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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation to Perform at EssenceFestival July 2

Big Sam's Funky Nation has boldly established their presence at the forefront of the vibrant New Orleans music scene. Trombone powerhouse and band leader "Big Sam" Williams has been celebrated as "the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz" by the San Francisco Chronicle and the band has been consistently touted for  "bringing a straight raw party" by Jambase.

2010 has already been a busy year for The Funky Nation, beginning with a national tour, ten days touring Greece, a recurring role in the new HBO original series Treme, various appearances, including an official showcase in Austin during South By Southwest, a very busy New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival season, and an eventful LEAF: Lake Eden Arts Festival. Big Sam's Funky Nation was branded the "Hardest Working Band At Bonnaroo 2010" by the festival's own publication, The Bonnaroo Beacon.

Big Sam's Funky Nation is on fire and has no intention of slowing down! The summer continues to bring a busy touring schedule including festivals such as Essence Music Festival, Antibes Jazz Festival, Gathering of the Vibes and the Dunegrass Music Festival, among others. The momentum BSFN has already garnered will only continue to grow as the band tours its legendary live show across the country in support of the release of their fourth and most prolific album to date, King of the Party.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Deitrick Haddon Presents Voices of Unity CD June 29

Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter-Producer
Deitrick Haddon Presents Voices of Unity
Cracks Top 40 With New Single
“Judah (Let Me Hear You Praise)
Track From Blessed & Cursed CD Soundtrack Hits Stores June 29, 2010

Gospel star Deitrick Haddon and Voices of Unity, are back in the Top 40. The multi-talented Haddon and VOU’s rock-edged, Jungle rhythm “Judah (Let Me Hear You Praise)” just reached the #40 position on the BDS Top 40 national gospel radio playlist.  The song is featured on the Blessed & Cursed (Tyscot Records) movie soundtrack CD that hits retail shelves and online portals June 29, 2010.

The twelve-track CD features cameos by former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, BET Sunday Best finalist Jessica Reedy, Damita Haddon, and Men of Standard’s Lowell Pye, among others. The CD features high tech pop anthems such as “I’m Blessed,” the retro soul vibe of “Praise In the House,” the sing-a-long jam “One Touch,” and the urgent R&B groove, “Don’t Leave Me Now.” There is a special iTunes Exclusive Deluxe version of the CD that includes a digital booklet, bonus track “These Streets” and the “Don’t Leave Me” music video. There will be a special virtual listening party July 1st on www.gospelflava.com

This brilliant music provides the backdrop to Haddon’s first feature film Blessed & Cursed that will be released direct to DVD on July 27, 2010. In a twist on the Biblical story of David and Saul, Blessed & Cursed (Tyscot Film & Entertainment/$19.95) depicts Dwight Hawkins’ (portrayed by Deitrick Haddon) struggle to realize his God-given purpose. Dwight must choose between family obligations and pursuing his own dreams of superstardom in the church world. In the end, he gets caught in a diabolical scheme of jealousy orchestrated by a church pastor.  “I grew up in the church and unfortunately it wasn’t all great experiences,” Haddon says. “I intentionally brought these up in the movie. This movie will be a witnessing tool to win people back to the church.” For more information visit: www.tyscot.com or www.blessedandcursedthemovie.com
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Tenth Anniversary BET Awards Called the Rise of the Phoenix and is Night of Comebacks for Kanye West, T.I., Chris Brown

Hosted by Queen Latifah, BET Awards '10 included Performances and Appearances by John Legend, Drake, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, El DeBarge, Diddy-Dirty Money, Patti LaBelle, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Tommy Lee, Taraji P. Henson, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Chaka Khan
LOS ANGELES, June 28 -- There was not a dry-eye in the house at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 27, 2010 when Chris Brown took to the BET AWARDS '10 stage to honor the late Michael Jackson. Kanye West opened the show with a monumental performance of "Power" atop a smoky crag of rocks marking his return to the Awards show spotlight and circuit.  King of the South T.I., backed by Travis Barker on drums and flaming pyrotechnics, tore the house down with his first national TV performance since being released from prison.  Brown, West and T.I.'s show-stopping performances at this year's tenth anniversary BET AWARDS '10 provide platform for these three artists to re-emerge from the ashes for the negative publicity they recently faced to reclaim their status as superstars.

