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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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Saturday, September 20, 2014


             AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON  airs on

Friday, September 26, 2014, 8-9 p.m. ET

– Moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR’s Gwen Ifill, town hall meeting will explore the complex issues surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri –
ARLINGTON, Va. -- PBS has announced that Gwen Ifill, PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor, and moderator and managing editor of WASHINGTON WEEK, will moderate AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON, a town hall meeting that will explore the many issues that have been brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. The program, produced by WGBH Boston in partnership with the Nine Network/KETC in St. Louis and WETA in Washington DC, will air Friday, September 26, 2014, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

While the facts of the case are still in dispute, for many the story of Ferguson has become a symbol of the larger social divides in America, exposing a persistent disconnect along lines of race, class and identity. Through conversations and special reports, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will explore these complex questions raised by the events in Ferguson.

AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will be taped before an audience on Sunday, September 21, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Intended for audiences in communities across the country, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will include national leaders in the areas of law enforcement, race and civil rights, as well as government officials, faith leaders and youth.

“The upheaval in Ferguson stirred up an all too familiar stew of debate over race, justice and citizenship," Ifill said. "It’s a discussion fueled by community outrage and resentment on all sides, but it is one that shouldn’t end. Our town hall conversation will shed light rather than heat on the topic, as we seek out the voices interested in digging deeper.”

“In light of the ongoing events in Ferguson, we wanted to help convene a conversation to delve deeper into these complex cultural questions,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “By bringing together PBS’ trusted brand of news and public affairs analysis with the local expertise of our St. Louis PBS member station KETC, we will deliver a compelling and informative program that helps move these important conversations forward.”

“This can be a town hall where a civil dialogue happens not only in the auditorium and over the air, but also through social media,” said Marie Nelson, WGBH executive producer for the program. “It’s a chance for a wide range of voices and ideas to be heard in a truly national discourse.”

As a multi-platform initiative, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will also deliver content and conversation through a robust digital presence and social media discussion. To continue the dialogue after the town hall, visit pbs.org/afterferguson and follow #AfterFerguson.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lecrae's 'Anomaly' debuts #1 on Billboard, going where no gospel album has gone before

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin

Reach Records artist Lecrae has successfully gone where no other Gospel artist has ever gone before.

Every Pop and Gospel star with a current hit is taking a back seat to  the Christian rapper who's album "Anomaly" is living up to its name as the #1 song on Billboard's mainstream and gospel charts.

This is the first time a gospel album of any genre has debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Maroon 5 came in at #2.

Having sold over 88,000 copies during the week of its debut, Lecrae is taking the music world by storm.  These numbers eclipse the 72,000 units his Grammy winning album "Gravity" (released in 2012) garnered when it was released in 2012. Various singles from "Anomaly"  also occupy  slots 1, 3, 4, and 9,  on the top Hot Gospel Songs chart.

Shortly after the release of "Anomaly" Lecrae announced plans to release a book in a Rapzilla interview. The book, said the self-proclaimed "culture changer,"  will reveal the "method to his madness."

Toward the end of the interview, Lecrae takes the opportunity to teach the Gospel, offering his understanding  in reference to the scripture that says "gates of hell will not prevail."  Despite the presence of obstacles (i.e., gates) in the world he believes  Christians should storm through barriers and establish God's  kingdom in every area. "We're not supposed to build your own gates. . .We're supposed to crash their gates and say 'The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.' That's how I approach music and Hip Hop.  Those gates are meant to be crashed. . .I feel that I was created to go kick down gates and that's what God has allowed me to do."

Catch Lecrae on the Anamoly Tour in a city near you.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


buzzz worthy. . .

Photo credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns

Plus, Updates with Carmen Electra, Macy Gray, Maurice Benard, Jackie Evancho,
Paul Stanley, Peter Ostrum, Janine Turner and Jenna Von Oy
Chicago, IL- The popular series "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" returns with all-new episodes, featuring some of the biggest newsmakers and most memorable "Oprah" show guests of all time, premiering Sunday, October 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Throughout the month of October, Oprah talks one-on-one with actress/singer Raven-Symoné, singer Charice, who found fame via YouTube and became a guest-star on "Glee," and actress Vivica A. Fox.  Other celebrity updates include Carmen Electra ("Baywatch"); singers Macy Gray and Jackie Evancho; "General Hospital" stars Maurice Benard, Finola Hughes and GH star and 70s teen idol, Jimmy McNichol; child star Peter Ostrum who left show business after his one starring role as Charlie Bucket in "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory"; rock legend Paul Stanley of KISS; "Blossom's" Jenna Von Oy; Janine Turner ("Northern Exposure"), and Shadoe Stevens ("American Top 40").  In addition, each episode features updates with some of the most compelling guests from the "Oprah" show's 25 years on the air.

