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Lamont Dozier, Writer of Numerous Motown Hits, Dies at 81

The Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier in 1969. He helped write dozens of Motown classics. Between 1963 and 1972, he and his partners, Brian and Eddie Holland, were responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts.Credit...Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images

With the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote dozens of singles that reached the pop or R&B charts, including "You Can't Hurry Love," by the Supremes.

Lamont Dozier, the prolific songwriter and producer who was crucial to the success of Motown Records as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on Monday at his home near Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.

Robin Terry, the chairwoman and chief executive of the Motown Museum in Detroit, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

In collaboration with the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas ("Heat Wave," "Jimmy Mack"), the Four Tops ("Bernadette," "I Can't Help Myself") and especially the Supremes ("You Can't Hurry Love," "Baby Love"). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1. "It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time," Mr. Dozier wrote in his autobiography, "How Sweet It Is" (2019, written with Scott B. Bomar).

Nelson George, in his 1985 history of Motown, "Where Did Our Love Go?" (named after another Holland-Dozier-Holland hit), described how the youthful trio had won over the label's more experienced staff and musicians. "These kids," he wrote, "had a real insight into the taste of the buying public" and possessed "an innate gift for melody, a feel for story song lyrics, and an ability to create the recurring vocal and instrumental licks known as 'hooks.'"

"Brian, Eddie and Lamont loved what they were doing," Mr. George added, "and worked around the clock, making music like old man Ford made cars."

In his memoir, Mr. Dozier concurred: "We thought of H.D.H. as a factory within a factory."

Lamont Herbert Dozier - he was named after Lamont Cranston, the lead character in the radio serial "The Shadow" - was born on June 16, 1941, in Detroit the oldest of five children of Willie Lee and Ethel Jeannette (Waters) Dozier. His mother largely raised the family, earning a living as a cook and housekeeper; his father worked at a gas station but had trouble keeping a job, perhaps because he suffered from chronic back pain as a result of a World War II injury (he fell off a truck).

When Mr. Dozier was 5, his father took him to a concert with an all-star bill that included Count Basie, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. While the music excited the young boy, he was also impressed by the audience's ecstatic reaction, and resolved that he would make people feel good in the same way.

As a high school student, Mr. Dozier wrote songs, cutting up grocery bags so he would have paper for the lyrics, and formed the Romeos, an interracial doo-wop group. When the Romeos' song "Fine Fine Baby" was released by Atco Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, in 1957, Mr. Dozier dropped out of high school at age 16, anticipating stardom. But when Atlantic's Jerry Wexler wanted a second single, Mr. Dozier overplayed his hand, saying the group would only make a full-length LP. He received a letter wishing him well and dropping the Romeos from the label.

After the Romeos broke up, Mr. Dozier auditioned for Anna Records, a new label called founded by Billy Davis and the sisters Anna and Gwen Gordy; he was slotted into a group called the Voice Masters and hired as a custodian. In 1961, billed as Lamont Anthony, he released his first solo single, "Let's Talk It Over" - but he preferred the flip side, "Popeye," a song he wrote. "Popeye," which featured a young Marvin Gaye on drums, became a regional hit until it was squelched by King Features, owners of the cartoon and comic-strip character Popeye.

After Anna Records folded in 1961, Mr. Dozier received a phone call from Berry Gordy Jr., brother of Anna and Gwen, offering him a job as a songwriter at his new label, Motown, with a salary of $25 a week as an advance against royalties. Mr. Dozier began collaborating with the young songwriter Brian Holland.

"It was like Brian and I could complete one another's musical ideas the way certain people can finish one another's sentences," Mr. Dozier wrote in his memoir. "I realized right away that we shared a secret language of creativity."

They were soon joined by Brian's older brother, Eddie, who specialized in lyrics, and began writing songs together - although hardly ever with all three parties in the same room. Mr. Dozier and Brian Holland would write the music and supervise an instrumental recording session with the Motown house band; Eddie Holland would then write lyrics to the track. When it came time to record vocals, Eddie Holland would guide the lead singer and Mr. Dozier would coach the backing vocalists.

