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Free at Last: Wesley Snipes released from prison

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wesley snipes out of jailMr. Nino Brown aka Wesley Snipes was released from the McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania this week, where he served nearly two-years for failing to file federal income tax returns. Wesley, who checked into prison in December 2010, was release on April 2nd and transferred to the New York Community Corrections Office, which will oversee his home arrest. After July 19th, the Blade star will be released from home arrest and free to jump start his career again.  Apparently, Hollywood is welcoming the Sugar Hill kingpin back with open arms as he’s already rumored to have a role in The Expendable 3 (set for a 2014 release). Welcome back Mr. Snipes.  And don’t forget about April 15th this time around!]]>

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Recording Academy Announces Global Expansion Efforts in Africa and the Middle East

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The Recording Academy, the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards, is embarking on a path to extend its efforts to support music creators on a global scale. The Academy has agreements with Ministries of Cultures and key stakeholders across the Middle East and Africa to collaborate on a framework to bolster the Academy’s presence and services in these rapidly growing music regions.

“This is exciting because music is one of humanity’s greatest natural resources,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “It is critical that the people who dedicate themselves to creating music have support, resources and opportunities, no matter where they are from.”

For the past two years, the Academy’s leaders have traveled throughout these regions, participated in listening sessions, received high-level briefings, tours, demonstrations, and obtained insight directly from both the governmental ministries and music creators driving innovation in these markets.

The Academy is working with the Ministries of Culture in Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Nigeria, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa. Additionally, MOUs have been signed with Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Through these collaborations, and in alignment with our mission, the Academy looks to explore several key initiatives, including:

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Championing music creators at all levels, providing them with a platform and advocacy.

Empowering creators through enhanced training. Through its online learning platform, GRAMMY GO™, the Academy will look to provide educational programs and resources specifically tailored to the needs of music creators in these regions.

Producing original content that celebrates the rich musical heritage and dynamic emerging scenes of Africa and the Middle East.

Enhancing support for existing members. Cross-cultural learnings will benefit all music creators, and a presence in these rapidly growing music regions would provide numerous benefits to the Recording Academy’s current and future members.

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Advocating for strong Intellectual Property (IP) legislation and protections for music creators.

Fueling the music economy by collaborating with partners to develop and strengthen the creative economy in Africa and the Middle East.

As a cornerstone of this initiative, the Academy will publish a series of reports, highlighting the Academy’s research and insights into these music markets.

“The Recording Academy is dedicated to supporting music creators around the world,” said Panos A. Panay, Recording Academy President. “Our expansion efforts into these fast-growing regions reflect our commitment to fostering a truly global music community, where creators at every stage of their careers and from every corner of the world have the resources and support they need to thrive.”

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This exploration into the Middle East and Africa is only the first phase of plans to support music creators abroad and comes the same year the Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards®, and months after Seville hosted the Latin GRAMMY Awards, the first GRAMMY Awards show to be held overseas. Also, last year, the Recording Academy partnered with the U.S. State Department on an initiative to promote peace through music.

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Missing Malawi plane found, VP, ex-First Lady, others reportedly dead

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Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera delivered the devastating news on Tuesday that his Vice President Saulos Chilima, along with nine other passengers, had tragically lost their lives in a plane crash.  (more…)

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Aircraft carrying Malawi Vice President goes missing

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An aircraft carrying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others has disappeared after it failed to land on  the morning of Monday, June 10, 2024. (more…)

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DAVE GUY (The Roots, Dap-Kings) Shares New Single ft Clairo

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DAVE GUY (The Roots, Dap-Kings) Shares New Single ft Clairo

Dave Guy announces his debut album Ruby set for release on September 20th via Big Crown Records. Throughout the album’s 12 tracks, he explores New York Jazz and pushes the boundaries of the genre by incorporating shades of hip hop and soul, making it both unique and modern. Guy’s unmistakable trumpet playing,  distinct tone and sensibility, set him apart from his peers. This is what you get when someone hones their talent for years while rubbing elbows with the best of the best. He’s recorded on some of present day’s most iconic funk, soul and pop albums, and currently performs with The Roots live and on The Tonight Show. Now, Dave is ready to step straight to the front with a deserved light shining directly on him and his well-defined sound.

