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Friday, February 15, 2013

Obama bemoans gun violence in Chicago speech

buzzz worthy. . .



Following the State of the Union Address (SOUA) earlier this week, President Obama traveled to various states to promote policies he proposed to Congress during the speech. the mini tour ended Today (Feb. 15) as he went back to his Clyde Park neighborhood in Chicago  and spoke at the Hyde Park Academy High School on economic deveopment, the building blocks for successful families/communities, and the necessity for gun control reform. 

The  Windy City is well acquainted with gun violence, ranking number one for murders  globally according to NBC-Chicago. Kadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old majorette who had marched in the inauguration parade was innocently gunned down in a gang-related shooting in Hyde park two miles away from the presdient's Chicago residence.  Her parents attended the SOUA days after First Lady Obama joined them at their daughter's funeral.


In the SOUA Obama  pointed out that since the shooting massacre at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, CT last December there have been over one thousand killings by gunfire nationwide.  As the familes of murdered victims stood in the chamber, some holding photos of their deceased loved ones while wipeing away tears, the president went off script shouting, "The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote," hoping to convince Republican lawmakers to buy in to stricter gun control measures that will make it harder for criminals to possess guns. Currently, the House and Senate are divided on gun control.
The most poignant part of the speech in Chicago"last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under. So that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months. "




The full transcript of his remarks follow:



Hyde Park Career Academy, Chicago, Illinois
3:31 P.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hey, Chicago!  (Applause.)  Hello, Chicago!  Hello, everybody.  Hello, Hyde Park!  (Applause.)  It is good to be home!  It is good to be home.  Everybody have a seat.  You all relax.  It’s just me.  You all know me.  It is good to be back home.  

A couple of people I want to acknowledge -- first of all, I want to thank your Mayor, my great friend, Rahm Emanuel for his outstanding leadership of the city and his kind introduction.  (Applause.)  I want to thank everybody here at Hyde Park Academy for welcoming me here today.  (Applause.)   

I want to acknowledge your principal and your assistant principal -- although, they really make me feel old, because when I saw them -- (laughter) -- where are they?  Where are they?  Stand up.  Stand up.  (Applause.)  They are doing outstanding work.  We’re very, very proud them.  But you do make me feel old.  Sit down.  (Laughter.)  

A couple other people I want to acknowledge -- Governor Pat Quinn is here doing great work down in Springfield.  (Applause.)  My great friend and senior Senator Dick Durbin is in the house.  (Applause.)  Congressman Bobby Rush is here.  (Applause.)  We’re in his district.  Attorney General and former seatmate of mine when I was in the state senate, Lisa Madigan.  (Applause.)  County Board President -- used to be my alderwoman -- Tony Preckwinkle in the house.  (Applause.)  

And I’ve got -- I see a lot of reverend clergy here, but I’m not going to mention them, because if I miss one I’m in trouble.  (Laughter.)  They’re all friends of mine.  They’ve been knowing me.  Some people may not know this, but obviously, this is my old neighborhood.  I used to teach right around the corner.  This is where Michelle and I met, where we fell in love --

AUDIENCE:  Aww --
THE PRESIDENT:  This is where we raised our daughters, in a house just about a mile away from here -- less than a mile.  And that’s really what I’ve come here to talk about today -- raising our kids.  

AUDIENCE:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you, too.  (Applause.)  I love you, too.

I’m here to make sure that we talk about and then work towards giving every child every chance in life; building stronger communities and new ladders of opportunity that they can climb into the middle class and beyond; and, most importantly, keeping them safe from harm.

Michelle was born and raised here -- a proud daughter of the South Side.  (Applause.)  Last weekend, she came home, but it was to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton.  And Hadiya’s parents, by the way, are here -- and I want to just acknowledge them.  They are just wonderful, wonderful people.  (Applause.)  
And as you know, this week, in my State of the Union, I talked about Hadiya on Tuesday night and the fact that unfortunately what happened to Hadiya is not unique.  It's not unique to Chicago.  It's not unique to this country.  Too many of our children are being taken away from us.  
 
Two months ago, America mourned 26 innocent first-graders and their educators in Newtown.  And today, I had the high honor of giving the highest civilian award I can give to the parent -- or the families of the educators who had been killed in Newtown.  And there was something profound and uniquely heartbreaking and tragic, obviously, about a group of 6-year-olds being killed.  But last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under.  So that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.  
And that’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common-sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.  And as I said on Tuesday night, I recognize not everybody agrees with every issue.  There are regional differences.  The experience of gun ownership is different in urban areas than it is in rural areas, different from upstate and downstate Illinois.  But these proposals deserve a vote in Congress.  They deserve a vote.  (Applause.)  They deserve a vote.  And I want to thank those members of Congress who are working together in a serious way to try to address this issue.  