In his memoir, Mr. Dozier summed it up: "Brian was all music, Eddie was all lyrics, and I was the idea man who bridged both."

Sometimes he would have an idea for a song's feel: He wrote the Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" thinking about Bob Dylan's phrasing on "Like a Rolling Stone." Sometimes he concocted an attention-grabbing gimmick, like the staccato guitars at the beginning of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" that evoked a radio news bulletin.

And sometimes Mr. Dozier uttered a real-life sentence that worked in song, as he did one night when he was in a Detroit motel with a girlfriend and a different girlfriend started pounding on the door. He pleaded with the interloper, "Stop, in the name of love" - and then realized the potency of what he had said. The Holland-Dozier-Holland team quickly hammered the sentence into a three-minute single, the Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love."

In 1965, Mr. Gordy circulated an audacious memo to Motown staffers that read in part: "We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' worldwide acceptance is greater than other artists, on them we will release only #1 records." Holland-Dozier-Holland stepped up: While they didn't hit the top every time with the Supremes, they wrote and produced an astonishing 10 No. 1 pop hits for the group.

"I accepted that an artist career just wasn't in the cards for me at Motown," Mr. Dozier wrote in 2019. "I still wanted it, but I was constantly being bombarded with the demand for more songs and more productions for the growing roster of artists."

When Marvin Gaye, who had turned himself from a drummer into a singing star, needed to record some material before he went on an extended tour, Mr. Dozier reluctantly surrendered a song he had been saving to relaunch his own career as an artist: "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)." Mr. Gaye showed up for the session with his golf clubs, late and unprepared, and nailed the song in one perfect take.

Mr. Dozier and the Holland brothers left Motown in 1967, at the peak of their success, in a dispute over money and ownership, and started two labels of their own, Invictus and Hot Wax; their biggest hit was Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," a Top 10 hit in 1970.

"Holland-Dozier-Holland left and the sound was gone," Mary Wilson of the Supremes lamented to The Washington Post in 1986.

Mr. Dozier wrote some more hits with the Hollands (many credited to the collective pseudonym Edythe Wayne because of ongoing legal disputes with Motown) and struck out on his own in 1973, resuming his singing career.

He released a dozen solo albums across the years, but without achieving stardom as a singer; he had the most chart success in 1974, most notably with the song "Trying to Hold On to My Woman," which reached the Top 20, and "Fish Ain't Bitin'," with lyrics urging Richard Nixon to resign, became a minor hit when his label publicized a letter it had received from the White House asking it to stop promoting the song.

Mr. Dozier had greater success collaborating with other artists in the 1980s, writing songs with Eric Clapton, the Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall (who puckishly released "Infidelity" with the credit "Hucknall-Dozier-Hucknall") and Phil Collins, who hit No. 1 in 1989 with the Dozier-Collins song "Two Hearts."

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Dozier served as an artist-in-residence professor at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music and as chairman of the board of the National Academy of Songwriters, imparting his hard-won wisdom to younger writers.

"Always put the song ahead of your ego," he wrote in his memoir. And he revealed the secret to his relentless productivity: "Writer's block only exists in your mind, and if you let yourself have it, it will cripple your ability to function as a creative person. The answer to so-called writer's block is doing the work.


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39-Year Old Black Entrepreneur Makes History, Awarded $13.4 Billion Dollar Defense Contract

Meet Isaac Barnes, the young founder and President of Eminent Future, whose Black-owned tech firm has been awarded a $13.4 billion dollar defense contract with the U.S. Airforce and the U.S. Spaceforce. Isaac is a marvel, reminiscent of young Black leaders transcending generations of relevant and personable individuals who have made such an extraordinary mark in history.

Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and growing up disadvantaged yet determined, Isaac's saga is one recognizable, with an unfamiliar progression. After dropping out of college, he would serve piously with the US Marines, where he prospered as a software engineer and data analyst supporting the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Isaac then went on to work for the Secretary of Defense to produce federal websites and digital products that saved millions of dollars for the Department of Defense.
Isaac received numerous awards and accolades for his innovations. His passion for technology and being a steward for the people led him to serve with influence under both the Obama and Trump administrations. His team led the 2017 presidential records transition efforts for President Obama.

