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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Friday, January 27, 2017


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Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Recognize Winners
NEW YORK (Jan. 27, 2017) — Talon David, a teen singer/ songwriter, has been chosen as the winner of the seventh annual GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens Make Music Contest for her original interpretation of the importance of living above the influence of drug and alcohol use. Second- and third-place winners for the contest have also been chosen. TheGRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, the two affiliated nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy®, in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids' Above the Influence campaign, will honor each contest winner in late January and early February with exclusive GRAMMY® experiences and prizes. The GRAMMY Foundation offers a range of GRAMMY in the Schools® music education programs for high school students, teachers and schools, along with archiving and preservation initiatives. MusiCares provides emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music industry in need.
The contest asked young musicians, ages 14–18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance abuse.
"We are honored to partner with the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares to recognize these creative and talented teen musicians," said Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. "We're thrilled to recognize these individuals for shedding light on the realities of substance use disorders and what being above the influence of negative pressures means to them."
"The Teens Make Music Contest is an engaging and effective mechanism that encourages young people to consider and give voice to the issues around substance abuse," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Foundation, and MusiCares. "The submissions are very compelling across the board, and they bring the challenges of addiction and the paths to recovery into focus."
First-place winner David, a student at Davidson Academy in Nashville, Tenn., submitted "Deep Snow," a song that metaphorically compares snow to addiction and focuses on how easily a person can drown in its depths. Yet there is hope as the lyrics reflect a cry for redemption: "Lay me down to rest. Alone in the deep snow. Feel the cool, the rush, the chill, the numb, the kiss of the deep snow. Flurries luring in their ear. Hold still. It will all be over soon. Swallowed up in emptiness. Left as bare as the surface of the moon. … Is it too late to fight it? Take me back. Save me from being buried alive, stolen from life."
Second-place winner Renee Audrey is from Short Hills, N.J., and is a junior at Millburn High School. The lyrics for her song "Paralyzed" describe the life of an individual struggling with a substance abuse problem and details how Audrey hopes she could help the individual overcome her addiction: "Searching for solace at the bottom of a bottle. Using but losing to a fake gospel. Her bloodshot eyes make my eyes water. Her disguise in the skies, feels like paradise. But she's para-para-paralyzed. Para-para-paralyzed. Para-para-paralyzed. Wish I had the antidote to guide her lifeboat. In these rough waters, it's hard to stay afloat."
Third-place winner Jarren Blair, a senior at Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., submitted "Out Alive." His song tells the story of someone with a drug or alcohol issue and how difficult that problem can be to overcome. The lyrics illustrate that, even in the midst of despair, faith in a higher power can help one rise above the negative influences: "I've seen trouble, I've seen pain. I've seen struggle for all my days. They say the devil is on his way to cut me open and steal my faith. I know it's hard sometimes. I know it's hard to find someone you like. I know it's hard sometimes. I know it's hard to smile through. I know it's hard to smile through your life, but I'm singing. Oh, I'm saying. Oh, I'm praying. Oh, got my hands up to praise him. I know I'm gonna make it out alive."
The first-place winner will receive two tickets to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards® at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12, two tickets to the GRAMMY Celebration® after-party, a cash award of $500 provided by Visions Adolescent Treatment Center, and the opportunity to perform a set at the Acoustic Tent on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour in the city closest to their hometown. The second- and third-place winners will receive cash prizes of $250 and $100 respectively, both provided by Visions Adolescent Treatment Center. Each of the winners will have the opportunity to attend the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards backstage experience during rehearsals. Other prizes include two tickets to the GRAMMY Museum®, two tickets to any Vans Warped Tour show, gift bags, and more. All the winners will have their original compositions posted on the MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation's websites, the Vans Warped Tour website and on drugfree.org this month.
MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation provided a panel of judges that included music industry professionals, while the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provided technical expertise in the judging process. Points were given for accurate depictions of subject matter.
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Statement By The President On International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.

