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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, June 6, 2015

#Flashback Fragrance: Bath and Body Works brings back six popular scents from the 90's

buzzz worthy. . .#flashbackfragrance

Mmmm. . .Cucumber melon. Quite possibly the first thing that comes to mind when you hear those words is lotion or shower gel -- not food -- that is if you've ever shopped at Bath & Body Works in the 90s. Fragrance-a-holics arise! Bath and Body Works is bringing back one of the most popular scents from the company, the refreshingly fruity Cucumber Melon, along with five other classics starting this Monday, June 8 as a part of the company's "Flashback Fragrance" campaign. Plumeria, White Tea and Ginger, Juniper Breeze, Pearberry, and Country Apple, will be available for one month only during the semi-annual sale, ending on July 5. So hurry! With updated packaging, the re-released products will be offered in the form of mist, shower gel, body lotion and body cream.
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Official 2015 Black Music Month Proclamation by President Barack Obama

buzzz worthy. . .#blackmusic, #blackmusicmonth African American Music Appreciation Mont (AKA, Black Music Month) originated in 1979 under the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
Each year the sitting president releases the  proclamation for official public observance.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC APPRECIATION MONTH, 2015 - – – – – – - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION For centuries, African-American musicians have shaped our Nation and helped tell our story. By melding enduring truths with new sounds, they have pioneered entire genres and contributed to the foundation of our musical landscape — capturing an essential part of who we are as Americans. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we recognize the artists who have enriched our lives and the ways their beats and harmonies have advanced our unending journey toward a more perfect Union. With all the energy and diversity of our great Nation, the stirring sounds of the American experience have expanded our minds and lifted our souls, helping us better understand ourselves and one another. When the tides of injustice and hardship have seemed too great, melodies of hope have given us strength, and in moments of joy, powerful songs speak to the audacity that fuels our dreams. Through momentous change — above the jangling discord of a people determined to write their own destiny and the consonance of great progress — our music has remained a constant source of inspiration, bringing us together and empowering us to reach for what we know is possible. By honoring the timeless sounds that define our past and help transform our future, we celebrate not only the musicians who move us, but also the spirit of resilience and renewal they embody. This month, let us remember the essential role music plays in breaking the barriers of our time and guiding us toward a more inclusive and more equal tomorrow. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. BARACK OBAMA
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Festival of Praise Tour headlined by Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin announces fall tour dates

buzzz worthy. . .

The Festival of Praise Tour 2015

featuring Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Israel Houghton, Hezekiah Walker with Isaac Carree,
Jessica Reedy and Zacardi Cortez

The 50-City Tour Kicks-Off on September 30 in Houston, Texas

(Dallas, TX – June 4, 2015) –The biggest Gospel tour of the year is coming to a city near you. Festival of Praise, a 50-city concert tour features some of the best names in Gospel music including multiple GRAMMY®, Dove and Stellar Award-winning recording artists Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, with Hezekiah Walker (in concert 9/30-10/31)  and Israel Houghton (in concert 11/1-11/29). The tour also features Isaac Carree, Jessica Reedy and Zacardi Cortez.  Marcus Wiley of the “Yolanda Adams Morning Show” will be this year’s festival host. The national tour kicks-off at Fallbrook Church in Houston, TX on September 30, and runs through November 29. Pre-sale tickets for the tour begin on Monday, June 8. For a listing of tour dates and to purchase tickets, please visit www.festivalofpraisetour.com,  additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks. Festival of Praise partnered with VIP Nation for premium concert ticket packages, which includes a VIP meet and greet in each market. VIP packages will be available by Monday, June 8, for more information, please visit www.vipnation.com. The Festival of Praise International Tour will kick off in the first quarter of 2016.
Festival of Praise Tour 2015 will be held at arenas, performing arts centers and theaters, across the country. The family style tour, a phrase coined by Hammond and McClurkin, is a platform to uplift, motivate, encourage, inspire and entertain. The tour will feature some of Gospel’s biggest and brightest on the same stage with ensemble performances and music by each artist highlighting their classic hits and most memorable anthems.  In conjunction with this year’s theme, Hammond produced “Trying to Make It Home,” a song which features vocal performances by Hammond, McClurkin, Burrell, Walker, Carree, Reedy and Cortez.  The single is co-written by Hammond, Burrell, Carree, Reedy, Calvin Rodgers, and Phillip Feaster.  “The concept of ‘Trying to Make it Home,” is a collaborative effort by the artists on this tour and ties in perfectly with our purpose,” says Hammond, the co-creator of Festival of Praise. “With all the discourse, upheaval and negativity happening around the world, we all agreed that there’s one common thread that people are searching to find.  People are trying to reach a safe place and home represents that for many people. Many of us are trying to make it home to family, trying to make it home from college, trying to make it home to a better marriage, trying to make it home from sickness and disease, and ultimately, all of us are trying to make it home to heaven.”