But I’ve also said no law or set of laws can prevent every senseless act of violence in this country.  When a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government can't fill -- only community and parents and teachers and clergy can fill that hole.  In too many neighborhoods today -- whether here in Chicago or the farthest reaches of rural America -- it can feel like for a lot of young people the future only extends to the next street corner or the outskirts of town; that no matter how much you work or how hard you try, your destiny was determined the moment you were born.  There are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don’t see an example of somebody succeeding.  And for a lot of young boys and young men, in particular, they don’t see an example of fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected.
And so that means that this is not just a gun issue.  It’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building.  And for that, we all share a responsibility, as citizens, to fix it.  We all share a responsibility to move this country closer to our founding vision that no matter who you are, or where you come from, here in America, you can decide your own destiny.  You can succeed if you work hard and fulfill your responsibilities.  (Applause.)
Now, that means we’ve got to grow our economy and create more good jobs.  It means we’ve got to equip every American with the skills and the training to fill those jobs.  And it means we’ve got to rebuild ladders of opportunity for everybody willing to climb them.
 
Now, that starts at home.  There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families -- which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood.  (Applause.)  Don’t get me wrong -- as the son of a single mom, who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, I turned out okay.  (Applause and laughter.)  But -- no, no, but I think it’s -- so we’ve got single moms out here, they’re heroic in what they’re doing and we are so proud of them.  (Applause.)  But at the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved.  Loving, supportive parents -- and, by the way, that’s all kinds of parents -- that includes foster parents, and that includes grandparents, and extended families; it includes gay or straight parents.  (Applause.)  

Those parents supporting kids -- that’s the single most important thing.  Unconditional love for your child -- that makes a difference.  If a child grows up with parents who have work, and have some education, and can be role models, and can teach integrity and responsibility, and discipline and delayed gratification -- all those things give a child the kind of foundation that allows them to say, my future, I can make it what I want.  And we’ve got to make sure that every child has that, and in some cases, we may have to fill the gap and the void if children don’t have that.  
 
So we should encourage marriage by removing the financial disincentives for couples who love one another but may find it financially disadvantageous if they get married.  We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children.  (Applause.)  And my administration will continue to work with the faith community and the private sector this year on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood.  Because what makes you a man is not the ability to make a child, it’s the courage to raise one.  (Applause.)
 
We also know, though, that there is no surer path to success in the middle class than a good education.  And what we now know is that that has to begin in the earliest years.  Study after study shows that the earlier a child starts learning, the more likely they are to succeed -- the more likely they are to do well at Hyde Park Academy; the more likely they are to graduate; the more likely they are to get a good job; the more likely they are to form stable families and then be able to raise children themselves who get off to a good start.  
 
Chicago already has a competition, thanks to what the Mayor is doing, that rewards the best preschools in the city -- so Rahm has already prioritized this.  But what I’ve also done is say, let’s give every child across America access to high-quality, public preschool.  Every child, not just some.  (Applause.)  Every dollar we put into early childhood education can save $7 down the road by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime, reducing the welfare rolls, making sure that folks who have work, now they’re paying taxes.  All this stuff pays back huge dividends if we make the investment.  So let’s make this happen.  Let’s make sure every child has the chance they deserve.  (Applause.)

As kids go through school, we’ll recruit new math and science teachers to make sure that they’ve got the skills that the future demands.  We’ll help more young people in low-income neighborhoods get summer jobs.  We’ll redesign our high schools and encourage our kids to stay in high school, so that the diploma they get leads directly to a good job once they graduate.  (Applause.)  
Right here in Chicago, five new high schools have partnered with companies and community colleges to prepare our kids with the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  And your College to Careers program helps community college students get access to the same kinds of real-world experiences.  So we know what works.  Let’s just do it in more places.  Let’s reach more young people.  Let’s give more kids a chance.

So we know how important families are.  We know how important education is.  We recognize that government alone can’t solve these problems of violence and poverty, that everybody has to be involved.  But we also have to remember that the broader economic environment of communities is critical as well.  For example, we need to make sure that folks who are working now, often in the hardest jobs, see their work rewarded with wages that allow them to raise a family without falling into poverty.  (Applause.)

Today, a family with two kids that works hard and relies on a minimum wage salary still lives below the poverty line.  That’s wrong, and we should fix it.  We should reward an honest day’s work with honest wages.  And that's why we should raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and make it a wage you can live on.  (Applause.)
 
And even though some cities have bounced back pretty quickly from the recession, we know that there are communities and neighborhoods within cities or in small towns that haven’t bounced back.  Cities like Chicago are ringed with former factory towns that never came back all the way from plants packing up; there are pockets of poverty where young adults are still looking for their first job.  
 