Notwithstanding his apparent success and still seeking the need to serve by leading, Isaac went on to be the first Black multi-millionaire President of a Federal Digital Product and Innovation Company, Eminent Future. Serving as the President of Eminent Future, he has been paramount in securing a defense contract worth more than $13.4 billion whilst positioning the company to be one of the fastest-growing companies in Arlington, Virginia.

Isaac emphatically states, "The biggest issue that we have in America is that we are not working together as one unit; we are not combined." Isaac combines leadership, entrepreneurship, technology, and spirituality to design growth opportunities within and between organizations and inclusive of communities to generate and instill that cohesive unity in America.

On the heels of his remarkable accomplishments, Isaac, in conjunction with business partner Jose Risi established two crypto tokens, xMooney, and a stealth project. xMooney encourages its miners to reduce their carbon footprint while ensuring a more stable and secure blockchain.

Now, Isaac is using his platform and resources to give back. He is a vocal advocate for diversity in tech and is working to close the black tech gap. His story inspires anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. He believes cryptocurrency and Web3 are the future, and he is creating pathways for more black and brown people to join the movement.

About
Isaac is a natural-born leader, and the President of Eminent Future, a digital product and innovation company focused on creating societal change, winning over $13B in federal contracts with the Pentagon, White House, and Department of State. He led software development teams for both President Obama and President Trump. He goes by Future President because he plans to run for office in the early 2030s and is passionate about helping to upgrade democracy, create pathways for more people to create generational wealth, and break generational curses using technology. More information can be found on IsaacBarnes.com and his company's website at EminentFuture.co


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Saturday Night Party

   

Saturday Night Party

Grille No. 13 Presents

Saturday Night Party
MUSIC BY: DJ QUE
FREE PARKING
FREE ADMISSION
GOOD DRINKS

SATURDAY 7.30.22
9PM-2AM

Grille No. 13
3016 WALDORF MARKET PL. WALDORF MD 2060


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Rihanna Is America's Youngest Self-Made Billionaire

   

Rihanna Is America's Youngest Self-Made Billionaire

The Barbados-native has ranked as the only self-made billionaire under 40 years old.

Rihanna is now the youngest self-made billionaire in the country at just 34 years old.

According to Forbes, the new mom, entrepreneur and entertainer's net worth is around $1.4 billion, and for the first time, the Barbados-native has ranked as the only self-made billionaire under 40 years old on the annual list coming in at No. 21.

While the majority of her wealth doesn't stem from her popular music career, the nine-time Grammy award-winner credits her Fenty Beauty line, where she owns close to 50% of the company, which catapulted her into billionaire status


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R. KELLY SENTENCE TO 30 YEARS

   

R. KELLY SENTENCE TO 30 YEARS

R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking Case.

Nine months after a Brooklyn jury found R. Kelly guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking case in federal court, the singer has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

R. Kelly will be spending the next 30 years behind bars in relation to his sex trafficking case.

On June 29, a judge announced the singer's sentence in a Brooklyn federal court, which came nine months after a jury found him guilty on all nine counts in his sexual abuse trial.

The charges-which involved six female victims, inclusive of the late singer Aaliyah (who married R. Kelly in 1994 when she was 15 years old)-included racketeering, bribery, coercion, enticement and sex trafficking. The 55 year old born Robert Kelly, has denied any wrongdoing and previously pleaded not guilty to all counts against him. The accusations against him span from at least 1992 to 2017.

Over the course of the highly publicized trial that began in federal court in Brooklyn last August, prosecutors called on dozens of witnesses to testify, including female and male accusers who claimed they were groomed for sex and endured psychological abuse while they were underage.

According to NBC News, the accusers alleged they were forced to sign nondisclosure forms and were subjected to threats and punishments if they broke, as one victim described it, "Rob's rules."

