCed designer hat line marks yet another project for the busy and creative comedy star. As a philanthropist, Cedric founded The Cedric The Entertainer Charitable Foundation, which provides scholarships and outreach programs to enhance the lives of inner-city youth and their families in his hometown of St. Louis. Cedric has awarded over 100 scholarships and countless incentives through his foundation, and plans to extend its reach to a national level. He has also partnered with the Step-on-Up Campaign for The American Diabetes Association & Pfizer.
Niecy NashLolli Ballentine
Emmy®-nominated actress Niecy Nash plays Lolli Ballentine, the vibrant wife of Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine (played by Cedric “The Entertainer”) on “The Soul Man.” The show revolves around Reverend Boyce, an R&B superstar-turned-minister who relocates his family from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where they’re constantly caught between the pull of the glam celebrity life and the simple life of a reverend’s family.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nash witnessed performances by actress Lola Falana at the age of five, which inspired her to chase her Hollywood dreams. She has since achieved her dream by becoming an actress, wife and a mother of three over the last 17 years. When asked what her hobbies are, she proudly replies, “Motherhood,” which she considers her greatest success in life.
Niecy Nash is also the star of the FOX series "Scream Queens" opposite Jaime Lee Curtis as well as the HBO series “Getting On,” and she has a sassy relationship book out entitled "It’s Hard to Fight Naked," which is about finding and keeping Mr. Right. She was also featured in the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma.” She also hosted and starred in her own Yahoo! web series called “Let’s Talk About Love.” The 26-episode series, featuring her entertaining, no-nonsense perspectives on love, dating and relationships, ran from October 2011 to March 2012. She previously starred in her own reality docuseries for TLC called “Leave It to Niecy.” This came right after Nash partnered with TLC in the summer of 2011 to follow her as she planned the wedding of her dreams to then-fiancé Jay Tucker. The entire wedding experience aired as a two-hour television event that over five million viewers tuned in to watch. The event was so heartwarming that it inspired the docuseries that shows the blending of two families and the hilarity that followed.
Nash has a history of overwhelming success, starring in two hit shows simultaneously – the Style Network’s #1 rated home makeover show “Clean House,” of which she was the host, and the top-rated CBS entertainment news program “The Insider,” where she was a celebrity panelist. In 2010, Niecy coined her own term for her curves when she announced her love for “jiggly parts” on the ABC mega hit “Dancing with the Stars.” This kind of humor and quick wit earned her a correspondent job on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Niecy Nash is perhaps most well-known for her hilarious turn as Officer Raineesha Williams on the hit Comedy Central show “Reno 911!,” a half-hour unscripted spoof of “Cops,” where she starred for six seasons (2003-2009). In 2008, Niecy also starred in her own FOX comedy series “Do Not Disturb,” opposite Jerry O’Connell. Additional television roles include the award-winning series, “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Presidio Med,” “That’s Life,” “Popular,” “City of Angels” and guest-starring roles on “Ben and Kate,” “My Name Is Earl,” “Monk” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
Nash’s film career began when a friend in casting gave her a shot at an audition for a role opposite Whoopi Goldberg in the feature film “Boys on the Side.” She has since turned in memorable performances in several feature films, including “Nurse 3D,” “Cookie’s Fortune,” “The Bachelor" with Chris O’Donnell, “Malibu’s Most Wanted,” “Guess Who” opposite Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, and “Code Name: The Cleaner,” opposite Cedric “The Entertainer” and Lucy Liu. She has also won critical acclaim for her animated series debut on “Kid Notorious,” and audiences can catch her voice talent on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim series “The Boondocks” and “Minoriteam.” Other voiceover credits include “American Dad,” the ABC Family animated series “Slacker Cats” and the animated feature “Horton Hears A Who!” with Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell.
Currently living in Los Angeles with her children and husband, Niecy is devoted to her many philanthropic pursuits. Her passion for helping people discover love and self-acceptance has made her a role model for women all over the world. In addition to acting, she is developing various projects through her production company Chocolate Chick.
Wesley JonathanBurrell Stamps Ballentine
Wesley Jonathan plays Burrell “Stamps” Ballentine in “The Soul Man.” The show revolves around Reverend Boyce, an R&B superstar-turned-minister who relocates his family from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where they’re constantly caught between the pull of the glam celebrity life and the simple life of a reverend’s family.
Moving seamlessly between comedic and dramatic roles in both television and film since he was a young child, Wesley Jonathan has an impressive range of acting talent. In addition, he’s a gifted and accomplished athlete, and he has starred in countless movies, television shows and commercials.
He made his television debut at the tender age of eight, appearing on the smash FOX series "21 Jump Street." He was a series regular on The WB's top-rated sitcom "What I Like About You" (starring Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth) and the syndicated Teen NBC series "City Guys." Since then, he has guest- tarred and recurred in some of the most popular shows on television, including hit series such as "NCIS," "Cold Case," "90210” and “CSI: Miami.” Wesley was also cast in the Freeform pilot “Nicki,” based on the rapper Nicki Minaj’s life growing up in New York.
Wesley completed the feature film “Cobu 3D," adding to his already extensive list of film credits, which includes "Speed-Dating," “Remember the Daze,” "Crossover," "Roll Bounce" and "The United States of Leland." He also appeared opposite Stacey Dash and Terrell Owens in the feature “Dysfunctional Friends,” made a cameo appearance in the Lifetime original movie "Whitney" as Grammy Award-winning producer Babyface, and starred in David E. Talbert’s play for BET “What Goes Around Comes Around.”
He always finds time to give back to the community, especially to causes that benefit children. The many charity events he has participated in include *NSYNC's Challenge for the Children (several consecutive years), Magic Johnson's "A Midsummer Night's Magic," the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation "A Time For Heroes" Carnival, Joe Torry's Celebrity Basketball Challenge, the National Urban League's Youth Summit, Team Kool Green, 100 Black Men of Cleveland's computer literacy campaign and KTLA's Kids Day LA.