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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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Friday, June 1, 2012

Terrance J and Rocsi leaving BETs 106 & Park

buzzz worthy. . .

Terrance J and Rocsi, long-time co-hosts of BET's 106 & Park announced yesterday they will be leaving the show.

BET Vice President of Programming Stephen Hill released the following statement about their planned departure:

“Today, after seven exciting years, 106 & Park hosts Terrence J and Rocsi announced that they will be leaving the show. It is no secret that there are a number of opportunities coming their way and we’re fortunate that they’ve been with 106 & Park for so long. They will be staying on the show for a while, so that we can have a “victory lap” — a celebration of their years at the helm of 106 & Park — before their departure. Terrence J and Rocsi are destined for great success and we at BET Networks will always take pride in being their original home — and be a place where I hope they’ll always feel welcome.”

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Obama proclaims June 2012 as Black Music Month

buzzz worthy. . .


As a long-cherished piece of American culture, music offers a vibrant soundtrack to the story of our people and our Union. At times when words alone could not bring us together, we have found in melodies and choruses the universal truths of our shared humanity. African-American musicians have left an indelible mark on this tradition, and during African-American Music Appreciation Month, we pay special tribute to their extraordinary contributions.

Generations of African Americans have used music to share joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. Spiritual hymns gave hope to those laboring under the unrelenting cruelty of slavery, while gospel-inspired freedom songs sustained a movement for justice and equality for all. The smooth sounds of jazz and the soulful strain of the blues fed a renaissance in art and prose. The rhythm and blues that began in a basement in Detroit brought people together when laws would have kept them apart, while the urban beats and young wordsmiths from cities coast-to-coast gave voice to a new generation. And on stages and in concert halls around the world, African-American singers and composers have enhanced opera, symphony, and classical music by bringing energy and creativity to traditional genres.

At its core, African-American music mirrors the narrative of its original creators -- born of humble beginnings and raised to refuse the limitations and circumstances of its birth. This month, we honor the African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters who have forever shaped our musical heritage, and celebrate those who carry this rich legacy forward.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2012 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.  BARACK OBAMA

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Full speed ahead for Chaka Khan

buzzz worthy. . .

 Chaka Khan is on the move.

Khan joined David Foster and Friends at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 6, to raise money for arts education.  Foster’s other “friends” included singers Jewel and Peter Cincotti, along with trumpeter Chris Botti, violinist Caroline Campbell, soprano Angel Blue and a multicultural group of new and developing artists.  Chaka performed “Through the Fire,”  “I'm Every Woman,” and the newly penned “The Promise That We Make," which she performed for the finale with all performers and 40 wives of military servicemen.

The evening before, Chaka electrified a sold-out crowd at the historic Howard Theatre.  Performing for an audience of loyal and devoted fans, she sang her signature classic hits, including “I Feel For You,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “Sweet Thing,” “Everlasting Love,” “Ain’t Nobody” and more. The Washington Post headline for its rave review read, “Chaka takes the crowd through the fire.”  Chaka shared her testimony with the audience about her days of alcohol and drug abuse and the desperate and urgent pleas from her daughter and mother that put her on the road to recovery.  During an interview at the Howard Theatre, TV and radio personality Tavis Smiley shared with DeNeen Brown of the Washington Post, “I’ve seen her so many times, but I’ve never seen her go to church. Tonight’s concert was a spiritual experience.”  April Ellington, daughter of Duke Ellington added, “Chaka is in absolutely fine voice.  She looks better than ever.” 

Chaka recently appeared at the first annual International Jazz Day event at the United Nations in the General Assembly Hall in New York City.  Khan shared the stage with some of the greatest jazz legends in music history.  She performed Ella Fitzgerald’s classic, “Them There Eyes.”  The inaugural event was led by Herbie Hancock, UNESCO’s, (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, and the Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.   April 30, was declared International Jazz Day.  The program began with a message from the United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, followed by an appearance by Dr. Susan Rice, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, and a message from Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. The event’s hosts were Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, Jr. and George Duke.  The performances were led by Musical Director George Duke and included Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Angelique Kidjo, Sheila E. and a long list of some of the best international jazz musicians in the world. 

Free of alcohol and drug use for eight years now, Chaka, in recent years, also struggled with her weight and was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. Determined to get healthy, she committed to diet and lifestyle changes. She has lost over 60 pounds and is now free of both high blood pressure and diabetes.

The next major item on Chaka's agenda is an appearance at the Apollo for the 7th Annual Spring Gala Concert. 

In addition to performances honoring Richie and James, this year’s program will include tributes to three musical icons that have passed this year. A Ten-time GRAMMY® Winner,  Chaka Khan will perform a tribute to the late superstar Whitney Houston; Eddie Levert, in honor of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius; and Valerie Simpson for her husband and legendary songwriting partner Nick Ashford. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad, with American Idol’s Ray Chew serving as musical director.

