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Watch: Grammy Awards Tribute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop Sets Internet Ablaze

This year's Grammys had plenty of big moments, from Beyoncé becoming the most decorated award winner in Recording Academy history to a surprise win by roots-rocker Bonnie Raitt in the song of the year category.There was one moment on Sunday, however, that stood out above the others if the internet and media covering the 65th edition of music's premiere event are to be trusted.

The Recording Academy's celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, with a star-studded tribute directed by Questlove, has been the talk of the virtual water cooler today.

Introduced by LL Cool J, the electrifying set brought together a cavalcade of the art form's finest group and individual acts from across the generations.Hip-hop legends like Run DMC, Salt-n-Pepa, Flava Flav, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Method Man and Busta Rhymes shared the stage with some of its newest stars including GloRilla and Lil Uzi Vert.

For nearly 15 minutes the music world stood at a standstill as the artists acted as a jukebox and recreated some of hip-hop's biggest hits.The three-part tribute included performances of "The Message," "I Can't Live Without My Radio," "Eric B Is President," "My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me, “U.N.I.T.Y.,” and "Lose Control" by the original artists along with a slew of other hits and collaborations.

Watch the performance below.

Missy Elliott Nominated for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott
Her hometown Portsmouth, Virginia, named a street after her last year but now hip-hop trailblazer Missy Elliott is in the running for a slightly bigger honor.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame revealed its 2023 nominees on Wednesday, and the rapper was selected to compete for one of music's most prestigious accolades in her first year of eligibility for induction.

In its bio for the musician, the Rock Hall credited Elliott, who sometimes utilizes the sobriquet "Misdemeanor," with crafting the Virginia Beach sound that took over radio's airwaves in the late 1990s and 2000s.

She established herself as an in-demand songwriter and producer and founded her own record label, all before breaking out as a platinum-selling solo star. Elliott forged new paths for women in the music industry and society at large through her behind-the-scenes mastery and unapologetic ownership of her body, her sexual desires, and her Blackness in her music.

Elliot was joined in representing hip-hop and R&B on the list of nominees by eclectic, genre-defying hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest and 1970s soul supergroup, The Spinners, in their second and fourth appearances respectively after previously falling to make the cut.
The Spinners
A Tribe Called Quest

An individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination to be eligible.

Other first-time nominees on the list were country music legend Willie Nelson, pop princess Cyndi Lauper, rock singer-songwriter Cheryl Crow and Detroit rock duo The White Stripes, English rockers Joy Division/New Order, dance-pop icon George Michael and singer-songwriter Warren Zevon.

“This remarkable list of Nominees reflects the diverse artists and music that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors and celebrates,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “These artists have created their own sounds that have impacted generations and influenced countless others that have followed in their footsteps.”

The inductees will be announced in May, with the induction ceremony set to take place later this fall.

Find the complete list of 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees pictured below:

Watch: Angela Bassett Make History as First MCU Actor to Win a Golden Globe

Photo Courtesy Marvel 

Angela Bassett paid a touching tribute to late "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, Tuesday, while accepting her Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a drama film for her performance as Queen Ramonda in the film's sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

“We embarked on this journey together with love. We mourned, we loved, we healed. We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman,” Bassett said following the historic win, the first for an actor in a Marvel movie.

“We have joy in knowing that with this historic ‘Black Panther’ series, it is a part of his legacy that he helped to lead us. We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like, behind and in front of the camera."

The win was the second for the 64-year-old actor. Bassett, who has been nominated twice for Golden Globes, also won the award for best actress in a musical or comedy for 1993’s Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It."

Former Stars of The 5th Dimension, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Making New Music

Courtesy Photo 

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. — often referred to as "The First Couple of Pop and Soul"— are back in the studio making new music.

After making their return to the Billboard charts for the first time in nearly 40 years In 2021 with "Blackbird Lennon-McCartney Icons," which was released on former supermodel and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland's label EE1 BMG, the husband and wife duo are reteaming with its producer Nic Mendoza for an album the label says will be unique.

"This new music will be two records unlike any others," said kathy ireland Worldwide creative director Jon Carrasco and president Stephen Roseberry.

They added, "What we're hearing is exciting everyone," and said that the release of the new music would coincide with the couple getting their second star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Receiving the star, which will make them the only Black artists to have two on the walk, is just the latest in a long line of accomplishments for McCoo and Davis, who begin their careers as the lead singers of iconic vocal pop group The 5th Dimension.

Founded as the Versatiles in 1965, the group had 20 top 40 hits on the Billboard charts. Its "Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" from the group's 1969 album "Age of Aquarius" held No. 1 for six weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the spring of that year. The group amassed 14 gold and platinum recordings during its time together.

