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|Wed, December 15, 2010 at 3:57 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Flo Rida has sold millions when it comes to hit singles, but his albums have yet to get that kind of love from music fans.
His first two albums haven't reached gold status, and his latest, "Only One Flo (Part 1)," debuted at No. 107 on the charts earlier this month.
But Flo Rida said he's not concerned with how many albums he sells.
"You're trying to sell records, sell singles — do it all. But I'm not too fond of even just worrying about that," he said. "The most important thing is just, you know, connecting with the fans on a worldwide basis because a lot of times you'll see numbers and that doesn't play a part in the whole worldwide numbers."
The rapper's first two CDs, 2008's "Mail On Sunday" and last year's "R.O.O.T.S.," have sold 430,000 and 266,000 units, according to Nielson SoundScan.
But Flo Rida's singles have topped the charts and sold millions digitally. His debut song, the party jam "Low," has sold 5.7 million units, while the up-tempo "Right Round" has moved 4.7 million singles in sales; both songs hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The 30-year-old said selling millions of singles is just as good as selling millions of albums.
"When you look at the numbers it definitely ... adds up to that," he said. "So I'm doing pretty good."
"Club Can't Handle Me," the first single from Flo Rida's latest album, is quickly approaching double platinum status. It features French disc jockey-producer David Guetta; other guests on the album include Ludacris, Gucci Mane and Akon.
The 8-track album will have a sequel set for release "in the next couple months," Flo Rida said.
The rapper also has created his own label called International Music Group. He says that with the success of Lil Wayne protege Nicki Minaj, it's a great time for him to market his own female rapper, 18-year-old Brianna.
"Shout out to Nicki Minaj for doing her thing and just, you know, definitely keeping that lane open," he said of the animated rapper, whose debut album "Pink Friday" is just 30,000 units from achieving gold status two weeks after being released.
"But Brianna, she's been doing this for a long time," he said. "And at this point she's definitely well-rounded. She has the look, she has the versatility (and) she's very compassionate about hip-hip."
|Mon, December 13, 2010 at 7:58 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Ja Rule on Monday pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon stemming from a July 2007 stop of his luxury sports car.
Wearing dark-blue jeans and a black sweater, the rapper said "guilty" and answered yes to a judge's questions in a low voice.
"Because of your guilty plea here today, you'll have a record of having committed a violent felony. This is a very serious matter," Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers told the rapper.
Ja Rule's lawyer, Stacey Richman, had no immediate comment.
Specifically, the rapper admitted to a charge that involves attempting to have a loaded gun outside one's home or workplace.
Police said they found a loaded semiautomatic gun in a rear door of the $250,000-plus car after it was stopped for speeding.
Ja Rule was promised two years in prison when he is sentenced in February.
Ja Rule's "Pain is Love" was nominated for a best rap album Grammy Award in 2002. The 34-year-old rapper — born Jeffrey Atkins — also has appeared in movies, including the 2001 film "The Fast and the Furious."
|Mon, December 13, 2010 at 6:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Results of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition have been announced. Canadian singer-songwriter Alannah Myles and prolific Los Angeles songwriter Ken Hirsch swept the top two positions of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. This also marks the first time that music industry veterans dominate the top two positions of the USA Songwriting Competition fifteen year history.
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA (PRWEB) December 13, 2010
Results of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition have been announced. Canadian singer-songwriter Alannah Myles and prolific Los Angeles songwriter Ken Hirsch won the top two positions of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. This also marks the first time that music industry veterans dominate the top two positions of the USA Songwriting Competition fifteen year history.
Toronto Canada based Alannah Myles and co-writer Nancy Simmonds won Overall Grand Prize as well as the first prize of the Rock/Alternative category with their song “Give Me Love”. Alannah Myles is known for her Classic Rock hit “Black Velvet”. “Black Velvet” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990, won a Grammy award in 1991 for the same song. That song has become a classic and is a mainstay on Classic Rock and Pop radio stations worldwide. With her latest win, Alannah Myles is launching a comeback. This also marks only the second time that the top prize went to a non-US based songwriter. The last time the top prize when to a non-US based songwriter was 2006 when Vikki Simpson of the group “The Waifs” won.