Lionel Richie and Etta James join past Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo—Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald. Each Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a plaque in the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.
will appear at the Apollo to salute Lionel Richie and pay triute to Whitney Houston. 

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buzzz worthy. . .

Pastors Defend the Hip Hop Artist and Encourages Congregations
to Discuss Hypocrisy in the Church

GRAMMY ® nominated hip hop artist Lecrae opens up about his latest song, “Church Clothes,” that was released last month as a part of his Mixed Tape. Hoping to inspire discussion about hypocrisy in churches, instead the track has caused quite a stir among the community. However, Lecrae stands by his lyrics and explains this song is not meant to accuse or attack anyone or any denomination but purely to voice the perspective of an unbeliever’s encounter and view of the church.

“In the song ‘Church Clothes’ I was actually speaking from the perspective of a person who sees all the hypocrisy in church,” says Lecrae. “Many people have seen the hypocrisy and inconsistencies that have helped push them away from the church and God all together.”

Lecrae admits that people have been hurt by churches who have told them that if they don't dress accordingly or put on airs than they aren’t welcome. Still, toward the end of the song you hear the hip hop artist explain that if there is a real, loving, and grace-based church as well as a loving God, they'd have no excuse.

“The goal wasn't to condone this behavior or view; it was just to show the real attitude that people outside the church have,” says Lecrae. “It is a personification, which is a literary and artistic tool constantly used in rap music.”

Pastors and authors from across the country are standing by Lecrae and encouraging their congregations to break down the barriers and put a stop to the deception and live by example.
“Lecrae’s scripture-infused lyrics are just what the REAL church needs in politically-correct times like these,” says Dr. Kenneith T. Whalum Jr., author of Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy: From A Preacher Who Keeps It Real.  “Not only are his lyrics painfully direct, the visual images are stunning, just like the homeless people we drive by on our way to our urban cathedrals.  I can already hear the shrill outcry of the self-appointed guardians of the religious status quo against what they characterize as the ‘evils of hip-hop’, but ‘Church Clothes’ is a prime example that Hip-Hop is not our enemy; HYPOCRISY is!

“ ’Church Clothes’  is a clarion call to those of us who are true Believers in the Body of Christ to live a life of light so that those who live in darkness  can be transformed and renewed,” says Minister Keisha Allen from Straight Gate International Church. “It is a challenge to address issues in the church that are more important than clothing of a non-believer such as, promiscuity, deception and the like. It’s a great song!”

“Thank you Lecrae for speaking on the behalf of the young people who see this,” comments Bishop Paul S. Morton. “Young people outside the church see these issues looking from the outside in. We will cause them to change if they see us being real.”

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'L.A. Hair' to Premiere on WeTV

buzzz worthy. . .

Kim Kibble, star of L.A. Hair

In the glitz and glam of Hollywood, stunning hairstyles are a way of life and Kim Kimble is the go-to stylist for A-List celebrities when they need a red carpet coif or an emergency "do." In her new series L.A. HAIR, premiering Thursday, May 31 at a special time 10 PM ET/PT with eight, one-hour episodes, viewers follow Kim as she manages her team of talented, yet high-strung stylists - including her mother Jasmine - as they make over Hollywood's elite, one strand at a time. Working in close quarters proves intense for her staff as they often bicker and joke like family yet struggle to meet Kim's standards of professionalism. Divas Kelly Rowland, Brandy, Laila Ali, Garcelle Beavais, Omarosa, Mary Mary, Kym Whitley, Mikki Taylor, Shari Headley and Kim's other bold-face named clients are featured in the series. After the premiere, new episodes of L.A. HAIR will air in its regular timeslot Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT (beginning June 7).

Kibble and cast of L.A Hair at red carpet premiere

Kibble and Tamr Braxton

Tamar and husband Vince

Kibble and Omarosa

In L.A. HAIR, viewers will meet Kim's salon family - stylists Angela, Dontay, Terry, China, mom Jasmine, as well as Kim's assistant Anthony and receptionist Charity. Throughout the season, Kim finds herself questioning the commitment of some of her stylists, including an overly-eager Angela who goes behind Kim's back in attempt to steal her clients; the sassy China who is so dramatic it drives Kim nuts; and her assistant Anthony, who doesn't seem to know where his loyalties should be. Add to the mix Kim's headstrong mom Jasmine who has her own ideas on how the salon should be operated and you've got the perfect recipe for drama. If that isn't enough to make her head spin, Kim's lease expires before her new salon is finished, forcing her to find another space before she and her stylists are evicted. As the heart and soul of the operation, Kim spends her days juggling her vast celebrity clientele and growing a business in addition to carving out time for her personal life. But her biggest challenge may be dealing with the sometimes inflated egos of her staff - that's when the competition behind the chair becomes fierce and the scissors come out.
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