And that’s why on Tuesday I announced -- and that's part of what I want to focus on here in Chicago and across the country -- is my intention to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit communities in America to get them back in the game -- get them back in the game.  (Applause.)
First, we’ll work with local leaders to cut through red tape and improve things like public safety and education and housing.  And we’ll bring all the resources to bear in a coordinated fashion so that we can get that tipping point where suddenly a community starts feeling like things are changing and we can come back.
 
Second of all, if you’re willing to play a role in a child’s education, then we’ll help you reform your schools.  We want to seed more and more partnerships of the kind that Rahm is trying to set up.
Third, we’re going to help bring jobs and growth to hard-hit neighborhoods by giving tax breaks to business owners who invest and hire in those neighborhoods.  (Applause.)
 
Fourth, and specific to the issue of violence -- because it’s very hard to develop economically if people don't feel safe.  If they don't feel like they can walk down the street and shop at a store without getting hit over head or worse, then commerce dries up, businesses don't want to locate, families move out, you get into the wrong cycle.  So we’re going to target neighborhoods struggling to deal with violent crime and help them reduce that violence in ways that have been proven to work.  And I know this is a priority of your Mayor’s; it’s going to be a priority of mine.  (Applause.)

And finally, we’re going to keep working in communities all across the country, including here in Chicago, to replace run-down public housing that doesn’t offer much hope or safety with new, healthy homes for low- and moderate-income families.  (Applause.)

And here in Woodlawn, you’ve seen some of the progress that we can make when we come together to rebuild our neighborhoods, and attract new businesses, and improve our schools.  Woodlawn is not all the way where it needs to be, but thanks to wonderful institutions like Apostolic Church, we’ve made great progress.  (Applause.)
So we want to help more communities follow your example.  And let’s go even farther by offering incentives to companies that hire unemployed Americans who have got what it takes to fill a job opening, but they may have been out of work so long that nobody is willing to give them a chance right now.  Let’s put our people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in need of repair.  Young people can get experience -- apprenticeships, learn a trade.  And we’re removing blight from our community.  (Applause.)  

If we gather together what works, we can extend more ladders of opportunity for anybody who’s working to build a strong, middle-class life for themselves.  Because in America, your destiny shouldn’t be determined by where you live, where you were born.  It should be determined by how big you’re willing to dream, how much effort and sweat and tears you’re willing to put in to realizing that dream.

When I first moved to Chicago -- before any of the students in this room were born -- (laughter) -- and a whole lot of people who are in the audience remember me from those days, I lived in a community on the South Side right up the block, but I also worked further south where communities had been devastated by some of the steel plants closing.  And my job was to work with churches and laypeople and local leaders to rebuild neighborhoods, and improve schools, and help young people who felt like they had nowhere to turn.  

And those of you who worked with me, Reverend Love, you remember, it wasn’t easy.  Progress didn’t come quickly.  Sometimes I got so discouraged I thought about just giving up.  But what kept me going was the belief that with enough determination and effort and persistence and perseverance, change is always possible; that we may not be able to help everybody, but if we help a few then that propels progress forward.  We may not be able to save every child from gun violence, but if we save a few, that starts changing the atmosphere in our communities.  (Applause.)  We may not be able to get everybody a job right away, but if we get a few folks a job, then everybody starts feeling a little more hopeful and a little more encouraged.  (Applause.)  Neighborhood by neighborhood, one block by one block, one family at a time.  
 
Now, this is what I had a chance to talk about when I met with some young men from Hyde Park Academy who were participating in this B.A.M. program.  Where are the guys I talked to?  Stand up you all, so we can all see you guys.  (Applause.)  So these are some -- these are all some exceptional young men, and I couldn't be prouder of them.  And the reason I'm proud of them is because a lot of them have had some issues.  That's part of the reason why you guys are in the program.  (Laughter.)

But what I explained to them was I had issues too when I was their age.  I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.  So when I screwed up, the consequences weren't as high as when kids on the South Side screw up.  (Applause.)  So I had more of a safety net.  But these guys are no different than me, and we had that conversation about what does it take to change.  And the same thing that it takes for us individually to change, I said to them, well, that's what it takes for communities to change.  That's what it takes for countries to change.  It's not easy.
 
But it does require us, first of all, having a vision about where we want to be.  It requires us recognizing that it will be hard work getting there.  It requires us being able to overcome and persevere in the face of roadblocks and disappointments and failures.  It requires us reflecting internally about who we are and what we believe in, and facing up to our own fears and insecurities, and admitting when we're wrong.  And that same thing that we have to do in our individual lives that these guys talked about, that's what we have to do for our communities.  And it will not be easy, but it can be done.   
 
When Hadiya Pendleton and her classmates visited Washington three weeks ago, they spent time visiting the monuments -- including the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial just off the National Mall.  And that memorial stands as a tribute to everything Dr. King achieved in his lifetime.  But it also reminds us of how hard that work was and how many disappointments he experienced.  He was here in Chicago fighting poverty, and just like a lot of us, there were times where he felt like he was losing hope.  So in some ways, that memorial is a testament not to work that's completed, but it’s a testament to the work that remains unfinished.
 