Ken Hirsch and co-writers Rosie Casey, Peter Roberts & Hillary Podell of Los Angeles, CA, won first prize in the Pop category as well as Overall second Prize with their song “Is that So Bad”. Ken Hirsch is a prolific songwriter with several hits on the charts and is well known for his number one hit “I've Never Been To Me”. Like Alannah Myles's “Black Velvet”, “I've Never Been To Me” has also become a classic hit and is a mainstay on Classic Pop, Soft Rock and easy listening radio stations worldwide. Ken has also written hits such as “Two Less Lonely People In The World”, a top 40 hit for Air Supply which he wrote with late legendary songwriter Howard Greenfield. Ken Hirsch has his songs recorded by music legends such as: Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton. Ray Charles and Mary J. Blige.
Christopher Tin, an Honorable Mention winner of the 15th USA Songwriting Competition has been nominated for two Grammys at the latest 53rd annual Grammy Awards: 'Best Classical Crossover Album', and 'Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists' for his USA Songwriting Competition song entry 'Baba Yetu'. 'Baba Yetu' won an honorable mention award in the 2010 USA Songwriting Competition.
USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. 2009 First Prize winner (country) was signed to Universal Records. 2005 First Prize winner (Pop) Kate Voegele was signed to Interscope Records the year after she won and had her winning song hit top 40 on the Billboard Charts, her latest album hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts this summer. 2007 Overall Grand Prize Winner Ari Gold had his winning song “Where The Music Takes You” hit #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts. Darrell Scott, winner of the country category of the 2005 USA Song writing Competition had his winning song cut by award winning country singer Faith Hill. Judges include A&R managers from record labels such as Warner, Capitol Record
|Sun, December 12, 2010 at 4:43 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Michael Jackson fans will this week finally get their hands on the pop icon's first record since he died, with huge sales expected despite lukewarm reviews and questions over its authenticity.
"Michael," due out Tuesday in the United States, comprises 10 songs the King of Pop was at various stages of completing when he died last year, and includes contributions from rapper 50 Cents, Lenny Kravitz and US singer Akon.
Two tracks have already been released online, the first of which -- "Breaking News," a fierce protest at how the media hounded the scandal-tainted singer -- sparked a fierce debate over whether it was really Jackson's voice.
Record company Sony -- which plans to release a series of new Jackson albums -- was forced to defend the album after fans and even some of Jackson's family members questioned the record's authenticity.
"We have complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own," it said in a statement.
Jackson's sister LaToya said bluntly that the record "doesn't sound like him." But more generally, purist Jackson fans question how some of the songs were completed, from material recorded sometimes several years ago.
At least one song, "Much Too Soon," was written at the time of Jackson's landmark 1982 album "Thriller," several stem from the time of his last album of new material, 2001's "Invincible."
The most recent track, "Band of Joy," stems from the months before Jackson's shock death in June, 2009 -- he planned to keep working on it in London in between a series of sell-out concerts in July and August, producers say.
Jackson is credited as writer of all but two of the songs -- "Another Day" by Lenny Kravitz and "Hold My Hand" by Akon, and producers are keen to stress how closely they kept to the singer's original intentions.
"While Michael was not there to complete the tracks as only he could, he had left behind a unique roadmap mapping out his creative vision in the form of notes and detailed conversations," they say in a 10-page media introduction, which spends two pages seeking to justify the album's authenticity.
Pre-release reviews of the new album -- reportedly the first of a 10-album deal over seven years, although that is difficult to confirm -- have been decidedly mixed.
"This is not a Michael Jackson album ... He would not have released anything like this compilation, a grab bag of outtakes and outlines assembled by Jackson's label," said Rolling Stone, although calling the album "compelling."
Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B" grade, saying: "As musical epitaphs go, Michael is a solid album, arguably stronger than Invincible and certainly no great affront to his name.
"But it can be hard to listen and not wonder what he would have done differently -- or if he would have wanted us to hear it at all."