Plus, more than two decades after its debut, Oprah reunites the cast of the groundbreaking, hit television show "A Different World."  The cast reunion includes stars Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Darryl M. Bell, Dawnn Lewis, Cree Summer, Sinbad, and Debbie Allen, sharing how they addressed important life issues in each episode and their favorite memories of six seasons together.

New episodes in October include:

Sunday, October 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah sits down with Raven-Symoné for a candid conversation about her infamous Tweet in support of gay marriage.  The "That's So Raven" star, now all grown-up, talks candidly about her own sexuality and what it was like being in the public eye for so long as a child actress, beginning with "The Cosby Show."  Find out what she is doing now, plus updates with singer Jackie Evancho, who opens up about the shocking bullying she endured at the hands of schoolmates following her appearances on "America's Got Talent"; "General Hospital" star Maurice Benard on his intense battle with bipolar disorder, and Jenna Von Oy from "Blossom."

Sunday, October 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah sits down for a candid conversation with 1990s Hollywood "It Girl," actress Vivica A. Fox; plus, updates with actors Janine Turner ("Northern Exposure"), 7Os teen idol and "General Hospital" star Jimmy McNichol, and Peter Ostrum, whose only film role was Charlie Bucket in "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory." More with "Oprah" show guests from our Hall of Fame and dramatic "Shlumpadinkas" makeovers.

Sunday, October 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah welcomes Charice, the Filipina singer who rose to fame via YouTube who Oprah has called "the most talented girl in the world," for a one-on-one interview with a surprising revelation.  More celebrity updates include Carmen Electra, radio and TV personality Shadoe Stevens and singer Macy Gray; plus, Anastasia Soare, the Beverly Hills-based Eyebrow Queen, and Tenika Wilson, the transsexual who was in the car with Teddy Pendergrass during the tragic accident in 1982 that left the singer paralyzed from the chest down.

Sunday, October 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah reunites the cast of "A Different World" for a long-anticipated, memorable, and fun-filled reunion; plus, updates with "General Hospital's" Finola Hughes and rock legend Paul Stanley of KISS; Brazilian transgender modeling sensation Lea T., and Rachel, the Australian "Oprah" show guest whose inspiring video love letter brought viewers throughout the world to tears.
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LIVE POST HUMOUS: Whitney has a new album coming out this November

buzzz worthy. . .

Where many artist are at their peak with the aid of studio equipment, Whitey Houston was at her best live.  Surprisingly the late singer never recorded a live album.  But not to worry. With the help of technology Clive Davis, the music mogul who discovered Whitney has announced the Nov. 11 release of the late Pop diva's first live recording."Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances" will be out Nov. 11 in CD and DVD  form.

Meanwhile, here are  a few reminders of why Whitney will always be remembered as "The Voice."

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THROWBACK: Shirley Murdock cooks up spiritual nourishment on new CD, "Soulfood"

buzzz worthy. . .
 In honor of September being Gospel Music Heritage Month, heres a throw back to Shirley Murdock, one of many artists that enjoy singing gospel ad R&B music.

By Mona Austin

      Shirley Murdock is cooking up nourishment for the heart and soul 
with her sophomore gospel recording, Soul Food, a multi-format CD. 

      Upon her buoyant return, the acclaimed singer redresses a subject 
that is closely associated with her name: relationship with oneself and 

      The first serving from her upcoming sophomore album is "I LoveMe 
Better than That," a self-esteem boosting groove seasoned deliciously 
with positive attitude and a guttural garnish of ad libs at the end that 
make you want a second helping.