The Festival of Praise Tour 2014 was overwhelmingly successful, “We were blessed,” continues Hammond. “And we are back bigger and better. It will be an awesome evening of inspiration filled with a message of hope and restoration.”
The Festival of Praise Tour is created by Fred and Ray Hammond and produced by Face To Face, Inc.  Adam Zagor of Universal Attractions Agency is the booking agent and Al Wash of ALW Entertainment is the entertainment consultant.  
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New Release Tuesday web site has been rebranded as New Release Today

buzzz worthy. . .

Content changes, industry shifts fuel NRTs evolution

(BOISE, Idaho) -- NewReleaseTuesday.com, the largest Christian music and entertainment site online, has announced that as of June 5, it will be known as NewReleaseToday, reflecting both industry changes and an evolution of the media outlet itself.

When it was founded in 2002, NewReleaseTuesday.com--also known as NRT--came on the scene as the first comprehensive source of information for Christian music fans regarding new album releases from all the major labels and noteworthy independent artists. Content revolved around the release day--Tuesdays--but as the site grew in size and scope, the emphasis shifted.

With our interviews and news, our exclusive video content and radio syndication, our free music offerings and our being the most complete library of new Christian music videos, we realized that we were about whats new in Christian music TODAY--not just on Tuesdays, said NRT Founder/President Kevin McNeese. As the industry and our media outlet has grown over the years, new content is constantly coming out in Christian music, and our name change reflects our daily commitment to that ideal.

The change also precedes the recording industry's move to a unified global release day--Fridays--starting Friday, July 10.

Along with the name change comes a new logo and moderate rebranding of the site, although the NRT acronym still has relevance.

Weve been known by our friends and fans as NRT for a while now, McNeese said. It was important that we maintain that identity, connecting this exciting future to our great history.

Another aspect of the sites evolution has taken form at the same time as the name change, with NRTs first-ever mobile-optimized, mobile-responsive website going live. For the first time, users may read NRTs articles and reviews, watch videos, and listen to streaming music and the sites new curated Spotify playlists from their phone in an easy-to-read, easy to use format on their mobile devices.

This was tremendously important to us moving forward, said NRT Executive Editor Marcus Hathcock. Our mobile traffic makes up nearly half of our total visitors, and to be able to serve them now with an improved experience that fits their devices is a win for everyone.

Users of mobile devices will find that when they visit any NRT page, they now automatically will see information and graphical content delivered in a familiar, but optimized display. This commitment to mobile comes on the heels of NRTs recent release of the NRT Radio App, now available for iPhone and Android in their respective app stores.

All in all, were just excited to keep pushing the envelope in terms of excellence and access for the Christian music audience, McNeese concluded. We want to connect as many people as possible to the incredible music--and message--of faith-based music and entertainment, and well continue to find ways to do that.
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TRAILER: "DOPE" NYC screening pics and what critics are saying

buzzz worthy. . .

 On June 4Open Road Films hosted a special New York City press screening of the film "DOPE" at the AMC Loews 19. Actor and recording artist Mack Wilds, and television & radio personality Angela Yee hosted the screening. Notable attendees included, songstress Bridget Kelly, executive producer Mona Scott-Young, actor Rotimi, reality star Po Johnson and DJ Scratch. Press in attendance included representatives from Huffington Post Live, BET, Vibe, Essence, REVOLT, Hip Hop Weekly, Hip Hop Wired, Madame Noire, Hello Beautiful, The Urban Daily and many more.

The reviews have come in and by most acounts, it's hemovei to see this weekend. . .