Just two days after the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson introduced Chris Brown who channeled the legendary Michael Jackson while dancing to classics like "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Remember The Time," "Billie Jean" and an out-of-this-world silhouetted-in-white-lights version of "Smooth Criminal."  But it wasn't until Chris Brown fell to his knees visibly broken down in tears, tortured with what could only be described as self-reflection during his own rendition of "Man In The Mirror," did the audience come to his rescue and help him finish the song in an ominous choir of song that would have truly made Michael Jackson proud.

Later in the show, when accepting his 2010 Fandemonium Award, Chris Brown said, "I just want to say, I let you all down before and I won't do it again."

Trey Songz's soulful performance of "Yo Side of the Bed" illustrated just why he was named the 2010 Best Male R&B Artist before transitioning into Prince's classic "Purple Rain," which led into one of the undeniable standout performances of the night.

Legendary musician Prince was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and his tribute was a performance of a lifetime.  Beginning with a remote video message from a legend himself Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae dazzled with her signature feminine tomboy threads and eccentric dance moves on "Let's Go Crazy."  Esperanza Spalding jazzed up the room with her electric upright bass and Afro while singing "If I Was Your Girlfriend" before Alicia Keys crawled barefoot on her piano bringing Prince to his feet with "Adore."  But it was Patti LaBelle who literally kicked off her heels, which Prince caught, to honor the pop culture icon with his classic "Purple Rain."  Chaka Khan was also on hand to help pay respects.

Additional highlights of the 10+ performances include: El DeBarge bringing the audience to their feet to dance in the aisles during his medley of his classics like "All My Love" and "Rhythm of the Night;" Usher, dressed in all white levitating high above, commanding the BET Awards '10 stage with a sizzingly sultry performance of "There Goes My Baby" backed by a 12-piece string section; Alicia Keys, poised at a black piano adorned with blue lights, opening up her medley of hits with "No One" followed by "Try Sleeping" before being joined onstage by Kim Burrell on "If I Ain't Got You;" 10-year-old Gabby Wilson singing a shockingly spot-on rendition of Alicia Keys' "Fallin'" on her 10th birthday to help Queen Latifah introduce Keys' performance; Monica dressed in a gravity-defying black ensemble dueting with Deniece Williams.
Ludacris and DJ Khaled closed the show with a high-energy performance of "My Chick Bad" followed by beats from an asylum-straight-jacket-bound Nicki Minaj.  Bringing a rock-fueled edge to the final song of the night with Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain and Diddy on "All I Do Is Win" was Motley Crue's Tommy Lee backed by a drumline.

This year's in memoriam tribute was led by Todd Bridges paying respects to his former co-star Gary Coleman followed by a photo montage of those who passed this year and a Teddy Pendergrass tribute performance by Tyrese who sang "Come Go With Me" and "Close The Door."

In continuing the good that BET's S.O.S.: Saving Ourselves telethon started back in February 2010, which raised over $1 Million for Haitian relief efforts, the BET AWARDS '10's contained a special Haiti memorial performance of "Are You Listening" from gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Kim Burrell and Karen Clark Sheard.

In addition to all of these spectacular moments, those lucky enough to bring home a 2010 Tenth Anniversary BET Award were:

Best Female R&B Artist: Alicia Keys
Best Male R&B Artist: Trey Songz
Best Gospel: Marvin Sapp
Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Drake
Best New Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Collaboration: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"
Video of the Year: Beyonce featuring Lady Gaga "Video Phone"
Video Director of the Year: Hype Williams
Best Actress: Mo'Nique
Best Actor: Idris Elba
YoungStars Award: Keke Palmer
Best Movie: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Subway Sportwoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Subway Sportman of the Year: LeBron James
Centric Award: Monica
Best International Act: Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Humanitarian Award: John Legend
Lifetime Achievement Award: Prince
Viewers' Choice Award: Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy "Hard"
Fandemonium Award: Chris Brown
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Sunday, June 27, 2010


First Album In 16 Years To Tell R&B Star’s Inspiring Story Of Redemption
El DeBarge's triumphant return to the stage at the 2010 “BET Awards” on June 27th was only the beginning of life’s second chance for one of R&B Pop’s most distinctive and popular voices. On the star-studded show, DeBarge performed the title track from his forthcoming aptly titled album Second Chance, to be released this fall by Geffen Records, and a medley of his R&B smash hits "All This Love, "I Like It,” Time Will Reveal," and "Rhythm Of The Night." The soulful performance by the charismatic DeBarge opened an exciting new chapter for the man whose emotional, uplifting music has romanced one generation of fans and is set to do the same for another.

