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Friday, September 20, 2013

Carole King named 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year

buzzz worthy. . .

The Grammys are following in the footsteps of the White House with the selection of Carole King as the 2014 MusiCare Person of the Year. The music organization will extend one of its highest honors to the four-time Grammy winner at the gala benefit on January 24 in Los Angeles.  In May of 2013 the White House recognized King's contribution to music with a performance given in her honor, “Carole King: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize In Performance at the White House.” King performed and was feted by artists such as Patti Austin and Arturo Sandoval.

Another slew of world class entertainers will salute the "Natural Woman" writer at the Grammy event.  Dixie Chicks, Gaga, and Bette Midler and Steven Tyler are a few names on ticket.  The annual benefit event will support the The MusiCares Foundation® and its Health And Human Services Programs For Music People

Here's more from the official announcement:

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Sept. 19, 2013) — Carole King will be honored as the 2014 MusiCares® Person of the Year on Friday, Jan. 242014, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation® and The Recording Academy®, and Bill Silva, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. Proceeds from the24th annual benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY® Week two nights prior to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® — will provide essential support for MusiCares (www.musicares.org), which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

Multi-GRAMMY-winning artists the Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette MidlerJason Mraz, James Taylor, and Steven Tyler will perform in her honor. Music industry veterans Lou AdlerMartin Bandier, and Rob Light along with artist James Taylor are tribute chairs. Composer and arranger Robbie Kondor will be the evening'smusical director. Many more performers will be announced in the coming months.

King is being honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of her extraordinary creative accomplishments as well as her significant charitable work, which has included an impressive range of philanthropic activities over the years. In addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King is actively involved with environmental organizations in support of forest ecosystem protection as well as a range of political causes. 

"We are honored to celebrate Carole King as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year," said Portnow. "Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have truly changed the landscape of pop music, and her philanthropy speaks volumes about her generosity and personal passions. We are also grateful to the extraordinary artists who have announced their desire to be a part of what will undoubtedly be a magical and inspiring evening."

"Carole's artistic output is remarkable in its depth, her influence and charitable legacy are equally impressive, and her approach to art and life is enthusiastic and joyous," said Silva. "It is going to be an exceptional MusiCares Person of the Year tribute, and we also want to express our gratitude to our tribute chairs and musical director whose participation will ensure the success of our annual benefit."

The 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a star-studded tribute concert. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

King wrote her first No. 1 hit at the tender age of 17, penning "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" for the Shirelles with then-husband Gerry Goffin. The dozens of chart hits Goffin and King wrote during this period have become part of music legend, including "Take Good Care Of My Baby" and "Run To Him" (No. 1 and No. 2 hits respectively for Bobby Vee in 1961), "Crying In The Rain" (The Everly Brothers, No. 6 in 1962), "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva, No. 1 in 1962), "Up on the Roof" (The Drifters, No. 5 in 1963), "Chains" (The Cookies, No. 17 in 1962; the Beatles in 1963), "One Fine Day" (The Chiffons, No. 5 in 1963), "Hey Girl" (Freddy Scott, No. 10 in 1963; also recorded by Bobby Vee and The Righteous Brothers), "I'm Into Something Good" (Herman's Hermits, No. 13 in 1964), "Just Once in My Life" (written with Phil Spector for The Righteous Brothers, No. 9 in 1965), and "Don't Bring Me Down" (The Animals, No. 12 in 1966). 

