Singer Wanya Morris (Boyz To Men) 43
Singer/songwriter/producer Rodney Jerkins 39
Singer Wanya Morris (Boyz To Men) 43
Singer/songwriter/producer Rodney Jerkins 39
Yesterday, fans of singer Mary J. Blige were shocked to learn that she and her husband/manager Kendu Isaacs were divorcing. TMZ reported that she filed papers earlier this week. Now, she’s released a statement via a representative that reads: “Ms. Blige is saddened to say that she has filed for divorce, saying sometimes things don’t work out how we hoped they would, but there is a divine plan and a reason for everything. Mary will continue writing and working on her album, which will be released later this year along with her world tour. She thanks and appreciates her fans for their support and love through this very difficult, emotional time.” In court documents, Blige sites irreconcilable differences as the reason for the termination of her marriage. Here’s wishing them both the best. For his latest single, Charles Jenkins has teamed up with producer Warryn Campbell for “Winning.” Jenkins, who is the pastor of Fellowship Chicago, a historic church in Chicago IL, stated during an interview that his objective was to uplift listeners with a different sound and positivity on the airwaves and social media. The St Petersburg FL native and Chicago resident arrived on the scene in 2012 when his debut single with Fellowship Chicago “Awesome” reached No 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart and remained for 22 weeks. In 2014, he followed with “#WAR”, which also reached the No 1 spot on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart, and was sited as the most played and streamed gospel song of 2015 on Billboard’s year end chart. Athletic clothing retailer Champs Sports has partnered with rappers T.I. and Quavo (of the rap group Migos), New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Under Armour to bring their “We Know Game” campaign to life with the single “Baller Alert.” Inspired by Marshall’s personal struggle with mental illness, the campaign, which debuts on Aug. 1, will inspire others to be their true selves. Rapper Siya proudly represents the empire state with her new single ‘New York.” On the Lombardi Young produced track she shouts out raps finest while paying homage to classic hip hop. Beyond delivering sixteen bars, Siya will continue her stint on the reality show “Sisterhood Of Hip Hop.” She’s certainly an artist fans should keep their eye on.
Rapper Soulja Boy 26
During the second night of the Democratic National Convention, which is being held in Philadelphia, Alicia Keys and Andra Day showed their support by performing for the room full of delegates. Keys performed her single “Superwoman” in honor of Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton, who will be the first woman elected president of the United States if she wins. She also performed her single “In Common”, a shameless plug for her new music and a way to express unity within the party. Andra Day performed her single “Rise Up”. Following her performance, the mothers of Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis all spoke to the crowd regarding why it would be wise to vote for Clinton during this election. Mariah Carey has a lot on her plate these days. In addition to filming her E! docu-series “Mariah’s World”, which is scheduled to air this fall, she’s moved into a Las Vegas residence, planning a wedding to billionaire beau James Packer and hitting the road on a European Tour. If that isn’t enough, she announced on Instagram yesterday that she’s taking the “Sweet, Sweet, Fantasy Tour” to South America. In other Mariah news, she spoke with Complex magazine regarding her divorce, filming her show and her relationship with Packer. As for her divorce, Carey stated that she never thought she’d have children and then divorce. Regarding her relationship with Packer, she says in that he has a busy schedule as well, they have mutual respect for each other’s hectic lives. Social media maven DJ Khaled has #anotherone for the ladies. His new single “Do You Mind”, featuring Nicki Minaj, August Alsina, Chris Brown, Future and Rick Ross, shot to the third slot of trending topics on Twitter after making it’s premiere on iHeart Radio today. The ballad, produced by Khaled along with DJ Nasty, LVM and Lee On The Beats samples Lil Jon’s 2005 hit “Lovers And Friends”, which featured Ludacris and Usher. That song peaked at the No. 3 position on the Hot 100. “Do You Mind” follows :”Holy Key”, featuring Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and Betty Wright and “I Got Keys”, featuring Jay Z, and Future. His forthcoming album, “Major Keys”, will be released tomorrow. Cable network TBS is looking to the late Notorious B.I.G. for it’s next scripted series. The Ted Turner owned network announced that it’s developing a scripted comedy inspired by the New York born rapper. Titled “Think B.I.G.”, the series will chronicle the life of an inner city teenager desperately trying to create a new life for his daughter and infant son. The show will be loosely based on B.I.G.’s lyrics. The series is being created and produced by Mass Appeal, in partnership with Wayne Barrow of Bystorm Films and Voletta Wallace of Notorious B.I.G. Inc. “Thing B.I.G.” comes twenty years after the rapper was murdered during a drive by shooting in Los Angeles. His albums, which often featured semi-autographical lyrics, have sold over 17 million copies in the United States alone. “Think B.I.G.” arrives as hip hop has become a popular theme in prime time following the success of the Fox drama “Empire.”