In Britain, music weekly NME's reviewer said the album was saved by the last two tracks: "Behind the Mask" which he describes as "brilliant" and the Thriller-era ballad "Much Too Soon."
"Oh, it isn?t really very good, don?t be under illusions of that. But compared with the unnecessary, inauthentic and insulting mess it could have been ... ?Michael? can actually be considered something of
|Sat, December 11, 2010 at 3:11 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LAGOS, Nigeria – As one artist rushed the stage wrapped in Nigeria's green-and-white flag, Africa's most populous nation ran away with the awards Saturday night during the MTV Africa Music Awards.
Nigerian singer 2 Face, known for his catchy, fast-paced pop song "Implication," claimed both the artist of the year and best male performer awards during the ceremony held in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos. He also dominated during a live performance, throwing himself into the crowd and running away from two scantily clad dancers dressed as police officers.
"One love to Nigeria," the artist said as he held the golden MTV award, to the applause of the audience. His singing often includes words in the Yoruba language, heard throughout southwestern Nigeria.
National pride ran high as rapper Banky W took to the stage carrying the country's green-and-white flag, later tossing it over his shoulder during his performance. The country's musicians fared well during the ceremony — Nigerian act P Square won for Best Group, Nigerian singer Sasha won as best female performer and Nigerian rapper Mo Cheddah won for best new artist.
Among other winners were Fally Ipupa, a singer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who received the best video award for his song "Sexy Dance." U.S. rapper Eminem won best international artist, but did not attend the event.
Africa has long featured a vibrant music scene, but artists have had difficulties breaking into overseas markets. Famous African artists include Senegal's Youssou N'dour, Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and South African impresario Miriam Makeba, who died in November 2008.
Both Makeba and Kuti's names were mentioned during the ceremony, as MTV gave an award in the South African singer's memory. Rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy recognized the tradition of music being used as a weapon against injustice, drawing a cheer when mentioning Kuti. He earlier led others in a rendition of "Fight the Power," the song ending with the artists raising closed fists into the air.
"You have everything you need right here," Chuck D said. "Recognize your legends; recognize your history."
Yet as Nigeria approaches a critical presidential election next year and corruption still pervades life, no one mentioned it in the air-conditioned comfort of the hotel ballroom where the ceremony took place.
MTV's regional music channel MTV Base reaches 48.5 million viewers across sub-Saharan Africa via satellite and local television stations.
MTV base: http://www.mtvbase.com
|Fri, December 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
NEW YORK - When Ron Isley talks about the three years he spent in prison for tax evasion, there's no bitterness or anger in his voice: At times, there almost seems to be a bit of nostalgia.
"I made a lot of friends. I was treated like a king. I had all of the respect that one would want. And it's a part of that that I miss — when I say I miss, I miss the people that I met," said the 69-year-old with the golden tenor.
"When I first went in there, there were 300 people there and those 300 people were behind me 100 percent, and when I say 100 percent, I really mean that," he added. "'What can we get for you? Do you need this, do you need that?' ... 24 hours a day, and that's a blessing."
Isley's prison experience was probably a bit different from the average person incarcerated for a tax offense. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer doesn't credit his good fortune to his legendary status. Instead, he credits a more potent factor.
"We have a lot of faith in God, No. 1, and we always know that he's with us, so that will carry you through anything," he said.
That faith led Isley to believe there were better days ahead, and his faith appears to have paid off: He recently released a new album, "Mr. Isley," and has a Grammy nomination for one of the key tracks: a duet with Aretha Franklin on the classic "You've Got a Friend."
"I was always fascinated how this man who made his first song in 1959 ... was able to reinvent himself decade after decade after decade," said Antonio "L.A." Reid, chairman of Island Def Jam, which released Isley's latest project. "This man is as much of an icon as Mick Jagger. This man is as much of an icon as Elton John ... Stevie Wonder."
While Isley's name isn't as iconic as those men, there's a strong argument that his music has been as influential. As part of The Isley Brothers, his contributions to music have been formidable: "Fight the Power," "Between the Sheets," "For the Love of You," "It's Your Thing" and "That Lady" have become pop and soul classics and, through sampling, hip-hop favorites over five decades.