“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”
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President Trump Announces Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

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(Washington, DC)President Trump announced today that as part of his overall job creation agenda he will launch a Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.

The President will be meeting with some of the world’s most successful and creative business leaders to share their experiences and gain their insights. President Trump plans to continually seek information and perspectives from a diverse range of business leaders, including those listed below and others, on how best to promote job growth and get Americans back to work again.

The first series of meetings were organized by Andrew Liveris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Dow Chemical Company. The President has expressed his appreciation to Mr. Liveris for his ongoing efforts in this regard.

Initial business leaders assisting with the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative include:

Andrew Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company
Bill Brown, Harris Corporation
Michael Dell, Dell Technologies
John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation
Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation
Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company
Ken Frazier, Merck & Co., Inc.
Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp.
Marilynn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Jeff Immelt, General Electric
Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.
Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic
Brian Krzanich, Intel Corporation
Rich Kyle, The Timken Company
Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel
Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company
Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing
Elon Musk, Tesla
Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar
Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing
Kevin Plank, Under Armour
Mike Polk, Newell Brands
Mark Sutton, International Paper
Inge Thulin, 3M
Richard Tumka, AFL-CIO
Wendell Weeks, Corning         
The attendees may or may not change from session to session, but the specific agenda subjects will likely change because of the importance of this issue to the American economy and its workers. No consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited.
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WOW Gospel celebrates 20 years with 2017 CD and DVD collection

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WOW GOSPEL 2017 CD and DVD Collection Features the Latest Hits from Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Anthony Brown, Jekalyn Carr, Marvin Sapp, Shirley Caesar, Tamela Mann, Travis Greene, and More!

NASHVILLE, TN (January 27, 2017) – Today, the award-winning hit series WOW GOSPEL releases the latest must-have Gospel hits, with the new double-disc and DVD collection WOW GOSPEL 2017, available digitally and at all major retailers.  Marking the 20th year of the gold and platinum-selling series, the new WOW GOSPEL 2017installment comprises a carefully curated collection, creating an immersive and uplifting gospel music and visual experience.

Filled with beloved GRAMMY®-winning icons and rising new voices blazing trails to the top of the charts, WOW GOSPEL 2017 mixes lively and contemplative songs and visual splendor across 30 songs and 11 videos.  The sensational showcase of solo performances, choir groups, and inspired pairings include: Kirk Franklin’s record-breaking hit “Wanna Be Happy?”, Donnie McClurkin “Stand (Live)”, Fred Hammond “Father Jesus Spirit (Live)”, Israel Houghton & New Breed with Tye Tribbett “Chasing Me Down”, Hezekiah Walker “Better”, Shirley Caesar with Anthony Hamilton “It’s Alright, It’s Ok”, Tasha Cobbs with Kierra Sheard “Put A Praise On It”, Tamela Mann “One Way”, acclaimed rising stars Bri (Briana Babineaux) “I’ll Be The One”, Jekalyn Carr “You’re Bigger”, Jonathan McReynolds “Pressure”, Tim Bowman Jr. “I’m Good”, Travis Greene “Made A Way,” and many more.     

Celebrating the inspirational music and message that remains an enduring cornerstone for millions of longtime Gospel lovers and new listeners worldwide, WOW GOSPEL 2017 continues the tradition of bringing together great legends and new voices to discover on one comprehensive collection.

