Showing posts with label Trending. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trending. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Rising Star AUGUST 08's Untimely Death at 31 Shakes Music Community

Photo Courtesy Def Jam Records
AUGUST 08, a signer-songwriter known for his work on hits like DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One” and Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” has died at 31, leaving the music world in shock. The cause of death is undisclosed.

88rising, his label, confirmed the tragic news in a statement on Tuesday (August 29), expressing deep sorrow for the loss of Ray Jacobs, aka AUGUST 08.

His sister also paid tribute, reflecting on his purposeful life. “He was able to travel the world, and touch millions of people while fulfilling his soul purpose as a musician,” she wrote.

Born Ray Davon Jacobs on January 2, 1991, in South Los Angeles, his name, AUGUST 08, held personal significance as a nod to his father’s birthday in that month. Despite a challenging upbringing marked by familial struggles, he found solace in music.

Signed to Jhené Aiko’s Allel Sound and Def Jam Recordings, AUGUST 08’s collaborations with prominent artists showcased his unique sound and songwriting.

Def Jam Recordings conveyed their grief: “The entire Def Jam family mourns the tragic loss of Ray ‘August 08’ Jacobs. A brilliant songwriter, an accomplished musician, and a singular artist, August will remain in our memory as a beloved colleague and friend.”

AUGUST 08’s journey in music was characterized by achievements. His debut EP, "FATHER," released in 2018, marked the beginning of his artistry.

Followed by "Happy Endings with an Asterisk" in 2019, featuring collaborations with Goldlink, Duckwrth, Smino, and Wynne, he showcased his versatile musicality.

In August 2022, his debut album, "Seasick," was released under Aiko’s Allel Sound and Def Jam.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Simone Biles Makes History: Clinches Eighth National All-Around Title at US Gymnastics Championships

Simone Biles, widely regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, secured her eighth national all-around title with a commanding performance on Sunday at the US Gymnastics Championships.

Biles, 26, also became the oldest woman to claim the championship, outscoring Shilese Jones by a significant 3.9 points. Jones, the 2022 US and world championships all-around silver medalist, finished as the runner-up.

With her eighth victory, Biles surpasses Alfred Jochim's previous record of seven all-around gold medals, which had stood for 90 years since 1933.

"I think it feels really special," Biles shared with NBC, the broadcaster of the championships. "I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight (routines)… I guess it’s a lucky number this year."After an extended hiatus from major competitions, Biles displayed exceptional poise and skill in her routines, emerging as the dominant force throughout the championships. Her performance on Friday and Sunday was nothing short of impressive, culminating in a remarkable floor exercise routine that garnered a score of 15.400.

As she concluded her floor routine to an enthusiastic ovation from the crowd, Biles was embraced by her teammates and coaches. Teammate Jordan Chiles also took the opportunity to acknowledge Biles' extraordinary achievement, waving her arms to the crowd to sustain the applause.

Amidst the celebration, Biles remained coy about her participation in the upcoming Olympics. "I like to keep (my goals) personal just so that I know what I am aiming for," she explained to NBC. "I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. So I think it’s working so far, so I’m gonna keep it a little bit secretive."

Biles' triumphant return follows a two-year hiatus after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where she withdrew from several events due to the mental block known as the "twisties." Remarkably, she executed elements in her routines that no other female gymnast has successfully landed in competition.The victory propels Biles, who has earned 27 U.S. titles and 35 national championship medals overall since her senior debut in 2013, into the World Championships/Pan American Games Selection Camp, scheduled for September 18-21 in Katy, Texas, where rosters for the 2023 FIG Artistic World Championships and 2023 Pan American Games will be finalized.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Lauryn Hill Marks Album Milestone with Global Tour, Joined by The Fugees

Global music sensation Lauryn Hill is set to embark on a highly anticipated international tour alongside The Fugees, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

In a press release issued on Tuesday, it was announced that Hill will take the stage, treating audiences to performances of her seminal album that encapsulate the musical brilliance and nostalgic magic of an era.

