Alex Hibbert and Jacob Piner, Youth Stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” to Receive Keys to City of Miami Gardens

Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner of “Moonlight” (photo via thegrio.com)

article by Kimberly Wilson via thegrio.com

The boys of “Moonlight” will be getting their moment.

Both 13-year-old Alex Hibbert and 12-year-old Jaden Piner, are slated to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens, FL at this year’s Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. The two students from Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens had starring roles in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” with Alex playing young Chiron and Jaden playing Kevin, Chiron’s best friend.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for us to acknowledge what they’ve done at a young age, and tell them how proud we are of them,” shares Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III. “Because so often when you hear about young black kids, people don’t want to tell you the stories of these kids and areas that they excel in,” continues Mayor Gilbert. “We aren’t talking about them most times. Most times we’re talking about young black boys in a negative context, so anytime we get an opportunity to tell them how extraordinary they are, we will do it. And ‘Jazz In The Gardens’ is the biggest stage that we can offer in the city.”

The key ceremony will be just one highlight of the highly-anticipated weekend. As the staple event each year in the city of Miami Gardens, Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is back for its 12th year, and is quickly growing beyond its borders. Hosted again by veteran comedian Rickey Smiley, the city can expect more than 70,000 music lovers from all over the United States and Caribbean Islands.

The festival will take place this upcoming weekend, March 17-19 at Hard Rock Stadium, featuring performances by Jill Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Common, and LLCoolJ.

To read more, go to: Young stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight” to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens | theGrio

Jill Scott Releases New Poetic Card Collection with Hallmark’s Mahogany Brand

Jill Scott (photo via thegrio.com)

article by via thegrio.com

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Hallmark’s Mahogany brand announced that it will be releasing the Jill Scott Collection, a line of new greeting cards with design, sounds and an editorial ‘voice’ from none other than Jill Scott herself.

“The Mahogany brand is genuine, progressive and optimistic – values that are important to me and reflected in my music and poetry, and now, through my card collection,” said Jill Scott. “I was inspired by highlights within my own life – love, marriage, motherhood – in the writing behind these cards, and I am excited to be involved in a project that will give others another way to express their love to the people that matter most to them.”

The collection features 20 cards for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as well as cards celebrating graduation, friendship, love and support.  “Ms. Scott is more than a singer, songwriter and actress – among other things, she is a busy mom and wife, like many Hallmark shoppers who cherish and celebrate the important relationships in their lives, and this card collection is a reflection of that,” said Philip Polk, Vice President of Multicultural Strategy for Hallmark Cards.

To read more, go to: Jill Scott releases new poetic card collection with Hallmark | theGrio

Alicia Keys, John Legend, Pharrell and Others Perform at “Shining A Light: Concert For Progress on Race in America” Airing Tonight on A+E Networks & Several Others

John Legend at "Shining A Light" Concert

John Legend at “Shining A Light” Concert

A+E Networks and iHeartMedia are simultaneously airing “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” on Friday, November 20 at 8PM ET/PT.  The sold-out concert was recorded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 18th, and the two-hour special event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio in more than 130 territories globally, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on more than 130 iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform.  Additionally, AOL has joined in the simulcast making the historic special event available to anyone with internet access across the globe on AOL.com.

Artists Aloe Blacc, Andra Day, Nick Jonas, Tom Morello, Smokey Robinson and Big Sean join the previously announced performers including Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Pharrell WilliamsLL Cool J, Marshall Faulk, Morgan Freeman, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Kurt Warner and Nick Young are among the presenters joining the telecast.

Alicia Keys has joined John Legend and Pharrell on extraordinary journeys to Baltimore, Ferguson and Charleston, where they met with a diverse group of residents in communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence.  Joined by NPR’s Michele Norris with John Legend in Ferguson, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien with Pharrell Williams in Charleston and ABC News’ Byron Pitts in Baltimore, these visits included intimate discussions and special private performances by each for those most effected.  These incredibly moving, heart wrenching and eye-opening moments will be featured throughout the two-hour concert, as well as in the one-hour special, “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” airing immediately following the concert on A&E Network and AOL.com at 10pm ET/PT.

To see Alicia Keys perform Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We Will All Be Free”, watch below:

The concert will kick off A+E Networks’ campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country.

The concert and the ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide (ShiningALightConcert.com).  The fund will provide grant funding to individuals and organizations fostering understanding, eliminating bias, as well as provide support to Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the broader A.M.E. denomination. The fund will support efforts to address racism and bias through public policy change, individual innovation, and community mobilization.

Tickets for the concert on November 18 sold out within 3 hours of the on-sale date raising more than $150,000 to benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by The United Way Worldwide.

To see a clip of John Legend’s performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” from the event, watch below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Grammy Winner Jill Scott’s “Woman” Debuts at #1 on Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart

Three-time Grammy winner Jill Scott's new album 'Woman Debuts at #1.

“I try to learn to not do more than I need,” Billboard and three-time Grammy winner Jill Scott said about her fifth studio album entitled “Woman” (Blues Babe Records/Atlantic Records) which is independently released. “I’m not going to put out anything I don’t want. I’m a passionate singer.”

Passionate she is, so passionate she became a business woman to get her music out to her fans in a way where she would have creative control – by forming her own label. Her label Blues Babe Records is distributed by Atlantic Records in order to control her music and her image.

“I own my own record label so I don’t have that kind of pressure,” Scott said when asked about the selection of what songs to include on the album. “I’m in it to win. I contacted some old friends and new friends. All it takes is one good producer.”