"Light on its feet, gleefully profane and deliciously droll as it manipulates the notion of innocence (and plays with our expectations in the process). . ." Wall Street Journal

"Dope's biggest strength lies in its affectionate and honest portrait of a different kind of young urban blackness than we're used to seeing on movie screens." Dana Stevens, Rotten Tomatoes 

"The film moves fleetly and the technique, full of split-screen images and unpredictable flashbacks, pulses with life. " Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

"DOPE" is produced by Forest Whitaker (he also narrates), executive produced by Pharrell Williams (he did the music), and co-executive produced by Sean Combs, and stars Shameik MooreKimberly EliseChanel ImanQuincy BrownZoe Kravitz and A$AP Rocky. The film hits theaters June 19.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015


buzzz worthy. . .

Erykah Badu, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jodeci, Doug E. Fresh, Salt-N-Pepa, Jazmine Sullivan, K. Michelle, Avery Sunshine, Yolanda Adams and Ne-Yo hit the stage for blowout experience in Atlanta

Nominations open now; Awards finalists to be announced
during voting period June 1st-16th

ATLANTA, GA Steve Harvey, EMMY-winning talk show and Family Feud host and star of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, is ready to kick off another blowout weekend this year with the 13th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awards and Neighborhood Awards Weekend running on August 6-9th in Atlanta!  Welcoming a stellar lineup of hit entertainment for the Ford Neighborhood Awards show hosted by Steve Harvey and the four-day mix of concerts, comedy, empowering seminars, college expo, singing competitions and more – the weekend will feature headlining performances from Erykah Badu, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jodeci, Doug E. Fresh, Salt-N-Pepa, Yolanda Adams – plus performances on the Steve Harvey Morning Show live broadcast from Jazmine Sullivan, K. Michelle and Avery Sunshine, and Ne-Yo hosting the State Farm Freedom Friday Party, with additional performers to be announced in the future.
Tickets have been selling fast for this annual destination event experience, which kicks off Thursday, August 6th with the Stand Up Comedy Jam hosted by Nephew Tommy, with those two shows already sold-out.  The nominations have continued pouring in nationwide for the Ford Neighborhood Awards show categories on www.NeighborhoodAwards.com, with submissions open in one award category per day until Wednesday May 27th.  This year’s awards finalists will be unveiled by the Steve Harvey Morning Show in one category each day when the voting period opens online, which runs Monday, June 1st for voting on the Best High School Coach category, until Tuesday, June 16th for voting on the Best Community Leader.
Say Co-creators Steve Harvey and Rushion McDonald, “This year is another don’t-miss summer celebration takeover in Atlanta! We are bringing you some returning favorites, great performances and inspiring entertainment. Keep sending in your nominations and don’t forget to vote for your neighborhood favorites to see who takes home the awards this year!”
With over 15 signature events and activities during the weekend, the annual Ford Neighborhood Awards show hosted by Steve Harvey is always filled with unforgettable poignant moments, comedy and surprises, with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds’ performance to open this year’s show.  Other featured events include the three-day State Farm Neighborhood Awards Expo, the State Farm Freedom Friday Party hosted by Ne-Yo with performances by Erykah Badu and Jodeci, Family Feud Live presented by Ford, the Ford VIP After Party hosted by Doug E. Fresh with performances from him and Salt-N-Pepa, the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour with Yolanda Adams, and the grand prize singing competitions with the Sing Your Way to the State Farm Freedom Friday Party finale hosted by Sheryl Underwood and the Neighborhood Awards Church Choir Competition presented by AARP.
Tickets for the Ford Neighborhood Awards show and weekend events are available via Ticketmaster.  The 2015 Neighborhood Awards Weekend includes support from Ford Motor Company, State Farm, Masterbuilt, AARP, McDonald’s, Express Employment Professionals, Tracfone, and DHerbs.  Stay tuned into the #1 rated Steve Harvey Morning Show weekdays on the radio or online from 6-10 AM EST at www.SteveHarvey.com for updates on the 2015 Neighborhood Awards Weekend, essential news, daily inspiration, laughs and more from Steve Harvey and his co-hosts. 
About the Neighborhood Awards
Steve Harvey and television/radio/film producer Rushion McDonald created the one-of-a-kind Neighborhood Awards (formerly the Hoodie Awards) and Neighborhood Awards Weekend to recognize and celebrate men and women from all over the United States who uplift their neighborhoods through their contributions and excellence as entrepreneurs, religious and community leaders, educators and more.  Driven by public nominations, the show bestows 12 non-traditional awards in the following Neighborhood Awards categories: Best High School Coach, Best Nail Salon, Best School Teacher, Best Car Wash Detail Shop, Best Church Choir, Best Soul Food Place, Best Barber Shop, Best High School, Best Barbecue Place, Best Beauty Salon, Best Church, and Best Community Leader
To connect with Steve Harvey and for the latest updates on the 2015 Neighborhood Awards Weekend, visit:
Website: www.SteveHarvey.com and www.NeighborhoodAwards.com
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R&B Diva, Michel’le Will Visit the East Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club to Mentor Young Aspiring Singers in the Saving Our Cinderellas’ Program