And when other veterans found themselves singing cover tunes to remain relevant, Isley connected with a new generation through the gangster alter-ego Mr. Biggs, linking with R. Kelly, Lil Kim and others to generate hits.
Isley had just released an album with his brother Ernie, "Baby Makin' Music," and had another hit, "Just Came Here to Chill," when he was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison for failure to pay taxes. Isley, who still proclaims his innocence, said the government tried to get him to take a plea deal and spend a few months in jail.
"I didn't want to go away for no time at all, so I figure, being that I'd been to court over a 100 times that this would be something that would go away," he said. "I was wrong in figuring that."
Isley was a new father when he went to prison (his son is now 3); he also left behind his wife. It wasn't really behind bars: Isley describes it as sort of a "camp" with plenty of open space. But there were plenty of restrictions.
"You were just held away from what you wanted to do. All the telephone calls, you gotta go to bed a certain time," he said.
Isley sang about once a month and participated in some shows there. He dreamed of recording a new album.
"I wanted to make an album that was special ... that was, 'Wow, he did this?'" Isley said.
Tricky Stewart, a Grammy winner whose credits include Britney Spears, Rihanna and Beyonce, wa
|Thurs, December 09, 2010 at 10:42 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
WASHINGTON - Many Americans consider that mixed-race people like President Barack Obama belong to their minority parent group, which is still widely seen as socially inferior to whites, a study released Thursday shows.
The authors of the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology say Americans still apply the "one-drop rule", also known as hypodescent, which dates to a 1662 Virginia law on the treatment of mixed-race individuals, when deciding how to categorize a person of mixed race.
"Hypodescent against blacks remains a relatively powerful force within American society," said James Sidanius, professor of psychology and of African and African American studies at Harvard and a co-author of the study.
The findings of the study reflect just how entrenched is "America's traditional racial hierarchy, which assigns the highest status to whites, followed by Asians, with Latinos and blacks at the bottom," the authors said.
"Our work challenges the interpretation of our first biracial president and the growing number of mixed-race people in general as signaling a color-blind America," said lead author Arnold Ho, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard.
Obama's father was Kenyan and his mother was white American.
Ho, Sidanius, Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard and Daniel Levin of Vanderbilt University asked study participants to look at computer-generated pictures of mixed race people and say if they thought they were more minority or white.
Using face-morphing technology that presented faces ranging from five percent white to 95 percent white, they found that individuals who were a 50-50 mix of either black-white or Asian-white were almost never identified by study participants as white.
Black-white biracials had to be 68 percent white before they were perceived as white, while Asian-white biracials had to be 63 percent white. Whites and non-whites were equally likely to assign biracial individuals to lower-status groups, found the study.
"The United States is already a country of ethnic mixtures, but in the near future it will be even more so, and more so than any other country on earth," said Banaji, a social ethics professor at Harvard.
"When we see in our data that our own minds are limited in the perception of those who are the products of two different ethnic groups, we recognize how far we have to go in order to have an objectively accurate and fair assessment of people," he said.
Ho said the persistence of hypodescent "serves to reinforce racial boundaries rather than moving us toward a race-neutral society."
|Wed, December 08, 2010 at 6:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Snoop Dogg's First Ever DJ Set Highlights Huge Birthday Bash for Bishop Don Magic Juan
Hollywood, CA - Led by Snoop Dogg performing his first ever DJ set, attended by numerous music stars and celebrities and highlighted by a Lifetime Achievement Award for Snoop Dogg, the Player’s Ball 2010 had a hugely successful Hollywood debut, Serious Pimp Enterprises, title sponsor of the event, announced today.
Celebrating its 33rd year, and known as one of the most extravagant annual entertainment events, The Players Ball 2010 was held for the first time on the West Coast and featured an outstanding program of live music and entertainment. Traditionally held in Chicago, the event in Hollywood attracted hundreds of attendees from the entertainment industry, the Southern California region and around the country to hear Snoop Dogg create the music program live and celebrate Bishop Don Magic Juan’s birthday.