His goal was to free us not only from the shackles of discrimination, but from the shadow of poverty that haunts too many of our communities, the self-destructive impulses, and the mindless violence that claims so many lives of so many innocent young people.  
  
These are difficult challenges.  No solution we offer will be perfect.  But perfection has never been our goal.  Our goal has been to try and make whatever difference we can.  Our goal has been to engage in the hard but necessary work of bringing America one step closer to the nation we know we can be.  
 
If we do that, if we’re striving with every fiber of our being to strengthen our middle class, to extend ladders of opportunity for everybody who is trying as hard as they can to create a better life for themselves; if we do everything in our power to keep our children safe from harm; if we’re fulfilling our obligations to one another and to future generations; if we make that effort, then I’m confident -- I’m confident that we will write the next great chapter in our American story.  I’m not going to be able to do it by myself, though.  Nobody can.  We’re going to have to do it together.
 
Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)
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KELLY ROLAND TO CO-HOST OSCARS® RED-CARPET SHOW

buzzz worthy. . .




BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Rowland today announced that she has been invited to join Emmy® and Tony® award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, Entertainment Weekly Managing Editor Jess Cagle and “Good Morning America” anchor Lara Spencer to host the official Oscar® pre-show, ”The Oscars Red Carpet Live.”
The show is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the Oscar telecast, and produced by Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare for Don Mischer Productions.

“The Oscars Red Carpet Live” will take place on Oscar Sunday, February 24, in front of the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and be televised live on the ABC Television Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The red carpet show will also be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.   For more information go to Oscar.com or download the official Oscars app.
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Kandi Burruss Readies Gospel Recording, defends her decision to do it


buzzz worthy. . .


Until the latest episode of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (RHOA) Kandi Burruss had been low key during season 5.  As she concentrates on a new relationship with her fiance', Todd Tucker and decorating her new home, Burruss hasn't had time to get caught up in the never-ending drama between the "talls and smalls"  that seems to be the focus of the program.   But, her manager, Don Juan noticed her career has been lagging as she puts all of her energy toward her personal life.

Agreeing that she need to re-focus, the 36-year-old Singer/Songwriter/Producer went back to the studio and unexpectedly laid tracks for a gospel record.   Don Juan was  understandably taken aback when his client said she wanted to add a gospel song to her next CD.   Although Burruss has been successful making hits for her self and others and has dabbled in other genres (Country and House for instance), the R&B singer's desire to do a gospel album comes as a surprise because Kandi, a single mom,  is known for speaking candidly about sex. More importantly, she owns a sex toy line (Bedroom Kandi) and hosts a sexually oriented web show (Kandi Koated Knights), two factors that are not typical of an artist that sings about/for the Lord.

Apparently, Burruss is looking to make another hit.   The song, entitled "Prayed Up" features platinum- selling gospel artist Marvin Sapp.  He sings and preaches the gospel.  She sings and sells sex toys. Online comments suggest this collaboration struck a bad chord with the majority of viewers.

Days after the show aired, on Facebook Burruss expressed  that she was prepared for disapproval: "I knew when I decided to do it that I would be criticized. That's to be expected. I'm a single mom that had a child out of wedlock, I speak openly about sex on #KandiKoatedNights, I have #BedroomKandi, etc... I'm very honest about who I am. "

The Grammy award winning, former member of 90's girl group Xscape is not deterred  by the criticism. In the lyrics of the song she calls herself a "sinner"  and says "hopefully people with a similar struggle can relate."


Lyrics from Kandi Burruss' "Prayed Up."



Kandi and Todd


Kandi won't be the first R&B songstress to do a gospel album.  Many R&B artists got therir start in the church and want to return to their roots; some of the never left their roots.  SOmetimes an artist will do music they always As Burruss said on the follow-up episode, she is claiming a #1record,.  From the sound of the single  Kandi is back in her zone.
 
CLICK HERE TO HEAR "PRAYED UP":

 
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Season 6 Sunday Best Audition Schedule

buzzz worthy. . .


Sunday Best is back for season 6 and the audition dates and locations are as follows:  
(Doors will be open from 7 a.m. to Noon in each city.)

Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, February 16
Sharon Baptist Church3955 Conshohocken AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19131 

Atlanta, GA
Saturday, February 23
Greater Traveler's Rest Baptist Church
4650 Flat Shoals Parkway
Decatur, GA 30034 

Chicago, IL
Saturday, March 9
New Faith Baptist Church
25 South Central Avenue
Matteson, IL 60443 

Houston, TX
Saturday, March 23

New Light Christian Center Church
1535 Greensmark Drive Houston, TX 77067 
This year there are many styles of gospel songs to choose from including many contemporary songs as follows:
Audition Songs

1. I Need Your Glory – Earnest Pugh
2. Nobody Greater – Vashawn Mitchell
3. Awesome – Charles Jenkins
4. Thank You Lord (For All You’ve Done For Me) – Walter Hawkins
5. I’ll Make It – Hezekiah Walker
6. Turning Around For Me – Vashawn Mitchell
7. Indescribable – Kierra Sheard
8. Holy Holy Holy – Traditional Version
9. I Need Thee Every Hour - Traditional Version
10. No Not One (There’s Not A Friend) – Traditional Version
11. Near The Cross (In The Cross) – Traditional Version
12. Blessed Assurance – Traditional Version
13. Blessed Quietness – Traditional Version
14. Jesus Paid It All – Traditional Version
15. Never Alone – Traditional Version
16. Battle Hymn Of The Republic – Traditional Version
17. It Pays To Serve Jesus – Traditional Version
18. Just As I Am – Traditional Version
19. Since Jesus Came Into My Heart – Traditional Version
20. It Is Well – Traditional Version
21. Power In The Blood – Traditional Version
22. Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us – Traditional Version
23. I Surrender All – Traditional Version
24. Bye and Bye (When The Morning Comes) – Traditional Version
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Doesha Cup 2013 to Ccelebrate Legalization of Marijuana



Los Angeles - California's medical marijuana community will gather in force at the 7th Annual Doesha Cup 2013 on Saturday, February 23. Celebrities, activists, supporters and participants will acknowledge the long heralded ritual of 'puff puff pass' during this annual gathering founded and produced by K.U.S.H. Inc. and presented by Dr. Ingleweed, the proprietor of the South Bay area based medical marijuana cooperative, All American Healing Group.

The Doesha Cup, a distinction awarded to top grade medical marijuana growers, will boast their own distinguished grade A line up of talent this year with comedic hosts Luenell and Red Grant; guest speakers Freeway Rick Ross, Dennis Peron and attorney Allison Margolin (daughter of attorney Bruce M. Margolin); musical headliner Tha Dogg Pound's own Kurupt; guest DJs BattleCat and DJ Cat NYC; and a healthy sampling of independent and underground artists including Medusa, 1500 or Nothing, Stage 11, King T, The Low Keys, Alter'd Ego, Greg Scott, Votron ENT and more !

The Doesha Cup 2013 begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 23. California's finest medical cannabis growers will compete for the legendary Doesha Cup amid a unique festival-like gathering of live performances, vendor booths, food, beverages and music. The event is open to valid Proposition 215 patients and caregivers. The location will be disclosed one week before the event. More information is available at http://www.doeshacup.com/ or by calling 424-261-3420 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 424-261-3420 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting.


The Doesha Cup is an unprecedented celebration of the legalization of medical marijuana. As Los Angeles' premiere medical marijuana tasting competition, it has grown in attendance to over 5000 patients and caregivers. Dr. Ingleweed, the man behind it all, has owned and operated All American Healing located at 126 1/2 S. Market Street in Inglewood, CA since 2005.


Dr. Ingleweed

A pioneer organic green grower and one of the original founders of the "Food for the Hood" program at Crenshaw High School, Dr. Ingleweed began growing cannabis in 1994 while attending college at the University of California, Berkeley. His famed Doesha Cup was one of the first gatherings to pave the way for celebratory events in the medical marijuana community at the onset of the legalization movement in Los Angeles. With the legal progress made over the past several years, Dr. Ingleweed's Doesha Cup has become a longtime cult favorite.


"The mainstreaming of medical marijuana is finally here," asserts Dr. Ingleweed. "We are no longer perceived as drug users and abusers. Though we still have an uphill battle, more and more states are legalizing it. Our talent line up this year is as diverse as the world of smokers out there. The Doesha Cup 2013 is gonna take it higher and higher!"


The Doesha Cup's mission is to cultivate and strengthen the medical marijuana movement by exposing patients to new products while cultivating businesses and budding enterprises who specialize in medical marijuana ethics, such as dispensaries and vendors. The actual competition features 12 to 15 different strains tested by 200 judges competing for the prime position as the reigning "Doesha Cup Champion." Prizes and incentives range upwards to $1500 in cash, concessions and ultimate bragging rights.


Catch the vapors and get a whiff of the green at http://www.DoeshaCup.com.
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Dawn, Formerly of Envogue Joins the Cast of R&B DIVAS

buzzz worthy. . .


Los Angeles, CADawn Robinson, former member of En Vogue and Lucy Pearl joins the Los Angeles cast of R&B Divas. Known for her sultry voice, sexy style, and firey personality Dawn is prepared to open up and speak freely about her amazing success with En Vogue, and the ups and downs of life after leaving a multi-platinum group. The show starts taping this month and is slated for a third quarter debut.


