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Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour Shatters Records with $580 Million Triumph

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In a groundbreaking triumph for Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour, the musical powerhouse has shattered records with a staggering $580 million gross and 2.8 million tickets sold in 2023.

According to Billboard the tour, spanning May 10 to October 1, achieved a historic monthly streak with over $100 million in earnings for July, August and September. Beyoncé's August haul of $179 million set a new benchmark, marking the highest reported monthly gross since chart tracking began in February 2019. Surpassing Bad Bunny's 2022 record, Beyoncé now holds the title for the biggest single-year sum for a solo artist in Boxscore history.

The Renaissance Tour's phenomenal success positions Beyoncé at the pinnacle of Billboard's Top Tours Chart, claiming the No. 1 spot. Her year-end earnings of $579.8 million and 2.7 million tickets sold, including the record-setting October 1 show, outshine the competition.

Notably, the Renaissance Tour is the seventh highest-grossing tour in Boxscore history, and Beyoncé stands as one of two solo women to break into the Top 10, alongside Taylor Swift. This achievement further solidifies her status as the first Black woman to rank in the Top 10 highest-grossing tours.
The year-end chart, traditionally dominated by male artists like Bad Bunny, The Rolling Stones, U2, Ed Sheeran and Elton John, witnessed a transformative moment with the dominance of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift in 2015 and 2016.
Beyoncé's remarkable feat adds another chapter to the limited instances of women leading the Boxscore report. Taylor Swift, reciprocating the support she received during her Eras Tour film premiere, attended the Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé London premiere in a dazzling silver Balmain gown. Swift expressed her admiration on Instagram, underscoring Beyoncé's influence on her artistic journey.

"Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé," a cinematic chronicle of her record-breaking tour, has made a resounding impact at the box office. With initial North American previews exceeding expectations and amassing $5 million, the film offers audiences an intimate look into Beyoncé's multifaceted life.

Co-written, executive-produced, and co-directed by the 32-time Grammy winner, the film's global opening is anticipated to reach $30-$40 million.

Puma Taps A$AP Rocky for F1 Creative Leadership

A$AP Rocky named PUMA x F1 Creative Director. Photo Credit: Ryo Sato
Move over Kanye, there's a new hip-hop shoe-fluencer in town.

Global sports brand Puma and A$AP Rocky have unveiled an exciting long-term creative partnership. Their collaboration centers on the world of motorsports, with A$AP Rocky taking on the role of Creative Director for the Puma x F1 category, emphasizing the fusion of sport and streetwear.

"Working with brands as iconic as Puma, and as innovative as F1, has been truly inspiring," noted A$AP Rocky in a release announcing the alliance. "When the world sees what we're doing, I believe a shift will happen with how brands approach taking risks and working with diverse creatives."

Born Rakim Athelaston Mayers, A$AP Rocky has transcended the realm of music to become a fashion icon and cultural influencer. He embarked on his musical journey as a member of the hip-hop collective A$AP Mob, a pivotal chapter in shaping his artistic identity and earning him his moniker.

A$AP Rocky's meteoric rise began in 2011 with the release of his single "Peso," which quickly garnered widespread attention and radio airplay. In 2013, his debut studio album, "Long. Live. A$AP," skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved double platinum certification.

The collaboration kicks off with an innovative "in the lab" incubator approach, enabling A$AP Rocky to creatively explore the potential of the category. During the initial phase, he will contribute to visual and video content for the brand, providing a window into the intersection of car culture and streetwear fashion.

Later this year, Puma, in partnership with A$AP Rocky, will unveil an exclusive Puma x F1 collection. This limited-edition offering will serve as a preview of the forthcoming capsule collections scheduled for 2024, focused on high-visibility F1 races.

Come 2024, A$AP Rocky's creative vision will take center stage during multiple Grand Prix races, commencing with the Miami event. His involvement will extend to designing and curating collections, organizing race-day activations and overseeing marketing efforts.

By 2025, A$AP Rocky will engage in shaping the entire range of Puma x F1 products, encompassing racewear, fanwear and high-fashion pieces. His ongoing contributions to product design and marketing strategies aim to challenge the traditional boundaries separating sports, culture and fashion.