buzzz worthy. . .

LOS ANGELES, CA – Recording artist and reality star, Michel’le will meet with girls between the ages of 9 and 17 years of age at the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles, on Friday, June 5, 2015, at 4:00 p.m.  The girls will share Vision Boards with their mentor and participate in a Q&A session, where they will have the opportunity to discuss subjects such as following their dreams, teenage depression, bullying, and combating domestic violence.

Michel'le and her daughter.
At the age of 16 years old, Michel’le started writing and recording songs with Dr. Dre and Eazy E on the iconic rap label, Ruthless Records.  Once one of the biggest R&B singers in the country, she garnered #1 hits, platinum certified albums, and sold out shows, but at the height of her success she battled depression, addiction, and domestic abuse.  Now she reaches out to teenage girls to share her story and hopefully empower them to fight for their futures and realize the importance of recognizing their self-worth. 

Michel’le became involved with Saving Our Cinderellas’ in 2015 because of her passion for music and young people.  She hopes to help the group of youngsters embrace their dreams of pursuing careers in entertainment.  The program is a part of Saving our Daughters, a non-profit organization which focuses on reaching thousands of teen girls and youth across the country and helping them to create the tools needed to address key issues facing young people today.  They are taught to take the power away from bullying, (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), date abuse, hate crimes, school violence, violence against women, and other esteem slayers.

To learn more about Saving our Cinderellas’ or Saving our Daughters, visit:   http://savingourdaughters.org/about-us/.

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CATCH THIS TEA: Mariah Huq has down-sized her role on 'Married to Medicine' for the third season with good reason

buzzz worthy. . .



"They can bring a whole army, but they can not bring Mrs. Mariah down,"  said Mariah Huq about cast members  turning against her in season 2 of Bravo's "Married to Medicine" (MTM).

The star and creator of the show, Mrs. Huq may not be down, but she is out as one of the official cast members on the upcoming season 3.  While Bravo has not divulged the reason Huq may be more of a spectator this season, it is safe to assume the reason is personal and may be per doctor's orders.  Mariah had excitedly announced she was expecting twins via social media last year.  However, on November 11, 2014, her spouse, Dr. Aydin Huq posted a devastating message on Facebook writing his wife suffered a miscarriage.

Mariah makes a few cameo appearances, but does not appear in the show intro.  Quad Webb-Lunceford, her friend-turned enemy is front and center in the show's intro, appearing to be the topped billed cast member.

However, Mariah is still an Executive Producer (EP) of the show.  This casting decision makes it seem that the group turning on Mariah last season was a part of a grand scheme to overtake "Queen Mariah's" throne.  But, with EP credit apparently she is still on top of her game with less drama.  The remaining cast members don't skimp on blood pressure raising  drama. 

See how the drama unfolds when season three of "Married to Medicine" returns to Bravo on Sunday, June 7 at 9:00 ET/PT.  Beginning Sunday, June 14, the series moves to its permanent timeslot at 8pm ET/PT. Last season, “Married to Medicine” averaged 1.2 million P18-49 and nearly 2.1 million total viewers according to Nielsen. 

SNEAK PEEK>>For a sneak peek of season three, please visit:http://www.bravotv.com/married-to-medicine/season-3/videos/your-first-look-at-season-3
The network's  season summary describes each of the doctors experiencing a shake up
in their personal and professional lives.

Dr. Jackie’s passion for health leads her to start a fitness program but heartbreak hits home when she must deal with a family member’s illness. 

Dr. Simone’s practice is booming, but her personal life is about to implode when she dives into her past and figures out the root of her anger issues. 