Starting on September 8 in Minneapolis, the tour will include a notable highlight at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City later in the month. Hill's musical journey will span continents, encompassing Australia, Canada, and several cities across the United States, culminating with a finale in Seattle in November.

The Fugees, the iconic hip-hop group, will reunite with Lauryn Hill for the US leg in October and November, adding an extra layer of excitement for fans who hold a special place for the trio.

Reflecting on the profound impact of her album, Hill shared, "‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ is and was a love song to my parents, my family, my people, my musical and cultural forebears, my teachers, my loves, my Creator." She emphasized that the album provided a platform to share wisdom and perspectives through music, challenging stereotypes, and championing the idea that diverse expressions and people have a rightful place anywhere, driven by imagination, creativity and love.

Released on August 25, 1998, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" remains a cornerstone of hip-hop and R&B history, featuring enduring tracks like "Doo Wop (That Thing)," "To Zion," and "Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You." The album secured Hill five Grammy Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Importantly, Hill made history as the first woman to clinch five or more Grammys in a single night, and the album marked the first hip-hop record to earn the Album of the Year honor.

The Fugees, comprising Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michel, recently reunited in June, gracing the stage at the Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. The trio had initially announced a reunion tour in 2021 to honor the 25th anniversary of their iconic album "The Score." However, the tour faced cancellation due to challenges stemming from the ongoing pandemic.

Notably, member Pras Michel was recently found guilty of 10 criminal counts in federal court for his involvement in a plot to assist China in influencing U.S. government officials. These counts encompass conspiracy to defraud the US, witness tampering, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. He faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Tickets for Lauryn Hill's highly anticipated tour will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. local time. A pivotal moment on the tour is the performance at Newark's Prudential Center on October 17, underscoring the celebratory journey of both Hill and The Fugees.

Lauryn Hill Tour Dates:
September 8 – Minneapolis, MN – Mystic Lake
September 23 – New York, NY – Global Citizen Festival
October 1 – Gold Coast, AUS – Promiseland Festival
October 3 – Melbourne, AUS – Rod Laver Arena (with Koffee)
October 5 – Sydney, AUS – Kudos Banks Arena (with Koffee)
October 7 – Auckland, NZ – Eden Festival
October 17 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center (with Fugees)
October 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays (with Fugees)
October 21 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena (with Fugees)
October 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Arena (with Fugees)
October 26 – Toronto, ON – Scotia (with Fugees)
October 28 – Chicago, IL – United Center (with Fugees)
October 30 – Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena (with Fugees)
November 2 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena (with Fugees)
November 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Kia Forum (with Fugees)
November 7 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena (with Fugees)
November 9 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena (with Fugees)

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tennis Icon Serena Williams Welcomes Daughter Adira with Partner Alexis Ohanian

Photo Credit: Serena Williams/Instagram 

The world of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian expanded today with the joyful arrival of their second child, a baby girl named Adira.

Alexis Ohanian proudly confirmed the heartwarming news through an Instagram post that showcased a poignant family portrait. He expressed his gratitude and happiness in the caption, writing, "Welcome, Adira River Ohanian. I’m grateful to report our house is brimming with love: a contented and healthy newborn girl and a happy and healthy mama. Feeling profoundly grateful. @serenawilliams, you’ve once again bestowed upon me an unparalleled gift – you’re the GMOAT. A heartfelt thank you to all the exceptional medical staff who cared for my wife and our daughter 🙏. The moment when I introduced @olympiaohanian to her baby sister will forever remain etched in my memory."

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, both accomplished in their respective fields, already share the joy of parenthood with their five-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who was born in September 2017.

The revelation of Williams' second pregnancy took center stage at the 2023 Met Gala, where the tennis icon elegantly displayed her growing baby bump while adorned in a form-fitting black Gucci gown. Confirming the exciting news later on Instagram, Williams shared her enthusiasm about the forthcoming addition to their family.