In a filing from early June, per the outlet, prosecutors said R. Kelly used his "fame, money and popularity" to "prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification." In court papers filed by the singer's attorneys, they contended that he should get a break in his sentencing judgement, partly due to him experiencing a "traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence."

In January 2019, allegations against the singer were met with renewed attention following the premiere of Lifetime's docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. The six-part feature, which included claims from a number of accusers, led to public calls for an official investigation.

R. Kelly has been behind bars since his arrest in July 2019. Per NBC News, the performer is still facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago. His trial for that case is set to begin August 15


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Colin Kaepernick Is Back Working Out On The NFL Platform

Colin Kaepernick was back on the grid Iron working out for the Las Vegas Raiders. Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 The year in which he began to kneel during the National Anthem protest for racial injustice


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The Return Of Caribbean Night

   

The Return Of Caribbean Night

Tonight ladies & gentlemen it's the return of Caribbean Night w/DJ QUE DaHEADBANGER


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Dwayne Haskins struck by car and killed

   

Dwayne Haskins struck by car and killed

Dwayne Haskins, a former Ohio State star quarterback who was a first-round draft pick in Washington and most recently played in Pittsburgh, has died at the age of 24.

Haskins was killed when he was hit by a car early this morning in South Florida, his agent told Adam Schefter.

At Ohio State, Haskins started just one season but instantly became one of the best players in college football, setting Big Ten records and finishing third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.

On the strength of that fantastic season, Washington chose Haskins with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. But he struggled through an up-and-down rookie season and was released during his second season in 2020.

The Steelers picked him up in 2021, and although he never got on the field for them in the regular season, they said this year that he would have an opportunity to compete for a starting job. Haskins was in Florida this week getting in offseason work with several other Steelers skill position players


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Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman confirmed to Supreme Court

The Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman Supreme Court justice, with 3 GOP senators joining Democrats to vote in favor of her confirmation.

Jackson's confirmation won't change the ideological balance of the court, but marks a significant historic milestone for the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.

Jackson currently sits on DC's federal appellate court and will be sworn after Justice Stephen Breyer retires sometime in the summer.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed Thursday to become the 116th Supreme Court Justice - here are key things to know about how today's vote unfolded:

Jackson was confirmed by a vote of 53 yeas and 47 nays. Three GOP senators crossed party lines and voted for her: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Jackson will be the first ever Black woman to sit on the bench. Biden had said during his 2020 presidential campaign that he was committed to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court if elected.

Ahead of the final vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the moment a "joyous, momentous, groundbreaking day." Schumer went on to say, "In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, never, never has a Black woman held the title of Justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first, and I believe the first of more to come."

The Senate chamber was packed for the Senate vote, with most senators seated at their desks. The vote initially proceeded quickly as a result, but was later held open for some time when it became clear that GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only senator who had not voted. The chamber waited for him to arrive and vote before it was gaveled closed.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to serve as vice president, presided over the chamber during the historic vote in her capacity as president of the Senate.

Democratic senators erupted in applause after Jackson's confirmation was announced. Romney also joined in on the applause


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South Jersey woman scores historic full-time football position at Howard University

Janice Pettyjohn becomes the first woman hired for a full-time football position at Howard University.

They call her Hellraiser.

But bar raiser might be a better nickname after the latest accomplishment of Lumberton native Janice Pettyjohn.

At almost 23, the Rancocas Valley Regional High School alumna is reaching new heights for womankind, becoming the first woman hired for a full-time football position at Howard University. But the road to Pettyjohn's historic hire wasn't always easy.

Growing up, Pettyjohn gravitated more to arts than sports.

"Ironically, I've always been artsy girl. So, painting, art, I still do to this day, that's what my hobbies surrounded," Pettyjohn said.

In fact, health issues put an end to any hopes to participate in youth sports before they could even begin. Still, Pettyjohn was determined to find a way to be involved in Lumberton Middle School's extracurricular actvities.

"No one wants to come right home after school; you want something to do," Pettyjohn said. "So I started managing the basketball team in seventh grade then I did it in eighth grade and it ended up just becoming something that I loved without realizing that I love because it just became second nature."