Dr. Heavenly may bite off more than she can chew as an entrepreneur, relationship expert, dentist and mother, but faces a daunting dilemma when her husband pressures her to spend more time at home. 

The entrepreneurial wives of MTM are on a mission to be more successful in business.

Toya is on a mission to prove that she’s not just a doctor’s wife and helps Eugene take his medical concierge business to the next level. 

When Quad and Lisa run background checks on each other, the results reveal shocking transgressions that leave the two at odds.

In fact, Quad and Lisa had a disagreement that turned bloody.
“Married to Medicine” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and developed by Purveyors of Pop with Matt Anderson, Nate Green and Mariah Huq serving as Executive Producers. Annie Pandaru, Paul Yuan and Maryam Jahanbin serve as Co-Executive Producers.

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Nia Long is engaged and gearing up to star in a new sitcom this fall, "Uncle Buck" (VIEW TRAILER)

buzzz worthy. . .

Actress Nia Long and San Antonia Spurs Assistant Coach, Ime Udoka share all smiles in a photo that captures them in their first public appearance since getting engaged.  Long is flashing a rock that is almost as big as the smile on her face. The couple have been an item for five years and are the parents of a three-year-old, Kez.  Long also has a son Messai, from a previous relationship. Be sure to catch Nia  this fall as she co-stars with Mike Epps in the new ABCcomedy, "Uncle Buck." 

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Lisa Leslie admonishes Chet Haze not to use the "N-word"

buzzz worthy. . .

Lisa Leslie
Rapper Chet Haze might want to watch his back, because says WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, not everyone is going to co-sign his use of the n-word. The rapper son of actor Tom Hanks, Haze uses the "n-word" liberally among friends and argues that he has every right to do so as a partaker of Hip Hop culture.

TMZ Sports caught up with Leslie to find out how she feels about Haze's position and she responded, "I'd advise him not to do that because the real home boys are gon' take him out."

E-online has a report on the rapper's lame defense of using  the N'word he posted to Instagram. "Hip Hop is about the culture you identify with. . .I don't accept society deciding what anyone can or can't say."

(Um, Chet, you might want to re-enroll in history class.  This is not about censorship. . .It's actually more about white privilege and the misappropriation of black culture.)

Wonder what Daddy Hanks has to say about his son's use of free speech?

Rapper Chet Haze

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

William McDowell to record live on June 5 in Baton Rouge

buzzz worthy. . .


See details at a glance below.. .

WHO:  WILLIAM MCDOWELL, prolific singer, songwriter and leader in modern worship music.

McDowell is best known for his now-classic hits "I Give Myself Away," "I Won't Go Back" and "Withholding Nothing."  He has quickly become the sound of Sunday mornings providing churches and worship teams around the globe with inspired profound anthems.

WHAT: McDowell to hold live concert event for new album recording. The powerful and moving worship experience will embody McDowell's honest and profound music ministry.

The concert is free & open to the public.

WHERE: Bethany Church South
11107 Honore Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

WHEN: Friday, JUNE 5 
Doors open at 6:00pm
Concert starts at 7:00pm 

WHAT: William McDowell's last release, WITHHOLDING NOTHING has been heralded by critics and consumers alike as one of the best worship albums of the year and was earned a Stellar Music Award for Praise & Worship CD of the Year.  McDowell also received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Gospel Album. 

McDowell is the Lead Pastor at Deeper Fellowship in Orlando, FL and he continues to travel the globe with his signature, effectual brand of gospel and worship music. 

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Jon Hagee's new book about demonic and angelic forces, 'The Three Heavens' is No. 1

buzzz worthy. . .

SAN ANTONIO – June 3, 2015 – Only three weeks after launch, Pastor John Hagee’s explosive new book, The Three Heavens: Angels, Demons and What Lies Ahead, topped Nielsen BookScan’s nationwide sales tracking for non-fiction religion trade paperbacks. 

The Three Heavens, a blend of Bible, science and true stories, explores the ongoing battle between angelic and demonic forces. It was No. 2 on BookScan for all non-fiction religion books, No. 11 for all adult trade paperbacks.

The Three Heavens also is the highest-ranked Christian book on USA Today’s best-seller list.
“Readers respond to the real-life stories of people who experienced Heaven and came back to describe it,” said Hagee, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. “We all are fascinated to learn of the ages-long battle—continuing today—between angelic and demonic forces.”