Singer/guitarist Cheryl Cooley (Klymaxx)
Remembering singer/songwriter/producer Harvey Fuqua (July 27,1929-July 6,2010)
If you’re a Toni Braxton fan and you live in the U.S., she’s coming to a city near you. Yesterday, the singer announced via Billboard that she’s preparing an 18-date trek across North America titled “The Hits Tour.” The tour is scheduled to begin on October 8th at the Paramount Theater and end on Nov. 12 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The tour includes stops in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas City, MO, and Baltimore. The tour is sure to be worth the price of admission. It’s been six months since the release of Anthony Hamilton’s single “Amen”, and after a slow and steady climb, it has hit the #1 spot on the Adult Contemporary Radio Chart. This marks Hamilton’s third #1 single following “Pray For Me ” and “Can’t Let Go.” “Amen” is taken from Hamilton’s fifth studio effort “What I’m Feelin”, which was released this spring. He just concluded a tour with Fantasia. Fans can see Hamilton on NPR’s upcoming series “Illuminated”, which will air in August. Beyoncé and Adele lead the number of nominations for the 2016 “Video Music Awards.” Beyoncé has eleven nominations, including “Video of the Year”, “Best Pop Video” for “Formation” and “Best Art Direction” for “Hold Up.” Adele has eight nominations, one also for “Video of the Year” along with other nominated categories for her single “Hello.” Drake has four nominations and newcomer Bryson Tiller has three nominations for Best New Artist, Best Male Video and Best Hip Hop Video for “Don’t.” The 2016 VMA’s will air live on Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. EST from Madison Square Garden in New York. Rapper Cokeboy Zack sees dollar signs in the visual for his latest single “Reputation”, which co-stars Cokeboys signee Velous. As president of the Cokeboys brand and younger brother of French Montana, the Morocco by way of the Bronx MC has been working on his own career for some time now. Last month, he released the mixtape “Here’s Half”, which featured collaborations with Migos’ Quavo, Belly, Post Malone and Jeremih. The Kid Art directed visual features cameo appearances by French, Chris Brown and a special salute to rapper Chinx Drugz. If it hasn’t become obvious already, nostalgia for the 1990’s has taken over and brands are lining up to take part in the action. On Aug. 9, Pepsi will throw it’s hat into the ring with a “Summer of ’92” event to be held at Terminal 5 in New York City. It will be headlined by Biz Markie, Salt-N-Pepa, Lisa Loeb, and EnVogue to celebrate the re-launch of the short lived but beloved Crystal Pepsi brand, which will be available for the first time in 23 years on Aug. 8.
