Island paradise, Turks & Caicos, has Hollywood’s LisaRaye as First Lady, and the stars came out to celebrate her birthday, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Duane Martin, Smokey Robinson, Nancy Wilson, Mo'Nique, Da Brat, etc.

Premier Michael Misick and LisaRaye, First Lady of the Turks & Caicos

It was a real royal celebration in Beverly Hills when the Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands threw a birthday party for his wife, the First Lady, LisaRaye McCoy-Misick, who he says is following in the footsteps of Grace Kelly.

“It is easy to compare my wife to Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco, because LisaRaye has charmed my country with her beauty and brought Hollywood glamour to our islands,” reports the honorable Dr. Michael E. Misick, Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands in the British West Indies.

The party not only celebrated LisaRaye’s 40th birthday, but also gave all the stars on hand a chance to chat about the vacation destination that is a British Crown Colony made up of 40 awesome islands.

In fact, LisaRaye’s All of Us co-stars, husband and wife Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell-Martin, acted as emcees during the birthday toasts, and told the Cinderella-like story of how the “royal” couple met. “LisaRaye was on vacation in Jamaica at a club, looking gorgeous, having a fabulous time,” Tisha recalls.

Duane continues, “Then Michael arrives, spots her across the club, and the first thing he says when he walks up to her is ‘Would you be so kind to spend time with me on one of my islands?” Duane joked with the Premier about the encounter, saying, “You make it hard for guys to live up to that kind of opening line.”

Of course, the answer was “Yes,” beams LisaRaye, who was starring in the hit comedy All of Us, produced by Will Smith “We got married last year in April, and it’s been ‘happily ever after’ ever since.” The couple resides both in the Providenciales of the Turks & Caicos Islands and in LA.

Mo’Nique and Tisha Campbell-Martin

The star-studded event at the Beverly Hills Hotel was themed “LisaRaye’s Studio 40!” and the Rodeo Ballroom was converted into the most decadent all white disco décor inspired by New York hotspot Studio 54. Everyone was dancing along with entertaining performances by Evelyn “Champagne” King and the R&B quintet The Whispers singing “Just Get Better With Time,” that seemed to be the mantra for the night. 

The red carpet welcomed a rainbow of glamorous stars that covered the spectrum of entertainment, everyone from Motown legend Smokey Robinson, to hip-hop’s sassy Da Brat, who happens to be LisaRaye’s half sister. Da Brat says she loves visiting the islands “because of the beaches and the clear turquoise water. It’s really an unspoiled paradise.” 

Hanging out at the party, my wife Margie and I shared lots of laughs with the funniest ladies in the room, including the very stylish Mo'Nique, who everyone says is “real phat” on F.A.T. Chance on the Oxygen Channel. She also wrote the book Skinny Women are Evil. What’s it about? Mo'Nique blasts, “What? Didn’t you hear me, baby? Skinny women are evil.” Oh, now I know.

Niecy Nash of Reno 911 was also great to joke around with, and so was the statuesque Shondrella Avery. She’s a familiar face from the film Napoleon Dynamite and the sitcom One on One. Shondrella reveals she developed her sense of humor being the eldest of 10 children. “With that many crazy kids around, everything’s funny.”


Also around to sing “Happy Birthday” were Cedric the Entertainer, director John Singleton, rocker Gene Simmons of KISS fame (without his kabuki makeup), Debbie Allen, Shark star Henry Simmons, The Game’s Wendy Raquel Robinson, Girlfriends’ Golden Brooks, Kimberly Elise, Marcus Hill,  Michael Irvin, Kevontay Jackson, Norm Nixon, Nicole Murphy, Tasha Smith and the legendary songbird Nancy Wilson, who bragged, “I’ve been celebrating my 70th birthday all year, with special concerts across the country, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.” You go girl!

Lovely Access Hollywood host Shaun Robinson was on the red carpet and announced she’ll be hosting the awards gala at the third annual Turks & Caicos International Film Festival (Oct. 16-21). At the festival Amanda Bynes will be honored with the Rising Star Award, and the Tour de Force Award will go to Mos Def.

Just like LisaRaye’s birthday, lots of luminaries are expected for the jet-setting film festival’s royal gala.

Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.