Once a member of one of the hottest groups in the 90’s, she truly made her presence known among the talented quartet and became a fan favorite. Her distinct voice can be heard on many of the groups hits including “Don’t Let Go,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Never Gonna Get It,” “Hold On,” and “Free Your Mind.” The group sold over 28 million records worldwide, garnered multiple platinum albums, several awards, and the honor of being named one of the most successful Girl Groups of all time.


Dawn is positioning herself for an explosive comeback. She is excited about R&B Divas LA, and the talented cast. . Never one to shy away from setting the record straight and laying it on the line, she will talk freely about her experience with the group, but doesn’t intend to dwell on the past. Where her life is taking her is her focus for the show and her incredible journey back to the top of the charts.


Ready to begin a new chapter in life she faces fears that affect people from all walks; am I good enough, can I have it all, and where do I go from here?


“Being a part of En Vogue was an amazing experience. The group achieved a level of success that few music groups ever achieve and for that I am humbled and grateful, but now it’s time to focus on Dawn and where my path will lead me. Being a cast member of R&B Divas LA is going to be an incredible opportunity for me to hang with women I respect and who understand the difficulties associated with re-inventing yourself in this industry,” said Dawn.


Musically, the world is familiar with Dawn of En Vogue and Lucy Pearl, but there is so much more to Dawn Robinson; Woman, Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Author and Designer. She is prepared to take the entertainment industry by storm with all her new projects, including the development of her own girl group “GLAMM.” Dawn is finally in a place in her life where there is clarity and confidence. Her new journey will catapult her to yet another level of success and she invites the world to join her
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Pastor Charles Jenkins Presents Songwriting Competition

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Chicago, IL) - February 13, 2013 - Inspired People Music CEO and Billboard chart topping recording artist Pastor Charles Jenkins is one of today's most popular Gospel artists. A well-known speaker and author, the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, became a household name when his song, "Awesome", soared to the top spot on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs Chart. Sung in choir stands all over the country, the track, from the current CD, The Best of Both Worlds, saw the nation singing the praises of God. The song and the CD netted the artist five 2013 Stellar Awards (Song of the Year, CD of the Year, Choir of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year) in January. Few know that the songwriter received a GRAMMY Award in 2005 for penning "You've Been A Friend" on Israel & New Breed's project, Alive In South Africa. Recently, the prolific songwriter launched the Inspired People Music Songwriting Contest. Jenkins desired to tap undiscovered talent for his forthcoming release.

Pastor Jenkins says about the contest, "This is our way of inspiring songwriters, giving back and creating opportunities for the next generation and beyond. We want someone to write a worship song to inspire the world to sing!" The renowned pastor is giving up-and-coming songwriters a chance to have their songs included on what's certain to be another ground-breaking album.


Below are the Entry Requirements:

  1. All songs must be in MP3 format and under 4 minutes total playing time.
  2. Song must be in the genre/style of Gospel/Christian/Worship.
  3. A complete lyric sheet.
  4. A completed entry form.
  5. Contestant must be at least 18 years of age.
  6. Contestant must be free to enter a publishing contract.


The Grand Prize Winner will have their song placed on the next Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago CD. The winner also receives a publishing deal with Inspired People, LLC and a $1,000 cash advance against royalties; an Apple computer and a gift card from a major retailer. The deadline for entry has been extended to Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 12:00AM CT. Full rules and regulations as well as instructions for submitting songs can be found at www.inspiredpeoplemusic.com.

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Ten-Time GRAMMY® Award Winner Chaka Khan Releases Two Versions of New Single “It’s Not Over” featuring

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Single Available on iTunes

Today, February 14


Chaka Releases The iKhan Project: Commemorative Limited Edition on April 30


Billboard Magazine’s Stars Tribute Issue Featuring Chaka Hits

Newsstands on March 16 to Coincide with her

60th Birthday Celebration



(Los Angeles, CA – February 14, 2013) –Ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner Chaka Khan announces today the release of two versions of her first single, “It’s Not Over,” featuring GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist LeCrae, available on iTunes today, February 14 with all other digital retailers to follow. Produced by Theron “Neffu” Feemster, “It’s Not Over” includes an urban version and the Papercha$er pop dance remix. Both versions of “It’s Not Over” will be included on The iKhan Project: Commemorative Limited Edition, which will be available in stores on April 30, 2013. This CD is the first installment of Chaka’s iKhan Project series.


This year, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of Chaka’s career in music and entertainment. The year-long celebration will include the release of a series of new albums, titled the iKhan Project. The iKhan Project series will include recorded music in eight genres, including R&B, jazz, pop, rock, gospel, country, classical and dance music. Currently, Chaka is in the studio recording her jazz album, which is scheduled for release Summer 2013 on Blue Note Records.