Today, Guy also shares the album’s lead single, “7th Heaven,” an anthemic tune with thundering drums, and dancing piano that Dave’s horn lines soar over. The ethereal vocals from Claire Cottrill (Clairo) balances the music and makes for an instant classic. The track is one of the first that Guy along with friends and longtime collaborators Nick Movshon and Homer Steinweiss recorded in the studio.

“It has a groove and is more in line with what the guys and I are known for with Menahan Street Band, but it is also in-your-face and catchy,” notes Guy. “It’s a bit of an ode to Tijuana Brass too, a Herb Alpert-esque track with a tight horn line and has that energy that pops.”

Listen to “7th Heaven” here: https://lnk.to/DaveGuy7thHeaven.

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LISTEN & SHARE “7TH HEAVEN”

Raised in NYC’s East Village, Dave was surrounded by hip-hop and the hustle that defined the city in the ’90s. In those formative days, he and his playing were influenced by jazz greats like Donald Byrd and Hugh Masekela but also by the Native Tongue sounds of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. His time at LaGuardia Performing Arts High School furthered this path. Dave remembers sharing playing time with Big Crown co-founder Leon Michels and drumming powerhouse Homer Steinweiss. “Being in the All-City Jazz Big Band, I would see them rehearsing all the time,” Dave recalls. “They were already doing things with the Dap-Kings back then—which was crazy.” It was here that Dave’s voice as a player began to take shape and continued to be refined through his studies at the Manhattan School of Music and The New School, and then playing with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band, The Sugarman 3 and more and lending his playing to records from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Pharell, The, Lee Fields, Al Green, and many others.

As fate would have it, a classic case of “when one door shuts, another opens” was really what got the ball rolling on the album. “I never wanted to force my own project,” Dave explains. “There was always a lot going on between things—the timing was never right.” But then, The Tonight Show had to pause during the 2023 Writers’ Strike and, unexpectedly, there was a free moment. Within days Dave started recording at NYC’s fabled Diamond Mine studio with Steinweiss and Movshon. What started out as just looking to make music and create, quickly took shape and direction and they ended up laying down something wildly special and authentic. An album of songs that capture different moods and an invitation into the world as Dave Guy sees it and feels it.

Ruby is a record that mixes Dave Guy’s musical influences with the energies of the city that raised him. It also features stunning cover art by renowned NYC-based multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams. Pre-save / pre-order Ruby here: https://bigcrownrecords.com/store/ruby.

‘RUBY’ TRACK LISTING

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01 – 7th Heaven

02 – Footwork

03 – I’ll Follow You

04 – Morning Glory

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05 – Pinky Ring

06 – Diamond Encore

07 – Still Standing

08 – Dave Wants You

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09 – Drony Boy

10 – Quesodillas

11 – The Green Door

12 – Ruby’s Rubies

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SECOND SEASON OF HIT INFLUENCER REALITY SERIES “FOLLOW ME” PREMIERES JUNE 13 ON CRACKLE