WOW GOSPEL 2017 (Release: January 27, 2017)
CD Disc 1
1. Hezekiah Walker - Better
2. Israel & New Breed feat. Tye Tribbett - Chasing Me Down
3. Kirk Franklin - Wanna Be Happy?
4. VaShawn Mitchell - Joy
5. Tim Bowman Jr. - I'm Good
6. Jonathan McReynolds - Pressure
7. Smokie Norful - Run Run
8. Bri (Briana Babineaux) - I'll Be The One
9. Erica Campbell - The Question
10. Todd Dulaney - The Anthem
11. Tye Tribbett - Overcome
12. Casey J - I'm Yours
13. Deon Kippng - Place Called Victory
14. Fred Hammond - Father Jesus Spirit (Live)
15. Tamela Mann - One Way

CD Disc 2
1. William Murphy - Arise (You Are Good)
2. Ricky Dillard & New G - Celebrate The King 
3. Jason Nelson - Way Maker
4. Marvin Sapp - Live
5. Travis Greene - Made A Way
6. William McDowell - Send The Rain
7. Jekalyn Carr - You're Bigger
8. Anthony Brown & group therAPy - Worth
9. Brian Courtney Wilson - I'll Just Say Yes
10. Tasha Cobbs feat. Kierra Sheard - Put A Praise On It
11. Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago feat. Byron Cage - Just To Know Him
12. Donnie McClurkin - Stand (Live)
13. Shirley Caesar feat. Anthony Hamilton - It's Alright, It's Ok
14. Richard Smallwood - You Brought Me
15. Myron Butler & Levi - Best Praise

1. Israel & New Breed feat. Tye Tribbett - Chasing Me Down
2. Kirk Franklin - Wanna Be Happy?
3. Casey J - I'm Yours
4. William Murphy - Arise (Your Are Good)
5. Tasha Cobbs feat. Kierra Sheard - Put A Praise On It
6. Brian Courtney Wilson - Worth Fighting For
7. Jonathan McReynolds - Pressure
8. Bri (Briana Babineaux) - I'll Be The One
9. VaShawn Mitchell - Joy
10. Jekalyn Carr - You're Bigger
11. Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago feat. Byron Cage - Just To Know Him

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ABFF and BET team up for the American Black Film Festival honors

buzzz worthy. . .#ABFFHonors

Show Tapes Friday, February 17 in Los Angeles and will air on BET
Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00PM ET
Los Angeles –  The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and BET Networks announced the 2017 ABFF Honors television and movie nominees. ABFF Honors is an annual gala saluting excellence in motion pictures and television. Its mission is to celebrate Black culture by recognizing individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as those who are proponents of championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. "BET Presents American Black Film Festival Honors" will tape in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, February 17 and will air on BET and Centric, Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00PM ET.
Actress Regina Hall will bring her lively and energetic personality to the stage as host of this year’s annual event.  Regina has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after comedic actresses and is well known for her roles in such blockbusters as:  Scary Movie, Think Like A Man, When the Bough Breaks, Barber Shop 3 and Universal Pictures’ Girls Trip, to be released June 2017.
This year’s "Movie of the Year" nominees touch on political, social and economic issues. Included are two biopics: one focuses on a Ugandan girl whose world changes after being introduced to the game of chess, and the other tells the story about a group of African-American women who worked with NASA to launch the programs first successful space missions. Another nominee is a period drama based on the story of Nat Turner, an enslaved man who led a slave rebellion. Our final nominees are dramas that deep dives into the concept of choice, decisions and acceptance.
Nominees for “Movie of the Year” are:
THE BIRTH OF A NATION (Fox Searchlight)
FENCES (Paramount)
HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)
QUEEN OF KATWE (The Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
The "Television Show of the Year" nominees are smart, funny and authentic. From an awkward Black girl who navigates the racy tribulations of modern-day love and friendships and an ambitious college dropout and his cousin, who suddenly becomes a rap star, to a family struggling to gain a sense of cultural identity, a complicated story of three siblings who inherited a sugarcane farm and a night club owner leading a double life as a drug kingpin – television over the past year has been captivating and honest.
Nominees for “Television Show of the Year” are:
“We are excited to partner with BET again for the 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors. The show is a crucial platform, highlighting the efforts and successes of African American talent in film and television. This year will celebrate the remarkable works of some of today’s most sought after actors, directors and producers,” says Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures CEO.
In addition to recognizing the top television shows and films of the year, ABFF Honors will pay tribute to industry legends, along with today's creative forces, who together inspire the actors and content creators of tomorrow. Honorees to be revealed soon.
The winners of both categories will be determined by the popular vote of the 2017 ABFF Honors Awards Jury, a blue ribbon panel of actors, filmmakers, film critics and entertainment diversity executives, and the general public with public voting scheduled to begin Tuesday, January 26 at ABFFHonors.com/vote. To qualify for movie of the year, the film must have been directed by or feature a person of African descent in the leading role and had a U.S. theatrical release or broadcast premiere on a domestic television network/streaming platform during the 2016 calendar year. To qualify for television show of the year, the scripted television series (comedy or drama) must be created by or feature a person of African descent in the leading role and had a season premiere on a domestic television network or streaming platform during the 2016 calendar year.
ABFF Honors will be one of the highlights of the Hollywood Awards season and Black History Month. The event is executive produced by ABFF Ventures founder Jeff Friday, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones for de Passe Jones Entertainment, Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment, and Connie Orlando, Stephen G. Hill and Debra Lee for BET Networks.
The 2017 ABFF Honors sponsors are Cadillac and Prudential Financial Services (Red Carpet Partners) and Hennessy (Official Spirit).
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