      Her second album is intended to inspire all Shirley Murdock fans 
to look to the main man in her life (God) to fortify their relationships 
and live balanced lives. "I sing at conferences and prisons. I wanted 
the CD to reflect total ministry because we're body, soul and spirit. A 
lot of times, in the body of Christ, we aren't balanced. We know how to 
do church but do we know how to be a wife or a husband and develop 

      As she and her husband, Dale Anthony DeGroat (an associate 
minister at 2nd Baptist Church in Springfield, OH) began to write and 
produce Soul Food themselves, they were looking for songs that talked 
about consequences and solutions to consequences. 
     The Toledo, Ohio born singer describes the first singles that 
embodies the vision: ". . .'I Love Me Better Than That' -- dealing with 
the fact that God made you on purpose with purpose. But there are some 
things that are blocking you that may be separating you from being all 
that you ought to be But you got to look into the mirror of your own 
life. Your battle might be different from my battle, but whatsoever it 
is, God's love is better than that, so take back whatever was stolen 
because the enemy cometh to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus said I 
cometh that you might have life more abundantly."

 Although she still has droves of fans Murdock has waded through 
the waters of misunderstanding from people who still associate her with 
her R&B past.

      Over twenty years ago Murdock foretold the coming of Internet 
dating singing "Computer Love" in tandem with her mentor, the late Roger 
Troutman. Debuting as a soloist in 1986 with her self-titled release, 
the sultry voice of the former Zapp member wrapped around the lyrics of 
several relationship ballads such as the classic urban adagio about an 
adulterous affair, "As We Lay" and purred "Husband," which deals with a 
woman who resists the desire to cheat with a married man. Her 
full-bodied churchy voice quickly gave rise to a successful R&B career. 
Then after years of unexplained hibernation she re-emerged with her 
signature buttery riffs and runs as a featured artist on T.D. Jakes' 
Sacred Love Songs singing the hit love songs for married couples, "You 
Are My Ministry," and the "The Lady, Her Lover, Her Lord." Her widely 
embraced first gospel album "Home" would soon follow. 

       "A lot of people want to hold me hostage because of `As We Lay' 
but they fail to understand that the song never glorified infidelity," 
she protests. "It dealt with a real life situation. The fact that it was 
infidelity got your attention but the meat of the song was about 
consequences and hind sight being 20/20. Baby, you got to count up the 
cost because you may not be able to afford that thing."

      As Murdock grew up dreaming of becoming a professional gospel 
singer, secular music was never in her plans. As the story goes, her 
cousin took a recording of Shirley singing gospel to Troutman who did 
not have any ties to the gospel industry. Being amazed by Murdock's 
voice, Roger offered her a deal that she initially refused. "I said, 
'Lord is this you?' . . . I wasn't going to leave church and just be out 
there in the world doing drugs and drinking." She held on to her roots 
transporting listeners to the front pew no matter what she sang about. 
Attempting to satisfy her tendency toward gospel she sang a set of 
gospel songs in her concerts, but needed more: "My life would not be 
full if I did not have an opportunity to sing gospel." 

      Her break into the gospel industry came through Bishop T.D. Jakes 
with total support from Troutman. "I was signed to Warner Brothers to do 
another R&B album when Bishop Jakes came into my life and offered to 
have me sing on some of his projects. I went to Roger Troutman and told 
him what I wanted to do. The first thing he did was release me from my 
production deal with him because he knew this meant a lot to me and he 
respected that. The second thing he did was that he got Warner Brothers 
to release me."

      Now she is well on her way to ministering encouragement to those 
who love her as the voice behind "As We Lay" or the woman who sang on 
Bishop T.D. Jakes' Sacred Love Songs.

      To sum up the flavor of Soul Food she says, "It's all that good 
stuff you need to build up your inner man to get through this thing 
called life. We did songs of encouragement, praise and worship because 
His presence is all we need. We [sic] just giving you good 
medicine--Something to hold on to!"
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Snoop, Common, Birdman and Bobby Smurda among BET Hip Hop Awards performers; Doug E. Fresh to be honored

buzzz worthy. . .

NEW YORK, NY - September 16, 2014 – For eight years, the BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” has remained the most prominent hip hop culture showcase on television.  This year will be no different as Uncle Snoop joins Common, Birdman, DJ Premier, DJ Mustard, Rich Homie Quan, Bobby Shmurda, Young Thug, Vince Staples, Jay Electronica, Migos, YG and Rae Sremmurd as confirmed performers for this “Hip Hop Awards.”  BET’s “Real Husband of Hollywood” and Grammy award winning rapper, Nelly and the “first lady” of G.O.O.D Music, Teyana Taylor are confirmed to be presenters.