In 1960 King made her solo debut with a song called "Baby Sittin," and two years later, her demo of "It Might As Well Rain Until September" made the Top 25 in the United States, while climbing all the way to No. 3 on the British chart. In 1967, Goffin and King's "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)" was immortalized by Aretha Franklin. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

King’s 1971 solo album Tapestry took her to the pinnacle. While King was in the studio recording Tapestry, Taylor recorded King's "You've Got A Friend," taking the song all the way to No. 1. In a first for a female writer/artist, Tapestry spawned four GRAMMY Awards —
 Record, Song and Album Of The year as well as Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female honors for King. With more than 25 million units sold worldwide, Tapestry remained the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter century, and King went on to amass three other platinum and eight gold albums. Tapestry was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 1987 King was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and, a year later, Goffin and King were awarded the National Academy of Songwriters' Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990 the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2002, King was honored with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Two years later, Goffin and King received the Trustees Award from The Recording Academy. In 2013 King was honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

This universally renowned and beloved figure has rarely been more active than during the last five years. King's late-career whirlwind began in November 2007, when she and longtime friend and sometime musical partner James Taylor returned to the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Ca., for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue's 50th anniversary. Those historic performances were documented in the RIAA gold-certified Live At The Troubadour. This memorable event was the inspiration for the pair's 60-concert Troubadour Reunion world tour in 2010, which included three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and another trio of sellouts at Madison Square Garden. The Troubadour shows also inspired the Morgan Neville-directed feature-length documentary Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter, which made its TV premiere in March 2011 on PBS' American Masters, shortly after being released on DVD.
The crowning glory of King's last half decade was the 2012 release of her memoir, A Natural Woman. In the pages of A Natural Woman, which King wrote completely on her own, she shares her incredible story from her beginnings in Brooklyn to her groundbreaking achievements as a songwriter, as well as her first major performances with Taylor and her many years of environmental and political activism. Upon publication, King's memoir instantly cracked the top 10 on the New York Times’ best-sellers list. In May 2013, King became the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, presented by the Library of Congress, and was also honored by remarks from President Obama at an all-star White House gala. A highly anticipated new Broadway musical based on King’s life, "Beautiful – the Carole King Musical," will begin preview performances on November 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, with an official opening night set for January 12, 2014.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hip Hop DJ finally admits he is gay, leaves radio

buzzz worthy. . .

Saying, "This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life," popular New York DJ, Mr. Cee has finally opened up about his sexuality.  After dodging gay rumors  for years, the HOT 97 radio personality admitted he is bi-sexual in a PSA  for the AHF following the release of incriminating audio from Internet personality Bimbo Winehouse, a gay cross 
dresser who alleged the DJ paid him $100 for sex.   (Bimbo Winehouse claims he did not perform a sex act and is not a prostitute.)  The cell phone recorded audio was one  of several attempts by different people to expose Cee's alleged sexual involvement with men.  

Mr. Cee, who is credited with breaking the career of the late Notorius B.I.G.,  was in the hot seat in May of 2013.  He took a self-imposed leave amid gay allegations the stemmed from an arrest for patronizing an undercover cop posing as a prostitute.  Cee said the cop was female, but  he was arrested three times in the past for soliciting male prostitutes of transvestites.  It was hard to believe him after that.

Cleo Manago,  founder and CEO of the Black Men's Xchange explores the signifigance of the exposure.
Do you 'Cee' what I see?:  
An Ahistorical Collision Between 
Hip-Hop,"Manhood," Silence and Sexuality 
  By Cleo Manago, CEO and founder of the Black Men's Xchange (BMX)  

