Tag: music

Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine Donate $70M for New Arts and Technology Center at USC

Music industry entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine, left, and hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre at a Grammy Party in Los Angeles. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine have donated a combined $70 million to create a new institute at the University of Southern California, the school announced Tuesday, May 14. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, file)
Music industry entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine, left, and hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre at a Grammy Party in Los Angeles. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine have donated a combined $70 million to create a new institute at the University of Southern California, the school announced Tuesday, May 14. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and music industry entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine have donated a combined $70 million to create a new institute at the University of Southern California, the school announced Tuesday night.

The huge gift from the two who have been music business partners in the past will be used to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

The academy will provide a special four-year program for undergraduates whose interests span several fields from marketing to computer science to visual design and other arts. It will include one-on-one faculty mentoring with professors from programs around the university and interaction with entertainment industry luminaries.

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Chuck D Getting an Honorary Doctorate from Adelphi University

chuck dLegendary rapper Chuck D will be a featured speaker at Adelphi University and will also receive an honorary doctorate degree during the school’s 117th graduation on May 19.

He actually attended the university from 1978 to 1984 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and had a hand in expanding the school’s radio programming.

In an interview with Ebony magazine earlier this year, he spoke of his work with the university’s program.

“I always used to do a lot of hosting and I was on college radio in the early 80s. So I was always a part of something that wanted to break deejays and parties out,” he said. “And that was with Hank Shocklee and Spectrum [City] back on Long Island. What made me want to become a recording artist; I was the first artist that was repeatedly asked by a label to record with them. That label was Def Jam Records.”

He continues, “So I was the first recruited artist ever by them. I originally told them no, but a year later, I eventually said yes. It wasn’t like I sent someone a demo. I was feverishly requested to make records.”

article by Brittney M. Walker via eurweb.com

Usher Becomes 1st Artist to Curate Music for Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Recording artist Usher attends NBC's "The Voice" Season 4 Red Carpet Event at the House of Blues Sunset Strip on May 8, 2013 in West Hollywood

Usher will collaborate with Macy’s to curate the concept, music and design for the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show, which will be launched from barges off Manhattan.

It’s the first time the company has worked with an artist on the concept for its annual show, Macy’s said Thursday.

Usher will score the music for “It Begins With a Spark,” which will feature his songs, as well as songs from Rihanna, Swedish House Mafia, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.

He will also provide visual design cues and direction for the pyrotechnics that are choreographed to the musical score.

The 37th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display will air after the annual concert on NBC.

article via eurweb.com

Labelmates Shirley Caesar, Bishop Paul S. Morton and James Fortune & FIYA Score Big On Gospel Charts

eoneLight Records artists James Fortune & FIYA, Shirley Caesar, and Bishop Paul S. Morton’s hit singles continue to inspire and be embraced by fans all over the country, with their stronghold on the latest Gospel charts in the Top 5 at #3, #4, and #5 respectively.  Uplifting and bringing encouragement to fans with the awesome strength and power of faith, the rousing and contemplative tracks continue to have a lasting impact, collectively spending over 90 weeks on the Gospel chart thus far between the three artists.  With award-winning melodies and dynamic Gospel, the empowering messages from James Fortune & FIYA’s Hold On (#3), Shirley Caesar’s God Will Make A Way (#4), and Bishop Paul S. Morton’s Your Best Days Yet (#5) remain a big hit with listeners, with their Top 5 impact on the latest Gospel radio chart (for May 11, 2013).

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First Official Photo from TLC Biopic Released

(L-R) Drew Sidora, Keke Palmer and Lil Mama in VH1's "Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story"
(L-R) Drew Sidora, Keke Palmer and Lil Mama in VH1′s “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story”

No, that’s not Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes as TLC circa 1992.

It’s Drew Sidora as T-Boz, Keke Palmer as Chilli, and Lil’ Mama as Left Eye in VH1’s upcoming TV movie about the 90s r&b/hip hop trio.

VH1 released this photo today as an official first photo from the upcoming biopic “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story.”

“Drumline’s” Charles Stone III is directing from a screenplay by “What’s Love Got To Do With It’s” Kate Lanier.

The real T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli from TLC (1992)
The real T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli from TLC (1992)

The film started production in March in Atlanta where Chilli, Left Eye and T-Boz started their rise to multi-platinum fame as one of the most successful musical trios of all time.

The two surviving members of the group, Chilli and T-Boz, serve as consultants and executive producers on the movie. The pic is scheduled to premiere toward the end of the year.

article via eurweb.com

R.I.P. Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly of Atlanta-Based ’90s Rap Duo Kriss Kross

Kris Kross

According to the AP and ABC News, Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly (pictured left) from the hip-hop duo Kris Kross, has reportedly died in Atlanta today. He was announced dead around 5 p.m. this evening at the Atlanta Medical Center. Kelly was only 34 years old.

Because it is so soon, authorities are unclear about the cause of his sudden death, and an autopsy will be performed. Kelly and Chris Smith had a huge amount of fame in the 90s, bringing us classic jams like “Jump,” “Warm It Up,” and “I Missed The Bus,” the anthem for habitually late students everywhere in the early ’90s. The duo was also known for wearing their clothes backwards, going with their name, Kriss Kross. They were discovered by Jermaine Dupri at a shopping mall in Atlanta, and the two even performed together again for the first time in years during the So So Def 20th Anniversary concert earlier in the year. There was talk of them possibly working on new music in the future.

