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Rickey Smiley: ‘God showed me this a long time ago’

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Rickey Smiley talks about upcoming season of his show, Rickey Smiley Foundation and living in Birmingham. (Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times)

Ariel Worthy

The Birmingham Times

Rickey Smiley talks about upcoming season of his show, Rickey Smiley Foundation and living in Birmingham. (Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times)
Rickey Smiley talks about upcoming season of his show, Rickey Smiley Foundation and living in Birmingham. (Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times)

Rickey Smiley will present season three of Rickey Smiley For Real on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and it will be “off the chain,” he said.

“I’m so excited about it,” Smiley said.

This season will further explore Smiley’s relationship with his children and extended family. Smiley said viewers will see him calmer than previous seasons.

“My daughter is dating, my nephew who I had all the drama with comes back into my life, I haven’t spoken to my oldest son in a while and my youngest daughter moved to Bogotá, Colombia; it’s going to be an interesting season.” Smiley said.

Smiley will also have two shows at the StarDome Comedy Club on Sunday to celebrate 25 years of comedy.

Having a reality show and syndicated radio hip-hop morning show and giving away a car to a woman in need and paying her insurance for the next year, as well as providing her with gas cards is something Smiley envisioned years ago.

“God showed me this a long time ago, so I’m not shocked to walk out on a stage in front of over 4,000 people at 5 a.m.; God already showed it to me,” he said.

Smiley spent the morning of Oct. 28 doing his live radio morning show at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, where he and The Rickey Smiley Foundation (RSF) gave away a car to a woman in need. That’s only part of the work they do.

“We’ve given away so many cars, that’s just a drop in the bucket,” Smiley said. “There is so much work that we’re going to do soon.”

One is the annual toy giveaway for Christmas.

“On Christmas morning we physically go around the neighborhoods and give away toys to kids,” Smiley said.

Smiley along with volunteers go from East Birmingham to Bessemer and give away toys starting at 3 a.m. Having the support of people from the city means a lot, Smiley said.

“Every year the Birmingham Police Department escorts us,” Smiley said. “The city has just been awesome to the foundation.”

In addition to car and toy giveaways, the RSF celebrates seniors through dinners, mid-day tea events. They also have a Father Figure program, Simple Acts of Kindness and Front Row, an initiative to support young people who have lost their parents.

“We also have a college preparatory program at Parker High School and Woodlawn High School,” Smiley said. “We’ve got a lot to do.”

Moving back to Birmingham has been rewarding for Smiley. After the Rickey Smiley Morning Show moved from Dallas to Atlanta, Smiley said he chose to move back home instead.

“This is the first time in about 10 years that I’ve been able to enjoy my house,” Smiley said. “In Atlanta there is too much running. I like quiet, peaceful, structured space, so I can relax and enjoy myself. I get that here in Birmingham.”