TUNE-IN ALERT: Steve Harvey to host Miss Universe on 1/29/17

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It's been a year since Steve Harvey made perhaps the biggest blunder of his career on the Miss Universe stage. Who can forget the embarrassing moment when Harvey mis-read the card and announced the wrong winner? Leader in the Mis Universe Organization gave Harvey another shot at hosting the international pageant. He is now in the Philippines at prelims gearing up for this year's competition. The MISS UNIVERSE Competition will air live on Sunday, January 29 on FOX at 7/6c.
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Tyler Perry's 'Boo' and 'On the Run' are available on DVD this month

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Two of Madea's funniest performances will be available on DVD on Jan.31

(SANTA MONICA, CA) – January 26, 2017 – Kick off the new year, and those well-intentioned resolutions, with the Matriarch herself in Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD and On Demand January 31 from Lionsgate. NAACP Image Award-winning director Tyler Perry returns as Madea along with fan favorites Aunt Bam and Hattie to prevent her teenage niece from attending the crazy frat party next door. The outrageously funny return of Madea – after a three-year theatrical hiatus - was number one at the box office two weekends in a row with a $74 million-dollar worldwide box office. The laugh-out-loud film also features appearances by Cassi Davis (TV’s “House of Payne”), Patrice Lovely (TV’s “Love Thy Neighbor”), Yousef Erakat (FOUSEYTUBE), Liza Koshy (TV’s “Freakish”) Bella Thorne (The Duff), Diamond White (TV’s “Transformers: Rescue Bots”), Rap Artist TygaLexy Panterra (Dirt), J.C. Caylen (TV’s “Tagged”) and Jimmy Tatro (22 Jump Street).

Tyler Perry’s BOO! A Madea Halloween tells the story of Madea being summoned to keep a watchful eye on Brian’s (Tyler Perry) teenage daughter and keep her out of trouble. Little does Madea know, the trouble is coming for her. Fortunately, or not, she has her posse of Bam (Davis), Hattie (Lovely) and Joe to shield off ghosts and killer clowns.

Also on January 31, following a nine-month nationwide tour, Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run (The Play) will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD and On Demand. On the run from the law, Madea hides out at Bam's house, thinking she will lie low. Unfortunately, Bam's house is packed with rambunctious family and friends, and Madea finds herself needing to lay down her own law and drop the hammer!

Tyler Perry’s BOO! A Madea Halloween home entertainment release bonus material features a look back at what makes audiences love Madea, and how this film came to be.  Tyler Perry’s BOO! A Madea Halloween will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for $39.99 and $29.95, respectively. Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Website: www.madeamovies.com  
TYLER PERRY'S BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN - Find It on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD 1/31!
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