In a poignant essay for Vogue last year, Williams shared her introspections and aspirations beyond the tennis court. Addressing her journey, she wrote, "I have never embraced the word retirement. It doesn’t resonate as a contemporary term for me. I see this phase as a transition, yet I'm conscious of the significance this term holds within a certain community. Perhaps the word that best captures my current path is 'evolution'." She continued, "I'm here to convey that my path is shifting from tennis towards other meaningful pursuits. A few years ago, I discreetly initiated Serena Ventures, a venture capital enterprise. Shortly after that, I embarked on the journey of motherhood. My intention is to nurture and expand my family."

Monday, August 21, 2023

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Reportedly Welcome Second Child: A Baby Boy

YouTube Screengrab
Global music sensation Rihanna and her partner A$AP Rocky have welcomed their second child, a baby boy, into the world.

According to TMZ, the couple's new addition was born on August 3rd in Los Angeles. While the baby's name remains undisclosed, sources with direct knowledge shared that it begins with the letter "R."

The 35-year-old singer and A$AP Rocky previously became parents in May 2022 with the birth of their first child, a boy named RZA Athelston Mayers, paying homage to music producer and Wu-Tang Clan member, RZA.

TMZ reported the news of the birth, stating, "Sources with direct knowledge tell us the baby arrived August 3rd in Los Angeles. We don't yet know the kiddo's name, but we do know it starts with 'R' and it's a boy."

The Grammy-winning artist, known for her creative approach to sharing personal news, had earlier announced her second pregnancy in a captivating manner. During her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, Rihanna unveiled her growing baby bump by opening her fire red jumpsuit. The announcement created waves of excitement among fans worldwide, who eagerly awaited the arrival of the new member of the family.

Throughout her pregnancy journey, Rihanna continued to captivate audiences with her dynamic presence. Attending prominent events such as the Met Gala and the Academy Awards, the artist effortlessly embraced her maternity style, demonstrating her unique fashion choices. Rihanna shared her approach to maternity fashion in an interview with People, emphasizing that feeling good is closely tied to looking good. "You put some clothes on, and it's like, when you look good, you feel good," she expressed.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Atlanta Rapper Dopeboy Ra, Aka Young Capone, Passes Away at 35

Photo via Instagram/dopeboyra
The hip-hop community in Atlanta is mourning the loss of Dopeboy Ra, formerly known as Young Capone, who passed away at 35. Publicist Aleesha Carter confirmed his passing on Tuesday; however, the cause of death remains undisclosed.

Carter shared her grief on Instagram, stating, "This is with a heavy, heavy heart that I’m even posting this. We made magic when we strategically put out projects, always." She expressed disbelief at the news of his unexpected passing. Carter also described Dopeboy Ra as not only a client but a dear friend, highlighting his significance in East Atlanta. She concluded, "Rest easy, RIP @dopeboyra #dopeboyra #youngcapone."

Dopeboy Ra had been missing since July before confirmation of his passing, leaving his admirers stunned. Runway Richy, a collaborator and close friend, paid tribute on Instagram, writing, "Rest in peace, my n***a @gxdsxlldxpe @dopeboyra. A true legend, a brother."

Emerging as Young Capone in the mid-2000s, Dopeboy Ra's journey was marked by tracks like the 2006 hit "Lights, Camera, Action," and "It's Hot." His artistic contributions continued through mixtapes such as "Look Who's Back" (2010) and "Paper And Politics" (2011).

Dopeboy Ra eventually found his artistic home with Grand Hustle, the label associated with the eminent rapper and entrepreneur, T.I.'s group Hustle Gang. This affiliation is pivotal as T.I. wields substantial influence in the industry and Atlanta's music landscape.

The label conveyed its sorrow through Tip on Instagram, who wrote, "Deeply saddened by the loss of an Atlanta/Trap Muzik Legend," under a message from the label:

"The Grand Hustle family is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of RaRa (formerly known as Young Capone)," the label announced. They expressed heartfelt condolences to his family, children, friends, and the wider Atlanta community, while highlighting his indelible presence and effortless talent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Hip-Hop's Golden Anniversary to Take the Spotlight at 2023 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands

The 2023 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands is gearing up for a remarkable commemoration of hip-hop culture's 50th anniversary. The event is slated to occur on August 26 at Houston's NRG Stadium, featuring an impressive lineup of some of the genre's most renowned artists.