By now you may have heard about the recent scandal surrounding Mister Cee, a well-known hip-hop DJ in New York City. In case you don't know about the controvery, Mister Cee was "caught" on tape soliciting a cross-dressing male posing as a prostitute.  Upon Mister Cee's recognition that the conversation was made public, he quickly resigned from his prized DJ post. Soon after, he rescinded his resignation, and tearfully confessed his essentially homosexual desires.  
The entire incident causes me to ask, "Are we preventing or promoting the emergence of other "DJ Mister Cees" in society to "come in" to self-acceptance? And who is more detrimental? A hip hop homosexual on the down low or one that is out and openly vicious? And how does any of this improve issues concerning sexuality within our community?"
In short, as it stands, Mister Cee is a Black male who while attempting to discreetly fulfill his desires, was strategically ambushed and set-up by a self-appointed, backbiting homosexual. Was anybody victimized during this incident?  No.  DJ Mister Cee was minding his own business along with a consenting adult.  Yet, there are social constructs and paradigms that transform what DJ Mister Cee likely assumed was a private matter, into prey for the consumption of ironically voracious reputation predators.  
That this is a scandal at all, one created by a gay-identifying Black male, is a consequence of intra-community disdain and misdirected rage - driven by a [White gay] blueprint on how homosexuals/bisexuals should act and identify. Same-gender-loving (SGL) or bisexual Black males who do not buy into this identity paradigm and/or don an "I identify as gay" T-shirt (so to speak), can be subject to brutal treatment; especially by homosexual Black males who do take on "gay identity culture" as their own.  
Cleo Manago,  founder and CEO of the Black Men's Xchang

A now widely viewed YouTube video on Bimbo Winehouse TV provides a case-in-point.  The video displays a Black male, clearly gay identified, who seems to relish in his disdain and ridicule of DJ Mister Cee.  Seemingly, with gleeful satisfaction, Bimbo Winehouse sways and sings while he taunts with words that include "Shout out to all you 'down-low' men out there. Shout out to all you 'down-low' celebrities. You hiding in that closet of who you truly are. Honey! You running from who you are.  You gay."  
A reasonable question posed to Bimbo Winehouse might be, "And how will your antics and ridicule resolve the so-called "down-low" issue?" Yet, problem-solving rarely appears atop of the agenda.  Instead, the mentality tends to be:Either you are with us as an ally or against us as an enemy.
Bimbo Winehouse demonstrates a cut-throat viciousness and peer-insensitivity rampant in Black gay identified sub-cultures. It is driven by oppression and pain resulting from a community having yet to find its way in culturally resonant healing or historically informed ways. These days, with homosexuality being so prominently displayed, one might think that homosexuality has lost its controversy.  
Yet, this is not necessarily the case within the Black, desperate-to-be-seen as "masculine" and "hard" dominated sub-cultures like Hip Hop.  While the White gay community tends to set the pace for perceptions of what homosexuality is and is not, Black culture, history, experience and context has not. The now 500-year story and reality behind Black male identity anxiety around self-concept, culture, and homosexual expression - remains clandestine.  
The lack of understanding and engagement of this experience and journey leads to a perpetual state of confusion and disorientation about and among SGL Black males.  This institutionalized invisibility also contributes to this population's unique and perpetual inability to manage and resolve its still disproportionate HIV incidence problem.
My advice to same-gender-loving (SGL), bisexual and experimenting Black males is to focus on healing and compassion for each other and organizing and building a more functional and constructive community.  Concretely, there is very little space provided in America, even in Black communities, which compels Black males in particular, including DJ Mister Cee, to feel safe presenting all that they personally are to society.  
My advice to society at-large, especially the Black community, is to affirm creation of breathing room for the diversity that has always existed among humanity. This must include room for the spectrum of gender expression that has always been with us, that is often contorted and abusively contained within desperately patriarchal social mind prisons.  
We can do better than we have; and we must if we are ever to acquire a just and constructively free society that, among other things, discontinues the creation of DJ Mister Cee-like scandals. The real scandal is not Mister Cee's public outing, but the overall public perception of the diversity around Black male sexuality issues. Do you 'Cee' what I see? I'm hoping that one day we will see more compassion, understanding and decency from all parties involved.

Cleo Manago is founder and CEO of the Black Men's Xchange (BMX) (http://www.bmxnational.org/), the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior among diverse males of African-descent. 

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buzzz worthy. . .


