Donate Now





Virginia Street to be Renamed in Honor of Missy Elliott

Romana PierzgaCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What do you get for the rapper with everything?

Portsmouth, Virginia, may have found the answer — at least when it comes to its native superstar, Missy Elliott.

The Portsmouth City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to rename a portion of one of the municipality's streets, "Missy Elliott Blvd.," in honor of the woman dubbed "Queen of Rap" by various media outlets over the years.

Elliott, born Melissa Arnette Elliot at the city's Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, seemed moved by the honor.

The artist, who has sold more than 30 million records over her career and won four Grammys, responded to the announcement by tweeting, "I am forever GRATEFUL🙏🏾 P-TOWN🙌🏾 VA #757 LOVE💜."

Currently named McLean Street, the road serves the city's recently rezoned entertainment district. A shopping center, community college and the future home of the Portsmouth Rivers Casino are among the businesses and institutions that lie along its path.

Busta Rhymes to be Honored as BMI Icon at 2022 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards

 Photo Credit: Joseph "Jo Lenz" Kindred

Rapper Busta Rhymes will receive the performance rights organization's highest award at BMI's 2022 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on Sept. 7, at a private event held at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub.

The BMI Icon Award, presented to songwriters, composers or producers who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry, will be given to the 50-year-old musician in celebration of a career spanning three decades.

BMI vice president Catherine Brewton, who will host the show with BMI president & CEO Mike O'Neill, said in a statement that the organization was excited to honor Rhymes as one of the pioneers of hip-hop.

"Through his award-winning solo work, countless collaborations and acting, Busta is a true innovator in every sense of the word and has made a dynamic impact on legions of fans and music creators worldwide," Brewton said. "His quick wit and intricate rapping style have made him legendary, inspiring many young performers to follow in his footsteps."

Previous recipients of the award include Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown.

Rhymes began his career as a member of Leaders of the New School. The hip-hop crew, founded in the late 1980s, got its big break in the early 90s as the opening act for rap icons Public Enemy. Their two albums spawned multiple hits, including the classic "Case of the P.T.A.," which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles Chart.

Following the dissolution of the group Rhymes became a sought-after collaborator on other artists' projects. His solo debut "The Coming" reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1996 and made him a superstar.

In the ensuing years, Rhymes has received numerous accolades and awards, including six BET Awards, eight BMI Awards, a Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award, a Soul Train Award, as well as 12 Grammy and 16 MTV Video Music Award nominations.

Hits like "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check," "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See," "Break Ya Neck," "Dangerous," "What's It's Gonna Be?" and "Gimme Some More" have cemented his status as an anthem-maker and icon of his genre.

While his work away from music, roles in "Shaft," "Finding Forrester" and "The Rugrats Movie," as well as competing in FOX's "The Masked Singer," has helped expand his cultural profile and keep his music relevant over the years.

Motown Legend, Lamont Dozier, Dead at 81

Philkon Phil Konstantin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Lamont Dozier, a prolific music writer and producer who helped define the Motown sound, is dead at 81.

His death was confirmed Tuesday by Paul Lambert, one of the producers of a stage production of the musical "The First Wives Club" that Dozier participated in as a writer, and the Motown Museum in Detroit's chief executive, Robin Terry.

Neither specified a cause for the death, but the news quickly rippled through the music world and set off a wave of mourning — led by some of its greatest luminaries.

"Lamont Dozier passed this morning," Beach Boys co-founder and singer Brian Wilson posted on Twitter. "Lamont was part of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown sound and countless hit records by The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, Four Tops and The Isley Brothers."

Legendary singer-songwriter Carole King added, "Gerry [first husband and co-writer Gerry Goffin], & I respected Holland Dozier Holland over at Motown. Striving to keep up with them made us better songwriters. Rest In Peace and power Lamont Dozier."

Along with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Dozier wrote dozens of hits for Motown — including signature songs such as the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" and the Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving."

The trio was officially known as the Holland-Dozier-Holland team. Their greatest success came in the 1960s. During a four-year run from, 1963-1967, they wrote more than 25 top 10 songs for the label.