The Three Heavens paints a vivid picture of this supernatural war, describing its effect today and in eternity.

In the First Heaven, Hagee explores what we see with our natural eyes: the beautiful, mysterious, majestic universe of sun, moon, stars and other celestial objects. In clear, engaging writing, he carries readers to the Third Heaven—Paradise, a place of eternal splendor—with firsthand accounts of people who died, saw the Third Heaven and returned.  

Then comes the question: if there is a First Heaven and a Third Heaven, is there a Second? From extensive biblical knowledge, pastoral experience and a large network of expert colleagues, Hagee explores the Second Heaven—a battleground where an ongoing war between the forces of good and evil plays out . . . affecting us on earth now. 

The Three Heavens is a biblically reasoned, vividly written exploration of how God’s enemies work; how God’s angels protect and defend; and ultimately what awaits those who accept His invitation to spend eternity with Him. 

From Worthy Publishing, The Three Heavens is available now online and in stores.
John Hagee is the author of multiple best-selling books. His most recent New York Times best-seller, Four Blood Moons, inspired a docudrama recently in theaters as a Fathom Event that sold out nationally, prompting a nationwide encore. 

For more information on the author and  The Three Heavens visit JHM.org.
Purchase a copy of the book at http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Heavens-Angels-Demons/dp/1617953695.

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BET employee dies of butt injection

buzzz worthy. . .

Kelly Mayew, a 34-year-old employee of BET Networks died after receiving  illegal butt injections  in the basement of a Queens New York apartment on Saturday. 

"We are saddened by the death of our colleague and friend, Kelly Mayhew. Our hearts go out to her family and we extend our deepest sympathies for their loss," BET said in a statement.

According to BET.com Mayew, who is originally from Suitland, MD, was accompanied to the appointment by her mother. Noticing her daughter was having difficulty breathing she performed CPR can called 911. The woman who performed the procedure fled the scene when Mayhew started showing signs of distress.  The New York Daily News reports police are looking for the suspect, who left in a gray SUV.

 Mayhew was later pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
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buzzz worthy. . .

Los Angeles, CA – Registration is now open for the 7th Annual Write of Passage Screenwriting Competition. Intermediate and advanced screenwriters are encouraged to register from now until October 6, with discounted rates currently available for early entry.  Created by 168 Film, the theme for this year’s Write of Passage is “The World of Work!”
The purse includes a $1,000 First Prize plus introductions to writer/producers like Luke Schelhaas (THE GOOD WIFE, LAW AND ORDER) and Brian Bird (WHEN CALLS THE HEART, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL). Finalist screenplays may be optioned by filmmakers to be produced for 2016’s 168 Film Festival. 
Write of Passage is a speed-writing competition, in which all writing will begin on Monday, October 12th with the assignment of a randomly selected foundational verse for all writers.  Completed submissions may be up to 12 pages in length and are due on October 19. No writing is to occur before the scripture assignment.  Winners will be announced in November on the www.168film.com website.
Founder and Director John David Ware explains, “Pairing a writing contest with a film production competition is a dream come true for writers, some of whom will see their work onscreen. Their charge is to create positive portrayals of realistic characters in redemptive, thought-provoking stories that honor God.”
To help launch aspiring filmmakers, the stories created in the Write of Passage competition are offered to young filmmakers to produce free of charge. Starting with a great story means that young film students can focus on storytelling, rather than writing. “Story is the hardest part. We’re excited to see some of these come to life at the hands of youthful artists,” said Ware.
Write of Passage is a mentored competition, which uses “Development Executives” (DE’s) to coach writers and to judge the first round.
“DE’s develop their sense of story and learn how to motivate and encourage creative people to achieve excellence,” said Ware. Interested potential DE’s should send resume and references to writeofpassage@168project.com.  DE’s pay no fee, but they cannot enter the contest as a writer. Both writers and mentors receive screen credit if the story is made into film.
Writer entry fees range between $30-45, based on the date of registration. Writers may register at https://www.168film.com/Store/ and obtain more information here (168film.com). Entrants may participate in both the Write of Passage and the 168 Film Project, the nation’s leading Christian film competition that has resulted in the production of over 900 faith-based, short films in 13 years.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Statement by the President on the USA FREEDOM Act

buzzz worthy. . .

