April 04, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

Motown Records takes a giant step into the ever-expanding Gospel music field as the result of a joint venture partnership with EMI Gos­pel, creating a new label Mo­town Gospel. The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO, UMG East Coast Label Group and Bill Hearn, President & CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group.

“UMG’s acquisition of EMI music offered the ideal opportunity to merge the EMI Gospel label with the strength of the newly revitalized Motown Records,” said Mr. Weiss. “The new Motown Gospel label will offer broader Urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster.”

Motown Gospel was officially launched tonight, with a gala press reception and artist showcase at the Arc Theatre in Los Angeles. The evening featured performances by Gospel best sellers Smokie Norful, Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribbett, and Kierra Sheard. In addition to the artists who performed at the showcase, the Motown Gospel roster includes multiple Stellar Award winning artists VaShawn Mitchell, Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago and Grammy nominee Anita Wilson, among others.

The structure of Motown Gospel will include Ken Pennell and the executive leadership of EMI Gospel, based in Nashville, coupled with new hires, particularly in the A&R areas. As such, the first appointment of Motown Gospel is VP of A&R, songwriter and producer extraordinaire Aaron Lindsey. Mr. Lindsey, one of the most respected talents in gospel music today, has four Grammy awards and multiple Stellar and Dove awards. His songwriting credits include “Again I Say Rejoice,” “My Testimony” and “He Saw the Best in Me” and he has produced such bestselling artists as Israel Houghton, Byron Cage, and Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” from the platinum-selling album Thirsty.

Platinum seller and multi-Grammy winning CeCe Winans has also announced her intention to be the first new signing to the Motown Gospel label. The Gospel superstar’s first all new recording in more than five years is planned for an early 2014 release.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Barry Weiss for years” said Mr. Hearn. “Through his leadership of the Verity Label in the past, he’s been responsible for much of the growth and artist development in Gospel Music today. I can't wait to partner with Barry, Motown through A&R collaboration, and promotion and marketing support from Steve Bartels and the amazing IDJ team. I’m confident Motown Gospel will now be even more effective at connecting our artists with their fans and growing their fan base.”

Motown Gospel’s strong 2013 release schedule was also showcased at the event with Tasha Cobbs performing her hit single “Break Every Chain” from her current Top 5 charting album Grace. Tye Tribbett introduced his new album and label debut, Greater Than which is set for June 4 release and performed his first single “If He Did It Before Same God” which debuted Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs Chart in March. Kierra Sheard also debuted her new Rodney Jerkins produced song “Trumpets Blow” which will lead her new Karew Records release later this summer. And Gold selling, Grammy winning Smokie Norful debuted songs from his long awaited new album set for fall 2013 release.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 04, 2013

ARIES

You may feel an extra burst of energy this week. This is a good time for you wrap up any miscellaneous details on a project that you’ve been working on. Your vibrations are very conducive towards generosity and general well-being that you’ll want to extend to friends and family. Soul Affirmation: I find many things about myself that I really love.

 

TAURUS

Any nervous energy you may be feeling can be dispelled with some physical activity. You are doing just fine, so take long walks or try a yoga class and leave your worries behind you. Everything is working out in a perfect way. Soul Affirmation: Helping others is the true measure of my worth.

 

GEMINI

A conflict may arise, but you can handle it. Let your life be shaped by the choices you make, not through choices made by others. You’re a very independent sign, and you may be feeling downright feisty this week! Act with love. Soul Affirmation: This week I forgive myself for everything that has happened.

 

CANCER

Love gets you back on an even keel, and you feel balance and much appreciation for all of the blessings in your life. Your creativity is soaring; let some of your wilder ideas free and watch them fly! Soul Affirmation: Success is mine because I feel successful.

 

LEO

This week your thoughtfulness and generosity is very evident among those close to you. Do something adventurous, and surprise & impress your lover. Try to sneak away at lunchtime together and enjoy each other’s company. Things will be looking even brighter for you in the next few weeks. Stay happy! Soul Affirmation: I face each week with a smile and the week smiles back at me.