Today, organizers revealed in a release that hip-hop icons Doug E. Fresh, Slim Thug, Choppa, Lil Keke, Z-Ro, DJ Mr. Rogers, and a surprise guest artist are set to take the stage at the annual event, which marks the beginning of the fall marching band season.

These accomplished musicians will collaborate with premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities' marching bands in a performance designed to highlight the synergy between hip-hop and marching band cultures.

"The 50th anniversary of hip-hop holds significant cultural importance," said Derek Webber, Executive Producer and Creator of the National Battle of the Bands. "We are excited to bring together the energy of HBCU bands with the pioneers of hip-hop, creating a dynamic fusion that pays tribute to the genre's legacy while propelling it into the future."

This collaborative endeavor aligns with NBOTB's commitment to amalgamate diverse musical genres, catering to a broad audience while maintaining the event's authenticity. The performances will serve as a platform to elevate the visibility of both NBOTB and participating HBCU bands, with an emphasis on promoting scholarships and recognizing the pivotal role of these institutions in nurturing emerging musical talents.

For further details, including ticket information and event updates, click here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Smokey Robinson Triumphs as Jury Dismisses Manager's $2M Commission Demand

Smokey Robinson, with his attorneys, David Schecter (left) and Sasha Frid.
Following a fierce three-day courtroom clash, the jury unequivocally sided with music legend Smokey Robinson, firmly rejecting his former manager Eric Podwall's audacious bid for nearly $2 million in unpaid commissions tied to his concert and touring ventures.

In a 2016 legal skirmish, Eric Podwall sought to bolster his case against Robinson by asserting unpaid commissions, ostensibly guaranteed by a management agreement. However, Robinson’s legal team effectively dismantled this claim during the trial, highlighting that the agreement did not encompass provisions for such commissions.

The legal team representing the Motown icon meticulously underscored Podwall's failure to fulfill his managerial responsibilities. Under rigorous cross-examination, Podwall's defense crumbled, marked by admissions of his non-contributory role in Smokey's concert and touring endeavors.

The legal showdown climaxed with Robinson himself taking the witness stand. His testimony, a tapestry of his illustrious career, proved deeply compelling. He shared poignant anecdotes from his upbringing on the same street as Diana Ross, the genesis of Motown Records alongside Berry Gordy and the creation of timeless musical treasures.

In a pivotal revelation, Robinson categorically stated that the management agreement did not encompass his prolific concert and tour pursuits—a vocation he had honed decades before Podwall was born.

In a decisive verdict, the jury wholeheartedly endorsed Smokey's assertion, firmly dismissing Podwall's pursuit of supplementary touring commissions. However, in a minor concession, they granted Podwall $2,000 — compensation for a commission linked to an album advance.

Sasha Frid, legal counsel for Smokey Robinson and a co-founding partner at Miller Barondess, LLP, which represented him in the case, expressed in a statement after the trial, "This resounding victory epitomizes Smokey's unwavering spirit. The jury's verdict attests to his artistic prowess and steadfast commitment to contractual obligations. In the face of a multimillion-dollar demand, Smokey stood strong against his former manager's audacious claims. It is an honor to champion his cause."

Monday, August 14, 2023

'Black Godfather' of Music Industry, Clarence Avant, Dies at 92

Photo Courtesy Avant Family

Clarence Avant, widely known as the “Godfather of Black Music” for his influential role in launching the careers of Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, and other music industry luminaries, as well as his guidance to legendary athletes like Muhammad Ali and Hank Aaron, passed away at the age of 92 at his Los Angeles residence on Sunday. His family confirmed the news through a statement that did not disclose the cause of his death.