For the past eighteen months, I have called for reforms that better safeguard the privacy and civil liberties of the American people while ensuring our national security officials retain tools important to keeping Americans safe.  That is why, today, I welcome the Senate’s passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, which I will sign when it reaches my desk. 
After a needless delay and inexcusable lapse in important national security authorities, my Administration will work expeditiously to ensure our national security professionals again have the full set of vital tools they need to continue protecting the country. Just as important, enactment of this legislation will strengthen civil liberty safeguards and provide greater public confidence in these programs, including by prohibiting bulk collection through the use of Section 215, FISA pen registers, and National Security Letters and by providing the American people with additional transparency measures.
I am gratified that Congress has finally moved forward with this sensible reform legislation. I particularly applaud Senators Leahy and Lee as well as Representatives Goodlatte, Sensenbrenner, Conyers, and Nadler for their leadership and tireless efforts to pass this important bipartisan legislative achievement.
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The latest CD from Karen Clark Sheard will arrive on July 17

buzzz worthy. . .


Featuring 10 Tracks, Album Available for Pre-Order Now

NASHVILLE, TN (June 2, 2015) – On Friday July 17, 2015, music icon Karen Clark Sheard makes a powerful declaration of praise and victory with the release of her highly-anticipated new album Destined To Win, with album pre-ordering available now.  Ushering in her sixth solo project and her second solo album to be released on her record label Karew Records, the 4-time GRAMMY®-winning gospel superstar’s renowned voice and captivating performance style come together before a packed audience of listeners to create a powerhouse live album experience on the 10-track album.
Recorded live in an historic night at Chicago’s House of Hope, Karen Clark Sheard delivers a bold statement of faith and spiritual encouragement on Destined To Win, teaming up with long-time collaborator Donald Lawrence, who produced the album along with Daniel Weatherspoon, as well as her son J. Drew Sheard II, who produced the song “My God Is Big.”
Karen Clark Sheard shares, “I’ve had some tests and trials….but I kept pushing through. God gave me a word that you have to speak because your words have power. I want the album to be a driving force to move people to where they need to be.”
Exalting faith and inspiring listeners to find strength in facing adversity through God’s constant love and guidance, Karen Clark Sheard’s spectacular vocals and impassioned ministry permeate throughout the album – from tracks such as “Destined To Win,” “Already Looking Better,” the acclaimed singles “My Words Have Power” (feat. Donald Lawrence & The Co.) and the GRAMMY®-nominated “Sunday AM” – to “The Who Doesn’t Matter” (feat. Faith Evans), a stunning performance of Richard Smallwood’s “The Resurrection,” and more. 
Clark Sheard also adds a surprise family moment in a special performance of Andraé Crouch’s “Where Jesus Is,” reuniting The Clark Sisters and daughter Kierra Sheard to join her on stage, along with singer Kim McFarland, for a medley that is featured as three bonus tracks on the Walmart exclusive version of Destined To Win.
Karen Clark Sheard: Destined To Win
Album release: Friday July 17, 2015 (Karew Records/Entertainment One Music)
Destined To Win Track Listing:
  1. The Who Doesn’t Matter (feat. Faith Evans)
  2. Destined To Win
  3. The Resurrection
  4. Sunday AM
  5. Only Call on Jesus
  6. My Words Have Power (feat. Donald Lawrence & The Co.)
  7. Already Looking Better
  8. The Worst is Over
  9. My God Is Big
  10. We Acknowledge You
Bonus Tracks on Walmart exclusive version:
  1. Where Jesus Is Part I feat. Kim McFarland
  2. Where Jesus Is Part II feat. The Clark Sisters
  3. Where Jesus Is Part III feat. Kierra Sheard
Pre-Order the new Karen Clark Sheard album Destined To Win:
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Monday, June 1, 2015

Furniture from Michael Jacksons Final Home Goes Up For Sale, Including Makeup Stained Bedroom Chair

buzzz worthy. . .

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- The makeup-stained bedroom chair and a parquetry side table from the rented mansion where pop star Michael Jackson tragically died on June 25, 2009, are up for sale on EBAY. Brian Mayes, a Jackson fan and Nashville-based entertainment publicist, is selling the items originally acquired through Julien's Auctions.