"I want the world to know that everybody deserves a second chance," says DeBarge. His long-awaited fifth solo album, Second Chance tells his story of redemption, which followed a period of personal turmoil for the immensely talented singer and songwriter. Earlier, his tender falsetto and smooth love songs resulted in 16 Top 10s both with his family group DeBarge, one of America’s most popular young R&B Pop acts of the ‘80s, and as a solo artist. But El continued to be heard even after exiting the scene following 1994’s Heart Mind And Soul, a collaboration with Babyface. Everyone from The Notorious B.I.G. and Ashanti to Mariah Carey and Patti LaBelle has covered or sampled hits featuring him as lead singer, many of which he also wrote and produced. Now the original is back—refreshed, rededicated and ready to take his place once more among the genuine stars of R&B.

Songs on Second Chance were co-written and co-produced by some of music's most notable hitmakers, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface, Mike City, Michael Angelo, Mishka, the Avila Brothers and Ron Fair.

Watch a short film on the making of ‘Second Chance’ here:

Visit El DeBarge on the Web here: http://ElDeBargeMusic.com/
Q & AWith El DeBarge
Q: What do you want to tell us with this album? What is your message?
A: I want the world to know that tomorrow is full of
second chances, and all your fears should be left behind you.

Q: Why did you write the song "Second Chance"?
I wrote "Second Chance" to commemorate all the struggles I went through, and I feel it speaks to struggles in the souls and the hearts of people who are going through what I went through and who want a second chance.

Q: How are you feeling being back?
I'm very grateful to be back. It's joyful, it's scary, it's all of that.

Q: Describe your connection to your fans.
I love my fans. I like being up close and personal with them, so I really like being on tour more than I like just being in the studio.

Q: Are you a spiritual person?
I have a close relationship with God. From the moment I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to get on my knees and pray. He's everything to me. He's my music. He's my source of creativity. He's my breath.

Q: What is the El DeBarge sound, and how has it changed and evolved over the years?
The El DeBarge sound is soulful, it's joyful, it's filled with intricate harmonies. It talks about life, it talks about love... it hasn't changed, though. It's the same.

Q: What's your songwriting process like? Where do you draw inspiration from?A: I draw inspiration from walking down the street, from driving, from being in crowds and just vibing off people, but I like to begin my songwriting process with sitting at the piano. That way I can critique and develop what I'm hearing musically.

Q: You've overcome a lot in the past few years. What would be your message to fans?A: I lost a lot of time, I lost a lot of good friends, but I'm back, though there were some serious consequences. You don't want to go down that road. You don't need to experiment with drugs. Some people say that experience is the best teacher, but you don't need to experience that. Just learn from my mistakes.

Q: You've said recently that self-denial was your first step toward drug abuse, and you lost touch with reality. What's the best way of staying true to yourself?A: Keep people around you that were in your joy period of life. That's the most authentic period of your life, and that's mostly your childhood and your teens, rather than your "good times" or "bad times," and don't ever lose that. Don't succumb to the new "friendships" that just come out of nowhere. That's not going to do it. That will get you in trouble right there.

Q: What brings joy to your life?
A good song makes me feel joyful. I like hearing chords and pretty melodies; I brighten up if I hear something that sounds good. Simple things like that – watching the sun come up, watching the sun set - and last, but definitely not least, a beautiful woman.

Q: Can you talk about some of your favorite tracks on the album?
One of my favorite tracks is "How Can You Love Me So Much, Girl?" produced by the Avila Brothers and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Another is "Serenading You." That's for lovers who really want to serenade their woman, and it's written by Mike City. I have quite a few of them.

Q: What can your fans expect from you?A: Oh, we're going to have a good time when I get back on stage. It's going to be so joyful! We're going to sing some of the old songs, some of the new songs – we're just going to have some fun.
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