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Crackle, a division of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (NASDAQ: CSSE), today announced the second season of the hit reality series Follow Me will premiere exclusively on the free streaming service on June 13. Sponsored by Mars Wrigley, the 10-episode series shows fans what it takes to build a brand as an influencer in the social media age.
Follow Me follows aspiring stars– from the worlds of Fashion, Comedy, Beauty, Cosplay, Skateboarding, Music and more. Each contestant brings their unique talents, backgrounds, and strategic approaches to success – as they engage in business-themed challenges throughout the Bethany Mota hosted series. Show participants work in the “creator’s studio” and compete in various social media-based challenges. Contestants have access to guidance from a global mix of top influencer guest judges who together have reached hundreds of millions of followers and billions of views – including Kika Kim, Jordyn Jones, and Jojo Sim. At the end of each episode, the contestant with the least number of votes is eliminated. The contestant with the most votes at the end of the competition will be crowned the winner by the judges and receive the $50,000 prize.
This season, contestants will once again be challenged to craft compelling content inspired by Mars Wrigley’s iconic brand portfolio, including favorites like M&M’S®, SKITTLES®, SNICKERS®, and HUBBA BUBBA®, alongside other esteemed brand partners including Valley Rays and Versus Games.
Produced by Venture 10 Studio Group and Wright Productions, the team behind the successful first season of Follow Me, which garnered over 700 million impressions and attracted millions of viewers in the 18-34 demographic, the upcoming season promises even greater excitement and engagement.
Executive Producer Rick De Oliveira, known for his work on reality hits such as The Challenge and Love and Hip-Hop Miami, expressed enthusiasm for the second season, “We’re taking Follow Me to new heights in Season Two. As we continue to push boundaries and create compelling content, we’re thrilled to have Mars back for another season as our main branded partner. As the program’s success grows, we’re committed to delivering many more hits for our partners with our dedicated team at V10,” he said.
In addition to Mota and De Oliveira, the series is executive produced by Chance Wright, John Stevens, Jason Newman, Derek Daugherty and Zach Kozek.
Crackle is available on a wide range of devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire, and Vizio, Samsung and Android TVs along with the Crackle YouTube channel.
Season 2 will also launch this July on the CW App.
The first season of Follow Me premiered in May of 2023 across a large group of platforms, including Amazon Freevee, Roku, Tubi, Samsung+, Pluto, and FilmRise, with a reach of over 290M homes globally. The first season featured eight contestants, including a model, personal trainer, gamer, dancer, among others, with branded moments from sponsors, including Mars Wrigley, Six Flags, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Dave & Busters, and Versus Games.
About V10 Entertainment
V10 Entertainment is a private equity backed media company focused on unscripted content production and investment in companies with owned IP or economic rights. In 2023, V10 acquired both Venture 10 Studio Group along with the studio’s flagship asset, Vin Di Bona Productions, producer of America’s Funniest Home Videos for ABC.
About Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (Nasdaq: CSSE) provides premium content to value-conscious consumers. The company is one of the largest Advertising-supported Video On Demand (AVOD) companies in the US, with three flagship AVOD streaming services: Redbox, Crackle, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. In addition, the company operates Redbox Free Live TV, a Free Ad-supported Streaming Television service (FAST), a Transaction Video On Demand (TVOD) service, and a network of kiosks across the US for DVD and Blu-ray rentals. To provide original and exclusive content to its viewers, the company creates, acquires, and distributes films and TV series through its Screen Media and Chicken Soup for the Soul TV Group subsidiaries. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.
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Social Trends: Will Smith’s ‘Bad Boys 4’ Triumph Amid Controversy

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Will Smith's 'Bad Boys 4' Triumph Amid Controversy

Will Smith’s latest film ‘Bad Boys 4’ has seen a successful opening, with many fans praising his charisma and talent. Despite the controversy surrounding his actions at the Oscars, social media users and fans have expressed unwavering support for the actor, highlighting his enduring star power and ability to draw audiences to theaters.

The discussion also touches on broader themes of celebrity culture, the impact of personal actions on public perception, and the resilience of Smith’s career in the face of public scrutiny.

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Will Smith attended a movie theater to watch the new ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ film with fans, who were unaware of his presence until after the movie.

The film has received positive reviews and performed well at the box office, with a strong opening weekend projected. Fans and followers have praised Smith for his down-to-earth approach and his ability to connect with his audience, emphasizing his enduring popularity and the public’s willingness to overlook past mistakes.

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