The chair was made infamous by crime scene photos shown in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. The chair was also featured in the premiere episode of CMTs 2014 reality series, RAIDERS OF ROCK.

The Henredon style bergere chair with button-tufted upholstery was located next to Jacksons bed in the master bedroom of the rented Holmby Hills mansion where he died. Particularly notable are the makeup stains on the chair, where Jackson is said to have sat each day while getting ready. The Rococo style side table was also a fixture in Jacksons final home.

These items are truly a piece of rock and roll history and a must for any Michael Jackson fan, says Mayes, whose memorabilia collection also includes items that once belonged to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others. Tragically, the makeup-stained chair is the lone witness to Jacksons death. If only we could get the chair to tell the secrets of what really happened in those final hours.

The chair and side table are available via EBAY for a limited time:

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Statement by the Press Secretary on the USA FREEDOM Act

buzzz worthy. . .

In January 2014—a year-and-a-half ago—the President called on Congress to reform elements of our electronic surveillance programs. The President and members of his team subsequently worked painstakingly with members of Congress from both parties to craft a sensible path forward. The result, the USA FREEDOM Act, struck a reasonable compromise balancing security and privacy—allowing us to continue to protect the country while implementing various reforms, including prohibiting bulk collection through the use of Section 215, FISA pen registers, and National Security Letters. National security professionals, civil libertarians, and 338 members of the House of Representatives—both Democrats and Republicans—agreed that the legislation allowed our intelligence and law enforcement professionals to retain key tools while strengthening civil liberty protections.
The Senate took an important—if late—step forward tonight.  We call on the Senate to ensure this irresponsible lapse in authorities is as short-lived as possible. On a matter as critical as our national security, individual Senators must put aside their partisan motivations and act swiftly. The American people deserve nothing less.
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Sunday, May 31, 2015


buzzz worthy. . .

Nashville, TN: There’s a dynamic new quartet of twenty-somethings on the music scene but Da Chozen Brothaz  are different from most gospel quartets in that they are bringing a uniquely contemporary flavor to the quartet genre. They have coined this new idiom as quartemporary. The group is releasing its rousing new radio single “Living For The Lord “ to gospel radio this week to kick off Black Music Month. The group is performing at the WNRR Garden City Gospel Fest this Saturday, May 30th in Augusta, GA. "Da Chozen Brothaz are the now and future of gospel music,” says Ruben L. Freeman, General Manager of WNRR Gospel 1380 AM. “Their quartemporary sound blends the traditional sounds of gospel with today's sound; and my listeners and I love it! I am super excited that they will be joining us for the Garden City Gospel Fest! I can't wait till the full project is released! Think I'll buy me a few copies....lol."

The Clarksville, TN group’s story sort of pivots around the life of Ejay Scharkley. His father passed away when he was a toddler, his mother was strung out on drugs and abandoned him. He was then raised by his grandmother but always felt left out and neglected because he didn’t have his parents in his llfe. “I began to act out until I found something that interested me and that was music,” he recalls. “I saw my cousins singing and playing instruments and that inspired me.”

Scharkley’s cousin Michael Turnage, a singer, had formed The Chozen Brothers group with his buddy Isaac “Bam” Richardson and some neighborhood friends circa 2009. They began to hold jam sessions at a local recording studio and to perform around town. At the same time, Scharkley started a group with his other cousin Dontavious Cook. Both ensembles disbanded after a year and one day the cousins were talking and decided to merge the remaining members of the two groups into one and added Gary Settles and Martavian Adams and Da Chozen Brothaz were re-established.

The Chozen Brothaz have been influenced by fellow quartet singers such as The Williams Singers, Tim Rogers & The Fellas and The True Believers. After honing their own unique sound, the brothers began to open for Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson and The Pilgrim Jubilees. The group came to the attention of Bishop Jerry L. Maynard, pastor of The Cathedral of Praise Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Nashville, who signed them to his JeLaMa Records label. “I’m quite excited about Da Chozen Brothers,” says Bishop Maynard. “They are a breath of fresh air and they are introducing quartet music to the next generation with their own unique trademark.” The group’s debut album is scheduled to release in August 2015. Visit www.bishopmaynard.com for more news and information on Da Chozen Brothaz. Twitter: @wearedcb @onevoicemedia84  
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