“This was the Player’s night and all the greatest Players in the land were there to party and honor the best of the best with the highest honors the Board of Directors can bestow and a true Player can earn,” said Bishop Don Magic Juan.
Awards were presented to top entertainers and music producers including the Producer of the Year to LT Hutton, the Hardest Working Player of the Year to Snoop Dogg, the Players Community Service Award to Fred Dorton and Pimp of the Year to Pimp Jo Jo. Presented by Serious Pimp Chairman of the Board Bishop Don Magic Juan, the Awards recognize individuals who best embody the Player lifestyle. Past honorees of the Player of the Year Award include musician Lil’ John, actor Owen Wilson, P-Diddy and Snoop Dogg.
“The Player's Ball 2010 was the Hollywood party of the year! We brought the West Coast style in Tinsel Town to the Player’s Ball like never before. Everyone had a blast with Snoop Dogg working as the best DJ ever and all the Players celebrating the birthday of the amazing Bishop Don Magic Juan,” said Serious Pimp Founder and CEO, Damian Kutzner.
In addition to Snoop Dogg’s first-ever DJ set, the event also featured performances by Toni Brown, the widow of legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown and was headlined by talented rapper Too $hort, who joined 50 Cent and E-40 to release the hugely popular remix of “Bitch” earlier this year.
|Tue, December 07, 2010 at 6:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Create Unique, Fun Holiday Greetings Featuring Your Own Voice Singing Christmas Carols with StarMaker Interactive’s New Release, Auto-Tune Christmas for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 7, 2010
StarMaker Interactive today announced the latest addition to their suite of recordable, shareable singing apps, Auto-Tune Christmas by StarMaker for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Auto-Tune Christmas by StarMaker is an intuitive app for creating and sharing personalized singing eGreetings via Facebook or email.
“Auto-Tune Christmas is a fun twist on the traditional holiday card or eGreeting,” said Nathan Sedlander, President and Co-Founder of StarMaker Interactive. “Whether you’re looking to inject some fun into the holiday season or send something more personal than just a card, we think you’ll have a lot of fun with the Auto-Tune Christmas app.”
Auto-Tune Christmas by StarMaker is free to download and comes with six classic Christmas carols to accompany your voice. Engaging genuine Auto-Tune from Antares will turn anyone into a veritable Christmas chanteuse. Select the Hip-Hop voice effect, and you’ll sound like Snoop Dogg crooning on a Silent Night-- Yuletide carols fo shizzle!
For $1.99 – discounted to $0.99 for a limited time – users unlock Unlimited Sharing, transforming their personal recordings into spirited eGreetings. Free downloads include classics like “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by artists such and Bing Crosby and hip-hop versions from hip-hop/electronica producer EO. Also available for $0.99 each are “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Frank Sinatra) and “Blue Christmas” (Elvis Presley) among others. Top off the eGreeting with a photo and seasonal clip art and you’ll be the toast of Facebook this season!
Auto-Tune Christmas by StarMaker is available now as a free download in the iTunes App Store.
Reed Kavner(415) 690-7641Email Information
|Thurs, December 02, 2010 at 5:53 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
TORONTO - Hip-Hop star Drake will host the Juno Awards, Canada's music awards, next year in Toronto.
The breakout rapper, born in Toronto as Aubrey Graham, will return to his hometown to emcee Canada's music awards on Sunday, March 27, 2011.
Drake last year took the Hip-Hop world by storm with his debut album Thank Me Later after playing a physically disabled student in the Canadian teen TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
"I am beyond honored to be hosting this monumental Juno Awards in the greatest city on Earth," said Drake in a statement.
"I want to bring a youthful energy to the show and encourage people to be excited about what Canadian music has to offer," he added.
Drake last year performed a duet at the 2010 Junos with fellow Canadian music sensation Justin Bieber, before taking home trophies for best rap recording artist and best new artist.
Nominations for the 2011 Juno Awards, to air live on the CTV network, will be announced on February 1, 2011.
Drake on Wednesday also snagged four nominations for the upcoming Grammys, including best new artist and best rap album.
Source: Zorianna Kit, Hollywood Reporter