One-Hour CBS Entertainment Special Will Announce Nominations for the
56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Live from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, 10 p.m. ET/PT

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2013) — "The GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night®" is set to take place at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and will air live on theCBS Television Network on Friday, Dec. 6, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, setting the stage for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The one-hour special will officially kick off GRAMMY season by revealing nominations in several categories while featuring performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees. For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy®'s social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

This concert special marks the sixth time nominations for the annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced live on primetime television. Last year's airing of the nominations special helped lead to stellar ratings for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which garnered 28.37 million viewers — the second-largest audience for the awards broadcast since 1993. The telecast also nearly doubled its social media conversation from the previous year, generating 24.8 million comments (based on research compiled by Bluefin, PeopleBrowsr and Mass Relevance).

Details regarding ticket sales, presenters and performers for "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" will be announced in the coming weeks.

The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" and culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer.
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VIDEO: New music from Eddie Murphy

buzzz worthy. . .
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's "Red Light" a new song from Eddie Murphy.  Murphy has been  in a semi-retired state for a while, but his latest endeavor, releasing a single, came from out of nowhere.

Back when he dabbled with singing in the late eighties/early nineties, the comedic actor did R&B that fit the period.  Murphy goes Irie on "Red Light,"  the latest release from his upcoming album, "9," which should be out in early 2014. He's strumming a guitar and feigning an accent from some island.  Eddie Murphy can sing.  Maybe not as well as he can act or crack jokes, but he can sing enough to be heard on radio airwaves.  Snoop Lion has a hook in the reggae-inspired song and then closes out the tune with the talk styled rapping. Check it out!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

MC Lyte to receive BET Hip Hop Award for Lifetime Achievement

buzzz worthy. . .
Widely recognized as one of hip hop’s greatest female lyricists of all time, MC Lyte will be honored for her trailblazing contributions to the hip hop genre and community with the iconic “I AM HIP HOP” Award presented by Sprite at this year’s “BET HIP HOP AWARDS.”  To be hosted by "Uncle Snoop" and filming at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on Saturday, September 28, 2013 the special telecast premieres Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 8:00 P.M.*
MC Lyte first appeared on the scene in 1988 when she became the first solo female rapper to release a full album, “Lyte As a Rock.”  A leader in many areas, Lyte received a gold single and a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance for the classic anthem “Ruffneck.” 
With eight studio and four compilation albums, plus several guest appearances and soundtrack entries, Lyte continues to add to her collection of music offerings and entrepreneurial endeavors with her most recent release, “Cravin’,” a hot new jam with an old school appeal, a fresh hook and Lyte’s signature lyrical style (http://www.mclyte.info).
A multi-faceted entertainer, MC Lyte is a noted actress, voice-over artist, radio show co-host, DJ, inspirational speaker, author and entrepreneur.  Her signature style and recognizable voice can be seen and heard in dozens of films, TV shows, commercials, nationally syndicated radio airwaves and even video games.  She’s also appeared in off-Broadway theater and was the first African American female to serve as president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy.
The philanthropist is the founder of Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, which recently commenced its search, for the second year in a row, to find the “MC Lyte $100,000 First Wave Scholarship” recipient, who will earn a full scholarship to obtain a 4-year college degree at one of the nation’s top universities, undergirded in hip hop culture (http://www.hiphopsisters.org).  Additionally, Lyte created Hip Hop Sisters Network, a platform for female artists to showcase their talents in an environment of encouragement and respect.
MC Lyte will join the elite club of “I AM HIP HOP” Award recipients, which includes Grandmaster Flash (2006); KRS-One (2007); Russell Simmons (2008); Ice Cube (2009); Salt N’ Pepa (2010); LL Cool J (2011) and Rakim (2012), and she is planning a series of events over the course of the weekend in honor of this great achievement (http://www.mclyte.com).
Stephen G. Hill, BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials, Lynne Harris Taylor, BET’s Vice President of Specials, will serve as Executive Producers for the BET Hip Hop Awards, along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.
“BET HIP HOP AWARDS 2013” will also air on Friday, October 18th on BET’s international network in the UK and Africa, reaching more than 17 million households in 50+ countries.