In a heartfelt announcement, his children, Nicole and Alexander, along with son-in-law Ted Sarandos, shared, “It is with a heavy heart that the Avant/Sarandos family announce the passing of Clarence Alexander Avant. Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as ‘the Black Godfather’ in the worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports. Clarence leaves behind a loving family and a sea of friends and associates that have changed the world and will continue to change the world for generations to come. The joy of his legacy eases the sorrow of our loss. Clarence passed away gently at home in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 13, 2023.”

Avant's legacy encompasses a vast array of accomplishments. Starting as a nightclub manager, he managed prominent figures like Lalo Schifrin and Jimmy Smith in the 1960s. He later founded two record labels that introduced the world to talents such as Bill Withers, Sixto Rodriguez and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Avant was instrumental in brokering the sale of Stax Records in the late 1960s and later became chairman of the board at Motown Records, followed by becoming the first African-American board member at PolyGram. 

He also played a pivotal role in establishing one of the earliest fully black-owned radio stations. Additionally, he was an advocate for black culture, providing consultancy services to MGM and ABC during the 1970s. Avant's influence extended to political circles as well, as he advised Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

The story of Avant's life and impact was highlighted in the 2019 Netflix documentary "The Black Godfather." His remarkable journey will be further commemorated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October.

Tragedy had previously struck the Avant family in 2021 when his wife of over 30 years, Jacqueline "Jackie" Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist, was shot and killed in a home invasion. The incident occurred in their Trousdale Estates residence, where at least one intruder targeted her. Clarence, who was 90 years old at the time, was present but unharmed during the incident.

Hip-Hop Icon Magoo of Timbaland & Magoo Duo Dies at 50

The hip-hop community is in mourning following the passing of Magoo, half of the acclaimed duo Timbaland & Magoo, who reportedly died at the age of 50.

Born Melvin Barcliff, his death was announced on Sunday through heartfelt social media tributes from fellow musicians and longtime collaborators Digital Black and Ginuwine.

Digital Black, renowned for his contributions to R&B groups Dru Hill and Playa, expressed his disbelief through an Instagram post. Accompanied by an image of Timbaland and Magoo's 1997 debut album "Welcome to Our World," he stated, “Man can’t believe this RIH Magoo damn big bro wasn't ready for this at all #superfriends."

Ginuwine, famed for chart-toppers like "Pony," shared his emotions on Instagram, “I don’t even know how to say anything at this point, I have lost 3 friends now within a month to LIFE and it’s due date...this dude, always pushed me...I will miss you maganooo...totally one of the best ever in my eyes always pressing forward...I will see you soon bro...I’m truly efd up right now foreal life is crazy… I hate going through this and losing people we love sometimes it makes you feel like you don't wanna feel the pain so you wanna be gone also… pain oh man...blessings to the family all of my condolences.”

Magoo's contributions were intricately woven into the creative collective Da Bassment Cru, which also included Timbaland and Missy Elliott, among others.

Emerging from Norfolk, Virginia, the dynamic duo initially connected as teenagers before ascending to prominence in the music landscape. Their legacy was solidified with the release of their debut album "Welcome to Our World" in 1997, yielding the chart-topping single "Up Jumps da Boogie."

Subsequent albums ensued, including "Indecent Proposal" in 2001 and "Under Construction, Part II" in 2003 — the latter serving as a sequel to Elliott's album from the prior year.

Magoo's musical legacy lives on through the hits of Timbaland & Magoo, such as "Up Jumps Da Boogie" (featuring Elliott and Aaliyah), "Clock Strikes" (featuring Mad Skillz), "Luv 2 Luv Ya (Remix)" (featuring Shaunta and Playa) and "All Y’all" (featuring Tweet and Sebastian). He also made notable appearances on tracks like Missy Elliott’s "Beep Me 911," Ginuwine’s "G Thang" and a remix of Jodeci’s "What About Us."

While Timbaland ventured into production and collaborations with luminaries like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and Madonna, Magoo's voice and presence continue to hold a pivotal role in the hip-hop narrative.

As the music community grapples with this profound loss, the circumstances surrounding Magoo's passing remain undisclosed. Both Timbaland and Elliott, his close artistic companions, have yet to comment on the tragedy.