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TeenFest has been very blessed to work with local and national celebrities who donate their time and expertise to the annual event. They give constructive criticism and positive feedback to the performers who bravely come out on stage and give their best in the quest for the $1,000 top prize. The judges also interact with the audience members and take photos with fans.

We’re often asked how we are able to get celebrities to work with us.  The answer is simple. We ask. We ask celebrities who are living a drug-free and violence free lifestyle. We are always very grateful when someone makes time to join us.

Why do celebrities participate? Hear it first hand from Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of hip-hop pioneering duo RunDMC during one of Christopher Martin's BrandNewz segments.  Run DMC's hit songs include Mary, Mary, Sucker MCs, Walk this Way remix with Aerosmith, It's Like That and My Adidas.  Darryl is also a successful writer, producer and social activist.




ADDITIONAL CELEBRITY JUDGES:                                            

judges 0001 3

Christopher "Play" Martin - Member of Hip-Hop pioneering duo "Kid n' Play"; star of the movies House Party and House Party II; writer; director; producer; host of Brand Newz; college professor; founder of Hp4digitalworks.

Judge Lynn Toler - Star and presiding judge of the syndicated TV show Divorce Court; author of My Mother's Rules; veteran municipal court judge, social activist

Clifton Davis - Star of television, film and stage productions; song writer of hits such as Never Can Say Goodbye; producer; TV host; singer; writer; public speaker

Ms. Bobbi Baker-James - Co star of Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the movie, Madea Goes to Jail

Amir Windom - Record Executive, nationally recognized and award-winning leader in the music industry; has worked on over 10 albums with gold and/or platinum status; has worked on music scores for numerous major movies.

Charlie "CJ" Jones - Emmy Award winning mixer whose credits include MTV Music Awards, BET's 106 & Park, In Performance at The White House, The Chris Rock Show and Showtime @ the Apollo; has worked with everyone from Usher to Mindless Behavior; manager for the Love Jones Girlz.

James Stephens, III - Comedian, actor, impressionist, musician, film actor; founder of James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources to help students who are pursuing a college degree


Julie McKnight - International recording artist and vocalist with hits such as Diamond Life and Home; has performed with groups like Earth Wind and Fire and the Emotions.

Corey Parker - Vocalist and recording artist; music writer and producer (Maceo's Groove); touring vocalist with the Maceo Parker Band and Prince (yes, I said Prince!)

Brian Williams - Founder of BrianWilliamsTV; 7-time Emmy Award winning producer and director; Creator of Fashion Week in Raleigh and Strut fashion show and television event

k kolbe

Kevin Kolbe - Creative Services Manager at FOX 50; 18+ years in broadcasting; former DJ; former Producer and host of “Rise and Shine” music and comedy show


Brett Chambers - Award winning journalist; founder of Brett Chambers & the Usual Suspects band; musician; college professor; producer; director; broadcast communications expert; talent scout

Ed Garnes, Jr . - Founder of "From Afros to Shelltoes"; author, music journalist; named one of Atlanta's "2009 Black Men of Distinction"; social activist; college instructor


Christopher L. Brooks - Film Producer; Entertainment manager; producer and entrepreneur; creator of Brooks Entertainment; community and youth advocate; public speaker

sheree betts

Sheree Betts– Super Model; Actress; Talent Agent; Make-up Artist; Owner – 4Dimensional Photography







Petrina "Trin-A-Thoughtz" Bryant– National spoken word artist; NAACP spokesperson; CEO of Thought-U-Nu Productions

Nefertiti Byrd - Miss Black NC, USA 2008/2009; On-air radio talent for Radio-One Raleigh


Jessica Coscia - Former Miss Latina USA; local news personality; social activist

Enfrey Balbuena - TV actor on Nuestro Barrio Latino soap opera; model

DJ Kraze– DJ, Local Entertainment Promoter; Co­­-owner Ideas! Coffeehouse

Wink Moody– Radio Personality for Radio-One Raleigh


Gabriella Lopez - TV actor on Nuestro Barrio Latina soap opera
Shanicka-Lynch-Porter ShanickaJigga”Porter - Assistant Marketing Director/ Networking Specialist for ShifinGearzonline motorcycle magazine




Love Jones Girlz - Claire, Noni, Taylor and Sammi, are from New York City. Their debut single and music video, The Party Don’t Start Without Me ,met with great reviewsand is available on iTunes. Addicted to Lipgloss is the debut EP.

Matthew "16" Grady - Writer, rapper, singer, producer and lead singer of M16 and the Full Moon Wolves. Matthew created the TeenFest and TeenFest TV theme songs. He is a classically trained pianist reknowed for his postive lyrics and has toured with JadaKiss. He is a TeenFest ambassador and Taskforce member.

Kirby  Phunk Playah" Hamilton - 35 years in music industry; recorded with Brick, Dr. Dre', George Benson and others; performed on Snoop Dogg's multi-platinum CD Doggy Style; shared the stage with Bootsy's Rubber Band, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Marvin Gaye, Roger & Zapp, and Ice Cube. He performs funk, jazz and gospel.

DJ Skaz – Internationally acclaimed DJ; “beatsmith” known for his skill at producing songs and working at a rapid pace; co-founder of Earthquake Productions; performs nationally and internally for major old school hip-hop acts including Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, and Wu-Tang Clan


Gary Collins - Lead singer of Stony Curtis Band; songwriter, bass and acoustic guitar player. He is an original member of the TeenFest Teen Council.


Chris Hendricks - founder of Chris Hendricks band. Singer, songwriter and musician. Uses his music and experiences to inspire others.

Leviticus - Nationally recognized for their positive lyrics, hot hooks and dynamic stage performances. Leviticus has performed at the Apollo Theater and numerous venues along the east coast. They are TeenFest ambassadors and TeenFest alumni.

Bugg Steam Team began in 2005; 2008 North Carolina State Champion and the 2009/2010 Pride of Rocky Mt. Champion. All students must exhibit good behavior, be good role models and try to maintain good grades.




Wade Banner     
Radio One-Raleigh 
On air talent
Brian Dawson     
Radio One-Raleigh 
On air talent;
Host of
"The B-Spot TV Show"
Mary Jane    
Radio One-Raleigh 
On air talent
Jay Breezy     
Radio One-Raleigh 
On air talent