Singer Betty Davis 71
Remembering singer Doby Gray (July 26, 1940-Decrember 6, 2011)
Singer Darlene Love 75
Foxy Brown isn’t the only female rapper displeased with being omitted from this year’s VH1 Hip Hop Honors. Angie Stone isn’t pleased with her exclusion from the ceremony either. This year, VH1 honored pioneering female hip hop artists, including Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Kim and Missy Elliott. Stone was a member of the group The Sequence during hip hop’s inception. The group was signed to independent label Sugar Hill Records during the 70’s, early 80’s, and their biggest hit was “Funk You Up”, which was later sampled by Dr. Dre for his 1995 hit “Keep Their Heads Ringing”. It’s understandable why Stone feels her contribution to hip hop wasn’t recognized. While The Sequence never got as big as they should have, they still made a significant impact on hip hop and should have never been overlooked. Fantasia’s forthcoming album “The Definition Of” will be released on Friday and she’s hitting the promotion circuit. Yesterday, she appeared on “Good Morning America” to debut the single “I Made It”, which is an uptempo Gospel number that declares her success. The single was produced by Tye Tribbett and will move anyone who hears it. The album includes guest appearances by Stacy Barthe, Aloe Blacc and production by R. Kelly, Neff-U, Ron Fair and Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon. San Francisco based rapper Larry June has teamed up with fellow Bay Area artist G-Eazy for the single “3rd Girl”. The track offers an R&B feel and was produced by Cookin Soul. It’s the second single from June’s album “Orange Season”. The collaboration comes as a result of a long friendship between the two. The “Orange Season” project is set for release via a free SoundCloud download later this week. Wale recruited a squad of pretty young things for his “My PTY” video. The Washington DC rapper debuted the clip at New York City’s Panorama festival over the weekend on the Google Play Music Block, where it flashed across LED screens before and after Kendrick Lamar’s set. Wale soaks up the sun along with some PYTs in a lavish mansion in the Collen Tilly directed visual. “My PYT” is the first single from Wale’s fifth studio effort “Shine”, which will be released this fall on Maybach Music Group/Atlantic Records.
Singer Athena Cage (Kut Klose) 47
Singer Rita Marley (Bob Marley & The Wailers) 70
Singer/bassist Verdine White (Earth , Wind & Fire) 64
Casting for singer Michel’le’s Lifetime biopic began a few months ago, which is expected to reveal much about her life, career and tumultuous, abusive relationships with Dr. Dre and Suge Knight. Knight is currently in a Los Angeles county jail, however, he’s threatening the Lifetime Network with legal action if he’s depicted in a light he doesn’t agree with. According to Rollingout.com, Knight’s lawyer, J. Tooson, issued a citation to the cable network instructing them to leave certain aspects of his life out of the film’s narrative. If Knight wants to ensure that his image isn’t tarnished, that ship has sailed. His role in the narrative is what viewers will want to see. Lifetime may just have to contend with the lawsuit. Congratulations to singer Bobby Brown and his wife Alicia Etheredge are in order. The couple welcomed a ten pound baby girl into the world on July 21. Brown announced the news on Instagram. “Just had a baby girl, 10 pounds,” he wrote. No word on the infant’s name. Brown also has a new autobiography in book stores as well. The O’Jays are the latest artist to be displeased with the unauthorized use of their music at the Republican National Convention, which took place last week in Cleveland Ohio, not far from where the group was formed in 1959. Founding members Walter Williams and Eddie Levert issued a statement objecting to the use of the group’s 1973 hit “Love Train”, which was played at the convention and on the RNC’s social media outlets. In one instant, the lyrics were even changed to praise presidential candidate Donald Trump. “Our music, and especially “Love Train”, is about bringing people together, not building walls”, Williams said in a statement. “I don’t appreciate being associated with Mr. Trump and his usage of our music without our permission.” To which Levert added, “I don’t agree, whatsoever, with Trump’s politics. His spokesman added that Levert “strongly indentifies with the ongoing struggle for civil rights and has been, and continues to be, in fact, a friend of many important figures of the civil rights movement.” In addition, British rock band Queen also voiced disapproval of unauthorized use of their 1977 hit “We Are The Champions”. The Turtles also bashed the the RNC for unauthorized use of their 1967 hit “Happy Together.” Chance the Rapper has always danced to the beat of his own drum. In keeping with that philosophy, he’s organized the first music festival at the Chicago White Sox stadium U. S. Cellular Field in his hometown, scheduled for Sept. 24, 2016, and he’s bringing friends Skrillex, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Ttyler, the Creator, Lil Uzi Vert and surprise guests for his Magnificent Coloring Day, which he announced earlier today. The festival is just the latest of several milestones for the MC in the last few years; in 2015, his collaborative effort with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, “Surf”, became the first release to be sold free via the iTunes Store, while his latest studio effort, “Coloring Book”, became the first release to make the Billboard 200 with streaming numbers alone. Meanwhile, the festival arrives in the middle of Chance’s “Coloring Book Tour”, which begins on Sept. 15 in San Diego and ends on Oct. 21.