Jill is also an actress with credits that include “Why Did I Get Married”, the James Brown story “Get On Up” and “Hounddog.”  A Philadelphia native Jill Scott started with an independent label, Hidden Beach Recordings, its first artist. She went on to form he own label Blues Babe Records with distribution but Warner Bros Records and now Atlantic Records.

The “Woman” tour kicked off July 9, 2015 and ends August 28. It arrives in Jackson, MS August 11 at the Durham Performing Arts Music Hall, Houston, TX August 12 at the Bayou, and Oakland, CA August 21 at the Fox Theater. The album debuted at #1 on U.S. Charts according to The New York Times, which also reports it sold 57,000 albums the first week along with 1.6 million streams.

Jill confessed when asked about struggles that “the initial struggle I had was trying to work and be a mom. That was my struggle. Night time is the right time (to record). I would climb in the bed at 4 a.m. and my son is up at 6:30 a.m. wanting to talk. I’m the kind you wake me up and I’m up. It takes me hours to get back to sleep. (As a result) I stayed in a hotel and then picked him up from school. He gets what he wants and I get what I want.”

Jill said she enlisted help from producers such as Andre Harris on “Prepared” and “Can’t Wait,” David Banner on “Closure”, Warryn Campbell on “Wild Cookie” and 98th Wonder on “Beautiful Love.” “Woman” is executive produced by Scott and Andre Harris. Log onto her website to learn more – www.MissJillScott.com.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2015/08/the-pulse-of-entertainment-billboard-and-grammy-winner-jill-scotts-woman-debuts-at-1/#m2Ijz2KcbPhGxxBA.99

It’s Official: Dr. Dre’s First Album in 16 Years Will Be Released Friday

As reported earlier today, Dr. Dre announced the release of his first album since 1999’s 2001 today on his The Pharmacy show on Apple Music. The album is titled Compton: The Soundtrack and will hit stores on August 7. He confirmed the album is completely different than the infamous Detox project and that it was inspired by the forthcoming N.W.A. biopic, “Straight Outta Compton” (8/14).

For any doubters, Dre has released both the album artwork and tracklist. The LP will feature vocals from Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Xzibit, Ice Cube, Jill Scott, Jon Connor, Marsha Amrosius, Snoop Dogg and many more. Check out the artwork and tracklist below.

compton-soundtrack-680x680

1) Intro
2) Talk About It (feat. King Mez & Justus)
3) Genocide (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay)
4) It’s All On Me (feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid)
5) All In a Day’s Work (feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius)
6) Darkside/Gone (feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar)
7) Loose Cannons (feat. Xzibit & COLD 187um)
8) Issues (feat. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak)
9) Deep Water (feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus)
10) Jon Connor – One Shot One Kill (feat. Snoop Dogg)
11) The Game – Just Another Day (feat. Asia Bryant)
12) For the Love of Money (feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor)
13) Satisfaction (feat. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez)
14) Animals (feat. Anderson Paak)
15) Medicine Man (feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak)
16) Talking To My Diary

article by Parfit via ambrosiaforheads.com

Chaka Khan, Brandy and Lianne La Havas Join Honoree Jill Scott at ESSENCE Black Women in Music

BWIM 2015-

Chaka Khan, Brandy and Lianne La Havas have been added to the lineup for our annual ESSENCE Black Women in Music ceremony.

The three performers join this year’s honoree, Jill Scott, in celebrating the best and brightest moments in Black music over ESSENCE’s 45-year history. The 6th annual event recognizes the achievements of the generations of Black women singers who have inspired and paved the way.

Past ESSENCE Black Women in Music honorees include Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe, and Solange Knowles. This year’s event will feature an exclusive performance from Scott as well as several other performances from several classic eras of music. And for the first time, community fans will be able to join in the festivities of this invitation-only event.

Ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan has been on the scene for over three decades, racking up accolades and earning the praise of her peers, such as Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis. We’ve watched Grammy winner Brandy grow up right before our eyes since her 1995 debut. She helped shape a generation with songs like “I Wanna Be Down” and “The Boy Is Mine.” Newcomer Lianne La Havas burst on the scene in 2012 with her album, Is Your Love Big Enough? The London-based singer attracted the attention of Prince—the two collaborated for his song, “Clouds.”

The ESSENCE Black Women in Music event will kick-off our year-long commemoration of the 45th anniversary of ESSENCE Magazine, where Black women have always—and will continue to—come first.

Catch these women, along with other music trailblazers, during ESSENCE Black Women in Music on February 5 in Los Angeles.

article by Taylor Lewis via essence.com

Jill Scott, Regina Hall & Eve To Star In Lifetime Comedy “With This Ring”

With This Ring

Jill Scott, Regina Hall and Eve will be on a race to the alter for their upcoming Lifetime movie.

The network announced this week that it will be producing a romantic comedy aimed at black women titled With This RingShadow And Act reports. The story centers on three girlfriends that make a pact to get married within a year after another one of their friends ties the knot!

With all of the biopics that Lifetime will be rolling out, we’re shocked they still know how to make anything else. There’s no word on who will play the bride just yet, but we’re interested to see who takes on the role.

Gabrielle Union has been attached to the project, but she probably won’t be appearing on screen. She’s signed on as an executive producer for With This Ring alongside Tracey Edmonds and Sheila Ducksworth.

Production for With This Ring, which is being directed by Nzingha Stewart, is slated to begin next month.

article by Sonya Eskridge via hellobeautiful.com