As offseasons would come and go, time away from the court only increased Pettyjohn's interest in sports. Soon, middle school basketball team manager turned into Rancocas Valley Regional High School football team manager. As Pettyjohn leveled up, RVRHS staff like former head coach Dan Haussman couldn't help but notice her ability to get the job done.

"She was always organized, she took on a ton of tasks, and we never had to worry about game set up," Haussman said.

But where Haussman really got to know Pettyjohn's ability to rise to a challenge was in the anatomy and physiology class he teaches.

"I watched Janice work really, really, hard because that's a college level honors course," Haussman. "That's when I really got to see the determination and the grit she exhibited as a student as well."

In 2017, Pettyjohn graduated from RVRHS and took her studies to Howard University, one of more than 100 historically Black colleges and universities. There she enrolled in the university's sports medicine residency program. It took no time for Pettyjohn to come aboard the Bison football team when former head coach Mike London offered her an undergraduate position as a graphic designer and equipment manager.

"And then from there, my name just kind of started floating around. And next thing I know, I'm working with operations, I'm working with the color commentating people on the radio, I'm working with the (sports information) department," Pettyjohn said. "I was always the person kind of with that mentality like that if it has to get done, I'm going to be the one that gets it done."

When Larry Scott took over Bison coaching duties he assigned Pettyjohn new recruitment responsibilities. She found herself being treated more like an adult and less like a student.

"... Despite the fact that I was at the time. He gave me the same responsibilities that he was doing and little did I know that he and Coach Scott both were preparing me for this job that they wanted me to have once I graduated," Pettyjohn said.

In 2021, Pettyjohn graduated from Howard's Sports Medicine Residency program with a minor in sociology. Her original post-graduate plan was to attend medical school but realized that her heart wasn't in it.

Pettyjohn was offered a full-time position with the Bison and has since transitioned to assistant director of football operations in addition to taking on the responsibilities of director of on-campus recruiting. This new position was developed specifically for Pettyjohn.

She's involved in the recruiting process such as campus tours and runs operations such as maintenance of the football facilities and assists with coordination for events.

The significance of not only being the first woman hired full-time, but also as a new college graduate making history is not lost on Pettyjohn.

"I'm super grateful for this position," she said. "Being 22 years old and getting a full-time position at Howard fresh out of college - its rare. Coach Scott really saw the potential in me."

With football being a male-dominated sport, Pettyjohn's current position is typically filled by men. Yet Pettyjohn says the biggest hurdle she faced was working in a high-level career at such an early age.

"'I'm 22, about to be 23, doing what some 30 year old's are just getting started doing," Pettyjohn said. "You're finding coaches on my staff who have coached in the NFL, who have played in the NFL. Coaches, who I'm not going to necessarily say ages, but they're over the age of 40 and 50, who have been in this game for quite some time. So it was definitely a matter of building trust."

And at times where Pettyjohn isn't giving herself enough credit, her coaches, players, and Howard faculty are there to lift her up.

"Two of our associate AD's will literally just call me sometimes to say you're doing a great job. Our academic advisors will just call me and say you're doing it. And my coaches tell me all the time. So even when I don't feel it, if I don't give myself the credit, there's always someone else there in my ear," Pettyjohn said.

When Rancocas Valley Regional High School Principal Joseph Martin found out Pettyjohn's history-making hire, he reached out to offer congratulations.

"To me what really grabbed me was that this is a story of a young strong woman finding such tremendous career opportunities in a male dominated sport/industry," Martin said.

In her current role, Pettyjohn draws from her sociology background to understand the impact students' backgrounds and resources have on their decision making. She has seen athletes ignore injuries to remain on the team.

"Sometimes, sports are all they know. Their futures solely depend on their athletic abilities," she said.

In the future Pettyjohn hopes to create a rehab facility in a low-income area to ensure all student athletes can receive the treatment they need to maintain their athletic abilities and careers.

"Janice's future goals will better level the playing field for athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with training, healthcare and other supports that will help them succeed both on and off the field," Martin said. "Those goals are what we are most proud to celebrate at RV when we share Janice's story!


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