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms:
• On Twitter by using hashtag: #HipHopAwards; follow us @HipHopAwards and @BET
• On Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/HipHopAwards
*All times ET.
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buzzz worthy. . .

The summit’s program includes the “Going Up Elevator Pitch Contest” and a unique Lean Six Sigma approach to personal branding and business development

(WASHINGTON, DC) September 15, 2013 -   Jireh Communications Group (www.jirehcreative.com) will host the 2-day "Sisterhood Confidential" professional women's summit on October 3-4 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort in Washington, DC.   The theme of the summit is "Brains, Beauty, Business and Balance."  This summit was designed to promote the growth of women in the workplace by offering relevant instruction on how to enhance leadership skills and remain current with the tools that are necessary to maintain a competitive edge in an ever-changing business climate. Focusing on work and life balance, the event will be hosted by its creator Mona Austin, owner of Jireh Communications Group.
For women who are looking to launch or grow businesses, the “Going Up Elevator Pitch Contest” will be held on day 2 of  “Sisterhood Confidential.”  Entrants will present their sixty second business pitch before a panel of judges for a chance to win a year’s worth of marketing services and resources valued at over $10,000 from Jireh Communications and the Women’s Business Center. Participation in the pitch contest also secures a seat at the summit free of charge.  Participation guidelines and a downloadable entry form are available at http://jirehcreative.com/sc-2013.html. The entry deadline is October 1. (CLICK HERE to view contest video). 

The summit will kick off with the “Soiree Femme,” a free networking mixer.  Networking gatherings are for business, not bonding, but at this opening night event attendees can expect to do both.  The  "Soiree Femme" will feature beauty and wellness services, a Stilletto Challenge, photography, vendors, lite fare, etc. Attendees are encouraged to bring their besties and business cards.  This portion of the event is free with a confirmed online RSVP at http://www.eventbee.com/v/sisterhoodconfidentialdc

On the following day, the summit offers a slate of speakers representing a cross section of executive women leaders from Hollywood to Corporate America and small businesses who will share growth strategies while imparting expertise in various subject areas.  The day begins over breakfast with “Hashbrowns and Hashtags,” a session on using social media to be more influential, which will be conducted by Gina Watkins, Regional Director of Constant Contact.  

Sure to be a highlight of the event, Austin will conclude sessions with a personal branding talk that incorporates Six Sigma principles into achieving improvements in work and life.

Additional speakers from media, entertainment and small business sectors are:
·         Success strategies, Tia Smith, T.V. One (“Finding Our Missing,” “The Rickey Smiley Show)
·         Funding, Pauline Lietch, Northern Virginia Women in  Business Center
·         Media Attraction, Gwendolyn Quinn, GQ Public Relations (Publicist to Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan) and others.

The final component of the summit is a motivational and inspiring women’s empowerment luncheon to be held on October 5 at 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Individual tickets to the luncheon are $60.

Registration is now open for the event.   Register online at http://www.eventbee.com/v/sisterhoodconfidentialdc. Early bird rate deadline is September 18.  Thereafter, advance registration at a one day or general summit rate will continue to be available online.

Sponsors, vendors and groups, please call Jireh Communications Group at (703) 986-3464 to to inquire about participation or by email at info@jirehcreative.com. Vendors offering products that appeal to the lifestyle of busy women and moms, wellness, technology and self-care are preferred.

On Facebook: Extreme Makeover for the Woman's Soul
On Twitter: 4True

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First Indian American crowned Miss America

buzzz worthy. . .
One New Yorker passed the Miss America crown to another as the first Indian American, Nina Davuluri became Miss America 2014 in Atlantic City, NJ on September 15, 2013.  Mallory Hagan won Miss America in 2013 (R). Miss California Crystal Lee (L) looks on in excitement.  Racist automatically rushed online and hid behind Twitter making slurs about her ethnicity and being connected to terrorism and convenience stores.   Davuluri, whose father is a doctor ignored the ignorance: “I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

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