Chaka recently recorded “Keep Walkin’ (Find My Shoes),” an inspirational song for the end credits for the upcoming Lifetime movie premiere of Pastor Brown, airing Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET. “Keep Walkin’ (Find My Shoes)” was produced by Mano Hanes and written by Marvin Winans, Jr. The single will also be released on The iKhan Project: Commemorative Limited Edition and serviced to gospel and urban radio later this month.


As Chaka’s year-long celebration continues, Billboard magazine will produce a Stars Tribute issue, dated March 23, to coincide with the music icon’s 60th birthday. The issue hits newsstands on March 16.


Chaka is a recipient of a BET Honors award along with honorees Halle Berry, Bishop T.D Jakes, Clarence Avant and Lisa Leslie. The BET Honors encore airings are scheduled for Saturday, February 16 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET) and Thursday, February 21, (10:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET).


Currently plans are underway for the Chaka Khan I’m Every Women World Tour, which will feature other top female artists, to be announced in the coming weeks.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Chaka has released her gourmet chocolates, Chakalates, and Khana Sutra candles, now available online at www.chakakhan.com. Made in America, Chaka’s signature products were featured at the GRAMMY® Gift Lounge during GRAMMY Week, in conjunction with the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Ceremony. Chaka gifted the performers and presenters at this year’s award show, including Sting, LL Cool J, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Justin Timberlake, Stanley Clarke, Alabama Shakes, Dr. Drew, Anthony Hamilton, Chick Corea, Chuck D, Dr. John, MC Lyte, Melonie Fiona, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Fun, Mavis Staples, Hugh Masekela, Maroon 5, Mumford & Son and numerous others.


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 GRAMMYS LIVE BLOG WITH MONA AUSTIN

.buzzz worthy. . .

Tonight the 55th Annual Grammy awards may be more about the performers than the music itself than in years past. With social media in full effect, fans know who many of the winners are in advance. Ofcourse there are so many categories most of the awards are announced in the pre-show, which ran online live for the firs time this year. I'm excited for some of the early winners who will go into the evening knowing they won like Miquel, the Roots, Rihanna, Gotye, etc. But I am most excited to see the performanes and for the first time my eyes are glued to what everyone is wearing.  Let me just say, both the men and women are looking amazing.  I don't recall seeing any fashion fails thus far.  Sting, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake have piqued my interest as far as performers are concerendTalyor Swift will open the 55th Annual Grammy Awards tonight to lead of some hot performanes.

More than the winners, the performances are what I'mlooking forward to seeing the most.  I also curious about hos many awards six-time Grammy nominee Frank Ocean will win. He made it to the show,  and is slated to perform, but will he?  After a fight with Chris Brown a few weeks ago, he was concerned t he might not be able to perform as his hand was injured. I'm ready to get this party started!  I'll be blogging throughout the show about fashion, acceptance speeches,the winners, losers, you name it !

John Legend is looking to possibly take home his 10th Grammy tonigh for
Best Rap song collaboration with Ludacris from the "Think Like  Man" movie.  Good luck to him and every other nominee.

8:00 p.m.
Taylor hits he stage wearing a sparkly white top hat, a short suit with a longs train on the jacket as she sang, "We Are Never Getting Back Together."  While on the Red carpet earlier she told Juliam Ransek she was a little nervous and just hoped everythign went well.  Ballerinas twirling fire in the background could be a somewhat nerve-wrecking for someone who is not accustomed to being in a circus environment. 

8:05 p.m.
LL acknowledges why hsoting the show is so important to him, an opportunity he forfeited to pray about the loss of Whitney Houston last year.  He's a class act! He said his dad was a recording artist and it hit him that his dream could comet true.  LL said he won two Grammys, which he  and he gave them to his now deceased grandmother.  "When you get right down to it, a Grammy is a dream come true."

8:10 p.m.
Elton John (piano, black suit,blue tinted sqaure framed glasses) and Ed Sheeran (guitar,long sleeved black Tee and black jeans) start their performance of "A Team."

8:19 p.m.

J Lo and Pit Bull present the award for Best Solo Performance.  The Grammy goes to Adele fogr "Set Fire to the Rain."  In her acceptance she Adele congratulated the other women in the category for working so hard and making it look so easy."

J Lo joked that she had gotten the memo in reference to a new conservative dress code that CBS now requires.  the dress she wore to the show several years ago with the suer pluging neckline would be banned under the new rules; however, J Lo showed as much skin as possible wearing a black off the should floor-length dress with a side split that went up to her hip. She wore it well!

Adele on the other hand, the bright red and black lace combo and matching shoes is a questionable choice.


8:22 p.m.

Fun. is on stage. singing "Carry On." They made it rain.  At the crus of the song, water came streamign down form teh sky. Creative, but I'm not clear how that relates to the song or the backdrop. Is that supposed to be a city?

8:32 p.m.

Bonnie Rait and John Mayer introduce the country performance
of Miranda Lambert and D., a duet. They did two songs.  The show is moving a little slow for me.

8:38 p.m.