The “I Am Hip Hop Icon” Award, recognizing legends in hip hop music, returns to honor renowned MC, Doug E. Fresh. As a distinguished beat boxer and rapper, he has redefined hip hop time and time again with notable achievements and all-time classic hits such as “La Di Da Di” and “The Show.”
Doug E. Fresh has served as a forerunner for hip hop culture for a whopping 29 years.  He proved to be a powerful force by 1985, with his dope rhymes, clever lyricism and extraordinary beat boxing skills. Since then, Doug E. Fresh has respectfully been known as “The Human Beat Box” and “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.” Throughout his career, he has pushed boundaries and undoubtedly earned the well-deserving title of a hip hop legend.
Previous “I Am Hip Hop Icon” Award honorees include MC Lyte (2013), Rakim (2012), LL Cool J (2011), Salt-N-Pepa (2010), Ice Cube (2009), Russell Simmons (2008), KRS-One (2007) and Grandmaster Flash (2006).
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.
Taping of the awards show will take place at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, September 20, 2014 and will premiere on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The “Real Husbands of Hollywood S2: Reunion Special” will follow directly after, at 10:00 p.m. ET.
BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” 2014 will also premiere on Friday, October 17, 2014 on BET’s international network in the UK and Africa, reaching more than 17 million households in 50+ countries (check local listings).
BET.com/HipHopAwards is the official site for the BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” 2014 where fans can visit to get up-to-date info on this year's show and take a look back on past BET Hip Hop Awards.  In the coming weeks, BET.com will launch a series of interactive timelines, exclusive video content, games and quizzes leading up to the show.
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The Rance Allen Group reveals details of new album, "Celebrate"

buzzz worthy. . .

(Indianapolis, IN- September 15, 2014) If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is this photo below saying?:
(Left to Right: Chris Byrd, Bishop Rance Allen, Eric Morgeson of Studio A)  

Based on the smile on Bishop Rance Allen's face, this picture is saying that their new project, Celebrate, is: "DONE and ready to roll out"!

Today he's also revealing the new cover along with news of the album's official street date:Tuesday, November 11th.

The group has been hard at work crafting this soon-to-be classic.  Fans were first introduced to the group's "new" sound with the breakout hit single "A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)" and the group assures that there are even more musical gems on this project.

Check out the track listing below:
1. A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)
2. Celebrate
3. Champion
4. Sounds Like Rain
5. Step Out
6. U R Not Alone
7. Turn It Around
8. Feel the Spirit
9. He's Real
10. Stay Focused
11. Through The Fire
12. Walking In the Sand

Celebrate will be available in stores and online November 11th.  
For more information, please visit: www.theranceallengroup.com or www.tyscot.com.
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Monday, September 15, 2014


buzzz worthy. . .

Reginald  Hudlin
LOS ANGELES, CA — Reginald Hudlin will produce the 6th Annual Governors Awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today.  The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be presented to Harry Belafonte, and Honorary Awards will be presented to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, on Saturday, November 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.
“With Reggie’s experience, unique vision and immense creativity, the evening celebrating those who have given so much to our industry is certain to be a memorable one,” said Boone Isaacs.
"I’m honored to be working with the Academy again,” said Hudlin.  “The collective impact of this year’s Governors Awards recipients on the evolution of cinema is immeasurable.  I’m a fan of all four of these legends, so producing a celebration of Ms. O’Hara’s performances, Mr. Carrière’s storytelling, Mr. Belafonte’s dedication and Mr. Miyazaki’s magic is a pleasure."
A writer, director, producer and pioneering entertainment executive, Hudlin received a Best Picture Oscar® nomination as a producer of “Django Unchained.”  His feature directing credits include “The Great White Hype,” “Boomerang,” and “House Party,” which he also wrote; he also has directed episodes of such popular television series as “Psych,” “Modern Family,” “The Office” and “The Bernie Mac Show.”  Hudlin recently produced “The Academy Celebrates the Black Movie Soundtrack” concert at the Hollywood Bowl and has executive produced the NAACP Image Awards show for the past two years.  He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and serves on the executive board of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

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