 

VIGO

Exercise your social skills in a new and inventive way at work. Make yourself noticed in a positive way. Buy a new scent or wear that daring red item that you’ve been too shy to put on! Try to resolve the conflict between two of your friends, but you might have to let them go through the motions of anger, and stay out of it. Soul Affirmation: Time is the greatest peacemaker of them all.

 

LIBRA

Nobody expects the world from you, but a little more effort would be appreciated. Let go of the grudge that you’ve been harboring and start living again! You’ll feel much more light-hearted and free when you forgive and forget about the past. Soul Affirmation: With my spirit I co-create my week.

 

SCORPIO

This week you will feel like you’re on top of the world when you finish completing the project that you’ve been working feverishly on. Take some time off and splurge on a vacation spot that has been tantalizing you!  Soul Affirmation: I focus on the positive things that are happening in my life.

 

SAGITTARIUS

This week is a good week for remembering that without the help of your colleagues it would be impossible for you to expedite the tasks that need to be done. Thank them ahead of time. Thank them graciously and celebrate with them. Soul Affirmation: Appreciation leads to recognition.

 

CAPRICORN

Little by little you will come to realize that you are too good to be second choice. This week don’t even think about why your recent romance failed. It wasn’t meant to be. There are many more fish in the sea ready for you to hook them. Go for it! Soul Affirmation: There are other fish in the sea waiting for me.

 

AQUARIUS

Offer a shoulder to cry on to someone you know that has been going through some difficulty. They need a friend right now, and you can be that person. Listen and don’t speak. Your sensitivity and compassion will mean a lot right now. Soul Affirmation: Newness of outlook helps me deal with the monotonies of life.

 

PISCES

If you need some time to yourself this week, take it. You’ll be doing yourself an act of kindness. Since you do so much for others, why not treat yourself as well as you treat them? Your world is the way you are living. Live with love. Soul Affirmation: I let go of the old in order to make room for the new.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 04, 2013

By Kenneth Miller

LAWT Contributing Writer

 

The jury selection for the trial of giant concert promoter AEG live began this week with Katherine Jackson, the mother of late music icon Michael Jackson and his children seeking $40 billion in damages. Nearing the four-year anniversary of the pop superstar’s death and following the manslaughter conviction of physician Conrad Murray, the latest and perhaps final legal saga will focus on the culpability of AEG in the hiring of Murray as Jackson’s physician. It was Murray’s ill-fated propofol treatment that led to Jackson’s death on June 9, 2009.

While he is in prison for Jackson’s death, the civil trial will question if AEG should be held liable for the doctor’s criminal mistreatment of Michael Jackson. Katherine Jackson and Michael’s children are alleging that AEG Live should be held responsible although a contract between Murray and AEG was not signed until the final month prior to singer’s demise.

The case is expected to last three months. Once the Los Angeles jury is empaneled it will be required to sort through medical records and contracts of both Jackson and Murray for the “This Is It” concert tour.

At question is whether it was Jackson or AEG Live who hired Murray, and whether or not it was possible for AEG to predict that Murray would administer a fatal dosage of propofol.

If the jury determines that AEG was responsible, then it would be required to determine how much in damages should be assessed against AEG.

Katherine Jackson and her lawyers claim that AEG Live hired, supervised and controlled Dr. Murray, “putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.”  AEG Live says that only Michael hired the doctor and it had no responsibility for how Dr. Murray treated Michael.

Originally, the heirs’ attorneys brought many different wrongful death claims against AEG Live, its parent corporation, and others associated with it.  But the defendants asked the judge to dismiss the claims for various reasons.  The judge agreed that AEG Live breached no direct duties of care to Michael Jackson and could not be legally responsible for Dr. Murray’s actions as an employee.  But the judge allowed one claim to proceed to trial.

AEG Live will focus on Michael Jackson’s troubled past, including his child molestation trial, in an effort to shift the blame onto Michael.  Its legal team will try to focus on Michael’s drug addictions and say he — not AEG Live — was responsible for compelling Murray to administer so much propofol.