Maria Valdes, Puma's Chief Product Officer, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership: "We couldn't be more excited to collaborate with A$AP Rocky. He's incredibly talented, deeply thoughtful and invested in our brand. He will showcase his vision with elevated F1 race capsules on a global scale, attracting new audiences and undoubtedly shaking up the track. In the future, he will influence the broader Puma x F1 range, continuing to drive progress at the intersection of sports and culture."

"Legendary DJ and Producer DJ Mark The 45 King Passes at 62

45 King Boiler Room DJ set (Screengrab: YouTube)
DJ Mark The 45 King, an icon in the world of hip-hop renowned for his groundbreaking work as a producer and DJ, has passed away at the age of 62. His death was confirmed by DJ Premier, who described him as an "ICON."

While the specific cause of his passing remains undisclosed, the news comes shortly after DJ Mark The 45 King celebrated his 62nd birthday on October 16, marking a somber moment in the realm of music.

Known as Mark Howard James in private life, DJ Mark The 45 King hailed from the Bronx, New York, and commenced his illustrious DJ career in the mid-1980s. He adopted the moniker "45 King" due to his unique ability to craft beats from old 45 RPM records, setting the stage for his distinctive approach to music production.

His career trajectory saw a meteoric rise with the release of the breakbeat track "The 900 Number" in 1987, a composition that has inspired countless artists through its samples. Inextricably tied to the Flavor Unit, a renowned collective of artists, DJ Mark The 45 King lent his production talents to a lineup that included luminaries like Queen Latifah, Chill Rob G, Lakim Shabazz and Apache.

One of his most significant career milestones came in 1989 when he made pivotal contributions to Queen Latifah's album "All Hail the Queen." His production on this record is lauded by critics as some of his most exceptional work.

In 1996, DJ Kool, a go-go artist from Washington, D.C., catapulted to success with the hit song "Let Me Clear My Throat," which was set to the backdrop of DJ Mark The 45 King's "900 Number" beat. DJ Kool graciously acknowledged the 45 King as the originator of the song's iconic sound.

The pinnacle of his career arrived in 1998 when he produced "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" for Jay-Z, featuring the memorable chorus from the original cast album of the Broadway musical "Annie." Jay-Z himself hailed DJ Mark The 45 King as a trailblazer in hip-hop during an interview, recognizing his pivotal contributions to the genre.

DJ Premier, a close collaborator and friend of DJ Mark The 45 King, shared his thoughts on the iconic producer's passing, stating, "R.I.P. DJ Mark The 45 King who passed this morning. An ICON. His 62nd Birthday was Monday. I never heard of Gang Starr until I heard DJ Red Alert play their 2nd single Produced by Mark on 98.7 Kiss in NYC while shopping my demos looking to get a record deal."

DJ Premier added, "Mark is responsible for so many classics and was a member of the Iconic Crew FLAVOR UNIT, including Queen Latifah, Latee, Chill Rob G., Lakim Shabazz, Double J, Lord Alibaski, DJ Cee Justice, Apache, Naughty By Nature, Freddie Foxxx, Markey Fresh, Rowdy Rahz, Storm P, Shakim, and many more members. His sound was unlike any other, from his heavy drums to his distinct horns on every production."

Further acknowledging DJ Mark The 45 King's impact, DJ Premier noted, "He got a huge Warner Bros. deal and remixed the Classic Madonna single 'Keep It Together' and the raw remix of Eric B. & Rakim 'I Know You Got Soul.' The '900 Number' is a Super Classic, Queen Latifah's 'Wrath Of My Madness,' 'Ladies First' with Monie Love, Chill Rob G's 'Court Is In Session,' Latee's 'Cuts Got Flavor,' the Historical Jay-Z hit 'Hard Knock Life,' and Eminem's 'Stan,' to name a few of his catalog that will forever ring bells."

Throughout his distinguished career, DJ Mark The 45 King provided beats for a multitude of celebrated artists, including Eric B. & Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Madonna and Eminem.