Following their departure from the group in 1975, they began to record as a duo. Their debut album, "I Hope We Get to Love in Time," produced a chart-topping single in "You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show)." It won them the 1976 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

They have continued to sing, act and perform in several mediums since then. Davis (84) had a successful gospel music carer and McCoo (79) was the emcee for television's Solid Gold for much of the '80s.

Recently they appeared in "A Waltons Thanksgiving" on the CW together and they will appear in the sequel, "The Waltons' Homecoming", airing on the Hallmark Channel on December 26. They also appeared in Questlove's Oscar-winning film "Summer of Soul," earlier this year.

"Marilyn and Billy continue to break new barriers and amaze with their bionic voices and talent," Ireland said. "It is a great privilege to represent Marilyn and Billy, the only artists who have sustained marriage, recording and television careers in the 1960s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2010s, and 2020s." 

RCA Drops Official Soundtrack for 'I Wanna Dance' Days Before the Release of Whitney Houston Biopic

The official movie poster for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
Whitney Houston fans are receiving an early Christmas present this weekend to help get them in the mood for the new biopic about the music legend that opens in theaters on Dec. 23.

On Friday, RCA Records dropped an official 35-song soundtrack for the film, "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody," which "serves as a musical memoir of the cinematic voyage," it said in a press statement.

"We think the fans will be excited to hear some incredible music they know and love, as well as some new never-before-released tracks, including 'Far Enough' and the incredible 'Don't Cry For Me,' which ends the film," said Pat Houston, President of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston, of the tracklist which spans 20 years of Houston's remarkable career.

It includes nearly two hours of remixed and original versions of the diva's songs, punctuated by special guest features by a sterling lineup of music-industry stars including BeBe Winans, Clean Bandit, Kygo, Lucky Daye and more.

Super-producer Clive Davis, who discovered Houston, said the album "brings many of Whitney's classics into 2023 and beyond."

He added, "Contemporary, current and often scorching, if you love Whitney's music, you must own this album!" 

The first female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, Houston sold over 200 million records and is one of the best-selling artists of the 20th century.

Click here to listen to the soundtrack. Find the complete tracklist below:

I Wanna Dance With Somebody Soundtrack Tracklisting
1. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston & P2J)
2. Don't Cry For Me (Whitney Houston & Sam Feldt)
3. Higher Love (Whitney Houston & Kygo)
4. The Greatest Love Of All (Whitney Houston & Jax Jones)
5. I'm Every Woman (Whitney Houston & SG Lewis)
6. How Will I Know (Whitney Houston & Clean Bandit)
7. I Love The Lord (Whitney Houston, BeBe Winans, Great John)
8. Don't Cry For Me (Darkchild Film Version)
9. Honest (Heartbreak Hotel) [Whitney Houston & Lucky Daye]
10. Okay (Whitney Houston, Oxlade, Pheelz)
11. You'll Never Stand Alone (Moto Blanco Remix)
12. Love Will Save The Day (MATVEI Remix)
13. Tomorrow (Whitney Houston & Samaria)
14. Home (Live from The Merv Griffin Show)
15. You Give Good Love
16. Saving All My Love for You
17. If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson)
18. Far Enough
19. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
20. So Emotional
21. Where Do Broken Hearts Go
22. Moment Of Truth
23. I'm Your Baby Tonight
24. The Star-Spangled Banner (Live from Super Bowl XXV)
25. One Moment In Time
26. I Will Always Love You (Live from The Concert for a New South Africa)
27. Medley: I Loves You, Porgy / And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going / I Have Nothing (Live from The        21st Annual American Music Awards)
28. Run To You
29. Impossible Things (Whitney Houston & Leikeli47)
30. Why Does It Hurt So Bad (from the "Waiting to Exhale" – Original Soundtrack)
31. It's Not Right, But It's Okay
32. My Love Is Your Love
33. I Didn't Know My Own Strength (Live from The Oprah Winfrey Show)
34. Clive's Message
35. Don't Cry For Me (A Cappella)

Ava Du Vernay, Oscar-nominated director and box-office superstar, Gets Her Own Flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Oscar-nominated director Ava Du Vernay is getting her own
ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry's.

Ava Du Vernay is already the highest-grossing Black female director in American box office history, but she may have found another way to get her work in front of even more audiences.

The "Queen Sugar" executive producer has teamed up with popular ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's for her own signature snack.

"Lights! Caramel! Action! will begin shipping across the country in January 2023.

DuVernay said she worked with the company's food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients she personally loves. She is hoping that the result — a mixture of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough — will prove popular with fans and help raise money for her non-profit ARRAY Alliance.