Sadly, that won’t be happening. But we’ll always have their past work, especially Totally Krossed Out. As more information comes out about Kelly’s sudden passing, we’ll keep you updated, but keep his family in your prayers and play “Jump” at least once before you call it a night.

article by Clarke Gail Baines via madamenoire.com

Lauryn Hill’s New Album: Singer To Release First Studio Effort Since 1998’s ‘Miseducation’

Lauryn HillLauryn Hill posted a statement to her official Tumblr account, announcing that she’s back in the studio for the first time since 1998’s iconic “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The singer’s only album since “Miseducation” has been 2002’s “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0,” recorded live at the MTV Studios in Times Square the previous year. This will mark her first studio material in 15 years, and fans will surely be anxious to lay down a welcome mat for the former Fugees singer, who has steadily grown more eccentric over the past decade.

Hill revealed on Tumblr that she is launching a new record label in conjunction with Sony Worldwide Entertainment as an effort to pay the $504,000 she owes immediately in taxes.

Here’s an excerpt of her post:

I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings. 

It took years for me to get out of the ‘parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.

Legal issues aside, Hill hasn’t been totally out of the spotlight since “Miseducation” stormed through the music scene. Her “MTV Unplugged” effort divided the critics who so unanimously praised her debut solo album, with Rolling Stone calling “Unplugged” a “public breakdown,” and she has sometimes left her passionate legion of fans disappointed by her public persona.

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R.I.P. Cordell Mosson, Bassist for Parliament-Funkadelic

Cordell Mosson playing bass for Parliament-Funkadelic.

Cordell Mosson, a guitarist whose bass line drove the flamboyant band Parliament-Funkadelic for four decades, died on April 18 in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 60.  The cause was liver failure, his companion, Donna Snead, said Thursday.

Mr. Mosson — Boogie to his band mates and audiences — had been a fixture of the group since the early 1970s, playing bass, drums and eventually rhythm guitar and, like the rest of George Clinton’s sprawling collective, appearing onstage in elaborate, intergalactic outfits.

He collaborated on seminal P-Funk albums like “Up for the Down Stroke” and “Funkentelechy and the Placebo Syndrome” and replaced Bootsy Collins onstage as the bassist when Mr. Collins left to focus on his solo career. (Mr. Collins still recorded with the group.) Mr. Mosson toured with the group until 2011.

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Clinton, the band’s leader and frontman, recalled Mr. Mosson as multifaceted, able to play “all the psychedelic stuff and the Motown and the James Brown.”

“Boogie’s been playing with us since he was 13 or 14,” Mr. Clinton said, adding, “He was the heartbeat for a long time.”

Mr. Mosson appeared with the band in the 1994 film comedy “PCU,” starring Jeremy Piven, Jon Favreau and David Spade. He and 15 other members of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Cardell Mosson Jr. was born on Oct. 16, 1952, in New Brunswick. In addition to Ms. Snead, he is survived by four daughters, LaPortia Nicholson, Lisa Brown, Latonya Snead and Ramona Perry; four sons, Chauncey Mosson, David Shropshire, Cordell Boogie Mosson and Remby Perry; a brother, the Rev. Larry Mosson; and eight grandchildren.

 article by Daniel E. Slotnik via nytimes.com

New Orleans Jazz Fest to Feature Jill Scott, B.B. King and N.O. Native Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If there’s a theme to this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it may be living legends.  Headliners include B.B. King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Hall and Oates and Fleetwood Mac. There’s also a cast of modern-day hit makers such as The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, Kem, the Dave Matthews Band and New Orleans native Frank Ocean.

Over the next two weekends, fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be treated to traditional jazz as well as rock ‘n roll, Cajun, gospel, blues, hip-hop, funk and zydeco.  “The way the talent fell into place this year, it became a very special year for us,” festival producer Quint Davis said. “It’s Jazz Fest, but it’s also B.B. King, Willie Nelson. It’s Ben Harper. It’s Hall and Oates. We ended up with probably the greatest living proponent in each kind of music we feature here.”

In all, about 5,000 entertainers will play the festival on 12 stages. The first weekend is Friday through Sunday, and the following weekend starts Thursday, May 2, and lasts until Sunday, May 5.

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Ed Gordon Media Announces National Syndication of ‘Conversations With Ed Gordon’

ed gordon

NEW YORK, NY – Ed Gordon Media announced today the syndication of “Conversations with Ed Gordon,” a quarterly, one-hour special with award-winning journalist and renowned interviewer, Ed Gordon, serving as host and executive producer. The specials will be aired nationally, including on all ten NBC owned and operated affiliates. The first special begins airing April 28, 2013.  Airdates, times and markets can be found on www.edgordon.net/conversations.htm.

Gordon, known for in-depth and exclusive interviews, will do it again with a stellar line-up of guests for the first special. Comedian Kevin Hart, one of today’s hottest entertainers, talks with Gordon on location in Los Angeles about his record-breaking concert tour and hit television show. Hart also confronts recent criticism surrounding a controversial “color” joke.

kevin hart & ed gordonKevin Hart on why he doesn’t address media/social network criticism:

“They want to make something out of nothing.  So if you give ammunition, which is a reply, an excuse or a constant apology, you’re setting yourself up for more comments.”

On wanting to be on the list of the greatest comedians of all-time:

“As long as my name is in there, I don’t care if it’s dead last, as long as I am in there. That means people understood my work ethic and understood that I love to do what I am doing now…making people laugh and that’s it.”

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