The tribute to Wiz Halifa and Miquel are on the stage  . . .actually, Miquel is on one the aisle while Wiz is on another and they make their way to the stage together.  "Adore" with the addition of rap is still as sexy as Miquel singing it solo.  Nice collabo.  The fellas are both wearing balck and white, but Miquel's stipes and Wiz's zig-zg pattern clash. They finish too quicly then intor the nomines for Best Country Performance, which Carrie Underwood wins for "Blown Away." Carrie looks like a million bucks wearing a strapless, lace black dress with a mermaid tail.  She ended her speech thanking her "amazing" husband and saying "Glory to God."

8:49 p.m.
 Presentitng the Grammy for song of the Year are couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.  Fun. wins for "We Are Young." they hae bee together for 12 years and ans were not making money for a long timeWe are not very young,

8:53 p.m.
Johhny Depp introduces Mumford and Sons.  The are strumming ways on t 3 differnet tyoes of guitars singing "I Will Wait for You."

9:03p.m.
Ellen and Beyonce introduce Justin Jimberlake and Jigga.    Thanks for turning the corner on an otherwise bland show Justin Timberlake.  I like the set, the dancers, their moves, the emergence of Jigga from the audience (and of course that Mrs. Carter introduced her hubby). The throw back look and Ed Sullivan look and feel of the set and attire fit well with his music which included "Suit and Tie" and "All I Want Is You." this performacne took meback to the "Cry Me A River" days.  Toberlake's falsetto is as smooth as ever.  This is the highlight of the show thus far!!!  This is how a comeback pereformacne shoudl be done.

9:10 p.m. Kelly Roland and Nas present for Best Urban Contemporary Album
Frank Ocean wins! 

The dress is tres risque Ms. Roland.

9:21 p.m.

"Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys wins for Best Rock Album.

9: 23 p.m.
Maroon 5, and Alicia keys collaboration.  They killed it! Alicia is pussing the dress code envelope.

9:29 p.m.  A very blond Kelly Clarkson wins  Best Pop "Miguel I don't know who you are, but we need to sing together."  Not sure if that was a real endorsement.  "I did not think I was gonna win!"

9:36 p.m.
Rihanna and Ricky Echo duet.  She looked great in a simple slip like black dress.  The

9:41 p.m.
Carlie Ray and Neyo present best collabo award to Frank Ocean, The Dream, Jay Z, Kanye and Raw Nation

9:49 p.m.
The Black Keys join Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band unite for an upbeat version of "I got Love to Keep Me Waiting."  The style did not reflet the Big Easy feel.

9:54 p.m.
Patti Page and Carole King tribute by Kelly Clarkson.

9:58 p.m.

The Zack Brown Band wins for a country category.  (I will verify which one and post later.)  the night is getting loooong!

10:05 p.m.
Bruno Mars and Sting make it irie in a tribute to Bob Marley. The horn section is swaying an rocking smoothly to "Walking on the Moon." The simple choreography looks great. Then Rihanna,Ziggy Marley and Danielle Markey come on the stage and take up the heat a notch with "Could you Be Love."

10:18 p.m..

Best New Arist nominess, The lumineers sing "I Belong to You." Then Jack Blakc performs, "I Want Love To. . ."

10:26 p.m.
Kay Perry announces winner of Best New Artist of the Year.  Fun. wins!

10:34 p.m.
Hunter Hayes sings a few bars of "I Wanna Make You Feel Wanted" and hen intorduces Carrie Underwood. As she sings, the ball gown she is wearing changes graphically. This may be he first time this type of technolgy has been used in performances.

10:39 p.m.

Seven-time Grammy winner Prince evere-mysterious, walks on to the stage with a cane (as an accessory) in a black hooded suite and dark shades to present the award fot "Somebody That I Used to Know." Prince said he loves ths and Gotye and Kimbra.

10:50 p.m.
Chick Corea, Stanley Clark and Kenny (?) render a tribute performance of  "Take 5" to the late Dave Brubeck.

10:53 p.m.
 In memoriam tribute by Elton John, Mavis Staples, : Sugerfoot, Dick Clark, Herb Reed, Andy Griffith, Marvin Hamlisch, Patty Andrews, Jenni Rivera,  Ravi Shakar, Adam Yauch, Chris Lighty were among the deceased members of the music community.  The tribute performacen commeoratingth eir memory was dedicated to the slain chilkdren of Sandyhook.

11:11 p.m.
Frank Ocean performance"Forest Gump."  With bandages on his hands he stood behind a Rhodes and played. He wore a yellow suit and  The effect made it appear that he was running.  it's been a good night for Oean,  but his performance is boring.

11:17 p.m.
Mumford and Sons walk up to accept the award for Album of the Year.

11:28 p.m.
LL, Travs Barker and Chuck D close out the show with a bang.  They are shutting it down! 
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