"Ice cream is a simple joy of life. A comfort food that I've turned to on many days - making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter," DuVernay said in a statement announcing the partnership. "Partnering with Ben & Jerry's, a company that I've long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride."

She added, "Beyond being downright delicious, proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will help ARRAY Alliance further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor."

Lights! Caramel! Action! is available in both ice cream and non-dairy versions.

DuVernay's mission with the Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective ARRAY Alliance she founded in 2011 is to amplify and elevate the work of artists of color and women directors, create inclusive film sets, provide grants, mentorship and education for people from underrepresented communities who want to work in the film industry.

"Framing this up as a new flavor for the first Black woman to be a featured partner on our pints doesn't do Ava justice," Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry's CEO, said. "We are humbled by this partnership, impressed by her work sharing not only the struggle but the joy in the justice, and we are inspired by her commitment and vision."

The full-time addition to Ben & Jerry's flavor lineup will be featured across the United States at its franchised Scoop Shops as well as on shelves in pints at a retail price of $6.49.

DuVernay is the first African American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as a director in any feature category. She is currently writing, directing and producing the narrative film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson's bestseller "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent."

Watch: Detroit Inmates Facing Increased Prison Time After Shooting Rap Video In Prison

Screengrab of "In Dis Cell" YouTube video posted by "Da Hub."

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. For two Detroit-based wannabe rappers, whether or not that proves to be true remains to be seen.

Either way, it looks like they will have plenty of extra time to think about it.

The inmates at the Macomb prison unit in suburban Detroit, have been separated and segregated from the general population after it was discovered they filmed a video at the facility.

Authorities made the moves after guards found a YouTube link written on a piece of paper during a routine search and discovered a rap video titled "In Dis Cell" — filmed in the prison — when they tried the link.

“The prisoners who were in the video certainly made no attempts to hide or disguise who they were, so staff was able to recognize them and go to their cell and confront them about this,” Chris Gautz, the spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Corrections, told Fox 2.

Now thanks to the two cell phones shown in the video, which Gautz said the men shot back in September before posting it to YouTube on Nov. 3rd, the inmates are facing additional prison time.

Possession of a cell phone in prison is a crime.

"Because while you can make rap videos with them, that’s one thing you can do with a contraband cell phone," Gautz said. "But you can also effectuate an escape, you could put out a hit on another staff member, another prisoner, a member of the public. You could harass witnesses, you could intimidate your victims.

"There’s a whole number of things untoward that you can do with contraband cellphones."

Watch the "In Dis Cell" video below:

Jazz Great, Louis Armstrong, Back on Billboard Charts With Posthumous Yuletide Collection Release

Louis Armstrong is back on the charts with the release of his first-ever Christmas album, "Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule." Photo of Louis & Lucille Armstrong. Courtesy of The Louis Armstrong House Museum.

This year fans of Louis Armstrong are getting one last gift from the jazz great who passed away more than 50 years ago — a hit Christmas album.

“Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule,” a first-of-its-kind collection of yuletide songs from the "What a Wonderful World" singer has become his highest-charting work since "Hello Dolly," which spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboards Hot 100 chart in 1964 and earned him a Grammy Award for best male vocal performance.

The compilation (released Oct. 28) opened at No. 122 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It debuted in the Top 10 across multiple Billboard charts including Top Holiday Albums (No. 9), Jazz Albums (No. 4), Traditional Jazz Albums (No. 4), Top Album Sales (No. 7), Top Current Album Sales (No. 6) and Vinyl Albums (No. 7).

It is an outstanding feat for an artist that passed away in 1971, but not unexpected since the trumpeter and vocalist had been a holiday staple long before the release of an official Christmas album.

“Louis Armstrong’s first album of holiday-associated songs is an auspicious aural example of why he was a man for all seasons, singing and playing his Promethean trumpet in the cause of happiness,” said Wynton Marsalis, president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF), of the album's success. 

“Whether you’re seven or 70, these evergreen selections featuring the great composer/arranger Benny Carter, and the incomparable vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Velma Middleton are illuminated by Pops’ down-home vocals. His reading of ‘The Night Before Christmas,’ with my New Orleans homeboy, Sullivan Fortner on piano, is a swinging Crescent City Christmas card. If anybody can bring joy to the world, Louis Armstrong can!”

In addition to holiday staples “White Christmas,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Winter Wonderland” and the aforementioned “What a Wonderful World,” the 11-track collection includes the previously unreleased recording “A Visit from St. Nicholas (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas).”

Recorded shortly before his death it is Armstrong’s first newly released track in over two decades.