The Jackson heirs will rely heavily on key e-mails between AEG executives, including ones that stated that AEG, not Michael Jackson, was paying Dr. Murray, and another that stated that AEG had checked out Dr. Murray, who was “extremely successful”.  Further, other emails showed that someone within AEG was so concerned with Michael’s health and well being in the months leading up to his death that he recommended immediate psychological intervention.  The head of AEG Live denied that request.

Court resumes on April 10.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 04, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

In response to current reports regarding the R&B group En Vogue and the legal proceedings between founding members Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones, my client Dawn Robinson would like to make it very clear that she is not, nor has she ever been in a legal battle over the use of the En Vogue name.

Ms. Robinson left the group many years ago, and at that time gave up the legal right to use the name En Vogue for personal performances.  She is currently in production on the new reality series R&B Divas LA; a spin-off of the popular reality series R&B Divas Atlanta, she is also working on new music, and authoring a book.

Although Ms. Robinson is saddened that her former band members are in the midst of court proceedings, she wishes all of the ladies well and hopes they can move forward and allow the En Vogue brand to continue to represent talent, class, and dignity.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

March 28, 2013

Special to the NNPA from the New Pittsburgh Courier

 

Just a few days ago, it was announced by Michael Baisden that he was leaving his popular radio show.  The announcement stunned observers, since the show was doing so well.  It also appeared that Baisden was leaving on his own accord, and that he would have a few days to say goodbye to listeners before heading off the air.

But these reports are being contradicted by Access Atlanta, who says that Baisden has been locked out of his studio and can’t even finish out the show on his own terms.  Here is the original tweet that Baisden sent out to the public.

At 3pm ET today, Michael and George (Willborn) will begin saying goodbye after 10 years on radio. Tell everyone to tune in and call in to show some love for the most thought provoking, funny, and socially active shows ever to come to radio!

Baisden’s tune changed later on when it was revealed that he’d been locked out of the studio and couldn’t come in to properly finish off the show before leaving.

In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all get along?” Just because we couldn’t come to an agreement is no reason to deprive the listeners, our affiliates, and our advertisers of only 9 days to say goodbye and show our appreciation.

All their action does is make me more determined than ever to come back! And next time there will be no middlemen between me, my affiliates, and my listeners. Lesson learned!

I’ll miss you family, stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for my daily inspiration post and updates on the return of The MB Show! The journey continues!!!]

Radio Facts claims that the negotiations between Baisden and Cumulus did not go well and that they are upset that he released information to the public before getting their permission to do so.  Negotiations were still pending, but it appears that Baisden walked away from the table.

Baisden said more about the situation on his Facebook page:

Who would have ever thought that a Black man from the South Side of Chicago, with no college degree, no formal training in radio, TV, or writing, and the youngest son to a single 17 year-old teenaged mother with three children, would one day lead civil rights protest and help to elect the first Black President. Life is truly amazing!

I am proud of what I have accomplished with my life and look forward to what is to come next. Life is full of new beginnings, whether it’s a new relationship or a new business venture; change is the one constant…and we must learn to embrace it.

For years I’ve encouraged you to step out on faith to live your dream, to never compromise your principles, and most importantly, not to be afraid to try something new, but above all else, dare to be different. Well, it’s time for me to practice what I preach!

When I began writing books in 1993, my only goal was to have a positive impact and challenge people to think outside the box. In 1995 I took that leap of faith and left my job with a four-year-old child to support, three thousand dollars in my pocket, and a dream. And as strange as this may sound, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would make it.

Call it cockiness or confidence, but I was determined that no force on earth was going to stop me from realizing my dreams. And after five best selling books, two stage plays, two televisions shows, three DVDs, and one of the most successful radio programs in history, I’m just getting started!

No, it was not my intention to leave radio, I had plans for The Michael Baisden Live Tour, my 10-year anniversary party in DC in July, and I was looking forward to being on the air this summer to get justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.

But sometimes fate, the universe, God, or however you want to label that undeniable force, has it’s own plans. Someone once told me that the greatest experiences in life are unplanned ones. I guess I’m about to test that theory.

We wish Michael the best of luck in his new endeavors.  We’re sure they will be successful.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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