Movie audiences recognize Steve Harvey Morning Show radio co-host Thomas Miles (aka "Nephew Tommy") as Think Like a Man’s house buying character Dominique. But Miles is also known as host of the Essence Music Festival, a three-day music event held in New Orleans. This year’s festival was another star-studded line up that included D’Angelo, Keyshia Cole, Mary J. Blige, The Pointer Sisters, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Chaka Khan and many more.
BET.com talked the best of the festival’s artists with Miles and got his thoughts on the planned Think Like a Man sequel.
This was your third year hosting the Essence Music Festival. What's the best part about the gig?
I get to wild out, I get to rock 60,000 people and it’s a grown and sexy event. It’s a blast and it’s so much fun.
Who are some of your favorite old school and new school acts that perform?
This year we had the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin. Even my mama tried to beat me out for those tickets. She was like, “I’m coming Sunday night.” The older performers are ones you don’t want to miss because they’re still doing their thing. As far as new school, Anthony Hamilton has an incredible sound — a great soulful sound that is off the chain. Trey Songz clowned so hard last year to the point where he was back again this year.
At the 2011 Essence Music Festival, didn’t Trey Songz open the festival to a packed house?
I’ve been hosting for three years now and usually I always feel sorry for the first act because they’re almost always performing to an empty house because people haven’t come in yet. But the night Trey Songz performed? Oh my God. They were loaded in there and he was first. And I was like, “This young cat has arrived.” They respect him a whole lot and he was doing his thing. This year was no exception. The new school is in there and they ain’t playing.
Out of all the great performers this year, which act would you most like to share the stage with if you were a musician?
I’m an Anthony Hamilton fan, but if I had to be up there performing it might have to be with Charlie Wilson. He’s incredible — singing and dancing with people that are way younger than him. This guy has been reinvented, revamped and he’s still got it going on. He's still rocking. If you haven’t seen a Charlie Wilson show, trust me you don’t want to miss it. And if you are an artist the main thing you need to do is go on before him, you don’t want to go on after him. It ain’t good for you.
Since you had a scene stealing bit part, what are your thoughts on the sequel to Think Like a Man being greenlit?
Put this on the Internet, tell [producer] Will Packer that Tommy needs a bigger role. But everybody did such a great job [in the original]. Kevin Hart was hilarious. It goes on, Michael Ealy did a great job, Terrence J totally surprised me, he did well. All of the actresses, Gabrielle [Union], Taraji [P. Henson] did fantastic. So I’m excited to see what happens next. But they better give me a bigger role [Laughs].
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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)