Grammy-Winning Rapper Krayzie Bone Fights Offstage Battle in ICU

Photo Credit: Instagram/krayzie_bone
Krayzie Bone, a prominent member of the legendary rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, has shared a recent health update following his week-long battle in the intensive care unit of a Los Angeles-area hospital. Krayzie, whose real name is Anthony Henderson, has faced serious health challenges in recent weeks.

The 50-year-old rapper was hospitalized last month after experiencing severe health issues, including coughing up blood. He has since undergone surgeries for internal bleeding and required the assistance of a ventilator.

On Tuesday, he took to social media, posting a photo of himself from his hospital bed, where he revealed that he had been fighting for his life for nine consecutive days. He attributed his recovery to his faith, stating, "I only won the battle this time because I know Jehovah God was with me every step of the way fighting for me."

Krayzie Bone expressed his gratitude to fans for their support and prayers during his challenging ordeal.

The Cleveland native, is renowned as a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a pioneering group in the melodic rap genre that emerged in the early 1990s. The group's unique style and harmonies propelled them to the mainstream, and they achieved considerable success, including winning a Grammy for "Tha Crossroads."

He has faced health issues related to sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs. He has previously postponed tour dates due to his health condition.

While his hospitalization has brought concern, his recent update provides a glimmer of hope for his fans and supporters as he continues his journey to recovery.

The cause of his hospitalization remains undisclosed, and medical professionals are closely monitoring his condition.

Concert Mic Flung by Cardi B Nets Incredible $99,900 in Auction

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A microphone that once soared through the air in the fervor of a Cardi B concert has landed in the hands of a new owner, commanding a jaw-dropping price of $99,900.

The incident, an eruption of fiery emotion during a Las Vegas spectacle, saw the "Bodak Yellow" star unleash the mic like a guided missile upon a concertgoer at Drai's Beachclub, following a shower of liquid launched in her direction.

Scott Fisher, the architect behind the audio at the gig, initially listed the item for a mere $500 on eBay. Speaking to the New York Post's Page Six column, Fisher said, "I think it's a bit crazy, but to each their own. To some people, it’s a world-famous item and there are definitely collectors that like this kind of stuff."

Cardi B, who was initially under scrutiny as a battery suspect following the microphone toss, can now breathe a sigh of relief. The verdict delivered in the court of justice was unequivocal – no crime committed. In an official statement, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declared, "After a thorough review of this case and with consultation from the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, this case has been closed due to insufficient evidence. No charges will be filed in relation to this case."

Fisher said he orchestrated the sale as a conduit for philanthropy, with the proceeds going to Friendship Circle Las Vegas, a local organization connecting volunteers with children and young adults facing special needs, and the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity dedicated to restoring independence to severely wounded veterans.

The eBay listing apparently issued a resonant call to action: "If you want a piece of hip-hop infamy and what has now become national and world news, then please bid whatever you are willing to spend...thanks (sic)."

G Herbo Faces Charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon in Public

Photo Credit: Fulton County Jail 
Chicago rapper G Herbo, known for his gritty lyricism and authentic portrayal of inner-city life, was arrested on Sunday evening for illegal gun possession, according to TMZ.

The 27-year-old artist was pulled over around 5:45 p.m. and subsequently booked for misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon in a public place. He has since posted bond and is expected to appear in court in the future.

This recent arrest comes on the heels of G Herbo making headlines for a $1.5 million fraud case dating back to December 2020. AllHipHop reported in April that the rapper could potentially avoid jail time in the federal case if he pleads guilty to charges including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

G Herbo, whose real name is Herbert Wright III, emerged as a significant figure in the hip-hop scene with his debut mixtape "Welcome to Fazoland" released in 2014. His music offers a raw and introspective portrayal of street life and social inequalities. Through his lyrics, G Herbo sheds light on the challenges faced by marginalized communities, earning acclaim for his candid storytelling and his ability to connect with listeners on a deep level.

Beyond his musical endeavors, G Herbo has been actively involved in philanthropic efforts aimed at uplifting his hometown of Chicago. He has organized community events and collaborated with organizations to provide resources and support to those in need, showcasing his commitment to making a positive impact.

However, the rapper's career has been punctuated by legal troubles. Alongside the recent gun possession arrest, G Herbo has faced legal challenges related to his alleged involvement in a fraud scheme. The accusations involve a wide range of businesses, including private jet companies, commercial airlines, vacation rental businesses, hotels, security companies and limousine services.

The alleged scam reportedly operated from March 2016 until December 2020, when charges were filed against G Herbo and his associates.

Bob Marley's Iconic Legacy Lives on with Posthumous Album 'Africa Unite'

Album Art: Courtesy Universal Music Group
Reggae legend Bob Marley's musical legacy lives on through the forthcoming release of "Africa Unite," a posthumous album that pays homage to his iconic career and celebrates the fusion of reggae and Afrobeats.

The album, scheduled to be unveiled on August 4, presents a collection of Marley's greatest hits reimagined with the infectious rhythms of Afrobeats, featuring collaborations with contemporary African musicians.

Among the ten tracks on "Africa Unite" are notable artists such as Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage, Teni and Oxlade. Each artist contributes their distinct style and talent to the project, breathing new life into Marley's timeless compositions. The album seamlessly blends the essence of reggae and Afrobeats, delivering heartfelt renditions of beloved songs like "Waiting In Vain" alongside the vibrant energy of "Stir It Up."

Highlighting the significance of the album, Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, said in a statement, "'Africa Unite' is an album that showcases the importance of Bob Marley in modern-day Africa. The artists featured on this album have reimagined Bob Marley's classics in a way that we know he would have loved and been proud of."

Bob Marley's influence on both reggae and Afrobeats music culture is widely recognized. His pioneering contributions to reggae led to his posthumous induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Additionally, his impact on Afrobeats, a popular genre originating from Africa, is evident in the incorporation of reggae elements such as guitar riffs and offbeat rhythms, creating a captivating fusion that resonates with audiences and continues to shape the genre's evolution.

The album's release is spearheaded by the debut single, a fresh rendition of Bob Marley's timeless anthem "Three Little Birds," performed by emerging Nigerian artists Teni and Oxlade. This rendition preserves the essence of the original while infusing it with an afro-fusion twist, showcasing the contemporary sound that permeates the entire album.

Click here to stream a preview of "Africa Unite."

ASCAP Announces Dr. Dre as Hip-Hop Icon Award Recipient

Dr. Dre to receive inaugural Hip-Hop Icon Award from ASCAP.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Rhythm & Soul department will honor multi-platinum-selling producer and artist Dr. Dre with the inaugural ASCAP Hip-Hop Icon Award.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the music licensing group announced that the eight-time Grammy Award winner will receive the award, which recognizes ASCAP members who have made a lasting impact on the art and culture of hip-hop, during Thursday's ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards Celebration of 50 Years of Hip-Hop in Los Angeles.

Paul Williams, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President, praised the selection, stating, "Dr. Dre's groundbreaking early work laid a foundation for hip-hop as we know it today. As a champion for some of today's biggest artists and a successful entrepreneur, he changed the culture around hip-hop."

Williams added, "Dre continues to be a pivotal figure in the music industry, and we are thrilled to recognize him with the inaugural ASCAP Hip-Hop Icon Award as we mark 50 years of hip-hop."

Dr. Dre, an award-winning artist, producer, founder, and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning decades. He started as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru before co-founding the groundbreaking group N.W.A.

In 1992, the Compton, California native launched his solo career with the release of his debut album, "The Chronic." The album achieved triple platinum certification from the RIAA, reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and earned Dr. Dre a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance with the hit track "Let Me Ride."

Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment has played a crucial role in discovering and nurturing hip-hop superstars such as 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak and Eminem. Additionally, his collaboration with Jimmy Iovine led to the establishment of Beats Electronics in 2008, followed by the launch of Beats Music. Both ventures were acquired by Apple in 2014.

Beyond music, Dr. Dre's accomplishments extend to other creative endeavors. His contributions to the HBO docuseries "The Defiant Ones" earned him a Grammy and an Emmy. Furthermore, the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent secured three Emmy Awards.

In 2013, Dr. Dre collaborated with Jimmy Iovine to establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Last year, their efforts expanded to the Los Angeles Unified School District with the opening of the Iovine and Young Center (IYC) Integrated Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship (IDTE) Magnet, a high school offering cutting-edge curriculum to students.